• Published 26th Apr 2015
  • 4,322 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 2

Soarin and Rainbow Dash flew side by side along the outskirts of Cloudsdale. There were a few ponies out and about, but not as much as on the weekends. The sun had lowered, but not begun to set yet. They were flying with the sun behind them, so it didn’t affect their vision. The weather had warmed up earlier, but now that the sun was lower, it was beginning to cool again.

“So where is this place?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“You’ll see,” Soarin replied, “it’s one of my favourites.”

They turned a corner and Soarin pointed to a small cottage-looking structure made out of cloud in the distance. “There it is.”

Rainbow Dash thought she knew Cloudsdale quite well, but this was a place she had never visited. Her parents rarely took her to this side of Cloudsdale as a filly.

As they approached it, there was a sign on the front of the building aboive the door that read ‘Trickshots Diner’

Soarin pushed through the door and held it open for Rainbow Dash. Inside, it looked like a typical diner, with red fabric bench seats around the tables on the edge, and some normal tables backing them up in the centre. It didn’t seem too busy at the moment, with at least three quarters of the place free. There was a bar along the left side of the room with a pony behind it wiping the counter. He had a beige coloured coat with a cherry red mane.

“Hey Tricky!” Soarin called over.

The stallion looked up, “oh hey there, Soarin.” He put the cloth down and walked out from behind the counter. “Didn’t expect to see you again so soon. You here for the usual.”

“Not this time, Tricky,” Soarin shook his head, “I’m dining with a friend tonight.” He placed his hoof on Rainbow Dash’s shoulder.

“Oh, I see.” He angled his face so Rainbow Dash couldn’t see and winked back at Soarin. Before Soarin could respond, he dashed off behind the counter and grabbed some menus. “This way.”

He seated the two of them at a table in the back of the room, giving them a good buffer between the few other ponies that were around. Once they had taken their seats, he placed a menu in front of them. “Can I get you any drinks? The usual Soarin?”

“You know it, Trick.” Soarin casually replied.

“One mango juice coming right up.” He turned to Rainbow Dash whilst he was scribbling the orders on a notepad. “And for the lady?”

“Um, do you have any apple juice?” She asked, feeling slightly strange for being called ‘lady’.

“We sure do,” Trick Shot replied as he scribbled it down, “coming right up.” He put the notepad on his belt and started walking back behind the counter. Rainbow Dash noticed that his cutie mark was a basketball as he walked off.

“Trickshot and I go way back.” Soarin said to start the conversation.

“I can tell,” Rainbow Dash replied as she picked up the menu and started reading. As she read the descriptions, the meals sounded good, but the price…well…it wasn’t unreasonable, but it was more than she wanted Soarin to spend on her. “Uhh…what’s my budget here?” Dash felt awkward asking him, but she felt that since he was paying, she should stick to some sort of limit.

Soarin chuckled, “don’t worry about it, Dash. Seriously, it’s on me. Get what you want.”

“A-are you sure?” Rainbow Dash didn’t feel comfortable with any stallion buying her dinner, yet alone a famous one.

“Sure am,” Soarin replied, “although I wouldn’t recommend getting too much. Don’t want you fattening up before the tests begin,” he joked.

Dash smirked at his joke, then looked back down at the menu. After spending another 5 minutes deciding what she wanted, she put the menu down, but left it open so she could glance at it from time to time. “So…what’s the first test gonna be?” She asked casually, deciding that she should try and use this situation to her advantage.

“I’d love to tell ya,” Soarin put his menu down, “but I really don’t know myself. Spitfire organised the 1st one herself. Most of the tests are going to be organised by one or a team of us, changing on a day to day basis.”

“I see…” Rainbow Dash replied as a though popped into her head.

“One apple juice for the lady,” her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by Trick Shot setting a glass down in front of her, “and one mango juice.” He placed Soarin’s mango juice in front of him.

“Thanks, Trick,” Soarin replied as he took a long sip from the glass.

“Are you ready to order?” He asked as he picked up his notepad and pen.

“Yeah, sure, you ready Dash?” He glanced over at her.

“Yeah, go ahead,” she replied, “I’ll have the pesto risotto please.”

“Ooh, nice choice,” he commented as he wrote. As he was writing, he turned to Soarin. “And I presume you’ll have your usual pasta salad with extra mushrooms?”

