It was a cool, Autumn morning in Ponyville. Twilight walked through the leaves, quietly humming to herself. The sun filtered through the trees, and cast shadows in beautiful patterns on the road. With the Running of the Leaves a week away, the trees looked as if they were on fire. As she walked along, Twilight heard a familiar whistling sound and turned around to see Rainbow Dash flying right towards her. She ducked as the cyan pegasus tilted her wings upward, causing her to soar upwards. She turned back down and landed, spraying leaves in front of the startled unicorn.
“Hay Twi, whats up?” Rainbow asked with a huge smile across her face.
Twilight needed to take a second to calm herself before responding, “I”m fine, thanks for asking.” She replied, a hint of sarcasm in her voice. “You almost gave me a heart attack!”
Rainbow hung her head, but glanced up and fell over laughing at the sight of the purple pony's mane. It almost resembled Pinkie's, so fluffy and frizzy. “What, what's wrong?” asked Twilight frantically.
“It's.....your.....mane....” Rainbow managed out between fits of laughter. Twilight sighed, and magically floated a brush out of her saddle bag. In a few seconds, it was back to being perfectly straight. “Aww, it looked better before” Rainbow said, brushing herself off. “Anyways, where are you off to?”
“Well,” Twilight stared, “I'm heading over to see Lyra about a record she had for me, and I needed to get some...”
Dash had stopped listening, and only continued to nod in response. She was lost in thought about the purple mare who stood before her. In the year and a half since Twilight had moved to Ponyville, Rainbow had become quite fond of her. She had never been attracted to a mare before, but it felt great. Alright, there was that one time in college with Bon Bon, but that was it. She didn't know why, but Twilight seemed special to her. Her smarts, the bookish but sweet and socially awkward attitude she had, and her beautiful smile all seemed to captivate Rainbow.
She was daydreaming so much, she barely heard Twilight calling her name. “Rainbow. Hay Rainbow, are you there?”
She shook her head, and quickly stammered, “Ya, sorry Twi. I was a little lost in thought.”
“Well, that's a first!” Twilight joked. After an awkward moment of silence, she started to speak. “Say, would you want to join me on these errands. Some company would be nice.”
Dash was stunned, but tried to play it cool. “Sure, I don't have anything else to do...”
“Great! Lets get going.” Twilight replied, beginning to trot off.
As they began walking, she was sure to keep an eye on Rainbow. From the way she was acting, Twilight knew exactly what she was thinking. Ever since she had moved to Ponyville, she had noticed the pegasus stealing glances at her. She knew how Dash felt, but didn't know how to tell her about her own feelings. The walk would be the perfect opportunity.
“What were you thinking about back there?” Twilight asked. She had to giggle at the look on Rainbow's face as she tried to think of a good answer.
Eventually, something managed to click in her head. “Oh, I..uh...was thinking about, the trees! Ya, that's it!” She stammered, glancing around at the majestic plants around them.
“While they are beautiful this time of year, I have a feeling that wasn't what you were thinking of.” Twilight said, slightly bumping into Dash.
The pegasus pony immediately froze. Oh horse apples! Does she know? She must know! Her mind was going a mile a minute. Was Twilight coming on to her? What was going on? She could no longer think straight. I need to calm down, she thought. Just act normal. “What do you mean, Twi?”
“Well, I saw the way you were looking at me earlier when I was talking, and when I bumped into you it was as if you were frozen in place. I think you know what I mean.” She replied, trying to act as serious as possible. It was hilarious to see such a brave pony reduced to a nervous wreck.
“Um...ya...well...uh...” Rainbow stammered until Twilight put a hoof over her mouth. “Don't worry, I'm not mad. In fact, I must admit I'm a little interested.”
Dash's jaw hit the floor. Was this actually happening? Did she forget to set her alarm this morning, and she was still asleep? This could never happen, she thought. Twilight giggled as Rainbow tried to formulate a sentence. “I don't know what to say, Twi. Is this this real?”
Twilight giggled again and leaned onto Rainbow. “How about we go and grab some lunch and discuss this? I feel hungry, and you look like you need to come back to reality!”
She looked Twilight in the face, and felt as though she would melt. She had a huge smile. Her big, violet eyes looking on in anticipation for the answer. “That...sounds fantastic!” Rainbow finally managed. She felt herself blushing, as she noticed she was holding hoofs with her love.
“Great! I'll pay, and we can talk about this.” Twilight stated, as the two started trotting off to downtown Ponyville, rainbow draping her wing across Twilight's flanks.
As the pair walked into Ponyville, Dash kept her wing extended around her marefriend. The brisk wind blew against the two, chilling them to the bone. Twilight led Rainbow towards the new restaurant in town, The Daisy Patch, where they quickly ordered their meals. Dash, still a bit awestruck, didn't know what to say once the waiter had left.
“So...” Twilight started. “What do you think of this? I really want to know if this is how you feel.” She sat there, staring at Dash. With no response, she reached across the table and gave her a tap on the head. “Hellooooo, anypony home?”
“Huh? Oh ya!” Dash snapped back to reality. “Sorry, it's just kind of hard to believe this is actually happening. I have always dreamed, but...” She said, falling back into her own world of bliss. A harder smack from Twilight was needed to bring her back this time.
“You know, If I agree to go out with you, you need to calm down and stop fantasizing so much.” Twilight said, jokingly. “I must admit, I've never been in a relationship with anyone, let alone a mare. Honestly, this is one subject you know more about than I do!”
Dash just smiled, leaning back in her chair. “Well, I do have some experience, but not much. I haven't found anyone who I thought could keep up with me!” She leaned forward, looking deep into Twilight's eyes. “But with you, it's different. I don't need to keep going. I feel like I can relax around you.” The two sat, staring at each other until Dash glanced over Twilight's shoulder, breaking the gaze. “Oh look, here comes our food!”
The two ate, spending the time switching from the serious discussion of the relationship, to random jokes in an attempt to make each other laugh. The feeling that they had between them was special. Something that doesn't come around often. They felt as though they could be themselves, instead of how they would act on any other first date. Their friendship seemed to only strengthen the relationship they were building. After a couple hours, they got up to leave.
“...and I said 'but that's not a diamond, that's QUARTZ!” Dash said, as she held the door for her partner. “No one could believe it!”
Twilight burst out laughing at the joke, something she would never have done before today. “That hilarious. Oh, what a lunch. I don't think I've ever had so much fun!” Twilight smiled , nuzzling the cyan pegasus next to her. Dash immediately blushed, feeling just as happy as Twilight did. “Hey, can we go get something for dessert? I feel like something sugary.” Twilight asked.
“Sure, I could go for a treat! Lets head over to Sugarcube corner.” Dash said, instantly regretting the thought. What would Pinkie think of them together? Would she be supportive? The mini-panic attack was only increased by Twilight's response.
“Hmm, I feel like going to Bon Bon's if that's alright. I meant to drop in to see her today, and this would be the perfect time!”, Twilight suggested, trying to do her best puppy dog eyes.
“Sure, that's fine.” Dash said. However, all was not quite fine. All she could think of now was college. She and Bon Bon had been young and a little intoxicated, and she didn't know how the candy pony would take this. It wouldn't be too bad, Dash figured. We both moved past that...I think. Wait, wasn't Bon Bon married to Lyra? Oh, Dash knew that she would rub this in. Hopefully she won't notice.
The door to the store swung open, ringing the small bell to announce the new customers. “Coooming”, a voice called out from the kitchen from behind the counter. The cream colored pony came from the back room, her dark blue and pink mane bobbing up and down. “Oh Rainbow, Twilight! How are you doing? Pretty well, obviously.” Bon Bon gave a slight giggle at the sight of Dash with her wing around her marefriend.
“Hay Bon Bon, sorry I didn't come by earlier. Something...”, she glanced towards Dash, who was blushing fiercely, “...came up.” “Do you have any peppermints?”
“Sure, take a few on the house!”, she replied eagerly while motioning in their direction. When Twilight went to get her candy, Bon Bon quickly walked over to have a small chat with the still-blushing pegasus. “Sooo...”, she said earnestly, “...I see you must have had fun that night in college. Couldn't stay away from fillies, eh Dashie?” She sighed. “I know I couldn't. Lyra is just so wonderful.”
Dash blushed even more, turning her normal complexion a deep crimson. “Well, I don't know if that is why I like her, but...” She stopped herself from saying more. “Wait, I thought we said we wouldn't talk about this anymore.” She stared at Bon Bon, who gave a small giggle.
“I think that, based on the circumstances, it couldn't harm either one of us.” She turned towards the purple unicorn who had wandered back over. “Find everything alright?”
“Yes, and thanks for the candy!” She glanced over at Dash, who was even more red than when she had gone to get the candy. “If you don't mind me asking, what were you two discussing.”
“NOTHING!”, Dash blurted out.
“Oh, we were just discussing our time back in school.” The glance Dash gave the candy maker could have wilted a plant. “We both went to Manehattan College. Go Seahorses!”
Twilight was surprised. If she had to guess any pony in Ponyville that went to college, these two in front of her would be near the bottom. “Wow, what did you two study?” She asked, suddenly very interested.
“Well, I studied chemistry personally. The candy making is hard, but the degree helped me learn what works best together. Dashie here studied physics, for her flight.” Bon Bon said, smiling brightly.
“Twi, I think we should go...” Dash started, but was quickly cut off.
“Lets stay a little 'Dashie'. I want to hear more of this!”, Twilight could tell there was something that Dash didn't want her to know, and that just made her more intrigued. She could read her just as clearly as she could that morning.
“Hay, I'm willing to talk.” Bon Bon said, before starting into the story. “It was late one night during the middle of winter. We had been out, and we had a little to much to drink.” She winks over at Rainbow before continuing. “We got back to my dorm, but Dashie's dorm was on the other side of campus. The snow was blowing so hard, and it was so cold that she decided to stay in my room.”
Twilight sat eating the peppermints, positively transfixed on the story. Dash seemed to be frozen, looking calm but panicking on the inside. What would Twilight think of her? She seemed alright with any previous relationships she had, so that should include mares. Right?
“I only had one bed and, being all intoxicated, I think you know what happened next.” Bon Bon sent another wink Dash's way. “We woke up a little tangled, but I think I speak for both of us when I say we remember that night perfectly.” The story finished, Bon Bon stood there looking as proud as can be.
Twilight slowly turned towards Dash, who was trying to slide away. However, she stopped quickly when she saw the look in her eyes. The look of love, of want, of lust.
“Gee Dashie, I never knew that you were really that into this..I've got an idea.” With that, she jumped towards the pegasus, pressing their lips together in a passionate kiss. Dash quickly got over her surprise and returned the kiss with just as much force, pushing back against the unicorn on top of her.
After what felt like hours, Twilight broke the kiss, looking down on her mare friend. The pegasus looked like she was completely filled with bliss, her rose colored eyes half closed as she waited to see what would happen next. Twilight stood up, pulling Dash up with her. “Come on Dashie, we need to get home.” They walked towards Twilight's library, leaning against each other in what embrace they could manage. Soon after the door was closed all lights were out in the tree.
Bon Bon squealed, overjoyed that she was able to help her friend's relationship grow. She quickly closed up shop. Those two reminded her of the first time she met Lyra. She needed to get home. After those watching those two in her shop, tonight was going to be a fun night.
The early morning sun shone through the windows of the library. As the light hit her face, the cyan pegasus turned over, nuzzling the unicorn next to her. Dash lay there, savoring the moment. Her head rising and falling from the soft breathing for her partner. Spike must be in the kitchen, she thought as the smell of eggs and toast wafted from downstairs. Twilight stretched, and looked down at Dash. “Morning Dashie.”, she said with a smile, still rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“Morning Twi.” Dash sat, thinking about last night. “So, I guess you liked the story. College was quite a crazy place!”
“I was most amazed that you actually went to college! I wouldn't have pegged you as a scholar.”, she replied, watching Dash's expression change from her care-free look to being slightly hurt. “Relax, I'm just pulling your hoof. Yes, the story was great. Once again, that isn't something I would have thought you would do.”
“Well, as Bon Bon said, we had a little too much to drink...” Dash paused, pondering what had happened recently. “Thank you, Twilight. For everything over the past day. I was much to nervous or scared of rejection to ask you myself yesterday. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I don't think I've ever been happier.”
“Not even when meeting the Wonderbolts?” She replied with a look of disbelief.
“No, not even close. Well, maybe a little close...”, Dash said, a smile growing on her lips.
Twilight noticed the smug look she had gotten , and pushed Dash out of the bed. She landed with a thump on the wooden floor. Twilight giggled, while going to help her friend up. When she was standing on four hooves again, Twilight leaned in and gave Dash a small kiss. “Come on, I can smell breakfast cooking.”
- ~ -
“Oh, Rainbow! I didn't know you came over last night!”, Spike said, sounding surprised. He was wearing a small chef's hat, and holding a frying pan. “I'll be sure to make another batch of eggs.”
“How didn't he hear us?”, Dash whispered to her partner. “We weren't quiet, I know that for sure!”
“Dragons are very sound sleepers, and won't wake up for most noises.”, Twilight stated while blushing slightly. “I guess that's positive for us. He is far too young to know what happened last night.”
“What am I too young for?” Spike had returned from the kitchen, carrying a plate of food for each pony.
“NOTHING”, both of the girls yelled, causing Spike to stop dead in his tracks.
“Oh, never mind it Spike. Lets eat!”, Twilight said, motioning to the table.
As they were about to sit down, there were three quick knocks at the front door. With a sigh, Twilight got up to answer it. When she opened the door, however, there was nopony there. After looking around, she was about to close the door when a pink pony face popped out from above the door.
“Hiya Twilight!”, Pinkie managed to get the words out before falling to the ground. After dusting herself off, she continued. “I just came by to see if you were doing the running of the leaves this year!”
After another sigh, she answered the party pony. How was she that hyper this early in the morning? “Yes, I will be. Are you going to be the announcer again this year?”
