Author's Notes: For the life of me I can't figure out why this site wouldn't let me upload a single document yesterday, but today I've got three to upload so far with more to come? As you can tell by now each story is representative of a single character, like I planned. And so far only Rainbow Dash's entry is actually written the morning after the Gala instead of that very same night. After this one you will see Twilight Sparkle returning home, and then on to... Flutttershy... Flutterage? I hope not. I'm still trying to figure out if the Fluttershy story needs more tweaking before posting, as I've finished typing it, but I'm not 100% on if it matches the tone of the rest of them enough. I blame my choice in scene buddies, but then again there isn't very much a rabbit can do when faced with the awesome despair that is Flutterage off her anger high.
Disclaimer: Greetings foalish ponies, the Great and Powerful Trixie will now repeat the words that have been expressed by the Author Sithicus, Lauren Faust created the Great and Powerful Trixie, and the rest of these small-minded small town ponies, apparently some company by the name of Hasbro owns our character likeness rights and produces toys of those pitiful ponies. The Great and Powerful Trixie wonders why she has not yet been granted this privilege as the Great and Powerful Trixie is more deserving of a lucrative toy franchise and likeness than that upstaging Twilight Sparkle and her slandrous friends. The Great and Powerful Trixie hereby states that the above statement is truth and the author Sithicus makes no alternative claims, he is merely writing a... Fan Fiction serial series. Hmm, yes, and I notice a distinct lack of the Great and Powerful Trixie, oh you are attempting to practice writing my character and capturing it on paper, well I can see why the Great and Powerful Trixie does have a certain, style, unique to herself and it would behoove you to get me just right before attempting a story focusing solely on me without these other useless ponies running around. What? Oh yes, that is all that the Great and Powerful Trixie needed to say, enjoy.
Applejack was thoroughly discouraged as she stared up at the saggy old barn, well the roof of said barn at least, it had taken a real pounding after the Parasprites literally devoured the entire place and they'd been forced to cut a few corners for cost's sake.
As it stood to rebuild the barn had required dipping into the Apple Family fund, with the rest of the Apple family busy with their own farms all across Equestria they couldn't have the old fashioned barn raising that Applejack would have preferred.
The scent of the apple trees filled the night air as she approached the back door to the home and quietly entered the kitchen, she half expected Apple Bloom to be the first one there eager to find out how everything had gone, but Applejack knew Big Mac would have ensured Apple Bloom got to bed on time.
Applejack was surprised to smell the telltale scent of coffee percolating on the stove, frowning slightly she glanced up with bone weary reluctance and found the last pony she wanted to see right now sitting at the table waiting for her.
"Sit," Granny Smith instructed calmly.
"Ah'm kind of tired, Granny," Applejack said softly.
"Bone weary exhaustion can wait to be seen to until after you're finished for the night, Applejack," Granny said.
Applejack sighed and pulled out her coin purse, tossing it onto the table she lowered her eyes expecting Granny Smith to start bawlin' her out.
Studying the amount with a well practiced eye Granny Smith nodded. "Better'n I expected, Applejack," she said.
Applejack glanced up in surprise. "You… What? But, Granny, Ah!" she stammered her tongue feeling as though it was tied in knots.
Granny Smith chuckled. "Applejack, I have been around a lot longer than you, dear," she reminded softly. "I knew what ta expect, if nothin' else, the Grand Gallopin' Gala ain't never been much fer proper down home treats. Those high society unicorns and their friends tend ta spend more time jawin' than chewin'." Granny told Applejack as she gathered up the four bits and put them into the large collection tin.
Applejack fidgeted with her hat and tugged at her slightly torn dress. "But, ah was hopin' that we could do so much with them proceeds, cain't do much with just four bits," she said sourly.
Granny Smith chuckled. "Seems ta me that four bits can go a long way, ain't they just about enough to buy another bushel of grass seeds?"
Applejack frowned. "But, Granny, your hip!" Applejack said.
"This old thing?" Granny asked. "Applejack, mah hip has been actin' up for as long as ah can remember, if it takes another year to save up for a new one… Well who am I to complain?" she said with a gentle smile.
The coffee pot made a sound and Granny went to pour herself a cup along with two more.
Applejack frowned. "We got a lot ta do tomorrow, Granny," she reminded eyeing the coffee unsure if it was a good time to be drinking it.
Granny smiled a twinkle in her eyes. "Applejack, you and I both know that you need this," she said.
Applejack let out a welcome sigh and took the proffered cup from Granny's hoof. "This here is goin' ta hit the spot," she said.
"Eyup," Big Mac agreed as he joined the two mares in the kitchen.
"Big Mac, what are ya doin' up at this hour?" Applejack wondered curiously.
