Equestria at sunrise was a sight to behold. The gentle glow of Celestia’s rising yellow ball stretching its tendrils of light along the horizon and beyond made the peaceful land of ponies almost glow as everything from dew drops to the sprawling cities and towns basked in its warm embrace. As the night slowly retreats and the stars disappear, each giving a final wink of light before vanishing, ponies on the ground look up to see small patches dotting the new shade of blue.
On each one rested a member of the pegasus clan, watching the light sweep across the world below. Their perches each painstakingly crafted the previous day and taken high above the ground to observe this spectacle. It was not uncommon to see this, in fact you could often observe great mounds of clouds clustered together, as families, friends, and lovers watched the day be born together.
On one such cloud sat a blue pegasus stallion, his yellow mane hung behind him gently blown by the wind as he allowed his tail to hang over the side of his cloud. It had been a long night waiting for this, sculpting a cloud and keeping it from being blown away or breaking apart. Once or twice it almost looked like he would have to head back and try again another day, but seeing the beauty before him had made it all worth it.
The light wind sent him another gust, and the stallion closed his eyes as he felt his mane blow behind him. He listened to the sound of the air lovingly racing around his body, and smiled.
"This was definitely worth the wait." He said in a voice so small it was quickly taken away by the breeze.
"I’m sorry, did you say something?" Came the wind’s response.
The stallion’s eyes shot open. Had the wind just spoken to him? He turned his head, first to the right, and then the left where he saw a bright pink pegasus flying next to his cloud. The stallion jumped and nearly tumbled over the side of his little seat in the sky.
"Oh I’m sorry," the pink pegasus said, "I was just wondering if I could take a quick breather on your cloud here." The stallion made room and his new companion lowered onto a spot beside him. "Thanks, I was just doing a little early morning flying, looks like I need to build up my stamina for this altitude. Names Dawn Streak." The pink pony extended a hoof that the stallion shyly took.
As they shook hooves, the stallion took a small moment to observe this intruder to his peaceful solitude. Unsurprisingly it was a mare, and she had apparently been flying for awhile, as her red mane was horribly wind blow and unkempt. A quick glance at her cutie mark revealed it was a depiction of the rising sun.
"So are you going to tell me your name?" Dawn Streak asked. The stallion shook his head slowly and raised a hoof to his lips causing the pink pegasus to smile. "So you’re the strong silent type, you didn’t have trouble talking to yourself a minute ago, am I making you nervous." The mare spoke in a playful tone and seemed surprised when the stallion nodded his head. "Oh…well there’s no need to be nervous around me, I’m a pretty easy sort to get along with."
The stallion twirled his hoof in the cloud, tracing a circle that grew deeper with every word the mare said. "Well if you’re not going to tell me what your name is I’ll have to guess." She then made a big show of staring at the stallion’s cutie mark which made him increasingly uncomfortable with each passing second. "So you’ve got three little… swirls… Orbs…what are those?" The stallion angled himself away from her so she could no longer observe him.
"It’s supposed to be wind." He said as another gust came to snatch the words from his lips.
"What was that?" Dawn said, "I can’t hear you."
"It’s wind." The stallion repeated.
"Wind." He said, just as soft as before. Realizing this would get him nowhere the stallion raised his hooves and began slowly waving them up and down as he turned his mouth into an O shape and blew softly toward Dawn Streak.
"Wind? Is that it?" she asked with a confused look on her face. The stallion nodded as he lowered his hooves. "You’re either really bad at talking or really good at charades. Is the word wind in your name?" The stallion nodded. "Is it the first word?" the stallion nodded again. "Alright so we’re getting somewhere. Can you give me a clue as to what the second word is?"
The stallion thought it over for a moment before putting his hoof to his lips. He then turned his head to the side and made quiet noises shielding his lips from Dawn’s view with his hoof. "Gossip? Whispering? Whisper?" The stallion stopped and pointed to Dawn, nodding his head. "Whisper? Your names Wind Whisper?" The stallion lowered his hoof and nodded. "Well given how you had to tell me that, I’m not surprised. So you can only whisper?" The stallion nodded. "That’s got to make job interviews hard." The stallion shrugged and turned back to the sun.
"It’s very pretty isn’t it." He said.
"I’m sorry?" Dawn said. The Stallion pointed to the horizon and Dawn turned to look at the sunrise. Neither of them spoke for a long moment as they watched the light of day flow over the countryside below them. Dew drops sending up a glow that combined with the wind made the fields look like ocean tides. "I’ve seen this a million times, but somehow it always looks different every day. I don’t know what it is, but somehow every time it’s just a little better."
