• Published 23rd Dec 2013
  • 1,993 Views, 78 Comments

Dashing Through The Stroke - WritingSpirit



The third and final part to the Rainbow Dash x Taciturn Bleach trilogy. After almost a year as his guardian and marefriend, Rainbow finally decided its time for her and Taciturn to move on. Surely, it would be smooth sailing from here, would it?

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Tenth Mile Away

"Any sign of him?"

A crackle. "Negative, Ma'am."

"Fleet, any luck on your side?"

"Nothing, Spits," came the answer.

"It's all just plain snow over here. No sign of the missing colt."

Spitfire let out a despondent sigh, trudging through the snow-covered fields while shaking the snow off her wings. It has been a day since they've begun their search for Taciturn Bleach, though even after hours and hours of searching across the valley from the southernmost part of the Everfree to the roads up to Canterlot, their efforts remained fruitless. On a side note, Rainbow Dash was nowhere to be seen as well.

A faint sound of flapping made her look over her shoulder, raising an eyebrow and holding back a smirk as the rainbow-maned pegasus stumbled right in front of her, panting and wheezing heavily for air. Hooves shivering, she lifted herself up, giving a frail salute and gasping out:

"Reporting for duty, Ma'am!"

"You're late, as usual," Spitfire answered, handing the mare her respective satchel.

"You know that with every minute we spend, Taciturn Bleach gets farther away, right?"

"Sorry, Ma'am."

Rainbow Dash kept all her protests to herself. She didn't want to trouble Spitfire, knowing how angry she would be. She didn't mean to oversleep; if she were there to see her tossing and turning around in her bed last night, talking to herself in her sleep like Tank did, she'd probably understand.

Her eyes were still damp from the fresh sobs she let out in the morning, having seen Taciturn's unfinished painting still standing there, never moved since its creator's disappearance. Has it really only been three days since he was gone, she wondered to herself. Somehow, it felt a little longer than that.

"So where're we heading today?"

"Up to an outpost in the north," the Wonderbolt said, putting on her goggles.

"It's about ten miles away from Canterlot, which means it'll be one heck of a trip to take, I'd guarantee that. We'll then scout along the northern borders of the state, see if we could find any trace of him."

"W-Why stop there? Tassee could've gone farther than that."

"Not a chance," she assured.

"Soarin's got the weather schedule from Cloudsdale. Notified us that a storm system has amassed a week ago. When Taciturn disappeared, it was approximately at the border and still is, apparently. I've checked its wind speed and at the range its at, it will blow away even the most experienced flyers, so there isn't a chance that he would advance without getting thrown straight back to Ponyville. In a few days, it'll start to move south but would weaken an hour before it would reach Ponyville, so it won't pose as a threat."

"But he could've went in another direction from here, right?"

"Don''t worry. The Guard is positioned at all times around the borders of the Canterlot state. If any of them spotted him around the border, they would've taken him in and notify us immediately about it."

Quickly, Spitfire put on a brown woolen sweater, zipping her satchel back.

"Gotta get ready to face the storm," she said.

"It'll be good if you take some precautions as well. Also, keep on your goggles on all times; the snow can play tricks to our minds."

With a nod, Rainbow unzipped her satchel, taking out, much to her surprise, a black leather jacket, with a pair of goggles tucked into one of its pockets, peeking out just a little. She was quick to put them on, giving her a bit of warmth as well a smart sense of adventure. Maybe she should get one of these jackets one day.

Soon enough, they were aloft, flying straight ahead as the winds whipped harshly against them, snow pelting onto their skin and goggles. Their wings sliced through the crisp air, diving and rising from the merciless onslaught. Rainbow could feel her teeth chatter from the gnawing frost, her shudders coming from the screaming of air in her ears and the frigid touch of its claws, pulling her harder and harder with each flap of her wings.

"Be careful, Rainbow!" Spitfire shouted from behind her.

"The winds are getting too strong! We need to get out of this storm now!!"

The mare turned back and gave her a hasty nod, gritting her teeth as she pushed harder and harder against the wind. Eventually, they soon spotted something in the distance; a silhouette of a square structure, standing tall like the monument of a valiant hero against the beastly winter snow. There were lights from within, welcoming them into the sanctuary of stone, safe from the storm that was only beginning to tear them apart.

"Open up!" Rainbow yelled, hoof slamming onto a single, large wooden door.

"I said, OPEN UP!!"

