• Published 6th Mar 2012
  • 12,754 Views, 450 Comments

The Risks of Braving a Storm - Wintergreen Diaries

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

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Unwanted Changes

Chapter 3: Unwanted Changes

The music continued its cheery tempo as everypony in the barn stopped and stared. The sound of Scootaloo’s teeth grinding together was audible to the ponies closest to her, and they slowly backed away. She was known to be a bit of a hothead at times, but this was way beyond simple agitation. Storm recognized it too, the loathing she emanated almost palpable.

“I thought I’d never see you ag...”

“Don’t talk to me! I hated you then, I hate you now, and I never want you to speak to me again!” she raged, tears dripping down her muzzle. Storm took a step forward and she bolted out the door, grabbing the makeshift scooter and racing off into the night. He immediately gave chase, but with his wings as sore as they were and as fast as Scootaloo was riding, he was hard pressed to catch up. She had already made it half way home when he landed in front of her, grabbing her off the scooter, which continued into a tree and shattered.

“Scootaloo, just give me a chance to explain!” He didn’t mean to sound so frantic, but she was the one pony in all of Cloudspire that he had missed the most. And seeing her again after five years, he wasn’t about to just let her run.

“No! I don’t want to hear it!” she shouted, struggling to get out of his grasp, to no avail. “You left, and my life ended. Daddy got angrier, and mom was always sad... And it’s all your fault!”

“Sis, please...” he whispered, his normally stalwart control of his tears quickly breaking down.

“Don’t call me that...” she growled, ceasing her struggle and trembling. This quiet, contained fury was far more devastating than her yelling had been. “Don’t call me that ever again. You’re not my brother anymore.” Storm slowly set her down without a word, too blown away to speak. She immediately took off towards home, leaving him alone in the night.

“...Storm?” Great, somepony had seen the whole thing. He breathed a sigh of relief, grateful that it was Rainbow Dash who approached and not anypony else. “Look, I know we just met but I’ve never seen Scootaloo act like that. What happened between you two?”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he replied firmly, turning away. Rainbow Dash knew that it was none of her business, but she couldn’t just stand there and do nothing.

“Listen, Scootaloo really looks up to me. If I know what’s going on, maybe I could talk to her on your behalf?”

“I said no!” Storm bellowed as he whipped around, stomping a hoof and driving it into the earth. Rainbow Dash flinched, but refused to back down.

“Fine, I was only trying to help. I’ll just ask her myself,” she gritted out, frustrated with his stubborn refusal. “Scootaloo is still my friend, and I’m gonna find a way to cheer her up, with or without your help.” Rainbow spread her wings and took off into the night sky, leaving Storm alone in the middle of the empty town. He withdrew his hoof and looked at the deep imprint he had left in the earth.

“It happened again...” he muttered, a growing feeling of self hatred rising from the pit of his stomach. He knew she had only been trying to help, and what did he do? “Rainbow Dash, I’m sorry. Please, help me fix this,” he said, lifting his eyes to the night sky, knowing she couldn’t hear but hoping the words would find her somehow. Whether or not she had heard them would have made little difference, as it’s exactly what she had intended on doing from the start. She easily caught up to Scootaloo who had slowed to a trot, her tiny body shaking as she was overcome by emotions she couldn’t begin to comprehend, and as Rainbow landed beside her she instantly threw herself at her, wetting her coat with the stream of tears flowing down.

“Hey Scootaloo, chill out... It’s gonna be ok,” Dash said softly, wrapping the filly with a hoof and holding her close. Scootaloo said nothing for a time, seeking to calm herself and be strong for her hero. “I know it’s none of my business, but why do you hate Storm so much? Is he really your brother?”

“Not anymore, he’s not. Daddy disowned him five years ago,” she explained, sniffing.

“What did he do?”

“He pulled some crazy stunt, and then a couple of his friends tried it and were crippled, most of them losing their ability to fly completely. Their families were outraged, and he ran away.” While that was an unfortunate turn of events, it still didn’t explain her hatred for him personally.

“Scootaloo, that’s no excuse to...”

“Rainbow Dash, he promised me!” she suddenly shouted, pulling away and glaring for a moment before she looked into Dash’s concerned eyes, and instantly fought to control herself. “He promised that he’d teach me to fly... And then he left, and the other kids started bullying me... Storm’s friends tried to make sure it never turned violent, but they couldn’t be there all the time.” Rainbow Dash shook her head, trying not to be furious at Storm. Being taught to fly was something special for every pegasus, and to have your own brother up and leave without ever fulfilling that... No wonder Scootaloo was so upset. “Do you think... could you teach me, Rainbow Dash?”

