"You think you know me...."
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How We Met
By The Rated Ponystar
Chapter 10: How We Comfort
Edited by: Fernin and Souldin
Rainbow Dash slammed the front door open and trotted into her home, her hooves pounding against the fluffy floor. She turned her head towards the torn rainbow-colored dress she had worn with pride earlier this evening. Without any hesitation, Rainbow Dash ripped it off and threw it to the ground like a piece of trash. She removed her golden shoes and laurel before making for the fridge. After grabbing a bottle of sarsaparilla, Rainbow flopped to her couch and sighed.
Worst. Night. Ever.
Despite what she may have said in the donut store, Rainbow Dash’s experience at the Grand Galloping Gala had been nothing short of a catastrophe. Oh sure, she had met the Wonderbolts and they remembered who she was. Even better, they invited her to their own personal V.I.P. lounge. What should have happened next was talk of flight tactics and Wonderbolt history, maybe even a successful pitch for them to drop the three-year wait requirement.
Instead, every single Wonderbolt was too busy talking to the rich ponies to pay attention to her. What was she? Chopped asparagus? Rainbow Dash had saved their lives; she’d saved Equestria, for crying out loud. Wasn’t she worthy of some attention? Even her attempts to show off went unnoticed, until she messed up trying to carry that huge statue near the end. That, of course, got everypony’s attention on her.
Rainbow Dash drowned her disappointment in sarsaparilla, eying the ruined clothes Rarity had made for her. Too bad such an awesome dress had been wasted on an eve of misery. In fact, the pegasus was pretty sure all her friends were feeling just like her. All their dreams and expectations, crushed like the small clouds Rainbow always dealt with for clear sunny days.
It was funny, the more Dash thought about it. Months ago she and her friends had fought over Twilight’s tickets. Had she known this was going to happen, she would have told Twilight a big fat ‘no’ before going back to sleep.
“Why am I even thinking about this?” mumbled Rainbow Dash, finishing her drink. “Ugh, stupid Grand Galloping Gala.” She needed some air, maybe even a cloud to beat up. She lifted herself into the air and flew out the window.
A few daring dives and loop-de-loops later, Rainbow Dash took a rest on nearby cloud. Overhead the full moon lit the night sky, moving slowly through the endless sea of space with a thousand twinkling stars. Twilight had told her that stars were big hot balls of gas millions of miles away. Dash wondered if it was even possible to fly to those stars and see them shine.
Rainbow Dash groaned and closed her eyes, letting the music of the night play for her: the echoing of the crickets chirping in the grass, the owls hooting in the trees, and the spring breeze blowing against the clouds. The tears of a moaning pony who—Rainbow Dash instantly opened her eyes.
The pegasus held her breath and concentrated on the faint but familiar sounds of sobbing. Ears twitching, she managed to isolate the voice and looked down. In the shadows of the park stood a single pony; crying all alone. Rainbow Dash jumped off her cloud and glided to the ground, landing not too far away from whoever was in distress.
When Rainbow Dash got close enough, she spotted the pony’s pink mane in the moonlight and recognized her at once. “Fluttershy?”
Fluttershy squeaked and hid under her front hooves, quivering from head to tail. Rainbow Dash walked over and nuzzled the frightened pegasus, whispering, “Shy, relax. It’s me, Rainbow.”
Fluttershy slowly peaked out of her hooves and stopped shivering. She raised her head and wiped traces of tears from her eyes. “Wha... what are you doing here this late at night?”
“I could ask you the same thing,” said Rainbow Dash. “You okay?”
“I... I don’t... know...” confessed Fluttershy, hiding behind her mane
Rainbow focused on her friend’s ruined dress and smirked. She didn’t want to admit it, but, next to herself of course, Fluttershy had looked the best out of all of them when they arrived at the dance. Shame that it was also just as torn up. “Let me guess. Post-Gala issues?”
A whimper confirmed Dash’s suspicious and the sympathetic pegasus gave her best friend a hug. She gently pushed away the pink bangs to reveal a set of puffy red eyes, reminding Dash of the events months ago that almost ended their friendship. Inside those blue innocent pools, Rainbow could see so much pain and guilt. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Fluttershy stood as still as a statue and respond just the same. For a while, the two pegasi let time pass in silence before Fluttershy whispered, “I yelled at them...”
