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Tonight's the Night [closed]


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Rainbow had run the gamut of emotions during the last couple of hours. Her heart had raced for lots of reasons from the fact that she was dressed in a stallions suit to the fact that a certain somepony had given her more than one glance during the dinner. The pegasus tried to keep her composure as she sucked a spaghetti noodle into her mouth. It went mostly ok, unless one counted the fact that a cute little splatter of sauce now festooned her muzzle.


She fidgited her hooves below the table. It was really hard to sit still! She was feeling about as great as she ever had! It was cool to finally dress in something fancy she felt comfortable in but that wasn't what was doing it for her. It was a certain orange apple flanked farm mare. Rainbow couldn't remember a time she hadn't been totally fixated on her friend. Applejack was like the perfect pony for her in every way! She was competitive, she was funny, she was... well, Rainbow wouldn't hesitate to say she was a ten... in fact in Rainbow's eyes AJ was a twenty! Something about the way she tossed her mane to the side and gave that smile of hers... Rainbow tried to focus on her meal.


There were other ponies at the table, all dealing with their own issues. At this point Rainbow only had eyes for one. And, it seemed AJ had the same thing in mind! Finally! After all this time Rainbow thought maybe, just maybe, she had a shot! She had to take the chance. Who know how long AJ would pay her this kind of attention. She clearly remembered what had happened all those seasons ago in the rain. Her wing had been super broken and her hoof duper messed up. She had finally confessed her true feelings for her friend and it hadn't been returned the way she had hoped.


Maybe AJ just wasn't ready before? Maybe she was now? Rainbow could only hope. She couldn't even count the amount of times she had fantasized about the two of them building a life together. Where they would live. How they would laugh all the time. The foals they would have... it would be totally awesome!


There it was again! That look from AJ across the table. She had cocked her head slightly at Rainbow before and then nodded towards the door leading to the porch. This time Rainbow took the hint. She stood up and pushed in her chair.


"I uh, I gotta take care of something..." She blew her forelocks out of her eyes. Awkward. "Be right back!"


Rainbow trotted for the door and stepped outside. It was much cooler out there and the light breeze felt great! The evening was slightly misty and the lighting from the lanterns outside made the porch look sort of magical. The mare tried to calm herself down... would AJ really follow her out? What did she want to talk about?


"Relax Dash..." She muttered to herself, the beauty of the scene outside lost on her in her preoccupation.

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Applejack was uneasy, though others would't know it. She was worried, even if others couldn't sense it. She was unsettled, even if others thought her o the most firm foundation. The last few days had been a whirlwind and she found her views on others challenged to their very foundation. Her cousin wasn't who she thought he was and had a lot more going on than Applejack had thought. Rarity had known- she too was surprising. Prince Blueblood was now Princess Bluebelle, and he-she- too had a lot more in terms of the turning gears of a personality change.


And then there was Rainbow. For many months, ever since that time in the wilderness, she had been wrestling with what was said and what that time meant, what the revelations meant, what the world was trying to say. It would be interesting to say the suit or the questions being asked now had anything to do with it, but it didn't. It was more of how everypony around her was changing, bringing back those same questions, same worries, same unease that she had done something wrong. Done somepony wrong. It was hard to put her hoof on it but even as they had a fun night out, something felt off.


She had been stealing glances over at Rainbow Dash all evening, trying to calm what was inside to no avail. What did she feel? How to describe it? What painfully dull life could she had been leading if she had just accepted what her heart was now telling her all that time ago? Would have been easier, no doubt. Instead here she was, having a blast and helping ponies accept who they were on the inside, while Applejack herself was unsettled. But there was only so much that she could do from this place, in front of the others.


She nodded out once or twice and Rainbow finally took the hint. A few moments after Rainbow left, so did Applejack. "Gettin' some air, sugarcube," she said to nopony and all three in particular before following Rainbow outside.


