Rain and Rhymes
A clap of thunder bellowed in the background of the grey abyss surrounding Rainbow Dash. She stood with her head down, her eyes cast downward, her vision blurred both by rain and tears in her eyes. Her once-vibrant mane drooped in the gloomy storm, the colors dull and faded. Lightening flashed, temporarily illuminating the dreary scene in white light. Rainbow noticed a lump on the ground.
As thunder clapped again, Rainbow took a step toward the shape, unable to see anything with the storm worsening as it wore on. When the lightning struck again, Rainbow could see that the shape was the bag of groceries that Applejack had set down before Rainbow’s heartbreaking confession. From its size and amount of vegetables inside, the whole bundle must have cost over twenty bits or so. The bag had tipped and the food was now covered in mud, but with a little washing it would still be edible.
Rainbow stood over the bag, the rain running off her bandaged muzzle and onto a bushel of dirtied broccoli.
The pain in her chest made her grit her teeth. She cringed at the bitter taste in her mouth. It was the taste of rejection. Only once before had she thought to consider the harsh rejection she might face in telling Applejack her feelings. A pitiful question wandered across her mind, wondering if the outcome would have been better if she had told her that Hearts and Hooves Day so many moons ago. Dash hung her head.
After so long, and so many memories, Dash had lost the one pony she truly cared about. Surely their friendship would be ruined because of this. The idea brought so much pain to her that it swelled in her chest, causing her to throw her head back and cry out in agony.
The scream was swallowed by the sound of rain and thunder, forgotten by the world save the pony who uttered it.
Dash hung her head again, her broken mind wandering and worrying. It seemed that the other girls wouldn’t understand either, and so she would soon lose their friendships too. What was the loyal Rainbow Dash to do if there would be nopony to be loyal to? Perhaps she would run away, far from Ponyville to a place unheard of, maybe even somewhere besides Equestria. Deep down, Rainbow knew she could never do that. Her ties were too strong here.
“I never leave Ponyville hangin’!”
Her own voice echoed in her head, leaving Dash feeling more empty and worthless than before. She was stuck here, forced to suffer with this loss in a town they both lived in. It seemed that one simple act had ruined everything in a single blow.
“Bad move, Dash,” she told herself. She stared up at the sky, raindrops filling the crevices of her face.
“Whoever said that honesty was the best policy was an idiot.” She growled at the sky, letting rain roll off her chin.
She stood there, resentment and anger settling in. But it had been a long day, and both of these emotions were quite exhausting, so she abandoned them both for self-pity, which took far less energy. She hung head once more, her eyes cast downward, her heart heavy.
The bag of groceries still sat below her.
Rainbow stared at it, almost more thoughtfully than sorrowfully. As the brown paper bag sagged in the rain, Rainbow felt a prompting in her heart. The words startled her.
Go after her.
Dash blinked. She wasn’t sure if she believed it, but it seemed as if the groceries were calling for their rightful owner. Perhaps she was losing her sanity over the rejection? She shook her head to try and clear it. She then glanced back at the soggy bag only to feel it again.
Go after her.
Her troubled heart pounded inside her chest. Her ears stood at attention. She knew she heard it this time. Her eyes stared at the bag of groceries, the rain pouring over the dropped vegetables.
You love her. Don’t let her go.
The voice was her own. It was determined, and firm. It sank deep into her mind, and once it was realized, Rainbow understood.
She was right. Rainbow was loyal, which meant that she was there when her friends needed her. And right now, Applejack needed her most, even if she didn’t want her. Rainbow couldn’t just stay sorry for herself and lose this. She had to go after her.
She had to.
In a single motion, Dash scooped the food back into the bag and lifted it by the strap. Somehow, despite the paper being soaked by the rain and mud, it held, and soon Rainbow was galloping into the nothingness in the direction Applejack had gone.
However, just as Rainbow began to search for Applejack, the storm worsened. The rain around her created walls in every direction, the giant droplets slapping her face and back and chilling her to the bone. The amount of rain made it impossible to breathe, and often she choked as she brought in more water than air. Her eyes were nearly sealed shut at the droplets weighed on her eyelashes, and the wind blew her about like a rag doll. Before long, she was blind, deaf, and unable to control the direction she was heading.
Rainbow knew she was in trouble. If she didn’t find shelter soon, she could get lost out in the storm for good. For all she knew she was far out of town in the middle of nowhere, and once she finally collapsed nopony would ever find her. Her legs were already begging for a rest, but she continued to press on despite them, her burning determination barely keeping her warm.
Just as Dash was about to give up, a barrier came out of the murky mess. Unable to stop herself, she slammed face first into it. Dash cursed loudly, cradling her already damaged muzzle. She then took a look at what she had bumped into.
It was a barn door.
Relieved to find some shelter, Rainbow quickly grabbed the handle with a hoof and yanked. It budged slightly, a warm glow of light seeping out of the opening. Encouraged, she pulled harder. To her dismay, the door did not move any further.
Dash peered into the opening with frustration. She saw a lit oil lamp, and an old blanket hanging up on the far side of the room. It was warm and dry inside. As she was soaked and freezing she began to frantically yank at the door.
“C’mon you stupid door! Open already!”
She yanked a final time and placed her head against the door, beaten. She had come so close, and now she was going to freeze to death outside a barn door. How pathetic. She allowed herself to cry a little. As the tears trickled off her soaked chin, she heard a familiar voice from inside the barn.
“If you think Ah am lettin’ you in, yer wrong!”
Rainbow’s heart skipped a beat. She forgot her numb hooves, and the fact that her muzzle was throbbing. She forgot the rain, and the cold, and the groceries. She stared desperately through the opening, eyes searching for her friend. An orange hoof blocked her sight.
“Applejack,” she pleaded. “I need to talk to you.”
“Ah feel you’ve said enough already!” Applejack’s voice quivered from inside the barn.
“Listen,” Rainbow tried to stay calm, but her emotions were overwhelming her. “I just—”
“No, you listen to me!” shouted Applejack.
Rainbow jerked away at the door, frightened by the sudden outburst.
“How do you think I feel?!” Applejack shouted again.
“How do you think I feel knowing my best friend has loved me all these years?!” Applejack’s voice was shaking with rage. Sobs could be heard from outside the door. She was very upset.
“I’m sorry, I—”
“How do you think I felt after my best friend KISSED ME?! What in Celestia’s sake was that back there?!”
“No! You listen here, Ah’m confused and upset and the last thing I want is to talk to you! I just want to be ALONE.”
Rainbow stared at the door, eyes wide. She could here Applejack’s sobbing clearly through the barn door.
What had she done?
Rainbow's resolve shattered. What was she doing? She was making it worse. Applejack hated her, she didn't need Rainbow, and she definitely didn't want to see her ever again.
She should've went home. She should've gotten out of the storm when she had the chance. She turned to the rain around her, the thunder growling above her.
No. Getting lost out in a storm would be the perfect way to die.
Crushed, Dash hung her head. She turned and began to walk away. She thought about saying goodbye, but decided against it. Applejack was right, she has said enough already. She walked away from the barn, unable to see a thing but not caring. She had nothing left to live for anyway.
Light crawled up from behind her and touched her hooves.
She turned, to see Applejack in the open doorway. Her eyes were wide and wet, and her whole countenance seemed unsure and worried. Interpreting this gesture as a farewell, Rainbow continued to walk into the storm.
She only got a few more steps before Applejack spoke.
Rainbow turned, ears drooping, tears mixing with rain. What did she want now?
“Come in,” Applejack whispered softly.
Rainbow stayed where she was, unsure of whether to listen or ignore.
“Come in.” Applejack said it more firm this time. “Ah don’t want you out in this storm.”
Rainbow moved ever so slowly, but she turned towards the barn. Her steps were heavy and worried. She leaned down and picked up the grocery bag, and brought it inside. Applejack ushered her in, although she kept her distance.
“There.” Applejack huffed as shut the door.
“Thanks.” Rainbow looked up through her soggy forelock and sat down on the hay.
“As upset as Ah am,” Applejack turned towards Rainbow and bit her lip. “Ah’m not about to let you freeze to death. You can use the blanket right there.”
She gestured to the one hanging on the far side of the room. Rainbow sluggishly grabbed it and wrapped it around herself. Now that she was in warmth, the shivering really stared to kick in. She sat on the hay-covered ground with her teeth chattering uncontrollably as Applejack stared at her.
Her green eyes were confused, regretful, yet curious. It was an interesting mix of emotions, but it was an interesting time. Rainbow pulled the blanket around her tighter.
“T-this doesn’t mean Ah want to speak to you.” Applejack suddenly blurted out nervously. “Ah’m going up in the hayloft, and you better leave me be or you’re out in that storm again.”
Applejack shuffled nervously, unsure if whether she should leave or say something more. Finally she decided leaving would be best and climbed into the hayloft above.
Rainbow sat in the barn, slowly regaining control of the shivering. She could hear the boards above her creak, and the sound of a depressed sigh from above. She stared at the ceiling, her heart pounding.
You love her. Don’t let her go.
Rainbow’s mind raced. She was sitting in a barn, with the love of her life who was refusing to talk to her. A little hope began to swell in Rainbow's chest. She just needed to tell her everything.
But how was she supposed to get Applejack to listen when she was upset and confused? Rainbow looked down at the straw, shivering and searching for an answer. Her eyes traveled to the barn walls, with their beams to help keep the barn standing. They reminded Dash of a cage.
Rainbow sat perfectly still. She had an idea. An outrageous, ridiculous, horrible idea. But it might work.
Beginning to sweat, she sat up and coughed. She heard a short intake of breath from above.
Here went absolutely nothing.
“Roses are red,” Rainbow began, “Violets are blue…”
She choked. This was terrible. But she couldn’t just stop, so she continued.
“I know that it’s weird, but I love you.”
The silence afterward was deafening. Yet, somehow Rainbow knew somepony was listening.
“You see, I fell,” Rainbow carried on bravely, “Yet it was you who was broken. You took it as a threat, but it was supposed to be a token.”
Feeling maybe she could rhyme after all, Rainbow gained confidence and sped up.
“I wanted you to accept me, I thought a kiss would work
But instead you were scared, and now I look like a jerk.
I just wanted to be honest, I wanted to be true
However all I did was really hurt you.
I never wanted to do that, it tore me apart!
Since we were young, you were close to my heart.
Your freckles, your smile, those big green eyes
The first time I felt it, it took me by surprise!
I fell but I decided to keep it a secret,
I had your friendship, and I wanted to keep it.
That was dumb, yes I know, now you’re hurt and you’re scared.
But please don’t forget all the times that we’ve shared.
Yeah, I gave you a kiss on a cloud in the sky
Who knew that it would be a kiss goodbye?
But, roses are red, violets are blue,
And no matter what happens, I’ll still love you.”
As Rainbow concluded the poem, the barn feel completely silent. The only sound to be heard was the rain outside. Not even the breathing of the two mares could be made out in the long silence.
Rainbow fidgeted, worried she had botched it.
The boards above her creaked, and Applejack’s head appeared at the top of a ladder leading to the hay loft. Silently, she gestured to Rainbow to come up.
Rainbow Dash grabbed the blanket around her in her teeth, took a deep breath, and climbed the ladder.
It was time to tell the whole truth.