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

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

  • ...

Chapter 33: Epilogue

Chapter 33: Epilogue

Flying High, Falling Hard by soundslikeponies

Dear Faithful Student,

I’m relieved to hear you are safe. I’m dismayed, although, to only be hearing about this now—I wish I could have been there to help in whatever way I could. Please give the doctor and his staff my personal thanks for their part in watching over you.

But as relieved as I am, I’m afraid your actions in the Canterlot archives are not something I can simply overlook. The contents in the forbidden archives are forbidden by me and with good reason. I am not angry with you, but I am disappointed you did not trust my judgement as much as I trust yours.

For the six months following the date you receive this letter, you are suspended from studying magic. During this time, I hope you reflect on your mistakes. I’m tasking you with spending these six months with those closest to you in diligent study of not only friendship, but also your new relationship with Rainbow Dash and the ways in which it differs from the friendship you two once had.

I look forward to reading your letters and seeing both of you at the Grand Galloping Gala. Give Rainbow Dash my most sincere gratitude for keeping you safe and watching over you.

Your Trusting Mentor,

Princess Celestia

The train ride to the Barebranch Station had taken nearly a day, but now Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Spitfire stood with their flight goggles donned at the bottom of the Highphoon Peaks. The mountains could best be described as someone having played ring toss using the winds for rings and mountain tops for cider bottles.

“Are you sure about this?!” Twilight shouted in Dash’s ear, holding the mare’s neck in a death grip.

Dash slipped on her flight goggles. “Easy peezy lemon-squeezy, Twi. It’s just some wind.”

“The guide says they get up to hundred mile-per-hour winds here,” Spitfire chimed in.


“So just spread our wings and go along for the ride, right?” Dash asked.

Spitfire snapped the strap of her goggles, checking them. “Yeah, sounds like. Just gotta keep a good distance away from the mountain itself. Wouldn’t want to have the winds slam you into it.”

Twilight craned her neck up and stared at the jagged cliffs. She squeezed Dash’s neck. “I don’t think we should do this,” she said, quivering. “It’s not safe.”

Dash and Spitfire looked at one another, each raising an eyebrow.

Dash took a deep breath, then twisted her neck around to look at Twilight. “Do you want to wait on the ground?”

Twilight thought for a moment, then shook her head. “No.”

“Well, do you want to come with us, then?” Another no. Dash sighed. “Well, I’m going to take off in ten seconds. And if you’re still on my back by then, you’re coming along for the ride.”

“B-but traveling on an air current of hundred mile-per-hour winds, the drag factors upon entering would be—”

Dash took off without warning. Twilight let out a second startled yelp, barely managing to tighten her grip in time.

“That wasn’t ten seconds!” Twilight shouted over the wind. Spitfire joined them.

Dash couldn’t keep the smirk off her lips. “It was hard to keep count with you shouting numbers in my ear. Besides, if I waited any longer you might have really decided to stay on the ground and miss all the fun.”

“Could you at least stop for a second and let me get my flight goggles on?” Twilight asked.

Dash stopped as she asked. They hovered just a field length away from the wind channels, the gales roaring. Even with the brief flight up, Twilight’s mane had already managed to become a full-fledged disaster.

Spitfire stopped beside them. She pointed at Twilight, suppressing a snicker. “I don’t think straight-cut manes agree with flying much.”

Twilight huffed and stuck her tongue out at Spitfire. “We can’t all have perfect wind-shaped manes.”

“Hey, I think it looks good,” Dash chimed in.

“Thank you.”

“It looks how it does after we’ve been on the couch making out for a while, or the times when we’re in the bedroom and you do that thing where you spin your—”

Twilight cleared her throat loudly while blushing. “I think Spitfire gets the idea.”

Spitfire nodded, unable to keep from smirking.

“Eh, whatever,” Dash said. “So, you two ready?” Twilight nodded, as did Spitfire. “Alright, let’s go!”

The winds grew ferocious as they neared the peaks. Wind from the air channels around the mountains whipped their manes as Dash beat her wings furiously to keep the two of them steady. Spitfire, however, darted right into the wind channels. She somersaulted gracefully as the wind hit her, and then rode the wind out past the peak and out of sight.

Dash turned to Twilight. “Alright, so there might be some... turbulence when we first go in,” she said, “but once I get adjusted it should be smooth sailing from there on out.”

“Turbulence?” Twilight repeated. The way Dash had said it put her on edge. “What kind of turbulence?”

“Turbulence-turbulence.” Dash shrugged. “You’ll see in a moment. Just hold on tight.”

Twilight did as told and tightened her grip. For a moment, it seemed like Dash was about to fly into the winds, but she paused, frowning, and looked back at her.

“Like, tight-tight.

