A Rainbow in the Dark

by FeignedSincerity

7. A Lie, You And I

Fluttershy ran out of her room and to the balcony, joining her friends just in time to watch the outcome of a disaster. Time slowed, as the pair closed in on the solid stones of the street below. A collective gasp escaped from the gathering crowd, many of them turning their heads away. They all assumed the worst. But then, a desperate scream escaped from the falling duo as a bright flash of light blinded eveypony in the area.

"Oh no! What happened?" Fluttershy peaked out from under her hooves, which she used to cover her watering eyes.

The other three peaked over the rail of the balcony, trying to make out the scene through the dissipating purple glow.

"-you! Huh?" Rainbow checked her hooves as she felt the solid surface of the balcony on her back. "Wait, what just..."

"RAINBOW!" Pinkie Pie leaped on top of the disoriented pegasus and gave her the biggest hug she could summon. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to almost get you killed!"

"Oh goodness... Don't do that again, I nearly had a heart attack!" Rarity scolded, though she was happy to see her friend safe.

Applejack wasn't so jovial however. "Uh, where's Twilight?" The others stopped their celebrating and thought for a second. Indeed, Twilight Sparkle was nowhere to be seen. At least, not on the balcony. Applejack looked back over the rail to confirm what they all hoped was not the case. There, on the street below, laid Twilight, her hooves splayed in different directions.

"Oh no! Oh my goodness is she..?" Fluttershy hid her eyes back under her hooves. The thought of it was just too much to bear.

"What? Twilight?!" Rainbow jumped to her hooves, though her shoulder still hurt, and leaned over the balcony. Hot tears streamed down her face as she tensed her hind legs to prepare to launch. "I'm going down! I need to make sure she's ok!"

"NO!" Pinkie yelled, leaping up with her arms open like a shark's jaws. Rainbow jumped, going right over the grabby pink pony and stopping a few feet over the floor. It took a second to right her wings, still a little off from the fall. To her friends' protests, she dove. This time, she had full control, and was able to stop just before impact.

"Twilight! Why did you..." Rainbow lost her words to the lump consuming her throat. The crowd gathered closer, chattering about the incident that they all just witnessed. Many a heart broke as they watched Rainbow Dash physically wilt over the purple unicorn, who stayed limp on the street.

A slight stir sent a glimmer of hope to Rainbow's thoughts. It was only a momentary muscle spasm, but it was something.

"Twilight! Twilight get up!" Rainbow shouted at the purple lump. "Come on Twi! You promised!"

'You promised...'

Twilight's eye lid twitched, as if it were trying to open.

'I promised'

"I'm a doctor!" somepony shouted from the audience, though nopony actually stepped out. Those who were not wiping tears from their cheeks groaned, though they all expected somepony to say it.

Rainbow propped the near lifeless lavender pony against herself and wept into her shoulder. Her wings couldn't seem to decide whether they wanted to fly or retract, still working out a few kinks. "Don't go! Don't do this to me!"

A firm hoof pulled on Rainbow Dash's shoulders, pealing her from Twilight's body.

"She lives!" Luna exclaimed excitedly after placing her ear to Twilight's chest.

Princess Celestia held Rainbow back as she struggled to get back to her savior. "It will be alright Rainbow! Luna will make sure that she is well, I'm going to need you to come with me and explain what just happened."

Rainbow swallowed her fears and watched as Luna gathered the unicorn into her hooves, taking off into the night. Reaching a hoof towards the slowly disappearing form, Rainbow fell to the cold stones. Her heart gave out, leaving her a blubbering mess.

Up on the balcony, Applejack removed her hat and placed it respectfully over her heart. Fluttershy and Rarity held each other for support and sobbed loudly. Pinkie's mane deflated and she dragged her hooves back into the living room.

"This is all my fault..." the depressed party animal lamented. "I should have just let her go..."

"Don't take this all on your own Pinkie." Applejack walked over and paced her hat on Pinkie's head. "I s'pose we're all to blame for this. Darn it we should a just let her be!"

A loud thump on the balcony beckoned all of their attention, as Princess Celestia landed upon the solid concrete platform. Rainbow Dash laid sobbing on her back. "Take Rainbow Dash to her room, I would like to have a word with you four.

