The skies were clear, the sun was shining bright, and it was a beautiful day in Ponyville. Residents of the small town roamed around purchasing supplies, visiting friends, or meeting somepony that they've never met, or haven't seen in a very long time.
Not too far away and also not to high in the sky, was a home made of clouds and waterfalls that flowed out streams of rainbow. A cyan pegasus laid in the middle of the floor of the cloud home with her head in her hoofs. Rainbow Dash, the strongest, most awesome, the fastest, the most dashing, laid on the floor sniffling.
She heard nothing but the constant sobs coming from herself, and she only felt her body full of pain. Not physical pain, but that pain that you feel when you've been crying too hard, for far too long.
It was the same time every year, just a few days before, when her barricade broke down and all her emotions and memories poured out. Rainbow wanted to stand up, wipe her face , spread out her wings, and fly out of her home and into the never ending sky, but her wings remained at her sides and even if she did try, they wouldn't budge.
Rainbow hadn't come out of her home in at least two days. She barely noticed the time at all, it was the least important thing on her mind. She missed her friends, but her emotions kept her strapped down to the floor or her home, she missed Fluttershy, she missed them all.
Down at Sugarcube Corner Pinkie Pie, Twilight, Applejack, Rarity, and Fluttershy were all there. Sitting together with worried faces. They had been talking before but one of them had pointed out something that made them all silent. Twilight made a small cough to clear her throat before she talked.
"What is this…about Rainbow Dash?" Twilight choked out to break the awkward silence. All of them looked at her with frowns, but Pinkie Pie looked as if her hair was about to droop, and Fluttershy had buried her face in her hoofs. The pegasus raised her head and opened her mouth, and took a breath.
"Twilight, you see tomorrow…it's Rainbow's birthday." Fluttershy whispered.
"Your upset because it's her birthday?" Twilight asked with uncertainty. Fluttershy took another breath before she continued.
"No Twilight, the reason why we're upset is be-cause of the way she gets a few d-ays be-fore…" Fluttershy cut herself off and put her face back in her hoofs. Pinkie Pie walked over to Twilight and put her hoof over her shoulders and slumped down beside her.
"You see Twily, when it's Dashie's birthday she gets super upset. She hides in her cloud house, away from everypony else and, doesn't come out until after her birthday. Well we don't know if she dose or not, but we never see her so…yeah!" Pinkie Pie made a very small smile, trying to cheer everyone up, but it made no difference.
"Well, since you put it like that…that is pretty upsetting. Rainbow Dash, upset? Crying in her home? Detaching herself from society? Wow…Do any of you know what makes her so…out of place?" Twilight lowered her head, and her voice was almost a whisper. She brought her head back up to look at her friends to only see three of them.
"Hey, where did Fluttershy go?"
"She must've ran out…I didn't even notice. Poor darling, this must be the hardest on her." Rarity clopped her hoofs together on her legs.
"Of course it's the hardest on her Rarity! Fluttershy is Dashie's marefriend. I know if I saw Twilight super upset and hiding in her Library, I would be super upset too." Pinkie squeezed Twilight, making the unicorn make a small giggle.
All four friends began to smile, although Rainbow was still on their mind. Pinkie Pie was always the best to make the blues go away, wasn't too surprising since she is the element of laughter after all.
Fluttershy looked up at the cloud home high above her before she spread out her wings, and leapt off the ground to make her way up. Her hoofs rested on the soft cloud as she began to make her way to the door.
She put her hoof on the door to knock, but the door moved away and opened slightly. Fluttershy gulped and pushed her head gently through the door and she heard sobbing followed by sniffling coming from inside.
She entered the large cloud home and began to look around for the source making the noise, she felt as if she was intruding, but she was too worried about Rainbow to stop where she was now. It had already taken her forever to even decide to come in the first place.
Rainbow Dash was still in middle of the floor when Fluttershy spotted her. Her mane was a total mess and so was her tail, she couldn't see her face but she approached cautiously, afraid that she might startle her…but Rainbow wasn't known to get scared so easily.
