• 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 Eighth Wonder

It was quiet.

Sometimes, it can get too quiet.

With a murmur, Rainbow opened her eyes, blinking profusely as the sun glared down at her. She quickly sat up, rubbing her eyes and trying to squint through her foggy vision, though all she needed was a sprinkle of water across her face. Yeah, she thought to herself sleepily. That was it.

One splash later, she trotted back to her bedroom, all her senses brought straight to clarity. Taciturn was not there, it seems. Perhaps he was outside making breakfast or something, Rainbow surmised, wiping her face dry. He could be making anything; he learned enough varieties of dishes from both Pinkie and Applejack to serve a giant buffet. Every morning would be a surprise when that colt makes breakfast, she said to herself with a smile.

Rainbow stepped out of her bedroom, ready for whatever drool-inducing aroma to slap her face senseless and lead her straight to her favorite chef. Surprisingly, there was only the crisp, chilly smell of the winter's morning, the cold rushing through her nostrils only leading her to erupt into a sneezing fit.

"T-Tassee?" she managed to stammer before she let out another sneeze. He was certainly nowhere to be seen. His art tools were all here; the unfinished painting he had started on last night was still there, never touched or moved from where it was placed. It was quite a surprise to her; she thought he would be done with it already if he woken up.

"Strange... very strange..."

Quietly, she started frying up some eggs, tossing them about in the skittle, all the while waiting for Taciturn to jump out at her from behind, though knowing him, he probably wouldn't even know where to jump out from in the first place. Her ears strained to hear the slightest sound, like a squeak or even a purr, though she caught nothing. Where could he have gone, she asked herself. It's only nine in the morning; the gallery opens at ten!

With a worried sigh, Rainbow settled herself comfortably onto the couch, busy sawing down her knife into the yolk, severing its thin shell and crawling all around her plate. Awkwardly, she munched onto her simple breakfast, scanning around to look for at least an inkling of the colt, to no avail. Instead, she saw Tank strolling in slowly, munching on a morsel of fresh lettuce that she figured Taciturn had given him.

"Hey there, Tank," she called out to her pet tortoise.

"Looking good today! You've seen Tassee around?"

Tank shook his head no, much to her disappointment. Where would that colt have gone to at this early hour? He usually wouldn't step outside without her joining him. He'd only done that a few times so far, usually to learn a little bit of cooking from her friends or to just stop by and help them in whatever their doing. Even so, he would usually at least let the tortoise know about his departure so that she wouldn't be anxious about it.

"Where could he be, where could he be..." she asked herself. If she were Taciturn Bleach...

"Maybe... he's at the gallery? Yeah, maybe... maybe he's just getting ready!"

Without a moment to spare, Rainbow slurped up the last of her egg, setting her plate aside before zooming out of the door, snatching her scarf on the way. Her wings flapped constantly, thinly slicing through each cloud in her way as her eyes fixed onto white illustrious building standing on the very top of a hill, just a few inches away from the borders of Ponyville. For it was none other than the Gallery of White, standing there oh so grandly ever since the year before.

She landed to a halt right at its entrance, quickly trotting up to its golden-framed glass double doors. The cool air parted from her, the warmth of the gallery welcoming her presence as she stepped inside, glancing around its already lit displays. If he was here, he could be anywhere, she sighed to herself, knowing how much of a maze the gallery is. Plus, it's almost time for them to open the gallery; they would want to see their star painter there, wouldn't they?

"Tassee?!" she called out, voice rebounding through each room.

"Tassee, are you in here?!"

Silence. Dead drop silence.

"Tassee, it's not funny!" she tried once again.

"The gallery's gonna open soon! I need you here!"

"R-Rainbow?"

Rainbow let out an screech, jumping back with her heart leaping out of a chest, letting out a sigh of relief when she found out it was only Fluttershy standing in front of her. Great, she told herself. Now she's getting scared by Fluttershy, of all ponies. What's next, she's gonna run away from a basket of bananas? Become afraid of one of Applejack's pigs?