“Sure will be!”, she said while beginning to bounce on the spot. “Oh, that reminds me, I need to talk to Spike!” She bounced past Twilight and into the library, where she encountered Dash and Spike eating breakfast. “Spike! Want to co-announce the event with me again this year?”
“Oh no, I'm not doing that again!” Spike stated, while getting up to clear his place. He walked back to the kitchen, mumbling about how random Pinkie can be.
“Okie Dokie Lokie!” Her response was slightly too enthusiastic for the rejection. “Hay Rainbow, why are you here?”, she asked when she finally noticed the cyan pegasus.
Dash started to choke on her food, so Twilight decided to answer that question for Pinkie. “We had a sleepover last night!”, sending a wink at Dash who finally had begun to breath again.
“Aww, and you didn't invite me? I could have brought streamer, and cake, and....” She stopped, as she realized both of the ponies in front of her were blushing slightly. She gave a surprised gasp, rivaled only by the one she gave Twilight on her first day in Ponyville. “I GET IT!”
Spike jumped out of the kitchen. “What, what is it! Tell me!”, he said while rushing over to Pinkie Pie.
“SPIKE! Please go back to the kitchen and wash the dishes from breakfast.” Twilight had been quick to respond, and gave a stern glare to the young dragon. He slowly went returned to the dishes, mumbling this time about Twilight.
“Oh-my-gosh-are-you-two-together-what-happened?”, Pinkie asked in one breath. Luckily, she was quiet enough that Spike couldn't hear them. “I think this calls for a party!”
“Pinkie, calm down.”, Dash said in the most serious tone she had. The pink pony had begun to shake slightly. “I think we need to have a little talk.”
Twilight's horn glowed, and three seats were pulled out for them to sit. Pinkie was on one side, while Rainbow and Twilight sat on the other. They waited for a minute, allowing Pinkie to return to her normal energy levels.
As Pinkie stopped shaking, Twilight began to speak. “Pinkie, we can see that you understand what is happening between us at the moment.” She took a second to glance at Dash, who looked surprisingly stone-faced. “As of right now, we don't really know when or how to tell everypony about this.”
“I can throw a party...” She said, sitting up. A quick glare from the still solid Dash quickly deflated her back into her seat. “Sorry you two. I may have over-reacted a little.”
Dash, finally becoming herself again, decided to respond. “A little?! Pinkie, you were shaking with, well, whatever emotion you were overcome with!”
“I'm happy for you, that's all!”, She replied. Her classic Pinkie smile was starting to show on her face. “I'll do anything to make it up to you!”
“There is only one thing you need to do right now.” The couple looked at each other and nodded. “Keep it to yourself!”
“I can do that no problem! I promise that I won't tell anypony! Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye!” The pink pony stood, and bounced over to the door. “Oh, I almost forgot! Rarity wanted to meet all of us over at her house before dinner tonight. Something about new dresses.” She opened the door to leave, but there was a small alligator blocking the way. “Gummy! How did you get all the way over here? Oh well!” She continued to bounce out the door, while the small scaly creature latched on to the tip of her tail. “See ya fillies later!”
As the door shut behind Pinkie, the two ponies breathed a sigh of relief. Being around Pinkie was tiring enough, but this was exhausting on a whole new level. Twilight leaned against the pegasus next to her, who looked completely drained. As Dash spread a wing across her back, Twilight gave her a kiss on the cheek.
Although she was weary, the cyan pegasus was happy that someone other than Bon Bon knew. She felt as though a weight was lifted off of her chest, and she was actually kind of glad it was Pinkie. She could keep a secret, well, forever!
“We have a while before that thing at Rarity's house,” Twilight said, looking up. “I guess we better think about how to tell the rest of our friends.”
“I'm not scared anymore. I was at first, but now I think they will accept us like Pinkie did. Although they might have a little less energy.” Dash smiled. All she wanted to do right now was lay down with the unicorn next to her and take a nice, long nap. She glanced at Twilight and motioned to the bedroom. “Shall we?”
As the sun sunk lower and lower in the western sky, the two ponies made their way out of the library. Rainbow was a little more conscious of the other ponies looking at them this evening. Yesterday, she had been so blinded by her love that she couldn't notice anypony but Twilight. Today was a different story. She noticed all of the ponies looking at them, and it made her nervous. This wasn't a feeling she was used to experiencing and she wasn't sure what to do. With her wing extended around the unicorn it was pretty clear that they were together, so she retracted it while keeping an eye on everypony else.
Twilight, noticing the wing leaving her back, moved more towards the cyan pegasus. She nuzzled Dash's neck lovingly. “Is there something wrong?”
“No, it's just tiring to hold my wing out”, she lied. Anypony else who had been looking at the pair had gone back to their tasks at hand, allowing Dash to breath a sigh of relief.
They walked in silence, enjoying the sunset as the cool autumn air swirled the fallen leaves around their hooves. In what felt like no time at all, they arrived at their destination.
As the two entered, they saw all of their friends standing around the display stage in the boutique. There was a big curtain covering platform, making the room feel smaller.
Once she saw their group together, Dash felt the nervousness set in once again. They couldn't tell them yet. What of someone didn't agree with the two of them being together? This could split up their friendship! She started eying the room, trying to come up with some sort of excuse or distraction.
“Hay everypony!”, Twilight called as they walked up to the stage. “Whats up?”
“Oh good, you two have arrived!”, Rarity said with a smile. “I just HAD to call you all here. I'm about announce my new dress line! I call it, The Changing Season's Collection, a different dress for every month!”
The ponies around the stage applauded as the curtain was pulled back. Twelve forms stood there, each with a different dress that looked both very intricate and extremely delicate. The fillies all gasped at the sight of them, taken aback by the beauty.
“Gosh, these seem a mite expensive.”, AJ stated while looking at the August dress. It's light, airy fabric seemed perfect for her. Formal, yet casual.
“Normally, dresses of this class would be upwards of 1000 bits each!”, Rarity replied while puffing out her chest with pride. “Luckily, I found a great supplier for the fabric. As my gift to you, everypony may pick one for themselves.”
“Oh, umm... that's awfully generous of you.” The timid yellow pegasus was eying the May dress. It was covered in flowers and seemed the perfect suit to her personality.
“Well, I AM the element of generosity, after all!”, Rarity exclaimed. “I just wanted my friends to have something to wear if they ever needed it!”
The room echoed with thanks toward the fashionista, and they were soon discussing the dresses. Fluttershy and Applejack stuck with the dresses they were looking at earlier. Pinkie chose the February dress, only for the fact that it was pink. Dash chose the June dress for the sleek design and vibrant colors. Finally, Twilight chose the July dress. It sparkled and shimmered, with the design on a dark purple background. It fit her name and personality perfectly.
The fillies went off to try on their dresses, giving Rainbow a chance to speak with Twilight. She seemed extremely nervous, and kept looking around to see if anypony was coming back. “Twi, listen. I don't know how I feel about telling everypony at once. What if somepony disagrees with 'us'?! I know this sounds odd coming from me, but can we slow down a bit.”
Twilight took a minute to think about what her partner had said. “Well... I guess we have been moving quite fast.”, She blushed slightly and sighed. “I think they would all be okay with us being together personally. However, if you don't feel like telling them all at once, I can respect that.”
A look of relief washed over Dash's face. “Thank you, Twilight. You know how much you mean to me.” She gave the purple unicorn a quick kiss on the cheek while she nuzzled Dash in return.
Soon after, their friends started to return to the mane room. “Why aren't ya fillies dressed yet?”, AJ asked. She looked amazing in her dress.
“Oh, we were just talking!”, Dash stammered out. The two trotted off to get changed, with Dash breathing yet another sigh of relief. Smooth, she thought to herself.
Once they returned, everypony gathered on the stage as Rarity admired them. “Oh, they are simply WONDEFUL! What do you fillies think?”
“Ah think they're pretty darn nice!” AJ said.
“I reallyreallyreally like mine! It's the best dress ever.”, Pinkie stated, while bouncing around the room.
“They are just perfect, Rarity. Thank you so much.” Twilight was admiring herself in a nearby mirror, checking out how the dress rode on her flanks. “You do always know how to make the right dresses.”
“ Thank you so much, all of you! We should go celebrate, and I can only think of one way to celebrate.” Rarity was smiling, while all of the fillies waited for her idea. “Let's have a night out!”
“I don't know...”, Fluttershy started before she was drowned out by the resounding YES from the other ponies. They all hurried towards the door, unable to wait to show off the new dresses.
The group decided to go to Stable's, a local bar&grill. They were soon seated, discussing what to order and what they wanted to do that night. They sat conversing until the food arrived, Pinkie immediately diving at her plate of nachos.
Dash was seated next to Twilight and Applejack. The two were discussing the Running of the Leaves. Was that all anypony could think of? She picked at her grilled eggplant, not saying much. Then again, there wasn't much to say. She was happy, she was with her friends, but most importantly she was in love. What more did she need. After a few minutes with her thoughts, she noticed a hoof prodding her side. It was Applejack.
“Are ya all right?”, the kind earth pony asked. “You've been kinda quiet. That ain't really like ya at all.”
Dash looked up, first to AJ, then to Twilight, and back to AJ. “Yea,” she said, a big smile across her face. “I'm just fine.”
Applejack returned the smile and went back to chatting with the others, leaving Dash daydreaming again. After what seemed like seconds, she felt another hoof poking her. She looked around to see that the meal was already over, and everypony was waiting outside.
“Hay, are you coming?”, Twilight asked the pegasus. “We heard DJ Pon3 was playing nearby, and we were gonna go see her.”
“Sorry Twi, but I think I'm gonna head home for now.”, Dash looked into her partner's eyes, seeing her happiness she felt reflecting right back at her. She leaned back a bit. “I need to go and relax a bit.”
Twilight gently kissed her fillyfriend. Everypony else was still waiting outside, so there was no worry of being caught. She broke the kiss, and turned to meet up with the others. “I'll see you tomorrow, OK?”
“Sure thing!” Dash replied with a smile.
Once Twilight had trotted out the door, Dash got up to leave. She stepped out into the cool night air and took a deep breath. Her wings slowly unfolded, and she ran to gather speed. The take off was perfect, and in no time at all the cyan pegasus was high over Ponyville.
Dash flew over towards her house, and quietly landed on the roof. She folded her wings and lay on her back. Gazing up at the stars and Luna's beautiful moon hanging high in the sky, there was only one thing to make this moment better. Somepony to share it with.
Maybe I'll bring Twi up here one night, she thought to herself. That filly loves stars, and if she cast that cloud walking spell on herself, she could spend all night up here!
Dash lay there in her beautiful new dress, thinking to herself. She was lost in her dreams, gazing up at the heavens. What a perfect night.
Celestia's sun broke through the early morning clouds, causing Rainbow to awaken suddenly. The pegasus rolled over, trying to shield her eyes from the light. Not ready to get up yet, she kicked a hole in her roof and dropped down onto her bed for another couple hours of rest.
Over in the library, Twilight was just waking up as well. It had been nice to go out with her friends, and the concert after dinner had made the night even better! DJ Pon3 was way more awesome in pony than on her albums. Humming to herself, she headed down to start breakfast. Spike was sleeping in, and she didn't want to wake him. After putting on a pot of coffee, she took a seat in the mane room.
The tree seemed to glow at this hour, with the newly risen sun shining into the library. The purple unicorn scanned the many shelves, before selecting one of her favorite stories and floating it over to herself. It was a book she had first read as a foal, when she would stay up late reading page after page of the engrossing chapters. A simple story, and one that she could read now in a matter of hours. The tale of a pony, alone for so long. He traveled far away from his homeland to one day stumble across his soul-mare. The life he made for himself and his partner, along everything they experienced, seemed so real.
After flipping through the pages, Twilight was about to put the book back when a note fluttered out. She couldn't think of what it could be as she levitated it up to her muzzle. On the paper was a simple, more crude version of Twilight's own writing. She read it over, smiling as she went.
Dear Future Twilight Sparkle,
I know I will be reading this one day, or at least I hope I will be. (Will I always love this book as much as I do now?) I pray to Celestia that my life is going well, and I am happy with what I am doing. I just wanted to make sure I remember to accomplish a few things. Here's the list:
Stop studying so much
MAKE SOME FRIENDS (This one is the most important)
Learn to relax (Goes along with the first one)
Have an adventure
Travel someplace away from Canterlot (May go with the adventure)
Learn to love
What I have learned in this book may not be much, but I know that these are all things I will value eventually (if not already). I do really love my books, so I hope this one has stayed near and dear to my heart. Hopefully my life turns out like the story does, or at least I can be happy even if it hasn't! Good luck, future me!
-Sincerely and lovingly,
Past Twilight Sparkle
Twilight looked up from the note, her eyes glistening with tears. She had almost forgotten what she had wanted to do as a foal, her goals and dreams almost left unanswered. Blinking away the water, she read the note once more. Almost everything on the list had been accomplished already, except for the last one.
The unicorn paused, stuck in deep thought. She enjoyed being with Dash, and always was happy to be around her. With Dash, she felt like a better pony. Was that love? She wasn't sure. Only time would tell. She replaced the note in the pages, levitated over a new piece of parchment with a quill, and began to write a new note.
Dear Future Twilight Sparkle,
Another note from me! It has been years since I wrote the last one in this book, and I wanted to make sure life has been going well. At this point, I have accomplished almost, if not all, of the goals from before. The only one I question is love. Am I in love with Rainbow Dash? I haven't really had much experience with it. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. I hope that I am, but all will be revealed in time! I have a few new goals to add to the list from before:
learn more about love
tell all of my friends about my feelings (See, I did make friends!)
continue my studies on the magic of friendship
learn more about myself
Not as stellar or as long of a list as before, but some small things I wish to work on. I know that these won't be hard, and I need to just keep looking forward for what my life will bring. Good luck with the what the future brings!
-Sincerely and lovingly,
Past Twilight Sparkle
She sighed as she put the note into the book, thinking back on how her life had been. All of her adventures had brought her so close to her friends, more close to some than others, and she couldn't have been happier. Soon, she was pulled out of her daydreaming by a couple knocks on the front door.
