Chasing the Rainbow

by Liquidfirest0rm

First published

Applejack has a long-standing crush on Rainbow Dash. What happens when she walks in on Twilight and Rainbow making out in the library?

Collaboration with TaviPlaysTheBass. This story wouldn't have gone anywhere without him. Go show him some love.

Applejack finally decides to confess her feelings for Rainbow Dash. She heads to the library, knowing that today is one of Twilight and Rainbow’s reading days. She heads in to steal Rainbow away so she can confess to her in private, only to walk in on Twilight and Rainbow in the middle of a make out session.

Contains: Shipping, Polyamory, Lesbian Ponies, and the concept of herds. Don't like it? Don't read it.
Also: Fluff and light humor because there isn't enough in the world.

Chapter 1

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Applejack un-hitched herself from her cart and wiped her brow. It had been another slow day in the marketplace, and the hours had seemed to tick by at a crawl. It didn't help that she had important plans for this evening and she was as nervous as a schoolfilly confessing her love for her crush. In truth that's exactly what she had planned to do.

She'd had her eye on somepony for a while, and had finally come to the conclusion that if she ever wanted her crush to turn into more than faraway looks and daydreams, she would have to mare up and confess her feelings. She had even gone to great lengths to find out what her crush's favorite flowers were without them finding out, and picked up a bouquet for the special occasion.

After heading inside and washing up, she stood in front of her dresser, and pulled out a small box. Inside the box lay three small items, two mane ties that had her cutie mark inlayed in them with rubies, and a single blue feather.

Gingerly picking up the feather, she stroked it lovingly, imagining that it's owner had given it to her instead of being found beneath one of the apple trees. Carefully returning it to its box, she opened the drawer and pulled out her seldom used mane brush. Putting her hoof through the loop, she began working it through her golden locks. She briefly considered doing something fancy with her mane, before realizing who she was trying to impress and knowing it would be unnecessary. Once she finished she used one of her special ties to hold her mane in place before starting on her tail. As she worked , she ran different ways of asking through her head, trying to come up with the best one. She finally decided on just doing it outright, simple and to the point.

Finishing up her tail, she put her brush back in the drawer and put on her other tie. Giving the feather another loving caress, she closed the box and returned it to its place. Grabbing her hat off its hook, she placed it on her head before grabbing the bouquet of flowers and heading out the door.

As she made her way through town, she admired the way the town looked in the reds and oranges of the setting sun. The townsponies made their way through the streets but she payed them no mind as she neared her destination. The green boughs of the town library provided a welcoming sight, almost as if reassuring her that everything would work out right. Stopping in front of the door, she gave her appearance another check before knocking on the door. There was no response.

“Rainbow? Twilight? You in there?” She called. A moment later the door opened, revealing the library’s other resident, Spike.

“They’re up in Twilight’s room.” He left the door open and moved back over to a stack of books by one of the shelves, presumably to reshelve them.

Applejack walked through the library common, to the staircase that led to Twilight’s living area. She started to climb the stairs, feeling as nervous as if she were about to lose the big rodeo competition. Before she knew it, she had climbed the stairs and now stood in front of the door to Twilight’s room.

For the second time, she found herself knocking. Once again, there was no response. She could hear Rainbow and Twilight talking within, but neither had seemed to notice her. Spike had invited her to go up to see them, so she took the liberty and opened the door. Gently pushing it open, she started walking into the room.

“Hey Twilight, mind if I…”

Her words caught in her throat as she beheld the sight before her. There on the bed were Twilight and Rainbow Dash, lips locked in a passionate kiss. She dropped the bouquet and let out a gasp as she watched her dreams get crushed right before her eyes.

“Applejack!” Twilight exclaimed, her face bright red as she pushed away from Rainbow, “What in Equestria are you doing here?”

“I… I...” The tears began to run down her face as she turned and bolted from the room. The front door could be heard slamming a few moments later. A speechless Rainbow and Twilight looked to each other to see if they had an explanation for their friend’s strange behavior.


Applejack’s hooves collided with the apple tree, sending a cascade of fruit into her cart. She looked to the next tree that needed bucking, and started dragging the cart over to it.


She had never felt more miserable in her entire life. Not when she had been homesick in Manehattan as a filly, not even when they had lost the farm to the Flim Flam Brothers. It was a kind of ache that she knew wouldn’t go away easy.

After bolting from the library, she had run the entire way back to Sweet Apple Acres. At first, she had hated Twilight for stealing Rainbow Dash from her, but she knew that wasn’t true. Hay, she didn’t even know they were together! It wasn’t like Twilight knew about her feelings for Rainbow and secretly plotted to steal her away. She had simply been acting on her own feelings.

It was her fault if it was anyone’s. She should have made her move sooner, instead of concealing her feelings for so long. If she had taken initiative before Twilight and Rainbow got together, then it could have been Twilight walking in on her and Rainbow instead. She let out a long, depressed sigh and stopped beside the next tree. She didn’t feel like bucking trees anymore, so instead, unhooked herself and sat down beside the tree instead. She felt like crying again, but didn't have any tears left to cry.

She knew she couldn’t keep this all bottled up inside. She needed someone to talk to, someone who could tell her how to move on. She thought about talking with Granny Smith, but she didn’t feel like listening to the old mare go on for hours about her past love life. Then she had an idea come to her, like someone flicking on a lightswitch. Rarity was always going on about her romance and finding her prince charming, surely she’d be able to help! Hitching herself back up to the cart, she headed back towards the barn to drop it off before heading to Carousel Boutique.

Night had fallen as she made her way back into town. Nothing else seemed to move as she silently walked through Ponyville. She hoped Rarity was still awake. As she approached the Boutique, she saw lights shining through the windows. She approached the door, and knocked.

“Hey Rares, you got any time to talk right now?”

The only answer she received was a loud crash coming from inside.

“Rarity? You okay in there?” She called out, opening the door and sticking her head in, concerned for her friend.

“I’m fine, darling. Just a little… preoccupied at the moment. Please do come in.”

She looked into the room and instantly her heart swelled with pity for her friend. There Rarity was, trying to protect her ponequins as a white blur and an orange blur sped around the room, wreaking havoc upon everything in their path.

Applejack shuddered, Rarity was babysitting for two energetic Crusaders, a fate that she wouldn’t even wish upon her worst enemy. Another crash sounded from the other room and she could see Rarity snap a little more.

“Girls!” Rarity yelled through gritted teeth, “Would you please go to Sweetie’s room so I can talk to Applejack?” The two blurs came to a halt in front of them, briefly materializing into two fillies that chorused ‘okay’ before turning back into blurs and disappearing up the stairs. She let out a sigh and visibly relaxed a little as Applejack watched her straighten a few things around the boutique.

“Why don’t I make us some tea, and we can sit down and discuss whatever’s on your mind?” Rarity asked, leading Applejack into the kitchen.

“That sounds fine, Rares.” She replied taking a seat at the table. She watched as Rarity filled the kettle with water and then set it on the stove before pulling out the tea and two cups. Once everything had been laid out, she took her seat.

“So, what is it that you wanted to talk about, Applejack?”

“Well… you see, there’s this mare that I’ve had feelings for for a long time now, only she doesn’t feel the same about me,” Applejack started, looking awkwardly down at the table, tapping her hooves together nervously.

“Oh Applejack, that’s simply awful. You must tell me who this pony is!”

“Well, you know her pretty well. She’s one of the most beautiful ponies I’ve ever seen and is always willing to help anypony-”

“Applejack? Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” Rarity asked, cutting her off mid sentence. “Not that the thought hadn’t crossed my mind, of course. Can you imagine the scandal of it all? Ponyville’s primary fashionista engaged in a passionate romance with a simple farmer from the outskirts of town. Oh, how ponies would talk!”

Applejack stared at her for a moment, dumbfounded.

“Rarity! I ain’t talking about you! I have a crush on Rainbow Dash.” She huffed.

“Well this is rather awkward.” She replied, a blush spreading across her face.

Applejack rubbed her face with a fetlock and sighed.

“Look, yesterday evening I went to ask Rainbow out, and accidentally walked in on her making out with Twilight at the library.” Rarity’s jaw dropped.

“Are you sure, darling? It wasn’t just a friendly nuzzle or something of the sort.” This earned her a derisive snort from Applejack.

“I dunno, last time I checked two ponies looking like they each wanna suck the other’s face off is pretty clear cut making out.”

“Hmmm, well that certainly doesn't sound good.”

“No, not really. I’m just not sure what I should do now.”

“Applejack, darling, I know this may be difficult to hear,” Rarity said, patting her hoof consolingly on Applejack’s shoulder, “but the best course of action might be to just try to get over Rainbow. It will be hard, but if she is really happy with Twilight, then there won’t be any room for you in her life.”

Applejack stared at the table top, silently thinking over her friend’s advice. She knew that breaking them apart would only end up bad for everyone. Deep down she knew Rarity was right, it was best for her to just move on and forget about it, the sooner she did that, the sooner she could start getting over the heartache. The corners of her mouth tilted up for a brief moment before she looked back up at Rarity.

“I think you may have something there, Rares. Though it sure as hay ain’t gonna be easy. These feelings have been around for a mighty long time, they ain’t just gonna vanish overnight.” Rarity smirked as her horn lit up, Applejack looked around, trying to see what the spell was doing.

“Well that, darling, is where the next part comes in.” A tub of ice cream and two spoons landed on the table between them. “Comfort food.”

Chapter 2

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“...and so, once again, Daring Do escaped with the treasure, leaving Ahuizotl cursing her name as she flew away.” Twilight finished, closing the cover of the book.

“That was so awesome!” Rainbow Dash squealed as she lay cuddled with her marefriend on the bed. Twilight used her magic to place the book back on her personal bookshelf, before turning to look at Rainbow.

“I knew you’d love it.” Twilight said, leaning over to kiss her on the cheek.

“Of course I did. I always love Daring Do.” Rainbow looked lovingly up at Twilight, and responded to her with a forceful kiss on the lips.

After a few blissful minutes, they broke apart.

“Y’know Twilight, you didn’t used to be such a great kisser.” Rainbow teased gently.

The purple alicorn blushed heavily. “Oh, don’t remind me, but I had a great teacher.” She pondered this for a moment before speaking again. “How did you get so good at this? I mean obviously practice, but with how many others?”

