“Oh god, not you too.” AppleJack winced at their pitiful tone of unisen.
“How are you feeling, sweetie?” Twilight Sparkle asked sweetly, trying not to sound overly brash.
“Stop. Please, Ah’ve gotten enough of this from Rainbow, Fluttershy and Pinkie. They’ve been up my ass all week. Barging in my house seeing if I might’ve killed myself.” AppleJack let them in and returned to her spot on the couch, watching the Equestrian News.
“We’re just worried about you! We wanna know if you’re okay and not…” Rarity trailed off, fiddling with a curl of her shimmering purple hair.
AppleJack groaned, looking up at the ceiling, “Ah don’t understand wha it’s such a big deal. So what? Ah ain’t pregnant. Isn’t that a good thing?”
“I guess, but…AppleJack we know that you were getting excited over a baby in the end! Rainbow Dash told us.” Twilight glanced nervously at Rarity and back to AppleJack.
“That girl needs to mind ‘er own business, is what she’s gotta do. And Ah wasn’t even that excited!”
“But still, darling, we know it’s a big ordeal when you think you’re pregnant then you’re not! First you’re life is going to change, then it’s back to normal, it’s a big shift!” Rarity argued.
“Ah thought Ah was pregnant. For a day.” AppleJack slapped her palms together in emphasis. She was getting sick of her friends coming over in sympathy. Giving her the same stretched greeting of pity. Treating her like she was a weak little baby bird. She was stronger than that, they knew her. Why was everyone freaking out? It was her baby, or, not her baby.
“But are you sure you’re okay? Aren’t you even kinda disappointed?”
“No! Me not bein’ pregnant is a good thing! Ah mean, ah’m not ready to have a kid! Ah’m still young, and it’s right before Apple Buckin’ season, so Ah don’t have to quit workin’ now. Ah won’t get all fat’n stuff. I don’t get to have Soarin’s baby. It all works out great!” AppleJack responded happily.
Twilight paused, imitating Rarity’s habit of tugging gently on her multi-colored locks, “Are you sure you’re okay, AppleJack? Have you talked to Soarin’ about it?”
AppleJack flushed suddenly, “Of course I did! He’s happy about it! Neither of us are ready, and now Ah don’t have to be commited to someone! Good things, gals!”
Rarity and Twilight Sparkle exchanged a quick look, “Uh, okay,” Twilight hesitated.
“Well, AppleJack, if you need anything, please don’t hesitate to ask!” Rarity chirped, giving Twilight and evacuation glance.
“Ah’m fine you guys! Don’t worry! Just go on with yer lives and leave me alone!” AppleJack said in a harsh, but friendly tone.
“Okay, AppleJack, we’ll see you later…” Twilight creeped out of of the house, Rarity trailing behind.
“Whatever.” AppleJack called and returned back to the week’s forecast. The edges of her mouth were turned down in an annoyed frown. The two girls retreated outside to a warm gust of morning heat. The aquamarine sky was clear from the white, transparent wisps of clouds that usually were scattered across it. The bright green leaves of the apple trees rustled with every small gust of summer wind and the emerald grass swayed like a music box ballerina. The hills surrounding the small town of ponyville rose like a moat around the town and the outskirts of the orchard. A veil of laziness draped across the entire farm like a cat basking in the sun. The two girls walked to the brass gates of the orchard out to the gravel -road that led to the orchard.
Rarity gazed up at the sky and sighed, “That poor thing. So headstrong that she can’t even accept our help! You can tell she’s suffering.”
“Maybe we’re over thinking this?” Twilight scuffed her flats as she walked, “AppleJack’s pretty darn good at taking care of herself, maybe she really is okay?”
“Oh no,” Rarity wagged her forefinger in Twilight’s confused face, “I’ve known AppleJack since we were in diapers. I know everything about that girl and she may seem okay but she is not. She’s disappointed in herself and Soarin’. You know the two of them are destined.”
