Time's Supposed to Heal Ya

by NoNumbers

Chapter 1: But I Ain't Done Much Healing

Hey Anon, how have you been?
It’s been years since I’ve seen ya.
I was wondering if you wanted to meet up sometime and talk.
They say that time’s supposed to heal ya, but I ain’t done much healing.

You look over the letter from Applejack for what must be the hundredth time that day. It's been a while since she sent you a letter. She used to send you one almost every week shortly after you moved out of Ponyville. Though, as time went on, the letters became less frequent. You think part of that has to do with the fact that you didn't reply to a single one. You could never really figure out how to respond to any of them. Breaking up with someone usually does that to a person. Especially when it wasn't a mutual thing.

This isn't something you want to think about right now. You have other things to do anyways, like…




You sigh and walk over to your desk in the living room of your apartment in Canterlot. Opening one of the drawers reveals an unsorted stack of papers with messy hoofwriting all over them. With a sad sigh, you place the most recent letter on top of the pile and close the drawer. Maybe it's time for a walk around the city to clear your head. You put on your shoes and step out the door of your apartment.

Celestia's bright afternoon sun shines down upon you as you leave the complex. God you wish they sold sunglasses that fit you in this stupid world. Squinting your eyes, you look around at the hustle and bustle of the city. Ponies are going every which way, entering and exiting stores and businesses. Your eyes catch a few happy couples with their hooves around each other as they walk. You turn away and huff in annoyance. It's probably best if you just ignore all the other ponies.

Just look straight down at the ground. Don't worry about the other ponies.

Unfortunately, the walk isn't really doing much to keep your mind off of... her. You suddenly feel a flare of anger from within as you think of that letter.

"They say that time's supposed to heal ya, but I ain't done much healing."

Is she serious with that? She's really going to act like she's so goddamn pained when she knew damn well how everything went down?

Fuck her.

After passing by a few blocks, you decide to loop around back to your apartment. Obviously, this walk was a bad idea. As you walk up the stairs leading to your apartment door, you freeze at the last step as your eyes come across a familiar mare knocking on your door. For a split second, your mind screams at you to turn around and continue your walk around the city. However, something in the sad mare's eyes keeps you from doing so. You decide to make your presence known.

"Hey Applejack,” you say somewhat tersely. She jumps straight up in the air with a loud gasp, startled by your sudden greeting. She turns to you and shoots you a sheepish grin. You can't help but notice her trembling hooves.

"O-oh, um, howdy Anon,” she stutters out. You sigh loudly. After all these years, the last thing you expected to see was Applejack knocking on your door. The last thing you wanted to see was Applejack knocking on your door.

"What are you doing here, Applejack?"

You don't even try to hide the malice in your voice. She subtly shrinks towards the floor. Her ears lazily flop downwards. Her eyes grow wide and sad. Goddamn it why does she have to look so cute when she's upset?

"Um," Applejack began cautiously. "W-well Ah happened to be in the city, and Ah guess Ah wanted to see ya." She gently brushes a hoof on the ground. You internally roll your eyes.

"Just happened to be in the city, huh?" you ask with a slight edge to your voice. She nods slowly, refusing to meet your accusing eyes. "And what brings you to the city?" She keeps her eyes to the floor.

"Business stuff." She was never good at lying.


The two of you awkwardly shift your glances, each trying to avoid the other's gaze. For a moment, you consider inviting her inside. That thought is quickly pushed away. It wouldn't do either of you any good.

"So... how're you?" she asks. You could barely hear her soft mumbles.

"Fine," you say simply.


More awkward silence. It's more than you could take.

"Well, I... it's..." You stumble with your words slightly. You take one last look at the sad pony in front of you. "It was good seeing you Applejack. Take care." You fumble for your keys and push them into the lock. Not wanting to face Applejack anymore, you force your vision onto the lock. Before you could open the door, you hear a light sniffle.

"S-so, that's it then? Not even gonna invite me inside after all these years?"

