“Congrats Twilight!” The party was in full swing and it hadn't even been going on for more than 15 minutes. The unicorn in question blushed and smiled sheepishly. The party was for the heroine of the hour: Twilight Sparkle. She had, by herself, sent a large group of Manticores back to the Everfree Forest after they had been lured out by a group of unicorn fillies who had wanted to see Twilight “work her magic” once more.
Twilight was just happy the fillies had been unharmed during the creatures' rampage. As the lavender pony danced, she accepted the praise and compliments with hesitance. Twilight never was one to stay in the spotlight for too long, nor did she like to. The unicorn had accepted at least another 30 or so positive comments before she felt overwhelmed and had excused herself for a breath of air.
“That was mighty brave of ya Twi.” Twilight turned and saw the familiar orange earth pony standing against the wall, hat tipped ever so slightly. “Heh...thanks Applejack. But I just did what anypony would have done...Nothing TOO noteworthy.”
“You saved 4 fillies from bein' gobbled up. Ah'd say that's pretty special.” Twilight just blushed and nodded. “If you say so.” The two stood out in the dark, gazing up at the beautiful night sky and speaking no words. “Well...guess I should be getting home. I'm sure Spike is starting to worry.” Twilight said finally.
“Uh...yea...Hey Twilight?” The purple pony turned and saw that her friend was staring at the ground, pushing a small clump of dirt around. “Is there something wrong Applejack?” The farmpony didn't answer right away, as if trying to find the right way to say something. “Whatever it is, you can tell me Applejack. We are friends.”
“Ah know...it's just...this ain't exactly easy to say for me.” Twilight nodded and waited for Applejack. Finally, with a huff and a tip of her hat, Applejack turned and said, “Forget it. It ain't important. Listen, ah'll catch ya later Twilight. I've got work tomorrow.” And with that, the orange pony took off down the road.
Twilight held up a hoof as if to call out to her disappearing friend, but a yawn stopped her. “I'll ask her tomorrow...too tired now.” Twilight turned back to the library. When she entered, she locked the door behind her and after checking to make sure Spike was asleep, headed to bed herself.
The next day, when Twilight woke up, she had went through her usual morning routine before finding Spike still passed out in his bed. So, with a smile, Twilight headed down into the kitchen and began to make breakfast. It wasn't until she was almost finished that he seemed to float into the room using only the scent of food to keep him propelled.
“That smells delicious...” He mumbled groggily, a smile on his face and his tongue running across his lips hungrily. “Ahh, it's about time you got up. I hate to say it, but you need to hurry up and eat. Or did you forget that today is the day that you're repaying Applejack for that tree you burnt down?” He groaned and said, “But it was an accident Twilight!”
“Normally I would agree with you. However, you tried to run from your mistake and it could have turned out a lot worse if Applejack hadn't seen you trying to run away. You brought this upon yourself Spike.” The young dragon mumbled in defeat as the unicorn levitated a stack of pancakes onto his plate.
He ate quickly and after downing two cups of orange juice, headed for the marketplace to find Applejack's cart. Twilight on the other hand, after cleaning the dishes, made a quick checklist of things she would need and headed out, grabbing her saddlebags as she went.
Most of her shopping went well enough; a bargain here, a sale there. Only once did she have to haggle with a pony for a book she desperately wanted. “Let's see...now I just need to pick up some food and I can get to my studies for the day.”
The unicorn took a right and after passing by the library, took another right and was soon browsing through all the different stalls the market had to offer. There were more than a few times temptation had nearly gotten the better of her whenever she passed by things that she had an interest in.
“No. Now's not the time Twilight. Nourishment comes before studies.” She mumbled quickly to herself as she began to buy the food she needed. She was on her way to Applejack's cart when somepony shoved her down onto the road.
“YOU! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!” The bookworm felt pain explode in her head and stars appear out of nowhere in her vision as the hoof fell away from her. Twilight shook her head to rid it of the stars (but the pain got that much worse). “W-what did I do?” Twilight asked, clutching her head.
“You took my little girl from me!” Another hoof threw itself at Twilight, but this time it caught the unicorn's barrel, causing her to cough violently. “All because of your stupid magic and your need to show it off! I can't stand you unicorns!” The pony turned and kicked, sending Twilight tumbling down the road a bit.
“My little Firelock! She was a unicorn just like you! That night when we watched you carry the Ursa away, YOU were the only one she talked about!” The pony paced around the pained unicorn, grateful for the crowd around her. She was on a mission and this crowd would help spread her message.