“You read my mind as usual, Trick Shot.” Soarin replied with a smirk.

“Coming riiight up.” He said as he finished writing and walked away.

“So…you don’t get any… ‘extra credit’ with Spitfire?” Rainbow Dash asked, resuming where she left off.

Soarin snorted so hard, mango juice almost came out of his nose. “Haha, those rumours have been around for years!” He wiped his mouth and blinked a few times. He then looked Dash in the eyes and put on a more serious expression. “Spitfire and I are not an item.”

“Oh!” Rainbow Dash suddenly perked up, her ears shooting up. “Sorry…”

Soarin chuckled, “even you believe the fan rumours despite knowing us the best from the outside, eh Dash?”

“I guess so…” She replied. “So…if you don’t mind me asking, is there anything between you and Spitfire?”

Soarin shrugged, “we’re just friends, and that’s it really. We dated in the past, but it didn’t lead to anything. Simply because we chose not to, in case it unbalanced our team relationship.”

“I…see…” Rainbow Dash wasn’t an expert on relationships, but she vaguely understood what he meant. “Did you…ever think you and Spitfire could be something?”

Again, Soarin shrugged, “the fuel for the fire is there, I guess. But neither of us are willing to ignite it. If she were to try, then…I dunno…” as he trailed off, he suddenly realised something. “When did this subject come about anyway?”

At his question, Rainbow Dash suddenly realised that she was delving into his love life. She blushed at the thought of her questioning this type of stuff. She wasn’t interested in all this lovey-wuvey mushy stuff. That would completely spoil her image. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked…”

Soarin smiled and chuckled, batting his hoof at her. “Don’t worry about it. I prefer talking about something more normal for once to be honest, Dash.”

Rainbow Dash looked back up at him. “What do you mean?”

“Well, the other Wonderbolts are the only ones that I can talk about stuff with. Anypony outside the Wonderbolts only wants to talk to me about the Wonderbolts. It’s nice to have somepony on the outside I can talk to.” He shot a smile at her. “But I bet you won’t stay on the outside for long.”

She smiled back at him. “You bet! I’ll have you regretting you didn’t take me on earlier!”

Soarin chuffed, “well, you’ve gotta prove it first. Think you can score the highest?”

“Well, what are you scoring us on?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Everything.” Soarin’s reply was flat and blunt.

Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow, “uhh…what do you mean?”

“I mean EVERYTHING,” Soarin empathized, “not just your flying, but the way you act outside the tests as well. Basically, as long as you’re in that building, you’re been judged. We watch everything, see everything, hear everything, judge everything.”

His words suddenly threw Rainbow Dash into a deep thought. If they were really gonna be that thorough about screening them, would it be a wise idea to adjust her personality? She was starting to believe her overconfidence would be her downfall. Was she really the type of Pegasus the Wonderbolts were looking for?

“Spitfire will explain all this to you tomorrow anyway before the first test. They’re pretty basic from what I hear, just general tests to measure your current capability.” He picked up his mango juice as he said the last few words.

“Like our speed and stuff like that?”

Soarin nodded as he took a sip.

They chatted some more about what was coming up during the tests, but Soarin was pretty limited on what he could reveal. Not only because there was some things that he genuinely didn’t know, but because if he gave anything away to her, he could be accused of being biased in his judgement. A little while later, the food arrived.

“I saw that little race you had with that stallion earlier.” Soarin commented as he took a bite.

“Oh.” Rainbow Dash slumped slightly. “You saw that huh?”

“No need to be ashamed, it was a good race.”

“Yeah…” Rainbow Dash glanced away, “but I lost…”

Soarin shrugged, “can’t win ‘em all. White Comet’s pretty fast anyway from the little of what Spitfire told me.”

That caught Rainbow Dash’s attention. She looked back at him. “Fast? He wasn’t that fast.”

“But he still managed to beat you right?” Soarin shot right back at her.

“Uh…well…” Rainbow Dash gritted her teeth searching for an answer, but she was unable to find one.

“His type of speed is different than the one you and I know. His wingpower is probably equal, if not lower than ours, but he makes up for this by not only being lightning fast in the corners, but by playing his cards strategically. He deliberately let you in the lead, so you would--”

“Tire myself out.” Rainbow Dash finished his sentence. “I’ve heard this all before.”

