• Published 12th Aug 2016
  • 794 Views, 46 Comments

Thunderbolts - Beakwood



Aiming to fulfill her dreams on becoming a Wonderbolt, Rainbow Dash gets the opportunity of a lifetime in the form of an international event. Thorough this adventurous task she will discover how big can she dream and how little can she expect.

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Reacquainted

It was awfully quiet when Rainbow left her room later on the afternoon. The pegasus expected to find Gilda or Twilight still around, hopefully discussing about other things that not her and Lightning Dust.

It has been difficult to handle both Gilda and Lightning, but it was evident that in Lightning's case things were far from ever being right. Lightning said she didn't hate Rainbow despite what happened back at the academy, but after Gilda's denial of friendship Rainbow wasn't sure of what to believe anymore.

Rainbow felt herself in every right to critize Lightning's attitude back then, even if Rainbow herself wasn't that much different few months before getting into the academy. So where she did wrong with Gilda and Lightning? Was she so worried about being cool and better that it got to her head?

In Gilda's case, maybe? Perhaps she favored her new friends more and kicked her out to not risk her new friendships. In Lightning's case she never aimed to get Lightning kicked, it was Spitfire who kicked her out in favor of her friendship with.....

Rainbow let out a groan of annoyance, realizing the irony of both situations didn't make her feel any better.

Perhaps that's a lesson about friendship they never learned, of not favoring one friendship above the other in pure self-interest.

Also the fact that Spitfire never seemed the type to make friends, she was always hanging out with the same pegasus. Just as Rainbow Dash was always hanging out with the rest of the Mane Six.

What happened with Cloud Chaser?Sunshower Raindrops?Cloud Kicker?Thunderlane?Blossomforth?Helia?Pizzelle?White Lightning?Derpy?Flitter?Star Hunter? When was the last time she hang out with any of them? Even at Weather Control she barely talked with them, most their conversations being about her time with the Mane Six or some random adventure.

This is why Gilda took a step back? Because Rainbow Dash favored the Mane Six above all the other friends she has? Friends that used to hang out with her way before any of the Six? Aside Fluttershy of course.

Perhaps she wasn't being a good friend as she thought she was.

"Hey, what's with that face? I thought you would be excited about the event."

Lightning's voice broke Rainbow's line of thought abruptly. The cyan pegasus turned around to see the former cadet hanging at the kitchen's door. Despite the serious face Rainbow could see that Lightning's eyes were looking at anything but her.

"I would be if I wasn't worried about every single one of my friends being mad with me." Rainbow replied while playing with a spoon over the balcony. Lightning stared confused for a second, this answer clearly not being the one she expected.

"I would understand if it was me or Gilda you were talking about, but all of them? Come on Dash, even you can't be worse at making friends than I am." Lightning said with a chuckle.

Who would've thought Lightning could manage to insult both Rainbow and herself in a single phrase and laugh about it? Wherever her usual pride went probably it came back as something else.

"I used to think I was a good friend, especially after I made friends with Twilight and the others, but I also lost friends along the way, probably would've lost more if not for Twilight's advises."

It seems it wasn't only Lightning's pride that took a blow.

"I've been through a lot of awesome stuff with these mares and, I dunno, maybe all my other friends became less important. They actually made me a better pony, but I made some bad slips that I never saw as a big deal."

"Wow, Rainbow Dash has actually grow a conscience, about time." Lightning commented rolling her eyes at this predicament. Rainbow huffed irritated.

"So as you probably did grow yours, once Spitfire kicked your flank out of the academy." The cyan mare retorted.

Way to go Rainbow Dash.

"No thanks to your whining, Miss 'I Must Be Lead Pony Cause I'm The Best'!" Lightning spat back feeling her anger returning in waves. Perhaps trying to held a conversation with Rainbow was a bad idea after all.

"It's not my fault you got kicked! You brought this to yourself!" Rainbow retorted defensively.

"Oh, what now?! You were there when we made that tornado! You were there when we knocked the others out of the air! I didn't do any of these things alone!" Lightning seemed at the verge of a stroke. "Then how come YOU get praised and made Lead Pony while I get expelled and literally banished from ever getting a job!! WHY?! Why?! Why....."

Lightning's voice died out as her anger slowly left her being replaced by complete despair.

Rainbow Dash wanted to say something back on her on defense, but Lightning touched on a very solid fact that even Rainbow never managed to comprehend. Sure it was great to be made Lead Pony, but once she learned that Lightning actually got expelled from the academy it broke any joy she had in a instant.

