• Published 26th May 2012
  • 4,673 Views, 60 Comments

Above the Clouds - Lynked



Rainbow Dash is accepted into the Wonderbolts. But what isn't Spitfire telling her?

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Cloud 3

Twilight blinked. The library was slightly dim, thanks to her lack of new candles and the fading sun outside, but she, and the rest of her friends, could still see the proud Rainbow Dash. Dash was dressed in her new, shiny uniform that emblazoned her as a Wonderbolt. She stood in the center of the room, just in front of the table, with all eyes on her in disbelief and joy.

"That's great!" Twilight eventually said, a smile slapped across her lips. Her ears were up, and she was alight with encouragement.

Applejack stepped forward and bumped Dash on the shoulder. "Well I'll be, we got a Wonderbolt as a friend. Congrats RD."

"Indeed, you've done well. You say they just contacted you?" Rarity asked, eying Rainbow Dash over with an unbelieving look.

Dash nodded with a grin. "Yeah. They must've finally realized just how awesome I am. Said I was 'part of the team'. This is amazing!"

"It is!" Pinkie bounced up to Rainbow and hugged her so tight that her face went from cyan to crimson. "We gotta throw a party, with cake and streamers, and you can invite your friends, and--"

"I don't like it," Rarity said with a snort. She reclined on the library chair and swirled her wine about with her light blue aura.

Everyone looked to her. "That's... a bit rude," Twilight said.

Applejack walked around the table and up to Rarity, looking her over with a raised eyebrow. "And just why do ya say that?"

"Because," Rarity explained, "the situation is wrong. Rainbow dear, you are a very talented mare, but why would they just suddenly approach you and bring you in? Have you even kept up with them as of late?"

Dash rolled her eyes. "Duh I have. They aren't doing so good, so what? That's why they need--to get them back on top!"

Rarity sighed. "Let us drag Twilight into this. What do you think?" she asked Twilight, "Would it be reasonable to bring in a new recruit after you've fired half of your team in the first place?"

Twilight gently sat onto the hard floor and looked up in thought. "Well I suppose not, but then again, maybe. She has preformed incredible feats before, so I don't see why it wouldn't make sense to bring her in."

Rarity grunted. "Yes well... I still... I'm happy for you Dash. Truly I am. Congratulations," she said with a soft smile.

"Now that's more like it!" Dash exclaimed. She leaned on the table with a smug grin. "Well like I said, they need me for some training, then I can come see you guys again. It's a pretty sweet gig."

Pinkie began hopping around in circles. "Oh but Dashie, you won't forget about us right? That'd be super-duper sad."

Dash chuckled. "Nah, I could never forget about you guys. You're too awesome. Not as cool as me, but..."

"Yeah yeah, don't let yer head get too big, ya hear? I heard fame does that to ponies, and yours is big enough as is," Applejack said with a friendly lick of sarcasm.

"Pfft, I would never get a big head," Dash said, rolling her eyes. The magenta orbs made their circle, but then stopped and flicked about the room. "Hey guys, where's Fluttershy? I told her we'd meet up here, I thought she'd be here by now."

Twilight shrugged and took a seat beside Rarity. "I dunno. We haven't seen her since you two got back from your trip. I personally think she may have caught something in Cloudsdale. Did you girls hear about the recent development of the flu up there?"

"I did," Rarity said, almost proudly, as she took a sip of wine. "I hear the small clinics are so packed, they've asked the major hospitals for staffing."

"Well shoot, I outta brew up some of the good ol' Apple Family warm cider for the gal. Kills the sniffles in a jiffy." Applejack nodded with a strong stance.

"Huh," Dash said. "I should probably go see how she's doing. Sorry guys," she said as she headed for the door, "But the fame has got to leave. I've got a friend who needs me."

They all nodded, and Twilight stood to see her out. She opened the door with her magic, and Dash thanked her as she slipped out into the chilly twilight air. "So I guess we won't be seeing you for a while after this?" Twilight asked as Dash stood in her doorway. The other three mares inside all watched with stagnant faces.

"I guess. Don't worry though, I don't think it'll be too long. I know you all can't live without me." Rainbow Dash giggled.

Rarity rolled her eyes. "Yes yes, you're awesome and cool and such. Congratulations once again. Oh, and do have fun tomorrow night." She winked.