The doors slid open, its panels groaning while the familiar face of her mother popped out and stared back at her. Both Rainbow and Spitfire were soon yanked in, the mares stumbling clumsily into the embracing warmth of a small fire. Surrounding it in a circle were the rest of the Wonderbolts, all of them already started on their lunch.

"What were you mares doing out there?" Firefly howled, grimacing at them.

"You could've been blown off, for Celestia's sake!"

"Apologies, Ma'am, but we didn't know the storm would head south so soon."

"It's not moving anywhere," Soarin' said.

"Just received word from Cloudsdale that the storm's growing and will continue to do so until the next hour. The outpost would just be at the very edge of it, but once it moves south, the winds would get rougher and unsafe for flight. We would have to stay here for the night unless we move out now."

"You know that once we move out, it means we'll abort the mission?" Firefly snapped.

"We can't afford to do that, not when the rest of the guard are doing their duties as well. We'll just have to brave it out and see what happens from there."

Rainbow watched as the ponies nodded firmly, though she had the keen eye to spot a weary one or two who were frustrated at her mother's decision. She wanted to go back as much as of the rest do, yet for finding Taciturn, she yearn for it more than everypony else would. Who knows? There might be a chance that Taciturn would come up here and seek for shelter from the blizzards outside.

"Remember that the storm would diminish by tomorrow," her mother continued.

"We will resume our search in the morning. For now, all we can do is wait."

All they could do is wait... she didn't want to believe that it was the only way, not when Taciturn could still be out there. Even though he might not wander off the borders of Equestria, there was still that snowstorm to worry about. She didn't want to imagine it: his voice screaming her name over and over in the howling wind, begging endlessly to come and save him.

A familiar pink wing wrapped around her shoulder snapped Rainbow out of her horrendous daydream, the mare realizing the trickle of tears falling down her face. With a shudder, she rested her head against the chest of her mother, wishing quietly in her head for his safe return.

"Tassee..."

"Please..."


"You going to eat that?"

"W-What?"

Rainbow blinked a few times, staring at Spitfire for a moment, before glancing down at the pie in her hooves. It was still there, fresh from the hooves that gave it to her, the aroma still strong enough to kick in her taste buds, yet it looked bland, like everything else. Her life had been a dull, colorless stain ever since Taciturn left, her world spiraling into an invisible drear, with every nerve on her body gambled onto the return of her favorite painter.

"Oh... uh..." she stammered.

"Y-Yeah, I'll eat it in a sec. Just got some things to think about..."

"You've been thinking about your 'things' for ten minutes now."

"Eleven."

"Eleven, thank you, Soarin'," Spitfire rephrased.

"Look, that doesn't matter. What matters is that you stop sulking and eat your dinner. You're gonna need the energy to keep yourself warm for the night, Rainbow."

"I know I should, but..." Rainbow stopped to sigh.

"Tassee... he may be still out there..."

"We promised we'll look for him tomorrow and we're going to keep it."

Reluctantly, Rainbow reached for a spoon, slicing into what would be the first of many pieces of pie she would eat tonight. They were a little warm, no doubt having been cooled by the freezing temperatures outside. The storm was worsening at every passing minute, the winds shrieking louder than banshees and clawing fruitlessly at the stone walls, sounding more like the bark of a tree being ripped apart by a chainsaw.

It wasn't only hell to the ears. They could feel the ice from beneath the stone floor, trying to rob them of their warmth with its hands reaching from the cracks. The air as well had thinned, leaving a certain few panting quietly and being tended by others. They could even taste the winter; it was like mint without the taste, bland and frigid. Already there were a few fires put up to fight against the cold, but in this dungeon, they all had to suffer.

"Damn this weather..." Firefly muttered. trotting up to her daughter with a subtle shiver.

"It's cold enough to even freeze Soarin's addiction of pies. He would've been hopping about on cloud nine if he wasn't so busy on keeping himself warm right now."

Rainbow wasn't surprised, having already tucked her hooves into the pockets of her leather jacket. She wondered how long the rest of them would be able to last in this fortress of an outpost. They could survive for the night, with the sufficient resources they still had and all, but she'd still prefer the comfort of her home. It was like how she felt when she headed back to Taciturn's family estate up in Fillydelphia, though she didn't know why.

She couldn't understand what was weird about it. Her mother is here, after all. Spitfire and the rest of the Wonderbolts are here right now in this room. She could've been learning about aerial tricks, play some sort of campfire game with them or even crack some jokes, yet there she sat, not wanting anything to change.

