• Published 4th Sep 2015
  • 1,363 Views, 25 Comments

Flock Together - Corejo

Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash come to terms with the lives they've shattered and those that lay ahead.

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I - Birds of a Feather...

Five minutes. That was all Spitfire would allow. It wasn’t nearly enough.

Three days had passed since Rainbow Dash last saw Scootaloo, but it felt like a lifetime. She had only those moments between events during the Wonderbolts Tryouts—those little glances her way, the tiny smiles she snuck. The separation ate at her.

Scootaloo's house stood out among those around it, indistinguishable but for the countless times Rainbow Dash had spiralled down toward its little thatched roof. Instinct found her way to its door, not sight.

She raised a hoof, heart staying it. Making the Wonderbolts meant everything to Scootaloo, but Rainbow Dash knew what it meant for the two of them. This could very well be the last time she’d see her for a long while.

But the longer Rainbow Dash hesitated, the more she’d have to catch up with the team. Not that their gliding pace was anything intensive. She had to make a good first impression.

Still, she couldn’t bring herself to knock. All she could do was stare at the door. A solid, heavy door. She had grown fond of it, the short moments they shared before it swung aside to those large violet eyes that never failed to make all the extra training worth it. Those eyes wouldn’t be very happy when she’d have to break the news to her.

No, it wouldn’t be news. Scootaloo wasn’t stupid. She’d always known—just too brave to show it.

For all her hesitation, the door opened without her knocking. Scootaloo stood across the threshold, sleep still dragging down the corners of her eyes, staring up at her like the world had been turned upside down. Rainbow Dash could only grin before tumbling over backwards from the force of a cannonball against her chest. She laughed, the warmth of the hooves wrapped around her worth ten Wonderbolts acceptance letters.

“I couldn’t wait to come show you,” Rainbow Dash said, casting a brief glance to her blue-and-yellow flightsuit. “I’m glad you’re happy, Scoot.”

Scootaloo grinned ear to ear. Sometimes, Rainbow Dash wondered what was running through the little filly’s head, what thoughts were behind that adoring smile. It had changed since they first met. Not a fanfilly smile anymore. Something greater. All Rainbow Dash knew was she would find a way to raise the sun itself if that’s what it took to see it.

“It means a lot,” she continued. What little of her mind cared for anything beyond that smile reminded her time was short. She brought a hesitant hoof up against Scootaloo’s chest, and she loathed the gentle push she had to give.

Likewise, Scootaloo resisted the notion. She fought against the push but for a moment; though, she stood, slowly, her smile turning for the worse.

It took all the strength in the world for Rainbow Dash to quell the lump in her throat.

Be strong. For her.

She managed a smile, and with it a hoof to bring those sad eyes back toward her. Don’t cry. Not in front of her. “What’s wrong, Scoot?” Like she didn’t already know...

Scootaloo looked down, body trembling, wings limp at her sides. Her voice choked, and she pulled away again. “I don’t want you to leave.”

There it was. She had wished it would be easier, that Scootaloo, though surely wanting her to fulfill her dreams as a Wonderbolt, wouldn’t make a scene, would just be happy and nothing more. There was fear in her eyes—fear of a future apart.

Keep it together. Keep her happy. “Hey,” Rainbow Dash said, gently. She traced a hoof down Scootaloo’s cheek. She drew those eyes back to hers and willed the best smile she could to her face. “This doesn’t mean I’ll be gone forever. You know I’ll see you at the Best Young Flier’s.”

Scootaloo seemed insistent on hiding her feelings. Again she turned away, but Rainbow Dash could see the tears rolling down her cheeks. “I just want to be with you.” She barely got the words out. Her heart was breaking before Rainbow Dash’s eyes, and she herself held the hammer.

Don’t lose it now. “I know it’s hard, Scoot, but we all have to grow up.” Rainbow Dash wiped a tear from Scootaloo’s cheek. She was a strong filly, but needed firm ground to stand on.

Be her rock.

“Can you do that for me?” Rainbow Dash asked.

Her words found a smile buried somewhere deep inside, and Scootaloo wore it bravely on quivering lip. “Of course. I’ll grow up to be just like you!”

Rainbow Dash laughed. Somewhere within herself she found the same smile, one that knew the filly standing before her had already grown up in her own way, was more than she could have ever hoped to call a part of her life.

“No,” she said, soft, almost a whisper. “No you won’t. You’re not gonna grow up to be some dumb, old Rainbow Dash. You’re gonna grow up to be Scootaloo. The Scootaloo, the best flier in all of Equestria.”

Before she knew it, Scootaloo had wrapped her hooves around her, holding tight to never let go. Hot tears stained through her flightsuit. “I love you, Rainbow Dash!”

The lump surged up Rainbow Dash’s throat, eyes welling with tears she couldn’t show—not now. She prayed to Celestia for the strength to hold them back, and for the courage to spread her wings in the imminent moments she wished would never exist. Tyco appeared in the doorway, curious, but stopped and smiled when he caught her eye.

She returned the smile for a moment, then closed her eyes, drawing it out with a deep breath the last few seconds she held Scootaloo in her hooves, gently stroking her mane, listening to the sobs. There was something comforting about them, that somepony hated seeing her go.

Beyond friendship. Beyond admiration. Somepony cared about her. It made her hold Scootaloo all the tighter.

But as much as she wanted to stay there forever, the Wonderbolts were waiting. “Hey.”

Scootaloo quieted down, wiping her nose. She looked up, the tiniest smile hiding at the corners of her lips.

“I have to go now, but just remember one thing for me. When you think you’ve got nothing left…” She nodded over Scootaloo’s shoulder, at Tyco. “You do.”

Tyco’s smile widened, leaning as he was against the doorframe. He returned her nod, a silent ‘go on’ on his lips, eyes bright with well-wishing. He would be there in her stead, like he always had. He shared a bond with Scootaloo that she could never replace, never outdo. No matter what happened to herself, it would get Scootaloo through this. That was all that mattered.

Time to go. The shorter the farewell, the easier. Rainbow Dash took off. She needed the momentum to keep from staying there forever. Over her shoulder, Scootaloo gave a few steps of chase, a beaming, hopeful smile on her lips.

“One month!” Rainbow Dash yelled. There was no return shout, but Rainbow Dash didn’t need one.

That smile said it all.

She turned ahead, the cool tailwind lending her speed. The sun had risen fully in the east, and it shone warm on her back.

It was going to be a beautiful day. She could feel it.

Before her the world lay bare, waiting, expectant of the wonders she would accomplish, the name she would carve out for herself, the dream she would realize. Beyond the horizon lay Vanhoover, and all its crowds and adoring fans awaited the debut of this year’s new Wonderbolts.

A brief thought back to Scootaloo. That smile, wishing her the best of luck despite the distance between them, was all she needed—her own little solace she could hold close in the month ahead. Scootaloo would be there for her. And at that moment, as she kicked off from a cloud for an extra burst of speed, she shook her away to focus on the performance ahead.

She never smiled quite the same again.

Author's Note:

And so begins the next installment of our favorite heroines and their tragic flaws. What awaits them in the future they have carved out for themselves? Let's find out! Special thanks to Cold in Gardez for his review of this chapter.

Onward and Upward!