Twilight opened the door to the familiar pegasus in front of her. “Wow, I've never seen you knock before. Aren't you usually crashing through a window?” She smiled as Dash hung her head slightly.
“Well, I decided to change it up today. What are you up to?” Raising her head back up, Rainbow still looked slightly sleepy. “I don't have work today, and I was hoping we could do something together.”
Twilight thought for a moment, before responding. “I have a few things to do around town, but I was planning on heading over to Sweet Apple Acres to see Applejack. Wanna come along?”
A scared look passed over Dash's face. “B-b-but won't she see us, well, together?”
Twilight was taken aback. She knew that Dash was nervous about telling their friends all at once, but separately!? Did she not want to admit to anyone that she was, in fact, interested in mares? “Rainbow, what's wrong? Do you want to talk about this?”
Dash slowly walked in and sat in the middle of the room. She looked up at Twilight with her big red eyes, before starting to speak. “I care about you, Twilight. I really do. I, uh, I just don't know how others will look at me. I feel that they won't want to support a fillyfooler.”
The words from the pegasus stung Twilight. How could she say such things? She regained her composure quickly, allowing her to express her own personal feelings. “Dash, do you remember how Pinkie reacted to 'us'? She was OVERJOYED! Sure, some ponies won't look up to you, but does that really matter?”
“Twilight, this is my reputation on the line! You know I care what others think of me!” Rainbow stood up, anger creeping into her voice.
“You really shouldn't!”, the unicorn exclaimed. She was furious that the only pony she cared for would rather please her her 'fans' than her own marefriend. “What do you feel is more important, myself or the reputation you have? You need to decide what you really care about!”
Dash sighed, and looked back to Twilight. She looked angry, but behind her eyes the pegasus could see the sadness they both shared right now. “Honestly, I just don't know...” With that, she got up and trotted out the door.
Twilight was star-struck. What had just happened? Had the one pony she may have loved left her over what others might think of her? She stood there for a moment, before running upstairs. Tears filled her eyes as she slammed the door to her bedroom, waking up Spike.
“Tw-Twilight?”, Spike said sleepily. He heard faint sobbing, and figured it best to leave her alone for a while.
The cold air stung Rainbow, as tears formed in her eyes. She walked towards town, before bumping into a familiar cream-colored earth pony. “Sorry...”, she apologized without looking.
Bon Bon turned to see the pegasus slowly walking away. Noticing something was wrong, she ran up to stop her old friend. “Oh Dash, what happened?! You look like you had a horrible night!”
“More like a horrible day...”, Rainbow muttered before attempting to set out again.
Bon Bon placed her hoof down in front of her, stopping the pegasus in her tracks. “Does it have to do with Twilight?”. She pushed Dash's head up, looking at a pair of eyes on the verge of crying.
She couldn't hold back any longer. “It's all my fault!” Dash began to sob, falling back onto her rump. “I want to be with Twilight, but I can't stand the fact that everypony won't look up to me! She said that I need to choose between her or everypony else!”
Looking down, the candy pony shook her head. “She's right.” Dash stopped crying, gazing upwards from where she sat. Bon Bon continued, “There are ponies that look at Lyra and I and give us dirty looks. We just got used to it and ignore them for the most part. The best advice I can give you is to do what you think is right. Think about what's best for both you and Twilight”
Dash got up quickly, looking surprisingly angry. She was glaring at Bon Bon, looking as if she had been insulted. “I can't give up all that I have worked hard to get for one filly! You think that Lyra and yourself can even compare to what I have now?! Ponies IODLIZE ME! I can't let them, or myself down!” With that, she rose up and took flight. Flying as quick as she could, she headed for home.
“Smooth”, Bon Bon said to herself. “I'd better go check on Twilight.” Looking into the sky, she saw the sun had just passed overhead, beginning it's decent to the west. “I hope Lyra won't be cross that I'm home late.”
Back at the library, everything looked normal from the outside. Bon Bon walked up to the door, and knocked quickly. It opened to reveal Spike, looking quite worried.
“Sorry Bon Bon, but now isn't a good time. Twilight isn't too happy, and I don't think she wants to see anypony.”
“That's what I'm here about. I know what's wrong and I think I can help.” She could hear the faint sound of crying from the room upstairs.
Spike looked at her in disbelief, but opened the door to let her inside. He had spent all of his time awake trying to help Twilight, but she wouldn't even let him into her room. “Go ahead and try, but I wasn't even able to get in there! She is just inconsolable.”
Bon Bon walked up the stairs and tapped a hoof softly on the door at the top. “Twilight, it's me. Bon Bon. Let me help.”
She crying started to stop, and after a few moments the door opened to reveal a sniffling unicorn. She looked like a mess, and like she could really use someone to talk to. She looked out of her room with sadness, as if nothing could be right with the world. Once she noticed her guest, she managed a pitiful smile. “Hay Bon Bon. Come on in.”
She turned to go back into her dark room with the earth pony just behind her. Spike stood with a look of shock. How had she gotten let in!?
The room was a mess. It looked as if Twilight had been searching through every book she owned for an answer to her problems. All of the blinds were closed, leaving the room almost completely black. Bon Bon stepped over a pile of what looked like clothes, and sat down on Twilight's bed. The unicorn flopped down next to her, still sniffling.
She looked up with fresh tears welling up in her eyes. “I take it you heard what happened...”
“I ran into Dash on the way over.” Bon Bon went to continue, but was quickly cut off.
“She doesn't really care about me! I asked HER to go out because I was curious, but her feelings were my mane motivation! She was the one looking at me for ages!”, Twilight buried her head into a pillow. “Now she thinks every other pony is more important!”
Bon Bon sat there with the crying unicorn, rubbing her back. Once the tears were beginning to waver, she pulled Twilight up from the bed and gave her a long hug. “Dash and I were friends as fillies, and I know that she cares about me. Nothing like how she cares about you, but she always has put her reputation before others. I know this is hard, but it is how she's always has been. You need to be strong, and try to get her to see how you feel. She won't abandon you.”
Twilight leaned back and looked into Bon Bon's eyes. The sincerity she saw was clear as she wiped the tears form her own. “Why can't she just be happy that we're together? That's all that I care about.”
“I know, but Dash is so different from everypony. You need to take charge. Have you tried telling anypony other than myself?” Bon Bon hoofed Twilight a tissue to dry her eyes.
“No, but Pinkie put two and two together and found out...” Her violet eyes lit up a bit upon mentioning the pink pony. “She didn't seem to mind the fact Pinkie knew! Maybe I just need to help our friends discover it for themselves!”
Bon Bon smiled. If anypony could figure Dash out, it would have been Twilight. “Do whatever you think will work. Just remember that Lyra and I will be there to help if you need anything.”
The purple unicorn stood up. She seemed proud and confident in what she had figured out. “Thanks for all of the help, Bon Bon. You really are a great friend. Now, though, I need to go talk to Applejack. I think I know how to get Dash to change her mind!”
“Good luck!”, the candy pony called as Twilight galloped out of the room. She stood up, and slowly walked out after her. Spike was still standing there, slack jawed. “It's OK Spike, I helped her work everything out.”
Spike turned and slowly walked away. Bon Bon could see he really cared for Twilight, and hoped he could figure out was going on. It wasn't up to her to inform the small reptile on the comings and goings of other ponies.
She walked out of the tree, and breathed deep. The sun was starting to dip low in the sky, as Bon Bon sighed. “Lyra will be wondering where I was. Oh well, I know she'll understand.”
As the sun sunk lower and lower in the sky, Twilight raced towards Sweet Apple Acres. Bon Bon had given her the perfect idea. A way she might be able to get Rainbow to overcome her pride. She smiled while thinking to herself. Sure, Dash probably won't like what she was planning, but it was her only option. She simply needed to re-create what had happened with Pinkie.
The purple unicorn tore up the path to the farm house, and stopped. She probably should have considered what to say when she arrived. After pondering for a moment, she trotted up the steps of the house and knocked on the door.
A call came from inside the home. “Eh? Wh...Who's there?” An old mare glanced out the window towards Twilight, who just smiled and waved. “Applejack, one of yer friends is here!”
There was the sound of hooves on the wood floor, and the door soon swung open to reveal the orange earth pony. “Twilight! What bring ya 'round these parts so late?”
She breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing her friend. “Sorry it's so late, but I need you to do something for me. Could you come by the library at, say, noon tomorrow?” Twilight felt nervous. Her plan needed only two things, Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Without them both, the plan would fall apart. She felt that AJ would be the best pony to know about the couple and, being the element of honesty, would tell Dash how she truly felt about them being together.
“Sure sugarcube, whatever ya need.” Applejack took a good look at Twilight and noticed her slightly disheveled appearance. “By the way, are ya doing OK? Looks like you've been crying...”
Twilight's brain went into full panic mode. She hadn't come up with a reason for how she looked yet! The emotional day had taken a lot out of her, and it obviously showed. She tried to talk, but only managed to stammer slightly.
“Hay, if ya don't wanna talk 'bout it, that's fine. Just know I'm here for ya.” AJ smiled, calming Twilight down a bit.
“Thanks AJ, you're a good friend.”
Twilight slowly trotted towards Dash's house. Everything had gone well with Applejack, now she just needed the other half of her plan to agree. After a couple minutes of walking, she was below the fluffy cloud house. “Hay Dash! I need to talk to you!”
From the ground she saw a small, cyan head poke out from the edge of the cloud, and soon the pegasus was floating on down to meet her. She landed softly, while hanging her head and doing her best to avoid eye contact with the purple unicorn before her.
“Twilight, I'm sorry for how I acted earlier. I..I know how you must feel, but I just can't tell everypony about 'us'.” Dash continued to stare at the ground, until Twilight lifted her gaze with her hoof.
“It's fine Dash, I understand. I just thought that we would be happier if others were there to support us. Still, I don't want to make you uncomfortable.” Twilight felt terrible lying to Dash, but it needed to be done. “I was wondering if you would want to come over tomorrow. Say, around, 10:00? I was going to make breakfast.” She had debated inviting her over for the night, but the thought of using Rainbow like that appalled her. Talk about going a little too far!
The pegasus lit up upon hearing the proposition, with a smile spreading across her face. “Sure! That sounds great!”
Twilight leaned forward and gave Rainbow a small kiss on the cheek. “I guess I'll see you tomorrow...”, her sentence trailed off as she turned and began to walk away. Knowing Dash would be looking, she was sure to wiggle her flanks as she walked.
Dash stood there, unable to control the smile she had. Her eyes moved with every flick of Twilight's rump. Maybe everything would be alright after all. Twilight seemed very understanding. Once the unicorn had disappeared from view, she unfolded her wings and gently flapped upwards. Yes, everything would be just fine.
Twilight arrived at the library just before dark, and headed up to bed. She was going to have a long day tomorrow, and she hoped everything would turn out alright.
Twilight woke before the crack of dawn. She wanted to make sure everything was ready for her guests. After sleepily trotting down stairs, she lit a fire in her fireplace and headed into the kitchen. She floated out a large frying pan and mixed a batch of pancake batter together. Once she had finished, she set the table for three, wondering if Spike would be joining them. If there was ever a day to sleep in, this is the one she was hoping for. Finally, everything was straightened up, and all was ready. She trotted back into the mane room, laid down on a cushion by the fire place, and fell back asleep,
Twilight was quickly awoken by a knocking at the front door. She looked over at the clock on her wall, seeing it was 10:00am already. Wow, time sure flies, she thought to herself. Slowly, she rose up and walked over to the front door. It opened to reveal Rainbow Dash with a bottle of orange juice under her wing.
“Morning Dashie.” The unicorn said while still rubbing sleep from her eyes. “Come on in.”
Rainbow followed Twilight inside, and set the bottle down on the table. The fire had gotten low in the time Twilight had been asleep, and she threw a couple of logs on the fire to get it going.
“I'm going to get started on the pancakes. Make yourself at home.” Twilight tried to look as inviting and awake as possible while still fighting off the sleep in the back of her mind. She wandered into the kitchen as Dash took as seat on a cushion near the fire.
The warmth was just what she needed. After flying to get the juice in the cold autumn air, she needed the heat to bring some life back to her. Rainbow sunk deeper and deeper into the cushion as she looked back and examined what had happened the last few days. Their relationship was not even a week old, and it seemed to be moving along quickly. Almost too quickly. She was happy for a moment to relax, and to see where their relationship stood. Twilight obviously shared her feelings, but she seemed so...so...brave.
Dash was surprised by her realization. Was Twilight more brave than her? She always pushed herself, doing the most dangerous stunts that the other pegasi wouldn't dare to do. However, if she could do all that, why couldn't she tell anyone about herself, her feelings? Wasn't her bravery what everyone loved her for?
Rainbow's thoughts were interrupted by Twilight walking in with a plate stacked high with pancakes. “Ready for breakfast?”, She called to they cyan pegasus staring off into space.
“Oh..uh...yea!” Once she was back to reality, Rainbow trotted over to the table and sat down. Her stomach rumbled with anticipation. “Let's eat!”
The meal seemed similar to their first lunch together. They talked about life, not worrying about anything that had happened recently. Dash talked about the weather patrol and her new tricks, while Twilight gave a mini-lecture on the parasprites. She had become fascinated by the creatures ever since they had attacked Ponyville. After a while, they were finished with the meal and lay snuggling by the fire place.
Rainbow lay on Twilight's chest, her head slowly rising and falling with each breath from the purple unicorn. She was happy, plain and simple. There was no need to try to impress her marefriend, and she was just able to savor the moment. Minutes passed like seconds with both the ponies enjoying the bliss of being together. Eventually, a knock came at the door. Rainbow's daydreaming caused her to miss the sound, along with Twilight calling the pony at the door to come in. However, soon she was brought back to Equestria when she saw who was standing in the doorway.
Applejack stood there, looking slightly out of place. “Umm, hiya you two...Twilight, ah can come back another time...”
