• Published 1st May 2012
  • 18,738 Views, 353 Comments

Tiny Wings - DeadParrot222



Scootaloo has always been a filly with big dreams, but can they all come true?

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Chapter 1

TINY WINGS

by DeadParrot222

“Finally,” the rainbow-maned mare said in mock-exhaustion. “Sky all cleared. That was a tough one today. Almost took a whole thirty seconds.” She laughed quietly to herself as she made a beeline for the only puff of white left in the sky: a single, pony-sized cloud floating over the hills just north of Ponyville. “Celestia, I love this job!” she told the sky as she perched on her makeshift hammock.

“Alright. Just a quick nap, then I should have at least three or four more hours of daylight for some practice.”

With a loud yawn, she put her hooves behind her head, closed her eyes, and smiled as she began drifting off to sleep...

bzzzzzzzzz

Reflexively, one of Dash's ears rotated toward the source of the sound. A small scowl began to form on her face as she tried to pull a wad of cloud over her head.

bzzzzzzzz

“Oh, come on...” Rainbow Dash grumbled.

She rolled over and tried to bury her head into the cloud a little more. Though slightly muffled, the buzzing still found its way to her increasingly agitated ears.

bzzzzzzzzz

Rainbow Dash's eyes shot open.

“Okay, what the hay is that noise?”

Reluctantly, she peeked out over the edge of her impromptu bed. The sound seemed to be coming from a small hill nearby. Squinting, she could see a sizable cloud of dust was rising into the sky creating a long, brown cloud just beyond the crest. Was it... moving?

bzzzzzzzzzz

Yes, it was definitely moving, and moving right towards her at considerable speed. Rainbow Dash tensed up slightly as the mysterious cloud approached the top of the hill.

bzzzzzzzzzz

As the buzzing grew louder, Rainbow Dash crouched on her cloud with an angry scowl on her face.

“This thing better have a really good reason for interrupting my nap.”

bzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZ

A small object shot over the crest of the hill, trailing dust and crossing directly in front of the mid-afternoon sun. Rainbow Dash blinked and threw up a hoof to shade her eyes as the object skidded to a stop beneath her.

“RAINBOW DASH!!!”

“Huh?” the mare said as she stuck her head down through her floating platform to meet the familiar little voice. “Scootaloo?”

The little orange filly was jumping up and down next to her scooter wearing the biggest smile that Dash had ever seen. “You know, kid, it’s really hard to get any sleep with you buzzing around like that all the time. What do you want?”

Scootaloo didn't answer and simply continued to grin. She had stopped jumping and instead seemed to just be vibrating rapidly in place. Her eyes were wider than the mare could ever remember seeing them but they were unfocused and watering slightly. Something was definitely off. Rainbow Dash slipped through the bottom of her cloud and landed next to the odd filly.

“Uh, Scoots? You okay? What's going on?”

“IGAHMAHKOOTEHMAH!!!”

The sheer force of the filly's incoherent scream blew the rainbow mane back like a gale-force wind and threatened to knock Dash off of her hooves entirely. Her desperate attempt to cover her throbbing ears provided only mild relief. After a few seconds, the mare worked her jaw to pop her pounding ear drums before turning to the grinning child.

“Yeah, so 'Ow,'” she quipped sarcastically. “Let’s try that sentence again, only this time make it a bit slower and a whole lot quieter, okay?”

Scootaloo gave a quick nod but held her ecstatic smile.

“Right, so, nice and easy, what d’ya want?” Rainbow Dash squinted and braced for the inevitable verbal explosion.

As expected, with only a slight reduction of speed and perhaps even an increase in volume, Scootaloo screamed her message. Perhaps the repetition helped because this attempt came through much more clearly than the previous one.

“I GOT MY CUTIE MARK!!!”

