Flying Through the Storm

by volrathxp

Chapter 4: Stepping Up

Flying Through the Storm

Chapter 4: Stepping Up

I jumped to and fro, feeling completely and utterly elated at the news that I had managed to not only improve my wing power substantially, but that I had tied with Blossomforth!  I beamed as I jumped about, earning myself a low snarl from the white mare.  I swished my tail, feeling quite pleased with myself as I made my way over to Flitter, who had just got done with her own wing power test.  She was standing off to the side of the track with Winter Storm.

“So Flits, how’d ya do?” I said happily.  Flitter smiled.

“Oh, I got a seven point five!” She said.  I grinned.  Rainbow Dash was right about one thing when it came to all of this training.  Despite how much it hurt, to have it pay off was gratifying.  And yet, despite how excited I was, I felt a deep pit in my stomach.  He hadn’t been there to see it.  I had wanted him to be there.  To see me tie with the mare that was my rival for his affections.  Where is he? I thought, scanning the crowd of pegasi.  The silver-haired stallion was nowhere to be seen.  I sighed and turned away, nearly running right into the white mare standing next to me.  Blossomforth did not look happy at all.

 “Blossom,” I said sweetly as I smiled at the other mare.  Kill them with kindness my mom always used to say!  “I’m so happy to see you!  Did you see my wing power score?”

“Cloudchaser,” she replied harshly.  “I told you already to back off.  I heard about your little excursion with Thunderlane this weekend.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised, he told me that he turned you down,” I said, still smiling.  Blossomforth huffed at me.

“The socks, as somepony would say, are off Cloudchaser.  Expect no mercy,” she said, storming off.  I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Man, somepony has an anger management problem,” I said.  I looked over at Flitter, who was fuming with anger.  Winter was holding onto her, trying to keep her calm.  “Whoa there Flits, take a chill pill would ya?  She’s not worth it.”  Flitter sighed.

“You’re right.  Sorry,” she replied as her eyes softened.  Winter gently rested his hoof on her shoulder.

“Besides… she’s gonna get enough of her own medicine soon enough by keeping up this mean girl act of hers,” I said.  “I mean, she really thinks that he wants to be with her.”

“I thought you said Thunderlane wasn’t that interested in her?” My sister asked curiously.

“He said so, but he is still friends with her.  I wouldn’t put it past her to keep trying,” I said.  “Why does this stuff have to be so difficult?”  Flitter giggled.

“That’s just the way it goes I guess,” she said.  I looked over at her and smiled.

“Well, I think I’m gonna go see if I can find him.  You know, make sure he’s okay,” I said.  Flitter and Winter nodded, leaving me alone as they rejoined the training.  I moved to fly off, when I realized I didn’t exactly know where Thunderlane was living in town.  I stopped next to Rainbow Dash, who was in the middle of giving some inspirational shouting to a few of the trainees.

“Hey Dash?” I said.  Dash looked up at me and grinned widely.

“Oh, hey Cloudchaser.  Nice stuff out there today,” she replied.

“Thanks.  Hey do you have a second?” I asked.  Rainbow nodded and came up beside me as we trotted away from the group.

“Whatcha need?” Dash said.  Her magenta eyes showed genuine concern.  I regretted not giving her a chance earlier, and maybe someday I would make good on her offer to talk.  Right now though, I needed some answers.

“I uh… I need to know where Thunderlane lives,” I said, knowing immediately that Rainbow might outright reject the question.  She wasn’t supposed to just tell anypony personal details of her workforce.  Before she could say anything I spoke up again.  “I’m just… I’m worried about him, alright?  He didn’t show up this morning, and I feel like I need to know he’s okay.”  Rainbow sighed.

“Alright,” she said.  I blinked.  Wait, what? I thought.  “I’m not supposed to do this, but you’ve been pushing so hard on yourself and I think I know why.  If it will put your mind at ease, here’s his address.”  She took out her pad or paper and wrote on it with a marker held in her teeth.  She handed me the slip and I smiled.  The location was on the far side of the town, not too far away from where Fluttershy lived.  I thanked Dash profusely and took off towards the location.  As I arrived, I noted that the house address was up in the sky.  A good majority of Ponyville pegasi lived in cloud houses, so I wasn’t totally surprised.  The place where he lived was small, almost too small for a family to inhabit.  I stopped at the door, sighing as I knocked on it.  I could hear rummaging from beyond as the door opened, revealing Thunderlane standing there.  His eyes went wide at the sight of me.

“C-Cloudchaser?” He said shakily.  I smiled and waved a hoof.  “What are you doing here?”

“You didn’t show up for training today… I wanted to make sure you were alright,” I said, feeling very confused.  This wasn’t like him at all.  His normally cocky grin and piercing eyes were gone, replaced with the tired expression that lent itself to being up all night.

“I’m fine, just overslept.  Tell Rainbow Dash I’ll be in tomorrow,” he said, starting to close the door.  I put a hoof up to stop him.

“You don’t look fine Lane.  In fact you look like you haven’t slept all night,” I said.  Thunderlane sighed.