Dash immediately stood up, scared out of her wits. “AJ! It's not what it looks like!”
The orange earth pony had regained her composure and chuckled slightly at the look of panic on her friend's face. “What does it look like, Rainbow? That you and Twilight are together?”
“Yes...I mean no! Uhhhh..” Her voice trailed off into unintelligent stammering.
Applejack chuckled again, and looked Dash in the eyes. “Calm down, Rainbow. Ah ain't gonna tell no one. To be honest, ah had some suspicions ever since the other night.”
After watching everything from the sidelines, it was Twilight's turn to look shocked. “But...how did you know?”
AJ looked back and forth between the two mares in front of her. “Really?” The two continued to stand there, dumbfounded. “After Rarity's little fashion show we all went to dinner, remember?” Twilight and Dash both managed to nod their heads. “During that night, you two were always side by side. Heck, during dinner Rainbow was sitting there, staring off into space. If ah had ever seen the look she had on before, I'd seen it on Big Mac when he's in love with some filly.”
A silence hung in the air after Applejack's final words. Twilight was scared stiff, wondering if Dash would realize she planned the whole thing. Slowly, the cyan pegasus sat down and Twilight was able to breath a sigh of relief.
“So..you don't think...less of me?” Dash managed to stammered out while staring at AJ.
“Now why would I think less of ya, sugarcube?” Applejack walked over and put a hoof on the pegasus' shoulder, with Twilight following suit from the other side.
“But..I'm a fillyfooler...”, Dash whispered while looking down at her hooves. She felt too ashamed to face her friend.
“That doesn't make you any less of a pony to me. Ya are who ya are, and there is nothing I would do to change that.” She tilted Rainbow's head up so she was looking her in the eyes. “Heck, look at Twilight here! She's being strong and she was caught just like ya were. I'm not treatin' her any different, and ah won't treat ya any different either.”
Dash smiled, with tears in her eyes, and wrapped both of the other ponies in a big hug. “Thanks so much AJ. That means a lot to me.”
“No problem, sugarcube. Now, can I have a moment to talk to Twilight? Something I came over here about.”
Dash released the two, and trotted over to the bathroom to clean herself up. She felt like a mess, but a good mess. It was nice to know that her friend accepted her, no matter what.
Once Rainbow shut the door behind her, Applejack turned towards the purple unicorn. “Don't tell me ah came here this morning to catch you two together.”
Twilight smiled sheepishly. “Well...”
“Twilight, that's just deceitful!” AJ looked towards the unicorn, slightly taken aback. “Ah wouldn't have expected such a thing from you!”
“If I didn't force you to catch us, Dash wouldn't tell anypony!” Twilight was talking in a loud whisper, so she wouldn't be overheard. “It was the only thing I could think of to do!”
Applejack just smiled, and gave Twilight a hug. “Whatever the method, ah know you meant well. As long as Dash made it out OK, it's fine. Ah won't tell her, but you best be keeping her feelings in mind.”
“Don't you worry, AJ.”, She smiled, knowing everything had turned out successfully. “I won't do anything to hurt her.”
Author's Note: I am so sorry for the month this chapter took to make. With finals coming up, and many final projects to complete, my life has been a nightmare. It will be a while for the next chapter, but not nearly as long. I hope you all can forgive me. Finally, I'd like to thank Therizzen for lots of support and help editing this chapter (Oh, and my friend Joseph for supporting me as well! I know you will read this!). I wish you all a belated Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Shortly after the incident in the library, Applejack said her goodbyes and left. Even though she was accepting of her friends being together, she did not want to stay for what she knew might come next.
As the door closed behind the earth pony, Dash wandered out of the bathroom. She had finally come to grips with what had happened, and she felt good. It was almost as if a weight had been lifted off of her wings. The support AJ and Pinkie gave Rainbow some strength, but she still seemed to held the fear of openly admitting to everypony about herself.
Twilight wandered up to her marefriend and nuzzled her neck. “I'm sorry that Applejack saw us like that. How are you holding up?”
“”It..it wasn't really that bad...” Dash admitted after a moment. She looked towards the floor and shook her head. “I'm sorry, but I still don't want to tell everypony. Applejack almost gave me a heart-attack!”
The purple unicorn managed to hold her smile while her heart sunk. She had worked so hard, and Dash still wasn't willing to reveal her true self! What am I doing wrong!? Geez, I'm gonna have to trick everypony, won't I. She might catch on eventually... Twilight thought while trying to maintain her composure. “I'm just glad to know that you're OK with what happened.” She lied.
Dash paused for a moment before speaking, trying to build up some courage. “Twi, do you...um...want to go for a walk? It's something I think I could manage.”
Twilight's heart started to rise again. Maybe there's hope for her yet... She smiled and leaned onto the pegasus. “Dash, that sounds wonderful. Just let me get my scarf.”
- ~ -
Leaves were beginning to drift off of the trees as the two ponies trotted by. The Running of the Leaves was coming, and the town was preparing. Markers had started to be placed along the route, and the banner declaring the Start/Finish line was in place.
Twilight and Dash wandered out of the town, and towards the Everfree forest. During this time of year, any fear the pony folk had towards the wooded area started to drift away like the leaves from the trees. The two wandered and talked, not really looking where they were going.
“I can't get enough of this time of year!” Twilight said, breaking the silence they had been sharing. She seemed to be talking to both Dash and the trees. “The leaves look wonderful, and the stars shine so bright at night.”
Dash looked at her marefriend and smiled. The enthusiasm of the unicorn was really rubbing off on her.
“You're really into nature, aren't you?”
Twilight blushed slightly. “Ever since I was a little filly, my parents always took me out to the country for the summer. We went for a week the first year, but just kept coming to stay for longer and longer.” Twilight began to stare off into space, thinking of the time with her parents. “Shortly after I got accepted to school, I stopped going. This year in Ponyville has brought back so many memories. I mean, it's those summers that got me interested in astronomy.”
“Well, I've always heard you talking about the stars, but never really looked for myself. Would you want to come over to my house and watch them some time? With me?” Dash sounded more than a little nervous.
Twilight leaned onto the pegasus, looking up into her eyes. “Dash, I would be honored to go star gazing with you. How about tonight? I don't have anything planned...”
Dash smiled, happy her idea was so openly accepted. “That sounds great! We could pack some stuff for the night when we get back to the library. What would we need?”
“I can’t really put my telescope on a cloud, so not very much. I'll grab some blankets, and snacks...” Twilight's words began to trail off once she noticed the new scenery surrounding them.
“What's with all of the stone?” Dash asked.
“It looks like we wandered into the castle that held the Elements Of Harmony.” Twilight said, looking at the walls that now surrounded them. In the light, the stone looked weathered and beaten. Memories of an adventure from what felt like a lifetime ago. “It's so weird to see it again.”
The two wandered up the tower and found a seat, gazing out over Equestria. The sun was beginning to dip in the sky, signaling evening would soon be there. As they waited, they leaned against one another for warmth and comfort.
Once the sun had finally gone down, Dash rose to her hooves. “You want to go watch the stars, right?” Twilight simply nodded in response. “Why don't you climb on my back? I can fly us back to town.”
She unfolded her wings as the purple unicorn hopped on, clinging to her neck for dear life. With a small struggle for balance, Dash soon took off and they were soon soaring back to town.
The route was surprisingly long, and the stars were already visible once they returned back to the library. Twilight disappeared inside, returning with a basket full of snacks and blankets for the pair. “I cast the cloud walking spell, so we should be ready to go!” She said, her voice barely able to contain her excitement. She clambered onto Rainbow's back once again, and together they set off towards Dash's cloud house.
- ~ -
Rainbow touched down, allowing the unicorn to test the cloud before climbing off. Twilight set the basket down, and pulled out a blanket. She laid it on the fluffy cloud before resting herself on top of it and patting the space next to her invitingly.
Dash didn't hesitate, quickly snuggling next to her marefriend as another blanket was magically placed upon them. She looked up towards the sky, once again amazed by the dots of light above her. “It kinda makes you feel small and insignificant, doesn't it”
“That's what everypony says, but I think I've found a more positive outlook on it.” Twilight smiled, seeing her marefriend transfixed on something she held so dear. “As far as we know, this is the only place in the whole universe with life. That means that, out of everything we can see now, we are some of the most intelligent beings.” Twilight brought Dash in for a hug, eyes flicking between constellations as she continued. “If that's true, than I wouldn't say we're insignificant. Quite the opposite. It's amazing that we can be here, now. We're all so important, and so special.”
“Wow, that's deep. Even for a filly like you!” Dash grinned while Twilight playfully pushed her away. “Seriously, I do get what you mean. It really puts things into perspective. Heck, everypony is a mini miracle if you think about it.”
“Dash, I couldn't agree more.” With that, the ponies pulled each other in tight, their lips pressing together. The stars shone down, illuminating the two as they displayed their passion for each other. Nothing seemed to matter except for what was going on at that exact moment.
After what seemed like an eternity, Twilight broke the kiss. Dash didn't move, her rose eyes gazing in towards Twilight's. The purple unicorn smiled, and turned so she was staring back up to the sky. “Now, what do you say we do some star gazing?”
The night was spent with Twilight explaining anything and everything she knew about space to Rainbow, who's recent interest in astronomy was steadily growing. She absorbed all of the information, from the constellations to the way stars were made. The only thing she had ever been so focused on was flying. However, it wasn't too long before the two fell asleep, cuddled together under the blanket.
- ~ -
Twilight awoke with the sun, and opened her eyes to find Dash staring back at her. “Morning, sleepy head.” the pegasus said, while giving Twilight a soft kiss on the cheek.
The purple unicorn smiled and rubbed some sleep from her eyes. The night had been fun, and she only wished she didn't have to move just yet.
Rainbow slid out from under the blanket, stretching both her hooves and her wings. “I had an idea on what we could do today.” She said. “Something we could do together.”
From how she was acting, Twilight could tell she had been awake and thinking for a while now. “Oh? And what might that be?”
“Well, I thought we could go jogging. We're both going to do the Running of the Leaves, so I thought we might be able to run it together.”
A smile broke out on Twilight's face. This was major for Dash. Sure, there was nothing strange about two friends running together, but this was special. This was something that Dash was willing to do with her! In public, no less! Heck, any progress was good progress! “Dashie, I would love to.”
“Great!” Dash exclaimed. “Now, lets go get some breakfast.”
Twilight sighed as she rose from their makeshift bed. “You know, for our first real date that went pretty well.” Rainbow looked over at the unicorn, who smiled sheepishly. “What? All we did before was have a meal together. For me to call it a date, we needed to do a bit more than eat together.”
Dash shook her head, and gazed out over the town. “You know, I bet we can make today even better.”
- ~ -
The breakfast was basic, with pegasi not known for their cooking abilities. Soon enough, the pair was on the ground and ready to run.
“I'm gonna run this with you, Twi. No wings, no way.” Dash stood proudly, her wings staying flat against her side for once.
An expression of mock surprise played across the previously mentioned unicorn's face. “Really?! The great Rainbow Dash will run with little old me?!” She fluttered her eyes, trying to look adorable.
“Hay, there's no need to be mean about it...” Dash said, pouting slightly. She quickly regained her previous composure, focusing on the path ahead. “Are you ready?”
“Ready!” Twilight cried as they took off, following the future race path. For the most part, she was able to keep up with the speedy pegasi. After the race last year, she had done SOME training.
Dash was considerably quick for one who doesn't walk very often. Only occasionally did she have to slow down, allowing Twilight a moment to catch her breath and observe the scenery. They jogged together, keeping pace. By the end of their practice run, they had agreed on a new strategy for this year. Get ahead, and walk until the others caught up.
The town around them was finishing breakfast by the time they were finished. “Wow, I never knew how much fun running in the morning was!” Twilight exclaimed, slightly out of breath.
“That's nothing.” Dash tried to act as if she wasn't tired, breathing as normally as possible. “You should see the Manehattan Mareathon. With all of the buildings, it's simply spectacular!”
“I guess that's something to plan for...” Twilight said as she got up off the ground. “...but for now, lets see what our friends are up to. I have a feeling Pinkie's doing something strange...” Smoke was rising from a distant Sugar Cube Corner.
“Eh, it's Pinkie. She's always up to something strange.” Dash said. “But I like the sound of hanging out with the others. Come on, lets go.”
The rising smoke from the bakery had attracted most of the town. As Rainbow and Twilight arrived, they found Pinkie talking to the large crowd. “Hay, everypony! Don't worry, everything is just fine! I just burned some cookies. Well...all of the cookies...but that's not the point! The point is that there is nothing to see here!” Her futile attempts made the pair laugh, as Applejack walked over to where Pinkie was standing.
“Want me to handle things here, sugarcube?” she asked politely.
“Oh, please do!” Pinkie slumped down to the ground. “It's as if nopony takes me seriously...”
“NOW Y'ALL LISTEN HERE!” AJ's voice boomed across the crowd, causing everything to fall silent. “There, much better. Now, Pinkie here just burned some cookies. It ain't nothing to worry about. If y'all can mosey on your way, that would be much appreciated.”
The crowd murmured a bit, and began to disperse. Seeing their chance, the pair walked up to the two earth ponies by the store. “Wow AJ, you really can handle a large group well!” Twilight was quite impressed.
“After living on a farm ya get used to dealin’ with some thick ponies, if ya know what ah mean.” Applejack glanced over to Pinkie, who was still deflated on the ground.
“Hay now, come on Pinkie. So ya burned some cookies, it happens to the best of us. Say, don't you have a song for somethin' like this?”
“No....” Pinkie was slow to respond. “I've never had a problem with baking. It was my second talent, and I'm almost as good at it as I am at throwing parties...” She remained slouched, sulking. Her mane had deflated, leaving it straight and giving her a serious look. A look only Rainbow had seen before.
“Cheer up!” Rainbow hoped her enthusiasm would help cheer the party pony up. “Everypony has a bad day. Remember when I couldn't do the Sonic Rainboom, and you kept encouraging me? You kept me going, so I'll be here to help you. Get up, you're a great baker. Now lets go fix this.”