Twilight scoffed, “I’m not sure, Rarity. She carries herself well. I trust the fact that if something was wrong she would tell us. That’s what friends do. And you know how AppleJack feels about Soarin’. They’re friends.”
“Twilight, please, stop with the friendship values, we’re all over it. And, yes, sure they’re friends. With benefits.”
Twilight cringed and slapped Rarity lightly on the arm, “You’re horrible!”
Rarity laughed, “I’m a hopleless romantic, I apologize!”
Lightning Blossom stepped up on her tiptoes to peer through the eyehole of the front door. She found, as she expected, Soarin’s face to be glaring at her. Lightning always double locked the door to make sure of not intruders and it was working. Soarin’ usually barged into the house and now he had to knock..over and over again.
“Who goes there?” Lightning lowered down to her height and tucked her wings back in their place.
“Answer the question!”
“Who do you think it is?”
“Oh…I’m not sure if daddy wants you in or not.” She said, innocently.
“Well tell ‘daddy’ to let me in!”
“I’ll go ask! I’ll be right back…” Lightning opened the door and slipped by Soarin’ who gave her an impatient look. The two of them had always had a long-going battle for the attention of her parents, but Lightning always won. She made a running start before leaping up into the air and flitted above the apple trees. With a bit of help from both her mother and Scootaloo, she was now a full-fledged flier, but she couldn’t get her license until she was ten. To be fair, she was sitting in the front seat since she was four years old so she didn’t really pay attention to the rules of flight. She spotted her father from above a swooped down to meet him near the center of the orchard.
“Daddy!’ Lightning called.
“Hey, kid,” Big Macintosh responded, picking up the last apple from the outskirts of the tree, “Somethin’ happen?”
“Soarin’ wants to come in and I’m worried he’s gonna steal everything. Should I tell mommy?” she asked, still hovering above him.
“Hmm,” Big Macintosh contemplated, “She’s over at AppleJack’s…how ‘bout I take a break and we’ll make sure to keep an eye on him when he comes in.”
Lightning saluted him, “Yes chief.”
The two of them weaved their way back to the house where Soarin’ was impatiently waiting at the door, clearly infuriated.
“Why are you like this?” Soarin’ said angrily.
“You can never be too careful. Especially with you around.” Big Macintosh answered, plainly.
“I am a good person! I’m a Wonderbolt! I’m Equestria’s favorite flier!” Soarin’ tilted up his head proudly which caused Lightning to tug her thumb and make a farting noise with her tounge.
“I’m surrounded by inferiors.” Soarin’ pouted while Big Macintosh unlocked the front door and let them in.
“Alright, you’re in Soarin’, what do you want?”
“Since you’re my best friend,”
“I wanted to ask you something,” Soarin flew onto a stool and Lightning pulled some lemonade out of the refrigerator.
“I feel like this could go two ways…but okay.”
“He’s gonna steal from us.” Lightning whispered, pouring herself a glass.
Soarin’ hissed at her exactly like a cat would, “My turn. I…have a confession to make..”
Big Macintosh lowered his eye lids curiously. Gay?
“I am in love with your sister!” Soarin’ announced loudly, slapping the counter with his fist
Lightning immediately spit-taked across the counter in surprise, causing Big Macintosh and Soarin’ to make a small movement backward. Moments went by of complete silence and thought until Big Macintosh began chuckling to himself.
Soarin’ turned a bright shade of crimson, “What the hell man! Both of you!”
Soon the both of them were in their own little fit of hysterics and Soarin’ spread his wings in intimidation.
“I considered you a brother!”
“Sorry,” Big Macintosh laughed, “It’s just the way you announced it and then Lightning...” he trailed off into more laughter.
“I AM SURROUNDED BY INFERIORS!” Soarin’ repeated himself and sucked in his breath, “Since your father isn’t here I thought it was only appropriate that I ask you, the man of the house, for permission.”
“Permission to what? Blast off?”
“Ew!” Lightning giggled.
“She’s seven years old! Why is she here?!”
Lightning coughed loudly, “I am EIGHT years old, thank you very much!”