Soarin could tell from the bitterness in her voice that it didn’t sit well with her. “Don’t worry about it Rainbow, you’ll get back at him. If anypony can, you can.” He replied, hoping that some motivation would cheer her up.

Rainbow Dash smirked at his compliment. “So what went on between Spitfire and him anyway? They seemed to know each other quite well at the introduction.” She picked up some more of her food on her spoon.

“They were big rivals back in their high school days. That’s all I know,” Soarin said.

“Hmm…I can see why Spitfire is interested in him then…” Dash went into thought as she continued eating.

“Fleetfoot’s acutally pretty keen to see what he can do as well. Since she is the most into racing out of all us Wonderbolts.”

“I gathered from all the derby trophies in the waiting room that said ‘Fleetfoot’ on them.” Rainbow Dash joked in response.

“Those are actually just replicas used for display. Fleetfoot keeps the real trophies herself.” Soarin replied as he took another bite.

“Thought so,” Rainbow Dash replied, “how’s she feeling anyway? Knowing that there’s someone in the building that could rival her on the track?”

“Fleetfoot? She’s fine. Fleetfoot is like Spitfire, but a little less uptight.” Soarin suddenly smirked, “but if you fire her up, then boy does she become the life of the party.”

Rainbow Dash chuckled in response.

“She’ll even pop a joke from time to time, but she’s not even half the joker that Blaze and Surprise are.” He smiled to himself as he thought about his teammates.

Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow. “I’ve not actually met them before, what are they like?”

Soarin looked back at her, “well, Blaze is actually Spitfire’s younger sister, but they’re complete opposites of each other. That’s what makes it so funny. And Surprise…well…you’d need to see it to believe it.”

Rainbow Dash smirked at him, “Go on…?”

Soarin shrugged, “I don’t wanna say anything, because...well, I can’t describe her. Nopony in Equestria could describe her. I guess the word ‘random’ comes to mind, but that’s seems like an understatement.”

Rainbow Dash chuckled, “I know somepony similar, don’t worry. I think I get the gist.” As she said the last part of the sentence, she thought about some of the best memories she had of the randomness of Pinkie Pie.

In a combination of being hungry and having food in front of her that was so damn good, Rainbow Dash finished her plate rather quickly. Soarin was very much the same. He called for the bill once they were all over.

As Trickshot put the bill on the table, Soarin immediately scooped it up, not wanting to let Dash know what the total came to.

“How was it?” Trickshot asked as he cleared the table.

“Amazing as always, Trick.” Soarin replied, a smirk stretching across his face as he thought of something. “Hey Trick,” he tapped him on the shoulder, casing Trickshot to freeze and look at him. “Show her your…‘Trick’.”

Trickshot chuckled and shook his head, “this never gets old.” He gathered up their napkins, rolled them into a ball, and used it to wipe the excess off the plates. When he was done, he nonchalantly chucked it behind him, but still managed to get it to land in a trash can behind the counter.

He then proceeded to take their plates that were now wiped semi-clean. At least in a clean enough state so excess wouldn’t fly off them if they were to suddenly…increase in velocity…

With a flick of his hooves, and what seemed to be no care in the world, he threw them in opposite directions. The plates bounced off the cloud structure, and across the whole diner. Other guests ducked under their hooves in the expectation that they might accidently land on their heads.

As the plates bounced around, they began to lose momentum, before landing on a part of the structure behind the counter and seeming to stick in the cloud wall. Then they slowly became unstuck and rolled across the floor, up a bump in the cloud, and directly into a dishwasher that another pony who worked there opened up for him.

With the madness over, the guests all put their hooves together for Trickshot, who bowed in response.

“Showoff,” Soarin commented.

“And you aren’t?” Trickshot threw right back at him.

“…Touché…” Soarin replied as he pulled some bits out. “That should cover it, plus some more.”

“Thanks Soarin, appreciate it.” Trickshot replied as he picked up the bits and put them in a bag that he had over his side. “See ya round.”

“See ya when I see ya.” Soarin replied as he got up.

They both got up and walked towards the door, Soarin opening the door and holding it open for Rainbow Dash. Once they were both out the door, they took flight. “How did he manage to do that thing with the dishes?” Rainbow Dash questioned.

“Parts of the building are made out of a different type of cloud, making them springy. That’s how he guides them around.”

