• Published 5th Dec 2011
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Flying High, Falling Hard - Soundslikeponies

Twilight, Dash, and Spitfire have a trainwreck of a relationship.

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Chapter 12: Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular Rays

Flying High, Falling Hard by soundslikeponies

Rainbow Dash landed on the ground in front of the library, panting heavily. It was late, the sky had faded to cerulean blue, and stars were beginning to appear. Twilight carefully avoided knocking over Dash's saddlebags as she slid off her back. The second she was off, Dash's legs gave out and she collapsed on the ground, face planting into the dirt.

"You were tired enough after the trip there, what in Equestria made you think it would be a good idea to go back with a saddle bag stuffed with Wonderbolts paraphernalia?" Twilight asked, shaking her head.

"It was... worth it!" Dash wheezed in between gasps for air. The purple glow of Twilight’s magic picked her up, and her body hung limply in its grip. Twilight draped Rainbow Dash over her back, struggling under the combined weight of Dash and her stuffed saddlebags.

"I really hope that me dragging you home after you overwork yourself doesn’t become a regular occurrence," Twilight ground out. She could only take tiny steps as she hauled the dead-weight mare around.

"I kind of like riding you," Dash joked in between deep breaths. "You're comfy."

Twilight blushed, sputtering out a reply, "D-Dash! Watch how you word things!"

"That was sort of the whole point." Dash snickered, and wrapped her hooves loosely around Twilight's neck.

"If I had a couch, you would be sleeping on it tonight," Twilight said with a huff, opening the door and bringing the exhausted mare inside.

"A couch would actually be really nice right now," Dash mumbled with her face buried in Twilight’s mane.

Sighing in relief, Twilight allowed herself a small smile as she walked to the loft, aching to get a good night’s sleep. She looked back at Dash and saw the pegasus smiling as well.

“It’s nice to be back, isn’t it?” Dash commented.

Twilight placed Dash’s bags by the door, and replied, “It is.”

“It’s great to be back! Woo!” Dash hollered, laughing and squeezing her.

Twilight’s smile grew, and she found herself laughing with Dash as she carried the pegasus upstairs to the loft. Twilight gently floated her into bed, before joining her. Even though her bed wasn’t as nice as the one at the hotel, at that moment it was the most comfortable thing she had ever lain down on.

She turned to Dash. "So how did the award ceremony go for the competition? Did you talk to Princess Celestia at all?"

Dash's hooves fidgeted under the blankets. "Yeah, I guess you could say she spoke to me," she answered, while avoiding the other mare's gaze. "She may have caught on that we're dating."

The color drained from Twilight’s face. "Princess Celestia knows!?" she screamed, sitting up.

Dash placed a hoof on her chest, pushing her to lie back down. "Whoa, calm down," Dash said, trying to halt Twilight's panic attack. "She seemed to be alright with it. She said she was happy you were learning about 'more than just friendship.'"

Twilight calmed down slightly, her heart no longer racing. “But how did she figure it out so easily? What does she think of us dating?” she asked. “Are you sure she was happy with it?”

“Of course,” Dash replied. "She seemed really happy about it. In fact, she wanted you to write to her sometime about it."

Twilight raised an eyebrow. "About... us?" she asked, hesitantly.

"Yeah. About what you've learned from being with me."

Twilight closed her eyes and let out a long whine. “This is way too much to think about right now! I have enough to worry about with us telling our friends about our relationship tomorrow!” Twilight opened her eyes and looked over at Dash. “Can we tell them some other time?”

“Come on, Twilight. It won’t be that bad and it won’t even take very long.” Dash reached across the bed and touched her shoulder, giving it a comforting rub. “Just put this letter thing out of your head for now. You can write it any time.”

Twilight looked into Dash’s eyes, seeing nothing but honesty and warmth. Twilight scooted closer to Dash and wrapped her hooves around her, resting her head against Dash’s chest, but she was clinging to the pegasus as though she were hanging on for her life.

"Just promise when we tell them tomorrow," Twilight said, rubbing her cheek against Dash's chest. "Whatever happens won't change what we have right now."

