“Why would he say such a thing?” Spitfire whispered to herself, in tears as she tore through the empty streets of Cloudsdale. The heavy rain that fell from the sky flew into her face and drenched her mane, goggles and Wonderbolt suit. The tears she cried had camouflaged 'themselves between the raindrops on her face; her usually straight bright tangerine-orange mane had fallen, flowing down all the way to her knees as she ran. She darted her blurred vision quickly around the surrounding area, her heart racing fast as she desperately searched for place she could be alone where nopony would find her.
Spotting a small alley located in between two small shops, Spitfire rushed to the tiny place that seemed like a sanctuary. When the yellow mare turned into it, she saw only a tall cloud wall further down the path and a small lamp lighting the forgotten place. It was a place of peace and quiet, something she needed. Spitfire angrily grasped at the goggles at the top of her head, pulling away the elastic strap and tossing it violently to the floor. She proceeded to unzip the side of her striking blue and yellow Wonderbolt uniform before tossing it on the floor. Taking her first steps into the dark damp alley, she walked as close to the towering cloud wall as she could before laying in the corner, curling up on the ground and shutting her tear-filled eyes.
“You had no right to say such a thing…” she muttered, the heavy rain rending her comment inaudible. Slowly, her mind started to drift away to the plane of sleep. Her closed eyelids begin to soften and her hooves started to slump.
“That was amazing daddy!” A small yellow filly ran up to a tall, red stallion with a long orange and yellow mane, identical to the mane of the yellow filly. The stallion wore a blue uniform adorned with yellow thunderbolts.
“Hey, Spitfire!” The stallion leaned down, catching the foal and bringing her up onto his shoulder. “Enjoy the show?”
“Yeah! When I grow up! I wanna be a Wonderbolt too!” the filly remarked, a huge smile on her face.
“You two...” A beautiful white mare approached the both of them, her long red mane flowing beside her.
“Hey honey.” The red pony said before walking up and giving the mare a slight kiss.
“Yuck!” The filly shouted, sticking her tongue out, causing the mare and the stallion to giggle softly.
“Hey Spitfire.” The stallion said before taking the filly off his shoulder. “I got something for you.” Reaching into his suit, he pulled out a small necklace. Its beautiful gold chain shimmered in the sunlight and a small fire symbol hung in the middle. “It’s a necklace. Whenever you need to think of me, just look into this necklace. I’ll be here for you.”
The yellow Pegasus took the necklace with joy, immediately wearing it around her neck.
“Thank you so much Daddy! I love you!”
“I love you too Spitfi-”
“Spits?” The voice dragged her back into the cold, wet reality of where she really was. The rain hadn’t lightened up. In fact, it seemed to have become even heavier. “Spits is that you?” The familiar voice caused the apricot-colored mare to jump up immediately, turning her attention to the only entrance to the alley and taking a defensive stance.
“Shut up Soarin! What do you want!?” Spitfire yelled out in anger. As soon as she had finished her line, the stallion appeared from the shadows. The only thing visible through his dark blue Wonderbolt suit was his sky blue wings and his sea blue mane.
“Whoa, Spits. I just…” The stallion stood forward a few steps but was immediately met with another scream from the yellow Pegasus.
“Don’t ever call me that!”
“But I’ve been calling you that since we met Spit…” Soarin bit his lip, careful about what he was saying. Quickly, he tried to salvage the silence. “…fire. I’m just concerned. After not seeing you for days, you suddenly just bolt out of training. What’s going on?” He continued his question, sitting down his two saddlebags at the corner of the alley.
“Nothing’s going on Soarin! Just shut up and leave!” Spitfire responded with a cold gaze into Soarin’s emerald green eyes.
“Come on Spit…fire. Its cold and wet out here. We gotta get you…” Soarin took a step forward.
“Don’t you dare take another step!” The sky blue pony immediately took his hoof back to where it was as he stared in horror at his friend, “I am not going back so you can just turn around and walk back from where you came! Just leave. Me. Alone.”
“It’s-It’s not just me who’s worried Spitfire. Everyone on the Bolts is too. We care for you, won’t you come back for-” A loud booming shout interrupted Soarin’s sentence.
“Forget them! Forget all of you! Especially you Soarin! I’m fine and I don’t need you! Just go away!” The yellow mare demanded with a stomp of her hoof on the cloud underneath her.
“S-Spitfire… I’m not leaving until you tell me what’s going on.”
“You’re so...so…so irritating! So fixed on what you want to do you fail to see what I want!” Soarin started taking a step back as the flustered Spitfire took a step forward. “You’re just like him!”
“H-Him?” The blue-maned pony asked on instinct.
“Tell me Soarin! Do you know what you said wrong? No, because you’re an oblivious stallion who can’t remember anything!” Spitfire started taking wide step, her heart filled with rage, causing Soarin to take steps back with each one the yellow mare took forward. “Tell me Soarin! Do you like to hit helpless mares and foals? Do you like to watch them bleed and cry?”
