• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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Her short golden mane glittered in the moonlight when Rainbow Dash hovered down beside her. Glancing over, she instantly brightened. “R-Rainbow!” Gold Petals sat up from gazing beyond the mountain ledge. The sights of Windthrow glowed warmly below as the two mares stood face to face under the celestial canopy of night.

“Kind of late for a hike, don't you think?”

“Mmmm...” Gold Petals shrugged, her lips curved as she gazed into the stars once more. “I'm no longer scared. Heh... That's just the thing...” She ran a hoof through her short bangs and sighed happily. “There're no monsters, no fog, no evil portals opening up to goddess-knows-where. Everything is so still and clear and beautiful. This is my first night in as long as I can remember where I can actually stare out at the stars. It looks way better than from any caravan campfire I've made over the past decade.”

“Speaking of caravans...” Rainbow Dash murmured. “Are you going to be working with Fulltrot like always? It seemed to be your thing.”

“I... uh... I dunno...”


“Heh...” Gold Petals smiled cheekishly. She glanced at Rainbow through the corner of her eyes. “Maybe you saw me earlier, or maybe you didn't. Either way... uh... things are looking up.” She gulped. “What I mean to say is that... I-I kind of got together with my parents again.”

“Is that who you were hugging earlier?”

“So you did see!” Gold Petals could barely stifle a giggle. “Yeah. Uhm. They actually wanted to see me. Apparently—according to what Fulltrot claims they said to him—they were really freaked out by all the crazy monster stuff as of late. Furthermore, something about how terribly Hushtail and Sladesteed have butted heads really bugged them.”

“They've had a change of heart?”

“I wouldn't call it a change...” Gold Petals' hooves dug at the grassy floor. “More like a fog has lifted from them just as it has from this village. They want me to come back and live with them again.”

“Even after all that's happened between you?”

“I don't know if you have a family somewhere waiting for you, Rainbow Dash...” Gold Petals took a deep breath and brushed her mane back after a gust of wind. “But when you've been gone from them for so long, no matter how horribly cruddy things may have gotten, there comes a time when you want nothing better but to be with them forever and ever.”

Rainbow Dash slowly nodded. “I think I can dig that feeling, yeah.” She gulped. “How do you feel about it?”

“Delighted. Scared. Joyful. Horrified.” Gold Petals giggled lightly and hugged herself. “So much has happened. I think Fulltrot is moving on up with the village and all. I'm happy for him; he really deserves it. Red Turnip's got his family back together again. Windthrow is gonna stop having closed doors to all outsiders. I now have so many possible career choices to pursue. Things are just... so good.” She swallowed and looked over at the pegasus. “And it's all thanks to you, Rainbow Dash...”

“Eh...” Rainbow Dash shrugged. “Fate was visiting your village. I just happened to be riding the karma comet.”

“No, really...” Gold Petals took a few steps forward. “What kind of a stranger would just drop in and give so much thankless effort into saving an entire town? Who would do so many nice things for absolutely nothing?”

“It wasn't for nothing!” Rainbow Dash retorted.

“Then...” Gold Petals gazed at her innocently. “What was it for?”

Rainbow Dash opened her mouth. She stumbled, and glanced forcibly away from Gold Petals. After a clearing of her throat, she said, “I was just bored. Does it really have to be so complicated?”

“Heehee. Well...” Gold Petals' tail flicked. “You won't be bored this week! Ironhoof and Red Junior are talking about setting up fireworks atop the the nearest summit! Tomorrow's gonna have a spectacular light show! And with no fog hanging around to hide the sky, it's bound... to be... a... blast...” Her voice trailed off, as did her smile, while she gazed at Rainbow Dash's deadpan figure.

Rainbow Dash said nothing. She was avoiding Gold Petals' gaze.

Gold Petals' blinked. “You're...” She swallowed. “Y-you're leaving, aren't you?”

“I.. uh...” Rainbow Dash chuckled lightly. “I never really arrived to begin with, if you think about it.”

“But...” Gold Petals gulped. “You've proven that you can do so much to help this village.”

“This village needs to help itself,” Rainbow Dash said. “With the likes of Fulltrot's leadership and your spunk, I think both the young and old have everything covered.”

“Yes, but...” Gold Petals' face stretched painfully. “You made so many things happen. You saved so many lives. I... I don't understand...”

“I'm not here to make you understand—”

“Then what are you here for?!” Gold Petals said with a slight frown, her voice wavering. “You taught me that it was okay to pursue my dreams. You showed me that it was okay to... to be different...”

Rainbow Dash gazed softly at her. “Yeah, well...” She smiled awkwardly. “I kind of like 'different.'”

“And... uhm...” Gold Petals shifted nervously. The starlight faded, much like the distance between them. “I... kind of like ponies who kind of like 'different...'”

Suddenly, Rainbow Dash tripped. Or, at least, that's what it looked and felt like at first. All that mattered was that her lips came into contact with Gold Petals', brazenly soft, two dark clouds merging under the moonlight. Gold Petals' took half a step back, her face and neck buckling under the startling gesture. A breath came out of her—more like a squeak—and soon her body deflated beneath her and Rainbow Dash in turn as her eyes fluttered shut.

Rainbow Dash's lips parted with hers, only for her to breathe. When she did, she was inhaling Gold Petals instead, tilting her face at an angle to kiss her more ardently, desperately. Her hooves rose to the mare's neck, cradling Gold Petals' face with the gentlest of feather-light touches, like how her wings danced in the starlight as she ended the kiss with a warm, delicate nuzzle of her cheek against the petite pony's.

Gold Petals was blushing furiously, and her legs trembled underneath her. She wanted nothing more than to curl up in Rainbow Dash's embrace, but that hug never came. Curious, she opened her eyes, gazing innocently at the visiting Equestrian.

It was then—between terrified breaths—that Rainbow Dash got a good look at Gold Petals' eyes. For the first time in days, she saw the true color, and it was the same shade as the ocean. Something deep inside of Rainbow Dash sunk, and the warmth in her face faded with the onset of a pained wince.

Gold Petals saw it. Her face trembled, and those worried blue eyes began to moisten. “R-Rainbow...?”

Rainbow Dash gulped. She clenched her eyes shut. “I'm... I'm sorry...”

Gold Petals' murmured, “Wh-why?”

Rainbow Dash stumbled back, shaking her head and gnashing her teeth. “I... I can't stay here.” She shuddered and fought back a whimper. “I c-can't stay anywhere...”


“I'm so sorry...” Rainbow Dash bounded past Gold Petals, leapt off the mountainside, and flew into the stars.

“Rainbow!” she heard a voice calling out from behind. The wind blew in her ears, and for the briefest moment she heard the hint of a sobbing breath. That only made her flap her wings even harder.

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