• Published 20th Oct 2017
  • 4,973 Views, 165 Comments

A Negative - JackRipper



One of the positive things about being enlisted in the Solar Guard is all the possible mares Rainbow Dash could chase after. A negative? The one she's really after is in the Lunar Guard, and she's pretty… batty.

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1 - Be Positive

“One h-hundred ninety-six!”

Fire; liquid hot agony coursed through her veins. Rainbow Dash groaned as she strained to keep her back rigid.

“A… hundred ninety… seven!”

Her right foreleg nearly bent inward as she gasped. Rainbow Dash swallowed, her saliva coagulating, having a density akin to sawdust.

“One— eight.”

Her voice cracked, failing to carry across the room. Luckily for her, there was only one pony who needed to hear her.

Rainbow Dash’s commanding sergeant glared down at her, bearing a face of contempt. “If you don't finish strong, you're starting over. Push through the fuckin’ pain, Crash.”

Rainbow Dash growled, spittle nearly flying from her mouth as she squinted up at her superior. Sunlight poured in from an adjacent window, tiny rivulets of sweat fell from her face and onto the marble tile.

“The longer you stare, the harder it gets. C’mon, just two more.”

Rainbow Dash dropped her head; she lacked the energy to hold it upright. Her matted mane now hung low over her eyes. Sergeant Quicksilver grinned.

“One— ninety nine.”

Quicksilver stooped low, eye to eye with the prismatic mare. She spoke to Rainbow in a low whisper, just loud enough for her to hear.

“One more, Crash. Just one more.”

Rainbow Dash pushed down as the last of her vitality ebbed from her body. Before she allowed herself to fall, she glanced back up at Quicksilver one final moment as her mane parted from her face.

She gave Quicksilver a triumphant and nigh maniacal smile as her magenta eyes glowed in the light.

“Two hundred...”

With that, Rainbow Dash hit the marble floor with a heavy thud. She would’ve winced from the impact, but after everything she'd been through, she barely felt it.

She heaved as she curled up into a ball, savoring the cool tiles beneath her. With bated breath, she spoke again.

“Can… we please go back to wing-ups?”

Quicksilver chuckled. “Sorry, Rainbow. While your wings are strong, the rest of you is underwhelming in comparison.”

That remark allowed Dash to push herself off the ground, despite her muscles' protests.

“Ex-cuse me?!”

“You heard me. Right now, if it wasn't for your wings, you’d be dead meat on the battlefield. What if you lost a wing? What would you do?”

Dash scoffed, shuddering at the prospect. “Don't be stupid. There's no way I’d lose a wing.”

“Well, what would you do if you did?”

“I’d…” Dash trailed off.

Quicksilver raised a brow. “You’d what?”

Dash focused on the sky, peering past thatch and tile roofs alike; cerulean blue and golden orange mixed together as the sun grazed the horizon. She slunk her shoulders, her sergeant’s words finally setting in.

“… Whatever.”

Quicksilver sighed, placing a hoof on Dash’s shoulder. “I’m not training you to be a killer, but you have to be ready to defend yourself when push comes to shove. That means you’ll have to be more than athlete strong, you’ll have to be soldier strong too.”

Rainbow Dash didn't reply, her stoic gaze looking only ahead. Quicksilver wasn't patient enough for this.

“Look, I’ll give you the rest of the night off, okay? We have to clear out anyway, the Lunar Guard is going to hold sparring drills in here soon.”

Rainbow Dash’s ears perked up as she glanced back at the maroon mare. “Do you think they’d care if we stuck around to watch?”

Quicksilver smirked. “I would have thought you’d be eager to rest. You got a thing for thestrals or something?”

Dash ignored the heat that rose to her face. “That workout was nothing. I wouldn't want to miss a good sparring match!”

“You didn't answer my question.”

“I...”

Quicksilver rolled her eyes. “Look, I’m not judging or anything, but you’re easy to read. You might want to work on that.”

Dash grumbled as a pair of doors slammed opened behind them, a deep echo reverberating off the walls. A thestral in violet-clad armor marched beside a group of trainees. She beckoned them with her cadence, and they answered with equal intensity.

“They say that in the night guard the cider’s mighty fine!”

“It smells like rotten apples and tastes like turpentine!”

“They say that in the night guard, the pay is mighty fine!”