“S-Spitfire, t-this isn’t like you! S-Stop!” Soarin begged, his ears not comprehending what Spitfire was saying.
“You are a worthless piece of trash! I wish you never existed!” Without warning, Spitfire reeled her backhooves back and slammed it hard on Soarin’s face, sending him flying a short distance back on to the street.
As the dazed stallion pushed himself off the ground, he could feel a trickle of blood flowing down his nose. Pushing himself upright, he managed to focus his eyes on the flaring mare while his head was still reeling from the blow. Spitfire walked forward, coming out of the alley and onto the streets, standing a short distance away from him.
“S-S-Spitfire! What’s going on!?” Soarin shouted back in frustration, “you would never hurt anypony! What happened to the Spitfire I knew!?” but Spitfire merely responded with a loud laugh.
“Oh you had that one coming, old man.”
“O-Old man?” Soarin’s mind was truly in pieces on what Spitfire was saying to him.
“Tell me, have I amounted to something yet? I worked so hard to show you that I was worth it but you never saw it. I amounted to greatness and you never acknowledged it.” Spitfire swung around, turning her face away from the blue-maned colt. “Get out of here and never come to me again. I don’t need you any longer.”
“S-Spitfire. Snap out of it! What’s gotten into you!?” Soarin pleaded as he lifted his left hoof to wipe the blood which flowed from his nose. “We care for you Spitfire! We’re your family!”
The yellow pony’s eyes grew at the word ‘family’. She quickly jumped back around. “Family!? You want to talk about family, Soarin!? Huh!?” Spitfire took huge steps towards the frightened stallion with each word she screamed. “Let me tell you about how great my family was.” Soarin started to take mirror her steps but instead he took them backwards.
“Let me tell you about how amazing my family is. My father was Red Gust, maybe you heard of him? The fastest and greatest flier to ever come out of Cloudsdale?” Spitfire bitterly remarked. “The stallion who led the Wonderbolts to victory in the Equestrian-wide Stunt Flying Competition!? He was my father and the pony I wanted to be when I grew up!”
The memory played in her mind like a movie. She could just see herself as a filly, sitting in the Cloudsdale stadium and watching in awe at the Wonderbolts, and her father, flying overhead. The sight of their smoke-trails and the sound of their flybys seemed all too real for Spitfire. It was one of the most beautiful memories she had and also one of the most painful.
“But all that changed when he was kicked off the Wonderbolts for ‘bad sportsmanship and being an unsupportive teammate’” The angered mare spitefully said. She stopped moving towards Soarin, her piercing gaze staring straight at his bright green eyes. The light blue stallion readied to defend himself against another attack Spitfire might throw at him.
“After he got…’removed’ from the team everything went spiraling downwards. He would come home every day, high on cider. Do you know what’s the first thing that excuse for a pony would do? He would beat my mother, the most kind mare in the world, up. He would land blow after blow as I sat in my room, listening to her screams and pleads. And after he’s done with her, he came after me…”
The small, tangerine-colored filly cowered in one corner of her small rectangular room. Her room was extremely simple. Consisting only of a bed, which sat to her left covered with a Wonderbolt blanket, a closet, which sat to her right filled with various costumes and uniforms she would wear on special occasion and a dressing table, which sat next to the door. Her room walls were plastered with Wonderbolt pictures and ‘Red Gust’ posters and a framed photo of her with her family rested on the dressing table.
Tears were streaming down Spitfire’s face, her body shivering with fear and sadness. Her cloud door was locked shut and she was biting hard on her bottom lip, hoping to make as little noise with her sobs as possible. Suddenly, the door that she had closed flung open with a loud ‘smash’. Spitfire turned her tear-filled eyes towards the door and sure enough, at the doorway stood a bright red stallion. The stallion approached the tiny, shivering filly on wobbly legs. As he approached Spitfire, he started to speak with a dazed and barely coherent tone.
“You! You useless piece of trash! You…” The red stallion hiccupped. “You think you can be my daughter? How can a pony that can’t fly be my daughter? You’re useless.” As Red Gust approached her, Spitfire tried her best to crawl away, only to be crushed when she felt the soft cloud wall on her back. Finally, the stumbling stallion reached the fear-filled filly. Grabbing and tugging tightly on her mane, she yelped out in pain. Opening her eyes, she could only see her father’s bloodshot, restless pupils. “You will never make me proud!” The stallion yelled before descending his hoof hard onto her face for the first blow.
She felt the first blow land on her hoof and could already feel pain surging through her body. Soon, another blow landed on the right side of her face, blood flowing down from the wound he had created. Letting go of her mane, Red Gust proceeded to land hit after hit onto the defenseless foal, who was begging for the abuse to stop.
However, her pleads were unheard as punch after punch landed on her body and kicks landed on her underbelly. Blood had started to stain most of her coat a sickening dark red and black bruises adorned her body. Soon, she started to lose her ability to cry out for help, the pain overcoming her and draining her energy.
