• Published 18th Oct 2013
  • 1,542 Views, 60 Comments

Wings of Friendship - DemonBrightSpirit

Rainbow Dash is seriously hurt in a competition. Now it falls to her friends to pick up the shattered pieces. Can they do the impossible and get Rainbow Dash back in the sky where she belongs?

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Fluttershy's Empty Resolution

A knock at the door startled Fluttershy as she was pouring seeds into a feeding dish. “Oh!” she exclaimed, setting aside the bag of bird seed and flying over to the door. Opening it up, she found an ivory unicorn in a sunhat. “Rarity, thanks so much for coming,” she greeted with a smile.

“Of course, darling,” Rarity said as she stepped in and put her hat aside.

“Now, there’s just a few things to know about watching her,” Fluttershy asserted as she shut the door. “I’ve already fed her, so she’s probably taking a nap right now. When she gets up, you’ll need to make sure she gets her exercise. Sometimes she doesn’t like it, so you might need to—”

“Fluttershy!” Rarity cut her off. “I think I can handle getting Rainbow Dash to her doctor’s appointment today. If she needs anything special, I’m certain she can just tell me.”

“Oh, but I’m going to be in Cloudsdale with Scootaloo all day,” Fluttershy said. “Rainbow Dash knows the basics of taking care of my animal friends, but she can’t take care of herself, too.”

Rarity rolled her eyes. “She’s getting her cast off. After that she should be fine, right?” Fluttershy’s big, pleading eyes elicited a facehoof from Rarity. “Fine,” she grumbled. “I’ll be sure to take care of absolutely everything until you return.”

“Just make sure you take good care of her, all right?” Fluttershy requested.

“Thank you so much, Rarity! Our next trip to the spa will be on me, I promise!” Fluttershy smiled at her as she headed over and grabbed her saddlebags. Fluttershy opened the door, but hesitated to leave. “Just be sure that you take good care of everything until I get back,” she urged. “The chickens need your attention after lunch, then you should focus on getting Harry fed. He just gets so grumpy if he gets too hungry.”

‘’Fluttershy, I’m certain that your little animal friends will be just fine without you for one day,” Rarity insisted, pushing Fluttershy out the door. Giving the door a good kick, Rarity wandered into the cottage to find Rainbow Dash snoozing on the rug at the top of Fluttershy’s stairs. Cocking an eyebrow, she looked over to see Angel Bunny fast asleep in Fluttershy’s bed, the covers pulled up to his chest.

Rarity blinked once, then twice. “Discord?” she cautiously called out.

Dash’s ear twitched as she snorted, her eyes blinking open. “Huh? Rarity?” she muttered with a yawn. “Is it time to get my cast off?”

“Uh, no. Not quite yet,” Rarity said, stealing another glimpse at Angel. “Why in Equestria are you here—sleeping on the floor of all places?”

Rainbow Dash got to her hooves, stretching. “It’s hard sleeping down here when you’re used to sleeping on clouds,” she explained. “This fluffy rug’s the closest thing in here to a cloud.”

Rarity looked down, raising one of her hooves to examine the rug beneath her. “O-oh.” She cleared her throat, looking back up to Dash. “Well, I’m here because I promised Fluttershy that I would look after you and all of her little animals. Unfortunately, I’m not certain how to take care of most of them. I understand you have been here long enough to have at least some sort of idea on what to do.”

Rainbow tilted her head a bit. “Are you asking for my help?”

“Yes,” Rarity said, unabashed. “Would mind showing me whatever it is I need to do?”

“Sure,” Rainbow Dash said, starting carefully down the stairs.

“It must be really hard on you,” Rarity spoke her thoughts aloud.

Dash sighed as she reached the bottom of the stairs. “I hate it,” she spat. “Don’t get me wrong, taking the squirt to Cloudsdale and that can be pretty fun, but I just… I can’t stand everypony seeing me like… this.”

“Well, you’re getting your cast off today,” Rarity said.

Rainbow Dash scoffed. “I don’t care about that. Do you have any idea how many times I’ve been in a cast?”

“You know, your replacement wing should be ready in a day or two.”

Rainbow stopped in her tracks. “What?”

“I think Twilight is just waiting on—” Rarity closed her eyes, shuddering “—on that wood from Applejack’s cousin.”

“I-I… You’re not gonna say ‘soon’ or ‘maybe?’” Rainbow Dash said, befuddled. “Y-you mean, it’s really gonna work?”

Rarity cocked an eyebrow. “Darling, just what has Fluttershy been telling you? Twilight’s almost got everything finished. Why, she even managed to get Applejack off of the ground just yesterday.”

Rainbow blinked a couple of times before a huge grin spread across her muzzle. “Really!? It’s working?”

Rarity nodded. “Right now, Twilight has a bunch of them set up in my boutique. I think she wants to make sure they aren’t going to fall apart on you before she puts the finishing touches on yours.”

If her leg weren’t in a cast, Rainbow would’ve pranced. “That’s awesome! I can’t wait!”

Rarity laughed a bit. “You might have to,” she warned. “You know Pinkie is going to want to make a party of it.”

“I don’t care! I’ll be able to fly again!”

“Well, that shouldn’t be too far off,” Rarity said. “Now, let’s take care of these… critters.”

“Okay now, be careful, Scootaloo,” Fluttershy said once the hot air balloon set down on the clouds.

“I’ve done this before,” Scootaloo said, tumbling out onto the fluffy clouds.

“Still, it can be dangerous for a filly to be way, way up here,” Fluttershy said as she secured the balloon.

Scootaloo rolled her eyes. “I’ll be fine!”

With the balloon squared away, Fluttershy pointed a hoof. “Now, I think the coliseum is this way.”

“What?” Scootaloo stared incredulously at Fluttershy. “We’re not going there already, are we?”

Fluttershy blinked a couple of times before tilting her head slightly. “Isn’t that what we came here for?”

“The Wonderbolts only do boring stuff like warm ups and trust exercises this early,” Scootaloo said. “They don’t start doing cool stuff until an hour or so before lunchtime. Then after lunch they do boring stuff again until the afternoon.”

Fluttershy just stared at Scootaloo for a moment before speaking up, “Um, so, where is it that you wanted to go?”

“Rainbow Dash shows me all the cool places in Cloudsdale!” Scootaloo buzzed in the air as she grinned. “I’ve been to her house, and her favorite restaurant, and this cool place where you can practice flying… You know, stuff like that.”

“Well, where would you like to go, then?” Fluttershy asked, smiling.

Scootaloo looked around a moment before pointing. “There’s a cool place over here! Rainbow Dash has been coaching me on my flying.”

Scootaloo led Fluttershy to a place that held many a bad memory for the shy pegasus. It was a field of clouds with countless, small clouds hovering over a single, large cloud. Several young fillies and colts were leaping from one cloud to another, occasionally falling down the large cloud blanketing the bottom. It was one of a few specially designed play areas for pegasi that were just learning to fly.

As Scootaloo leapt from cloud to cloud, Fluttershy couldn't help but to notice that she was easily the largest child there. Fluttershy flew after the filly. "Are you sure this is a good idea?"

“I’ve gotta practice if I wanna get better!” Scootaloo crouched down before leaping towards a higher cloud. She buzzed her wings for all they were worth, but fell just shy of her target. She plummeted down, crashing into the clouds below. Shaking off the blow, she looked back up at Fluttershy. “Besides, clouds are a lot softer than, you know… ground.”

“Well, I mean, if that’s what you really want,” Fluttershy replied.

By the time Fluttershy got Scootaloo to the Cloudsdale Cloudiseum, the Wonderbolts were already wrapping up their morning practice. As soon as they arrived, a couple of costumed pegasi took off with Scootaloo. Before Fluttershy could protest, a pegasus landed right in front of her.

“You must be Fluttershy,” Spitfire said. “I’m Spitfire, Captain of the Wonderbolts.”

“Oh, um, hello.” Fluttershy halfheartedly returned the greeting. Her attention was for more fixated on the twirling pegasi carrying and tossing Scootaloo about.

“Don’t worry about it.” Spitfire moved in the way, blocking Fluttershy’s view of the filly. “They’ve been doing this sort of thing all week.” She laughed a bit. “Keep it under your hat, but I think everypony’s going to be pretty sore when she can’t come around anymore.”

“Oh,” Fluttershy muttered.

Spreading her wings, Spitfire flew up a few feet. “We were just about to grab some lunch. Come on.” Fluttershy scrambled to catch up with the Wonderbolts as they left the stadium. Spitfire hung back to keep talking to Fluttershy. “So Dash is getting her cast off today?”

Fluttershy nodded. “Yes.”

Fluttershy hesitated stabbing her salad to look up at Spitfire with a smile. “Oh, we’ve all been worried sick about her. It’s nice to know that you care, too.”

“I’m not going to mince words with you,” Spitfire said, staring Fluttershy down. “Rainbow Dash seems to think that somehow she is going to fly again. It’s not healthy for her to entertain these delusions.”

Fluttershy blinked as she tilted her head. “Delusions?” She shook her head. “No, you must be mistaken. We’re going to help Rainbow Dash fly again.”

