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“Storm Blitz!” The door to his room slammed open and Storm was confronted by his fuming father, pointing at the front page of a newspaper that had been delivered just outside of Storm’s room. “Unexplainable Asstronomical Phenomenon” the headline read, with a full color photo of the full moon the night before. “Did you have anything to do with this?” Storm looked at Rainbow Dash before both descended into snickers, shaking their heads and ignoring Quakehoof’s obvious displeasure.
“No, dad, that wasn’t us. That was entirely of Princess Luna’s design, we had nothing to do with that one.”
“What do you mean by ‘that one,’ son?” he asked, narrowing his eyes.
“Don’t drink the coffee.”
“What do you...”
“Just don’t. Don’t drink the coffee, trust me,” Storm said, again laughing quietly as his father again examined the newspaper. Flying Grace made her way over and looked in.
“My, it seems you had quite a bit of fun with Luna last night, quite a bit more than our little performance, right dear?” Quakehoof remembered the event and abruptly ended his son’s mirth with roars of his own, Storm soon blushing and desperately trying to push the frightful event from his mind.
“Her wings really were soft, though.” Rainbow Dash whispered to Storm, who shot her a grin.
“Oh, I know. She could make a pegasus really happy, that one,” he replied, matching her tone.
“Easy, Storm, don’t make me hurt you,” she growled, kissing his cheek and pulling away to stretch. “So, when is the wedding, you two?”
“Oh, but shouldn’t we be asking you the same question, Dash?” She watched the mare blush a bit before answering. “As soon as possible, actually. We’ve only been waiting for over twenty years, so to say we’re eager is an understatement. We will speak with Mayor Mare immediately upon arrival and send out the invitations. Come, we have been invited to breakfast. Please behave yourselves, all right?” Storm and Rainbow Dash nodded, following them out and noting that Scootaloo was making a point of keeping her distance, likely still traumatized over her perception of the previous night’s activities. They walked in just in time to see Celestia take a deep swig of coffee before sputtering violently and downing a pitcher of water in a most unrefined manner.
“Son, you’re playing with fire,” Quakehoof muttered as they watched the display, while a calm Luna waved to them, a knowing smile gracing her muzzle as she set down her tea. Celestia quickly excused herself and left with tears streaming from her eyes, as did approximately two thirds of the ponies in the room, finding themselves in much the same condition.
“Rainbow Dash, I must thank you for introducing me to this form of fun; it is quite entertaining.”
“Heh, no problem, your Highness.” She paused and looked around at the mostly empty room, most of the remaining guests staring around the table and too fearful to touch the food for fear of what might occur. “Though I think it would be best if you wait a little while before your next round of pranks. Ponies tend to get angry if they are frequent or over used.”
“Tis sound advice. Thank you, Rainbow Dash. I shall be careful. Now come, eat! But be wary of the coffee, it is quite potent this morning.” They bantered easily amongst themselves for a good hour, Celestia joining them ten minutes in and whispering something in Luna’s ear to which she gave an apologetic nod before they resumed in peace.
True to their word, Quakehoof and Flying Grace made straight for town hall as soon as they stepped off the train. Rainbow Dash knew her friends would be wondering how it went, but Spitfire’s urging to continue her training prompted her and Storm to pass the afternoon practicing. As evening fell they deposited their gear at home and made for Grace’s house, where the smell of a fresh meal assailed them before they even opened the door.
“So, how did things go, dad?” Storm asked as they squeezed in around the much too small table.
“Quite well, the wedding is planned to take place in a week,” he replied as he set into his meal.
“That’s awesome, I’m really happy for you two,” Rainbow Dash quipped, smiling as the two doted on each other. “You should really invest in a bigger table, though,” she said as she accidentally kicked somepony for the third time.
“We’ve already spoken to the mayor about that, and using some of my inheritance from Proud, we should have a new house built in town by the time the wedding takes place. A proper table will come shortly after, I assure you.”
“You may want to invest in some soundproof walls, for Scootaloo’s sake,” Storm said with a grin, and Quakehoof let out a low rumble of a chuckle as he nodded.
“Indeed, a wise observation, son.”
“Scootaloo, you’ve been awfully quiet. Are you still moping about what you saw the other night? Because that was just...”
“Horrifying! Disgusting! Sickening! How could you do that with the Princess when you have Rainbow Dash? That’s just... ugh!” she groaned, shoving her plate away.
“Hey, chill out, Scootaloo, it was my idea,” Rainbow Dash said, attempting to preserve Storm’s honor at the sake of her own. “I know it probably looked bad, but trust me, nothing happened. I wouldn’t let Storm be with anypony else for anything.” The filly reached forward and began eating in silence. If Rainbow Dash said it was fine, then she’d have to believe it. Storm grabbed Lightning Wing’s training manual before heading back home with Rainbow Dash, and they were cuddled up on the couch flipping through it when a knock sounded at the door. Storm rose and took a step back as he found Soarin and Spitfire on his doorstep, and he quickly welcomed them inside.
“Hey you two, what’re you doing here? I thought you had a show.”
“That was a few days ago, and it was quite a show, I assure you,” Spitfire replied with a malicious grin. Storm and Rainbow Dash listened as she went on to explain their declaration, the ensuing riot, their night in jail and subsequent trip to see the princess upon being released. “After talking to the Princess, she informed us that there are no more barriers between you and us. Rainbow Dash, Storm Blitz, as of this moment you are both officially Wonderbolts.” Unable to contain herself, Dash shot out the door and into the sky, twirling and spinning to her hearts content as the other three watched.
“Is she always like that?” Soarin muttered as he saw his own enthusiasm mirrored, reminding him of how excited he was when he was inducted into the Wonderbolts.
“Most always, yeah. Especially when it comes to the Wonderbolts, or flight in general,” Storm replied as he gazed affectionately at the rainbow streaking through the sky. “It’s been her lifelong dream, so I want to thank you two personally for making it a reality.”
“Heh, don’t thank us, Storm. You’re the one who pulled her back from the brink and gave us a shot at such a valuable member. We’re the ones who should be thanking you. Hope you don’t mind living in her shadow, though.” Spitfire stopped to laugh a little. “Something tells me she’s going to hog the spotlight for a good many years.” She regarded Rainbow Dash with confusion as she suddenly slowed to a stop before making her way over and landing in front of the three pegasi.
“Spitfire, how long am I going to be gone? I’ve never left Cloudsdale for any great period of time, and just thinking about it makes my worry about my friends...”
“Rainbow Dash, we don’t perform every day, and most places aren’t terribly far away. You’ll likely be gone for, at most, a week per show, and we normally have a show every month or so. You’ll have plenty of time to train and have fun. Normally, one of our official trainers would oversee you, but I think your current trainer knows how to handle you pretty well.” She immediately perked up at this, and threw herself in Storm’s hooves as they shared a deep kiss.
“Hey Spitfire? Can we...”
“Get pie? All right, fine, I’ll wrap this up,” she said with as sigh. “Rainbow Dash, Storm, I need you two to come with us to get fitted for a uniform. Also, you’ll be gone for much longer this time around, since we have to teach you our routines,” she declared, noting the look of dejection on their faces. “What’s wrong, you two? It’s only a month.”
“My parents are getting married in a week, and I can’t miss it. I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t miss it for anything,” Storm replied sadly, having been quite excited for the offer but unwilling to be absent for such an important event for his mother and father.
“I’m sorry, Spitfire, but I’m with Storm on this one.”
“Wow, you make it sound like we’re gonna kick you out for that.” They both shared a quizzical look before turning back to Soarin and Spitfire.
“We didn’t go to jail for you just to ditch you because you have a previous arrangement. How about this: come now and we’ll get as much down as possible, then make it back and perform for the wedding. It would be the perfect occasion for your first performance, so do we have a deal?”
“What are we standing around for? Let’s get going!” Rainbow Dash cried, grabbing Storm by the hoof and taking wing. “We’re gonna go say goodbye to our family quick, then we’ll meet you at the station, all right?”
“Sounds good, but don’t take too long. I don’t like being late, and we have to catch the last train out of here. They nodded their agreement before taking off, landing outside the apartment and entering quietly. Scootaloo looked up with surprise as her brother scooped her into a massive embrace, and she felt him shaking as he cried softly.
“Storm, what’s wrong?” she asked fearfully, her normally annoying brother acting strangely affectionate.
“Son, is everything all right?”
“Mom, Dad, Soarin and Spitfire just stopped by. They accepted us into the Wonderbolts.”
“Storm, that’s wonderful news!” She noticed the look in his eyes as he glanced over at her, and she suddenly understood. “But, that means you’re leaving, doesn’t it.”
“No, you’re not allowed to go! I still need more lessons!” Scootaloo said, starting to cry as well.
“I’m only going to be gone for a week at first. They’re gonna let me come back for the wedding, but then I will probably be gone for another month or so. But I’m gonna come back, Scootaloo. And I won’t stop giving you lessons until you can fly just like Rainbow Dash, but you have to be strong until I get back, ok?” She tried to calm herself and nodded as Grace and Quakehoof wrapped them both in their hooves. Grace noticed Rainbow Dash standing to the side, her head turned away in an attempt to hide her own tears.
“Rainbow Dash, come. We’d like some time with our daughter before she leaves too.” Rainbow Dash cantered over and let herself take shelter under Grace’s wings, feeling a different kind of love that she hadn’t experienced before and smiling through the bittersweet, looking forward to a future free of tears.
When they managed to extract themselves they made straight for the station, making it aboard just in time. Soarin and Spitfire both noticed their significantly subdued moods, remembering their own similar experiences.
“If it helps at all, Soarin wept like a foal when he had to leave.” Soarin looked up indignantly from his pie, the gooey insides that smeared his face making his scowl one of the biggest failures in intimidation that Storm and Rainbow Dash had ever seen, and they couldn’t help but laugh as Ponyville faded into the distance.
Spitfire was truly impressed. While they weren’t perfect, Rainbow Dash and Storm had managed to master a good number of their maneuvers in four days time, shortening their likely training period to as few as two weeks. Now, a week since they left, they again found themselves in Ponyville. Rainbow Dash was nervous, as expected, and she left with Storm under the guise of “relieving the pre-show jitters” much to Spitfire and Soarin’s amusement.
“That mare really is amazing,” Soarin murmured as he watched her go.
“Careful, Soarin. I don’t think Storm is the type to share. Besides,” she said with a chuckle, “you already have a fillyfriend, am I right?” He took the hint and gave her a fond embrace.
“You’re right, as usual. Still, are you feeling nervous?”
“Nah, I’m good,” she replied, grinning as he gave a disappointed sigh. “Still, there’s some tension in my wings, perhaps you could help me with that?” Soarin trotted over and locked the door before returning to his mare to begin her treatment.
Storm and Rainbow Dash met up with the other Wonderbolts ten minutes before the ceremonies started and took their seats on the left side of the front row. Off to the right the rest of her friends sat, and Pinkie gave them an enthusiastic wave as they sat. It wasn’t long before the ceremony started, and Flying Grace walked out in a stunning dress that was crafted by Rarity to hide her pregnancy as much as possible. Storm had to admit, it was likely unnoticeable to anypony who didn’t know she was with foal. Quakehoof followed shortly after in the suit Rarity had crafted for him before, and their joy spilled forth onto everypony present. Storm joined his parents in shedding tears as they exchanged vows, and he watched with pride as the two ponies were finally bound together with nothing left between them. A nod from Spitfire and he cleared his eyes, leaving with the other Wonderbolts as Princess Celestia made their introduction.
“In celebration of this occasion, we now give you the Wonderbolts. Let us welcome their two newest members, Cloudsdale’s Rainbow Dash and this couple’s own son, Storm Blitz.” Everypony stomped their hooves and cheered as they started their routine, flying in formation with the two newest members taking the ends. Rainbow Dash and Storm didn’t miss a beat, breaking and performing their assigned stunts with ease before meeting up again at the proper times. A nod from Spitfire alerted Storm and Rainbow Dash that it was their turn to shine, and working together they whipped up a colossal maelstrom. Many of the ponies began to murmur about the danger before their worries turned to an all consuming exhilaration as Rainbow Dash drenched the area in seven hued light, the shifting hues of the lighting bolts forking out in all direction and causing the very air around to dance in the light of the sun. The shouts of her friends rose above the roar of the crowd, and it was them that Rainbow Dash treasured as she met up with the rest, bowing low and reveling in the cries of adoration.
Silent Gale, Freefall, and Snowdrift arrived on scene just in time to witness the spectacular feat, and they gazed in awe as they felt the magic flow over them.
“Never in all me life have I ever seen somethin’ like that. C’mon, mates, we’ve treasure t’ give the happy couple!” They ran towards the procession and Cloudburn’s breath caught as her friends darted passed. She hadn’t realized how much she had missed them until then, and she followed at a distance as they unloaded articles of great worth before Flying Grace and Quakehoof.
“Sorry we’re late, Miss Grace. I took the liberty of purloining a few choice articles from Proud’s estate. Word on the wind is he won’t be needing it no more, we figured it would be better off with you.”
“Ever the gentlecolt, Gale. Thank you very much.” He bowed a knee before casting a wave at Storm Blitz who immediately fell into a dive and tackled him, laughing as they tumbled over. Rainbow Dash landed a respectful distance away and watched as Storm was quickly overcome by Freefall and Snowdrift.
“I can’t believe you’re all here! I’m so glad to see you all,” he said, fighting back tears as he beheld his friends for the first time in five years.
“Your mother sent us an express delivery, bidding us to come. I, for one, was grateful for a chance to get out of Cloudspire. Your Wonderbolt friends caused quite the ruckus, Storm Blitz,” Freefall said with a grin, and they all let him stand as they backed away.
“Heh, we gave them a run for their money at the weather factory, though,” Snowdrift added. “But seriously, look at you! Made it into the Wonderbolts, must be your grandfather’s blood.” Storm chatted energetically before he saw Rainbow Dash off to the side. He waved her over and she approached cautiously, wanting to make a good impression for Storm. Dash suddenly found herself held in a tight embrace.
“Actually, guys, the only reason I ever took up flight again was for this mare. This is Rainbow Dash, the most talented pegasus in Equestria.”
“No, no, that can’t be right,” Snowdrift said, accepting Storms offended look before continuing with a smile. “There’s no way a pony that beautiful would shack up with you.”
“I’ll make you eat those words, Snowdrift!” he roared, tackling him again and laughing as they wrestled. Gale watched with a smirk before a tap to his shoulder caused him to turn and jump as he looked over at Cloudburn.
“Why, hello there, Cloudburn. It does me well to see ye again.”
“I’m sorry for leaving like that...” she muttered, looking away.
“Are ye pulling my leg, lass? I’d have jumped for an opportunity to see Storm again too, though I know it was a little more than that for you. Tough break, Cloudburn. I think that spots been filled,” he said, dropping his usually playful tone in exchange for an appropriately gentle one.
“I know, I’m just glad he’s happy again. I’ll find myself somepony, some day.”
“Ye know, I may not be as strappin’ a lad as he is, but if you ever find yourself takin’ a fancy to a heartless rogue, just say the word.” Cloudburn whirled, stepping a couple feet back and not noticing that the rest of her friends were staring.
“Gale, you... I... how long?”
“Let’s see now, must be a good seven years. You didn’t think Storm teased you all that time about us for nothin,’ did ye?” Cloudburn was blown away. After having given Storm such grief about not noticing her feelings for him, here she had done the same to Gale. Was this feeling growing in her chest at seeing him again real? She couldn’t say for sure, but she determined to find out then and there. Gale’s eyes grew wide as she kissed him, her friends standing shocked for a moment before cheering loudly, causing the emotional mare to come back to reality, yanking back and apologizing immediately. “Now don’t you worry none, Cloudburn. I’ve been waitin’ for that seven years. I ain’t ashamed.”
Rainbow Dash offered her support and encouragement to the two before her and Storm brought the group over to get acquainted with his new friends in Ponyville. Applejack did her best to keep a straight face and not let her disappointment show that of all the ponies that could come to Ponyville, it had to be two stallions that were too young and one that was young and quite likely to be taken soon. Pinkie Pie was beside herself with excitement, deciding that since everypony was gathered anyway it demanded a party, and the crowd soon found themselves covered in confetti from her party cannon. Fluttershy stuck close to Twilight and Cerulean, while Rarity lounged on the couch she had drug from home, flirting with a hopeless Freefall. Storm and Rainbow Dash made their way through over to the three, who were talking to Quakehoof and Flying Grace.
“Hmmm, what do you think, Twilight? How long until they get married?” Cerulean said as they approached, causing them both to blush.
“I’d say... three months, tops.”
“Twilight, cut it out! Sheesh, find myself a coltfriend and next thing you know everypony is talking about marriage,” Dash huffed, heaving a sigh.
“Well, if Storm is anything like his father, I’d say two months,” Grace said with a grin from within Quakehoof’s embrace. They all shared a laugh until a sudden angry cry arose from a frustrated orange earth pony behind Cerulean and Storm, rising above the crowd and causing a moments hesitation before more laughter followed. Cerulean and Twilight couldn’t help but feel sorry for Applejack’s lamentation, and they drew beside her as she wailed.
“Dang it, what’s an honest mare gotta do to find a decent stallion ‘round here!?! It just ain’t fair!”