“Like I give a crap!”
Big Macintosh grunted, catching their attention, “She’s here because you need her permission even more than mine. Take it away, kid.”
“What?!” Soarin’s mouth hung open as the eight year old cracked her knuckles.
Lightning gave Soarin’ a stare that could turn water into ice, “Look, you.” She said harshly, her voice sounding almost exactly like her mothers, “I don’t like you. We all know that. You’re a good for nothin’ flying club fuck that has a brain the size of a pea and we all know that, too.”
“Rainbow Da-I mean Lightning Blossom cannot tell me what to do! Stop this!” Soarin’ complained to Big Macintosh.
“I’ll allow it.”
“She’s cussing like her mother! She’s seven!”
“EIGHT. My turn to talk!” Lightning exclaimed, “Now listen. You seem to be able to piss over everything you touch but here’s one thing that you can’t mess with. Auntie AJ. She will fuck you up more than my mommy will if you break up with her. And even more than that, daddy will come kill you too!”
“This is so wrong.”
“If I let you date her you better know what the hell you’re doing! You already almost got her preggers and then just left ‘er! She’s all alone and sad! You’re sad! SAD. Stop sneaking around with random sluts and settle down! SO if I let you date her you gotta be faithful! Are you prepared?!”
“The judges will deliberate,” Lightning leaned in to her father and they started making whispering noises pretending to be having a conversation. Soarin’ rested him head on his palm in both boredom and annoyance.
“We have made a decision,” Big Macintosh announced in a serious tone.
Lightning paused before speaking, “Fine. You can date her. But any funny business and we’ll kill you.”
Soarin’ breathed through his teeth, “Fair. I won’t let you down.”
“You’d better not,” Big Macintosh said.
“Let’s go get this started.”
“WASH YOUR HANDS!” Lightning called after him.
“No!” Soarin’ was about to open the door before Rainbow Dash opened it herself and peered suspiciously up into his eyes. Rainbow Dash was shorter than everyone.
“Move it, jackass, it’s my house.”
Soarin’ ducked behind her, muttering something about how her and her daughter are too alike and zoomed off back up into the sky.
Rainbow Dash strolled into the house and sat down where Soarin’ was sitting by the counter, “It smells like dick in here. What did he want?”
“To date my sister.”
“Spit take! No way!”
“Yuh huh.” Lightning nodded.
“Did you take him down a notch?”
“Yuh huh.” She answered proudly.
“Good girl.” Rainbow Dash smiled, “But is he gonna ask her out?”
“I told him he could, no shit though,” Big Macintosh responded, “I don’t know why he felt the need to ask, he would’ve done it either way.”
“Maybe he’s planning something. He’s gonna steal from us. OR HER.”
“That’s what I said!” Lightning exclaimed both in happiness and defense.
“We gotta keep an eye on him.” Big Macintosh poured himself his own glass of lemonade, “Make sure he doesn’t do anything to AJ.”
“We’ll be like the secret police of the Second War of the Universe. Having eyes everywhere.” Rainbow Dash made herself glasses with her fingers.
“Lightning, go make sure that Soarin’s off the property so that we can plan our first attack.” Big Macintosh ordered. Lightning saluted him once more and flew out the door in a flash.
“So,” Big Macintosh turned to his wife, “How’s AppleJack doing?”
“The same,” she huffed, “She’s in complete denial about her feelings. She’s damn stubborn. She was super excited about the kid, she can’t just stop like that.”
“She’s always been that way. She balls up her feelings and pretends that they don’t exist. She’s very good at holding grudges.” He replied, wiping his nose with the back of his hand.
“See?!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, suddenly, “You are getting sick! What did I tell you?”
“I’m not getting sick,” Big Macintosh said, calmly, “I wiped my nose, everyone does it.”
“No way!” she said, “You’re totally getting sick! You’ve sneezed thrice today! THRICE.”
“Dude, stop worrying, if I was sick, I would know. I’m fine. I’m never sick.”
“Well I know! It’s because you’re always walking around in your boxers early in the morning!”
