• Published 8th Jun 2015
  • 4,837 Views, 71 Comments

That Dumb Flower - Timaeus



The Chaos Rose is a very special flower that blooms once a year on Hearts and Hooves Day and is one of the greatest symbols of love and devotion. So, what will happen when Twilight gives one to Rainbow?

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Chapter 5

Things weren’t going according to plan.

Granted, there wasn’t much of a plan to begin with. Rainbow Dash didn’t really do plans. She was a mare of action, who kicked dragons in the face first and worried about the consequences later. Sometimes, like when she kicked dragons in the face, she came to regret not considering those consequences earlier. This was another one of those times.

A pregnant silence fell between her and Twilight, and Rainbow felt her mouth go dry and her brow starting to sweat. Her stomach somersaulted, knocking her heart into her throat as her friend stared at her, boring holes into her with her violet eyes. As she scrambled to collect her thoughts, a nagging, doubtful voice shunted to the back of her mind surged to the forefront of her mind.

Was I wrong?

Her throat seized shut. She couldn’t be wrong. She was so sure. No, the nagging voice said. Fluttershy was so sure. Her and Roseluck, and they talked you into it all.

It would be so unfair if she was wrong. As much as Rainbow refused to admit it, she was excited at the thought of Twilight bearing a crush for her. Her heart seemed to glow on the flight over, empowering her wings with every flap and making her want to cheer into the wind. She felt wanted. She felt special. Of course she knew she was special, but this was something different. Now, though, that feeling was washed away and in its place was an icy ball of doubt that sat in her gut, freezing the blood that had been previously pumping in her ears and was filling her body with a heated excitement and giddiness.

Don’t think that way. She’s totally into you. She has to be.

She remembered what Roseluck told her, and a spark of hope warmed the ice in her veins. Twilight bought the flower for ‘experiments,’ and there was no way those experiments could be for anything else than getting Rainbow between the sheets. Of this, she was sure. Then, she remembered who the alicorn sitting just a few inches was, and she decidedly ignored the fact that it was equally possible that Twilight bought the rose for actual experiments. Not the ones Rainbow was into, but the ones that involved measurements, recordings, and machines that went beep.

Part of Rainbow wished she could wind back time and stop herself from saying what she just said. Maybe if she gave Twilight more time, she would have asked her out on her own and in her own way. For all Rainbow knew, there was some extravagant plan that involved magical fireworks and an awesome first date and she screwed it all up. The thought added a smidgen of guilt to the already overwhelming mosaic of emotions blanketing her heart and mind.

However, the fact that Twilight—up until recently—was staring at her with uncomprehending eyes made that plan seem less likely to exist. Now, her friend and thought-to-have-been crush was regarding her with a look of realization and surprise. Rainbow’s heart hammered in her chest and an embarrassed blush warm her cheeks. As the seconds dragged on, she began to panic. She couldn’t show it, of course, but the creeping understanding that she had been making a fool of herself in front of her best friend because of a flower and a couple overly-romantic ponies gnawed at her thoughts and sent her confidence into a tailspin.

Just as she was about to babble out an excuse and fly far, far away, Twilight broke the silence with a laugh. Rainbow’s face was an unreadable mask as Twilight threw her head back, her peals of laughter filling the library and bouncing off of the crystal walls. Not sure whether she should be terrified or relieved, Rainbow twisted her mouth into a smile and forced a few stiff chuckles.

“Oh, Rainbow, of course that’s what this is all about,” Twilight said once her laughter died down to the occasional giggle.

“I-It is?” Rainbow asked, trying and failing to keep her voice from cracking.

“Yes, it all makes sense now.” Twilight wiped a tear from her eye and giggled again. “I’m sorry for laughing, but it’s just so obvious what’s been bugging you and I was blind enough not to see it.”

Rainbow swallowed and scratched the back of her neck. Unable to meet Twilight’s gaze, she settled for staring at her hooves. “Yeah…” She bit her lip. “I’ve just been waiting all day for you to ask me, and I guess I kind of snapped. Sorry.”

“No, I should be apologizing,” Twilight said as she rested a hoof on Rainbow’s shoulder, giving the pegasus the confidence to look back up and smile sheepishly. “Like you said, you weren’t exactly being subtle. I should’ve known better.” She looked over her shoulder at her wings. “Even though I’ve been crowned the princess of friendship, I still have a lot to learn, even about my own friends.”

Rainbow sighed, relief rolling down around her in waves. “It’s no biggie, Twi. I just figured you would’ve asked me right off the bat,” she said with a chuckle.

“Why would I do that?” Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Unless… of course.” She returned the chuckle and shook her head. “I really have been blind, haven’t I? I’m sorry for not noticing sooner.”

“Huh?”

“I’ll need to think about it,” she said, smiling in an understanding way that Rainbow didn’t quite understand herself. “But I promise things won’t change between us. It means a lot that you think of me this way.”

“Um, thanks, I guess?” Rainbow cocked her head. She was no fan of mushy romance stories, but even Daring Do had the odd romance subplot, and from what she knew she was pretty sure that she should be the one making this speech.

“I just need to know one thing before I answer.” Rainbow’s confusion grew when Twilight looked down, a light pink colouring her cheeks. “How long have you had a crush on me?”

A second passed.

What?!” Rainbow shrieked, making Twilight jolt up in surprise. “What do you mean how long have I had a crush on you?”

Twilight stood up and stepped away, rubbing her ears. “I mean exactly what I said!” She stared at Rainbow with a mix of confusion and annoyance. “How long have you had a crush on me? It’s a simple thing to ask, really, since you just asked me out.”

“No I didn’t!” Rainbow said, jumping to her hooves and flaring her wings. “I asked you when you were gonna ask me out!”

“Technicality.” Twilight waved a hoof and rolled her eyes. “It’s the same principle.”