Pinkie's mane popped back into place, and she got to her hooves. “You're right, Dash! I can do this! I'm the best baker in this town, aside from the Cakes!” She bounced back inside the shop, and soon mixers could be heard.
Rarity, with Fluttershy in tow, finally appeared out of what remained of the crowd. “And where have you two been?” Applejack asked, with mock anger in her voice.
“If you must know, we were at the spa. We go to Aloe and Lotus' place every week for makeovers.” Rarity replied, holding her muzzle high in the air. “It gives us a chance to relax and talk.”
“It's mostly Rarity talking. I just nod and smile...” Fluttershy seemed apprehensive to speak, probably because of everypony else around them.
AJ, Rainbow, and Twilight all leaned in towards the white unicorn. “And just what do you talk about?” Twilight asked, interested in what she would say.
“Oh, you know. Idle gossip. What's happening in the town, what filly is going out with what colt, etc.”
Dash immediately tensed up. What if there's a rumor about Twilight and myself?! She thought. What if the whole town already knows, and I just missed it? What if Twilight told her...
“Soooo, what's the latest going on in town?” Dash tried to sound calm, the panic rising withing her stomach.
“Nothing much, really. Other than Berry Punch proposing to Golden Harvest, it's been a slow week.” Rarity mocked an expression of sadness.
Dash breathed a sigh of relief, while the rest of the mares began to talk over the newly proposed couple. Rarity and Fluttershy seem to be OK with a mare-mare relationship...maybe I could just tell them. She glanced over to the group trying to gain some courage. They seemed excited, but these were ponies they didn't know all too well. They saw Rainbow and Twilight almost every day. It still didn't feel like a good idea to her.
“What do you think?” Twilight was poking Rainbow, trying to get her attention. “Hello? Are you there?”
“Sorry, I kind of blanked out...” Rainbow said, looking down in embarrassment. “What were you saying?”
“What do you think about the two of them being together?” Twilight was clearly trying to get the pegasus to admit her feelings to Rarity and Fluttershy.
“I think that they should do whatever they feel like they want to do, and that others should just be supportive.” She hoped her message wasn't too obvious to the group.
Twilight's smile dimmed a bit, but was soon back at full force. “I agree completely. We should all be happy for them, whatever choice they make.
Rainbow glanced over to AJ, who gave a small cough. It was obvious that she knew what was going on.
Fluttershy finally decided to speak again. “Why don't we go check on Pinkie. You said she was making fresh cookies, and I'd love to have one...”
The group all nodded in agreement, as Rainbow went and held the door for the group to enter.
The store itself looked fine, aside from a slight haze from remaining smoke. The party pony could be heard taking some trays out of the ovens in the back.
The group wandered back to find what looked like a war zone. Many baking sheets were thrown into a nearby garbage can, bits of burnt-on cookie still stuck to it. There were baking ingredients everywhere, and almost everything seemed to be coated in a fine dusting of flower. Pinkie saw the group as she put the last tray in the oven and walked over. If this was somepony's first time meeting her, they would have thought her coat was just as white as Raritiy's.
“I've just put a new batch in, and I bet they are gonna be super-duper-fantastically-awesome!” She bounced, causing a small cloud of flour to go flying into the air.
“I'm sure they will be, sugarcube, but right now it looks like yer clean up job will be quite a task.” Applejack said, poking the blackened remains of what used to be a cookie resting on the floor.
“We would be happy to help, dear. It does seem like quite the job.” Rarity spoke, as everypony gasped.
“But Rarity, we just came from the spa. Won't you get all messy?” Fluttershy asked, her mouth hanging open.
“I always have a bath every night, spa or not. Don't forget, I won't look messy, my coat is already white.”
“Wow, that's incredibly generous of you...” Dash said before she realized what she was saying. Stupid, she's the Element of Generosity!
“Well, Dash, I am the Element of Generosity,” she reminded the group. “Now, what do you need us to do?”
Clean up took considerably less time than anypony expected, with the group working surprisingly quick. In no time, they all were munching on the fresh batch of cookies Pinkie had made.
“What did I tell ya?” Dash said, mouth full of cookie. “This is one of the best cookies I've ever had! You can't let the little things get you down.”
“I guess you're right...” Pinkie looked over at Dash, who was hovering in the air and eating her cookie. The kind smiles of all her friends really helped her brighten up.
Once the cookies were finished, the friends remained around the counter in Sugar Cube corner. Pinkie was in the back room, starting on a batch of pies.
“I got a question for all y’all.” Applejack said, gathering their attention. “What's everypony doin’ for this year's Running of the Leaves?”
“Oooh! I'm doing the announcing! ” Pinkie poked her head out from the kitchen. “It's too bad that Spike doesn't wanna announce with me...”
“That may be because of how truly random you are.” Rainbow Dash said, a smile on her lips. “I know that I'm running it again this year, and so is Twilight.”
“Oh, I personally would never participate in something so, ugh, dirty. Rest assured that I will be cheering you all on from the sidelines.” Rarity smiled. “I have just the thing to wear for such an occasion.”
“I...um...might watch. I was never big into...competitions.” Fluttershy whispered, hiding behind her mane.
“Why don't you come with me, dear? We can make a day of it!” Rarity was trying so hard to get Fluttershy to come out of her proverbial shell.
“What about you, AJ? Will you be running too?” Twilight was curious.
“As much as ah want to, Big Mac needs some help on the farm that mornin’. If we don't get them last apples bucked off, they'll die on the trees during the first snow. I'll be sure to meet ya two at the end of the race, tho.”
“Looks like we'll be doing it alone, Dash” Twilight said, winking.
“Umm...uhh...yea. I guess so...” she stammered out.
Pinkie quickly popped out from the back room. The Cakes seemed to have arrived back home, as they followed out.
“Guyyys, the Cakes are baaack!” Pinkie sang as she bounced over to the counter.
“Wow, what a day!” Mr. Cake slowly trotted after the pink party pony. “We had to ice a cake as high as a house! After all that, I must say that you did an excellent job of keeping the place clean! We are quite impressed.”
“So...you...you trust me now..?” Pinkie said, trying to act shy. It didn't really work. “Do ya!? Do ya!? Won't you trust me now?!”
While Mr. Cake was reeling from the bouncing pink blob, Mrs. Cake came to defend him. “Now dearie, just because you did so well once doesn't mean you have our absolute faith. It's going in the right direction, but you still need to work at it.”
Pinkie deflated back to the way she had been earlier in the day. “But...but...” she managed to stutter without breaking into tears.
“Pinkie, it's not that we don't trust you, it's just that you have a history of being...well...you. We do trust you, but not entirely.”
Pinkie seemed satisfied with this answer, as she perked back up. Twilight noticed that the party pony was about to go off again, and quickly interrupted. “Ok fillies, today has been fun, but the sun is beginning to set and I really need to hit the hay. I'll see you tomorrow?”
Everypony nodded in agreement, but Dash spoke up. “You know, I should really get going too. Wanna be up early to train and everything...” she said, as she trotted to the door. She held it open for the purple unicorn as the good-byes of their friends echoed after them.
The pair stood outside, the wind blowing up around them. “Do you want to go for a run tomorrow morning, Twi? The race is only a couple days away...”
Twilight leaned onto the cyan pegasus, who graciously extended a wing around her. “That sounds wonderful. You know what, how about you come sleep over at my place tonight. We were just at yours recently.”
“I wouldn't have it any other way.” With that, the pair stepped off of the front steps of Sugar Cube corner, and headed over towards the library. “Might there be a chance that I might get lucky tonight?”
Twilight playfully pushed Dash away. “Well, well, well. I'm sure we could figure something out...”
The day before the race was spent doing a little more than nothing as the pair tried not to tire themselves out. Most of the time was spent in front of the fireplace, keeping warm while Twilight read a book out loud. It was a classic, The Filly In The Fireplace. Both Rainbow and Spike were mesmerized as the story about a young colt in love enraptured them within the heat.
The day flew by, with Twilight finishing the book as the sun was about to set. Soon enough, the morning of the race would be there and they all headed off to sleep.
The day of the race arrived, with the ponies in the library rising with the sun. Rainbow was downstairs before Twilight had even gotten out of bed, poking Spike to make them some breakfast. “Come on, we need something to get us going!”she said, leaving the baby dragon no time to refuse.
As Twilight walked downstairs, Spike shot her a glare before finally getting up himself. “As long as you two promise to get out of my scales and I can go back to bed, I'll get baking.”
Dash smiled widely as Spike meandered into the kitchen. Twilight lit a fire in the fireplace to heat up the library, and lay down on a pillow nearby. She would have fallen back asleep if it wasn't for the thud of a pegasus landing next to her.
“Are you ready Twilight?! I'm so excited! We're gonna win, and....” Dash kept talking but Twilight was no longer listening. She hadn't slept much the last night. Most of the time was spent formulating a plan. A plan, the plan, to finally get Rainbow to admit her feelings to everyone. It had to work, even if it would kill them. Well, killing them could be too far, but... she was quickly brought back to the world by the cyan pegasus now poking at her. “Hay, are you still in there Twi?”
“Hmmm?” Twilight said, coming back into the conversation. “Oh, yes I'm fine. I guess I'm still a little tired and just spaced out for a second. What were we talking about?”
Dash sighed before starting over. “I was discussing how we were going to run. Now, I know that you can't run too far before taking a break to walk and sight-see. That means our times in between will need to be fast, practically sprinting. Are you up for that? We can take it slower if you want...”
“We'll be fine, Dashie.” Twilight replied while teasing her slightly. “Also, there is nothing wrong with sight-seeing. Nature is so wonderful this time of year, especially in the early morning.” The purple pony started to drift off into thought again. She knew that her plan might break the trust she had with Rainbow Dash, but certain risks were necessary...
The smell of scones wafted through the air, breaking Twilight's concentration once again. Coming back, she managed to attract the pegasus' attention with the thought of food. “How about we go grab a bite to eat before we head out for the day? Spike seems to want to get back to bed if he already managed to finish with breakfast!”
The two ponies shared a laugh as they walked over to the table. Spike was carefully maneuvering out two plates piled high with food. As soon as they were sat down, the dragon disappeared back to his bed, not to be heard from anymore.
“Sooo...” Dash began, her mouth full of scones and butter. “What do we have planned for after the race?”
“I thought that we could play that by ear, see where the day leads us.” Twilight had much better manners, using her magic to manipulate a knife and fork to cut her delectable breakfast. “You never know, we may do something with our friends after the race. They will all be there.”
“Oh... right!” Dash said, almost spraying her food across the table. “Man, I bet they will be soooo excited when we cross the finish line first! We'll be on the podium, get our medals, everyone will cheer...” She drifted off, making cheering noises with her breath. Soft muttering could be heard.”Ya... Dash and Twi... fastest ponies... town hero's...”
“Come on back to me, Dashie. I don't think we'd be town hero's for coming first in the race. It’s just to clear the leaves off the trees, and it's supposed to be fun.”
“Sure, whatever you say Twi,” Dash said, a smirk upon her face. “All I know is that we are gonna win, and that 's all that counts. Say, do you think the mayor would give us the key to the city...?”
Twilight managed to suppress most of her laughter at the fantasizing pony. “I highly doubt that, Dash.” Noticing that they were both finished with their food, Twilight floated their plates away from the table and into the sink in the the nearby kitchen. “Now, how about you go wash up. You have food stuck almost everywhere in your fur, and we don't want to be late.”
Dash flew off to the nearby bathroom as Twilight got together everything they would need for the run. Not much, but a couple of water bottles just in case. Soon enough, Rainbow was clean and they were on their way to the event.
By the time the pair arrived at the event, a couple of other ponies had gathered near the starting line. Some had set up small stalls, selling everything from simple toast and jam to warm cups of coffee. The crowd mostly consisted of the serious racers, Rainbow and Twilight's competition. There were none of their friends to be seen yet, as almost everypony else was still asleep. The pair found an empty spot of grass next to a tree and began their pre-race warm up.
Other ponies started arriving shortly thereafter and, soon enough, the park was filled with activity. Ponies everywhere were preparing to run. “Well, we certainly have our work cut out for ourselves!” Dash said, turning to Twilight.
“You most certainly do, dear.” Rarity trotted up behind the pegasus, giving her a small fright. “Don't worry, I have the utmost confidence in you two.”
“Thanks Rarity!” Twilight said. She looked around, seeming a big confused. “Wait, didn't Fluttershy say she was going to come with you?”
The tree above them shook slightly as Fluttershy poked her head out from the leaves. “Oh, I'm here Twilight. I just don't like crowds....” She looked around nervously before disappearing back into the foliage.
The three looked up, surprised as the rest of the tree slowly began trembling. “We really need to get her some help...” Rainbow finally said.
A sudden sound cut through the early morning air. The feedback from a megaphone blared, causing everypony to cringe at the noise. Soon enough Pinkie Pie appeared on a stage set up next to the starting line. “Hello all!” she blared across the crowd. “Who's ready to run!?”
A cheer erupted, causing her to jump slightly. “Wow, that's a lot of ponies! How are you all going to fit on the track?” After being met with silence, she continued on. “Alright! I'm gonna get up in the balloon, and then we can get started!” Another cheer rang out as she trotted off stage.
“Well, with Pinkie on her way up, Fluttershy and I should find a place to watch. We'll be at the half-way mark, and then move on to the finish line. Why, I’ll bet that you fillies might even win the whole thing!!”
As she trotted away, Fluttershy once again popped out of the tree. “Good luck you two. I have to... um... go catch up to Rarity”. She flew off after the unicorn, trying to stay as close as possible to her for fear of everything else around her.
“Well, it looks like we should head to the starting line. Pinkie is just about up” Twilight said. “We do want a good starting position.” Rainbow nodded as they started over.