“They gave me a hundred bits, and took back ninety-nine!”

She stopped in front of the pair, her left foreleg cracking the marble tile as it made contact. “Platoon, halt!”

The group of trainees came to a stop, their hooves clacking against the floor in perfect unison. Nopony moved, eyes forward, nothing out of place.

The commanding sergeant spun around in a textbook about-face. “Alright, ladies, form a circle! You two solar guards in the center, leave! We have permission to be here under the authority of Night Mother Luna!”

Quicksilver brushed her gray mane from her face, clearing her throat. “My soldier and I would like to watch your sparring session, if you’ll allow us.”

The lunar sergeant clicked her tongue. Her eyes dilated as the light in the room began to fade.

Fine. Just stay out of our way, the last thing we need are distractions.”

Dash’s wings fluttered reflexively against her sides as the thestral mares brushed past her. She didn’t know much about them, and while she wasn’t afraid, she was still admittedly weary.

She took her place next to Quicksilver, sitting near the door. The thestrals had formed a tight ring around the middle of the room.

“Our first match is going to be Nightprowler versus Canine. First to tap out or fall unconscious loses, no fangs allowed. Start… now!”

They eyed each other with predatory malevolence. Rainbow Dash winced as the two paced around. “Are you telling me they don’t even wear pads when they spar?”

Quicksilver shook her head. “If you think you have it rough in the solar guard, this little session might change your outlook. They’re… a cut above.”

Dash twitched as the two slammed into each other. She could barely tell which one was which, but the one on the right was clearly winning, picking up her opponent with her forelegs and slamming them into the marble tile with as much force as she could muster.

Crunch!

Quicksilver grimaced as Rainbow Dash forced herself to stay seated. This was pretty brutal, even for her.

The match was over almost as soon as it started, ending with a weak hoof tap against the ground. The mare still standing sneered at her opponent. “Looks like you really live up to your name, bitch.”

Canine hissed, baring her fangs as she stood up and took her place back in the crowd. Their sergeant wasted no time as she called out the next set of names.

“Moonshine versus Fluttershy, begin!”

Dash looked over at Quicksilver, confused. “...Fluttershy? What kind of thestral name is that?”

Her sergeant blanched as she sucked in a breath. “Don’t let the name fool you, Crash. She’s… dangerous.”’

“Wait, really?”

Rainbow Dash’s jaw dropped when she looked back. Fluttershy had her opponent in a choke hold, whispering something into Moonshine’s ear as she tightened her grasp around the mare’s neck.

Moonshine slammed her hooves against Fluttershy’s ribs, the force of each blow becoming more and more feeble by the second, until they stopped entirely.

Fluttershy released her hold on the mare, glancing up directly at Rainbow Dash, staring at her with her mesmerizing crimson eyes. She opened her maw, running her tongue across her fangs, then over her upper lip, before standing up and fading back into the crowd.

Dash stood up, cursing at herself as her wings spread of their own accord. “I gotta go.”

“What? But they just started…”

She turned away before Quicksilver could see her face. “I’ll… uh… catch you tomorrow.”

Rainbow Dash rushed out of the room without uttering another word, manually folding her wings as she wiped away the sweat gathering on her face. She audibly sighed in relief as the doors closed behind her.

Even though Dash had already exited the room, she couldn’t erase the tantalizing images that plagued her mind.

“Fluttershy, huh? You really are something else, but... where have I heard your name before?”


Thud!

Dash panted as she sunk her hoof into the punching bag. The suspension chain rattled as she bit her lip. She struck again, a heavy grunt echoing out into the training room.

Quicksilver leaned against a wall, watching over Rainbow as she hammered her target.

She normally would have said something to encourage Dash, but for once, it looked like she didn’t need it. Rainbow had been working in silence the whole day.

Thud!

“So… what's got you all worked up?”

Rainbow’s eyes only left her target momentarily, glaring up at Quicksilver before resuming her onslaught.

Thud!

“It’s that one thestral, isn't it?”

Dash twitched as her hoof connected. The punching bag barely moved.

...

“I don't want to talk about it.”

Quicksilver grinned. “That last punch told me everything.”

Dash huffed as she finally looked back at her sergeant. “It just… doesn't make any sense. I know her from somewhere, she's so… familiar.”

