• Published 24th Sep 2014
  • 3,229 Views, 72 Comments

A Year of Seasons - The Rising Tide of Night



A glimpse into the love and life of Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, as told over the course of a year - a year of four different seasons that span a lifetime.

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Covered By Roses - Winter

Rainbow Dash slowly trudged through the snowy path back to her cottage, the plain black cloak covering her weighing her down. It’s done, she thought numbly, her whole body trembling with pain and anguish, blotting out all other thoughts aside from the finality of her day. It’s done.

She paused as she crossed the small bridge in front of her cottage, peering over the edge at the frozen stream. She stared at her reflection, wondering for a brief moment just who that mare was that was looking back at her. A once brilliantly rainbow-colored mane was now faded and streaked with silver, and her cyan coat was looking dull and unkempt. Her magenta eyes, once sharp and energetic, were now worn, beaten, defeated, and red-rimmed from crying.

She loved sitting by this stream, she thought with a small smile. Just the two of us. Even when it was all I could do to just bring her out and sit her down in the grass, she wanted to just be by the stream.

A long moment passed as Rainbow stood there, small snowflakes drifting down in the air and settling on the frozen waters. She lifted her head, staring at the cloudy skies, her breath misting in the air and displacing the drifting snow with each exhale. She wrinkled her nose as a few snowflakes settled on it, gently blowing them away before they melted. The chill wind began to pick up, ruffling her mane and grabbing at her cloak, tugging her towards the cottage door.

Taking her cue from nature, she abandoned her vigil of the stream with a shiver and finished the short jaunt to her front door, pushing it open on noiseless hinges. She shut the door behind her, pushing out the cold and wind before hanging her cloak on the nearby peg. Turning away from the door, she faced her home before closing her eyes and inhaling deeply, taking in the scent of… nothing.

Confused, Rainbow Dash opened her eyes. She looked around the cottage, familiar sights greeting her eyes: the dark fireplace with its cooking utensils hanging in an orderly row, the now-empty birdhouses for the birds that had flown south for the winter, the doorway leading to the room that had become Fluttershy’s bedroom after she could no longer manage the stairs. The couch that they would cuddle on during fun-filled evenings of just watching the fire or having their friends over, and that would double as Rainbow’s bed during bad nights, both past and present. The door leading to the kitchen right at the base of the stairs that led up to Rainbow’s room and bathroom.

Everything looked familiar. But nothing smelled familiar.

Gone was her smell. The smell of earth and air, of animals and their food. The smell of sunshine and kindness. It was Rainbow’s favorite scent, even though if anypony had asked her, she probably would have said otherwise. There was always an image to maintain, of course. Not that Fluttershy cared. She always wore that scent of kindness like a beautiful gown, one even more beautiful than any of Rarity’s designs.

Even the more recent, less pleasant smells were gone. The harsh tang of antiseptic, of sterilization. The smell of age that had permeated Fluttershy, despite any of the baths that Rainbow had given her. The scent of old food that Rainbow just hadn’t been able to take care of as there had always been something else more pressing, such as making sure Fluttershy didn’t injure herself trying to climb the stairs or leave the house by herself.

Even the smell of death was gone. Rainbow wasn’t quite certain how she felt about that.

Moving slowly into the cottage, she glanced around in the dim light, scanning the pictures covering every blank space they could find: pictures of their friends, of themselves, of their families, of their friend’s families. Pictures of animals and trees, castles and landscapes, and everything in between.

Of memories.

She briefly considered laying a fire and throwing all of the pictures in it, but resisted the urge. Besides, the fire would never warm her in the way Fluttershy’s presence always had.

Her leg bumped something unexpected, and she hissed in pain as she glared down at the offending object. Somepony had moved their coffee table, and it had jumped out and attacked her in a moment of inattention. Thoughts of pony-on-furniture violence ran through her mind, but she decided against it as she spotted a note resting on the table, weighed down by a jeweled butterfly clip. Curious, she turned on a nearby light and picked up the note to read.

Dear Rainbow Dash –

Once again, I’m very sorry for your loss. She was my dear friend too, so I understand what you’re going through, to an extent.

The past few years have been hard on all of us with her dementia, you especially. You put on such a brave face whenever we were all around, but I think I could detect a hint of bitterness and desperation every time I visited and things didn’t go the way you wanted them to. I wish you would have taken up our offers to help more often, but I understand the depths of your loyalty and respect you for it.

As a token of my respect and of the respect of Equestria for your services, I had your cottage cleaned while you were away today. Don’t worry – I told them not to throw anything important away, so everything you have of hers should still be there. There’s not enough that I could do to match the respect and love I have for the two of you.

I’ll be by to check on you later tonight and see how you’re doing. Feel free to tell me to leave if that’s what you want. Just know that I’ll always be there for you as you’ve always been there for the rest of us.

