Piercing the Heavens
By: Calm Wind
Dash was lucky to get into the barracks before the hilarity and insanity of the whole damn cadet group came pouring through the doors. However, she was effectively stuck in her bunk. Could she have flown out? Definitely not. Some of the pegasi just trying to get in had the same idea. So she was forced to wait until all the ponies were in and settled before she could even think about going elsewhere. She was also stuck with a swooning top bunk, self-centered, make-up experiment gone horribly wrong, who kept sighing at a poster of Dash’s stallion.
Well, at least the poster was there. Dash had plenty of fun admiring the sexy body of Soarin taped to the wall. All of that gorgeous hunk was hers. Oh, how she wanted to ruin Arctic Blast’s life… A pony like her deserved a reality check to the teeth.
She also got quite a kick out of the bed they rolled into the place for Bulk and Matteo. It was literally made with thick steel beams and effectively scrunched the spaces between their bunk and those flanking it much smaller. The exasperated dismay of the ponies that had the two juggernauts as neighbors gave Dash a chuckle or two.
But back to the poster. This GLORIOUS poster. She hated having to be all serious. Soarin was so close by and she couldn’t do a thing about it. Plus, what was up with the horn? Forget it, she just wanted to talk with him, hang with him, and… do other things.
With her eyes overdosed on eye-candy, Dash was able to somewhat wait comfortably until it was time for lunch.
Since Bulk was nearby, she easily got a hold of him so she could at least eat with a friend. They had effectively lost Thunderlane and Derpy, and hoped the two would find their way to them. Just like with the bunks, Dash made a point to be one of the first to the mess hall. She didn’t like the idea of waiting for food like it was a ride at an amusement park.
“Yeesh, glad we got here early…” Dash commented as she watched the line for food quickly extend out the entrance. Just like the staff members assembling the beds, the chefs were going absolutely nuts. Dash wondered how the Wonderbolts didn’t see this coming. They were offering a free ride through their recruitment process right into their elite squads. Any pegasi with the right desire would jump at this opportunity.
Dash and Bulk carried their trays over to a random table. They were all vacant, so they just claimed the first one that piqued their interest for no particular reason. Dash spotted Thunderlane near the front of the line right before Bulk sat down and completely blocked her view of the entrance. Dash peeked around him to take another look, but didn’t see Derpy anywhere.
Dash hoped she would be okay. Of the three who decided to join her on this tryout run, she worried the most about Derpy. Thunderlane wasn’t the best flyer, but he wasn’t bad by any means. In fact he was very strong willed, and more often than not was able to power through things despite the difficulty. Bulk… well, he was sturdy. He couldn’t fly very well, but he was really strong. If anything he’d be noticed for his massive appearance and great strength.
But Derpy? She didn’t really have many talents. She was an average flyer, but had a tendency to never fly completely straight. She was also a bit… clumsy, for lack of a better word, a class-A klutz actually. It was IMPOSSIBLE to hate her because of how adorable and sincere she was to everypony around her, but she was very accident prone and had a knack for getting others caught up in her follies. Dash hoped to Celestia that Derpy had a bottom bunk. She’d fall out of the top bunk about twenty times per night if she was stuck in one.
“So Bulk,” Dash began as she eyed the food: steamed broccoli, undercooked spaghetti marinara, and grilled chicken. Again with the chicken, she had a feeling they’d be getting it a lot. “I see you and… Mattato? What was his name?”
“Matteo, I think,” Bulk answered as he stuffed the whole chicken breast in his mouth at once.
“Talk about bad luck, they had to get you guys a custom bed,” she chuckled as she started on her broccoli. “Talk to him at all? Did he actually say anything?”
“Er… not really. He kinda scares me man… every time I get pumped he gives me the stink eye,” Bulk tried to imitate Matteo’s glare, but without the beak the sharpness of the effect was lost.
“I doubt we’ll be getting much out of him. He looks like he’s got a chip on his shoulder about something. I wonder what Spitfire was talking about… what are the Sky Wings?” she wondered out loud as she prodded the spaghetti. It was so underdone it looked like it could bounce off the floor.
“I’ve seen more appetizing meals while dumping my trash out…” Thunderlane’s voice came from behind Bulk as he stepped around the table and took a seat next to Dash.
“You made it,” Dash chuckled as she checked the line again. “I don’t think Derpy was so lucky.”
