The Demon's Angel

by Radiant Dawn

Chapter 16: Coming to Terms

Chapter 16: Coming to Terms

I woke to the sound of sobbing, and upon looking at my side and noticing that the filly at my side was still slumbering, I became very worried. I was pretty sure I wasn't crying, and I didn't really believe in ghosts, so who...? It was then that I looked to the source of the weeping – my bedroom window.

A very familiar rainbow mane was draped over a crying cyan mare.

I gently sidled out of bed so as to allow Scootaloo to sleep a bit longer, but apparently Dashie's sharp hearing caught the sounds. Without turning around she said, "I know everything, Koa...everything." I heard her sigh as she looked at me with puffy eyes, no doubt from hours of crying. "I'm so sorry I got mad at you. It wasn't your fault and now I know why Luna told you to stay quiet about this."

I nodded. "I'm sure now that you can understand the ramifications of telling everypony about this. It would cause mass hysteria."

Dash floated over to me and embraced me tightly. "I'm so sorry, Koa. I had no idea..."

"Exactly Dash, you didn't...and that's why I don't blame you." I responded as I rubbed her back soothingly. "I was freaked out as well when I learned about everything."

"S-so that means me and Kay..." she whispered.

I nodded and smiled as I lay my chin on top of her head. "You're the same person...just from different times. It's why we fell for each other so easily, Dashie. We already knew each other at one point, just at different times."

"And Twi and all my friends..." she whispered again.

I nodded in affirmation. "It's likely that at some point in the time period I'm from, we met all of them. You probably did as Kay, and when part of me goes back to correct the timestream, I'll meet them as well."

She then freed her face from my chest and looked at the sleeping filly in the bed beside us. "Scoots' name used to be Sylen. I remember now; her and I were best friends." She then looked up at me with a wide smile. "AJ's name was ironically Jaquelin, and Fluttershy's was Dalila." Upon seeing my surprise, she continued. "Luna told me I could tell them if I wanted to. She knows both of them are trustworthy."

I nodded. "How do you think they'll react?"

The cyan mare shrugged. "Probably the same way I did, if not worse. Fluttershy will believe it and deal with it pretty quickly...she's good at that. Applejack however..."

"She's going to resist." I finished for her.

My rainbow angel nodded softly with a pensive expression. "AJ's not the kind of mare that believes things she can't see or touch – she's always been that way...even as a human."

I nodded. "Luna told me that as far as personality, we don't change a lot through each life. Makes sense she's pretty much the same then." I then looked deep in her eyes. "Do you want to still go by 'Rainbow Dash' now or 'Kay'?"

"Rainbow Dash." the pegasus replied immediately. "I'm so much cooler now than I was as a human...that life's behind me."

"Sounds good to me." I responded. I immediately raised my eyeridge in surprise. "So, you're okay with me having been with Luna and Scoots at some point?"

Dash nodded with one of her megawatt smiles. "You're mine now...that's what matters to me. They can fight over you after I'm done with you."

I snorted a laugh in my deep dragon-esque voice. "Luna fighting Scootaloo...I'd pay to see that." I then sighed and shrugged. "Well Dash, now that you know the truth, I'd like for you to come and have breakfast with my daughter and I this morning."

"Yeah, Luna told me about that." Dashie responded with a warm smile. "Does Scoots know?"

I shook my head. "Not yet, but I'm going to ask Luna if I can tell her. AJ already told me yesterday that Applebloom and Sweetie Belle were going to be playing with Scoots today, so that'll give her something to do until we get back."

The both of us quickly got the young filly up and moving before fixing a small breakfast and talking over the meal.

"So what does your daughter look like?" Dash asked as she swallowed a mouthful of apple oatmeal.

I smiled and took a bite of my steak. "Let's just say that looks can be deceiving." She eyed me curiously and I added, "When we leave, I'll show you what I mean."

At that moment, Scootaloo bounded down the stairs happily. "Morning guys!"

"Hey, I am not a guy." Dash retorted.

The filly rolled her eyes as she sat down at the small table beside us. "You sure do act like one sometimes."

