• Published 15th Nov 2011
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Cloudy Skies and Distant Lands - J-Webb



Applejack & Rainbow Dash end up in a jungle and must find their way back to Equestria.

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Crossing Paths

Cloudy Skies and Distant Lands

[Shipping | Adventure | Grim-dark | Sad]

Chapter 4: |
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*Note* This is the second fic in my series, if you have not read the first story this one will not make sense! Please read "Fading Colors" before reading this one! Fading colors can be found under stories on my page here on Fimfic.

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Day 3:

Bright early morning sunshine burst through the forest's canopy. The beams of light found their way to the ground and illuminated the undergrowth in a dazzling golden aura. Trees opened up to the warmth and the rushing river sparkled as the sunbeams reflected off its surface. The rising sun served as a wake up call for all the jungle animals; and soon, the waterfall's quiet roar was joined by all the sounds of life. A single ray of light, twisting and bending through the trees, caved a path for more light to follow. Applejack became encased in the stream of light as it found its way to her sleeping body. She lay fast asleep in a patch of unkempt grass not far from the water's edge. Her coat, matted and dirty, told the story of her most recent struggle with the river. The blood that had once stained her orange coat had been washed away the moment that she had plummeted over the edge of the waterfall. With the sun continuing to shine down upon the sleeping pony and warm up her body, her dreams had also begun to change to warmer subjects.

---

Rainbow Dash cuddled herself deeper into the earth pony's back. "Good morning, Applejack," she said.

Applejack eased her eyes open. Much to her surprise, the familiar walls of her bedroom greeted her sleepy eyes. She yawned and rolled over to face her partner. "Mornin, sugarcube," she replied.

Their eyes locked, a deep connection shared between the two. Rainbow Dash closed the distance between the two. "Hey, Applejack?" she whispered lightly. "How about an early morning tussle?" The Pegasus proceeded to playfully nibble the earth pony's ear, which produced a muffled moan of compliance from Applejack. Rainbow Dash meant business; she hated wasting time. Without allowing her partner a moment to protest her motives, she dove under the cover and headed straight for the earth pony's sweet spot.

"Hah, Rainbow, that tickles," said Applejack. She rolled over on her back to allow the Pegasus easier access to the parts she desired most.

"Hah! Quit it, Rainoo… oh!"

---

Applejack rolled over in her sleep. Fantasies of a good time played out in her head, with nopony around to stop them. Still deep in lover's valley, Applejack mimicked the positions of her dream self. The added effect allowed for the earth pony to heighten the realism of her dream. The earth pony's face flushed deep red and a hushed moan of pleasure escaped from her slightly parted lips. "Mhm… Rainbow Dash. Oh yeah, right there," she said aloud. Her body burned with lust, a deep desire for satisfaction engrossing her - a satisfaction only her partner could satisfy.

"Enjoying the morning, are we?" said a deep voice.

Applejack's eyes snapped open. A white-scaled dragon with deep blue eyes stood towering over her. Fear sunk deep into the pony's body that served to paralyze her like a vicious poison. Draak noticed the fear burning deep within the pony's eyes. "Fear not, pony. I am not an enemy, but merely your saviour," he said.

Applejack shook with fear. "S-saviour?" she said.

The dragon began to circle around the earth pony slowly. "I found you floating in the water, dragged you to shore, and kept you warm throughout the night. You really should be more careful. Such a fall could be instant death for a pony," he said sternly in a father figure tone.

Applejack's fears began to gradually back off. She felt a strange easiness towards the dragon; her internal instincts were telling her that he was indeed speaking the truth. She slowly managed to climb to her hooves, all of her major joints cracking from disuse in the process. She smiled at the dragon. "Well, Ah guess Ah owe ya a mighty big thanks, partner," she said as she took a bow towards the dragon.

Draak stopped his circling in front of Applejack and stood tall. He puffed out his chest slightly and blew dark smoke from his nostrils. "Please call me, Draak Rei. I am the Dragon King," he said.

"Pleased to meet ya, Draak Rei. Ah'm Applejack," said the pony in return.

After he finished his display, Draak returned to his normal four-footed stance. He bent down close to the earth pony. "And why are you all the way out here, Applejack?" he asked.

Applejack dropped her vision to the grass below and began to run one of her forehooves through it. "Ah uhh… got here by accident." She said and turned her head from the dragon to hide her embarrassment.

A mischievous grin crossed Draak's mouth. "Say…" he started. "You wouldn't happen to know a, Rainbow Dash? Would you?"

Applejack's face lit up at the mention of the name. She swung her head around instantly, an expression of pure joy plastered across her face. "Rainbow Dash? You know where she is?"

Draak smiled a little at the sight of the earth pony's joy. "I found her flying manically about in my lands, when I stopped her to ask just what she was doing. She told me that she was searching for a loved one."

