• 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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New Faces

& & &

Rainbow Dash zipped over to the approaching unicorns, eager to meet them as far away from the crowd as she could. She plastered her widest, toothiest smile on her face as she fluttered around him. “Hey Shining Armor! What’s up?”

Shining Armor gave her the famous neutral-guard glower.

Dash rubbed her legs together awkwardly. “So, ah, who’s your friend here?” She nodded to the purple unicorn who was busy hiding in his shadow.

Exhaling gently, Shining Armor unbent, a little. “Rainbow Dash, this is my sister Twilight Sparkle. Twilight, this is Rainbow Dash.”

“Hey. ‘Sup?” She held out a hoof only to have Twilight regard it like a fascinating new species.

Twilight looked from side to side as she smiled widely: the size of her smile reflected an indirect relationship to her actual confidence. Then something seemed to click as she turned to her brother. “Oh.” Twilight Sparkle looked at him. “This is the filly you were talking about? The one that has a cru-umph!” She found her muzzle being magically held shut.

Rolling his eyes heavenwards in a way that just seemed to declare ‘Mares!’ Shining looked back at Rainbow Dash. “What were you thinking? Princess Celestia had the royal guard search all of Canterlot for you!” He looked at her sternly. “You can tell she was really worried!”

“Really?” Rainbow gave a sort of shame-faced smile.

“Yes. Really.” The captain of the royal guard sighed. “Dash, what am I going to do with you?”

With a dramatic sigh, the blue pegasus held out her hooves. “Clap me in irons! Pluck out my feathers, to the dungeons with me! It’s the life of a prisoner for Rainbow Dash…”

Twilight looked horrified while Shining snorted in amusement. “Oh, cut that out, it takes all the fun out of being mad at you.” He looked at the celebration spread out before them. “You didn’t take long, did you?”

“Hey, they wanted to throw me a party!” Her sandy voice was a mix of indignant and smug. “I’m just that awesome!”

Twilight hesitantly looked around. “I guess it makes sense to make you feel welcome since you are the student of Prin—ooph!” She suddenly found an apple stuffed into her mouth, courtesy of a blue hoof.

Rainbow Dash shushed her. “Keep it down with that P-word stuff!”

“Pwah!” Twilight spat out the apple. “But why?” She asked incredulously, sounding much too loud for Rainbow Dash’s liking. “Why would you possibly be ashamed of Princess Cel—hng!” Another apple.

Rainbow Dash gave her a warning look. “We’re in an apple orchard. I can keep this up all night.” She looked at both of them. “I just came into Ponyville today and they’re already welcoming me into their homes, throwing parties for me and stuff and they *don’t* know that Princess Celestia’s my teacher! In Canterlot nopony would ever do stuff like that unless they knew that you were somepony ‘important.’” Her nostrils flared. “I like being appreciated for being me, for being Rainbow Dash instead of being appreciated for just being Celestia’s student.” Her rose colored eyes were imploring Shining Armor as she tilted her head up. “This is really important to me so please, please, pleeeease don’t mention anything about Celestia to them?” She clasped her hooves together, going for the most over the top, wide-eyed, puppy-dog, lower lip trembling expression she could muster (she made a mental note to thank Ditzy later for all the inspiration).

Shining Armor groaned and covered his face with his hoof. “Ugh. Fine. Look Dash, when Princess Celestia sent me out to find you it wasn’t to clap you in irons or make a big scene. In fact, once we found out where you were she thought it might work out if you stayed here for a while.”

Rainbow’s jaw dropped. “She’s sending me away?! But she promised she’d help me perform the Sonic Rainboom again and get into the Wonderbolts! You both promised!” Her eyes wavered, beseeching him. “If this is about last night, I’m sorry! I’m really sorry. Please don’t—!”

“Woah, woah, hold up there Rainbow Dash.” Shining Armor held out both his hooves as though he was trying to fend off a herd of stampeding buffalo. “She isn’t banishing you…although she does expect you to make a full apology to Tiffany…but she wanted to make it very clear that she would never send you away if you didn’t want to go.” Shining Amor gently ruffled Rainbow’s mane. “You got that Dashie?”

