• 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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Twelve CC's of Adventure

The sound of the door knocking reverberated throughout the castle, breaking Twilight out of her paperwork-induced trance. She looked up over the stack of documents and policy before her in the direction of the noise.

“Want me to get that?” Spike asked as he dutifully carried his own mountain of papers to add to Twilight’s ever-growing workload. Twilight sighed, and deposited her quill in her inkwell.

“That’s okay, Spike. I’ll get it this time.” She smiled warmly at her assistant as she got up and walked by. “Just get those documents sorted and ready for me, then you can take a break.”

“Okay, no problem! I’ll be here.”

The alicorn left the study and made her way down the hall to the foyer. The door knocked again.

I really need to make an open door policy, she thought to herself. It would certainly be necessary once we get the library open again. “I’m coming!” she called.

With a pull of her magic, Twilight opened the front doors. An anxious white-maned pegasus wearing a blue and yellow jumpsuit stood before her.

“Oh, hello. You’re…” She paused to think of the mare’s name. “...Fleetfoot, right?”

Fleetfoot dipped herself into a quick bow, maintaining a sense of royal protocol while evidently respecting Twilight’s discomfort with such formalities. “Yes, Princess. Sorry to burst in like this, but Captain Spitfire sent me.”

“Oh, okay.” Remembering they were standing at the front door, Twilight quickly backed up to the side of the doorway. “Please come in.”

“Thank you,” the pegasus said with a grateful nod as she walked inside. “The captain got your letter and we all got worried, so she sent me to check in to make sure Rainbow Dash was okay. But she wasn’t at her house.”

“Oh, um, right. She’s okay, don’t worry!” Twilight reassured. “She’s just going to be… unexpectedly unavailable for a while.”

“But your letter said she was in a ‘magical accident.’” Fleetfoot’s wings bristled at the phrase. “That kinda sounds serious.”

Twilight broke eye contact at that. “Alright, so… maybe she’s not entirely ‘okay’ per se, but…”

“Is she hurt?” the pegasus lurched forward, her saucer-wide eyes taking up most of Twilight’s vision. She hovered in the air in a nervous matter, an action that she had seen Rainbow Dash do on multiple occasions in the past. “Was she teleported somewhere and is now lost?” She gasped as if having an epiphany. “She’s still a pegasus, right?”

“Huh? Is she still a…” Twilight shook her head and as politely as she could pushed the mare away from her with a hoof. She gave a toothy smile that lacked confidence. “Rainbow Dash is safe. She’s fine. She’s still a... pegasus. I just… well… she’s… uhhh...”

The front door swung open again, and a small golden pegasus filly cantered with Fluttershy following. “...and maybe then,” the filly said, speaking to the older mare behind her, “I’ll talk her into teaching me how to ride her scooter.” Fluttershy hummed her approval as she closed the door behind her. “It would be just like when I would teach the squirt how to-”

“NIMBUS!” Twilight loudly interrupted, feeling herself sweat lightly. “Fluttershy! You’re back!” Rainbow Dash looked ahead to address her friend.

“Oh, hey Twilight. I was just telling Fluttershy my idea for… FLEETFOOT!”

The filly shouted the name, only just noticing the familiar mare in the jumpsuit. The shock made her leap into the air, wings flapping fruitlessly until gravity brought her back down. Her muscles locked up, freezing her in her shocked position. The mare in question recoiled in surprise. She quickly recovered and landed beside Twilight, looking at the two newcomers.

“She a fan?” Fleetfoot whispered to the anxious alicorn beside her.

“Y-you could say that.”

“Thought so.” Transitioning into autograph-mode, Fleetfoot trotted up to Rainbow Dash with a proud grin. “Hiya, kid! Don’t mind me, I’m just having a chat with Princess Twilight here about, you know, official Wonderbolt stuff.” She capped it off by ruffling the filly’s mane with a hoof. Rainbow continued to stare slack-jawed, barely reacting to the contact. Fleetfoot looked back to Twilight. “She okay?”

“Y-yes. She’s fine. Just… starstruck.” The princess laughed nervously. She stretched out a wing and pulled Fleetfoot over to the side away from the stunned filly and the pegasus mare trying to get her attention back. “B-back to what we were saying before, Rainbow Dash is fine. She just... won’t be able to fly for a... while.”

“How long’s ‘a while’?”

“Well… we don’t know. Hopefully a few days, a couple weeks at most.”

“And she’s not hurt?” Twilight subconsciously looked over to Rainbow Dash, who was still frozen in place. She barely noticed when Fluttershy started nudging the filly away until the two made eye contact, Fluttershy returning an identical look to Twilight’s.

