• Published 3rd Dec 2011
  • 12,135 Views, 250 Comments

Assumptions - EminenceGris



Misunderstood and rejected, Rainbow Dash finds support in the most unlikely of ponies.

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Chapter V: If I Ran Away

Assumptions V: If I Ran Away

The light yellow pegasus trotted briskly toward the Ponyville Library. She kept looking around her frantically, making sure that nopony was watching. Her modeling career might have been over for some time, but that did not mean that some of the more obnoxious fancolts did not whistle at her on the street from time to time. Why, not two weeks ago, she was harassed by two young colts. Fortunately, she was walking with Cheerilee after patching up her pet mouse, and the young teacher recognizing the two delinquents and promptly took care of the whole situation.

But today was different. She was just going to borrow some books. Flesh eating slugs have recently invaded her cellar, and she needed to save her supplies of apples if she was to continue catering to her cuddly patients. She took a deep breath and opened the library door.

“Welcome Fluttershy,” a baby dragon’s familiar voice greeted her. “What brings you to town?”

“Uhm, well… I was looking for a book on pesky little animals. You know, the kind you don’t want in your house, but you don’t, uhm, want to hurt them, of course. Do you have a book like that? That is, uhm… if you have time to help me, please?”

“Sure, we actually got a new one last week. It’s called Goldenmane Lockhoof's Guide to Household Pests, but Twilight read it already and immediately threw it away, which never happens. Must have been quite a terrible nook. But I’m sure there’ll be something on the subject in the Supernaturals series, ” Spike replied.

“Uhm… thank you very much for your help, Spike. By the way, would you happen to know where Twilight is? Please?,” the yellow Pegasus pleaded.

“Oh, she’s in the back helping another customer find a book. Knowing her, it will take another fifteen minutes before she even finds the right shelf, especially now that the library has been enlarged,” Spike shook his head in disbelief. “It’s really strange that an organized pony like her would not know where to find the right book.”

A sound of books falling down in the corner of the library alarmed the duo. Spike and Fluttershy quickly hurried toward the source of the commotion. A bookshelf had overturned, showering two unfortunate ponies in books, and know\cking them down to the gorund. The unicorn librarian was lying on top of the massive red stallion, her muzzle pressed to his neck. When she saw her assistant with one of her friends, she suddenly jumped up, a few books flying off her into further reaches of the library. Macintosh’s unfazed expression also changed, his calm face suddenly losing some of its color, his dark emerald eyes opening wider and wider, but still lying on the spot, petrified.

Fluttershy quickly hid behind her mane. “Good morning Twilight,” she whispered, her voice softer than ever, and completely seemed to ignore the large red stallion. How could I greet him now, when I caught him red hoofed? Messing around with Twilight in the library. I guess it’s true what they say, he really is a player, she though, holding back her tears.

“Oh good morning Fluttershy,” Twiligh briskly replied as she levitated some books back to their original position. “Big Macintosh here was just taking out a book he saw, but I guess his hooves are simply too large to take out such a small book... Sorry about the mess.” The librarian now looked at Macintosh, expecting an “Eeeyup” or at least a nod, but he just lay there, still staring blankly at Fluttershy, who did not see him through her mane.

“Is everything all right? Would you still like that book, Fluttershy?” Spike asked.

“Uhm… That is…” Fluttershy just stood there, embarrassed and feeling stupid. What could she now say to Macintosh? Should she pretend she just didn’t see what had happened? Are you all right Macintosh? Which book were you looking for, if you don’t mind me asking? Since, uhm, you and your sister have a farm, would you know a natural way to keep out flesh-eating slugs? Or should she just acknowledge what she saw. Oh dear, I didn't know you had a coltfriend, Twilight? I always knew you two would make a cute couple.

Macintosh, on his part, was thinking too. What should he say? This ain’t what it looks like. I was just lookin’ fer this book here, and I couldn’t help mahself when Ah saw it. Or should he just greet her and pretend nothing happened. Good Mornin’ Miss Shy? Fancy meeting you in the library? Ah’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle ya. What book are ya lookin’ fer, maybe Ah can help?

Suddenly, everypony’s train of thought had been interrupted as Fluttershy turned around and galloped out of the library, but not before she whispered a teary “thank you for your help Spike,” the baby dragon running after her.

Twilight looked to the mess on ground. Big Macintosh, was able to get up as soon as Fluttershy was out of sight, looking incredibly disheartened.

“Thank you miss, Twilight, Can Ah take out this book”. He handed her a small, thin booklet.

“Of course you can. After all, you wrote it,” Twilight sighed and trotted to her librarian’s desk.

