Chapter six: Memories
An Appledash fic inspired by the short story "Of Horseshoes, Apples, and Feathers"
It was a bright and sunny Monday morning; the leaves of the tree house blew lightly in the calm breeze. A purple unicorn fluttered her eyes awake as the sun penetrated the light pink curtains of her bedroom.
"Ugh" she moaned, turning her turn into the pillow. "That stallion lied to me, these curtains don't block sunlight. I must remember to send him a complain letter."
It had been two days since the 'incident' at Applebloom's party. Neither Rainbow Dash nor Applejack had shown their faces in town since then, probably embarrassed to death. Twilight has known that feeling before on several occasions.
Twilight tossed and turned in bed, trying to fall back to sleep, but it was no use.
"Fine!" yelled the purple-maned unicorn, tossing up the bed sheets in frustration. "You win again Celestia, you send me to study and then you don't let me catch up on sleep from last night's studying."
Twilight crawled out of bed and slumped towards her mirror on the opposite side of the room, groaning in the process.
"Whoa" she said in surprise, looking at the mirror. Her mane was flipped up and sticking out at odd angles in a big mess. "I really need to stop messing up my mane, I still don't understand how can I sleep with my mane perfectly combed and wake up like this" she giggled as she brushed it with her magic.
Twilight proceeded to follow her 'checklist of things to do every morning' checklist by going to the little fillies' room, having breakfast, checking if the checklist of things to do that day was made, and then reading a book.
"Check, now to read that new book I picked up, Doctor Whooves and the Assistant. Hmm, sounds like something Dash would like rea-"
"Twilight!" Spike yelled as he burst through the door.
"Ah! Spike!" she said, grabbing a pillow to cover herself. "I'm not dressed! How dare you to enter a mare's room without knocking?"
"Twilight, first of all, you don't wear clothes. Second, I've been with you since I was born. And third, you're spending too much time with Rarity, which I wouldn't care if you take me with you when you go to see her."
"Oh yeah" she said, dropping the pillow and blushed a dark red. "So what is it?"
"A letter from Princess Celestia has arrived" the baby dragon said, holding a scroll. "And it's marked urgent!"
"What?! Gimme!" she panicked, nearly knocking over Spike as she rushed over.
Dear Twilight Sparkle, my faithful student
Recently I have discovered a rather disturbing piece of news from one of my ancient library books.
Discord, the god of chaos was imprisoned a little over a year ago by you and the Elements of Harmony as you may now. However, the reason for his escape in the first place was due to the disconnection from them from me and my sister Luna. This means the Elements' power is not strong enough to last after their vessels don't longer contain them.
I want to make sure that never happens again. When you and the other Elements pass away (Sorry, I know truth may hurt, but that's the way it is) Discord will no longer be bound by the Elements anymore and will break free, again. A risk we can't afford.
I have discovered a powerful stone held deep in the Everfree forest, it's called The Imprisonment Stone. It is a stone of ancient magic from the time of when I was merely a filly (Yes my dear, I was too a filly before). I hate to send the Elements of Harmony to fetch the stone, but it's the only way for Discord to never return.
For extra safety, I will be sending along my sister Luna to assist you in your quest. I await your further reply.
Your teacher, Princess Celestia
"Spike quick, get my quest checklist!"
"I already packed your bags Twilight" Spike said, holding up a pair of saddlebags.
Twilight smiled and rubbed his head. "And that's why you're my number one assistant. Ok Spike, I don't know how long I'll be gone but I need you to watch the library in the meantime. Please, no party nor disorder, I trust you'll leave the library as clean and as organized as it is now?"
"Yes ma'am!" he saluted.
Twilight trotted downstairs and was about to open the door, when suddenly it flung to reveal a dark blue coated alicorn.
"Thy princess of the night has arrived!" she shouted in her royal Canterlot voice.
Twilight quickly fixed her mane, which had been blown back by the princess's voice and said "Umm, princess, it's good to see you again, but remember to lower the volume."
"Oh" she blushed. "We had forgotten to lower our introductions, but we have been improving our voice since we last saw thee."