I just chuckled, causing Dash to glare at me. "What's funny?"

"I'm staying out of this. This is between you two." I responded as I grabbed my empty plate and Dash's bowl and glass. "Anyway, it's time to go. You ready Scoots?"

The filly nodded. "Yep!"

I smiled and placed the dishes in my sink for later. "Alright then, finish up and grab your scooter and we can head out."

As we stepped out on my front "porch", I stepped away and motioned for the two pegasi to wait. "I think I'll give the two of you a lift today. Watch this."

I closed my eyes and focused like I had the previous day, willing the change to take place. It was much easier this time seeing as how I knew what I was shooting for, and I felt the change take place much quicker. After just a minute or so, I felt my magic stop and I opened my eyes to notice that I now had to look much further down just to see the two ponies looking up at me.

Dash was in shock, but her personal fan just smiled and hugged my leg. "Now you look the same way I remember you, Zizzy."

I nodded and turned my eyes to the cyan mare, noticing she hadn't moved an inch. "You okay there Dashie?"

My voice was now a deep layered voice that reverberated through the air. This seemed to snap the speedster out of her thoughts and she smirked at me. "I had a feeling you were holding out on me, dragon-boy. I always thought it was strange that you were so much smaller than other dragons."

I shrugged. "Well now with that out of the way, we can head out." I got on all fours and lowered myself to the cloud. "Climb on girls. Your dragon-carriage awaits."

This caused both of them to roll their eyes and giggle, but they did as I asked. I felt as they took their places between spines on my back and neck, and also felt when their hooves wrapped around said spines. Now that I felt they were secure, I took to the skies with a mighty flap of my wings and soared through the open air.

My new form flying through the air caused a bit of a stir in the local populace, but one they all noticed two ponies riding on my back, everypony calmed down. After all, a ravenous dragon wouldn't be giving ponies a piggyback ride...or dragon-back ride...or something. Whatever, I'm not good with coming up with new terms. **GASP** Draconic-transportation-facilitator! No wait, that makes me sound like a machine. Heh...a dragon-machine!

(Many more ADD-related ramblings later...)

After dropping off the filly at her and her friends' clubhouse, Dash and I flew to the palace. I changed forms before approaching so as to keep the guards from attacking me, but they still looked surprised to see a gray dragon flying towards them. Once they realized it was me though, they nodded and lowered their wings, allowing Rainbow Dash and I entrance to the Celestial Palace.

We arrived in the banquet hall a few minutes later to find the two princesses and Moonbeam having breakfast together. Luna looked a little tired with it being morning and all, but still managed a smile when she saw us.

"Welcome you two." Celestia greeted. "Have you already eaten?"

I nodded. "We did, but we're always in the mood for pleasurable company with royalty."

Dash elbowed me and whispered, "That sounded kinda dirty, Koa."

I smirked and looked at the three royals present. "I meant that in the dirtiest way possible."

Needless to say, Dash was mortified. Upon the princesses dismissing their servant staff and guards however, both of them erupted into laughter...including the unicorn hybrid. The cyan mare just eyed us like we were crazy, and I just shook my head.

"You need to loosen up, Dash. Come on, you're supposed to be the most awesome pony out there." I quipped.

The rainbow-maned mare stuttered, "I – but...we-"

"Come now Rainbow Dash." Luna said through giggles. "Now that you know the truth, you know that we must keep up appearances in front of our subjects...but among friends we are allowed to be ourselves. As Koa here has said, you must loosen up."

Celestia took deep breath and composed herself with a smile as bright as the sun itself. "We are friends, Rainbow Dash. We were in the past, and I pray that we always will be." The princess then lowered her voice a bit. "Just don't reveal that to Twilight, I beg of you. She believes she is my only true friend, and I fear that she will no longer feel special if she believes otherwise."

"Isn't she special?" Dash responded, now in control of her tongue again.

Luna nodded. "Very much so, but I fear that if she is not the only one to be on a personal level with her mentor, she may feel she is being replaced. You are a dear friend of hers Rainbow Dash, and you understand how she can be."

