• Published 3rd Apr 2014
  • 7,491 Views, 249 Comments

Will You Keep My Secret? - xCobaltRainx

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

  • ...

The Nightmares

Chapter Four
The Nightmares

The beautifully gloomy night partially illuminated by Princess Luna's moon was breathtaking. The gigantic, shining pearl cast its magical rays upon a particular cluster of clouds that hung in the sky. The two pegasi inside slumbered next to each other, enveloped in a thick layer of blankets, and an even thicker layer of dreams.

The visions in the mare's mind swirled into focus. She was galloping through a large field filled with a myriad of swaying flowers in bloom. Dash was then joined to the side by an orange, bounding ball of joy. The two pegasi looked at each other, keeping neck and neck on this hoof-race, then they both unfurled their wings and took to the golden sky, claiming it as theirs.

It was just the two of them, enjoying the beautiful shining sun, both doing their own aerial stunts in the sky while smashing through clouds, popping them, turning them into meager puffs. The cheers of their seven friends down on the ground lifted the pegasi's spirits higher. The mare felt as though she was floating in a sea of warm caramel, and didn't want it to end.

Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo landed on the last cloud in the sky and claimed a moment to themselves. Dash engaged with her companion in a tickle fight. She relentlessly attacked the soft orange belly while its owner fought to breathe. Scootaloo kept trying to block Dash's attempts, but the quick mare swiftly found an uncovered spot as soon as it opened up. The unending barrage of tickling continued until even Dash was breathless.

Then, out of nowhere, the orange filly stopped giggling, smacked the blue hoof off, and got up in one motion with tears already streaking down her grief-twisted face. "I thought you liked me!" screamed Scootaloo, the noise of her cries piercing the veil of bliss that shrouded Dash. "It's all your fault! Why didn't you just do it?!" Heavy rumbling and vibrating tremors shook the very foundation of Dash's mind with every one of Scootaloo's thunderous syllables. The next time Dash looked the filly over, the orange coat lost its luster. Her eyes sunk, and her shoulders drooped. It appeared as though whatever was keeping her alive was fading fast; Scootaloo's legs wobbled and her wings fell to the sides.

"I never want to see you again!" the filly bitterly screeched against her condition. Dash lunged forward through the hysteria and attempted an embrace, but her arms simply passed through Scootaloo. The filly then turned her bloodshot eyes away and slinked off of the cloud. The heart-broken mare ran over and peered off the side, but couldn't see any orange or purple, just a black hole in the middle of the field. Her head shot over to her sinking friends who stared at Dash as if she had committed a heinous crime. One by one they were swallowed by the widening abyss.

She tried asking what was going on, but even she couldn't hear her own voice. She was completely mute, and could only watch as her friends fell away. Dash curled into a fetal position, sobbing from her overwhelming confusion. The cloud underneath her vibrated and burst, and she began to fall to the ground below. She tried to flap her wings, but soon any semblance of strength. Dash, totally limp, could only feel the air rush past her face and watch the event horizon as it approached faster and faster.

Just as she passed through the surface of the mile-wide hole, Dash bolted upright in her bed. She cradled herself, rocking back and forth, taking short, shaky breathsas the dream ebbed and finally ceased to affect her in a physical manner The doorknob held her gaze for what felt like years as she sat there, not volunteering any movement.

Eventually she calmed down enough to regain control of her body. She looked down at the filly lying next to her. Luckily, she was still fast asleep with a comforting smile on her face. Clouds fortunately didn't carry much energy around, so it wasn't surprising that Scootaloo remained in her dreams.

Dash slowly lied back down next to the younger pony and pulled her in close. To her delight, her hooves made firm contact with her sister's soft orange fur. Her forelegs wrapped themselves around the filly's lower back, and her wings followed suit. Dash wanted Scootaloo to be as close to her heart as possible, never to leave again. After lying there, feeling the two distinctive heart beats pulse throughout their bodies, and the warm breaths disturbing the fur on her chest, she finally was able to settle back to a shaky form of sleep.

She didn't dream this time, and was thankful for it. She didn't want to go through something like that again.

The clock on the wall tick-tocked as it counted the minutes going by. The large hand had done little more than a full rotation since Dash woke up from her dream when, out of nowhere, Scootaloo shot out of hers. She took short, sharp breaths like her sister did an hour before. Her head and eyes swiveled about, taking note of her surroundings. After remembering that she was having a sleep-over at Rainbow Dash's house, she calmed down a bit; but only slightly.

Her close proximity to Dash woke her up. The mare trudged out of her half sleep, and sat up with the filly, rubbing her back, trying to calm her down.

"Scoot-… Scootaloo? What happened? Are you okay?" she asked. The panic and exhaustion from Dash's own dream ran alongside her words, giving it an extra croaky texture.

Scootaloo only sat there, taking those familiar small, shaky breaths. After a few minutes of Dash's hoof rubbing her back, the filly was able to calm down enough to let go of her knees.

"You okay?" Dash asked after a moment of Scootaloo's breathing normally.

Scootaloo looked up from her mindless stare. "Y-yeah, I'm fine." She sniffed loudly - not what one could expect from someone who was "fine."

"Kid, don't lie to me. Something's up. D'ja have a bad dream?"

Scootaloo hiccuped a few more times and sniffled a bit before nodding.

"Wanna talk about it?" Dash asked.

The filly shrugged her shoulders.

"It might make you feel better."

Scootaloo took another moment. She wiped her nose on her hoof before beginning. "Well... it started out with us just laying in your bed, talking, an-and laughing. It was a lot of fun." She paused for a minute to recall the horrific hallucinations. "Then you wrapped your arms and your wings around me, and pulled me in close! W-we just laid there for a minute, and then… and then you just… just pushed me off the bed…" The filly looked away from Dash to hide another tear. It was swiftly and discreetly wiped away before she returned.

Dash just sat there, her hoof on her sister's back, motionless. Listening to the story go from blissful to heart-rending made her feel as though nothing she had problems with even mattered. She listened on. "Y-y-you got up a-and said 'come here'. I-I looked up and you were walking out of the room, and your smile was gone. I f-followed you and we walked out the front door, and then we were looking over the edge of your porch. You pointed down and said 'see that?' I asked what you were talking about and you said 'the ground, you see it?' I said yes and then…and then…" Scootaloo turned away as voice escaped her, as if defending her from possibly angering the mare again. She felt another hoof touch her turned shoulder, trying to pull her back.

"Scootaloo, please tell me," said Dash. "I want to help you, so just tell me what happened."

The filly turned back again with her muzzle scrunched. "We were looking over the edge, and you said 'you see the ground'. I said yes and you…" She stopped again to regain her bearings. Dash had better not be lying... "You got up and told me 'you belong there'." Dash's ears perked instantly. Scootaloo's nightmare was peaking in intensity, but plugging the hole now would only serve to exacerbate the filly's troubles. Therefore, Dash simply listened on.

"Y-you said that I belong on the ground," resumed Scootaloo with her face turned towards her lap. "And then you… you just... kicked me off the edge." The filly looked into the mare's eyes and saw the sheer disbelief that was present. She had almost lost herself to surprise before snapping her eyes back away. "I-I was f-falling, and s-screaming, and crying, and I looked up at you and you were just… just watching me fall. I hit the ground, and then, well, that was it."

At this point, Rainbow Dash was stunned still and silent, more than she had been. Scootaloo sniffled and hiccupped some more. Then, Dash did something that surprised even herself, looking back. She slowly reached forward and scooped Scootaloo into her lap, holding her there like a mother would for a newborn. After rocking Scootaloo back and forth for what could have been several hours, Dash kept the filly where she was even when she began pushing away.

"Scootaloo, I want you to know something," said Dash, her words shaky. "I will never, ever, ever do that, you hear me? Ever." She tightened her grip with the last word. "That is about the worst thing I've ever heard, and I would never do that."

Dash didn't care at all if she was being mushy or girly or anything of the sort. Her sister's sense of security was in shambles, and she was the only one with the means to fix it. She told herself that the cradling was for Scootaloo, but it had really been for her own. It seemed that both of their dreams were trying to pry them apart. But Dash wouldn't allow that to happen.

"I-I don't think you will, Rainbow Dash," said Scootaloo. "It was just.... kinda scary to watch it happen."

Rainbow Dash looked down and carefully chose her words. "Hey, Scoot?" she said. Scootaloo blinked her response. "I think I know what might make you feel better."

Scootaloo gave the pony a puzzled look. "What?"

"How about I tell you one of my secrets? Would that make it even?" Dash gave a weak, yet comforting smile. Scootaloo looked at her, answering not with her voice but with her eyes. Dash inhaled deeply. Similarly to how Scootaloo hadn't told her secret, Dash hadn't told anyone the secret she was thinking of either. After a few moments of mental preparation, the unshakably strong-willed and confident-to-the-core daredevil began.

"So I'm basically like your only family, right?" asked Dash. Scootaloo nodded. "Well...you're kinda my only family too."

Scootaloo's ears perked and her eyes widened. "Wh-what do you mean I'm your only family?"

"I…I..." she croaked. The syllables seemed to elude Dash. The mare tried to gather her thoughs, but they slipped from her grip like greased snakes. She finally pulled the sentence from her mind, and spat it out like a piece of rotten apple.

"I don't have parents either..."

Simply uttering the phrase and branding her as an orphan to Scootaloo seemed to surprise herself more than it had surprised the filly. Scootaloo could only stare on in disbelief. After deafening silence in a brief eternity, Dash continued digging the knife into the deepest, most repressed part of her mind.

"I spent a lot of my life in an orphanage too..."

"You... you did?" she asked as she climbed out of the mares arms and onto the bed, sitting in front of her.

Dash nodded. The life-blood that kept the secret a secret had been spilled, and with its continuous flow, the negativity and sorrow that came with it subsided. After noticing something, she began again. "But what makes me different from you is that I knew my parents."

Scootaloo's eyes widened even more. She thought she had it bad with not knowing any of her family, but here was Rainbow Dash who remembers hers.

"And don't start to think that they died or something noble," Dash continued, her pitiable tone replaced with a more serious, yet just as shaky one. "I'm pretty sure they're still alive, and happy without me. My parents were cruel ponies. They never appreciated me, or my attempts at flying. They probably never even loved me at all. They were always judging me for not being an early flier like either of them."

Dash paused; the recurring acknowledgements of her abandonment and life as a failure continued to dig the knife deeper into her side. Each sentence caused the pain from her years of loneliness and heartache to become more intense. However, she pushed on. The young pony in her grasp was tough with getting her secret out, so she needed to be tough as well.

"The only thing they did for me that was any bit nice in the beginning was taking me to a Wonderbolt Derby for my sixth birthday." Dash smiled weakly before she continued. "You know, I really thought that they were going to like me from then on, and be real parents. But no. As we were heading home - walking home - my dad asked me if I saw the Wonderbolts. I told him I did, and that they were awesome. Then he said something that's stayed with me forever." She took a deep breath before forming contextually the worst sentence she'd ever had said to her. "'That's what flying looks like'." The final jab taken, Dash felt a weight she wasn't aware of lift from her shoulders.

Scootaloo's mouth hung agape. She hadn't known that Dash wasn't a very good flier, even at six years old. Dash's "Number-One Fan" hadn't known any of this information prior to this bonding experience. She suddenly felt a twinge of happiness stem from this moment. It felt as though they had grown even closer. Earlier, it really did feel as though Dash was being a big sister. But deep underneath the surface, it didn't really seem that way. Her behavior suggested to Scootaloo that Dash was just being nice to a wayward filly. But now, with her and Dash sitting on the infinitely comfortable bed, sharing their secrets, she felt like they really were connecting as family. And the feeling was exactly mutual for the other party.

"The next day," Dash continued. "They just dropped me off at the Manehattan Orphanage. You shoulda seen the looks in the matrons' eyes. I wondered why they took me to the surface for a while before I figured out that they did it so I couldn't come home. Once I figured out how to fly on my own, I realized that I didn't want to go home. Then when I got old enough, I moved back to Cloudsdale in my own house, and I made sure to avoid my parents' area."

A single tear streaked down her cheek, and was promptly wiped away. "Great, now I'm crying because of it," moaned Dash. She sighed deeply before admitting another truth to herself. "They're right, I am a…a worthless weakling." The barrier of egotistical brashness and self-pity protecting her emotion had been sliced away, both honing and dulling her realizations' sharp edge.

Angered, Scootaloo lifted herself up and hugged the mare around the neck. Dash slowly, gratefully, and lovingly returned it. It was Scootaloo's turn to be comforting.

"Rainbow Dash, you aren't worthless. I wouldn't call you my sister if you were worthless," said Scootaloo, using the same words Dash mere hours earlier.

"Heh, thanks, Kiddo," the older pony said as her mind slowed its processes. The filly's words had had a strange and extremely poignant effect on Dash. In the absence of her sorrow cast away by this filly came the warm, gushing feeling of profound happiness. She let what little emotion she could out on Scootaloo's shoulder. They both could feel that their relationship had reached entirely new levels. Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo held their embrace for the next few seconds before pulling away. Dash looked down for a moment before she spoke again. "Hey, Scoot."


"I had a nightmare too. It was about you."

"What happened?"

"Well," she began, "it started out with us racing each other on hoof. Then apparently you could fly, because we started doing that. We were zipping around and having fun, busting clouds, basically doing what we want." Scootaloo cocked her head at this notion, and Dash smiled. "Then we got onto a cloud and we started wrestling. Then..." She trailed off.

Scootaloo furrowed her brow at the tell-tale sign of the beginning of the nightmare. Whatever was keeping Dash from continuing the story must be awful, she thought.

"Then we stopped. You started crying, and you said you hated me, and you never want to see me again." Dash's voice cracked at the last syllable. "I tried to grab you and calm you down, but you just...you just melted through my hooves. You jumped off the cloud and disappeared. Our friends who were watching looked like they hated me too, and then they vanished as well. Then the cloud I was on poofed away, then I fell, then when I fell into this weird hole, I woke up."

Scootaloo sat there, listening to the story. After a moment of thought, Scootaloo spoke again. "Rainbow Dash, you know that I'd never hate you." The particular emotion in her next words passed no barriers in her mind. "I... I love you too much."

Dash's heart seemed to stop. It gave a flutter before resuming pumping her heated blood through her still body. Or so she imagined. She looked at the smiling filly in front of her through rapidly watering eyes and reached for her. Dash pulled Scootaloo as close to her body as she could, buried her face into her mane, and breathed a heavy sigh through the magenta strands of hair. Dash could feel Scootaloo affectionately nuzzle deeper into her chest. The mare contemplated her next move. She decided that this would be the last milestone before the ponies' bond was set in stone.

Rainbow Dash put her hoof on Scootaloo's chin, lifted it, pursed her lips, and planted a kiss sweeter than apple cider on the filly's forehead. "I love you too, Scootaloo."

Words were lost for the two, and their exhaustion from their emotional trials had drained what little energy they had. They simultaneously lied back down, and Scootaloo shuffled up closer in Dash's wings. The filly was about to drift into unconsciousness when she heard her sister, rather tiredly, speak.

"If you tell anypony that I just cried like that, there won't be anything you can do to stop the vicious tickling I'll give you." Dash raised her hoof in front of her sister's face and waved it around slowly as if to cast an incantation, but more likely to ward off bad behavior. Scootaloo giggled, and nestled into her sister's soft chest.

"Well, if you do that to me, then they'd probably have a tough time finding your body," she challenged through lidded, innocent eyes. Rainbow Dash's face twisted momentarily before letting a breath of laughter slip. She again buried her face into Scootaloo's mane.

"You'll be there underneath it."

They were soon off to peaceful dreams; their worries laid to rest - the real ones, anyway.

Author's Note:

Sorry to get all dark on you guys like that, but we SO needed a mood change.