Picking another apple from the tree, the pony smiled as the apple feel towards the top of the basket, coming to rest on the others. Pausing briefly, she looked about the tree and decided it had been picked enough. Thusly, she went to the apple cart and overturned the bucket, causing the apples to lazily roll out, unbruised and looking absolutely delicious. Hopping off the truck, she smiled at all the hard work she had done, before turning her head to see another pony coming up next to her, nuzzling her neck sweetly. Blushing profusely, she giggled and put her bucket down. "Oh Applejack, stop it!" Fluttershy giggled, the nuzzling turning ticklish.
"You know me, sugarcube, Ah can't help myself." Smiling sweetly, she dropped her own charge of apples into the truck before turning to her feathered friend. "Ah really do appreciate all you've been doing fer me and the family.." Looking out to Sweet Apple Acres, an odd sight could be seen with many of the trees there. While the direction where Applejack came from had trees completely barren of apples, many of the treetops of unbucked trees were barren as well - The very tops had been picked clean Fluttershy. "Ah can't believe how many apples we've been saving from your hard work." To be true, many of the apples which feel from the highest heights of the trees had often become brutally bruised, and in the worst scenarios had fallen upon previously pristine apples, damaging the crop further.
"Oh Applejack, I couldn't stay back while you and the others were out working so hard." She mentioned, shaking her head. Looking down at the ground, the smile never left her face as she recalled the last year. "I've had so much more free time since Applebloom's come over to help me with my animals. Angel's never been happier." Ever since the night she stayed with Applejack in the storm, Applebloom had been coming over more often to help with the animals Fluttershy took care of. Applejack herself often came along, although her reasoning were far different than the little filly's. While at first doing no better taking care of animals than she had discovering her cutie mark, Applebloom had really come into her own when dealing with the animals, and while it wasn't her special talent, she had really come to enjoy it - even so far as staying the night at Fluttershy's to help out with the morning routine some nights. However, that was only on weekends, and only when Applejack seemed to stay too.
It was Twilight and Pinkie Pie found out first. Applejack and Fluttershy had wanted to keep it on the down low for a little while longer, neither wanting to go too fast and complicate the more individual aspects of each other's lives, like their work. Despite this, they had just come into the library together while Pinkie Pie was visiting with Twilight Sparkle, discussing who knows what - all the couple knew was that Twilight looked relieved to see them.
"Oh, hello girls!" Twilight greeted them, walking over to them. "It's so good to see you - I haven't seen much of everyone after the big storm a few nights back." Twilight gestured to a nearby open book, which was filled with information about the wind speed and direction from and around the Everfree Forest. "I was so busy studying weather patterns-" But before the violet mare could finish, a high pitched gasp cut off her train of thought.
"Ohmygosh!" Pinkie Pie gasped again, her body flying into the air, seemingly hanging in the air. Landing, one of her hooves pointed toward the two mares. "You two are in love!" The sudden accusation caused both Applejack and Fluttershy to take a step back in surprise, their faces blushing considerably as they did.
Undeterred, Twilight rebutted her almost immediately. "Oh Pinkie, what're you going on about now?" Twilight sighed, turning to the pink pony with a raised eyebrow. Before she could say much more, she noticed something off about the pink earth pony. In front of her, as Pinkie pointed at Applejack and Fluttershy, her ears were flopping, her tail twitching, her back was trembling and her stomach was visibly grumbling. "All at once?" She breathed, suddenly feeling like she should take cover.
"It's-It's... A HYPER COMBO!" Pinkie shouted, before rushing forward and tackling both Applejack and Fluttershy in each outstretched hoof. "And it means two ponies are in loooo-oooove!" She sang, getting up and hopping around, causing Twilight to look between the hyperactive pony and her two other friends. Pinkie on the other hand had a enormous smile as the two blushing mares got back to their feet, Pinkie now facing them. "And it happened when these two walked in! Ohmygosh I am so happy for you. I knew that Applejack liked Fluttershy, I mean, come on, the whole dragon thing! Aaaaaaahhh-veeeeeeee-uuuuuusss! And Fluttershy, I didn't know about you but I hoped! I Pinkie hoped that you would like her back and you do! You do you do!" She cheered, hopping from one side of the couple to the other in enormous jumps.
