• 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?

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Joining The Ninth Platoon

"You sure that's enough?"

"It's the most we could get so far," Twilight answered.

"We're making more as we speak, so don't worry about it."

Rainbow just nodded glumly, leafing through a stack of posters her friends had prepared for in the morning in Twilight's library. She picked out one of many, holding her breath at the portrait of Taciturn, picked out from one of his many paintings around the gallery. Above it was the word 'MISSING', emboldened to catch the eye of passersby on the roads. His name was at the bottom, along with a description of him -- white body, mane and tail, with a pair of black eyes -- along with some of his credentials.

"If found, please notify the closest guard immediately," she read the last line aloud.

"I... I don't know if this would help..."

"We have to try everything we can, Rainbow," the unicorn insisted.

"Who knows? Maybe somepony found Tassee in Cloudsdale or something and they can recognize him through this poster! You'll never know what might happen."

"So how are we going to send these out?"

"Simple, Applejack," was the answer.

"We'll put the first stack of posters around Ponyville. The rest, we'll send it to the surrounding towns and ask some of their townsfolk to help put those posters up. After that, my brother will take care of things from here."

"Speaking of which, where's your brother?" Rarity asked.

"I do realize he can be rather busy and all, but I believe he should be here soon, should he not?"

"Oh, I hope nothing bad happened to him..." Fluttershy said.

"Maybe the train got delayed. The tracks could've frozen from last night's storm."

A shudder rippled through Rainbow once her friend said that. She could still remember it clearly: the frost coating her body, the icicles hanging from the tips of her wings, the ice that dug down into her veins and robbing her of her warmth... if it wasn't for that mare, whom she had a hunch on her identity, she wouldn't be here right now.

"So..." Pinkie began.

"Does that mean we would have to wait a little longer?"

Twilight let out a disgruntled sigh. "Yes, Pinkie. We would have to wait a little longer..."

"But we don't have time to wait!"

All of their eyes were upon Rainbow Dash, her friends surprised yet understanding her reaction. Every second they spend, there's a chance that Taciturn would be further away from their reach. She figured he would've reached Fillydelphia by now, where the Bleach estate still stood proudly. It would be one of the places that he could be seeking refuge from, though knowing Taciturn, he wouldn't stay there for long.

"Isn't there anypony else who could help us?" she asked hastily.

"Anypony aside from the Royal Guard?"

Before any of them could muster a reply, a gentle rapping of wood captured their ears, their heads turning towards the door. Excusing herself, Twilight trotted across the room and turned the knob, surprised to see the ponies that stood at the other side. their famed leader flashing a grin.

"Sorry if I'm interrupting anything important," came the voice of none other than Spitfire.

"Is your brother here yet, Twilight Sparkle?"

"No. There's a chance that his trip to Ponyville might be delayed," she answered.

"You must be leading Platoon Nine, right?"

"Wait, what?" Rainbow asked, trotting up towards them.

"You're part of the Royal Guard, Spits?"

"Platoon Nine of the Guard. That's what the Wonderbolts are part of."

Her captain flashed a smile, having seen how her eyes glittered at this new discovery.

"When we're not performing our air shows, we're a section of a reconnaissance team, which means we do scouting when it comes to dire situations. We're usually rarely called to duty, but I could see why we're needed for this mission."

Rainbow gave a sullen nod, looking back up only when she felt a hoof on her shoulder.

"Trust us, RD," Spitfire said, grinning.

"We're gonna do our best to find Tassee, okay? Don't worry about it."

"So you guys know what to do?"

"Got our orders this morning," she answered Twilight, before turning to the rest of the Wonderbolts.

"Alright, guys! You know what to do! Remember all the locations that we've arranged this morning. Keep your walkies on at all times. If any of you see the colt, give the aerial signal, like we planned. Dismissed."

"Yes Ma'am!"

All of them watched as the Wonderbolts took off one by one, with Spitfire being the last in line to do so. She would've taken off already, though she was missing a partner. It wasn't by chance that it happened, however; she was given an order from her superiors to come here and get one. With a smirk, she turned her gaze back to the ponies behind her, mind only fixed at one. She had heard about how much that mare wanted to help; now's her only chance.

