Takeoff

by Godslittleprincess


Takeoff

It was another completely average Friday morning in Canterlot City. The sun crept up from the horizon, and the clock on Flash Sentry’s phone changed its numbers from 6:59 to 7:00. As soon as it did, the chorus of Frying Pan’s “Rebirthing” came blasting out of Flash’s phone in all its gravelly, hard rock ferocity.

Flash groaned as he reached out and groped around for his phone. Once he felt his fingers close around it, he sat up on his bed and rubbed the heaviness from his eyes with his free hand. He turned off his alarm and set his phone back down before stretching himself starting from his lower back to his neck and from his shoulders to his fingertips. He got out of bed with one final yawn chasing away the last of sleep.

As soon as Flash was sure he was awake, he picked up his phone again and looked at the screen. He let out a long, meaningful sigh when he saw what day it was. The day may have started off the same way every other day did, but Flash knew that today wasn’t just any other day.

He set his phone down and made his way to the hall outside his room. He walked up to the door next this his and gave it a few solid bangs.

“Little Bro, get up!” Flash called. “It’s 7 o’clock.”

A loud, long, and VERY dramatic groan answered him from the other side of the door.

After half a second of silence, the room’s occupant, his brother First Base, shouted back, “It’s the last day of school! Can’t I just stay in bed?!”

“I think you and I both know the answer to that question,” Flash answered as he made his way to the bathroom.

By the time First Base joined his older brother in the bathroom and began brushing his teeth, Flash was already rinsing out the last of the toothpaste foam from his mouth and was beginning to reach for the hair gel. When Flash had finished styling his royal blue hair to his liking, he shined a confident smirk at his reflection and returned to his room.

Flash closed his bedroom door behind him and changed out of his pajamas, putting on his usual outfit consisting of blue jeans, a white T-shirt, and a dark gray hoodie. Then, he took a stack of textbooks from his desk and stuffed them into his empty backpack. Those had to be returned to the school today.

Flash slung his backpack on and began making his way to the door. On his way, a certain shelf caught his eye, causing him to stop. On that shelf sat two objects. One object was a plush lion with a crudely made felt collar, and the other was a picture frame with a photograph. Between the two of them, the plush lion normally received the most attention, especially on occasions when Flash needed a good dose of childhood comfort, but today, Flash found his gaze lingering on the photograph as he reached up and took it down.

On the picture’s far right stood his grandmother, her pink skin slightly less wrinkled than it is in present day and her mostly gray hair having a bit more brown. She was held in the arms of tall, silver-haired man, his orange-tan skin as wrinkled as her own. They both wore wide smiles, and their eyes twinkled with happiness from behind their wire-rimmed glasses. Flash couldn’t help but be amazed by how his grandparents were able to have stayed so happy and in love for so long.

In the middle were two redhaired women with brown eyes and light orange skin. They were standing shoulder to shoulder and linking arms. The woman on the left wore a pair of semi-rimless glasses and had her hair up in an elegant yet hastily assembled bun, and the woman on the right had brown highlights and wore a ponytail and a camo army uniform. Flash couldn’t help but laugh to himself whenever he looked at them. His mother and his aunt were a beautiful yet puzzling mix of similar and different that he was sure only identical twins could understand, which was exactly what they were.

Next to his mother was a younger him. Back when the picture was taken, he had been maybe two inches shorter, and his hair was about an inch longer. Flash had adopted a longer and more heavily gelled hairstyle back then because he thought it made him look more like a rocker. As of last spring, he had foregone it in favor of a shorter, cleaner style. Not only did Flash’s new style look better, but it was also much easier to maintain.

To his left stood his younger brother First Base, who looked like a shorter, younger, and slightly darker version of him. First Base was making the most hilariously exaggerated angelic grin Flash had ever seen on a human face. Flash chuckled to himself, remembering how that comically saccharine face came to be.

“Base, will you please stop making faces at the camera?” his mother had scolded. “Just smile sweetly, like an angel.”

Needless to say, First Base had given their mother what she wanted, and more.