Twilight swallowed and pressed her haunches into Dash’s sides.

“Perfect! Alright let’s go!” Dash began skirting the edge of the air channel. And then, about ten seconds later, dove into it.

The wind slammed them like a sack of bricks. They tumbled through the air. Twilight gasped as the air left her chest.

Twilight hung on with the hooves she had around Dash’s chest, her rear legs slipping free and floating above her head. A sharp, pinching tension ran down her spine as she recognized that the only thing keeping her from falling two hundred feet to the jagged cliffs below, was her slipping grip around Dash’s chest.

The feeling lasted only a mere second. Her weight returned and the rest of her flopped down on Dash’s back. She hastily reaffirmed her grip around Dash’s neck.

Dash’s wings stretched wide. They began gliding, the air carrying them with a gentle touch along the current.

Twilight stopped and took deep breaths, her heart still sprinting.

“Hah! Man, I almost did a somersault!” Dash barked a laugh.

The sky stood above them: mighty and gold. The sun straddled the forests in the horizon. It colored the peaks and the leaves of the maple forest in a warm amber tone. But most of all it colored the wind. Twilight felt as though she could reach out and touch it.

Dash glanced back, her brow furrowed. “Hey, you okay back there?”

Twilight stared ahead, her eyes wide and her heart still pounding in her chest. Slowly, she stretched her tender wings, spreading them. She pointed them to the wind, holding them out like she was flying.

Her earlier fear forgotten, she let go of Dash’s neck and sat up. She stretched her hooves out to the side, like a second pair of wings, her mouth forming a smile as though she’d only just learned how.

Dash saw it, a look of understanding dawning on her face. She smiled, gently angling them into the center of the current.

They flew simply for a while. Where the wind drifted, they followed.

It all came to pass, however, as Dash grew bored.

“Hey, you ready for something exciting?”

Twilight blinked. She lay back down and wrapped her hooves around Dash’s neck. She glanced down at the ground, much of her earlier fearlessness leaving her. “Um… maybe?”

“Alright, hold on,” Dash said, adjusting her flight goggles.

“What? No, wait! That doesn’t mean I’m read—eek!

Dash dove down, closer to the mountains but farther from the high winds. They ducked into a channel. Smooth, wind-shaped rock flew by on either side, so close Dash’s wingtips touched them. In there the winds flowed like rapids at their back. It soon became clear that, like rapids, the crevice ended in a perilous drop.

They sped towards it. Twilight held on for her life, not knowing what to expect, and so expecting the worst.

Dash didn’t disappoint.

Once they cleared the cliff, Dash veered up. Together they performed a tight backwards three-quarter loop, launching down the side of the cliff. Dash skimmed the rock, her stomach a mere hoof-width away from it.

Twilight’s grip still tightened with terror, but there was also something else. It grew from the pit of her stomach, rising to her chest and head, tensing her whole body. It was excitement, and with a gentle push it forced the fear away.

Dash went on doing more tricks, some familiar, others new to Twilight. Some were obviously not meant to be performed with a passenger, but others almost seemed designed for it, and she wondered whether Dash had learned them specifically for this.

As minutes stretched into hours, Twilight grew more comfortable and bold, giggling when Dash performed maneuvers and even letting go with her forehooves in places.

“That was amazing!” Twilight said when they finally touched down to land. She climbed down from Dash’s back. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack when we suddenly dropped down into that crevice.” She punched Dash playfully on the shoulder. “Don’t just do something like that without telling me.”

Dash laughed. “I take it you had fun?”

Twilight took a deep, thoroughly content sigh. “I think that was the most fun I’ve had in years.”

“More fun than you would have had waiting for us on the ground?”

Twilight rolled her eyes with a smirk. “Yes.”

“Well, tomorrow we’ll have the whole day.” Dash stole a glance at the setting sun. “For now we should probably go back to the town and find a place to stay... unless you two are willing to rough it out here and sleep on a cloud.”

Twilight shook her head furiously. “Not since last time when I nearly fell off. And I’m not keen on sleeping on the cold, hard ground.”

As Spitfire rejoined them, she nodded in agreement with Twilight. “I like beds. They’re warm, flat, and dry.”

“A little morning dew never hurt anypony,” Dash said, huffing. Seeing them still look unwilling, she relented. “Fine, whatever. No camp out. But if we’re going someplace, I am ordering a gigantic dinner, ‘cause I’m still starving from the trip over.”

At the mention of food, Twilight’s stomach grumbled.

Spitfire chuckled. “I think we all are.”

“Well, we should probably get going.” Twilight walked over to Dash, climbing aboard her back once more.

“Aw man... I was at least hoping for a bit of a break,” Dash said.

Leaning over Dash’s shoulder, Twilight kissed her cheek. “Thank you.”

