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[Sweet Apple Acres] 100 Country Kisses (OPEN! 19 kisses remaining)

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Applejack walked into the dining room, where Granny Smith and her little sis Apple Bloom were waiting for her. Applejack had called a meeting. "Alright y'all. Here's the problem. We got a heapin' pile of extra apples sitting in the barn and they are all surplus apples from last week that didn't sell. That big party Pinkie threw for Twilight at Sugarcube Corner in celebration of Twilight's second year living in Ponyville filled so many ponies with cakes and cookies that they musta notta needed to buy their usual amount of Sweet Apple Acres apples. And it resulted in us having all these apples that wont sell and will spoil soon if we don't get them moved on outta here."

Applejack was frustrated. She hated it when the farm's business hit bumps in the road. It was a lot of hard physical labor just to get the farm running at productive levels of profit, even harder when sales figures became affected by the weather, theft, wild animals, and pinkie's parties. Applejack slammed her hoof on the table. "So what are we gonna do? We gotta get these apples sellin' without just givin' them away fer free. Any ideas?" Applejack paused and looked at her grandmother and sister, both of them pretty quiet and reserved, at least for ten seconds. "Anything?"

 

 

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Granny Smith listened intently to AppleJack's words as she stood next to her visiting brother, Uncle Apple Strudel.

"That thar's a major problem!" the elderly mare neighed. "We jist gotta come up with a way to drum up more sales for Sweet Apple Acres, pronto!"

"I've got it, dear sister!" Apple Strudel proclaim as the gray bearded stallion quickly retrieved his tuba. "I could play mein tuba und yodel to bring dee crowds in! Day LOVE mein music und yodeling back in Germaney! I vill show you!"

"NO! WAIT!" Granny Smith yelled as Apple Strudel began tooting on his tuba. The loud, echoing sour-noted OOMPH-PA-PA's from his tuba began scaring all the livestock on the farm, and this got worse when elderly stallion started to yodel. His off-key yodeling was met by the distant howling of timber wolves and dogs. Finally, Granny Smith reached around behind her brother to clamp his snout shut with her hooves. "No offense, Strudel, but I think we need a better idear to sell all them extra apples."

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For all of the crusadin' and problem solving, or making, Apple Bloom found herself involved in on a near daily basis, she wasn't much help here. She had no real business sense and in all honesty she didn't even know what a business sense was supposed to mean. Was it like touch and smell only different? She'd been told it was just being smart when it came to running a business and supposed that made enough sense, but then why call it a business sense? No one said the Apples had great farming sense despite the fact they were the finest orchard folk and farmers this side of Equestria. Or maybe she was just tired and her brain was jump-starting off on the wrong level of power.

She was jolted awake by her great uncle's tuba and yodeling, the sound of which sent shivers down not to her spine, but soul. She loved her great uncle but she felt as if this early morning attack on her hearing was something mighty personal. She sent her hooves to her ears ad through this motion tried to squeeze her head off. Anything was better than death by tuba. However, maybe her brain was firing off randomly or perhaps she smashed her filly brain together hard enough for it to start working, but as soon as the tuba assault ended, the filly jumped up.

"Ah got it!" She exclaimed, beaming with pride.

"We sell eve'y bushel for one bit!" She said, feeling incredibly intelligent. After all, that would get them bits they were being denied. Sure it was a huge discount and sure that meant they were losing money, loads of it, on every barrel, but gosh darn it was better than zero bits and spoiled apples! She mentally patted herself on the back only to realize that she was doing it in the physical dimension as well.

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Applejack cringed at the tuba's blow. Her ears folded back and away, trying to divert as much sound away from the location of AJ's head. When it stopped at Granny's plea, Applejack flicked her ears to find out she had not gone deaf this time. "Heh, yes, uncle, I think we better find a much safer, quiet, way to sell these apples."

Apple Bloom jumped up with one of her ideas. Applejack wasn't about to not include her sister into this conversation. She knew that Apple Bloom wasn't nearly as experienced or old enough to make any kind of real useful suggestion, but Applejack knew she could always use Apple Bloom for moral support. Apple Bloom was easily to be one of the best sidekicks in all of Equestria, just not a business sidekick. "Apple Bloom. That's not nearly worth gettin' rid of all the apples. We'd even be losin' money! Why, it would take more than a single bit of energy just to haul them out of the barn. We need to think of something else, without discounting all the of apples. We need a gimmick." Applejack tapped her hoof on her chin. "Hay! Granny? You could do that dancing routine you know to draw in business! Do you think you could do that?"

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"Er, what.. huh?" Granny Smith muttered before AppleJack's suggestion soaked into the gray mare's mind. "OH! THAT ol' dance routine!"

In an unusual 'burst of speed,' Granny dashed back into the house and then returned, wearing a very dated (and somewhat moth eaten) checkered square dancing dress.