As Flash continued to stare at the photograph, his smile began to fade. He remembered that two very important people in that photograph were no longer with him and his family, which meant that—

“Boys!” Flash heard his grandmother call. “Hurry up and come down! Breakfast is ready!”

“Coming, Grandma!” Flash called back, quickly throwing the picture frame into his backpack.


“Alright, seniors, let’s go through the program one more time,” Principal Celestia said from the stage. The entire senior class of Canterlot High was seated in the first few rows of chairs that were set up in the gym, which was decorated in a celebratory explosion of ocean blue and sun gold. Flash was sitting in the second chair of the second row with his best friend Micro Chips sitting directly in front of him. His girlfriend Twilight Sparkle was also sitting in front of him but at a diagonal. Twilight’s best friend Sunset Shimmer was sitting on Micro’s other side.

Twilight turned and smiled triumphantly at Micro Chips, who crossed his arms and huffed in response. Then, Micro Chips turned to his other side and gave Sunset the same smile Twilight had given him mere milliseconds ago. Sunset just ignored him and inspected her nails nonchalantly. All the while, Flash watched everything unfold and rolled his eyes.

Before Twilight transferred to CHS, Micro Chips had been in a one-sided rivalry with Sunset Shimmer for the valedictorian spot, which Sunset didn’t really care about. When Twilight transferred, she ended up getting sucked into the battle for the highest GPA in the school, but unlike Sunset, she wanted it. In the end, Micro found himself in second place, his only comfort being that his GPA edged out over Sunset’s, just barely.

Vice Principal Luna was up on the stage with Principal Celestia. One by one, she called each student onto the stage, starting with Twilight, and one by one, each student went up on the stage, shook hands with the principals, pantomimed receiving a diploma from Principal Celestia, and sat down in one of the rows of chairs on the stage. The entire process went smoothly until Vice Principal Luna got to Rainbow Dash’s name.

“Rainbow Dash,” Vice Principal Luna called. She waited for the prism-haired girl to cross the stage, but no one came forth.

“Rainbow Dash,” she called again a little louder. Luna looked out into the gymnasium. Rainbow Dash wasn’t at her seat, so where could she be? She turned to her right and saw the girl in question just loitering at the edge of the stage. “Rainbow Dash, aren’t you going to come forward and receive your diploma?”

“Uh, yeah, about that,” Rainbow began as she nervously rubbed her arm. “Could you, umm, I don’t know, skip over my name during the real ceremony and hand me my diploma in secret while I sneak over to my spot without being noticed?”

Everybody present raised an eyebrow at that. Firstly, that was one complicated request. Secondly, what was the point of coming to the commencement ceremony if you weren’t going to publicly accept your diploma? Finally, what on earth was wrong with Rainbow Dash today? That girl normally lived to get attention for her accomplishments.

“Rainbow Dash,” Principal Celestia began. “If you’re able to be present for the commencement ceremony, I fail to see why you can’t accept your diploma right here on stage. Don’t you want to share your accomplishments with the friends and family who will be attending tonight?”

Rainbow Dash cringed at the mention of family, and immediately, Flash understood why she was acting so weird, and the reason made Flash’s blood boil.

Dash’s dad was the baseball coach for Cloudsdale Jr. High, and whenever Flash’s brother had a game against Cloudsdale, Flash would always see Rainbow and her mom in the stands. They were pretty hard to miss. All he had to do was look for the screaming lady in the cheerleader’s outfit carrying a huge, colorful sign that read “WE LOVE THE COACH!” Flash could tell by Dash’s body language at those games that her mom’s enthusiasm embarrassed her oh so much. While Flash could understand why Dash would find her mom’s behavior embarrassing, he didn’t think her parents were that bad. Sure, Dash’s parents were loud and maybe a little loony, but they were also some of the nicest people Flash had ever met. He remembered going up to them after one of the games and getting complimented on for his handshake. If Flash was honest with himself, a part of him envied Dash for having parents like hers.

Flash wanted to get up from his seat and tell Rainbow Dash off right then and there, but considering how red his ears were turning, he didn’t trust himself to do it without accidentally hurting her feelings in the process. Instead, he just sat there and took a few deep breaths while the rest of rehearsal continued.


Later, during lunch, Flash sat by himself at the bleachers near the soccer field. Normally, he’d be having lunch with Micro Chips and their friends Derpy, Lyra, and Sweetie Drops, but today, well, he just needed some time alone with his thoughts. He had already finished eating, so he pulled his picture frame out of his backpack. Holding it in both his hands, he once again stared intently at the photograph.

“I wonder if they’re proud of me,” Flash thought to himself.

“Hey, Flash,” a voice called from his blind spot.

“Gah!” Flash cried out, fumbling the picture frame before dropping it. However, before it could crash to the ground, it suddenly stopped in midair.

Flash turned towards the voice and saw Twilight standing next to him with her left hand stretched out and her geode glowing. Twilight smiled at him, blushing lightly, before floating his picture back into his hands.

“Thanks,” Flash smiled back at her before turning back towards the photograph, his smile shrinking a bit.

“You okay?” Twilight asked, taking a seat next to him. “You seemed to be seething a bit during the rehearsal.”

Flash scoffed, “I was not seething.”

Twilight raise an eyebrow at him, “So, you normally breathe like you’re trying to calm yourself down?”

Flash opened his mouth to reply but quickly shut it again. He had no good answer to that question.

“So, what were you seething about?”

Flash nervously rubbed the back of his neck before answering, “Well, you see, umm, have you and the other girls, by any chance, met Rainbow Dash’s parents?”

Twilight pursed her lips in thought and replied, “Fluttershy’s definitely met them before, and I think the rest of us met them once. Before then, Dash seemed to be avoiding introducing us to her parents.” Twilight thought some more before continuing, “I can kinda see why, but what does that have to do with whatever was upsetting you?”

“Do you think it’s okay for Dash to be ashamed of her parents?”

Twilight blinked a few times. “Wait. That was why she wanted to avoid walking across the stage? I mean, sure, her parents are a bit much, but they are allowed to be proud of her. That’s the whole point of the ceremony.”

“At least she HAS parents coming to the ceremony,” Flash mumbled, turning his attention back to his picture.

Twilight blinked again, her eyes widening in realization. Then, she slowly closed her eyes as she sighed. When she reopened her eyes, she slid an arm across Flash’s shoulders and gave him a squeeze.

“I should have known that you would have your family on your mind today,” she said, resting her head on his shoulder. “So, who are you missing this time?”

“Both of them,” Flash replied with a sigh. “You have no idea how much I wish the two of them could be here for this.”

“Considering that I don’t have Sunset’s magic, you might be right about that.”

Flash couldn’t help but snicker at that last statement, which caused Twilight to giggle.

“Hey, Twi,” Flash said, turning to her. “Do you think my mom and grandpa would be proud of me?”

“Of course,” Twilight replied. “Why wouldn’t they be?”

Flash smiled sadly as he gave his head a shake. “Well, it’s just that the rest of my life is about to start, and I still have no idea what I want to do with it.”

“Weren’t you leaning towards majoring in Criminal Justice at Everton?” Twilight asked.

“Well, yeah, I am but only because it made sense to me. I mean, I think I’d like a job helping and protecting other people, but honestly, I’m not as set on it as I’d like to be. I mean, I definitely could still change my mind about it later. Would they still be proud of me knowing that?”

Twilight pulled away from him and took his hand in both of hers. “Well, I know I am, and I also know that whatever you do next in life, it’s going to mean something. I know that I haven’t known your mom for as long as you have and that I’ve never even met your grandfather, but I’m sure they would both feel the same way about you.”

Flash looked at Twilight and then at the photograph. Then, he smiled and turned to his girlfriend. “Thanks, Twi.”

Flash put the picture frame back inside his backpack and zipped his backpack close. Then, he put an arm around Twilight and held her close. Twilight blushed fiercely before letting out a contented sigh.

“Hey, Twi,” he whispered. “Do you think this is how baby birds feel right before the first time they take off?”

“Baby birds?” Twilight replied, unsure what her boyfriend meant by the question.

“Do you think they ever wonder how fast, how far, and how high they’re going to fly or if they learned how to do it right?” Flash clarified.

“Hmm,” Twilight pursed her lips and pulled herself closer to Flash as she delved deeper into her thoughts. “I’m not sure. Unless you’re Fluttershy, I don’t think there’s a way to know for sure what an animal is thinking.”

Twilight suddenly giggled as a thought occurred to her. “All that being said, what you just told me sounds like a great idea for a PicsArt production.”

“I’d pay money to see that,” Flash joked back, causing Twilight to laugh harder, which made him laugh along with her.


“Flash Sentry,” Vice Principal Luna called from the stage. Just like in rehearsal earlier that morning, Flash made his way across the stage and shook hands with the principals. This time, however, he was wearing his cap and gown over his clothes, and Principal Celestia was handing him a real diploma.

Flash accepted the diploma and made his way to his seat. After he sat down, he looked out into the gymnasium, scanning the sea of faces for his family. He spotted an ecstatic-looking, semi-formally dressed couple with pompoms, a foam finger, and a ginormous sign that read “WE LOVE RAINBOW DASH!” Three guesses whose parents they were. After quickly suppressing his amusement, he passed the giant sign over and resumed his search for his family. He spotted them somewhere on his left, his grandmother beaming with pride, his aunt trying and failing not to cry, and his little brother raising both thumbs in the air. Flash wanted to raise his thumbs up back at Base, but he didn’t want to call attention to himself with the ceremony still going on and wasn’t sure if Base would have been able to see him do it anyway. He’ll just give the kid an extra hug later to make up for it.

The rest of the ceremony went as expected. All the other students crossed the stage when called. Rainbow Dash tried and failed to hide her face using her cap during her turn to cross the stage, and her parents cheered almost overzealously for her. Finally, the last student was called and given her diploma, and Micro Chips stood up to give the salutatorian speech.

“Uh, hi, everybody. My name is Micro Chips, and I’m the,” Micro paused. Flash couldn’t see his face, but he could tell that Micro was internally cringing over the word he was supposed to say instead of the word he wished he could say. “I’m the salutatorian. Gee, if I could say anything about our last four years at CHS, I’d have to describe them as pretty crazy. Understatement of the century, am I right, everybody?”

Now, Flash loved Micro Chips as a friend, but in all honesty, the guy was kinda cringey as a public speaker. Flash couldn’t help but internally facepalm at his friend’s attempt at a joke.

Micro just stood there for a few seconds, waiting for someone to laugh, but nobody did, so he just chuckled nervously and continued. “Anyway, I’m sure I can speak for everyone when I say that these last four years have been a lot more adventure than any of us were bargaining for. I’ll spare you the details to avoid freaking you all out.”

Micro Chips paused awkwardly with his mouth hanging open. His throat unable to decide which sentence to say next. At that moment, Micro immediately regretted not having anything written down on notecards. He once again chuckled nervously and cleared his throat.

“I swear I’m going somewhere with this, folks. Just bear with me a little,” Micro managed to squeak out. “Okay, where was I? Ah, yes, so, in these last four years, good things have happened to us, and some not-so-good things have happened to us, and a lot of the times those not-so-good things happened because of our own bad choices.”

Sunset Shimmer couldn’t help but cringe a little at Micro Chips mention of bad choices. Wasn’t that last sentence the story of her life! The girl sitting on Sunset’s left must have seen her cringe because to Sunset’s surprise, she put a hand on Sunset’s shoulder and smiled. Sunset smiled back, glad to know that there were people besides her closest friends who understood just how much she has changed since the raging she-demon incident.

“As painful as those bad experiences were, I’m just as grateful for them as I am for the good ones,” Micro Chips continued, causing his classmates, especially Sunset, to collectively blink in surprise. “Sure, the bad experiences were hard to go through, but they taught us all some important lessons. They taught us that making mistakes is part of life, and that the important thing is to get up, make things right, and keep moving forward. The best lessons that the bad experiences taught us were that we are not alone and that we have the support and friendship of other people who are making and learning from their own mistakes right along with us. I guess you can say that a lot of the good experiences were only possible because of the bad ones. At the end of the day, all I can say is ‘Thanks, CHS. It’s been one exciting ride.’”

Everybody clapped as Micro took his seat and Twilight got up to take his place.

“Hello, everyone,” Twilight began. “I’m Twilight Sparkle, the class valedictorian, and I’ve been given the honor of closing us off for tonight. I’m supposed to be talking about how a chapter of our lives is closing and about all the amazing things that the future has in store for all of us, starting college, entering the workforce, joining the military. I did plan on talking about how we all have so much to look forward to in the future, but when I sat down to start writing about that,” she paused and took a breath, “I realized that as excited as I was for the future, a part of me was afraid of it, and I couldn’t understand why.”

Ever so slightly, Twilight turned her head towards Flash’s direction as if she was attempting to steal a glance at him.

“Earlier today, my boyfriend and I were talking about the ceremony, and he asked me something that helped me make sense of how I was feeling,” Twilight continued. Flash sat up straighter and blinked in confusion at that. He was not expecting to be part of this speech. “He asked me, ‘Do you think this is how baby birds feel right before the first time they take off?’ I didn’t understand what he meant at the time, but after thinking about it some more, I realized that once today is over, our lives are going to change, and they’ll never be the same again. We can’t go back to being the same people we were four years ago any more than a bird can forget how to fly.”

Twilight’s mind suddenly screeched to a halt, causing her to forget what she had planned to say. This is what she gets for waiting until the last minute to finish writing a speech. Thankfully, she had notecards on hand. She quickly shuffled through them and continued her speech.

“When a bird takes off, there’s a lot that it just doesn’t know, how fast its going to go or how far or how high, if it’s going to stick the landing or crash into something, and just like that bird, there’s a lot we don’t know about our futures. Sure, we study and practice and plan in order to cope with the uncertainty, but we never really get rid of it, and as an admittedly uptight super-organizer, that scares me a bit.”

Twilight giggled a bit at that last admission. Some of the other students, mostly her own friends, snickered along with her. Flash, on the other hand, was wondering how he could have missed that Twilight was feeling this way. Compared to him, she always seemed to have everything put together when it came to their college plans. In hindsight, maybe Flash had mistaken Twilight’s usual overpreparation for a lack of fear.

“However,” Twilight continued, “as terrifying as the uncertainty is, like a bird about the fly, we all have to take off because out there, in the middle of all that uncertainty, is where we’re going to find our lives. It’s the place where we’re going to grow, learn, and become who we are and the place we need to be. Being in that place may mean having to part ways with the friends we’ve learned to love and care about here, among other changes, but we still get to bring the memories we made with them and the lessons they taught us. No matter how high or how far we go, we all will be bringing a piece of each other to wherever we go.” Twilight paused again and cleared her throat. “Before I close us off, my friends and I prepared a little something to send the class off with.”

Micro Chips turned towards Flash, and the two of them shared a look of confusion as they watched Sunset, Rainbow, and the other members of the Rainbooms get up and go backstage with Twilight. The seven girls reemerged with various musical instruments. Twilight was carrying a piano bench while Applejack had her bass guitar in one hand and was lifting an upright piano with the other. Everyone could just barely make out a faint orange glow under her gown. Rainbow Dash and Sunset brought out their guitars, but Dash also had an extra guitar with her. The extra guitar had no strings, and the words “Stunt Guitar” was emblazoned on it in stylized letters. Rarity and Fluttershy had their usual instruments, which were a keytar and a tambourine respectively. Pinkie Pie, however, brought out a complex-looking sampler instead of her drum set. The girls quickly set up and arranged themselves with Twilight stage left and Pinkie Pie stage right. Fluttershy, Rarity, Sunset, Rainbow, and Applejack lined themselves up between Twilight and Pinkie in that order from left to right.

When the girls had properly arranged themselves, Twilight began to play the opening bars on the piano.