“It’s Rumble.  He’s sick, and I’ve gotta take care of him, that’s all,” he replied hurriedly.  “Look, I’m sorry Chase but I have to go check on him now.”

“Well, what’s wrong?  Can I see him?” I said.  I hoped silently that the young colt was alright.  He was adorably cute after all.

“Oh, no that’s not a good idea.  It might be contagious,” Thunderlane said.  “Look, I’m really sorry.  I’ll make it up to you alright?”  I nodded, turning away for a moment.

“Alright.  But you owe me an explanation for all of this,” I said, grinning.  I moved to fly off before he spoke again.

“Tomorrow night?” He said.  “Just… just you and me.  You can stop by here, I’ll explain everything then.”  I sighed.

“Alright Thunderlane,” I replied, flying down to the ground and away from the silver-haired stallion.  I heard him cough a bit as he closed the door.  Opting to walk through town, I began to wonder just what was going on with him.  When had Rumble gotten sick?  Why was he so apprehensive about telling me what was going on?  My mind was a jumble over the pegasus stallion.  I simply just could not get him off my mind.  Blossomforth swam to the forefront as well, as I pondered what she really hoped to gain from all of this.  I knew from personal experience that Thunderlane wasn’t interested in her.  How far was the green and pink maned mare willing to go to get what she wanted?  She’d already proven she wasn’t below gossiping about my sister.  I silently reminded myself to ask her about that next time I saw her.  That morning I had been way too high off of the adrenaline of tying with her wing power score to think about that properly.

My journey back to the park was a silent one as I tried to keep a brave smile on my face.  I waved at every other pony I passed like normal, feeling like I had been run through a printing press.  Frankly, I was worn out from all this relationship stuff.  If this was what being in love felt like all the time, I wasn’t sure I really wanted it.  But then my thoughts turned to Thunderlane and how he made me feel.  I felt… safe and secure with him.  He was fun loving and loyal, and was also genuinely caring.  Is that what love felt like?  To scrutinize these qualities of his to the point of insanity?  I didn’t rightly know.

The rest of the day passed without issue.  Blossomforth thankfully kept her distance from us as we trained with Rainbow Dash.  I found myself with a new respect for the cyan mare amidst all of this drama.  She had been nothing but supportive of our efforts and despite her boasting, she was much easier to deal with than a few of our other peers.  Dash had only had to leave us once during our training that day in order to deal with Fluttershy showing up.  The butter colored pegasus had appeared out of nowhere accompanied by a cavalcade of animals.  Her familiar bunny, Angel, had a stern look on his face as she took her place at the head of the track.  The poor pegasus however had only managed to increase her wing power to a measly two point eight.  Screaming in frustration, she flew off, leaving Rainbow Dash staring after her.

As we finished up the day, I tapped Dash on the shoulder before she could leave.  She turned about, trying hard to keep a smile on her otherwise worn and tired face.

“Oh, hey Cloudchaser.  What’s up?” She said.

“Just thought we could talk,” I replied, smiling.  “Walk with me?”  Dash nodded and followed me off into the park.  We arrived at a rather secluded area and sat down, facing each other.  A few moments of silence passed between us before I spoke.

“Is… everything alright Dash?  You seem… tired,” I said.  Dash nodded.

“It’s Fluttershy.  I just feel so bad for her.  She’s trying so hard to keep up with everypony else, and nothing I’ve tried is working,” she replied.  I sighed.

“There’s only so much you can do though, Dash,” I said.  “Look, I know you.  You’re a good friend and you would never let anypony down.  Maybe all Fluttershy needs is for you to be there for her.”

“I know I know, but I keep feeling like I could be doing more, you know?  I mean, she’s my best friend for Celestia’s sake!  Did you know that I’m the reason she got her cutie mark?” The cyan pegasus said.

“I… I didn’t know that.  Really?” I said.  Dash nodded, beginning to spin her tale about how a certain rainbow maned filly protected her yellow and pink friend from two bullies and how the Sonic Rainboom she had performed had resulted in not just Fluttershy’s cutie mark, but her four other friends as well.

“I… I just wish I could find a way to help her see that she is important.  But the way things are looking, we’re going to be down one Fluttershy for tornado day,” Dash concluded.

“Well, I can see that she’s definitely important to you Dash.  You really are a good and loyal friend… and I kind of owe you an apology,” I said.

“What for?” The rainbow maned mare replied.

“You told me I could talk to you and I kind of blew you off,” I said.  “Okay, not kind of.  I did blow you off.  And I’m sorry.”  Dash smiled.

“It’s alright Cloudchaser, I understand,” she said.  “I take it that means you’re taking me up on my offer.”

“Yeah… I’ve got a few things to get off my chest,” I said.  I began to tell her about Thunderlane, our initial meeting and how he had caught me so off guard.  I spoke of meeting Spitfire, which Dash had naturally asked a bunch of questions about.  I told her about Blossomforth, at least as much as I could without getting the pink and green haired mare in any trouble.  I had told myself before that I absolutely refused to sink to her level and I meant it.  I omitted her gossipy nature and the rumors about my sister she had spread.  I felt… better than I had in a long time with saying the things that had been on my mind.  Dash sighed when I had finished.