With love, your friend,

Twilight Sparkle.

Rainbow laid the note back down on her table, conflicting emotions welling up inside of her. On the one hoof, she was grateful for Twilight’s thoughts and her offer of support. On the other hoof, she was furious that she would dare take the one last thing that she had of her love from her. Those scents were a part of her and of their life, and Twilight had wiped them away with little more than a simple order.

Moving over to the couch, she sat down with a wince; her old wounds were acting up again, sending a lance of pain down her right side and wing. She carefully stretched her left wing, her right held stiff and withered from the old scars that had kept her grounded since that night in the cave, oh so long ago. She grimaced at the memory, recalling the deep depression she had sunk into after she had received the news. Fluttershy had been there for her every step of the way, calmly enduring the many nights of sobbing and bargaining.

She even stayed for those nights where Rainbow’s mood was dark, and all of the anger and jealousy would spill out in a depression-fueled vitriol. Element of Loyalty, pah, Rainbow thought wryly as she idly picked up a photo album from the arm of the couch; she had been looking at it that very morning and whoever had come in to clean had thankfully left it out. I’ve got nothing on her.

Though in a bittersweet way, she was thankful for her wounds. They had allowed the two of them to realize Fluttershy’s condition sooner than later, and give them time to prepare for the worst. When Fluttershy had started becoming a little forgetful, they had both just laughed it off as one of the side effects of age. Rainbow had even gone to teasing her a little bit, grabbing small things just after she had set them down and moving them across the room. Her little prank had continued until the day when Fluttershy had idly asked when she was planning on going out to practice that day. She had wanted to know when Rainbow would come home so she could have lunch ready.

Rainbow had been grounded for over ten years by that point. Suddenly ‘a little forgetful’ had become something scary.

Rainbow’s smile became strained as she flipped through the pictures of their life, pausing on one that had been taken on their wedding day. Her memory of that day was still crystal-clear: the laughter, the joy, all of the games. The sight of their family and friends all gathered around them as they said their vows. At the reception, Fluttershy, in a fit of bravery and mischievousness, had managed to catch her by surprise, smearing cake all over her face. Every moment of their wedding had been filled with love and affection, and they had cherished those moments the rest of their lives.

Near the end, Fluttershy couldn’t even remember her name.

Shaking her head in an effort to push away the sudden surge of remorse, Rainbow laid the photo album back on the couch and carefully got to her hooves. Plodding into the kitchen, she headed straight for a cupboard in the back, opening it and retrieving the bottle of wine resting there. She blew on the bottle, raising a cloud of dust that swirled in the air, catching the last strands of dim winter light from the frost-covered window. They had bought the wine a long time ago, intending to have it as part of an anniversary dinner that for whatever reason had never happened.

Rainbow pulled down a wine glass and a bottle opener, uncorking the wine and bringing both bottle and glass back to the couch before pouring herself a glass. The wine was a pale rose color, almost exactly the same shade as Fluttershy’s hair had been. It had been the main reason that Rainbow had picked out that particular wine, especially considering she wasn’t a big fan of the sweet wines. Fluttershy was, though, and that had sealed the deal.

Rainbow sat on the couch, wine in hoof, watching the light catching the crystal of the glass and shimmering through the wine itself. Raising her glass to the nearby wall, where a picture of a blushing Fluttershy hung, trying to avoid the camera by hiding behind a curtain of mane, she smiled. “Rest well, Fluttershy,” she said sadly. “You’re free now.”

Tipping a splash of wine into her mouth as a toast to her departed love, she sat back, letting the alcohol warm her belly before glancing back at the photo album once more. Pulling it up next to her, she slowly flipped the pages with a shaking hoof worn with age, pausing here and there with a wistful smile at a particularly romantic picture or giggling at a funny one. Memories flooded through her at each page, somewhat spotty with age but still filling her with a sense of joy and sadness.

Reaching the end of the album, Rainbow sat back in the couch with a sigh. She glanced around the empty cottage, still her home yet no longer her home. Gone were the sounds of her love, the idle humming, the clip-clop of her hooves on the floor, even the soft sound of her breathing. All she had was the silence of her home and the sound of roses covering a coffin, a sound that still echoed in her ears.

She took another sip of wine before staring up at the picture on the wall, her eyes heavy from exhaustion and a long day of tears. I’m so tired, she thought, feeling the wine coursing through her, fully relaxing her body for the first time in four years. Another tear formed at the corner of her eye as a pang of grief hit her, and she ignored it, allowing it to spill down the well-worn tracks in her fur. She closed her eyes before another sob came, doing her best to still her mind and allow herself to drift away.

She had no idea how long she lay there with her eyes closed before she was startled out of the darkness by a familiar voice calling her name. She jumped, dropping her wine glass, rose wine spilling across the hardwood floor as the delicate crystal landed on the rug under the couch. Glancing around quickly, her jaw dropped as she found herself staring at the source of the voice, a voice that she had longed to hear for over a year.