Quicksilver raised an eyebrow. “If it's really bothering you that much, just talk to her. It shouldn't be too hard to find her around the castle at this hour.”

“There's no way in Tartarus I’m gonna go looking for her.” Dash shuddered as she shook her head in fervor. “Did you see the way she stared at me last night?”

“Like a piece of meat,” Quicksilver giggled. “Look, you're never going to stop wondering until you finally decide to ask her yourself. Or you can just keep kicking yourself, your choice.”

Dash said nothing, simply staring at the door that separated them from the main hall.

Quicksilver smirked. “You aren't scared of her, are you?”

“What? No I’m n—”

“—You're right, it's like half and half. You're just as frightened as you are turned on,” Quicksilver finished for her as the cyan mare's cheeks glowed pink.

“Look,” she said as she prodded Rainbow’s chest with one hoof, “either you talk to her tonight, or I’ll take away your cider rations for the month.”

Rainbow Dash gawked at her, eyes widening.

“Are you kidding me?! Y-You can’t be serious!” Dash pleaded.

“And don't try to weasel out of this or lie. Trust me, I’ll be able to tell, Crash.”


It had been at least an hour since Rainbow Dash had started looking. Early evening had set in as moonlight seeped in through the windows and inundated the halls.

She gulped. The shadows sometimes appeared to move of their own volition, dancing across the walls like eerie, malformed silhouettes. The last thing she wanted to do was get caught off—

“Hello.”

Dash jumped so hard that it felt as if her bones had left their sockets. She slammed up against the wall, muscles tense and wings splayed out.

There she was… Fluttershy.

She was adorned in violet armor, which almost glowed in the light of the moon. Her pale yellow coat blended into the darkness, which would have made it easy for her to pounce Dash if she’d wanted to. Her eyes were everything Dash had remembered, crimson and unwavering, utterly haunting yet… beautiful.

She couldn't even look directly at them. Dash found herself struggling to hide her trembling, but she definitely wasn’t scared.

“Are you—”

“Eep!” Dash yelped as Fluttershy took a step forward. The thestral let out an even sigh as she stepped back.

“Rainbow Dash… do you… remember me?”

Her voice was low, a mere whisper that Dash wouldn't have heard if there was any other noise in the room. Yet, she managed a reply.

“You're Fluttershy, right? The thestral guard? I saw you at that sparring thing.”

Fluttershy’s ear twitched as she studied the prismatic mare in front of her, her wings unfurling slightly as she visibly relaxed.

“Yes, that was me. But do you… remember me?”

Dash’s mouth opened before closing again. Somehow, she managed to stare back at the thestral. It sent chills up her spine as every part of her body told her to run away… yet she held her ground.

Rainbow gulped, finally finding the words.

“Yes, I think I know you from somewhere else. I just can't remember where.”

She flinched a little as Fluttershy approached her at a snail’s pace. Eventually, the thestral was close enough for Dash to feel hot breath on the side of her neck; she was close enough for a pair of razor sharp fangs to latch on with ease.

“Meet me at the Full Moon bar tomorrow night, near the end of Maple Street. I can't talk right now, but I’d like to later… if you don't mind.”

Dash was still anticipating a strike that wouldn't come. She spoke so softly, yet Dash knew she was probably capable of taking down an ursa major without breaking a sweat.

“O-okay…”

Fluttershy smiled at her reply. A subtle and artistic expression, as if hoof-carved into ivory. It was as cathartic to see as it was uncanny. She nodded once, before turning around and disappearing back into the dark hall, rounding a corner and leaving the baffled pegasus behind.

Dash herself didn't know whether she should be excited or terrified...

It was pretty hot.

Not having her neck chomped was a nice plus too.


Canterlot after dark—the city certainly had a different vibe than during the day. Autumn leaves lay scattered across old brick roads and jack-o-lanterns lit every street alongside cast-iron lampposts.

In the distance, Dash could faintly hear the mantra of Nightmare Night being chanted by fillies and colts. The holiday was right around the corner.

“Nightmare Night! Nightmare Night! Give me something sweet to bite!”

She shivered as a stray gust of wind rustled her coat. Just ahead of her was a shanty-looking bar, adorned with a tacky neon sign that illuminated the end of Maple street.

The “Full Moon” bar.