Spitfire simply lay there, accepting each hit that she received, not fighting the agony which she felt. She could no longer distinguish where all her injuries were, only feeling pain through every part of her body. Eventually, Red Gust stopped the assault, letting Spitfire shiver in pain on the floor. Small parts of her former bright amber coat peaked out from the blood that soaked her fur.
“T-that’s. That’s what you get for being a useless daughter to the great Red Gust. You will never amount to anything! You will never get anything done by yourself!” The stallion muttered before stumbling out of the bathroom. The yellow foal didn’t move for a long while. Simply laying there, her eyes closed shut and while silent tears drifted down her face. She didn’t make a sound even through all the pain. No whimper, no sobs and no groans. After a long moment of silence, Spitfire finally tried to push herself up on her hooves.
The first try was not at all successful. After getting up on all four hooves, she simply collapsed again, smashing her left elbow hard against the closet that was next to her. Again she tried, this time managing to limp painfully to her dressing table. Glancing into the mirror, she could see her right eye had swollen to the point where she could not open it anymore. Her coat was soaked in a crimson liquid and wounds covered her body like decorations.
She opened the first compartment of the dresser, pulling out a small gold necklace with a fire symbol hanging in the middle. Reaching towards her family photo, she stared at the photo. It was her on her father’s shoulders with their mother standing beside them against a bright and clear afternoon sky. The framed photograph started to slip out of Spitfire’s hoof but she made no effort to stop it as it fell from her grasp, the glass from the frame smashing onto the floor below.
“So that’s my amazing family right there! You know what’s the worst part? I’m forced to remember it everytime I look at myself in the mirror. Because some wounds…” Spitfire turned to her right, showing the left side of her body to the cautious Soarin. Spreading her left wing high up, she revealed a long cut that stretched the whole length at where her wing met her body. The wound made it impossible for any fur to grow, leaving a bald spot where the wound is. “…just never go away.”
“S-Spitfire. I’m so sorry, I didn’t know. I just-” Soarin tried to take a step forward but the yellow-colored mare jumped back in response, taking her aggressive stance again.
“I don’t need your pity Soarin! Because I made it! I proved him wrong! Tell me Soarin did I prove him wrong? Have I amounted to something?” Spitfire asked with rage but Soarin gave no reply. “Soarin!! Did I amount to anything!?” She asked again, flustered.
“Of course you did Spitfire. You’re the Captain of the Wonderbolts. You have a bunch of people who care for you and you have fans and people who look up to you. You’ve amounted to something way more than anypony could have expected.” Soarin said sincerely.
“That’s right! I became somepony important! I became somepony! He was wrong, I know he was!” The bright amber mare shut her eyes tight as she talked, shaking her head violently.
“S-So Spitfire… will you come back to the Bolts with me?” Soarin asked carefully.
“Do you know how hard I worked, Soarin? How badly I wanted to prove to him that I was worth it!?” Spitfire yelled in a broken tone. “That’s why I enrolled myself into the Cloudsdale Flight Academy. I wanted to prove to him that I wasn’t useless! But already on the first day, I wanted to give it all up.”
“Whoa so you’re the daughter of Red Gust!?” A colt with a brown mane and white coat shouted in awe, his mouth grew into a huge grin.
“W-Well…yes. But I-”
“Oh man!” The colt swung around, facing the entire classroom of 40 or so fillies. “Hey everypony! This pony is Red Gust’s daughter!”
As soon as the words hit everypony’s ear, it only took seconds before everypony in class surrounded the panicked Spitfire. Quickly she was barraged with questions and praises.
“Red Gust is the best!”
“How is it like being Red Gust’s daughter?”
“Could you please get me his autograph?”
Spitfire laid her head on her table and buried herself under her hooves, hoping to drown out the compliments and questions from the oblivious ponies surrounding her. Eventually, she reached her breaking point, racing quickly to the door with her tear-filled eyes. She continued her bolt down the hallway, her shoulder length mane flowing past her face, obstructing her vision.
Suddenly, she felt a hard bump against her face, sending her flying backwards and falling onto the cloud floor. Pushing away her mane, she opened her eyes to see a colt pushing himself off the floor.
“Oh hey, sorry, didn’t see you there.” The colt sported a sea-blue mane and a light cornflower blue coat. He trotted up to the fallen filly and held up his hoof, expecting the pony to take it but instead, she crawled slowly backwards. “Hey, I’m not gonna hurt you. I’m Soarin.” The colt said with a warm smile.
Spitfire glanced up to the mysterious filly that offered his hoof. However, his friendly smile felt comforting to her and instead of running away like she would have with every other pony, she instead reached out her hoof and grasped the colt’s.
“There we go.” Soarin said as he pulled Spitfire upright. “So, what’s your name?”
“S-S-Spitfire…” The amber mare replied meekly.