“Nothing stays the same for long/But when it changes doesn't mean it's gone,” Twilight began to sing. “Time will always get away/As it leaves behind another day”

Sunset began to lightly strum a few chords while Fluttershy shook her tambourine and sang, “Things may come and things may go/Some go fast and some go slow/Few things last, that's all I know/But friendship carries on through the ages”

Fluttershy sang her verse of the song again. This time, Rarity sang along with her and added her keytar to the song. Then, Dash cut in with an electric-sounding riff on her guitar while Sunset quickly changed her own guitar’s audio settings.

“Been around for a long time/Rocking out hard 'cause I'm in my prime,” Dash sang as Sunset began to back her up, the new settings giving Sunset’s guitar an equally electric sound. “Maybe it'll change further down the line,” Dash stopped playing and changed to the stunt guitar while Sunset continued to play.

“But my friendship carries on through the ages,” Dash belted as she lifted the stunt guitar overhead and smashed it into the floor, practically splintering it.

“Every single style has something/Different it can say,” Applejack took over the next part of the song on her bass. “There's nothing wrong with being unique/And special in your own way”

With an unsurprisingly surprising amount of skill, Pinkie Pie continued the song on the sampler, singing, “Maybe you wanna be a pop star/Get your fifteen minutes of fame, wha, ah! Ah, oh!/That won't last forever/But friendship remains the same, ah-oh, oh!”

Suddenly, Pinkie Pie stopped playing and all that could be heard was the voices of the seven girls singing in harmony. “Things may come and things may go/Some go fast and some go slow/Few things last, that's all I know/But friendship carries on through the ages”

The girls began to play their instruments again, and as they sang the last verse, each instrument and each voice blended together into an indescribably beautiful work of music before finishing the song. “Ohhh-oh, carries on”

As soon as the song ended, everyone in the audience stood to their feet and clapped.

Once the applause had died down, Twilight finished her address, saying, “Thank you so much, CHS, and thank you, everybody, for coming tonight to celebrate our graduation with us.”

The Rainbooms quickly returned their instruments backstage and returned to their seats.

Principal Celestia stepped up to the microphone and announced, “Presenting this year’s Canterlot High School graduating class!”

At that declaration, Flash Sentry and the rest of his classmates stood up in unison as everyone in the audience applauded them. Then, row by row, the graduates proceeded off the stage and out the gymnasium.


A few minutes later that night, all the graduates were scattered throughout the gymnasium and the hallways, meeting up with friends and family. Flash found his family among those who had stayed in the gym.

“Bro!” First Base cried as he jump-hugged his older brother. Flash grunted as he tried to adjust himself to the sudden change in his center of gravity.

“Hey, Little Bro,” Flash managed to say as he set his brother down, allowing the tension in his back to release. Then, he bent down and gave his younger brother a much less painful hug. “I’m guessing you’re really happy for me.”

“You know it,” Base declared, lightly punching Flash’s arm.

Flash turned to the rest of his family, particularly his aunt, and said, “Did you suddenly get allergies, or were you crying, Aunt Flare?”

“I was not crying. My contacts were just bothering me,” Aunt Flare retorted, rubbing the remnant tears from her eyes.

“Uh, since when?” Flash continued to joke. “Come on, Aunt Flare. You might as well admit it.”

“I swear I tried to hold back.”

“If it makes you feel any better, your sister probably would have cried harder,” Grandma said to Aunt Flare.

“Knowing her, she probably would have flooded the gym,” Flare laughed.

“I don’t know about you three, but I think we all need to take a picture with the graduate,” said Grandma.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s find someone to hold the camera for us while we get ourselves in position,” Flare agreed.

First Base spotted Twilight and her family closest to them and brazenly approached them.

“Hey,” he greeted them.

“Oh, hi, First Base,” Cadance, Twilight’s sister-in-law, greeted back. “What’s up?”

“Nothing much. Grandma just wants to take a family picture with Big Bro in his cap and gown, and we need someone to hold the camera.”

“I’ll do it,” Twilight volunteered. “I was going to go over and talk to him later anyway.”

