67w, 6dOrganized Shipping (Most Common)
57w, 5dSlice of Life
54w, 4dF/F ships
52w, 5dKeeria's Library
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38w, 2dMy Favourites
53w, 13hgood stories
22w, 6dUnique Stories
17w, 1dCompleted Story Compendium
17w, 6dDamn Those Feels
10w, 6dIndependent Stories
10w, 6dRainbow Dash Shippings
9w, 6dBest Stories Ever
8w, 20hThe Rainbow Dash FanClub
Fluttershy sat in the hospital’s waiting room, surrounded by peace and quiet. This was good, as it soothed her rather frayed nerves. She had been in a frantic rush to inform all her friends, and with the exception of Twilight, this was done. She could now relax and… wait. Truth be told, waiting wasn’t that much better. While Fluttershy was one of the most patient ponies in Ponyville, this wait was becoming excruciating. Not knowing what one of her friends was doing set her on edge, and not knowing the extent of Rainbow’s injuries just made her all the more worried. The doctors had set the leg, but they were still looking over the data, trying to figure out just how severe Rainbow Dash's injuries were, and had not yet shared any of their findings with Fluttershy.
Fluttershy sighed once more, wishing that her nerves would allow her to sleep. She glanced out of the window, hoping to see the telltale signs of daylight, which would signify Derpy’s departure for Canterlot. Unfortunately, Fluttershy knew that nighttime had only fallen within the past few hours. The wait would stretch on for some time still.
As she tore her gaze away from the windows, she spotted a shape in the air out of the corner of her eye, and turned back. It looked like some pegasus, out for a midnight flight. But the speck grew in size, implying the flyer’s destination was the Hospital itself. Fluttershy squinted, trying to make out just who the pegasus was.
No… not a pegasus, she realized, gasping as the pony came into focus. The orange coat and flowing golden hair were already unmistakable, and the blue wings adorning the pony’s back just confirmed her suspicions.
Fluttershy watched as the figure unexpectedly stayed aloft, not coming in for a landing at the Hospital’s doors, but instead seemed to fly straight into the building itself. She gasped in shock, expecting to hear the sound of a pony hitting a wall, but no such sound made itself heard. Did she…? Quickly glancing at the front desk, Fluttershy noted the nurse’s absence. She had managed to convince them to let her stay here and wait, but visiting hours had ended, and no one was allowed in the patient’s rooms.
However, they also didn’t expect visitors entering from a window. Fluttershy crept past the desk, making her way towards the first floor, where she knew she would find Rainbow Dash’s room. As she approached the door, she paused as her ears caught an unexpected sound. Voices. Specifically, the unmistakable sound of… Rainbow?
Fluttershy slowed to a crawl, approaching the door as quietly as possible. She felt bad listening in like this… but something inside her told her not to interrupt. Silent as a ghost, she put her ear to the door, and listened.
Applejack cursed as she clambered through the hospital window. She’d slowed her speed as she approached the hospital, having spotted a familiar rainbow mane in the room from afar. However, she’d reduced her speed too much, and was hanging by her forelegs along the windowsill. Her wings flapped a few times, giving her enough lift to find purchase with a hind leg, and she finally managed to climb through into the hospital room.
She shook her windswept mane away from her eyes, her beloved hairband having been lost sometime during the flight, and looked at the bed. Rainbow was sleeping, her face not contorted in anger or rage, but simply… relaxed. That was an expression Applejack hadn’t seen in what felt like a long time. She snorted and rolled her eyes. They probably have somethin’ in that IV…
As she approached Rainbow’s bed, Applejack eyed one of the pegasus's legs, completely covered in a cast. She then spotted the patient chart hooked to the end of the bed, and gave it a glance. It was filled with typical medical mumbo jumbo, and she couldn’t make heads or tails of most of what was there… but ‘comminuted spiral fracture of the forelimb’ sounded bad enough. “You idiot…" Applejack sighed. “What the hay were you doin’?”
