Clay woke up rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He then realized it was morning. He jumped down from his bed and ran excitedly to his mother’s room where he found her still asleep. Clay hopped upon her bed and began gently nudging her awake.
“Mommy…mommy wake up.”
Dash stirred but was still asleep, Clay tried again nudging harder
“Come on mommy you promised you’d be up for my birthday.”
Dash shifted again and began muttering in her sleep, Clay leaned closer to her what Dash was saying.
“No Soarin I can’t do that with you I’m still tired from before and I need to get back to Clay.”
Clay looked down at his mother confused “What does Soarin want mommy to do?”
He knew that she would have dreams of Soarin frequently and she would often talk about doing “Special” air tricks with him and once Clay had heard her mention apple bucking; Clay had heard of apple bucking from aunt Applejack, but mommy had never shown any interest in apple bucking before.
So why was she talking about it in her sleep? Still confused Clay began nudging Dash again.
“No mommy it’s me Clay!”
Dash's eyes opened slowly. As they began to adjust she found herself looking at the smiling face of her son Clay.
“W-what Clay? Oh, good morning Sweetie.”
Dash gave a loud yawn and started rubbing her eyes; she then kissed Clay on the cheek.
“Thanks mommy!” Clay said excitedly, as he hugged his mother around her neck.
“Can I start getting my presents now?”
Dash gave another yawn; Clay hopped of the bed and ran down stairs to the living room while Dash forced herself to get out of the soft warm bed. Clay found his gifts which were placed in the center of the living room in a neat circle. There were five in all. he picked up the purple one first which read
‘Happy birthday Clay, love Aunt Twilight’
As Clay began shredding the paper he had a pretty good idea what it was. It was a book. He knew it, but it wasn’t like the others. Instead of something educational like she usually got him it was a science fiction adventure book in the shape of a blue box titled ‘The timeless adventures of Dr.Whooves: volume 10’.
Clay had never seen this book before, and on the cover it showed a brown earth pony with a neck tie and an hourglass cutie mark on his flank, in a blue box that said police call box holding a silver object in his mouth. Clay had no idea what this was about but he was eager to read it.
Next, he picked the large one from Aunt Applejack, which turned out to be a Stetson hat; much like the one Applejack herself wore. Clay tried on the hat, and found that it was a little big. Even though it fell past his eyes, he still loved it.
Next was Aunt Rarity’s, which was a saddle bag made from the finest silks and was speckled with small gemstones in the shape of a C. He knew that his mom would make him wear it later when they went to visit so he set it aside for now.
Next he opened Aunt Fluttershy’s gift, which was the tallest one. Fluttershy had given Clay a habitat with a small caterpillar climbing the wall. This got Clay excited but also worried. This was his first time taking care of anything other than himself, and his mother’s pet tortoise. He had seen butterflies before, but never had seen a caterpillar. An ugly worm transformed into something beautiful and majestic; the thought of witnessing that fascinated the little pony, who stared at the caterpillar crawling up the wall.
Finally, he opened Aunt Pinkie’s present which was also a book, only this one was about baking pastries. Clay had recently started baking with Pinkie. He was improving over time and now he could do it at home. With his mother’s supervision of course.
Dash had just come downstairs still looking tired and groggy, but still managed to put a smile on her face. As she saw Clay enjoy the gifts he had received, she looked at the slightly oversized hat on his head.
‘Applejack you won’t stop until he’s a regular cow pony like you, huh.’ Dash thought to herself laughing slightly.
It was at that time Clay had noticed something.
“Where’s your present mommy?” Dash gave Clay a calm smile.
“Well it’s not so much a present as a surprise.” Clays face lit up.
“A surprise what is it, what is it!”
Clay began jumping up and down clapping his front hooves together.
“If I told you it wouldn’t be a surprise now would it, squirt.”
Clay’s face became a frown or at least that’s what it looked like under the hat.
“Come on its outside.”
Clay trotted up to Dash and both of them left the house. Clay trotted along Dash, while she hovered just barely off the ground leading him through Ponyville and giving the occasional wave or nod to a fan or one of her friends from when she was a weather pony. Clay simply stayed next to her.
It used to be that racing and going fast was everything to Dash and as far as the Wonderbolts were concerned that was still true. But when it came to Clay she just didn’t have the heart to race him. She could have easily won any race against her son with or without her wings, yet each time she let him win. It gave her an odd sense of satisfaction to see her own son ‘beat’ her at a race; something she would have asked a rematch for in her younger days.
The same applied with her flying. She would never fly too high for Clay unless she had to get somewhere. Otherwise she simply walked or just stayed high enough off the ground for Clay to still reach her.
