Love at the Core

by NickyD

First published

Flash learns something new about his friend, Applejack, while house sitting for her family.

Flash Sentry was asked at the last second to house sit for the Apple family. While doing so, he happens to stumble upon a piece of Applejack's property he knows he shouldn't be looking at.

Proofreaders, Pre-readers, and editors: B_25, Bellyrubz, Not Enough Coffee, and MissytheAngle

Non-mature feature: 11/4/17
Popular Box: 11/4/17, 11/5/17

Love at the Core

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“Apple Bloom, you just about ready?” Applejack called as she knocked on her sister’s door.

“Almost,” Apple Bloom grunted from the other side. “Just getting one last thing in my suitcase. It’s refusing to get in.”

“Hurry it up! Granny wants us out of the door in ten minutes.” Applejack turned on her heel, and walked to the living room where Big Mac and Granny Smith were both sitting on the sofa. In the center of the room laid their suitcases. “She’s almost ready.”

“Hopefully she doesn't take too long,” Granny said as she tapped her foot impatiently. “I want to make sure we’re on the road before rush hour. It’s a six hour drive, and we'll be on that dang express lane forever if we don’t move our kisters.”

“Eeyup,” Big Mac said, nodding his head in agreement.

“I still don’t get why we’re having the reunion at some random ranch.” Applejack crossed her arms, as her eyebrows lowered.

“We couldn’t get a hotel that can room everyone, and the dude ranch did. It’s just the way the chips fall, dearie,” Granny Smith said. Applejack just let out a sigh. She would have preferred it if the Apple family reunion was at someone’s house, and the rest of the family rented out a hotel, but when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.

About a minute passed, and Applebloom finally arrived in the living room, rolling her suitcase behind her, and a drawstring bag on her back.

“Alright,” she started with a smile. “I’m set.”

“Okay!” Granny said, getting up from her chair. “Let’s get our things and we—”

Ringringringringring! Ringringringringring!

“Oh, come on!” the eldest apple exclaimed, letting out a deep sigh as she walked to the wall phone and picked up the receiver. “Hello?” She pleasantly said into the phone. “Oh, hello Rainfall... yes?... WHAT?” Granny’s outburst made the three Apple siblings jump out of their skin. “What do ya mea… oh? Oh, my goodness.” Her demeanor instantly went from mad to sincere. “I am so sorry… yes, I understand… of course… we’ll try and figure something out. Okay, take care now. My condolences.” Granny Smith hung up the phone, and turned to her grandkids, who were all sharing confused looks. “That was the house sitter. She had a last second family emergency, and can’t do the job.”

To that, the three Apple siblings sighed, mixed with emotions of either frustration or sympathy.

“How are we supposed to find another house sitter on short notice?” Applejack asked, clearly frustrated. “We got to hit the road in,” she stopped herself short to look at the clock on her phone. “Seven minutes, and our house sitter bailed.”

“Applejack,” Granny Smith said firmly, “Things happen. Just like us, she needs to be with her family.”

Seeing reason with her grandmother’s words, Applejack let out a calm breath. “Okay, you’re right, Granny. I shouldn’t act like that, but where are we going to find a house sitter on such short notice?”

“I think I may know someone,” Big Mac said. “I don’t know how free he is, but he’s good with this kind of stuff. I’ll give him a ring.”

“Is it someone we know?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Eeyup.” Big Mac pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, searched through his contacts, and called the aforementioned friend. “...Hey it’s me, Mac… did I just wake you up?... Oh, just need coffee, gotcha. Listen, I need your help with something and it’s kind of short notice… Well, me and my family need to be on the road soon, because we’re going out of state for a reunion. Our house sitter just called us saying they can’t do it. Can you?... Well, you just gotta water the plants, feed Winona, and a couple of other things, too. We do need you to stay here, too… We’re leaving behind money for food for you… Really? Great! Thank you so much. Try to get here A.S.A.P, we really need to get on the road in less than...” Big Mac pulled the phone away from his ear to check the time. “...Six minutes. Okay, see you in a few.” He ended the call, and put his cellphone away. He looked to his family with a smile on his face.

“So that’s a yes?” Granny Smith asked.

“Eeyup! They’ll be here as soon as possible.”

The sound of a car pulling up filled the Apple family’s ears. The engine turned off, a car door opened and closed, and footsteps shortly followed after. A quick set of knocks were heard against the door. Applejack sprung out of her seat, and rushed to the door to open it. Once she did, she saw the face of a good friend of hers, bringing a smile to her lips.

“Hey there, AJ,” Flash Sentry pleasantly said.

“Hey, Flash,” Applejack quickly, but kindly said. “Thanks for doing this on such short notice.”

“No problem.”

“Please, come in.” She stepped to the side to allow Flash to get by. As he walked in, she noticed Flash had a backpack on his back, a guitar case slung over his shoulder, and another guitar case in his hand. Applejack can’t help but roll her eyes a little, but still smiled nonetheless. “Can’t believe he brought two guitars,” she mumbled under her breath.

“Hello, everyone,” Flash said, arriving to the center of the living room. His eyes gazed over the occupants of the room, but stopped when he saw Granny Smith. Once his eyes landed on her, his lips curled up. “Oh my goodness! Is that Countess Coloratura?”

Granny Smith giggled. “Oh Flash, you are always too kind.” She got up from her seat, and approached Flash with her arms open. He put down the guitar case that occupied his hand, and approached Granny Smith with his arms open. The two hugged for a brief second, but then let go of each other, though, she kept her hands on Flash’s shoulders. “How are you, hun? Your mom doing okay?”

“She’s doing fine, Granny. Always smiling and being positive.”

