Rarity slept badly that night, images of Applejack ran through her mind. They bucked trees with heart-shaped apples that shattered when they landed on the ground. Rarity watched in pain, feeling that each one was her heart. She turned away from the painful sight only to see the stallion of her dreams, Celestia's nephew.
you come to save me?" Rarity asked, a slight glimmer of hope welling inside her.
"I don't save fillyfoolers that would pick someone like her over me." The white stallion unicorn said, turning away from Rarity.
"But I would have left her in an instant to be with you in an instant!" Rarity called as the stallion slowly sank into the distance, though he didn't move his legs.
"That makes you all the more despicable." The unicorn's voice was loud in her ears although he was only getting further away. "If you commit to someone then you should stick with them, and if you don't love them then you shouldn't commit to them."
"WAIIIT!" Rarity called, galloping after the stallion. "Please, please don't go. I don't have anyone else to turn to
" The stallion faded into the darkness, and Rarity was alone.
The next morning Rarity woke with tears in her eyes. At first she didn't realize why she had been crying, or why she felt so miserable. Then she remembered her dream, and the night before. Applejack rejected her, why did Applejack reject her? The simple fact was that Applejack wasn't gay, and without the mutual attraction that was so prevalent in her books the romance could never work.
"Rarity? Do you remember what today is?" Sweetie Belle opened the door to her sister's bedroom. She was grinning as a loon, and she could hardly contain her excitement.
"Today? What about today?" Rarity asked, distracted by the filly's appearance.
"You mean you don't remember
?" Sweetie Belle said, her ears falling slightly.
"Oh, of course I remember." Rarity said, sliding out of her bed and quickly wiping the tears out of her eyes. "But perhaps you could remind me."
"Today was the day you said you were going to teach me more about being a designer!" Sweetie Belle said bouncing on the spot.
"Oh of course." Rarity said, patting her sister on the head. "Come on, I'll teach you more about proper sewing techniques today."
we worked on that LAST time. Teach me something different." Sweetie Belle said, her ears drooping again.
"Now Sweetie Belle, sewing techniques are important. If you don't have proper sewing techniques you can't be successful in putting a good dress together." Rarity said, pushing her little sister towards the sewing room of the shop.
" The little filly said in a defeated tone.
Rarity hoped that the lesson would take her mind off of rejection. For a time it did, but as she was teaching Sweetie Belle the proper way to do a bag stitch her mind was inadvertently reminded of the time she was lectured by Fluttershy, back when she made dresses for the Grand Galloping Gala. Thinking of Fluttershy made her think of the day before, the confession that Fluttershy made to her. Then the memory of the rejection returned.
Rarity tried to shake the memory but it stuck to her like some briar to her coat. She became less energetic in the lesson, repeating herself a few times and finally calling the lesson done early.
" Sweetie Belle said in a hurt voice. "We didn't work HALF as long as we usually do"
"I'm sorry Sweetie, I've just got my mind on other things right now." Rarity said sighing. It seems that my whole life is spiralling out of control.
Sweetie Belle stood there, looking at her sister trying to think what to do. Then it hit her as an enlightened look came over her face. She ran out of the sewing room, returning a short while later with a book. "Here Rarity, I know reading always cheers you up!" the filly said, laying the book at her sister's feet.
Rarity looked at the book. 'Double Standards in a Single Stable', Rarity hadn't read this book in ages and couldn't remember any details from it. This intrigued the white unicorn, most of her books had been perused so often that she had practically memorized them all. "Thank you Sweetie Belle." Rarity said, lifting the book with her magic and flipping through the pages.
"And while you're reading I can keep practicing and-" Sweetie Belle started.
"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" Rarity shouted, "Why don't you go off and find your friends?" Rarity pushed Sweetie Belle towards the front of the shop.
" Sweetie Belle said dejectedly, walking out of the front of the shop and stealing glances back at Rarity.
"Now, time to read." Rarity said heading back to her room. "See if Sweetie Belle picked out a good book."
