• Published 4th Jun 2012
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Rainbooms and Royalty - Trinary



Alternate Universe: Filly Rainbow Dash has just performed her Sonic Rainboom when she gets a visitor

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Fancy Parties

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“Announcing Her Royal Majesty, Princess Celestia!” Among the trumpets and fanfare, Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. Another night, another boring function. She cast a quick, envious look out the window. It was a beautiful night, perfect for flying. She could be practicing her Sonic Rainboom right now! Even after all these years, her inability to repeat her epic triumph still ate at her. Instead of working to correct that, she had to waste the night indoors at some fancy pants party for a bunch of rich snobs.

Princess Celestia gave her a gentle nudge with her wings and a quick look. Rainbow gave a silent sigh and a nod. She’d promised her mentor she’d be good tonight (neither one of them wanted a repeat of Prince Blueblood’s birthday party). Without another word, Princess Celestia gracefully strode out and elegantly walked down the stairs to the lukewarm, tepid applause that the upper-class thought showed proper appreciation.

Rainbow Dash, still hidden behind the curtains at the top of the stairs, sarcastically mouthed the next words she knew she’d be hearing. “…and student!” Fighting the urge to bristle her feathers, Rainbow Dash walked out on her cue…and promptly flapped her wings once and performed a somersault jump that took her to the bottom of the stairs in one leap.

She was greeted with awkward murmurs and stairs from the party goers who quickly found someplace else to look rather than her. “Wouldn’t know a good performance if it bucked them in the face.” Dash muttered as she walked over to the horse-do-over table. Actually it was properly called the Hors d'oeuvre table but Rainbow Dash couldn’t for the life of her figure out how you spelled it one way and spoke it in a way that didn’t even come close to matching it.

Dash tried sampling the tiny morsels available and had to fight the urge to gag. How the hay did ponies convince themselves that they liked these? What was wrong with a hayburger and fries?

“Rainbow Dash!” She perked her head up at Princess Celestia’s voice. “Could you come over here please?”

“Sure thing!” She called back; ignoring the disapproving stares and sniffs at her uncouth familiarity and impropriety, not to mention her lack of formal attire (or any attire for that matter). As Rainbow Dash nimbly worked her way through the crowd she couldn’t help pick up on snippets of conversations.

“…well I never…

“The nerve!”

“Princess Celestia deserves better…”

“Frightfully uncouth!”

“…a young ruffian and hooligan!”

Dash arrived to find the Princess with a pair of unicorns, one with a blue mustache and a monocle that Rainbow found funny and kinda cool all at the same time and a white and pink beauty who looked like she hadn’t eaten since last summer. “Ah, you’re here! Rainbow Dash, I would like you to meet Fancy Pants and Fleur de lis.”

Rainbow silently mouthed to the Princess, ‘Fancy Pants?’ Seriously? That was his name? He didn’t even wear any pants!

“Charmed to make your acquaintance my dear!” Fancy smiled gallantly, bowing to her.

“Uh yeah, ditto.” Rainbow fought the impulse to facehoof. No matter how hard she tried she could never make herself sound classy at these lame events. Celestia brought her hoof up to her face, trying to quickly obscure a grin. Fancy Pants chuckled.

“I must say you do make for a breath of fresh air!” He winked. “I dare say you do add some much needed color to these proceedings.” With a gentle gesture he raised Rainbow Dash’s hoof to his muzzle and gently kissed it. “So glad you could make it.”

Her cheeks lit up with a bright blush. “Thanks.” Her voice broke into an embarrassed squeak. She cleared her throat. “So, um, nice party?”

“My thanks, but I think we both know that it is not the liveliest party.” Fancy Pants gave a droll chuckle. “I’m sure you’ve been to much more festive soirées, haven’t you?”

“…You could say that.” Rainbow Dash tried and failed to suppress a sigh. “I mean, it’s great that you invited me.” She added quickly, feeling Celestia’s stare on the back of her head but couldn’t help adding. “It’s no day at the Wonderbolts Derby though.”

“Rainbow Dash…” Celestia’s rebuke was gentle and mixed with no small amount of bemusement, but was a rebuke nonetheless.

The contrite pegasus lowered her head. “Sorry…”

“Not at all, I quite agree.” Fancy Pants chuckled again. “Your Majesty, you certainly have a fine student. It’s always refreshing to hear a young pony speak her mind. In fact,” He looked down at Rainbow Dash. “I happen to have a personal box for the Wonderbolts Derby and I think a standing invitation to join me would make the experience much more memorable. Wouldn’t you agree?” He smiled as Rainbow Dash’s eyes grew.

