• Published 29th Jun 2014
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Arrow's Story: Problem After Problem - NightArrow



The Shadowbolts are on their second season of racing, and Captain Darkstreak is already retiring? Two days before opening race!? This sets off problem after problem that may lead to the end of The Shadowbolts! Can Night Arrow save his team?

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Part 2

CHAPTER 15

The next morning bright and early, CC landed back in the middle of Everfree Stadium, punctual as usual carrying a folded Shadowbolts shirt in her pack. She hadnʼt slept very well, knowing her friend was still so mad at her.

“Did ya bring it?” an excited voice called from nearby.

“Huh? Oh, Fire Blitz. You startled me.” CC smiled, “Of course! Here you go.”

“Oh, awesome! This is so bucking cool!” She put it on and buttoned it up quickly. “How do I look?” She asked, smiling broadly at CC.

“--Like a winner.” Arrow said emerging from his locker room. “And it suits you, Blitz.” Fire Blitz still couldn’t believe she was on the same level as Arrow and Skylight. She was actually going to go head to head with Spitfire and Soarin!

Night Arrow yawned, “Well, you guys are here early... wait, whereʼs Sky? Is she still in her room?”

“Looks like it.” CC said turning towards her door.

“Well, go get her.” Arrow said. “If we leave now weʼll get to the castle with enough time to get some coffee.”

CC nodded, hesitantly. She reluctantly walked over towards Skylightʼs locker room door.

“Uh, Skylight?” She called, softly. “How are you doing in there?” There was no response.

“Those doors are made of metal, CC!” Arrow called. “You know youʼre gonna have to be louder than that!”

CC sighed, then knocked on Skylightʼs door. “*ahem* Skylight! Come on, weʼre going to be late!”

“Oh, we canʼt have that now can we?” Skylight said, opening her door. “It would not be very mature of me if I were to make everypony late.”

Arrow, CC, and Fire Blitz all gasped at the neon green mare standing in the doorway.

CHAPTER 16

“Skylight . . .!” Arrow said. “You look--”

“Mature?” Skylight interrupted.

“You own makeup?” Fire Blitz added.

“I have some laying around the old locker room.” She responded, sticking her snout up. “We are meeting with royalty today, I figured Iʼd look my best.”

“Itʼs just Luna.” Arrow said.

“Is she not a Princess? And our boss, Night Arrow?” Skylight asked rhetorically.

“Skylight, stop acting weird.” Fire Blitz said. “Youʼre freaking me out.”

“Weird?” Skylight said. “Iʼm sorry if this is weird for you, Fire Blitz, but you all have to get used to it. This is new, improved, mature Skylight!”

CC looked worried. Skylight was obviously blowing this whole thing out of proportion, and was going to make a complete fool of herself at the meeting today.

“Uh, Skylight,” Arrow approached her. “I donʼt know what kind of game youʼre playing, but just--”

“-be on my best behavior, yes, I know Night Arrow.” She cut him off with a passive aggressive smile.

ʻGreat,ʼ CC thought, ʻArrow seems worried as ever again. Just as he was beginning to feel he had a handle on the situation, Skylight pulls this stunt.ʼ

“Alright, A-Wave, letʼs head out...” Night Arrow said, still skeptical of Skylightʼs new persona. The four pegasus ponies jumped into the sky and headed to Canterlot.

CHAPTER 16

The Princess of the Night was sitting in her throne behind the large, dark desk when they all walked in through the balcony door. Darkstreak was standing to her right. “Oh, Night Arrow, right on time.” Luna said.

“Was there any doubt?” Arrow said through his smile.

“and you brought... everyone.” Lunaʼs eyes scanned the other three pegasus ponies walking in from the balcony.

“Yeah, I figured we all donʼt meet too often, so I wanted to bring in the whole A- Wave.” Arrow explained as the other three sat in line next to him. “I mean, itʼs kind of a big deal, us moving the roster around. Figured they should all be here.”

“Well, thatʼs a nice surprise,” Luna smiled with a hint of passive-aggression. “but I hope you made your decision.”

Night Arrow brushed off the passive aggressive smile from Luna. It was no surprise CC picked up some of her attitude and mannerisms from working so closely with her this past season. She was already quite the aggressive little egghead.

“Itʼs all business with you, eh Luna?” Darkstreak finally spoke. Luna ignored the comment.

“I have.” Arrow sat up straight. “Princess Luna, I would like to introduce Co- Captain of the Shadowbolts, Cloud Crash.”

“Excellent.” Luna smiled, this time more genuinely. “I knew you would make the right choice.” Skylight visibly winced at the remark, but kept up her act and large, mature smile. “Oh, Skylight.” Luna said. “You look nice today.”

“Yup!-- err, I mean, why thank you, Princess. Iʼm trying a new mane style.” Skylight said, overly-annunciating all her words. CC glanced nervously at Night Arrow.

“Hmm, I didnʼt even know ya owned makeup, Skylight.” Darkstreak added.

“Well, yes I just have some laying around the locker room, I figured hey why not?” She said, never dropping her smile.

“Well, it suits you.” Luna said. “And it looks like the Captain of the B-Wave decided to drop by for a visit as well.”

“Oh, actually Luna” Arrow stood up, “Fire Blitz is our newest member of the A- Wave.” Fire Blitz smiled proudly.

“Oh, good. That makes four once again. It looks like everyone is getting a promotion.” Luna said. Skylight once again twitched at the remark. “Well letʼs get this going,” Luna said as she pulled out paperwork from her desk. “I just need to you sign at the bottom of these forms and everything will be completely official, and youʼll be set for the opening race tomorrow.” They all grabbed quills and the forms.

