• Published 31st Jan 2014
  • 3,731 Views, 56 Comments

Slide - Comet Burst

Thunderlane and Derpy have an interesting relationship, one that started with a simple mix up.

  • ...

I wanna wake up where you are

Leaves crunched beneath their hooves, making the silence between them even more uncomfortable for Thunderlane. He stared at the passing grass beside him, his gaze focused on counting every individual blade.

“It’s a wonderful afternoon,” came her voice.

Thunderlane’s head snapped up. He looked over to the mare beside him, his face contorted in shock. She smiled at him, and he couldn’t resist a small grin tugging at the corner of his mouth. “It is, Derpy. It is.”

She inched closer to him as they strolled down the well-worn trail leading to Ponyville’s outskirts. Yellows, reds, browns, and even some remaining greens coated the trees lining their path. The air was crisp and clear, perfect for being outside. Barely peeking over the canopy line, the Sun cast a wonderful orange glow over the world.

Thunderlane turned back to Derpy and stared, admiring her like an oil painting. Her blonde mane gleamed like strands of golden hay in the sunlight, and a silly smile graced her features, making her look innocent and adorable.

“So... how was your morning?” Thunderlane asked.

“Oh, good. Dinky was so happy to hear I had plans tonight.”

Thunderlane snorted, his stomach twingeing. “Yeah, she seems to have gotten a lot more recently.”

Derpy tilted her head. “A lot more what?”

Thunderlane shut his eyes and mentally groaned. “More happy. I’ve noticed she’s been a lot happier.”

“I’ve seen that too. I don’t think I’ve seen her act like this in a long time.”

Derpy’s smile started to falter. Thunderlane stomach lurched and he turned to her fully. His goal here was to cheer Derpy up, especially after all she had been through. Grinding his teeth, Thunderlane forced out another sentence, determined to salvage something from this banter.

“Yeah, and Rumble seems to really like having her as a friend,” he added, smiling as he looked over to Derpy.

She turned her good eye to him; her smile stopped fading. “He does?”

“Oh yeah, he won’t stop talking about how much fun she is to be around,” Thunderlane stated proudly, waving a hoof in front of him. “Most of the time, it’s ‘Dinky this’ and ‘Dinky that.’ I think he’s developing his first crush.”

Derpy’s smile spread across her cheeks as she flashed her pearly teeth at him. Without warning, her musical laugh filled the air around Thunderlane, bringing a broader smile to his face.

Well, at least I stopped that from going terribly, he thought.

“I can’t believe it!” she spoke between laughs. “They’ve only been hanging out for two weeks and they’re already so attached to each other.”

Thunderlane’s smile soured this time, especially as she spoke again: “Come to think of it, we only started talking to each other around the same time.”

Thunderlane gave a small laugh at that. “Y-Yeah, we did…”

“Hey, bro! I’m home!”

Thunderlane popped his head up from the kitchen table, where he was cutting up some turnips. A half-eaten piece dangled from his lips. “In here!” he called, trying not to spit chunks of turnip everywhere.

The clattering of hooves against wooden floors sounded in the living room before stopping at the doorway. From there, a smaller light-gray pegasus looked up at Thunderlane with his purple eyes, smiling contentedly.

“How’s your report, Rumble?” Thunderlane asked as he swallowed his turnip.

Rumble trotted up to the table and pulled out a small wooden stool from underneath, planting his rear on it. He reached for some turnip slices. “Pretty good, I guess,” he mumbled as he moved a piece up to his mouth.

Thunderlane’s eyes narrowed. “How good is ‘pretty good’?” he asked, just a little more pointedly.

Rumble shrugged his shoulders at that, rolling his eyes at the same time. “I dunno,” he answered. “I haven’t looked at the grade yet.”

“Why not?”

“’Cause Miss Cheerilee handed them out as we left, so I just grabbed and didn’t bother checking. I just wanted to get out of there.”

Thunderlane sighed, but didn’t press the issue; he had no reason to believe Rumble was lying, but it seemed weird he wouldn’t have looked at it before stuffing it into his bag.

“Well, go and get it. I want to make sure you did well,” Thunderlane said absentmindedly as he picked up another turnip slice.

Rumble groaned, a move becoming more typical as he aged into an adolescent. He had just outgrown his colt stage and was starting to get a little taller, but while Thunderlane thought it annoying at first, he’d come to expect it frequently.

“I’ll get it after I eat,” Rumble said, reaching for more turnip.

