• 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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Third Time Lucky

"Just a little more... hold still, buddy..."

Taciturn Bleach was getting restless, his tail already swinging left to right like a sizzling pancake being flipped by a spatula in a skillet, his black eyes staring impatiently up at his marefriend combing his mane carefully, wanting him to look his best. He never saw it as unfair that Rainbow could do it to him and he couldn't to her, though he sometimes wondered why it had to take such a long time!

Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, was humming quietly, the comb in her hoof gently drifting across the colt's white mane. She was excited as well, to finally have Taciturn represent her favorite team of all time... she could barely sleep last night! She could imagine the looks of awe on their faces when Taciturn finishes the banner, along with the sounds of an applause that might come after... Taciturn would get the role for sure!

"Alright, alright, I'm done!" she declared with a chuckle, her face having swept by the colt's white tail.

"There! Don't you look nice?"

Taciturn just snorted, making her giggle. He understood that it was something big, judging from the way her hooves fling about when she described what he's supposed to do, but to have him in a black suit seemed a little too much. Quietly, he whimpered his protests, huddling right next to Rainbow.

"I'm sorry, alright?" the mare said, wrapping a hoof around him.

"It's just... today's kinda like a big day for both you and me. I just want you to look your best, that's all."

They were in the gallery earlier than usual, the sight of it empty being new to the couple. There was a sense of loneliness, even as each painting depicted the world in a more optimistic light, from simple things like ponies smiling to more abstract, colorful wonders. Nevertheless, they were ready for the coming challenge, which starts at the ring of the doorbell.

Rainbow could hear Taciturn's shivering breath, prompting him to pat his back with a stroke down his wings. She knew he was going to have to do this alone without her help at all; she too would be frightened if she had to do something super important without any help.

"It's okay, buddy," she whispered.

"I'll still be there for you, alright?"

A loud *ding* signaled the arrival of their expected guests, with Rainbow unable to hold her gasp as she saw a dazzling four of the Wonderbolts step in, their manes whipping in the winter wind. They were not wearing their signature bodysuits, though she could already name all of them in a single go: Fleetfoot, Fire Streak, Soarin' and of course, Spitfire herself.

"Hey there, Rainbow," the captain said with a grin.

"You guys up for the challenge?"

"Ready as we'll ever be," Rainbow said determinedly, Taciturn nodding cheerfully along.

"So, are all of you gonna be the judges for the banner?"

"Pretty much, yeah, though some of us are a little bit late."

"There's still more of you?"

"Our superiors," Spitfire answered, to which she only received a blank stare.

"Basically, they're the ponies that pretty much oversee all of our shows and make sure they were top notch. They're here to see if Taciturn's work can actually fit the routine we had for the show. Some of them were ex-Wonderbolts, so you're gonna see some old school ponies here."

"Really?" Rainbow asked, gasping in amazement.

"You hear that, Tassee? This is going to be amazing~!"

"Just be prepared," Soarin' added.

"They can be pretty strict, especially when it comes to little things such as this."

Another *ding* from the door caught all of their attention, as a trio of ponies marched in, their faces instantly recognizable from Rainbow's point of view. The first was Thunder Storm, father of Thunderlane and Rumble and notable for being called the 'Hurricane of Cloudsdale'. Like his oldest son, he had a black coat, though his mane and tail was a streaking yellow, fizzing out like sparks all around.

On the other end was Cirrus Cloud, whom Rainbow knew as the mother of twin sisters Cloudchaser and Flitter. She had a pale purplish blue coat, her snow-like mane similar to Flitter's. Both her and Thunder Storm's family were close, what with the sisters being Rumble's foalsitters and Cloudchaser being Thunderlane's marefriend. If the latter two were to ever settle down together, they would make a true Wonderbolt family, Rainbow thought to herself with a smirk.

The one in the center, however, was the one she could not imagine to even show her face here. She had a streaking blue mane tied up into a whip-like ponytail and light pink coat, yet however innocent she looked, she was one of the more hardened Wonderbolts. The moment she took off her sunglasses, she immediately stared at Taciturn, who could only whimper from her sight, hiding behind his marefriend.

Rainbow knew her as many things: ex-Wonderbolt elite flier and captain, setter of many of the records with some still not beaten, inventor of over eighteen signature moves, current, long-time mentor of the two leading Wonderbolts in the team, Spitfire and Soarin' and of course, her few signature nicknames, like the 'Amaranth Devil' and the 'Fuchsia of the Wind'. though there was one title she held that made the cyan mare fear her the most.

Her mother.

"Well, this is the one, Firefly," Spitfire said her mentor's name aloud.

"That's our painter, Taciturn Bleach. I'm sure you've heard of him, ma'am?"

"Of course I did," Firefly replied huskily, her glance jumping towards Rainbow, who immediately looked away.

"You know the drill, Spits. I'm expecting the best."

The sound of the chattering Wonderbolts soon started, leaving Rainbow and Taciturn sitting alone at the side for now. The latter suddenly let out a mewl, his complexion noticeably paling despite its bleached color. Quietly, Rainbow could only hush him, putting her hooves firmly on his shoulders.

"Listen, Tassee," she said in a lowered voice.

"These ponies have no idea what you're capable of, even if they think they do. Whatever they ask you to paint, you should try and do your best to impress them. Blow them away with your talent! Now, who's my favorite painter in the whole wide world?"

"... Dashie?"

"No, silly," she chuckled, nuzzling his snout.

"It's you, buddy, and it'll always be you."

Taciturn stifled a grin at that, though there wasn't enough time for her to give another pep talk. Immediately after Rainbow stepped back, Spitfire strutted out from the group, trying to put up her best smile to the colt, though he only cocked his head, his eyes sparkling out of confusion.

"Hey there," the captain said in a sweet voice; unlike anything Rainbow had ever heard before.

"You ready to paint something today?"

An eager nod.

"Alright then!" she exclaimed happily.

"Now, all you gotta do is paint on the banner what the Wonderbolts are to you. Got that?"

Another nod.

Spitfire's grin widened immediately as Taciturn got to work, the rest watching the bleached colt thinking for a minute, before starting his work. It was a dance of strokes and paint, the banner being slathered one by one. It was precise as it was quick, with every dot and dash exactly where he had imagined it to be. The picture was already, in his mind, projected upon the banner; all he needed to do was fill in the blanks.

It was almost effortless, really, the way he did it. In only ten minutes, Taciturn finally placed down in paintbrush, his eyes glued absentmindedly onto the banner as Rainbow and the rest approached him, their eyes sparkling over what they saw. There were the Wonderbolts alright, their faces lit up in a shade of glory with their official logos painted at each end of the cloth. Rainbow smiled to herself at the sight.

"You really outdone yourself, buddy."

"Wow..."

"Wow indeed," Soarin' said, following his captain's words.

"Look at all the detail, and in under ten minutes!"

"Ten minutes..." Cirrus Cloud muttered.

"That is certainly unbelievable. This banner could work, right?"

"I think it could," Spitfire said, pondering.

"Picture it: the entire team doing a whole series of flight routines, then at the very end, one of us comes in with a banner in their hooves... the sight of all of us on that banner... I think this might be it!"

"No."

All eyes turned to the sole opposer, her pink face slightly grim. With a sigh, Firefly marched towards Taciturn and Rainbow, raising an eyebrow when she saw her daughter holding him close as he started to shirk into her hooves, before glancing back at the group.

"Being a Wonderbolt is not only about glory and fame," she declared.

"The fact that the banner only showed this is complete nonsense! What would other pegasi think when they see a banner having all of you standing there in the glory of Celestia's sun? I want trained professionals! I want true athletes! I don't want ponies to simply sign up just for the fun of it, Spits. Neither do you."

"But Mom--!"

"Not a word, Rainbow," she hissed venomously.

"If that's what he believes the Wonderbolts to be like, you can have the privilege of telling him it's wrong. He may have the skills of an artist, but with a creation like this, how is he any different from a liar?"

"Maybe he needs another chance!" Spitfire suggested before Rainbow could shout her protests.

"I'm sure you wouldn't mind, right? It's just another ten minutes, that's all!"

A tense silence fell upon the room, broken only when Firefly let out a gruff sigh, crossing her hooves and flashing a reluctant nod. Spitfire herself let out her own quiet sigh of relief, before turning to Rainbow and stifling a smile at the cyan mare, who could only glance back at Taciturn.

The poor colt was sniffling now, not wanting to let the rest hear his cries. With a gentle hoof around his shoulder, Rainbow hushed him, trying her best to comfort him. She could not believe it, the nerve of her mother to mock Taciturn just like that. So what if he interpreted it wrong? It was for a parade, not a training exercise! Spitfire did say paint anything about the Wonderbolts, didn't she? If her mother wants the banner to be specific, then she could just say it out already!