“Spitfire huh? You’re new here?” Soarin asked and was answered with a light nod from the golden filly. “So… umm… what’d you plan to do after the Academy? I’d always wanted to join the Wonderbolts, I mean they’re-” Spitfire’s eyes widened at the word ‘Wonderbolts’ as tears started to fill her eyes again. Pushing Soarin away, she continued her run down the hallway.
“Hey! Wait! What’s going on!?” The blue colt yelled, confused.
“Everypony! Every ignorant pony would mention the word ‘Wonderbolts’ and ‘Red Gust’ like they were the greatest things in Equestria! I was laughed at every day for being a flightless filly when I was supposed to be the daughter of ‘the most spectacular flier in Equestria’” Spitfire said sarcastically as she stared at Soarin, who didn’t dare move a hoof.
“You were the only pony that wanted to hang out with me for me. Soarin, you were my only bucking friend!”
“Umm… what’s in this soup?” Soarin leaned down to the bowl of red liquid in front of him, breathing in the delicious, yet spicy, aroma.
“It’s Spicy Vegetable Soup. I was brought here as a kid and have been coming here ever since.” She gestured to the café they were at. They were sitting just outside the café’s door, a large sign hung up the middle of the store that read ‘The Dragon’s Breath’.
“You sure it’s safe?” Soarin asked, skeptical about the red liquid in front of his eyes.
“I’m sure Soarin. Give it a taste!” The yellow Pegasus said as she took a spoon and sipped a little of the identical red liquid.
“If you say so Spits.” Soarin reached for his own spoon and dipped it into the soup. Reaching it to his lips, he finally felt the warm liquid touch his mouth and almost instantly, fiery heat filled it. The blue Pegasus dropped the spoon onto the table.
“H-H-Hot!!!” He wasted no time in dashing straight for another table, occupied by two other Pegasi and snatching their glass of water, pouring it down his throat. All the while, Spitfire had started laughing, clutching her belly with her hooves, her face was twisted into a huge grin and shut eyes.
“S-S-S-Soar-Soar…” Her laugh obstructed her speech too much for it to be legible. After Soarin had regained his composure, he walked over to the yellow filly who was rolling on the floor in tears.
“Next time, I’ll pick the place for us to eat.” He joked.
“But you couldn’t stop them from mocking me, from comparing me to my father.” Spitfire seemed to have calmed down, her voice had gotten softer. “One day, I decided I had enough…”
Spitfire lay on a stray cloud a small distance away from the academy, her hooves clenched her ears in a desperate attempt to force out the mocking laughter from her mind.
“Spitfire, Spitfire, Equestria’s forever worst flier.”
However, it was useless. The mocking bounced around in her head, returning to her ears every time she thought they had ended.
“Shut up! Shut up! Go away please!” She begged to the chanting in her head but they continued without hesitation. “Enough!” Spitfire threw her hooves in the air as she shouted as loud as she could, silencing the voices for a brief moment.
“I’m going to prove him wrong!” She yelled to herself before peering over the edge of the cloud she stood on. Down below, she could see tiny green specks of trees dotted around a bright green landscape.
“I need to do this.” Spitfire stared down at the familiar gold chain and fire emblem that hung around her neck. Reeling her head back onto the cloud, she steeled herself and gazed ahead, the endless skies in front of her. Taking a final deep breath, she leapt from the edge of the cloud and threw open her wings. She flapped them as hard as she could and expected them to fail as they had always done when she tried in the past but to her surprise, she didn’t feel any rapid falling or strong wind in her eyes and mane. She felt like she was floating.
The yellow Pegasus slowly opened her eyes, witnessing the still scenery around her. At first she didn’t understand why everything was stationary, unmoving. Turning her head around to see her flapping wings, she finally realized what she had done.
“I…I did it?” A large grin appeared on her face. “I did it!! I did it! I’m flying!” Tears of joy started to fall from her eyes. Spitfire took another deep breath before pushing herself forward with her continuously flapping wings. This sent her soaring through the sky and cutting through the clouds at high speeds.
She had never felt so free, so happy in her life. The wind flowing through her mane, the feeling of soft clouds passing through her hooves, it all seemed like a dream come true. As she flew, she could feel her worries wash away and the tears that were flowing down her eyes broke away, disappearing towards the ground.
She had no destination, no place she needed, nor wanted, to be. Suddenly, a wild thought popped into her mind. Stopping her flight, she hovered in the air, gazing down at the far-away ground below.
“What if I…” Spitfire’s grin grew wider at the thought and almost immediately, she sped vertically downwards, gaining an extreme amount of speed. Bright orange streaks started forming around her as she descended faster and faster towards the ground underneath her. The adrenaline coursing through her body forced her to go faster and faster, building a cone of flames around her entire body. The ground started approaching at a rapid pace, the trees increasing in size with each passing second.
“Okay, don’t wanna risk it.” Spitfire pulled her body back, expecting her to be launched upwards with the momentum and create a huge fire-like shockwave she had seen done by her father so many times. Instead, she felt the flames around her break away as she lost all control of her flight.