“I’m… I’m not so good at this love stuff Cloudchaser, so I can’t really tell you what the right decision to make here is,” she said finally after a few moments of silence.  “But, I’m proud of you for trying this hard to be a part of this team.  It means a lot to me, and if Thunderlane is half the buck he says he is, well then he’d be a moron to not notice how hard you’ve been working.”

“Thanks, Dash,” I said.  “I just wish I knew what was going on with him.  Lately it seems like he’s been real secretive over a lot of things.”  Rainbow nodded.

“I don’t know much about his home life other than knowing he has Rumble, and that’s it,” the cyan mare said.

“Well, I guess I’d better get home.  I’m sure Flitter is wondering where I am, not that she’d notice with her head in the clouds over Winter,” I said, giggling as Rainbow and I walked out of the park.  I bid the other mare good night and began walking towards home.  The town square was still relatively busy, ponies bustling everywhere to get their last minute shopping done before everything closed up for the day.  As I made my way across the square, I heard the sounds of shouting coming from just ahead.  A large crowd of ponies was gathered around something.  What’s going on? I thought as I pushed my way through to see what all the commotion was about.

“You… you mean nasty pony!” I heard a familiar voice shout.  I shivered.  I knew that voice.  Quiter well in fact.  Flitter! I thought as I struggled to get to the head of the crowd.  Finally pushing through to the other side, I came upon my sister and another familiar face: Blossomforth.  The latter had a smug grin on her face.

“Now Flitter, I was merely commenting on how lovely your little bow looked on you,” she said smoothly as she noticed me appear next to Flitter.  “Oh, hello Cloudchaser.”

“What do you want?” I growled.  “Can’t you leave us alone for one day?”

“Pssh, if you must know it was your sister who approached me in the first place,” the white mare replied.  I looked over at my sister.

“Flits, is this true?” I asked.  She nodded.

“I wanted to know why she said those mean nasty things,” Flitter replied.  “You know, about that.”

“And I merely replied that I heard about that in passing from a few stallions, actually more than a few stallions.  You really should learn how to keep those legs shut –“ Blossomforth started to say.  Her eyes went wide as Flitter rushed forward, tackling the white mare to the ground.  The two mares tumbled over each other.

“Hey!” I shouted as I ran over to them, trying my best to break up the fight.  I looked up seeing Winter there beside me.  I grabbed Blossomforth by the wing and pulled her away as Winter managed to get a hold on Flitter.  Flitter was in tears, blubbering as she buried her muzzle into her coltfriend’s neck.  Winter stared coldly at Blossomforth, who was doing her best to play the part of the victim.

“Did you see?  Did you see what she did?” She shouted.  I stepped up to her and glared right into her eyes.

“Shut it, Blossom.  You listen here.” I said as Blossomforth tried to interrupt me.  I didn’t let her.  “No!  Listen.  You will stay away from my sister you hear me?  You think this is funny, spreading lies like this?  It’s not.  And the next time I see Thunderlane, I’m telling him all about this.  You’ve gone too far.”  Flitter’s crying echoed across the square.  By this time most of the spectators had disappeared, most likely not willing to be a target of Flitter’s pent-up aggression.

“Please.  Like he will believe you,” Blossom simply replied, glaring at me with venomous eyes.  “Besides, it’s not like a little gossip ever really hurt anypony.”  My eyes widened.  She doesn’t even care! I thought.  She doesn’t even bucking care that her harmless gossip really hurt Flitter.

“Your gossip really hurt my sister.  You’re lucky I’m not the one bucking your teeth in right about now,” I said angrily.  “The only thing keeping me from doing so is I know it wouldn’t do any good.  You’d just go crying to anypony who would listen and take pity on you.”  I turned on the spot and grabbed Flitter and Winter, storming off in the opposite direction from the speechless mare.  Blossomforth simply gave a ‘hmmph!’ and trotted off herself, finding her gaggle of girlfriends to giggle with once more.  Winter held closely onto Flitter as we walked.  I smiled at him.  We arrived at our house shortly afterwards, and I helped my sister inside.  She laid down on the couch in the living room, still bawling her eyes out.  I rubbed her mane for a moment and told her I’d be back in a second.

“Thanks for taking care of her Winter,” I said as we stepped outside.  The stallion nodded.

“I… I tried to stop her from going up to Blossomforth, but you know how forceful she can be sometimes,” he said.  I nodded.

“I don’t get it though, what’s Blossomforth playing at?  Making up rumors like that about Flitter of all ponies?” I said.  “Just doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“You think she’s trying to get at you?  I mean uh… I don’t know either!” Winter said, planting a hoof over his mouth.  I glared at him and he smiled sheepishly.  “Oh alright, Flitter told me everything.”

“Everything?” I replied, raising an eyebrow.