“That’s so good to hear. Have you been-”

“AHEM!” the three Apple siblings grunted. Granny turned her head to look at them, the three youths were tapping their wrists with their fingers, indicating time was running short.

“Oh! Sorry to cut this short hun, but we need to skeedaddle.” Granny Smith’s tone turned into one of hurry, and urgency. “On the kitchen table there’s money for lunch, and dinner. For breakfast, help yourself to what you want in the pantry, and fridge. There’s a list of tasks of what you need to do for the next few days, and you’ll be sleeping in Big Mac’s room.”

“Got it,” Flash said.

“Oh, numbers are on the table. Have any questions, make sure to call.”


“And one more thing, you’ll have to-”

“Granny, we need to get movin’!” Applejack exclaimed as she and her siblings gathered their belongings, and started heading out the door.

“I’m sure you already got AJ’s, and Mac’s number.” Granny Smith quickly gathered her things, and started speed walking out the door. “If you can’t reach them, the number for the dude ranch is on the paper I left. Just call that number, and you’ll reach me there.”

“Got it!” Flash stayed on the porch, leaning his shoulder against the doorframe as he watched the Apples, and their belongings pile into the truck. Once everything, and everyone was in, Big Mac flicked the ignition, and the truck roared to life. He backed out of the driveway, and was off onto the road. All the while Flash waved goodbye to them.

Once the truck was out of sight, Flash retreated back inside, closing the door. He took a few steps more into the house, absorbing the quietness.

“This’ll be nice,” he mumbled to himself. “Okay, let's get the rest of my stuff down, and find those papers.” Throughout the brief ‘hello-goodbye’ time with the Apples, Flash only put down one of his guitar cases. The other guitar case, and his backpack, were still weighing in on his shoulders.

He carefully slipped them off, and set them down gently. He walked to the kitchen, and right in the center was a table with two papers, and two small sets of money. He walked over to one of the papers, and read it over.

The bigger stack of money is your pay, one hundred-fifty dollars, and the smaller wad is for food.

If there is any leftover money from the food stack, feel free to keep it.

Flash let out a small whistle for two reasons. One: they were being awfully generous with his pay. Two: extra cash in case he doesn’t spend the other set on food. “Glad I took this gig,” he mumbled. He continued to read.

Ranch’s number: (645) 874 - 9923

That was all the first paper read. He put it down, picked up the other paper, and read that one.

Make sure Winona has three meals a day, and make sure her water bowl is always full.

Walk Winona three times a day. Once after breakfast, another at about two in the afternoon, and one more walk after dinner.

Make sure to clean up after Winona.

Flash cringed at that. That was probably the one thing he wasn't looking forward to.

Take out trash every day.

Keep kitchen as clean and tidy as possible.

All of the front and back porch plants need half a watering can each.

Before you leave a room, make sure it is in order, please.

Big Mac’s room is open for you to sleep in.

You are allowed to have company over, but no parties.

Flash wasn’t that type of person anyway, besides, the Apples were good friends of his, he wouldn’t even dream of hosting a party on their property without their permission. It’s, as Rarity would say, ‘uncouth’. And to add on, he probably won’t be able to have company over since almost all of his friends were super busy for the next few days. On the bright side, there was someone to keep him occupied.

“Where is that dog anyway?” Flash asked. “Winona!” He slapped his thighs a couple times. “Come here, girl.” In another part of the house, he heard the pitter patter of dog paws paired with barking. In a short moment, the brown and white dog presented herself to Flash, wagging her tail.

The young man got on his knees, and did a “come here” motion with his index finger. The dog ran over to him, and placed her front paws on his knee. Flash, smiling at the dog, brought a hand under her chin, and gave it a few good scratches.

Every time Flash came to Sweet Apple Acres, he would always make sure to take time to see Winona. He’s a sucker for dogs, and Winona was no exception. He always loved playing with her, and now he would be watching her for the next few days.

“Just you and me for some time ol’ girl.” Winona let out a happy bark. She got the rest of herself on Flash’s leg, and nuzzled his side, making him daww from cuteness.

Feeling he should check the time, he pulled out his phone, and saw that it was just a few minutes past nine thirty in the morning. His stomach started to rumble.

“Time for some food; I’ll get you some chow first.”

Mid-afternoon had finally rolled around. Flash took Winonna out for two walks, and had ordered a pizza for lunch, saving the leftovers for his dinner. There wasn’t much to clean up. He just washed and cleaned the plate he used, and threw out the box. He wrapped the leftover pizza in some tinfoil, and put it in the fridge.

As of right now, Flash sat on the sofa in the living room, an acoustic guitar in his hands. He played some simple, yet soothing chord progressions as Winona napped on the other part of the sofa.

Everything was well. A house to himself, a cute dog resting next to him, and some guitar playing. To Flash, this was heaven.

He stopped his playing for just a moment to look at Winona. A smile fell on his face looking at the content poch. He moved his hand behind the dog’s ears and petted her. Winona smiled in her sleep, and her tail wagged.

“Good girl,” Flash whispered. He gave Winona’s head a few more pets, and brought his hand back to his guitar. “Okay, let's get some more music going here.” He adjusted his fingers appropriately and started to strum his guitar with some of the most blissful and beautiful music that ever fell upon human ears. The music he played captivated him, and everything else around him seemed to just melt away the music just being his only focus in the world.

The music that he was playing pulled him away from Old Father Time. When he checked his phone for the time, it was a little bit past dinner.

“Oh, shoot!” Flash exclaimed. He looked over to where Winona was sleeping, but saw no sight of the dog. “Where’d she go?” He looked around the room, and didn’t see her. “Winona?” He let out a whistle. “Where’d you go, girl?” He didn’t hear any sort of response.