“B-but…that must’ve taken years to perfect!”

Soarin chuckled, “well, they don’t call him Trickshot for nothing.”

“I guess…” Rainbow Dash replied, “thanks for footing the bill by the way. I owe you one big time.”

“On the other hoof, I think you’ve already repaid it, Dash.”

Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow, “come again?”

“I guess it’s my turn to say thanks for coming along with me. You’re genuinely fun to hang out with. I can talk to you like I can my teammates, and it’s nice to have someone I can do that with on the outside.” He scratched the back of his and looked away. “Sorry, I’m no good with words for this type of stuff. It’s been a while, but what I’m trying to say is that we should do this more often.”

Rainbow Dash felt herself blushing, and her immediate reaction was to look in the opposite direction. “Yeah…maybe…” She wasn’t really sure how to respond to that, so she just said whatever came to mind first…which wasn’t much…

“Maybe?” Soarin smirked, “more like definitely.”

They made it back to the Wonderbolt HQ and went through the main entrance. “Well, I’m gonna go see if there’s anything I need to do before this evening. And Spitfire’s probably gonna complain about me taking you out.” He chuckled, then patted her on the shoulder. “See ya tomorrow, Rainbow Dash.” He started walking down a corridor on the right. “Good luck, not that you’ll need it.”

Even though he wasn’t looking in her direction, Rainbow Dash still oddly waved goodbye. She was still a bit in shock that a Wonderbolt was so casually willing to hang out with her. She didn’t even get to say anything as he left, as he walked pretty quickly. She felt as if she should be thanking him, but she’d already done that a million times already.

She proceeded down the other corridor to make her way back up to her room. She could still here some faint commotion coming from the mess hall, meaning that there must still be some ponies down there. She would probably go and catch up with her other friends later.

As she walked through the door, she noticed that there was only three of her roommates in there. White Comet was laid back on his bed reading a book. Dahila was looking pretty bored, resting her head on her hoof, and Torque was still moping, nothing new there.

As she walked up, she saw that Torque was looking at her as she continued to walk. Her eyes briefly met hers before locking onto her bed again. Occasionally she would glance back at him to confirm that he was still watching her.

By the time she neared his bed, he was still watching her. Since she had the time, she made an adjustment to her course to go and confront him. She walked up directly to the side of his bed, only a few feet away. “Alright, you can drop the attitude. What’s your problem with everypony?” She put bluntly. She’d tried the friendly and subtle approach, so the only other option was the blunt way.

Torque huffed, “I’m not droppin’ anything…” He said as he rolled over to the other side, now facing Dahila.

“Apart from the ‘G’ in ‘dropping’!” Crash Dive’s head suddenly popped out of the draw in the nightstand. Without hesitation, Torque reached his hoof over and slammed the draw shut. Crash Dive’s head was still caught between the gap, and as the draw hit it, his head popped like a balloon and deflated before touching down on the ground in front of Dash’s hooves in a mangled mess of torn rubberyness.

Rainbow Dash didn’t even try to comprehend what just happened, but returned straight to what she was just talking about with Torque.

Dahila suddenly stepped down from her bed and walked towards him. “Seriously, we’re trying to help you out here, Torque. We’re trying to be you’re friend. We all want to be friends here.”

Torque huffed again and laid on his back, looking straight up. “And that’s the reason you’re going to lose.” He put bluntly, “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to win. The last thing I want is more distractions.” He turned his head to either side simultaneously to look at Rainbow Dash and Dahila. “Are we done?”

Rainbow Dash’s eyes went wide at what she was hearing. ‘Wow…and I thought I was competitive, but this…this is almost unsporting.’ With nothing left for her to say, she started to walk back over to her bed, Dahila catching her just before she did.

“I swear before the end of this course, I’ll give him a piece of my mind.” She whispered into Rainbow Dash’s ear.

Rainbow Dash smiled and suppressed her giggles the best she could, “you and me both.”

Dahila motioned for Dash to walk with her. They walked over to behind Rainbow Dash’s bed, since it was the furthest they could get from him. She leant up to whisper in Dash’s ear. “Do you think what he told us is his genuine reason? Or do you think something else?”

Rainbow Dash simply shrugged, “don’t know, don’t care. We tried to be nice, but he didn’t play along. It’s his problem now.” Not really wanting to divulge any more, Rainbow Dash sat on her bed. She hated having to give up like this, but she barely knew the guy, and didn’t want to start making presumptions straight away.