A hoof slammed against the table with enough force to make Fluttershy flinch. “Not you, too!” Spitfire pointed a hoof at Fluttershy. “Look, I’ve seen pegasi get grounded permanently with injuries nowhere near as bad as what Rainbow Dash got. If you keep encouraging her, she’s just going to be that much more crushed when she finally realizes the truth.”

“You don’t understand,” Fluttershy said, leaning back in over the table. “Rainbow Dash will fly again, and soon.”

Spitfire facehoofed. “I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell a pegasus that you need two wings to fly.”

“Oh, you don’t need to worry about that, we’ve almost got a replacement wing ready for her,” Fluttershy replied, a small smile adorning her muzzle.

Spitfire’s brow furrowed. “Replacement?”

Fluttershy nodded. “We’ve been working on it ever since… well, you know.”

“I don’t see how you can just fix something like that. The best doctors couldn’t keep some of the best Wonderbolts to wear the uniform flying,” Spitfire said, angrily tearing into her salad.

“I’ve actually been wanting to talk to you about that—Rainbow Dash’s accident, I mean.” Fluttershy dodged Spitfire’s gaze when the Wonderbolt looked up. “About Lightning Dust…”

Spitfire snorted. “Dash told you about that, did she?”

“Oh, um… Yes, well, do you know what happened to her?” Fluttershy asked, her gaze fixated on her untouched salad. “Nopony seems to know where Lightning Dust disappeared to.”

“Probably rotting in a dungeon somewhere,” Spitfire replied. “Better than she deserves.”

Fluttershy snapped her attention back to Spitfire, her eyes wide. “A dungeon?”

Spitfire crossed her forelegs over her chest as she stared back at Fluttershy. “What she did to Rainbow Dash wasn’t just wrong—it was a crime. I honestly don’t know what happened after she was turned in, but I figure ‘dungeon’ is a pretty good bet.”

With a small sigh, Fluttershy looked down. “Oh.”

“What? Weren’t you hoping she got what she deserved?”

“Yes… I mean, no. I just…” Fluttershy mumbled.

“You were hoping that knowing that Lightning Dust got what she deserved would make you feel better?” Spitfire guessed, earning a tiny nod from Fluttershy.

“I know I shouldn’t have felt that way. And now… Well, it didn’t make me feel any better at all,” Fluttershy said. “I think I feel worse.”

Spitfire gave her a curt nod. “It’s because it doesn’t make anything better. Doesn’t matter what happened to Lightning Dust; it won’t make Rainbow Dash fly again.” She sighed.

“She will fly again,” Fluttershy said, her voice firm and resolute.

The sun flirted with the horizon by the time Fluttershy got back to her cottage. As much as Scootaloo seemed to enjoy the trip to Cloudsdale, it just left Fluttershy feeling empty. She wished the day to be over already, but right in front of her was the part she dreaded most. Until now, she had skirted around Lightning Dust when it came to Rainbow Dash. She just couldn’t do it anymore.

Breathing out a sigh, Fluttershy opened her front door.

“Never again!”

Fluttershy’s ears folded back at the shriek that could only have come from Rarity. Said unicorn stomped in, her coat and mane covered in dirt, sweat, and… well, she was caked in filth, to say the least. “Uh… hello, Rarity. I hope my animal friends didn’t give you too hard a time.”

Rarity’s eye twitched. “Never. Again.” Without another word, she stepped past Fluttershy and out of the cottage.

“Oh my…” Fluttershy mumbled as she watched Rarity go. Closing the door, she turned back, scanning the room. “Rainbow Dash?” she called out.

“Hey! How’d it go with the squirt?” Rainbow’s voice echoed from upstairs. A few seconds later, Rainbow appeared trotting down the steps with a towel tossed over withers. Her mane was still wet. “Check it out,” she said, grinning as she reached the bottom of the stairs. She spun around, dancing a bit. “Good as new… well, almost,” she said, her cheerful demeanor waivering just a bit as she looked to her stump.

Fluttershy nodded. “Scootaloo said that she had a wonderful time. But what about you?” Fluttershy asked, pointing a hoof at Dash’s leg. “It doesn’t hurt or anything?”

“It’s a little sore, but it’s probably just stiff from being in that stupid cast for so long,” Rainbow replied, kicking the leg out. “Definitely good enough for me to take Scootaloo to Cloudsdale tomorrow.”

“I’m sure Scootaloo will be happy to hear that,” Fluttershy said, smiling.

Rainbow’s head tilted a bit. “You’re not?”

“N-no, I am. It’s just…” Fluttershy trailed off, kicking the floor with a hoof. “Um, can we talk?”

Dash smirked. “Isn’t that what we’re doing right now?”

“No, I mean—” Fluttershy looked down, gritting her teeth. “I’m sorry, Rainbow Dash. I’m so sorry.”

