The room was really stuffy, I just about had to gasp for air. Not really, but it felt like I was. How could Twilight and Spike put up with it? I preferred my house in the clouds. The air up their was always airy and fresh. At the current moment I wished I could go there right now. I hated these awkward situations with my friends, most of them friends anyway.
I was sitting there, at the end of the table, eating my cake. The frosting on top could rival the snow on the Crystal Mountains. Which was normal for Pinkie Pie, always making food one just one step away from a heart attack. I finished and licked the plate clean. I set the plate down quietly, as I was the first one to finish., but didn't want anypony else to know.
Then, after my mind had nothing to focus on, it hit me. What if I was wrong? I was never going to become an alicorn princess, I knew it. Nor did I really want to be. I just wanted something. I didn’t want to go down in history as “that pegasus that helped Princess Twilight Sparkle”. I just wanted to be written in the books as something great. I wasn’t going to get that from arguing with Twilight. So was it worth losing a friend? I frowned and put my forehead on the table, so I could look at the tiled floor below.
But no matter what I thought, the jealousy stayed in my head. She could do something, the other princesses could too. Celestia knew the elements needed all six. She knew how important they were, but only Twilight got anything. She didn’t just get anything, she got everything. I couldn’t stand it, or how everypony else was okay with it. Maybe I’ll talk to them later, away from Twilight. I lifted my head up as I heard another plate hit the table.
Applejack started to speak, “So, uh, Twilight, ah think ya know why ah came here.”
“To eat?” Twilight said with a face full of cake. Twilight may be book smart, but she can be thick as year-old syrup sometimes.
“That ah guess, but also ‘bout the farm.” Applejack was really good at hiding her emotions for the benefit of others, but Applejack and I have been friends for a very long time. I learned you need to pay attention to every instant of emotion on her face to read her. So I could tell she was annoyed, because for a brief moment her mouth twisted into a side position creating a crease in her cheek. I cracked a smirk. Sometimes the little interactions between ponies are just entertaining.
“Oh,” Twilight swallowed the cake in her mouth, “But are you sure you want to talk about it here?” I was going to speak, slightly offended by her lack of faith in us, but decided it was better to not get involved. I put my back hooves on the table, and rested my head down.
“Among all mah friends? Ya, that’ld be the best time, i'd reckon,” she said with her usual country flair. “I'd had the idea of having Fluttershy find someplace new to put those fruit bats y'all made me provide sanctuary fer.” I nodded my head, suprising myself that I was listening to a conversation that didn’t directly involve me.
“Yes, I also had that idea, amongst others that one seemed to be the most practical,” Twilight said. I never wanted the fruit bats to stay at Applejack’s farm, but Twilight convinced me otherwise. I don’t quite remember how she did either. I was completely against the idea of less cider, but I still took Twilight's side in the end.
Rarity added, “Well that may be a bit of time, however if you need us for anything, you need but ask my dear Applejack.” I thought it was weird how Rarity sometimes acted like she was older than everypony else. We were all around the same age, maybe it was just a byproduct of that weird accent of hers.
“Another idea that came to mind was to expand your business a bit,” Twilight suggested, “Nothing extreme, but during the big seasons, like cider or zap-apple seasons, you could sell in the local settlements as well.” I didn’t know how far Twilight was reaching with that idea. The local settlements are even smaller than Ponyville, many aren’t even on maps yet.
“Ya, that could work, but ah do feel gettin’ those varm… ah mean deeeee-lightful fruit bats out o’ mah orchard would free up a lot of room fer profits,” Applejack said. Applejack quickly dismissed Twilights idea as well it seemed.
Spike interceded, “But how are we going to get Fluttershy to come out of her house to help out?” A few moments after he said that I felt a tingling around my flank. I was about to comment on it, but somebody beat me to it.