He placed his guitar down and walked around the house. He check the kitchen. Nothing. The bathroom. Nada. Big Mac’s room. Zip. There were three places left to check: Apple Bloom’s room, Granny Smith’s room, and Applejack’s room. This was a dilemma.

He had a gut feeling that Winona was in one of those rooms, but he felt like this would probably be stepping over the bounds of his stay here. If he went in, he’d feel like a pervert. But at the same time, he needed to find Winona and get her dinner. What he decided to do was just open the door, take a step or two into the room, and call her name if she wasn't in plain sight.

Satisfied, Flash put his plan into motion by going into Granny Smith’s room first. He opened the door and scanned the area real quick. It was nothing less than what his grandparent's bed room looked like. With no clear sign of Winona, he lets out a whistle. “You in here, girl?” He let out a quick whistle, hoping to get a response. He waited a few moments, but heard no paw steps or barks.

Flash sighed and moved on the the next room, which was Apple Bloom’s. Peeking inside, he wasn’t surprised on how it looked. A couple posters of singers she admired, a few framed pictures on shelves, a single bed. The typical young teen look for a room. The room did lack one thing, though: a brown and white dog.

“Winona?” Flash let out a whistle to see if he could get a response. After waiting a few seconds he got nothing. “Alright, she has to be in Applejack’s room.” He closed the door, and went to the next room. Before he opened the door, he heard some low growls coming from the other side. “Yep, she’s in here.” He opened the door, and on the bed was Winona alright, but it appeared there was something in her mouth. To Flash, it looked like a book of some sort.

“Goodness Winona, am I that late to feed you?” He walked over to the bed, gently putting an arm around the dog, all the while laying his free hand on the book's spine. Carefully, he pulled the item out of the dog's teeth, tossing the book to another part of the bed, then gently placing Winona on the ground. The dog just looked up at Flash, looking happy as usual. “Tisk tisk, Winona, but to be fair, I did fall behind on feeding you. What were you chewing on, anyway?”

He grabbed the book and looked at its front cover. It said: “Applejack’s Journal.” Flash’s eyes went wide, and he immediately tossed the book back on the bed. Though his hands were clean, they felt dirty. He touched Applejack’s personal, private property. All of her secrets, thoughts, and other personal info rest in that book.

“Nope, nope, nope, nope,” he said as he made a cross shape with his index fingers. He leaned in a little taking a glance at the book. It didn’t look like it sustained any sort of teething damage. Winona must not have been chewing all that hard. Part of him wanted to check and see if there was any damage on the paper, but he was too afraid he’d accidentally read something he shouldn’t.

Looking around the book, it didn’t appear to be damaged. He let out a sigh and figured he should just let it go. Besides, he had a dog to feed.

He looked back down at Winona, who had her tongue out and was wagging her tail. Flash’s lips curled into a smile. “Alright, let’s get you fed. I’m sure you’re hungry.”

“Alright, day one done,” Flash said, crawling into Big Mac’s bed. Aside from Winona gnawing on AJ's journal, everything went great. The house was clean, the dog was fed, the doors were locked, and everything was set.

Right when he got under the covers his cell phone, resting on the nightstand next to the bed, buzzed. He picked it up and read the alert. It said he got a message from his mom. He opened the text, and the message said: “How was your first day?” with a heart emoji at the end. Flash smiled and responded to her.

“Good. Caught Winona chewing on one of AJ’s books, but aside from that, everything went great.” He sent the message, and it only took a few moments to get a reply.

“Really? Were you behind on feeding her?”

“A little, not by long, though; I didn’t let the poor girl starve. What kind of stinks, though, is that she was gnawing on AJ’s journal. It doesn't look like it was damaged, which is good.”

“Did you read it?”

Flash’s eyes went wide at his mother’s response. He retorted quickly, fingers tapping away at a breakneck speed, “What!? No! Of course not! You raised me better than that. That’s her own business, not mine.”

It didn’t take long to get a reply. “Good boy. Her secrets, and personal thoughts are her own, and should not be intruded on.”

Flash let out a huff, and replied with: “Sounds like something someone would put on a pillow."

“I should get on that. Million dollar idea right there.” A few seconds later another text arrived. “Alright sweetie, I should let you get some rest. Goodnight.”

“‘Night, mom.” Flash locked his phone and placed it face down on the night stand. He turned off the lamp and laid down. As he drifted off to sleep, he felt something pounce next to him. Turning to his side, and looking over, he could just barely make out the shape of Winona laying down next to him. “What are you doing here, girl?”

For a response, Winona scooted upwards closer to Flash and put her head under Flash’s chin. “Alright, you can sleep with me.” He adjusted himself slightly to get comfortable. He then put one arm around the cute dog, while his other arm just under his head. “Goodnight, girl.” He then drifted off to sleep.

The next day finally rolled around, and things were going smoothly. It was just past noon, and Winona had been fed twice and walked twice. The house was clean and tidy; everything was in order.

But the thing with the journal had been pestering him. He felt like it was some sort of responsibility of his to check on it again. It was not his property, but he was house sitting, and should make sure nothing was damaged.

With that in mind, he went back to Applejack’s room and saw that the book was still there. Before his hand touched the item, he took a deep breath. It was not like the journal would burst into flames or hurt him, but this was Applejack’s privacy. Sure he wasn’t going to read it, but still touching it didn’t seem right. Still, he needed to double check for damage.

He finally picked the journal up and held it about a foot away from his face. He moved it around, inspecting it from multiple angles. He brought it closer and further away from his eyes for the sake of being thorough. He kept at this for five minutes, and from the looks of things, the book wasn’t damaged at all. Winona’s bite must not be that strong.