Dash’s ears swiveled back. “What for?”

“For taking me flying.”

A burned hue rose to Dash’s cheeks. “You know, you don’t have to say that every time we go flying. I’m happy to take you wherever, whenever.”

“Well I’m always happy to thank you for it,” Twilight replied, and Dash had nothing to say to that. Leaning down and resting her cheek in Dash’s mane, Twilight closed her eyes. “I suppose in a way I’m glad how things turned out. If my wings worked, there wouldn’t be any reason for me to fly on your back. I like it like this. It’s closer.”

“Yeah…” Dash agreed, a smile coming to her lips. “It is.”

Together, they flew to town.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Things have improved remarkably. Sometimes I wonder how my relationship with Dash got off to such a rocky start in the first place. From what Dash tells me, you know of at least one of the problems we had, but I assure you it was far from the only one. For more than a month things just seemed to rebound between good and bad. There were highs and lows, but I think in the end the lows are what drew us closer together. No matter how bad things got between us, we always came back to each other’s hooves.

Dash believed things could get better, and they have.

Twilight startled awake, a hoof poking her shoulder. Dash stood over her, her hooves planted between the seats of their train car for balance.

Dash nudged her once more. “Hey, we’re almost home.”

“We are?” Twilight asked, rubbing her eyes and letting loose a long yawn. “But we only left an hour ago.”

“It’s been four,” Dash said. She looked out the window, resting her head on her hoof in a slight pout. “You fell asleep after about thirty minutes. ”

Twilight sat up. She got out of her seat and looked out the window of their room. The clock read half-past two.

Dash leaned her head to the side, glancing at the tracks up ahead. “Hey, Twilight. Come take a look.”

“Are we almost there?”

“Yeah. And it looks like Pinkie knew we were coming.”

Twilight walked over and peeked out over the top of Dash’s head. Above the train platform were two giant inflatable ponies: one purple, one blue, each the size of the train car they were riding in. Hanging from one balloon’s ear to the other’s was a white banner with red lettering.


Twilight got down off the seat and turned to Dash. “Did you send a letter ahead saying when we’d be back?”

Dash shook her head. “No. We couldn’t find a post office, remember?” Dash paused. “Did you—” she pointed to her forehead in vague gesture “—magic a letter back or something?”

Twilight shook her head.

Dash turned back to the window, looking at them, her lip curling. “Well… they’re certainly something.”

After a moment, Twilight smiled. “It certainly feels like a Pinkie welcome.”

Dash cracked a smile. “Yeah, it does.”

As they drew closer to the station, they could make out their friends standing in wait below the balloons amid the other ponies waiting for the train.

The train chugged to a stop. Dash stood, stretching her wings and shaking her shoulders.

Twilight stared out the window. Their friends were scanning the train, looking for them. “Back home, huh?”

“Yep,” Dash responded, putting her saddlebags on. She paused, looking at Twilight. “Hey, what’sa matter?”

Twilight’s eyes snapped away from the window. “Me? Nothing.”

“You’ve got a look on your face.”

Twilight frowned at being found out. She stole a glance out the window. “You ever worry that we’ll come back and things will have changed?”

A look of understanding dawned on Dash’s face. Then she gave a shrug. “I don’t really worry about that.”

“Why not?” Twilight asked.

“I’ve known Fluttershy since I was a filly.” Dash shrugged again, her eyes wandering around the room. “Some things have definitely changed…” After a pause, she looked up and met Twilight’s eyes. “I mean, some things changed, but at the same time, nothing’s really changed, you know?”

Twilight put on her saddlebags. She shook her head. “Not really.”

They stepped out of the compartment. “I mean,” Dash struggled with her words, chewing her lip. “We changed, places changed, ponies around us changed, but none of that really changed our friendship. Every reason we became friends in the first place was still there.” She paused in the middle of the corridor and glanced back at Twilight. “That make sense?”

Twilight thought about it for a moment. A smile spread across her lips, and she nodded. “Yes, it does.”

Dash blinked. “Oh… good, ‘cause I totally thought I botched that.”

Twilight giggled as they stepped off the train. They barely stepped on the pavement before their friends spotted them and began waving.

Rainbow and Twilight trotted over to them, smiling and waving back.

Applejack tipped her hat, beaming at them. “Howdy, you two!”

“A most earnest ‘welcome back’ to you both!”

Fluttershy nodded, politely smiling and waving.

Pinkie stepped forward and wrapped them both up in a bone-crushing hug. “Oh my gosh, it’s great to see you two!” She set them down, grinning.

“How did you know when we were going to be back?” Twilight asked.

“Falling down stairs followed by two sneezes means a friend’s coming back to town!”

Twilight shook her head. Each of their friends hugged her and Dash in turn. Rarity whispered in Twilight’s ear as they hugged.