“No it isn’t!” Rainbow insisted, pointing an accusing hoof at Twilight. “Because you’re the one with the crush! I’m totally the mare of your dreams, not the other way around!”

“What?” Twilight, to Rainbow’s chagrin, chuckled. “You think I have a crush on you? What in Equestria gave you that idea?”

“Don’t play dumb!” Rainbow grit her teeth even as her heart fluttered weakly in her chest. “You and I both know that you totally have the hots for me!” She grinned wickedly and drew a hoof down her side. “Not that I’d blame you. You’d have to be blind not to be drooling over me.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Twilight grumbled. “Rainbow, I do not have a crush on you. Believe me, I would know if I did.”

“Do to!” Rainbow glared and stretched out her wings, showing them off fully. She put on her best sultry look and smiled at Twilight with half-lidded eyes. All she needed to do was make her blush and slip up and her point would be proven. Twilight would be exposed for the liar that she is and then she would be swept off her hooves, just like Rainbow knew she always dreamed. “You know you can’t take your eyes off of me.”

“Rainbow.” Twilight sighed and rubbed her temples with her hooves. “I know you can be afraid of admitting how you feel sometimes—”

“I am not!” Rainbow barked, her sultry gaze slipping away.

“—but this is ridiculous.” She shook her head and frowned. “There’s no need to be afraid of confessing that you have feelings for me. For a long time too, I’m guessing.”

“Yeah, well, then your guessing stinks!” Rainbow growled and stomped over to the flower, which was glistening innocently in its vase. Twilight may have been immune to her bodily charms, but she still had tangible evidence. “Because I’m not the one who bought a super rare, super expensive love flower!”

“Love flower?” Twilight deadpanned. “It’s called a Chaos Rose, Rainbow.”

“Whatever! You still bought it!”

“So?” Twilight huffed and walked across the room. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“Oh, come on, Twilight.” Rainbow rolled her eyes theatrically. She jumped into the air and hovered over the flower, prodding it with the tip of her hoof. “It has everything to do with it, and you know it!”

“No, I don’t, because it has nothing to do with anything.”

“Yes it does! You gave it to me! That’s, like, one step away from asking me to hop into your saddle and take you for a night-long ride.”

“Wh-what?!” Twilight stammered as her face turned red.

Rainbow grinned at the small victory. “You heard me! You gave me the love flower, so you totally love me!”

“That isn’t how it works!”

“Yes it is,” Rainbow said in a sing-song voice. “What were you saying? Don’t be afraid to confess that you have feelings for me?” She waggled her eyebrows. “Well? I’m waiting.”

“I do not have a crush on you!” Twilight stamped her hoof on the crystal floor, meeting Rainbow’s teasing gaze with a leveling stare. “If I did, don’t you think I would have told you? It would be kind of important to me!”

“Aha! You just admitted that I’m important to you!” Rainbow landed on the floor in a clatter of hooves. “See? Totally crushing on me.”

“Of course you’re important to me!”

“I knew it!” She pumped her hoof before a smirk eased its way onto her face. “So, you gonna ask me out or what? Most mares might be put off by all this commotion, but I know you and you’re really hot and really awesome.” She winked. “Well?”

Twilight groaned and brought a hoof to her forehead. “Yes, Rainbow, you’re important to me. You’re one of my best friends!” She dragged the hoof slowly down her face. “But that doesn’t mean that I have a crush on you.”

“But you gave me the flower!”

“To hold on to for me!”

“Wh-what?” Rainbow faltered. A dreaded sense of doubt crept into her thoughts and she looked at the floor, searching for answers that weren’t there. Fear gripped at her as every possible scenario flew through her head at speeds even she marveled at. “Was it meant for somepony else?” She asked in a voice too quiet for her liking.

“No!” Twilight shook her mane. “It wasn’t!”

“Then what are you even talking about?” Rainbow’s face slipped from a frown to a scowl in record time. “You’re not making any sense!”

I’m not making any sense?” Twilight scoffed and trotted up to Rainbow with eyes glaring daggers. She felt herself take an instinctive step back when the alicorn towered over her—albeit only by a few inches, but she shrunk away all the same. “You’re the one who barged in here— ”

“I was invited!” Rainbow protested, trying to draw herself up to Twilight’s height. “It’s our reading night and you insisted on having it!”

“Minor details!” Twilight growled, then took a deep breath. She backed away from Rainbow and sat on her haunches. “Listen, Rainbow,” she said in a voice that made the pegasus groan. It was the voice Twilight used whenever she was frustrated with her but was trying to stay calm and was only marginally worse than her lecture voice. “This is a really poor way to confess your feelings for me. If you wanted to try going on a date, I wouldn’t have said no.”

My feelings?” Rainbow started with a huff of exasperation. Then, Twilight’s words caught up to her and she hesitated mid-snarl. “Wait… you’d say yes?”

“I didn’t say that.” Twilight shook her head with a face that masked any emotion. “I said I wouldn’t say no.”

“Oh…” Rainbow muttered, clenching her jaw and staring at the floor. Her wings betrayed her as they sagged to the floor as she took in Twilight’s words. She shook her head and mentally slapped herself. She knew she shouldn’t be sad over this. There was nothing to be sad over.

“But if it was really that important to you…” Twilight lifted Rainbow’s head with a hoof and smiled warmly down at her. Her ears perked and the corners of her lips tugged up as she began to return the smile. It was impossible not to with the soft, glowing look in Twilight’s eyes. “Then I’d be willing to try. Am I that important to you, Rainbow?”

Rainbow opened her mouth to answer, then immediately shut it. “Wait a minute.” She pushed Twilight’s hoof away as her eyes narrowed into slits. “You’re turning this around on me! You’re still just trying to make me think that I have the crush here!”

“Not this again. And we were making some progress, too…” Twilight facehoofed and Rainbow grit her teeth. “Rainbow, you said it yourself. You haven’t exactly been subtle about it today.”

“Only because you wouldn’t have ponied up to ask me out!”