“Miss Twilight, can you also loan me the book that Miss Fluttershy was lookin’ for?”

“Ok, I’ll have Spike get it for you. SPIIIKE…” she shouted as she pondered the little scene she had just witnessed. “By the way, should I still come at 6 tomorrow?” Twilight asked.

“Eeyup.”

>>

That very same Friday morning, another scene was unfolding in Caramel’s kitchen. An unwelcome visitor, who dropped in almost every day, was eating her way through another portion of Caramel’s meticulously prepared breakfast.

“Hit me up with another round,” they cyan visitor shouted as she held out her bowl in anticipation of more caramel oats.

Automatically, the earth pony took the bowl and headed for the stove, before turning around and taking a proper look at his visitor. “Now hold on, who invited you anyway?”

Rainbow Dash looked taken aback by this question, as if her presence at his breakfast table had been the most normal thing. “Well, it did start when I woke up here a week and a half ago.”

“Yes, but that was obviously an exceptional situation. Why do you even bother coming down form Cloudsdale every day?” The last few times, Rainbow Dash had always found an excuse to come down, ranging from forgetting her work-pass the previous day (which Caramel never even saw), to her asking when he would be free to take care of her pet tortoise, while remarking on her pet’s and his similar levels of agility.

“Actually, we’re kinda neighbors, dummy. You must have noticed that cloud that always hovers above this building? Well, that’s where I live,” her small chest swelled with pride as she pointed her hoof out of his window toward her own cloud castle.

Caramel gave it a thought. He was warned that there was always a cloud overhead when he was looking to move in, which was part of the reason the rent was so cheap, as it blocked the warm midday and late afternoon sun. I’ve been living with a curse above my head, he though as he turned his attention to the pot in which he prepared the oats. He didn’t mind, breakfast was more fun with two of them, even if he could barely stand her antics sometimes, except that…

“WHAAAT!!!” The beige colt shouted in horror as he examined the empty pot. “There’s no more left! I could have sworn I cooked enough for three days.”

Behind him, he heard a guilty chuckle. “Oops, sorry. I guess I’m hungrier when I have to fly to get my breakfast. You shouldn’t complain really. Plenty of ponies would give their right hoof to have breakfast with me. You know, the resident hero, the element of loyalty, the only pegasus to have pulled off a Sonic Rainboom?”

“Then why don’t you eat it with somepony who cares?” Caramel gritted through his teeth.

“Didn’t catch that. You have to speak up.”

“I mean, what about your pink friend. Isn’t she a baker?” Caramel asked, hopeful.

“Nah,” the filly shook her head. “Lives too far, plus her stuff is too sweet sometimes.”

“Okay then,” Caramel sighted, resigned. “For the time being, I’ll do the cooking, the groceries and the washing up afterwards. If we could just split the bill… please?”

“Fine, whatever,” the filly answered, but secretly she was quite glad. Beats celery any day. Plus she finally got to talk to a colt who didn’t judge her. Sure, he wasn’t strong or agile, or a Pegasus, but the company was nice anyway.

“Hey, you lost in your thoughts again?” Caramel asked with a grin on his face as he saw the Rainbow’s groggy expression.

“I’m just thinking that for the weakling that you are, you’re pretty awesome.”

“Right. I’ll take that as a compliment, coming from you,” Caramel replied dryly.

“Oh and one more thing…” Rainbow Dash said just as she made her way to leap from the window-ledge.

“What you want now, a packed lunch?,” Caramel scoffed sarcastically.

“You would do that for me?,” Rainbow Dash asked incredulously, before returning to her more usual arrogant tone. “I mean, it’s not like I want it, but since you offered! That’s settled, you can make me lunch starting next Monday. Better make it awesome”

She paused for a moment as Caramel was trying to catch his breath. He let out a small whimper, and hung his head. No more sarcastic suggestions to Rainbow.

“Oh, yeah. That wasn’t what I originally wanted. Applejack is hosting a dinner party tomorrow evening, since Applebloom just got released from hospital after her latest crusading misadventure. She said they really wants you to come.”

“Really?” Caramel asked as his frustrated mood seemed to change in an instant to giddy.

“You wish,” the pegasus said under her breath. “Uhm, yeeah. I found it a bit odd, actually. I mean, since when have you had anything to do with the Apple family? Well apart from those rumours about you and Macintosh…” Dash trailed off.

“Actually I was attacked at Sweet Apple Acres not two weeks ago. Also the two found Apple Bloom after she and her friends crashed that.. thing a week ago. I’m sure Applejack just wants to thank us” he said, and looked around the room dreamily.

