• Published 17th May 2013
  • 1,977 Views, 111 Comments

The Thirty Minute Dash - Esle Ynopemos

Nopony's faster than the Dash!

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16: Lungs, Lips and Life [???]

((Prompt: The kiss of death.))

Rainbow Dash was drowning.

That wasn't some kind of poetic metaphor, or anything. She wasn't pouting on a cloud somewhere, sobbing at the unfairness of life. She wasn't crushed by depression, or overwhelmed by all her feelings—though she was currently a bit overwhelmed by the feeling of all that water rushing above her head.

She gagged on a lungful of icy water. Okay, to be fair, the water wasn't really all that cold, but being where it wasn't supposed to be—namely, in her lungs—made the relatively cool water's temperature a whole lot less comfortable.

Drowning was not cool. Rainbow made a note to herself to tell Twilight, if she saw her again, to get out her list of Things That Might Be Cool—she was certain that egghead had a list like that somewhere—and cross drowning right off of it. Then she could add it to her list of Things That Are Definitely Not Cool, right next to slavery and not being Rainbow Dash.

Dash beat her limbs against the torrid current, fighting to swim to the surface. But the trick to that was knowing which way was up. Dash had no idea which way was up. Whenever she opened her eyes, all she saw was swirling water. There was swirling water on every side of her, and for all she knew, her flailing was sending her closer to the muddy bottom of the river.

So she stopped flailing. It seemed like the sensible thing to do. She used less energy that way, and moving was beginning to feel like a major chore. Just hang about and let the current take her back up to the surface. That was how rivers worked, right? The tingling in the ends of her hooves wasn't much of an answer, but she took it as a positive sign anyway.

She was only in the river for a dumb reason, anyway. She and Applejack had been arguing over something... Rainbow couldn't remember what it was anymore, only that she was right and Applejack wasn't. But the others had teased her, saying things like how the two of them ought to just kiss and get it over with. They're crazy; arguing with a dumb cowpony doesn't mean she wants to kiss her.

But Rainbow had decided she would show them. She would turn around and plant a big wet kiss on that farmer's lips, then laugh at the shocked look on all of their faces. Especially on Applejack's. It had been the perfect plan.

Except she sort of forgot they were crossing a rickety bridge at the time. As she had connected with Applejack's lips, the mare had reeled back in surprise, and, well, for some reason Rainbow's balance hadn't been quite as good as it should have been right then, and so she fell into the water. That wouldn't have been too bad, except it was late spring and the water was really fast and there was a lot of it, and Rainbow maybe wasn't as good at swimming as she was at flying.

That didn't matter, though. Soon the river was going to take Rainbow back up to the surface, because rivers weren't jerks that would let a pony drown just because she messed up a little on a prank. Any minute now, she was going to feel air on her muzzle again, and she'd get to breathe. Man, breathing was awesome. Rainbow Dash had never realized before just how great it was to breathe. Totally better than not breathing. Like, a hundred times better.

It seemed to get darker around the edges of Rainbow's vision. That was a good sign, right? The dark was all that air getting excited for her to get to breathe it. Yeah. Rainbow decided it was safe to take a nap. By the time she woke, she would be back up to the surface, and breathing, and all her friends would be cheering about how awesome she was to take on a whole river by herself. It would be great.

Her nap was only disturbed a little by something wrapping around her chest and pulling.

Her mouth tasted like fish. Fish and... rotten apples, maybe? Rainbow wanted to make a face, but she found that impossible because there was something pressed against her lips.

“C'mon, breathe!” Something pushed hard on Rainbow's chest, and suddenly she began coughing up river water.

Rainbow Dash hacked and gagged as she expelled a lungful of foul-tasting water. She felt mud and grass beneath her, and there was air all around her. Air was way better than water, she decided.

A number of relieved sighs sounded around Rainbow, and she slowly opened her eyes to see her friends gathered in a tight semi-circle around her. Applejack stood above her, wiping sweat off of her brow.

Rainbow licked her lips. Yep, definitely the flavor of day-old apples. “Geez, great going there, AJ,” she croaked weakly. No, wait, Rainbow Dash didn't do anything weakly. She croaked radically. “Now nopony's gonna believe we're not a couple!”

Applejack rolled her eyes. “Yer welcome, sugarcube.”

Dash wiped her mouth with a hoof. “Also, when's the last time you brushed your teeth? I swear I can taste last night's dinner!”

“That's it,” Applejack said, lifting Dash onto her shoulders. “I'm throwin' her back in the river.”

Author's Note:

I have no clue what to tag this one as. Is it [Comedy] because there's some funny parts? Is it [Romance] because of all the AppleDash? Is it [Dark] because it's about Rainbow coming within a hair of dying? I really like this one, but it seems to stubbornly refuse to fit nicely into any one category.