• Published 14th Aug 2013
  • 1,999 Views, 62 Comments

I Couldn't Save You - SolRadiante



Rainbow Dash is wrecked. A simple autumn morning became the worst day of her life. Now she is obliged to face the most dangerous foe so far: herself. Will she be able to overcome her depression?

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Forgiveness (Continuation to previous chapter/Alternate ending)

I Couldn’t Save You

Forgiveness

“Stay with us! Stay with us!” Apple Bloom shouted as she kept moving Rainbow’s barely conscious body with her forehooves. “You’ll be okay, I promise you’ll make it through, but you’ve got to keep fighting!”

As soon as Sweetie Belle caught eye of her sister and Applejack approaching, she ran to them as fast as she could. Tears were already leaking out from the young mare’s eyes.

“Sweetie Belle, there you are! I was looking for you all over the—oh my, darling, what happened? Why are you crying? Is everything alright?” Rarity kneeled down and pulled her little sister close in a quick hug, allowing her to catch her breath before letting go.

“I—It’s Rainbow Dash, I don’t know what’s happening to her but it’s really bad!” she replied, hurriedly, pointing with a hoof where Apple Bloom was tending over Rainbow’s unmoving body.

“What?!” Applejack snapped, horrified. The three ponies bolted to her dying friend. “Apple Bloom, what in tarnation happened?”

“I don’t know! Sweetie Belle and I were just talking to her a few minutes ago, then... she was struggling to breathe, and then—oh gosh, you’ve got to help her... please!” Applejack’s sibling responded in a trembling voice.

“Oh dear… I’ll go for a pegasi ambulance right away!” Rarity declared, turning around on her way back to Ponyville. But she was ultimately halted by Applejack, who placed a hoof firmly against her shoulder. “Applejack what are you doing? Let go of me!”

“Ain’t no time for that, sugarcube,” said Applejack, looking straight at Rarity’s eyes. “If we want to save Rainbow Dash then we’ll both have to take her.”

She gestured with a hoof to a wooden cart used to transport apples. Rarity nodded, and with a mystical aura glowing from her horn, she levitated her unconscious friend and gently placed her in the back of the cart. The two of them adjusted the leather strap around their waist to pull the cart.

“Apple Bloom, in the meantime you and Sweetie Belle go and tell the rest of our friends about this, they’re all in Sugarcube Corner,” Applejack ordered. Her little sister acknowledged with a saddened nod.

“Please save her big sis…” Rarity’s sibling snuggled the side of her sister.

“Rest assured my dear Sweetie Belle, we’ll do.”

At full speed, Applejack and Rarity sprinted across the apple farm back to town. Bewildered and terrified of not knowing what was happening to their best friend.

~*~*~*~*~

Relieved, that’s how Rainbow Dash felt. The most painful experience her body had endured moments earlier, and all of the guilts and pains she had carried for so long were finally over. She couldn’t feel a single thing, her soul was in peace, but her conscience was haunting her with a disturbing thought.

Am I really on the point of no return?

She opened her eyes in a snap at the thought, gazed at the surroundings, and found herself standing in nothingness, only a white landscape that spanned countless miles ahead of her.

“Hello? Is anypony here?” Rainbow’s voice echoed throughout the mysterious world surrounding her. She waited a while, but nopony answered.

Just when she was about to start walking, the whole white nothingness turned into a dark void. Rainbow Dash felt a cold shiver running through her spine, as it resembled the same landscape which she had intensely feared for the past five years.

It can’t be, not this dream again!

And there she saw it once more, an orange little filly falling into a pitch-black abyss right before her eyes.

“Hold on Scootaloo, I’m coming!”

Spreading her wings wide open, she plunged down head-first at maximum speed. She gave it her all. But despite her efforts, she was unable to reach her hoof as always. Rainbow watched the filly slowly fading away. She braced herself for the inevitable blood-curdling scream that has always tortured her since the beginning.

No… not like this! This time, I will accomplish what I never could in life. I won't be defeated by this illusion. Not ever again!

This time, I will save you!

She pushed her acceleration far beyond its limit. She could feel the stiff resistance of the sound barrier on the brink of breaking apart, this was her chance!

C’mon, c’mon, just a little more!

The battle cry from Rainbow was silenced by deafening thunder as the sound barrier was shattered by her signature move: the Sonic Rainboom. The colorful blast dissolved the dark void into oblivion, grassy hills and a normal world replaced it. Rainbow had fulfilled what seemed the impossible for her.

I did it… I really did it! Rainbow thought. This is what I really wanted for both of us in the end, Scootaloo. To never be apart. She had caught the filly just before she hit the bottom, she couldn’t help but to grin widely.

As Rainbow Dash planted her four hooves into the green hills, she allowed the filly to step back onto sweet earth. But she noticed something was off. The filly was no longer riding on her back anymore, and the hills had disappeared from sight in the blink of an eye.

Rainbow Dash was standing on a gorgeous white cloud floating high in the night sky, almost touching the vast universe above. She could see countless stars, far more than a pony in the ground would be able to see. Twilight Sparkle would be overwhelmed with joy if she viewed the majestic scenery for herself.

What the—how did I even end up here? she thought, completely clueless.

“A warm welcome to you, Rainbow Dash…” a celestial and gentle voice echoed throughout the night sky.

That voice, could it be?

Rainbow wasn’t mistaken. When she turned around she saw the sparkling princess of the night descending towards the gorgeous white cloud where she was standing. Just like before, Rainbow was left in awe at her radiant elegance, like a full moon, matched only by her sister Celestia.

“Princess Luna…” said Rainbow, making a bow to the process, a sign of high respect.

“Please, call me Luna,” the princess stated with a warm smile. “There is so much we must speak about, Rainbow Dash. But allow me to please you first, as you must have many questions clouding your mind with uncertainty.”

“Just, what is this place? None of it makes sense at all. Well, it could be a dream after all...”

“In a way, you are correct. However, this is no ordinary dream.” As she lifted her forehooves into the air, the princess’ horn glowed with a blinding arcane energy, causing Rainbow to shield her eyes with a foreleg.

