• Published 27th Jun 2013
  • 4,111 Views, 36 Comments

Literary Foray - hester1

Rainbow Dash has resigned herself to hiding her feelings for Twilight Sparkle. Discord decides to help her reveal them. Nothing can possibly go wrong.

  • ...


Rainbow flew through one of the library’s windows and landed beside the checkout counter. The library floor, oddly enough, was covered in cushions. Spike, who was sitting cross-legged on one of the cushions, smiled up at her.

“Finally! I thought you’d never get here.” Spike got up off his cushion. “Hey, Twi,” he yelled, “can I head over to Rarity’s place?”

“But Spike,” Twilight’s voice responded from upstairs, “you have to help me out with this!”

“Yeah, well, I think I’ve found somepony who’s a lot more qualified. Come and look, and hey, you might as well get in another jump before I go.”

Twilight glided down from the top of the staircase, and with an awkward twist of her wings, she landed on her hind legs on the cushioned floor. Sunlight haloed her as she reared up, and for a moment she was triumphant and regal, resplendent in her majesty, every inch a Princess of Equestria. She held that pose for a fraction of a second before toppling over.

Spike frowned thoughtfully, tapping a claw against his chin. “I think the problem this time was that you overbalanced when you tried to keep from landing face-first.”

“Yeah,” Rainbow said, “you’ve gotta slow down your flapping in the last few seconds so you don’t tip over backwards, and you oughta curve your primaries right before you land.”

Twilight looked up. “Oh, hello Dashie!”

Rainbow blinked and felt her heart speed up. “’Dashie’? You sure you haven’t landed on your head a few too many times?”

Spike tried, and failed, to hide his laugh. “I think that’s my cue to leave. You two have fun!” He walked to the door and scampered out, still snickering.

Twilight nodded earnestly. “Would you prefer ‘Rainy’? All my books told me that we need cute pet names for each other now that we’re dating, but I agree, ‘Dashie’ doesn’t really sound like... you.”

Rainbow Dash stood stock-still. “We’re dating?”

“Sure!” Twilight smiled at her, and Rainbow’s heart stuttered. “I’m happy when I’m around you, and it’s likely that you reciprocate considering that you asked me out, so why not give it a shot? Or at least, that’s what The Modern Mare’s Guide to Dating says.”

Rainbow felt oddly light, as if she could do a dozen sonic rainbooms on the spot, and it took her a moment to collect her thoughts enough to respond. “Yeah, sure, why not? But what’s with all the cushions?”

Twilight shrugged. “We missed yesterday’s flying lesson, so I decided I’d try to make up for it by practicing how to land on my own.”

“Do you want me to show you how it’s done?”

“That’d be nice, especially if we finished up before seven o’clock.”

“Why, what’s at seven?”

Twilight giggled, tail lightly sweeping across the cushioned floor. “Our date, silly! Seven o’clock is the traditional time for a dinner date, according to at least six different dating guides and thirty-two romance novels.”

Rainbow’s wings flapped reflexively, sending her a few inches into the air. “Wait, we’re going out tonight?”

“Well, not really going out, more like just eating some of Spike’s homemade carrot soup and reading the rest of Daring Do and the Devious Doctor Negative, but I’m pretty sure that still counts.”

Rainbow mentally corrected herself: she felt like she could do a hundred rainbooms on the spot. She zoomed to the top of the staircase, and looked back once she reached the top. “Well, in that case, we better get to work. You comin’?”

Twilight trotted up the staircase and stood beside her, brows furrowed in concentration.

Dash extended a wing and tilted it, the light shining in from the window playing off the myriad feathers. “Okay, so take a good look at my primaries. See how I can curve them back by flexing my wing?”

Twilight examined the feathers critically, and then buried her nose in Rainbow’s wing.

Rainbow snapped her wing back and jerked away. “Whoa, what was that?”

“A spontaneous nuzzle meant to demonstrate affection, physical intimacy and/or familiarity,” Twilight recited. “Why, didn’t you like it?”

“Oh, uh, no, it was fine, it’s just that I was trying to teach, and you kinda surprised me. But it’s okay, it’s not like you did something wrong, so, uh, yeah, I liked it.”

Twilight beamed, and Dash decided that she had been totally wrong.

A hundred sonic rainbooms? More like a thousand.

The setting sun bathed Twilight Sparkle in red rays of light as she soared from the top of the staircase and landed on all four hooves, panting with effort. “All right, I’ve nailed that five times in a row, but I should probably try for ten in a row. What do you think?” A loud growl answered her, and Twilight instinctively lit her horn and dropped into a crouch. “What was that?”

Rainbow grinned sheepishly, patting her stomach. “I kinda skipped breakfast today... and lunch...”

“You should have told me! Here, we can just eat right now. It’s almost seven, right?” Twilight walked over to the kitchen and searched through the cabinets and drawers.

