The sun was shining high in the sky over Cloudsdale, making the clouds feel extra fluffy and looks brighter than ever. But from your home down on the ground, on the outskirts of Ponyville, you could only speculate on what it was like up there right now. From the ground floor window of your parents two story wooden cottage, you could only imagine what the clouds felt like under hoof; not just the clouds of Cloudsdale, but all the clouds in every inch of the sky. When it rained, you imagined they felt like fresh dough, soft and squishy. When it was hot, you would close your eyes and wonder if they felt like cotton, dry scratchy. And when it was cold, you pondered if they were sleek and hard, like a frozen pond.
But that was as close as you got to those far away fields of white, plushy air that you dreamed about each night. That was as close as you thought you would ever get. When you were just a young colt, no more than a month old, the doctors in Cloudsdale diagnosed you with what they called “Soft hoof”, a condition that made it impossible for you to walk on the clouds like other Pegasus. As if that wasn’t bad enough, you were also born premature. You were born two months earlier than your expected due date. You were weak, frail; doctors didn’t think you would live through the night. But against all odds you did. You lived through the night, and into the next day. Little by little, doctors grew more and more confident in your development. After two weeks of being kept in the clouds dale new born infirmary, you were released into your parents care.
By then, the doctors had already diagnosed you with soft hoof, but it would be another 3 months before they realized that you were not hitting one of the most crucial Pegasus milestones. By the time a Pegasus is three months in age, they should begin to flex their wings for the first time, something that you were not doing. It was another shocking announcement from the doctors that made your parents decide to leave their home in the sky. Your wings had not developed as they should have, and were therefore too weak to ever properly sustain your body in flight. And so, shortly afterwords, your parents packed up all their belongings and bought a house just outside Ponyville, where you resided with them to this day.
Today however, was a different day. You didn’t know it yet, but today was the first day of the rest of your life. Today was the beginning of the countdown to the day you flew. The day began like any other. You woke up after a full eight hours of sleep, and proceeded to take a shower. As you walked downstairs from your room to the bathroom, you find a not on the landing written in your mothers swirly, elegant handwriting.
“Good morning sweetheart! Your father insisted we leave early to make it to the train, he was so certain we were going to be late and miss the train to our second honeymoon! I'm sure he was just panicking as usual, and that we made it just in time. There is plenty of food in the pantry, and we left Five hundred bits in case there was an emergency. Please sweetie, try to get out a bit while were gone? Your father is rolling his eyes as I write this but why don’t you try having a party while were gone? Just don’t stay inside all the time. There is a great big world out there. Just because you can’t fly doesn’t mean you can’t explore it! Have fun and we will see you in a month!
Xoxo Mom and Dad.
P.S. This is your father writing, if you DO have a party, do NOT enter the wine cellar. You can use the wine in the pantry, but be responsible.
You sigh as you crumple up the note and toss it into the waste basket in the corner. That was your parents for you, your mother out going and adventurous, and your father, the stingy Stallion who constantly worried. Both of your parents came from wealthy backgrounds and prestigious families. Your mother was the heir to a sizable sum of money; her father was the Stallion responsible for inventing the flavored bit used by the ponies who drew chariots. Your father’s family on the other hoof owned extensive vineyards all across Equestria, and were renowned for their award winning wine. Because of the amount of money they shared, you and your parents were always taking trips to new and exciting places. When you were younger the trips seemed amazing, but as you grew, the magic of seeing place after place grew a little dull, not to mention that every trip you went on had a “flying” Aspect that you could never be a part of due to your wings. Your parents would always ask if you were comfortable being alone during those times, and you always told them yes. After all, you didn’t want your condition to get in the way of the fun of others. Never the less, as you grew, you found that the trips would grow more and more centered and flying only trips, until one day you declined to go with them at all. By then you were well old enough to stay home alone, and your parents seemed to understand.
After a moment of wondering how you were going to pass a months worth of free time, your stomach’s constant protest made you opt for breakfast, When you're done eating, you return to the bathroom and enter the shower. You enter the broad and deep wash basin and turn on the hot water, waiting a few moments before slightly turning the cold handle. You enter in and sigh, gooseflesh popping up all over your skin as the sudden change in temperature makes you shiver. The hot water felt good on your coat, and for a moment, you simply stood there, letting it wash over you.
“I'm alone… no one is watching….” You briefly ponder your next course of action for a moment before sighing, and unfurling your wings. This was the only time you dared to do this, any other time it seemed to strange. When you were a foal you would simply say that you didn’t want to fly, and anyone asking simply left it at that. As you grew older, you found it harder and harder to come up with excuses as to why you never flew, but you always managed to come up with something.
“I hurt my wing.”
“I flew earlier and I’m tired.”
“I'm saving my strength to audition for the Flight Team.”
“I got grounded.”
It took some creativity on your part, but throughout your life, you never once had to admit that you couldn’t fly, even going as far as to beg your parents not to tell your teachers. But in the confines of the shower, you sometimes felt it necessary to simply, hold them open for a bit. You smiled as the warm water hit your feathers, a couple of loosed ones falling from their place and landing in the tub. No one could tell just from looking that you couldn’t fly. Your wings were big and beautiful, just like any other normal Pegasus wings were. But inside, the bones were thin, and the muscles were weak. Even so much as a couple of simple flaps caused you to feel pain after longer than a couple of seconds.
Just as you were about to reach for the soap, a knock on the door caused you stiffen, your wings twitch at the sudden sound that came from the empty house. You winced as a twinge of pain spasmed through your wings. Gently, oh so gently, you fold your wings back onto your body, and shake turn off the water, shaking yourself dry before you emerge from the shower. There was another loud bang, followed by another, and another. The knocking was rhythmic and intentional. It wasn’t like someone was trying to alert you to their arrival, you weren’t expecting anyone, but it was more like someone was pounding something into the door. With a slightly irritated sigh, you depart from the bathroom and make your way to the large wooden door in your living room. The knocking is defiantly coming from the other side,
You open the door, and jump back a good few inches as a cyan Pegasus practically falls on top of you, catching herself on the door frame. For a second, to two of you just stare at each other, you from inside the house, and her from her strangely balanced angle in the door way.
“Uhh… Little help here?”
You blink a few times before you realize she is talking to you. “Oh, yeah… sorry about that.” You extend a forehoof and pull her inside. After she regains her footing she smiles and thanks you.
“Sorry about that. I saw two other ponies leave earlier; I didn’t think anybody was home.”
You simply shrug. “Yeah, those were my parents. They left today on their second honeymoon.”
The other Pegasus nodded. “Fair ‘nuff. Oh! I’m rainbow Dash by the way.” She extends a hoof towards you. You take it in yours and give her a shake, introducing yourself before putting your leg back down at your side.
“So… Can I ask why you were banging on my door?”
“Huh? Oh!” The cyan Pegasus pulls a flyer off the door, handing it to you. “I thought that the house was empty so I was putting up this flier for the Wonder Bolts! They’re having a show in Ponyville tonight for one night only! It’s going to so wicked cool!”
The Cyan Pegasus is almost shaking, she seems so excited. This was the first time you had seen her, though you knew who she was before she even introduced herself. Tales of the Rainbow Maned, self proclaimed fastest flyer had been a source of constant amazement for you. Being unable to fly, you enjoyed hearing stories about the Pegasus who was responsible for pulling off the legendary “Sonic Rainboom.”
“I take it you’re a big fan of the Wonder bolts?”
Rainbow Dash nodded with such vigor, you swore her head was going to pop off. “I am their BIGGEST fan! I have every poster, every plush doll, and I know all their moves! Someday, I’m going to not only join them, I’m going to be the best there ever was!”
You can’t help but let out a chuckle as you reach for the door. Rainbow’s enthusiasm was almost infectious, and the determination in her voice as she spoke of her dreams made you smile.
“Well, you can go ahead and hang the flier if you want, my parents are gone for the month so they wont mind.” You try closing the door, but Rainbow places a hoof against it, holding it back.
“So I can count on you to attend?”
Her question catches you off guard. “I'm sorry… What?”
“The Wonder Bolts event? Every Pegasus in town and Cloudsdale is going to attend!”
You think about it for a minute, and then shake your head. “No, sorry. I’ve never been, and it sounds nice and everything, but I kinda don-“
Your words are cut off as a you feel the cold smooth texture of a hoof touch your lips. Rainbow just stares at you, with her big, unblinking pink eyes.
“You’ve NEVER seen the Wonder Bolts perform!?” The way she speaks makes you feel as if you uttered some form of blasphemy. You take a few steps back and shrug, blushing.
“Uhhh… No? I mean, they are just Pegasus aren’t they?”
Rainbow dash practically tackles you to the ground as she forces her way into your home, her pink eyes locked on yours.
“They are so much MORE than mere Pegasus ponies! They are like, GODS! At first they are all like, Woosh! And then the go zoom! And then, Spitfire, She’s the captain of the group, she’s all POW!”
You watch on in bewilderment as Rainbow dash continues her onomatopoeia onslaught of describing the Wonder Bolts apparent greatness. You find that she idolizes them with a almost childlike enthusiasm that is both cute, and just a little bit creepy. After she finishes her monologue, she turns to you with a wicked gleam in her eyes.
“Dude! You have to, have to see them! I'm not taking no for an answer. I’m coming right back here, tonight, and we are going to that show!”
Before you can object to her idea, she nods to you, shoves the flier into your hooves and flies off into the sky, shouting back “You’re going to love this show!”
For a few moments, you simply stand in the open doorway, unable to think as the cyan Pegasus flies away into the sky. It’s another few minutes before a though pops into your head.
“… Did I just get asked out?”
It’s almost seven in the evening when you do your third look over of yourself in the mirror. You mane was combed nicely, your teeth were free of food, and most importantly, you were dressed in “Proper date attire,” as your father would have put it. You had even shinned your best black shoes and had to take an extra two extra showers to remove the smudges of black goo from your coat. So how come, even dressed nicely, you felt as if you looked ridiculous?
“I look… Like a dork.” You sigh and lean your head on the cold glass of your antique standing mirror. That right there was your problem. You look around the room and sigh. Because of how well off your parents were, they were always insisting on buying you furniture that was “Fancy” and “Respectable”. Often times that meant you ended up with a dresser made from some rare wood, or a mirror with an ivory border and gold leaf detailing, or a bed that was said to once be used in the Canterlot royal palace. Your father had a thing for “Antiquity” as he called it, often saying that the nicer your possessions are, the more people will respect you. He was materialistic like that, and you often had to wonder how your mother, a free spirit used-to-be-punk-mare, ended up falling for such a stiff-lipped stallion like your dad.
“Oh, you just had to know him when he was younger dear”, Was your mothers typical response to that subject. On the other hoof, it was always your mother who tried to push your aesthetic tastes. Whenever your father brought something home for you, be it clothes, or furniture, or god forbid another baby grand piano for you to play, your mother would later pull you aside when your father had left the room and ask if that was really something you wanted.
“It’s ok if you don’t like this dear, really! Your father wouldn’t get upset. When I was a teenager, MY parents wanted me to take up an instrument. They were thinking more along the lines of the harp, or the cello, something classy like that. But after months of begging and pleading and bargaining, your grandfather finally gave in and got me an electric guitar, Sunny Reigns Les Paul, for your information!”
That was your mother for you, always trying to get you to expand your expressionistic palette. But your response was always the same. No matter how she phrased the question, or what stories she brought back from somewhere along the shoulders of memory lane, you always said “I never have any friends over, so what’s the point?”
If this hurt your mother, you never knew. She would always smile, nod, and give you a big hug and a kiss on your cheek. That was your mother, supportive of what you no matter what you chose. But as you stood in front of your mirror, your breath fogging up the glass as you sighed, you began to wish that maybe, just once, you had listened to what she had said and chosen something else, anything else, as long as it was different from the “hoity-toity” air that your room now felt heavy with.
A sudden knock on the door pulled you from your funk. You look up at the clock on your wall and realize that you had been loathing your room for a good half hour. The show started at eight, and already Rainbow Dash was knocking on your door.
“Oh man, why is she so early? Does she want to talk? Did I get the times wrong? Oh my gosh, did I miss the show and now she’s mad?” You give yourself a few more seconds to panic before fervently shaking your head and slapping yourself.
“Pull it together! Ok, just be cool. Your room is on the second story, so just open your window and tell her the door is locked and you will be right down, that’ll buy you a few seconds. It’s not like she has to know the door is actually unlocked-“
Your train of thought comes to a screeching halt as you hear a familiar click from downstairs, followed by the creak of old hinges as the front door swings open, followed by the “Clip-Clop” of hoof beats.
“Hello? Anybody here?”
Your heart freezes when you hear Rainbow’s familiar voice.
“Hello? I saw a light on upstairs, hope you don’t mind me comin in!”
Like a lion on the hunt, your heart immediately breaks in a sprint as sweat begins to form junt along your brow. “Umm… Just a second! I'm….” You look around your room for inspiration, and your eyes settle on the small round container of “Black Stallion” shoe polish. Against your better judgment, you go with it.
“I'm shinning my shoes!” Facehoof. You groan as you bite your lip and thump your well oiled shoes against your head, cursing at your brain for lack of creativity Out of all the things you could have said, drying off from a shower, brushing your teeth, even clipping your hooves, your brain had to resort to something that was sure to get you mocked.
“You’re what? What are you doing up there?”
You hear scuttling from downstairs, followed by cursing, and what sounds like something valuable smashing on the floor.
“Umm… Hey, quick question…” You fear she’s about to walk up the stairs. “Do you have like, a dustpan or something?”
You sigh in relief. Crisis adverted. You didn’t even care that something obviously broke downstairs, only that your guest had unwittingly bought you several more seconds of sweet preparation. “Umm… it’s in the pantry in the kitchen, hanging on the wall, next to the ice box!” You lied. It’s not near the ice box, in fact, it’s hanging on the wall above the kitchens door way.
You hear more shuffling, followed by a thud and more cursing. You turn back to the mirror and begin to addresses your problem again.
“Alright, Rainbow is here. She’s cool, obviously, and I look like I just got hit by the delivery carriage for “Carousel Boutique.” No big deal…. I can make this work… umm… maybe if I do this?” You begin to shake your head in all directions, trying to undo all the work you put into straightening your mane, but after about two whole minutes of ferocious head banging, you end up with only a headache.
“Hey, I hope your parents aren’t to ticked, but I accidentally knocked over their glass sculpture of two Pegasus in flight and I found the Dustpan, but it was above the…. Whoa.”
Your face falls as you turn around to see Rainbow Dash standing in your doorway, looking you over and obviously trying not to laugh. Instantly you know you are over dressed. The cyan Pegasus is wearing orange and yellow streaks of paint under her eyes, and a blue T-shirt that reads “Spitfire” with a minimalist yellow and orange silhouette of a Pegasus flying across her chest.. Her mane is the same as it always is; tomboyishly disheveled, yet somehow stylish.
“Oh man, no way are you wearing that!” She finally lets out a snort and a chuckle as she walks over to you.
“What’s… wrong with it? This is how I always dress when I go….” You were going to say “out” but stopped, seeing as how you hardly ever went anywhere. Sighing, you dejectedly hang your head and look up at your guest with defeated eyes. “I look like a dork, don’t i?”
Rainbow nods. “Yeah, but it’s not that bad. Here I’ll just have to make you about… Twenty percent cooler.” Immediately the young Pegasus sets to work, rescuing what she can of your appearance.
“Alright, first we gotta fix your mane.” She rubs he hooves up and down your neck and head, shaking the finely flattened mat into a messy, grungy look. You can’t help but blush a bit as her movement across your mane makes you tingle. It feels good. You had tussled your own hair before, mostly when cleaning it in the shower, but never before had someone else done it to you, certainly no one as cute as Rainbow Dash.
“Alright, now… ummm.. button down shirt? No way.” Immediately she grips your shirt and pulls it open, buttons popping and falling to the floor with a clatter. “ Hmm… white’s OK I guess but…” She looks around for a moment, and then goes for the small tin of Shoe polish. Opening it up, she tosses the lid to the ground and get a good glob of it on her hoof before coming back to you and wiping it off on your shirt in a big circle, then finishing it off by slashing through it with a big line until the finished result looks like a large, black, “NO” symbol.
“Alright, almost there… just needs one more thing…” Like the lid, she tosses the can of polish aside and takes hold of your black outer shirts sleeves. In one swift motion she tears them off at the seam, lifting your legs so she can slide the remains off and looking proudly at you.
“Well, I wouldn’t say it’s the same level as Rarity’s work, but I think I did a pretty good job!” She nods approvingly as you turn to look at yourself. Instead of a sophisticated, well groomed young stallion, you find yourself looking at a punked out version of yourself that would most likely have made your mother proud.
“Wow… I… I look….”
“Twenty Percent cooler, in ten seconds flat.” Rainbow dash pat’s you on the back. “Ok now, let’s go! Were gonna miss the show if we don’t hurry!” And with that, the rainbow mane Pegasus zipped into the air and out your door, another clatter and more swearing as she bolted down the stairs.
“Yeah, I’ll be done in just a minute….” You shout after half attentively as you continue to look yourself over in the mirror. The Shoe polish was expensive, Fifty bits a tin, and the black shirt-now-vest had been hand spun from silkworm silk. But for once, you actually found yourself looking in the mirror and liking what you saw. It perhaps wasn’t your “style” per-say, but it was different, new. You smiled as you made your way down the stairs, carefully avoiding a broken picture frame as you trotted down to the living room. You gave the house a quick once over, making sure you didn’t forget to close any doors or windows, and shutting the front door behind you, trotted over to your “Date” as it were.
“Alright, you ready to see the Wonder Bolts kick some cloud!?” Rainbow Dash was obviously waiting on pins and needles, her body shaking as she looked at you with those big, glistening pink eyes.
For a moment, you find yourself unable to break your gaze with her, quickly snapping back to reality and before she notices and responding with a shrug.
“Yeah, I guess so.”
Rainbow shakes her head. “Not, “I guess so” ! This is the Wonder Bolts were talking about! You gotta be louder!” She zipped into the air and did a loop-de-loop shouting “Yeah! Wonder Bolts! Woooo!” She looks over at you. “Now you try.”
“Woooo Wonder Bolts?”
She slaps a hoof across her face and muttered, shaking her head again in disapproval.
“Well… come on then, maybe the show will get you more pumped.” She took off in the direction of the town, leaving you behind until she turns around, maybe several meters from you, to see you slowly walking along.
“What gives? You’re not gonna fly?”
Game time. Quickly your mid searches for a believable excuse.
“Uhhh… I… Sprained my wing the other day… gotta keep off it, ya know?”
For a moment, your heart clenches as rainbow just stares at you from midair. Perhaps your excuse wasn’t convincing enough? Or maybe you did something earlier to give it away that your wing wasn’t really hurt. Finally, after several tense seconds of staring and worrying, Rainbow shrugs and zips down over to your side.
“No problem! Happens all the time. If we hurry we can still get good seats.”
Phew! Crisis adverted. You swallow the lump in your throat and nod. “Sounds good to me… uh… ladies first?”
Again, Rainbow laughs, tossing her mane back as she does so, a few loose strands of red hair tickling across your cheek. She reaches out with her right foreleg and grabs hold of your left, pulling you along with her.
“C’mon! We gotta hurry!” And with that, Rainbow Dash runs towards town, holding your hoof and pulling you in tow. You can’t help but blush as you nervously follow along.
It takes a good ten minutes or so to get from your home on the edge of the town to the heart of it. Even though you ran most of the way (Rainbow Dash being the far better athlete, and as a result you are now out of breath and sweating profusely) the town center is already packed with ponies of all kinds. Earth, unicorn, and pegasus ponies were crammed almost shoulder to shoulder as a beige mare with her mane placed neatly in a bun and light blue horn rimmed glasses takes the stage. A unicorn next to her magically levitates the microphone and holds it in front of her face as she clears her throat.
“Welcome everyone, to the special, one night only, Wonder Bolt aerial show!”
The crowd bursts to life in shouting and applause as dash, still holding your hoof, elbows her way up to the stage.
“Dude, lose some weight.”
For each comment she makes as she plows her way through, you smile and apologize on her be half.