Finally, your eyes meet Applejack's. Your heart drops at the tears spilling from her emerald eyes. You can remember a time when the last thing you ever wanted to see was the sight of Applejack crying. Applejack was always a happy pony. She never cried. She was a tough pony. And yet, here she is. Sprawled out in front of your apartment desperately trying to hold in her sobs. As much as it hurts to see Applejack in this state, it does nothing to deter your thoughts from your own pain. You sigh once more and speak in a softer voice.

"Well, what exactly did you expect AJ?" She sniffles once more.

"Ah was expecting a friend," she insists with slightly angry eyes boring into yours.

That stung.

That stung hard.

The softness of your voice vanishes in an instant and is replaced instead by hurt and anger.

"Yeah, well, sorry but you're gonna have to look elsewhere," you say furiously. "Have a good night." You turn away from the apple pony and open the door to your apartment. You try to throw the door shut as quickly as possible, resolving not to look back at Applejack. The loud slam you expected didn't come. You look back at the door and spot an orange hoof blocking it from closing.

"Wait, Anon please." The door slowly opens revealing the hurt pony you despise. The hurt pony you love. You don't say a word. You merely stare angrily at her. She shrinks once more at your gaze, but your furious gaze doesn't keep her from speaking. "Please, can't we just... ya know, hang out? Like we used to?"

Your emotions brighten slightly at the thought of spending time with Applejack. After all, even before you two dated, hanging out with Applejack was one of your favorite activities back in Ponyville. The mare knew how to have a good time. So many good memories from years long since past. And now... well now you almost don't see the point of it. Sure, she was your friend. Unfortunately, the heartbreak you felt every time you were around her was always too much to bear in the past. Then again, it's been years since you had even spoken with the country mare. Maybe things have changed? You raised an eyebrow.

"What exactly did you have in mind?" you ask Applejack curiously. Her eyes brighten slightly and the stream of tears slow down. You almost see a small hint of a smile on her face. It warms your heart and almost makes you want to smile right back.

"Well, how's about you and me hit a bar?" she replies hopefully. You bring a hand to your chin in thought. It had certainly been a while since you last had a drink. The only times you ever really did drink was with a group. Drinking alone was something you never liked. It just made you feel depressed. As you think of your old drinking pals, memories of your times with AJ at bars in Ponyville flood back to you. You remember that one drinking contest Dash challenged Applejack to. A giggle escapes your lips as you recalled how cute Applejack looked when she was wasted. She didn't get drunk often, but whenever she did it was always a fun time. You can't remember the last time you had a fun time. It was probably with Applejack. You consider saying no to her off. The hopeful teary eyed expression on Applejacks face prevents you from doing so.

"Alright AJ, let’s go," you say somewhat defeated. Applejack claps her hooves in excitement and lets out a small squee.

"Great! Ah know just the place! Come on!" She happily trots towards the stairs as you follow behind. The spring in her step signifies that she's excited about the prospect of enjoying an old past time with you. You laugh quietly as you close the door and follow your ex-marefriend down the stairs. You're going to regret this, you just know it. Your walk turns into a jog as you try to keep up with Applejack's swift galloping.

"C'mon Anon, put some pep in that step!" she shouts back at you, giving you a clear vision of her goofy grin. You aren't exactly sure how to feel at this point. One moment you were sitting in your house, reminiscing on the past and wallowing in the same grief you've been in for years. Next moment, the source of your wallowing suddenly shows up on your doorstep and asks you to go drinking with her. It's an odd feeling for sure. You still aren't sure if going along with Applejack to the bar is a good idea, but so far the beautiful smile on Applejack's face is making it worth it.

Just gotta remember that she's here to see me. Not to be with me.

And, just like that, the happy warm feeling morphs into malcontent.

Just don't focus on the pain too much and get this over with.

The two of you reach an old run down building. It stands out like a sore thumb amidst the fancy buildings of Canterlot. The "R" in the neon "BAR" sign had long since been burned out. The outside walls look like they haven't been reinforced since the place was built. Reluctance fills your mind as Applejack makes her way to the entrance.

"This place?" you ask unbelievingly. "Really?" She stops in her tracks and turns to face you. You raise an eyebrow at her sheepish grin.