Now she wasn’t flying towards the ground, she was plummeting towards it. Spitfire desperately tried to flap her bright yellow wings, her heart racing fast and her mind now filled with fear. However, it was to no avail. She swung herself around, glancing one last time at the huge city of Cloudsdale becoming tinier and tinier. Reaching her hoof out in the air, she tried to grasp onto her home, her birthplace and her school before her vision was obstructed by the leaves of the forest below.
She could feel the branches grazing her skin, opening wounds and letting blood flow. She lost track of how many branches she snapped on the way down, how many times she felt a new wound open and how she would scream at the sudden surge of pain. The last thing she noticed was a huge tree branch below her, almost twice her size in width and many times her size in length, she felt herself smash onto its hard surface before her vision went black.
“What have you sacrificed to get what you wanted Soarin!? What!? You didn’t have expectations to live up to did you!? Expectations from every other pony in Equestria!”
Spitfire’s eyes slowly fluttered open, the strong smell of medicine and sickness filled her nostrils. When her vision finally focused, she could see the white walls which surrounded her and cabinets of medicine adorned the room. Looking down, she saw the white bed she rested on and the small teal blanket which covered her. She tried to move her hooves but was met with a wave of pain. She could feel that her right back hoof was wrapped in some sort of cast, forcing it to remain straight and giving her little control over the movements it could make.
“Well, glad to see you’re awake.” A comforting voice rang out to her left. Turning her head to find the source of the voice, she spotted a young pony dressed in a long white coat and a stethoscope around his neck.
“W-Where am I?” The confused filly asked, glancing around the odd room.
“Why Miss Spitfire, you’re in the Cloudsdale Hospital. That was quite a fall you had there.”
“H-How long have I been here?”
“Why, I’d say about two days.”
“T-Two days!? My classes!” Spitfire started to panic; desperately trying to move but the almost instant sting that ran through her body reminded her that was not a possibility.
“Calm down Miss Spitfire. You are in no position to move around. You are lucky we found you in the time we did with help from that curious colt. What was his name again…Sockin?”
“Soarin!?” Spitfire shouted in surprise.
“Yes that’s the one. He told me that he went looking for you after you didn’t show up for lunch with him as, to my knowledge, was a very common thing you two had?”
“Y-Yeah… but how did he find me? How did he even know where I fell?”
“He saw you apparently. He went looking for you and caught you diving downwards. He tried to catch up to you but you were way too fast. He then brought you straight here and I must say I had never see a filly in such a horrible condition in all my years of working here. What were you thinking?”
“I just-I wanted to make him proud…that’s all.” Spitfire replied under her breath.
“Well at least there is a brighter side to this.” The doctor’s words confused the yellow pony.
“B-Brighter side? What are you talking about?”
“Check your flank. Now if you’d excuse me, I have other patients to attend to. You rest well, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Spitfire tossed the blanket aside and stared at her flank and sure enough, there was a symbol not present before. A small lightning bolt which has been lit on fire at the top. A large grin appeared on her face.
“I can’t wait…”
“He must be proud of me now right? I could fly! I had my cutie mark! I finally did what I thought I had to do to make him proud! Right Soarin!? Right!?” Soarin didn’t respond.
“You are a disgrace.”
Spitfire stood behind the red stallion, who had his back turned towards her. Her face displayed her anger, her frustration, her sadness and her hate. She took a deep breath in, holding it as long as she could for she knew the next breath would be filled with tears.
“You think just because you earned your cutie mark and can now fly you would make me proud? Please. The Wonderbolts would never accept a useless, pathetic pony such as yourself.”
Spitfire exhaled and sure enough, the first tear had started to appear from her left eye.
“You will never amount to anything.”
“Do you know what was the worst past? Do you!?” The question rang out the same time as a strike of thunder a distance away. “He wasn’t drunk on cider this time. He meant it, every single word. So I tried again, this time hoping to get into the Wonderbolts to make him proud. I trained harder than I ever did in my life!”
Spitfire strained her wings, pulling herself as far ahead as she could in the middle of the air. Pulses after pulses of pain were filling her body, yet, she still continued to fly as fast as she could across the sky. When her vision started to fade she quickly swung around and landed on a nice soft cloud just outside of the Academy.
“Umm, Spits. What’re you doing?”
The dazed Pegasus looked up and saw the sky blue pony staring at her.
“Oh, hey Soarin.” She said through her pants.
“You all right Spits? You’ve been flying non-stop for the past week or so.” Soarin asked, concerned.
“Y-Yeah. Yeah I’m fine. The Wonderbolts tryouts are in a few days. I’m making sure I’ll get in.”
“Wonderbolts? You’re trying out for the Wonderbolts?” Soarin asked in surprise. “You know they’re really strict on who they pick. You just recovered a few weeks ago too, you sure you should be doing this?”
“You don’t believe in me too, huh?” Spitfire lowered her head as she started to question her ambitious goal.
“Oh come on Spits. If anypony has a chance in the Wonderbolts, it’s gonna be you.” Soarin stepped forward, reaching his hoof towards the fallen Pegasus. She quickly glanced up before taking the hoof with a smile. “Come on.” Soarin pulled her upright. “You up for a flight session? I got a few tricks that might give you a better shot at impressing the Wonderbolts.” As Soarin finished his sentence, he took off from the cloud, soaring into the sky with Spitfire close behind him.
“Then the day came when I was supposed to make him proud! Make him finally see I can amount to something! Amount to anything!”
“Hey, Spits! You made it!” The dark-blue-maned pony remarked to the yellow Pegasus. They were both standing at a long line, leading into the Cloudsdale Stadium. Behind them were hundreds of other ponies and only a few ponies stood in front of them.
“Oh, hey Soarin!” Spitfire replied.
“You ready? Remember the tips I taught you?” Soarin asked, jumping on the spot. Spitfire merely laughed at the nervous colt.
“Yes Soarin, I remember.” Spitfire replied as she rolled her eyes with a smile. The line had started to move and they were just a pony away from they’re turn.
“I’m just so nervous you know? I mean this means a lot to me and I think I should get it but what if I don’t Spits? Should I try again? I mean…” Soarin’s rambling had been blocked out by Spitfire.
“Yeah…it means a lot to me too.” Spitfire whispered under her breath but was immediately snapped back to reality when she a loud voice.
“Next in line! Spitfire, am I right?” A green-maned Pegasus at the entrance to stadium yelled out. She was dressed in a Wonderbolts uniform and held a thick clipboard in her hoof.
“Y-Yes ma’m.” Spitfire replied.
“Great! Go on in! You got five minutes to do whatever you want. We’ll tell you if you made it at the end of the day.” The Pegasus explained.
“Hey Spits. Break a hoof!” Soarin encouraged with a light smile but Spitfire merely nodded her head before trotting into the stadium, looking down one last time at the gold necklace that hung around her neck.
“Do you remember the results? The happiest day of my life?”
“Okay so now I want the following ponies to step forward.” The green-maned Pegasus yelled out. She stood on a stage inside the stadium with a huge line of ponies lined up in front of it.
“Whirlwind, Stargazer, Wildmane, Roadrise, Soarin and Spitfire. Step forward please.”
Spitfire took a step forward, singled out from the hundreds of other Pegasi. Her hooves started to shake tremendously, waiting to hear her fate. After what seemed like hours of silence, the pony on the stage finally spoke.
“Congrats to the 6 of you. You made it to the Wonderbolts. For the rest of you, I’m sorry but please try again next year.”
Words could not describe the feelings that ran through Spitfire’s body. It took a while for her to regain her composure, for her mind to catch up to what she had just heard. When the blue suit was left at her hooves, she didn’t dare to pick it up for fear it would wake her from a dream.
“Spits!!” Soarin yelled out, jumping on the dazed mare. “We did it! We did it Spits!” His hooves wrapped tightly around the yellow pony. “Spits? You there?”
“I-I-I did it.” Spitfire stared at the perfectly folded uniform at her hooves. “I-I-I…” Turning her head upwards, she saw the huge ear-to-ear grin on Soarin. “I did it!” Spitfire returned the hug, tears of joy flowing down her face.
She pushed Soarin away from her, grabbing the sleek uniform in her right hoof, she flew up into the air, tears falling down as she flew. “I did it! I did it!” She stalled in mid-air, the realization of what she has accomplished finally catching onto her. Looking down at the necklace around her neck, the gold chain and fire symbol glittering in the sunlight, she whispered in a tone that only she could hear, “I did it…”
“I entered the Wonderbolts! I made it…right? Right, Soarin!? You would have been proud of me but no, nothing was ever good for that stallion!’
“Please daddy, I made you proud I-”
“Get. Out of my house. No daughter of mine is going to be a part of the Wonderbolts.”
“Please, Daddy. Please. I just wanted to make you-”
“Get out and never come back!”
“I found my home with the Wonderbolts. I stayed with them, I trained, ate and played with them but don’t you ever compare them to family, Soarin! Never compare them to my family!” Spitfire’s voice filled with rage as she screamed at the colt in front of her.
“I lived with you guys for eight years! Eight years! I thought I didn’t need to prove to him any longer! I did all I could but everything backfired! I thought for eight years I didn’t need him anymore that is, until a few days ago.” A long pause was left between the two ponies as they stood in the pouring rain, just outside the alley. Nopony was around them for miles.
“Two weeks. Two weeks did I wait for the news of his…passing to reach me! Why? Why did nopony care about me!?” Spitfire was once again visibly flustered. “To think the news reached me through my fans apologies! How could he not tell me!? I knew he hated me but to think he didn’t even think I cared for him! Well… I don’t! I’m glad that bucking stallion is dead!”
“You wanna know why I went all MIA on the Bolts? It was because I had just heard about what happened to him. I sat at home everyday for days on end, thinking whether I made ever made him proud.”
Spitfire sat on her bed quietly; her hoof gripped a small, worn out picture of her family, the same picture that was on her dressing table when she was just a filly.
“Did I ever make you happy? Make you proud to call me ‘Daughter’?” She said in a hushed tone, her eyes focused on the picture. She reached her hoof up to her neck, where the necklace she usually wore would sit. However, the distinct memory of her forgetting to pack it when she was kicked out of her house burned fresh in her mind.
“Did I ever make you smile? Make you think ‘Hey, that’s my daughter! Captain of the Wonderbolts!’?” As the picture slipped out of her hoof, she did nothing to stop it from falling. When it landed on the floor, it triggered her sobs and tears. In an almost eerie tone, she started to chant.
Spitfire, Spitfire. Equestria’s forever worst flier…
“Well I’m glad that he’s dead!”
“S-Spitfire. This isn’t like you. You care about everypony, I know you do. You still-”
“Shut up Soarin! I don’t need somepony who would act like him to tell me what I am!”
“A-Act like him? I-I didn’t-” Soarin was more confused than ever and worry consumed him. He didn’t know when he acted like Red Gust, he never scolded the yellow Pegasus.
“Really? Want me to jot your memory Soarin!? Just a few hours ago at training, the very first day I came back…”
“Okay Bolts that was great! Just get the third formation a little tighter and we can call it a day!” As the other Pegasi sped off into the orange, evening skies of the Cloudsdale Stadium, Spitfire stood, staring at Soarin. “Hey Spits. Listen, sorry for taking over your role as captain when you were missing. We just couldn’t stop training, you know? It’s great to have you back though.”
“I understand.” Spitfire replied, her eyes were locked onto the floor.
“Hey, Spits. You okay? It ain’t like you to space out during training.” Soarin asked in a caring tone.
“Yeah, I’m fine Soarin. Actually, I think I might step down from captain…” Her voice trailed off.
“What!? No way Spits! You’re the best Cap the Bolts had for a long while! Why would you even think about something like this?” The light blue colt asked, a little worried.
“It’s just, I’ve been thinking that I’m not good enough anymore. The Bolts deserve something better.”
“Aw come on Spits! If you keep thinking like that you’re not going to amount to anything!”
Spitfire threw her gaze up at the blue stallion, her face drenched in horror.
“W-W-What’d you say?” She stuttered out, her hooves trembling immensely.
“Huh? All I said was you gotta think more positive! It’ll make you feel better! Make you more proud of yourself!”
“W-Why!?” Spitfire shouted, catching the rest of the Wonderbolt’s attention.
“Spits, you okay?”
“Have I not made you proud too!? I tried my best, I did! I just couldn’t try anymore!” Spitfire yelled out, backing away to the entrance of the stadium. Soarin followed closely towards the frightened mare.
“S-Spits, what’re you talking about?”
“Get away! I hate you! You ruined everything!” She yelled before dashing out of thee stadium.
“Spits! Wait!” Soarin glanced back at the rest of his team, who had stopped flying and stared at him with quizzical looks. “Okay Bolts, wonderful job! Training’s over!” The blue Pegasus said in a short breath before picking up his saddlebags and chasing after his friend
“Do you see now? You were just like him.” Spitfire said through clenched teeth.
“S-Spitfire, I’m so so sorry. I didn’t mean, I didn’t know.” He tried his best to explain but he could not find the words to express his guilt.
“Shut up! I don’t need your apologies! My family did nothing to apologize, why should you?” Her voice was filled with distain and bitterness.
Soarin lowered his head and took a deep breath in.
“Actually, Spitfire. I think I know what that letter the mare gave me was for…” Soarin carefully walked towards the corner of the alley he had placed his saddlebags, making sure not to startle Spitfire. Finally reaching it, he dug his face into the bag and pulled out a small white letter before tossing it to the wet ground at Spitfire’s hooves.
Curious, Spitfire lifted the envelope and opened it, dragging out a small, partly soaked piece of paper.
As I lie here on my deathbed, I wanted to say that I love you. I do and I’m sorry for everything I did when you were just a filly. I’m sorry I scolded you, I’m sorry I beat you and your mother and I’m sorry for kicking you out of the house. I know you’re still angry at me and ‘sorry’s’ aren’t going to be enough.
I only realized all of this after you left, how empty my life became. When I asked you to leave, it wasn’t because I wasn’t proud of you, I was angry at myself. You did so many things for me and I blamed myself for making you do things you might not have liked. I wanted to get you back and make things right but my pride didn’t allow it.
When I saw you at the Wonderbolts shows I couldn’t believe my eyes. I would tell random ponies beside me, ‘Hey, that’s my daughter! Spitfire! Captain of the Wonderbolts!’ I watched their eyes turn wide, I’ve received remarks of how proud I must have been and yes.
