Some dork who writes horse romance. What more do you want from me?
14w, 5dNew Collaboration Story! 4 comments · 113 views
26w, 1dHYYYYYYPE 21 comments · 231 views
27w, 19h900+ Followers, Updates, and Apologies 8 comments · 182 views
36w, 1dFun Fact 22 comments · 241 views
36w, 2dThat Time of the Year... 13 comments · 185 views
37w, 2dOn The Subject Of Motivation 17 comments · 323 views
39w, 1dStep Up, Don't Suck Chapter 2! 2 comments · 277 views
39w, 1dI'm on Twitter 7 comments · 241 views
40w, 6dAnswers! 6 comments · 370 views
41w, 3dIn Regards to my Works 8 comments · 353 views
You can't but notice your path has darkened, thanks to all your pacing.
After arriving back to the pavilion, Rainbow was quickly taken away to be examined. Thankfully, there were special tents set up beforehand just for situations like this. Manned by doctors, ponies were being treated namely for small injuries they may have acquired during the game. Many of them were simple injuries, like sprained wings or ankles, nothing major.
Rainbow's injury, however, was easily the most severe out of every pony here. You couldn't help but feel guilty for causing this. If you had just quit while you were ahead, none of this would have happened. You could have avoided ever going into the Foul Field. You could have just tried your luck in the Falls Field. No matter how you look at it, there is some way you could have avoided this situation.
So many worries were lingering in your mind. Would her wing be okay? Would she be able to fly again? Would she hate you for this? That last one is a bit of a stretch, but with how worried you were, you couldn't help but question every possibility. The fear of her being unable to fly was the biggest of them. How would she be able to live not flying? Isn't it her life's passion?
All of these questions and more plagued your mind nonstop as you paced in front of the tent Rainbow was in. Waiting for her to be tended to, you had been walking here for the better part of an hour. The award ceremony was supposed to take place right after the game ended, but when you arrived with the unconscious Rainbow Dash in your grip, the officials decided to hold off for a bit.
The doctors refused to allow you entry. They wanted as 'clean an environment as they could get.' Unable to be at her side, you settled for staying as close as they would allow you. Feeling responsible for this whole ordeal, you wanted to be there for when she wakes up...hopefully wakes up, anyway.
A few ponies had come by after hearing about the situation to give you their condolences. Some were dreadfully worried, and a few waited around for a bit. None of them had stayed for as long as you. You felt obligated to remain here, despite the protests of your leg.
You glance at the clock hanging on the tent. You find you've been pacing here for about an hour and a half. Letting out a sigh in worry, you continue pacing, being left to your thoughts.
You raise your head. Approaching you was a colt. He bore red eyes and a severely tear-stained face.
"Thunderlane?" You respond.
He trots up to you before responding, his gaze set on the tent. "How is she?"
"I don't know, they won't tell me anything yet. She passed out by the time we got here." You respond, concern evident in your voice.
His gaze begins to jump all over the place, as if he was searching for what to say. "Look, I...I..." Small tears begin to form on the edges of his eyes, and he begins to choke up. "I-I'm sorry, dude...."
"No, let me finish." He says, cutting you off. "I....I shouldn't have just ditched you like that. I can't even...I can't forgive myself for that. And her?" He asks, pointing to the tent. "H-How could I ever face her after that? She'll hate me for good..." His lower lip was trembling slightly.
You look into his inflamed eyes. That hunger from before, completely gone. In its place was insurmountable grief. "Look, you had to get out of there. The longer you stayed, the more danger you would have been in. I'm sure she'll understand."
"You say that, but still....perhaps I should have just stayed in there. Maybe then I wouldn't have to put up with him." He replies.
That's something that had been bugging you when Rainbow wasn't dominating your thoughts. "Thunderlane...what you told me...was that true?"
"About...my father?" He replies hesitantly. You nod, prompting him to go on. He looks to the ground before continuing. "I wasn't kidding. He's just so...so...unbearable."
"He, well....He can't accept failure. He won't tolerate anything less than first place. He's just....so obsessed with victory, he forces me and my little bro into everything he can, trying to get us to win. I mean...It's always the same thing. 'Win, win, win!' I..." He stops for a moment, drawing a shuddering breath. "...I bucking hate him sometimes..."
"Thunderlane..." You place a comforting hoof on his shoulder.
"He's so...I can't stand him. I just, I..." A tear runs down his face. "After this, I don't know what he'll do..."
You could feel him shiver ever so slightly under your hoof. "Is...Is it really that bad?"
He glances around uncomfortably several times. "You have no idea, dude..."
For all the trouble he may have given you throughout this day, you couldn't help but feel bad for him. A perfection-obsessed father, controlling his son with an iron grip against his will. It wasn't exactly the healthiest lifestyle, you figured. Though you yourself never grew up in something like that, you knew it couldn't be pleasant.
And this colt was living evidence of that. He was quivering in front of you in fear over his inevitable punishment. Something about this just rubbed you the wrong way. Though you couldn't offer much, you wanted to at least help ease his nerves.
"Thunderlane," you begin, taking a more serious tone. "Your dad needs to understand this. Nopony is perfect. We're all bound to make some mistakes, and lose a few rounds here and there. It's not about winning every time, it's the fact that you tried that's important." Thunderlane looks up to you, a bit of surprise on his face. You continue. "If your father can't get it through his head that nopony can win every time, then, well, buck him. You need to stand up to him, and let him know that you are a great flyer, and one helluva competitor. I've seen that with my own eyes to know it's true."
"I..." He stammers. "I don't know if I-"
"Thunderlane, don't doubt yourself. What happened to that fierce Thunderlane, the one I was running from out in the field? What happened to that swagger? Is this the real Thunderlane, the one who cowers before a bit of opposition?" He lifts his hoof, and back his head up a bit. "You're strong, Thunderlane, and if I've learned anything today, it's that you are a fighter. Don't let some stallion's words make you back down, you hear me?"
He simply stares into your eyes for a moment before lowering his head, eyes closed. His breathing seems to slowly level out, and his expression slowly changes. Rather than the fear-induced look he had, it slowly adapts into a scowl.
"...You know what?" He whispers. His head shoots up, and he looks at you with a fierce gaze. "You're right. I'm not gonna...I'm not gonna let that jerk run my life! I am a good flyer! I don't care what he says! I held that record for a year!" He says, his voice growing louder with each word. "Yeah! I don't need his approval! I'm an awesome flyer!"
"That's the spirit!" You reply.
"If he says anything about this, buck him! I don't need his critique! I might've lost, but I nearly died trying!" As true as that was, it still unsettled you a bit hearing it.
"And hey." He says, turning to face you. "You are a damn good flyer too. Those moves out there...you have some serious skills. I can see why she wanted you to help her."
"Heh, yeah, I- Wait, you knew I was helping her?" You ask, a tinge of fear in your voice.
He smiles. "It ain't that hard to figure out, dude. But hey," he places his hoof on your shoulder. "Don't worry. You earned that record."
Looking into his eyes, you can't help but smile yourself. "Thanks, Thunderlane..."
He smiles a bit bigger as he retracts his hoof. "Alright...I'm gonna head out and see if I can find my little bro." He takes to the air. "When she wakes up, let Dash know that....that I'm sorry. Really."
"Don't worry," you respond. "I will."
He flashes one last smile, then takes off, leaving you alone again. You look to the ground with a smile. You hoped that everything would work out for the best for him.
Looking back the tent, the clock lets you know you've been here for nearly two hours. Letting out a sigh, you continue to wait. You wished the doctors would have the courtesy to at least let you know everything was okay.
Suddenly, the entry flaps on the tent opened. Looks like you would get your wish. Stepping out was a dark brown stallion, adorned in a white coat. Around his neck hung a stethoscope, and he looked to you with an expressionless face.