Rainbow Dash, suddenly embarrassed by her outburst, blushed and nodded. She heard a faint cough and glared at a painfully-straight faced Twilight Sparkle who was doing her darnedest not to either laugh or ‘aww’ at the scene.

“A heh, sure thing…Shiny hiney.” Rainbow Dash grinned as Twilight Sparkle sputtered trying and failing to hide her giggles at her brother’s new nickname.

Shining Armor’s cheeks flushed slightly and he gave her a look that promised revenge later. “ANYway…” he cleared his throat. “Princess Celestia was actually thinking that you had the right idea: maybe a little time and distance away from Canterlot would be good for you. Just for a bit.” He hurriedly added. “She wanted to say…how did it go? Okay, she said that while Canterlot is a wonderful city, there are times when she felt like we live inside a bubble. She thinks that if you leave—if only for a while—and get to explore and live a little outside it…you’ll learn and experience things that you wouldn’t have otherwise, even if you stayed in Canterlot until you were a hundred.” Pausing to let that sink in, Shining took a breath. “So, the Princess would like it if you stayed here in Ponyville and helped work on the set-up for the Summer Sun Celebration—make sure it’s properly ‘cool’ and all.”

Rainbow Dash’s reaction was pretty mild. She did an aerial summersault and pumped her hoof in the air. “Yes! Oh this is gonna be awesome!” Then her face fell a fraction. “Um, I really don’t know stuff about how to set up a party…I mean if it were up to me we’d just invite DJ-P0N 3 and get some drinks and snacks.”

Shining Armor chuckled. “That’s okay. Turns out there are some ponies here in town who she asked to take care of the catering, the music and decorations and stuff. And as for the organizational side of things…well, that’s where my little Twiley comes in.”

Twilight lowered her ears, her cheeks turning pink. “Arrrrmor! Don’t call me that in public!” She pouted adorably while her brother gently tousled her mane. “Quitit!”

Casting a hoof over her withers, he looked back to Rainbow Dash. “My little sister is phenomenal when it comes to organization. It’s a little bit scary at times.” He confided in a mock whisper, prompting an annoyed hmph from Twilight. “So I’ll leave her here with you.”

“What?!” Rainbow Dash and Twilight exclaimed at the same time looking at each other.

Twilight recovered first. “B-but what about my studies! I need to practice, I have my final exams coming up soon from school and—”

“Twiiiiilight.” Shining drew out her name. “Who was the unicorn who managed to follow Rainbow Dash all the way from Canterlot with a tracking spell and a feather?” Rainbow looked at Twilight as if disturbed that she’d been messing around with magic using something that had come from her.

“Well, I did but…” Her brother’s gentle hoof on her mouth cut off Twilight’s ramble before it could begin.

“But nothing. You need to relax and not work yourself up into a frenzy.” He lowered his voice and said softly. “You don’t want a repeat of your entrance exam right?” Twilight looked down. “Hey c’mon you know I didn’t mean it like that.” He hugged her gently. “Everypony needs to take their nose out of a book and take a look around once in a while. Besides, I need a level-headed pony I can count on to help keep Rainbow Dash in check.” He ignored the look on Rainbow Dash. “Please, for me?” Shining Armor jutted out his lower lip in a pout that made his sister fold like a house of cards.

Twilight giggled. “O-okay. Anything for you B.B.B.F.F.” She nuzzled him. “If that’s okay with you, I mean.” She looked to Rainbow Dash.

The cyan pegasus opened her mouth to deny that she needed anypony to watch her when Shining Armor caught her eye and shook his head slowly. “…Fine.” She sighed. “Just…keep the stuff about Princess Celestia to yourself, alright? Get it?”

“Not really, but I’ll do it.” Twilight assured her. “Should we get back to your friends?” Rainbow Dash turned to realize that her absence had not gone unnoticed. She saw Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Ditzy Doo standing back waiting for her.

