Sorcicular Fornication

by darf

Chapter 1: Harder than Diamonds: A Lust Story

Harder than Diamonds: A Lust Story

Everypony in town knew that Twilight Sparkle had a date. She had only let a word slip about the event once, and that was by accident, to Spike, because she had mistaken him for a piece of furniture. After remembering he was smart enough to talk, Twilight had sworn Spike to secrecy, and made him clean the bathroom with his tongue for a good measure. Just in case.

Twilight had been sure of her secrecy until she had posted her weekend’s plans on her Livejournal. She’d made following her blog mandatory under punishment of banishment, but assured everypony that watching her on DeviantArt was strictly optional.

Almost everypony in town had ignored the journal entry, giving it their requisite view and trying to move on with their lives in unbanished peace. But one pony had read it, and was apparently not too pleased at the content.

Rarity stood in the center of Twilight’s now extravagantly decorated living room as Twilight ambled around her, scanning her books for last minute dating preparations or tips on getting that weird cowlick thing out of her hair.

“A date! Twilight, why didn’t you say you were in the market for romance? You know how I feel about extra-marital love affairs... I am for them.”

“Extra-marital?” Twilight asked quizzically, sparing a glance over her shoulder as she tucked a copy of Desperation and Self-Confidence: Finding the Perfect Balance back onto the shelf.

Rarity’s face furrowed.

“Yes, dear, don’t you remember? You married your brother, Francis, just a few months ago? There was quite a large attention to the matter, and then police investigations over the missing bride, murder accusations, that sort of thing...”

“Circumstantial evidence is my favorite kind of evidence,” Twilight mused with a sing-song tone in her voice, pulling a volume out of the shelf and throwing it to the ground for Spike to clean up later. She didn’t want him getting lax.

“Indeed. But, your brother, Twilight, or husband, I suppose I should say; doesn’t he have something to say about the matter of you ‘dating’?”

Twilight turned around to Rarity with one eyebrow raised.

“Rarity, don’t you remember? Francis and I had our marriage annulled in an off-screen civil ceremony two weeks ago, right before he spontaneously burst into confetti.”

“Oh! You’re right, I had totally forgotten. It was so strange how that happened,” Rarity said, her eyes shifting to the side as she recalled the bizarre shower of colourful paper that had emerged from Twilight’s now ex-husband. No one had been that torn up over it, in retrospect.

“Well, that being the case, Twilight, I simply can’t believe you’d so brazenly declare your availability and then sweep it away in the same breath, just like that. What of the poor ponies who’ve been yearning for a chance to court you for ages?”

Twilight’s mouth opened at Rarity.

“Rarity,” she said, “why didn’t you tell me you had feelings for me before?”

Rarity chewed her bottom lip for a moment.

“Well, there was never really a convenient time. What with the Smoozepocalypse coming up, one thing leading to another... Also, I must confess I didn’t really realize it myself until recently, when my veteran’s cheques dried up. You know the old saying: a heart holding a royal dowry of lifetime financial stability is a heart... um... that could use a good date!”

Twilight nodded knowingly at the familiar axiom.

“Well, be that as it may, I’ve already picked my date for the weekend. Even my invitation was perfectly planned.” Twilight sashayed over to the kitchen and helped herself to a bottled water from the fridge. She took a single sip before she threw the still almost completely full bottle in a nearby trashcan teeming with more of the same, as well as a picture of Spike on Hearth’s Warming morning. The doll he was holding in the picture was next to the photograph in the trashcan.

“I’m going out with Applejack,” Twilight said. Rarity gasped. “And, I made sure to make the request for our meeting as ambiguous as possible. That way, when we’re in the middle of dinner and the awkward tension is too much to bear, she’ll have no choice but to fall into my arms and confess her love for me!”

Rarity scrunched up her face in a pout and half-stomped over to Twilight, speculatively earnest tears welling in the corners of her eyes.

"But Twilight, why couldn't you have picked me for your lustful romantic tryst?" Rarity wailed, holding her hoof to her forehead in a melodramatic fashion. "Aren't I a mare complex enough to satisfy your animalistic needs?"

Twilight made her way to the door. Her face didn’t budge an inch at Rarity’s display of emotion. She dragged Rarity along with her, her horn glowing as she lifted Rarity over the doorstep and dropped her outside, then shut the door behind herself, unfurling her wings as she prepared to take off to her dinner.

"Of course not," Twilight replied, steadying herself before she took off. "Everypony in this town is a one-dimensional caricature with no redeeming qualities or personality traits whatsoever.

“I just picked Applejack because she has the nicest butt."

Twilight flapped her wings and took off awkwardly into the night, her body tilted just a bit to the side as she went. She still wasn’t used to the whole ‘flying’ thing.

Twilight landed several blocks away from her destination to avoid the awkwardness of her landing becoming a talking point. She could easily have turned judgemental passerby into black spots on the ground if they got wise, but the night was young, and she wanted to start things on the right hoof, especially if there was to be romance in the air.

There was a long line to the seating room at The Fancy Sounding Restaurant, but Twilight paid it no attention. She didn’t even need to glower inappropriately at the rest of the patrons to let them know she was free to walk past – but she still did it anyway, out of habit.