“But it’s still cold in the mornings! All of your anti-sickness moments are gonna come back and getcha! And when they do, I’m not gonna make you soup cuz I was right!”
“You have to make me soup! What’s gonna make me feel better?”
“Nothing! Proves that you need to wear more clothes in the morning!”
“I’d prefer you wear less clothes in the morning!”
Rainbow Dash growled at him, “I’m not kidding!”
“Neither am I!”
“You’re gonna get sick!”
“No I’m not! Stop freaking out!”
“Let’s have another baby!”
Suddenly, the sound of silence flooded the room. Big Macintosh paused, letting the words sink in. It was a lot, those four words. They had Lightning at a young age, now that they were older maybe it was time that they did it right. He just didn’t really have an idea of what to say. He couldn’t really put the right words together. He was surprised that she had brought it up so abruptly. She had definitely caught him off guard, if that was what she was aiming for.
Rainbow Dash’s face immediately turned a bright shade of crimson, “I-I didn’t mean-”
“Well let’s get started then.”
It was late afternoon and the clouds had started to appear in light shades of pink and copper, the sun peeking out from behind a larger clump of cotton. The same veil hung over the orchard but it felt heavier as the sun grew closer to the tips of the hills. AppleJack lay on her bed inside the farmhouse, doing nothing but feeling the emptiness of the rooms and staring at the celing. She had a million of thoughts jumbled in her head as she tried to organize them but couldn’t put them in a sequence. She was sick of her friends coming over and doing favors for her like she was going to break at any moment. The more that she repeated to her friends ‘Ah’m fine,’ ‘Ah’m fine,’ ‘Ah’m fine,’, the words seemed to blend together and sound weird. Was she really fine? She could remember angrily shoving those baby magazines into a back drawer. She was back to the same routine. Work, sleep, drink, eat, work, work. Over, and over, and over again. It didn’t feel good. It made her feel sick. It made her want to throw up. It felt horrible.
AppleJack flipped over onto her stomach and buried her head in one of the pillows on her bed. She felt tired. She couldn’t remember feeling so tired. She thought about her life. Her mom was dead. She had no idea where her dad was. Her sister wasn’t her sister. She couldn’t keep in a relationship. A GOOD relationship at that. She was almost pregnant and she was in love with an idiot. She couldn’t admit that, though. Why was she like this? Did she do something? She worked hard; she was nice, caring, honest, helpful. Why did she hate herself? Could she just take a break from life for a second or just lie here forever? She felt tears beading at the corners of both of her eyes and motor-boated the pillow to get them away. No tears.
She lay there for a couple more minutes so that her thoughts became their own copper clouds at the sides of her brain until she heard a tapping noise against her window. The tapping noise repeated itself until she sat up, annoyed, and looked out the window to where Soarin’ was staring at her seriously and tapping the window with his fingernail. She walked over to the window in a huff and reluctantly opened it. The bright twilight light burned her eyes. Soarin slammed through the window frame into her room and sat on top of her dresser with his wings still spread out in back of him like a fan. His face was unreadable though his dark green eyes flickered.
“What do you want?” AppleJack asked, sitting back down on her bed.
“I’m Peter Pan, AJ.”
“I’m Peter Pan, bringing you off to Neverland.”
“Oh god, did you smoke something?” AppleJack grabbed her hat and plastered it back on her head.
“No!” he shook his head, agitated, “It’s a non-literal expression!
“Ah’m not in the mood for riddles Soarin’,” AppleJack laid back down on the bed, exhausted. She could feel Soarin’ staring at her. She was sick of everyone, she didn’t know why. She just wanted to disappear. Or scream. Both.
Suddenly, she felt Soarin’ yank her up by her arm and dragged her out of her bedroom and into the hallway, ignoring her constant exclamations of questions and profanities. He guided her down the stairs, through the main room, out the door and leaped up into the open air. AppleJack shrieked loudly and clutched his arm for her life and still felt helpless against being kidnapped.
