Deal

The night air was warm and still, as two pony figures crept towards the Carousel Boutique.

“Now, remember,” whispered Applejack, “we just see who it is, all right? We see who it is, and we hightail it outta here and git on home.”

“Yeah sure,” said Rainbow Dash, sneaking closer and closer to the boutique’s entrance, her wings flaring out to either side in her excitement.

“Ah mean it!”

“Quiet! I think I saw something moving in there,” said Dash.

Applejack gulped, and took cover behind a bush. Rainbow Dash had already reacted—pressing low to the ground, wings folded, slinking forward like a cat with her eyes gleaming. Her wings began to rise again, and brushed shrubbery with a faint rustling sound. Applejack rolled her eyes and snuck onward as well, trying to keep up.

“Y’all think we ought to be in these here bushes?”

“That’s the clever part,” said Dash. “Nobody would expect a pegasus to be sneaking through the bushes, low to the ground. Works every time.”

“But what if her visitor is also sneakin’ through the same bushes? An’ jes how many times are we talkin’ ab-”

“Shhh!”

The two ponies froze, as a shaft of light cut through the night, directly at them. It wasn’t a lantern, however, or unicorn magic—it was the boutique’s front door opening.

“Who she lettin’ in?”

A cerulean wing shot out and covered Applejack’s lips, entreating silence, and Dash turned her head, her eyes alight with excitement.

Rarity was not letting anybody in. A cloaked figure was letting itself out.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash held very still, as the figure emerged and shut the door behind it, with a telltale lilac glow. Rarity, then—but Rarity sheathed from horn to hoof in a strangely unfashionable cloak. It was hard to tell, but something seemed odd about the way it lay—perhaps the coarse, dull fabric? Rarity looked around, nodded, and set off, her path not approaching the two onlookers. It was the road to Fillydelphia she took.

As she trotted along… she jingled.

Rainbow Dash panted, staring after the departing unicorn.

“All right,” said Applejack, sotto voce. “Now we know. It weren’t nopony comin’ to see her, she’s goin’ out. Now can we go home, honey?”

“Oh, not likely…” breathed Dash, her eyes gleaming, a quaver in her voice.

“Now look here!”

“Quiet!” hissed Dash. “Are you coming or not?”

“Please don’t tell me you’re gonna…”

“I shouldn’t have to tell you,” said Rainbow Dash. “You should know me well enough by now that I don’t have to tell you a thing. You know I’m gonna go see who it is. Aren’t you curious? It could be anypony!”

“Wull… yeah. But…”

“We’ll say we saw a mysterious cloaked figure, and followed it. ‘Cos she is a mysterious cloaked figure. On purpose, even. Come on, Applejack,” whispered Dash, “this will be awesome, let me share it with you? Let’s go see.”

Applejack shifted from hoof to hoof. “I… got a bad feelin’ about this. Don’t you think maybe we might end up findin’ out more than we want to know?”

Rainbow Dash’s wings sprang up joyously. Applejack blinked.

“I just fucked that one up, din’t I?”

“You said it, Boss. I’ll never go home now. C’mon—and be quiet!”

Dash, quivering with excitement, began to slink down the road, and Applejack followed, shaking her head. The cloak Rarity wore obscured everything about her and prevented her alabaster whiteness from showing on the near-moonless night, but the two were able to follow her anyway, because the faint jingling led them along in the darkness… and the strange little parade of ponies set out, past the fields, past Sweet Apple Acres where Applejack looked forlornly toward her ignored home, past the quiet barn, on the road to Fillydelphia.


They hadn’t been in Fillydelphia for thirty seconds before Applejack started whispering to Rainbow Dash.

“…ya know, Caramel lives in this town…”

“Yeah yeah,” whispered Dash, “be quiet, we’re sneaking!”

“I only meant, he minds the warehouse for us, always forgettin’ to lock it up.”

“Yeah?”

“Looks like we’ll be sneakin’ past it, you reckon I can check th’ door without causin’ a ruckus?”