“Uh… yeah.  I know about the whole uh… challenge thing and Thunderlane,” he said.  I groaned.  Gee.  Thanks Flitter, I thought as the stallion continued to speak.  “Anyways, like I was saying… maybe she’s trying to get to you, make you do something you normally wouldn’t do.  Make you look bad in front of Thunderlane.”  I considered his words for a moment.  Blossomforth had seemed like a nice pony at first.  Was she really so obsessed with Thunderlane that she’d stoop to spreading hurtful rumors to throw off the one rival for his love?  I sighed.  I couldn’t let her get to me, but Flitter...  She was sensitive to these sorts of things.

“I’ll… think about that.  Anyways, you’d probably better get going.  I can handle Flitter from here,” I said.  Winter nodded.

“Can I… can I say good night at least?” He asked.  I chuckled.

“Of course you can silly,” I replied.  I followed him inside where my sister was still sitting on the couch.  She looked up as Winter sat down next to her.

“I’ve gotta go, I’ll see you tomorrow?” He said quietly.  She teared up for a moment, throwing her forehooves around his neck.  The stallion smiled, returning the embrace.

“N-N-Night Winter, I… I love you,” she said softly.

“Love you too my little Flitterbug, don’t cry too hard alright?” The white pegasus replied, releasing my sister and standing.  He nodded at me as he left.  Flitter sighed and looked over at me.

“I-I’m sorry Sis,” she said as I sat down next to her.

“For what?” I asked.  She shifted up close to me so I could hug her closely.

“Because I tried to beat up Blossomforth,” she said, half-chuckling.  Her eyes were still wet, but they were bright.  “I guess when you say it out loud like that, it’s kind of funny.”

“Don’t worry about it, Flits.  I really don’t know what got into that mare,” I said.  “Besides… you’ve got Winter now.  Who needs to listen to what she says?  I saw the way he looked at you.  He’s hooked.”  Flitter giggled.

“I… I guess so,” she said softly.

“No really, he is.  Now come on, you know what a night like this deserves right?” I said.  Flitter shrugged.

“Ice cream?” She asked.  I grinned.

“Ice cream.”


The next day came, much like Tuesdays always do.  Rainy.  Despite the fact that I knew that there would be some rain the week before the tornado (mostly to fill the reservoir up to its maximum level) I did not expect it to be as wet as it was.  Instead of flying to the track, Flitter and I walked.  My sister’s mood had returned to its normal carefree ways since the night before and the encounter with Blossomforth.  It was nice to see her feeling better.  Despite the cheerful mood, I couldn’t help but think that the dreary day was some sort of omen.  I was supposed to meet Thunderlane that evening and finally get some answers as to what was going on with him.

We arrived at the park and began filtering into line for our morning wing power tests.  I felt really good about this one.  I had spent the day before really working hard with Rainbow Dash.  I thought about what the cyan mare had told me, of how she was proud of me for working so hard.  I realized that I was proud of myself as well.  Never before had I given any thought into improving my wing power and my wing technique so much.  It felt… good.  Invigorating almost.  Granted, I was still only doing this to rub it all into Blossomforth’s snobby little face at the end.  Still, with tornado day fast approaching, none of us were going to have any time to do anything but train, and train hard.

The whistle blew and Twilight called out my name.  I snickered when I saw the mare, as she was wearing a rain slicker and floating an umbrella over herself and Spike.  Unicorns, I thought, giggling in the back of my head.  I guess pegasi are just more used to the natural weather elements.  I took my spot and shot off, feeling the wind and the rain providing just the right amount of resistance to my increasing speed.  The experience of it all was exhilarating.  A thought formed in the back of my mind, taking shape as I came around the track’s far corner.  This was just like when I had faced down the storm with Thunderlane.  That same feeling I felt when I looked at him.  I loved this!  I soared past Twilight’s speed device, causing it to spin uncontrollably.

“Nine point six!  Excellent work Cloudchaser, you’re really improving!” Twilight chirped as Spike happily wrote down the results.  I beamed and skipped off, meeting Flitter and Winter under a nearby tree.  I scoped out the rest of the crowd.  Thunderlane was still missing in action, and curiously enough… so was Blossomforth.  While it didn’t bother me that much that the white mare was nowhere to be seen, Thunderlane missing another day of practice really concerned me.  I hoped that he had a good explanation for it when I went to his house later that evening.

Seeing as how there was nothing else to do but continue our training, I fell back into the routine that Rainbow Dash had developed for us in the past week.  Flitter came away happily with a newly received eight point five wing power score, and began to stretch and exercise next to me.  Winter Storm, who had already received the requisite ten point zero wing power needed to help drive the tornado, sat off to the side and was watching his marefriend.  At lunch, Rainbow Dash gathered all of the Ponyville pegasi who were there that day, wanting to make some sort of big announcement.

“Alright!  You all have been working so hard for the past week, that Twilight and I thought it might be a good idea to give you a rest period.  So, tomorrow you guys will be able to do whatever you want.  Take the day off.  You’re all doing so fantastic, and I’m really proud of you all,” The cyan mare shouted over the crowd, who cheered vigorously for the weather captain.  “Don’t forget though, Saturday is Tornado Day!  So no Friday night parties, and no staying out til three in the morning!  I want every pegasi here well rested before we give it our all and break that wind speed record!”  The crowd cheered some more and we broke for lunch.  Deciding that it would be nice to go out to eat for a change, I flew over and tapped on Ditzy’s shoulder.  The walleyed mare turned around and grinned.

