• Published 19th Jul 2013
  • 3,078 Views, 153 Comments

Starswirl Academy - Original Rainbow Dash Route - wolvenfire86

The former RD story for the upcoming VN Starswirl Academy

  • ...

17 - Reading

Description: You discover Rainbow’s guilty pleasure.

The morning was rough. I still had homework to do, and I knew I wasn’t going to get it all done. Twilight scolded me when she found out, gave me a short speech on why that was a bad thing on the way to school.

“Hey.” Rainbow appeared next to me as I entered math class. “You got something for me?” She followed me to my desk and waited for me to pull her homework from yesterday.

“Here you go.”

“Awesome.” She stuck in under her arm and patted my back with a loud slap. “Thanks man.”

“You’re welcome.” I looked over my worksheet, to double check my answers. Rainbow didn’t leave. “...anything else?”

“Nah. It’s cool.” She leaned on my desk, casually assuming I was okay with it. “Looks like it’s going to rain again soon.”


"I bet you like rain. You get to stay in and read all day, right Egghead?” She play punched me.

“You know, you could call me Egghead less.”

“There you go again.” She rolled her eyes and shook her head.


“You’re kindly suggesting that I stop insulting you? How many times do I have to do it before you stand up for yourself?”

“Stand up for myself? I’m asking you to stop.”

“Don’t ask me. Tell me.”

“You’re…you’re trying to pick a fight me?”

“Yeah. Cause you won’t pick one on your own.” She punched my arm a second time.

“Why do you-”

“Just tell me to cut it out. We’re friends. I’m not going to get mad if you just tell me to stop.”

“Uh…stop.” Rainbow laughed and punched me a third time. “Dash, stop it!”

“There ya go. That’s more like it. I’ll stop.” And she did. “Don’t be so uptight. I don’t bite.” The teacher walked in and Rainbow play punched me one last time. “Later man. Oh, I forgot to tell you. I’m going be late for our little study session tonight. Cool?”


“Right on. I knew you’d be cool with it. Thanks man.” She sat back down just as the teacher started lecturing.

By the time lunch came, I was ready to throw all of my homework in the nearest ditch and bury it.

What a week! All of my classes decided to be extra long today. Between my teacher’s constantly nagging, the daily assignments from my routine classes, and dealing with Rainbow Dash, my homework had grown into a mountain-sized pile faster than I had predicted it would.

A little time in the library was what I needed. That always calmed me down.

Twilight was in the library, as usual. She was practically attached to this place by now. Most of her free time was most spent with her nose buried in between black and white pages. Aside from walking her to class, this was one of the few times I saw her during school hours

“Twilight, hey.” She stopped reading when she heard me. She looked very happy to see me, for some reason.

“___! Hi! How have you been?

“I’m fine. I’ve just been busy.”

“Busy, right. Me too. Everyone has been. With all the homework. Plus midterms are coming. I think the teachers are intentionally making everyone work hard to weed out the weaklings from the Dean’s List.” She giggled. “If you need me to help you with your homework, don’t forget I’m a phone call away.”

“Can you slow down time? That would be a big help.”

“Um...no. Can’t help you there. Sorry.” She waited for me to say something.

“...I bet you know this place like the back of your hand now.”

“Almost. I still have to alphabetize the reference books.”

“They have a librarian for that.”

“Of course they do. But he doesn’t alphabetize with a check list.” She pulled a pen off her ear and clicked it. I imagined a knight removing a sword from its sheath.

“Can you take a break from your lists to help me find a book?”

“Sure. For you, anything.” She gulped after saying that. "W-what book?

“It’s called The Psychology of Sports. I think it would make a good topic for my psychology research paper.”

“Not a problem. Give me one minute.” She moved to the other side of the library, all ready to show how good she was at finding books.

The size of Starswirl’s library still astounds. The tall shelves make me feel small. With no others students in it right now, my footsteps echoed clear as a bell.

“Haha. Awesome.” I heard someone laugh from one of the isles. Twilight was on the other side of the building, climbing a ladder so it wasn’t her.

I followed the voice, in the direction of the fiction novels. Nostalgia for my childhood came back as I passed the numerous stories of heroes and adventures. I passed a thick book, one of my old favorites, about a boy who gets sent to a faraway school for wizards where he meets all kinds of strange new characters. As a kid it was a fun read. Now I was in a strange new place surrounded by strange new people and found that I could relate to that boy-wizard in a new way

In the end of the aisle, hidden as far back as possible, I spotted a tuff of Rainbow-colored hair. Dash sat on a stool with her face tucked behind an open book.

