• Published 26th Apr 2015
  • 3,452 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 28

This was it. She had given it her all. And now the very results for everything she had trained for, everything she fought for, everything she worked so hard to achieve, we’re being discussed in the room just in front of her eyes.

Dash had given it her all. She was sitting on a bench outside the main gym where the Wonderbolts were collating the results. The tension was high, and nopony was talking to each other. Dash kept her head down, eyes staring at the floor but ears forward, hoping she might hear something from the gym. But no sound got through.

It was mostly silent because they didn’t want to discuss possible results between them, but also partially due to physical exhaustion too. Dash felt herself trembling from exhaustion. She tried her best not to, but she had just done one of the most challenging things of her life. She gave it her all during the final tests, and then some. Her body was entirely written off for the rest of the day. When she looked down at her fur, all she saw was various bruises she had accumulated throughout the day. And she had a slight taste of blood from a crack on her lip.

“Oh-”

Dash glanced up and to her left, over at Bright Skies, who had a hoof over her mouth. “I’m gonna hurl-” She shot off the bench and made a dash down the corridor for the bathroom, almost tripping over her own hooves while gripping her mouth.

Dash slightly smirked at first, but the thought that she could be next quickly made Bright Skies situation less humourous. She was sure she wasn’t the only one feeling sick from over-exertion. Hell, Bright Skies wasn’t even the first one to vomit. Live Wire did during the test itself, but he soldiered on.

She wasn’t going to lie, the nerves were almost getting to her. She just wanted to know already. Her hooves tapped impatiently, helped by her shivering. Luckily she wasn’t the only pony tapping. The tapping of several hooves cancelled each other out.

Dash glanced along the bench. She was everypony apart from Bright Skies she competed against today. Dahlia, White Comet, Forester, Live Wire, Bourbon. All extremely capable opponents, but for now, all she saw was a trembling mess of blood, sweat and tears. And they could probably say the same about her.

Bright Skies returned shortly, but before she even had a chance to sit down, the door to the gym creaked open. Spitfire poked her head out from behind it. “Okay, we’re ready for you.”

Dash swallowed the lump in her throat and bought herself to her hooves, her muscles crying out in agony at every movement, but she did her best to not show any pain. She marched forward towards the door, holding her head as high as her strength would allow it. Her body could completely crash later for all she cared, she just needed to soldier her way through this.

They followed Spitfire in a single file into the gym, not a word being spoken. Dash saw all the Wonderbolts lined up along the back wall. They walked up to them in a group, spreading themselves out around them.

Spitfire trotted over to the wall, picking up her clipboard and clearing her throat, the noise echoing in the dead-silence of the gym. Everypony’s ears immediately darted in the direction of the sound when she did.

“Let me begin by saying I am immensely proud of each and every one of you. What we asked of you today was nothing short of god-like, and you all impressed. You gave it your all, and then some more. If I had my way, I would have you all. But unfortunately, we only have space for three. For those four of you that don’t make the cut, I just wanted to state for the record that it was VERY tight scoring. There’s nothing to be disappointed about if I don’t read your name in a minute. Not only can you consider yourselves fully qualified Wonderbolts reservists, but you would have also gained skills during your time here that you will carry with you for life. That and we have some of the highest, if not, THE highest standards in Equestrian military service. So if you’ve made it this far, then I assure you, anything else will be a breeze.”

Spitfire remained silent for several moments after finishing her little speech, giving time for her words to sink in. Her eyes bounced off the bruised, battered, bleeding, sweating bodies of the pegasi in front of her. She knew what they were waiting for, it was like holding a carcass back from a ravenous pack of wolves.

She looked down at her clipboard and took a breath. “So let's start with the first place, shall we?” She glanced up to see the glisten in everypony’s eye. She couldn’t help but cock a half-smirk herself. “This is a pony who came here and defied all the odds. Honestly, I didn’t expect her to get past her first week, but yet here I am now proudly standing corrected. She got knocked down plenty of times, but she just kept getting back up again. For her persistence, dedication and strong-willingness, I am pleased to welcome...Bright Skies.”

All eyes were suddenly on Bright Skies as her jaw dropped. Her eyes went wide, and the shock quickly transformed into joy as the corners of her mouth turned upwards.

“Do you accept the offer?” Spitfire asked.

“Yes!” Bright Skies blurted out stupidly, tears welling up in her eyes. She trotted right up to Spitfire, who held her hoof out to Bright Skies. Tears streamed down her face as she shook Spitfire’s hoof.

Whilst it wasn’t what she was waiting to hear, Dash couldn’t help but smile at the result. Bright Skies had nothing else going for her. She didn’t have a family around her growing up, and until she came here, she didn’t really have any friends. Now she was in one big family and about to make plenty of new friends. Dash couldn’t be happier for her.

But happy or not, Dash eagerly anticipated the next result. She was confident that she was about to end up alongside Bright Skies.

Bright stood off to the side, wiping her tears on her foreleg. She was full-on crying tears of joy at this point, there was no point trying to hide it. She just did her best to keep her voice down so everypony could still hear Spitfire.

“And our next winner is…” Spitfire paused for a moment, looking...confused? “Well, somepony we’ve invited before to be honest. He has the skills, and he’s only got better with time. He needs no introduction to us, and I’m sure he’s got something to say already. White Comet?”

“Huh?” Comet glanced upwards, looking at Spitfire. Dash had noticed he seemed pretty out of it since they completed their final day, but she thought nothing of it as they were all pretty exhausted. It seemed different now, though.

“Wanna do you say? Wanna say your usual piece?” Spitfire asked.

“I, uh…” Comet’s eyes glanced left and right. “I...don’t know.”