With the pink pony high in the sky, and everypony on the ground in position, the countdown began. “On your mark... get set....” All the runners tensed, ready for what would come next. “GOOO!” Pinkie yelled as the starting horn sounded. The group took off, with Twilight and Rainbow in the lead immediately. The pack was quick, sprinting just behind them. Slowly, they all began to drop back as the pair pulled away.
“How ya doing!?” Dash asked in between her breaths. The sound of their hoofs on the dirt was deafening.
“Fine!” Twilight managed to yell back. Her breathing was heavier, more labored. Although she had been training, the lead that they had built up was tiring her out. She pushed on, despite the burning in her legs.
The leaves fell around them, shaken loose by their pounding hooves. They obscured their vision, displaying a world of only red, orange, and yellow. Eventually, Twilight’s pace started to slow. “Mind if we walk for a minute?” she called out.
Rainbow nodded, slowing down with her partner. The thunder of hooves behind them sounded far off, and they could afford the rest. Twilight had impaled several leaves on her horn, leaving her more colorful than usual. The pegasus fought to stifle a laugh as the leaves were removed by a purple aura of magic.
“We're doing well so far, just try to keep running. We can stop again later,” Dash said.
“Sounds good,” Twilight replied.
They walked, admiring the early morning around them. The sun filtered down through the trees, leaving bright patches on the ground. Off in the distance, the sound of approaching hooves was growing, along with the commentary of Pinkie from her overhead view. “Shall we?” Rainbow said, starting to speed up. Twilight nodded and followed suit.
After another cycle of running and walking, the race route took a turn out into a field. They had finally reached the halfway point in the race. Rarity was waiting, waving a miniature Equestrian flag surrounded in the white glow of her magic. Because of the lack of foliage to hide in, Fluttershy was up on a cloud. As the pair bolted past, they made sure to wave and show that they noticed their fans. Shortly after, they were back in the woods. Not needing to sprint anymore, they kept at a steady pace. At this rate, they would just need to keep jogging to win. Pinkie had caught up with them, and was both commentating and cheering as they went along.
“Go Rainbow! Go Twilight! You can do it! Now, in third place...” She rambled on about the other ponies, something that wasn't a big concern to the pair... or was it?
“Dash, I don't know how long I can keep this up!” Twilight was almost gasping for breath, despite their slowed pace. “It's getting hard for me to breath!”
A look of despair crossed the pegasus' face, but she slowed down with her partner. Twilight managed to keep walking, but the race was taking it's toll on her bookwormy physique.
“Come on, we're sooooo close!” Rainbow whined. “As soon as we come across Sweet Apple Acres, we’ll be on the final stretch!”
Regaining what remained of her composure, Twilight stood up straight. The sound of hooves was gaining on them. “You know what, if it means so much to you, I'll try. But if I stop, keep on going.”
A smile from the pegasus reassured her. “Don't worry, nopony's getting left behind!”
They set off again, keeping what pace they could as the others slowly caught up. They finally reached their friend’s apple farm and began to sprint as fast as they could manage. They pushed hard, but it was Twilight and Dash neck-and-neck with Carrot Top. Being a farmer by trade, she provided a good competition to the pair of ponies.
The racers all fought for the lead, sprinting faster and faster until they could barely keep their speed up. Eventually, and against her will, Carrot Top began to slow. The speed they were going was hard to keep up, and she just couldn’t. Being a natural born athlete, the cyan pegasus saw their chance and pushed as hard as possible. They crossed the finish line, Rainbow and Twilight winning by a muzzle length.
The manage to walk upright towards the nearby grass under an apple tree, collapsing as soon as they could. Even Rainbow was breathing heavily, while Twilight was laying on her back and staring up at the tree. As soon as their was breath back in their bodies, the pair started laughing. The race, the day, they had won. They had succeeded.
“Congrats, Dashie,” Twilight managed to say, still slightly out of breath. “We did it.”
“Didn't we! We were like zoom, and everypony was just sooo far behind us, and we kept...” A hoof was placed over her mouth to quiet her down.
“What do you say we go over to get out medals?” Twilight asked.
“Uhh, sure,” Dash said, somewhat spacey as she was still thinking about the race. Eventually, Twilight was able to push her over and onto the podium by the time the awards were being given out.
“Thank you, everypony, for coming out to this year's Running of the Leaves!” Mayor Mare announced to a cheer from the crowd. It seemed as if everypony in Ponyville had come out, with Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Pinkie at the front of the herd. “Now, we're here to announce the winners of this year's race!” Another roar came from the crowd.
“This year is special, everypony. We have not one, but TWO winners! Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash!” As she spoke, two medals were levitated over and onto the waiting ponies. “Take a bow, fillies!”
It's now or never... Twilight thought. As Rainbow went to wave to the crowed, she reached towards the pegasus. Before anypony, let alone Dash, could react, she pushed their muzzles together in front of the crowd. A silence fell over everypony, hanging in the air as the two on the podium stood frozen together. Slowly, they all erupted into yet another cheer.
Horrified, Rainbow pulled away from her marefriend. She looked to the crowd with everypony watching her, but didn’t hear their cheering. She saw her friends there, but not their looks of joy or acceptance. She only saw their eyes. Staring, accusing. Fearfully and quickly, she extended her wings and took off. She needed to get away. Far away.
The herd watched as the cyan mare flew away. They slowly turned back towards Twilight and the podium as soon as she was out of sight. Their faces all looked saddened at what Twilight had just done to her friend. The fact that she was with another mare didn't bother them, but the fact that something like this had happened did. Accident or not, they didn’t know. They had only seen the fearful expression on Rainbow’s face. They looked on, expecting a response or explanation from the unicorn, but all she could do was hang her head and slowly walk off stage.
The rest of the mane six caught up to Twilight back on her way to the library. “Now Twi, what was that all about?” Applejack asked. “Ah thought Rainbow didn't want anypony to know about you two!”
“She didn’t!” Twilight replied, raising her voice. “But she can't hide who she is! I did what I could to get her to be true to herself!”
“Twilight, dear, I agree with what you’re saying but that went a little far,” Rarity said. The shock of learning about her friends hadn't really affected her.
“You did hurt her feelings...” Fluttershy said. She wasn't hiding anymore, but standing up for her oldest friend. For all of the times that Rainbow had helped her in Cloudsdale, this was her chance to hopefully show her that she cared. “Couldn't you have given her time?”
“That's the point! I did give her time!” Twilight yelled. “She didn't realize what she needed to say to everypony!” They had reached her tree, and Twilight was standing by the entrance. “She didn't realize how hiding hurt me as much as her...now if you fillies don't mind, I need time alone.”
She walked inside and shut the door before anypony else could say something further. Spike was still asleep, so there was nopony to see her walk up to her room while tears began to fall from her face. “What have I done...”
The town was eerily silent for the rest of the day. Fluttershy tried many times to console Dash, but each time was stopped at her door. Only sobs could be heard from inside.
Word spread to anypony who wasn't at the race, and soon it reached the ears of a certain mint-green unicorn. “I'll bet Bon Bon will want to hear about this!” she said to herself while heading home after shopping for some groceries.
She found her partner where she often found her, cooking up something sweet in the kitchen. “How are you this fine afternoon?” Lyra said, trying to sound as macho as possible. The response she got was a small giggle.
“I'm fine, honey. How was town?” She turned her head to look at what Lyra had brought. “Can you bring over a couple of eggs for me?”
Trotting over with the eggs floating in her magical aura, she gave Bon Bon a small kiss on the cheek. “Well, apparently Twilight and Rainbow had some big kiss at the race today. It seems like Rainbow was pretty hurt by the whole thing...”
The candy pony froze. She knew what was up, and that it wasn't good. She sighed, and turned to look at her partner. “Lyra, we need to go see Twilight tonight.
“Now!?” Lyra complained. “But it's already 8:30!”
Looking at the clock, Bon Bon noticed how late it was. “Fine, tomorrow then. I'm sure they want some alone time anyways. But still, you're gonna help me help them out of this mess.”
Lyra mocked a salute, before turning to head back to the groceries on the table. “Sounds like a plan. For now, though, we need some dinner!”
Clouds covered the sky as the sun rose over Ponyville, casting everything in gray. The weather team, even without one of their lead pegasus, had set up the day.
In the library, Twilight was awakened by a knock at the door. She was clutching a tear-stained pillow, and her eyes were bloodshot. Of what little sleep she had managed to get, her dreams were filled with thoughts of Rainbow Dash. The look of horror, her flying away, these memories plagued her.
The knocking came again, but was answered by Spike. “Oh! Hi! What do you guys need?” The responses were too quiet to be heard. “Ya, she has been up there since yesterday morning. Hasn't come out again. Can you help?”
Something was said, and the sound of hoofs came up the stairs followed by a small knock on the door. “Twilight? Lyra and I came by to talk. Open up.”
Begrudgingly, the unicorn rolled out of bed and attempted to straighten her mane before opening the door for her guests. Based on the look of surprise from their faces, she hadn't done a good job. “Come on in.” She tried to manage a smile, but failed.
Once the door shut, she lit a couple of candles for light. She wanted the curtains to remain closed. “I'm fine, you two. Thanks for coming, but there's no problem...” Twilight started, but her words trailed off. Even she could hear the lies in her voice. She sat down, head in her hooves. “Oh Celestia, it's all my fault!” Fresh tears began to well up in her eyes.
Bon Bon trotted over, placing a hoof around the crying mare. “Don’t worry, Twilight. You need to talk it out.”
“Why don't you explain what happened?” Lyra asked, finally bringing some attention to herself.
“Well...” Twilight sniffed, and began the story. She told everything, from when she had planned everything right until she got back to the library.
“She just doesn't see how she's hurting ME!” Twilight said, finishing her tale. “I know she cares about what everypony thinks of her, but denying her true self is worse for her... and for me...” She said, holding back a new wave of tears.
Sighing, Lyra walked over and sat on the other side of the unicorn. “I know how you feel Twilight. Before I met Bon Bon, I was so secluded and hid who I really was.” She looked across to her smiling wife. “She taught me, in a less diabolical way, just what you're trying to say to Rainbow. All I've heard about you two has been positive, apart from that stunt, and Dash really needs to see that. Almost everypony in Ponyville doesn't mind it.”
“The only real ponies who would be concerned would be those snobby Canterlot elite,” Bon Bon cut in.
“Exactly. We just need her to see it that way,” Lyra concluded.
Sniffling, Twilight got up and trotted over to the door. “Well then, I guess I better go talk to her. Would you two mind coming with me...?” she asked, nervously. She did appear more confident, but it was evident that she still had to put a lot of effort in to stay stable.
“I wouldn't expect you to go alone.” Bon Bon smiled as she stood up. “Don't worry, I'm sure we can get her straightened out.”
The three ponies walked outside to Twilight's hot air balloon. The only way to get up to Dash's cloud house was to fly, and with the lack of wings on any of them, some assistance was needed. Twilight cast the cloud-walking spell and they set off.
Eventually they arrived in front of the fluffy home. Disembarking, they were faced with the same closed door that Fluttershy had found. However, this time the place was silent. Knocking on the door, it swung open as Twilight’s hoof made contact with the soft material. Together, the group entered cautiously.
The house seemed to be a mess, things strewn about in anger and panic. They searched every room, calling for Rainbow, but there were no responses. Finally, they reached her bedroom. It was in a similar condition as Twilight's, with tear marks going straight through the pillow. In all the chaos rested a small envelope with the words Give To Twilight Sparkle written on it. Nervously, she floated it over and opened the letter. After reading it for what seemed like and eternity, Twilight dropped to the ground. Fresh sobs filled the room as the paper lazily floated to rest on the floor.
As Bon Bon comforted the unicorn, Lyra picked the letter back up. It was a short, simple note. Simple, but devastating.
I do not know what you were thinking, or whether that was intentional or just heat of the moment, but I cannot deal with what you did. I was happy the way I was and I honestly thought you were too. I hope you can see that and maybe, one day, we can see each other again. For now, I'm heading back to Cloudsdale. Do not try to follow me. I'll find you when I'm ready.
Lyra understood. The pain she caused both her marefriend and herself must have been tearing Twilight apart. She knelt down to help comfort the crying unicorn. “Don't worry, she'll be back. She'll be back...”
Dark and gray, Rainbow found it hard to navigate her way to Cloudsdale through the thick cloud covering. She flew quickly, causing small water droplets to sting her face and eventually force her up into the sun. She burst up through the thick grey clouds revealing a fluffy blanket coating everything as far as the eye could see. Up above, everything was dyed white from the constant barrage of light.
Finally able to see where she was going, Dash pointed herself towards Cloudsdale and pushed onwards. The heat from the sun on her back relaxed her. Everything that had happened recently, it had moved so fast. Not two weeks had gone by since she had managed to ask the mare of her dreams out to lunch. Alright, maybe she ended up asking me, but who really cares! she thought to herself. However, she knew differently. Even being the bravest pegasus in Equestria wouldn't have made a difference. Rainbow would never have actually been able to ask Twilight out. Her pride, her emotions, would have made sure of that.
Everything since then had been a blur. Twilight prying at her to open up, some of their friends finding out the relationship, she had managed to weather it all. But the race, the one thing that Dash had been looking forward to, was the last straw. The crowd and their accusing eyes were permanently etched into her mind. New tears began to well in her eyes, but she quickly blinked them away. She needed to get away from that, to stop dwelling on it.
She pushed the memories as far away as possible for now. A white pillar grew off in the distance, and she knew that she would soon reach her destination. Her old home.
She landed on the edge of the city, her hooves making no sound as she touched down on the fluffy clouds. It was getting late, the flight taking longer than expected with her mind bogged down.
As the sun dipped lower she walked quickly through the city, keeping her head lowered. She didn't want anypony to see her now. However, while passing an archway out of the city, she froze. The setting sun behind the clouds cast an orange glow, one that lit up everything around her. Twilight would love this view... she thought before shaking her head. If she was so mad at this unicorn, then why couldn't she take her mind off her? Despite the memories, she sat and watched the sun sink. Dusk quickly turned to night and the stars soon were out and twinkling above her head.
