• Published 3rd Nov 2019
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Our Day in Disdain - Rainb0w Dashie



Rainbow Dash is forced to confront the ghosts of her past and the life she left behind. Lest the one she built for herself crumbles in her hooves.

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Chapter Four: Her Body Was Numb

Rarity looked up from the table and gazed at her friends. Twilight and Pinkie pie were enthralled in a conversation about the upcoming gala. Did they realize that at some point Rarity had stopped talking? She had been staring at her hooves for the past ten minutes or so, saying nothing.

She found herself doing this a lot lately, zoning out for large tracks of time. She’d take a break from her dress-work and walk around the penthouse above her dress-shop and find herself blankly staring out the window for half an hour.

It was a stress response for sure, one that only seemed to get worse during her busy seasons, one that happens when there’s too much on her mind; like a backed-up assembly line that bottlenecks until everything has its chance to get through.

Rarity doesn’t know where she picked up the habit. Perhaps it was a learned behavior, like how she began smoking through long cigarette holders after associating with the upper-crust of Manehattan’s fashion industry; that would certainly explain why she noticed sweetie belle doing the exact same thing when she is stressed. No expression,blankly staring at nothing. standing motionless like she’s frozen in time, until suddenly springing back to life.

But Rarity herself hadn’t sprung back to life yet, instead she was looking up at her friends.

Did they notice too? Or had the alcohol in the cupcakes finally taken hold of their emotions and made them too happy to notice the dress maker’s silence?

Rarity looked down at her hooves again, and could feel herself growing angry, at herself mostly. Why couldn’t she enjoy the company of her friends tonight? Why couldn’t she delight in talks about the gala? Why couldn’t she be happy like everypony else was?

These were the questions Rarity kept running through her head, and she began to feel like some kind of alien being and her friends were speaking a language that she couldn’t understand; and this only made her anger intensify until her hooves started to tremble a bit.

“-and Rarity just finished my dress today!” Pinkie said, placing an extra emphasis on her last word. “I’m so excited, I don't think I’m going to be able to wait another four weeks for the gala. I might just have to camp outside canterlot castle ‘till then!”

“I don’t doubt that,” Twilight said, her cheeks a little redder than normal. “She says she’s exhausted from how hard she’s been working lately. Right Rare?

“Yeah…” Rarity looked up and gave an insincere smile. “Exhausted...”

In truth, Rarity was more worried than exhausted. Worried about what Sweetie Belle had seen in the alley that morning, worried about Sweetie Belle’s academic struggles, and more importantly, worried about how her business was going to fare over the winter.

Shortly after she finished Pinkie’s Gala dress, she received letters from some of her out of town customers cancelling their orders in favor of a cheaper boutique that had just opened in Canterlot. Most of the orders Rarity had already started, so she had no choice but to scrap them. Sure she receives a commission up front, but that only secures the material cost and partial labor, so she ended up losing a modest amount of bits in wasted materials. Now she had less than a month to find enough work just to make up her material loss, let alone enough work to break even for her final quarter.

The more her friends praised her for her expertise, the more the dress-maker feared for the future: The future of her business and the future well-being of her and her sister.

“With how many orders she says she’s working on,” Pinkie continued ”I bet half the gala-goers will be wearing one of Rarity’s dresses!”

“But then half of Equestria would be wearing her dresses and the other half would probably want one too,” Twilight began to ramble. “And then she’d be even more exhausted.”

“I’m sure she won’t be too exhausted” Pinkie pondered. “Rarity’s the best dress maker in town, maybe even Equestria. I’m sure a few extra orders wouldn’t be too much work for her.

“A few extra orders would be nice…” Rarity said quietly to herself as she looked back down at her hooves.

***

Dashie circled around the dilapidated facade of an abandoned cottage on the outskirts of town, searching for ingress, until she finally found a loose board and slipped in through the kitchen window.

The motion of climbing did not mix well with her vertigo and her hoof slipped off the counter. She hit the floor with a loud thud and lay in a heap, breathing hard and coughing haggardly from the decades of dust she had just kicked up. When she was finally able to pick herself up off the floor she sat roughly against a cupboard, still fighting for her breath.

The air in the kitchen was stale, and the dust tapered in the strips of light that came in through the cracked plywood. Her coat was soaked from the rain, matted with blood, and caked with dust and dirt. Her head hurt as if it were being crushed by iron. She pressed herself against the moldy wood and grit her teeth as everything started to fade.

***

Twilight levitated another cupcake with her magic and took a bite. Her third one. “You know…” Twilight said between chews. “These cupcakes are very good once they had time to soak up all that rum.” She swallowed and floated another over. “They don’t have that nasty kick anymore and you can feel all the flavors blending together on your tongue. I can’t stop eating them!”

