• Published 26th Apr 2015
  • 4,199 Views, 283 Comments

Wonderbolt Trials and Tribulations - White Comet

Rainbow Dash finally gets the opportunity of a lifetime; a chance to join the Wonderbolts and fulfill her lifelong dream. She presumes that from this point on, it'll be smooth sailing. She was wrong...

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Chapter 15

Rainbow Dash walked through the doors of Sugarcube Corner, hearing the bell chime as she walked through. To her surprise, it was empty. Although given the nature of her visit, she preferred that anyway. The smell never failed to drive her stomach wild whenever she walked in.

“I’ll be there in a moment!” She heard the muffled voice of Mrs. Cake call from the kitchen.

She walked over to the counter, leaning over it to look into the kitchen. There, she saw Mrs. Cake, appearing to be in the final stages of preparing some sort of mix. She could feel the heat radiating from the kitchen, they obviously had a lot of the ovens going.

Rainbow Dash didn’t say anything to announce her presence. She would rather wait until Mrs. Cake was less distracted by whatever she was preparing. Eventually, she became torn from her mixing to take a look over at the shop. “Oh, Rainbow Dash!” She quickly put the mixing bowl down and headed towards the shop.

“Hi there Mrs. Cake. How are you?” Dash asked.

“Oh, I’m doing very well, thank you for asking. But Pinkie’s been very eager to see you for quite some time.”

“Uh, actually I’m in a bit--” Dash didn’t have time to make her excuses before the pink pony appeared between them. Her sudden appearance on top of the counter startled the pair of them.

“Rainbow Dash!” Pinkie launched herself at Dash, grappling her forelegs around Dash’s neck. “Where have you been? I’ve missed you so much…”

“I-it was only a f-few weeks,” Dash gasped for air through the strength of Pinkie’s hug, “Pinkie, too...too tight…” She did her best to push Pinkie away.

“Oops,” Pinkie released her grip. “How was it? Did you have fun? Did you win? Are you going back? Did you fast? Why’s the sky blue? Did you make new friends?” Pinkie continued to bombard Rainbow Dash with questions. Some less...relevant and more...random than others…

“Uh...it was...good?” Dash responded plainly, getting a bit overwhelmed by the questions. Although she was used to it by now.

“Great!” Pinkie replied, smiling from ear to ear. “I’m glad you’ve come to spend time with me. We’ve got so much to catch up on.”

“Actually, I’m…” Dash’s eyes darted around, checking her surroundings before proceeding. “I’m just here to...run some errands…”

“Oh, I get it,” Pinkie rolled her eyes, “You’re a little busy, but you just have enough time to pick up the same specially-made cupcakes you always like hand crafted by my own fair hoof,” Pinkie leaned under the counter and re-emerged a second later with a red box, placing it on top of the counter and opening it. “A dozen of your favourite cupcakes with extra-sweet icing.” Pinkie leaned across the counter, “It was a baker's dozen, but it couldn’t resist…” She whispered through gritted teeth.

“Oh...thanks…” Dash wasn’t expecting it, but she certainly wouldn’t deny it. “I’m actually after a few other things…”

“Of course, anything for you Dashie. What can I do?” Pinkie asked, staring at Dash patiently.

“Well, I was hoping that you could...put together some treats… enough for two ponies…Just typical stuff...” She tried to ask in a way that she wouldn’t arouse suspicion. Luckily for her, Pinkie wasn’t the type to read too much into things.

“I can indeed. What type of things would you like?” Pinkie pulled over a pen and pad the Cakes kept by the till for taking orders.

“Eh, play it safe. Chocolate. And a pie if you’ve got one going.” Dash tried to say casually.

“Pies? Hmm…” Pinkie dived under the counter again, only her tail waving around slightly showing.

“I’ve got lemon meringue, raspberry meringue, key-lime, banoffe, rhubarb…” As she rattled off the names of the pie, she tossed them onto the counter without looking. Miraculously, they all landed the correct way up and in perfect alignment with each other.

Dash looked over each one, not really sure what she was looking for...or rather, not really sure what Soarin liked… “Uhh...rhubarb?” she chose.

“Sure thing,” Pinkie grabbed a box from the side of the counter with her tail and slid it along. Afterwards, she lifted the pie into the container. “I'll just whip you up a few treats, come through if you want.”

Dash followed Pinkie into the kitchen. Pinkie really didn’t waste time when it came to baking, running rings around Mrs. Cake, who seemed to also be preparing something. Pinkie didn’t appear to be breaking a sweat, despite the speed at which she moved. Not to mention the heat coming out of the kitchen at the moment.

“This isn’t like you, Dashie. What’s made you order all this?” Pinkie suddenly froze in her tracks. Only her next twisted so she could look eye-to-eye with Rainbow Dash. “You aren’t...planning a party without me are you?”

Dash had just had to dodge a similar line of questioning from Twilight, so she should already have answers rehearsed. It’s just that Pinkie can be a little more...erratic in her reasoning than Twilight…

“I, uh,” Rainbow’s eyes darted around the kitchen, confirming that there was nothing to draw Pinkie’s attention. Looks like she had some explaining to do. Only Mrs. Cake was around anyway, and she didn’t appear to be paying any attention to the two of them. “I’ve...got a friend over, from outside of Ponyville. From the Wonderbolts tryouts…”

Well, she wasn’t exactly lying…

Pinkie’s body twisted around to face Rainbow Dash, and she continued to glare at her. Pinkie took her parties very seriously, and Dash all of a sudden knew what she was in for. “How well do you know them?”

“Well, he -- I mean she, he, I--argh,” Dash shook her head and coughed as she tripped over her own words. “We shared a room with many other ponies. She’s just dropping by.”

“Sounds great. I’d love to meet her,” Pinkie replied with what to anypony else would appear to be a devilish smile. But Rainbow Dash knew that that was just Pinkie Pie being Pinkie Pie.

“Uh, actually, she’s just passing through. She’s on her way to...Los Pegasus…” Dash just said a place name and hoped it would be believable.