“Can you forget about work for just one night? As a personal favor to me?”

Applejack hung her head. “Sorry.”

They walked quietly for a few seconds, and then Dash rolled her eyes.

“Yes, you can check it, if you do it real quietly.”

“Aw… thank you, dearest, I’d ‘a fretted all night…”

“I kinda figured that out. She’s just passing it—be quiet, wait until she’s gone well past the…”

But the cloaked figure had not gone past the warehouse, at all. Lilac glow shone out, and the door opened for Rarity, who slipped inside with a faint jingling sound. The door shut, and Applejack’s jaw dropped.

“Why, that… She went in my warehouse! Of all the…”

“I bet now you’re glad you came, huh? Is that really a warehouse? It looks like a barn. See, there’s a loft and everything.”

“To us it’s a warehouse. Keep all that extra gear there, and surplus crops o’ course, for the Fillydelphia market. Mostly farm machinery, spare apple buckets… don’t change the subject! I’mma go in there and kick her behind through that silly cloak!”

“Wait,” said Dash. “Did you say Caramel keeps leaving it open?”

“Cain’t break him of it. That boy got a few screws loose…”

Dash’s voice took on a singsong quality. “Maybe there’s a reason… what if he’s the one Rarity is seeing?”

That stopped Applejack. “Y’all kidding. Are you kidding? Caramel? That namby-pamby, forgetful, bashful critter?”

Rainbow Dash’s imagination had taken flight. “Maybe she beats him. What if that jingling was whips and chains? He lets her in, and she punishes him. Until he comes.”

“Whips don’t jingle.”

“How would you know?”

“I… Dashie, yer scarin’ me, can ya not give me too many nightmares? Besides, we gotta find out what’s happenin’ in there. Uhh… except that I don’t want to see Caramel’s weenie. But I got to yell at that pony somethin’ fierce for doin’ this in my warehouse!”

“I’ll make you a deal,” said Rainbow Dash, smugly.

“This won’t end well…”

“You don’t even know what it is yet!”

Applejack glared at her lover. “Your wings are up—an’ quivering. Your eyes are all lit up. Look at you grin. This won’t end well, I repeats.”

“They’re up because I’m about to use them. Listen. I’ll fly you up to that loft, but you have to promise to be quiet. Cover your eyes if you want. I’m gonna watch Rarity beating Caramel if it’s the last thing I do—I wish I could take pictures! I’ll treasure those memories forever—and when they’re done, then you can yell at him. He’s not allowed to use this place for fucking, huh?”

“Hell no! Me an’ Big Macintosh own it. Technically, Big Macintosh, but I consider it my building an’ I know he would agree, Caramel is way outta line here.”

“Well then! You need me. Do you promise to let me have my fun? I could fly up there myself but I want you with me. Promise me you’ll be quiet! Like, not even a sound!”

Applejack glowered. “Y’all bein’ out of control again.”

“But this time, nobody gets injuries!” pleaded Rainbow.

“Except to my soul…” said Applejack. “…all right. I owe you a spankin’ or something, but it’s late at night. After midnight. Time for good ponies to turn bad.”

“You know it,” smirked Rainbow Dash. She seized Applejack’s body, as if mounting her, and with a storm of wings they lifted off the ground, flying toward the rectangular opening that led to the warehouse’s loft.

It was completely dark inside, and the two spies stumbled to a landing, making a thump despite their best efforts.

“What’s that?” came a voice from below, a deep voice.

“Ahaha! Nothing, darling,” said Rarity. “I’m just getting things ready. Are you ready?”

Lavender glow flicked out to a ring of lanterns, which kindled and flared to life around her, and Applejack and Rainbow Dash peered over the edge of the loft at the cloaked figure in fascination. Rarity wasn’t directly under them—she’d taken a position at the other end of the place, in the ring of lanterns, facing away.

“Voila!”

The cloak floated into the air and was tossed aside, and Applejack choked in shock, while Rainbow Dash’s eyes gleamed with delight.

