• Published 6th Mar 2012
  • 12,687 Views, 450 Comments

The Risks of Braving a Storm - Wintergreen Diaries

Storm Blitz, a massive pegasus, comes to Ponyville after his grandfather dies.

  • ...

The Usual Welcome

Chapter 2: The Usual Welcome

"Did you bring them? Oh, these will be the perfect comfort food!" Twilight exclaimed as Pinkie entered the library, a small white box balanced expertly atop her head. While normally baked goods filled her with both sugar and glee, Twilight's strange requests as of late made even her think twice about ever asking Twilight for cooking advice. Pinkie set the box down in front of her and made a face as she hungrily began devouring the cookies.

“Gee Twilight, you sure like some weird stuff.”

“This from the mare who likes hot sauce on her cupcakes?”

“What? It’s good!” Twilight stopped and stared at her, suddenly inspired.

“You’re right! Pinkie, can you go grab the Fillydelphia Inferno Sauce from downstairs? Thanks!”

“Okey dokey,” she said, slowly retreating and descending the steps backwards, Cerulean having just arrived. “Hey there Cerulean!” she called out as she passed, waving enthusiastically.

“How is she?”

“Pregnant, duh!”

“I know that much, I meant her mood.”

“Ooooh, that. She’s pretty happy right now. Just enjoying some, um, cookies.” Pinkie giggled nervously and resumed her quest. Cerulean was relieved to find her happily munching away, frosting smeared all over her face, breathing a sigh of relief that somepony had been able to heighten her temperament a little. She beckoned him closer and eagerly held out a cookie.

“Here, you gotta try these, they’re amazing~” she sang, watching eagerly as Cerulean gratefully accepted and took a bite. It wasn’t that it was so nasty that he wanted to retch right then and there as much as it was a combination that would never, ever have thought of creating. Forcing a straight face he continued chewing slowly before swallowing, suppressing the urge to gag.

“What... are these?”

“Tomato basil chocolate chunk cookies with bleu cheese frosting,” Pinkie said with a shudder as she joined them, handing the bottle of hot sauce to Twilight who eagerly began dousing the remaining cookies with a liberal amount. “So how did things go with that pegasus Rainbow found?” she asked between mouthfuls, not bothering to look up.

“What? There’s somepony new in town? Where where where?” Pinkie interjected, bouncing excitedly around the bed.

“Ponyville Clinic, but he...” Cerulean got no further as Pinkie rushed out the door and off to the clinic. Somepony new? That could only mean one thing: a party! It had been nearly a week since the last one she threw, and that was much too long. This would be the perfect reason to celebrate and she made for the clinic with all haste, making little effort to contain her excitement.

Storm was shocked into silence by the revelation. He glanced at himself for a moment before turning back to Quakehoof, who was waiting patiently for his response. Suddenly his size made sense. Sure, he knew his birth father was an earth pony, but Quakehoof?

“You’re... huge...” Not quite the greeting Quakehoof had expected from his son, and he paused a moment to examine himself.

“I suppose. You didn’t think you got it from Proud Skies, did you?” Quakehoof was forced to smile as his son snickered at the ridiculousness of the statement.

“Not a chance. If there are two things Proud is devoid of, it’s love and brawn.”

“Indeed. What are you doing here, Storm? I thought you were living with Grace’s father.”

“He passed away five days ago,” he replied, turning his head away and staring at floor.

“I see...” An awkward silence descended upon the room, and Rainbow Dash suddenly felt very out of place. As badly as she wanted to ask them both about Lightning Wing, she shoved her excitement down and was about to leave when Storm locked eyes with her. “Oh, Storm, this is Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash, Storm Blitz.” She swaggered over and put on her game face.

“Hi Storm! I’m Rainbow Dash, fastest flier in Ponyville. Nice to meet you,” she declared, offering a hoof. Storm’s expression was blank for a moment before he broke into a grin, accepting her outstretched hoof and shaking it gently.

“Nice to meet you, Rainbow Dash. Are you Quakehoof’s daughter?”

“Uh, do I look like his daughter?” she replied, cocking her head to the side. Storm had to admit, they looked nothing alike. What a stupid question. Way to make a first impression, Storm. “I called out to you, but when you looked up at me you passed out, remember?” He shook his head slowly, recalling hearing a voice but never putting a face to it before he lost consciousness. “Anyways, you were too heavy to move myself, so I had a friend help me get you here. How are you feeling?”