Despite all the wrong things Lightning did back then it wasn't really fair to have her dream crushed in front of her eyes so brutally, by Spitfire no less.

Rainbow felt bad for Lightning, but she never stood for the other mare, is this why Lightning was so mad at her?

"You just didn't bother, so happy that you got what you wanted, and you know what? If being Lead Pony meant so much to you, why didn't you tell me? I'm not a heartless pony that cares for nopony else but myself. I wouldn't mind that much giving you the badge, as long we could keep being awesome togheter. "

And that hurt into Rainbow's consciousness more than anything.

"Stop." Rainbow said while staring intensely at the floor. Her head feeling like it would explode at any second.

She couldn't handle this, this ammount of guilt and pressure unbearable. Did Lightning wanted Rainbow to cry? To apologize for the mistakes she made? To beg for forgiveness?

"I've heard so much about you since then and before." Dust kept her defeated speech ignoring Rainbow's plea. "The Crystal Empire, The Changelings, Nightmare Moon. The so called 'Element of Loyalty', how you saved the Wonderbolts at certain ocassions. What? You think I wouldn't know? You think I don't know who your father is? The powerful friendships you have? I admit that the first time I saw you I haven't really thought much about it, you were really good and awesome just as I thought. I felt really lucky to have joined the academy the same time as you did. Turns out that was the worst time ever it could've happened."

"Because you wanted an easy win through?" Rainbow guessed without bothering to be sympathetic anymore. She couldn't argue with Lightning Dust, especially when Lightning was being honest and the cyan mare had nothing to defend herself with. This sense of powerless just made her extremely uneasy.

Lightning stood quiet, her eyes studying the other mare across her with wariness.

"Here's why I think Rainbow Dash." Lightning said slowly as if to make sure Rainbow would understand it clearly. "Whatever happened back at the academy. ....it doesn't matter. "

.....

"What?"

Rainbow stared incredulous at the other mare. Did Lightning actually meant what she was saying?

"I'm still upset with you, but.....hey, we're here now, right? A whole new challenge ahead of us, against the Wonderbolts no less. So....I'm up to forgetting our problems and trying this out again."

"Do...do you mean that?" Rainbow couldn't believe her own ears. Never she would think that Lightning would be willingly to put past mistakes behind for the sake of somepony else. Lightning glanced around nervously, as if trying to find something that could provide her some sense of assurance.

"Uhm, yeah. I mean, this is a team, right? I know I wasn't that good of a teammate, especially when you got hurt." At Lightning actually displayed some guilt. "I should've know better than risking you or the others. I wish you had called me on my behavior before. I probably would act like I didn't care, but honestly I did care. That's why it hurt so much when Spitfire....well..."

"I wish I could apologize, but I know anything I say will be not enough. " Rainbow replied sheepishly.

"Maybe not....but....how about we forget all this and go out there and race?" Lightning suggested with a devious smile, this sudden change caught Rainbow totally caught off-guard.

"What?But, uhhhh...."

"What's the matter Rainbow, afraid of losing?"

It was this question that ignited the spark that Rainbow needed to become herself again.

"Ha! You wish! As if you could ever hope to beat me!"

Lightning slowly turned around and placed one of her front hoofs over her flank.

"Think you can catch this plot? I wanna see you try." Lightning said teasingly. Rainbow snarled indignated as she darted towards the other mare.

Once her bait proved successful Lightning flew her away as fast as possible out of the house. A blur of several colors chasing after her with furious determination. She wouldn't mind keeping the chase around the house, but the odds of crashing at such speeds were considerable and Lightning would rather fly 'safe' than get into debts for breaking somepony's house.

Though the idea of Rainbow crashing into her own house was hilarious.

********************************************************************************************************

Thunderlane carefully turned his head around, his senses warning him of the possible dangers laying around. Not that he was really concerned about being cornered by an angry mob of young mares, but he knew better than risking having marks of hooves all over his body.

Thankfully Star Hunter was kind enough to take Rumble back home while Thunderlane flew to save his own plot. To think all of this started because he vented some of his frustration over Cloud Kicker, which made him regret it later.

The young stallion wasn't really the most sensible pony around, but never would make somepony else feel bad on purpose. Cloud Kicker was just being inconvenient at the wrong time, especially with all the flirting regarding him and Cloud Chaser.

Thunderlane would be damned if he hadn't notice the obvious crush Cloud Chaser has own him. At first he thought it was another silly crush that young mares normally have, but once it became noticeable how long it was lasting perhaps it could mean more than that.