Fluttershy sat there on the couch next to her, a soft smile on her face.

Gone were the deep lines of age, the clouded eyes, and the vacant expression that had been the norm for too long. Gone was the silver mane and tail, replaced by the soft rose of her youth and interwoven with real roses. Her pale yellow coat shone with health and life, and her face once more held the kindness and love that had knocked Rainbow head over hooves in the first place.

Fluttershy waved at her, giggling. “Hello?” she said, her melodious voice bringing Rainbow to the brink of tears. “This is Rainbow Dash, right? Did you fall asleep again?”

“F-F-F-Fluttershy?” Rainbow replied, finally finding her voice. Fluttershy giggled once more before reaching over and taking Rainbow’s hoof in her own. Rainbow felt the warmth of her love’s touch on her own hoof, her voice failing her once more.

“Of course, silly,” Fluttershy replied kindly. “Who else would it be?” Her eyes glittered with a trace of mischief before she spoke again. “Who else would put up with you for this long?”

“Hey, a lot of ponies would ‘put up with me’ for just a chance at my awesomeness,” Rainbow replied, reflexively falling into their familiar bantering routine. Inside she was reeling, cut adrift, uncertain. Her mouth worked for a moment before she managed to find the words she both wanted and didn’t want to say. “B-but how…” she started before Fluttershy cut her off with a hoof on her lips.

“Don’t worry about it, love,” she said softly. “I’m here now, and that’s all that matters.”

“I-I missed you so much,” Rainbow replied, a hitch in her raspy voice. “I-I know it’s stupid, since you were with me and all, but I-I missed… you.”

“I know,” Fluttershy replied with a smile, the jeweled butterfly clip in her mane catching the dim light and twinkling like a star. She leaned over, enveloping Rainbow in a gentle hug. “That’s why I’m here.”

Rainbow felt the warmth and love surrounding her, and she took a deep breath. Immediately, the scent struck her: Fluttershy’s scent, kindness and sunlight rolled into one. The memories returned unbidden: memories of flying together, of laughing together. Memories of their courtship, their wedding, their adventures, their love. All of this flooded Rainbow’s mind and she gasped as tears began welling up in her eyes once more. For the last time that long, grief-filled day, Rainbow Dash cried.

She cried long, wracking sobs that shook her body to the core. Fluttershy gently stroked her back as she held her, whispering comforting words all the while as the normally tough and confident pegasus let go of her restraint, tears of happiness and love and grief and sadness rolling down her cheeks. Finally, the wave of emotion passed, and Rainbow looked up into Fluttershy’s sparkling eyes. “So,” she said with a brief flash of trepidation, a shaky smile on her face. “What happens next?”

“Next?” Fluttershy repeated as she slowly disengaged herself from Rainbow. “Why don’t we find out together? Isn’t that what we’ve always done?”

Rainbow chuckled. “Another adventure?” she asked.

Fluttershy nodded, before lapsing into contemplation. Her face brightened a moment later, and she stepped off the couch before turning to Rainbow. “I-I’ve got an idea to start with,” she said, suddenly her shy self once more. “I-If it’s ok with you, that is.” She briefly shuffled her hooves before extending a hoof to Rainbow and dipping her head, her curtain of a mane obscuring her face as she spoke. “Rainbow Dash, would you like to dance?”

Rainbow gaped at her for a moment before bursting out laughing. “All this time, and you wanna dance? Flutters, you know I can’t dance. I couldn’t even dance at our wedding.”

Fluttershy pouted, blushing as Rainbow’s laughter washed over her. “W-well, I guess I thought this would be a good time to learn,” she replied softly, looking up at Rainbow with wide, pleading eyes.

Rainbow stopped laughing with a sigh and a wry grin. She could never refuse that look. Shaking her head in defeat, she folded her forelegs in mock-frustration. “Fine,” she huffed, blowing a lock of brilliantly rainbow-colored hair out of her eyes as she glanced to the side. “What do I need to do?”

She started as she felt something slide into her mane. Looking over at Fluttershy, who was withdrawing her hoof, she reached up and felt her new decoration: a single rose, resting just over her right ear. Fluttershy smiled at her and extended her hoof once more. “Just follow my lead.”

Rainbow reached out, grasping her love’s hoof and allowing herself to be pulled off the couch and into Fluttershy’s embrace. At first they just stood there, relishing each other’s touch, before Fluttershy began humming softly, giving them a rhythm to start. It certainly wasn’t smooth sailing – Rainbow had never gotten the hang of dancing their entire life, and it wasn’t going to come easy right away – but eventually they settled into a rhythm as Fluttershy guided Rainbow through some simple back-and-forth steps.