Several hours later Rarity lay giggling on the bed, entranced in the book. She connected with the main character extraordinarily well, a beautiful young filly who was looking for love. The stallion who she had been going after for some time had finally outright rejected her, so she turned around and started going out with his new girlfriend. Rarity loved the drama, the passion as the main character toyed with her girlfriend's torn emotions of dating two ponies at once and the love that drove the main character to try and get the stallion's attention again. Her bedroom door opened, probably just Sweetie Belle returning home. How long had it been since she started reading?
"Rarity, we need to talk." Rarity's head turned around so fast she cricked her neck. Rainbow Dash was standing at her bedroom door.
"Rainbow Dash, oh darling you gave me a start." Rarity said, closing her book. "What is it you need to talk about?"
"Applejack." Rainbow Dash said in a flat tone. Rarity's once giddy heart dropped faster than she had when her wings burned up over Cloudsdale. "Listen, I don't know what got into you but I saw you run out of the party. By the time the party ended I figured you'd be asleep, then I thought I'd wait a while before coming to talk to you."
"Tal-Talk to me?" Rarity asked feeling slightly flustered. "Whatever do you want to talk to me about?"
"Well, first I want to say that I did warn you about Applejack." Rainbow Dash said walking a bit closer, "Applejack herself has told me that she isn't a fillyfooler. I trust her, she's never had reason to lie before has she?"
"No, she IS the Element of Honesty after all." Rarity said lowering her head. "I guess I should have listened to you."
"It's ok, what's more important is that you don't beat yourself up over it." Rainbow Dash said, putting a hoof on Rarity's shoulder. "Rejection is a natural thing for a fillyfooler, we can't always know who's like us and who isn't."
"But don't you understand Rainbow? Everypony but me has someone special to them. Twilight has two admirers, Fluttershy has a crush, you and Pinkie Pie have each other. I thought that since Applejack was also single that perhaps I'd have a chance with her." Rarity said reaching out from her bed and latching onto Rainbow Dash. "I'm going to die alone aren't I Rainbow? I'M GOING TO BE ALONE FORE-E-EVER!" The unicorn broke into sobs.
"What? Is that's what it's all about?" Rainbow Dash said a little surprised. "You really think that you're going to be alone forever? That a load of rubbish, you're not going to be alone forever." Rainbow extracted herself from Rarity. "Listen, if you need a girlfriend so badly I could introduce you to a couple of fillies."
"It can't be just anypony." Rarity said, "I need some colt or filly who is wealthy, well off, or otherwise extraordinarily famous, but I also need some colt or filly who is strong, hard-working, and can provide for me should I need it."
"Colt or filly?" Rainbow Dash asked raising an eyebrow. "Do mean to tell me you go either way?"
"Of course, much the best way to increase your chances don't you think?" Rarity said with a slight bat of her eyelashes. "Besides, does it really matter what gender the other pony is if true love is there?"
"Yes, I mean No, I mean, never mind." Rainbow Dash said waving her hoof around. "If you want someone hard-working and you can go for boys then why don't you go after Big Macintosh? He's single."
"While I won't deny his rugged good looks," Rarity said with a little gesture of her head, "He's a bit to
Extra-Large for my tastes. I mean even other colts look small next to him."
"Ugh, fine." Rainbow Dash said with a sigh. "Listen, I'll look around for somepony and set you up on a blind date."
"Oh that would be wonderful darling!" Rarity said rolling on her back. "When do you think you'll be able to tell me when the date is?"
"Sometime in the week." Rainbow Dash, turning towards the door. "Don't worry, I'll find you a pretty filly to go out with."
"Wait! Before you go I absolutely MUST know." Rarity said, rolling back onto her stomach. "What ever happened between you and Pinkie Pie?"
"Oh, we're officially dating now." Rainbow Dash said, blushing slightly. "She's actually not that bad all the time. She gets a bit excited and she is random as ever, but she's certainly an interesting date. We have another one planned tomorrow."
"I'm so happy for you." Rarity said with a smile, "I hope everything works out for you."
"Thanks," Rainbow Dash said. Rarity was just about to open her book again when Rainbow Dash came bursting back into the bedroom. "OH! I almost forgot, I completely FLATTENED that annoying braggart Trixie in a Race today." Rainbow Dash said with a grin. "It was awesome." Rarity glared at the rainbow-haired pegasus, who gave a weak laugh. "I'll just be going now
Rarity smiled and opened her book again. She knew that Rainbow Dash was doing her best, though it did seem a little odd that she was being so generous. Still, the offer was nice and just maybe that glimmer of hope would return. But for now her book would keep her entertained.