“Oh wow, that’s a LONG way to fly. I better pack extra!” Pinkie returned to baking. She was moving so fast it was almost like she was using all four hooves and her tail.

“Y-yeah..endurance training...and all that…” Dash agreed, brushing her forehead with her hoof. She dodged a hit there. Time to change the subject whilst she had the chance. “I met with Twilight this morning. We had a lot to catch up on.”

“Wow, Twilight found the time to talk to you? She’s been so busy with princess business lately. Spike was out of Ponyville yesterday, and nopony was answering the door, so I had to go through the roof to get into the castle…” The method Pinkie proceed to explain would be considered breaking and entering if she tried it to anypony else.

“Haha, lucky Twilight doesn’t keep guards around her castle like Princess Celestia or Cadence do. Can you imagine what they’d think of that?” Dash joked.

“Oh, there’s a guard around. Just one,” Pinkie rubbed her chin with her hoof, “Now you mention it though, Twilight does spend a lot of time with him. He’s been at the Castle basically every day since you left.”

“Really? Huh. Maybe Twilight’s planning something,” Dash shrugged.

“Yeah, I guess. She keeps mentioning a bunch of Princess stuff whenever I ask her about it,” Pinkie replied.

Dash kept the remainder small talk to a minimum, trying to avoid to the best of her ability the topic of what she was doing this evening. As fun as spending time with Pinkie can be, she was nervous enough about later without having to think about somepony dropping in.

The smell of the baked goods eventually began to fill the air, indicating that they were almost ready. “Smells good,” Dash commented.

“I know they will be. Try the icing,” without waiting, Pinkie poked the tip of the icing pen onto Dash’s lip and gave a good squeeze to push out the vanilla icing.

Not having much choice in the matter, Dash gave her lips a good lick. She never doubted Pinkie, and her trust never fails. It was a delicious flavor that would go perfectly with whatever Pinkie had prepared for them.

The oven pinged and Pinkie took all the treats out, placing them onto the cooler try before taking them back out to the shop counter. She placed them in boxes, alongside some other things that had already been made and had been sitting on the counter.

“There you go,” Pinkie placed a basket on the top of the counter, “I hope your friend is hungry when she gets here.”

“Oh he will be,” Dash replied, taking the basket by the handles, and then realising… “...She. She will be.” She smiled awkwardly as she corrected herself.

Pinkie didn’t even seem to register the mistake. She just had the same happy smile plastered on her face that she always had. “Happy to help Dashie! Don’t worry about the bits, we can sort that out later.”

Dash turned towards the door, “Thanks Pinkie!” She called as she headed out, taking to the sky the moment the door closed behind her.

The tryouts had put a lot more strain on her body than she thought. Her wings felt tired, even though she barely used them when she was...recovering yesterday. She never imagined it to be a fly in the park, but even she was starting to question whether she was underestimating it...

She flew back to her house on the edge of Ponyville. She walked through the front door and dropped her basket off on the counter in the kitchen. She walked back out towards the stairs, taking a look at the clock before heading up. Two thirty. Soarin would be there soon…

She wandered up into her bedroom. She still hadn’t really unpacked since she got home. Not that she really had a lot to unpack in the first place…

She wasn’t really sure what to do in preparation. She was just looking around her bedroom for inspiration. It was semi-messy, but in no more of a state than it was normally in. She had Wonderbolts memorabilia plastered all over it. Posters, tickets and programs from old shows, all the way down to action figures of old Wonderbolts that she had when she was a filly.

She walked over to her dresser and picked up one of the old tickets on it. The ticket had a picture of Spitfire, Fleetfoot and Soarin in one of their signature formations. Dash ran her hoof over Soarin in the picture, then placed the ticket back down.

She walked over to the side of her bed, where she saw some...magazines. She wasn’t usually one for these type of mares gossip magazine, but the particular issues she had had pictures of certain Wonderbolts in them…

‘Can’t have him seeing those,’ Dash blushed at the thought and shoved them deep into the bottom drawer of her nightstand. Even though the chances of him ending up in her bedroom were miniscule…

She walked into her ensuite bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. She glanced side-to-side, as far as she could whilst still keeping her eyes locked on the mirror. Yep, she looked like...plain old Rainbow Dash.

She felt as if she should be doing something special. Putting more effort in than normal. Thing is, Soarin liked plain old Rainbow Dash. She didn’t want to do anything that could contaminate that image...Although, as she thought about it, she was putting in extra effort her whole time at the Wonderbolts tryouts, and it paid off…

‘Guess I could at least have a shower…’ Rainbow Dash opened up the cabinet above her sink. The items on the front rows were all nice and clean, but the rest didn’t get used too much, so it was a bit dusty in there.

She knew Rarity keeps buying her gifts in the form of various beauty products. Perhaps it was time to finally put them to use? Providing that they didn’t have expiry dates…

She reached in and pulled out a white bottle with all sorts of fancy flowing art on it. She didn’t understand most of the words on the bottle, but she knew that ‘conditioner’ had something to do with mane and tail.

She put the conditioner to the side and reached back in. This time, she bought out a pink bottle with a spray on the top. She knew that this would be some kind of perfume, having seen Rarity use it before.

She blew the dust off the bottle to reveal the writing. Once again, there was all sorts of fancy beauty-related words that probably meant something to somepony that cared. Although there were big bold letters on the front that said ‘make your stallion swoon’.

“Bleugh,” Dash cringed and almost dropped the bottle in the process. She may be in love with him, but that doesn’t mean she wanted to make a drama theatre production about it…

She put the perfume down and picked up the bottle of conditioner. She read the instructions as she headed towards her shower.

The instructions told her to start by washing her mane and fur normally. Simple enough. Given the situation, she used a possibly excessive amount of her regular shampoo and lathered her entire body in it. After rinsing it off, she read the next instruction.

Take majority of water out of mane and tail, but DO NOT allow to dry.