“You know, with all this traveling, I can’t imagine where you two will go for the honeymoon,” Rarity teased as she hugged Twilight, making her blush bright red. She giggled, then backed up and said a little louder, “You’ll have to tell us all about what happened on your trip sometime.”

“Ooh! Why don’t we do that right now?” Pinkie said, jumping up and down. “We could all go out to lunch and talk about it there!”

Applejack nodded. “That sounds like a good idea. I’m feelin’ a bit peckish for food and stories both.”

“I’m not terribly busy right now,” Fluttershy chimed in.

“And neither am I, for a change,” Rarity added after. “How about someplace a little low key? The Trim Thistle, perhaps?” No one seemed to object. “Good, I think it’s settled, then.”

They left the train station, chatting amicably amongst one another. Twilight made her way over to Dash’s side at the far end. She gave her a peck on the cheek.

“Hm?” Dash said.

“I think I understand what you said on the train a little better now.” Twilight motioned to their friends, who were too busy talking to each other about where they should take her and Dash after lunch to notice their hushed conversation. “I think I want to stay a little longer this time.”

“Sure,” Dash said. “We could stay all the way until the gala, if you want.”

“That sounds like a good idea.”

Twilight and Dash shared a smile. They turned back to the others just in time to hear them settle on what to do after lunch, though they immediately launched into debate over what came after that.

Their friends carried on, planning out the rest of their day together. There were still many hours in the day and none of the friends gathered would mind if they spent the rest of them together.

After I had been discharged from the hospital, I was still wary of Spitfire. The weeks following I may have been a tad overprotective around Rainbow Dash. The rational me believed Spitfire when she said she planned to put it behind her, and wanted to start fresh, but the jealous me was insecure, and I was constantly fretting over seeing the two of them together.

But then a couple weeks after I’d been released, something happened that set my worries to rest...

Spitfire rapped on the quaint cottage’s door. Clamoring hooves replied, and a few seconds later, Ditzy opened the door. Her eyes lit up and her smile grew as she saw who it was.

“You’re back!” she exclaimed. She flapped her wings, straightened her neck, and puffed out her chest.

“I’m back,” Spitfire agreed, leaning forward and giving Ditzy a quick peck on the lips.

Ditzy’s smile bloomed at the kiss. She stepped to the side, gesturing for Spitfire to come inside. “How was your trip?”

“Oh, same-old, same-old. Sweeping landscapes, radiant sunsets, cool winds,” Spitfire said, a smirk tugging at her lips as she wrapped a wing around Ditzy and they walked back inside.

“Did you manage to keep the—”

“Yes, I didn’t lose the camera this time,” Spitfire interrupted, blushing.

Ditzy reared up, grinning, and clapped her hooves together. “You didn’t lose the camera! It’s a miracle!”

Spitfire grumbled. “I’m not that bad at keeping track of things.”

“Only cameras?” Ditzy teased.

“Is Spitfire back?!” a child’s voice shouted from another room.

“She is!” Ditzy shouted back.

The sound of tiny hooves scampering came from the living room. Shortly after, Dinky came running out into the hallway. She skidded to a stop in front of Spitfire, her smile splitting from one ear to the other.

“Hey.” Dinky said.

Spitfire huffed and smiled. “Hey, yourself,” she said, causing Dinky to giggle.

Unwrapping her wing from around Ditzy, Spitfire held out her hoof. Dinky gripped it, and giggled as she was lifted off the ground and onto Spitfire’s back.

“So,” Spitfire said, glancing back at her passenger, “who wants to have a board game night?”

In the end, she found someone special to her. From what I’ve seen of them together, I don’t think they’ll have even half the problems we had.

By the way, this isn’t the letter you’ve been waiting for—that letter is much longer. I know I’ve kept you waiting awhile for it, but I’d like to ask you to wait just a little longer. It was Dash’s idea for us to give you our letters in person when we meet at the gala.

Your Faithful Student,

Twilight Sparkle

Dear Princess Celestia,

I’m writing this on an agreement with Twilight that she won’t read it. I told her it’s because I didn’t want to put up with her nitpicking everything, but truth be told, that’s not the reason.

When you asked me to write this letter, I thought I was the least qualified person there was to talk about things like love. I probably still am, but now at least I finally feel like I know enough to write a letter about it. Also, I’d rather you keep this letter between us: I don’t want anyone other than you or Twilight knowing that I ever wrote about all this gooey junk.

Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy had all split to pursue their interests with haste once they’d stepped inside the gala. This left Rainbow Dash and Twilight, who were no longer there for the reason they had wanted to be, months ago. They both sat at the bottom of the stairs, the Princess at the top, greeting her guests.