Spitfire’s eyes went wide, “What?” Obviously not the answer she was expecting.

“I’ll...have to think about it.” He said nervously. His words only caused more confused faces all around. But for different reasons.

Dash couldn’t even imagine the possibility of being offered a chance in the Wonderbolts, let alone declining it. But he just straight-up turned it down. Why?

She looked back at Spitfire, equally confused. But he mentioned that he’s been offered a chance in the Wonderbolts before in the past and turned it down the same way. Where they expecting it again?

“Oooo...kay…um,” Spitfire glanced back at her colleagues behind her. Misty Fly and Wave Chill just shrugged back at her, looking just as confused as she did. Spitfire cleared her throat then looked back at Comet. “You have until the end of the day to decide.”

Dash looked over at Comet, who didn’t even respond to Spitfire. He was just staring down at the ground. She looked up at the rest of the Wonderbolts, specifically Soarin. He had turned away and wasn’t even looking at them anymore. Something suddenly started feeling very wrong to Rainbow Dash.

“And finally, we have somepony who has performed consistently. Somepony who has always been near or on top. He’s never failed to impress, and he always delivers what’s required of a Wonderbolt.”

Wait a minute...he? Dash held in her gasp, it wasn’t her? She could tell by the tone in Spitfire’s voice that something wasn’t normal. What was going on?

“For his consistency, everypony welcome...Forester.”

Dash hung her head at the words...none of them were her? Everything she had worked so hard to achieve...all for nothing? She felt a headache coming on...on no...she started feeling light-headed. Was this all too much for her? She swallowed a few times, feeling like she was going to vomit. She had to get answers. There was no way she could leave it like this.

“I’ll make some further announcements during the ceremony tomorrow. In the meantime...clean yourselves up. You all look like shit.” Spitfire spoke bluntly. “Dismissed.”

A wave of salutes came from the pegasi, Dash included, then their hooves fell back to the floor. Dahlia immediately went to congratulate Bright Skies, giving her a big hug. She still had not properly stopped crying. The pair of them looked over at Dash, but Dash was too in shock to do anything.

Dash glanced over at Comet, but he didn’t even wait to speak to anyone. He immediately turned and left. The emotions in Dash’s mind were getting too scrambled, there was just too many. Sadness, anger, confusion, frustration; all of this on top of the physical and mental pain she had endured all day.

She needed to get out. She needed to think it through. She walked quickly towards the door but instantly stopped when she got to the corridor. She didn’t know where to go, what to do. She felt so lost and confused.

“Dash?”

Dash flicked her head in the direction of Dahlia’s voice, seeing her standing behind her. “Is everything okay?” Dahlia asked.

“I-I-I dunno,” Dash rambled, “Something ain’t right.” She started walking quickly, not even thinking about where she was going.

“Dash…” Dahlia followed her, sighing. “It’s perfectly alright to feel upset. We know how much this meant to you.”

“No, it’s not okay,” Dash retorted, stopping and turning to face Dahlia. “Something’s wrong. I don’t know what, I just feel it. It wasn’t meant to be like this.”

As much as Dahlia wanted to believe her friend, she just couldn’t convince herself that Dash’s ramblings were nothing more than emotion-fueled denial. “Dash,” she reached out a hoof to place it on Dash’s shoulder--

Dash threw her hoof at Dahlia’s, punching it away and shoving her back with her other hoof with what little strength she had left. “Leave me alone!” She yelled, turning and running down the corridor as much as her overstressed legs would carry her.

Dahlia sighed and flattened her ears. There was nothing she could do. Even in the states all their bodies were in, Rainbow Dash still outclassed her physically. There was no way she could keep up.

She glanced behind her as she heard hoofsteps. Bright Skies had been watching it unfold from behind her. Dahlia just shrugged and smiled, “I think she just needs some time. Let’s leave her alone…” She suggested, turning around and going the other way.


“AARRRGH!” Dash headbutted the wall out of frustration in the bathroom stall she had run into. The pain was nothing compared to what she had just endured, so it just added to the growing list of her injuries. Her body felt numb against the cold tiles of the floor.

“HRRK--”

That feeling of nausea that had been a thorn in her side since they finished the last test finally decided to make its attack. She quickly swiped the toilet lid upwards moments before she released her lunch into it. She didn’t try and stop it, she just kept heaving for several moments.

It took far longer than she would’ve liked, but eventually, she stopped chundering. The rancid stench made her gag several times, but she had nothing left to expel. If she was in pain before, her insides now felt like they’d been turned to mush. She coughed and spat into the toilet a few times before wiping her mouth with toilet paper and flushing it.

She lowered the toilet lid down again and pulled herself up onto it, leaning back against the wall to catch her breath. She finally felt like she was trying to relax. Her deep breaths were still rapid, but she could tell they were slowing. Perhaps puking helped her feel better. ‘Better out than in’ was always Applejacks motto for fixing her illnesses…

Perhaps it was just the shock of being told that she wasn’t going to get in that did it. But now that she had calmed down, she knew that there must be a much better explanation. She needed to go find someone to talk to.

Her breathing slowly returning to normal, she took to her hooves and left the bathroom stall. She walked over to one of the sinks and looked at herself in the mirror. Spitfire was right, she did look like shit. She swirled some water around her mouth to try her best to remove the smell and taste of vomit from it and splashed some cold water on her face to freshen herself up.

Looking marginally better, she left the bathroom and marched straight for the Wonderbolts offices. She knew exactly who she was looking for.

She walked along the corridor and stopped right outside Soarin’s door. She swallowed awkwardly as this wasn’t the reunion she was looking for, but she needed answers. She knocked aggressively, not screwing around.