Dash shrugged. This was turning out to be simpler than she thought. She gave her mane and tail a few squeezes and presses with her hooves, then shook her whole body a little. She got her towel, wrapped it over the toilet lid and sat down, leaving her body to drip-dry for a few minutes. Whilst she was doing that, she took the time to read the rest of the instructions.

Apply product to mane and tail and leave to set. The longer the better. If desired, lather small amount through fur for similar effects. (Warning: excessive amounts can cause skin irritation and too frequent use can cause ‘yak fur’ effect.)

Rinse with water as cold as you can comfortably handle, removing all product. Avoid blow dry if possible. Brush mane after drying.

“...Huh.” Rainbow was surprised. That’s all there was to it? It was basically just showering twice. Rarity really makes a meal out of if it’s that simple...that being said, Dash was hoping it wouldn’t have that effect on her. As much as she didn’t mind looking nice, she didn’t want to upset her image…

She proceed to follow the instructions to the letter. Although she found herself quickly getting impatient with the ‘the longer the better’ part. She had no idea how long long enough was. She eventually decided that twenty minutes was enough.

She dried herself off then hung her towel back up. She picked up her brush and once again looked at herself in the mirror. Her mane was a little frizzy from her aggressive drying with a towel. She wasn’t sure if all this stuff meant she had to brush her mane differently. Instead, she just went with the natural flow of her mane, like she always did.

She finished lining up the colours in her rainbow then looked at herself in the mirror again…

“...Whoa…” Dash’s jaw hung ajar slightly at what she was looking at in the mirror. Her fur and mane colours looked so much more vibrant and deeper than usual. It had really made a different. Instead of her mane fluffing up a bit like it would normally, it laid a lot flatter and straighter. Whilst she was impressed with the results that more than surpassed her expectations, she still had this lingering feeling in her mind. She felt...too pretty.

“Grr...I’m not meant to be cute and cuddly…” She mumbled to herself and repeatedly tapped her hoof on her sink in annoyance. Not sure what to do...but then again, Soarin was always joking about her being cute just to wind her up. Maybe this wasn’t a bad idea after all…

Anyway, no turning back now. Although she did wonder if the perfume was going a bit too far? Dash picked up the bottle and read it over again. She sighed, not really knowing what to do. However, she knew that if she didn’t use it now, she probably never would.

She aimed the nozzle at her hoof towel and sprayed some on so she could test the scent. She leant in and took a sniff, expecting some sort of overpowering flower scent…

...But to her surprise, it was actually a nice scent. A scent she liked. A very sweet scent, with a hint of cinnamon.

Well, she liked it, but did that mean she should use it? Maybe just a tiny bit. Just to take the edge off…

She pointed the nozzle at her chest, not really sure where to spray it. She aimed just above the centre of her chest and tentatively sprayed the tiniest amount she physically could. She immediately put the bottle down. She couldn’t bring herself to use anymore.

She stepped out of her bathroom, feeling like a million bits, even alongside the feeling that she was overdoing it. She didn’t really have anything to do now but...wait?

She sat on the edge of her bed. The anticipation was getting to her. She was visualizing loads of different scenarios in her head as to how this would play out. Some...not so good as others…

Her thoughts were interrupted where she heard a knock at the door. She gasped and flew as quickly as she could towards her front door, stopping inches before it. She froze, taking in a deep breath and slowly exhaling. She ran a hoof through her mane before opening the door.

Standing in front of her door was Soarin. He didn’t look any different than usual, but Dash wouldn’t have it any other way. “Hey...Dash…” He greeted, looking a little surprised, his jaw hanging ajar slightly.

“Hey Soarin,” Dash replied, smiling sheepishly. Soarin still appeared to be shocked and...slightly blushing? “Uhh...Soarin?” Dash tipped her head.

“Oh,” Soarin shook his head a little, “Sorry, but...well, don’t know if you’ve done anything differently, but you look stunning. Although you’re a great piece of eye candy to begin with,” Soarin replied, winking.

“Oh stop it,” Dash giggled and blushed, rubbing up and down her left foreleg with her right hoof.

A brief silence fell between them, but not falling into that trap again, Soarin broke it. “So...can I uh, come in?” He asked.

“O-oh, sure,” Dash replied, stepping back to let him in, just remembering what was going on. “I got us a few things. Let me grab them and we can get going,” Dash wandered off to the kitchen to grab the treats she got from Pinkie Pie earlier. “Hope you’re hungry,” Dash said as she returned from the kitchen.

“Famished,” Soarin replied, looking at the Wonderbolt statue she had in the entrance to her house. “Big fan then huh?”

“Yeah, my parents surprised me with that one as a housewarming gift. Pretty awesome right?”

“Yeah, I can totally picture you practicing a salute in front of this,” Soarin said, performing a Wonderbolts salute to the statue.

She was only just recovering from blushing earlier, but her cheeks puffed out and she blushed some more as Soarin pretty much hit the nail on the head of what she practiced occasionally. “Hehe...yeah…anyway, I’m starving. Lets go.” Dash moved along to the door.

“Go where?” Soarin asked, following her.

“Just a cloud somewhere, whilst the weather’s nice.” Dash stepped out of the door, waiting for Soarin to move out as well so she could lock the door behind them.

Soarin stepped out and took a few steps forward before turning around. Rainbow Dash closed the door behind him and locked it. “Guess we’ll just go wherever we can find a decent cloud.” Dash took off and started looking around...preferably somewhere high and far away…

“Bet I can find one first!” Soarin suddenly shot off northbound.

“Hey, no fair! I’m carrying stuff!” Dash called out as she went in pursuit, but at the same time, didn’t want to turn the food to mush.

She flew as level as she could, but she was at a serious disadvantage. Eventually, she caught up to Soarin, who was already sitting on a cloud and morphing it slightly to better suit them.

“Hope you’re faster than that in a few weeks,” Soarin said with a smirk.

“That wasn’t a fair race, I had all this to carry.” Dash sat down and set the basket between them.

“Haha, alright. Good excuse,” Soarin admitted.