“Hey, get it now,” Thunderlane insisted as he slapped Rumble’s hoof away. “I want to see it before you run off for the afternoon.”

Rumble sighed a little too dramatically at that before pushing himself away from the table and trotting out into the living room. Some minutes later, he returned and set a rolled-up piece of parchment on the table before returning to the turnips.

As Thunderlane quickly unrolled the parchment, he expected Rumble to make a noise or give some other sign he knew the grade was bad. But Rumble continued to munch on his turnip slice, giving his older brother an unimpressed look.

“That only worked, like, two years ago,” he muttered.

Thunderlane’s ears flattened, but he ignored the comment. He looked down at the parchment; there on the top-right corner, much to his surprise, sat a large red ‘A’.

“Hey, nice job, Rumble!” Thunderlane stated with a surprised grin growing across his muzzle. “You should have checked this out before coming in all sulky.” He turned the parchment around.

A strange expression crossed Rumble’s face, his bored demeanor gone. With a confused look, he lifted his head, still chewing on a piece of turnip.

“What the? Wait a minute…” Rumble peered at the paper a little harder before an exasperated sigh left him. “That's not even my report!” he blurted out as he threw his hooves into the air.

“So, where are we going?”

Thunderlane snapped out of his reverie and looked around; he locked eyes with Derpy and stared at her for a bit. Somehow, he started to think about her eyes, and all trains of thought in his mind ground to a halt. It was absurdly fascinating to him right then and there that all the eye contact she could ever make was with one of them.

Thunderlane stared until Derpy broke the contact, a small blush on her cheeks. “Oh! Uh, um,” he mumbled awkwardly as his mentally scrambled for the right answer.

Derpy stared straight forward as they continued to walk, causing Thunderlane to squeeze his eyes shut and shake his head, clearing his thoughts. Only when he finished shaking his head did he find the right words.

“We’re going to a hill at the edge of the Forest,” he said a little too quickly, feeling a blush creeping into his cheeks. “You know, the one where the small waterfall is.”

Derpy remained silent as Thunderlane finished speaking; he grit his teeth together again and mentally bucked himself several times for zoning out on her.

Blowing it? Blowing what? You're doing this to make her happy, remember?

As if she had picked up on what he was thinking, Derpy finally spoke up, the small blush gone and a smile on her face. “Oh, I know that place! It’s the one that always has a rainbow near it, right?”

Thunderlane allowed himself a small smile as she turned back to him and nodded. “Yeah, that’s the place. I figured it would be a nice and peaceful spot to relax.”

Derpy’s smile widened as she looked at him; his blush flared up again. “Hey, I’ve got one question, though. Why don’t we just fly there?”

Thunderlane felt his cheeks grow hotter as he searched yet again for the right thing to say. “I dunno, I just… kinda… think it’s nice to walk… sometimes? I mean, why be in such a hurry?”

Thunderlane mentally facehooved, but to his amazement, Derpy nodded to him and looked forward again, her eyes twinkling.

“You're right. What is the hurry? Sorry for that dumb question.”

“Oh no! No problem! It wasn’t dumb at all.”

They continued to approach the spot Thunderlane had picked out in silence after that. His chest tightened with every step. After about five minutes of this, he blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

“Hey, Derpy,” he said in a shaky voice, drawing her good eye onto him. “Thanks for coming out with me.” He grinned sheepishly at her, wondering if that was the right thing to say. Much to his satisfaction, a small rosy tint came to her cheeks as she grinned back.

“You're welcome, Thunderlane. I was a bit shocked when you asked, but I’m glad you did.”

“How do you not know if it’s your report when she gives it to you!”

Rumble shrugged again before swigging some juice, looking with mild interest at an irritated Thunderlane. “I told you. She passed them out at the door. It was already rolled up and I took it and stuffed it into my bag.”

“That's still no excuse for you being too lazy to check and see if it was the right one!”

Rumble shrugged again and took another gulp of his drink. “It’s no big deal, bro. I’ll take it back tomorrow, tell Miss Cheerilee she gave me the wrong report, and get mine back from whoever has it. All good.”

Thunderlane pressed a hoof to his forehead, wondering if this was how it felt to be a parent. The situation was both incredibly simple and frustrating at the same time. Rumble was right: he could just give it back to Miss Cheerilee and get his back tomorrow, but it irritated Thunderlane to no end that this could have been easily avoided in the first place.

“Okay, fine. Take it back tomorrow—but make doubly sure you get the right one next time.”

Rumble threw him a mock salute before rising from the table and lobbing his empty cup into the sink. He turned and trotted out of the kitchen before shouting that he was going flying with his friends. The door opened and shut again, assuring Thunderlane that Rumble had indeed left.

Alone again, Thunderlane heaved a sigh before reassessing the report. Now that he looked closely, it was easy to tell this wasn’t Rumble's script. The letters were much too nice and legible, not to mention there was a lot of words in the report. He knew that Rumble—while smart—disliked writing reports, so he often kept them to as few words as possible, usually giving him less-than-stellar grades. It actually amused Thunderlane that Rumble did that, mostly because he was the same way when it came to writing. The fewer words, the better.

Still, he was curious as to whose report this was, so he found the first word and began to read.

It didn't take Derpy and Thunderlane long to reach the outcropping. A small blanket with an even smaller container sat on the soft green grass, while a small bottle of champagne chilled in a bucket full of icy slush.

Thunderlane kicked himself again; of course the ice would have melted during the day, yet he was too dumb to think of the mess it would make. His surprise was probably dry and crusty from sitting in a picnic basket for an hour or so.

A small gasp came from next to him. He spun to Derpy, expecting her to have hurt herself, but instead he saw her hoof touching her chin, an awed expression on her face. Her wall-eye twitched slightly as her good one scanned the site, making Thunderlane’s stomach flutter.

“Uh… heh, do you… uh, like it?” Thunderlane asked. “I kinda thought this would be… er, nice. Just a quiet picnic on the hill.”

When Derpy didn’t answer him immediately, Thunderlane’s ears drooped and a small frown began to crawl up his face. “Well, I suppose… we can just go back to Ponyville if—”

He was silenced as a gray hoof pressed against his snout. He scrunched up his face as his gold eyes turned to Derpy. Her good eye was looking at him while her wall-eye examined his mane. A soft smile and rosy tint illuminated her face.

“It's very nice, Thunderlane,” she spoke softly.

A huge blush erupted across his cheeks as she removed her hoof. Thunderlane was at a loss for words as she trotted by him, taking her place on the red-and-white checkered blanket and smiling up at him. Swallowing hard, he trotted over and sat across from her.

“So, uh,” Thunderlane began, “are you hungry? Thirsty?”

Derpy, however, didn't answer him. Instead, she had her eyes closed, her nostrils dilating. With a sudden jolt, her eyes snapped open.

“Is that what I think it is?” she asked, her lips moist.

Thunderlane glanced down to the basket before returning Derpy’s growing grin. “Um, well, I know you like muffins, and Pinkie Pie told me you particularly like the chocolate-chip ones from Sugarcube Corner, so I got us some.”

He reached over and opened the basket’s lid, revealing a small platter of puffy muffin tops. He noticed the chocolate in the muffins was already melting, leaving a trail of sticky confectionery down their sides and onto the platter. He closed his eyes and grimaced, knowing he should have thought that through more.

“What's wrong?” Derpy asked, causing him to stiffen.

“Oh, um, nothing! The muffins just kinda... well, melted.” He lifted the tray from the basket. Showing the messy pile of chocolate muffins to his date was probably going to be the single most embarrassing moment in his life, but a small chuckle came from Derpy. She covered her snout with a hoof as he set the platter down. “I’m sor—”

“Don’t be,” she said, bringing up a muffin with lots of chocolate running down its side. “I love them when they melt a bit. The chocolate is all gooey and delicious!” Eagerly, she bit down into the muffin, a huge grin on her face.

Thunderlane sat there, a little dumbstruck at her happy demeanor before a smile started to work onto his cheeks. Gingerly reaching down, he picked up his own melting muffin and watched as Derpy licked the chocolate off her hooves. He chuckled at that; it reminded him of when Rumble was younger and would lick the batter off a spoon when he baked a cake.

“Hey, what’s so funny?” Derpy asked, causing Thunderlane to snap out of his reverie.

“Oh, nothing. Just thinking,” he said before taking a bite out of his own muffin.

As he ate, Thunderlane noticed Derpy helping herself to a second muffin, happy as a filly. His chest felt warm and fuzzy as Derpy smiled wider, especially after what he had read about her. Remembering that, Thunderlane’s appetite vanished and his smile melted into a frown.

Author's Note:

Say what you want, I love this song.

I will try to update this as often as I can, but it should only be three chapters long. Be sure to go thank Einhander for helping me get this idea and 2135D for the epic cover art.

This takes place in Einhander/Cola_Bubble_Gum's Royalsverse, though it was inspried by Sleepless in Seattle and Slide.

I think I'm losing it.