“N-no, she’s safe. Just… indisposed.”

Fleetfoot let out a sigh of relief. Her wings relaxed, folding back against her sides. She looked back to Twilight with a hopeful glint in her eyes. “Where is she though? I already checked her house.”

“She’s…” Twilight hesitated, looking over to the golden filly who was being ushered away by Fluttershy, frequently stealing glances at the two talking mares. Eventually, Fluttershy scooped up the frozen golden filly in her forelegs and flew her upstairs and out of sight. With a sigh, she looked back to Fleetfoot. “She’s staying here while we get her fixed.”

Fleetfoot perked up at that. “Great! Can I see her?”

“W-well, uh, you see...” Twilight sputtered, grasping for words. “She’s not… she’s not really up for visitors,” she eventually settled on. It was true, but it still seemed like a cheap response. Twilight studied Fleetfoot as she digested that. Eventually Fleetfoot just sighed, her wings drooping along with her ears.

“That bad, huh?”

“Again, she’s fine. But she feels really bad. I promise she wouldn’t be missing training or the Hearth’s Warming airshow otherwise! She feels really bad about it.”

Fleetfoot sighed again, but put on a weak smile regardless. “Well… I guess that’ll have to be enough for the Captain. You sure I can’t see her?”

“Yes. I’m sorry.”

“Darn. I better let Spitfire know then.” She turned to the castle door and paused, turning back to the princess. “Where’d the kid go?”


“Shoot, I was going to offer her an autograph. She seemed familiar for some reason.” She shook her head and turned back to open the door. “Make sure Dash knows she owes us for missing out! And we’re gonna miss having her for the show.”

Twilight nodded, and Fleetfoot left. When the door clicked closed, the purple alicorn let out a long sigh, before trotting off towards the kitchen.

“I need lunch.”

“So… the disguise worked out okay?” Twilight asked the filly sitting across the table from her. Spike, at Twilight’s request, went to whip up a quick batch of daisy, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches for everypony. She, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy were gathered at the table, and the older pegasus was filling Twilight in on the events of the last hour while Spike quickly prepared lunch in the adjacent kitchen.

Rainbow Dash listened halfheartedly, her mind elsewhere. It had taken a few minutes to escape her shell-shock. Now she just felt somewhat downtrodden, and had resorted to laying her head down on the rim of the table and anxiously tapping her hoof.

“Oh yes, it worked wonderfully!” Rainbow heard Fluttershy say. “Even Applejack was convinced until Rainbow Dash let her know who she was.”

“That’s great! That means we can use that disguise again if we want.”

Spike brought out a plate of sandwiches then, placing it in the center of the table and taking a seat beside twilight. Everypony reached for a sandwich. Rainbow felt a stab of annoyance as she realized she couldn’t quite reach the plate, and grumbled when Twilight floated a sandwich to her. Nevertheless, she grabbed the sandwich with her hooves and brought it to her mouth, only to hesitate at the last moment. She put her meal down, removed the bread, and picked the tomato out from between the daisy and lettuce, sliding it off the sandwich with her hoof and holding a disgusted look on her face.

Starlight made her way into the kitchen then, having been summoned by Twilight lest she forget to eat. The mare took a seat beside Twilight where an untouched sandwich had been laid out for her. Thanking her mentor, she levitated the sandwich and began eating.

She paused after the second bite as she noticed Rainbow Dash staring at her sandwich, not touching it.

“She okay?” Starlight asked Twilight, who was still talking to Fluttershy. The purple mare looked to her student questioningly, then glanced to the filly sitting beside Fluttershy.

“Is something wrong Rainbow Dash?” Fluttershy asked, beating Twilight to the punch.

“Huh? Oh, yeah. I’m fine.” She continued staring at her sandwich before picking it up again. She lacked the eagerness to eat it that she had before.

“Is the sandwich bad?” Spike asked, quickly inspecting his own.

“N-no, I’m sure it’s awesome. It’s just… well…”

Starlight’s eyes lit up in understanding for a moment. Without saying a word, she reached out and enveloped the sandwich in her magic. There was a brief flash of light, and then she released the DLT. Rainbow looked down at her meal in confusion, then her eyes sparkled in glee.

The crust had disappeared from the bread, leaving only the white innards behind. With a childish squeal of delight, Rainbow gave Starlight a grateful look. The dyed filly quickly scooped up her DLT (minus the T) and voraciously tore into it as if it was the first time she’d eaten in days. Everypony else looked to Starlight in awe, while the mare in question simply sat back and bit into her own sandwich with a smug grin.

