I Want To Take You Flyin'

by MintyJoy

No More Waiting

Chapter 14

No More Waiting

Dash sat down on the cold metal beside Applejack, staring at the metal bars surrounding them. She felt weak, which was a new and uncomfortable state to her. It made every breath, every glance, every thought exhausting. Turning her head was a chore. But she did so anyway just to see the depressing puddle that was Discord.

She had been betrayed. They had all been betrayed. And now they sat here, in this cold cage unable to help themselves or others. And yet, she couldn’t help but feel bad of her betrayer. Even if now she was a weakened shell of herself left to die.

At least she was a weakened shell of herself left to die with Applejack.

As hard as it was, she turned herself to the left to see the heartbroken mare. Her hat sagged on her forehead, and her eyes were cast downward.

Her eyes.

Their once brilliant emerald color was now only a translucent grey green. Those eyes, the ones she used to fall into, were now nothing but hollow shells, like empty corners filled with cobwebs. The sight made her heart break and her own hollow eyes brim with water. The sound of her sniffles caught AJ’s attention.

“Hey,” her voice was tender, but strained, “What’s wrong sugarcube?”

Dash scoffed at the question.

“What’s wrong? AJ, we’re left here to die in a cage.”

The careless remark put a distressed look on everypony‘s face, and Fluttershy began to sob more earnestly in the corner.

“W-what?” Spike’s terrified eyes made everyone feel more awful.

“Rainbow…” Applejack squeezed her eyes shut, tears on her eyelashes, “let’s not think like that…”

“Yeah!” Piped up Pinkie Pie weakly, “Besides, Twilight will save us, remember?”

“That’s right, dear,” Rarity added. “Although, I must admit we are in a tight spot.”

“Maybe too tight,” Rainbow sat forward, tears still threatening to flow. “You saw that thing. It was HUGE. Do you really think Twilight could handle him all on her own?”

“Of course she can!” Spike shouted. “She’s been able to defeat anyone who has gotten in the way of her friends!”

“I don’t know…” Rainbow sulked and curved her tail around her now blank flank. “You have to admit this looks bad.”

“It does, Rainbow.” Applejack put her hoof on Dash’s shoulder. “It really does.”

Silence followed as the six of them sat together, sad and scared and worried. As the silence stretched on sounds of Tirek’s shouting in the distance could be heard. Dash tried to keep her mind from wandering back to reality, and instead thought of the past few weeks. And months. And years.

And as she thought, she soon realized she had forgotten something. Something important. It bothered her so badly that she quickly turned to the farm pony beside her.

“AJ,” the break in the silence made everypony jump, “I’m so sorry.”

“About what?” Applejack tilted her head, “This wasn’t yer fault.”

“I…” Dash paused to take a shaky breath. “I never took you flying.”

The surprise in the faded eyes of her friend almost brought them back to life, and tears began to form on the sides of her eyes.

“You… you remember?” she choked.

“Of course I remember! I’ve been training in secret so I could surprise you!”

Tears spilled over onto her freckled cheeks as Applejack turned to look at the sky.

“Ah though you had forgotten all about it,” she admitted, “so instead of reminding you I just pretended it had already happened.”

“Pretended it had already happened?” Dash echoed. “Why?”

“Ah didn’t want to bother you or make you feel rotten. So instead every time Ah thought about it Ah would look up into the sky, and pretend to remember.”

The cage fell silent. Even Fluttershy’s sobs sounded quieter. All eyes were on Applejack, who was now looking at the reddened sky. Her words were like magic, and everypony sat still and listened as she spoke.

“Don’t you remember flyin’ in the clouds? It was cool, and free, and safe up there. In a world of blue and white, you floated without a care. The air was deliciously crisp, and the wind combed through your hair.

“There were no ceilings, no floors, no confines left or right. You just flew up into the sun, consumed by all the light. And there you bathed in it all, which was so warm and bright.

“You were flying with yer friend, and there you two did play. Together you two cleared the sky and bucked the clouds away. They were softer than apple trees, and easier to sway.

“Do you remember when she dropped you? And slowly you did fall? There was nothing to grasp or hold, nothing touching you at all. Just the air and sky around you, making you feel small.

“But if you remember right, yer fear left you, and soon you were free. You were flyin' on yer own, above yer beloved country. It almost surprised you when you saw nothing where wings were s’pposed to be.

“And just when the ground came close, and it seemed that you might crash, you were saved and brought back into the sky by loyal Rainbow Dash! And you two continued to roam free, without any clash.

“Don’t you remember the day you flew? Don’t you remember the day you soared? The day you looped, the day you dived, the day you shot and scored?”

Applejack paused to sob, almost too discouraged to continue. But after a deep breath, and a look at all the wet faces around her, she decided to finish strong. Even Discord was listening.

“No. Ah don’t remember any of that, and it’s a memory that Ah will miss. But once this future dream becomes mah past, Ah’ll have time to reminisce.”

They could have heard a pin drop. No one spoke, or sniffled, or dared to breathe. They all just wanted to hold onto the spirit of the moment, which was gentle and wise, peaceful and understanding. But something that beautiful could not last forever. Finally the tears came, and sounds returned to the cage. Rarity was the first to speak.

“That was beautiful, darling.” She tried to wipe her messy makeup off her cheeks with no success. “Where did you learn to recite such elegant poetry?”

“Mah Pa.” Applejack replied, the glimmer of a small smile on her lips. “He would use poems to be sweet to mah Ma. Ah remember when Ah was just a little filly, he was recite them to me to help me fall asleep, or to feel better when Ah was upset.”

The rest of the group whispered praise and thanks for the beautiful poem through their tears. All except Dash. She tried so hard to keep in her tears. She gritted her teeth, and slumped against the bars. Applejack noticed, and put her hoof on the distressed pegasus’ shoulder.

“Rainbow, are you alri—”

Dash through herself at Applejack, burying her face into her chest and weeping softly. She didn’t want anyone to hear her, or see her. But she felt like she was going to die. And she felt so, so bad that Applejack never got a chance to fly. And it was all her fault.

Applejack awkwardly cradled her broken-hearted friend who sobbed apologies into her left shoulder until she had regained her composure. After that, she sat up, and cleared her head. If this was the end, then there was one more thing she had to do.

“Applejack, forget that just happened.” She tried brushing the dampness off AJ’s shoulder. “There is something I need to tell you. And this is super important.”

Applejack opened her eyes wider with curiosity.

“What is it, Rainbow?”

“I…” Rainbow took one of Applejack’s hooves into the two her own. “I just want to say that… I…”

“What is THAT?” Pinkie cried as she pointed into the sky. A purple dot came descending down from the sky at a surprisingly fast rate.

“It’s Twilight!” Spike cried with excitement.

Just then, a surge of pink energy came blasting towards the ground far away, producing smoke and orange energy to combat it. Seven jaws dropped.

So, they weren’t gonna die. Rainbow dropped AJ’s hoof and turned towards their fight. From what little she could see of it, it looked EPIC.

“Uh, RD?” Applejack looked still very confused. “Weren’t you just saying som—”

“Forget it.” Dash waved her off.


Before another word could be exchanged, the group was suddenly engulfed in seven separate bubbles and disappeared into thin air.

The rest of an epic showdown, a trade, and the gift of a key later, the six friends were standing around the mysterious chest, which was loaded and ready to be unlocked.

“Together, I think we have to do this together!” Twilight announced.

Dash stood in front of her key.

They were safe. They’re strength was back. Everything was going to be fine.

Dash looked across from her.

Applejack’s eyes were green once more, the kind of green that had originally caught her attention. As she looked into those eyes, she fell into their depths as if it were the first time.

There, she remembered the day she first met those eyes.
She remembered the day she first got caught by those eyes.
She remembered the day she first played with those eyes.
She remembered the day she first saw tears in those eyes, and shared her own.
She remembered the day she tripped on an autumn path in the middle of the woods with those eyes.
She remembered the day she found an excuse to run away from those eyes.
She remembered the day she blushed at those eyes over a stubborn crumb of pie.
She remembered the day she tried to serve those eyes.
She remembered the day she almost lost those eyes, and realized she was in love.
She remembered the day she was too afraid to look into those eyes and tell the truth.
She remembered the day she visited those eyes when they were closed.
She remembered the day she stared into those eyes brimmed with bees.
She remembered the day she lost herself completely in those eyes.
And finally, she remembered today, when she looked into those eyes, now hollow and scared, afraid she would have to say goodbye to them forever.

There had been so much history, and for such a long time. And Applejack could have died today and would have never known about it. And that, more than anything else, scared Rainbow Dash.

Soon after this mess was cleaned up, Applejack would want to go flying. That was obvious, of course. But what wasn’t quite so obvious but just as important was that Rainbow knew there was something else she had to do. A fear she had to face, a risk she had to take. No more waiting. It was time.

With this in mind, she turned her key.

Tears decorated the stands of hay on the floor of the hayloft, and sniffles could be heard above the storm.

“You almost told me.”

“That’s right, but I decided to tell you at a better time, and in a better place.”

These words upset Applejack, and her took her hat off and threw it against the floor with some force, cheeks red and stained with tears.

“Tell me? You never told me anythi—!”

Dash’s look caused Applejack’s yell to die in her throat.

“AJ, that day didn’t go exactly how I had planned…”

“How was it planned, Rainbow?” Applejack retorted angrily. “Because I can’t think of any plan that would be worth exchanging for what you ended up doing.”

“Applejack,” pleaded Rainbow, “it wasn’t like that. I never meant to… to make you feel…”

The pegasus bowed her head in an attempt to hide her tears, but a loud sob escaped her throat before she could stop it. It wasn’t a little ‘oh poor me’ sob. It was a deep, cutting, heartbroken sob. The kind that makes others cry too.

Applejack’s face softened as she let her friend cry herself out. The sobs kept coming, and her shoulders heaved up and down with every one. Applejack held it together, but only just.

“Ah’m listening now,” she said softly, “Please, keep telling the story.”

Dash sat up and wiped her tears away unsuccessfully.