“I saw her before I left the barracks,” Thunderlane spoke up and looked towards the line himself. “I was gonna grab her, but she was talking to some stallion. Might be her bunkmate. I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“Derpy getting fresh with the competition?” Dash lifted an eyebrow. Thunderlane chuckled.
“Knowing her she was probably asking him random questions, you know how curious she can be,” Thunderlane stuck his tongue out slightly as he eyed his broccoli.
“Speaking of bunkmates, how is yours?” Dash purposely kept asking, hoping to avoid talking about Arctic Ass Blast. Thunderlane blinked as he let the broccoli slip back onto his plate.
“I wish I could tell you. I think he’s got a few screws loose,” Thunderlane cringed.
“How so?” Dash was curious. Did Thunderlane have worse luck than her?
“Well, I grabbed the top bunk and got comfortable. When he showed up, after putting his stuff away, all he did was Kilroy stare at me creepily over the edge of my bed. It was awkward as hell,” Thunderlane leaned to look around Bulk. “Oh god, there he is,” he pointed. Dash leaned over as well. Thunderlane pointed towards a neon green stallion with a blue mane that looked to have a mind of its own. It was sticking in all directions and had more split ends than a splintered wooden board. His cutie mark was a tornado… with trees flying out of it. His eyes were opened wide constantly and his mouth was always curled into a disturbing smirk. “All I got out of him was his name is Twister. After that he just eyeballed me like he wanted to spoon or something,” Thunderlane quickly ducked back behind Bulk so his odd bunkmate wouldn’t see him.
“He looks like a clown put through a wood chipper…” Dash joked while snickering. Bulk nearly choked on his spaghetti while laughing, quickly grabbing for his glass of water and pounding down the contents.
“So what about your bunkmate?” Thunderlane asked, much to Dash’s dismay. Dash groaned and let her head lightly smack against the table. “That bad, huh? Dare I ask?”
“I’m probably gonna murder her in her sleep,” Dash said with a tone that sounded very believable. “She’s by far the bitchiest mare I have ever met in my life. She introduced herself as the new elite Wonderbolt and didn’t even let me tell her my name,” Dash suddenly smirked. “But I already got a way to blow her mind eventually.”
“Careful Dash, I don’t think pranks will be taken too kindly here,” Thunderlane chuckled as he finally took a bite of his food in disgust. Dash shook her head.
“Oh no, this will be much better,” she winked at Thunderlane. “She brought along a huge blown up poster of Soarin,” Thunderlane stopped mid-chew and lifted an eyebrow. “She’s calling him her stallion.”
“Oh, what a small world,” Thunderlane chuckled.
“I plan on letting her think she has a chance, then laying it on real thick. A little payback for the wonderful first impression she gave me,” Dash rubbed her hooves together sinisterly.
“Hiii~” a familiar goofy voice caught their attention. Derpy appeared from around Bulk, carrying a tray with three muffins on it. She sat right down next to Bulk. Dash looked at Derpy’s tray.
“Derpy where did…”
“Of course…” Dash just let it happen as Derpy grabbed one and happily bit into it. Something was odd about Derpy. Both Dash and Thunderlane picked up on it. Bulk was too busy stuffing his face with broccoli to notice. She had an incredibly dreamy look in her eyes, a light blush lingering over her cheeks, and her wings were slowly unfolding.
“Are you okay Derpy?” Thunderlane spoke up. Derpy looked up from her muffin and smiled so wide her face nearly stretched.
“I’m more than perfect!” she almost yelled out as her wings fluttered at her sides. Dash and Thunderlane glanced at each other in confusion. Derpy suddenly looked to her left and released a very quiet, high pitched squeal. Dash followed her eyes to a stallion sitting down with a few other cadets a few tables away. He was brown with a blown back yellow mane that was similar to Soarin’s, but not quite as wild. He was pretty big, not quite Bulk Biceps big, but around Soarin big and pretty well built too. His cutie mark was a thundercloud with two lightning bolts firing out of it.
“Hey! That’s the stallion you were talking to,” Thunderlane mentioned as he also followed Derpy’s eyes. Derpy sighed and took another happy bite out of her muffin.
“Bunkmate?” Dash asked simply as she finished off her food and pushed the tray away. Derpy bounced up and down in her seat.
“Yes!” she squealed as she hugged the muffin to her chest, squishing it against her. “Oopsie…”
“Looks like one of us got lucky,” Thunderlane chuckled. “I take it he’s nice?”
“He’s so sweet,” Derpy blushed harder as she wiped the muffin crumbs out of her fur. “He was already there when I got to the bunk. His name is Storm Front… he greeted me and introduced himself… his voice was so calm and caring,” she swooned harder. “He already had the bottom bunk… so I took the top,” Derpy’s ears drooped. “I tried to get my stuff situated, but I fell off…” her ears shot right back up. “He was up so fast, asking me if I was hurt. I was okay… but then I fell out again…” she blushed sheepishly, “but he caught me! He was watching to make sure I didn’t fall again!” she sighed and slowly laid the side of her head on the table, staring in Storm Front’s direction. “Then he offered me the bottom bunk, even though he was already settled in, because he didn’t want me to get hurt…”
Dash, Thunderlane, and Bulk all blinked and glanced at each other as Derpy looked like her fur would grow three feet and float her away as a big ball of fluff.
“Wow Derpy, you’re gonna burn a hole through the table if you keep swooning like that,” Dash chuckled as she rested her head in her hoofs.
“I’ve never met such a kind pony before… he didn’t even ask about my eyes…” Derpy sighed again before moving her head up and happily nomming one of her muffins without using her hooves.
The other three shared a good laugh. They had hardly been there half a day and they were already having fun of all types. Dash ran through the names in her head.
Only four out of three hundred, but all so unique in their own way. Every pegasus here probably had their own story. She was no exception. These tryouts would be a challenge. What kind of challenge? She had no way of knowing until tomorrow.
“Make yourself familiar with the compound.”
Those were Spitfire’s words. For the rest of the cadets it made perfect sense, but for Dash it meant nothing to do for six hours between lunch and dinner. She already knew the rest of the compound back to front. She could go back and read her Daring Do book… but the less time spent in the possible company of Arctic Blast, the better.
She decided to go for a walk through the compound anyway. She thought maybe she could run into some familiar Wonderbolts, but then she quickly remembered the professional air they had to keep up during this event. She doubted any of them would talk to her to keep any rumors of “favor” down. Whatever, it would be a nostalgia walk. She could go around and remember the fun times she had her last visit.
The Wonderbolt’s gave no restrictions on where they were allowed to go. Almost the entirety of the cadet group was moving to and fro on the first floor where all the facilities were. To get away from the swarm and enjoy a little bit of silence, Dash made her way up the stairs to the second and third floors.
There wasn’t much besides the dormitory style rooms for the elite squadrons. Spitfire’s office was on the second floor, but the door was shut. Dash sighed, realizing this little walk was barely going to shave off an hour, but she decided to walk the third floor anyway. Of course there was something very important on the third floor.
Soarin’s room to be exact. Not like he would actually be there, nor was she in a position to knock without being seen.
Dash trotted slowly down the hall of the third floor, stopping right in front of Soarin’s door. She blinked at first glance, eyeing a white sheet of paper that was taped above his nameplate. She looked back and forth before reaching up and lifting it. She had to hold in laughter as she saw the word “princess.” Dash didn’t have to think long. Fleetfoot. Definitely Fleetfoot’s work.
Despite the possibility of being seen, she contemplated knocking on his door. Her morals were conflicting. Part of her didn’t think it would hurt to try. The other half was telling her she was out of her damn mind, taking such a risk.
She sighed as the more reasonable choice won her over. Besides, he was probably down on the first floor. He was either helping with tryout preparations or working out.
Now she had the sudden urge to check the gym. After staring at the poster of him for a good few hours earlier, the thought of seeing him all pumped and sweaty sounded like a delicious meal for her eyes.
Again though, she had to be careful. She would have to just deal with it. She didn’t get to see him often, but she wouldn’t forget the importance of being discreet in these circumstances. She sighed and turned away from his door.
“Huh? AH!” Dash yelped as she ran face first into a large wing. It was about an inch from her eyes the moment she turned. Before she could do anything else, the wing closed around her. She yelped as she got dragged along, unable to see anything. She heard a door open and close as she struggled. The grip of the wing suddenly loosened. She thrust her arms and wings out, and instinctively threw a punch towards whoever was just forced her along.
A hoof reached up and caught hers right before it connected with the owner’s face.
“Saw that coming this time.”
Dash’s eyes widened and she gasped. The hoof holding hers was light blue. She had been pulled into a very familiar room. She pulled her hoof back…
She looked directly into the eyes of Soarin.
“Hey Dashie,” he said with a smile. He was out of uniform, and right in front of her. Dash didn’t hesitate.
She reached forward, grabbed his face, and yanked it towards hers, crashing their lips together fiercely. Soarin chuckled beneath the kiss and wrapped his arms around her as she forced his back up against the wall. She pulled back quickly and glared at him.
“What the hell? I thought somepony was trying to molest me!” she pouted.
“Maybe I was?” he bounced his eyebrows. Dash’s pout was overtaken by a smirk.
“Jerk,” she closed the gap again. She kissed him passionately, releasing a moan of delight as he rubbed his hooves over her back and gently brushed over her sweet spots beneath her wings. He pushed her away gently.
“I think we did this out of order,” he chuckled. “How are you? I’ve missed you.”
“I was getting to that,” Dash snorted while pressing herself into him hard. “I’m so glad to see you, and I freaking miss your guts every single day,” she nuzzled the bottom of his chin.
“I kind of wanted to do this earlier…” Soarin sighed. “I’m sure you’ve noticed though, I’m trying to keep the professional act up. It’d be pretty bad if we started making out in the middle of the cadet crowd,” he chuckled as she let go of him.
“I know somepony I wouldn’t mind seeing it…” Dash grumbled while rolling her eyes.
“Huh?” Soarin tipped his head. Dash looked into his eyes, and then tipped her head slightly up to see the horn. She finally got a good look at it. It was fake, as she thought, strapped to his head. Just… what?
“Alright Soarin, care to explain that?” she pointed to the horn. Soarin sighed.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t ask. It’s kind of a long story. I don’t want to keep you in here too long in case Spitfire comes to the door…” he rambled. Dash tapped a hoof against the floor.
“Got a short version? I’m curious about when you got decided to be a princess,” she said with a snicker.
“God, both you and Fleet…” Soarin scrunched his face. “Short version? Well… The dark magic in my body was gonna kill me. If I could use magic it wouldn’t. This is a fake horn, but it’s an ancient artifact that let’s non-unicorns use magic. I have to use it a few times per day to avoid the magic overwhelming me. That’s about as simple as I can… Dash?” he blinked as she stared at him wide eyed.
“You had me at… it was gonna kill you. Soarin! You… You are going to be alright aren’t you!?” she quickly put her hooves up on his shoulders, a look of terrified concern in her eyes. Soarin smiled warmly. He reached out and drew Dash into his arms, hugging her as tightly as he could.
“I’m going to be perfectly fine as long as I do what I need to do with this horn,” he gave her an extra squeeze, “but thanks for being so concerned. You know I love that about you.”
“Sheesh, you really can’t catch a break can you?” Dash commented as she found a way to reach her arms around him and return his embrace. “I feel like every time we meet something’s not going right.”
“You’ve never complained about a little spice in life,” Soarin joked. He felt Dash shake slightly in his arms as she giggled.
“With you I think spice is putting it lightly… try a brick wall to the face around every corner,” she joked right back as the two shared a good laugh. Soarin released her, but she stared up at the horn. “So… you can use magic then?” she asked out of curiosity. Soarin smiled and nodded.
“I’ve only learned some extreme basics… it was hard at first but I think I’m getting it down,” Soarin closed his eyes as he finished. Dash’s eyes widened slightly as she watched the horn slowly glow to life. It was nowhere near as intense a glow that shone from Twilight or Rarity when they used magic, but she was watching Soarin, a pegasus, conjure magic. The sight alone was unexpected. Dash flinched as she felt her tail move against her will. She turned around to see a blue aura surrounding the tip of her tail and lifting it up.
“Hey!” she laughed while blushing. “You dirty colt!” she yanked her tail down back over her plot.
“Huh… I was trying to pick up something over there,” he pointed to a nearby shelf. “How did I get your tail instead?” Soarin faked confusion while rubbing his chin and failing to hide a smirk.
“Liar,” Dash stuck her tongue out at him playfully. “But… that was kind of… incredibly awesome,” she smiled wide.
“I only wish to wow the mare I love,” Soarin said with a forced suave tone while trotting over and draping a wing over Dash’s back. She cocked an eyebrow in his direction and chuckled.
“God you’re terrible,” she leaned up and kissed him softly on the lips. A kiss Soarin eagerly returned. “And I love you so damn much,” She added while nuzzling the side of his neck. Soarin sighed happily as he felt her press against him, and then he thought he heard movement outside his door. He quickly took his wing and pushed Dash back behind him. She yelped quietly, but stiffened when she saw him stand firm, facing the door. They stood still for a few moments, but nothing else happened. Soarin sighed in relief.
“There’s so much I’d like to do with you right now, but you should probably get going. We may get a couple of chances to see each other, but until the tryouts are over, we’ll have to play it safe,” he explained reluctantly. Dash nodded, and then smirked.
“You mean when I take the open elite spot, right?” she nudged him in the side. Soarin flinched, but luckily it went unnoticed. He was still wondering about how to approach that decision. He obviously didn’t want Dash to know his little dilemma though. He quickly played along, in an encouraging way.
“I wanna see you kick ass out there and earn it first,” he winked. Dash grinned and bumped her hooves together.
“Good,” Soarin looked into her eyes and smiled. “C’mere you,” he mumbled as he reached for her face and drew her in again. She happily let him do so and the two pressed their lips together one more time, sharing a sweet, soft kiss. “Good luck Dash,” he added as they parted, before going to his door.
Soarin opened the door as slowly as he could. He peered out to make sure the hallways were just as clear as they were before. To his relief, they were empty.
“Coast is clear,” he nodded to Dash. She trotted up beside him and planted a small kiss on his cheek.
“Love you, sexy,” she winked as she peered out.
“Love you too babe,” he whispered to her as she made her way out into the hallway and quickly moved towards the stairs with a spring in her step.
Soarin watched her turn the corner and go down the steps.
“She’s so cute, isn’t she?” Fleetfoot leaned into Soarin’s side.
“Yeah, she… WHA?!!?!?! WHAT THE…?!?!” Soarin nearly leapt into the ceiling as he turned and saw Fleetfoot standing right beside him, smiling dreamily. She pressed a hoof against his mouth as he tried to speak.
“You two are the best, I never shit more live puppies and kittens than I do when you two are around,” she giggled. Soarin glared at her with her hoof still pressed over his mouth. She eyed his glare and shook her head. “I’m the least of your worries princess,” she smirked while pointing a hoof to the door one down from his room. Soarin followed her hoof and froze solid.
Spitfire was standing in the door. He had no idea she was in her room. She probably heard the entire exchange through the wall. She was glaring harshly at him. Fleetfoot burst out laughing and removed her hoof from Soarin’s mouth as she rolled around on the floor. Soarin and Spitfire just stared at each other for a moment. Soarin eventually fought off his surprise and hardened his expression.
“Spitfire... I just… wanted to say hello to her. I’m not changing my approach to the tryouts,” he spoke first, eager to get his point across before she could berate him. To his surprise however, Spitfire smirked.
“Soarin, don’t worry about it,” she shook her head. Soarin blinked in confusion, the hardness escaping from his glare. “Look I’m sorry I’ve been a little rough on you about this, I just wanted to be absolutely sure you would take all of it seriously. The way you almost bit my head off the last time I brought it up was all I needed to see,” she glanced back into her room briefly, then over towards where Dash had left. “I trust you’ll be fair, and I trust Dash to understand you’ll be fair as well.”
“I dunno, you might lose sex for a few years if you don’t pick her,” Fleetfoot commented from the floor, which she decided to just recline on after falling over laughing. She tried not to burst out laughing again when she saw Soarin actually think about it.
“That’s not funny Fleet,” Soarin shivered. “Seriously, that’s not funny at all.”
“I don’t mind at all that you decided to have a little make out session in your room right next to mine where I could hear every bit of it,” Spitfire chuckled. Soarin blushed a little. He had completely forgotten about the thinness of the walls. He suddenly became self-conscious about other nights he had spent with Dash in his room in the past.
“Nothing’s wrong with a little romance… eh? Spitfire?” Fleetfoot slid herself across the ground, on her back, towards Spitfire. Spitfire glanced into her room again, then away from Fleet.
“Fleet, get off the ground, that’s…”
“What’s going on out…?” Wave Chill’s face appeared behind Spitfire’s door. She quickly extended her hoof and slammed the door shut right in his face while blushing furiously. A few painful swears echoed from behind her door. Fleetfoot and Soarin just stared in surprise, before the both lost themselves in laughter. Spitfire looked away from them both, unable to hide the red overtaking her yellow face.
Nothing was wrong with seeing the one you love. Soarin was happy Spitfire truly understood, and wasn’t just getting on his ass about it. He was still a little uneasy about the decision he would have to make though. He was more than certain Dash would clean house and make the recruits… but would she show the qualities needed to be chosen for the elite spot? The tryouts started tomorrow… Soarin would know soon enough.
--- To Be Continued---