The cyan pegasus nodded. "Yeah, I do. The egghead can freak out a little about things like that. It's okay, I won't tell her."

"Thank you, Rainbow Dash." Celestia responded warmly. "I love her as my own daughter and I hate to keep things from her, but I fear it would be detrimental to tell her at the moment. When she grows up a little more and becomes more confident in herself, we will reveal things like this to her more often."

Dash nodded as she sat down in a chair, and I did so beside her as well. "Just don't let AJ know. AJ's my best friend, but she is horrible at keeping secrets. Since she's the Element of Honesty, I don't want to put her in that situation."

The princesses nodded and I motioned to Moonbeam. "Dashie, I want you to meet daughter. Moonbeam, this is Rainbow marefriend."

I was surprised to see Moonbeam sporting a very friendly smile as she nodded towards the pegasus at my side. "It's an honor to meet Equestria's fastest flier."

Dash giggled and shook her head. "Please, I'm meeting a princess and Koa's daughter. The pleasure's definitely mine."

I leaned over to Dash with a smirk and whispered, "Not yet it's not."

This caused the cyan mare to blush a bright crimson, which in turn caused all three princesses to giggle. Luna looked to Dash with a mischievous smirk. "I am sure I can guess what he just whispered to you."

The pegasus leaned to me and elbowed me hard. "Not in front of the princesses, Koa!"

I rolled my eyes with a huff. "Fine...I'll be good."

"You truly have no shame, do you?" Luna quipped from across the table with a smirk.

"None at all, Dizzy." I responded with an equal smirk. "You know that from our previous lives though, don't you?" Luna blushed a deep crimson at my remark and I raised an eyeridge. "Do I even want to know?" She shook her head vigorously, so I shrugged. "Very well." I then looked at Moonbeam with a smile. "So, how has life been?"

The next two hours or so were spent catching up with my daughter, and Dash learning about our past lives. The talk ranged from our past selves all the way to what our favorite foods were – now and as humans. There were a few heartfelt tears shed and a great many laughs laughed, and when it was all over I was pleased to find that my relationship with Moonbeam was mending. It was far from 100%, but I was pleased to find it was a few steps in the right direction. Where once there was awkwardness and even a little hostility, she was now warming up to me. I knew for a fact she didn't consider me "daddy" yet or even her father, but I was glad that I was at least a likable acquaintance.

When we finally broke apart so that Luna could sleep and Celestia could attend to her duties, it was with hugs and smiles...even from Moonbeam. I can't even explain how great it felt to be able to hug my little, filly...mare-dragoness. Whatever...the point is that it felt great to be able to hold my daughter in an embrace for the first time I could remember. It was an amazing feeling and even though I held it a little longer than necessary, she smiled all the same and returned it before bidding me goodbye and inviting me to the Grand Galloping Gala...whatever that was. She then handed me nine golden tickets and sent Dash and I on our way.

On our way out, I was getting the strangest looks from all the ponies of Canterlot. I turned to Dash and whispered, "You'd think they've never seen a dragon before or something."

Dash leaned in and whispered back, "It's because they haven't. Even when Twi and Spike were living here the rest of the ponies never really saw either of them. Before he moved to Ponyville with Twi, the only ponies that knew about him even existing were Twilight, her parents, and Celestia."

"Oh..." I responded.

"I can take care of this for you, dear Storm Rider." a voice said from behind me. I turned to see Celestia standing behind us with Captain Shining Armor. She winked at me with a smile before turning to the crowd of gathering ponies. "This dragon is known as Storm Rider, and is a friend to both myself and Princess Luna. I ask all ponies to please treat him with the respect garnered by any other citizen of Equestria. To insult or accost him is to insult me, so I ask you please do not do so." She then extended a protective wing behind me with a smile. "I assume you are pleased with this, yes?"

I chuckled and nodded. "I was expecting to have to work things out the hard way, but this takes care of everything, Princess Celestia. Thank you." I then bowed my head in respect because of all the ponies around us.

