• Published 23rd Dec 2013
  • 1,990 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?

  • ...

Second Thoughts

"That'll be eighty bits for this painting."

Another satisfied customer, Rainbow sighed to herself, accepting the said payment for the tall painting that was about the size of a window shutter and watching the pony lift it out the gallery. She would've certainly done more exciting things than to stand at the reception counter of the Gallery of White, which was Taciturn's gallery that the ponies around town had built last Christmas to display and purchase his works. It was a melancholic job to take compared to her actual duty being Ponyville's weatherpony, yet somepony had to look after Taciturn, right?

The bleached stallion was stationed to paint a portrait for a couple once again. Nopony still knew how he did it; with just a glance, he could just snatch his paintbrush, skim it across a canvas and finish up the painting in around ten minutes. This attracted other types of 'visitors' as well: just last month, students from the University of Canterlot paid a visit to do some observations and research about Taciturn's autism, which petrified her with fear, knowing of her coltfriend's agitation around other ponies. They survived the onslaught luckily thanks to a hundred cycles of breathing exercises. Sometimes, it seemed that the world would never get tired of Taciturn Bleach, even though he did not want their attention in the first place.

With a warm smile, Rainbow trotted from the counter and towards her coltfriend just as he placed his brush down, having completed another breathtaking portrait. She stopped to watch the couple shake hooves with the meek colt, whom she knew was trying his best to stifle a grin.

"Be sure to come again!" she said to the duo as she passed by them, giving them a wave. A purr from Taciturn reminded her of where she was going, and in a few moments, their snouts nuzzled against each other, with the colt giving her a small kiss on the cheek.

"Not here, buddy," she said, caressing his neck and surprising herself with her nonchalance. She blamed their routine of public displays of affection.

"Remember, we've still got work to do."

Taciturn nodded excitedly, though a glance over her shoulder made his smile grow wider, his wings ecstatically flapping about; the reason of which Rainbow realized when she turned around and spotted another couple stepping through the doors of the gallery and unknowingly heading towards them.

"Fluttershy! Big Mac!" she called out their names, waving her hooves happily in the air.

"Over here, guys!"

"Rainbow! Oh, uh... Macintosh and I were just looking for the two of you."


"Well, you came to the right place," Rainbow stated proudly, Taciturn nodding in agreement.

"So, what brings you guys here? You guys finally decided to get your portrait painted?"

"Oh, um...yes..." Fluttershy began.

"If that's okay with you, of course..."

"Course it's okay! Now, just sit there for a moment or two..."

It wasn't long before Fluttershy found herself comfortably seated on a couch that would've been comparable to Rarity's long chair, her mane slowly being brushed by Rainbow herself, much to her surprise. Big Mac humbly stood at the side, looking at the various artwork hanging on the walls and waiting patiently for the two mares and Taciturn himself, who was busy mixing a few colors on his wooden palette.

"Um..." the yellow pegasus spoke suddenly.

"Uh... Rainbow?"

"Yeah, Flutters?"

"Oh, nothing really..." she muttered.

"It's just... I didn't know you were good at brushing a mane..."

"I guess I didn't as well," Rainbow admitted with a chuckle.

"Tassee just wants everypony to look their best in their painting, that's all, so somepony's gotta help him make sure of it, right? In fact, I think I'm getting the hang of this..."

"That's very sweet of you."

"No biggie, y'know. Tassee's my coltfriend, after all."

Fluttershy nodded warmly, prompting Rainbow to smile in return. It was one of the moments where she realized she would do any damn thing for Taciturn, however mundane it may be. Not all of them would be easy -- she had to visit Rarity a hundred times to perfect her brushing -- yet she knows it will be all worth it if she spots Taciturn's smile once again.

"So, how was yesterday?" Rainbow had to ask.

"Did Mac prepare anything special?"

"Oh, it was nothing big, really..." Fluttershy mumbled, though a nudge from her friend pressed her to go on.

"He just brought me out to dinner and after that, we just sat by the meadow and talked... then, well," she started to blush, "he played our favorite song and... and he sang to me while we danced and danced and... oh, he's such a big, big sweetheart..."

"See what I mean?" Rainbow said.

"Told ya he'll do something special."


"Alright, Tassee's ready for you guys!" the cyan mare exclaimed, gesturing the two towards the couch.

"Now, just stay perfectly still for around three minutes or so, then you guys are done! And don't worry about it! He'll remember your position in ten seconds flat if he has to! Right, buddy?"

An enthusiastic nod.

Once again, Taciturn Bleach began to do his work, stroke by meticulous yet swift stroke on the canvas with a peachy grin on his face. Rainbow just stood beside him, chuckling quietly at his devoted passion to his emerging creation. One would think that from the intense strokes of paint on the canvas, he would've broken a few paintbrushes or more, though it was quite the opposite.

The fact that he still used the same paintbrush that she gave him when they first met was a memory both nostalgic and tangible. Rainbow would see him at work every day with that one paintbrush, its handle gilded and ornate in an alabaster white and bristles still thin and elegantly straight; a memento that perfectly symbolizes their intimacy.

"So um..." Fluttershy began.

"Have you and Tassee planned anything for Hearth's Warming?"

"Oh, just the usual."

The painter suddenly let out a dissatisfied grunt, prompting her to sigh.

"Alright, we did plan something together," Rainbow confessed gruffly.

"It's nothing big, but it'll be something awesome, that's for sure."

"Oh, I hope you guys would have fun."

"You bet we would! Right, Tassee?"

Taciturn gave an absent-minded nod, being too absorbed in his painting to bother. The two mares could only giggle at that, before a 'ding' from the counter caught Rainbow's attention, prompting her to gallop back to her post like a soldier late for duty. Perhaps it was the decorations she had promised Taciturn she would order and adorn the gallery with; it does give the Hearth's Warming spirit, after all.

"Welcome to the White Gallery," she exclaimed happily.

"Home to the works of Tasse-- uh... Taciturn Bleach! Yes! Can I help yoouuuuuuu~--?"

This must be a dream! No, this certainly has to be a dream! There's no way that the pony before her would step into those double doors! Rainbow had to rub her eyes four times to make sure... no that wasn't enough. Somepony must smack her! Right now!

"Y-You!" she managed to squeak.

"You are h-here..."

"Private-- I-I mean, Rainbow Dash! Didn't expect you here, of all places!"

"C-Commander," Rainbow stopped to gulp, sweating profusely. Immediately, her hooves jolted up into a stiff salute, her brows creasing, lips straightening and her jaw clenched hard.

"Commander Spitfire!"

"Not here, Rainbow Dash!" the Wonderbolt captain hissed, yanking the mare towards her.

"You're not in the academy, Rainbow. When we're outside, I shall know you as Rainbow Dash and you shall know me as Spitfire. None of those military formalities. Got that?"

"Yes ma'am! I-I mean, got it, Spitfire!"

"Good. Now what brings you here, Rainbow?" she asked.

"Not that I'm judging or anything, but you don't seem like the type to admire paintings."

"Oh, about that..." Rainbow began with a wavering chuckle.

"Well, you see..."

Slowly, the cyan pegasus explained everything about her and Taciturn, from how they've met to their situation now, leaving only the incident in Fillydelphia out of her story. As she did so, Spitfire nodded and pondered over the rookie's words, peering over a few times to see the bleached colt himself busy finishing the painting. Rainbow tried to hold her grin up after she stopped, watching as her captain's eyes drift throughout the gallery inquisitively, narrowing even more so once they landed on her coltfriend.

"Interesting..." she muttered.

"So, Taciturn Bleach is your coltfriend, huh? Quite surprising, really, but I don't have my say in that, of course. Love just happens, after all."

"Heh, I guess..." Rainbow said, scratching her mane.

"So, what brings you down here? Where's the rest of the team?"

"Oh, they're just lounging about Ponyville. We're taking an extended break until the final Hearth's Warming show in Canterlot. For the show, we need some sort of... what did he call it... celebratory banner, so when I heard of this gallery a few months ago from Soarin', I thought since we're stopping by, I should inquire about Taciturn for painting a banner for the show."

"You want Tassee to be the painter?"

"Erh... yeah."

"You want Tassee to be the painter of the Wonderbolts?!" Rainbow exclaimed even louder.

"Ohmigosh, this is gonna be great! Taciturn Bleach, my coltfriend, will become the official painter of the banner for the Wonderbolts' Hearth's Warming show! I can't wait to tell--"

"Whoa there, Rainbow." Spitfire stopped her with a hoof to her muzzle.

"I didn't say that he would be. We'll have to see if he fits the bill first."

"Oh, don't worry, Spits! I'm sure he'll be perfect!"

"Maybe..." the golden mare muttered skeptically.

"But judging from some of the paintings, I'd say he really has the knack of painting. There's certainly something special about that colt."

Rainbow just grinned. You have no idea.

"So when do you wanna see him?" she asked, already anticipating the moment to arrive. Spitfire turned to her after a moment of deep thought, before smiling confidently.

"The sooner, the better."

"And you really think he wouldn't mind?"

"I'm sure he wouldn't!" Rainbow exclaimed happily.

"I mean, he's painting for the Wonderbolts, Twi! The Wonderbolts!! Ohmigosh, ohmigosh, ohmigosh, somepony pinch me because I think I'm dreaming and-- Ow!!"

"What?" came the voice of Pinkie Pie as she skipped back into the kitchen.

"You asked for it!"

"Okay.... anyways," Twilight began, glancing between Rainbow and Taciturn, the latter's attention more focused on the pink-frosted cupcake sitting quietly on the table. The couple were in Sugarcube Corner to let Taciturn have his favorite chocolate milkshake from his favorite baker in probably the entirety of Equestria. It just so happens that Twilight was there as well, reading a book while busy eating a few cupcakes.

"I know it will be a good thing and all for him to paint for the Wonderbolts, but you must think of the attention he might be getting. Did you forget what happened to the both of you last year after you painted Pinkie's portrait on the ice, Rainbow?"

"I sure didn't!!" Pinkie screeched from the kitchen, much to their annoyance.

"It was the best! Painting! EVER!!!"

"I know, Twilight..." Rainbow said with a sigh.

"It's just... I'm a little excited to have Tassee represent the Wonderbolts, y'know?"

"Well, he's just doing something small like painting a banner, Rainbow. He's not doing something major like opening the show or anything, is he? Even if he was, you know how he'll freak out before the show even started, right? You're his guardian, after all."

"Yeah, I guess... but it's worth a shot. If he has to do the opener with the banner, then I'll do it instead. For now, all he has to do is to demonstrate to Spitfire how awesome he is!"

"Here ya go, Tassee!" Pinkie said, serving from a tray her signature double chocolate milkshake. Immediately, Taciturn gave a wide, open smile with a gasp, his large wings flapping happily before his hooves gripped onto the plastic cup, already eagerly sipping on the straw.

"He likes it! As always~!"

"Well, he's not a picky one, that's for sure," Rainbow stated, rubbing the colt's mane.

"Tassee just loves what you give him! Ain't that right, buddy?"

Another jubilant nod from Taciturn left the three mares chuckling, with Pinkie dragging him back to the kitchen once again to teach him a little about baking blueberry pies and such. Rainbow just sighed, watching her coltfriend traipsing through those flapping doors, already eager to learn from the best.

"So, did you think about it?" Twilight asked suddenly.

"Think about what?"

"You bought a hoop already, didn't you?" the unicorn questioned, much to her surprise.

"Knew it. I told myself that you would do it anytime now."

"I'm not sure about it, Twi..." Rainbow professed with a sigh.

"To be honest, I'm not ready to... y'know, marry him and all... yeah, I've been thinking about it a few times, but that doesn't mean I'll actually do it or anything, right?"

"But you'll do it, won't you?"

"Sooner or later. But not now..."

Rainbow Dash bit her lip. Every time the subject of a possible marriage comes up, she'll shy away from the topic. She knows that Twilight isn't the only one among her friends who were wishing for them to get married already; surely the rest harbors that secret desire as well. Yet, there were many, many things she had to think about.

One was her possible future dream of becoming a Wonderbolt. Sure, she could still get in without a sweat but what would happen to Taciturn? Who would take care of him when she's gone to the air shows in Cloudsdale or performing all the way up in Canterlot? What about the attention that he would get, having married to a Wonderbolt? A painter husband and an elite flying wife... it would be an awkward household. At least she can still think about that after the marriage ceremony and whatnot.

Another was the thought of bearing a child. It was a secret temptation Rainbow had longed for, yet Taciturn's personality does not help. Even if they could pass through that hurdle, there'll be other complications; how would their child react when they know that their father's an autistic savant and reclusive in nature?

"I'll need some time to brace myself for it," Rainbow answered.

"Plus, not everypony agrees to my marriage."

"What do you mean, Rainbow?" Twilight asked, flabbergasted.

"The rest of us think that you and Taciturn are perfect for each other! The whole town knows how much you love him, so it's not surprising to think that they believe you guys could be together. The Princesses -- all three of them -- think so as well. I've talked to your dad about it and he thinks it's fine! Who else would think--"

That's when Twilight realized it; the one pony that wouldn't see it through.

"Oh..." she said, still stunned by her revelation.

"I... well, you can talk to her about it, right?"

"She wouldn't care, Twilight," Rainbow affirmed.

"I mean, she hasn't cared for so long now. Without her consent..."

"You'll have to talk to her, Rainbow. Who knows? Maybe she'll listen to you this time."

"She only listens to a few ponies."

"Well, is there, by any chance, that one of those ponies are around here somewhere?"

"There is one..." Rainbow mused thoughtfully.

"In fact, she'll be coming back to the gallery tomorrow to see if Taciturn can paint the banner. Then again, she might be a little busy with the air shows or something..."

"You'll never know until you try, Rainbow," Twilight said with an assuring hoof on her friend's shoulder.

"If you think Spitfire can pave the way for you and Tassee to get married, then it's worth a shot. She might be your captain, Rainbow Dash, but she's still a pony who knows how to help a friend in need. You need her help, that I'm sure of. If it doesn't work and she can't find the time... we could find some other way."

"I guess..." the pegasus muttered hopefully, stifling a grin. She never considered Spitfire, current leader of the Wonderbolts and hard-headed commanding officer of her team's academy, to be the one mare that could spark the marriage between her and Taciturn. All it takes is a little private talk to her tomorrow, perhaps after Taciturn successfully gets the role. She's certain he could do it!

The flapping doors parted once again as Pinkie hopped in happily, followed by a cheerful Taciturn carrying a tray of small pies with his mouth. Meekly, he placed it onto the table, before plopping back onto the seat next to Rainbow and staring at the three mares in the room, much to their amusement.

"Wow..." Rainbow gasped, eyes sparkling at the mini pastries.

"Did Tassee make all of this?"

"You bet he did!" Pinkie squeaked.

"He even stuffed the stuffing stuff in! He really knows his stuff!"

All of them laughed at the bad joke, with Rainbow leaning against Taciturn, her hoof placed above his. She knows, deep in her heart that Taciturn would do a great job tomorrow. Perhaps Spitfire would commend him on doing an excellent job and such and maybe he'll nail the job of representing Ponyville in the Wonderbolt team! Sure, he may not exactly be on a team, yet when the whole of Equestria knew of Taciturn's creation being displayed in the Hearth's Warming air show... she'd better resume on those breathing exercises with him again.

Spitfire would be there... Twilight was right. She might be a weak link to the last 'yes' that could see their marriage through, yet she is still a link nevertheless. With a sigh, Rainbow just smiled as Pinkie cracks another joke, forcing out a laugh while she focuses on the thoughts swirling in her mind.

"Dashie?" Taciturn said suddenly, cocking his head with concern.

"Oh it's nothing, bud," she replied, stifling a grin.

"Nothing at all..."