Fluttershy stood right above Rainbow, and she wasn't even noticed. She looked down at her marefriend and she began to tear up at such a sight.
"Rain-bow Da-sh!" Fluttershy began to cry and she collapsed onto a surprised pegasus, but was immediately grasped into a large hug. Fluttershy buried her face in Rainbows chest for a few moments but then remembered the whole reason why she even came.
"Ra-inbow…Why are you so up-set?" Fluttershy let out between the gasps and her tears. She looked at Rainbow's eyes, they were red and full of tears that just didn't seem to stop. She squinted her eyes and Fluttershy felt the embrace become tighter as Rainbow began to cry almost even harder. She didn't know what to do, so she hugged her back.
They both laid there for a few minutes, but to Rainbow Dash it felt like it was forever. She missed Fluttershy so much but she, herself... was the only reason why she had never come out of her house.
Fluttershy had come for answers, and of course because she missed Rainbow. Fluttershy felt the grip loosen as Rainbow wiped her face with her hoof and sat up, making Fluttershy slump onto her rump on the cloud floor.
"Look Rainbow, if you don't want to tell me what's wrong, I won't force you…but you can't keep what ever it is bottled up inside." Fluttershy whispered as Rainbow continued wiping her face.
The cyan pegasus looked at her and made a crooked smile. Rainbow stood up and stretched out her wings. Fluttershy caught on what she was planning on doing and pounced on Rainbow, pinning her beneath her.
"Let me go Flutter-shy!" Rainbow Dash stuttered. Fluttershy began to feel really bad and was about to get off, but she shook her head and looked strongly down at Rainbow.
"No, not until you tell me what is making you so upset."
"It's…really hard to talk about." Rainbow tried to get up but Fluttershy laid down on her stomach, keeping her permanently pinned down. She felt uncomfortable, but she couldn't think of anything better to do to keep the out of place pegasus from fleeing. She looked into Rainbow's eyes and saw tears coming up again. Fluttershy brought her hoof to her mane and stroked it gently and kissed her forehead.
"Rainbow, please…tell me what's wrong." Rainbow Dash squinted her eyes before she made contact with Fluttershys.
"Are you will-ing to lis-ten to a rea-lly long, I me-an really, really lo-ng story?" Rainbow stuttered.
Fluttershy nodded as she continued stroking her mane. Rainbow took in a deep breathe and made a few coughs. She opened her mouth but the only thing that came out was a loud stutter. Fluttershy grabbed her right hoof and tightly grasped it. Rainbow let in one more deep breathe before she attempted talking again.
"Alight Fluttershy, I guess I'll start off from when I was just a filly…"Rainbow trailed off and looked at Fluttershy, and in return she received a reassuring nod.
"So, when I was younger I lived with my mother and father, but my Dad was barely home. He was the coach of the junior speedsters at Cloudsdale Academy. My mother was just a average weather pony. Both of them were pretty old when I was born. My father was like forty-eight and my mother was forty-three. I don't remember much of when I was a really young filly but, I remember when I was around the age of five. My dad was already past the age or retirement but he wouldn't except to leave yet. He said, "One more year, and then I'll retire." but…he, didn't make it to that next year…" Rainbow began to sniffle again but she took another deep breathe to hold back the tears, and tightened her grip to Fluttershys hoof. Fluttershy continued laying on her stomach, listening with full attention as she held Rainbows hoof back.
"As, I was saying… my father was in his final year of coaching. One afternoon, there was a big storm scheduled but, he left the house before he was informed and I guess none of the players on the team were told either, cause they ended up having practice in the storm. He never made any delay for practice cause it was coming up to the last game of the season, and they were qualified to play for the trophy…I remember it exactly, I was sitting in my room playing with my Wonderbolt's toys, and then there was knock on the door. I came out of my room to see who was home, hoping…it was my father but it wasn't. It was a friend of my Dad's. I couldn't hear what he and my mother were talking about but my Mom then burst out of tears and she turned around and saw me. She told me to go back to my room but I refused. I rushed toward her and my Dad's friend and I asked where my father was…he said nothing but cried and shook his head. I was just so confused! There was me, my mom, and my fathers friend. Both of them crying, and then there's me, confused as hell..."
Rainbow took another deep breath and continued,
"After my fathers friend left, my mom told me to come on the cloud sofa with her. I of course leapt up and snuggled up to my mom. She put her hoof around my shoulder and told me, "Your father won't be home for your birthday tonight Rainbow." I began to question her why, and she put her hoof to my mouth and shushed me quietly. She told me that…my father, was struck by lightning. I…cried of course while my mom cried too. We had a funeral and on the tombstone…read, 'Blaze Dash, husband to Gust Dash, a great coach, and father of Rainbow Dash.' He died, on my birthday…and my mom, died when I was eleven…she got really sick."
Fluttershy's eyes were filled with tears, she had never heard such a sad story in her whole life. Rainbow Dash had started crying again and had let go of Fluttershys hoof and wrapped her hooves around her.
"Rain-bow…I can't relate to what you just said but, you know I understand that with you there's so much that time just can't erase, but you were very strong telling me what was wrong. It's the best thing that you could have done. I'm also…really sorry about what happened to your parents."
"Your right Fluttershy. It's just really hard when ever it comes around my birthday, cause I remember it all so clearly. I use the time…or used to use the time to clear out my tears and let them out and then, after let them all build up through out the year." Fluttershy smiled and smudged Rainbow's face with her hoofs.
"So your saying…your not going to do this to yourself anymore? And…you'll talk to me about these things?" Rainbow smiled,
"Yeah, I'll come running to you next time…just don't tell anypony." Fluttershy squealed and gave Rainbow a quick kiss and immediately lowered her head and blushed.
"Your so cute when your embarrassed Fluttershy." Rainbow kissed her forehead and gave her a big hug from underneath her.
Fluttershy said nothing but blushed and buried her face once again into the soft cyan chest of Rainbow Dash, as Rainbow rested her chin on top of Fluttershys head. She felt so good, she didn't realize how awesome it felt to tell someone you trust what's wrong. Rainbow looked up at the window to only see a dark sky. She made a small gasp, did time really go by that fast? She looked at Fluttershy and stroked her mane with her hoof.
"It's pretty late Shy, do you wanna spend the night here?" Fluttershy raised her head and looked at Dash.
"Oh my, it is pretty late. I'll stay, if that's alright with you." Rainbow Dash gave Fluttershy a big hug.
"Don't worry Fluttershy, it's more then alright. I need you here, to kind of recover the rest of me, cause you know…tomorrow is my birthday." Fluttershy blushed and got off of the cyan pegasus, but was pulled back down making her squeal of fright, and landed beside Rainbow.
"Let's just sleep here, on the soft cloud." Rainbow Dash scooted over to Fluttershy and cuddled up to her, laying a wing over her back.
"Allow me Rainbow." Fluttershy whispered.
Fluttershy nudged Rainbow's wing off her back with her nose and laid her wing over Rainbow instead. Rainbow Dash was more then surprised then the assertiveness but smiled and curled up against Fluttershy, and both cuddled together for a well needed rest.
Sun beamed through the window and hit the sleeping Rainbow Dash's eyes, making them blink open. She turned onto her side expecting the timid pegasus that had pulled her out of the rapids the previous night to be beside her, and too pull her into a embrace. Shockingly the only thing that came in contact with Rainbow's hoof was a piece of parchment that was rolled up but unravelled at her touch.
Sorry for leaving but I had some things to take care of. Please stay home, or be there at noon. I'll meet up with you then at your house.
It was still early when Fluttershy arrived at Sugarcube Corner. The sign read 'closed' but she knew that the Cake's family was wide and awake, preparing for the new day in the bakery. Fluttershy knocked on the door and after a few moments, Pinkie Pie opened the door.