Dash's eyes softened as she looked down at Twilight burying her head against her chest. She wrapped her hooves around the mare, squeezing back.

"Nothing can change what we have," Dash reassured her, rubbing Twilight's back in small circles.

Twilight held Dash, and despite her worries, a small content smile crept onto her lips. Every time she imagined telling their friends about them, all she could imagine was them leaving her, and her having to be forced to choose between them, or Dash. Worse yet, she sometimes imagined Dash having to choose between her or them, and she’d imagine the pegasus walking away with the rest of her friends, leaving her alone again. She didn’t really think it would happen, but it didn't stop her pessimistic side from imagining it.

Dash’s chest rose and fell rhythmically. Twilight could hear the sound of her even breathing, and with her ear against Dash’s chest, she could hear the sound of her heart beating. Twilight’s eyes drooped as she listened to the calm, steady noises.

She held onto Dash as she slept that night.

Spitfire let out a frustrated sigh. She was in the Cloudiseum with the Wonderbolts, practicing, and she had been sloppy on her turns all practice long. It was obvious the rest of the team were wondering why she was flying so poorly, but thankfully none of them had brought it up with her yet.

And then Soarin’ landed next to her.

"Man, you weren’t lookin’ good up there. What gives?" Soarin’ knew her well enough that he wasn't afraid to be blunt with her, unfortunately. "I swear at the end of that blunderbuss I thought you were going to collide with me for a sec!"

"It's nothing. I've just been distracted lately." Spitfire couldn't help but picture a sky blue pegasus with dark pink eyes. She shook her head, trying to get the picture out of her mind.

"I'm just a little worried, you know? I mean, if it's starting to affect practice you're going to have to do something about it." Soarin' tapped a hoof to his chin for a moment, and paused, sniffing the air. "Hey, do you smell pie? 'Cause I swear I smell some apple pie."

"I think they have some in the cafeteria," Spitfire mentioned with a faint smile, as Soarin's head snapped towards that direction. "As for practice today, I'll get it under control and be back to top form in no time. Don't worry about it."

She followed alongside her eager friend as he dashed to the cafeteria. Although she had said she would get it under control, she didn't have a clue how. For the past day, the amazing mare who had performed a sonic rainboom at the Best Young Flier competition was all she could think about.

Twilight stood over her desk, staring at the same three words that she had been looking at for the past half hour.

Dear Princess Celestia,

She never had an issue with writer’s block before. She had always been able to force her way through it, or avoid it, but when it came to writing a letter to the princess about the time spent with her marefriend, she didn't have a clue what to write about, or even how to start the letter. Taking a deep breath and collecting her thoughts, she tried to think of an appropriate way to start the first sentence.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Since being with Rainbow Dash I have learned

Her mind drew another blank. She stared at the letter for another ten minutes, agonizing over the few words she had written. Would it be better to start with a metaphor of some kind? she thought, wondering if she should start with something more powerful. She abruptly threw her hooves up, let out a scream of frustration, and marched away from the writing desk. Rainbow Dash was lying down on a carpet nearby, watching with an amused expression.

"So how's that letter going?"

"Terrible! I've barely written anything!" Twilight shouted, pouring herself a glass of water. "I was hoping to finish it before our friends came over."

The pegasus on the carpet rolled over to look at the clock. She had gone out and asked all their friends to come over to the library, and they were due to arrive in just a few moments.

"Don't sweat it too much, Twi. I told you you should just wait until later. I'm sure the Princess would want you to take your time and write something good."

Taking a gulp of cool water as she listened to Dash, Twilight let out a sigh and set her cup down.

"You're right,” Twilight said. “Besides, it was silly of me to think I would be able to concentrate on writing with this... announcement coming up." She spoke the word with dread, finishing the rest of her water in one big gulp.

“You just need to relax, Twi. Things are going to be fine, you’ll see.”

The moment Dash finished talking, a knock came from the door. Twilight whipped her head around to look at it, freezing in fear. Her mind raced a mile a minute, wondering which one it would be. Dash got up and walked over to answer the door, seeing as Twilight was frozen stiff. An orange pony with her signature hat greeted her.

"Howdy!" Applejack said, taking a step inside and looking around the library. "Am Ah the first one here?"

"Yeah, the others should be showing up soon though," Dash replied, as Applejack shut the door behind her.

"Don't suppose y'all could clue me in on what this here's about?"

Dash glanced over at Twilight. Applejack followed her gaze, noticing Twilight for the first time. She was easy to miss, considering she was practically hiding in a corner by the kitchen. She had a nervous smile plastered on her face as she gave Applejack a meek wave.

“She okay?” Applejack whispered to Dash, jabbing in Twilight’s direction.

"Yeah, she’s fine! Me and Twilight—" Dash began, but was interrupted by a knocking at the door. "Hold on, let me get that," she said, trotting back over to the door.

It opened to reveal Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie. "Awesome! Everypony's here!” Dash flew to the center of the library, hovering just a few feet off the ground. “Anyway, what Twilight and I gathered you here to tell you..." Dash trailed off, seeing Pinkie with her hoof up in the air like some school filly waiting to ask a question. Dash let out a frustrated sigh at being interrupted for a second time now. "Yes, Pinkie?"

"Where is Twilight anyway?"

“Huh?” Rainbow Dash blinked and looked around the small library, unable to spot the mare in question.

Spitfire walked through the market, trying to figure out a way to deal with the distraction her crush on Rainbow Dash was causing. Maybe if she met with Dash again, she would get a better idea of what her feelings were towards her, and she could go back to having normal practices. She was brought out of her musings as she accidentally bumped into somepony, and realized it was one of the three jocks that had been bullying Dash. The jock had ignored bumping into her, simply continuing to walk and chat with his two buddies through the market.

"Hey!" Spitfire said, turning to catch up to the jocks.

They stopped and looked back at her. She hated to go to them for help, considering how they had been mean to Dash, but she needed information.

"Do you guys know where I can find Rainbow Dash?"

"No way! Are you Spitfire?" the tall, light colored pony asked, gawking at her.

"The one and only," she replied curtly. Thankfully the pony with the dumbbell cutie mark seemed to notice the urgency in her voice, and answered her.

"She lives down in Ponyville. I think she’s a weatherpony there, or something."

Spitfire turned to leave, but the jock called out after her, "wait, why did you want to know?"

Spitfire opened her mouth to answer. "I...” She hesitated for a moment. “...I don't know," she answered before turning to walk away.

"I can't believe her!" Rainbow Dash flew back and forth in the library, restlessly. "After all this, she ditches at the last second!?"

Her friends watched her pacing from the sideline, sharing confused looks.

"Well, are we... supposed to go after her?" Rarity asked, cautious not to have the storming mare’s anger directed at her.

"Of course we're supposed to go after her!" Rainbow Dash snapped at Rarity, making the mare flinch. Dash realized she was getting too worked up, and yelling at her friends who had done nothing wrong.

"I'm sorry Rarity, it isn't you I'm mad at." She landed on the ground and turned to address all of her friends. "The mare I am mad at is missing. And we need to go find her so I can give her a piece of my mind!" Dash began to pace back and forth in front of them, giving out instructions.

"First, let’s look for her in town. Fluttershy and I will fly above to get a birds eye view. Meanwhile, you three look for her in shops and ask around to see if anyone’s seen her." Her instructions rang out like a drill sergeant's. Her friends were all lined up in front of her, standing at attention, and giving her a mock salute.

Dash narrowed her eyes, scrutinizing each of them. “We’re going to be fast, and be back her with Twilight’s sorry rear before sundown. Is that understood?”

They gave her a stern nod in reply.

"Then move out!" Dash ordered. The five of them charged out of the library to begin searching.

Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash took to the sky overhead, searching the alleyways, streets, and fields. Applejack stopped ponies on the street to ask if they had seen Twilight, while Rarity and Pinkie Pie ran into various shops and buildings looking for her.