Taking a few moments to recover from the second sonic onslaught, Rainbow Dash was finally able to process the content of the shout. She craned her neck to one side to confirm what she had heard. Sure enough, where just yesterday there had been only bare orange fur, a shining cutie mark now sat, still shimmering with residual magic. It depicted a stylized racing wheel with two small, white wings sprouting from either side that practically screamed ‘speed.’

“ISN’T IT AMAZING! IT’S SO COOL! WHAT DO YOU THINK, HUH?!?!” the filly shouted as she spun in circles eyeing her flank. Her grin continued to threaten the structural integrity of her cheeks.

Any annoyance she felt for her lost sleep was instantly forgotten as Rainbow Dash congratulated the little filly. “Hey, way to go, Scoots! I knew you could do it! Gotta say, that's probably the second-coolest cutie mark I've ever seen. You know, right after mine,” she said with a smirk. “So what are you waiting for, huh? You gonna tell me how you did it?”

“What?” Scootaloo had to force herself to look away from her long-awaited cutie mark. “Oh yeah! It was so awesome, Rainbow Dash! We had just gotten out of class and I was just riding my scooter through town like I always do when I see this giant board leaning up against this cart out in the middle of the street. Usually, other ponies get mad at me when I try to do jumps off of their stuff, but this ramp was just too perfect to pass up and nopony was around to see me so I went for it. I got going as fast as I could, probably faster than I’d ever been before, then I hit the ramp and flew so high! I could see over the tops of the houses! It was so crazy! But then it turned out that the cart was supposed to be like, a roadblock or something 'cuz they were doing a bunch of digging and stuff in the street on the other side. Of course I didn't see any of that until I was zooming over it all at like, a hundred miles an hour! I-”

“Whoa there, kiddo. You just jumped straight into a construction site? What have I told you about looking before you leap?” Dash interrupted with a stern look.

“That plans are for ponies too slow to think on their hooves?” Scootaloo responded by rote, slightly confused.

“Exac- Wait, did I really tell you that?”

“Yeah, you say it all the time! You said it just the other day when that chimera wandered into town! I even used it as my quote for the yearbook last year!”

Rainbow chuckled nervously.

“Heh, heh...” She rubbed a hoof against the back of her head. “Yeah, okay. I guess I do say that sometimes, but it was still dangerous to just go jumping off of things without checking the other side first. At least not before you can fly.”

“But I haven't even told you the best part yet! See, there was this big barrel full of nails and junk right in font of me. I thought I was gonna crash! I totally panicked and just started flapping my wings as hard as I could, and guess what?” The filly paused to catch her breath.

“I FLEW!”

Scootaloo's face lit up again as she hovered a few inches above the ground in excitement. She landed again a few seconds later, breathing more heavily but no less energetic.

“I’m not sure you could call that ‘flying,’ Pipsqueak. That's more like... hovering,” Rainbow Dash stated matter-of-factly.

Scootaloo deflated slightly at this but quickly rebounded.

“Okay, so maybe I hovered but it was the farthest and the fastest I've ever hovered before! I just barely made it over the barrel and landed on the other side. It was so awesome! My heart was beating so fast and I was sweating like crazy and I almost jumped into a bunch of rusty nails but I loved every second of it! Then there was a big flash and my cutie mark just appeared!” The filly squealed with glee as she bounced in place again.

“Wow, Scoots, that's a pretty cool story. I guess Ponyville has a brand new daredevil pony now, huh?” The mare wore a sly smile as she leaned in close to the filly. “So what kinds of amazing feats do you have lined up?”

“F-Feats?” Scootaloo stopped bouncing, a nervous grimace snaking across her face. “I-I don't know. This all just happened a few minutes ago. I haven't planned anything yet. Wait! Does this mean everypony is going to want to see a show now? What should I do? I don’t even know any tricks! I need to go see the other crusaders. Maybe they can help me build some ramps and things and-” The blue hoof tussling her mane cut her off.

