• Published 31st Jul 2016
  • 1,343 Views, 35 Comments

Up in the Air - Krickis

Rainbow agrees to go on a date with Pinkie, but has mixed feelings. They always have fun together, and it's just a casual date to an aerial race. How bad could it be? Then again, Rainbow's never dated another mare before.

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Up in the Air

Up in the Air

It wasn’t like it was a big deal or anything; Rainbow Dash was way over the whole ‘panicking before a date’ thing. She’d been on plenty of dates, and she hadn’t actually been nervous before one in years. Sometimes they went well, sometimes they didn’t. Either way, Rainbow didn’t stress it. Sometimes – not often, but it happened – the date would go well enough that he’d become her coltfriend for a little while. Even that was no big deal, really.

Usually she didn’t date friends. Ponies always told her that being friends first led to more meaningful relationships, but since she wasn’t exactly looking to settle down with anypony, for her it just meant complicating a friendship. Still, this wouldn’t be the first time. All it meant was being a little extra careful with how things went. She’d agreed to go on dates with friends before, and usually remained friendly after the inevitable end.

However, there was one tiny detail. Just one small variable that set this date apart from every other one she’d been on – Pinkie Pie was a mare.

It was kind of funny to think about it. When she was a teenager, anypony who called Rainbow gay was asking for a hoof to the face. But that was a long time ago, and she had come a long way since then. She’d even been the best mare at Fluttershy’s wedding, which had only been the single highest-profile same-sex wedding Equestria had ever seen.

But no matter how much changed, the fact remained that she had decided she wasn’t gay before she even knew what being gay actually meant. She couldn’t help but wonder if she really wasn’t interested in mares, or if that was just something that she had predetermined for herself years ago, then stuck with out of stubborn habit.

And so Rainbow found herself walking to the station, where she’d be meeting Pinkie for their date. To any onlookers, she appeared just as confident as she ever was. She kept her head held high and wore a casual smile on her face as she strolled through town. But underneath it, all she could do was try and remind herself that there was really nothing to worry about. Pinkie was her friend first and foremost, and she’d understand if things didn’t work out. Besides, they were going to Baltimare to watch the Spitfire 500. She was pretty much guaranteed to enjoy herself, no matter what happened. So why not lighten up and enjoy herself already?

“Rainbow Dash!” Pinkie called out as she approached the station, and Rainbow remembered exactly why not.

“Hey, Pinks,” Rainbow greeted as she walked up. She was relieved to find they had both decided to keep things casual. Pinkie hadn’t gotten all dressed up, she wasn’t wearing any frou-frou perfume, and she wasn’t holding some sort of stupid bouquet behind her back. She hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary, she was just Pinkie Pie.

It was a good thing, too, since ‘just Pinkie Pie’ was about all Rainbow could handle. Pinkie was one of her best friends, even among her other best friends. She wasn’t about to start ranking her friends, but Pinkie and Applejack were definitely the ponies she hung out with the most. But being face to face with her before their date together drove a point home: there was a big difference between Pinkie as her friend, and Pinkie as her marefr–

Well, there was no need to get ahead of herself.

“Ready, Dashie?” Pinkie asked.

Rainbow was surprised to hear her offer such a neutral greeting. She’d expected the usual over the top excitement, but although Pinkie was clearly happy, she maintained an unusually calm composure.

“Sure,” Rainbow lied, “let’s get going.”

They walked onto the train together and took their seats. She had no idea what to expect from Pinkie on a date, but so far nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They were sitting next to one another, but no closer than they would be under any other circumstances. Pinkie turned to her and smiled, and Rainbow tried to figure out what she should be doing.

‘Make sure you compliment her when you meet up. Everypony likes to hear something nice about how they look.’ That had been Fluttershy’s advice. Fluttershy definitely knew what she was talking about, but trying to find the words was another matter entirely.

‘Look, it’s not that hard. Just act the way you usually do with Pinkie. I mean, somehow it got you a date, so she must see something in you already.’ That was Sunset’s advice, and Rainbow found that a lot easier to follow.

“I didn’t even know you were into races,” Rainbow said. There, conversing wasn’t so hard once she stopped trying to make it ‘date-worthy’ conversation.

“Are you kidding?” Pinkie asked. “I’ve been following Whiplash for years!”

“Whiplash?” Rainbow grinned. “Please, like she has a chance against Sunlight Streak.”

Pinkie held up her hooves, seeming to weigh the two racers. “Sunlight’s plays are always so risky though, so you know he’ll either come in first or last. And Whiplash’s been on the top of her game lately, so I think she’ll be pretty tough to beat.”

“Yeah, that is true. But you know, Baltimare has an open-air stadium, which is where Sunlight always does his best.”

“Hmm, good point.” Pinkie tapped on her chin. “But you know who else always flies really good in open-air stadiums? Storm Warning.”

Rainbow nodded. She did have a point. “Storm Warning is definitely one of the top contenders this season.”

The train pulled away as they continued talking about the racers, and they kept the conversation friendly all along the way.

All things considered, Rainbow was feeling pretty good about the day. Sure, if she dwelled on the fact that they were on a date long enough, she started feeling nervous again, but she solved that problem by just not dwelling on it. It was easier than she could have expected.

They arrived in Baltimare a little early, so they decided to stop for lunch. Rainbow had been a little nervous about that one, but Pinkie pointed out a small diner along the way – hardly the kind of schmaltzy romantic restaurant she’d been afraid of. They sat across from each other, and just like on the train Pinkie never hinted that it was anything more than two friends hanging out. And how could she ever feel weird about hanging out with Pinkie Pie? The only thing that almost made Rainbow feel like it was a real date was when Pinkie paid for both of them, and Rainbow had to remind herself that the date was Pinkie’s idea, after all. Still, it could have been a lot worse, and she was over it by the time they walked out the door.

Even when they got to the stadium, there was nothing date-like about their date. “I think our seats are over here,” Pinkie said, once they were through the main gate.