Dash pulled out the pie she got earlier. “So, how much of this do I have to feed you in order to get some hints for two weeks time?”

“Sorry Dash, my lips are seal-okay maybe a little…” Soarin had a quick change of mind once the scent of the pie reached his nose.

“Smells good doesn’t it? My friend Pinkie Pie baked this for me.” Dash set it down and plunged a knife in, ready for the first slice. “Dig in.”

Soarin didn’t hesitate and quickly cut himself a generous slice and took a bite. “Mm, rhubarb…”

“Told you,” Dash replied, going to take a slice for herself. But Soarin quickly whisped it over to his side.

“Uh-uh, you’ve gotta be on top form for stage two. No unnecessary calories,” Soarin teased, winking.

“You’re a real comedian sometimes,” Dash went and stole the pie back, cutting herself a slice. This was going much better than planned. She felt herself growing more confident by the second.

She took out more of the baked treats she acquired from Pinkie and started setting them all down like a picnic. “Anyway, what is going on in the second stage?”

Soarin swallowed, looked away, then back at her, then shrugged. “I can’t reveal too much. All I can say it don’t expect the hotel style treatment you got last time…”

Dash raised an eyebrow, “That doesn’t explain much…”

“It sort of does if you think about it. Besides, I’m not allowed to say anymore...no matter how hard you try,” Soarin replied with a wink.

“Alright, I supposed I’ll be surprised.” Dash settled with the answer.

Soarin chuckled softly, “You’ll be surprised alright,” he said, implying that he knew more than he was letting on.

“Hmm,” Dash’s brow furrowed and she pouted as she tried to think of a better way to get any information he might have out of him. Although he seemed pretty stubborn about disclosing it. It was his job after all. Something that he would probably like to keep.

“So, Ponyville here is where Rainbow Dash and friends save the world huh?” Soarin extended his hoof out towards the direction of Ponyville.

“Yep. Twilight’s castle is about the only thing you can make out in Ponyville from here though.” Dash explained and pointed her hoof and Twilight’s castle. It was the most obvious structure, being comically taller than anything else in Ponyville.

“I hear there’s a magic map in there that can call you through your cutie mark.” Soarin commented.

“That’s right. That thing’s determined to send us to all corners of Equestria solving friendship problems, haha,” Dash chuckled.

“Well, you sure made friends with someponies,” Soarin began with a smile. “I heard about the little… ‘argument’ you got into with that other mare in the showers. Thunder Flash was it?”

“Yeah, I dunno what that was about,” Dash rolled her eyes and took another bite from a doughnut Pinkie had packed them.

“I’m still counting the calories you know,” Soarin teased, winking.

“So am I,” Dash joked with him. “I’m sure I’ll find a way to burn ‘em off. Anyway, I have no idea what Thunder Flash’s issue is with me. She’s been at me since she saw me. Where did you even find a pony like that?”

Soarin shook his head, “Even if I knew, I wouldn’t be able to tell. We’re legally obliged to protect personal information of all the pegasi we bring in.”

“Of course…” Dash continued, “It’s almost like she wants revenge for something. Although I’ve never seen her before in my life.”

“Maybe that map of Twilight’s sent you on the wrong booty call once,” Soarin teased, winking and brushing his wing against her cutie mark.

Rainbow froze a little upon the contact, but immediately relaxed, albeit blushing slightly. She just wasn’t expecting it. Luckily it was Soarin there. Any other stallion would’ve received a hoof to the face...

“You can be real funny sometimes,” She replied sarcastically.

“Sometimes? More like all the time,” He continued.

“I wouldn’t go that far. Some ponies just prefer to laugh AT you instead,” Dash retorted.

“I laugh at me too. Sometimes I just need a professional opinion.”

Dash couldn’t contain herself any longer and started to laugh. Soarin had a way with words that just seemed to make them roll off his tongue in a manner that could appeal to anypony.

They continue to chat about anything and everything as time rolled on. Just as Dash was starting to get more comfortable, she could feel some sort of...pressure or anxiety building within her. She knew what she had to do relieve it...but she didn’t know if the time was right. She was new to this completely. Should she be waiting longer? Should she be slowly building up to the reveal or just come all out with it? If she did the wrong thing, it could make Soarin panic and do something wrong also.

The only thing that gave her some sort of sanity was that the way Soarin was acting had changed from earlier as well. Implying similar thoughts were going through his mind.

There was more silence between them than there had been for a while. For whatever reason, they just seemed to not be able to keep their conversations flowing. And when they did speak, there was an err in their voices that prevented them from speaking so confidently like they were earlier.

Dash kept herself occupied by cleaning things away back into the basket. After that was done, she laid on her back on the cloud. Soarin sighed and mimic’d her.

Dash’s thoughts were running wild. This silence was just too awkward for it to continue. She had to do something. But she just didn’t know what to say. She needed to know the truth, but was now really the right time to ask for it?

Her thoughts were cut short as a breeze sent a chill down her spine, “Brr,” she muttered, shivering slightly.

Soarin smirked awkwardly, “Chilly breezes in the afternoon this month right?”

“Y-yeah,” Dash responded quickly and shivered again.

Soarin saw the opportunity and took it. They had been waiting for a while, and a better opportunity hadn’t presented itself. He quickly calculated the risk, and decided that it would be better to take what he had instead of waiting in the hopes of catching a bigger fish that never presents itself and flying home with nothing.

He extended his wing around Rainbow Dash and gently embraced her. “This will keep us warmer.” He slowly closed his wing and slid Dash and him closer together, till their sides touched.

They looked over at each others eyes. Soarin smiled sheepishly, hoping Dash would take the hint. However, she turned her head away. Soarin did his best to suppress a huff as he looked in the other direction.

For a few minutes, they were sat in silence again. Although Soarin secretly didn’t mind, he knew that couldn’t stay in this cuddle limbo forever. Although he didn’t even know where to start on how to advance from here…

...Or maybe he didn’t have to.