“My mom always cut the crusts off when I was a filly,” Starlight said before taking another bite, her smile never leaving. “I wouldn’t eat it otherwise.”

Twilight simply gave a “Huh” in response, while Fluttershy reached with a napkin to wipe the excess mayonnaise off Rainbow Dash’s face.

“And here’s the library,” Starlight announced as she guided Rainbow Dash into the bookshelf-lined room.

The filly was back to her usual cyan and spectral color scheme. After Rainbow Dash had finished her third sandwich (minus the tomato and crusts), Twilight pitched an idea to magically copy Rainbow’s disguise. According to the princess, she could copy the dye and Rarity’s design perfectly, removing it now and reapplying it later. Fluttershy was the one who, after a moment of hesitation, asked why Twilight didn’t just use magic to change Rainbow Dash’s colors in the first place. The alicorn answered with a long-winded explanation that made Rainbow Dash’s mind melt in boredom. She dozed off somewhere between “hard to sustain the illusion” and “dye has less magical drain”, instead choosing to let her mind wander.

She was reliving the finale of the latest Daring Do book in her head when Starlight interrupted, asking if she wanted the dye removed until tomorrow. Rainbow Dash enthusiastically nodded her head. There was a flash of light as she was wrapped up in Twilight’s magic. She didn’t feel much different afterwards, besides an insatiable desire to curb her lecture-induced boredom with a Daring Do book.

Hence why Starlight had escorted her to the library. The pink and purple mare had volunteered, citing the need to peruse some of the library’s magic tomes for more clues to a counterspell.

“Awesome! Thanks for the help, Starlight,” the filly said. “I couldn’t find this place anywhere yesterday.”

“It’s the least I can do. I still get lost in this castle every now and then.” Starlight quickly wandered off to one side of the library and ran her hoof along a row of books, squinting as she did so. Rainbow Dash watched for a moment, then realized that was boring and set about finding something to read herself.

The search was less than fruitful. She considered asking Starlight where the Daring Do books were, but she remembered the last time she asked a similar question to Twilight. The resulting lecture about the Dewdrop Decimal System was enough to lull her to sleep, much to the then-unicorn’s annoyance. She played with the idea in her head as she kept skimming over the titles on the spines, finding nothing that even resembled her favorite explorer. With a sigh, Rainbow consigned herself to asking for help.

She turned around to ask Starlight, only for her jaw to freeze open. Starlight had stacked a pile of books taller than she was on the table, all of various thicknesses and sizes. “W-wow,” she said in amazement. “That is a lot of paper.”

“Hm? Oh, I guess it is.” Starlight eyed the stack with a smirk. “Just trying to make sure I got all the basis covered. Figured the answer to what I’m stuck on could probably be in one of these.”

“Stuck on?”

Starlight froze, the grin melting away in an instant. “O-oh, uh, not really ‘stuck on’ I should say.” Rainbow could practically see the sweat on her face. The unicorn waved her hoof around nervously. “Just, you know, hit a barrier. It’ll be fine.” Her smile seemed insincere.

“Uh huh.” The filly quirked an eyebrow.

“Yup! Totally fine! And fast, because I promised. Nothing will hold this up, I can assure--”

“Starlight!” Twilight popped her head in through the door, cutting the unicorn off. “Could I talk to you for a mo--”

“Coming!” Leaving her stack of literature on the table, Starlight fled the room, dragging a surprised alicorn princess away with her. The door slammed shut. Rainbow Dash sat on her haunches in stunned silence.

“B-but… ah, ponyfeathers.” She around at the multitude of bookcases, squinting to hopefully make out the spines on the top shelf. “C’mon, Dash. Green book, red words on the side. You can find it.”

With a look of fierce determination, the little pegasus scanned the shelves up and down. After a minute or two, a set of books with familiar red and orange lettering on the side caught her eyes. The set was on the fourth shelf from the bottom. The filly smiled. Out of habit, Rainbow flapped her wings and kicked off the ground with her hind legs. She hopped a few inches into the air, fumbling back to the ground in disappointment.

“Right. Foal. Okay, Rainbow, think. How to get that Daring Do book…” She tapped her chin thoughtfully while staring off into space. She looked at the bookcase before her again. She saw her reflection off one of the thin crystal ledges. “The shelves are made of crystal,” she whispered to herself, “and crystal is, like, a rock of some kind. Hmm…” She placed a hoof on one of the lower shelves and put her weight on it. It didn’t even flex. She smirked. “It’d be like rock climbing.”

A memory of a thrilling scene from the fourth book came to mind, where Daring, having broken a wing again, had to climb up a steep cliff by hoof. Seemingly before her eyes, the crystal bookcase seemed to turn into a steep rock wall, the book series in question becoming a ancient, magical tome set within a shallow alcove in the rock.