The fear in their eyes told everything. Rarity and Fluttershy helped Rainbow down, who could barely stand up. They gently guided the pegasus into her room and helped her into bed. Once the two returned, Celestia began.

"I would like to know exactly what happened to cause this!" Her tone was different than normal. Her calm was replaced by a deadly seriousness that could send a royal guard cowering.

Of the four, Applejack summoned up her courage and spoke. "We were only tryin' to help. Rainbow seemed mighty troubled and Ah just wanted to get to the bottom of it!"

"Then how did she come to fall off of the balcony?"

"She tried to run your majesty." Applejack continued, speaking for her nerve stricken friends. "Pinkie and Ah tried to stop her and..."

"I closed the door and she flew through it and she lost her balance and then she fell off of the balcony!" spouted a distressed Pinkie Pie. "And now Twilight's dead and I'm never going to smile again!"

"Dead? Oh no my subjects, Twilight is not dead." All four pairs of eyes brightened a little at this bit of news, but they still shivered in guilt. "But she might have been if my sister had not caught her in time. You're all lucky that Luna was watching."

"T-T-Twilight's al-live..?" Fluttershy squeaked, securing her wings tightly to her side for a false sense of protection.

"Yes, she's alive. Luna was securing the moon on it's course from her balcony when she heard screaming." Celestia shifted her eyes to look out the broken glass door. "Though she could not drop the moon, and to keep it steady takes almost all of her magic. She was able to soften the impact but that is all..."

"Thank Celest... Thank you that she's alright." Rarity finally broke from her fright and made her voice heard.

"Now back to business. Why would she run if you were only trying to help her?" Celestia returned her stare to the group, earning a collective flinch.

"I fear that we weren't much help..." Rarity kicked a hoof at the carpet and looked away. "I believe it might be more accurate to say we were pestering her."

"Is that so? And what have you learned from this?"

"That begging for information ain't the right way to go about helpin' a friend..." Applejack looked down at her hooves in shame.

"Or eavesdropping..." Pinkie added.

"Or prying into her personal life..." Rarity concluded. The three of them looked over at Fluttershy expectantly.

"What? Oh no! I did't do any of that! I just gave her some advice!" The pastel yellow pegasus backed away as if being attacked.

"I understand that your hearts were in the right place my little ponies," Celestia sighed and let her mouth turn up into a slight smile. "I'm relieved to know that you've at least learned something from this. I fear that Twilight will not be able to attend the celebration in the morning. You are to spend the night with her, so I regret to inform you that you will not be attending either. Consider this your punishment." She began towards the door to Rainbow Dash's room with her regular smile in place. "Now I have one more pegasus to speak with. Please, proceed to the hospital as soon as you can."

The four nodded in understanding, and began collecting what they would need for the night. Celestia opened the door to the dark bed room. It smelled of old parchment and ink, with a slight hint of under-wing sweat. It stung at the nostrils, but it wasn't the worst thing Celestia's ever smelled by a long shot.

"Rainbow Dash?" Celestia checked. Her request was met by a short burst of sobs.

"I'm here..." Rainbow replied after gaining control of her thoughts.

"Rainbow Dash, may I come in?"

"Of course... Come in..."

Celestia stepped in and sent a flicker of magic to light a candle on the desk. "It's dark in here child, you should not subject yourself to such torment."

"I was hoping that it would just take me..." Rainbow poked her head out from under her blanket. Her eyes were puffy and red, the fur on her face all matted down from her tears and running nose.

"Do not say such things Rainbow Dash! I know that you're upset, but there is no need to wish that upon yourself!" Celestia took a stance by the bed, giving Rainbow a supportive look. "You have much to live for."

"But Twilight..." Rainbow wiped a hoof across her nose and choked out another short sob. "Twilight's gone... I love her and she's gone!"

"Oh where do you ponies get this idea? Twilight is not gone!" Celestia chuckled a little as Rainbow looked up, hopeful. "You were there, my sister told you she was alive! She's being taken to the hospital."

"I have to go see her!" Rainbow shouted, bolting up from the bed and preparing to zoom out through the door. Her tail, however, is caught by soft yellow aura. She is slowly pulled back down to the bed.

