Leaf Subsides to Leaf
"Sorry kids, we're out of that show right now." The employee held their gaze with apologetic eyes.
"What!?" Rainbow screeched, piercing the ambient chatter of the ponies around them. "I just saw those two get tickets to that show!" she yelled, pointing accusingly at the two fillies trotting in to the theater. Her wings flared out in anger.
"We're sold out," the employee insisted, stressing every word for emphasis. His apologetic gaze started to shift to a stiff glare. "Next?" he rudely continued, looking through them at the next customer in line behind them.
"You know, nopony -" Rainbow was cut off, a magical force firmly tugging the back of her mane as it caused her to stumble backwards. Twilight rolled her eyes as she jerked Rainbow and herself out of the line, bringing her aside, apologizing to everypony around them.
"That's fine Rainbow," Twilight assured with a gentle sigh. "Why don't we just..." her voice trailed off as she contemplated possible ways to spend the rest of the night. Rainbow looked on at her, confused. Twilight observed the area around the theater as the brisk night air shuffled through them, sending an abrupt chill through her coat and mane. She glanced up at the sky with admiring eyes and the moonlight that bathed them along with the other city lights around them. The sky was clear tonight; not a single cloud graced the horizon.
"That's it!" Twilight ears perked up as she marveled at the sky. "Why don't we go stargazing by the cliff? I could teach you all about the stars and constellations and - oh, this is going to be so fun!" Twilight gushed with a beaming smile caressing her face, reminding Rainbow of the time Fluttershy had offered her a pet..
Rainbow raised an eyebrow. Stargazing? That was for eggheads. That was so unawesome. She couldn't be seen doing something unawesome - especially outside in Canterlot. It had a romantic edge in it surely, and that in itself was kinda awesome. She couldn't shoot Twilight down like this. But still... Maybe she could...
"I dunno Twi, I'm pretty hungry right now," she said with an innocent grin, thanking her mind for quickly devising a way to get out of stargazing. "We should grab something to eat before we head on back," she suggested. "Let's go to that restaurant by the castle - I remember where it is." Twilight nodded her head in agreement, hoping she could press Rainbow into stargazing when they got back. She started walking in that direction when a certain scratchy voice interrupted her again.
"Race you there," Rainbow challeneged with a wink. Twilight rolled her eyes and giggled.
"Rainbow, you know I can teleport," she countered.
"Then teleport," Rainbow added with a chuckle, as if she was trying to convince a school-filly. "I'll still beat you there. Guaranteed. Sixteen-point-five wingpower," she added triumphantly as she struck a victorious pose, lifting a hoof in the air.
Twilight waved a dismissive hoof. "No, you can't, it's physically -"
"Wanna bet?" Rainbow threw in a cocky smile.
She raised an eyebrow. "Fine, if it'll make you happy," she laughed.
"Whenever you're ready," Rainbow intoned, narrowing her eyes, effectively shifting the relaxed mood quickly to an aura of competitive heat.
"Three... two..." Rainbow's wings gave a flitter as they flared out to her sides. Twilights voice trailed off to a whisper. "One..." She started to pulsate the magic in her horn. "Go!" With that, the pale blue pegasus bolted off into the night, leaving a screeching trail of metaphorical fire with a couple cyan feathers floating slowly to the ground. Twilight closed her eyes as she tapped into the reserves of her magic, blocking out everything in the outside world. She navigated through her mental knowledge of the city, and zeroed in on the restaurant Rainbow had mentioned, the 'Avant Garde'. Focusing her pulsating magic on the desired spot, she discharged the powerful energy, a flourescent explosion of lavender erupting in a brilliant light display above her horn. A portal of energy encircled her instantly, blocking out everything but her. And then... Pop!
Twilight strained to focus her eyes on the colorful blur that was before her. Long-range teleporting a prodigious toll on Twilight's magic reserves and body. It wasn't something she had completely mastered yet, even if she was the most talented young unicorn in Equestria. Few ponies were able to master the art of long-range teleporting; Celestia herself said even she had difficulty after ten years of practice. Her eyes crossed one last time as Twilight shook the blurry colors out of her vision. She was still panting from the exhausting effort.
"Huh? Oh, you just got here?"
Rainbow chuckled. "Told you," she bragged at their table. Twilight was still confused as to how she was beat. It couldn't have physically happened under normal circumstances. She approximated the distance between her and the restaurant, concluding it was about 13,000 feet - just over 2 miles. Tracing her events back, she remembered the actual teleportation spell elapsed about 12 seconds. For Rainbow to beat her here, she would have definitely needed to break the speed of sound - by achieving her signature move she did so well. Taking Canterlot's altitude above sea water into consideration, which was roughly 800 feet above the ground, she calculated the speed needed to break the sound barrier was 1115.28 feet per second. The time it should have taken her to get there was about 11.656 seconds. She probably went faster than that if she beat her there, taking into account the buildup and the acceleration past the required speed. She beat Twilight by four tenths of a second. But how did Rainbow seem so calm? She must have gained her composure in the longer time it took Twilight to gain hers.
"Fine, you beat me,” Twilight finally admitted.
"Canterlot buildings are so beautiful," Twilight admired as she swiveled around in her chair, studying the intricate details of the elegantly crafted restaurant. Seeing Twilight happy put a hint of a grin on her face; she tried to hide it, looking away with a streak of crimson gracing her cheeks. Twilight suddenly turned to face her. She thought Twilight noticed her staring.
"Huh?" Rainbow asked, observing her. She overlooked it and shook her head. It was now or never, Twilight presumed.
"Twilight," she said softly. Twilight turned her head to face Rainbow's gentle gaze. She lifted her eyebrows in response. "Do you want to see a movie with me, tonight?" she asked. "Maybe?"
Twilight's heart skipped as she carefully tried to find the correct words. She held Rainbow's gentle gaze as her mind raced in complexion, considering the words she should use. She pondered for the gentle, but rejecting words. Then she realized she didn't need them, just a simple four-letter-word in itself.
"Okay..." She said. Twilight, quickly analyzing the situation, she decided that this date would be a good way to explore deeper into her puzzled mind of emotions and make sense of the situation she was in. She decided she wanted to better understand her. That was the key to the lock. To understand her. To sort out their feelings together. She needed to know what happened between them to spark the flame. She needed to...
“Um, R-Rainbow?” Twilight stuttered, her body shaking as she shuffled her body upright uneasily to correct her posture. Rainbow returned a glance. No, she thought. This shouldn’t be making you nervous, Twilight, she comforted herself. That’s right; it shouldn’t be making her nervous. Her uneven heartbeat kicked it. She didn’t have true feelings for her yet, right? That was right. She gulped and closed her eyes for a fleeting second.
“Why do you love me?”