The door opened slowly, revealing Soarin in the doorway. “H-hey Dash…” He greeted with an awkward look on his face. Dash saw right through it, she knew he was putting on a brave face to hide something. And she was having none of it.

He leant in for a hug, but Dash held her hooves out to stop it. “Soarin, what’s going on?” She asked directly.

Soarin immediately dropped the act with his face, dropping his forehooves back onto the floor. He flicked his head behind him and got out of the way, letting her through.

“So what’s going on?” Dash asked again.

Soarin flattened his ears and sighed. He’d been running over various what-if scenarios in his brain for a long time now. And now it looked like he was going to have to try and play one out. “That’s...the results Dash...I can’t really say much more…” He looked up, seeing that she had a glare locked onto his eyes. He knew it wouldn’t get past her, but it was just oh so painful for him to explain. “Nice to see you too, I’ve missed you these past few weeks.” He said with a pinch of sarcasm, but he was very serious.

Dash’s glare didn’t let up. Soarin locked eyes with her. He could see everything from her expression. She was pissed. “There is a technicality though.”

“Explain. Now.”

Dash’s words were short and sharp. Soarin gritted his teeth and suppressed his desire to lash out at Dash the same way she was doing to him. He had been looking forward to being able to spend time with her outside of the shadows now that this had all blown over, but it didn’t seem like Dash had the same idea. And with the thing he was looking forward to crushed, it didn’t exactly put him in the best of moods to begin with.

“Well, you were fourth in line. We anticipated Comet would decline like he has done in the past, but that hasn’t happened yet. If he does, you’ll be promoted to third and...well, I’m sure you can work it out.” Soarin explained.

“And why wasn’t I in the top three?” Dash demanded.

Soarin furrowed his brow. This was starting to piss him off, and it was getting hard to suppress it. All he wanted to do was talk about them now they didn’t have to skulk around anymore, yet Dash only seemed interested in herself. “It wasn’t only based on results, it was also based on personal votes from all of us. That’s just the way things went.” He explained, again calmly.

“And who did you chose?” Dash once again demanded.

Soarin gulped, glancing away. He knew this question would come, but hearing it for real was a lot harder than imagining it. This could be the breaking point. He had every right to decline to answer the question, that information was supposed to be confidential after all. But on the other hoof, he really didn’t like Dash’s attitude at the moment. She needed knocking down a few pegs.

Fuck it.

He took a breath and locked eyes with her again. “I voted for Comet.”

“You...WHAT?” Dash growled at him, marching forward aggressively. Soarin’s eyes widened for a minute, not expecting an attack, but he kept calm and stood his ground, ready for whatever happens. “You lying, backstabbing asshole!” She deplored while raising her hoof.

Luckily due to her fatigue, her actions were slow, and Soarin saw the strike coming a mile away. He simply let her throw the punch but used the inertia to whip Dash around.

Dash yelped at the sensation, being twisted around and thrown through the air. She landed on one of the office chairs in front of Soarin’s desk, but not as hard as she expected. Had she not been bruised all over, it might not have been painful at all.

“SIT DOWN. SHUT UP. LISTEN.” Soarin ordered, staring daggers down at Dash. He’d had enough, it was his turn to say something shitty.

“Do you really think this is all my fault? Yes, I could have voted for you. But then our relationship would throw my credibility into question. Do you really think I’d risk my career over something like that? Bearing in mind that it’s not a guarantee, it’s only increasing your chance.” Soarin spelt it out to her. He trotted over to his desk slowly, keeping his eyes fixed on her. “Also, I love you Dashie, I’ve missed you so much. You’ve obviously missed me too, considering you haven’t said a fucking word about it - I’m fine thanks for asking.”

Soarin saw it in her eyes. He was cutting deep. Every word he struggled to stop tears welling in his eyes as he tore into her, but he didn’t plan on stopping. It needed to be said.

“Of course I was expecting you to be upset that you didn’t get the result you wanted, but you’ve just marched into my office with a complete disregard for us. You’ve rambled on about self-self-self ever since you came through that door. You’ve shown nothing but selfishness. You even just called me a ‘backstabbing asshole’. How do I know this whole relationship isn’t just a charade you’ve tried to use to get yourself in?”

His last question caused Dash to visibly flinch. The realization of what she was doing suddenly hit her like a freight train.

Soarin remained still and quiet for a few seconds, seeing if Dash would answer his question. But she remained just as frozen as he was.

He broke the silence by rolling his eyes and shaking his head. “Some Element of Loyalty you turned out to be.” He span his office chair around to look out the window behind him as he finished his sentence, wiping his eyes with his left hoof. “You need to leave. Now.”

He didn’t look back. He simply waited to hear the moment Dash stood up. He waited several seconds, but...nothing happened. “That’s an order, recruit!” He barked. This time, he heard movement. Hoofsteps, the door opening, then closing.

He let out a long sigh that turned into a groan, making him tug at his mane. He let the tears streak freely from his eyes as he looked over the evening sky from his window. “What have I done?” He whispered to himself.


Dash lazily made her way into the changing room showers to avoid her roommates, glancing around to see and hear if anypony else was in there with her. Confirming that she was all alone, she trotted into the furthest away shower.

She twisted the knob and turned the water on, letting the water slowly go from cold to warm as it got going.

From there, she just let exhaustion take her.

She flopped down onto her belly in the shower and just let the water run over her. She buried her head in her forelegs, but still felt water on her face?

Tears. Tears were streaming down her eyes. She didn’t hold back anything anymore and let herself cry in a heaping mess on the floor. Her entire world was crashing around her, and she felt like she had just hit rock bottom. Not only may she have just killed her own dream, but she also lost her lover.

She burned a lot of bridges today. She blanked Bright Skies. She punched Dahlia. She treated Soarin like a sack of shit and then almost hit him.