She wouldn't have moved if it wasn't for a cold breeze that blew against her and brought the pegasus back to reality. Damn, I gotta get home! she thought. Fluffing her feathers, she set out again. She walked even quicker than before, passing many homes and sections of town before arriving before the cloud gates of a separate community. The sign out front read 'Whispering Wind', a neighborhood known all across Equestria. She flew over the fence and trotted up the street. Large and elaborate cloud houses lined the road, much nicer than anything she had back in Ponyville. Eventually, she came to a stop in front of of one of the buildings. Putting her hoof up, she knocked on the soft door, which was opened quickly.
A brown pegasus, dressed in a suit and tie, answered the door. “I am sorry to inform you, miss, but the Dash's are asleep. Please return tomorrow.”
He was about to shut the door before Rainbow spoke up. “Wedgy, it's me.”
The pegasus gazed at the mare, standing in the dark on the doorstep of her parent's house. “Rainbow? Rainbow Dash? Is that you?” A simple nod was all he needed. “Oh dear me, where are my manners? Come in right away! Your parents would love to see you!”
Rainbow was quickly ushered inside, and the butler ran off up a set of stairs. From the hall, she could hear him waking her parents. “Mr. Dash, Mrs. Skies, you have a visitor.”
“Uh, who is it now, Wedgeworth?” A deep voice called out, reaching the hall much more clearly.
“Your daughter, sir.” was all the butler responded with.
There was the quick flapping of wings and two pegasi appeared at the top of the stairs. “Rainbow! My girl!” her father's voice boomed, filling the space. He jumped down and glided over to embrace his child. “It's been so long! Why don't you visit?!”
“Well, I'm here now, aren't I Dad?” she replied, her voice cheery but still a little shaky.
Her father backed up to get a better look at her. He was a muscular stallion, dark orange fur surrounding his fire-red mane. “What seems to be the matter? Is something wrong?”
Before Rainbow could reply, a light blue mare glided down after her father. Her blonde mane was disheveled, messy from sleep. “Oh Rainbow, come give me a hug. Would you forget your own mother?” Dash rushed over, laying her head on her mom's shoulder.
“Dear child, what's wrong?” her father asked again.
Wiping a few tears from her eyes, she looked at her dad. Ace Dash, one of the most powerful ponies in Cloudsdale. The owner of the cloud factory. Her father. She sniffled before saying anything. “Nothing that can't wait until morning. Would you mind if I slept here for a while?”
“Your room is always ready for you,” the blue mare replied. She was Sunny Skies, Rainbow's mother.
“Thanks so much,” Rainbow managed to say before yawning. “I've had a long day, and could really use some shut-eye.”
She followed her father upstairs, her mother right behind her. Opening the door to her room, she saw everything just as she had left it. The Wonderbolts posters on the wall, the trophies she had won from many flying competitions on her dresser. None of that mattered right now. She lay down on her bed, falling asleep before her head even hit the fluffy pillow.
The next morning, Dash woke up to the sounds of the city. Being isolated in her cloud house in Ponyville, most of the noise didn't reach her. Now, it was different. Everything was at her level. She stretched and casually rolled out of bed, landing on her hooves while rubbing her eyes. She had forgotten most of her painful memories for the time being, and she managed to make it down to breakfast without too much trouble. Some of the halls were confusing, after all.
Both of her parents were downstairs when Rainbow walked in the room, her dad with a cup of coffee and the paper in hoof while her mom was having some pancakes. “Good morning!” Sunny called as she entered.
Still rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she waved slightly half-heartedly and managed to mumble something that resembled a return of the greeting before flopping down by the table. Wedgeworth, noticing the new addition to the room, wandered out of the kitchen and towards the cyan mare. “Anything for you, Ms. Dash?” he asked.
“Wedgy, didn't I tell you last time to just call me Rainbow?” she asked. He nodded in agreement. “Alright then, just some pancakes please.”
“Very well.” he said before trotting back into the kitchen.
“Well, why have you decided to pay us such a visit?” Ace asked, looking up from the paper that covered the table. “Something so rare doesn't just happen.”
“What, can't I come see you guys without a reason?” Rainbow asked defensively.
“Oh, you can, dear,” her mother replied. “It's just the fact that you haven't been here in two years, and last night you suddenly appeared on our doorstep in quite a distressed manner.”
“Right...” Dash said nervously. “...that can wait for a bit. And even though I haven't visited, I have written to you every month!”
“Yes, but you didn't even come see us after the ‘Best Young-Flier Competition’, which I hear you won.” her father retorted.
“I've been busy!” Rainbow exclaimed, silencing everypony. She sighed, knowing she was stressed out. The repressed memories were returning. “I'm sorry, there have just been some issues in Ponyville that I needed to get away from...” Her sentence was interrupted by the arrival of her pancakes, which she attacked with gusto.
Her father just laughed and looked back down to the newspaper. “Some things never change...”
Breakfast was soon finished and Ace headed off to work. That left Sunny and Rainbow with nothing much to do. After some idle chat, the two decided to head over to the Cloudsdale market. Although Wedgeworth was their butler, he wasn't a slave and they didn't expect him to do everything. The mares needed some groceries and could easily manage to get them.
They walked through the stalls, perusing what everypony was selling or displaying. After picking up a few vegetables from a gray mare, Sunny tried to revive the topic from breakfast once again. “Sooo, what's on your mind sweetheart? You seem... distant.”
Rainbow sighed, defeated. She knew she could trust her mother, but it was hard to talk about her situation to anypony right now. “It's just I've been having some, ugh, dating issues.”
At the mention of any mate for her daughter, Sunny's ears perked up. “Rainbow, you know that you can talk to me about it. Who's the stallion? What's the problem?”
Dash chuckled nervously. “That's kind of the issue, mom. It isn't some stallion, it's... a mare.” She looked away, eyes screwed shut to brace herself from any harsh reaction she would receive.
“Well, is she nice?” Sunny replied, seemingly unphased. The response surprised her daughter, who stood there with her mouth hanging open. “What? Did I say something bad?”
Rainbow shook her head to get her bearings. “Uh... not at all, actually. You kinda took that better than I expected...”
“Oh, did you expect me to take it negatively?” she mocked. “Rainbow, you're my daughter. Whatever makes you happy will make me happy. I'll always be proud of you.” She placed a hoof on Dash's shoulder. “Now, what kind of problems are you having?”
Rainbow was able to calm down knowing her mother supported her. Telling her wasn't THAT hard, maybe I do need to be a little more honest... she thought before continuing with what she was going to say. “Well, we did the Running of the Leaves in Ponyville a couple of days ago. Twilight, by the way her name is Twilight Sparkle, and I won and were receiving our medals when she kissed me in front of the whole town!” Some anger had begun to creep back into her voice.
“What's so bad about that, dear? Don't you care for her?” The pair was walking again, mostly ignoring any of the nearby stalls.
“I do, but I don't really want everypony knowing about me being, well, a fillyfooler. She's been trying to get me to tell everypony, but she just went ahead and let the whole thing out at the race!” Dash stamped her hoof for emphasis.
The two pegasi reached a rainbow pool and settled down by the edge. “Did you ever stop to think about it from her end?” Sunny asked. “How do you think she would feel every time you denied being with her? I'm sure she cares for you and just wants what's best for you both.”
You know she's right... Rainbow thought before pushing the idea out of her head. Twilight had been wrong, not her. “She still went against what I had asked of her! What about my opinion?!” Her voice was slowly raising with her anger.
“There's only so much one pony can take at a time, they need to let it out.” Sunny said. “If you made it onto the Wonderbolts, would you be able to keep from telling anypony about it?”
Dash hung her head and shook it slightly. “No...”
“I'm sure Twilight must feel the same way! She has found somepony she cares about and somepony she loves, but that pony is stopping her from sharing her happiness with others.”
Tears slowly began to run down Rainbow's face as the truth stung her. “I... I’ve never even told her that I love her...” She said before beginning to cry. Sunny sat, comforting her daughter as the busy life of Cloudsdale moved around them. Eventually, the sobs began to dissipate.
“Don't worry, you can still set everything right. We can go talk to your father tonight and sometime soon, when you feel up to it, we could head back to your house and see this Twilight Sparkle.” Sunny lifted Rainbow's head to look into her eyes. “Anyways, if she's going to be my daughter-in-law, I should probably meet her.”
Dash laughed slightly and dried her tears on a small piece of cloud. “You're right, you're right. I just need to calm down and get my head. It all happened so recently, I just need to take it all in.” She stood, more confident than before. “What do you say we take the long way home?”
“That sounds lovely,” Sunny said, smiling.
It was mid afternoon when the two returned home, the sun dipping lower and casting shadows over the soft clouds. Trotting up the path to the house, Dash could hear voices inside. One seemed panicked, while another two were trying to calm it down. Not thinking anything of it, she opened the door and froze. There were three ponies with her father, all lacking wings. They seemed to be comforting a purple unicorn in the middle.
Noticing their entrance, Ace looked up. There was a grim look on his face. “Rainbow, there seems to be some ponies here to see you... I think we need to talk.”
With the setting sun slowly fading over the horizon, a soft orange glow was cast across the six ponies sitting at the dining room table. On one side sat Sunny, Rainbow, and Ace. Bon Bon, Twilight, and Lyra sat opposite to them. The tension was thick with, what seemed like, hostility.
“Rainbow, I'm sorry for what...” Twilight began, but Dash quickly shifted her gaze away from her former marefriend. Her eyes started to well up with fresh tears, but she fought against them. “... what I did. It was wrong of me, and I knew that it would probably hurt you. I just felt so... so... bottled up! Like I was about to explode! I love you and I can't take not being able to tell anypony!”
Rainbow gave a sigh and looked towards Twilight. She could see the sadness, the hurt she had caused the purple unicorn. Everything she had done, she had done out of her love. But she didn't listen to what I told her. Then, and when I left the note at my house. I told her NOT to come find me! Her new found anger blinded her once again to Twilight's true intentions. “You didn't listen to the ONE thing I asked of you!” She was raising her voice, causing her marefriend to recoil. “I even said not to come find me! I would come see you when I was ready! Yet, here you are!” She slumped down in her chair, grinding her teeth.
She could hold them back no longer, and the tears once more started to flow down Twilight's cheeks. Bon Bon quickly gave her a hug, in an effort to comfort her.
Sunny stood up, trying to help in any way possible. “Fillies, it's quite late and Rainbow does get quite irritable if she's tired.” A glare came from the pegasus next to her. “How about we all take a good night's rest and talk about this in the morning?”
Twilight, seeming to have regained a bit of composure, nodded while sniffling. “That sounds like a good idea. We'll just get out of your mane...”
“Nonsense!” It was Ace's turn to speak up. “Wedgeworth can show you to the spare bedrooms. No need to find other accommodations.”
The three fillies thanked Dash Sr. for his generosity and filed out to find where they would sleep. Rainbow also tried to get up and leave, but she was stopped at the door. “You aren't going anywhere until you explain just what is going on here.”
With her head low, Dash turned and walked back to the table. She sat down, and told her father everything. How Twilight had asked her to lunch, the night under the stars, the running of the leaves, everything. When she was done, she once more braced herself for a harsh reaction. One that, again, didn't come.
Ace sighed and placed a hoof on Rainbow's shoulder. “It sounds to me like you're being the selfish one in this relationship.”
There was a muffled *thump* as Dash's jaw hit the table. “Wait, you aren't mad either!?”
Ace just laughed. “Why would I be? You're my daughter, I'll always love you!” He nuzzled her neck. “Anyways, I've always had my suspicions... I just wish you had told me earlier instead of hiding it.”
“But, won't the other Cloudsdale elite look down on you for having a daughter that's a... a... fillyfooler?”
“The better question, sweetie, is would I really care.” He smiled, and continued. “Besides, we aren't those snobby Canterlot elite.”
Rainbow managed a smile as well, and stood up once again. “You have no idea how relieved that makes me.” She turned to leave the room. “Wait, you wouldn’t be able to have any relationship advice, would you?”
“Well, all I know is that your mother and I have stayed together for so long because of how honest we were with each other. Secrets and hidden emotions just build up walls between those you care, you need to let it all go.” Ace smiled and waved his hoof at the door. “Now, it’s late. Why don’t you head on off to bed. I’m sure you could use the rest.”
Dash nodded was gone up the stairs in a flash. “Hehe, that's my girl...”
Twilight awoke late in the morning. The sun was already high in the sky, and sounds from the kitchen could be heard. She slowly rolled out of bed and stood up, making sure to make her bed before leaving. She slowly trotted down the stairs, still blinking the remnants of sleep from her eyes.
She entered the dining room and stopped dead. It was so much bigger, so much nicer in the daylight. The morning light shone into the room, illuminating all of the cloud surfaces and causing them to give off a brilliant white glow. Twilight shook her head, and focused on the task at hoof. Reasoning with Dash. She went to walk in but was quickly stopped by a rumbling in her belly. Alright, breakfast first... she thought.
It seems that everypony was already up and sitting at the table, and they all seemed to be talking to one another. Everypony, except for Rainbow. She sat to one side, quietly munching at some cornflakes.
“Well, good morning Twilight!” Sunny called as she noticed the purple unicorn standing there. “Come sit down and let Wedgeworth get you something to eat!”
She walked to the table and settled down. In no time, Wedgeworth was standing next to her and awaiting her order. She muttered something about toast, and he left in a flash to fix it for her.
Now that everypony was seated and calm, more or less, Ace motioned for Dash to move closer. “Twilight, Rainbow and I had a nice little chat last night.” The aforementioned pegasus shifted, trying to show her displeasure. Ace took no notice. “She told me everything that had been happening, and I think I got a hoof on it.”
Sunny took over for her husband. “Rainbow has always been concerned with her image. She wanted to be the fastest, the coolest, the one everypony looked up to. She really felt that if the town, or even her friends, knew about her true self that they wouldn't like her anymore.”
“I'm sorry to interrupt,” Twilight said “... but I already knew this. I was trying to help her get over her fear.”