He looked at the cover once more, the words “Applejack’s Journal” staring directly at him. Like what he told his mother last night, he respected her privacy, but… what if there was more to Applejack than just a hardworking, honest girl? Could there be more to her? What secrets was she hiding?

His curiosity was building up, and his conscious was telling him to fight it. The inner battle between the two was glorious, but in the end, curiosity won.

“I’m going to hate myself for this,” Flash whispered to himself. He opened the journal to an entry near the front. The date of the entry was June tenth, five years ago. “This was right before high school.” Looking under the date there were two paragraphs of words.

School is finally out! Goodness gracious, a whole three months of sun and fun with my amazing friends. Rainbow Dash is planning we head to Myrtle Beach for a day trip. That’ll be a boat load of fun right there. But to kick off the summer, Pinkie Pie is having a bonfire. Rainbow said she’ll even bring her acoustic. She’s been getting really good at guitar playing. She even got this whole idea of starting a band ever since she got it last Christmas. Admittedly, I’m not against the idea. Heck, I could learn how to play bass! My brother doesn’t play it anymore. I’m sure he’ll let me have it, but I may need to get a new strap for it.

At any rate, summer is starting off right with some friends, a bonfire (or a bond fire. Get it! Bon sounds like bond, because bonding)

“AJ, leave the jokes to Pinkie.”

I should probably wrap up this journal entry. I have to get to Pinkie’s place.

And with that, there was one journal entry down. Flash flipped the page to the next entry, which was about a month later.

The Apple family reunion is coming up, and it’s pretty bittersweet. Sweet, because we'll be at Braeburn’s home for the entire weekend with the rest of our relatives. Bitter, because it’s the fifth year without mom and dad. They loved the reunions. Their love and enthusiasm each year before going to these makes other times feel not so special. I know I moved on, but I still miss them.

“Dang…” Flash whispered. He felt a pang of sorrow in his chest.

No matter, I need to focus on the now, and not the past. Even if my parents are gone, I know they would want me to enjoy myself, and darn it, I will.

Apple Bloom has been super excited, especially because she’s getting to see Babs Seed. I’ve been really excited to see Braeburn since I haven’t seen him in quite some time.

Flash couldn’t help but smile at that entry’s conclusion. It was a positive ending. He then turned a couple pages to a September entry.

High School only started a couple of weeks ago. I forgot to write about it, because I’m getting all caught up in the excitement. Me and the girls share some classes. Me and Rainbow Dash share P.E, and Math class. I got English with Rarity, Science with Fluttershy, and Home Ec with Pinkie. She and I are a shoo-in for an A, since she and I are some of the best bakers in town. (We won first place ribbons at the county fair two years in a row. I think it’s a fact that we’re the best).

“Wow Applejack, didn’t know you had that much of an ego.”

There’s some other friendly faces in my classes, too. Things seem to be alright for high school. Hoping to make some good memories.

“Didn’t I have a class or two with Applejack that year?” Flash asked himself. He brought his finger to his chin, and tapped it a couple times. “Yeah... Freshmen science if I remember. I wonder if she has the time I screwed up an experiment in here?” He flipped through a couple pages. The entry he landed on was from October twenty fifth of freshman year. “That’s the date alright.”

Oh boy, this is a good one. So I’m in my science class, and we’re currently on our physics unit, learning about gravity and all that stuff. It was a lab day, so we had to work in pairs. I was partnered with this one guy, Flash Sentry.

Flash let out a fake gasp. “Me?”

He’s a really nice guy. If kindness was a business, he’d probably run Fluttershy out of it, but at times he can be a bit of a klutz.

“Never knew AJ thought I was that nice. Hmm.”

So, the lab that we’re working on is gravity based. We build these bridges out of different types of boxed spaghetti.

“Yep. This is the one with the experiment screw up.”

And we’re supposed to suspend a cup holding items so we know how sturdy a bridge can be with the weight of something under it.

We’re going through the lab really well. He and I are working great together, following directions as close as we can, until he sort of screwed up near the end. The items we were using to fill the cups were marbles, rocks, sand, water, and a couple other things I can’t remember right now. But anyway, Flash, for some reason, thought at one point we had to put some of each item into the cup. At first I thought he was wrong, but at the same time, it looked like he knew what he was doing. So, the bridge is on six or seven strands of spaghetti (Pretty sure I'm spelling it right), and he’s putting the stuff in. Now, the bridge is really bending here. I thought the bridge was going to break, and collapse. How wrong was I. The bottom of the cup started to tear, and everything just spilled out from the bottom onto the table.

Flash couldn’t help but chuckle at that. “Goodness, that was embarrassing.”

When Flash explained what happened to Mr. Discord, he was so confused why the cup broke on him. Mr. Discord told him that adding everything was not part of the experiment. The second those words escaped his lips, Flash’s cheeks turned so red, he looked like an apple. Fortunately, Mr. Discord is one of good humor, and understands mistakes happen, so he laughed it off, and didn’t make a huge deal about it. He didn’t even take a point off of our final results. In fact, he admired Flash’s ambition and curiosity. That’s what he thinks science is all about. Guess that’s a good way to look at it.

He did have Flash clean off the table, and I offered to help. Flash told me I didn’t have to help him out, but I didn’t mind. Besides, he’s my lab partner, therefore he’s my responsibility.

Flash let out another chuckle.

We talked a little more as we cleaned up, and I got to say, he’s really pleasant to talk to. I think I smell a friendship forming between us.

Flash skipped over some pages, and got to spring break.

A whole week off of school. No work, no nothing, just me and the gals. An added bonus is that my birthday is on the Friday of spring break. Double whammy right there. No school plus birthday equals greatness.