The pit in her stomach grew heavier. She hadn’t been this on edge since… well… forever. Quicksilver didn’t say anything to her earlier that day, as if she was offering Dash a silent prayer, hoping she’d still have her cadet come next morning.

A determined look formed on Dash’s face as she approached the entrance. She wasn’t about to psyche herself out over one thestral. She put more force into the door than she meant to. It slammed open with absolute ease, earning the glares of the patrons inside.

“Uh, heh, sorry?” Dash offered, giving them a sheepish grin as she rubbed the back of her neck with one hoof.

Another second went by before most of them shrugged it off and went back to their conversations. Though, one mare in particular continued to stare at her.

Ice filled Dash’s veins. She recognized those eyes immediately. Fluttershy smiled, her fangs glinting in the light. Dash moved with trepidation, wings flared and mane standing on end. Then, ever so slowly, she took her seat across from the thestral.

“I… wasn’t sure you were going to show up,” Fluttershy said, her voice just audible enough to hear over the jazz music playing.

The bar itself looked as shanty on the inside as it did on the outside. Though Rainbow had to admit, it still had a quaint feel to it. The idle chatter, warm interior and cold beer was almost enough to make her forget her own unease.

“I wasn’t aware that you liked to drink,” Dash replied. Fluttershy giggled. It reminded Dash of melodic harp strings; she needed to hear it again.

“I don’t. I just figured it’d be a place you might like. Sorry if it’s not… what you wanted.”

Dash raised a hoof defensively. “N-no! This place is perfect! I, uh, just wasn’t expecting it.”

Fluttershy hummed in contentment, killing the flow of the conversation.. Yet, it didn’t feel awkward, just… peaceful.

“Excuse me, can I get you two anything?”

Dash tilted her head, glancing over at the earth pony server to her right. “Yeah, I’ll take the Sweet Apple Cider please.”

“And just water for me, please,” Fluttershy added. With a polite bow, the stallion walked off, leaving the two of them in silence once again.

“You’re from Cloudsdale, aren’t you?” Rainbow Dash said, finally breaking the silence. An epiphany had finally struck her, her eyes widening as fading memories from her childhood were rushed back to her.

“Yes, I am. The two of us were classmates. Though, after you enlisted in the solar guard, we didn’t talk to each other again,” Fluttershy replied.

“But… you were a pegasus! What happened?” Dash hissed.

Fluttershy turned away, whispering from behind her mane, “I… I’d rather not talk about it.” She frowned. “After it happened, I was haunted by nightmares. Night Mother sensed my distress and came to me. She didn’t judge me like the rest did, rather, she offered me a place within her ranks.”

Rainbow smirked. “Well, I say she made the right call. From what I’ve seen, you’re basically a badass. Seriously, you took down that other thestral in ten seconds flat.”

Fluttershy’s frown deepened. “I don’t like inflicting pain on my sisters, it hurts me more than it hurts them. But… I’ll do it if it means it’ll save their life later on.”

“I… see.”

Dash traced her hoof along the table’s grooves. As her luck would have it, their drinks arrived at just the wrong time.

Smooth, real freakin’ smooth.

...

The cider was a lovely golden brown, topped off with a thin layer of white foam. No matter how good it may have tasted, it did little to quell Rainbow’s thoughts. She decided to switch topic, if nothing more than to salvage the conversation.

“Why do you call Princess Luna that? You know, Night Mother?”

Fluttershy’s frown was replaced with a cute little grin, the tips of her fangs barely sticking out. “She’s like a second mother to me and my sisters. She treats us as if we’re her own.”

Dash chuckled. “What? Does she read you bedtime stories, too?”

Her chuckling stopped as a blush formed on Fluttershy’s face. She didn’t offer a response, twirling her mane with her hoof.

“Wait, you’re serious?”

The thestral’s blush deepened. “Once, when I felt homesick,” she meekly responded.

Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but take in the sight in front of her. The red in Fluttershy’s face matched her captivating eyes, complimenting her yellow coat.

It was… awesome.

She wasn’t afraid of those eyes anymore. In fact, she couldn’t get enough of them, the way they seemingly pulled her in...

Dash diffused the tension with another chuckle before speaking. “Hey, Fluttershy, how about you and I go to the Nightmare Night festival tomorrow night? I wouldn’t mind doing something like this again.”