The others wished her farewell, and then the library door shut, leaving her alone in the oncoming night. Streaks of gold and pink filled the sky, and the first stars were beginning to poke holes in the violet expanse. Business in Ponyville was coming to an end for the day, with ponies receding into their homes, vendors packing away their supplies, and shops closing their doors for the final time.

Rainbow Dash progressed down the gravel road known as 'Mane Street', passed the houses, and walked out of the edge of town. The forest trail to Fluttershy's cottage was alight with the streetlamps which were few and far between, giving her just enough light to make it to the next one. The sun was almost gone now, fading away into the night, and stars now dotted the sky.

Fluttershy's cottage came into view soon enough, though. It seemed that all of her animals had been attended to and were settling down in their pens. From inside the tree's windows she could see candlelight, but not much else, and certainly no Fluttershy.

As she approached the old wooden door, she cleared her throat and fixed her mane. Then, she knocked softly. She knew Fluttershy like she knew Ponyville--all the ins and outs were mapped out. If she had knocked and louder, and the poor mare--assuming she was ill, Dash noted--would be startled half to death. Though how she fell ill in such a short time made Rainbow Dash roll her head about in light thought. Fluttershy had been fine when they returned.

Though, she was a bit quieter, if that was even possible. Fluttershy had been acting strange also, going out of her way to make conversation with Dash at times, then being a complete recluse at others. Maybe she truly was sick. Rainbow Dash sighed and shook her head, letting the back of her neck stretch as she waited.

After a while, she was about to knock again, when she heard shuffling from within. "Hey Fluttershy?" she called to the door, "It's me, Dash. You okay in there?"

There was an eep. "Um, Rainbow Dash? Oh my," Fluttershy said. The sound of a ratchet lock echoed through the hallow door, and it opened, releasing a plume of warm air onto the cold Rainbow Dash. She shivered in delight.

"Hey, you okay?" she asked again, looking Fluttershy over, "Twilight says you haven't come out since we got back." Fluttershy seemed to be fine--she still had that tepidness about her, which was shown as she sunk back behind her mane. Her posture was good, and her eyes weren't sunken in. Her features were a bit droopy, and even her head fell once, but Dash understood. It was nighttime, after all.

"Oh yes, I-I'm fine," Fluttershy said. "Um, you see, t-trips are just tiring, so I--"

Dash's eyebrow shot up. "Is something the matter?" Fluttershy simply backed into her cottage slowly. "Right... can I come in?"

"I, erm, s-sure," she said, moving out of Dash's way. Rainbow stepped inside and looked around. Once again she noted that things were in order. Her pictures were on the wall, her couch and other furnishings were still upright and in their place, and there was even a piping hot cup of tea on her coffee table.

"So what's the deal?" Dash asked, jumping up and landing on the couch.

Fluttershy shut the door and sat beside her friend. "Oh it's nothing, really. Just tired, that's all, I didn't mean to get you all worried."

Dash watched as Fluttershy leaned forward and picked up her tea. Fluttershy seemed to be looking away, just as she did for the last portions of the trip. But then, Rainbow saw something from the corner of her eye--a small, square, thin thing that looked like a sheet of paper. It fell from the coffee table to the rug below, sliding under the oval shadow.

She bent down and retrieved it, holding it up to the candlelight that came from the table. It was a picture, it's glossy sheen still there, showing it had been well tended. She squinted and examined it. She was there, standing atop a balcony made of pure white cloud. Beside her was Fluttershy, and a blue foreleg was draped over her neck. Both of them were smiling, probably with the help of a small glass of wine on the table beside them. It was night there, and the view of the lamplit Cloudsdale was rather romantic. She remembered this vividly.

Looking to Fluttershy, she took in a deep breath and smiled. "You still have this thing?"

The mare turned around to see the object in question. As soon as her teal eyes spotted the photo, she flushed a deep crimson and nearly dropped her tea. "Oh my. N-No, that's, I mean--"

"Chill 'Shy, it's cool. I think it's kinda sweet that you kept it so long," Dash said with a friendly wink.

"I'm sorry," Fluttershy said, resting her tea back on the saucer and placing both on the table. She reached out, and Dash gave her the picture. With a weak smile she set it down on the lamp table beside her. "It's just nice sometimes, you know..."

