The blue pegasus awoke with a start. “Ah… hmmm… what?” Rainbow Dash groaned as she stretched her wings. “Dang. What time is it?” She sleepily looked above the clouds to see that the sun had already begun its descent. “Whoa! There’s no way I slept in for that long.” The mare stood up slowly as she worked the kinks out of her back. Shaking off the last of her grogginess she took wing. She would need to fly faster than she wanted to now since she was already running late. It was a long way to Canterlot, and there was another mare that she had promised to talk to today. Celestia herself wouldn’t stop her from being there.
“I can’t believe this. The one day I decide to sleep in later than usual had to be today.” As the pegasus weaved in and around the clouds, she stared to slip into reminiscence. “I can’t believe that it has already been two weeks since I was changed back. Two weeks since I first saw her at the Prime Pegasus.” Rainbow Dash continued to fly toward Canterlot, but found herself falling deeper and deeper into her memories. It was as though she was dreaming while in flight.
She remembered how he had sat on the bed in the middle of his room that night. Although his body was stronger than he was used to, Rainbow Blitz felt amazingly weak.
This is not good. I have no idea what I'll say or what she wants. Not only that, she's coming to my room, and she's going to be incredibly drunk on top of that. Oh, Celestia help me.
Blitz grabbed a pillow and buried his face.
I don't understand this body yet. What if I can't control myself? What I saw on the floor at home wasn't too encouraging. I just don't know… this is going to be really hard.
He let out a nervous chuckle.
I'm really starting to think that I need help...
Blitz set the pillow back in place and started to pace around the room.
It's alright, don't panic. You can handle this. You're one of the toughest ponies in Equestria. It's all under control. She only said that she might come to my room. Oh, but the look in her eyes… I'm so confused… I don't even know how I could be this confused. I've been a mare for my entire life. At least up to this point, anyway.
He went back to sitting on the bed.
Alright, focus. You've been through tougher situations. Just keep yourself together.
It was then that Blitz heard a knock on the door. He slowly walked over to it and gave one final sigh.
Here we go.
He opened the door to find not the mare he was expecting, but a stallion. Blitz recognized his kind demeanor immediately. "Hey, Butterscotch. What's going on?"
"Oh," he began somewhat shyly, "I just wanted to see how you were doing…"
"Well, you looked kind of worried earlier, and well... we didn't really help all that much by teasing you about it."
"Nah, don't worry about that. I can take it."
"Well, yeah, I know that… It's just…"
"C'mon, just spit it out."
"Alright, then… I don't know what you're feeling right now, but… um… I..." Blitz sometimes wished that Butterscotch would just say what needed to be said. It was really starting to annoy him that he had to consider his words for so long, tonight especially.
"Butterscotch, I really can't talk to you for very long. I'm expecting… you know… company."
"That's just what I want to talk to you about."
"Alright, what about it?"
"Well… Just be careful, okay?" Blitz felt a surge of nervous energy at this remark. His face started to turn red.
"Careful? W-what do you mean?"
"It's just that… we haven't been stallions for very long, but… I've already noticed… changes in thinking, I guess…"
"What kind of changes?" Butterscotch gave Blitz a look that got the point across immediately. He obviously didn't want to talk about it aloud. "Oh… yeah. That." It was astounding to Blitz how a simple change in gender changed certain attitudes toward ponies so substantially. He could only imagine how Butterscotch felt about it.
"So you understand what I'm talking about then?" Blitz rubbed the back of his neck.
"Yeah, I think so. What does that have to do with me though?"
"Just don't do anything, you know… impulsive…"
"What?" Blitz asked, knowing fully that the request was justified.
"It's just that… even when we were fillies you would always… um… say and do things without thinking them through." Blitz was annoyed at the accuracy of the statement and looked the other way. Butterscotch noted this when he continued his thought. "Not that it's bad to do things with speed. I just think that, well… this is one thing that you shouldn't try to rush through." Blitz glanced back at Butterscotch. "Sometimes you have to do things slowly so that you don't make mistakes. I know that you can be true to yourself and do the right thing, but you have to consider the situation first." Blitz was silent for a moment. He had forgotten how wise Butterscotch could be.
"Yeah. Yeah, I will."
"So you're going to be alright?"
"Of course." Blitz felt like he was telling the truth. After hearing what his friend had to say, everything seemed so much clearer than before.
"Well then… um… I'll go ahead and get back to bed. We have a long journey ahead of us, don't we?" Butterscotch flashed a smile and started walking back to his room.
"Alright, see you tomorrow…” Blitz was about to close the door, but reconsidered. “Oh, and Butterscotch…" The gentle stallion was already half-way down the hallway when he heard his name.
"Thanks. You have always been a really good friend." Butterscotch smiled bashfully as he accepted the complement. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Rainbow." At that they went their separate ways for the night. Blitz closed the door to his room and sat down on the bed once more.
Now let's just hope nothing crazy happens when she visits me tonight…
The cyan stallion sat for a long time, although it escaped him how much time had truly elapsed. All he could do was run over scenarios in his mind. It was as though this mare visiting him in the night was a test, but for what he was unsure. All he knew was that he needed to be ready.
He looked down at his hooves. They were much larger than he remembered. He realized suddenly that his sturdy hooves led into an even sturdier set of forelegs. The pegasus began to wonder what other ponies saw when he went past them on the street. He spied a mirror on the inside of a closet door and quickly flew over to it. Blitz was amazed at what he saw. Not only was he built, he was also attractive. He knew that he was being a narcissist, but he didn’t care. Although he had acquired musculature, he found he was still as sleek and aerodynamic as he was before. He opened his wings and found that his wingspan had increased. Folding the plumage back at his sides, his eyes fell upon his mane. It was shorter, but still held the colors and hues he was used to. His tail was similar to what he remembered, but seemed more block-like in appearance. Although he had already seen himself in pictures, it was not the same as the confirmation of a mirror. He really was a stallion now. It was all too real.
A knock at the door released him from his reverie. Somehow, he knew exactly who was behind it. He closed the closet door behind him as he calmly walked over to greet his guest. Blitz opened the door to see the same mare that he had talked to at the bar that night. She appeared upset; not with him, but the world. The moment of truth was at hoof.
"Hey, what's wro..?" Before Blitz could even finish his question the mare practically fell into his forelegs. He felt slightly uncomfortable, yet peaceful all at once as he held her in the doorway. "You alright Octavia? Maybe we should sit down."
Just stay calm… be confident...
"So," Blitz began after the two sat on the bed, "what's going on?"
"W-well…" she began, "I-I just really need somepony to talk to r-right now." Blitz saw that she was on the verge of tears, so he tried to be sensitive.
"Yeah, I'm here for you... You can tell me anything." He took Octavia’s hooves in his as she looked soulfully into his eyes.
"Well, you see…" the cellist began, the quiver in her voice slowly dissipating, "I take pride in my work, you know? It's my calling... my life. The only problem is...is that...no one seems to appreciate it, and I don't know why… It's just… I practice every day...put on countless performances, and still…" Octavia supported her face on her free hoof. "I-I just don't understand why I'm not even given so much as a ‘thank you’ from anypony at the end of the night. It's all just… really disappointing..."
"How many were you performing for tonight?" Octavia covered her face with both hooves as her emotion overcame her.
"There were at least fifty, but I might as well have been playing in an empty room... Sometimes I... I wonder whether or not anypony would notice if... if I wasn't there..." Blitz waited for a moment while Octavia collected herself before responding somewhat bluntly.
"You’re kidding right?" Octavia looked over at the stallion as he continued, "Of course they would notice. A song doesn't sound the same if an instrument is missing. You told me earlier that you play cello, right? "
"Yes, I guess I did. Why?"
"Well an instrument like that would be pretty hard to miss…" Octavia looked at him inquisitively, with a hint of injury on her face. "Oh, uh, in a, what’s it called… an ensemble, I mean…" Blitz did not know how that word made it into his vocabulary, but was thankful that it found him when it did.
"...that’s sweet of you to say." Blitz relaxed some and hoped he didn't look as relieved as he felt. "I appreciate that you're trying to understand what I'm going through, but I don't see how you could. It’s just that… all of my talent seems to go unnoticed. It’s as though I’m stuck in the background. It’s... It’s not fair..." It was at this point that Blitz made a connection that now seemed so obvious to him.
"Music is your life, right?”
“Yeah…” She said, nodding somewhat subdued.
"Well, flying is mine." Octavia looked at Blitz, curious as to what he would say next. "I couldn't imagine living without being able to do the tricks and stunts that I love. It's what makes life worth living for me. It's the reason I have my cutie mark. It's who I am." Octavia's features softened. "Lately I haven't been able to do the things that I usually can. My stunts have become lame. I can't even pull off my best trick anymore." Blitz clenched his teeth as he remembered his last attempt at the Sonic Rainboom, which sent him flying backwards across the sky. "I don't know...I'm not sure what I would do if I could never recognize and distinguish myself as one of the best fliers in Equestria. It's why I wake up in the morning. It's what I live for. I...I know what it's like to not be recognized for what you do… to not be appreciated.” Blitz was quiet for a moment before continuing more slowly, but with a voice resolute.
“There have been times in the past where I have almost lost friends because I got a big head. I've been too proud in my abilities as a flier. I got resentful when anyone else outdid me." Octavia looked knowingly at Blitz. "It was only after those experiences that I learned that I need to accept that I'm going to be outshone occasionally...” Blitz thought of his friends and the lesson behind his words. The experience still resonated strongly within him. “At the same time, though, I don't know if I would ever be able to accept anything less than what I know I'm capable of."
Blitz looked back at Octavia who was looking into his eyes once more. "I know that I will be the best flier in all of Equestria. It's not just a dream, it's my destiny. Just because I'm not recognized sometimes doesn't mean that I don’t deserve to be. It doesn’t mean that I'll never be appreciated for what I can do.” Blitz could see the realization dawn on Octavia's face, as well as what he thought was the hint of a smile. "The same goes for you Octavia. Just because they don't recognize you now doesn't mean that they never will. A player as amazing as you has no reason to worry. It'll come with time... I’m sure of it.”
Octavia's eyes started to tear as she took in the last of Blitz's words. What was once the hint of a smile was now genuine. She embraced him so suddenly that it caused Blitz to jump slightly as they fell backward onto the bed, side by side.
"Thank you, so much… I… I don't even remember your name. I feel so bad for it…"
"It's Rainbow... My name is Rainbow Blitz..."
"Rainbow... Blitz? Hmmm… Rainbow Blitz… That's a handsome name…" Octavia released Blitz slowly but still held him fondly at the shoulders. He held her in turn as she gazed once more into his eyes. This time, though, it was different. Blitz noticed for the first time the light purple hues of her eyes. He could feel her gaze penetrate him; felt his stomach muscles grow tight. His feathers started to spread as he felt the sensation he knew would find him.
This is it…
She seemed to hesitate, but then Blitz felt Octavia begin to pull him closer to her. He watched as her lips begin to purse.
This isn't right. She isn't in the same state of mind as she was earlier…
It was harder for him to breathe, but he accepted it fully.
Why do I want to do this? I don't want to do this. But it feels right…
Octavia closed her eyes as she pulled him closer. Time seemed to slow.
I can't do this, I wouldn't do this…
His stomach began to burn with the turbulence of emotion. He loved it. He wanted more.
I can't stop… I don’t want to stop…
The smell of alcohol seduced his nostrils as he took in her breath. Their lips were but inches away. His eyes began to close as his hooves slowly caressed the curves of her body. It was thrilling.
His mind was racing not with thoughts, but with desire. Giving in was the last thing that he wanted to do, but it felt so natural. The drive ruled him; he was going to fulfill himself.
"Just don't do anything, you know… impulsive…"
“I know that you can be true to yourself and do the right thing…”
Blitz took a mental double-take.
“...but you have to consider the situation first...”
As though a fog had been cleared from in front of him, Rainbow knew what would happen if he didn’t control himself; this kiss would be the tipping point. His desires would consume him. The trust between him and Octavia would be destroyed. He slowly opened his eyes and turned away.
"Wait…" Octavia opened her eyes, and began to lean back. “This…this isn’t right. Octavia, I… I couldn’t do this to you…” The musician looked at Rainbow as though she were lost. "You told me that this is what all the other stallions wanted. The ones that don't appreciate what you do. Well, I don't want to be like them…" Octavia looked down at the floor. "As hard as it is to say no… I wouldn't be able to live with myself if this happened…" The room fell silent.
"You're right…" she replied in a sorrowful tone. "I'm sorry… I… I just… I should go..." Octavia started rolling off of the bed.
“No…” Rainbow grabbed her foreleg.
“Don’t go…” Rainbow let out a quick sigh. “It’s okay… We both got caught up in the moment just now. It could happen to anypony...” The pegasus wore a soft and sympathetic smile. “I'm just glad we didn't act on impulse."
"It's just… I'm… I'm so drunk right now…"
"I know…" He gently pulled her back onto the bed. They laid down together, Rainbow putting his arm around her. It was quiet for some time after that, both ponies finding comfort in each other. The mare found it in the strength of the arm around her, and the stallion in the beauty of what he was holding onto so dearly. It was only after this long silence that Octavia spoke up softly.
"Rainbow? Would... would it be alright it I stayed with you tonight?... If we just… laid here like this?" The stallion smiled.
"Of course… I wouldn't want it any other way..." He was telling the truth. Although they hadn’t spent very much time with each other, he knew that there was something between them now. A connection had formed; a bond.
Maybe being a stallion isn’t so bad after all… I know that I’m going to get heck for this tomorrow morning, but… I think I… that I...
Rainbow’s thought trailed off as he listened to Octavia’s breathing. It was slow and soft, almost musical in its tempo and pitch. He lost himself in the melody and soon found himself drifting off towards sleep.
He opened his eyes not expecting the world to be so bright. What he thought was just a momentary resting of the eyes was really one of the most peaceful nights he had ever known. He awoke to find the grey mare still in his arms, her breathing just as musical and calming as the night before. Her hair was glowing in the sunlight that shone through the window, and she was holding his arm as though it were a stuffed animal. Blitz smiled. He quickly glanced at the clock, expecting the morning to still be young.
Wait, it’s nine o’ seven? We were supposed to leave for the castle at nine!
He slowly pulled his arm out of the sleeping mare’s grasp, and was surprised that he got it back without a fight. He was just about to go downstairs to the bar when a realization dawned on him.
I need to wake her up. She probably has questions about last night since she was so emotional and drunk on top of that…
The stallion nudged his guest. “Octavia… Octavia. C’mon, you need to wake up.” Sure enough, her eyes began to open. It was when Blitz could just see her light purple eyes that she shut them tightly out of pain.
“Ah, my head…” Blitz gave a sympathetic grin.
“You drank a lot last night. I’m not sure how much, but…”
“Wait…” Octavia looked around the room, realizing she was not in her own. “Last night… we…” Her face morphed into an expression of slight embarrassment. “I’m sorry if…”
“Sorry?” Blitz interrupted, “Sorry for what?”
“Well, wasn’t last night a little…”
“Awesome?” the pegasus cutting her off again before she could finish. “Yeah, it was.”
“I guess that I wasn’t the only pony who enjoyed herself, then.” The two exchanged modest smiles. “The only question though,” she continued, “is where we go from here. Am I ever going to see you again?” Blitz was hit with pang of longing that he knew would never be fulfilled. This was most likely the last time he would see her as a stallion.
“Actually, I… I don’t really know.”
“Will you ever be in Canterlot again?”
“I’m not sure… maybe…” Octavia thought to herself for a moment.
“I’m too busy here to travel for a while, but if you could visit me… maybe we can talk more than we did last night. We could talk about, you know, other things…”
“Yeah. I would like that.” Octavia smiled sweetly.
“So I can expect to see you again sometime soon?”
“You will if I can help it.” Blitz only wondered whether she would be willing to speak with him after Dusk Shine and the rest of them finished reversing the spell they were under.
“I guess that will have to be good enough for me.” Octavia dismounted the bed and walked up to Blitz. “You know, you should probably get going. I’m sure that your friends are waiting for you.”
She’s right. They’re all probably waiting for me right now. But that doesn’t mean that I have to say goodbye just yet…
“Feel like saying good morning to them with me?” Octavia giggled in her own classy way.
“I would love to.” Blitz knew that his friends would have a laugh over him and Octavia coming to breakfast together. He didn’t care though; he made another friend that night. Or perhaps she was more than that now. It didn’t matter. The only thing that really mattered to Rainbow was that they walked side by side as they descended the stairs that morning.