They swayed together for what felt like hours, Rainbow drinking in Fluttershy’s scent as much as possible and sneaking kisses whenever she could. Fluttershy’s giggles lifted her heart, slowly draining away all of the tension in her body, all of the built up anger and dismay gone. Her beleaguered body felt ten times lighter, and she spread her wings wide with ease as she drew Fluttershy into a deep, passionate kiss, bringing the dance to a halt.

After a long, lingering moment, the two lovers broke apart, staring deeply into each other’s eyes. Fluttershy kissed Rainbow once more before speaking. “So,” she said playfully, a shy smile on her face as she mimicked Rainbow’s earlier question. “What happens next?”

Rainbow gave her a cocky grin before wrapping her in another hug. “Why don’t we find out together?”

The two pegasi looked at each other for a brief moment before bursting into peals of silvery laughter that echoed throughout the cottage. “C’mon,” Rainbow said, guiding Fluttershy to the front door, passing by the table that still held Twilight’s note next to the jeweled clip. “I spent all that time training you to fly better. Let’s go find out if you still got what it takes.”

Fluttershy let out a squeak, blushing as Rainbow pulled her to the door. “R-Rainbow, you know I-I still don’t fly very well,” she stammered. “I-I really appreciate w-what you did for me, b-but…” Her protests were silenced by Rainbow flinging the door open and hauling her out into the early night air, the chill winter wind passing through her with a shiver.

“C’mon, Flutters!” Rainbow cried, bounding out into the snowy yard. “What better way to warm up on a cold night than a good fly? Besides,” she finished with a grin, “You can just follow my lead.” She spread her wings wide, feeling the winds ruffling her feathers for a moment before pushing off into the air.

Fluttershy looked up at Rainbow with an exasperated grin, leaving the door open behind them. “I can think of something else that’d warm us up,” she muttered before spreading her own wings and taking to the air, snowflakes dancing around the two of them.

Rainbow’s cocky grin returned as Fluttershy approached. “Don’t worry, Flutters,” she said. “There’ll be plenty of time for that.” She chuckled at the blush that swiftly spread across Fluttershy’s face, and darted forward to give her another kiss. “Now, c’mon, let’s fly!”

Fluttershy let out another giggle at the sight of Rainbow’s enthusiasm, remembering one of the many reasons she fell in love with her all those years ago. The two bright-eyed pegasi turned their attention to the glittering sky, and with easy, powerful strokes of their wings, set off into the brisk winter air, flying together for the first time in decades.


Twilight Sparkle slowly made her way down the snowy path to Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash’s cottage, Rarity walking beside her. The two were still dressed in their funeral garb, Rarity with a well-made black dress complete with hat and veil, and Twilight in a black variation of her regular princess attire. Twilight walked with ease, keeping her steps measured and light with regards to the ageing unicorn next to her. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Rarity still refused to fully admit that she was growing older, and anypony that ever asked was always told that she “simply wasn’t a shade over twenty-nine, darling.”

“Thanks for coming, Rarity,” Twilight said as they approached the small stone bridge, the chill winter’s evening air washing over them as the falling snow did its best to turn their black clothing white.

“Oh, no trouble at all, darling,” Rarity replied as she squinted ahead while attempting to look like she was not squinting at all. “I was most concerned about Rainbow Dash’s appearance today. She looked simply dreadful.” She gave an affected shudder that had nothing to do with the cold. “I do wish she would have let me design her something other than that old cloak. It certainly would have been no trouble at all and honestly, the very least I could have done for her.”

Twilight smiled wanly. Leave it to Rarity to be more concerned about how the grieving widow looked than anything else. “At least it was a nice service,” she commented, more for the sake of saying something than of any desire to reminisce about the funeral of one of her best friends. “Pinkie did a good job, especially considering the circumstances.”

“Yes, yes, she did,” Rarity replied with a distracted air. She was busy trying to navigate her way across the bridge alongside Twilight, her diminished eyesight making it difficult to see exactly where the edges began.

Twilight rolled her eyes with a small smile, extending a wing to guide her somewhat vain friend. “You know, Rarity,” she said conversationally, “I hear there’s a unicorn up in Canterlot who’s developed a new magical procedure to help correct eyesight in order to eliminate the need for glasses.”

Rarity covertly shot her a grateful look while trying not to appear too interested. “Is that so? I may have to read up on this doctor and this new procedure of his. What did you say his name was?”

Twilight giggled silently before answering. “I believe his name is Dr. Bright Eyes, and from what I’ve seen, his work is rather fascinating. I don’t doubt that ponies will be clamoring for his services before long.” She looked up at the cottage, seeing a light glimmering in the window. “Looks like Rainbow Dash is still up,” she said.