Something caught Rainbow’s eye, and she hung back. “Uh, yeah, should be right through there, third row. I’ll catch up in a minute though, just gotta run to the bathroom real quick.”

“Okey dokey,” Pinkie said, hopping off towards their seats.

Rainbow walked towards the bathroom, then kept going past it. She stopped at a souvenir stand and looked over what they had. She smiled and picked out her selection – two flags: a white flag with light gold accents and a rising sun for herself, and cream-colored with brown accents and a funnel cloud for Pinkie.

“That’s an… interesting combination,” the sales clerk commented, raising an eyebrow.

Rainbow shrugged. Her flag represented Sunlight Streak while Pinkie’s represented Whiplash, and the two racers had a competition that extended to their fans. “Come on, who cares about some stupid rivalry?”

For one, Rainbow did. Normally she wouldn’t be caught dead buying Whiplash’s merchandise, but she could look past that for Pinkie. She paid for the flags and wondered if she could convince Pinkie to change her mind and cheer for the right racer.

‘There. Now I won’t have to feel guilty about not paying for lunch.’ With the outrageous prices the stadium charged, she almost paid as much for the two little flags as Pinkie had at the diner. She tucked them under her wing and began making her way to their seats.


She stopped. Almost wasn’t really her style. Sure, coming here had been Pinkie’s idea, so there wasn’t really a reason for her to feel bad about paying less, but still. She looked around and spotted a concession stand. She wasn’t too hungry, and considering how much they’d eaten at the diner, Pinkie probably wasn’t either, so she opted to just get one funnel cake and hoped that Pinkie wouldn’t mind splitting it.

Proceeding carefully with the confection, Rainbow found her way to their seats. She’d been to the Baltimare stadium before, so she knew the layout well enough, but even if she didn’t it would have been easy enough to spot Pinkie. She was jumping up and down while yelling, “Rainbow, over here!”

Rainbow just smiled and rolled her eyes as she sat down. She handed Pinkie the funnel cake. “Hope you’re okay with sharing.”

“Of course I am!” Pinkie answered, smiling more than Rainbow really thought was warranted.

She just shrugged it off. It was Pinkie, and she’d brought dessert. What did she expect? “Here, I got you this, too.”

But as Rainbow passed her the flag, there was no mistaking it. Pinkie definitely had some kind of look on her face. Rainbow couldn’t place it. ‘Why is she looking at me like…’

“That’s so sweet of you, Dashie! Thank you!”

‘Oh. Right.’ She’d been so focused on not thinking of it like a date that she’d almost forgotten they were actually on a date. And she’d just bought Pinkie a present, and they were sharing dessert. Rainbow chuckled nervously. “Uh, yeah, don’t mention it.”

She tore off a piece of funnel cake for herself while Pinkie examined her flag, watching it flutter as she waved it around. Rainbow turned her eyes forward, towards the stadium. It wasn’t like it was a big deal or anything. Just one little flag, hardly anything romantic. She was getting worked up over nothing.

She reached for more funnel cake and bumped hooves with Pinkie, who giggled and ripped a piece off for her. Rainbow smiled sheepishly as she took it, and tried her best to remind herself that it wasn’t a big deal.

“I’m so excited to see what happens!” Pinkie said. “Even though I always follow what happens in the races, I don’t usually get a chance to actually watch them.”

“Really? Why not?”

“Well, Ponyville doesn’t have its own stadium, and I usually don’t leave home by myself,” Pinkie explained. “Besides, it’s more fun going with somepony. Sometimes Limestone and I have our annual PSSSD meetups at sports stadiums, which is how I got into racing in the first place.”

“I always try to go see them for myself,” Rainbow said. “It’s no fun just reading about it in the news afterwards. You could always come with me whenever I go.”

“That would be perfect!” Pinkie exclaimed.

Rainbow smiled to herself right up until she realized that she might have just suggested future dates without even seeing how this one turned out. At least Pinkie didn’t comment further on it. It seemed that the only pony determined to make Rainbow feel awkward was Rainbow.

“Fillies and gentlecolts!” the announcer said, his voice echoing through the stadium. “Thank you all for coming out here today!”

It came as a relief to see the racers fly out onto the field, since it gave them something to watch that was sure to not cause any more awkwardness. They each had their own signature entrance, all of them trying to capture the audience’s attention.

A cream-coated mare flew from the entranceway, zipping up into the sky. Whiplash did several vertical loops to build up speed, then went into horizontal circles around a small cloud. She was moving so fast that a miniature funnel cloud formed from the one she was circling. She sent it spinning towards her fan section. The funnel was too weak to hurt anything, but it did blow their manes around wildly. Clearly the crowd didn’t mind, because they were all cheering ecstatically.

High up above, a winged shadow eclipsed the sun for a moment, then descended with the fiery trail that came from re-entering the atmosphere. The fiery streak came zooming down, seemingly about to crash near the starting line. At the very last second the comet-like object pulled up, dissipating the flaming cloak and revealing a lanky white pegasus stallion with a pale yellow mane and tail. Sunlight Streak gave an exaggerated bow to the crowd.

A dark grey mustachioed stallion flapped calmly out to land next to them. Storm Warning rolled his eyes at the younger racers’ theatrics.

One by one the racers took their places. Pinkie waved her flag enthusiastically while cheering Whiplash’s name. Rainbow just smiled and shook her head. “They haven’t even started yet, Pinkie.”

“I know, but it’s always nice to know ponies are rooting for you.”

Rainbow gestured across the stadium, where a group of ponies were holding up signs that, when all held up together, combined to make a picture of Whiplash’s funnel cloud cutie mark.

“I’m pretty sure she knows,” Rainbow said, though she gave a wave of her own flag anyway.

An air horn sounded, and the racers were off. Rainbow leaned forward in her seat, keeping her eyes on Sunlight as he weaved his way forward, dodging in between ponies.

“Come on, Whiplash!” Pinkie cheered.