The next second, Dash found herself in a hospital room. She gazed disturbingly at an unconscious pegasus identical to her, a breathing mask secured on her face, several cables attached to her body, and medical machines. An EKG was displaying the heartbeats each time with a bleep, as doctors and nurses ran back and forth doing their best to save her.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing!?” Rainbow snapped angrily, the medics in the room remained oblivious of her presence. “I’m talking to you! You can’t just ignore me like that you—”

With a quick magical flash, Princess Luna appeared by Rainbow’s side, cutting off whatever profane word she was about to blurt out. “Save your shouting, Rainbow Dash, for they are unable to see or hear us.”

“Huh?” she lifted an eyebrow in bewilderment. “Please, Luna, just tell me what’s going on.”

“Hmm,” the princess gave a wary look, “do you not recall the events that have brought you here in the first place?”

Rainbow placed a hoof against her chin thoughtfully. “Kind of… you see, I payed a visit to Scootaloo’s tomb. I remember seeing Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle there too, but… then...” she knocked her temple with a hoof, thinking harshly. “Darn, I can’t dig up more than that.”

“Lack of memory from the terminal moments in life, this was to be expected,” said Luna, reasonably. “It’s one of the common signs of what you’re passing through this very instant.”

She remained silent, waiting for the answer.

How can I put it in simple words? Luna thought. The princess cleared her throat before giving an answer. “Rainbow, you are in the state of a near-death experience.”

For one moment, Dash’s pupils shrank to the size of a tiny ball, but quickly returned to their normal size. “So... I’m really dead, huh?” she said a bit shocked, turning her gaze to look at her unmoving self resting in the hospital bed.

“Not entirely,” Luna replied, “allow me to explain. This rare event occurs only when the body of a deceased pony is successfully resurrected thanks to science and medicine, a splendid achievement that magic alone can’t accomplish. Your soul has departed your physical body which is in a comatic state. You are now in the spirit realm Rainbow Dash. It’s like… waking up from a dream, said dream being the living world, and beginning what awaits you after death.”

Rainbow groaned in frustration, “Ugh, this is too much for me! How can you even be talking with me right now if I’m… partly dead as you say?” her patience was about to reach its limit.

Luna let out an amused chuckle. “Being the princess of the night has granted me access to otherworldly magic, my sister Celestia lacks this gift however,” she explained. “One of my other duties that nopony hears about is to guide the departed souls to the afterlife, or show them the error of their ways and making them see how precious life is.”

“In other words, you’re here to lecture me…” said Rainbow annoyed, flying mid-air as she rolled her eyes with her hooves crossed on her chest.

“If that’s how you want to perceive it then suit yourself,” Luna stated, slightly lifting her chin a little bit offended. “It is both a priceless and disheartening task, but we can speak more of me later. This is about you.”

With another flash of Luna’s spell, they were back in the gorgeous white cloud floating high in the night skies. Dash could see almost all of Equestria, distant skyscrapers in the horizon that belonged to Manehattan, small villages like Appleloosa and Dodge Junction in the desert region, and the crystal mountains to the north where the majestic Crystal Empire resides. Truly a sight to see.

“Amazing...” said Rainbow in astonishment.

“Isn’t it? From here I’m aware of everything that’s taking place around Equestria as the night lives on.” While Rainbow was distracted enjoying the scenery, Luna turned around and a saddened frown took place on her expression. What you did tonight... it has shaken all of Ponyville and your friends more importantly. She thought, perturbed. Perhaps this event was only for the best, it is now my turn to—

“There’s something bothering me, Luna,” said Rainbow letting out sigh, gaining the princess’ attention as she snapped out of her thoughts.

“What would that be?”

“Before you came to me, I had this dream... but it felt so out of place,” said Rainbow uneasy. “It was completely different from the ones I had back when I was alive.”

She smiled again. “It was your willpower that allowed you to control your dream. You should feel proud of yourself, Rainbow Dash. Not everypony is capable of taking mastery over their dreams, much less their nightmares. The way you saved Scootaloo is a commendable achievement indeed.”

“Hey, I never told you what my dreams were about,” said Rainbow warily. “Does that mean... you could see my dreams all along, couldn't you?” she gave a suspicious look at the princess.

“I’m afraid so, my dear,” replied Luna apologetically, as she returned the gaze .

Rainbow jerked her head away, glancing downwards in grief. “No, it’s alright. I deserved it… all of it. Those sleepless nights when I would always wake up crying and screaming, drenched in sweat, it was a mere piece of my punishment,” her voice trembled with each word she spoke.

Luna remained silent, as she could sense the great amount of pain in her subject’s eyes. With a sigh, she said, “As much as I desired to cease your endless torments, a pony’s psychology is far more complex than any kind of magic. Even I, an alicorn princess, am powerless against it. That is why my sister Celestia and I sought professional aid in order to heal you,” she closed her saddened eyes. “But even the doctors couldn’t prevent you from carrying out such an unspeakable action as suicide…”

Rainbow narrowed her eyes at the princess. “Do you even have an idea of all the agony, regrets, and painful memories I’ve created in my life? The pain I have caused?” she turned away, hiding her tearful eyes from the princess’ sight. “And all of that from a single mistake, a single false move I’d taken. It ruined a filly’s life that I had taken under my wing and adopted as my little sister… I realized how much she meant to me the second she passed away. Back then I was young, stupid, and always had my pride over anything else. That’s why I never took the liberty to say how I truly loved her while she was still with me...”

As she began to sob gently, Luna flew over to her side, and with one wing she pulled her into a deep hug, pulling her close with an intense maternal love. Rainbow kept crying her heart out, her head buried in the princess’ chest as her weeping became stronger than before. Tears flowed freely in Rainbow’s eyes, she didn’t have the strength to hold them back anymore.

“Come, child,” whispered Luna comfortingly as a single tear streaked down her cheek. “Embrace your princess of the night. Do not allow any tears to weigh down your soul. Take as long as you need, for I understand greatly your pain.”

Rainbow tearfully looked up at the princess. “You… you do?”

She nodded. “A sister whose flaw has brought misery upon the other sibling, I have fallen victim of that fate as well. When my evil self Nightmare Moon took over my body, Celestia had no choice but to imprison me in the moon. A thousand years she passed grieving every single night. A thousand years I kept hearing her agonized wails at the full moon...”