She rubbed her forelegs together self consciously. Before she had come to Ponyville, she had never made time for other ponies in any respect, always giving some lame excuse about studying or having some project due. Before Rainbow she had never even thought of others in an intimate light. Fearing her lover had far greater experience than she made her feel suddenly inadequate.

“Well before you, I never really had anything serious, just a couple of flings. Never had any of them go well enough to pass into the relationship phase, but that doesn’t mean we never did anything.” She noticed that Twilight seemed to deflate a little bit at this news. She started to say something, but Twilight spoke up first.

“Anyone I know?” Rainbow cringed a little at that one. She rubbed the back of her head sheepishly as she fumbled her words.

“Well… Um… Let’s see, there was Raindrops, Cloudchaser, Flitter…” She trailed off for a moment trying to remember more. “Oh there was Derpy too, and let me tell you, that mare…” Rainbow finished her sentence with a whistle. “Heck I even had little thing going with Applejack, but that didn’t last very long.” She heard a whine and looked down to see Twilight with her head buried in her hooves.

“Aw come on Twi! Just cause I know my way around the bedroom a little, doesn’t mean I’m gonna judge you.” She said lifting Twilight’s head with a hoof so she could look her in the eyes. “You know our relationship is about more than just that. So what if you aren’t the most amazing pony in the bedroom? I chose to be with you. I mean sure you asked me out, but I kinda figured the anti-social bookworm from Canterlot, who’d never even made friends before, would be new to all this.” She lovingly nuzzled Twilight.

Twilight looked into Rainbow’s eyes. “Thanks for that. I love you so much Rainbow.”

“I love you too, Twi.”

Rainbow leaned in and pressed her lips passionately to Twilight’s. She felt the other mare press into the kiss as well. Opening her mouth slightly, she snaked her tongue out and brushed it lightly across Twilight’s lips. When the other mare’s mouth opened, she launched her assault, working her way in to wrestle for dominance. Neither mare noticed the door opening or the third party enter the room unannounced. They were too engrossed in their private battle to notice until the new pony spoke up.

“Hey Twilight, mind if I…” Applejack spoke up before stopping mid sentence as she noticed the sight before her.

“Applejack!” Twilight exclaimed, her face bright red as she pushed away from Rainbow, “What in Equestria are you doing here?”

“I… I...” The tears began to run down her face as she turned and bolted from the room. The front door could be heard slamming a few moments later. A speechless Rainbow and Twilight looked to each other to see if they had an explanation for their friend’s strange behavior.

Rainbow took off after their friend, leaving Twilight alone in her bedroom. She was still a little flustered from the kiss and her brain was having trouble sorting out the confusing situation that had just happened. Looking back to the door again, she saw something on the floor that she hadn’t noticed at first. Using her magic, she picked up the item and brought over to herself, gasping when she saw what it was.

Floating before her was a beautiful bouquet. But this was no ordinary bouquet, it was specifically made up of Rainbow’s favorite flowers. Rainbow had only told her what they were after two months of being together, and they were not easy to get.

Twilight’s heart sank as the pieces fell into place in her mind. Applejack had come here to confess her feelings for Rainbow. She remember Rainbow telling her how she had once had a thing with Applejack, apparently AJ had never gotten over it.

Twilight sat back in her bed, clutching the flowers to her chest.

What are we going to do?

Rainbow touched down back in front of the library. She had searched everywhere for Applejack but turned up nothing. She hated not being able to help one of her friends, and hated even more when it could be her that was causing their problems. She roughly opened the door before heading inside and kicking it shut again. The sight that greeted her instantly made her forget what she had been thinking.

Twilight was sitting at her desk with several different books floating in front of her. This in and of itself would appear to be a normal sight for Rainbow to walk in on. The part that got her attention was that Twilight was openly sobbing while clutching something to her chest. She took a few steps forward but stopped when she finally caught a glimpse of what Twilight was holding, and it sent a chill down her spine. She’d recognise those flowers anywhere.

Oh my gosh, I just ran out on her and we were supposed to be celebrating! Some marefriend I am...

She meekly continued her way across the library’s lower floor and sat down in front of Twilight’s desk, her wings hanging limply at her side. She let out a sigh and started to apologize.

“Twilight, I’m so-” She was cut off by the sound of all the books hitting the floor. Twilight looked at her and raced around to the other side of the desk, still clutching the flowers.

“Oh! Rainbow Dash! I’m so glad you’re back, because we have a serious problem.”

“What? No! I’m sorry for running out like that but everything is cool.” She wrapped her wings around Twilight in a loving embrace. Twilight pushed away from here a little and stared at her dumbfounded.

“What? How can everything be ‘cool’ about this?” Twilight replied pushing the flowers towards Rainbow. She stared at the flowers, puzzled for a second before meeting Twilight’s gaze.

“You didn’t get these for me?” She asked with a tilt of her head.

“No! After you and Applejack ran off I found them laying in the doorway. Rainbow, I think Applejack still has feelings for you, and the reason she seemed so upset is because she walked in on us!”

Rainbow’s heart sank. To her, Applejack had just been a fling, with no serious feelings involved, and she had thought Applejack felt the same way. It tore her up inside, knowing that one of her friends was suffering and it was her fault. Even more so, because she knew there was no way she could make things right. She was with Twilight now and she wouldn’t trade her for the world.

Besides, she didn’t feel that way about Applejack. She considered her a very close friend, but she didn’t possess any romantic feelings for her like she had for Twilight. Sure she had enjoyed their time together but she had never thought of taking it any further with the apple mare.

“What are we gonna do about this?” Rainbow sank down into the chair and rested her head in her hooves.

“I don’t know but I’ve been researching relationship issues in different self help books the library has,” Twilight said, picking the books back up in her magic and opening them again. “I’m sure there has to be a solution in one of them.”

“Come on, Twilight. I don’t think any book has the answer to this problem. I’m pretty sure the only answer is letting her know that we’re an item and that’s that.”

“Are you sure? Isn’t there a way we can try to do this without hurting her?” Twilight asked, pulling a rather large, dusty tome off the shelf where the other books had been. It was labeled ‘History of Relationships Through the Ages’. “I really don’t like the idea of having to just stomp all over her heart like that.”

“Well what else do you expect us to do? I’m spoken for, and she can’t have me no matter how badly she wants it. It would be better to let her get over things on her own than to lead her on with false hope.” Twilight lowered her book to meet Rainbow’s gaze.

“You’re right.” She said with a sigh. “I just don’t want this to drive a wedge in between us and ruin our friendship. Did you manage to catch up to her when you went after her?”

“Nah, I looked everywhere I could think of, even checked most of Sweet Apple Acres.”

Twilight frowned. “That’s strange. Where could she have gone?” A shrug from Rainbow was her only answer.

“Let’s let her cool off a bit. She’ll show up again when she’s ready to see us. Besides she couldn’t be gone for too long, she wouldn’t want to worry her family again like she did in Dodge Junction.”

“Yeah. I guess I’m just worried is all. I really hope she’s doing okay.” She closed the book and ran a hoof over the cover absentmindedly.

“Wow. This really put a damper on our whole six month anniversary thing.” Rainbow chuckled mirthlessly. Twilight nuzzled her lovingly, and then glanced at the clock.

“We still have enough time to make our dinner reservation if you want. This doesn’t have to completely ruin our special day.”

Rainbow smiled halfheartedly. “Sure, that sounds nice. Let’s go.” She got up and stretched a wing over Twilight’s back. “Besides, it might help get our minds off of this whole… thing.” Twilight nodded, and the two departed the library in silence.

Spike could be heard snoring loudly as the two quietly pushed open the door.

“How did you ever get any sleep with him in the same room?” Rainbow asked with a chuckle.

“Sound dampening spell.” Twilight replied, using her magic to close the door on the downstairs study. They had converted it into a bedroom for Spike when they made things official between them. Rainbow just rolled her eyes and made for the stairway.

They softly walked up the library’s creaky stairs, and into Twilight’s loft bedroom. Rainbow plopped down on the bed, stretching her wings after a long and stressful day.

She yawned. “Alright Twi, I’m gonna hit the hay. G’night, I love you.”

“Goodnight, Rainbow. I love you too.” She levitated her large book from earlier onto the desk and sat down in front of it. “I’ll join you in a second, but for now, I’ve got some studying to do.” Rainbow’s soft snores were the only response she got.

She continued reading from where she had stopped earlier. She went through several chapters that were less than helpful before she finally found something that seemed different from the other ones. The chapter was simply titled ‘Herding’ and it immediately piqued her curiosity, wondering what relationship could revolve around the corralling of animals.

She began reading, and as she made her way through the chapter a smile began to form on her face. This was exactly what she had been looking for, and she couldn’t wait to tell Rainbow. She wasn’t sure if she would go for it exactly, but the book didn’t say anything about it being a banished practice. It may have been a little unorthodox nowadays but she didn’t care, so long as everyone would be happy in the end.

She closed the book and stretched before making her way over to the bed. Snuggling in beside Rainbow, she soon joined her in peaceful slumber, worries cast aside by her perfect plan.

Chapter 3

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Light from the morning sun filtered in through the window of Twilight’s bedroom. It slowly made its way across the bed, warming the two ponies that slept in it. As it always seemed to, the light came to a stop right as it reached her eyes, pulling her from her restful slumber. Not wanting to give up her comfortable position, she snuggled deeper into Rainbow’s back, trying to block out the light.

Despite what most ponies thought, and despite her early schedules, Twilight Sparkle was not a morning pony. Especially after a long night of studying, she found nothing more desirable than pressing her face into Rainbow’s soft mane and drifting off for another hour of sleep.

Rainbow Dash on the other hand, was awake and alert the moment she opened her eyes. The act of being squeezed and the sunlight coming through the window roused her. She let out a yawn before turning over and smiling at her partner, who was still trying to stay asleep. As much as she knew Twilight liked to sleep in, she also knew that she hated being late for anything and they definitely had something to do today. With another mighty yawn she spoke up, running a hoof along Twilight’s foreleg as she did.

“Hey Twi… Time to wake up.”

“Mmmm… Five more minutes…”

Rainbow’s muzzle turned up into an evil smirk as she extended her wing and gently ran it along Twilight’s side. At first there was no reaction, but after the third pass she could see Twilight fighting to keep the smile off her face. By the fifth pass she was smiling and trying her hardest not to laugh. Finally she had had enough, letting out a boisterous laugh and pushing Rainbow away from her.

