Completely Platonic

by Bad_Seed_72

Chapter 1: Misplaced Shipping Goggles

Misplaced Shipping Goggles

Caramel knocked on the door to the Apple family farmhouse three times. Stepping back, he looked around, wondering if anypony had followed him here. Dawn had yet to break over the horizon; only the most industrious of ponies would be awake at this ungodly hour. Celestia bless their foalish souls.

When nopony answered the door, Caramel began to feel a little nervous. What if Big Mac had overslept? Maybe he had stayed up too late? Maybe he was hurt or sick? Worse yet, what if he was hungover?

Caramel shuffled from one hoof to the other, trying to relax. Nevertheless, terrible possibilities ran rampant through his mind. Visions of Big Macintosh being bucked in the head by a distracted Applejack or an over-eager Apple Bloom filled his head. These were followed by visages of the poor stallion throwing his back out, forgetting how to swim, or eating those special mushrooms that grew in the south orchard, then trying to fly.

Caramel’s therapist called this catastrophizing. Then again, that old coot was just charging him 150 bits an hour to say, “I see,” or “How does that make you feel,” so what did he know?

Thankfully, the door eventually opened, pulling Caramel from his horrifying daydreams. He grinned broadly when he saw who had greeted him.

Big Macintosh, weary-eyed but conscious, smiled softly. “Mornin’, Mel.”

“Good morning, Mac!” Caramel sauntered over and threw a forehoof around Mac’s neck, nudging him in the ribs as he asked, “You ready?”

Big Mac looked around, narrowing his eyes through the morning mist. “Were ya followed?”

Caramel looked over his shoulder, then frowned. “I… I don’t think so.”

Gently removing Caramel’s forehoof from his neck, Big Mac said sternly, “Mel, we’ve talked ‘bout this. Ah don’t want anypony seein’ us.”

Snapping his head back around, Caramel gasped. “Mac! Do you really think that I of all ponies wouldn’t know to keep this a secret?”

Shutting the door behind him, Big Mac stepped out onto the porch and joined Caramel. “Ah know. But ya know how Ah worry sometimes.” Sighing, he shook his head. “If anypony found out, well, Ah jus’ don’t know what Ah would do…”

“Hey.” Caramel patted him on the shoulder. “Look at me, Mac. It’s all gonna be fine,” he insisted, teasing a smile from the nervous stallion with one of his own. “Now…” Lowering his eyelids, he nudged his head towards the barn. “Are you ready?”

With a nod, Big Macintosh uttered his trademark response, “Eeyup,” then followed behind Caramel.

The two stallions trotted side-by-side, standing close enough that their tails almost intertwined, towards the barn. On this misty morning, they believed themselves to be alone, as they always were, as they always would be.


“Are you ready now?” Caramel asked.

“Ah think so.”

“Hmm. That looks pretty big, Mac.”


“Are you sure it’ll fit?”

Big Mac laughed. “Oh, Ah’m sure.”

Rainbow Dash pressed against the side of the barn, unable to believe what she was hearing. Wide-eyed, she brought a forehoof to the side of her head and tapped, shaking loose some errant wax. Still the laughter of the sly stallions filled her ears. Covering her muzzle with her forehooves, she remained still, hoping that the two hadn’t heard her sneaking around.

Dash had tried to ignore the two at first, since the two lugs had woken her up from her post-sleep-nap, but curiosity had gotten the best of her. She’d always had her suspicions about those two.

Caramel and Big Macintosh were so close, and had been for as long as she’d lived in Ponyville. Never had she heard or seen the two show any interest in mares, unless Dash counted that one time Caramel had lunch with a pegasus from the Ponyville Weather Team during one of the CMC’s song-and-dance routines. That had also been the only day Big Macintosh had appeared to be even remotely into a mare. Unfortunately, that had been invoked by the same fillies drugging the poor lug.