That night Rarity had another dream, this one more vivid than the previous one. She saw her friends all gathered around somepony on the ground. They were all crying, though she couldn't tell why. Applejack was closest to her, and as Rarity approached she heard the pony speak.
"Sarnit, if only she hadn't done it, if she hadn't been so rash." Applejack said tears running down her face. "And the last thing I ever said to her was rejection, how can I ever live with myself now?"
Rarity was intrigued, apparently some pony had died. As she approached all her friends disappeared aside from applejack. She saw who they were crying over, the shock translated to her mind as she staggered back. How could it be, how was she even seeing this?
Rarity hit the floor hard as she fell out of her bed, thrashing in the sheets. Her head poking out she looked out her window, morning. She untangled herself, quickly making the bed. She needed to find Applejack, she wanted to reassure the pony that everything was going to be right.
"Hey sis, why do you look so hurried?" Sweetie Belle said, watching as her sister came running out of her bedroom.
"Oh nothing, nothing." Rarity replied, her voice a little shrill as she tried to calm herself. It had been a dream, just a dream. But she still felt that she needed to talk to Applejack, to apologize to her. "I just need to see Applejack for a moment, just a moment, yes yes."
"Oh," Sweetie Belle said, frowning slightly. "Hey!" The filly's face lit up, "I bet Apple Bloom will know where she is!"
"Yes, I'm sure she would know but I don't know where Apple Bloom is either." Rarity said, irritation seeping into her voice.
"She'll be at the Cutie Mark Crusader Clubhouse! We were going to have a meeting there today!" Sweetie Belle said, "I'll take you there and you can ask her!"
"Very well Sweetie, lead the way." Rarity said, rolling her eyes.
"Follow me!" Sweetie Belle said running out of the Boutique and towards Sweet Apple Acres. Rarity followed her sister, not really sure where they were headed.
After a long walk through bushes and trees, and Sweetie Belle admitting she was lost at least once, Rarity was just about to turn around and go find Applejack on her own when Sweetie Belle called out. "WE'RE HERE!"
"Finally." Rarity said as the two unicorns emerged from the foliage. Rarity looked on the Cutie Mark Crusader's clubhouse frowning slightly. "This is your clubhouse?"
"Yes, don't you like it?" Sweetie Belle said, looking at her sister.
"Of course I like it." Rarity said walking closer. "It's
quaint, yes that's the word I'm looking for."
"SWEETIE BELLE! There you are!" Apple Bloom's face appeared from over the side of the porch.
"Did she get lost again?" Scootaloo's voice came from inside the clubhouse.
"I DID NOT!" Sweetie Belle called back, "I brought Rarity with me because she wanted to ask Apple Bloom something."
"Rarity wanted to ask me something?" Apple Bloom asked looking at Sweetie Belle.
"I'm right here you know
" Rarity said looking up at the little earth pony. "And yes, I wanted to know where Applejack was, I need to talk with her."
"Oh, well she's probably in her room." Apple Bloom said, putting a hoof to her chin and thinking. "Just go into the house, main hallway third door on the left."
"Are you sure that Applejack would be alright with you just giving out where her room was to anypony?" Rarity said raising an eyebrow.
no, but you're not just Anypony." Apple Bloom said looking at Rarity. "I'm sure she won't mind. Now come on Sweetie Belle, you're already late."
"See you later Rarity." Sweetie Belle said cantering up the ramp to the club house.
Rarity waved heading back towards the Sweet Apple Acres primary orchard, and Applejack's house. The way back went about as well as the journey to the clubhouse, only Rarity admittedly went as slowly as possible so not to tangle her hair or scratch her coat. She finally found her way into less over-grown areas and was soon in front of Applejack's house.
Well Rarity, time to apologize. The white unicorn thought, taking a breath before entering the house. It almost seemed larger on the inside than it did outside. Immediately she was greeted by pictures all over the walls, each one filled with ponies that Rarity did not recognize. More of the Apple Family Rarity thought to herself. It's even larger than I imagined.