"You will, but first I need to apologize." Celestia sat on the mattress next to Rainbow Dash and folded a wing over her shoulder. "I fear that all of this could have been avoided."

Rainbow felt the large wing envelop her, calming her entire body. "What do you mean?"

"I'm ashamed to say that I had a hoof in bringing the two of you together."

Rainbow's mind went blank for a split second. "You mean... You were behind this? How?"

"Well, Luna had told me of your secret feelings for my student," Celestia explained. "She also indicated to me that you were afraid of the dark." She closed her eyes and pointed her nose down, showing just how sorry she was about the ordeal. "So I directed my sister to darken the night sky for those two nights. I knew that if the stars were not out, you would do something rash in fear... It was wrong of me to do..."

"But I had been planning for this since you told us about the trip! This was my idea!" Rainbow fought, confused about how her plans could have been just another part of a bigger plot.

"And who was it that got you all private cars?"

Rainbow again had to search for a thought, wondering if she should feel thankful, or just like she had been used. "Why would you do that?"

"You are both young. Twilight needed something in her life other than her studies, and quite frankly she needed to open her heart to the idea. She has done plenty of research on love, yes, but she had yet to try her hand at romance." The princess laughed a little thinking about it. "And Luna expressed to me that you were showing regressive behavior. Hiding your feelings and letting them rot is very detrimental to a pony's health!"

"But... Why are you telling me? I never would have known..."

"Because I, like your friends, feel bad about all of this. I never expected it to explode like it did." Celestia admitted. "I suppose I should leave this love business to Cadence. I've never been much good at it."

Rainbow Dash rubbed her eyes, trying to relieve the stinging and the puffyness. "Why did she jump?"

Celestia had to think for a second. Her smile became soft, a look of true happiness in her eyes. "If I know my student, then she wouldn't do that for just anypony. She had to know she wouldn't be able to save both of you."

"She did?"

"I'd think so. The calculations she would have to do to pull off a rescue at that speed would be very taxing on the mind. Her mental prowess is impressive, but that would take concentration that only years far beyond her own could provide."

"Then why did she jump?" Rainbow pleaded. "If she knew she would be hurt, then why did she do it?!"

"You'll have to ask her," Celestia offered, standing to exit the room. "But my guess, Rainbow Dash, is that she loves you." The large white alicorn vacated the room, leaving Rainbow Dash alone.

'Is it already morning?'

"Hey, she's waking up!"

'Where am I...'


'Am I...'

Twilight's eyes opened a sliver to see the blurry outlines of 5 ponies. She tried to move her right hoof to reach out to them, but it didn't move.

"Well I'll be, she's comin' around!" The country accent was unmistakable. Surely these were her friends.

"What..." Twilight attempted to ask, feeling the words come out painfully. Her chest felt restricted, like it had caved in on itself. "What... happened?"

"You were awesome! That's what!" The energetic tone could be none other than Pinkie Pie. "You saved Dashie's life!"

"Rainow... Rainbow!" Twilight attempted to sit up, but her back protested painfully. "Where is she? Did she make it?!"

"I'm right here," Rainbow giggled, the tears audible in her voice. "I'm fine."

"Oh... Good..." The injured purple unicorn opened her eyes all the way to see a clear image of her friends. "What time is it?"

"7:30" Rainbow Dash replied.

"The celebration!" Twilight once again tried to lift her body, but it worked just as well as last time. "I have to be there!"

Rarity opened a curtain to let in some light. "I'm afraid we've missed it darling, and you are in no condition to go anywhere. The doctor said that you are to stay in bed until tomorrow, when you shall be transported to the train."

"You won't be able to walk for another month..." Fluttershy added with an apologetic tone.

"How bad..." Twilight inquired, trying to estimate how much of her body was out of commission.

"3 legs."

"7 ribs."

"Fractured skull."

"Oh..." Twilight tried to focus on her horn, which only caused a headache. "I guess that explains why I can't move."

"My goodness, you're lucky to be alive, let alone mobile!" Rarity reminded. "We weren't expecting you awake until tonight. The doctor said you had a mild concussion."

"Which means none a that fancy magic for a while, y'hear?" Applejack added.

"I'm just relieved that you're alive..." Rainbow whispered, feeling quite embarrassed about crying in front of all of her friends. "If it weren't for you... I could have died..."

"Speaking of which..." Twilight interrupted. "How did I live?"

"Princess Luna saved you at the last minute!" Fluttershy explained with a gentle smile. "Though she could only slow you down a little bit before you hit the ground." Her smile disappeared. "I was so scared..."

Twilight's left fore hoof, the only one that wasn't broken, felt a familiar pressure. Rainbow was holding onto it tightly, squeezing it when Fluttershy mentioned the impact. Applejack noticed the tears building up behind Rainbow's eyes.

"Well Ah'm sure Rainbow would like to thank Twilight in private." She indicated for the other three to follow and started towards the exit.

"Oh! Right!" Pinkie Pie agreed, nearly teleporting to Applejack's side. "You two need to profess your love for each other before the end of the vacation!"

"PINKIE PIE!" came five angry voices. Pinkie giggled and bounced towards the door.

"Totally not sorry!"

The four ponies made their way out of the room, as Rainbow looked down at Twilight with a look of joy and worry.

"Twilight..." She began. What she had to say was much harder to summon the nerve for when her life wasn't at stake. "Twilight I-"

"I know..." Twilight interrupted, letting her head lay back on the pillow and closing her eyes. "I heard you the first time..." Her mouth curled into as much of a smile as she could muster.

"Why did you do it?" Twilight opened one eye questioningly. "Why did you jump after me? You knew you wouldn't make it didn't you?!"

"I did..." Twilight let out a labored breath and took in another.

"Then why did you save me?" Rainbow demanded.

Twilight released her breath again, feeling her chest rise around the ruins of her rib cage. "Because you mean a lot to me Rainbow Dash..."

"Do you mean..." A glimmer shone in Rainbow's irises.

"You mean a lot..." Twilight stopped the love-struck pegasus with an apologetic seriousness in her voice. "I'm sorry..."

Rainbow held that lavender hoof to her chest and produced a surprised moan. A tear propped itself in the corner of her eye, and her wings hang limp. "Why are you sorry?"

"Because I promised..." Twilight held her eyes shut tight, locking her emotions into her cracked skull.

"So this is... It?" The tear in Rainbow's eye multiplied. "Is this the end?"


Rainbow Dash tilted her head in confusion. "Then what is it?"

"This is the start... This is the start of something new." Twilight explained. "I'm not ready... And neither are you..."

"No kidding..." The two let the air grow silent. The sun peaked in through the window and illuminated Twilight's face. Rainbow marveled at how beautiful she was.

"But..." Twilight continued finally, determined to set this all right. "I'm willing to try again... When I'm better..." Her breathing progressed to a horrible agony. She coughed, the air passing through her windpipe sounded like rusty nails rattling in her lungs. Her voice had been strained too much.

"You promise?" Rainbow gripped that hoof as tight as she could, not wanting it to leave, never wanting to let go.

Twilight attempted to speak, but again all that came out was a fit of coughing. Each one sounded worse than the last. Regardless, she guided Rainbows hooves over to her chest and crossed her heart.

"Th... Thank you..." Rainbow let go of that hoof, and as if it were the pin to a grenade it unleashed the floodgates. Quickly turning, she disappeared from the room without another word.

'I'm sorry...' Twilight thought, trying to gain control of her breathing again. Her hoof had been left to hang, and it landed on the bedside table. More specifically, it landed on a softly bound book. Doing her best to grip it, she lifted the heavy thing over to her line of vision. It was her journal.

'Why's this here?' her mind demanded. Reality decided not to answer however, and rather she just opened to the last page she remembered.

Strangely, the page wasn't empty. In fact, the next few pages were filled. Each page had a new entry, and each with a different hoof writing.

'Dear Twi,

I know I've never been much for fancy reading and learning like you, but I figured that I could try and get a smile out of you. Rainbow told us about your journal, hope you don't mind me writing in it. Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for how I've acted. I guess it was pretty obvious that you weren't comfortable with all of this, and I had no right to push you like I did. Anyhow, I hope you feel better real soon, because we all need you. You're the best friend a pony could ask for, and I mean that with every leaf in Sweet Apple Acres.