Ace just chuckled. “Our little Dash has always been quite stubborn, and even I can rarely change her mind. She just needs to see that what you did was for the best, and that you care.”
“I... I know...” Dash whispered. “I was just so... so scared. Scared of everything. No matter what face I put on, every day I feared somepony would meet the real me. If I hadn't trusted Bon Bon completely, if she hadn't been my oldest friend, I wouldn't have been able to live in Ponyville with her.”
Bon Bon was slightly taken aback. “Dashie, you have no idea how much this means to me!”
Dash smiled and looked to her friend. “Well, I know you stood by for me in the past, and that’s just what you’re doing now. How couldn’t I trust you?” She paused a moment to gather her thoughts. As she did, Twilight's toast arrived. Nopony noticed. “I really care about you Twilight, and I am happy with you. I just wasn't able to overcome my fear. My parents being so understanding helped me see past that. They showed me that most ponies won't care about who I like, as long as I stay as who I am.”
Twilight held the tears back, but rushed around the table to meet her marefriend. “I'm sorry for everything Rainbow! I'll never hurt you like that again!”
“It’s not your fault, really. I’m the one to blame.”
Twilight leaned back from the hug. “Are we really going to start arguing over this?”
Dash smiled and pulled her marefriend in tight. “Just forget it. I love you, Twilight.”
“Oh, I love you too!” Twilight said, squeezing back.
Lyra lay her head on Bon Bon's shoulder, gazing at the couple. “Kinda reminds you of us, doesn't it?”
The candy pony just looked at her marefriend. “When did anything like this ever happen to us?!”
The meal was short-lived after the chat, with both pairs of ponies wanting to get home again. Dash's parents helped their daughter pack a few things she might want for at her house, and they walked the group over to Twilight's hot air balloon.
“Please try to visit more often?” Sunny asked, trying to sound pleading.
“Don't worry, I will.” Dash smiled as she gave her mom a small peck on the cheek.
“And Twilight, please do your best to keep our daughter in line?” Ace asked.
“You can count on me!” She called, jumping into the balloon. Bon Bon and Lyra were already waiting inside. “C'mon Dash, our friends will be wondering what's happened.”
Rainbow said her final goodbyes before jumping in after her marefriend. I really should visit more often... she thought as they began their descent, Cloudsdale slowly beginning fading off into the horizon.
They touched down in Ponyville around noon, with their friends all waiting by the landing site. The barrage of questions that met them as they disembarked threw them off, and after a minute Twilight managed get them to go one at a time. Fluttershy managed to go first.
“Oh Rainbow! I was worried sick about you! Are you alright!?” She exclaimed, quickly controlling her excitement. “Are... you two okay?”
“Don't worry Fluttershy, I'm fine.” She smiled, giving her friend a hug. “We managed to work everything out and I really managed to see things from Twilight's perspective.”
“I must say that we were quite rude to you Twilight. You were only trying to do what was best,” Rarity said.
“I was still out of line.” Twilight smiled sheepishly. “Maybe the direct route isn't always the best.”
“Well, ah'm just happy to see you two back together,” Applejack said with a smile. “Hopefully that's all the drama we'll have 'round here for a while!”
“Agreed!” The mares all cried out, causing them all to fall over in a fit of laughter.
“Now I don't know about you ponies, but I could use some lunch right about now. How about we go over and grab something to eat, and we'll tell you all about what happened?” Rainbow asked. The nods from the group were all that she needed. “Great, lets go!”
The group stayed out for the rest of the day, walking around and talking. The sun was already setting when they separated and the pair of ponies arrived at the Library.
“This is where I leave you, I guess,” Rainbow said. “Thanks for everything today.”
“You mean you aren't going to stay the night?” Twilight asked, shocked.
“Are you kidding!? I just didn't want to invite myself!” Dash replied, opening the door for her marefriend. “After you.”
They awoke late in the day, not having slept much the previous night. Dash sat up in the bed and stretched, causing Twilight to open her eyes. “Good morning!” She chimed to the sleepy unicorn.
Twilight managed a wave as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. She tried to snuggle back under the covers, but couldn't seem to get comfy again. Finally accepting the fact she was awake, she stretched. “How did you sleep?”
“Perfectly fine!” Dash replied, rolling out of bed. She walked over to the mirror to check her mane before turning back to face the bed. “What do you want to do today, Twi?”
“I don't really know, nothing really comes to mind. Is there anything you wanted to do?” Twilight asked.
Dash turned to walk out of the room. “Well, I thought maybe we could visit your family since you've already met my parents, If they're anything like you I'm sure they'd be lovely!”
With her back turned, Rainbow didn't get a chance to see Twilight's reaction. She froze, sitting up in bed as one word escaped her lips. “No...”
“Aww, come on! They really can’t be that bad,” Dash said while continuing out of the room. “Just look at how you ended up! You’re just fine.”
Twilight rushed out of bed and in front of Rainbow, stopping the pegasus dead in her tracks. “You have no idea! One of the reasons I am who I am today was to spite them! They tried to control who I was going to be from the day I was born.”
“That strict, huh?” Dash asked, slightly recoiling.
“That strict!?” Twilight repeated, a menacing gleam in her eye. “They’re the snobby Canterlot elite your father talked about! They sent me to study under Celestia to continue our family's great lineage! They even sent my brother into the Royal Canterlot Guard at the first opportunity!”
Dash was now slowly backing up, not having seen this side of her marefriend before. “Twi, you’re starting to scare me...”
She took a deep breath, calming herself. “Sorry, I kinda over-reacted. I guess I just needed to get that out...” She hung her head, shameful.
Rainbow felt safer once again, and approached her marefriend. She lifted Twilight’s head with her hoof, looking into her eyes. “It’s not your fault. I’m sorry for even bringing it up. We don’t need to go see them.”
Twilight just shook her head. “No, we really should. I forced you to face the demons in your life, so it’s about time I go and face mine.”
“Sounds great!” Dash said, perking right back up. “Maybe you can show me all around Canterlot while we’re there! I’ve always wanted to see it the way a local would. Oh, can we go see the Wonderbolts?!”
Twilight just stayed quiet as Rainbow kept on fantasizing what they would do and see in Canterlot. She knew that her parents were a problem, but the thought of facing them was overwhelming. This must be what Rainbow felt like, she thought. I just hope I can have the strength...
“...Hay, what if Lyra and BonBon came with us?” Dash mentioned in her ramblings.
“Wait, what did you just say?” Twilight asked, coming back to the conversation. She looked at her marefriend with a puzzled expression.
“What if Lyra and BonBon came with us?” Rainbow said again. “They were really supportive of me and were there when I needed them. Also, I don’t think BonBon has ever been to Canterlot, and I’m sure she’d love to come!”
Twilight thought about it for a moment before nodding her head. “Sure. If I know what’s coming, I can use all the help I can get.”
Lyra had just settled down for a little alone time in the bathtub when the knock came at the door. She groaned, slowly raising herself out of the steaming water. “Why does this always happen when I have some ‘me’ time!?” she complained as she trotted down the hall to the door. She opened it while still mumbling about her misfortune.
“How would you and BonBon like to go to Canterlot!” Dash exclaimed.
The proposition slightly took Lyra aback, being caught off guard by the sudden question. “Umm... ahh...” she stammered.
Twilight sighed loudly. “Sorry, as you can see Rainbow is slightly excited. She gets like that.” She waited for a moment to allow Lyra to regain her composure. “I’m going to be heading off to Canterlot to speak with my family about... us.” She motioned to Rainbow, still smiling brightly. “It might not, well probably not, go so smoothly and I could really use any support possible. So Dash and I were wondering if you two would like to tag along.”
“We’re gonna see the sights while we’re there!” Dash blurted out again, to which Twilight just rolled her eyes.
Lyra just smiled, relieved that there was no immediate emergency she would have to deal with. She’d be back in the bath in no time. “That sounds good! I’m sure BonBon would love to come, and we’ll always be there to support you. I’ll tell her all about it when she gets back.”
“Thanks!” the pair said while turning to leave.
The door shut and Lyra sighed as she walked back to her relaxing water. Never a dull moment, huh? Was all she thought.
“Do you want to ask anypony else if they want to tag along?” Dash asked as they walked into town.
“I was thinking about asking Applejack, but that would be about it,” Twilight replied. “She’s been helpful in all of this before...”
“What, like getting me to come out of my shell?” Dash asked, smiling.
“Well... umm... yes,” Twilight stammered.
“Aww, it’s alright.“ Dash said. “Say, how about you head into town and get any groceries we need and I’ll go ask her!”
“I think I should be the one to ask her...” Twilight started to say, but before she could finish Rainbow had already flown off.
Rainbow found Applejack walking along the dirt road to her family’s farm. Stealthily, she landed and attempted to sneak up on her friend.
“Ah heard ya comin’ a mile away, Rainbow.” AJ said without even turning her head.
Dash mocked a pout and fell on her flank, crossing her hooves. “How did you do that?”
Applejack turned with a grin. “Practice, and a loud pegasus who thinks she’s quiet.” Rainbow just glared at her. “Now, what’d you come out her fer?”
“Can’t I just come out here and see my friend once in awhile?” AJ just rolled her eyes. “Alright, I may have something to ask you...”
“Oh, and what might that be?” Applejack asked. “Am Ah gonna have to spend more time watching you perform your tricks?”
“No. Well... not now,” she said. “I was wondering if you would want to come to Canterlot with myself, Twilight, Lyra, and BonBon.”
AJ stood there, silent in thought for a moment. “What’s the catch? Ya fillies know that my barn door doesn’t swing that way, right?”
Rainbow did her best to contain her laughter. “No, no, nothing like that. Twilight is just going to talk to her parents about us and she said she could use some moral support.”
“Well, if it’s for a friend like Twilight, Ah’ll be sure to be there.” Applejack said, smiling. “So, when will we be going? Big Mac will want to know. Hiring a temporary farm hand and all.”
Rainbow’s smile quickly faded as she realized they had forgotten to plan that part of the trip. “Umm, I’ll have to get back to you on that,” she said as she got up and flapped her wings. She rose off the ground and quickly flew back towards the library.
AJ just chuckled slightly and turned to keep on walking home.
Rainbow burst through the library door to find Twilight sitting with BonBon by the library’s fireplace. She finally realized how cold it had been once the warmth of the roaring fire hit her coat.
“Hey Dashie, Twilight and I were just talking about you,” BonBon said with a sly smile. Twilight blushed slightly.
The cyan pegasus instantly forgot why she was there, straightening up and puffing out her chest instead. “At least I know they were positive!” she boasted.
“Because it’s ME you’re talking about!” she exclaimed. “No, but seriously, what were you saying?”
“We were discussing your, ummm, performance...” Twilight said shyly.
“At what? Aerial maneuvers? Being awesome?”
“Your bedroom performance,” BonBon said calmly.
“Of course you...wait... what!?”Dash exclaimed once again.
“I was interested in how you’ve... changed since college, so Twilight and I were swapping stories,” BonBon replied.
“Well, what’d she say?” Rainbow asked, intrigued.
“Don’t worry, nothing bad.” BonBon reassured her. “In fact, it sounds like you’ve learned a few new tricks!”
“Well, wisdom does come with experience,” Dash said, confident in herself once more.
“I must say that I expect you to be a little more, well, angry...” Twilight said as she relaxed a bit.
“Hey, as long as it’s nice... and only to BonBon... why should I care?” she said, settling down next to the fire.
“Great! Now tell me the bad parts...” BonBon managed before Rainbow’s hoof covered her mouth.
“Aaannnddd, that’s enough about that!” Dash said, removing her hoof from her friend’s face. They sat silently for a moment before Rainbow remembered why she had come back in such a hurry. “So, when will we be leaving for Canterlot?”
“I was thinking that we could leave in a couple days. I really want to just get this over with,” Twilight said.
Satisfied with the answer, Dash got up and was about to rush out to find Applejack once again before Twilight stopped her. “I made some lunch, if you want any. It’s over on the table.”
Realizing how hungry she was, she trotted over to the table where a daisy and daffodile sandwich lay on a plate. Rainbow quickly scarfed it down before heading out into the cold air.
The next few days seemed to pass in a blur, and were mostly filled with packing for their time in the city. Eventually, the big day arrived and the group found themselves gathered at the Ponyville train station. Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy had shown up to see them off and wish Twilight luck.
“Are you sure you don’t want us to come with you? There are so many new fashion lines due out in Canterlot around this time!” Rarity pleaded.
“Sorry, but we’re quite a large group as it is,” Twilight said. “I’ll see if I can find something you would like, alright?” Rarity just nodded and stepped back.
“I hope you have a good time wait I know you’ll have a good time and I’m sure your parents will be great and...” Pinkie paused to gasp for air. “...they’ll love you and appreciate you just like we all do!”
“Thanks Pinkie, that means a lot,” Twilight said while giving her friend a hug.
“Good luck!” Fluttershy said, smiling as widely as she could. “All of my animals wish you well too!”
Next to the yellow pegasus, a couple birds and rabbits waved to the group.
Finally, one baby dragon was left. He jumped up and gave Twilight a big hug. “It’ll all go fine, have a great time,” Spike said as he let go of Twilight’s neck.
The group boarded the train, and many words of encouragement followed it as it pulled out of the station.
Settling into their seats, Rainbow turned to face Twilight. “So, do you think you’re ready?”
The purple mare sighed loudly. “As ready as I’m ever going to be...”
The train pulled into the Canterlot station, the brakes squealing under the stress. The group of 5 soon departed, entering into the hustle and bustle of the capital city and Celestia Station.
“Stay near me!” Twilight called. Trying to get her friends’ attention. She knew how busy it got and how quickly you could get lost in this place. Canterlot seemed to only have grown since she left, and a large number of ponies that were clearly in a hurry pushed past her and obscured her view. She pushed her way through the crowd and out of the way of the onslaught. Once she was finally able to see better, she looked around but could see nopony she recognized. Her call had fallen on deaf ears and they were all lost in the crowd.