The gala was every bit as grand as they had thought it would be back then. Everypony seemed a prince or princess, a duke or duchess. Twilight looked beautiful in her dress, her bandaged wings tucked away inside it so as not to draw attention. She seemed completely at ease amidst the extravagance of the gala.

Dash couldn’t stop fidgeting with the hems of her dress.

Twilight placed a hoof over Dash’s fidgeting one. “Hey, relax. The Princess will be done greeting the guests soon enough.”

“Sorry,” Dash replied. She stopped and took a deep breath. “I guess I’m just a bit worried what kind of impression I’ll leave on her, given that she’s the Princess and everything.”

“You weren’t worried last time you two met.”

“Yeah,” Dash agreed, “but back then I had other stuff I was a whole lot more worried about.” She scanned the line of guests. “This is more your type of scene. I don’t really know how to act around upper class ponies. I’m just worried that, ya know... I screw up and embarrass both of us.”

“Princess Celestia isn’t like that. She’s a very patient, understanding pony. And as for the other noble ponies, well…” Twilight leaned in close to Dash’s ear and whispered, “I never really cared much about what they thought.”

Dash felt herself smirk a bit at that. Straightening her neck, she held her head high. “You’re right. Besides, standing around and moping doesn’t do the dress Rarity gave me any justice.”

Twilight nodded, seemingly pleased her little talk worked.

Then atop the stairs, they heard the Princess say, in a loud voice to all those present, “If you’ll excuse me, there’s something else I promised to attend to. I hope you all have a wonderful time at this year’s gala.”

The ponies still in line looked a bit dismayed upon learning they wouldn’t get a chance to meet the Princess. Still, a few mutterings aside, they seemed to accept it and move on.

Celestia descended the stairs and walked over. She glanced at each of them, giving a warm smile. “You girls both look lovely tonight.”

“Thank you,” Twilight said, with a bow of her head. Dash imitated her bow, mumbling her thanks as well.

“Shall we head somewhere more quiet?”

Rainbow Dash and Twilight followed Celestia across the gala floor. Every near pair of eyes followed them, staring mostly at the two of them following the Princess rather than the Princess herself. But between Dash and Twilight, a majority stared at Dash. They whispered about her, wondering who she was to be walking with the Princess and her student.

Keeping her chin up and eyes forward, Dash tried not think about it too much, even as the whispers grew to a steady murmur. Thankfully the door was near and they stepped outside onto a balcony and away from prying eyes.

It was a bright night. The moon shone near-full, surrounded by stars, sharp and clear in the mountain air. Fireflies were out and about, flittering around a sagging willow overhanging the pond below the balcony. But for all the motion around them, the white stone pathways winding through the garden sat empty as everypony at the castle busied themselves inside.

“I’ll admit,” Celestia began, “I’m not entirely sure what to be expecting. You two certainly like keeping things mysterious.”

“Not mysterious, not exactly,” Twilight said. “We both found it hard to put what we wanted to say into words.”

“Then let us start off with something else. How have your travels been?”

Dash listened to Twilight rattle off all the places they’d been, falling into conversation with her teacher in the manner which years of familiarity bring. Dash stood on the sidelines while shifting her hooves and glancing off into the garden every now and then. Rarity had done a great job, and her dress looked as good as any there, but Dash still couldn’t skirt feeling horribly out of place.

She noticed Celestia and Twilight were both looking at her.

“Dash?” Twilight asked.

Dash shook her head, trying to clear any cobwebs. “Sorry. Uh…?”

“I was just saying how tired we both were on the train ride back.”

“Oh, yeah, out like a light.” Dash gave a nervous chuckle.

Twilight shot her a frown, but Celestia interrupted it with a soft chuckle of her own.

“I never would have thought you were the traveling type,” she said to Twilight. “I was always under the impression that you prefered to dig your hooves in, usually someplace near books.”

Twilight blushed at the Princess’s teasing. “Well, I guess you could say that place now is at Dash’s side.”

Dash wrapped a wing around Twilight. It seemed like the right thing to do.

“I can see that,” Celestia said, smiling down at them. “Would it be alright if I spoke alone with Dash?”

Dash turned to leave. “Oh, yeah, no problem. I’ll leave you two to…” She halted, then turned back around. “Wait... me?”

“Yes, if that’s alright?” Celestia said, the question pointed at her student.

Twilight looked just as confused as Dash felt. “Um… sure…” Before she left, she placed a hoof on Dash’s shoulder. “I’ll be just inside, when you’re done.”

Dash watched the door swing shut after Twilight. An eerie silence followed it. Turning back, Dash met the Princess’s stare. “So you wanted to talk to me alone?”

Celestia nodded. “Last time we met was on… not so great of terms. I recall you coming to me in as much distress as I’ve seen anypony. You had the same knot in your brow that you do now.”