It didn't take long for Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy to sweep all of Ponyville, only to find no trace of their friend. Dash took to flying in the sky above the earthbound search party, watching them question ponies on the street and look inside buildings. It was looking more and more like Twilight had run away from Ponyville.

As the search dragged on, and the sun became lower and lower, Rainbow Dash's anger turned to worry. There was no questioning Twilight's magical prowess. If Twilight didn't want to be found, then there was probably no way they would be able to find her.

Dash hovered in the sky, racking her brain to try and think of where the mare had gone. She glanced to the Everfree Forest with concern. It was sundown, and she wasn’t willing to drag her friends to venture into the forest so close to night time just on the off chance that Twilight was in there.

Fluttershy flew up beside her. "I'm sorry Dash. I looked and looked, but I couldn't find her anywhere.”

Rainbow Dash looked up at the sky fading to night, and Fluttershy, who was watching her, followed her gaze.

"I'm glad there's a full moon tonight," Dash commented, as the two ponies stared up at the sky. "I hope wherever she is the light from it keeps her safe."

Fluttershy glanced at her friend, and saw silent tears trickling out of the corner of Dash's eyes as she gazed up at the moon. Dash noticed her staring, and wiped her tears away with a hoof.

Meanwhile on the ground, Rarity, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie were gathered around talking to one another, and it seemed they were done with their search.

Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy flew down and landed next to them.

"Anything?" Dash asked hopefully.

Her friends looked at her sadly, and simply shook their heads. Dash looked up to the sky. The sun was gone, and stars were appearing all over the navy blue canvas above. Dash let out a sigh and looked at the grass beneath her dissapointedly.


Dash's eyes lit up as she gasped, and all her friends whipped around to look at her in question.

"I think I know where she is!" Dash turned and began running on the ground—there was no time to explain. Her friends all ran after her, following her to wherever it was she was going.

Twilight looked at the stars, searching for answers, but finding none. She had lain on the grassy field looking at the sky for hours, wishing the Princesses’ sky would give her some guidance. Her life had been so simple before. She spent all day poring over books and dusty old tomes, accruing knowledge and learning magic. Things weren't nearly as chaotic, things didn't move as fast, and things didn't nearly make her feel so much emotion.

Maybe this was just what living life is about. She had always been told she should go live life more by other unicorns and scholars she had met while studying. Now that she was, all the uncertainty and confusion frightened her, and with how fast everything had been moving recently she had just needed to get away from it all.

So she ran away, leaving all of her friends and her marefriend with no explanation. She felt bad about that; no doubt Rainbow Dash would be upset, worried, and probably mad at her.

She was brought out of her thoughts by the sound of hoofsteps near her. She got up and turned to see all four of her friends—and Dash—standing in front of her and panting, looking at her with worry. A lump formed in her throat.

"I'm sorry I..." Twilight began, but she paused. What was there that she could she say to them? "I don't know what to say..." she finished, hanging her head in shame.

"Wow Dashie," Pinkie Pie interjected. "How did you know she would be in this big ol' empty field?"

"Well I—"

"Because this is where we had our first kiss," Twilight interrupted, causing all their friends to look at the two in shock.

The sun was disappearing at the end of a long day of practice, and Spitfire had botched yet another day of practice with her wandering thoughts. She sighed with disappointment in herself as Soarin' approached her. She already knew exactly what it was he was going to say.

"Listen Spitfire, this is really starting to—"

"I know," Spitfire said, cutting him off. "I need to take a break and go do something before I can get back to flying."

Soarin' backed up in surprise. "Whoa, hey, you don't have to—"

"Tell Fleetfoot she's in charge while I'm gone," she said, cutting him off once again. "I'm going to come back in top form. I just need to do something first." Soarin' looked sadly at Spitfire; he could tell from how his longtime friend was speaking that she would be gone for a while. Spitfire turned to walk away. She didn't want the rest of the Wonderbolts to see her like this.

"What do you need to do?" Soarin' asked with a hint of sadness in his voice. Spitfire stopped, and turned to look over her shoulder.

"I don't know... but I think I'll figure it out in Ponyville." With that final answer, she turned and flew away.

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