Either way, when the barn door slammed and woke her from the first of many in a long line of well-deserved naps, Rainbow Dash decided to investigate. The more she heard from inside, the more she couldn’t help but mutter into her forehooves, restraining herself the best she could, ”I knew it!”

Caramel whistled from inside the barn. “Wow, Mac. That’s a really big one.”

Dash blushed furiously, bringing her forehooves to her cheeks. The slim possibility that Big Macintosh played for both teams crossed her mind. Celestia damn it, she hoped that was true. She’d always admired his freckles and green eyes...

“Are you sure it’s gonna fit?” Caramel asked again.

“Hmm… Let’s try it,” Big Mac said with confidence, flooding Dash’s mind with even more shameful thoughts. While the sun hadn’t fully risen yet, it was certainly getting hot outside.

There was a pause, then a shuffle of hooves, followed by a ruckus. Ponies getting into position, Dash thought with an anticipatory shudder.

Dash waited, an ear pressed against the side of the barn, a hoof resting on her thigh, eagerly awaiting what would come next.

After a moment of more commotion, Caramel let out a low grunt. “Ahh…”

Sweat dripping down her brow, her treacherous wings ready to rise, Rainbow Dash bit down on her forehoof and willed herself to be quiet, quiet, quiet, and not ruin this moment, the way she had with—

“Nope, it ain’t gonna fit, Mel.”

Dash’s eyes shot wide open.

The hooves were moving again, along with the rush of commotion. “Nope. No way that’s gettin’ in there.”

Horrifying mental images flooded Dash’s mind. There was no way she would—

“Even with the lubricant?” Caramel asked.


“Aw, come on,” Dash muttered from under her breath. Moving her forehoof from one flank to the other, she shook her head and scowled. “Why don’t you tr—”



Dash spun around and came muzzle-to-muzzle with Applejack, her emerald eyes burning with rage. The farmpony’s freckles glistened with sweat as she stomped a hoof on the grass. “Ah saw you nappin’ an’ spyin’ up there! What the hay are you doin’ back here behind ma barn?!”

Dash swallowed, trying to close her stiffened wings. “Uhhhh… Well, I, um—”

From within the barn came the low thud of hooves hitting floorboards. Applejack tore her eyes away from the ashamed pegasus. “What in the hay—whoa nelly!”

Pulling Applejack away, Rainbow Dash quickly led her away from the barn, shushing her. “AJ! Mac and Caramel are in there!”

Applejack’s eyes widened. “What?!”

“Yeah! They’re, like… doing something in there!” Try as she might, Rainbow Dash’s wings refused to fold back to her sides. With a deep blush on her muzzle, she added, glaring at Applejack, “And you came just when they were getting to the best part!”

If Applejack had fire in her eyes before, she had a full-blown maelstrom of the flames of Tartarus now.

Wrestling out of Dash’s grip, Applejack let loose a low growl as she spun on her hooves. “Ah knew it! Ah jus’ knew it!”

“Applejack, wait!” Dash reached out too late.

Applejack charged towards the barn’s double doors, snorting hot steam through her nostrils. “Ain’t nopony gonna be buckin’ in ma barn! No way, NO HOW!”

Bringing her forehooves to her mane, Dash shook her head and groaned, then hurried after Applejack.

Applejack kicked the barn door open with a powerful buck of her hindhooves. Spinning around as soon as she felt the cool air from inside pass over her fur, Applejack called out, “BIG MAC! CARAMEL! GET YER HIDES OUT HERE!”

Cursing her misfortune under her breath, Rainbow Dash joined Applejack’s side, then gasped. Applejack did, too.

Caramel glanced over at the mares. “Yes? Can we help you?”

Big Mac looked at his sister. “Everythin’ alright?”

Her lip quivering, Applejack pointed from Big Mac to Caramel. “Y-y-you… You t-two were…W-were…”

“Were what?” Caramel asked, stepping towards her.