"What? Ah like this place," she inherently defends. "Reminds me of the bars in Ponyville. Ah don't do well in those uppity places where they charge you thirty bits for a single drink!" You shrug your shoulders and follow her inside the dimly lit bar. Just like the outside, the interior of the bar was old and worn. You walk over to the frankly unsafe looking bar stool and carefully take your seat. Hopefully, the damn thing doesn't break before you get the chance to leave. The bartender walks over to take your drink orders. You snicker slightly as Applejack orders a hard apple cider.

Same old Applejack.

You decide to go with a cheap draft beer, not wanting to spend too many bits on alcohol. The bartender hands you your drink. Applejack doesn't waste a second after receiving her cider and digs right into the frosty bottle. The two of you sit in silence for a few moments as you sip on your drinks. Applejack turns to face you.

"So how have ya been, Anon?" she asks. "Ain't seen hide nor hair of ya since ya moved from Ponyville."

There's that question again.


Nailed it.

Applejack shakes her head before taking another sip of her cider.

"Nuh uh, Ah ain't hearing any of that," she insists. "C'mon, what have ya been up to?" You sigh heavily. Stubborn as always, that Applejack. You shrug your shoulders.

"I dunno, work I guess." That was it really. It's not like you have much of a social life anymore.

"Where do ya work?"

"Pony Joe's."


You cringe. If small talk was all you two were going to say, you might as well just leave now. Maybe you just need more alcohol to lighten the mood. You take another sip of your cheap ass beer.

"How come y'all never write me back?" she asks quietly. The question nearly makes you spit the terrible tasting drink right out. Surely she knows the reason? Without turning to face her, you answer her question with another.

"Do you really want me to answer that?" Applejack nodded desperately.

"Ah... Ah know we didn't exactly part on good terms, but Ah never wanted to stop being your friend." Again with that word. Hearing it was akin to nails on a chalkboard. Another sip of the bitter alcohol. "Do you... hate me or somethin'?" Applejack almost whispers. Your beer was getting dangerously empty. You down the last sip and signal the bartender for another. Silence was all that could be heard as he replaced the empty mug with a fresh one. Applejack looked away from you sadly. Soft sniffles and sobs could be heard. "You... you really d-do... hate me..." The mare began to break down.

"No, I don't hate you," you told her seriously. Applejack looks up at you once more, confused. You continue. "I don't hate you Applejack. I hate what you did to me, but I could never bring myself to hate you." The mare doesn't respond. Instead, she resorts to continuing her quiet sobs. Her teary eyes stare directly into you as you continue your explanation.

"You need to understand Applejack. What you did... I mean I thought we were happy. You didn't give me any reason to believe otherwise. Things were going so well. I mean, yeah I wasn't really happy about how you wanted to keep it a secret, but hey if that's what made you happy then who am I to complain?" You let out a shaky sigh, trying to keep your tears from forming. "And then, one day... you ended it. Just... like, completely out of nowhere." The tears continue to form. There's no stopping them now. "You completely destroyed my heart. And why? Because you were scared. Scared of breaking tradition. Scared of what your family would think if they found out you were dating a human. Scared to admit that you were ashamed of me." Applejack raises a hoof in protest.

"Now hold on there, sugarcube..."

"Please don't call me that." The tentative hoof quickly falls.

"Ah... right. Sorry. But I was never ashamed of you!"

Oh boy, here we go. You scoff loudly at her.

"Bullshit! You were so goddamn scared of anyone finding out that you were dating me you would rarely even go out with me alone! You always had to bring a third wheel along with us to keep up the facade that we were 'just friends.'" A large gulp of the bitter alcohol in front of you interrupts your rant. Honestly, it was starting to not taste quite as bad now. "And then, what did you do immediately after breaking it off? You decide to date that Caramel dude out of nowhere! And then you expected me to just go along with it? What was I supposed to do, huh? Play nice and pretend that nothing was wrong?" Another large gulp finishes off the last of your second beer. "It fucked me up Applejack. And honestly, I can't believe you of all ponies didn't notice."

Applejack's sad gaze fell down to her half-finished cider. Her sobs had quieted down, though the tears continue to fall. Your steady breathing calms you after finishing your rant. Goddamn did it feel good to get all that off your chest. Another quiet sniffle comes from the mare. She wipes her eyes with her hooves.