The solar princess nodded and smiled to the crowd. "I offer my thanks to all of you for being so attentive. If anypony has questions regarding Storm Rider or his origins, you may petition Captain Shining Armor to meet with me during day court. Thank you and have a wonderful day." Celestia smiled at me once more before making her way back to the palace with the captain.

Dash shrugged with a smile. "Well...that went a lot better than I expected."

I nodded. "I agree." I then inclined my head to the skies. "Let's go see Fluttershy and Applejack. I'm sure I'll be able to support you as you explain things to them."

Dash nodded as she flitted up into the air. "Good idea, Koa."

As I was about to take flight, I was stopped by a small group of fillies when one of them tapped on my leg to get my attention. I turned around with a smile as I looked down at them. "Yes?"

A young unicorn filly with a vermillion coat and white mane giggled at me and blushed. "Umm mister...we were wondering if..."

I raised my eyebrow. "Wondering if...?"

The filly shut her eyes tightly in embarrassment and shouted, "Wewerewonderingifyouhadamarefriend!"

I chuckled and kneeled in front of them, pointing at Dash. "See that pegasus over there?" The filly nodded. "Well, that's my marefriend. Her name's Rainbow Dash, and one day she's going to be a Wonderbolt."

"Maybe she will..." quipped a voice from above me.

I heard Dash gasp as she started stuttering, "Sp-S-S-S-Sp..."

I looked up to see a bright yellow pegasus mare with a dual-colored orange mane and tail that mimicked the colors of a fire. The mare chuckled heartily as she landed next to me. "Spitfire's my name, kid."

I heard a thump and looked to see that Dash had fainted. "Miss Spitfire...I think you broke her."

The Wonderbolt captain chuckled again as she nodded. "I think I just might have." She motioned to the downed pegasus. "Pick her up and follow me. I want to talk to you."

We arrived a few minutes later in a small park that looked an awful lot like the one in Ponyville. I set Dash down on a bench and sat beside her, stroking her mane softly with my claws. I then looked at the yellow pegasus and shrugged. "Alright, so what's up?"

Spitfire grinned before pointing her hoof at the sleeping pegasus next to me. "So I take it she's already told you about the letter I sent her, right?"

I nodded. "She has. I think you should know that she actually thought about turning it down...for me."

"Really?" the Wonderbolt asked, shocked.

I nodded again. "Yeah. I talked her back into it though, so it's all good now."

Spitfire stepped in front of me with a look of inquiry. "Wow...I would never have expected that from her. I mean I don't know her personally, but from what I've heard she's wanted to join the Wonderbolts ever since she was a filly in flight school. You must be a hay of a dragon to get her to reconsider like that."

"Yeah, but I'd like to think that what truly makes me good is the fact that I couldn't let her do that. If you all decide she's got what it takes and she has to go away, that's fine. I'm not going to allow myself to come between her dream." I responded while looking fondly at the sleeping mare beside me.

Then Spitfire asked the obvious question. "Why would you do that though? I mean, won't you miss her?"

I sighed and nodded. "Of course I would, but I'll tell you the same thing I told her in regards to that." I looked back at Spitfire with a solemn look. "I don't really even like to think about the possibility, but what if her and I should break up at some point? However unlikely that may be, it's still a valid possibility. The last thing I'd ever want is to know that I let her pass up this opportunity on a gamble that we'd always be together." I then turned my eyes back to Dash. "I mean, I love her so much...but there is no certainty with love. There never is."

The Wonderbolt was quiet for the longest time before smiling. "I see why she likes you now. You care more about her than any male has before."

"How do you know that?" I responded curiously.

At this Spitfire sighed and closed her eyes. "Rainbow Dash told you about her mom, right? About what happened?" I nodded, so she continued. "Well, what she might have forgotten to mention was that she used to have a sister."

"You mean..." I whispered.

Spitfire was silent for a moment before looking up at me with a smirk. "Nah...but I had you going for a second there, didn't I?" I rolled my eyes and she smiled. "No, I know a lot about her because of the research I've done. Obviously before my team and I allow somepony into the Wonderbolts, we have to know all about them. I've read things, asked questions, and observed. Save for actually knowing her personally, I know just about everything there is to know about her."