Wind Whisper agreed, everything looked so much better during the sunrise. "Hey, look down below us." Dawn said. Whisper leaned over the front of his cloud and saw what appeared to be two ponies standing together in the field they had been observing. After a few seconds the ponies turned to each other and one of them brought out a small box. "He’s going to propose." The pony still standing let out a yell so loud they could here it from where they sat. "I think that’s a yes."
Whisper smiled and looked over at Dawn, the pink mare was watching the scene play out with a huge grin on her face. Slowly, without her knowledge, her wings began to straighten. Whisper laughed in a wispy way that would have gone unnoticed if he hadn’t shot a hoof to his mouth to stifle it. Dawn saw the movement and figured out where he was looking before he turned away. Blushing beat red she turned to look the other way and plastered her wings against her sides.
"I guess I’ve got a sweet spot for mushy stuff." She said, clearly upset that Whisper had caught her with her wings out. Whisper didn’t know what to do, he certainly didn’t want this new acquaintance to think he was making fun of her. He wanted to say something but there was no point since he wouldn’t be heard. Instead, he surprisingly found himself moving closer to the pink mare and tapping her on the shoulder. When Dawn turned to look at him Whisper made a great show of unfurling his wings, flapping them once or twice before leaving them erect at his sides.
Dawn smiled as her blush changed from beat, to rosemary red. "Thanks." She said. Whisper nodded and let his wings fall back to his sides, his own cheeks now burning just as brightly as the sunrise. "It must be hard being a pegasus who can’t talk. Do you have to use hoof signs with everypony?" Whisper slowly shook his head, averting his gaze from the kind stare Dawn gave him. "Then what else do you do?"
Whisper had been both hoping she’d ask that, and dreading that she would. It wasn’t very often he found himself talking to other ponies because of the feeble strength of his voice. It’s not like everypony could understand his hoof signs either. This was already way outside his comfort zone, but on the other hoof she seemed nice enough.
Whisper looked up and motioned Dawn closer. Dawn leaned in but was met with only another sign to draw closer still. This continued once or twice more until the ponies faces were only inches apart, each able to feel the heat of the others cheeks. Whisper leaned over and held his mouth next to Dawns ear.
"I can talk like this." He said, causing dawn to jump back.
"Whoa, that was so weird! Your voice… it’s like I’m listening to you through rushing water or…or the wind." Dawns eyes sparkled like gemstones, Whisper couldn’t make himself look away from them. "That’s so cool."
"You’d be…" Whisper started.
"Wait, let me get closer." Dawn scooted herself toward Whisper until their cutie marks were practically rubbing against each other and then turned her head leaning an ear against his lips. "What was that again?"
"You’d be the first to call it that." Whisper said.
"Call what what?"
"Not many ponies like the sound of my voice, it also doesn’t help in order for them to hear me I have to get this close to them. You’d be the first to call the way I speak cool."
"That’s too bad," Dawn said as she sat up straight turning to look at Whisper’s eyes. "I’m sure you’d have a lot of stuff to say if you could just find a pony to listen." Whisper shrugged, that pony hadn’t come along yet so he had no idea if he’d be chatty or not. "I don’t know if this is a personal question, but have you always had this problem? Not that it’s a problem I just wanted to know if you were born with it." Whisper leaned in to answer.
"Actually that’s a funny story. Do you have time?"
"All that you need." Dawn said directly into Whisper’s ear." When Whisper winced Dawn’s blush made a comeback. "Sorry, I’ll try to be quiet." Whisper smiled and repositioned himself to start.
"When a foal is born a doctor will… well I don’t know how to say it any other way, hit it on the plot so it will cry. They do this to see if the baby is alive and able to respond to stimuli. When I was born however, the doctor hit me and I didn’t make a peep. I squirmed and twisted but never uttered a sound. They ran me into another room and did some tests on me, supposedly trying to save my life."
"When I was finally given to my mother a full three hours later they told her I was born with improperly formed vocal cords. It was unlikely I would ever speak. She took me home and tried her best to show me how to form words but I just couldn’t do it. I learned to communicate with my hooves and through paper but that was it. For the longest time I never said a word."
"When I learned how to fly, I started to realize how much I loved the wind. The feel of it rushing against my face and the sound it made. I always thought it was a lot like me, trying so hard to tell you something but never able to form words. It was a kind of soundless noise, if that makes any sense."
"One day I was sitting alone outside, just letting the wind race around me, when I heard it start to whistle. I’d heard it a million times before, the sound it made when it swept past fast enough, but this particular time something was different. I wanted to do something, SAY something back. So I turned my mouth into an O and blew. I didn’t think anything would happen, but I heard the whistling around me change. It went from the sound of wind to a much higher pitched tune. It was only when I took a breath that I discovered it was me."