“Flawless math.”

Pinkie Pie is planning a birthday party for me, and I can not wait for it. It’s gonna be with my family, the girls, and a few other good classmates. I made sure to drop Flash’s name, too. I would love for him to be there. Maybe he can play guitar during the night, because we’re planning a little campfire to go with the party.

“I remember that. That was a good party.”

Speaking of him, I’ve been thinking about him more, and more lately.

Flash raised an eyebrow to this.

I mean, he’s great to talk to, but his kindness is overbearing, and I mean that in the best way. He’s the guy that is keeping chivalry alive. For example: he and I were walking down the hallway getting to science class. By the time we got there, he opened the door, but stepped to the side, and said “ladies first”. And he's been doing that frequently.

Now I am not sure if it’s just how he was raised, and was just being polite, or if there is something more behind it. I think I’ll stick with the former. Don’t want to assume things.

We’re not super close by any means, but at the same time, we’re a bit more than just acquaintances. But I honestly want to get to know him a bit more, yet I’m not to sure how I should go about it.

Flash moved his head away from the book and scratched the back of his head. “Is this going where I think it is?”

I’m not gonna lie, I think I may be developing a crush on him.

“It is.”

I mean, he’s kind, he’s a musician, and quite handsome. Hard not for any girl to swoon over this guy. But I’m only thinking in maybes. I don’t know if I actually have feelings for him or not. I guess I just have to let the wind guide me here.

Flash put his index finger on the page, and closed the book on his appendage. He brought his elbow to his knee, and rested his chin on his hand. “I’m not sure if I should keep reading this.” Of course he shouldn’t keep reading. This was Applejack’s personal life he was diving into. He already dove in deep enough. He should just put the book away, and forget he even read that thing in the first place.

But something in the back of his mind was telling him otherwise. That little devil voice was telling him that he should keep reading. There were still so many unanswered questions. Did Applejack still have feelings for him or not? Was there more to this potential crush?

The battle he had with courtesy and respect was a failure. He reopened the journal and went further into it.

It turned out Applejack’s potential crush for Flash developed into a legitimate one over time. All the times they shared, whether it be from studying, to playing music, or just talking, those were the moments Applejack cherished the most and factored into heavier feelings.

The next entry Flash read was a kicker, and a little more recent. It was near the end of sophomore year.

I have cut my losses with the girls. That’s right, they aren’t my friends anymore. Pinkie, Rarity and Fluttershy kept arguing, and it became too toxic to deal with. Cut my ties with Rainbow Dash, because she made me look like a liar. Me and the rest of the girls are D-O-N-E!

Of course Flash was willing to lend an ear, and let me vent.

“I remember that day. She was livid.”

He’s honestly such a good listener. Heck, if I didn’t vent to him, I don’t know what I’d do. Fly off the handle, maybe. Glad to have a pal like him… pal… that feeling that’s been lingering with me is still there. Yeah, I’ve been struggling to ask him out. But every time I wanted to ask him, I just stutter, and something else comes out of my mouth. Unfortunately, with summer coming up, I’m running out of time. I’ll be busy on the farm, and won’t be able to see much of him. It’s crunch time. I need to woman up, and take action. Tomorrow I’m going to ask.

“I don’t recall her asking me out. Did something happen?” Flash turned the page to see if he could get an answer.

Darn it all!! Out of all the other CHS students, Sunset Shimmer asked Flash out, right before me!!


Of all days. The day I muster up enough courage to ask the boy out, someone beats me to the punch! And he said yes! I haven’t wrote much about this Sunset because I feel if I write about her, I’d be giving her some sort of gratification, but now I have to talk about her.

She came into this school freshmen year with a huge chip on her shoulder. She went from new gal to having the place under her thumb within two weeks of being there. She’s been pushing us around almost non stop.

I’m willing to bet she knew that I liked Flash, and her asking him out was just to tick me off. How could he say yes!? Flash is the sweetest guy in the world, and he is going on a date with that brat!?

This is just infuriating.

“Holy....” was all that escaped Flash’s lips. He kept the journal open, but placed it on his lap, spine upwards. He ran a hand through his hair, trying to process what he just read. He was at a loss of words. All of this time Applejack liked him? A girl of honesty wasn’t honest with him.

He looked back at the journal, his eyes narrowing at it, gazing upon the book like it was piece of trash. “I really should stop… but there are still some unanswered questions, though: did she have those feelings when I dated Sunset? What about when Twilight Sparkle came here? What were her feelings like then? But since I got over her, what about now?”

The questions picked at his curiosity for a good couple of minutes, feeling as though he should finish the disgusting act he started. He picked up the journal once more, fast-forwarding to Senior year. He could probably tell just off the context of the recent entry he read what the next ones leading to senior year would entail.

He stopped flipping through pages until he reached November tenth of senior year.

“Here goes nothing,” he whispered.

It finally happened! Flash broke up with Sunset! By the time I got home, I was doing a pretty long victory dance. I can not express how happy I am.

You know, while Flash was dating that girl, she wouldn’t let me even speak to him. Even if he wanted to just say hi to me or me say hi to him, she would have me back off.

“Why did I submit myself to that?” Flash asked himself. “I probably damaged my relationship with Applejack.”

Flash is too good of a person, and deserves better than that girl. What he saw in her, I don’t know, and I don’t think I want to know. I’m just thankful Flash is out of such a toxic relationship.

I still do have those feelings for him, and now he’s up for the taking. I’m going to wait just a smidge bit longer. He may be on the rebound, but I shouldn’t go right up to him right after he broke up with her.

Gonna wait about a week. Right now, I’m just glad to have my “friend” back.

