Chapter three: Nightmares
An Appledash fic inspired by the short story "Of Horseshoes, Apples, and Feathers"
The bright light of Celestia's sun pierced though the storm clouds of last night's rain and beamed down on a leaf roofed cottage on the border of the Everfree forest. The pasty yellow curtains didn't stop the sunlight from waking the sleeping pegasus. Today was a new day, to bad it wasn't her day off.
"Ugh" said Rainbow Dash as she rose up from bed. "Where am I- oh yeah, Fluttershy's."
Rainbow Dash leaped off the bed in her normal fashion and started to make her way downstairs.
"Not bad for a feather bed, but clouds are still #1. It was so nice of her to let me sleep here tonight, let alone her own bed."
Rainbow Dash made her way to the kitchen, expecting a nice warm breakfast to be served. But found the yellow coated Pegasus to be fast asleep on the couch with her pet bunny, Angel.
"Aw well I'll just pick up something on the way to the weather office."
Rainbow Dash left Fluttershy a note of gratitude and made her way to the door. She couldn't help but look back on her friend one last time before departing.
"She looks so peaceful, like an Angle" said Rainbow to herself.
She then opened the door and flew off. The sun shined high in the sky and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, strange since she was on the border of the everfree forest.
"Wow today is just so glorious, I think I might do work first for once and then practice some new tricks."
The sound of her stomach rumbled as she flew high above the clouds.
"He-he, but first breakfast!"
Rainbow Dash flew down the restaurant "Golden clover" and sat down outside enjoying the warm sunlight. The restaurant was a golden color with a clover in front with the name on in. It was known for it's wide variety of food all day long.
"What shall it be mam?" said the waiter as he came over to her.
He was well dressed and looked like a the usual posh pony from Canterlot especially with that curved mustache of his.
"Hmmm" said Rainbow as she gazed at the menu. "I would have a blueberry and rose petal muffin."
She collected the required bits for the meal from her coin purse, hidden in her rainbow mane.
"No charge mam."
"The head chef "Goldenfly" is in a really good mood today, so no charge on the first customer."
"Um wow, thanks."
The waiter walked back inside to fetch the meal she had order while Rainbow Dash just sat back and relaxed.
"Wow, free food and a beautiful day? This just keeps getting better and better."
Once she had finished eating, Rainbow Dash flew off towards the weather office, it was already noon and she hoped that they wouldn't be mad at her. If they were that meant more work. She arrived and walked right in, the place was setup to remind pegasi of Cloudsdale. The walls were sky blue and all furniture were clouds, even the front desk.
"Rainbow Dash reporting in for duty sir" she said, saluting the stallion behind the counter. The stallion was a usually grumpy pony, oddly enough he had a huge grin on his face today.
"You got the day off Rainbow Dash."
"Wait what? I do?"
"Yes, we have completely clear skies for miles around after last night's storm."
"This is so awesome!" Squealed Rainbow as she dashed out the door.
She could think of nothing else to do but go practice her flight tricks and she did just that. With one huge flap of her wings Rainbow Dash flew towards her training grounds.
"Free food, nice day and now no work!? What could make this better?"
Rainbow Dash flew off to her personal training grounds, they were hills and flat land east of Whiletail wood, usually her house would float over these, but not today. As she got closer she thought she saw three pegasi already there, they wore blue suits and their mane's were blown back.
"Could it be? No it can't be! It is! The Wonderbolts!" screamed Rainbow as she flew down to meet her idols.
She flew down to the three Wonderbolts; they were even her favorite ones.
"Spitfire, Soarin, and Fleetfoot! What are you all doing here!?"
"Looking for you of course" said Spitfire.
"Yeah, we wanted to make the pie saver an honorary Wonderbolt" said Soarin.
"We tried to speak to you at the Gala, but you were gone before we had a chance" said Fleetfoot.
"So? What do you say?" asked Spitfire.
Inside Rainbow Dash's head felt like a time bomb had gone off. She only had one word to say.
"Yes!" she screamed as she zoomed up in the sky followed by an explosion of Rainbow colors which seemed to come out of nowhere.
"Great" said Spitfire as Rainbow Dash finally landed. "Here's your uniform." She said tossing it over to her. "We'll see you tomorrow morning at your house. So long!"
With that note all three Wonderbolt's flew off. Rainbow Dash had a surprised and bright face as she stared at nothing while holding her uniform in her hoofs. About ten minutes passed before she finally realized it.
"I'm a Wonderbolt!" she screamed as she flew straight up again. "Best Day Ever!
The only think that could make this better is- Fluttershy was right! I must tell her!"
Rainbow Dash slipped on her new uniform and flew off at breakneck speeds towards Sweet Apple Acres.