“Exhausted, though that’s to be expected. Golden Feathers is a long ways away when you can only fly for a few hours at a time.” Rainbow Dash again examined his wings, their size much larger than most pegasi and easily enough to support his weight.

“Why only a couple of hours? Wings that size can’t just be for show.” Rainbow asked.

“I hadn’t flown in months before coming here,” he responded with a shrug, much to Rainbow Dash’s consternation.

“What? You’re a pegasus, we have wings for a reason, ya know.” Rainbow immediately saw a change in his disposition, his eyes staring off into the distance as the smile slowly faded from his muzzle.

“I have my reasons.” His voice was suddenly harsh, like he was barely able to keep from shouting at her. That’s it? That’s the only explanation she got? If it wasn’t for the fact that he looked so depressed she would have pressed it further, but now was clearly not the time.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you mad.” Storm cringed on the inside as he looked at the small mare awkwardly pawing at the floor. She didn’t deserve that kind of response, and he knew it.

“You didn’t, sorry...” he muttered, unsure of how to steer the conversation to a less touchy subject, when he heard a bang and his vision was obscured by confetti. Shortly after the only thing he could see was a pair of blue eyes that seemed to radiate energy.

“Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie, and you must be new in town ‘cause I’ve never seen you before! How exciting, this means we get to throw you a party!”

“A party? But I don’t know anypony; why would you want to throw me a party?”

“So you can meet everypony, silly!” Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but smile at Pinkie’s enthusiasm, but she could tell that Storm was a little overwhelmed by the sudden turn of events.

“Pinkie, he just woke up. Why don’t you go and start planning the party while he rests? Don’t worry, I’ll make sure he comes,” she declared with confidence. Not waiting to hear a response she darted out of the room to prepare.

“Um, hate to interrupt but do I have a say in the matter?” Storm replied, waving a hoof to get their attention.

“Sorry son, it’s tradition here in Ponyville. Community is very important to the ponies here, and this is the usual welcome,” Quakehoof chuckled, smiling ear to ear. Storm didn’t really mind. Who knows, he might actually make some friends. The thought drew his mind back to Cloudspire momentarily, but he was unable to brood due to the wealth of good intentions in the room.

“All right, fine, you win. I’ll go,” Storm replied with a laugh, a growing excitement building within. He had been away from ponies for a long time, and the sudden shift was most welcome. Perhaps he would even be able to be comfortable here, away from Proud Skies and the collective scorn of Cloudspire.

“Ok, I’ll be back to pick you up around six. You should probably get some rest so you can enjoy yourself tonight,” Rainbow urged before walking out the door, waving over her shoulder as she went. The comment alerted Storm of the many places he ached, his muscles still overtaxed and malnourishment robbing him of his usual vigor. He closed his eyes and sank into the pillows, sighing as he did so. That mare had a rainbow mane, which was almost legendary among pegasi. Curious to find her in an earth pony village.

“You thinking about Rainbow Dash?” Quakehoof asked, eyeing his son with amusement. Storm snapped his eyes open at the statement, staring at him.

“How did you..? Was it obvious?”


“Well, it’s not what you think. I’m just shocked to see a rainbow pegasus in an earth pony village, that’s all,” he huffed, screwing his eyes shut and making it clear he wished to sleep. He had just been kicked out of his home for the last five years, lost his grandfather, and nearly died trying to make it to town. Adding an infatuation with a mare that likely had plenty of suitors was too much to even begin to think about.

“I’ll see you at the party then. And after I’ll show you to your new home.” Storm nodded slowly, and Quakehoof left for his apartment. It was going to be difficult to explain to Storm’s sister that she was now going to be sharing a home with the pony she despised the most. The apartment just wasn’t big enough to split them up, having only two rooms, a single bathroom and a small kitchen, with a small open area between the bedrooms as the only thing that could even be compared to a living room. And then there was the issue of food.

Working on the rock farm was to making money what drooling was to acceptable social practice on a first date. Still, it was the only income he could find, his gargantuan size making him unusable for most other professions. Not to mention that his talent allowed him easily break things unintentionally, with the possibility of earthquakes should his temper boil over. Most ponies considered him a flight risk, and he was just grateful that the citizens of Ponyville had allowed him to live in peace.

