The Life and Times of Everypony

by Leafdoggy

Into the Fire (Marble, Spitfire)

“You doin okay?” Rainbow Dash asked.

Marble hummed anxiously. “I’ve never been this high up.”

The two were standing on a cloud overlooking the Wonderbolts training academy, high enough to get a good view of the entire place. Marble was nervous, and a little shaky, despite the faint purple glow around her hooves that was keeping her from falling through. 

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and ponies were scurrying all over the runway. Young pegasi, training to become their best selves, flew in tight formations all around them. Even from how far away they were, they could faintly hear Spitfire barking orders and critiquing ponies when they landed. 

“Last chance to turn around,” Rainbow Dash said. “I’m not on the clock for a bit, I could take you back down without being late.”

Marble shook her head. “I’m ready.”

“If you say so.” 

Rainbow Dash scooped Marble up and carried her towards the facility. It took them a few minutes, both because they were moving slowly, for Marble’s sake, and because they didn’t actually take a very straightforward route. Marble didn’t want to be spotted being carried, so she had Rainbow Dash set her down behind one of the buildings.

Marble took a second to steady herself as they landed. Walking on clouds was a very strange new experience, and she knew it would take her a bit to get used to it, but she didn’t want to fall over and make a fool of herself. When she felt ready, she nodded to Rainbow Dash.

Together, they started walking around the building. “Remember,” Rainbow Dash told her as they walked, “she’s practically a different pony when she’s working. She’s not what you’d call, um… Nice.”

“Mm-hm,” Marble hummed.

As soon as they rounded the corner and caught sight of Spitfire, Marble’s face started to turn red. She instinctively brushed her mane in front of her face, trying in vain to hide how nervous she was.

They got right up behind Spitfire without being noticed, so Rainbow Dash cleared her throat. That caught Spitfire’s attention, and she spun around, glaring over the top of her sunglasses. Then she spotted Marble, and her glare turned into a look of shock.

The shock didn’t last long, though, and it quickly turned into an icy stare, pointed straight at Rainbow Dash. “I told you to bring her to a show, Dash,” she said. “Does this look like a show to you?”

“Hey, I was against the idea,” Rainbow Dash said. “She insisted.”

Beside her, Marble nodded.

Spitfire grimaced. “I-” She sighed and pushed up her glasses. “Look, Marble, I’m not sure you know what you were asking for. I really wanted to give you a good first impression of me.”

Marble smiled sweetly and turned her head to hide her face. “You already did,” she said.

Spitfire smirked. “Yeah, okay. My shift ends soon, you and Dash go find a place to wait. I don’t really like being distracted.”

Marble nodded, and Rainbow Dash led her away. They went and sat down together on the stoop in front of the nearest building, and Marble pushed her mane aside so she could watch Spitfire work.

Spitfire was good at her job, so she didn’t let the audience change how she worked. She was just as loud and stern as always, calling out every little thing she saw the trainees doing wrong. They watched her for at least half an hour, and in that time it was like she completely forgot they were there. 

After they had been sitting there a while, Rainbow Dash decided to ask about something. “So, this is really why you wanted to come here? To see her doing this?” She gestured outwards just as Spitfire yanked a pegasus out of the air to lecture them about their form.

“Mm-hm,” Marble hummed.


“To compare to Limestone,” Marble explained. “I love my sister, but I wouldn’t want to date a pony exactly like her.”

“Yeah, that’s fair,” Rainbow Dash said. “So? Is she?”

“I’m not sure yet,” Marble said.

Not much later came the end of Spitfire’s shift, and unlike most days she wasted no time in ending her workday. She called all the fliers down a few minutes early, just to make sure she could tell them all she needed to without running late. Then, as soon as the clock ticked over, she dismissed them all and made her way towards Rainbow Dash and Marble.

“Hoo,” she sighed as she got close to them. She took her sunglasses off and rubbed her eyes. “Nothing like staring into the sun for hours, huh?”

“Yeah, I’m kinda surprised you can still see,” Rainbow Dash said.

“Maybe I can’t,” Spitfire said. “Maybe I’m just that good.” Rainbow Dash laughed, and Marble quietly chuckled under her breath. “Hey, Dash,” Spitfire continued, “don’t you have somewhere to be?”

“Geez, I didn’t know you were this impatient,” Rainbow Dash said with a sly smile. “Yeah, alright, I go get my class ready. Marble, if you need me, have Spitfire blow her whistle. I’ll hear it.”