“Last night, she got the idea that if you could do those things with magic, that she could too! So, she snuck out to the Everfree Forest to try and “vanquish” something with her magic. By the time I found out...I was too late.” The mare got right in Twilight's face, tears streaming from her face as her orange eyes burned with rage.
“Have you ever heard the sound of a filly's bones breaking and snapping as she's being devoured by Timberwolves? How about the strangled gurgles as blood fills her throat and pours out her mouth as she screams out not for her mother, BUT FOR YOU?! How about the sight of her limbs being tossed about as food as the blood sprays the ground? HUH?!”
Twilight had been trying to resist the urge to vomit, but she could hold it in no longer and retched all over the ground near her, making some ponies step back.
“YOU ARE NO HERO! YOU ARE A MONSTER!” The mare screamed and rose up to crush Twilight's skull, and she would have if not for the flying ball of orange that tackled her to the ground and began to mercilessly pummel the mare.
Twilight used the opportunity to run as quickly as she could while Applejack screamed at the mare. It took 4 stallions to drag Applejack off the mare. Where the mare was once hateful and invincible, she was now weak and fearful.
“What the hell is wrong with you!? That unicorn risked her damn life to save our town AGAIN last night! She can't know everything you...you....damned foal!” Nopony said a word; to use such strong and harsh words was a clear sign that a pony was being dead serious and everypony knew that when an Apple was that serious, you listened. Applejack snorted in hate at the broken mare on the ground before running after Twilight.
Thankfully, Rainbow Dash had heard the outburst of the Apple and after getting a briefing of what had happened, flew off to alert the others of the group to find Twilight.
Day quickly turned to night before the others had begun to tire. “Applejack...she's a big girl...she can take care of herself until tomorrow.” Rarity said, holding up one of her aching hooves.
“Ah know that! But ah'm not stoppin' till I find her!” With her last exclamation, the stubborn earth pony ran deeper into the Everfree where an older stallion had said he saw Twilight run into. Applejack ran for what seemed like an eternity before she finally had to stop to catch her breath. “Dang it Twi...where are ya?”
As if to answer her question, a flash of light and the crashing of thunder filled the air, scaring the pony. A few drops of rain landed onto her face and Applejack cursed under her breath. “Gotta find shelter.” She glanced around quickly and all she could find was a cave that was nearby. She walked up to the cave and cautiously peered inside.
The only thing that peered back was pitch black darkness. “Well...here ah go...” With the lump in her throat swallowed and after pushing her hat further down onto her head, Applejack cantered into the darkness. She had taken no more than 6 steps in when a voice stopped her.
“Stop! Please...go away...” Applejack's eyes widened in joy as she ran deeper into the cave. “Twilight! Sugercube, I was so worried about ya. Please, just-” The orange pony's words were cut short as she ran into something solid. “Ow...Twilight? What's goin' on?”
“I put up a barrier...a monster like me should be separated from the rest of the world right?” The earth pony could practically feel the sorrow in her friend's voice.
“You ain't a monster Twi. You're my friend...now come on outta there.” Applejack said, pressing against the invisible wall. In the darkness, she could see Twilight's violet eyes looking back at her. “No...I can't...”
“Fine. If you won't come out, ah'll just come in!” Applejack took a step back, then dashed forward and pressed herself against the barrier. “It's no use...my magic is much too strong...” The student said dishearteningly. “Ah don't care!” Applejack continued to press herself against the barrier, hoping that she was making some kind of progress. After a few minutes, she heard a small cracking noise.
“Please Applejack, just go away!” Twilight was distressed by this point, evident by the shakiness in her voice. “No can do sugercube!” With one last push, the barrier shattered much like glass would and fell all around Applejack.
As soon as the shards quit falling and faded into nothingness, she ran straight to Twilight and pulled her into a hug. Twilight pushed and struggled against her friend, but to no avail.
“You aren't a monster Twilight.” With no other option, the unicorn bawled loudly and hid her face in the mane of her friend. Applejack just sat there, stroking her friend's back and giving words of comfort to the distraught pony. When Twilight's tears finally dried, she ended up falling asleep on Applejack.
The farm pony didn't mind at all, so after carefully removing her hat and mane tie, Applejack laid down and moved Twilight's head so that it would be resting on her stomach. The earth pony sighed and watched the rainfall outside the cave. It lasted well into the night and was still going when Twilight woke up. “Huh...Applejack?”
“Howdy sugercube. How ya feelin'?” The unicorn stayed silent. “C'mon Twi, talk to me.”