“We did talk it up after the break up, but she still never asked me out. What’s up with that?” Flash turned a couple of pages to get to next week's entry.

So this new girl, Twilight Sparkle, told off Sunset Shimmer this afternoon. By golly, that was good.

“Oh... that explains it.”

She threw her hat in the ring to run for fall formal princess. I kind of hope she does win, that way we don’t give Sunset Shimmer her fourth consecutive Fall Formal win. Best of luck to her.

There seems to be something… off about this new girl. I’m not sure what it is. She acts a little strange, but who doesn’t?

Flashed flipped to the next page, which was just a day after.

Okay, so a lot of things happened today. Good things mostly. So, at the very start of the day a video, made by Sunset Shimmer, was uploaded online making Twilight look like a fool. It was like a campaign ad. Me, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity showed her the video. I mention them now, and you’ll see why in a minute.

After we showed her, Pinkie offered to help, but Fluttershy told Twilight not to accept it. That just escalated into an argument. Twilight did break it up, and showed us something from our past: the freshman fair photo. It was a good reminder of what we used to have, but that was then. Twilight then theorized that it was Sunset that broke us up. Then after going over some texts and emails, we found out that we never actually said anything towards each other, and it was likely Sunset sent those faked messages.

“Good god! I knew Sunset wasn’t the best person, but I had no idea about this.”

So we got the gang back together to help Twilight, but there is a concern.

Don’t get me wrong, Twilight is a great person, but it appears she might have a thing for a guy I’m trying to get, and I think he likes her back.

We were at Sugarcube corner, planning how we can get Twilight to win. She was off getting a drink. Once she got it, she bumped into Flash and spilled it on him. Admittedly, it was funny, but when he helped Twilight pick up her cup, they had one of those romance novel moments where their hands touched.

When she came back to us, I felt some jealousy rise up in me. Rarity and Fluttershy caught her up on his history with Sunset Shimmer, but I got everyone back on track on why they’re together. Talking about her liking Flash won’t make the situation better. You know, from freshman year, to our break up, to now, I haven’t told the girls about my feelings towards Flash, and vocalizing them now is probably a really bad idea.

So anyway, we thought about it for a little while, and Rarity had a pretty good idea. She said that if we unify the school through school spirit, we can get Twilight the votes. To emphasize her point, she pulled out fake pony ears that everyone used to wear during freshman year. She got her point across, but I wonder why she just happened to have those handy. Does she always carry them around?

“Good question.”

So what we’re going to do is pull a High School musical thing. We’re going to get together, and do a whole music number during lunch. It’ll be like a rallying call. Let’s hope it works.

“And it did work,” Flash admitted, recalling how the rest of that day played out. “I can already guess what the fall formal entry is like. Bet I can skip over it.” Flash flipped a couple pages, but something came to mind. “What about during the Battle of the Bands? I was such a jerk during that time.”

He found the date of the Battle of the Bands event and started to read.

Okay, this was quite a day. Today was the Battle of the Bands. We had to try to stay in the contest long enough so Twilight can conjure up something to make sure the Dazzlings don’t succeed in their plans.

So, other bands were trying to sabotage us. They want to win this thing badly. They didn’t know what our end game was, so everyone else was getting in the way.

We went off to get some practice in, that way, we can stay diligent.

We bumped into Flash, and holy moly, he was ruthless. Twilight tried to talk to him, but he gave her the cold shoulder. I convinced her that we should just keep moving, but he just kept trash talking.

Upon reading that, Flash felt a pang of guilt in his chest. He hated himself for talking to Twilight like that.

That wasn’t Flash back there. The Dazzlings put everyone under their spell, and everyone was lashing out at each other. Especially us. I got at Rarity’s throat because of something petty as wardrobe.

But fortunately we were able to overcome it, and take down the Dazzlings. It was quite a....magical experience.

“Not sure if she’s understating it or not.”

And right after the show, Flash ran onto the stage and hugged Twilight. I’ll admit, the two in each other's arms is kind of cute. I even giggled at that public display of affection, but deep down, I was a bit jealous. I didn’t dwell on it that long, besides, we had a victory to celebrate.

Flash skipped a head some more and got to when he and other CHS students went to Camp Everfree. He figured that’d be an appropriate place to go to, because that was when he got over Twilight.

So today, Twilight, the new Twilight, went out on the docks today, and Timber Spruce caught her. He was very clever with a remark he made about it. I’m impressed really. Off in the distance I could barely hear Flash and Sunset talk. She told Flash he should get over the other Twilight, because she’s a princess in another world who has a lot on her plate.

Sunset isn’t wrong though, and I’m not saying that because I want to get with him, but he’s kind of dwelling on that girl for a while. He should move on. Am I sounding hypocritical right now?\

“A little bit admittedly.” The rest of the entry was just what happened throughout the day. Flash skimmed through the rest of the entries. Once he got caught up, he closed the journal. He placed it back where he first found it. He then put his elbows on his knees, and ran his hands through his hair. “I’m a terrible person,” he muttered. “I shouldn’t have read this.”

Flash turned the shower nozzle off. He was physically clean, but on the inside he felt dirty. No matter how many showers he had, he could never truly be clean.

He dried himself off and kept the towel around his waist. He approached the mirror, and wiped away any steam that stuck to the glass, looking blankly at his reflection.

“God, you are an idiot,” he mumbled to his reflection. “You pretty much just broke any sort of trust between her and you. Perfect…” He removed the towel, and dried himself off once more before getting his pajamas on.

Once that was accomplished, he slipped into his sleep wear, and went to Big Mac’s room. He didn’t get under the covers just yet. He sat on the foot of the bed, his elbows on his knees, feeling terrible.