Whiplash took off quickly, instantly taking first place. Sunlight hung back just a bit, staying in fourth, behind a brick-red mare. Storm Warning barely seemed to care, flapping calmly in last place.

Sunlight seemed to be drafting the mare, using her to block the wind as he built up speed. It took a split second for him to whip around and pass her.

Rainbow was going to join in with her own cheers, but something dawned on her. When the air horn sounded, Pinkie had placed her hoof on Rainbow’s and shook it excitedly. With the excitement of the race, it had taken her a moment to realize, but Pinkie had never actually removed it. A sideways glance revealed that Pinkie was just watching the race, cheering while her other hoof waved her flag. Maybe she didn’t realize?

‘Of course she realizes,’ Rainbow told herself. She’d been spending the whole day trying to feel like it wasn’t a date, and that nothing that happened was a big deal. But it was a date, and it was a big deal. Not exactly that the date itself was; they were on a casual first date, just spending the day together to see how things went. But it was still a big deal for her. She’d never dated a mare before, and part of the reason she had agreed to the date with Pinkie was because she wanted to figure out if it was something she would be interested in.

Well, she already knew she liked hanging out with Pinkie. The only thing she was accomplishing by letting herself forget they were on a date was making every reminder feel awkward. She’d never find the answer she wanted that way, and she owed it to both of them to figure it out.

She wrapped her hoof around Pinkie’s, holding it in her own. “Step it up, Sunlight! Show those ponies who they’re dealing with!”

Rainbow didn’t dare turn to look at Pinkie at first, too afraid to lock eyes and find herself in some kind of awkward moment. When she did, she saw Pinkie was still staring ahead, but she radiated excitement even more than usual.

For Rainbow herself, she just felt like she had Pinkie’s hoof wrapped around hers. Not that it felt bad or anything; it wasn’t like she was eager to pull away in disgust, and she didn’t care one way or the other that ponies might see them. But as she focused back on the race, she kept waiting to feel something. Good or bad, whatever, just something so that she’d stop wondering.

Nothing. The racers completed their third lap around the track, and Rainbow was too focused on trying – and failing – to feel something about the hoof she was holding to even be excited that Sunlight had taken second place. She was kinda happy to see Pinkie so happy, but no more than she would be anytime she saw one of her friends enjoying themselves.

Then again, Rainbow had never been one for all that cutesy relationship stuff. She knew it was going to take more than holding hooves to get her interested in being with somepony, and that she’d be better off working her way up to something bigger.

‘So why am I just holding her hoof?’

Rainbow bided her time, carefully watching Sunlight make his advance on Whiplash, edging in on first place. Once he passed her, Rainbow would take a page from Pinkie’s book, and enthusiastically throw her hooves in the air, letting a foreleg rest around Pinkie’s shoulders and acting as if she hadn’t even noticed it was there. Then once she had a foreleg around Pinkie anyway, well, she might as well pull them closer together.

Out on the field, Sunlight was getting closer. He and Whiplash were dueling for first. Whiplash glared determinedly at Sunlight, while the stallion shot back a playful grin.

At the back of the pack, Storm Warning rolled his eyes. He checked a watch on one hoof and grinned. With a powerful flap of his wings, he shot up next to Sunlight. Sunlight Streak squawked, startled. His wings went out of sync for just long enough to cause him to fall back to third place.

Whiplash looked back to see what had happened, only for the older stallion to come zipping past her, shooting her a sarcastic salute as he stole first place.

“What the buck was that!?” Rainbow threw her hooves into the air, but not to stealthily tuck one around Pinkie’s shoulders.

“Aww, it’s okay Dashie.” Pinkie patted her on the back and smiled comfortingly. “The race isn’t over yet, he could still win.”

Rainbow turned to her skeptically. “Yeah, but you’re not even rooting for Sunlight Streak.”

“Oh, I don’t really care who wins, I’m just here for the show.”

“I guess,” Rainbow said, but she couldn’t really agree. Still, there was no point in being miserable over it, and she figured that she could still make the most of the circumstances. After a moment, Pinkie started to pull her hoof away from Rainbow’s back, but instead Rainbow grabbed it and pulled Pinkie’s foreleg around her, pulling her closer to her in the process.

Deciding not to worry about making things awkward anymore, Rainbow turned to face Pinkie. She wasn’t surprised to find her smiling, so she smiled as well. As she turned to watch the race again, Pinkie seemed to decide to make her own move, and reached her other hoof out to take hold of Rainbow’s again. Rainbow grinned to herself and opted to not take Pinkie’s hoof. Instead, she shifted in her chair and turned her back to Pinkie, then stretched out so she was laying against the other pony. Unfortunately, Rainbow couldn’t see Pinkie’s reaction, but since she reached both forelegs around her, Rainbow figured she must be pretty happy.

“I can’t believe Storm Warning won,” Rainbow grumbled on the way out.

“I really thought Sunlight Streak was gonna turn it around,” Pinkie said.

Rainbow shrugged. “Eh, he let himself get distracted when he lost second place. But Whiplash looked pretty on top of things.”

“Oh well,” Pinkie said, “there’s always next time.”

“Definitely. Next race is being held in Appleloosa. You wanna go?”

“Of course!”

They walked side by side down the street. They’d spent the remainder of the race cuddled together, but Rainbow still didn’t really know what she thought about being with a mare. She had suspected it would be pretty easy. She’d either like it or she wouldn’t. But then, well, it was okay, she guessed?

“So what do you wanna do now?” Pinkie asked. “We have a half hour before the train gets here.”

Rainbow stopped and looked around. What was she supposed to do? She had half an hour and a train ride back to Ponyville. Then they’d either arrange a second date or Rainbow would apologize and say that it just wasn’t for her, and she still didn’t know which one she wanted to do. Sure, she could ask for time to think about it, but there wasn’t anything to think about. She wasn’t conflicted in how she felt, she just didn’t seem to really feel much at all.

