Romance "Run"

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As Fimfiction is currently down, I thought I'd post this story here. It's a shipping story with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. They're aged up, but I haven't decided exactly how old. It's still a little rough around the edges; needs a little editing. It's more than a little bit sappy.



Apple Bloom held Sweetie Belle tight.

After years of travelling the world, coming back to Ponyville for a few nights every few months, Sweetie's parents had decided that it was time to stop wandering. They'd bought a house and invited Sweetie to move back in with them. It hadn't been an easy decision — Sweetie loved living with her big sister, and Rarity had made it very clear that she would be happy for Sweetie to stay as long as she wanted, but she'd missed her parents so much, and decided to go to live with them.

The only problem was that it was in Canterlot. She'd miss her friends, of course, but she imagined she'd be coming back to visit Rarity every school holiday, so she'd have plenty of opportunities to see Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, and Sunny and Peachy, and all of her other friends and class mates. But somehow she knew it would never be the same.

Her friends had been so supportive of her decision. She knew that without their support, she would never be able to get through a change as big as this one. She'd been barely older than a foal when her parents had left to go travelling, dumping her on a reluctant Rarity. She barely knew them really, but her friends, Scootaloo especially, had convinced her that if she didn't take this opportunity to get to know her parents, she might regret it for the rest of her life.

Yesterday, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom had even helped her pack her stuff into boxes. Sweetie had caught Apple Bloom staring at her Crusader costume. "You can keep it… if you like… to remember me."

Apple Bloom had sniffed. "Don't be such a sap, Sweetie. Why would I want this to remember you by? You're going to be coming back all the time, right? Canterlot's not far away anyway — I'm sure Applejack will let me visit." She'd stuffed the costume quickly into one of the boxes. "Besides, you'll need it for when you set up the Canterlot division of the Crusaders, right?" Sweetie had nodded.

After weeks of planning and long goodbyes, today was finally the day. The sky was a dark grey, as a downpour had been scheduled for today. The first drops of rain were already splattering the ground.

Apple Bloom remembered when she'd first met Sweetie Belle. How she and Scootaloo had defended her against some bullies. They'd shared cookies and milkshakes, and the three of them had vowed to be best friends and stick together no matter what. And they'd kept their promise, though if truth be told, Apple Bloom had always felt that little bit closer to Sweetie Belle than she was to Scootaloo.

This felt like the last time she'd get to hug her best friend. She remembered the first time. The Crusaders had been having a sleepover at Fluttershy's cottage. Fluttershy had saved them from a near death experience. It had been like water off a duck's back to Scootaloo who had soon been snoring loudly at the other end of the bed they'd had to share. Apple Bloom had been lying awake, unable to shake the images of the forest out of her mind, and then suddenly she'd felt Sweetie Belle hug her from behind. "I can't have you falling out of the bed," Sweetie had said — Apple Bloom was at one edge of the small bed — but they both knew it was about more than that. Apple Bloom had nestled into Sweetie's warmth and they'd both fallen asleep. When she'd woken in the morning, Sweetie was already awake, but still holding her.

That all seemed so long ago now.

Sweetie Belle broke off the hug. Apple Bloom thought she could see tears in Sweetie's eyes, but it might have just been the rain, which was now falling harder. Sweetie hopped into the cart that her parents had hired to help move her stuff, finding a place to sit in the back, between the boxes.

The wheels of the cart began to move, and Sweetie blew a kiss to her friend and waved until Apple Bloom was out of sight. Apple Bloom hadn't said anything. She was leaving, and Apple Bloom hadn't tried to stop her. If Apple Bloom had said one thing — just one thing, then she would have stayed. But deep down, she knew that Apple Bloom didn't love her the way she loved Apple Bloom. Even if she had stayed, she knew that Apple Bloom would never want her the way she wanted Apple Bloom. She nestled down amongst the boxes, with tears rolling down her cheeks.

Apple Bloom watched as the cart rolled away. The tears she'd fought so hard to hold back now flowed freely, as she turned away to walk home, her soaking wet locks clinging to her face.

She thought about the times she'd spent with Sweetie — the crusading, the sleepovers, the camping trips, the singing — and goodness, could that girl sing! The thought of not hearing her voice every day was unbearable. She remembered the tears she'd wiped away from Sweetie's cheeks when Sweetie had had problems bonding with Rarity. Those beautiful green eyes had been so full of sorrow, and Apple Bloom would have done anything to see them twinkling again. She knew she would do anything to make Sweetie happy.

So why had she let Sweetie go? All the reasons she'd come up with when Sweetie had first broke the news that she was leaving seemed so inconsequential now. How could she let her go when she loved her? Because Apple Bloom did love Sweetie Belle, didn't she? More than that, she was in love with her. How had it taken her so long to realize that? How could she let Sweetie go without telling her that?

Apple Bloom turned back, a look of determination on her face. She started to run. She ran faster than she'd ever run in her life. The hard rain lashed at her face, stinging her cheeks as she pounded the road, putting every ounce of her energy into it. Lightning struck in the distance, lighting up the sky. Deafening rolls of thunder sounded, getting louder and louder, but she was not deterred.

She saw the cart in the distance. Sweetie would tell them to slow down so she could catch up, but she couldn't see Sweetie in the back. But the cart just seemed to be moving faster and drawing further away.

Apple Bloom pushed herself harder, feeling her heart straining, drawing on the strength that all members of her family had. The rain whipped against her and the wind drew her pony tail out into a streak behind her as she ran faster than she'd ever thought possible. Slowly she started to gain ground on the cart until she was within shouting distance. Though her chest was heaving, struggling to draw in enough oxygen to keep her going, she managed to shout Sweetie's name.

Sweetie Belle looked up, her eyes full of tears and saw Apple Bloom running alongside the cart. She banged on the front of the cart to alert the driver. "Stop the cart!" she yelled.

The cart slowed down, and Apple Bloom with it, until they'd come to a stop. Sweetie Belle climbed down from the back of the cart and stood beside her friend.

Apple Bloom panted, unable to say a word. The storm continued around them. Sweetie's long pink and lilac curls had straightened out in the rain and were clinging to her body.

Apple Bloom slowly looked up to Sweetie Belle, seeing her sparkling green eyes. "Sweetie," she panted, "I couldn't let you go — I just couldn't — not without telling you something." There was no easy way to say it. Just three words, but three words that could change everything.

Sweetie pulled her into an embrace. She already knew.

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