• 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 20: Setting Sail in the Dark

Setting Sail in the Dark

Flying High, Falling Hard by soundslikeponies

What do I say? What do I do?

Spitfire had stood in front of the boutique's door for a while now. The crying from inside had faded a while ago and now a thick silence hung in the air, making the boutique's door seem all that much more intimidating to her.

She could perform in front of all of Equestria just fine, and yet she felt incredibly nervous at the thought of talking to either Dash or Twilight right now.

Swallowing and taking a deep breath, she raised her hoof and knocked on the door. It was a relief that she managed to do that much, but terror crept up in her. She gulped, her mind racing for the right words to say to the mare that had spotted her on top of Dash.

Thankfully a different unicorn answered the door.

"Oh," Rarity said, raising her eyebrows at seeing Spitfire on her doorstep. Her look of surprise quickly changed to a forced smile. "I'm terribly sorry, but I'm afraid the store is closed at the moment. If you could come back at a later time I can take any order you would like."

"Actually, I wanted to talk to Twilight," Spitfire said, trying her best to have a firm resolve.

"Don't you think you have already done enough damage?"

Rarity's words caused Spitfire to flinch, and her resolve wavered. "I'm really sorry about what happened. I just need to tell her that!" Spitfire pleaded.

"I'm really sorry about what happened too, but you should know that hearing an apology from you won't make things better." Rarity let out a huff, tossing her mane. "And I apologize for being short with you for a first meeting, but I hope you understand why."

"Listen, I'm getting sick and tired of everypony treating me like dirt, and not listening to a word I say!" Spitfire shouted.

"Who's at the door, Rarity?" Twilight's voice called out from inside the house. Rarity's head turned back to glance inside, before giving a look back at Spitfire. Her eyes narrowed at the Wonderbolt, a scowl marring her graceful features.

"If you make her cry again, I will end you," the fashion designer promised in a dark tone, leaning in close to Spitfire snout with a glare.

Spitfire gulped and nodded.

"Someone is here to see you dear!" Rarity shouted back to the librarian inside.

The sound of hoofsteps approached, and Spitfire was reminded of how she still didn't have any idea what to say to her. Twilight's head poked around the corner and her eyes widened at seeing Spitfire, standing there. Rarity stepped aside, allowing Spitfire to come inside. As the door swung shut behind the pegasus, she and Twilight stared at one another, unsure of what to say.

"I'll go prepare more tea." Rarity turned, leaving the two alone.

Spitfire racked her brain trying to think of a way to break the ice. Surprisingly though, Twilight was the first to speak.

"So how is Dash?" Twilight asked hesitantly.

"Furious with me," Spitfire answered with a dry chuckle. "I'm surprised you aren't as well."

"Oh..." Twilight trailed off. "I suppose I should be, but I'm more jealous than anything else."

"Jealous?"

"Well, I can see why Dash chose you. You're a Wonderbolt, and you have wings," Twilight answered.

"Woah, there is no ‘Dash chose me’."

Twilight’s eyes widened. "But at your house she was, well..." Twilight blushed. "Underneath you."

"That's because I came onto her," Spitfire said, pausing and looking at the unicorn quizzically. "Didn't Dash tell you that?"

"Oh," Twilight said, a blush gracing her features. "I guess I didn't really give her a chance." Twilight drew circles on the ground with her hoof. "I just thought that she would be so much better off with you, since it seems like all I do is make her worry, and act selfish all the time." Twilight paused, her face scrunching up in confusion. "But then, why was she under you if she wasn't... participating?"

"She was lying on her back on the sofa, and when we were talking, my crush on her just sort of... slipped out," Spitfire explained, her eyes falling to the floor. "I don't know what got into me, and I tried to make a move on her, which was stupid and jerkish of me, all things considered." She glanced at Twilight, seeing the unicorn’s lips form a thin line.

"Now I can see why you thought I would be mad at you," Twilight said, her voice holding a slight edge as the corners of her mouth dipped into a frown.

"Yeah..." Spitfire trailed off. She laughed and looked away, rubbing the back of her neck.

"Still, I am grateful you're trying to make things better. It's more than some would do."

"Well, it hasn't been easy," Spitfire admitted. "Dash chewed my head off every time I tried to explain and apologize to her. So I figured I would try apologizing to you first."

Twilight let out a sigh, hanging her head in defeat. "I just got to thinking that maybe she would be better off without me, and be better off with you."

Spitfire walked up to her and placed a hoof on her shoulder. "What would make you think that? Don't you realize how happy you make her?"

Twilight lifted her head, giving Spitfire with confused frown. "But all I ever do is make her worry."

"Maybe, but don't you realize that's only because she cares about you so much?" Spitfire asked. "For Celestia's sake, she gave up being in the Wonderbolts to be with you!"

"She what?" Twilight asked, her mouth hanging open.

"Dash never told you?" Spitfire asked. "When we went flying that evening, I was impressed by her a lot. I offered her a spot on the Wonderbolts." Spitfire glanced at Twilight and saw her blinking in disbelief. "She glanced down at Ponyville for a moment and then turned down the offer. She told me she still wanted to stay in Ponyville, and it was written all over her face that it was because of you."

"I..." Twilight hesitated. "I don't even know what to say... She never mentioned it to me." Twilight moaned, sinking to the floor and covering her face with her hooves. "What am I supposed to do?"

"I'm not sure. That's something you have to figure out," Spitfire answered, turning around and walking to the door. "If you see her though, tell her I'm sorry."

"Why don't you tell her yourself after I talk to her?" Twilight asked, tilting her head as Spitfire opened the door.

"Because," Spitfire said, stopping in the doorway and looking back at Twilight. "I came here to fly with Dash, and if there isn't that then..." Spitfire trailed off and forced a smile. "I'm catching a train and going back to the Wonderbolts later this evening." Spitfire let the statement hang in the air, walking out the door with a disappointed sigh. "So goodbye I guess, it's been nice staying here... for the most part."


Dash wiped a bead of sweat off her brow. Between her injury and Ditzy's mistake, they had to stay much longer than normal to get their share of the work done clearing the clouds. Dash unzipped her weather vest and wiggled out of it, flinching as she slid it down her injured hoof. Ditzy walked up beside her and imitated her, unzipping her vest and shrugging it off.

"Sorry Dash," Ditzy said as she took her vest off and wiggled her body, finally having it free of the sweaty weather vest.

"It's okay, Ditzy. Mistakes happen," Dash reassured, whipping her mane back and forth and stretching her legs. "I should probably get going."

Ditzy gave her a nod, and Dash saw her still hanging her head out of the corner of her eyes. She knew she had messed up, and needed to try harder. And Dash knew she would. She was an incredibly hard worker for Dinky’s sake.

Dash left the locker room, eager to go home and finally rest. She took to the night sky, flying at a sluggish pace, every wingbeat feeling like a chore after being up for more than twenty four hours. Once she got home, she would finally be able to lay down on her bed and fall asleep.

Dash touched down on the landing outside her cloud home, pushing the door open and stepping inside with a yawn.

"Rainbow Dash!"

"Gah!" Dash cried out. Something wrap around her, tackling her to the floor. She gritted her teeth in pain from having her injured hoof abused yet again, but she forgot all about it once she saw a certain purple unicorn wrapped around her midsection.

"Twilight, wha—"

Twilight sat up a little, using Dash's chest to prop herself up.

"I went to Rarity's, and I thought about everything I did, and I thought you would be better off without me, and then Spitfire came to—"

Dash put a hoof on Twilight’s chest at hearing the Wonderbolts’ name. "Wait, slow down, what happened?"

Twilight took a deep breath. "Spitfire came to talk to me. She explained how she came onto you, and that you didn't really have anything to do with it. She told me how you turned down the Wonderbolts to be with me. This whole time I was worried that I was making you worry too much and I was making you miserable, and that's why you wanted to break up with me." Twilight buried her head into Dash's chest, wrapping her hooves around the pegasus once more. "I promise to change if you'll take me back!"

"I never wanted to break up with you!" Dash exclaimed, wrapping her hooves around the smaller unicorn. "I talked to Spitfire afterwards about that. I had no idea that the way I said it implied I was breaking up with you." Twilight looked up at her, stunned. "I just meant it literally, I wanted a little space is all," Dash added, giving the unicorn squeeze with her hooves, even if it hurt herself a little. "That's what I was trying to tell you the whole time at the library, but you were so mad, and interrupted me so many times, that I dropped it."

"I know, and I should have listened, but I was just so upset," Twilight cried, rubbing her face against Dash's coat.

Dash felt her coat dampen from Twilight's crying, and uncomfortably began rubbing her back in small circles, unsure of what else to do.

"Hey, it's okay now, right? We're back together again," Dash said in a soothing voice.

Twilight sniffled, and pulled back to look at the spot where she had cried on Dash's chest. "Sorry." Twilight threw herself back into Dash’s chest. "I'm just... sorry."

"I forgive you," Dash replied. She lifted Twilight's chin with a hoof, and Twilight looked up at her, her tears frozen at the corner of her eyes. "So don't worry about it."

Twilight’s mouth curved up in a beautiful smile. The two stared into each others eyes, and their faces inched closer to each other.

Their lips met each other as though they had been starving for that kiss. All the longing, and craving to be with one another once again could be felt in the kiss, and a tingling warmth traveled up and down their bodies from their lips touching.

They broke apart, looked at each other, and both let out a content sigh. Twilight leaned her forehead against Dash's, reaching up a hoof to touch her cheek as they stared into each others' eyes.

"I missed you," Twilight said, letting out a deep breath, sending shivers down Dash's spine.

"Yeah, I missed you too, egghead," Dash replied with a playful grin. She glanced around her house, a thought suddenly occurred to her. "How did you get up here anyway?"

"I asked Fluttershy to fly me up here."

"Oh..." Dash trailed off, remembering her two estranged friends. She hadn't seen either of them since the night she yelled at them both, and stormed off. "I guess I should try and thank her sometime then."

"Maybe you just need a chance to properly talk things out with her and Applejack," Twilight suggested. "It's what we needed, after all."

Dash let out a resigned sigh, looking at the wall to her right.

"Eh, maybe you're right, Twi. I didn't exactly give them a chance," Dash's eyes widened a little in realization. "I didn't exactly give Spitfire a chance either. She really came by and tried to explain everything to you?"

"Yeah, she wanted me to tell you she was sorry."

Dash crawled out from under Twilight, standing up and walking over to the door.

"Where are you going?" Twilight asked.

"I want to go thank her, and apologize for being such a jerk to her over all this," Dash answered, tilting her head side to side to work out the kinks, and spreading her wings out, before refolding them at her sides. "She really came through in the end, and I guess that says something for her." Dash opened the door, and turned to look back at Twilight. "I'll be right back in no time, so feel free to hunt around the kitchen for something to eat."

"Wait, Dash!" Twilight called out, halting her.

Dash turned and looked back. Twilight’s smile had vanished, replaced by a quiet look which made ice spread through Dash’s stomach.

"She isn't going to be at home."


Spitfire stood alone on the Ponyville train platform at night. Standing off to her side was a crowd full of monotonous bland colored city-ponies, who stood still as statues under the fluorescent lights, waiting for the train. Most of them were stallions with thick coats, and had prominent, rugged facial hair. It was the sort of crowd that reminded Spitfire that Ponyville was, at its core, a pioneer village.

She sat down on the cold concrete, looking at the ticket in her hooves. A series of serial codes and numbers decorated it, with the ominous words ONE WAY TICKET in bold in the bottom right corner. She mulled over her thoughts staring at the ticket.

She wondered how she could be considered fit to lead anything, let alone the Wonderbolts, after all this. She had abandoned the flight team to pursue some juvenile crush, and it certainly wasn't something a captain should do to the ponies who followed them. She had acted completely irresponsible. It almost felt like the cowards way out to just leave, but hopefully she had set Twilight straight before going.

She played with the idea of someday coming back to Ponyville. The town had grown on her while she had stayed there. It was a nice rural place full of generous ponies willing to help each other out. It was a welcome change from the big cities, where everypony rushed from one place to another.

Now she was leaving. Dash had come into her world and turned it upside down faster than Spitfire would have thought possible. It had been the most confusing, enlightening, and best week of her life. Spitfire glanced to the wall to her left, looking at a map of Ponyville that was mounted on the wall of the train station. Despite everything, she wished she had gotten a chance to say goodbye to Dash, gotten one more chance to fly with her, but she knew that Dash would have neither of those. If she told Dash she was leaving she would most likely just receive a 'good riddance'.

The steady sound of the train approaching caused Spitfire to turn from the map, watching it approach from the distance down the tracks. The train's whistle blew, and it came to a stop at the platform. Spitfire took a place in line at one of the doors, glancing once more at the words ONE WAY TICKET printed on the piece of paper.


"She's what!?" Dash asked, turning away from the door and letting it swing shut. "She's leaving Ponyville!?"

Twilight nodded. Dash began to pace back and forth restlessly, limping on her injured hoof. Suddenly, her face lit up and she rushed back to the door.

"If I go now I might be able to catch her before her train leaves!" She opened the door and reared back, ready to leap into the skies, when a magenta glow surrounded her, pulling her back inside and closing the door.

"Hold on. I can teleport us there, it'll be faster," Twilight said, bringing the pegasus over to her with her levitation magic.

Dash nodded. As Twilight grit her teeth and shut her eyes, her horn flashed, filling the room with magical pink light. Dash looked around with wide-eyed wonder. Her room disappeared, a bright pink orb surrounding the two of them.

The orb of magic surrounding them popped like a bubble and Dash's room was replaced by the street in front of the train station. The two ponies hung in the air a few feet above the cobblestone, before Twilight's magic faded and gravity dropped them down onto the road.

"Come on, we should hurry inside and find out what time the train—"

Twilight was cut off by Dash sprinting past her to the nearest trash can and emptying her stomach into it. Twilight looked at her sheepishly, wincing at the retching sounds she was making.

"I probably should have mentioned that the first time teleporting can be..."

"Nauseating?" Dash supplied for her, still green in the face. She moved her tongue around to try getting the unpleasant and tangy taste of vomit out of her mouth.

"Yes. Nauseating," Twilight said, laughing nervously.

"Whatever, I'm fine." Dash walked past her, toward the train station. "We need to keep going."

Twilight nodded, running alongside Dash up the steps and into the train station. They ran past the ticket booths, bumping into, and disgruntling more than a few ponies as they did so. Dash skidded to a halt, Twilight stopping beside her. The train was at the station.

Dash spotted Spitfire through a train window.

"Spitfire!" Dash shouted out, waving a hoof in the hopes that the pegasus would spot it. But Spitfire didn't glance up. Her eyes were locked on something she held in her hooves, and she must have not been able to hear Dash’s shout.

The train's engine started up. The locomotive's whistle sounded, and its wheels slowly began to turn and pick up speed. Dash and Twilight ran to the train, hoping to grab Spitfire's attention. They ran alongside it, trying to keep up. Dash flapped her wings, flying in bursts to try to keep off her injured leg as much as possible.

“Spitfire!”

“Spitfire, wait!” they both shouted. Still tired from having stayed up the night before, their motions became more and more sluggish until they both stopped at the edge of the platform, panting as they watched the train peel away from the station and grow smaller and smaller in the distance.

Turning with a look of determination on her face, Twilight marched back to the ticket booths, Dash watching her with a confused look.

"Where was that train going?" Twilight demanded, slamming her hoof down on the counter.

"The train that just left? That one was leaving for Canterlot," the stallion at the booth answered.

"When's the next train there?"

"The train that just left makes a return stop here from Canterlot in two hours before its last trip of the day back there."

Twilight tossed a bunch of bits up on the counter. "We'll take two tickets for that train."

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