Dash peered at the clock. “Actually, it’s eight-thirty.”

“What?! But that means we’re ninety minutes behind schedule!” Twilight slammed cabinets open and shut frantically with her magic, before catching herself and slowing down. She closed her eyes and inhaled while bringing her hoof to her chest, then exhaled and pushed her hoof out.

Rainbow chuckled as she swept papers and books off of the dining table.

“What’s so funny?” asked Twilight, her expression perfectly serene.

“Ah, just that hoof-waving thing. It’s cute.”

Twilight frowned playfully as she levitated a large pot out of the fridge. “Cute? I’ll have you know that it’s a technique derived from t’ai chi ch’uan, one of Equestria’s oldest martial arts.” She set the pot on the table, followed by spoons and bowls, ignoring Rainbow’s stunned expression.

“Hang on a sec, you know t’ai chi?”

“Not much, actually. But Cadance taught me a bit after my coronation, because apparently ‘a princess must always be prepared to protect herself and her loved ones’. Her words, not mine.”

“Whoa, wait, you mean Princess Cadance? Like, the Princess of Love and Crystals and all that jazz?”

“And one of the diarchs of the Crystal Empire, not to mention the wife of the Captain of the Canterlot Royal Guard. I didn’t expect you to be surprised, though. I’ve seen you teaching Apple Bloom karate, and I’m pretty sure Rarity knows kung fu.”

“Yeah, but I never expected you to do martial arts. I mean, I knew you looked fitter when you came back to Ponyville, but...” Dash shrugged helplessly as she sat at the table.

Twilight smirked as she ladled soup into both ponies’ bowls. “Is that Dash-speak for ‘I was totally checking you out after the coronation’?”

“Hardy har har. Leave the jokes to me, ‘kay?” Rainbow took a sip of soup. ”But the t’ai chi explains how you’ve developed the physical conditioning that you’d need for flying so quickly. Even I, radical as I am, would’ve – mmmmm, I never knew Spike was such a good cook, this tastes awesome – Uh, where was I? Even I would’ve been worn out if I’d spent a whole day learning how to land properly, back when I was new to flying – oh my Celestia this soup is so good.” Rainbow tilted her head back and poured her entire bowl of soup down her throat. “Hey, can I have some more?”

Chuckling, Twilight levitated another ladleful of soup into Dash’s bowl. “I haven’t really made that much improvement in flying.”

“Well, yeah, you’re probably not going to be pulling off sonic rainbooms anytime soon –”

“More like I won’t do a sonic rainboom ever.”

“Hey, don’t be like that! If you keep practising, you might one day be as radical as I am, and then you can be the second pony to ever break the sound barrier.”

“No, I won’t. I did some calculations a while back, and my wings are just too large. They create far too much drag. Your aerodynamic profile is one of the few in Equestria, maybe even the only one, that’s capable of accelerating to speeds greater than sound. Your wing radian is –”

“Wait, is this egghead-speak for ‘I’ve totally been checking you out ever since I saw you do the rainboom’? Because I think it is.” Rainbow grinned, enjoying Twilight’s blush. “But anyway, it was pretty cool how much effort you put into learning how to fly today, and if you keep that up, you’ll be almost as fast as me in no time.”

“Well, it was only fair that I persisted in learning how to land properly.” Twilight’s smirk returned. “After all, you signed out all those romance novels so that you could relate to me, so I had to do something to reciprocate.”

Dash's smile faltered and she jerked back from the table, nearly sending her bowl flying. “Wha-what? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Believe it or not, I do like to keep track of the library’s books. You signed out over a hundred novels last afternoon and returned about seventy that night, or so the catalogue tells me.” She snickered. “And you call me an egghead.”

Rainbow flew to the other side of the table, leaning into Twilight’s face. “Twi’, before you say anything else, I just want you to know that I never intended to hurt you with what I did. And I know that it was uncool of me and that it makes me a bad friend –”

“Wait, what? You think that I’m mad at you for signing out some library books? Sure, I might be teasing you about it, but I’m proud of you for signing out all those books. It’s actually really sweet.”

Rainbow blinked, guilt and relief warring on her face. “Huh? You’re not mad at me?”

“Of course not! You borrowed all of those books, and you read through at least seventy of them, to prove that you cared as much about literature as I do, and to help make this date as great as it could possibly be. And judging by how it’s going so far, I’d say your plan is working...” She shot Rainbow a wink, but Rainbow was staring down at her hooves.

Applejack’s words echoed in Rainbow’s head. ‘You’re lyin’ to her, RD, and tryin’ to say that it’s oh-so-romantic is just puttin’ frou-frou perfume on a pig!’

Rainbow didn’t feel up to doing a thousand rainbooms anymore. Even one was a stretch with the cold weight of guilt welling up in her gut.

Dash took a deep breath. “Twilight, there’s something I need to tell you...”