• Published 17th Apr 2014
  • 11,632 Views, 98 Comments

In Her Shadow - LuminoZero

Prism Bolt thought that being Rainbow Dash's son was the most awesome thing ever. That is, until he tried to step out from under her impressive fame.

  • ...


A purple foreleg reached out to knock gently on the front door of one of the many houses in the main part of the town. The rapping on the wood was followed by the sounds of conversation from within the house. She could hear two colts and an older mare beyond the door.

"Come on in!" the older female voice replied. "Come on, you two. Nopony in this house is late!"

Whirlwind pushed the door open and smiled as the familiar scene came into view. She had barely stepped through the threshold, her silver streaked mane swaying as she walked, when a light blue colt ran right up to her. He looked up at her with a smile as a lock of his streaked mane fell over his eyes, and was subsequently pushed back by his hoof.

"Good morning, Stormy!" Whirlwind said, reaching up to ruffle his mane a bit. "Always ready to go when I get here. You sure are growing up fast. I don't suppose you got that from your brother, hm?"

Icy Storm shook his head back and forth. "Prism slept late...again" he offered as an explanation. Almost as if on cue, Prism Bolt came flying down from the second floor. His wings propelled him as he zipped about the house, gathering his things before he turned towards the front door.

Rainbow Dash was in the living room, giving a cursory check of Stormy’s saddlebags, when she noticed Prism's approach. She had her back to him, but did not miss a beat as she lifted a hoof.

As he flew by she dropped it like a hammer, slamming a bit of his tail to the floor. Prism quickly lost control and slammed into the ground hard enough to make Stormy and Whirlwind wince. "No flying in the house, Bolt," Rainbow Dash said with practiced grace. She walked the rest of the way to the door as Prism shook the stars out of his eyes. "Good morning, Whirlwind. You'll make sure the both of these little colts get to the school house without breaking something?"

Whirlwind laughed as she watched Prism come walking up at a more leisurely pace. "Don't I always? We're supposed to have a special guest today, so we really shouldn't be late."

Rainbow Dash nodded, nuzzling Stormy before he could zip out the door. "Now you behave yourself, Stormy."

"Moooooooooom!" he complained, shuffling away from her with an embarrassed blush.

Rainbow turned her attention back to her eldest, who had taken his own spot by the door. "Prism, you take good care of your brother. No flying to the schoolhouse. I don't want you leaving him behind again. You're lucky that Rumble was walking Echo last time," she said, eying him critically. She'd had quite a few words to say when she found out that the two brothers had been separated because Prism was too busy showing off in the air.

"Right, mom. I'll take good care of him," he said, taking his own chance to give his brother a light tousling. "Now come on, you slow pokes. Can't be late!"

Whirlwind rolled her eyes at Prism's declaration. He'd never been terribly interested in school-none of them were- but being late was something anypony related to Rainbow Dash dodged like the plague.

"So," Whirlwind said as they started the trip, "who do you think the special guest is? They're making us get set up as soon as we get there, and the meeting isn't until just before lunch!"

Prism shrugged. "I dunno. Probably just some scholar person to come to talk to us about something boring. I already checked with my dad. It's not a Wonderbolt."

Whirlwind sighed. "That's too bad. I'd really like to learn more from active Wonderbolts," she said, taking off and floating along with the other two.

"Hey, we're not supposed to fly!" Prism complained, before continuing the conversation. "Besides, you live with two former Wonderbolts too!"

Whirlwind spun upside down, still flying forward, as she stuck her tongue out at Prism and his brother. "First of all, my parents were only reservists, not full timers like your parents. Second, my mom never told me that I couldn't fly."

Prism scowled. "Not fair. Why should I be the one stuck on the ground?"

His question lost meaning when he noticed Stormy flapping his wings, slowly ascending into the sky. In a moment, he was on level with Whirlwind, though not terribly stable. "I...I can fly too!" he declared.

"Well, you sure can!" Whirlwind said with a smile to the young colt, pulling up next to him.

"Hah, if you can call that flying," Prism said with a shake of his mane. "Check this out!" The older colt took off into the sky, not wasting any time before he began showing off. He performed flips, spins, rolls and twists as he flew circles around the other two. Stormy couldn't possibly keep up with that, and Whirlwind stayed with him to make sure he didn't get hurt by his brother's showboating.

Prism looked back at them, throwing a wink to Whirlwind, when a change in sound from his side drew his attention. A tan pegasus stallion was flying on an intercept course with him. He looked to be carrying some hefty bags, so changing course would be impossible for him.

In a split second, Prism's course changed by 90 degrees, flying alongside the stallion for a moment before he came to a complete stop a few feet later. "Whoops! Sorry about the scare, Mr. Cake!"

Pound Cake looked surprised for a moment, but then laughed heartily at the events as the other two caught up. "Heading to school, eh kids?" He stopped for a moment when he noticed that Stormy was flying as well, giving an approving nod. "The both of you are flying that well at your age? You sure are Rainbow's sons."

The effect such an innocent statement had on the brothers was profound, but totally different for each of them. Stormy puffed out his chest with pride, delighted to be compared to somepony as amazing as his mother. Prism, on the other hand, became quiet after a hollow 'thanks'.

The remainder of the trip to the schoolhouse was filled with Stormy chattering on about one thing or another, as Whirlwind threw a concerned glance towards Prism.

The day had passed at a maddeningly slow pace. Everypony knew they weren't going to get anything done aside from the visit, but that hadn't stopped them from trying. Prism took stock of his classmates, noting the usual faces as they started to set up the room for the rest of the colts and fillies. They were the 'upper class' in the school, so the obligation of setting things up fell to them instead of the younger foals.