With a feeling of invigoration, she reached up with her forelimbs and grasped a rocky hoofhold above her, pulling herself up as best she could. With some wriggling and kicking, Rainbow began to make progress and reached for the next hoofhold. She repeated the process again for the next shelf, her cocksure grin never leaving her.

Soon enough, the tome she sought was just before her. With one hoof firmly holding onto her hoofhold, she reached out to grab her prize. Her hooves were just a little too short, however, and she could not make contact. She stretched out again, grunting from the strain of it. “C’moooon…” she growled. Eventually, her hoof made contact. She beamed in pride, pulling the mystical tome closer to her. Once it was free of its shelf, she pressed it against her body in joy.

“Yes!” she cheered. A worrying crack echoed through the library and the filly’s hoofhold shifted below her, causing Rainbow’s pupils to shrink. “Hoboy.”

The door slammed behind the two mares as Twilight dizzly tried to regain her bearings. “What… What was that about?”

“Sorry! Sorry! I accidently told Rainbow Dash I hit a roadblock with the counterspell and I panicked!”

“A roadblock?” Twilight cocked her head to the side, the dizziness from her sudden relocation fading. “Is everything okay?”

“No! I mean, yes. I mean… Gah!” Starlight closed her eyes and sucked in a deep breath, letting it all out slowly. Twilight placed a hoof on her shoulder, letting the mare relax further. “It’s fine. I’ve just been stuck trying to figure out how to get any sort of temporal shift in the correct direction. Everything I’ve tried and everything I’ve read only seems to point to me only being able to regressing things. Aging should theoretically be possible, but it’s a ton more complicated it seems!”

“Is this why you were up so late last night?” Starlight nodded.

“I know I can figure this out! Or, at least, I’m pretty sure I can. Rainbow Dash needs me to, after all.”

“Hm.” Twilight chewed her lip in thought. “Let’s see if I can help then. I’m sure the two of us can get it figured out.”

“No! You don’t have to do that!” Starlight finally pushed Twilight’s hoof away, feeling exasperated again. “This is my fault and I need to fix it. You’re a princess; you have a lot more on your plate to worry about.”

“I’m the Princess of Friendship, Starlight. I’ve got two friends that need my help right now. I can certainly make time for that.” She rolled her eyes. “Besides, it’s not like my title has me doing much more than paperwork. So long as the map doesn’t call us anywhere, I'm pretty sure I can handle it.”

“B-but…” Her objections melted in her throat. “Okay, maybe I could use a little help.”

“And that’s perfectly okay. So, give me a summary of what we’re up against right now.”

“A summary. Yeah, I can do that. Essentially, I'm finding that the de-aging spell was so much easier because--”

A loud crash and a yell from beyond the closed library door interrupted her. The two mares exchanged looks of confusion followed by panic. Wordless, the two threw the door open and sprinted inside.

Rainbow Dash was in pain.

It was really only a relatively mild pain. She had definitely hurt worse many times before. It was part of the contract when she decided to be a stunt flyer many years ago; you get hurt. A lot. For some reason, she wasn’t thinking of any of those times currently. Instead, as she lay on the ground buried under a pile of books of various sizes and fragments of a crystal bookshelf, and clutching her front left fetlock with her right hoof, Rainbow Dash was trying her hardest to hold back tears.

Her attempt lasted only a few seconds after the initial shock wore off. As if it was a carnal and uncontrollable need, the filly cried. Somewhere in Rainbow Dash’s mind she new that wasn’t like her, but a much larger side of her insisted she had almost died and ignored that rational part all together. So she cried louder.

Twilight and Starlight frantically stumbled into this scene moments later. Books were scattered around in a wide radius, with a couple of the higher shelves in the bookcase completely empty. A large chunk was missing from two shelves, with pieces of crystal mixed in with the books. Twilight immediately ran at the sobbing pile of books with a rainbow tail sticking out and cleared them away with her magic, revealing the tearful pegasus underneath. “Rainbow Dash, are you okay?”

Rainbow continued to wail, shaking her head rapidly. Twilight, was stunned for a moment, but soon found herself scooping the foal up and holding her tight to her chest. The cyan pegasus limply let herself be held, still grasping her foreleg and burying her face in her friend’s chest. “It’s okay, Rainbow Dash. You’re okay. I’m here. Just calm down. Can you do that for me?”

Rainbow Dash shook her head.

“Where does it hurt?”

“M-my leg,” the filly choked out between sobs. “I-I think it’s b-broken or something!”