“Don’t look, honey. We want to keep your soul intact,” a mother in line whispered to her colt. She sheltered his face into her side as he shivered away from the nearby Twilicorn.

Twilight smirked appropriately.

To his credit, the pony at the greeting booth looked mostly unfazed by Twilight’s arrival, barely batting an eyelash as Twilight walked inside, her still extended wings knocking over the potted plants put up by the door. He raised an eyebrow and eyed the dirt and water as it seeped out onto the floor, but didn’t spare more attention than that before returning his gaze to Twilight.

“May I help you, madame?” he said. His Prance accent sounded fake.

“I have reservations,” Twilight said, peering over the greeter's shoulder to see if Applejack had already arrived. She couldn’t see the familiar poverty-stricken brown of Applejack’s stetson anywhere, and as such assumed that she must still be en route.

“When did you place them?” the greeter asked. He leafed through a large book of names, presumably reservations, and found Twilight’s table assignment absent from the list. Ostensibly he would have marked her name in block letters and warning signs, just to be safe.

“Uh, duh. I made a post on my Livejournal almost a week ago. I’m sure it’s the talk of the town by now.”

The stallion raised his eyebrow again, but lowered it after a few seconds with a force of will. Once more to his credit, his composure didn’t waver as he eyed the giant line of ponies standing awkwardly at the doorway.

“I’m afraid we must have missed the bulletin... however, I’m certain we can find madame a table on short notice. For one?” he asked, grabbing a menu from his greeting stand and turning toward the dining area.

“Two, actually,” Twilight said. “I’m on a date.”

The greeter nodded and grabbed an extra menu. He beckoned Twilight toward the dining room door and opened it in front of her, leading her into the restaurant proper.

“Oooh,” Twilight said, getting an eyeful of the candle-lit ambiance and well-dressed ponies inside. “Fancy.”

The greeter nodded and pointed toward a section in the far corner of the restaurant. Twilight followed him there until the two of them reached a round table with a bright red tablecloth and a single long candle in the center.

“If madame will be seated, we can direct her guest to the table as she arrives.”

Twilight scanned the crowd in the dining room, peering around to see if she could detect the uncouth aura of Applejack’s obnoxiously loud chewing. She had no luck, but she did notice a peek of brown just past the doorway to the greeting room.

“That’s okay,” she said, “I think I see her. Hey, Applejack! Hey! Over here!”

The whole restaurant took note of Twilight’s yelling, though most of them tried to continue their meals without acknowledging the interruption further. Twilight, like all horrible things, would probably go away if ignored long enough.

Applejack’s hearing was apparently unfettered enough by years old shrapnel blasts to let her hear her name being called, and she poked her head through the door in search of Twilight’s obnoxious high-pitched yelling. Twilight jumped up from her table and waved, knocking over the candle with one of her wings in the process. The greeter dove onto the table to pick it up before it lit the whole tablecloth on fire.

“Hey, Applejack! Come sit down!”

Applejack made her way through the crowd of busy waiters and occupied eaters in a timid fashion, trying her hardest not to bump into anyone and send an erstwhile plate of food flying. As she got to Twilight’s table, the greeter was relighting the candle, having managed to catch it with only a minor singe mark left on the bright red cloth.

“Hey, Twilight. It’s busier than garbage pile during possum season in here. Is there a reason you needed to pick such a fancy place for us to meet up? It’s gonna be hard to hear anything over all this racket.”

“Oh, Applejack,” Twilight started, walking towards Applejack and once more knocking over the table’s candle with an errant flap of her wings. “I picked this restaurant because it has the perfect atmosphere for our date.”

“Our who what now?”

“I’m so glad you could make it, for our date,” Twilight said as she wrapped her foreleg around Applejack and dragged her toward the table, where the greeter pony was scrambling on the floor to locate the errant candle again before it caught the carpet ablaze. “I’ve been looking forward to our date all week. Can you believe they didn’t have my name in their reservations? Wouldn’t it have been horrible if our date was cancelled because we couldn’t get a table? Wouldn’t that just be the most awful thing?”

“Uh,” said Applejack. She took her seat at the opposite end of the table and felt something against her hooves. She lifted the tablecloth to find the greeter pony holding the now extinguished candle in-between his teeth. She gave him a nod as he climbed out, this time keeping the candle to himself instead of relighting it.

“I don’t remember anything about a date, Twilight,” Applejack said, her nose wrinkled at the specific word Twilight seemed so keen on repeating.

Twilight beamed back at Applejack, her mouth contorted into an overbearing, all-wide smile.

“Well, I hope you’re prepared, because we’ve got an evening of awkward conversation and illicit romance ahead of us!” Twilight said, her grin unwavering.

Applejack scratched the back of her head with a hoof.

“Uh,” she said again.

“Your waiter will be with you shortly,” the greeter interjected, excusing himself from the table before the opportunity for any more fire or wing related mishaps arose.

“Aren’t you excited? Anypony in Equestria would be dying to spend the evening with a wonderful princess such as myself,” Twilight said, placing a hoof against her chest as she exercised the full extent of her humility.

“It ain’t that,” Applejack said, puzzling over the menu she had been handed. The words were in a script she didn’t recognize. It looked like maybe someone had started out with regular Pony, and then turned half the letters upside down. “I just wasn’t expectin’ it, is all.”

“Well, that’s even better! It should be even more fun as a surprise.”

Applejack closed her menu and looked up at Twilight, whose unwavering smile hadn’t faltered an iota since it first appeared on her face.

“Right... look, Twi’. You’re a great friend – uh, what I mean to say is, you’re a nice enough – you’re alright to be around – I don't hate ya', I guess... but I don’t really have any interest in you romantically –”

“Hey, look, our waiter’s here!” Twilight shouted loudly, startling an old grey stallion at the table behind her out of his chair, and subsequently face first into his plate as his pacemaker failed.

“Good evening, ladies. I trust you are doing well?” The waiter looked almost like a carbon copy of the greeter, the same light blue coat and darker hair, with an affected twirly moustache right above his upper lip. His accent sounded fake too.

“We’re excellent, thank you! Applejack, would you like to order first?”

Applejack picked up the unreadable menu of backwards letters and scanned over it, trying to piece together some meaning from the bizarre collection of squiggly lines and upside down squares and dots.

“You got anything with apples in it?” she asked, settling on a request for something familiar.

“Of course, madam. Our special tonight is a selection of roasted flowers with apple garnish.”

Applejack scrunched up one side of her mouth as a vision of frilly looking almost food danced across her mind’s eye.

“Hmm... nah. Got anything else?”

“We have a wonderful pasta entree with–”


“Well, perhaps madam would prefer a Nipponese soup seasoned with–”


“There is also a selection of apple glazed–”

The waiter held his tongue for a moment as he waited for Applejack’s interruption. To his relief, she simply nodded, as if to say ‘go on’.

“–grass,” he finished. Applejack rolled her eyes.

“Tell ya’ what, garcon,” Applejack said, closing her menu and placing it face down on the table. “Y’all got somethin’ really plain—like, army ration plain? Some biscuits, or wafers, or just a big bowl o’ tasteless mush?”

The waiter glanced over his shoulder toward the kitchen for a moment, then turned his head back with a small sigh.

“No, madam, but I am certain we could conjure something up.”

“It’d make me happier than a crawdad in a tin can floatin’ down a river, ifn’ ya’ please. I’ll have that then.  And a glass of apple juice.”

The waiter nodded and took Applejack’s menu between his foreleg and side. He turned to Twilight who was folding up her menu, still wearing her ever-pleased smile.

“And for yourself?” he asked.

“I’ll have the veal,” she said.

The waiter nodded curtly.

“Excellent choice, madame. Your meals will be out shortly.” He walked from the table quicker than necessary, though still with a flat deadpan on his face.

The table remained silent for a moment save for the bustle of the background noise in the restaurant. Twilight coughed into her hoof once or twice to clear a tickle in her throat. Applejack said nothing.

“So,” Twilight said.

Applejack blinked.

“What do you want to talk about?” Twilight asked. She leaned forward with her her elbows on the table and stared at Applejack, her eyes bright.

“Uh, well,” Applejack said, “I suppose we could talk about–”

“Ooh, I know! My wings! Let’s talk about those.”

Twilight flapped her new feathery appendages behind her back. Several errant feathers loosened themselves and flew forth into the air, most of them landing on the table of ponies behind her. One of them found a place standing straight up in a half empty wine-glass.

“Don’t you like them?” Twilight asked with a coo. “I can’t believe how pretty they are.”

“Yeah, they’re somethin’ else,” Applejack said. She looked around desperately for her apple juice, but found no waiter in sight.

“Can you believe how quickly everypony’s gotten used to them? Of course, inviting everyone to the Canon Altering Coronation last week was probably a big help.”

“I think they’re a great and not at all a mechanically or narratively suspect addition to your character, Twilight,” Applejack said, her voice rising and falling as though she was reciting from a speech.

“I know, right?”

Twilight’s eyes lit up suddenly, as though another errant topic for conversation had wandered into her head.

“Ooh,ooh! We can also talk about how cool it is that I’m a proper princess now. Wouldn’t that be fun?”


“I always wanted to be a princess, you know. Ever since I was a little filly and I threw things at my mom because we weren’t born into royalty and I had no one to blame but her filthy, impoverished ancestry.”


“You know, I was talking to Princess Celestia the other day – she loves getting my letters, you see – and she said that she’s never met another pony quite as tenacious as me! All the obstacles in the way of the benefits of my princesshood just seemed to vanish, most of them leaving just a small puff of smoke or blood spatter behind!”


“And another thing about me is that–”

Applejack’s urge to pray was robbed from her by the arrival of the water at the table’s side. Two plates made their way onto the table, one with Twilight’s veal, and the other with Applejack’s army-ration mush.

“Here you are ladies; enjoy!”

Twilight and Applejack blinked together. That voice sounded very familiar.

“Pinkie? What are y’all doin’ here? Since when are you a waitress?”

Pinkie Pie bounced up and down for a second, delighted that somepony recognizing her had finally resulted in something other than a request for a new server to prevent gypsy contamination.

“Since a week ago!”

“Don’t you run the town bakery?” Twilight asked. She eyed her veal with a skeptical look to make sure there were no rat tails or stray toads hiding in the tender meat.