Turning back, she gave Twilight a brief nod. “Yeah, you go say hi. I’ll be right there.”

Twilight looked panicked at the thought of talking to them. “B-but what do I say to them?”

“Just mention Canterlot to the white unicorn or hi to the pink earth pony and they’ll do all the talking for you.” Dash deadpanned. She jerked her head.

Getting the idea that Rainbow Dash wanted to be alone with her brother, Twilight gave a small smile and slowly walked away. As soon as she was out of earshot, Rainbow Dash did her best to skewer Shining Armor with one of her many fine varieties of skeptical glances. “Keep me in check, huh?”

Shining Armor counted with one of his own, quirking his brow for emphasis. “Rainbow Dash, you know you can get a bit out of hoof. Twiley’s got a good head on her shoulders and honestly, do you *want* to be in charge of organizing all the preparations yourself?”

Rainbow Dash grunted in lieu of acknowledgment. “Fine, whatever.”

“C’mon Dash…Twiley means the world to me. She’s been shut in her room and the library ever since her entrance exam went nuts. She needs to get out and make friends, have fun, do something—anything—besides studying.” He implored her.

“Yeah, I can get that. But why me?” Rainbow asked curiously.

“Because there isn’t any pony in the whole world I trust more to keep her safe.” Shining Armor said seriously.

Daunted, she took a half-step back, her eyes widening. “W-wow. You can count on me.” She threw a sharp salute which she held until Shining Armor returned it. She looked around, making sure nopony was watching and gave him a quick hug. “Thanks Shiny.”

“Anytime Dashie.” He patted her withers. “Now let’s go…I think I smell some fresh apple pie. Let’s get some slices before I have to go back to Canterlot.”

Rainbow Dash smiled, her wings flaring in excitement. “Sounds cool! And…could you tell Celestia that I—you know.”

“I understand.” Shining Armor gave her a friendly nuzzle, pretending not to notice her cheeks suddenly reddening. “Now, let’s go see who can eat the most slices of apple pie. Race ya!” He took off leaving Rainbow Dash opening and closing her mouth like a fish out of water.

“Hey!” She took off after him, her heart lighter than it had been in weeks.

& & &

Groaning, Rainbow Dash rubbed her stuffed belly tenderly. “So…much…pie.” She let out a satisfied belch. Between the Apple family’s apple baked goods and Pinkie Pie’s sugary treats, most of the ponies present were in a similar state; having gorged themselves with food.

Applejack gently prodded her with one hoof. “Heh, good t’know that our victuals are appreciated. C’mon, up you go…time fer bed.” She slowly helped Rainbow Dash up. The beleaguered blue pony didn’t so much stand as she did lean against Applejack for support. With a chorus of moans and groans more suited to a battlefield, stuffed ponies slowly climbed to their hooves and headed for their homes.

Pinkie Pie, one of the few ponies who looked just as energetic as she had at the start of the party, bounded over to Rainbow Dash. “Hee, didja enjoy your party, huh didja didja?”

Dash tried to follow Pinkie’s motions with her head, but had to close her eyes for fear of throwing up. “Yeah Pinkie…that was really great.”

The party pony beamed. “Great! This was really fun! I just wish I had known that you were having friends coming by!” She pouted briefly. “I mean, we could’ve had lots more purple streamers and maybe some vanilla-frosted cupcakes…it’s not everyday we get three—THREE!—new ponies in town plus all of Applejack’s relatives stopping by!” She bounced around giddily. “Now you have lots and lots of friends and I have new friends and this is all going to be super-tastic! Bye Applejack! I’ll see you later Dashie-gator! Ooh, right I need to go give my pet alligator dinner."

Pinkie bounded off leaving Applejack shaking her head, dumbfounded. “Ah don’t usually have much t’do with that one but she seems nice if a bit…hm, what’s the word?”

“Random?” Rainbow suggested blurrily.

“That’ll do.” Applejack agreed. “Stay awake there sugarcube, a couple more ponies want t’say bye before they go.”