Twilight, on the other hand, looked supremely amused, but also extremely confused. She had learned long ago to trust in Pinkie's random convulsions, but for something so grand as love? She hadn't even begun to research it! Even still, she was curious. "Is it true, you two?" Was all she could mention, mentally berating herself for not coming up with something more intelligent.
Applejack was busy watching Pinkie Pie jump around, and reached for a nearby discarded book. As Pinkie Pie landed nearby, Applejack instinctively stuffed the book into the pink pony's mouth, causing her to freeze. "Nah just stay in one place, Pinkie Pie." She pleaded, glad to get the mare to stop. Fluttershy, however, was still trying to find her voice, but her face was red as an apple. However, she still moved forward, looking to Applejack for assistance and guidance. The orange mare merely sighed and shrugged, breathing out a simple, "Might as well, sugah."
Turning to Twilight, Fluttershy put on a brave smile and nodded. "Yes, Twilight. We're... we're in love." She squeaked out, her voice high, but not impossible to decipher. Despite this, she seemed proud of herself, and in a show of contentment, leaned against Applejack, pushing her head into Applejack's neck, taking comfort in the earth pony's warmth.
This time, it was Twilight's turn to expel a sharp gasp, before smiling hugely and clopping her hooves together. "Oh my Celestia, I'm so happy for you two!" She galloped over to her friends, capturing both of them in a tight hug before releasing them and giving them room. Her eyes shining, she looked between the two. "You have to tell me everything. When did it happen? How did it happen? Was it romantic?" She asked, shifting her view to each pony as she asked a question.
Spitting the book out, Pinkie still had a giant smile on her face. "Oh! Wait until I tell everyone! OH! I know! I know! This calls for a party! A big one! With balloons and streamers and heart shaped cupcakes! Oh oh oh and some sarsaparilla! It's been awhile since I had any of that! A giant fantabulous party!"
"Now just hold it right there, Pinkie Pie! We haven't gone and told anypony yet, 'specially not Rainbow Dash and Rarity, and Ah reckon they best know from us rather than somepony honoring us with a party!" Applejack rebutted, a look of worry on her face. Pinkie frowned and stopped hopping up and down, looking absolutely crushed at the idea of no party at all for her friends. Her friends who were in love.
Fluttershy stepped forward, looking between Applejack and Pinkie Pie. "I, um. Maybe we could tell Rarity and Dash... and let Pinkie let everyone else know?" She murmured, her foot kicking against the ground as she let the others think about it. Looking into Applejack's eyes, the Earth pony initially seemed against it, but suddenly softened.
"Ah- Ah reckon that would save us a lot of time." Applejack conceded. No one could let the whole town know big news quite like Pinkie could. Her ability to get around was second only to Rainbow Dash - and even then she wasn't completely sure about that. Somehow that pony could get anywhere faster than what should be possible. Looking again to Fluttershy, she finally nodded. "Well okay then. We'll have us a party after all."
Gasping again, Pinkie's smiled returned as she hopped into the air higher than Twilight could prove ponies had to ability to, and landed without a hitch. "Oh yay! Oh yes! It'll be huge! It'll be Gigantic! Enourmous! The hugeosity of it all will put all my past parties to shame!" Pinkie Pie looked wildly about before Applejack stuck her hoof over her muzzle.
"Jus' make sure not to be invitin' anypony until after we've had words with Rarity and Rainbow, okay?" She asked, looking Pinkie in the eye with a critical look. The only response from Pinkie was a simple headshake until Applejack let her hoof drop to the ground.
"I Pinkie swear! No one will know until Rarity and Rainbow Dash know. Until, no one knows! Except us! Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a cupcake in my eye!" And with that, Pinkie Pie rushed out to get the party ready, but what for, nopony knew but those present knew.
Cringing, Twilight was reminded when she had completely whiffed that saying and had stuck a hook full force into her open eye - the pain of which was enough to make sure she never made such a mistake again - only using a Pinkie promise in the most dire of situations. Sighing wistfully, Twilight picked up the book that Pinkie had spit out and levitated it back into the shelf, before turning back to her friends. "It's so great that you two found happiness in each other. I've spent so much time here, I hadn't even begun to think about it." She confessed.
"Oh, well, we haven't been... together, for very long." Fluttershy admitted, blushing a little.
Twilight nodded. "Of course not, Pinkie would of exploded twice if it had happened anytime before now and held it in." She let out a soft laugh which Fluttershy repaid in kind, even eliciting a snirk and a chuckle from Applejack. "Still though, I am happy for you two. I can say right now I can think of no two ponies better suited for each other's strengths and weaknesses than you to." Smiling, she gave them both another, softer hug, before heading to the door. "I've got a couple things I need to do, and I hate to leave you because I have so many questions, but they are rather important. I'll see you two later at Pinkie's, though, okay?"
The two mares looked at each other, before looking back at Twilight. "Well alright then. Thank you, Twilight, fer bein' so understanding." Applejack said. Twilight shook her head.
"Think nothing of it." Smiling, she waved and headed out into Ponyville, to settle a few tasks before tonight.
"So you two are..." Rarity breathed, her hook pointing from Applejack to Fluttershy and back again. Fluttershy nodded meekly, a bashful smile playing on her featured, while Applejack just tried to look proud of her decision in front of Rarity. There was a long moment of silence, before Rarity simply just fell on her haunches. "Well... I'd be laying to say if I wasn't disappointed."
Suddenly Fluttershy's face fell, and even Applejack looked crestfallen. Looking away Fluttershy sighed, her voice wavering on a whimper. "Disappointed...?" She breathed.
"Well, yes, dear. I'd of thought you'd have told me by now." Rarity said, her eyes unassuming. "We spend almost every weekend together, darling. But I suppose this is my fault for not bringing up the subject of romance." Applejack simply looked peeved at Rarity's aloof display, but Fluttershy had moved alongside her, nudging her partner to simply let it go. "Of course, I suppose this means you're invited to our little trips to the spa, as well, Applejack. I have so much to ask you and it would be ever so much fun!" Rarity went on, pulling out fabrics and laying them on her table.
"Ain't no way I'm going to any fru-fru spa." Applejack berated, her eyes falling into half-moons. Rarity was always trying to get her to go and pretty herself up, but between working on the farm and spending what quality time she had with friends, she couldn't go wasting her time on things like that. Fluttershy giggled beside her, obviously entertained by the thought. "Oh, now you're wantin' me ta go to the spa, too?"
"Oh, no." Fluttershy shook her head, before pausing. "Well, I mean. Yes." She smiled, tilting her head to look at Applejack full on. "I think it would be fun. We wouldn't necessarily have to go with Rarity, but I think it could be... fun." She said, forcefully stopping herself from muttering more 'um's into her speech.
Sighing, Applejack shook her head in mock exasperation. "Confound you ponies, drivin' me ta spas." She mentioned, causing Rarity to pause. She had been talking the entire time about the two, but the couple hadn't taken any time in listening to her tirade. "Ah guess I could give the spa a try."
"Oh darling! That is wonderful news!" Rarity commended, before halting and merely smiling warmly at the two. "But do so at your leisure. I, for one, will not be forcing you to do anything you don't actually want to do to please me. I learned that lesson already." She said, nodding and smiling at Fluttershy. "Now, I simply must ask, if only to keep this pony from being driven mad - when did this happen?"
Fluttershy smiled, glad to know Rarity still embodied the compassion she was chosen for, and Applejack swallowed a bit before delving into the short version of what happened. Fluttershy stayed next to Applejack for the story, at one point merely laying down before Rarity shooed them over to her chairs towards the back of her boutique. As Applejack got to the part where Fluttershy confessed her feelings, the mare cleared her throat a little, 'causing the Earth Pony to pause her story. "It was after I admitted it... accidentally, though, to Caramel." She admitted, causing Rarity to smile.
"Oh, if only it were me you said it to. I would of loved to be there for you two." Rarity chimed in. In her mind, it was a thousand times more romantic, the storm, the pegasus, the hard-working earth pony. Why, she could simply write it all down and it would sell millions accros Equestria!
"Now, settle down there Rarity." Applejack chided, a smile still on her face. "It ain't nothin' to be writtin' about. Just two ponies..." She trailed, nuzzling against Fluttershy. "Just two ponies gettin' closer than they ever dreamed."
Rarity smiled warmly, before levitating her dress making glasses over and placing them on her head. It was a sign that she was completely content with the two ponies' story, and was ready to let them go without trying to hold them back for more. Despite this, the three friends spoke for another hour afterwards, talking about just about anything. They noticed the time before too long, and Fluttershy reminded Applejack that Pinkie wouldn't want to wait long before the party.
"Party?" Rarity echoed, a look of interest on her face. "Don't tell me you told Pinkie Pie before you told me?" She asked, taking mock offense at the sheer suggestion.
"We, um, really didn't have a choice." Fluttershy related, blushing slightly. "She started shaking and everything all at once and-" She said, before Applejack finished for her.
"She got her Pinkie sense all over us before we even said hello." The orange pony seemed a little cold about it, but it didn't seem to bother her for very long. "Either way, yer invited to the party at Sugarcube Corner later on ta'night. Ah suppose Applebloom will want to see Sweetie Belle there, so go ahead and bring yer sister."
"Oh, I wouldn't dream of leaving her behind for a party like this. I'll see you both there." Rarity said, waving them off, knowing full well that they still had other ponies to tell before the party. As the two walked off, Rarity sighed contentedly. "I suppose that's two ponies I won't have to worry myself over..." She said, looking back inside, a smile on her face. "Right, now what kind of dresses can I make for those two now..." She resolved to make new dresses for her friends to commemorate this occasion, and smiled. "Maybe French Haut couture..." She mused, before shaking her mane. "I wonder if Applejack would really go for something so high class..."
Looking up at the cloud house, Applejack nudged Fluttershy a bit. "Now go on then, Ah can't go up there myself." She mentioned, waving side to side to drive home the point at the lack of wings. "Just get her back down here and we'll tell her together." Applejack added, not expecting Fluttershy to do all the work alone. "Ah wish Ah'd remember to ask Twilight for that cloud-walkin' spell again." Applejack mentioned idly. When she was up in Cloudsdale, she quite liked the sensation of walking on the fluffy white masses.
Gracefully taking to the sky, Fluttershy didn't have to go very far up to reach Rainbow Dash's home, and took a look around. Same as always, the rainbow river that flowed between the clouds silently tricked and repeated it's journey, somehow keeping itself from flowing all it's colors together in a way that Rarity had continually asked Rainbow how she pulled off. Apparently, Rainbow fabric was hard to come by without intense magical persuasion. Breathing in deeply, Fluttershy reached a hoof out and knocked deftly on the door.
As she waited, Fluttershy reflected on her last few days. They'd had been like a dream, full of companionship, lost hours just enjoying each other's company, talking about just about anything. Looking over the edge, Fluttershy could see the orange earth Pony smiling up at her, 'causing her to fill with feelings of elation.
"Fluttershy? What're you doing here?" A voice called from behind the mare. Turning back around, the pink pegasus could see the tired face of the fastest flier of all of Equestria staring back at her. "It's like, six in the morning..." She complained, yawning long and loud, before walking out into the sunlight.
"It's... It's past four in the afternoon, Dash." Fluttershy informed, expelling a soft giggle at the mare's sleeping schedule. "You must have really tired yourself out after that storm." She added, looking up at the now cloudless sky above them."
Rainbow Dash completely ignored how off her frame of time was, and merely gave the sky a look of pride. "Oh, yeah, that storm was awesome. Totally cooler than any other storm this year. Clearing the sky afterwards it totally awesome too, you should try it sometime. You can jump on a few clouds and they'll rumble and flash!" Dash seemed content with playing up the work of weather ponies, and Fluttershy simply waited for her to finish, as with Rarity. "And then Cloudkicker almost stood on the cloud too long. Oh man, I've never seen a pony have their mane stand up like that! Hilarious!" Laughing heartily to herself, the pegasus suddenly realized that Fluttershy probably wanted something from her, causing her to briefly pause her story. "So what's up 'Shy? You got clouds that need bursting over by your house?" She asked, looking out in the direction of Fluttershy's cottage.
"Oh, no, not at all. It's gorgeous out there. Applejack and I were out there this morning." Fluttershy breathed in deeply, she reminded herself that she wasn't entirely good at keeping things as under wraps as some of the other ponies.
Dash raised an eyebrow in response, "Applejack was out there?" She asked. Fluttershy meekly nodded at the question, but Dash seemed to guess that the Earth pony would still be around, and checked over the edge. Sure enough, there was Applejack down below. "So, do you guys need my help or something? Twilight get another letter of 'extreme importance' from the Princess?"
Fluttershy quickly shook her head. "Oh, um. No. Well, I'm not sure, she could of since we were there, but um." She trailed. Blinking hard, she built up her strength again, looking to Rainbow. "We just had something we needed to tell you. Before Pinkie." She gave a small giggle, reminded of the other ponies reaction. Unlike Applejack, she had found the display to be cute, far used to the pink pony's antics.
Considering it a moment, Rainbow dash outstretched her wings and checked them quickly, giving a self-confident smirk as she took to the air. "Alright, but what's with all this 'we' stuff with your two? I swear, I've flown around Ponyville a lot and I keep seeing you two everywhere." She mentioned idly, shooting down to the ground where Applejack stood. Fluttershy slowly followed suit, glad to have her solo part over with.
"Well howdy there, Rainbow." Applejack greeted, nodding her hat at her friend. "Catch enough shut-eye today?" She teased, 'causing to cyan pegasus to look indignant. "Ah, don't worry about it, Ah'm not here ta tease ya today." Rainbow took a second for that to register, before giving a suspicious look towards the Earth pony. Fluttershy landed nearby, walking around Rainbow and coming up next to Applejack, a little closer than most ponies would.
"Okay, now what is up with you two today?" Rainbow Dash accused. "You've been around each other for days and now you're hear, waking me up at all hours of the morning-"
"It's tha' afternoon, Dash." Applejack muttered, raising an eyebrow at the pegasus.
Unamused at being corrected twice on the same subject so quickly after the last, Rainbow simply shook a hoof as if dismissing Applejack's remark. "Whatever, AJ. Just tell me what's up, I got some more napping to do before the next big trick I try. It needs clouds and I don't want to look all over Equestria to find enough for my next routine!"
"Rainbow, would you just put a hoof in it and let me and Fluttershy tell ya the news?" Applejack said, her own unamusement clearly stretching to her face. Someponies just love to talk. "It's right important and we'd like to get it done with while the sun's still out."
Pausing, Rainbow finally took a moment to let the other's have their moment. "Yeah, okay. What'd you want to talk about?" The pegasus finally said, giving Applejack and Fluttershy the room they needed to tell her.
"Nah ya see, Dash..." Applejack began, before finally going into the reason of their visit. Fluttershy helped out with some of the areas Applejack started to get a little red in the face in, and eventually felt sure enough in herself to take over once Applejack had had enough trying to relate the entire story to the now incredulous Rainbow Dash.
"And now we're, um, a couple now." Fluttershy ended, sheepishly. Applejack took the opportunity to nuzzle against her mane, which caused the blushing pegasus to redden completely, but she didn't object to the affection in front of Dash.
It was a long time before Rainbow Dash said anything. She just stared between the two, her rose colored eyes darting between the two as the gears in her head tried hard to digest this information. "You two are..." She paused, shaking her head. "No way."
"Well, um. You see.... Ahem. 'Way'." Fluttershy said, looking over Rainbow Dash's features. "Oh no, you're not... upset with us?" She started to feel absolutely awful, seeing her friend like this. She seemed like she was hurting, somewhat.
"No." Dash mentioned, closing her eyes. "I'm... not upset with either of you. I'm happy. Have you told... any other ponies?" She asked, her voice shallow.
"Yep, we already told Rarity." Applejack informed, pushing her mane up a little to mimic the fashionable pony. "An' we didn't get a chance to tell Twi and Pinkie Pie 'fore Pinkie ambushed us. 'Parrently that party pony's been waiting awhile to hear this - she told us before we could tell anypony." She admitted, chuckling a little. "Now Dash, I know that look on yer face. What's wrong?" Cutting to the chase, she had known that filly for longer 'n most in Ponyville, and she knew when something was up - not as well as Rarity, mind, but she was getting better.
"I just... didn't know they were all... alright. With... y'know, that." Rainbow chuckled dryly. "I mean, I knew Pinkie would, but I had no idea about any of you. Or any clue that you two were filly-foo-"
Applejack's hoof instinctively shut Rainbow's trap before she could finish the term. "Nah don't go around saying stuff like that. Ah don't like that term one bit." She expressed adamantly.
Rainbow paused and rolled her eyes, backing off to release her mouth. "Sorry, I guess." She dismissed, before stopping herself. "No, I mean. Sorry. Really."
Fluttershy stepped forward. "Don't be, I know that's the only term we ever hear back in Cloudsdale." She expressed, causing Applejack to nod slowly. She guessed that's why she always heard the phrase fly out of the cyan mare's mouth. "Dash, is there something you'd like to tell us?" Fluttershy had gotten wind of Dash's mood at this point, and was busy trying to figure out just what could be holding her friend back from her normal attitude. Applejack, however, had a pretty decent idea.
"You can tell us anything, sugarcube. We're your friends, we won't treat you any different, just like you won't treat us any different now that ya know." In response, she gave Fluttershy's cheek a peck, causing a record time from yellow to red to appear on the yellow pegasus' features.
"Well, you see..." Rainbow sighed. "I'm kinda... like you two. In a way. Not completely." She kept backing up with her words, before sighing. At this point Fluttershy caught on to the real reason, and nodded slowly. Seeing her friend's reaction, Dash sighed long and hard. "Yeah, I guess. I guess I like mare's too." She breathed. Stamping her hoof, she looked up hard and fast, "Not that I don't like colts, too! It's just that ever single one has been a jerk or tried to prove something, or race me or... I just don't get a lot of that from girls." She admitted slowly. Applejack looked visibly surprised, regardless of her previous expectation. She had thought Rainbow didn't have time to think much on the subject, but the way it was affecting her - it must of been on her mind a lot.
"WAAH-HOOOOOO!" Screamed out a voice, causing all of the present ponies to look wildly about. A small bush, not more than two feet around, suddenly shook about violently. From it, a pink blur came shooting out, coming between all three girls and coming to rest near Rainbow Dash. "Oh this is wonderful! Truly amazing!" Pinkie shouted. Dash looked absolutely terrified a moment, but Pinkie just went about bouncing around the trio, laughing as she did. "Applejack and Fluttershy are in love! And now they've told everyone! And now I'm excited, hey Dashie are you excited? We're gonna have a party with cake and streamers and ballons! Ooo! I wonder if I can get Twilight to make heart shaped balloons! That's be A-Maz-Ing!" The mare cheered and whooped for her friends, until it was Dash's turn to stick a hoof out to halt the Element of Laughter.
"Pinkie, how long have you been there?" She exasperated, not getting into the how or why she had managed to conceal herself in such a small bush.
"For an hour. Maybe two. I was just SO excited that I wanted to throw a party for these two but they wanted to tell you and Rarity before I could so I hopped around all day trying to get things together and I stopped by Rarity's but I saw this Caaaaa-yute couple in there already and I figured if they were talking to her then they hadn't had time to talk to you and I wanted to know, just know when I could start telling every Pony and get the party started and-"
"Pinkie!" Surprisingly, the call had originated from Fluttershy, who was trying to hold back a fit of laughter from the pony's speech. "I mean, um... I'm happy you're happy, but I think if you want to finish the party you need to go and get ready?" She asked, tilting her head somewhat.