“If I wanted to ask you out, I would have. But I didn’t, and you asked me out of your own volition. Don’t pretend like I had anything to do with that.” Twilight tapped her chin with a hoof. “Well, besides me being the object of your crush, but that goes without saying.”

“Oh yeah?” Rainbow spread her wings in an unspoken challenge. “You wanna talk about subtlety? You haven’t really been all that subtle either!”

“…What?”

Rainbow ignored the look of incomprehension on Twilight’s face and pressed forward. “Sweet Apple Acres!” She grinned wildly, feeling her heart hammer in her chest as she suppressed the voice of doubt clamouring in her head. “Last week you jumped on my back and hugged my neck! Heck, you practically rode me like a wild bronco!”

“Jumped on your… what?” Twilight stood her ground as the pegasus advanced, meeting her accusing stare with unwavering calm. Rainbow’s eye twitched. “I don’t even know what you’re talking about anymore!”

“In the barn!” Rainbow stood her tallest, coming short of Twilight by a few inches. She would make her tell the truth. The way her friend just raised her eyebrows made her hesitate for only a second before continuing. “And don’t think I haven’t caught all those times you were staring at me or all those times when your feathers brushed my flanks! I thought it was all a bunch of accidents, but it was totally feathermarking.”

“The barn? That’s what you’re basing this theory off of?”

“No!” Rainbow looked away. The calmness of Twilight’s voice was unnerving and she couldn’t shake the doubt that nagged at her mind and clawed at her heart. “You giving me the most romantic flower ever on Hearts and Hooves Day is a pretty big hint though.”

“I told you, I gave you that flower to hang on to for me,” Twilight said in a voice that hid no false truths. “And if I recall, a snake slithered out from behind one of the barrels that day.” She shuddered. “You know I can’t stand snakes.”

A pit formed in Rainbow’s stomach. She looked back at Twilight, searching her eyes for any hints that she was lying. When she found none, she took a step back. The burning passion and certainty slipped away into the pit in her stomach. “But… then…”

A purple hoof rested on Rainbow’s shoulder. “As for my wing brushing up against you… those were all accidents. I wasn’t feathermarking you.” Twilight paused and studied Rainbow. “I don’t know what made you think otherwise.”

Even though the hoof was meant to be comforting, it felt like an iron weight on Rainbow’s shoulder. She watched Twilight’s eyes as she spoke and hung onto every word, listening for any stutter or any hesitation. The sincerity that filled them, however, sent her confidence and her surety crumbling away into dust.

“Rainbow?” Twilight asked with a concerned frown. “Are you all right?”

Rainbow clenched her jaw in response. She didn’t know if she should scream, laugh, run, or all three at once. A tempest of emotions left her mouth dry as she tried to speak. What came out was little more than a croak. Her eyes stung and she felt like she had been kicked in the gut. Winded, she hung her head, but what was even worse was the hollow pang of disappointment that echoed through her form.

“Rainbow?” Twilight asked again, her voice more urgent.

“Roseluck and Fluttershy said!” Rainbow said in an unsteady and wavering voice, holding on to the last shreds of her dignity. She looked away from Twilight and her breathing quickened. “Th-they said!”

“Roseluck and Fluttershy… is that what this is all about?” Twilight tried to catch Rainbow’s gaze even as she stared at the ground, shadowing her eyes behind her bangs. “Did they convince you that I had a crush on you?”

“Why else would you give me a Chaos Rose?” Rainbow asked in a weak and vulnerable voice that she despised. “On… On Hearts and Hooves Day?”

“Pinkie Pie needed my help at Sugarcube Corner today. I got distracted by Roseluck’s flower stand. One thing led to another and I ended up buying a Chaos Rose.”

“The only one she had.” Rainbow bored holes into the floor with her eyes. “For fifty bits. And you gave it to me, and she said…”

“I was running late and Pinkie was starting to panic. I couldn’t leave the flower hanging around Sugarcube Corner. It would get trampled or lost in the flour or Celestia-knows-what. You know how hectic it can get there. Then I saw you in the crowd.” Twilight shifted her weight from hoof to hoof. “It was a fortunate coincidence.”

“But she said you bought it for experiments,” Rainbow pointed out, her voice cracking. “Experiments that involved a special somepony.”

“Legend has it that the Chaos Flower was created by Discord a long time ago. I wanted to run a series of experiments to test and analyze the properties of their latent chaos magic.” The calm and steady tone of Twilight’s voice shook Rainbow to her core. Her gaze dropped to the floor even as she heard Twilight clear her throat. “If I wasn’t so exhausted, I probably would have chalkboards with experiment procedures drawn up already.”

Experiments with beeping machines it was.

“But…” Rainbow sank to her haunches and her forelegs wobbled. She swallowed against her dry throat. “But I thought…” She looked up, her head swimming and a bitter taste on her tongue. “You were so antsy, a-and you ran away!”

“Pinkie was breathing down my neck,” Twilight said in a gentle voice. Concern and a comforting warmth radiated from her eyes and Rainbow looked away. She still had her pride, and she couldn’t bear the look of sympathy aimed at her. “I panicked, and I should have explained to you better what was going on. I’m sorry.”

Rainbow rubbed her eyes, cringing and scrunching her eyelids shut when her hoof came away wet. She bit the inside of her cheek and scolded herself, willing her eyes to dry. Rainbow Dash did not cry, especially not over a flower.

“Rainbow? Are you crying?”

“No!” Rainbow snapped, hiding her face from Twilight. “It’s just…” She turned away and sat facing the wall. She took several deep breaths, going through the breathing routine she was taught at the Wonderbolts Academy. It did little to help. “You nuzzled me and everything! I was so sure! That didn’t mean anything?”

“I was saying thank you.” She heard Twilight take a few steps towards her. Each step was slow and cautious, as if she was afraid that Rainbow would fly away at any sudden movement. With how she was feeling, maybe that wasn’t too far from the truth. She let out a half-hearted huff and stared at the wall, hating how her reflection stared back at her with red, puffy eyes. “I nuzzle my friends all the time.”