Quakehoof sat down with a sigh, looking at the clock and reminiscing. It had been three years since Flying Grace yielded her child into his care. It was heartbreaking for everypony involved, but what Proud Skies wanted, he obtained, crushing anypony who tried to interfere regardless of any supposed family ties. Quakehoof covered his eyes with a hoof, trying to push the anger aside and remember those precious few days that he had been able to spend with Grace. At Pride’s command, his daughter wasn’t allowed to know that she was Quakehoof’s child, and it still to this day hurt whenever she called him by his name. Just once he’d like to be called “daddy” or “father.”

Storm was still asleep when Rainbow Dash returned to the clinic, his chest slowly rising and then falling with the rhythm of his heart. She sat and watched him for a time, impressed with his size every time she saw him. It would be really embarrassing to be caught watching him, so she gently shook him awake. After a small groan he sat up, blinking a few times and motioning to his throat. Rainbow left and returned quickly with a glass of water, which he eagerly downed in record time.

“Ah, much better,” he replied cheerily, nodding his thanks to Rainbow Dash and gently easing himself out of bed. The sleep had worked wonders on the soreness in his legs, though his wings were likely not going to get any use for the next day or two. “So, it’s party time?”

“Oh yeah, prepared to be blown away. Maybe literally.” Rainbow Dash’s constant enthusiasm was infectious, and Storm found himself quite enjoying her company as they made for Sweet Apple Acres.

“So...” Rainbow Dash started, her will power to contain her excitement about being in the presence of Lightning Wing’s grandson finally overcoming her desire not to pry. “What was Lightning Wing like?”

“Confident. Skilled. Crazy fast, even after he retired. Pretty cocky, really. He’d spend all afternoon telling me about all the races he’d won and royals he’d preformed for. It got old, but he was nice enough I suppose.”

“Did he ever show you any of his famous stunts?”

“Whether or not I asked, yes. In fact, a lot of the other ex-Wonderbolts there flew together for fun, doing all sorts of tricks.” He stared at Rainbow’s magenta eyes, now twice as large as she clung to every word he said and fascinated beyond belief. “Why are you so interested in the Wonderbolts anyways? Are you a groupie?”

“It’s been my dream to be in the Wonderbolts for like, ever! To be in the spotlight, racing at blinding speed, pulling crazy stunts; what pegasus wouldn’t want to do that?” As much as Storm would have liked to point a hoof to himself, he couldn’t help but admire Rainbow Dash’s childlike excitement, and wasn’t about to be a raincloud on her sunny day.

“Well, you have to be really good to make it in. How often do you practice?”

“Oh, at least six hours.”

“A week?”

“A day, duh.” Storm stopped, his open mouth betraying his surprise. Six hours a day? How did she manage that?

“Don’t you have a job or something like that? How do you find that much time?”

“I help work the weather, but that only take me a couple of hours at most.” Rainbow Dash looked up at the sky, which had the usual dose of spring clouds dotting the tranquil golden rays of early twilight. Storm noted the eagerness on her face, and narrowed his eyes.

“Prove it.” The space where Rainbow had been was instantly empty, and he blinked a few times before turning his gaze skyward, staring in awe. The clouds were disappearing at an unbelievable rate, her raw speed and grace clearing the sky in ten seconds flat. Rainbow landed a short distance and sauntered over, her smug expression and self confidence only compounding Storm’s amazement.

“See? Nothin’ to it.”

“I’m not going to lie, that was just as impressive as some of the things the Wonderbolts at Golden Feathers performed. You’ll make it in easy.”

“Really?!?” Rainbow squealed, before catching herself and resuming her usual attitude. “I mean, yeah, of course I will. I’m the best flier around, after all.” Slightly embarrassed at her sudden outburst she continued the journey, hoping that the sudden feeling of heat in her cheeks was due to a lack of rushing wind and nothing more. They made it to the barn as the moon was just beginning to rise, and Rainbow Dash turned as opened the door. “Well Storm, it’s time to get down Ponyville style. Pinkie Pie, hit it!” she shouted, throwing a hoof towards the dark interior which exploded into life as no few than fifty ponies shouted, the lights going on and up beat music blasting from the speakers.