“SOARIN’! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YER DOIN’!” she demanded.
“I told you!” Soarin’ responded, yelling over the air passing fast by them, “I’m Peter Pan! Imma take you to Neverland!”
AppleJack stared up at him with a combination of disbelief, rage, and fear, “Y-yer CRAZY!” she yelled up and him but he only winked at her.
AppleJack’s whimpers died down but as soon as she looked back down at the ground below her she continued to shriek more. She heard Soarin yelling down at her not to look down but the more she tried not to the more she was tempted. The constant turbulence and dips of the flight made her feel both terrified and completely sick. As they flew higher into the atmosphere AppleJack felt her hat loosening from her grip. She tried to grip Soarin’ and grab her hat at the same time but then felt herself slipping from his hold and screamed her head off. She felt her hat fly off her head and felt her heart jump as she shrieked at Soarin’ to bring her back home. He noticed her hat flapping and jumping through the clouds and suddenly released AppleJack completely. He zoomed back down through the clouds after the hat and AppleJack almost felt like she blacked out from her screams as she fell through the copper and pink clouds. She felt the tears spilling down her cheeks and the only thing she could think of was death. She felt like she was falling for hours without noticing that Soarin’ had already grabbed her and was carrying her up through the air back on the previous track or the fact that she was clutching her hat back into her chest. Though she ducked her head under Soarin’s chin and clasped her eyes shut she still couldn’t help but whimper through the entire death flight through the clouds.
“Alright, Wendy, we’re here.” AppleJack opened her eyes after what seemed like eons one by one and found the pastel clouds below Soarin’s feet from where he was carrying her. She was surprised that the clouds were much further away than they seemed. She felt terrified and relieved, but still hung onto him for dear life, clutching her hat with the other hand. Never again. Ever. She was grateful that she was wingless.
It took her a couple seconds to catch her breath, “B-but I can’t walk on clouds!”
“On these ones you can. These aren’t Cloudsdale Clouds, they make the ones during the day, but these are different cuz they’re thinner.”
“That would make it even harder to walk on ‘em!”
“Don’t worry! You’ll be fine! Get off!” Soarin’ nudged her out of his arms which just made her hold on tighter.
“Ah’m gonna fall!”
“AppleJack, I’ve been up here a million times! I know my stuff about clouds.
She paused, “Ah...” she hesitated before lowering her boot onto the cloud. Realizing it had a firm sponginess to it; she jumped down onto it and stumbled onto her knees. She felt like she was sinking, but she stayed in her place on the soft surface. She gasped at the landscape of opaque clouds that floated in a mountain above the two of them. The clouds caused orangey-pinkish bird feathers and blobs of oil paint across the wide pastel streaked sky. She felt light as a feather and like she could see miles of the clouds that would build up near their bases and fly away into the sunset. The files of colors stretched through the clouds and across the universe.
“Wowie...” AppleJack smiled in deisbelief, “Those clouds looks amazin’!”
“Uh huh,” Soarin’ agreed, sitting down next to her, “I like to come up here...and think about things. Life. My job. Things.”
“You’re right,” Soarin’ agreed, making AppleJack laugh, “No, but really, I like it up here! It’s peaceful! I’ve never brought anyone up here before.”
“Why?” AppleJack asked but Soarin’ only shrugged.
“Dunno. No one’s been worthy of Soarin’ Skies special spot.”
Soarin’ paused, glancing at his feet and back to the skyline, “I guess...I thought will the whole baby thing you might wanna see it.”
AppleJack groaned, “Ah’m so sick of everyone brining up the baby thing. It’s over, everythang’s back to normal.” Her voice changed tone when she said ‘normal.’
“Normal sucks sometimes, though,” Soarin’ said, “The same thing over and over, something change is good.”
“Not a baby,” she continued, “It’s fine...plus you must be relieved, too, cuz you wouldn’t want a baby holdin’ you down. Soarin’ can’t stop flyin’.” She gave a small, timid laugh.
“I dunno...” Soarin’ quietly sucked in his breath, “It may not be that bad. Besides puking a stuff, it might be fun to have a baby.”
AppleJack stared at him in disbelief, “Are you kidding? You with a baby?”
“Well remember when Rainbow Dash had Lightning, and when we got to your house I said that I wanted to have my own baby, and you said that-”
“You were crazy?”
“Yes. But I was serious! I wouldn’t mind having a little Soarin’ flying around the house.”
“Soarin’, you can’t be so sure that if someone had your baby, it would be a boy or even a Pegasus.”
“A guy can imagine.”
“The irony is that Lightning isn’t exactly a big fan of you.” She smiled a toothy southern grin.
“Lightning’s a bitch!” Soarin’ exclaimed and AppleJack went into a fit of laughter, “She hates me! She’s exactly like her mother!”
“It runs in the family!” AppleJack chucked, “And yer ‘er cousin and yer a dick!”
“Third cousin is different! Just look at you and Braeburn. You can’t bash me for hating Lightning when-”
“Yea, we’re not gonna talk about that.” AppleJack and Soarin’ sat in awkward silence, staring at the exploded streak of sunset. The pastel eruption had turned into a dance of bright reds and pinks. The clouds began to drink up higher into the sky and evaporate into the open air.
“W-what made it seem like you were pregnant before? It’s a pretty hard thing to get wrong.”
AppleJack sucked in her breath sharply, “Well, it’s kinda a funny story. You remember the waiter at that restaurant?”
“The douche, yea?”
“Well, turns out that the wine that he gave me had bull semen in it. For it’s taste.”
“Actually? What the hell are French people drinking?!”
AppleJack chuckled to herself, “The worst part was that it was actually pretty good wine!”
He’ shook his head, “I knew there was somethin’ up with that guy.
They returned to silence as they watched the sky slowly become darker and the clouds spread out across space.The colors became cooler and the air got a chill, causing the hair on the back of Soarin’s neck to stand up.
“Look,” Soarin’ continued, the tenseness overt in his voice, “I wanted to talk to you.”
AppleJack felt her intestines knot up, “There’s really nothin’ to talk about, Soarin’. The date didn’t work out, Ah’m not pregnant. We tried to date, we failed. There was a car wreck, everything’s fine now.”
“But it’s not fine, AppleJack. Have you even looked at yourself? You’re scaring everyone! You don’t look like AppleJack, you look tired. You look sad. I saw you lying there, you looked miserable! That’s why everyone wants to help, they want you to be AppleJack again!
AppleJack looked down at her knees to hide the crimson in her cheeks. She didn’t like making her friends feel like they had to help her. She noticed that her clothes looked a bit wrinkly and her skin looked paler and pastier.
“You can’t keep denying that you’re not happy, cuz you’re not fine!” Soarin’ continued, “I’ve been stupid, alright? I should’ve actually had a real conversation with you about it instead of talking to you on the phone like a coward. You can’t just pretend that you’re fine about not being pregnant when a couple hours before you found out you were excited about it. There’s not a switch you can flip. You can’t be so stubborn and not let anyone in because if you’re lonely, you need someone....I wanna be someone.”
AppleJack let his words sink in for a moment, “Ah’m...not lonely. Ah don’t need anyone. Ah’m fine by mahself. It’s just a baby...why do you wanna be someone?”
“...I know I’m a douchebag sometimes...I don’t mean it but it’s just how I am. But for some weird reason...you seem to be the only person that I can’t get out of my head. I don’t know why but you are. I hate seeing you sad like this because when you’re happy you just light up a room. And it sucks that you haven’t been able to be the same person since this baby and it’s because of me that things can’t go back to normal between us. It’s my fault that all this has happened and I wish that I wasn’t such an idiot.”
“It’s not your fault...” AppleJack said quietly, however she knew he was right.