"Don't do that, Fluttershy," she said after catching her breath.

"You could've given me a heart attack."

"Oh, um... sorry..."

"What are you doing here anyway?" Rainbow asked.

"The gallery's not open yet, y'know. I still have to look for Taciturn. By the way, did you see him?"

"No, Rainbow Dash," Fluttershy answered.

"Why? Do you think he's... he's missing? Is he lost? What if... what if he was trapped in the Everfree Forest with no way out? Oh, the poor colt!"

"I don't think he would've gone there, Flutters."

With a shake of her head, Rainbow resumed her urgent search for the bleached colt, scouring section by section of the white halls of the galleries. She saw Taciturn only in a few of his self portraits, where he looks more dignified and royal than he actually is, if one disregards his family background, of course. There were a few times where she thought she spotted a hair of his mane, only to find no one there.

"Where could he be?" she asked herself, frustrated and worried.

"We don't have much time!"

"Oh, I can ask the rest to help out, if you don't mind..."

Heftily, Rainbow nodded, left alone once Fluttershy galloped out of the gallery to round up the rest of her friends. She just stared at the floor, praying silently to herself that Taciturn would show his face. She didn't matter where he went or what he's doing; all that matters is that he comes back.

"Tassee..." she muttered quietly.

"I need you..."


"The Gallery of White is officially, as of now, the Eighth Wonder of Equestria!!"

Rainbow could hardly believe her ears, just as a grandiose applause suddenly erupted, rumbling throughout the area. With a quick sharp intake of breath, she stood up onto all four hooves, trotting towards the podium where a feeble yet distinguished pony stepped down from, monocle in place and top hat reaching for the stars. With a shake of his hooves, the mare soon stepped up in his place, waving to the crowd as if she just finished her own aerial show.

"Thank you!" she said into the microphone, just as all the applause died down.

"Thank you everypony for coming. I feel honored to represent myself for the Gallery of White to have received such a title from the Canterlot Ministry. It was with the support of all of you that we were able to reach this far, so again, thank you."

Another barrage of applauding.

"How does it feel for you, having the Gallery of White titled as the Eighth Modern Wonder of Equestria?"

"I can say, I am quite surprised," Rainbow replied, blinking from every flash of the camera as she stood there gallantly, right in front of the esteemed building that is now known as the Eighth Wonder. She didn't know the gallery was to be bestowed that title; all she was told was that she was going to meet very important ponies from Canterlot at the entrance to the gallery. Nothing more, nothing less, at least, until the reporters all swarmed in, anxious to ask questions that would seem pointless to probably her. To Taciturn, it might be a different situation.

"All in all, I am happy and honored for the gallery to receive that title," she continued.

"What of Taciturn Bleach? Where is the painter?"

"Taciturn? Oh, T-Taciturn..." Rainbow began nervously, stifling a chuckle.

"He's not available at the moment. I'm s-sure he would want to show up as well."

"Is it alright if we see him, Miss Dash?"

"Oh, no, no, he can't come out at all," the mare exclaimed, shaking her head.

"You see, Taciturn has a... a fever! Yes! Hearth's Warming hay fever! Has to stay in bed! No coming out at all!"

"Psst..."

Rainbow heard it, that one faint sound calling for her over the snapping of lens and the yapping of the reporters. She scanned the crowd before her, spotting a familiar, bouncing pink mare at the other end of the sea of ponies. Biting her lip, she soon stepped down from the podium and into the crowd, wading through and pushing the reporters as she made for herself a crooked path. She knew she could've just flown out from there, but the last thing the press needs to know is Taciturn being missing.

"Sorry, guys!" she said once she reached the other end.

"Something's come up with... well, stuff, so... bye!"

Before they could chase her like the mad ponies they are, Rainbow kicked her hooves into a gallop, disappearing into the busy streets of Ponyville with Pinkie leading right ahead, strangely not saying a word about anything. They turned at every corner, the sanctuary that is Sugarcube Corner coming into view as Pinkie dived into its entrance, with her zooming in all the same. She screeched to a halt, stopping just in time and finding herself staring into a familiar face

"Just in time, Rainbow," came the frantic voice of Twilight Sparkle.

"So is it true? Has Tassee really disappeared?"

"I'm not sure," she replied with a tremble, hoping it wouldn't be the exact truth. All five of her friends were there, all worried and sharing the same thought after being gathered here by none other than Fluttershy. Rainbow knew it was her that urged every single one of them to look for the colt while she attended the speech in place of him; Taciturn was gone for far too long, and she wasn't liking it. Not a single bit.

"Got any luck, guys?"

"Pinkie and I looked around town hall and the roads around," Twilight spoke first.

"Not a single trace of him."

"Rarity and Fluttershy?"

"We've checked around our houses and those around us," Rarity answered.

"He's nowhere to be seen."

"Applejack, please tell me he's at Sweet Apple Acres."

"Sorry, sugarcube," was the answer, leading her to clench her teeth in frustration.

"Ah wish Ah've found him as well, but no luck there."

"Then where could he be?!" Rainbow pretty much yelled, slamming a hoof onto the table and making all of them jump in unison with a quiet gasp. She buried his face within her hooves, gritting her teeth while listing all the possible places he could've been. He must be somewhere around here, she tried to assure herself. Somewhere...

"You guys g-got any leads?"

"One thing we know for sure that if he left this morning," Twilight began.

"He wouldn't have gone that far. The most he would've gone too is at the edge of Sweet Apple Acres and that would be it, but he was not there as well. Then there's the chance that he might come seeking for refuge in somepony's house, but knowing him, he'll only go to a few households in Ponyville and that would be all of ours."

"So are you guys hiding him?"

Every single one of her friends simultaneously shook their heads, slightly taken aback by such a brash accusation. Rainbow planted both hooves firmly on her forehead, biting her lip forcefully at all the things that might've happened to him. He could've been flying halfway to Canterlot by now! Why would he just disappear without at least leaving a note saying he would come back? Why would he vanish, just like that without a word? Without even a goodbye?

"Where else could he have gone?" she asked.

"Nowhere in particular," Twilight concluded.

"If, however, he left in the middle of the night..."

"He could be anywhere by now if he did," Applejack retorted, finishing the unicorn's sentence.

"Ah don't wanna say this to ya, but if he left in the middle of night, he would've reached Appleloosa already. Even if we take a train there, it'll take another day. By then, who knows where he'll be?"

"He couldn't have... he... he couldn't..."

"Look, I'll try to get in touch with my brother," Twilight suggested.

"If I could get him, he'll organize a search party to help us find Taciturn, alright? He'll come down and bring out some help to start the search. If he's around town, we'll find him in no time at all, but for now we can't do anything. The most you'll have to wait until is tomorrow, Rainbow."

"But..." she began to protest.

"But he'll be long gone from here!"

"You'll have to trust the fact that he wouldn't. All we could do now is pray that he'll come back. By tomorrow, if he isn't back yet, we'll begin the search with what we have, okay Rainbow?"

Rainbow Dash didn't want to believe it. She didn't want to believe that all of this was happening: that Taciturn was truly gone, vanished without a trace. She just stared down at the floor, too distraught to think of anything else except for the white colt. Where has he gone, she asked herself. What had she done? Those were the only answers she wanted to know.

"And if we can't find him?"

A moment of silence filled the room, their nerves so tensed until they could be snapped into two. There was, however, an answer in the silence; one that Rainbow could see clearly. It was an answer she didn't want to hear and her friends never dared to say, an answer that would only tear her completely apart rather than console her. She forbade the answer to be spoken, yet if Taciturn were to never return, it would become the truth.

The first of many tears dripped onto the floor as she sat there, sniffling so quietly and yet so painfully all the same. All the rest could do was to huddle around her, unsure of how to comfort their devastated friend and only watch her cries grow louder through time. All they could do was vow to find Taciturn. To find her coltfriend.