As Luna told those words, one of her most heartbreaking flashbacks surfaced from the deepest parts of her mind. She strived to forget those harsh memories, for they only brought harm to her. She was unsuccessful, however. Luna found herself engulfed into a nightmare even she couldn’t escape from.

The cries of her sister Celestia.

~*~*~*~*~

“Luna… Luna! Please, forgive me! This was all my fault. Your heart was slowly being consumed by hatred and bitterness, and I couldn't foresee what you were transforming into. I swore to myself that I would never let anything bad happen to you... and I have failed my greatest duty as the elder sister.

I just wish for you to return, and tell you how much I love you my little sister. I need you… I can’t live without you. We are meant to rule together. We are meant to be together as sisters.

~*~*~*~*~

The princess of the night returned to reality with a faint gasp, her eyes trembling as if she would break into tears at any moment. She couldn’t forgive herself for causing all that pain to her big sister. And she wouldn’t let the same event replay itself once again with her faithful subject Rainbow Dash. Luna turned her gaze onto the weeping pegasus curled up like a foal in one of her wings, her voice carrying a great serenity within itself.

“If it wasn’t for you and all of your friend’s heroic efforts who vanquished my evil self with the Elements of Harmony’s power… Celestia would have perished, and all of Equestria doomed in eternal night. There’s no favor that can possibly repay the gigantic debt I owe to you and your friends, but I think I have found a way to start.”

“W—What do you mean?” Rainbow stammered, looking up at Luna’s warm gaze.

She let out a giggle, “For the answers you seek, blink twice, turn around, and then you will see…” Luna recited with a smile.

“I… I don’t understand, what is—”

“One…” Rainbow blinked.

“—Is going to happen when I…”

“Two…” She blinked once again.

~*~*~*~*~

The instant she did the second blink, Rainbow was no longer with Princess Luna in the white cloud high in the skies. Puzzled, she glanced at her surroundings, trying to figure out where she might’ve ended up.

She could see Applejack’s farm in the distance, and the CMC clubhouse too. Rainbow noticed she was standing over green hills in the outskirts of Ponyville. There wasn’t a single cloud in sight, only the glamorous full moon lightening up the night.

Princess Luna’s words echoed through her mind, telling her what do next. She had blinked twice, now she had to…

~*~*~*~*~

Rainbow Dash remained petrified, her mouth hanging open in surprise. Ever so slowly, her lips turned into a smile that held all the happiness in the world. A single tear slid down her cheek for the sight that she truly couldn’t believe at first. But she knew it was no longer merely a dream or an illusion.

It was real.

“Scootaloo!”

“Dashie!”

The desire for both sisters to embrace each other once again was strong indeed. As they had been separated by the cruelness of fate five years ago, it had been too long since they had felt the sisterly bond blossoming in the emptiness of their hearts.

They didn’t take a moment’s hesitation to run towards each other.

Scootaloo maintained the small size of a filly and features like she was five years ago. She launched herself at Rainbow Dash with tremendous force, making her big sister lose her balance and trip. They rolled a few times in the grass, and then finally held onto each other’s forelegs like nothing would ever tear them apart, both sisters let waterfalls of tears drop to the grass nonstop as they kept their hooves together.

Overwhelmed with joy, Rainbow said, “Scootaloo… I have so much to say to you, so many things I’m sorry about, that I don’t even know where to start! If you even have the slightest idea how hard is for me to say this, now that I have you with me, I can’t find the words to—”

“Shh, it’s okay, Dashie,” Scootaloo whispered with a tearful smile, comforting Rainbow’s aching soul. “It was nopony’s fault. That birthday was truly the most awesome and amazing of all! I never had anything like that before, spending a flying session with my all-time idol and big sister… it was the best birthday gift somepony has given to me, I really mean it.”

Dash returned the smile, and hugged her tighter. “I’m just so glad that I get to see you again, kid.”

Scootaloo’s eyes saddened in a second, avoiding her big sister’s gaze, she gently freed herself from the embrace. Rainbow didn’t know what was happening, had she said something wrong? Or done something she wasn’t supposed to do?

“I hoped it was under better circumstances…” said Scootaloo, disheartened.

“What do you mean?”

She stood up from the grass, shooting Rainbow a disappointed glance. “I’ve watched you sis. All you have been through since the accident… what happened between your best friends... how you gave away your dreams and future only to grieve for me… the hospital… everything.”

Sudden flashbacks invaded Rainbow’s mind, they resembled everything Scootaloo had mentioned. She saw herself yelling at her best friends then slamming the door, leaving them heartbroken below her home.

The scenery spontaneously changed to Spitfire’s office in the Wonderbolts training academy.

Despite of the captain’s stern and strict personality, she was crushed upon seeing the best trainee that the facility ever had, and possible future Wonderbolt, signing the resignation letter.

~*~*~*~*~

“I would’ve preferred if you didn’t have to quit, you know,” the captain said dishearteningly, her purple aviator shades hiding the anguish in her eyes. The final strokes of a quill resounded in Spitfire’s ears as Rainbow Dash officially signed the end of her future Wonderbolt career. “But you must have your personal reasons, and I won’t interfere with them.”

“Thanks, ma'am,” said Rainbow as she left her uniform, leader badge, and flying goggles in the captain’s desk, “that sums it up. It’s not you or anything, it’s just... I can’t go on any longer.”

“Whatever thing that’s messing with your head must be pretty big for you to carry out that kind of decision,” Spitfire took out her shades, her former trainee was already on their way to the exit. “Always remember Rainbow Dash,” she stopped with the captain’s words, “this facility will always have its doors open whenever you choose to return.”

“Yeah... maybe someday...” Rainbow shared a last glance with her ex-superior before stepping out of the office, and never returning again.

~*~*~*~*~

Unwilling to recall any more tragic memories, Rainbow waved her hooves rapidly above her head to shake off her troubled thoughts. “I didn’t want any of those things to happen!” she cried out. After regaining her composure, she rose from the ground and stared Scootaloo in the eye. “But I was weak. My depression defeated me. Why would I ever want the girls, or the Wonderbolt I aspired to be, out of my life?”

