Automated wordcount: 23108
This was file was automatically generated by a google docs scraper, intended for use with e-reading devices. If you wish to have this removed from this list, email ra.llan.pcl+complaints @


Chapter One

Part One: Twilight Sparkle

“One gift left, you'd better open it,” chirped Rarity happily. We were all gathered around in Fluttershy's cottage as the birthday mare herself reached out and grabbed hold of the final gift.

“Ooh!” squeaked Fluttershy upon opening the present “'The Complete Guide To Equestria's Wildlife', thank you Twilight.” she beamed at me with her characteristically shy, but sincere, smile.

“It was nothing, I know you love nature and wildlife, so it just seemed like the right gift for me to give you.” I replied, secretly relieved that I had managed to buy a decent gift for once, or at least that Fluttershy was far too polite to bring up any objections with an unwanted gift.

“Wow, Twilight giving a book as a present. Unheard of!” Rainbow Dash said sarcastically to Pinkie Pie. The two of them giggled and I began to blush. “You might not know this Twi' but there are things in this world that aren't books.” I knew Rainbow didn't really mean any offense, but still, I was embarrassed by her remarks.

“'Least she actually had a present to give,” retorted Applejack, which only caused me to blush more, albeit for a different reason. “An' don't go sayin' that your mere presence is gift enough, that's the same ol' lame excuse you used at my birthday, an' believe me it ain't true.”

For a moment, real hurt flashed across Rainbow's eyes, before she promptly returned to her normal laid back visage. “Hey listen, I've been real busy lately and it just slipped from my mind OK...” Rainbow Dash paused for a moment, clearly mentally debating whether to continue. “And... uh... sorry Fluttershy I should have known it was your birthday.” Rainbow's honesty stunned me, she wasn't usually one to apologize. I guess her conscience has finally gotten the better of her, I thought.

“No it's fine Rainbow, really,” assured Fluttershy softly while being, as always, too considerate to state how she truly felt. “I'm just glad we're all here, together.”

“That's right,” yelled Pinkie excitedly. “And now it's time to get this party started!” and sure enough that's what happened, Pinkie's parties really were the best and this was no exception. The day went by in a sequence of assorted, high energy celebrations and before we knew it, it was getting late into the evening. As night began to encroach upon us Fluttershy thanked Pinkie for setting up the party and bid us all a good night.

All of us then went our separate ways back to our respective homes, or at least we would have if I didn't drink too much punch at the party. I was in a somewhat intoxicated state, swaying from side to side as I walked. I decided to just keep going and I began to meander groggily in the general direction of my library. Applejack soon caught on to my inebriated state as she shouted out to me. “Wait up a sec' Twi'. I'm not lettin' you go home on your own in that state!” the hardworking orange pony strolled over to where I was standing and we began to walk back to my library. She smiled at me slyly. “I didn't expect you of all ponies to be the one leavin' there drunk off your flank.”

“Nor did I to be honest,” I chuckled and responded playfully. “But then again I didn't expect you to be leaving there sober as a... uh... sober as a... whatever, you know what I mean.” I said, my lack of coherency clearly showing.

“'Scuse me, sugarcube, but some of us are responsible ponies,” Applejack retorted with a grin.

 “Well that certainly wouldn't be counting you then.” I teased, laughing at an inappropriate volume. We walked on a little further, getting close to my library now. “Thanks for staying with me Applejack, I... uhm... appreciate it. Aaand sorry for being such a... bother to you,” I told her faintly, still not quite back to sobriety. She brought a hoof up to my hair and ruffled it lightly, my heart fluttered upon feeling her strong, self assured hoof in my mane. My cheeks began to flare up in embarrassment.

“It's no problem Twi' us friends gotta look after each other right? Plus I enjoy spending time with ya so don't go worryin' yourself thinkin' that yer any trouble, alright?” Applejack remarked reassuringly, being just as comforting as ever. “An' hey I'm the element of honesty so you know I ain't lyin'.”

“You're always so kind and supportive, that's why I like you so much.” I stated, still not quite realizing what I was saying. Now it was Applejack's turn to blush, but she quickly turned away to hide her embarrassment. I noticed then that we were standing outside of my library, although for how long we'd been there I couldn't say for sure.

“Aw, shucks Twilight. That's mighty nice of you. I, uh, like you a lot too.” said Applejack sheepishly. It didn't mean a lot to me at the time, but I would come to ponder over this moment soon. I smiled broadly to Applejack and we each said our goodbyes before I crawled up to my bed and got some much needed sleep.

Part Two: Rainbow Dash

“One gift left, you'd better open it,” by this point I was sick of Rarity's voice, her constant droning earlier about how her gift to Fluttershy, a rabbit hutch, was 'hoof made by me personally,' had driven me over the edge. She was clearly just rubbing in the fact that I had forgot all about Fluttershy's birthday and neglected to buy a present. Or maybe I was overreacting, I guess I was annoyed at myself more than anything. I just felt like taking my anger out on somepony else.

When I saw Twilight's gift was a book I knew I had a chance to vent some frustration, Twilight always gave them out as presents. “Wow, Twilight giving a book as a present. Unheard of!” I said highly unsubtly to Pinkie Pie, we both laughed lightheartedly. After I had caught Twilight's attention with that comment I addressed her directly “You might not know this Twi' but there are things in this world that aren't books.” I felt like I was taking it too far, but I knew Twilight would understand I wasn't being serious.

Applejack glared at me. “'Least she actually had a present to give,” I immediately felt like I had made the wrong choice, not only because I shouldn't have took my personal anger out on Twilight, but now I'd managed to annoy the pony I'd been in love with for a long time. Applejack had no idea of course, I could never tell her my true feelings. I thought that if she felt differently about me than I felt about her our relationship would never be the same. “An' don't go sayin' that your mere presence is gift enough, that's the same ol' lame excuse you used at my birthday, an' believe me it ain't true.” That really stung. Comments like these made it clear to me that Applejack couldn't possibly be in love with me and so confirmed that I she keep my feelings about her bottled up. Everything would be much easier if I didn't love her.

I will say though, It definitely wasn't love at first sight. I've never believed in all that mushy stuff anyway. It took time, but I realized Applejack was everything I'd ever wanted. She was strong, she was athletic, she was competitive, she was dependable, she always told the honest truth, she was always there when you needed her, and really she was everything I could ever need. But also everything I could never have.

“Hey listen, I've been real busy lately and it just slipped from my mind OK...” I replied hastily trying to stop the blame being pointed squarely at me, I was annoyed enough at myself already without being told how awful I am. I couldn't stand it when Applejack was angry with me so I decided that in order to make things better between us I should apologize about my lack of a gift. “And... uh... sorry Fluttershy I should have known it was your birthday.”

Fluttershy accepted my apology, as I knew she would and Pinkie Pie got 'this party started!' as she always did. Applejack snapping at me earlier had put me into a sombre mood for the rest of the day, but I put on a mask of enjoyment so as not to give away my feelings. I wanted to impress her somehow and show her that I'm not always so selfish and that I really did just forget about Fluttershy's birthday, but I couldn't think of how to do it.

After some time I walked up to Applejack while she was getting some punch. “Hey Applejack,” I said gingerly, desperately wanting to say something significant to her, but having no idea what. I needed to think quickly to avoid looking foolish.

“Hi Rainbow... was there something you wanted to say?” she questioned while staring at me quizzically. I regretted starting this conversation, I mean it's not like I could just come out of nowhere and say 'I love everything about you, will you be mine?'

“Uhhh... no, never mind,” I uttered awkwardly and looked around the room for a chance to escape the trap that I'd caged myself in.

“Alrighty then,” replied Applejack as she sauntered away, leaving me standing alone by the punchbowl.

I felt like such an idiot. What drove me to talking to her in the first place? Now I'd just gone and made myself look stupid. I'm hopeless. From then on I deliberately avoided talking to her for the rest of the party, in an attempt to conserve at least a scrap of my dignity.

The celebrations drew to a close as the sky grew dark. Fluttershy thanked Pinkie for setting up the party and wished the rest of us a good night. Despite my earlier mess up I was about to talk to Applejack and apologize for being so awkward earlier, I didn't want her to think I was a complete airhead.

“Wait up a sec' Twi',” Applejack yelled to Twilight and strolled over towards her. I couldn't hear what was said next, but I could see that the two ponies were speaking. They then headed off in the direction of Twilight's library, traveling together. Jealousy welled up inside of me. My mind immediately came to paranoid conclusions. Although there really was no proof to suggest that Applejack accompanying Twilight home had to mean that they were together, it seemed likely to my overly suspicious mind.

After watching the ponies walk off together I flew to my cloud top home as fast as I could. I only hoped to somehow erase the memories of tonight and my love for Applejack from my mind. I wanted to just go to bed, get some sleep and clear my head. It didn't seem like that was going to happen though, because my mind was rife with activity. I wanted Applejack and I envied Twilight.

Part Three: Twilight Sparkle

When I woke up the next morning I couldn't believe what I'd said, was it impossible for me to not make a fool out of myself? But then again, Applejack didn't seem to mind my compliment and in fact she said the same about me. Thinking back on it I realized that she actually seemed rather flattered by what I'd said. Didn't she blush? Even if she did, does that really mean anything?

The absurdity of my entire line of thinking suddenly struck me, I mean it's not like I meant anything serious by what I said, all I meant was that applejack was a very good friend. Right? I definitely wasn't looking for a relationship with Applejack, we'd been friends for a long time now and I wasn't about to ruin all of that. At least that's what I told myself.

Despite my internal denial I couldn't shake off the feeling that there was something I loved about Applejack. She was just so comforting, so reliable. I always felt safe when I was with her. I remembered that I used to think friendship was trivial and pointless, but it swiftly became something that I couldn't live without.

Applejack was always so supportive, always there to help her friends and she was always honest. Why then had it taken me so long to see that what I wanted most was right in front of me? It dawned on me that I'd had these feelings for Applejack for a long time. They'd just been suppressed, until now, due to thinking she didn't see anything in me, but last night had at least given me some slight hope that she might be interested. Ever since last applebuck season I had developed feelings for her. She saved the whole village from a stampede, she worked herself as hard as she could on her orchard and still tried to help out her friends with whatever they needed. It tore me apart when I saw her overworking so much and I insisted that the rest of us would help her with the orchard.

I needed somepony to speak to about what I was feeling. I mean I couldn't just tell Applejack what was on my mind. Sure she took my compliment and reflected it back at me, but it was very vague, it could have meant anything to her or nothing at all. I racked my brain, considering who would be the best person to talk to about this. Rarity would try to help but she was too gossipy, Rainbow wouldn't spread it around but she wouldn't take me seriously either, Fluttershy would try and be supportive but she would have no idea what to do and Pinkie Pie... Well Pinkie Pie always endeavored to be as understanding as she could be and wasn't one to give out a secret, she had proven to me time and time again that although she seems to only say random things, she knows what she's doing. I decided to go to Sugarcube Corner.

When I reached the confectionery Pinkie Pie called out to me, her voice as full of enthusiasm as ever “Hey Twilight, how are ya doing?” she hopped over to me as I entered the building.

“Not so great Pinkie, somethings been bothering me lately,” I said. “Do you have some time to talk?”

A look of worry crossed over Pinkie's face. “Sure Twilight! I don't wanna see my friends in distress,” she responded. “Now let's turn that frown upside-down! What is it that's been bothering you?”

“It's Applejack,” I blurted out without thinking.

“Oh no, you two haven't fallen out have you?” Pinkie Pie responded, mouth agape.

“No no no, it's not that,” I assured hastily. “I just...” I considered whether telling Pinkie Pie was the best idea after all, but it was too late to change my mind. “I love her.”

Pinkie stared at me for a moment, then a smile appeared on her face. “Well that's great Twilight! I'm glad you've found somepony to love,” I sighed in relief at her immediate acceptance of me, I made the right choice thinking Pinkie was the right pony to talk to. “Have you told her how you feel yet?”

“No, I haven't, I don't have a clue what to say and I have no idea how she would react,” I said gloomily.

“You silly filly, I thought you were the smartest pony in town! Just tell her how you feel. It's never good to bottle these things up. Even if she feels differently, you'll still be friends and then at least you won't have to worry about it anymore! It's a win win situation,” asserted Pinkie, optimistic as ever.

I paused for a moment thinking through Pinkie's declarations. “You know what? You're right Pinkie,” I said feeling simultaneously more relaxed with my current state and more anxious at what I was about to do. “Alright then, I'm gonna head out to Sweet Apple Acres and find her. Oh and Pinkie don't tell anyone about this please, I'd like to keep it quiet for now at least,” Pinkie agreed to keep quiet about it, I hugged her warmly and said my goodbyes before leaving to find Applejack.

Part Four: Rainbow Dash

I woke up with a restless mind. What should I do? I had overreacted the night before, just because Applejack was walking Twilight home it didn't have to mean anything significant. But it could of. I was sick of keeping my emotions restrained, I just wanted to tell Applejack how I felt.