“I, Princess Luna, owner and founder of The Everfree Forest Shadowbolts officially decree that Cloud Crash is hereby instated as the Co-Captain of The Everfree Forest Shadowbolts.” CC smiled and sat back down, the other members stomped their hooves.

“Alright, Arrow let me see your paper.” Luna said. “I, Princess Luna, owner and founder of The Everfree Forest Shadowbolts officially decree that Nightaniel Bowan Arrow is hereby--”

“PPPFFFFSSSHHHAhahahaahAhAhAHA!!”

Everypony turned to the source of the noise. “HAHaahAHHA!!” Skylight continued laughing. “I totally forgot your name was ʻNightaniel!!ʼ hHAHaha!”

“Heh, yeah Skylight.” Arrow laughed nervously, his ears back in embarrassment. “Thatʼs what ʻNightʼ is short for...”

“Hahaha, and ʻBowanʼ?? Thatʼs your middle name!? I never knew that! HAha” She rolled onto her back.

“So much for ʻmature-Skylightʼ.” CC whispered at Fire Blitz.

“Is that like ʻBow and Arrowʼ? Was that the joke!?” Skylight continued.

“No, it was my grandfatherʼs name.” Arrow said, annoyed.

“Hey, Skylight, letʼs step outside for a sec, eh?” Darkstreak said, walking over.

“What? No! No, Iʼm sorry. Just, Iʼm sorry that was *ahem* that was rather immature, let me just--”

“Come on.” He picked her up with his massive wing, and continued out to the balcony without missing a beat.

“No, wait! Iʼm sorry!!” her voice became muted once the door closed behind them.

Arrowʼs Story: An Interlude; part v

That morning, Raindrops walked back into Celestiaʼs throne room. “Goodmorning, Raindrops! I hope you slept well.” Celestia greeted, her voice as genuine as always.

“Yeah, these royal beds sure beat the mattresses back home.” She said as she gave a half-hearted bow.

“Well, actually, thatʼs what I wanted to talk to you about, Raindrops.” Celestia said. “I was wondering why you donʼt collect on your fatherʼs retirement fund? Through all the time heʼs spent as the Wonderboltsʼ coach, heʼs earned quite the small fortune. You could be living very well here in Canterlot. Even your old house is still vacant, and ready for you to move back in...”

“I thought I requested that money be donated?” Raindrops said.

“Well, yes, and as generous as that is, it seems that you and your sister could definitely use the funds. You look like you work very hard as weather coordinator for Ponyville, when you can just be living off--”

“Living off my fatherʼs wealth?” Raindrops interupted the Princess. “With all due respect, Celestia, I am not a spoiled little filly. I can work for my own money.”

Celestia knew sheʼd struck a sore subject.

“My father this, my father that. Everything is about my father! Yes, I know he was a great stallion, and he really made his legacy here in Canterlot, but can we please just stop connecting me to him? Canʼt I just work to support my sister and I without being reminded I used to be a silver-spooned Canterlot pony??”

Celestia lowered her head. “Iʼm sorry, Raindrops. I understand you have your pride, and nopony is doubting your ability to care for yourself or Scootaloo.”

Suddenly, a loud, shrill laugh was heard from down the hall. (“HahahHahHAha!”) “What was that?” Raindrops asked.

“Oh itʼs nothing.” Celestia said. “Just my sister and her little racing team. Itʼs their second season in the circuit, and theyʼre having a meeting before tomorrowʼs opening race.”

“Thatʼs the ʻShadowboltsʼ right?” Raindrops asked.

“Yes it is.” Celestia said, obviously not interested in the subject. “To be honest it seems Luna still hasnʼt lost her jealousy of me, but to prevent another outburst, Iʼve allowed it.”

Raindrops glanced down the hall at Lunaʼs closed chamber door. “They donʼt sound very professional...” she said.

Celestia turned towards the hallway. “Theyʼre just some pegasus ponies sheʼd found in the Everfree Forest. Iʼve never met them, but they seem to be giving my Wonderbolts a real run for their money. And race sales have been better than theyʼve been in a long time, so I suppose itʼs a win for everyone.”

Raindrops had a strange feeling. Like she should just walk right over there and open the door. Something was on the other side, something important... but she couldnʼt for the life of her imagine this new racing team having anything to do with her.

“Raindrops?” Celestia broke her trance. “Huh? Oh, sorry Princess.” She shook her head, regaining her focus. “Itʼs quite alright my little pony, just please, promise me, if things get too rough for you, please reconsider moving back to Canterlot. If not for you, for Scootaloo.”

Raindrops almost rolled her eyes, but she knew that would be in bad taste. “Sure thing, Princess.” She bowed instead. “If thatʼs all, I have lunch plans with a friend.”

“Of course,” Celestia said, disappointed. Raindrops trotted pridefully out of the room.

CHAPTER 17

“Wait, Darkstreak! Let me go!!” Skylight struggled through the grip of Darkstreakʼs wing. “I said I was sorry!”

“Whatʼs up with you today, kid?” Darkstreak asked, finally letting her go.

“What ever do you mean?” Skylight said, trying to regain her composure.

“THATʼS what I mean. Why are you talking like a buckinʼ idiot?” Darkstreak was never one for subtlety.

“An idiot?? Thatʼs how Canterlot ponies talk!”

“But thatʼs not how the fastest flyer on the Shadowbolts talks.” Darkstreak said. “And the makeup? And this new rats nest on your head? Whatʼs gotten into you, Skylight?” Darkstreak tossled her mane to its former messy style.

Skylight looked at him angrily, she had worked hard on her new mane. “I... I just, UGH!” Skylight grunted in frustration. “What do you all WANT!?” She screamed.

Darkstreak sat down, “Let it all out, Lite- Brite.”

“Everypony thinks Iʼm immature.” Skylight said. “I just wanted to prove that Iʼm not! Iʼm an adult. I just, I wanna be treated like one!”

“Well laughing and mocking during an official promotion isnʼt the best way to prove your point.” Darkstreak pointed out.

“I know, I just... couldnʼt help it. Itʼs funny, right?”

“Heh, yeah ʻBowanʼ.” Darkstreak smiled. “But kid, thatʼs something ya do after it all. Hold in your laughter till later, then give ʻNightanielʼ a hard time for his stupid name.”

Skylight giggled. Darkstreak sat up, “Look, you want to prove yourself?”

Skylight nodded.

“Letʼs stay out here for a sec, then when theyʼre all done with everything in there, what do you say the two of us have a word with Luna?”

Skylight smiled.

CHAPTER 18

“Princess, look. Iʼm sorry about Skylight... she just--”

“Itʼs alright Arrow.” Luna interrupted. “I can tell she was at least trying to straighten herself out. But we donʼt need her parading around here like royalty, we need her to be as fast as she can, and win us some races. And as far as Iʼm concerned, she started off astonishingly fast, and has only improved since then.”

Arrow smiled, relieved.

“So, thatʼs it? Itʼs official?” CC jumped in, excitedly.

“Yes. Arrow and CC, you are the new Captain and Co-Captain of the The Everfree Forest Shadowbolts.”

“Yes!!” CC danced a bit.

“And Fire Blitz, welcome to the A-Wave.”

Blitz smiled confidently. “I wonʼt let you down, Princess.”

“Iʼm sure you wonʼt.” She said. “And youʼll prove that tomorrow, at the opening race, when youʼll be racing against the Wonderboltʼs A-Wave in round one!”

Fire Blitzʼ confidence turned a bit nervous, but she kept her composure.

“Round one is Fire Blitz and CC against Echo and Misty, correct?” Luna said looking through her paperwork.

“Yup, then itʼs the second half; our fastest versus their fastest,” Arrow said, “Me and Skylight against Spitfire and Soarinʼ.”

Blitz turned a bit pale when it all sank in. The B-Wave was easy for Blitz, she was much faster then all the B-Wave Wonderbolts. She couldnʼt even remember the last time any of them posed a threat to her victory. But this was the big leagues. These races were always packed with spectators. Finding seats were impossible if you got there too late, even as a member! But the B-Wave stands never really gained as much popularity. It was improving, but it still wasnʼt quite the spectacle the A-Wave races were. She knew that because until now, sheʼd always been in the stands with Eclipse, Treble, and Cupid. Then it hit her: not only would she be racing in front of packed stands with something new to prove, all her friends from the B-Wave would also there cheering her on.

What if she couldnʼt keep up? What if Echo and Misty were impossibly fast? Sheʼd embarrass herself in front of both Princesses, her new team mates, her old team mates, the stupid Wonderbolts, and pretty much all of Canterlot.

“Blitz, are you alright?” CC asked, jolting Blitz out of her thoughts.

“Uh, yeah! Yes. Iʼm great! Just super excited!” she forced a smile.

“Excellent!” CC returned the smile, obliviously. “I need you to be completely focused for tomorrow, partner! Iʼm depending on you!”

Blitzʼs heart sank into her stomach. “You bet. . .” she replied.

“Well, Princess, we have to get going!” Arrow said. “Weʼll try to get a few laps in today now that itʼs early, but weʼll see you tomorrow on the track!”

“Of course, Arrow. I will see you all tomorrow.”
They all walked out to the balcony.

CHAPTER 19

“You coming, Skylight?” Arrow asked as if nothing had happened.

“Sheʼll catch up, Arrow.” Darkstreak answered for her.

“Uh, okay... just get back soon, we want to get some laps in before the race tomorrow.” The three took off towards Everfree. Darkstreak and Skylight walked into the room once again.

“Oh, Skylight. what happened to your mane?” Luna asked.

“Never mind that,” Darkstreak said “Luna, I have a proposition.”

“Oh? Take a seat, both of you.” Luna said.

“Thanks,” Darkstreak said as they both sat. “Luna, I wanna make Skylight a
coach.”

“--what?” Skylight coughed out.

“Darkstreak, how is that possibly going to work?” Luna said, impatiently.

“Not of the A-Wave, obviously, of the B-Wave.” Skylight sat back down, thinking this over.

“Darkstreak, I donʼt think--”

“Just hear me out, Princess.” Darkstreak interrupted. “We all give Skylight here the short end of the stick. But truth is, sheʼs good. And she can make our B-Wave much better. Sheʼs always at the stadium as it is, and sheʼs really looking for a chance to prove herself as a leader.” Luna sat back, beginning to consider it.

“Go on...” She waved her hoof.

“Allʼs Iʼm sayinʼ is, B-Wave lost Fire Blitz, and are going to need a new set of captains. I think Skylight here being a founding member of this little team we have is more than qualified to set the newbies straight. Give them some focus. Something to aim for. If we donʼt have someone on the sidelines showing the new ones the ropes, and the new captains how to lead, then weʼre back at square one, and itʼs the blind leadinʼ the blind. I think itʼll be good for everyone.”

Luna sat quietly looking at Skylight for a moment. Skylight was speechless. Sheʼd never had anyone but Arrow vouch for her before. Nopony else really believed in her. “Alright.” Luna said. “Granted. Skylight, you are the new coach for the B-Wave.”

