Sweetie Dreams Are Made of This
"What about bakers?"
"Ugh." Scootaloo buried her face into her hooves as Apple Bloom looked at the ground in disappointment. Both fillies sat on the porch, trying to come up with new ways to try to get their cutie mark. So far, however, all they could come up with were activities they already tried.
"I can't think of anything else."
"Well try then, ah wanna do some crusadin' today and ah can't if we don't have any ideas." Apple Bloom said, Scootaloo rolling her eyes in response.
"Fine, I'll keep thinking."
Scootaloo continued to brainstorm different ideas, something she was never the best at, and Apple Bloom did the same. But the third member of their group was strangely quiet. She was there, sitting on the porch, but her mind wasn't on cutie mark crusading. She wasn't even looking at her friends. Her attention was drawn to the stallion in front of the house, bucking some of the nearby apple trees in clear view.
While watching him, one thought ran through the little unicorn's mind.
"Oh Big Mac, you're so beautiful under the sunlight."
Sweetie Belle let out a dreamy sigh as she watched Big Macintosh perform his farm duties, her eyes half-closed, her mind drifting off as she visualized herself kissing the burly stallion, causing her face to turn red.
Her feelings for Big Mac started out small, nothing too noticeable other than a strange feeling of anxiety she felt whenever he was around. It was a feeling of tiny little sparrows fluttering around in her stomach, making her feel a mixture of both anxiety and happiness. It was the strangest feeling the little filly ever had, and because she didn't recognize it as affection, she just brushed it off as her being shy around her friend's big brother.
But then she began to further question this nervousness. Why was she only shy around Big Macintosh? If this were the case, shouldn't she have felt the same anxiety around Applejack or Granny Smith or any of the other, non-local members of the Apple Family that she met while playing with Scootaloo and Apple Bloom at the farm? Heck, this wasn't just limited to the Apple Family. Nopony she knew caused her to feel this way except Big Macintosh with his sleek red coat and southern accent that, when spoken, always made Sweetie Belle feel tingly all over, like she was getting a full-body massage by a pair of invisible hooves.
Even with all this, the gullible little filly didn't understand her feelings. But it wasn't only the anxiety or happiness she felt that made her confused, but the overwhelming desire to be around him. Why would she want to be so close to somepony that made her feel so uncomfortable? None of it made any sense.
Sweetie Belle pondered this for the longest time, even when hanging out with her friends she couldn't help but ponder her feelings for Big Mac, but she still couldn't seem to come to a logical conclusion.
In fact, the only reason why she now realized she was in love was because of what happened the night before.
It was a long day of attempted discovery by the Cutie Mark Crusaders, all three of which had a blast in trying, but still were disappointed that they slipped into their sleeping bags with flanks that were still blank. They would have all slept in Apple Bloom's bed, but due to its smaller size, they realized it wouldn't work out well. So they pulled out three sleeping bags and brought them outside to the clubhouse.
All three girls exchanged good nights and Apple Bloom blew out the lantern. It didn't take long for Scootaloo or Apple Bloom to enter their respective dreams. But for Sweetie Belle, sleeping wasn't such an easy process.
Her mind kept going back to Big Macintosh. Why was she having these feelings? Why couldn't she stop thinking about him?
More importantly, why didn't she want to stop thinking about him?
Sighing, the filly decided matters were best left to morning when she'd be more rested and better able to think over everything. And with that, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Sweetie Belle found herself bound by rope, a group of menacing diamond dogs holding her against her will, laughing sadistically, her screams for help echoed throughout the diamond field. The sun was high, making the situation even worse, the heat exhausting her. She struggled against the rope that bound her, fighting for the freedom these beasts were trying to deprive her of.
Suddenly, a handsome stallion with a red coat, who led by example rather than words, arrived to save her. She watched as her savior single-hoofedly took down every, single diamond dog in her presence before looking over his work, giving a small nod in satisfaction. He then trotted over to the bound Sweetie Belle, who looked up at him with wide, loving eyes.
"Them mean old nasty diamond dogs won't hurt y'all anymore."