But at the mention of Caramel’s accident, the blue filly’s eyes suddenly darted across the room. “Oh right, we did find them. Sorry to hear that attack… I mean, why would somepony do that?” she stuttered, remembering her unfortunate first run-in with her breakfast companion.

“Yeah, I don’t remember much, except...I never said it was a pony who attacked me.” He stopped as the dots finally connected. The small hoof-shaped bruises. Attack from the air. The faint flash of rainbow. He turned around to face his new friend and looked deep in her eyes. For the first time, he saw something else than pride or arrogance in them. There was a heartbreaking sadness and genuine regret in those eyes, like she wished she could erase something. Her big, dark magenta orbs sparkled with tears that were almost large enough to fall down on their own.

Caramel’s determined gaze caught Rainbow Dash off guard. He was such a pushover that she would never have expected the colt to freeze her up like that. She wanted to say something, something that would make it all right, but couldn’t think of anything as she lost herself in Caramel’s icy, resolved look. When the colt finally turned away, she pushed herself off of his window ledge, and with a big downward swoop and a quiet sob made her way across the sky.

>>

Normally Pinkie Pie would just literally roll out of her bed downstairs into the shop that was the Sugar Cube Corner. These last few days, however uncharacteristically, she took a little walk in the morning to try and soak up as much happiness as she could before returning all bouncy to her work. This morning was no different. After exchanging a few pleasantries with Lyra and Bon-Bon, she looked noticeably more cheerful and started bouncing back to work. She was almost there when, out of nowhere, a light-blue Pegasus swooped from above, almost knocking the pink party pony off her hooves.

She thought she heard a quiet sob as the rainbow trailed off in the general direction of Cloudsdale. Looking in the opposite direction, she saw a thin beige colt leaning out of the window. She knew him by name, of course. She also knew he worked at the chocolate shop.
“Hey there Caramel. What are you looking at? Is Rainbow Dash performing some neat tricks again? Does she fly by often?”

“Morning Pinkie,” Caramel said as he remembered the name of the only pony who had ever thrown him a party. He was still somewhat upset at Rainbow Dash and wasn’t really in the mood to talk to anypony about her. Although maybe, this filly might know, he thought. “Never mind that. Say, do you remember what Rainbow Dash did the day after that awful storm about week and a half ago?”

“Ooooh. Let me see. She was out partying with one of the Wonderbolts that night. It didn’t go very well, because the next day she came to the Sugarcube Corner some, time after my lunch break, I think. She didn’t look so good, like she got beaten up? I guess flying in that weather is no picnic… What do you think? Why do you even ask?” The pink pony, unbeknownst to herself, was a wellspring of information.

“I think she crashed into me that night,” Caramel replied. And she didn’t even say sorry.
Pinkie must have noticed the slightly sour expression on the colt’s face.

“Put that frown upside-down, Caramel. You’re both all right, aren’t you? I mean, if it was me, I’d be happy it wasn’t anything serious. But at least now you know Rainbow Dash as well. Everypony can always use new friends, right?”

Caramel thought about her words. Without Dash’s accident, he’d never have made friends with the Apples, or have breakfast with another pony or have been talking to the resident party mare of Ponyville. And Rainbow Dash isn’t the kind of filly to apologize. Caramel was now completely lost in his thoughts. “I guess you’re right Pinkie Pie,” he finally said, but the pink pony was already bouncing off.

“Of course. Anything that leads to more friends and fun is always good,” she shouted, her high pitched voice resounding in the chilly autumn air as Caramel was left to ponder how to keep his newfound, rainbow-maned friend.

>>

Rainbow Dash flew straight to work. Although her flight was relatively short, it still helped clear her head and dry her tears. She needed to get her act together. While with hindsight, not apologizing to Caramel was a little inconsiderate, she honestly did not plan on hanging around when they first met at the bar. In fact, if somepony had suggested that she would now become a regular at his breakfast table, she would have laughed them off, the thought of spending her precious time with a weak and generally useless pony like Caramel absurd. Although, he did just catch her off-guard, didn’t he? Seems like he could be assertive when pushed to the edge. And he was a really good cook, which also meant he isn’t completely useless. She’d just have to get back on his good side, and maybe she’d still be able to get him to make lunch for her next week. I’ll have to be subtle, but I can’t let him think I’m weak. But subtle wasn’t exactly her thing. As much as she hated to admit it to herself, she’d need help from a certain white unicorn.

>>

Rarity was just about to close the boutique for the day, when a cyan pegasus filly flew through the door of her shop, almost tearing it out of the hinges. Rarity crossed her hooves as Rainbow Dash skidded toward her in the last few seconds.

