The Canterlot Palace’s solarium was hot under the midday sun, but Applejack didn’t mind. She was far too used to farming in sleet and snow to complain about a little heat. The sun was a beautiful thing to her, had been from birth. It represented the chance of a good harvest and a good honest day’s worth of work. Of course, the little fact that it reminded her of her special somepony had absolutely no bearing on her adoration for the sun.
A’h Celestia, you do mighty fine work each day… Applejack knew that it was natural for a pony think about their love, but she still had a little blush as her thoughts turned to the princess. For Celestia was her special somepony. Celestia who, in all her glory and finery, had approached her one day on the farm with her downy feathered wings, gorgeous rose eyes, and broad but strangely sleek flanks…
Applejack blushed even more as she remembered the number of very un-princessly things she and the princess had gotten up to.
The entire situation still befuddled her as to how it had happened. How had the Princess of the Sun, ruler of Equestria, fallen in love with some unimportant farming earth pony like herself? Granny Smith had talked of whirly-gig romances before and this certainly seemed to fit the bill.
Still, Applejack felt sure in her love for the Princess as sure as sure could be. She was just as sure that the Princess loved her back. Why else would she have given her a beautiful desert rose and told her to wait in the solarium for her?
So when Applejack found herself sitting in a solarium, patiently waiting for her lover to arrive, and she began to hear familiar voices, she found herself mighty confused.
“… and then she said ‘Sunflowers? I love sunflowers!’ and then we – oh, hi Applejack!” Applejack could only tweak her head sideways at the two ponies walking into the solarium. It was Pinkie Pie and Rarity, the manic party pony and the prissy fashion designer of Ponyville. Who were both members of the close-knit group of friends Applejack had formed a year ago. The close-knit group of friends whom she hadn’t told that she was dating the princess.
Aww crab-apples… now how do I get them away from here before Celestia shows up… think Applejack think. Her mind a twirl, Applejack put on a friendly grin to buy herself some time.
“Howdy Pinkie, Rares! What brings you two here?” Rarity seemingly grateful for an opportunity to speak with someone other than Pinkie, replied first.
“Pinkie here was just describing, in entirely too much detail for my tastes, about a joke she had told the Prin-.”
“LOOK OUT BELOW!”
The shout came from above, followed by the sound of shattering glass, and then the unmistakable sound of a pony hitting the ground at rather high speeds. Each pony ducked and covered from the rain of falling shards even as they saw a familiar rainbow-maned blur slam into the ground nearby. After a moment to ensure no more ponies were going to spontaneously fall from the sky, the trio emerged from hiding to check on their friend when another familiar voice sounded out from above.
“Oh my, are you alright Rainbow Dash? Should I get somepony to check your wings?”
“Nah ‘Shy, I’m fine. It’s going to take more than a little crash to stop these wings from a flying!”
Applejack frowned as she and her friends drew close. Running into one friend was unlikely, two was just plain unlucky, and three was downright uncanny. But four of her friends in one specific solarium at one specific time?
Something fishy is going down…
She was about to voice her concern when she heard the sound she had been waiting for all morning. The soft clip-clop-clip-clop of golden horseshoes on stone. As one, the ponies turned and bowed low to their princess.
“… oh, hi gals! What brings you all out here today?”
What in tarnation is she doing here? Applejack was now completely befuddled. By the princess’s side stood the last of her friends, Twilight Sparkle, protégé to her love. Then it clicked. A quick glance and her suspicions were confirmed. Beautiful desert roses adorned each of her friends, barring Twilight, each the same as the one she wore on her hat.
“I could ask you much the same thing Twilight. And Princess, I believe we have some words to discuss. All of us.” The princess looked appropriately chastised at her tone.
“… yes, yes I do believe I have a confession to make. I… I… I love you all!” Silence followed the anguished declaration. Eyes closed tight in anticipation of the teary accusations, Celestia found herself oddly disappointed when she opened them to see her five loves in a huddle, whispering to one another.
Shame on you, Celestia! As the focal marefriend of this piece, Applejack, could have told you, honesty is the best policy; I’m certain you could have figured out a way to date all of Twilight’s friends without keeping them in the dark about each other. (I’m actually curious how Twilight feels about all this.) Anyway, Applejack’s observations through the lens of love, and her gradual realization that something fishy is going on, were quite entertaining to read, and the cliffhanger left me wanting more.