Rainbow Dash reached out and rested a hoof on her friend's shoulder. "Yeah, I do. Listen, I really don't mind it. No need to get all embarrassed over it. Is this what's got you so being so, um, well you I guess?"

"I don't know," she said quietly.

"It shouldn't bother you this much. C'mon, you gotta get out and chill. Tell you what, how about you go visit Rarity tomorrow, and you and she can get all prissy at the spa."

Fluttershy nodded and finally let one of her genuine 'squee' smiles flash on her face. "All right."

"Cool," Dash said. She stood, stretched, and yawned as she headed for the door. "Well I gotta get going. Tomorrow's gonna be a big day, y'know! First we're gonna do some training, then, the Wonderbolts are--I mean, we are--having a night out in Cloudsdale. It's going to get pretty rad, so I'll need some sleep."

Fluttershy stood and accompanied her to the door. "Will you come back and visit?"

"Well duh! I couldn't leave you guys, especially not my best friend." She ruffled Fluttershy's mane just a bit. "They say I just need to do a bit of training, and then I'm free to do whatever. And until then, you've got your... friendly little bunny guy. So..."

The door opened, and Dash slipped back out into the night air. "I'll see you when you get back?" Fluttershy asked from the doorway.

Dash nodded firmly and with a grin. "You know it." Then, she soared off into the night, a rainbow trail cutting through the night behind her.

~A~T~C~

The Wonderbolts headquarters were strangely quiet tonight. Spitfire squinted and flicked her ears up as she laid on her bed. It was odd to have a quiet night--it was strange to have a quiet day. But nights were always a bit more... rambunctious. Especially at their start, and, with not much else to do, and no major shows to train or rest for, it seemed that there was always at least one pony awake at all times.

She closed her eyes and let out a small sigh. The cloud bed beneath her was a light blue color, and softer than normal clouds could ever be. It occupied the corner of the room, opposite of her door. There was a desk on the wall beside her, and atop it was a list of potential shows, clipboards with various information, stacks of bills and other funding problems, and an empty mug of coffee.

Her eyes rolled over to the desk as she examined the clutter. Shaking her head and looking away, she muttered a curse beneath her breath. There was always something wrong, some bill left unpaid, some notice of pay-cutting. Her mind was full, abuzz at almost all hours, giving her fairly bad headaches not unlike the one that was making her grimace now.

She tentatively tapped her head. The throbbing that pounded from inside did not respond, so she smiled slightly and considered it a blessing. Her eyes now turned to the various pictures on the wall. Most of them, surrounded by blue and gold framing, displayed her and her team standing proudly at various shows. It was almost a chronological, really. At her door, a picture showed a significantly younger Spitfire who was showing off a barrel roll in a garden, the moon at its height.

Something that nopony really knew about Spitfire--and she'd never tell it anyway--was that her father never had problems with his bits. She had grown up in a small house in the Canterlot noble district, her mother being a court servant, and her father being one of the court himself, so there was never a shortage of luxury. She supposed that it was why she had been able to catch the eye of Celestia at the Canterlot Garden Party those years ago. A soft smile grew on her lips as she stared into the picture. Never before had she felt so proud of herself.

The smile fled quickly as her thoughts turned to the present. Now, her feelings were molted into the rest of her swirling thoughts, and it was rare for her to smile, frown, scowl or worse and truly feel what her face displayed. For the moment, though, her face was simply flat.

Shaking her head, she turned her attention to her newest flyer, one Rainbow Dash. Why her thoughts switched to that was really no mystery to her; the questions upon questions of her new recruit's situation were stacking. "I don't want to do it," she muttered to herself, and for a brief moment, she released a heavy breath in relief.

But her eyes wandered once again to her desk, where through the clutter, papers, pens, and coffee stains, she easily pinpointed one sheet of wrinkled lined paper. At the sight of it, she bit her lip and dropped her ears. On the paper were calculations stacked on equations stacked on numbers. All were fairly simply, and she had guessed the outcome, but at the time she supposed that a bit of number-crunching couldn't hurt.