Rarity trotted up giddily to Rainbow Dash. She had merely taken some lady-like nibbles so as not to ruin her figure. She elegantly tossed her mane. “Rainbow Dash! It was so delightful to meet you and your lovely friends from…Canterlot!” Rarity tried keeping her voice even but she couldn’t fight the excited squeak at the end of her sentence. Clearing her throat, she went on. “You really do have the most charming friends Rainbow Dash…why, that Shining Armor is simply breathtaking! So gallant, so charming!” She sighed happily. The look Rainbow Dash was giving her would have charred her pretty white coat into charcoal. “A shame he has to return to Canterlot, but I’m sure I can arrange some time in my schedule for you and his sister! Perhaps we can all meet at the spa sometime, wouldn’t that be fun?”

“Ah’m sure she’d love to.” Applejack grinned, ignoring the grunted protest of Rainbow Dash herself.

Smiling, Rarity dipped her head. “Wonderful! Now I must go collect my little sister before she…aaaaah!” She shrieked when she saw her little sister. “Sweetie Belle what have you done to your coat?”

Sweetie Belle smiled her coat dusty and dirty. “Hi Rarity! I had a wrasslin’ match with Scootaloo! Apple Bloom showed us how. It’s kinda like wrestling! I won once!”

Rarity almost fainted on the spot. “Oh dear we have to get you home and into a bath, now! See you later darling!” Rarity called from over her shoulder as she prodded her recalcitrant sister home.

As soon as she was gone Rainbow Dash glowered at Applejack for the spa promise. The orange earth pony was saved from Rainbow’s hooves…or at least the prospect of Dash deliberately throwing up on her by Fluttershy’s timely arrival.

“It was nice seeing you Rainbow Dash.” Fluttershy gave her a shy nuzzle. “I’m so glad to see you again.”

“Yeah…me too.” Dash smiled weakly. “See ya later Flutters.”

“Oh, how lovely! Maybe we could do something together tomorrow? I mean, if you want to…I would’ve liked to talk to you more but there were just so many ponies around that I…” Her voice trailed off into a little squeak when she saw Applejack tilting her head at her. “I—sorry. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with other ponies, it’s just that—”

Applejack laughed. “Don’t you worry none, I understand. Mah big brother’s the same way.”

“I’m—sure I’ll find something for just the two of us. Maybe a flight or something?” Rainbow suggested.

Fluttershy nodded. “That would be very nice…thank you. Um, bye.” She quickly retreated, leaving Rainbow Dash and Applejack alone.

Applejack chuckled. “If that gal was any sweeter we’d be dipping apples in her instead of honey.”

Ditzy Doo fluttered up to them, Dinky Doo on her back. Ditzy, having a higher tolerance for her muffin-binges, was in better shape than most ponies. “Hey Rainbow Dash! Wasn’t this fun? Thanks for having us over Applejack!”

“Yeah, thank you!” Dinky chimed in. “I had a lot of fun! Can Apple Bloom play with me again sometime?”

“Heh, of course she can! I think she had a heap of fun with you!” The farmpony smiled. “Thanks for coming sugarcube, both of y’all. Don’t be strangers, ya hear?”

“Sure thing!” Ditzy waved as she started to fly off.

Dinky waved excitedly. “Bye Applejack! Bye Apple Bloom! Bye Rainbow Dash! See you tomorrow! Remember, you promised we’d go for ice cream!” She smiled as she turned back around. “Mom! Watch out for that—”

“Oh pickle muffins!” Ditzy got one of the banners from the party wrapped around her leg. “I just don’t know what went wrong…”

Dinky giggled as she nuzzled her mom’s mane. “You’re funny mommy!”

Applejack looked at Rainbow Dash out of the corner of her eye. “Was Ditzy always—”

“Yes.”

“Ah see.” Nothing more really needed to be said.

A few other ponies bid Rainbow Dash goodnight, including the ever enthusiastic filly Scootaloo. After shaking her off, Dash looked up to see Shining Armor stiffly making his way over. “Urg…I’m gonna be heading back.” He stumbled slightly as he nodded to Applejack. “Thank you again for your hospitality.”

