I don't own MLP: FiM or any of the characters.

Country Boy

Chapter One

Rarity smiled broadly as she felt the neat embroidery on the custom-made vest for Applejack. Upon her blonde friend's request, Rarity had made her a new piece of clothing with pockets to store seeds and other small gardening tools. It had taken quite a while to perfect, but Rarity was proud of it. Made of tan leather with a golden embroidery, it had small pockets on each side, and was what Rarity fondly called "the epitome of country couture."

Putting the vest into a gift bag with an apple pattern, Rarity hummed happily as she exited Carousel Boutique. Sunlight reflected off of her porcelain coat as she strolled down the street, her violet curls bouncing as she went. She loved trotting through the streets of Ponyville with pride and grace, flaunting the particular piece of clothing she had made that day. However, today, the clothing remained in the gift bag. Despite the vest being the perfect fashion choice for any worker of Sweet Apple Acres, Rarity bristled at the thought of wearing it in public. It wasn't exactly the French couture that she was used to wearing.

Soon, she was greeted warmly by the heavenly scent of freshly grown apples as she made her way down a row of apple orchards. She was glad spring was keeping the weather slightly cool. If it had been in the middle of summer, she would've been sweaty and less-than-pretty by the time she made it to Applejack's home. If anypony would've seen her makeup running and her hair frizzy, Rarity would have been absolutely horrified.

Shaking off the idea of that ever happening, she walked by hundreds of apple orchards, until she saw the ranch house where the Apple family resided. It wasn't exactly quant (it was quite large, actually) but it had enough country feel to make you feel like you were in Appleloosa. Outside of it, in the yard, Applejack and Rainbow Dash appeared to be playing a game of horseshoes. Rarity crinkled her nose at the sight of the two's coats glistening with sweat, each of their hooves embossed with mud.

Ignoring her need to nag them about cleanliness, Rarity plastered on a polite smile, and made her way over to the two competitive fillies at a slow pace. "Hello Applejack, Rainbow Dash."

"'Sup, Rarity!" Rainbow Dash happily greeted her, waving a hoof in her direction.

Horse shoe in mouth, Applejack directed her attention towards Rarity, looking annoyed at having their game interrupted. However, when she saw the bag Rarity carried, her face lit up. Recklessly setting the horse shoe on the ground, Applejack galloped over to her at an excited pace.

"Here is that vest you wanted, AJ," Rarity said as she handed the bag over to Applejack, awkwardly saying her nickname. "It took me a long time to complete it, but I'm sure you'll be satisfied."

Roughly taking the vest out of the bag, Applejack grinned at it. "Thank ya kindly, Rarity. This'll make plantin' seeds a mite easier. But, uh, how much money do ah owe ya for makin' this here beauty?"

"Oh, you don't owe me a penny," Rarity assured her. "Just don't get it too dirty when working, please. It takes a while to get stains out of this kind of material, you know."

Applejack's eyes sparkled as she gazed adoringly at the vest. "Ah make no promises, partner. But you bet I'll try to keep it from rippin' or anything."

Rarity smiled at her friend, and nodded. "I assume I've interrupted your game. Let me be on my way. I've got a ton of orders backed up, since I spent so much time on that vest."

"Ya sure you don't wanna join us, Rarity?" Applejack asked, holding the vest in her hoof as if it were a child. "Ah mean, the more the merrier, ya know."

Rarity tried to restrain cringing at the idea of getting her polished hooves covered with grime. "No-no, that's quite alright. I would probably end up embarrassing myself if I tried horse shoes. But thank you for the offer, Applejack."

"I'd best hurry on and put this beauty inside," Applejack said, turning to go into the ranch house.

"No!" Rarity called out. Applejack stopped abruptly, and she and Rainbow Dash gave Rarity a confused look. "You'll ruin the carpet in your home with mud tracks!"

Looking down at her hooves, Applejack frowned. "Ah guess you're right... I'll ask someone who's inside to carry it in."

Rarity sighed in relief, smiling lightly. Applejack had been talking nonstop about some family reunion, and Rarity didn't want Applejack to embarrass herself with dirty carpet. The horror!

"BRAEBURN! GET OUT HERE!" Applejack hollered, making her two friends jump.

"Who's Braeburn?" Rainbow Dash immediately asked, curiosity in her voice.

Applejack gave her a look. "Ya don't remember mah cousin from Appleloosa? The tour guide?"

Rainbow Dash's face revealed her sudden realization. "Oh! Well, we never really introduced ourselves, so of course I didn't remember..."

Trying not to look dense? Typical Rainbow Dash. Rarity thought. However, she too only vaguely remembered the overexcited colt whom had shown them the sites of Appleloosa. She knew he was very enthusiastic, and wasn't too keen on solving problems. He hadn't been much help in solving the arguments between the buffalo and ponies of Appleloosa, that was for sure.

Applejack gave Rainbow Dash a look. "Uh-huh. Anyways, Braeburn an' a few other of mah family members are visiting 'cause of me and Granny Smith hosting the Apple family reunion. Geez, that colt hated leaving Appleloosa, but he said family always came first. He sure loves that town..."

She let her voice trail off just as the three fillies heard the door of the ranch house creak open. It revealed a sleepy-looking colt with a messy, amber mane and half-closed, emerald green eyes. He rubbed his eyes sleepily before yawning loudly.

Applejack's eyebrows met angrily as she began to scold the colt who was slowly approaching them. "Ah can't believe you slept 'til this late in the afternoon, Braeburn. If you'd been in Appleloosa, you'd be up at the crack of dawn to plow the gardens!"

Braeburn shone a carefree smile at Applejack's nagging. "Aw, I'm sorry, cousin Applejack. The train ride from Appleloosa to Ponyville last night was just terrible, and I didn't get a lick of sleep. Them bumpy train tracks mixed with that loud train engine was a recipe for insomnia."

Applejack's eyes softened at Braeburn, and she smiled. "Alright, just don't oversleep again, if you can help it. Big McIntosh and I could really use the extra hooves on the farm."

Braeburn nodded in agreement, before directing his attention towards Rarity and Rainbow Dash. "Ain't these two your friends that visited Appleloosa with you?"

"Yep. This here is Rainbow Dash"-Applejack pointed at Dashie- "and this here is Rarity," she continued, directing her hoof towards Rarity.

Braeburn flashed them a goofy grin, and Rarity greeted him politely. Rainbow Dash attempted brohoofing him, only for Braeburn to be hopelessly confused. This led to her having to explain to him the concept of a brohoof.

After the explanation, Applejack was ready to get back to horseshoes. "Alright, alright, that's enough chit-chat. Braeburn, the reason Ah called ya out here was 'cause Ah needed you to carry this here vest inside. Rarity made it for me, and she didn't want me to bring it inside, since my hooves were dirty."

Braburn took the vest and held it loosly, examining it carefully. "Whew! This is a real sight, Miss Rarity. It's more than a mite nicer than my worn-out work vest, that's for sure."

Rarity beamed at the compliment. "Why, thank you Braeburn. I can fix up your vest too, if you want me to."

"You'd really do that?" Braeburn looked up at her, eyes wide and hopeful like an infant pony.

"Oh, of course! In fact, I'll make you a completely new vest, if you want me to. No charge, of course," Rarity said, remembering that she held the element of generosity. She also realized that Braeburn wasn't wearing his cowboy hat, nor his vest. Perhaps he was about to wash the vest?

"That'd be great, Miss Rarity! But I can't go without payin' ya. It'd hang on my concious like a monkey hangs on a vine."

"Er, what's a monkey?" Applejack piped up, looking utterly confused.

Ignoring Applejack's ignorance, Rarity assured Braeburn that payment wasn't necessary. "However, we're going to have to set a date so I can get accurate measurements to make your vest the appropriate size."

"We can do it tomorrow," Braeburn said. "If you want to."

"But Braeburn," Applejack interrupted. "You were supposed to help me and Big Mac prepare for the family reunion. It's only a week away, y'know."

"Oh, it won't take long," Rarity assured Applejack. "I doubt it will even take twenty minutes. I'd do it right now if I could, but I don't have my measuring tape with me right now. He could be back and plowing before he's even missed."

Applejack frowned, pondering the situation, before smiling. "Heck, it ain't even my decision, really. Go on ahead if ya wanna, Braeburn."

Braeburn's face lit up as he pulled Applejack into a bone-crushing embrace. "Aw, cousin, you're just a sweet lil' farm girl that wants to spend time with her cousin! I'll make sure the measuring will be extra quick, just so we can work together!"

Applejack gasped for air as Braeburn's grip tightened. "That's... uh... r-really... nice, Braeburn."

Rarity smiled at the two bonding, only to see the vest was being crushed in their little hug-fest. "The vest! You're wrinkling the vest!"

Hearing Rarity's frantic words, Braeburn released Applejack, and smiled sheepishly.

"Hehe... Sorry 'bout that!"

I re-wrote this several times, and honestly, I'm still not really pleased with it. Also, the title is subject to change. If you haven't figured this out already, this story is about a love triangle between Rarity, Braeburn, and Rainbow Dash. Don't crucify me for writing this, please?

Next chapter will hopefully be up within a month. If that's too long, I'm sorry. I've got school (my grades have been less-than-proficient), play practice, and other endeavers going on in my life right now. Fanfictions aren't in my top priorities right now, but I'll try to write them as much as possible.