Between the two stallions was a large wagon. Well, that’s what it must have been before the two had their way with it. The standard-size wheels had been removed. Four monstrous replacement wheels, their rims shiny with lubricant and paint, sat nearby. The side-panels had been torn apart, along with the wagon’s tongue and axles. Steel panels, along with a set of tools and oil, rested beside it.

Applejack’s left eyelid began to twitch. Rainbow Dash’s blush faded, replaced with a blank expression on her muzzle.

Big Macintosh gestured to the wagon. “Er, sorry, sis. Caramel an’ Ah were kinda keepin’ this a secret.”

When neither of the mares responded after almost a minute of thick, awkward silence, Caramel explained, “Considering that this year’s Canterlot Chariot Race won’t be for a few months, we thought it would be best to get a hoof up on the competition. We’ve been hiding this wagon here in the barn so nopony would steal our design.”

The mares stared at them, silent and still but for the continued twitching of Applejack’s left eyelid.

Caramel rubbed the back of his neck. “Ah, heh, heh… Um… Sorry for, uh, you know, not telling anypony. But, um, could you keep this a secret?”

At last, Rainbow Dash broke free from her trance. Blinking, she asked, “K-keep what a secret?”

“Well, the wagon, Miss Dash. If you’d be so kind,” Big Mac said as he brought a forehoof to his chest and dipped his head.

“Uhhhhh…” Dash turned to Applejack, who was still giving that thousand-yard stare, before slowly nodding to Big Mac. “S-sure, Mac. Whatever.”

Big Mac smiled widely. “Why, thanks, Miss Dash. Ah really appreciate it.”

Dash swallowed and nodded. “Y-yup.”

Placing a forehoof on the side of the wagon, Caramel whistled, then looked over at his friend. “Well, that was sure a tight fit, but it looks like we managed t—”

“Are you buckin’ kiddin’ me?!”

Three sets of eyes snapped to Applejack.

Her hooves shaking, Applejack stomped towards her brother with narrowed eyes. “All y’all were doin’ in here was workin’ on a wagon?!”

Big Mac took a step backwards, narrowing his eyes in return. “AJ…”

Applejack pointed at Rainbow Dash. “This one said y’all were… were—”

“Were what?” Caramel asked again, raising an eyebrow. He glared at Dash. “What did you think was going on in here?”

Dash’s wings twitched. She avoided his gaze as she rubbed her neck, darting her eyes around the barn. “Uhh… Well, um, I—”

Though Big Macintosh continued to step back, Applejack was too quick for him, reaching his muzzle before the stallion could escape. Grabbing his muzzle with her forehooves, Applejack yanked him forward, then hissed through her teeth, “She said y’all were buckin’ in ma barn!”

Silence passed through the barn again, nopony moving a muscle.

And then, without warning, the two stallions cracked.

Big Mac broke free of Applejack’s grip and stumbled over to Caramel, laughing deep belly laughs. Caramel, chuckling heartily, meandered over to Big Mac. The two threw their forehooves across each other’s shoulders and continued to guffaw, while Applejack just stood there, red-faced.

Rainbow Dash, however, couldn’t contain her silence for much longer. Her muzzle contorted into a twisted sort of smile before she finally threw her head back and started laughing. “Bwahahahaha! Hahahaha!”

Before Dash knew it, she was rolling on the ground and in the hay, tears blurring her vision. This only made the stallions laugh harder.

Frozen in place, Applejack just stood there, becoming as red as her brother’s coat. Steam billowed from her nostrils, and if it weren’t for the Stetson on her head, she might have literally blown her top.

Pppppft!” Caramel staggered and leaned against the wagon, Big Mac’s forehoof draped over his chest. “She t-thinks we’re… we’re… Bahahaha!”

Big Mac whooped and smacked his friend on the back. “Oh, Celestia, AJ! How could ya t-think that w-we…” His words trailed off into snickers and howls of laughter.