Applejack felt her cheeks grow hot at the thought of Dash looking for her. "Aww shucks," she said with a love-drunk expression. After a moment of soaking up the thoughts, she shook her head clear. "Then what happened? Where is she now?" she asked.

The dragon sighed and walked towards the river. "Another dragon showed up and chased her away. I flew after them, but I was not fast enough. I searched this area all night, until I found you," he said and bent down to take a drink from the river.

Applejack watched as the dragon greedily gulped down liters of water from the river like it was only a glass. Seeing this made her realize just how thirsty she was. The earth pony joined the dragon at the river and began drinking from it herself. The water was sweet and did wonders to quench her thrust. After she satisfied her basic need of water, Applejack wiped the excess water from her mouth. "Thanks again," she said. "Fer saving me like that, it was mighty kind of ya." She removed her hat and took another bow towards the dragon.

"I do not expect thanks for doing what was right," he said.

Applejack's smile deflated, something was eating at her thoughts. "Ah'd love to stay," she said and hid her vision away from the dragon. "But Ah have a rainbow to find." With that, she shuffled past the dragon and into the jungle.

The stomping of feet came quickly from behind her. Applejack glanced back to find the dragon close behind. "I'm coming with you, it's dangerous for a pony in these parts," he said.

A look of amazement mixed with shock crossed Applejack's face. "Ah… Ah don't understand. Yer're the King of the dragons and you want to help me? No offense, but don't ya have better things to do rather than help a common earth pony find her lost friend?" she asked.

"There is no greater motivation than that of love," he said. "Besides you would do the same for me, I can feel it." He bent down beside the earth pony, low enough for her to climb onto his back. "Hop on. If we plan to find her today, we have to cover a lot of ground."

Applejack did as she was told and hauled herself up on the dragon's back. "Hold on tight," he called back to her and spread his wings in preparation for takeoff.

The earth pony seated herself on the dragon's neck, both hooves grasping tightly against the rough scales. A nervous flutter rose up from her stomach as she braced herself for flight. The long, powerful beats of Draak's wings sounded, shaking the foliage around them. Applejack shut her eyes and clenched her teeth tight enough to crush diamonds. She remained this way for a couple of minutes, still waiting for the bumpy lift off.

"It's safe, you can open your eyes now," said Draak.

Applejack slowly let open an eye to peak at the world around her. To her surprise, they were already well above the tree line. She glanced around at the land that seemed to stretch on for miles in either direction. Her fears retreated as she was left stunned in the utter beauty of the world. To her right, a barren landscape of rocks and mountains signified the mystic Dragon Lands. To her left, a mountain range gave way to a great and dense jungle of lush green vegetation, and beyond that, a sea of deep blue stretched out of sight. For the first time, Applejack felt a real sense of what it was like to fly. This time she could appreciate the true freedom of flying. Her thoughts turned to Rainbow Dash and how whenever the Pegasus got upset at something, she always took a long flight to relax. Finally, Applejack understood how she felt, the freedom the Pegasus longed for, and how it could only be filled by the massive blue sky.

A gust of wind rolled over the pair and they dropped a couple of feet in height; but Applejack could care less, she was far too enthralled in the stunning world to notice. "It's just so beautiful," she said at last.

Draak chuckled lightly. "It is isn't it," he said as he glanced around on the ground below. "hang on tight!" he called back to her and began to dive.

Applejack glanced over the side of Draak down into the forest below. The dense jungle slacked off and reviled a meadow of grass. Only something was off about the meadow. The earth pony squinted to get a better look at the clearing. Trees lay fallen around, some still burning and others a smoldering pile of ash. In the middle of the field a small light-blue body lay motionless with the fire creeping slowly towards it. It took Applejack's mind a second to recognize the body as Rainbow Dash's. "Rainbow Dash!" she screamed hysterically.

---

Sun poured heavily through the canopy of the forest and washed away the darkness of the night. Rainbow Dash began to stir from the high intensity of the morning light. She raised her hoof to her head and rubbed at a spot of soreness. "Ugh," she said and let her hoof drop back to its limp position. She eased open her eyes to allow them to adjust to the morning. The blurry trees soon came into focus upside down. It took Rainbow Dash a second to register the upside down trees as wrong. She sat up quickly, only to find that she was the one who was upside down. She thought back to what had happened and how she could have possibly ended up upside down in a tree. A memory of being chased by an evil dragon played out in her head and she began to remember how he had knocked her out of the sky. "I must have passed out after that," she said aloud as she rubbed her throbbing head again.

The cyan Pegasus jumped from the tree and spread her wings to land softly on the ground below. A sharp pain cut through her back and caused her to fall to the ground. "What the heck," she said with an expression of discomfort drawn across her face. Rainbow Dash turned to look at her back. She discovered that her saddlebag was no longer fastened securely around her; instead, a deep gash that could only have come from a dragon's claw ran down her lower back. She remained still for a moment, wondering just what to do about the cut. She sighed, realizing that it was beyond her knowledge of wounds and she would be better off leaving it alone.