Finally, Dash led him to a secluded spot in Ponyville away from prying eyes. Clay wasn’t sure what this surprise was and he was starting to get nervous; however Dash landed softly next to him and smiled down at him. The gesture making any fear he had in him gone. After waiting for several minutes, Dash began to get annoyed.
“Oh where are they! Probably trying to make a fashionably late entrance!”
Clay wasn’t sure who his mother was talking about and was about to ask when they both heard a feminine voice.
“No Rainbow Dash, that’s your thing remember?”
Clay looked around. His jaw dropped; standing right in front of them was none other than Spitfire and Soarin themselves. He had seen Spitfire and Soarin before, when he was in the VIP box at their events so he could watch his mother perform, but he had never seen them this close before. They weren’t wearing their uniforms, but Clay could easily recognize them. From Spitfire’s yellow fiery mane and tail and Soarin’s Dark blue one. Clay’s heart began to thump in his chest. The fact that his two idols were standing right there was almost too much for him. Then a sense of shyness overwhelmed him. He slowly backed away, hiding behind his mother. Soarin and Spitfire were busy talking to Dash, not noticing the yellow earth pony hiding from sight.
“So where is the little guy Rainbow?” Dash looked to her side to see that Clay was no longer there.
For the brief moment she panicked, until her back leg brushed against something small and soft. As she looked down she saw her son cowering behind her.
“Come on Clay, they flew all the way from Cloudsdale just to meet you.”
Spitfire heard a small voice squeak behind her coworker.
“Really. Now come out so we can see you.” Spitfire said encouragingly.
Slowly and timidly the earth pony poked his head out, and then his body, standing beside his mother. slowly raised his head to meet his heroes in the eye.
“Well would you look at that, he really does exist!” Soarin said surprised.
“Yeah and you owe me ten bits when we get back.” Spitfire said giving a sideways glance at him.
The two ponies then turned their attention to the colt in front of them.
“So your mom tells us you’re a fan, huh?”
“Y-yes m-miss Spitfire.”
Spitfire gave him a surprised look.
“Miss Spitfire? Well aren’t you formal for a little colt.”
Clay looked at his mother, “What does formal mean Mommy?”
“It means your polite sweetie.”
Clay was pleased that he was making a good first impression to his heroes.
“So are you doing well in school?” Soarin said to the colt.
“Yes Sir I do all my homework and I’m never late!” Clay was becoming more comfortable around Spitfire and Soarin.
“And your mother tells us that it’s you seventh birthday today that true?”
“Yep!” Clay said enthusiastically.
“Has it been fun so far?” Spitfire Continued.
“It has been fun, and now that I met you guys, it’s perfect!”
Soarin, Spitfire, and Dash laughed.
“Well glad we could help.” Soarin said.
Clay then turned to his mother and then hugged her as hard as he could.
“Thank you Mommy. This is the best birthday ever!”
Both Spitfire and Soarin gave heartwarming smiles at the sight.
“Well isn’t that the sweetest thing ever.” Said Spitfire.
Soarin nodded “And it’s not over yet. There’s still one more thing for your birthday surprise.”
Clay looked back at the two Wonderbolts, “There’s more?”
Spitfire then reached behind her wing and pulled out a large paper roll with her mouth, and then with a flick of her head it unrolled; revealing a Wonderbolt poster which was signed by Spitfire and Soarin. If Clay’s jaw could have dropped any lower, it would have dislocated.
“It’s yours kid, enjoy.” Said Soarin.
Without thinking, Clay ran up to grab the poster. And then to everyone’s surprise, he hugged Spitfire around the leg with a big smile on his face. Dash had a worried look on her face and Spitfire looked stunned, but then it turned into a smile.
Clay then let go, putting the poster in his new saddle bag.
“Thank you Miss Spitfire and Mister Soarin; I’ve got to show Dinky this!”
As Clay ran off, Dash approached her two fellow Wonderbolts.
“I’m sorry guys he just gets so excited some times.”
Spitfire simply smiled, “Don’t worry about it, besides me and Soarin should get used to that soon.”
Dash gave a puzzled look, “What do you mean?”
Spitfire and Soarin got closer to each other and gave each other a suspicious smile, and then Spitfire looked at Rainbow Dash beaming with pride.
“We’re going to have a foal.”
Now it was Dashes turn to have her jaw drop, “Congratulations you two!”
Soarin grinned back at Dash, “Yeah we’re pretty excited about having a little pony running around.”
Dash allowed a small smile creep on her face thinking about all the “responsibilities” of raising a foal she had learned while raising Clay.
