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[Sweet Apple Acres] 100 Country Kisses (OPEN! 17 kisses remaining)

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Two seconds later...

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As Apple Bloom got kissy with what Applejack would have fantasied as her little sister's new boyfriend, Applejack was a little dumbstruck at the attention and conversation going on throughout the line. She hadn't been here the whole time like Apple Bloom had, so the context was confusing to her. She just did her best to try to socialize with them and be as polite and friendly as she always was. After all, they're just selling apples.

Applejack heard the nudging words of the white pegasus, although she really couldn't figure out what she was trying to tell her. As she looked at Fancypants, she could see something was wrong. She didn't think that he was pronouncing the Wonderbolts' names right, Applejack had heard her best friend Rainbow Dash talk about them all the time. Applejack drew a pensive smile as she just waited for Apple Bloom to finish.

But then, Starburst asked for some water. "Oh, uh, sorry the bucket we have here is for washing the apples, uh, you can have this apple juice I was gonna have later. I'm sorry this line isn't moving any faster. This one's on the house!" Applejack thought she was doing her a favor. But instead, as she hoofed to Starburst the bottle, she could see what the pegasus was pointing at this whole time, a yellow bleed and and a apple slice cutie mark. Applejack gasped.

"Hay!" Applejack walked in front of the pony, who claimed to be Fancy Pants. "You're not Jazzypants! You're an impostor!" Applejack angled her eyes down as she looked into the face who she could see now where worried and dripping with sweat. However, a second later, Applejack bounced up her emotion. "You're an apple family pony! But I don't think I've ever seen you before. And you're a unicorn, too! I didn't know the apple family had any unicorns. Who are some of your cousins, maybe I know some of them." Applejack sounded very interested in this pony. Any kin of hers was worth getting to know. "But wait, why on earth would you be dressing up as somepony else, when you can just come straight up and gets some apples of your very own. And besides, you wouldn't want to lock lips with one of your distant cousins. Didn't you know we're doing an apple-kiss?"

Applejack pushed Phony Pants over behind where they were selling and kissing. On her way there, she gave her little confused sister a pat on the head and motioned her to continue her magnificent damage control. "Good job sis! I think he likes you!" Applejack chuckled.

Applejack slapped the unicorn apple on the back. "Hay! You should help us! And wash off that silly disguise, don't be afraid of who you are." Applejack took the apple wash-bucket and dumped it onto his head, leaving the bucket upside on his face.

"Hay, Granny! We got a relative here!"

After a little organization, next in line was the white pegasus who helped Applejack realize that this was no fancy pony. "Oh, hello! You're next. How many bushels do you want? And uh, if you want to kiss a stallion instead of me, I bet I can get my cousin here to oblige. His name is, uh, uh..."

Applejack didn't even know what side of the family he might be on. "So, cousin, what's your name anyway?" Applejack said to the pony with the bucket still on his head. "Take the bucket off, silly!"

95 Kisses left!

(This is not a posting order, just the order in which they are lined up. If it is your turn in the line or if its coming up soon, feel free to post whenever you want to advance the story.)

Kissed

1. Carrot Fields :smug:

2. Reno Golucky :smug:

3. Lore Weaver :smug:

4. Dunder Blust :?

5. Gentle Sol thapplebloom.png

Coming up

6. Phony Pants (Flam)

7. Starburst

8. Astral

9. Charleyhorse Daniels (Flim)

10. Survey

11. Silverbolt

12. Klondike

13. Incognito (Lyra)

14.

15.

16.

17.

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Few ponies were capable of such an dumbstruck silence as Apple Bloom was. Her intelligence and active mouth were silenced by a force greater than herself with no real recourse on such rare occasions that the reboot of her state was such that her dumbstruck look and lack of words was emblematic of true befuddlement. In this case, the last two minutes existed in a blurry haze, her mental processes have worked with such efficiency before that losing the ability caused her memory to short circuit. What had been processed in such high clarity could only with time be transmitted for her comparatively dull mind to comprehend. And so she stood there in an awkward state of mute mental collapse until Applejack put her right through contact with the world.

Apple Bloom shook her head, blushing as her sister blabbered that the colt she had apparently just kissed had liked her.

"Well, ah, uhh, tried mah best?" She asked in a pathetic manner as she slowly gained her footing, gained her bullhorn, and started gaining back her momentarily subdied confidence. She would have time to piece together the events of the past few minutes on a break, but that was a long time from that very moment and as her mind settled back into the old, comfortable styling of Apple Bloom, her sheepish, embarrassed smile grew as she realized what Applejack had just said.

"Haha, well, ah gues ah AM a big pony naw," She giggled with great mirth before raising the bullhorn at the slowly depleting line.

"Buy some apples!"

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Things were moving way too fast for Flam now. Although the blanket covered most of his body, the watered down dye colors were beginning to run down his legs. And the crafty unicorn was taken COMPLETELY offguard at the way AppleJack went from being suspicious into believing that he was a long lost Apple Family cousin! And now with AJ having dumped water on his head, he knew the very second that the bucket came off, everypony would know who he really was. So Flam came to an immediate decision: GO FOR IT, RIGHT NOW!

"The name is FLAM, my dear AppleJack!" he said after floating the bucket off his soaking wet head. Acting quickly, the revealed unicorn gave the stunned AppleJack a long kiss on her lips before turning on his heels to run away. What Flam DIDN'T count on was the wet ground beneath his hooves that caused him to loose his footing with his front feet. This caused Flam to fall, his head ending up in the dirt, but his rear still up in the air.

"FLAM!!!" Granny Smith roared in a voice so loud, the birds in the nearby trees took immediate flight.

"ACK! UN-NEE-MAL!" shouted a furious Apple Strudel, "YOU SVINEHOOF! YOU SAURKRAUT HEAD! YOU.."

"I TOLD YA I NEVER WANTED TO SEE YUR FACE HERE AGIN, AND I MEANT IT!" the livid elderly mare yelled before turning around, raising up her rear legs and giving the downed unicorn a surprisingly hard kick to his rear. Uncle Apple Strudel's eyes grew as big as saucers when he saw how the impact sent Flam skyward. SO far skyward that the screaming mischievious unicorn seemed to vanish in the clouds above.

"Mein sister! I have never seen you kick so hard in all mein life!"

"Ain't no pony ever made me as mad as THAT one did! And if'n I ever see his bambuzzellin' brother here, he's gonna git it EVEN WORSE!" the gray maned mare shouted before returning to her place behind the cash box with a wide smile to the next pony in line. "May I help you?"

(Exit Flam.... for now.....) :D:D:D

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Survey looked at Apple Bloom for a while, before grunting and adjusting his glasses again. ''Busy ..talking to yourself, are you?'' he chuckled and nodded, tapping the ground nervously. ''I've had my share of that too..'' he stops and frowns. ''Why am i talking to her about that! It's none of her-'' Then came the awkward pause as he realized he was yet again talking to himself.

''F-Forget that..'' he mutters, as he stomps the ground quietly. ''A-as i asked.. uhm.. who are were you again?'' he asked again, smiling awkwardly. Asking it twice was no big deal, as he wasn't quite as ..loud.. as she was. Then again, he could atleast try a bit harder to actually look like a customer!

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With a sigh to herself she noted how rude and annoying she had been to all these ponies in the line and even noted the fact that she sprayed a placebo on a filly and tricked herself into thinking it was real. She watched as the cute little filly ran off to go kiss a foal and she did so with such surprising grace and left the colt in what seemed to be a love struck feeling. I just hope that I do still get to kiss the hero even if they are a girl. I just best not blow my luck. She looked around for the tiny filly to apologize to her but the effort seemed lost now that she was back in the front area. Darn I'll have to apologize to her when I get to the front, if I get to the front. She knew that she could make it, it wasn't like you had to go through an obstacle course to get to the booth to buy her Apple Family Apples.

"Well, it is too late to go back and change what has happened but what I can do is change what is to come." With a grin on her face she stood up straighter and grinned as largely as she could before moving up in the line now that the fake was gone.

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Romantically shy (and completely oblivious) Pony Joe entered Sweet Apple Acres. He didn't even notice the line, strolling straight up to Applejack herself. He was daydreaming about new recipes.

"Morning, Apple Jack!" he called out, trotting over to her, "I'm here to pick up some apples for my shop. It's fritter season, they're selling like pumpkins in October!"

And it was true, the fritters were always sold hot off the oven, glaze dripping. Hungry customers flocked the store just to get a taste of them. But for Joe, this wasn't too unusual. He knew that he made the best fritters around. What he didn't know was that Apple Jack was giving out kisses to anyone who bought a bushel of apples.

"Anywho, I think I'll take two bushels and be on my way." Joe said, smiling at Apple Jack. He loved Sweet Apple Acres, everybody was so friendly. He didn't always get that at the shop, especially with the young customers.

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"Charleyhorse Daniels" went wide eyed and was visibly sweating as what seemed to be a big fan was busy trying to shoot holes in his story.

Said cobalt blue pony was actually getting in his face and interrupting the song, daring him to prove the fan wrong.

Much to his relief, Granny Smith was called away before she could pick up on the statement "he" was actually supposed to be in Appleoosa at that very moment.

Flim gave a sheepish grin "Um, well, you see..." His thought raced for a good explanation, then he had it "...I-I am part of the.. "Charlyhorse Daniels Experience". I did not want to break that poor old mare's heart with the news that I am part of a tribute band on his way to Fillydelphia, who just happened to find a flyer at the train station during my layover... You know how it is right, those sweet little old ladies thinking I'm the real thing and all..."

He peered over the stallion as Starburst did an act asking for water that the average con pony would consider pathetic, but was effective on a normal pony, namely Applejack.

Flim looked a little dizzy for a moment, when Starburst pointed out the exposed cutie mark on his brother's flank.

In a stunning leap of logic that nearly made Flim faint on the spot, Applejack hustled "Fancy Pants" up to the booth, thinking Flam was lost Apple Kin and promptly dumped water on him to wash off the disguise.

It was all Flam could do to keep his composure as the entire line watched in stunned awe as the red mustached Flam revealed himself and kissed Applejack on the lips.

The Flim Flam Brothers Revenge, non pariel was cut short as Granny Smith applebucked Flam out of sight, in the direction of the lake.

Flam gulped as he used his magic to track Flam and be sure he landed in the water okay "...Um, yeah...that there old filly has a mighty kick, dont' she...?"

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"I'll take three. I have a rather fancy party I'm going to be hosting in Canterlot soon and I need some fresh Apple Family Apples to make all of the delicious treats I'll be serving at the party. I think I'll make Apple Crepes, Apple Turnovers, Apple Strudel, Apple Millefeuille, Vanilla-Apple Pudding, Chocolate-Apple Cake, and some Apple-Milk Tea for the event." she says, reaching into her saddlebags for a glossy invitation, which she turns over to Applejack. "You're welcome to join me. There's a pass for the Ponyville Express to Canterlot included. It would be wonderful if you'd stop by to promote your Apples." Starburst says, smiling. "Although formal wear is required. I'm sure you have something you could wear. And you're free to bring a friend if you like. I'm sure it will be a rather good time for you and your compatriot." she says, sort of as an after-thought.

Listed on the invitation is the name of the event, the location of the event, the time of the event, and an RSVP card for the ponyville post office.

When Applejack queries as to whether or not she'd like to kiss a Stallion or not, she lets out a cute giggle and purses her lips shyly.

"I wouldn't want a kiss from that one, it took an ounce of my cunning to reveal his true identity to you, and I certainly wouldn't kiss anyone petty enough to dress up as someone else to get a kiss. And as far as Stallions are concerned.. I'd say my interest lies elsewhere at the moment.. I'd rather receive a kiss from yourself for unmasking that unwanted unicorn." Starburst says, leaning against the wooden stand, placing her hooves as close to the edge of it, where Applejack was currently sitting stunned from Flam's unwarranted outburst of lips and male lusts. She inched forward closer and closer, until she was able to get her hooves around the small of Applejack's neck. Once her target had been acquired she pulled Applejack's face into her own, closing her eyes and turning her head slightly to the side, wrapping Applejack's lips in the passionate embrace of her own for a few moments before pulling her face away and letting Applejack return to her sales pitch.

After paying for the apples and scooping them into her saddlebags and proceeded to pay the Apple Family for all of the apples she had bought. Lifting the change from her saddlebags had been made difficult by showering them with three bushels of apples. So it took her many seconds of awkwardness while she sifted through the apples to reach the change-purse at the bottom of the bag. She finally finds it, after about a minute and places the requested bits on the counter.

While walking away from the stand she turns back to Applejack, smiles shrewdly, and winks. ;-) The words, "Hope to see you there.." come out in a slightly unstable voice, the long, passionate, kiss obviously having an effect on her state of mind. She walks away, lifting the procured bottle of juice to her mouth, draining it as she walked down the line. She was tempted to stand in line again, but decided against that course of action. She didn't want to put her hooves into the barrel of apples sullied by her passions more than once today. So she made her exit, flying off towards Canterlot to begin preparations for all the cooking she'd be doing that evening.

While walking away from the line she tosses the bottle over her shoulder, and it promptly lands on Flim's head. Which causes her to grin, while looking knowingly at the sweaty Flim.

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The commotion up front did little to distract Klondike from his thoughts. Currently, he was staring off into the orchard, or somewhere in that general direction. His thoughts had somehow found their way from potential methods to fixing farm equipment, to apples, and eventually to the memories of the Running of the Leaves event a while back.

Oddly enough though, at the memories of the race, his right ear began to twitch in the direction of the sea foam pony standing behind him with the hat and trench coat. The twitching eventually manage to gyrate his head and eyes away from the orchard and instead Klondike found himself looking at the pony incognito. He blinked a few times as if clearing away some of the lingering thoughts.

"Say..."

He dropped his head down to try and get a look underneath the hat and even began to swivel his head to the sides a bit trying to get a better look.

"Excuse me, but you look awfully familiar from somewhere... Have we met? Sorry, I don't usually forget a face, or for that matter, I don't usually realize I forgot a face. Actually, how would a pony know they forgot something if they forgot it in the first place? Or for that matter..."

Klondike paused for a minute or two as he allowed his current thought process to play out in his head while continuously facing the pony with the trench coat. Eventually though, he seemed to reach full circle and came back to the question at hoof.

"Well, I doubt pears would sell as good but that is aside the point... Hi! Sorry, name's Klondike and you look awfully familiar." He commented again as he smiled at the pony with the trench coat.

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(Sorry, Survey. Didn't see your post!)

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Apple Bloom shook her head. The gears in her head were still slowly revving up in terms of accurate dealings with the other ponies of the world and she could only chuckle half-heartedly when Survey addressed her. Then she gave him a quizzical look as he seemed to stop himself from continuing some manner of silly talk he had considered somehow smart at first. It put her own mental recent collapse in even ground. She stopped giving him a befuddled expression and giggled joyously.

"Boy, ya sure are a silleh pony thar. Mah name's Apple Bloom, tha youngest filly here'n the best apple far' in all o' Equestria! But ya ain't 'ere to talk ta some silly filly like me, yer 'ere ta buy a bushel of tha finest apples in all've the world an' get a kiss from mah big sis Applejack, the smartest, nicest, prettiest and most dependable mare EVER!" She exclaimed, hooves in the air as she contemplated how awe-inspiringly lucky she was. She knew everything she said was the land's truth. She nodded towards him as she gathered up her bullhorn and leaned out into the crowd, ready to bellow just as-

"The name is FLAM, my dear AppleJack!"

"FLAM!!!"

"ACK! UN-NEE-MAL! YOU SVINEHOOF! YOU SAURKRAUT HEAD! YOU.."

"I TOLD YA I NEVER WANTED TO SEE YUR FACE HERE AGIN, AND I MEANT IT!"

"Mein sister! I have never seen you kick so hard in all mein life!"

- Apple Bloom was almost too busy looking down the line to take notice of the kerfuffle at the head until the screaming started. By the time she had turned, Flam was flying faster than Rainbow Dash could ever dream towards a lake. Her anger rose with her color as she contemplated what had just transpired out of sight. From the way her sister's face had contorted to the fury in her granny's eyes, it was clear that Flam had stolen a kiss. She momentarily had a desire to run up to her sister to give her the biggest hug she could muster as life had taught her the value of a strong hug, but then Starburst made out with Applejack.

It happened fast, but it happened hard. Starburst wasn't there to play games and after she had seemingly kissed Applejack into oblivion, she trotted away confidently. Apple Bloom was struck mute, her color continuing to rise- heck, she wasn't the one being kissed and yet she felt as though she had cause for embarrassment. The bullhorn dropped to the ground and emitted a loud, piercing static that blew her out of her rather immobile state. She grabbed it and then cantered with some speed up to her sister. Before she threw her hooves around the mare for a hug, she spotted a coin purse that if the sewing was accurate had the name Flam stitched on it. She tossed it on her back and went about the task of throwing her front hooves around her neck in an embrace.

"Ah heck, ah'm sorry that Flam got 'ere. It's all mah fault! Starburst was righ' all along and I was all on 'er case 'bout being rude when she was jus' bein' protective. Ah'm real sorry, Applejack. Didja wanna take a break? Ah guess we can all try ta ent'tain them if ya wanna get yer bearings all in order, and we can see how man' bits Flam kept in 'is coin purse!" Apple Bloom's tone had started low and regretfully but arched in excitement as she produced the coin purse and opened it up on the stand, allowing the bits to flow as freely as a waterfall.

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Flam took the bucket off. And in about three seconds, Applejack replayed all the emotion that she felt during the last cider season. Between the struggle for customer service, and the innovative con-ponies that Flim and Flam were, Applejack began to realize that up until the Apple family's cider proved to be better and that her integrity was worth it, was a very stressful time for the apple family. And it was those horrible stressful memories that swarmed back into her mind as she saw Flam's ugly smirk. She also thought about how loved she was by all of her friends and family, and the support they showed during her times of need. Applejack was pretty lucky to have such good ponies in her life, for the moments when she is stubborn, weak, and helpless.

All of this flashed before Applejack's eyes at Flam sneaked within Applejack's reaction time, which was impressively short, and by the time Applejack could say anything, anything at all. Her Granny said all that really needed to be said. And what a moonshot it was. If it hadn't been for the sour environment in everypony's mind, Applejack would have suggested Granny come with her to the next rodeo, not as a spectator, but as a competitor.

Applejack stood there, almost lifeless. Staring at the the location she was looking at before Flam had revealed himself. Applejack felt embarrassed, she felt used. After a few seconds, her facial expression relaxed and her ears fell. Her head took a step back with the rest of her body. Applejack gasped, finally, as she finally spilled her feelings out of her mouth. "Why of all the, Ah can't believe he jus did that! You gotta be some kind of crazy pony to come up with a stunt like that!" Applejack looked at Granny. "And Granny, thanks for buckin' his rear end out of her, because if you hadn't, I might have done something that I would regret forever."

Applejack turned back to the attention of the kiss line. However, she was still stunned by complexity that was Flam's ruse. Starburst started talking to Applejack about apples, her favorite subject. But Applejack wouldn't have it. Instead, while Starburst was talking, Applejack continued to ramble to herself. "What gives the pony the nerve to do somethin' like that? Hasn't he got any sense up there?" Starburst mentioned an event she was making apple pastries for, a party in Canterlot. "I bet if we were to open his head open, we'd see his brain wasn't the size of an apple seed." Starburst hoofed on the table an invitation to the party that included the train ride there. "I bet that he doesn't even know how many apple seeds are in an apple, that lying, conning, fraud!" Starburst finished her details by implying formal attire was required. "Why, I don't think I have been so mistreated in all mah life! If I had one bit for every time someone did that to me, I'd have ONE BIT!"

Applejack slammed her hoof on the table and leaned forward. But instead of finding her own angry embrace there, she got a face full of Starburst. The white pegasus was explaining how she'd like to get a kiss from Applejack, instead of a fraud. Applejack couldn't not agree with it, but wasn't sure how to feel. Kissing. A mare? Applejack thought it was a little strange. Of course, if a mare wanted to buy apples, she'd be in a little predicament today. It's too bad Big Macintosh was busy helping little Reno with his apples, otherwise I would be inclined to have him involved in this gender crossing. I wonder when he'll be back, maybe he can he-. Stars bursted into Starburst, apparently, as she passionately kissed Applejack. It totally threw her off balance and she almost fell down. Applejack's eye popped and shifted left and right several times in a kiss that seemed to be an eternity. Her hat fell off, as Starburst squeezed her body. Starburst let go, and Applejack sprung back to her original spot. A look of astonishment covered Applejack's face. She didn't know how to feel. But after feeling embarrassed and used, she now felt embarrassed, used, and clueless.

Starburst mutely grabbed all of the apples she bought, paid for them, and then walked away before telling Applejack she hoped to see her there. There? There where? Was coming on to me? She didn't know what she was talking about. And in the event that took place during their kiss, the invitation fell on the ground to be trampled on whoever would soon walk over it.

Apple Bloom ran over next to Applejack and hugged her neck. Apple Bloom spilled an apology, implying that any of this could have possibly have been her fault. Applejack closed the embrace with her sister. "Oh, Sugarcube, don't fret! It wasn't yur fault! Things happen sometimes, and you can't blame yourself for the," Applejack looked off in the distance she believed Flam to be, "stupidity and randomness," looking back at her sister, "that other ponies do." Applejack set Apple Bloom back down and smiled down at her, the smile she needed to crack for a good five minutes. Apple Bloom did Applejack a service, as being pretty much the only truly caring pony to physically touch her since she pecked Carrot. It rejuvenated Applejack and gave her the confidence she needed to keep going. "No, we don need a break, I'll be fine."

Applejack saw the bits spill from Flam's coin purse. Applejack thought for a moment. "Heh, he didn't steal no kiss. He went and bought himself one! Apple Bloom, be a sweetheart and tell Granny that Flam needs his bushel of apples and to take the bits out of his purse accordingly, and we can mail the remaining bits and apples to him and his brother."

Applejack turned to the front of the line and saw Astral, a white unicorn mare. Another mare. "Oh, uh, hi. You gonna buy some apples?" Applejack smiled nervously as she was wondering if the awkwardness would peak three kisses in a row.

Pony Joe came to Applejack's side. In reflex, Applejack jumped and turned to give her rear legs a kick into the direction of the cream colored stallion. She tried to pull her buck back, but still managed to hit him in the face slightly. "Oh, Pony Joe! I'm so sorry, I thought you were trying to sneak up on me and, you know, um, what do you need? Apples? Oh, Hun, you need to get in line." Applejack kindly pointed towards the line of eager ponies, most of them flush in the face with emotion.

93 Kisses left!

(This is not a posting order, just the order in which they are lined up. If it is your turn in the line or if its coming up soon, feel free to post whenever you want to advance the story.)

Kissed

1. Carrot Fields :smug:

2. Reno Golucky :smug:

3. Lore Weaver :smug:

4. Dunder Blust :?

5. Gentle Sol applebloom01byzutheskun.png

6. Flam watapplejackbyfelixkotd.png

7. Starburst :?

Coming up

8. Astral

9. Charleyhorse Daniels (Flim)

10. Survey

11. Silverbolt

12. Klondike

13. Incognito (Lyra)

14. Pony Joe

15.

16.

17.

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Pony Joe observed as a wild scene unfolded before him. There was lots of kicking and yelling, Flam flying into the air. He began to feel a little shy and stared towards the floor with his pushing ears back.

And whats all this about kisses? He wondered, looking around. Then he saw Apple Bloom's sign, and understood what it was trying to say...buy a bushel of apples, get a kiss from Applejack!

His knees suddenly felt weak and his stomach filled with tiny flutters! He had only come to pick up some apples, not to kiss anypony! The buzz from blushing ponies all around continued, more talk of kissing technique and ways to impress the girl. Breath mints and lip-chap was being handed from one customer to another in a big line. He felt like he was going to faint!

Joe wasn't sure if he even wanted a kiss, especially from a mare as beautiful and sweet as Applejack! He was no good at kisses. He had only had one, from his fillyfriend in Canterlot Primary School when he was just a colt. They had been playing spin the bottle at her Cute-ceanera. But he had never been popular with girls, he was always too chubby or weird. It was really a shame, Joe found himself to be very sweet and caring. I could be very romantic. I would treat my sweetheart right! he thought.

Joe put a hoof to his face and breathed out. His breath smelled like sweets and frosting.

Thats not so bad, it could be worse. Besides, sweet things always get the girl! Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice! Of course she'll like the taste of frosting. Or was she too good for that? Too good for frosting, HA, does such a thing exist? Does an Apple kind of mare like frosting, or only naturally sweet things? Does Applejack even like pastries? Perhaps nothing could be worse than kissing Flam, right? Poor Applejack!

Joe's mind raced, and he shook his head in disgust. As a fellow food vendor, Pony Joe understood Applejack's dislike for the con-man. Joe had lost a lot of business when Flim and Flam had come to town.

He moved a bit closer to Applejack instinctively, but as he spoke, he saw Applejack tense and her hind-quarters lift from the ground. In alarm, he tried to duck the kick, but recieved a swift apple-buck to the cheek. It throbbed like a hornet sting and had already started to turn red. Applejack has a very strong buck! She seemed a little out of it today, most likely upset from all the kisses she had given lately. He wondered how anypony had persuaded the modest pony to give out kisses. Was Applejack very romantic? I'm sure she was very popular with the colts in school though. I wonder why she doesn't have a sweetheart. Maybe it's because she bucks people in the face...

As the lovely blonde mare turned to face him, his heart melted. Her hair swished and her hat tipped slightly. She seemed alarmed and scattered, but she had more composure than Joe had on a regular day. Her lively green eyes scanned him quickly as she remarked,

"Oh, Pony Joe!"

"She knows my name!" Joe thought, his heart racing. He would have smiled if his cheek wasn't in such pain. Then he realised that of COURSE she knew his name, he came there to get Apple Fritter making supplies often.

I'm so sorry, I thought you were trying to sneak up on me and, you know, um, what do you need?"

"Sneak up on her?" he thought, "Why would I do that? I'm not that kind of pony...". He suddenly felt shy once more.

"Apples? Oh, Hun, you need to get in line."

Joe blushed in embarrassment. Of course theres a line! How could I have been so stupid?

"Oh...uh...sorry. I guess you're right. I'm just so used to coming here when there's not actually a line. And...you know...so many ponies. I'm sorry."

Joe barely managed to mutter the words, his tone getting quieter with every word. He was so embarrassed! Applejack looked at him kindly regardless. Her hoof raised and pointed to the line of ponies who were flushed and preparing for their kisses. Joe suddenly felt so insigificant. How could my kiss make any difference to her? No, he would not be a champion today. Today he would just be Joe...like always.

Applejack's expression was very kind and polite, despite Joe being so foolish. She looked him in the eye and had a smile on her face as she addressed him. He loved Sweet Apple Acres. Joe trotted over into line. One kiss for Joe. He promised himself to make it worthwhile.

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Rarity couldn't help but shake her head and grin as she stared down at the flyer in her hand. "Buy a bushel of apples of get yourself a free kiss by Ponyville's prettiest, nicest, strongest, and bestest mare, Applejack!" it read. Rarity had had some disbelief that the advertisement was real at first. Sure, every indication was that Apple Bloom was the less than professional designer behind the piece and Ponyville was practically covered in the things to an extent that most pranksters would lack the effort to achieve, but this was just that hard to swallow. Applejack, giving away kisses as a promotion? Rarity just couldn't believe such an outlandish scenario was genuine.

Rarity was however quite intrigued. She wanted to see the turn out. She wanted to see how AJ went about this little promotion. It also just so happened that she was quite low on apples. It seemed like a good opportunity both for some playful teasing between friends, and to fill her pantry with succulent fruit at the same time. Rarity didn't really have that much work to do that particular day either. It was perfect, which was why her hooves had her trotting casually down to Sweet Apple Acres with an amused smile on her face.

Approaching the farm, Rarity was immediately taken aback with the line. AJ didn't usually attract these lines without going into the heart of town to sell her apples. All these ponies really wanted to kiss the mare, she supposed. How amusing. Rarity considered walking up to the front and greeting Applejack directly, but instead she chose to simply line up with the others. It would be more fun that way. She took up position right at the end of the line, after what she was surprised to find was a somewhat familiar face, Joe, the donut shop owner from Canterlot.

Getting in line, Rarity spoke in a quiet voice and chuckled softly. "Applejack, you silly, silly pony..."

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Silverbolt pressed "Charleyhorse Daniels" even further, not believing his explanation one bit. Inching closer, their heads nearly touching, he whispered, "I don't believe you, in fact, I am almost certain you are that recently bucked stallion's brother. I may not have been around fir cider season, as I was busy in Cloudsdale, but I know the sorts of schemes you and your brother like to attempt. I suggest you pack up and leave, or I'll carry you off the farm myself Mr. Flam.". Silverbolt then grabbed the imposter and lifted him into the sky for a brief moment before placing him back in his original position and whispering, "The choice is yours, leave and I won't tell a soul what you tried to pull here. If you stay, I'll be sure to tell Granny Smith you aren't the real Charleyhorse Daniels and show the brochure. You'll probably suffer your brother's fate and I will be happy to see you go out that way.", before giving a menacing smile to the obviously shaken impostor.

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Astral now stood before the amazingly adorable Applejack. Blush streaking across her face as she looked Applejack over.

What am I even doing, she is another mare, but she is pretty attractive, no, you are here for apples. The kiss is just a bonus. Come on Astral, you can do this! She thought as she looked onto Applejack and was only able to nod her head.

"Yes, I need to buy as many bushels as you will let me." Astral managed to get out as she used her magic to place her coin purse that looked as if it was about to burst at the seems with bits onto the counter. She looked around and noticed that Apple Bloom was actually a lot closer then she thought.

"Oh, young filly. I am sorry about all the confusion today, I in fact was not even sure what I was saying. Please forgive me." She bowed towards the filly and then turned back to AppleJack.

"I don't plan to make things hard on you with kissing me so if you wish to kiss me on my cheek or even not kiss me at all I do not mind." She took a deep breath and sighed a bit as she just sold away her chance to get a kiss from the hero. "I'm here to support the Apple Family as I have a friend who is a an Apple Family member, but she only just today told me that there was such a large operation here in Ponyville. I would have never guessed that such a small town had such an amazing farm near by. Perhaps I could get a tour of it eventually?" She posed the question as she always did love the look of farm lands and from what she heard from Apple Bumpkin was that there was a dog on the farm who was currently not here at the booth with the others. "I also hear that you have a dog on the farm, Winowna I think the name was. I love animals and dogs are just the cutest thing." She giggled slightly as she tried to find common ground for her and Applejack as she attempted to not make this the most awkward of moments between the two.

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Starburst, deciding against her better judgment, decided that she was rather abrupt in offering her lips to Applejack, so she decided to stay for a bit until the line died down some so she could apologize properly. She removed one of the apples she had purchased from her saddlebag and stepped behind Rarity in line, biting into the apple with a satisfying crunch. It was a satisfying flavor, one that she never really got tired of tasting. It was even better when baked into one of her pastries.

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''S-Silly?'' he asked the filly and scoffed slightly, closing his eyes and shaking his head. ''I'm.. not silly, mind you..'' he assured her, before adjusting his glasses nervously. He wasn't exactly trying to make it any easier for himself, but hey, what could you do? ''Well, i.. kinda..'' he scratched his head and grunted. ''No, i.. guess you are right, but i need a bit more than a bushel.. about .. 100?'' he mutters, and rolls his eyes lightly. ''Because my /boss/ just doesn't seem to understand that it costs quite a bit to buy all of those nor that these apples will be good for our health somewhere in the desert, or on sea. or..'' he hisses quietly, before cutting himself off before starting to ramble about his boss more to some young filly he had only just met.

''A kiss from Applejack?'' he asked, shaking his head lightly.. ''.. Not sure.. though.. i.. don't mean anything by that..'' he muttered, and tapped his chin, before noticing that the filly was storming off, somewhere to the chaos that was once the waiting line. ''What is.. going on..'' he asked himself, before shaking his head and walking back to the stall, leaning against it and watching the chaos unfolding. This certainly was not something he was familiar with..

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Things were just not going well today for the Flim Flam Brothers, neither for him or for his now drenched and rump-sore brother surely slogging out of the lake by this point.

To underscore this, the elegant mare, Starburst wanged an empty bottle off his horn, poking from the cowpony hat on his head, and gave him a look that she knows who he is too, then flew off.

The blue pegasus accosting him suddenly ordered him to leave or else, and picked him up to underscore the point, and set him back down.

Unfortunately, leaving the line at this point might get him caught by the Apples as surely as staying put. How many tall, slender male unicorns were there, after all?

Flim looked around to see in anypony was paying attention to them. He noticed the mare ahead of him was finally face to face with Applejack after the heroine took time to compose herself and whewed, just a few moments more.

He suddenly noticed Starburst was back, lounging off to the side and eating an apple with a smirk.

Flim sighed, backed into a corner where something rare was about to happen; the truth.

The unicorn whispered to the angry stallion. "If I leave now, I'm just as sure to get a hoofkicking either way. Also we, the Amazing Flim Flam Brothers, have discovered we actually need a vital ingredient for our new specialty perfumes; Sweet Apple Acres Apples. I'll give you 10 bits if you keep quiet a couple more minutes, huh?"

It did nothing for Flim's peace of mind awaiting an answer, that one of AJs friends who would likely want a piece of him too just joined the line. That ..Rarity?... was a stunning beauty. Too bad they burned that possible bridge trying to run her friend out of business...

He gulped as the sun gleamed charmingly off of Rarity's exquisite horn and elegant mane.

...Yes, Incredible misfortune neither brother would have a chance at her it would seem...

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"Yur welcome, AppleJack! Only wish I'da caught that bamboozler 'fore he kissed ya!" Granny Smith said before her oldest granddaughter pointed out Flam's dropped moneybag and told her to handle it. "Yur right Applejack! We Apple Family folk keep our word! Flam got a kiss, so that means he's gitt'n some apples and payin' fer'm too!"

"Mein sister, how vill you get dee apples und cashbag back to Flam?" Apple Strudel asked.

"Watch this!" the elderly mare neighed before turning and looking up into the sky. Flying in the air at tree level was a blue Pegasus wearing a crash helmet on his head. Granny grabbed her megaphone and called up to him. "HAY YOU! UP THAR! BLUE GUY! NEED YUR HELP!"

The random blue Pegasus nodded as he landed in front of her. Granny Smith carefully counted out the bit from Flam's bag to pay for one bushel of apples before resealing the small bag. "I need yur help, youngin'. A guy named Flam left here in a real big hurry and he forgot his moneybag and the apples he jist bought. If you'll be so kind as to deliver these to him, I'll give ya a fresh apple pie as a reward! Whatdoya say?"

The blue Pegasus smiled and nodded as Granny Smith and Apple Strudel gave him the general directions of where Flam 'flew off' to.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Earlier, as the airborne Flam began to fall towards the lake, a sudden gust of wind pushed him further inland, towards the Ponyville Junkyard! Screaming as he flailed his four legs in the air, the crafty unicorn fell into a pile of old, discarded feather pillows. The impact sent propelled feathers flying in all directions as the owner of the yunkyard came galloping over to see what had just happened:

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Pigpen came to a stop, amazed at the 'mess' Flam had just made.

"HAY YOU! TOOK ME FOUR HOURS TO STACK ALL THOSE PILLOWS AND YOU RUINED IT IN TWO SECONDS!" the dirty, smelly stallion yelled.

"Forgive me, kind sir," Flam said as he rolled off the deflated pile and onto his four feet. "This pile of pillows saved my life, I owe you my graditude. Flam's the name, of the world's famous Flim Flam brothers, perhaps you've heard of us?"

"I heard how you tried to take Sweet Apple Acres away from the Apple Family!" Pigpen snorted. "I truly admire them! Hard working Big MacIntosh, sweet little AppleBloom, pretty AppleJack and dear old Granny Smith, and YOU and your brother tried to swindle them outta their farm!"

"That was merely a misunderstanding dear sir," Flam lied. "And I was just over to their farm to try to straighten it out! AppleJack was offering a kiss for each bushel sold and when I received my legally acquired kiss, Granny Smith kicked me into the air! See for yourself!"

Flam turned his rear towards Pigpen to show the two very visible hind hoofprint bruises.

"Now what do you have to say about sweet, innocent Granny Smith? She's nothing more than a crazy old coot!"

"If Granny gave you THAT, you must've earned it!" Pigpen shouted as he turned and reared up his hind legs into the air, "and I trust Granny's judgment over YOURS!"

"What?" Flam asked seconds before the smelly, unkempt stallion delivered a hard kick to the unicorn's rear, sending him flying upward towards Ponyville with the blue 'delivery' Pegasus following behind him.

"The NERVE of that idiot! He stinks worse than any garbage on my lot! Bet his brother's over there now harrassing those wonderful folks again! I'm not going to stand by and let them hurt the Apple Family again!"

Pigpen strikes an 'action' pose as his fly friends buzz all around his head.

"C'mon flies! We're off to Sweet Apple Acres! Junk can wait, it's hero time!"

Pigpen started to gallop on the long road leading to the countryside, his 'loyal flies' following him as he ran.

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"I can't believe this! Are you trying to BRIBE ME!?", he whispered in a tone of extreme displeasure and annoyance. The nerve of that stallion! Trying to buy his silence so he could get a kiss from Applejack and apples to make a perfume!? Silverbolt was seething at that thought and he shook his head in refusal of the stallions offer. "I must decline, even though I could use the bits but accepting the offer would be a breach of my personal integrity!", he exclaimed as he pulled the costume away, revealing Flim in his trademark hat and vest, his real mark visible to all! "GRANNY SMITH! APPLEBLOOM! APPLEJACK! LOOK WHO WE HAVE HERE, THAT NO GOOD PONY FLIM

WAS TRYING TO DECEIVE YOU WITH A DISGUISE!, he shouted at the top of his lungs as he lifted Flim into the sky for them all to see, giving a gentlemanly nod to Rarity on the ground and a friendly smile.

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Flim sighed as the stallion got offended from the bribe "Oh wonderful, I get in line next to a coltscout... Look, since Flam got caught, I'm in for a kicking either ...wayyyYY!"

He suddenly went white as a ghost when his entire disguise was whisked off like it was rumored Pinkie Pie could do, right there before the Apple Family (minus Big Mac, thank Discord...)

He was then lifted into the air by the angry pegasus and denounced to the Apples by the loudest shouting he's ever heard "Holy Guacamole, you're strong!... Put me down! Put me down! I'm scared of heights!"

He then saw the angry faces waiting for him below "...Dont' put me down! Dont' put me down!..."

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Pony Joe heard shouting and looked ahead in line with mild alarm. He suddenly noticed Flim, and he was flailing around aimlessly and shouting in protest. Joe's ears burned, and he felt the anger of being scammed once more. How DARE he try to come and get his revenge on the Apple Family! He marched straight over to Silverbolt, who was holding Flim straight in the air. He certainly was NOT going stand for this! He hoped Flim would be kicked straight to the moon!

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Apple Bloom saw the Apple Family honor at play in the way both Applejack and her granny responded to the revelation of the bit purse. Apple Bloom wasn't shocked, but her little heart was filled with so much richly deserved fury at that despicable pony that the thought of treating him with any manner of fairness struck her poorly. She fantasized about stripping him financially to the bone and using those very funds to expand their burgeoning orchard, every new apple harvested a slap in his face. But as her Granny and sister handled the funds, the apples, and the transportation, she figured playing the game the right way was worth it in the end. Somehow at least. She still felt a little sore that she hadn't had the chance to kick him square in the jaw and then when he fell on the ground, square in the jaw again. Maybe that'd teach him a lesson or three about messing with the apples and kissin' mares all surprise like. She shook her clear of such thoughts as she very slowly walked her away from Applejack, giving some space for the two of them to come to terms with the facts.

Luckily, before Apple Bloom could descend into debating moral philosophy, Applejack kicked Pony Joe in the head.

She knew her sister well enough to know that if she had kicked anypony in the head with anything even resembling a fraction of her possible strength, then it would very quickly become a somber occasion. Instead, her version of a light tap sent his eyes rockin' and rollin' around his head like so many pinballs, at least from Apple Bloom's point of view. He came to and the two shared some words before the well renown desert pony made his way into the line, his demeanor having changed to a more subtle and quiet one as he realized the foolishness of his situation. The entire situation, from Joe not having paid attention and getting repaid tenfold by Applejack tapping him lightly on the forehead to his daze as he walked away due to embarrassment put a smile on her face. It wasn't because him getting hurt was funny, because that mostly wasn't funny. It was just silly and all it took to knock Apple Bloom out of her slight stupor was a degree of silliness her sense of humor could get behind and gosh darnit, that was it.

"Ah got tha line naw, Applejack. Dontcha worry 'bout nothin', ah'll make sure nopony gets through unless they're REAL honest ponyfolk," Apple Bloom shouted through her bullhorn, tailing Pony Joe from the rear as he made his way to the back of the line.

Along the way, she gazed upon Rarity's form. Apple Bloom wasn't all together shocked to see her since she was a regular customer and dear friend of the family, but the fact that she wasn't in some sort of fancy get-up was a little stunning. Well, it shouldn't have been but for some reason Apple Bloom couldn't picture Rarity in anything but the finest in unrequired fashions at all times, regardless of circumstances. She sometimes thought that the fashionista was given too free a pass by her sister, seeing as Rarity was fussy enough to drive anypony to madness who had even an ounce of reason. Despite all that she loved the mare like she loved a somewhat distant and fussy aunt who tried to put her in dresses against her will and therefore tried to run away from. Ahh, the joy!

"Howdy thar, Rarity! Y'all rearin' up ta get a kiss and some apples? Dontcha worry, ah won't tell any of tha stallions in town 'bout yer adventure out here," She said, bouncing away before stopping in place and reversing to meet Rarity in position.

"It's been a bit since ya came by, Rarity. Whatcha doin' thats got y'all away from us? Ah've got this great idea for a dress made out of apple sauce, if yer interested later," Apple Bloom said with great earnest energy, her mind having just recently thought up of a beautiful dress that could be eaten if you were caught out in the woods. Heck, maybe ingenious dress designing for survival in the woods was her special talent!

As she briefly pondered this, she noticed Starburst move her way back into line. They were only offering one kiss per bushel but if she bought more bushels, well...no, not after what happened last time. That kiss had been too much, too soon. Apple Bloom started a determined trot to meet Starburst when her ears caught Survey's reply to her earlier discussion with him and was floored. All she heard was one hundred.

Bushels!?

"Wait a minute, ya wanna but A HUNDRED BUSHELS!?" She roared as she galloped up to him and without a care in the world moved him up to the front of the line. She nodded to Astral, accepting her apology before getting up on the table in front of Applejack.

"Applejack, this fella wants ta buy A HUNDRED BUSHELS!" She screeched with terrific energy.

"Why, yer gonna have ta give him one heck of a kiss for that! Maybe even a dinner!" She continued before jumping off, rearing up and down and giggling in excitement. Well, if they sold one hundred bushels like that, then they accomplished their goal well before noon! The rest of the day would be...amazing!

As she reared up, she finally saw what the heck was going on with Silverbolt and how that other dastardly brother was being handled. She could only slap herself silly to make sure she was awake as she trotted towards the scene, trying to will him to come down so she could place her hooves violently through him many, many times. She wasn't a fighter, but as far as she was concerned that pony and his brother were trying to ruin her family. Completely fair game for some kicks in the flank.

"Drop'im and let me at 'em!" She yelled, not an ounce of anger in her as she instead was feeling far too happy at the recent turn of events for any other emotion to come up.

Everything was coming up Apple Bloom!

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The day had been a long one for Cherry Jubilee. She sorely detested the trains, stuffy, noisy things, but it was a necessary evil if she wanted to settle her mind. The past few months, she had been in a personal moral quandry. Applejack, the amazing rodeo pony that she had hired to push through the busy picking season had done the work of three strong stallions, and then blown out of town without even being paid. Now, however, she had been able to get the time off to track her down. Ponyville was a very different town to Dodge Junction, and she had at first been a little overwhelemed at the oddly jumbled layout of the place.

Now, however, she had found her way to the Sweet Apple Acres ranch, where there was quite a rucus going on. She couldn't quite make out everything that was going on as she approached, but to her mind, something highly chaotic. As she trotted along, past the queue of ponies, she noticed Applejack looking rather flustered. She heard mention of a hundred bushels being bought, and a quick, professional's eye count of the stock told her that if that was the case, she would not get to sample the deliciousness that had been offered. And then it struck her. As proud as the pony was, she knew Applejack would never just take her bits. So she could pay her back another way.

"Applejack!" She cried out, her voice carrying all around the orchard. "Ah'll buy yer hundred bushels fer double tha price! Ah've got Apple Cherry Pies that need a bakin, an ah need tha sweetest apples in Equestria!" she said, walking alongside the queue, letting her well-groomed tail waft gently from side to side, teasing it against each pony as she walked past. "An as a goodwill gestcha ta all these fine ponies, in addition ta what yer offerin, ah'll give each an evry onea them a delicious Apple Cherry Pie!" she continued, a contented smile on her face. Advertising for herself, AND the Apple family, as well as paying back her debt. This would settle her unease for sure.

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Survey, merely getting more and more confused by the chaos, could only hear the little filly yell about what he had to get for the expedition. What? It was a big expedition!

''Uhm, yeah.. about.. a hundred bushels..'' he quietly laughed, and kicked the ground. Was it really that much? He only needed a big amount of apples to take on the expedition, And Sweet Apple Acres seemed like a great place to get supplies from, right? ''I.. won't be taking all of them with me, ofcourse..'' he said, chuckling awkwardly. ''There'll be.. uhm.. some ponies picking them up, eventually..'' he adds, before frowning a bit. ''.. i.. think, atleast..'' he adds, before glancing into the distance.

''But regardless..'' he said, as he quietly continued leaning onto the stall. However, after he heard a loud voice call out to Applejack about buying a hundred bushels for double the prize, he stomped the ground. ''Hey! No way! I was first!'' he whined, as he trotted up to Applejack. ''I.. i.. i'll pay trice the price!'' he said, as he glared at Cherry Jubilee, and trotting up to her aswell. ''I need these, for my ..'' he coughed. ''.. or rather, my boss's crew!'' he noted, as he raised his eyebrow at her. ''.. wait, did you say free Apple Cherry Pies?''

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