Marble nodded, and with that Rainbow Dash took off, speeding away and leaving the two ponies alone together. Marble turned to look at Spitfire, but when their eyes met her blush deepened and she turned to stare at the ground.

“You know you’re gonna have to look at me eventually, right?” Spitfire asked.

“Mm-hm,” Marble hummed. With some effort, she looked back up to meet Spitfire’s eyes. She still flinched a bit, but she smiled, too. 

Spitfire smiled back. “That’s more like it. I gotta go do some stuff in my office, how about we walk and talk?”

Marble nodded, and they set off. Spitfire was in front, leading the way, and Marble had to concentrate a bit to keep up without tripping, but she did manage to keep pace.

“It really is bizarre to me that you’d wanna come see me at work,” Spitfire said as they walked. “Was it what you were hoping for?”

“Mm…” Marble hummed as she thought.

“Huh?” Spitfire looked back, curious to see her response, and was just in time to see Marble stumble a bit. “Aw, shoot.” Spitfire fell back until she was beside Marble and used a wing to help steady her. “Still in work mode. Let’s slow our roll a bit.”

Marble nodded, and their pace dropped significantly. Spitfire decided to just let Marble decide how fast to walk, and Marble, given the choice, liked to go slowly enough to appreciate everything around her. Sometimes that didn’t slow her down too much, but this was her first time ever being up in the clouds before, so there was a lot for her to look around at in wonder.

“When you’re up here, it gets real easy to just assume everypony is used to the clouds, you know?” Spitfire continued. “The only earth pony we usually get around here is Pinkie, and she’s… Weird.”

Marble giggled. “What makes you say that?”

“What, can you really not see how weird your sister is?”

Marble shook her head. “I know she is, but everypony thinks she’s weird for different reasons. It’s interesting to hear.”

“I mean, she’s just… Weird,” Spitfire said. “She’s an earth pony. Earth ponies stay on the ground unless they want to do something like we’re doing, and that doesn’t happen a whole lot. It’s like she doesn’t even want to be an earth pony, but then you talk to her and she’s the most comfortable with herself pony in Equestria. It’s nonsense!”

Marble laughed some more. “I like that perspective.”

“Why do you think she’s weird?”

“She’s too normal,” Marble said. “Pies don’t usually, um… Fit in.”

“Hah! That’s wild,” Spitfire said. “I can’t imagine too many ponies have ever described Pinkie as ‘fitting in.’”

“But they would still all be able to describe her.”

“Fair enough,” Spitfire said. “Can’t say I know a whole lot about the rest of your family.”

“Limestone’s a lot like you,” Marble said, “except not. That’s why I wanted to see you work.”

“Wanted to see if I measured up to your big sis, huh?”

Marble shook her head. “It’s not a competition.”

“I still don’t get it. Oh, hey!” Spitfire pointed to the building they were coming up to. “That’s our stop.”

They went inside, and it didn’t take long to reach Spitfire’s office. She had fought to get the room closest to the doors. The inside was, for the most part, perfectly neat and orderly. All the papers on her desk were cleanly stacked and sorted, her jackets were hung up with care, even the carpet looked barely used. The only thing that felt at all like clutter was the ridiculous amount of medals and photographs lining the walls, commemorating just about every Wonderbolt who had ever lived, and even they were carefully arranged to look as tidy as possible.

Spitfire flipped her hat up onto a hook on the wall and took her jacket off, dropping it on her desk. She opened a draw, dropped her sunglasses into it, and pulled out an entirely different pair of sunglasses and put them on. 

“So,” Spitfire asked, “got any ideas for an actual date?”

“Um, didn’t you have something to do in here?”

“Yeah, I just did it,” Spitfire said. “Can’t go around dressed like that, I’ll look like all I do is work. I’ve got a reputation to keep.”

“Oh. Well, I don’t really know the area, so…”

“Makes sense,” Spitfire said. “We could pop on over to Cloudsdale. Our restaurants are incredible.”

“That sounds fun, but I can’t really, um...”

Spitfire scoffed. “C’mon, I can carry you no sweat. Let’s go.”

Back outside, Spitfire stretched out and flexed her wings. “We’ll be going there,” she said, pointing to a clump of clouds in the distance. “Is that too far?”

Marble shook her head. “I think I’m getting used to the heights.”

“Awesome. Hop on.” Spitfire motioned towards her back.

“Oh.” Marble gulped. “Are you sure?”

“Dude, you’re tiny. It’s no problem. Besides, this’ll give you a good excuse to get up close and personal.” She winked and smiled.

Marble smiled back and, very nervously, clambered up onto Spitfire’s back. Her blush got deeper than ever as she wrapped her front legs around Spitfire’s neck and held on tight. 

“Um,” Marble said, “shouldn’t we tell Rainbow Dash we’re leaving?”

“What is she, your babysitter? Dash is a big girl, she can find us if she needs to.”

Marble giggled. “Okay, then.”

“Sick. Hold on tight!” Spitfire crouched down, spread out her wings, and rocketed into the sky as fast as she could. Marble’s grip immediately clamped down as tight as possible, and without thinking Marble pressed her cheek up against Spitfire to stay calm as she looked out over the sights. 

Marble never would have imagined she’d ever see the world flying by beneath her so quickly. The ground was too far down for her to even tell how far it was, but despite the distance the trees below them were a blur as Spitfire sped through the sky. Clouds blasted past them in an instant, so fast that when Spitfire swerved into one to break through it, Marble didn’t manage to react and brace herself until they were already on the other side. 

Then, before she knew it, they were at Cloudsdale. Marble fought to catch her breath, her chest heaving with her heavy panting, and Spitfire chuckled as she lifted Marble up with her wings and set her down on the clouds.

“You good?” Spitfire asked.

Marble nodded, still panting.

“Do you need a second?”

Marble nodded again.

Around them, Cloudsdale was bright and busy. Spitfire had landed right in the middle of the city’s shopping center, and pegasi of all sorts were out taking advantage of the beautiful weather. A few of them gave Marble puzzled glances, but most were too distracted to even notice her.

They were standing at the edge of a wide central plaza. The center of the plaza was dominated by an intricate fountain, and ponies sat all around it resting and socializing. In every direction, bright, colorful signs invited customers into shops and restaurants. The brilliant colors even spread onto the buildings themselves, with most walls being various pinks and blues and oranges. 

Marble finally managed to catch her breath. “Okay,” she sighed, “I think I’m better.”

“Glad to hear it,” Spitfire said. “Was the ride too much?”

Marble shook her head. “No, it was really fun! Just a bit overwhelming the first time.”

“Well, I guess we’ll have to practice, then.” Spitfire smirked. “C’mon, let’s get some grub.”

Once they were walking, a lot more ponies took notice of Marble. Some looked away nervously, others whispered to their friends, and yet more just stared in disbelief at seeing an earth pony walking around Cloudsdale. 

When Marble noticed the attention, she retreated into herself, brushing her mane in front of her face and hunching over as if to take up less space.

Spitfire saw her getting nervous and wrapped a wing around Marble, pulling her close. Marble looked up at her in shock, and Spitfire smiled back and said “There. Now nopony will see that you don’t have wings.” Marble smiled at that and relaxed as she let herself be held.

“Here we go,” Spitfire said as they came up upon the restaurant she had been heading towards. She ushered Marble inside and got them a corner table, out of view of the other ponies dining there.

The restaurant was warm and cozy. It had no lighting, lit only by the sunlight that filtered through the clouds that acted as its ceiling, and that meant that every so often one of the ponies would get bathed in a golden glow. There were hardly any tables, and they were spaced so far apart that it was always quiet, even with tables full of ponies talking and laughing together. The whole thing made dining there feel very personal.

Spitfire went out of her way to be as polite as possible, helping Marble into her seat before taking her own, and making sure to sit where she’d block the sight of the few remaining ponies who would be able to see them. 

Marble had a warm smile on through it all, and she found herself watching Spitfire with a dreamy look on her face. When Spitfire was comfortable and met her eyes, Marble’s instinct to turn away was stopped by her desire to keep looking, although she still couldn’t keep from hiding behind her mane.

Spitfire leaned forward on the table. “Have I told you yet how adorable that is?”

Marble nodded.

“Good, because it is. It’s a shame such a cute mare is stuck on a farm in the middle of nowhere.”

“Oh, I don’t think I’m stuck,” Marble said. “I’m happy to help the family business.”

“Sure, but you don’t want to be doing that your whole life, do you?”

Marble shook her head. “Not at all. As long as they still need me, though, I do want to help. It’s important to me, even if I don’t want to be there forever.”