And it was unnerving.

He would be lying if he said he didn't like Cloud Chaser. She was strong, spontaneous, determinated and skilled. Her rebellious nature was something he really admired. Curiously enough she was one of Rumble's favorite mares, only second to Flitter. Which was understandable since they took care of Rumble on several ocassions due their job as fillylsitters.

"Greetings my young friend! What would you be doing hiding around this specific corner?"

That voice with strong and British-like accent made Thunderlane jump in fright for a second. He quickly recovered from the surprise to stare back at the brown-coated stallion standing right nearby.

"Whooves!Are you trying to scare me to death or something? I'm hiding cause I don't want a bunch of angry mares to bust my tail!" Thunderlane replied irritaded while glancing ocassionally at the street to make sure they weren't spotted by anypony.

"My apologies my dear friend. I admit I'm not actually surprised if you have another set of fine mares going after you with such passionate desires." Thunderlane snorted at the indirect. "Though I must admit it is unusual they would do it by developing negative feelings such as anger."

"I messed up. Kicker was being a brat and I was stressed out! This whole thing about the event has been getting me on edge since Princess Twilight came inviting us to join Ponyville's team. It means so much for everypony and even more to my career. I'm not sure if I will ever get out of the Wonderbolt reserves, this is my greatest chance to something different. Yet....I...wanna prove to Chaser I can do this well just as Rainbow Dash. I'm not fast like her, I'm not faster than Star Hunter, but I know there must be something I can be better at...."

Dr.Whooves contemplated the expression of hopelessness on his good friend with worry. He was far from being a pegasus and fully understanding the concepts of the magic they possessed, but cheering a friend in need wasn't exactly rocket science. That much he learned with his first friendships.

"I tell you what lad, how about a good old cider to highlight our spirits and clear our heads from troublesome? At least temporarily. " Whooves offered with a sympathetic smile. Thunderlane stared at him with a raised eyebrow.

"Since when you're the cheering type of pony?"

"No need to be so obnoxious about it. Just come with-

Before Dr.Whooves could finish two blurs went flyby above their heads, soon followed by a powerful blast of wind that raised all the dust around them. Dr.Whooves managed to keep his ground, but Thunderlane almost went airborne due the intense wind generating some drag on his wings.

After shielding their eyes from the ammount of particles flying around, both stallions finally let out their breaths once the dust finally settled down.

"Great wikering stallions! I think one of those was Rainbow Dash. The other I could not recognize. Who would've imagined another pegasus just as fast as our dear Rainbow?" The Doctor pondered fascinated.

"I think I know the other. " Thunderlane muttered annoyed while trying to clear the dust off of his coat. "That must be Lightning Dust. She was another rookie back at our introduction into the academy. Remember that incident I told you about the tornado?"

"Oh, indeed!" Dr.Whooves replied excitedly, much to Thunderlane's surprise. "To think only two pegasus could be powerful enough to generate such tremendous force of nature is a remarkable feat!"

"I think you did not understand the part where that almost killed my......Rainbow's friends." Thunderlane corrected himself at the end. True to be told the Mane Six have a friendship between them that rarely they shared with somepony else.

"My apologies, though I would be more than happy to explain the implications behind such feat, it seems imperative I provide you with a more approachable opinion. As I expressed it before I thought that the decision of expelling such talented pegasus was somewhat made poorly. Sure I can understand how some ponies might let illusions of greatness get into their heads, but if you want to educate good flyers you must do it both physically and mentally."

Thunderlane stood mouth agape while staring in disbelief at the other stallion which, much to Thunderlane's irritation, seemed rather smug.

"So you're trying to say Lightning Dust was unfairly treated because Spitfire didn't know any better?"

"Hum, I suppose that's one shortened way of saying it." Dr.Whooves said thoughtfully while placing a hoof under his jaw on a contemplative manner.

"Urgh, you're impossible. " Thunderlane said with a frown, though his smirk betrayed that anger.

Before Whooves could reply the arrival of another familiar face interrupted their conversation.

"Hey, you're....Thunderlane, right?"

"Uh?" Thunderlane turned around to greet the newcomer. " Oh, yeah. Uhm...Doc, this is Gilda. Gilda, this is Doctor Whooves."

"Doctor? You're medic then?" The griffon asked seemingly interested.

"That's a regular assumption, but I'm actually a different kind of doctor. It's a pleasure ma'm." Whooves said while bowing respectfully. Such formalities made the griffon a bit uneasy.

