Chapter five: Party of red
An Appledash fic inspired by the short story "Of Horseshoes, Apples, and Feathers"
Celestia's sun beamed through the aged window, lighting up the red and gold striped room. The room was a simple layout, for an apple farmer that is. On one side of the room was a brown desk, it was an old one, passed through generations of apple family members. Next to it was the closet door, white in color with apples painted on it. The only outfit that rested in it was the tattered Gala dress of Applejack. The earth pony in particular was fast asleep on her green cover bed.
"Hey, big sis" Applebloom whispered as she slowly open the door to the room.
Applebloom was pale yellow filly with a red mane and bow to match. She had Granny Smith's eyes, apple color. She was possibly the sweetest thing ever.
Applejack replied with a quiet mutter into her pillow.
"Sis" Applebloom said, her voice was a bit louder this time.
Once again she muttered into her pillow.
Applebloom stomped her hoof on the ground and left the room, only to return with an iron pot in her mouth. She spat it out and started banging on it.
Bang, bang, bang! The pot rang out, it was deafening.
"Wakey, wakey Applejack! It is somepony's birthday today!" She yelled.
"Ugh" Applejack replied as she lifted her head off her pillow. "Applebloom, not so loud" she moaned.
"Sorry sis" Applebloom said as she stopped banging the pot. "That was the only way to wake y'all up; y'all are usually up and early and ah want y'all up to celebrate a very special day today."
"And what's that?" She said, hopping out of bed.
"Applejack!" the yellow filly complained.
"Ah'm only kidding, happy birthday Applebloom, y'all are finally ten years old" she said before giving her a hug.
"Soooo" said the filly, her eyes wide with anticipation. "Where's mah present? What is it?"
"Y'all will find out later."
Applejack didn't want to spoil the surprise party at Sugarcube Corner, hosted by the one and only party pony.
"Now Ah don't wanna hear any whinin'. Now come on lil sis, we need to pay Pinkie Pie a visit" she said as she put her classic and distinctive Stetson on.
"Uh umm" Applejack stuttered as she tried to think of a lie, which was not her strong suit, being the element of honesty and all was a real impediment for a liar.
"We uh, have to go and pick up Muffins! Eyup some sweet delicious Apple muffins? Yeah, apple muffins, we're out N' y'all know how much ah like'em" Applejack said, with a half smiling face and eyes that were darting back and forth, hoping that she would buy it.
By some strange design by Celestia, she did. Probably because she was too excited to notice any lie.
The two ponies walked out the door of Sweet Apple Acres and onto the dirt road leading to Ponyville. Applejack saw the apple orchard, you could see to the left, or to the right, and you would still find apple trees. The Apple family kept this growing and growing since their first settlers, Applejack's Ma and Pa made a lot of work and left them most of what they had today, and she was always grateful for that. The sun was shining overhead, in a blue lovely sky, perfectly clear, probably thanks to Rainbow Dash. Applejack tried to shake those thoughts and to keep walking; she felt deep inside, that the day was not done with her yet. So she tried to steel herself for whatever Celestia or Luna could throw at her.
The pastel yellow filly walked side to side with the orange mare through the streets of the quiet Equestrian town of Ponyville. Some busy shop owners were starting up their business, and opening their stores. Sugarcube Corner came into view as the two ponies walked into town center. A statue of Celestia was in the center, fallen leaves of autumn surrounded it. But the entire square was deserted of all ponies, even the sky was clear of all Pegasus and clouds alike, only someponies at the shop area were there. Applejack knew exactly where everypony else were.
"Where the hay is everypony?" Applebloom questioned.
Applejack started to sweat as she tried to come up with another lie. But she got an idea.
"Applebloom, you shouldn't say 'hay'."
"But y'all say it all the time! Stop treating me like a baby. Ah am a big pony now!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever y'all say mah big pony."
"Anyways, y'all didn't answer me, where's everypony?"
"Uh umm, ah don't know Bloom, m-maybe a h-holiday?"
"What's wrong big sis? Y'all are jumpier than Granny Smith on Zap apple season today."
"It's n-nothing. Hey won't y'all look at that, were here! Time sure flies when y'all are talking!" she said as the two found themselves at the front door of Sugarcube Corner.
"Um, sis ah don't wanna disappoint y'all, but ah think y'all are not gonna get those muffins ah think it's closed" Applebloom said looking at her sister.