The conversation was interrupted when the waiter came over to take their orders. Spitfire was ready to explain the dishes to Marble, since she’d never had that type of food before, but before she could Marble decided to just order the same thing as Spitfire. She was tempted to play it safe and order something fairly normal, but in the end Spitfire decided to get them two orders of her favorite dish, even though that dish happened to be extremely spicy.

“How long do you think they’ll need you?”

“I’m not sure. I think Limestone has been trying harder lately to make it so I don’t have to stay.”

“That’s sweet of her.”

Marble nodded. “It’s also why I wouldn’t date a pony like her, though. Limestone tries really hard, but she’s never taken shortcuts. There have been workers who were alright, and taking them on would have given me that freedom, but she didn’t because, well… It would hurt the farm. I agree with her decisions, and the farm needs a pony like her, but…”

“But it’s not what you need.”

Marble nodded.

“I think I get it,” Spitfire said. “Hopefully I can live up to that.”

Marble smiled softly. “I have a good feeling about it.”

“You sure you’re not just feeling good about how good I look?”

Marble giggled and shook her head. “No, that’s a different good feeling.”

Spitfire laughed. “Good answer.”

They talked a bit more, making jokes and talking about their lives and flirting, until eventually their food arrived. They didn’t even notice the waiter at first, they were too caught up in each other, and when he got up next to the table Marble jumped in surprise. Spitfire laughed, and the waiter gave them their meals and walked away.

“It’s a bit hot,” Spitfire warned before digging into her own.

Marble nodded, and very carefully took a tiny first bite. She chewed for a bit, then her face lit up and she took a much bigger bite. Spitfire’s eyes went wide as she watched Marble eat it without any reaction to the heat at all.

“This is really good,” Marble said after a few bites. “I’m glad I let you choose.”

“Wow,” Spitfire said. “Yeah, me too.”

They ate the rest of their food in relative silence, both of them too hungry to slow down and talk, and Marble never showed any sign that she even knew it was spicy. Spitfire probably would have, if she were alone, but she refused to let Marble see that weakness and managed to hold it back. 

Then, after they ate, they talked some more. And more, and more, as the hours whittled away around them. They talked for so long that Spitfire got hungry again and ordered desert, which Marble loved. They talked until the sun fell too low to keep the restaurant lit, and they probably would have continued to talk if they hadn’t been asked to leave.

Marble was incredibly embarrassed as they walked out onto the dim Cloudsdale street. “I hope we didn’t cause them any trouble,” she said.

Spitfire wrapped a wing around Marble again and started leading her back towards the plaza. “Nah, it’s fine,” she said. “I tipped a lot.”

“That’s good.” Marble hummed happily and leaned against Spitfire as they walked.

When they reached the fountain, they decided to sit there for a bit. Marble peered over the edge, watching her reflection in the still water below, and Spitfire leaned lazily on it as she watched Marble.

“So, you wanna go do something else?” Spitfire asked.

“Like what?”

“Cloudsdale’s got a pretty good nightlife. Heck, we’ve got a twenty four hour theme park! You ever been on a rollercoaster at night?”

Marble shook her head.

“It’s incredible,” Spitfire said. “You gotta try it, let’s—” 

There you are!” An anxious voice cut off Spitfire. The ponies turned just in time to see Rainbow Dash land beside them. “I’ve been looking all over Cloudsdale for you two!”

Spitfire laughed. “Chill, Dash. We can take care of ourselves.”

I know that,” Rainbow Dash said, “but if I don’t get Marble home before nightfall, Limestone is gonna kill me. Like, for real.”

Marble giggled and looked over to Spitfire. “She’s probably right.”

Fine,” Spitfire groaned. She brushed Marble’s mane away with a wing and smiled at her. “Thanks for the night.”

Marble nodded her head and grinned wide. “I’ll try to get time off to see you again soon.”

“You better,” Spitfire said, “cuz if I have to come down and steal you away, Limestone is gonna kill me.”

Marble laughed. Rainbow Dash was tapping her hoof rapidly on the clouds below. “Marble, I’ve only got, like, thirty minutes to get you home.”

“Mm-hm,” Marble hummed. She hopped up and trotted happily over to Rainbow Dash, who wasted no time in lifting her up and whisking her away. As they rose into the air, Marble waved goodbye to Spitfire, and at the last moment Spitfire blew her a kiss. Her heart skipped a beat, and she covered up her face as she broke out into a huge smile.