• Published 8th Aug 2017
  • 892 Views, 46 Comments

Cascade! Clouds Above, Obfuscate! - WritingSpirit

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Night I



Moonlight.

Swathes of it. Lunar pathways sifting through branch and leaf, casting mangled shadows upon the forest floor. Stranger still, the heat. Sweltering, though without the severity it bolstered in the afternoon. They shimmer gently between the squirming trees. They slither like svelte scarves, swaddling them, shrouding them. They splinter and suffuse, and within it the world slumbered.

Soarin' was a keen viewer of this spectacle in the night, drifting about the river bend with wings fanned out, catching every falling leaf as he paddled himself in spiraling circles. Every descent was grateful, every step measured and gentle. He watched them swinging and swirling in the nightly breeze, and for a single second, something twitched in his rusted wings. There was a longing in his chest, and it shall remain there, as it always has been. And so, the leaves danced for him, and in turn he thanked them wordlessly for their sacrifice.

Monotony marred the moment, prompting him to emerge from the river. He decided not to dry himself off, and though the Soarin' of the coming day shall regret this dastardly decision, he shouldn't find it in him to complain. He glanced about the forest, surrounded by nothing but the shrill screeches of crickets and the grating croaks of frogs. And so, leaving a dotted line of droplets to be forgotten on the forest floor, he sauntered into the undergrowth, drenched by the night in, along with the rest of the world, a brumous blue.

Funny how the moon plays with his senses; the green he found so distasteful and glaring was absent. It wasn't as though he hated the color: he just found them a little overbearing when it comes to jungles, that's all. As if it's all breathing down his neck and devouring the color in his cheeks. He should've been accustomed to that strange sensation, being a Wonderbolt, retiring or not. Then again, Spitfire always remarked that his inability to made him a little more down to earth than most of the team. Honestly, he just never bothered with it. No one should feel accustomed to being asphyxiated, Wonderbolt or not. No one.

Rainbow Dash was a sound sleeper, cradled as she was by the hulking roots springing from the ground, her back resting against the bark of one of the bigger trees they've stumbled upon. Not to say it was a little known fact, but Soarin' was always needlessly reminded of that every night. Not that he minded either, mostly cause he found it a little amusing, though he had wondered if he would still feel the same later on. He probably wouldn't: a notion he too easily vocalized with a belittling snicker.

"You're still up?"

Rainbow Dash was a light sleeper... well now, there's something new to think about. Soarin' slackened his shoulders and mustered one of his lighter grins, stooping over one of the wooden bends as she daintily rubbed her eyes. Her gaze ambled across his trickling form, pausing briefly only to make way for a yawn, before she leaned in and ran a hoof through his dripping mane.

"What happened to you?"

"Just a dip in the river, no big," he chuckled. "Thanks for the concern though."

"Dip in the river?" A soft sigh. "Celestia, it's the middle of the night."

"The heat's a little much, that's all," he muttered, raising a hoof to brush away the hairs sticking to the sides of his neck. "Not to mention my coat was feeling a little sticky and sweaty. Like I was doused in a tub of glue or something. Drove me nuts the whole afternoon."

Rainbow Dash couldn't help it. "Diva."

"Yeah, yeah," Soarin' laughed alongside her. "So, is this how it's always like with you and the girls? Just... travelling around in these conditions, probably skipping a bath or two?"

"We'll make do with it, I guess. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Rarity might whine about it a little maybe, but she knows we hate it as much as she does." With a restrained yawn, Rainbow made her way to settle down by his side despite his dampness. "I guess you could say it's just about priorities. Can't skip saving Equestria just because you don't like being in the rain, right?"

"I don't know, Dash. I mean, the whole of Equestria against staying dry for a day... is it really worth it?"

"I'd like my Soarin' to have a little less sarcasm, please."

"Haha! Yes, Ma'am."

Soarin' gave his wings a flutter, sending the many dewdrops clinging onto his feathers scattering across the air, before he wrapped one around his marefriend. The heat of the jungle simmered above his skin, yet the warmth coming from Rainbow Dash snuggling against his chest chucked those thoughts out the window. He could feel her breath caressing his chest, before it slowly crept up to his neck. When he glanced down, their exhalations met, as did their stares. Those amethyst beads shimmered in the moonlight, lighting up the abated flames in his own emerald gaze, only to pivot to the side.

"Sorry."

"About?"

"This afternoon."

Pause.

"It's fine, really."

"You think so, Dash?"

"I guess— I mean, sure."

"You're here for work, after all."

"Yeah, but I promised a third date."

"The third date can wait, Rainbow. It's fine."

"But I should've talked about it before coming here."

"Look, it's fine. If anything, I'm actually glad I'm here."

A final pause.

"Really?"

"Really, I mean, I'm here with you, aren't I? Stuck in a jungle, sure, but I'm pretty sure I've been through worse in my life." His eyes drifted across the dense undergrowth once more. "I mean, if you think about it, this is technically what our third date's going to be. The two of us, venturing into the unknown in search of some lost artifact belonging to the ancient civilization of Forgottenistan."

"Uh— wait, what did you say? Forgottenistan?"

"Pretty rad third date when you think about it," he continued, smugger than ever. "So yeah, I think I can handle it. If it means spending a few days with you, all alone in the forest with no one else around for miles, not to mention the really, really unbearable heat—"

"Hey now, don't get any ideas."

"I'm not, I'm not, promise!" A cordial chuckle left his lips. "I'm just saying that this... this might not be such a bad idea after all. Just you and me and a bunch of trees. Maybe not the kind of peace and quiet I expected, but it's... it's nice. Just... it's nice."

"Mm..." Rainbow wriggled further into his chest. "As long as you're cool with it then. We gotta be up before sunrise though."

"I'm a Wonderbolt, Rainbow. Waking up before sunrise is kinda my thing."

"Right you are, boyo. Now come a little closer. Your marefriend here wants a little more of her snuggle space."

"Heh. Will do, Ma'am."