I was meant to be loyal to my friends, but would it be more loyal to not bother her with my silly feelings, or to just fill her in on what she meant to me? Applejack was constantly in my mind, she was all I could think about.

I argued back and forth with myself, considering the pros and cons of just coming clean and telling Applejack how I felt. On the one hoof, she might, just might say yes and at least if I got it over and done with I wouldn't have to think about it anymore. But on the other hoof, if she said no it could ruin our friendship and I would feel devastated.

My deliberation of how I should act lasted for a long time, with much to and fro I drove myself crazy thinking about it. I couldn't take any more of it, I had to act. I left my home with a new found determination and flew to Sweet Apple Acres in search of Applejack.

It was time to tell her everything.


Chapter Two

Part One: Twilight Sparkle

As I entered Sweet Apple Acres nervousness spread through me, this was my chance to tell Applejack that I loved her and I couldn't afford to mess it up. All the books I'd spent my entire life reading suddenly become useless when presented with a situation like this. I couldn't see Applejack anywhere in the open so I went up to the house, almost hoping she'd gone out so that I could postpone my upcoming screw up.

Anxiousness began to build up inside of me. When I reached the door I had to gather up the courage to open it. I stood out there for a few minutes, remaining motionless. I had to do it. I lifted up a hoof to knock at the door, but suddenly Applejack opened it. She looked surprised at my presence.

She was so beautiful.

“Oh hey Twi', how are ya?” My heart melted upon hearing her voice. She sounded pleased to see me.

“I'm OK, I guess...” came my typically awkward response. Princess Celestia was right, I definitely shouldn't of wasted so much time studying at the expense of social interaction. “I was gonna talk to you about something, but you look like you're on your way out, so I guess this is a bad time.”

“I wasn't leavin', I was just gonna stay out here an' enjoy the lovely weather is all. And even if I was goin' somewhere, you should know I always have time for you Twi'.” My heart skipped a beat and Applejack gave me her most reassuring smile. It was so infectious that before I knew it I was smiling widely too, despite my nerves. “What did you wanna say to me anyway?”

It was now or never, I needed to do this right. “I just wanted to say... “ Unsure of what to start with I just blurted out the first thing that came to mind. ”you mean a lot to me.”

Applejack promptly looked down, but not before I saw the bright blush upon her cheeks. I knew then that this was going to work, my confidence returned. “Golly Twilight that sure is kind of ya, you mean a lot-”

I cut her off, it was obvious what she was about to say anyway. Deciding to just go for it I began my all-or-nothing gamble.

“And it's not just that. You're the most beautiful pony I've ever laid my eyes on. Whenever I'm with you I feel safe and secure, I feel like nothing can go wrong. You've always been supportive of all of your friends, you always try your hardest with everything, I aspire to be like you. I know I'm not deserving, but I want you. I love you.” There, I had said everything. Now I just needed a response.

Applejack stared at me, mouth wide open. The next few seconds were silent, but it felt to me like several eternities had passed with each one. I couldn't bear it.

“Oh, Twilight!” Tears began to form in Applejack's eyes. “I can't believe... I always... I love you too!”

She began to cry tears of happiness and we embraced each other lovingly. I felt so relieved that I'd taken Pinkie Pie's advice and not kept my emotions locked away.

After clearing away the tear stains on her face Applejack continued to speak. “I never thought I'd hear you say those words Twilight, you've made me the happiest pony in all of Equestria. I've loved you for a long time, but you always seemed more interested in readin' than in me, so I never said nuthin' 'bout it. An' don't take me the wrong way, you're book-smarts has always been somethin' I love about you,” Applejack's words affected me deeply, it saddened me to learn that she had been living with this burden weighing upon her mind for so long, but it made me happy to know that I had put an end to her inner turmoil. At that moment I saw something flash by in the corner of my eye, but my focus was firmly placed elsewhere so I payed no attention to it.

I couldn't wait any longer, I had to do what I'd wanted to most. I leaned in towards Applejack and kissed her passionately. She kissed me back with every bit as much passion as I had put forward. I didn’t ever want to stop.

Part Two: Rainbow Dash

The reassuring feeling of flight kept my nerves in check as I flew to Sweet Apple Acres. Concentrating on the familiarity of my surroundings and my activity was all I could do to stop myself giving up and returning home. I thought about what to say when I saw Applejack, but my mind immediately began to play through all the worst possible outcomes of the impending conversation. None of them were even close to what actually happened.

Sweet Apple Acres was in sight now. I was about to land just outside of Applejack's house when I noticed she was standing right there, with Twilight. My heart sunk. I flew up to the roof of the building quickly in an attempt to avoid being seen. Once I had landed I leaned in towards the ponies below in an attempt to hear what they were saying.

They didn't seem to be talking so I leaned over the edge of the building and took a quick glance down. The sight below tore my heart to shreds. Twilight and Applejack where locked tightly together in a kiss. Despite how much stress the sight gave me, I could not tear my eyes away. At that moment I wanted to be twilight more then anything else in the world. She had everything I'd wanted right there on her lips, I found It hard to hold back tears of despair.

The kiss seemed to last forever, the sight was excruciating for me. I hated Twilight just as much as I wanted to be her, she'd ruined everything I'd wanted for so long. Finally, the ponies stopped kissing, they nuzzled each other softly and I couldn't watch anymore. I couldn't stand to just observe as what I loved slipped from my grasp. You never had a grasp on it in the first place, I thought scathingly too myself. It was true.

I was about to leave and save myself the pain of knowing anything else about the lovers when I heard Twilight's voice. “Do you mind if we keep quiet about this for now? I'm not sure how our friends would react if they knew about us...” From the sound of what Twilight had said it seemed logical to think that the two had only just gotten together, otherwise why would they just be discussing something like that now?

Learning that made me hate myself even more, if I had only come a few hours earlier and not wasted my time having arguments in my own mind then maybe I could have been the one down there with Applejack. You're such an idiot, I told myself.

“Uh, sure Twilight. You know I like jus' tellin' the whole truth and I'm sure they'll be fine with it. But if you don't want me to tell anypony then I won't. I promise,” came Applejack's response. I briefly considered spreading their secret to unfairly lash out at Twilight, but I would only make Applejack mad at me and that's definitely not something I wanted to do.

I heard a faint whispering and then the sound of hoofsteps. I looked over the edge of the roof again when the sounds had ceased. It seemed that the two had entered the building. I didn't want to think about what they might be doing, in fact I didn't want to think about anything to do with them. I began to fly back home, my only plan was to cry and get this entire event out of my system. The crying part happened at least.

Part Three: Applejack

I couldn't believe it when Twi' came up to me and said exactly what I'd dreamed of her saying. I almost thought It was just one of those dreams until she kissed me. We spent the rest of that day just talking, mainly 'bout how we felt and what we loved about one another. Thinkin' back on it, it was awfully mushy. But heck I don't care, it was one of the best days I ever had. I wasn't sure why she wanted to keep our love a secret, but hey I'd do anythin' for Twilight.

She offered that we meet up again the next day at her library, carelessly I accepted without remembering that I'd agreed to help Fluttershy out with herding for the official bunny census. I decided to first go to Twilight's library and tell her about my mistake, so that she wouldn't think I stood her up or anythin'.

Upon reaching the library I rapped on the door, Twilight answered it promptly and instantly locked me into a cuddle. “Applejack!”

“Hey Twilight,” I responded in turn, cuddling her back.

“I've come up with so many things for us to do today,” said Twilight enthusiastically while pulling me even deeper into her embrace.

“Aww shewt... well sorry to say this Twi', but I remembered after ya left that I was supposed to help Fluttershy out with herdin' her animals today. Maybe we can do these things another time.” I said, looking at her apologetically.

“Oh. Well I thought this was going to be be our first proper day together...” Twilight spoke grimly, the look on her face was one of hurt. “But I can see that's not what's going to happen, can't you just forget about her for a day and be with me?”

“I really am sorry Twi', but I promised this to Fluttershy weeks ago, I can't go back on it now,” I stated, feeling bad about letting her down. I didn't want to ruin her day, but it seemed that I had.

“Never mind. I just find it kind of convenient that you didn't remember about this until after you told me you were free today...” She said accusingly, narrowing her eyes.

“Hey now, wait a sec'. I am sorry this mix up happened, but I guarantee you, I am not making this up. Why wouldn't I want to be with you? I love you and you should know that.” She still looked dissatisfied with my explanation. “Look, I promise I'll meet you here by dusk today, then we can do whatever you want.”

That seemed to cheer her up a little. “Alright then, but you better be here! I always feel good when you're with me.”

“Don't worry, I'll be here. I'd do anything for you Twilight.”

“Anything? Well if that's the case then don't go to Fluttershy's, seems simple to me.” Oh great, we'd gone straight back to the start again. Just as soon as I thought that we'd solved the problem we had actually just hit another brick wall.

“Don't be silly Twi' you know I gotta keep my promises, I already explained all this.”

“Well you promised to be with me all day too,” she said bitterly.

“I promised Fluttershy help first, so I'm gonna help her. Simple as that. I'll be back here later anyway, so don't be worryin',” her bickering was beginning to annoy me now.

Twilight looked like she was about to retort when she stopped. After a few seconds of silence she spoke again. “Sorry Applejack, I just... I thought you were trying to get away from me. I love you so much, you know that, and it hurt when you said you were just going to leave after we’d already agreed to meet. But I understand, you already promised her. I overreacted, sorry.”

“You can be very silly sometimes Twilight, you know I wouldn't want to get away from you,” I kissed her on the nose. “But I really should be headin' off now, I don't want to worry Fluttershy by bein' too late.”

Shortly afterward I headed out towards Fluttershy's cottage where we'd agreed to meet. My mind wasn't quite at ease though as Twilight's somewhat hysteric reaction to my simple mistake worried me. Sometimes I didn't understand her.

Part Four: Rainbow Dash

A day had passed since I'd seen Twilight and Applejack together. All I'd done in that time was cry, despair, feel sorry for myself and sleep. I'm pathetic. I had even neglected my weather control services, unfairly leaving my work to the rest of the weather squad. I had no idea what to do anymore, for a long time the thing I'd wanted most was Applejack and now that wasn't just highly unlikely, but was basically out of the question.

Ponies always thought that getting into the Wonderbolts was the top priority for me and in a way it was. It was true that I had always wanted to be in the Wonderbolts, but it'd become even more important to me recently because I thought getting into such a prestigious athletic team would impress Applejack. Without that as an incentive it mattered far less to me.

I still wanted Applejack, even with the knowledge that she could never be mine, I couldn't let go just yet. I needed to do something or I would go crazy thinking about it. A distraction, just to simply not think about her for a while. It was already very late in the day, I had to come up with something quickly.

Fluttershy was so calm and laid back all the time, I decided to visit her and see if she could help relieve some of my stress. I began to fly out of my cloud top home and towards Fluttershy's idyllic cottage. The time it took me to get there went by quickly. Flying was one thing that I was genuinely good at and it was a slight help in taking my mind off of my troubles.

I landed outside the cottage door and knocked on it. Nopony answered and I couldn't hear any sound from within. Brilliant, I thought sarcastically. I waited around for a minute on the off chance that she would be returning soon. I was fortunate, as a short while later I saw Fluttershy in the distance returning home. She was with Applejack. At that point I felt like life itself was trying to crush me. But I wouldn't hide this time, walking forward I shouted out to the two ponies. “Hey there Fluttershy, what're you doing out here... with Applejack?” My voice began to waver on those last couple words, not knowing what the answer would be.

“Hello Rainbow. Applejack was just helping me herd the bunnies together for the seasonal census,” Fluttershy responded with her eternally tranquil voice.

“We just finished actually Rainbow, I better be headin' off now and leavin' you two to talk.” Applejack said, trying as always to do what was best for her friends.

Looking Applejack in the eyes seemed an impossible feat for me, so I responded with my glare pointed firmly downwards. “Oh... OK then. See you some other time,” why couldn't I just say what I felt?

“Is somethin' wrong sugarcube? You don't seem too happy,” asked Applejack, being typically compassionate.

“I'm OK, I've just been kinda stressed out lately, I guess,” I said hesitantly. Trying to open up to Applejack, even in such a small way, was hard for me after years of hiding my feelings. I addressed Fluttershy when I next spoke. “That's what I came to you for actually, you always seem so calm and collected.”

“Well then, I can see you two need some time together, so I'm gonna head off now. I hope you feel better soon Rainbow,” and with that she left. Immediately trying to forget about her, I turned my mind to the matter at hand.

“So Fluttershy, do you know anything I could do to help me relax?”

Fluttershy thought for a moment and then answered. “Usually, when I get mad, I just go out into the open and just look around me at nature and think of how beautiful it all is. It helps me realize that the world is such an amazing place and that however angry I get, there will always be something to cheer me up right around the corner.”

“Wow...” I said, not expecting such a fully formed and moving answer.

“We should do it now, I know the most astonishing place! I mean, If you want to of course.”

