• Published 11th Dec 2016
  • 3,182 Views, 162 Comments

Junior Speedster - VanillaWaffle



Rainbow Dash wakes up one winter morning to find she's been turned into a young filly. With a counter-spell farther down the line than she would like, Rainbow must learn to deal with her less-than-cool situation and save what's left of her reputation

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Blueberry Blues

“Rainbow Dash, it’s time to get up.”

A jostling to the shoulder was the first sensory cue that the pegasus perceived. She grumbled in protest and rolled to her side in an attempt to shake off the nagging hoof that was attempting to rouse her from her sanctuary of sleep. “G’way,” she muttered, not opening her eyes. To her disappointment, the jostling continued unabated.

“You’ve slept in long enough, sleepyhead,” the voice spoke again. “You went to bed really early, and it’s already nine. Too much sleep isn’t good for you, after all.”

The young pegasus grumbled again, but decided ultimately that the voice was not about to let her sleep anytime soon. Lifting her face from the downy pillow beneath her, she groggily looked to her assailant. Twilight stood at her bedside with a soft yet cheery smile. With a half-hearted glare, the filly made to sit up, letting the covers slide off her body as she leaned against the headboard. With a loud yawn, she stretched out all four limbs and rolled her shoulders. Silence replaced the usually cracks and pops that her athletic joints made from such a motion, serving as an unwelcome reminder of the filly’s current predicament.

It was during mid-stretch that Rainbow Dash realized she had no memory of actually going to bed. She looked down at the messy covers beneath her with a quirked eyebrow before looking back to Twilight. She opened her mouth to ask, but Twilight could evidently see the confusion she was exuding.

“I came in to help you send your letters, but I found you instead passed out on the writing desk. I took the liberty to, uh, move you to the bed.”

You mean you tucked me in, Rainbow Dash thought, feeling slightly miffed at the idea. She opted not to vocalize her opinion on the matter, partly out of consideration but mostly because she was too tired to feel overly-indignant. Twilight didn’t mean anything degrading by it, she knew. Little fillies got tucked in after all, and considering how comfortable she felt she really shouldn’t have been complaining about it. Because I’m just a filly now. Right. Twilight was quick to interrupt the filly’s depression.

“Do you have any of your letters finished? We can get them sent after breakfast if you like.”

“Hm? Oh, yeah. I got the letter to my parents finished. I’m still trying to figure out what to say to Scoots, and-”

“Why are you having trouble explaining things to Scootaloo? I’m sure she’ll understand just fine.” Twilight’s face was one of confusion mixed with compassion. It quickly changed to embarrassment. “Oh, sorry! I didn’t mean to cut you off like that. What were you-”

“It’s fine, Twi. It’s just…” Rainbow sighed and looked to the quilted bedsheets underneath her. She grabbed hold of the bedding and held it close to her. “I just feel, i dunno, guilty about canceling with the little Squirt. We don’t get to hang enough as is since I joined the Wonderbolts, but I also don’t want her to see me like this. I... don’t know what to say.”

Twilight looked to her sadly. “I’m sure Scootaloo wouldn’t mind if…” She cut herself off and shook her head. “Oh, nevermind. Why don’t you think about it over Spike’s pancakes? That’ll loosen you up a bit!”

“Yeah,” Rainbow sadly muttered. “I guess.” With an agile hop from the bed and an instinctive flutter of her stumpy wings, the filly landed on all four hooves and made to walk towards the bedroom door. Twilight followed close behind.

“By the way,” Twilight began as they made their way down the hallway towards the dining area. “I took the liberty of writing the wonderbolts. I figured-”

“You WHAT?!” The filly stopped in her tracks and turned to the surprised purple alicorn before her. Her eyes were wide in shock and her limbs stiffened. “You told the Wonderbolts? I didn’t want them to know! You-”

“N-now wait a moment, Rainbow Dash!” Twilight hastily interrupted, watching the volatile filly closely. “I didn’t tell them anything in detail. They don’t know what happened. I just thought they would rather have the excusal letter from me before they heard it from you.”

“B-but I…. You…” The filly swallowed the lump that had been forming in her throat as the fear began to drain from her body. She looked up again with cautious eyes, studying Twilight’s own for signs of betrayal. It all looked sincere to her. “Uh, then what did you tell them?” Twilight responded with a gentle smile.

“Just that you were in a magical accident and would most likely not be well enough to perform for Hearth’s Warming.” She placed a hoof on the filly’s shoulder and continued to give her a warm smile. “They may give you a hard time for missing, but they can’t reject an excusal from one of the princesses. You’ll be okay, Rainbow Dash. I’ll make sure of it.”

The statement was enough to allow Rainbow Dash to shed a little bit of the stress off her wings. I’ll be fine, she thought to herself. Twilight’s a princess. She can bail me out. I’ll… They’ll never let me live it down, but… She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, just as she had seen Twilight do in such moments. “I’ll be fine,” she echoed aloud. She looked up to her friend once more and returned the smile. “Thanks, Twi. I… I needed that.”

Twilight gave her another reassuring smile followed by a push towards the door. The two then continued their walk through the castle, but Rainbow could feel a little more of a spring in her step as she trotted towards the now-noticeable sweet smell of pancakes.

It’ll all be fine.

---

The wafting smell of fresh pancakes became ever-more noticeable as the pair of ponies reached the kitchen of the crystal castle. The sweet aroma was enough to make Rainbow Dash’s stomach grumble, more out of apetite than hunger. Her walk turned to a trot as she rushed past her friend and towards the closed door that housed the origin of the sweet smell. She licked her lips in anticipation as she reached a short hoof out towards the crystalline portal.

The filly was stopped at the last second by a tug at her tail. “Huh?” she whined as she turned around to face the alicorn behind her. Twilight’s horn was aglow, the color matching the aura holding onto her tail. “Hey, what gives, Twilight?” The purple mare seemed to hesitate and a look that Rainbow could only describe as weird flooded her features. “Twilight?” she asked with a little concern.

“...Sorry, Rainbow. I was just debating whether to tell you or let you find out for yourself, and I think I should tell you.”

“Okaaaay…” Rainbow responded questioningly, drawing out the word to show her confusion on the statement. Her eyebrow creased as her attention was drawn back to her ensnared rainbow-colored tail once more. She waved a hoof through the hairs in an attempt to shake away the magic, which Twilight evidently saw as she released her grip. “What is it?”

Twilight looked off to the side and scratched the back of her neck with a hoof. “Well… you said it was okay yesterday, but maybe you’ve had second thoughts, so…”

“Yes…?” the filly prodded, feeling her heartbeat increase with anxiety.

“I.. we… uh.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. When she released it, her eyes opened with a stoic look in Rainbow’s direction. The filly felt a little off-put by the glance. “The girls are here.”

Rainbow’s eyes shot open and she stared at her larger friend in terror. “WHAT?!” she shouted with an audible squeak in her voice. “You told everyone else?!”

“Kind of, though Applejack couldn’t make it this morning. Fluttershy is doing her morning rounds with her animals, and Starlight is still sleeping after staying up all night doing research, but still. But Pinkie Pie and Rarity are here.”

Her wings fluttered as if she was trying to escape, which was not far off from the filly’s desires at the news. Her legs began to prance around in a nervous dance. She looked at the door before her, then in every direction around her for escape routes. “B-but… but I can’t…. No, no, no… They…” Rainbow’s heartbeat got faster and faster, and the fear of the situation started making things spin. Twilight noticed that she was even shaking.

“Rainbow Dash, are you okay?” The filly paid her little heed, instead letting her fight or flight instinct kick in.

“I… I gotta go!” she said. She pivoted on a hoof, panic lacing her features. She made to bolt down the nearest corridor . Twilight was faster, though, and encased the tiny pegasus in her magic before she could get far. She floated the struggling filly, who was kicking and thrashing in her grip, up to her eye level.

“Rainbow, calm down! You don’t have to talk to them if you don’t want to, but I do think they should know.”

“B-but you already told them! A-and they, I-I...”

“I didn’t give them details since I figured they needed to see you themselves. They just know you’re with me until we figure out how to reverse a… uh… curse that was put on you.” Rainbow felt herself calm down a little at the news, but still felt herself fidget intensely inside Twilight’s magical grasp. “You don’t have to go in there, but I really think you should.”

“But they’ll laugh at me!” the trembling foal whined. Images flew through her mind rapidly of worst case scenarios. Rarity would tell her how adorable she was and whisk her helpless form away to play dress-up in frilly dresses and children’s Nightmare Night costumes. Pinkie would run out of the castle and tell the entire town the news for her first ever “Congratulations on Your Second Foalhood” party. Heck, Rarity was a gossip too, so she would be spreading the news just as fervently whenever she wasn’t decking Rainbow out in all of Sweetie Belle’s old dresses or whatever heinous fashion acts she had in store. And Applejack would just laugh and laugh and laugh all day long…

No, wait. Twilight said she wasn’t in there. Thank Celestia.