The book’s title was written in gold that reflected light. [0]Daring-Do and the Secret Sarcophagus of Pharaoh Shu’a’Koh.

“Rainbow Dash?” I saw the chill raun down her shoulders as I said her name. The book in front of her face slowly lowered.

“…” She closed the book and put it back on the shelf. “Sup?”

“What was that?”

“…” Her eyes dart left and right. It’s the only response I get.

“...you’re still coming today, right? To study?”

“…yeah. I was planning to.” She throws a quick look at the book she placed back on the shelf. “...w-what?”

“You don’t have to be nervous. I like reading too.”

“Reading? Pfft. I was not reading.

“It looked like you were reading.”

“Yeah, well I wasn’t. I was...just looking at the book. For Fluttershy.”


“Yeah. Fluttershy.” She crosses her arms defensively.

“Can’t Fluttershy come get it herself?”

“She could! I mean, yeah of course she could. Why did I think of that? Thanks Newbie. Now I don’t have to waste anymore of my lunch break.” She juggled her tongue in her mouth…but didn’t move. Her sneaker rapidly bounced up and down. I had been paying attention to her odd quirks. She did that when she was anxious.

I step forward and grabbed the Daring-Do book off its shelf. Rainbow flinched.

I checked the front and back of the novel. The image on the cover reminded me of the old adventure movies from the 80’s, and looked like it was tailored for a young high school audience. It seemed like something Rainbow would enjoy.

“What’s it about?”

“How should I know? She grunts.

I flip through the first few pages. Rainbow watched me the way a hungry dog watches its master eat his dinner, hoping that I’d drop what she wanted if she starred hard enough.

Somewhere in the middle of the text, I stumbled upon a simple grey bookmark with a black tassel on it.

Rainbow’s eyes went wide when I found it.

I pull the bookmark off its pages. Rainbow keeps staring, her eyes practically popping out of her skull. A drop of sweat crawled down her temple.

I closed the book.

Rainbow jumped to her feet! “YOU...”


“...” She sat back down and looked away. She rested her hand on her palm, her elbow on her knee, and tried to act like nothing had happened.

“It was on page 188.”

She did not look at me. She just blushed heavily. “...I’m not an egghead.”

“…if you were reading this, and I’m not saying you were, but it’d be okay. I wouldn’t think you were any less awesome Her eyes turned to me briefly. “I mean, if people cared less about what everyone else did, they’d be cooler. Right?” That sounded like something she would say.

“Whatever.” The space between her eyebrows tightened with frustration. Or embarrassment?

“___? Where are you?" Twilight called for me. I place the Daring-Do book back where it belonged.

“I’m doing some homework. If you want to do some with me...or, I don’t know, hang out...that’d be okay.” Rainbow said nothing. “Well…I’ll be over there.” I heard her grab the book off the shelf the second I left the aisle.

“Where’d you go?” Twilight asked, holding a book under her arm.

"Oh, just...browsing.”

“Is that the...”

“Yes! One copy of The Psychology of Sports, at your disposal.”

“Great. Thanks Twilight.”

“No need to thank me. I’m just happy to help. Let me know if you need anything else.”

“I will. But right now, I should probably get started on my work.”

“Yep. Right. Work comes first.” I nod and sit down at the nearest table to study. Twilight goes to her own section of the library, to work on her own things.

I still hold the grey bookmark. Its plainness and lack of color is genius; no one would think this belonged to Rainbow.

I put the bookmark beside my notes in plain view and waited.

---time passes---

Eventually, Rainbow came out from her little hideaway and found me.

“Hey.” She said.

“Hi. Wanna sit down?”

“Uh...” I pretend I don’t see the novel under her arm. She looked at the bookmark, then back at me. “...I think I’m good. I gotta go do something.”

“Okay…I guess I’ll see you this afternoon?”

“I’ll be here. If you’re late, it’s fine.”

"Yeah." She pushed the book behind her back, hiding it like it was a Christmas present. She stands still for another moment. “Uh...thanks.”

Protag: “Thanks for what?”

A beat of silence passes between us again. “I’ll see you later.”


Rainbow tried and failed to keep the Daring-Do book from my sights. Twilight looked at me and expects me to say something.

“Um...so...I can walk you home after class if you want.” I said to her. Twilight smiled brightly.

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