The windows of the sweet shop were closed and dark, the curtains blocked all view.
"Aww don't worry, its open! Ah ah told Pinkie? That ah was comin' early, yeah, it's open, trust yer sis" she said, giving her a little nudge. "Go on in!"
Applebloom opened the door to Sugarcube Corner and walked into the dark room. She was then met by a flick of the lights, an explosion of confetti and a loud 'Surprise!' Applebloom was star struck as she was met by all of her friends. There was a large banner that read Happy Birthday Applebloom in big yellow and red paint. There was food and drinks all over the place, sweets to the right, snacks to the left, and drinks at the back. She could see her fellow crusaders, Sweetie bell and Scootaloo as they rushed to her side.
"Happy birthday Applebloom!" Sweetie Belle's voice cracked as she plopped a party hat on her.
"Y'all threw this party fer me?!" Applebloom said.
"Don't thank just us; it was all Applejack's idea. Pinkie Pie made the preparations, and I bring the awesomeness to the party" Scootaloo said, nudging her friend with her elbow.
Applebloom turned around to see her sister and rushed over for a hug. "Thank y'all so much Applejack, this is the best party ever!"
"Aww, y'all are welcome lil sis, ah would do anything for y'all. Now go have some fun with yer party, y'all only turn ten once y'all know?"
Applebloom broke away from the hug and rushed off to have fun with her friends. Applejack looked around for her own friends, she saw Pinkie serving cupcakes to the party guests near the stairs, and Rarity chatting with Fluttershy over by the punch bowl. Then she also spotted Pinkie serving cupcakes near the door, and on the back, and also next to the bakery's kitchen Applejack then saw Twilight standing over by the door, trying to keep two fillies out of the party; she walked over to see who they were.
"But you can't keep us out! We are like, Applebloom's best friends! Tell her Silver Spoon" The pink earth filly of the two said, it was Diamond Tiara, the spoiled little brat.
"Yeah, you can't keep us out!" Silver Spoon said.
"I know exactly who you two are; do you think I don't have enough intelligence? You two are Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon" Twilight said in a stern voice. "You are the two fillies who bully Applebloom and her friends all the time and just want to be here to bully her some more. There is no way I'm letting you two in."
"What in tarnation is going on here?" Applejack said as she walked over.
"Oh yes, Applejack!" Diamond said in surprise. "You must let us into Applebloom's party, this mean old Twilight won't let us through. And we are best friends with Applebloom after all."
"Old!?" Twilight yelled. "How dare you? I'm only twenty for your information, twice your age!"
"Nice try Diamond Tiara, ah know exactly who y'all are, but there's no way in hay that y'all getting in mah sis's party" Applejack said.
Diamond Tiara stomped her hoof on the ground in anger. "Wait till my daddy hears about this! He'll bring your business down, you hear! Come on Silver Spoon, we don't need to be at this lame party anyway!" she yelled before she and Silver ran down the street.
"Yer dad won't bring mah family's business down while we keep doing zap jam" Applejack slammed the door and yelled out to them. "And don't be coming back y'all hear!?"
"Thanks for getting rid of them Applejack, they were getting to my nerves" Twilight said as she sat down next to a table with her friend. "I hate those two snooty, stuck up brats; I swear someday I will great, now I'm sounding like Rainbow Dash."
Applejack opened her eyes wide and started looking at her sides blushing slightly. "Rainbow he-he yeah, sh-she isn't here is she?"
"Umm I think she hasn't arrived here yet Applejack, you're not avoiding her are you? Pinkie came to me a few days ago and told me about you two abandoning her after you saw sight of her."
"Ah can't help it" she got closer to Twilight and whispered "ever since that kiss, ah've been going crazy at the thought of her. Ah can't face'er without thinking 'bout it."
"Applejack you're going to have to tell her soon. You can't avoid her forever."
Pinkie Pie then popped her head out of a nearby vase. "Forever!" she yelled before sinking back in slowly, in a somewhat disturbing way.
Twilight and Applejack stared at the vase for some seconds and went back to talking.
"Ah know ah have to tell her, aH jes don't know when, how, or where" said Applejack as she slumped her head on the table.
Just then, the door of Sugarcube corner burst open and in its wake was a Rainbow-maned pegasus.
"Sorry I'm late everypony!" Rainbow Dash yelled. "Overslept again."
Everypony returned their attention from her and went back to partying, all except a purple-maned and orange coated filly, who rushed over and clung to one of Dash's legs in a death grip.