Somewhere in the filly’s emotional mess of a mind was a tickling thought, reminding her that she knew her friends would never do that to her, or anypony for that matter. They were very good friends, after all. Her terrifying fantasies were just her imagination, her freaking out over nothing. Just like yesterday morning, though, the loud voice of panic screamed over reason.

I’m doomed.

“Rainbow Dash, I promise it’ll be fine.” She smirked deviously. “Besides, you aren’t afraid, are you?”

The filly twitched once. A feeling of pride swelled inside her at the insinuation that SHE was afraid. Rainbow Dash wasn’t afraid of anything, filly or not! She once bucked a dragon in the face! She was not scared of her friends! She puffed out her furry chest and stood defiantly in front of the smirking Twilight, affixing her with a determined look.

“Hay, no! Rainbow Danger Dash is not afraid of her friends!” A moment of silence passed between the two. Rainbow stood still, but slowly felt herself slouch and broke eye contact. Twilight’s smirk slowly melted into a concerned frown. With a glance at the shiny floor, the foal once more saw her small reflection. It starred back in hesitant fear. It didn’t need to be said out loud.

Rainbow Dash was scared of her friends.

“Let’s just get this over with,” she mumbled.

The filly turned to face the door, which seemed to stand menacingly above her with a looming darkness. She frowned and turned her head behind her to look at her friend once more. Twilight gave an encouraging nod that did little to alleviate the filly’s internal fear. Rainbow Dash took a deep breath, placed her small hoof on the large doorknob, and pushed.

The door seemed to creak open slowly as she and Twilight stepped into the kitchen. The noise interrupted the small chatter that had been going on behind the closed door. Two voices stopped abruptly, then gasped. Rainbow raised her eyes from the floor to look at her friend, expecting the worst.

Pinkie Pie and Rarity were both sitting at the kitchen table across from one another. Their bodies were facing one another as if in the middle of a conversation, but both of their heads had turned towards the doorway where Rainbow Dash was. Both of their mouths were agape. Rarity held a fork in her magic which held a perfectly squared piece of pancake that stood still in the air. Both mares were frozen in place. Spike, meanwhile, simply rolled his eyes and continued to serve a plate of pancakes to Pinkie. Rainbow fought back a strong desire to hide behind Twilight and instead replaced that urge with minor quivering.

“Uh… H-hi, guys.”

Both mares continued their catatonic staring for a while longer until eventually Rarity became the first to break it up. “Rainbow Dash. You look, well, um, positively-”

“ADORABLE!” Pinkie Pie bolted from her position at the table and nearly instantly was looming over a somewhat shellshocked Rainbow Dash. The pink earth pony stretched out and grabbed rainbows cheeks with her hooves, tugging and pulling in all directions much to her chagrin. “Oh my gosh, your so CUTE! Is this what being cursed is like? Can I be cursed? I wanna be cute too!”

The filly quickly snapped out of her shock and jerked her head away in a futile attempt to escape her friend’s grasp. Her friend was not deterred. “P-pinkie! The hay are you doing? Stop it!”

“Oh, but you're just so cute, Dashie!” the mare chirped with a wide smile. “Twilight said you were cursed and we came over right away because we thought something AWFUL had happened to you. I have never had a cursed friend before! Well, unless you count Princess Luna, but she was a meanie pants until the curse was lifted, so this is perfect!” She took in a gasp of air and looked at the scared filly with wild eyes. “What’s it like being a filly again? Is it awesome? Is it fun? What are you...”

Rainbow tuned out the rest as she began thrashing around in her friend’s grasp, eager to escape. Her heart began racing with every word out of the Pink mare’s mouth. It was just as she feared; Pinkie would go nuts over her and demand a fillyhood party or something, which was not what she wanted. “P-pinkie! L-let go!”

If the party-pony had heard her, she didn’t acknowledge the request. She kept released Rainbow Dash’s cheeks, instead preferring to wrap the panicking filly up in a big hug. “Oh, you’re just so CUTE, Dashie!”

“Pinkie, darling, maybe you should release her,” Rarity sounded from the table. Rainbow couldn’t see her on account of all the pink fluff currently filling her vision, but she was taken aback by the genuine concern in Rarity’s voice. “The poor dear doesn’t look comfortable right now.”

“Oops! Sorry, Dashie!” Pinkie exclaimed as she promptly let go. The filly immediately fled away from her friend, for a moment reconsidering the idea of hiding behind Twilight once again. She barely resisted the temptation, instead busying herself with fidgeting and mild trembling. She looked between her two friends. Pinkie continued to wear her wide, toothy smile, but Rainbow could see a hint of sheepishness behind it. Rarity still looked surprised, but more concerned than anything. The white unicorn mare, over her shock, stood from her seat at the table and made her way over to Rainbow Dash. The filly backed up a step instinctively as her friend drew near until bumping into Twilight. Rarity knelt down lower to the ground to look the scared filly in the eyes.

