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:
Rarity was glad that Twilight had agreed to see about Big Macintosh's intelligence. Her asking would be so much more subtle than it would have been if Rarity had been forced to do it herself and, at this stage at least, subtlety was a necessity. Of course, that was only one part of the picture. When Twilight left for Sweet Apple Acres, Rarity could not simply wait; she had other threads to tend to, and a plan to stitch together, and so she left the library when Twilight did, though in the opposite direction. All the evaluation in Equestria would matter little if Big Mac weren't single. Rarity did not want to play dirty, but she knew that if there were competition for Big Mac, she might have to; all's fair in love and war, after all.
"The things one considers for the sake of romance," Rarity sighed to herself. Despite her misgivings, she knew she would not give up on her destiny easily, now that she'd caught sight of a worthwhile goal. On some level, Rarity had always known that her dream of marrying Princess Celestia's nephew had been just that: a dream; Big Mac seemed to be a much more realistic, if unfortunately far less glamorous, goal. Still, she had her vision, and who was she to argue with destiny?
Rarity soon arrived at her destination: Pinkie Pie's house. To Rarity's eyes, the building was far too small to make a good home. It was simple wooden house with a large brick chimney, and it appeared to contain only one room, though Rarity had never been inside. The strangest thing about the place was the complete lack of windows; unless you counted the occupant, of course, in which case the lack of windows was a distant second in terms of strangeness.
Rarity knocked on the door, and in just a moment Pinkie Pie opened the door a crack and stuck her head out to look around. "Oh hi Rarity. What brings you out here? Do you need candy? Cause they have candy at the store, all the candy here is mine and you can't have it! Unless you really want it. Do you?"
"No thank you, Pinkie Pie, dear," Rarity replied, as smoke began to billow out of the slightly open door, "I've got a favor to ask of you is this a good time to talk? Is there something burning in there, darling?"
Pinkie Pie giggled, "I've always got time to talk to a good friend about candy." She walked outside and closed the door without giving Rarity a chance to see into the house. "What do you need," Pinkie Pie added, smiling.
"Uh, darling, what about the smoke?" Rarity asked, concerned.
"Don't worry about that. It'll be fine till I can get back to it," Pinkie Pie replied with a dismissive wave of her hoof.
Rarity was not convinced, but decided to drop it. Pinkie Pie would be Pinkie Pie, and if she were going to burn down her own house, she probably would have done so before now. "Well you see, it's a bit of a long story, but to put it in the simplest terms, Twilight and I used magic to see something about the future, and we had a vision that told me that I am destined to fall in love... or is it marry? The vision wasn't specific, but that's not the point, dear. The point is that I'm supposed to end up with an Apple, and I believe that the Apple in question is Big Macintosh. So that's why I need to talk to you: you know everypony who's anypony in Ponyville. Do you know if Big Mac is seeing anyone, dear?"
Pinkie Pie's head tilted in thought, "Well I don't think so, but I'm not sure. Big Mac's not into the party scene, which is just too sad. Did you say you saw the future? Was I in it? Was I still pink? I suppose I could ask Applejack for you, she'd probably know. It's her brother, after all. And I know you can't ask her cause you'd just get in a fight and nopony wants that. Is there candy in the future?"
Rarity put on a tolerant smile, "Yes, Pinkie Pie, there is candy in the future. And I'd really appreciate you asking Applejack about Big Mac. And darling, please do have some subtlety when you ask about this."
"Subtlety is my middle name," Pinkie Pie replied, turning to walk toward Sweet Apple Acres, "I'm all about subtlety. I'll go ask her right now. Thanks for the alibi, Rarity. Bye"
Rarity called out after her, "What about the smoke?"
Pinkie Pie turned her head to smile at Rarity, "Don't you worry your silly mane about that. It's all under control."
Rarity gave the door a mistrustful glance before calling again to the rapidly departing pink pony, "If you say so Pinkie Pie. Thanks again. Au revior, dear." She turned to head back to the library; Twilight might be back by this time, and she was quite interested in hearing the results of her little reconnaissance.
"Oh Rarity, you're quite good at this. It look like it all might come together with no fuss at all," Rarity reassured herself, smiling as she thought of what needle she needed to thread next.
Pinkie Pie hopped swiftly toward Sweet Apple Acres, passing Twilight Sparkle on the road not far out of town; the unicorn was headed toward Ponyville. Pinkie had called out to her purple friend, but Twilight hadn't seemed to notice her, probably lost in thought over another book or magic or something. Twilight always seemed to have her head in the clouds. Why couldn't she be more down to Earth, like Pinkie Pie? Come to think of it, Rainbow Dash had her head in the clouds all day, and she was still down to Earth. Maybe Dash was just really tall, metaphorically speaking. Pinkie considered this for a time.
Her loosely linked chain of thought kept Pinkie Pie thoroughly entertained until she reached Sweet Apple Acres. Applejack did not appear to be at work among the apple trees, so Pinkie Pie headed for the farm house, thinking that the Earth pony might be taking a rare moment of rest at home. Pinkie was pleased when her knock at the door got a quick response. "Come on in, the door's unlocked, y'all."
Pinkie Pie let herself in, and found Applejack in the kitchen, stirring something in a mixing bowl. "Whatcha doin' Applejack, ya cookin' somethin' sweet? Huh huh huh?" Pinkie Pie had to address the issue of food before she could get around to less important subjects.
Applejack looked at Pinkie Pie sternly, "Well, ahm helpin' Granny Smith with preparin' fer bakin' her famous apple pies while she gets in a nap. They won't be ready fer hours yet, but yer welcome to a piece then. One piece, Pinkie Pie, an' not a whole hootin' pie like las' time." Her countenance softened, "Now what brings you 'round to Sweet Apple Acres? Ah know you can't smell pie makin' all the way from town. Somethin' twitchin' tell you?"
Pinkie Pie considered how to ask her question, "Well, I didn't come out here for pie, even though I'm really happy you're offering now, since I do like pie a whole lot, especially Granny Smith's apple pie, but the reason I came was to ask a question: do you know if Big Mac is seeing anyone? Like, not with his eyes, but with the dating?"
Applejack paused her stirring as she processed what Pinkie Pie had asked, then turned toward her slowly with a gigantic grin on her face, "Oh? Has our Pinkie Pie taken a shine to Big Macintosh? Don't be shy now, it's jus' us fillies here."
Pinkie Pie shook her head, "I'm kind of asking cause another pony wants to know cause she wants a shot at him. I think he's nice and all and no offense but your bother isn't my type."
Applejack's interest only seemed to grow, "So then who is it? This is some grade A gossip, yeh've got here Pinkie, an' that's a great way ta pass time on the farm."
"Rarity," Pinkie Pie replied without thinking, and immediately got the feeling that she may have made a mistake. Applejack's playful grin had disappeared.
"Rarity." Applejack echoed, voice utterly flat.
Pinkie Pie put on what she hoped was a reassuring smile, "Uh, yes?"
"Rarity told you she wanted to date Big Mac? Fussy, obsessive-compulsive, vain, full of herself Rarity?" Applejack asked, tension entering her voice.
"Er, yes, that Rarity, though it's not nice to-"
Applejack interrupted, anger dripping from every word, "You tell Rarity to stay away from Big Mac. D'ya hear me? Go tell her that." Applejack turned back to stirring the mix for the pie crust, the wooden spoon clenched hard enough in her teeth to begin to visibly dent.
Pinkie Pie was shocked by her friend's sudden change of mood. "I gue-"
Applejack had dropped the spoon just long enough to interrupt with a shout, "Go! NOW!"
Pinkie Pie left. It hurt her to see one of her friends so upset. She hoped that Applejack would get over it soon. Maybe the pie would make her feel better, since a little twitch told Pinkie Pie that the apple pie would be just perfect this time. That was good; the last batch's crust had needed a bit more salt.
Rainbow Dash reclined on a makeshift bed in the branches of an old oak. It was good to rule the skies; she could make her own perfect day for napping. The sun was warm, the sky was clear, and Dash had not a care in the world. Later, she might practice some of her tricks, or work on a new one, but the decision was all hers. Yep, life was good.
Dash's self-congratulations were disturbed by the sound of a pony passing under the oak. Curious, Dash leaned over to see who the passerby was, and then grinned in recognition. "Hey Pinkie Pie, how's it going?"
Pinkie Pie looked up, and Dash noticed that her face had an uncharacteristic look of concern. Her voice was tinged with uncertainty when she replied, words coming out in a rush, "Dash I think I screwed up you see I just came from Applejack's house cause Rarity had told me to go ask Applejack if Big Mac is dating anypony and I asked Applejack and she wanted to know who wanted to know and I told her it was Rarity and she got real mad and told me to leave and she was really mad and I don't know what to do." Pinkie Pie paused, out of breath.
Dash's mood had darkened considerably. She didn't know why somepony always had to ruin her perfect days. "So let me get this straight. You told Applejack that Rarity wants to date Big Mac?"
"Right," Pinkie Pie nodded emphatically.
"And you don't understand why Applejack is upset?"
"Right," Pinkie pie replied, continuing her nod.
"So basically you're blind?"
"Right," the nodding continued for a few seconds, then Pinkie Pie stopped and frowned. "Wait a second. I'm not blind! What are you talking about?"
Rainbow Dash pointedly ignored the question, "Why does Rarity want to date Big Mac, anyway? She's never mentioned him before. She was always set on that prince in Canterlot."
"Well, she said Twilight used some magic to show her future stuff," Pinkie replied, trying to remember details, "And she said the vision told her that she'd love an Apple. So she thought it must be Big Mac."
Rainbow Dash facehoof'd. She'd thought that her friends were supposed to be smart. "Look, I'm going to go find Applejack and try to fix this. You just try not to screw anything else up today, okay Pinkie?"
A streak of rainbow light shot off toward Sweet Apple Acres as Rainbow Dash flew, grumbling about the waste of good nap time.
Rarity smiled. Twilight had seemed a bit distracted when she gave her report, but she was satisfied by Twilight's assurance that Big Macintosh was, indeed, intelligent enough to suit her. Nopony in Ponyville was more qualified to judge a stallion's smarts than the town librarian, after all. Still, she knew that she could not rest yet; while Pinkie Pie obtained information from Applejack, Rarity set off in search of Rainbow Dash. Dash's competitive streak would be essential in the next phase of Rarity's plan. She hummed to herself as she scanned each tree in her path for napping pegasi.
Despite her speed, Rainbow Dash was able to spot Applejack from the air as she approached Sweet Apple Acres. The mare was standing outside, just staring at the ground; it looked as bad as Dash had expected. She landed just in front of the other mare, and said the first thing that came to mind, the best advice she knew how to give.
"Applejack, you've got to tell her."