"Oh, thank you Big Mac, my knight in shining armor!" Sweetie Belle said with an enthusiastic grin as she leapt up and gave the muscular pony a nice smooch on the lips. He returned the kiss with just as much love as the little filly was giving him. Though this was the fantasy of a school-aged filly, the kiss never went past a pressing of the lips; it didn't make it any less meaningful for Sweetie Belle.
She broke the kiss and looked into Big Macintosh's eyes.
"I love you Big Mac, do you love me?"
The stallion smiled and gave her an affirming nod, "Eeyup, ah sure do."
The little filly squealed in delight before she went back to giving him a long, love-driven, yet innocent kiss on the lips, the world around them both becoming brighter and brighter until Sweetie Belle took notice and realized Big Macintosh was gone, replaced with a white void. She looked around, from her left, to her right. The diamond field she was in, the knocked out beasts, her lover; all gone. Nothing around her except the never ending emptiness.
"BIG MACINTOSH!!!" she shouted before she suddenly felt herself get pulled up into the air. The world of white spinning around her.
"Sweetie! Open your eyes, wake up!" Scootaloo shouted at her friend, who started to finally wake up as she felt her body shake. She looked up to see Apple Bloom looking at her, perplexed about something. Scootaloo had both hooves around her shoulders, still shaking the little filly even though she was now fully awake.
"Uhhhhh....Sccooooooootttaaaallooooooo woooouuulllddd yoouuuuu sttttooopppp shaaaaakkkiinnnggg mmeeee?" Sweetie Belle said with a vibration to her voice.
"Oops, sorry." Scootaloo said, ceasing the shake-down of her friend. Sweetie Belle sighed, looking around as she remembered all three of them were having a sleepover. Sweetie was still in her pink sleeping bag while her two friends continued to stare down at her, making her feel uneasy, and the chilly night air creeping through the open windows of the clubhouse only made the situation more uncomfortable.
Apple Bloom began to ask questions. "What were y'all dreamin' about where ya were shoutin' mah brother's name like that?"
"I...uh..." Sweetie Belle began, but then stopped. She suddenly put two and two together , everything starting to make sense. She now knew the meaning of her feelings for the big stallion. She loved him; she had a full-blown school-filly crush on him. Part of her was thrilled that she finally knew why she felt so odd, but most of her started to panic. Not because of her feelings for Big Mac, but because she didn't want her friends to find out about it. "I...was...bucking apples! Yeah that's it! I was bucking apples!"
Sweetie Belle laughed nervously, hoping they'd buy the story. But as one might guess, Apple Bloom didn't.
"Why would ya be buckin' apples?" Apple Bloom asked.
Sweetie Belle stopped laughing and shrugged, "It was a dream, how in the hay should I know?"
Apple Bloom opened her mouth to retort, but stopped herself.
"Good point." Apple Bloom said. "Well, as long as yer okay now, ah thing ah'll head on back to sleep."
"Okay, nighty-night!" Sweetie Belle said, flopping back over and pretending to be asleep, fake snoring and eyes shut. She partially opened one to see her two friends staring down at her.
"You know you're not fooling anypony, right?" Scootaloo said flatly.
"Sorry, can't hear you...sleeping." Sweetie Belle said before she continued to snore. Scootaloo and Apple Bloom exchanged an annoyed glance before shrugging and going back to their own sleeping bags, settling down for the rest of the night. Sweetie Belle watched them through the slit in her eye. Once they were back in their bags, Sweetie Belle knew she could relax, smiling as she let her mind wander to the stallion of her dreams.
Sweetie Belle remembered all of this as she watched Big Mac as he worked the fields, taking every part of him in. Scootaloo and Apple Bloom were still busy brainstorming different ideas on how to get their cutie marks while the less-than productive Sweetie Belle continued to ogle at the country stallion.
"Okay, I am officially out of ideas. Any other ideas Apple Bloom?" Scootaloo asked her friend, twirling the pencil around in her hoof.
"What if we try," Apple Bloom kept thinking until the most random thing popped into her head, "Oh! Let's try taxidermy?"
Scootaloo looked at Apple Bloom, puzzled, "Taxidermy? What's that?"
"Ah'm not exactly sure, but ah think it has ta do with taxing ponies fer Celestia!"
"I don't think that's what it means," Scootaloo said, "Besides, what would a cutie make for tax ponies even look like? And why would you want your special talent to be tax collecting, that's just so...dull? Plus everypony would hate you."
"That's true ah guess," Apple Bloom shrugged, turning to Sweetie Belle, "Sweetie Belle, yer good with words right?"
Sweetie Belle turned to her friends, still somewhat in a daze. "Huh? What did you say?"
"Ah said, yer good with words, right?" Apple Bloom asked.
"Em..yeah I...I guess so." Sweetie Belle said, her desire to continue watching Big Macintosh making it difficult to listen to her friends.
"Well, what does taxidermy mean?"
"Oh, it means stuffing dead animals as a form of art." Sweetie Belle said, turning her head so she was back staring out at the open fields, specifically at Big Macintosh. She failed to notice the horrified looks on Scootaloo and Apple Bloom's faces.
"What!?!" Scootaloo said in shock, "what pony would do that?"
"I don't know." Sweetie Belle said, she was distant and completely out of it. Now her friends noticed her odd behavior. They exchanged glances before Apple Bloom trotted over to Sweetie Belle and tapped her on the shoulder.
Sweetie Belle didn't answer.
"SWEETIE BELLE!" Apple Bloom took her friend by both shoulders and rotated her around so they were nose to nose, the country filly's orange eyes meeting Sweetie Belle's green ones.
"Why won't ya answer me! And what are ya looking at that's so gosh darn exciting that ya ignore us?"
Apple Bloom looked over Sweetie Belle's shoulder, hoping to see what she had been staring at. In a panic, Sweetie Belle pushed her friend back and grinned.
"Oh, I was just admiring the sun-rays reflecting off of Big M...er I mean the apple trees! Yep, that's what I was looking at, the big old apple trees you guys have."
Apple Bloom looked at Scootaloo, who was now standing beside her. They both had disbelieving expressions on their faces, turning back to Sweetie Belle.
'Yeah, sure. What were you really staring at?" Scootaloo asked.
"I told you already, I was looking at the trees." Sweetie Belle answered, her cheeks turning a bright red, her heart racing as she started to feel an overwhelming sense of panic.
"Yeah right," Scootaloo got onto her hind-legs and pushed Sweetie's head down with her front hooves so she could get a better view of what she was looking at. "Well, I see trees, grass, Big Macintosh and..."
There was a pause. A very brief pause that nonetheless made Sweetie Belle cringe, fearing that her secret had been discovered by her flightless pegasus friend.
She felt Scootaloo get off of her head, looking up to see her orange pegasus friend looking at her, a face that was strained as she tried to hold back her laughter.
"Oh no..." Sweetie Belle muttered.
Apple Bloom, being the only one that was unaware as to what was going on, poked Scootaloo in the side, "What is it? What did y'all see?"
"Sweetie Belle, here was going all goo-goo over Big Macintosh."
Apple Bloom's eyes widened and a smile grew on her face.
She looked at the humiliated Sweetie Belle, "Oh mah gosh y'all have a crush on mah brother?"
Sweetie Belle looked down and gave a small nod, causing her friends to burst out into laughter. She felt like she was going to cry from embarrassment. Her whole body shaking like a leaf, her entire face having at least a sliver of red to it. From a light shade of pink on her forehead, to a deep crimson shade on her cheeks.
She then looked up at the two giggling fillies with determination.
"Okay, ha-ha very funny. That's enough guys let it go."
"You have a crush on Big Macintosh. That's [i]priceless[/i]." Scootaloo said, wiping a stray tear from her eyes.
"Ah think is sweet." Apple Bloom said in a mocking tone. "Little old Sweetie Belle crushing on mah big brother like that."
Apple Bloom made taunting kissy-kissy faces, "smooching" the air, causing Scootaloo to laugh and Sweetie Belle to become even more humiliated. Apple Bloom didn't realize how badly she was hurting her friend. If she did she would have stopped teasing her.
But since she was unaware, thinking that Sweetie was just a little humiliated, she continued to laugh it up with Scootaloo at their friend's expense. Before Sweetie Belle could stand up for herself, Applejack stepped through the front door of the house.
"Breakfast is on y'all. Come get it while the fritters are still warm!" she called with a grin before retreating back into the home.
Sweetie Belle tried to use this chance to dart into the house, but was stopped by an orange hoof.
Sweetie Belle looked up to see both Scootaloo and Apple Bloom smiling at her.
"Nuh-uh Sweetie Belle, y'all should know it ain't polite ta walk in ahead of yer lover." Apple Bloom whispered, fluttering her eyelashes tauntingly.
Before she could interject, she was interrupted by a sudden mass of red that was walking past her. She looked up to see Big Macintosh walking towards the door. She could feel the stomach-sparrows return as she looked him over, this time at a much closer distance. His sweat-streaked coat, his big green eyes, his power.
Big Macintosh looked down at the three fillies and smiled, "Ladies first."
"Well, your brother sure is the gentlecolt, Apple Bloom!" Scootaloo said, nudging Apple Bloom. She then looked over at Sweetie Belle, who hadn't taken her eyes off of Big Mac since he walked past her. "Don't you agree Sweetie Belle?"
Sweetie Belle let out a small "eep" and looked down at her hooves, hoping that she could hide her blush, "Yes...I agree...thanks Big Mac."
"Well shoot it ain't nothin'." Big Mac laughed as he motioned for the fillies to walk in. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo took the lead with Sweetie Belle in the rear. Before she could enter the house, Sweetie Belle was stopped. This time by a single, red hoof. She looked up into the concerned eyes of Big Macintosh.
'Y'all okay Sweetie Belle?"
Sweetie Belle started to get nervous. Should she tell him? No, that wouldn't do anything other than humiliate her further and possibly creep him out. Besides, she knew it was wrong for a grown pony to be in a romantic relationship with an young filly. So she did the only thing that made sense to her.
She sighed and gave Big Mac a small nod.
"Are ya sure y'all don't want ta talk about anything?" Big Mac asked, resting his hoof onto Sweetie Belle's shoulder, making her shudder a bit in delight.
Big Macintosh didn't believe her, he knew something was wrong, even if he couldn't quite place his hoof on what it was. But he wasn't going to try to pry into the private life of a little filly, so he just dropped the subject and decided that if she wanted to talk about it, she could. Otherwise, it wasn't any of his business.
"Well okay,' he lowered his hoof and placed it under Sweetie Belle's chin, lifting her head up so their eyes met.
He gave her a kind, brotherly smile, "but don't forget. If y'all ever need anything don't hesitate to ask."
Sweetie, still blushing, smiled, "I won't, thanks Big Mac."
Big Mac nodded and took his hoof away from Sweetie Belle. The white unicorn filly trotted in, letting out a sigh of relief once she was ahead of Big Mac, happy that he didn't know.
Breakfast started relatively uneventfully. Applejack dished out some apple fritters for herself, Granny Smith (who had recurrent states of being awake and being asleep), Big Macintosh and the three fillies. Apple Bloom licked her lips in anticipation; Scootaloo grabbed a fork in one hoof and a knife in the other, ready to dig in once everypony was served. Sweetie Belle, however, was more focused on placing a napkin across her lap, spreading it out so it would cover her legs from the debris of food that would most likely land on them. If there was one thing Sweetie learned from spending so much time with Rarity, it was manners, and how to eat properly when with company. Of course, that wasn't the only reason she was behaving as much as possible. She also wanted to look good in front of Big Mac. Even if her crush was stupid and would never take her anywhere, it didn't mean she had to suddenly act any less like a lady in front of him.
Once Applejack was seated, Apple Bloom grinned and turned to Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle, who was too busy adjusting her napkin to notice.
"Well, ah reckon it's time ta dig in!"
And with that, she and Scootaloo started to eat their apple pastries. Applejack shot her gluttonous sister and improper pegasus friend an annoyed look, but the two fillies were too busy scarfing down their meal to notice. Not that they would care, anyway. Besides, it wasn't like Applejack was the shining example of a pony with good manners.
But her eating manners at this time were, to put it simply, horrible. And while such a thing usually wouldn't bother Applejack with her friends, when it was her sister, she expected her to have some form of manners at the dinner table.
But instead of calling Apple Bloom out, Applejack just let out a sigh, looking over at Sweetie Belle, who had yet to start her pastry.
"Um Applejack, is it okay if I start eating?" she asked.
"Of course sugarcube, y'all don't have ta ask." Applejack giggled.
Sweetie Belle nodded, reaching for her fork and knife, "Rarity always tells me not to eat until the host says it's okay to do so."
"Well ah've never been one to follow such conduct, but ah do admire yer manners." Applejack said.
Sweetie Belle nodded and slowly began to eat, making sure to be as neat and polite as possible. But in reality, only a little bit of her improved manners were because of Rarity. In reality, she just wanted to seem proper in front of Big Mac.
Unfortunately for her, she wasn't the only one who knew the true motivations behind her behavior. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo exchanged a glance and snickered, turning towards Sweetie Belle with identical, devious smirks on their faces.
"So Sweetie Belle, why are you eating so slowly?" Scootaloo asked.
"Yeah, ah mean Big Macintosh bucked the apples ta make them fritters. Y'all should be more appreciative."
Sweetie Belle started to blush as Big Mac spoke up, "Now, now Apple Bloom. I don't care if she doesn't eat it."
"But y'all worked so hard ta get them apples." Apple Bloom said. "The least she could do is pretend ta enjoy the fritters made from them, Big Mac."
Sweetie Belle started to get nervous, cutting into the pastry and eating it at a faster rate.
"Well if she doesn't like it, who am ah ta tell her otherwise?" Big Mac said.
"No I like them." Sweetie Belle mumbled; her face stuffed with the fritter she was shoveling into her mouth with ferocious speed, trying her best to prove to Big Mac that she did like the food that was made with the apples he worked hard to collect.
Applejack, however, was insulted. But not with Sweetie Belle.
"Um, sis. Y'all know ah bucked them apples too, right?"
"Yeah, but Big Mac was doing it so much recently. Besides, ah was just using him as an example." Apple Bloom said.
Sweetie Belle continued eating her food, occasionally looking up at Apple Bloom, who kept going.
"My main point is to tell Sweetie Belle here not to insult you or Big Mac by not eating the fritters."
"I do like them!" Sweetie Belle snapped, her hoof flying into the air, accidentally knocking over her apple juice in the process, spilling it all over her. She froze as everypony at the table looked at her. Nopony was mad, but Sweetie Belle was now even more embarrassed.
"I'm sorry." she muttered, looking down at her plate.
Applejack waved it off with a smile, "Ah shoot, don't worry about it."
Sweetie Belle felt somepony put their hoof onto her shoulder. She looked up to see Big Mac holding a napkin out to her, a kind smile on his face. "Ya might want ta clean yerself off."
Sweetie Belle nodded, taking the napkin and wiping her face and chest fur off. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo both had apologetic looks on their faces, both feeling guilty for berating their friend so much.
"Sorry Sweetie Belle." Apple Bloom said apologetically.
"Yeah, sorry." Scootaloo added, looked down at her hooves, "We didn't mean to cause you to freak out like that."
"It's okay." Sweetie Belle said with a sigh, though she was still embarrassed from looking weak in front of Big Mac, who was now behind her.
"Do ya wanna go upstairs to clean up in the bathroom?"
Sweetie Belle nodded and pushed herself away from the table, got out of her chair and made her way to the stairs, head hung low. She didn't have to look back at Big Mac, nor did she want to, to know he was looking at her. His eyes invisibly bearing into the back of her skull as she made her ascent. She felt so stupid, so foalish for spilling her drink all over herself.
But more than that, she felt stupid for having these feelings. She knew it was dumb, and also against society on so many levels that it would never work. Not only that, her friends would never let her live it down. Sure Apple Bloom and Scootaloo seemed to feel bad for taking it too far, but the white unicorn filly wasn't entirely convinced that they would stop.
On the contrary, she was afraid they would continue. But at the moment she had to clean herself off. Just as she reached the top step, Apple Bloom called out to her.
"Hey Sweetie Belle? Would ya mind gettin' the dictionary from mah room? Ah wanna look up 'taxedermy' ta see if y'all were right about what it means!"
"Okay." Sweetie Belle called back, her voice giving away her weakness. Little did she know such a vulnerable tone made Apple Bloom feel worse.
Sweetie reached the bathroom and got to cleaning the sticky remnants of the juice from her white fur, mixing soap and water on one of the available washcloths. Cleaning herself off after spilling something on it wasn't anything new, especially when she was trying to find her special talent with Scootaloo and Apple Bloom. It got to the point where there were four washcloths laid out on the bathroom's counter, ready to be used at a moment's notice, one for each of the Cutie Mark Crusaders and one for Winona for when she got dirty.
Not surprisingly, the dog's washcloth was much cleaner and less worn than the other three were.
Once she finished cleaning the juice from her fur, Sweetie Belle looked herself over in the mirror, looking herself over, nit-picking every detail from her mane style to the cleanliness of her fur. Why did she let herself get into these situations? First the dream about the country stallion and then her friends finding out about it. Even worse, she looked weak when Apple Bloom mocked her, something she never wanted to be.
Sweetie Belle let out a small sigh and looked down at her hooves, "Forget it Sweetie Belle. So what you have a crush on Big Macintosh? Every filly has a grown-up crush, it's no big deal."
Sweetie Belle walked out of the bathroom and was about to make her way down the stairs when she remembered that Apple Bloom wanted her dictionary. She turned and trotted over to Apple Bloom's bedroom, door slightly opened. She pushed her way inside and looked around. The room was relatively simple, a single bed and small bookshelf and desk.
She trotted over to the bookshelf and began to skim the books, mostly for school, for the dictionary. It didn't take long for her to find the book she was looking for, the shelves being mostly barren save for Apple Bloom's school texts and a couple of novels she always started only to get sick of ten pages in.
Sweetie Belle reached up for the dictionary, which had been placed three shelves up. It was therefore low enough to allow a filly of Sweetie Belle's height to reach it, but high enough that said filly would still have to extend her hoof up to get to it.
Bottom line, trying to get it turned out to be a pain in the flank
After stretching her hoof out, standing on the tips of her back-hooves, Sweetie Belle finally got the book and pulled it out of its place in the shelf. But once she did this, she realized how off-balance reaching up made her. Immediately after retrieving the book, Sweetie Belle fell backwards, her head barely missing the bed.
"Ouch." she groaned, rubbing the back of her head with her hoof. She looked around for the book, which had flown from her grasp as she landed. She turned around and saw the dictionary laying on the carpet in-between herself and the bed. "Ha! I've got you!"
She reached for the book and pulled it back, but stopped. There was something underneath the yellow filly's bed, something small and rectangular in shape. Out of curiosity, Sweetie Belle reached under the bed and pulled out the mystery object, a blue shoebox.
"Huh, I wonder what this is for." she asked nopony in particular, opening the box and peering inside. Once she saw the contents, her eyes went wide and her jaw dropped.
Meanwhile, back downstairs, Apple Bloom was slowly eating her meal with a heavy feeling of pure guilt hanging over her like a storm-cloud ready to strike her down. Scootaloo didn't feel much better, her own previously barbaric eating style slowed to a nibbling pace. Big Macintosh and Applejack both looked at the two fillies with disappointment in their eyes. And Granny Smith, of course, was asleep; her head tilted back, snores escaping her lips.
"Y'all really took that too far with Sweetie Belle." Applejack said sternly.
"Eeyup." Big Macintosh agreed; his gaze fixed on the two young, guilt-ridden fillies.
"We know." Scootaloo said sadly.
"Yeah, ah feel awful about it." Apple Bloom said.
"Ah know y'all didn't mean no harm by it, and ah'm glad y'all apologized before she went upstairs. But maybe ya should go up and talk ta her in private. She still seemed awful upset."
Both fillies nodded and left the table. Big Macintosh sighed as Applejack looked over at him.
"Ya know, ah think Sweetie Belle has a bit of a crush on ya, she was blushing somethin' fierce when ya were near her.""
Big Macintosh sighed, "Ah know, that's why ah feel so bad for her."
"It's cute little filly havin' a crush on ya like that." Applejack said with a giggle. Big Mac rolled his eyes and finished his fritter, his sister laughing a little before she continued to eat her fritter.
Upstairs, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo both made their way to the bedroom since she clearly wasn't in the bathroom.
Once they reached the door, Apple Bloom sighed and lightly knocked her hoof against it.
"Sweetie Belle, are ya in here?"
Nopony answered. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo looked at each other, worry in their eyes,
"We're coming in." Scootaloo said, Apple Bloom pushing the door open to allow them both to enter. Both fillies trotted over to where Sweetie Belle was; the unicorn filly's back turned to them, seemingly unaware of their arrival. Apple Bloom decided to take charge.
"Sweetie, look both Scootaloo and ah wanted ta apologize again for what we said."
Scootaloo nodded, "Yeah, look we don't care if you have a crush on an older pony..."
"Even if that pony is mah brother." Apple Bloom said, "so come on, we promise not ta tease ya anymore."
Sweetie Belle slowly turned around. She stared at her friends for a moment. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo both thought she was going to accept their apology so they could all go back downstairs to finish their breakfast.
Instead, she simply asked, "What is this?"
Both fillies looked at her in confusion. Sweetie Belle moved out of the way to reveal the blue box she had been looking at before the other two arrived. Scootaloo was still not sure what to make of the box, but when Apple Bloom saw what her friend had been looking at, her heart began to race, her breathing began to increase, and her legs began to wobble.
"What is what?" Scootaloo asked, oblivious to her yellow friend's discomfort.
Sweetie Belle walked over to her friends and showed them the box. Well, she showed Scootaloo, Apple Bloom was too humiliated to look.
Scootaloo looked into the box and immediately, her jaw dropped.
Inside of the box was a miniature altar, a shine almost, which included a tuft of purple hair from a mane, and multiple heart-shaped pictures featuring a certain white unicorn with a mane and tail that matched the clump of hair in the box.
"Is that...Rarity." Scootaloo asked in disbelief, causing Apple Bloom to let out a little "eep" in fright. Sweetie Belle turned to her friend, pointing at the box.
"Why do you have a shrine of my sister?" Sweetie Belle asked Apple Bloom, who was looking away, her face beet-red and tears starting to run down her cheeks.
"And why did you write "I 'heart' Rarity" all over the box?" Scootaloo asked. Now the focus had shifted. No longer was it Apple Bloom and Scootaloo initiating the questions, it was Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo. Apple Bloom was the recipient, and she didn't want to be. Both of her friends were befuddled by her shrine.
"Ah...ah..." Apple Bloom started before she broke down in tears. "Ah have a crush on Rarity, all right! Ah have a crush on yer sister! Ah'm in love with a mare, and now y'all know! Are ya happy!?!"
Both Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle felt their confusion change into sympathy. All disdain Sweetie Belle felt for her friend dissipated in that second. She could have called her out for being hypocrite, she could have humiliated her the way she had been humiliated.
But she couldn't ever do such a thing to her friend when she was so vulnerable. Sure she was humiliated for being ousted and mocked at dinner, but she wasn't as upset as Apple Bloom.
Apple Bloom continued to sob, repeating the phrase "I'm a freak" under her breath. Her two friends walked over to her sides, Scootaloo to her right and Sweetie Belle to her left, and placed reassuring hoofs onto her shoulders.
"Hey Apple Bloom, look it's okay. Don't cry." Scootaloo said comfortingly.
"Yeah, so what if you have a crush on an older pony, I do." Sweetie Belle said, rubbing Apple Bloom's shoulder.
"Yeah but at least you have a crush on a stallion." Apple Bloom sniffled. "I have a crush on a mare, and that mare is YOUR sister. It's...it's weird."
"No it isn't." Sweetie Belle said, "Apple Bloom you shouldn't be ashamed of being who you are, you aren't weird for liking a mare...even if that mare happens to be my sister."
The yellow filly looked up at her friends, her eyes foggy with tears, but even she could see the comforting faces of her friends, not judging her, not calling her out.
They were there for her.
"R-really? You...you don't care?" Apple Bloom asked, wiping her eyes with the back of her hoof.
"Not at all." Scootaloo said with a smile, "We're Cutie Mark Crusaders, right? We stick together no matter what."
Apple Bloom smiled, a feeling of relief washed over her.
"Right." Apple Bloom giggled, standing back up, "T-thanks guys it really means a lot."
"No problem." Sweetie Belle said with a smile.
"Oh, and could y'all not bring it up ta anypony? At least not yet." Apple Bloom asked, eyes pleading for re-assurance, which her friends gave her in a simultaneous nod. Apple Bloom sighed, "Good."
She then turned to Sweetie Belle, "And I wanted to apologize to you again. This time for being such a hypocrite with how ah mocked you for yer crush on Big Mac."
Sweetie Belle smiled, "Don't mention it."
And with that, the three fillies made their way out of the room, all of them feeling better than they were before entering it.
"Hey, do you think it's weird I keep a shrine like that though?" Apple Bloom asked as they made their way down the hall, "I mean, do you think it's a little much."
"Much?" Scootaloo scoffed, "that little box was nothing. You should see the one I made of Rainbow Dash!"
"Come on Sweetie Belle, it's time to go!" Rarity called from downstairs before she continued talking with Applejack.
Upstairs, Sweetie Belle bade farewell to her friends and left them alone. Scootaloo's parents were arriving later. Which was a shame, seeing as she never had the chance to meet them. But, apparently, they were two of the nicest ponies anypony could ask to meet.
Sweetie Belle entered the hallway and trotted off towards the stairs, but not before stopping at the sudden appearance of Big Macintosh, who just exited the bathroom. He looked down at her and smiled,
"Yeah." Sweetie Belle said cheerfully, no longer embarrassed about her little crush on Big Mac.
"That's good." Big Mac said with a smile, "Ya know ah hate ta see y'all upset, right?"
"You do?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"Of course. Yer like a little sister ta me." Big Mac said with a smile.
Sweetie Belle grinned, "Wow, thanks Big Mac."
Big Mac smiled and trotted over, wrapping his hoof around Sweetie Belle in a hug. She slowly returned it, a grin creeping across her face as she finally got to feel what it was like to be hugged by Big Mac.
He finally broke the hug and smiled, "Well, ah guess ah'll see ya around."
"Yep, see ya." Sweetie Belle said, starting to make her way to leave, Big Mac waving to her with a smile on his face.
"Sweet girl." he thought with a chuckle before trotting off.
The sun had set and everypony had started getting ready for bed. Apple Bloom jumped onto her bed, relaxing after her chaotic day with her friends which, while fun, took its toll on her energy.
"Finally, ah get some time ta mahself." Apple Bloom said with a sigh of relief, laying back against her mattress, her hooves behind her head as she closed her eyes. She could feel herself drifting off to sleep when her door creaked open.
She opened her eyes and sat up, rubbing the sleepiness from them before squinting to get a better view of whatever opened her door.
"Huh? Who's there?"
"Who do you think?" said a familiar, sultry voice.
Apple Bloom's eyes grew wide and her jaw fell. There, standing in her doorway, was none other than Rarity. She seemed extra shiny tonight, like she made herself over to look especially good for the stunned Apple Bloom, who could feel her heart racing as the mare slowly trotted over to her, her hips swaying and her movement cat-like, making each step more sensual than the last.
"I had a little chat with Sweetie Belle," Rarity said, hopping onto the bed before slowly creeping up to the stunned, yet excited, filly.
"Yeah, and she told me you think I'm...stunning?" Rarity asked, her face now inches from Apple Bloom's, the young pony starting to blush as her crush's azure eyes gazed into her own.
"Yes...Rarity." Apple Bloom said, her face changing to a smile, a feeling of bliss sweeping over her.
"Well I must say I'm glad you feel that way because, truth is," Rarity looked side to side to make sure nopony was around before turning back to Apple Bloom with the most saucy smile, "I really like you too."
Before Apple Bloom could respond, she found the white unicorn's lips pressed against her own. Her eyes shot open for a moment before they fluttered closed as she savored the moment. Rarity really did like her! She did have feelings for her. She...
...wasn't really kissing Apple Bloom.
The little yellow filly woke up to find her lips pressed against her pillow-case. She pulled her head back, a strand of saliva connected her to the white linen she had been making out with. She looked around to see that she was in her bedroom, just as in the dream. But unlike the dream, there was no Rarity, no atmosphere of love.
She was all alone, just her and the darkness.
With the realization that the kiss was nothing more than a dream, the little filly gave an appropriate response. Her face turned red and she threw her arms into the air.
"Oh, come on!"