"Well?" she called out to that one mare, surprising her.

"You coming or not, Rainbow?"

"W-What?"

"Don't tell me you're just gonna sit here and watch us find your coltfriend, rookie," Spitfire snapped.

"The Rainbow Dash I know would already be searching throughout the whole of Equestria just to find one colt. Isn't he important to you? I thought you said you loved him!"

"I do!" Rainbow Dash proclaimed.

"It's just... he must've ran away because of something, right? What if it was my fault? What if I'm responsible for him running away in the first place?"

"All the more reason you're responsible for bringing him back."

"But... but he might not come back with us--"

"Listen to yourself!" Spitfire yelled.

"All it takes to break you is for Taciturn Bleach to vanish! You're saying all of this as if this was actually your fault when you have no idea why he ran off in the first place! If I were you, I don't care how long it takes for me to find my coltfriend! I would still look for him, no matter how long it takes, rookie! You think you can become a Wonderbolt with that kind of behavior?! Well, I'm telling you straight to your face that you can't and if you keep this up, you might as well forget having Taciturn as your coltfriend as well!! Now, are you coming with us, or not?!"

Rainbow blankly stared at her superior, mouth agape. Never had she heard such harsh words coming out from a mouth aside from her own mother's. Even her friends could not comprehend the suddenly-brutal behavior the Wonderbolt was sporting, yet the things she said... as much as it stung her heart... well, the truth always stings.

"Thought as much," Spitfire muttered after a moment of silence.

"We'll notify you when we find him."

"No!" she shouted suddenly, regaining her composure.

"I'm going with you."

"In that sorry state, Rainbow Dash? You might as well stay at home!"

"Make me!" she yelled back, glaring right into the eyes of Spitfire, Everypony else watched with their breaths held taut as the two stared at each other, faces unwavering of determination and hooves clenched, almost as if they were about to begin a wrestling match right there.

"I got three good reasons why I should go," Rainbow added grudgingly.

"One, Taciturn's my coltfriend, two, I don't ask other ponies to do my job and three, you guys are getting too old for this."

That last one made her friends gasp, but Spitfire broke out a grin instead, handing her a satchel.

"There's the Rainbow Dash I know. Alright, we'll meet the rest later for lunch. For now, you and I are responsible for scouring through the southern parts of town. Capiche?"

"Got it, Ma'am."

Rainbow turned back to her friends, who were all giving a smile, their hooves raised. All she could do was give them a salute as they each wished her good luck, before she faced forward once again and stepped out into the open, the howling wind whipping her mane about. Spitfire was already in the air, beckoning her to come along, to which she quickly obliged, fanning her wings out.

"Hold on, Tassee..." she muttered to herself.

"Dashie's coming for you..."


"Town Hall. Rendezvous at Town Hall for lunch."

All the 'Roger's and 'Yes, Ma'am's crackled from their radios as Spitfire and Rainbow Dash settled down in front of the stately building, already unpacking a few hay sandwiches from their satchels. They quickly settled down onto the snow-covered ground, sinking their teeth into their quick lunch just as the rest of the Wonderbolts gathered around them. There were some other ponies there as well; ponies that she did not recognize. They seemed more laid back than her idols were, though still they shared the same determination and hardheadedness her idols possessed.

"Remember, Platoon Nine isn't actually the Wonderbolts," Spitfire said.

"We're just part of a larger team."

"So how come you guys are here when Shining Armor and the rest of the guard haven't arrived yet?"

"We're pegasi. Enough said."

Reasonable explanation, Rainbow thought to herself, starting on her second sandwich.

"So what do you guys do when Equestria's in danger?" she asked her Captain.

"Do you just fly around and scout or do you actually kick flanks like the rest of the Guard does?"

"Balance of both," was the answer.

"Whatever situation we're in, we see what solution it demands. These days, it was more scouting than butt-kicking. Back then, when your mother was the captain..."

"Wait? My mom? As in Firefly? You mean she was in the guard as well?"

"What did you expect? She was Captain of the Wonderbolts, right?"

Spitfire shuffled about in her seat, sighing quietly with a glance up in the sky.

"Back then, times were harsh. You can't go around without getting shot at. Firefly spent more time going out on missions than doing air shows, even cutting our training abruptly just to prevent some sort of siege from happening. The Wonderbolts were known better as a fighting squad more than a flight show team at the time, to the point where some of us speculate we had more glory in the past than the present day."

"But that's partially true, right?" Rainbow said.

"That there's more glory to defending the country and such?"

"Glory comes with pain, death and suffering, Rainbow. Signed, sealed and delivered with no chance of a warranty," the mare answered grimly.

"The Wonderbolts were formed to stop such things from happening. Never mind the glory that you'll get; you could probably watch your partners killed in action. I can't imagine what Firefly had been through, seeing that she's the captain, but she fought hard so that we won't. I will not let her efforts be in vain."

Rainbow blinked at that. She knew Spitfire respected her mother greatly, yet the way she said it almost made Firefly look like some savior to ponykind. Her father used to tell her tales about the polished golden medals that she earned during her lifetime, even though she was never a fond believer when it comes to her mother's achievements, but after hearing that, perhaps they might be true after all.

"Speak of the devil..." Spitfire muttered suddenly, giving a wave.

"Hey there, Commander."

"Afternoon, Spits," answered the mare known as Firefly, marching up to them.

"Getting attached to my daughter these days, aren't you?"

"No, ma'am. Just doing what needs to be done."

"If you say so. I need some time with her."

Rainbow just watched as Spitfire stood up, nodding firmly and trotting away, leaving mother and daughter on their own. With a sigh, Firefly settled next to her daughter, who shuffled in her place, unsure of what to say. There was no sign of emotion on her face, looking colder than stale bread on a winter's day, yet it brought some strange sense of warmth to Rainbow's heart.

"What's the matter with you?" she snapped suddenly.

"Stop swooning over me like I'm your coltfriend. Seriously..."

"M-Mom...?"

"What is it?"

"Yesterday night... it was you, wasn't it?" Rainbow muttered.

"It was you who saved me from freezing to death, right?"

"Yeah, what about it?" Firefly asked, no less sympathetic than she usually was.

"You think I'm gonna sit back after finding out my daughter's coltfriend just kicked himself out of his house? Sure, like that's going to happen. I'd rather have you than that insurance money your father signed you up for."

Rainbow couldn't help but giggle at that, though her mother just stared at her.

"N-Nothing," she said, waving her hoof.

"It's just... the way you say things..."

"Offensive yet amusing at the same time. Yeah, that's what your dad always says. One of my quirks."

With a sigh, Firefly leaned back, unwrapping her first sandwich of the day.

"You never told me what's your deal with the pony we're looking for," she said suddenly.

"How long has it been? You and that Taciturn colt?"

"Just a year."

"Seriously?" Firefly exclaimed with wide eyes, munching on her lunch.

"Like seriously? Just one darn year and you're marrying him? Damn, marriage these days just keep getting younger and younger, huh? Your dad and I took three years of dating for him to get to his knee and propose to me."

"Really?" Rainbow asked with a chuckle.

"Three years?"

"Your dad's a coward, but with a mane like that, I'd reckon he wouldn't run far."

Both mother and daughter burst out of laughter, the former nearly choking on her sandwich.

"At least you inherited that and not his cowardice. I always... envied that mane of his. Looks like more of a symbol of hope than my dull blue locks. You're a lucky mare."

"To be honest, I'm not so sure," was the glum reply.

"Taciturn just disappeared, Mom. Without a word. He never told me that there was anything bothering him, yet... what could've made him leave? What didn't he like?"

"We don't have to answer everything, Rainbow," Firefly said.