Both stallions leaned against the wagon for support, the larger of them pressed against the smaller as they continued to laugh at Applejack’s expense.

Finally, Applejack took a deep breath and raised a forehoof, then said through clenched jaws, “It. Ain’t. Funny.”

Wiping tears from his eyes, Caramel glanced over his shoulder at Applejack. He shook his head and snorted. “H-how couldn’t it be? You really thought me and Mac were—”

“Well, why don’t ya blame this one then an’ laugh at her?!” Applejack demanded, pointing repeatedly at Rainbow Dash.

Rainbow Dash rolled over and shakily rose to her hooves, bits of hay falling from her fur and feathers. “Heh heh, well, AJ, you were the one saying, ‘Aye knew it! Aye jus’ knew it!’” she countered in a faux-Apple accent.

Big Macintosh ran a forehoof through his mane as he climbed down from the wagon and off Caramel. “Hoo-ey. Wow. Wait…” He stepped towards Applejack, a stern frown on his muzzle. “Ya really said that, sis?”

“Ah… Well, Ah…” Applejack’s raised forehoof fell to the floor. Immediately, she looked away from her brother and his friend and stared out the open barn doors instead. The wild blue yonder certainly looked inviting right now.

Caramel’s muzzle fell. He joined Big Mac’s side, shaking his head. “Really, AJ? I thought you of all ponies wouldn’t judge Mac and I like that…”

Applejack’s ears flattened as she looked at Caramel. “Well! Ah! Um, ya see—”

“Oh, come on!” Throwing her forehooves in the air, Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “It’s not like you two don’t make it obvious or anything!” she said with a sarcastic edge to her voice.

“Make what obvious?” Caramel challenged.

“Well! You know!” Able to close her wings at last, Dash put her hooves down and explained, “Always hanging out with each other, standing close beside each other when other ponies are around, getting really close! You know, that stuff!”

“Sounds like what friends do to me.” Caramel crossed his forehooves across his chest.

Big Macintosh nodded and stood beside him, then clicked his tongue at his sister. “Really? This is why y’all think this?”

Applejack rolled her eyes and huffed. “Well, Mac, when neither o’ ya ain’t showin’ any interest in mares, what else do you expect us ta think? An’ it’s been this way fer years!”

Caramel groaned. “So what? Stallions aren’t allowed to have other stallions as friends?”

“No, it’s not that!” Dash rolled her eyes again. “It’s just, you know… Maybe there’s a reason you two are always hanging out, know what I mean?”

“Well, if that’s the case,” Caramel began, trotting up to the mares, “then I’m sure you two have something to tell us…”

This time, it was Applejack who took a step back, giving Caramel a sideways-glare. “An’ what does that mean?”

Caramel grinned and nodded at Big Mac, who grinned back. The two chuckled, prompting a glare from the pegasus as well. “What? What’s so funny?”

Clearing his throat, Caramel replied, “What’s funny is that you two are saying there’s something going on with us when, by your own logic, you two should have already been married by now!”

WHAT?!” Applejack and Rainbow Dash shouted in unison, eyes wide.

“Eeyup,” Big Mac chimed in. “Ah mean, maybe there’s a reason Dash is always nappin’ over Sweet Apple Acres an’ why y’all are always fightin’. An’ why Dash tried ta kiss AJ when—”

“I didn’t kiss her!” Dash ran over to Big Macintosh and grabbed both sides of his muzzle. “I-I didn’t! I was just trying to pose for the camera! Like this! See?!” she insisted, pressing her face against Big Mac’s cheek.

“Git off me!” Big Mac shoved the pegasus away, making her yelp.

“I think we’ve proved our point,” Caramel said with a smug grin, turning to Applejack. “If we’re coltcuddlers for hanging out with each other, then you two are fillyfoolers for hanging out even more. And, hey, while we’re at it, maybe there’s something between Twilight and Spike, right? Since they spend so much time together and all?”

