I Want To Take You Flyin'

by MintyJoy

Storm Flying

Chapter 18

Storm Flying

The two mares sat in silence. The battering rain caused the hay loft roof to creak, and the wind howled with defeat, unable to penetrate the warmth. The single oil lamp in the middle of the room cast long shadows on the walls. The silence was so thick it felt like butter on a brisk winter morning. Finally, Applejack spoke.

“The end?” She asked. The words were rubbery and uncomfortable to say.

“I… I guess it is,” Rainbow seemed to be having the same problem. “Well, that’s the story up to now, anyway.”

The barn had warmed up quite a bit since the two had begun their lengthy storytelling. Applejack took off her hat to wipe away some sweat, and Rainbow let out a low whistle of exhaustion.

“Whew, it’s kinda stuffy in here,” she said.

Applejack nodded.

After such a long time of just talking and listening, the silence became increasingly awkward for the two. Finally, Dash couldn’t take it anymore.

“So, should we get some fresh air, maybe?”

Applejack smiled.

“Not a bad idea, Sugarcube.”

Slowly, the two girls descended from the hayloft. With some effort, the barn door opened. Immediately, cold air slapped against their hot cheeks and the sound of rain flooded their ears. Rainbow sighed with relief, and Applejack took her hat off once more to let the air touch the top of her head.

Rainbow took the time to take a look at the farm mare beside her. With her eyes closed as she cooled off, Applejack was slowly breathing in the stormy air, with just a hint of a smile on her lips. Finally Applejack’s eyes opened, and Rainbow looked away.

“What?” Applejack had noticed Rainbow’s downward gaze, and was concerned.

Rainbow took a deep breath in. There had been a lot of talking that night, but they had still not addressed what should have been discussed for three long weeks.

“Applejack,” she said cautiously, “are you still mad at me?”

Applejack looked out into the storm, thinking.

“Mad?” she repeated. “Ah was only mad in the hospital, and with those casts on. No, Ah’m not mad anymore. Ah’ve been confused, and upset, but now…”

She paused as she searched for the right thing to say, as if it were hiding somewhere in the rain outside.

“Ah don’t think Ah’m upset or confused anymore. Ah guess now Ah’m just curious.”


Applejack turned to look at Rainbow in the eye.

“Yeah, Ah guess Ah just have a lot of questions.”

Rainbow sat down and smiled. Questions she could handle.

“Ask away,” she said confidently.

Applejack sat also, so they both were sitting on the dry edge of the barn with a waterfall of rainwater inches from their hooves.

“Alright,” Applejack took in a deep breath.

Rainbow sat up straighter, preparing to answer. She knew that she had to be honest, and she was ready.

“Why do you still have that bandage one yer nose?”

It took Dash off guard, and she tilted her head in confusion. Applejack explained herself.

“It’s been three weeks and Ah’ve been through casts and therapy, and yer still wearing that darn thing on yer muzzle.”

“I guess I just never took it off,” Rainbow laughed, then regained her composure. “It was a reminder to me of what I did, and the guilt made me keep it.”

Applejack frowned.

“You have really been working yerself up over this whole thing, haven’t ya Sugarcube?”

Rainbow’s cheeks reddened as she let her gaze fall.

“Yeah, the thought of you hating me was really awful.”

Applejack placed a hoof on Dash’s shoulder. Dash looked up.

“Ah don’t hate you, Rainbow. Ah was just… confused.”

“Yeah, I know that now.” Rainbow smirked and placed her own hoof on the one on her shoulder.

They sat there for a moment, their eyes locking, embracing the moment of finally being friends again. After a bit of listening to the rain, Applejack spoke.

“So, could I take the bandage off now?”

“I could do it myself,” Rainbow half-protested.

“Ah want to do it,” Applejack assured her. “Ah can see it.”

Rainbow nodded and held still as Applejack gingerly removed the bandage. Underneath, the fur was flattened and stiff, the muzzle showing it had healed long ago. Applejack sat back, inspecting her work.

“There you are, Rainbow.” She smirked, happy to see her friend’s face without the distraction of the bandage.

Rainbow tried not to blush, but it was hard with Applejack staring at her.

“So, uh, anymore questions?”

Applejack looked away and turned towards the inside of the barn so that the light illuminated her face.