“Aw, I'm just kidding with ya, Scoots. There'll be plenty of time to show off your new-found talents. Right now I think it’s time for a celebration. Come on, hop on.”

Scootaloo's eyes went wide again as her hero crouched down beside her.

“You mean... you’re gonna give me a... ride? Like on your back?” she said in astonishment.

“Consider it a Cuteceanera present. I figure that a little daredevil like you is gonna need to get used to high speeds pretty quickly. Plus, we need to get you to Sugarcube Corner as fast as we can so you don’t miss your party.”

Scootaloo's jaw nearly dropped off.

“There's gonna be a party? For me?”

“What? You think I'd let my number one fan off without a Cutie Mark party, did you? No way!” she said with a dramatic wave. “Now did you want that ride or not?”

Still slightly in shock, Scootaloo quickly folded up her scooter, threw the strap across her chest, and hopped up onto her mentor’s back.

“Alright, Squirt. Hold on tight!”

Scootaloo scrunched up her face as the wind buffeted her, but she forced herself to open her eyes. The whole world became a blur of unimaginable colors. Once familiar landmarks became both twisted and beautiful as they passed at a velocity that she could only have imagined moments ago. Her mane whipped in the wind with such ferocity that it stung her neck wherever it made contact.

“You doin' alright back there?” Rainbow Dash called back over her shoulder, her voice barley registering over the sound of the air being torn.

Scootaloo just nodded her head as best she could before burying her face in the rainbow mane. If anypony asked later, she would say that the tears in her eyes were caused by the speed.


When the two ponies reached Sugarcube Corner, it was clear that a party was already in full swing. Balloons and streamers adorned the door frame along with a large banner with the words 'Congratulations Scootaloo!' written in a silly, rainbow-colored font. Scootaloo rubbed the moisture out of her eyes before marveling at the decorations.

“B-but how could- You're the only pony I've told so far. Where did all of this-”

“YOU'RE HERE!”

A bright pink blur burst from the doorway of the bakery and was upon the two pegasi before either could blink, speaking as quickly as her lips would allow.

“You finally made it. Oh, I've been waiting soooo long for you two to get here which is weird because Rainbow Dash is usually so fast and all and I didn't want all the treats I made to go bad because I made so many! I've got cakes and pies and tarts and muf-"

Rainbow Dash stuffed a hoof in Pinkie's mouth to interrupt the cascade of words and casually glanced at the fully-operational party headquarters, taking her time to see everything.

“Wow, Pinks, you've really outdone yourself! The place looks awesome! Right, kid?”

“B-huh?” she stammered in confusion. “How did she know that-”

Pinkie broke free of Dash's hoof, still clearly excited but noticeably calmer.

“Oh, that's easy. See, I was bouncing through town a few hours ago because I really love bouncing! I just don’t get why everypony walks everywhere when bouncing is so much more fun! But I was also there because Mr. and Mrs. Cake had sent me out to get some more flour from Mr. Grindstone’s mill cause he makes the best flour in all of Equestria! Even I don't know how he does it! But it's just perfect for making all kinds of things like-”

Rainbow Dash cleared throat. “Can we cut to the chase here, Pinkie?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah! Anyway, I was almost back when I felt my left nostril get really cold, and then my right ear got really hot. So I ran inside and started baking and decorating and here you guys are!”

“Your nostril? What does that have to do with anything?” Scootaloo asked, casting a confused look at Rainbow Dash. The mare just shrugged as Pinkie tried to explain.

“Well, duh! A cold left nostril and a hot right ear means that one of my friends’ sister's friends just earned their cutie mark! It's one of my most favoritest combos of all even though I've never actually gotten to feel it before, but any combo that lets me throw a big party has to be pretty high on the list, right?”

Rainbow Dash simply laughed at the way Scootaloo’s mouth hung open.

“You haven't spent much time around Pinkie Pie, have you kid? Just go with it. You don't want your cake to go bad while you’re out here thinking, do you?”