"It's alright Luna."
"It's good to see thee as well, are thou ready to embark on thy quest?"
"Yes, I'm ready to do anything the princesses demand me to. Let's go!" Twilight said, trotting out the door.
"We appreciate thy enthusiasm, but we need to get those friends of thine."
"Yes, follow me."
"After thee" she said, following her down the road.
High in the sky, above the pleasant town of Ponyville was a cloud home with rainbow pools and waterfalls, very fitting to its owner. Inside slept an exhausted cyan coated pegasus. Rainbow Dash was soundly sleeping on her cloud bed, Daring Do books littered around her and a little stream of drool was escaping from the left corner of her mouth. She had spent a long night of reading once again; it was the only thing that could keep her mind off of the craziness that had happened the past few days. Since the little 'incident' at Applebloom's birthday party, she hadn't left her cloud house. But it seemed that today was not going to be another day of lots of reading and sleeping, this day, was going to be one to never forget. A loud pair of knocks sounded from the door downstairs.
The rainbow maned pegasus's ears perked up "Ugh, five more minutes Scoots, I'll give you an autograph later" Rainbow Dash muttered, pulling her pillow over her head.
The loud knocking continued.
"I'll teach you how to fly later pipsqueak, just one more minute of sleep "
Once again, a knock was heard on the door.
"Oh fine!" she yelled, tossing up the pillow, which disintegrated into thin air on its way down.
Rainbow Dash flew out of bed and downstairs to the door.
For the fourth time, a knock was heard.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard you the first time! Stop knockin-" she shouted, opening the door but immediately dropping to a bow when she saw who was standing there. "Pr-princess L-luna. Wh-what are you doing here?" She asked while cleaning the dry drool off her face with her hoof.
"Our sister requires us and the other Elements to fetch a stone to help imprison Discord, the god of chaos with."
"B-but didn't we imprison him a while ago?"
"Yes, thou did, but this is to imprison him forever, to avoid that terrible episode from happening again. Twilight will tell thee the details if thou wish to come with us."
"Twilight? Where is she?"
"She is waiting on the ground below, ready for the quest, if thou accept."
"Sure, anything to stop that Discord forever. I still want revenge for him making me disloyal."
"Then follow us."
The two ponies hopped off of Dash's cloud home and descended down to the floor. Dash could see three of her friends waiting for her, Fluttershy, Twilight, and to her luck, the pretty orange farmpony; reason of her sweetest dreams and of her misfortunes, Applejack.
"Oh no" she thought. "Come on! Why Celestia, why? Did you send your sister just to hear the story from the front row?"
"Thank Celestia, I'm really glad you decided to come along Dash. Pinkie and Rarity were too busy to join and I'm not sure we could do this without you" Twilight said.
"Yeah, he-he, about that" Dash said, her gaze kept switching between Twilight and Applejack. "I I-I On second thought, I might not be able to come after all."
"Wha? Why not?"
"I um, uh-" She was cut off as she saw two deep light-blue eyes looking at her from behind Twilight, Fluttershy was ready to do The Stare. Dash knew there was no way out of this one.
"I- uh, oh never mind. I'll come along."
"Great" Twilight said in relief. "Just give me a second to look at the map, then we'll be going."
Rainbow Dash slowly trotted over to the yellow pegasus, who has taken notice of her anger and crouched down in fear.
"What. Was. That?" Rainbow demanded.
"I, uh, w-well you h-have to come a-along Dash. We can't do this without you, and you can't let your feelings for Applejack get in the way of saving Equestria." Fluttershy said nervously.
"Shhh, lower your voice, nobody needs to hear that" said Rainbow Dash, looking both ways for any eavesdroppers. "I know, but did you have to use The Stare as a threat? That creeps me out and you know it!"
"I'm sorry. It was the only way to convince you."
"Ok, but next ti-" Dash was cut off as Twilight spoke out
"OK everypony! We have a many day journey ahead of us, so let's go!"
"Many days?" Rainbow Dash thought to herself. "How am I supposed to survive being with Applejack for that long without doing something stupid, or something going wrong?" she thought as she trotted off towards the Everfree Forest with her friends, and as far away from Applejack.
