Let Me Complain, Dear

by Oroboro

Chapter 1: Camping Sucks

“It just... had to be... camping, didn’t it?”

Rarity strained with every step; the straps of the makeshift sled she was pulling bit deep into her shoulders. Her magic had given out hours ago, and it was just a matter of step, by aching, trembling step.

Applejack grunted as the sled skipped over a particularly large rock in the trail, and then looked up at Rarity. “Come on now, Rar. It’s getting dark out. We should find a place to make camp already. It’s rough going, you’re exhausted, and it ain’t exactly safe to be wandering around at night.”

Rarity growled under her breath and whipped her head back to glare daggers at Applejack even as she continued to push forward. “No, Jacqueline, we will not be stopping here for the night. It’s only a few more hours back to civilization, and your leg is going to get infected if we stay any longer in this disease ridden mudhole. We,” Rarity paused, panting as she reached up to wipe the sweat from her brow, “are going to make it home safe and sound... take a nice long bath... curl up in bed together... and sleep for a week.”

Rarity, this ain’t the time to be stubborn. Seriously, it’s not safe.”

“It’s not safe, hmm? That’s not what you said before. What was it again? ‘Oh, Rarity, this camping spot is wonderful! No, it’ll be perfectly safe! You got to pick where we went for our last anniversary, so now it’s my turn!’ We, oof, could’ve gone to a nice, candlelit restaurant with nice music playing. Or even just stayed at home and enjoyed a warm bubblebath with some champagne!” Rarity grimaced, pausing to reach down and adjust one of the straps with her teeth and a mumbled curse.

“But no! It had to be the great outdoors, and ‘the stars will be as beautiful as your eyes, Rarity,’ and ‘the weather is perfect this time of year, Rarity,’ and ‘it’s not that far, just a half day’s walk, honest!’”

Applejack felt her ears begin to burn and her blood begin to boil, and she nearly stood up to confront Rarity, but the sharp jab of the splint on her leg reminded her just how bad of an idea that would’ve been. “We’ve been over this a dozen times, Rar! It was my turn. I’m sorry everything didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. Accidents happen.”

Rarity rolled her eyes and spat on the ground in a very unladylike fashion. “Accidents happen. I could’ve handled that snake perfectly fine with my magic once I calmed down, but you just had to come swooping in to save me, fall down that hill, and break your leg in the process!”

“Well excuse me for trying to save the mare I love! I don’t care how many legs I break in the process, I’ll jump in to save you every apple blasted time!”

Rarity tripped over a root, stumbling to her knees and laying there, panting. With short, pained gasps she watched as the last glimmers of light began to fade away from the horizon.

“Rar, are you al—”

Rarity cut her off with a raised hoof, her horn beginning to glow. “See, it’s dark enough now. With a little luck, we might make it yet.” Pulling on the last reserves of her magical energy, Rarity projected a light into the air, firing it high up into the sky where it exploded into a bright red firework.

“Now we just need one of the weatherponies or someone to see that and come get us.” With a deep breath, Rarity stood back up and took another pained step forward. “Oof. Why do you have to be so heavy!?”

Applejack winced as the sled started up again. “You know, this ain’t exactly a cakewalk for me back here, either. Might be able to get through this a lot easier if you weren’t complaining so much.”

Rarity stopped dead, going completely silent.

Applejack’s ears shrank back as she felt the unpleasant aura from her marefriend magnify. “Uh, look, we’re both pretty stressed out here, and—”

Rarity turned around slowly. “Complaining? You want me to stop complaining? Well, too bad! This is me complaining! I’m hot, I’m tired, every muscle in my body aches, I’ve got bug bites all over, my hooves are cracked, my mane is ruined, I’m absolutely filthy, and these straps are digging into my shoulders.”

“I know that, but—”

“And I’m not going to stop complaining! This is awful! I hate it! I didn’t want to be out here in the first place! But you know what?”

Rarity leaned in close, her eyes boring deep into Applejack’s as she shrank away further.

“I love you, you beautiful orange idiot! And I’m going to keep stepping forward, one hoof at a time until it literally kills me, because I absolutely will not let you rot away out here. And I’m going to keep complaining while I do it, because every scrap of annoyance I can build up in myself is more energy I can use to take another step and get you closer to a doctor.”

Applejack stared, her mouth hanging open as Rarity leaned in and kissed the tip of her nose.

Rarity scrunched up her face as she pulled away. “You taste like sweat and dirt.”

Applejack laughed weakly. “I’m sure you ain’t much better, hon.”

“You’re probably right about that. Now please, let me complain about this in peace so I can focus on getting us home.”

Rarity turned back around and began to pull the sled again in silence; the sounds of the sled scraping against the ground filled their ears as a chill night wind began to pick up around them.

“…I love you too,” Applejack mumbled.

Rarity smiled, a light blush coming to her cheeks unbidden, just like it had every other time Applejack had said it. “Yes dear, I know.”

“Hey, is anypony down there?”

A voice called out from above, and a bright light shone down upon them.

Rarity stopped, raising a hoof over her eyes as she squinted up at the sky. “Ah yes. That would be our rescue. Lucky on our end then.”

“Stay right there, I’ll be back with help!” the pegasus called out before darting back towards civilization.

With slow and careful precision, Rarity undid the straps with her teeth, stepping free from the harness and shaking out her shoulders.

“Goodness, that feels lovely. I’m going to leave everything else in your capable hooves, sweetheart. I’ll see you when I wake up.”

“Huh? I’m not sure what you’re — Rarity!”

Rarity fell sideways, the exhaustion taking its toll as she collapsed into unconsciousness.

Applejack lunged forward, hopping on three legs even as her broken one screamed at her in pain.

“Rarity, come on girl! I knew you were pushing yourself too hard.”

Applejack knelt by her side, and her fear caught in her throat when she saw the peaceful smile on Rarity’s face, the unicorn’s chest rising in slow, steady breaths.

The tension drained out of her and she wobbled, collapsing to the ground to lay her head down on Rarity’s side.

“Ain’t exactly a bed, but hon, ain’t noplace else I’d rather be. I love you.”

Rarity’s cheeks colored and her lips curled up in a slight smile.

Author's Notes:

Thanks to Kalan and KwirkyJ for editing.

New cover art by Dusk-Spark

A one shot I wrote with the prompt of "Get drunk and write something."

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