House Rules

by AppleJack_Wack

Chapter 2: Wake up Call (Rainbow Dash)

9:13 a.m.

*Knock* *Knock*

Who the hay could that could that be this early? I looked at my clock and saw it was only a little past nine. Who am I, Applejack? I have precious snoozing to do.

I sighed a long, drawn out sigh. No way outta this one, huh? I turned belly-up in my cloud bed, in my cloud room, in my cloud house in the clouds. I like clouds. They are just the most awesome thing in Equestria. You can sleep in them, you can hide in them, you can scare foals on Nightmare Night with them, good times. My room was filled with Wonderbolts posters and trophies. Even though the academy was kind of rough, the Wonderbolts are still really cool.

I grudgingly got out of bed. I practically dragged my hooves through the cloud floor. Tank was in the doorway, sleeping. I spun his rotors, and up he went, his eyes shot wide open.

“Ha ha ha, Tank, you’re the funniest,” I laughed. I felt kind of bad, but it's all in good fun. *Knock* *Knock* *Knock*. “I'm coming, hold on! Sweet Celestia, who could be so rude.” I went over to the door, one of the few parts of the house that wasn’t made of clouds, and opened it violently to show whoever was on the other side the trouble they’d just caused me. To my surprise, it was Fluttershy.

“Fluttershy, what the hay are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be taking care of bunnies or something?” I said as the rush of high altitude air swept into the room. I could hear the rustle and crash as the posters that I forgot to hang up flew around the room.

“Well, see, Rainbow, that’s just the, um…” She whimpered as her long hair blew back and forth with the winds. I could barely make out anything she said, because she had spoken it so daintily. I was already low on patience, but this was Fluttershy, so I spoke calmly as to not scare her off.

“You're gonna have to speak up a bit there, Flutters.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have come here,” She said as she started to flap her wings. I decided, since I was already up, that I may as well put myself to use, and there just so happened to be a friend in need of my help.

“Oh come on Flutters, you came all the way out here, what d’ya need?”

“Well, Rainbow um… Dash, see, the uh, the bunnies got out and I can't seem to find them, but I’m afraid I won’t find them all before it's time for breakfast or one walks into the Everfree Forest or—”

I stopped her before she bored me to death going on like an old pony. “Say no more, Fluttershy, I’ll help, because I’m such a great friend,” I said with a smirk on my face. She clapped her hooves together with a wide smile.

“Oh you will, that’s great, come on.” She grabbed my hoof and started flying. I swear, when it comes to animals, this pony might be faster than me when flying, might be. I tugged my hoof out of her grip so I could fly at my own pace. I sped through clouds on my way to the cottage, each one spraying water in my face. It was exhilarating, unlike everything else, flying never got boring. I don’t know how some pegasi are content down there on the ground.

We arrived at Fluttershy’s cottage, it looked as pristine as ever. I wonder how Fluttershy has the time to take care of all these animals, and also have time to keep her cottage looking like it was built yesterday. I walked over to the backyard, and sure enough the bunny cage was empty, although it was a much more comfy looking cage than those metal bar ones. It looked comfy enough to finish my nap. With as much padding as it had, it looked comfier than a cloud, which was hard to do. There wasn’t even a lock on the door, barely a cage, more like a miniature house.

I didn’t realize it but Fluttershy had been talking to me, probably just some places to look and such.

“So you got that, Rainbow?” Fluttershy questioned. I zipped my head around to face Fluttershy.

“Oh, yeah of course, you know me, I have ears like a falcon.” I responded. I said it so confidently I almost believed it myself.

“Um, actually falcons don’t have that great of hearing, they are more known for their incredible eyesight.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever, go and find those bunnies.” I flung out my forelegs in a 'Go ahead' gesture so she would get the idea to go already.

“Ok, but just remember what I told you.” With that she flew off and left me pondering over where to search next. I kind of wished I had listened to Fluttershy. Actually, it doesn’t even matter, I'm finding bunnies. How hard could it be? I shook my head and started trotting over near some likely places I would go if I was an escaped bunny.

I started by looking near the berry bushes, and found nothing. I guess that would be too easy. I then searched the trees, the flowers, everywhere around the cottage. Then I diverted my searches to the area around the Everfree Forest. That place freaked me out, but in a good way. It was filled with adventure and mystery, my favorites. I hoped that if they were there, they wouldn’t have wandered too far into the actual forest, since it can get pretty maze like in there.

I pushed past some of the brambles, and swore when one cut me. I licked the wound, and continued searching around until I came to a briar patch. I am not going in there. I started to turn around, and was overjoyed when I saw three of them all right next to each other. Two of them were cowering from the third one. I looked at the third bunny, it did seem to look different from the other ones. His eyes were dark and shiny, and the fur was very spiky, it felt like he got a bunch of the brambles in his coat. Hopefully he wasn’t hurt by them. What the hay, it looked like a bunny. I shrugged it off, and picked him up along with the other two.

“He’s a little ugly, but that’s no reason to be mean to the little fella,” I chuckled a bit at my own joke, something I do quite often because they’re always so awesome. I made my way to a clearing and took off towards the sky. I flew in the direction I’d come from, I could barely make out the cottage from where I was. These bunnies went really far away.

When I made it back to the cottage Fluttershy was also flying back. I could see her cuddling the bunnies in her arms. I flew down and dumped the rabbits in the cage, pen, house, whatever you would call it. I expected to be waiting for Fluttershy for a while considering how ungodly slow she flies when not in a hurry. However, in mere seconds she was there with five little rabbits in her hooves.

