• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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“Reckon Rarity has a different idea for what 'work duds' mean,” Applejack said. She waved her hoof, showing how her Gala Dress hung in tatters. “Cuz, spruced up or not, these things wouldn't have survived a single day of apple buckin', much less a night of garden animals runnin' like the dickens across a ballroom!”

“Heheheh...” Rainbow Dash chuckled. The two mares hung out late at night under the entrance to Doughnut Joe's cafe. The rest of the girls had retired to the local hotel, and the two remaining ponies were taking their sweet time, still recovering from the chaotic events of the Grand Galloping Gala. “I can't even pretend to question Rarity's abilities in... uhhh... dress-dressing, but would you just look at this cape? If I flew so much as a single city block in this thing, the back would only collect wind and slow me down! I'm amazed it didn't rip in two when I first showed off for the Wonderbolts!”

“Just how did that go, anyways?” Applejack asked with a grin. She brought a hoof up and brushed some of her tousled blonde bangs back under her hat. “It had to have been a might bit better than my failin' business venture tonight.” Her blonde locks fell loose again.

Rainbow Dash stared, unblinking.


“Oh. Uhm. Wonderbolts. Right.” She bit her lip and dug at the ground with a shredded slipper. “Yeah, uhm...”

“Cuz you was always fancyin' yerself as joinin' them high fliers, right?”

“I... guess.”

“You guess?” Applejack's face scrunched up. She smirked cynically. “Dun tell me you done switched wings with Fluttershy overnight, darlin'.”

“Look, I dig the Wonderbolts. I really do!” Rainbow Dash sighed. “But, let's face it. I'm never gonna get them to give me so much as a second look.”

“Nonsense!” Applejack frowned. “You saved their lives at the Best Young Fliers Competition, didn't y'all?”

“Well, sure—”

“And you've had your name spread all around for helpin' defeat Nightmare Moon! Reckon you recollect that?”

“Sure I reckon—I mean recollect—I mean—Ugh!” Rainbow Dash shook her head so hard that her golden helm slid loose. She propped it back up, but it slid loose again. Sighing, she avoided Applejack's gaze and murmured, “Face it, AJ. If the Wonderbolts really gave a flying feather about me joining their team, they would have personally invited me to enroll for tryouts already.”

“Oh come on, sugarcube.” Applejack leaned forward. “Y'all can't lose hope!”

“It's not about having hope or not having hope! I'm just... not meant to join them. It's about time I wake up and see what my talents are better at. I'm just being realistic about it, is all.” Rainbow Dash said. She took a deep breath and gazed towards the towering image of Canterlot Castle beyond the nearby rooftops. “If anything, I think this night has taught me—well... all of us that it isn't right to hold too much weight in one single dream.”

Applejack glanced down at their hooves. “Maybe it's just that you've been thinkin' too hard about the wrong team.”

“Huh?” Rainbow Dash squinted at her.

Applejack smiled softly. “The Wonderbolts are some pretty fancy, schmancy athletes, and there's no doubt that you'd blend in just fine with them, darlin'.” She leaned her head aside, her green eyes glinting with sincerity. “But would they be the right group of ponies? The one you were meant to be with?”

Rainbow Dash was silent, curious.

“I've witnessed you turn into a fine, responsible mare over the past year, sugarcube.”

“Heh...” Rainbow Dash grunted, her cheeks slightly red. “What are you, now? My sister?”

“Just listen.” Applejack spoke firmly, “You used to be a goofy, hot-headed, braggin' loner. Somethin' of a freeloader, even, if I may say so.”

“Jee,” Rainbow Dash muttered. “Thanks.”

“Lemme finish.” Applejack smiled again. “But the old Rainbow Dash is gone, now. And, in her place, we've gotten ourselves the most loyal, most dependable, most dazzling friend a pony could ever ask for. Seriously, Rainbow. Have y'all ever looked back and thought about how much you hang out with the other girls and I? Over a year ago, you wouldn't have so much as given us the light of day. But now, bein' with your friends is like your whole bread and butter.”

“I... I like you guys,” Rainbow Dash said. She gulped. “I really do, y'know.”

“Oh, I know, darlin'.” Applejack said with a soft nod. “I know.”

Rainbow Dash stared at her. She couldn't avoid squeaking forth a meager “Really?”

Applejack continued, “And if you left and took yer place with the Wonderbolts, I think you'd feel a tad bit lonesome, 'cuz you wouldn't really be with your real team. Ya feel me?”

Rainbow Dash took a deep breath and gently smiled. “Yeah. I guess I do...”

“Hmmm...” Applejack smiled back. With a kind hoof, she reached forward and finally set the golden helm straight on the pegasus' head. “Yer destined for great things, Rainbow Dash. Greater things than the rest of us. I dun care what you think is realistic or not; I'm still rootin' for ya to join them super-fancy fliers someday. But I know that when you do...” Applejack gazed at her. “I'll be missin' y'all somethin' awful.”

Rainbow Dash nodded. She felt a warmth flush over her as she lifted her hoof to feel the helm firmly on her head. “I'd miss you too, AJ...”

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