Rainbow looked uneasy herself, and she had a nice, cute stain on her muzzle. What a silly pony she was. And a lovely one.
"Howdy," Applejack said lamely, not sure on how to start.

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Rainbow took a deep breath. She leaned her front hooves on the railing and looked out. The vantage was nice. Deep green foliage with crimson flowers near the porch railing, opening up onto a lawn. After this the scene broadened out over Canterlot the city highlighted in the dying orange light of the setting sun. The pegasus drummed her hooves on the railing, trying to keep herself calm. Where was Applejack? Perhaps that comment about getting some air meant she wouldn't be following? 


"Aw geez Rainbow...you gotta keep calm...cool!" She tried to smile normally. "Yeah...cool!" She could do cool...right?


It was then that the door to the porch opened and then closed. There were a couple hoof steps and then a greeting.


That "howdy" made Rainbow's heart jump a little. She swallowed hard and then turned to face her friend. 


"Oh!" Rainbow tried to act casual. She crossed one front hoof in front of the other and blew her forelocks away from her face. "Uh, hey AJ. I just uh...needed to get some air. You know? Like you said...inside...at the table..." The words fell rather dumbly out of her muzzle. 


There was just so so so much Rainbow wanted to say. She had held in her thoughts and feelings for such a long time. That day in the mountains was her only chance to let a little of her secrets out. What she had said was the tip of the iceberg. If it hadn't been for the pain and injuries she had endured she would have said more. She would have explained herself. She would have been super awesome and AJ would have fell for her right then and there. As it was her love had been unrequited.


Rainbow had thought up scenes like this before. Her and AJ would be out in a beautiful spot. They would confess their love for each other. They would come close together, and then kiss...


Rainbow shook her head. The thoughts had fogged her mind so quick. It was just that this was so similar and yet so different from anything she had ever imagined.  


"So...what's up?" She tried a weak smile.

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Seeing Rainbow Dash like this was a bit of a hoot. Not the suit and such, though Rainbow probably needed no further confusion on that front. Silly mare was driving herself up the wall for no good reason as far as Applejack was concerned. Usually though Rainbow was one of the most confident and overblown mares this side of the mountain, and was always an aggressive sort who could be counted to put it all on the line. When she was like this, however? Applejack always thought this was more down to Rainbow's core. She exuded confidence and a cool-headed sense of self. But take that away for the briefest of moments and you revealed that underneath that exterior was a filly who needed to lean on somepony, who needed to be assured she was on the right path. It wasn't a flaw, it was charming, and something Applejack liked. Rainbow could be counted on to do her own thing and do it well, but Applejack knew she needed that emotional support once in a while.


Which wasn't to say that Applejack had it entirely under control herself. She was a mess of emotions and desires herself, contradictions built within pathis which crumbled and reformed and mutated and changed as quickly as her mind tried to wrap around them. Recent events weren't helping here there but the truth was she had been unsettled for so long that it became difficult to honestly ascribe any one moment to any one emotion. There was a swirl of confusion and only recently was she able to pull it into something seemingly coherent for herself. In the end, for all of her thinking that it was Rainbow Dash who needed support, it was Applejack who needed help figuring out what her own feelings were telling her. She was with the one pony who could help her out with that, anyway.


"Yeah. Uhh, we needed air. Right," Applejack said none too convincingly, with a smile at the end. She knew how this was going to go. No real reason tp put a stop to it by this stage. Best to just...talk, and let the unspoken finally come out. She asked what was up. "Oh, ya know. The clouds an' such. Tha sun. Well, moon now Ah reckon," Applejack smiled at her own bad jokes, "cousin's a filly who is a colt, that was somethin' new. Prince is a Princess. Friend is a..." Applejack trailed off, wanting Rainbow to finish it and allow the unspoken to be spoken.

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Rainbow dutifully rolled her eyes at the remarks about celestial bodies. Of course she could always leave it to AJ and her bad jokes to lighten the mood. She counted on the farmfilly for so many things and she hadn't even realized how much better she felt for AJ's oh so corny jokes. 


