Applecores and Rainbows
Birds gently called out the sun's rise outside of the Apple home. Dash drifted back into consciousness as hooffalls drew near from the hall. She could smell a meal being cooked from somewhere downstairs. Breakfast in bed, she thought. Sounds great.
"Mmm, good morning, babe," the pegasus responded blissfully, hugging the mare between her and the wall beside the bed.
Dash slowly opened her drowsy eyes. Sure enough, the golden mane of her partner was before her. If it wasn't AJ entering the room, then...
"Well, mornin' to you too, Rainbow." Big Macintosh responded from the foot of the bed, a chuckle in his voice.
Dash immediately shot to attention, rolling off the bed with a loud thud as she hit the floor. "OH! Uh, Big Mac!" She tensed at the sight of the stallion. "Uh, I was just... sleeping over for the night." Her eyes must have been as wide as saucers.
Applejack shuffled on her side of the small bed, turning her face from the wall. "Ugh... What's all the racket?" Quickly, the mare found the bright morning light to be a nuisance.
Big Macintosh pushed a tray he had placed on the corner of the bed forward. "Ah just thought you two'd like somethin' fer breakfast."
AJ scrutinized the meal before her. Her head was plagued by a dull, persistent throbbing. On one plate, positioned to Dash's side, sat an apple and a stack of maple syrup topped pancakes. On AJ's side, however, sat a sliced orange and mug of black coffee.
"What the hay is this?" Applejack replied to the dish before her. "Yer givin' me an orange fer breakfast? You big oaf, oranges ain't apples!"
Big Macintosh seemed unfazed by the small insult. "Oranges're good fer the hangover after a night'a drinkin'. So is coffee. Trust me, you'll thank me fer it."
"What's a 'hangover?'" the orange pony asked, oblivious to the affliction she suffered.
"Does it feel like ya got a swarm'a bees buzzin' in yer head?" the red stallion asked.
AJ massaged her temples in small circles. Oh, yeah, it definitely felt like that. "So this's what Ah get fer drinkin' that stuff. Wish somepony would'a told me. Give me that dang orange." As much as she disliked the sour fruit, she was willing to do anything to get rid of the headache. "Hey, how'd you know Ah'd been drinkin'? Or that Dash was here, fer that matter?"
It was a good question, Dash remarked. She had thought they had entered stealthily enough, though the more she reflected on it, the more she began to remember clambering about on the stairs with the earth pony.
Big Macintosh smiled. "Ah heard the two'a ya come in last night. And you was either drunk, or had one'a yer hooves tied to ya." He turned to the pegasus. "You gonna eat yer breakfast?"
Dash caught herself squirming under his gaze. "Uh, yeah, sure!" She looked to AJ, a nervous smiled brimming on her face as she tried to cover up the scene. "That, uh, that sure was one great sleepover, wasn't it AJ? Haha!"
AJ laughed softly, trying not to upset her demanding headache. "Sure was, there, Feather-Flank." She leaned over, kissing the pegasus lightly on the nose. "By the way, Dashie, Big Macintosh already knows about us. Ya ain't gotta worry about him."
Dash was lit with a blush by the affectionate kiss. She turned incredulously to the red stallion.
"Eeyup," he replied. "Ah'll leave you two t' yer breakfast. By the way, AJ, it's yer turn to sweep out the barn today."
AJ drank a bit too heavily from the mug of coffee at the notice. "What?! Ah did it last time! It's yer t-" She suddenly remembered the arrangement from yesterday, and how his chores were now hers. "Aw, dangit. Yer right. Just let mah head quiet down a little first, would'ya?" She swore she would never drink alcohol again.
The large pony left the couple, shutting the door behind himself.
Dash still sat on the floor, taking a bite of the apple she had taken from the tray. "So, how long has he known?"
AJ finally put away the last of the bitter brew in her cup. "Well, really, he knew before we did. After ya asked me out, Ah needed advice. Ya don't mind, do ya?"
Dash smiled. "Hey, if he's the reason you ever went out with me, I'm fine with it!" This brought up another concern. "Which reminds me, AJ, did you really mean what you said last night?"
Applejack squinted as she bit into more sour orange pulp. "Which part? Ah'm not even sure Ah remember all'a the night."
"You said you didn't mind your family knowing about us," Dash recalled.
AJ winced a bit at the comment. "Well, Dashie... maybe. A lotta that was the wine talkin'."
Rainbow Dash had feared the answer, deflating a bit as the notion slipped from her. "Hey, I understand. It's cool."
AJ felt her heart break at the sight. "No, it ain't." She loved the pony, she knew, but was still fighting away her own worries. An idea came to her. "How about we start with our friends? It's about time we tell'em anyway, ain't it?"
Dash livened up at the mention. "You mean that AJ? Are you sure you're ready?" As much as she wanted to open up more, Dash knew what that could mean. She was used to being called a 'fillyfooler' from Flight School. She was used to the negative reactions. She didn't want AJ throwing herself into anything she didn't feel up for.