Soarin’s words to her just kept ringing in her mind. The more she thought about it, the more she realised...he was right. The shock of losing just overwrite all logical decision making in her brain. She just got utterly selfish. Not only that but she also wholly disregarded their relationship too. Twenty-four hours ago, being able to be with him without any red tape getting in the way was one of the first things on her mind. And she just suddenly forgot about it.

But it seemed like her and Soarin were on the same page, as he seemed to see eye to eye with her after she laid it all out. Maybe there was a way to salvage this? Or maybe not…

Whatever it was, she just let her emotions flow and cried, sniffling and hiccuping as tears flowed like the water lashing down on her. As much as she hated to admit it, crying had a very therapeutic effect. “What have I done?”


Dash reluctantly trotted into the canteen to get dinner. She was sure her eyes would still be bloodshot red from crying, but she also hoped nopony would bring it up. She entered carefully to make sure nopony spotted her. But to her surprise, there was little to no conversation happening at all. Everypony was sat around a bench table, Dahlia and Bright Skies noticed that she had entered, but immediately looked away afterwards.

Dash noticed a single plate left on the bar area, so presumed that must be hers. She picked up the plate and gave it a smell. It looked like some sort of mixed fried vegetables with rice in a sauce. Whatever it was, it smelled divine. And she was starving after she...unexpectedly removed her lunch...

She sat herself down, but just stared down at her plate and avoided eye contact. She didn’t want to get involved in any conversations.

She picked off a few glances here and there but didn’t start anything. She wasn’t really the one that needed to start the conversation. And her foul mood meant that she wasn’t exactly going to be saying nice things about anypony. She just wanted to go home. She had no reason to be here anymore. Every minute she stayed was just another reminder that she failed.

“So...you decided yet?” Bright Skies decided to try and start a conversation instead of wade in the thick silence.

“Nope,” Comet replied simply.

His voice caused Dash’s ears to flick in his direction. She rolled her eyes upwards towards him while keeping her head down.

It was him. His fault. He was the reason behind all of this. It was all his fault. He was the reason all this happened. And he wasn’t even sure if it was what he wanted? Dash held in the growl in her throat, wondering what the knife she held in her right hoof would look like going through his ungrateful throat.

“...A-are you gonna?” Bright Skies tried to continue, but it was hard with answers like that.

“I have to, don’t I!?” He suddenly blurted out, slamming his hoof down on the table and making everypony flinch. Nopony was expecting the outburst, and it was...kinda unusual for him...

“Yeah, you do.” Dash suddenly spoke up, standing from her seat and glaring at him. “Because YOUR shitty decision is costing me everything, so make up your damn mind already.”

The level of attention in the room suddenly escalated. Everypony could feel a fight coming on.

“I’m sorry,” Comet whispered, glancing away.

“You’re sorry?” Dash leaned over the table, “You get offered the opportunity of a lifetime, and you’re sorry!?”

“I just...can’t--”

“Can’t what?” Dash pressed on. Her brain continued to make irrational assumptions, despite seeing the genuine confusion in his eyes. “Can’t make the decision? What happened to all that quick thinking you were good at? You’re thinking too slow, much like your flying. You’re a disgrace to everypony here.”

“Dash--”

“SHUTUP!”

Dahlia tried to intervene, but Comet took matters into his own hooves by yelling over the top of her. He threw a punch, but Dash blocked it and pulled him towards her over the table, spilling food off their plates as the pair of them locking their forelegs in a grappling match.

“Enough!” Dahlia yelled, grabbing onto Dash with the help of Bright Skies. Forester, Bourbon and Live Wire all grabbed onto White Comet at the same time and pulled the two of them away from each other, ending their fight in a matter of seconds.

“UGH!” Comet let out a moan before getting loose of his colleagues' grip. He immediately ran off down the hallway.

Dash wanted to give chase, but she knew it was no use. She’d had enough fights for one day, she was getting fed up of it now. She sighed and shook herself loose, gently trotting off in the direction Comet went. Her lack of pace implied to the others that she wasn’t chasing after him, so they didn’t try and stop him.

“Dash?” Bright Skies asked, but was seemingly ignored as Dash just kept trotting until she was already going down the corridor.

“I think she still needs time,” Dahlia whispered to Bright.

“It’s pretty selfish of her to think like that, ain’t she meant to be the Element of Loyalty?” Bourbon asked, tucking back into his dinner like nothing happened.

Dahlia knew the response to that, but there was no way she could say it. Dash’s secret wasn’t hers to reveal. She just shrugged, “It’s been her dream since she was a filly, she probably feels like she’s been stabbed through the heart.”

“Well tell ‘er to join the club and stop makin’ a scene,” Live Wire replied, also retaking his seat.

Dahlia sighed as she did the same. If only it were that easy…


Dash perched herself on a window by the entrance, resting her chin on her forehoof. The chilly evening was letting a bit of the cold through the window. She stared at her reflection in the glass coming from the lights inside the room, looking at her battered, training-worn body up and down. All this work...was it really worth it?

Reality was starting to set in. She lost. Not just her shot at the Wonderbolts, but she lost everything. How was she going to explain this to her friends when she got back to Ponyville? She kept her relationship with Soarin on the down-low even from them, so that part was easy at least. But she felt like a completely different pony now. Would she ever get another shot at the Wonderbolts? What was the purpose of life if she no longer had this goal to aspire to?

Her thoughts became distracted as she heard the door opening behind her. She quietly groaned as she didn’t quite feel ready to talk to anypony just yet, but she imagined it was her roommates coming to check up on her. Although they had every right to be pissed off with her at the same time, she had acted like a total...asshole...the same way she described Soarin…

The hoofsteps continued echoing through the room, Dash picked up in her left ear and slowly heard the sound get more and more central, expecting to hear them get louder as they got closer…but then the sound became stronger in her right ear. Implying they were heading for the door.