“A lot of the questions are just to mahself. Ah can’t really think of another one—”

Applejack seemed so sad as she began to speak that Dash stopped her.

“Can I ask a question?” Rainbow quickly interrupted, unable to stand seeing her friend sad again.


Rainbow looked at Applejack, realizing she hadn’t prepared a question to ask. Her eyes darted about, landing on Applejack’s bandaged legs.

“Do… do your bandages come off?”

Applejack looked down at her legs, then back up at Rainbow.

“Yes,” she said slowly, “why?”

Rainbow really felt terrible about the whole thing, and it had been something she had wanted to see since the accident.

“I…” Rainbow stammered as she searched for her words. “I just want to see the damage.”

Applejack stared at Rainbow. Her green eyes searched Rainbow’s for sincerity, and found it.

“Okay.” She extended her right leg towards Rainbow.

Rainbow raised her eyebrows.

“You want me to take it off?” Her voice squeaked as she said it.

Applejack chuckled.

“Ah took yours off, go ahead.”

Tentatively, Dash grabbed the edge of the bandage in between her two hooves and pulled on it. Very slowly, she went around Applejack’s hind leg and unraveled the bandage, occasionally looking up to Applejack to make sure she wasn’t being too rough. Applejack closed her eyes, letting the bandages be removed.

Rainbow finished the first leg and worked on the second, using the same carefulness. She was extremely nervous, and even though the cool air from outside was surrounding her, beads of sweat formed on her brow. Finally, both bandages were laying on the straw ground of the barn.

Applejack’s hind legs looked puffy and angry. The fur was pointing in all sorts of angles, and the muscles were suffering from atrophy. They were a little swollen, and as Applejack stood, she winced. The cold air was particularly unkind to them, and it was less than comfortable.

Rainbow’s heart pained as she saw the consequence of her simple action. Tears formed in her eyes.

“I… I am so sorry!” She choked.

Applejack stepped forward and caught her tears.

“Ah told you it’s fahne now, Rainbow. I forgive ya.”

Rainbow shivered as she squeezed her eyes shut and leaned into Applejack.

“It looks like it hurts!” She cried.

Applejack patted her back reassuringly.

“It doesn’t, it doesn’t. Ah’m okay.”

They stayed that way for a while, until Rainbow had settled a bit. She sat up, and wiped her eyes. Applejack did the same.

“How about we don’t cry anymore today?” Applejack suggested with a smile.

“Deal.” Rainbow smirked back.

The rain filled the silence that followed as Applejack began to put the bandages back on her legs.

Rainbow watched her. Applejack had changed since she had told her that she was in love. Her eyes were always darting around, and Rainbow could tell she was thinking. She continued to shift in her position, even though she needed to sit still to put the bandages on straight. Rainbow recognized what was different.

Applejack was restless. It was time for something else.

“Can those bandages get wet?” Rainbow asked as Applejack finished on the second leg.

“Yes?” Applejack tilted her head. “Why?”

“I was wondering,” Rainbow poked her hoof into the straw beneath her, “if you wanted to go storm flying.”

Applejack sat still. Her eyes stopped shifting. Rainbow could see her realizing the invitation for what it really was. More than a friendly adventure into the rain, it was something far greater.

A chance.

Rainbow stood and extended her wings, tempting Applejack with the shifting of her shoulders. Applejack looked up into the sky, the rain drops shooting towards her. She considered the invitation, her conscience battling behind her eyes.

Rainbow waited.

Applejack stood and stretched her legs, shifting her weight slowly. Rainbow caught her gaze, and locked eye contact. Applejack looked inside those determined magenta irises. She stared for a moment, smiled, and put her trust into her words.


Rainbow’s wings shot out and Applejack climbed on. They stepped out from under their safe roof, not even bothering to close the door. Rainbow looked up, squinting at the dark sky.

Rain attacked her eyes, making sight impossible. Without a word, Applejack removed her stetson and placed it on Dash’s head. With enough protection from the rain to be able to see, Rainbow took off.

As Rainbow’s wings pumped against the pouring rain, the billowing wind attacked from the side, attempting to push the two girls off course. Applejack squeezed Rainbow tighter as they tipped, pressing her face into the rainbow mane in front of her.

Rainbow took this gesture as encouragement, and pressed against the wind, putting all her effort into getting higher. The cloud layer above was just in reach.