She thought of her friends, and what they would do. Rarity had apparently dated a mare once, but she never said how she figured out it wasn’t for her in the end. Rainbow had a hard time imagining Rarity ever not knowing if she was interested in somepony; as far as she was aware, it was either love at first sight or nothing at all. Applejack was even worse; in the decade since Rainbow had met Applejack, she’d never actually dated anypony, insofar as Rainbow was aware. Twilight would probably have some sort of detailed checklist on all the signs of attraction, while Fluttershy would just want her to talk about her feelings.

So none of that was particularly helpful. Of course, there was Sunset, but based on what Rainbow knew from her past, her dating experiences usually wound up at a bar. So, also not exactly helpful.

‘Well… why not?’ Rainbow asked herself. They only had half an hour, so it’s not like they were going to get completely wasted. They could get a few drinks, and maybe Rainbow would stop worrying enough to actually figure out what she wanted.

Rainbow began walking towards the train station again. “I noticed a pub on the way in. What do you say we just pass the time there?”

“Sounds good to me,” Pinkie said, letting Rainbow lead the way.

If she was going to date a mare, Rainbow was definitely glad it was Pinkie. Anypony else and she might worry about suggesting they end their date by going to a bar, but she knew that Pinkie would be okay with it. They were friends first and foremost, and it’s not like they hadn’t gone out drinking plenty of times before.

They walked inside and found seats at the bar. Rainbow glanced over their specials, but Pinkie didn’t seem to need to.

“What can I get you two?” a mare asked.

Rainbow pushed the menu to the side. She figured she was being adventurous enough just by being on a date with Pinkie, there was no reason to get anything but her usual hard apple cider.

“I want a Long Island Iced Tea,” Pinkie said.

Unless, of course, Pinkie was going to try and outdo her. That was an excellent reason. “Same for me, please.”

“Two Long Islands, coming up.” The bartender ducked down and pulled out the various liquors involved.

Pinkie just smiled, unaware that Rainbow wasn’t willing to be out-drunk. That was for the best, since that way things weren’t likely to escalate.

As the bartender passed them their drinks, Pinkie leaned in slightly closer. “Thanks for coming here with me, Dashie. Today’s been really fun.”

“Don’t mention it,” Rainbow said. She took a sip of her drink, feeling her face warm up at the sweet flavor. “You know, I gotta ask though, why’d you ask me out in the first place?”

Pinkie drank some of hers. “Well, why wouldn’t I want to go on a date with the most awesomest pony in all of Ponyville?”

Rainbow grinned. “Well, that is a good point. But I meant –”

“I bet you have tons of ponies all dying to go out with you!”

“Well, I don’t know about tons.” In truth, Rainbow had a reputation for being a difficult pony to be in a relationship with. Not that she really cared; she wasn’t looking to settle down with anypony, after all. “Besides, everypony in town loves you. I’m sure more than a few of them are in love with you, too.”

Pinkie took a long sip of her drink and sighed. “Not really. I mean, sure, I have so many friends, and I know they all care about me, but most of them don’t take me seriously.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes. “Pinkie, you’re the biggest jokester in town, nopony takes you seriously.”

“No, I mean most of them treat me like a kid.” Pinkie stirred the ice in her cup around with her straw. “Even some of our friends.”

“That’s not true,” Rainbow said, although she knew it was. Judging from the look Pinkie gave her, she wasn’t fooling anypony. “Well, I don’t think that, anyway.”

“I know.” Pinkie seemed to cheer up. “I think… that’s one of the things I really like about spending time with you.”

Rainbow wasn’t sure how to reply, so she took another sip of her drink while she thought about it. Pinkie’s comment reminded her that she didn’t get the chance to ask her question. “Anyway, what I really wanted to know was why now?”

“Why what now?” Pinkie asked. She finished her drink. “Can I get a refill, please?”

Rainbow looked at her half full glass. When did Pinkie manage to drink so much? Ignoring her straw, Rainbow began working at hers with an added vigor.

Pinkie giggled. “It’s not a contest, Dash.”

Rainbow grinned and waved a hoof dismissively. “Of course, I know that.”

Pinkie nodded. “I mean, it wouldn’t be fair anyway.”

Rainbow stopped mid-sip to turn to Pinkie. “And what do you mean by that?”

“Oh, nothing,” Pinkie said, shrugging. “Just that there’s plenty of things you’re really super good at, but you just wouldn’t stand a chance at out-drinking me.”

“Prove it.” Rainbow downed the rest of her glass. “I’ll take another.”

Pinkie eyed Rainbow with concern. “Dashie, you’re like half my weight. I’m not so sure this is a good idea.”

“Please. I can hold my liquor just fine.”

“If you’re sure.” Pinkie took another sip of her drink, reminding Rainbow that she was still behind.

As Rainbow started on her second drink, she really knew it was a bad idea. When talking about it after the fact, she’d always blame the poor decision on the first drink, but deep down everyone always knew it was nothing but her ego, including her. Pinkie didn’t seem particularly interested in winning, and just drank hers slowly.

“Wait, hold on,” Rainbow said, eager for a chance to catch up.

“Change your mind?” Pinkie asked.

“No.” Rainbow eyed Pinkie’s glass, then drank hers until they were about even, with both glasses about two thirds full. “Okay, better idea. Rather than waiting until one of us passes out, how about we just see who can finish theirs first?”

“Sure,” Pinkie said. Rainbow picked up her drink, ready to go, but Pinkie didn’t. “What’s the winner get?”

“Huh?” Rainbow shook her head. “I dunno, they win.”

“Hmm…” Pinkie lazily picked up her drink. “If I win… I want a kiss.”

“Fine,” Rainbow said without really thinking about it.

Pinkie almost looked like she was about to start drinking, then stopped. “But what if you win?”

“I don’t care!”

“Well that’s not fair.” Pinkie set her glass down and tapped her chin. “If you win you should get something too. It’s no fun if you don’t.”

Although she tried to think of something she wanted, she couldn’t. Really, Rainbow just wanted to win. “Fine, if I win…”

“I’ll give you a kiss.”