The dark and musty smells of the Everfree Forest along with the occasional wolf howl or odd sound were enough to give even the bravest pony chills. A swift but cold breeze passed as the five ponies trotted slowly through the trees. Luna led the way while Fluttershy and Dash stayed close behind and Twilight and Applejack took up the rear.
"Ah still can't believe Ah let y'all convince me to come along with y'all. What was Ah thinkin'?" Applejack whispered to Twilight.
"You were perfectly fine with coming until I mentioned Dash. Come on Applejack, you know we need you for this quest."
"Ah know, Ah know. Its jes-" Applejack stopped as her eyes focused on the perfect hips that were swinging in front of her.
"Um, AJ, are you with us?" asked Twilight, waving her hoof in front of the mare's green eyes.
"Uh what? Oh sorry, it it's nuthin' " she said, trying to hide her blush with her Stetson. "Stupid sexy Dash "she thought.
The gang continued to walk for the next few hours through the ever growing cold of the Everfree Forest. All was silent, not a single sound was made; that is, until Fluttershy spoke.
"Brrr, w-why must the Everfree Forest be s-so cold and d-dark. This isn't normal."
"This forest wasn't always like this. It used to be a lot like Canterlot" Luna said.
"It did?" Twilight asked in surprise. "What happened then?"
"We and our sister built our first castle here, what is now the castle where thou freed us from our terrible curse. After we were banished, we guess our sister built a new castle and the old one fell into disrepair, slowly but steady the forest took over the city and let it in ruins."
"That's fascinating, I'll have to research that when we-"
Twilight was cut off as low growl came from some bushes a few hoofs away from the group. Before they could react; three wolves popped out and started circling the group. They appeared to be made out of wood and their eyes were two glowing yellow orbs.
"T-t-timberwolves!" Fluttershy yelped before fainting like a goat.
Luna and Twilight began to charge up their horns with magic; ready to do anything to protect their friends.
"Rainbow, AJ! I need you two to grab Fluttershy and get out of here! We'll catch up with you later!" Twilight yelled as she flung bolts of magic towards the timberwolves.
Rainbow Dash crouched under Fluttershy's body, putting her on her back, and dashed off into the forest with Applejack in front of her. Her strong and resistant physical structure was used to scratches, so she went in front, clearing the way of branches that could hurt Rainbow Dash or Fluttershy.
"Come at us, foal beasts! We shall destroy thee" Luna yelled, blasting powerful fireballs at the wolves that ignited them on contact.
The wolves winced in pain as the fire burned their bark, but they ignored it and continued to bite and slash at the two ponies.
Twilight projected a force field around herself as she continued with her attacks. Luna fought valiantly as she slashed magic daggers at the wolves. One timberwolf responded by dashing straight at her and ripping half of her tail off.
Luna eyes burned white as she saw what had become of her star blued tail. She flew up into the air, a strong wind started swirling around her, she focused on the creature that had ruined her tail.
"Thou dare to raise thy filthy and wretched claw against us! We shall destroy thee!"
Her horn glowed a bright blue as a white beam of energy blasted out of it towards the wolves. The beam hit and the pack of wolves were sent flying into the sky.
"Huzza! That's how we manage menaces in Equestria!"
"Princess " Twilight spoke, she was speechless of what she saw. "T-that was amazing!"
Luna dusted herself off as she floated down to the ground. "Thank thee Twilight Sparkle, no pony nor wolf touches our tail an- ugh" Luna groaned in pain.
"Princess! What's wrong?" asked Twilight, running toward the Princess of the night.
"It is nothing for thee to worry, just a scratch on our flank."
Twilight looked over to see a long two inch slash below her cutie mark; it was dripping with blood.
"Luna we must get help immediately!" Twilight said in a worried tone.
"We will be fine, we are an Alicorn, we heal quickly but the pain is the same. We must go after thy friends; we swear we saw a pair of wolves running after them."
"What?! We have to go save them!"
"After thee" Luna said as she and Twilight ran off into the forest.