“Starlight, go get us a first aid kit,” Twilight commanded, looking over her shoulder at her student. “I think we keep one in the bathroom down the hall.”

“Gotcha.” Starlight quickly about-faced and left the library. Twilight focused her attention back on the crying filly. She brushed a hoof through the filly’s mane in a calming manner, looking at the fetlock Rainbow was hiding.

“It’s gonna be okay, Rainbow. Here, let me see it.”

Rainbow continued sobbing, then shook her head vehemently. “N-no, I don’t w-wanna look!”

“I need to see it to know if it’s serious.” The mare reached forward and pried Rainbow’s little hoof away. The filly resisted initially before turning her head away and clenching her watery eyes tighter, letting Twilight peel her hoof away view the gory mess her hoof had become.

Twilight looked at the fetlock before her, blinking once, twice, then smirking a little. It was mildly skinned with small red dots visible on the skin through her blue fur and was perhaps a tiny bit discolored, but it otherwise looked fine to her.

“I-It’s b-bad, isn’t it?” Rainbow asked, her sobbing downgraded to tearful sniffling.

“Well, let’s see. Does it hurt when I touch here?” Twilight firmly prodded the area to the side of the wound, pushing into the limb.

“NO, D-DON’T! OW! OW! OW! THAT…” Rainbow paused, puffy eyes opening up. “D-doesn’t hurt that bad, a-actually.”

Twilight giggled. “Then I highly doubt it’s broken. Just a scrape and probably a bruise.”

“B-But…” The filly sniffled again. “Th-then why am I crying? I don’t c-cry!”

Twilight didn’t know what to say to that. Before she could say anything, Starlight returned carrying a white box with a red cross in her magic. She layed it beside Rainbow Dash, who realized she was practically sitting in Twilight’s lap still and quickly shuffled to off a few inches away.

“How bad is it?” Starlight asked, pulling out a roll of bandages and a splint from the box.

“I don’t think we’ll need to amputate,” Twilight said, bemused. Rainbow sniffled again in embarrassment. “I think some antiseptic and a sticky bandage should be enough.”

“Gotcha.” Starlight placed the supplies back into the box, instead fishing around for the bottle of rubbing alcohol.

“So,” Twilight began, losing her smile. “Do you want to tell me what happened?”

Rainbow Dash gulped. “Um...” She glanced at the broken bookshelf. “Not particularly.”

Twilight chewed her lip, looking from the filly to the pile of books surrounding them. Among them, a collection of covers featuring a yellow pegasus wearing a pith helmet stood out. “Rainbow, you should know better than trying to climb the bookcase. It would have been a lot easier and safer to just ask one of us to get a book for you.”

“Or just using the ladder that got set up just for that,” Starlight pointed out, nodding to the corner of the room while pouring a splash of rubbing alcohol onto cotton ball.

“W-wait, there’s a la- OW OW OW OW!” She hissed in pain as Starlight dabbed the cotton ball on her scraped knee. Her wings flapped with futility, and Twilight started stroking her mane again in a calming motion. Finally, Starlight put the cotton ball down and placed a small rubber bandage onto the filly’s throbbing hoof.

“There, good as new!”

“Thank you, Starlight,” Twilight said gratefully. “Now, Rainbow Dash, you got lucky. You could have been much more seriously hurt from that.”

Rainbow grumbled, rubbing her hoof over her new bandage. “I know, I know. I’ll be more careful next time.”

“You mean you won’t do something reckless and ask for help next time?”

“Okay, I know. I get it,” Rainbow groaned in annoyance. “Jeez, Twilight, you’re starting to sound like my mom.”

As soon as the words came from her mouth, Rainbow Dash locked up. She met Twilight’s eyes, who had also frozen in embarrassment as the events of the last five minutes replayed themselves with sudden clarity in their minds.

Starlight looked back and forth at the two, then pointed in the direction of the mess. “I… think I’ll go get that cleaned up.”

“A-and I think I’ll just, uh, take this book,” Rainbow sputtered out as she picked up a random Daring Do book from the pile, “and go to my room.” She sheepishly shuffled towards the library door.

Twilight snapped out of it then. “Oh, no.” She yoinked the book out of Rainbow’s grasp with her magic. “First you’re going to help Starlight clean up this mess and reorganize the books you spilled. Then you can go read.”

“B-But…!” Rainbow tried to argue. A stern glance from Twilight made any further argument die on her tongue. “...fine.” With her head down, she turned around and plodded over to Starlight.

Twilight watched her go, only letting the worry settle in once neither of her friends were looking. She muttered quietly to herself.

“This just keeps getting more and more interesting.”

Author's Note:

What year is it!?