Prism was moving the desks out of the room as a familiar colt with a golden coat came up beside him. Prism nodded to Golden Delicious, the resident Apple. He was large, like his uncle Mac, but few ponies in town were as gentle and caring as he was. The two exchanged a wordless greeting as they went about their work.

Outside in the hallway, he could hear the voices of two of his friends. Whirlwind, whose voice he could pick out anywhere, and Cotton Candy. Candy entered his vision briefly, as the cyan pony worked to keep the foals from the other classes organized and happy while the room was being cleared. Her mane bounced playfully as her sing song voice echoed up and down the hallway.

A few gasps of surprise from the hallway called his attention again, just in time to see a green dragon wing passing by. Well, only one pony in town that could possibly be. Turquoise Blitz, the younger child of the only dragon to ever live in Ponyville. He was a quiet one, despite how many dragon traits he had inherited from his father, and the hysterics his mother was well known for. He was moving in the opposite direction of the other ponies, and Prism had a pretty good idea why.

Turquoise would be going to get the last of the Ponyville crew, Anthea. A lilac coated unicorn filly who was nearly blind. Prism didn't know much about her before Fluttershy had adopted her, since he'd been learning how to fly at that time and hadn't been paying much attention to anything else. Her blindness had been what made her and Turquoise so close, since how odd he looked didn't matter to her at all. She was a sweetheart, but a bit of a pushover sometimes.

Prism watched as the foals started coming in, spotting his little brother being directed by Whirlwind, of course. They went by age, getting the younger ones settled before sending in the older ones. As the groups went on, taking their seats on the cushioned floor, Prism saw something: a pony he'd not seen for a very, very long time.

As he looked at the yellow coat and violet-striped mane, he almost wanted to call out to the pegasus. Still, he wasn't sure if she was who he thought she was. He'd only met Princess Starburst once or twice, since she lived in Canterlot. Why would she be here?

Shortly after, Turquoise led Anthea into the room as well, taking a seat near the front so she could easily hear the speaker. Prism noticed that Turquoise looked at the new pegasus and waved. Prism slipped over to Turquoise and sat down next to him. Turquoise hadn't noticed him yet, but Anthea spoke up.

"Good morning, Bolt," she said with a smile to him. Turquoise turned in surprise.

"Heh, can't sneak up on those ears of yours," Prism replied, grinning mischievously. "Hey T, I have a question for you. You see that new pegasus who came in?" he asked softly.

Turquoise looked over the crowd of ponies and spotted the pegasus in question sitting down next to Del and Candy. "You mean Starburst? What about her?"

"So that is her! Princess Twilight's daughter!" Prism exclaimed. "Do you know her?"

Turquoise nodded. "Yeah. I mean I did grow up in Canterlot, and my big sis was best friends with the prince. We saw a lot of each other before I moved to Ponyville to start school."

Prism nodded. "What would she be doing down here? Did she move here or something?"

Anthea's ears twitched as she spoke up, holding her hoof to her lips. "You're about to find out. Shhhh."

At that moment, one of the teachers stood in front of the class. "Fillies and colts, let's all give a warm Ponvyville welcome to Princess Twilight Sparkle."

As the princess walked into the room, the atmosphere changed dramatically. The foals all sat with eyes as wide as dinner plates, while the older ponies were left wondering how they could properly bow while sitting down.

Twilight was quite used to this reaction, and held up a hoof. "You don't need to bow. I'm just pleased to be here to visit all of my little ponies."

Those who knew Twilight as only the socially inept bookworm would be amazed at the change being a princess had wrought in her. She carried herself with a great degree of confidence and poise. She wore her crown, but it seemed to mesh perfectly into her attire without being ostentatious or outlandish.

"I've come here," she began, "because there is going to be an event this weekend that is one of my favorites. I always liked school, though I am quite sure many of you don't," she said with a quick smile around the room. "This weekend, there is going to be an exhibit about a famous unicorn, known as Star Swirl the Bearded, in Ponyville. His teachings were the basis of much of my life, so I feel there is a lot to be learned from this, even if you are not a unicorn!"

Prism Bolt wanted to sigh in annoyance, but he restrained himself, both out of respect for the princess and fear of what his mother would do to him if he did.

Twilight went on from there, giving the kind of history lesson only a true egghead would be capable of. Most of the other ponies were transfixed by her, listening eagerly to what the Princess of Harmony had to say. Most of her speech went in one ear and out the other for him, until something finally grabbed his attention.

"We know so little about his time. His achievements give us some insight into a period that has been long since forgotten. He's easily the most famous unicorn of his generation, perhaps in all of recorded history."

He was the most famous unicorn, eh? Prism wondered who the most famous pegasus was. Commander Hurricane, maybe? The most famous pegasus would have to be somepony whose name would be known by everypony, far and wide. Somepony whose name would be remembered forever, and who achieved impossible things.

Somepony like his mother.

A little colt speaking up snapped Prism out of his daydream. "But princess, I thought you were the most famous unicorn!" Prism recognized the voice of his little brother, even as distracted as he was.

Twilight laughed brightly. "Well, I'm honored you think that. It's true, I was born as a unicorn, but I'm afraid I'm not a candidate for that anymore," she said, extending her wings slightly. "Still, that is a very kind thing to say, Icy Storm."

Stormy looked beside himself with pride at being called by name by the princess. He turned to exchange a hushed whisper with Whirlwind, who was at his side.

Now that Prism was paying attention, he could hear the whispers around him.

"Wow, she knew his name!"

"Of course she did. He's Rainbow Dash's son! Everypony in Equestria could tell that!"

A few ponies jumped as Prism Bolt brought his hoof down on the ground, hard. He hadn't really been thinking about it, and the attention of the class on him snapped him back to reality.

Twilight didn't even bat an eyelash, instead turning her pleasant gaze upon him. "Did you have a question for me, Prism Bolt?"

Prism was used to worming his way out of trouble. He could write this off as being overeager if he had a good question formed. Something to give a little believability to the claim that he just got a bit worked up over such an impressive guest.

"Uh... Did...Hmmm... Did he have a family?" Prism finally asked, a silence falling over the room as he did.

"Nice one," he sarcastically berated himself.

Twilight blinked once in surprise. "I'm sorry?"

Prism Bolt shook his hoof. "No, never mind. It was a dumb question."

Twilight shook her head this time. "Not at all! There is no question that is without value. You wanted to know if he had a family, but the truth is I don't really know." Twilight laughed slightly. "It is interesting. Every time I visit students, I always get one question I didn't expect. You ponies are better than most professors," she teased.

Twilight continued with her explanation. "Clearly, he had to have parents, but the existence of siblings or children is not documented. We don't even know for sure if he was married. If you are really interested in it, I'm sure I could point you towards some places to start looking." She wore an amused smile as she continued. “I’m surprised you’re so interested in it. I almost had to chase you mother down to get her to study when we were younger.”

All the ponies in the room laughed, even Stormy. Prism fought back the urge to scream.

"Right. Thank you, princess." In truth, her answer had told him all he ever needed to know about Star Swirl the Bearded. He'd been so famous, so brilliant, that everypony near him was obscured. As time went on, they were all forgotten by history. None of what they did would ever have mattered, simply because they could not possibly live up to him. Even Clover the Clever was best known for her relation to the legendary sorcerer, rather than her own accomplishments.

He wondered if he would ever be anything other than "Rainbow Dash's son".

A few more questions were asked, but Prism was no longer paying attention. It was only the change in Twilight's tone that brought him back to reality. "Now then, I do have a present for you for giving me such a warm reception. I managed to convince your teachers to let you out of class after lunch today, and to not give homework this weekend," she said with a twinkle in her eyes.

The excited whispers of the ponies went up around her as she continued. "But in return, I want you all to go to the Star Swirl exhibit that will be in town this weekend. I want all of you to write me a letter about something important you learned from it. It can be anything you want, as long as it was important to you. You can deliver the letters to the Golden Oak Library. I'll be staying there this weekend. I look forward to reading what each and every one of you discovered!"

Twilight turned to the teachers, who quickly took control of their individual classes. Letting all of these ponies loose at once would be asking for trouble. Prism worked his way against the crowd, slipping next to Whirlwind as the younger ponies were guided back to their classrooms.

"Hey, want to take care of that when we get out of here?" he asked as nonchalantly as he could manage. Whirlwind gave him a perplexed expression in return.

"You actually want to do the homework early?"

Prism shrugged. "I don't really want to keep the princess waiting, or have it hanging over my head all weekend. We should just take Stormy and get it over with."

Whirlwind seemed satisfied with his justification, at least on the surface.

Prism moved around the exhibits like a colt possessed. He read every placard, checked every relic, and even stopped to speak to a few of the ponies working there. He took notice of his friends, who had decided to come along in one big group.

Starburst, who technically didn't have to write a letter, was off with Golden Delicious and Cotton Candy at one end of the exhibit. The trio stood by a collection of artifacts associated with the famous sorcerer, as Starburst seemed to be arguing the accuracy of one of the placards. She never really cared about Star Swirl, but her mother never shut up about how great he was.

Turquoise Blitz was by the exhibit of Star Swirl's most famous achievements and his many titles. He was reading them aloud to Anthea, who was at his side.

"Star Swirl the Bearded was given many prestigious titles both during his life and posthumously. The most famous declares him as the 'Father of the amniomorphic spell.' His discoveries in the field of protection magic are visible even today, in the impressive barriers created by the royal family of the Crystal Empire," Turquoise read.

Prism looked around with a sigh. Somewhere during his exploration, he'd wandered away from Whirlwind and Stormy. He turned towards a large portrait of the powerful unicorn and just snarled at him.

"I looked through this whole exhibit. I talked to everypony here, even the princess who idolized you. Nopony knows where you came from, or what came after you. Nopony cares. Did you care? Did you know that everypony around you didn't even have a chance to be remembered, or were you too absorbed in your own accomplishments to even think about what it would do to everypony else? It says here that you wrote hundred of spells, dozens of research journals, and countless half-finished theories that we still don't understand. You couldn't take an hour to actually write about your family?" Prism snorted, raising his hoof to strike at the silent unicorn.

"I don't think he can hear you, Bolt", came from behind him. Prism jumped in surprise, whirling around to find himself face-to-face with Whirlwind.

Prism's mind was racing for something to justify his actions. At the very least, he needed a way to change the topic into something less embarrassing than him having a conversation with a poster. "Where's Stormy?" he asked, noting the absence of his younger brother.

Whirlwind shook her head. "I took him home a little bit ago. You know we've been here for over an hour, right?"

Prism blinked, turning to glance at the large clock on city hall. Whirlwind was right, they'd been out here far longer than he had intended. "Right, sorry. I guess I lost track of time. Thanks for looking after him."

Whirlwind just looked at him, tapping her hoof with an annoyed expression. "Well?"

"Well, what?"

"Are you going to tell me what all this is about, or are you going to make me guess?"

Prism shuffled uncomfortably where he stood. He really didn't want to get into it, but he knew Whirlwind well enough to know how stubborn she could be. She wasn't going to be pushed aside easily. "I don't know what you're talking about..." he said, weakly.

"Oh please. Mr. Cake this morning, the outburst with the princess, and now talking to a poster? You know dang well what I am talking about," she said with annoyance.

Prism Bolt relented, backing up a few steps. "Fine, fine. I'll tell you about it once I finish this assignment to the princess. I want to write it out before I forget it."