“Good afternoon, Rainbow Dash. And what brings you here at this hour?” she inquired with a stern look, clearly annoyed that her scheduled me-time would probably have to be re-scheduled.

“Hi Rarity. I might have a small favour to ask of you,” Rainbow Dash said, shaking her hoof. “It’s no biggie, so if you’re too busy, I can come back later.”

“Oh, I suppose I have some time left. I might even be a little glad that you finally had the nerve to come visit me again.” The unicorn gave a little sad sight.

“Hey, it’s not like it bothered me so much, I’ve just been… you know… busy,” the Pegasus said, even if she hesitated a little when choosing her words.

“Well, I am glad we have finally resolved that little miscommunication. I’m certainly over it and have moved on to bigger and better things,” Rarity proclaimed, closing her eyes and raising her head higher for a dramatic effect. She did not notice Dash snort at the words “little miscommunication”, so she continued: “Well, what is troubling you my dear.”

“Uhm… It’s kind of complicated. You see, I have recently made a new acquaintance. But before we got to know each other, I got him into a little accident, that I then forgot to mention to this pony. And now, this new acquaintance has found out, and… I want to make it up to them.”

“Well, then apologize to the poor mare.” Rarity looked shocked. Sure her friends could be a little uncouth from time to time, but she had always thought they had some basic manners.

“Well, that’s the thing. This pony is pretty weak and has only me to look up to. So I don’t want to show any signs of weakness.” Rainbow Dash looked up at Rarity again, who looked at her in shock.

“What have you done to Scootaloo?,” the unicorn demanded, her tone icy.

“No, no. Rarity, you’ve got it all wrong. Scootaloo’s just fine. Why do you think I would… Anyway, I’m just wondering. Does it matter if this new friend is a mare or not. I mean surely, in this day and age… right?”

Rarity raised an eyebrow and then gave a slight smile. Aha, two can play this game. Plus, she always loved putting on a show anyway. “Well of course, dahling!” Rarity exclaimed so over-the-top, that anypony would understand what she was playing at. Anypony but Rainbow Dash, apparently. “It certainly matters. A lady should only apologise if she had done nothing wrong. But you said it was an accident. If so, a true gentlecolt would never be so vulgar as to demand an apology for an unfortunate accident. Unless of course, the lady who so unfortunately got him involved in the accident did nothing to help him afterward, and later took advantage of his kindness.”

Rainbow Dash lowered her head. Sure, she hadn’t helped Caramel that night, but what about when she took care of those stallions at the bar? And at this point, a little voice inside of Rainbow Dash’s head activated. But you did not know it was Caramel you were helping. It just happened to turn out that way. Plus, he was an absolute gentlecolt the way he took care of you after you had passed out. She blushed a little, only partially from shame. Rarity noticed.

“Anyway dear, mare or stallion, it does not matter if you really want to apologize. But there are other ways of showing you care… Maybe you could prepare a nice meal for your new friend?”

Rainbow Dash though of the single celery stalk that had been at the back of her fridge for weeks and shook her head. Besides, what could she cook for him that Caramel could not make himself, and make it better?

“Oh, I see. Cooking’s not exactly your forte. Maybe something that this pony might need would be helpful. That way, it’s meaningful, but not excessive. What have you got to offer that this pony might also need? Think about it”

The blue filly’s face grew focused. What did she have that other ponies didn’t. What did she have that Caramel needed. Certainly, she might perform some of her tricks for him, but he probably wasn’t a Wonderbolts fan. What else besides flying and weather control would she have to offer?

“Are you all right, my dear,” the white unicorn said as she saw Rainbow Dash standing in the middle of her shop, motionless for more than five seconds.

Rainbow Dash’s train of thoughts had been interrupted. She looked around, annoyed, when she realized where she was: shelves and racks of the most fahionable merchandiese in Equestria. Style. That’s what Caramel needs. And boy does he need it bad. “Rarity you’re a genius,” the blue pegasus squealed and started fluttering around the boutique.

“Oh yes, tell me again,” Rarity said in the same overly dramatic voice she had used for the final portion of their conversation, only to notice that Rainbow was busy paying attention to something else in the corner of her shop. “See something you like?”

“No!” The blue pegasus jumped up and turned to leave. “Thank you for your advice Rarity!” And with this final exclamation, the speedy mare was gone as quickly as she had arrived.

Rarity walked toward the small glass case whose contents her friend was admiring not two seconds ago. “Ah, stallion bow-ties,” she sighed. “I wonder who the lucky colt is.”