“Deal,” Rainbow said. “If I win you’ll – hey, wait a minute!”

“One, two, three, go!”

Pinkie immediately grabbed her drink and started drinking, while Rainbow just stared in confusion. By the time it clicked that she still wanted to win, it was far too late, and Pinkie was already setting her glass down on the table.

“I win,” Pinkie said innocently.

Rainbow just stared at her glass in disbelief. Slowly she turned to Pinkie and wondered if she’d really hold Rainbow to their bet. Probably not; Pinkie never made anypony go through with something they didn’t want to.

Slowly, and without making direct eye contact, Rainbow leaned forward. Pinkie smiled and did the same as Rainbow closed her eyes. Her lips lightly pressed against Pinkie’s, and Pinkie kissed her back.

It hardly lasted for a moment, and Rainbow almost expected Pinkie to say it didn’t count. That’s what Rainbow would have done if it was somepony she’d wanted to kiss, after all. But when she opened her eyes, she just saw Pinkie smiling contently. Rainbow felt her face warm up again, and she suspected it wasn’t just the alcohol that did it.

“Rematch,” she said.

Pinkie grinned and leaned on the bar. “Same bet as last time?”

Rainbow paused and looked at her, trying to focus despite the haze of the alcohol. She tried to focus her eyes on Pinkie, really trying to look at her, and she tried to focus her mind to decide if she was somepony that Rainbow wanted to kiss again. “Yes,” she said after a moment.

“You two sure about this?” the bartender asked. “These things are pretty strong.”

“She’s probably right,” Pinkie said, looking a little disappointed.

“Come on, they’ll be the last ones,” Rainbow said. She wasn’t sure why she wanted to try again so bad. Was it just because she wanted to win, or…?

“Alright,” the bartender set their refilled glasses in front of them. “And so there’s no cheating this time, you can both go on my count. One…”

Forgetting everything else, Rainbow grinned as she took hold of her glass. She might not be sure if she had any ulterior motives, but she was sure she wanted to win.


Pinkie did the same, and wore a grin of her own. Rainbow wondered if it was just because win or lose she’d win in the end, or if she was feeling her own sense of inflated ego.

“Three, go!”

Both of them started drinking. At first Rainbow kept her eyes on Pinkie, but soon enough all she could focus on was the drink, and trying to drink it fast as possible without gagging on the sweetness.

Rainbow set her glass down only a moment before Pinkie’s. “Yes!” She threw her hooves up in the air, and had to catch herself before she fell off the barstool.

When she looked up, she saw Pinkie smiling and looking off to the side. “Well, I guess you won then.” She almost seemed shy about it, which made Rainbow’s face feel warm again.

“Yeah, I guess so…” Rainbow scratched at her neck, then leaned towards Pinkie.

Pinkie leaned forward and wrapped a foreleg around Rainbow’s back. She closed her eyes, and soon felt Pinkie’s lips against hers. She didn’t mind when the kiss went on for much longer than their first, and Pinkie’s lips tasted sweet as Rainbow kissed her back.

Although she pulled away, Pinkie kept her face close to Rainbow’s, and they smiled at each other. “We better get going.”

“Yeah,” Rainbow agreed. She pulled back her hoof, which she hadn’t even noticed she’d placed behind Pinkie’s head.

Rainbow stood up and almost fell over. Pinkie giggled, then stumbled over to her, and they leaned on one another while they left the bar.

“What time is it, anyway?” Rainbow asked.

“I didn’t see. You don’t think we missed our train, do you?” She didn’t sound too worried.

Rainbow squinted in the direction of the station, which was nowhere in sight. “You know, I think we did. But I’ll be honest with you here, Pinks, I don’t really care.”

Pinkie laughed again. Rainbow always liked it when Pinkie laughed. “So then what do we do now?”

“Well, I’m not flying us home.” For all she knew, they were right on time for the train. It didn’t really matter, she already had a better idea. Kissing Pinkie had actually been kind of fun, but Rainbow still wasn’t sure. Well, there was one way to find out. “What do you say we find a hotel?”

“I thought you’d never ask,” Pinkie said. She started walking, so Rainbow kept pace beside her. It was certainly easier than trying to walk by herself. They walked for what felt like several minutes before Pinkie said, “So where are we going?”

“Huh? I was following you.” They both stopped and looked at each other for a moment, then started laughing again.

It took much longer than it should have – long enough that their train was definitely long gone – but they did eventually find a hotel. Pinkie seemed to be a bit better off, so she rented a room for them while Rainbow sat down and concentrated on remaining awake.

“Okay, I made sure to get it on the ground floor,” Pinkie said once she returned.

“That’s ‘cause you’re the best, Pinks.”

Pinkie helped Rainbow up, and together they stumbled their way to their room. Pinkie let go of her when they reached the door, and she tried to fit the key in the hole.

She missed more than a few times, but eventually it went in. She tried to turn it, but seemed to be having difficulties. “What’s wrong?” Rainbow asked.

Pinkie didn’t answer. Instead, she just glared at the door. She tried the handle, but it didn’t work either. “It’s stuck.”

“Here, let me get it.” Rainbow traded places with her and tried the handle. It wouldn’t turn. Grunting, Rainbow turned around and lifted a hindleg.

“Dashie, stop!”

Looking back, Rainbow saw the door slam shut. “What?” she mumbled. She hadn’t even seen the door open. She glanced at Pinkie, who just looked confused.

Testing the handle again proved fruitless, so Rainbow tried the key, but wound up knocking it out of the hole. When she picked it up, she saw the room number: 101, just like it said on the…

“Hish iv woom woen oh hehen.”

“What?” Pinkie asked.

Rainbow spit out the key, which she regretted immediately since now it was on the ground and wet with her saliva. “This is room 107.”

Pinkie bent down to get the key. “Yeah, that’s our… oh…”

Rainbow sighed and knocked on the door. “Hey, uh, we’re really sorry!”