“Wow Fluttershy, you barely needed my help,” I said. I was legitimately surprised to see she got almost twice as many bunnies as me. I remembered my wound when I felt a liquid on my foreleg. It was bleeding again, it started dripping and I was going to lick it to stop the bleeding, but Fluttershy must have noticed.

“Wait, wait, wait, let me help you with that,” she said. She grabbed a saddle bag with a red plus sign on it, and reached inside. She brought out a sheet of gauze and started wrapping my foreleg.

I was a little embarrassed,” Fluttershy, it's only a scratch, I’m sure this isn’t necessary.”

“Nonsense, you got injured helping me, it's the least I could do, plus this isn’t much, but if it gets infected, then it's a problem.” She finished wrapping it, and smiled at me.

“Yeah, sure, thanks I guess,” I responded. I put my good hoof behind my head awkwardly, hoping this moment would end soon.

“Well, you did get some, and it's better safe than sorry. Well, I’m going to feed the ones we found, and then I’ll count them up to see how many more we need to find,” she explained the plan and sincerely this time, I nodded. She went inside her cottage, closing the door so gently I wasn’t sure the lock had latched into place.

I flew up to the top of the chimney, during the day, the fire is turned off, but it still has a faint smoky smell that I love. I inhaled the sweet scent of burning pine wood, and exhaled, loosening all my muscles. I spread myself out across the very edge of the chimney, so I could get every ounce of that sweet, smoky air.

I started to doze off in my thoughts. I've been thinking lately, about Twilight. She was a great friend, and maybe still is. However, I can’t get over the fact that all six of us defeated those villains, and saved all those cities, but Twilight became the Princess of Friendship, and got her own castle, while we got jack. I was fed up, and was going to confront her about it, but could never find the right time. I didn’t want to sound like a wet blanket or like I’m just being hyper critical. I wanted something for all my efforts, even something ceremonial so I could go down in history as a hero. But no, Twilight is in all the stained glass paintings, written about in all the books, and the one who got to go into that cool portal; the rest of us sit here like the forgotten sidekicks. I don’t know how the others could deal with it, but I wouldn’t, not anymore.

“RAINBOW DASH,” I snapped out of my trance when I saw Fluttershy racing towards me at breakneck speeds. She slammed into me, sending me off the roof into the ground below. I recovered, and could see the tears welling up in her eyes. “How could you let this happen?!”

The gauze on my hoof held up, but my back felt like crap after that landing. Physical feelings aside, I was actually scared, I’d never seen Fluttershy act like this before, certainly not to one of her best friends.

“What do you mean, Flutters?” I questioned.

“Don’t you dare call me that name! Didn’t you listen to me when I told you NOT to bring back timber rabbits?”

“W-what!?” I was dumbfounded. Is that what she was telling me about at the beginning? I made a terrible mistake, I thought it was just tips and junk about where to look. How was I going to explain this without sounding like a complete douche? I stood myself up, even though the pain in my back. I winced at it, but it felt much better once I stood up straight.

“F-Fluttershy, I can explain, I just um… didn’t hear you right when you first explained it, you can’t blame me for a simple mistake can you?” I hoped Fluttershy was feeling extra forgiving today, because I would need every bit I could get.

“I can’t believe you right now.” She darted at me, but stopped short, and pointed at the cage, with a glare made of pure rage. I got goose bumps. She must be under some serious motherly instinct right now. How much damage did I do?

“You see what you… You see what you DID?” she exclaimed. I looked over to the rabbit pen, and the sight was horrifying. One of the rabbits was torn all the way down his midsection like he got eaten by something. I looked over and that strange rabbit I picked up was beaten by a club. As it turns out, he didn’t just have some brambles in his fur, his fur was made of brambles. Fluttershy moped over to the dead bunny, and was now full on sobbing by it.

“Come on Fluttershy, it's just a bunny.” I usually don’t think twice when I say things, but out of all the possible things that could have been said, that was the worst possible thing.

Fluttershy wiped her eye with a hoof slightly covered in blood, most likely from her checking the dead rabbit for any sign of life. She turned towards me and I could see the flames burning beneath her usual timid eyes. It felt like I was being cooked just from looking into them. I prepared myself for a stern talking to.

“Get away from my cottage, and don’t bother coming back anytime soon, I just... can't believe you right now,” she said as she went back over and sobbed. At first I just stood there, I couldn’t believe myself. Because of my inability to listen... Gah. My heart felt like it was a building on the brink of collapse, and all it needed was a breeze to knock over.

“Buck me,” I whispered to myself. I tried to flap my wings, but they were shaking so hard, I had to readjust myself. I slowly flapped them, gaining altitude and one last look at my former friend. I held back the tears, trying to act tough. But my bottled up sadness only turned to anger. I flew back to by house, thrashing everything in my way, except Tank. I was in a whole new world of rage, mostly at myself. If only I had just listened to Fluttershy tell me about the timber rabbits, or even just asked her to repeat it, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Buck. My. Life. I went outside, and started bucking the clouds, but kicking water vapor didn’t make me feel better, only more tired. For once in my life, the water from the clouds didn’t fill me with joy. It was as if someone had flipped a lever that turned all of my emotions, except anger, completely off.

I needed to channel my rage, and I knew just where to do it. There was a certain purple alicorn who I'd been meaning to have a face to face chat with for a while. What could possibly get worse anyway?

I flew up to my house, opened the front door, and proceeded to slam it closed. I gritted my teeth, before calming down. There was a letter on one of the tables cluttered with Wonderbolts statues. I opened it up and read the contents. I pursued the fancy lettering, and a grin formed across my face. Twilight invited us over to lunch at her castle. I knew where I’d be heading a few hours from now.