• Published 14th May 2014
  • 9,661 Views, 687 Comments

Keeping your Promises - RaylanKrios



Rainbow and Scootaloo learn that there is more to being sisters than bedtime stories and hugs.

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How long an hour is

The next day, after Scootaloo had finished school, and Rainbow had clocked out of her shift, the pair met on the practice field behind Rainbow’s house. Rainbow led Scootaloo through the now familiar routine of stretches and warm-ups and, after a few minutes, she pronounced the pair ready to begin flight practice.

Scootaloo had shaken the malaise of yesterday and was anxious to get training started. “What are we going to do first? Can we measure my wingpower?” The filly asked eagerly, her wings buzzing with anticipation.

Rainbow hesitated for a moment. Overemphasizing wingpower was a mistake that a lot of rookie flyers made, but maybe improvement would encourage Scootaloo to keep trying; of course, the opposite was also true. “Remember, Scoots, flying isn’t all about wing power; there’s technique and stamina to consider. Fluttershy can fly and she tops out at two point three wingpower. ”

“But I want to go fast, and I’ve been training really hard. I’ll bet I crack five wingpower easy!”

“Easy there, Scoots. Last time out you hit one point five, so let’s see if we can break two first.”

Scootaloo head and smile drooped for a moment, but immediately perked up and crouched in a sprinter’s stance as Rainbow Dash readied the anemometer. Rainbow stood behind the orange filly and placed the anemometer directly in the path of her wake. “Okay, Scoots, now don’t try to fly. Just brace yourself against the ground and try to propel yourself forward.” Rainbow took a moment to make sure that everything was in place. “Whenever you’re ready, let ‘er rip,” she called out.

Scootaloo’s wings buzzed furiously as she flapped them as fast as she could. She felt herself straining the muscles in her forelegs as she pushed against the force generated by her wings. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, registered the sound of Rainbow’s voice cheering her on. She flapped her wings harder, determined to break the anemometer through the sheer force of her wake. Her wings began to burn, as if there were thousands of tiny needles stabbing her, but she pushed on. Finally, she collapsed, her lungs begging for oxygen as she gasped for breath.

“How’d I do?” she managed to gasp out between gulps of air.

Rainbow tried to put on a cheerful face. “Scoots, you set a new personal best!” Rainbow walked over to the gasping Scootaloo to show her the reading. “One-point-eight.”

“That’s it?! We’ve been training for months and all I’ve managed to do is increase my wingpower by a lousy point-three?”

“Hey, that’s better than you did last time, and almost a full point higher than when we started training. You’ve gotta be patient, Scoots.”

“I’ve been patient! I’ve done wing-ups every morning and every night before I go to bed. We’ve been at this for months and I still can’t fly.” Scootaloo stared at the ground and pinned her ears back. “Maybe I should just accept the fact that I’ll never get off the ground.”

“Don’t say that, Scoots! I promise we’re gonna get you in the air.”

“Yeah? How? You got some magic spell that can make me fly?

“Well, no-”

“Can you make my wings bigger?”

“You know I can’t.”

“Then what are you going to do, huh? Because all I ever hear from you is ‘Keep trying, Scoots’.”

“I know you’re frustrated-”

“You can’t even begin to know!” the orange filly shouted, her fear of being grounded, even further than she was, outweighing whatever semblance of restraint she had left.

“What do you want from me? I’m doing my best!” Rainbow snapped, harsher than she intended.

“Well, your best isn’t good enough!”

“You’re right, okay? My best isn’t good enough! Is that what you want to hear? That I can’t magically fix all of your problems? Well, I can’t! Happy now?”

The two pegasi just stared at each other. “I’m done practicing today,” Scootaloo said as defiantly as she could.

“Whatever. Do what you want,” Rainbow said curtly before flying off, leaving Scootaloo standing by herself in the middle of the practice field.

As soon as Rainbow took off, she immediately regretted it. She knew it was a terrible idea to fly off angrily and leave Scootaloo alone, but her stubborn pride kept her from turning back, and from seeking out any of her friends for advice.

Ponyville was a small town, and there weren’t really a lot of places she could go where she would be guaranteed to not run into anypony she knew, but she did have a secret napping spot that served as a refuge. Earlier in the week, she had delivered a serious downpour to the south orchard at Sweet Apple Acres in preparation for its trees to bear fruit, which would mean that the west orchard had recently been harvested. She arrived at the west orchard and did a quick aerial reconnaissance to ensure that nopony was nearby. Satisfied that she was alone, she picked out a comfortable looking tree and began to brood.

Nice going, Rainbow Crash. You yelled at a scared filly whose only crime was wanting to be like you. Where’d they teach that in Wonderbolts training? How to Be a Plot Head 101?

An hour into brooding, Rainbow’s thoughts were interrupted by a familiar voice.

“Hello, darling. I dare say you look awful. If you were anypony else, I’d schedule an emergency spa session.”

“What are you doing here, Rarity?” Rainbow asked with no small trace of annoyance.

“Applejack has agreed to let me use her orchard for inspiration. My new fall line is due soon, and I need to give it that finishing spark; nothing says fall quite like an apple orchard.”

“Oh.”

“Yes, well... now what’s bothering you dear?”

“I had a fight with Scootaloo.”

“Ah... well, forgive me for being blunt, but good.”

“Good? Rarity, are you even listening to me? I yelled at a little filly!”

“Well, that’s obviously not ideal, but I assume she also yelled at you?”

“Yeah, she did.”

“Then this is a good thing.”

“How can this possibly be a good thing?!”

“Rainbow Dash, I’ve seen the way that filly looks at you, and it’s very sweet, but it’s not healthy for a sister. If she yelled at you, it means that she felt safe enough to share her anger.”

“But I made her upset….”

“You’re her big sister; of course you’re going to make her upset. But in that one moment, fueled by anger though it was, she wasn’t worried about making you proud or pleasing you; she was honest. Which, if I do say so myself, is a big step for her.”

“You’re not making sense.”

Rarity took a deep breath. “Sweetie Belle and I fight all the time, and I’ll admit we could both stand to be a little more patient with each other, but if we fight, it’s only because I know she loves me, and she knows I love her. We know that we can yell at each other without fear of jeopardizing our relationship. Scootaloo has been through a lot, and she needs to learn to trust other ponies again. Getting angry with you may not be the best way to show it, but it’s as good of a start as any.”

“Huh. I would have never thought of it like that.”

“Yes, well, we can’t all be as fabulous as I am,” Rarity said with a satisfied grin.

“Humble, too.”

“What was that, Miss ‘Best Flyer in All of Equestria’?”

“Okay, fine. You made your point. What should I do now?”

“Find Scootaloo and give her a hug. I know her well, too, and she could certainly use one.”

“Thanks, Rares. I’ll go do that. Good luck with the whole inspiration thing.”

“Luck has nothing to do with it. Now, I don’t mean to be rude, but your prismatic mane is clashing dreadfully with the motif, so if you would be so kind....” Rarity flicked her hoof in the universal motion for ‘shoo’ while smiling at her friend, letting her know that her gesture was meant solely in jest.

Rainbow playfully scowled at her friend and took off toward her house. When she got there, she opened the door slowly, still a little worried about the reaction she would get from Scootaloo. To her surprise, her house was deathly quiet. “Scoots?” she called out. There was no response. No big deal; she’s probably off sulking in her clubhouse. I’ll give her some space.

Half an hour passed, then an hour, and then two, and Scootaloo still hadn’t come home. It was already dark out and despite her best efforts, Rainbow found her thoughts venturing to some sinister places. In the middle of contemplating any number of horrible things that might have happened to the orange filly, she found herself flashing back to a moment when she was a little older than Scootaloo; she had come home late that night.

“It’s only a couple hours Mom, what’s the big deal?!”

“You don’t know how long an hour is until you’re a parent and your child hasn’t come home!”

Author's Note:

Short chapter, but I kinda wanted to leave it here. Thanks go to my editors for editing this, pretty soon after I gave them chapter 1 to deal with. And thanks to everyone who liked/commented/fav'd this to the point that I made the famed featured box for 24+ hours. All authors love feedback.