"Well, that's mah signal, ah'm leaving" said Applejack as she started to walk to the back door.
"Oh no, you're not escaping from your sister's birthday party!" Twilight said as she grabbed her with her magic. "Please stay, for her."
Applejack struggled to move, but it was useless against the unicorn's magic. "Twilight, please, ah'm beggin' y'all, let me go."
"No Applejack, you're not leaving just because Rainbow's here. You don't have to be with her, but that doesn't mean you have to leave Sugarcube Corner."
"Fine then, ah'll jus ask her to leave" Applejack said, trying to walk towards the cyan mare.
"You're not going to do that either, or else I'll bring out the big guns again" Twilight said as she pointed to Pinkie Pie a few hoofs away, who was eating a cupcake.
Applejack shuttered at the memory of what happened last time. "Cherrychanga or chimicherry, or maybe chimycherrychanga" she thought in her head. She instinctively lowered her ears and put her hooves over them to block any sound.
"Fine, jes jes don't call'er." Applejack said in defeat. She didn't like to lose, but she knew when she was beaten.
"Great, now listen well, you will get your flank over there look at Rainbow's eyes and you will tell her 'hi', understood?"
"W-wait no Twilight! Ah-" she said in panic, but it was too late. The unicorn's magic wrapped around her and thrust her towards Rainbow Dash.
"H-howdy R-Rainbow" Applejack said, finding herself right in front of the mare who had been driving her crazy. She started feeling a little bit dizzy and her face started assimilating her cutie mark's color.
"Oh um, h-hi AJ " Rainbow stuttered, her cheeks lit up instantly in a fury of dark red.
"Well umm" Applejack stuttered as she searched for the right words to say. "Y-you look mighty dandy to-today. Ah must say."
This only made Dash's cheeks glow even more. "He-he thanks, you too."
Scootaloo who was still attached to Rainbow Dash's leg let out a long "Ohhhhh" knowing that her idol wasn't going to pay her any attention now, and walked away with a sly smile with a hint of frustration.
Applejack froze in fear as she realized what Scootaloo had discovered. "Umm Rainbow, ah am mighty sorry, but ah'll be right back, Ah need to take care of sumthin' " she said before she turned and started running after Scootaloo.
"Hey Scootaloo can ah speak with y'all in private?" she said as she rushed up to her.
"Suuure" she said in a long tone.
The two ponies walked up to Pinkie's room, she had been in her room before, but this time everything was different. The walls were a swirl of pink and blue, with some random yellow polka dots that varied in size across the walls. Applejack and Scootaloo both sat down next to one of the tables in the room. There were some minutes where nopony talked they just looked at each other, then Applejack sternly asked.
"How did you know?"
"Are you kidding?! It is obvious that you have a crush on her! I tried not to make false assumptions at first" Scootaloo said excitingly. "But now, you were blushing more than any other time I saw you two together, so that kinda confirmed it. Oh I can't wait to tell my friends."
"Oh no y'all won't!" Applejack said as she grabbed the filly to stop her from going downstairs. "Y'all can't tell anypony, not Applebloom, not Sweetie Belle, and especially not Pinkie Pie. Please Scootaloo, ah'm beggin' y'all I-if y'all don't wanna do it fer me, do it fer Rainbow Dash. Please, don't."
"Umm urgh fine" she said with a pout and a crestfallen voice "But with one condition! You must tell her soon" she stated.
"What? No, ah can't! wh-what if."
"Relax. I have a feeling that she feels the same for you, you trust me AJ, I'm one of the fillies who know Rainbow Dash the most" she said before turning around and walking downstairs.
Applejack sighed in relief. "Whoa nelly that was a close one, but luckily it was avoided" she said. She inhaled deeply and started walking down the stairs.
Scootaloo ran towards Applebloom and asked.
"Hey Bloom, don't you wanna play some games? But not 'pin the tail on the pony' or silly games like that" proposed Scootaloo.
"N' what are y'all thinking about?" asked Applebloom.
"Extreme truth or dare" stated the orange filly.
"Extreme truth or dare?" asked again the birthday pony.
"Yeah. It's like truth or dare, but once you've chosen the dare, and they have told you what to do, you can decide to make it extreme. If you complete it, you will gain a bonus, you can choose to change your dare, give a double dare to the other pony, or you can trespass your dare to somepony else you decide, even if they are not playing" explained Scootaloo.