He felt a hoof running along his upper foreleg. He tried his best to keep himself from freezing up, but he still couldn’t bring himself to look. Dash’s hoof slowly ran down his leg until their hooves paired up together. They held hooves for a few seconds before they slipped past one another and their wrists intertwined.

That was it. It’s now or never.

“There’s something I--”
“There’s something I--”

They both flicked their heads over at the same time. However, they were in such close proximity, their noses touched. Both their eyes widened as they locked on each others narrowing pupils. Soarin felt like Dash wanted to back off, but was hesitating.

Oh screw it, nothing to lose now.

Soarin quickly moved his head forward and encompassed her lips in his. All his tension and anxiety suddenly popped like a bubble. He closed his eyes and savoured the moment to the best he could. His body felt like a massive weight had just been removed from it. And when he felt Dash’s hoof tightening around his, it just made it all the more sweeter.

Dash couldn’t be more relieved about what was happening. However, she still had her doubts. Was she doing it right? Was it special enough? How long to kisses normally last for? Should she be doing anything? She knew ponies used their tongues when kissing sometimes, should she be doing that? Soarin wasn’t doing it, so she should probably just follow his lead.

Whilst the kiss felt more like two fluffy statues, to them, it meant the world. It lasted for almost a minute, and Soarin eventually broke it off. He let out a slow, relieved sigh as he reopened his eyes. He saw Dash lying next to him, her mouth still ajar and still with the shocked look in her eyes. He smiled lovingly, waiting for her to respond…

...But she didn’t…

Soarin’s smile started to fade away. “Uhh…” He didn’t really know where to begin from that...hence the reason he was waiting for Dash to start…

“Um...err…” Dash also seemed lost for words. “A-a-a-are y-you...do you need to go?”

“Oh,” Soarin cleared his throat awkwardly and sat up, realising what she was trying to say. “Uh, yeah, I better...get going…” He scratched the back of his head with his hoof.

“Y-yeah, me too...gonna...gonna be late...late for...that...thing...thing, that I’m gonna be late for...that I need to do…” Dash stumbled over her words as she sat up and picked up the basket. She more or less rolled off the cloud. Soarin heard the whistle of the wind as she flapped her wings.

He did the same and flew off as fast as he could, grunting as he took off. He pushed hard with his wings, flying as fast as he could to a pack of clouds fairly far away. Once he got there, he started slamming his hooves into them in frustration. “Stupid, stupid, stupid…” he thumped one with both his hooves, making it seemingly disappear into thin air. “UGH!” he grabbed the back of his mane between his hooves and pulled hard, deliberately trying to cause pain. He pulled as hard as his pain threshold would allow, then held it there for a few seconds.

He let his limbs dangle down then let out a frustrated sigh. He slowly let himself fall onto a cloud below him and land on his belly. How could he let this happen? Some stallion he was, failing to meet Dash’s expectations. Was he too early in making his moves? He was certain Dash felt the same way from the hints she was dropping. Maybe the way he did it was just too shocking for her? Whatever it was, it didn’t matter anymore...

“BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh this it poetic!”

The familiar voice made him let out a groan and roll his eyes. “Piss off Blaze, I’m not in the mood.” He said bluntly then stuck his head in the cloud so he didn’t have to see her.

“Wow, feisty. Did your tantrum make you feel better?” Blazed teased, landing on the cloud behind him.

All she earned in response to her comment was a muffled huff from inside the cloud.

“Okay, okay, jokes aside, I have to say...that was pretty damn adorable. You and Dash I mean.”

“Oh, decided to spy on us did you?” Soarin replied.

Blaze chuckled, “Actually, I was flying somewhere and saw you en-route. I thought I’d check up to offer my advice as usual. Don’t worry, I only saw the last twenty minutes or so. Nothing else.”

“Great, your in-depth analysis is just what I need right now,” Soarin replied sarcastically.

“Actually, it is. You still love her don’t you? And either way, you’re going to try again aren’t you?” Blaze deducted.

She waited for a few seconds, but got no response.

“Thought so,” she moulded a small wall into the cloud so she could sit down and rest her back against something. “No more jokes. I’m being serious now.” She advised, also getting no more response.

“Let’s analyse this logically for a second. The hints both of you were dropping definitely showed that you have feelings for each other. No doubts there. You’re the stallion, and older, so it also makes sense for you to initiate it. However, she seemed to reject you for some reason…”

“Gee thanks, I didn’t notice,” Soarin replied sarcastically in an angry tone.

“Hey, I’m trying to help. I can leave you to sulk in the cloud and not get anywhere if you like.”

Soarin thought about it for a few moments, then sighed. As frustrated as he was that he blew it on the first attempt...he really did want to make amends.

He dragged his head out of the cloud and turned around to face Blaze. The first thing he noticed was that Blaze was wearing a red dress. “What’s with the get-up? And isn’t that Spitfire’s?”

Blaze looked down at her dress, smiled, then back at Soarin. “Friends birthday. And yeah, Sis wore it once years ago. It’s been gathering dust ever since. Anyway, back to Little Dashie…” Blaze put a hoof on her chin as she thought. “The way she acted was sort of contradictory to the hints she was sending to you. It’s as if she wasn’t expecting it…”

Soarin’s ears dropped down and he looked down at the cloud.

“Now, she clearly was expecting it. She clearly has the same feelings you do. The only way she would have been shocked...was if that she wasn’t expecting it...and the only reason I can think of why she wasn’t expect it was because she didn’t know what to expect.”

Blaze smiled in the hope that her hint would make Soarin think. However, he didn’t appear to be catching on.

“You in there Soarin?” She asked, tapping her temple with her hoof.

“Yeah, I’m listening...I just don’t really know what to make of what you just said…”

“Well, think about it. How would you not know what to expect out of something?”

Soarin shrugged, “Because you didn’t see it coming?”

“Or…” Blaze spun her hoof in a circle to encourage him.

