'Spirit of Loyalty'
“I can see it now. Everyone would be watching the sky, their eyes riveted on the Wonderbolts.”
Twilight and company hopped off the hot air balloon and landed swiftly on the cloud doorstep of Rainbow Dash's home.
“So, how do you go about knocking on a door made of a cloud anyway?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“Look, I don't care how long it takes, but we have to get her to talk to us.” Twilight said.
“I'm with you, Twi. This is the worst time for her to be alone.” Applejack agreed.
The five of them walked up to the front door, among two tall pillars and a fountain of liquid rainbow. Twilight approached the door.
“Rainbow? It's us. We'd like to talk.” she said.
“Guys, I...I know you mean well, just...just please leave me alone. I don't...want to be seen like this.” replied a shaky Rainbow Dash from inside.
“But then, in would fly, Rainbow Dash!”
“We know you must be feeling just awful, darling, but we're not going to leave you like this. Just let us in and tell us what happened.” Rarity chimed in.
“Rainbow Dash, you told me that I had to be more assertive. And I think that you shouldn't shut your friends out right now.” Fluttershy added.
A few seconds of silence followed, and then the door slowly opened, revealing Rainbow, eyes red. It was evident she had done quite a bit of crying, and she still looked upset.
“I would draw their attention with my Super Speed Strut!”
“Do...you guys want to come in...?” she said just above a whisper.
“We can go anywhere you want, Rainbow. Anywhere you feel comfortable talking to us.”
“Not here then...anywhere else.” she replied, walking out of the doorway, closing it behind her, and walked to the balloon, her friends right behind her. When all six were in, they slowly floated down to the ground, Rainbow resting her head on her front legs as she leaned on the edge of the basket. When they all had their hooves on the ground, they didn't stay in any one place. They slowly strolled through Ponyville.
“Then, I would mesmerize 'em with my Fantastic Filly Flash!”
“So what happened, Rainbow? I saw you perform your routine just a little bit ago, it was perfect.”
“I know. It was perfect last night too. I choked, and I don't know why. It was the same feeling at the Young Flyer's Competition last year. If...if I can't get a hold of my nerves when it really matters, maybe I don't belong in the Wonderbolts...”
“Then, for my grand finale, the Buccaneer Blaze! The ponies would go wild!”
“Dash, I know that right now, it must feel like the end of the world to you. We all know how much this meant to you. But there's gonna be something else out there for ya.” Applejack encouraged.
“Like what? Am I gonna spend the rest of my life moving clouds around?” Rainbow snapped, and then sniffled.
“Sorry, I don't mean to snap on you guys. You're my best friends. I just...I really wanted this...more than anything.”
Then an idea hit Twilight.
“Even more than your friends?” she asked.
“What's that supposed to mean?” Rainbow asked, stopping in her tracks.
“Twilight, what a thing to say!” Rarity said, shocked. Her other friends seemed surprised at her choice of words as well.
“Sorry, Rainbow. I didn't mean it like you thought. But do you remember when we were at the Grand Galloping Gala last year, and you went to the VIP section with Spitfire and Soarin'?”
“Yeah...not the best experience...” Rainbow said.
“Well, I think that if you made it, that's what would happen to your friendship with us. We'd still be friends, sure, but you'd hardly have any time to be with us. Would that be what you really want?”
The rainbow Pegasus didn't answer.
“My point is, a flashy flight suit and pair of goggles doesn't change who you are, Rainbow Dash. To us, you're still the best flier around, and I'd say you're already part of a group that's entirely more special than the Wonderbolts.”
The other four smiled and nodded in agreement.
Fresh tears flowed from Rainbow's eyes, and she swallowed as a lump formed in her throat.
“Thanks, guys. Thanks a lot. You're the best!”
The group of six came in for a group hug.
“Alright, enough with this mushiness. Who's hungry?” Applejack asked, and a discussion was started to where to eat as the friends continued through Ponyville.
Dear Princess Celestia
Today I learned that even if you think you're meant for something, that doesn't mean that it's always meant to be. One of the most important parts of friendship is being there when you're needed, but not necessarily wanted. There are times when your help isn't welcome, but you've got to stand by and support your friends anyway. Hopefully in time, they see that friends are only there to help. A true friend has your best interests at heart, every day, and every night. And with great friends, you can get through whatever life throws at you, and see what the next day brings.
Your faithful student,