Rainbow Dash began to walk in search of water. A thought crossed her mind causing her to halt immediately. "The ring!" She glanced around looking for the brown bag sticking out against the green of the jungle.

"Looking for something, pony?" said a deep voice with a growl.

Rainbow Dash froze in place at the voice. She slowly turned in place to face the creature that was calling her. Her eyes met his and they became locked together, a high stakes stare down, winner taking all. The dark-blue dragon rocked the saddlebag back and forth on his claw in an attempt to break the Pegasus's stare.

Rainbow Dash maintained her eye contact with the beast, but watched the bag swing back and forth in his claw from the corner of her eyes. "I need that back," she said with a calm, demanding tone.

The dragon cocked his eyebrow at the demand and a sly smile spread across his lizard-like face. "What? This?" he said and gave the saddlebag another twirl around his claw.

Rainbow Dash remained silent. An eerie atmosphere had settled around the pair as their stare battle dragged on. All the sounds of the jungle stood still and critters of all sizes gathered around to watch the stare contest from the safety of the nearby foliage. The cyan pony noticed the awkward silence of the jungle. Her nerves spiked, teetering close to the edge and a thin layer of sweat began to roll down her forehead.

The dragon sensed the pony's growing fear, his smile widened. "If the pony want's her bag, the pony will have to find it first." The dragon cocked his arm back and swung it forward with unnatural force.

The bag took off, flying straight over Rainbow Dash's head. She glanced up only to see the bag sailing off into the forest behind her. A loud growl from in front of her demanded her attention; she glanced down to see the dragon heading full steam for her. Her wings came alive in an instant and propelled her around and away from the dragon's hungry teeth. They were off. Rainbow Dash flew frantically to catch up to her bag and to avoid the pony-eating dragon close behind her; while the dragon flew almost calm like with the certainty of a good meal the only thought in his savage mind.

Rainbow Dash used her quick speed and agility to her advantage as she weaved through the trees with precision. Her mind always stayed one step ahead of her movements, which allowed her to stay one step ahead of her fiery competitor. Her heart raced with adrenaline-filled blood, steadily pumping it to the parts of her body she needed most right now, her wings. The Pegasus focused her eyes in on the bag as it began to descend. The dragon close behind her gave a mighty roar and picked up his speed. The distance between the two fliers began to close; what was once a gap of a few feet was now but mere inches. The dragon's fiery breath lashed out at the Pegasus's hind legs with the intent of burning right through them. Rainbow Dash anticipated the blast of fire and quickly shot upwards towards the falling saddlebag. She reached out and caught the bag's strap perfectly around her forehooves before quickly pulling up into a ninety degree incline. The dragon followed the small pony up through the trees, his wings offered him more strength, and he was able to make up the lost ground. The cyan Pegasus punched through the canopy with a small hole and was almost blinded by the full light of the sun. The dragon was close behind and had completely shattered the tree line from where he had made his exit.

Rainbow Dash shut her wings, tucked herself into a ball, and began to fall. The dragon clawed at the pony as she fell back towards him, missing her by inches. Once she was passed her pursuer, the Pegasus spread her wings again and flapped them with all her remaining strength. The dragon halted in his incline and spun around in the air just in time to see the pony disappear back below the tree line.

Rainbow Dash reentered the jungle at blistering speeds, tearing leaves straight off their branches as she blasted past them. Thick, unforgiving branches raced to greet her, with no time to evade them; the Pegasus was left no choice but to smash straight through them. She faced her eyes to the ground and shut them tightly right as the top of her head collided with a branch. A sharp snap rang out through the jungle, setting all the birds close by into a frenzy of panic. Pain exploded throughout Rainbow Dash's head, as she lost control of her flight path, she began to tumble towards the ground below. The hopeless Pegasus flipped end-over-end through the air, her limp body crashing into the many branches of the thick canopy. Pain lashed and clawed at her, she clenched her teeth tightly as her only defense against its overwhelming presence. Finally, the constant whipping of rough tree branches against her soft flesh stopped and she threw her eyes open in an attempt to save herself. It was too late, the ground reached up at the Pegasus faster than she could react. She smashed full force into the ground and drifted off to sleep.

---

The blue dragon stomped around a section of forest, certain that he had seen the pony crash land there. "Come out, pony!" he said. He continued to knock over the surrounding trees with big, powerful whips of his tale. After countless minutes of knocking down trees and setting the grass ablaze with his fiery breath, the dragon had created a smoldering circle of burning vegetation in the middle of the densely forested area. Thick, black smoke bellowed upwards into the sky from multiple fires that burned out of control in areas where grass still stood. Rainbow Dash lay unconscious, hidden in a particularly large patch of grass, square in the middle of the dragon-made clearing. The dragon neglected to check this area due to the ferocious fire that burned fiercely away at it. Instead, he proceeded to circle the area once more, still searching for any signs of his escaped meal.

A distant shriek and the rapid beat of fast approaching wings drew the dragon's attention away from his hunt for the pony. The ground shook momentarily as the owner of the giant, beating wings touched down close beside the unconscious Pegasus. Applejack pounced off the Dragon King's back with natural skill and grace. She land softly on the charred ground, and rushed into the grass where her lover lay. The orange-coated earth pony powered through the burning patch of grass in search for Rainbow Dash. Orange and red flames mixed with the remaining green vegetation to create a blur of colors that seemed to melt together in front of Applejack's franticly moving eyes. She whipped her head from side to side in search of the unique blue colored coat she knew so well. In the midst of her desperate search, a light-blue color washed into the melted mix of hot colors. She froze in place as her mind registered the distinctive blue of her lover's coat. She spun around to face the direction in which the color had appeared. Just on the other side of the tall grass, Applejack could see the faint outline of Rainbow Dash lying still against the ground. She rushed over to the Pegasus, pushing aside the tall grass that stood in her path. The cyan Pegasus lay unmoving against the ground in an awkward position that brought a knot to Applejack's stomach. A giant claw sized gash on her lower back had become reopened, and a line of sticky, glistening blood ran from it in a steady stream. Applejack's heart jumped into her throat at the state of the Pegasus and the amount of cuts and gashes that coated her battered body. She reached down, and pushed the blood soaked saddlebag off of Rainbow Dash's back; the bag sloshed to the ground - a sound that made Applejack sick to her stomach. She collapsed on top of her partner, and put her ear to her chest. Nothing was heard. Applejack pressed her ear harder against the Pegasus in an attempt to block out everything but the one simple rhythm that she needed so desperately to hear. Nothing else mattered to her in that moment, not even the searing hot wall of flames that roared straight for her. She wrapped the Pegasus into an embrace, and finally allowed her built up emotions to surface.

Draak lunged forward to intercept the rushing wall of flames that was heading straight for his friends. The attacking dragon took in an additional deep breath and blew another frightening wave of red-hot fire at the ponies. Draak placed one of his massive wings over the pair to shield them from the round of fire. "I'll keep him distracted, get here out of here," he said as yet another wave of fire splashed over his massive body like a tidal wave.

Applejack raised her tear-stained face off of the bloody and broken Pegasus to look the dragon in the eyes. "She ain't breathing!" she yelled up at him. Her bloodshot eyes glistened with teardrops and twitched frantically as if they were going to jump right out of her skull.

Draak stared into the earth pony's pleading eyes for just a moment before removing his shielding wing, and lunging himself at the attacking dragon. The two dragons collided in a swirl of molten fire and slashing claws that sliced through anything they came into contact with. The two beasts thrashed around in the air, each strategically planning on where to lay their next strike. Draak unleashed a fire blast straight into the blue dragon's face. His opponent stumbled backwards, temporarily disorientated from the surprise blast of heat. Draak seized the opportunity, his razor-sharp claws sliced through the thick scales of his opponent's abdomen drawing a stream of fresh blood to the surface. The dragon recoiled in pain, grabbing at his wound to make sure all his organs still remained intact. He narrowed his eyes at the Dragon King and unleashed a vicious roar. The dragon lunged forward, blindly swinging his claws at the King. In one clean motion, Draak dogged the fast moving claw that was aimed straight for his throat, and swung his tail in retaliation. The powerful tail whip collided with the blue dragon's chest, sending him flying backwards through the air.

Draak paused for a moment to make sure his opponent was incapacitated for the time being. One glance back over his shoulder at his friends had him rushing back to their side in an instant. "Step back," he said as he leaned down close to the lifeless Pegasus. Applejack glanced up at the dragon towering over her. The bright afternoon sun was positioned high in the sky above them casting a shadow over the dragon and silhouetting his expression from her. She refused to stand aside, instead, she continued to brush the matted rainbow mane from her partner's face and stare up at the dragon with a blank expression. "Applejack," he said. "You need to trust me, please, we don't have much time." He glanced back over his shoulder to check on his stunned opponent. The blue dragon had regained his lost breath, and was now attempting to stand.

A cloud crossed lazily into the sun's path, allowing for a brief moment of clarity on the dragon's facial expression. Applejack caught sight of the confident expression drawn upon the dragon's face, she nodded her head, kissed Rainbow Dash's forehead and pulled herself up on her shaky legs. The Dragon King leaned in close to the lifeless Pegasus and shut his eyes. At first, nothing happened, and Applejack began to panic again as thoughts of losing her rainbow of joy consumed her rational mind. Just as she was about to cave in and scoop up her deceased lover in a fit of grief, magic happened before her eyes.