"Still no word from Cloudsdale about the progress of the storm," Spitfire told Firefly, inadvertently also catching Rainbow's attention.

"We don't know if it's getting worse or if it has done its job."

Firefly just grumbled. "Don't tell me those weather ponies are slacking off again. If they are, the first thing I'm going to do tomorrow is to march off to the weather factory and snap the manager's neck."

It would seem this night just keeps getting better and better.

Rainbow stood up, marching towards one of the few windows the building has. She bit her lip, seeing the snow pelting on the window pane like a volley of bullets wanting so badly to break through. To think that Taciturn may be out there, braving the onslaught of the blizzard... her chest ached at such a disturbing thought.

"It's almost nine," she heard her mother talking to the rest of the ponies.

"All of us have to get some rest for the night. We've all earned it."

There she stood, staring out the window and into the obscure white, unsure of what to think or what to do. She wanted to sleep like the rest does, her fatigued, worn-out body saying the same thing, yet her mind just focuses on getting him back. It's been a long time since she last saw his face; that one face where she just wants to squeeze and stretch to see the funniest things, with his bright grin and his mysterious black eyes. What of his hooves twirling across the canvas as he finishes yet another painting? Or perhaps that voice of his, blooming sweetly with the innocence of a child?

"Tassee..." she muttered his name out again.

Then she saw it.

Rainbow's magenta eyes widened, unable to believe what she saw. There, trudging through the snow, almost as if born from it, was a silhouette, blurred by the hellish storm with its scarf billowing about. She squinted her eyes, watching the figure coming closer and closer, its shape emerging into that of a pony. What made her gasp was when she saw the scarf, the mare unable to believe her watering eyes at what she just saw.

It was black. Plain, woolen black without any extravagant design or whatsoever. Anypony could have owned such a simple scarf, yet somewhere in her heart, Rainbow knew there was only one in the entirety of Equestria that would wear a scarf of that dreary color.

"T-Tassee... Tassee's here... He's here!!"

Quickly, she whirled to the rest of the Wonderbolts, all of whom stared wide-eyed after her declaration. Spitfire gestured Soarin' towards the window, while Firefly hastily trotted up to her daughter, furrowing her brows.

"You sure you saw him?" she asked.

"Rainbow, answer me! You sure it's him?"

"It is him, now open the door!!"

None of the rest dared to move an inch, fearfully gazing at the erratic Rainbow Dash. With a frustrated groan, she galloped towards the front door, pulling its edges as she opened it bit by bit, the hellish wind already screaming in her ears. The snow soon riddled her, making her shield her eyes once she finished opening the door, taking the first firm step into the white darkness.

"Anyone coming along?" she shouted back.

"Rainbow, think for a second what you might be doing here!" Firefly snapped.

"The storm's too strong for any of us!! None of us would make it!!"

"I'M NOT GOING TO LET TASSEE DIE OUT THERE!!"

Even the howling wind seemed to shirk away from Rainbow's voice, the mare panting with a few tears already flying into the snowstorm. Grudgingly, Rainbow glared at the blizzard, her hatred more directed onto the rest of the platoon. Her coltfriend was out there and yet they sat there, waiting for the storm to pass.

"If all of you want to stay here, then FINE!!" she declared.

"I'm going alone!!"

"Rainbow--"

"Stop, Mom!! Just STOP!!" she cried, giving her last glance back.

"You, of all ponies in this room, know how much Taciturn means to me! I'm not going to let him die out there when there's still a chance to save him, even if it was only a small chance! Taciturn's my coltfriend, and if there's one thing I learn about my time with him, it's that I promised to myself I won't leave him behind."

"No matter what..."

Before Firefly could stop her, Rainbow took off, quickly disappearing into the snowstorm. The commander of the Wonderbolts then just stood there, never feeling so helpless in her entire life; she just saw her daughter dive into the storm that she herself dared not. All she could do was turn to Spitfire, who was quick to know what she wanted to hear.

"Soarin', did you see our target?" she asked frantically.

"Quickly, Soarin'! Can you confirm that Taciturn Bleach is out there?!"

"Negative, Spits! He's not there!"


"You've ever wondered...?"





Rainbow Dash flapped her wings harshly, feeling the pain of the wind shredding across her entire body, her breaths like furious pants forming clouds of mist that were quickly thrown off into the white oblivion. She strained to keep her eyes open to face the oncoming snow, blinking occasionally as she did so; she cursed at herself silently for forgetting her goggles.





"What would've happened if we've never met?"





She was in the depths of hell, looking around in the pits she had thrown herself into. There was nothing in sight to suggest that he was ever here; if there were hoofprints in the snow, Rainbow was sure the wind would've blown away all trace of it. The scarf he wore was nowhere to be seen either, which only made her ever the more anxious in finding him.





"You might be somewhere in a hospital for the rest of your life, and I'll... well, I'll just be here, y'know."




Gritting her teeth, she pushed forward against the raging snow, fueled by the desire to see his face once again.

"Hold on, Tassee..." she muttered to herself, squinting her eyes.

"I'm coming for you, buddy..."





"Wondering if there was somepony out there for me that could protect me like you did..."





Suddenly, Rainbow let out a scream, her left wings suddenly pulled back harshly just as intense pain shot through the nerves around it. She felt herself being grappled by the wind, tossing and turning through the air, the pounding in her head coming to a crescendo.





"That could make me happy like you would..."





Her breath stilled, the frost rippling throughout her body as everything in her head fell into a silence. She felt herself helplessly being hurled over and over, taken by the wind on a nightmarish rollercoaster. Tears flew from her face and into the wind, her eyes clenched tightly shut as she waited for her impending crash into the snowy ground.





"You ever got that feeling?"





In a split second, Rainbow felt her head slamming into the ground, pummeling down some sort of hill before screeching to a stop, back arching in pain. She grunted and groaned, the pain forcing out her breaths and numbing her body as she strained to crane her neck up, to no avail.





"Why would you think I might leave you here, Tassee?"





"T-Tassee..." she weakly groan out.

"Tassee, pl-please... please come back..."





"I'm the Element of Loyalty and I don't leave my friends behind..."





Rainbow Dash laid there, panting harshly as the snow enveloped her, her warmth diminishing slowly. She would've laughed at herself if she could, knowing how stupid she was. There was no scarf there, she told herself, her tears flowing down. It was all just her, wishing too much for Taciturn to appear until she believed he was there.

"Tassee..." she muttered, wishing he could hear her.

"You were never there, were you?"





"You know how special are you to me? You're my coltfriend, for Celestia's sake!"





"W-Why did you leave?"





"There's no way in Tartarus I would leave you. Ever."





"I-I promised I... I won't leave you, Tassee," she continued, starting to sniffle.

"So why did you leave me instead? What did I do wrong? Tell me... T-Tell me... please..."





"Would you promise me something?"





"Don't leave me..."

There was no one. No one to hear her frantic screams, no one to hear her weakening cries. Rainbow was being swallowed by the blizzard, voice consumed by the screaming winds as she weakly reached a single hoof out into the air. She wanted to imagine herself back in bed, with Taciturn over her, that extended hoof now on his cheek while his adorable black eyes staring down like an innocent puppy... oh, the purrs he would make when she caressed it gently.





"Promise me if there was ever something bothering you, you gotta let me know, alright?"





Rainbow just sighed to herself, lying there and accepting her fate. Perhaps she might never know what she did wrong that started this in the first place. The hoof she raised grew limp, crunching the snow beneath as it fell to the ground like a withered plant. The last few tears had already formed a small trail of crystals down her eyes, her body now shivering violently, the leather jacket she was wearing doing no good. Cruel was fate, for her to live through a snowstorm the year before and die in the next.

The rest of the Wonderbolts would be worried sick by now, not to mention her mother even; Firefly would've smacked her back to life if she could find her. Spitfire would probably do the same, perhaps even encouraging her mother to kick her flank. Her friends in Ponyville would've been praying for her safe return, waiting to see her gloriously carrying Taciturn or vice versa, at least. It stings, the fact that she would disappoint them in the worst way possible, but all pain subsides in the tides of death.

Oh well, she chuckled weakly to herself, vision fading to black as she clutched onto her last bit of dignity.

At least Taciturn wouldn't be here to see this.

Author's Note:

Sorry for the one day delay!!

Had to rewrite many parts. The first draft didn't feel right.
Anyways, two more chapters to go! Since both chapters send off the trilogy, I'm trying the best to make it look at the very least satisfactory, so they might be delayed as well.

Get ready to get disappointed if the next chapter isn't out tomorrow :twilightsheepish: