• Published 5th Dec 2011
  • 38,968 Views, 1,684 Comments

Flying High, Falling Hard - Soundslikeponies

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

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Chapter 18: And When the Trickling Stops

And When the Trickling Stops

Flying High, Falling Hard by soundslikeponies

"Who was that, Spitfire?" Dash asked with more force.

Spitfire fidgeted, stuck between a rock and a hard place. Dash narrowed her eyes, marching up to Spitfire with a glare. Spitfire could tell by the look on Dash’s face that she already had a good idea who it was, but she wanted to hear the words come from Spitfire's own mouth to confirm her fears.

Back against the wall, Spitfire resigned herself to her fate with a sigh.

"It was Twilight," she said quickly, wincing as the words left her mouth. She expected an explosion of anger, yelling, and Dash to tell her she never wanted to see her again, but what happened somehow seemed far worse in her opinion.

But Dash said nothing. She simply looked at her with loathing and disgust, which hurt her more than any angry words could have.

"I looked up to you," Dash said in a cool and even tone.

Spitfire flinched at her tone. The words carried such regret and contempt.

"Listen, Dash, I didn't mean to—"

"You didn't mean to get caught?" Dash asked with an unnerving calm. "Or maybe you didn't mean to get interrupted—BEFORE YOU FINISHED TRYING TO MAKE ME CHEAT ON MY MAREFRIEND!" Dash's voice exploded, making the house seem unnaturally quiet after her outburst.

"Hey, hold on, Dash! That's not fair! I never made you do anything!"

"I can’t even imagine what you were thinking! That what? Right after I screwed up my relationship, and made my marefriend run away crying. You thought that was the time to come out and say you like me?" Dash panted, her hoof pointed toward the door Twilight ran out. "Of course I didn’t react! I was confused!"

"I thought you broke up with her!" Spitfire defended, giving Dash pause.


"That's what she told me when she came in through the door!" Spitfire cried indignantly, pointing a hoof at the entrance to the house.

"I never broke up with her!" Dash said defensively. "She just got really upset when I said I thought we should see less of each other."

Spitfire's mouth hung open in shock at the stupidity of it all.


"Yeah! I don't know why that made her run away crying! I mean, I just wanted more—"

"No you idiot, that's a line ponies say when they're breaking up with someone!" Spitfire shouted, putting a hoof to her face and cringing.

"Wait... really?" Dash asked with a bit of skepticism. "So... she thought I was breaking up with her?"

Spitfire nodded, wishing that Dash was joking and not actually that naive. Dash turned to look at the door, her mouth open and her ears pressed flat against her head.

"I-I need to go after her!" Dash shouted, darting to the door. She stopped in the doorway and turned. "And don't think I've even remotely forgiven you!" She shouted at Spitfire, slamming the door behind her and going into the rain after Twilight.

Twilight walked through the rain with her head hung low. She wasn't running, or crying this time. She didn't have the energy to. So she walked, barely watching where her hoofsteps fell.

The library couldn't be very far now. She wanted to go inside and be warm again. The storm was cold.

She should have seen it coming really: Spitfire and Dash. Spitfire was a Wonderbolt and a pegasus, and there was no way she could compete with that. She was just Twilight, a boring, awkward librarian in a small town that the Princess sent her to.

Some element of magic I am. It’s my special talent, and I can’t even do one stupid spell that would let me fly with Dash. It's not fair! Twilight kicked a stone on the road, sending it skittering off into the dark. She hung her head and sighed. Why can't I do things right?

The library came into view only a couple steps in front of her. The tree was dark and unwelcoming. She opened the door and was greeted by the silence and darkness.

Home, sweet home.

Twilight used her magic to wring as much water out of her mane as possible before stepping inside. Her horn glowed, and a flame sprung to life in the fireplace as she walked through the room.

Levitating a pillow from nearby, she put it down in front of the fire, and lay down on it. Her wet coat soaked its case, as she watched the fire with a dull and uninterested look.

She didn't think she could get to sleep without Dash anymore.

Dash flew onwards through the storm, thunder rumbling above and rain crashing down. Danger be damned, she was going to chase down Twilight and explain everything to her.

The only place the unicorn could have gone to that was close to Spitfire's was the library. She couldn't help but stop and think about the irony; she wanted to spend a night at her own place by herself for a change, and she wound up spending it chasing Twilight back to the library.

A gust of wind tried to throw her to the left. She tilted her wings to fly through it, but a second, larger gust came quickly behind it. She lost control. Her wings refused to cooperate, tired and beaten from flying in the storm. A broad tree came from out of nowhere at her side and was right in her collision course. She slammed into the tree, her left shoulder taking the brunt of the impact. Then, she fell down, wincing and closing her eyes as she crashed into the ground. White-hot pain ran up her left forehoof when she hit the ground.

She looked up at the tree she crashed into with a small amount of sardonic amusement. It had a window, with light coming from it. She had managed to crash into her destination, the library. Standing up and trying to stay off her injured hoof, she noted with some disdain that her right side was completely covered in mud.

She hobbled towards the door on three hooves, her injured hoof sending sharp pain coursing through her leg whenever she had to move it. Thankfully, she didn't have to go far. She sat back on her haunches and gave the door five knocks with her good forehoof.

She waited at the doorstep, but Twilight wasn't answering. Water trickled down, the library tree providing little real shelter from the rain with its leaves and branches.

"Twilight, I know you're in there!" Dash shouted at the door, but she still received no response. "We've done this once before Twilight, you should know I'm not going to leave!"

Almost immediately after she finished shouting, the door opened, Twilight standing in front of her with her ears drawn back. The two just stared at each other for a moment, neither knowing what to say. Dash was so tempted to just run up and hold her, apologize, promise to make everything better, and kiss away the look on her face.

Twilight's eyes softened a little as she looked over Dash's disheveled state. She motioned into the library with a subdued nod.

"You'll catch your death out here in this cold," Twilight said, finally breaking the ice. "Come in. Just make sure you go take a shower and get all that mud off before you sleep on the couch."

"Twilight, about what happened—"

"You'll have to wait until after I'm done taking a bath, I still haven't gotten the mud off my hooves," Twilight continued, ignoring Dash.

"Twilight, you don't understand. When Spitfire was—"

"I understand perfectly well Dash," Twilight spat as she walked to the bathroom. "She's 'Captain Spitfire of the Wonderbolts.' Who wouldn't want to be with her?"

Dash opened and closed her mouth, wishing there was something she could say.

"I'm just Twilight." Twilight opened the door, and stepped inside the bathroom. She turned around to face Dash, her ears drooping as she cast her eyes downward. "I'm nopony special."

Dash wanted to tell her that wasn't true. She wanted to hold Twilight, and tell her about all the things that made her amazing. It wasn't the first time that night she cursed at how poor she was with words. She wished she knew a way to tell her she was wrong. She leaned in to kiss Twilight, hoping that she could convey her feelings with it, but Twilight took a step back. The unicorn shook her head slowly, the message clear and painful.

"Good night, Rainbow Dash."

Dash watched with a defeated expression as Twilight shut the bathroom door. The sound of the door's latch clicking shut had an odd finality to it, like a gavel striking down. The pegasus sat down in front of it, completely lost on what to do. She just listened to the sound of the rain, taking comfort in the dull pitter-patter of it crashing down.

Twilight closed the bathroom door, feeling her heart fluttering.

What was she thinking trying to kiss me like that?

She felt so confused. She didn't have a clue where they stood anymore. Everything was just one giant convoluted mess. A part of her wanted so badly to let Dash kiss her, to return it with fervor. She didn't know what to do anymore. She didn't know what to think anymore. A million questions were flying through her head, and none of them had answers.

She sank to the floor with a sigh. She wanted to just accept Rainbow Dash back, but some mixture of pride, confusion, and hurt wouldn't allow her to. Would they even manage to ever sort this out? The possibility of this being the end terrified Twilight, but she couldn't see any end in sight, or even a way for it to end.

She felt sick with herself. When Dash had first kissed her, she ran away, not wanting to deal with the problem. As a friend, it was a horrible thing to do. It was sometimes hard to remember that under all the bravado and confidence Dash could be just as easily hurt as anyone. But that was no excuse for how she’d acted.

Twilight turned the bath taps, adding a little more hot water than she normally did. She watched her reflection in the water, as ripples from the water pouring out the tap distorted the sad face of the Twilight looking back at her. She was somewhat grateful for that, she couldn't bear to look at herself at the moment.

In the Cloudsdale hotel room, when things started to get more heated up, Twilight ran away again. The reality of the entire situation only then really seemed to sink in. She avoided Dash, thinking about how uncertain she was if their relationship was really what she wanted. Once again she had been self-centered—only thinking about what she wanted, and all the while she was hurting Dash with the way she distanced herself. She didn't think Dash would notice. She didn't give the pegasus any credibility, and it turned out she was more perceptive than Twilight thought. She thought she had learned her lesson, to always be open about what was bothering her.

She ran away for a third time. She had finally gotten all these wonderful friends, and the idea of estranging them frightened her. Considering how different they all were, she should have put more faith in their tolerance of each others' opinions and differences. By this time she actually knew that she was hurting Rainbow Dash by running away, but she had done it anyway because she was scared and selfish.

Selfish. That word summed up what she had been doing wrong this entire time. Things Dash had said, that she’d forgotten about, bubbled up to the surface.

"I really like you, Twilight... a lot—You’re scared of being with me, being seen with me—You’re a stressful pony to be around, Twilight—Do you have feelings for me? Do you truly want this relationship and every aspect that comes with it?"

Twilight sunk into the tub, welcoming back that feeling of relief from soaking her coat in warm water. Her mind drifted to Cloudsdale, when Dash had shaken her head and given her that bitter look of utter disappointment.

“You should try listening to your heart some time, Twilight.”

She lifted a hoof out of the water, resting it over her heart. All she felt was the steady beat of the organ pumping blood through her veins. She couldn’t hear anything.

I don't deserve Rainbow Dash, and she certainly doesn't deserve somepony like me. She's probably better off with Spitfire.

She sat in the bathtub until the water grew cold, her hoof over her heart, listening for anything.

Dash lay down in front of the bathroom door, with her head resting on her good hoof, and looking at the damaged one. She snapped upright at the sound of the door opening. Out walked Twilight, fresh and without a speck of mud on her anymore. But the main thing Dash noticed was that Twilight was looking at her... differently. Dash couldn't quite place her hoof on what it was.

"It's free now," Twilight said, motioning to the bathroom with a hoof.

"Oh... thanks." Dash stood up and walked past the unicorn with an awkward limp. Her right side was still completely covered in mud, and it would be good to finally get it out.


The word came from Twilight so quietly Dash almost didn't catch it. Dash turned to her with confusion, but she already disappeared around the corner, down the hallway to her bed.

Sorry? Why did she say that?

Dash sat down on her haunches, raising her good hoof to turn the taps to the bath. She hated being injured; it made her feel weak and incapable. She watched the water rise in the tub, turning it off once there was enough. She climbed in, wincing when she hit her left leg on the edge as she did so. The water turned a murky brown with all the mud from her coat. She emptied the tub, and refilled it to make sure she didn't get any mud on Twilight's couch. She couldn't enjoy the feel of the warm water soaking into her coat. Between her leg stinging and the way she had left things with Twilight, she had too much on her mind to enjoy it.

She climbed out of the bathtub, drying off her mane with a towel. She took limping steps to the bathroom door, opening it and walking out. She stopped in the hallway, looking in the direction Twilight had gone.

"Goodnight Twilight." She felt silly for saying it without the mare there to hear it, but she felt she should since she forgot to when the unicorn had gone off to bed.

She turned and walked downstairs, flopping down on the couch. She stared at the ceiling from her back, trying to think of nothing, and fall asleep. Just like the first night she had spent at the library, she found herself unable to, because she wanted to fall asleep with her hooves wrapped around Twilight.

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