“Despite your recent, well, change… are you doing fine, Darling?”

Rainbow stared at the white mare for a few moments, blinking as she processed the words. She nodded her head. “Uh, y-yeah. Great.” Rarity smiled tenderly.

“That is wonderful to hear. I’m, on the other hand, trying to figure out whether to say you look absolutely adorable or positively dreadful.”

“She’s positively absolutely dreadfully adorable!” cheered Pinkie from a respectable distance away. Rainbow shrank back a little bit at the outburst, repulsed at the idea of being considered “cute”.

Rarity, ignoring Pinkie for the moment, looked up at Twilight. “I would assume that this is the curse you mentioned?”

“Yes,” Twilight answered with a strained smile. “It might be a while until we can change her back, and she’s a bit nervous like this.”

“I’m right here!” Rainbow whined. Her neglected whine was beginning to become trademark at this point as she felt herself be spoken for now more than ever. It was undignifying if not downright embarrassing, especially when it was between two of her closest friends.

“Oh, sorry about that, Darling,” Rarity said sympathetically. “Maybe it would be a good idea if first we talked about this over breakfast. Spike here made some quite marvelous pancakes.”

“You bet I did!” Everypony in the room, save for the still nervous pegasus filly, giggled at the dragon’s prideful outburst.

It’ll be fine, Rainbow thought to herself as she made her way to the long dining table where the baby dragon was dishing out another two plates for her and Twilight. Just fine.

---

The next fifteen minutes were spent with Twilight explaining all that happened to Rarity and Pinkie Pie, leaving out some of the details about the responsible party. The former seemed mortified with the turn of events while the latter kept stealing wickedly cheery glances in the filly’s direction. The filly tried to ignore the looks and the conversation as a whole, instead choosing to stare at the only partially eaten fried disks adorning her plate. She held a fork in her hoof as she picked at her food with a distant look on her face. The height of the table was a little too much for the shrunken pegasus, and she had let out a distinctly irritated groan when she had taken her seat. Initially questions were thrown her way, but the filly only answered with single-syllable answers and affirmative grunts. “Do you feel any different?” Negative grunt. “Is everything a lot bigger?” Affirmative grunt. “Is being a kid again just the bestest thing ever?!” Double-negative grunt. “What are you going to do about your show next week?” Annoyed whine.

Twilight eventually decided to direct the attention to her while she told the story and answered the questions as most of them were the same one’s she asked yesterday. She left out the details about Starlight Glimmer’s involvement, instead answering the question of “whodunnit” with a thinly veiled “No clue!” and a nervous laugh. Somehow, the other two mares did nothing but raise an eyebrow and didn’t press further. While the conversation centered around Rainbow, she saw no reason to take part in it. She was tired of answering the same old questions, and luckily Twilight seemed to have all the answers memorized. Yes, she was the same Rainbow they knew as far as they could tell. No, she was not hurt. Yesterday morning. Somewhere between six and eight years old.

As impossible as it was to forget about her current predicament, the pegasus didn’t want to focus on it. However, she also found it hard to focus on anything at that moment, including her food. She had initially been excited to try the delicious-smelling pancakes that spike had made. It had taken a single bite of the food to change her mind as the taste made her mouth pucker up, and she had to fight the urge to spit it out. They were blueberry pancakes, which she hadn’t acquired a taste for until her teenage years. She had loved blueberries the other day, but now the taste was sour and repulsive to her. She swallowed it anyway with a grimace, but struggled to get herself to take another bite. The filly used her fork to pick the cake apart, twisting the instrument and tearing pieces away before casting them to the side of her plate. So focused was she on playing with her food that she was eventually able to tune out her friends. She was lost in thought, yet found it hard to focus on anything in particular. Tunnel vision removed everything from her sight until all that was left were the brown pancakes full of those infernal blueberries. All seemed silent until she felt a nudge on her shoulder.

“Huh?” Rainbow sputtered out. She looked up from her mess of a plate and saw the three mares looking at her quizzically over the seemingly too-high tabletop.

“I said, what are you gonna do now, Dashie?” the beaming earth pony asked.

“Uh, wait it out until Twilight and Starlight can get me back to normal, I guess.”

“WHAT?” Pinkie shouted with wide eyes. She grasped her head in her hooves as if having just heard some awful news. The other mares and Rainbow looked at her in startled confusion. “You’ll do nothing? But that’s gonna be so boooooring!”