CHAPTER 20

Meanwhile, the other three pegasus ponies were just arriving back at Everfree Stadium. “Well, that went well.” CC said as she landed.

“What was up with Skylight?” Blitz asked.

“I have no clue,” Arrow said, landing last. “She was fine last night, as far as I know.”

“It was just Skylight being Skylight.” CC added, nervously.

“No, something happened last night, trust me, I know Skylight. She was definitely bothered about something. She doesnʼt really get mad very often, but when she does, she can be a bit childish...”

CC wanted to change the subject, but the other two seemed insistent on discussing this. “Well, whatever it was, Iʼm just glad Luna didnʼt seem to mind!” CC said through her fake smile, ‘so, Blitz! Howʼs it feel to be an A-Waver?”

Fire Blitz smiled, “It feels awesome! And Iʼm ready to practi--”

“Wait a minute.” Arrow jumped in. “It was you!” He glared at CC.

“What!? Me? What was me?” CCʼs ears went back.

“Blitz seems genuinely concerned, while youʼve been avoiding the topic since we landed, AND you were the last one to see her last night when you both left my locker room!”

CC recognized Arrowʼs behavior. This was his ʻover-protective-brother mode,ʼ and the worst part was, he wasnʼt even really Skylightʼs brother!

“What did you tell her??” He yelled.

“Hey!” A mareʼs voice came from Arrowʼs locker room. “What is going on out here?”

“Trixie!” Arrow walked back over to her. ‘sorry, I didnʼt mean to wake you.”

“Itʼs fine.” she said, rubbing her eyes. “Why are you scolding Cloud Crash?”

“I wasnʼt scolding her, I was just... well, she upset Skylight last night, which made her make a scene at the meeting, and--”

“Night Arrow, Iʼm surprised at you!” Trixie interrupted. This took Arrow, CC, and Blitz by surprise.

“Me? Why??”

“Arrow, Skylight is a grown mare. If I remember correctly, she is two years older than Cloud Crash.” Arrowʼs ears went back. He knew where this was going. Despite her tendency to show off and boast, Trixie was probably the most level-headed pony in their little group. She really knew how to bring Arrow back down to earth. “So, whatever CC did to upset Skylight is between them. But Skylight should have the good sense to still not make a scene in a professional meeting.”

Fire Blitz smiled. She loved it when Trixie came to visit between her shows. She was the only one sheʼd ever seen keep Night Arrow in check.

“Ugh, alright, alright...” Arrow sat down, “Sorry CC. Just, Skylight and I grew up together... sheʼs like a little sister to me.”

“Itʼs cool, Arrow.” CC said. She wanted to bring up the fact that she had only upset Skylight by defending Arrowʼs statement about ʻbeing on her best behavior,ʼ but she decided against it. She just didnʼt want to get yelled at again, and since tomorrow was the big race, they needed to start practicing.

“So,” Blitz jumped in, “Letʼs get warmed up and do some laps!”

“Sounds good to me.” CC walked with her towards the track.

“Oh, Arrow, can I talk to you for a second?” Trixie asked.

“Uh sure, whatʼs up?”

“Arrow, the way you got so defensive of Skylight just now, and our conversation last night. I think it may be time you go get back in touch with your family again.”

Night Arrowʼs eyes narrowed. “Iʼll do it when Iʼm ready to do it.” He responded sternly, walking away from the conversation.

“Night Arrow, I mean it!” Trixie insisted, “Youʼve obviously been using Skylight to fill that void for way too long. Iʼm sure Raindrops, Scootaloo, and your dad will be a little hurt that youʼve been gone for so long, but proud of what youʼve accomplished.” Arrow stopped. “...and Iʼm sure they miss you even more than you miss them.”

Night Arrow paused and thought about it for a moment. “Iʼll consider it. But I have to start running practice.”

He continued walking towards the track.




Arrowʼs Story: An Interlude; part vi

“Get ready, weʼre having lunch with some old friends today.” Raindrops said as she opened the door to the giant Canterlot suite.

“More like breakfast...” Scootaloo whined.

“Call it whatever you want, Scootsʼ, weʼre leaving in 10 minutes.”

Scootaloo dragged herself to the sink and washed up. “Who are we meeting up with in Canterlot? You still have friends here?”

“Yup! I grew up here, remember?” Raindrops said, fixing her mane in the mirror.

“No.” Scootaloo said with a toothbrush in her mouth.

“Yeah, I guess you wouldnʼt. You were still pretty young when we moved to Ponyville.”

“I still donʼt see why we even moved to Ponyville...” Scootaloo said, “I mean, I love my friends, and I would have never met the Crusaders if we didnʼt, but come on! Itʼs Canterlot! Why would anypony leave?”

“Haha, Canterlot isnʼt all itʼs cracked up to be, Scoots.” Raindrops smiled. “The only reason we lived here was Dadʼs job with the Wonderbolts.”

“Thatʼs crazy too!!” Scootaloo shouted, mouth full of toothpaste. “The Wonderbolts are like, LEGENDS in Ponyville, and Dad was their coach! I wonder if that will make it easier for me to get in once I get my cutie mark...”

“I donʼt know,” Raindrops smiled. “Itʼs still an air-tight organization! Dad spent all the free time he had training Nightaniel for the Wonderbolts--” She stopped; her smile fell. Scootaloo rinsed her mouth and walked over to her. Raindrops sat down on the bed.

“I donʼt really remember Nightaniel.” Scootaloo said, leaning her head on Raindropsʼ lap. Raindrops placed her hoof softly on Scootalooʼs mane.

“He was awesome.” she said her smile finding itʼs way back to her face, “With a big brother like Nightaniel, you would have had your cutie mark years ago, and probably been flying as fast as Rainbow Dash.”

Scootaloo smiled at the idea. “I still donʼt get what happened to him.” She looked up at her big sister.

Raindrops sighed, “Neither do I Scoots... Neither do I...”

CHAPTER 21

“I wonʼt let you down, Princess!” Skylight saluted enthusiastically.

“Iʼm sure you wonʼt, Skylight. This is your opportunity to prove you can handle more responsibility.”

Skylight smiled. She couldnʼt wait to tell Arrow and the rest of the Shadowbolts. “Thank you so much! And thank you too, Darkstreak!”

“No problem, Skyʼ.” Darkstreak replied.

“Please, excuse me!” Skylight half-bowed and backed out towards the balcony excitedly. “I have to go! I gotta get back to practice! Big race tomorrow, ya know!!” She turned and blasted into the sky leaving her trademark blue trail with orange swirl following behind her.

“You really think that was a good idea?” Luna turned to Darkstreak.

“Nopony believes in her. She never really had a chance to prove herself.”

Luna began putting her Shadowbolt paperwork away. “I hope youʼre right, Darkstreak.”

“Am I ever wrong?” he replied. “Hmph, now youʼre starting to sound like Arrow.” Darkstreak almost smiled at Lunaʼs remark.

a conversation between friends


“...you should tell her. Sheʼs our best friend.”

“I made a promise. I canʼt say anything.”

“This is a big deal though, Spitfire! Youʼre just gonna let them run into each other?”

“I doubt they will. Raindrops hated going to races back when her dad made her, why would she go now?”

“True... and Arrow doesnʼt really hang out in Canterlot before or after races. He hates this city.”

“Just-- donʼt mention him. Donʼt mention The Shadowbolts. Donʼt mention anything to do with racing.”

...

“Could you imagine though? ʻHey sis, I know you thought I was dead, but Iʼm actually alive, and a professional racer!ʼ...”

“Shut up, here she comes.”

Arrowʼs Story: An Inter-
CHAPTER 22

Raindrops and Scootaloo arrived at the patio of the restaurant, to see an orange pegasus pony, and a blue unicorn already sitting at one of the tables.

“Spitfire! Minuette!” She shouted.

“Rainy! Iʼm so glad you made it!” Spitfire took off her aviator sunglasses and embraced her.

“Oh my Celestia, is that little Scootaloo?” the blue unicorn smiled.

“Yup! Not so little anymore.” Raindrops said.

“Almost gonna get that cutie mark, eh kid?” Spitfire put her hoof on Scootalooʼs shoulder.

“Not soon enough...” She scoffed. Raindrops aggressively tossled Scootalooʼs mane and laughed, trying to cover up her little sisterʼs rude response.

“Minuette! Howʼve you been!” Raindrops said, changing the subject.

“Ha, I havenʼt heard THAT name in a while...” she responded.

“What? What do you mean?”

“She legally changed her name.” Spitfire said, casually putting her sunglasses back on.

“You didnʼt!” Raindrops gasped.

“I did! Nice to meet you! Iʼm Colgate! Canterlotʼs best Dentist!”

Raindrops laughed and shook her friends hoof, playing along. “Oh wow, thatʼs such a cute name! And a dentist! Congrats Minu-- I mean, Colgate!”

The three mares laughed, while Scootaloo started to nod off, bored from the gossip.

“Thanks!” Colgate smiled, “I mean, who cares what a stupid cutie mark says your special talent is, right?” This of course, caught Scootalooʼs attention.

“Thatʼs so great! Iʼm glad youʼre doing well.” Raindrops said.

“So what brings you to Canterlot?” Spitfire asked.

“Well, the other day, Scootaloo made it very apparent that she had never been to a Wonderbolts Race. . .” Raindrops said, smiling at her sister, so sheʼd jump into the conversation. Scootaloo just nodded. Raindrops reluctantly continued, “. . . so, Iʼm taking her to the opening race tomorrow!”

Spitfire choked on her soda, while Colgate had a huge smile across her face. Colgate had always enjoyed some good drama, and this was gonna be good.

“--*cough* Thatʼs-- *ack* um... thatʼs great!” Spitfire coughed out. ‘so, uh, Scootaloo! Youʼre following in your dadʼs hoofsteps, eh? Gonna be a Wonderbolt one day?”

“Iʼm not too sure.” Scoolaloo said. “Those new Shadowbolts seem pretty cool.”

“What!?” Raindrops exclaimed. “That silly project Princess Luna put together? Scootaloo, Iʼm taking you to see the Wonderbolts! This is our fatherʼs legacy! Not to mention the captain is sitting right here at the same table as us! Weʼve always been Wonderbolts fans!”

Scootaloo sat up, “Since when do you care so much about the Wonderbolts?” She said. “I come home every day and tell you about Rainbow Dash and how much she wants to be a Wonderbolt, and you never say anything! Youʼve never even MET her! Iʼve been wanting to go to a race since forever and Iʼm barely going to one now? And you havenʼt even brought up dad since he died! Weʼre living like he didnʼt even exist! What does it matter which team I like?”

Raindropsʼ face was red with embarrassment. “I-- um. Wow... haha...” she laughed nervously.

“Hey, itʼs cool Scootaloo.” Colgate said, trying to break the tension. “Spitfire here has some good friends on the Shadowbolts.”

Spitfire glared knives at her.

“You do?” Scootaloo asked, a bit confused.

“Uh, yeah, a few of us see each other off the track. Theyʼre pretty cool ponies.” Spitfire said. Raindrops just sat silently.

“Whoʼs your FAVORITE Shadowbolt, Scootaloo?” Colgate asked. If looks could kill, Spitfire would have murdered Colgate, right there at the table.

