• Published 19th Jun 2012
  • 1,757 Views, 155 Comments

Cutting Ties - fic Write Off

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4
 155
 1,757

Regrets

Rainbow Dash soared through the air, her multi-colored mane billowing freely in the wind. She loved the spring evenings in Ponyville. The air was cool enough to make flying a pleasant affair, and clouds were aplenty: left over from Winter Wrap-Up.

With one final spin through the clouds, she flopped upside-down on a nice fluffy cloud, thoroughly spent. From a corner of one eye, she watched as Tank flew towards her, and perched on her belly, giving her a nice tickle. That turtle must have followed her from home.

“Heh heh, Tank. Good to see you too. You’re... kind of cute, you know that?” For a moment there, Tank seemed to grin at her. His head disappeared into his shell and reappeared with a pink bow, which he placed on her chest.

“Oh no. You’re not putting that on me, Tank,” Rainbow admonished, quickly pushing the bow away. “That suits my sister better anyway...” she added softly.

Well, that soured her brief moment of rest. Memories of her past began to filter in, unwanted.


“Rainbow! Wait up!” her sister shouted.

“Aw, c’mon sis. It’s only a short gallop to Market Square!” Rainbow replied, cresting the top of the hill with gusto.

“You know I can’t run as fast as you! Wait up!”

“Fine...” Rainbow slowed her steps to a canter, her tiny wings folding and unfolding impatiently. The pale blue bob of her mane soon appeared over the cloud hill, her sea-green body following swiftly. The bigger pegasus came to a stop beside Rainbow, panting softly. Rainbow tugged at her hooves impatiently. “C’mon Sunny! We’re going to miss the show!”

Sunny Day smiled faintly at her little sister. “Alright, alright. Dad was right. You have energy for two ponies and then some.”

Rainbow was already zooming off, her tiny legs already pumping hard. “C’mon!”

The two soon reached the large square that marked one of the few flat spaces on Cloudsdale. A colorful crowd had already gathered, cheering and whooping. Rainbow tried to push her way past the legs of the adult ponies, only to be flung back time and again. She begin to feel tears welling in her eyes when she felt a pair of forehooves picking her up.

“Sunny!”

“Jeez, Rainbow, you need to slow down. Heer, let me help.” Sunny lifted her tiny frame and placed her on her head. With her elder sister as a makeshift vantage point, she finally found she had longed to see for a long time.

The Wonderbolts, here in person.

They were not performing today though. The lead Wonderbolt was appeared to be taking questions from the crowd, and occasionally scrawling his signature on the scraps of papers being shoved to his face. The other two Wonderbolts were doing the same, though they were following the lead of their leader.

Rainbow stared at them dreamily. “I wish I was as cool as them...”

Sunny gave a chuckle. “Oh, Rainbow. There are more things in life than being popular,you know?”

“Yeah, but look at them...” Already she was imagining herself in a Wonderbolt suit, standing in the spotlight and with hordes of adoring fan swooning.

The Wonderbolt finally raised her hooves and addressed the crowd. “Okay, that is all for today. Tomorrow will be our last day of Meet the Wonderbolts, so don’t miss the chance!” A wave of groans and muffled grumbling met the Wonderbolt’s annoucement. The Wonderbolt trio waved at the crowd, before taking to the skies, a trail of lightning and smoke in their wake.

“Can we come again tomorrow? Please?” Rainbow asked, putting own her best puppy eyes.

“Only if you do your homework first, Dash. C’mon, let’s go. Mom’s already waiting. We’re having roasted salad for dinner tonight.”

“Yay!”


Rainbow shook her head. Mom’s roast salad was one of a kind, now that she thought about it. Even Ponyville’s best restaurant couldn’t match it. Or maybe that was her nostalgia talking.

She sighed and petted her pet turtle, her mind turning towards her flight school years. Specifically after she gotten her cutie mark.


“Congratulations, daughter! I see you finally earned your cutie mark,” her father said. His stern features was softened by a rare smile.

“Yes, dad! Isn’t it awesome?” Rainbow Dash spun around once for her parents’ benefit, her new cutie mark in full view. Clouds striking a rainbow-colored lightning.

“Now that you know your purpose in life, I assume you’re going to follow in the family business?” her dad continued, his tone losing all its levity.

Rainbow scrunched up her face. “Dad! I got my cutie mark while flying, not by doing boring stuff like weather en—”

Her father held up a dark gray hoof up. “Quiet now, Rainbow. Your cutie mark clearly indicates that you are gifted for weather manipulation. That Sonic Rainboom of yours would have many interesting applications. It could revolutionize—”

Rainbow stomped her hoof on the ground. “Jeez Dad, how many times do I have to tell you, I don’t want to be an engineer. I want to fly.”