"I ain't done no dancin' in this here getup fer a month of Sundays! Betcha I still got the moves that made me famous back in the day! Stand back, gimme some room to warm up!"

As the others watched, the lime green colored mare began to dance, moving effortlessly on her hind legs for about a minute before a very loud 'pop' was heard that put Granny back on her four hooves, her left hind leg slightly in the air.

"CHARLIE HORSE! CHARLIE HORSE!" she shouted with signs of visible pain in her wrinkled face.

"Fear not, mein sister! I remember vhat to do vhen dis happens to you!" Uncle Apple Strudel neighed as he carefully aimed his right hind leg and then gave Granny Smith a hard (but well placed) kick to her left flank that 'cured' her sudden leg cramp.

"Ah, thanks Strudel," a relieved Granny said, "maybe if'n I had a week er two to work out all the kinks..."

"Vee do not have a veek, Granny. Vee need another solution dat vee can do now! Snell!" the gray bearded stallion neighed as he turned towards Apple Bloom. "Fraulien Apple Bloom, do YOU have a vay to sell all dees extra apples quickly?"

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"BEEEEEP NO. We need a gimmick." That wasn't exactly what Apple Bloom heard, but as Applejack had started speaking Uncle Strudel's musical talents were slowly rininging in her eyes. Everything was still a devlishly piercing buzz as Applejack's mouth hole continued flapping. In order to make out the words, Apple Bloom had to really, really concentrate.

"Hay! Granny? You could do that dancing routine you know to draw in business! Do you think you could do that?" She had to wait a second to put it together and by the time she had, her beloved, aged granny had galloped upstairs and Apple Bloom's eyes shot back and ears flattened. Before she could get back downstairs, Apple Bloom had dove underneath the table. She loved her granny and was sure in her younger years, her dancin' had won her all sorts of attention from ponyfolk. Now, between the tattered clothes and elderly form, it was scary. Not only because of how it looked, the youngest Apple thought to herself as Granny returned and started her dancing, but also because of-

"CHARLIE HORSE! CHARLIE HORSE!"

"Fear not, mein sister! I remember vhat to do vhen dis happens to you!"

"Ah, thanks Strudel, maybe if'n I had a week er two to work out all the kinks..."

- That, Apple Bloom wincing as it went down. If it wasn't for her great uncle, it would have been up to Applejack or Big Mac seeing as how Apple Bloom wasn't well renown for her accuracy. Big Mac and Applejack may have been too strong, and that was almost as bad as being inaccurate when you were kicking other mares and stallions for some wise, sage-like purpose. Apple Bloom had learned that lesson a few times.

"Fraulien Apple Bloom, do YOU have a vay to sell all dees extra apples quickly?" Her great uncle brought her out of her mental stupor, which had afforded her no real ideas. She shook her head like a snowglobe.

"Uhh...." Her mind raced, tracing over any workable paths to success. Suddenly, two different pieces of information- what some school filly had said regarding a relation in the Trottingham Fair and her intense focus on Applejack's lips to gauge what she had been saying- closed ranks together and coalesced.

"Applejack can kiss some ponies!" She blurted out, leaping off of her seat in excitement of finally having a nice idea. It was really nice and she was sure everypony would approve of her amazing idea, and then they would treat her like a big pony! Maybe she'd even get an Apple Sellin' cutie mark!

"It's jus' like a kissin' booth at a fair! One o' mah friends had a cuz of a cuz who had some kissin' booth at th' Trottinham Fair, where somepony would pay for a kiss, like five bits or somethin' ah don't really know, and they'd get a lil' peck on the cheek. Everypony loves Applejack and ah'm sure if we offered some kisses' and told everypony that its real 'portant for 'em to come by and support us, we could sell all dem apples!"

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Applejack should have known better. The orange mare filled herself with regret after giving her granny the encouragement to carryout yet another charlie horse. As uncle Apple Strudel straightened her back out with a firm kick, Applejack rolled her eyes at the continuing struggle to come up with a good idea for selling the apples.

Apple Bloom burst with an exciting idea. Again. This time, she suggested that Applejack should set herself up in a kissing booth in promotion to those sales. Applejack was stunned. "Wh- what!? Where in the hay did you come up with that idea!? Don't be ridiculous, Abby. There is no way in Ponyville I am doing that! Especially with a bunch of strangers. No way. No how." Applejack eye's grew in shock of such a suggestion. It seemed Apple Bloom's lesson learned from setting Big Mac up with Cheerilee left her mind.

But Applejack couldn't just straight out scold her sister without some sort of rebuttal from other family members. When Granny or Big Mac were around, she relied on them to speak the truth of a situation. And many times, such as the apple cider incident, Apple Bloom caused unfavorable stirs in which it was obvious her apple seeds were sitting in too big of a pot. Applejack turned to Granny. "Tell 'er, Granny! Isn't that just the most ridiculous ideah!" Applejack breathed to herself and rolled her eyes. "Honestly. Kissing ponies. That's wronger than a pig wearing a pink dress."

