• Published 18th Nov 2016
  • 4,216 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.

  • ...

Chapter 4 - A Humble Wonderbolt and an Awkward Dinner

Chapter 4 - A Humble Wonderbolt and An Awkward Dinner

The next day, late in the evening Rainbow tried to read but was too distracted, watching the clock. She would be discharged the following day and it couldn't come fast enough.

"Knock, knock," a familiar female voice called from the doorway.

“Hey, Spitfire.” Rainbow said with a smile.

The Wonderbolt leader was there in full dress uniform. She smiled as she approached the hospital bed. “Hi, Rainbow. I wanted to see how you were doing.”

“I’m okay. A bit racked up but the doc says I’ll be fine in about a month or so.”

“I’m very glad to hear that. I’ve just come from another meeting with the princesses.”

“Ouch. How’d that go?”

“I won’t lie, it was pretty bad. Obviously they’re not very happy that the Wonderbolts nearly killed their friend who's an Element of Harmony and on top of that nearly killing an orphan filly as well. The downside of being the big boss is that I’m ultimately the one who has to answer for the big screw ups.”

Rainbow nodded. “The princesses told me what happened. The ponies who were supposed to be flying couldn’t be bothered.”

Spitfire sighed and hung her head. “Yeah, they totally dropped the ball. I can’t make any excuses for that. I’m told the Wonderbolts have you to thank for this not ending up in the papers. We owe you a big one, Rainbow. They would've had a field day with this.”

“Well, if it had ended the other way, there’d be Tartarus to pay.”

Spitfire shuddered. “Princess Nightmare said something about an ancient pegasi punishment called ‘The Burden’ that hasn’t been used since our tribal times—she wanted to bring it back just for this. I could only imagine what she’d do if anypony had died. I was also told that when Princess Nightmare asked for suggestions for punishments you only asked for community service rather than the more extreme things Princess Nightmare wanted. You could’ve ended their careers before they even started, but you let them slide.”

“Well, we all make mistakes and as this was a ‘live and learn’ kind of one, I can look past that. If Scootaloo died, then I’d be right there next to the princess demanding their heads on pikes.”

Spitfire nodded. “They showed me that recording of your fall. I gotta say, that was an amazing rescue, Rainbow. I've never seen anything like it. I don’t know much about those parachutes, but trusting your life to a little piece of fabric while falling at that speed takes a lot of guts.”

“Well, until I find a way to get wings, I'll have to make do with the silk.”

They both chuckled.

“Hey, Rainbow, I’m apologizing for the Wonderbots collectively, but how do you want to handle the others? Do you want me to bring them all in here to apologize to you, or each group of three at a time?”

Rainbow thought about it for a little bit. “Well, I’m sure they’re feeling the heat too right now, so they all know they royally screwed up. What you guys really need to do is apologize to Scootaloo. She got the raw deal here and she’s the one who’s owed the bigger apology. Some ‘biggest fan’ treatment for Scootaloo from the proper Wonderbolts and I’ll consider that apology enough.”

“Oh yeah. Consider it done. The princess has Soarin, Fleetfoot and I, the crew you went up with and those who shirked their duty all in Canterlot to hold judgement. We're all grounded at the moment, so as soon as things are clear we’ll take care of that. Thank you, Rainbow. You’re a pal.”

“Hey, no problem. I'm repaying the favor for when you saved Dad's skin during his big crash. Just be more careful next time. I might not be there to save the day,” Rainbow said with a smile.

The next day Dr. Gray wanted to move Rainbow Dash to a suite at Canterlot castle, as all that she needed now was rest. While the princesses had offered to let her stay at the castle for the full recovery time, Rainbow wanted to recuperate back in Ponyville and the princesses honored her wishes. Before returning to Ponyville, this arrangement finally gave Rainbow the opportunity to meet up with her father and his mystery mare.

Rainbow sat in the dim restaurant, trying to sit as comfortably as possible with her leg in a cast. It was a place she ate at when she could, but discreetly so as not to startle her friends. It was The Fang and Claw, Canterlot's one and only carnivore restaurant. The place was at the back of a dark alley, no signs anywhere, just a burly griffin doorman. They had a wide selection of dishes for griffins, humans and those ponies with carnivore palettes to choose from, from non-sentient Equestrian animals to meats imported from the human world. Her mouth watered at the thought of enjoying a 24 oz. ribeye steak.

The message from her dad had said to meet them there at six and she waited with growing anticipation. Anytime she'd see patrons moving around inside she'd look up to see who was there in the gloom. Finally she caught sight of a familiar rainbow mane, and beside him a griffin—not just any griffin, but one she was well acquainted with.

"Gilda," she muttered.

The two made their way to the table and Fullbright very gently hugged his daughter.

"Hi, honey. Thanks for meeting us."

"Sure, no problem, Dad," Rainbow said in a neutral voice as she made eye contact with Gilda, who averted her eyes.

"Hey, Rainbow," Gilda mumbled.

"Hey, Gilda," Rainbow replied as they all took seats and a tense silence fell over the table as three sets of eyes shifted back and forth.

A griffin waiter arrived and smiled as he offered menus. "Ah, Mister Dash, Miss Dash and Miss Deathwing. So good to see you all again."

There was a mumbled response from the three as they then made their drink orders and the waiter left.

Rainbow was the first to break the silence. "Deathwing? What happened to Dunkleberger?"

Instantly a claw clasped over her mouth. "It can be Deathwing if people who know different keep their trap shut."

Rainbow pushed the claw away with a laugh and the tension at the table let up just a bit as the others joined in. She took a deep breath and looked from Gilda to her dad. "Okay, let's just get this out of the way now. Dad, why are you here with Gilda?"

"We were worried when we got the message from the princess that you had been injured," Fullbright said.

"Dad, you know what I mean."

Fullbright put his hooves on the table. "Okay. She's the star of an aerial performance team I'm putting together. We met in Las Pegasus and she was between jobs and I was still in a funk from losing my spot on the Wonderbolts. I'd had an idea for a while to start my own air show and a chance meeting with Gilda was the motivation I needed to get my tail in gear and live my dream."

Rainbow sat back, closed her eyes and pondered that. Gilda looked a bit miffed, but her ire seemed directed at Fullbright. Rainbow looked to Gilda and smiled. "How are you enjoying flying with Dad? That must be fun. I remember when he'd fly with me when I'd skydive and hang glide."

"It's great, Rainbow. I've learned a lot from Red," Gilda said.


"That's a nickname I gave him the day we met. Long story," Gilda nervously replied and a heavy silence hung over the table.

The server brought their drinks and a basket of complimentary bacon. The silence remained, except for the soft crunch of the bacon. Fullbright took up the conversation, trying to lighten the mood as he began telling funny stories of his Wonderbolts days. Rainbow watched her dad and Gilda closely, noticing how Gilda would periodically lean against him. When he'd see his daughter watching, he'd suddenly appear embarrassed and scoot a little away from Gilda. Gilda on the other hoof seemed oblivious—she would lean on him and put her claws on him, far more than 'just friends' would.

During another pause, Gilda cleared her throat and shifted in her seat a bit before she finally looked Rainbow in the eye. "Rainbow, I'm sorry about what happened in Ponyville. I was a huge jerk."

"Yes, you were, but I was one too," Rainbow replied with a sigh. "I shouldn't have let it end like that. You're my oldest friend. I should’ve tried to patch things up."

Rainbow noted that her dad put a hoof on Gilda's arm and rubbed it gently. No no no, my dad and Gilda aren't a couple. This is just Discord playing a prank and I'm going to punch him when I see him next!

Gilda nudged Fullbright with an elbow, the annoyed look having returned. "Just tell her, Red. She knows. You can see it on her face."

Fullbright met his daughter's gaze. "Rainbow, Gilda and I are in love."

Rainbow, who had been sipping her drink, coughed and had to cover her mouth to prevent the spit-take. Even though she suspected, it didn't prepare her to hear her father say it.

As she was coughing on her drink, Fullbright made a nervous laugh. "She took that better than I expected."

Gilda nodded. "She didn't try to stab me with her steak knife. So far so good."

When Rainbow recovered, she wiped her hands and mouth with her napkin while just silently staring at Gilda and her father. Then she leaned forward and rested her face in her hands. "I think I'm still in the hospital. I have a head injury and I'm delirious."

Her father frowned and pulled her hands away from her face. "Rainbow, stop being silly. Is it really that hard to deal with?"

"Dad, Gilda's my age! Is this some kind of mid-life crisis thing?"

"No! If I was just looking for younger mares I'd have been hitting on your friends in Ponyville the first day I met them."

"What? Dad, ewww."

Fullbright took a moment to collect himself. "Rainbow, the point is, I didn't set out to meet any mares. I'd lost things that meant a lot to me: your mom and my career as a Wonderbolt. When I was out in Las Pegasus, I thought there was nothing that could fill the void, but then I met Gilda. She'd lost a lot too and was looking for meaning and purpose for her life." Fullbright smiled at Gilda as he continued. "I found out she was the griffin that you'd made friends with, so I wanted to help her out and we had common ground over flying, plus she was interested in my idea of an air show. It was all business at first, but after a few months of working together every day, it just bloomed into something more."

Rainbow just remained silent as she stared at them, then turned to Gilda. "Anything you want to add?"

"Nope. Red said it all a lot better than I could," Gilda replied.

Rainbow leaned forward over the table until she was almost face to face with Gilda. "Look me in the eye and tell me you're not doing this just to get back at me over what happened in Ponyville."

"I—Love—Him, Dash," Gilda growled back, keeping her eyes locked on Rainbow's.

Rainbow leaned back in her seat, her shoulders slumped, as Gilda looked back at her, blushing slightly and averting her eyes again.

"I'm not joking about this, Rainbow," Gilda said softly. "I've never felt this way about a guy before, griffin or pony. We really want you to be okay with this."

Fullbright took Rainbow's hands between his hooves and met her gaze. "Rainbow, if you're worried that I'm forgetting about your mom, it isn't like that. You and I will always love her and she'll always be a part of us, but she's gone and honestly I'm not ready to spend the rest of my life with nothing but the memories of her to keep me company."

The three sat in silence until the food arrived and each began eating, lost in their thoughts. Rainbow enjoyed her steak, as she knew she would. Gilda was tearing through her rack of babyback ribs like a true predator while her dad was having salad with chicken. Rainbow looked at her dad and then to Gilda, both of whom just stared blankly at their food as they ate. She knew it was her response that had put the dark mood over the table.

"So, tell me about this air show you two are putting together," Rainbow asked, and immediately saw the two brighten up.

Their excitement was certainly genuine, at times even talking over each other as they explained what they were doing. It seemed to her to be part aerial stunt show and, to avoid too many comparisons to the Wonderbolts, it would also be a historical airshow with reenactments of famous air battles, jousting and fliers in historical costumes and armor. A taste of older times. By the time they were done, Rainbow herself felt a bit excited at what the show could be like.

"Wow, that's quite a spectacle you'll be putting on," Rainbow said. "You know, if you're looking for historical costumes, my friend Rarity recently put together a bunch of period Wonderbolt costumes to help me learn the history of the group for the Wonderbolts test."

Gilda looked at her quizzically, her head turning that way dogs do when they're confused. "You—you tried out for the Wonderbolts?"

"Sure. I've dreamed of being a Wonderbolt since I was a filly. Didn't you wonder what a human was doing at flight camp?"


"Well, Wonderbolts Auxiliary is the only thing wingles like me can hope to get into."

"Wingles?" Gilda asked, clearly perplexed.

Fullbright gave a single small laugh. "Wingles is a derisive term for the wingless. Ah yes, flight camp. For your brief stay before you were ejected for fighting," Fullbright said, giving his daughter a disapproving stare a moment before he broke into a smile.

"Hey, those colts had it coming for picking on Fluttershy! And they had it coming again for picking on Gilda."

Fullbright laughed a bit and continued. "We were planning on stopping by Ponyville at some point. Maybe we could talk to your friend. You really have some big friends, with the favor of Celestia, Luna and even Nightmare Moon. And you’re friends with the Princess of Friendship and pals with a famous fashion designer and two super-models.”

Rainbow grinned at that last one. “Well, she is one, but Apple Jewel wouldn’t call herself a super-model and Fluttershy just dabbles; she's got her hooves full taking care of her animals, working on the weather team and singing.”

Gilda looked up and nodded. “I need to go back there and make my peace and apologize to your friend Fluttershy.”

Rainbow nodded gravely, then smiled. “Expect panic and suspicion at first, then Pinkie will throw you a party, then all’s forgiven.”

Gilda looked up at her in surprise. “Just like that?”

“Just like that. Ponyville’s a crazy town. They’re quick to judge, but also quick to apologize or forgive,” Rainbow replied with a reassuring smile.

Fullbright put a hoof on his daughter’s hand and smiled. “Once you’re back and recovered a bit we’ll swing by to visit and set things right.”

Rainbow leaned back and smiled. She lifted her arms to put them behind her head, but the pain reminded her that would be a bad idea and she lowered them back to the table. “I think I know Pinkie Pie well enough to say that she'll be super-duper excited at the thought of your return.”

Author's Note:

Equines can safely eat meat. I checked.