“... Rainbow, cease your foolish notion of wanting to fly. A respectable job what you need and--”

“I’m going to join the Wonderbolts one day!”

Awkward silence reigned in the room. Rainbow could see her father working his jaw wordlessly. Her mother seemed to have shrank behind him. Even she was fearful of her husband’s wrath at times.

Finally, her father spoke, an emotionless monotone. “No. I forbid it. Your place is here with the family.”

“What? You’re joking, right?”

“I am not. You will go to college and you will get yourself a degree in Weather Engineering.”

“Listen to him, Rainbow. He knows best,” her mother said softly.

Between her mother’s pleas and his father veiled threat, Rainbow capitulated. “... ugh. Fine. Whatever.”


Rainbow Dash blew a strand of her mane which drooped over one eye. Dad could be a real pain in the rear now that she thought about it. He always been one humorless pony. She laughed bitterly. If only he could see me now. He would burst a vessel just by imagining his daughter doing field work.

She glanced over at Tank, who had drifted to a nice easy slumber on the cloud edge, his magical contraption silent for the moment. She reached over to rub his shell gently. “I could have been a weather engineer you know. Working at the Rainbow Factory or maybe Equestrian Weather Control.”

Fortunately for her, Junior Speedster flight camp intervened. Or rather her former best friend Gilda did.


Rainbow Dash wiped her sweat off her brow, her mane pasted stickily to her forehead. Flying was hard work. Flying fast and hard was doubly so. But she loved every moment of it. Promising her dad that she would do two months of work in exchange for this was the best decision in her life.

“Hey, dweeb. You seriously considering to be an egghead?” a raspy voice said behind her. Rainbow’s ears perked up, and she turned to spy Gilda leaning on a locker nearby, playing with her talons.

“Egghead?” Rainbow said, tilting her head.

“You know, whatchacallit.... weather enginnuh... something... You know what I mean.”

“Oh, weather engineer. Yeah. I’m pretty good at weather control, so I guess it’s only natural.” The doubt in her voice was plain even to the self-absorbed Gilda.

“Hah! Listen to yourself. Would you rather be sitting in a room doing egghead stuff, or would rather join me in becoming cool?”

“C’mon, Gilda, it’s my father. There’s no way I can run from this.”

“So ditch him. Simple really.”

“Ditch him? You’re kidding, right?”

Gilda shook her head. “Dash, how do manage to be so cool and uncool at the same time? Just ditch the loser. He has no right telling you what to do. Cool ponies don’t need niggly dads telling them to be eggheads.”

Rainbow was on the verge of angrily defending her father when a small voice in the back of her head stopped her. Underneath all that griffon bravado, Gilda’s words rang truer than she would have liked to admit. High school had been one hard dreary slog. She found herself struggling just to keep up. The fact that her sister somehow managed to sail past was a pretty ardent reminder of how out of her depth she was. Sunny had always been the smart one.

“So... what are you suggesting?” Rainbow asked cautiously, her ears folding.

“Haw. That’s easy. Do it the griffon way. Barge into the house and tell him to back off. Well ‘least that’s how we do it back home. You lame-o ponies don’t usually have the guts to do the right thing.” Gilda eyed her. “Do you have what it takes, Rainbow?”

Rainbow chewed on her lower lips. Dare she defy the one figure in her life that had always controlled her? Dare she go against all she had been taught? She bowed her head.

“I... uh... sorry, Gilda. I... I can’t do it.”


Gilda snorted. “I knew you ponies were too soft.” Then her beak crooked into an unexpected smile. She ribbed the pegasus good-naturedly. “But eh, Rainbow, you’re still one of the coolest ponies I met. Just not... griffon material, you know.”

“Yeah...”

Still, Rainbow wondered whether she had made the right decision.


“I could have ran off with Gilda then,” Rainbow said softly, stroking Tank’s shell. “Huh. I wonder why I didn’t. At least I could have avoided all the drama.”

Tank didn’t answer. He couldn’t, of course. But that didn’t stop Rainbow from staring at the turtle expectantly.

Finally, she got tired of waiting for a non-existent answer and flopped back on the cloud again, her mind drifting to the day of her fateful breakup.


“Rainbow Miriam Dash. Come right here this instant!” her father’s gravelly voice shook the cloud house. It was loud enough that Rainbow jumped off her bed, dropping her Wonderbolt Today! magazine. She groaned and trudged to the door, peeking outside.

“What is it, Dad? I’m a little busy!” Rainbow shouted back.

“You heard me the first time. Come down!” her father boomed again.

Rainbow grunted and quickly flung her magazine back on her bed. She grudgingly trudged down the stairs and made her way to his study, where he was sure to be waiting.