“No I think that's a great idea,” I said honestly. “I've really been needing to just slow down and think.”

Fluttershy smiled at me happily, but said no more. She signaled at me to follow her and took flight moving almost completely vertically. The steepness of the angle shocked me and I had no idea what Fluttershy was leading me to. I followed in silence wondering where we were going.

Fluttershy's moderate pace of flying was so different to my own. I always dashed about from place to place at top speed, never slowing down. Following Fluttershy helped me to appreciate the advantages of just taking your time, it gave me a chance to think and it let me just soak in what was around me rather than constantly being somewhere new.

Preoccupied with my thoughts I hadn't really noticed how long we'd been flying, when I came back to reality I realized dusk was beginning to spread across the sky. Suddenly, Fluttershy stopped at an utterly unremarkable looking cloud and landed on it.

“Uh.. Where are we exactly?” I questioned.

“The highest cloud,” she said simply, as if it meant something.

After giving her a quizzical glance she just nodded downwards signaling for me to look. I turned my gaze to the earth and finally realized how high up we were. Clouds were usually cleared from the sky on days like this, but this cloud was far, far too high up to be noticed by the weather team. From such a vantage point I could see for many miles in each direction, the entirety of Ponyville was only a small piece of everything I could see. It was simply stunning. The breath taking sight expelled all troubles from my mind in an instant and left me in awe.

“This is amazing.” I stated.

“I know.” Fluttershy replied.

We were there for hours, just admiring the beauty of the world.

Part Five: Twilight Sparkle

The haunting, yet beautiful, dusk began to crawl over Ponyville. I observed through the windows of my library as the almost disturbing ambiance that the darkness delivered overtook the whole region. The dusk was equally as magnificent as it was chilling and on a normal night I would love to just gaze at the stars for hours searching for complex constellations, being astounded again and again at just how grand this world, or rather those places beyond it, could be. However this was not a normal night, I was waiting for Applejack to come back from helping Fluttershy, assuming that she would show up at all. No I can't think like that, I need to stop this unnecessary overreacting.

This was my first proper relationship and I didn't want to screw it up, I know I should have acted more logically though. Fluttershy was a friend, she wouldn't do something to hurt me and Applejack was the element of honesty, of course she was telling the truth. If she didn't show up soon though, my fears might have been justified. When I was with Applejack all my worries seemed to disappear, but since she wasn't there I wasn't in the best state of mind.

I had sent Spike out overnight, so that he wouldn't know anything about me and Applejack. I know she wouldn't mind him knowing, but I couldn't be certain he wouldn't react negatively. Despite my uncertainties, Applejack's reassurances that our friends would be fine with us had begun to turn me around on the issue. She always knew the right thing to do when it came to this sort of stuff. Lost in my thoughts, the knock at the door surprised me.

I answered it and, sure enough, Applejack was there. Instantly my paranoid fears were dispelled, I felt bad for even considering that she wouldn't come. “Hey Applejack,” I greeted simply and led her into my library. “How are you doing?”

“I'm pretty good thanks Twi'. I'm glad I'm here, now I can jus' relax, helping out Fluttershy took a lot of energy outta me,” came her response.

“And I'm glad you're here too! You always cheer me up and make me feel safe,” that was my favorite thing about her, when she was around I felt like nothing in the world could go wrong. She was so dependable.

“Always pleased to cheer ya up Twi',” said Applejack, hearing that made me even happier. She drew me into her warm, soft embrace with a strong hug. I loved her so much.

“Oh Applejack! I'll love you forever and ever, we'll always be together,” I said enthusiastically, unable to contain my passionate feelings.

“You always say the nicest things Twilight,” Applejack told me, flattering as ever.

“You are the nicest thing Applejack,” I said, trying to make her constantly feel cherished. She laughed quietly.

“When are you gonna get some new material?” She teased at my somewhat trite compliment. I was annoyed at myself for saying something so banal, but then she nuzzled me and I knew she didn't really mind.

“Shut it you,” I said, now joining in on the joke.

“Make me,” dared applejack, she winked at me and I knew what to do. I kissed her with every ounce of desire that I could muster up.

Being with Applejack was the best thing in the world.

Part Six: Applejack

“I'm glad I'm here, now I can jus' relax, helping out Fluttershy took a lot of energy outta me,” I told Twilight shortly after entering her library. I had reached Twilight's home as the day turned to dusk, as I promised I would, and I was looking forward to spendin' time with her. Assuming that she wouldn't flip out again like earlier.

“And I'm glad you're here too! You always cheer me up and make me feel safe,” Twilight let me know. She always said I helped her feel 'safe' or 'secure', it was almost as if the only reason she was really with me was to have her own personal safety net. I quickly shook off those bitter thoughts, casting them off as nothin' more than a product of the weariness I was feeling from helping out Fluttershy.

“Always pleased to cheer ya up Twi',” I said hugging her tightly.

“Oh Applejack! I'll love you forever and ever, we'll always be together,” claimed Twilight with enthusiasm. I admired her certainty, but it was something I couldn't share so quickly.

“You always say the nicest things Twilight.” I told her honestly.

“You are the nicest thing Applejack,” Twilight's romantic comment was as cute as it was cliché. I chuckled softly, she was so goofy at times.

“When are you gonna get some new material?” I teased, nuzzling her lovingly.

“Shut it you,” she replied with not a hint of seriousness. I had an opportunity here.

“Make me,” I said with a wink.

She kissed me with with a profound intensity giving away her deep affection for me. The rest of the night descended into a blur of love and passion. I quickly forgot about my minor qualms with Twilight's behavior and gave in to my lust. She was fun, eager, intelligent and was in love with me, what more could I ask for?


Chapter Three

Part One: Rainbow dash

It'd been several days since I'd first been up to the highest cloud with Fluttershy. It had helped me to relax and slow things down in my life and It was slowly helping me forget about my love for Applejack. I had been up to the cloud every day since Fluttershy had shown it to me, looking down from such a great height let me appreciate how minor all of my troubles really were in the grand scheme of things.

Falling out of love with Applejack was going well. At least it was, until Twilight and Applejack had invited me and the rest of the gang over to her library, not giving a reason why. It seemed that as soon as I was progressing in life, as soon as I was getting over my longing, then something came to just bring it all back again.

I wasn't sure what the two ponies were even going to say or do when we all got there, but I had an idea and I knew that I was definitely not looking forward to it. Despite every cell in my body being opposed to going to Twilght's library, I knew it was something I needed to do. When Twilight had told me about it she seemed very adamant that I must go, I had to be loyal to my friends, I had to go no matter how I felt.

I tried to calm my mind as I flew to the library. My flying speed was a lot lower than it was just a few days earlier, the simple act of slowing down my movements had allowed me to better keep my nerves in check. On my way there I caught sight of Rarity heading in the same direction, I decided to land and walk with her to further keep my mind off of what was about to happen, this proved to be a bad decision.

“Hello Rainbow, heading to Twilight's too?” She asked, but before I could respond she continued speaking. “I wonder what she and Applejack have to tell us, what do you think it might be?”

We kept on walking, but she waited for a response this time. “Uhhh... I don't know,” I said awkwardly and looked away from Rarity to hide the apprehension in my expression. “Do... do you have any ideas?”

“I'm sure I have no clue,” Rarity claimed, but then immediately put forward several ideas. “Maybe they've set up a great party together, although that really is more Pinkie Pie's thing. Hmm. Maybe Twilight got an urgent letter from Celestia! But then why would Applejack be there? Ooh, I bet it's something scandalous, but then again Twilight isn't really the type to do anything scandalous, or to gossip about it. Well, whatever it is, I'm intrigued to find out, aren't you Rainbow?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, well I'm sure it'll at least be something interesting,” I commented, a lump forming in my throat. Shortly after I had uttered those words we arrived at Twilight's library; Rarity knocked on the door.

Soon enough the door opened to reveal Applejack's beaming face, before she even had a chance to speak my mind exploded with activity. The mere sight of her was enough to make me lose myself. I loved her so much. “Hey ya'll come on in, Pinkie and Fluttershy are already here so with you two arrivin' we can get this started!” She gestured for us to enter.

Rarity and I walked into the room and stood beside Pinkie and Fluttershy, spike was also there, looking just as expectant as the rest of us. Applejack walked to Twilight's side, the two of them were standing opposite the rest of us. After a nudge from Applejack, Twilight began to speak “Hello everyone. Thank you all for coming here, me and Applejack have something important to say,” her nervousness was audible. Evidently Applejack could hear it too as she took over the speaking duties.

“Look I'm gonna cut to the chase here. Me an' Twilight are in a relationship and we have been for about a week now,” Applejack's words made all of the pain I had felt from losing her rush back to me. You can't lose what you never had, I told myself. Suddenly I needed to get out of there, I felt claustrophobic, it felt like the walls were closing in on me. I couldn't take it.

But I had to stay, what would it look like if I left right now? They would think I was some kind of crazy pony. I just tried as hard as I possibly could to remain calm. Why do they have to say this now!? When I was finally getting over her... It was almost as if they had set this up just to let me know for sure that I would never be free of my love for Applejack.

Spike looked at the two loveponies with a somewhat confused expression. “Like a relationship relationship?” he asked.

“Yeah, like that,” at Applejack's response Spike just shrugged and mumbled under his breath something about 'mushy, girly, stuff'.

“I think this is great!” Pinkie shouted unnecessarily loudly while jumping up and down. “Happy ponies are always the best ponies and you two definitely seem happy together.”

“I agree. I think it's wonderful that you two have found each other. Love is such a great thing,” said Fluttershy serenely.

“Well, I have to say I wasn't expecting this, but it's totally fine with me. Having been brought up in such a high class family my parents were against 'filly fooling' as they called it, but they were from a different generation, they just didn't understand. Anyway, nothing should stand in the way of love, especially not something as meaningless as gender, so I'm very happy for you two,” Rarity said, showing off, as she often did, that she wasn't just some simpleminded fashion lover, but was in fact an extremely intelligent and insightful pony.

I realized then that I was the only one who hadn't said anything about their relationship, when I saw that everypony was staring at me expectantly. It was stressful enough having to see everything I loved being wrenched away from in front me, but now I had to express how their relationship was so great, because if I didn't everypony would turn on me. Telling the truth was not an option, I would just ruin everything Applejack had. I couldn't do that to her.

Putting on my usual mask of courage I began. “Yeah, it's great that you two are together! Everypony else has pretty much said everything by now, so I guess you don't need to hear me drone on about it,” I said, trying to avoid becoming the center of attention for too long. I didn't know how much more of being there, with them, I could take.

Shortly after I had said my part Twilight began to speak. “I'm so glad that you're all so understanding of us. I thought that some of you might be hostile because of us being 'filly foolers', but I was wrong. You really are the best friends in the world!”

Why did I have to love Applejack, it wasn't fair. It made life so difficult sometimes. Why couldn't I be in Twilight's position?

Part Two: Applejack

“Yeah, it's great that you two are together! Everypony else has pretty much said everything by now, so I guess you don't need to hear me drone on about it,” and with Rainbow's words all of our best friends had accepted us, without hesitation, just as I knew they would. It had taken me a little while to convince Twilight that this would be a good idea and now I'd proven to her that I was right all along.

“I told ya they would be fine with us,” I whispered playfully to Twilight.

“Alright, alright, you were correct on this occasion,” she replied in a hushed tone before addressing the whole room. “I'm so glad that you're all so understanding of us. I thought that some of you might be hostile because of us being 'filly foolers', but I was wrong. You really are the best friends in the world!”

“You should have known we would have accepted you. I mean really darling, we're living in the modern age,” said Rarity. At first I'd thought that if anyone was gonna have objections with me and Twi's relationship then it woulda been her, but she'd proven me wrong and shown that she was actually one of the most understanding of all our friends.

“I told her you'd all be fine with it! But the silly filly wouldn't listen, she can be so cautious at times,” I said to Rarity. Twilight blushed in embarrassment at my comment, so I gave her a reassuring kiss on the cheek.

“You two are so cute together!” Exclaimed Pinkie Pie. She already knew that we were together before this meeting, Twilight had told her. Twi' said that she'd asked Pinkie for advice before comin' to tell me about her feelings and so she also told Pinkie the 'results'. We'd asked her to act surprised at this meeting though, so that it wouldn't look like we were favoritizin' her.

After a little more casual chatter about me an' Twilight's relationship ponies began to leave. Rarity was the first to go, she said she was very busy with dressmaking at the moment, Rainbow went with her, presumably just to give us a little privacy. Soon after they left, Pinkie and Fluttershy followed suit leaving only me, Twilight and Spike behind.

“Uh, Spike?” Said Twilight, nodding her head towards the door, clearly hinting at him to leave us in peace for a bit.

“What?” Responded the dragon, he clearly didn't understand what Twilight was suggesting.

“Do you mind if you go out for a while? Well, you're welcome to stay here if you want but...” Twilight trailed off and left the rest to his imagination.

“Oh! I don't want to get in the way of your lovey-dovey stuff,” Spike asserted quickly. “I'll go, uh, get some food or something.”

With that me and Twilight were left alone together.

“That certainly went better than I expected,” remarked Twilight breathing a sigh of relief.

“See, if ya listened to me we coulda got that over and done with ages ago,” I teased, ruffling her hair.

“I know, I know. I should have listened to you. At least we've done it now.”

I grinned and hugged Twilight firmly. “Just so ya know, I won't be able to meet ya tomorrow 'cause I've got a lotta work to do back on the orchard. We're plantin' some new trees and-” As I was talking I could see Twilight's features morph from happiness, to annoyance and then to anger. I knew what was coming and I didn't want to hear it. I thought she might have learned a thing or two from her past mistakes, but it sure didn't seem that way. She overreacted once and admitted it, but now she was just doing the same thing all over again.

“What?” Twilight snapped, she stared daggers into me. “Why can't you just put that aside and be with me? Isn't our love more important? First you go off with Fluttershy for a day and now this.” Her change of mood was so sudden, so jarring that it almost frightened me. As long as I was with her she seemed completely fine, but with even a mention of leaving she went hysteric. It was as if she couldn't live unless someone was there, with her, at all times.

She just infuriated me when she was like this, her reactions seemed insane, illogical. I thought a pony like Twi' would be as logical as they come, but that didn't look to be the case. I shook my head angrily and stared right back at her, letting her know that she couldn't just act like this and expect to get away with it.

“Gosh Twi' you can be so clingy sometimes!” I retorted, becoming annoyed. “You know our love is the most important thing to me, but the orchard isn't just some silly venture, I need to work on it with Big Macintosh to support our family. You know that Twi'. Stop this crazy mood switching, you can deal with being on your own. It's not like you haven't done that before, heck before you came to Ponyville you basically lived with your books an' nothin' else.”

Twilight looked dejected and I almost felt bad for being so harsh, but she couldn't expect to just get away with such an insane reaction. “I'm sorry for acting so 'high-maintenance' Applejack, but it's because I love you so much! I can't bear it when I'm not around you, even if it's for such a short time,” I've noticed, thanks. She needed to realize fast that she couldn't always be around me. “I know that I've been alone before, but I'm sick of the old me, I didn't have anything to hold on to, I didn't have anypony to love or anypony to love me. It was horrible,” admitted Twilight. “I will love you forever and for always Applejack,” she hesitated for a second. “Don't you feel the same about me?”

I couldn't answer that. We had been together for a pretty short time and although even before getting together I had admired twilight from a distance, that didn't mean I could definitely and honestly say that I would love her forever. Forever is a long time. True love isn't decided on a crush.

And then there was her erratic mood switching, I couldn't deal with this behavior for much longer. Sure it didn't happen often, but that was only because I wasn't away from her often. She'd made sure of that. In spite of all this, I couldn't help but still be in love her, I had wanted her for so long and I wasn't about to drop her this easily. Although, if she continued acting the way she was now, I sure as heck wouldn't stand for any more of it.

“Well, Twilight. I love you, but how could I possibly promise eternity? I can't tell what the future will bring to us. However, I can tell you that I hope that this will last forever and that's the truth right now. But I'm not gonna lie and promise what I can't deliver. You can't go around reactin' like you have jus' now and makin' a fool of yourself. You have to deal with the fact that I can't always be there for you. I love you Twi', but please learn this,” I said, hoping that she would take my advice for once.

Twilight's melancholy expression told me that I hadn't managed to cheer her up, not that I had intended to. At least she wasn't angry or hysterical anymore. “That's just like you isn't it Applejack, always so honest, won't ever tell a lie,” She said, a smile began to return to her face. “That's why I love you,” she leaned towards me and nuzzled me softly.

I was so relieved.

“Good, honest is the one thing I can always be,” I said sincerely.

Part Three: Rainbow Dash

I had followed Rarity back to her boutique after Applejack and Twilight's announcement, so that I would have someone to talk to. Being alone at a time like this would have just driven me insane. All the way back to her house Rarity told me about what she thought of the announcement whilst I pretended that the whole thing didn't bother me massively.

In spite of the constant chatter, I couldn't divert my mind from depression. I still wanted Applejack, I couldn't give just up, however hard I tried. Keeping these thoughts to myself was killing me, I needed to just tell somepony, no matter the consequences. Rarity seemed like as a good a pony as any to express myself to, she was very understanding of the new couple's announcement and always seemed to act maturely. Despite her outward appearance she very obviously possessed a high level of intelligence. Upon entering the boutique I turned to her.

“I really need to talk,” I said plainly.

Rarity looked at me with a bemused expression. “What about?” She asked.

I sighed, fatigued by all I had endured recently. I had no idea how Rarity was going to react to what I was about to say. Searching my brain for a good way to start was proving difficult, there was a lot I wanted to get across. Getting the courage to actually say anything was even more challenging, I had been keeping these things secret for such a long time now that it felt unnatural to be telling them to others.

“It tears me apart to see Applejack with Twilight,” I confessed.

“Why? I didn't think you would be against unorthodox relationships,” Rarity grimaced and gave me a disapproving stare.

“No, no it's not that at all,” I stressed, shaking my head from side to side, before blurting out the truth. “It's just that... I'm in love with Applejack. And I have been for a long time.”

“Oh... darling, this must feel so awful for you!” Rarity said sympathetically. Her expression changing to one of empathy. “It must have hurt for you to see those two together.”

“It did,” came my grim, but truthful response. “More then you could imagine. I still want Applejack so much, I have no idea what to do,” Rarity moved over to me and briefly embraced me.

“Well I'm sad to say this darling, but I'm afraid your only real option is to grin and bear it. You can't go and jeopardize your friends relationship just because of a silly crush-”

“It's not just a crush! I tried to forget about loving her, I tried to just stop, but I couldn't. As soon as I felt like I was making progress, those two arranged this whole thing and it all came back to my mind, fresh as ever. I can't win.”

“I really am sorry for you Rainbow, but think about it. Don't ruin our dear friends relationship just because it didn't work out well for you. Try and be happy for them, it will take time but you'll eventually get over Applejack. It will hurt for you to see them together, you might be torn apart from the inside out, but you'll get over her.”

“I don't know if I can. She's all I can think about. I've even become jealous of Twilight and when I'm not jealous of her I'm angry at her,” I paced back and forth around the room. “Twilight hasn't done anything wrong and I know that, but I can't help these feelings.

“Sometimes we just can't have what we want Rainbow. I'm trying my hardest to help you out here, please just listen. There is no point endangering a friends chance at happiness to get to your own. You of all people should know that Rainbow, you're the element of loyalty for Celestia's sake. It's tragic that it has all worked out this way, but nothing can be done about it now.”

I was silent for a few moments, trying to compose myself and trying to get my thoughts together. What I was about to say next had to come out just right.

“What's the point of being loyal to others if I can't even be loyal to myself?” I spoke slowly. Rarity didn't have a response to that one, she looked defeated. I wanted to just breakdown and cry right there, but I couldn't. Not while I was in front of a dear friend, I needed to look respectable. “I need to just think for a while...”

Rarity just nodded, I walked out of her boutique and began to fly to the highest cloud. It was peaceful there, no one would hear or see me as I cried my heart out.

Part Four: Twilight Sparkle

I was going to Sweet Apple Acres. Applejack was working on her orchard today, but I was adamant to meet her regardless. She was rightly annoyed at me yesterday when I asked her to drop her work and meet with me, so I'd decided to meet her instead, hopefully she would let me stay and help her out with whatever she was doing. When I wasn't with her everything felt pointless, why wouldn't I want to be with the one I loved all of the time?

Upon reaching the Acres I caught sight of Granny Smith, she was sitting just inside the front gate looking wistfully out into the fields around her, her wizened eyes full of a lifetime's worth of experience. I approached her and asked where I could find Applejack. She pointed in a vague direction towards the orchard so I thanked her and followed her gesture.

Soon enough I was within the orchard itself. The imposing apple trees surrounded me as I searched for the one I wanted to be with. The sky above was a welcoming and cheerful shade of pale blue and the sun had risen far above my head, the peacefulness of the day seemed like a good omen and had put me in a cheerful mood.

Lost in contentment I almost didn't see Applejack when I burst into the clearing. Big Macintosh was also there helping her to plant some new apple trees, he noticed me first and waved a hoof at me.

“Hey there Twilight, what're you doin' out here?” He asked with his calming voice. Applejack sharply turned around to see me, she looked completely shocked at my presence.

“Twilight!?” Uttered Applejack in disbelief. She hesitantly took a few steps in my direction before turning to her brother. “Hey, uh, Big Macintosh, is it ok if I talk to Twi' in private for a minute here?”

“Eeyup,” said the older earth pony. “I'll just take a quick walk and be back here in a few. That alright sis'?”

“Yeah that'd be great. I won't be too long here,” Big Mac began to walk off through the trees and Applejack walked right up to me, her expression was blank. I was unsure where this was leading. “What the hay do you think you're achievin' by comin' here?”

Shocked at her almost violent response I took a step backwards. “I- I just wanted to see you. I knew you couldn't come to me, so I thought I would come over here and help you out.”

Applejack rolled her eyes and then turned away from me, as if disgusted. “An' how exactly did ya think you could help? Me an' Big Mac have it covered thank ya. Look I told ya yesterday to stop bein' so darn clingy and needy and then you do this. How the heck am I supposed to react? Don't you understand that you aren't the be all and end all? I love you, but you aren't the only thing in the world.”

“Why are you so angry all of a sudden? I just came here to help, I thought you would be pleased to see me,” I said, in a state of shock at Applejack's seemingly extreme reaction to my presence.

“I'm angry, Twilight, because this is unacceptable behavior,” her language and tone of voice were highly patronizing. “If I wanted your help I woulda asked. You need to understand that I can't be with you whenever you want me to, I have other things in my life beside you,” Applejack sighed, a deep heavy sigh filled with mixed emotion, she seemed almost tired.

“Well 'sorry' Applejack, I just thought it would be nice if we could be together for once,” I responded scathingly, anger building up inside of me at her rude words. I just came here to help out.

For Once? Are you serious? We're almost always together as it is, you make sure of that. I'm 'sorry' if ya can't buckin' understand that I have other things to do than be with you every, single, second,” she grunted in annoyance and walked a few steps away from me.

“B-but I just thought... I just wanted to be with you. I feel lost without you.” I said, my anger leaving me just as soon as it had appeared. I approached Applejack slowly as I spoke. She shuddered as I finished talking, it seemed that something had snapped inside of her.

“I'm not here to be your darn safety net!” Applejack sharply turned to stare at me, fire burning in her eyes. “I can't always be there to catch you when you fall. I can't be. You demand so much of me Twilight, what the hay am I supposed to do? This is nothing more than emotional blackmail, you won't let me do anything other than be with you. I'm not gonna stand for this,” she was raising her voice more with every passing word, getting progressively more worked up as she vented her pent up frustration. “I can't believe I thought I loved you. I can't believe I ever had a crush on you. And most of all I can't believe I put up with you for even this long. You are the epitome of selfishness Twilight, I hope you know that. I'm sick of this. I'm sick of you!” Applejack stood there panting, the anger fading from her eyes, being replaced by a look of utter depression. “Leave me. Now.”

I was completely floored by Applejack's words. I had no idea how to respond. But the worst part was that I couldn't disagree with anything she'd said. I had acted completely selfishly, I had used her to my own ends. She was my safety net. I had hidden it from even myself, but all I had done was take advantage of a dear friend to make myself feel better. My coming here must have been the final straw for her. I didn't want it to end this way.

“But Applej-”

“NOW!” Tears were streaming down her face as she screamed the final command.

My horn began to glow as I prepared my teleportation spell, tears fell down my face freely. I wanted to say something to Applejack, to apologize, but the words wouldn't come. Light flashed all around me and I was back at the Sweet Apple Acres entrance, I took one final longing look into the orchard and turned away to begin my shameful walk home. I hoped that nopony would see me on my way.

Part Five: Rainbow Dash

Two days had passed since the meeting Twilight and Applejack had put together and all I had done since then was sulk and wallow in self hatred. I was pacing around my house, as I had been doing for hours, when I heard Rarity call up to me from the ground. I hastily flew down to her and asked her what she wanted with me so late in the day.

“Applejack and Twilight have broken up and they won't tell anyone much about it, Applejack just muttered something to me about Twilight 'restricting her', but I'm not convinced. I came here to see if you had anything to do with it,” Rarity said, looking at me suspiciously. “Going from our conversation the other day, you might well have.”

“They've broken up?” I was ecstatic, this was the best news I'd heard in a long time. “Yes!” My wings extended and fluttered about from sheer excitement, a massive smile spread across my face. I didn't even feel slightly bad for reveling in my friends misfortunes.