“Yeah, we just had the wrong room!” Pinkie added. “Should we, uhm…”

“Let’s just go,” Rainbow suggested.

“Oh, uh, right.” Pinkie grabbed the key and turned towards the door once more. “Howrwy ahken!”

Rainbow pushed Pinkie across the hallway. She stared at the door until she was positive it said 101, then stared at the key in Pinkie’s mouth until she was sure it said the same thing. Once she was satisfied, she took the key from Pinkie and opened the door.

Being at the correct door made the lock open much easier. She walked in, turning the light on as she did.

“Sorry again,” Pinkie said as she climbed into one of the room’s two beds.

Rainbow just grinned. She could probably have some fun making jokes at Pinkie’s expense, but she decided to let it go. “Don’t worry about it.”

As Pinkie stretched out, Rainbow looked between her and the other bed. Before she could decide what to do, Pinkie rolled on her side. “Good night, Dashie.”

Yeah, that was for the best. “Night, Pinkie.”

Rainbow walked over to the other bed, really she was very sure that she did, but somehow she still wound up collapsing half on Pinkie’s bed, and half hanging off towards the floor.


“I, uh, just wanted to say good night.” It sounded like a perfectly reasonable explanation when she had thought it, but even as the words left her mouth she felt incredibly dumb.

Pinkie didn’t seem to think so, however. She reached a hoof out, which Rainbow took, and she pulled Rainbow onto the bed next to her. “Oh? Well, good night then, Dash.”

“Yeah.” Rainbow pulled herself closer. “Good night.”

They both sat grinning at one another, until gradually their faces came closer. Rainbow closed her eyes and moved in the rest of the way. She could still taste the drink on Pinkie’s tongue.

There really wasn’t a whole lot on Rainbow’s mind when she woke up. There was pain, yes. But she’d felt worse in the past, and in all probability she would again in the future. Mostly, she was just upset that they’d left the light on.

“That was some night,” Rainbow mumbled as she pulled herself out from under Pinkie and sat up. When Pinkie didn’t answer, Rainbow turned to find she wasn’t there. The blanket had somehow gotten balled up and had been resting on top of her, and she’d assumed it was Pinkie.

Looking around the room revealed that what she had assumed was a bedside light was actually the sun, coming in through the mostly closed blinds. Pinkie was nowhere in sight, so she got up and stumbled towards the bathroom. She wasn’t in there either, and they didn’t have any other rooms attached to their hotel room.

Once she was out, she sat back down on the bed and tried to remember what exactly had happened. She’d gone to the bar with Pinkie, and everything up to that point was clear. Then she could remember everything that happened while they were there, even if she couldn’t remember things like exactly what they’d talked about. She definitely remembered the kisses, and that she actually enjoyed them.

They walked to the hotel, and she could remember some poor old stallion looking at her in terror. Why had that happened? Oh, the key thing. Okay, so she remembered that far well enough.

The hotel room. Of course, that’s what she really needed to remember. Pinkie had climbed into bed, and Rainbow went to the other bed. Somehow – and she honestly couldn’t remember how – she was pretty sure that they wound up in the same bed anyway. She figured Pinkie must have come into her bed at some point, and she was okay with that.

And then they made out. That had definitely happened. She had no idea of whether it should have happened or not, but that part of her memory was rather vivid. But then what happened? In her not-so-limited experience, making out in a hotel room generally had only one possible end. But no matter how she tried, that part of her memory was completely blank.

“Good morning, Dashie.”

Rainbow turned to see Pinkie walk through the door. She didn’t show any signs of being hung over, and was balancing a tray on her head – impressive, since Rainbow could see several pitchers on it. She set it down on the bed, revealing all of its contents: two plates of pancakes, toast, butter, a couple of cups, and pitchers of juice, coffee, and maple syrup.

“Thanks, Pinkie.” Rainbow poured a glass of juice, then passed it to Pinkie before filling the other one with coffee for herself. They ate in silence for a while, which was okay with Rainbow since she was still recovering from the night before.

Pinkie seemed to radiate happiness. On one hoof, Rainbow found it unnatural that anypony should be so happy so early, especially after the night they’d had, but on the other, she kind of enjoyed it. From most ponies it would have been obnoxious, but Pinkie? It felt just right for her.

“How long have you been up?” Rainbow asked after a while.

“Not too long,” Pinkie said. “You were so cuddly it was hard to leave the bed, but I figured you could use some breakfast.”

“Really?” Rainbow had never exactly been cuddly, at least according to any of her exes.

“Well, okay, I was cuddling you.” Pinkie, who always seemed unflappable, was blushing and looking off to the side. “But it was still nice.”

Rainbow set her empty plate and cup to the side. “So, uh, I feel so bad for even asking this, but what happened last night?”

Pinkie giggled. “Really, Dashie?”

Rainbow fell onto her back and pulled a pillow over her head, covering her eyes but leaving her mouth free to speak. “Look, I’m sorry! It’s nothing personal, it’s just, you know… we were drinking, and I just… don’t remember…”

“Dash –” Pinkie pulled the pillow away from her face “– you don’t remember because you fell asleep.”

“I… what?”

Pinkie giggled. “Well, we were kissing for a while, but then you just laid your head on my chest and fell asleep.”

Rainbow scrunched up her eyes and tried to remember, but she still couldn’t. Well, it’s not like she was ever going to remember being asleep. “I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse.”

“It’s okay! You don’t have anything to feel bad about.”

Rainbow sighed. “It’s just… I don’t want you to think that it was anything to do with you, ‘cause I totally wanted – I just realized I shouldn’t finish that sentence.”

Pinkie giggled and set the tray onto a small bedside table. With them out of the way, she crawled towards Rainbow. “Did you?”

Did she? She could barely remember. She definitely remembered liking the kiss at the bar, but she couldn’t even remember what she’d thought when they were making out. “I… I dunno.”

Pinkie lay down next to her. They were close, but not quite touching. “You know, I never answered your question last night.”