“Don’t stay over too long,” grumbled Twilight’s brother Shining Armor.

“Shiny, calm down,” his wife scolded teasingly. “They’re only going to be a few feet away. Besides, in the time they’ve been together, has Flash done anything even remotely inappropriate?”

Shining Armor rolled his eyes, causing Twilight to giggle.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Twilight said to her family before going with First Base.

“Okay, I found someone to hold the camera,” First Base announced to his family.

Flash couldn’t help but blush a little when he saw who his brother had brought to be the cameraman.

“Uh, hey,” Flash greeted Twilight. “I hope my brother didn’t interrupt anything you were doing with your family.”

“It’s no trouble at all, really,” Twilight replied as she accepted the camera from Aunt Flare. She stepped back so that the whole family was in frame. “Just say when.”

The family arranged themselves with Grandma at the far right and First Base at the far left. Flash and his aunt stood in the middle with Flash standing between Aunt Flare and First Base.

“Hold on. We’re missing a few people,” Aunt Flare said as she reached into her tote bag and pulled out a large framed picture. It was a bigger version of the one in Flash’s room with a more decorative frame. She handed it to Flash, who held it so that the photograph was facing the camera. “On an occasion like this, a family photo wouldn’t be complete without them.”

“Thanks, Aunt Flare,” Flash said with a wide smile before the two of them turned to face the camera.

“Wait,” First Base cried. “Aunt Flare, I don’t have to do the angel smile, do I?”

Aunt Flare let out a sigh and put her hands on her hips. “If I let you pose like a Power Ranger, will you smile like a normal person?”

“Deal,” Base agreed before striking a pose. Flash and his grandmother each gave Aunt Flare a look, Flash in bewilderment and Grandma in mild disapproval.

“What?” Aunt Flare cried defensively. “Do you have any idea how creepy he looks when he does the angel smile? At least he’s not making a face.”

Flash laughed at that before the family turned to face the camera. “Okay, Twilight. We’re ready.”

Twilight snapped the picture and handed the camera back to Aunt Flare.

“Um, hey, Ms. Flare, is it alright if I borrow Flash for a few minutes? I actually wanted to talk to him,” Twilight asked.

Flare blinked in surprise before smiling knowingly. “Of course. The rest of us will just be waiting over by the door.”

Grandma and Aunt Flare made their way to the gym doors, and First Base followed but not before silently gagging at the affectionate looks Twilight and Flash were sharing with each other.

“So,” Flash finally said once the two of them were alone, “you did great with the speech. The song was great too.”

“Thanks,” Twilight replied, shyly brushing back a stray strand of hair from her face. “I wouldn’t have gotten the speech done if we hadn’t had that talk earlier. That’s actually what I had wanted to talk to you about earlier today, but then, I noticed that something was bothering you.”

“Aww, Twi, I’m sorry,” Flash groaned before pressing his hand against his forehead. “I had no idea that you were stressing.” Flash paused as an awkwardly thoughtful look crossed his face. “In hindsight, I really should have known better.”

“Flash, it’s okay,” Twilight replied with a giggle. “I mean, it all worked out, didn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Flash snickered back. “So, you and your family have any plans for later tonight?”

“Just going out for a celebration dinner and then ice cream afterwards. We’re going to try out that new Indian place The Tasty Treat.”

“Hey, my family and I are doing that too, well, except that we’re going to different restaurant. You know what happens whenever I eat spicy food.”

The two of them shared a laugh at that.

“Maybe we’ll run into each other at the ice cream place,” Twilight joked.

“Given how often that’s happened before, I’d be even more surprised if we didn’t,” Flash joked back, the two of them sharing another laugh.

Flash then took Twilight’s hand and kissed it. “You and your family have fun. I’ll see you later, maybe.”

“We will. Thanks. See you later.” Twilight gave Flash a quick kiss on the cheek before the two of them parted ways.

“I have no idea what I’m going to do for the rest of my life, but I definitely know who I want to share it with,” Flash thought to himself, stealing one more glance at his girlfriend before meeting with his family. “All I have to do is wait for the right time to ask her.”