“Ohmygosh Ohmygosh Ohmygosh…That’s so awesome!” She quickly looked to Princess Celestia. “I can go right? Please say yes!”

Celestia smiled. “I don’t see why not—provided you keep up with your studies.” She gave Dash a look as the cyan mare idly rubbed the back of her head.

“A heh heh heh, sure right. My studies. No problem! Thanks again Fancy Pants! That’s really cool of you!”

“Nicest thing anypony has said about me all night.” The older stallion chortled. “I think there are some other ponies your age here. Why don’t you go talk to them while us old ponies ruminate on things were much better when we were young.” He winked, prompting a small laugh.

“Sure thing! Thanks again!” Rainbow Dash was practically dancing on the tips of her hooves. Maybe this party wouldn’t be so lame after all!

& & &

Lamest. Party. Ever. Rainbow moped as she rested her head on her foreleg. She hadn’t been able to get within five feet of the younger ponies Fancy Pants had mentioned before all the talk of dresses and fashion had made the young pegasus feel like she was about to lose her lunch. So she just sort of wandered around until dinner was served.

Dash looked down at the spread in front of her and couldn’t help wondering why do they had a hundred seemingly identical spoons and forks when all the serving sizes were small enough to finish with one swallow?

A small bowl of soup was placed in front of her. She reached for a spoon. A small giggle greeted her. Rainbow Dash looked up, trying to see where it came from. All she saw was the other side of the table, filled with ponies who didn’t seem to pay her any mind. Shrugging it off, she reached for another spoon. Again, there was a giggle and chorus of titters.

Snapping her head up, Rainbow managed to catch a shadow of a smile on the face of a smug looking pink unicorn mare about her own age who was sitting just opposite her. Rainbow Dash glared as she started reaching for yet another a spoon. Just as the pink unicorn and her friends started to titter, Dash—foregoing any silverware—grabbed the soup bowl with her hooves and drank the entire thing in one gulp. She grinned toothily at the scandalized faces of the snobby young ponies who immediately began whispering with one another.

When some of the older ponies sitting nearby frowned disapprovingly at her, Rainbow Dash looked each one of them in the face, one by one, until they all broke away. The rest of dinner passed in relative silence as ponies watched the young pegasus devour her salad with the wrong fork, biting their lips at the crude display.

Defiantly, Rainbow Dash held her head up high. Whenever she felt the eyes of some disapproving snob on her, she just stared them down. No pony present could meet her gaze.

After dinner, Rainbow Dash went out onto the balcony, enjoying the silence and the cool night air. It was a welcome break from all the stuffiness of the evening. She rested her head against the balcony railing and let the wind blow through her mane. It felt wonderful.

When she heard whispered murmurings coming from the other side of the curtain, she couldn’t help wandering over to listen in.

“I simply couldn’t believe it…” It was the pink unicorn snob from the table. “Why would Princess Celestia pick HER for a student? She doesn’t even know a salad fork from a relish fork!” She raised a delicate hoof to her face.

“She’s not even from Canterlot!” Another unicorn filly dressed in finery protested. “My great grandfather personally received land from Princess Celestia two hundred years ago! Why would she pick some common country pegasus ruffian?”

“MY family’s been part of the nobility for five hundred years!” Another replied. “It’s nothing less than a scandal that the Princess should have such a common student!”

“And just look at her mane! I bet she dyes her hair just so she can look more like the Princess!” The pink unicorn snorted, prompting a titter of giggles. “The truth is that she isn't the least bit special.” Rainbow Dash clenched her teeth.

“Well, it’s not like she has anything else to play up.” One of her cronies said. “I mean, she even came to a formal dress party without any clothes, can you believe it?”

“Must be some sort of charity case, Tiffany…” Said the other lackey to the pink one.

"I've seen her flying through the streets being chased by the guards like a common criminal, which she probably is!" Tiffany snorted. "She thinks she's sooo amazing because she can flap her little wings and make pretty rainbows! Puh-lease! I've seen ladybugs fly better than her! You're right, she must be somepony's idea of a charity case."

That was it. Rainbow Dash threw back the curtain, revealing herself to the clique of snobby ponies. “That’s funny.” She snarled, taking a moment to delight in their momentary look of shocked surprise. “I didn’t think any of you even knew the meaning of ‘charity.’ ”

Tiffany, the ringleader was the first to recover. “Well! Don’t you know that eavesdropping isn’t lady-like? Oh wait, I suppose you wouldn’t know what lady-like behavior is, would you?” Her voice fairly dripped with insincerity.

“This from the mare too cowardly to talk about me to my face?” Rainbow Dash shot back, snorting and stomping as though about to charge.