"What matters most now is that you get your coltfriend back. We're all finding Taciturn just for you, RD. Usually, ponies wouldn't ask all nine platoons of the Guard just to find one missing pony, y'know, but he's a special one, that Taciturn Bleach. Plus, he's your coltfriend, after all."

"Why?"

"Why what?"

"Why are you so nice to me all of the sudden?" Rainbow asked.

"Just a few days ago, you were shouting at me, asking me to forgive you. Now you're... you're just saying all these things like you're trying to cheer me up or something."

"Hey, just because bad things happen doesn't mean you can't let it slide."

Firefly swallowed the last bite of her sandwich, letting out a misty sigh.

"I know I can be very, very harsh sometimes. There are things I've said to others that were actually just things I said simply because I was ticked off. That means that no matter how much I told my daughter how messed up she was, I would still love her. She's still my daughter, after all."

"Geez, Mom." her daughter chuckled.

"Now you're the one getting sentimental."

"Situation demands it, so I shove it in the face." she simply replied with a sly grin.

"So this Taciturn pony... he seems like a good colt."

"And not a liar? An over-pampered foal?"

"That was my temper talking," Firefly answered firmly in her own self-defense.

"I was hired to manage the shows and get the team together, not to see him paint a banner that would only appear in the show for thirty seconds. But enough of that, Taciturn Bleach... I could tell from the way he stares at you that he really, really loves you. If you asked me for my consent, I'd say just give it a go."

"R-Really?"

"Really, although I'm not too sure why you need my consent in the first place. I mean, if I were you, I'd marry him already. Screw what mommy and daddy has to say."

It only took a minute of pondering -- a minute which Rainbow spent by nervously fiddling her hooves -- for Firefly to guess the reason behind it. Immediately, the older mare wore a malicious grin, crossing her hooves.

"No way..." she muttered.

"So it's like that, huh?"

"W-What's like that?"

"You wanted my consent," she began her conclusion.

"Because you wanted to prove to me that I would say yes, no matter what, right?"

"What do you mean?" Rainbow exclaimed, biting her lip.

"I-I don't understand--"

"Oh, nopony knows my daughter better than me, Rainbow," Firefly answered slyly.

"If there's one thing I know you are full of, it was that darn pride of yours. You're so proud you would expect your own mother to honor your decision, even though there's a great chance she might say no."

"I just thought you would totally like us being together," came the confession.

"You wanted me to be with a colt so badly that I thought you might be happy when you see the two of us like this. I wanted to show you that I could find a colt that could be perfect for me on my own without your help. Even though we didn't exactly meet formally, I still love Taciturn, no matter what anypony might say."

"Figured you might say that," her mother remarked, grinning from ear to ear.

"You have your father's determination, I can give you that. The silly colt that is your dad kept going after me since high school, even though I shouted to him that we will never be together. He was a bigger idiot back then compared to now, which was pretty much a world record, really. I remembered I told him that the moment I get married to him would be on the day I die. By Celestia's bolstering flank, I was certainly wrong about that bit."

"You can say that again."

"If you think Taciturn's the right colt for you, go for it," she continued.

"I'm not stopping you. You're a grown mare now, Rainbow Dash. It's time for you to make your own decisions."

Rainbow smiled at those words. To hear her mother said that was almost like a dream come true. She had tried to prove to her mother for so long that she could handle things by herself. Those words rang the chimes in her head, her hooves clenched with determination. All she has to do is find Taciturn, then everything would be perfect.

"Just to add, Rainbow," her mother suddenly said.

"If Taciturn really leaves you in the end, don't you dare come crying back to me. I swear I'll kick your flank off until you're in the Badlands like I did with your father, you hear me? If you want proof, you could ask him to tell you a bedtime story about how he nearly got his flank chewed off by a two-headed dragon. Bet that would be the joke of the year..."

That's her mother alright, Rainbow couldn't help but chuckle.

"Nothing would go wrong, this time," she whispered to herself.

"I swear to it..."

"Nothing..."

Author's Note:

Still sick, but feeling way better than yesterday. Manage to get everything done by today, so here you go!

Happy 2014 everybody!! :pinkiehappy: