• Published 18th Nov 2016
  • 4,214 Views, 176 Comments

Under Her Wing - Tinyweasels

Rainbow Dash is a human in Equestria. A story about finding your place in a world where you don't quite fit in.

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Chapter 13 - One Fine Meal, Mixed Memories and an Evening with the King

Chapter 13 - One Fine Meal, Mixed Memories and an Evening with the King

Rainbow led them to the farm and now Scootaloo's attention was fixed on the seeming endless sea of apple trees before them.

"Holy moley, that's a lot of apple trees!" Scootaloo exclaimed.

"Yeah, business has been booming for the Apples the last few years and they've expanded quite a bit," Rainbow said.

"This is all so different than Cloudsburg. There's so much... nature, out here.”

"It did take some getting used to at first. But then again, in Cloudsburg we didn't have monsters smashing through town or eating all the buildings or blowing things up. This place gets pretty crazy at times."

"Rainbow!" a voice called.

They looked to the farmhouse and saw a giant mare heading towards them.

"She's huge," Scootaloo muttered, hiding behind Rainbow.

"Heh, yeah. That's Big Macintosh's mom, Ma Apple. Don't worry, she's nice."

"I'm surprised we didn't see her at the party,” the matron observed. “She would quite literally stand out in a crowd.”

"Ma's a bit self-conscious about her size when meeting strangers, so she sometimes skips social gatherings," Rainbow said quietly.

Ma Apple smiled as she approached and gave Rainbow a hug and smiled down at Scootaloo and gently patted her mane. "Howdy, Rainbow sugar, Scootaloo, and you too Lady Golden Meadow. We're so glad y'all could make it ta dinner."

"We wouldn't miss it for the world, Ma," Rainbow replied, returning the hug with great affection.

The matron smiled up at Ma Apple and extended her hoof. "Thank you for inviting Scootaloo and I to join you for dinner."

Ma Apple took her hoof and shook it vigorously. Rainbow had to bite her lip to keep from giggling. "We couldn't have old and new friends of Rainbow in town without havin' 'em over ta say howdy!"

Rainbow smiled. "There are two words that can describe the Apple family: apples and hospitality. They're experts in both."

"Thank you kindly, Rainbow sugar," Ma Apple said with a smile as she waved them toward the farmhouse.

The guests followed Ma Apple into the house and to the dining room. There was the usual family at the house along with a few other visiting relations. Introductions passed back and forth as everypony took their seats. They all joined hooves as Pa said grace and Rainbow somewhat shyly held Big Mac's hoof in her hand as she sat beside him.

Once the meal began the conversation was friendly and casual, the visiting Apples sharing details of other parts of the clan. Rainbow kept an eye on Scootaloo to see how she was holding up. Her own first dinner at the Apples' had been good, but they had asked her about herself and she'd ended up spilling her heart to them and had unburdened herself of a lifetime of hurt. That experience had helped her bond with the family, but she wasn't sure it would work with everypony, especially one as young as Scootaloo. She just hoped nopony would ask about her past.

"Do you have any brothers or sisters, Scootaloo?" young Candy Apple asked.

The table fell silent as Scootaloo blinked in surprise. "What? No. None that I know about."

"But how don't ya know?"

Ma Apple intervened. "Candy, honey, remember that talk we had before Miss Scootaloo arrived?"

"Um... oh, yes. Oh! Oh, I'm sorry miss Scootaloo. Mama told me not to be nosey."

"It's okay. No harm done," Scootaloo lied.

Rainbow quickly changed gears to jumpstart the conversation again. "So, Applejack," she said, drawing out the name, as she knew calling her by her birth name annoyed her. "How's the modeling business going?"

Apple Jewel glared at Rainbow but began sharing her stories of the world of high fashion. Scootaloo leaned forward in her seat, listening intently to her tales. When the food and AJ's stories were over, Rainbow leaned back in her chair, completely stuffed, and soon Scootaloo mirrored her; even the matron looked like she had eaten too much.

Granny Smith looked over the table of stuffed ponies and saw that it was good. "Did ya'll have enough to eat? There's still plenty of leftovers."

There was a collective groan from the table. It was unlikely anypony could have fit any more food in themselves without injury.

