Chapter Six - Quiet Conversations
Wonderbolts Ship, Mindoir Orbit
June 6th, 2170
The doctors had done a top-notch job of fixing Rainbow Prism up after the battle was over. They had bandaged up his wing and applied a cast, and put him on a rather generous dose of pain medication that had made him a bit loopy and tired. He lay asleep on his bed, resting on the non-bandaged part of his body in his room. He snored softly.
A sharp knock at the door woke him from his light slumber.
Sitting up, Prism blinked tiredly, rubbing sleep away with a hoof. He was disoriented for several seconds, feeling like he was falling, but that sensation disappeared quickly as awareness returned to him. Whoever was outside knocked again. Getting up out of bed, Prism grumbled to himself as he walked to the door.
"Better be something important," he muttered, almost tripping over his uniform that he had dropped on the floor the night before.
Slapping the open button, Prism glared as the door slid open. "What do you..."
He trailed off and his jaw dropped open ever so slightly (he would later claim that it was the drugs and not surprise that made him look so foolish) when he found Firefly and Rainbow Dash smiling on the other side of his door.
"What-" He couldn't believe his eyes. The drugs had to be making him hallucinate.
"Daddy!" Rainbow leaped up off the ground, shouting at the top of her little lungs. She darted forward, wrapping Prism in a big hug before crawling up on top of his head, sprawling over it like a perch. He smiled up at her, still feeling confused but he decided to just roll with it.
"Hey there, little Dashie," Prism said, looking up at his daughter.
"Hi there." Firefly walked forward, giving her husband a sultry smile and a sway in her step.
"Hi yourself," Prism drawled, not understanding but seeing his wife looking at him with loving attention made the sharp pain in his wing disappear. He kissed her tenderly, putting all of his affection and emotions into it as he could. Pulling back he looked at her with a confused smile. "What are you two doing all the way out here? I thought your editor was forcing you to finish your new book."
"I couldn't exactly just wait at home after our last conversation." Firefly rolled her eyes, stepping into his room. She looked around, taking in the slight mess that he had made the night before as he had tried to get into bed. Working with only one wing and high on drugs was not the best way to get ready for bed. "It sounds like we have some things to talk about."
She leaned closer, eying him seriously. "Some important things."
"Yeah." Prism nodded, glancing down at the ground. He ignored Rainbow as she shifted on top of his head, trying to get more comfortable. "Yeah, we do. Later though. Let's take care of this one first."
"Hey there, buddy." He looked up and smiled at Rainbow Dash, who was making funny noises as she bounced her head about. "How was your trip?"
"It. Was. Great!" Rainbow exclaimed, looking up excitedly as her wings buzzed. "I met an Asari, and she was all GRRR. I'm half Krogan so I headbutt people when I get angry!"
"She's all Pow!" Rainbow jumped off Prisms head, headbutting the air as she punched at the air dramatically. "Whoosh! Ker-Bam!"
Prism and Firefly laughed, and Prism picked Rainbow out of the air, putting her back on top his head.
"Come on, little buddy," Prism said. "Let's go find Star. I'm sure that she'll love to see you!"
"Yeah!" Rainbow cheered, pumping a hoof in excitement. "Star Glow!"
Prism led Firefly and Rainbow back out into the hallway, shutting the door to his room behind him. Taking it slow, he led them down the hall and stopped in front of an identical door. Raising his hoof, he knocked four short times.
A moment passed and then the door opened with a hiss to reveal Star Glow, looking half asleep on her hooves. Her eyes widened in surprise when she saw Rainbow and Firefly.
"Auntie Star!" Rainbow exclaimed.
"Rainbow!" Star caught Rainbow as she leapt at her in a hug, confused but happy all the same to see her. "What a surprise. What are you doing here you silly filly."
"Momma was missing Daddy and decided that she wanted to come see him." She looked up questioningly at Prism and Firefly as she said this, before giving a firm nod. "So we did!"
"Prism and I have some things that we need to talk about." Firefly smiled, blushing as she took over from her daughter's explanation. "Not the type of stuff you can do over a comm-link halfway across the galaxy."
"Right." Star nodded, getting it. She set Rainbow down and turned her attention fully on the two older Pegasi. "Do you want me to watch the little rascal while you two hash this out?"
"You would be doing us a huge favor, Star," Prism said with a sigh of relief. "Thank you."
"Eh." Star shrugged. "It's not a problem."
"What do you say, Dashie." Putting a hoof on Rainbow's back, Star led her out into the hall. "Want to go get something to eat?"