Rarity and Pinkie exchanged glances.

“Uhh, I think you should slow down Twilight.” Pinkie said.

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked, her voice catching on the last word.

“Pinkie used some really strong rum in these cupcakes, darling,” Rarity said taking another bite of her first cupcake. “ and you’ve never really drank before.”

“Oh don’t be silly girls.” Twilight said cheerily, the blush in her face more pronounced now than it was before. “I’ve had like four and I feel fine! I’m sure they can’t be that bad!” Twilight finished her fourth and wiped the crumbs from her mouth with one of her hooves. Her friends sent questioning glances at her and she returned with a smile before Rarity floated a napkin over to Twilight .

“You missed a spot, dear. Well, several. You’ve got crumbs all over your muzzle.”

Twilight blushed and grabbed the napkin from Rarity’s aura field. She brought it up to her mouth but missed and wiped her cheek.

“Whoopsie.” Twilight said with a soft giggle and brought the napkin back to wipe her mouth this time.

Twilight had never been drunk before, in fact she actively avoided drinking. When she had to drink, be it a social occasion or otherwise, she would always stop herself when it started feeling like the air was putting pressure on her face. However this was the first time she had ever pushed herself past her own limits. She figured that since she was in the comfort of her friends she didn't mind all that much, In fact she was actually really enjoying the warm wobbly feelings spreading through her body, and wanted more.

***

Dashie woke up to complete and total darkness, feeling on the edge of sleep and death. She was sitting alone, at least she thought she was sitting. More or less it felt like she was floating listlessly on her back through a void between this world and the next.

Everything was silent, save for a low, deep, muffled rumble that shook the entire realm at odd intervals; and filled Dashie with a cold, animalistic fear.

She tried to call out for help, but honestly didn't know if her voice was above a whisper or if she even did anything more than form the words in her mind. Her body was numb and felt like static, like the fuzz on a old television stuck between channels. The next thing she knew was that she had already opened her eyes and was vomiting in the upstairs bathroom.

She didn’t feel nauseated, it was more like her brain told her to vomit and her stomach obeyed. She threw up every few minutes for what felt like hours, even after there was nothing left in her stomach to bring up, and after the violence in her stomach had subsided she slinked down the wall again and sat next to the toilet.

She wiped some foam from her muzzle and gazed lazily at nothing. Her breathing was labored and the entire world felt like it was spinning on the wrong axis, slowly teetering back and forth like a top-heavy pillar on the brink of collapse.

Dashie dug her hooves into the floor in an attempt to stop the world from turning. In doing so she had slipped out of consciousness again. Maybe she was lulled to sleep from the rain steadily pelting the plywood over the bathroom, or maybe it was just the swelling in her brain, either way she woke up sometime later, shivering and soaked to the bone.

The rain was coming down much harder now, and the water was effortlessly flowing in through a hole in the ceiling and down the wall; creating a puddle around her. She felt strange, dizzy, and ill at ease, and huddled herself against a different wall. She spent the next hour drifting in and out of a restless feverish sleep.

She had no memory of getting back onto her hooves. She didn’t remember making her way halfway down the hallway and slipping into a dark room. She only remembered falling into a bed that was too small to support her frame and knocking her head against the headboard.


Too tired and feverish to react to the pain anymore, she simply laid in the bed smelling of dust and foal powder, and drifted much easier back into sleep now that she was on something that was padded and not a hardwood floor.

***

I think…” Twilight said abruptly, stopping herself form taking a bite of another cupcake “I think I need to go to the bathroom.” She quickly excused herself and sloppily trotted to the bathroom, leaving pinkie pie and Rarity alone with each other.

Pinkie Pie swayed softly back and forth on her chair, giggling to herself

She wasn’t the type of pony to regularly consume alcohol either, since the kick alone was usually enough to leave her coughing for at least an hour. But she found that when she mixed it with her baked goods it was actually palatable, and created a wonderfully warm feeling all the way down her throat the soon spread throughout the rest of her body and it made her just want to hug everything and share this special feeling with everypony around her. More than anything, she liked how unbalanced everything would start to feel, how when she tilted her body to once side it would took a few seconds for it to feel like her body caught up with her; so for the most part she was just rocking to and fro, giggling the whole time.

Eventually she looked across the table at her friend. Rarity was silent, gently resting her hooves on the table and gazing absentmindedly at the cupcake which she had only taken a few bites out of. Her expression was somber and she looked terribly upset. Rarity sighed quietly, and Pinkie followed her eyes down to the cupcake and assumed Rarity didn’t like it.

“How come you haven’t finished your cupcake?” Pinkie asked to Rarity. “Didn’t you like it?”

“Hmm..?” Rarity hummed in response, seeming to take longer than usual to acknowledge she was being addressed.

“Oh. No no, I liked it.” Rarity said dolefully. “I’ve just, got my mind on other things and I’m just a little too distracted to eat right now…”

Rarity hoofed at her cupcake “But I did like it,” Rarity said with an unconvincing smile. “very tasty!”

“Oh… Ok.” Pinkie’s ears drooped slightly. She couldn’t tell if her friend was being sincere or not. “I can make you something else if you’d like.” She said looking down at her own cupcake. “Some cinnamon sticks or maybe a doughnut?”

“No, I’m fine.” Rarity said flatly.

“What about a croissant or a cannoli?”

“No.” Rarity’s brow furrowed

“We got some pie left over I think.” Pinkie Pie said, not noticing Rarity’s hobbes shaking. “Would you want cherry or apple?”

“I said I’m fine.” Rarity said a little more forcefully, but the inebriated pony wasn’t picking up on the subtext.

“You sure? It’s really good pie!” Pinkie said in a sing-songy tone. “I can even bring you some ice cream to go along with it!”

“I said I’m fine!” Rarity shouted. “Celestia almighty, in what universe does “no I’m fine” not mean ‘I’m fine’? Why do you gotta keep asking and asking and asking!?” Rarity thumped her hooves on the table with each repetition.

“I…” Pinkie pie sank into her seat.

“I what?” Rarity interjected sarcastically. “I got half a cake that we just have to let thaw?”

“I’m just trying to be a good host…”

Twilight returned to the table and slumped into her chair. Having just thrown up in the bathroom, she didn’t realise that Rarity had just shouted at Pinkie Pie or even register that both both of her friends were now upset.

“W-what about you, Twilight?” Pinkie asked softly. “Would you like another cupcake?”

Pinkie placed one of the cakes in front of the queasy Alicorn, who at this point was resting her head on the table and clutching her hooves to her stomach. A pained expression flashed across her face and when she saw the baked good.

“I think she’s had enough already.” Rarity said. “Wouldn’t you agree, dear?”

Twilight groaned a response and gave a slight shake of her head.

“Oh no, you didn’t like my cupcakes either?” Pinkie asked, a hint of real sadness resting on the edge of her voice.

“I think she just ate too much.” Rarity said candidly. “I think we should take her home, she doesn’t look so good.”

Rarity rose from her seat, thanking Celestia under her breath for an excuse to leave, and trotted over to Twilight. Pinkie remained seated as Rarity helped the Alicorn to her hooves and guided her to the door.

“Pinkie dear, are you coming?” Rarity asked as she looked over to see Pinkie still in her seat. “Twilight could use some help standing. She seems to be falling under her own weight.”

“Oh uh.. I actually need to clean up the kitchen.” Pinkie lied, she had cleaned the kitchen while the cupcakes were still in the oven. “I’ll just see you girls tomorrow or something.”

“Oh ok then, see you tomorrow darling.” Rarity said as she helped Twilight outside.

Pinkie sighed as she heard the door click shut and rose from her seat. She took Rarity’s cupcake and placed in on the tray, which still had half a batch left, and dumped them all into the trash can by the kitchen doors.

“Well I liked the cupcakes…” Pinkie sighed again as she took the empty tray back into the kitchen.

***

Dashie blearily awoke after sleeping for some time, and discovered that she had bundled herself underneath a blanket while she had slumbered. The next thing she discovered was that a tight, painful knot had formed on her forehead, as well as that her entire body seemed to have also stiffened into a tight, painful knot.

She tried sitting up, but the room began to spin after lifting her head only a few inches, and made her too nauseated to even want to attempt lifting her body; so instead she decided to lay on her side and blink the sleep out of her eyes.

The room took longer than usual to come into focus. Aside from a few vague outlines of the window, Dashie could only see complete blackness. As her eyes began to adjust more to the darkness though, the first thing that came into focus was the shape of a large toy chest across the room. A little while longer and she was able to make out the outlines of the room and the rest of its furniture.

Even though she could only see very little It didn’t take Dashie long to realize that she was in a foal’s room, her room, at least she thought she remembered it to be her room. Truth is that she had slipped in and out of consciousness so many times that she didn’t remember much of anything. She didn’t remember her own name. She didn’t remember why her head hurt so much. She didn’t even remember how she got into this house, but the room felt familiar to her, and that was good enough of a touchstone for her.

But she didn’t care, she was in a bed and she just wanted to go back to sleep. And so she did.

Author's Note:

Musical Inspiration:

House of 1000 voices - Candlemass