Applejack was found at her home to be surprisingly, sleeping, she was resting next to her favorite tree "Sir Leaves a lot". Having been done with applebucking season and chores; she found that it was time for a break.
"Applejack!" she heard a scream in the distance.
She flipped up her hat up to see a familiar rainbow blur in the sky speeding towards her.
Rainbow Dash flew towards her but learned of her mistake last time and came to a soft landing in front of the earth pony.
"I'm a Wonderbolt AJ! Can you believe it?" Said Rainbow Dash, showing off her uniform to her.
"Ah knew you would do Rainbow, congrats."
"And I'm also here to confess something."
"Confess what" said Applejack, eagerly awaiting the news.
"I-I love you Applejack."
Applejack just looked stunned at the news and tears started to well up in her eyes, but they were not the tears Rainbow Dash wanted.
"Ahahahahaha! Wait you loveeeee me? That's hilarious! Wow I can't be friends with a Pegasus who's a filly-fooler!" Laughed Applejack as she ran off.
"Wait, you're not supposed to laugh! I love you! Don't leave me Applejack!"
The hill Dash was standing on started to lose it's color, as well as the sky, it was like Discord had returned. Suddenly a pitch black spot on the horizen started growing and covering every part of her surroundings, she felt the floor she was standing on disappear before her eyes.
"Nooooooooo" she screamed as she fell into the endless black pit.
"Nooooo" she screamed as she jolted awake to the sound of rain and thunder outside. Her body was covered in sweat as she realised what had happened.
"I-It was just a nightmare" stuttered Dash as she realized what had happened.
"Ra-rainbow Dash?" Fluttershy said as she slowly opened the door. "Are you ok?"
"I-I'm fine Fluttershy. Sorry if I woke you."
"That's ok" she said as she walked over to Dash's bed. "Had a nightmare?"
"No... I-I mean yes" she quickly changed her mind when she looked at Fluttershy's sweet and innocent face. A face no pony could lie to.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"N-yes. I dreamed that I told Applejack that I loved her, but she just laughed and called me a fillyfooler. She didn't want to be my friend anymore" said Dash as tears started to fill her eyes.
"Rainbow it was just a dream, it's not real and Applejack would never say that."
"I k-know. It just felt real" sobbed Rainbow as she wiped her tears away.
"Want me to sing you a lullaby to help you sleep?"
"Yes (hic) please" hiccupping a little as the last of her tears dried up.
Fluttershy cleared her throat and started to sing in her soft voice. The tune was the same she used when the Cutie mark crusaders slept over.
"Hush now, quiet now
It's time to lay your sleepy head
Hush now, quiet now
It's time to go to bed
Driftin' off to sleep
The exciting day behind you
Driftin' off to sleep
Let the joy of dream land find you"
Fluttershy would have continued but the cyan Pegasus was already fast asleep. She quietly made her way to the door and was about to close it when she gave out one final note.
"Sweet dreams Dash."
"Applejack!" the voice pierced though the earth pony's head as she struggled to wake.
"Applejack!" the voice called again and she responded by jolting awake to the smell of eggs and bacon.
"Where am ah- of yeah, I'm at Twilights. Coming!" she yelled downstairs.
Applejack jumped out of the spare bed, she braided her hair up and put her hat on. She then ran downstairs.
"Well about time you woke up. You're not the one to usually wake last" Twilight said as Applejack opened the door to the kitchen.
"Rough night, couldn't stop thinking about Rainbow Dash" she said as her thoughts drifted off to her.
"Um Applejack, your spacing out" said Twilight as she Applejacks eyes stare into nothing.
"Oh um sorry" she was blushing a little.
"Like I said, go talk to her."
"Not gonna happen Twilight. Now if you excuse me I have to head back home. Applebloom will be missing me."
"Don't you want to stay for breakfast?"
"Sorry no-" she was cut off as she saw the plate of crisp hay bacon and sunny side up eggs that was on the table. "Um maybe just a bite."
She had to admit that the breakfast was probably the best they she ever ate, second to apples that is. The sun was shining through the window of the library-tree house.
"These are delicious Twilight; I didn't know you could cook."
"Yeah, Pinkie pie has been giving me some lessons. She can cook a lot more than sweets you know. Oh that reminds me" said Twilight as she reached for today's issue of Equestria Daily. "There is a one day rodeo going on today."
"What? Gimme that" Applejack said in surprise as she grabbed the newspaper out of her friends hoof. "One day only rodeo going on today east of Whitetail wood. All ponies are allowed with a grand prize of a blue ribbon and 10,000 bits. Yee- haw!" Applejack yelled, nearly falling out of her seat. "If ah win, which ah will, that money will be enough for all the things that the money from the Gala didn't provide!"