Applejack smiled at the reinvigorated pony. "Ah'm sure as sugar." She nuzzled the pegasus, before putting the tray on the nightstand. "We'll tell the girls today. Right after Ah get a bit more rest. So, would'ya like to get off'a the floor and get back in this bed with me, Dashie?"
Dash couldn't think of anything that sounded better.
The couple had just left the Apple land, headed to Twilight's library. Slipping from the house, Rainbow Dash had organized a get-together with the girls for that evening while she waited for AJ to finish her newly acquired house chores.
The tree-built facility was now just a few steps ahead of them.
"AJ," Dash began to ask, "are you really sure you want to do this? I can't really guarantee they'll be fine with us. You don't have to do this for me."
Applejack returned a soft smile. "Rainbow, I'm sure. And Ah ain't doin' this just fer you, Dash. Ah'm doin' this fer us. Our dinner last night, well, it just tore me up havin' to fight mahself to pretend you was just a friend. And if we're gonna start anywhere, the girls're the best bet. Mah headache's gone, and Ah got you by mah side. Let's do this."
Dash felt comforted by her mare's words. She'd kiss her if it wasn't for the crowded streets around them.
The two entered the small library. It was always a mystery to Dash how the building seemed to be much larger on the inside than it did from the outside. Sure enough, her friends were already there. Twilight was sitting at a small desk, a book in front of her as usual. Fluttershy and Rarity were both chatting about who knows what on one side of the room. Pinkie looked to be bugging Spike while he attempted to sort the many books stacked on the table. He was always a good sport about her wild nature.
"Ooh! Ooh! You're finally here!" Pinkie bounced over from beside the dragon, a relief spreading over his face as she did.
"Ah, there you two are! We've been waiting for you to arrive," Rarity spoke. "We thought you were going to keep us waiting forever!"
"FOREVER!" Pinkie shouted, giggling to herself afterwards. "Although, we really couldn't wait 'forever' forever. Forever is a really really really really long time. That'd just be silly!"
Twilight placed a page-marker in her book, closing it up on the table. She turned to the couple that entered the room. "Hi Dash, Applejack. Well, we're all here. What was the news you needed to tell us?"
This was it, AJ thought. This was when she had to put it on the line. Her friends would understand. They would support them... wouldn't they? Only one way to know.
"Well, me and Dash got somethin' to say." She felt her nerves bubbling beneath her coat. She tried not to let her legs shake, but failed, feeling her knees tremble. "Well, we,... uh,... ya see, we got somethin' to tell ya..."
Her mind went blank. She had frozen. She couldn't do this. Why did she think she could?
Then there was a wing over her, cradling her to the blue pegasus beside her. Dash. Dash was there. "Need me to say it?" the winged pony asked. The other girls looked more confused now than ever.
AJ knew she could say it if Dash was with her. "Nah. Ah got this." She turned back to their friends, taking a deep breath. "Girls, me an' Dash are... we're together." It was probably the least romantic way to say they were involved, but the fact that she had managed to say anything filled her with pride.
The room suddenly burst with bright blue and yellow confetti seemingly from nowhere. "CONGRATULATIONS, GIRLS!" Pinkie suddenly announced, somehow having vanished from the group before them to being behind the couple, hugging them each with one foreleg. How she did that, they would never know.
Rarity was the next to speak. "Oh, that's just marvelous! You two make such a lovely couple!"
Fluttershy followed soon, her voice full of hushed excitement. "I'm so happy for you both! Yay!" She spoke barely above a whisper, but both Dash and AJ knew that was still a great sign.
Twilight, however, did not respond. She stood, staring oddly at the couple in her library.
A distant spark of worry was reignited within AJ's heart as Twilight's expression let air to the flame. She didn't approve?
With her five friends' eyes upon her, Twilight finally spoke. "I... I don't think I follow. What do you girls mean?" A biting trepidation gnawed inside the romantic pair.
Rarity quickly walked over to the purple unicorn, whispering in her ear. After a few airy words, Twilight drew away, looking to the white unicorn with an even more puzzled expression. "What's a 'fillyfooler?'"
Rarity blushed red, her secret conversation revealed to be less than graceful. "Oh, hahaha, Twilight dear, you know what I mean!" She glanced to the couple, hoping they weren't offended by the word.
Spike walked to Twilight with a large book in his clawed hands. "I'm not finding any 'fillyfooler' in the dictionary, Twilight. Maybe it starts with a 'ph?'"
Rarity blushed even more. "Oh, for Celestia's sake!" She returned to whispering in Twilight's ear.
Twilight looked at the two ponies in question as she took in the unicorn's words. "Uh huh. Okay. Huh? Oh? Oh. Oh! OH!" The pony's face turned a deep red, eyes wide at the realizatoin. She smiled to the pair. "You could have just said they were dating, Rarity! Congratulations you two!"
A relief washed over Dash and Applejack. Twilight always was the naive one. Now, though, both wondered what the glamorous unicorn had whispered in her ear to get that reaction.
Spike closed the book, putting on a bewildered look. "Wait, they're dating? But, aren't you both mares? How does that work?"
