• Published 12th Aug 2016
  • 795 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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An Old Friend

Author's Note:

Thank you all for the continous support, I just went through the week of exams and can find time again to proceed. Hopefully I'll keep the pace and the story going. I'll make sure I fix previous mistakes and also I thank all for the likes and comments. If anyone has any questions or points to make please feel free to type them.

"Hey Twilight! Where good ol' Rainbow has gone to? I haven' seen her all day!"

The purple mare sighed heavily for what was the umpteenth time that day. Her friends, mostly Applejack and Pinkie Pie, have been asking about Rainbow Dash to many ponies around at the end of the day. Most answers they got were about ponies who haven't seen her yet or only a couple of times during the day.

Of course both ponies took no longer and went after Twilight for an answer. The alicorn princess was a bit wear out over explaining the same story over again to one of her friends. Thankfully explaining things to Rarity and Fluttershy wasn't so bad, but she knew that explaining it to the farmer pony and the party baker would generate different results.

"Have you heard the news about the Equestrian Flying Marathon?" Applejack's face lit into an expression of recognition.

"Yeah, Pinkie has been talkin' bout it the whole day. This has somethin' to do why Rainbow's missin'?"

Twilight nodded, she was trotting distractedly on the company of Applejack and a very bouncy Pinkie Pie.

"Ahhn, I wish Dashie had told me about it! I would've gone with her and we would've lots of fun!" Pinkie chattered excitedly.

"I'm not too sure Pinkie Pie. Rainbow Dash went out for a serious task, besides I don't think Griffinstone would be up to your kind of parties." Twilight said humorously.

"Griffinstone? What in the hay is that?" Applejack asked staring confused at the purple mare.

"Griffinstone is the hometown of the Griffon Kingdom, its-

"Hold righ' there sugarcube. Are you tellin' me Rainbow Dash went after those griffins? What for would she look for them?" Applejack interrupted Twilight by raising her hoof while voicing her thoughts.

"Well, not all of them, just Gilda." Twilight responded warily. She wasn't sure if any of the other ponies would remind of Dash's old friend.

"What?! Why would Rainbow want to go after that snake?!" Applejack replied angrily.

"Oh no! Dashie went after Meany Macpants? Why would she do that?" Pinkie Pie asked with a saddened face.

Yep, seems they remind of Gilda just fine.

"Because there's things they have to do to fix their friendship, besides Rainbow wants to invite Gilda to Ponyville's team. It's not like she has much of a choice giving the rules."

"So you're tellin' me the only reason Dash went after Gilda is cause to get stuff right between eachother?" Applejack stared suspiciously at the purple mare.

Twilight did not understand the slight tone of accusation present at Applejack's words. She raised an eyebrow at wonder before replying.

"Well, in a simple way of putting it, yes. That's the main reason."

Pinkie Pie was uncharacteristically quiet while watching Twilight and Applejack exchanging words. Suddenly she gasped dramatically as she realized something important. Twilight quickly glanced at the pink mare, she stared unsure of what to make of it.

Applejack seemed to be internally debating with herself judging by her facial expressions. After a long awkward pause the farmer sighed.

"I'll be honest with ya Twi, I feel bad for Gilda."

Twilight's eyes went wide as dinner plates. Now that was a fascinating way of changing opinion.

"Why do you feel bad for her?" The Princess of Friendship wondered if there was something she could learn out of this strange predicament.

"If Dash is only goin' after her because of that race it means she's only carin' about Gilda because of that, not because she really does care about Gilda." Applejack said with the utmost honesty. Such point of view blew Twilight away with utter shock.

"Applejack! Rainbow Dash is not using Gilda for her own interests!" Twilight said at disapproval. Applejack huffed at disbelief.

"Didn' sound like it. I bet ya that Gilda will think the same, or do ya really believe Gilda won't assume the same thin' once Dash gives her an excuse of why she's ther' on the first place?"

As much Twilight didn't want to admit Applejack did have a good point. Rainbow went all the way to Griffinstone not for the sake of their friendship, but for the sake of herself and the team.

'Maybe she should have went after Lightning first.' Twilight thought feeling extremely guilt. 'I hope she doesn't take it the wrong way...'

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

After a short flight into a mountainous region the rainbow-maned pegasus managed to locate the once mighty town of Griffinstone.

On Rainbow's personal opinion even Applejack's farm was better on view than this place. It surprised the pegasus that the griffon town, that resided the very same griffons that Rainbow always judged proud and full of themselves(Ironically), would be contempt at living on a place so down in the dumps.

Getting into Griffinstone was easy, and it was cold just as Twilight described it. The shock of the drastic temperature change made her sneeze a bit, but nothing serious that would make her sick.

The difficult part was asking to the griffons about Gilda's whereabouts. Most of them either completely ignored her or, on few ocassions, pushed her out of the way. Rainbow gathered all the patience she could muster, it would be a really bad idea starting a fight in a place like this, especially filled with griffons.

She did find the griffon that she was looking for, though it surprised the pegasus that Gilda would be pulling a baking cart. At first glance the griffon seemed just as Rainbow last saw her, but a closer look revealed a skinnier and paler Gilda than before. Rainbow's ears perked up on alert, Gilda was too proud to let herself out of shape.

Approaching carefully towards the griffon Rainbow wondered what exactly should she say regarding their relationship. It's not like she couldn't pretend that the party incident never happened.

Gilda was busy working on adjusting her cart wheels, mostly because the ground was very irregular and not fit for wheels at all. Once Rainbow Dash got close enough she suddenly spoke without turning to look at her.

"Just a second, I'll be attenting you soon as I can. Damn wheel broke again." She said tiredly. Rainbow could tell her voice sounded strangely different from what she could remember. "Alright, what do yo-

There was a sudden pause as the griffon finally visualized her client. Her eyes went wide for few seconds while her beak opened slightly, but then it firmly shut as her stare of surprised turned into a deadly glare.

"What do you want here dweeb?!"

So much for a nice welcome. She really did sound harsh, more than Rainbow would've expected.

'H-hi, Gilda." Rainbow said timidly with certain apprehension. The griffon stared hard at the pegasus while eyeing her up and down.

"What you're doing here? Shouldn't you be at Lameville with your stupid friends?"

Now Rainbow wasn't going to allow her to insult her friends like that.

"Hey!They are not stupid!And it's Ponyville!" Rainbow replied angrily.

"Whatever," Gilda said before turning around to check the other wheel. Rainbow blinked confused.

"That's it?" The pegasus asked while giving the griffon an odd stare. 'Gilda would never drop out like that, what's wrong with her?'

"Yeah, so?" Gilda bit back while frowning firmly. She was already upset and the struggle she was having to fix the other cartwheel wasn't helping.

Rainbow Dash didn't respond, she was still unsure of what to make of Gilda's different behavior. The griffon herself was trying her hardest to ignore Rainbow's presence, but that particular task was so monumental for her to deal with that even fixing a simple cartwheel became impossible.

"I'm sorry. "

Whatever effort Gilda was making into fixing the wheel instantly evaporated as she turned around visibly surprised.

"What?" Rainbow Dask took a deep breath, her eyes closing at her own resolve.

"I'm sorry....for pushing you away like that. It's. ...not what best friends do. I..."

Gilda stared at the pegasus dumbfounded, she expected many things from Rainbow Dash but an apology definitely wasn't one of them.

"....I not saying you're right about what you did, but I wasn't that much of a friend either. I changed Gilda, and....so did you."

Gilda huffed annoyed. While feeling a bit hopeful about Dash's apology she was too stubborn and proud to take criticism.

"Last time I checked I was the same as always, unlike you." She replied hastily. Rainbow glanced at the griffon worriedly.

"No, the Gilda I knew back at Juniors Speedsters was shy and insecure, once we start hanging out she turned into a fun and kind friend. The Gilda I came to know later was nothing but just another griffon."

Gilda reared back in shock, not at the clear insult towards her kind, but the comparison of her with any other griffon.

"No, I'm not! I'm way cooler than those lame griffons!" She protested vehemently.

"I thought being cooler was the most important thing once, but what's the point if it makes you so arrogant that no one will want to be your friend?" Gilda snorted.

"Well, would you look at that! Rainbow Dash, the ponie most full of herself, trying to give me humility lessons! So much into about being the coolest that never bothered to ask me anything other than my name!" Gilda spat back exasperated.

Rainbow Dash felt like being hooved in the face. She stared back at the griffon with a mix of shock and confusion.

"W-What you're talking about?"

What happened next surprised Rainbow Dash. The griffon visibly deflated, all her anger went away replaced by a mournful expression. After a very tense moment of silence she finally voiced her thoughts.

"Dash......do you....ever wondered. ...why I was the only griffon at Juniors Speedsters?"

While the question sounded simple enough it still gave Rainbow Dash a sickening feeling to the pit of her stomach. Gilda seemed worn out of whatever she was trying to put up with, showing a side of her that Rainbow haven't seen yet.

"I...never stopped to think of it..." Gilda chuckled sadly.

"Never thought you would, you were always living in your little world. Also it's not like someone could stop you by any means, you were impossible. " The griffon laughed a bit at this.

Rainbow Dash didn't laugh, she was dreading whatever kind of conversation they were about to have. She reminded herself about talking with Twilight over this exact matter before.

'We became friends really quick, we learned things from eachother regarding flying or eating or pranking. It never crossed our minds asking about family or that kind of stuff. Hay, I don't even know where Gilda lives now or used to live.'

"I know you very well Dash, you're not here because you care about me, you're here to make yourself greater, as usual."

Rainbow knew she was right in a way, but the way she said that, the acceptance of defeat, the way she was giving up of it, it brought a sudden determination into her to prove the griffon wrong.

"You don't even know what's the real reason for me to be here! If I really didn't care about I can assure you I wouldn't be here at all!"

"Then what's the reason?" Gilda asked not really bothered by Dash's yelling and not buying her excuse at all.

"Because I want you to be part of my team of fliers at the Equestrian Flying Marathon. " Rainbow responded after taking a deep breath to calm down a bit.

Gilda blinked. Yes, she heard about it few times, some kind of big event the ponie princesses organized, not that she bothered to know further.

Even so, despite previous incidents, Rainbow Dash came all the way here to invite her? Was she really being honest about this? It was hard to tell if this was an excuse for Dash to be here, or the only reason for her to be here.

"Me, of all the pegasus, you came for me?" Gilda asked at pure disbelief. "Why?"

Because the rules says so.

"Because you're my friend, and I wanted for us to give it another try, doing what we do best....togheter."

Gilda stared into Rainbow's eyes for quite few time looking for any sign that could tell otherwise. After a long pause she finally came to the acceptance that Dash was being truthful.

"Well....I guess it's better than baking for this town of losers." She said somewhat sarcastically. Rainbow let out a chuckle.

"I didn't know you baked." The pegasus commented mockingly. Gilda glared back at her.

"Because you probably forgot to ask about my life." Gilda said sternly making Rainbow wince.

"Yeah, Gilda....about that..."

"Save it Dash, I'll get my stuff ready. Meet me at the entrance of the town, I have to talk with grandpa." Gilda said before pulling the cart away.

'Grandpa? What about.....oh, does this mean....?'

Rainbow broke that line of thought right away by shaking her head abruptly. It was better if she made her way to the entrance already, nothing was worse than having Gilda mocking her for being late.

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

Few minutes later the griffon finally came at the entrance of the town to meet up with the cyan pegasus. She was carrying her own backpack, thought it seemed a really fairly used one.

"So, I was wondering...." Rainbow said on an attempt to start a conversation. "What happened with Griffinstone?I thought it would be in a better shape for being hometown of the kingdom. "

"Pfff, that? You can ask grandpa when we get back one day, it's kinda of a short story and I'm too lazy for telling stories." Gilda said without much concern. Rainbow stifled a laugh while rolling her eyes. Same old Gilda.

"If you're saying so, are you ready? This flight might take a while."

"Ponyville wasn't that far last time I went there. Well, more like the only time but still." Gilda replied looking somewhat anxious.

"Oh yeah, we're actually going to Cloudsdale first. I....have another invitation to make." Rainbow said somewhat unsure.

The rainbow-maned pegasus was extremely worried about meeting up with Lightning Dust. Would seeing how Dust ended be enough of an example for Gilda to discredit Dash as a friend and leave her at the spot?

Hopefully not.

"Cloudsdale?" Gilda asked mildly curious. " I heard about it but never went there before. What is it like?"

"Kinda like my house, but at the size of a town." Rainbow replied not sounding very excited since she was still worried about how things would develop. So far so good.

Gilda raised an eyebrow.

"Is that town also filled with Rainbow Dashes?" She asked somewhat humorously.

No, but there's a Lightning Dust.

"I'm not sure, never stopped by long enought to talk with the other pegasus. I'm sure you'll like it." Rainbow said smiling nervously.

"If you say so, lead the way dweeb." Gilda said finally letting out a smile show up. Rainbow snorted.

Some things never change.