“I just feel...things..about you. I sneak around with a bunch of girls and I don’t know why because I hate it. I’ve never felt the way I feel when I see you with anyone else. But...I’m a coward because I’m to nervous to come up to you are really ask you out without making a joke out of it. I don’t really know how to put words together to really talk about it but...I-”
“Soarin’,” She interrupted abruptly, “Ah don’t really know where this is goin’ but you need to know that Ah’m a train wreck. You really don’t wanna get involved in this. Ah forgive you for what happened, but Ah’m really just sick and tired of this. Y-yer right. I haven’t been normal...but Ah just need time. Ah can’t really get involved with anyone right now. You know Ah really like you...Ah’m just not sure if Ah...love...you.”
“Then why am I always the first person you call if something goes wrong? Why are you always calling me and inviting me over?”
“Ah don’t know why alright?!” she suddenly exploded, “Ah don’t know why Ah am the way Ah am! Ah don’t know why and Ah hate it! Ah don’t know who Ah am, what Ah’m doing, why the hell Ah’m like this, but Ah hate it! It’s like one day can’t go by where somethin’ doesn’t screw up or somethin’ bad happens! Mah life is a mess! Ah can’t do anything right! Ah don’t know why ah’m like this or what Ah’ve done for this! But for some crazy reason when Ah see you Ah just feel...somethin’! Ah don’t know what it is but it’s just weird! Ah don’t know if it’s good or bad but things are just...things! Ah don’t know whether Ah feel better when Ah see you...or Ah feel horrible.”
“Ah know it’s cruel to just leave you hangin’ and not give you a straight answer but...I can’t control the way Ah feel around people and Ah always end up screwin’ somethin’ up. Ah don’t want somethin’ to happen between us and we’re not gonna be able to go back to bein’ friends if we start datin’. Ah care too much about you to hurt you or you to even hurt me. Ah just have no idea how Ah feel and...” she trailed off, the hurt and strain visible in her voice.
Soarin’ paused for some time, collecting his thoughts, “I’m screwed up too, but I think that’s what makes it work. You don’t have to worry about me. I’ve hurt so many people that I’m pretty much numb to everything...but your life isn’t a mess. I know your life had been tough, but your much luckier than a lot of people out there. You have an awesome family that loves you, and really cool friends. You own a giant farm, your family’s pretty much loaded. Your mom is dead, but you’re already was stronger than most people would be if it happened to them. I mean, you’re a badass! And that’s coming from me. You don’t need anyone as a crutch! But sometimes, it’s nice to have a shoulder to cry on if you can’t take it. If you don’t wanna date me, that’s cool. I just wanna know that you’re gonna feel better soon, cuz I’m not used to this sad AJ. I miss the old AJ that would scold me if I did something wrong and not give a crap about anyone. That’s the old AppleJack that everyone’s crazy about, it’s the old AppleJack..i’m crazy about.”
AppleJack turned her head and looked at him in the eye for the first time the whole afternoon, “D-do you..love me?”
Soarin’ released his breath, “Yea...I guess so...do you love me?”
The sky had turned a red-violet color and the first stars beaded the sky above them. The electric reds and hot pinks escaped the clouds and the shimmering light glowed behind the hills, casting a shadow across the ground below them. They both sat in silence, thinking of what to say next. Not really sure if there was anything else to say. Not sure if they wanted to say anything.
“This feels weird.”
“So, are we dating now?”
“Are we supposed to?”
“I think. You love me right?”
“Oh, guess not.”
“No! Ah-Ah didn’t mean that! Ah mean yes!”
“No, you were right. We don’t love eachother.”
“Yer right, that’s crazy.”
“NO! What are you saying?!”
“Ah’m agreeing with you!”
“I love you!”
“No you don’t!”
“Crap, you’re right.”
“NO! I love you too!”
“Ah don’t know! This is stupid!”
“I love you!”
Soarin’ yanked AppleJack’s face close to his and pressed his lips on hers tenderly. AppleJack’s eyes were wide with surprised but then flittered shut and she wrapped her arms around his neck. They continued in this embrace as the stars spilled across the dark dusk sky as the shadows crossed the lands of Equestria below the two of them, as if they were the only ones left in the world.