“Scootaloo, I... I really think you need to get things worked out with Storm. I will try to talk to him tomorrow, but until then just try to calm down, k?” Scootaloo nodded miserably before beginning to walk slowly towards home. She gave a small cry of surprise as she suddenly found herself airborne, held quite solidly in Rainbow’s arms as she gained altitude. Scootaloo’s worries were soon forgotten as she beheld the stars rushing passed as the cool spring night caressed her face. After a time Rainbow Dash set her down outside her house, making sure she entered before flying back towards Sweet Apple Acres. Storm was sitting in the same spot he had been when she left, staring at the imprint of his hoof. Quakehoof was talking to him in hushed tones, and she flew passed and back to the barn. The party had resumed but there was a notable lack of mirth in the faces of the ponies that were still present, about a third of the ponies having retired after the confrontation.

“Rainbow, what the hay was that all about?” Applejack said as she approached, the rest of her friends gathering around.

“Well, it’s kinda personal for Scootaloo and Storm, so I don’t think I should talk about it. Let’s just say there are some problems with their relationship that are probably going to take some time to fix.”

“Oh, I do hope they manage to get things patched up quickly. It’s hard to see siblings fight that way,” Rarity said, looking down at Sweetie Belle. Sweetie Belle nodded, remembering how she had spurned Rarity’s attempts to fix things after their fight the day before the Sister Hooves Social.

“I don’t have any siblings, so I don’t really know how it works. Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, could you try to help her figure things out?”

“You can count on us!” Applebloom agreed readily, with Sweetie Belle right behind her.

“And if there’s anythin’ you need help with, don’t hesitate t’ ask, Rainbow Dash,” Applejack chimed in, standing beside her sister. “I don’t know what’s gone on in Storm’s past, but he doesn’t seem like a bad colt t’ me.”

“Ooo, Applejack has a crush on somepony!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed popping up next to her.

“Pinkie Pie, how much cake have you had?” Rainbow Dash laughed as Applejack glared at her.

“Oh, only three.”


“Cakes, silly!”

“Figures,” Rainbow muttered as Pinkie made a swift exit to go harass some other pony. Thoughts of Storm faded as she had some much needed fun with her friends, though she missed seeing Twilight there. Cerulean had slipped away to the party for a time, hoping to formally greet the newcomer but not making it in time. He left after about an hour, not wanting to leave Twilight alone for any long period of time. The party ended earlier than normal, and Rainbow Dash returned to her home in Cloudsdale, mulling over the event of the day. Things hadn’t been this crazy since Cerulean came to town, and while it was kind of exciting, it worried her too. She shook her head and lay back in her bed, drifting off to sleep as she imagined what it would be like to be a Wonderbolt.

“She still doesn’t know you’re her father?” Storm asked, making sure he had heard Quakehoof correctly as they made their way back to the apartment.

“Proud Skies decided that since she takes more after her mother, if she could be turned into the perfect daughter he would let her stay. When her bullying became a headline, he basically confined her indoors until Flying Grace’s last visit. She was told I was a ‘family friend’ at Skies orders.”

“That bastard...” Quakehoof wasn’t one for coarse language but he couldn’t help but smile at his son’s choice of words.

“Indeed.” They entered quietly, noting the Scootaloo was already asleep in her room. “It’s not much, but you can take my room. I’ll use the couch.” Storm stared at the massive bed and then at the small, single pony couch.

“There’s no way you’re going to be able to sleep on that thing. Don’t worry dad, I can take the couch.” Dad... Quakehoof treasured the words, nodding silently and retreating to his room. Storm sank gratefully into the deep couch, and sleep soon came to take him, negating his worries of worrying. His final thought was that, hopefully, Scootaloo would listen to him when he woke in the morning.

“What is he doing here?” Scootaloo’s voice jolted Storm awake, who sat up quickly. He placed a hoof to his head as his vision blurred, the sudden influx of blood to his brain causing his vision to temporarily darken.

“Scootaloo, this is his home now too. You two are going to have to find a way to get along,” Quakehoof explained calmly. Scootaloo said nothing and left, slamming the door as she went and heading straight to school.

“Looks like I have my work cut out for me,” Storm said with a sigh, standing and stretching his wings which brushed the ceiling in the small room. Quakehoof frowned and beckoned Storm over, who promptly sat down at the table and awaited instruction.

“Speaking of work, I need to talk to you about finances. I know you just got here and are still recovering, but I don’t make nearly enough bits to support a third in this house. Sooner rather than later, I’m going to need you to find a job. I know that’s going to be difficult with your “restrictions,” but those are the facts.” Storm nodded, digesting the information.

“I don’t want to freeload anyways. I’m twenty years old; it would be wrong not to try and support myself. I’ll start looking this morning in the market place.” He ate some cereal and then left to begin his search. After four hours and finding no leads he resigned himself to take a break. Most of the ponies that had been at the party the other night regarded him with suspicion now, Scootaloo’s outburst alienating him from what seemed like half the town. He saw a rainbow streak tear across the sky, and remembered their last conversation as he gave chase. Storm had no idea how he’d be received but he had to at least try to apologize.

“Wow Scootaloo, that sure is rough,” Applebloom said as Scootaloo finished her recounting of her removal from Cloudspire to her friends. “Why would everypony pick on you? You didn’t do nothin’!”