Curiosity got the better of her, and she turned herself around. It was Fleetfoot. And she was holding something in her hoof, a small piece of paper, but Dash couldn’t make out what it was before she walked through the door. Dash watched through the glass as she took off and flew straight upwards. What was she up to?

Curious, Dash quickly hopped to the door to stop it from making a clunk as it closed by sticking her hoof in the way. She pushed the door open and followed Fleetfoot out, feeling the cool evening breeze in her fur. She followed Fleetfoot’s flight path, flying straight up, but Fleetfoot had since flown out of sight.

She flew to the top of the Wonderbolt HQ building and scanned her horizon, quickly picking out the turquoise colour of Fleetfoot’s fur. She was heading behind the building. Dash raised an eyebrow, unsure if she should follow. She had enough on her plate already. But at the same time, she felt she couldn’t exactly get into any more trouble. And at this point, she’d do anything to try and repair at least some of the bridges she burnt.

She flew towards Fleetfoot but gained altitude at the same time. She knew she couldn’t go on forever without being spotted, so she flew higher and hid on top of a cloud. She laid down prone on top of it and gently used her wings to propel herself forward, making it look as natural as possible.

Fleetfoot slowed and landed on another cloud, pretty much level with the roof of the building. The cloud almost looked like it had a black mane, but Dash focused and saw that it was just White Comet blending in with it.

So that’s where he was hiding. And Fleetfoot went to find him. What was going on? Dash kept pushing the cloud until she was just in earshot.


“Hey,” Fleetfoot greeted, perching herself on the cloud next to Comet. “Wanna talk?”

“I don’t know,” Comet replied, glancing away.

“You can be honest with me,” Fleetfoot tilted her head, “I won’t tell anypony.”

“Well...truth is…” Comet turned back to look at her. “I’m not really that interested in becoming a Wonderbolt, and all the responsibilities that come with it. I just wanted to use the title to help further my career in professional flying.”

Fleetfoot nodded, looking down with her eyes herself. “Well...at least you’re honest. Is that why you declined our offers previously?”

Comet nodded in response, “I declined, thinking that being a Wonderbolt came with too many other responsibilities that just didn’t let me focus on racing. You’re not exactly at every En-Prc race on the calendar.”

Fleetfoot shrugged, “You’re right. There are other commitments. So what’s different now?” She asked.

“Well...I’m kinda running out of options. I don’t have much money, it’s a very expensive sport. You can’t get in on skill alone these days, you need to buy your way in.”

Fleetfoot nodded, “I understand. How much money would you need?”

“Pfft,” Comet rolled his eyes, “I’ve run the numbers more times than you could imagine. The gear, the entry fees, travel costs, tests, licensing, administration...at our age, you need a six-figure bank account just for your first season.” He sighed, hanging his head and staring into the cloud at the impossible figure.


Dash heard their words from afar. So Comet was in a similar situation; a dream that always seemed out of reach, occasionally looking like more and more of a possibility, but then gets quickly snatched away…she felt like she’d been there before…


Comet’s train of thought was suddenly interrupted when a piece of paper was slipped under his nose. “Take it,” Fleetfoot instructed.

Comet lifted his head up to focus, something that took a moment without his glasses. It was a cheque...with a number...a very large number written on it.

“I-I...uh...how...what…--”

“You’re welcome?” Fleetfoot joked, finishing the sentence she was anticipating.

Comet held his hooves up, letting Fleetfoot drop it into them. “Fleetfoot...this is more money in one sum than everything I’ve ever earned throughout my entire life combined. Are you sure you’re okay with this?”

“Well I hate to brag but...living as Wonderbolts, we’re kinda celebrities. I don’t think I’ll miss it for too long.” She replied, winking.

Comet’s jaw would have very well dropped all the way to the ground if it weren’t attached to him. He looked back down at the cheque with a stupidly happy smile appearing on his face. He looked back up at Fleetfoot, “Fleetfoot, I...I don’t...thank you THANK YOU!” He lunged forward, completely tackle-hugging her.

“Hurk...Comet...can’t...breathe…” Fleetfoot gasped, tapping Comet on the back.

“Oh, sorry,” Comet immediately retracted his hug. “But how will I ever repay you?”

“You can repay me by getting good.” Fleetfoot replied, “...Well, you’re already good, but keep getting better.” She wrapped a foreleg around his shoulders and leaned into him, “Climb the ranks, get yourself noticed, then one day, you can return the favour by helping me fulfil my dream…”

“...Which is?” Comet presumed that was the question he was meant to ask, given Fleetfoot’s pause.

“Get yourself a team and go compete in the Twenty Four Hours Du Manes. I’ve always dreamed of flying in it, but I can never get a team.”

Comet smiled, “Now that, I might be able to do.”

“I bet you will,” Fleetfoot replied, winking. “Now, what have you got to say?”

“...Oh,” Comet understood what she meant, clearing his throat. “Thank you for the offer, but I must respectfully decline the position.” He put on a silly formal voice, it must have been the sheer joy that’s bought out his funny side.

“That’s the spirit,” Fleetfoot sarcastically replied, patting him on the back. “And they’ll be somepony VERY glad to hear that. Hint; it’s not Spitfire.”

“Oh yeah...Rainbow Dash…” Comet leaned back, laying himself down on the cloud that was barely big enough for the two of them. “She really took it to heart, and I can understand why. But she was such a selfish prick about it.”

Fleetfoot chuckled, “You’ll understand why tomorrow at the ceremony.”


“We get it, I’m an asshole,” Dash jokingly admitted to herself, chuckling under her breath. In reality, she had just discovered the energy to bound around the sky screaming for joy, but she didn’t want to do that because she didn’t want to Fleetfoot or Comet to know she was eavesdropping on them.

That was it. She’d done it. She was there. A Wonderbolt. It felt like a massive weight off her shoulders...but it only made the reality of her actions catch up with her. She had a lot of apologizing to do. To Bright Skies, to Dahlia...but most important of all; Soarin. It was time for Dash to hang her head in shame and accept her mistakes.

She waited for Fleetfoot and Comet to move away before sneaking back in herself. She gave it a good thirty seconds or so before she went through the glass front door, just in case they were lingering around. She didn’t want to be caught. She was pleasantly greeted by the climate-controlled environment of the building rather than the chilly evening breeze from outdoors.

She trotted through the hallways with a newfound spring in her step. Today really had been a rollercoaster, but she was finally feeling better. Or at least she will do once she gets a few things off her chest…

She stood outside the door to their room. She gulped and swallowed; much like she would have to do with her pride.

She gently pushed through the door. With a stroke of luck, Dahlia and Bright Skies were the only ponies in there. They immediately looked over at Dash as she walked in, closing the door behind her. Dash felt as if they were waiting for her. And they probably were, they probably wanted to know what the hells going on. “Hey, guys…” She spoke softly.

“Hey Rainbow Dash,” Dahlia greeted, “Feeling better?”

She greeted with a calm and friendly tone, but Dash could tell she hadn’t forgotten. “Yeah, thanks…”

“Want to talk?” Bright Skies asked.

“That’s...what I’m here to do,” Dash replied, trotting over to them and sitting down.

She took a moment to look at each of them, then sighed and lowered her head. “I’m...I’m sorry for the way I acted.” Dash began, looking over at Bright Skies. “I’m sorry I didn’t acknowledge you, Bright. You did so well, and I completely blanked you. Nopony deserves this more than you do, and I couldn’t be happier for you.” She continued by looking over at Dahlia. “And Dahlia, I’m so sorry that I punched you earlier. You’re such a kind and compassionate pony. You didn’t make it in, and you’re taking it much better than I am. You didn’t deserve any of the shit I gave you.”

She held her head in her hooves, rubbing her temples. “I’ve been a huge jerk...will you forgive me?”





“Of course I will!”

Dash glanced up, again feeling like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders by Dahlia’s response.

“Dash, I know how much this meant to you. It’s why we’re all here after all. I’m sure it came as a shock, and I knew you would need some time to think about it, which is why I gave you space. I’m just glad nopony got hurt more any more than we already have today.” Dahlia answered, smiling.

“You need to work on your response, but being aware that you’re wrong is a good start.” Bright Skies added.

“Hehe,” Dash smiled awkwardly, “I guess it is. Well done again, Bright. This probably means just as much to you as it does to me, if not more.”

“T-thanks,” Bright Skies replied, blushing. “I’m so excited. I can’t wait to get started and...uhh, take it it’s no longer a sore subject?”

Dash couldn’t help but detect a hint of sarcasm in Bright’s question. “I suppose not,” Dash answered back, smirking. She knew what was going to happen, but she didn’t want to reveal it because she also didn’t want to reveal who she was eavesdropping on.

She started off listening intently to Bright Skies, but Bright was so excited about it that she started rambling and jabbering, making it hard for Dash to keep track. She just smiled and nodded, laughing occasionally. She was sure that Dahlia wasn’t exactly keeping track either.

A knock at the door quickly paused the conversation. Dash glanced behind her as the door opened. “Ah, just the mare I need to see,” Spitfire said, walking through the doorway.

“Ma’am!” Dash quickly got to her hooves to greet Spitfire.

“Relax,” Spitfire batted her hoof. “I’ve got some good news for you Rainbow Dash.”

Dash’s eyes lit up, and she grinned. Behind her, Dahlia looked over at Bright Skies, and they both smiled at each other.

“White Comet has decided to decline our offer. Meaning you’re next in line. And I know I’m wasting my breath because I know your answer will be--”

“YES!” Dash cried out, punching the air. “I accept.”

Spitfire smiled, “I knew you would.” She held her hoof out, “Welcome to the Wonderbolts, Rainbow Dash.”

Dash didn’t hesitate in shaking Spitfire’s hoof. She almost wanted to cry again. Hell, she would have been if it weren’t for the events of the past few hours. But she knew she still had loose ends to tie up before she could properly celebrate. For now, she just smiled and shook Spitfire’s hoof.

“I’ll let you rest for now,” Spitfire said after finishing the hoofshake, turning around. “I want you to look beautiful in your inauguration photo tomorrow, so you need your beauty sleep.”

“Understood, of course I’ll look my best.” Dash quickly answered back.

Spitfire glanced backwards and took one last smirk, “I know you will,” She said her last words before leaving the room, closing the door behind her.

“Well…” Dahlia quickly started up another conversation after that revelation. “Dash...you did it!” She hugged Dash from behind, almost knocking the pair of them over by driving her body into Dash.

“I don’t believe it!” Bright Skies immediately made it a group hug. “I’m so happy for you, Dash. That and I’m looking forward to working with you,”

“Thanks, Bright, me too,” Dash replied the best she could, her body getting squished in the hug. “Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.”

“I know,” Instead of being in the hug, Bright was more on the outside of it because she was so small. “To be honest Rainbow, you deserve it more than me. You’re a much better flyer than I am. You’ve got it all going for you. Speed, skills, technique...I’ve got no idea how I’ve even come out on top.”

Dash pulled away from the hug, looking down at Bright. She didn’t want to ‘look down’ in that way, but Bright’s eye level was much lower than hers. “I think you deserve it, Bright.”

