Braeburn walked into the clothing store, this, this Carosuel place, concious of his slightly brownish feet. True, Apple Bloom had helped him wash them off with the garden hose she used to water young tree saplings, but the idea of accidently tracking mud into this pony's store didn't sound like a good tactic to win her heart. He had just spent all day plowing the fields at his coz's farm, and the last thing he needed was to track mud into this mare's place of work. The issue pressed upon his mind, and he just couldn't stop worrying. Would she reject him? Probably, but he'd have to keep going. On another note, if he was to experience his first heartbreak, at least it be in a place as beautiful as this. He took careful study of the model horses wearing her capes, the strategic placement of the encrusted jewels. How did one make a career out of that? Braeburn could never possibly do it. If matters didn't come to Appaloosa or apples in general, he felt totally clueless. The buffalo issue was a fine example of his struggle against things not directly related to apples, as was his incompetence to talk to a pony of the opposite gender.
Hard work was required for Ponyville's annual Square Dance, hosted every year by Sweet Apple Acres personally. Oh, it was always a busy time of the year- zap apple jam had to be taken out of its freezer storage, one hundred baskets of apples bucked was the minimum for the trio of Macintosh, Applejack and Bloom, and all the while, pesky green worms came to invade the apple fields, most of which had to be trampled upon in time to save the apples (what Fluttershy did not know did not hurt her). Course, one colt can't just stumble into that there dance floor without some sort of a dance partner, and due the gently urging by Applejack, Braeburn found himself in one of the most sophiscated stores of Ponyville. They sure didn't have nuthin' like this in Appaloosa, no sir...
His thoughts were interrupted by a gleam of white, diamonds, and a string of pearls that seemed to dash into his line of vision. He raised his head just in time to see the fair maiden he had been searching for ever since her visit to his simple farmin' town: Rarity. Beauty divine radiated from her body, and though that funny lookin' dragon fella, who one of Applejack's friends seemed to keep as a pet of some sorts, seemed to take some genuine interest in her, he doubted the reptile was much competition for the lady's heart. Braeburn took off his cowboy hat quickly, and bowed. The leather that made up his hat seemed to stick in his hoof. Was he sweating? Did he show the appearance of being nervous? Good Celestia, he hadn't realized just how hard the arts of love could be.
"Oh! You! Hello, Mister..." The sentence dropped out of her mouth awkwardly. Once bright and dancing lights in her eyes fell below her pupil, and so did the light from Braeburn's heart. She didn't remember his name.
"Braeburn", he offered, nodding his head. This wasn't going the way he planned it in his mind. In his mind, he was a Prince Charming of sorts, and had a basket of roses to offer his true love.
Could he even afford a basket of roses?
"Oh, yes indeed! Braeburn! How goes the farm? And the mayor?"
"He thankfully recovered from that awful pie attack. It was a miracle, really, he suffered quite a nasty burn 'ross his face... As for the farms, though we've had a few quarrels with the buffalo here and there, we seem to been havin' no serious trouble. The apple trees are producing mighty fine in AAAAAAP-" He stopped himself short. Mustn't look like an idiot in front of the mare, and he did get quite into the spirit of his town. "I mean, Appaloosa."
She tilted her head, and a curl fell in front of her heavily make upped eye. "No doubt you are here for my rather stunning country clothes, yes? The big Square Dance is tonight, I hear."
His heart lept, and not at the thought of stunning country clothes. "Well, miss, that's actually why I'm here."
Rarity looked at him , puzzled by his statement. "You're here for country clothes? But your hat and vest look so dashing on you."
"No, no, what I mean to say is... wait, dashing? I thank you truly, m'am. Well, I came here for, uh, I came here for... you? It's just that you look might purdy this evening and I would enjoy the honor of... escorting...?" His voice lost power with every word.
"Is that a question you're asking, dear? I don't quite understand."
"It's just that I've, erm... Oh, sweet apples..." He sunk on the floor in defeat, and a tear or two formed quickly in his eye as he fell. It just wasn't in him to do such a thing, talking to pretty mares; he couldn't do it, and his haunches splayed across the stunningly white tile floor in shame. He would loose yet another gorgeous pony to nerves. Rarity ran to his side without saying a word and sat next to him, perhaps silently trying to put the nervous colt at a steady ease. The pair sat in silence for a minute or two, admiring the other's hind hooves and reflecting on their own silent thoughts. The sound of breathing overpowered the will to talk.
Rarity was the one who made the first move, as one could assume the mare had much practice in the arts of romance, much unlike poor, sweet Braeburn.
She suddenly turned her head toward the Earth pony, who was taken aback by the sudden burst of movement that shattered the silent barrier between them. Careful not to stab him with her horn, the mane of the white pony started the nuzzle the fur of Braeburn's cheek, and he laughed nervously, a blush slamming his face square in the cheeks. The green in his eyes stood out like emeralds amongst the sea of pink.
"I can spot a lovesick pony a mile away, my dear." Rarity's voice was smug, quite sure of herself. But then again, she was right, so why should she not feel pride?
Braeburn lowered his head, and was shocked to feel Rarity's lips touch the bridge of his nose, then quickly pull away. A small wet mark where her lips met Braeburn still remained, and he cherished the feeling happily. It was the first time a woman ever attempted to kiss him besides his mother.
"You came here to ask me if I wanted to attend the Square Dance with you, correct?", Rarity asked as she pulled away from Braeburn's nose. She lighly wiggled her eyelashes, as if trying to seduce the colt. He didn't think it possible, but his blush hardened into an iron solid red.
"Y-yes." It all came down to this moment. Braeburn looked down and squeezed his eyes hard. For all things apple, let my dream come true!
"I would be happy to accompany you."
Those simple words sealed Braeburn's world into a perfect bubble. Nothing could bring him down.
A warm glow lifted in Braeburn's heart, growing brighter with every moment he and his jewel spent in the shop together, sharing small kisses, laughing, nuzzling, having fun just simply being in the company of each other. True, the Square Dance was in an hour or so, and they would have to gallop to the event quickly just to claim a spot on the dance floor.
But for the meantime, they were happy right here, kissing the hour away.
AN: Oh God, how I suck at romance fluff. I tried, people, but when people aren't dying of heartbreak, love is a total alien concept for me to write about. I require critism, and ah need it now!