Vivid purple and green colored dust fell softly from the dragon's nostrils. The weightless powder coated Rainbow Dash's figure from head to hoof for just a moment before being absorbed into her body. Applejack watched in amazement as the stunning display finished, leaving no evidence of it ever having happened. Draak caught a glimpse of the earth pony through dizzy eyes. "Take her, take her now, and run," he said weakly. "I'll buy you as much time as I can." With that out of the way, he turned back to his opponent - who had just made it back to his feet - and stumbled after him. Applejack watched motionless as her hero, Rainbow Dash's savior, and most importantly, their friend as he marched back out to do battle once more. It brought a tear to her eye to see, that even in his weakened state, the Dragon King was willing to risk his life for two ponies that he had just met. Another brutal roar rang out; Applejack shook her head and kicked herself into motion. Bending down, she wrapped her hooves around the unconscious Pegasus and hoisted her off the ground, and onto her own back. She took off galloping towards the jungle opposite of the fighting dragons with the brown saddlebag dragging close behind.

---

Skyfire started off down the tunnel after Xanthos. She took in the surroundings with a cautious eye. The walls of the tunnel stood 15 feet, easily, and were lined with sharp, jagged rocks. Minor holes in the stone ceiling allowed for small beams of light to penetrate into the passageway and help wade off some of the darkness. Skyfire was still inspecting the cave's rocks when the narrow passage way widened into a large room. She glanced down from the roof, only to see that Xanthos stood just up ahead, frozen in front of a giant door that stretched from floor to roof. The white Pegasus stepped up the stairs and joined her master at the door.

Skyfire looked the door over with a curious eye. A huge Draconequus covered most of the door but was surrounded by multiple carvings of unique symbols and scriptures. On top of the Draconequus's head, a hole was present, for what looked to be a tiara, with five other holes just above it. Her mind worked hard to make sense of the unique drawings that were carved into the door's stone surface. "What do they mean?" she asked.

Xanthos's horn began to glow red; soon after, a small and red magical ball of energy formed at the end of her horn. The orb floated forward and disappeared into the stone. A grinding noise came from the stone and dust fell lazily from above. The symbols began to rearrange on the stone door, and soon, a scene started to unfold right before their very eyes.

Four ponies marched together along the stone door; every so often, a creature would stand in their way, only to be struck down as the four moved on without so much as a second look. On the other side of the door, a Draconequus made its way towards the four with an intent for revenge. Their paths met in the middle of the giant stone door, and a giant battle ensued, which was shown with a poorly animated cloud of smoke. Once the smoke had cleared, the Draconequus stood victorious over the four ponies; and then the scene was over and the scriptures returned to their original positions.

Skyfire stared blankly at the door, still confused by what she had just seen. "I don't understand, Xanthos, what was that?"

Xanthos glanced to her companion. "Come now, Sky," she said. "I've told you this story many times." She said.

"But you always tell it so different, that was hardly the same thing."

Xanthos smiled a sly smile towards the young Pegasus. "Sky, you fail to remember. History is written by the victor." She said.

The white Pegasus bowed her head. "Yes, master," she said watching as Xanthos stepped up beside the door and leaned her head against its rough stone surface. The Unicorn let her eyes fall shut, and stood there strong and still as her thoughts moved forward in time. Visions of her on top of the world again with her three sisters close to her side swam through her head like fish in an open ocean - free and happy, everything at their disposal. "Sky, my dear, do you know what this door holds?" she asked. Skyfire stared at the black Unicorn for a moment, watching her chest rise and fall with every short breath of life. "This door, it holds the keys. The keys that unlock the most powerful object ever created. Do you know what this means for us, Sky?" she asked.

"I know what it means for you," Skyfire replied and turned away from her master - an act of defiance that many have been punished for.

Xanthos teleported in front of the Pegasus and pushed her back towards the giant stone door. "I've provided you with everything you could have asked for, and have only asked for a bit of respect in return, and this is how you act? Do you know how easy you have it here?" The Unicorn kept pushing forward, leaving Skyfire with no direction to go but backwards.

"This is all for you! All of it! You're just stuck chasing a dream that you had so long ago that no one else can actually remember it! And those ponies out there, you don't care about them, they're just going to die when the time comes!" By this point Skyfire had regained some ground.

The Unicorn snapped and she knocked the Pegasus backwards into the giant stone door. Skyfire smashed into the door with a thud and soon felt the hot, angry breath of her master looming tall over her.

"Sky," Xanthos said. "I've lived for a very, very long time, and in that time, many fools have defied me. Do you understand?" Skyfire clenched her eyes and nodded. As Xanthos continued to speak, her horn came alive with the deep-red magical energy that persisted as her natural aura. She levitated a sharp chunk of stone towards the white Pegasus who remained still and calm. "I love you, Sky, you're the daughter I never had, but you too need to be kept in line, don't you?" The rock drew closer to her white cheek.

"Yes master," she said flatly and without emotion as a silent tear fell from her bright-orange eyes.

Xanthos put the sharp end of the rock to the Pegasus's cheek, and began to drag it along the white coat that covered the soft, squishy flesh just beneath it. The rock tore through her flesh like a chisel carving a marble statue and created a thick river of sticky red blood in its wake. When Xanthos finished, and a line the length of Skyfire's face had been drawn, she tossed the rock aside. "There, all better?" she asked with a look of sympathy, as if the Pegasus had been in the wrong the whole time.

"Yes, master," Skyfire replied as blood ran steadily down her cheek which caused her white coat to become stained with the thick, red liquid.

Xanthos, satisfied with her work, turned and walked a few paces to allow the Pegasus some space again. "Good. Now I have some preparations to tend to, I'll be back for you once you've had time to think about your actions." With that, the Unicorn vanished, leaving a haze of black smoke behind.

Skyfire collapsed to the ground quivering and shaking heavily from all the raw emotions that were built up inside of her, she was ready to explode at any second into a big ball of flames. She knew that it could have been worse. She had stood up to Xanthos before like this. She reached up and touched the rough, uneven scar tissue of a similar punishment on the opposite cheek and shuttered at the awful memories that came with its touching. Skyfire tried to clear her mind, to get away from the world, and her place in it. As her thoughts became of a happier place - a better time in her life - she began to doze off on the cold, hard rocky floor.

When the holds of sleep had a full grasp of her unconscious mind, a dream began to play. It was a similar dream; in fact, it was the only dream she had ever had since leaving Equestria all those years ago.

---

Skyfire looked out from the bedroom window of her Cloudsdale home. Rain danced and raced down the shallow glass that separated inside from out. When it rained in the city of weather, it rained, and what started out to be a light drizzle, now came down in buckets. It was as if someone had taken the ocean and dumped it right over the city. Skyfire had come to know this dream well over the last ten years since she started having it. At first, she thought it could mean something. It always began with the ferocious rainstorm that always seemed to clear up at the same moment every time, which would then produce the same vibrant rainbow. A rainbow like she had never seen before. So pure and full of color that seemed to pop out at her, like the way she had imagined monsters popping out at her from under her bed as a young filly. It was at this point, that she would open the window and fly out of it, straight for that very rainbow that adorned the sky from one side to the other. Faster and faster she would fly. Harder and harder, but to no avail, it would always end the same way. She knew it, and accepted it. After having the same dream repeated for so many years, she stopped looking for any signs and just used it as a method to escape from life. So, it was no surprise when she never noticed the slight change in the dream this time. As she drew closer to the rainbow, and to the point of where she could go no further forward towards its beautiful sea of colors, she did just that; and not just by a few inches, for the first time, her dream allowed her to come within a hoof's touch of the rainbow. Just for a second, her rational mind kicked into lucid overdrive and all became clear. She finally understood now. She woke up, and sat up from the cold, rocky floor. "Rainbow Dash," she said softly. A smile came to her face and she knew just what was to be done.

---

A magical portal opened with a bright flash of purple light. Two distant screams grew louder in volume until a Unicorn of the same color as the portal popped out from it, and into the mud below. Nexus -whose mouth was still open from screaming - landed face first into the mud and got a mouthful of the wet earth. He forcefully pried his head from the sticky mud, producing a sucking sound as the earth fought hard to keep him in place. "Bleh!" he said and stuck out his tongue to spit the slick sludge off of it.

"Look out below!" said the portal. Just then, Starlight tumbled out of the portal like a stray bowling ball, and crashed straight into the back of Nexus's head; which in turn sent Nexus's open mouth back into the mud for a big helping of seconds. "Gross," said Starlight as he sat on his haunches in the mud, and shook the slick, wet earth from his hooves. After removing a satisfying amount of mud from his hooves, Starlight turned his attention to the next item of importance. "Nexus?" he called out.

"Mbht!" answered the dirt.

Starlight surveyed the surrounding area, completely oblivious to his mud-covered friend squashed into the earth below him. "Nexus?" he called again. "Where are ya, buddy?"

Nexus was becoming weaker from the lack of air. With one final burst of energy, he was able to get a hoof unlodged from the mud's suction cup like grip, and jab it into the rump of his friend. Starlight gave a small yelp and sat up instantly. To his surprise, a light-blue mud stricken mane was matted deep down into the mud. Starlight's horn began to glow, and with the help from his magical spell he pulled his friend from the earth. "Well there ya are, buddy. Why didn't you say so?" he asked.

As Nexus floated in place with mud slowly falling off his limp body, his facial expression quickly changed to one of anger. "I tried," he said calmly. "But you buckin' sat on me!" Nexus was screaming now, his limbs flailing in all directions to help further justify just how angry he really was.

Starlight laughed at his friend's anger, and released him from his magical grasp. The purple Unicorn hit the wet earth with a splat which in turn created a wave of mud to coat the pair from head to hoof.

Nexus grunted in anger. "Now look what you did!" he said as he tried to clear his vision.

The distressed pair simultaneously cleared themselves of the sticky earth with a simple cast of their magic. In an instant, they felt a smouldering wave of heat wash over their bodies with an intensity of a thousand suns. Nexus could already feel his eyes and mouth drying up as he stared shocked out into the endless sea of sand that now replaced the mud.

Day 4:

Twilight Sparkle trotted to the center of her library and gave the decorations a final look over with a keen eye. "Looking perfect, girls," she said while admiring the blue and gold, 'Congratulations On Your Engagement' banner that hung along the back bookshelf. The rest of the library's party packed décor consisted of multi-colored streamers, balloons, and confetti - the complete Pinkie Pie party palooza package.

Fluttershy had just finished dusting the last of the upper shelves when she noticed Twilight admiring the gang's hard work. She flashed a quick smile, and flew down beside her friend. "Oh, I do hope they will like it as much as I do," she said as she watched some balloons float to the ceiling.

Pinkie Pie bounced over to the yellow Pegasus, and threw her forehooves around her neck. "Duh! Of course they will like it, silly," she said with a laugh and a big smile. Fluttershy smiled back uneasily as she slowly slid out from under the hyperactive pink pony.

"Well I do hope they get here soon, darlings, I can only contain my excitement for so long," said Rarity with a pout as she stepped up on the other side of the lavender Unicorn.

Twilight rolled her eyes at her friend's comment. "Yeah," she said with a cheap laugh. "I'm not sure if I can hold on much longer myself." Twilight continued to giggle.

Rarity made her way to a small wooden table on the far side of the library that contained an assortment of refreshments, and poured herself a glass of punch. "I'm slightly jealous of them, you know?" she said and took a sip from her cup. "They share a love so special. Oh what I wouldn't do to have a stallion of my own…" she said with a deep exhale.

Twilight trotted up beside her friend at the punch bowl and helped herself to her own glass of punch. "There's still plenty of opportunity to find love, Rarity," she said.

Rarity smiled. "I know, darling, but a girl can dream, right?"

By this point, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie had joined their friends around the punch bowl, and they all took to sharing their own thoughts for love. The friendly conversations dragged well into the late afternoon, with no signs from either Rainbow Dash or Applejack. As the day turned to night and it became apparent that the couple would not be showing up, the group of friends all returned home with a longing to see their friends, but also a hope that they would return tomorrow.

---

It was well past sunset by the time Rainbow Dash came to. She sat up stiffly in the dark, and yawned loudly as she stretched her seized up limbs. She began to survey the area around her, only to find nothing but jungle trees, and a nice sized campfire crackling nearby. She stared at the orange flames as they crackled upward into the night. Sometimes, small sparks would appear with a crack and fall gently to the ground, illuminating the area briefly like the light of a firefly. She followed one of these sparks as it hopped from the fire. The spark blew away from the fire with grace, flying towards her on a gentle midnight breeze. It stopped before her eyes, floating in place like a ghost, and for just a second, Rainbow Dash could see a face swirling around in the spark. She held her hoof under the spark to catch it in case it began to fall before she could get a good look at the face. She focused hard on the tiny orb of light for a moment before it became clear to her. "Skyfire…" she whispered quietly into the night. The spark reacted instantly to the spoken name. It flew away from her hoof and off again into the night. Rainbow Dash watched the spark with her rose-colored eyes wide in amazement. Finally, the spark found a downward draft, and landed softly on top of a brown bag. The Pegasus began to reach for the bag, but the sudden sound of an object hitting the dirt behind her stole away her attention. She rolled over, curious as to what had made the noise. Applejack stood at the edge of the tree line - a branch of berries at her side - silently watching the cyan-colored pony.

"Applejack?" asked Rainbow Dash as she began to climb to her hooves.

The earth pony in question galloped forward, and crashed right into Rainbow Dash's embrace.

Applejack shut her eyes tightly in an attempt to stop the tears that leaked from them as she held onto her lover. "Rainbow…" she said. "Ah was so worried about ya."

Rainbow Dash hugged Applejack back, and found tears of joy stinging at her own eyes. "Worried about me? I was worried about you!" she said.

The earth pony drew back from the embrace and grabbed the other pony by the shoulders. "Ya don't understand," she said.

The Pegasus closed the distance between the two. With a forehoof, she raised Applejack's chin to look her in the eyes. "Understand what?" she asked.

