Rainbow Dash opened her eyes. She was lying in a hoof-made bed with several blankets wrapped around her up to her waist. Her friend Fluttershy was standing over her, placing a warm damp towel over her head.
The pegasus shifted her eyes from side to side to examine the room. Rarity was sitting in a corner of the shelter, fidgeting with her mane. Twilight sat beside her, reading a book to pass the time. Rainbow slowly raised herself from her sleeping position. She sat upright in the bed. Her legs were still hidden underneath the blankets. She had to keep her hooves behind her back, pinned into the bed, to keep herself from collapsing.
“You're awake!” The shy pegasus yelled as she took the towel off of Rainbow's forehead. This caused Twilight and Rarity to drop whatever they were doing and rush to Fluttershy's side. Rainbow's head felt light. It was like the world went by just a little bit slower than usual.
“Guys? Where am I? What's going on?” Rainbow said softly.
“You suffered from severe hypothermia.” Twilight said with a worried look. “We found you lying in the snow. You must have been there for hours. It's good that we found you when we did or you could have suffered from frostbite.”
“We carried you here to try to warm you up.” Fluttershy said as she removed the blankets from Rainbow's legs. “We couldn't find the princess anywhere..” she said sadly. This caused Rainbow's ears to perk. She quickly threw the remaining blankets off of her and jumped out of bed.
her legs nearly gave in at first but she managed to stumble out of the shelter. Fluttershy, Twilight and Rarity followed her outside. “Dashie! You can't walk yet. Where are you going!?” Fluttershy yelled as she tried to keep up with her friend. The snow blew past their heads violently.
“I need to find her. I need to talk to her.” Rainbow uttered as she stubbornly walked through the snow, ignoring her friend's yelling. Fluttershy caught up with the stumbling pegasus and grabbed her by the waist causing Rainbow to pause.
“Who!? What are you talking about?” Fluttershy pleaded.
“Luna! I need to find her!” she said as she pushed her friend away and continued her march through the raging snowstorm. Her mind was doing what it always did when the emotions became too much to handle. She discarded all thoughts and logic to focus on one single goal. Finding Luna.
Fluttershy jumped after her friend and put her arms around her once more, grabbing her as tightly as possible this time. “Rainbow stop! Tell me what's going on!” she begged the pegasus who was still moving her legs, dragging her timid friend with her through the snow.
“Rainbow please! Stop and think!” Fluttershy yelled as Rainbow Dash prepared herself to fly away. Suddenly her friend's yelling reached her mind causing her to snap out of her determined state. She lowered her wings and looked at the pony clutching her waist with a look of concern.
The six friend's sat in a circle inside of the shelter that Fluttershy and Rarity shared together. It was the largest one of them all and they had to hide themselves from the raging snowstorm that was still blowing outside.
They all had their blankets wrapped around them as the sound of the wind raging against the wood of the shelter filled the air. Everypony was thinking the exact same thing but none of them were brave enough to ask it. Whatever had happened last night it must have been a very traumatic experience to be able to cause Rainbow Dash to act like this.
Rainbow was taking small sips of the cup of tea that Fluttershy had handed to her. She held the cup with both of her hooves as she looked down into the swirling brew. Her mind went over the events of last night. As much as she hated to relive that moment she had to understand the situation before she could explain it to her friends.
After a minute of sitting in an uncomfortable silence Fluttershy managed to speak up. “So.. Rainbow.. Do you want to tell us about what happened?” she said softly as she put a comforting hoof on her friend's shoulder.
Rainbow Dash finished the last bit of her drink as she thought about how to explain last night's events to her friends. “well..” she managed to whisper. “I don't really know how to tell you this.. It's.. It's kind of my fault that Luna has disappeared.” she said.
“What did ya do Rainbow?” Applejack asked sternly.
“You wouldn't understand..” The pegasus whispered as the memories of last night flashed through her head. “God! I'm such a bucking fool!” she yelled.
Fluttershy hugged her friend tightly as she looked into her eyes. “You can tell me anything and I won't judge you.” she whispered. This caused tears to escape from Rainbow's eyes. “Well..” Rainbow continued to tell her friends about how close she and the princess had become over the last few days. She told them about the nights that the two had spent just sharing each other's thoughts and feelings.
“I was so sure of it..” she said as she lowered her gaze to the ground. “But it was just my imagination..” she swallowed her pride as she looked up at her friends. “I kissed her.. and she became furious.. She yelled at me, told me to leave her alone.. she teleported away and I.. I don't know where she is..”
Everypony in the room was silent. They just looked at Rainbow with judging eyes. Fluttershy pulled her friend in for another hug. “It wasn't your fault Dashie..” she said in a comforting tone. This caused the stern looks of their friends to soften. As much as they disagreed with Fluttershy her compassion reminded them of the fact that friends supported each other no matter what.
“I just want to talk to her and explain myself.. but she probably never wants to see me again..” she said sadly as the tears that were resting in her eyes started to roll down her cheeks, dripping onto the ground.
“Don't worry Dashie.. We will find her.” Fluttershy said as she handed Rainbow a towel to dry her tears. She turned her gaze to the group. “Right girls?” she asked. The four ponies weren't sure about what to say at first but Pinkie, Applejack, and Twilight eventually nodded in agreement.
"But we have to find the cure for Sweetie Belle!" Rarity exclaimed. "We don't have enough time to chase the princess.." she said as she avoided any eye contact with Rainbow Dash. The blue pegasus tightened her hold over Fluttershy as she looked her in the eyes.
"Shy?" she whispered.
Fluttershy stood before a dilemma. "Rarity is right, it's not certain that we can go after Luna and still have enough time to save Sweetie Belle.." she thought to herself. She turned her gaze to Rainbow Dash. "But.. I can't betray the only person that has always stood by my side when I needed her.." Her thoughts went back to her fillyhood. She remembered how Rainbow Dash was always there to comfort her when she got bullied. She remembered the countless nights that the two fillies had spent together, talking about their hopes and fears. The person that was always there for her needed her this time.
"I won't let you down Dashie.. Not now." she whispered. She turned her head to Rarity. "Please don't make me choose between the two of you Rarity.. That's a decision that I'm not prepared to make.." she said, hoping that her love would understand. Rarity could see the desperation in her love's eyes.
She got up form the floor and walked over to Rainbow Dash and hugged her tightly. "I am sorry Rainbow. I know what it's like to be in love." she smiled as she looked at Fluttershy. "I will aid you." she nodded.
Rainbow Dash eagerly returned the hug. "Thanks Rarity.." she said. "Love.. Is that what I'm feeling? It's certainly nothing like anything I've ever felt before.." she thought. Rainbow Dash had experienced countless meaningless relationships in her life but this.. this was different..
"So how do ya expect to find out where she went?" Applejack asked Twilight.
"There's nothing a bit of magic can't solve." she laughed as she pointed at her horn. "The princess is like a beacon of powerful magic." she explained. "A simple scrying spell could easily locate such a huge source of dark magic. With a bit of luck I can even pinpoint her location on our map."
She pointed her horn towards the map laid out on the table in front of her. Her horn started to envelop the map in a faint purple aura. four glowing dots appeared on the map, one on each side. They slowly started moving towards the middle, leaving a faint purple trace as they did.
The dots all stopped at the exact same location, circling around eachother. Twilight took a closer look at the map. "Oh, god.." she said in an irritated tone.
"What? What does it say?" Applejack said as she stepped closer to the table. "Wait a minute.. ain't that?" Twilight merely nodded in response.
The dark blue alicorn filly sat on her large bed. Covering her eyes with her hooves as small tears fell from her face and landed upon her marine blue blanket. Several shattered relics were scattered across the floor. The sound of her soft sobbing echoed through the halls of the massive palace.
"Luna..? What's wrong? Why are you crying?" A distant voice asked softly.
She lifted her gaze from her hooves to see her teenaged sister Celestia stand over her with a look of worry in her eyes. "Leave me alone sister.." she snapped at her. Celestia walked over to her little sister and hugged her tightly. "Hey! We promised to tell each other everything remember?" she said soflty.
Luna pushed her sister away and threw her bed's covers over herself. "It's not like you would understand.." she whispered as the tears continued to escape from her eyes. Celestia took Luna's blanket in her mouth and pulled it off of her little sister. "Please Luna.. Tell me what's wrong.." she pleaded.
The alicorn turned in her bed and raised her eyes to look Celestia straight in the eyes. Luna looked like she had been crying for hours. "Promise me you won't tell them." she said in a serious tone.
"Why not? They love you just as much as I do sister." she said smiling.
Luna shaked her head. "No. They love you. Mother wishes that I was never born, she said so herself and what I am about to tell you will only add to their list of my disappointments.
"Mommy only said so because she was angry Luna.. She didn't really mean it." she said with a look of concern.
"Just promise me you won't tell them!" she yelled causing Celestia to step back in fear. After a few second she returned to her sister's side.
"I promise." she whispered.
"Remember what mother taught us a few months ago? About the natural attraction?" she said as she got up on her haunches.
"Yeah, she took us to choose colts so we could learn about the concept of love."
"That's the thing.. I.. I don't like colts.." she said as she looked down at the ground.
"Of course you don't silly, you're way too young for that stuff. You'll understand when you're older." she said as she smiled at her little sister.
"No sister, you don't understand. I AM attracted to ponies. They're just not colts.." she said softly.
"How do you mean? I don't understand." she said in a confused tone.
"I.." Luna swallowed all of her pride as she looked her sister straight in the eyes. "I like fillies!" she yelled as she started to cry heavily.
Celestia walked over to her little sister and hugged her tightly. "No you don't Luna, you're just confused that's all. You just need to grow a little older. This is just some silly phase." she said as she smiled at Luna.
"Really?" Luna said as she dried her tears and looked into her sister's eyes.