Applejack swallowed. “Uh, heh, heh… Well…”

“Uh, well, Twilight and Spike kinda live together,” Rainbow objected. “So there goes that theory. They’re basically, like, family, you know.”

“Doesn’t stop some ponies,” Caramel muttered.

“What was that?” Big Mac asked.

Caramel looked up at him with a sheepish smile. “N-nothing!”

“Well, anyway, I don’t know about you two, but AJ and I are just friends. Right, AJ?” Rainbow Dash added with a smirk, throwing a forehoof around her friend’s neck.

Adjusting the brim of her Stetson, Applejack shot a quick glance between Caramel and her brother, then looked to her friend. “Heh, heh, o’ c-course! We ain’t f-fillyfoolers, right, Dash?”

“No! Of course not!” Rainbow shot back, wiping her tongue off with a hay-covered forehoof. “Not at all!”

Applejack smashed her hat back on her head. “Well, sounds like that’s settled! Y’all ain’t gay an’ neither are we! We’re all jus’ friends an’ anypony would be foalish ta think otherwise!”

Big Mac nodded. “Eeyup.”

Caramel smirked. “Mmhmm.”

Before either stallion could reply further, Applejack grabbed Rainbow Dash by the forehoof and yanked her towards the barn doors. “C’mon, Rainbow! Let’s go an’, uh, find us some stallions ta date! Yeah! Stallions!”

Nodding rapidly, Rainbow agreed, “Sounds good to me! See you guys later!”

In a flash of prismatic tail, dust, and hay, Rainbow Dash and Applejack were gone, leaving the two stallions alone in the barn.

A heavy but welcome silence settled amongst them, leading them to turn and smile at each other. It was still morning. There was still time.

“They’re finally gone,” Caramel whispered, sighing with relief.

“Eeyup.” Big Mac winked.

A coy smile spread across Caramel’s muzzle. “Now… where were we…”

“Right here, big guy,” Big Mac whispered back as he picked up a wrench.

Caramel took the wrench from Big Mac in his mouth.

Their eyes met. Neither could deny the truth any longer.

This was going to be the best wagon the Canterlot Chariot Race had ever seen.


A few hours later, Big Macintosh and Caramel finally pulled away, their bodies covered in glistening sweat. The barn was in complete disarray, the air thick with the hanging scent of testosterone. While the two of them had had mornings like this far more frequently as of late, nothing compared to what had happened since Applejack and Rainbow Dash had left them alone.

It was beautiful.

Big Macintosh wiped at his coat with a rag and looked over at Caramel. “That was amazin’, don’t ya think?”

Caramel rubbed his aching flank and nodded, grunting in slight pain. “I didn’t know it could last that long… but it did.”

Looking up at the finished wagon, the two couldn’t help but smile and share a sideways-hug.

Thick panels of reinforced steel covered the previously vulnerable side-paneling of the wagon. After much effort and coaxing with lubricant, the new, larger wheels had been fitted onto the wagon. The tongue and axles had been replaced with parts made from a stronger type of wood, then painted and covered with a thick coat of varnish. The wagon’s body had been painted with shades of red and tan, along with two emblems: a green apple and a trio of horseshoes.

“Eeyup. Ah knew ma ol’ apple cart would be a great wagon ta enter in the race.” Big Mac pulled away and offered Caramel his hoof. “Ain’t that right?”

Caramel bumped the offered hoof and nodded, grinning widely. “You got that right, Big Mac.”

Big Mac laughed and turned around, beginning to gather his tools and put them away. “Always the positive one, ain’t ya, Mel.”

Caramel chuckled. “Of course. Though… I gotta say…”

“Say what, Mel?” Big Mac asked, putting his hammer away.

“Well…” Sighing, Caramel looked around the barn and the various stains they had made: oil, wheel and axle lubricant, varnish, and others matted what little hay remained strewn about the barn. “Somehow, even after we get this cleaned up, I feel like we’re gonna get in trouble for it.”