“I feel horrible. I caused a filly's death Applejack...that mare in town was right. I'm nothing but a-”
“That's a load of horse feathers and you know it. Yes, it is sad that a filly was...eaten by a pack of Timberwolves. But Equestria isn't entirely without danger. These things happen Twilight. It's just nature.”
“You don't understand! It was because of MY magic that she came out here in the first place. If I never would have shown off my magic-”
“Neither of us would be here right now. And ya weren't showin' off; you were protecting your home. Nopony could've saw this comin'.” Twilight jumped up and said, “I could have though! If I would have stopped to think of the consequences, then I could have saved her life!” Applejack stood up now and said, “Oh really? So you're sayin' that bein' eaten by an Ursa back then or Manticores yesterday would've been better?”
Twilight turned back around with tears fresh in her eyes. “NO! But if I could've just done something different...” The unicorn collapsed to her knees and just laid there, staring at the rock floor. “Listen Twilight, I think that if somethin' else would've been done, we wouldn't be here to talk about it. Now come on; else we end up like that filly and get eaten alive.”
“Good. Maybe a Timberwolf will come and rip me to shreds too...it's what I deserve.” Applejack grit her teeth and said, “Would you stop that? You aren't a bad pony Twilight Sparkle; nopony can predict the future like that.
Nopony knew that she would've came out here to be like you. You can't change what's already happened. And if you do decide to stay out here, what would everypony else think? What would our friends think?”
“They would all congratulate that mare on running a monster like me out of town. As for our friends....they'd be sad at first but after awhile they would think the same thing.” Applejack rose her hoof and lightly slapped Twilight.
“No! We would all be worried sick about'cha! Nopony would congratulate that mare. If anything, they'd send her away for makin' you leave and possible come to your death. You've become a part of our lives and we wouldn't dream of taking you out of it....we need you...I need you...”
The last few words stuck in Twilight's mind. 'I need you...' They played over and over as she tried to reach a conclusion that she already knew. “What...what do you mean you need me?” Applejack quickly looked away as a blush formed on her face.
“Well...it's just that...this past year and a half you've been with us...ah uh...sorta...maybe....fell...” The rest of the sentence was lost as the crack of thunder let them both know that rain was still falling. “I...I didn't catch that.”
“N-nothing. It was nothing.” Twilight frowned and said, “You're lying! You don't want to say anything because you're afraid that I'll zap you with magic! You see? I am a monster...even my friend is afraid of me...” Applejack tackled Twilight to the ground and held her down firmly while looking her straight in the eye.
“Ah am NOT afraid of you Twi! I'm just afraid of how you'll think of me...Ya see...ah've been watchin' you for awhile and ah've wanted to tell ya...but I didn't think now would be the best time...ah didn't want to seem like I was takin' advantage of ya during your crises and all...but at the same time, now would be a good time just because we're alone...”
Applejack's sentence died in her throat before she could finish. The two laid their for who knows how long before Applejack stepped off and away from Twilight. She walked to the edge of the cave and watched the rainfall while the lavender pony had yet to move.
'I don't understand...she keeps saying that everypony would miss me but when it comes to herself...she seems to emphasis it. Does she mean that she feels closer to me than our other friends do? How can she think like that? I'm a monster; a killer. How can she...wait...' Twilight looked back up and saw Applejack sneaking a look back at her.
The lavender unicorn saw the hint of redness on her face before she spun back around. 'I...I can't believe it. Applejack...Honest Applejack is in...love with me.'
“You...you can't do that.” Applejack turned and saw Twilight with her head down, shadows hiding her facial features. “What was that sugercube?”
“I said, you can't do that!” Twilight threw her head up and in a flash of light appeared right in front of the orange pony. “You can't just...follow me out here when I had planned to exile myself and just....LOVE ME!” Applejack stumbled back and fell into the rain on her back.
“I'm a monster Applejack! My magic is powerful enough to destroy all of Ponyville in one thought if I wanted to. I can kill hundreds of thousands of ponies if I so chose to, so WHY DO YOU LOVE ME?!” Twilight stepped closer with each word until she was standing above Applejack with tears mixed in with the rain.
“W-what do you-”
“Save it! I'm not an idiot Applejack! I may not have any experience with love but I know what it is and I know it when I see it! I've seen it my whole LIFE! Other ponies falling in love while I was alone and now I know why!” The unicorn stepped away and sniffled. “It's because I'm a monster...all those ponies know how dangerous I am and don't want to even be near me.”