Scootaloo looked up from her plate and smiled. "That was the first home cooked meal I had since I was little. Thank you, ma'am. That was amazing."

"You're quite welcome, young'un," Granny Smith said proudly.

Rainbow looked at the clock and realized the time. "I hate to eat and run—or waddle slowly at this point. But we need to be at Sugarcube Corner soon for music night."

"Oh, where does the time go? Ya'll better run along!"

Shortly after the goodbyes and hugs for her and Scootaloo, the group including her, Scootaloo, the matron, AJ and Big Mac—their little sisters riding on their backs—began heading to Ponyville.

Rainbow had Scootaloo on her shoulders as they walked along and the sun began to set. "Hey, I need to swing by my place to pick up my guitar. We'll meet up with you guys in a little bit."

As they headed toward her home, Rainbow felt drops of water landing on her head. She glanced up at the sky and saw no clouds, but then she felt Scootaloo's body shaking and the drops of water landing on her head grew more frequent. Rainbow glanced around to make sure nopony was around then sat down on a nearby bench and lifted Scootaloo off her shoulders, setting her on her lap.

The little pony looked up at her with wet eyes, struggling mightily to hold in her tears.

Rainbow smiled comfortingly. "It's okay, Scootaloo. I felt the same way after visiting the Apples the first time."

Scootaloo's defenses collapsed and she began sobbing. Rainbow pulled her into a tight hug.

"I know, Scootaloo. It feels so unfair. Some ponies have great big loving families and some of us have little or none. Please believe that they didn't mean to seem like they were rubbing it in. What they wanted was for you to feel at home and share their family with you for just a little while."

"How can there be families like that when my parents didn't want me?" the little pony sobbed.

"Come on, Scootaloo. You can't be sure why your folks let you go."

Scootaloo pushed herself away from Rainbow and looked up angrily. "I do know! They threw me away because I was broken! Threw me away like a piece of garbage..." She broke down again.

Rainbow's brow furrowed. "Scootaloo! You are more than just a pair of wings. You're not a broken piece of garbage!" she said sternly, then had a vivid flashback to her own foalhood and an almost identical exchange with her pony parents.

"Rainbow, you are not a piece of trash your human parents left behind!"

Rainbow felt herself get a little choked up for a moment and she smiled as she looked down at the crying pony on her lap and hugged her tight.

"Scootaloo, you are awesome. You can do the impossible. You can change the world. You just happen to have wings that aren't as awesome as the rest of you."

"But what good is a pegasus that can't fly?" she pleaded.

"Humans can't fly, but did I let that stop me from making an awesome rescue? Pegasi can do more than just fly. You've got brains and you've got heart. Unicorns and Earth ponies can't fly but they do awesome stuff all the time. You need to get it in your head that there's more to life than flying, though my friends would probably call me a hypocrite for saying that, seeing how flying-obsessed I am, but it's true. Instead of starting your day saying you can't fly, start your day saying that you are awesome and instead of spending that time moping, think about how to be awesome."

"That's easy to say," Scootaloo said, looking up at Rainbow.

"Yeah, it is. It may seem like empty words at first, but trust me it does work eventually. My folks believed in me and they turned an angry, lonely misfit human into an awesome hero, expert flying, Element of Harmony. Other ponies may try to hold you back and tell you that you're a fool for trying to be awesome, but the only one who can hold you back is you. They believed in me and I believe in you," Rainbow said, looking down at Scootaloo with a kindly smile.

The little pony met her gaze and cried harder as she clung to Rainbow, who tried to ignore it and kept talking. "When I was little I couldn't wait to grow up to be a pegasus and Wonderbolt just like Daddy. It broke my heart when I learned I would only grow up to be a human. Then later I wanted to be a rock star, but that didn't work out. Always have goals, Scootaloo. Have possible goals and don't be afraid to have some impossible ones, because you never know what can happen. When I was little the other foals used to tease me saying I'd never get a cutie mark, but I proved them all wrong!"

Scootaloo's mouth dropped open as she looked up at Rainbow. "You have a cutie mark?"

"Got it when I helped my pals beat Nightmare Moon. Forgive me for not showing it, but we humans are a bit more self-conscious about showing our flanks than ponies. Now, Scootaloo, I want to hear you say it."

"Say what?"

"Say 'I am Scootaloo and I am awesome. I am Scootaloo and I can do the impossible. I am Scootaloo and I can change the world.'"

Scootaloo sighed and looked down. "I am Scootaloo and I am awesome. I am Scootaloo and I can do the impossible. I am Scootaloo and I can change the world.”

"Close enough for now," Rainbow chuckled and hugged the little pony again, then put Scootaloo back on her shoulders as they resumed their journey.

After a minute Scootaloo spoke again. “I’m sorry about that, Rainbow.”

“Not a problem, Scoot. Hey, I’ve been there myself. We all have that moment sometime in our lives.”

"Thanks, Rainbow. You’re the best. Rainbow, how'd you end up growing up in Equestria rather than Otherside? If you don't mind my asking."

"Don't mind at all. My human parents’ families didn't approve of them being together, but they were convinced they were perfect for each other. So through some connection on Mom's side she got a job over here through the government and she and Dad came over. For a lot of humans Equestria seems at first like a utopian paradise, but it's difficult for humans—some basic stuff like physics and stuff like that are different here and it makes humans feel weird after they cross over, but that's something else.

"They wanted to start a family so they had me, but before I was even born their relationship began to fall apart. They realized that Equestria wasn't the paradise they'd hoped. Then I was born and they toughed it out for a while, but to make matters more complicated I had an unusually high amount of magic for a human kid born here. We humans born here have what's called 'a touch of magic'. To prospective human parents saying that a child has a touch of magic is like saying the child has a touch of leprosy. Eventually my human parents realized even having a baby wasn't going to keep them together. Mom's family was the snooty Canterlot type and their daughter having a baby with someone they considered a lowlife was unacceptable and put a ton of pressure on them to break up. So feeling trapped in every direction, they left me here, returned to Earth, broke up and went their separate ways. They were just totally unprepared for everything."

"Did you ever meet them?"

"Yeah. After I graduated I went over and found them. Mom's got a new family and I have some half-siblings: two little brothers and two little sisters; the oldest is about your age. My step-dad Chad's a nice guy. Meeting Mom was as difficult for me as it was for her. A lot of things to talk about, a lot of emotions to work through, but it was good. We made our peace and I can call her a friend. Now, meeting Dad, that was some of the most fun I've had in my life," Rainbow said with a smile. "Mom had expected to hear from me someday, but Dad never thought I'd ever look for him."

Rainbow stopped her narrative when they approached the house.

"Wow, is this place yours?" Scootaloo asked as Rainbow put her on the ground.

"Yeah, Casa Rainbow," she said, gesturing grandly as she opened the door and turned on the lights. "Sorry the place is such a mess. I don't usually have visitors."

Scootaloo looked around the messy living room. "You get to live like this? With nopony telling you to clean up?"

"Yep. This is my home and my castle. My rules."

Rainbow watched the little pony look around at the rack of guitars on the wall and then to the pictures around the room.

"Who are they?" Scootaloo asked, pointing to a group of pictures.

Rainbow came over and looked at the pictures of a variety of cyan blue ponies and other creatures.

"Oh, those are all me."

"You've been a pony?" Scootaloo asked, looking up at Rainbow with astonished eyes.

"Yeah, briefly. A while back, Twilight turned herself and the others into breezies for a little while. After that, she was curious about transformation magic. Being the mad scientist that she is, she asked if she could use me as a test subject. So I got turned into a pegasus, unicorn, earth pony, dragon and griffin."

"What was that like?" Scootaloo asked, her attention returning to the pictures.

Rainbow laughed. "Weird. Even though I had the forms, I didn't have their powers or abilities. It was just like wearing a pony shaped costume. Too bad—it would’ve been cool to fly or use magic."

"Are these your parents?" she asked, now pointing to a nearby picture frame containing a picture of a young human couple with a newborn and next to it the same couple, now older, standing with a teenage Rainbow.

"Yeah. Harry and Sue Tucker. That first picture was the day I was born and the second one was taken at the visitor's center on the human side of the portal. That was the first time they'd seen each other since they left Equestria."

Rainbow watched Scootaloo look at what was basically the course of her life in picture form. Pictures from the orphanage all the way through her time in Ponyville. She never noticed before—she didn’t smile much in her youth, but every picture taken since her arrival in Ponyville showed her smiling.