“Oh, Cloudchaser!” She said.  I smiled brightly.

“Heya Ditz.  Wanna join Flitter and me for lunch?” I said.  The grey mare responded in her usual bubbly manner by excitedly shaking her head up and down.  We soared off, meeting my sister and Winter Storm at the edge of the park.  Winter hadn’t really met Ditzy yet, so after a round of introductions we were off to one of Ponyville’s nearby cafés.  The rain had turned into more of a mist, which meant that more ponies were out and about than normal.  The town square still felt relatively empty compared to any normal day.  In fact, I didn’t even see the familiar Sweet Apple Acres sign anywhere.

Off in the distance, I could make out two figures trotting across the square.  Applejack and Rarity walked next to each other, clearly embroiled in a very hushed conversation.  Rarity was floating along an umbrella that kept the rain off of her, and she was appeared to be wearing fancy boots that kept the mud off of her pristine hooves.  Both ponies were wearing their vests that indicated they were a part of the ground cleanup team, which helped keep Ponyville safe prior to scheduled storms.  They trotted by and stopped, waving at us.

“Heya, girls.  RD give you the day off or somethin’?” Applejack said.

“Nah, we’re just on lunch break.  Got the day off tomorrow though,” I said.  “What are you two up to?”

“Applejack and I were on our way to the far end of the park.  There’s some tree debris there that needs to be cleared away before this dreadful storm gets any worse,” Rarity replied.  “I do hope you girls stay in tonight.  It’s supposed to be positively ghastly.”  Being in training these past two weeks had really done a number on my weather upkeep.  I felt pretty bad that I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

“Huh?  You mean it’s supposed to get worse?” I asked.  Applejack nodded.

“The reservoir needs to be fully filled by Saturday, and it’s really only half full at the moment.  So they’re gonna make it rain big time tonight!” The country mare said.  “Whoowee, I can’t remember the last time we had a storm this big.”

“I can, and we spent all night at Twilight’s fighting because of it,” Rarity interjected.  “Oh well, old times and all that.  We really must be off.  Ta ta darlings!” The white mare began to trot away.  Applejack frowned.

“That mare.  Consarnit Rarity, wait for me!  Sorry girls, but I gotta run,” she said as she took off after her friend.  I turned back to Flitter and the others and we continued on, arriving finally at the café.

“So this storm is going to be a lot bigger?” Flitter asked as we sat down to eat.  I nodded, thinking about my visit to Thunderlane that evening.

“Supposed to be a doozy, and I’m kind of supposed to go and see somepony tonight,” I replied.  Flitter grinned.
“Oh?  A certain stallion perhaps?” She said.  I glared at her.

“If you must know, yes.  Thunderlane invited me over to explain some things, mostly about why he’s been acting all moody lately,” I said.  “It’s nothing major, he just wants to talk.”

“That’s how it staaaarts!” Flitter replied in a sing-song voice.  She chuckled as the waiter stepped up and took our order.  The rest of our lunch hour was more upbeat, as we began discussing far more boring topics like what we did on the weekends and whatnot.  Ditzy’s daughter Dinky had just managed her first attempt at levitation, being that she was actually a unicorn and not a pegasus.  The little filly had managed to move one of her pencils around on the table before the wooden object flew out of control, speeding around the entire house.  Nevertheless, Ditzy was quite proud of Dinky’s achievement.

The rest of the day’s training went as well as I expected.  Rainbow Dash was pleased, as a good majority of the pegasi had managed to achieve the ten point zero wing power we needed not just for getting the water up to Cloudsdale, but for beating Fillydelphia’s wind speed record.  I hadn’t managed to hit that number yet, but I knew if I kept at it I would.  As we finished up for the day, the already dark and rumbling clouds got a little darker.  I quickly decided that if I was going to see Thunderlane, I needed to do it soon or else run the risk of getting caught in the storm.  I trotted along towards his cloud home, humming to myself and thinking of him.  I realized that I was putting myself into the same position Flitter had been in with Winter Storm.  I was pining over this stallion, one I barely knew well enough to even consider the concept of a romantic relationship.  But yet… there was something there all the same.  Is it just a crush?  Or do I really love him?  I don’t know… I thought as I flapped my wings and landed on his front step.  I moved to knock on the door, but paused for a moment.  I cocked my head, hearing voices inside the cloud domicile.  One of them was clearly Thunderlane’s voice.  The other was muffled, but it sounded distinctly feminine.  I hesitated.  Did I come too early?  Maybe it’s nothing.  I’m just worrying over nothing, that’s right… I thought.  The voices stopped for a moment, and I moved to knock on the door.

Instead… I found myself pushing open the door silently.  The house was unlocked.  Of course it is.  This is Ponyville remember?  Nothing bad ever happens here, I thought as the door swung inward.  I don’t know why I did it.  Maybe I was just a little too curious about what was going on with Thunderlane?  I wasn’t really sure.  The hallway was dark as I stepped in.  One of the fairly interesting things about clouds is that one can be extremely quiet while walking along them.  I turned down the hallway and peeked my head out into what I thought might have been the living room.  My eyes widened at the sight before me.

Thunderlane was standing in the center of the small room.  On the opposite side stood a very familiar white mare with pink and green in her mane.  Blossomforth’s eyes were closed as she was… was…

They were kissing!  My mind exploded with rage as I realized that this was why Thunderlane had suddenly started avoiding me.  He was secretly courting Blossomforth this entire time!  I never even had a chance to tell him… to say how I felt about him.  My brain fought with my heart as I tried to process what was happening to me.  My brain told me to be calm and to consider that maybe I had been wrong, that I was being silly and that Thunderlane and I were only friends.  My heart said otherwise, telling me that it should have been me there kissing him, not Blossomforth.

I stood there for a good few minutes watching the two, my anger rising every second.  Thunderlane’s eyes snapped open, meeting my own sinister glare.  He quickly pulled away from Blossomforth, panic building up in his expression as he looked at me.

“C-C-Cloudchaser?” He said aloud.  Blossomforth turned her head, a wicked grin forming on her lips.  I said nothing, opting to turn around as I began to gallop down the hallway and out the door of the cloud house.  Behind me I thought I heard him calling my name again, but I couldn’t hear him.  I was too lost in my thoughts.  I flew off the step and headed into the evening sky just as the rain began to fall, feeling like all hope had washed away from my life.


Storms by their very nature are violent and unpredictable entities.  Even storms developed by highly trained weather pegasi can be dangerous.  The storm that night was no exception.  I flew through the pouring rain, adding my own tears to the mix of water that ran down my face.  My mind drifted back to having watched Blossomforth and Thunderlane.  I roared at the storm as I soared through the sky, pain clenching every inch of my heart.  I had never really experienced heartbreak before.  Even when Flitter and I were younger, most of the time it was me who broke off any dates I’d ever had.  I’d never had to play witness to it happening to me.

Why? I thought as the rain came down upon me, drenching me as I flew.  Why didn’t he tell me sooner?  Why didn’t I tell him sooner?  Why?  Why?!  I couldn’t think or even breathe as I let the storm pound me about, the powerful winds taking me to wherever they felt like taking me.  Any place was better than Ponyville.  Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I was being unreasonable.  I could never leave Flitter behind; I loved my sister far too much for that.  A bolt of lightning from the dark sky brought me back to reality as I realized that this was just like before.  The storm at Sweet Apple Acres that Thunderlane had saved me from.  Except… this time there would be no Thunderlane.  He was too busy with Blossomforth to care about me.

I knew that I needed to get home, to get back to the comfort and safety of my bed.  But for some reason, I hesitated, like I expected him to be there.  Another lightning strike shot past me, coming a little too close for comfort as I tried to get my bearings.  The air was thick and hazy, and I could barely make out the town of Ponyville below me.  Even the normally visible town hall building was lost in the storm’s violence.  I realized just how stupid this really was.  Flying through one of the largest rain storms created by pegasi in Ponyville in the longest time?  Yeah… that was pretty dumb.  And for what… a stallion?  I groaned, pushing my wet mane out of my eyes as I resolved on trying to head for the ground.  The wind buffeted me from all angles as I spread my wings, hoping to simply glide downward until I touched something solid.

As I flew, I thought I heard a voice calling my name.  I spun about, not seeing the source of the shouting.  I shut my eyes and tried to flap my wings, but the wind wasn’t having any of it.  It kept attacking me and I kept fighting it back.  Thunder roared across the sky as a bolt of lightning shot past me, nearly blinding me as I struggled to get away from it.  If I didn’t find someplace to set down quickly, I was going to be burnt toast.  Again I heard somepony calling my name.  Where is that coming from? I thought, opening my eyes again and scanning the horizon.  Still nothing.  The storm above me raged on, becoming increasingly more violent as I tried to fly along.  As I flapped my wings, the pounding rain in front of me gave way to a black form.  My eyes widened when I realized it was a building of some sorts.  I tried to pull away and dodge, but it was too late.  I hit with a *crash* into the side of the building.  Pain shot through every part of my body as I began to fall.

“Cloudchaser!” A voice from above me called out.  A silvery haired stallion flew within my vision’s reach as my eyes closed and I fell unconscious.


I woke up coughing and freezing, but I was alive.  My eyes fluttered open, and I realized that I was inside a bedroom, and it was dark.  A casual glance around the cloud room revealed that it belonged to a stallion.  Posters of the Wonderbolts and of various female pegasi in very… revealing positions graced the walls of the room.  I blinked as I tried to sit up on the bed.  Pain shot through my side and I looked down.  I had been bandaged up by somepony.  Where am I? I thought as I continued to scan the room.  My eyes finally came to rest on a picture frame on a desk in the room.  A very familiar silver haired pegasus and a younger pegasus stood proudly in it, dressed up with Wonderbolts memorabilia.