The leaves and trees rushed past Applejack as she continued to run with Rainbow behind her.
"Y'all think we lost them Rainbow?"
Dash came to a slow trot, caught her breath, and looked behind her. "I-I think so."
"What do we do now?" Applejack said, cautiously looking to her sides.
"Hey, don't worry" said Dash, putting a hoof over AJ's shoulder. "I'm here for you."
Applejack blushed at the fact of her love being so close. "T-thanks, how's Fluttershy?"
"I-I'm f-fine" a timid voice sounded.
"Oh look who's awake" Dash said as the yellow pegasus slid off her back. "Have a nice nap?"
Fluttershy just gives her a sarcastic smile. "Where's Twilight and Luna? And where are the wolves?"
"Ah don't know Sugarcube. They stayed behind to defend us from the timberwolves. And we lost those good fer nuthin' as we ran off" the cowpony said. "Hey Rainbow, can y'all fly up and look fer them?"
Rainbow was about to fly up when the sky flashed and rain started pouring on her.
"Ugh, I can't fly in this weather. Not in the Everfree's weather, it's unnatural and very dangerous!"
"Shucks, we'll have to wait 'til it's over. Let's take shelter in that cave!" Applejack shouted through the storm, her hoof pointing an opening, many hoofs away.
The three ponies ran into the cave as the crazy storm raged on. They were unaware of the pair of wolves slowly approaching.
Rainbow shook the rain off her cyan coat as she came into the cave. "Alright, let's just wait out the storm here and then we'll go looking fo-"
She was cut-off as a loud shriek sounded from the pink-maned pegasus. She was staring at two pairs of glowing yellow eyes at the entrance to the cave.
"Timberwolves!" Rainbow yells.
One timberwolf jumped at Applejack with fangs and claws, ready to kill her. Applejack turns around and bucks the timberwolf as hard as she can, propelling him out of the cave and into the woods again. The remaining timberwolf lunges into the cave, chomping down on Applejack's leg, who screamed in pain.
Rainbow Dash flies at full force and smashes into the wolf, slamming it into the wall. The cave shakes and rumbles in response.
"You're going to pay for hurting her you useless piece of kindling!" Dash says, stomping her hoof on the ground.
The timberwolf got up and the two begin to circle one another, neither making a move forward.
Rainbow Dash looks over to Fluttershy who was at the entrance of the cave, shaking in fear.
"Fluttershy get out of here and get help! Fast!"
Fluttershy is hesitant to move at first, but then begins to fly out when she looks over at Applejack. The timberwolf turns away from Rainbow and charges after the yellow pegasus.
"Oh no you don't!" Dash yells, flying and smashing the timberwolf into the wall.
The cave begins to shake more and rocks begin to fall. Rainbow Dash panics and rushes back towards Applejack.
"Applejack come on we got to move! We have to go, the cave is collapsing!"
"Rainbow" Applejack whispered. "Leave me here gal, save yerself."
"No! Never" Rainbow Dash replied.
"Please Dash, if this is mah end, then mah final wish is fer y'all to be safe. Please, if y'all appreciate me, fly away!"
"I won't do that Applejack" she said, sitting by her side. "I'll never leave you AJ, you can count on that."
"C'mon Rainbow, Ah can't stand losing y'all. Ah will never forgive mahself if y'all suffer because of me."
More rocks began to fall, crushing the Timberwolf under piles of rubble until the last drop of light disappeared.
"Applejack?" Rainbow said through the dark silence, moving her hooves about to find her.
"Ah'm here Sugarcube" a voice next to her said. Applejack stretched her right hoof and grabbed her friend to make her know where she was.
"I can't see a thing AJ."
"Me neither gal, it seems we-"
Applejack was cut off as the ceiling began to glow with a strange light-blue light.
"What are those lights?"
"Glowing mushrooms Sugarcube, Ah saw them once when Ah was little. We're lucky they're growing here. At least we can now see our faces" said Applejack smiling at her friend.
"Applejack, your leg" the cyan pegasus said, looking down at the cowpony's hind hoof.
Applejacks leg was bloody and bent at an odd angle, but she felt no pain.