“I know, Dashie, that’s why I stayed,” her little sis responded uneasy.

Rainbow Dash said nothing, allowing Scootaloo to continue.

Scootaloo turned away, her gaze looking at the CMC clubhouse in the distance. “I didn’t go anywhere. I just couldn’t leave you like that. I feared you would do something stupid sooner or later. And I was right… the moment I saw the poison hanging from your neck, I tried to stop you. I was the wind in the trees trying to communicate with you,” her head turned slightly to look at Rainbow. “But in the end, I couldn’t save you either.”

“Heh, seems like we’re even now,” Rainbow countered playfully.

“Haha yeah right you silly!” she laughed.

Both sisters shared a tender moment of giggling and laughing; it helped ease the tension that was growing in their conversation. But as much as Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo wanted for it to last forever, every good moment has to end.

“Seriously though,” Scootaloo cleared her throat. “Think about everything you have lived for, sis. Your dreams of becoming a Wonderbolt, do you really want to throw them away just like that?” she said, her voice sounded gentler than before. “Think about your best friends, Dashie. How do you think they’re feeling in this very instant?”

“Beats me,” replied Rainbow downhearted, "they don’t like me anymore. I turned my back on them and lost any friendship I had with the girls, you said it yourself,” she lowered her gaze. “I have nothing left waiting for me back in Ponyville…”

“Oh really? I don’t think that’s quite the case.” Scootaloo lifted an eyebrow with a grin. She bolted away without giving Rainbow a chance to respond.

“Hey, where are you going?”

“It’s a surprise, but you’d better catch up!”

“A race? You are so on!”

~*~*~*~*~

Some minutes had passed before they arrived where Scootaloo was headed, no place other than Rainbow Dash’s home. They stepped into the very structure that had been her prison in life.

“So uh… why are we here again?” asked Rainbow, a bit puzzled.

“For that, it should help you remember, sis,” replied Scootaloo, pointing with a hoof to a sealed scroll dropped on the floor. "Come on, take a look."

A letter? I don’t recall seeing it today. I wonder who must’ve sent it. Rainbow thought, surprised.

She walked to the sealed scroll, grabbed it with her mouth and unfolded it. Rainbow began to read aloud its very message that held the so-desired truth to her false memories.


Dear Rainbow Dash

We can’t know for certain if you’ll take the liberty to read this letter, or even look at it… but I’m sending it anyways, because we’ll never know when we’re ever going to hear from you again.

It has felt like an eternity since you departed from our lives Rainbow, you don’t have an idea how harsh it has been for all of us. Especially for poor Pinkie Pie, she probably was the most afflicted. Her mane going straight these days is the decisive proof of it. She has continued smiling, being exuberant, and random like the old Pinkie we all know and love. But deep in her eyes, behind the smile, it’s no secret that there is great pain inside her.

Three days have passed since your release from that mental hospital. Pinkie Pie had the wonderful idea to throw you a small welcome party this evening at 6pm. Only the six of us in the Ponyville outskirts where we always had our usual picnics. We apologize if it took a bit to get it started, these days have been unusually busy for everypony.

But more than just welcoming you, we hope to earn your pardon, and reconcile our ever-lasting friendship that has been broken from our actions. We were blind enough to see that you only desired solitude, but we kept pushing you until you couldn’t take it anymore, and led our friendship to its ruin. We’re terribly sorry, we really are! We didn’t consider your feelings before we tried to help you... we were bad friends.

If you choose not to go, we’ll completely understand it. I just hope Pinkie won’t take it too harshly.

We know you are passing through a very hard time right now. What happened to Scootaloo… it has devastated you. While that tragedy is long past, it seems it was only yesterday when it happened for you. All of our condolences go to you dear friend.

What I’m about to say right now, I think I speak for all of our friends and everypony who cares about you.

We miss you so much, Rainbow Dash. You are a great part of our lives, and a true friend. We still love you, and we only hope for you to get better. Even if it means that we won’t see you anymore, so be it. Take care.

Your best friend

Twilight Sparkle


“No… you did nothing wrong… I was the bad friend… I was the one who turned my back on you girls,” said Rainbow in her dismay. Scootaloo remained at her side, hanging her head low as she watched her sister. Dash rubbed her forehead with a hoof, furious with herself. "I feel so stupid. All these years, I always thought—oh forget it, at least now I know the truth.”

"Don't say that, sis," said Scootaloo reassuringly. "Nopony can blame you for anything."

"Thanks for trying to cheer me up," replied Rainbow, forcing a grin as her eyes momentarily met Scootaloo's gaze, before she stared down at the floor again. "The rest of the girls... they must be in shock right now, darn it! And it's all because of me!"

“It's not too late to redeem yourself, my dear subject,” said a familiar voice.

“Princess Luna…” said Scootaloo and Rainbow in unison as soon as they saw the princess of the night entering the chamber.

“Rainbow Dash, it is undeniable that your actions have lead you to severe consequences, like the poison you have so foolishly ingested,” stated Luna in a serious tone. “The Unicorn’s Lament... as you already know. Its potent toxin has already killed you once, and it won’t hesitate to do it again. You were resurrected thanks to the medics in Ponyville, but your body is still in critical condition. However, there is a way. Only by returning to the realm of the living will your physical body be fully healed.”

“For real?" asked Rainbow, almost not believing it. "So what you’re saying is… I can still come back to life again?”

“That is correct, my dear subject,” Luna nodded with a smile.

Scootaloo gave her sister a small hit in the shoulder. “You see, Dashie? You can make things right again!” she exclaimed happily.

With a bright flash of Luna’s magic, the three ponies were all teleported back into the luminous white cloud high in the night skies.

“You still have the choice Rainbow Dash,” said Luna, “whether to live again, or pass on to the afterlife. But you must decide.”

So this is it, Rainbow thought, were I to pass away, I don’t even want to think on the consequences that my best friends would deal with. They would be devastated, just as I was in my last years in life. I’m not going to let my fate repeat itself. I was brave enough to commit suicide, but I was cruel and a coward for leaving that kind of pain to my friends. I must make things right.

