The night was in full swing as lights exploded throughout the gymnasium, heavy thumping beats cascading themselves across the floor like the pulsing of a heart. Near the end of the gym, on stage in her element, was one Vinyl Scratch, clad in a flashy neon pink suit with purple and blue lightning bolts on it, her trademark shades and headphones outfitted with LEDs that added a whole cyber feel to it. Standing beside her was Octavia Melody, much more formally clad in a simple black tuxedo, but she bobbed her head to the music lightly nonetheless despite it being ludicrously out of her comfort zone. Beside Vinyl, serving as backup, was a blue and red-haired boy, his bright blue headphones standing out against his dark red suit, known locally as the DJ “Tombstone”, as well as Vinyl’s fellow producer partner, Neon Lights. The three DJs fiddled with knobs and buttons on the rather large mixer, occasionally pumping their fists or clapping their hands along to the kicks and snares.
The students made the floor almost impossible to see as souls moved around as one connected being. Micro Chips could be spotted doing the robot and Bulk Biceps was rather nimbly moving his legs around (it seemed those ballet lessons for the play paid off). Off on another side, Lyra Heartstrings and Sweetie Drops had eyes (and hands) all over each other as the two danced in near sync. Trixie Lulamoon stood by the punch table, chatting happily with the Equestrian professor Starlight Glimmer, whom Sunset had managed to drag through the portal, to Princess Twilight’s insistence.
Speaking of Twilight, there she—er, the human one, that is—indeed was, dancing rather awkwardly beside her friends who were much more confident in their rhythms than she was, even Fluttershy. Rainbow was jumping up and down while dancing, managing to convince Fluttershy to do the same, while Sunset’s body swayed to the synthesizers as she simultaneously tried to keep Pinkie from bouncing off the walls. Applejack was currently leading Big Mac and Apple Bloom in a hoedown while Rarity, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo did their best to follow along. The energy was at peak capacity and everyone was evidently having a fun time.
As the song came to a close, Vinyl scratched a record quickly; a signal. As all heads tilted to the stage, she turned to Octavia and signed, to which Octavia translated as: “This next one is for all the couples out on the floor tonight. Grab your partner and hold them close.” Vinyl shot a pair of finger guns at the crowd as she cued up the song.
A peaceful, piano-led waltz followed that, as the lights in the gym dimmed. Multiple couples could be seen moving around in tandem with the gentle plucks of a violin, which was soon joined by Octavia on her cello. Pinkie was hopping around, wrapped in Sunset’s arms as the CMCs did a three-person tango of sorts nearby. A blushing Muffins was being led by an equally shy dark blue-skinned boy, his black and red eyes gazing at her lovingly. Even Starlight could be seen desperately trying to keep a grip on Trixie’s waist as the magician led her in a beginner’s slow dance, giving a rather flirtatious look to the headmare, seemingly teasing her. Beside them was Sonata Dusk, who had actually been invited to the dance by the boy with skin the colour of pure darkness currently holding her in a tango, although he did shoot glances of jealousy to Starlight from time to time, for some odd reason.
Rarity hummed quietly to the music, tapping her feet lightly but otherwise on her own. Twilight had backed out, not wanting to feel like a third wheel to practically an entire crowd. Rainbow and Fluttershy were standing near Twilight to keep her company, but then where was-
She was interrupted mid-thought as a lasso wrapped around her waist and pulled her towards a grinning cowgirl, her knee-length green dress contrasting quite nicely against her tanned skin. Of course, Rarity knew this, seeing as she picked the dress for her girlfriend in the first place, but Applejack was still stunning in it; it was like Rarity was seeing her wear it for the very first time.
“Well, now… Fancy seein’ a fair maiden out round these parts,” murmured Applejack, her eyes lidded in a love-inducing gaze. Rarity’s heart stopped for a moment before it quickly picked up again, beating at an extremely rapid pace; the poor girl almost melted like putty in Applejack’s hands.
Rarity, internally squealing in absolute joy, batted her eyelashes daintily. “Oh, my! I, um... d-do believe a brave sheriff has come to protect me from harm.”
“You betcha, miss,” Applejack winked, twirling Rarity around so she was upright and face to face with Applejack. Hands grasped, the two pulled each other close, their noses inches apart. The two began to step in rhythm; forwards, backwards. Applejack’s hand clasped Rarity’s back as Rarity’s hand rested on Applejack’s shoulder.
“So, dear… y’mind tellin’ me your name, or do Ah have t’a force it out of ya?” Applejack’s voice was low, but heavens above, was it ever doing a number on Rarity’s brain as it desperately wracked itself to keep composed.
“W-why-why, it’s Miss Rarity, of c-course. Surely you couldn’t forget a name like mine , hm?”
“Rarity, huh? Well, ain’t that somethin’: the name fits the gal. Name’s Applejack, Ah’m the one in the streets makin’ sure beautiful dames such as yerself don’t be gettin’ into trouble.” Applejack lowered her hat, brim just barely covering her eyes.
“Oh… oh, y-you flatterer! I’m sure you’re quite a catch to know under all that talk of yours, if I do say so myself!” Rarity giggled as she moved her arms to twirl Applejack towards her, her face a blushing mess. Applejack leaned even closer, closer still.
Whispering into Rarity’s ear, Applejack’s breath tickled her nerves. “Well, how about after this here dance, we find out if you’re dead on?”
Well. That was it. The tension had hit a fever pitch, and Rarity couldn’t help herself any more. She burst out laughing, collapsing in her girlfriend’s arms. Applejack, adjusting her hat back into place, was also glad to drop the teasing and laughed too, pulling Rarity close once more.
Rarity wiped tears from her eyes. “Oh, Applejack… what did I ever do to deserve you, making my wildest fantasies come to life?”
Applejack waved her hand. “Aw, shucks, Rare. Ain’t nothin’ to it, honestly. Ah just… Ah like to see you happy, y’know that?” Cupping Rarity’s cheek, she stared into the other girl’s eyes and saw nothing but pure excitement, passion, and love.
“Oh, I know. You only tell me that… every second day, if I have that right?”
“Am Ah that bad?”
Rarity smiled. “Of course not, darling! I’m happy to have wonderful friends constantly looking out for me, and one particular one in a way I never thought someone could.”
“Well, y’mean a lot to me too, ya fluffy marshmallow.”
“I am not a marshmallow, for the last time!”
Applejack ran her eyes up and down Rarity. “Well, let’s see… soft, squishy—not to mention tasty , if ya catch me—Ah’d say you looks like a ma-”
Rainbow’s agitated voice cut through their flirting. “Will you two kiss already!? Or get a room! I don’t care which one happens first, just… sheesh!” Pinkie popped in from the side, her legs somehow nowhere near the ground, reached into her hair and pulled out (and subsequently blasted) a confetti cannon, showering the two dancers in purple and orange confetti.
Applejack blushed and rubbed the back of her neck awkwardly. “Did we get a bit… carried away?”
“Heavens, no!” exclaimed Rarity. “Why, I think it was the right amount of carrying. Besides, is that not how we work? Big, bold statements of love?”
“Well… Ah guess when you put it like that, Ah s’pose you oughta make a bold statement then, Rares.”
“I will! Right now! ” replied Rarity as she spun Applejack around once more, dipped her, and leaned close. Applejack lifted her hat and raised it towards her friends (specifically Rainbow), blocking the view. Rainbow’s response to this was the most deadpan flip of a middle finger.
A couple of record spins sounded and all heads turned to the stage again. Octavia chuckled while translating for Vinyl, “Alright, party people. We are about to get down again—Vinyl, no offense, but that’s dumb. Only you would s- Alright, alright… As my co-musician was saying, we are about to get down again! Everyone to the floor, and the party shall continue.”
She paused before adding, “Oh, a-and Applejack? Rarity? If you two wouldn’t mind doing that off the dance floor?”
Rarity, while shuffling her feet off to the side of the gym with Applejack in tow, gave a thumbs up; she didn’t even need to look to know that Vinyl was giving one back.
Vinyl lowered her headphones back onto her ears, raised a few levelers, loaded the next song, fist-bumped both Neon and Tombstone, and slammed the play button after a swift crack of her knuckles. Colours and sound ignited in harmony once more as pulsating beats (alternating between a range of 120 and 150 beats per minute, per Vinyl’s catalogue bias) caused the ground to vibrate. This was helped by the stomping of a couple of hundred sets of feet joining in time with the kicks.
Applejack and Rarity released from each other, breathless. As they gazed at each other dreamily, their friends watched on with varying expressions of adoration to complete exasperation.
“It’s getting harder and harder to keep them apart,” remarked Fluttershy.
“Yeah, well… that’s how this works,” Sunset piped in, her arm wrapped around Pinkie’s shoulders. Pinkie simply nodded, her head somehow operating separate from her body which was currently moving to the music.
“And what, y’all gonna try to stop us?” asked Applejack defensively.
“Of course not! You’re lovestruck idiots, but you’re our lovestruck idiots!” exclaimed Dash, winking at the two.
“Oh, and the looks you’ve given Fluttershy all evening aren’t the same?” asked Twilight, a smug expression on her face, eyes narrowed behind her glasses.
“Well… I think it’s cute,” offered Fluttershy, to which Rainbow grew wide-eyed before she grinned and gave Fluttershy a somewhat awkward pair of finger guns.
“Look, what we do as a couple is none of your business! In fact, I feel tempted to grab this beautiful woman beside me and kiss her once more, just to spite you,” Rarity said.
With that, a streak of rainbow light was the only indication that Rainbow had left, aside from the faint sound of Fluttershy shrieking due to being pulled along with her. Sunset and Pinkie had resumed dancing together, and Twilight once more stood awkwardly.
“Y’okay there, Twi?” Applejack gave a look of concern to the socially incapable nerd, who fidgeted with her hands.
“I… I don’t know, I guess? I mean, everyone else has a partner and I just feel a bit… left out.”
“Oh, dear, you aren’t left out at all! Just because most of us are dating each other doesn’t mean that we’re not still close friends,” Rarity laughed, giving Twilight a warm smile.
“Besides, y’don’t have to find someone right away. You may not wanna.”
“Wait, are you suggesting I’m aromantic?” Twilight looked perplexed as Applejack slowly nodded her head in agreement.
“Well, do you ever have that urge to date someone, Twilight? That feeling inside you, oh, what a marvelous feeling it is~! You feel so enamoured by the person…” swooned Rarity, gazing at Applejack in adoration.
“Um… no. Not really. I thought I did, but I haven’t felt it a whole lot these days.”
“And that’s alright, Twi. You’re still you inside, right? Datin’ is just… datin’. Relationships, they don’t define ya. So don’t let what we do, or how you feel about it, get ya down, yeah?” Applejack grinned at Twilight, who slowly returned the smile.
“R-right! Yeah!” said Twilight, giving a thumbs up.
“Now, go see where Dash and Fluttershy are. Enjoy tonight, Sparkle! Y’got all your friends here, and there ain’t no better feelin’ than that.” Applejack embraced the quiet bookworm, Rarity following suit as Twilight smiled brightly, and then she was gone too.
Watching her go, Rarity noted, “I do hope she knows that we support her no matter who she likes... or doesn’t.”
“Oh, she knows. We got ‘er back.” Applejack winked at Rarity confidently before wiggling her eyebrows suggestively. “Now… Ah do believe a fair maiden owes me a lil’ somethin’, if I recall?”
“Is that so? Well, Sheriff, then I reckon you better get yourself over here this instant so I can deliver my reward,” replied Rarity, a blushing mess again as Applejack dipped her this time and their lips met once more.
“Love ya, darlin’.”
“Oh… I love you too, dear.”