• Published 3rd Apr 2014
  • 7,493 Views, 249 Comments

Will You Keep My Secret? - xCobaltRainx

Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash become sisters after enduring arduous emotional and physical trials.

  • ...

The Lesson

Chapter Two
The Lesson

"Alright, kiddo, I guess we better get started," said Dash. The filly in her arms nodded. "The sooner we get going the sooner you fly. This sort of thing takes perseverance. You won't just wake up one day and fly, you need to practice."

Dash set Scootaloo down and motioned for her to follow into the field. "Let's start with you showing me how long you can stay airborne."

Scootaloo slowly unfolded her wings as she joined Dash. The small appendages had been kept shut for hours, so they were a bit stiff. the filly shook her wings to get the kinks out, then began beating them fiercely like a hummingbird. Scootaloo jumped in the air and stayed there for just over three seconds before feeling her hooves touch back down onto the grass. She looked down and let out a sniff at yet another failed attempt.

"Hmm, you should be able to stay in the air for longer than that at your age," said Dash, provoking a distressed look from Scootaloo. "Here, let me see your wings".

"Wh-What? What's wrong with my wings?" asked Scootaloo, fearing the worst. She lifted her left wing, and Dash took it in her hooves. She inspected it for a moment before finding an abnormality.

"Oh, yeah, I see the problem," said Dash causing Scootaloo's eyes to shoot to the small orange wing.

"What's wrong… are they broken?!"

"Well, no, they aren't exactly broken, it's just that the muscles in your wings are developing wrong. Kinda... oppositely to what they should be." Dash let go of the wing and took the other, finding the same problem inverted. "See here, these muscles," she pointed to the front underside of her wing, "they're really small. The same thing is on the other side too. And here, look at these ones," she pointed to the back underside of the wing, "these are wicked strong. Both of these muscle sets need to be pretty much the opposite of what they are now." While the filly continued inspecting her wing, Dash took a moment to ponder what could have caused these strange deformities . One look at the blue scooter still lying on the gravel path gave her the solution.

"Oh... I think I know why," said Dash as the realization dawned on her.

"What… what?! Why are my wings like this?" demanded Scootaloo.

Dash sighed as she formed the sentence. "It's because of your scooter. You've grown your muscles for scootering, not flying." Dash noticed that this news looked to be a bit much for Scootaloo.

"Wh-What does that mean, though?" asked Scootaloo.

"It means that riding your scooter all the time has grown your wings for it," said Dash. "You haven't allowed your wings to grow naturally. They're not really built for flying anymore; the muscles needed to get off the ground are mostly unused. Instead the muscles for scootering are strong. Here's another thing, try turning your wings forward." Dash turned her wings as she said this, only able to point the top side down a little bit before it caused her pain.

Scootaloo followed suit, and found that she could point the top side down almost all the way.

This surprised Dash; she hadn't known just how much Scootaloo's wings had adapted for her scooter. "Woah. Yeah, you see? There's another thing. You shouldn't be able to do that. See how I have mine? I can't turn them that far." Worried looks hung on both of their faces. "Here, I want to see something else" She flew over to the little blue scooter, picked it up, and set it down in front of Scootaloo. "Okay, now what I want you to do is get into a starting position, okay?" requested Dash.

Scootaloo climbed on and got into position. The filly put her front legs up onto the handle bars, and pointed her wings the way she normally has them. She never noticed that her body, almost fully upright, was parallel with her wings being pointed all the way behind her. Fully conceptualizing her handicap, Scootaloo reluctantly let a single tear streak down her face. She turned away from her sister so as not to reveal her distress.

Dash saw how Scootaloo had her body positioned, along with the tear. It made her mad to see her this way. "Hey," she called to get the filly's attention, "this is something we are trying to fix, and we haven't even started fixing it yet. There're going to be contrasts from here to the end. So with that in mind, stay strong and we'll get there, okay?" Dash wrapped her hoof around the filly for comfort.

Scootaloo regarded the mare's words and narrowed her eyes. "Okay, Rainbow Dash, I'll be strong. Let's just get this done, okay?"

Dash was surprised with how easy that was. She was proud of herself in the way she was able to calm her sister. It was a well-known fact among the residents of Ponyville, and to Dash, that she will never be the touchy-feely, compassionate one in any group sample. The idea of her being able to set her sister at ease filled Dash's heart with pride.

"Alright then, let's do this. You start going on your scooter, and I'll hold on like this so you don't go anywhere," said Dash, casually wrapping her hoof around the front end of the scooter. Scootaloo nodded, and began beating her wings as hard as she could.

Dash severely underestimated Scootaloo's strength. Before she knew it they were five yards away, with Rainbow Dash still holding onto the scooter. She grunted as she slowly got up and dusted herself off.

"Ohmygosh! Rainbow Dash, I'm so, so sorry, I didn't mean to do that!" apologized Scootaloo. Rainbow Dash laughed it off, and winced as she touched a sore area on her foreleg.

"It's okay, I've been through worse. Besides, that was my fault, I should have held on harder." Dash winced again as she touched another spot. After propping the scooter up against a tree, Scootaloo joined Dash in sitting in the shade underneath a tree. The former sat with a slump.

"Hey, that wasn't a failure, you know," began Dash. "See, now we know where all of your wing power is going. My guess is that if you never even touched a scooter you'd be flying almost as fast as me by now. Well, almost as fast." Dash chuckled as her signature ego resurfaced.

Scootaloo turned her face back up at the concept. Her wings weren't broken; they were just… misused. She felt disappointed in herself for deforming her wings and, through using this odd technique as a pass-time, further exacerbating the problem. When she found the scooter, she wasn't that fast as she simply used her legs. Yearning for higher speeds, the filly improvised and began using her wings. Riding her scooter in this manner granted the adrenaline-filled, high velocity rush that she desired. Scootaloo rode this way nearly every single day since then, and she was mad at herself for doing so.

Something else was amiss, and it took Scootaloo a minute to figure out what it was. "Rainbow Dash, how come you know so much about flight training?" she asked.

"Oh, that?" started Dash. "It's nothing. I was just a coach at a flight camp for a few years before I moved to Ponyville."

Scootaloo's expression shifted to deflated sorrow. She now knew that, for one, Dash had the tools needed for teaching her how to fly this whole time. But what upset Scootaloo the most was the fact that she was not the first of Dash's students. "Oh," mumbled Scootaloo. "Ho-how many have you trained?"

"Oh, too many to count," started Dash. She picked up on the filly's real question, and answered it as well. "But don't worry, none of them matter as much to me as you do."

Scootaloo's looked up hopefully into the pegasus' eyes. Dash reached over and playfully tousled the magenta mane. She was really getting the hang of this comforting thing, feeling that at this point that she could calm any emotional storm.

"Okay," started Dash. "We're down to a tough decision. I can't remember what the word was, but basically you have to decide between two things, and you can't have both." Dash inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly, preparing herself for the decision she was about to force Scootaloo to make. "You can either stop riding your scooter altogether and learn to fly, or you can keep riding it and most likely never fly."

Scootaloo's world was shattered. Before today, she didn't know that the thing she loved doing most was keeping her from doing the thing she wanted to do most. Momentarily losing her voice, Scootaloo weighed her options.

"I…I…I don't know which one to choose. Riding my scooter is just what I do, I can't just stop!" Scootaloo then stared blankly as she made a harrowing realization. "It's the only thing that I…that I'm…good at…"

Dash scooted over to the downcast filly and wrapped her wing around her. She noticed small drips of water disturbing the grass below the filly. "We're not scheduled for rain today." thought Dash to herself. She looked up to the sun-lit sky to find it empty save for a few wisps of cirrus scattered about. After understanding where the drops of water were coming from, she lifted her wing and slid her foreleg around the weeping filly as well.

"But at the same time," Scootaloo began in a croaky voice. "I want to fly, up in the clouds, and be free. An-and I want to fly with you, and learn all of your awesome tricks." Scootaloo looked up at the pegasus above her. "I can't have both?" She really hoped she could, but she knew she couldn't.

"I'm sorry Scootaloo," apologized Dash. "You can't have both. In order to start flying, you need to grow the muscles needed for it. And since they'll be in the way, you're gonna have to shrink the muscles you use for your scooter. I'm really sorry Scootaloo, but you have to decide between one or the other." Rainbow Dash looked at the upset filly and saw the amount of turmoil she was going through.

"I…I don't know what to do," said Scootaloo. "I want to fly so bad, but riding my scooter is what I'm good at."

Scootaloo knew that this was going to be one of the hardest decisions she will ever have to make, but she was happy that Rainbow Dash was there to help her every step of the way. The filly pressed the side of her head into Dash, who wrapped her free hoof around Scootaloo's now weeping form.

The mare decided that two hooves and a wing weren't enough. She pulled Scootaloo back onto her lap and rested her head in the middle of the purple mane. Dash squeezed tightly, but not enough to harm. "Jeez... this kid," she thought to herself. "It's been tough, I know, but trust me, it'll get better."

The two sat in the grass for quite a while. Every single time Dash looked at the sun, she could tell that it had moved. In the absence of conversation, the mare found time to go over what she had felt earlier. When Scootaloo accused her of lying that night, it had actually hurt. Her throat had clenched, and her jaw had stiffened. "Am I getting... soft?" she thought to herself. Dash thought about how she had felt, what words she had used when talking to Scootaloo, and how she was holding her shuddering frame now.

"I am."

In her mind, Dash wanted to release the filly, fly home, and punch a wall to regain dignity. Yet, one look at Scootaloo's actions, her undeniable need of someone in Dash's position, made her rethink.

In place of a shrug, she sighed and tightened her grip. "Meh, nopony's looking."

Author's Note:

I don't think I've ever heard of this argument for Scootaloo's inability to fly anywhere, so I hope you enjoyed the idea.