"Is... is that why y'all left Ponyville? C-cause of me?" You push away the empty mug in front of you and signal the bartender for another. It seems that tonight you would be drinking. And drinking quite a lot. You take a sip of the fresh beer, slowly starting to feel the effects of the alcohol. You don't want to answer her. Mainly because you realize how pathetic it must seem to skip town because of an ex. However, you don't want to lie to her either. Your silence was enough of an answer for her. "Ah... Anon Ah'm..." She struggles with her words. Finally considering the bottle of hard cider in front of her, she downs the remaining half in one long chug. "Ah broke up with Caramel."

You raise your eyebrows and look at Applejack in shock. You certainly weren't expecting that.

"Huh?" you breathe. She signals the bartender for another hard apple cider, which he quickly gives to the mare.

"Happened about a year ago," Applejack explains. "It... well it didn't feel right to me." A few years ago, this news would have made you the happiest living being in Equestria. Now though, it just feels bitter. Why didn't she mention this in any of the letters, anyways? Whatever, that doesn't matter right now. Your eyebrows furrow.

"Maybe your cutie mark should be a broken heart," you spat in disgust. "You seem to be so damn good at that anyways."

Man, that was vicious. Maybe you were being a little too harsh. Still felt good to say, though. Applejack slams a hoof onto the bar top.

"Damn it, Anon! It ain't like that!" she shouts at you.

"Then what is it like, Applejack?" you ask, turning your head towards her. The pony nurses her bottle of cider. Her sad demeanor turns into agitation.

"Ah.. it's... well Ah thought we were happy. But well, he just started gettin' distant with me, y'know?" She turns back to you with a serious expression "It was like one week he was kind, caring, loving... And then the next, well it was like Ah barely existed. Barely ever took me out anymore, barely said he loved me." Her tears threaten to fall once more. "Ah ain't the smartest pony when it comes to romance, but well Ah knew exactly what was going on. So, Ah broke it off before he had the chance to do it himself." The quiet waterworks began. "It was... mutual. Or that's what Ah keep tellin' myself. Ah still think about what might've been if we tried to stay together but... well Ah know we're both better off without each other." She chuckles humorlessly. "Yeah, it hurt for a while. Hurt bad, but Ah got over it eventually." Yet another sip from the bottle. Her voice goes soft. "And then... well Ah started thinking of you."

You close your eyes. Not sure if you liked where this conversation was going, you drown your attention with the cheap now-not-so-bad-tasting booze.

"Ah guess it's natural ain't it? " Applejack continues. "When you lose someone you thought you loved, ya start thinking about those you loved in the past." You aren't so sure about that. Then again, it's not like you dated enough people (or ponies) to know if that was true. You resolve to sit in silence, staring at your drink. "Ah hadn't seen ya in such a long time. Ya'll never answered my messages. Ah kinda figured you hated me, and that hurt more than when me and Caramel broke up."

Her unbreaking stare forces you to turn your head. You meet her stunning emerald eyes, whose attention was trained on you. They shake slightly. The tears they drop made them shine brighter than Celestia's sun. There's that warm and fuzzy feeling again.

"Y-you were my best friend, Anon," she chokes out. "I don't want to lose you. I can't lose you."

You nearly fall off your chair as she wraps you up in a tight hug. You feel your shoulder grow wet as Applejack loudly cries into it. Out of instinct, you wrap your arms around her and pat her back. Whether you were heartbroken or not, this is a sight you never wanted to see. Applejack is absolutely broken. The next few minutes were spent consoling the hysterical mare. Her cries were occasionally broken up by apologies and pleading.

"A-Ahm so...sorry Anon."

"I didn't mean to hurt you so much."

"Please don't hate me."

You sit there in silence holding on tight to the mare. At this moment, all of the heartbreak, all of the pain, everything you had felt in the past few years since leaving Ponyville. All of it vanishes in an instant. The only thing that mattered right now was the pony in front of you.


The mare who stole your heart.

The mare you never wanted to see unhappy.

You don't care about your past with her at the moment. All you care about is making he feel better. You gently rub her back and hush her, desperately trying to comfort her enough to stop the tears. Anything to stop the pain she felt. You sit there with her in your arms for what felt like hours. Her sobbing gradually subsides. Her body stops shaking quite as much. The silence was broken by a single question spoken by the mare.

"Do you still love me?"

You cringe slightly at the question. Slowly pulling away from the mare, you catch her eyes. Curious, almost hopeful even? Nah, that's just your mind playing tricks on you. You don't think answering that question would do either of you any good. You turn back to your beer and finish it. Applejack places a hoof to your arm.

"Anon, please. I need to know."

You look at the mare and consider your answer. It was obvious what the answer was, but you're afraid to speak it. You don't want this night to end badly. Regardless, Applejack was a stubborn pony and there's no way you would be able to lie to her.

"Yes Applejack," you finally answer. "I do."

Applejack gasps and her eyes widen. A faint blush could be seen on her cheeks. Her mouth opens as if to say something, but no words came out. You don't want to make any assumptions at this point. You decide to stay silent, now looking anywhere but at her. After a few moments of stuttering, she spoke.

"Ah... okay." She takes another sip of her drink. "Anon... Ah... aw hell, look Ah know how this is gonna sound but..."

You take a sharp breath.

"...Ah wanna try again."

As hard as you tried not to think about it ever since seeing Applejack knocking on her door, you had a feeling this meeting was leading up to this. You don't say a word. You don't look at her. You don't move a single inch. You don't even acknowledge that you heard the mare. You consider ordering a fourth beer. That probably would be a bad idea. You see Applejack staring intensely at the side of your head in your peripheral vision, eagerly awaiting your response. A battle rages on within your mind. You have only two options. Being the logical thinker that you are, your mind chooses the most obvious one. You take in a deep breath and turn to the mare.

You look directly into her eyes.

Those beautiful green eyes.

You'll never forget them.

You finally speak.

"I'm sorry, Applejack. I don't."

Silence. Complete utter silence.

Well, other than the sobbing mare next to you

It hurt to hear honestly. However, you aren't gonna let pity get the better of you. You had played this very conversation out in your mind many times. You always liked to think of "What if?" situations. The answer you gave Applejack hurts you just as much as it probably hurts her. But, it's for the best. At least, in your mind. The distraught mare speaks up.

"W-why? Ah... Ah thought... Y-you said you loved me..." She cries out uncontrollably. You nod to her.

"Yes. I do." She stares back into your eyes.

"Then why?" You sigh deeply. This isn't going to be pleasant. You continue to look into those deep emerald eyes. The same eyes you fell in love with all those years ago.

"Because what you did shattered our relationship," you began your explanation. "And honestly, after all these years, I don't think it can be repaired. I admit part of that is my fault. I'm sorry I shut you out. I'm sorry I moved out of Ponyville. But I did those things because I knew that if I had tried to talk to you again, it would have only strained our friendship even further." Her tears continue to flow, though her eyes never leave your gaze.

"I've always been a hopeless romantic in the past. Always thinking that the very few girlfriends I had would come back to me after breaking it off with me. So much so that whenever I talked to them I'd give subtle hints that I still loved them and that I still wanted to be with them. Hell, one of them I even flat out begged them to take me back. Every single time that happened, our friendship fell apart because I wasn't mature enough to move on." Your gaze finally breaks off from those sad eyes. You can't take it anymore. It hurts too much to see. "I didn't want that to happen with us. So I decided the best course of action would be to avoid you. I wouldn't have to bear the heartbreak of being with someone I could never have, and you wouldn't have to be brought down by my whiney hopeless romantic bullshit." The sobbing mare shakily chokes out her response.

"B-but... Ah don't understand. You love me. Ah'm willing to fix our relationship. Aren't you?" You look back down at her and sigh.

"Willing? Maybe. But I've already told you. I don't think we can fix our relationship as a couple. If we tried, we'd just end up breaking up again down the line. I don't want to feel that heartbreak again."