Rainbow hadn’t thought too much about what she would do. She had spent a lot of time thinking about what she would miss, but not much about what she would do with her time. She tried the library yesterday, but that ended up failing. At least now she knew where it was, but Rainbow had to concede that Pinkie had a point. She was bound to get bored eventually.

“I dunno. I’ll read something.”

“But you’re a little filly again!”

“I know, Pinkie.” Rainbow’s ears drooped at the reminder. “I can’t really change that right now.”

“Maybe not, but you can still make the most of it!” The mare climbed atop her chair, startling Spike as he walked past, and raised her right forehoof high into the air. “This is your chance, Rainbow Dash! You’re one shot! You’re opportunity! Seize the day! CARPE DIEM!”

All was silent as the three other ponies and dragon stared at the mare in utter bafflement. Eventually it was Rarity who collected her thoughts first.

“Pinkie, Darling, I don’t think we understand what you have in mind.”

“What I’m saying~,” Pinkie sing-songed as she slid back into her chair. “Is that you can make the most of this! How often does a pony get to be little filly again? This is great, Dashie!”

“WHAT?!” Rainbow shouted, dropping her fork. It clattered against the plate loudly, drawing everyone’s attention. “How is this a good thing?! This is the most uncool thing ever!”

“But imagine how much FUN you could have!” Pinkie threw her hooves up in the air in jubilation. “Imagine how much closer you and Scootaloo could be if you were both the same age! You two would be so CUTE together!”

Rainbow’s eyes widened further. “Nuh, uh. No, way, Pinkie!”

“But-”

“Um, Pinkie?” Twilight said as she leaned in closer to her friend. “She’s a bit sensitive about the whole thing. Maybe you shouldn’t push it.”

“Awww…” Pinkie Pie muttered, slumping down in her chair a bit. “But she so cute! And it can’t be any fun being stuck in the castle for very long. It would get soooooooo boring for me.”

Rainbow hadn’t given much thought to that. It would get boring if it really does take a couple weeks to fix. What would she do? That’s future Rainbow’s problem, she thought to herself as she readied her grumpy face. She fixed her frown tight again to let her friends know exactly what she thought of the idea.

“You know, Rainbow Dash, I think our dear Pinkie Pie might be right,” Rarity said, not looking at Rainbow but instead somewhere past her shoulder. “It might be a much more alluring idea to go out rather than stay cooped up here.”

“I’m not letting the whole freaking town know I’m a kid again!” she cried out. The gleam in Rarity’s eyes got brighter.

“What if nobody knew it was you?” the white mare asked. Rainbow recognized that face; the gleaming eyes looking off into space, the slowly-growing grin. It was Rarity’s inspiration face, and that usually meant she had a new idea for a dress. For a moment Rainbow remembered her original fear of being a dress-up doll and felt her heart beat faster. Spike broke the dangerous train of thought quickly.

“Ha! The only way people wouldn’t recognize her is if you died her coat and mane,” the little dragon said as he tore a chunk of gem-studded pancake from his plate and held it in front of him. “But that would just be weird.”

“You mean like a disguise? OOOH, I like it!” Pinkie called out, her toothy smile almost tearing her face off. “You’d be totally undercover, like a secret agent!”

“A… disguise?” the filly hesitantly echoed.

“Actually, Rainbow Dash,” Twilight started, tapping a hoof to her chin. “That doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Only if you’d be willing, of course.”

Rainbow dash looked from Spike back to Rarity, who was looking right at her with her sparkling eyes. The filly pondered that for a moment. Maybe they were right about her getting bored. A disguise would mean she could go outside rather than being cooped up for the next week. She wasn’t sure what she would do either way, but it certainly added a load of possibilities.

An image of an orange pegasus filly fluttered through her mind briefly, but she shooed it away just as fast. Even in disguise, it would be too embarrassing to be with the squirt. Or, at least, that’s what she kept telling herself. Still, it was a possibility that was a little more comfortable than being out in the open, letting the whole town get a chance to laugh at her. At the very least it would give the filly a chance to get some air. Even if she couldn’t fly, she could at least go on a walk or a run. She tapped her chin with a hoof as she thought about it. She then turned to Rarity, who still had a whimsical grin, and narrowed her eyes.

“What exactly do you have in mind?”

Rarity’s grin almost seemed devious.

Author's Note:

Alternate name for this chapter: "It'll be fine, she said."

Was planning on this chapter having a lot more going on, but once I hit the 4.2k mark and realized i was only 3/5ths of the way through my outline i decided to just split it. I've left you all waiting long enough.