Starswirl Academy - Original Rainbow Dash Route

by wolvenfire86


24 - Helping

Helping

Description: With Applejack barely able to function, Rainbow Dash decides to take things into her own hands.


Winona tugged on her leash like a fish on the end of a line, darting all over the block and lurching backwards when the slack ended. Her nose sniffed as many things as she could. Her tail never stopped wagging. She hadn’t been walked in a while.

“I see why you were worried about Applejack.” I told Dash as Winona scratched her ear.

“She’s gonna crash and burn soon if we don’t do something.” Dash declared like it was a mission or something.

“But she told us she didn’t want our help.”

“What did I tell you? She stubborner than I am.”

“‘Stubboner’ is not a word.”

“Neither is ‘ya’ll’, but Applejack gets to use it.”

---time passes---

Our walk lasted a good hour. Poor Winona didn’t want to go home.

“Applejack!” Rainbow shouted through the closed front door as she twisted the door’s knob. Winona ran inside. “It’s unlocked again.”

“Isn’t she supposed to be out delivering the stuff? Why is her door unlocked?”

“Gee, maybe because she forgot to lock it? How did you even get into a private school?” Winona ran inside when Dash opened the door, but did not bark. “Come on.”

“We can’t just go inside.”

“Why not?” She went in before I could answer her favorite question. When she didn’t come back out, I gave in and followed.


Winona had crawled into her bed in the living room and fallen asleep already.

“Dashie?”

“Shhhhhh!” She hissed at me from the living room. “Over here...”

I crept over to her quietly.

Applejack was sleeping soundly on her couch, hat still resting on her blonde head. Her arms were sprawled out like limp noodles. A pair of keys jingled in her pocket as her leg twitched. Invoices were scattered over her nearby coffee table.

She must have sat down for a second and collapsed.

Rainbow stood next to her. She put her finger over her lips and signaled me to go back outside. I nodded and tippy-toed backwards.


“Should we wake her up?” I asked outside her house.

“I don’t know.” Dash looked like she was thinking about something.

“She has a lot of work to still do. Didn’t you see all the papers on her table? They were invoices for deliviers.”

“…yeah.”

“I know she’s out of it...but we can’t leave her here. She has to wake up.”

“Wake up…” Rainbow Dash paused. Then she grinned like the Grinch. “…no. No, she doesn’t.”

“Of course she does.”

“Not if all her work gets done while she’s asleep.”

“But...”

Rainbow tugged my arm. “I can drive a truck. You can do math for the invoices.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on a minute. I’m all for helping Applejack, but taking her truck is stealing.”

“No it’s not. It’s borrowing.”

“Rainbow!”

“…okay, so it’s stealing. But it’s...uh...the...you know the thing about stealing bread to feed a starving family? It’s like that.”

“You mean it’s justified.”

“Yeah. All her paperwork is right there, the truck is stocked up with everything and Applejack just happened to fall asleep while we were walking her dog? It’s like God wants us to do this.”

“And you don’t think Applejack will be mad if we do this?”

I could hear the stone in Rainbow’s stomach fall. “Uhh…I don’t know, maybe. But how much do you want to bet that she hasn’t slept at all in the last two days?”

“Okay, Applejack needs help. But I’m...I don’t know, this is a bit much.”

“You’re thinking about doing it.” Rainbow smiled slyly.

“Yeah, thinking about it.”

“Admit it, you kind of want to do it.”

“Um...” I skipped studying more time in the last week than I did in the last year at my old school. And while my common sense told me to think twice about what we were about to do, a little voice in the back of my head was hollering, screaming that this sounded like a lot fun. A risk, the thrill of it, the daringness.

“Okay. Let’s do it.” I gave in. I didn’t think it through, for once.

“Yeah?”

“But it’ll stay our secret?”

“Promise!” Rainbow’s eyes lit up.“Wanna shake on it?” She got ready to spit in her palm again.

“THAT’S OKAY! Really, I’ll take your word for it.”

“Yes. Yeah, I knew you were cooler than you let on.” She punched my shoulder. It didn’t hurt as much as it used to. “There is one...teeny...little thing”

“What?”


Applejack: “....nnn...”

Rainbow stopped moving. She hovered over Applejack with two fingers on the cowgirl’s keyring.

“Slower.” I whispered as softly as I could.

“Shut up!” She moved Applejack’s key ring off her belt. Bit. By. Bit.

“...huh! I didn’t...” Applejack talked in her sleep. My heart stopped every time she did.

“Stop freaking out, you’re making me nervous.” Dash whisper-yelled at me.

“Don’t tell me to stop freaking out! Just get the keys!” I gestured her to hurry up. Rainbow stuck her tongue out at me.

“ARFF!!” Winona barked. I nearly dropped the invoices and order forms I was holding.

“...hush Winona...” Applejack rolled over and stuck her head in the curve of the couch.

Rainbow’s colorful hair stood up and spiked outward. It stayed on end for a few second until our hearts slowed down.

“Phew.” Rainbow wiped her forehead and heard a metal clinking noise. Rainbow had accidently ripped the key ring off Applejack’s belt as she rolled over. Like taking a band aid off fast.

She fist pumped victoriously, and fought the urge to throw the keys down like a football. She cusped the keys together so they wouldn’t make more noise, and waved me towards the door. We both crept out of the living room on the tips of our toes.


“Yikes, that was stressful.” I said as my heart rate went back to normal.

“That was awesome!” Dash jumped up and down. “Did you feel your heartbeat? And how freaky it was when she told Winona to be quiet?! What a rush!”

Thrill Seekers….you learn to love them.

“Let’s get the truck and go!” Rainbow ran to the truck before I could respond.

---time passes---

We counted the boxes in the back and compared them to invoices. Everything was where it needed to be, with matching address glued onto the right boxes

When we were ready, Rainbow put the keys in the ignition and started the old vehicle. If machines could cough, Applejack’s truck sounded like it had bronchitis.

Rainbow buckled her seatbelt and reached for the stick shift...then stopped.

“Hmmm…a clutch.”

“You know what you’re doing right?” I asked her nervously.

“Yeah, totally. Applejack showed me how to drive this thing a while ago.”

“How long is ago?”

“A while ago.”

“Yeah, I heard that part. How long specifically?”

“Uh, what day is it?”

“Thursday.”

Rainbow Dash: “It was about three years ago.”

“God dammit.”

The truck lurched forward as Rainbow jimmied the stick shift. I could feel the weight of our delivery pushing the truck down. This was probably going to take a while.

You got the paperwork?” She asked me.

“Yep. Looks like our first stop is...uh...56 Germain Avenue. A place called Tabitha’s.”

“I know that place. Rarity goes there a lot.”

“Is it nice?”

“It sucks! All uptight, snooty rich people stuff. What could Applejack be delivering to that place?”

“No idea.”

“Well when we get there, pretend like you do.” Rainbow hit a bump pulling out of the driveway and the compartment above her head opened up. A baseball cap and a few pieces of paper fell on her lap. “Ah great.” Rainbow hit the brakes and went through the stuff. “…haha! Oh my god! Check this out”

“What?”

“Applejack owns a trucker hat!” Rainbow held up the green baseball cap. It had netting in the back and said ‘Sweet Apple Acres’ on the front. Rainbow put it on, stuck her elbow out the window and started driving again. “Ah feels like ah’m queen of the road. Yee-haa!”

She did a perfect impression of Applejack, then laughed at herself. I found it a bit out of taste, making a white trash joke when we were stealing her truck in the first place. Or borrowing. Or whatever.

I grabbed the other items that fell off Rainbow’s lap and closed the compartment.

“Thanks. What’s that other stuff?” She asked as I went through AJ’s belongings.

The two pieces of paper that fell out were pictures. One was of a little girl and tall, muscular guy standing next to each other, both leaning on a wooden fence.

“Who’s that? I asked and Rainbow glanced quickly at the picture.

“That’s her brother and sister, Big Mac and Applebloom. Her brother graduated last year. If he was still here, Applejack probably wouldn’t be this overworked.”

That thought upset her. I heard it in her voice, and saw it in his knuckles as she squeezed the wheel harder.

---time passes---


Rainbow wasn’t kidding about the fanciness of our first stop. The outside walls were marble and everyone near the entrance wore fancy tuxedos.

Rainbow pulled the out-of-place truck behind the building. The stuffy members of the club scoffed at us as we did.

“Okay, follow my lead.” Rainbow pushed her ponytail under the trucker hat and rolled up her sleeves to her shoulders.

“What? What lead?” She stepped out without answering me. A sharply dressed man with a white mustache approached her.

“May I...eh, help you?” He spoke with a stuffy accent that was probably fake.

“Well, ah certainly hopes so mister. We gots a delivery to make, from the Apple Family shop.” Rainbow donned her impressionism skills once more and mimicked Applejack’s voice flawless. Hearing Applejack’s voice come out of Rainbow Dash’s mouth was shocking but sounded so natural somehow.

“Oh. Is that so?” He looked Rainbow’s shoulder.

“Yes sir-e. Ranch-hand, give the fella the thingy he’s a’posed ta sign,and fetch what he ordered.”

I had to resist rolling my eyes as I stepped out of the truck and handed the man the documentation.

“…oh, yes I see. The organic fruits for the hors d'œuvre for the banquet. Thank you for being so timely. We only have a few hours before everything begins.”

“O’course. At the Apple Family Shope, we pride ourselves on hard work and timeliness.”

Applejack had left trolley in the back of the pick-up for her deliveries. Thank God, those boxes were heavy! Applejack must have been the most stubborn girl on the planet if she thought she could move all of these by herself.

I listened to Rainbow act as I did all the work.

“And all of the produce here is organic, yes?” The rich man kept inquiring. “No hormones, no pesticides, that sort of thing?”

“You have my honest ta apple word that every-thang in that there crate is as fresh as mother earth intended it ta be.” She kicked the wooden crate for added effect. “Ain’t that right Newbie? Fresh as a mornin’ back on the farm, right?”

“...eeyup.” I wasn’t good at impressions or playing along, so I just kept my head down and said the bare minimum.

“Well sir, ah don’t mean to be rude but we have lots’a more places to go t’night.”

“Oh yes, I understand.” He nodded politely. “And thank you for the short notice. Would you mind if we send you payment directly to your bank account?”

“O’course sir. Thad be mighty fine.”

“Very good, I’m glad we could do business. Oh and please, take this small token of my appreciation.” He handed Rainbow two Bits.

“Thank you kindly sir. Ah hopes to see yous again real soon.” Rainbow got back in the truck. I threw the trolley in the back and hurried in with her. She drove off the second my butt was on the seat.

She said nothing…until we were down the block.

“Haha, rad! We got tips!” She tossed me one coin.

“Why the accent?”

“Cause when people remember this little event, they’ll only remember talking to a tom-boyish girl with a southern accent, and not a squeaky voiced girl with rainbow colored hair. No one will even think we were here.”

“That’s...pretty smart for you.”

“For me?”

“I mean for anyone. For thinking on your feet I mean.”

“Speaking of thinking on your feet…eeyup? That was the best you could come up with?”

“I didn’t know what to say, I can’t do accents. Or impressions.”

“I can.”

“Yeah, I noticed you’re pretty good at those.”

Applejack is the easiest one to do. I guess cause I spent so much time with her.” She paused. “Anyway, next stop!”

“Okay, let’s see...next stop is on Main Street. It’s a big one.”

“I’m sticking with the accent all night.”

“Fine. I’ll just nod and agree with you all night.” I responded calmly, but in my heart I was bursting with excitement. I had never done anything like this before, with a friend this bold. Or one this weird.