Your friend,

The hoof writing was uniform, though clearly inexperienced. It reminded Twilight of somepony who only ever wrote to keep stock of something. She did her best to smile, but every muscle in her face hurt. The page turned to show a much more elegant writing. The letters curled around each other, looking more like a painting than a letter.

'To my dearest Twilight Sparkle

All I can think to say is that I feel honored to have somepony like you as a friend. Seeing you in this dreadful state is just awful, and I promise to treat you to a day at the spa once you're back on your hooves. Do not let me forget. I also wanted to say that you and Rainbow Dash make the cutest couple that I have ever seen. I truly hope that things between the two of you work out. Remember that if you need anything, and I mean absolutely anything, that I will be happy to assist you.
Get better soon darling.


There it was, that smile that so wanted to overtake her face. Her cheeks burned as she smiled uncontrollably, her jaw beginning to throb. The page turned once again to reveal a horror show of chicken scratch. It was all written as if in a hurry, like there was too much to say and it all had to be said right then and there.

'Twilight Twilight Twilight Twilight!

Hi! When I heard you weren't dead I was all like COOL and stuff because you're ok and I felt so bad that I made Rainbow fall out of that window but then you saved her and it was soooo COOL. You're totally like the best pony that ever lived! Anyway, you should totally stop being so embarased about your feelings for Rainbow Dash because she loves you and I know you probably love her too so seriously tell her! I'll even throw you a big party when we get home because you deserve it and then we can all be all like DAWWWW because you and Rainbow are adorable. What kind of cake do you like anyway? I know that you like cake, because honestly who doesn't like cake but serisouly I don't know your favorite type of cake and that makes me sad. I guess asking you in your journal isn't going to get me anywhere, silly Pinkie! See, I can talk in first person too!

You'll never guess who wrote this!'

Twilight laughed between breaths, reading that mess of randomness. Of course it was Pinkie Pie, who failed to realize that she mentioned her own name in the letter. Oh well, what can one expect from her? The most surprising thing about it was the accuracy of her spelling, save for one or two words. Twilight turned the page again to a very delicate message. This one was more elegant, like Rarity's, but it was softer and more inviting.

'To Twilight,

I'm not very good at writing letters, but thank you for looking after Rainbow Dash. She really needs somepony in her life to make sure she's alright. I've seen the look in her eye when she's around you, and it reminds me of our days in flight camp. But don't feel obligated to do anything you're not ready for of course. I understand that love can be difficult. All I can say is that I'm glad that I know such a brave pony like you. I'll make sure to get you better nice and quick.

Fondest Regards

'All of these...' Twilight thought, trying to piece it together. They all made her smile, but something about them was tugging on her heart.

'I promised...'. That pesky memory surfaced again. 'I promised and I have to keep it...'

The page turned. A blue feather was pressed in between the pages.

Twilight Sparkle,

I'm going to try to write this the right way. I'm not good at this so please don't laugh at me about it again. I can't thank you enough for saving me. You could have let me fall and you would have been fine. Instead you jumped and caught me, and I owe you my life. I don't know what lies ahead for us but I'm willing to see where this leads. You make me smile Twilight, but like, really smile. Like, when I'm with you I just feel happy, like my life is complete, which I've never felt before. I can't wait for you to get better so that you can come outside with me and play! Oh, I should mention, I talked to Princess Celestia. I totally won the bet! She was behind it after all! But you know what? That's not important. I don't care if you want to study anyway, or whatever. You've given me something that some stupid game never could. Anyway, I want you to have this feather. I know it's not a big deal, since I have a bunch of them, but I didn't have anything else to give you. I'm gonna wrap this up before I start crying again.

All my love,
Rainbow Dash.'

Twilight closed the journal, letting it rest on bandaged body. The weight that it provided didn't really bother her at the moment. In fact, the only thing she could really feel was the soft feather that had floated down to her side. Almost subconsciously, she lifted the feather with her magic over to her now empty hoof. The purple aura flickered out, letting it float gently down onto her heart.

The smile came back to Twilight's face as she held the feather tight to her chest. Her mind slowly drifted into nothingness as her eyes invited her to fall asleep.

"I promised..."

The crippled mess that was Twilight laid there still. Her mouth coiled into a peaceful smile, and she was out for the day.