“Haha, funny,” Bright Skies replied, batting a hoof.

“No, really,” Dash pressed. “Think about how much you’ve grown since we started.”

Bright Skies frowned and raised an eyebrow at Dash, who immediately realised the way her words were interpreted. “Not like that, I mean…”

As Dash searched for words, her train of thought was interrupted by snickers from Dahlia. Honestly, Dash was trying not to laugh herself, but Dahlia’s laughing set her off. It wasn’t long before the three of them were laughing about Dash’s unintentional joke.

“Okay...anyway…” Dash caught her breath from laughing. It felt good to laugh after crying earlier, she felt like a different mare.

“I mean when we first met, you were extremely shy. A lot like somepony else I know actually. You doubted yourself a lot and didn’t have much confidence in your abilities. But your...unfortunate life situation gave you the motivation to push. You gained confidence, even started pushing others around at a few points. Not only that but you’ve got an incredible brain up there,” Dash tapped a hoof on her forehead for emphasis. “The way you took command of that airship and picked up on stuff was amazing. I’ll admit that I could never have done that. Sure, you were shitting yourself the entire time, but so was everypony. The fact that you rose to the challenge and showed no fear was incredible. You’re smart, you’re quick-thinking, you’re adaptable, and you don’t let your emotions get the better of you...unlike some of us…” Dash groaned that last part, biting her lip as she knew it was herself she was referring to. “You have every right to that first place.”

Bright’s jaw hung ajar slightly at Dash’s words, slowly turning up the corners of her mouth.

“Where did that come from!?” Dahlia asked Dash directly, looking very confused.

Dash shrugged, “I’m kinda excited after being told I’m now a Wonderbolt, I guess I just had a sudden streak of inspiration.” She guessed with a grin but looked back at Bright with a serious expression. “That doesn’t mean I don’t mean it, though.”

Bright Skies smiled, looking like she was trying her best to stop her eyes getting watery. “Thank you, Rainbow Dash...I needed to hear that…”

“Heh…” Dash nodded, although Bright’s words made her think about what she needed to hear herself...from somepony in particular…

“I’ll catch you guys later,” Dash turned towards the door, “There’s just...something I gotta do…”

She trotted out of their room and along the corridor. She huffed as she walked, really not looking forward to this conversation…


Dash didn’t know where to begin. She didn’t even know what to do. She just stood there, motionless outside Soarin’s door. She had been staring for a couple of minutes now, wondering what she should say. Hell, she didn’t even know if he was even there. There was no excuse for her actions she could come up with…

She sighed and took a deep breath. She just hoped the stallion that she loved more than anything in the world was feeling the same way. She banged her hoof on the door a few times in her typical fashion. She heard hoofsteps...but no answer…

“Soarin...it’s me, Rainbow Dash…” She explained meekly. Still no sound of any further activity. She sighed and pushed her head against the door, staring down at the floor. “We need to talk…” as she began, all that had transpired this evening were flooding back to her. And it was making it really difficult for her to think about making amends. “I’m sorry...for everything...I was hoping...you would let me talk about it?” Dash could feel a lump forming in her throat, but she swallowed it and kept her composure. “...Please…?”

She waited...and waited...but nothing happened. She contemplated giving up, but just as the thought popped into her mind, she heard and felt a click in the door.

She opened her eyes and lifted her head off the door to prevent herself from falling through it. The door gently opened, and Soarin stood in the doorway. His face held an emotionless expression. He simply stared at Dash before stepping to the side and motioning with his hoof for her to enter.

Dash hesitantly entered, not being able to get a clear reading of his emotions from his face. The room looked no different from the previous few times she had entered, but the atmosphere between them was completely different. It felt more like an interrogation.

Soarin led her to the two chairs in front of his desk. He took a seat on the one on the left and motioned for her to sit next to him, which she promptly did.

“Alright Rainbow...let's talk.” He spoke softly but very sternly.

Dash took a deep breath. “Alright...Soarin...I’m so so sorry for the way I acted.” That was a good intro as any. “I’ve always been obsessed with becoming a Wonderbolt my entire life, but ever since I’ve met you...the thought of being able to live alongside you just made my obsession grow stronger. So when I learned I didn’t make the cut...it just broke me. I didn’t believe it. I went looking for answers, which is why I came to you, and...I just lost it…” Thinking back to it made her recall just how awful she was. “I yelled at you, insulted you, even tried to punch you…” she sighed. “And it’s not just you I’ve let down either...I got into fights with everypony. Dahlia, Comet, Bright Skies...you were right Soarin, I’m meant to be the Element of Loyalty, but today I was the Element of Selfishness.”

Oh boy, here come the waterworks...again. She tried her best to hold it down, but she couldn’t help but release a few sniffles. “Soarin...I love you more than anything in the world. And I was wrong to be mad at you. I was blinded by my own arrogance, believing I was entitled to the spot. You did your job and did it professionally. Our relationship shouldn’t be a factor in a professional decision, and I was wrong to think that…”

She coughed and hiccuped, trying to stop herself from bawling her eyes out. “I just hope...you find it in your heart to forgive me?”

She said all she could before she started silently sobbing. She hung her head and looked down at the ground, waiting for a response. But none came. She didn’t know what else to say. She could ramble on forever and ever, but it would eventually get to the point where she was repeating herself or exaggerating.

“I’m impressed.”

Dash’s ears perked up, she immediately glanced over to him, he was still looking at her emotionlessly.

“You managed to work all that out on your own and also accepted responsibility. You identified your flaws and aren’t denying them. Well done.”

Dash half-smiled. She liked the way the conversation was going, but she knew it was far from over.

“You acted very...immaturely. It proves you’ve still got a lot to learn. But I presume being an Element of Harmony, you’ve always had your friends by your side for anything you’ve encountered?”

Dash nodded in agreement.

“That’s probably part of it then. You’ve always had your friends around to stop you doing something stupid. Well, don’t expect that kind of hoof-holding here.” He looked forward, out the window. “You’re arrogant and prideful. And when somepony or something gets in the way of what you want, you can get selfish and immature…”

He looked back at Rainbow Dash and smiled, a warm smile that Dash would never forget. “But you’ll be one of the greatest Wonderbolts.”

Dash wiped her eyes and smiled herself. “So?”

“I’m glad your feelings for me haven’t changed, Dashie. Because honestly, I wouldn’t know what to do without you. I can tell you’re being genuine by the fact that you’re sitting here bawling your eyes out while confessing all these things to me...I forgive you.”

Dash gasped and leaned in for a hug, but Soarin stopped her with a hoof.

“Once.” He said slowly and sternly.

“Got it,” Dash didn’t hesitate in agreeing. Hopefully, this wasn’t a mistake she would make again…

She wasted no time in wrapping her forelegs around him, resting their heads on each other's respective shoulders.

Soarin couldn’t help but feel a slight wetness on his back. “Are you still crying?”

“I just...I never thought I’d get to feel this again…” Dash replied, overwhelmed with joy.

“I love you, Dashie.” Soarin declared, squeezing her tighter. “The trust is going to take a long time to rebuild...but we can do it together.”

“If that’s what this is then sign me up for more classes,” Dash joked.

“I’ll make some roooomph--” his words were cut off by Dash’s lips pressing against his. He did nothing but savour the moment. No mouth-wrestling, no tongues...just a pure kiss of love.

They held the kiss for several seconds before Dash let go, taking a breath. She slouched down in her chair and rested her head on Soarin’s chest. “You know...everypony’s going to be here tomorrow...my friends, my parents…”

“So you’re going to introduce me?” Soarin gathered.

“Yeah,” Dash replied, nodding. “Besides, you want to meet the parents of the best Wonderbolt ever don’t you?” She said sarcastically with a smirk, putting extra emphasis on the sarcasm to make it clear.

“Second.”

Dash raised an eyebrow, “What?”

“Second best. You’re looking at the first,” Soarin teased with a wink.

“Weren’t you the one just complaining about my arrogance?” Dash retorted, prodding his chest, causing Soarin to laugh in response. Dash laughed herself, the warm feeling she used to get around Soarin was finally returning, flipping a switch in her brain that officially declared crisis over. “I should probably get back to my roommates before they wonder what I’m doing.” She said, standing up.

“What’s the point? The contest is over, we’ve got no reason to be sneaky anymore.” Soarin answered.

“I know, but...I’d rather reveal it on my own terms instead of being, uh...caught...if you know what I mean…” Dash explained, feeling herself blush thinking about it.

“Does it really matter? They won’t exactly come looking in my bedroom,” Soarin replied, “And besides, you can’t do that if I tell them first.” He stuck his tongue out at her.

“What? No! Don’t you dare!” Dash argued.

Soarin burst out laughing, “Oh, the look on your face!” He said while laughing, causing Dash to frown when she realised he was joking.

Dash rolled her eyes, “...Anyway, Spitfire told me I need to ‘beautiful’ tomorrow for my photo, so I’m gonna go rest up to make sure I do just that.”

“You already look beautiful to me, Beautiful.”

“Geez, I know you can be cheesy sometimes, but that’s a whole other level,” Dash stuck her tongue out, “I think I’m gonna barf...again…”

Soarin chuckled, “Well if you change your mind, there’s always a space in my bed.” He motioned with his hoof towards his bedroom door.

“I thought you’d say that,” Dash replied, leaning in for a hug. “If I don’t see you later, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Soarin returned the hug, giving her a light peck on the cheek. “I love you, Dashie.”

Dash returned the kiss, “I love you too, Soarin.”

She slowly left his embrace and turned towards the door. She left the room and trotted back down the stairs, breathing a sigh of relief as she left. Today really had been a rollercoaster, and she was ready to get it over and done with. She learned a lot about herself but knew she still had a lot to learn.

She managed to salvage her relationship with Soarin from seemingly impossible odds. She was just so lucky that their love for each other was strong enough to overlook this…’argument’. Okay, she had to get herself into a few hoof fights to realise it, but it eventually got knocked into her.

She was glad she could put all this behind her for now. All she had to do was look ahead. She was now a Wonderbolt. She had accomplished her fillyhood dream. And just thinking about that made it all seem worth it. It was hard, there were fights, but she felt like she had learned a lot more from this experience than simply being handed the position on a plate.

For now, she just had to focus on tomorrow...What would her greatest challenge be? Maintaining her composure in front of her friends? Smiling for the camera? Keeping her cool during the ceremony? Introducing her relationship with Soarin? To be honest, the only thing that sprouted to mind was the challenge of keeping her parents under control for that time.

Author's Note:

Well...that certainly was an...eventful chapter... :rainbowderp:

I don't know what's inspired me recently, but I wrote this chapter in 3 days. If I maintain this momentum, I might be able to finish the final chapter before the end of 2019! (but I'm not making any promises :rainbowlaugh: )

It was a tough time for Rainbow Dash. She almost got barred from her dream, and she didn't take it well...and to make matters worse, she took it out on Soarin. Luckily, they were able to see through this incident and move on. Will it last though? Let's find out.

Shit like this is exactly why I keep my relationships OUTSIDE of work! :rainbowlaugh:

...Well then...on to the last chapter...finally...I've been looking forward to this for a long time...see you soon...