Rainbow blinked. “You didn’t? Uh, remind me which question that was…?”

“You asked why I waited until now to ask you out.”

Although she couldn’t remember asking that, it did seem like a reasonable question. “Okay. So why did you?”

“Well, I know you don’t really like mares.” Pinkie’s smile faltered and she looked down at the bed. “So I guess I always thought nothing would ever happen, and that’s okay. I’ve always been happy just being friends. But then… when Fluttershy and Twilight started dating Sunset, I started thinking – well, hoping, I guess – that maybe something like that could work, if you liked mares at least a little bit.”

“I don’t really think dating two mares at the same time is gonna make that any easier, Pinks.”

Pinkie smiled a little and shook her head. “No, I mean you wouldn’t have to date just me. If you did want to date me, I wouldn’t mind if you also dated stallions.”

She had to admit, that made sense. And the more she thought about it, the more sense it made. She really couldn’t see herself giving up being with stallions. Even aside from the sexual side of things, she was honestly just more interested in dating stallions. But at the same time, she definitely knew she and Pinkie seemed to be a good match. She honestly loved the time they spent together, and she couldn’t think of another pony, mare or stallion, who seemed to fit into her lifestyle so much. And it even let her keep dating who she wanted to – she wasn’t ready to settle down, and this way she wouldn’t really have to.

There was still one thing though.

“Come here for a second,” Rainbow said. Without waiting for her to respond, Rainbow pulled Pinkie in closer. Pinkie’s smile returned to her lips in full force, just in time for Rainbow to kiss them. She wrapped her forelegs around Pinkie and kissed her passionately.

Pinkie was an exceptionally good kisser. Rainbow knew this, not because she got so caught up in the emotions of the moment, but because while they were kissing Rainbow was able to notice everything Pinkie was doing. Similarly, for the first time since she was a teenager, Rainbow found herself wondering if she was doing what she should be. She normally let her impulses guide her through all that, but they didn’t seem to be working, so instead she just found herself wondering about her kissing technique, and reflecting on how weird kissing was in general. Her tongue was inside another pony’s mouth, for Celestia’s sake! What was even up with that?

As they pulled away, Pinkie’s smile was nothing short of manic. Rainbow, on the other hoof, just felt immensely guilty. It must have shown on her face, because Pinkie’s smile soon left her face. “You really don’t like mares, do you?”

“I… I’m sorry, Pinkie.”

Pinkie sighed and buried her face into Rainbow’s chest. “It’s okay. I understand.”

“It’s not okay. For me, this date has been about figuring out something about myself, but for you…”

Pinkie shook her head, her mane tickling Rainbow’s nose as she did. “I’m glad I could help you figure it out, though. Really! And being your friend is way more important to me than dating you ever could be.”

Rainbow frowned. There was definitely part of her that had wanted things to work out between them. Maybe even still did. “You know, for a while I kinda thought it would work out. When we kissed at the bar, I… Well, I kinda liked it then.” She sighed. “So… maybe I’m bi when I’m drunk, or something?”

Pinkie looked up at her. She was smiling again, although it wasn’t really her full smile. “I don’t think it works like that, Dashie.”

“All I know is that I was definitely not drunk enough to think you were a stallion.”

That got a bit of a laugh out of her, which made Rainbow smile too. “Actually, I kinda figured you’d enjoy the kisses at the bar.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because I made a game out of it. I could tell you weren’t that into it at the race, but I knew if I made it fun, you’d be more interested.”

Again, Rainbow wasn’t sure if that made her feel better or worse. Whatever Pinkie saw in Rainbow’s expression brought back the full-blown Pinkie Pie smile. “Really, Dashie, it’s okay. I’m just really happy you even gave me a chance. And I had a lot of fun! So there’s no need to feel down about anything.”

Leave it to Pinkie. She was probably the only mare Rainbow had ever met who could get turned down by the pony she wanted to be with, and then comfort that pony like they were the one hurting.

Well, there was no way Rainbow was just going to let her be the better friend, just like that.

“Thanks, Pinkie.” She sat up and fixed her face with a grin of her own. “But I bet everyone back home is wondering why we didn’t come home last night, so what do you say we head back?”

“Good idea.” Pinkie stood up and led the way out of the room. “Can I have the window seat?”

“What? You got it on the way up here!”

“Fine.” Pinkie pouted for a moment, then right before Rainbow could relent she suggested, “We can race for it!”

“Psh.” Rainbow grinned confidently and shrugged. “You really think you stand a chance?”

“I do if you don’t fly.”

“Okay, you’re on.”

Pinkie nodded. “Okay, first one to the station –”

“One, two, three, go!”

“Rainbow, that’s cheating!”

As Rainbow ran along, she heard Pinkie laughing. “Come on, you’ll have to be faster than that!” she called.

Of course, she still let Pinkie win in the end.

Author's Note:

Thanks for reading, and feel free to let me know just how much I suck for not making Pinkiedash a thing down in the comments :raritywink:

Rainbow Dash’s cutie mark was made by Greywander87 :twilightsmile:

To any new readers, you can read more from this universe in most of my other stories, conveniently collected in the Who We Become group :ajsmug:

This story wouldn't be what it is without Mind Jack, because I'm a terribly introverted rabbit who has no idea how to sports. As such, Mind Jack stepped in to write the actual race parts. You can check out more of his writing in his story, The Nightmare Knight :yay:

If you feel like supporting me, I’ve got a Ko-fi page set up for donations :twilightsmile:

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Comments ( 35 )

It was a very nice story though I am slightly sad at how it ended though it did still end well for the result you went for.

Not gonna lie, I was pretty tempted to make them wind up together in the end :twilightsheepish:
Glad you liked it :pinkiesmile:


Yea I would have been tempted too. It was strange how they go from slightly awkward to having some good chemistry.

They undeniably do work well together, and most of the awkwardness was just in Rainbow’s head (everything was her POV, after all), so once she decided to stop worrying about it, it completely stopped being awkward.

Thank you for this fic. I've been going trough a rough time but some cute Rainbowpie is good for the soul. Have a fave.

Glad I could help cheer you up, even if I'm a bit surprised this did the trick even with the ending being what it is :twilightsheepish:

7440149 It's hopeful, at least.

You suck! You suck more than the suckiest thing that ever sucked! You suck so much. Just, like, so damn much.


Wait, no, that's not quite right. What's...what's the opposite of that, again?


Ah, yes, thank you Neil.

Seriously though, I loved the story. It's sad that they didn't get together, sure, but you like what you like and sometimes that won't change. Also, it's nice to see that they're still friendly without the unnecessary angst that people tend to shoehorn into any kind of breakup. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly breakup scenarios where the angst is justified and works really well (which I'm sure we'll see you handling just as well in another certain story on your writing list), but sometimes you actually can go into a date as friends and stay that way when all is said and done. So I'm glad that this ended with them still getting along so well and being the same friends that they were before, even if Dash couldn't feel the same way. So great job on another fun story.

So I checked this comment at work, and just started laughing in the middle of the store. I closed my phone without reading anything but the first part of the comment to keep from having to explain to anyone why I was laughing, and spent a good ten minutes expecting this to be a very different comment than it was. Not that I thought you were seriously upset, but still.

Anyway, glad you enjoyed it :twilightsmile: I tend to dislike the tendency some people have of making every character's orientation be completely flexible, and who better to be completely straight than Rainbow Dash? Having the rainbow themed tomboy be hetero in a story with more than a statistically likely amount of gay characters was one of the first elements of the story I thought of.

Booyah! If I've managed to make someone laugh inappropriately in the middle of work, then I've done my job.

And yeah, I can understand where you're coming from with RD. I love her in plenty of different pairings, straight or otherwise, but it's nice to see her in a story where she gives going on a date with a mare a shot because she already likes the mare that's asking, but ultimately...you know...just isn't into it, and really is just straight mare who happens to enjoy traditionally masculine things. Not a mare who never dated another mare before, and suddenly discovers that she's totally gay/bi because it conveniently suits the ship.

Sweet! Glad to see that the story turned out well. Thanks for letting me use my OCs in the race. I find it hard sometimes using ones I'm unfamiliar with.

Of course :scootangel: Thanks again for your help, I think having those extra scenes pull us out of Rainbow's head for a bit goes a long way :yay:
And I don't think I've ever mentioned, but I seriously love Storm Warning :ajsmug:

Me too. He appears in my future story, which will be up after my current rotation of chapters.

So how is this technically a sequel to Finding Home when it had nothing to do with PinkieDash?

Finding Home features Pinkie flirting with Rainbow over several months, then asking her on date in the last chapter, which is what led to this story. Additionally, both are part of a on going series, Who We Become, and both stories will be referenced in inevitable sequels.

7445537 So if Pinkie and Dash are in that story, how come they're not among the listed characters?

Because they aren't main characters in it. Fimfiction allows for five character tags, so that people focus on main characters in the tag. Say someone was looking for Pinkie Pie stories, they may be interested in Up in the Air, since she's one of the main characters here, but probably wouldn't be interested in Finding Home, where she appears in like six chapters (out of twenty-three, so not really a sizable amount).

7445537 Where in the last chapter of Finding Home does Pinkie ask Rainbow on a date?

The actual asking happens off screen. What's shown of it is Pinkie telling Twilight she's looking for Rainbow; then later Rainbow starting to tell Fluttershy about it, but getting distracted before she can tell her the full thing; then later Rainbow tells Sunset about how Pinkie asked her out, and Sunset suggest she accepts, which leads to this story.

Two things I love about this story:

1: It has PinkieDash in it.:pinkiehappy::rainbowkiss:
2: It was published on my birthday!:rainbowdetermined2:

That's awesome :yay: Happy belated birthday to you :raritywink:

Awww, you don't suck that much. :scootangel:

In all seriousness though, yeah, if you're not into someone you can't force yourself (though some people do, to not so great results I'm sure). I'm actually glad you went this way in this story. I guess well have to get our DashiePie fix elsewhere this time.

I knew no one who read my other stories would have a problem, but I was honestly expecting Pinkiedash fans to throw some shade :twilightblush: Glad to say it didn't happen, or at least hasn't happened yet :scootangel:

Glad you liked it :ajsmug:


Nah. If you had done it by making one or both a real bitch (aka OOC) then you might have some people mad. Most of us can understand having Pinkie liking Dash and it may not apply the other way around but it was nice to see Dash try anyway for Pinkie.

Here's me. Throwing shade.
When Dash said nah I was like COME ON.

Finally! Someone had to say it lol
Truthfully, I love them together so much that I wanted to make things work by the time I was done writing :twilightsheepish:

It's supported by canon!
And after I read Vaguely Familiar years ago I was unable to unsee it.

Is Storm Warning supposed to be Dale Earnhardt?

There’s so many ship moments between all the mane six in the show, they’re all supported by canon if you look for it :raritywink:

He’s not actually my OC, so I couldn’t say. Mind Jack, regular editor of mine, stepped in to help with the racing because I’m bad at sports. It’s quite possible though, since I did specify that the race was meant to be more NASCAR than like a footrace.

Well sure, but certain ones are supported the mostest.
There's a lot of friendshipping in canon to get across that these six are all good friends, but there's a bit more between at least Rarity and Applejack and Pinkie and Dash.

Bestfriendshipping :yay:

lol to be honest I do ship the hell out of Pinkiedash, I just... love the idea that Rainbow is straight while many of her friends aren’t :scootangel:

Very nice. Don’t see many stories where it has this kind of ending.

Yeah lol, I was a bit nervous about doing this kinda thing, and I had even considered changing my mind while writing it because I love Pinkiedash so much. But I’m pretty happy with this story, and think I made the right call on it :scootangel:

I would agree. And not just because you seem to be at your best having your characters go through varying levels of disappointment and pain.

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