• 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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The Eleventh Hour

White...



"Rainbow Dash!!"



It was all so white...



"She needs immediate medical attention! NOW!!"



There was a certain form of white to this, for this white gave her a sense of peace, a feeling of warmth.



"Get her to the hospital... make sure she makes it!!"



It filled the world she was in; a realm of white that watched over her like a guardian. She reveled in it, wanting never to part with it, never wanting to open her eyes if she could stay here. The sensation of longing was a familiar one, almost as if... as if somepony was there, taking care of her in her slumber.



"Rainbow Dash, you hold on right now!! You hear me?!!"



Suddenly, it flashed.



"Condition stable!!"



The white flashed; it blacked out for a quick second and then returned.



"Two, three... CLEAR!!"



Another flash, followed by another. Soon enough, it was flashing black and white rapidly enough to murder one with epilepsy. She placed her hooves on her head, gritting her teeth with wide eyes as everything around her collapses, her paradise disappearing in just a flick of a switch.



"CLEAR!!"



Now, it was black.



"CLEAR!!"



Pure, undiluted, endless realm of black, where she was truly alone. There was no comfort like that given when she was in the white; the last of it were being robbed. Her breaths shivered from the cold of the atmosphere she was forced into, her heart beating slower and slower...



"CLEAR!!"



Black... it reminded her of his eyes.



"CLEAR!!"



His eyes... the black eyes of Taciturn Bleach.





"CLEAR!!"


Rainbow Dash opened her eyes.

She laid there, not daring to move, not daring to speak a word. All she could do was look up at the white ceiling, tinted a bright hue of orange from the sun outside. Something in the air told her she was not in Ponyville; it was too sophisticated to be the town she knew as her home. Her hoof trailed towards her head, wincing a little once she touched it, finding it to be bandaged. Her wings as well were wrapped together in the plaster linen, forbidding her from sating her need of flying.

A glance to her left and she found herself staring at a clock, its hands telling her it was eight in the morning. With a grunt, she sat up, hooves weakly straining and making her wince in pain, the blanket now covering only her lower body and hind hooves. She scanned the pristine room, stopping when she saw a familiar figure standing at the corner of the room, flipping the pages of what seems to be a report clamped onto a clipboard.

"Uh, s-sir?" she called out to him.

"Mind telling me where I am?"

"Still ever the same, eh Miss Dash?"

The moment the stallion turned around, Rainbow immediately recognized him. From his azure coat and his waxen blue mane with a few grayed locks to the way he flaunts in his hospital attire like an aristocrat, he was the only pony that she knew would wear that elegant smirk and also the one pony that pushed the responsibility of guardian to her in the first place. Even though they've barely met these days, she could still remember his name quite clearly.

"Doctor Martingale!" she exclaimed.

"W-What are you doing here?"

"Well, I'm a doctor, aren't I?" he retorted with a chuckle.

"Why wouldn't a doctor be in a hospital, I wonder?"

"I'm in a hospital?"

"Canterlot Royal Hospital, to be exact," the doctor continued.

"Your associates brought you here. Quite a dramatic entrance too, I say. Burst through those doors suddenly and galloping down the hallways. One of them -- Spitfire, is it? -- came up to me suddenly, begging for me to have a look while the older pink mare was making a ruckus, slamming one of the doctors against the wall and such. Never had I seen a more violent mare in my life. She nearly gave me a heart attack, that's for sure!"

"Ah, of course... sorry 'bout that..." Rainbow cut in.

"That pink mare... that was my mother..."

Silence.

"Oh."

"Right."

"So she..." Doctor Martingale stopped for a moment.

"I can say, once I think about it, you do have her attitude."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh, not much. Sorry for calling her violent."

"Well, you were pretty much right anyway, so no biggie," Rainbow said, grinning.

"She did worse before, I think. My dad used to say she strangle minotaurs and tackle dragons for a living. You must have heard of her before. Firefly? Ex-captain of the Wonderbolts?"

"Ohhhh...! Firefly! Thought she struck me as familiar."

"So you know her?"

"Better. I've treated her."

Rainbow's eyes grew slightly larger at his declaration, to which Doctor Martingale could only sigh.

"Back in the day, she was a frequent patient of the hospital, always coming in with a sprained hoof or a broken wing, not to mention the more serious, life-threatening injuries she faced. Your mother was always the one making crude jokes with other patients and the staff and finding trouble in the hallways, but otherwise, she was a good mare."

"Yeah..." the pegasus said solemnly.

"Yeah, she is..."

Another wave of silence came over them, with the clattering of Doctor Martingale's tools being the only sound left in the room. Rainbow Dash's gaze soon fell, heart sinking slightly from the hole that was left by the one pony she missed. It was her desire to see him -- her hope that Taciturn would be back -- that landed her in the hospital, only to see his former guardian tending to her. Surely the doctor had an idea what happened.

"Doctor Martingale..." Rainbow began reluctantly.

"You know what happened, don't you? Between me and Tassee, I mean..."

"Certainly."

"And... y-you're not angry at me?"

"I was, initially," the doctor admitted, turning back to her.

"Those posters of Taciturn were all over Equestria. Even in Canterlot, there were so many of them, It'll be hard to miss out on what happened. I don't know what you did to Taciturn or what thoughts he had harbored about you, but at least you made the effort to look for him, even going as far as to throw yourself in a snowstorm just to do so."

"But I don't understand..." Rainbow said, shuffling in her bed.

"He just left without saying a word, without telling me what went wrong..."

"Perhaps it was something that happened during the relationship that made him leave. Taciturn can be very sensitive on even the smallest things, things we normal ponies usually overlook, so it wouldn't be anypony's fault if they don't know what caused him to do so."

Doctor Martingale soon poured for her a glass of water, handing it to her as he continued:

"Taciturn was always an unpredictable colt, and I'm not judging him based on the way he paints. You'll never know what he's actually thinking inside, mostly because he never speaks like how we do. If he ever has something to hide, unless he tells it to them, no other pony would ever know what it may be. Therefore, the only way to know why he left is by--"

"By talking to him," Rainbow finished his sentence.

"But I couldn't even find him. The whole of Equestria couldn't! How would I know the reason then?"

"You have to let it go."

"Let it go?"

The mare perked up her head at his words, a little perplexed at his suggestion. Judging from how somber Doctor Martingale looked suddenly, she was sure she wasn't going to like what it actually meant. Slowly, the doctor marched up to her, settling down in an armchair placed next to her bed with a grim sigh.

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"Doctor, what do you mean?"

"You have to let go of him," he paraphrased, the words now searing into Rainbow's heart.

"You have to let go of not only the secret reason behind his departure, but also the fact that he would be returning to you. Taciturn may not come back, Rainbow, and you may never see his face again. Now, as much as it hurts to say this to you... Taciturn had probably moved on. I believe it's time for you to do the same."

"H-He will come back," Rainbow stammered, holding back her tears.

"He will... just wait and see..."

"And if he doesn't?"

That was it. That was the last straw. After a minute of silence, the first sniffle came from Rainbow's mouth, as did the first tear that stained her sheets. Doctor Martingale could only close his eyes, helpless as the mare quietly sobbed, body shivering with eyes clenched shut. Each tear slowly crawled down her cheek, yet she made no effort to wipe them off; it felt better somehow this way, letting it all out.

Her mourning came to a stop as Rainbow breathed in, quivering slightly once she exhaled. She accepted a glass of water and a small handkerchief from the doctor, setting them aside on the nightstand for now. Retaining her composure, she glanced up at Doctor Martingale, gulping quietly.

"So, Tassee's really gone, huh?"

"I believe so."

"What am I going to do now?" she asked.

"Should I just get rid of all his things in my house? I just, what, throw away the paintings that he made and all his art tools? What about the gallery? Who's going to take care of that? Should I close it down or what?"

"Moving on might not mean completely getting rid of everything about him," was the answer.

"My advice is keep it. All of it. Keep his things, keep the gallery open. Perhaps, one day, he might have some change of heart and actually come back to you. If he doesn't, at least you could still remember him."

"But it hurts to... to remember him..."

"It hurts harder to forget. You do not want to forget somepony, especially if it's the pony you love."

With that being said, Doctor Martingale stood back up, retrieving the clipboard he placed onto the nightstand. Rainbow just watched inquiringly as he paced around the room, flipping through a few pages of the report, before finally saying:

"Apparently, your condition has been fine so far, so you can take an early leave from the hospital. Your mother had booked a ticket for the first afternoon train back to Ponyville. I believe Spitfire is waiting at the station right now, if I could recall correctly. She had everything packed up for you. You can leave when you're ready, Miss Dash."

Rainbow stifled a weak grin, a little glad inside to be able to go home.

"Thanks, Doc."

"Not a problem. Always helping those in need, t'is all."

Carefully, Rainbow lifted herself off the bed, striding towards the door and out of the room. At least she had the chance to go home, she thought to herself; she would've perished in the snowstorm and never see her family and friends again. She sighed, beginning her slow trip to the train station with only one thought left in her head that left her doubtful at first, but soon fueled her determination.

"You're on your own, Rainbow Dash."


"Got your scarf, RD."

"Thanks, Flutters," Rainbow replied with a grin, wrapping her magenta attire around her neck. She would've went and gotten it by herself if she could, but considering that her house is hovering almost six feet away from the ground and her bandaged wings, she knew there wouldn't be much of a chance. Even so, she would've gotten somepony other than Fluttershy to help, though her friend insisted it anyway.

The two pegasi, along with Spike, were in Twilight's library, passing the time as they wait for the lavender mare herself, who promised she wouldn't take long. It was no surprise that everypony would be getting ready, for tonight was the night where the anonymous gift-giving session would proceed. It was all a matter of luck, really; you would just have to snatch one of the many presents underneath the giant tree in front of town hall and hope it would be worth it.

"I can't wait to see what I might get!" Spike exclaimed happily, clapping his paws.

"If I'm lucky, maybe I'll get a bag of gems! That'll be the best gift ever!"

"Relax, squirt," Rainbow chuckled.

"We haven't even stepped out of the house yet!"

"I know! But... ooh, I'm so excited!!"

"Done, guys!" Twilight called out joyfully, taking with her a long list and a quill, to which her two pegasi friends and her dragon assistant raised an eyebrow at that.

"What? Gotta make sure nopony gets left out from this!"

It took only a second before they left the library, stepping out into the last wintry night of Ponyville. The lights and Hearth's Warming decorations were marveling, the spirit of the season once again rising to a crescendo with ponies all around, chattering and laughing jovially. Rainbow would've done the same thing, though her head still couldn't sweep away her desire to see Taciturn's face one again.

Spitfire was the first of her friends to notify her of her gloomy expression, the Wonderbolt being at the train station to send her off. The cyan mare would've wanted her captain to accompany her on her trip, though she knew the Wonderbolts had a show to perform at Canterlot tonight. She could remember clearly the banner Taciturn had painted for the show back at the gallery-- stop it, she hissed at herself. You were supposed to enjoy the night.

"You alright, Rainbow?"

"Y-Yeah, just fine," was her answer to Twilight's question.

"Just had some minor stuff bugging me a little."

She knew both Twilight and Fluttershy knew that the 'stuff' she was talking about was anything but minor, judging from their skeptical looks. Head held high, Rainbow marched along with her friends, the great pine tree in the distance getting closer and closer. It looked beautiful than ever, with all of its decorations in place and a large luminous star perched at its very tip, shining bright like a lighthouse beacon for all of Ponyville to see and luring them in, promising them the gifts in its embrace.

Soon enough, they've reached their destination, where a crowd of ponies had circled around the trees, waiting eagerly for so long now. Rainbow watched as Twilight waded through the sea, letting out a lot of 'excuse me's and 'pardon me's in her desperate attempt to stand onto the podium standing in front of the tree. For most, it seemed to take forever, but it was only a moment that she finally stood there, smiling widely down at the crowd.

"Hello everypony!!"

A wave of cheers erupted, reverberating throughout the whole of Ponyville. Even Fluttershy let out a quiet, little 'yay' beside her. Rainbow, however, just watched, smiling warmly at the energy all around her. She would've joined the crowd if she was in higher spirits; for now, she just wanted to stand back and admire the large crowd of ponies, all beaming in their Hearth's Warming mood.

"Finally!" Twilight continued.

"The moment we've all been waiting for all Hearth's Warming long has arrived!!"

"Howdy, pardner!"

"Applejack! Rarity!" Fluttershy exclaimed, Rainbow turning to see her two friends heading up to them.

"How nice of the both of you to come!"

"Hello there, dear," Rarity answered happily.

"The festivities certainly were engaging, were they not?"

"Ya bet my hoof they were!" Applejack exclaimed, all of them laughing with the exception of Rainbow.

"Hey sugarcube. You alright?"

That was the fourth pony to ask her that, aside from Spitfire, Fluttershy and Twilight. Tail swishing nervously from side to side, Rainbow just gave a terse, quiet nod, forcing out a grin even though she knew Applejack had the keen eye to see through a lie.

"If yer say so, RD," she muttered.

"Anyways, did the gift hullabaloo thing started yet? Ah bet there's something worth gettin' in all those boxes."

All of them could agree on that last bit. There could be thousands of possibilities that each gift could bestow, which only made them ever the more anxious to gallop straight towards the gifts, pick the largest of the bunch and rip them apart like carnal animals having a wild, messy feast.

"Alright!" Twilight finally announced after her small speech.

"Let the session... BEGIN!!"

With a loud 'ding' of a bell, ponies soon rushed towards the tree, their hooves grabbing the first of many presents. Some trudged deeper into the crowd, the chromatic boxes standing around like monuments waiting to be taken away from the cluster. Others simply grab the first thing their hooves could reach, some unwrapping on the spot to see what they've won in their internal lottery.

Her friends were quick to join the fray, though Rainbow preferred to just trot in slowly with a shake of her head; a first for the cyan mare. She glanced around, smiling at the many happy faces she could see as she strutted a little closer to the tree. Pinkie was one of the many happy ones, her loud, unmistakable gasp catching the pegasus's ears when the pink mare opened her present to reveal a unicycle, before quickly heading out to give it a test drive.

Another glance to the left made her smile wider when a colt, surrounded by his parents, opened a present so familiar, she would be damned if she didn't remember what was inside. For inside it was a toy train set; the same one that Rainbow had bought specifically for this gift-giving session and wrapped it up herself. She couldn't help but giggle at his happiness, her heart tingling with warmth and pride for a job well done.

All the excitement around her reminded of her need to find her own present as well. With a sigh, Rainbow began her lone hunt, searching through box by box while her choices start to diminish, the remaining ponies all taking their new gifts. She had came across many boxes, some big and tall, some short and small, though none of them seem to be able to catch her eyes.

Then, she saw it.

There, swaying in the slight breeze as it hangs from the tip of one of the branches of the tree, was a box neither too big nor too small. It was the size of an orange, but what mesmerized her interest was that the box itself was black with the ribbon it was tied with a pristine, snowy white. Rainbow could only cock her head at the strange colors: it was almost as if somepony didn't want this present to be discovered.

Without a second thought, she snatched it up before anypony could grab it, slowly unwrapping it. As she did so, she speculated what might be inside. Maybe it was some sort of cipher that could probably reveal a map to some sort of treasure like the ones Daring Do would usually find! Or perhaps it was some ticket to the upcoming Wonderbolt show in Manehatten; she never did see them perform there live before.

What she saw made her jaw drop.

Right there, in her hooves, was another, more familiar black box. This one, however, was equipped with a golden latch, the sight of it making her blink for a second. Could this really be... she stopped for a moment, her mind racing for an answer. Why would this... this box, of all the boxes in the world, be here?

Reluctantly, she opened it, gasping when she saw it once again. Nestled at the very center of the red cushion was none other than the hoop; the same one she bought back in Fillydelphia during her and Taciturn's Hearts & Hooves trip, with its side adorned in a patterned row of alternating rubies and sapphires and at the very center, a large diamond.

"W-What.. What is this..."

Rainbow nearly dropped it, staring down with wide, bewildered eyes at the present she found. This wasn't supposed to be here, her inner voice cried out in protest. This was suppose to be back in the safety of her home, placed in the drawer of her nightstand! Why would it be here? Furthermore, who made it into a present, a present that any random pony could just take home for absolutely no reason?

"Who..." she muttered to herself, sweating from her anxiety.

"Who could've put this here?"

"Dashie?"

That voice struck her body, mind and soul senseless; that voice that melted her heart like butter with its sweetness. Immediately, Rainbow turned around, gasping loudly once she saw a familiar white face staring back at her, his black eyes sparkling a little. He suddenly broke out into a peachy, adorable grin, his large wings flapping ecstatically once she called out his name:

"T-Tassee?"

"Dashie!"

"TASSEE!!"

Immediately, Rainbow galloped up to him, dropping the hoop in the snow as she hugged him tighter than ever. Taciturn just squealed happily, wrapping his own hooves around her just as she started sniffling in his embrace, the shoulder her head was resting on now turning damp and chilly from the weather. Within a few seconds, Rainbow broke the embrace, glaring at the colt with her hooves clenched ever so tightly.

"WHERE THE HECK DID YOU GO?!!" she shouted, earning the attention of everypony else.

"YOU JUST LEFT ME HERE, ALL ALONE!!! YOU KNOW HOW WORRIED I WAS WHEN I KNEW YOU WERE GONE?!! YOU KNOW HOW... HOW HARD WAS IT FOR ME?!! I THOUGHT YOU LEFT ME, TASSEE!! I THOUGHT YOU DIDN'T LIKE ME ANYMORE!!"

A whimper, not out of guilt, but out of protest.

"I WAITED FOR YOU, Y'KNOW THAT, TASSEE?!! I WAITED FOR YOU!! I CRIED ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT, WISHING YOU WOULD JUST COME BACK!!! I NEARLY DIED JUST TO LOOK FOR YOU, TASSEE!! WHY... Why..."

Rainbow broke out sobbing, unable to scream anymore as the rest of the ponies gazed at them. She fell to the floor, crying there like a miserable child in front of Taciturn. He suddenly reached out to lift her chin, halting her sobs for a moment once she saw him smiling back. Turning back, Taciturn picked out from behind what seemed to be a letter, handing it to the mare insistently, prodding her chest with it.

"Y-You... Y-You want me to read it?"

A nod.

Sniffling and wiping some of her tears away, Rainbow opened the letter as stated, her breath shivering.

"Dear Rainbow Dash," she began reading.

"It took me hours and hours to come up with something, before I finally decide to write this letter strictly for you, so that you may understand what I'm trying to say. For the last few days, I left home because I wanted to think about things between us and where we might go from here."

The mare looked up at the second, glancing back down only when Taciturn nudged her to continue.

"Since last year, we had a lot of good times together. I still remembered the time you first introduced me to your friends to the first time we..." Rainbow gulped, "we k-kissed. They were some of the best moments I ever had in my life. If I ever had the chance, I would go back and do it all over again. Then there was that time we went to Fillydelphia for my father's funeral. I believed that was where you bought the hoop, since I remember seeing it on display at one of the shops. To be honest, I accidentally found it while looking for my paintbrush. It was from then that I knew you wanted something more from me, that you wanted me to be the stallion that will forever be by your side."

"Then Hearth's Warming came. I thought it'll just be another holiday to celebrate, but when you kept talking to our other friends and made me stay with them, I knew straight away that you wanted to do it. That was why I left: because I didn't want you to do it."

Rainbow stopped, unsure of what to think so far, before continuing:

"Don't be mistaken, you were a brilliant mare. Each day, you would give me your bright, happy smile, which makes me smile in return. Every time, you would tend to me, making sure I was alright and happy in every way possible. There are a lot more things to say, though I'll leave it as it is. What was important was that you were the one thing that kept me going throughout the year and, with all of that and so much more of the unmentioned good things in mind, I didn't want you to propose... because I want to do it."

The cyan mare gasped, nearly dropping the letter once she saw Taciturn pick the hoop up, wearing a sheepish grin as he knelt down on one hoof, raising the ring up to her. Tears start to form around the edges of her eyes, her voice stalled at the last sentence of the letter.

"Dashie..." it said.

"Will you marry me?"

"Y-Yes!" she exclaimed loudly, dropping the letter.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!!"

With tears of joy, Rainbow threw her hooves around him, laughing happily along with the colt. Every inch of despair in her heart was whisked away in an instant, the mare cupping his big cheeks together, before planting her lips against his into a kiss, fiery with passion and pleasure, the pains of the past immediately washed away.

Everypony else cheered, applauding at the reunion of the couple. Immediately, the rest of her friends gathered around them once they broke their kiss, eagerly chatting with her as she chuckled, wiping her tears away. Taciturn gave his signature grin, happily fanning his tail about once Rainbow leaned her head against his chest, the two finally glad to be back together. She held her breath, unable to hide her awe as the white colt slid the hoop up her hoof, staring at him once he was done.

"Tassee..." she whispered.

"Thanks... for everything..."

His reply was expected, yet it filled the dark emptiness in heart with a warmth like no other.

"Dashie!"

Author's Note:

Managed to get this done at the last minute!
For some reason, this was longer than the other chapters. Oh well :applejackunsure:

Anyways, next chapter is the last one!