“I think you look great!”
Finally you reach edge of the sea of ponies and crane your neck, looking up at the stage. The Mayor is just finishing her speech, and rainbow dash is staring ahead with such intensity, you’re afraid she may set the stage on fire with her glare. Finally, the Mayor backs off to the side as four ponies make their way to the stage. Dash cheers as they step to the side, and welcome in their leader.
“Fillies and Gentlecolts! Give a warm welcome to the leader of the Wonder Bolts, SPITFIRE!”
You head fills with the sound of hooves on a chalk board as dash lets out a high pitched screech. Her wings spring out ward as spitfire takes the mike, strutting across the stage and throwing the crowd into a frenzy as she cheers them on. You have to duck in order to keep your eyes from being jabbed by Dash’s pin feathers.
“Hello Ponyville! Are you ready to get wild!?”
More applause and cheering. You’re a little lost in the sea of enthusiasm, but the energy in the air causes your heart to accelerate. You’re excited and you have no idea why, but you do know that you like it.
“I can’t hear you! Are you ready to get crazy?!” She pumps her forelegs and the crowd lets loose in a burst of cheers and screams. You find yourself being pressed forward as the crowd lunges for the yellow and orange pony in the jumpsuit as they reach out and slap a row of hooves, dashes included, who promptly lets out another squeal. You smile, her excitement prompting you to reach out as well as white and blue pony in an identical jump suit slaps your hoof five.
“Alright you rowdy bunch of ponies! We have a night filled with sheer awesomeness, and death defying stunts waiting just for you, so don’t go anywhere! We just need one more minute to prepare and we will utterly, BLOW. YOUR. MINDS!
The crowd roars and cheers as the ponies go back behind the big red curtain on the stage. Even as the noise dies down to excited murmurs and buzzes of conversation, your heart is still beating faster than ever.
“Where did they go?” You turn to dash, surprised to see her looking at you already.
“Oh, they gotta do some pre-show stretching, you know? Prevent cramps and tears and stuff like that.”
“Oh…. Yeah… I totally know all about that.”
Dash smiles and looks at your wings, still folded nicely on your side. “So, how did you sprain your wing anyways?”
Automatically, your brain switches into bull shit mode. “Oh, I was coming in for a landing, and uh… misjudged the breadth I had and accidentally clipped a tree branch…” You chuckle a bit. “Cest La Vie, you know?”
“Yowtch dude, that’s a major buzz kill.” She turns around and props herself up on the guard rail separating you the ground from the stage, flexing her wings out in all their cyan brilliance.
“See that scar on my flank? Just under my cutie Mark?”
You’re not sure if you’re supposed to stare or not, so you quickly glance down, then back up and nod. “yeah?”
“I got that after I crashed through a briar patch down by dry water gully.” She hops down off the railing and turns to you again. “So, any other battle scars ya got?”
You shake your head. “No.. I’m usually a pretty careful flier.”
“Pfft… Pansy. Flying isn’t about playing it safe. It’s about, feeling the wind in your mane, and the air stinging your eyes as your rush past, and every muscle in your wings screaming to stop but you keep pushing on until you’re going so fast, you never want to slow down!” She huffed and looked up into the sky. “When I’m flying… I feel invincible; totally and completely untouchable.”
You look up with her. You always wondered what the sky was like, being grounded since birth did that to you. Rainbow described flying just like you always thought it was; an adrenaline rush of unmatched proportions. If it wasn’t for the throngs of other ponies, and the risk of looking even less cool in front of Rainbow, you might have shed a tear. You were about to speak again when rainbow dash grabbed your arm and pointed to the stage. You look over and see spitfire take the center, microphone levitated by the unicorn off to the side, her goggles strapped tightly to her head.
“Alright every one, were going to get things started off here with a personal favorite of mine!” A spotlight moves across the stage a reveals a record player resting on a barrel in the corner. It lights us as the unicorn uses it’s magic to place the needle on the record. After a few seconds, Hayvid Bowie's “Major Tom” plays, and a rocketing is heard over head as the other three Wonder Bolts take off over head, leaving trails of smoke identical to their coats behind them.
“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!” Rainbow Dash grabs you and directs your head to the back of the crowd as the performers arc upwards and begin to double back, upside down, towards the direction of the stage.
“I can’t believe they are doing the Hayvid Bowie routine! I LOVE that song!”
You watch in silent awe as at the last moment, the group flips right side up and soars upwards again, this time by spitfire who jump straight up in the air and easily out distances the rest of her comrades. There was a loud crack, followed by a boom and an explosion of orange and yellow light as Spitfire took off towards Canterlot, the light taking the shape of a flame.
“The Flame Thrower!”
Dash wasn’t kidding when she said the Wonder Bolts were amazing. Tonight you saw things that you only heard about, and they were far better than their descriptions of them had been. Your heart soars and your face breaks into a smile as two pones begin to fly in opposite directions circles around spitfire as she returns to the field, one going clockwise and the other goes counter clock wise, their smoke mixing and becoming a bright magenta before the two break apart and spitfire accelerates again, followed by another boom and an explosion of color. The orange and yellow quickly envelops the magenta and explodes into reigning sparkles of multicolored light.
“The Sunset Bomb!”
The crowed is filled with “oohs” and “ahhs” As the shimmering of lights fall to earth, disappearing shortly after they touch the coats of you and the audience.
“This is…. Incredible…” You’re breathless. Who knew flying could be so fantastic, so beautiful, so… mesmerizing! Even after the shimmers fade from the air, the aerial acrobatics of the Wonder Bolts have your rapt attention. To your side, Rainbow Dash looks on with a look of smug satisfaction at having converted someone to the glory and sheer beauty that is the Wonder Bolts. For close to two hours, the Team zooms around over head, Rainbow Dash pointing out and naming each one of their tricks for you. You stopped waiting for her to tell you long ago, and started asking her each time something happened.
“How about that one?”
“The Blue Phoenix!”
“And that one!”
Rainbow flashes you a cheeky grin. “That’s the Finale.”
The sky roars with thunderous noise as all four Pegasus ponies line up in a row and speed by over head, each of them leaving a different colored streak of smoke. Their speed increased; faster and faster until their colors merged and became a twisting rainbow that resulted in another crack, followed by a shock-wave of multicolored smoke as the Wonder Bolts landed back on the stage. For a brief moment, everything slows down. The smoke wafts through the crowed and various smells, Mango’s, Raspberries, Blue Berries, and fresh rain enter your nostrils, and fill your lungs as you take a deep breath before standing up on your hind legs, throwing your hooves in the air and jumping up, shouting at the top of your lungs.
“WOOO-HOOO! Wonder Bolts! HELL YEAH!”
Everyone is looking at you when your hooves touch back down on the ground. You look around, arms out stretched, a bright line of red blush spreading across your face. Your fall back to all fours and sheepishly lower your head as Rainbow dash gives you a pat on the back.
“Told ya you were going to love the show.”
You smiled a bit without looking up at her, still blushing. “Heh… yeah… guess I did.”
Spitfire smiles and shrugs as the microphone is magically brought up to her mouth again.
“Well hell, that’s the spirit! Did all you guys enjoy the show!?”
A swell of applause and cheering erupts as the crowed grow crazy, screaming various names and shouting praise at the Wonder Bolts.
“Man, can you believe-“ You turn to Rainbow Dash, thinking to comment on the cheers, only to watch as she removes her shirt and tosses it towards Spitfire.
“Spitfire! I love you!” Her screams echo in your ears as you turn away from her and look to the stage, watching as Spitfire takes the shirt and mops her brow with it before slinging it over her shoulder.
“Rainbow Dash, is that you? You are at every single one of our shows girl, are you stalking us?” Rainbow giggles as her idol talks back to her, calling her by name. It was obvious the two had met before.
“Hey how about you and your pony friend there come around back to our hotel room and hang with us for a bit?”
Guy friend? A spot light swing over to your position, revealing you and Rainbow Dash standing very close to one another. The emotion in the crowd changes as a collective “oooh” emerges; somepony off in the distance lets out a whistle, another howls like a wolf. Rainbow Dash shrugs and wraps her leg around yours.
“What say you, “pony friend”? Wanna go hang with your new Heroes?”
You’re aware that you are blushing like mad, but honestly, you could care less. You can feel the heat radiating from your cheeks, and the wink Rainbow gives you kicks your emotions into overdrive.
“What the hay, why not?” Together, the two of you make your way through the crowd, the spotlight following you both as you depart; more ponies cheering.
“Alright guys, that’s it for the show! You have been a great audience! We will be selling merchandise and signing
autographs outside our hotel so meet us there!” With that, Spitfire gives the microphone a kick with her hind legs, the magical aura around it breaking as it fell into the crowd and several ponies diving for the souvenir.
After a short walk and an even shorter carriage ride, you find yourself standing outside Ponyville’s most luxurious hotel, the Gilded Horse Shoe; its beauty rivaled only by its sister branch in Canterlot. Over three stories tall, the Hotel only catered to high society ponies. But because of a lack of celebrity foot traffic through Ponyville, it often remained closed. The owner, one “Maxamillion Rockefeller” stands outside the immense double doors of the luxury building, giving you and Rainbow Dash a smug look from over behind his monocle. You were used to high profile places like this; your father had often frequented the hotel when he needed a place to house business associates who were visiting from out of town. Like a bad stereotype, dressed in a black tuxedo with hair greased down in a snooty comb over, Maxamillion addressed you and Rainbow with a exaggerated, aristocratic accent that made you want to sigh.
“I say…” His voice deep and droll, “Are you two lost?”
Before you could tell him your name, Rainbow Dash practically rushes the door, stopped only by an extension of Maxamillion’s back leg to black her path.
“Umm… We’re here to see the Wonder Bolts?” Rainbow Dash smiled at the gentlecolt, her eyes sparkling and twinkling like they had been since they left the event.
“The Wonder Bolts are away at their show I'm afraid. And even if they were here, I could not let you just waltz in to see them.”
Rainbow looked a bit offended by the Stallions remark. “But… Spitfire said we could hang with them…”
“Young lady… If I fell for every pony when they said that a celebrity said they could “hang” with them, I would lose all patronage and have to shut down my hotel. Now be off with you before I have to call security and have you escorted off my premises.”
Rainbow simply narrowed he eyes, staring daggers back at Maxamillion as she walked towards to you.
“Can you believe this guy? Who does he think he is?”
“He’s the owner of the hotel, Dash.”
“So? That doesn’t give him the right to be a jerk!” Rainbow simply turns to face Maxamillion from where you two stand, and plops herself down on the ground, not taking her eyes away from the front doors of the hotel. “This is just great… now we have to wait outside for the Wonder Bolts carriage; no doubt it’s going to be swarmed with fans following them. We’re never going to get inside!”
You look at Dash as she continues her silent protest. Even with an angry face on, you can see her eyes shimmer with tears as she tries to blink them back. After a moment, you sigh and shake your head, walking over to Maxamillion. You’re going to hate yourself in the morning for this. Flaunting your name around is something your father takes delight in, not you. But you can’t stand seeing dash upset, even if she is doing her best to hide it.
“For Dash.” You think, putting on your most serious and important looking face.
Maxamillion has been standing at his podium reading over a list of names when he looks up to see you approaching and he lets out a long, drawn out sigh as he blocks your path to the doors.
“Sir, as I just told your friend, I simply cannot let you inside.”
“She’s telling the truth. Spitfire told us we could visit them in their room.”
Maxamillion rolled his eyes and sighed again; the sound was starting to annoy you.
“And pray tell why exactly I should believe you mister….”
You tell him your name, followed by your fathers. His eyes widen and his ears fall back against his head as he rushes back over to the podium and begins frantically flipping through his book of names. After a few minutes, the earth pony, now profusely blushing and stammering, walks back over to you and puts on his best smile.
“I am terribly sorry sir! Please, come in and enjoy your stay! The Wonder Bolts are in room 309, and please, don’t hesitate to ask for anything if you need it, it’s all on the house for the child of one of our hotels best patrons!” Maxamillion bows as you turn back and whistle at Dash. She looks over at you and you motion with a nod of your head for her to follow. Moments later, the two of you are standing in the swanky yellow and red interior that is the hotel’s lobby.
“Whoa… How did you do that!?” Rainbow Dash looks at you with amazement plastered to her face as the two of you walk up to the reception desk and request the key to the Wonder Bolts room. “You just, went up there and he totally let us in!”
“Oh… uh… I just… you know, have a way with words!” You smile and let out a nervous chuckle before taking the key from the receptionist in your teeth and lead Rainbow over to a flight of stairs.
“Really now? What else can that tongue of yours do?” She gives you a bump with her hips, and you almost swallow the key, room tag and everything.
“Wha...what?” you stop on the stairs as rainbow dash continues up, chuckling as she reaches the landing.
“Come on, pink cheeks. I wanna see what the Wonder Bolts room looks like!”
You place a hoof on your face and feel the heat coming off your cheeks. You shake your head a bit and continue on up with Rainbow Dash as she hurries to the other end of the room and up another flight of stairs. After another that one, and another stair case, you reach the three hundreds floor of the building. Compared to the green wallpaper, brown paneling, and polished brass candle holders on the walls of the previous two floors, the third story is significantly more impressive. The walls are marble white with various friezes depicting ancient ponies doing various activities; lounging, performing, eating and drinking, the edges and contours stamped with gold leaf. The floor is polished to a brilliant sheen and crystal adorned chandeliers hung above your heads; the ceiling painted in a old style with Pegasus ponies flying around, draped in fabric.
“Wow… Swanky place…” Rainbow dash walks slowly as she looks around the hallway, impressed with her surroundings. It was obvious to you, someone who had seen places like this and fancier that this was her first taste of high society life.
“Yeah it’s… Something else… Oh! Here’s the door!”
Rainbow Dash stops as you point to the big, gold numbers on the white ivory door; a small sign under it read “WONDER BOLTS” in embossed gold lettering. You adjust the keys in your mouth and lean down, placing it into the lock and turning it until you hear the familiar “click” of all the tumblers falling into place.
You open the door slowly, but rainbow dash, in her unbridled excitement, barges through and causes the keys to be pulled from your mouth.
“Oh… My… GOSH!”
You wander in after making sure you weren’t cut by the keys flying from your lips, and set your eyes on the room that has caused the young Pegasus to gasp. The room was bigger then you had thought, with several red velvet couches seat in a semi circle in front of a brass embossed fire place. On the wall facing the doorway was a large window, taller then you and three times as wide, overlooking the rest of the town. The walls were the same smooth marble as they were outside, but with fake, pillar like corners. There was a door on the far way to your left; you imagined that it lead to the bed and bathrooms.
Rainbow walks around for a moment, then hops over the back of the couch and makes herself at home, sprawling out amongst the large red throw pillows.
“So this is how the other half lives, huh? I could definitely get used to this.”
You simply shrug and sit yourself on the couch to the right of her. Rainbow Dash is impressed by her surroundings, but you still dare not tell her about your background. Dash was the complete opposite of everything that your family was; rough, wild, unbridled, adventurous and in-your-face. These qualities were the ones that made your heart flitter. She was something different, something new that you had never experienced before. She lay on her back, fore eggs crossed behind her head and one back leg rested on top of the other. The paint under her eyes had become smeared, and blurred her cheeks in yellow and orange blots. Rainbow faced the fire place, and you couldn’t help but look at her from the corner of your eyes.
Your father had explained to you shortly after you hit puberty that there were certain ways to act in proper society. You do not kiss in public. You do not act overly affectionate. You do not hold hooves, but instead lock legs; a colt will guide his mare where she goes this way. And sex, sex is a matter for AFTER MARRIAGE. Your father put heavy emphasis on these rules of his, saying that proper etiquette is key to resisting your more “primal” urges. Perhaps this was why you never had a significant other before. Who would want to date someone so dated? But as your eyes followed the flow of Rainbow Dashes tail, along the contours of flank, down her back, over her chest, up her neck and coming to rest on her soft, blue lips, you found that you really couldn’t care less what your father thought.
Rainbow dash glanced up and offered you a soft smile, sitting up and patting the cushion next to her. “You know you don’t have to sit alone of there, come on over.”
You nod, your heart racing as you get up and take the seat next to her. Rainbow adjusts herself and leans against you, her back pressed your right shoulder.
“So uh…. When do you think the Wonder Bolts will get here?”
Rainbow shrugged. “I dunno, soon I hope. I have soooo many questions for them!” The Pegasus stretched out a bit more, her mane brushing against your cheek in the process.
Before you can think of another question, the door swings open, and a group of Pegasus in jumpsuits rushes in, a screaming crowd hollering their names as the group forces the doors shut.
“Oh my gosh!” Rainbow jumps up from her seat and zooms over to her idols. You had grown so comfortable that you didn’t realize how much weight you had put on her by leaning until you practically fall over when she leaves.
“Are you guys ok!?”
Spitfire takes off her goggles and wipes her brow with the same shirt Dash had given her earlier. “Oh yeah, were just fine. Turns out a whole bunch of fans were waiting for us outside the hotel and just followed us in. You would not believe how mad the stallion outside was after that! I think he’s still back out there trying to get ponies to leave.” She tossed her toggles aside and undid the zipper along the front of her jump suit. Spitfire was a brilliant blend of yellow and orange, the pattern on her body resembling a flame. Her mane was large and free flowing, and her orange eyes seemed to light up when she smiled, which was often. She made her way to the couch on your right and laid herself down as the others took off their jumpsuits, rainbow dash leaping back over the couch and taking the side opposite the one she previously occupied so she could be closer to spitfire.
“So, new pony, what’s your name?” Spitfire looked over you with tired eyes that sparkled with interest.
You introduce yourself, first name only. No reason to blow your cover. You didn’t know if the Wonder Bolts had even heard of your family, but you were all grown up ponies, and grown up ponies often drank grown up beverages. Last thing you wanted now was for one of them to make the connection between your family’s name, and the name on the label of one of the most popular equestrian wines.
“First name basis huh? I like that, Shows your hip. So tell me, what did you think of the show? Be brutal, I wanna know what you thought.”
You shake your head and think for a moment. “It was… Incredible, amazing. I never knew flying like that existed. What you guys did was like some sort of … aerial ballet, beautiful and exciting all in one. I didn’t want it to end!”
Spitfire throws her head back in a hearty laugh. “I like this you! Where did you run into this one dash? Another hook up at the bar?”
Hook up? Spitfire’s words cut you. Was this all you were to dash? Granted you weren’t even sure if this was a real date or not, but surely you weren’t just some fly by night romance. Even your sheltered, socially inept mind knew what that was, and Dash certainly wasn’t that kind of girl… was she?”
“Oh no, not this time. This guy is just someone who hadn’t seen your show before. I was hanging flyers, I thought his house was empty, he answered the door, I stumbled in…”
“Into his bed I bet.” Spitfire and Rainbow Shared a good laugh at that, and you felt like someone had kicked you in the gut. Ok, so she was that kind of pony… what had father called them? “Mare’s of loose reputation?”
“So what ever happened to that hot piece of flank you met at our last show? What was her name?”
Her. So she was a filly-fooler to. Wait, but she liked guys to, didn’t she? So she was a bisexual. Nothing wrong with that, you had a open mind. But the fact she was the kind that was of… “Loose reputation” made you feel like a rag, a wet rag left on the side of a rusty bucket after being used to clean the gunk from under a carriage. Flapping your wings for a full minute wouldn’t generate enough pain to match how bad your heart was hurting right now.
“So newbie, you ever gone night flying?”
Spitfire’s words derailed your train of thought. You look over and cock your head to the side.
“No… I can’t say I have.”
Spitfire nodded and looked out the window. “Well me and the others always unwind with a night time fly after a show, you guys wanna go with us?”
You look over to your left and see two of the four members laying on the couch, and one walking through the door that lead to the other room. One of the ponies on the couch nodded you, and the other, a stallion with a purple-blue mane pointed at rainbow dash and silently mouthed something at you. You glance at the Pegasus and tap her on the shoulder.
“He was telling me to tap …” You stop talking when the significance of what the other Pegasus was mouthing finally hits you.