You immediately step up to him. "How is she?"
A small smile forms on his face. "She's going to make a full recovery." You let out a sigh of relief, knowing she wouldn't be crippled for life. "Though she won't be able to fly for some time, her wing was only temporarily disabled by the bolt. Miraculously, it only nicked her wing. If it had been any more direct, she might have lost it."
"How long until she can fly again?" You ask.
"We're not entirely sure, but we would suggest she doesn't try to fly for at least three months, with only small exercises after that." He puts a hoof on your shoulder. "She's incredibly lucky to have somepony like you." Your mind tossed that around for a moment. To have somepony like you...how exactly did he mean that?
He gives a small smile. "Now then, would you like to see her?" You nod, and he begins to turn around.
...Only to stop in his tracks.
The tent opens once more. Looking past him, you see a familiar, prismatic mane approaching.
"...Rainbow?" Her mane is scraggly, and she has bags under her eyes from exhaustion. Her wing is wrapped up tight in bandages.
"...Hey." She says weakly.
The doctor responds before you can speak. "M-Ma'am, what are you doing? You should be resting!"
"Don't worry, I'm fine," she responds. "Besides, you've got bigger problems. The colt in there is gettin' antsy again." To punctuate her point, you hear the sound of some pony waking up in a very violent manner.
"Oh no, not again. Uh..." He looks unsure of himself for a moment before he turns to Dash. "Just don't go hurting yourself. That wing is tender enough as is." She simply nods, and he retreats back into the tent.
Once the doctor was out of view, Dash turns to you once again. She has that same look on her face from earlier. She slowly walks up to you. The two of you simply stand there for a moment, unable to say anything, or possibly waiting for the other to start. You're not sure exactly how to start. What do you say to the pony whose life you just saved? And what does she say in return?
After a moment, you finally decide to break the ice. "So..." You start smoothly.
"So." She says, not breaking eye contact.
"I, uh...how are you?" Stupid.
"Hehe, been better, I guess. But you can't bring this mare down!" She says, lifting a hoof for effect.
"Heh, y-yeah..." You pause for a moment, not knowing what to say next. You didn't want to bring up Thunderlane, not quite yet. You wanted to save that for another time. As such, you were having trouble forming words. "So...no flying for three months?" Way to throw salt in the wounds.
She turns her gaze to her bandaged wing. "Yeah, kinda sucks. But hey," she says, looking back to you. "Better than never flying again, right?"
"Definitely, yeah..." You reply, rubbing the back of your head.
"Did they hold the award ceremony yet?" She suddenly asks.
"Oh, no, they haven't. They're holding it off until I say, actually." You reply.
"Good." She suddenly scoots closer to you, never breaking eye-contact. "I didn't want to miss it."
You smile a bit before glancing away. "Dash, I...I'm really happy you're okay. This is all my fault, and I...I'm sorry I put you through this."
She suddenly looks a bit more distressed. "Wh-What? This isn't your fault! If I didn't want to be out there with you, I wouldn't have stayed."
"But, I thought you-"
"I don't care about that record. I'm happy you broke it, but...I followed you because I was worried about you, dude." She puts a hoof on your shoulder and looks to the ground. "I was...I didn't want you to get hurt."
"But...you got hurt in my place."
She continues staring at the ground for a bit before smiling. "But hey, we're fine, right? It could have been a lot worse!"
"Well, yeah..." You start. "Still, three months, maybe even more, without flying. I still can't help but feel that I-"
You're cut off as she suddenly plants her hooves on your cheeks and kisses you. Your mind shuts down at the sensation of her lips pressing against yours. That familiar taste of berries was still there. This time, however, it was amplified as she pushed into the kiss with copious amounts of passion. Her functioning wing flapped slowly as she leaned into you ever so slowly, and she pulled you closer as well. After a moment, you finally gain a bit of control on your body again as you push back into her, further deepening the kiss.
After several seconds the two of you pull away, tingles running through your body. She gazes into your eyes lovingly without pulling herself any farther away. "Dash-"
She cuts you off with a hoof to the lips. "Shut up. I don't wanna hear it." She says, smiling. You simply smile under her hoof and nod. "Now, don't we have an award ceremony to attend?"
"You sure about this?"
"Oh, come on, what's the big deal?"
"I don't remember this many ponies being in the game."
"Doesn't mean they don't want to see this!"
"But still...not very settling."
You don't normally get nervous about anything these days, but the crowd in front of you was making it difficult not to be.
The award ceremony was about to begin. From behind the stage, you and Dash watched as the crowd in front of the platform grew. Pegasai of all shapes and sizes gathered to attend. Though many of them were contestants you recognized, a lot of them were unfamiliar. They must have been families of the contestants.
The personnel of the game allowed Dash to come backstage with you at your request. After the incident, you really didn't want to let her be alone for any brief moment of time. Especially after your 'shenanigans' earlier.
You feel your heartrate increasing slightly. "I didn't expect the crowd to get this huge..."
"Stop worrying! All you gotta do is accept the prize, wave to the crowd, and you're good!" You figured she was right, since she probably went through the same thing.
You take a few breaths. "Yeah, yeah, alright. Let's do this. So, when are they gonna-"
"Fillies and Gentlecolts!" A mare's voice booms. "Welcome one and all to the Award Ceremony of the 37th iteration of Turbulence Tag!"
The crowd erupts into a boom of applause. Hooves stomp, cheers are sung, and a few airhorns blared. You figured the personnel weren't fond of those. No one is.
"For the procedure," the mare on stage starts. "Allow me to once again welcome Cirrus Streak!"
From behind the curtain on the stage, Cirrus emerges once again. The crowd erupts into applause once more, and Cirrus waves to them all, waiting for them to settle. Once the applause dies down, he speaks.
"Thank you all for attending, everypony." He starts. "To those of you competed, I sincerely thank you for joining us in this little festivity. You all battled valiantly, and it was a pleasure to have you all compete!" Some of the competitors flew above the crowd and made a few gestures, and the audience continued to applaud them. "I would also like to thank those who viewed, both here and at home. It is your continued support that keeps the spirit of this game alive!"
The crowd cheers once again. At this point, it grew a bit monotonous to you. You just wanted to get this over with, despite how big of an honor it should be.
"Now then," Cirrus continues. "It is my great honor to welcome the winner and the new record-holder of this year's Turbulence Tag!"
Before you step out onto the stage, Rainbow gives you a quick peck on the cheek. "Good luck out there, stud."
Blushing slightly, you step out into the view of the crowd. Right as you become visible, the crowd roars with applause and cheers. A few mares flew above the audience to give you some questionable gestures. You dared not look back to Rainbow Dash.
On the screen behind Cirrus, a projector was displaying several images. On the left was your face, along with your name. On the top right was record of your time, and below it was a box displaying some of your performance in the game. It currently showed you outrunning Roid Rage.
You focus only on getting to the center of the stage with Cirrus Streak. Once you reached him, he turned to face you fully.
"Young stallion, you have proven yourself a fantastic flyer, one of the highest magnitude." He says, making you feel slightly giddy for some reason. "It is with great honor that I present to you, this!"
With that, a purple mare approached the two of you, carrying a folded cloth in her front hooves. She quickly reached Cirrus, and he unfolded the cloth. Beneath the fold was a pendant that glowed in the sunlight.
"For proving your mettle, and for setting a new standard, I award you with this, the Turbulence Token of Tenacity!"
Strange name, you think to yourself. He lifts the medal over your head and places it on your neck. The fabric around your neck was a blue and white cloth. The pendant consisted of two golden wings, and between them was a lightning bolt carved of diamond. A bit of an unsettling jewel, but you weren't about to complain.
"Thank you." You reply simply. The two of you give a small bow to each other, and turn to face the crowd.
"Let's hear it for our champion!" Cirrus bellows.