Applejack stared blankly into her lover's soft, comforting eyes for a moment. "Ya died, Rainbow," she said finally, and threw her hooves around the Pegasus's neck again.

Rainbow Dash pried the pony off her neck. "Applejack, I didn't die, look. I'm fine," she said and spun around to show off her perfect cyan coat. "Now that I think about it, what happened to that huge gash on my flank?" she said to herself as she craned her neck to search for the giant wound.

Applejack ushered the Pegasus back to towards the campfire. The two sat around the cracking flames, huddled close in a warm, comforting embrace - That felt as if it chased all the world's evils away from the pair. Once the two had settled down, Applejack began her story. "When Draak and Ah found ya, ya were laying all bloody in the grass," she said.

Rainbow Dash's head rested against her lover's chest, listening to the soft words that she spoke. When Applejack had finished, she took her turn. "The last thing that I remember, was flying through the trees, trying to escape a dragon," she said and glanced up to read the earth pony's expression.

Applejack released a long, drawn out sigh that caused the Pegasus that was snuggled into her chest to reach up and kiss her softly under her chin. Applejack smiled and returned the gesture to Rainbow Dash's forehead. A few minutes passed in silence as the couple relished happily in the embrace of the other.

"That dragon was still looking for ya when we showed up. Draak fought it off, and then told me to get ya outta there," said Applejack.

Rainbow Dash picked up on the pain that resonated from Applejack's voice as she retold what had happened only hours ago. In an attempt to comfort her partner as she retold the story, the Pegasus began to brush the long, golden mane of the earth pony.

After a few moments of rest, Applejack began again. "Ah told Draak that you weren't breathing, an he just leaned in real close to ya."

"Like this?" Rainbow Dash interrupted with a wet kiss on the lips of her lover.

Applejack drank in the love and let slip a small, giddy love drunken laugh as she followed the tendrils of saliva to her lover's lips for another deep, passion filled kiss. "Almost like that," she said after the two had finally parted.

Rainbow Dash returned satisfied to her comfy position on Applejack's chest. "What happened to Draak," she said with a face full of wonder.

Applejack nodded at her lover. "Whatever he did to heal ya weakened him, but he wobbled back into fightin' with that other dragon, and that's when I left." Silence fell over the pair as they thought about the dragon`s wellbeing. Applejack began to cry softly. "Oh, Rainbow, Ah was so scared. Ya were coated in blood and Ah felt so helpless."

Rainbow Dash moved her hoof through her lover's mane again in long, smooth strokes. "Shh, Applejack, it's over now, we're both alright."

Applejack wiped the hot tears from her eyes as she regained momentary control of her nerves. "Thanks, Rainbow," she said. "After Ah got into the forest, Ah ran until the sun was long gone. When Ah finally stopped for the night and set ya down, Ah noticed ya were snoring, and all yer cuts were gone." She glanced down at the pony curled into her and shifted the rainbow-hued mane to reveal two sparkling rose-colored eyes staring back at her.

"Wow, I guess I kinda owe you guys my life, huh?" said Rainbow Dash

Applejack giggled. "Yeah Ah guess ya do, sugarcube."

After the topic of today's adventure passed, the conversations changed to their first day's exploration of the new jungle area the pair had found themselves teleported to. Applejack told the Pegasus about her run in with the tribe's ponies and how she fell over a waterfall, only to be saved by none other than the Dragon King himself - She did however, leave out her wet dream about the Pegasus. Rainbow Dash told her harrowing tale of frantically searching the barren wastes that is the Dragon Lands in search of her Applejack. She also included, her back talking to the King, and being clawed out of the air by a hostile dragon, only to wake up hanging in a tree.

When all topics had been exhausted and neither could think of anything more to say, Applejack reduced the fire to a few glowing hot embers and took her partner to bed.

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Comments ( 12 )

already read it on DA so i claim the title of first comment! :rainbowwild:

577860 Nobody gives a shit about being the first.

Anyway nice story I can´t wait for the next update.

578117 ....it was obviously a joke

578355 and it was obviously HILARIOUS <----- implies sarcasms

586701 OHOOO i see what you did there! :rainbowlaugh:

586733 Sorry for trolling I was a little bit moody.I forgot the most important Brony rule: tolerance and acceptance.

591890 lol its fine

"the complete Pinkie Pie party palooza package." Say that ten times fast.

DER MOMENT! I completely forgot who Skyfire was till Rainbow mentioned her. I thought she was just another new pony. DERP :derpyderp2:

When do you plan on continuing this? :fluttercry:

1295397 I actually have part 5 done, I don't ever plan on quitting it, and I try my best to work on it when I get some free time, just at the moment that free time doesn't exist....

Are you still making this? :fluttershysad:

1322927 well, I hope that free time comes to you eventually. :twilightsmile: And I Hope It Hurries! :flutterrage: But take your time at the same time. :twilightblush:

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