Dash shrugs and turns back to Spitfire. “So you really mean it, we can fly with you guys!?”
Spitfire nods. “You bet your flank. I mean, if your friend is cool with it. I know you can keep up but I don’t wanna leave them behind.”
Damn. This is exactly as you feared. You’re the only non flyer in a room full ace fliers, and now they all wanted to fly. If this situation were a snake, you would have died hours ago from its venomous bite.
“You bet he is! He can fly almost as fast as I can!”
What? Did Rainbow dash just blatantly lie to the leader of the Wonder Bolts about your flying abilities? This was bad, very bad, red alert, ultra danger, oh-crap-I’m-about-to-be-hit-by-a-carriage bad. Bail out, bail out now while your chute still works.
“Rainbow… you know I sprained my wing…”
Dash blushes and speaks to you through gritted teeth, flashing a nervous smile as she looks back at Spitfire. “Ha ha! I'm sure you can put up with it for a little bit… you’re a… ace flier after all!”
What was she doing? Was a flight with the Wonder Bolts really this important to her? She was cute… even if she was “of loose reputation”, but even if you wanted to, you couldn’t fly. You knew the consequences of trying. For years, doctors would say that at their size, the bones in your wings would snap like day old bread sticks, and that was a feeling you really wanted to avoid experiencing.
“I want to… but I really can’t…”
“Yes you can! Give yourself some credit!” You can tell she was trying to be motivational, or at least fake it, but from her tone you can tell she was getting desperate. It didn’t take a magically gifted unicorn to see that this was a big deal to Rainbow. But not snapping your wings in two was important to you, and on the list of things that were important, fully intact bones was pretty high up there, even though Rainbow Dash’s feelings were surprisingly close to surpassing them.
“I’m sorry Rainbow. ..”
“Come on, you can do it!” She grips your leg. Tightly.
“Rainbow, if he can’t fly because of his wing , we can do this some other time…” Spitfire leaned up off the couch, her voice was losing it’s fun filled tone, and taking on one of more worry.
“Ow… Rainbow… that hurts…”
“Come on, don’t be a wimp!” He grip tightened.
“Rainbow, that’s really starting to hurt!”
Your voice echoes throughout the room, every pony looking at you in surprise. Even Rainbow, who had suddenly let go, shirking back a bit on the couch. Your chest rose and fell as you panted, your mind reeling with fright at what you just did. Before anyone can say anything, you leap from your seat and race out the door, breaking into a gallop as you hit the stairs, almost knocking Maxamillion to the ground as your sprinted out the lobby doors and down the street, heading in the direction of your house.
If ever there was a time in your life when you thought that jumping off a cliff would be a solution to your problems, this was that time. For the thirty minutes you have been pacing back and forth your living room with such vigor that a line of scuffed hoof prints illustrated the distance you walked from one end of the room to the other. Though your father would be furious to find his pristine bird’s eye maple floors scuffed, the thought of punishment didn’t matter to you at the moment. Right now, all that mattered was wondering how you were ever going to face Rainbow Dash again. Even with your introverted, quasi-hermit life style, you would eventually have to venture out doors again sometime in the future, and then what? Avoid anywhere Rainbow Dash might be? What if you had to go to the library, or Sweet Apple Acres to get fresh apples for a new wine recipe, or Sugar Cube Corner? Sometimes mother would get a craving and send you out to pick up a chocolate dipped lemon. What then? Just thinking about figurative situations was making you sick, what would happen if you actually ran into her?
Your veins run icy as you imagine how furious she would be if she ever saw you again. The Wonder Bolts were her dream, she practically worshiped them! How could you ever face her again knowing that you ruined what could have very well been her one chance to show the Wonder Bolts what she could do! The thought of ruining ones dream made you cringe. You felt like someone was dropping stones in your stomach, and you felt dizzy. You want to apologize, but you feel positive that after what you did, she would never forgive you. You were not worthy of her time.
You DID make it very clear that, even though it was a bold face lie, you had hurt your wing, and yet she still had the gall to try and force you to fly! What kind of friend does that!? Probably the same kind that takes you out just so she can use you for a cheap ride and toss you away after she’s done with you. How many other ponies did she have lined up after you? Ten? Twenty? A Hundred? For all you knew, you were just another notch in her bed post. That made you furious. Instead of pacing you now stomped your hooves across the floor in frustration. How dare she, how DARE she use you like that? You had feelings, and now those feeling were hurt! You didn’t care if you ever saw her again, not in a million years!
You stop you’re your frustrated stomping and sit on the floor, sighing as you rub your temples. Why was this so confusing? You felt mad, but you also felt upset, scared, and worried. Every two seconds your mind would flip from one side of argument to the other, then back again, confusing you even more. Your heart raced, your stomach fluttered, and every time you close your eyes you saw rainbow dash in the same position she was when she was laying on the Wonder Bolts couch. But what did it mean? How were you angry at her, yet scared about how you acted all at the same time? It was almost as if… as if…
In some locked away part of your brain, deep in your subconscious came the answer to your problems. Like air in a bath tub, it slithered up through the waters of your mind and bubble to the surface in a gurgle that made your heart race and stomach clench.
You liked her. You liked Rainbow Dash. You had never had a crush before, but you could tell that this was defiantly what a crush felt like. How else could you explain the warm feeling you got when you thought about her rainbow mane, of the softness of her coat when she stood close to you, or how the reflection of light of her moist, blue lips caused you shortness of breath?
You sat up and huffed. Great. Now what were you going to do? You couldn’t face her, you were mad at her, and at the same time, you were completely infatuated with her. Your father had tried to instill as much old world advice as he could in you, but you doubt that even he had a rule or anecdote for when you make a complete fool out of yourself in front of a beautiful mare. But your mother, on the other hoof, she was the one who gave you the “talk”. Your father may have had given you his talk, but it didn’t go into the more… physical areas of romance. No, it was your mother who told you about the birds and the bee’s and the Pegasus and the unicorns and how all ponies grew up and their bodies changed and they would get urges and feelings that they didn’t understand but that it was alright because this was a normal part of growing up.
“But mother,” you remember asking her when she sat you down on that chilly august day, “How do I know when I’m in love?”
She simply smiled and gave you a big hug. “You will know because when you do, everything will feel strange, and new, and you will worry and fret and it will all be confusing.”
“I don’t think I want to fall in love now…”
She chuckled and gave you a kiss on the cheek. “Oh but honey, it’s so much more than that. It’s also about warm fuzzy feelings, and spending time with a mare that you like, and who feels the same about you. When you’re in love, everything is new and exciting, and will have no idea what to do next, but you know what? That’s the fun of it. Love is an adventure, and when you meet the right pony, it is an adventure that lasts a lifetime.”
“An adventure”. That was certainly one way to describe how things were going right now. But if your trip down parental advice lane had done anything, it had allowed you to calm down enough to think clearly. After a moment more of pondering, you knew what you had to do. Even if it meant making yourself look like an idiot in front of Rainbow Dash, you knew you had to talk to her. It’ wasn’t going to be an angry rant, and it wasn’t going to be a plea for forgiveness. It was simply going to be a talk, and chance to just put it out there. If she accepted what you had to say, great, if not, at least you tried, and trying felt like it would be enough to put you at ease.
You got up and walked to the front door. You didn’t know if she was at the hotel still, but it was at least worth a try. If she had left then you could wait until morning to find her, but you couldn’t wait until morning without at least trying to track her down a bit first. But was you placed your hoof on the door latch and pulled it open, you realized that tracking Rainbow Dash down would not be necessary. On the other side, standing in the low light of the porch lamp with a look of surprise and sadness on her face was Rainbow; her Spitfire shirt hanging over her shoulder. For a moment, the two of you simply look at each other, exchanging awkward glances.
You blink a few times. “Uh… hi…”
Another awkward pause. Rainbow looks around and twists her hoof in the dirt before looking back up at you.
“Can I come in?”
You slowly nod. “yeah, sure.”
Stepping aside you hold the door open as Rainbow Dash slowly trots inside. After closing the door behind her , you notice that she is sitting on the floor with her back to you; her ears drooping and her body hunched over in a pathetic pose that suggest something weighed heavy on her shoulders.
“Is… are you alright Rainbow?” your somewhat surprised that these are the words that come out of your mouth. She slowly and dejectedly shakes her head, sighing and hanging her head even lower.
“I'm…. really sorry about what happened back at the hotel.” Her voice is higher than normal, and you faintly hear her sniffling as she talks. “I feel really lousy about what I did, and I’m so… so sorry for how I acted.”
“It’s… it’s ok dash... really, it’s fine.”
“No its not fine.” She raised her head and climbed to her feet, her wings hanging limply at her side. She turns to you, frowning and with reed cheeks. Her eyes shimmer with the faint glossy glow of tears. “You said you were hurt and didn’t want to fly, and I should have respected that, but I didn’t because I was soooo… excited at the opportunity to fly with the Wonder Bolts that I acted really badly and hurt you...”
You look at your ankle, the one Dash had been squeezing only an hour earlier. “It’s alright… it didn’t hurt to bad… I was probably just making a big deal out of nothing now that I think of it… “
Rainbow smiled a bit and sighed again, looking away. “I’m supposed to be the embodiment of loyalty, and here I am almost forcing a new friend to fly with a hurt wing just so I can fulfill my own selfish desires… how lame is that?”
You shrug. “It’s not lame… I mean, we all do stupid things from time to time… just last week I spent ten minutes trying to pull open a door that was blatantly labeled “push”.”
Dash chuckles a bit and wipes her eyes. “Yeah? Well… still... it’s not an excuse for my crumby behavior… I should go and let you get back to your life… I'm sorry if I was bothering you, I just… wanted to let you know I didn’t mean anything back there…” The cyan Pegasus strode past you and opened the door, walking out and not even bothering to close it. Instead of zipping away she simply slowly trotted out your door, not even making an attempt at running or speeding up.
This was awful, you felt awful. All those emotions you had earlier, of anger and fear, those were all gone now. The only feelings you had were towards dash, and how much it hurt you to watch her walk away with her tail dragging on the ground. You couldn’t bear to see her like this. You had to do something, anything to pull Dash out of this funk she was in. After a brief moment of contemplation you sigh, biting your lip as you curse yourself. If there was ever a contest for bad ideas, then you were pretty sure that this one would win by a long shot. You in hale, stand tall, and open your mouth to speak.
“I… I can’t fly….Dash.”
Rainbow stops in her tracks and instantly turns around to look at you.
“Wha… What did you say?”
You sigh again and walk outside so she can hear you better. “I said… I can’t fly… My wing isn’t sprained… I just… don’t know how to fly…”
For a moment, Dash just stares back at you in shock, and you lower your head in shame. “I didn’t want you to know so I… lied and said I had sprained my wing… I’m sorry…”
She stammers for a moment, blinking and shaking her head before she stops and breathes. “How… is it that you, a Pegasus pony, don’t know how to fly?”
Well, you can’t back down now, might as well tell her the full story. You clear your throat and take a few deep breaths. “When I was born… the Doctors in Cloudsdale diagnosed me with a conditioned called soft hoof… basically it means that-“
“-that you don’t have the ability to walk on clouds.” Rainbow finishes your sentence for you as you look up, surprised that she knows this.
“We… We were taught about conditions like this in health class… back in flight school...”
“Oh.” You nod. “right… well.. not only that, but I was also born really early, and by the time I was three months old, the doctors discovered that my wing’s weren’t formed properly. On the outside, everything looks fine, but inside… the bones in my wings are too thin to support my weight, and the muscles around them are really weak... Simply put… if I tried to fly, my muscles would rip, my bones would break, and I would be in incredible pain.”
Rainbow Dash simply looked on at you with her mouth slightly agape. “I… I didn’t… I had no idea….”
“I didn’t want you to, I didn’t want anyone to know. No one outside my parents knows about this… and that’s the way I wanted to stay… at least… until I saw how upset you were about what happened…” You lower you head and look of to the side. “When I saw how sad you were… I just… had to say something. The truth is dash… I really like you.”
Rainbow gasped, placing a hand over her mouth and blushing. “You… You like me?”
You grin and look away, rubbing the back of your mane with your foreleg. “Well… yeah… you’re energetic, and exciting, and nice and…” You look up at the night sky. “You are the greatest flyer in all Equestria. I envy the things you are able to do up there, so far away from the ground, in a place I will never get to go to… hearing about the things you can do… it’s the closest I am ever going to get to the sky…”
Rainbow Dash looks at you with wide eyes, her cheeks growing rosy read as she walks up to you, following your gaze into the sky. From the bottom of your vision you see her gaze up, and together you both lower your gaze until your eyes meet. In an instant, rainbow dash leans in, kisses your cheek, then pulls back, blushing even brighter than before.
“That…was for what you said.
“Uh… Buh… huh…” Stammering is the only form of communication you can get out as rainbow looks back and giggles.
“You’re cute when you get flustered… “
Before you can respond, Rainbow leans in and gently nuzzles your cheek with hers and whispers in your ear.
“I have to get going, early start tomorrow, what with cloud detail and all… but I would like to get to know you better.”
You gulp back nervousness as It climbs up your throat and nod, your legs weak from her affection. “s-sure… sounds good.”
Rainbow gives you another kiss, this time behind your ear before breaking away an fluttering up into the sky.
“See ya later!” in almost an instant, Dash speeds of into the night, leaving you to watch her grew fainter and fainter, your hoof resting on your cheek where she had kissed you. Despite everything that had happened, this had been a good day.
It had been three days since the Wonder Bolts performance, and the feeling of Rainbow’s lips behind your ear and on your cheek still radiated like they had been placed there only moments ago. Since that night you have been in a fog of bliss and rapture, passing days with heavenly sighs and fits of infatuated giggles. For all intents and purposes, you were in love, and what better pony to have fallen for the Rainbow Dash? She was beautiful, energetic, loyal, and down to earth. She was a pony that didn’t mind getting her hooves dirty, and she always spoke her mind. A tomboy with a wild streak, you felt you had hit the Pegasus jackpot when she kissed you. But on the evening of the third day since the kiss, a thought entered your head that seemed to pull you back down to earth with a resounding crash.
You were sitting in your family’s dining room, seated at the spot normally reserved for your father at the head of the polished mahogany table, when you took a sip from your tea only to choke and cough it back up. As you went to the kitchen to find something to clean up your mess, your mind begins to reel with why Rainbow Dash liked you. As the premiere flyer in all Equestria, she could have anyone she wanted, mare or stallion. But for some reason she seemed to have chosen you. But why? You couldn’t fly, so perhaps it was sympathy? Did she feel sorry for you, and this was her way of making it up to you? What about what Spitfire had said back at the hotel? Were you just a fling? Did Rainbow just want to get into your bed?
You returned to the kitchen holding a white linen tea towel in your mouth and began to mop up the mess on the table. You began to feel the same worry and discomfort in your gut that you did when you ran home from the hotel.
“What if I’m just a charity case?” You mumbled under your breath as you soaked up the last of the tea. “What if she’s only being nice because she feels sorry for me? She’s the fastest flier in all Equestria, she could have anypony she wanted…. Why does she want a pony who can’t fly then? Why does she want me?”
Your question is answered with a loud rap on the front door. You almost drop the sopping wet towel, in the process of turning your head towards the direction of the sound. You weren’t expecting anyone, so who could be at the door? Making a quick stop in the kitchen to drop off the tea towel in the sink, you quickly make your way to the living room and press your cheek up against the front door, closing one eye as you use the other to look through the peephole. Outside, through the fish eye bubble of the curved glass In the peephole, you see Rainbow Dash, looking from side to side and scratching her mane, before knocking on the door again. Your heart momentarily freezes like an apple in winter when you see the Pegasus of your affections standing outside, with less than a foot of wood and metal in between you two.
What was she doing here, what did she want? You sigh and lean your head against the door, wondering what kind of all powerful deity has a sense of humor sick enough to bring the pony of your dreams to your door, not even ten minutes after you were doubting her affection for you. Whatever being it was that was responsible for this, you hoped that they were having a great laugh at your expense. After a few deep breathes, and one more set of knocks on the door, you press down on the metal latch just above the handle and pull on it just enough to where you can poke your head out enough to see Rainbow standing there, a smile on her face when she see’s you.
“Hey you!” her smile extends almost from ear to ear, but you are unsure if it is one of sympathy, lust, or love.
“Oh, Hey Rainbow. What brings you here?” You’re delighted to see her, but you don’t want her to know that just yet. Not until you were sure about how she felt about you.
“I was passing by on my way to bring in the clouds for tonight’s thunder storm and I wondered if maybe you wanted to come and watch? It’s pretty cool, at least, I think so.” She smiles at you as you think it over. You had always wondered how the storms were planned and put together, and here was your chance.
“Sure, sounds like fun.” You smile at her as she backs up, giving you room to open the door and step out into the soft glow of evening light. As you turn your back to Rainbow and shut the door, you feel the familiar sensation of lips brush against your cheek. You shiver as you feel the cold, slightly wet tingle of Rainbow’s mouth.
“C’mon.” Rainbow blushed as you turned around to look at her, you blushing as well. “My shift doesn’t start for an hour, we can…walk… together.” You can tell by the pause in her voice that the idea of walking for long distances is somewhat foreign to her.
“You don’t have to… you can fly ahead and I’ll meet you where ever it is we’re going.” The idea of walking with dash pleases you, but you don’t want her go about making sacrifices on your behalf.
“It’s cool, no worries. Besides… I wanna… get to know you. “ She smiled and wrapped her right foreleg around your left. You’re a bit surprised by this, holding hooves is something you had only fantasized about before. But you smiled, stepping closer to her until your shoulders lightly touch. Together, the two of you begin down the dirt path that leads from your house to Ponyville, and for a moment, you both blush in silence, thinking of the other.
“So… What do you want to know about me?”
Rainbow takes a moment to look up at the sky and think for a second. “Well… uh… What do your parents do for a living?”
For a split second, you feel your heart leap up into your throat and lodge itself in your windpipe like a wad of bile. But before your mind can come up with a clever lie, or a way to change the conversation, you swallow that bile, and prepare yourself to tell her the truth. The truth about you, and the truth about your family. Yes you were nervous, and with good reason. You learned from experience that when told about your wealth, ponies would re-act in one of two ways. Some would suck up to you, pretend to be your friend in order to get money, while others would automatically assume that you were a spoiled brat and got whatever you wanted. But something about the way Dash was looking at you, a smile on her face and her magenta eyes looking back at you, made you think that she was different.
“My father… owns several vineyards throughout Equestria, and is the owner of a wine label.”
“That’s pretty cool! What wine is it?”
You blush a bit and shrug. “Oh, you know… “Pinot Noir”
Dash stopped in her tracks, her leg locking around yours and almost causing you to trip.
“Your dad is THE Pinot Noir? As in, THE Pinot Noir wine? Are you serious!?”
You blush, nodding. Apparently she was a fan. “Yeah, that’s the one. “Pinot Noir Presents!” Started that wine himself when he was a little younger than me.”
“Wow… and your mom?”
You smile, feeling a little better about talking about your family. “She runs a flower arrangement business. It’s pretty prestigious, but she doesn’t advertise so she relies on the more high profile clients of my fathers to call her up for events. She also is the heir to her father’s company, he invented those flavored bits that working ponies use.”
Rainbow blushed when she heard this, looking down at her hooves as the two of you continued to walk on. “I like the green apple flavored ones….”
“Oh really?” You’re surprised to hear her say this. “I didn’t know you used them. Is weather work really that strenuous?”
“No…” she shook her head and blushed brighter.
“Oh… Oh!” You blush when you understand what she means.
“Sorry… I’m a little nervous…”
“You? Nervous?” Your stunned by Rainbow Dash, fastest flier In all of Equestria, admitting that she was nervous. “Why are you nervous? You pulled off the “Sonic Rainboom”, how can you possibly be nervous after that?”
“Because…” Rainbow looked away sheepishly as the two of you passed the “Now Entering Ponyville” sign. “I’ve… always… kinda liked you. “
This time it Is you who stops in your tracks, almost causing Rainbow to trip. She liked you! She always had! This was news enough to make your heart dance and your soul soar. That is, until you remember the question that had been plaguing you earlier.