Their bits were dwindling, and she knew it, and she knew her team knew it. The ladder out of the sinkhole, however, wasn't very pleasant, so she calculated her expenses and losses. In the end, she found the Wonderbolts to be in more debts than the stacks of papers on the desk revealed. To dig out of such a deep hole would be near impossible, even if they gained the approval of the princess once more. Spitfire would know--she had taken that into account as well. There was simply no room for Dash.

Worse, on top of the crinkled paper was a little blue slip. Because the agency she hired had long since abandoned the 'Bolts, it was up to her to deliver the slips. This particular one had the name, 'Stormcloud' written atop a dotted line, with a pathetic excuse beneath it. Spitfire pressed her hooves against her eyes and moaned as she rocked in her bed.

There was a sudden knock on the door, sending Spitfire from her bed in a hard jerk. Her heart was pounding and her hooves were shaking as she pushed herself up from the floor with a heavy breath. "Yeah?"

Fleetfoot popped her head through the door with a grin. "I decided you ought to know that Rapidfire and Goldrush are going at it again."

"What?" she grumbled. "Fine, I'll take care of them." She waved a hoof in a shooing motion.

Fleetfoot, instead of leaving, stepped in and headed for Spitfire's desk, bringing a scowl to her face. But Fleetfoot had made it there before Spitfire could speak, and was eyeing over that little blue slip. "Oh... Spitfire, you aren't serious, are you?" she asked, picking it up gingerly with a hoof.

Spitfire hunkered back down on her bed and rested her head in her hooves. "Well... not yet," she said, "But things are getting ugly..."

Fleetfoot sat beside her and gave her a gentle nudge. "Yeah, I know... But not yet, correct? She's safe?"

"For now," Spitfire said with a sigh. Then, she looked out the door to the small hallway that linked together eight rooms--the number of members at the time they left for bigger things. Now, only six were occupied, and she could only shake her head. "We had twelve members, Fleetfoot. Twelve."

"Hey, hey, try not to get nervous on us." Fleetfoot stood, set the slip down on the bed, and headed for the door. "Look, whatever got Goldrush worked up seems to be important. I suggest taking care of it before she bucks Rapidfire a good one," she said as she turned into the hall.

Spitfire got to her hooves and followed her teammate out, shutting her door behind her. Down the new hallway she walked, passing by a few other doors, one of which holding the slumbering Soarin. She sighed and walked past it, to the stairs at the end. She trotted down these, cursing herself for not adding new lights when she had the chance.

Eventually, the stairwell opened up into the kitchen, and she worked her way past Stormcloud, frowning at the fact that she had passed out in a bowl of oats. Spitfire gently picked her head up and set it down beside the bowl, then entered the lounge.

Sure enough, Rapidfire and Goldrush were rolling around, pinning each other to the floor before tumbling off again. Nothing was too out of place though, so Spitfire's throat eased up, and breathing became easier. She let her shoulders slump and head droop. "Guys. Quit."

They didn't.

With more force this time, she demanded, "Stop. Now."

They did. Goldrush had just gotten Rapidfire pinned in front of the fireplace, and her foreleg was raised above his head. Rapidfire just grinned and looked over to Spitfire. "Hey, just in time for the party!" he said, bucking Goldrush off of him.

The two shoved themselves upright and sat in their perspective places--Rapidfire on the couch, and Goldrush on her chair. Spitfire stepped forward and glared at them. "What did it now?"

Rapidfire laughed and sat up tall. "Goldrush here stepped outside 'cuz she was making the place smell like sauerkraut--"

Goldrush snorted. "I'm gonna hurt you..."

"--when some mailmare came by and dropped that off." He nodded to the table, where a little envelope lay torn open. Spitfire eyed it over, unimpressed.

"You two got in a fight over the mail?"

"Nope." Rapidfire shook his head and picked up the envelope. Opening the top slits wide, he yanked out a pair of golden sheets and tossed them to Spitfire.

She grabbed them and inspected the design. It was the night sky surrounded by gold bordering, and in the middle was the embroidered name Starstrikers. Then, beneath that were blue and black letters that read Admit One, Cloudiseum, Saturday, October 17, the coming weekend. Spitfire snarled and slammed them down. "Arrogant pricks."

"I say we burn 'em," Goldrush said with a shrug. "The fire could use a boost."