Big Mac took up his cup and sipped it carefully so as not to burn his lip. "Well, seein' as how Granny wanted ta be here for ya when ya got home, ah figured it couldn't hurt none to lend my hoof in support," he said with a smile.
Applejack sighed. "Ah failed the Apple Family," she said. "And now we've gotta wait another year ta fix up that roof proper like," she added with a listless shake of her mane.
"Nope," Big Mac said.
"What are you talkin' about?" Applejack demanded shooting her brother a suspicious glare.
Granny Smith smiled as she revealed a large bag of bits.
Applejack's eyes widened in stunned surprise. "Now where the hay did ya'll get that?"
"Language, Applejack," Granny chastised.
"Sorry, Granny, but… How did ya get all them bits?" Applejack asked savoring another taste of the dark brew in her coffee cup.
Granny chuckled and shot Applejack a crafty look. "Ah told ya, Applejack, ah've been around longer than you, a might bit longer I daresay, this here is the costs in damages for all those apples that the guests ruined. Princess Celestia herself agreed ta sign a little contract, just in case," Granny Smith stated proudly.
Applejack spit out her coffee in surprise and her cheeks flushed slightly with shame. "Ya took advantage of knowin' ah'd fail by forcin' the Princess to sign a contract guaranteein' ta pay fer the damages caused!" she demanded.
"Eyup," Big Mac said nodding wisely.
"But that's dishonest!" Applejack protested.
"Nonsense," Granny Smith stated taking a slow savory sip of her coffee. "It's just good business sense, Applejack ya got to learn not to be so rigid when it comes to the level of honesty ya have. It's an admirable quality, I will say, but if ya let yourself and your beliefs take a hold of your life ya'll be penniless and on the street within a month of my passing," she told the young orange coated mare with a stern look.
Applejack reared back as if physically struck. "But, Granny, honesty is the best policy!" she said.
Granny snorted. "Horsefeathers!"
"Granny Smith!" Applejack blurted. "Ya cursed!"
"'Course I cursed," Granny stated. "Ah am old enough to do that sort of thing ya know," she reminded.
Applejack started pacing and found herself looking to the sack of bits from the Princess with growing concern. "No! Ah cain't."
"Can't." Granny shot Applejack a disapproving look.
"Can't," Applejack corrected. "In good conscience take that, it ain't fair, we didn't rightly earn it."
Big Mac chuckled. "Little sis, you're so darn fired sure all the time about bein' honest that sometimes you miss the larger picture," he pointed out.
"And just what's that supposed tah mean?" Applejack asked frustratedly.
"Sometimes ah worry about you," Big Mac said with a sigh. Turning he headed back out of the kitchen.
Applejack watched him go. "He ain't goin' ta explain that comment?" Applejack said turning to Granny.
Granny Smith shook her head. "If you can't figure it out for yerself then you really are hopeless, Applejack," she told her granddaughter.
Feeling tears starting to sting the corners of her eyes Applejack shook herself slightly and charged off.
Granny Smith sighed and took another long sip of her beverage. "She may have been your favorite, and ya did give her that hat o' yours, son, but sometimes ah wonder why it's so hard for her to learn the lessons of horse sense ah try ta drill into her," she told the empty room speaking to somepony who hadn't been around for a long time now.
"She'll figure it out," Big Mac said coming back into the room and taking the sack of bits in his teeth. "Don't you worry none, Granny, Applejack may be stubborn and too honest fer her own good at times, but after all, she is papa's daughter."
Granny chuckled. "As you've got a good head on your shoulders, Big Mac," she said. "So how come there ain't any little fillies or colts runnin' around the place yet?" she asked.
Big Mac's cheeks darkened slightly. "Granny, ya know ah ain't big on the whole marefriend thing," he reminded.
"There's a mighty big group of fine prospects out there," Granny Smith stated. "We gotta carry on the Apple Family name somehow, the way Applejack is always talkin' about that Rarity mare makes me wonder if she's ever goin' to think about colts that way," she said with a soft sigh.
Big Mac's cheeks flushed a dark red once again. "Ah'd better get this someplace safe, knowin' Applejack she'd want to take it back ta to the princess first thing in the morning," he muttered trotting off back out of the room.
Granny smiled and took one last sip savoring the rich texture and flavor of the brew, perhaps if she'd told Applejack just how close to Princess Celestia she really was she wouldn't have felt so terribly about what she thought was taking advantage of somepony. But after all if Applejack did know just how close the two older mares were as friends she'd probably be a might put out, especially when she discovered the real truth, that Princess Celestia had been the one to insist on that darn troublesome contract.
Shaking her head slightly she put her cup in the sink and headed slowly off towards bed. "I'll admit it, sometimes ah'm too honest fer my own good too, and stubborn, guess that's where she get's her's from," she whispered.