“Or…” Soarin thought about it hard. He wasn't really sure where Blaze was going with this, so he just thought about random related things. “Or you didn't know what to expe--...” It suddenly all clicked in his head, “That's it!” Soarin beamed. “She's hinted in the past that she's never been in a serious relationship with anypony before. After I kissed her, she was confused. Confused because she'd never been in that situation before. If anything, it probably scared her somewhat. That combined with the fact that she has the kind of personality that doesn't like to show affection in public meant she probably panicked and flew off in fear of doing something wrong.”

“Eureka, he finally gets it!” Blaze punched her forehooves in the air and then sarcastically clapped them together. “But there has been a benefit to all of this. After all that, all cards are on the table and all bets are off. You can pretty much speak your mind when you go to talk to her. Which you should go do right away. Tell her you love her. Hold her. Buy her flowers.”

“Flowers?” Soarin raised an eyebrow, “Don't think she's the type that appreciates flowers.”

“That's what they all say,” Blaze winked, “A gift of affection will mean so much more than you think, regardless of whether she likes it or not. Do it. You won't regret it. “

“Alright, I'll give it a shot. Thanks Blaze, I owe you one.” Soarin smiled and opened up his forelegs, moving for a hug.

“You owe me a couple actually,” Blaze corrected, smirking, then leaning into his embrace. She hugged him shortly before pushing him away. “Don't waste it on me. Go find your Dashie. Quick.” Her voice sounded like it was almost ordering him.

“Already on it,” Soarin saluted, then rolled off the cloud, flying away.

Blaze walked to the edge of the cloud, noticing the direction he was flying. “Uh, Ponyville’s that w--”

“IKNEWTHAT!” Soarin called as he rushed past. This time going in the opposite direction.

Soarin touched down in the middle of Ponyville, hoping he wasn’t going to attract attention. “Flowers, flowers, where do I find flowers…?” He quietly talked to himself as his eyes scanned the town.

There was a few market stalls in the town square. Although the majority appeared to be starting to pack away now. It would take him an age to go through them all, yet alone find one that was still open.

Time wasn’t something he had to spare. Looks like he would have to find somepony who can give him directions. Problem was, he wasn’t a common face around here. He didn’t want to draw too much attention.

He looked around, trying to find somepony isolated who he could talk to without drawing attention. To his left, he spotted a mare on her own. Not really walking with too much intent, it appeared that he would be able to ask her.

Soarin trotted up the mare. She was a middle-aged looking pegasus, with a celeste coat and a burgundy mane and tail. “Excuse me Miss, I was wondering if you could help me,” Soarin called as he approached, catching her attention.

The mare turned to Soarin. “I’m looking for a shop that sells, flow-ah,” Soarin could tell from the astonished look on her face that she knew who he was, “Aheh, hey there. Soarin, the Wonderbolt.” He extended her hoof out to her.

“Nice...to meet you…” She replied, shaking his hoof. “What brings you to Ponyville?”

“Actually, long story. But long story short, I need flowers urgently. Do you know anywhere that’s still open?”

“There’s a mare called Roseluck that normally has a good variety. But she closes soon, so you better hurry. She’s other side of town that way,” The mare pointed with her hoof.

“Thank you so much, I’ll get there quickly.”

Before he could go, the mare placed her foreleg out to stop him. “Would you mind doing me a really big favour? It’s my son’s tenth birthday in a couple of days, and I’ve bought him tickets to your next show in Canterlot. It would mean the world if you were to sign them?” She bought the tickets out of her saddle bag and presented them to Soarin.

“Now that I can do,” Soarin took the tickets and a pen that was also presented to him afterwards. “What’s his name?”

“It’s Wind Whistle. His friends just call him Whistle.”

Soarin nodded, dictating was he was writing on the ticket to her. “ ‘Hey Whistle. The big One-O eh? Enjoy it. Your pal, Soarin’.” Soarin finished it off by putting his signature underneath.

“Oh perfect,” The mare thanked Soarin before taking the ticket back. “Now hurry, I’m not sure how much longer she’s open for.”

“Thanks for your help,” Soarin replied, taking a few steps before taking flight.

He flew over to the area of town the mare described, trying his best to remain out of sight. Although somewhat difficult when flying, he was always able to blend in with the rest of the traffic.

He landed around a section of stalls that looked like they were just starting to pack away. His eyes scanned over them until one stood out. There wasn’t any signs or stands around it, but it seemed to have plenty of flowers.

He walked up to it, happy to see that the pony in question was still there. Or so he hoped… “Excuse me, are you Roseluck?” He asked.

The mare put down what she was holding and turned around. “I am. How can I help?”


“Let me guess, ‘I made a big mistake and need an apology for my marefriend’?” She immediately bought a bunch of flowers from under the ground. “It’s thirty five bits.”

Soarin’s jaw dropped as he started at the bouquet of flowers she held in her hoof. Although he was no expert on the subject, they sure looked pretty. Although he was more interested in how she knew.

Roseluck giggled, “That look never fails to make me laugh.”

“Uh...how did you know?” Soarin asked.

“Oh, you’re not the only one that turns up around about now,” She replied, batting a hoof at him. “I can read a pony’s face a mile away. I keep a few lying around for this reason.”

Soarin reached over and grabbed the bouquet at the base, where a plastic bag was tied around the base of the stems. It felt like it had a bit of water in it. “I’m sorry, I don’t have any bits. Could I send you a cheque in the post? Or bring it next time I’m here?”

“Hmm,” Roseluck rubbed her chin, “Normally I only do that for ponies I know. However, I’m sure I’ve seen your face before…” She raised an eyebrow.

Soarin sighed quietly. He hoped that she wouldn’t make a scene… “Do the Wonderbolts ring a bell?”

All of a sudden, it clicked in Roseluck’s head. “S...Soar...in?” She tried her best to guess his name.