"Oh, Spike," Twilight spoke up, trying to nimbly avoid repeating the awkward explanation she had just received herself. "It doesn't matter what they are. If they're both in love, that's what really matters!"
The dragon put on a face of disgust. "Bleh, sounds sappy."
Twilight quickly prodded at his side, correcting his manner. "Oh, uh, I mean, that's great, guys!" There was a laugh all around.
AJ could still feel her heart pounding in her chest, but the fear had been replaced. She was overcome with an uplifting joy. Her friends had accepted them. She didn't need to care what any other pony thought, now. She knew she and Dash would always have support now.
"This is going to make such a great report to the Princess!" It was like Twilight had slammed on the brakes, lurching the couple forward in place.
"Wait!" Dash responded quickly. "Twilight, you can't tell the Princess about us!"
The purple unicorn giggled. "Why not? I'm sure she'll be happy for both of you!"
Dash knew she was right. "Well, maybe. But we really haven't come out to any other pony yet."
"Then we'll just have to throw a 'coming out' party for you guys!" Pinkie joined in. "That's sure to let everypony know!"
Dash's expression fell to one of horror when she realized they may have opened Pandora's Box by telling their friends.
"Pinkie Pie, Ah don't think ya get it," AJ responded. "We're not really open about this sorta thing yet."
"But you told us! I'm sure every pony will be just as excited!" the pink party pony exclaimed, inattentive to the serious nature of what she was proposing.
"Wait, wait, WAIT!"
The room fell silent. Dash hadn't meant to yell so loud. She settled back to the ground from the hover she found herself in. "Look, it's not that we don't want to be open about it. We're just, taking it slow, okay?"
Fluttershy, staying quiet for most of the conversation, joined in. "Well, can we throw you a private party? Just for us?"
AJ looked to the blue pegasus beside her, a radiant happiness in her eyes. "Well, that sure does sound awfully fun. Whaddaya say, Dashie?"
Rainbow Dash blushed. She loved that name, especially the way Applejack said it. "Well, if it's just us, then cool! That sounds awesome!"
There was flash of pink streamers and balloons. Pinkie again exploded into action. "YIPPIE! We are going to throw you guys the best party!" Where did that pony keep getting all these things on instant notice? "Ooh! We gotta have a cake! And punch, and cupcakes, and teacakes, and SO MUCH CANDY! And streamers and confetti, and then backup confetti in case something happens to the first batch of confetti! And balloons! Dozens of balloons, in every color of the rainbow! And every color of an apple! Although, I think red covers most apples, doesn't it? Red's in the rainbow, right? And we need a piñata, and party games and-" Pinkie continued to rattle off party supplies, seemingly to herself. She was enthusiastic, at least.
Dash laughed at her friend's antics. "Pinkie Pie, you are so random!"
Dash sat on a small cloud outside of Sweet Apple Acres. Though the day had been great for both of them, AJ was still nervous about telling her family. Dash understood the worry, and told her to open the window to her room when she was alone to signal for the pegasus.
It was just before sundown when the window was finally opened by an orange pair of hooves. Dash quickly flew into the small room.
"Geez, 'Jacks, it's about time you let me in!" the pegasus called.
"Sorry 'bout that Rainbow," Applejack replied. "Ah had to wash the dishes. It was Big Macintosh's night, but, Ah owe him." The earth pony moved over to nuzzle her mare. "Ah'm mighty glad you waited for me though."
The gentle rubbing of cheeks soon found the pair locked in another deep kiss. Both ponies fought to explore the other's mouth as tongues slid over each other in a blissful dance. As Applejack pressed further into the kiss, Dash pushed back. Before long, both ponies were reared on their back hooves, forelegs wrapped around each other. The pair had never kissed so deeply before, and the blue pegasus took advantage, wrapping the earth pony tightly in her wings as her hooves rubbed the curves of the farmer's sides. Hot breath escaped in broken bursts, each pony enjoying each other far too much to separate for more than an instant. In a heated madness, Dash found her hooves moving lower down the pony's sides, gently caressing her apple-marked flanks.
"Dash, wait," AJ interrupted, moving back from the kiss.
Almost at once, Dash realized just how far she had pressed the pony. She bashfully stepped back onto all hooves. "Sorry, Applejack. I guess I got carried away." She wasn't sorry. She wanted so much more now.
"No, Dash," AJ continued, "Ah just wanted to ask... could ya lock the door?"
Dash felt the blood spike to her cheeks. Her wings fluttered, slowly unfurling from her sides involuntarily. "S-sure thing, AJ."
The pegasus moved to the door at her side, sliding the metal lock into place. Turning around, she saw Applejack at the window, closing the wooden shutters. She turned to Dash, a playful, shy smile across her freckled cheeks.
"AJ?" Dash began, walking over to nuzzle her mare. "Are we about to do what I think we're about to do?" She braced herself to be called a gutter-brain again.
The farmer pony blushed. "Well,... Ah think so, Dash." She leaned forward, nibbling gently on the blue mare's withers and up her neck. "If yer interested."
Dash's wings answered far before she found her own voice again. AJ giggled at the display. She whispered in the pegasus' ear, her voice low and sensual. "You silly filly."