"Don't worry about me Rainbow. Ah don't feel a thing. Ah'm jes glad we're alive, and that Ah'm here with y'all" said Applejack, bringing her friend closer.
"I may not be a doctor AJ, but that can't be good. We need help. I don't want anything bad to happen to you."
Applejack drags herself to the wall and sits, leaning against it. "Ah don't think anypony can dig out that wall of rubble" she sighs. "Ah think this is it. We had our time, Ah guess its jes time fer it to end."
Rainbow lies down next to Applejack and rests her head on the wall. Applejack leans to her side and rests her head on Rainbow's shoulder.
Rainbow Dash sheds a single tear; that falls from her face and into her friend's golden mane. "Well it's a good thing I'm spending it with my very best friend."
The two ponies sat for a while in the low light of the mushrooms, their breaths getting shallower by the minute.
"Hey Sugarcube, do y'all remember when we first met, long time ago?" Applejack said, breaking the silence.
"Oh yeah, of course I do, how could I ever forget that day? It was only a couple years after we got our cutie marks" Rainbow said, her mind thinking back to that day.
A young cyan filly was flying through the air, doing spins, loop-de-loops and twirls in the sky.
"Such a good idea to skip flight camp for a day of flying" she said to herself as she started to fly lower. "Now, time for some dexterity training."
She flew down further to the tree line and zipped in between each one, avoiding them with relative ease. She was so confident of her skills that she closed her eyes and followed her instinct.
"Hah, they don't call me Rainbow Dash for no-"
The filly was cut off as she felt her right wing go limp and a terrible pain running trough her right side. She saw splinters and pieces of branches fly away in front of his face, before falling to the ground and losing consciousness.
"Y'all heard that big brother?" a young earth pony asked.
"Eeyup" replied the red coated stallion.
"Do y'all know what it was?"
"Well, can y'all take the apple cart back to the barn? Ah'm gonna have a look" the young farmpony said before trotting off.
"Eeyup." simply answered the big, young stallion, taking her sister's rope and carrying the cart all by himself.
"Now Ah know Ah heard that loud crack noise from somewhere over here" the orange coated filly said as she weaved through the trees of the apple orchard.
She continued to trot through the woods before she saw a speck of color behind one of the trees. She rushed over to see a cyan filly about her age unconscious on the ground with a twisted wing.
Without hesitation, she picks up the filly and carries her off out of the woods.
"Ah better take her to mah clubhouse, Ah'll try to fix'er up there."
Rainbow Dash's eyes fluttered awake as she found herself staring at a wooden ceiling, the sun was almost down, so everything was under an orange light, she felt a warm blanket over her body and a strong but sweet smell of apples.
"W-where am I? W-what happened?"
"Y'all are at mah clubhouse, Ah believe y'all hit a branch while flyin' " a new voice sounded.
Rainbow looked over to see a golden maned, orange coated, earth filly with three white freckles in each cheek, sitting in a chair before her; looking at her with two beautiful and hypnotizing emerald eyes.
"Gah! Who are you? Arghh! Why does my wing hurt so much?" Dash screamed.
"Calm down Sugarcube. Ah found y'all unconscious on our family orchard and brought y'all here to fix y'all up. Y'all seemed to have a twisted wing, Ah've had a lot of twisted ankles and surprisingly, n' luckily fer y'all, pegasus wings aren't that different." she explained. "Oh pardon me, Ah'm Applejack, what's yer name gal, or do Ah keep calling y'all Sugarcube?"
"Rainbow Dash" she said slowly, unsure of the new pony's intentions. Then looked at her bandaged wing.
Applejack took out an apple pie from behind her and set it down next to Rainbow Dash. "Ah brought y'all a pie in case y'all were hungry."
Rainbow Dash just stared at the pie with a look of confusion on her face. "Why are you helping me?"
"Cause y'all were hurt, unconscious and needed help right away. Ah couldn't leave a pony in need like that. The Apple family never refuses to help."
