“I promise, Fluttershy. You know I would do anything you asked.” Twilight said, slightly excited to be let in on a secret this big, yet still worried about how much the matter meant to her beautiful marefriend. Twilight sat down on the couch, waiting for Fluttershy to start her explanation.
Applejack, who was just as curious, took a seat besides the purple unicorn, trying her best to hide the anticipation that was about to burst from her face. “Ah’m here for you as well sugarcube. We might not be marefriends an’ all, but you’re still mah best friend, and ya must never forget that!” Applejack spoke softly. “Ah’ll do anything I can to help you get better, no matter what!” The orange earth pony was doing her best to try and calm the still shivering Fluttershy.
Fluttershy was happy that she had such good friends to talk to, so she did her best to muster all her courage into this conversation. Starting off with a low mumble, she slowly began to form what she wanted to say in her head. After a while of worried pondering, and curious looks from the two other ponies, she decided to take the most assertive cut through this matter and trick herself into actually saying it before she cowered down again.
She cleared her throat once and hastily blurted out the words: “RAINBOW-AND-I-DATED-ONCE,” followed by a loud squeak and a lot of blushing. She tried to hide herself behind her long, pink mane.
However, she said this so fast that neither Twilight nor Applejack actually managed to catch what she tried to say. Twilight was very embarrassed when she was about to ask Fluttershy to repeat herself. She had seen how hard it was for the canary mare to just gather her courage for a few words on the topic, and didn’t want to put her through that stress once again.
Much to Twilight’s delight, the mare beside her spoke up just before she opened her mouth.
“Urhm... Sugarcube? Ah’m really sorry that I have to tell ya this, but Ah don’t think any of us heard what ya just said. If it’s not to much of a bother, would ya mind saying that again, a little slower this time?” Applejack really didn’t like having to say this. She too had seen how much it had taken for Fluttershy to open up.
The nervous mare, still hiding behind her pink mane, was about to break. She had just used up all her courage for that one outburst, and none of them had actually heard it. She once again tried to find the strength to tell them, but to no success. She broke. She held her hooves up to her face, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Fluttershy, please... I’m here for you.” Twilight nuzzled the sobbing mare’s neck, and looked into her tired bloodshot eyes. “I’m here, my love.” The unicorn couldn’t help but blush as she said this. Running a hoof through Fluttershy’s mane, Twilight sat down, trying to comfort her.
At the word “love”, Fluttershy knew that she had to tell Twilight about this matter, for the sake of their future relationship. Through all this sadness, the shy mare found that tiny speck of willpower to calm her racing heart and contracting lungs. Taking a deep breath, she put down her hooves, and looked up at the mare of her dreams.
With a newly found level of tranquility, Fluttershy shifted her gaze to her closest friend, Applejack. A little confused as to who she was actually supposed to focus her attention on, she once again set her eyes upon the purple unicorn, who was still waiting on the couch. She let out a deep sigh, before continuing in the most serene tone she could manage.
“Rainbow Dash and I... we once... dated.”
“Wait, so you two were a couple?” Twilight asked, still shocked by what Fluttershy just told her.
“Y...Yes, but I don’t feel comfortable talking about it without Rainbow Dash here. It just feels wrong.” Fluttershy spoke with a concerned look on her face.
“Ah have to agree, we really should try to find RD.” Applejack spoke up while gazing at the open door out to Ponyville.
“How are we going to find her? She could be anywhere by now!” Twilight spoke out, worried about Rainbow Dash. They had to find her and talk this out, but how?
“We’re gonna need help finding her. We should ask Pinkie for help. Nopony’s better than her at finding her friends.” Applejack replied as she walked up besides Twilight.
“Okay, Applejack, you go ask Pinkie, while I stay here and help Fluttershy.” Twilight quickly spoke before she sat down next to Fluttershy again.
Applejack just nodded and dashed out the front door of the library. They had to find Rainbow Dash and talk this out with her. Applejack galloped through town, looking out for Pinkie, and any signs of Rainbow Dash, but she saw neither. The best place to look for Pinkie would be Sugarcube Corner, so she set her sights on the building.
Seconds later, she burst through the front door, and looked about the building for any signs of the pink mare. Thankfully she was there, standing behind the counter, sorting some cupcakes into a bright red box.
Pinkie looked up when she noticed that Applejack had entered the store.
“Hi Applejack! What brings you around here?” She giddily spoke up as she ran up besides Applejack.
“Pinkie, I need your help finding Rainbow Dash. She ran out on Fluttershy, Twilight, and I earlier today, and now we’re worried about what she might do.” Applejack quickly spoke up, cutting Pinkie off from rambling along further.
“What happened? Was it something one of you said?” Pinkie spoke up, her voice filled with concern.
“She found out an intimate secret about Fluttershy and Twilight, which made her dash off without saying anything.” Applejack spoke, trying to avoid telling Pinkie that Fluttershy and Twilight were a couple.
“Aw, it must have been something really, really sad to make her take off like that. We have to find her right away!” Pinkie spoke with a stern but worried voice. She hated the idea of Rainbow Dash being sad.
“Come on Applejack, let’s go!” Pinkie shouted as she left Sugarcube corner in a pink haze. Applejack complied and ran after her out the front door.
Rainbow saw the silhouette of her cloud home approaching fast. All she had to do was pass through the cloud in front of her and then she’d be home, away from Twilight and Fluttershy. She needed time to think, and she needed to be alone.
Crunch. The sound ripped through the air around her, and she suddenly felt a sharp sting in her right wing. Rainbow quickly turned her head over and yelped when she saw the state of her wing. The frail form had been broken right across the middle, blood was starting to drip out of the open wound. It looked really bad.
Rainbow quickly turned around, and noticed the tree-branch she must have hit flying through the thick cloud. Then the notion struck her... she was going down and fast. There was no way she’d make it to her house now. All she could do was to try and aim for a soft spot to crash on. She looked around on the ground and settled for a grassy hill she saw way down below her.
Rainbow quickly used her left wing in a futile attempt to slow her decent, but the ground loomed closer and closer. “Think Rainbow, what did they tell you about this at flight school!” Rainbow Dash focused on what she remembered from flight school. Most of the memories were hazy at best, but she could remember one: “If you’re about to crash land, brake your decent with your wings down to the last minute. Just before you hit the ground, clamp your wings shut to your sides and roll up tightly.”
“All right Rainbow, brake and roll, brake and roll!” Rainbow thought as the ground loomed. Then, only a few feet above the ground, she set the lesson in motion. Her body shook gently as she extended her left wing, and used it to slow her decent. Just before she hit the ground, Rainbow clamped her wings up to her sides and prepared for the impact.
“Raaaainbow Daaash!” Pinkie shouted upwards towards the towering white house in the sky. The shouts were met with silence. “Rainbow! Are you up there? Please, we just want to talk!” The vivacious pink mare shouted once more upwards, but her cries were met with silence again.
The mare’s thoughts were interrupted by a rumbling sound coming from the west. She turned her head and saw the approaching storm clouds. They were dark and gloomy, indicating that turbulent times were ahead.
“Pinkie! Come over here lickety split! I found her, and she needs help!” AJ shouted with a disturbed voice towards Pinkie.
Pinkie took the notion and galloped as fast as her hooves would carry her. Her goal was the last spot she’d seen Applejack, and sure enough, she found Dash on the other side. The sight before her was not one she’d expected. There, Rainbow Dash lay on her left side, wings tucked in tight. Applejack’s shaken form could be seen next to the pegasus.
“Pinkie, quick, get over here! Help me get her up on my back! She needs to get to a hospital fast.” Applejack shouted sharply.
Pinkie did as requested, and soon enough Rainbow lay on Applejack’s back. Applejack and Pinkie looked at each other with worried eyes. Pinkie nodded and Applejack took off towards the Hospital.
“I have to tell Twilight and Fluttershy, but how will they take it?” Pinkie asked out loud. She came out blank. It might go well, or it could lead to unforeseen consequences.
Pinkie Pie just stood there. She was wondering what to do while she watched Applejack run off into the distance, Rainbow dash placed firmly on her back. Applejack’s form became smaller and smaller until Pinkie couldn’t see her in the distance anymore. The vivacious pink mare’s mood declined further until her mane deflated.
“I have to tell them. They have the right to know, but Applejack made it sound like something happened between Rainbow and the others earlier.” With this, Pinkie set off galloping towards the library to deliver the saddening news to Twilight and Fluttershy.
The storm in the distance grew larger and larger. Mere seconds before she arrived at the door, the skies opened up, drenching the land in heavy rainfall.
“Okay, here goes.” Pinkie told herself as she raised her hoof to knock on the massive oak door.
Not even a minute went by before Twilight opened the door slowly to see who knocked. When she spotted Pinkie standing there, mane flat and wet, she quickly opened the door up and told her to come inside to warm up.
“Pinkie, what’s wrong? Your mane is flat.” Twilight quickly asked as she led Pinkie over to the couch and sat her down on it gently.
“Where’s Fluttershy?” was all Pinkie muttered before going quiet once more.
“Fluttershy? She’s upstairs resting in my bed. She collapsed from exhaustion a short while after Applejack went to fetch you to help her look for Rainbow Dash.
“Okay then. I’m here because of Rainbow Dash... she had a small accident while flying home across town after she left the library earlier today.” Pinkie spoke with a saddened voice. The words she was about to mutter were not words of joy as she’d prefer, they were words of sorrow.
“What happened to h-” Was all Twilight managed to say before Pinkie put her hoof over Twilight’s mouth so that she could finish speaking.
“We don’t know exactly what happened. All I know is that Applejack found her lying behind a grassy hill mere feet from her home. Her right wing was badly injured, and there was a lot of blood around. We tried to wake her, but she didn’t respond at all.” Pinkie spoke with a soft, concerned voice.
“That’s horrible, I... is she okay?” Twilight cut in quickly.
“We therefore decided that Applejack, being the fastest runner, should be the one to carry Rainbow Dash to the hospital. My task was to inform you of what had happened to Rainbow Dash” Pinkie finished speaking with a sigh.
“I... I don’t know what to say. How are we going to tell Fluttershy? Fluttershy was devastated when Rainbow flew out on her like that!” Twilight spoke quickly, while pacing back and forth across the library floor. They had to tell Fluttershy, but how might they do it?
Twilight’s chain of thought was interrupted by a certain canary mare slowly descending down the staircase.
“Fluttershy, what are you doing out of bed so soon?” Twilight spoke in a whim as she made her way over to Fluttershy.
“I woke up from the sounds of the storm outside. I didn’t see you anywhere, so I decided to come down here to look for you.” Fluttershy spoke with a soft, dozy voice. She then noticed Pinkie sitting silently on the couch.
“Pinkie, what are you doing here? I thought you and Applejack went out searching for Rainbow Dash.” Fluttershy spoke gently, as she moved over and sat down beside Pinkie on the couch.
“Fluttershy, I have something that I need to tell you about Rainbow..:” Pinkie began carefully, not wanting to burst the bubble too soon.
Pinkie looked at Fluttershy before she continued. The canary mare’s eyes were half-closed, her mane fuzzy, and voice dozy. She had all the characteristics of a pony that had just woken up. Pinkie’s looking was cut short when Twilight slowly walked over and sat down besides Fluttershy on the couch, stroking the canary mare’s back gently.
The gears inside Fluttershy’s head slowly began to turn when she noticed what they were doing. She slowly opened her mouth and spoke:
“What’s happened to Rainbow Dash... and why are you both so quiet and modest all of a sudden?”
“Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash had a small accident on her way home earlier.” Pinkie spoke up softly.
“What kind of accident?” Fluttershy asked with a concerned voice.
“We don’t know exactly. We found her lying behind a grassy hill a few feet away from her house. We quickly walked over to her, and tried our best to wake her up, but she just wouldn’t wake up.” Pinkie continued talking, constantly making sure that Fluttershy wasn’t about to break down again.
“We agreed that she had to be taken to the hospital, so Applejack lifted Rainbow onto her back and ran for the hospital while I came her to tell you-” was all Pinkie managed to speak before Fluttershy broke down crying again.
Twilight quickly hugged Fluttershy tightly, and spoke gentle and cooing words into her ear. Pinkie wanted to help, but any words she tried to mutter came out as mere whispers. She had no idea how to cheer Fluttershy up.
“When you feel up to it, come by Sugarcube Corner and I’ll take you to the hospital.” Pinkie spoke gently as she got off the couch and silently walked out the door.
Twilight just sat there, holding Fluttershy in her hooves, stroking her mane and body gently until Fluttershy fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.
“Fluttershy, this day’s been all too filled with sadness for you. Sleep now, and tomorrow we might go visit Rainbow in the hospital.” Twilight whispered into Fluttershy’s ear, before she got off the couch and levitated Fluttershy up the stairs and into bed.
With Fluttershy asleep under the covers, Twilight walked through the library, blowing out all the candles as she went. She joined Fluttershy in bed, putting her hooves around the canary mare to calm her down and hopefully keep her still during the night.
“Goodnight Fluttershy, sweet dreams.” Twilight whispered into Fluttershy’s ear before kissing her on the cheek, producing a faint blush on the face of the canary mare. She then put her head on the pillow, allowing the realm of sleep to embrace her.