Rainbow looks at you in surprise. “What do you mean?”
“Well… you could have anypony you want… your Rainbow Dash. So, why do you want a flightless pegasus like me?”
“Well…” Rainbow’s voice trailed off as she looked up to the sky and thought. Was this a good sign? One would think that if you really liked someone you could easily call to mind the reason you liked them. You knew why you liked Rainbow Dash and could call fourth a myriad of reasons to back up your claim at the drop of a hat. She was fun, energetic, cute, and when you were with her, you felt like nothing in the world could touch you. So why was she having such a hard time?
“Um… I dunno… you’re nice… and you went to the show with me, even after I...made an ass out of myself… and… when you told me about how you couldn’t fly… I felt really bad for you…”
“Wait… you felt bad for me?” You unhook your leg from around Dash’s and give her a skeptical look.
“Well, yeah… I mean... you can’t fly… and you’re a pegasus… that’s kinda raw deal if you ask me.” She smiled at you, but you were no longer in the mood. You felt hurt, betrayed; that she only liked you because she fault sorry for you.
“I’m not a charity case, Dash.”
The smile fell from her face as she looked at you in mild surprise. “Say what?”
“I said, I’m not a charity case!” Your voice grew a bit higher as you stepped closer to Dash, her shrinking back a bit in response. You knew it. You knew telling her about your wings would come back and bite you in the flank. This was exactly why you didn’t tell people about your wings, or your hooves. Your wings didn’t make you who you were, and while you wished you could fly, you didn’t let the lack of that ability define who you were.
“Whoa… hey calm down I didn’t mean…”
“You didn’t mean what? Is the only reason you like me because you feel sorry for me?”
“No! no it’s not like that! I mean… I … I do feel sorry….. but I…”
“So that’s it? You just… feel sorry for me?”
“No! I just… I don’t….”
You sigh and look at the ground. You knew it was to good to be true. She felt sorry for you, and even if she claims she didn’t, she couldn’t even come up with another reason. You felt your heart sink like a rock in a lake and began to walk back down the path towards your home.
“Look Dash… I like you… a lot. But if you just like me because you feel sorry for me, then I don’t think we can have a real relationship.” With that, you break into a trot and speed back to your home, tears stinging your eyes as you leave Dash behind you for a second time.
The weather outside is the worst you have ever seen it. Wind howls like a pack of angry wolves, rain falls in bullets that crash to the earth, and thunder exploded over head like war-time artillery fire. For the first time in a long time, in that big house of your parents, you were scared to be alone. You had barely arrived back half an hour ago, moments before the storm began. You barely had enough time to close any open windows, lock the doors, and make sure there were no leaks in your father’s wine cellar before the first clap of thunder made you jump what felt like three feet into the air. Since then, you had lit every candle and filled every oil lamp in your home, but the lights only exaggerated and made the shadows from the trees outside look all the more frightening and alien.
You sat huddled on your parent’s antique couch, the one with the red suede cushions that your father loved so much, clutching a thin, blue sheet around your shivering frame. You were cold, even with a fire roaring away in the fire place, you were still unable to get warm. When you were young, storms like this were enough to send you’re cowering under your bed for hours. Whenever you heard the ruble of thunder, be it distant or directly over head, you would grab your favorite blanket in your teeth and dash under your bed, shaking and whimpering every time you saw the flash of lightning. Your father and you shared the same fear of thunder and storms, one of the few things you both had in common.
As a young colt, your father lived in Cloudsdale, but stayed the summers with his grandparents at their sprawling estate outside the western edge of the Everfree forest. After a night of exploring the grounds, your father grew curious of the woods just down the hill from where he was staying. Even though he was told of the dangers and creatures that lurk in the woods, his young colt mind was more interested in the prospect of adventure then it was about the idea of danger. After he was sure everyone had gone to sleep, he snuck out of his room through the window, and quickly made his way to the woods with only a candle to light his way. At first, your father said it was fun, and that he saw many forms of wildlife that weren’t native to Cloudsdale. Snakes, frogs, Dragon Flies, Lightning Bugs, all of them fascinated him. Before he knew it, father had found himself almost a mile deep in the woods.
But the fun would be short lived when he realized that he had no way back, no way to tell which direction he had come from. Was he facing north, or south? Was east to the right of him, or was that west? The young colt shivered when he felt the wind whip around him, and sought cover under a fallen tree that provided a small alcove, when thunder began to rumble overhead. It wasn’t long before your father grew to regret his decision to venture into the woods, and when the largest storm of the year broke out over his barely sheltered head, he knew that it would be a long night. The storm raged for a good three hours before his grandfather, your great grandfather, went to check on your father, only to find that he was missing. Spotting an open window, it didn’t take long for your great grandfather to put the pieces together and come to the conclusion that his only grandchild, despite his various warnings, had ventured into one of the most dangerous places in all of Equestria, alone, and during the precipice of what would be called the “storm of the century.”
Your father had told you that story countless times when you were young, and, even thought he meant it to instill the dangers of the Everfree forest, he instead instilled a deep fear of thunder storms into your little, colt brain. Even though he story turned out for the better, (your great grandfather rounded up every servant pony and hired hoof he could to search for your father until he was found and brought back home), you could never shake the intensity and detail that your father put into describing that particular storm.
Now, cowering under the thin sheet on our parent’s couch, while watching the shadows dance menacingly on the walls, you thought that perhaps this storm would be your storm; the storm you tell your children about that will inevitably result in their very own deep rooted fears. You wished it would stop, oh how you wished it would stop! The wind blew louder and louder, and the rain came down harder and harder. At one point, a clap of thunder broke so loudly over your house, that you felt the rumble resonate up and down your spine before you dove under the couch, clutching the sheet in your teeth like you did that blanket so many years ago.
You thought back to what you used to do when thunder storms frightened you. As a colt, you cried out to your mother until she found you and held you close to her bosom, rocking you back and forth and quietly singing your favorite lullaby until you fell back a sleep. But now you were a grown stallion, and while you longed for that warmth comfort that she offered, you were too big to fall back on such childish wants of comfort. But you wished that you could. Another crack of thunder and you bolted out from under the couch, almost jumping into the roaring flames. The heat from the flames was a calming change from the drafty area around the couch, but you still couldn’t help but shiver from fear. No one was around to hold you; no one was around to make it all right. But it had been that way for a long time. You were grown, and no longer needed the childish codling of a parent and a lullaby. No, you had long since developed your own techniques to cope with your fears.
You lay on the floor, under your blanket, and closed your eyes, calling fourth memories and images that made you happy. A sunny day. Laying under a tree in the middle of summer. The taste of a piece of candy. The soft curves of Rainbow Dash’s body as she sat up on your bed, her mane tussled and messy from a night of long, passionate-
Your eyes spring open and your furiously shake your head, trying to dispel that last thought. “No, no, no! Rainbow Dash is NOT… She’s… She… “You sigh as you slump back to the flour, rolling over onto your back and looking up at the ceiling. “Rainbow Dash is… not… a viable form… of… comfort.” You sigh again as the words pass your lips, gulping back a sudden surge of stomach churning sadness as it tries to worm it’s way up your throat. After a few moment of mental cleansing, you try again to conjure up more happy thoughts.
“A sunny day… sitting outside… eating… strawberry cheesecake!” You lick your lips as you imagine sitting in a beautiful garden with a large cheesecake all to yourself, complete with sliced strawberries and whipped cream.
“I…. I cut myself a big piece… extra whipped cream… and I just dig in! You smile and your stomach growls as you imagine how good the cake would taste, how light and fluffy the whipped cream would be, and how Rainbow Dash would playfully lick the remains of it off your snout, then return for a slower lick, looking you in the eyes as your heart raced and-
Again your eyes snap open. Your heart racers as the sensual image freezes in your mind, Rainbow’s soft pink tongue on your nose as your eyes lock. Alright, obviously this wasn’t going anywhere. No matter what scenario you chose, Rainbow would be there. A relaxing bath? Dash would be on the opposite end of the tub. A hike through the woods? You would find Rainbow bathing in a spring, becoming you to join her with a “come hither” stare. A simple morning sleeping in? You would roll over and find Dash next to you, her warm body pressed against yours.
There was no way you were going to win this mental tug of war with your mind. The storm outside had not settled in the least; in fact, it had grown worse, as impossible as that might have seem. You could actually hear your house groan as the wind blew against it. Were this a lesser house, you might have been worried what damage it might sustain. But your parents spared no expense in having it made, meaning it was up to standards on par with that of buildings in Canterlot. Still, the storm unnerved you, and if you didn’t find a way to calm yourself down soon, you feared that you would break down into full on panic.
As much as you wanted to force her from your mind, you still found comfort in Rainbow Dash; the fantasies that your brain came up with were more calming then anything you could think of, and if Rainbow Dash was what you apparently wanted to see, maybe you should indulge it. You sighed in defeat as you close your eyes again and begin to picture a fantasy that had been on your mind since you met the cyan pegasus. At first, everything is black, then, like somepony turning on a switch, a scene of tranquil beauty appears in your mind. In the scenario, you are sitting under a tree on a hill, a light breeze rolling past you as you opened your eyes to see Rainbow Dash making her way up the hill towards where you sat.
After a moment of simply watching her walk up, the mare of your dreams stood inches away from you. For a moment, the two of you simply stare at each other, until Rainbow takes advantage of the moment and kisses you just how you had always wanted a mare to kiss you; strong, slow, and full of passion. Your eyes roll back in your head as you become lost in the ecstasy of the moment. Waves of pleasure wash over you as you enjoy the feel of her lips placed on yours, her mouth opening as her tongue presses against your lips, trying to find a way inside. You can almost feel her hot breath on your coat as he lips move down to your neck, touching softer and softer as she moved her lips up and own your neck until…
A serious of loud and sudden bangs on your door causes you to leap into the air, your limbs spasming outward as if an electrical current had been sent coursing through your body. Your heart races as you zip to the door, your mind already imagining the most horrible of horrors on the other side. As you let your heart settle down, you’re surprised to hear the knocking persist, especially over the sounds of the storm outside. Since you let your mind slip away into your fantasy, the storm had grown even worse. You hear the crack of wood and groan of upturning earth, followed by a faint scream and more banging on your door.
“Let me in! Let me in, let me in, let me in! Please! Answer the door!”
Your ears perked up at the sounds of a voice coming from outside. You knew that voice, you knew it well. But why the owner of said voice was outside in this weather you had no idea. Even a trained and veteran weather pony would know better than to be outside during a storm like this. You had never so much as touched a cloud and you knew that! No matter though, if the owner of the voice was who you thought it was, and then the reason they were out in this storm knocking at your door had to be of the utmost importance. Lifting the heavy plank that bared the door, you pulled the door open with all your might, fighting against the wind as it tried to slam the door open. Finally, after what feels like minutes of fighting, the wind momentarily dies off, leaving you free to open the door completely and verify who is outside your door.
A pathetic, rain soaked disheveled Rainbow Dash stands outside your door. Her legs are held close to one another, her body trembling and her teeth chattering away as she tries to talk. “P-p-p-please…. I…. – n-n-n-need to c-c-come in…”
You nod without a second thought, ushering the drenched pegasus into your home and forcing the door closed behind her, placing the wooden bolt back in place just as another gust of high powered wind practically busts the door off its hinges. You’re not surprised to turn around and see Dash, puddles of water left behind her, sitting as close to the fire as she can get. But even as she sits at a somewhat unsettling distance from the flames, you notice that she is still shaking violently. You bolt upstairs without a thought and quickly return with a towel in your mouth and a large quilted comforter on your back. You immediately toss the towel over Dash’s head and instruct her to dry herself off as best she can until you return. You leave the blanket by her side and head to the kitchen, frantically searching for a bag of tea amongst a sea of your parent’s liquor.
After finally finding a bag, heating some water, and preparing a cup, you return to Dash, who is already wrapped up in the large red comforter, yet still shivering. You take a seat next to her and place the tea in front of her. She looks down at the cup before her, her eyes watering as if she was on the verge of tears, and sighs deeply. For a moment, neither of you say anything.
“About a month ago…” her voice is weak and wavy, and it trembled with her body as she spoke. “About a month ago… I was leaving Sugar Cube Corner, and I saw a young filly crying under a tree. I looked up and saw that her dolly had become stuck in the branches. I was just about to zoom up and get it… when you walked up. You asked the girl what was wrong, calmed her down, then… and at the time I didn’t know why you did this…. You climbed the tree… hoof after hoof you climbed up that tree and out on to the branch where that kid’s doll was. Any pegasus would have just simply flown up to that doll and gotten it down, and thought nothing of it. But you… you climbed that tree and got that toy, then climbed back down, and you gave her back that doll.”
You listen intently as she speaks. You remember that day well, as it was one of the few days that you left your house. The poor filly said some “mean boys” took her doll and tossed it up into the tree. She was so distraught that your heart broke when she recounted her tale. You didn’t even have to think about what you would do, wings or not you weren’t about to leave her crying. Before you knew it you were up and back down that tree, handing the toy to the small girl who thanked you profusely.
“I just couldn’t understand why you didn’t fly… why you climbed up there and risked falling when you could have easily flown. It stayed in my head for weeks until I finally asked my friends about who you were. No one knew, but Rarity said you would sometimes come by her shop to pick up clothing. She gave me your address and I waited for weeks until I could come up with a good enough reason to come meet you. I hovered above your place for an hour just trying to think of a way to introduce myself to you. When I saw your parents leave, I took it as a sign and began to hang the flier for the Wonder Bolts show I had gotten in town on your door. I didn’t know what I was going to say, I hadn’t planned anything… I just wanted to know the pegasus who had climbed that tree instead of flown…. I didn’t expect for us to hit it off like we did… and I certainly didn’t expect to find you so attractive…”
You blush a soft pink color as Dash leans down and slowly sips from the tea, shivering as she the hot liquid touches her lips. She hastily finishes off the drink before sighing and resuming her seated position in front of the fire.
“You were really fun at the show… you had an energy that just seemed pent up inside you. It was really cute to see you so interested in the Wonder Bolts… But… after the show… when I came here to apologize… when you told me about your wings… that was when I knew I had fallen for you.”
For the first time since she arrived, Rainbow Dash turned and faced you, your eyes locking together.
“There you were… a pegasus who couldn’t fly… who could never walk on clouds… and suddenly… I understood why I was so… head over hooves for you. You didn’t let your disability get in the way of doing the right thing… if I lost my wings… I don’t know what I would do. My wings are who I am… and if they were gone…I… I don’t know how I would be able to go on…”
Dash and tries to hide her sadness, but her eyes betray her as tears begin to flow down her cheeks, falling to the floor and into the empty tea cup. You can’t help but cry with her, silent tears flowing down your cheeks as well. There is a slight hiccup in Dash’s voice as she continues on with her story.
“You don’t let your not being able to fly get in the way of who you are… and for the longest time I thought that being a pegasus meant being able to fly… but you... you changed that with one, simple act. I wanted to get to know that pony who climbed that tree… and now that I do… I don’t want to stop getting to know them… ever.” As the words left her lips, Dash moved in closer, bridging the gap between the two of you, her mouth slowly closing as her lips pursed lightly. This was it, the moment you had waited for. She liked you, she had a reason why she liked you, and she was going to kiss you! You gulped, closed your eyes, and leaned in for your first mouth-to-mouth kiss. Your heart raced as your lips took their places, anticipating the feel of Rainbow’s lips on yours. You can hear her breath, shallow and slow as she leans in closer and closer, your heart beating away like a drum in a parade until…
You wince as Rainbow sneezes, spittle landing on your face. As you wipe your face clean you open your eyes to see Rainbow sneeze again, then again and again.
“Rainbow…. How long were you out in that storm?”
She sniffs, wiping her nose with her hoof before responding. “Uh… well… after you left… I went to go do my cloud duties… but the storm got bigger than anyone expected so we had to leave… I tried to fly home but I… Achoo!... ugh… I tried to fly home but I couldn’t stop thinking about you… then the storm started and I… I got mixed up… I dunno… an hour maybe before I found my way here?”
You take the teacup and head back to kitchen as Dash breaks into another sneezing fit. “Rainbow… I don’t think you should go back out tonight…”
“Gee…” She sniffed again. “What gave it away, my sneezing or the storm? Ugh… sorry… I didn’t mean to say that…” She sneezes again and curls up in the blanket as you bring her another cup of tea.
“It’s alright. Here, drink this.” You place the tea cup in front of her again as she drinks from it, licking her lips when she finishes and giving a short sigh of relief. “Thank you… for all of this…”
You smile and nod. “Well… I… I can’t just…” your words are cut short as Rainbow closes her eyes and leans against you, sighing happily as she gets comfortable.
“Stay with me…” He voice is tired and soft; her body relaxes as her mind drifts off into slumber. You want to say more, to tell her how you feel about her like she did to you. But as her breathing grows more rhythmic, and the storm outside persists; you realize that for now, you should enjoy what you have. Tomorrow was another day, and you weren’t about to leave Rainbow Dash anytime soon.
“I wish… I wish I had alligator fists.” Rainbow Dash lay in your parents bed, bundled up amongst the plush blankets as she batted at the air with her forelegs. “That would be cool.”
“Yes Dash, it would be.” You gather a soup bowl from next to her in the bed and place it on a carrying tray before placing a hoof on her forehead. “You still feel pretty hot…”
“You’re hot.” Dash giggles as she grabs your hoof and begins to playfully kiss it. “You’re like… a hot bowl of hot… stuff.”
You pull your hoof away and flash Dash a faux-smile as you wipe your hoof dry on one of the sheets. “You need to rest, Rainbow. “
“Your face needs to rest.”
You nod and give her a slight chuckle before leaving the room with the breakfast tray on balanced on your back. Since last night, Rainbow Dash’s condition had grown progressively worse. Around midnight, you awoke to find yourself alone in the living room, only to hear the faint sounds of crying and retching coming from the upstairs bathroom. After making sure she was finished, you took her to your parent’s room where she fell asleep in their bed until about two in the morning when she awoke complaining of being cold. Like your mother did for you when you were young, you placed a hoof on her forehead, only to immediately pull it back when you realized how hot she was. Since then you had remained awake, diligently tending to her every need. But within the last hour her needs began to grow more and more bizarre. She was still burning up as well as growing very pale and clammy. She had begun to talk to herself and ask you strange question that you could only respond to with a nod or a shrug. She was growing delirious; a bad sign for a pony with a fever as high as hers. Your medical knowledge didn’t extend much past the old adage of “Starve a cold feed a fever”, but you knew that if she didn’t get proper help soon, things were going to get much worse.
However, seeking medical help was far easier said than done. For one, you couldn’t very well leave Dash alone in her condition. The other problem was that the storm from last night had almost completely washed out the roads, making travel from your home to Ponyville dangerous with all the debris that had been strewn about. But Dash was more important to you then a few muddy sinkholes and over turned trees, and you would willingly risk life and limb to make sure she was safe. The only question now was “Who would look after her while you were gone?” As you placed the breakfast trey and it’s contents into the porcelain wash basin in your kitchen, you happen to glance out the window. A flock of birds passes by, flying in a v shape, and behind them is a yellow and pink spec. Your heart races as you realize that the speck is a pegasus pony, guiding the birds as they fly across the grey sky. Without turning off the water, you rush outside and begin jumping and waving your forelimbs in the air.
“Hey! Hey, down here!” You feel your heart sink for a second as you realize that the honking of the birds overhead is to loud and drowning out the sound of your voice. Looking around on the ground you spot a small cluster of pinecones laying in a patch of damp grass. Taking only a second to aim, you toss one of the pinecones up in the air, watching as it soars upwards and causes the birds to scatter. There is a slight yelp from the pegasus as the pine cone passes just near them before gravity takes over and brings it back down to earth.
“Hey! Down here! I need help!” you sigh in relief as the pegasus breaks away from the reforming flock and begins to make their decent towards you. As they land, you make a quick mental not of their features. Yellow coat, pink hair, butterflies for a cutie mark. What really caught your attention as the look on her face as she walked over to you, her eyes wide and watery as she approached the pony who was throwing pinecones at her.
“Why were you throwing pinecones at me!?” Her voice was high and shrill, but at the same time soft. From the way she talked you gathered she was on the verge of tears.
“I'm sorry! I really don’t throw pinecones at passing pegasus, but my friend is really sick and I need help!”
Her face instantly changes from sadness to one of sudden realization. “Oh my! That sounds very serious! Are they ok?”
You sigh and shake your head. “Their fever is very high, and they are having on and off again delusions. They need medicine but I really can’t leave them alone. Can you please look after them while I run to town? I can pay you for your trouble, bits aren’t a problem.”
The yellow pegasus smiles and shakes her head, holding up a forehoof. “Oh no, that’s quite alright. I take care of animals all the time, I’m sure I can watch after your friend for you.” She smiles as you introduce yourself, thanking her profusely for her help.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Fluttershy. What did you say your friends name was?”
“Oh, sorry. Her name is Rainbow Dash. She’s up on the second-“ In a blur of yellow and pink, Fluttershy dashes up the stairs shouting “Rainbow Dash is sick!? Oh my goodness! Rainbow! Are you alright!?” You blink a few times and rub your eyes as your mind makes the connection that the two must be friends. You only hope she is a friend and not a “friend” like spitfire had mentioned the other night. Running on the assumption that Rainbow Dash was in good hooves, you walk back into the house in order to get your saddle bags and the pouch of 500 bits your parents had left for you. It was only for emergencies, but if having a sick, possibly bi-sexual love interest in your parents bed while being tended to by another, equally attractive pegasus wasn’t an emergency, then you didn’t know what was.
You stop for a moment, wondering if you really did need to leave before shaking the thought out of your head, grabbing the bag of bits and heading out the front door.
After half an hour of avoiding deep puddles of water, climbing over broken tree limbs, and having to find an alternate path into town, you finally manage to stumble into the Ponyville infirmary where nurse Red Heart was administering a shot to a small, white and brown colt.
“Oh my! You look out of breath dear! Is everything alright?” The small colt winches as she pulls the shot out, but smiles when she brings out a bright green lollipop for him. You stand in the door way, fore limbs braced against the sides of the door frame as your chest heaves up and down. Against your better judgment you had run most of the way there, only slowing down when you tripped over a half sunk log and taken a tumble down a small embankment.
“I (puff) My friend… (huff) is sick, and she needs (pant) medicine…. Oh man, I think I swallowed a bug on the way here…” You shut the door and slump down against the wall as your breath slowly returns to you. Nurse Red Heart helps the small colt down from the examining table and brings you a class of water that you eagerly gulp down.
“Alright dear, take your time. What symptoms does your friend have?”
You finish off the glass and take a moment to think. “Uh… Cold sweats, delusions, high fever, vomiting… and I think she mentioned something about body aches last night.”
The nurse began to scribble in a small notepad, nodding along as you spoke. “Mm-hmm… It sounds like pneumonia… was this friend of yours out in the storm last night?”
You nod. “Yeah, for about an hour or so.”
The nurse gasps as she closes her notebook. “Oh my! Well, they are certainly lucky to have someone like you looking out for them.” She tots off to a white cabinet with a red cross on the front and opens it, searching for the proper medicine.
“Oh dear… I seem to be out of my pneumonia medicine…” She closes the metal cabinet and turns back to you with a
slightly sorry look on her face. “I hate to ask you this, but today is the Ponyville elementary school’s vaccination today and I am completely swamped with work. Could I trouble you to get some of the essentials I need to make the medicine?”
You nod and climb to your hooves. If it meant Rainbow Dash feeling better, you would do just about anything. “Of course. What do you need?”
Again the nurse takes out her notepad and begins to write down the needed items as she tells you them. “Well, I’ll need the “Book of Pony Medical remedies”, I believe the librarian borrowed it for some studying. Opal dust is needed to filter the medicine once it’s mixed; you can get that over at Carousel boutique. Then you will need to stop by Sugar cube corner and pick up some chocolate to help the taste of the medicine, and Sweet Apple Acres to get some sour green apples; they have the some good vitamins in them that I would have to mix by hoof otherwise.” She tears off the paper and hands it to you. “The main medical ingredients I have here, so I can prepare the bulk of the medicine after I finish with the children. The rest is up to you.”
You take the note and give it a quick “once over” before thanking nurse Red Heart and heading back out the door towards your first stop. Since the infirmary was located in the heart of Ponyville, then it would only make sense that you work outwards, visiting the places closest to you first then moving outwards. This meant Sugar Cube corner was first, followed by Carousel Boutique, then the library followed by Sweet Apple Acres. The entire list would take you maybe a half hour tops. With that in mind you set off towards Sugar Cube corner, your nose held high in the air to detect the smell of sweet culinary confections. You had been there countless times before in the past; often time’s mother would get a craving for something sweet, or father would require a special ingredient for a new batch of wine, so getting what you needed would be no problem. What would be a problem however is if that pink pony was there.
You didn’t mind it so much when the Cake’s took your order; they were polite and kept conversation short. But when the pink pony was there taking orders, you would find yourself under attack from a barrage of questions. What’s worse, you couldn’t leave until you had answered all of them.
“Hi! What’s your name? Do I know you? I don’t know if I know you, but if I did know you then we wouldn’t be having this conversation! Do you like parties, I LOVE parties! (GASP) We should throw you a party! Are you new? Is that why I haven’t seen you before? I throw parties for all the new ponies in town! Hey you look familiar, have I seen you around before?”
You had never had as many close calls with your identity then you did when you met with the pink pony. If she could focus for more than five seconds, she would perhaps have drawn the conclusion that the pony on the bottles of festive wine she sells had the same face as you. But you thanked you’re lucky stars that her attention span was worse than that of the cross eyed pegasus that delivered the mail every day.
As you approached the door to Sugar Cube corner, you take a moment to collect yourself. “Alright… stand tall… look imposing... scowl a bit, maybe she will pick up on the hint that you don’t want to talk.”
You stand up tall with your chest held out and a serious look on your face as you push the door open. But before you can use tour “serious voice” to order the chocolate for Nurse Red Heart, your face falls as you look upon what is quite possibly the saddest thing you had ever seen in your life: The pink pony, the same pink pony whose bubbly attitude bordered on diabetic levels of cuteness, was crying.
It wasn’t anything like the heartfelt sobs delivered by Rainbow last night, but with each subtle sniff and wipe of her eyes, you felt your heart break just a little bit more. Her signature fluffy and bouncy hair is not flat and straight down across half of her face. Sighing in defeat as your realize that acting authoritative and intimidating now would only make you the biggest ass in all of equestrian history, you slowly walk over to the counter where the melancholy pink pony resides.
“Um.. Are you alright?”
The pink pony wipes her eyes and looks up at you, nodding before looking back down. “Yeah, um… I’m fine, sorry. What can I get for you?”
You dig around in your saddle bags and produce the list of ingredients, handing them to the pony and pointing at the line of words depicting what kind of chocolate was needed.
“Oh… this is from Nurse Red Heart? Yeah, we… we have the chocolate she needs back here… just… give me a… oh… I’m sorry…” The list drops from her hooves as she wipes away a stream of newly emerging tears. “I'm sorry… I don’t mean to cry… “
Your heart feels like its weighted down as you reach across the counter and place a hoof on the pink ponies shoulder. “Hey…. You can talk to me if something is bothering you…”
The pink pony looks up at you with her watery blue eyes as you give her a soft smile. While socially awkward was practically your middle name, you always found that you had a knack for helping others when they were upset. For a moment the pink pony wipes away her eyes before sighing and looking to you.
“It’s just… I went by my friend Rainbow Dash’s house today and it was blown apart from the storm last night. No one knows where she is and I’m just really worried something happened to her…”
You breathe a sigh of relief and chuckle a bit. “Is that all? Don’t worry, Rainbow Dash is fine.”
The pink pony looks at you for a moment, and you take the chance to illustrate how you know what you do.
“She got caught in the storm last night and needed a place to stay so I let her stay with me. She’s really sick though, that’s why I’m getting the Ingredients for Nurse Red Heart.”
With a sound not unlike air being blown into a balloon, the pink ponies hair begin to rises until it pops back into its normal, puffy style. She gasped and practically pulled you over counter as she threw her forelimbs around your neck in a vice like lock of happiness.
“Oh my gosh! Thank you for telling me that! I was so worried about her, I was all sad and crying, but you were here so DUH you saw that! Oh but thank you thank you thank you for that telling me that! Anything you need in the store is yours, for free!”
“Air… would be… appreciated!” The Pink pony lets you go, blushing a bit and apologizing as she ducks under the counter and pulls out a glass bottle labeled “Dark, 90% Cocoa Chocolate Syrup”.
“Here you go! Free of charge! Oh, silly me! I'm Pinkie Pie by the way!” Pinkie Pie eagerly grabs your hoof and shakes it up and down like a fish out of water. You nod and give her a nervous laugh as you take your hoof back and put the bottle carefully in your saddle bags. You introduce yourself and for a moment, you a spark light up in Pinkie’s eyes.
“Like the pony on the wine bottle?”
“Yeah, that’s my dad. Ponies say we look alike but, I don’t see it.”
Pinkie squeals with excitement at your admittance. “Oh my gosh! I knew I knew you from somewhere! Your dad is Pinot Noir! You DO look like him! Well, except you don’t have grey hair and wear a monocle, but you both have the same eyes, and your ears are the same length! Oh wow, that means your famous! Well, your dad is famous, but you’re related to your dad so that makes you famous by blood! Wow! I haven’t met a famous pony before! Well, except princess Celestia and Princess Luna. And there was the time I met DJ-PON3 at that dance event!”
Just like magic, Pinkie Pie is back to her old self, gabbing away and asking question after question as you simply nod in response. After what feels like an hour of half hearted responses, Pinkie Pie slaps a hoof on her forehead and gasps.
“Oh man! You said Rainbow Dash is sick! I should go visit her, she’s at your place right? Can I get directions! Oh….never mind, I’m sure I can find it on my own! Can you close up for me? Here are the keys to all the displays and the front door, and make sure the oven is off in the back! Alright, thank you for telling me where Dashie is! I’m gonna go see her right now, Bye!”
In a blur of pink, Pinkie Pie leaps over the counter and bounces out the door, laughing and signing to herself as she walks down the road. You stand alone in the shop now, dumbfounded and holding the keys to the shop in your hoof. You look around the place and try to comprehend what the heck just happened.
Carousel Boutique was a shop where many ponies purchased their more “Fancy” clothing. The owner, one “Rarity”, made every garment herself and took great pleasure in mentioning so whenever ever a potential customer came in. Her designs were so well known that your mother was a frequent patron of the store, often leaving for hours and coming back with her saddle bags almost bursting at the seams from all the new dresses and clothing she had purchased. You had never been by the shop yourself, but you were sure that you mother had mentioned you in hopes that she could help you make friends. Normally you would be mildly irritated at the idea of having to speak to a pony who knew who you were and about your wealthy lineage, but given how you were on a rather important errand, you could see how it might come in handy.
As you approach the shop you see a young filly unicorn sitting on out front of the door, looking very dejected and sad. She lets out a long, heavy sigh as you approach her and clear your throat.
The filly looks up at you in surprise. “Oh… Hi there. Are you looking for my sister Rarity? She isn’t seeing anyone today.”
You a bit surprised. “What? Why not?”
The little unicorn sighs again, placing her forehooves against her cheeks as she slumps down and stares ahead with a bored expression. “She’s in one of her moods. One of her regular customers sent her a dress for alterations and apparently they are sooo important that she has been running around all day freaking out about the whole. She kicked me out a little while ago ‘cause she said I was being “to distracting”.
You look at the unicorn then at one of the shop windows. Through it you see who you assume is Rairty, frantically stitching and mending a black garment. Every so often she steps back to get a better look at her creation, only to let out a short scream and tear the pieces off that she had just put on. It would be funny if her intensity wasn’t so scary. Her Amethyst mane was disheveled and messy, and her eyes had large bags under them. She muttered to herself as she tried desperately to finish her customers order, only t shriek and start over again.
“Um... Wow… that’s… unnerving…”
The little unicorn walks over to you and props herself up against the wall, craning her neck to look through the window. “Yeah… she’ll cool down once she finishes.”
“How long will that be?”
The unicorn shrugs. “I dunno. She can go on for hours like this.”
You groan. “Great… and I was making such good time to.” You sigh and set your saddle bags on the ground, rummaging through them and producing your list. You hold it in your teeth and point at the opal dust so the little unicorn can see it.
“Oh! Are you here for Nurse Red Heart? I can let you in if it’s an emergency!” She jumps down from the window and runs to the door, opening it and hollering to her sister.
“Hey sis! Somepony is here for Nurse Red Heart!”
Through the window you watch as Rarity tenses up in surprise as her sister shouts for her. She sighs in frustration before removing the measuring tape that is around her neck and looks out the window at you. For a moment, you just smile and wave before she zips off to the side and come running up next you.
“I am so dreadfully sorry you had to wait out here! Please, come inside and I shall have you ready to go in no time!”
Even though her attitude has changed, you can still see that the unicorn is stressed. Never the less, you move the thought of asking her is she is ok out of your mind and simply follow her inside.
“Please, do excuse the mess… I have been under A LOT of pressure to get this dress finished and for the life of me I simply cannot get it to work!”
She isn’t lying when she says mess. What you thought would be a glamorous and fancy boutique turns out to be a boutique with over turned mannequins, reams of fabric, and thin papered pattern cutouts of various shapes, all of which are strewn about the store. You wonder for a moment if this is the same Boutique that your mother told you about.
“It’s alright… it’s got a… lived in… feel to it.” You try your best not to sound sarcastic.
“If by “Lived in” you are referring to the squalor of some diamond dog hovel, then yes, it is much lived in. Now, what can I get for you? Sweetie Bell said you were here for Nurse Red Heart?”
You nod and show here the list. “Yeah, I need opal dust, and I was told I can get it from you.”
Rarity’s horn glows brightly as the list is whisked away from your hooves and brought to hover in front of the white unicorns face. “Ah yes, this will only take a moment. Just take a seat somewhere and be careful not to touch anything.”
With that, Rarity saunters off through a door to the back of the building where you guess she has what you are after. Rather than stand around you move a roll fabric from a small chair and sit down, looking around the room. Your eyes stop and rest upon the piece Rarity was working on. It’s the same black color and design as the one your mother owns back home. Your concentration breaks as Rarity returns, several opal gems and a rough stone levitating just above her head.
“Sorry, but this may take a while. My sister and her friends thought it would be fun to see if they were “Gem Shapers” and use my best grinding stones. Needless to say I am left with only this dull one. It will do the job, but it will be longer than I anticipated.”
“Oh... that’s alright… I can spare the time...” you blush and chuckle. You wish you could tell her to hurry up, but she was stressed enough. You look around the room again as Rarity set’s to work grinding away when you come across a picture hanging on the wall; You get up and move closer for a better look. On it you see a group of six ponies, one of them being Rainbow Dash. Under the picture is small, recently polished plaque that reads “My best friends.”
“Huh… what are the odds?”
Rarity looks up from her grinding. “Did you say something?”
“Oh, uh… sorry. I was just looking at this picture here… one of my friends is in it.”
“Oh is that so?” Rarity resumes her grinding but keeps her gaze fixed on you. “And who is that?”
“Rainbow Dash. We met a few days ago.”
Rarity stops grinding. You look over to see why the sound has ceased, and catch the glamorous pony with a sly smile on her face.
You look around for a second. “What’s “Ohhhhh…”?”
“So YOU’RE the “Special Friend”
You stand in place, confused. “I am?”
With a slight giggle, Rarity stands up from her set, laying the grinding stone and the gems to the side. “Rainbow Dash had lunch with me and Twilight Sparkle the other day. She talked all about this new pony that she had met. She said some very nice things about you.”
“Oh... oh really?”
Rarity stood by your side, looking at the picture with you. “I’ll let you in on a little secret. Rainbow Dash has never had a lot of luck with relationships. I mean sure, the girl has had her fair share of one night stands and all, but when it comes to the long term, the poor girl just hasn’t been able to get a bite.”
“Soo… she likes me?” You’re a little nervous asking, afraid of what the answer might me.
“Oh no, she doesn’t like you.”
Your heart sinks. “O-oh…”
“She ADORES you!”
Now you’re confused. “I’m sorry… come again?”
Rarity smiles and at you. “She talked about you like you were the Wonder Bolts. She went on and on about how good looking you were, how much you enjoyed the show… she even told us a story about how you climbed a tree to get a doll down and that’s how she fell for you.”
You blush. “She told me how she felt the other night… but I wasn’t sure if it was her talking or the result of being caught in the storm for an hour… She really said that?”
Rarity nodded. “You’re all she talked about, in that puppy dogs and sunshine kind of way. She adores you; be good to her.”
You feel an immense sense of pride well up inside you. “I… I will.”
Rarity lowers her gaze and looks at you seriously. “I mean it. Don’t break her heart”
You nod your head in understanding. “I won’t… promise. Truth is, I really like her to.”
Rarity smiles, patting you on the back as she returns to her work at grinding the gem down to dust. “So...From what you said about Rainbow Dash being out in last night’s storm for an hour, I assume that this is for her?”
You nod. “Yeah.. . She got caught in it after weather detail and ended up at my place. She’s still there, her friend Fluttershy is tending to her while I get the ingredients for Nurse Red Heart.”
Rarity nods, then curses under her breath. She quickly apologizes for what she calls “Unladylike behavior” before setting the grinding stone down.”
“I’m terribly sorry to ask this of you, but I need to have my stone sharpened. Over at the library lives my friend Twilight Sparkle and her companion Spike. Could you be a dear and take this stone over to him and ask him to sharpen it for me? Otherwise I don’t know how long it will take to grind these gems, and I don’t want to make you wait any longer then you have to.” Rarity bats her long lashes a couple of times, as if somehow doing so would influence what your response was.
“Yeah, sure. No problem. I have to head over there anyways and pick up a book for the nurse, so this works out perfectly.” You take the grinding stone from the pony and place it in your bag. You say your goodbyes and head to the door with your next destination in mind when Rarity stops you.
“I’m… I’m sorry to ask you this as you are trying to leave, but I didn’t catch your name.”
You sigh before responding.
“Hello! Welcome to the Ponyville Library!”
A purple unicorn stands between you and the doorway. She is grinning widely and looking at you with anxious eyes. It’s obvious that the library does not get a lot of patrons, and that she is very happy to see you.
“Uh... Yeah, Hi. Are you Twilight Sparkle?”
The unicorn giggles. “Sure am! What can I do for you? Need a book?” Her eagerness is a little unsettling. If you didn’t know any better, you would swear she had anticipated your arrival. But that couldn’t have been possible.
You think back for a moment to what Rarity had said, about how Rainbow Dash had met with her and another pony. Another pony named Twilight Sparkle. You blush when you realize why she must be so excited. Before you left (and after Rarity had finished gushing over your identity and how “fabulous” it must be to be from such wealthy stock) she briefly explained that Twilight sparkle had been very engrossed in Rainbow’s recanting of her feelings for you and how much she adored you. She also went on to explain that Twilight was a very big “Romanticist”, in that she loved the idea of romance. She and Rarity often swapped romantic novels, a guilty pleasure that they both enjoyed. This romantic side of her tended to sometimes gush over the walls of her normally studious and astute personality when she met ponies of the opposite sex, or even if she saw to ponies together. While it wasn’t a concern, she warned that Twilight may recognize you from Rainbow’s description, and also may try to pry a few more details out of you.
“Just… Only tell her what you’re comfortable with telling her, if you do tell her anything at all. She’s a sweet mare, and I love her like a sister. She’s just a little inexperienced in love and tends to… hang on… to other ponies’ relationships…”
You were sure that Twilight meant to harm in her query. Like you were until recently, she only wanted to know what a relationship was like; what being head over hooves was like. In that way you two had a shared kinship, you were sure that you would be able to relate to a little better than the other ponies you had met.
“Are you ok? Hellooooo, earth to strange, zoned out pegasus?”
You blink and shake your head a few times. “Oh, yeah sorry. I got lost in thought.”
Twilight smiles. “Don’t worry, it happens. So! What can I get you?”
“Umm… Nurse Red Heart sent me here to pick up a book for her… I forget the name; it was a big important sounding one. “Pony medical things” or something like that.”
Twilight furrows her brow and daftly bites her lip as she thinks. “Hmm… Well I don’t think I have one by that name, but I did just borrow one from here, maybe that’s it? Come on inside and I’ll get it for you.”
She smiled again as she stepped aside to let you enter.
“Oh, and I need to meet with someone named spike? Rarity said he can help sharpen this grinding stone?"
“Of course!” Twilight trots over to the landing of a large wooden stair case that extends up into the ceiling. “Spike! Rarity sent something for you!”
A sudden thumping from above catches your attention as you follow the path of the noise across the ceiling until you see a small purple and green blur race down the stairs towards twilight.
“Oh boy! Rarity sent me something? What is it? I bet it’s an invitation to dinner!”
With a quick jump that propelled him over the railing and onto you floor, spike the dragon runs up to you and looks up at your saddle bags with eager eyes. “Hi! I’m spike! Are you here to deliver Rarity’s present to me?”
You shrug a bit nervously. You don’t want to let the poor guy down, but you did come here for a reason. Maybe he won’t take it to hard? You reach behind you and open your saddle bags, letting Spike take a look inside.
“Sorry little guy. She just sent me here so you can sharpen her grinding stone for her.” Spike pulls the dull, round rock out from the bag and looks at it, then back at you before looking back at the stone again.
“You mean Rarity wants my help?” He held the stone close to his chest. “I won’t let her down!” With that, the small dragon salutes you before rushing back upstairs.
“Wow. Little guy took that better than I expected.” You turn to twilight who just gazes at you with a sly smile.
“Well, you know how it is. Being young and in love?”
You sigh in half defeat. “I guess you know who I am then?”
She nodded. “Rainbow Dash did a good job in describing you. I’d know your face anywhere!”
You blush a bit. Being recognized because of your family was one thing, one thing that usually made you feel embarrassed, but being recognized because rainbow dash was in love with you? That was a whole different scenario, one that you secretly liked.
“Well, I guess that saves on introductions then.”
Twilight nods. “Yes, I think it does. Follow me and I’ll let you see the medical book I have.”
You follow behind Twilight as she ascends the stairs up to her bedroom. Spikes sits on the edge of her bed, rubbing the stone against his tails. Small sparks fly off as he drags it against his rough scales. It had only been a few minutes since you gave him the stone, and already it was looking better than before. The dull sheen was now replaced with a smooth luster, and the baby dragon now used the smallest of his green tail spikes to etch vertical and horizontal lines in the surface. He was so busy he didn’t even notice you and Twilight walk by.
“Alright, let’s see here…. Ah! Is this it?” Twilight’s horn glowed bright as a large blue book lifted off her dresser and floated over to your face. It’s bigger then you thought, too big to fit in a saddle bag. The cover was hard and cold to the touch, bound with black leather and embossed with gold words that read “Pony Medical Remedies.”
“That’s it! That’s the title!” You’re happy to be able to check one more item off your list as Twilight sets it down on the bed. “You’re a lifesaver Twilight, and possibly in more ways than one.”
“Well, I did need it for some studying, but since Rainbow dash is sick, I’m more than happy to give it back. Besides, I can always ask to borrow it again.”
Your busy contemplating how to exactly carry the book back to nurse Red Heart when you realize that what Twilight said doesn’t make sense.
“How… did you know Rainbow Dash was sick?”
Twilight blinked a couple of times before responding with a smile. “Oh! Well, you told me, remember?”
You shake your head. “No… I didn’t say she was sick…just that I knew her… or, you knew I knew her.”
“Oh… uh… well… I gathered that... she was with you… and the book was for her?” Twilight was blushing; beads of sweat forming on her brow as she rubbed one hoof nervously against the ankle of its mate. She was lying, and doing a very bad job of it in the process. You didn’t need the element of honesty to know that.
“I hope you don’t play poker Twilight, because if so, your one heck of a sucker.” You smile and twilight lowers her head, sighing.
“I told Rainbow that I wouldn’t be able to do this… I can’t lie to save my flank.”
The pieces are starting to fall into place for you, but you’re still unsure about a few things. You could already tell this hunt was a farce; you had your first suspicions when nurse Red Heart gave you her instructions. For one, nothing on the list sounded like medicine, and for another, why would a licensed doctor run out of medicine, and have someone like you pick it up? Shouldn’t they be stocked at all times? No, no something didn’t add up.
“Alright, the truth is, Rainbow Dash isn’t really sick.”
Your taken aback with surprise. “No, that can’t be right. I was with her all last night. She was throwing up!”
Twilight blushed and giggled a bit. “Yeah… Well… the truth is, She planned this from the start.”
You had never seen anything like it before. The lights, the sounds, the atmosphere, it was like being at the Wonder Bolts show all over again! Except this time, the show was taking place in your own home.
Three and a Half hours earlier…
You sat at a wooden table in the middle of the library as Twilight Sparkle levitated two cups of tea just above her head as she walked. She gently set the white cup down in front of you before taking her own seat across the table. She simply looked on at you as you lowered your head and stared into your tea cup. Your nerves were fried and your mind was working a million times faster than it normally should. Not ten minutes ago, Twilight Sparkle had come fourth and told you the truth about your errand, and how Rainbow Dash being sick was a complete and utter lie.
“I don’t understand… Please, Start from the beginning again?” You look up at Twilight with pleading eyes. She sighed just as she was about to take a sip from her tea, setting the cup down and turning to face you with a look of neutrality on her face.
“Alright. Rainbow Dash felt bad for what happened during your visit with the Wonder Bolts and what happened on the way to her weather crew meeting, so… after you stormed off, she came to me and the others with a plan to make things up to you.”
“And that plan was…?”
“Yes. A party for you. The plan was that Rainbow would pretend to be caught in the storm and get sick. She would then send you out on a pointless errand that would only grow more convoluted until she was ready for you.”
You sat there, thinking, pondering and taking in all the information that Twilight had just given you. Yes, Rainbow Dash had lied, but it wasn’t a bad lie was it? Apparently she did it under the nicest of intentions. But why not just tell you out right? Did she think you would say no? You had never been to a party that did not involve dressing up and standing around while your parents talked to their stuffy, high society friends.
“So… She wanted to throw me a party because she felt bad about what happened?”
Twilight drank her tea and nodded without responding.
“So then, what was your guy’s part in all this? Why did she send me to each of you?”
“After you visited us, we were to report over to her at your house, that way she knew how much time she had left to get ready before you returned.”
You nudge your tea cup with your hoof and sigh. “This is all very well thought out… “
“Rainbow went to a lot of trouble to make sure you didn’t find out… she planned for everything. Well… except for me having such a big mouth…” Twilight’s ears fell against her head as she looked away. Obviously she felt upset about giving away the surprise. You couldn’t help but feel bad for the purple unicorn.
“Hey… it’s alright. I’m still surprised. I mean… no one has ever thrown me a party before. Besides…. If anyone should be feeling lousy it’s me.”
Twilight looks up from her tea. “Why do you say that?”
“I haven’t exactly been the best pony friend…err…. Friend… to Rainbow.” Your voice trails off as you look down at the floor. “I'm sort of sensitive about some topics… and I tend to over react sometimes… it’s not a quality I’m proud of… “
For a moment, the two of you simply sit in silence, unsure of what to say to the other. After a few moments of ruminating, Twilight finally breaks the tense silence.
“She’s crazy for you. Like, Wonder Bolts level crazy. You’re all she talks about since she met you.
You look up. “Really”
“She didn’t tell you?”
“Well… she said she really liked me… and we almost kissed… but, I didn’t know she liked me like that…”
Twilight smiled again. “Well, she does. You should be proud. A lot of ponies on both “teams” would do back flips just to get the chance you have.
You hadn’t realized that. As beautiful and nice as Rainbow Dash was, you never considered that she might be quite the catch. Suddenly, everything you had been told, about how she cared about you, what she was willing to do, and how she thought of you made more sense.
“Are you saying she…”
Twilight raised a hoof in the air. “I don’t know a lot about relationships, but I do know that you don’t want to go jumping to that right away.”
“Oh… right.” You blush and bit your lower lip, looking around the room.
“I do know that she really cares about you. Are you mad at her?”
You shake your head. “No, I mean I was a first, a little. But after hearing all this… I just feel… happy. I’m happy that she did all this for me…. It means a lot… it’s more than anypony has ever done for me…”
Silence again. After another few tense moments, it is you who chimes in. “When’s the party start?”
Twilight looks over at the clock that hangs above the library door. “It’s not until 5:00pm... so about, two and a half hours from now? Sorry, the job was supposed to get more and more challenging so you would stay out longer… Guess now that you know the plan it’s kind of moot to keep running errands…”
“Well… not really… I mean… you’re the only one who knows that I know… “
Twilight finished off her tea and eyed you suspiciously. “What are you suggesting?”
You simply shrug. “Well… If this is supposed to be a surprise… why not give Dash a surprise?”
Twilight grinned. “I’m listening…”
“Ya’ll want me to do what now!?” Applejack stood in her family’s barn sorting apples as she did every day around noon before lunch. No matter how many good apples were harvested, you could always count on having at least several saddle bags worth of rotten ones. The worst part was that if she didn’t find every single apple, if she even left one bad one in the bunch, then every other apple in the batch could go bad just by being in contact with the original rotten one. It was an important process that could potentially tip a harvest in both directions depending on how thorough she was. But now that process was interrupted by an incredibly unusual request from Twilight Sparkle, and a Pegasus that she was sure Rainbow’s newest flame.
“All we need you to do is tell Rainbow Dash that everything is going as planned.” You nod in agreement with Twilight
Applejack shakes her head and goes back to sorting the red, green, and yellow fruit. “Nope, Nuh-uh. You may be one of Mah best friends Twilight, but ah can’t lie, y'all know that.”
“But it’s a good lie! It’s one that will make Dash happy! You were perfectly fine going through with this when Dash asked you to do it anyways!” You understand her hesitance; being the element of honesty meant that she could not possibly tell a lie. But this was important to you, and you wanted her to know that.
“Dash didn’t ask me to lie about nothing. She simply said to keep hot hooves here busy. No lying, no nothin.”
You and Twilight exchanged glances. She had a point. Technically, Dash never asked her to lie about anything. All she had to do was stall you, keep you busy so that she could have as many precious minutes as she needed to complete her surprise party.
“Besides… why should ah help ya?” Applejack tossed an apple on the ground and gave you a dark look. The apple she dropped rolls over to you and taps against your hoof. It is cold, but not as cold as the look on Applejack’s face. You had no idea where her hostility was coming from, but from Twilight’s long winded sigh, you’re guessing that she did.
“Applejack… please… not this…”
“Yes, this!” Another apple is tossed to the ground, landing in the hay covered floor of the barn. Even with a couple inches of soft straw to break its fall, the apple falls with a loud and heavy thud. You lean over and whisper into Twilight’s ear.
“I’m lost. What’s going on here?”
Twilight sighs and turns to you, but before she can speak, an apple lands at your feet, this time with a splat and it breaks apart into mushy parts.
“You stole Rainbow from me!”
Two hours until the party.
Every Sunday morning when you were young, your father would give you four bits and let you go down to the candy shop to buy yourself a treat. It was a tradition that started with his father’s father and had continued on through the years. But you didn’t care about family history or tradition, you were a young pony who only knew that every Sunday morning meant that you would get to buy candy and not have to share with anypony else. When you were young what could be better than not having to share something? You shared toys, and food, and everything else but to have something that you didn’t have to share was like being told you didn’t have to take a bath.
One day, your father dropped you off and told you he would be back after he met with a distributor. This was your first time being alone in the candy store by yourself, so today you felt extra grown up. For the first time, you could choose whatever candy you wanted without your father’s subtle hints of disproval. Although you never let it dissuade you in the past, your father always had something to say about what you choose at the store. At first it was hints like “Are you sure you want that” and “I suppose that’s good.” Perhaps this is why you became so apathetic to making personal choices when you grew older.
At first you would protest and claim that, yes this was indeed what you wanted. After several trips like that your father stopped speaking up but still weighed in with his two cents through grunts and coughs each time you looked at something. But today, today you didn’t have to worry about all that. Your father was busy and you were alone to choose whatever candy you wanted. No grunts when you looked at a pack of sugar covered seeds, no coughing when you ogled a wad of chocolate marshmallows, and certainly no sighs when you choose to get a big piece of salt water taffy. No, today you were, for lack of better words, a pony in a candy shop.
As you stepped into the store your nose immediately begins to tingle with the smell of sugar and the euphoric rush of freedom. You prance happily down the aisle, looking around at all the candy just ripe for the picking. Chocó-bombs and sugar snaps, ginger cakes and mint crisps, all of them were available for you and you alone. It was a virtual paradise for you, your own paradise where no one could tell you otherwise.
Then you saw it.
There it was, high up on a shelf, the candy that children told stories about on the playground. The “Minty-jelly-razzle-dazzle- Chocolate bar”, that candy that was supposed to be so sweet, so delicious that one bite would make you hyper for a week. Ponies claimed that eating an entire one would give you super speed, or that it was made from the happiest thoughts in the world; the usual legends that young ponies made up to impress each other. But legend or not, you knew that you had to have that candy; you WANTED that candy, wanted it more than all the birthdays and winter wrap-ups combined. It was yours, it had your name on it, it was made to be eaten by you! Nothing was going to stand in your way! Come hell or high water that candy bar, that oh so delicious and sweet candy bar was going to be yours; Celestia help any pony or anything that stood in your way! It was your destiny!
Destiny, that is, until you saw the price.
Immediately your heart took a dive and landed in the shallowest part of your gut. There, written on a piece of red paper in bold black marker were the words. “Ten bits per bar.” You looked into the money pouch your father had given you and counted out the usual four bits that was your allotted candy money. Curses! Curse your father and his stingy penny pinching. Because of him you were six bits short of the ultimate candy confection. If only there was some way, some way that you could get the candy without having to pay, some way of obtaining things for free. If only there was some method of getting what you wanted without someone knowing of it…
You looked over at the store clerk who was sitting behind the counter, leafing through a paper. There was no way he could see you from his angle, but you could easily see him. The candy was a good several feet above you, but a nearby stepping stool could easily remedy that problem. You give the clerk a quick look, finding that they had now lain their head down on the counter for an impromptu nap. Taking this as a sign you quickly but quietly retrieve the stepping stool, positioning it under the shelves just right. Once you were sure, you climbed up the stool and stood on the last rung, rearing up on your hind legs. It took a bit of fancy balancing, and a couple of close calls, but after a couple minutes you managed to nudge one of the candy bars out of its box and firmly clasped it between your hooves.
At long last, the delicious treat was yours! Triumph! Victory! Against all odds you have overcome every obstacle thrown at you and now you emerged triumphant! For a moment, you simply gazed and the wrapping; Dark brown with a gold trim around the top and bottom, with shiny red wording. Just the packaging alone looked delicious! You could hardly wait to taste the candy itself. Slowly and carefully as not to accidentally fall or wake up the shop keep, you climbed down the stepping stool and back up against the nearest standing display and quickly unwrapped your delectable treasure.
The first bite was euphoric. Your mind was filled with fireworks, and the flavors danced a dance of joy and wonder on your palette. You had never tasted anything so delicious in your life and you were almost sad to take another bite out of this delectable treat from the god’s above. But your young stomach soon betrayed your heart, and you took another bite, then another, and then another. Soon the bar was gone; all that remained was melted chocolate on your hooves and around your lips.
Satiated and happy, you laid back against the display that was responsible for hiding you from the clerks view. Your belly bulged with sweet goodness, and your mind entertained the idea that you could now brag to all the other colts and fillies on the playground about how you had eaten the most wonderful candy bar in the history of Equestria. Nothing could ruin this moment; nothing could take away the feeling of happiness that danced in your young soul. Nothing that is, except for the shop keeper who had woken up from his nap and walked around the store, only to find you where you were; a wrapper stuck to your hoof and chocolate on your face.
“Ummm… My daddy can pay for it?”
The shop keeper just frowned.
Indeed, your father did pay for the candy, but it was you who paid for your transgressions, mainly in the form of chores, a hoof written essay, and sweeping out the candy store for a month. But none of that compared to the painfully guilty talk that your father gave you on the carriage ride home.
“There are things in this world that a Noir never does! And stealing is by far the most important! Do you have any idea how valuable and influential our name is? Do you!? Just imagine what would happen to our business if someone were to find out that my child was no more than a common thief! You would ruin us! Your mother would be devastated! Is that what you want? To devastate your poor mother!? Well, I hope that candy was worth it, because it is the last piece of candy you will EVER have in your life! I don’t care how old you get, by the time your punishment is over you will NEVER want to have another piece of candy again! I am simply outraged, OUTRAGED that my foal would dare to do such a thing! Have you no shame? No sense of decency!? And further more….”
Your father’s cutie mark may have been an elegant bottle of wine, but you were almost certain that his special talent was making others feel bad. That night, you were sentenced to your room without supper. You had crawled into your bed and began to cry your little eyes out when you heard a knock at your door. Not wanting to see anyone, you refused to respond. Against your silent protest however, the door opened, and in walked your father carrying a bowl of soup. Though you couldn’t see it, your father was looking at the quivering lump on your bed with an expression of regret. His normally coiffed mane was shaggy, his bow-tie was undone and his vest was opened, as well as his white dress shirt. With a sigh, he walked over to you and sat down on the bed, setting the bowl of soup on your night table.
“You know… when I was your age, I stole a book from the local book store. It was my favorite series, about a pony that traveled through time in a blue box. I didn’t have the money to afford it at the time, but I figured that with so many extra copies, the shop owner wouldn’t miss one. But when I got home, your grandfather surprised me with a copy of the same book that he had purchased the day before. I felt so bad that I immediately broke down and told him what happened.”
You were still hurt, but your father’s story intrigued you. Without emerging from underneath the blanket you said “Did he yell at you?”
Your father shook his head and sighed. “No, but I wish he did. He simply took the book from me and said that he was very disappointed in me. That was it. No punishment, no stern lecture, he even let me keep the book he got me. But just that word, “disappointed”, made me feel so bad that I wish he did yell at me.”
You felt a hoof gently stoke where your head would be. “I was so upset that I vowed to never, ever steal again. But today, I did something even worse than steal. I yelled at my own foal.”
You poked your head out from the sheet, looking at your father as he looked down at you. “I thought you didn’t love me any more…”
Your father sighed. “I know, and for that I am truly sorry. In reality I was just disappointed with you, but I forgot how bad I felt when I stole. Instead I went right to the yelling and ended up hurting you.”
You sniff and wipe your eyes. “I didn’t mean to make you angry…”
“I know, I know. But you have to understand that stealing isn’t nice. Ponies work hard to make a living, and when you steal, you are stealing some of their lively hood. It’s like, if someone took a bouquet of flowers from your mother without asking. Do you understand?”
You nod. “I'm sorry daddy.”
You hug your father’s leg as he leans over and kisses your forehead. “I know. I’m sorry to. I brought you some soup if you’re hungry. Tomorrow we will go down to the store and you can apologize to the shop keeper, ok?”
You nod, then climb out from the covers of your bed and trot over to a small box on your book case. Inside the box marked “Book Money” you removed the ten bits you had had saved up for the new book you wanted about a pony named “Doctor”.
“Do you think he would be mad if I tried to pay for the candy now?”
Your father smiled and shook his head. “I think he would be very happy for it.”
Since that day, you had never stolen anything. No matter how bad you wanted something, you would always pay for it, even if it meant doing extra chores around the home in order to make a few extra bits. You prided yourself on being a (somewhat) honest pony who abides the law. Your father’s words had been imprinted on your soul, and anytime you thought that someone wouldn’t miss something, you instantly thought back to what he said about your mother, and quickly paid for said item. Yes, you were an honest, virtuous pony who had never stolen anything ever again.
At least, not intentionally that is.
As you sat at the end of a long wooden table, with Applejack giving you a death like glare from the other side, you wonder if that record was about to be shattered. It had been twenty minutes since she last spoke to you. After her outburst and a round of intense swearing, Twilight had Escorted Applejack out of the barn for a quick chat. After a couple minutes of hushed whispers, and swearing your name, Applejack came back in and begrudgingly apologized for her behavior, inviting you and Twilight inside for a glass of apple cider. But after a painful ten minutes of simply sitting around a table with no pony talking and Applejac'ks glowering, you began to wonder if her apology was actually sincere.
“So… This is good cider… what kind of apples did you use?” You broke the silence much to Twilight's relief. You had hoped that by asking about her profession that she would warm up to you.
“Golden Delicious.” Applejack quickly downed her glass of cider and immediately poured herself another. “Which coincidentally was mah pet name for Rainbow.”
“Applejack!” Twilight quickly whipped a hoof back and forth across the neck, signaling for her friend to drop the subject. “Ix Nay on the ainbow –ray ash-day!”
“Um… I can speak pig Latin…” Twilight sighs at your admittance.
“Oh really now? Well then, how about this?” Applejack leaned over across the table and looked you in the eye. “Uck-fay ou-Yay.”
Twilight slapped a hoof against her face as you leaned forward to. “Our-yay Other-may”
Before you could as so much as smirk, you felt the hard sting of a hoof connect with your cheek, sending you reeling from the chair and onto the ground. You didn’t know what was worse: The shock f being hit, or the amount of pain you felt. Applejack leaped on to the table and stood on her hind legs, rage burning in her eyes.
“Oh it’s go time now, partner!” With that, she leaped from the table and slammed her body into you, sitting on your stomach and pummeling you with her forelegs. Her blows were sporadic with no real aim or focus, but the power behind them was enough to make your head spin. One particular punch landed against your jaw, leaving you with a sharp pain that soared through your head and left you with the coppery taste of blood in your mouth. Even with your head ringing, you could hear the panicked shouts of Twilight as she tried to break you two up.
“C’mon! What’s the matter huh? You to “civilized” to hit back!?”
“Normally I would ever hit a lady, but in this case, I’ll make an exception!” You manage to get your forelegs up and try to push Applejack off you. Instead, a punch to the chest causes you to lose force and end up jabbing Applejack in the chest; an awkward move that forces her to stop her assault as she looks down at your hooves in shock.
“Why you cheeky bastard! One mare aint good enough for ya, huh? Gotta go coppin a feel off-a all the others? You make me sick!”
But before you can explain, Applejack lands another punch that squarely hits you on your left eye, causing you to see only stars for the next few seconds, followed by the wind escaping your lungs as the angry country pony lands another punch to the gut.
Twilight’s shouts and pleas had long since stopped. Blocking the assault of hooves, you managed to turn your head to see Twilight run up next to you, followed by a big, red stallion that you knew to be Applejack’s Brother, big Macintosh. In a surprising display of strength, the stallion effortlessly wrapped his forelimbs around his sister and pulled her off from on top of you.
“Damn you Macintosh! You let me down this minute!” Applejack continued to assault the air, punching and kicking as her brother dragged her away from you. Twilight took the opportunity to rush over by your side and look you over.
“Oh my goodness, don’t move! Wait, can you move!? Are you ok?”
You cough up a bit of blood from the cut inside your mouth. “I don’t know… am I dead?”
Twilight sighed in relief. “You’re talking and aware. I don’t think your dead.”
“Oh… well I feel like I am.” You roll over onto your stomach and try to stand, your legs wobbling but obeying for the most part. Everything hurts; from the flats of your hooves to the tip of your ears aches in pain. Your lip is slip, a cut in your mouth stung persistently, and you couldn’t open one of your eyes.
“You look awful….” Twilight cooed as she placed a hoof on your shoulder, but pulled away when you winced.
“I feel awful…” You touch your eye and instantly pull it away when you realize how swollen it is. “Well… I guess Applejack did her job… I am defiantly stalled now.”
Upon instruction you take a seat as Big Macintosh returns carrying a buck of water, a wet rag, and several wraps of bandages.
“Ah jus’ want to apologize fer mah sister’s behavior.”
“Apology accepted” You sit still as the stallion begins to administer treatment to your wounds.
“She don’t mean nothing by it, ah promise ya that much. She just… really loved Rainbow is all.” You wince again as he washes some dried blood from a cut on your head.
“You uh… you mind tellin me about that? I mean, I didn’t purposely steal Rainbow from your sister, but I still feel bad… I want to know where all this –Ow!- anger is coming from.”
Big Mac sighed as he placed a couple of butterfly bandages on your head to help close the wound. “Ya’ll gots to understand that, as a filly, Applejack had a lot of trouble comin to terms with her sexuality and what not. Now our parents were acceptin as any parents could be, and loved Applejack to death. But some ponies didn't have the same mindset, and Applejack became the target for their ignorance because of it. When other ponies began to date and such, she missed out on all of that due to ridicule.”
You let out a short whine as Macintosh touches a slit on one of your ears. “Hmm… this is gonna need stitches. Wait here while ah go get the proper necessities. “ Big Mac stood up and walked out of the room, leaving you and Twilight alone.
“Are you ok?”
You nod. “Yeah… Hurt, but I’ll be alright.” You peer into the bucket of water that Macintosh brought with him, analyzing your reflection. One eye is purple and swollen shut, your lip is caked with dried blood, your ear stings from the slit near the tip, and numerous bruises decorate your body.
“You're not… going to go after Applejack are you?” Twilight looked at you with a worried expression in her eyes.
“Shaking your head, you look down at your hooves and sigh. “I don’t even know the full story. Maybe I did steal Rainbow Dash from her. If that’s the case, and I was in her hooves, then I would probably do the same thing.” You sigh again, closing your eyes trying to clear your head. “I can’t blame her until I know the full story.”
“That’s pretty noble of ya.”
You turn your head towards the open doorway, where Big Macintosh stood with Applejack, and a rather old, lime green pony. Feebly, the elder matron of the apple family walked over to you, a needle and spool of thread in her mouth. Pulling up a stool, she sits herself down next to you and looked at your ear through a pair of spectacles that sat almost on the end of her nose.
“Alright dearie… I’m no nurse Red Heart, but I’ve sewn my fair share of wounds here on this farm. This won’t take more than a few moments. Sit tight and try not to squirm, you’re going to feel a bit of a sting.” She runs the string between her lips and proceeds to thread the needle. You take a deep breath and wince as the cold tip of the metal needle penetrates your ear, then back out before going through to the other side. The process hurt, but it was nothing that you couldn’t deal with. Twilight however looked as if she was growing pale.
“You.. Ow!... You alright?”
Twilight nods. “Yeah… Yeah I’m fine…” She smiles, but her words come out a bit breathlessly.
Trying to ignore the stinging, you look over and see Applejack sit down at the table you all had gathered around earlier, as her brother began to clean some flecks of blood from her nose.
“Did… Did I do that?”
Applejack Nods. “Ya got a mean left hook there.”
“Sorry…” As per your usual routine when you feel bad, your ears begin to fall, only to immediately prick back up when you feel a sharp tugging in the stitches.
Applejack sighed and pushed her brother’s attempts to clean here away, climbed down from her seat and walked over to you.
“Ah know what ya must be thinking of me right now… And ya have every right to do so. Ah lost mah temper, and ah let it out on you. Ah know ah don’t deserve it, but if’n ya would forgive me, ah would might appreciate it.”
Granny smith cuts the excess string with her teeth as you look at Applejack, who is now looking at you with her hat held against her chest, and large green eyes that pleaded for forgiveness. Just as you were sure of her anger, you were sure that this emotion was sincere.
“You hit me in the eye, split my ear open, and hit me in the gut. Now, I can forgive all that, that’s no problem. But before I do, before I can do anything, I have to know: Why did you do it?”
Applejack looked around the room .”Ah thought ah heard you tellin him, Macintosh?”
Macintosh was busing emptying out the bucket of water when he turned around and shrugged. “Figured it was better if’n yall told him yer’self, seeing as how it’s not mah story to tell anyhow.”
Applejack sighed then looked back at you and Twilight. “Alright then… park yall’s rears in a seat, this is gonna be a bit of a story.”
You’re already sitting, but Twilight pulls up a stool and sits herself next to her friend; the two of them looking at you. She places a hoof on Applejacks back in a reassuring gesture; smiling at her and whispering that it was “Okay”. The orange pony sighed and nodded in agreement before turning back to you.
“It was… about six months ago when Dash and ah started datin. Ahm sure Macintosh already told ya that I always had trouble with mah sexuality and what not, But Dash was the first mare ah ever dated. Fer awhile things were great between us. Ahm not gonna go into details here, but we got to know each other pretty well.”
Applejack blushed, obviously thinking of some steamy moment between her and the pegasus. You shift in your seat, trying not to read too much into what Applejack is saying.
“Then one day, about a couple of weeks ago, Rainbow Dash came to me with a confession. She said that she wasn’t really into mares. She said that she had always been teased for her appearance , callin her a “Filly Fooler” and such. She that, because of the remarks, she decided to see if there was any merit to what they were saying; maybe all the rumors and whispers were true. She knew how ah felt about her and thought that maybe startin a relationship with a friend would be better then seekin out another mare all together. At first ah was hurt…. But ah couldn’t stay angry at mah best friend fer long. But, after findin out that she was getting involved with another pony, another pegasus fer that matter, well… ah began to wonder if someone may have “influenced” her decision. When ah learned that she was puttin on a party fer ya, well.. I just got so darn angry! Ah let mah emotions get the best of me, and I ended up hurtin someone very close to ah dear friend of mine… and fer that I truly apologize.”
The was silent after Applejack finished speaking. All eyes were on you, waiting for your verdict: guilty, or not guilty? After a few moments of mental deliberation, you hang your head dejectedly. “Just to recap: You blamed me for stealing Rainbow, beat me up, I have stitches in my ear, and you expect me to forgive you, just like that?”
Applejack looks away from your gaze, sighing. “Well… when ya put it like that ah guess…”
With a gasp of astonishment, Applejack turned to you. Eyes wipe and mouth slightly agape, she could barely form a sentence. “Wha…wha-wah-wah… Why? Ah mean, ahm grateful and everythin… But why?”
Coming off the stool you had been sitting on, you stretch yourself out, Trying to work some feeling into your sore and stiff limbs. “Because… if I thought someone stole my…Ow!... My significant other from me, I would be pretty mad to.”
Twilight and Applejack exchange bewildered looks with one another. You were so calm, so cool and collected with your decision, that both of them were left speechless. No stress, no mess; just a simple “I forgive you.” Applejack blinked a few times before speaking.
“Ahm sorry… but that’s it? Why aren’t you madder?”
“Because,” you say as you crack your neck, “I'm not the one who is going to be pissed off when they see me.”
“Then who….” Twilight’s voice trailed off as she realized what you meant. She turned to Applejack, her face blank as she came to the same conclusion.
“Rainbow's gonna kill me…”
One and a half hours until the party.
The walk to your home from Sweet Apple Acres was a quiet and awkward one. Not because you were mad, which you weren’t, but because everyone knew what was going to happen when you walked in the door. All the guests at your house would be waiting for you, quietly hidden in anticipation for the moment you walked in. then, when you opened the door, Everypony would jump out and yell “Surprise!” Then, while the shock was still setting in, Rainbow would jump into your legs and… and…
You touch your lip, and immediately pulled your hoof away. The area where Applejack hit you was swollen and tender to the touch, large and purple. Though it had stopped bleeding, the wound was still open; you could taste the iron-esq flavor of blood every time you ran your tongue over it, which was often. To make matters worse, your depth perception was completely off, thanks to your eye which was swelled shut. To anypony who hadn’t witnessed the events prior, it wouldn’t have been hard for them to mistake you for a victim of some horrible accident.
You looked behind you, making sure that Big Macintosh and Applejack were still with the group. Not wanting to go to the party because of what happened, Applejack was hesitant to leave. But Big Macintosh had promised he would go with her in case things went south. Still, even with her brothers promise, the silence was almost painful to endure. The only thing worse then the walk was the path you had to take to get to your house. Because of the storm the night before, the dirt path you would have normally taken had been completely washed out, meaning you had to take the old, rocky path through the small stretch of woodland that lay between ponyville and your parents estate. Compared to the Everfree Forrest, this would be a cake walk. But it was late, the sun had already begun to set, and no matter where you were you didn’t want to go into the woods at night.
At least, that’s what your father had told you.
Staring into the dense overgrowth of flora, you felt a sudden sense of apprehension. Turning to twilight you nod; a signal for her to come in closer.
“Yeah, I just… have no idea how deep these woods are is all. I’m afraid we might get lost.”
Twilight thought for a moment. “You never played in them as a foal?”
“No…” you shook your head in embarrassment. “Father said never to go into the woods.”
Twilight walked up to the woods, listing closely. “I hear… trickling of water… Is there a stream on your families property?”
“Yeah. There's a pond behind my house that gets its water from a little brook. Why?”
Twilight smiled as her horn lit up. “Simple. If we follow the flow of water we can use it to guide us to your home, easy as that!”
You nod. You had to admit it. Twilight really was living up to her status as Princess Celestia’s most prized student. As Twilight ventures in, you look back behind you. Applejack is sitting on a log wiping her eyes, her hat on the ground, as her brother tried to console her.
“Hey Twilight… why don’t you go on ahead and wait by the stream? I’m gonna go see if Applejack is alright.”
The purple unicorn looks back at you, then at her friend. She nods, then wanders further into the dark. You turn back to Applejack and begin to make your way over to her, picking up bits of her conversation with her brother as you get closer.
“…Ah just feel so bad fer what ah did… Ah was actin jealous… and petty… Now Rainbow will hate me…” She sniffed and wiped her eyes again. Big Mac was about to interject when he saw your arrival and stepped aside. After a brief exchange of words, he patted you on the back and went on after twilight. Applejack sighed and scooted on down the log as you sat down next to her.
“So… pretty night out…”
Applejack looked up at the sky and smiled a bit. “Ah always been more of a morning pony, but yeah…. It is kinda nice.”
Two tow of you return to looking at the ground before Applejack speaks up again. “Ahm… ahm sorry fer what I did… again…”
You sigh, nodding. “I won’t lie and say that it didn’t hurt, I don’t have that much pride and truthfully, it hurt a lot.”
Applejack lowered her head in a dejected manner.
“But, I understand why you did it, and if I was in your hooves, I cant say I wouldn’t have done the same thing.”
Applejack nods, looking over at you. “Ya said that all before… but why? Why are ya so… forgiving?”
Before you answer, you look around, making sure the two of you were alone. Sighing, you raised your wings a bit, exposing your flank and motioning for her to look at your flank. This was another secret you kept close to the “vest” as it were. It wasn’t something shameful, just something you didn’t want to have to talk about. This was the curse of having a rather ambiguous cutie mark.
Applejack looked down, then back up at you. “Is that yer cutie mark?”
You nod, putting your wings back down and moving them back a bit so they cover your flank.
“….What is it?”
You sigh. “It’s… easier if I just tell you my special talent.”
“And that is?”
For a moment, Applejack was silent; pondering what you meant. “Ya mean… yer special talent is…. Understandin?”
“Ah… ah don’t want to sound rude… but... how is understandin a special talent?”
“If I told you, then it wouldn’t be special anymore, would it?”
Applejack laughed a bit. “Yeah, ah guess it wouldn’t. Yer an ambiguous pony, aint ya?”
“Story of my life…” You look towards the forest, Twilights faint glow barely visible. “C’mon. we can talk more on the way to the party. You feeling better?”
Applejack nodded. “Yeah, ahm feelin better… Thank ya.”
You smiled, and Applejack smiled back; the two of you making towards the forest together amongst an air that was significantly less awkward.
“Yeah, I really do think I-“
Your words are cut off by the crashing of glass. Without missing a beat, you toss your drink to the ground and rush towards the direction that the noise came from. You burst through the back door and rush into your family’s kitchen where a gathering of ponies has already concentrated. Twilight, racing behind you, digs her hooves into the wood floor as she almost crashes into your flank. She cranes her neck to see what you see and gasps in shock.
“Oh my gosh, is she ok!?”
“Oh man, is that blood? I think that’s blood!”
“Someone call a doctor!”
You press through the crowd, looking down when something under your hooves makes a loud crunch. Looking down, you see a few broken shard of glass. Looking up, you notice the window in the kitchens breakfast nook is broken, and below it sits Applejack with tears in her eyes as she clutches her bleeding leg. To her side stands Rainbow Dash and her gaze meets yours.
“I know this looks bad, but please let me explain!”
Half and hour earlier.
Tired, dirty and disheveled, you and your group finally make it to your front door. After wandering for little more than an hour, the four of you couldn’t be happier to see your home. Covered in mod, tree sap, and some claw marks from an unfortunate meeting with a angry badger, you smiled and bumped your head against the metal bell that hung outside the front door. It rang with a satisfying sound that caused you to smile. “No place like home” you thought to yourself.
You watch through the stained class portrait of your family’s coat of arms, two ponies carrying swords and shields, that made up the doors window as the shadows of various ponies all ran out of sight. You could hear their shushes and giggles as they hid themselves. You were about to open the door when Twilight stopped you.
“Hang on a second. We can’t have the stallion of the hour looking like her just went three rounds in a boxing ring.” Behind her, Applejack blushes and looks away.
The purple unicorn’s horn glowed brightly as strands of magic swirled around your body. You cringed as you felt the tingle of arcane energy flow through your body then disappear in a bright light. Twilight grins happily as Macintosh and Applejack look on in awe. Turning back to the glass you look at your reflection. There is no longer any trace of you having been in a fight left on your body. Your eye looks normal, your stitches are gone, and even your lip had returned to its normal size. Even your badger scratches are gone.
“How did… I’m completely healed….” You can’t stop looking at your flawless face.
“Well, not really. It’s an illusion spell. You look healed, and to an extent you feel healed, but it’s a temporary fix. We should stick together in case it begins to wear off.”
You touch your lip and wince a bit in pain. It’s true. You look healed, but it’s not real. You will have to be careful that you don’t do anything to give yourself away. “Still… it’s damned incredible…” You turn back to the Apple siblings, smiling back at them. “What do you think? Passable?”
“Eeyup.” Big Mac answered with his signature catch phrase and nodded at you. Applejack simply looked to the ground.
Unsure of what else to say or do, you nod and turn back to the door, placing your hoof on it and pushing it open. In the dark, aided by the light from the moon, you can see various silhouettes of ponies as they hide all around the room. Sighing, you prepare for what Twilight and Applejack had told you would happen when you entered. A few steps forward and you enter the living room, faint snickers meet your ears. A few more steps and the rest of your gang follow you inside. Suddenly, the door slams shut behind you and the lights spark to life as various unicorns light them with their magic. The silence in the air is broken as every pony yells “Surprise!”
Even knowing about the events, your still shocked to the amount of ponies, all gathered together for you, shouting surprise in your own home. It’s such a shock that you almost forget what happens next. Almost.
From the air above you comes a rush of wind as something big and blue leaps on top of you, pushing you to the ground with such force that you fall on your back. Eyes closed from the impact, they soon snap open as something warm and wet is pressed against your lips. You look up and see Rainbow Dash, her eyes closed as she kisses you; slowly at first, followed by a more forceful exertion of pressure as her tongue pushed past your lips. Your cheeks feel as if they are thousands of degrees and you know that you are blushing like mad, but you don’t care. Since the first time you laid eyes on her, you had wanted to kiss her. You had imagined what it would be like when you finally kissed another pony, even practicing on your pillow or your hoof a few times. But this? This right now? This was better than any pillow or hoof in the entire world. A hundred, No, a thousand, NO, a MILLION times better. You close your eyes and placed a hoof on her soft mane as you opened your mouth and returned the gesture.
Let’s get this party started!
A pony wearing one of your mothers imported lampshades runs over to a set of record tables and places two large vinyl disks and begins to rotate them, creating all new sounds from what the original composers had ever dreamed of. Since moving off the floor, you and Rainbow Dash now sat on the black and red couch that your father had bought somewhere over seas. A bottle of wine in one hoof and the other Wrapped around Rainbow Dash made you the happiest pony at the party, and that fact that she was still kissing you? That was pretty awesome. You had never kissed before, but you were finding that it was quite an easy trade to pick up. Lips locked, slight movement, head turning now and then. The best part was the tongue though, such a strange appendage that you hadn’t ever given it a second thought before in your life. But feeling another’s against your own, so warm and soft, it send shivers up and down your spine. You didn’t want this feeling to stop ever. So naturally you were a little disappointed when Rainbow Dash pulled away from you.
“You’re pretty good at this.” She smiled at you and looked back into your eyes.
“Yeah well, I’ve had practice.”
She chuckles. “With your hoof? Or was it with a pillow?”
Blushing ,you look off to the side then back at her. “Was it that obvious?”
“At first, but you got better as you got into it.” She kissed you on the nose and sat up. “I’m going to go say hi to my friends real quick. You should go mingle, lots of ponies around.”
“Aww, but I was enjoying this.” You give her a grin as she steps down from the sofa.
“Don’t worry, I’m not done with you yet, and besides, tonight’s still young.” She stretched her wings and walked off towards the kitchen.
Taking her advice on the face, you got off the couch and stumbled a bit before regaining your balance. You had never been much of a drinker, but being at a part gave you a more liberal feeling that lead you to drink a bit more then you normally would. The result was a bit of vertigo, but nothing serious. What was even better was the party it self! You had never seen anything like it before. The lights, the sounds, the atmosphere, it was like being at the Wonder Bolts show all over again! Except this time, the show was taking place in your own home. Setting the wine bottle down on the floor you trot off to a group of stallions who are huddled together in front of the lampshade wearing D.J. One of them, a grey coat, black maned pony whose hair partially obstructed his eyes nodded and patted you on the back.
“Great party bro!” He holds up a red plastic cup and holds it up to you. You nod and smile as he takes a drink, then hoots and crushes the cup against his head. “Hey Pon-3! Play that one song!”
The D.J. stops her scratching and looks that stallion with a confused look, shrugs, and pulls off the records, placing two more on the turn tables and resuming her music making.
The pony hoots again as you duck out and walk off towards the kitchen, picking up another bottle of wine in your mouth as you do. Pushing past the throng of ponies, you catch a glimpse of Rainbow Dash sitting in the breakfast nook talking to Applejack. You shudder a bit thinking about what they could be talking about, and hope to Celestia that it’s not about the fight. Moving your way to the backdoor, you enter outside into the dark air and walk across the wooden deck that over looked the back end of your families property. You are enjoying the cool air on your face when from the corner of your eye, a purple pony leans up next to you. You look over to see Twilight Sparkle, but turn around again when you hear giggling on your right and find the pink pony from earlier grinning at you with earnest.
“Sooo…” Her voice is bubbly as if she can contain it. “How was it!?”
You look over at Twilight who only shrugs. “I hate to say it, but I’m curious to.”
You sigh. It’s obvious that they are talking about the kissing, what else would be so interesting? Unless a meteor had just fallen and knocked you upside the head then you were positive they were curious about your make out with Rainbow. Sighing and hanging your head with a smile, you think for a moment before answering.
“It was… everything I could have hoped for and more. I cant describe what I felt in a way that could convey what I felt, but to me, it was like I was flying.”
“Well that’s nothing new!” Pinkie pie practically threw herself at you, her breath reeking of wine. “You’re a Pegasus! You always fly! I want Details!”
You chuckle and shrug her off. “It’s a little more complex then that. Suffice to say… it was great. Simply great. I couldn’t have asked for a better first kiss.”
“Well now, looks like someone has become quite the Romeo!”
You turn your head to see Rarity walking towards you. “I have to admit, even “I” found myself quite jealous.” She places a hoof on your cheek and looks around your face. “Shame she gets you all to herself... you don’t suppose she would be up to sharing?”
“Rarity!” Twilight sounds a bit offended by this suggestion, and all you can do is blush wildly.
“Oh Twilight, I was only joking. I could never do that to Rainbow.” She smiles and takes the bottle of wine from you. “Besides, I haven’t seen her this happy in ages. I dare she loves you.” Taking the bottle in her teeth, she pulls the cork off and drops it to the side. “Don’t worry about me, I’ve been drinking a bit.” She takes a swig from the bottle and joins the rest of you at the edge of the deck.
“Rarity? Drinking straight from the bottle? I don’t think that’s very “Lady Like”.”
“Oh blah Twilight, do I have to be Lady like all the time? Sometimes I just want to cut loose a bit! And if liquor is what helps me to do that then I think it’s all the much better!”
Twilight and Rarity exchanged words as you turned back to the Pinkie Pie who had continued to simply stare at you.
“Do you love her?” The pink pony scooted closer to you until she was practically pressing against your face.
Taking a few steps back and almost bumping into rarity in the process, you think for a moment. Twilight and the drunk Rarity stop talking and looked over at you, apparently having over heard Pinkie Pie’s comment. All eyes were on you as you pondered the question. After a moment, you look up.
“Yeah, I really think i-“
Your words are cut off by the crashing of glass.
“Alright everypony, nothing to see here, let’s keep the party moving! Come on, let’s go! March those legs, move those flanks! Hut two, hut two, hut two! Pinkie Pie marched like a drill sergeant and ushered all the guests out of the kitchen. Twilight was rummaging through the upstairs bathroom looking for a first aid kit, and Fluttershy was diligently applying pressure to Applejack’s hoof with a dishtowel. As you cleaned the blood up from the black and white tiled floor, Rainbow Dash sat next to the broken window with her head tucked between her knees. Rarity was busy keeping the party going and out of the kitchen and had just started to sing along with the D.J. when Twilight came back into the room clutching a white box with a red cross on it.
“I found this in your parents bathroom. There's a needle and threat already in it, as well as some bandages.” She levitated the box over to Fluttershy, who took it and immediately opened it up and removed the necessary supplies. Being the most experienced pony when it came to injuries, having nursed many animals back to health, Fluttershy did her best to help her friend. While Twilight had read many books about first aid, everypony learned firsthoof that, when it came to blood, Twilight had a weak stomach.
Wiping up the last spec of blood, you tossed the stained towel into the wash basin and sat down next to Rainbow, placing your right foreleg around her. She responded by sniffing and leaning against you, wrapping her forelegs around your neck.
“You must think I’m a horrible pony…”
“No, I don’t think that at all. But I do need to know what happened.”
Rainbow sighed and looked up at you. “Alright… well… Me and Applejack were talking and she told me…”
“Ah told Rainbow about how ah beat ya up.”
You and Rainbow look over at Applejack as Fluttershy cleans her wound. “Ah told her what happened. At first she was mad, but then ah explained everythin to her. How I felt, how ah was mad, and how everythin just happened…”
“I was really, really mad at her. But after she told me everything, I just…. Couldn’t be mad at her. I didn’t know she felt so strongly about me…”
“Alright, that’s all well and good, but how did the window come into play?” Twilight was standing in the pantry with her back to the group, not wanting to see any blood.
“Well… we went in fer a hug and…”
“And I lost my balance and accidentally pushed her into the glass…” Rainbow laid her head on your chest and sighed, looking up at you. “You didn’t actually think I pushed her into the window on purpose, did you?”
“No… no I don’t think you would actually push your friend into a window out of anger.” You pull her in tighter and give her a kiss on her forehead. She smiles and returns the gesture, looking up and kissing you softly on the lips.
“Alright Applejack, were all done.” Fluttershy finished wrapping a bandage around Applejack’s leg. “It wasn’t nearly as bad as you thought. I didn’t even need to stitch anything up. Just be sure not to put to much weight on it.” Applejack nodded as she climbed to her feet, holding her hurt hoof inches from the floor.
“Well… this night certainly has been an interesting night if ah may say so.”
You nod in agreement. “Yeah, I really don’t see how anything could eclipse the last couple of hours.” Smiling, you lean in and kiss Rainbow again when someone in the living room said something that caught your attention.
“Hey! I found a guitar!”
You freeze in mid kiss, your eyes bugging from their sockets as Rainbow pulled back to look at you. “Is something wrong?”
Scrambling to your hooves, you rush into the living room, forcing yourself through the crowed towards the pony who was drunkenly strumming what was your mothers most prized possession: Her vintage, cherry wood, sun light yellow, signed by Dave Mustang, Sunny Reigns Les Paul. You watched in horror as this red and blue pony tried in vain to rock out on your mothers guitar, the noise worse than a billion hooves on a black board.
“No! No, no, no, no no! Stop, please just stop!” leaping from the crowd, you snatch the guitar in mid lunge and immediately begin to look it over, inspecting it for any signs of damage. It wasn’t until a few minutes later that you realized all fixed on you.
“Um… sorry everyone…. It’s just… this is my moms and it’s… kinda special to her.”
“Your mother plays guitar? Dude, that is sick!” You look over at the DJ who is smiling at you. “Can you play to!?”
Looking back at the crowd you notice that Rainbow and her friends have gathered amongst the crowd. “Uh… yeah, she taught me to play when I was young….”
“Oh dude, we so gotta jam together! C’mon, let’s give these ponies a real show!” The DJ turned back to the crowed. “You party animals want some real jams!?”
The crowd responded with a unanimous roar of approval, Rainbow Dash included. “C’mon, don’t be chicken!”
“I… I don’t know… I never played in front of people…” you were about to put the guitar away when Rainbow started chanting “Play, Play, Play!” Soon, the entire crowd was chanting. Feeling the enormous amount of pressure that had suddenly been placed on your back, you sighed in defeat and fit he strap over your head and stood up. Taking a moment to think and place your hooves on the instrument, you stepped forward to the chanting crowd. You had never sung for a crowd, only in the shower, but that was about to change. You looked over at Rainbow who flashed you a smiled and a wink. Smiling back, you clear your throat and address the throng of chanting ponies.
“Um… alright…. Uh…. I never done this before, but uh… I do know a couple songs my mom taught me….” You look back at the DJ, who smiled at you and winked from behind her sun glasses. “Uh… I don’t know if you… can play along, but you can if you want to.”
Tapping a hoof on the ground, you counted out the beats and took a deep breath. “No turning back now you thought.” You play the first few chords, your hoof moving up and down the neck as you begin to remember the motions and chords. After a few mistakes and one restart, you find that all the knowledge and lessons to come back to you. You step forward again and open your mouth to sing.
“I had visions; I was in them, looking into a mirror to see a little bit clearer, the rottenness and evil in me!”
The crowd began to cheer as you played, and Rainbow Dash looked on in awe.
“Hooftips have memories; mine can’t forget the curves of your body! And when I feel a bit naughty, I run it up a flagpole and see who salutes but no pony ever does!”
You feel a rush of euphoric of adrenaline as the DJ places a couple of records on the turn tables. Her horn levitates as she begins to scratch them along with your singing. Soon, what your song was previously lacking is not made up for twenty fold. For a moment, it feels as if you have an entire band backing you up. If your special talent wasn’t already understanding, you would share as it was being a musician.
“I wanna publish zines, and rage against the machines. I wanna pierce my tongue, it doesn’t hurt it feels fine. The trivial sublime, I’d like to turn off time, and kill my mind. You kill my mind…”
A couple of pegasus had flown around the room and blown out all the lights, leaving the room dark and the only source of light coming from behind you and from the various unicorns horns who bobbed their heads along to the song. You couldn’t see, but rainbow was on her feet whistling and cheering for you louder than any other pony in the crowd.
“Paranoia Paranoia everypony’s comin to get me!”
“Just say you never met me!”
Your shocked to see Pinkie Pie standing next to you, holding a wine bottle and signing into it. You shrug and continue to play, singing along with her. together the two of you rock the party, switching between lines of the song in turn.
“Hearing voice in my in my head, I swear to Celestia it sounds like they’re snoring!”
“But if you’re bored then you’re boring!”
“The agony and the irony, they’re killing me!”
Together with Pinkie Pie and the DJ, you finish out the song. As the last note fades from the air, the entire crowd of guests bursts into cheers and applause. As the music fades, you feel your chest rise and heart race with excitement. You had only felt this surge of energy once before, and the Wonder Bolts concert, but now that energy was coming from you and infusing the crowd. You look to Rainbow, who is cheering the loudest and demanding an encore. You can’t help but smile as you place the guitar back on its stand and push your way through the sea of ponies. If this is what was going to happen to you when Dash was around, then you couldn’t be happier.
An hour after your performance and the crowd had all but left your home. The hose was almost vacant save for a few ponies who hung around, while most of them had gone outside. The DJ had long since stopped her show and simply set the turntables to play some slow songs while she talked to a couple of fans who had stopped her by the stairs. Twilight and the others had bid you and Rainbow Goodnight shortly after your performance, leaving you and Rainbow alone upstairs in your parent’s bed. With the door shut and the blinds drawn, the two of you snuggled together enjoying each other’s company.
“Sounds like the party has died down .”
Rainbow nods, not lifting her head off a your chest. “I guess they spent all their energy cheering you on. You were really good.”
Smiling, you stroke her mane. “Naw…. I was just drunk… “
“Drunk? You were rocking!” Rainbow rolled over and sat on your hind legs, looking down at you. “You totally need to do that more often. You looked like you were having a lot of fun.”
Trying not to blush, you concede to her affections. “Alright, I admit it. I was pretty awesome, wasn’t I?”
She chuckled and pinned you to the bed. “Don’t go getting a swelled head. I like you the way you are.” She kissed you softly. “But it was nice to see you enjoying yourself.”
A crack of thunder from outside caused you to sit up in your bed, almost rolling Dash off you in the process. “What the hey was that!?”
Dash smiled and pushed you back down on the bed, laying her head on your chest again. “Oh, that’s just the rain storm I asked the Weather Crew to whip up… everyone should be leaving right about…. Now.” Another, much louder, crack of thunder rocked the house. You heard shouts and screams as ponies left the house in panic, trying to get home before it rained.
“Oh dear, it looks like I’m stuck here for the night…” Rainbow looked at you and smiled.
You were amazed. Just when you think that Rainbow couldn’t surprise you any more, she goes and blows you away by showing one more instance of cunning and foresight. She really did cover every angle in her preparations, and the curiosity was eating you alive.
“Alright Rainbow, you can stay the night on one condition.” You sat up and looked her in the eye. “How did you plan all this? How did you manage to keep me busy and get all this done?”
With a laugh, the pegasus leaped into the air and hovered just over the bed. “I’m glad you asked! I felt bad the other day when I offended you, and I wanted to make it up to you! But, I wanted to do something really awesome that totally would catch you off guard! So, while I skipped weather detail and went to talk to my friends, we all came up with the idea to throw you a party! Well, it was Pinkie’s idea really, but we all agreed that the best way to tell you I was sorry.”
You bit your lip and try not to blush. No pony had ever gone to such lengths just for you before, and you were not accustomed to being to object of someone’s affection. Hearing all the trouble she went through on your behalf made your heart swell with pride.
“Alright, but how did you fake being sick and everything?”
“Oh! That was easy; I used to play sick all the time when my parents tried to make me go to school. A thermometer over a candle flame, taking a cold shower before you got up and not drying off to simulate sweating, and just acting really out of it. Plus it was pretty easy to just complain and say I had body aches.”
“And the uh….” You twirl your hoof around slowly, trying to allude to what you didn’t want to say.
“The puking? Oh, that. I just made a lot of noises. Like I said, I’m good at playing sick.”
You nod, unable to argue with that. “And let me guess, me going into town was all just part of your plan?”
“Yup! I counted on you caring enough to go to the nurse and run whatever task she had for you. The errands were designed to send you to each of my friends. After you left them they would report back to me and help get everything set up!”
“I take it that me getting beat up wasn’t part of the plan?” You knew the answer, but enjoyed seeing Rainbow blush when you brought it up.
“No, no that was all her. Um… I’m sorry about that to.” She descended from the air and landed next to you, still blushing.
“so you did all this, all of this, just for me?
She nodded. “I felt really bad for what I said… and I wanted you to know that… I really, really like you.” Scooting closer, she kissed you on the cheek and smiled.
“I really like you to… and I feel awful for how I acted. I should have been more civil about it. It’s a touchy subject, but that was no excuse for me blowing up at you.”
You were about to continue when you felt Rainbow place her hoof on your chest and push you back onto the bed. She curled up next to you, nuzzling your neck and closing her eyes. “Don’t go getting mushy on me now. “
“But it’s true!” You protest and lean up a bit. “I really didn’t mean to do that…. I just…. Never being able to fly when I have all the right equipment… it gets aggravating. Never having anyone to talk to about this… I guess I just bottled it up a little to long…”
Rainbow was silent for a moment, and then leaned against you, embracing you in a hug and sighing against your neck.
“But that was until I met you.”
Her eyes opened and she looked up at you, wondering what you meant.
“I may not know what flight is like… and I don’t think it’s possible I ever will. But since I met you… I’ve felt happier… lighter, more able to be myself.”
You wrap her in your legs and hold her close as you continue to admit your feelings. Never for a moment does her gaze break away from you. Your words are rapture and wonder to her, each syllable makes her heart jump.
“When you are around, I feel like I’m flying. I felt so grounded before… so alone, so sad. But at the show you took me to… just being around that atmosphere and excitement… I felt like I could lift away and soar through the skies… and I felt that way tonight at the party.” You look down at Rainbow and smile. “You bring about you an energy that just…invigorates me… makes me soar…”
You smile as she pulls back and looks you in the eye. “ I fly when I’m with you Rainbow. For the first time in my life, I fly.”
A moment of silence persists as Rainbow leans in and kisses you, slowly at first then full of passion the next as she pushes you back onto the bed.
“Let’s keep you flying… for just a bit longer.”
The next morning you wake up to the sound of chatter coming from down stairs. You look around your parent’s bedroom and find Rainbow where you left her, sleeping next to you. Her mane is disheveled and she reeks of sweat, but none of that maters when you see the smile of contentment on her face. Hearing the chatter grow louder you leave the bed, but not before pulling the covers up over Dash. after a quick kiss on her forehead you descend the stairs, stopping only to listen to the voices down below.
“Honestly love, did we really have to leave just because of what one pony said? I mean they weren’t even a licensed brewer.”
“You may not understand, but when giving a speech, the last thing you want is for someone to begin blantenly tarnishing your labels name!”
“Alright One: they said they didn’t enjoy the autumn brew, and that was only after you yourself had mentioned that the autumn brew was the least lucrative, and two, I have to agree with them. Mixing lemons and pumpkin was a really stupid idea.”
You hear your father grumble in response and make his way across the living room. “Why is it so messy here? Was there a party?”
“I hope so. Poor foal of ours could do with some good social interaction.”
“I just hope they stayed out of the wine cellar….”
“Oh honestly, you and that cellar! It’s not like you don’t have warehouses all over the blasted continent.”
More grumbling as you father heads off into the kitchen. You come down the stairs and see your mother standing in the living room, looking around at the mess. She smiles when she see’s you, holding her forelegs out in a invitation for a hug. You happily oblige and enjoy the embrace.
“Oooohh honey! It’s so good to see you! I hope you weren’t to lonely while we were gone… It certainly looks like you had fun.” She chuckles and kisses you on either cheek.
“Oh, no I had some friends over…. Guess we made a bit of a mess. Sorry about that mom.”
She smiles and tussles your mane. “Between you and me, I’m happy to see this old place getting a bit of fun injected into it, been ages since it saw a good party. C’mon… I’ll help you clean before your father asks…. Oh… hello there.”
You follow your mothers gaze and look behind you. On the stairs, stepping onto the landing was Rainbow Dash, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and yawning. She looks around the room, stretches her wings and smiles at you.
“Hey sweetheart… Who’s this, your mom?” She extends a hoof towards your blushing mother. It’s obvious she knew what Rainbows Presence meant.
“Yes… thank you, I’m Rose, Rose Briar.” You mother shakes her hoof then smiles at you, winking.
“Oh… uhh.. mom.. this is Rainbow Dash… she’s my umm…”
Before you can finish talking, the four of you turn to the kitchen when you hear your father shout.
“LYRIC! What did you do to the wine cellar!?”
Both you and your mother exchange glances before looking at Rainbow, who blushes and shrugs.