Rainbow looked down at the pie again. It smelt good and she knew better than to reject free food; so she took a bite. After the pie touched her tongue, an explosion of flavor invaded her mouth, she had never ate something like that before. She then dove in and finished it in seconds.
"Well Ah guess y'all liked it, Ah made it mahself y'all know?"
"Really?" asked the amazed young filly.
"Eeyup, Ah brought y'all here, fixed yer wing, put y'all in bed and covered y'all with mah special blanket. Since y'all seemed to be unconscious for a while, Ah went back home to bake it."
"This is amazing! We don't have stuff like this in Cloudsdale."
"Oh y'all are from Cloudsdale huh, no wonder Ah never seen y'all before" Applejack said before looking out the window.
The sun was about to disappear behind the horizon to announce the start of the night.
"It's getting late; y'all should probably get home before yer folks worry" Applejack said , a little crestfallen.
"Oh yeah my parents " Dash said before walking out the door.
"Hey, y'all want to come back over tomorrow n' play?" the farmfilly asked.
Rainbow Dash thought about this for a moment before finally saying. "Yes, I'd like that" opening her wings. "Well, gotta go" she said before jumping into the air.
A loud thud was heard as the filly fell to the ground.
"Rainbow, are y'all ok gal?"
"Urggh y-yeah, it's just that I can't fly this way. My wing still hurts" said Rainbow Dash, standing up with the help of Applejack.
"Well then let's go back to the clubhouse. Y'all should stay here for a day or two, maybe by then yer wings will be ok" said the cowpony.
"Won't your parents be mad at you? Or at me?"
"They don't have to know y'all are here. And fer me, Ah sleep here now n' then, so they won't care" she explained.
"Well if you don't mind "
"Not at all! Ah would love to spend a night with y'all."
Both fillies spent the early night talking about each other and playing truth or dare. After a while Applejack brought some wood and started a bonfire. They sat around it and stargazed. Both fillies felt like they knew each other for years, they talked with complete honesty.
"So, what are yer parent's like Rainbow?"
"M M-my parents they " said the pony, unable to form the words. Tears started forming in her eyes. Applejack ran to her side and gave her a big loving hug.
"Ah'm sorry Ah asked Sugarcube, Ah know how y'all feel. Don't worry, let it go, Ah'm here now."
Rainbow Dash hugged her back and let the tears flow. After a few minutes they went back to talking.
Hours later, the ponies were pretty worn out. Rainbow Dash yawned and fluttered her eyes.
"Y'all getting' tired Sugarcube? We can go to sleep if y'all want to" offered Applejack.
"N-Nah I'm oka-" The pony's talk was interrupted by another yawn.
The orange pony laughed and stood up, she put out the bonfire and walked towards her friend.
"C'mon Sugarcube, come with me."
Rainbow Dash obliged and followed her inside the clubhouse. "Where are we gonna sleep."
"Well since Ah don't have two beds, Ah'll take the floor."
"What? No! I can't let you. You're the pony helped me all day, fixed my wing, gave me a pie, and all for free. I'll take the floor."
"Yer wing and body are not okay, y'all need real rest in a real bed."
"No, You will take it."
Applejack grabbed her friend and laid her on the bed. "Y'all will take the bed, now don't move from here, y'all hear?"
Rainbow Dash gave her a big grin and decided to let her win this time.
Applejack laid on the floor and looked at her new friend. Rainbow Dash looked back at her and they stayed like that for some time.
The cyan pegasus felt the need to be beside her, she didn't know why, she just wanted to cuddle next to her. So she planned how to make that happen. After a few seconds the pink eyed filly started shivering.
"D-do y'all feel cold gal?"
"A little bit It makes it difficult to sleep "
"Well do y'all want me to go n' sleep with y'all? That way our bodies will feel warmer."
"Well okay" said the rainbow maned filly, moving aside, making space in bed for Applejack. The orange filly climbed to the bed and laid beside the other filly, and turned around, facing away from her.
The golden-maned farmfilly thought that maybe it would be even better if they were closer, she was unaware of why, she just wanted to be really close with her new friend. Something drove her to think that.
"H-hey . R-rainbow are y'all awake?"