“Sweet Apple Acres is always glad to welcome friendly faces.” She smiled as she helped guide Rainbow Dash up, gently supporting her with her side. “Besides, Rainbow Dash here’s already like one of the family. Any friend of hers is welcome.” Rainbow mumbled something incoherent. No pony paid her any mind.

“Friend, guardian, keeper…I have lots of titles as far she’s concerned.” Shining Armor quipped. He smiled. “That’s kind of you to say. Thanks for watching after Rainbow Dash for me, I have to admit I’m rather fond of the rainbow-colored ego with wings.” He smirked as he and Applejack traded a smile while Rainbow Dash tried to glower them into submission. Since she was only barely hanging onto her stomach contents, her efforts were not particularly effective. “And thank you again for letting my little sister stay here too. I imagine it must be crowded, between your family and all your relatives here for your reunion.”

Applejack shrugged, causing Rainbow Dash to almost fall over. “Whoops, sorry there…it’s no big deal. We got plenty of space and you’re sister seems like a nice girl. A bit shut in, but nice. Er, if you don’t mind my saying so.”

He shrugged. “It’s the truth, how can I get offended by it?”

“Y’sound like an Apple.” AJ said approvingly. “Anyway, have a safe trip! Rainbow and Twilight will be fine. Ah’ll have my big brother walk her up to the guest room.”

“Thanks. I’ll go find my sister and say good-bye.” Shining took the opportunity to rub Rainbow Dash’s mane. “You be good Dash. I’ll see you in a few days.”

While not quite asleep, but not conscious either, Rainbow Dash grunted something approximating a good-bye as Applejack led her inside and upstairs. She collapsed onto the guest bed. “Night sugarcube.” AJ whispered as she walked out.

Rainbow was jerked back into consciousness when Twilight Sparkle staggered in, herself half asleep. Twilight stumbled onto the first bed she saw, not noticing or not caring that Rainbow Dash was occupying it.

“Hey!” The pegasus grunted. “Go ‘way. Sleeping.”

Twilight was a touch cranky too. “I had to take a chariot ride all the way from Canterlot to find you and I arrived only to be mobbed by everypony in town. Then they stuffed me with food, pounded me on the back and shook my hoof until it ached. I’m sore, I’m tired and I’m not moving.”

“Well, I’m not either!” Rainbow Dash snorted grumpily.

“Fine!” Twilight squirmed, taking half the bed for herself. “Gimme some of the blanket.”

Rainbow Dash shut her eyes. “Fine…scratchy anyway.” She felt the blanket shift over her as Twilight curled up under it. Sighing, Dash felt herself drifting off to sleep.

“So….you’re friends with my brother?” Twilight asked, still awake though sounding sleepy herself.

“Yeah…whutabout it?” Rainbow’s patience, already thin to begin with, was just about gone.

“And you seem to have a crush on him—” Twilight started.

Aaaand now Dash was awake. “I do *not* have a crush on Shining Armor!” She turned over to face her bedmate. “Crushes are for little giggly fillies! So not cool.”

Twilight, not being the most well-versed in social interactions, didn’t know to leave well enough alone. “But the way you act around him…all of my psychology books indicate that you have all the ear-marks of adolescent love.” Despite being half-asleep, still managed to sound like a university professor.

“Shuddup or I’ll tell everypony that you used to wet the bed.”

Twilight looked horrified. “Shining Armor promised me he would never tell!”

“…I just made that up.” Rainbow Dash sniggered. “You serious?”

Even in the dark Twilight’s red face was clearly visible. “N-no! Of course not!”

Dash gave a perfectly smug grin. “You didn’t have anything to drink before you went to bed, did you?” She teased. Twilight facehooved.

“…How about if in exchange for not bringing up your crush on Shining Armor, we both pretend this conversation never happened and we just go to bed?”

“..Deal.”

Within moments, both mares were snoring gently.

& & &