“This is a pretty big step in a relationship, what brought it up?”
Spitfire gave Dash an embarrassed glance, “Well, to be honest Dash, you did.”
Dash was taken aback by what she had heard, “Me, why me?”
“Well, at first we thought that you taking care of Clay was a big inconvenience for you and was distracting you from your training.”
Spitfire then gave a warm smile to her fellow Wonderbolt, “But as time went on, you actually seemed happier and when you mentioned all the things that Clay would do with you I got… jealous.”
Dash gave Spitfire a confused look, “You were jealous… of me?”
Spitfire nodded, “Clay is such a cute and wonderful Colt Dash, and we wanted to experience that too.”
Dash stared back at her coworker, “Well, if you think you can handle it, more power to you.”
Spitfire then began nuzzling Soarin’s neck as he spoke to Dash, “Thanks Dash, and don’t worry about Clay; we think he’s going to make a great stallion someday.”
And with that, the two Wonderbolts took off with lightning speed.
Dash however just stood there, “Great there goes my last chance to be with Soarin.”
Dash lowered her head. She knew that Spitfire and Soarin were a couple, but they had always had an on and off relationship. Secretly Dash had hoped that Soarin and Spitfire would eventually split up and not get back together, and then she would get together with him. She had been looking for a mate for a while, but having a foal gave her limited options; and Soarin had always been her favorite choice.
Now he wasn’t even an option. If he and Spitfire were willing to have a foal of their own, then there was no chance of making him Clay’s step father. Dash looked up at the clouds and gave a sad sigh.
“Oh, well, that’s that.”
Clay ran through town running as fast as his little legs could carry him looking for his friend Dinky Hooves. They had met in kindergarten and became fast friends for several reasons. First they were both blank flanks so they could identify from that; second, both were raised by single moms that were both Pegasi; and third, even though that they weren’t the same race of pony as their moms they were loved very much by them.
After several minutes of searching Clay finally spotted Dinky with her mother Ditzy Hooves or ‘Derpy’ as most called her. Ditzy was easy to spot from her Cutie Mark in the shape of bubbles, her blonde mane and tail, and her most outstanding feature which were her unaligned retinas. Dinky was a grayish purple with the same blonde mane and tail as her mother, but unlike her mother, she was a unicorn.
Dinky saw Clay and waved at him. Clay waved back and trotted over to the two ponies.
“Hi Dinky, hi miss Ditzy.”
Dinky replied back but her mother was silent, it wasn’t that she couldn’t talk, but rather she was a mare of few words. Instead she gave a wave and a friendly smile to Clay.
“Happy Birthday, Clay!” Dinky said as she gave her friend a hug.
“Thanks Dinky. Hey do you want play today, I got some cool presents from my aunts and…a surprise.”
Dinky turned to her mother from her mother, her eyes made her hard to read some times, but the nod she gave was more than enough to get Dinky excited and start running off towards Ponyville. As Clay was about to run off to catch up with Dinky, he found himself being held back by Ditzy. As he turned around thinking he had done something wrong, Clay was relieved to see Ditzy hold out one of her trademark muffins as an offering.
“What’s this for?” Clay unintentionally said out loud.
Ditzy simply smiled and replied “Birthday muffin.”
Clay took the muffin, thanked Ditzy, and ran off to catch up with Dinky.
“Well, come on what’s the surprise Clay?” Dinky said unable to hold her excitement.
Clay had led her to the outskirts of Ponyville, far enough to be out of town, but close enough to still be seen by anypony close by. Clay looked from side to side making sure no one was watching then he reached into his new saddle bag and pulled out the poster Spitfire had given him. As he unrolled it Dinky’s eyes widened in amazement.
“Wow a Wonderbolts poster signed by Spitfire and Soarin, did your mom get you this?”
Clay shook his head, “Nope, Spitfire herself gave it to me.”
Dinky’s eyes got even wider, “Spitfire is here!”
“Sorry Dinky I think I saw her fly off earlier when I was looking for you.”
“Oh, well that’s okay you got to meet your idols, and get an autograph from them. You’re going to be the most popular pony in school tomorrow.”
“There’s no way a ground walker like you will ever be popular!”
Both Dinky and Clay tensed up they knew who that voice belonged to. A dark blue Pegasus with yellow eyes, a white mane and tail with a single dark blue stripe, and a Cutie Mark in the shape of pairs of wings going at sonic speeds on his flank came up to them, with a sense of arrogance and self-entitlement. His name was Sky Tearer; but to his victims, which were usually earth ponies and unicorns, he was called “Sky Terror”.