"Hey, look at me, look at me," Rainbow whispered.

"She's just... a little picky about things, alright? Don't let whatever she said get to you, Tassee. After all, you're the only one among us that knows how to paint. If she says anything else, just brush it off, okay?"

A despondent nod was his only reply. Without further ado, the cyan mare lift her coltfriend's face up to hers, wiping away a small tear crawling down his cheek.

"You can do it, Tassee," she finished with a grin.

"I believe in you."


"Three times, Spitfire! Three times!!"

"I get it, Rainbow. Now, just calm down and think for a sec--"

"Calm down? How do you expect me to calm down?! She doesn't have the right to... to..."

With a snarl, Rainbow Dash slammed a hoof onto the table of the cafe, prompting others around them to look for a second, before resuming their duties. Spitfire sighed, instead just sipping on her tea, her glance waning towards the third pony in the group.

Tactiurn Bleach just stared blankly at his mug of hot chocolate, body still shivering not from the winter cold, but from the experience he lived through back at the gallery. Neither mares could imagine the turmoil churning in his head right now, knowing the fragility of his spirit. Quietly, Rainbow held his hoof, beckoning to take a sip from his drink, which he did finally did so, albeit hesitantly.

"Look," Spitfire began.

"You, of all ponies, know how your mother can be extra harsh to others sometimes. This time is no different. The fact that Tassee managed to satisfy her with that last banner kinda surprised me, I guess."

"They were all perfect..."

"Truth be told, that's what I think as well," the captain admitted.

"It's just... Firefly had an inkling that the rest of us couldn't see. If it's bad to her, even if you tried to fight back, you know you wouldn't change her mind."

Rainbow grumbled, crossing her hooves. That was the one trait she inherited from her mother, she surmised. She was lucky that Spitfire was there: after everything that happened at the gallery, Rainbow just grabbed Taciturn and left off in a huff. Only her captain chased after her, apologizing in place of her mother and offering them a place to talk, leading to where they were now.

"She just doesn't listen, does she?" the mare complained.

"I still can't believe she said those words to Taciturn..."

"She has her... way of rectifying things."

"What?" Rainbow questioned, slightly outraged.

"By calling him a liar? An over-pampered foal?"

"She called me a fillyfooler once," Spitfire said, surprising the other mare.

"I have no idea how many names she had called us already. Still doing it, actually. Like that time Soarin' messed up a routine, your mother just went up to him and called him nasty things. When he tried to talk, she just screamed at him in front of the rest of us to go home and come back once his head was clear."

"Wow... and you guys just took it?"

"We had to. Otherwise, we would be kicked off the team for sure. Your mother expects the best of the best to be on the team. The moment we shout at our superior is the moment our flanks would be bucked out of the door by her own two hooves. There's no point in that, is there?"

Rainbow just sighed, leaving the captain to continue:

"It's a form of discipline we were introduced to and however harsh it may be, we can't let it get to us. Firefly was, after all, once in my position as the captain of the entire team. Equestria was much harsher back in the day, so you can't blame her."

"Rainbow?"

The voice prompted all three pegasi to turn around, watching as Twilight trotted up to them, a little perplexed at the sight bestowed upon her. Immediately, Rainbow patched up a smile, giving her purple friend a wave.

"Hey there, Twilight," the pegasus said happily.

"Did Spike manage to get your head out of the books?"

"You think?" she scowled, slightly disgruntled.

"He said you needed some help. What is it about?"

"I just need you to take care of Tassee for me."

"Dashie?" the bleached colt turned to his marefriend, bewildered by what she just said. Spitfire wore the same expression as well, though she kept silent, unsure of the conspiring events. It took a minute before Twilight's eyes lighted up in realization, her own lips curving into a knowing grin.

"Aha..." she muttered cheekily.

"Well then, Tassee! It's been a while since we've spent time together, don't you think. There's something I've been waiting to show you about paintings that I've read in a book! Wanna find out?"

Taciturn just whined out of protest, prompting a giggle from all three mares. With a sigh, Rainbow trotted towards the colt, whose ears are starting to droop, his head lowering. She planted both of her hooves onto his cheeks, lifting his head up to meet her smile.

"It'll only take a minute, Tassee," she said, rubbing his cheek.

"I promise Twilight will take very good care of you. Okay?"

A reluctant nod.