“Yep! Now I do this too. Working at the bakery all the time meant I was eating too many cupcakes, and my doctor said it’s what got me into the early stages of type two diabetes. So, I had to take a second job to help pay for my insulin shots!”

Applejack’s expression soured as she unfolded her cutlery from its napkin.

“Gosh, Pinkie, that sounds awful.”

Pinkie Pie nodded.

Twilight, content with the rat-free nature of her meal, raised her head with an inappropriately enthusiastic smile.

“Yeah Pinkie,” she said, a tickle of mirth on her tongue, “that does sound like pretty terrible news. Couldn’t you have asked your doctor to... sugar-coat it a little bit?”

Pinkie Pie stared at Twilight blankly. She shook her head after a few seconds.

“No... why would I do that? It was better that he just told me. Though, he said it was hard to explain through all my crying.”

Twilight rolled her eyes and gave an exasperated sigh.

“It was a joke, Pinkie. A pun. Diabetes? Sugar? Sugar-coated?”

Pinkie Pie blinked, and her mouth turned down at the corners.

“When I was little, the ponies who ran the orphanage told me never to pun – and if I did, they burned my tongue with a hot iron.”

Applejack nodded. “Just like a real parent would,” she said.

Twilight sighed again. “Don’t you have other tables to get to?” she asked, her eyebrows narrowed.

Pinkie Pie bounced up and down again as she nodded. “Yep! Next week’s treatment isn’t gonna pay for itself!”

Pinkie lowered the pair’s drinks to the table before dashing off with her tray in tow, leaving Applejack and Twilight alone with their meals.

Applejack tried a spoonful of her mush. It tasted like a newspaper milkshake.


“Good?” Twilight asked, readying her knife and fork to dig into her food properly.

“Better than the dirt corn casserole I had yesterday.”

“You know, I almost went into culinary school before I decided to study magic. Did you know that there’s an entire history of cooking with ingredients that manipulate body and brain chemistry? It’s fascinating, but ultimately too indirect, in my opinion. However, it was enough for me to dabble in my studies, which is why when I was in Canterlot...”

Applejack sighed and spooned up another mouthful of her gruel.

It was going to be a long night.

“...so I said, ‘Who are you calling histrionic?’, and then I threw the glass of water in his face, flipped over the table, and ran out of the room crying. That’ll teach him to run out of complementary bookmarks!”

Applejack nodded wordlessly. She was resting her head on her hoof, which she was resting with an elbow on the dining table. Her bowl had long since been emptied, as well as her glass several times. The rest of the restaurant had all but cleared out, leaving only her and Twilight still at a table. The restaurant staff peeked out every few minutes from behind the kitchen doorway to see if Applejack and Twilight were still there. Some of them looked ready to cry.

“Uh-huh,” Applejack said. “That’s real fascinatin’ Twi...”’

Twilight opened her mouth to agree, but Applejack cut her off at the pass.

“Hoo-ee! Will you look at the time!” Applejack said, turning to the picture of melting clocks on her left hand side. “I’ve gotta call it a night Twilight. Gotta be up real early tomorrow to get started on the dirt harvest.”

Applejack stood up from the table before Twilight had a chance to respond, and the eyes of the restaurant workers inside the kitchen glimmered with hope.

“I had tons of, uh, something. We should do this again sometime, really.” Applejack turned to move out of the restaurant as fast as her legs could carry her, but she didn’t get more than a foot before she felt the tug of Twilight’s magic holding her back.

“Wait... Applejack, aren’t you gonna offer to walk me home?”

Applejack sighed and hung her head in resignation.

“I suppose I could. ‘nother couple minutes ain’t gonna make a difference.”

Twilight beamed and stood up from the table, letting her chair fall backwards and land on the floor.

“Great! I live on the side of Ponyville as far opposite your house as geographically possible within town limits.”

Applejack couldn’t find another sigh. She simply nodded, and walked along at Twilight’s side as the restaurant greeters hurried in front of the pair to open the doors for them.

The bill for the evening lie on the table where the pair had eaten. In the payment section, Twilight had written “Princess of the Night” and scratched out the totals, then drawn a purple smiley face with a horn and two wings emerging from behind its head, followed by the words “your princess’s approval is greater than any tip.”

“Well, this is my place,” Twilight said, finally reaching the front steps of her elaborately decorated tree-house-mansion thing.

“Thank gravy,” Applejack muttered under her breath. Her hooves were already sore.

“Well, Twi’, like I said, good night and all, definitely had fun instead of entertaining you out of obligation and pity, feel free to call and leave a voicemail on this here five-five-five number and I’ll make sure to get back to you...” Applejack said in rapid-fire as she walked away backwards, readying herself to turn and run as soon as Twilight’s attention had dwindled.

“You’re not going to come in for coffee?” Twilight appeared behind Applejack with a pop just as Applejack was mid-turn, and she sighed and lowered the brim of her hat.

“I wasn’t plannin’ on it. I’ve gotta get some sleep, and I’m not really in the mood for coffee.”

Twilight batted her eyelashes and posed with one hoof on her stomach, trying to look like a sultry vixen model but instead looking more like an opposable CPR dummy with wings.

“What if coffee was a thinly veiled sexual metaphor for... second base?” she asked, her voice husky, like she had swallowed a toad.

Applejack shook her head.

“No thanks. When I said ‘I’m not really in the mood for coffee’, that was a not so thinly veiled metaphor for ‘no thanks’.”

Applejack pushed her way past Twilight with a shoulder bump and started the long trek through town and back home.

“Thanks for the offer though. I really–”


“–appreciate it.”

Applejack was standing in Twilight’s living room, along with Twilight, who was smiling.

“Well... I guess one cup couldn’t hurt,” Applejack said with a reluctant sigh. Twilight grinned wildly at her and dashed to the kitchen. The sound of a poorly manufactured coffee pot percolating filled the air in the next few moments.

Applejack pondered a nearby painting on the wall as Twilight busied herself. She held a hoof to her mouth and chewed on her bottom lip for a moment before turning toward the kitchen.

“What exactly is second base for ponies, anyway?” she asked.

Twilight emerged from the kitchen with two cups of poorly prepared coffee and set them both on the aptly-named poorly made coffee table before sitting on the nearby couch.

“Well,” she said, “it’s what comes after first base but before third base.”

“That being?” Applejack asked, taking a seat as far away from Twilight as possible.

Twilight looked contemplative for a second, but her eyes suddenly sprung open as clarity hit.

“Oooh, I remember!” she said. She disappeared with a purple pop for a few seconds before returning in the same fashion, this time with an archaic looking scroll in tow.

“According to my Yaoi Lemon Exposition Escalation outline,” Twilight said, studying the paper, “second base is appropriate for the second half of the second chapter, and should come right before heavy petting and base number three.”

Applejack blinked.

“Alrighty then,” she said.

Twilight smiled and tucked the scroll away in the folds of the couch. After the paper was gone between the cushions, Twilight withdrew her hoof and shifted sideways. She sidled her way along the few cushions separating her from Applejack, who’s eyes darted back and forth nervously as she sipped her coffee.

“So,” Twilight said, resting her foreleg on the couch inches away from where Applejack was using it as a headrest. “Applejack.”

“Yeah?” Applejack said. She could hear the first inklings of panic in her own voice, though she didn’t expect Twilight to pick up on them. She began wondering how sturdy the hinges on the front door could possibly be.

“I suppose after such a wonderful evening you’re probably feeling a little... amourous.”

Applejack shook her head and squished herself into the arm of the couch in an attempt to create even a few inches more distance between herself and Twilight.

“No, can’t say that I am. That’s probably the one word I wouldn’t use. You could pick a bunch from a list that I’d use from that one. Lagomorphic, for example. Good word.”

Twilight edged even closer. Applejack had nowhere left to go, but she kept herself against the couch as much as possible, praying Twilight’s hoof wouldn’t come any closer to her neck.

“You don’t have to hide your feelings from me anymore, Applejack,” Twilight said, her foreleg lingering dangerously close to Applejack’s back. “I’ve seen the uninterested glances and disapproving glares you give me... only a fool could believe those didn’t mean something.”

“Well,” said Applejack, “I’ve never been too bright. Maybe I didn’t know what they meant.”

Twilight shifted even closer still. Her hoof landed on Applejack’s shoulder, and her touch was met with a shudder.

“You know, Applejack...” Twilight started, leaning her face closer to the hapless looking war-vet on her living room couch.

A crash from the kitchen drew her attention. Twilight snapped her head upwards and pulled her hoof away from Applejack’s shoulder.

Applejack took the moment to throw herself forward and onto the carpet, where she rolled several times before settling on her stomach, her legs poised in preparation for an army crawl.

Twilight looked around the room once or twice, bewildered.

“What on earth was that noise?” she asked. It had sounded like something between a crash and a shatter.

‘Not sure,” Applejack murmured from the carpet. She started crawling toward the front door, hoping that if she could make it there that the magical bolts holding it in place would remove themselves simply out of respect.

Twilight stood from the couch and walked back towards the kitchen. If another racoon had come in with the trash, she could always make Spike catch it. Rabies shots were so cheap now, she couldn’t afford not to buy them.

To Twilight’s surprise, the sight awaiting her was not the garbage hungry rodent she expected..

“Rarity? What are you doing here?”

Rarity lay in a heap on the kitchen floor, her legs tangled in the frame of Twilight’s kitchen window that had been uprooted from its place on the wall. The floor around her was coated in a fine dusted layer of shattered glass. She looked miraculously uninjured, and was still evidently conscious, struggling and grunting as she attempted to pry the flimsy metal frame off her hooves.

“Oh, Twilight!” she said, sounding genuinely surprised. “I wasn’t expecting you back so soon... or rather, I imagined if you were still gone, surely you must be at Applejack's, so I shouldn’t bother with the door...”

“I just got home,” Twilight said. Her horn glowed and the bits of glass gathered up into a pile. She levitated the clump of razor-thin bits over to the trashcan, but frowned and made a small ‘hmph’ noise as she found it still full with water bottles and discarded pictures of Spike’s family memories. She closed her eyes for a moment and the pile vanished with a pop, safely teleported into the nooks and crannies of Spike’s bedding.

“Oh, did you now?” Rarity asked, finally managing to pry one of her forelegs out of the window frame. “And how did your date with Applejack go?”

“Actually, she’s still here,” Twilight said. She walked past Rarity to the refrigerator and retrieved a bottle of water, giving it a small swig before sealing the cap and throwing it over her back.

“She is?” Rarity asked.

“Still here,” Applejack called from the living room, apparently not too far away to hear the goings on of the conversation.

“Goodness! She is still here then.”

“Right.” Twilight nodded. “She’s still here, and now, so are you. What gives?”

“Well, I just thought I’d come by and see how things went... maybe help assess the net worth of your valuables and estate for future auctioneering... you know. The sort of things girls do on a Saturday night.” Rarity pulled the window frame off her remaining two hooves with a grunt and tossed it to the side, letting it fall to the floor.

“Well, I can’t really say while we’re still in the middle of the date. I wasn’t expecting you to show up with Applejack still... here...”

Twilight’s sentence trailed off as her eyes widened. Rarity looked up at her with an apprehensive furrowing of her brow as she pulled herself up off the ground.

“Of course, I can excuse myself immediately. Perhaps I could just borrow your chequebook for a day or two before I come back for your recap of events? You never know when it might be a good idea to let one of your friends balance your finances, after all...”

Twilight shook her head.

“No, don’t excuse yourself,” she said, her mouth breaking into a giant grin. “This is great!”

“It is?” Rarity asked, her eyes torn from her idle examination of Twilight’s kitchen appliances for estimates of their MSRP.

“It is?” Applejack repeated from not too far away, now all the way to the front door and attempting to pry the nails off with her teeth.

“It is! This is just like in my fanfiction!”

Applejack and Rarity shared a glance. Both of them managed a deadpan blink, Applejack with her tongue hanging out, before they both turned back to Twilight.

“Your... fanfiction, dear?” Rarity asked, her brain already conjuring flashbacks of the first traumatic incident in Twilight’s house.

Twilight nodded.

“You know: Diamond in the Rough: A Love Story. The epic tale of Applesack and Charity, a lowly farmhoof and a noble unicorn brought together by the strength of their passion, and some help from their popular, talented, sexy friend Midnight Twinkle.”

Applejack pulled herself up from the carpet. She only had a few feet between herself and Rarity, so she closed the distance with a familiar dread in her eyes. Rarity’s expression had soured likewise, though she appeared less noticeably distressed, as her attention was still partially on a background assessment of the various valuables throughout the living room behind Twilight.

“Oh, yes... of course we remember your fanfiction!” Rarity said, chewing her tongue as she tried to repress the things she remembered very clearly about her horrifying evening spent trapped in Twilight’s faux-literary dungeon of plotholes and poorly concocted excuses for hugging and wet hair.

“Who could forget?” Applejack asked. She nudged Rarity in the side and tilted her head towards the door, pointing her hoof down low to signal for an inconspicuous exit.

Twilight smiled with a faraway look in her eyes, reliving the moments of her first sleepover and the epic story that she had concluded with its assistance.

“Having you two back here with me inducted as proper royalty is just like the unofficial sequel I wrote, where Charity, Applesack, and Midnight Twinkle flee the country of their oppression and start a free-love commune in the wilderness. They explore the make of the land, and each other.”

Rarity and Applejack both froze halfway to the door. They turned their heads around to Twilight, both of their eyes wide in terror.

“Oh?” Rarity said, her hoof scrambling for the door-handle like a panicked victim in a horror movie with the killer following two steps behind.

“Mhm-hmm.” Twilight nodded and pointed her horn towards the door. Applejack and Rarity both shone with a violet glow as Twilight picked them up and carried them towards the living room. She plunked the pair down on the couch and sat in between them, beaming and throwing her forelegs up onto the back of the couch.

“The plot gets a little... saucy,”—Applejack and Rarity shared a shudder as the clammy touch of Twilight’s hooves accompanied her questionable word-choice—”but I usually post the chapters on Tumblr. That’s what my fans like.”

Rarity and Applejack shared a glance behind Twilight’s back. They looked at each other. Then back to Twilight. Then to each other again.

Rarity shuffled herself on the couch to move an inch or two away from Twilight.

Applejack did the same, and coughed.

Somewhere, far in the distance, a colt in the middle of dinner sneezed into his plate of pasta during family dinner and sent a spray of red sauce up and all over his own face. His hoof nudged the plate, and it lurched to the side, one half hanging preciously over the edge of the table.

Twilight grinned at her friends, oblivious.

“Of course, none of it’s canon in the ChariSackleverse, but I’d still love to see it brought to life.”



The colt’s plate of spaghetti gave into the treacherous pull of gravity and toppled from the table. It landed on the floor, spilling hollandaise and long, chewy, undercooked noodles all over the kitchen. His father sighed and made his way down the hall to his belt closet.

“Well gee Twilight, that’s awful nice of you to ask us and all, but like I said, I’ve gotta get up early, and I’m sure Rarity has pole-dancing lessons in the morning, so we’d probably best be off...” Applejack extricated herself from Twilight’s hoof-hold with minimum subtlety, only taking just enough care not to run from the couch on her way to the front door.

Rarity did the same but with a tad more aplomb.

“Yes, dear, I’m delighted I could drop in unexpectedly like this, but I really had envisioned more of a one-on-one type of evening. Do call me if you’re not content with your dating selection in the future. You and I could spend a night doing something romantic: balancing your finances, discussing charitable monthly arrangements to the cult of your choice, that sort of thing...”

Rarity met Applejack at the front door in a blur. Applejack had been working the doorknob for several seconds already, and it seemed insistent on its immobility.

But, as Rarity reached her hoof towards it to help out, she heard the click of an unfastening lock.

Applejack pushed, and the door opened.

Both ponies mouths fell open in a mix of various auditory relief. They shared a quick, joyful glance before they moved, dashing in tandem down Twilight’s front steps and across the path in front of the house, leading them back into town and away from another evening of fanfiction reenactment.

They made it several feet before the seconds-ago-invisible lilac barrier sprung up in front of them, and presented itself immediately as an impediment to movement. Applejack and Rarity hit the wall full force, and their faces smooshed up against the magical wall like it was a pane of clear glass.

“Oh no, you don’t,” came Twilight’s voice from behind them. “You’re not going anywhere.”

The wall reshaped itself into a moving purple glow as Twilight grabbed both Applejack and Rarity with her magic and levitated them back inside. She shut the door behind them, and the snapping of several locks indicated she was more interested in premise security now than previously.

“Last time we had a sleepover, you guys only did most of what I wanted. I kept having to make revisions to my story because you said the sex scenes made you feel ‘gross’, or ‘like prostitutes, or ‘why don’t I just use Pinkie Pie as a body double?’”

Twilight’s horn glowed as she shut the curtains to the living room. Applejack and Rarity were huddled into a ball next to the coffee table in the center of the living room carpet, shivering and looking at each other with ‘Well, this is it’ tattooed on their irises. In the tumble, Applejack’s hat had landed on Rarity’s head instead, and the hibernating ticks, already rejected by Applejack’s biology, were working their way onto Rarity’s scalp.

“Well now you have to listen to what I say.”

Twilight stepped closer as she spoke. Her eyes narrowed, and a black flame burned in her pupils. It cast shadows across the living room, even in the darkness, and Applejack’s hoof flew to her mouth, plugging it to stifle her protest.

“I’m the princess, and I’ve got magic that’s strong enough to validate my lifetime of mounting narcissism. So you two are going to enjoy each others’ company in an erotic fashion or there are going to be consequences.”

With a purple flash, a scroll flew from a case in parts unseen. Twilight held it at her side. She unfurled the parchment and let her eyes scan the page before resting them again at the top. She cleared her throat and looked at the orange and white jumble in front of her as she began to read.

Harder than Diamonds: A Lust Story, chapter one...

“Applesack and Charity had hidden their love for months, through the obligations of society, and through faked identities and staged deaths and places where being gay was just icky – but finally, after all their months of hardship, the pearlescent white unicorn and the summer orange earth pony were together, with only one feat remaining between them to conquer their hardship; the consummation of their love.”

Twilight pulled Rarity and Applejack apart with a flash of her magic and set them opposite ends of the coffee table. Applejack looked over her shoulders for a possible avenue of escape, but Twilight’s body blocked the only exit. Rarity simply bunched up her face and closed her eyes. She stayed like that for a moment before she opened them with a sigh.

“Now, Charity,” Twilight instructed, prodding Rarity with a magical poke, “you’re supposed to tell your lover, Applesack, how much you’ve been waiting to get her alone so you can realize the fullness of your animalistic lust for her dirty, uneducated body.”

Rarity looked toward Applejack pleadingly, but found only a dead, understanding stare. There was no recourse this time. Stalling would only cause them further problems.

“Ohhh, Applesack,” Rarity started, her thespian eccentrics colouring her speech like a middle-school play, “how desperately I have longed to have you to myself so I may... do horrible, blasphemous things with you that will tarnish my soul forever and bar me from salvation during the second coming of Smooze.”

Rarity raised her hoof to her head to emphasize her delivery, and lowered it when she was done. She looked toward Applejack, and Twilight did the same with an unsettling grin.

Applejack rolled her eyes and sighed.

“I know, Cha-ri-tee,” she said, navigating the syllables of her words awkwardly in the face of her impromptu speech, “I have been dying to make love to you for so long. I can’t wait to be in the arms of a unicorn who is smart enough to prepare for the end of the world instead of dealing with the yellow-bellied compulsion that’s kept them from getting a real job ever since their service ended.”

Twilight nodded and scribbled a few notes on her scroll.

“Great! Now, both of you run into each others arms and kiss! Take the first step on your journey to the most impassioned romance in Equestrian history!”

Rarity and Applejack grimaced at each other. They lifted themselves from their sitting positions at either end of the coffee table and walked around to one side, but froze half a foot from each other. The remainder of the distance converged slowly, until finally Applejack and Rarity were within a hoof’s distance of each other. Twilight bobbed her head in glee.

“Go on!” she said, her quill and scroll both in the air for the particulars of description.

Applejack eyed Rarity with her mouth scrunched.

“Do we really have to?” she asked, turning her head towards Twilight.

Rarity followed suit with the same turn.

“I’m wondering that as well. I’d like my saliva not to taste of apples for days, if at all possible.”

Twilight glared at the pair. Her horn flared, and both ponies found themselves lifted off the ground again.

“Yes, you do have to,” she said. She yanked Rarity and Applejack through the air and shoved them together, aiming Rarity’s head at Applejack’s, which only succeeded in both ponies clunking their skulls together.

“Come on!” Twilight said, pulling the pair apart and smashing them together several more times. “Kiss!”

Rarity puckered her lips purely out of habit, whereas Applejack did hers out of a desire to preserve the structural integrity of her skull. On Twilight’s next smoosh, Applejack and Rarity’s lips met, and they kissed, for a total of two seconds before they pulled away.

Twilight squealed with delight.

“Wonderful! And just like that, the flame of your passion is ignited. Charity and Applesack are finally given the chance to let their bodies do the talking, and they speak in the language of love...”

Applejack coughed as the taste of vomit bit the back of her throat. Rarity settled for simply looking offended, though she wasn’t sure if it was at Twilight or Applejack for what the implication of her sudden vomiting might mean. She decided to say something while Applejack was being sick.

“Twilight, darling–”

“Midnight Twinkle,” Twilight corrected. Rarity’s smile cracked for a moment, but came together after a second or two.

“Midnight,” Rarity started again, “you really can’t expect us to do something like that.”

“Why not?” Twilight asked, the protest of the previous enactment already forgotten. Her eyes were wide in earnest curiosity.

“Aha... well, how to explain...”

Applejack collected herself from her sputtering and joined in on the conversation.

“‘cause there ain’t no way you’re gonna convince me to get freaky with somepony while another pony watches! This ain’t college anymore.”

Twilight locked her eyes on Applejack, and the black flame in her pupils flickered again, causing Applejack to hunch up, pulling herself back a noticeable distance from the intensity of Twilight’s stare.

“I thought I explained earlier. This isn’t a request.”

“B-but Twilight, dear, you must—”

“Not. A. Request.”

Twilight’s eyes burned brightly, and the light emptied from the room. The darkness of the shadows that had been there before enveloped the furniture and carpet, as well as the vision of everypony inside.

It felt like a candle had been blown out.

In the darkness, somepony coughed.

Rarity became suddenly aware of her once-again proximity to Applejack. She could feel a hoof on her side, with a rough and calloused texture too well-worn to be her own.

Applejack nudged Rarity’s side. Through the darkness, Rarity thought she could make out a pair of green orbs staring at her.

“Well,” Applejack said, her voice teeming with compromise, “I promise to think of Abba songs the whole time if you do.”

Rarity nodded.

“It’ll be over quicker that way, when all’s said and done,” she said, and Applejack nodded back.

Behind the pair, a flash of purple glowed suddenly, set on either side of a pair of dark flames burning in the center.

The sun crept over the horizon like a lazy sloth emerging from its tree. The sprinkles of its light barely made their way to the ground, instead preferring to amble slowly through the clouds on the way there, most of them getting stuck and deciding to come back later in the day when they would be missed more noticeably.

Rarity and Applejack both emerged from the door of Twilight Sparkle’s house. Applejack stretched her forelegs behind her head and yawned. Her back popped with an unsettling cracking noise as she stretched.

Rarity eyed her, but said nothing. She yawned as well, and ran a hoof through her mane, which had become disheveled overnight.

“Well,” she said, turning an eye to Applejack before she looked back to the barely sunlit town in front of her. “That was certainly something.”

“Yep,” Applejack said.

The two stood on Twilight’s front step, taking in the poorly pastoral scenery presented before them. A set of wind chimes rang in the distance, with a sound like two hollow wooden eggs being beat together.

Rarity turned to Applejack with her mouth pursed. Her lips parted after a second more of silence.

“I promise never to speak of this if you don’t, of course.”

Applejack nodded.

“Under penalty of death,” she said with a tone more cheerful than was sensible. Rarity nodded back at her.

“Well, if that’s out of the way, I’ve got to be off to reapply for post-traumatic stress counselling stipends, given the things I’m going to have to work on repressing.”

“Have fun. I’m gonna get down to some back breaking farm labour until I’ve worked so hard my brain’ll only have room for muscle fatigue and heat-stroke.”

“Enjoy yourself,” Rarity said, and walked down the steps to Ponyville proper. Applejack followed seconds after.

After a minute, Twilight Sparkle opened the door the rest of the way and watched the pair walk off in their separate directions. One of her wings brushed a hanging potted plant as she stepped out of the house, and it sent the terracotta ficus house tumbling to the ground, where it shattered. Twilight nodded approvingly. It was Spike’s plant, after all.

With a wistful sigh, Twilight turned her head to the sun. She stared towards it for a moment, awaiting the cross-wipe she knew was coming.

To her surprise, Pinkie Pie waved at her from her periphery. She wasn’t expecting to see anypony out so early.

“Pinkie Pie? What are you doing up at this hour?”

“Just wanted to remind you to put the theme song after the end of the story.”

“It’s not my first time doing this, Pinkie.”

Pinkie Pie nodded enthusiastically and smiled.

“I’m the tragic comic relief!” she said.

The end.

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