Rainbow hung her head. As much as she couldn’t handle Twilight’s sympathy, looking at the hurt, disappointment, and sting of rejection colouring her features was worse. Her shoulders sagged as she stared at her hooves. “Then… then this really was all a big misunderstanding. You didn’t mean to give me that flower.”

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.” She didn’t need to look to see the concern etched over Twilight’s face. “I’m sorry I got your hopes up.”

“I’m such an idiot,” Rainbow muttered, wiping her cheek.

“I didn’t mean to lead you on,” Twilight said, her voice barely above a whisper as she rested a gentle hoof on Rainbow’s back. The pegasus’ wings twitched as she made contact, but she didn’t resist. “I didn’t even know you had feelings for me.”

“I don’t have feelings for you,” Rainbow said dourly, shrugging off Twilight’s hoof. She knew it was true—right down to her shaken core, even if it felt like she swallowed something incredibly sour. It was so silly to think otherwise. Nopony had ever asked her out before, and Twilight was no different. An ache in her chest, however, suggested otherwise.

She is different, and you know it. She’s one of the most amazing ponies you’ve ever met.

“Rainbow, you don’t need to lie.” The frown on Twilight’s face carried into her voice. She stepped around Rainbow and sat in front of her, a pair of purple hooves joining the two cyan ones in her field of view. The tip of a tail flicked into view, and the pair of hooves shuffled before one rose and found its place back on Rainbow’s shoulder. “It’s okay. You don’t need to hide your feelings from me anymore.”

“I’m not lying,” Rainbow grumbled, her voice hollow to her own ears. She tried to shrug off Twilight’s hoof again, but it remained firmly in place. Grunting, she pushed it away only for it to settle back down on her shoulder a second later. “Lemme go.”

“I can’t do that,” Twilight said in a firm but kind voice. “Not when one of my best friends is hurting.”

“I’m fine,” Rainbow spat as her eyes started to water. She rubbed them roughly with a hoof and tried to turn away, only for Twilight to tug her back. “I said I’m fine! Lemme go and lemme forget that this ever happened!”

The hoof left her shoulder and she turned to tear through the door and fly as far away from Twilight’s castle as possible. Maybe in a couple weeks she could look her in the eye without feeling like a complete loser. Just as she spread her wings, Twilight’s hoof returned and lifted Rainbow’s chin. Paralyzed by the unexpected touch, she didn’t resist as her eyes met Twilight’s.

“Then why do you look like I just broke your heart?” Twilight asked in a whisper. Her eyes shined with concern and warmth, making Rainbow’s stomach squirm and her chest tighten.

“I...” Rainbow licked her dry lips. “I’m not...” Her wings fluttered weakly by her sides.

“Please, just talk to me.” Twilight lowered her hoof and sat down, a patient smile gracing her lips. “You know you can tell me anything, right?”

Rainbow nodded dumbly, enraptured by Twilight’s gaze. Her mouth drew into a wobbly line and she looked back down at her hooves. Her face warmed and her heart fluttered in her chest as she tried to collect her thoughts. Taking a deep breath, she looked up through her bangs, her ears perking up when she saw Twilight’s smile. “I don’t have a crush on you,” she said in a quiet voice.

Twilight frowned. “Rainbow, you don’t—”

“I mean it.” Rainbow scratched one foreleg with the other, forcing herself to not look away. She swallowed against her throat and her wings twitched and flicked by her sides. “Or I didn’t before today.” She felt the blush heating her cheeks as the truth of those words made her wings quiver. She knew it was silly—perhaps even more silly than thinking Twilight had feelings for her—but there was no point in fooling herself otherwise. She had played the fool enough for one day.

“What changed?” Twilight asked, unfazed by Rainbow’s words. She stood steady and unwavering by Rainbow, like she always did.

“Well, um...” Rainbow looked over Twilight’s shoulder at the rose and chewed her lip.

“Oh...” Twilight followed Rainbow’s gaze and frowned at the flower. Her horn lit up and the vase floated over between the two ponies. She ran a hoof along one of its petals, contemplation and reservation filling the contours of her face. “This made you have feelings for me?”

Rainbow shrugged, dropping her gaze. “Not really. You know I’m not big on flowers and all that junk.” She gave a small smirk. “I actually almost gagged after you left. It’s so not me.”

“But you were wearing it in your mane,” Twilight said in a distant voice, her lips pulled down in a frown.

“Yeah, well, it grew on me.” Rainbow’s face softened as she watched Twilight examine the flower. A weight felt as if it had lifted off of her shoulders and her wings sagged to the floor. “I really let myself buy into it, huh?”

“But why?” Twilight lifted her head and subjected Rainbow to the same scrutinizing stare. “What changed? Was it Fluttershy and Roseluck?”

“Kind of...” Rainbow closed her eyes and let out a long, slow breath. “It was just... nopony’s ever asked me out on Hearts and Hooves Day, you know?”

“No, I don’t.” Twilight’s brow furrowed and her frown deepened. “Well, I guess I do. Nopony’s ever asked me either, but what does that have to do with this? And for that matter, since when do you care about Hearts and Hooves Day?”

“I don’t.” Rainbow’s tail flicked behind her as she ruffled her wings. “It’s just... when I thought that you gave me the flower, and I thought that you wanted me to be your special somepony...” She sighed and let her ears fold back against her head, a familiar pang of loneliness thrumming through her body. “I dunno, it made me feel like somepony wanted me.”

“Of course somepony wants you, Rainbow,” Twilight said in a soft voice. “You’re an amazing pony. Anypony would be lucky to call you their girlfriend.”

Rainbow chuckled dryly. “You don’t need to tell me how awesome I am, Twi,” she said with a hint of her usual bravado. Even though she knew there were no implications behind Twilight’s words, she couldn’t help but feel a little elated. She flapped her wings and scratched her scalp. “But thanks. After you gave it to me and after Fluttershy convinced me that... you know... I started to think about things.”

“Like what?”

“Like how I actually wouldn’t mind being with you.” Her wings twitched and she shuffled her weight from hoof to hoof. On the flight over, she pictured this exact same scenario but the other way around. The irony almost made her want to laugh. “It’s fun being around you, Twilight. You’re smart, and funny, and caring, and after I thought about it for a bit really hot.” She cleared her throat and stared into the alicorn’s eyes, feeling a bubbly warmth seep throughout her body. “I guess I saw things in a different light, and I liked what I saw.”

“R-really?” Twilight’s eyes bulged as her cheeks turned pink. She ruffled her wings and looked away, the change in demeanour enough to make Rainbow smirk. This was more like what she planned.

“Yeah. The best part of it was how I thought that you thought I was special enough to give me that rose.” She prodded one of the flower’s petal, smiling slyly up at Twilight. The alicorn was staring down at her, her hoof over her chest and visibly having difficulty keeping her wings folded at her sides. “It made me want to make you feel just as special. Nopony’s ever gone out of their way to make me feel like that, and it felt really, really good. It was kinda like winning the Best Young Flier’s contest all over again. But...” Her face fell. No matter how good it felt to be wanted, the reminder that none of it was true took away that special feeling, leaving her empty and hollow. “None of that was true. It was all a stupid misunderstanding, and I stupid enough to think...”

“Rainbow...”

She looked away, her pathetic reflection staring back at her with shining eyes. She ground her teeth at the sight. “It’s fine.” She looked up and forced an overly-wide grin, one that neither she or Twilight would believe. “See? Just another dumb mistake I made. Sorry for messing up reading night. I should go before I really screw up and kiss you or something.”

Before she had a chance to leave, she found herself engulfed in a sea of purple smelling faintly of Twilight’s lilac shampoo. A pair of forelegs wrapped around her shoulders and pulled her in like a vice. Rainbow stiffened in the embrace, her breath catching as she felt warm puffs of air against her ear and Twilight’s warm coat brushing up against hers.

“You didn’t mess anything up, Rainbow.” Twilight’s voice came in warm and comforting waves and Rainbow leaned into the hug, letting the warmth spill over her. “And you’re not stupid.”

“You didn’t let a flower convince you that your best friend had a crush on you,” Rainbow murmured into Twilight’s mane. “Sounds pretty stupid to me.”

“No, not stupid.” Twilight squeezed Rainbow tighter and her hooves started moving in small circle along her back. “It’s really kind of sweet, actually.”

“Sweet?” Rainbow bit back a sharp laugh. She buried her face in the crook of Twilight’s neck, revelling in the comfort that it provided. She stifled a gasp when a set of large, downy wings joined the embrace and covered her in a blanket of affection. She shuddered and closed her eyes. “What part of this is sweet?”

“Well,” Twilight started slowly, her voice hesitant to Rainbow’s ears. “You did just confess to having feelings for me.”

Rainbow pulled back enough to look Twilight in the eye. Her ears were folded back and she bit her lip in a frown. Warring emotions played across her face and Rainbow raised an eyebrow. A spark of giddy excitement and a mote of hope reignited somewhere in the recesses of her mind. Her wings twitched as she opened and closed her mouth. Tentatively, she asked, “What are you getting at?”

“My offer from before still stands.” Twilight’s tail swished behind her as her face settled into a small smile. “If you want to take me up on it, that is.”

“Offer?” Rainbow suddenly felt incredibly warm under Twilight’s wings. She stammered, trying to reign in control of her breathing. “What do you mean?”

“I told you, if I’m really that important to you, then I’ll give this a chance.” Twilight retracted her wings, folding them up neatly at her sides. She ran a hoof down her mane, sitting not even a single hoofstep from Rainbow with an almost bashful look in her eye. “And... well... am I important to you?”

“I-Important to me?” Rainbow echoed as her heart floundered. She shut her eyes and backed away from Twilight, her wings flaring and flapping haphazardly. The spark of hope grew into a steady glow, but she knew better now. “I don’t need a pity date, Twilight.”

“It isn’t a pity date!” Her eyes flew open at the urgency of Twilight’s words. Twilight surrounded her senses and her hooves clutched Rainbow’s own. “Rainbow, I may not have ‘feelings’ for you the way you do about me, but you’re still important to me,” she said in a calmer and soothing voice. “After hearing what you said, I want to give this a chance. I want to give you a chance to show me what you felt.”

Rainbow’s jaw dropped. “Wh-what?” she croaked, blinking hard as if to make sure that she wasn’t hearing things. With wide eyes, she stared at Twilight’s hooves holding her own. “B-but why? How? It wasn’t even real.” She shook her head, her whole body tense and taut, ready to spring away at a second’s notice. Her heart had taken more than enough punishment today and she couldn’t let herself get her hopes up. “I-it was just a dumb mistake!”

“Who said mistakes were always bad things?” Twilight reached out and brushed Rainbow’s mane out of her face. She giggled lightly at the utterly baffled look Rainbow knew was painted over her face. “Meeting you girls wasn’t a bad thing, was it?”

“No, but what does that have to do with this?” Rainbow asked in a numb voice, her form trembling as Twilight’s hoof left her face.

“That was a mistake, wasn’t it?” Twilight gave a demure smile and fiddled with the tip of her tail. “I didn’t come to Ponyville to make friends. If I had it my way, I wouldn’t have befriended any of you. Now look at where we are because of that mistake.” She met Rainbow’s gaze with pinkened cheeks and a twinkle in her eye that Rainbow couldn’t place. “I think that this mistake could lead to something just as wonderful if we let it.”

“B-but how do you know?” Rainbow’s ears folded back against her head and she drew away from Twilight. “You said it yourself, you don’t even have feelings for me.”