The crowd explodes with cheers, from stallions, mares, and foals alike. You lift a hoof and begin to wave at the crowd, smiling all the while. You recognized a few faces, like that cross-eyed mare who was cheering like a maniac.
One face, however, caught your eye. A dark-grey stallion who wasn't hollering or absolutely freaking out. On his back, a young colt was waving to you, cheering. He stood with a rather stoic look on his face. You stop smiling for a minute as you stare at him. After a few seconds, he gives a small smile. A smile which you graciously return.
You glance to your side, and look at Rainbow. She was grinning ear to ear, and you thought you saw a small tear in her eye. You give her a awkward wave, and she returns the gesture, blowing you a kiss for good measure.
You smile dumbly, and return your attention to the crowd. Perhaps this wasn't so bad after all...
After giving out a few thanks and receiving more applause, the ceremony finally came to an end. At this point, you were being bombarded with questions by some young foals.
"How did it feel being in that whirlwind?"
"Was the Foul Field scary?"
"Where did you learn to do that rolling trick?"
Question upon questions poured in from all sorts of ponies. You graciously answered all you could, though some of them you had no real answer for. In the chaos, you lost track of Rainbow Dash, much to your chagrin.
Eventually, the crowd begins to dissipate. Figuring it was time to finish up here, you turn around to begin your search for Dash.
...Only to be greeted with a hulking wall of muscle.
Stopping in your tracks, you feel your heart leap into your throat. He simply stared at you with his eyes. For once, he wasn't bearing his teeth.
"Uh...." You begin, unsure of what to say. He wasn't ticked off about being launched some five hundred feet, was he?
After a few seconds of him uncomfortably staring at you, he quickly lifts a hoof. You flinch slightly, expecting him to strike you. When the hit doesn't come, you look back to his hoof, which was simply waiting in front of you.
Cautiously, you raise a hoof and bump it against his. "So, uh...we cool?" You ask tentatively.
"Yeah." He responds, his voice not bearing its trademark ferocity. With that, he simply walks away without another word.
Feeling somewhat stupefied at what just happened, you shake your head. Did you just imagine that?
"See? I told you he was cool."
A familiar and very welcome voice from behind snaps you out of your stupor. Turning around, you find the lovely face of Rainbow Dash approaching you, a smile on her face.
"Heh, yeah, but it's just kinda...strange seeing him so calm for once." You reply.
"Yeah, but still. He's awesome at parties, I can say that." She replies. "So..."
"...What?" You ask.
"How does it feel, being the big winner?"
It was a question that had plagued you since the beginning. 'How were you going to feel,' was now 'How do you feel.' You had never expected to get this far, so now that you were here, it was a good question.
How do you feel?
You had met a mare. You had been involuntarily selected to be in a famous game. You had been baffled by a remodeled, iconic building. You had made a rival. You had witnessed the beginning of a great event. You had witnessed the creator of said event in action. You had avoided being destroyed by a beast of a pony. You had let out the truth about yourself. You had witnessed your best ally turn enemy. You had out-flown Ponyville's greatest flyer. You had outsmarted many a pony. You had won the game. You had bested unbearable conditions. You had saved a mare's life. You had set someone straight with their father. You had broken a record. And lastly, you had met the mare of your dreams.
All in all...
"I'd say...I feel pretty good right about now."
Rainbow Dash smiles in return, and gives you a quick kiss on the lips. Leaning back, she speaks. "Ready to go?"
With that, you flap your wings and take to the air, ready to return home.
You suddenly feel the most powerful urge to facehoof ever. Returning to the ground, you smile sheepishly and let out a small chuckle. "Heh, sorry about that."
She laughs a bit and punches you lightly. "You're such a dolt!"
With that, you lower your back legs. She climbs aboard and wraps her hooves around your chest.
"Ready to go?" You ask.
She gives you a peck on the cheek. "Yeah, let's."
With that, you flap your wings and take to the air, ready to return home.