Chapter One: Digging Up The Past
The cyan pony was proudly looking at the necklace she was wearing. Gold, with some engravings and a big red gemstone, probably a ruby, shaped like a lightning bolt.
"Element of Loyalty? Ha! This is so awesome!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed in a happy fashion.
She looked back up and examined her surroundings. She was in a very old castle, seriously decayed and torn apart by time and the strange non-pony-controlled weather. It was dark, the moon was up, and she was here in this castle far away from Ponyville, but she was not alone. She turned around to see another pegasus, looking at her necklace quizzically, one earth pony jumping up and down happily, two unicorns examining theirs, and Her. The orange pony that has been her friend for a very long time, her very best friend, the one who she enjoyed the most spending a day with.
Sadly, they haven't seen each other for a long time, after Rainbow Dash changed school she was too far away to visit Applejack, that's when she really started talking to Fluttershy, she was still being bullied around, and that wasn't meant to happen, not in her watch.
But they were back together; once again, she was lost in those green eyes. They could communicate without speaking, even after those years; they still knew each other as the back of their own hooves.
Applejack knew what Rainbow Dash was asking with that glance, so she replied without being asked "Honesty, pretty accurate ain't it?"
The rose eyed pony smiled widely and looked to her right, to see the two Princesses laying on the floor, one was crying while Celestia comforted her.
Nightmare Moon was defeated, Celestia was going to take care of her sister Luna now, and they were going to go back to Canterlot, just to come back the next day for the celebration.
Rainbow Dash never thought she would fight against one of the two princesses, but it seemed that with the new girl, Twilight Sparkle, comes in a combo, with many problems and more responsibilities. The rainbow maned pegasus never liked to handle responsibility, but this time she thought that maybe, just maybe, the pros were more than the cons.
She would get recognition and praise from ponies all over Equestria, something she always liked, and she got to spent more time with her old friend Applejack so she thought Why not? I might as well go and talk to Twilight.
She walked towards the lavender unicorn, who was looking at her mentor hugging a filly Luna.
"So Twilight? What's going to happen now?"
"Well, we are now the Element's of Harmony and every time Equestria needs us, I'll come here to Ponyville and save the day!"
"Wait Aren't you going to stay here with us?"
"I don't think so Rainbow Dash" Twilight said crestfallen "My mission was to take care of the celebration, after it I'll be back on Canterlot, concentrated on my studies, but "
"But what?" inquired Rainbow.
"I I'll see if I can talk to the Princess about it later"
"Well I hope we hang out together more " She looked at the orange cowpony "This team is cool."
Twilight nodded, smiling at her, and walked towards Rarity, Fluttershy and the pink mare that was jumping up and down but without saying a word. After Luna and Celestia's hug she exclaimed "You know what this calls for?" and she stopped talking and started hopping, like if she was saving the answer for later.
Rainbow Dash turned around to talk to Applejack just to find her in front of her, making both ponies hit their muzzles.
"Ouch, that hurts!"
"Ah'm sorry Sugarcube, Ah was 'bout to talk to y'all."
Rainbow Dash looked at her in the eyes, those green windows to the orange pony's soul, Probably the purest and loveliest soul of them all I would like to say that about myself, but I know it wouldn't be true. She's so selfless, so generous, so willing to help everypony and here I am a stupid egocentric pegasus that's always 'Too busy training for the Wonderbolts' to help anypony.
Rainbow Dash's smile quivered and then became a forced fake smile.
Applejack was too lost in thoughts to notice that, staring at the rose orbs in front of her. Those eyes that were showing her all of her flaws, all the things she wasn't and she would never be. Rainbow Dash was a very easy-going pony, with very high goals in life. She was able to get the attention of all the ponies around her and got them to cheer for her, she even had filly fans. N' what am Ah? A lame dirty farmer that will probably never get anywhere, with no bigger goals than to keep the orchard as it is n' fix Granny Smith's hip.
The two ponies stared at each other for a minute or two, beating themselves down with self-induced lies, finding relief in each other's eyes, until Pinkie Pie, with her jumping around, pushed Applejack forward, making her and Rainbow Dash hit their muzzles once again.
"Ah'm sorry Rainbow, Pinkie Pie here "
"Yeah I know, relax." Rainbow said, rubbing her muzzle with her right hoof "So you were about to talk to me "
"Oh yeah, y'all are right Sugarcube. Well Ah was jes longing to talk to y'all, it's been a long time since the last time we met huh?"
"Yeah can't believe it was so long ago. Those nights we spent on your clubhouse sleeping to-"
"Shush!" Applejack said, signalizing Rainbow to lower the volume. "Remember we agreed not to talk 'bout it. Y'all didn't want to ruin yer reputation."
"Oh yeah, right. I think Pinkie almost heard it. Thanks AJ!"
"Y'all had 'a reputation to uphold' " mockingly mimicked the cowpony "How's life treatin' y'all Sugarcube?"
"Well Since I joined the weather patrol and started working well, if you can call what I do 'work', I started hanging out with the other pegasus, that's when I re-met Fluttershy, you know she wasn't part of the patrol but I got to know every pegasus on Ponyville, including her." She said, looking at her yellow friend "And since you started working too, for your family in the orchard, we stopped hanging out, and I became better friends with Fluttershy and practiced for the Wonderbolts. And nap I nap a lot."
Applejack giggled at the commentary and said "Ah don't remember y'all nappin' when y'all were with me, we played all day long non-stop 'til we collapsed on the bed of mah clubhouse. Have y'all become lazy since y'all started hangin' with those fancy flyin' pegasus?"
"Hey, don't get things wrong, I can still beat you in a race!"
"Now, now Sugarcube, don't get mad, Ah'm not sayin' that N' y'all have never beaten me in a race before "
"You neither! We always tie!"
"So y'all are agreeing that y'all can't beat me." Applejack smiled slyly. Right where Ah wanted y'all, jes like a puppet y'all played yer part perfectly!
"Uuhh D-don't try to play with the things I say! C'mon, let's race! If you're so sure I've lost my ground "
"Ah didn't say that but Ah never decline a challenge, to mah barn's door, like ol' times?"
"Let's try not to break it this time though Big Mac won't be as forgivin' this time."
Rainbow Dash snickered at the memory and looked ahead, towards the exit of the castle.
"Uh Girls Y'all can go back with magic or however y'all wanna, Rainbow n' Ah will be going now see y'all tomorrow! N' congratulation Princess Luna for being of the good gu-"
"Stop wasting your breath AJ, you'll need it tonight, I want you fully active and with all the energies, you'll need it to make up for all the time we lost. Now that we're back together I'll take all that 'spare energy' you have!"
The whole chamber went silent.
"That didn't sound as good as I thought well, I meant for you to shut up and start running, I want to beat you and make you eat those words!"
Applejack sighed, looked at her friends with an apologetic smile and started running behind her cyan friend.
They rushed through the trees, running through the same path they came, retracing their steps, sometimes with Applejack at the front, others Rainbow took the lead, but there was no clean winner, it was obviously going to be decided in the last second. They got out of the forest, finding a way around the same obstacles they had to get over with the rest of their friends without stopping the race.
Applejack glanced at her Pegasus racing-partner and thought Ah won't let y'all get away with this one Sugarcube
Rainbow could read the words on the earth pony's eyes, she squinted her eyes and yelled, through the wind generated by their speed.
"I wanna see you trying to stop me from beating you Jackie!"
Applejack took these words pretty seriously and sprinted, leaving Rainbow Dash behind her.
Rainbow found herself directly behind the blonde mare. Rainbow Dash couldn't help it and ended appreciating the pony's body. The muscular legs, well-toned thanks to years of Applebucking and heavy-weight lifting. The blonde mane, floating gentle and beautiful, it was a golden river suspended in the middle of the air. The tail, an almost perfect mimic of the mane, glowed under the moonlight. And finally
That flank Why can't I stop staring at it? What did you eat while we stopped hanging out? I couldn't get a flank like that one, no matter how much I try and work out for it. It's It's just perfect in more than a way.
Her wings expanded at the sight and acted as a parachute brake. She then realized what has happened. Why am I checking AJ's flank?
"Damn it, I'll have to sprint to recover the lost time" the rainbow-maned mare said, putting all her might on her hooves to catch up with the other pony.
She decided that she should avoid that distraction, so she surpassed Applejack. The earth pony however, didn't let her get in front of her, so she accelerated to get to where the other was, and they ran muzzle to muzzle.
Applejack had a better look at her friend. She sure has grown to become one very good-lookin' mare, Ah wouldn't find it surprising if she had lines of stallions droolin' fer her maybe even sum' mares too. She looked at her friend from the tip of the tail to her muzzle trying to decipher what was it What is it that makes her so beautiful? It's her splendid body? Her easy-going nature? Her big beautiful rose eyes? Or are those lips? They sure as sugar look inviting
Her heartbeats started getting faster, and she knew it was not because of the running. She blushed, lowered her hat and started going faster. What in tarnation am Ah doin' thinkin' of her that way? Ah have a race to win. she thought, and she sent those thoughts to the back of her head.
Sweet Apple Acres was in sight, in the distance they could make out the silhouette of the legendary barn where the Apples have lived for generations. The two knew this last part of the orchard too well, they were running through the final part of their old racing lap. The barn door was closed, as expected. They both exchanged glances and knew what was going to happen.
"If we're gonna do it like the ol' times, we'll do it all the way. Ain't that right Dashie?"
"Oh yeah!" she chuckled "You know I always love to go all the way with you."
Silence again and Rainbow mentally facehoofed. Aww come on! Another awkward election of words? Thanks Celestia she's AJ and she knows what I meant.
Applejack looked at her friend strangely for some seconds, but then just smiled and sprinted to the door. Both mares were picking up serious speed, and after all these years they had both gained a much bigger muscular mass.
The impact was terrible for the barn.
Debris flew everywhere, along with the door hinges, as well as ropes, Applejack's yoke (which she rarely used), baskets, rakes and other things that were hanging on the door.
Time has passed, the two ponies had grown bigger and heavier, apart from running faster and having more momentum so this time they didn't just fell near the fallen door, they pierced it and still had enough inertia to reach the other side of the barn, landing over a bale of hay laughing off the pain of crushing the door.
Being together like this and doing this kind of things was what they longed to repeat so much, ever since the day they stopped seeing each other. They knew, in the back of their heads, that being together was the best thing that happened to them in their whole life, the only thing that stopped them from looking for the other these last years, was the lack of an excuse to drive the other from their work.
After a few seconds the laughing stopped, and the two ponies hugged, like they used to do so many years ago, but they were interrupted by a loud noise generated by an opening door. The two turned their heads towards the barn door that lead to the inside of the house, finding a big red stallion looking everywhere with a nervous look.
"H-howdy brother Ah look what Ah the cat dragged in!" Applejack said, pointing at Rainbow Dash.
Big Macintosh sighed in relief and looked at the two ponies laying together in the hay, the fallen door and the pieces spread through the whole barn. He then concentrated on the rainbow-maned cyan pegasus.
"Howdy Miss Rainbow, howdy sis' Again? Ah really hope breakin' the barn door doesn't become a tradition between y'all two. Ah won't be always here to tell Granny Smith it was a young punk and that y'all offered to fix it n' that Miss Rainbow wanted to help y'all." He said and turned around, entering the house.
"We owe your bro big time"
"Why's he so awesome?"
"He's the best bro one could ask fer " Applejack said, smiling tenderly, she then turned to face her friend and said "He always care for his kin"
"But I'm n "
"Rainbow, y'all are one of us already, y'all are more like a part of me. Well, at least y'all used to be "
"And I'll be once again, now that we're the Elements of Harmony, we haaaaveee to stick together don't we?"
"Uhh yeah, we should y'all know, if some monster attacks Ponyville, we should be together to stop him quick!"
The two ponies kept laughing and talking about what happened while they were not together, until they realized it was pitch black.
"Dang it! Now how am I supposed to get home if I can't see a thing?"
"Well " Applejack said "Y'all know Y'all said y'all said we were gonna do it all the way like the ol' times " her cheeks started getting redder and her eyes couldn't meet her friend's.
"You mean ?"
"W-we d-don't need to do it if y'all don't want to we could figure out how to take y'all back to yer home "
"But where would we stay? We won't be able to find the clubhouse neither, and after all this years it must be in need of a little uh TLC"
"Tender loving care"
"Oh that's a good one, Ah'll remember it, who knows when Ah'll need it. Now back to the matter in hoof" Applejack said, shifting her bodyweight on bale "Ah was thinkin', if y'all don't mind it, maybe y'all could stay in mah guest's room"
"Oh well, yeah, if it's not a problem for you"
"Nah, there's no problem, just come with me. But first, let me get this dust n' debris outta y'all, Granny may suspect. Ah'm always covered in dirt n' wooden chips, so it's not strange"
Applejack gently placed a hoof on Rainbow's face and cleaned it with tender, slow movements.
Rainbow started to feel stiffness on her wings and blood rushing to her cheeks, so she lowered her head and said "I'll I'll take care of it myself, thank you" She started shaking herself, a great excuse for the spread wings.
"Well then, follow me." Applejack stated, walking towards the house's door. The cyan pegasus quickly followed and entered the house, the one she hasn't entered for years.
"Now Granny Smith! Look what Ah found!"
The green old mare looked at Rainbow Dash closely and exclaimed "Oh dear, is that rainbow maned lil' filly?" After some examination she said "Oh but she's a beautiful grown mare now! Looks like y'all two will do a good couple " The two ponies blushed furiously as the old mare gasped for air "Of chores tomorrow, if y'all wanna fix that door."
The two mares let out air they didn't knew were holding. Applejack took a step forward and said. "Well, yeah foals these days "
"It's such a good thing yer friend Rainbow is always here to help y'all. She's really loyal, ain't her?"
"Yeah, she's not the Element of Loyalty fer nuthin"
"The what now? N' where did y'all get that necklace?"
"Ah'll explain later. C'mon Rainbow"
"AJ, remember that the guest's roo-"
"Ah'll take care. C'mon RD, follow me up the stairs"
Rainbow Dash looked from the old green mare to her orange friend. But finally she decided to follow the cow-pony, she has never failed her before, and she doubted she would now.
Applejack walked up the stairs, opened one door and entered, beckoning with her hoof for Rainbow to enter.
"Hey, isn't this your room?"
Applejack was giving her back to the cyan filly while she said "I-it used to be. Ah'm where it used to be the guest's room now, it was um more comfortable yeah, more comfortable."
"So you are telling me this isn't your room anymore "
"Then why are all your belongings here?" The pegasus said, looking at the wall at her left, which was filled with family pictures of the Apple family and the orchard. She turned to the right to find pictures of Applejack in several periods of her life. And when she turned around to see the way she has entered, she noticed it.
The back wall, the one it could be seen when one was laying on the bed, was filled with photos of the two of them. Applejack and Rainbow Dash playing in a bale of hay, Applejack and Rainbow Dash playing on top of a tree, running around the orchard, taking a shower together, there was even one of Rainbow Dash sleeping alone in the bed.
"Hey! Who took a picture of me sleeping?"
Applejack giggled and answered "Ah did." Rainbow Dash turned around towards her friend with a quizzical look. "Aww, c'mon Rainbow jes look at yer face, n' tell me wholeheartedly that it wasn't photo-worth."
The rose-eyed pony turned around once again and observed the photo for the second time. It showed Rainbow Dash sprawled over the bed, back legs wide open and one of the front hooves over her face, which was rather comical itself. She had one eye closed and the other was half-closed, and her tongue was out.
She couldn't help herself, so she chuckled at the sight, soon joined by Applejack's giggles. "Ok, this is your room stop lying. The family pictures, our photos, the old flower I gave you years ago The old flower I gave you years ago! You kept it!"
"Of course Ah did Sugarcube. Ah kept all yer gifts. Ah even have that lil' golden star y'all gave me that one time we were walkin' around Ponyville's outskirts."
"You got to be kidding me"
"Nope, not at all missy." Applejack said, taking off her hat and shoving her hoof inside, searching for some seconds. Soon, she retrieved a golden star. It has lost part of its shape because of the time that had passed, but it was still recognizable.
"No way! This is so cool" Rainbow Dash sniffed loudly, in a pretty funny way, and said "D-did our friendship mean that much for you?"
The orange pony lowered her head and her ears flattened in embarrassment. "Ah Ah can't say it didn't RD."
Rainbow Dash couldn't hold it any longer, she jumped forward tackling her friend in a powerful hug, sobbing "Oh AJ, I missed you so much! I-I "
"Now, now " Applejack said, returning the hug. She was surprised by this outcome of her friend but she was glad she was not alone with those feelings, so she just held her tight and let her cry.
After some minutes Rainbow Dash stopped crying and said with a saggy and broken voice "Y-you. Nev-ver. S-saw. Th-that."
"Element of Honesty Sugarcube, can't say Ah haven't" Rainbow Dash looked at her with a terrified look on her eyes, while Applejack chuckled at the view and continued "But Ah won't say Ah have "
The pegasus swallowed "Fair enough "
Rainbow Dash got up and sat. Applejack got up as well and noticed the twin streams that stained Rainbow's cheeks. She extended her hooves to clean her but noticed it was dirty and would make an even greater mess, so she thought of another way of cleaning her friend's face. After some pondering, she instinctively lunged forward and licked the tears out of Dash's face.
For the cyan speedster pony everything happened in slow-motion. She felt the tongue ran slowly, tenderly and rather enticingly up her cheeks. She felt the blood rushing through her veins to her cheeks and to her wings, which sprung wide open. She felt her heart race, her muscles tense and her mind go blank.
Applejack listened a strange noise in front of her. She opened her eyes to find Rainbow Dash's wings spread to their maximum extension. She blushed furiously as she realized what she just did. She turned to her side to see her friend staring at something beyond the walls, the horizon, and furthermore.
"R-Rainbow, Ah-Ah'm really sorry, y'all were crying, yer face was stained with tears, mah hooves were dirty, Ah jes Ah jes W-was it too weird?"
"N-no Not at all " Rainbow replied, without looking at her, in fact she hasn't even blinked yet. "It was not weird, no it was just that I'm I wasn't ready " She got out of the trance she was and looked at the worried cow-pony "Relax, really. I know what were you trying to do, I liked it I mean I know it was a friendly lick? to make me feel better. I know where your intentions were, and that's what really matters."
The cyan pony walked around, looking everywhere and continued "Now, I know this is your room, I guess the guest room is probably taken, or occupied by something and you were going to sleep with your brother or maybe even Applebloom, leaving me sleeping here. Am I right?"
Applejack knew she couldn't lie twice, so she just nodded in defeat.
"Well there's no way in Tartarus I'll let you do that, and seeing there's no other bed or second mattress, I'll take the floor tonight."
"No way Sugarcube, that's not a possibility. Ah'm sorry if y'all feel bad 'bout it, but this is mah house, n' y'all are mah guest, the Apple family never lets a guest sleep in the floor. Ah'm gonna take it."
The two mares looked at each other for a moment until Rainbow Dash walked to the bed and hoped in. Applejack smiled victorious, walked next to the bed and prepared to lay down, but she was stopped by Rainbow Dash's words
"Come on AJ, we both know how's this is going to end, I'll be cold and you'll offer me warmth, so let's save time and breath and hop in here with me."
Applejack chuckled and said "Well We did say we were gonna do it like ol' times "
She got up and entered the bed. As soon as she was laying on the bed, she opened her hooves and legs wide. The headstrong speedster pegasus scooted forward, letting herself be hugged by the orange earth pony, and wrapped her own hooves around the cow-pony's chest, and trapping AJ's hind legs with her own.
Applejack cleared her throat and with a cracked voice she asked "Say Isn't it a bit weird fer two grown up mares to sleep together, in the same bed, this close, snugglin' like we're now?"
"No, snuggle is what a couple do, we're just 'two long time friends remembering the old times and recovering the lost moments of friendship we could have had'. So shush and snu-HUG me tighter, 'cause you have many years to make up for"
"Oh, so AH need to make up fer it?"
Applejack knew Rainbow Dash even more than she knew herself. She was strong, confident, competitive and combative, on the outside. But in the inside she was a completely different deal, she was unsure, considerate and sometimes she was rather a crybaby. Applejack may be the only one who ever saw her true side.
She held her friend closer and tighter. The cyan pony rested her head on the orange mare's chest to listen her calming and soothing heartbeats.
Each pony inhaled deeply the toxic fragrance of the other and let a rain of memories comfort them.
"Hey RD y'all remember when "
The two fillies spent the night talking about the old times and resting on each other's hooves.
After some hours the two agreed it was very late, so they stopped talking. But, a short moment later Rainbow Dash said "AJ you asleep?"
"Nah, something bothering y'all Sugarcube?"
"I missed you."
Applejack couldn't help but chuckle at the statement. "Sugarcube, y'all jes told me that sum hours ago."
The rose-eyed pegasus looked at her friend in the eyes and with a serious frown she complained "I'm serious AJ, don't be so insensitive with my feelings!"
"Ah know Rainbow, Ah know. Ah missed y'all too. But don't y'all worry none, we're gonna be seeing each other again, like we used to years ago."
The two ponies fell asleep with a smile on their faces.
An apple. A giant caramel apple to be precise. Rainbow Dash was hungry, and there was a giant caramel apple in front of her, she was determined to eat that apple.
"Whoa Nelly!" Applejack was woken up by a lick on her chest. She looked down to find her rainbow-maned friend licking her chest, but she was fast asleep. "She must be dreamin'" "R-Rainbow S-stop it!"
The other pony couldn't hear her and kept licking, now dangerously getting closer to Applejack's neck. Applejack had to giggle but she also started shaking her friend's head "Snap outta it R-RD!"
"Huh?" exclaimed the surprised pegasus as she woke up "Wh-where's my caramel apple?"
"So that's why y'all wer wait do y'all lick caramel apples?"
"Well, yeah, I always lick the caramel cover first and then I start bit wait, why would you ask that?"
Applejack pointed to her wet neck and chest and asked "Dreamin' with caramel apples lately?"
RD blushed and hastily said "To my defense I must say you smell like a delicious apple, so it was technically all your fault."
"Sure blame it all on me."
"This never happened."
"What are y'all talkin' bout?"
Applejack chuckled once more, it was becoming something very common when she was around Rainbow, and looked towards the bathroom. "Ah'm gonna go clean somepony's drool" She tried getting out of the bed found herself trapped in Rainbow's grasp. "If somepony lets me, that is."
"Oops, sorry AJ"
After washing herself up, Applejack met with Rainbow Dash again and walked down the stairs, thinking about what could they do that day, after fixing the broken door Maybe they could play some horseshoes Maybe Who knows.