I am proud of you, Spitfire. More than I’ve ever been.
You amounted to something more than I could ever dream of.
You are my filly and will always be.
And I’m proud to call you my daughter.
Searching the envelope again, she lifted out the familiar object. The necklace she had wore throughout her fillyhood. The necklace hung at the edge of her hoof, still glimmering besides the dark clouds and the rain.
Soarin stared at the yellow Pegasus as her teeth clenched tightly together, tears streaming down her face like a river, camouflaging with the rain that fell onto her face. Without warning, she dropped the letter and the necklace onto the drenched streets before tackling Soarin to the ground, pressing his hooves harshly against the alley floor. Soarin screamed in pain but the orange-maned Pegasus paid no attention.
“Why didn't you give this to me earlier Soarin!? I thought you were my closest friend!” At the last word, she gave Soarin a quick punch, causing the blood to flow from his nose again. Soarin screamed in pain.
“S-Spitfire please stop!” Soarin begged. “Please! I’m begging you stop! This old white mare came to me one day after training about a week and a half ago and asked me to pass this letter to you! She said to…”
“…only pass it to her when the time is right.” A old white-coated mare instructed, her red mane falling lifelessly to the right side of her head.
“How will I know when that will be?” Soarin asked, staring at the letter in his hoof.
“Oh I trust you will know when the time is right. After all, you two are pretty close are you not?” The mare turned around and started to walk away. “…Soarin.” The mention of his name caught the blue Pegasus’s attention but when he tilted his head upwards, the mare had already disappeared.
“And you never told me any of this!?” Spitfire lifted her right hoof to hit the trembling stallion but his pleads stopped her.
“Please! I’m begging you Spitfire! Stop! I’m your friend! Stop!! I’m your…”
“…daughter! Please stop!”
For a moment, Spitfire saw someone in Soarin’s frightened green eyes. She heard a familiar, terrified voice. She saw…herself.
Then the realization hit her.
Spitfire let go of the blue Pegasus’s hooves and started taking a few steps back. Soarin immediately lifted his hooves to wipe the blood from his muzzle, his eyes fixated on the stumbling yellow mare.
“No…” Spitfire chanted to herself. “I-Soarin, I’m sorry. I just- Run. Soarin run away before I attack you again.” Her eyes opened wider with each word she muttered.
“I’m not going anywhere Spitfire! Not until you go back to the Pegasus I know!” Soarin shouted back with a determined tone, wincing slightly in pain as he pressed his bleeding nose.
“I can’t-I couldn’t-I need…” Spitfire’s speech lowered into a constant, incoherent mumble as she sat down at the other end of the ally, her back facing the cloud wall. Soarin pushed himself up onto his hooves and walked towards his enchanted friend, whose eyes were glazed over and her mouth had begun moving but without any sound escaping them. When he reached her, the blue stallion knelt down and hugged her, not saying another word.
It took a few minutes but slowly, Spitfire lifted her own hooves to hug her best friend back as the rain started to decline into a drizzle.
“I’m so sorry Soarin! I’m so so sorry! I didn’t mean for any of this to happen! I was just-”
“Shh. Its fine Spitfire. I forgive you.” Soarin pushed Spitfire away at an arms length, a kind smile on his face.
“T-Thank you so much Soarin.” Spitfire managed to force from within her a broken smile to return to her friend. The blue Pegasus stood up, pulling the yellow Pegasus up with him.
“Come on, go get your things. We’ll get out of this alley.” Soarin gestured his head to the suit and goggles strewn on the floor. Spitfire nodded as a reply, rushing to pick up her uniform and goggles before walking slowly up to the letter, now drenched in the rain, and the necklace.
“Oh and Soarin?” Spitfire asked, picking up the necklace and slipping the letter into the pocket of her Wonderbolt suit.
Spitfire locked the necklace around her neck before turning around and smiling to her friend. “Call me Spits.”
“All right Miss Spits. Let’s go get something to eat.” Soarin suggested nonchalantly causing the yellow and orange-maned mare to laugh softly.
“Deal Mr Soarin. You choose the location this time.”
“How about…” Soarin lifted his hoof to his chin. “ ‘The Dragon’s Breath’ café?”
Spitfire couldn’t believe her ears, a surprised smile appearing at her lips.
“But you hate spicy food!” Spitfire yelled in shock.
“Yeah but you love it.” The blue Pegasus replied without a second thought.
“Fine.” She answered, acting as if she didn’t want to eat at the place they both knew was the orange Pegasus’s favorite.. As they walked down the streets, the clouds had started to clear, revealing the sun rising over the horizon.
“So Soarin, about you taking over as captain without my permission…”
“H-Hey! I-I told you! We needed to continue our training!”
“Uh-huh.” Spitfire gave a disbelieving look as their laughter resonated through the streets, the flier’s inner fire burning brighter than ever.