The Pegasus continued to gaze at the torn picture she held in her hooves. She placed the two pieces back onto the mantle. Finally, Rainbow Dash exhaled shakily, glancing over at the orange pony for a brief moment and then looking away, she spoke, "Applejack, I'm sorry…"
"Sorry fer what sugarcube?" A look of confusion spread across Applejack’s face.
The Pegasus continued averting her eyes, "I can't…" her words got caught in her throat.
"Can't what?" Applejack approached the pony, as she did, Rainbow Dash stepped further away.
"I can't… be here… for you." Rainbow Dash squeaked, her voice barely carrying across the room.
"What in the hay are yah talkin’ ‘bout, yer always here fer me!”
Rainbow Dash flinched at the increasing volume of the pony behind her. "I can't protect you."
"Yah don't need to protect me." Applejack laughed hoping the mood would lighten but it didn’t.
"Look around us Applejack. The orchard, the farm, our home, it's all been destroyed."
"Ah don't need protecting!" Applejack repeated louder.
"Look at yourself!” Rainbow Dash cried, “You were only outside for a couple of hours. The next thing you know, you woke up in a hospital! We don’t even know who did it and they can do it again at any time." The words echoed through the room. "I can barely walk, I can't fly… and I can't protect you." She said once more.
"Rainbow, you're the strongest pony I know." Applejack said, trying once more to approach the Pegasus who yet again stepped away.
"No… I’m not."
"Yes yah are. What 'bout the night in the forest? Yah couldn't walk then, yah couldn't fly. Yet when yah could barely protect yerself, yah managed to find the strength to save me." Applejack tried to make her voice reassuring but she found it difficult. She had never seen Rainbow Dash behave this way before.
"That was different." Rainbow Dash's neck twitched with fear at the memory that still haunted her.
"Yer right, it was worse. Yah have had time to heal. Back then yah could barely keep yer eyes open yah were in so much pain. Yet yah pulled it off anyway. So yer right, it is different, this is just some silly ponies tryin' tah feel tough."
"When I saw you in the hospital and that you were okay, I thought I would feel better but I didn't, Applejack. I was afraid. This isn't going to stop, it's only going to get worse and when you need me most, I won't be there for you. Maybe it’s best for both of us to go our separate ways." Rainbow Dash’s voice began to crack as tears formed.
"So yer just gonna run away? That's how yah plan to solve all yer problems is it! Yer just gonna leave me here?" Applejack shouted, her booming voice shaking the entire room.
"I can't…" Rainbow Dash looked down at the ground, "I can't see you be hurt again."
"Well, what 'bout right now? Yer hurting me right now Rainbow." Applejack’s legs began to wobble violently as she stood there barely able to keep their balance.
Rainbow Dash began to walk towards the front door. "Please… Don't go… I love you, Rainbow Dash, please." She pleaded as the Pegasus continued toward the door. Applejack's legs collapsed beneath her, unable to support her any longer. She stumbled to the ground, streams of tears running down from her green eyes, down to her cheeks. "Please…"
"I'm sorry." Rainbow Dash said without stopping, nor slowing or looking back as she reached the door. A trail of her own tears followed behind her, staining the wooden floorboards. As she walked outside into the cold snow a gray shaded overcast began to form, covering her mane and coat.