“Uh, well... Iʼve only seen pictures clipped from the newspaper that Rainbow
Dash showed me... so I donʼt really have a favorite. But Iʼm sure I will by tomorrow!”

Colgate laughed, “I am VERY sure you will by tomorrow...” she said through a big smile.

Spitfire elbowed her in the ribs.

CHAPTER 23

“Guys!!” Skylight yelled as she hit the ground running, almost tripping over her own hooves. “Guys! Night Arrow!! CC!!” Trixie was sitting on her cart, sipping a smoothie, next to the track where Arrow and the mares were racing around the track. “Oh! Trixie!! Youʼre still here! Good!” Skylight gasped. “Guess what!!”

“What is it, Skylight?” Trixie stood up.

“Luna made me a coach!!” Skylight shouted out.

Trixie smiled. ‘she did? Of the B-Wave?”

“Yup!”

“Well congratulations, Skylight!” Trixie said, putting her smoothie down.

“Thank you! I canʼt wait to start officially training them!”

“Whatʼs going on over here?” Arrow said, walking over sweaty and tired.

“Arrow!!” Skylight jumped up and down, though equally as winded. “Arrow!! Princess Luna made me a coach for the B-Wave Shadowbolts!! Iʼm gonna train them!”

“Oh, thatʼs great, Skylight!” He smiled. “You can help me with promotions to replace Fire Blitz as captain.

“Replace...? Why?” A voice came from a near the locker rooms. Everypony turned to see who was speaking when a dark blue pegasus mare with a bright pink streak through her mane approached. “Why do we need to replace her? And why is she training with the A-Wave?”

Skylightʼs excitement drained from her face.

“Treble! Uh, hi! Yeah, a lot... um, a lot happened last night.” Arrow said, as CC and Fire Blitz approached behind him.

“Apparently...” Treble said with disdain in her voice. “Hello, Fire Blitz.”

“Oh, hey Treble...” Blitz walked to greet her former colleague.

“Congratulations on the promotion. We all figured youʼd get it.”

“Heh, yeah.” Blitz said, coyly, “Well, thank you. Itʼs a little overwhelming but, itʼs been a fun morning either way.”

“Hmm.” Treble faked a smile. “Night Arrow, can I speak with you in private?” she said, not taking her eyes off Blitz.

“Uh, sure Treble--”

“Wait!” Skylight stepped in. “Iʼm the coach for the B-Wave now.” She said sternly. “Treble, Iʼll be more than happy to talk to you about anything about the Shadowbolts.”

Arrow took a few steps back. He wasnʼt used to sharing responsibility for anything, and Treble was clearly upset. Although he had his doubts about Skylight handling it, he glanced at Trixie, and she nodded at him, as if to advise that he just let Skylight handle this. “Well, Skylightʼs right she is the new coach! If you guys need anything, Iʼll be on the track!”

Treble almost protested as Arrow and Blitz flew back onto the track, but she decided against it.

“Come on, Treble, step into my office.” Skylight smiled, and patted the ground next to small tree.

Treble sat under the tree near the locker rooms with Skylight. “Heh, so now Fire Blitz is there racing on the same track as Night Arrow, and I canʼt even talk to him?”

“Treble, it isnʼt like that...” Skylight said, reassuring her. “Luna has always wanted this team to be all structured and stuff. Since Iʼm the coach of you guys now, I can try my best to help you out without bothering Arrow.”

“Oh, so now Iʼm a bother!?” Treble yelled. ʻGeeze this is hard...ʼ Skylight thought to herself, ʻI really have to pick my words carefully or sheʼs gonna punch me in the face...!ʼ “--No no no!!” Skylight said, “Itʼs just, heʼs had to make a lot of really hard decisions lately, and tomorrowʼs the big A-Wave race... So if I can help him with Shadowbolt stuff, I will!”

“Why didnʼt you guys just promote both of us?” Treble said, tears in her eyes.

ʻHmm, I didnʼt think Iʼd be on THIS side of this conversation so soon...ʼ Skylight thought. “I wasnʼt in charge of that, Treble. I was expecting a promotion too, remember?”

“And he chose CC...?” Treble asked. Skylight nodded. “Hmm...” Treble looked at the ground. After a long pause, Skylight placed her hoof on Trebleʼs shoulder.

“Look, just let us get passed tomorrowʼs race, and Iʼll talk to Arrow about maybe increasing the roster a little. Maybe we can move a few more ponies into the A- Wave.”

Treble looked up at Skylight, and narrowed her eyes. “No.” She said, Skylight removed her hoof, confused. “I quit.”

CHAPTER 24

Meanwhile, back at the cafe: “Scootaloo, the Wonderbolts are awesome though! What do you even know about this new team?” Raindrops said.

“I hear nopony knows very much about them, other than rumors...” Scootaloo said. Spitfire looked worriedly at Colgate; Colgate smirked. “I hear a few of them live in an abandoned building in the middle of the Everfree Forest!” Scootaloo continued, “And one of them has two different colored eyes, and a bright neon mane from some crazy accident she had! And--”

“Thatʼs enough!” Raindrops interrupted. “First of all, nopony can live in the Everfree Forest. If the timberwolves donʼt get you, thereʼs poison joke as far as the eye can see. Then there are manticores, and ursa majors, and all kinds of dangerous creatures in there...”

“but--!” Scootaloo tried to speak, but Raindrops continued,

“And then what kind of accident can cause a ponyʼs eyes, or mane to change colors? Iʼm sure itʼs all publicity just to get little gullible fillies like you to root for them.”

Scootaloo folded her arms, and pouted, frustrated at her sisterʼs condescending tone. “But Spitfire says she knows them!” Scootaloo said, “Are any of the rumors true?”

All eyes were on Spitfire, as she gulped her soda down nervously. “I, um--” Spitfireʼs eyes scanned the area for an escape. Something to change the subject. Anything. Since she received word that Raindrops wanted to meet for lunch, she knew it was a bad idea. She knew she wouldnʼt be able to keep the subject away from racing.

“Well, uh...” she began, her eyes switching between Scootalooʼs expecting eyes, and Colgateʼs smug smirk. “...I guess, youʼll have to see tomorrow!” Spitfire laughed nervously.

“Aww.” Scootaloo sank into her seat.

“Thatʼs enough about racing, you little traitor!” Raindrops playfully nudged her little sister. “Letʼs eat, Iʼm starving!”

CHAPTER 25

“Treble, no! Donʼt do that!” Skylight said, standing up.

“Itʼs fine, Skylight.” Treble remained seated, her eyes a bit glassy.

“We can fix this! Just give me some time!” Skylight said. “With Fire Blitz on the A- Wave, that makes you head captain of the B-Wave! You can help me bring up a co- captain! Come on, letʼs go look through their files!” Skylight nervously walked towards Arrowʼs room.

“No, stop!” Treble said. Skylight sat back down. “Iʼm done with this. I donʼt know who I was kidding...”

What?” Skylight said.

“Look at me, Skylight! Iʼm not a racer!” Treble yelled.

“What do you mean?”

“My name is Treble! Iʼm a musician! I was never as fast as any of you..! My cutie mark is even a stupid treble clef.”

“Is that what those are called...?” Skylight said, tilting her head to see Trebleʼs flank.

Treble sighed, “Yes, Skylight... theyʼre musical symbols...”

“Oh. Well I donʼt see how any of that matters!” Skylight said, raising her head high. “These little pictures on our butt donʼt control who we are! We control who we are! And if you want to be a racer, then be a racer!”

“Thatʼs the thing though, Skylight...” Treble said. “I donʼt think I even want to be a racer...”

Skylight didnʼt know what to say. “I... Treble look... I may be a coach now, but weʼre still friends! We can figure this--”

“--Just tell everyone Iʼm sorry, and good luck tomorrow.” Treble stood up and opened her wings.

“But Treble...” Skylight whimpered.

“Goodbye, Skylight.” Treble said, getting ready to fly, “You were always my favorite Shadowbolt.”

With that Treble took off out of the forest.

“Bye, Treble...” Skylight said.

CHAPTER 26

“Well it was nice catching up, but I should get back to the dental office.” Colgate said, walking away from the restaurant. “Have fun at the race tomorrow!”

“We will!” Raindrops waved. As Colgate went about her way, Spitfire approached Raindrops.

“Rainy, can I talk in private for a sec?” \

“Sure, Spitfire!”

“Sorry, Scootaloo...” Spitfire removed her sunglasses.

“Itʼs okay! I gotta go to the bathroom anyway.” Scootaloo trotted over to the back
end of the restaurant.

“Whatʼs up, Spitfire?” Raindrops asked.

Spitfire looked at the ground. “Look, Rainy...” she said. “...whatever happens tomorrow, I just want you to know that, you and I are best friends.”

“Well of course we are--!” Raindrops said.

“No wait, let me finish.” Spitfire interrupted. She sighed, and began again. “You and I have been really good friends for a very long time, and you know I wouldnʼt want to do, or say anything to jeopardize that.”

Raindrops got a concerned look on her face. “Spitfire, youʼre scaring me... whatʼs this about?”

“Iʼm sorry, Rainy...” Spitfire said. “I made a promise that I canʼt say. Nothingʼs wrong though, trust me. In fact, itʼs kind of a good thing! But youʼll have to find out for yourself tomorrow.” Spitfire put her hoof on Raindropsʼ shoulder. “Just promise me youʼll understand that I just canʼt break that promise; youʼve always known Iʼm a mare of my word.”

“Spitfire, whatever it is--”

“Promise me, Raindrops!” The yellow mare was taken aback for a moment.

“Of course! I promise.”

“Good.” Spitfire said, relieved. They embraced, and Scootaloo returned. “Have fun you two!” Spitfire said, walking away.

“Iʼll be rooting for you!” Raindrops said.

“I might not be!” Scootaloo added.

“Scoots!” Raindrops elbowed her sister.
CHAPTER 27
“Niiiiiggghhtt Aaaarrrrooowww!!!” Skylight ran to the track, crying.

“What the--?” was all he managed to say before being tackled to the ground. “Skylight!? What are you doing? Whereʼs Treble?”

“Night Arrooow!!” Skylight sobbed loudly while pinning Arrow to the ground.“Treblesaysshehasamusicsymbolonherbuttsoshemustbeamusiciansoshequitthes hadowboltsandthatwasthefirstmeetingihadandshequitimtheworstcoachinthehistoryofequ estriaaaaa!!”

“What!? Sky! Stop crying on me and let me go! Youʼre getting your tears on my face!”

*sniff* sorry...” Skylight got up, freeing Arrow.

“Whatʼs going on?” CC asked as her and Fire Blitz walked over.

“You okay, Skylight?” Blitz asked.

“Go take 5, mares. Iʼll take care of Skylight.” Arrow said. “Come on, letʼs talk in your locker room.”

*sniff* Okay...” Skylight said, and they walked over to her room.

Arrow and Skylight took a seat on her bench/bed, and Skylight explained the entire conversation to him.

“So just she quit? Just like that?” Arrow said.

“Mmhmm.” Skylight nodded.

“She blamed it on her cutie mark?”

“Mmhmm.” Skylight blew her nose.

“And... wait so, why are
you crying again?” Arrow asked

“Because that was the first meeting I ever had as a coach and it ended with her quitting the Shadowbolts!” Skylight yelled. “Noponyʼs ever quit the Shadowbolts!! Iʼve only been a coach for 20 minutes, and for the first time ever, somepony quit the Shadowbolts!!”

Arrow smiled.

“Night Arrow! Why are you smiling!? This is serious!! I think I just set the record for worst coach in all of Equestria!!”

“Sky, youʼre not a bad coach.” Arrow laughed. “It sounds to me like Treble has some things she has to work out. Some self-exploration or something. From what you said, I think you did everything you could to help her out, she just needs some time for herself.”

“You really think so?” Skylight looked up at Arrow.

“Of course!” He smiled. “Now, Skylight, I hate to be insensitive, and Iʼm super proud of Luna trusting you with more responsibility, but we have a huge race tomorrow, so we need to practice.”

Skylight smiled, and wiped the tears from her eyes. “Ppffch, you mean YOU need to practice!” she laughed.

“Heh, oh you wanna race?”

“Youʼre on, baggy eyes!”

.
CHAPTER 28

The rest of the day went relatively well for everypony. The A-Wave spent most of the day flying the track, and by the time the sun had set, everyone had retreated back to their rooms for the night.

Trixie planned on spending just two more nights in Everfree with Arrow before she continued her tour across Equestria. “So, Arrow...” she said, sitting on the blankets and pillows in the corner that made up Arrowʼs bed. “...did you give any thought about your family?”

Arrow sighed. “Trixʼ... why do you care so much about that? Iʼve gotten along just fine so far...”

“Because Night,” she approached him, “you really havenʼt. You snapped at CC earlier today, youʼre overprotective of Skylight, you work in Canterlot, but avoid spending any time there because of old memories, and youʼve been spending more and more time on that stupid water tower! No Arrow, you have NOT ʻgotten along just fine so farʼ...!”

Arrow was speechless once again.

“I care about you, Arrow...!” Trixie said, “Iʼm leaving in two days, I donʼt know for how long, and I want to make sure youʼre gonna be okay. A lot has happened these last few days; youʼve been forced to grow up practically overnight... I just donʼt want you to crumble under all the pressure...!”

There was a sense of sincerity in Trixieʼs normally cold and condescending voice. She never spoke that way to anypony but Night Arrow; he knew she was genuinely concerned, and really did care about his well-being.

“Alright.” He said, defeated. Trixieʼs eyes lit up and she smiled. “After the race tomorrow, Iʼll ask Spitfire where theyʼre living.” He looked up and forced a smile. “Iʼll look them up, you know, go visit them.”

Trixieʼs smile grew and she embraced him.

“You wanna come with me?” Arrow asked.

“To Ponyville?” Trixie said, “Uh, no... sorry Arrow, Iʼve made a few enemies there... I think itʼs best you go alone.”

Arrow laughed. “You? Enemies?” He smiled, sarcastically “I canʼt imagine why!”

Trixie laughed “Haha, shut up!” she playfully punched him in the shoulder.

“Letʼs get some sleep, Trix...” Arrow said, walking to his make-shift bed. “Iʼve got a race to win tomorrow.”

CHAPTER 29

CC was ecstatic to be the new co-captain. She had decided that this new season she had a few new resolutions for herself, most of which included her getting better acquainted with her team mates, and spending more time on the track.

Fire Blitz on the other hoof was still very nervous about tomorrow, and had a stomachache throughout the entire day. The majority of the night she spent laying
awake, eyes bloodshot, and wide opened staring at her ceiling. She hated the way her mind worked; playing every possible terrible scenario in her head. She knew she needed sleep, but she just couldnʼt relax. Eventually, exhausted from a full day of A-Wave training, she fell asleep.

Skylight still felt bad about what happened with Treble, and wondered if there was still anything she could do. Then she realized she would have to move up a new captain and co-captain for the B-Wave. Once the choices started filling her head, she immediately felt guilty for how she handled the same situation when Arrow had to make that same decision. It was at that moment she realized she really did have a lot of growing up to do, and she already did a lot of growing up over the last 24 hours.
Needless to say, this race was definitely the most stressful the team has had in quite a while, and nopony got very much actual rest.

Meanwhile, miles away, Raindrops was preoccupied with Spitfireʼs speech to her after lunch this afternoon. ʻMade a promise... canʼt say... actually a good thing...ʼ? What did she mean by all that? Should she even go to the race tomorrow? What could she possibly have to hide that was ʻactually a good thingʼ? Raindrops was terrible with surprises.

Scootaloo however, was very excited about her first official race tomorrow, and could hardly sleep. She had already decided, first thing she was gonna
do when she got there was buy a flag that said “Go Shadowbolts!” It was half rebellion against her older sister, and half trying to find her own path to lead. When Colgate told her story about changing her own destiny and name, and rebelling against her cutie mark, it got Scootaloo thinking-- maybe cutie marks werenʼt that important! She couldnʼt wait to get back to Ponyville and tell Applebloom and Sweetie Belle everything that happened today. This trip was turning out much better than sheʼd expected, and she was positive that tomorrow, it was only going to get better...!

Author's Note:

Okay! So, Like I mentioned earlier, this story is finished, but parts 3 and 4 aren't uploaded yet.

Next part we meet The Wonderbolts! And things really go downhill for our Shadowbolts.

Seriously I totally screw up Night Arrow's life. Haha

Stay tuned!!

-N.Arrow

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