"Oh! Uh-huh! That's right, parties take a lot of time to plan and set together! At least the fun parties are, and mine are always fun!" Pinkie said, putting a hoof to her chest as if solemnly swearing on it. "But it's sooooo great that Dash is open too, because now everypony can congratulate her on being so super-dooper brave! See you later gators!" As she hopped off, the others shook away their dumbfounded looks as they watched the pink earth pony go, a toothless alligator snapped to her tail, waving about as Pinkie made her way back to town.
"Pinkie Pie.... She's so random." Dash sighed, shaking her head, a welcome smile playing on her face.
And from there the other citizens of Ponyville had come to understand their relationship as something more than Friendship. It didn't take long for Applebloom to start putting two and two together and outright asking Big MacIntosh just what was up with those ponies. "I didn't know two mares could do that!" She gasped, before stomping her feet. "Now why hadn't anypony told me?"
Big Mac smiled at his little sister, "'Causin' you never asked." He bleated, setting the table as Granny Smith prepared the dinner alongside Caramel. "Ponies can love each other, don't matter if their the same gender." He said, nodding his head as he took a seat on the floor, his large size bringing him up to the table higher than those sitting in chairs.
Applebloom paused at this. "Well okay." She said simply, not giving the issue much more thought. "I just wish they'd have gone and told me instead of just askin' me to come home like this. I'm a big pony, I can understand when ponies need alone time to hug and stuff." She said leaning over to take a bite of hay that Caramel had placed on her plate. Granny Smith started to laugh, which caused the older ponies to crack a smile, Big Mac stealing a few guttural chuckles as Applebloom looked between them all. "Now just what in tarnation is so funny?"
Alongside the barn was a hill that looked out over all Sweet Apple Acres, and unlike the rolling hills, it was not peppered with multiple apple trees, but only a single tall one at the very top, a small tire swing attached to one of the low hanging branches. Underneath the leaves, Applejack and Fluttershy rested after the day of work. Fluttershy was nestled right up against Applejack, breathing rhythmically as the two stared into the sunset, completely at peace. It had been a long time since the party Pinkie Pie threw in their honor, and it was one where a surprising number of ponies let on to their true colors, Rainbow Dash included. Even Twilight Sparkle mentioned in passing that she didn't see anything wrong with it, and wasn't adverse to the idea of trying it out should the occasion arise.
But for now, the two loving ponies were simply enjoying their presence together. It was a long time before any of them spoke, but Applejack finally broke the silence. "Fluttershy?" She asked softly. The yellow pony lifted her head up slightly and turned to look at the honest pony. "Ah was thinkin'. I really do appreciate all the hard work you do here at the farm, and I know Applebloom is givin' you a lot of free time with the animals..." She trailed.
Exhaling deeply, Fluttershy closed her eyes. "I understand. I'm not stressing myself, and I'm making sure not to carry more apples than I can." She said simply. "I know you're worried, but I can take care of myself." She said, before smiling up at Applejack, "Not that I mind you caring about me." Nuzzling against Applejack, the Earth Pony sighed, defeated.
"Well alright then, but only for another couple of weeks, max. After that, more rest and relaxation than you ever thought possible, okay?" Applejack said, her voice tinged with worry. "It's at the tail end of applebuckin' season anyway. So most of the work is almost done." She continued.
Fluttershy closed her eyes and put her head back down on her hooves, nuzzling back into the hold she had earlier in Applejack's hooves. "Okay, Applejack, it's a promise." Fluttershy giggled some. "We're used to doing things no one thought possible." She murmured softly. Applejack smiled warmly, nodding.
"Thas' right. With a little help from Celestia on almost all accounts." She added, chuckling. As they lay, Applejack's free hoof stroked Fluttershy's mane, reaching the ponies inflated midsection.
As they lay, she could feel the little foal coming to rest underneath, and she smiled. Granny Smith needn't worry about waiting much longer for great grand-fillies.