Applejack is well known as a hard-working, honest mare. With her reputation long established, she no longer feels the silly need to overwork herself, and gladly takes vacations when the season is just right. A change of scenery is good for a mare who knows how to own the place. Tagging along with her partner Rarity in the nooks of fading summer, she’s eager to blow off steam in any way she sees fit. And takes it out in bed if the steam-blowing amenities are lacking – but they rarely are (and Rarity rarely complains when she does so). Even in the concrete jungle of Manehattan, the earth mare gets her own way.
Back in Ponyville, she’s known for some things, and outright infamous for others. Applejack’s got quite a pair of feet – large to fit her impressive stature, plump as compensation for her weight in musculature, dense with thick, pliable earth pony flesh. Formerly possessing of a rough patch and a callous or two, a matter quickly resolved after her and Rarity became an item. And Applejack really doesn’t mind if everyone around her gets to see them for themselves. Correction: she aggressively gives negative shits about whether you like rounding the corner and seeing her bare feet propped up somewhere it’s hard to escape witnessing them. Feet this large and work this strenuous take their toll, and no boots will keep you comfy enough. And while she’s known across Equestria, she’s hardly enough of a celebrity for the rumors to bleed out far enough. Especially because Rarity is so utterly and completely fed up with her hijinx that she wouldn’t even gossip about it.
A couple days into their Manehattan vacation, as the hotel is cast in vibrant sunset hues, Applejack takes her leave to get some evening snacks. Rarity politely refuses to eat at the classless diner her marefriend wants to visit, and AJ herself refuses the overpriced hotel food. Throwing on her vest and jeans, she pokes her tongue and taunts Rarity, promising to not have too much fun outside. She leaves Rarity to her evening TV. She also leaves behind her socks and shoes.
Her bare feet step soundly on the hotel carpets, thudding toward the elevator. Once inside, they bap and plop against the smooth metal texture as she idly examines the boring tourist info notes. The chilly elevator floor shudders her a lot less than her naked feet shudder her co-riders. They leave subtle imprints on the glassy floor. When someone finally points it out that she’s not wearing any shoes, Applejack replies with a simple ‘Yep’ and makes direct eye contact. The mare leaves onto the streets with a satisfied smirk.
Outside, her fleshy soles pad against the warm tiles. AJ strides through the trickle of pedestrians, hands in the pockets of her jeans. Her posture and walk are easy and loose, filled with nonchalant confidence like the city’s streets are with daily dust. Applejack can feel grey and black particles mass up on her balls and heels, resulting in the subtlest scraping sensation when these prodigious surfaces grind against the tiles, stones and asphalt. Her stepping is unaltered from her usual walk, as she can’t be bothered to put the extra weight on the front of her feet. Her bare feet drop down onto the sun-warmed streets with all their weight. Applejack has no reservation about using the streetlight time at a crowded crossing to raise a foot and examine it, chuckling at the dust, pebbles and moisture she’d amassed after crossing two blocks.
The light thumping and gentle burning sensation present in her most stepped-on areas are a nice sensation, similar to the muscle soreness from physical work. Sweat beads trail down her temples and sides, circulation kicked into high gear by the inadvertent massage as her weight repeatedly meets hard, heated surfaces. Even despite the street noise, she takes a circuitous route, taking in the sensations and the occasional stare.
The diner is not an excuse for her to putz around in bare feet – she’s too bad at lying to make that one up – and it is in fact her destination. A so-and-so burger place with food that seems edible to her, but by no means is good enough for Rarity. Applejack just recently had her fill of driving Rarity up the wall, so this place is perfect. As she walks in, suppressing a widening grin, the mare already knows she’s gonna have her fill of entertainment, if nothing else.
The diner isn’t jam packed, but it’s got a sensible crowd. Enough city trash to shake a stick at, though Applejack has no such plans. She walks around, appreciating the décor, scoffing at the fancy-shmancy touchscreen panels, and idly digging her toes into the main diner carpet. Her acute sixth sense and sharp hearing let her pick up every bewildered stare and shushed remark whenever one city folk specimen or another would notice. Her distaste for newfangled tech may have been only half the reason she decided to stand in line, checking for messages on her brick phone, hand on her hip, one foot drawing circles on the floor with its big toe.
As Rarity back home realizes what’d happened and begins to barrage her with furious texts, Applejack snickers and orders herself some good old greasy burgers (seeing no point in even trying what the city folk would consider ‘natural’). Paying extra for waiter service, she departs for her table. Her table stands at just the right point to overlook most of the diner. The mare lights a cigarette, groans with pleasure as she slumps against the seat, and slams her dusty orange feet on that table. Table legs shake ever so slightly, and even amid the hum of the AC, the incoherent murmur of a talky crowd, the street noise seeping in from outside and the diner’s dumb pop music, the thud was easily heard.
Applejack crossed her stained, moist feet at the ankles and stretched her toes, tautening the wide arches. Wads of dust clumped together with the mare’s sweat drop off, as do a couple of tiny pebbles formerly stuck to the balls and heels of her feet. In the diner’s lighting, the healthy pink blush of a good half hour’s barefoot walk is plainly visible underneath the greyish coating of urban detritus, even as the setting sun accentuates the orange color beneath it all. Feeling deeply at comfort with her feet occupying most of the table, Applejack is happy to wait for her order, while her toes softly crunch and twitch, feet shifting on occasion. Occasionally puffing at her cigarette, she doesn’t mind adding to the already questionable aroma of this place. It helps completely brutalize what distant pangs of anxiety and shyness she might’ve felt, causing their distant echoes only to make this endeavor more fun. Watching the rest of the diner, she’s glad to remember all the other times she’d done this.
Cityfolk are contained and repressed, meaning that the most volatile response was a couple of gasps and some murmured complaints between couples. Ponyville took a lot longer to get used to this testy habit of hers, and even then there were people back home that just couldn’t put up with it. Her keen hearing picked up on a good number of surprised, aghast comments, a good number of pampered city bitches revolted by even a suggestion that someone went out and did what she did. Pointed fingers were common, none of them surviving a couple seconds of direct eye contact, each one a nice stroke for her ego. The mare absolutely loved to irritate and challenge stuck-up types with her behavior – on top of simply enjoying the trials of barefoot walking, and the pleasurable release of slamming them onto an elevated spot and letting the blushing, heat-tingling soles rest exposed to breezy air currents. This was almost as good as the time her and Rarity went to the cinema, and she forced her to put their bare feet up on the top of the next row of seats.
Manehattan offered its own array of delectable irritated reactions. Whiny complaining contained within groups, no one confident enough to even approach management. Distracted slowdown on the part of the waiters, who could hardly tear their eyes away from the showcase. The clicking and snapping of phones, accompanied by agitated, outraged murmuring and copious finger pointing. The collective heart rate of this cruddy diner was so desperately high that Applejack’s was in a state of absolute zen, peppered by her own arousal. She had no problem with the fact that flicking people off with her dusty bare feet got her wet. She’d probably be doing this even if it didn’t, if only because Manehattan totally deserved this sort of treatment. Applejack crunches and flexes her fleshy soles and round toes, wondering which of the numerous photos getting snapped shows the best angle to display their size, proportions and all-around thickness.
Happy and content with life, she knows her order is about to be served by a waiter who’d have no choice but to get in close to the mare’s generously displayed feet. Combined with her legs, the peds took up enough of the table ensured they were going to overcome themselves and set it down carefully. AJ did, after all, order so much that it was likely tough to carry under normal circumstances, let alone this. Well, she was an honest worker herself – an ordeal like this deserved a tip.
Applejack grinned wide, shifting the cigarette in her fingers. Tips were daylight robbery… but 10% of her order was still a nice wad of cash. She wondered how much the waitress would like it if she had to take it from between the soon-to-be infamous customer’s toes…