“That doesn’t mean you’re not important to me or that I don’t care about you,” Twilight insisted. “I already know that I’m happy when I’m around you and I can talk to you about anything. Like I said, you’re an amazing mare, and anypony would be lucky to call you their girlfriend, myself included.”

“B-but—” Rainbow sputtered, her voice failing her. She found herself searching Twilight’s face for any sign that she was lying for the second time that day. She strained her ears, listening for any falters in her voice betraying how she really felt. Twilight was either telling the truth or Rainbow was a poor judge of character. “You... you mean that?” She asked in a voice barely above a whisper.

“Of course I do. You know me better than that, don’t you?” Twilight grinned and then frowned when Rainbow didn’t return it. Rainbow was too far gone, her mind reeling and her thoughts scrambled as Twilight’s words sunk in. “Here, if that won’t convince you, maybe this will.”

“Huh?” Rainbow snapped to attention as Twilight bent down and plucked the rose from its vase. With eyes as wide as dinner plates and pupils shrunk to pinpricks, she sat stock-still as Twilight leaned in, filling her senses. Their cheeks met as the rose was placed with care behind Rainbow’s ear. She sucked in a deep breath as the rest of the world fell away. Vaguely, the pegasus was aware of her heart hammering in her chest and the burning blush that filled her cheeks.

Twilight sat back, her muzzle bright red. “There,” she said in a surprisingly even voice. After giving Rainbow an appraising look, she added, “It really does look good in your mane like that.”

Rainbow nodded, dumbstruck and not trusting herself to speak. She lifted a hesitant hoof to her mane and twitched when it made contact with the flower. It was there. This was real. This was all really happening. As the realization sunk in, a large, wobbly smile grew over Rainbow’s face. “Then... you mean...”

“Yes, Rainbow.” Twilight nodded and scuffed the floor. “One of us has to do it, so it might as well be me. I did buy the flower, after all.”

“But it’s yours, I couldn’t—”

A hoof pressed lightly to her lips silenced any more of Rainbow’s protests. “I may have bought it, but somepony today told me that it belongs to somepony else—somepony very special to me—and not under a microscope or in a vase. And I guess you’re that special somepony, Rainbow Dash.”

“I am?” Rainbow asked, her voice high-pitched and cracking, but she didn’t care. A bubbly happiness swelled in her chest, making her feel lighter than air.

Twilight giggled in response. “Yes, you are. The flower and what I’m about next to do should make that official.”

Rainbow’s brow furrowed. “What you’re about to do? What’re you—” Her voice cut off with a sharp intake of air as something warm and wet pressed against her cheek. An electric jolt ran down her spine, making her wings flare out in surprise and her cheeks ignite in a fresh fiery blush.

Twilight pulled away, her lips making a small pecking noise as they left Rainbow’s cheek. She took one look at the dopey grin that wormed its way over the pegasus’ face and burst out in a fit of giggles. “Come on,” she said between giggles, nuzzling Rainbow as she walked past her. Rainbow turned on auto-pilot, watching Twilight’s sashaying flanks walk to the library door. “You said you wanted me to feel as special as I made you feel. Well, now’s your chance.”

It took all of five seconds for Rainbow’s brain to restart. Coming to with a start, she bolted after Twilight. Her wings fluttered and flapped in an uncoordinated fashion as her hooves fumbled to carry her. Her date laughed as she skidded to a halt beside her, one that she returned heartily. “Oh, you can bet I’m going to make you feel special. Trust me, I’m going to make this a Hearts and Hooves Day you’ll never forget.”

“You already have,” Twilight said as Rainbow stretched a wing over her after a moment’s deliberation. The feeling in Rainbow’s chest expanded when Twilight leaned into the warmth of her wing. “But I can’t wait to see what else you have in store.”

Rainbow simply grinned in response, a skip in her step as the two walked out of the castle and down the road to Ponyville Square. “So, where are we going anyways?”

“Sugarcube Corner.” Twilight shivered and pressed into Rainbow’s side as a cool wind blew down the road.

“How are we gonna get a table this late?” Rainbow asked, trying to keep her eyes on the road in front of them and not on the pony nestled under her wing. The giddy smile she wore never faltered and the bounce never left her step as they passed other couples eyeing them with looks of surprise.

“Pinkie owes me a favour. Unless you have something else in mind?”

“Nope! Sugarcube Corner sounds great! You think we could still get in some reading tonight after?”

“We’ll see,” Twilight said in a teasing tone. Her hip bumped against Rainbow and they both chuckled. “Rarity might throw a fit that I let somepony in after the first date, but I think for you I could make an exception.”

“Well, I am pretty exceptional.”

“That you are,” Twilight murmured. “You know... this does feel pretty nice. I’m already glad that I gave you that flower by accident.”

The flower bobbed in the corner of Rainbow’s eye and she grinned. “Me too, Twi. Best Hearts and Hooves Day ever.”

Comments ( 38 )

6077731 omigoshomigoshomigosh I LOVE you!

i'm actually really disappointed in the way this last chapter went. i was hoping for twilight to feel backed into a corner by dash throwing those accusations at her, for which she would realize she had no rebuttal, and would drop into 'science mode' where she would pick apart every accusation on a logical level, leaving dash heart broken. dash would fly off, running into both Rose and Fluttershy as she's going home, and would proceed to chew them out for getting her hopes up for nothing, and then finally go home and cry herself to sleep.

meanwhile, twilight feels like shit for being so cold towards dash, and questions why she acted the way she did when she realized she had no good answer for dashs accusations. she (eventually) realizes that she does have feelings for dash, is also an emotional coward, and feels a crushing sense of guilt and despair over how everything had gone. she then goes to try and bury herself in her work, only to find the flower had turned black and died, finally driving home just what she had done. she takes off towards dashs home, only to also run into rose and fluttershy, who do a simultaneous apology and tongue lashing towards towards twilight for how everything went down, making her break down all over again. they console her, and tell her that if she's really sorry, she would be at dashs, trying to fix their relationship. she finally teleports to dashs house (her living room, to be precise), and proceeds to beg for forgiveness for 'making dash hate her for toying with her heart, and being a coward.' then they talk it all out, realize that they both felt the same way, and then go on to plan an actual date at sugarcube corner that very night, followed by a make-out session that closes out the story.

Fyi however you posted this it does not register as updated in my feed or bookshelf.

No Twilight, what you're going on is even worse than a pity date, it's an obligation date. You unknowingly started these feelings in Rainbow's heart with your flower, and now you're just going through the motions so you can get everything done and completely destroy any hope the two of you have for any real romance since you'll be able to 'prove' to yourself that you don't love Rainbow after your social experiment at SCC where she does everything she can to 'make' you love her, and all you've got is friendship.

I cried.:pinkiesad2: It was touching but LordBrony2040's right. It's worse than a pity date. Then again, I know nothing when it comes to romance. I've never been on a date or had these kinds of feelings for anyone. Meh, who cares!:pinkiehappy:

And the real loser in all of this is Fluttershy, who had not one but TWO chances to have Rainbow Dash.

Unlike some of the others below me, I think this does have the shot of working out. Twi and RD both have the same problem in different ways when it comes to finding love. They are exceptional ponies who are unattainable and lonely even if they won't admit it consciously without being pushed.

6078544
6078636
I don't think either of you really understand Twilight's character at all if you think she'd be the kind of person to go on a pity or obligation date, especially with one of her best friends. She's not stupid, and she would know what a horribly unfair thing that would be to do to someone.

You seem to think that, since Twilight doesn't harbor feelings for Rainbow now means that she could never develop feelings in the future since Rainbow has already revealed her attraction to her. That's a flat out ridiculous view of how romance and interpersonal relations work.

6078544

I'm sad to hear that you feel that way about the last chapter. And honestly, I'm not sure whether I agree or disagree with that rather detailed outline of what you had hoped would happen. I can't say if it would make a better story than what I have written or not, but what I can say is that it goes in a very different direction for what I envisioned for this particular story.

What you outlined has a lot of dramatic and near-angsty elements to it with how Rainbow and Twilight would act and react to each other that I don't think fits within the purview of what I was going for here. Not that I have anything wrong with healthy doses of drama in stories, just that I wrote this story intentionally avoiding it. It also kind of goes against the Rainbow and Twilight that I wrote for this story. For example, even if Twilight said no and wasn't interested in dating Rainbow, I don't think Rainbow would be as heartbroken as you imply. She's not in love with Twilight (at least not yet~). At this point, all that's happened in terms of feelings is Rainbow seeing stuff in a new light and kinda liking what she saw. Would she be upset? Sure. Sad? Definitely. Maybe wanna cry? Most likely. Personally, though, I think she'd be more angry at Flutterbutter and Roseluck for making her buy their bs and embarrassed at making an ass of herself in front of Twilight.

6078636

I personally disagree. Like Zaphod said, it isn't exactly very "Twilight" of Twilight to go on a pity or obligation date. I think you also missed the point of the last part of the fifth chapter. Twilight wants to give this a real chance. She's not doing this out of pity or obligation, but because she wants to try and see what Rainbow meant. She wants to see if she can feel what Rainbow felt when she thought Twilight had the hots for her.

And again, like Zaphod already said, just because Twilight doesn't necessarily share Rainbow's feelings now doesn't mean that she can't share them ever. That's kind of the whole point of dating. I might also point you to a few passages towards the end, where Twilight says she believes that this particular misunderstanding could lead to something wonderful and at the very end when she says that what she and Rainbow are doing feel nice.

I really liked them arguing with each other about how it was the other one who in fact had feelings for her. Although I was hoping that Twilight's calm and collected state would break down a little and she would become nearly as emotional as Dash. Still, a very good story; thank you for writing this.

6079533

Thank you for reading it! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it :twilightsmile:

Oh, you're stories are quite well written and I loved this one . A great writer, and scribbles down some Twidash. That is an amazing combo! Here is a like, favourite, and a follow :heart:

6082888

Thank you!

6084229

Yeah, I agree. The flow and everything is pretty wonky now but probably reads better as a whole than it does with individual chapters. At this point I'm not sure if it would have been better to have posted it all as a giant 24k one-shot or not.

I hate rainbowdash, i really do. Her personality and actions just rub me the wrong way, but the way you portrayed her in this story.
Well, all i can say is that i hate her a little bit less now. Great story man.

6078589 Ir didn't mine, either. I only found pout about it when I was checking the stories in my "Especial Favorites" Bookshelf.

And I've got all the right things checked for anything I have in Faves or Tracking to show up in my alerts.

Weird, huh?

And you, my dear Timaeus, have made me cry like a baby.

Again.

6098828 That's okay, though. In the end, it's all good.

I was listening to this while I read, I think it fits quite well.

Honestly, it felt like a stretch to me. Twilight (who is capable of teleporting) happens to need somepony to handle the flower, Dash happens to be nearby at that exact moment, Twilight somehow fails to give even a slight explanation (Either 'I need this for science' or 'could you drop this off at the Castle?' would have worked), and then Twilight despite knowing the history and cultural significance of the Chaos Rose doesn't understand why Dash assumes it was meant as a token of love.

Gotta say, that was a bit much for my suspension of disbelief.

6158507

This story was a bit of a challenge to try and make more believable (it was too much fun to write to abandon it), but I did try and explain some of the stretches in story.

Twilight couldn't teleport because the flower itself—being made of chaos magic—is very sensitive to magic and would've been destroyed or gone "poof" to quote Roseluck if Twilight tried to teleport. Twilight's explanation was meant to be jumbled because she was being stressed out by Pinkie Pie. The reason she didn't understand why Dash assumed it was for her was because she thought she was being reasonably clear when really she wasn't.

6159488
Your first point was fair; I had forgotten about that. The other two ... eh...

You meant for Twilight's explanation to be jumbled, but it's far too vague and unnatural in common speech to be anything but the product of an author's need. That she was unaware of how easily what she said could be misinterpreted is almost unbelievable, especially since that Twilight knows what giving that flower to a pony means. It would be akin to me giving a friend of mine a bouquet of red roses and a bottle of wine, then just saying 'Here, I'll explain later tonight" without somehow being aware that he could think I was hitting on him. Then, to continue the allegory, when evening came and he returned with those and started making painfully obvious advances, I somehow didn't realize why.

Twilight may have started out antisocial, but she's come a long way, and I have a hard time believe even at her lowest level of social skills she wouldn't realize what was happening.

To be fair, if I had realized what this story was I would have avoided it (I had been expecting a comedy from the description and neglected to check the tags), but forced conflict/drama is a problem regardless of the genre.

6159520

More than fair enough.

I could chalk up Twilight's ignorance of the situation to exhaustion from spending the day with Pinkie Pie and assuming that Rainbow knows that she's never had any romantic inclinations towards her, but you are right. There was a fair bit that was generated from author's need, and that is something that I need to work on for future stories. We might also have different interpretations of Twilight and how far she's come socially. She's definitely come a long way, but I still like to think there's room for that oblivious-Twi from earlier. Either way, it's again something for me to look at in future stories.

Even though you read this by accident, thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. I really do appreciate it :twilightsmile:

At long last! :pinkiehappy:

This is the shipfic I've always wanted to write, though accepted ages ago that I'm not skilled enough to execute it. So I instead turned to looking for fics that fulfilled all of my wishes for a great shipping story, without running afoul of all of my pet peeves. And this story, man, this story, it expertly and seemingly effortlessly avoided every annoyance I have with practically every other shipfic I've read.

No incredibly stupid forced drama like the type of thing BronyPonyMan earlier in the comments wanted.

Neither character has a crush on the other before the story starts—the relationship develops in the story rather than by author fiat.

No "Oh, my traumatizing past and hopes for the future are similar to yours. That means we should totally be in a relationship now!"

The relationship develops via dialogue and not just because the characters like the feeling of cuddling.

For that matter, the dialogue sounds realistic and something the characters would actually say; they're not all gushy and sappy and already saying that they love each other and want to be together forever.

No melodramatic bullshit where characters scream at each other before one runs away heartbroken. I know this is basically the same as my first point, but it bears repeating.

Plus just a million other minor pet peeves that this story just deftly avoided and replaced with something great. I've practically never been able to read a shipfic before without mentally yelling at a character "Why did you do that?!" and then mentally yelling at the author "Why would you write that?!"

And this time... nothing! Everything flowed the way you'd realistically expect it to. Every character was reasonable and did things that made sense considering the situation.

And I haven't even talked about how awesome the story was actually written! Great descriptions and dialogue, no mechanical errors that I noticed, I could feel the characters' emotions every step of the way, and the whole thing was just really sweet and cute and well-done, from beginning to end.

Seriously, I'm so glad that I found this. I loved it. Thank you so much for writing it! :rainbowkiss::twilightsmile:

>Mfw that last scene
i.imgur.com/WX4oWce.gif
"I've never felt a tension like this before!"

Seriously though, as cliche and obvious as this story could have been, you managed to pull off an amazing work.
It reminds me of pixar in that if you just TELL someone the plot, it sounds like the most boilerplate cliche stuff, but the execution is so good you're just riveted the entire time.

I rarely comment on superb stories. I usually reserve my words for people who need help, but this one... I simply had to thank you... and I'm not even that big of a TwiDash fan!

Great job!

This story was fantastic, through and through. Even though every form of TwiDash has been done to death, as it would seem, stories about the shipping never cease to amaze me, and this story is no exception.

“Who said mistakes were always bad things?”

Dawww, loved the story great work. :raritystarry:

“You know... this does feel pretty nice. I’m already glad that I gave you that flower by accident.”

This part made me wonder, it is a 'Chaos' flower, and the interim leading to the result was pretty chaotic... was it really an accident or does Cadance has a closet contender for love deity? :pinkiehappy:

Who said mistakes were always bad things

the difference between a mistake and an accident. A mistake is something you regret, and wish you could change. An accident? Well sometimes they turn out to be the best thing you can imagine.

I liked this story a lot. Funny, my opinion on your stories as I stumbled across them has improved consistently. The first one I read I really just didn't like at all. The second was okay, not Great but not bad. The third I rather enjoyed actually added it to my favorites, and this one is just brilliant.

I'm glad I didn't let that first story turn me off of your writing because it has done nothing but get better since. And I can't wait to see more from You in the future.

This was great. I like the pacing a lot and while it got kinda heavy towards the end it wasn't too heavy and resolved in what felt like a really natural way. Good stuff!

This was pretty good a lot of what unknownlight said fits imo

Aww! Best TwiDash fic I've read so far! :heart:

Absolutely wonderful! This is probably the best TwiDash fic I've read in a long time. To be honest, being my malicious self, I would probably enjoy there being an alternate ending in which Dash's hopes are completely shattered and Twilight helplessly contemplating the issue.

This story really made my day. Thanks for writing it!

7659809

I'm ... sorry? I'm not sure what update you are looking for.

That was spectacular. It was a fluffy story, but yet it kept a building intensity all the way through. Well done, well done indeed.

Oh this will take a spot in my favorite TwiDash ship fics, so awesome.:rainbowkiss:

This story had me grinning like a moron the entire time!
well written and the heart break in rainbow dash kinda made me feel broken and foolish too for some reason but hey that's just a sign that it's amazing writing!
one of the best twidash ive ever read

Incredible story, just so well written, the characters are 100% accurate here. Good work!

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