"Do I!" Rainbow looked up at Star with wide eyes and a wider smile.
"Well, come on!" Star led Rainbow away, the little filly practically bouncing out of her coat at the thought of food. "The cafeteria is this way."
When they turned the corner out of sight, Prism turned to Firefly and gestured back down the hall with his hoof.
"Come on," he said. "We can go talk in my room."
"Alright." Firefly followed after him without protest.
Prism led Firefly back to his room and they both sat on his bed, curling up next to each other. Prism nuzzled Firefly and leaned into her side, sighing in relief. It was good to be at her side again.
"You said that you wanted to adopt a human girl," Firefly finally said after several minutes of silence.
"Yeah." Prism nodded.
They both went silent again for several long minutes. Neither was quite sure what to say about that. Prism wasn't sure that he could actually put into words his feelings for the human girl that he had saved. Firefly was just generally unsure of what she felt at all about the whole matter.
"Tell me about her." Firefly was the first to break the silence.
"She's an orphan now," Prism said, rubbing a hoof against the comforter of his bed. "After I was shot down, I saved her from being captured by raiders. I held her mother as she died, and she made me promise to look after her."
Firefly thought about that for a moment, chewing absentmindedly on her lip. She blew her mane out of her eye before speaking. "What's her name?"
"Riley." Prism had looked up everything that he could about the girl. Sadly, quite a bit of the records on her had been destroyed when raiders blew up the town hall of New Denver. Still, he had looked at everything that he could get his hands on. "Riley Jane Shepard."
"What is it about this girl that is making you so keen on adopting her?" Firefly asked calmly, leaning her head back against her husbands.
"There's..." Prism thought about what he wanted to say, closing his eyes. "There's something about her. A strength. She's lost so much, but I can just feel it. That girl is going to come out on top."
"She just needs a family who will help her get there." He turned to look Firefly in the eye.
"And you want us to be that family?" Firefly quietly asked, meeting Prism's gaze.
"Yes." Prism gave a firm nod.
Firefly ducked her head under Prism's chin. "I want to meet her."
"I think you'll like her." Prism nodded, putting his good wing over Firefly's back.
"I'll be sure to hold off on my judgement." Firefly cuddled closer, a quiet moment passing between the two of them.
They were still for a little while, enjoying each other's presence. Even though it was his first tour with the Wonderbolts, Prism realized how much he hated being away from his family only a day after they had left Equestria. It was amazing to be with them once again, despite the circumstances.
Firefly's eyes widened as she remembered the other important thing that had brought her out to Mindoir.
"Prism, your wing!" She cried, wriggling out from under his other wing. Pulling away from him, Firefly stepped off the bed and looked over Prism's broken wing.
"I'm alright," Prism said, shrugging his shoulders. There was nothing he could do about it, and he had managed to save at least one life. It was a good trade.
"You don't look alright." Firefly stared at his wing skeptically.
"It looks worse than it is." Prism looked back at the bandages that covered his broken wing, grimacing slightly at the sight.
"It looks pretty bad," Firefly said, climbing back onto the bed. She ran a gentle hoof over the bandages, feeling the broken bones through the thick cloth.
"Yeah..." Prism trailed off. He had nothing else he could say about that.
"What did the doctors say?" Firefly asked, snuggling back up against his good side.
Prism winced, looking anywhere in the room but Firefly. His cheeks burned in embarrassment and shame. Putting a gentle hoof on her cheek, Firefly turned his head to face her.
"Prism." She murmured lovingly.
"I'll..." Prism sighed, dropping his head in shame. "I'll be able to fly, but they don't believe that I'll ever be able to do much more than fly in a straight line."
"Oh, Prism!" Firefly's hooves flew to her mouth in horror. "Your dream!"
"It's alright," he whispered. Prism shook his head and frowned. "I've did good down there, and I can do other things."
"But it's your dream!" Firefly protested, tears welling in her eyes. Ever since she had known him, being a Wonderbolt was his biggest goal in life. She was more than overjoyed when he had actually qualified for the team, and the next two years of their life had been... perfect. To have that all stolen away from him... Firefly could feel her heart breaking for her husband.
"Yeah. It is." Prism smiled sadly at his wife. "But... I can find another dream."
"I love you, Rainbow Prism," Firefly whispered to Prism. She kissed him before she nuzzled up against his cheek. "You're a brave stallion. You're a good stallion."
A deep well of peace fell over Prism's heart. His wife still loved him, his daughter was safe, and he was alive. Everything else would work itself out.
Together, the two of them drifted off to sleep, happier than they had been in a long time.