“Looks like we won't have to wait long,” Twilight said as she pointed to her thigh. It was glowing like it did when the Cutie Map activated for the first time. This caused everypony else to look at their cutie marks, and sure enough, they were all glowing as well. It felt a little tingly, like when you just lightly touch a spot your ticklish at. I smiled a little when I felt it, but hid the smile. I was still very much angry at the situation.
I put my hooves off the table and decided to speak my mind, “Well somepony’s going to have to go check on Flutters, and let me just say, that somepony won't be me.” I didn’t mean to sound rude, but I guess that’s how it came out.
“No need to be so terse, Rainbow Dash,” Rarity said, “Twilight, Pinkie Pie, and I will go see if we can't convince Fluttershy to perform her elemental duties.” Twilight and Pinkie nodded and got up from their seats along with Rarity, who then proceeded to leave the dining area. Applejack and I sat there until we could no longer hear their hoofsteps.
Applejack wasted no time to start the interrogation I could see coming from miles away. “So tell mah Rainbow,” Applejack questioned, “What the buck were you thinking back there!” I admit I was surprised at Applejack’s sudden pushy attitude, but I was still ready to defend myself. I adopted a more hostile position, leaning the front of my body over the table.
“What do you mean, what was I thinking, what are you thinking? Twilight gets all the glory, and we're just sticks in the mud.”
“Oh give me a break, Rainbow, ah’ve been friends with ya long ‘fore anypony here, ah know you'd do anything for a good Rumblin’. You used to be just dandy as a boring ol’ weather pony so what’s gotcha so worked up?” There was merit in her words, but there was more to it.
“I came to Ponyville the first day I was able, that’s why Pinkie celebrated my ‘Birthaversary’, I wanted to make a name for myself.” I started to raise my voice and leaned over the table as my next words came out, “and let me tell you Applejack, I'll be damned if I’m gonna let any egghead, or anypony get in the way of that goal!”
Applejack stayed unfazed and level-headed even as I yelled at her, “But why Rainbow? Aint the love of yer friends better than any ink on paper?” I started tearing up, until I finally couldn’t hold back the wave of emotions id been feeling since Fluttershy's Cottage, and I eventually started crying. She was right, but I didn’t want to, couldn’t let go off the terrible memories of my time in flight school. She got up from her seat and took the one closest to me. She put a hoof on my shoulder, and I rubbed my eyes as I started to spin my tale.
“I may put on a tough face, Applejack, but that’s only to cover the scarred pony inside. I was bullied in flight school. Not just picked on either, I was a punching bag. My wings developed way later than everyone else’s, and I was behind everyone my age. I refused to take lower level classes, and I struggled with the high level ones. I was told ‘She flies like she’s retarded’ or ‘just become an earth pony, Rainbow Crash’. It ruined me, I was always picked on in the bathrooms, in the hallways, everywhere.” I rubbed my eyes with already soaked hooves, and as expected, it barely helped.
Applejack handed me a handkerchief as she spoke, “Why didn’t the teachers do anythin’?”
“You’ve never been to Pegasus school, we have a very military background, the motto was ‘Learn to fly, or stay grounded’. It may be different now, but when I went, it was rigorous. I found my one and only friend, Fluttershy. She taught me to always work with your strength and not fight against your weaknesses. She single-handedly gave me the courage to learn, and after a while, I secretly became the fastest flyer there. I challenged the most popular kids, and that’s when I performed that Sonic Rainboom. I vowed from that point on, I’d show the world that I’d go down in history, that I’d be written in all the books, that I could do anything. I’d never realized there’d be so many obstacles blocking my path.” I blew one last time into the handkerchief, and set it down on the table, finally suppressing most of my sobs, but a tear would still escape here and there.
Applejack raised my chin to meet her glowing green eyes with my still glistening reddish-pink ones and spoke with a voice that flowed like a river even through her country accent, “Rainbow Dash, Ya may be arrogant and foolhardy, but if it means anything to you, yer already famous in mah book." For the first time in a long while, even if the feeling only lasted for a moment, I felt content with where I was at.