The white unicorn walked past the stairs, and just past them was a T that lead into what she assumed was the main hallway. Rarity looked down each side, the path to the left only had two doors on the left while the path on the right had four doors. Right is always right I suppose. She thought to herself walking down the hallway and stopping before the third door to her left. It was slightly ajar and Rarity opened the door gingerly. She didn't want to interrupt Applejack if she was doing anything.
"Applejack?" Rarity asked, walking into the room. She gasped, most of the room was filled with trophies, likely from Rodeos that the orange earth pony had won in the past. Over the bed hung a large picture of a dusty orange colt with a dirty-blonde mane and what was clearly a very young Applejack. The colt was wearing Applejack's hat, and had one hoof wrapped around the filly. Rarity tore her gaze from the picture, and continued to look for Applejack. She wasn't there, however the bedside table had a book laying open on it. Intrigued Rarity trotted over and took a glance at it.
Cogsnarnit, why can't I get Rarity out of my mind? Ever since she asked me out during that party for Trixie I've been thinking about her offer-
Applejack's Diary! Rarity thought, backing away from the book. She shuddered at the thought of what Applejack would say if she knew that someone was reading her private thoughts. However the small glimpse had intrigued Rarity; Applejack couldn't get Rarity out of her mind, but why? Rarity's curiosity overwhelmed her and she stepped back to the book and continued to read.
-Seriously. But I can't just come out and tell everypony I'm gay, what would Big Macintosh think? And pappy, he always said that the natural order of things was a filly and a colt being together and that anything else was unnatural. But I just can't help it; I just can't look at boys that way. Perhaps Rarity asking me was my chance to truly come clean once and for all, to stop tearing myself up about it and stop lying to everypony. Some element of honesty I am, hiding like this. I'd accept Rarity's offer if only I wasn't so afraid of what Big Macintosh would say, or what pappy would do if he was still here. Then there's Rainbow, another pony I can't get off my mind.
Rarity blinked, the entry just ended. Applejack couldn't get Rainbow off her mind? Did she mean Rainbow Dash? Did this mean that Applejack cherished secret feelings for the pegasus? But she also was thinking about Rarity, did this mean that Rarity had a chance if she simply confronted the earth pony about what she had read? While Rarity didn't like the idea of her friend finding out about having her privacy invaded, Rarity also didn't like the idea of Applejack lying either.
"Well Rarity, it's up to you to set your friend straight." The white unicorn said to herself walking out of Applejack's room, making sure to close the door behind her. On her way out of the house Rarity noticed a certain blue pegasus pony and a rather bubbly pink earth pony standing outside the house.
"Pinkie, are you sure the map leads this way?" Rainbow Dash said hovering over Pinkie Pie. The two ponies were apparently reading a map of some sort.
"Of course silly, see? That's Sweet Apple Acres right there." Pinkie Pie said, pointing to a spot on the map.
"Yes, but the line goes PAST Sweet Apple Acres, not through it." Rainbow Dash said in an exasperated tone. "And you still haven't told me why we're following some map you drew years ago for our date today."
"Some date you are Rainbow Dash." Rarity huffed, "Complaining about the host's choice of plans. You should be more lady like and just enjoy her company."
"Oh hi Rarity!" Pinkie Pie said as Rainbow Dash gave a startled cry and spun in the air. "Rainbow Dash and I are going on a Treasure Hunt! Only I don't know what the treasure is, but that's part of the fun right?" The pink pony looked over at Rarity with a large grin on her fact. "I found this map while cleaning out my room at Sugar Cube Corner, and I thought 'Where could this map lead?' So I thought it'd make a good date to go on with Rainbow Dash! Since she loves adventure so much."
"Yeah, but you keep making strange detours instead of just going along the lines." Rainbow Dash said with a sigh. "Though this date did start off with something interesting on its own."
"Oh? What was that?" Rarity asked, her interest piqued.
"Trixie," Rainbow Dash said simply. "Before I met up with Pinkie Pie she came up to me and apologized."
"Really?" Rarity said flabbergasted. "Well I'm rather impressed with that."
"ALRIGHT! I KNOW WHERE TO GO!" Pinkie Pie shouted, bouncing up. "THIS WAY!" The pony stored the map back into one of her saddle bags and galloped off.
