• Published 12th Dec 2014
  • 8,108 Views, 311 Comments

One More Dance - LightningSword

A troubled boy on the roof proves that Sunset Shimmer still has to account for her mistakes

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#6 - Hopes—Rainbow Dashed

One More Dance

#6 -- Hopes—Rainbow Dashed

“Oh, I hope they find Principal Celestia soon,” Fluttershy said, glancing up at the roof, “I'm so worried about Dac.”

Applejack nodded. “We all are, sugarcube. We just gotta get through to him somehow.”

“Can't we just go up there with him?” Pinkie asked. “I could do it lickity-split!”

“No!” Rarity interjected, “If we move, he might jump before we can reach him! We simply can't move now!”

“But we can't just stand here and do nothing!” Pinkie argued. “Applejack's right! He needs help!”

“I guess there's nothing we can do right now,” Fluttershy assessed, “except wait and hope we can get through to him from down here.”

“Fat chance,” Dash retorted, half-indignant and half-hurt. “It doesn't matter whether we knew he was sick or not. We made it worse. All of us. And now he wants to pull this stunt before we can apologize to him . . . that jerk!”

Sunset turned to Rainbow Dash and asked her the same question the others had to answer, “What did you say to him, Rainbow Dash?”

Dash rubbed her arms and looked down at the ground. “It's not like I meant it or anything,” she muttered shamefully, still trying to conceal her emotions.

“What didn't you mean, Dash?” Sunset asked, the tension reaching her. “What did you say?”

When Dash hesitated again, Applejack approached her. “I know how you feel,” she said, trying to comfort her. “We all do. Dac read us all wrong and we didn't even know it. But whatever ya said, it wasn't wrong.”

“Yes, it was,” Dash stubbornly argued. “What I did was wrong, no matter how he should have taken it.”

It was another three days before the Fall Formal, and excitement was building all over the school. Rainbow Dash wasn't too concerned, though; all she needed was some space, a goal and a soccer ball, and her cares were dissolved. It was the perfect way to kill time, work off stress, or expend some excess excitement. Having as rough a few days as she'd had lately, what with she and her ex-friends not really seeing eye to eye anymore, it wasn't a stretch to say she was doing all three at once.

Dash made a beeline for the goal, threw a heavy kick, and the ball sailed through the air, caught by the net. Almost in the ball's path, a passerby yelled out, startled, and fell backwards into the grass.

“Whoops!” Dash called out, noticing him as he fell. “Sorry, Dac! Didn't see you there!”

Dactylic Pentameter sat up as Dash approached him. “It's okay,” he said, his voice subdued, “I was just passing through . . . hope you don't mind . . . .”

“Nah, just nailing a few goals after class!” Dash reached out and took Dac's hand, helping him to his feet. As soon as their hands touched, Dac's eyes widened, and a healthy amount of red tinged his face.

“Uhh, Rainbow Dash?” Dac asked, still submissive. “C-could I ask you something?”

“Sure Dac, shoot!”

“Well . . . it's probably gonna sound stupid . . . I don't really know how to say it . . . this isn't easy for me . . . .”

“Oh, come on, you can do it!” Dash said with an encouraging smile. “What, you got stage fright or something? Just take a deep breath and let me have it!”

“Okay, okay . . . um, I was wondering if . . . if you'd . . . .” he tried with clear effort to make his request known, and finally, with a deep breath, he said it, “if you'd like to get together with me.”

Rainbow Dash stared back at him for a while, stunned at what she thought she heard. Did this guy just ask her out on a date? No way! Even if she had given a lot of thought to dating, a guy like Dactylic Pentameter wasn't exactly her type. Sure, he was a nice guy, and he was kind of cute (in a weird, egghead sort of way), but a bookworm like him going out with an athlete like her? It was actually pretty funny.

“Oh! I get it!”

Rainbow Dash then did something she never thought she'd regret. She laughed.

Dash laughed hard, doubling over and holding her sides, “Th-that's a good one, Dac! 'Get together with you'! Th-that's good! Like I'd be seen in some fancy-schmancy restaurant, or taking a walk on the beach or something! That's priceless!”

Dac looked confused at her reaction at first, and tried to elaborate, “Well, we don't have to do all that. We could . . . I don't know . . . play a little one-on-one?”

That just made Dash laugh harder. “No, stop! Y-you're killing me, here! Are y-are you writing a stand-up act or something? That's great! You'll kill with material like that! Seriously, you playing against me, for a date?! Jeez, that's a good one!”