“Oh buck me,” I said aloud as I realized whose room I was in.  The memory of my crash came rushing back.  Did he actually fly out… for me? I thought.  It was then that I heard the door start to open.  I immediately laid my head down and closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep.  Somepony shuffled into the room and set something down on the side of the bed.

“Cloudchaser?  You awake?” Thunderlane’s voice echoed across the room.  I stayed deathly silent, afraid of what the stallion might have to say.  He sighed.  “Guess not.  Well.  I left some breakfast for you for when you wake up.”  The door opened again and he left.  I cocked my eye open, seeing a tray with flowers sitting on the bed.  My stomach growled, indicating that I was indeed quite famished.  I pushed myself up and grabbed the flowers with my teeth, beginning to chew.  I had just finished the final bite when the door opened again and Thunderlane appeared, bearing a pillow in his teeth.  His eyes went wide as he saw me awake and he spat out the pillow onto the bed.

“You’re… awake,” he said.  “How are you feeling?”  I glared at him, trying to push myself off the bed to leave.  I winced in pain, prompting the stallion to be right at my side.

“You hurt yourself pretty badly out there,” he said.  “Why were you flying out there Cloudchaser?  Even you know better than to fly through a lightning storm.”  I glared at him again.

“You know why,” I said.  “Why do you care even?  Don’t you have somepony else to attend to?”  Thunderlane’s eyes closed for a moment.

“I guess I kind of deserve that.  But you got it all wrong Chase,” he said.

“Oh?  I do, do I?  Then I guess I wasn’t seeing you making out with Blossomforth?” I snarled.  He sighed.

“Okay, I’ll admit that.  You saw that.  But that wasn’t what it looked like at all,” the stallion said.

“So what was it?  You wanted to show me that you weren’t really interested in me at all?” I said angrily.  Thunderlane shook his head.

“No.  Look, Blossom came over and we were talking about old times, and next thing I know she’s trying to make out with me,” he said.  “That’s it, seriously.  I don’t even know why.”

“I do.  She’s still in love with you,” I said.  “Good thing too, you’ll make a cute couple.”

“What?” He replied.  “Ugh, I told her a long time ago that it was over between us.”  I blinked.

“So wait… you’re not… you’re not with her?” I said, trying to process this new information.

“No!” Thunderlane shouted.  “She’s nice and all, but I just consider her a friend.”

“I… I see,” I said, turning away from him.  “I’m… sorry.  I overreacted is all,” I said.  I realized that this would pretty much well make my feelings known to him.  I felt a hoof on my shoulder.

“It’s… it’s alright,” he said.  I looked at him, and tears began to flow.  The stallion’s eyes widened.  “Hey, hey there what’s the matter?”

“I just… I feel like such a fool, coming here and then acting like… that,” I managed, choking out the sentence through my tears.  “I saw you and her and I thought… I felt like I didn’t even have a chance.”

“What do you… oh,” he said.  “Cloudchaser, I don’t like Blossomforth that way because she’s just not my type.  I never said I didn’t like you.”  I stared at him and he smiled softly.  “In fact, you’re pretty cool.  Rumble really does like you.  And I guess… I guess I do too.”  He took his hoof off my shoulder and wrapped around me, holding me close.  I slowly felt the tears fall away as I let him embrace me.

“What… what now?” I said, sniffling.  “Don’t you think Blossomforth will get mad at you?”  Thunderlane snorted.

“Let her,” he said.  “She’ll learn to deal with it.”

“Does this mean we…?” I started to ask.  Thunderlane smiled, and pulled me in closer.  Before I could say anything more I felt his lips on mine and my world melted away.  It was like pure electricity running through my entire body.  There was an intense passion behind the kiss of the likes that I had never felt before.  It was nothing like when I had kissed him for saving my life the first time.  Time seemed to stop, and for those few brief moments, there was just me and him.  Finally, the stallion pulled away.  He was breathing hard.  His gaze pierced into my very soul and at that point in time, I felt like nothing else mattered.

“Does that answer anything for you?” He said after a few moments of silence.  I nodded, a sly grin creeping onto my face as I pushed him off of to the bed.

“You’re still a jerk,” I said, crossing my forelegs.  Thunderlane chuckled.

“Alright, that’s fair.  I guess I really do owe you an explanation now, don’t I?” He said.  I cocked my head.

“Explanation?” I said, before remembering the entire reason I was coming over to see him in the first place.  “Oh!  Right.”  Thunderlane sighed.

“Alright… here goes.  You see, the real reason I had to stay home with Rumble the other day was because… it’s just us,” he said.  I stared at him, feeling very confused.

“What… what do you mean?” I asked.

“It’s just Rumble and I.  I have to take care of him, because he’s all I have,” he said.

“What about your parents?” I said.  The stallion snorted.

“Those two good for nothing lowlifes?  Probably living it up in Cloudsdale still.  We had to get out of there, Chase.  They… they were terrible,” He said, looking pained at the memories he was dredging up.  “That’s why I was commuting.  I was trying to make enough money to get Rumble out of there.  He deserves so much better than what they were doing to him.”  I stayed silent, waiting for him to continue.  Thunderlane looked me in the eye.  “They beat us, Cloudchaser.  Just for fun.  It’s almost like they didn’t even want a kid, let alone two of them.  As soon as I could get out on my own, I did.  When I had enough money… I grabbed Rumble and we came here.”  I blinked, reaching out with my hoof and grabbing the stallion in a fierce hug.

“Oh Celestia, I’m so sorry,” I said, realizing that when I had told the stallion how proud his parents would be… I couldn’t even fathom what had been going on in his head at that moment.  “I...”  Thunderlane smiled and nuzzled my neck.

“It’s okay.  You deserve to know.  It’s all for the best.  Rumble’s got great friends, and a good school, and he doesn’t have to worry about those creeps anymore,” he said.  “I don’t either.  I doubt they’d ever come looking for us.  Us leaving was probably the best thing that ever happened to them.”

“Still… that’s so… so sad,” I said, thinking about the younger sibling.  Rumble was an adorable little colt.  What kind of sick ponies did his parents have to be in order to do something so atrocious to a foal of all ponies?  “What… what does Rumble have to say about all of this?”

“He’s a tough little colt.  We… we talked about it.  Right after we moved here actually.  He understands why he had to come with me,” he said.

“Didn’t you ever go to the authorities?” I asked.  Thunderlane nodded.

“We did, but they didn’t listen.  Every time they checked up on them, everything was hunky dory.  They wrote off any bruises that Rumble had as flight injuries.  As for me, I already had a bit of a reputation for getting into fights.”

“You?” I said in disbelief.

“Yeah.  I was a bit of a troublemaker.  Being out on my own a lot and not wanting to go home, I got into it usually pretty hard,” he said.  “It wasn’t until I got my cutie mark and Rumble was born that I started shaping up.”

“And Blossomforth?  She knows all of this too?” I said.  He nodded.

“I was out on assignment when I nearly ran her over pushing a cloud.  I practically begged her not to say anything about it; otherwise I could have lost my job.  We got to know each other and naturally… she found out her own way about my living situation,” he said.  I sighed, wincing at the pain in my side.  It hurt pretty badly, reminding me of why I flew out into the storm in the first place: Blossomforth.

“I guess she’s pretty good at the whole gossip thing,” I replied.  “I don’t know how much you know about her Lane, but she’s bad news.”

“She’s not all bad.  She just doesn’t know how to connect well with other ponies.  Those others that follow her around aren’t really her friends.  They’re just yes-ponies who do what she says,” Thunderlane said.  “But at her core?  She’s just a normal mare like you.”

“Could have fooled me,” I snorted, earning myself a glare from the grey stallion.  “Alright, fine.  I’ll… I’ll talk to her alright?”  Thunderlane shook his head.

“No.  We’ll talk to her.  Together,” he said.  Sunshine filtered in from the window, prompting him to look up.  “Looks like the storm is breaking up.  It’s morning.”  My eyes widened.

“Wait… what?!” I shouted, trying to climb off of the bed.  “Morning!  How long have I been here?!”

“Umm… well you’ve kind of been here all night.  You were in real bad shape, after all,” Thunderlane said, scratching the back of his mane with his hoof.  I groaned loudly.

“Flitter’s probably going insane with worry,” I said, finally pushing myself up.  “I need to get home.”

“Oh.  Well… okay,” the stallion said, his voice twinged with sadness as he smiled softly at me.  “How… how do your wings feel?  Better?”  I gave an experimental flap.  It felt perfect.

“Much better,” I said, grinning.  I turned towards the door of the bedroom.  I was stopped by his voice.

“Chase?” He said.  I looked back at the grey stallion.  “Do… do you want to go out to dinner tonight?  Just the two of us?”  I blinked.

“I… I’d like that, yes,” I replied, turning back to face him fully.  I sat down for a second, trying to get out what I wanted to say.  “I’m… I’m not so good at this stuff really Lane.  All I know is how I feel about you.  Believe me when I say… I’d like to take this kind of slow.”  Thunderlane chuckled.

“That’s perfectly fine,” he said.  “See you tonight then?”

“Tonight,” I said.  I turned and pushed open the bedroom door.  I trotted down the center hallway, pausing for a brief moment past Rumble’s room.  The colt was asleep still, looking adorable in his bed.  I continued on, quietly opening the front door and stepping out into the morning air.  The wind whipped across my face, and I smiled.  Things were about to change for me, and I certainly hoped for the better.  As I flapped my wings and took to the skies, a single thought echoed in the back of my mind.

I’ve got a date!


Next Time!

The heat is on as Cloudchaser has her first real date with Thunderlane!  Will the two plucky pegasi protagonists make it through it, or will Blossomforth be waiting to steal the stallion?  And just why is everypony coughing so much?  Find out next time on ‘Flying Through the Storm Chapter 5: The Date’