AJ sighed, tilting her hat over her eyes as she took up her guitar. She liked this place, very friendly-like. Good place to get away from the stress of bucking all day, and she could get her mind off her other problems, for good measure. The bottle of whiskey at her hooves helped.
A fair trade, she thought. Entertain the rest of the patrons, get a bottle to help ease the pain. Unrequited love t’weren’t all it was cracked up t’ be in Rarity’s trashy novels that she always read. She couldn’t blame the dressmaker though, they were good fer a laugh. She strummed once, tuned the E a little tighter, and strummed again, then tilted her head back, eyes closing.
~Flying high through the clouds, so free, flying away so far from me... Blazing your way across the sky, leaving me here a-wondering why...~
She always was good at sad ballads, she figured. It was the one way to express her feelings without having t’... be so darned blunt about it. She wasn’t... the one she loved, after all. She swallowed the lump in her throat and continued singing, shivering a bit despite the warmth of the fire, and the body heat of everypony there. She had a bit of a following, intriguingly. She wasn’t the ‘bard’ kinda gal, really... but she had her ‘fan club’ nonetheless. Even if she did have to boot a few that didn’t get that her tail didn’t swish that way.
The song finished, she set the guitar down, reached for the bottle.
She winced, knowing those hooves anywhere. She grabbed at the bottle, and looked up into Rainbow Dash’s face, her eyes wet with tears, and raised it in acknowledgement.
“Applejack... All this time...?” she near-whispered questioningly. The farm pony flinched at the tone.
“... What was I supposed to do, Dash? Ask you outright, an’ fear gettin’ rejected? Have word spread around here an’ everypony knowin’ in five minutes?” she answered back, sounding bitter as the whiskey burning its way down her throat. The weather pony, the lazy, nap-grabbing stunt-maker stepped forward... And hugged her close, in full view.
“All you ever had t’ do was ask, sugarcube” she murmured, mimicking her own manner of speech. AJ blushed furiously.
“... I was scared ta” she admitted quietly.
“You don’t ever need to be scared of me, Applejack... Never again” Dash whispered back in her ear.
AJ broke down and sobbed, while Rainbow held her close, rocking her.
Maybe reciprocated love really is everything it’s said to be. But then again, what would they know? Applejack knew, now. She belonged in the hooves and embrace of her beautiful pegasus, and that was all that mattered tonight. She even managed to smile at the cheering bar crowd for the first time.