“Why did I do that?” he mumbled. He brought his hands up to his face, and let out a huge sigh. “I’m a terrible person.” Right after he said that, he heard the pitter patter of small paws draw closer. Soon enough, he saw Winona at his feet. Looking at her, he noticed she didn’t have her typical smile on. Her eyes telling him that she was concerned. “Hmph.”

Flash then picked up Winona and placed her on his lap. She still looked concerned. In hopes to make her feel better, he started to scratch Winona behind the ear. It did appear that she did enjoy the sensation; she still looked like she was worried for the boy.

“Oh Winona, tell me, am I a terrible person?” All Winona did was let out a curious whimper, tilting her head as she did so. “I read Applejack’s journal, and I read some stuff that was only for her. Why did I do it?” Flash fell back onto the bed, Winona still on his lap. He brought his hands to his face once more, shame clearly taking over. “Why did I do that?”

Winona may not understand what Flash did, but she did understand he was having a rough time. She lightly walked up to Flash’s chest, and lowered her head to Flash’s cheek to give him a light nuzzle, followed by a lick on the side of his face.

Flash removed his hands, and looked at Winona, who then proceed to give him a couple more licks. He couldn’t help but chuckle a little, at least appreciating her gesture. He moved a hand to her back and slowly rubbed it. “You’re a good girl, Winona, remember that.” Turning his head, he looked at the time presented on the clock. It was just a little past ten. “I should try and get some sleep.” Flash placed Winona on the floor, and he got under the covers. Once he turned off the light, he felt Winona get back onto the bed and lay down right next to him.

Flash’s lips curled into a small smile. “You really do like sleeping with others, don’t you?” She just let out a small, happy whimper. “Well, it’s always nice to have a good cuddle buddy.” He scooted over just a little bit more, and gave Winona’s head a quick pet before drifting off to sleep.

The next couple of days seemed to fly by. Everything was in order, and he kept up to the standards Granny Smith left. However, Flash kept pondering over one thing: should he tell Applejack that he read her journal? He could just not tell her, but that would essentially be lying, and knowing AJ, she could see through lies. On the other hand, if he were to be upfront with her, that could jeopardize, maybe even end, their friendship.

Either way, it would not end well for Flash. But still, he weighed his options, and determined one thing. just don’t mention it. If she did mention it, he’ll just be honest with her.

With the afternoon reaching its starting point, Flash sat on a couch in the living room with Winona sitting on his lap. He gently stroked the dog’s back, hoping it would somehow calm himself. He was actually really nervous for what would transpire, but he mentally prepared himself for the worst.

By the time the clock reached three-thirty, he could hear the sound of tires on gravel. They were home. Flash took a very deep breath. “Alright, let’s get this over with.” He heard steps on the porch, nervousness building up as each one got closer. The lock on the door unlatched, and the door swung open, revealing Applejack, and no one else.

“Whoo weee,” the farm girl let out. “What a good time.” She spun around and waved outside. “Thanks for the lift, Braeburn!” From the direction Applejack was waving, Flash heard a car horn. To this, he raised a brow.

"Where’s Big Mac and everyone else?" he thought. AJ turned back around and faced Flash, smile plastered on her face.

“Well howdy, Flash!” Winona barked a couple times, and leapt off of Flash’s lap into Applejack’s arms. “Hey there, Winona. Were you a good girl for Flash?” To answer, Winona just licked Applejack’s cheek. “I’ll take that as a yes.” Applejack put Winona down and looked back to Flash. “So, I take it everything went well here?”

“Yep,” he quickly responded. “Hey, where’s Mac and everyone else?” He figured if he could switch the subject, he can avoid his secret.

“Get this. When we were leaving, the second Big Mac turned the key in the ignition, the car broke down.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yep! I was eager to get home, but Granny and Bloom wanted to stay behind with Big Mac, so Braeburn gave me a lift home, and my cousin Hayseed is fixing up Mac’s truck.” Flash, for a moment, felt panic. He was somewhat glad he did not have to confess with Applejack’s family in the premises, but at the same time, if she murdered him, there would be no witnesses. All Flash could do was shake his head.

“I told him the other week he should’ve taken it to the mechanic, but no. No one ever listens to Flash Sentry.” Flash’s mock voice made a giggle leave Applejack’s lips.

“Heh, you’re too funny, Flash.” A brief pause was held in between them. “So, everything went alright here? Nothing burned or anything of the sort?”

Though AJ was being humorous, Flash was trying to hide his guilt. So far, he looked rather convincing.

“Heh, nah. Everything was fine,” Flash casually said. “Winona was good the whole time, the plants were watered appropriately, no problems whatsoever.” He didn’t sound too confident in himself with that last part.

“Okay, something went wrong,” Applejack said, raising a brow. “I can tell from what you just said, something happened. What was it?” Flash felt his heart sink to his stomach, and he looked down at the floor. “Flash, I’m sure whatever happened wasn’t a big deal. You know you can tell me, sugarcube.”

“That may be the last time you’ll call me that,” Flash thought. Before he said anything else, he let out a very, very deep sigh.

“Something did happen AJ, and I’m not to proud of it.”


“The day you guys left, I was playing some guitar while Winona was sleeping. I got carried away and was just half an hour late on feeding her.”

“That doesn’t seem—”

“And when I found her, she was in your room, chewing on your journal.” The moment he said that, Applejack’s face was of surprise. She didn’t say anything, so Flash continued. “I just tossed the book on the bed, and worried about taking care of the house, and Winona for the rest of the day. The next day, my curiosity got the better of me and…” Flash struggled to get the word out. Using everything he could muster, he continued. “...and I read it.” Applejack’s eyes went even wider than earlier. Her brows furrowed a little, and her cheeks flushed red in anger.