“Alright, Alright! I’m up!” She yawned and rubbed her eye with a fetlock. “Would it kill you to let a pony sleep in a little?”

“Normally I’d be all for sleeping in, but we kinda have something important to do today.”

The gears in Twilights head slowly started to turn, shaking off the cobwebs of sleep. Almost a full minute later she began processing what Rainbow had said, memories of yesterday flooding back to her, waking her up substantially faster. Then she remembered her research from last night. She knew Rainbow wouldn’t go for her idea if she just came out and said it. She had to introduce the idea slowly.

Giving herself time to think, she got up and made her way over to her dresser to tame her bed mane.

“So, Rainbow, did you ever wish things had gone further between you and Applejack? Was there ever a time when you thought you could get into a serious relationship with her? Say we had never gotten together, would you have tried to take it further with her?”

Rainbow stopped to think about that, rubbing her temple. “Hmmm, I mean sure, I had considered it. Maybe if we hadn’t gotten together, things might have gone differently, but I never really thought seriously about it.”

She saw Rainbow turn towards her in the mirror with an eyebrow raised, a questioning look on her face.

“Where’s all this coming from, Twi?” She started slowly. “If you’re worried that I’m going to leave you for AJ now that she’s wanting to be with me, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“What? No, I was just… Curious is all.”

Rainbow could tell she wasn’t being fully honest with her. She moved over beside Twilight and put a hoof on her withers.

“What’s the real reason Twi? You’re almost as bad a liar as AJ is.”

Twilight took a deep breath. “Well, I was doing some reading last night, and I came across something that might help us. There was a chapter about something called herding.”

“Herding?” Rainbow looked confused. “Isn’t that what AJ does with Winona? What’s that going to do for us?”

“This kind of herding is just a little bit different.” She replied with a forced smile. Lighting up her horn, she picked up the book and brought it over to her dresser, setting it in front of them, and opening it to the proper page.

“Back in older times, ponies would form herds, usually several mares and a stallion or two. This was generally done to make farm life easier and to help defend themselves from predators when Equestria was largely unsettled.” Flipping a couple of pages, she continued on. “As time progressed, the practice lost much of its functionality, but it was never completely stopped. These days it’s become more popular to just form relationships between two ponies.”

“So… What? You’re saying you want to have a three way with AJ?”

“What?!” Twilight blushed furiously. “No! I mean-”

“Well thats what it sounded like to me.”

“Listen,” Twilight sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose and trying to gain her composure back. “What I’m trying to say is that we… I guess “invite” her into our relationship.”

“So we both date AJ, and each other?” Rainbow looked doubtful. “I don’t know Twilight, I’m not sure how well that would work out.”

“Don’t think of it as a bunch of individual relationships, it’s more like one big relationship that all three of us would share.” Rainbow gave her a skeptical look, but didn’t say anything, so she pressed on. “Okay, think of it like this. When we go out to spend time with our friends, spending time with one of them in particular doesn’t make us any less friends with the rest of them. If we did have AJ join us, it would be like that.

“We would be one big relationship, but that wouldn’t mean we would have to do everything with all three of us. If you two wanted to do something that I didn’t care for, that wouldn’t make us any less together because I didn’t go with you.”

“I dunno, Twilight. I don’t want anything to ruin what we already have. Besides, do you even like her like that?”

“I’ve never really thought of it before. I mean, I could always try. She is a close friend already, and not exactly hard on the eyes.” She finished, blushing.

“That doesn’t exactly sound promising. What if she doesn’t even want to do this? It just sounds like it’s destined to fall through.”

“Well what if we just try it out for a while and see if it would work or not? If it doesn’t work out then we can just go back to being us again.”

“Which would put us right back where we are…”

“It’s better to try this than do nothing. If it fails, we’re no worse off than before, but if this works, then it could be something incredible for all three of us. Please, Rainbow, do this for me?” Twilight begged, giving her the best puppy dog eyes she could muster.

Rainbow hung her head, knowing she couldn’t refuse her after that look. “Ugh! Fine! Now would you quit it with the look?”

“Oh, thank you, Rainbow!” She tackled her in a bonecrushing hug, kissing her fiercely. “I love you so much.”

“Love ya too, Twi.” Rainbow said, still feeling a sense of foreboding about this whole thing. “Promise me something though.”

Twilight looked at her with a puzzled expression.

“If we are going to do this, make sure you’ve thought it all through. Take today and see if you really feel that this is something that you could live with. Could you see yourself sharing me with Applejack for the rest of your life?” Twilight started to speak but Rainbow put a hoof over her lips to silence her. “Just promise me Twi, and if you still feel the same way tomorrow, we’ll go talk with her.”

Twilight was silent for a moment before speaking again. “I promise, Rainbow.” She replied, nuzzling into Rainbow’s neck.

Applejack removed her hat and wiped the sweat from her brow with a foreleg before fanning herself. Today was a hot one and even though she was used to working in the heat, it still made the farm work tough. Placing her hat back on her head, she moved on to the next tree, placing the baskets around the trunk before giving it a mighty buck. Once all the apples were down, she picked up the few that had missed the buckets and began loading them into the nearby cart.

She enjoyed the hard work. It took her mind off of some of her problems, while letting her think through other ones. Her thoughts kept going back to the conversation that she had with Rarity last night over the tub of ice cream. Rarity had been right, she may not be able to have Rainbow the way she wanted to, but they would atleast still be friends. She could live with that. Better to be her friend than have her hate her over a stupid crush.

Moving on to the next tree, she repeated the process. as she was loading the apples into the cart, she heard the sound of wing beats, followed by the soft thumps of two ponies landing behind her. Judging by the stumble from one of the landings, she knew exactly who it was and she wasn’t ready to have this conversation so soon. Placing the empty basket on the ground beside the cart, she simply stood there for a few moments, not willing to face her friends.

“Howdy Twi… Rainbow.” She said, still not facing them.

“Applejack, can we talk?” Twilight asked.

“I reckon y’all want to tell me to keep to myself. I understand y’all are together. Got yerself a mighty fine gal there Twi, ya better treat her right, ya hear?” She had to stop talking before she broke down completely. She wondered why they hadn’t left yet, she heard them whispering but didn’t pay any attention to it, wishing for them to just go.

“Actually thats not what we wanted to tell you. We actually came here with a proposition for you.” Twilight said finally.

This caught her attention and she spun around to face them.

“Whaddya mean a proposition?”

“Well… After you came by, I did a little bit of research and I think I may have found a way for all of us to come out of this without any of us getting hurt.”

Applejack immediately scowled.

“Y’all think its funny to go around messing with other pony’s emotions?” She was fuming. “I’m trying my best to get over this thing, and it doesn’t help that y’all are coming around and getting my hopes up all over again!”

“Woah, calm down AJ!” Rainbow shouted. “Twi’s being serious here. “Now I’m not entirely convinced myself that this will work, but she put up a pretty good argument. I think it’s at least worth hearing her out.”

“Fine. But y’all got one chance. If’n I don’t like it then y’all best just head on out, ya hear?”

“That’s fine,” Twilight answered. “ But please, actually give this consideration, even if it does sound a bit… strange.”

Applejack gave a snort but said nothing further, prompting Twilight to continue.

“After you left, I found the bouquet you dropped and realised what you had come there to do. After I had gotten over the initial shock, I wondered why you would do something like that and then I realized that we never made our relationship public, so I couldn’t blame you when you didn’t know.”

Applejack’s features softened a little as she continued.

“After that I knew you would feel hurt and I had to find a way to keep you from being hurt by this. I guess it’s a little late but I did find something in one of my older books. I came across a chapter called ‘herds’ and it detailed an older style of relationship that really isn’t used a lot anymore.”

Applejack’s scowl came back, but she made good on her word and waited to see if there was any more.

“If we formed a herd it would allow us all to be in a relationship together so that none of us would have to suffer while the other two were happy.” Twilight finished with a smile. It didn’t stay long as Applejack shook her head before speaking up.

“That’s about the dumbest thing I ever heard of Twi. I know you’re smart’n all but this one really takes the cake. I appreciate the effort to come up with this but y’all will never convince me that something like this actually exists.” She let out an exhausted sigh.

“She’s not making it up! It really is in some old book she found-”

“Give it a rest Rainbow. I think y’all should just go. Now.” She went back over to the tree and grabbed the next basket full of Apples and began dragging it to the cart.


“Twi.” Rainbow said, cutting her off. “We agreed to leave if she didn’t like the idea so lets go.”

Twilight let out a whine but let Rainbow lead her away. She was so sure that this was going to work. Now she wasn’t sure of anything anymore. She hung her head and let rainbow guide her along as tears blurred her vision. Why couldn’t one of her books have a spell that could make everything better?

Chapter 4

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Applejack shut the front door with a less than gentle kick. Not quite slamming it, but enough to let others know that something was amiss with the farm mare. She let out a sigh and hung her hat up on its usual peg before making her way into the kitchen. She was exhausted, physically and mentally. She poured herself some cider and sat down at the table, taking a long draw before setting it down on the table and resting her head on her forelegs. She still couldn’t believe her friends had come up with this whole scheme just to try and tempt her with false promises.

A relationship with more than two ponies… Like that would ever really work.

What hurt the most was the fact that they were willing to try it. They both were interested enough to pursue a relationship with her, but the timing was just wrong.

What rotten luck.

She took another sip of her cider and sat it back on the table.

I doubt those two even thought it all the way through in the first place. How would that even work anyway? Take turns going with each other?

She downed the rest of her cider and laid her head down on the table.

If only I’d acted on my feelings sooner, I wouldn’t be having to deal with any of this right now.

Picking up her mug, she tried to take another drink, only to remember it was empty and sat it back on the table. She didn’t want to share Rainbow, she wanted her all to herself.

I don’t even like Twilight like that. I mean it’s not like she’s ugly by any means, she’s actually quite the looker… Wait, where did that come from?

She leaned back into the chair, and thought about the lavender mare. She honestly had never thought of any of her friends in a romantic light, except Rainbow of course, but she had known her longer than any of her other friends, too.

Twilight… She really was pretty, and kind, and thoughtful. Ah who was she kidding, even if she would accept their offer, other ponies wouldn’t accept them. It’s not like they could make it official if they wanted to get hitched. Then there was the idea of foals. And what about the farm? She couldn’t just up and leave the farm, they needed her. With a groan she slammed her head into the table hard enough to knock over her mug.