"Pinkie Pie! That's AWAY from the line!" Rainbow Dash called, before sighing and flying after her. "She is so random."
Rarity giggled to herself, but she still needed to find Applejack. Well, any direction is better than no direction Rarity thought, picking a direction and cantering off. Before long she could see Applejack's outline in the distance, along with another pony that she couldn't place off the top of her head.
"Applejack! There you are." Rarity approached Applejack and the other pony. Applejack and the pony turned to look at Rarity. Closer up Rarity recognized Trixie, though it was clear the other unicorn wasn't looking for trouble of any sort. "Oh and Trixie too. I ran into Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, Rainbow said you apologized to her! I'm rather surprised."
"Yes, and I was actually looking for you as well." Trixie said with a smile on her face. Rarity thought it looked rather forced, and she remembered how she re-introduced the blue unicorn to Ponyville. "I just wanted to say, I'm sorry. I want to start over, will you give me that chance?"
"Of course darling, just a fresh start." Rarity said waving one of her hooves around, "And I think Applejack needs to do the same thing."
"Wha? What do ya mean?" Applejack said looking at Rarity.
"I was just in your room, looking for you." Rarity said.
"WHAT IN TARNATIONS WERE YOU DOING IN MAH ROOM?!" Applejack blew up advancing towards Rarity. "That room is supposed to be private; I can't just let any pony wander in."
"I'm sorry, but I asked Apple Bloom where you were and she said you were in your room." Rarity said, tossing her mane and looking as dignified as she could. "But that's not the point, when I went into your room I noticed your diary on your bedside table."
" Applejack said her eyes opening in horror. Rarity felt slightly guilty at the look on Applejack's face but she plowed on.
"Only a peek, and I have to say I'm surprised that the spirit of Honesty would lie like you did." Rarity said glaring at Applejack. "How could you?"
"Lie!? I didn't tell no lie, you're making that up." Applejack said, pointing a hoof at Rarity.
"Well, I'm just going to go now
see you both around" Trixie said with a nervous laugh. Rarity ignored her, focusing on Applejack.
"I saw what you wrote, I know your secret." Rarity said, her brow furrowed. "You can't keep lying to yourself and to your friends."
"I told you I ain't lying about nothing!" Applejack said, snorting in frustration.
"I know you're a fillyfooler, you said so in your diary." Rarity said, "Quit lying about it."
"I AIN'T NO FILLYFOOLER!" Applejack shouted, "I told you mah barn door just don't swing that way."
"And what would Big Macintosh do if she knew that you kissed a girl?" Rarity asked, taking a step forward. She was intending to have a kiss, just a quick one, to bind Applejack to either confess herself, or have the rumour that she was a fillyfooler and had kissed Rarity spread around Ponyville. She did not expect Applejack's reaction.
" Applejack said in a determinably calm voice, "That you only had a glance. How could you have known about Ginger Snap if you hadn't read more? HOW MUCH DID YOU READ?"
"Ginger Snap?" Rarity asked, backing up slightly at Applejack's fury. "Wha-what do you mean?"
"Don't play dumb with me, if you read mah diary you'd know that Ginger Snap was the first girl I ever kissed. She was the only thing that I liked about Manehattan, but we never kept in contact." Applejack was bearing down on Rarity now. "Just how much did you read?"
"Just the page that was open." Rarity said looking slightly worried. "Honest!" However as Applejack glared at her she realized how her failed plan had ended up working in the end. "Though that was an interesting titbit you told me about, what was her name? Ginger? Shame if Big Macintosh found out about it."
"You wouldn't dare." Applejack said with a glare, "You wouldn't dare."
"All this shouting is making me feel rather hungry." Rarity said putting her hoof to her forehead. "How about we go into town and have some lunch and we can talk some more there."
"No, we're going to settle this right here and right now." Applejack said, stamping her hoof.
"And risk Big Macintosh hearing us?" Rarity said with a slight smirk. "Or would you rather talk somewhere where most ponies won't care if they overhear."
"Fine fine, we'll go to town." Applejack said gritting her teeth. "I don't know why we can't just settle this here."