“That’s me,” He replied, winking.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me, I’m not a Pegasus, so I’ve only heard of you. Wow, what’s somepony like you doing in someplace like this? Oh wait, I’ve worked it out…” She held the flowers up and looked at them slightly, then looked over at Soarin with a knowing look in her eye. “She must be pretty special to drag you all the way over here…”

“Hehe, yeah, she is…” Soarin rubbed the back of his head and looked away, “She means the world to me…” Despite his best efforts to suppress it, he felt his cheeks start to tint a little.

Roseluck smiled, “Well, she’ll know that when you give her these.” She extended her hoof to him, “Don’t worry about the money. I trust you to get it to me.”

Soarin took the flowers in his hoof. “Thank you so much. I owe you.”

“Don’t mention it. Now go get her.” Roseluck shooed him away.

Soarin took off and set course back to Rainbow Dash’s house. He looked at the flowers as he flew. There was a nice variety of colours in them. They almost reminded him of Rainbow Dash because of all the colours in her mane.

‘Geez, that’s two ponies here I owe favours to now. And that’s not even counting all the ones I owe Blaze…’

He touched down on the cloud that lead up to Rainbow Dash’s house. He sighed and tucked the flowers under his wing, doing his best to hide them so he could surprise her.

He knocked on her door and waited. It didn’t take long for him to hear hoofsteps coming from behind the door. Although they paused when it sounded like they neared the door, but nothing happened. There was just...silence…

He sighed, “Rainbow, it’s me. We need to talk. Please let me in.” He asked sincerely.

He waited a few seconds before he heard the door start to open. It was barely wide enough for Rainbow Dash to poke her head through. She stared at him, then down at the ground. “Come in,” She instructed, walking through.

Soarin pushed through the door, closing it behind him. He wasn’t sure what to make of her. Her voice sounded sad, but he couldn’t pick anything else out.

He followed her through to the living room. She sat on one end of the couch. Soarin took a seat on the other end. “So...Can I start?” He asked.

He got nothing in response. Guess that give him his answer. “Okay. Rainbow Dash, I haven’t really thought this through, so I’m just gonna say it as it comes. I love you. You’ve given me something I’ve always felt like I’m missing. Ever since we started hanging out more frequently when you first started the trials, I’ve been a much happier pony. And earlier, when our noses touched, I had a feeling that was it. Hence the reason I jumped at the chance. Although it obviously didn’t go as planned… I’m sorry it went that way. I just really wanted to show you how much you meant to me. Please accept my apology…” At his final sentence, Soarin presented the flowers from under his wing.

The two sat frozen for a few seconds, with Soarin’s wing extended with the flowers in them and his face slowly burning.

Eventually, Dash smirked. “I’m glad you said all that instead of me,” She said calmly. She looked over at the flowers, taking them from him. “It’s a nice thought, but you didn’t have to go through all that trouble.”

“T-trouble? Nah, haha,” Soarin did his best to maintain his composure.

Dash put them down on her coffee table then looked over at Soarin. She shimmied over to Soarin and rested her head on his shoulders. “I love you too, Soarin. Truth is, I’ve never been in that situation before. It was all too much, all to intense. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but after it was over...I just didn’t know what to do. I felt like all the pressure had been put onto me to do the right thing. I didn’t want to do anything that might’ve cost me the chance. So...I flew away. In fear...I’m the one who should be sorry…” She wrapped her wing around him.

Soarin returned her hug and held still for a few seconds before letting out a relieved sigh. “All that drama...over a simple misunderstanding…”

“Well in my defence, I wasn’t expecting you to engulf my face.” Dash replied. “Nopony’s ever kissed me like that before. It took me off guard. I didn’t know what to do…”

“Heh, it was just a kiss. Nothing about it,” Soarin explained, planting a light kiss on her cheek to emphasise.

“Yeah, but...well…” Dash looked around, then back at him, “I’ve...never kissed a stallion before…or anyone really…”

Soarin could only smirk and chuff. Dash pushed him in response, “Oh don’t laugh,” Dash blushed furiously.

“I’m not laughing, I’m just finding the situation humorous,” Soarin explained. “Besides, there’s always time to learn. And whatever you think constitutes ‘good’ doesn’t matter if you enjoy it.”

Before Dash could even respond, Soarin leaned in and planted another kiss on her lips. He pushed himself over, letting Rainbow fall onto her back onto the couch with him on top of her. She felt his tongue enter her mouth. An unusual experience, but she just followed what he was doing. She repeatedly pushed her tongue against his, battling for dominance between them.

Soarin maintained the kiss for a while before he needed to stop to take a breath. As he caught his breath, he looked down at her, their eyes locking. “Did you like that?”

Dash looked away and pouted, her face bright red. “Y-yeah...but don’t you dare tell anypony…”

Soarin smirked again, “Is the rough, tough Rainbow Dash embarrassed by the fact that she now has a boyfriend?” Soarin teased.

“Hmmm,” She gritted her teeth, “You’re heading in the right direction for a slap.”

“God, you’re so cute when you’re embarrassed…” He ran his hoof through her mane.

“Yeah, well you know what I’ve got a great chance to kick right now?” She asked, emphasizing her point by gently tapping her rear leg against the inside of one of his rear legs.

Soarin’s eyes went wide as he noticed what she was implying. “Point taken. Shutting up.” He pushed himself off Dash and laid himself in the corner of the couch.

Dash pulled herself up with him and sighed. “Okay, maybe I liked it a little…” She admitted.

“A little? You love it secretly,” Soarin explained.

“Alright, maybe I do…” She admitted again, lying into his chest. “You make a comfy pillow. Stay there for a while.”

“Sure thing,” Soarin sure wasn’t gonna deny an offer like that. As she snuggled up to him, he gently massaged her mane. He rested his head against the armrest and looked out the window, watching the sun starting to set.

Despite not going so smoothly, everything worked out how they wanted it to in the end. However, Soarin knew that new challenges were about to prevent themselves. He sighed at the thought.

Dash opened her eyes in her half-nap state and saw the glum look on his face. “Are you alright? You don’t look very happy.”