Rarity’s expression became somber. “I do hope she’s doing all right,” she said. “The poor dear was just beat down these last few months, stubborn little thing that she is. Did you know that I offered on no less than ten occasions – ten! – to come watch Fluttershy so that she could simply have some time to herself?” She let out a huff of indignation. “She turned me down every time. Said she could handle it by herself.”

Twilight nodded in reply. “Yes, she did the same to all of us, even Applejack. It’s not like Applejack is short on time these days, what with the size of her family.”

Rarity giggled as she reached up to knock on the door. “I must say, her newest great-grandfoal has got to be one of the cutest little things, wouldn’t you agree? He was such a darling in his little suit today. I don’t often get a chance to design for the little ones; I was thankful that Apple Pie asked me to whip one up for him.” Her smile drooped, and she let out a great sigh. “I do wish it had been for a happier occasion, though.” She stared at the door for a moment before knocking once more. “What could be keeping Rainbow Dash?”

Twilight bit her lip as she stared at the door. “Do you think I offended her with my note?” she asked nervously. “I knew I shouldn’t have been so formal. Maybe she thinks I don’t care that Fluttershy’s gone and doesn’t want to see me?”

Rarity gave her a look of exasperation. “Darling, there is no possible way she could think that. Not after that lovely eulogy you gave today. I do believe there wasn’t a dry eye among the guests when you finished.” She turned back to the door, her expression turning irritated, and she shivered as a sudden chill passed through her. “Though I do agree, she should have answered by now. Perhaps she fell asleep?”

Twilight nodded. “Yes, yes, that’s probably it,” she said without any trace of nerves whatsoever, or at least that’s what she told herself. “Let’s just check in on her, and we’ll be on our way, ok?”

Rarity nodded, stepping aside for Twilight, who carefully opened the door with her magic. The two friends slowly entered the silent cottage, glancing around with a touch of uncertainty. “Rainbow?” Twilight called, her gaze quickly drawn to the light burning next to the couch across the room, and she stopped dead.

Rarity nearly bumped into Twilight when she stopped, and she carefully pushed around her with a slight glare. “Twilight, what was that…” She trailed off as she caught sight of what had caused Twilight to freeze and she gasped. “Oh, my…”

Rainbow Dash was lying on the couch across the room, looking for all the world like she had fallen asleep, her head lolling to the side. An empty wine glass lay on the floor next to the couch, the slowly spreading puddle of wine glistening on the hardwood floor. Her hoof rested on a photo album lying next to her, the pages open to a set of wedding photos, the pair of them smiling widely. The two of them could easily see from where they were standing that her chest was no longer moving.

“Oh, Rainbow…” Twilight said sadly, slowly approaching the body of her dear friend. She heard a sniffle behind her and glanced back to see Rarity wiping her eyes as she began crying anew.

Rarity waved away her concern. “I-I’ll be fine, d-darling,” she said, a hiccup in her voice. “I-I just need…” She turned away a moment, taking a deep breath before letting it out slowly. When she turned back to face Twilight, she was no longer crying, but her eyes were glistening with unshed tears. She slowly approached as well, standing next to Twilight and gazing down at Rainbow. “S-She would do this, wouldn’t she?” she said sadly.

“Do what?” asked Twilight.

“See Fluttershy off,” Rarity replied, “then follow her. The loyal little fool.” She said it with a smile as her tears started flowing once more.

Twilight said nothing, her emotions churning within her. She felt the sting of tears beginning in her eyes. After a day when she felt that she couldn’t cry anymore, fresh tears began making their way down her cheek as she looked into Rainbow’s sightless eyes. Following their gaze led her to a picture of Fluttershy adorning the wall, where the bashful mare was trying to avoid the camera by hiding behind her mane.

Twilight smiled sadly, thankful that Rainbow’s last vision was that of her wife at her best. She reached up to gently close Rainbow’s eyes, and her gaze caught something unexpected, especially since when she had seen Rainbow last, it certainly hadn’t been there. “What’s this?” she murmured to herself as her hoof brushed against the object.

Intertwined in Rainbow’s faded, silvered mane, looking fresh and hale, was a single red rose.

Author's Note:

Winter: A time of darkness, of death, of cold. A time with the promise of new life, of the long sleep before spring.

Comments ( 54 )

The two bright-eyed pegusi

Spotted this. But really, that's the only mistake I found in the entire thing.

This was freaking amazing and I'm sorry that I don't have more words to write here to tell you that.

God, that was beautiful...

Bravo.

OH MY GOD LIQUID PRIDE, THUMBS UP ALL THE WAY, (CHEERS WITH THE ENTIRE SKYPE CALL OF OVER 50 PEOPLE WHO JUST GOT THIS READ TO) BRAVO MY FRIEND BRAVO, 999999999999999999999/10 ME GUSTA!!!!!!! Also play this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRpU4bnzIdA after the vid, it makes things awesome. This was the best FlutterDash story i have ever read, i will NEVER forget this story, thank you so much. About 30 of the 50 bronies who just heard this are crying while listening to the song i just posted. Also, for all who are curious, the skype call is a private reading group, we only invite friends, and we have no name, so don't ask. Awesome story!!!!

Haven't even started, fave and upvote anyway.
~Wywint

Dear god.... After reading this... this MASTERPIECE, I'm speechless, awed, crying, and so very happy that I read this.

One Question:

Can we get a longer version with less skips in time? PLEEEEEEEASE!?
~Wywint

5053641 Glad you liked it. :twilightsmile: I don't know about expanding on it, though. I'm not sure I have enough ideas to fill up all of the in-between. I'm currently working on an epic that's taking up much of my time, and I've got another idea waiting in the wings after that. We'll see what strikes my fancy.

5052514 This is probably the most enthusiastic response I've ever received for one of my stories. Thanks! Also, that vid was beautiful. Probably a little more appropriate than the original song that partially inspired the last chapter.

5051852 Thanks! :twilightsmile:

5051685 Pinkie does what Pinkie will... :pinkiehappy:

5051549 I will admit, I struggled to find a good plural for pegasus, though this is the one I've seen used most often. Thanks for reading!

Wow this was an absolutely beautiful story. Bravo. :yay: :moustache:

5055169 Liked it? This is going on my list of Greatfics man, it wad truly incredible.
~Wywint

I found a new way to express the Me Gusta-ness of this fanfic, with an oversized huge Mario! 9999999999999/10 Bravo!


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Wow....!!!

That last chapter was beautiful. I like you thinking. Them going and moving on together. I knew the instant that Fluttershy appeared, that Dash was now gone too. Makes sense that she would die of a broken heart.

I havent cried like this while reading a story in a loooong time. So many emotions, all of which came across as so genuine and real that you kept me sucked into the story right to the very end. This goes on my very short list of best MLP stories Ive read this year. Aside from Pinkie watching that one time, I liked every moment in your story and I think it works well as it is.

Ohhh that was amazing, this is one of the few fics that has made me cry... I have needed to cry for a while and this allows me to do so. hell when my uncle died I didn't cry, when my great grand parents died I didn't cry, my grandma who I loved dearly died and no matter how much I tried, I couldn't cry. this is an achievement that you must take as a dear welcome and I hope that this story will be told to many in the future.

greatest fanfic? possibly one of tyhe greatest short stories i have read in a decade

I don't have a problem with keeping my emotions in check when reading a story. I read it, analyze it, find flaws in it, and try my hardest to figure out how things could be improved or why I shouldn't become attached to it. Emotional responses make it hard to really critically analyze works of art from a purely factual standpoint. Very few fanfictions have ever been good enough to elict an unchecked emotional response from me, and even less have ever impacted me as much as this one had. In the end, I simply cannot criticize or analyze this piece of art. This chapter in particular had me openly crying near the end, and simply contemplating it reignites the fires that reading it the first time had lit. There are few fanfictions in the world that can be called absolutely magnificent, but this is one of them, and I would have to call this the epitome of emotional fanfictions. Dear author, you are a literary god among men, an artist who can elict tears of sorrow and laughs of joy from the same story. I can only ask one meager thing from you; never stop writing. You have a gift, and it needs to be shared with the world.

5084768
5081834
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5065889 thank you all for your words. It's nice to know that I can bring out such emotions with my writing. I will say that writing that last chapter was especially an emotional undertaking for me as it was partially inspired by personal experiences. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

Also, we all know about Pinkie and boundaries. They just don't apply. :pinkiehappy:

Must not cry..cry a whole lot...but those will be manly tears, brilliant story all together :')

...wow the feels I cant even put into words about how I feel so...:pinkiesad2:
THIS STORY WAS SO AWESOME YOU WOULD NEED A NEW WORD FOR IT
This messege brought to you by torge

but ya great and I mean GREAT story keep up the great work... man still cant get over the feels:fluttercry:

The feels are overwhelming

RIP Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy

10 crying fluttershys out of 10
:fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry::fluttercry:

It is honestly a travesty that this story is sitting so quietly. It's a stunning series of vignettes into Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash's romantic life that I could only describe with one word: beautiful.

5157998 Honestly, a good part of it is that I suck at self-promotion. Between my family, work, and other interests, I don't always have a lot of time to do much here beyond writing and reading. Add to that the fact that I tend to second-guess every post I make, I end up not posting many comments. :twilightblush: I'm glad you enjoyed it, though.

5151340
5150846 Thanks. I'm glad you liked it! :twilightsmile:

This literally put me on the brink of tears I love this. I am putting this at a higher status than My little Dashie. I definitely think that this is a great piece and honestly it touches my heart. Thank you for writing this, and I hope you continue your work with FlutterDash.

~Autie

Hydra.

Just to let you know that someone spotted the reference :ajsmug:

5262691 Gold star for you. :yay:
Your bonus: the working titles for spring and autumn were Edge of the World and Silver Moonlight. I changed them when things moved too far from the original drafts.
Hope you enjoyed the story. :twilightsmile:

:applecry::fluttercry::pinkiesad2::raritycry:
A beautiful story.... I'm not gonna cry *goes to the corner of the room, lies down, cries*

Oh gaaaaaaaawd the feels hurt me.... :applecry:

im not crying. This room is dusty and I was eating popcorn and something accidentally stabbed my eyes and it's allergy season and my eyes have that dry condition thing so i took some eye drops and i sweat from my eyes a lot and you know liquid pride. But definitely not any form of tears or how you say "crying". Certainly not. Certainly not.
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

I swear, this is one of the most amazingly beautiful short stories I have read. You are a wonderful author! :yay:

I'm crying now. Really hard. That was simply too emotional.

However, it's one well written story. I loved reading this story, and couldn't put my tablet down. I was utterly hooked from the first sentence. I didn't spot too many mistakes, making it an easy read. I also love how you've managed to capture each ponies personality perfectly -- something that can be hard and is hardly seen in fanfictions. The descriptions offered perfectly clear images in my mind, making it easier for me to understand. It was one great story. I also love how you made each season compare to the relationship. Like with spring symbolism of growth, new beginnings to winter where things die, and are left lifeless

I think, after reading that story, I can confidently say I ship FlutterDash. Keep up the amazing work. :)

Well, at least they'll be together forever now.

5628872 Curious as to what parts you think are clunky (They're probably the same ones I'm thinking of). I'm always willing to hear constructive feedback. :twilightsmile:
Yeah, I've learned learned a little bit about the plural for pegasus since then. I should probably fix that.
Thanks for the read, and glad you enjoyed it!

That was.... Just beautiful. So well written and just genious theme and pacing

It was a bit hard for me to read the Autumn part all the way through. I know that this part is emotionally breaking, which is why I can't bring myself to read it. I just can't. But this entire 4-partner is enough to ravage my emotions, which are typically nonexistent. Although I simply am unable to read this 4th part-knowing that it starts and ends in death-i want you to be even further reinforced of the idea that your writing is powerful. Leaps and bounds ahead of my own. That is all

Even when I knew it was coming, you ripped out my heart and-
FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS.
~ Wywint

5783945 Nice to see you back. It's good to know that it still has that effect with a second reading. :twilightsmile:

5784626 Yeah man. I'm on a binge-read of fics I haven't read in forever. They may or may not all be Flutterdash.

~ Wywint

This was amazing. I have never read something so emotional that leveled out tragedy and happiness. When reading the last chapter, I cried more than I cried when reading my little dashie. This story deserves to be mentioned in the top romantic and emotional stories. When reading the last chapter, I was like, no, no, no, nononononono Fluttershy can't... no she can't die...

Thank you,
Ian

This is so sad, yet so sweet!:raritycry:

CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Okay, I feel a tad bit conflicted about this story and have some things to say.

First of all it was really sweet, there's no other way to put it. So, I believe, since I did enjoy myself I'd call it a good story. I did like following the seasons theme, and I like stories where you see the ship getting old together and dying in the end. The story did hook me up and I was emotionally invested, and a lot of it was nice to read.

Now to get to the less flattering parts. I can't help but feel like sometimes the style isn't that solid. You know, little details that set me off, without any general problem to put my finger on. Let's just assume that I'm not seeing things; then I believe that some more practice and good editing (!) should get rid of the problem easily for future works.

What I must criticize is how out of the blue the plot points appear. Of course the story skips through the character's life and only shows the relevant bits, and the things that happened were surprising, which itself is a good thing; but, and specifically for the thing with the dragon, a lot feels too random (in other words: too artificial) for my liking. I would've appreciated if there were any foreshadowing at all, just so that I'd thought "oh snap, Twilight had casually mentioned a dragon in a conversation in the first chaper, but I wouldn've have thought it was actually showing up"; rather than just "so apparently there's a dragon now, huh". And it wasn't only the dragon; I couldn't really believe that Fluttershy would randomly fly off into the storm, and the thing with the newspaper was also really random; all of that I think should and could have been prepared better. Generally, the goal is "surprising, yet inevitable" and you kind of only do the first for the most part.

As for the rest, tension and relationship arc and all of that, there's nothing I can complain about. Even though Rarity was hella creepy, not to mention the time when Rainbow literally threatens to break down the door and forefully invade Shy's comfort zone. Well.

Overall I loved reading it, alright - just that there are restrictions to that for some parts.

5894947 SPOILERS AHEAD!
Yay criticism! And constructive no less! Something we writers can always use.
I appreciate you taking your time to point out your concerns with the story, I also appreciate that overall you enjoyed it, but that's another matter. :twilightsmile:
Anyway, on to your points:
I'm not entirely certain what you mean by the style is off at times. Can you give me some examples so I know what to look for and improve on? The writing is only as good as the editor, and if the editor doesn't see it, then it's not going to be fixed. I do a lot of technical writing for my job, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of that technical style ended up translating over to my freewriting.
As far as the 'out of the blue' plot points - the intention for this was four stand alone stories with an overarching theme. Yes, one story would build upon the other and reference back to the previous one, but not necessarily foreshadow the following. Using the case of Autumn (which, to be fair and kinda to your point, I feel is the weakest of the four), yes it may feel like the dragon appears from nowhere, but at the same time, this collection is spanning their entire lives. This was just a freak chance encounter. You're not going to look at a bus one day, then twenty-plus years down the line when a bus comes out of nowhere to hit you, think "I should have knoooowwwnnn!!!!" as you're flying through the air. That kind of foreshadowing is a little silly, I think.
I suppose if you look at it that way, I could argue that the fact that Spike (a dragon) was present in Spring, that was my foreshadowing. That's stretching the idea to a point where it's too thin to even think about supporting, though. :twilightsheepish:
I suppose it makes a difference when presented in this format, though. I dunno. :ajbemused:
Definitely not discounting your feedback - I do appreciate you taking the time to give it - and not saying that the way I did it was 'right'. Just giving you some insight into my thought process.
And yeah - I think all of the mane six at one time or another have completely disregarded Fluttershy's comfort zone (with maybe the exception being Twilight, since she's got that socially uncomfortable/naive vibe as well) - and with Rainbow's 'act first and think later' attitude, it wouldn't be the first time Rainbow's done something like that.
Again, thanks for your feedback. I do appreciate it. Glad that you enjoyed at least most of the story as well. :twilightsmile:

I got choked up during my little dashie, yet didn't shed a tear. This utter masterpiece was the first of many tragic, sad, and emotional stories i've ever read that caused tears. heh, thats an understatement, i will openly admit that i bawled my damn eyes out.

You need to have some kind of award given to you. You deserve one. Sure, a less time-jump filled story would have been great, but what was here was an amazing buildup filled with happiness, sadness, joy and pain that led to a bittersweet, masterful end with mortallity.

The ending can even be interpreted as a happy one with Fluttershy and Rainbow reuniting in the next world.

You're better than the other authors that i've ever read...

You are the best.

Comment posted by Escuro deleted Jun 29th, 2015
Comment posted by Escuro deleted Jun 29th, 2015

Sorry that I took so long on this, but I finally read the story and wrote up my feedback on it.

I hope it is helpful; please feel free to give me a poke via PM if you have any questions!

Joined this site just to leave a comment for this beautiful series of stories <3 I am new to the fandom, and to this ship, so this is actually the first Flutterdash fic I've read and I am completely blown away. You wrote everybody, especially Rainbow and Fluttershy, so well - and imagined how their relationship would be (if we ever got to see it in canon, that is) so perfectly. I loved the symbolism of each season and what you took from each season's qualities to challenge them, often in ways very unexpected. And through such time, and such hardship, what a great building of their bond, and such a beautiful ending to their story - both heart-wrenching and heart-warming, often at the same time. Very grateful to have gotten to read this. I think this story stands as a perfect example of what their life together would be like, in case we never get to see it on the show. Thank you for writing and sharing it :)

I actually think the ending was really happy. I mean, it was sad all the way up to the point where... You know. I guess it's just how I see it, them both leaving together instead of one at a time. Truly beautiful.

I honestly dont think i;ve cried so hard in my life. That ending really hit home when I realized that she had died as well. I'm still crying...15 minutes straight...ahhh...I needed this though. Haven;t cried on like, a year or more.

Kudos to you...the most beautiful story I've read in my entire life.

If naything is mispelled, it's because I;m bawling like a baby.

Now If you'll excuse me...I'll be writing my own story and pulling myself together...

Reading this fic again and...
CRYING.
CRYING A LOT.

6675249 I blame you for promoting this story in the Shipping Group! This comment will not do this story justice! I need to make a review of this stat! Aw man, now I'm stuck in a world of feels! :fluttercry: Even more so of me shedding my tears like a baby while listening to this song!

Oh my God, help me my heart is wallowing in the bittersweet feels! :raritycry:

Accepted and approved by the story Standards! Review can be found here :twilightsmile:

:fluttercry: Truly beautiful. I have never felt so happy about a bittersweet ending.

Looking back I realized I never commented on how truly amazing this story was. When I got to this last chapter I was so full of emotion and I broke down into full blown tears. For this I applaud you good sir. For this is one of the absolute best stories I have ever read.

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