Whirlwind narrowed her eyes at him, but nodded in agreement. "There's no wind right now, and no weather moving in tonight, so why don't we go write them up right now?" she said, gesturing to a few benches only a few feet from the exhibit.

Prism Bolt cursed to himself. He should have figured that she wouldn't let him out of her sight that easily. He'd need to find another way to dodge her.

Maybe an opportunity would present itself after they dropped off the letters.

The pair approached the Golden Oak library, their letters safely tucked away in their saddlebags. True to her word, Whirlwind stuck to him like a thorn briar. She was going to force the issue, so he'd probably have to come up with some good story after they dropped the letters off. He'd been trying to think of something while he wrote the letter, but any good excuses had not been forthcoming.

His head snapped up when he heard a sharp rapping. Whirlwind had just knocked on the door to the library while he'd been lost in thought. The handle glowed a familiar shade of purple as the door swung open, the princess greeting them both with a smile from the center of the room.

Princess Twilight sat on a cushion at a small, well-used wooden table. Books were spread out around her in a way one could only describe as Discordian. She stood, welcoming them into the library. "Good afternoon, Whirlwind, Prism Bolt. You're the first students I've seen today. I take it this visit means you've finished your letters?"

Whirlwind smiled enthusiastically. "Yes, princess!" she said with more energy than she'd intended. "It was really interesting.” She held up her scroll for Twilight.

Prism just nodded, fishing his own letter out of his bag. He went to place it on the table, when both letters were enveloped in the same purple aura from before. The letters floated up and over to the table, landing gently before the princess.

"I'm sure you both wrote wonderful letters, but I must admit I am very curious about what you discovered, Prism," she said, with a twinkle in her eyes. "I saw that you were very interested in the exhibit. That's good! A healthy pursuit of knowledge is important for any pony." Twilight began to slowly unroll his letter.

"Ah! Y-you're going to read it now?" he asked in surprise, a few beads of sweat forming on his brow. He'd assumed that she would read it when he wasn't around.

"Well, you are the first letters I've received. It would be silly to let them wait," she answered, as her eyes scanned the page. Prism could see the excitement on her face vanish, replaced by something else entirely. Was that concern?

"Well... I... uh... I better get going home! Don't want mom to worry!" he said, turning to make a move for the door.

Two things happened before he could make it very far. The first was a hoof crossing his path, making him fall flat on his face as Whirlwind tripped him. The second was Princess Twilight speaking up from the table.

"Actually, I was wondering if you would mind answering a few questions about your letter. I've never read anything quite like it, and I—are you okay?" she asked, noticing his current position.

Prism Bolt got to his hooves, turning around to face the princess bashfully. "Um... yeah. I guess that is okay."

Twilight looked to Whirlwind for a quick moment. "Maybe now isn't the best time. I can stop by your house later tonight if you'd have time then?"

"No!" Prism Bolt nearly shouted. "No, it's okay. I... um... well, I promised I'd tell Dubz anyway..."

Whirlwind smacked him on his foreleg. "I told you to stop calling me that," she said with a small blush.

Twilight smiled, turning towards the kitchen. "Spike! Could you put on some tea for our guests?"

The head of the large dragon poked out from the kitchen, a rather tantalizing smell filling the room as he did so. "Sure thing, Twi! Honestly, I wonder what you do without me up in Canterlot."

"I call a maid to make tea, or I do it myself," she retorted with a smirk.

Spike called back from the kitchen. "Hah! Unless Celestia sent them to a class, I know those cooks wouldn't know how to make a good pot of tea if their lives depended on it!"

"With that sharp mouth, it's no wonder Rarity didn't mind me putting you to work for the weekend!" Twilight looked back to the two ponies as she finished her banter with Spike, smiling and gesturing to Prism.

"Now then, I wanted to know what made you think of what you wrote in your letter," she said with a coy smile. "I've never seen anypony take that kind of an approach, but I can't deny that there was a good deal of truth to it."

Prism looked between Whirlwind and Twilight, sighing as he sat down on the ground. There was no way out now, he'd have to talk. "Well... I guess it started with the question I asked..."

Twilight always knew that Celestia worked very hard keeping the kingdom running. Still, the amount of work there was to be done, even with another monarch to share it with, was staggering. Princess Luna still handled the night alone, as she was more than capable of handling any troubles that arose in the dark hours. There was also the fact that she was training her own daughter, Nidra.

Twilight was knocked out of her thoughts when a knock came on her chamber doors. "Enter," she spoke, practiced and regal. A guard opened the door, bowing before her as he delivered his message.

"Your highness, Ms. Rainbow Dash has requested an audience."

Twilight rolled her eyes. She had told her guards time and time again that her friends were always welcome, but they still insisted on stopping them and following protocol. It wasn't going to be something that she could change, so she would just have to live with it. "Please send her in," she said, not showing her annoyance.

The guard didn't even have a chance to speak, as Rainbow Dash pushed past him, into the room. "I told you," she said with a knowing grin.

The guard looked a little miffed, but bowed again to Twilight before leaving the room and closing the door. Twilight set her quill down, getting up to go and greet her friend. "Hi, Rainbow!" she said cheerfully, dropping her royal demeanor and practiced grace. "What brings you all the way to Canterlot?"

Rainbow Dash looked sideways at her. "What, I can't come visit my friends now and again?"

Twilight arched an eyebrow, her calculating smile coming out again. "Way up here, unannounced and alone? Forgive me for thinking there was something more to this than a social call," she said with a teasing tone in her voice.

Rainbow sighed. "Fine, you got me. I had to ask you a question."

Twilight's face fell. "It must be something important if you didn't just send a letter through Spike. What is it?"