"That sounds fun! Okay everypony! Let's play!" Applebloom shouted, some ponies got closer and sat around the two fillies.
"Well Applebloom, I think the pony's talk without talking It seems this will be a one on one game."
"Bring it on filly!" provoked the little earth pony.
"Well, let's start, truth or dare?"
"Umm truth" replied Applebloom.
"Have you ever lied to your sister?" asked grinning the orange pegasus.
"Umm umm " Applebloom gulped and closed her eyes "Y-yes."
"APPLEBLOOM!" gasped the farm mare who was sitting behind her.
"Ah'm sorry! Y'all are gonna pay for it Scoots. Truth or dare?"
"Dare. I wanna see what the worst you can throw at me is."
"Remember those spins y'all did to help me when we had to make that show fer school?"
"Well, why don't y'all do one fer us here, in front of everypony?"
"Just that? Then let's make it extreme!" said Scootaloo.
"Oh, y'all sure? Then y'all will have to spin around fer one whole minute."
Scootaloo stood up, she put one hoof on the floor and lifted the rest of her body and started spinning around. Half a minute later Scootaloo started loosing balance and she was not feeling to well, but she was one tough little filly and kept spinning until she got to one minute, then she collapsed on the floor, her eyes were still spinning and she couldn't focus, but she had won the dare, so she got a bonus. Some of the ponies of the crowd were clapping with their hooves.
"Hah! I told I, um, you can it do!" she said, shaking her head to recover "I mean, I told you I can do it, now I've got a bonus to use!"
"Okay, now's mah turn."
"Well truth or dare" asked Scootaloo.
"Okay let's see I dare you to drink ten glasses of punch."
"Jes that? Make it extreme fer me Scoots."
"Well, if you say so, I dare you to drink the whole bowl."
"Okay " she walked to the punch table, grabbed the bowl and drunk it all, not leaving a single drop. Everypony looked at her and a chore of "Oohh" were heard. "There, now ah have a bonus too."
"Well, I use my bonus to give you a double dare."
"Okay, and what would that be?"
"I dare you to give Applejack a very close and affective hug, like a very good sister, for a whole minute. Here, in front of everypony" she said smiling slyly.
"What's the matter sis? Don't Y'all love yer big sister? Come here n' give me a hug!" said Applejack, opening her arms widely and laughing slightly.
"It's not that, but let's use mah bonus, I choose to trespass mah dare to somepony else!" stated Applebloom.
"And that pony would be " Scootaloo said.
"Umm let's see " said Applebloom, looking at the ponies in front of her, there were a lot of ponies there, but there was a mare that stood out of the rest, because of her rainbow-colored mane. "Ah choose Rainbow Dash! Come here Dashie, y'all have to hug mah sister for a whole minute!"
"WHAT!?" shouted Rainbow Dash, her eyes went as wide as saucers.
Applejack closed her arms quickly and froze, then she said "A-Applebloom, ch-choose another pony if she doesn't want to" she said, trying to avoid the situation.
Scootaloo knew that shouldn't happen so she tried to tell Applebloom "C-come on AB, it's an easy dare won't you like to save this bonus for later?"
"Nah, ah wanna see this! They've been the best of friends in the past few years and miss Rainbow always comes bah mah house to see her. They spend hours playing n' talking, and ah've seen them bump hooves, arm wrestle. Once ah even saw them hit their heads, but ah've never seen them hug. Now Dash, y'all have to do it, y'all heard Scootaloo, even if y'all aren't playing; y'all still have to do the dare" said Applebloom with a mischievous look on her face.
Rainbow Dash tried to hide, but it seems being rainbow colored is not a great camouflage. The whole crowd of ponies started pushing her towards Applejack, and the other side of the crowd did the same with Applejack. Both ponies knew it was going to happen so they just resigned to it and opened their arms and wrapped them around the other pony.
There they were, hugging after all the things that happened. They were there, together, close to each other, and everypony was watching. Applejack was trying to think about Wynona, about tomorrow's chores, and about anything but that sweet, glorious, marvelous kiss they shared a few days ago. The silky, warm coat of Rainbow Dash, which she was so close to, she could even smell that intoxicating perfume that emanated of Dash's body. She failed about not thinking about that. She started to blush so she tilted her Stetson to the front so it could cover her face.