"Good morning Fluttershy! Your up early today. Did you come for cupcakes? No…how about muffins? Or…" Pinkie Pie's mouth was greeted with a gentle hoof, making her silent.
"No Pinkie Pie, I came here to ask you something." Fluttershy relieved her hoof from the pink ponies mouth before continuing.
"Can you, throw a party for Rainbow Dash?" Pinkie Pie's mouth opened in a big gasp, but then closed.
"But, Dashie won't come out of her big cloud house. It wouldn't be right to throw her a party when she won't even show up to be the big guest of honour!" Fluttershy smiled brightly.
"Well…let's just say, she will show up, and she will be the guest of honour…"Fluttershy trailed off, thinking she was being too pushy.
"But um, do you think we could have the party here…at noon?" Pinkie Pie squished her own cheeks with her hoofs and giggled.
"Yes indeedy! I'll send out invitations to everypony. You just bring Dashie!"
Before Fluttershy can say anything more, Pinkie Pie rushed back into Sugarcube Corner as the door slammed behind her. Fluttershy began to make her way back to Rainbow's home but she took a quick second to look at the clock.
It was still very early, and she left on her note that she would meet Rainbow Dash at her home at noon. Fluttershy thought of what she could do to make the time go by faster, or if she needed to do anything else… then an idea came to her head and with a smile, a flutter of wings, Fluttershy leapt into the air and made her way to her cabin.
It was ten minutes till noon and all Rainbow Dash was able to do was pace around her home, waiting for Fluttershy to show up. All she'd been able to do all day was think of what Fluttershy could've of been possibly been doing.
It's not like she didn't take her word for saying she had things to take care of, but she couldn't help but to think that maybe Fluttershy had went and told everypony about her story, that was already unbearable to tell to someone that she held total trust for.
She looked at the small clock that hung crooked on her wall, it was already five minutes till noon and Rainbow Dash became frantic. What if Fluttershy was planning something? Did she need to dress up? Did Fluttershy get hurt? She's usually early, other then those rare times when she was late, what if she flew into a tree? What if Spike got into another growth spurt and kidnapped her?
Rainbow realized what she was thinking and shook her head back and forth to rid of the ridiculous thoughts. She took a breath and slumped on the floor and stared at the door. Rainbow looked at the clock on more time, and it was exactly twelve o'clock, then she heard knocking on the door. Rainbow turned around immediately to the door and made her way to open it.
"Afternoon Dash, I was wondering if you would join me on a fly to Sugarcube Corner." Fluttershy reached out her hoof to gently pull Rainbow out the door, although the cyan pegasus had already began to do so herself.
"Sugarcube Corner? Why is there a party there?" Fluttershy giggled and shook her head, in response a 'no'.
"No Rainbow, I'm heading over to get some pastries so you and me can have a little birthday just between you and me. If that's alright with you of course." Rainbow's face brightened up.
"I'd love that Fluttershy, and of course I'll go with you to Sugarcube Corner."
Rainbow took a hold of Fluttershys hoof and pulled her into the air, and both of them began to fly their way toward Sugarcube Corner. Rainbow flew slowly beside Fluttershy, she felt so good to be flying again. Of course she could've went for a exercise before Fluttershy arrived, but she felt it would be best to have a recovery flight with her.
"Hey Fluttershy, hold on tight okay?" Rainbow clutched firmly onto Fluttershys hoof and swung her onto her back.
"Rainbow Dash, what…are you do-"
Before she could finish Rainbow Dash bolted forward, her mane blown back and into Fluttershys shocked face, as she grasped onto the pumped pegasai's neck for dear life. Rainbow did flips and loop de loops, and went higher and higher into the big blue sky. Fluttershy began to giggle as she over came the fear of the flight and Rainbow took that as a sign to finish off the flight.
They were so high up in the sky that down below all they could see where specks. When Fluttershy had finally realized how high up they were she took in a breath, but the air was very thick and she buried her face into her marefriends rainbow mane. Rainbow turned her back and gave Fluttershy a kiss on the forehead.
"Just wanna let you know Fluttershy, is that you're my best friend , and I love you to bits." Fluttershy lifted her head up from the rainbow mane and gave her a quick but tender kiss on the lips.
"Same here Dashie, I love you with all my heart." Rainbow chuckled, and nudged her nose with hers.
Rainbow flicked her tail before she began to dart down toward Ponyville. It was the same type of dive she had experienced so many times before, her mane pushed back, her heart racing with adrenaline, and this time Fluttershy holding her tightly. Maybe it was for dear life, but maybe it was just because she was pure awesome, or of course because she loved her.
Behind them a trail of rainbow blazed out and this time there was a very faded shade of pure pink. They reached Ponyville, and right before hitting the ground Rainbow pulled up slightly to fly straight forward.
With Fluttershy making small giggles from Rainbow Dash's back, they flew past everypony like a bullet. Rainbow noticed Sugarcube Corner right up ahead and she clapped her wings to her side without even thinking.
Both Rainbow and Fluttershy began to roll over and on top of each other and bashed in through the door of the bakery and were greeted with,
"Happy Birthday Rainbow Dash!!" Twilight, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Spike, and Rarity exclaimed as Fluttershy toppled on Rainbow.
Rainbow Dash should've expected this, but she was more then surprised. Fluttershy got up of her and helped her up.
"You two sure came in with a bang." Twilight and the others approached them and brushed their coats off to rid of dust.
"Yeah…We got, well I got kind of carried away." Rainbow Dash blushed a little and scratched the back of her head with hoof.
"We can see dat sugar cube." Applejack laughed as Fluttershy began to fix her mane.
Spike ran over to the table of gifts and picked up a small box and hid it behind his back and made his way back to Twilight and slipped it to her without anyone noticing. Twilight came closer to Fluttershy and dropped the box on her tail. Fluttershy picked up the box with her mouth and hid it under her leg before turning her attention to Rainbow.
"Dash, between you and me and no one else…I know you feel like your alone sometimes, even when your with me, or Twilight, or Applejack…or anypony, but your not. I know what you lost was very important to you, and it would be same for me or anypony else. But, what you have now…" Fluttershy took out the same box from her leg and pushed it over to Rainbow, who began opening it immediately.
"It is what you could possibly call, a family…"
In the box was a small necklace and attached was a locket. Rainbow Dash opened it with her teeth and inside was a picture of all her friends, including herself. Rainbow looked at it for a long time, and she felt a tear roll down her cheek. She wiped it immediately but she was squashed into a big group hug.
Fluttershy brushed up against Rainbow and in return Rainbow brushed up against her and rested her chin on her head, as a few tears trailed down her cheek.
Down at Fluttershys cabin, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy had already left the party and decided to call it a night. The party had been a blast and all but with Fluttershy exhausted, and Rainbow having one more thing to do before the end of the day, they had called it a night.
"I'm going to bed now Rainbow, I'm really tired." Fluttershy turned over to Rainbow, who was sitting on the floor with a quill and scroll in front of her.
"Alright Shy, I'll be up soon." Fluttershy nodded and made her way upstairs.
Rainbow grasped the quill in her mouth and dipped it in ink and began to write on the scroll,
Dear Princess Celestia,
I have learned a very important lesson in friendship and that is, to never keep things bottled up inside. That's what I did for the longest time but I told my best friend, and also the pony I trust the most what was wrong and to my shock, it felt really good. She told me that if I keep things that really bother me inside, that they'll just make me more and more upset…well I kind of figured the second part myself but she told me that I should tell somepony what is wrong, and even if it hurts to talk about it, it's the best thing to do to make the pain go away.
Rainbow dropped the quill out of her mouth and rolled the scroll up and placed it on a table. She would get Spike to send it to the Princess in the morning. She made her way to the stairs so she could go and accompany Fluttershy, but she stopped and looked down at the locket that hanged from her neck.
Rainbow raised it up to her mouth with her hoof and opened it with her teeth. She looked at her friends, including herself and realized how right Fluttershy was … What she had, was like family.