"Well..." Rainbow Dash began slowly. "It sounds crazy, even to me, but I can't push the thought out of my head. Last week, you did that little presentation at the schoolhouse. Since then, Prism Bolt has been acting... odd. Whirlwind too. The both of them have been ditching their training and just generally being slackers. Normally, I'd just say that kids do that. Celestia knows I did, but the timing seems really odd. He's just been acting differently lately, and I wanted to know if you had any idea why."

There was an awkward pause in the conversation. Twilight opened her mouth to speak, but Rainbow Dash cut her off. "I know, it was a stupid thing to ask. I just needed to say it. It was just gut instinct, not something reliable. Sorry to bug you with this." Dash turned back towards the door, preparing to leave.

"You've lived your life off of instinct, Rainbow, and it continues to serve you well," Twilight said, opening a drawer of her large desk with her magic and pulling a scroll from it. "I'll assume from the handful of spelling corrections on Icy Storm's letter that you helped him write it. That colt has a lot of dreams. He wants to be even better than you." She layed the scroll out on the table. "Your eldest, however, seems to have some very different thoughts."

A look of concern darted across Rainbow's face as she walked up to the desk, reaching for the scroll. She smoothed it out, and began reading from it.

Dear Princess Twilight;

Star Swirl the Bearded taught me a very important lesson today. Being famous is awesome, and if you are famous enough then you will be remembered forever. But when you are famous like that, then everypony else around you is forgotten, overlooked because of how awesome you are. Everypony says Star Swirl was really amazing and incredible, but I think he was just rude. He didn't care about anypony around him, he just wanted his work to be remembered. He never wrote anything about his family, or about ponies important to him, he just cared about himself.

Being awesome is great, but how did Clover the Clever feel about always being called "Star Swirl's Student"? It was like she was only important because of her connection to him. I think being really famous isn't as awesome as everypony thinks it is.

Your subject;

-Prism Bolt

Twilight followed Rainbow's eyes, noting when the latter had reached the bottom of the scroll. "The first thing I noticed when I read that, after how well spoken he is for a colt, was... well, what did you see there?"

Rainbow Dash shrugged, analyzing the letter. "He seems to really have an issue with fame. It makes sense to me. He's seen the ugly side of it with some of the crap me and Soarin have to put... up... with," she finished, a horrified look of realization coming to her face as she began reading the letter again. "Oh sweet Celestia... he... he wrote this about me, didn't he?"

Twilight gauged Rainbow's reaction, choosing her words carefully. "Rainbow, what do you think about Rarity?"

Rainbow Dash shot Twilight a glare that communicated her annoyance quite clearly. "The hay does that have to do with anything?"

Twilight remained calm, something she'd learned from watching Celestia in many a tense situation. "I promise there is a point to this. Trust me."

"She's a great friend. You know that."

"Of course I do. But do you like every part about her? Are there any parts of her personality you don't enjoy?"

Rainbow Dash looked a bit ashamed as she answered. "Well, yeah. She is really prissy and dramatic, not to mention a total bore sometimes. So?"

Twilight smiled at her friend, walking around the desk to give her a hug. "You're an adult, which is why you can do that. You can see the parts of a friend that you don't like, and the parts that you do like. Foals can't really do that."

Rainbow Dash remained quiet, taking in everything her friend was saying.

"I was able to talk with him and Whirlwind a little bit. Don't you doubt for a moment that that colt loves you and thinks you are the most awesome pony in Equestria. I can tell you that much without a doubt in my mind. The problem is that he's too mentally immature to understand that you can like someone and still dislike parts of them. It's something that will come in time, but he's dealing with it now. Near as I can tell, he hates having all of his achievements compared to you. He's terrified that all anypony will ever see is that he is your son. So, what he did is actually a very common coping method. He pushed these negative emotions that he felt towards you onto somepony else. In this case, Star Swirl served the purpose."

Rainbow Dash held up a hoof. "Wait a minute. Are you telling me that my own son hates a famous pony from ancient history because he doesn't want to hate me?"

Twilight stomped her hoof on the floor. "Rainbow Dash! Never say that he hates you. Nothing could be further from the truth. He's jealous of you. He's angry at your fame always being held over his head, certainly, but it is because of his love for you that his mind pushes these emotions onto another figure. Subconsciously, he cannot associate negative emotions with you."

Rainbow stopped, digesting all of this new information that Twilight was throwing at her. "So... if this is what it was, that still doesn't explain why he's acting the way he is."

Twilight grinned from ear to ear. "Well, I told him that he should stop trying to follow in your hoof prints if he didn't want to be like you. The world is huge, and there are plenty of things out there for a pony who loves flying besides being a Wonderbolt. If he doesn't want to be in your shadow, then he has to do things his way, not yours."

Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes at Twilight. "Knowing this a week ago would have saved me a lot of headaches in trying to get him to train. I thought he was just being lazy."

"Well, you should still push him. Foals tend to do nothing if they have no reason to. It's his path to walk, but you can still make sure he keeps moving in some direction. Whatever he wants to do with his life, he'll find it someday. When he grows up a bit more, he'll be able to deal with his conflicted emotions, and then who knows?" Twilight said with a shrug. "I just... well, I wanted him to be happy. There was no way he was going to be happy if everyone was comparing him to you every day, so he decided to be as different from you as possible. Where you are dependable, he's going to be flighty. Where you were determined, he'll be a slacker. I fully believe he'll grow out of it someday, when he's grown up enough to handle it."

Rainbow Dash felt a bit dizzy from the massive dump of knowledge Twilight had just pushed onto her. "How... did you know all of this? Last time I checked, you weren't really amazing with ponies. I mean, you've come a long way, but not even Pinkie or Fluttershy could have done this."

Twilight blushed lightly. "I've been... reading up," she answered awkwardly. Rainbow noticed that a few sheets of paper were moved by her magic, covering up a book on her desk. Rainbow wasted no time, flying over and snatching the book up before Twilight could hide it.