“You. Did. WHAT?”

“I’m going to die here,” Flash thought. “Applejack, I am so sorry. I hate myself for doing it.”

“Flash, that was my personal property! My personal business!” She put her hands on her face and took a seat on the couch, feeling violated and embarrassed. “Why would you do that?”

“I don’t know what came over me,” Flash said, regret clear in his voice. “Applejack, all I can say is how sorry I am. You probably hate my guts right now, and I don’t blame you. I messed up big time.”

Applejack folded her arms and crossed her legs. Flash noticed that her normal color returned to her face. She didn’t even look at Flash, her eyes were pointed to the floor.

“I can’t believe it. Of all people, it’s Flash.” She let out a huge, disappointed sigh. “Flash...I...I don’t know what to say.” Flash hung his head low, and looked in the direction of the door.

“I should probably just leave. I won’t take my payment. I’ll just get my things and get out of your hair.” Flash turned around to head to Big Mac’s room, but before he could even get out of the living room, he felt something grab his wrist. He turned around and saw Applejack. Her eyes looked soft and sad.

“Flash, I’m mad with you, but at the same time...I just don’t know what it is.” She let go of his wrist, and rubbed her eyes with her thumb and index finger. “I want to be mad at you and pretty much strangle you.”

“Yeah, I’m going to die,” Flash thought.

“But another part of me wants to forgive you. Since you read my journal, you probably know why I would be quick to forgive.” Flash nodded to that. “I just don’t know what to do, think or feel.” Flash looked at the girl with pity. Though she was conflicted with a ton of emotions, he may know how to get through to her.

He took a step closer to her, and wrapped his arms around her, capturing her in a hug. Almost instantly she wrapped her arms around him, in an embrace a little stronger than Flash's.

“You don’t have to forgive me,” Flash said in a low voice. “I just want you to know I’m sorry.” Silence lingered in the air for what seemed like hours. They just stayed wrapped in each other's arms for who knows how long. In that silence, Flash came up with an idea. “I know it won’t justify what I did, but is there a way I can make it up to you?”

Applejack let out a hum and removed herself from Flash’s chest, both of them still holding onto each other. Her expression was very soft, yet thoughtful. “I think there is something you can do.”


“The rodeo’s coming to town in a couple weeks. I’ve been trying to find someone to go with other than my family, but I think I got someone to go with right here.”

“But you know I hate the rodeo.”

“And I hate that you read my journal. It evens out.” Flash let out a groan. She was kind of right.

“Alright, I’ll go to the rodeo with you. It’s a date.” Flash’s eyes went a little wide and his cheeks flush red. He now just realized what he just said. Applejack’s cheeks flush red too. “Umm… I…”

“Yeah…” Applejack moved her eyes to the side and Flash moved his own to the ground, both feeling a little embarrassed. Flash’s eyes then moved back up, noticing he was still in an embrace with her. His eyes continued to progress upward and they locked onto Applejack’s. His light sapphire eyes reflected into Applejack’s emerald ones.

“You know, I’m willing to give this a shot.” Flash shot her a smirk. “We’ve been friends since Freshman year. I think I want to take this to the next level.”

Applejack giggled a little. “Well sugarcube, if you’re up for it, than I think we can call it official.” Flash chuckled a little and gave Applejack a quick peck on the cheek. She then chuckled and nuzzled herself into Flash’s chest. Flash moved a hand to the back of her head and stroked her, surprisingly, soft hair.

Both of them, in that moment, were the happiest people alive.

Big Mac’s truck pulled up to the house. The engine was cut off and the other three Apples got out, their luggage, and Applejack’s, in hand.

“Glad the fix didn’t take long,” Big Mac said.

“Hayseed is a wonder when it comes to mechanics,” Granny Smith said. She looked around real quick and noticed Flash’s car was still here. “Hmm. Wonder why he’s still here?”

“What’s that Granny?” Apple Bloom asked. Granny Smith pointed to the vehicle. “Huh, maybe he wanted to wait for all of us to get home.”

“Maybe...Well, shouldn’t keep ‘em waitin'. Let’s head in.” The three headed up the small staircase to the porch then to the front door. Granny Smith pulled out a key from her pocket and inserted it into the door lock. She turned it, but it appeared that the door was already unlocked. “Hmm?” she hummed. She opened the door and the three Apples stepped in. The lights were on and everything seemed in order. “Looks like he took good care of…” Granny Smith trailed off as she looked over to the living room couch.

On it, she saw Flash and Applejack asleep. He lay on his back with his arms wrapped around her. Applejack’s stetson on his head, as she rested her head on his chest, a hand on his shoulder and a leg up on him.

The elder let out a smile and a humored puff of air through her nostrils. “Alright kids,” she whispered to Big Mac and Apple Bloom, who looked surprised at the scene in front of them. “I win. Pay up.” The two groaned and reached into their pockets, each pulling out a twenty dollar bill and handing it to their grandmother. “Hehe, I told y’all they would end up with each other sooner or later.”

“Is that why she wanted to get home early?” Apple Bloom questioned as she brought a finger to her chin.

“Who knows, but maybe we should give them some privacy. C’mon, let's just put our things away.”

The two left the area to their respectful rooms, but Big Mac stayed for a moment. He went to a nearby closet and grabbed a blanket. He spread it out and laid it on top of the two love birds. In their sleep, their lips curled into grins and Flash tightened his embrace. To respond, she nuzzled her head on his chest. In turn, Big Mac smiled and walked out of the living room.

The now alone couple stayed asleep in their loving embrace, just content that they are with each other. Everything was good. Everything was perfect.