Rainbow Dash was using every single nerve to keep her wings from expanding in the most spectacular way. She loved every second of the embrace, but at the same time she hated it. All that time she spent trying to get away from Applejack so she could think about her quietly, and relaxed. All thrown away by just one hug.
The minute passed and both mares broke the embrace and walked in different directions, returning to their seats. The crowd concentrated on the two fillies again.
"Well your turn Applebloom, ask me something "
"Truth or dare?"
"I'll go with truth" said Scootaloo.
"Y'all have been at Pinkie Pie's room, am ah right?"
"Yes I've been there."
"Is it truth that she has a clump of lint, a pile of rocks, a sack of flour, and a bucket of turnips next to her night table?"
"Well, well, well! Come on everypony its time to open presents and eat cake!" Pinkie Pie yelled out, while some drops of sweat fell down her forehead and her eyes darted back and forth.
Applebloom and Scootaloo took that as a sign that the game was over and ran over to their tables.
Everypony gathered around the table that Applebloom was sitting at with presents in hand. Applejack made sure to be on the opposite side of the table from Rainbow, Scootaloo told her she might love her back, but why rush? Applebloom decided to open Applejack's friend's presents first. She received a new hoof-stitched bow from Rarity, luckily the white unicorn stuck to the original model and didn't add it any gems, a paint kit from Fluttershy, a delicious apple cake from Pinkie Pie, and a book from Twilight Sparkle. Who would have thought?
"Here you go kiddo, hope you like'em" Rainbow Dash said hoofing her a small box.
Applebloom quickly opened the box and glanced in confusion as she held up a strip of colorful pictures. "Fake cutie marks? Rainbow, are y'all tryin' to tell me sumthin'?" she asked staring at the speedster pegasus.
"What? Oh, it's obvious you're not a professional prankster yet, but look at the possibilities! You could totally pull off a cool prank on those two bullies with those" Rainbow shrugged.
"He-he good point, thanks" Applebloom giggled in a mischievous manner.
"Ah guess its mah turn now then huh? Well, mah lil sis, here y'all go Applebloom, happy birthday" Applejack said, giving her a wrapped box.
It was flat and rectangular maybe a chocolate box? Sweets? Applebloom decided to stop guessing and shredded the paper in a flash. "A filly's guide to earning yer cutie mark" she said as she read the book cover.
Applebloom looked at her sister and said "Oh it's jes this?"
"What? Don't y'all like it?" Applejack said, sounding a little disappointed.
The red-maned filly jumped over to Applejack and gave her a hug. "Ah'm jes kiddin'! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you Applejack! Now the crusaders will earn our cutie marks for sure!"
"Y'all are welcome Applebloom, now come on; we got a cake to eat."
Twilight used her magic to cut the cake, giving a slice to each and everypony. It was a big cake, red and yellow frosting spelled out Applebloom while little bits of apple stuck out from it.
Applejack was in the middle of her slice when suddenly she was being magically lifted up in the air. "Gah, Twilight put me down, ah'm not doing anythin!"
"It's not me Applejack" Twilight said.
"Well who is it then?!"
"Pumpkin Cake put her down this instant!" Pinkie gasped.
On the floor were two baby filly's, one of them had her horn glowing and was beginning to pick up Rainbow Dash as well.
"Whoa! Pinkie do something!" Rainbow yelled in terror as she was lifted up in the air.
"I can't, these baby's won't listen to reason! Do you want me to tell you their taste in standup comedy as well?"
"Not now Pinkie, jus get us down" Applejack said.
Scootaloo who was watching and enjoying the show, saw this opportunity and took it; she rushed over to Pumpkin and whispered something in her ear. Pumpkin Cake was a baby, but she knew what other's told her. Pumpkin then had a mischievous grin on her face and started to slowly move Rainbow and Applejack closer and closer.
"Oh no" Applejack thought. "Scootaloo you traitor."
Applejack and Rainbow Dash both started to freak out and blush wildly as they began to float closer to each other they tried to cover their faces. Pumpkin Cake was trying to force them to do something they both didn't and did want, kiss. The two ponies were only a few inches away from each other's face when suddenly.
"Pumpkin Cake put them down this instant, you hear little missy?" It was Cupcake.
The pale yellow coated filly unicorn did as her mother said and let the blushing Applejack and Rainbow Dash down.
Applejack thought she was going to faint in embarrassment at any moment and dashed out the door, Rainbow Dash did the same. Scootaloo felt incredibly guilt for what she had done; she left the party and started to walk.
"What have I done?"