Rainbow pulled herself away from the trip down memory lane and looked over her guitars, pondering her choices, Scootaloo following her every move.

"Why do you have so many?" Scootaloo asked, watching Rainbow as she studied her guitars.

"You need different ones for different things. This is a small indoor gig so I go with an acoustic guitar," she said, then moved her finger along the rack, naming the brands. “Gibson, Taylor, Washburn, Takamine, Epiphone, Lakewood and Fender. Fender’s good, but better known for their electric guitars,” she said and walked past the rack to a battered old guitar case. “But the best acoustic guitar in the world is the Martin,” she said, opening the case and displaying the pristine guitar inside. She held it up proudly and attached the strap, slinging it across her back. “This belonged to my great grandfather over on the human side, Ezekiel Mason 'Zeke' Tucker. He was a traveling musician just like Dad."

Rainbow walked over to an electric guitar on a stand. "When there's an outdoor show I can be big and loud," she said with a big smile. “This is my custom Fender Stratocaster with the body shaped like my cutie mark.” She turned on the amp, turned it up all the way and began jamming. The pictures fell over and things shook off shelves as the whole house rocked with the booming bass.

"And that's how you rock out," Rainbow said proudly.

Scootaloo cupped her hooves to her ears. "Whaaat?" she shouted.

After Scootaloo regained her hearing, they began their journey to Ponyville.

"Do they actually play concerts that loud?" Scootaloo asked.

"Oh yeah, at the Trottingham concerts. Once a year the heaviest heavy metal human and pony bands go head to head to see who deserves to be crowned the Elements of Metal. Last year it came down to pony band Chainsaw Gelding versus the human band Puking Soul."


"Yeah, but man, it was loud and intense! It looked like the humies were gonna carry it, but then the lead singer of Chainsaw went on stage and... well, it was super gross, but it convinced the judges that they were the most metal band."

"I've never been to a concert for anything. Are they fun or just really loud?"

"Both. I'm well-connected, obviously, so I can get VIP passes to any show I want to see. I'm always there bright and early to help set up and do sound checks. I used to be a roadie for my bio dad's band. Then around late afternoon the bands stagger in all stinky and hungover and I get to hang out and jam with them before the show. It’s really cool."

“If it’s so loud how do you know if they’re any good?”

“That’s easy. If you can understand more than three words in the entire song, they’re not metal enough. Metal isn't for everypony. I know some ponies think I like loud music just to be obnoxious, but it’s not that at all. When you listen to regular music, you hear it with your ears and enjoy it with your brain. So most of your body misses out on the coolness. I like loud music because you feel it deep inside you; every part of you hears the music.”

"You said your human dad had a band. Is that why it was fun being with him?"

"Partly. He's just a cool, laid back guy. He and his band, the Casual Ramblers, they're country and light rock music."

"Are they good?"

"They're... okay," Rainbow said hesitantly. "They don't play concerts, just bars and clubs and little stuff like that.

Rainbow continued her story as they left and she started checking over the rest of her gear, which in this case was a variety of guitar picks in the palm of her hand, plastic, ceramic, kevlar, leather (don't tell the cows), and an old, very worn down silver quarter from the 1930's that her great grandfather had used as a pick. "Dad hardly ever was at his home—he pretty much spent all his time on the road, so in order to connect with him I went with him and his band. That was the birth of my love of music. Dad taught me to play guitar and I picked it up real fast. In a few months I was fronting for the band. There's nothing like being on stage. Everypony should be in a band once in their life."

"What was it like, traveling with him and all?"

"We were always crammed in his van going from gig to gig. We played some rough spots. I experienced many rites of passages common for humans—how to drive their van, ride a motorcycle, had my first beer, my first bar fight. All but the motorcycle part were in the same night when I had to drive the van to escape the rowdy drunken mob of bikers chasing us. They were persistent guys and I was driving that thing so fast I swear we spent more time in the air than on the road. Not bad considering I didn't have a driver’s license. It was totally cool," Rainbow said proudly, recalling the memory, but then realized something. "Oh yeah, but also totally illegal, so don't do that."

"If it was so good, why didn't you stay with him?"

A sadness came over Rainbow's face at the question. "I was starting to lose my magic. My rainbow was fading. It turns out I'm a blonde. I realized that if I stayed I could finally be in a place where I was 'normal'. Dad took me aside and said I needed to sit down and think about who and what I was. He told me I was welcome to stay with him, but he said that his life was a big long road to nowhere and that I shouldn't throw away my future to join him on the ride to the end. Mom had offered to let me stay with her as well, but her world's all about structure and order. Every detail about life and future planned out in exact detail. I'm more a random mare."

Rainbow brought her guitar around to her front and began warming up as they neared town, continuing her story as she did so. "I had to decide if I was Rainbow Dash or Rainbow Tucker. I talked to Mom about it too, and after a lot of thinking I realized that I was an Equestrian at heart and that I didn't want to lose my magic. It was who and what I was. So they went with me to the portal to see me off and got to meet my awesome pony dad. It had been more than six months since I'd seen him and as soon as I did I knew Equestria was where I was supposed to be."

"Are you ever going to meet them again?"

"One of these days. We write letters and send postcards. But yeah, I'll go back over and see them again sometime."

Scootaloo kept quiet for a minute but soon asked another question. “So what’s Otherside like, Rainbow?”

Rainbow laughed. “It’s strange—it’s sort of the same, but totally different. One of the first things you notice after going through is that there’s this weird stink everywhere and everything's covered with dirt and grime. And they love their high-tech gadgets, but they don’t work over here. And everything’s loud, but not in a cool way. The food tastes like somepony just mixed a bunch of chemicals together, at least that’s how it seemed to me. I guess if you grow up there you don’t even notice it.”

“Ewww, it sounds gross."

“Yeah, it kinda is. And lots of culture shock. Turns out I’m probably the only human that eats hayburgers. When I was eating at McBarn’s on the human side of the portal, the humans in the visitor's center food court looked at me like I was from another planet, which I guess I technically am. And that’s another thing, the humans thought it was hysterical when I'd call my hands hooves, my hair my mane and say stuff like ‘everypony’ and ‘anypony’.”

“What do they say instead?”

“Everyone and anyone.”

“Well, that’s not bad, actually."

“It’s also weird talking to the natives. Like, you call a human guy a stallion and it’s a compliment, but you call a human woman a mare it’s an insult! Their world makes no sense,” Rainbow said, laughing at the memories.

They finally arrived at Sugarcube Corner and Rainbow was glad that Scootaloo's mood had improved and she was smiling again. It was a good sized crowd and Fluttershy was on stage singing. They took their seats with the Apples and enjoyed the show. Rainbow put her guitar on her lap as she adjusted the strings, noticing that Scootaloo and Candy both looked at it with great curiosity.

When Fluttershy had finished her song, Rainbow took the stage, exchanging a hoof bump with her friend as she did so. "Hey fillies and gentlecolts! A good friend suggested that I play some Elvis," she said and small cheer went up from the crowd. She tuned up the guitar a few moments and began playing.

The crowd fell silent as she began singing Love Me Tender, so moved by her playing. She poured her heart into the music. While rocking out could be fun, there was something warm and intimate when she played to just a small group. She closed her eyes and let the music flow through her.

The cheering of the crowd snapped Rainbow back to the present. "Thanks, everypony. Glad you liked it," she said with a small bow as she returned to her seat.

Scootaloo looked up at her, humming the tune. "Rainbow, that was amazing!"

"Mighty fine playin', Miss Dash," Big Mac said with a smile.

"Thanks, dude. Good call on the Elvis."

When her second turn came up she got more into the music, standing as she led the crowd in her version of "Burning Love", taking advantage of the odd pony ability to instinctively know the lyrics of any song that was playing. After the song she took her seat amid the applause.

Scootaloo continued looking up at her in amazement. "Rainbow, you are the coolest anything that I ever met."

"Thanks, Scootaloo. It’s all part of the job," she replied proudly. "My singing voice could be more awesome though. Fluttershy has the voice of an angel while I have the voice of an angel that chain smokes cigars.”

Author's Note:

The doomed love of Harry and Sue is inspired by the doomed love of this Harry and Sue.

A good visualization of Rockin' Rainbow would be to watch this animation-

While listening to this song-