The pegasus tugged at the collar of her tux a little. Though she felt like a million bits in this getup, there was only so long she liked to be all dressed up. Of course it would have been a lot less long if she had been done up in filly wear like AJ was. There was nothing Rainbow liked better than getting home from fancy events like the Grand Galloping Gala so she could she her fancy frills and get back to the freedom of fur and feathers. 


She glanced at AJ again, her mind going over what she wanted to say. She couldn't even peg down the words. Nothing she was thinking would come out right. All her hopes and fantasies had a chance tonight to be let loose and here she was tongue tied. AJ had that effect on her. She often stumbled on her words around the blond mare. Of course she was usually able to cover it up with bravado in the heat of the moment. She lived to challenge AJ because competition flowed in her blood and because well, there was nopony else she would rather spend time with. The fact that they both loved a good contest just made it easier to find excuses to hang out.


When AJ trailed off Rainbow fidgeted for a moment. 


"Friend is a super awesome athlete?" She joked. Rainbow was feeling a bit better now. They just needed to get talking. 


Rainbow headed back for the railing, leaning her front hooves on it and leaving room for Applejack next to her. She glanced over for a moment and found it was comfortable to just gaze out over the Canterlot view as she spoke.


"I get the feeling ponies like us don't exactly fit in at these kinds of places huh?" She laughed a little. "Old Rarity's in her element though! Ha!" She elbowed AJ lightly. "Did you see her eyes bug out when they brought over those puny appetizers. I thought she was going to keel over with all that gasping in wonder and she hadn't even tasted them yet!"


Rainbow took a breath. "Oh and friend is exactly the same pony she's always been by the way," She smiled. "I just feel more comfortable going out in this...maybe because it kinda validates how I feel sometimes."


She glanced over at her friend. "You uh, you look really great tonight by the way," She bit her lip as her eyes returned to the landscape. 

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Right. Well, if Applejack was being honest, she was hoping Rainbow Dash would say fillyfriend or lover or something equally final in terms of making their relationship kickstarted. Would have made the rest of the night go by without any confusion, but there it was. She was going to have to broach the subject herself at some point, she figured, since Rainbow was being being a bit shy on the subject herself. Heh. Wasn't her emotional fallback sort of charming to Applejack? Yeah sure, but AJ would have preferred an easy ingress to the hard emotions of the day. "Yeah, Ah suppose she ain't a half bad athlete, all things considered," Applejack said with a smirk, tossing her neck and mane back in a stretch. Rarity would have killed her dead if she saw the dress stretch like this, but oh well.


On that same subject, Applejack laughed. "Rarity's world is a bit differet from ours Ah reckon. She lives for nights like this. Back when we were jus' little ol' fillies and tha class would go onta a field trip for Manehattan she'd get so plum excited she'd fall asleep on tha way thar. One time, Ah got a warm glass a'water an' put her hoof in it. Hehehe, good ol' Blurry Eyes caught me an' Ah had ta stay on tha train tha whole trip!" Applejack said, remembering how mad Rarity had gotten! Not at Applejack (for long), but at Blurry Eyes for denying 'the simple farmer a little culture in her life'! Filly days were a hoot and a holler, no doubt.


Speaking of doubt- despite what Rainbow Dash was saying, her voice was tinged with just enough doubt to make her confidence...doubtful. No great sin mind you, everypony was entitled to a bit of confliction regarding identity every once in a while. Applejack had her run in with identity when she fled to the city. Rainbow was having hers, though Applejack could see the signs that it wasn't what she thought it was. It wasn't as if Rainbow was thinking herself a stallion. She was thinking herself a bit masculine, and enjoying how stallionware brought that out in her. This was different than Valen. While it came to Applejack's attention after putting it together with clothes, Valen had spent considerable time as a 'filly' and enjoyed it.


The point in the end was that Rainbow Dash was the same pony now as then, which meant that Applejack didn't feel any confusion about who the pony was who confused her emotions so. She looked good in it. And so did Applejack, as vexing as the outfit was. Well, vexing was far too strong a word. Contrary to popular opinion she didn't hold any special disdain for dressing fancy or the clothes that wet with it. She simply performed function over form and dressed only when needed. Came from a life in the fields- comfort and function over form all the time. But she'd have to be a foal to not know she looked great, and Rainbow's compliment brought a surprising blush as a result.


"Thanks, sugarcube. You too, by the way. Yer suit doesn't ride high on yer flank like most dresses do," Applejack said, with a slight waggle of the eyebrow. She sighed. "Does mine, by the way?" she asked, drawing attention to it, before looking away. "Ah guess it doesn't matter as much as being comfortable in tha end. Y'all comfortable tonight? Out here? With me?"

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"Ha! Yeah we sure used to get up to some antics in the good old days!" She giggled. "I can't believe you almost got Rarity with the warm water thing! Too bad you got caught, that would have been so awesome!"


Rainbow felt her face heat up when Applejack asked her to check out her flank. Of course she sneaked peeks at AJ's hindquarters a time or two, mostly out of envy. The farmfilly was just so strong! Being a pegasus Rainbow's muscles, especially the ones used for running, would never be as developed as her friend's. 


"No!" She spoke a little too forcefully as she gave a glance at AJ's flank.


She wished her sky blue pelt did more to hide her blushes. There was no way it wasn't obvious that her cheeks had gone pink. Rainbow flicked her eyes back to the view and tried again.


"I- I mean nope doesn't ride high at all AJ. You've always looked good...in dresses." She just couldn't stop herself from beating around the bush. Why couldn't she just say what she really thought? She could usually force herself to do anything! Here she was, unable to tell her friend how great she looked. How stunning she was. How she made Rainbow's heart flutter when she stretched out her neck by tossing her mane. 


Was she comfortable? Well, no not really. She felt really good, but not comfortable. There was nopony else Rainbow would rather spend time with. Nopony that made her feel as confident as the apple flanked mare did. She loved just about everything about AJ. Her looks, how she smelled, her silly jokes, her athletic prowess. Of course there were little things that annoyed her sometimes, but that just made their relationship all the more fun!


So, she wasn't comfortable, but she was happy. And of course nervous and excited! Super excited! Maybe tonight things would go the way she always hoped they would...


"Yeah, I'm doing great! Super glad to be outside for a while. It's so stuffy in there!" She glanced at her friend. "And of course I'm glad to be with you AJ..." She swallowed.


"Hey AJ?" She looked away it was hard to ask what she felt like asking next.


"You remember that time, in the tent, in that storm...you know...when I was hurt?"

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Oh Celestia above was Rainbow Dash a mess of nerves at the moment. The silly filly could barely utter a few words without tripping all over them in an effort to stay neutral and kind when she sure didn't want to stay very neutral. When Rainbow Dash didn't know how to express herself it would just come out like a confused string of words and acknowledgements that she had a hard time finding the right tone for, like now. Applejack sighed, which helped stiffle the giggle which was trying to get its way out. Ahh, Sugarcube. You could just flirt all easy like and we could get past this, ya know. But of course I'll have to be the one to get us there, probably. Too bad for you I'm no good at it!


Not that this wasn't awkward. It was. The unspoken still hung there and both waited for the other to make their move. If this was one of those projector shows or bad romance novels they'd shy away from saying it too long, or something terrible would happen before they could admit. Maybe a war. Yeah, that. They'd be sent to different ends of Equestria fighting...Caribou maybe? And only years later after all this awful stuff happened would they come back together and finally admit their love. Or one would get sick. Something really emotional and sad and heartbreaking. Luckily this wasn't some silly projector show and she wasn't lazily eating apple crisps next to a sobbing Rarity.


Then the subject started to switch over to a more direct involvement of their feelings. That night in the tent. Well, her memory was a bit foggy- it had been several nights, more than a few, though Dash was out for a number of them because of the pain. Poor filly had hurt wing something fierce. Applejack's quick actions had saved both her flight and career. Being the unnamed "quick-thinking friend" in the reports had given her no small measure of mirth, though the tabloids ran more wild with why and how it had happened. Accusing a Wonderbolt of being a drunkard was an old favorite. Accusing a Wonderbolt of being a drunkard with a lover in the woods was even better.


And how right they'll be soon.
"Ah sure do, Sugarcube. You were more banged up than a drum in a hurricane, and more loaded up with mah hard cider than...well, more than y'all are normally during tha season. How's yer wing holdin' up now, Sugarcube?" She asked, allowing Dash to talk about herself a bit. And then go deepr with what they both really wanted to say.

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Well, bummer. Rainbow had been hoping AJ would go right to what she had professed the night. How the pegasus had confessed to her love for the farmfilly. How she had told her flat out that she loved her. 


It looked like she was going to have to lead this one. Applejack had always been so strong and confident. Rainbow had figured she would be able to take the first step on this one. Apparently Dash was going to have to muster all her courage and dive in!


This was a difficult task. She had already confessed her love once. What if she was rejected again? Well, not exactly rejected. She had to hoof it to AJ, the mare knew how to let down and friend and keep things from getting awkward. The cider probably aided the situation on that particular event but even though Rainbow was disappointed AJ's response certainly hadn't hurt her. They were still the best of friends and always would be. 


She lifted her wing and flicked it out to the side. If there was one thing she prided herself on, and she prided herself on many things, it was her flying prowess. 


"Doing great!" She glanced over again and smiled. "Thanks to you AJ." The smile fell from her muzzle. It was time to get serious. 


There was nopony else Rainbow would trust her wing to, much less her heart. She had already given her love to AJ and though it hadn't been taken up, it was still extended.


"Yeah, that was the worst storm I think I've ever been out in," She changed her eyes to looking back over the view. "I mean it's one thing to be flying through a storm, it's another to be grounded. Well, injured and grounded."


She looked over, her eyes sparkling. "AJ?" She took in a deep breath. "You remember what I told you that first night?" Her eyes moved away. It was too hard to say this and keep eye contact. "How I think you're so totally awesome and how I like being around you so much? How you're the most special pony in the whole world to me?"


Another breath. "You remember how I told you that I love you?"


"Well, it's still true." There that part was done. "I was wondering if maybe anything had changed with you...about that..."

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Applejack allowed herself to feel a small bit of pride in what Rainbow said, the swelling emotions inside of her honest enough to earn a place on her face. She had worked hard to ensure her friend was safe that day and it was always good to know she had done well, especially when her friend's life was indebted to her tremendous physical skills and determination. All Applejack did was ensure that her friend could continue doing the things she was good at.  She would have done it for almost anypony, but for Rainbow Dash it felt...different.  For anypony it was simply about her trying to help. But for RD, the idea that she was going to be lessened by injury was...difficult.


She couldn't really understand how being grounded as a pegasus would feel, but she'd guess it would be like how it felt to have only one hind leg she could buck with. That would hurt the hay out of the harvest something terrible and she didn't know how she'd respond to that. It must have been heck for her friend after the crash, imagining your whole life shattering before your cryin' eyes. Having a healthy amount of cider certainly helped, as it was often capable of doing. Drinking could also get certain emotions across better, which led them to what was said in private. It ad rung around their heads so long since then that Applejack was shocked they hadn't talked it about since. All the better for now, though.


And here it was, finally, coming back around. That slightly drunken night of surgery and revelation. Applejack took a very deep breath and bowed her head. Not that it was because of Rainbow, but now that it was her time to speak, she found herself at a loss for words. Everything was compounding in on her and she felt her mouth go dry. But finally she mustered a response. "Yeah, Sugarcube I remember. I remember tha whole thing an' how sad y'all looked when Ah told you what mah score was. Yeah, Ah remember it all. And..." she took a deep breath, "and yeah, it has changed for me," she said, before pulling Rainbow in close for a kiss.

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Rainbow's heart was beating like a trip hammer. It wasn't every day she had to express her love for somepony, let alone the same pony for the second time! She gazed out over the landscape, watching as the last rays of sun disappeared over the horizon. Celestia had done her job and soon Luna would follow suit. She was about to look over at AJ as the mare began her response.


It wasn't but a few moments later that she felt the pressure of her friend's hoof around her neck and she was being pulled in close.


Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!


Her muzzle met with AJ's as her friend kissed her. For a brief moment Rainbow found herself pulling back and wanting to resist. It was just all so sudden! But as she realized this wasn't something she had forced, it was something AJ wanted, she let herself go. Applejack felt warm and soft while at the same time the kiss was electric. The mare felt a tingling feeling run from her muzzle through her body. She felt all her nerves ignite in the moment as her wings spread rigidly up from her body. She suddenly had enough energy in her to blast right out of the stratosphere!


When the kiss ended Rainbow leaned heavily on the railing in front of her for a second. She looked over at her friend and felt a blush take over her features. She tried to keep her composure, she had to act cool. It wasn't like she had never kissed a pony before! Just a couple weeks ago she and Vinyl Scratch had had quite a dance session at the club, ending with a good night kiss. But this...this was different! 


This was Applejack! Applejack! The mare of her dreams! The mare she had fantasied over since practically the day they had met. And now they had just shared a kiss! And wait, AJ said her feelings had changed! Did that mean she might really have a shot with the farmmare?


"So..uh, so things have changed?" Rainbow blew her forelocks away from her eyes in an attempt at acting cool. "That's awesome!" She gave AJ a sidelong glance. "Maybe we could you know...be a thing?"


She leaned in close, wrapping her foreleg around Applejack. Rainbow's muzzle went to the mare's mane. She smelled of oats, apples, and earth. She was the perfect mare! Rainbow had loved that kiss so much! 


"I hope so,"


She spoke softly before moving in for another kiss. 

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Applejack felt her friend's whole body tense and ease and tense and ease in equal measures alarm, shock, and wonder at what was happening, which fit in well with the idea she was one step from falling to pieces around Applejack. The farmer, for her number, felt her heart hammer away in her chest with reckless abandon as Rainbow returned the kiss with such desire and fear intermixed. Love was confusing and scary and Rainbow had been tussling with these emotions for much longer. It wasn't much of a shock that she was responding the way she was, only that she hadn't broken sooner.


Applejack had been blind for so long. There had been other ponies obscuring the truth and she kicked herself for not realizing it sooner. She had convinced herself that this friendship she had built with Rainbow was simply that, never asking herself why failure or being second best felt so terrible. Their relationship had grown ad over the past few weeks, alone, she had encountered in her waking moments that single monster of doubt about who she loved. It revolved around Rainbow more and more, the orbit of her affections closing in on a collision course- and it had just happened, here and today, against all hope.


They pulled away and Rainbow asked...a silly question. A question so silly Applejack had to laugh, and laugh hard. There was nothing to prevent her from unwinding now and she did, allowing herself some deep belly laughs. What did that silly bird think this was, if not an admission? Applejack didn't know what to say at first because the answer seemed so obvious. But Rainbow was probably just leaning a bit on the cautious side so as to leave no room for error. Sort of like doing a trick, perhaps, where you wanted to leave no questions unasked in the lead-up. Or maybe Dash never asked those questions and just did it, who knows. Rainbow moved in for another kiss, and Applejack accepted it. After a few moments, she pulled away.


"If that don't answer your question Sugarcube, you really are hopeless," she said with a smirk.

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