Dash looked up at her brow, cross-eyed. Sighing, she forced her features to relax. “I can’t imagine what you must think of me.”

“When you came to me, I thought it was incredibly mature of you.” Celestia walked over to the edge of the balcony. Dash joined her. “Countless ponies have made the same mistakes you did. Some repeat them. I agreed to help you, because I saw a pony who had learned from their mistakes.”

Dash’s eyes suddenly shot wide. “Your letter!”

Princess Celestia blinked, looking a bit startled by her outburst. “Pardon?”

“I forgot to give Twilight your letter!” Dash nearly cursed under her breath, before remembering her company. “I had the envelope, it was in my bags, and then when I unpacked them in Ponyville… I-I don’t think it made it that far.”

Dash looked up at the Princess, expecting her to be vexed or disappointed. To the contrary, she seemed amused.

“So you never even had to give her the letter after all! Oh, what an interesting mare my little Twilight has chosen.”

“What was in it? What was in the letter?” Dash asked.

“Hmm…” Celestia opened the envelope Twilight gave her. She read the letter, then handed it to Dash. “You may read it yourself if you’d like. It seems she found it in your bags.”

Dash took the letter. The parchment was dotted with wrinkled spots where something had dripped on it. At the top was Celestia’s letter, and down below Dash recognized Twilight’s pen writing in purple ink.

Dear Twilight,

Do you love Rainbow Dash?

Your mentor,

Princess Celestia

I can’t tell.
I’m not sure.
I do.

The corner of Dash’s eyes stung. Teardrops dripped onto the page, forming small wet spots. Dash noticed they matched the size and shape of the wrinkled spots dotting the letter. They must have been tears from some time ago, from when Twilight had cried over the same piece of paper.

Dash let out a sob-wracked laugh and wiped her eyes. “It’s stupid. She’s said she loves me before, but still, seeing it like this is…” Dash was unable to finish. She bit her hoof, and read the letter again. Twice. Three times.

“When we first met back in Cloudsdale, I saw a spark of something beautiful between the two of you. It’s a pleasure to see how far it has come.”

“Thank you so much. I don’t know what I would have done without the advice you gave me.”

Dash sniffled and folded up the letter. She tried giving it back to Celestia, but Celestia stayed her hoof. “Keep it. It’s addressed more to you than I.”

Dash nodded and gave a deep bow, before tucking the letter in her dress somewhere safe. She pulled out an envelope and gave it to Celestia. This time the Princess took it.

“My letter,” Dash explained. “It’s not all that long, considering how much time I’ve had to write it, but it’s the best I could come up with.”

Celestia nodded. “I’d never ask of anything more.”

Celestia turned and stared out over the garden, holding Dash’s letter. There was a gap of silence between them, not wholly uncomfortable, but not without the anxious energy of Dash twiddling her hooves.

There was silence a little while longer. And then, “So can I get back to Twilight?”

Celestia turned to her, letting out a small chuckle. “Of course.”

Dash’s eyes lit up, and she nearly stumbled in her haste as she bowed once more. “Thank you again, Princess.”

“It’s been my pleasure, Rainbow Dash.”

Dash turned and went back inside. As she closed the door behind her, she spotted Twilight waiting nearby. She stood by herself, watching other ponies go about the gala. Dash trotted up to her.

Twilight spotted Dash and waved. “So what did the Princess say?” she asked, as Dash drew near.

Dash kissed Twilight, deepening it for a second or two, before breaking away.

Twilight cleared her throat, blushing. “I thought we agreed it would be better not to draw any unwanted attention while we’re here.”

Dash grinned sheepishly. “Sorry. I had to—just this once.”

Twilight sighed, but couldn’t keep the slight tug of a smile from her lips. “Well, it is getting pretty late. Maybe we should find the others and head out of here.”

“Where are they, anyway? I haven’t seen head or tail of them since we split up,” Dash said, looking around.

Out of nowhere, the doors to the palace garden slammed open. Nearly a dozen critters scattered into the gala halls, halting the music and causing everypony attending to stop what they were doing.

Fluttershy stood in the doorway, huffing and puffing with a crazed look in her eye.


Every time I thought things couldn’t get better, or couldn’t get worse, I got proven wrong. There were times when I doubted myself, when I doubted us. Had I made the right choice? Or had I just caused us both a great deal of pain and ruined the friendship we once had? I typically move with my gut, but everything that happened had me second guessing.

After I found out about Spitfire’s feelings for me, I guess I started to think what it would be like being with her. At the time I was confused in my relationship with Twilight, and Spitfire just made sense. But I learned love isn’t really about what makes sense. It isn’t about what would be easy.

Love is flying high, falling hard. I think that’s the best I can describe it.


Rainbow Dash

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Comments ( 97 )

I've worked on this story for just over 2 years. I experienced a lot of pain and improvement. How many hours have I spent working on it? Days? Weeks?
I'd like to believe I've only improved as a writer since I've started; a huge part of what I do is work towards improving my writing and storytelling. I have a couple more stories finished, sitting as inked-up drafts in my folders that I should probably get to, but first:

I'd like to thank Sagebrush and Skeeter, for helping edit the last stretch of this fic.
I'd like to thank Kurbz, for being the main force that got me through the rewrite.
I'd like to thank the numerous other editors, who have helped me on a couple chapters here and there. I really should have written your names down or something, but there's about 20 of you and I'm complete and utter crabs at remembering names.

This whole experience has cemented writing as a lifelong hobby for me. I don't know if that would have happened without this fandom's enthusiastic readers and volunteers.

I hope to keep writing better and better stories for you all.

What a great ride.

Time to read it for the third time, but this time there's the whole book!:pinkiehappy:


It was a joy and an honor.

Sad to see an epic end, though...

Ah well.

~Skeeter The Lurker

All end ends well, and a lovely ending it was. Also, be very afraid of Fluttershy, be very afraid.

And title drop, funny how many times that happen.

A wonderful tale, it had ups and downs, and I think I dislike spitfire more now than when I started, that by the way, damn it was a long road....Nethertheless I should do it again,

Losty off and as always, nicely done

Normally I give long-winded explanations/reviews of my favorite stories, but I really don't feel like anything I say here can do it justice. That's not gonna stop me from trying though.

What a ride it's been, and I thank you dearly for the experience. I've been with this story since about the time I found FIMFiction and TwiDash (a long time ago), and to see it wrapped up in such a satisfactory way... it's a powerful feeling.

Countless times throughout this story I've wondered how it could possibly finish with a happy ending. You made it happen though. And I was there. I felt every single harsh word spoken, and feared for every moment the characters were in danger. Through your writing talent, you've involved me so deeply into this story that I can only compare it to a few other stories in this entire fandom. Just take a moment and appreciate the enormity of what you've accomplished here.

I've read many-a fic in my time here. Many. And I can still say with certainty that this is my second favorite of all.

The heartiest of congratulations, and the deepest of thanks.

Thank you.

That... that was beautiful.
Well done. :twilightsmile:

Always sad to see something so great come to an end, but that's what makes a good fic i suppose. :pinkiehappy:
Looking forward to anything else you have planned.:rainbowdetermined2::twilightsmile:


P.S. I don't think "I do." should have the strikethrough in Twilight's letter. Either that or I misread the next paragraphs.

It was formatted correctly. The problems this site's text parser has had lately... :facehoof:
Fixed now, though in a very dumb and hackey way. (Used a (s)(/s) for each individual line that was strikethrough) :ajbemused:

I tried to look for some kind of a quote that would fit.
I didn't find any.
Oh well.
It was a pleasure and an honour.

It's an awesome story and i loved reading along every step of the way. Thank you :twilightsmile:

In what way is this an 'Alternate Universe'? (Yet to start reading but I'm curious.)

Great story, thanks for write it.

Sigh. I wish I could say that I liked the ending, but I just can't. This story isn't tagged right for it to end with Twilight magically giving herself malformed wings in a process that nearly killed her.

Been following this story nearly since the beginning.

It has been a roller coaster ride. I really enjoyed it and it is definitely occupying a slot on my top 5 TwiDash stories.

Good stuff!

And it comes to an end, one of the three most amazing TwiDash stories there are :fluttercry:

I can't even express how much joy this story gave me while I was reading it, I don't even know why but reading every chapter has always left me happy, even if the chapter itself was sad, I was happy finishing it, I guess thats what good stories are supposed to do with feelings, right?

I so dearly hope you'll write another TwiDash story some time in the future, whether it would or wouldn't be as long as this one, it would be awesome anyway.

Once again, thank you for the story :twilightsmile:

This was a wonderful story. The only thing is, it's mentioned that at the gala Twi's wings are still bandaged. Why haven't they fixed that? Surely their surgical knowledge can't be that bad? I meaan at the very least they could amputate the wings, but no, they just leave her with malformed and most likely painful appendages.

And thus, the journey ends.

Loved it. Every. God damned. Minute of it

And that, is how you end a story of this magnitude.
Keep up the great work. Deus tecum.

Sad to see this come to an end, it was great. One of the best TwiDash fics I've ever read. :pinkiesad2:

Maybe I was mad at some point in time at this story, but for what i renember and what i read just now, This was a really REALLY great story that i REALLY enjoyed and it was the ending i could never hoped for (in a good way).

I saw you say many times that you have worked with this story and concept for about 2 years, and it did show off in some places. I know the pain of past mistakes. But you did a good job, and delivered a happy ending.

It wasn't perfect, oh boi it has its problems, but perhaps thats why its so enjoyable. Perfection is boring, or so they say.

I just felt like writing something down about this, as this is important for you, either you're aware of it or not.

well tl;dr: It was a great and enjoyable story, and you delivered something that brought joy in at least one person.

Did I spy a perfectly executed title drop in the ending perhaps?:duck:

Brilliant ending for an even more brilliant story, :heart:with a writer who clearly has the mindset and grace to pull off excellent stories such as this.:twilightsmile:

Always be in my top 5 favorite authors on fimfic.:raritystarry:

Simply put....That was awesome!:rainbowkiss::heart::twilightblush:


And so it concludes...
Wonderful end to a wonderful piece. I salute you, my good sir. I wish I could be half as good as you.

Words cannot express the happiness and the d'awws I feel right now, nor the near soul crushing sadness at seeing this wonderful story come to an end. This is the very first fic I began reading, and I am very glad it was such a good one. I have a question though. Do you plan on writing a sequel and/or a spinoff? I for one would be interested in reading more about the DerpyxSpitfire ship lol

It makes me so happy to finally have this story finished. This story is the one that got me into TwiDash and made it my favourite couple in the first place! All those highs and lows that tugged at our heart strings and just made us go d'aww. I admit I was hoping for a proposal for a wedding or something along the lines of that but I think I'm just too mushy :P. Great ending, couldn't have ended it any better. You are definitely my favorite TwiDash author.

Comment posted by Soapbox deleted Feb 16th, 2014

They whispered about her, wondering who she was to be walking with the Princess and her student.

- Element of loyalty
- Multiple times savior of Equestria
- Only pony capable of the Sonic Rainboom

Yeah... Of course they wouldn't know who she is :ajbemused:

I'll be honest, the story started out great and I really liked it, but it started to feel somewhat stale in the last bit of it. The whole Spitfire, Dash & Twilight triangle just got... well, it somewhat felt like you stretched out the story needlessly.

That being said, you did a great job with this last chapter and it really brought up the level from the last couple chapters. Good work, and good luck with your future stories :pinkiesmile:

Ahh, that was a pretty damn satisfying end for the fic that got me into TwiDash in the first place. I'm glad I held on for the whole ride. :twilightsmile:

I like to think most ponies don't recognize the elements, considering the only thing they've done at this point that would maybe be relevant in Canterlot is the whole Nightmare Moon thing, and in the event of that I think the main news that everyone would be aware of is that Princess Luna is back, and that Twilight was involved in changing her back, and the elements may have been mentioned in name only. In a city that's mostly unicorns, I don't think the sonic rainboom would make any headlines either, though it's maybe more talked about in pegasi groups.

That's my take on it.

Dat title drop...

I don't think I have words for how I feel about this epic finally being completed.

and you do that thing where you spin your---

Thanks to Eakin and the Time Loop, every sentence like that finishes with "weathervane" in my head. :rainbowlaugh:

3780487 NOPONY recognizes them EVER. It's canon, even. In Rarity takes Manehattan, Princess Twilight Sparkle is told to go stand in the taxi line like everyone else. And that's only the most recent one that also had a huge as all fuck CORONATION done.

Remember the saying "Every being has a story" ? Because the Element Bearers are just background characters in other peoples' lives.

3781193 YES. YES, YES, YES YES! Now all we gotta do is figure out which direction Twilight is. N, S, F, W ?

oh and also this needs a backstory about Spitfire meeting Ditzy!

Absolutely amazing story. Loved every word of it.

I will keep on following, Cant wait for your next piece!

I promise, you're not the only one :raritywink:

SLP, This has been just a marvel to read. :twilightsmile:

A brilliant story with a sweet and satisfying ending. I'd love to see a sequel that further explores their relationship.

...if all ponies are this clueless, it's a wonder there are ever any new ponies.

You need to add Ditzy to the character tag now that the story is finished or make a side story about Ditzy and Spitfire.

Love is flying high, falling hard. I think that’s the best I can describe it.


Excellent story. Thank you for writing it.

That ending. Goddamn. Much frission.

It's been a wild ride and I'm glad to see it to its conclusion. Nothing makes me D'aww more at TwiDash than this, honestly. So, good on you for making the emotional roller coaster that this has been.:rainbowkiss::twilightsmile:

So I held out as long as I could before reading this last chapter. I didn't want this to end, since it is the story that really got me into reading fanfics in the first place, but I have to say how much I enjoyed it. :pinkiehappy:

Ty for the effort you put in for this story. I've appreciated it every step of the way. :twilightsmile:

3781193 Same here. Weather vanes. Ah, bliss.

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