“Well, I guess you didn't have anything to do with it then,” said Rarity dryly, she began to walk away and leave me to my celebrations when she stopped. “I wish you good luck with Applejack, but you should know that right now she won't be in a good mood to say the least, you should give her some time to recover before you try anything.”

I began to hover a few feet off the ground to unleash some of my excitement. “But I've already been waiting for a very long time. This is my chance, I won't wait anymore!”

“Think about it Rainbow, this is the worst time to try anything,” Rarity warned me, but I wasn't listening.

“Whatever you say, but I've just learned that I have someplace to be, see ya!” I yelled gleefully and flew in the direction of Sweet Apple Acres as fast as I possibly could.

This was my chance.


Chapter Four

Part One: Twilight Sparkle

I lay in bed, quietly crying to myself. Losing Applejack had sent my mind into a speeding downward spiral. My confidence had plummeted upon hearing her say those words, “I'm sick of this. I'm sick of you!” But I knew it was exactly what I'd deserved. In fact I deserved worse. I was obsessive and clingy and I'd used her as my own personal safety net.

I needed to clear my mind and consolidate my thoughts. I looked back on recent events and thought about what had made me act in such an awful way.

I was lonely. My social ineptitude had kept me from ever getting too close to my friends, I needed someone to hold on to, someone to give me confidence. And then one night I'd gotten myself drunk, to numb the pain I had felt from my inner solitude. Applejack was so kind to me on that night, like no other pony ever had been. I wanted her. I needed her.

It was then that I realized I loved her and had loved her for a long time. It's strange how your own mind can keep secrets from you. My emotions had been locked away as my mind had attempted to save me from the predicted hurt of being turned down. In hindsight, what it had really done was save Applejack from me.

I'd made so many mistakes. I'd given false hope to, and then mistreated, somepony who had actually loved me, just because I was feeling alone. It wouldn't have even come to that if I had just realized a lot sooner that friendship and love were far more important than studying could have ever been. I'd wasted my own life and taken out my troubles on the one who had cared about me the most. I am disgusting.

And then, when she was mine, I wouldn't let go. I was too self centered to comprehend that she needed her own time. she didn't always have to be with me. I needed to be around her all the time, because if I wasn't with her I would lose my confidence, lose my purpose, and it would dawn on me that I was nothing more than a pathetic and needy excuse for a pony.

Applejack made me feel safe, she let me feel like everything was OK with the world. When she was around I was confident, I had something to cling to. She had given me a reason to get out of bed every morning, a reason to want to do well in life.

I wanted to tell Applejack that I was sorry for everything, that I would make it up to her in any way that I could, that I still wanted her. But there was no excuse for the way I had treated her, there was no reason for her to forgive me. And anyway, there was nothing left to make me want to get out of bed anymore.

I lay almost completely unmoving for hours, my mind filled with a vast nothingness, an empty void. I was lost in my own personal oblivion.

Part Two: Rainbow Dash

Applejack was working in her orchard again, as she had been yesterday, still busy with her duties to her family. I was sure that she would be distraught, but this was my only chance. I had to tell her how I felt about her, how I had felt about her for years. There was no doubt in my heart that I wanted Applejack more than anything else in the world.

She would be feeling lonely now, feeling like there was nopony out there to help her. This is where I would come in. I would be her savior from misery. Now was the time to tell her that I cared about her, that I wouldn't ever restrict her, wouldn't ever do anything she didn't want me to, because she meant more to me than anything. I wanted to be the perfect mare for her, I would make sure that I was. Making promises you can't keep again Rainbow? I asked myself, but now wasn't the time for my inner insecurities. Now was the time for action.

I flew high above the Apple family's orchard and, in spite of the low visibility conditions from the rapidly darkening sky, I quickly found what I was looking for. I dived down towards the orange colored shape on the ground, flying at top speed and within seconds I had landed. They don't call me 'Dash' for nothing.

“How are you Applejack?” I spoke softly, trying to be as comforting as possible and hoping that my abrupt entrance hadn't shocked her. Outwardly I was sombre, but inside I was feeling giddy at my chance to be with her.

“I'm alive,” she said, not at all seeming perturbed by my sudden appearance. Her response was clearly avoiding the real question. Applejack didn't turn to see me as she spoke, I could only guess that she was crying, or at least close to crying, and didn't want to show her weakness.

I walked up behind Applejack and wrapped my front legs around her in a reassuring embrace. “This must be hard for you...” I said. After that I didn't speak, there was a complete silence, it was as if the world was on mute. Applejack breathed heavily in my embrace, clearly in distress. I remained absolutely still, trying to make her feel safe. Eventually Applejack spoke.

“Jus' imagine if you'd wanted somethin' for so, so long and then when you got it...” Applejack stopped mid-sentence, she was trying as hard as she could to avoid weeping openly in front of me.

“It's OK, you can cry if you want.” I said, nuzzling the back of her neck softly and slowly. I breathed in the beautiful scent of apples from her fur.

Tears began to stream down Applejack's face. She cried for a while before continuing with her earlier attempt at speech. “And then when you got it.... it was nothing like you thought it would be,” I wasn't really paying full attention to what she was saying, having her in my embrace, breathing in her enthralling scent, this was bliss.

“That sounds horrible,” I said, trying to sympathize with her. “I want you to know Applejack, I'll always be here for you, you can tell me anything you want,” I let go of her and walked around so that we were facing each other. The expression of absolute loss on her face made her seem so empty.

“Twilight just made me so angry, she was so clingy, she wouldn't let me do anything, she was so possessive,” Applejack paused and then looked me directly in the eyes. “Do you think I did the right thing, leaving her I mean?”

“Yes,” I said, just a little to quickly. “I mean. If she was acting like you said she was acting then you were totally right in what you did. You can't be restricted like that, I for one would never want to restrict someone like that. It's just wrong.”

Applejack gave me a small, but sincere smile and she hugged me tightly. The feeling of her strong, yet comforting hooves being wrapped around me caused me to rejoice in my mind. I was finally, after all this time, getting somewhere with Applejack.

“Oh Rainbow, I can't believe how stupid I was to let her use me like that,” Applejack said, nestling her head into my shoulder. I loved the position I was in. it was absolute perfection.

“You weren't stupid,” I assured her, running a hoof along her fur gently. “It's her fault for putting you through all of that, you couldn't have known she was going to act the way she did.”

Applejack didn't respond except by clinging on to me even tighter. I was in heaven already, but I needed to move things along even further. My nerves were on edge, but there was no time for a lack of confidence. It was now or never. I pulled her in, closer still, and pressed my nose against hers, our lips were almost meeting.

“Rainbow...” she said, seemingly at a loss for words.

I kissed her. Under the beauty of the dusk sky we shared ourselves with one another, we became one. It was the best feeling in the entire world.

After some time the kiss ended and I told Applejack everything I'd always wanted to. “I know this might be the last thing you want to hear at a time like this, but I love you and I can't hide it anymore,” I said, after all this time I had put my complex thoughts into simple words. It felt surreal, but it was definitely happening. “I will never restrict you like Twilight did, I will never ask more from you then you are willing to give, I will do whatever you want me to do and I will always be sympathetic and understanding of you and your feelings.”

Applejack didn't say a word, but instead went in for another kiss. I obliged to meet her needs. Utter perfection.

Part Three: Applejack

I woke up in the orchard lyin' next to Rainbow Dash, she was sound asleep. I had no idea how I should've felt about that, last night was definitely fun though. My mind was a mess, I wasn't sure how to feel about anythin'. The last couple of days had been a roller coaster of emotion for me. One second I was in a relationship with my long term crush, the next it ended violently, then I wallowed about in self pity and anger for a while and now... and now Rainbow Dash had come and whisked me away into a relationship again.

Another relationship was the last thing I had expected, but that's exactly what had come to me. And I wasn't entirely against it. I ran a hoof through Rainbow's hair admiring her tomboyish charm. She opened her eyes lazily and conjured up a tired smile.

“Good morning beautiful,” she said, winking at me flirtatiously. Something about her drew me in and jus' wouldn't let me go. I wasn't lookin' for someone to love, but last night she was just so... perfect. She easily understood my feelings without me having to explain them and she accommodated them flawlessly. Twilight could have never done that, she never understood what was on my mind. Rainbow was there for me when I needed her without needing to be told.

I was enticed by her care and dedication. She was tender and understanding, maybe she really was the right pony for me. That's what you though about Twilight and look how that ended! I jus' don't know anymore, I ain't had enough time to think things through properly. I decided that I should jus' go with the flow and see where it would take me. Thinkin' was somethin' I didn't want to do, I jus’ wanted to relax and enjoy myself. I wasn't even sure how I felt about Twilight anymore, not to mention how I felt about Rainbow

“Mornin' sugarcube, ya better get up,” I said, nudging Rainbow with a hoof. “If ponies saw us like this then they might get the wrong idea,” I said dryly.

“Wouldn't want that now would we?” Rainbow said while getting to her hooves, her voice laced with sarcasm. She leaned in and kissed me, I didn't resist. She looked me deep in the eyes, her features told of the heartfelt affection she felt for me. After a few seconds she spoke again. “So what's the plan for today cowgirl?”

“Well I still got a lotta work to do on the orchard, so we can't really hang out today,” I said an apologetic frown appearing on my face.

“Maybe I could help you out,” offered Rainbow, sounding enthusiastic.

“No!” Rainbow looked alarmed at my outburst, unwelcome memories of my last encounter with Twilight haunted me. “Sorry sugarcube... it's just, I've got this covered alright,” I claimed. That wasn't the real reason I didn't want her to help though. Really I just wanted to see if she could bear to leave me on my own, maybe she could prevail where Twilight had fallen short.

“Sure Applejack, I'll just find something else to do for today,” she smiled at me and hugged me hastily before flying off into the distance. “See you tomorrow,” she yelled before movin' out of earshot.

Maybe this was a good idea after all.

Part Four: Twilight Sparkle

It had been two weeks since my break up with Applejack and I had barely even left the house. I didn't want to be seen by anypony, I was just wasting their time by being in their presence. My friends occasionally came over to see how I was doing, I was never in the mood to tell them much. It hadn't exactly helped my mood when Pinkie Pie dropped in earlier that week to say Applejack had now gotten together with Rainbow Dash.

I didn't want to believe it, yet I instinctively knew that it was true. Rainbow Dash, Rainbow Dash of all ponies, had replaced me. We were about as different as two ponies could get. Sure we'd been friends but we weren't at all similar and now Applejack had gone from 'loving' me to loving her. She must have never really cared about me if she's moved on so quickly.

Applejack was still constantly in my mind. I was supposed to be a rational pony, but when it came to Applejack that all went out the window. I needed to talk to her. I needed to apologize to her, to ask her for a second chance. But now that was hopeless, she was with her new lover. This is what I deserve, I reminded myself.

My intense self loathing kept me from doing anything, but I was quickly getting sick of being inside my library. I couldn't just stay in my house doing nothing forever, I had to do something.

I glanced towards Spike's bed and saw that he was there, awake, giving me a look of deep concern. “Twilight... you gotta talk to her,” he said slowly as if reading my thoughts. Although I guess it wasn't difficult to see what I was thinking. “I don't wanna see you like this and you can't improve unless you just face up to her and talk.”

Spike was right, if I didn't talk to Applejack then I would be stuck in unending self pity until I did. I was dreading speaking to her, last time we spoke was a horrible experience and I didn't see how it could be any better this time. I needed to tell her that I was sorry for what I’d done, that I still loved her, that I could change.

I thought for a minute before responding to him. “Alright, I'll go talk to her... but this isn't going to end well,” at least it will all be over with soon. I will be rejected and tossed away in the wake of her new lover. It's all I deserve.

“I'm sure it'll be alright Twi', now just go talk to her, what's the worst that could happen?” Spike smiled at me uneasily in a feeble attempt to show support.

I just shrugged gloomily in response. A lot of bad things could happen. Not knowing what to expect I headed into the outside world with my head down to avoid eye contact with anypony. Through my peripheral vision I could see ponies shooting me sympathetic looks, it just made me feel worse.

Continuing to walk I could soon hear the faint voices of the weather team up above, at this point in the day they probably would have just finished with their duties. I hadn't looked up at the sky to check so I couldn't be certain and I had no plans on doing so. Hearing the weather team had imbued me with a sense of unease and tension, suddenly I was very nervous. What if Rainbow was there? I really didn't want to speak to her, I knew that I'd say something I would regret. As much as I was feeling depressed about how I'd acted and how it had all turned out between me and Applejack, I was just angry at Rainbow. She had taken my love away from me. I knew this anger was illogical but I couldn't help it.

To none of my surprise I soon heard a light thudding sound in front of me. “Where exactly are you going Twilight?” Asked the colorful Pegasus pony, she was clearly trying to hide the hint of venom in her voice. It was obvious anyway.

“To Sweet Apple Acres, I need to talk to Applejack,” I replied after finally looking up to see fer face. I was trying to remain calm and to keep the conversation civilized.