“Yes, Father?” she greeted curtly, as she entered the room. Reflecting her dour father’s personality, the room was sparsely decorated. Instead, it was filled to the brim with bookshelves of various kind, mostly on the intricacies of weather formation. In one corner, lay his desk, also stuffed to the brim with work material of various kind. Her father looked up as she spoke. A neutral unreadable mask.

Rainbow blinked as a book landed on her feet. A quick glance told her it was her report card from Cloudsdale High. Uh oh.

“Rainbow Dash. You only barely passed your exams. How do you plan into getting Cloudsdale University if you cannot even master the simple art of algebra?”

“But the teacher’s class was boring! It had all the numbers and stuff in it! Half of the class was asleep!” Rainbow protested.

“Nonsense. I expected better from you, Rainbow Dash. A daughter of mine should not be so shameful as to merely pass her exams.”

Rainbow felt an eye twitching. It wasn’t as if she didn’t try her best. It was all for his sake after all. Gilda’s words came rushing back to her mind. All her frustrations, her grievances, all boiled to the surface.

“You know what? Screw this. I’m not your slave to be ordered around,” she yelled.

Her father narrowed his eyes. “What did you say?”

“I said, screw you. Screw your weather engineering. Screw your degree. I don’t want any part of it. I want to fly, not bury myself in books.”

“You... you dare?”

“I dare. I’m sick and tired of being ordered around to do things I don’t feel like doing. I’m sick of having to beg you just for permission to practice flying and sports. I’m sick of seeing you comparing me to Sunny. I’m not Sunny, and I’m not the daughter you want me to be!”

A long silence descended in the room. Rainbow stared defiantly at her father, magenta eyes meeting steel gray. Her father’s nostrils flared as he breathed, but otherwise he made no other move. Finally, he turned around and gazed outside the window.

“You want to fly?”

“Yes.”

“Very well. You’re no daughter of mine. Begone from this house.”

Rainbow was taken back by the sudden chilly tone. “W-what?”

“You have till tonight to pack your things and move out. I’ll make sure you’ll have a stipend to live off. I will not have it said I left my daughter to starve. But you’re no longer a part of this family.”

“... B-but... Dad...”

“Do not address me by that name. Now, begone.”

Rainbow stared at her father, once the pillar of her life. Now all she felt was anger and for the first time, hate. “Fine, Stormchaser. I’ll leave. I hope you’re happy.”

With that, Rainbow Dash stalked out of the room and slammed the door shut. That was also the last time she saw her father, his back turned on her.


Rainbow blew out a resigned sigh. She probably shouldn’t have exploded like that. Her father might had been more amenable had she just kept her cool. But, the past was the past. As much as she regretted it, she never did regret the freedom she gained afterwards.


“What do you mean, they moved?” Rainbow half-yelled at the impassive postmare.

“That’s what I said. The pony by the name Sunny Day no longer exists in this address in Cloudsdale,” the postmare replied. Rainbow sensed there would be no further answers/

“Never mind... thanks anyway,” she said glumly. She turned and trudged outside to the chilly streets of Hoofington. It had only been three months since she left her family. Even then, she still kept in contact with her sister through letters, though her replies are becoming shorter and shorter. Almost as if she was afraid to say too much. And now this.

Rainbow blinked as the first snowflakes began to fall on the street.

“Looks like I’m all alone now...”


“C’mon Tank. Time to head home.” She gently nudged her pet turtle awake. Tank stared sleepily at her, before nodding. He pulled the cord that started his magic flying device and got off to a hover. Rainbow chuckled. That had to be one of the best trick she taught Tank.

She took the scenic route home, taking the time to greet the various residents of Ponyville. Fluttershy outside her forest house. Twilight on the balcony of her library. Rarity and Pinkie Pie together in one of the cafes. Applejack on her farm.

Then she reached her own humble abode. Well, not so humble with all the additions she made over the years. Just as she touched down on the front door, she saw a her mailbox was flagged.

“Huh, I wonder who could be writing me letters,” Rainbow muttered as she opened her mailbox. It was a single white envelope, carefully sealed. No identifiable features, no sign of who might the sender be as well.

Rainbow crooked an eyebrow and tore the envelope open. The first line told her all she needed to know.

My dear daughter Rainbow Dash,

Rainbow dropped the letter and sank to the ground.

Father... after all these years... now only you write?

She briefly debated whether to burn the letter. It was just easier that way. Then she spied the ending of the letter.

Please accept my humblest apologies. After so many years, it was hard to believe that I was wrong. So very wrong about you. Please, Rainbow Dash. Come home.

Sincerely,
Stormchaser

Rainbow sighed. She folded the letter neatly and trotted into the living room. She still have a task to do, apparently. Searching about for her quill, ink and parchment, she began writing:

Father,

….

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