"Uhh, sure...." Gilda replied while sharing a look with Thunderlane. The black stallion was more than used with Whooves mannerisms. "I think you wouldn't mi-

"Yes, he would. " Thunderlane said cutting Gilda's curiosity before it would be too late. "I think my back is clear now Doc. I don't think a bunch of mares woul-

"Thunderlane!"

For the second time that day the black stallion jumped in fright at the appearance of another familiar face next to him.

"Ponyfeathers!" Thunderlane exclaimed after jumping few meters back. "Are you ponies trying to scare me to death?!"

"Might as well, especially after you were so rude to Kicker." Cloud Chaser pointed out heatedly.

"I didn't meant to do it, but she was being impossible and I was already on my nerves. I would apologize but you mares all chased after my tail." Thunderlane retorted defensively. Cloud Chaser rolled her eyes in incredulity.

"Anyway, just make sure to talk with Kicker once you see her again. I'll make sure to tell the others to give you some space. Oh, hi Doc! Gilda? I thought you were with Rainbow." Chaser said after noticing the griffon standing nearby the scientist.

"I would but Twilight dragged me out to meet the team manager." Gilda said distractedly. She was thinking whether or not to go after Rainbow and Lightning, it would be a good thing to give them the news regarding the leaderships.

"Oh, that sounds cool! It's somepony we know?!" Cloud Chaser asked excitedly. The pegasus shared a bit of a friendship with the alicorn princess.

"Not sure, it's a mare called Amethyst Star."

"Diamond Delegator?" Thunderlane asked expressing surprise. "It's been a long time since I saw her organize anything ever since Twilight came to live here."

"That is certainly true my friend!Miss Delegator has been visibly distressed during this last weeks. Perhaps the poor ammount of work for somepony of her expertise was affecting her more than she could handle." Dr.Whooves pointed out without missing the beat. Thunderlane stared at the other stallion incredulously.

"You knew she was going through such problems and didn't told anypony?" He asked astonished at Whooves passive attitude.

"I would love to provide assistence, but Miss Delegator expressed her dissatisfaction with my support and demanded me to leave her alone." Whooves sighed heavily. "Perhaps my approach on the matter wasn't the most appropriate for the delicate situation the mare found herself unable to handle."

"It's not your fault Doc." Chaser said in an attempt to reassure the stallion. "Amethyst was never the pony of telling the others about her problems."

"Not even K-

Gilda quickly shut her own beak as she realized she was about to spill the beans regarding Amethyst's relationship.

"Not even what?" Thunderlane asked curiously.

"Nothing. I just reminded I need to go after Rainbow and Lightning. See you three soon?" The griffon asked while digging her claws into the ground to contain her anxiety.

"Uhm, sure. Probably at Pinkie's party, it will be getting dark soon." Cloud Chaser replied while narrowing her eyes at the griffon's odd behavior.

Gilda let out a painful groan at the remind of the pink menace and her party. If wasn't for Pinkie being there Gilda would be looking forward to participate, besides she could use something to eat. Her early chase through the Everfree Forest ended poorly due the ammount of strange creatures that tried to take a piece out of her.

"Yeah, I guess. Later you all." Gilda waved quickly before executing a smooth flap of wings powerful enough to get her airborne.
"It seems to be getting late indeed, if you all excuse me I must leave now. I wish to hold a quick conversation with Miss Rose before festivities take place." Whooves said before swiftly trotting away after the flourist earth pony.

Leaving Thunderlane and Cloud Chaser alone in a very awkward situation.

They realized they were alone and swiftly averted their eyes away from the other to avoid making contact.

Cloud Chaser ran one hoof over her eccentric mane, as if to make sure it was properly set to her tastes. She couldn't help but steal a glance at Thunderlane's mohawk, his bright eletric-blue mane always fascinated her and she could barely resist the temptation of running her hoof across it. She still reminded how soft it was during the time she got the chance to feel it, even if for brief seconds, at least she had an innocent reason to do it at the time.

Chaser knew Thunderlane could get a bit uncomfortable if alone with a mare, he was a bit of a dork when talking with mares. Not that he would be silly or anything, but the usual confidence and coolness he tends to irradiate would instantly evaporate as soon any mare tried to start a conversation with him.

These last months have been difficult for everypony at Weather Control. Aside the usual crisis Ponyville tends to go through, the lack of proper leadership from Rainbow Dash has aggravated many relationships around. Not that Rainbow should be fillysitting her coworkers, but her lack of tact when dealing with certain situations made many pegasus upset, including Thunderlane.

The black stallion was still resenting Rainbow for dropping a lot of responsibilities over his back without much of a warning. Sure it was well know Rainbow Dash could be a bit lazy, but charging Thunderlane with Weather management and Head Pegasus was too much.

Sure the stallion received a fair ammount of extra bits, but the job itself took so much out of Thunderlane's physical and mental health that he actually ended in the hospital last month with a severe sickness. The ammount of stress Thunderlane was submitted ended being the main reason of his illness, which happened because Rainbow Dash was too lazy to do her work as leader of the team.

Of course that Rainbow suffered the wrath of Cloud Kicker, who was in a bad mood since she ended her relationship with Blossomforth. A lot of pegasus were under stress due the ammount of work thanks to Rainbow's inexperience at managing, her messing up several schedules, which resulted on Weather Control HQ sending somepony to chew on her lack of organization. Rainbow Dash had to ask for Twilight's help since Thunderlane would be at the Hospital for days.

Things have been settling up slowly the past few days, but more due Twilight's assistance. Ever since Stormfeather retired from management things were never the same, but perhaps they would be finally progressing once Rainbow gives up on trying to work as manager.

"So, how have you been? I was worried if you were getting sick again, you've been awfully quiet." Cloud Chaser asked trying to demonstrate somehow how much she cared.

Thunderlane just stared sheepishly at her, finding difficulties to come up with a good answer that would not make him feel embarrassed.

"It's fine, just worried about the event....aside other things. What about you? I hope the whole fillysitting thing isn't being much of a trouble." He replied with a nervous chuckle.

"Nah, but thank Celestia that Cloud Kicker is a grow up mare. I just can't imagine how much her parents suffered." Chaser responded humorously.

"I think it's questionable if she ever grew up." Thunderlane said much to both their amusement. The black stallion was feeling relieved that he managed to held a conversation so far, normally he would either find some excuse to dissappear or stutter all of sudden.

"Hey, will you be going to Pinkie's party?" Cloud Chaser asked curiously. Thunderlane refrained from rolling his eyes at the silly question.

"Who wouldn't? She invited everypony, and I don't want to be the pony she'll be chasing after because he didn't show up." Thunderlane said shivering at the thought. Nopony wanted to be chased by the sugar freak.

"I totally agree there. Still..." Chaser paused for a second, which incited the curiosity from Thunderlane. "...what do you think of Lightning Dust coming to fly with us? I know we talked about it earlier, but I really would like to hear one more sincere opinion, especially since everything said so far was kinda to make everypony at ease about Lightning being here."

Thunderlane wasn't sure how he felt about it either, despite discussing it with their friends earlier it still bothered them to a certain extent.

"I don't know. I know Rainbow well enough to know this wasn't her idea, but then, if it wasn't, somepony made her go after Lightning. I'm pretty sure Twilight must have something to do with it." Thunderlane responded hesitantly.

"Yeah, perhaps Twilight saw Lightning as a good choice, but it is a good idea to give her another chance? Ponies almost got seriously hurt last time." Chaser asked expressing her concern about having the former cadet in their team.

"Rainbow Dash wouldn't give her the benefit of doubt if she believed Lightning was still the same, with that in mind I think we also must give her a second chance. Perhaps getting to know her better? First time around she only spent time with Rainbow, and we all know Rainbow Dash is much of the ponu that goes after knowing more of other ponies, unless they're Daring Do or Wonderbolts." Thunderlane said with a satisfied smirk.

If there was something the black stallion never regretted was entered Rainbow's office without knocking, which resulted on a shocked expression on her face while holding a book between her hoofs.

Thunderlane felt very tempted on making fun of her but, for Rainbow's luck, the stallion took her feelings into consideration and promised to keep it a secret. The best part was Rainbow promising in return that she owned him one.

Till this very day she still owned that favor, one that Thunderlane wouldn't hesitate to abuse if Rainbow decided to cross the line.

" *sigh* I guess you're right. I'll go back home and take a bath. See you at the party?" Cloud Chaser asked while turning around to head back to her house.

"Sure!" Thunderlane replied a bit more enthusiastically than normal. Cloud Chaser raised an eyebrow. "I mean....yeah, I'll be there. Just gotta go back and check on Rumble to make sure he'll sleep at his time. Later Chaser."

"Hey Thunderlane." Chaser said making the stallion stop for few seconds. He stared at her questioningly. "Don't be a stranger. It was really cool to talk with you again."

Thunderlane couldn't help but smile in appreciation for the compliment.

"I won't. I promise."