“What about?” Rainbow said crouching down slightly, as if to get into a fighting stance. “I really don't think she wants to hear from you after how you've treated her.”

Trying as best as I could to not just give up and go home, I persisted and continued to walk in the direction of Sweet Apple Acres. “I was just going to apologize actually, I know that what I've done is wrong,” I said, leaving out the part about telling Applejack that I still loved her, knowing it would just enrage Rainbow.

She followed as I began moving, hovering just in front of me at all times, still looking straight at me. “And why should I trust you Twilight? I mean you've 'obviously' been acting so brilliantly up to this point,” she said, goading me. I knew that I had acted awfully when I was with Applejack, but I wasn't about to let Rainbow get away with such spiteful comments.

“Whatever you say rebound girl,” I said harshly. Rainbow narrowed her eyes and gave me a deadly stare.

“Buck you,” she said obviously getting angry, her wings began to flutter at an increased speed signaling her heightened emotional state. “I don't need to hear this trash from somepony who couldn't keep a relationship going for longer then a darn week!”

I was furious, who did she think she was talking to me like that? The look in Rainbow's eyes was threatening and serious, any sane pony would've stopped arguing then. So, of course, I continued. “When I get to Sweet Apple Acres, after I've apologized, I'm going to tell Applejack that I still love her, and she will take me back,” her eyes widened at my strong assertions, but she didn't seem entirely concerned. “Do you want to know why? Because Applejack has always loved me, she's had a crush on me since we met, that's something you can never claim. One apology and she will be mine again, she doesn't need you,” truthfully I wasn't convinced by my own assertions, even though I wished them to be true. I just wanted to hurt Rainbow. And I succeeded.

Rainbow's face began to turn into an expression of anguish and distress, before becoming something far more violent. “That's never going to happen, she's sick of you, she hates you! You must be a fool if you think you can get her back,” Rainbow said, but she sounded somewhat unsure of herself. I’d gotten to her.

“May the best pony get her,” I said bitingly, putting out a hoof for Rainbow dash in an offer to shake. She looked at it in disgust.

“No. I won't play your pathetic games Twilight. I've already won,” she began to fly away. I was infuriated, she wasn't going to just leave like that.

“She's just using you!” I shouted hysterically. None of what I was saying had any basis in fact but something in me needed to hurt Rainbow Dash. Something about seeing her changed me, it made me angry, she was stopping me from having what I wanted. “You're nothing more than a bit of quick fun to her, she'll be mine again soon.”

Rainbow stopped in midair and turned to face me, I smirked. She began to fly at me at an extreme speed while holding a hoof out in front of her. It didn't take me long to figure out what she was doing.

I tried to ready my teleportation spell before she could reach me, but she was just too fast. The pain was excruciating as her hoof made contact with my cheek at a massive speed, there was a cracking sound and I shrieked in pain. A flash of light later and I was back in my house again, I clutched where Rainbow had hit me while crying to myself. Why did I have to act like that, it wasn't like me.

Except it was. How couldn't it have been? If it wasn't like me then I wouldn't have done it. I felt unfulfilled, I still wanted desperately to talk to Applejack, but I couldn't go out again now. When she hit me, Rainbow looked just about ready to murder me.

I knew I would regret saying something.

Part Five: Rainbow Dash

“Whatever you say rebound girl,” came Twilight's smug response. I hated everything about her and I couldn't hide it. First she took the one I loved out of my reach, then she treated Applejack horribly and now she was here saying these hurtful things to me. Although, to be fair, I may have provoked them to some extent. But what she had just said was vicious. I narrowed my eyes, letting Twilight know she wouldn't get the best of me.

“Buck you. I don't need to hear this trash from somepony who couldn't keep a relationship going for longer then a darn week!” I was angry now, I didn't plan for any of this to happen I just saw Twilight and felt a need to confront her. I was becoming worried that I might do something I'd regret.

“When I get to Sweet Apple Acres, after I've apologized, I'm going to tell Applejack that I still love her, and she will take me back. Do you want to know why?” She asked rhetorically. Her sudden extreme claims seemed farfetched, but I couldn't help feeling a little apprehensive.  “Because Applejack has always loved me, she's had a crush on me since we met, that's something you can never claim. One apology and she will be mine again, she doesn't need you,” I couldn't be sure of how truthful she was being, but her words hurt me. My confidence was shaken. I tried to reason with myself that that even if Applejack had a crush on Twilight before, she definitely wouldn't have one anymore, not after the way Twilight had treated her. But I couldn’t dismiss the thought. What if she really does take Twilight back?

“That's never going to happen, she's sick of you, she hates you! You must be a fool if you think you can get her back,” I said, unsure of how valid my statements were. Applejack almost never spoke to me about Twilight, so I couldn't know how she truly felt.

“May the best pony get her,” said Twilight, putting out her hoof in an to offer shake. I wasn't about to fall for her manipulative tricks, the mere suggestion of making Applejack the prize of some contest was offensive to me.

“No. I won't play your pathetic games Twilight. I've already won,” I began to fly away from her, heading to the highest cloud in an attempt to just calm myself down.

“She's just using you!” Twilight yelled maniacally. She made me so angry, she was just trying to mess with me now. How could Applejack ever have loved her? “You're nothing more than a bit of quick fun to her, she'll be mine again soon.”

Anger flowed through me as I turned to look at Twilight. I wanted to hit that smug expression right off her face. I looked around to see if there were any witnesses, nopony was in sight. I flew at Twilight as fast as I possibly could with a hoof out in front of me. She began to ready some magic as her horn started glowing, she wouldn't have enough time to use it before I'd left my mark.

My hoof and her face met with a satisfying crunch and a moment later she disappeared, leaving nothing left of her presence but a memory. She had managed to teleport away, but I had done what I'd wanted to.

It took me a second, but I soon realized how I’d really acted. I'd let my emotions get the better of me. I argued pointlessly with Twilight, someone who should've be a close friend of mine, over a battle I had already won. I'd provoked her into an argument and got angry when she joined in. Sure, I didn’t like her and she didn't act maturely either, but that was no excuse. And then, when she really ticked me off, I hit her. Hard. I needed to be the best for Applejack, I needed to be perfect and this certainly wasn't it. I was ashamed of myself.

Twilight had made me worry about losing Applejack, but really it didn't seem likely to me. And if Applejack really wanted Twilight more then me, I wouldn't stop her. It would tear me apart from the inside out all over again, but I wouldn't stop her. She deserves to choose for herself, I loved her enough to let her do that. And besides, Applejack was the element of honesty, she wouldn't lie about loving me. Would she? I wasn't entirely sure of myself, but I couldn't let jealousy get the better of me. I needed to come clean.

I decided to find Applejack and tell her everything that'd happened, even that Twilight had wanted to speak with her. If I couldn't be honest with Applejack then I wouldn't be worthy of her love. And if she didn't hear it from me she would've heard it from somepony else eventually, which would have been even worse.

I didn't know what I would do without Applejack. It must hurt to be Twilight right now, I would've felt sorry for her if I didn't hate her so much.

Part Six: Applejack

Rainbow's honesty pleased me. She made a big mistake, but then immediately came to me to explain herself an' apologize. “I won't do anything like that again Applejack, I promise. I'm completely ashamed of myself. I should have just let her come here and talk,” she said apologetically. “It just made me so angry seeing her, knowing how she’s treated you.”

“I forgive ya sugarcube, ya did the right thing comin' an tellin' me right away,” Rainbow still looked dismayed by her actions so I kissed her, letting her know that everything was OK between us. “I'm gonna head over to her library tomorrow and see what she wants to talk about,” Rainbow twitched at that, as if the thought of me talking to Twilight bothered her. It was certainly an understandable reaction going from past experiences, so I just continued speaking. “She must be feelin' pretty down.”

“Can I come along? I'd like to apologize for what I've done to her. It wouldn't feel right if I didn't tell her personally,” Rainbow said. I agreed, relieved that I would have some company, but hoping that Twilight wouldn't freak out just because Rainbow was there.

I was worried ‘bout how Twilight would react and worried ‘bout what she might say. Whenever I thought of her I couldn’t concentrate, she was just so confusing. But tomorrow me an’ Rainbow would try and get some closure on this whole mess.


Chapter Five

Part One: Rainbow Dash

“Listen, Twilight, I'm really sorry about what I did... I wasn't thinking straight and I let anger get the better of me. I don't want there to be any bad blood between us, I want us to be friends again,” I said shortly after Applejack and I had made it to Twilight's house. To tell the truth, I didn't really care what the contemptible unicorn thought of me, I was still angry at her for what she'd said to me the day before and for how she'd treated Applejack when they were together. My apology wasn't out of respect it was simply an attempt to take the moral high ground in our relationship and to show Applejack that I could admit to my mistakes. I knew that Twilight was going to tell Applejack that she still loved her and I needed to be the best pony I could be, or else risk losing the one I loved most. “Can you forgive me?”

Twilight took a deep breath and was quiet for a moment, our sudden appearance and my abrupt apology had clearly caught her off guard. After a second, she took a step towards me and began to speak. “Rainbow, of course I'll forgive you,” with her close proximity the nasty looking bruise on her cheek, from where I'd hit her the day before, was easily visible. I winced, That must have hurt. I might've felt sorry if I actually cared about her. ”And I hope you'll forgive me. I'm sorry for arguing with you and saying those hurtful things. I saw you and heard what you were saying and I was just so...” She paused, struggling to describe her emotions. “Angry... And there was no logical reason for it, I'm sorry Rainbow,” I nodded at her, feigning a look of happiness and understanding. I was sure her motives to apologize were much similar to mine.

“I forgive you too. But it's all my fault really, I started that whole argument,” I said, putting on an act of shame. “Anyway, I'm glad we've got this out into the open now,” I walked over to Twilight and very briefly embraced her, trying to show that I was 'glad to have her back as a friend'. She gave me a reserved smile and I took a step back to give her some room. I may not have had the purest of motives, but I'd easily managed to fix up my relationship with Twilight. I was sure her aims were no better then mine so I didn't feel bad about lying, she was probably doing the same to me.

“So, uh, Twilight. You said you wanted to speak with me right?” Asked Applejack uneasily while avoiding eye contact with the unicorn. A lot had happened between those two, even though they were only together for a short time, so I couldn't blame Applejack for feeling nervous. I just wished she could see that Twilight didn't deserve her and never had.

“I- Well, I- It's just-” she stumbled on her words, obviously trying to get out too much information at once. “There's so much I want to say,” she sighed. “Applejack, I feel awful about how I acted when I was with you. I was clingy, I was moody and I didn't let you do your own things. I just loved you so much that I didn't ever want to leave you, even for a second. I understand now that it was stupid of me to think you could constantly be with me. I've changed now and I can keep improving...” Twilight turned to me suddenly, her eyes filled with anxiety, I had a good idea of what was coming next. “Rainbow before I say what I'm about to say, I need you to know I still want to be your friend. I just have to do this,” and with that I knew exactly what she was about to say, I desperately wanted to stop her, but I knew I couldn't, I knew I had to let this happen, Applejack had the right to choose. So I just smiled at Twilight and she glanced nervously at me in return, she was obviously apprehensive about how I would react. She turned back to the earth pony and spilled her guts. “Applejack, I still love you. I still want to be with you. I know you're with Rainbow now, but please take me back. I need you.”

I immediately looked over to Applejack in an attempt to gauge her reaction. Her mouth hung open and her eyes were wide. Such a blatant confession from Twilight had certainly shocked her. Applejack looked down, hiding away her expression. Why does it need hiding? I thought, beginning to panic. For a moment all was silent, then Applejack looked up again, her features seemed flustered but were otherwise unreadable. This was the moment of truth. Whatever she said now I would just have to live with it, I knew I couldn't change her, however much I might want to.

But she'd choose me, right? She said she loved me. She wouldn't suddenly change her mind now, Right? She wouldn't choose some pathetic horse like Twilight over me, would she?

“Twilight... Rainbow...” Applejack started. She didn't make eye contact with either of us as she spoke. This wasn't a good sign. No, no, no, no, no, no. I can't take this, no. She has to love me, there's no way she could love this borderline insane unicorn. She has to love me.

Part Two: Twilight Sparkle

“Listen, Twilight, I'm really sorry about what I did... I wasn't thinking straight and I let anger get the better of me. I don't want there to be any bad blood between us, I really want us to be friends again, Can you forgive me?” I breathed deeply trying to calm myself, an apology from Rainbow was the last thing I was expecting to hear. I felt so bad about what I'd said to her the day before. She'd realized her mistakes and had come to repent for them and all I'd done was stay at home feeling sorry for myself, I was so selfish. She'd come all the way here to apologize to me and had even brought Applejack here in a show of good trust, she was a true friend, despite everything we'd said to each other she was here. I can see what Applejack loves so much about her.

“Rainbow, of course I'll forgive you, and I hope you'll forgive me. I'm sorry for arguing with you and saying those hurtful things. I saw you and heard what you were saying and I was just so...” I paused, searching for the right word, I often found it hard to fully express my feelings. “Angry... And there was no logical reason for it, I'm sorry Rainbow,” I really was, I couldn't believe how stupidly I'd acted the day before. I had to learn to control my emotions.

“I forgive you too. But it's all my fault really, I started that whole argument,” said Rainbow, I'd never realized she could be so considerate and modest. “Anyway, I'm glad we've got this out into the open now,” she walked up to where I was standing and quickly hugged me. It made me sad to think that I was going to have to hurt Rainbow by telling Applejack my true feelings, but I couldn't live with myself if I didn't tell her the truth. Applejack was the element of honesty after all, truth was one of the things she valued most.

“So, uh, Twilight. You said you wanted to speak with me right?” Applejack asked, sounding nervous, she wouldn't look me in the eyes. That wasn't how I wanted things to be between us, it distressed me to know that Applejack thought so little of me that she couldn't even look me in the eyes. I still had to tell her how I felt though, even if I thought there was no chance whatsoever that she would want me back, I needed to get it all out of my mind.

“I- Well, I- It's just-” I couldn't get my thoughts together and ended up just spurting out words, I stopped momentarily, gathering my thoughts before continuing. “There's so much I want to say,” I said with a sigh, this was going to be difficult, but I had to do it. “Applejack, I feel awful about how I acted when I was with you. I was clingy, I was moody and I didn't let you do your own things. I just loved you so much that I didn't ever want to leave you, even for a second. I understand now that it was stupid of me to think you could constantly be with me. I've changed now and I can keep improving...” I turned to Rainbow, I didn't want our newly reformed friendship to end so quickly just because of my feelings for Applejack. Rainbow was probably already aware of what I was about to say, going from our conversation yesterday. “Rainbow before I say what I'm about to say, I need you to know I still want to be your friend. I just have to do this,” she smiled at me, but that just managed to increase my anxiety. It didn't make sense for her to be happy about this. Time had come to speak, I had to tell Applejack the truth. “Applejack, I still love you. I still want to be with you. I know you're with Rainbow now, but please take me back. I need you.”

Applejack looked utterly shocked by my forthrightness, Rainbow must'nt have told her that I was going to say something like this. She cast her eyes downwards avoiding eye contact with both me and Rainbow. The fact that she hadn't just immediately turned me down, like I had expected, gave me hope. Maybe this really will work out well for me. When Applejack looked up again she looked almost confused, as if she wasn't quite sure of herself.

“Twilight... Rainbow...” Again she refused to make eye contact with anypony as she spoke. This was it, I was about to know whether spilling my guts had been a good idea or not. Oh Celestia, please let her still love me. Please. I know I don't deserve it and Rainbow probably does, but just this once, give me another chance.

Part Three: Applejack

“There's so much I want to say,” I was already nervous and Twilight's words weren't helpin'. What the hay was she gonna tell me? Last time we talked was one of the worst times of my life. Whenever I remembered it I couldn't think straight, had I acted fairly? I mean Twilight was unrelentingly clingy and wouldn't give me time to myself, but she was just trying to help... My mind went fuzzy when it came to Twilight. And now I was here with her and apparently she had a lot to say. “Applejack, I feel awful about how I acted when I was with you. I was clingy, I was moody and I didn't let you do your own things. I just loved you so much that I didn't ever want to leave you, even for a second. I understand now that it was stupid of me to think you could constantly be with me. I've changed now and I can keep improving...” Her words tugged at my heartstrings, I felt awful for explodin' at her so harshly during our last encounter. She turned to the pegasus pony standing next to me. “Rainbow before I say what I'm about to say, I need you to know I still want to be your friend. I just have to do this,” what did she have to do? And why did she have to warn Rainbow about it? Twilight turned back to me. “Applejack, I still love you. I still want to be with you. I know you're with Rainbow now, but please take me back. I need you.”

Time stopped. Where the hay did this come from? It wasn't such a stretch of the imagination to believe that Twilight still loved me, after all I was the one who ended that relationship, she didn't want it to end. But why tell me here, right next to Rainbow? Why tell me now, when I'd found somepony else to love? Twilight just had to make everythin' so complicated.

I looked down, trying to avoid avoid the any eye contact with the two ponies standing near me. Even when looking at the floor, I could see them staring at me from the corners of my eyes. I needed to think things through right there and right then, I'd been put in a corner with no way to escape. I had to come to some conclusion about this whole mess.

Twilight. How the hay did I feel about Twilight? When we were together she'd treated me as if I was just somethin' she owned, somethin' she could control. She tried to restrict me from doing anythin' other than being with her, it was awful. But memory had dulled the impact of her past actions and now she was saying she'd improved and that she could keep improving. And despite her mood swings, she was usually so sweet and loving. She always loved me with all her heart when push came to shove I was the most important thing to her. She was an extremely intelligent pony, even if she did become irrational when it came to love, her intelligence was the main reason I had a crush on her in the first place. The idea of having all this knowledge was appealing to me, I mean I wasn't dumb, but I wasn't the brightest apple in the barrel either. Twilight never really had friends until she moved to Ponyville and had never even experienced love until a few short weeks ago, maybe she deserved a second chance But then again, was it worth risking everything on somepony who had ruined it all the first time I gave her a chance? Despite my reservations I still felt something for Twilight, I just wasn't sure what.

But then there was Rainbow. Rainbow had an intelligence all of her own, she could easily perceive how I felt and always tried to accommodate my every need. She never had the problems that Twilight had, she didn't mind me being on my own every now and then and she let me hang out with other ponies whenever I wanted. Just like Twilight, Rainbow truly cared for me. Over the time we'd been together I learned that she'd actually cared about me in this way for a very long time, but was always too nervous to say anythin' about it. We also had a bunch of things in common, we were both very competitive, and we both enjoyed the athletic side of things, somethin' that was entirely lost on Twilight. Rainbow was gentle, kind and understandin' with me, she listened to all of my troubles and problems and tried to help me out with them. She was also honest, as soon as she had a scuffle with Twilight she came and told me everything, honesty was such an important thing. I definitely had feelings for her too...

This was all so confusin', Twilight had just destroyed any hope of getting through today without any drama. Twilight always had to complicate things. I needed to think. Did I love Rainbow? It certainly felt like it... Did I love Twilight? Maybe... I couldn't tell, but I definitely felt somethin' for her. None of this made any sense to me, but I knew I was going to have to break somepony's heart, I couldn't afford to make the wrong decision.

I looked back up, but only to stare at the walls, I couldn't face the searchin' eyes of either of the other two ponies in the room. “Twilight... Rainbow...” I started, unsure of exactly what to say or how to say it, but knowing that I had to say somethin'. “I jus' don't know anymore!” I blurted out suddenly. “I feel like I have feelings for both of you, it's so confusin'. I don't wanna hurt anypony... I jus' don't know!” Tears began to well up in my eyes, but I refused to cry.

Everypony was silent, Rainbow and Twilight stared at me, both looking unsure of themselves and unsure of what to say or do. Rainbow seemed especially confused and frustrated, it looked like she wanted to scream. Well I did basically just let her know that things might not work out between us. Her reaction was certainly justified, I was just glad nopony had started shoutin' or arguin', yet. Twilight stood there looking a little bewildered, but not entirely unhappy. I guess what I said had given her hope.

“Well, uh, do you want us to talk it all through with you?” Asked Twilight hesitantly, while taking a couple of steps towards me. Rainbow twitched as Twilight moved, her expression growing in anger and hatred with the unicorn's every motion. “Or do you just need some time on your own to come to a decision?”

I had no idea what to say, my mind was a mess. I opened my mouth but no sound came out, no answer to Twilight's questions appeared in my head. Then something dawned on me. Twilight had just offered to let me go and be on my own, she really had improved. She kept on walking towards me when Rainbow intercepted her movements.

“Back off!” Growled Rainbow fiercely, pushing Twilight out of the way, I was so fixated with Twilight that I hadn't noticed Rainbow approaching her. Her alarming and sudden actions surprised me, I knew she would be angry at what I'd said, but I didn't think she'd do somethin' like this.

“What the hay was that for Rainbow?” I asked heatedly, Rainbow didn't seem like the type to do this, she'd always seemed so calm when she was with me before. Being unhappy, annoyed or angry, because I didn't love her the same way she loved me was completely understandable, but pushin' and shoutin'? I never expected that from her. Especially after she had come to me and told me about how stupid she was yesterday, I thought she would've learned from those mistakes.

Rainbow stared at me, her expression that of a wounded dog, but somewhere in it was an underlyin' viciousness. I had hurt her by letting her know my feelings for her weren't exclusive. Maybe I was being too harsh, her reaction was extreme, but I could see what motivated her. To Rainbow, Twilight was just getting in the way of us being together, her anger was logical to some extent, but she'd lost her calm just as easily as Twilight had when we were together. That wasn't acceptable, from either of them.

“How could you have any feelings at all for this manipulative, controlling horse!” Shouted Rainbow fiercely while pointing a hoof at Twilight. “Have you forgotten how she treated you?”

Again, everypony was silent. Twilight stood there mouth agape, I gave Rainbow a hard stare, that outburst was hateful and out of line. “Seriously Rainbow, what the hay has gotten into you. If that's what ya think of Twi' then why did ya wanna come here in the first place? Why lie, right to her face, about wantin' to make up to her? Why lie to me about feeling sorry for what you did?” I paused, breathing in slowly, Rainbow had got me all worked up. “You know honesty is one of the most important things to me, if you felt like this then you shoulda told me. I would've been understandin', we coulda talked this through. But now? I don't think so.”

Rainbow's tough and angry visage was immediately replaced by a sheepish and regretful frown. I turned away from her showin' my disdain and noticed that tears were streaming down Twilight's face. She was observin' Rainbow with an almost fearful look in her eyes. “I thought... I thought we were going to be friends again and everything would be OK between us. I thought we'd really made some progress, but I was wrong. You hate me even more then ever, don't you?” Asked Twilight. Rainbow didn't even look at her, she just looked at me with even greater intensity.

“Listen to her whining Applejack, it's all bull. She just wants you to feel sorry for her. Think she actually cares about me? Don't make me laugh, she was just being friendly to me for the same reasons I was friendly to her. We just wanted to make you love us more by being tolerant towards each other. Me and Twilight hate each others guts, that's the way it is. Maybe I shouldn't have released all of my frustration like that just now, but don't think for one second Twilight wasn't thinking similar things about me. I am sorry for lying to you, but I just wanted you to love me. I'll admit to my mistakes Applejack, but don't pretend that horse in front of you is any better than I am,” I didn't know who the hay was telling the truth anymore, who should I be listening to? Rainbow had just straight up admitted to everything, Twilight never used to able to do that. But then again, Rainbow had admitted to lying, trying to manipulate me and being hateful and she didn't seem to regret any of it, did I want that kind of hatefulness in a pony? And then there were Rainbow's accusations of Twilight, what if she was thinking the same things, what if she did have the same manipulative motives?

Twilight had become angrier and angrier with each word Rainbow spoke. “I'm not like you Rainbow, I never knew you could be so callous,” her voice was calm, but she was obviously furious. “When you apologized to me, I felt so bad, because I hadn't even thought of making things up between us. Now I know you hadn't either. You were just using me to get closer to Applejack, I can't believe you Rainbow,” Twilight was literally shaking with anger. Gosh, this argument had been so confusing to me. I was listenin' to the two ponies that I thought I loved as they verbally tore each other apart. How could I possible know whether what they were saying was the truth or just them lyin' through their teeth? The simple answer was I couldn't.

At Twilight's assertions a look of disbelief quickly flew over Rainbow's face before bein' replaced by utter loathing. “Whatever, whether your telling the truth or not, it doesn't get you off the hook. Don't you remember yesterday when you were talking about making Applejack the prize of some contest. Not even to mention your hateful insults against me and th-”

“As if you weren't insulting me in just as awful a way, and you started that argument it for Celestia's sake, you even admitted that earlier. And then there's the little matter of you punching me in the face, if I didn't teleport away you would've tried to kill me! Your a psychopath Rainbow.”

“I wouldn't have killed you, but maybe I should have! The way you talked to me and the way you treated Applejack was despicable. Did you think she was your toy or something? Did you not realize she had needs and emotions beyond somepony as pathetic as you? Manipulative horse.” Both Rainbow and Twilight were extremely worked up by this point their voices rising with every word. I hadn't said a word in a while, instead just observing while the ponies in front of me showed off the darkest parts of themselves. I was disgusted.

“I'm not taking that from you Rainbow, Pinkie told me that you got together with Applejack the very day we broke up, how's that for manipulating emotions? You were just praying on her sadness, she was feeling down so you thought you could cheer her up and by doing so pull her into your grasp. Isn't that right Rainbow? It's not like you had any other way of getting together with somepony like Applejack. If she was thinking straight she would've just told you to buck off, like any sane pony would do,” No I wouldn't, I'm not like that, she didn't know me as well as I thought. I was caught in the crossfire as the ponies I thought I cared about made each other progressively more repulsive to me word by word. I'd learned a lot about those two in the last few minutes and all of it was horrible, how much of it was true I couldn't be sure but I didn't care any more, the way they were acting now was bad enough. I was sick of them.

“Enough!” I shouted at the very top of my voice. Maybe I'd regret this later, but I had to say it now. It was time to draw this whole mess to a close. I was not there to be taken advantage of and used, I was not there to listen to two ponies that I once thought I'd loved as they argued with each other. They had used up all of their chances and a fair few more. Their time was up.

Part Four: Rainbow Dash

“I feel like I have feelings for both of you, it's so confusing. I don't wanna hurt anypony... I just don't know!” How could I have expected this? No. How could I have expected anything else? Applejack had a crush on Twilight way before they even got together, she had avoided the topic of Twilight whenever talking to me and what I'd mistaken as not wanting to bring up fresh wounds must have actually been an attempt to hide her true feelings. How could I have not seen this coming? She never really loved me, I was just a quick rebound like Twilight said. Applejack was just saying this now because she didn't want to hurt me. She never wanted to hurt anypony.

No! You can't think like this Rainbow, don't let yourself ever become like this. These paranoid insecurities are unacceptable. I'd become much better at dealing with these self damning feelings recently, Applejack made everything seem alright, but now they were rushing back to me at full force. I needed to be reasonable. Applejack didn't lie about having feelings for me, Applejack wouldn't lie. It was just Twilight, messing everything up again, using guilt as her weapon to get the earth pony back into a relationship with her. She was abusing Applejack's help-all nature and using the earth pony's old crush against her. Why the hay did I bring Applejack here? I knew the answer I thought being loyal and honest to her would make her love me more, but all I'd really done was endanger my relationship.

Twilight asked Applejack if she wanted to talk to us about how she felt or if she wanted time to herself. Typical Twilight, just doing anything you can for Applejack to make her love you more. I couldn't stand much more of that pathetic unicorn. She started walking towards Applejack. I wanted to hit her again, she made me so angry. Get away from MY mare. I couldn't let her get to Applejack.

Recklessly and in the blink of an eye, I was at Twilight's side. I pushed her away from Applejack forcefully, my mind filled with hatred and irrational anger. I just wanted the awful unicorn I hated so much to get away from the beautiful earth pony I cherished in equal measure. “Back off!” I yelled.

“What the hay was that for Rainbow?” Applejack asked with no attempt to hide the anger in her voice. She just didn't seem to understand that Twilight didn't deserve to breathe from the same air as her, let alone to be in the same room. What did she see in that needy, controlling shut-in anyway?

“How could you have any feelings at all for this manipulative, controlling horse!” I exclaimed, wildly waving a hoof at Twilight. Applejack needed to see the light, she had to realize that Twilight wasn't worthy of her. “Have you forgotten how she treated you?” It was a genuine question, Applejack seemed to disregard the fact that being with Twilight had been a complete failure before, there was no reason it should work this time around.

Nopony responded immediately. It seemed like the world was going crazy, was I the only pony who could see the truth here? Applejack needed to realize what I was saying was true. She looked at me with a gravely solemn stare. “Seriously Rainbow, what the hay has gotten into you. If that's what ya think of Twi' then why did ya wanna come here in the first place? Why lie, right to her face, about wantin' to make up to her? Why lie to me about feeling sorry for what you did? You know honesty is one of the most important things to me, if you felt like this then you shoulda told me. I would've been understandin', we coulda talked this through. But now? I don't think so.” Don't say that Applejack, don't say that. Don't let that conniving nuisance of a unicorn get in the way of us. I had to show her the truth about Twilight.

The unicorn began talking to me, but her words washed over me with little effect. All I heard was whining and sob stories. She needed to shut up.

Part Five: Twilight Sparkle

“I thought... I thought we were going to be friends again and everything would be OK between us. I thought we'd really made some progress, but I was wrong. You hate me even more then ever, don't you?” I asked Rainbow, she didn't even turn to see me, her expression didn't change at all. My words meant less than nothing to her. Was I really that loathsome that she couldn't even spare me a glance? I couldn't believe she had come here and just straight up lied to me, I thought she had more courage than that. I thought she of all ponies would tell me what she really thought, but now I saw how it was, she just wanted to use me as a means to get closer to Applejack. I was just a pawn in her orchestrated game of chess, or maybe not, Rainbow didn't seem like one for deep thought. She clearly hadn't thought this plan all the way through, Applejack was getting very angry at her by this point. I thought I could use that to my advantage, show Applejack that I was the better pony, hypocritical as it may be to use the strategy I was just mentally damning Rainbow for using, I just needed Applejack to love me.

“Listen to her whining Applejack, it's all bull. She just wants you to feel sorry for her. Think she actually cares about me? Don't make me laugh, she was just being friendly to me for the same reasons I was friendly to her. We just wanted to make you love us more by being tolerant towards each other. Me and Twilight hate each others guts, that's the way it is. Maybe I shouldn't have released all of my frustration like that just now, but don't think for one second Twilight wasn't thinking similar things about me. I am sorry for lying to you, but I just wanted you to love me. I'll admit to my mistakes Applejack, but don't pretend that horse in front of you is any better than I am,” The nerve of that pegasus, lying through her teeth even now. Assuming that I would ever sink to the same lows she had. She was in for a fight now, I would drag her name through the dirt, just as she was trying to do to me.

“I'm not like you Rainbow, I never knew you could be so callous,” I said calmly, trying to contain my anger. If I looked more composed than my competitor I would give off a better impression overall. “When you apologized to me, I felt so bad, because I hadn't even thought of making things up between us. Now I know you hadn't either. You were just using me to get closer with Applejack, I can't believe you Rainbow,” I spoke truthfully. Rainbow had really worked me up and despite trying to remain collected I couldn't help but literally shake in anger.

“Whatever, whether your telling the truth or not, it doesn't get you off the hook. Don't you remember yesterday when you were talking about making Applejack the prize of some contest. Not even to mention your hateful insults against me and th-” Her voice was grating on me now, I interrupted her stupid arguments. I wasn't about to let her spread this filth about me when she had so much of her own to spread.

“As if you weren't insulting me in just as awful a way, and you started that argument it for Celestia's sake, you even admitted that earlier. And then there's the little matter of you punching me in the face, if I didn't teleport away you would've tried to kill me! Your a psychopath Rainbow.” The more I heard her speak, the more I was in her presence, the more my hatred for her grew. She started all of this conflict between us, she deserved to take the full force of the blame.

“I wouldn't have killed you, but maybe I should have! The way you talked to me and the way you treated Applejack was despicable. Did you think she was your toy or something? Did you not realize she had needs and emotions beyond somepony as pathetic as you? Manipulative horse.” Bringing up past scars now are we? That's a low blow Rainbow.

“I'm not taking that from you Rainbow, Pinkie told me that you got together with Twilight the very day we broke up, how's that for manipulating emotions? You were just praying on her sadness, she was feeling down so you thought you could cheer her up and by doing so pull her into your grasp. Isn't that right Rainbow?” I was only speculating but judging by the look on her face I was on the right track. “ It's not like you had any other way of getting together with somepony like Applejack. If she was thinking straight she would've just told you to buck off, like any sane pony would do,” my words were harsh but I didn't regret a single one of them.

“Enough!” Shouted Applejack. The realization hit me like a hammer, Applejack had heard the entire conversation between me and Rainbow and the significance of that fact had almost escaped me. We had both just sealed each other's fates. Saying the worst things about one another we could think of, right in front of the pony we both loved. Applejack sighed and ran a hoof down her face in a sign of weariness. “I jus' wanna thank you two for making my decision a heck of a lot easier... Good day girls,” her voice couldn't have been more bitter and condemning had she tried. Her intentions were crystal clear to all. The earth pony took one last look at me and Rainbow before turning around and leaving without another word.

And that was that. I just wanted to burst into tears and never stop crying, Applejack had always been too good for us and it had taken her this long to find out. Rainbow and I had dug our own graves. We had made so many mistakes, we'd said things that we could never take back, done things we could never undo. What did it matter if I could improve? What did it matter if I could become slightly less contemptuous then I am now? I would still be me, still be the socially inept, clingy, manipulative horse that I am now.

Rainbow tapped me on the shoulder and I snapped out of my inner turmoil. Her expression was bleak. “Sorry,” she said, her voice cracked as she spoke the single word. This time I knew she meant it. Her eyes were visibly tearing up, yet she wasn't quite crying. She looked like a pony who'd just been told that they would never be able to see their loved ones again. It wasn't really too far from the truth. I realized that I must've looked just as crushed and beaten as Rainbow did, we had nopony but ourselves to blame. The once so confident, graceful pegasus in front of me turned and left in silence and presumably deep thought.

I collapsed onto the floor, the cumulative stress of the past few weeks came rushing at me all at once and I couldn't take it. This whole thing was over for now and all I had to show for it were some unwanted memories of how I used to be. If I continued down the road I was currently taking all would not end well for me, I had to change and I would change, because now I knew the consequences. Now I fully understood the implications of my actions. I would make an effort to change myself now, and not for Applejack like I had tried to before, that only led to jealousy and manipulation. This time I would change for the only pony that ever really needed me to. Myself.

Part Six: Rainbow Dash

I was flying to the only place I knew where I could just think and rest, the highest cloud above Ponyville. The one Fluttershy had shown me what seemed like eons ago, but in reality it was mere weeks ago. I'd made the worst mistakes of my life in those past few weeks. I wished I could have changed the way I'd acted in that time more than anything else in the world, but I knew I never could.

I wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn't come. I couldn't even shed a single tear over all that I'd lost and everything that I'd put others through. Crying was something that I'd done commonly in those last few weeks, but now that everything had come to a bitter conclusion, crying seemed like an impossible feat. Sadness didn't come to me, I just felt dead inside, like all of the things I had said and done were worthless and meaningless, like they had accomplished nothing.

Or at least I wished that to be true. I had made things a lot worse for a lot of ponies with my words and actions. I had effectively lost two of my greatest friends to my angry, paranoid and manipulative nature, I thought I was a better pony then that, but evidently I wasn't. When Twilight and Applejack broke up I changed. It felt like I had to get a hold of the hardworking earth pony that I loved so much, then keep hold of her by any means necessary. That was my downfall. I wanted her too much, I wouldn't let anything get in between the two of us. And now I couldn't even cherish the short time I had with Applejack in my memories, since I knew that she probably only agreed to be with me due to my own manipulation. Had I let her recover from her relationship with Twilight before talking to her things might have gone in a very different direction for me, or maybe not. There was still so much I didn't know and never would.

In the end it was the irrational hatred Twilight and I harbored for each other that ruined it all. But I didn't blame Twilight anymore, she was no worse then me, how could I hate somepony who was just trying to accomplish the same things I was? Really my relationship with Applejack was undone solely by the truths me and Twilight 'shared' about each other. Applejack deserved somepony better than I could ever be. When I looked back on the way I'd acted before, I found myself completely repulsed. I wished I wasn't like that. I'd wronged my friends to get to my desires and then it all blew up in my face, I deserved nothing more.

Soon enough I reached the highest cloud and put my hooves down on it. This place used to make everything feel so clear when I looked down at the vast world below, it made all of my problems feel trivial. This time though it just made me feel small, if my problems mattered so little, then I mattered little more. So much had happened to me, Twilight and Applejack in those short weeks, but that time was less than the blink of an eye to the world around us. The planet didn't care about a few bickering ponies. We meant nothing.

Maybe this revelation should have been depressing, but really it had just granted me a sense of perspective. I couldn't dwell on my past mistakes, I had to forge myself a brighter future. Learn from my actions, stop with this irrational hatred and borderline obsessive love. Applejack didn't want me and I didn't think she ever would again. It would take some time for me to get over her, but I would do it. I almost managed it when she was with Twilight, so I knew that with my new found determination it would be completely possible. But really I didn't need her love anymore, what I needed was her friendship, and Twilight's friendship. Apologizing to Twilight before I left was just about the best thing I'd done in the last few weeks, that was the kind of pony I wanted to be. I would give Applejack some time to recover and then simply say sorry to her, as much as I wanted to, I couldn't change what I'd done, but I could apologize for it.

I sighed a long overdue sigh, expelling the pent up emotions I had kept inside for a long time. I knew that the time had come to just move on, life didn't stop and wait every time something like this happened. My heart had been broken, fixed and torn to pieces again in the past few weeks and I just felt tired and worn out now. The tears I was waiting for finally came, but I wasn't crying over Applejack leaving me, I wasn't crying over losing Twilight as a friend and I wasn't even crying about the stupidity of my own actions. I was crying out of happiness, because for once in my life everything seemed clear to me. I understood my wrongdoings, I had a plan on how to move on and I had come to terms with all that had happened to me and all that I had done. I smiled. Everything seemed OK now, at least it in a sort of bittersweet way. But life is bittersweet and I was just glad to be a part of it.