"Connecting with your foal: A parent's guide to parenthood?" she read aloud. The book looked well worn, as if it had been read through hundreds of times. Rainbow Dash took a closer look, and saw many books of similar titles scattered around the room. Rainbow’s expression quickly changed to a knowing smile. "Ah, now I get it. You're having some trouble with Star, aren't you?"

"W-what makes you say that?" Twilight asked, backing away from the desk.

"You spend so much time around books that you are just like them, easy to read," Rainbow said, rolling her eyes with a grin.

"We just... don't connect very well. I've tried to fix that, but she keeps telling me to stop using my books on her. I don't know how she can tell! She's never read them herself!" Twilight ranted, a small sigh escaping her lips.

"Because you're too practiced!" Rainbow said. "Starburst's a strong filly, and she's pretty sharp too. Try doing something spontaneous, you might surprise her."

Twilight blinked. "Spontaneous? But I don't have any plans for anything like that..."

Rainbow just sighed, slapping her face with her hoof. After a moment, both mares began giggling, breaking into full-on laughter in short order.

"What a pair we are, eh?" Rainbow said, wiping the tears of mirth from her eyes. "I'm really glad I made this trip. It was good to get advice from you, Twi."

Twilight looked out the window, gauging the time. "Do you have to go already? It feels like such a long time since we just sat down and talked."

"I probably should," Rainbow said, turning towards the door with a wave. "There is a weather meeting—"

"Oh, that's too bad. I had one last bottle of Applejack's famous Zap Apple Cider."

"—that I am quite sure they can handle without me," Rainbow finished, turning around with a delighted grin on her face.

Twilight gave a happy laugh as she pulled the bottle from the back of her cabinet. "It's been forever since I've had a mug. There just never seems to be a good time, or company, for it anymore."

Rainbow gawked at her. "Twilight, if you ever need help to finish off a bottle of Zap Apple Cider, I'll be here in ten seconds flat," she said with a wide smile. The two shared another laugh as Twilight moved towards her glass cabinet. The perfect drink required the perfect vessel.

Twilight ignored the magic-crafted porcelain cups, the Crystal Empire's branded glasses, and even the ceremonial goblets that Celestia and Luna used at their own tables. Instead, her magic grabbed a pair of simple wooden mugs, an apple clearly carved into their side. "You know, I find that the cider just doesn't taste right unless you use the right mug," she said, placing a pair of them on the table as she popped the top off of the cider bottle.

"Yeah, none of the upper-class prissy stuff. Give me a good, strong mug of Apple Family Cider any day of the week," Rainbow said, licking her lips as Twilight poured.

Twilight grasped her mug without her magic "To family?" she suggested.

Rainbow Dash chuckled and shook her head, grasping her own mug. "No way. Too boring. This one is to two confused mothers, doing the best they can with foals that are gonna drive them up the wall."

Twilight laughed heartily. "I'll drink to that!"

The two crashed their mugs together, and rekindled the flames of an old friendship among the laughter of memories sweeter than any cider.

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Comments ( 98 )

This is amazing.

I love the idea good good good job and I'm a real stickler for creative story ideas and I hope you keep coming up with great story ideas


Glad you liked it!


So do I! I find that my best stories are created from simple questions. This one was 'Why'. Why did Prism go from an eager young flier to a lazy slacker? I hope the story succeed in answering the question.


How did you gain such an amazing writing ability?


By failing. A LOT.

Nobody in this world is born good. I did older works in the Golden Sun and Summon Night fandoms a long time ago, and those early works were absolutely horrible. In truth, a lot of writing comes from reading. I don't read as much as some here, but exposing yourself to the creativity of others is an excellent way to start.

After that, it takes humility. Be willing to accept the mistakes you make, and find someone who will point them out to you. If I had two cents for every time Prak called me out on a comma splice or using third-person omniscient, I'd have at least a dollar, maybe two.

Every step you take to improve makes you better. One step at a time, nobody can ask anything more of you.


Yeah I have a problem with commas. Not knowing when to use them or not, but I'll keep trying. Thanks for the advice:twilightsmile:

The story was a good read...but to me, it seemed to had lack something that your other two Prism stories had. It is by no reason your fault, as you are a great writer.

It was quite interesting seeing how Prism went from eager to a slacker, quite sad too.

I honestly think you should do a follow up to Wingover regarding Prism and Whirlwind. It's my opinion, but I really think you should do it.

Good job.


Hahahaha! Funny that you should say that, because I already have the final story planned out! Once I get the time to sit down and write it, we'll wrap the story of these two up nice and tight.

I wish I could have a better idea of what seemed off, but I suppose we'll just move on and always do better!

Thanks for the review;

How long will it take for this story to be on the feature box ('cause it totally deserves it)? Taking all bets guys, taking all bets!

Honestly, though, it's was a really great read. It shows a rather unpleasant aspect of being related to somebody famous, that is often overlooked. And an interesting way to cope with that.

Also, love that part about Twiligh being easy to read like a book.

How do you keep coming with such great "slice of life" ideas for your stories?


Answer: I just think, really. I pace a lot, walking to places instead of driving, or just let my mind wander. It lets me think, and when I do, I start asking questions. The question that spawned this story was:

"Why did Prism Bolt go from an eager flier to a lazy slacker?"

And then this story formed to answer that question. For me, the story was less important than the characters. The story was the logical conclusion of the path that characters had to take to get from point A to point B.

Dunno if that makes any sense, but that is how I came up with the idea. :twilightsheepish:


4249401 Wow, you reply real fast. Anyways, I cannot wait. The story I'm working on that is based on your stories is collecting dust, but I think once college gets out for the term, I might have some time for it.

I think what was missing is the conflict. Sure, Prism feeling inadequate in the shadow of his mother seems liked a good conflict, but I guess there was no resolution on the matter or something like that.

I honestly don't know, but either way, you still made a good story about my favorite pony of the Next Gen Mane 6, and his special somepony. I know Priz and Dubz aren't together, but I still have my hopes.


See, Prak said something similar when he was proofreading. The conflict is Prism's, but the resolution of the story focuses on Rainbow. I actually did this on purpose.

It is very difficult to write a real solid resolution for a child character, because they are still mentally immature. A resolution is 'The end of a chapter' so to speak. A child lives day by day, so ending in such a way is much more difficult for them. You might recall that the ending of 'A Little Push' ended with more focus on Rainbow and Soarin than it did on Prism.

However in 'Wingover', when he is older, he and Whirlwind are the focus of the ending. That is because as young adults, they are able to learn and actually think on the lesson they learned over the course of the story, without it seeming out of character.

If I made Prism have an introspective moment about how he was coping with something he didn't even consciously realize he was doing, it would have felt very forced and out of character.

Instead, I used the prior scene to display that the issue was resolved, but used more mature characters to do so.

I hope the choice makes sense now;

4249434 Does now. I cannot wait for the final story.

(Scott Cocoa signature thumbs-up)

Nice chapter. I hope your next story is as good as this one.


That makes two of us!

Thanks for the comment;

4249416 I see... thanks for answering that question, I will keep that in mind.

I feel as if I cannot come up with a relatable sort of story, you see. All my stories practically concentrate on darkish fantasy stuff and action, though I add a bit of cutesy and humor where I can. But writing a more real-life kinda problem is another matter. I did it/plan to do it a few times, but those were/will be... rather uncommon cases, and a little bit disturbing. Like that one thing... well, suffice to say that it was a really risky chapter, which thankfully was rather well received. And lately... I had a similar idea, but this time it would be for a story set in kilala's Next Gen universe. I won't go into details, as I really doubt that one will come to life. All I'll say that the title would be along the lines of "Red Alert on Sweet Apple Acres" and leave the rest to your imagination.

Oh, and on the thinking process: yeah, I do to that walking and letting mind wonder thing, though a hot shower also does wonders.

Sorry for taking up the space to write about my problems:twilightsheepish: Once again, great story.

Very good work. Keep it up, maybe someday I'll be as good at this as you.


Don't put me on such a pedestal. There is nothing I can do that you are not capable of. Just keep working on it.


Pretty darn great, though I wish it had been longer.

Even though I only read about the first 500 words. I could tell this STory had a true purpose. Keep it up. And you could publish this on one of the websites for M L P


Any particular reason you stopped there? I am always looking for ways to improve my writing.


okay kilala's wiki page has been updated with this story:rainbowdetermined2:


Thank you very much, sir! I hope you enjoyed it!


This was so enjoyable!:heart:

I really want to read this, it looks like fun. But SoarinDash is still one of my most hated pairings. It's a wall made of Adamantium to me, I just can't get past that.


I'm sorry? I don't really know what you expected me to say to that. Nothing personal, I just don't understand the purpose of leaving the comment.

If you do decide to read the story, I hope you enjoy it;

Oh trust me, this really does look like something I'd like.

And the comment is just the result of this weird impulse of being torn between something that I think I'd like and a pairing I don't like. It's just a weird habit of mine. It's not an insult to you, it's just something I have to do.

Sorry if it's an inconvenience.


I find that it is healthy and helpful to try to view things with an open mind. I may dislike the SpiLight ship, but I'd still read a story with it if I thought the premise was solid.

That said, thanks for the explanation and I hope you have a fine evening.


I have been doing that lately. If it was me from last year that found this, you would have gotten flamed so hard.

And I hope you have a nice evening too.

Bad first impression. I saw a picture of the two, I saw it as degrading to Rainbow's go get em character, and I hated it ever since. Plus I see SoarinDash as a blatant celeb crush relationship and... that's just not good enough to base a long term relationship on. I don't like AppleDash for the same reason, but that's another subject all together.

I see, I'm glad that you at least have a good argument about that. :twilightsmile:
I was affraid that you would say something like "Because I do." Or "They have no chimestry." :trollestia:

I actually read this to see if your reason for Prism being a slacker was anywhere near mine :twilightsheepish: but I always enjoy you stories, though you said Twilight was a socially inept bookwork, and I think you meant bookworm. Love this one and can't wait for the next.


No matter how much we edit, something always slips through the cracks. :rainbowlaugh:

I hope you enjoyed the story, and that it met your expectations!


Wow, you got featured, Lumino! Great job! (Not that there was any doubt, of course. :pinkiehappy:)


Were it not for the ancient, legacy fic, I'd be top of the box. But I am ok with that, I can share.


4249518 Yes! I can literally spend an hour in the shower brainstorming about stories.

Well paced, great writing and plot, and humor sprinkled where it should go. 2 hooves up :twilightsmile:


I'm glad you liked it! Always nice to hear your work is appreciated. :twilightsmile:


Okay, so I like these sort of plot premises. However, I feel like this could have been executed better. It was hard telling which colt was which, often requiring me to read up at the beginning again in order to reaffirm the character names. IMO, the story is lacking in critical character development and building early on and could easily be remedied with a couple additional sentences explaining the brothers in detail.

To my dismay, I feel like you fell into the "This is a new character. We will talk about them for three lines and you'll never hear from them again," trap when they were setting up for the guest speaker. The part about the blind filly (who was that btw?) and some sort of dragon were kinda rushed. I mean, why even mention them if you'll tell us barely anything about them only for them to be completely ditched in the next paragraph?

He wondered if he would ever be anything other than "Rainbow Dash's son".

This scene, as well as the one before it, is crafted quite eloquently. It really puts a true depth to the fear and dismay Prism has about his mother.