The mention of cake seemed to snap the filly back to reality as she smiled and quickly ran inside the bakery followed by the two mares. As expected, the party was already roaring with what seemed like most of Ponyville in attendance. Scootaloo spied the other two crusaders standing over in one corner and quickly made her way to them, ignoring the various congratulations she received from the other townsponies along the way. Through many exclamations and dramatic re-enactments, Scootaloo recounted the adventure that led to her cutie mark for her friends. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle did their parts by adding surprised gasps and cheers where appropriate.

“...and that's how I got my cutie mark!” finished Scootaloo with a smug grin.

“That’s AMAZING, Scootaloo! Ah always knew yah'd get yer cutie mark doing some kind of awesome scooter trick. Ya really are good with that thing, like that time you jumped over that huge log while you were pullin' us in the wagon! Ah'd never gone that fast before!” Apple Bloom recalled.

Scootaloo rubbed her neck with a forehoof.

“Yeah, I remember that. I guess it was pretty cool, huh?”

After a brief pause, a spark of realization flashed through her features.

“Oh yeah, I totally forgot! I was supposed to meet you guys at the clubhouse after school, wasn't I? I guess I got a little distracted...”

“It's alright, Scootaloo. You had a good reason,” Sweetie Belle said happily. “Plus, it gave us some time to get your present ready!” The little unicorn smiled brightly.

“You guys got me a present?” she said excitedly.

Scootaloo's eyes lit up expectantly as she watched her friends retrieve a long cardboard tube that had been leaning against the wall in the corner of the room. She eagerly nosed open the cap with a satisfying 'pop' and pulled out the large roll of paper inside. She had to bump a few of the ponies mingling nearby out of her way as she tried to unroll the gift on the floor, but she eventually cleared enough space to see her present in full.

Two dozen ponies looked back at her, all wearing bright blue and yellow uniforms with shiny golden goggles. The Wonderbolts! Her friends had somehow bought one of the limited edition wall posters that she had tried so hard to get for herself last year. With all the shows that they do all over the world, it was very unusual for the whole team to be in one place at one time, which made these kinds of souvenirs some of the rarest and most cherished by collectors. Scootaloo's smile faded considerably, however, when she noticed that there were dozens of small scribbles all across the poster in what looked like black permanent marker, some even cutting across the faces and bodies of a few of the ponies. She looked at her friends uncertainly.

“Wow... uh, thanks, guys. This is really... cool.”

Her forced smile was clearly not working as well as she had hoped. The other crusaders looked at each other in shock and confusion before turning to their friend.

“What's wrong, Scootaloo? I thought ya loved the Wonderbolts?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Well, yeah, I do... And it's a really cool poster, I just-”

Sweetie Belle moaned sadly. “And after we went through all the trouble of getting it signed, too.”

Scootaloo's eyes shot back to the poster. “Signed?” she repeated. Sure enough, each scribble was paired with a Wonderbolt and, on closer inspection, some letters were clearly legible. Non-unicorns had never been known for their penmanship. Her breathing increased as she scanned the poster, mentally cataloging each scribble. She dropped to her haunches as she concluded that it had truly been signed by every single active member of the squadron.

Scootaloo could only manage to make a few incoherent noises as the true value of the item before her settled into her mind. Slowly, her shock began to wane, being replaced by a wide smile. Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle exchanged another quick glance before immediately returning to their previous elation.

“You really do like it!” Sweetie Belle cheered.

“I love it! I can't believe that you got all these signatures! The Wonderbolts are always on tour all over the place! How... How in Equestria did you get this?” she asked in bewilderment.

“Well, we are sisters of two a' the most famous ponies in Equestria. It was nothin',” Apple Bloom said as she rubbed her chest nonchalantly.

Sweetie Belle cocked an eyebrow at her friend.