"That was pretty sudden," Spitfire commented as Rainbow waved to her coltfriend, who just stared back longingly at her while meekly following Twilight to the library. The cyan mare soon turned back to her captain, who just stared at her after a moment of thought. There can only be one reason Rainbow would send Taciturn away like that, she thought to herself. Wouldn't hurt to guess, right?

"You have something to tell me?"

"Yes."

"Something involving you and Taciturn?"

"Yep."

"Something that you don't want him to hear?"

"Bingo."

"Well, I'm all ears," Spitfire declared.

"Go on, then. Shoot."

"I was thinking of proposing. You know... marrying him...?"

That was certainly what the Wonderbolt didn't expect to hear. Immediately, she rose from her seat, intrigued by this new discovery. At this point, Rainbow was already blushing, her cheeks reddening slowly like a ripening tomato, her wings flapping uncomfortably and her teeth sinking into her lips.

"This is something new," Spitfire said, grinning mischievously.

"How long had you been planning to do this?"

"Since the last Hearts and Hooves Day," she confessed.

"He's just... somepony I really enjoy being around with, y'know? He saved my life a few times from danger even though he knows it'll risk his own. Being his marefriend, I just want something more for him. For us."

"You know if you become his wife, there might be a chance you can't become a Wonderbolt anymore, right?"

"That's one thing I was thinking about. What am I going to do, just sweep the house, wash the windows and take care of some little colts and fillies? I don't know if that is what I want to do for the rest of my life, Spits; I still want to do some stunts and perform in aerial shows and stuff. If Tassee doesn't mind me leaving his side for a bit to travel the world with you guys, then it's okay but, knowing him..."

"Save that for later, Rainbow," Spitfire advised. putting a hoof onto the other mare's shoulder.

"Just wondering. What's this gotta do with me?"

"There's a problem," Rainbow phrased it, almost as if it was easy to tackle.

"You see, in order for me to marry Tassee, I have to make sure nopony objects to the wedding or whatever. Basically, that would include the ponies in town, my friends and of course, my family. Honestly speaking, everyone in Ponyville is expecting me to marry him already, so that leaves only my family. Knowing my father, he would say yes, which singles out one more pony."

"Oh..."

Spitfire stopped to think for a moment, before concluding:

"So you want me to convince Firefly to let you guys get married?"

"Yeah..."

"Rainbow," the Wonderbolt stopped to sigh.

"I really want to help, I do, but Firefly... your mother... she's a hard mare to talk to already when it comes to our aerial stunts. Could you imagine what would happen if we talked about more conventional things that she couldn't care less about? You and I both know that wouldn't end well."

"But she listens to you, Spits," Rainbow protested.

"You might be able to do it if you tried."

"Then why didn't you?" the Wonderbolt questioned.

"You are her daughter, her own flesh and blood! Why won't you try it?"

"It's a long story, alright?"

Rainbow sighed, sinking back into her chair. She couldn't remember the last time she and her mother talked in good terms. They rarely meet each other these days, what with her mother at Cloudsdale all the time. Her father was usually the middle pony that tried to bring them back together during the rare times where they've actually met, to no avail.

"We had an argument," she explained.

"Things got bad until we didn't want to speak to each other anymore."

"Fine, if that's the way things are..."

Spitfire held her breath, closing her eyes. This was going to be the worst decision she would make. She didn't want her fellow friend to be all miserable and such over a little problem like talking to her mother. If it was anypony else aside from Firefly, she could nail it hundred percent. Sadly, that was not the case.

"I'll try my best," she said, much to Rainbow's delight.

"But don't get your hopes up."

"Right."

"In return," Spitfire muttered with a smirk. Rainbow played her card; now it was her turn.

"Once you get married and Tassee doesn't mind you being a Wonderbolt, come straight to the Academy at eight sharp. I want to see you do two hundred push-ups with your wings and a hundred suicides after. Got that, rookie?"

Rainbow felt her heart leap out of shock. Two hundred push-ups and a hundred suicides in exchange? At eight in the morning? She could barely open her eyes then! How would she even fly to the Academy from her home if she couldn't even see what's in front of her face?

The mare could only sigh: she pretty much begged Spitfire to do something beyond the extent of ponykind. It would only be fair if she did the same in return. After all -- she smiled to herself -- it would be a worthy challenge to prove herself as the awesomest and bestest pegasus in Ponyville. Again.

"Yes, ma'am!"

Author's Note:

Woot! Day three is here, guys!
Hope it was worth waiting a year so far!