A groan answered her question, freezing the farmpony where she stood, the chart forgotten. As she looked up from it, her gaze locked onto a pair of magenta eyes, which were opening ever so slowl
The slightly glazed orbs travelled around the room, unfocused. Rainbow blinked as she took in her surroundings. She felt… great. Well. Not great, but the pain was… kinda not there. It just didn't matter. She blinked once more before her gaze settled on Applejack, focusing on the emerald eyes peering at her. She tilted her head in mild confusion, then grinned. “This has gotta be a dream…" she said, completely deadpan. “Because wow, you look hotter than I ever remember.”
Applejack’s mouth dropped open as a fierce blush lit up her face. Anything she might have said just vanished from her mind at that moment. How do you even respond to that? But before her brain could start working again, Rainbow Dash continued talking.
“Well, I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re a dream. You can still listen,” the pegasus said as she sat herself a little straighter. She squinted at Applejack, her eyes still unfocused, and frowned at what she saw. “I’m still mad. I hate how you have what’s mine… and it hurts. It really hurts.”
Rainbow paused as she rolled her head to face the window, and stared at the night sky. “You probably don’t get it, but… I don’t know who I am without flying. It’s everything to me.” She turned her eyes back to Applejack, her gaze pleading and slightly unhinged. “I can barely remember what it even feels like. And that scares me.” She hugged her cast-free hoof to her stomach. “Stuff like… that thing… what d’ya call it…" she slurred, her brain trying to catch up. “The young flyers competition! I want to keep that feeling forever. But I’m not. It’s all just… going away.”
Rainbow tore her gaze away from Applejack as tears started to form in her eyes. “And you know what I did to my friend? Y’know, the one that stuck around? That gave me a bed, and food? Awesome food, too.” Rainbow smirked for a moment, but the expression smile faded as she kept going. “The friend that tried to keep me happy all this time?”
Rainbow lifted her good hoof, and hit her mattress. There was no force, but an infinite amount of emotion adding weight to it. “I treat her like dirt. I shut her out, act like a total jerk when she tries to help. I wouldn’t listen.” She looked up once more, tears flowing freely.
Applejack stood rooted to her spot, unable to reply. She’d come here intent on checking on her friend, something long overdue. She hadn't expected anything but the usual exchange of platitudes with an injured friend, if they even spoke at all. And now that she was here, listening to… this? Try as she might, she couldn’t think of anything to say. All she could hear was the beating of her own heart, and Rainbow’s voice.
As Applejack’s brain furiously tried to catch up, the pegasus kept talking, not expecting any response from the other pony, nor caring. She was beyond caring. She needed to vent, to let this all out. She needed to do more than that.
“I’m sorry, A.J.. Sorry for everything. You've been so awesome to me this past month and I treated you like garbage.” She gave the earth pony a lopsided grin. “Heck, you've always been good to me. Always there when I needed it.” She dropped her gaze once more, unable to look at Applejack even in a dream. “I wanna come home, A.J.. Back to Sweet Apple Acres. My cloud-house doesn’t even count anymore. I don’t know where I’d be if you hadn’t taken me in. Not sure I’d have stuck around Ponyville.” Rainbow giggled to herself.
Applejack’s blush, which had faded earlier, made a reappearance as she continued to listen to Rainbow talk. “I know the other girls would’ve let me stay with them, but… they’re not you. I mean, obviously they're not you, Twi and Rarity are unicorns, Flutters is a pegasus, and I'm not even sure if Pinkie’s a pony at all half the time, and… I'm babbling, aren't I?” Rainbow said, her eyes slowly regaining focus. She shook her head sharply; she seemed to have realized something, and was just now coming to grips with it. “You’re like a rock, A.J.. You’re always there for me. You’re my rock. Or as we pegasi say… You’re the cloud under my hooves.” She gave a short laugh. “I always thought that was totally sappy… see what you make me do?”
She relaxed once more, resting her head on her pillow as she lifted her gaze to the ceiling. “Flying is my everything. My life is all about my flying. Well, and you, these days,” she said, and frowned. “That’s why what you said hurt so much. But I’m sorry for that too. I was stupid. That whole fight was so stupid, and all my fault.” Her voice became laced with anger as she berated herself. “I was drunk, but that’s no excuse.”
Rainbow Dash fell silent once more, her face scrunched up as if trying to make up her mind, instead of remaining angry at herself. Her gaze still on the ceiling, she opened her mouth once more. “I guess what I’m saying… you’re more than a friend to me, A.J.,” Rainbow said, her voice thick with emotion. “You mean so much to me. And I guess I owe Pinkie an apology,” she continued, and chuckled, “because… I think I love you.”
Rainbow heaved a great sigh, then closed her eyes once more. “Thought being in a dream would’ve made that easier…" she mumbled, talking to herself. She didn’t pay attention to the sound of hooves approaching her bed, nor to the sound of another pony’s breathing next to her.
She did, however, feel the weight of a hoof as it was placed on her own.
“Do… do you really mean all that, Dash?”
The pegasus's eyes flew open at the words, staring at the one who spoke them. The pony who had lain a hoof on hers.
“Oh horsefeathers… this isn’t all in my head?”
Applejack shook her head, smiling. “It sure ain’t, Sugarcube.”
A million thoughts passed through Rainbow Dash’s head, and her expression flashed through dozens of emotions before settling on a single one: resolve. “Ah, to hay with it.”
Quicker than expected, but still a far cry from Rainbow’s usual speed, the pegasus's head approached Applejack’s. She stopped halfway, crying out as she put weight on her wounded foreleg, the painkillers unable to keep up with the sudden movement. But the pain was utterly forgotten when Applejack’s head closed the distance, her lips locking onto Rainbow’s.
It felt… right. No more, no less. There were certainly no fireworks exploding in Applejack’s head, like Rarity’s books tended to mention. Nor did she feel any great revelation, no profound sense of something magical. It did feel different from other kisses, but those had tended to consist of friendly pecks, or hesitant smooches given to some colt in her younger years. No, this… this was just right, she realized, and pushed further into the kiss.
Neither could tell how long it lasted, nor did they care. The kiss simply broke at what mutually felt like the right time. Unwilling to separate contact, Applejack leaned closer to Rainbow, her forehead touching Rainbow’s own. “Ah can’t say this is what Ah expected when I came here…" Applejack said, chuckling.
This caused the pegasus to pull away, worry filling her magenta eyes. “Wh-what do you mean?” Rainbow asked, suddenly confused.
“Ah was comin’ to check on you… and apologize,” Applejack replied, her ears drooping.
Rainbow Dash shook her head, laying her good hoof on Applejack’s shoulder. “No, it was my fault, you did nothing wro–”
“Ah did!” the farmpony exclaimed, slightly louder than she’d intended. She looked away, the guilt leaving her unable to look at Rainbow. “Ah did do somethin’ wrong. I said horrible things, Dash. And Ah meant them.” She laid her head on the bed, covering her eyes with her forelegs. “Ah wish Ah could take that back.”
She stayed like that, unable to face her friend, until she felt the touch of a hoof gently caressing her hair. She moved her forelegs, uncovering her eyes, looking up at Rainbow’s face. “I forgive you, Applejack,” Rainbow said, still caressing the blond locks.
“How… how can you say that so easily, Dash?”
Rainbow grinned. “Uh, hello?” She smirked, leaning closer to Applejack. “Because I love you.”
Applejack stood back up, lifting a hoof to her eyes to wipe away the tears that had started to fall. “Ah missed you, Dash. More than you know. The house feels empty without you.”
Rainbow Dash leaned forward, more cautiously this time, and pulled Applejack up into a hug. “I missed you too… I missed Big Macintosh, and Apple Bloom, and Granny Smith, and Winona…" She pulled out of the hug, holding onto Applejack with her good hoof. “Heck, I even missed applebucking!”
Applejack chuckled. “Them painkillers must be messin’ with your head…"
Rainbow Dash grinned, blushing lightly. “Yeah… maybe a bit.”
The two ponies lapsed into silence, staring at each other, completely oblivious to their surroundings as they leaned forwards once more. They didn’t hear the voices coming from the corridor, getting louder as they approached the room. “I must insist, Miss Fluttershy! Please move aside! I have rounds to make!”
The door opened, letting in one of the nurses, who paused at the sight that welcomed her. Rainbow Dash, still on the bed, was pressed up against the headboard. Applejack was in the air, fluttering a few feet above the ground. Both of them wore shocked expressions, not having expected any disturbances, and they had both jumped back when the door had opened.
The nurse glanced from one pony to the other, trying to make sense of what she had interrupted. She sighed, mentally shrugging. I’m not paid enough for this. “Miss Dash,” she said, facing the startled bedridden pegasus, “I’m glad to see you are awake! But you must stay in bed. You need to rest.” She frowned, facing Applejack. “And you! Please stop flying, that is strictly forbidden indoors! For that matter,” she added, pointing a hoof at the now flying farmpony, “visiting hours are over. Please leave now.”
“She can stay!” Rainbow Dash blurted. “I want her to stay.” She looked at the nurse, a desperate look in her eyes. “Can she stay?”
The nurse put a hoof to her face, sighing again. “Fine. But don’t make me regret the decision,” she said, and turned around. She briefly entertained the thought of asking Fluttershy to leave, but dismissed the idea. All these ponies were all crazy, and she wanted nothing to do with them this late. She paused at the door, suddenly remembering the news she carried. “Oh, by the way, Miss Dash, we’ve analyzed your injury. You’re going to be fine,” she said, smiling at the look of relief on the pegasus's face. “You should thank those three fillies. If they hadn’t notified us so quickly, you might have been much worse off.”
“… How much worse?” Fluttershy asked, concerned.
The nurse hesitated before answering. “The leg might have been crippled.”
Rainbow stared in shock, her expression slowly changing to one of relief. “Yeah… I guess I do need to thank them.”
The nurse nodded in agreement. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I must continue my rounds,” she said, and left the room.
Fluttershy stood in the doorway, looking at her friends. She smiled as they stole glances at each other. “I think that means I’ll leave you two alone, then,” she said, causing the two to blush.
Applejack stared back, her brows knitted. “… The nurse said somethin’ about movin’ aside, Fluttershy. How long you been out there?”
Fluttershy’s smile dropped as she attempted to hide behind her own mane. “Oh… um… a few minutes?” she squeaked, unable to look Applejack in the eye.
“And how much did you hear?”
“… everything?” Fluttershy whispered, now cowering on the ground.
Applejack and Rainbow Dash stared at Fluttershy, then glanced at each other. Sighing, Rainbow Dash put a hoof to her face. “Fluttershy…" she said, exasperation clear in her voice.
Applejack walked over, and put a hoof on Fluttershy’s shoulder. “Y’all got nothin’ to be sorry about, Sugarcube. Can you just… give us some time alone?” she asked, glancing at Rainbow, then back at Fluttershy.
The nervous yellow pegasus nodded, relieved not to be yelled at. “O-of course,” she replied, smiling at the pair. She bid them goodnight, and closed the door behind her.
Applejack turned back to Rainbow Dash, a grin on her face. “You wanted me to stay, Sugarcube?”
Rainbow nodded slowly, staring at her hooves. “I… don’t want to be alone right now.”
“I ain’t going anywhere,” Applejack said as she approached the bed. She grinned as Rainbow lifted her head, a relieved smile on her face. As the pegasus started lifting herself to move closer to Applejack, the farmpony stopped her with a hoof. “The nurse was right though. You need your rest.”
“I’m not tired!” Rainbow complained, before a yawn betrayed her true condition. She blushed under Applejack’s stare, completely caught in the lie. “Fine…" she said, before scooting over. “But you’re joining me! You look exhausted.”
“Are you sure, Dash?” Applejack asked, eyeing the bed critically. “We won’t both fit…"
“Please?” the pegasus pleaded.
Unable to resist, Applejack climbed onto the mattress, tucking her legs underneath herself as she lay down. She raised an eyebrow as Rainbow scooted closer, dragging the blanket over both. Rainbow pressed herself against Applejack, making sure her cast-encased leg remained secure. She leaned her head into Applejack’s neck, giving a satisfied sigh as she settled in. “Good night, Applejack…" she mumbled, exhaustion washing over her. Within minutes, she was asleep.
“Good night, Rainbow…" Applejack replied, closing her eyes. She soon followed the pegasus's lead, closing her eyes. Lulled by Rainbow’s breathing, she fell into a deep slumber.
The brief letter had passed through many hooves on the trip to its destination. A unicorn filly had given it to her pegasus mother, who had added an early-morning Canterlot Castle trip to her normal delivery route that day. The guards had received it at the gates, investigated it for any possible magical risks, and, once declared all clear, it had been given to one of the castle’s many attendants.
Finally, it arrived at its recipient’s room, the busy purple unicorn barely aware of the knocking on her door. After having nearly fallen asleep under Celestia’s care, she’d made her way to her old room, and had awoken under the covers of her old bed. She briefly felt like a small filly again, in awe of all the books in her room. Even though she now lived in a library, this personal collection was nothing to sneeze at either.
She found herself lost in her books once again, having spent the morning with the princess until Celestia had been called away by her duties. Busily munching on a sandwich as her eyes ran over the pages, she didn’t hear the knocking on her door until a voice made itself heard through it.
“Miss Sparkle?” the voice asked, hoof striking the door once more.
Twilight turned, her horn lighting up to open the door. “Oh sorry!” she exclaimed as she trotted to the door. “I got distracted by my old books…"
The attendant noted the various piles around the floor, and nodded. “I’ve a letter for you, Miss Sparkle,” the attendant said, holding up the letter in question until Twilight grabbed it with her magic. The attendant then bowed, closing the door behind her as she left.
“A letter?” Twilight mused, eyeing it suspiciously. “Who could this possibly be from?” She shrugged, turning it around. A signature caught her eye. “Ah, Fluttershy,” she said, brightening. Any letter from her friends could only be good news. She opened the envelope, and began scanning the contents. “Rainbow… glider crash?” she gasped as she kept reading. “In the hospital?!” Dropping the letter, she spun around, looking for her attendant. “Spike? Spike!”
The baby dragon poked his head out of one of the large book piles, having fallen into his habit of cleaning up after Twilight. “What? What’s going on?”
“PackupwegottagotoPonyvillenow!” she yelled, frantically dancing from one hoof to another.
“Whoa whoa!” Spike replied, holding his hands up. “Stop yelling and slow down! I can’t understand what you’re saying!”
“Yes, what hath thee so troubled, Twilight Sparkle?” another voice interrupted from the door.
Two heads turned to face the source, jaws dropping in shock as they beheld none other than Princess Luna herself. The younger sister was rubbing an eye with a hoof, attempting to clean away the remnants of sleep.
“Princess Luna!” Twilight gasped, kneeling before the larger mare. “Did I wake you? I’m sorry!”
Luna smiled at the younger pony’s frantic apology. “ ‘Tis of no consequence. Now, what troubles thee?”
Twilight pulled herself up, suddenly reminded why she was so frantic in the first place. “Oh! Rainbow Dash is hurt! She’s in the hospital; I’ve gotta go see her!”