Rarity and Applejack found themselves a nice secluded corner in one of the cafés in Ponyville. Their orders had been placed, and Applejack was now glaring daggers at her unicorn friend. Rarity was only marginally troubled by this, she hoped that they'd be able to make up in time. Hopefully sooner than later, but I need her to come out first.
"Alright, so what is it you want?" Applejack asked, "What's so dang important that you've gotta blackmail me with it?"
"It's simple," Rarity said a wily smile on her face. "I want you to go on a few dates with me to learn being a fillyfooler isn't a bad thing."
"What!?" Applejack tried her best to keep from shouting. "You're doing all this just to get a date? Do you really think that's the best idea!?"
"Well, no I'm not only doing this just to get a date." Rarity said, "I'm trying to help you deal with your true feelings. Anyway it said in your diary you can't stop thinking about me, perhaps dating me will help you clear your mind of me." And perhaps it will make you think of me even more, and perhaps getting a little more serious. Rarity thought slyly to herself.
"And if I say no to this date of yours?" Applejack asked irritated.
"Then I go to Big Macintosh and tell him about Ginger Snap." Rarity said. A small part of her hated as she watched the conflict in her friend's face, but the larger part felt accomplished as she watched the answer form in Applejack's face.
"Alright, but only under one condition." Applejack said with a glare. Rarity had seen it coming, and she knew what the condition would be.
"Yes, if anyone asks we'll just say we're just friends." Rarity said with a slight smile.
"No, I don't really care about that." Applejack said. Rarity blinked, she hadn't been expecting that. "I just don't want you going around telling everypony that I've been a fillyfooler for life. I'd rather if we were caught that it's understood that I'm just experimenting."
"Very well." Rarity said, she understood. Most ponies who knew Applejack knew that the pony was hardworking, loyal, and honest. Applejack obviously didn't want her image tarnished with the idea that she had lied about being a fillyfooler. "So we can call our first date now? You can buy."
"Now just wait one apple pickin' minute." Applejack said but the Waiter came by at that moment.
"Your food Madams." He said, placing the meals in front of the two ponies.
"Now Applejack, getting the first date out of the way is important." Rarity said smiling.
"But I still have work to do." Applejack said frowning. "You can't just expect me to drop everything just to go on a date with you do you?"
"Of course not," Rarity said smiling. "I only expect it to be a short Date; just take me around Ponyville for a bit. Then we can both go back to work and we can work out a more substantial date out for next time."
" Applejack said, consigning herself to her food. Rarity giggled, things were going well so far.
After lunch Applejack took Rarity around Ponyville, the two didn't talk much at first but Rarity didn't like the silence. Plus, she had a question burning in her that she just had to ask. "So Applejack, what was your father like?"
"Pappy?" Applejack said, a shadow of sorrow crossed her face. "Pappy was a great pony, a Rodeo star but always still found time to take care of Sweet Apple Acres and his family. I just wish I could be half the pony he was." Applejack sighed as the pair walked into the park. "Pappy never did like fillyfoolers or coltcuddlers. He always said it was unnatural, always told me to watch out for them."
and how did he
die?" Rarity asked tentatively. She felt she was assuming quite a lot, perhaps Applejack's father merely left the farm in charge of Applejack and went off to pursue a larger career in the Rodeo.
"Rodeo accident." Applejack said, and Rarity was slightly startled to see tears in the orange pony's eyes. "A rope got caught around his neck and
" Applejack trailed off, tears running down her face. Rarity didn't need her to explain any further. "I was off in Manehattan at the time, by the time I got home I had already missed the funeral."
Rarity thought as she watched Applejack cry silently. The white unicorn didn't know what to do. She gingerly reached out a hoof and wiped away Applejack's tears. "We should be getting back." Rarity said with a small smile. "Before it gets too late."
" Applejack said with a small smile. "Rarity?"
"Yes Applejack?" Rarity said looking at Applejack. She was getting closer, closer. And then the kiss, warmth filled Rarity like she hadn't felt since her first kiss back when she was just a little filly. She held her breath, only exhaling when Applejack backed off.
"Thank you, perhaps this can work out after all." The earth pony said with a small smile. She trotted off, leaving Rarity utterly stunned.
Yes, this will work out just fine indeed. Rarity thought, turning away from Applejack a smile on her own face. She's so forward, I think I could get used to it.