"You know," I started with a grin, "some ponies might think you're stalking her."

The yellow mare shrugged. "Some ponies might be right." I was confused, so I waited for her to continue. "I've had my eye on her for a long time, even before the incident at the Young Fliers' Competition. In all my years of flying, I've never seen a pony with the raw speed and ability that she has, and I can honestly say that with some training and refining, she could be a better flier than I could ever even dream of being." Spitfire then looked at the sleeping Rainbow Dash. "I'll be honest with you Storm Rider, I want her on my team. Because of the rules and regulations she still has to pass the tests and initiations fair and square...but if there's a way to get her in the Wonderbolts, I'm going to find it. I want you to promise me that you won't tell her."

I nodded. "I won't, but I know Dash and I know she doesn't want special treatment. She's a great mare, but she has a hay of a lot of pride. Her pride is as much a part of her as her wings, and if you damage it, you damage her."

Spitfire shook her head. "I'm not going to do anything that's illegal to get her in. She's going to have the same chance as any other pony to get in...but I'd be lying if I said I'm not going to put through personal effort to give her the best chance possible." Spitfire then sat down on the bench beside me. "Now then, for the real reason I called you here. We need to talk about your work with the princess."

I raised my eyeridge at her. "How do you know about that and how do I know I can trust you?"

The Wonderbolt captain sighed and closed her eyes. "Your real name's Koa Kamakani. You're from the past and you were the one that took care of Dash before she was brought back here. You're friends with both the princesses, and your favorite color is violet. Princess Luna used to call you 'sea monster' back where you came from." I stared open-mouthed in shock. No words came, so Spitfire continued with, "The princesses figured you'd be a little distrusting at first, so they gave me the lowdown on some things only you and they would know. I've been in their employ for as long as I can remember, so they trust me enough to know that information."

I shook my head to compose myself and smiled. "Well that would cover it. So what's up?"

"Well, I know that Princess Celestia has a new mission planned for you in a few days, but I need your help tomorrow if you're free." the yellow pegasus responded.

I shrugged. "Sounds groovy. What's the problem?"

"Well," she started, "I know about your little form-change that you can do...and we need that power for a problem we're having at Dragon Mountain. Seems that awhile ago there was a dragon sleeping there that caused a huge black cloud of smoke to drape over Canterlot and Ponyville. Well, he's returned and he's not sleeping this time. He's claimed ownership over the lands of Everfree and Ponyville, and has told us that we have a week to evacuate, or risk casualties."

"Wow...that's kinda dark for a dragon that Fluttershy was able to handle." I remarked.

The yellow pegasus nodded. "I'm not really sure how that friend of Rainbow Dash's does it, but she was able to tame him. Problem is that this time he's actively threatened the entire town. We can't risk her getting hurt or any of the other ponies, so we need your help. As a Skylord-class dragon, you're the only one that's going to be able to intimidate him into leaving, or stand toe-to-toe with him if he won't. This is an enforcement mission only. Do not, I repeat do not kill him. We just want him gone, not dead. You'll receive compensation upon completion of the mission directly from me."

I raised my eyeridge skeptically. "You're paying me out of your own coinpurse?"

Spitfire smiled sheepishly. "Well the princess paid up front for our services...and since we can't take care of it, we were going to return the money. However if you take care of it, the compensation goes to you instead. So, are you interested?"

I bobbed my head in thought for a minute before nodding. "Yeah, this'll be a cinch."

"Great!" the mare exclaimed. "Anyhow, just look to the northwest of Ponyville, past the Everfree forest. It's the tallest mountain there, you can't miss it. I'll meet you outside your place at around 0400 hours tomorrow so that I can observe."

"Sounds good, Captain Spitfire." I responded.

The Wonderbolt smiled and nodded. "Excellent. Well, thanks a lot for your help, Storm Rider." She then looked down at the sleeping mare, who had crawled into my lap during our conversation. "You take good care of her...she means a lot to me."

Before I could ask about that remark, the pegasus flew away. I just shrugged and sighed. "This is going to be a long day..."