"Do y'all still feel cold?"
"Then maybe is better this way" said the cowpony, turning around and looking at her friend's eyes.
They were one inch away from each other's faces, Applejack wrapped her hooves around Rainbow Dash, who replied by doing the same. Their heart started beating faster and faster, their cheeks became progressively pink. Both fillies kept looking into each other's eyes and slept peacefully, warm and comfortable.
"Ah Ah remember y'all were really better the next morning, n' y'all were able to fly back home." The pony coughed twice, she was starting to feel bad, but was happy "But y'all came back that afternoon, and every week we had one sleepover."
"Yeah you were my very first friend Applejack..."
"W-wasn't it Fluttersh-shy?" asked the wounded pony.
"Nah, I knew her for the longest time, but she became my friend later. You were first You know? That was the best day of my life" Rainbow said.
"Best day? Ah thought the best young flyers competition was the best!" Applejack joked.
Rainbow Dash laughed. "Well, it wasn't the truth, 'til today there was no better day than the one where I met you, I was just I was just too proud to admit it."
"Speakin' 'bout competitions Remember the first competition we had?" asked Applejack.
"Oh, you talk about when we discovered our friendship was based on competing?"
It was a sunny afternoon, and the two ponies were meeting at their usual meeting place, Applejack's clubhouse. Two years had passed since they first met, ever since that day their friendship only grew stronger and they got closer and closer. There were many more sleepovers, where they slept tight together, even in the hottest summer nights. Applejack woke up early when the rooster crows to finish her chores, and the rainbow-maned filly lived up to her name and dashed out of flight camp as soon as classes ended, towards the clubhouse, where both fillies met to have a great day together. The clubhouse was made to be just like them, Wonderbolts' posters were covering the walls and a lonely but comfortable cloud was floating besides the bed.
In those two years they had played every possible game, and mastered most of them. But there was one particular game that the orange farmfilly seemed to be avoiding, and the cyan pegasus found that weird and kind of annoying.
"Hey AJ, how come we never play horseshoes? I've seen you play with your brother a thousand times and yet, we never played it. You've been avoiding it but we've played every playable game, can we at least try it out?"
"Umm A-Ah don't know Dash Ah wouldn't like playing it with y'all"
"Huh? Why?" the filly asked in surprise.
"Ah've been playin' it fer years, ever since ah was born. It wouldn't be fair with y'all. Ah'm pretty competitive when it comes to horseshoes, so Ah wouldn't make it easier fer y'all."
"So Are you implying I can't win?"
"Ah'm sorry, A-Ah didn't mean it that way!" hastily replied the emerald eyed pony.
"No, no, you did mean it that way! You're so sure huh!? Well let's go and let me prove you that I'm better. Or are you a chicken?"
Applejack remained calm. "Ah'm not gonna play yer game, y'all know y'all need sumthin' better than that to provoke me with."
"Oh, so that's it? Then I'll just tell everypony about that time you hugged me in fear because you thought there was a monster outside the clubhouse" said Rainbow, exaggeratedly imitating a scared filly.
"Ah remember y'all huggin' me back fer the same reason. N' even taking that out of the scene. If y'all tell'em that, then Ah'll tell them 'bout the time y'all woke me up on the middle of the night screaming because of a sweet lil' spider that was peacefully walking up the wall."
"Hey, I swear I saw somewhere that those spiders were venomous" replied the brash pegasus, her cheeks getting slightly pink.
"Venomous doesn't equal deadly Dash" said Applejack with a smiling. "It just makes you swell a lil' bit."
"Well, then I'll tell them about the time you were asleep and you started nibbling my ear."
"Oh yeah, Ah remember Ah woke up with yer ear in mah mouth and Ah was looking at y'all, but y'all never stopped me. Besides if y'all decide to do that, then Ah'll tell everypony 'bout that night Ah woke up at the sound of y'all sayin' 'I love you'" said the cowpony.
"H-hey, don't f-forget you hugged me tightly and smiled."
"Yeah maybe, but Ah'm not ashamed of it."
