• 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 Realization

Chapter Six
The Realization

After launching from a well-paved walkway, Rainbow Dash soared through the skies at brisk speeds. She had always enjoyed her flying sessions: having the warm sun on her back while twisting and banking about in the air without a care in the world. These times was always very pleasurable. However, she could not stay airborne forever; there was work to be done.

The cyan mare headed home after dropping the filly off at school to put a regimen together. She slammed the front door closed and took in the sweet scent of her home. Dash strode over to her closet and, after sifting through the mess inside, retrieved an old clipboard from her coaching days.

She saw all of the marks and dents from the years of use, and abuse, and smiled as the memories played in her mind. She then thought of the lesson she gave Scootaloo the previous day. Dash chuckled at an image of the little filly's beaming face that appeared in front of her. The mare stared at this apparition with its golden aura surrounding it. She shrugged, then ambled over to her couch with a pencil, and began devising their lesson plan.

Pondering their moves, Dash decided that the best thing to do now was to show Scootaloo stretches and exercises that would strengthen some muscles, and atrophy others. After they were finished setting the wings straight, and Scootaloo's wing muscles were properly proportioned, they'd go on to stage two. Simply put, she'd do more exercises until her wings are strong enough to grant flight. And finally, maneuvering and navigation in midair as part of stage three.

Rainbow Dash sighed as she put the clipboard down on her kitchen counter. She hadn't been at it for more than a half hour before she was finished.

"I forgot how fast I was at writing these," said Dash to herself with a chuckle.

In terms of her weather job, it was going to become quite boring in the near future. Ponyville was entering that scheduled season that didn't require a lot of cloud busting. Since busting was her specialty, she wasn't normally tasked with cloud placing.

She paced around her house looking for something to do. Dash finally gave up the search for something to do in her entertainment-devoid home. What she needed to do is go out for a little fly around town, and find a good cloud to nap on.

After closing her front door with a harsh kick, she cantered off the edge of her porch and entered a nose dive. As she started to fall, the image of falling in her dream the previous night flashed in her eyes and transported her back to that place in reality. Luckily, she was able to pull up at the last minute. She shook her head clear of the mirage and kept flying.

Something was nagging her in the back of her head, but she couldn't quite place a hoof on it. It was like she was remembering something, but nothing was there. All of these visions of her memories were fogging up her mind, and somehow clearing it at the same time.

Dash floated shakily about until she reached town. After a slow sigh and a quick shake of her head, she began to search for a good cloud to nap on.

This was hopeless. All of the clouds in sight were either too small or too thin to support Dash's weight. She decided to join a few together to create a platform large enough to hold her. After wrangling together a few wisps of cloud, she clambered upon the new formation.

Something about this cloud made her think of something. Suddenly a vision of her bawling sister appeared facing Dash. She yelped loudly and buried her head in the cloud as she realized that this cloud made her think of the one her and Scootaloo had been on in her dream.

The nagging feeling in the back of her head started to get more intense. It was as if there was something she had forgotten to do, yet there was nothing she could think of. She scanned over an imaginary to-do list in her head for a good fifteen minutes, but found nothing. Her list was empty as of this moment; the only thing she could think of was to go pick up Scootaloo from school for the real beginning of her lessons. However, that was several hours away.

Dash buried her head deeper into the cloud in an attempt to stifle the memories and thoughts, but it didn't work. She groaned, and shot off of the cloud which spun until it eventually popped. She descended and went for a slow flight over Ponyville.

Today was like most days. The market-place was filled with kindly merchant ponies selling their produce. After flying for a bit, she noticed Applejack dealing with a male Earth Pony customer at her apple stand. The haggling pony finally took his hoof off of his chin, deciding on the fairness of the deal. He tossed the coins on the counter and swept the apples into his saddlebag. He trotted off, leaving the farm pony free to speak.

"Hey AJ," called Dash while approaching her friend. "Whatcha doin?"

Applejack dropped the finally-earned bits in her wallet and turned to her friend. "Oh nothin'," she said. "Jus' sittin' here sellin' some of mah apple products."

"Oh," said Dash. Another thought popped into her head. "Hey, how's your little sis'? Scootaloo told me that Apple Bloom had to stay home because she was sick."

"Oh yeah," replied Applejack with a weak smile. "We got some medicine in her, and this mornin' she said she felt good enough to go to school."

Dash sighed with relief. "Oh good. See Scootaloo got bullied at school yesterday, and her friends weren't there to back her up."

"She's bein' bullied at school?" inquired Applejack with an angry glare.

"It's fine, I took care of it," replied Dash. "Plus, I don't think she'll be messed with again with Apple Bloom there."

Applejack sighed. "Them young'ns are so violent nowadays," she said with a shake of her head. "Glad you took care of it. You an' that filly seem to be gettin' real close now, huh."

"Yeah," replied Dash with a smirk. "She's something alright. Makes you wonder why nopony else wants to, you know?"

Applejack raised her left eyebrow. "What, get close tah her? Whad'ya mean by that?"

Dash was lucky to keep her reaction in check. "Er, never mind." She giggled awkwardly.

Applejack stared at her friend. "Somethin' you wanna tell me?"

"No," blurted Dash. "I mean," she took a breath. "Don't worry, it's nothing. Just kinda tired. I had a sleep-over with her last night, and we stayed up really late watching movies."

"Okay..." Applejack decided to leave the subject alone for the time being. "Yah know, ever since you told me an' Rarity what happened that night campin', Ah thought that maybe the little filly was just gettin' her hopes up. But it sounds to me that she made the right choice in chosin' who her sister should be. Er, no offense, 'course."

"S'alright," Dash said, "I understand. Just wish I could have been around sooner, you know? I feel like she would have had good days more often than she did if she had a sister, heck, maybe her whole life."

"Yeah, Ah know what you feel. When Apple Bloom was younger Ah didn't really like bein' around her. She cried a lot, she was always gettin' into mah stuff, an' she was just a downright brat all the time! But one evenin' Ah decided that Ah had had enough. Ah invited her into mah room, somethin' Ah never did, and Ah had a talk with her. Ah spoke calmly, and told her the facts. She was mah sister, and as such we shouldn't be fightin' all the darn time."

Applejack took a moment to reminisce. "Then me an' her spent the entire night together. We watched movies, did each other's manes, an' overall had a good time. After that night, Ah regretted not gettin' to know her better. Now, we're closer than dadgum bark on a tree."

"Can't wait to be like that with Scootaloo. We already had a fun night, so now I guess all that's left is to grow together." Rainbow Dash and Applejack sighed and began gazing around the courtyard.

"So what brings yah here?" asked the orange mare.

Dash thought about it for a moment. She realized that she had forgotten her reasons for this confrontation. Strange, it was just there. "Oh, just bored, I guess. There's nothing to do right now," she fabricated.

"Well, ya could help me at mah apple stand here," suggested Applejack. Dash raised her eyebrows. Her friend should know her better than that.

"Sorry AJ, but that sounds even more boring than having nothing to do," replied Dash.

Applejack narrowed her eyes. "Oh," she said.

"Yeah well, see ya!" Dash bid. She grabbed an apple in her mouth before taking to the sky once more. Applejack just shook her head again. Of course Dash wouldn't be able to sit still for the job. At least it seemed as though she'd have the patience for her new little sister.

Dash flew around for another while. These visions she had been seeing were really starting to get to her. She wasn't schizophrenic, as far as she knew. But the images and sounds in her head were vivid, and they seemed so real.

"Okay, Rainbow Dash," she thought to herself. "Just keep flapping your wings, fly faster, and keep your head clear of everything else."

She tried focusing on her favorite pass-time, but she couldn't keep her mind on it. Somewhat against her will, all of her attention was focused on thoughts of her sister. She was beginning to feel that nagging thing in her head throb, and it pulsed with every heartbeat.

Dash was now feeling a small migraine, and as a result of it she couldn't focus on keeping flight patterns in a straight line. She narrowly avoided smashing three vendor carts to pieces.

After careening about, Dash gave up. She shakily flew to a meadow to gather her thoughts. She landed on the tall, soft grass, and began to walk about in it. Something was here, something significant.

At that moment, Dash saw a vision of her sister running about with that gold mist shimmering in ribbons behind it. Scootaloo was mouthing the words "Run with me!" Dash shook her head of this mirage. These little visions were getting annoying, on top of them being slightly disturbing.

After walking about for a bit, she decided to lie down in an especially thick portion of the grass. Her biggest reason for resting was that her head was now pounding. What was that thing that she thought she remembered?

Dash began to hear her sister in her head. It began as whispers, but slowly increased in volume until they were full on shouts.

"Rainbow Dash, look!" She'd hear in her head. "Thanks for being my sister. Extra cheese! Horrible dream. Goodnight, Rainbow Dash. Wanna race?"

These voices were besieging Dash's peace, and made her head spin. Some kind of shimmering, golden dust seemed to float around her. More and more of her sister's utterances flooded her murky mind.

"Come on, Rainbow Dash! I Win! Are they broken? Somewhere else. All alone. Your house is cool! Talking to a turtle. No parents. I love you, Rainbow Dash."

Dash's eyes flew open. When the filly had said this the previous night, she hadn't imagined it to be much of a big deal. However, with each syllable of those lovely words echoing around her skull, the mare began to fully understand their meaning. The chanting continued, but began to lose its randomness.

"Really? A sleep-over with you? Somewhere else. No parents. No family. All alone. Somewhere else. Somewhere else. SOMEWHERE ELSE...I love you, Rainbow Dash."

Dash took in a deep, sharp breath. That was what the nagging feeling was. At that moment of silent and serene mental clarity and epiphany, the cyan pony knew what she needed to do.

Diamond Tiara wasn't in school that day, which set Scootaloo's nerves at ease. She was glad that the self-proclaimed queen of the school couldn't terrorize her classmates, at least for today. She was also delighted that Apple Bloom was back.

"Hey Apple Bloom!" called Scootaloo to her yellow coated friend "How are you feeling?"

Apple Bloom gave a weak smile. "Well," she began, "ah ain't doin' the greatest, but Ah'm definitely a lot better than ah was a coupla' days ago."

"Ah," replied Scootaloo. She was more relieved that her friend was back than she thought she'd be. "Well, I hope feel all the way better soon. Hey, have you heard anything from Sweetie Belle?"

"Nope," replied Apple Bloom. "Haven't heard a thing. She's all the way in Canterlot right now, so Ah don't think we should expect much from her for a while longer."

"Yeah, I guess so," said Scootaloo, saddened that Apple Bloom hadn't heard anything from the third crusader either.

"So what did Ah miss yesterday?" inquired Apple Bloom as the students were claiming their seats.

"Uhh…" replied Scootaloo. She decided to suck it up and tell the truth. "I sorta…left early yesterday. Diamond Tiara got really annoying, and I couldn't listen to her stupid voice anymore, so I just left."

Apple Bloom's face softened. "What did she do this time?" she asked as the two friends sat down at their usual desks. Even though they were missing a filly, the spot to Scootaloo's right was left vacant by their classmates.

"She…she…" started Scootaloo. It was still difficult to admit her weaknesses to anyone, but a thought towards her sister's encouraging words made her stiffen her spine. "She made fun of me because I can't fly yet."

Apple Bloom's eyes and ears perked. "Oh Scootaloo, don't lissin' to her, she don't know what she's talkin' about. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll figure it out soon." Apple Bloom placed a hoof on her friends back.

Scootaloo smiled as she thought of her situation. "Oh, don't worry about me, I can take it," she boasted. "Besides, Rainbow Dash said she'd teach me how to fly!"

"Wow, really?" Apple Bloom beamed.

"Yep! So I guess you could say she did take me under her wing and is going to be like my big sister, huh?" Scootaloo began playfully inspecting her hooves for dirt.

"Yeah, Ah guess she did," said Apple Bloom, defeated. The yellow filly hadn't placed much trust in that new relationship, accounting for the cyan pony's infamous laziness. However, it seemed as though the bond was already strong.

"You know what else?" continued Scootaloo. "Guess where I slept last night."

"…Where," replied Apple Bloom, not understanding her friend's motives for her question.

"Rainbow Dash's house," she gloated.

"Wow, really?" said Apple Bloom. "Your parents were okay with you spendin' the night there?"

Scootaloo's stomach tingled from the tiny adrenaline surge, and she panicked for an infinitesimally small time before returning to her calm demeanor. "Yeah, uh, they were totally fine with it...heheh."

Apple Bloom leaned back, surprised at the level the relationship was already at. "You two must be gettin' real close now!"

"I know!" admired Scootaloo, biting her lip in anticipation for what her sister had to teach her next. "I can't wait until we can do more flying lessons!"

The rest of the day dragged on. As usual, Scootaloo didn't pay attention to Cheerilee's lesson. She just looked out the window the entire time, day-dreaming of drifting among the clouds.

"Okay class, that wraps up today's lesson," concluded Cheerilee as the bell rang to go home. "And remember, my little ponies, next week there will be a quiz on what we've been talking about these past few days, so study up!"

Scootaloo rolled her eyes. She had more important lessons to get to.

"Oh Scootaloo, may I speak with you?" asked Cheerilee as the orange filly passed by her desk.

"Uh, sure," replied Scootaloo, just knowing it was going to be about her behavior or something boring like that.

"You didn't come in after recess yesterday, would you like to explain your truancy?" she grilled sternly.

Scootaloo wasn't expecting that question, though it was obvious that she would ask it. She decided to swallow her pride just one more time for the day.

"Oh uh, well you see, yesterday Diamond Tiara made fun of me for not being able to fly at recess, and she got all of the other kids to do it too. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle weren't there, so I was all alone," admitted Scootaloo meekly. The filly cast her eyes to the ground.

"Oh my," replied Cheerilee, her tough resolve dissipating. "Well, I'll have this injustice corrected, alright? Now you run along home, Scootaloo."

Scootaloo waved as she left. Cheerilee watched her go and heaved a heavy sigh as she realized that had to endure Diamond Tiara's parents yet again, wherever she may be.

Scootaloo climbed aboard her scooter, and was about to take off with her wings when she remembered her sister's words. She figured that she needed to get it back to the place she called home, so she just used her legs like she did the day before.

As she was turning off toward her home, a cherished voice piped up.

"Hey Squirt, where ya goin'? I thought we were doing lesson number two today," sounded a familiar, raspy voice. Scootaloo's face beamed again as she turned to see her sister's positive expression.

"Lesson two? Already?" Scootaloo asked. If her sister was going to schedule lessons every day, her heart might give out before she flies.

"Don't worry, we're not doing anything too serious right now, I'm just going to show you some stretches and exercises that will, well, fix your wings," she said, to Scootaloo's relief. "One thing though, was that bully Diamond-whatever in school today?"

Scootaloo giggled. "Heh, no she wasn't. Why?"

"Well, let's just say that somepony had a talk with another pony's parents." Dash reached over and ruffled Scootaloo's mane.

"You...told her parents about what she did?" Scootaloo's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates, and shimmered like stars.

"Gotta look out for my little sis, don't I? Yeah, I told them right before I went home to make our lesson plan."

"Wow. Th-thanks, Rainbow Dash!" said Scootaloo as she leaned forward to hug her sister's left foreleg. Dash reached down and wrapped her free hoof around the filly before speaking again.

"I don't think she's coming out of her room for a while. Heck, who knows? She probably wont mess with you again after I told her what's up with us now."

Scootaloo nuzzled the leg she clung to and mumbled another "Thank you."

Rainbow Dash then picked the happy filly up and flew her to the middle of a field. After a bit of stretching, Dash deemed the two fit for exercise.

"Okay, now what I want you to do is put your wings down on the ground like this." Dash then pushed her wings into the grass. "Then, when you have your weight supported, you can..." The cyan pony slowly lifted her legs and folded them close to her chest, "...do something called a wing-up!" Dash began lowering and lifting herself on just the strength of her wings. After showing a few, she put her forelegs back on the ground and folded her wings in. She then indicated for Scootaloo to try.

The filly did her best, but was only able to pull off eleven before she devolved from full, proper, nose-to-the-ground wing-ups to barely moving at all. Eventually, she simply kept her burning wings locked, supported only by the bones.

"I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash, I can't do any more," she said as she collapsed onto the grass. She sniffled for a moment before she felt the tip of a blue wing lift her chin up. Scootaloo reluctantly looked into her sister's eyes, expecting to find disappointed anger. However, the filly saw only a pair of soft eyes above a warm, forgiving smile.

"Don't worry, kiddo, you'll get better with time. All it takes is perseverance, remember? Just keep practicing and you'll get there."

Slowly, Scootaloo got to her hooves with the help of her sister. "C...can I be done with those?" she asked. "You said we weren't going to do anything serious yet."

Dash laughed for a moment before finally answering. "Hehe, of course we can't quit now! And besides, that wasn't anything serious. Come on, lets see if you can top your record!"

After a couple of hours of these painful exercises, the two called it a day. They hugged, and Scootaloo thanked Rainbow Dash for the lesson, although she didn't feel as though any form of gratitude was due for the small, numb wings that dangled at her sides.

Scootaloo turned off onto the road on her scooter after waving goodbye, and headed back to the orphanage. She never truly enjoyed going there, but it was where she resided for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, back at the place where the filly departed, Dash watched her leave. "Promising effort, kid. You won't be going that direction to get home for long. As soon as we get you flying, there'll be nothing standing in my way." The cyan pony ended her proud and wistful statement with an assuring nod of her head, and turned away towards her cloud home.

Author's Note:

Sorry for the late updates, guys. You all probably know what I'm foreshadowing here, but hush, no words. Just read when I get around to writing the next chapter.