“And by nothing, I suppose you're talking about how we asked our sisters to talk to the Princess for us and how we asked Spike to send the poster to Canterlot whenever the Wonderbolts were in town, right?”

Apple Bloom deflated a bit.

“Uh, yeah... right...ah guess we had a little help...” she said with an embarrassed smile. “Anyway... We were saving it for yer birthday, but this seemed like a good time, too.”

Scootaloo continued to stare at her gift in amazement.

“Wow, girls. I-I don't know what to say. This is easily the best present I've ever gotten. I love you, guys.”

Scootaloo was enthralled with the poster. As she tried to soak in every detail, she didn't notice her two friends exchange sly smiles.

“What was that, Scootaloo? You what us?”

Scootaloo's head whipped up in panic.

“Uh-oh...”

She began to slowly back away from her friends as they advanced on her.

“Heh, heh... Come on, girls. You know what I meant. You don't have to-”

“HUG!!!” screamed the two crusaders as they tackled their friend into a giant bear hug.

“WHAA-ugh...” Scootaloo groaned as she found herself staring at the ceiling, her two friends firmly latched to either side of her body. Trapped, she growled and closed her eyes to wait for the hug to end.

“Uh, hey, Scoots. Am I... interrupting something?” a familiar voice said, only just stifling a laugh.

Scootaloo opened her eyes to see the inverted face of Rainbow Dash standing over her. In an impressive show of humiliation-based strength, she managed to break free from her friends and roll over to meet Dash's gaze.

“Oh, uh, hi Rainbow Dash! I was just... see, uh, they gave me-”

Scootaloo was cut off as Rainbow Dash gave her a playful pat on the head.

“Don't worry about it, kid,” she said before turning to Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle who were just managing to stand after being flung from their embrace. “Hey, why don't you two go grab some cake. I need some one-on-one time with your buddy, here.”

“Oh, okay...” said the farm filly. “Race ya to the cake, Sweetie Belle! ReadySetGo!”

“Huh? Wait! I wasn't ready!” the unicorn yelled as she galloped after Apple Bloom.

Scootaloo watched her two friends run screaming and giggling through Sugarcube Corner’s eating area. Her cheeks burnt red as she turned back to her hero.

“Well, that was embarrassing.” She forced out what she hoped was a casual laugh.

“Aw, I'm just messing with you. You three are actually pretty cute. Sometimes.”

“Yeah... cute. Just what I was going for.” Scootaloo cringed slightly at the description. “Anyway, what did you want to talk to me about?”

“Well,” the mare said, “I just figured, this being your big day and all, that you deserved a little something special.” She added a wink to really spur the filly’s imagination.

Scootaloo’s eyes lit up once more in anticipation. Rainbow Dash had given her a few small token items during their occasional meetings but they had all been spur-of-the-moment gifts, and never something to mark a special occasion like today. “Ooo, what’d you get me? What’d you-”

She stopped almost instantly when Rainbow Dash pulled a small, folded piece of paper from her mane and held it out to her. Scootaloo eyed the paper skeptically. The bright pink color was only offset by a simple pattern of black lines in the shape of a cupcake. It took only a moment for her to recognize it as one of Sugarcube Corner’s signature party napkins. She glanced sideways to a table where literally hundreds more were placed in large stacks waiting to be wiped with food and thrown away without a second thought.

“What is this?” she asked, poking it cautiously with her hoof. It was just a normal-looking napkin. There wasn’t even any kind of lump to suggest that an object had been folded up inside.

“What? You've never seen a napkin before?” the mare said upon seeing Scootaloo’s confusion.

“You're giving me... a napkin?”

“This isn’t just any napkin. This was my napkin” Rainbow Dash said with a proud smile.

Scootaloo nodded her head slowly as she reached out to take the unusual gift.

“Uh, thanks?” she said, still very confused.

“Well?” Rainbow Dash leaned in close, smiling in a way the filly had never seen before.

“Well, what?”

“Aren't you gonna open it?”

“O...kay.” Rainbow Dash’s odd grin was starting to creep her out just a little bit but she decided to go along with her for now. As expected, the napkin’s inner folds were empty.

“What’s going on? Are you pranking me?” she said as she looked around the room expecting to see another pony waiting in the wings to unleash some gag while her attention was occupied by this silly conversation.

The edges of Rainbow Dash’s smile quivered slightly. Her famously limited patience was just about tapped. “Just flip it over, Squirt.”

As Scootaloo flipped the napkin over, she saw that somepony, likely Rainbow Dash herself judging by the roughness, had hastily scribbled something on the other side. Underneath a crudely drawn picture of a flying pegasus with a lightning bolt cutie mark, a single sentence was written:

One coupon for free flight lessons from the world-famous Rainbow Dash!

Scootaloo froze. Only her pupils moved as she read that line at least ten times, each time more slowly than the last.

“Uh, Scootaloo?” said Rainbow Dash as she tapped her hoof on the catatonic filly's head. “Hello? You awake in there? You okay?”

No response.

“Come on, kid! Snap out of it!” she said a bit louder along with a slight push.

Scootaloo only blinked twice, very slowly, not moving a muscle.

“Y-you're going... to... fly... me... like you...” she stammered, eyes still locked on the napkin.

“That’s... close... I guess,” Dash said with a confused look. “But, yeah, I'm gonna teach you to fly! I figure Equestria's newest stunt performer's gonna need to be trained by the best! Especially if she wants to be a Wonderbolt someday! Gotta start as soon as you can, right?”

Rainbow Dash raised a hoof to her chest and flared her wings. The slight gust of wind caused the napkin to waft out of Scootaloo's grip. She didn't seem to notice, however, as she continued to stare catatonically at her now empty hoof.

“Alright, kid, you're starting to scare me now,” Rainbow Dash said. She leaned in close to Scootaloo's head and yelled directly into the small orange ear.

“WAKE UP!!!”

Rainbow Dash hadn't noticed how loud the party had been until it suddenly went silent. Everypony in the room was staring at her, wide-eyed. She stood up and laughed nervously. Screaming at the guest of honor was certainly unusual at one of Pinkie’s parties and the other guests wore expressions ranging from confusion to disgust in response.

“Heh, hey, everypony...” she said with an awkward smile. “How's it going? Cool party, huh? Have you tried the punch?” She tried to casually nudge a nearby stallion but he backed away from her touch. “This... this thing... isn't what it looks like,” she said as she gestured toward the filly. “I was just trying to- GAH!!!”

Rainbow Dash nearly jumped out of her skin as she felt something small and fuzzy attach to her back leg. Whipping her head around, she saw a small ball of orange and purple gripping her leg as tightly as possible, her head buried in the hug.

“Dang, Scoots. Don’t do that.” Her look of shock quickly receded into a calm smile. “I see you're okay now.”

Scootaloo only nodded her head, burying herself even farther into Dash's leg.

“So what do you think? You wanna learn to fly?”

Scootaloo lifted her head to answer but quickly had to hide her face again before making eye contact. She sniffed loudly and tried to wipe her eyes with the back of her hoof. Rainbow Dash looked concerned for a moment before she noticed that Scootaloo was smiling. Dash gently wiggled free of the filly's grip and turned around to face her, giving her a small, knowing smile. She rubbed her hoof through Scootaloo's mane.

“I think I'll take that as a yes?” she said as she leaned down to Scootaloo who was still trying to avoid meeting Dash's eyes as a few tears managed to break free and slide down her face.

Scootaloo suddenly leapt forward, burying her face in Rainbow's chest and giving her the biggest hug her small hooves could manage. Rainbow Dash hesitated for a moment, surprised by the contact, before happily returning the hug.

“...thank you...” Scootaloo said quietly between sniffles. “...thank you so much...”


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