Rainbow Dash tilted her head as Fluttershy spoke again, this time a bit louder. “I yelled at them... screamed even... I’ve never raised my voice so loud before...” Her front left hoof started shaking and she brought it up to her pale face, looking at it as if it was an abomination. “I tried to make traps... traps that could have hurt them... I even held a squirrel in my mouth... like... like some... wolf!”
To Rainbow Dash’s shock, Fluttershy smacked herself hard against the face. Just as Fluttershy was about to hit herself again, Rainbow Dash grabbed the hoof and dragged it down. The two struggled against one another as Dash shouted, “Fluttershy! Stop it! Hurting yourself isn’t going to help!”
Although Fluttershy tried, she wasn’t strong enough to match Rainbow Dash and fell to ground in defeat, her arm going limp. Rainbow Dash released her grip and slowly stroked the mane of the crying pony. Fluttershy bitterly shouted, “How could I have done something so... so... horrible! I’m supposed to help animals! Not scare them!”
“Fluttershy...” whispered Rainbow Dash.
“I can’t go home! Not to my animals! I don’t deserve them! I don’t even deserve to have this cutie mark!” cried out Fluttershy, nodding to her flank.
“Don’t say that!” shouted Rainbow Dash, startling Fluttershy. “Nopony should ever say they aren’t worthy of a cutie mark!” Dash pointed at Fluttershy’s cutie mark and continued. “You earned it when you took care of those animals the first time you landed on the ground. Since then, I’ve seen you heal, nurture, and save animals better than any vet could! Everypony in town and every animal in the forest loves you!”
“But... but the garden... the Gala...” stuttered Fluttershy. “All those frightened creatures...”
“So what? If they can’t see a kind and gentle pony then they don’t deserve you!” declared Rainbow Dash, lifting her friend up. “You don’t see me crying around like a sissy when I crash or make a mistake on my flying. So things didn’t go our way with the Gala, who cares?! I’m not going to let you beat yourself up just because it didn’t end the way you expected it. You're still you and you’re still the best at what you do.”
Fluttershy sniffled and stared into Dash’s eyes. “You... really mean it?”
“Cross my heart and hope to fly. Stick a cupcake in my eye if you have to,” joked Rainbow Dash. She turned towards Canterlot in the distance and got an idea. Leaning towards Fluttershy, she said, “Hey? Want to feel a bit better after all the manure we went through back there? Watch this!” Fluttershy only tilted her head as Rainbow Dash, grinning mischievously, looked towards the royal city and shouted, “Hey! Grand Galloping Bored Feast! You’re so terrible that you make opera look like a rock concert!”
Rainbow Dash turned back toward her nervous friend and waved her hoof to follow suit. Fluttershy gulped and looked at the city. “Ummm... Hey... Grand Galloping Gala! You... aren’t... um... fun?”
“Come on! You can do better! Try it like this,” said Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash turned back towards the city and shouted, “My grandma and her retirement home can host better parties then you, Gala!”
Fluttershy giggled as Rainbow Dash turned around and said, “See? It’s fun! Go on already, try it.”
With a deep breath, Fluttershy stared at Canterlot. Memories of how the Gala treated her and her friends came to her mind. For the first time in her life, Fluttershy decided to act mean towards something. “You stink, Gala! Your worse than rotten dragon eggs and Rainbow’s cooking combined!”
“Hey!” cried Rainbow Dash, but she was laughing just as hard as Fluttershy. The two of them could barely stay on their hooves with their mirth echoed around the park. With an even wider grin, Rainbow Dash turned around and shook her hindquarters in the air and slapped it. “Hey Gala! Kiss my flank goodbye because I’m never heading back to your party ever again!”
“Yeah! Kiss it!” cried out Fluttershy, coping Rainbow Dash. Soon the two had to hold onto each other for support, their sides aching.
Rainbow Dash was surprised Fluttershy was acting just as juvenile as she was. Normally, the pegasus would panic if she thought she hurt somepony, but she had just waved her rear at the most important city in the world with Rainbow Dash and showed no guilt. Either Fluttershy really hated the Gala just as much as she did or it was a sign of the end days. Ah who cares, it feels fine either way.
Realizing it was her turn, Fluttershy shouted, “The Grand Galloping Gala is a... Petrie?”
“Petrie?” questioned Dash, halting her laughter. “What the heck is a Petrie?”
Fluttershy pointed to the sky where Dash spotted a black owl flying towards them with haste. It landed on Fluttershy’s back and started hooting urgently. Rainbow Dash could only raise an eyebrow as her best friend addressed the night bird. When the owl finished, Fluttershy put her hoof to her mouth and gasped.
“Right now? She’s having them now?!” shouted Fluttershy. “Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! I have to get home! Rainbow Dash! I need you to come with me! I’m going to need your help!”
“Why? What’s wrong?” asked Rainbow Dash. Before she knew it, Fluttershy had already grabbed Dash by the hoof and started dragging her. “Woah, hold it! I can fly, you know!”
Never in her life had Rainbow Dash seen Fluttershy fly with such vigor. The once frightened pegasus had turned into a warrior, rushing off into battle to save an innocent child from a big monster. Rainbow had tried to ask what the trouble was, but all she received were orders to fly faster.
At last, they arrived at the cottage. Fluttershy quickly opened her front door and dashed inside. The animals turned to her with relief and joy as they made way for their caretaker. Rainbow Dash nervously stepped forward as well, aware that the creatures were eyeing her curiously. When she made it to the living room, Rainbow spotted the emergency: a fox lying on her side, twitching in pain.
Angel Bunny hopped towards Fluttershy side and pointed to the raspy fox. Rainbow Dash got a closer look and saw that the fox’s belly was huge. Immediately, Rainbow Dash realized what was going on and felt her nerves jump even higher. Fluttershy asked her to help with this? She didn’t even know what to do except maybe panic.
Fluttershy gently pressed her hoof on the fox’s stomach and whispered, “It’s okay Diana. I’m here now and we're going to make sure your kits come through safely. Just relax.”
The soothing words made the vixen calm down and she started to breathe more slowly. Fluttershy immediately turned to Angel and ordered him to get a set of blankets and sent Rainbow Dash for hot water. The two quickly went to work without a word while Fluttershy slowly stroked her patient's coat.
Two hours later, Fluttershy sighed in relief. In her arms she held a sleeping kid while the other three snuggled against their mother. Lightly placing the fourth kit next to the vixen, Fluttershy stepped back as she gave the new family a warming smile. “Aren’t they so cute together, Dash? Dash?” Fluttershy turned around and saw Rainbow Dash leaning on the wall while holding her hooves against her stomach. Fluttershy walked over and asked, “You okay? You look a little green.”
“I... I’m just... is that really how foals come out too?” asked Rainbow Dash, wide eyed.
“Somewhat, but it’s actually a bit longer and a little... well...” The animal caretaker tried to find the words to explain.
“Messy?” asked the fellow pegasus, taking in deep breaths.
“... That’s one way to put it,” replied Fluttershy, blushing.
“Yeah. Okay. Note to self: Never have a baby. Ever!” declared Rainbow Dash as she sat down. She looked at the sleeping kits and smiled. “Although, I guess I have to admit that they are kind of cute.” The two pegasi stood side by side, watching the foxes in silence. Rainbow Dash then turned to Fluttershy and asked, “Still think you're unworthy of them?”
“No... Not anymore...” said Fluttershy with a smile. “Thank you, Rainbow Dash.”
“Anytime, Shy.” Rainbow Dash made her way to the front door. “I’ll catch ya later. I’m going to head to bed.”
The two bid each other goodnight as Rainbow flew out of the house. Fluttershy closed the door, making her way to her own bed while letting out a tiny yawn. When she got upstairs, Fluttershy tucked herself into bed as her thoughts turned to the kits. They were so cute with their small eyes and red fluffy tails.
Fluttershy could just imagine all four of them jumping around her as they laughed and giggled under the sun. But soon their pelts began to change from bright red and white to yellow fur similar to hers. They sprouted wings as their manes soon turned into the colors of the rainbow. They were no longer foxes, but baby pegasi who looked as if Fluttershy was their mother. But if she was their mother, the other parent would have to be—Fluttershy instantly woke up to her rapidly beating heart.
Wha... what was I thinking?! Those foals... those manes... Fluttershy thought.
All throughout the night, Fluttershy could only think of were those foals… and a certain rainbow-manned pegasus.