“Rainbow Dash? Was this the… pranking pegasus with the lightning cloud?”
Twilight stared blankly at Luna, before memories of Nightmare Night came flooding back. “Oh! Yes. That’s her! I’ve got to go see her now. I’m gonna teleport to the hospital right away!”
“Neigh!” Luna exclaimed, the Royal Canterlot Voice poking through, sending some papers flying. “Thou art in no fit state of mind to perform such long teleportation thyself. I will take thee,” she said, her expression brooking no argument.
“But… Princess?” Twilight asked, her head tilted in confusion. “Do you know any place in Ponyville well enough to teleport there?”
“No,” the alicorn replied, shaking her head. “My time during Nightmare Night did not provide enough time to familiarize myself with it.”
“But then–” Twilight started, dozens of questions coming to mind. They were all interrupted as a field of magic took hold of her body, levitating her into the air where she began struggling.
Luna spoke gently as she levitated the younger unicorn to face her. “Calm thyself, Twilight Sparkle.” The words had an immediate effect, ceasing Twilight’s struggles, allowing Luna to move Twilight onto her back.
“P-Princess?” Twilight asked, beginning to see what was going on. Luna turned her head, flashing a grin.
“I know of but two ponies who art faster in the air than I." The grin turned into a gentle smile. “T’is the least I can do for one of my saviours.” She turned back to Spike, having not forgotten Twilight’s assistant. The young dragon had guessed Luna’s intention quicker than Twilight, and held his hands up as if to ward off any ideas.
“Oh no, I’ll pass,” he said, shaking his head. “I’ll take the train with the luggage.” He noted Twilight’s expression, and made a shooing motion before she could think of any argument. “You’ll be faster without me. Just go!”
Twilight nodded, her gaze shifting to Luna. The princess trotted to the adjacent balcony, flaring her wings wide open. She glanced back to her passenger, and smiled. “Hold on, Twilight Sparkle,” she said, then took to the air, her path followed by a high pitched sound.
As they disappeared from view, Spike turned back the the pile of books and sighed. He had his work cut out for him.
Meanwhile, in the Castle’s throne room, Celestia’s ears twitched as she heard a high pitched sound, briefly wondering what the cause could be. As it quickly disappeared, she put it out of her mind, focusing on the day’s petitioners.
Eventually, as the line dwindled, she allowed herself a brief smile. Normally by now, she'd have been awash in a sea of paperwork, desperately trying to keep up with it all. Not that her ever-benevolent expression would have betrayed this, of course.
Now, however, the paperwork was in conspicuously short supply, and what she had received had been both concise and genuinely in need of her Royal attention. She allowed herself a small smile of triumph. Allowing Luna her brief stint at ruling had paid off more handsomely than Celestia could ever have hoped.
Speaking of… the white alicorn mused, as she heard a familiar set of hoofsteps from the corridor. Luna strode in, smiling to herself as she trotted over to her sister.
“Where have you been, Luna?” Celestia asked, smiling as her younger sister lay down next to her.
“We have just returned from Ponyville, ‘Tia. We had brought Twilight Sparkle there so she couldst visit an injured friend,” she replied, before filling Celestia in on what details she had gathered from Twilight.
“I see,” Celestia said as Luna finished explaining. “You flew her there? Was that the noise I heard a while ago?”
The question gave Luna pause, her cheeks briefly coloring. “Yes, well…" she started, hesitating. Celestia made no comment, simply letting the silence urge the younger alicorn into speaking. “We heard this loud squealing while flying, but could not figure out whence it came.” She paused once more, looking at her hooves. “It was not until it had become whimpering did We realize that the noise was Twilight Sparkle, screaming like a cat tied to a performing Wonderbolt.”
Celestia sat quietly for a moment, then burst out laughing. Lifting her head in surprise, Luna couldn’t prevent a grin from reaching her own face, eventually joining her sister in laughter.