• Published 19th Jul 2013
  • 3,077 Views, 153 Comments

Starswirl Academy - Original Rainbow Dash Route - wolvenfire86

The former RD story for the upcoming VN Starswirl Academy

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11 - Fear and Lotahing in Starswirl

Fear and Loathing in Starswirl

Description: The festival winds down. You become unsettled after one last talk with Rainbow Dash and cannot find the peace to sleep.

The rest of the festival was quiet. Slow. Relaxing. I think that was the point of these things.

AJ kept selling apples. Pinkie popped up here and there in pink blurs as she ran from one candy stand to another. I hovered around Rainbow Dash and watched her play beanbag-toss with Fluttershy. She kept winning while her pink-haired friend passively applauded her.

I didn’t see Twilight again. She was probably fine. I might have be more concerned if I wasn’t so proud of my new flair. I kept finding new spots on my sweater vest where it could be sewed onto later. Fluttershy thought it looked great. Rainbow told me to get over myself.

“I win!” Rainbow shouted loudly as she beat Fluttershy for the third time in a row. “I won! Yes! Me! And only me! I won!”

“Good job Rainbow Dash." Fluttershy said happily. "That was a lot of fun. You’re such a talented athlete and I had a wonderful time playing.”

“…gloating isn't fun if you encourage me like that.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. What way should I encourage you?”

“Ugh. Nevermind.” Rainbow Dash forced a beanbag into my hand. “Come on Newbie, you’re up. I’ll give you a 2 point handicap. You’re gonna need it.”

“Yeah. I probably will.” I said modestly. But Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and shook her head. “What?”

“You need more confidence.”


“Be more confident. You’re a boy for crying out loud. You sound as timid and fragile as Fluttershy. No offense.”

“Oh, none taken. I am timid and fragile. And not a boy.” Fluttershy gave me an assuring smile as I tossed my first beanbag. But Rainbow Dash didn’t let up.

“You’re so polite and cautious. It’s like you don’t want to upset anyone.” She said.

“That’s because I don’t. Why would I want people to be upset with me?”

“Cause. You’re not doing it right if everyone likes you.”

“Doing what right?”

"Anything. If you have no critics, that just means you’re not doing things worth criticizing.”

Was she was calling me out again? Or messing with me? I couldn’t tell!

“Just because some people don’t tryto make others angry, that doesn’t mean they are afraid to.” I said firmly.

“You’re right. But you are afraid.” She smirked.


“You’re scared Newbie. You know you are. And I don’t know what it is or why, but something is scaring you.” She pointed to my black eye. “You weren’t you scared when those guys hit you. Most dudes would have been. And you’re not scared of talking to girls. But you’re still too shy to do anything risky, or do something that people might hate you for doing.”

“I just don’t like taking risks, that’s all.”

"Right. Cause you’re scared.”

I didn’t respond. My black eye suddenly felt sore.

I had a mini-staring contest with Rainbow Dash, while she smirked at me. The tension double every second.

“...ummm...” Fluttershy noticed the tension between us.

“Hahaha! I’m just messing with you Egghead." Rainbow Dash laughed obnoxiously again. "I’m sure you’re a reeeal tough guy underneath that neatly ironed uniform.”

"Haha. Right. Funny.”

I tried to stay compose. She tossed her beanbag, which landed right in the hole. Just like that she had forgotten about what she said and moved on.

I sneered at her. Those jokes weren’t funny. Accidental or not, Rainbow kept zoning in on my insecurities and poking at them. She made comments without caring if they upset me. Maybe she didn’t realize they did, but that didn’t matter.

Twilight never would have done that.

Then again, Twilight never would have stood up to those bullies.

I threw my beanbag and missed the target.

"Mulligan. Go again.” Rainbow handed me another one.

“You allow mulligans?”

“This time. No biggie.”

A few misplaced, hurtful jokes followed by a friendly gesture. She was either that socially awkward…or I really was that uptight.

Rainbow won. Predictably. And she bragged about her victory for a good twenty minutes after it was over. Also predictable.

We kept exploring the festival. Fluttershy smiled meekly as Rainbow boasted in between bites of an apple flavored sweet roll she bought from a stand. Fluttershy must have grown immunities to her brazen friend’s attitude. I was still getting used to her.

Well…I was still building a tolerance to her.

“Was there any doubt that I would be less than awesome?" Rainbow Dash said proudly. "Next time, we’re playing basketball. Newbie, you know how to play Fives?”

“Huh? Yeah, I like Fives. I was actually on the basketball team in my old school.”

“Whoa-oh. Who knew you had some jock in you.”