“It didn’t matter to them. Storm was my brother, and since they couldn’t get him, they came after me.”

“But you said his friends that had been hurt tried to help you; doesn’t that mean he still cares about you?” Sweetie Belle offered. Scootaloo fidgeted with a rock, flicking it a short distance as she broke eye contact.

“You don’t understand. It wasn’t the bullying that bugged me, it was that he broke his promise. I can still remember how happy I was when he had promised to teach me how to fly. And then, just like that, three days later he takes it back and disappears.”

“Don’t you think mebbe he had a good reason t’ leave? He wouldn’t just break a promise like that, would he?”

“He was just scared of the crowds. That coward fled, and daddy disowned him for it. I won’t forgive him, not ever.” Applebloom and Sweetie Belle cast worried glances at each other, unsure of what else to say. What could they say? She was set in her mind, and nothing they could do would change that.

“Hey, Rainbow Dash!” Storm called out, causing the cyan mare to stop, turning as she hovered. Her expression was one of curiosity, which was far and above what Storm was expecting to receive for his unnecessarily harsh replies. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry for last night. You didn’t deserve that kind of treatment.”

“No biggie,” she said with a shrug, looking at him expectantly as if she expected further questioning.

“What do you mean ‘no biggie?’ Aren’t you mad?”

“Why, do you want me to be? Everypony gets mad, Storm. It happens.” She recalled her conversation with Scootaloo and jumped right in. “Scootaloo said you did something stupid that got some ponies hurt, and then you skipped town.”

“Is that really what she thinks?” he asked, his eyes glinting dangerously as Rainbow confirmed it. “Proud must have fed her that lie too. Rainbow Dash, Proud Skies forced me to leave. No time to say goodbye, only enough time to pack.”

“What did you do?” Dash said softly, her worried eyes only compounding his anger. Storm said nothing, turning away from her and staring out at the town. “What could you possibly have...”

“Don’t.” Rainbow Dash let slip a small growl, his unwillingness to speak of himself giving her nothing to work with. “I will answer most of your questions, but that... I’m sorry, but I don’t want to think about it.”

“Ok then, here’s a question; do you still remember your promise to Scootaloo?”

“I would never forget that,” he replied without hesitation, whirling to face Rainbow Dash once more. “She’s the most important pony in the world to me, always has been! You have no idea what it was like for me to have to tell her I couldn’t keep my promise!..” His hooves trembled as he was again overcome with malice, cursing Proud Skies with all his might.

“So why don’t you go tell her that then?”

“Because she wouldn’t listen... That should be painfully obvious after yesterday.” Rainbow Dash couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She grabbed his face and mashed her own against it, forcing an uncomfortable eye contact that probably looked to anypony watching like they were having a moment of aerial passion.

“Let me get this straight... She’s the most important pony in your life and you can’t find the strength to talk to her ‘cause you’re afraid she won’t listen? Do you have any idea how stupid that sounds?” Storm tried to look away but she held his face a great deal more firmly than he had imagined. The truth was it took most all her strength to prevent the motion, but she was determined to get through that thick skull of his. “Now go find your sister and tell her the truth. And make good on your promise!” she declared, releasing his face and pushing him towards the ground. He flew a short distance before turning to face her, a warming smile pasted on his face.

“Thanks Rainbow, I’ll make it up to you.” She waved him off, watching as he made for home in the hopes of catching his sister as she returned from school. Despite his every effort to blockade her attempts to get a grasp on the situation, his concern for his sister could never be called into question. She entertained the thought that it would be nice to have a sister, someone to fly with, teach her stunts to... Stunts, right!

“I’m thinking too much, I gotta keep at it if I’m going to make it into the Wonderbolt’s Tryout Competition in a few months. Come on, Dash, get your head outta the clouds!” she reminded herself before resuming her aerial acrobatics, thoughts of Storm, Scootaloo, and the looming competition dancing in the back of her mind though not so much as to be a distraction.

Storm was slightly disheartened to find Scootaloo had not returned home yet, and neither was his father. His wings were still quite sore, and catching up to Rainbow Dash hadn’t helped. He went into his dads room and lay back on the bed, closing his eyes with the intent of catching a quick nap. The house was soon filled with his cacophonous snores, which drowned out the loud knocking that came about two hours later. Giving up, the pony at the door entered quietly and drew up beside Storm, tears filling her eyes as she saw him again for the first time in five years. Storm gave a start as he felt his body wrapped in a warm, delicate embrace, the mare’s slender arms holding him close.

“Storm, my dear child, I didn’t think it was possible but you’ve grown even bigger. You really do take after your father.” He felt a tear fall on his cheek, and he looked up to see his mother’s affectionate gaze wash over him. He felt like such a foal as he buried his face in her chest, his body shaking as his heart rejected his brain’s motions to be strong, allowing just a moment of much needed weakness.