Dac's confusion slowly segued to resentful sadness, “But . . . .”

Wiping tears from her eyes, Rainbow Dash tapped Dac on the shoulder. “Oh, man, that's great stuff!” she chuckled. “Are you planning on making a show? You could enter the Talent Contest this year! Or show it off at the comedy club on the other side of town! You'd be awesome!”

“But . . . but I—”

“Don't sweat it, man! With jokes like yours, you'll do great! Just get rid of that stage fright, and you'll have 'em rolling!” She then picked up her ball and made to leave the soccer pitch. “Well, I gotta run. Knock 'em dead, Dac!” And she ran off, residual laughter still coming up.

Dac just stood there in the field, watching Rainbow Dash jog away. As she brushed away tears of laughter, she didn't see his tears of misery. He didn't brush them away.

“I wasn't trying to make fun of him! I really thought he was joking! I really did! But he wasn't, and now he's up there, getting ready to check out, all because of me! And he won't even let me apologize! That creep! That . . . stupid little . . .” she couldn't bring herself to finish, and she failed to keep several tears—real tears—from falling.

“Well, Dash, your behavior was deplorable and completely without couth,” Rarity admonished, “but you can hardly blame yourself for your reaction, or his. He couldn't help himself.”

“'Deplorable'?” Dash retorted. “'Without couth'? Look who's talking, Miss 'He's Out of My League'!”

“Oh! Well, that's not fair! I didn't insult him or anything like that!”

“No, you just made him feel like he was beneath you!!”

“Please, stop!” Fluttershy yelled, stopping the two from arguing further. Her follow-up was much quieter, “Please . . . Dac needs our help. If we don't, then he'll . . . .” She, too, was unable to complete her own thought.

Dash's hands curled into fists, and she angrily stomped her foot. “WHY DO YOU HAVE TO DO THIS, DAC!?!” she screamed up at him, her tears not detracting from her rage. “ONLY A COWARD WOULD QUIT NOW, AND I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT YOU'RE NO COWARD!! NO COWARD WOULD HAVE HAD THE GUTS TO DO WHAT YOU DID!! YOU DESERVE TO LIVE, AND YOU KNOW IT!!” Finally, her emotional dam collapsed, and she dropped onto all fours, sobbing harder than Pinkie Pie had moments earlier. “He deserves to live . . .” she growled, trying to make herself sound tough in spite of her tears; combined with her sobs, this made her almost unintelligible. “He . . . deserves . . . to live . . . .”

Applejack knelt down beside her and rubbed her back. “We know,” she assured her, “we know, hon. And we want him to. We all do.”

Sunset nodded. Applejack really was the Element of Honesty; truer words were never spoken.

“This isn't about cowardice . . . .”

Dac muttered it so quietly, even he could quite hear himself. Rainbow Dash's screaming could be heard as easily as if she were on the roof with Dac, and he couldn't believe how she was trying so hard to appeal to him after the way she'd treated him. Sure, she was full of herself, but Dac never expected what he heard from her. He was so hoping she would be appealed by his offer; he was no athlete, but his reasoning was that, if it meant spending time with a cool, cute girl like Dash, she would see past that and give him a chance. He could still remember her reaction from nearly a week prior. It was as fresh in his mind as if he'd heard it a few seconds ago.

“She laughed at me . . . .”

That had been the last straw for Dac. Not only was he hopelessly failing to find love, but his attempts were escalating from feeble to pathetic to hilarious. It had gotten to where the popular girls in school were laughing at him, as if his honest efforts were nothing more than a joke.

It’s not even about whether I deserve to live, he thought, mulling over Dash’s desperate screams. Sure, I want to, but what’s the point? There are better-looking, more interesting guys all over campus. And no girl wants me anyway. I’m just unnecessary.

There was a fine line between not being a coward and being just plain stupid, and Dac knew he'd crossed that line—five times. It wasn't about cowardice. It was about escaping the pain.

The pain that, he suddenly realized, they had caused him.

They made me feel this way, he said to himself, now feeling a fire burning in the pit of his stomach. They were shortsighted enough to overlook it when they said no. Sure, it’ll probably hurt them to see this, but I don't care. They deserve it. In fact, I hope it does hurt. I hope it really hurts for them to see me die. I just want it to end, anyway.

Sunset was right again. I’m better off gone, anyway.