A Short Story by Nathaniel Shepard
The sun was setting in Equestria, Celestia’s duty coming to an end as Luna took up her nightly task. Ponies were headed home for the day, all their work and shopping done and their bellies ready to be filled with whatever delectable dishes awaited them at dinner.
Down on Sweet Apple Acres, Apple Bloom trotted through the door and into her home, glancing about nervously. The scene just kept replaying itself in her mind.
"Hey Spike?" she scuffed a hoof on the ground nervously, the sun setting behind her on the path between Ponyville and the farm.
Walking up to the dragon, Apple Bloom leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. "Thanks," she whispered before turning and galloping back to Sweet Apple Acres.
“Just what am ah doing?” the young pony muttered to herself, settling down on a couch. “Spike has a crush on Rarity. He doesn’t have time for little ol’ me…”
“So did you manage to catch up to him?” Applejack walked into the room and smiled at her younger sister, who nodded. “Don’t think you’re completely off the hook just because he came forward. You’ll be doing some extra chores here to make up for all this trouble you helped cause.”
Apple Bloom sighed dejectedly, although she had already figured as much. Just then, an idea occurred to her. “Hey sis?”
“What is it, sugar cube?”
“Well come on, spit it out.”
“Do you have any good tips for, y’know, kissin an stuff?”
Applejack stared dumbly at her sister for a moment as she tried to process what she had just been asked. “What in tarnation brought this on all of a sudden?” Applejack eyed her sister suspiciously and then got a big grin on her face. “I was right! You do have a crush on that little dragon!”
A crimson blush blossomed on Apple Bloom’s cheeks. “No, well,” Apple Bloom stammerd, “not necessarily.” Taking a good moment to collect herself, she put on her best indignant face and stared up at her sister. “Ah just figured this is something every pony should know! And ah figured you’re a lot older than me and have more experience so I’d come and ask you! You’re practically an expert as far as ah’m concerned!”
Applejack’s eyes narrowed. “And just what the hay is that supposed to mean? You calling me a-”
“A-ah didn’t mean anything by it sis, honest!” Apple Bloom stammered out nervously. “It’s just that, well” she sighed “I figured you’d just know more than me is all. Can you teach me?”
Applejack frowned and turned away, considering for a moment. A dangerous glint appeared in her eyes and she turned back to her sister, idea already formed in her head. “Sure thing, just sit on down and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.”
“Applejack, are you pulling my leg?”
“Farmer’s Honor, little sister. I can tell no lies.”
“With a pickle?”
“And the thing with the ears?”
“But that’s disgusting!” Apple Bloom stomped out of the room, a mixture of shock, confusion and revulsion painting her face. “If that’s what kissin is all about then I want nothing to do with it!”
“Ah dunno, sugar cube,” Applejack called after her. “You just might get a Kissin Cutie Mark, after all. Wouldn’t that be something?”
“Ah’d rather die!” Apple Bloom growled as she trotted up the stairs to her room. But maybe Spike is worth it, she thought to herself as she settled down to sleep. Only tomorrow would tell.
“APPLEJACK!” Apple Bloom came screaming onto the farm. “APPLJACK, YOU TWO-TIMING SNAKE OF A SISTER!” She found her quick enough, working out in the orchards and making sure the new saplings had enough support. They had just added a few new rows to the edge, vaing cleared away the brambles and the new trees needed all the care they could get.
Applejack looked up from her work, her amusement concealed behind a mask of feigned innocence. “Why Apple Bloom, whatever has you in such a fuss?”
“You know darn well what you done! What the hay was all that stuff you told me yesterday about kissn?” The little filly stood, coat slick with grease and hair drenched with brine. Bits of flower petals were still visible on her chin.
Applejack could no longer help herself, she fell to the ground and began rolling in laughter. “Oh my word, you actually believed it! Ah never thought you’d fall for it!”
“APPLEJACK!” Apple Bloom shouted at her chortling sister. “How could you! Ah’ve never been so embarrassed in my life! And now I’m going to smell like vinegar and tomatoes for weeks…”
“Yeah, sorry about that, little sister,” Applejack managed to get out before snorting again, “but let’s face it. You’re just not ready for that kind of relationship yet.”
“Like hay I ain’t!”
“Just listen for a sec, Apple Bloom.” Apple Jack sat up next to her sister. “Kissin ain’t one of those things you can just do at the drop of a hoof, and nopony can tell you how to do it either. That kind of thing only comes with experience, trust and love. Not the fake kind a puppy love that is here one day and gone the next, but the real stuff that sees ponies spending the rest of their lives together. You make sure that when you give somepony your first kiss, not just a peck on the cheek but a real, full blown kiss, that the lucky gentlecolt that gets it deserves it and that you are sure he’s the right one.”
Apple Bloom sighed and looked down at her hooves. “You’re right. Ah guess I have been acting a bit silly.”
Applejack nodded and smiled. “At least we got that straight. On the bright side, I bet Spike doesn’t know quite what to think anymore. At the very least you probably confused him an awful lot.”
Apple Bloom began walking with her sister through the trees and back towards the farm house. “Yeah,” she grimaced, “I suppose I should apologize before too long.”
“I never told you what I did with the pickle.”