I'm assuming Starburst is Twilight's kid. But really, the constant OC name dropping kept ruining the immersion. The supporting characters felt shallow, you could easily throw in practically any other name and the story wouldn't be affected in anyway, that's how meaningless their roles are.


I really don't think this should be a proper noun. It's a descriptor for how the books are laid out. By capitalizing it, you are claiming that it's an unique entity of itself. Yet the usage of the word in context implies it to be a sort of adverb at most, not a noun. Just my thoughts there.

The time skip was decent to say the least, but I feel like it hurt the general flow of the story. This may just be personal preference but the scenario felt a bit jarring from the sudden shift.

There was also the fact that she was training her own daughter, Nidra.

It isn't abundantly clear, who's daughter is it? I assume Luna, but it could easily be argued that it could be Twilight's.

The following scenes with Twilight and Rainbow are executed quite wonderfully.

I fully believe he'll grow out of it someday, when he's grown up enough to handle it.

That is a huge character assumption. However, I do agree that perhaps something will progress in due time, I don't feel like they should just push the issue away.

Granted, why Twilight hasn't suggested a parenting book or two to Dash is a bit perplexing. It would definitely give her some pointers, but she definitely isn't one to follow something by the book. She's too dynamic for that. I'd think that Twilight wouldn't have totally not jumped on the opportunity to recommend a book to her friend.

That said, the ending was cute though. I feel like you need to watch out your usage of OC characters. As soon as you name a character, a common reader will try to register that name in their mind for future citing so that they can easily connect that character with descriptions used before. However, your usage of OCs are like akin to using something once and instantly throwing it away, having served some entirely small purpose (or no purpose at all), just for the fun of it.

Just my thoughts. I haven't read any of the stories that might have predated this, nor will I probably read the sequels. I only look into fics as a spur of the moment sort of deal, and the description for yours piqued my interest.

Overall, it wasn't a bad fic. I was able to enjoy it. Keep writing~!


Well, in fairness, you are reading the second story in a series with no knowledge of the first one. This story was based around the fanart of Kilala97 (which is noted in the description). If I had to redefine every single character every time I wrote a story, I would be saying the same thing fifty times. There comes a point where I have to say "The information is out there, I don't need to say it again."

Now, as for the mentioning characters and then moving on, I actually got into an argument with my proofreader over this. He said, quite accurately, that I shouldn't mention characters if I do not intend to use them in the story, and on any other day I would tend to agree with him.

But see, Spike is my favorite character.

It is my steadfast belief that if a character the audience knows would be there, then they should at least be mentioned as being there. All the characters I named are important characters in this canon, ones that my target audience are familiar with. So, why not ignore them if they have no purpose in the story?

Because 'Sweet and Elite' did that, and it infuriated me. Twilight's birthday party, Spike isn't written in because he wasn't important to the plot of the episode. That was a major screw up in the writing, and any time I don't at least give a cursory mention to characters that would be present, I feel like I am doing that. I don't particularly like Starburst or Golden Delicious as characters, but if I don't mention them, then their absence is a much stronger issue than their appearance ever was.

Not to sound rude, because I do appreciate you comment, but this story clearly was not aimed to you. It was inspired by the artwork of another, and was created for fellow fans of her work to enjoy my view on the characters and how they grow. You had no attachment to the characters, and made it quite clear you had no interest in delving into these identities any more.

The potential audience of this fic falls into two categories. People familiar with the characters who want a story, or people who have never heard of them but are willing to look into it. Either of those groups will find something they like here.

I'm sorry that it didn't hit that spot for you, but I do appreciate you taking the time to comment on it.



Yes but by skipping over the characterization, you severely weaken the overall story. Remember Season 2's intro? The writers reintroduced us to the characters again. Those who hadn't watched the show got to be hooked into the premise, while those who had been following mlp were able to forgive it because of the brevity. Your story could have easily benefited from doing this, but instead you opted to make the user go read other sources of information. That's detrimental to your universe imo and as a writer you should try to strive to allow your work to be accessible to everyone. By requiring your readers to have previous intimate knowledge of these characters beforehand you shun out potential new fans to your universe.

Also as an one-shot story, I would expect there to be little need to read any previous works in a series. I would figure said story would be complete.

4251448 wana know how i spend a hour in the shower?

4251842 Uh...I'm scared for the answer...Someone else want to ask him/her?


I don't think 'intimate' is the right word. An average reader could get by just by knowing the names of the characters before hand. Perhaps I could have included a sentence of explanation on each of the characters, but I felt that would slow the story down far longer than I could justify.

I needed, for my own personal sense of satisfaction, to have them mentioned. However, I didn't want to slow the stories pacing down by reintroducing them when the majority of my audience would already know who they were. One is not expected to describe Vinyl Scratch when they write a story, it is assumed that the target audience will be aware of who this background pony is.

So yes, my target audience is a bit smaller, I'm OK with that.


4251842 4251854

Keep it on 4chan, kids.



One is not expected to describe Vinyl Scratch when they write a story, it is assumed that the target audience will be aware of who this background pony is.

That's because the site here is dedicated to ponies. Vinyl Scratch is a canonical pony with lots of merch and facetime in other sources of media in this universe. Knowing who she is would be a given to coming to this site.

Your background characters and OCs, however, are not privy to this sort of level of based knowledge. By watching the show, I do not know about your fan made characters. These are completely new, unknown ponies/characters that unless I was a fan of the creator or had seen them somewhere before, I wouldn't know about them.

Basically you cannot use this point here. As writers, we are writing in the MLP universe, as such, we don't need to describe characters from the show by necessity.

However, if a character isn't a part of the main, central universe, then you are better off writing more on who these characters are such that you are not delivering this story on a crutch.

4251861 so i sit.there.and think.about.good food and stuff like the next gen pizzas and computers.

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