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"Well AppleJack," Granny Smith began to say a little timidly, "I kin remember workin' Kissin' Booth at the Ponyville Fair back when I was yur age. Raised a heap of money fer charity by sellin' LOTS of kisses! If I can recollect correctly, that's how I met, yur grandfather, rest his soul."

"Ja! Kissing booths are VERY popular back home in Germaney!" added Apple Strudel. "Dere vas vone in dee village of Dusselhoof during last year's Oktoberfest Barn Celebration! Many ponies came for kisses, although dee mare offering dem vas Sniztel Hooves, dee Mayor's vife, probably dee ugliest filly in dee entire kingdom! AppleJack, mein dear, you are quite beautiful und I am villing to bet dat vee could sell ALL dese apples FAST if you vere to offer your kisses as a bonus!"

"Strudel's gotta point, y'know," Granny said as she walked up to AppleJack. "Thar's plenty of fellers who'd go head over hoofs fer an opportunity like dis! Who knows? Maybe you'll meet yur own very special somepony that-a way!"

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Apple Bloom's ears lined up against her head as Applejack tore down her idea. She really thought her sister was the smartest, bestest mare in all of ponykind and to see her recoil at her suggestion like that stung a bit. It didn't make much sense as to why she was so against it, since it would raise money and sell apples and wasn't that the whole point? But if Applejack was against it, and was against it this much, that had to mean that Apple Bloom had says something just plain dumb. She was about to apologize for saying something so stupid when Granny and her Uncle shot back with pearls of age-worn wisdom.

They were old, ancient even, like older than some statues she had seen. Why, if they agreed with her, she knew she had to be right, because nopony that old could be so wrong, and when two agreed, that meant her idea must have been really awesome! But Applejack wasn't just some sort of easily lead filly who was going to kowtow to such demands without some solid planning. And while Apple Bloom wasn't the greatest planner in all of Equestria, she had enough competency when it was the equivalent of learning to spell her own name.

"Yeah! You c'uld make lotsa bits and we ca' sell all 'em apples! Ah reckon that if ya offer a kiss, a free kiss at that, for the first one-hund'ed ponies who buy at leas' one bushel o' apples, then we c'uld attract so man' ponies that ah bet we'll hafta start turnin' them away 'cuz we have no more apples!" Apple Bloom shoot off excitedly, jumping up and down as she imagined a line of ponies longer than cider season. That'd be a lot of bits and then they wouldn't have apples go to waste! Yay!

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Applejack couldn't believe it. None of it. First, Granny's timid response was not what she'd expect, however at times she knew that her head was sometimes floating around aimlessly. But then Strudel who, despite his tuba and crazy Germaney accent, was younger and less affected by the effects of aging suggested to Applejack that not only would to be a good idea, but that Applejack was favorable among a line of several mares. She couldn't believe it.

Apple Bloom, first puppy-dogged by the immediate reaction Applejack gave, but then excited and more talkative as she understood that she could be on to something, explained how this could work. A free kiss for a bushel of apples sold. Several ponies would buy into that, even Applejack knew. But for some reason she couldn't straighten her thought process to connect the dot between selling apples, and the immediate country charm Applejack must have known she had always worn. Apple Bloom was right. She couldn't believe it.

Applejack was so reluctant about giving away kisses. She took things like this sort of personal. She wanted to meet a stallion eventually, of course. But she didn't want to do it in a way that made her feel so vulnerable, so unprotected, so... free. However, Applejack knew that this was still a business conversation. And like all apple sales conversations, the goals was always the same, sell apples. And this idea was admittedly one of the best ideas they had in a long time. For Applejack, it was just unfortunate that it involved her sacrificing her private image for a day.

Applejack frustratingly sighed. "Well, if you guys think its a good idea, then..." Applejack was so close to sealing the deal. But she couldn't pull the trigger. Her stubborn pride today had a short fuse, and it was up. "Actually, no. I'm not going to do it! There's nothing you can do to make me. As Celestia as my witness, I will not put my self and my lips in that kind of a situation!" Applejack stomped her hooves down in a short fit. "I'm not gonna kiss ponies and THATS FINAL!"

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THE NEXT DAY

Applejack sat behind a wooden booth near the entrance to the farm. Applejack was positively nervous. She was emotionally exhausted, all from at first deciding not to, to have a fit with herself about feeling guilty about not selling the apples. In all honesty, it didn't take much to convince Applejack to do this, all that was needed was a little time to herself to get over her pride. Today, there would be little room for Applejack's pride.

"So, Abby, I just sit right here and wait? Do you need me to do anything?" Applejack was so nervous. She didn't know what she was doing. The only times she had ever kissed another pony was her own kin, and usually it was on the cheek. Applejack wasn't sure if she should talk to the ponies or say something nice, or thank them. She didn't know anything. And if it wasn't already adorably cute and innocent already, she was asking advice from her little sister who, despite not getting her cutie mark and was still making her way through school, seemed to know more about this then she did. Apparently she did learn a lot from her Hearts and Hooves day mistake.

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"Ya just sit thar and keep on lookin' pretty, Applejack. Then when somepony comes up and pays ya for a bushel o' more of apples, ya kiss 'em!" Apple Bloom replied while fixing up the banner above the stall. It was a simple little painting of Applejack smiling next to some apples, no real different from their normal banner except for the addition of Applejack. She had spent all night painting it and she was plum tuckered out afterwards, but she thought it looked pretty good. It at least didn't look like some sort of weird deformed pony, unlike her first three attempts. The banner fluttered easily in the breeze, cooling down an otherwise hot day. Perfect weather really as far as anypony was concerned.

She was mighty proud of her sister for finally seeing reason. It hadn't taken long for her to crack, though in classic Applejack fashion the closer she was to cracking the more unnerved she became and louder her proclamations of displeasure. But for all her stubbornness, the idea was so strongly supported by the other members of the family for a myriad of reasons that she was whittled down and eventually caved in. It then became a matter of working on the specifics, and seeing her older sister a little uncomfortable was in some ways delicious. She was always so incredibly focused and stable that seeing her unsure and puttering about was heartwarming. It was nice to know that even a really big and strong pony like her big sister wasn't some sort of perfect pony, even if she was as close as one could get as far as Apple Bloom was concerned.

Once they had worked out the details, it became all about working to set it all up. They had to pull the stand out all the way to the front, and once they did that, Apple Bloom had to help fix a few of the panels. Then they had to get all the apples together and pull them up to the stall, which took more than a few hours. By the time they had done all this it had taken up most of the afternoon and so they had decided to do it the next day. Apple Bloom was a little disappointed but that gave her the time she needed to make this just the best money makin', kiss givin', apple vanishin' event ever!

She had started drawing the banner and after a few attempts had achieved success. She then copied the successful banner onto a small piece of paper and wrote down the time it started as well as the offer- "Buy a bushel of apples of get yourself a free kiss by Ponyville's prettiest, nicest, strongest, and bestest mare, Applejack!"- and then snuck off of the farm very late at night. Breaking into the Foal Free Press office had been easy enough since it wasn't like it was locked, and when she squeezed her way out an hour later, she pulled behind her around five-hundred copies of the offer. If she had been given more time she would have loved to make some more and advertise all the way in Canterlot since she was sure then they could have sold the apples at an even higher price, but alas, she had to be content with blanketing Ponyville with the advertisements.

She tucked them under doors, threw them through open windows, used her hammer to nail them onto doors and noticeboards, and let a few fall off onto the ground here and there as well. It had taken a few hours but eventually she had ensured that one couldn't take a gander at nearly any part of the town that anypony gave two apples about without seeing Applejack's smiling face and apples and something about kisses. Tuckered out, Apple Bloom had trotted home and managed to get a few hours of sleep before she was forced awake by that darn rooster.

After that it had been coaxing Applejack out of the house and to the stall as well as last minute repairs and finishes. Apple Bloom had just finished the banner and fell to the ground, stretching herself, when a thought popped into her head.

"Oh! Ah can't believe ah almost forgot!" She squealed before galloping back to the farm house. A few minutes later, she came back with a bullhorn attached to a harness dangling in front of her face. She took her place in front of the stall and cleared her throat before yelling into the bullhorn.

"YEEEEEEHAW! SWEET APPLE ACRES WELCOMES YA TO THA FIRST ANNUAL APPLE KISS!"

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Carrot Fields had a swirl of emotions brewing in his head, a mix of dread, excitement, worry, and hope, and for such a mundane task, too. Carrot's little sister, Purple Haze, had insisted on him picking up a bushel of apples from their neighbors at Sweet Apple Acres today, saying it couldn't wait, that her recipes needed them. It wasn't so much the seeming impatience that seemed unusual; it was her insistence that he had to be the one to get them because "she was too busy with cooking." Carrot just shook his head and snickered at that part. "Poor mister future Purple Haze, "He dinnae ken wot he's fer!"

Normally this wouldn't be a big deal - except that their neighbor, the stunning young orange earth pony mare, Applejack, made him feel very, very nervous. Purple knew very well he had a strong attraction to her - one could almost say, a crush of sorts, something he tried hard to keep a secret as best he could, so as not to make things awkward. Or at least, less awkward.

As he came up the hill towards the barn, already the butterflies took to swarming in his stomach. Maybe she wouldn't be around, maybe he could buy them from Big Mac. The thought didn't relieve him as much as he thought it would. Only one way tae find out, and c'mon Carrot, ye're jes' buyin' a bushel of Apples! She'll ... er ... they'll appreciate it, so dinnae be a dumbtail! Was he talking to himself as his father? This was getting too weird. Then he saw the banner fluttering in the wind.

"Sweet Apple Acres First Annual Apple Kiss!" the banner proclaimed, in letters that looked painted on by a schoolfoal, along with sort-of looked like a pony? The orange color made it a little obvious ... especially with it being right over the stand with dozens of bushels of apples, the adorable lil' foal, Applebloom, and her always beautiful sister. C'mon, Carrot, ye've talked tae her before, just be confident!

Besides, now he was curious as to what he'd just stumbled onto. What was an apple kiss? Carrot trotted up to the booth with faux confidence and smiled, "Aye! Jes' hied over tae dicker fer a bushel an' ye've a party gawn? What're ye fer, then?"

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"I'll tell ya all about it, sonny!" Granny Smith neighed excitedly. "We gotta special deal goin' on today! Buy a bushel of apples and ya gitta FREE KISS from my granddaughter AppleJack! See her over yonder? Ain't she the purtiest thing? Buy some apples and ya git to kiss her!"

"Javol!" added Apple Strudel, "buy dee apples und you get to kiss mein grandniece! And if you like, I vill even throw in some tuba music und yodeling too!"

"Er, no baby brother. We're stickin' with the 'buy a bushel, git a kiss' deal, ok?"

"If you say so, mein sister. But if you change yur mind, I have mein tuba standing by!"

"I'll remember that," Granny Smith said, rolling her eyes as she spoke.

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Reno was doing something special for his Daddies birthday, he was going to buy him apples and then have somepony help him make them into a pie, or a strudel he wasn't sure yet, he figured though when it came to decide he could ask Granny Smith or Uncle Apple Streudel for help in the matter! The cowboy hat that Granny had plopped on his head stayed where it had been, he never took it off! And his heels clicked together every couple of steps as he hopped up in excitement as he returned to the farm.

The Kissing booth was a bit strange to him but he grinned getting behind the Carrot-y looking pony, around his neck was the bag of bits he had earned by working his flank off around town doing odd jobs for ponies "Hi Granny Smith! Hi Uncle Apple Strudel!" He said waving to them both frantically from his place in line, "Hi Apple bloom! Hi Apple Jack..! "He got a good look at the poster before he turned bright apple red.

"I gotta Kiss ya to get some apples!?"

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Lore Weaver trotted up the road towards Sweet Apple Acres. He wanted to get to know more of the town after moving here, and the best place to start would be where he could get food. The unicorn was amazed at how big the orchard was, spanning endlessly in all directions. He wondered exactly how many ponies it took to run such an operation.

Getting closer to the actual barn and house, Lore Weaver spotter a stand with a small line of ponies. Looking closer he saw a sign saying "Sweet Apple Acres Apple Kiss." The unicorn stood puzzled at the banner. What did an Apple Kiss mean? He never of it or read about it.

Then he remembered at a fair in Canterlot there was a Kissing Booth where a pony would pay and get a kiss. He immediately blushed at the thought that this was something similar. The unicorn was not really skilled in love, as much as he tried, and he certainly never was kissed in his life.

Nevertheless, curiousity slightly outweighed embarassment, and he went to the back of the line, waiting to see what would happen next.

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"Oh, uh, alrighty then." Applejack blushed at Apple Bloom's implication that she was pretty. She couldn't disagree, but it flattered her to no end. She always felt this way when ponies said good things about her. She often didn't know how to take it. And at that, she was blushing from a comment her sister made. How in Equestria was she gonna deal with all of the compliments and flattery she might get during the day? For a moment, Applejack thought that she might not have to worry about it, for the sales drought continued, at least for another few minutes.

And then he walked up. Carrot Fields. Applejack's neighbor. The moment Applejack saw him walk up, her heart started racing. Applejack paced in place. A few nervous seconds later, Applejack zipped to Apple Bloom. "No! Ah can't do this! Not Carrot! He's mah neighbor! I'll never be able to look him in the eye ever again!"

Applejack darted behind the booth, crouching to remain hidden. "How am I gonna kiss a hundred ponies? I can't even kiss one!" Applejack took a large gulp as she contemplated with herself. She took noticed at all of the apples that Big Macintosh had brought to the concession. Applejack realized she didn't have much of a choice. These apples had to sell. And if it was Applejack's charm to get to that sales quota, then that's what had to happen. She breathed a recovering to herself. "OK, AJ, you can do this. It's just Carrot, he's not a bad pony. He's a friend, he'll understand."

Applejack peaked up over the booth, and as soon as she saw Carrot, she saw him see her. She bounced up, attempting as casual as a greeting as possible. "Oh, uh, howdy partner! You, uh, come to buy some apples?" Applejack smiled very nervously. In all of the emotion, she was actually very glad to see Carrot. She loved seeing ponies come to her farm. She just wasn't used to it being because of her. Applejack perspired a drop for every pony she saw walking up behind Carrot. A line was forming.

She heard Granny talk her daughter up. Applejack's pelt flushed a red orange. "Yeah, if you buy a bushel," Applejack shook while she spoke, "I'll kiss you." Applejack couldn't believe the situation she was in. And she didn't know how Carrot would take it either. She knew he was pretty shy. "So, what'll it be? A kiss on the cheek? Or," Applejack swallowed her nerves, "would y-you like a k-kiss on the l-lips?"

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100 Kisses left!

(This is not a posting order, just the order in which they are lined up)

1. Carrot Fields

2. Reno Golucky

3. Lore Weaver

4.

5.

6.

7.

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Dunder Blust was in ponyville, he was sent on an important mission: buy some apples. the restaurant where he worked was running low and he himself needed to buy some. The best place to get them was at sweet apple acres.

He was trotting down when he noticed a line starting to form, "DANG IT! THERE MUST BE A SALE!" He said, surprised as he flew over and quickly reserved a spot. He didn;t know that Applejack was also giving out kisses. The only things he saw were the ponies in front of him.

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(Oh i have just the colt for this >;3 newly approved and this is his first thread :D)

Gentle Sol was walking towards Sweet apple acre's cause out of the blue his grand had decided to make a ton of apple pie for a social gathering and wanted a bushel of apples he sighed

"I love ya grandma but you are the second weirdest pony i know." he said to himself as he approached the line, then he saw one of the signs. apple kisses? what the hey are those? he got into line pondering this when he saw Applebloom a filly that went to school with him, he waved to her in a hello.

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The wheels ground round in Carrot Fields' mind as it slowly dawned upon him what was happening here. It seemed a bit surreal, but even the farm's matriarch confirmed that what it seemed like was exactly what was happening, and all the grey earth stallion could do in response was the confirm the elderly mare' assessment of her granddaughter, "Aye, ma'am she ... she certainly is."

Carrot immediately blushed, of course, his shyness taking over beyond his control. The words of the other elderly pony simple went in one ear and out the other as he contemplated the chance that today, of all days, he'd end up here during this event. Roit, this is Purple's doing! Oi dinnae ken how she planned it, but Oi'm roit sure it's her scheme! Oi think a filly needs a bit o' a talkin' tae!

He knew what was happening, as the ponies stacked up behind him while he was blushing like an idiot, but his brain felt like a cart stuck in the mud, going nowhere no matter how you pulled. The all too familiar hat of Applejack was sticking up from behind the counter as she seemed to hide from him. Oh, Luna! Would she really rather pretend, in front of everypony, that she wasn't there rather than to have to kiss him? Don't do this to yourself Carrot, ye two certainly got along well the other day! Of course, that just involved chatting, not kissing.

His nervousness only barely abated as Applejack popped up to ask after his need for apples, wearing the most awkward smile he had seen on a pony in quite some time. "Umm ... Er, a-aye! Me sis, Green Haze, ye remember her, roit? Th' purple filly? No, wait. The green filly, Purple Haze! Course ye do! Anyway, Purple sent me tae ... ah ... b-buy some apples for ye. From ye. Aye. She said Oi needed tae do it t'day." Carrot wasn't sure what was worse - being unable to talk, or being unable to stop talking, but he finally stopped his lips from flapping for a moment.

That moment seemed like an eternity, and his blush because more pronounced when she too confirmed what came along with the apples. He just looked at her, stunned. It was completely different hearing it from her instead of her grams. She seemed so nervous - impossible as it seemed, perhaps as nervous, or more nervous, than him! Instead of answering her question, he just had one of his own, "Soooooo ... Um, ye, are ye really wantin' tae do this? Oi mean, it dinnae quite seem like ye. Oi mean, not that ye're nae pretty, cuz' yer a roit looker, an Oi'd love tae ... Oi mean ... do ye?"

He was just glad he'd managed to somehow manage not to blurt out "lips" the way some bit of his hind-brain was screaming for.

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Apple Bloom continued to bounce around, yelling into the bullhorn in an effort to attract customers from as far away as Las Pegasus with the power of her voice. It started to look like all of her efforts were not wasted, as slowly but surely ponies started to wander their way towards the stand, confusion abound for reasons that the bounding filly couldn't understand. Wasn't it clear because of all the advertisement what was goin' on? Sometines, Apple Bloom thought all the ponies in this town were playing a big joke on her.

First, there was a Carrot. Lookin' at him and Applejack ya'd think that the whole operation would take about four seconds, being orchard folk and all he should know about how such transactions went down. But there he was, hooves anchored in the ground like he was trying not to be blown away by the wind! That didn't many any sense since the wind wasn't all that heavy, a little gust here and then that sent the banner flapping audibly above the stand but there just wasn't any reason for him to be like that. Well, probably because he had a crush on Applejack of the filly's recollection of events when she first met him some time ago were accurate. They likely were, seeing as how big ponies didn't have gaps in their memory until they were older like Granny Smith and as big a pony she was, she wasn't that old. And there Applejack was, acting like some school-age filly with a crush! Shucks, who woulda thunk that her big sister was gonna be such a foal about all this?

Reno came up, and a moment in time came when she briefly considered using the bullhorn to yell her answer right in his face. Colt had tied her up not long ago and seemed mighty proud of that feat, cutie mark or not. She bit her tongue- literally, which produced a small yelp of pain- and then shook her head and put the bullhorn down as she approached.

"Naw, you don't kiss 'er, she kiss's YOU! Buy a bushel of apples, get'a kiss!" She said in a cheerful manner, nodding towards a few ponies that pulled up behind Reno. She didn't quite know them but then again she couldn't be expected to know of every pony in town. Not yet, anyway. She gave them polite nods and a cheery smile-

"WELCOME TA THA FIRST ANNUAL APPLE KISS!"

- And a shout from her bullhorn.

Then she noticed something was askew.

The line wasn't moving.

Apple Bloom looked to the front of the line and sighed. They were both still standing there all silly like, not buyin' apples, finishing any transactions, or kissing! Why, there was just nothing right about this scenario at all. Apple Bloom tossed the bullhorn over her head and onto her back and then galloped right onto the stand.

"ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT! AH SEE THAR BE BE SOME CONFUSION!" She yelled through the bullhorn, utterly inconsiderate of Carrot, Applejack, Granny and her Uncle. She then hopped on top of Carrot's head.

"FIRST, YA STAY IN YER LINE, GET TA THA FRONT, AND PAY FIVE WHOLE BITS FOR A BUSH'L OF THE BEST APPLES IN ALL OF EQUESTRIA!" She belted before jumping on top of Granny.

"GIVE YER BITS TO MAH GRANNY HER', WHO'S JUST THE SWEETEST AND KINDEST MARE YA COULD EVER ASK FOR!" She said, hugging her Granny's skull before leaping on top of Applejack's head.

"THEN, YA GET A KISS FROM MAH BIG SIS, APPLEJACK, THE BEST PONY IN ALL O'EQUESTRIA!" She said, giving an example smooch on Applejack's head. She then jumped off back to the ground and started grunting against a bushel of apples. It took a second, then the bushel was near Carrot Fields.

"AHND THEN AH GIVE YA YER BUSH'L! AHND THAT'S THA FIRST ANNUAL APPLE KISS!" She roared, trotting back down the line, occasionally skipping due to excitement.

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"Yur darn tootin' I'll take yur money!" added Granny Smith, trying to help AppleBloom's sales pitch. "You'll git the best apples in the entire kingdom AND on top of that, you'll git ta kiss the lovely Applejack! She's a big hero pony! She helped defeat Nightmare Moon and Discord! Can't git much more famous then that! Buy a bushel, git a kiss! HURRY HURRY HURRY!!!!"

Apple Strudel watched his older sister in amazement! The elderly stallion was astonished at how active and spry she was today.

"You are doing vell, mein sister!" the bearded stallion neighed. "Und you too, AppleBloom!"

In the distance, a lanky beige furred unicorn with a red and white mane and a red mustache listened to AppleBloom's every word.

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"Zounds!" Flam said to himself. "So the Apples are selling kisses, are they? What an opportune time for me to gain revenge for myself and my dear brother! Of course, that old fogie Granny Smith won't let me a mile near her precious granddaughter, so I must come up with a brilliant disguise."

Fifteen mintues later, Flam quietly got into the back of the line, but thanks to his expert makeup and disguise kit, he now LOOKED like that famous Canterlot jet setter, Fancy Pants!

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"Jolly good! So splended to be with all of you!" Flam said in his disguised voice. All those acting classes he took when he was a foal were going to pay off today! For now, he patiently waited for his turn in line, smiling to all that approached him.

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Applejack's nervousness changed the pitch in her voice. "Um, uh, yeah, heh. We here at Sweet Apple Acres are willing to do whatever it takes to make our customers happy. Today, I agreed to kiss anypony willing to buy a bushel for the cause." Applejack sat back and tapped her front hooves together as she talked timidly. "But, I'll be honest. I'm powerful nervous about it. I don't normally do stuff like this. But, there's a first time for everything. And if means we can sell these grade A apples before they start to go sour, then I'm all for it!" Applejack smiled at Carrot, trying to notice exactly how many apples he would buy and if he'd shoot straight for the bushel. Was he just nervous? Or was he eager? She waited to see his transaction with Granny Smith.

100 Kisses left!

(This is not a posting order, just the order in which they are lined up)

1. Carrot Fields

2. Reno Golucky

3. Lore Weaver

4. Dunder Blust

5. Gentle Sol

6. Phony Pants (Flam)

7.

8.

9.

10.

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Starburst had to pick up a bushel of apples for her Gala celebration, so she might as well pick them up when they were nice and cheap. She arrives rather abruptly and lines up behind a rather rich looking pony.. Quite familiar with Fleur, of course she knew who Fancy Pants was.. But what would Fancy pants be doing in Ponyville of all places? Starburst was here to pick up apples to finish the catering for her celebration.. but Fancy Pants was normally the one who ordered catering.. not one who bought the apples and made it himself..

In fact.. Fancy Pants was most likely going to be watching the play in Canterlot this evening.. What would he be doing here? She brought a hoof up to her face in thought, observing closely his mannerisms. After all.. Fleur would probably want to know if Fancy Pants was swapping saliva with somepony else..

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<p>Carrot Fields felt flushed and shy about the whole situation, but he was intelligent enough to tell that despite what Applejack stood there and just told him, she was clearly uncomfortable with the situation.  It wasn't as if what she was doing was wrong at all - she was a smart, full-grown mare, after all.  He could just see it in her facial expression, her voice, her eyes…  It was more than just this particular sales gimmick, it was because she knew him, knew she would see him often, and knew that he had feelings for her.  It made an already awkward situation even worse.  Of course, her little sister wasn't help the situation any, blaring on about the idea of kissing her, turning that double awkward moment between them to eleven.

Carrot sighed and gave a faint, kinda sad smile, and took five bits out of his saddle bag to place them neatly on the small wooden counter.  "Oi'll be straight with ye - there's nae a thing Oi'd fancy more than yer kiss on me lips ... but if'n it happened, Oi'd want it tae mean sommat.  Nae datin', or sommat like that, jes friends'd be reason enough.  But because ye wanted it."  Carrot couldn't believe he'd managed to say that, and as elegantly as it'd sounded to his ears, even if all four of his knees were shaking just a little bit and he was as red as a beet.

He might be bucking himself in the morning, but he'd said it, and oh, Luna, if Purple ever found out ... But he felt it was the right thing to say.  He smiled to Applejack, then turned over to the stack of bushels, bumped it with his side to make one bushel of Sweet apple Acres Red delicious apples drop onto his back.  "Oi'll see ye again soon, oi hope," he said, then turned down the road and trotted, everything feeling strangely light

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Applejack listened to Carrot's words, which were carefully and thoughtfully articulated in his best Fetlock accent. She was stunned at the stallion's brief moment of confidence, for she had never seen him like this. She had never seen his back so straight, his face and eyes pointed forward. He was sturdy, a firm personality that gave an honest answer back to Applejack straight, just like he said. Applejack was amazed. If not by how he said it, but what he said that made her realize what kind of pony he really is. His words were selfless.

Applejack looked at the developed line of ponies as Carrot concluded his thoughts and turned away. She saw a lot of strange ponies in the line, some she had never met before. Applejack had then realized that she couldn't let Carrot get away. If she really want to pick and choose her kisses, they would much rather be with friends. She couldn't even fathom that understanding before, but now that she had seen it play out, she didn't want Carrot to get away.

"No! Wait, Carrot." Applejack ran up to Carrot, who was carrying the bushel of apples he bought. "It does mean somethin'. It wont be just because a random pony bought some apples, It'd be because you are mah neighbor, a kind, honest pony, and a stallion I'm glad to be friends with. And besides, I'd rather give you a kiss than some pony I don't even know! So uh," Without much hesitation, and no time for Carrot to immediately respond, Applejack leaned forward and pecked Carrot's lips with a light smack, a kiss that as nature would tell was only the fraction of a second in time. "We really appreciate you, Carrot. Thank you for being mah friend, and thank you for buyin' some o' these apples. It means a lot ta us." Applejack walked back to the booth. She was so riveted by the honest exchange. Nothing excited AJ more than two ponies being truthful to one another. It brought her so much relief, that she faced the long line of ponies with a renewed confidence.

"OK! Who's next?" Applejack looked ahead, but saw only the third pony in line. In order to find pony number two, she had to look over the stand. Reno was standing there, his pelt turning a bright reddish color tinted with his natural color. "Oh no, you get a kiss from me if you buy a bushel." Applejack winked. She loved playing around with Reno. He was funny to her, and always reminded her of her own wishes to have her own foals some day.

99 Kisses left!

(This is not a posting order, just the order in which they are lined up)

Kissed

1. Carrot Fields :smug:

Coming up

2. Reno Golucky

3. Lore Weaver

4. Dunder Blust

5. Gentle Sol

6. Phony Pants (Flam)

7. Starburst

8.

9.

10.

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