“I wasn’t a jock. That was part of the reason why I quit.”

“They weren’t your clique, huh?”

“...you could say that.”

“I feel ya. I played women's basketball for a year before quitting too.”

“Why did you quit?”

“Cause it’s women's basketball.” Rainbow Dash said with a straight face. Fluttershy giggled. “So yeah dude, I’ll play you sometime. But spoiler alert: you’re gonna lose.”

She turned to Fluttershy and prattled on about something else. I barely listened.

I was…preoccupied.

Those comments Rainbow made….about me not being confident, being afraid…my brain refused to let them go. I wanted to enjoy the festival, but I couldn’t ignore those festering doubts.

Even as the sun started to set and the festival workers started to pack up their baubles, I stayed in my head and Rainbow’s words haunted me.

“Um… are you alright?” Fluttershy kindly asked. “You look distracted.”

“Yeah, what’s wrong Newbie?” Rainbow Dash asked as she licked the ends of a sweet roll. I stared her down, trying to tell her with my eyes that she had upset me. She didn’t pick up on it. She licked her fingers, and covered her mouth as she burped.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m okay.”

“If you say so.” She shrugged. I got extra annoyed when she didn’t realize that I was annoyed at her.

“So…um, are you...coming with us?” Fluttershy asked shyly.

“To where?”

“I’m going over to Fluttershy’s place to see her…flowers.” Rainbow Dash groaned.

Fluttershy smiled. “I picked some daisies this morning. They smell wonderful. And they make the room look so inviting.”

“That sounds like fun but…” I started. Rainbow mouthed the words ‘HELP. ME.’ “…I’m not feeling up to it.”

“Well..." Rainbow Dash spoke up, "...if you are absolutely sure that you can’t come with me and see the flowers, then I guess you can’t come with me. Right? Can’t come with me if you’re not feeling up to it. If you were feeling up to it, I’d tell you to Come. With. Me.”

“Yeah. Real shame I’m not feeling up to it. Guess you’ll have to go without me.” I grinned at Rainbow Dash.

“That’s okay. I hope you feel better" Fluttershy took Rainbow Dash's hand. "Dashie and I will have lots of fun anyway.” She pulled her friend away from me, skipping. “You can tell me where you think they look the prettiest. Oh, and I can braid your hair afterwards too! It’ll be like a sleepover without sleeping!.”

Rainbow furiously mouthed something at me as Fluttershy dragged her away. I only caught ‘MUR. DER. YOU.’

Rainbow’s distress made me feel a bit better, but only for a bit. The ‘thinking’ wouldn’t turn off.

Her lectures, her comments, her annoying gestures…they masked over my other thoughts like an annoying child screaming for attention.

The remaining attractions helped distract me, as did watching them pack up one by one as the festival gradually ended.

I guess it didn’t matter. Rainbow didn’t hate me anymore, but I also wasn’t planning on hanging out with her a lot. She was a friend but a casual one. One who was loyal enough to stand up for me when I needed someone, which was nice.

And I got a badge!

But still, we were so different that I didn’t foresee us being close friends in the future.

I juggled the lighting badge she gave me in my pocket as I walked back to my dorm room. I felt good to have it, but getting it didn’t solve my problems as conveniently as I hoped it would. Things still felt awkward. I was still the new guy.

Regardless, this day meant I was one step closer to being somewhere. I made mental note to ask Rarity to sew my badge on my uniform first thing tomorrow.

Slews of students came back in packs. Some still nibbling on sugary treats.

My room was a quiet haven from the clamor outside my door. I had lost track of the time, only realizing it was past eight as I got in.

With no homework due, I looked for a book to read I picked textbook for math, to make sure I would be up to date with my studies and, even better, ahead of the rest of the class.

“Why do you work so hard?” Rainbow Dash’s mocking voice popped in my mind.The pages suddenly felt heavier. “Why don’t you take some time out and enjoy yourself?” Her squeaky voice echoed...and that laugh. "Hahaha!”

“Pain in the ass." I mumbled to myself and kept reading.

Author's Note:

Fluttershy: “Good job Rainbow Dash. That was a lot of fun. You’re such a talented athlete and I had a wonderful time playing.”

Rainbow Dash: “…gloating isn't fun if you encourage me like that.”

Fluttershy: “Oh. I’m sorry. What way should I encourage you?”

GOD, that line is SO Fluttersh, mm'I right?

Rainbow Dash: “I played women's basketball for a year before quitting.”

Protag: “Why did you quit?”

Rainbow Dash: “Cause it’s women's basketball.”

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