“What? Hey! Don’t cry,” Dash said, racing to her side and putting a wing over her.

“I-I’ve been lying to you,” Fluttershy choked out, shaking her head a bit. “For a long time now.”

Dash raised an eyebrow. “Lying about what?” she asked, nudging Fluttershy.

Fluttershy looked up, her eyes wet with unshed tears. “I should have told you right away, but I just-I couldn’t. I didn’t.”

“Told me what?”

Fluttershy sighed, a wing wiping away her burgeoning tears. “I know… I’ve known about Lightning Dust. What she did to you.”

Rainbow took a step back, her feathers and hide bristling. “Oh?” she asked, her wing shuffling nervously against her hide.

“Why haven’t you told anypony? Everypony still thinks it was just an accident, but it wasn’t.” Fluttershy stood straight up, her wings spreading out. “Lightning Dust did this.”

“Hey, I don’t even remember her doing it,” Dash replied, looking away. “Yeah, I was mad at her and stuff, but I’m over it. I know I should really hate her for it, but I just… don’t.” She kicked a hoof at the floor, sighing. “I blamed myself for what happened for so long, I guess after I got over the shock of learning that she’d done it I was sorta, I dunno, relieved.”

Fluttershy tilted her head, a puzzled look on her face. “Relieved?”

“Yeah,” Dash said, looking up at Fluttershy. “It wasn’t because of some stupid stunt I did or me losing control or anything. It wasn’t my fault. So just… leave it alone, okay? Forget it.”

“B-but still, she’s the reason you got hurt in the first place. This is all because she was selfish, and mean, and…”

“And I don’t care,” Dash said, cutting Fluttershy off with a stamp of her hoof. She stepped over to the couch lifting herself onto the cushions and facing away from Fluttershy.

Fluttershy stared at Rainbow Dash’s back, a frown forming on her muzzle. “Spitfire said that she was thrown in a dungeon for what she did to you.”

“So?” Rainbow tersely replied.

Fluttershy sighed. She turned towards the stairs, but stopped. “If you really didn’t care, you would have told everypony what really happened,” she said, stepping a hoof up onto the first stair.

“Hey, uh, Fluttershy?” Rainbow said, sitting up. “You won’t tell anypony about Lightning Dust, will you?”

Fluttershy hung her head, shaking it a bit. “No.” She looked back over at Dash. “But you should.”

“They don’t need to know,” Dash insisted.

“But she hurt you!”

“Exactly!” Dash replied, pointing a hoof at Fluttershy. She sighed, her ears drooping down. “It’s one thing to get hurt because I was being too awesome for physics to keep up, but to get beaten up—and by her of all ponies—everypony is just going to think that I’m that much more pathetic.”

“Rainbow Dash, nopony thinks you’re pathetic.”

Rainbow snorted. “I see the way everypony looks at me. Trying to look at my wing and trying not to let me see…” She traced a hoof over her stump, shaking her head just a bit. “They all feel sorry for me. I don’t want them to think I’m some kind of wimp that can’t even hold her own against Lightning Dust, too.”

Taking wing, Fluttershy floated over and landed next to her. “There, there,” she said, putting a hoof on her shoulder, “nopony thinks any less of you.”

Dash stared back at her. “You. You’re doing it. Right now,” she deadpanned.

Fluttershy recoiled, blushing. “Oh, um… I’m sure everypony means well.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “I get that, I just… I guess I just want everything to be normal again.”

“We all want that for you, Rainbow Dash.”

Dash sighed. “I know.” She flopped over, staring up at nothing. “Wanting something isn’t going to make it happen, though.”

“Oh, don’t you worry about that. We’ll find a way to make it happen.”

“I know,” Dash replied, a smile forming on her lips. “Rarity told me you guys were really close.”

“We’ll have you flying again soon enough,” Fluttershy said.

“I sure hope so, Fluttershy.”

“Fluttershy. Fluttershy, are you still awake?”

Fluttershy rose from her pillow to find Twilight hanging in her window. “Twilight?”

Flapping her wings and kicking her hind legs, Twilight managed to stumble into Fluttershy’s bedroom. “Sorry about the late visit, but I just couldn’t wait. Where’s Rainbow Dash?”

“Downstairs on the couch,” Fluttershy replied, pointing a hoof. “Do you want me to go get her?”

“No, not at all,” Twilight said, stepping in Fluttershy’s way to halt her. “Listen, I have some really good news.”

A hoof rose to Fluttershy’s muzzle to muffle a gasp. “You don’t mean…”

Twilight eagerly nodded. “It’s ready!”

Author's Note:

In a note unrelated to the story, I am having difficulties sending out and replying to PMs. So my apologies for my silence. Hopefully the issue will resolve soon...