Lightning flashed behind them and illuminated the path ahead. They were almost there.

Rainbow’s wings strained against the storm. She hadn’t flown Applejack in so long, and her energy was dwindling. The clouds above suddenly seemed so far away.

Applejack felt them going down. Blinded by rain, she reached forward and ran her hoof down Rainbow’s neck, trying to show encouragement. She put all her energy into the brush, trying to transfer it to Dash. Dash couldn’t do this on her own.

Rainbow felt a warm, firm hoof on her neck and chest, and her cheeks burned. A smile split her lips and even though her teeth were clenched she was happy. Newfound strength entered her wings as they pumped against gravity and the rain. She threw her head forward, her forelock brushing the black clouds above her.

Applejack leaned forward and held on tight.

They burst through the cloud layer, their manes soaked and smiles on their faces. Rainbow held onto the hat on her head and twirled in the sky gleefully at their victory.

Together, they did it.

Applejack let out a whoop as they looped in the moonlight. The remaining raindrops flew off her mane, and the two of them dried off in the warm night air. Rainbow laughed and Applejack opened her eyes to finally see.

Above the cloud layer was a beautiful world of moonlight and thunder. A few light grey clouds floated about, and a dark carpet of storm clouds purred below. The moon was big and bright, the moonlight pouring about so heavily they could almost taste it. Everything was silvery and smooth, gentle and warm.

After a bit of looping and shouting, Rainbow landed on one of the light grey clouds and let Applejack take it all in. They breathed in the moonlight, gasping for more with each inhale.

Once Rainbow finally caught her breath, she turned to the mare beside her.

Applejack’s mane was wild from the flight and her eyes were wide with wonder. Never before had she seen anything like this. It surrounded her in beauty and caused her freckles to twinkle like stars and her mouth to break into a smile. She was so happy.

Rainbow, caught in the moment, took a chance.

Applejack felt a soft warmth around her shoulder. Feathers, now dry and gentle, wrapped her in a small blanket. She looked up to see Dash’s wing around her, and those magenta eyes waiting for her. A small tingling sensation stirred inside her as their eyes met.

Those big, beautiful, sparkling eyes.

Around those eyes were the familiarities of her close friend Rainbow Dash. Her mane was messy, the multiple colors mixing and mingling on her forehead. She still sported Applejack’s hat, which was now tilted at a cute little angle.

So many questions floated around in Applejack’s mind. One particular question surfaced, and poked her in the heart.

Do I love her?

Applejack’s quickening heart skipped a beat as Rainbow smiled.

“That was fun, huh?” Rainbow asked.

Applejack’s tongue was suddenly dry.

“Y-yeah, it was.” She choked.

Rainbow’s brows furrowed, and the wing around Applejack tensed.

“Is… is this too much?”

The wing began to shrink away.

“No!” Applejack made Rainbow jump, and the wing quickly went back to around her. “Uh, Ah mean, no. It’s fahne.” Her cheeks burned.

Rainbow’s eyes searched Applejack’s, and then returned to the sight around her.

“I love to fly,” she sighed as she gazed on the storm below them. “Once I started, I couldn’t get enough of it. It never gets old.”

Applejack followed her gaze out into the sky.

“Ah love to fly too.” She said.

Rainbow stopped, and turned to Applejack.

“You do?” She asked. “I mean, you still do? Even after—”

Applejack cut her off. “Yes.”

Rainbow chewed on her lower lip as this began to sink in. Applejack felt that tingling sensation again.

“Listen,” Applejack shifted on the cloud so she could look Rainbow in the eye. “I want to say thank you.”

Rainbow looked very surprised.

“Thank you? For what?”

Applejack took in a deep breath.

“Thank you for telling me the truth. Ah see now that it was very hard fer you to be honest. You struggled with being honest with yourself, with others, and with me. But after some mistakes, you decided to tell the truth. And above all the things that have happened in the past little while, that is the most wonderful thing you could have done. Thank you.”

Rainbow stared at her, speechless.

Applejack looked into those eyes. She thought about all that had happened, and all that she had heard. Rainbow loved her. It was strange, but it didn’t upset her anymore. No one had ever loved her like Rainbow did. No one was as dependable as Rainbow was. No one had told the truth like Rainbow had done.

A thought popped into Applejack’s mind. Her cheeks burned and her heart began to race. Maybe it was true, maybe she really was. She stared into Rainbow’s eyes, searching for answers. She was replied with a warmth in her chest.

“Rainbow…” Applejack choked. “Do you really love me?”

Rainbow blinked, and looked deeper into her green eyes.

“Yeah, I really do.”

“Well, Ah…” Applejack stammered, her nervousness tripping her tongue as she tried to choose her words carefully. “Ah…”

Rainbow lowered her head and frowned. Rainbow knew Applejack didn’t return her affection. She couldn’t. Taking a deep, calm breath, she prepared to break her own heart.

“But if that bothers you I can—”

“Rainbow, Ah think Ah love you too.” It came out so fast Applejack couldn’t stop it.

Dash froze.

“You what?”

“Ah don’t know fer sure, but…” Applejack’s cheeks reddened and she couldn’t breathe. “This,” she leaned on the wing around her, “this feels right.”

Rainbow’s face burned with blush. She couldn’t believe this was happening.

“Are you saying…”

“Ah’m saying that Ah think…”

Applejack choked and started over. She didn’t think, she knew.

“Ah want to give you a chance.”

Rainbow’s heart skipped a beat. This wasn’t real.

“W-why?” She stammered.

Applejack thought for a moment.

“Because you’re my best friend, you love me more than anypony else, and you’re honest about it. What else could Ah have ever asked for that would be better than that?”

They sat there in the gentle breeze and the moonlight. Rainbow had turned to Applejack so that they were face-to-face. She searched Applejack’s eyes. They were honest eyes, telling a truth she had so longed to hear. It filled Rainbow with joy, but yet there was still a pain in her heart. Something was missing.

“I have a question,” Rainbow’s voice lowered and she barely smiled.

“Ask away,” Applejack smiled, her heart beating rapidly.

“Can I…” The words died in her mouth and she started over. “May I…”

Dash tried to say it, but it was too much. She wanted a do-over, and a second chance. But it was too painful of a memory to ask if she could try again.

Applejack set her hoof on Dash’s shoulder. Dash turned, her eyes meeting Applejack’s. She understood.

Applejack stared into Dash’s magenta eyes. She remembered what Dash had said earlier that night. The tingling sensation returned, this time stronger.

It was time to fall into those eyes.

“Sure, Sugarcube.” Applejack whispered.

Rainbow leaned forward, holding Applejack securely in her wing. Applejack met her halfway, and together they fell into the kiss.

Rainbow’s heart exploded as Applejack pressed into her and ran her hoof down Rainbow’s mane. Applejack was warm and sweet, firm but soft. The tingling sensation, after being asleep with grief, flew about her, running down her hooves and wing tips and burning in her ears. The lips against hers were velvety and smooth. Something inside her, that had been hurting for a long time, healed.

Their breath mingled in the moonlight as Rainbow laid down on the cloud, the stetson on her head pushing her mane up into her eyes. She let out a small sound, caught between a whimper and a sigh, and Applejack replied with a gentle moan. Wrapping her in her wings, Rainbow held Applejack close.

Many would think that Applejack tasted like apples. This simply wasn’t true. She tasted like never being alone again.

As they came up for air, all the worry, regret, confusion, and grief melted away. They gasped in the night air, smiling brightly at each other.

“That. Was. Awesome.” Dash breathed.

“More awesome than flying?” Applejack smirked, the taste of Dash still on her lips.

Dash chuckled, causing Applejack above her to bounce.

“You tell me,” her magenta eyes glimmered in the moonlight.

“Yes,” Applejack whispered, leaning in so Dash could hear.

Dash smiled.

“Are you glad you gave me a chance?”

“Are you glad you told the truth?” Applejack shot back.

Rainbow laughed again.

“AJ, you are adorable.”

“And you are a dork.” Applejack chuckled.

“I’m not a dork!” Rainbow protested. “I’m awesome!”

“Fahne,” Applejack rolled her eyes and smiled. “Yer an awesome dork.”

She then closed the space between them once more. Rainbow let out a little gasp, and then their lips met again. The kiss was warm and fantastic, and Rainbow said so with a sigh.

Applejack pressed into her partner, no longer confused or upset. She knew exactly where she belonged, and it was right here. In this kiss in the moonlight she promised she would never leave Rainbow.

And that was the honest truth.