“I… I…,” she stammered. “I don’t want to leave, I want to stay… with my irreplaceable best friends… Applejack… Fluttershy… Rarity… Pinkie Pie… and Twilight Sparkle. We have a broken friendship to fix, and lots of memories to build. Until the time arrives for each of us.”

Luna glanced at her with a warm grin. “You have made the right decision, my dear.”

With a relieved sigh, Scootaloo closed her eyes, and looked upon the vast universe manifesting itself above them. “I guess there’s no need for me to stay here any longer.”

“Huh? What are you talking about?” asked Rainbow anxiously, she felt a lump in her throat. Because deep inside, she knew exactly what the answer was.

“My time has long passed, Dashie. Now that I know you’ve made the right choice, I can finally rest in peace. I must be on my way to the afterlife,” she struggled to keep herself from crying, but an involuntary sob escaped her mouth. “D—Don’t worry about me! Luna has told me how amazing that faraway paradise I’m heading is. I’ll be fine. I promise,” she couldn’t help but whimper.

Rainbow Dash was crushed upon hearing those words, of all the awful things she had experienced, this was by far the worst feeling of all. Her voice struggled to speak as her eyes filled with tears of pain. “Why... why now? I knew we would part ways someday, but why does it have to be now!?”

“Rainbow...”

“No, I don’t want this! After five long years since I lost you, I finally get to see you. I can’t lose you again! I couldn’t stand it... not again. No! No! No!”

Rainbow Dash!

Scootaloo’s yell was loud enough to desist the rant from her big sister. Tears were flooding the filly’s cheeks, they fell down to the cloud nonstop. She shut her eyes with great suffering. “Please... don’t make this any harder for me than it already has to be,” she whispered in a cracking voice.

When Rainbow noticed the agony she had inflicted on Scootaloo, she ran up to her and kneeled down. With a hoof she carefully wiped the filly’s tears, and gently lifted her chin. “Hey, look at me Scoot,” she slowly opened her tearful eyes. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled like that. I didn’t mean to hurt you, you know I never would.”

She sniffled, “And I’m sorry too.”

“You don’t have anything to be sorry about, Scootaloo.”

“Yeah I do, I’m sorry it has to be this way. You’ve been through so much... and now this? I hate to put all this pain on you, sis. I hate to leave you like this. I—”

She was silenced as Rainbow Dash placed a hoof in her mouth. “Heh, you kidding? This is entirely what I’ve been wishing for since the accident,” said Rainbow, smiling warmly. “To spend time with you one last time. You bet I’ll be sleeping with a smile on my face from here on!” she nuzzled Scootaloo’s cheek with her muzzle. “You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me, Scoot. Never forget that.”

“Even more than your friends?”

“Oh come on, are you really gonna make me choose? Please tell me you’re not making me do that.”

Scootaloo laughed. “Haha I guess not.”

They both shared a bit of an awkward silence before Rainbow Dash spoke up again. “Any idea of what that afterlife place looks like?”

“I’m afraid not,” Scootaloo looked up into the night sky above. “Luna doesn’t have any clue either. To be honest, I’m a little nervous about it.”

“I’m sure it can’t be anything bad. I mean, we’re already dead. What else could happen?”

“I guess you have a point. But wherever it is I’m going, I’ll miss you so much, Dashie!”

Scootaloo threw her forelegs around Rainbow Dash, letting out a sob. The two sisters held each other in a tight embrace for one last time. They cherished it, considering it would be the final moment they would spend together and see each other for a very, very long time.

Dash’s gears turned as she remembered she was forgetting something, something very important she had to say and this was the only chance she would ever get. Three simple words that carried such a strong and powerful meaning, and that you wouldn’t say to just anypony. But only the dear ones you’ve held close in your life.

After a deep exhale, Rainbow Dash knew she was ready.

“I… I love you Scootaloo, my only and prized little sister.”

Scootaloo’s eyes opened widely in astonishment, she seemed surprised for a second. But then, she smiled tearfully and hugged her tighter. “Heh, I never thought I would be hearing the ‘greatest flier in all of Equestria’ say those words,” she said playfully.

“Huh?”

“Oh just kidding with you! I love you too, Dashie.”

Rainbow giggled for a bit, and smiled. They both kept the embrace unbroken for another long silent minute. In that time, all the happy moments they shared together in life replayed inside their minds. It was the Winsome Falls camping trip that had brought them closer, as it was the very first experience they shared together. They both owed so much to Applejack, Rarity and their siblings. If it weren’t for them, they probably would have never become what they are.

Sisters.

The life they spent together... it was an eternity so tender that would live forever inside their hearts. A crystal clear dream that Rainbow Dash would always treasure deep in her mind.

Scootaloo and Rainbow slowly released from each other’s arms, as they both knew the separate paths that each would be taking.

“Alright, Luna,” the filly sniffled. “I’m ready.”

At the princess’ nod, her horn glowed with an arcane magical energy. It shrouded Scootaloo’s entire being in a mystical teal-colored mist, slowly lifting her soul high into the vast universe above where billions of stars make their home, where she would soon be arriving into the wonderful afterlife Luna had mentioned.

Scootaloo’s eyes couldn’t look anywhere other than her sister Rainbow Dash, whose spirit remained behind. She waved a hoof, smiling widely. “Goodbye Dashie, take care! I’ll be cheering for you from up there when you become a full member of the Wonderbolts and every single one of your dreams comes true.” She momentarily turned her gaze away to wipe a tear that had slid down her cheek. “Say hello to my best friends Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Babs Seed for me, would you? Oh, and also tell them that their new cutie marks totally rock!”

As much as it pained Rainbow Dash to see her sole little sister going away forever, she placed her best smile upon her face. “Will do! And remember this isn’t a farewell, but a see you later. I promise I’ll make you proud of me!” she exclaimed, waving her hoof, tears of joy and sadness filling her eyes.

Afterwards, Scootaloo’s soul slowly disappeared from sight as it reached incredible heights. It was a deep bittersweet moment for Rainbow Dash, seeing her only sibling she’s ever had departing from her life. But she knew that Scootaloo would be finally resting in peace after the long five years her soul had remained in the spirit realm.

As she kept gazing upwards at the beautiful night sky with a smile, Rainbow Dash mimicked the Pinkie Pie Promise as she recited it in her mind. Cross my heart. And hope to fly. Stick a cupcake in my eye. She let out a giggle, knowing that she’d never performed it before.

Suddenly, Rainbow’s attention was brought forth as she felt a friendly pat. Not looking back, she heard Luna’s gentle voice calling for her.

“How are you feeling, Rainbow Dash?”

Turning around, she replied with, “If you had asked me that two years ago like Princess Celestia did, the answer would’ve been completely the opposite from now. I feel free... absolved from everything. This is the kind of peace I truly craved for in the end,” she said soothingly.

“It fills me with happiness hearing you say that.”

“Can I ask you a question too Luna?” Rainbow looked at the princess.

“Of course.”

“How did you find out about this otherworldly magic of yours? You know... the spirit realm, talking with dead ponies’ souls, sending them to the afterlife. I don’t think it was on purpose.”

The princess of the night remained silent for a moment, thinking on how to answer the question. “I’m sorry Rainbow Dash, but this is knowledge that must never reach the world’s ears. I hope you understand.”

Rainbow shrugged. “Sure, no probs,” she walked to the edge of the gorgeous cloud and gazed at the majestic scenery, her eyes darting to see Ponyville in the distance. “So, Scootaloo chose to remain in the spirit realm all these years... for me?”

“Certainly,” Luna grinned, “I cannot force the deportation of souls to the afterlife if they don’t desire to. Scootaloo had the wish of seeing you once again before going away, but she didn’t expect it to be this way.” Rainbow Dash blushed a bit.

“Luna…?”

“Yes, dear?”

“I cannot thank you enough, really, this experience I’ve lived through… it has taught me so many valuable things.”

“Oh, is that so?” Luna smiled. “Mind if I hear your report about it?”

“With pleasure!” Rainbow exclaimed positively as she bumped her hooves into the air. She cleared her throat, and began to speak the very lessons she has learned.

“Dear Princess Luna, I couldn’t be happier to report what I’ve learned from this experience.

At any given moment, we can all lose somepony we held close throughout our lives, but it’s no reason to remain all sad and gloomed about it, as they never would’ve wanted for us to suffer from their passing. Instead, we should be happy for the life we shared together, and remember all the good things they did for us. That way, the memories will keep them living in our hearts.

I have also learned that your friends are the light shining bright in the dark, a light that never fades. Even when you’re feeling sad and lonely, a friend will always stay by your side, no matter what. They’ll cheer you up, lend you a helping hoof, and show you the warm smile that only a true friend is able to do, no matter how bad things can get.

And the most important of all, I have learned how precious life is. When you’ve given up all hope, and desire to put an end to everything. Close your eyes, remember that you mean everything to your true friends and anypony who cares about you. They will be there for you, and they’ll do the impossible to make you smile again.”

A single tear of joy streamed down from the princess’ eye when her subject finished their report. She spread her wings open, a huge smile had taken place in her expression. “Rainbow Dash, I commend you greatly for facing your fears at last. I can declare without boasting that you are the bravest mare I’ve ever met. You have made me so proud of you my dear subject. Now, close your eyes, and when you wake, you’ll rise into your cherished life once again. Sleep well, for the nightmares you’ve dreaded so long will haunt your pleasant nights no more.”

“You’re a real pal, Luna,” said Rainbow coolly with a smile. “Maybe we should hang out someday when I come back to life.” Luna blushed with a grin easily visible, knowing that she’d made another true friend. “But before I go, how is everything going back in the hospital?”

“Hmm, pressingly I’m afraid,” replied Luna troubled. “Your heart beatings are getting much closer to critical levels, I fear the medics will be announcing the grim news to your friends any second now. Like I said before, only by returning to the realm of the living will your body be healed. My magic has kept the portal open for you, but you must leave now.”

“Whoops! There’s no time to waste then!” exclaimed Rainbow in haste. “Thanks again for everything, Luna. Catch you later!”

And with those words spoken, Rainbow Dash did as she was told by the princess.

~*~*~*~*~

On any other night, Ponyville Hospital would be soothingly quiet, only the occasional hoofsteps resounding through the hallways as a doctor or nurse made their nightly rounds. However, this wasn’t one of those nights.

A great part of Ponyville was gathered in the lobby room. The usual silence being broken by nervous whispers and hurried conversations, ponies that came to receive news from a long-gone pegasus who attempted suicide at Sweet Apple Acres.

But the terror and concern of five friends surpassed every other pony’s feelings in the room.

When the early hours of the morning arrived, almost everypony had given up and returned to their homes for so-desired sleep.

As tired as they were, Rainbow Dash’s best friends didn’t give up and remained waiting for her in the lobby. They wouldn’t dare to take a step out of the building, not until they received news of her. Their eyelids were heavy as stone, but they wouldn’t allow themselves to fall asleep.

They all sprang up from their seats and became fully awake when the white doors leading to the intensive care rooms slowly opened, Nurse Redheart emerging from within.

“How is she nurse!?” Twilight Sparkle snapped, her friends standing beside her with worried expressions.

We’ve used everything at our disposal, but Rainbow Dash won’t make it to see the morning. That’s what the nurse struggled to say, but no words came from her mouth.

A simple shake of the head had told everypony what happened…

Tears started leaking through their eyes. Left in shock, horrified, they didn’t want to accept it. How could anypony accept the demise of one of their most beloved friends?

Pinkie Pie shut her eyes and bolted to the outside. Tears were falling from her cheeks as she ran. She dropped onto her knees, her eyes buried in her hooves, crying harder than she’s ever done before. She kept weeping her heart out as the rest of her friends tried their best to console her agonized wails at the early-morning sky.

“Rainbow Dash… RAINBOW DASH! Why did you do it!? To do such a thing and leave your best friends behind!” she screamed at the top of her lungs as she cried furiously. Her next words came out in a cracking whisper. “We only wanted to help you… we tried to help you… even our friendship couldn’t save you… please… come home, Dashie...”

“Then why don’t you look at me and see for yourself?”

Astonished by the familiar voice that sounded faintly from behind, the weeps from the five ponies came to an end. They turned around and gazed upon the front gates of the hospital, hoofsteps of somepony making its way out of the building could be heard.

A cyan-blue colored pegasus emerged from the hospital’s entrance doors. She looked uneasy and was unsteady on her hooves, she almost tripped on one occasion. She halted when she took a few steps out of the building.

When Celestia’s morning sun shone upon Equestria once again, the radiant sunlight revealed something that nopony could believe at first. The five friends were speechless at the sight.

Right before their eyes, it was Rainbow Dash standing some yards ahead of them, wearing the warm smile a true friend would always have upon their face, no matter how bad the situation can get.

“Hey girls, what’s up?” said Rainbow coolly. “It’s been a pretty long time, don’t ya think?” Her friends however were utterly still, their brains trying to process everything. “Heh. What’s the matter, the cat got your tongue?”

Pinkie Pie was the first one of the five friends who managed to take a few steps towards her long-gone friend. Pinkie’s jaw-dropping expression was evidently carrying joy and grief. A refreshing gust of wind carried her flattened pink mane to one side. She stared directly into Rainbow’s eyes, still trying to figure out if she wasn’t an illusion.

“Rainbow… is it really you?” she said in a barely audible voice.

“Yeah, Pinkie, it is me.”

The last thing Rainbow Dash could see was a pink projectile heading straight at her with blinding speed before she felt the super-strong embrace of Pinkie Pie, her flattened mane returning to its poofy state.

Nopony hesitated for a moment before throwing themselves into each others’ arms and embracing in a tight group hug. As much as Rainbow Dash tried to remain nice and calm, she was overwhelmed by happiness in seeing her best friends welcoming her with so much love. Tears of joy came down like a waterfall from everypony’s eyes. They could spend minutes together, even hours, and the six friends wouldn’t dare release from the embrace anytime soon.

A warm and pleasant feeling filled the six ponies’ bodies, it was the fire of friendship igniting once more deep in their hearts. The tight bonds that kept them together could not be broken. A real everlasting friendship that would bring them neither sorrow or pain, and countless happy memories as they live.

“I have returned, my best friends, and I’ll never abandon you ever again.” Rainbow Dash gazed high into the skies with a smile, remembering all the things she had gone through during the night. Perhaps none of it will escape from her lips. Maybe her friends will never know what really happened. But one thing was certain. She learned so much from her near-death experience, and was determined to accomplish what she vowed to her little sister Scootaloo.

“I have a promise to fulfill.”

Author's Note:

Well, now that you have officially reached the end of my story. There's one more little task I'd like you to do: decide.
Yes, you saw right! You, my awesome reader, get to decide which finale you like best for this emotional fanfiction!

Will despair get the best of Rainbow Dash? Or will she find happiness in the end?
That, my friend, is entirely up to you.

I hope you enjoyed reading my story as much as I did writing it!

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Comments ( 56 )

Good to see this has gone up~:pinkiehappy:! Hope it gets the attention it deserves, eh?

It truly is a sad little comic. I can tell this is going to be quite the heart-wrenching story. I'll go get some tissues.

3047523
Yeah, I hope so! Be it for good or bad but I do wish it gets noticed :pinkiesmile:

3047548 Heh.... just put out a shout-out for this... I'm really wanting this to do well.

3047538
I won't lie, I needed a couple of those myself as I pre-read it :rainbowlaugh:. But I think it's because I was playing fitting music.

Absolutely wonderful, had me on the edge of tears pretty much the entire time. ( got me at the report to luna ) :fluttercry::heart:

3048314
It can't be a proper MLP fanfiction if we don't learn something good from a report, am I right? :twilightsmile: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

My heart exploded at least six times while reading this.

10/10 in the feels department.
9/10 Mustaches overall. :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

This is my new favorite fanfic, truly a work of art, and i say forgiveness is the best ending

This is easily the saddest story I've read. Even more so than Bittersweet, if you can believe that.

With all my Scootalove, I declare this the best sadfic I've ever read!

It takes a lot to make me loose a tear...

This did it, congratulations! One of the best stories I have read in a long time. Thank you for your great work.

hmmmm.... *cries uncontrolably* why you make me feeeeeeeeeelll!!!! :raritycry:

3050308
Have you read "Decay" before?

Loved this story before, love it now. Thanks for letting me experience this!

3050047
Well then, I guess it's a good thing that it didn't explode a 7th time, eh? :rainbowlaugh:
Are you sure you don't wanna rate it 10/10 mustaches overall? Ha! Just kidding :raritywink:
I'm glad you liked the story!

3050102
It's my personal favorite ending as well. :pinkiesmile: But a proofreader of mine suggested that it'd be cool if the readers get to choose the ending for themselves. So I said, "Hey, why the heck not? There are bronies out there who appreciate a good tragedy." :ajsmug:
I'm glad you liked it!

3050308
Gee, I'm flattered :rainbowkiss:
I'm glad you liked the story!

3051202
And thank you too, for reading it :raritywink:
I'm glad you liked it!

*Hugs Rainbow Dash S0 tightly* YOU ARE THE BEST PEGASUS I HAVE EVER MET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:pinkiehappy::raritywink::twilightsheepish::yay::duck::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart:

3053642
I take it from your comment that you liked my story :pinkiesmile:
Yes, indeed. Writing this story made me develop a special affection to Rainbow Dash. :rainbowdetermined2:

Ok... Bye Dash! Fluttershy: Well... He doesn't seem to care very much...! :yay:

The happy ending is automatically better in my world. This story has earned a favorite, and you have earned a follower.

Happy ending are always the best! :pinkiehappy: but I do feel the end was a little rushed.

I would say manly tears were shed... But this story made me cry like a filly! :fluttercry: Great story, though. The forgiveness ending was beautiful. I remembered a scootalove picture I had made yesterday, and seeing at it made me cry harder. fav.me/d6id6c4 The original link is http://fav.me/d6id6c4
No self advertising intended, but I thought it went well with the story.

Holy cow, that was the saddest and happiest joy filled roller coaster of emotions ever! :pinkiesick: :pinkiesad2: your story here is amazing, I want more but it's the perfect length so now I'm just sitting here like :pinkiegasp: thinking about life... :pinkiehappy: I honestly don't know if there's a description that can give this justice, it's incredible, likes and favourites everywhere! :raritystarry:

3059429
Oh my... that's amazing! I gave you a shoutout for it in my blog post. Your art truly deserves to be seen, so I'll do my best in sharing it with people I know, fb pages, that sort of thing. I very much appreciate you sending me your art :pinkiehappy:

3060692
For real? Oh, wow, I was kind of doubting my story would get accepted in your group :pinkiegasp: But I'm glad it passed the test.

Alternate ending. Because even the saddest stories should have a happy ending.

I like the 2nd ending much more.The near death experience was very interesting, (and also, I like the happy ending.):pinkiesad2:

3066988
Same thoughts as me. There's nothing I like more than a happy ending for a tragic story :pinkiesmile:

3072408
It's my personal favorite ending as well :twilightsmile: And I'm glad you liked my story!

This story was very difficult for me to read as it hit very close to home with my current situation. Brilliantly written, I hope to see more from you in the future

3051258
That's the story where Rainbow Dash is dying, right? I didn't find it particularly sad, the romance ruined it for me

3102876
Fair enough, not everyone's into TwiDash. "Under Your Wings" is another sad one. Did you read coolstorybrony's "Make a Wish" before he deleted it to rewrite it?

m-many man tears were shed :fluttershyouch:

This actually made me shed tears. I've read several sadfics, but one that actually makes me sad enough to shed tears? That's rare.

I feel bad for not replying to all of you guys who did read my story and letting you know how much I appreciate your comments. I shouldn't let my fellow readers' opinions go unnoticed, I won't make the same mistake again. :ajsleepy:

3060405
I'm very happy to see you enjoyed it so much :pinkiesmile: Indeed, I wanted to write just a bit more. But somehow I knew that 'bit' could spoil the impact of the story. In any case, the ideas I may have had are long forgotten :twilightblush:

3078774
I see, one of the main reasons I wrote this story was to be able to help bronies who are going through difficult situations and to prevent them from doing something they'll regret :fluttershysad: I very much hope my humble work was able to shed some light in your life.

3104230
It feels me with joy I was successfully able to transmit the feelings to the reader. I'm glad you enjoyed it :twilightsmile:

3114136
I know what you mean. I used to be pretty cold before, I hadn't cried since my grandpa's demise. But it was indeed, a sad MLP fanfiction, that made me shed tears once again :raritydespair: I'm very glad you enjoyed my story :twilightsmile:

Fuck, you made cry damn it. :applecry:

3216651
I for one am glad that my story is still making readers cry :raritywink: thank you very much for reading it :pinkiesmile:

24.media.tumblr.com/a257ad5165644b1f79354634dfdee284/tumblr_mqo61uYbwk1rj6vd5o1_400.png

Disclaimer: Use of this seal should be limited to uses approved by the site admins, which unfortunately does not include being posted in story descriptions. You can find a smaller version here.

Ending #2. How else is Pinkie going to throw a party:pinkiehappy:

3222813
My thoughts as well :pinkiehappy:

3282830 It's a "I'M SO HAPPY YOU AREN'T DEPRESSED ANYMORE!" party!!!! :pinkiesmile:

3532856
I haven't played the game yet. From what I've heard is that it has a looooot of feels :fluttershysad:
Thank you kindly for the compliment :twilightsmile:

SOoSOSOSOSOSOSO gooooooooood!

It was so emotional, poor Dashie.

3842153
You don't know how glad I am that my story is still being enjoyed to these days, :pinkiehappy: even if my writing may had come off awkward here and there. Not to mention how I made RD 'out of character' in several occasions, now that I read it again :twilightblush:

3842329 Meh, didn't bother me much.

The emotional stuff was good though, hope you make a another story! Your very good.

I love the ending. There were only 3 stories that I have read that has made me cry out of the tons of fimfics I have read, and this is one of them. I am so glad Dash is back where she wants to be, and that Scootaloo and Dash's friends are happy. Truly amazing, awesome, unforgettable writing!:heart:
so awesome!:rainbowkiss:

3983202
Gee stop, you flatter me :twilightsheepish:
I'm really glad that you enjoyed my story :twilightsmile: Every new comment I get sent to my e-mail makes my day a lot more brighter! It's heartwarming to know that a new reader was moved and, hopefully, learned valuable lessons about life. :pinkiehappy:

If it's okay with you, could you tell me which fimfics made you cry? I'm always down for a good feels trip.:fluttercry:

Thanks! Well, one story was actually a comic, called Core of the Apple, on Deviantart. I cried on Part 3. Another one that made me cry was Rainbow Factory, but that one wasn't just so tragic and sad, it scared me. A LOT. :fluttershbad: I had never read anything like that before. (It was way worse than Cupcakes) This one :raritywink: of course, and one that made me half cry was We Regret to Tell You, it was about the Cakes and Pinkie. Also I half cried at the end of My Little Dashie. That is my list of stories that have made me cry or half cry. (I'm not sure how to reply to comments...:twilightblush:)

3985501
New to fimfic, eh? Let me give you my own recommendations of emotional stories (I shed a tear with all of them):
Never Stop Smiling
Together in the End
Pink, Blue, and Ivory (Most depressing one I've read so far, flawlessly written, and a huge inspiration for me to write a tragedy.)
For Those We Left Behind
The Magic Never Fades Away
Why Pinkie Pie Smiles (I think this one was based on a deviantart animation)
Dear Sweetie Belle
Dreaming With Ponies (Personal favorite, I loved it even more than My Little Dashie and had me crying nonstop.)

I will read them on my spare time, it's been long since I've read a fanfic around here and deviantart. Except Rainbow Factory, I'm too much of a pussy to read it haha :twilightblush:

P.S: To reply a user, hover your mouse over the comment and on the top right corner you'll see two arrows. That's the one :raritywink:

>>AztecWarden
Oh! Thanks for telling me how to reply! :twilightsmile: Also, thank you so much for recommending those stories to me! I bet they are all awesome and I will definitely read them! :pinkiehappy:
Thanks so much! :twilightsmile:
Edit: I read just now Never Stop Smiling, it was AWESOME! The feels! And am just about to read Together in the End. I actually saw a speed paint of the cover art. I'm pretty sure it is going to be great!

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