"I'm sorry, Tassee..." she muttered, hooves clenched tightly.

"I'm sorry..."


"Tassee..."

Hope was bleak.

"T-Tassee..."

Hope was distant and cold.

"Tassee, I'm sorry..."

Hope had shriveled up like a rose in the winter.

"I-I'm sorry... I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm..."

Hope had been shattered like a mirror being struck by stone, every last flicker that still burned within her dying out like a candle out of wax. However hard she clutched the sheets, Taciturn would not come back. However damp her mattress will become from her tears, he would not come back. However loud she screamed his name into the black skies, even if he heard that one bit of it, he still would not come back. She knew that very well.

"Tassee, if you could just come back..."

She knew it wouldn't work because she tried. She tried it all.

"Please..."

She tried it all, yet Taciturn Bleach did not step through that door. She left it open, in hope that he would step out from the whipping winds and raging snow, wearing that large smile of his that would make her feel like it was summer. The frost had already covered a few inches from her doorstep, though the chill had since filled the room, enveloping her in a cold hell. A winter prison. Ironic, for it to be her home and her cage.

Rainbow Dash just sat there, blanket wrapped around her like a cocoon with eyes fixed deliberately at the harsh winds screaming into her face. They were futile screams lashing out at a dead mind, for a dead mind knows no fear as much as it knows no pain. Even her tears had frozen onto her cheeks, her shivering escalating with every passing minute of her sitting there defiantly against the wintry beast, her only weapon being her hope. Bleak, dying hope.

"T-T-Tassee..."

"Rainbow Dash!"

The door slammed shut. The chill of the air stopped its assault. Rainbow Dash found herself being dragged away from the cold by her blanket, finding herself being picked up and brutally tossed onto the couch. She knew it wasn't the work of Taciturn Bleach; whoever it may be, she wouldn't grace that pony with her attention. Never.

"The hell have you done to yourself..." she heard the other pony mutter, feeling another layer of garment draping over her. Warmth overcame her like a tidal wave, the chattering of her teeth stopping, her foggy breath quivering from the sudden rush of comfort. She could hear the clattering sound of the other pony rifling through her cupboards, yet she was too weak and tired to crane her neck from the blanket and look.

A wafting, appetizing aroma soon met her nostrils. Rainbow strained to open her eyes, making out the other pony kneeling down to her, hoof holding a spoon of something. She griped at first, her hatred of being fed like a small filly shining through, though she was too weak to argue. Slowly, her jaw dropped, the spoon entering and filling it with such warmth, it nearly made her squeal on the spot. That taste was distinctive; it was the mushroom soup she loved since she was a filly.

"Drink it all up, Rainbow," she could hear the other pony whisper.

"Just let it flow..."

"Th-Thank y--"

"Don't waste your energy by going all sentimental on me," the other mare snapped, silencing her.

"By Celestia, you could've frozen to death..."

"T-Tassee... I have t-to f-f-find--"

"Worry 'bout him later. For now, you'll have to worry about yourself."

Rainbow shuddered as a wing wrapped around her, reminding her only more of the colt. She tightly clenched her eyes shut, not wanting to let a single tear leak, to no avail. A gentle hush from the other mare wasn't enough to prevent her from sniffling, though she felt her heart tingle when she did so.

"Tassee wouldn't want to see you like this, Rainbow," the mare said.

"He would want to see you safe and sound, warm in your home and away from the snow. What would be the point if you froze to death and he comes home to find you like that, huh?"

"B-But..."

"He'll come back," the voice assured Rainbow, whose head started to spin, vision fading to black.

"I swear in all my heart he'll come back..."

"I promise..."

Author's Note:

Just a quick note.

The next few chapters might be delayed from its schedule, so expect Chapter 9 to be out later than usual.
Sorry, guys. Came up with some flu. Can't exactly keep my eyes open for now. :pinkiesick:

Anyways, hoped you guys like the chapter!