Rarity wasn’t carrying a whip, or chains. Her whole body was crisscrossed with straps and buckles, as if she was tied up in some way that still permitted her to move and walk. The straps were black, and shiny, and dug into her slightly. Somehow, the pattern of straps made her look even nakeder than she ever could without them.

Closer inspection—by both a salivating Dash, and a horrified Applejack—revealed more reasons for this. More shiny black material stretched around Rarity’s chest, and everywhere were buckles and D-rings, already threaded with more loosely hung straps, including a set of D-rings running up the inside of Rarity’s hind legs, right where the tension of the straps pulled her ass into a fetching inverse V shape that drew attention to her shapely vulva.

But it wasn’t these things that had been jingling. Applejack gulped, provoking a warning glance from Dash. The spreading of Rarity’s ass also revealed two cheerful little silver jingle bells that weren’t hanging from straps at all. They were hanging from piercings in Rarity’s erect nipples.

“Your favorite, my handsome one!” she called, looking back over her shoulder with eyes half lidded. With a jingling of bells, she set her hooves well apart, and flirted with her tail.

Dash couldn’t stop staring at the swinging bells. How had she not ogled Rarity’s nipples enough to notice they were pierced? It was an oversight Dash vowed to remedy, immediately. She heard Applejack swallow nervously, and reached out to put a hoof gently to her lips. It was well timed. Dash looked over at her lover, as something moved beneath them on the lower level, walking out from under the loft. She saw Applejack’s eyes go wide in horror, felt her head shake. Dash kept her hoof against Applejack’s lips, with another warning glance that was even fiercer, and then turned to see what had caused the reaction.

Big Macintosh was walking towards Rarity. Not Caramel. They’d guessed completely wrong. Big Macintosh… Applejack’s brother.

Dash glanced back at Applejack, alarmed, and the sight wasn’t comforting. Applejack was shaking, ready to bolt—but they were in a loft, with no convenient way down, and had flown in via the window. Applejack couldn’t fly, or jump from that height. Dash thought, fast, and whispered directly in Applejack’s ear.

“…this is his property? but you think of it as yours? nod, don’t talk.”

Applejack nodded.

“…we are trespassing, not him. if you make a sound, they’ll catch us.”

Applejack nodded again, tears coming to her eyes. Her lip quivered.

“…sit tight and I’ll get you out of this, and nobody will ever know. I swear.”

Applejack nodded… and carefully, silently, put her hooves over her eyes. She was still trembling, and pressed low against the floor as if trying to disappear.

Rainbow Dash glanced back at Rarity and Big Macintosh… and froze. Mac was looking back in their direction, peering about. She fought the tendency of her wings to spring up, and pressed low like Applejack, her eyes slits to stop them from glinting in the lantern light.

“What’s up there?” said Big Macintosh.

Rarity’s voice chimed forth, unconcerned and loud. “Oh, I hope you don’t object, I was tidying! I was only straightening some of those piles of whatever the dreadful things are. You don’t object, I hope, darling? I simply cannot resist. I might even say this place could use a mare’s touch! It’s so—utilitarian. But then, somepony in here could perhaps use a stallion’s touch, don’t you think? Don’t you like it? I wore this especially for you, and now you’re paying attention to everything but me! Macintosh, darling, really?”

“Ah’m sorry!” rumbled Big Macintosh, trotting to her. “It’s right lovely!”

“Do you really mean it?” said Rarity. “I do hope so. I’ve combined several of our favorites, you may choose between them. You could, ahaha, ring my bells! Or tie me down to something, or even… eep!”

Big Macintosh’s blunt muzzle had nosed between her legs. Rarity winked at him, with a wriggle of her hips, and gasped as his tongue licked out to taste her nipples, provoking a cheerful jingle, and then another lick just as her vagina winked again.

Rarity’s hind legs began shaking. “Ohhh, darling! Shall we do that, then?”

“Nope,” said Big Macintosh.

“Well, for heaven’s sake, darling stallion, do something, I’m simply panting for you… oh my! Ah.. that one?”

Big Macintosh’s teeth had found a particular strap, and he was drawing on it, with determination. It was the strap that was laced into a set of D-rings—the ones that ran up the inside of Rarity’s legs. She blinked, wide-eyed, as her hooves were drawn together, and she bit her lip as Big Macintosh kept going until there was no slack at all, leaving Rarity standing like a pony tripod, hind legs clamped so tightly that they sandwiched and silenced the nipple-bells between alabaster thighs.

Up in the loft, Rainbow Dash started grinning harder and harder. Applejack peeked from behind her hooves, and hid again with a whimper.

Down below, Rarity looked back at Big Macintosh in trepidation. “Ahahaha, I see! That one!” She gulped. “You’re sure? It’s… challenging. I suppose I’ve had time to recover since the last time…”

“Ah’ll be gentle. Mah love.”

“Yes,” said Rarity, and bit her lip again. Big Macintosh stared into her eyes, and then stared at her elegant unicorn rump as her tail flicked—gleaming white ass contoured by the encircling straps, framing her expectant mound in a slight between-legs gap that closed again beneath it, thighs pressed together, hooves entangled and bound tightly to each other.

His gaze returned to her eyes.

“Not,” suggested Rarity, “TOO gentle.”

She braced herself, forelegs trotting to the side a bit on the pivot of her bound hind legs, which happened to give her body an ideal viewing angle from the loft… and she winked, good and hard, at Big Macintosh, and not with her lovely eyes. He wasn’t gazing in her eyes, either—just like Rainbow Dash, he was staring at her elegant unicorn pussy. As it winked invitingly, it revealed a luscious pink that glistened with lubrication. A twinkle grew in the lanternlight, and dropped, as Rarity had gone so wet that she was dripping on the floor—or, more accurately, on her own straps and hooves, directly beneath.

Rainbow Dash bit her lip to suppress a squeal of delight. Rarity did have to go that wet, clearly—for Big Macintosh’s cock was dropping from its sheath, and it was a doozy.

“It’s like yours!” whispered Dash in Applejack’s ear. Applejack peeked, automatically, then whimpered and hid her face in her hooves again, but not before she’d punched Dash as hard as she dared with a forehoof. Rainbow Dash suppressed a grunt, and kept right on staring, eyes wide and eager.

If anything, it was bigger than Applejack’s magic-bit-induced hard-on, though the flare seemed about the same. There was a real family resemblance to the bulky, masculine look of it. It wasn’t nearly what Fluttershy got, but it was daunting to say the least, and all of a sudden Big Macintosh was rearing, the massive shaft swinging in the lanternlight, and his body came to rest on top of Rarity’s. They formed an odd shape—normally it was the six-legged beast, but in this case it was like a small three-legged beast with a much larger beast balancing precariously atop it, preparing to thrust yet another leg where legs did not belong.

Rainbow Dash panted. She felt nearly as wet as Rarity. Every instant ticked by in slow-motion, and she felt like she had tunnel vision, seeing nothing but the erotic tableau below them, as if perfectly arranged for her viewing pleasure with every angle a work of art. Dash’s attention fixated on the glint beneath Big Macintosh’s body, the flashes of glistening pink as Rarity winked again and again, and the bulky stallion cock swung and was directed, nearer and nearer…

The wet squelch echoed across the warehouse and was instantly drowned out by a lurid, dramatic wail. Big Macintosh had prodded Rarity in just the right spot, and his cock-head had poked right into her, to where she got tight, and then withdrew. Another squelch rang out, quieter, as he followed his first eager motion with another more careful prod, dead on target, and Rarity’s body shuddered as Mac’s erection tucked into place.

Rainbow could almost believe Applejack didn’t have the most powerful hindquarters in Equestria, then. Big Macintosh’s flanks bulged with muscle. It seemed like he was thrusting, and holding himself back, all at the same time. The spectacle was outrageous—it would’ve been shocking enough without that part, but with it, everything about Big Macintosh became a bulging, knotted, throbbing maleness as he slowly pressed forward, his huge body hunching awkwardly as inch after inch of that swollen phallus wedged between Rarity’s tight-bound legs.

She let out a gasp, her tail flicking harshly—panted deep breaths, bracing herself against the incredible pressure—and then, her head tilted back, silhouetted against Big Macintosh’s expanse of neck, and Rarity screamed at the ceiling her opinion of the proceedings.

“YES!”

Her eyes shut, her teeth bared, and Rainbow Dash could see from across the warehouse the way her unicorn friend’s body convulsed. Her butt clenched around Big Macintosh’s stiffness, and more twinkles of reflected lanternlight sprayed and dripped, for Rarity had either lubricated, squirted, or both.

“Ohyeah…” rumbled her stallion, as if that was what he’d been waiting for… and, now that his little unicorn was gushing with lube, Big Macintosh relaxed and allowed his hips to move unrestrained.

Rainbow Dash’s jaw dropped. She poked Applejack, wordlessly, and Applejack peeked again and stood it for about a second and a half before whimpering and rolling to face away from Dash entirely, her hooves over her eyes again. Dash kept watching, enthralled. Her hoof stole between her legs—she felt like she was about to explode.

It seemed impossible. It sounded impossible. Nobody could go that wet, but Rarity obviously had every excuse. Her hooves-bound posture only made it worse, or better—judging from the sounds the lovers were making, perhaps quite a lot of both. Rarity squealed and moaned, her voice ranging over what seemed like every possible sex noise a lust-maddened pony could make, shameless and proud and more than a little overwhelmed. Big Macintosh didn’t talk much, but he grunted deep in his chest, and then let out a shuddering groan that seemed to be the stallion equivalent, as if to say ‘my cock is being wailed on like nothing I have ever felt, and I’m loving it’.

And through it all was the juicy, obscene noises of bulky, thick stallionhood being boldly thrust and plunged within a taut unicorn pussy, made tauter by Rarity’s unnatural position, and constantly re-slurpified by lubrication or mare ejaculation or everything at once. Rainbow Dash could see a puddle of ooze, and it dripped all down the inside of Rarity’s legs. It looked like she’d been spooged upon already, and Big Macintosh was still grunting and thrusting, the swollen horsecock was still wedging Rarity’s marehood alarmingly wide and sliding heedlessly into her again and again and again…

Dash’s hoof worked manically. This was too good.

Big Macintosh’s body shuddered, and he drove his hips forward one final time, and Rainbow Dash thought she could literally see his cock throb, from across the room, to the pace of a stallion’s release. It was like watching his body pumping come into Rarity—of course, that was exactly what was happening, but Dash’s enthralled eyes insisted that she was watching the deeply buried cock bulge as floods of come gushed through it, watching his body spasm and pump over and over until the flood subsided.

Rarity’s scream of climax was for the ages. No high-pitched squeal, it was like the bellow of a mare who’d seized something precious and been utterly rewarded for it, a proud, lusty cry of release. It seemed to waver along with Big Macintosh’s orgasm, as if his throbs were so powerful as to shake her whole body.

Big Macintosh dismounted. Real stallions always did.

His cock remained stuck in Rarity for a moment, from the sheer bulk of his flare—and when it popped free, a flood of come and juices gushed forth, drenching Rarity’s legs and the floor. She panted, head down, her unicorn pussy gaping.

Rainbow had a sudden flash of reality. This wasn’t just some fantasy. Somehow, she was next to her Apple-stallion, staring at her pristine friend Rarity, who had just been ravaged by an Apple-stallion of her own, and whose elegant hindquarters were drenched in come and ooze, tied up with straps, legs bound together to make her tighter, and then her pussy violated so strenuously that it hung open afterwards and Dash could look right up inside it…

Rainbow Dash’s vision blurred out for a moment, as she came silently and violently. When she came to, she tasted blood from her bitten lip, the lovers she watched had not noticed a thing, and they were nuzzling each other. Then, Big Macintosh tenderly began pulling the straps free and releasing Rarity’s legs from their bindings. It was rather like he was unwrapping a very sticky present.

“Was good,” he said.

“Mmmmmm…” crooned Rarity, stepping free of the straps. “So good.”

“Extra good,” he said, and there was something in his tone.

Rarity blinked. “Is something the matter, darling?”

“Jes’… I ain’t complainin’ but…”

“Isn’t,” corrected Rarity. “No, I suppose it would be ‘am not’, my apologies… and what’s worrying you, my love?”

Big Macintosh looked at her, plainitively. “Jes’… what was so special? I will do it for you again, all you like, Rarity, but I don’t know what was different. What done got you off so hard?”

Up in the loft, Rainbow Dash froze. It seemed like Rarity had glanced directly at her, for a moment. Had she imagined it?

“Sweetest darling,” said Rarity, “my precious gentlepony… who can say what lights the fires of love? Maybe your magic was particularly magical tonight, hmm?”

“Naw, it weren’t…”

“Wasn’t.”

“Yeah, that… I don’t feel I was so different. I’d sure like to know. I’d like to give you that pleasure always.”

Rarity’s eyes softened, and she tilted her head up to kiss him. “But you do. You are endless delight for, and endless patience with, I fear, a jaded and troublesome mare. I love you.”

“I l… erk!” said Big Macintosh, for she’d dipped her head, and her horn tickled his belly while she licked and suckled on his limp, spent cock, no less lovingly.

Rarity’s head came back up, and this time she didn’t attempt to kiss him. “Now, darling, I think a certain happy, burbling nighttime stream is beckoning to us, or whatever it is streams do. Let us retire to wash ourselves in it, and when I’ve washed my face I shall kiss you again, and we’ll head home. We may even run into some of our wicked Fillydelphia friends, tidying up from their own exertions. Wouldn’t that be nice? Come with me.”

“Yes’m,” said Big Macintosh, and turned to go.

As Rarity turned, Rainbow Dash froze again—her unicorn friend bore a terrible smirk, and again seemed to be looking up at the loft, except the next moment she clearly wasn’t—she looked straight forward without a glance for anything but the door, as she led Big Macintosh away to the local stream to bathe.

As they passed under the loft on the way out, she stopped, and whispered to her lover, “I’ll tell you later.”

And then they were gone, mismatched hoofbeats trotting away in the night.

Rainbow Dash heaved a sigh of relief. “Okay, they’re gone.”

Applejack looked up, forlorn, and Dash hugged her, saying “Aw… brighten up! We got away with it!”

“It ain’t right. A sister shouldn’t have to see such a thing. Ever!”

“Yours is almost as good,” teased Rainbow Dash. “Wow… can you imagine?”

“I was tryin’ not to. It was like to impossible… them sounds, oh my… please, Dashie, don’t you ever get me in such trouble again! How can I ever face her? Or,” and Applejack gulped, “him?”

“Hey, easy, Boss… it’s okay! It’s gonna be okay. I swear, we got away with it. Time to go home, pronto!”

“Truer words were never spoken…” said Applejack—who sniffed the air, and stopped, looking Rainbow Dash over. “I don’t believe it. You clopped, din’cha?”

“Bigtime.”

Applejack shook her head. “You are absolutely the most out-of-control, outrageous m… let me rephrase that. Would you believe ONE of the most out-of-control, outrageous, lustful wicked mares in all Equestria?”

“Sure. And I’m a special kind, too.”

“What kind is that?” said Applejack.

“I’m YOUR lusty mare,” said Dash, and kissed her, and then looked less lusty and more thoughtful. “And another thing… I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m glad Rarity is set up with your brother, because I wouldn’t want to compete with her.”

“How so?”

“Let’s just say I’m glad I’m set up with you, and maybe I’ll try it your way some more. I’ll be the best Applejack lover there is. I’ll be cuddly and loving. We can do it nice, be good, you know the drill…”

“I sincerely hope so, but what brought this on, darlin’?” said Applejack.

Dash looked out the window, after Rarity.

“You want to know? Really? I feel outclassed. I thought I was pretty good at being a kinky pony, Applejack. I thought I was the wildest.”

Applejack gave her a look. “Darlin’, you dragged me up into a loft and clopped while watchin’ my brother go wild with our ladylike friend. You’re so kinky it’s a wonder you don’t fly sideways.”

Rainbow Dash was unconvinced. “But that’s just it. I’m not ladylike. I don’t want to be. But I think when you are, like Rarity is, you get to go into a zone of kinkiness I can’t even imagine. I feel like I’ve been tricked, somehow…”

“Come on, honey,” said Applejack, “let’s go home. You’re just kinky enough for me, or a lil’ more… don’t y’all try for no kinkier, please. Stay with me.”

Rainbow Dash sighed. “All right. I’ll be good.” She smirked. “Kinda.”

“That’s my perverted pegasus!”

Dash embraced Applejack, and then held tighter as she carried her out the window, and didn’t put Applejack down until she’d flown right to the edge of Fillydelphia. Then, they headed home.


The next day, Dash had slept in, and flown off to Weather Patrol in terrible haste, and Applejack had got the barn chores done and was about to start on house chores, when she screeched to a speechless halt, while coming around the edge of the barn.

Big Macintosh stood there, and he didn’t look pleased, and Applejack’s heart sank. She stared at him in wide-eyed terror, her lip quivering, and couldn’t even move.

“Rarity tells me y’all been hittin’ on her,” he said. “Says Rainbow Dash come up with a way to turn to a colt, an’ showed her. That so?”

Applejack couldn’t trust her voice, and just nodded.

“Rarity tells me Rainbow Dash offered to go to bed with her—and said you turn into a colt too. Offered to have you go to bed with Rarity, either one of y’all, whichever she wanted.”

Applejack blushed bright red, and stammered, “I kin explain…”

“Naw. Y’all amuse yourselves how you please. I reckon I should be tolerant,” said Big Macintosh. “Ah am happy that you’re happy… but it’s me what has to explain a thing.”

“You are? I mean you should be? I mean… my sakes, that’s a relief, you got no idea—but what do you got to explain?” said Applejack.

Big Macintosh froze her with a look.

“Rarity’s mine.”

He meant it.

Applejack retreated a step, without even thinking, and burst into a torrent of explanation. “Of course! I promise, no I swear that nopony will interfere again, an’ I’m dreadful sorry for Dashie but I got a feeling maybe she’s gonna lighten up with it a lil’ more in future, and you have my solemn word that I won’t stand for nopony messin’ with y’all…”

Big Macintosh nodded, and turned away without a word, satisfied. Then, two steps into his departure, he froze, and his eyes popped open in startlement, and he turned again.

“Oh, and almost din’t think of it… and I’m hers. Got that?”

“Got it!” said Applejack.

She smiled, still looking worried, and Big Macintosh saw it plainly and cast about for a way to make things better. He thought of all that Rarity had told him, what he could say, what he could never say—and finally, he had it.

“Applejack, sister o’ mine… you ain’t ever been in Fillydelphia, have you?” he said, knowing that they owned property there and did business there constantly.

Applejack blinked, and blushed scarlet, looking away. “I…”

“I said… you ain’t ever been in Fillydelphia, right? Never in all your days?”

Applejack blinked again, and got it. “Uh… gosh. Um. Nope. Never have been in Fillydelphia, in all my days.”

Big Macintosh smiled at her.

“Good.”

He winked.

“Me neither.”

He cantered off, content, and Applejack returned to her work. Her heart still pounded, but that didn’t last, and before long, she was smiling more than ever. All was right with the world.