"When I went to show my mother what I could do she nearly fainted. All thoughs years of silence broken with the help of the wind. It wasn’t long before I was able to turn that tune into words, even as I’m talking to you now I’m not as much speaking as Whistling. I got my cutie mark shortly after because of this gift, and I owe it all to the wind." Whisper leaned back to see the blush had once again gone from Dawn’s face, which had turned into an expression of slight amazement.
"That’s awesome." She said, having to adjust her voice so as not to match the volume Whisper had used. "I thought it was just the altitude making you sound like that. You’ve got an amazing story." Whisper shrugged. "No really! My cutie mark story isn’t near that impressive." Whisper leaned back in.
"I’d love to hear it anyway." Whisper wasn’t usually very good at conversation, for obvious reasons, but something about Dawn was strangely comforting.
"Well," Dawn began when Whisper leaned back. "I learned to fly way before the other foals at my school, and I loved every second I was in the air. I’d fly around and do loops and rolls and generally show off. One day I was so anxious to get out there I took off before the sun had time to rise. Before I knew it I was whizzing across the sky as the light burst from the horizon. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was going so fast that all the ponies in my town could see of me was the color of my mane. I was leaving a faint line in the sky behind me, a trick of the early morning light. I practiced with it a little bit and low and behold this showed up."
Dawn tried to lift up her plot to show her cutie mark, but had forgotten how close she was to Whisper. Her thigh rubbed against Whisper’s as her tail brushed his making them both unable to meet the others eyes. The pink pony tried to move aside, keeping her cutie mark raised as if she had meant to do that, but all her squirming only managed to tangle there tails together. After Whisper let out a small cry when Dawn tried to pull her tail back, she stopped and pointed to her cutie mark.
"It’s not nearly as special." She said, trying to salvage the situation. Whisper didn’t think it was possible for him to feel more uncertain as to what to do. His limited interaction with mares had mostly been casual aside from a crush here and there. What is the proper response when your tail is tangled? He didn’t want to do something wrong and scare her away. Whisper shut his eyes tight as he tried to think of what to do when he felt another yank on his tail. Turning his head around, he saw Dawn was at work separating them, and having quite a bit of trouble.
"We really need a brush for this," she said. "I would have brought mine but after my saddle bags fell off on one of my morning flights to school and I lost a considerable amount of a project I never take anything with me I can’t replace. Do you think you can give me a hoof?" Whisper started at the base of his tail and set to work untangling it. "I hate when stuff like this happens, I really should pay more attention."
Whisper leaned in to say something in response but a quick turn of Dawn’s head found his mouth on hers instead of in her ear. He jumped back putting both fore hooves on his mouth as his cheeks caught fire. Dawn looked a little surprised but realized it was an accident by Whisper’s expression.
"Don’t you think that’s a little forward?" Whisper turned away and looked down at his hooves. If his tail wasn’t tangled with hers he might have jumped off the edge of the cloud to escape his embarrassment. "Not to mention it was down right unfair." Dawn spoke in a playful tone but this did little to stop the burning in Whispers cheeks or his desire to disappear off the face of Equestria. "You didn’t even let me enjoy it."
Whisper didn’t know what she meant by that one. Was she calling him a bad kisser? So on top of having mouth raped her he didn’t even do a good job? Insult to injury. Dawn put a hoof on Whisper’s cheek and turned him to face her, presumably to spit in his face. (Or at least that’s what whisper thought.) Whisper closed his eyes as he felt his hooves be gently pushed aside, and then a pressure on his lips. When he opened his eyes again, he saw Dawn was kissing him.
Whisper wanted to pull away, he wanted to apologize for kissing her in the first place, but when he felt the pressure grow and then a slight bite on his lower lip he fell into the exchange. After a moment Dawn pulled back and Whisper looked into her orange tinted eyes. "If you’re going to kiss a mare give her the courtesy of letting it last." Whisper nodded slowly.
"Now just because we did that don’t think I’m an easy catch, you’re cute but your not cute enough for me to just over look what you did." Whisper was even more confused then before, wasn’t she the one that kissed him this time? "I’m going to need to know if you’re committed to a real relationship." RELATIONSHIP! Whisper didn’t even know if he liked the idea of kissing her again, what was this mare talking about? "I’m willing to start small so don’t worry about taking me someplace expensive for our first date." Whisper kept a shocked expression as she spoke. First date, they just met! He didn’t even know this mare existed an hour ago where was she…
Whisper’s train of thought was interrupted by a fit of laughter from Dawn streak. The Pink Pegasus almost bounced in place she was so wracked with giggles. "Oh you should see your face, it’s priceless." Whisper closed his gaping mouth and waited for her to stop laughing, it was a long wait. "You thought I was being serious? Wow I knew you must be shy around other ponies but doesn’t everypony learn sarcasm by third grade?" Whisper turned away again.