“Welcome, Storm Blitz!” the thunderous unified cry shook the rafters, with a chorus of cheers following after. Storm was hard pressed not to be overcome with sentiment as the myriad of smiling faces truly did make him feel like he belonged even though he had just arrived. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

“C’mon Sweetie Belle, hurry up! We’re already late, and we had to beg to get special permission to be out this late!” Scootaloo shouted, motioning her two friends towards her scooter.

“Sorry! I’m ready, let’s go. Come on Applebloom!”

“Ahm comin’, I’m comin’!” Scootaloo checked to make sure they were all aboard before pushing off, quickly building speed as she barreled down the empty streets. The wind felt great against her face, and she slowly closed her eyes, relishing the sensation.

“Scootaloo, watch where yer goin’!” Applebloom yelled, causing Scootaloo to snap her eyes open and quickly swerve to dodge one of the closed stalls in the market place. She turned to apologize when a sudden impact sent all three of them flying, the immobile bench refusing to move from it’s place of rest. Prying herself from the pile she regarded the bench with anger, her totaled scooter now laying in several pieces strewn about.

“Great, now what are gonna do?” Scootaloo grumbled, stamping her hooves in frustration.

“That looked rather painful. You girls need a lift somewhere?” They turned to regard the blue stallion with hopeful eyes.

“Hey Cerulean, perfect timing. Is there any way you could help us get to Applejack’s barn? We got permission to go to the new guy’s party but somepony wasn’t watching where she was going,” Sweetie Belle explained, glaring at Scootaloo who nervously dug at the ground.

“Sure, no problem. I was going to head over there myself after I dropped this stuff off at the library,” he said, motioning to his saddlebag. “Though you three sure are out late, and I don’t think your ride is going to get you much further. Here, use this.” Cerulean closed his eyes and imagined the scooter, and soon an exact replica was born from his magic. He enchanted it so it wouldn’t melt on the way, and he waved as they sped off once more.

“I can’t wait to see the new guy, I hear he’s a giant pegasus! I’ll bet he’s a great flier,” Scootaloo explained as they approached the barn, the festivities well under way. Storm was just being introduced to Applejack, who took a step back as he approached.

“...Ah didn’t know they made pegasi Big Mac sized,” she said slowly, beholding him with wide eyes. “Hey Big Macintosh, get over ‘ere,” she called, the red earth pony slowly plodding over. Big Mac was just barely taller, and both of them equally as muscular.

“Whoa, there are two ponies in this town my size? Are you related to Quakehoof?”


“Friends then?”


“He’s my dad.” Big Mac suddenly broke into a grin, locking eyes with Storm as he posed his challenge.

“Ah reckon we should hoofwrassle, then. Quakehoof is still the only pony t’ ever beat me.”

“Indeed,” Quakehoof laughed as he approached, placing a hoof on their shoulders. “I’ll be the judge. Applejack, would you fetch a spare box to use as a table?”

“Sure thing, Quakehoof.” She replied, returning shortly with a good sized wooden crate. Storm met Big Mac’s eyes as they locked hooves, both grinning widely as they waited for the signal. “All right you two, get ready... get set... go!” Pain shot through Storm’s leg as he strained to match Big Mac’s strength, but he was having too much fun to notice. He doubled his efforts as he felt his hoof slowly start to drift towards his end of the box, pushing it back to the center as Big Mac applied matching strength. Ponies all around were shouting their encouragement to both sides, and Rainbow Dash watched, equally as impressed. For anypony to be able to last even a few seconds against Big Mac was commendable, but he was actually putting up a decent fight, even in his weakened condition.

“Storm Blitz? What are you doing here!?!” The sudden voice shattered Storm’s concentration, the ponies around celebrating Big Mac’s victory as his hoof went limp and was promptly slammed down. Big Mac noticed and looked at Storm with confusion as Storm slowly stood and turned. Scootaloo stood in between Applebloom and Sweetie Belle who regarded her with confusion as her face contorted in anger. Storm’s heart sank, one side overjoyed at seeing her alive and well and the other all too aware of the rage in her eyes.

“Scootaloo?.. Sis, is that really you?”