"Well you better hurry, it starts at 1:00 and it's already 11:00."
"Oh horseapples ah got a go! Thanks again for letting me stay Twilight!" Applejack yelled as she raced out the door.
Applejack was galloping along the streets of Ponyville towards the fields east of Whitetail wood. The day was beautiful; the storm clouds of last night had all vanished and left a warm and bright day.
After about twenty minutes of non-stop running, Applejack had finally arrived. The rodeo was a makeshift one with stands and games for everypony. She walked over to the sign up stand which was empty of anypony managing it.
"Um, I'm here to sign up for the rodeo" she spoke over the empty stand.
"Hi ya Applejack!" Pinkie pie screamed as she popped up from behind the stand.
"Gah! Pinkie you nearly gave me a heart attack" Applejack said as she fell back.
"Sorry, you here to sign up for the rodeo?"
"Eeyup and I'm guessing you're in charge of signups?" Applejack said, picking herself off the ground.
"And announcing!" she chirped in her cheery voice. "I'm guessing you'll want to know what today's rodeo is all about huh?"
"Um, yeah, sure."
"Well all you have to do is win four challenges and then move onto the final round in tug of war. But for you it'll be easy peasy."
"I hope so Pinkie pie; my family and ah need that money."
"Well good luck!" Pinkie said as she hoped in her announcer balloon which seemed to come out of nowhere and floated off high above the field.
The completion was very easy for Applejack as she nailed four challenges easliy and was on her way to the final round. Her component was this dark blue coated and yellow maned stallion with a pear as a cutie mark. A pear, her arch rivel fruit.
"And now we move onto our final event everypony! We have Applejack vs. Juicy pear in the final match to take home the blue ribbon and 10,000 bits!" yelled Pinkie from her balloon.
Both Applejack and Juicy pear took hold of the rope. Applejack could see her family and friends in the stands, even Rainbow Dash. She was surprised she should up at all after yesterday but no matter, she had a ribbon to win.
"On your mark."
Applejack tightens her grip on the rope.
She dug her hooves into the ground.
Applejack just tugged as hard as she could and waited for either mud or cheers.
In only a second had the winner been declared and the loser was taking a mud bath.
"Applejack is the winner!" Pinkie yelled, as well as the crowd.
Everypony that was family and friend ran over to celebrate, crowding around and yelling Applejack! Applejack! Applejack! All but one cyan Pegasus who was slowly walking away. Applejack pushed through the crowd and ran after her.
"Ah won Rainbow, Ah won!" cheered applejack as she caught up with her friend.
"I knew you could A.J"
"And to make this day even better ah think ah should tell ya how ah feel about you. Rainbow Dash .ah love you."
Rainbow Dash started to show tears and started to smile, but instead of saying the same, she simply just laughed.
"Bwhahahah. You love me? A dweeb like you loves me?! Gilda was right I have better things to do than have fillyfooller's crushing on me" and like that she flew off into the clouds.
"Wait, no don't leave me. I'm your friend! You can't just leave me!" screamed Applejack as tears came to her eyes.
Applejack looked up to the sky once more to see a huge storm appear out of nowhere, then suddenly it started to rain. Applejack looked back at the rodeo to see the mud growing and devouring everything, it started to creep towards her but Applejack was frozen to move. The mud started to cover her like a wall of black, Applejack could do nothing but scream as it overtook her.
"Nooooooo" she screamed as she woke up, her face and body were hot with sweat and tears as the night's storm raged on outside.
"You ok Applejack?"
Applejack looked up to see Twilight in the bed across from hers with a very worried look on her face.
"I-I'm f-fine. It was just a dream. Sorry if ah woke ya."
Twilight didn't buy it; she got up out of bed and walked over to her scared friend.
"It was about Rainbow Dash wasn't it?"
Applejack replied with a small nod as her face started to twist up in tears.
"Oh Twilight it was awful!" she found herself melting down and grasping her friend. "Ah told Rainbow how ah felt and see just laughed and flew off."
"There, there, it was just a nightmare, it's not real" Twilight said as she rubbed Applejacks back.
"Ah know, ah just fear that it's what will happen."
"I promise it won't be like that when you tell her."
"Thank you Twilight" Applejack sobbed as she wiped her tears away.
"You gonna be ok?"
"Y-yes" she lied.
"Want me to place a sleep charm on you?"
"Y-yes p-please" Applejack stuttered as the tears started to return.
Twilight's horn glowed white and Applejack was suddenly very sleepy and closed her eyes. Twilight gave her a pat on the head and turned to go back to bed.
"Sweet dreams Applejack."