"Well I didn't want it to come to this" Dash said, stretching her muscles. "But it seems that I'll have to do what I was trying to avoid I'll have to call you Jackie"
"AJ's face cringed at the name and whined "No! C'mon Rainbow, y'all know Ah hate that nickname!"
"I'm sorry gal, but it seems to be the only way."
AJ grit her teeth in annoyance. "Fine, y'all wanna bite the dust, then be mah guest."
Rainbow Dash started trotting towards the barn, Applejack soon followed beside her, Dash started to trot faster. Applejack looked at her in surprise but speed up as well and surpassed her cyan friend. In response, Rainbow narrowed her eyes and started running, the cowpony followed her speed. But in the last twenty hooves, the rainbow-maned pony sprinted to the barn door, getting there first.
"Oh yeah! I won!" Dash celebrated, jumping in the air.
"Wha? Where we racin'? If Ah have known that y'all wouldn't stand a chance."
"Oh yeah? Well that wasn't my best neither, wanna try again cowpony?"
"Ready when y'all are pretty gal."
"Well let's set a finish line" proposed the pink eyed pony.
"How 'bout a whole lap 'round the orchard n' the barn door as the finish line?"
"Sounds good to me" She got to the door and lowered her head, preparing for start.
AJ followed and got ready as well.
"Ready " the cyan filly said, she waited two seconds and then quickly said "SETGO!" and started running.
The orange farmpony started later, tricked by her friend. She got beside her, the rose-eyed pegasus noticed that and started running faster. They were both going fast, but not at full speed, they knew they would need the energy to the final sprint.
Near halfway of the lap, Rainbow knew she needed to do something "Oh gosh, what can I do? What would a Wonderbolt do? Obviously I must use my wings, but how? I don't know if I'm faster flying than my frien- No, until the finish line, she's my deadly arch-nemesis; anyways, that's not the answer" thought the filly. A mischievous grin formed on her lips as the answer came to her mind.
The pegasus sprinted to position herself in front of the golden maned pony, expanded her wings and started flapping them, it may slow her a little bit but rendered any attempt on surpassing her impossible.
Applejack noticed that and tried to think how to pass her. She ran to one side and lowered herself, trying to go under her friend's wing. Rainbow noticed it and lowered her wings, sending AJ's beloved Stetson flying. With a fast hip movement and great tail dexterity, the emerald eyed cowpony hit the hat and sent it back to her head, with a subtle tilt of her head, she positioned it where it was supposed to be.
"Nopony messes with mah Stetson."
Applejack started gaining speed, skipped behind Dash's tail and, when she was about to hit the ground, kicked it with all her might, her powerful hind hooves sending her flying above Rainbow's head, shouting "Yee-haw!"
Rainbow thought "Next time we have a running competition; I'll rely on my flying skills instead of trying this again "
Applejack sprinted to the finish line and found out the barn door was closed. She looked at Rainbow Dash and noticed the spark on her eyes. They noded and ran full speed against the door.
A great thud was heard. Both fillies collided and tore the door down, laughing and looking at each other. Moments later Big Macintosh entered the barn with alarm, but when he saw the fillies laughing on the floor, he took a deep breath and look at them sternly. Both fillies were paralyzed and looked back at him.
"Jes fix it bah tomorrow n' Granny Smith will never know " said the red stallion, walking back to the barn with a smile on his face.
Both fillies thanked him and started right away.
"Oh yeah I remember we still owe your brother a big one "
"Eeyup Ah remember that after that day, we met everyday n' before playin sumthin' we first ran a lap 'round the orchard."
The two pony's breaths grew shallower and weaker as the air began to disappear.
"A-Ah Ah don't wanna sound sour, but Ah don't think we have must longer Sugarcube... So Ah might as well use it wisely. There's sumthin' Ah want to tell y'all before we go" Applejack said, her cheeks began to turn red.
"I I do too, something I wanted to say for a while now... I wasn't sure about it at first, but it has been growing and growing and it's pretty obvious now."
Both ponies faced each other under the blue glow.
They both said at the same time:
Both Applejack and Rainbow Dash smiled before locking lips with each other and letting the darkness take over.