“Hmph! Fine! Then I’ll say it to your face! And I’ll use small words so you understand: You’re a disgrace and an embarrassment to the Princess and she’s just too nice to tell you so. You’re crude, uncouth, and common.” She spat the last word as if it was the ultimate insult.

Rainbow Dash snickered. “If by which you mean not uncool, boring, and a complete snore-fest, I’ll take that as a compliment. Seriously, do you ever do anything besides gossip and preen?”

“Well!” Tiffany sniffed. “We can’t all spend our time *roughhousing* with the royal guard,” her friends tittered at the innuendo, “and crashing into Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns.”

“That was ONE time…and I did NOT crash…I simply miscalculated my landing a bit. And hay, at least I do something. What have you ever accomplished?”

Tiffany held her head up, trying to look down at Rainbow Dash—which she couldn’t quite pull off. “MY family’s served the Crown for centuries, where as your parents…”

“Don’t. Talk. About. My Parents.” Rainbow Dash snorted, her rose-colored eyes glinting with an angry reddish tone. Tiffany smiled as she realized she found a sensitive spot.

“What’s wrong? Ashamed of how common and dirt-poor they were?” She said with cruel malice as her friends giggled. “I bet they sold you to the castle staff as a chambermaid for a few bits and the Princess Celestia thought she’d be kind to say you were her student. Is that it? I bet that’s it. Isn’t that right, Rainbow Cra—” That was the last thing Tiffany said with a mouthful of teeth.

& & &

To say the least, it was one of the more memorable parties in recent Canterlot history. Rainbow Dash found herself sitting outside while servants set about gathering Tiffany’s teeth and handing out party favors to the leaving guests (and hopefully not getting the two mixed up). She was having a fine sulk when she heard the gentle clops of hoof steps on the stairs. “What do you want?” Rainbow Dash groused, not bothering to turn around.

Princess Celestia wore stern visage as she shook her head. She had gotten the story from Tiffany and her companions (and a more accurate version from one of Fancy Pants’ staff who had overheard it all). “Rainbow Dash…I understand that what she said to you was hurtful and cruel, but violence is not an acceptable answer.”

“Pff. Says who?” Dash pouted as she turned around.

“I do.” Celestia reminded her firmly. “I am your teacher and your Princess. You came as my guest and your behavior reflects upon me.”

“Well it’s not like I ever wanted to go! You forced me to!” Dash protested.

Celestia gave her a glance that cut off her protest. “I was hoping that you would take this opportunity to make some friends…apparently I was wrong.” She sighed.

“I’d say you were!” Rainbow Dash snorted. “Me be friends with those snobby, stuck-up gossipy brats? No way!”

Celestia cleared her throat. “Be respectful.”

“You first!” Rainbow Dash fired back, her temper flowering. “You didn’t even ask me what I wanted! I’m sick of getting shuffled around to these boring parties as your student. ‘Princess Celestia’s student,’ ‘Princess Celestia and her student.’ They don’t even know my name!” She stood up, angrily beating her wings. “I’m sick of being judged by a bunch of snobs and frou-frou ponies, I’m sick of wasting my time on them when I could be training for the Wonderbolts, and I’m sick of YOU!”

“RAINBOW DASH!” Princess Celestia flared her wings out widely. “You will be still!” Her voice rang with authority and Rainbow Dash felt her knees weaken. “I did not make you my student to hear you whine and complain like a foal!” It was testament to both Rainbow Dash’s attitude and how dearly Princess Celestia held her in her heart that Dash could invoke such anger in one who had a thousand years to learn to deal with all sorts of situations without losing her temper.

As suddenly as Celestia’s anger had come, just as quickly did it pass—like a cloud in front of the sun. She knelt down, laying her wing on Rainbow Dash’s back as the rainbow-maned filly tried--and failed—to fight the sobs that started to wrack her whole body. “I—I—I’m always stuck in YOUR shadow!” She hiccupped, tears spilling down her muzzle. “And always being compared to you…a-and I can’t win! I hate losing!” Rainbow Dash shut her eyes. “How am I supposed to win against a Princess?” She murmured. “S’not fair…it’s just not fair!”

“Rainbow Dash…” Celestia started, but apparently Rainbow Dash had had enough.

“I gotta go!” Rainbow Dash backed away.

“Rainbow Dash, wait!” But the pegasus had turned and fled, leaving behind a rainbow trail and a suddenly lonely princess before Celestia could say a word. Rainbow Dash’s pained words struck a chord in Celestia, for they sounded much like one another pony near and dear to her heart and said to her once, a millennium ago. The Princess looked up, sadly. She closed her eyes and solemnly vowed to herself. “…not again. Never again.”

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