Big Mac snorted. “Why would ya say that? It’s ma barn, too.”

“True, but… I’ve seen Dash and AJ heading in here some nights, and I have a feeling they won’t welcome the stains…”

Shaking his head, Big Macintosh put down his tools, then glanced over his shoulder at Caramel. “Ah’m sure they can deal wit’ it, Mel. Don’t ya wor—wait a minute.

Caramel took a step back as Big Macintosh brushed past him. “What’s wrong?”

“Ah knew it,” Big Macintosh muttered under his breath. “Ah jus’ knew it…”


“So, Applejack, uh… Why are we meeting in here again?”

“J-jus’ shut up, will ya?!”

“Okay, okay! I’m sorry.”

“S’fine. Ah jus’... Ah jus’ don’t want anypony findin’ out.”

“Oh. Oh. Gotcha.”

“Rainbow Dash, don’t ya look at me like that. You an’ Ah both know why we’re in here.”

“Right, right… Yeah… Can’t exactly tell anypony else about this.”

“Nope. Ah’m not ready.”

“Me neither.”

“Well… Are ya ready fer right now, sugarcube?”

“Oh, you’d better believe it, AJ…”

The barn doors flew open, shining moonlight over the two mares. Applejack and Rainbow Dash flinched at the light, gasped, and turned away. Before they could escape to the second floor of the hayloft, a deep, baritone voice stopped them in their tracks.

“Applejack… jus’ what do ya think yer doin’ in here?!” Big Mac demanded, his eyes wild with fury, his hooves tensed and ready to spring.

“Big Mac!” Applejack spun around on her hooves, covering her muzzle with her Stetson. “Uh… well… Ah…”

Rainbow Dash chuckled weakly, blushing as she looked up at the enraged stallion. “Um… Big Mac… It… Uh… It isn’t what it looks like…”

Between the two mares lay an assortment of My Little Human dolls, along with doll clothes, accessories, brushes, combs, and a three-story dollhouse. All of the toys and accessories were painted with bright, neon colors. The two dolls, “Jackie,” and “Dashina,” laid on top of one another, locked in a twisted embrace. Without wings, horns, hooves, or fur, the toys were a carnival of horrors on their own—the stuff of nightmares.

Of all the worst possible things that could happen, this was definitely the worst possible thing.

Big Mac stomped towards them, his eyes narrowed. “AJ… Are ya rea—”

Applejack avoided his eyes, her muzzle a deep scarlet. “Ah! Ah can explain! Ah swear!”

Rainbow Dash groaned and brought her forehooves to her muzzle. “I knew I shouldn’t have started sneaking out with you! Now everypony’s gonna find out I’m a, a—”

Applejack ran over and covered Dash’s muzzle with a forehoof. “Don’t you say it, Dash! If ya don’t say it, it ain’t true!”

Big Macintosh shook his head. “An’ y’all thought me an’ Caramel were the gay ones…”

Behind him, a gentle voice asked, “Me and you were what?”

Applejack glared at her brother. “Wait, why is Caramel wit’ ya this late, Big Mac?”

“No reason,” the stallions answered in unison.

“Why are you and Rainbow Dash playing with little fillies’ toys in the middle of the night, Applejack?” Caramel asked in return.

“No reason,” the mares answered in unison.

“Ah see. Have we reached an understandin,’ then?” Big Mac asked.

Everypony nodded.

“Right, so…” Caramel nudged Big Mac in the side. “I, uh, guess we’ll be on our way then…”

“Eeyup,” Applejack said, stepping close to Rainbow Dash, who nodded.

Big Macintosh closed the barn door and stepped out with Caramel, leaving Applejack and Rainbow Dash behind.

A few hours later, the mares cleaned up and left the barn.

Nopony ever spoke of this again.

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