Soarin curled the corners of his lips up on hearing her voice. “Things worked out in the end, and I’m over the moon. I couldn’t be happier with you by my side,” He ran his hoof down her side and gently massaged her. “But the circumstances we met each other in aren’t exactly easy…”

“What do you mean?” Dash questioned.

“Well...it won’t be long before the other Wonderbolts find out. Spitfire was already suspicious that I was starting to fall in love with you. So we can’t exactly keep it a secret. I’ll just have to do my best to make sure I don’t hurt your chances…”

Dash sat herself up and lied against the back of the couch, “What do you mean hurt my chances?”

Soarin sighed again, “Well, luckily enough, our tests are more results driven than vote driven. But if I’m forced to vote for somepony for whatever reason, it’ll be a tough choice…

Dash snorted, “Yeah, me and me is a tough choice right?” She replied sarcastically, batting her hoof.

Soarin looked over at her. “That’s just it though. If I pick you, I’ll be accused of being biased. Something that doesn’t go down too well…”

Dash blinked, “So you...wouldn’t choose me?”

“Well...my hooves are kinda tied…” Soarin shrugged, not knowing how else to respond. Dash’s ears flopped down and she looked down at the floor. “You seem disappointed…”

Dash shrugged, “A little, I guess. I would’ve hoped you’d have my back at all times…” There was a short silence before Dash’s ears perked up again. “Although I understand that you’ve got a job to do. I won’t hold it against you.” She rested her body onto him again, “Besides, it just gives me more motivation to do better.”

Soarin chuckled in response, “The fact that you let nopony put you down is one of my favorite things about you.” Soarin put his foreleg around her shoulders and pulled her in, kissing her on the cheek.

“I’ve been trying for so long. I’m not gonna give up anytime soon,” Dash replied with a smile.

“And in the meantime, I can find out where you’re ticklish,” Soarin dipped his head down and planted a kiss on her neck, holding it there for a few seconds.

“S-Soarin,” Dash giggled at the initial sensation for a few seconds before she got used to it. “Don’t think I won’t do the same!” She jabbed her hoof into his side.

“E-Oh geez,” Soarin burst into laughter as his pressure points were pressed against by Dash’s hooves.

“I’m gonna know all your weaknesses at this rate,” Dash attempted to climb on top of him, but Soarin pushed forward and fell on top of her.

They playfully wrestled each other for a little while before settling down and watching the sunset.

Soarin slowly stood off the couch, “Well, I should probably be getting home…” he said, stretching.

“Sure…” Dash agreed, “Today’s been...one of the best days of my life.”

Soarin finished stretching then looked over at Dash. “It only gets better from here.” He started walking towards the door, Dash in tow. He put his hoof on the doorknob and waited a moment. “So...are you free tomorrow?”

“As if you even have to ask,” Dash replied. “Same sort of time works for me.”

“Great,” Soarin pushed the door open and stepped outside. He turned around to see Dash in the doorway. “See ya later then,” He leaned in to kiss her.

“Wait,” Dash held her hooves up to stop him. Soarin paused mid-lean. She glanced from left to right, then extended her wings and held time either side of her and his heads, creating a barrier. Only then did she lean in to return the kiss.

After they finished kissing, Soarin couldn’t do anything other than chuckle. “Still embarrassed?”

“I don’t want anypony seeing us…” Dash replied, blushing profoundly.

“Yeah, guess that could be a problem. Can I suggest a solution?” Soarin asked.

Dash raised an eyebrow. Knowing the tone of voice he was using, he was about to make some sort of joke. “What’s that?”

They stood still and in silence for a few seconds. Then suddenly, Soarin’s head lurched forward and he planted the quickest kiss Dash had ever experienced on her lips. Before Dash even had a chance to react, Soarin took off. “Bye Dash!” He called, giggling to himself as he flew away.

Dash cringed and looked in all directions. Thankfully, there was nopony about to see them. She quickly closed her door and sighed, taking a moment to calm herself. She then headed back to her living room and sat on her couch to have a moment with just herself and her thoughts.

She looked at the flowers Soarin had bought her and smirked. The water in the plastic bag tied around their base had bulged out and made a sort-of sack that was holding them upright. She didn’t even have a vase to put them in. Whilst she didn’t like flowers...she appreciated the gesture. Any gift from Soarin was a gift worth taking.

She rested back in her seat as she reflected on the events of the day. Whilst it didn’t go as smoothly as she’d hoped, everything worked out in the end. And that was all that mattered. Whilst it felt like a major step forward for her, it still left her with a feeling of uncertainty.

Soarin said that he wouldn’t be able to back her up should she ever need it during the trials. Whilst that wasn’t the answer she was hoping to hear, she completely understood that Soarin had a job that he worked his whole life for. If they swapped places, she would be saying exactly the same. At least it gave her a motivational boost to perform during the trials. If she failed, it would be nopony else’s fault but her own. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Wonderbolts trials aside, she still wasn’t sure what she was going to do about everything else. She would have to break the news at some point, whether she wanted to or not. She tried her best not to think about that, as she had enough on her plate already with the Wonderbolts trials, but it was something that would eventually creep up, and she couldn’t shake the thought.

Soarin sure didn’t have any problems showing affection in public. And as she thought about it more, neither did she really. The problem that she had was that she could never maintain her composure when Soarin gets all lovey with her. That in turn made her lose her cool and made her all blushy and stuttery. That coupled with her rough tough image she was trying to maintain meant it wasn’t the best look for her.

She sighed again as she thought the issues through. Maybe this wouldn’t have been so much of a problem if she had more experience with boyfriends beforehoof instead of just jumping right in to having Soarin as her first. But as she thought previously, her nature never really made her think of stallions like that. That and no stallion has ever taken her breath away quite like Soarin has.

She smirked and shook her head at her thoughts. She could spend all day and night here thinking about it, but she had more important things to worry about. She was sure it would all sort itself out on its own anyway. Besides, she wasn’t a thinking pony. She was a doing pony. She pushed these issues to one side and started thinking ahead to her next time at the Wonderbolts…With hints of Soarin in-between...