Applejack says nothing in response. She looks away from you as her sobs increased in intensity You stare down at your hands in an attempt to ignore the pain Applejack was in. You aren't going to let your resolve break.

"S-so..." Applejack shakily began. "Y-you're just gonna throw me out, just like that? Cause you're scared Ah'll hurt ya again? You don't even want to try?" You shake your head.

"It's not like that, Applejack. I don't want to throw you out of my life. But, I don't want to try being with you again. There's no coming back from what you put me through. Maybe that's just me being immature again, but I just can't do it. I can't bring myself to be with you romantically after all that." You turn to look at the dejected sobbing mare. As good as it feels to finally get this all off your chest, you aren't able to ignore the effect it's having on Applejack. "But..."

Applejack turns back to you. Her muzzle is soaked with tears.

"That doesn't mean I don't want to be friends," you tell her. She cocks her head in a sad confusion.

"Huh?" she shakily breathes out. You meet her eyes once more and continue.

"I know I've spent all this time avoiding you. Ignoring your letters. All that junk. I did it because I needed to get over you, and being around you or thinking about you all day every day wasn't going to help. But, well I missed you. I missed you a hell of a lot, and not just as my marefriend. Like you said, we were best friends before we started dating. I never wanted to lose that. I just needed time to get over it." Her crying calms down significantly. She isn't smiling just yet, but it's definitely an improvement. "I'm not ready to try dating you again, Applejack. In fact, I very well may never be ready. It still hurts to think about. But I AM ready to be your friend again." You put an arm around her and pull her into a tight hug "I'm sorry, Applejack. I miss you and I want my best friend back." It almost feels like she was going to resist the hug at first, but as you gently massaged her back, she leans into it and throws her arms around you in return. You gently whisper into her ear, "If you don't want to be friends anymore, I understand."

She was quick to answer.

"No. I don't want to lose you as a friend again."

The two of you sit in silence for what felt like hours in a tight embrace. The light from the windows gradually dim as day turns to night. After another round of drinks, the mood had brightened somewhat. The pain you both feel is still there, but now it's overshadowed by nostalgia.

"Hey, remember when you dared Rainbow to..."

"How about that time you got so drunk..."

"Man, I sure do miss those pranks we used to pull..."

"Been a while since I've been to one of Pinkie's parties..."

The two of you slowly began to smile as the night wore on. You're now feeling the full effects of the alcohol. You aren't completely drunk yet, but you definitely have a good buzz going on. All in all, you feel much better than you did hours ago. You forgot how fun hanging out with Applejack was. At least, when you weren't sulking over heartbreak for once. The night continues on. Applejack looks at the clock and gasps in surprise.

"Shoot, Ah gotta catch a train back to Ponyville." Her voice sounds sad and disappointed. You feel pretty disappointed too. And just when things were getting fun.

"Well, okay." The mare pulls out her coin purse to pay her tab. Despite her stubborn arguments, you insist that you would take care of it. You say your goodbyes and she walks towards the exit. Before she leaves, she turns to you.

"Anon?" she calls back. You turn to look at her.


"Um..." She blushes slightly and kicks a hoof to the ground sheepishly. "You should stop by Ponyville sometime. We all miss ya, and Rainbow says you owe her a rematch." You giggle as you remembered the last drinking contest you had with her. Pegasus ponies were such lightweights.

"Yeah, sounds fun. I'll come visit you guys sometime."

She gives you a teary-eyed smile before leaving the building. You turn back to the bar and smile as you think of those beautiful emerald eyes. Maybe you should go to Ponyville soon. It'd be nice to see everyone. Before you pay your tab, you ask the bartender to bring you a bottle of hard apple cider. Made with the best damned apples in Equestria.

Courtesy of the mare you love.

The mare you will likely never be with again.

Author's Notes:

If you liked this one-shot, consider checking out my other fic. It's a huge ongoing adventure story and you can find it over >>here<<

The original prompt for this story came from the song "Hello" by Adele.

Thanks for reading! If you liked it, why not show it by sending me a like and comment? Alternatively, if you didn't like it, let me know why! Criticism is always a good thing and I'm always looking to improve my writing skills!

Return to Story Description


Login with