Dahila lent with her to keep within whispering range. “I don’t think that was his actual excuse though, I think there’s something else on his mind.”

Again, Rainbow Dash shrugged. “Whatever you say, but personally, I think you’re wasting your time trying to get it out of him.”

Dahila let a drawn out sigh escape. As much as she wanted to help, Rainbow Dash was right. His word count barely reaches triple figures a day, and most of those were just him dodging questions and being rude. Although the odds were against her, she was determined to get to the bottom of it. She would just have to go about it a bit smarter…

As Rainbow Dash watched her walk away, she began to think about the conversation she just had. On the contrary, she felt that Dahila also had a point as equal as hers. Even though he was a lot of effort, maybe there genuinely was something bothering him that was causing him to behave like that. Something they could help with. Even if that was the case, getting it out of him seemed easier said than done…

With plently of time to kill, she laid back in her bed and bought out the copy of Daring Do she bought along for some light evening reading. She was hoping that Daring’s adventures would get her pumped up for tomorrow.

“Was that really necessary, Soarin?” Fleetfoot asked.

“What?” Soarin replied whilst reading a newspaper.

After his little outing with Rainbow Dash, Soarin retired to the Wonderbolts recreation room for a little evening relaxation and chat among his fellow teammates. They had a well kitted out rec room, with a ping pong table, a pool table, an air hockey table, and a few desks along the wall for anything that might be required. There was a few small coffee tables and a slightly larger one that were the same height as the cloud couches that were in the centre of the room. There was a larger dining table at the other end, used for informal meetings or anything else that might require them to gather round a table informally. There was a smaller room at the back which acted as a sort of kitchen. Although there were no real cooking facilities other than a fridge and a small oven that was mainly used for warming food rather than cooking it.

Soarin was laid out across a couch whilst reading a paper known as the Cloudsdale on Sundays. He didn’t get a chance to read it yesterday, so he was just catching up. Fleetfoot had folded one end of the ping pong table up and was hitting a ping pong ball against it for practice, since she had no one else to play with. Soarin declined her offer, saying he didn’t want to get too fired up before tomorrow. Which he knew would happen if he riled up Fleetfoot too much and they got overly-competitive.

“We already know a lot about Rainbow Dash. Was it really necessary to use your little scouting technique on her?”

Soarin glanced up at Fleetfoot, “you know as well as I do that we’re looking for more than just flying skill. This is my way of getting to know a few select recruits a little better, help me make my call on judgement day.”

Fleetfoot chuckled as she used her wings to help her do a backflip as she returned the ball. “You always like to bend a rules a little, don’t ya?”

“Oh I’m sorry, where in our rulebook does it say that we’re not allowed to have friends?” Soarin replied sarcastically as he turned the page.

“Friends is one thing,” Fleetfoot sighed as she didn’t quite manage to reach the ball in time and it fell to the floor. “But taking mares out on dinner dates is another.” She walked over to where it landed and grabbed it.

“Oh come on, it’s not like that!” He said whilst chuckling.

“Yeah, totally.” Fleetfoot sarcastically replied as she started her volley again.

“It’s not!” Soarin pleaded.

“C’mon Soar, I’m just yanking your chain,” Fleetfoot admitted. “Besides, you know you can tell me anything, right? I may be serious, but I’m not a total stick in the mud like Spitfire.”

Soarin chuckled in agreement, “can’t argue with that.”

“So, who you dating tomorrow?” She asked in a sarcastic manner.

“I dunno…” Soarin deliberately played along with her sarcasm, mimicking her tone. “I might try swinging the other way. That stallion in the first room looked quite cute.”

Fleetfoot tried her best not to laugh at his sarcasm, but she was unable to contain herself, causing her to almost miss her return shot. Even though she knew he was being sarcastic, he was so convincing that he was telling the truth, and it always made her laugh.

Soarin turned another page of the paper, but his mind wasn’t really focused on it. As much as he wanted to try and relax, his mind was going through all kinds of probabilities of what could happen over the coming weeks.

Author's Note:

This chapter came out shorter than I would've liked, but if I combined it with the next chapter, then it would've been way too long.

Thanks for reading! :twilightsmile: