Warnings and Disclaimers:
Characters in this work are property of their respective owners, I do not own any of them, and do not intend to make any sort of profit off of this work.
This My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfiction involves shipping. If you don't know what that means, please go read up on it at http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Shipping before reading.
If you are made uncomfortable by ANY form of romance between ANY two intelligent beings, this fanfiction may not be to your liking. Continue only with caution.
And now, on with the show:
Twilight Sparkle watched the last orange rays of dusk fade. When night had well and truly fallen, she turned with a sigh and began preparations to close the library for the night. When she'd first taken on her role as librarian to Ponyville, she had only kept the library open until mid-afternoon. Those hours had generally been sufficient; the library was never busy, catering mostly to young ponies studying and adult ponies that wanted a new piece of fiction every few weeks. In the past few months, however, Twilight had kept the doors open late, all for one special customer.
He came once every few days, like clockwork, to return the book he'd checked out on his last trip. Inevitably, he would spend a few minutes wandering around the library, perusing the shelves, deciding on what book to check out; he always checked out at least one, every trip. Usually, they would exchange a few words; greetings, pleasantries, the occasional jest. Twilight spent most of the time he was in the library trying not to watch him. It was difficult. He would end up leaving well after dark. Twilight did not blame him for that; she knew that work on the farm didn't end until near sunset, the trip from Sweet Apple Acres was a long one, and Twilight never regretted working a few extra hours to wait for Big Macintosh.
Seeing the red stallion walk in to the library was the high point of Twilight's days. She didn't know what about him attracted her so much. Perhaps it was how safe he made her feel. Intellectually, she knew that her magic was a more powerful response to a threat than anything the Earth pony could have done. Still, there was something about his towering presence and the timbre of his voice that made Twilight feel like when Big Mac was in the room, nothing bad could ever happen, and nothing could possibly harm her. Perhaps it was the words they shared; His greetings swelled Twilight's heart and his jokes never failed to make her laugh. Perhaps the attraction was more physical than she would have cared to admit; long days on the farm had given Big Mac an impressive musculature. Whatever it was, Twilight could not deny its effect on her; butterflies had invaded her stomach in anticipation of seeing him.
Eventually, as she had hoped, he arrived. He said his greetings. He returned his book. He asked her about her day, and made a few jokes. The conversation was a blur in Twilight's mind. He lingered in the library, checking in each of the sections, before finally selecting a tome to take home. He brought it to her so that she could check it out, and she took it from him with her magic, made a few marks in the logbook with a quill, and surreptitiously slipped a note into the book before levitating it into his saddlebag. Then, as quickly as he had come, he was gone. That was always the worst part of Twilight's days.
As she locked the door, she thought of the note. All her feelings for him, spilled out on paper. This was her third note to him. Twilight Sparkle suspected that he had ignored her first two notes, but desperately hoped that it wasn't so. She thought that ignoring the notes might be his way of letting her down easy; she knew that she would have been devastated if he'd simply told her outright that the feelings were not mutual. With a heavy heart, she'd decided that this would be her last note to him. If he didn't respond to this one, she'd accept that they weren't meant to be, and try to get on with her life without him.
However hard she expected that to be.
Big Macintosh berated himself for his cowardice.
It was the same as just about every other time he'd gone to the library. He had entered ready to declare his feelings for Twilight Sparkle, but his courage had fled as soon as he saw her. He'd forced himself to make small talk, feeling like the most awkward pony ever to walk on the face of Equestria. He'd managed to return the library book he'd checked out on his last unsuccessful attempt at asking out the unicorn of his dreams. All that accomplished, he'd failed to gather the determination necessary to attempt a confession, and puttered about the library for a few minutes, trying not to stare at Twilight, before finally grabbing a book at random and checking it out.
The comedy of errors had been the highlight of his day, as it always was, but it left him practically kicking himself for his failure. He took one last look at the library, barely lit by the newly risen moon, before turning to walk toward Sweet Apple Acres. The walk home was inevitably the worst part of Big Mac's day; the stallion was alone with his failure and his regrets.
Big Macintosh's only comfort was the weight of the book in his saddlebag. The book gave him a good reason to come back and test his courage again in a few days, though that's the only good he'd get out of it. Big Mac never read the books he checked out from the library; between his trips, they sat in his saddlebags unopened, gathering dust. He'd never so much as cracked a single one.