Rapidfire rolled his eyes. "I think we should go. Find out what they're up to, y'know? Like... spies."

Spitfire slowly eased herself down on the other chair, tossing her head back and groaning. "Where's Fleetfoot? We need a brain."

"I dunno," Rapidfire said, "She said she was going to bed. So... bed." He turned and looked out the long window, where the night sky lay just beyond. Stars were twinkling brightly, and not a cloud was in the sky.

Spitfire sighed. "I think I agree with Goldrush on this one. Toast 'em."

"Wait!" Rapidfire said, standing in Goldrush's way as she reached for the tickets. "What if you took Rainbow Dash to the show, huh? Show her how much cooler we are."

"Not this again." Goldrush slammed down on her haunches. "What do you think that's even gonna do, anyway?"

He shrugged. "Well I dunno. Maybe it'll get her fired up about us."

"I'm not even gonna argue," Goldrush huffed as she retook her seat. Rapidfire stood proudly with a smug grin across his face.

Spitfire stood and grabbed the tickets. "You know, he's onto something. It's rare, but it's true. I'll... think it over." She looked into the kitchen, where the snoozing bolt, her face covered in oats, twitched lightly. "Um, could you guys get Stormcloud upstairs? I doubt she's waking up anytime soon."

Both Rapidfire and Goldrush grumbled, but stood and headed for the kitchen. Spitfire watched them, and when they were gone, she sat once again and looked down to the tickets with a frown. Just what she was trying to accomplish, she didn't even know. Biting her lip, she rethought it, and her eyes flicked over to the crackling fire in the hearth.

It's maw cast an orange glow on the room that seemed to beg for the tickets. Spitfire blinked rapidly and flushed her mind. Her head tilted up in thought, and a smile came to her lips. She took the tickets in her mouth, stood from the chair, and went back to her room for the night.

[Hey guys! My editor is busy, so this is self-edited for now. Have a gander at my terrible skills. Sorry about that, it'll be edited soon enough. But I wanted to get it out. I think you'll notice the various narration issues. Also, self-premotion time! Keep an eye out for my new LunaTavia fic, coming soon.]

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Comments ( 15 )

Some people don't come down this far, so I wanted to add that snippet in the story itself. Sorry for any detraction.

For those of you who have come down this far and intend to leave a nice savory comment for my eyes to feast upon (Please?) I just want to say that there may be minor rewrites, but the story will ultimately stay the same. Just narration fixes and the like.

Thanks for reading! :rainbowwild:

Hey you shouldnt doubt yourself so much. it flowed really well and there were not any blatant glareing erroes. i am really enjoying this story and for one glad to see an update. keep up the good work! also if your other story is anything like this il enjoy the hay out of it

Hey don't be an quick to doubt your writing skills, that was still a great chapter! Same as cory486 I thought the story flowed nicely and there weren't any major errors. All I can say is that this chapter was great, and I can't wait for the next one to be released. You have earned another track and like.

Cheers,
jangledorf

I noticed "chronically" when I think you meant "chronology". Other than that, though, yeah, pretty tight.

Also, LunaTavia? :rainbowhuh: Not sure if want.

I'm really happy to see another Firedash story. There aren't too many of them, and I find them to be one of the better Rainbow Dash pairings. This one in particular is good because it goes a lot more into how the Wonderbolts function. It's something that usually isn't gone into detail. keep up the good work!

Well, here I am, having read all three chapters.

I'm severely interested in where this is going to go, especially with the 'Bolts obvious reluctance.

Looking to Fluttershy,she took in a deep breath and smiled. "You still have this thing?"

The mare turned around to see the object in question. As soon as her pink eyes…

Fluttershy has teal eyes, only real mistake i saw. I dont like the wonderbolts anymore

Loved the chapter, even though its tough to see the bolts self-destructing. Keep em coming please. :twilightsmile:

:heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::twilightblush:Sorry, too much?

well, the story to this point has me interested.

When can we expect an update:pinkiehappy:

979995I'm not sure unfortunately :applejackunsure:

981191 Yeah, been there, done that. Just keep plugging at it. If you need a content editor let me know

Well good story, I hope you will continue it c:

3459895
I am from the future and I'm pretty sure the answer is getting closer to a "no".

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