“Something wrong, child?” Came the voice of the Apple Family matron.

Applejack quickly sat up, looking in the direction of the doorway as Granny Smith entered. She watched the older mare slowly make her way to the table and take a seat beside her. She let out a sigh, not even sure where to start. She hated getting help with her problems, but she knew deep down that this was well out of her league.

“Yeah, you know how I’ve been sweet on Rainbow Dash for a while now? Well yesterday I went to go and fess up about my feelings for her.” Granny nodded. “When I got there, I walked in on her and Twilight kissing.”

“Ain’t that a darn shame. Well, ya can’t win em all, youngin. I’m sure ya will find another that catches your eye.”

“That ain’t all, Granny. They came back today to talk to me. Twilight was talking about wanting to start something called a ‘herd’. She said it was a way that all three of us could be together in one relationship. I ain’t never heard of anything like it in my life.”

“A herd? I ain’t heard of one of those formed in ages. Land sakes, does that take me back.” Granny said with a smile and a wistful look.

“Ya can’t be serious, did they get you in on this too?”

“Nope, I never talked to no one bout nothin’. Back when I was your age I was in a herd myself. Your ma and pa were some of the first Apples to ever go for that new fangled couples idea.”

Applejack’s jaw dropped. That couldn’t be, this herd thing had just been another one of Twilight’s ridiculous ideas, right?

“Let me ask ya somethin, child. Ya really wanna be with this Rainbow Dash of yours?”

“More than anything.”

“Then why does it matter if you have a third in your little group if’n ya get to have her and she loves ya back? And what about this Twilight Sparkle? Could you see yourself with her?”

Applejack stared at the table as her head fought to make sense out of what she’d heard.

Would it really be all that bad if I had to share Rainbow? And what about Twi? I guess we could cross that bridge when we get to it.

“You’re the only one who can listen to your heart, child. You have to make up your own mind about this.” Granny spoke up, breaking Applejack out of her thoughts as she got up and walked back out of the room, leaving the room silent once again.

Maybe she could go through with this.

At least I’d be getting Rainbow, even if nothing comes up between me and Twi.

She could certainly give it a try. She got up and rinsed her mug out in the sink, whatever she decided, it was nothing a good nights sleep wouldn’t help her with.

Rainbow Dash sat in the kitchen of the Golden Oaks library with her forelegs crossed under her head, cold cup of coffee still half full in front of her. After their talk with Applejack yesterday, Twilight had gone to her room and refused to come out. She had been worried from the start that something like this would have happened.

Letting out a sigh, she grabbed her cup of coffee and downed the rest in one gulp, wincing at the taste of cold coffee.

What would it even be like, having two marefriends? I guess it wouldn’t be that bad if I had Twi and AJ, would it? Oh, why am I even thinking about this? AJ didn’t go for Twi’s idea anyway so theres no use wasting time thinking about what might have happened.

Placing her cup in the sink, she made her way back upstairs to try and talk Twilight out of her slump again. Right as she was going to knock on the bedroom door, she heard a knock come from the front door of the library.

Since she had started living with Twilight at the library, Rainbow had come to understand her irritation at having to answer the door for everypony who came along. Apparently ponies didn’t realize that the library was still a public library even though Twilights room was above the library itself.

She glided down from the staircase, landing in front of the door with a thud. She threw open the door, ready to lay into whatever pony was wasting her time, but stopped when she saw the pony on the other side of the door.

“Uh… Howdy Rainbow.” Applejack stared at the slack jawed pegasus for a moment before sheepishly rubbing the back of her head. “Mind if I come in?” Rainbow dumbly nodded and she went inside.

“So… Uh… What’s up AJ? Didn’t think you’d wanna see us after yesterday.” Rainbow said quietly as she closed the door.

Applejack took a seat beside the center table, taking her hat off of her head and placing it on the table and staring at it for a few moments. When she does start to speak, her voice is full of pain and regret.

“About yesterday… After y’all left, I did a lot of thinking, and I think I’ve come to a conclusion.”

Oh great, she doesn’t want to see us any more. That’ll really help get Twi out of her funk.

“I think I wanna take you two up on your offer.”

I told her this was a bad idea- wait, what?

“Say what?”

“Is Twi around, I’d like to talk to you both at the same time.” She said with a sigh.

“Yeah, she’s up in her room. Back in a jiffy.” Rainbow said before darting up to the top of the stairs and bursting into Twilight’s room. Applejack could hear some muffled conversation before a sudden flash revealed a purple alicorn with puffy red eyes and matted fur. She recoiled a bit at the sight, slightly unnerved by the panicked look in her friend’s eyes. Rainbow came down and landed beside her a moment later.

“Geez, Twi, I told you she wanted to talk to us. She isn’t going to disappear in two seconds.”

Applejack regained her composure, swallowing thickly before speaking again.


“Oh, Applejack, I’m so sorry!” The purple alicorn rushed forward and caught the farm pony in a crushing hug. “I didn’t mean to make you upset. I was just trying to find a way to fix everything, and I only ended up making things worse! Please, please, please don’t hate me for this. I understand you don’t want anything to do with this whole mess anymore, and I promise I won’t bother you with it, just please don’t hate me!”

She emphasized her point by squeezing even tighter, causing the farm mare to push against her gently, making her loosen her grip and back up a couple of steps. Fresh tears could be seen making their way down her muzzle, matting even more of her fur a darker purple than the rest of her coat.

“Sugarcube, you ain’t got nothing to apologize for. If anything, I’m the one who should be apologizing to you. I didn’t realize at the time that y’all really did your research trying to fix this. I honestly thought y’all had come up with that story just to make me feel better, let me down easy so to speak.” Twilight started to launch into another spiel, but was halted when Applejack held up a hoof, letting her know she wasn’t finished.

“Last night, I did a lot of thinking on what y’all said. Me and Granny talked it over, and she set me right on a lot of things I was wrong about. I came over today to tell y’all that I wanna accept your offer. It may not be exactly what I was expecting, but at least I do get what I want out of it in the end.”

Twilight’s mood did a complete switch, a smile threatening to split her head in half. She suddenly started jumping circles around the other two, repeatedly shouting ‘Yes!’, oblivious to the world. Rainbow noticed that Applejack still seemed tense about something and moved over beside her.

“Something wrong AJ?”

Applejack fidgeted with her hat for a moment before speaking.

“Well… It’s just the whole part between me and Twi. I’ve never thought of her that way. I just dunno if I ever will and I don’t wanna ruin things later down the road. I love ya somethin fierce, RD, but I dunno if I could ever have that with Twi.” She finished, watching the purple alicorn celebrate.

“If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past six months, is that nopony’s easier to love than Twilight. She’s the smartest mare I’ve ever met, but she doesn’t let that go to her head for a second. She’s down to earth, nice, and she’s always willing to compromise for me. She always knows what it’ll take to make me smile and lift me out of a bad mood." Rainbow paused, flicking out her wing and grabbing the exuberant alicorn, pulling her to her side.

“I know you can learn to love her. For now you have me, but you’ll learn to love Twi too.” Rainbow finished, blushing. Applejack stared at her, astonished as Twilight nodded in agreement.

“That there was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard you say, RD. You really do love her more than anything.”

Rainbow nodded. “Yeah, I do.” She said giving the purple mare a quick kiss.

“And y’all are willing to let me be a part of that?” Applejack felt a tear coming as she realized the real gravity of their offer.

“Of course!” They both chimed.

Twilight and Rainbow had the most loving relationship that she had ever seen, and they were gladly inviting her into it. Sharing with her the most intimate and beautiful part of their lives.

Applejack pulled Dash into a deep hug. “I swear that I'm gonna try my best to do right by the both of you. You two have made me so happy giving me a chance like this.”

“We wouldn’t wanna leave ya out in the cold like that. Especially with Twi over there being all broke up about it.” Rainbow leaned towards Applejack with a hoof beside her mouth and loudly whispered, “She’s no fun like that.”

This drew a chuckle out of the farm mare and earned her a swipe from the purple alicorn. She hovered just out of reach and stuck her tongue out defiantly, momentarily forgetting about Twilight’s magic. She was quickly reminded of this fact as she was plucked from the air and placed beside an equally immobilized Applejack. Twilight could barely contain her giggles as she gently bumped their muzzles together.

“Now kiss!” She exclaimed while using her magic to move them apart and back together again, like a foal would with its dolls. She completely lost it at the sight of her friends’ faces and accidentally dropped them both as she lost control of her magic. They both tackled her, each looking to seek out revenge on their purple assailant.

Chapter 5

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Applejack ran the brush through her horrendously tangled hair, trying to reverse the damage that a life of farm work had done. As she struggled with a particularly nasty knot, she looked at the purple alicorn across the room from her through the mirror.

“You sure about this Twi? I mean, we can always put this off till a day you aren’t busy.”

“Of course its ok, Applejack. You two don’t always have to drag me along with you whenever you have plans. Besides I have some studying to catch up on.”

Applejack felt a tendril of magic grab the brush in her hoof. “You want some help with that?” Twilight offered.

“Well sure, that magic of yours sure does come in handy sometimes.” She replied, feeling the brush gently tug the knot out.

“Besides, now you and Rainbow can have a real date since I’m not going to be there. I know you hold back when all three of us are together, but I want you to know that you don’t have to. I know how you feel about Rainbow, so feel free to express yourself whenever you want.” She said, smiling at the farm mare.

“Well, if you’re sure.”

“She’s sure!” Rainbow called from somewhere else in the library, no doubt impatiently waiting for Applejack to finish up.

Applejack blushed, thinking that their conversation had been private. The sound of fluttering wings caused her to look towards the door, seeing Rainbow landing just outside. The rainbow-maned pegasus strode through the doorway, crossing the room and stopping beside her.

“And another thing, Twi’s right, you don’t have to feel like there’s anything to hide between the three of us. She’s not going to get mad if we don’t include her in every tiny bit of fun we have.” Rainbow told her. To prove her point, she leaned in and kissed Applejack, wrapping her forelegs behind her neck, preventing the earth pony from pulling away.

Applejack stiffened at first, but soon relaxed into the kiss, pulling Rainbow even closer to her. As they broke apart, her eyes immediately flicked over to Twilight, who was watching them with a small smile and a heartwarming look in her eyes.

The third member of their herd moved over and wrapped her wings around both of them. Twilight kissed Rainbow and surprisingly she felt no jealousy, only happiness at seeing the two of them enjoying each other. Twilight broke her kiss with Rainbow and looked towards Applejack before speaking again.

“I know you may not feel anything towards me, and we aren’t going to push you into anything you don’t want to do yet, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t share the one we both love.” She squeezed Rainbow with her wing to emphasize her point.

A moment later, she used her wings to shove both of them towards the door. “Now both of you get going, you’re going to be late!” She said with a giggle as they both turned towards the clock, before bolting out the door.

The two of them walked briskly through Ponyville’s streets, rushing to make their dinner reservation. Twilight had been trying to impress her orderly ways on both of them, Applejack being the more willing of the two, understanding the importance of having things run on a schedule. But still, it was hard to get used to.

On the farm, they ate at their own leisure, whenever they were hungry and had a little time between chores. They still had a big home cooked meal for supper that brought them all together, something she had been proud to bring to her new herdmates. Even if it meant she did most of the cooking, it was well worth it if it meant they could all spend time together and catch up on each others’ days.

She also loved Rainbow’s carefree nature, and it was a relief sometimes to just get away from it all and do what they felt like as the day went along. No farm responsibilities, no schedules, just her and her herd enjoying life to its fullest. Her herd. It still sounded strange every time she thought about it.

They rounded a corner and their destination came into view, some fancy restaurant that Twilight had arranged for them. They walked up to the waiter standing behind the little podium.

“Rainbow Dash, party of two.” Rainbow said. The waiter looked through his little book for a moment.

“Ah, here it is. Follow me please.”

He lead them in to the back of the restaurant, to a private little booth lit by candlelight. Twilight had really gone all out to ensure that they had a good time and it made Applejack’s heart swell. She really did want them to have a good time, even if she wasn’t present.

“Please take your time to look over the menu. What will you be having to drink this evening?”

“I’ll have a cold cider!” Rainbow said excitedly. The waiter wrote it down on his little pad before turning to Applejack.

“And for you, madame?”

“I’ll have the same as her.” He nodded, writing down her order before looking back up.

“I’ll return in a few minutes to get your orders.” He promptly turned and left, leaving the two of them in silence. Applejack turned towards Rainbow with her eyebrow cocked.

“Since when does a fancy place like this carry something simple like cider?”

“Since I started dating a princess.” Rainbow said, not taking her eyes off the menu. A few moments later, she looked up with a wide grin on her face. “The first time Twilight took me here, there was nothing that I liked to drink. But since then, this place has always carried cider.”

“Wow, there sure are some perks involved with dating Twi. A pony like her has a lot of influence.”

“You can say that again! I’m just glad there’s finally a drink here that can wash down all that tasty food they serve.”

Rainbow returned to her menu, weighing the many delectable options. “So, what are you thinking of ordering, AJ?”

Applejack scratched her head. “Well, to be honest, I don’t really know what anything on this menu is. What’s escargot?”

Rainbow grimaced, sticking her tongue out.

“You don’t wanna know.” She said with a shudder.

Applejack returned to the menu, looking confused. “What would you recommend?”

“Well the only good thing I remember Twi ordering was something called bruschetta.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s these little round toasted bread things with some vegetables on top of it. I’m sure Twilight could tell you exactly what it is, I just eat em.” She said with a laugh.

“Alright, then, I guess I’ll give it a shot.”

The waiter returned with their drinks, and took their orders, before collecting their menus and departing again. They shared small talk over their drinks while they waited for their food to arrive. When the waiter finally brought their food, the smell had both of their mouths watering. The waiter refilled their drinks before leaving them to their meal.

“Wow, this sure does smell good.”

“Wait till you try em.” Rainbow said, already starting in on her own meal.

Applejack picked up one of the little toasted breads and eyed it curiously. Just as Rainbow had said, it had vegetables piled on top of it. Giving a shrug, she took a bite out of one side. Her mouth exploded with flavor, her eyes going wide as she stared down at this new amazingness. She popped the rest into her mouth, chewing with a pleased 'mmm' sound.

“Check, please.” Rainbow waved the waiter down as she finished her last bruschetta.

“Oh, there isn’t one. Your meal has already been paid for.”

“Paid for? By who?” Applejack asked.

“Miss Sparkle of course.” Both of them were shocked. “Is there anything else I can get for you?”

“Nah, we’re good.” The waiter nodded and laid some mints on their table before leaving. “We’ll have to thank Twilight later.” She said, popping one of the mints in her mouth, before pushing the other towards Applejack. The two of them got up and headed towards the door, Rainbow wrapping her wing around Applejack.

"Twi really knows how to pick a good restaurant." Applejack said, moving closer to Rainbow.

"Yeah, sometimes I think she likes to spoil me. Well, I guess that will be us now. Either way you're in good hooves with Twi." Rainbow said with a squeeze of her wing. Her ears perked up when she heard a sniffle come from Applejack. “Hey, what’s the matter?”

Applejack stopped and turned to face Rainbow. “I just don’t deserve everything y’all have done for me. I’ve honestly been waiting for y’all to tell me this has been one big joke, or that it’s not going to work out. But after these past two weeks and everything tonight...”

Caught up in a whirlwind of emotion, she leaned in and kissed the blue pegasus. Rainbows eyes and wings shot open, her eyes closing a moment later as she pushed back into the kiss. When they broke apart, they both stood there, looking at each other with a loving gaze.

“Let’s head back to the library. You can stay the night if you want, have you read the Daring Do books?”

“Can’t say I have.” Applejack replied with a shake of her head, moving back in against Rainbow’s side.

“Then are you in for a treat!” Rainbow smiled, wrapping her wing around Applejack’s withers, and all but dragging her down the street.

Twilight made her way down the stairs, a massive yawn making its way from her muzzle. As she reached the bottom of the stairs however, she saw a sight that made her heart melt. There in front of the fire, lay Rainbow and Applejack. Rainbow had a wing draped over Applejack and her head rested on top of the farm mare’s. On the floor in front of them lay an open Daring Do book.

Not wanting to disturb the sleeping pair, she levitated a blanket over from the couch and gently placed it over them. They snuggled closer together under the new source of warmth and her heart swelled as she watched them sleep, a dopey smile plastered onto her face. She knew for certain that they had made the right choice asking Applejack to form a herd with her and Rainbow. Applejack may not have been ready yet, but Twilight knew she would be ready to accept Applejack as a second lover, once Applejack was ready.

Using her magic, she moved the book to the stand beside the couch and stoked the fire, before quietly making her way back upstairs, leaving the slumbering pair to their dreams.

Chapter 6

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Applejack awoke as she did every morning, at the crack of dawn. Years of farm life had given her body a sense of when it should wake up, even without needing to be up that morning. Slowly coming to, she felt a weight pressing down on her back. Memories of last night slowly creeped back into her head. Turning her head, she saw that her pillow was indeed a blue pegasus mare with a rainbow colored mane, proving to her that last night wasn’t a dream after all. Letting out a contented sigh, she snuggled back into her pillow, ready to get a little more sleep.

Sometime later, she was awoken again by a the delicious smell of a cooking breakfast. Carefully extracting herself from Rainbow, she stretched before making her way to the kitchen. Pushing open the door, she took a deep breath of the wonderful smells coming from inside. She was surprised to see that it was not Spike, but Twilight, who was doing the cooking.

“Morn… Morning Applejack.” Twilight said, cut off by a yawn as she sat at the table, nursing her coffee while using her magic to cook whatever was on the stove. “I didn’t wake you, did I?”

“Nah, this great smelling breakfast sure did though.” She took a seat across from Twilight. “I figured Spike would have been the one cooking.”

“I wanted to surprise you both.” Twilight said with a smile. “How did last night go?”

“Just wonderful.” She answered with a blissful look. “I can’t thank ya enough for this Twi, it means the world to me that y’all are willing to let me in on what y’all share. If there’s any way I can repay y’all, any way at all, just let me know, ya hear?” Twilight smiled back at her.

“Applejack, just knowing that you are happy, and that you make Rainbow happy is enough for me.”

“She sure is something.”

“Yeah, she really is.”

They both sat there in comfortable silence, thinking about the mare they both shared. After a few moments, a plate with a stack of pancakes landed in front of Applejack, on top of them there was a little heart made out of apple pieces. They both shared a smile and she dug in.

Twilight began cooking again, and placed her empty cup in the sink. She was almost finished with the next stack of pancakes when Applejack came up beside her to put her plate in the sink.

“Thanks for breakfast, Twi.”

“No problem.” She replied with a smile. They both stood there looking at each other as an awkward silence fell over the pair. It didn’t last long as Applejack spoke up.

“Well, I gotta get back to the farm. See y’all later.” She received a nod in reply before heading out of the room.

Twilight could hear muffled voices coming from the other room before hearing the front door close. A few moments later a yawning Rainbow Dash stumbled through the door to the kitchen, walking over to her and kissing her on the cheek before greeting her.

“Morning Twi. Spike already head out? Whatever he made smells awesome.” She poured herself a cup of coffee before sitting down at the table.

“Actually, I made breakfast this morning.” Twilight replied sarcastically, placing a plate of pancakes on the table that matched Applejack’s, followed by a bottle of syrup.

“Wow, this looks amazing! When did you learn to cook? I thought spike did all the cooking around here.” She received a bop on the head from one of Twilight’s wings.

“Hey, I’ve been practicing! And I wanted to surprise my mares with a special breakfast.” She said with a smile.

“Oh, so we’re your mares now, huh?” Rainbow quipped before taking a huge bite of pancake. Twilight’s face heated up as a blush spread across her muzzle.

“I… That’s not what I meant and you know it!” Twilight defended, fumbling over her words. Rainbow chuckled before swallowing her mouthful.

“I’m just messing with ya. Geez, you are way too easy to get riled up.”

“So how’d your date go last night?”

“Awesome of course. Although I’ll admit it wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be not having you there. It was different, not knowing her like I know you. Thanks for all the special stuff, by the way.”

“Why, whatever do you mean?” Twilight answered in a haughty tone, fluttering her eyes. Rainbow gave her a deadpan look and she broke into giggles. “I just wanted everything to go well for you two last night.”

“It did.” Rainbow said with a smile. “I think AJ is really starting to accept being a part of this.”

“Well that’s good. I’ll be glad when we can start working on things between myself and her. After spending these last couple of weeks with her, and seeing how happy she makes you, I just want to have that same relationship with her.” She looked away as a blush spread across her muzzle.

“What’s this? Is my Twilight getting eyes for another mare?” Rainbow said, in a mock accusatory tone. Twilight whirled around, looking at her with a frantic look.

“What? No! I mean... “ The words died in her throat when she finally took in Rainbow’s expression. It was one she was used to, usually after Rainbow had gotten her to fall for one of her pranks that she should have seen coming.

“Calm down, Twi. I was just teasing you.” Her look changed to one of caring. “I’m actually really happy that you’re starting to feel the same way about her that I do.”

“Really?” Twilight asked, her eyes questioning Rainbow’s honesty.

“Of course. You two may not see it, but when we’re all together, you two really walk on eggshells around each other. I’ll be glad when we can have fun without the awkward moments involved.” Twilight smiled sheepishly. “I think if you two would spend more time together, she would feel the same way about you.”

Rainbow got up from the table, picking up her plate with a wing, then sliding it down her wing, across her withers and over her other wing where it ended up in the sink. Twilight rolled her eyes at her marefriend’s antics as Rainbow walked over to her.

“I gotta get to my weather duties before they come looking for me.” She said, giving Twilight a quick kiss. “Catch ya later.” She turned and headed out, leaving Twilight alone in the kitchen again.

Twilight tapped her quill against her temple distractedly, staring down at a blank piece of parchment.

Twilight/Applejack Date Ideas was underlined at the top of the page, but so far, not a single one of those ideas had come to her.

Ugh, why is this so difficult?

She had tried thinking of any hobbies they both shared, but when it came down to it, they really didn’t have much in common. This might be a lot more difficult than she originally had planned. This had been easy to do when she had been trying to ask Rainbow Dash out. She was always loud about things that she liked, and it had made things far easier. Applejack on the other hoof, was a lot more reserved, and aside from farm work, and physical competition, she had no idea what the farm mare took an interest in.

Aside from a certain pegasus.

That thought brought a smile to her face. At least there’s one important thing they could both relate to. Turning back to her still empty page, she let out a groan of frustration and promptly slammed her forehead against her desk.

Hearing the front door slam shut, she turned her head and looked at the clock on the wall, springing up when she saw the time.

Have I really been at this for three hours?

Getting up and stretching, she managed to get all the way to the doorway before Rainbow landed in front of her.

“Hey, Twi. Whatcha doin?” She said with a nuzzle.

“Trying to think of things that I could do with Applejack to spend more time with her.”

“How’s that going for ya?” Twilight sighed and hung her head.

“Not well. I've been up here for three hours and I still haven’t come up with a single thing we could do that we would both be interested in.”

“Wow, maybe what you need is to take a break. Sounds like you’re thinking too hard to me.” She looked over at the clock on the wall, seeing that it was only a little after noon. “AJ should be stopping for lunch soon, why don’t we go over there and talk to her and see what she’d like to do?”

“What?! We can’t just march over there and start asking her for date ideas!”

“Why not?” Rainbow asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“Because!... Because…”

“Exactly, now lets get moving before we miss our chance.” Rainbow moved back a couple of steps before jumping off the staircase, gliding down and landing in front of the door.

“Fine.” She said with a sigh as she made her way down the stairs, following her marefriend out the door.

The walk to Sweet Apple Acres had been filled with small talk, either something about the upcoming weather schedule, or what they were all going to do next time they went out as a group. Time passed quickly and they were soon standing at the entrance to the orchard. They made their way down the path to the farmhouse and knocked on the door. When the door opened, it was the youngest member of the Apple Family that greeted them.

“Hi Twilight! Hi Rainbow Dash! Y’all looking for my sis?” She greeted with her youthful exuberance.

“Yes, is she in?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah, come on in, she’s in the kitchen.” She told them as she turned around and ran back inside. “Sis! Your ~fillyfriends~ are here to see ya!” They heard her tease, followed by the sound of a chair being moved across the floor.

They met Applejack at the doorway to the kitchen. “Well howdy, y’all.” She said, giving Twilight a hug before turning and planting a kiss on Rainbow. “Care for some grub? We got plenty left.”

“Sure!” Said Rainbow and quickly made her way over to the table.

“That sounds great.” Twilight answered as she followed Applejack into the room.

She took the seat on the opposite side of Applejack from Rainbow. The table was covered in a veritable feast of apple themed dishes. Levitating a few pieces to her plate, she let out a giggle as she watched Rainbow stuffing her face like she hadn’t eaten in a month. Applejack looked to see what she was giggling about and soon joined her as she noticed Rainbow.

Rainbow looked up at both of them questioningly. “What? It’s good.” She then promptly returned to devouring the food on her plate. Shaking her head, Applejack returned to her meal as well. Ate in companionable silence for a few minutes, Twilight being the first to break the silence.

“So Rainbow told me your date went well last night.”

Applejack swallowed her mouthful before responding. “Sure did. I meant to thank ya for all that extra stuff ya did for us too.” Her expression became serious. “It really means a lot to me that you’re willing to go that extra step for me.”

“I know, and honestly you shouldn't feel like you have some kind of debt to repay me or anything. Knowing that you two had a good time is all that I need.” She smiled, putting one of her hooves over Applejack’s.

Applejack stared at Twilight’s hoof before putting her other hoof on top of it, and looking back up.

“Twi, you've been nicer to me than I ever thought possible. I know we’re friends and all that, but this goes way beyond friendship. Y’all were willing to let me in on something that ya didn't have to, and nopony would have batted an eye at ya for doing so. If you’re willing, I think I’d like to start working on us.”

Twilight got up and moved over to Applejack, wrapping her forelegs around the mare in a gentle hug. “Of course I am.”

Applejack moved one of her hooves to the side of Twilight’s face, stroking it gently. She was mildly surprised when Twilight nuzzled her hoof back. They stared at each other for a few moments before Applejack leaned forward and kissed her. It was only a short kiss, but both of them felt as if they should have done that much sooner.

They both moved in for another kiss, this one much deeper, but no less charged with emotion. They pulled apart and both turned as they heard a clatter against the table beside them. They both looked over to see a wide eyed, slack jawed Rainbow Dash, staring at them with her wings spread wide. She only said one word and it was quiet enough that they almost missed it.


Chapter 7

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Twilight sat in her room in from of her mirror going over her mental checklist for the fifth time since she started. It had been just over a week since their talk with Applejack in the Apple Family’s kitchen. Tonight was to be her and Applejack’s first official date together.

Let's see, bath, check. Brush out mane and tail, check.

She placed her brush back onto her dresser, picking up her perfume bottle and lightly spraying herself.

Perfume, check. Now to see how Spike is doing on lunch.

She placed her perfume bottle back onto the dresser as she got up and headed for the door. Opening the door, she was immediately hit with the wonderful smells of freshly cooked food.

Making her way downstairs, she entered the kitchen, seeing the library's resident dragon standing in front of the stove wearing his usual apron.

"Hey, Twilight." Spike addressed her without turning from the stove. "Lunch is almost ready. Did you finish prepping for your date with Applejack?" He asked laying a plate of food in front of her.

"Yes, I have everything prepared, all I have left is to double check my preparations before I leave."

She eyed the plate in front of her, inhaling the wonderful smells of the stir fried vegetables. It was a simple meal, but somehow her number one assistant managed to make everything tasted amazing.

"This smells wonderful." She said as she dug in, Spike beamed with pride at the compliment.

"So do you really think you can pull this off?" Spike asked.

"Pull what off?" Twilight asked with her mouth half full.

"This whole thing with you, Rainbow, and Applejack." He said with a concerned look.

“You make it sound as if this is some kind of science experiment. Relationships take time and trust to build and even under the best circumstances they don’t always work out. What we’re trying to do hasn’t been done for a long time, but I’m going to try my best to make sure that Applejack doesn’t feel like a third wheel whenever she is with Rainbow and myself.” She finished, nodding happily.

“Well, whatever you wanna call it, I hope it works out, I don’t want to see you a wreck like you were when Applejack first refused you.” He stood there, wringing his apron in his hands, pointedly looking elsewhere.

“Aww, Spike,” She started, picking him up with her magic and bringing him beside her before wrapping him in a hug. “I’m happy you care about me, but don’t worry about this, I’m sure it will work out for the best.” She said, nuzzling his cheek.

“Okay,” He said, gently pushing away from her. “if you say so.” He finished before returning to the sink to finish the dishes he had been working on, leaving Twilight to finish her meal in peace.

The ponyville park was surprisingly empty when Twilight arrived. She saw a few foals playing, but not the bustling crowd she had expected to find on such a lovely afternoon. It was warm, but not unbearably hot and the few clouds in the sky provided patches of shade on the ground.

Spotting a large tree, she made her way over to it, before setting down her picnic basket. Opening the lid, she pulled out the blanked and used her magic to settle it on the grass perfectly. She sat the basket in the middle to keep the blanket from blowing away, should a particularly strong breeze come by. It wasn’t windy, but one could never be too prepared. She mentally patted herself on the back as she scanned the park for signs of the pony she was supposed to be meeting.

“Howdy, Twi.” A voice behind her called, startling her. She turned around seeing Applejack walking up to her from the one direction she wasn’t looking at. She made her way over and gave her a quick hug before setting her own small basket beside the one already on the blanket.

“Hey, Applejack! Ready for our picnic?”

“Sure as sugar.” She said, removing the cloth that was covering her basket, revealing a freshly baked pie and two bottles of cider.

“Ooh, that looks delicious.” Twilight exclaimed, opening her basket to reveal a dandelion salad and some sandwiches.

Using her magic, she set out two plates, placing a sandwich on each as well as portioning out part of the salad on each one. She also pulled out the two bottles of cider from Applejack’s basket and opened both before setting a bottle in front of each of them. As they both settled down, Applejack placed her hat beside her on the blanket, before taking a bite out of her sandwich.

“So how’s things been going for you on the farm?” Twilight asked, breaking the silence.

“Pretty good, I reckon. We’re a mite busy, getting everything ready for this year’s Applebuck Season.” She replied in between bites.

“Oh yeah, I remember how exhausted you got a few years back trying to do it all by yourself.” Twilight teased. Applejack blushed at the embarrassing memory

“It won’t be quite so bad this time around. I got Big Mac to help me now and Apple Bloom is big enough to help out a bit too.”

“Well thats great. I’d hate to see you so worn down like that again.”

“It’s okay, Twi. I’ve learned my lesson.”

They returned to silence for a while, finishing up their respective meals before Twilight pulled out the pie, and cut out a sizeable piece for each of them with her magic, both of them starting in on the delectable dessert.

“Wow Applejack, this is delicious!” The Apple Family pie recipe never failed to amaze her. Even though this was probably her hundredth time tasting it, it always seemed to taste better than the last time.

Applejack simply nodded in thanks, her mouth stuffed with pie. About halfway through her piece, Twilight stopped eating and poked at it a few times, an unsure expression on her face. This fact was not lost on Applejack, who watched her for a few moments, waiting for her to says something. When Twilight remained silent, she chose to speak up instead.

“Something wrong, Twi?” Her question apparently snapped Twilight out of whatever she had been thinking, her head snapping back up as she looked at Applejack.


“I asked if something was wrong, sugarcube. Looked like something was eatin ya up.”

“Well there is one thing I need to talk to you about. Earlier this week, I was talking with Rainbow, and we think that it’s time we started to make our relationship public. I know Rainbow and myself have been together a lot longer than the three of us have been, but its going to get harder to keep it a secret with all three of us together.”

Applejack looked conflicted. “Well I have to admit that I’ve thought about it some, I’m just not sure what everypony would think of this. It ain’t exactly normal.”

“I know it’s scary to just come out with something like this, but Ponyville is full of the nicest ponies I’ve ever met, especially our friends. I know they’ll be understanding and supportive of us.” She chuckled to herself for a moment, causing Applejack to raise an eyebrow as to what she thought was funny about all of this. “At least it won’t be the strangest thing that this town has seen.” She said with a laugh.

Applejack still looked hesitant.

“How about this. Why don’t we start by just telling our friends? We don’t have to go public to the entire town yet if you aren’t ready, but we should at least keep our friend’s in the loop.”

Applejack seemed to relax a little bit. “I guess so. I did already tell Rarity a bit about this.” Twilight looked surprised. “I talked with her a bit after that first night when I walked in on you and Rainbow, but she doesn’t know about the three of us being together.” A smirk grew on her face. “Won’t that be a shocker for her when she finds out.”

They both shared a laugh, each commenting their interpretation of the fashionista’s over dramatic reaction. As they finished up the last of their dessert and drinks, Twilight started to pack everything back up, making sure to wrap up the rest of the pie so it could be saved for later. They both stood up, stretching various muscles and hearing joints pop.

“So what’re we doing now?” Applejack asked as she watched Twilight return the blanket to its proper place.

“Actually…” Twilight nervously tapped her front hooves together. “Honestly I couldn’t come up with something that both of us would be interesting in.” She finished, hanging her head.

“Aww, that’s okay, Twi. We are in a park, I’m sure we can find something to do, even if we just spend some time walking around, enjoying each other’s company.” She said, nuzzling the purple alicorn.

Twilight visibly relaxed, closing her eyes as she enjoyed her close proximity with Applejack. “Sure, that sounds nice.” Twilight picked up the picnic basket in her magic, only to have Applejack grab ahold and pull it from her.

“That’ll be enough of that.” Applejack said playfully. “You’ve been using that fancy magic of yours to do everything so far, I’m carrying the basket.”

Twilight rolled her eyes and gave a chuckle. The two fell into stride together, walking at a leisurely pace along the path. The sky overhead was clear blue, dotted with a few clouds. Applejack looked up at it and whistled.

“It sure is a nice day.”

“Oh I’m sure that’s just Rainbow making sure everything’s perfect for our date.” Twilight smiled. “Dating a weatherpony does have its perks. It is a beautiful day though.”

“Not as beautiful as you.” Applejack said, not missing a beat. Twilight’s face heated up and her wings started to raise a bit on their own.

“Um… Thanks?” Twilight responded, not entirely sure how to respond. She looked down, trying to avoid Applejack’s gaze. She fluffed her wings a bit, trying to settle them again.

Applejack blanched, realizing she had said that out loud. “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.” She mentally kicked herself for the slip up.

“No. It’s okay. I’m just not used to hearing stuff like that. Usually when Rainbow compliments me, it’s following something about herself so it kind of loses the meaning. It’s kind of nice hearing it without all the other stuff.” She said, looking at Applejack with a smile.

She looked down, blushing. “You’re beautiful too.” She mumbled.

“Shoot, now you’re just saying it. Sure I can be if I get all frou-froued up, but I’m nothing special without it.” She said, looking a little down. Twilight stopped walking and it took her a few seconds to realize this and turn back to look at her.

“That is not true! You’re a beautiful mare, even without all that fancy stuff! You know what I see every time I look at you? A mare who’s dedicated her life to her work, It doesn’t make you any less attractive just because you don’t go around like Rarity, making sure you look your best at all times of the day.” She moved closer and gave a loving nuzzle to the stunned Applejack. “Thats one of the things I like about you.”

“Ya really think that?” Applejack asked with an earnest expression. Twilight bit her bottom lip for a moment, looking like she was deciding something before moving in and kissing her firmly on the lips.

“Yes, I do.” She replied as she broke the kiss.

Applejack stood there for a moment looking stunned, then a wide smile broke out across her face.

“Thank ya, Twi. You just made my day.” She pulled the princess into a hug, making sure not to spill her cargo. After a few moments, they separated and continued walking.

As they walked, Applejack took in the sights of the park surrounding them. The compliments from Twilight had been a major confidence boost, and she was feeling giddy. As they walked around a bend in the path, she saw something that made her eyes light up.

“Hey, Twi. I think I found us something we can do.” A smile on her face as she started off the path. Twilight gave her a questioning look, but followed the farm mare none the less. They stopped in front of a long strip of bare dirt with vertical poles at either end. Pieces of wood surrounded the poles on three sides, leaving the side facing the opposite pole open.

“What is this?” Twilight asked confusedly.

“A horseshoe pit.” Applejack responded, setting the basket on the grass nearby.

“Um… Okay?” Twilight was beyond confused now, but waited for an explanation from her companion.

“It’s a game, Twi.” Applejack started as she moved over behind one of the poles that had a set of horseshoes sitting next to it.

Twilight watched as Applejack deftly kicked one of the shoes, causing it to pop up in the air, before catching it in her mouth. She then proceeded to toss it towards the opposite pole. It hit dead on, spinning several times around the pole before falling to the ground.

“How do you play?” Twilight asked, her curiosity piqued at the prospect of learning something new.

“Well, we each take two shoes, and ya try and get em to land on the pole at the opposite end. Ya score points based on how your throws land, and first one to twenty one points wins.”

“How does the scoring system work? You said it depends on where it lands?”

“If it lands close to the pole, it gets ya one point, if you get it to lean against the pole, it counts as two points.” She nodded to the shoe she had previously thrown. “If you get it around the pole, like that one there, it’s worth three points.” Twilight nodded as she took it all in. She moved in closer and picked up one of the shoes with her magic, Applejack knocked it back down a moment later.

“No magic, Twi. Keeps it fair and all.”

Leaning down, she picked up the shoe in her teeth, before taking aim and giving it a hefty toss. She watched proudly as it sailed through the air, coming down and landing with a thump about halfway between the two poles. Applejack chuckled a little and Twilight gave her a glare.

“Harder than it looks, isn’t it Twi.”

“Hey, it was my first time. I’m sure I’ll the next one.” Applejack kicked another shoe over to her.

“Let’s see it, princess.” Applejack goaded.

Twilight let out a huff, picking up the second shoe. She studied the angle the last one had flow and adjusted her aim. Giving a mighty heave, she watched as the shoe soared through the air. It landed about three feet from the pole, tumbling across the ground before coming to rest atop the shoe that was wrapped around the pole with a soft ‘clink’.

“Woohoo!” Twilight cheered.

“Alright, alright. Setting down now. Go ahead and throw this last one and we can get a real game started.”

Twilight nodded, picking up the last shoe and giving it a toss. This time she managed to get it all the way to the other end, the shoe coming to rest just a few inches from the pole. She gave another cheer, and they made their way towards the opposite end to start the real game.

“Ya ready to get your flank whooped, Twi?” Applejack teased playfully.

“Oh you’re on!” Twilight laughed, and the game began.

A couple of hours later, both ponies were exhausted. Twilight rubbed her neck with a hoof, the strange use of her neck having made it sore. While Applejack had dominated their first few games, Twilight quickly caught on and became formidable competition, even winning some of their last games.

“Boy howdy, ya sure did pick that up quick.” Applejack said as she fanned herself with her hat.

“I didn’t become Celestia’s prized…” She paused, twisting her neck around, trying to relieve some tension. “student by being a slow learner.” She quipped. Applejack noticed her awkward movements and moved over to help her.

“Lemme get that for ya.” She said, rubbing her hooves along Twilight’s neck. Twilight moaned in relief as she felt the pain start to fade along with the tension.

“Oh, that feels wonderful.” She leaned her head down, giving Applejack full access to her neck. Applejack’s wonderful hooves seemed to hit all the right areas, making everything feel better. After a few moments she stood back up.

“Thank you, Applejack, that feels much better.”

“No problem, Twi.”

The two walked back through the park to Mane Street, the point where Applejack would have to turn to head towards Sweet Apple Acres.

“Do you want to come over for dinner?” Twilight asked, not wanting their date to end.

“Aww, shucks. I’d love to, Twi, but I gotta get back to the farm and finish up the chores I put off from this morning. Think we can do this again sometime soon? I had a lot of fun, and it was nice spending time with ya, just the two of us.”

“Sure, we can do that.” Twilight said with a smile. It faltered a moment later and she pawed the ground nervously with a hoof.

“Something wrong?” Applejack asked.

“No. It’s just… Well… It’s the end of the date…” She trailed off, mumbling to herself.

Applejack caught on to what she was trying to say. Using her hoof, she pulled Twilight’s head towards her. Twilight was momentarily confused, before she felt a pair of lips press into hers. She closed her eyes and pressed back into the kiss, never wanting it to end. After a few moments, they broke apart, each breathing heavily as they shared a loving look.

“Well, I’d best be going. Take care, Twi.” Applejack said as she turned and started walking towards the farm.

Twilight could tell that there was a little more bounce in her steps than there usually was, and she smiled at the knowledge that she was the reason behind it. Turning the opposite way, she started to head home, eager to tell Rainbow all about how well things had gone today.

Chapter 8

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Rainbow Dash was pacing in circles around the center table of the Golden Oaks library. This was much to the chagrin of a certain lavender colored Alicorn who was trying to read at said table, as more than once now, she had gotten her tail stepped on. Another pass was made around the table and she let out a growl of frustration before yelling at the pacing pegasus.

“Rainbow! Would you please stop pacing already!” She exclaimed with a huff.

“I’m sorry, Twi. I’m just so nervous!” She said, fidgeting with her tail.

“Rainbow, they aren’t gonna be here for another two hours.” Applejack said, placing a comforting hoof on the pegasus’ back. “Relax, we got plenty of time.”

“I know, but what if they don’t approve of what we’re doing? I mean, it isn’t exactly something you see ponies going around doing all the time.”

“Rainbow, these are our friends we’re talking about. If anyone is going to be understanding about this, it will be them.” Twilight said from her spot at the table.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a mite bit nervous myself. It’s not everyday you tell your friends that you’re dating two mares at the same time.”

“Come on AJ, I’m sure they’ll be happy for us no matter what.” The alicorn's nerves were being worn thin by the worry her herdmates were exuding.

“Look, I know that you’re both worried about this, but getting yourselves worked up by thinking about all the ‘what if’s’ isn’t going to do anything but stress you out more. Try finding something to take your mind off of it like I am.” She finished, turning back to her book.

“Yeah, why don’t we finish up that Daring Do book we started, AJ?” Rainbow walked over to the shelf and pulled it down.

“Well, I suppose it beats frettin over all of this. Besides ya make it sound real interesting when ya tell the story out loud.”

She curled up next to Rainbow on the couch as the pegasus began to read. Twilight smiled at the sight of her herdmates cuddled up together. Picking up her book, she moved over to the chair beside the couch and got comfortable before picking up where she left off.

She couldn’t explain it, but over the last month, just being near her herd made her feel giddy. Maybe it was the newness of it all, or maybe it was the risk involved with having three ponies together at once. Whatever it was, she liked the feeling and hoped it would never leave. She tried to go back to her reading, but gave up after reading the same part over again for the fourth time and resigned to let her imagination roam.

She thought back to how this whole mess had started in the first place. How hectic everything had been, and now, she couldn’t imagine things not being this way. When it had just been her and Rainbow, she had thought that she had everything she could ever want. Now the thought of not having Applejack in her life gripped at her heart.

Watching the two on the couch, Rainbow animatedly reading the story while Applejack followed along with all the attention of a foal. It brought a smile to her face, and she made a resolution with herself that no matter what anypony thought, she wouldn’t let their opinions change things. She sat there with a goofy smile on her face as she thought about all the stuff they had done together and toyed around with ideas of stuff that they could do in the future.

Her smile fell from her face as that thought went through her head. What would the future hold for the three of them? Rainbow would obviously still be working towards becoming a full Wonderbolt, and Applejack had the farm to think about. Still, if they had managed to uphold their friendship these past few years, she knew their herd could handle anything. She returned to her book, the library falling to relative silence, Rainbow's storytelling aside.

Before long, there was a knock on the door drawing the attention of the three mares. Looking up at the clock, she saw it read two o'clock exactly. Rainbow put the book down as Twilight got up from her chair and walked to the door. She opened it with her magic, smiling as she saw her three friends on the other side of the door.

"Hi girls. Thank you for coming on such short notice. I hope I'm not keeping you from anything important." She said, moving out of the doorway so they could enter. She closed the door and turned around, noticing that Rainbow and Applejack had gotten up and moved to the middle of the room.

"Of course not, darling. Our friends always come first." Rarity said.

"Yepperooni! We wouldn't be very good friends if we ignored you!" Pinkie said as she bounced in place. Fluttershy nodded her consent with the other two.

Twilight moved across the room and took a place between Rainbow and Applejack. Giving each of them a glance, she turned to the other three ponies in the room, hesitating a moment as she tried to find the right words.

“Well girls, the reason we asked you to come here, is because Applejack, Rainbow Dash and myself have something that we need to tell you. It’s going to sound a little weird but please hear us out.”

She was answered with nods by all three.

“Okay, well, I guess I’ll start off by telling you that myself and Rainbow Dash have been seeing each other for about seven months now.” Her cheeks flushed as she wrapped a wing around the rainbow mare. This earned her shocked gasps from two of the three in front of her, and a knowing smirk from the third. Before any of them could speak up, she pressed on, cutting off anything they would have said.

"About a month ago, however, Applejack decided to confess her own feelings for Rainbow. Instead she walked in on Rainbow and myself sharing a… um… moment.” She said, her blush deepening.

Rarity nodded. “Oh yes, she told me about that. She was all torn up, the poor dear.” Applejack pulled her hat down over her eyes, failing miserably to hide her unease at the revelation.

“Um, excuse me.” Fluttershy asked in confusion, raising a hoof. “What do you mean ‘a moment’?”

“She walked in on me and Twi making out.” Rainbow answered bluntly.

“Oh, my.” The quiet mare responded, slowly shrinking in on herself as her face heated up. Twilight shot Rainbow a glare.

“Anyway,” Twilight continued, “Applejack ran away after seeing us, and we didn’t see her for a day, during which time I did some research into relationships to see if I could find a solution to our problem.

“I was looking through an old book, and found a chapter on something called ‘herding’.” This garnered various looks of confusion from her audience. “According to the book, it’s an older form of relationship in which there are more than two ponies.” The three were now leaning forward slightly, beginning to see where this was going.

“We talked it over, and Rainbow, Applejack and myself decided to try it out. As of a month ago, the three of us are officially dating as a herd.” She finished, cringing for the outrage that might have come from her revelation.

“Oh, that’s just marvelous!” Rarity said, smiling brightly. “I’m just so happy for you three.” The mare rushed forwards to give the three a hug of approval, only to meet Pinkie halfway there. The two met head on, both of them falling over, rubbing their heads and trading apologies.

“I’m so super duper excited for you guys!” Pinkie exclaimed, getting up and turning towards Applejack, Rainbow, and Twilight. “You guys are just so perfect together!” She pulled the three into one big hug using means only available to the pink mare. Rarity followed suit after regaining her bearings.

“Indeed, for once I share Pinkie’s enthusiasm.” She said hugging them individually. As she turned, she noticed that Fluttershy was still curled up on the floor where she was earlier.

“Something the matter, darling?” She asked as she moved over to her quiet friend.

“Oh, um no. I’m very happy for you.” She said unconvincingly. The other four turned towards her upon hearing her speak.

“What’s wrong, Fluttershy?” Twilight asked gently. The yellow mare looked around briefly, staying curled up on herself.

“Nothing.” she answered, looking down to avoid Twilight’s eyes.

Rainbow flew over and landed beside her, startling her a little.

“C’mon, Fluttershy, we’re all friends here. What’s eatin ya?”

“It’s nothing, really.” She said, trying to hide behind her hair.

“Yeah, it doesn’t look like nothing.” Pinkie Pie walked over next to Rainbow, and soon they were all gathered in a semicircle around Fluttershy.

“C’mon girl, spit it out already.” Applejack stated, starting to lose patience with her shy friend.

“Well… it’s just… this seems strange to me is all.” She said, looking anywhere but at her friend’s faces. “I just thought… it was something special that was shared between two ponies.”

“Well duh. It is something special between two ponies. They just happened to find it so special that they were willing to share it with a third pony!” Pinkie said excitedly, completely violating Fluttershy’s personal space.

“It does sound nice when you put it that way.” The quiet pegasus said, perking up a little.

“I know it’s a little… unorthodox, but I’m sure you’ll get used to it with time.” Twilight said.

“Yeah, it was a little weird at first, but it kinda grows on you after a while.” Rainbow said, nuzzling against Applejack.

“I’m happy for you all,” she started quietly. “I really am, it will just take some getting used to. I’m sorry.” she finished, hiding behind her bangs.

“That’s fine,” Applejack said, walking over to put a hoof around Fluttershy. “I know this is a big change. Until Granny Smith set me straight, I honestly thought these two were just inventing this whole herd business as a way of letting me down easy.”

“If it would make things any easier for you, we could make sure that we aren’t affectionate with each other when you’re around, until you are more comfortable.” Twilight chipped in with a smile, the other two nodding in agreement.

“That would be nice.” Fluttershy replied, peeking out of her hair. “If it isn’t too much trouble that is.”

“No problem. Whatever it takes to make sure you’re comfortable with this, Shy” Rainbow said, putting her two bits in.

“Thank you, girls, I’m sorry to be such a bother.” She said, looking down and pawing the floor with a hoof.

“Really, it’s no trouble.” Twilight reassured her again, giving Fluttershy a comforting hug.

“Well I think it’s time we head out.” Rarity spoke up. “I appreciate you all keeping the rest of us in the loop. I certainly am overjoyed for the three of you to have worked this out. When Applejack visited me, she was positively heartbroken. It’s nice to see her in good spirits again.” She started making her way to the door, Fluttershy following in her wake. They said their goodbyes and left, the door closing softly behind them.

“Where’s Pinkie?” Rainbow asked, noticing that she hadn’t seen her friend leave.

“Knowing her, probably off planning some sort of party to celebrate for us.” Applejack said.

“Well, let’s not worry about it right now.” Twilight said, knowing how much of a headache trying to figure out their pink friend could be. “All things considered, I think that went pretty well.” She used her magic to pull the others to her sides.

“Yeah,” Rainbow agreed. “and don’t worry about Fluttershy. She’ll warm up to this faster than you might think.”

“I’m actually surprised that Pinkie and Rares took that so well. The whole thing went better than I could have hoped for.” Applejack walked back over to the couch where they had been sitting earlier, and sat down, letting out a sigh of contentment.

Her two marefriends went over to join her, and Rainbow Dash picked up the Daring Do book that had been lying on the table.

“Now where were we?”

“Actually, I feel like celebrating.” Twilight broke in. “Would you guys like to go anywhere? My treat!” She finished exuberantly.

Rainbow and Applejack shared a knowing look, breaking out into smiles as they both looked back towards Twilight, both giving her their answer in unison.