As if to confirm this, Twilight's horn began to glow and with a wave of her head, a blade of pure magic energy flew in the arc she drew in the air and chopped with ease through more trees than Applejack could count. Then, a violet sphere formed in front of the magical pony and suddenly rushed just past Applejack's face, warming her whole body before moving on and erupting a few miles behind her. Twilight continued to show the destructive nature of her magic while tears flowed freely from her eyes.
“Twilight, stop!” Applejack ran at the unicorn and tackled her to the ground once again. “Let me go! Let me go or I'll-”
“You'll what?! I know for a fact that you wouldn't hurt your friends!” After swallowing a few lumps in her throat, Applejack took a deep breath and said, “And yes, ah love you...but that's not important now. Listen sugercube, while everypony else may not love you like I do, they'll still be mighty upset if you never come back.”
The farm pony lowered her head and rested it on Twilight's chest and listened to the rhythmic beating in her chest. “Ah also heard that monsters don't have a heart...but I can hear yours beatin' loud and proud.”
The unicorn tried to speak, but every time a word should've came out, a groan or silence would replace it. Applejack moved her head up and nuzzled Twilight's neck.
“Sugercube...please. If ya won't come back to town, at least come back to the cave.” Twilight looked away and after being allowed up by Applejack, solemnly walked back into the cave with the orange pony right beside her. They both laid back down and Twilight huddled as closely as she could to Applejack in complete silence. The two mares watched as the rain fell and were left with only their thoughts for conversation.
'What should ah do...This is NOT how ah wanted her to find out about how I feel about her...but it may be the only thing that helps me get her back ta town...Though, it may only make it worse.' Applejack thought, biting her lower lip in frustration. Twilight on the other hand, only thought of what she meant to Applejack.
'How can she love me? She's not totally different from everypony else. Well...technically she is, but...can I love her back? Am I allowed to after what happened in town or with that filly? Does she really want to be with me?' A small break in the clouds allowed for a sliver of moonlight to reach down and drape itself over Twilight's hoof. She watched as it got brighter for just a moment before fading back into darkness.
'This opportunity is like the moonlight...if I don't keep hold of it, it will slip away forever...'
“Yes sugercube?” Twilight sighed and turned to look at the farm pony. “Do you...do you really love me? And if you do, why? I'm nopony special.”
'Well, at least she doesn't think she's a monster anymore. That's a step in the right direction.' Applejack thought before answering the magic pony. “I do Twi, I really do. As for why...it's hard to explain. I'd like to say that the old saying of opposites attract is why but...that doesn't seem to do it much justice.
You see...when I first saw ya down on the farm, there was just this glow around ya that I couldn't unsee after ya left. As time went on, the glow never faded and you opened yourself up to us. You're smart, beautiful, a quick thinker...the list goes on and on. But whenever a flaw of mine showed itself, you just took it in stride and never once judged me and whenever one of your flaws showed, that was when I saw the real you.
Like anypony else, you just want somepony to be there for ya in a more than friendly way. Like, somepony to just lay with you until dawn without a word between ya and still be happy. What I'm tryin' to say is...ah love ya for just bein' you.” Twilight could see the warm smile and faint blush on Applejack's face as she finished her monologue.
“I see...” Twilight said nothing after that but simply buried her face in Applejack's neck.
“Thank you Applejack...I really appreciate this.” The Apple just lightly patted Twilight's head and said, “T'ain't no problem sugercube. Just doin' what anypony would do for her friend.” Twilight looked up and stared into the emerald green orbs that looked back at her.
“No...you're doing what any lover would do for the pony they loved.” With her sentence finished, Twilight closed her eyes and tenderly pressed her lips against Applejack's.
The farmer smiled as tears of joy cascaded down her face as she gently kissed Twilight back. When the two pulled away from each other, they saw that the storm had lightened to a very faint drizzle.
“C'mon...let's go back home.” The two stood up and as the stood at the entrance to the cave, Applejack took Twilight's hoof into her own and said, “And I promise ya...I won't let anypony ever hurt you again.”
With another kiss, the two walked into the Everfree and back towards Ponyville.
(Author's Note: Well, here's another one chapter made from random inspiration for you ponies. This time it was just from the thought that children are impressionable by everything they see so I wondered what kind of thing would happen if a filly unicorn wanted to be like Twilight. Anyways, I hope you like it and I'm really sorry if I screwed up Applejack's speaking and stuff. It's hard for me to capture her voice I guess would be how to put it. But, I digress...and with that, I'm out.)