His family had a long running history of being in the Wonderbolts. His father, his grandfather, and so on all belong to the group. So of course, he believed he was a sure win for the Wonderbolts; however he took it to the extreme; caring very little for the safety of others, especially ponies that could not fly. He looked down at them, as if they were ants to be squashed and his favorite ants were Clay and Dinky. Out of the three of them he was the oldest.
As he approached the nervous filly and colt he looked at the poster that Clay held in his mouth, and gave an irritated glance “You know what I love about the Wonderbolts? How they are so generous to charity cases like you Clay.”
“He’s not a charity case!” Dinky shouted getting between Clay and Sky.
Sky simply glanced down with a smug look,“ Like you would know, I mean your mom’s a freak with those eyes of hers; I bet she can’t even fly straight half the time.”
Sky gave a cold laugh as he threw his head back “You two don’t even have dads. Clay was adopted so he has an excuse, but your dad must have grown a brain and decided to leave while he still could.”
At this point tears had begun to form in Dinky’s eyes, “Y-you s-shut up about my mommy!”
“Or what she’ll crash into me when she tries to take off?” He laughed again.
Dinky was on the point of a breaking down as she hung her head, tears falling to the ground below; Clay was filled with anger at what he was seeing and then placed himself between Sky and Dinky.
“SHUT UP, DITZY IS A GREAT MOM AND SO IS MINE!”
Sky looked down at the small colt, “Oh, yeah Rainbow Dash is a great mom and Wonderbolt…for a filly fooler.”
Sky threw his head back and laughed even harder, Clay had no idea what filly fooler meant but he had heard that word whispered behind his mother’s back a few times. When he asked his mom what it meant she would simply tell him that it was a word to describe certain mares that was meant to be hurtful, and that she would tell him what it meant when he was older. Sky continued on with his rant when he caught his breath, “It’s sad really. Your mom the ‘great’ Rainbow Dash and she doesn’t have anyone to follow in her hoof steps…well for right now anyway,” Sky said giving an evil smirk.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Clay said, still filled with rage.
“Think about it. You’re a dirty earth pony; she’s a Pegasus. How is she supposed to leave a legacy if her only colt can’t fly…unless she gets another pony child like her so she can replace you?”
The words stung Clay, “SHUT UP! MY MOMMY LOVES ME AND WOULD NEVER REPLACE ME!”
Tears were beginning to form in his eyes now, as Sky scoffed.
“Please. She just took you because she wanted to look like a hero, and then when she couldn’t find anypony else to take you she got stuck with you until further notice. She doesn’t love you; you’re just a burden on Equestria’s ‘greatest’ flyer.” Again Sky laughed.
Clay felt angrier than before, not only had Sky insulted his friend and her mother, but to say anything bad about his mother was enough to make him do something most ponies his age wouldn’t dare to do. He lowered his head, kicked up some dirt with his right front hoof and charged head long into the still laughing Pegasus. Sky was thrown on his back with a loud oomph, while Clay landed on his rump shaking his head from the collision. Sky got up and looked at the still dazed earth pony in front of him with daggers in his eyes, “Why you little unwanted dirt eating mule!”
Sky then charged at Clay and knocked him back several feet in the air before he hit the ground with a loud thud, Dinky could only watch the whole scene happen before her as she looked at the motionless Clay lay on his side. She ran up to him shaking him with a hoof, “Clay, Clay are you okay? Say something!”
Clay opened his eyes and shook his head, while Sky ran over to Clay’s saddle bag that fallen to the ground. He picked it up and flew up to a nearby tree and placed it in a branch, but not before taking the Wonderbolt poster with him as well.
“I’ll be taking this with me! Something this divine shouldn’t be in the hooves of somepony as filthy as you!”
Clay looked on with pain filled eyes while Sky flew off into the distance…with his most prized possession. Dinky walked slowly to Clay trying to think of something to make him feel better.
“Clay, are you alright?” She said placing a hoof on his shoulder. Clay continued to stare at the sky with a look of hopelessness.
“Come on let’s get your mom and we’ll tell her what happened.” Clay suddenly snapped out of his trance and looked at Dinky with terror.
“Oh, no my mom will kill me when she finds out what happened. I’ll be grounded forever!”
Clay covered his face with his hooves tears forming in his eyes, then he looked up at the tree holding his saddle bag and started to walk to it.
“Clay what are you doing!”
Clay placed his hoofs on the stump and started to climb his way up.
“Clay please come down you’re going to get hurt!”
Clay wasn’t listening; he was following his single-minded determination to get his bag back. Dinky started to pace back and forth nervously, until finally she took off to find somepony talk some sense into him.