"Hey don’t do that, your really are a cutie but I just met you, I don’t know enough about you to make you my coltfriend. I’m not much of one for kissing on the first date either but you looked so worried I couldn’t help myself. I’ve never met another stallion like you, theirs a certain something in the way you act that’s really charming. I don’t want you to be nervous, help me get my tail back and we can talk about this ok?"
Whisper turned back around and began to separate the mess of tangled hair again, careful never to make eye contact with Dawn. When his tail was free he considered bolting, but that thought was quickly erased when Dawn began to speak. "Are you currently dating anyone?" Somehow he felt compelled to answer, even if he couldn’t bring himself to look at her. He shook his head slowly, and twiddled a hoof. "That’s good, I’d hate to find out I was stealing another mare’s stallion. But not to get ahead of myself do you want to go out? It’s ok to tell me no you know."
Whisper didn’t know what to say. What had he gotten himself into? All he wanted to do was watch the sunrise and now he found himself being asked out by a mare he didn’t even know. Wasn’t it supposed to be the stallion that asked the mare out? He didn’t know for sure but this certainly wasn’t the way it should go. Yet at the same time when he looked up at Dawn he found himself unable to voice these concerns. She was incredibly beautiful, and despite the fact she seemed a little random and fast paced for him she was very nice. Whisper nodded his head slowly.
"Then we should probably learn a little about each other. What do you do for a living?" Small talk, isn’t that a step back from asking somepony out? Whisper motioned Dawn closer and leaned in to speak.
"I’m an Advance Weather Scout. That’s a fancy name for I sit on a cloud by the Everfree looking to see if anything weird happens with the clouds. It’s a pretty easy job, and the pay’s nice enough to afford me a small place."
"I work at the market filling in for farmers that get sick or injured or have some other excuse that means they can’t work there stalls. The best part is I get paid weather I work or not so I’ve got a pretty simple job to."
"I bet you’ve got some crazy stories in that line of work." Whisper wanted to draw the conversation back to something other then…a relationship, this was as good a place as any for a subject change.
"Don’t get me started, I swear some of these ponies never passed the third grade. I’ve never heard of a weather crises so I don’t suppose you have any epic tales?"
"You’d be surprised, ‘weather’ is a very broad subject."
"It must get a little lonely all by yourself though, nothing to do but watch the clouds."
"You get used to it after awhile, besides I don’t get to talk very much anyway."
"You act like I’m the first conversation you’ve had."
"Well…first in a couple weeks, longer if you don’t count talking to my mom." Dawn mulled that over.
"Do… do you get out much? I don’t mean that in a bad way but your kind of shy and theirs this whisper thing and your jobs not exactly the most socially oriented and…" Whisper put a hoof to her mouth, this was just getting ridiculous. A moment ago she had asked him out and now she was questioning his social life? His brain was spinning with everything Dawn had said and despite the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach he wasn’t going to sit here scratching his head anymore.
"No, I don’t. Every day I can I go to see the sunrise, but I never expect to see anypony. I have no idea how I supposed to act or what I’m supposed to do in conversation. You want to know about me before we start going out, IF we’re going to go out, there’s not much to know outside that. I don’t understand all these questions, I don’t know what your trying to do and your making me really confused. Now please excuse me while I try not to fly away out of embarrassment."
Whisper withdrew his hoof and turned away from Dawn, his cheeks blushing, but not as bad as before. Neither of them said anything for a long moment as Dawn collected her thoughts and Whisper tried to keep himself from flying away.
"Whisper…I’m sorry, I’m not used to the shy types. Your really sweet and I guess I thought you we’re just nervous. Don’t be mad at me."
"I’m not mad." Whisper said.
"Whisper your going to need to come here I can’t hear you." Whisper turned and Dawn put her ear in front of his mouth.
"I’m not mad at you, I just don’t know what to do."
"Do about what."
"How do you say you’re sorry and are still hoping to go out when you can only whisper?"
"Why are you sorry?"
"This is all new to me, I’ve never had a marefriend before. I want to apologize and ask if you still want to date me but every book I’ve read, every time I’ve talked to my mother when a pony apologizes they say sorry. Well I can’t say anything."
"Wow, you really don’t get out much." Dawn said under her breath.
"What was that?"
"I said you don’t have to say sorry, that was enough."
"You’re starting to confuse me again."
"Then let me explain." Dawn turned her head and planted another kiss on Whisper. When she pulled away time seemed to stand still. "I really do want to go out with you, I’m sorry if I didn’t get that across. If anypony needs to apologize it’s me for pushing you. You’re a very special stallion and I didn’t mean to confuse you. I’m glad I found your cloud." Whisper looked into Dawn’s eyes and noticed for the first time since she arrived the wind blowing about them, pushing her mane behind her. As the sun finally shown full in the sky, he kissed her again.