Fluttershy beamed at her, then leaned over and pecked her on the cheek.

“I’d like that a lot, Rainbow Dash.”

Dash rubbed her cheek in shock, then smiled.

Score...


She ducked under Quicksilver’s swing, spinning around and attempting to kick her sergeant. Though true to her name, she was just as fast as Rainbow Dash.

Quicksilver smirked. “You seem awfully focused today. I take it last night went well for you.”

Dash ignored her quip, rushing forward and throwing out a right hook, promptly crashing to the ground as Quicksilver easily countered her.

“Focused, but still entirely too predictable. C’mon, Crash. Spill.”

She grumbled through her mane that was now draped over her face, pulling herself up and unlatching her sparring helmet. “It went better than I’d hoped it would be. Much better, even.”

Quicksilver raised a brow. “Better… how?”

“Well, she didn’t kill me like I thought she would. And we actually hit it off quite well.”

She leaned in farther, her grin widening. “How well?”

Dash rubbed her neck, a slight blush forming on her face. “She… uh… kissed me.”

“I almost wish she pounced you. That would have made a much more interesting story,” Quicksilver mumbled, removing her own helmet and leaning against the closest wall.

“I asked her on a date too. Canterlot’s Nightmare Night Festival?” Rainbow Dash offered.

Quicksilver crossed her hooves. “I admire that you’re all gung-ho about this whole thing, but don’t you think you might be moving too fast? I mean, you two just met, after all.”

“Funny story. As it turns out, we have met before. We used to be classmates in Cloudsdale before I enlisted in the Solar Guard. She ended up joining the Lunar Guard after she became a thestral.”

“Wait, became a thestral? You’re telling me she used to be a pegasus?”

Dash cringed. “She wouldn’t tell me anything about it. Seemed like a sore topic to me, so I didn’t bring it up after I mentioned it the first time.”

Quicksilver pressed her back against the wall, sliding down slowly as she tilted her head up in thought. “Well, I won’t tell you how to live your life, so I’ll just be a responsible parent and remind you to use protection —”

“Stop.”

“— Remember not to fly if you’ve had too much to drink—”

“Enough, Silver.”

“— If she doesn’t consent outright, don’t force her into anything—”

“Oh my Celestia freakin’ stop!”

“— And if you really want to make her squeal, go for —”

Clang!

Quicksilver glanced back down. Rainbow Dash had left a trail of blue feathers as the door to the training room slammed shut. She let out a hearty chuckle as she stood up.

“Try not to crash and burn, kid.”


Well, it wasn't exactly what she had in mind, but it was a nice change of pace from what she was used to. It wasn't like any date Dash had ever been on before.

The two of them sat on a picnic blanket. They were atop a grassy hill that overlooked Canterlot proper. Luna’s midnight sky painted the scene above them as they reveled in one another's company.

“This is lovely. It’s amazing how much I used to take the Night Mother’s gift for granted,” Fluttershy said absentmindedly, draping one soft leathery wing over Dash. “You know what I mean?”

Rainbow nodded in agreement, swallowing a salted potato wedge and washing it down with a mug of tangy Sweet Apple cider. She hummed softly, leaning her head against Fluttershy as the two of them admired the golden lights of Equestria’s capital.

“We used to know each other from before, but I’m glad I got to see you again...” Fluttershy said, trailing off as her sanguine eyes met magenta ones. “I… used to look up to you, you know. I guess... I still do.”

A dopey grin formed on Dash’s face. “You’re pretty cool yourself, Flutters. You don't need to look up to me anymore, if anything, I’m the one that’s looking up to you.”

The pegasus pulled Fluttershy in closer. Basking in the warmth of one another as they sat in content silence.

“...Rainbow Dash?”

“Yeah?”

Fluttershy twiddled her hooves. “C-can I… taste you?”

Dash didn't feel the need to respond, pulling the thestral in close as Fluttershy squeaked in surprise. She melted into the kiss, relaxing her body as she eased into the embrace of her lover.

They parted with gasping breaths, separating from one another as Rainbow Dash giggled like a school filly. Fluttershy, on the other hoof, wasn't satisfied.

“That was nice… but that's not what I meant.”

Rainbow’s ear twitched, a blush forming on her face as she began to connect the dots. “O-oh.”

“I don’t want to force you… u-unless that’s your thing.”

With a hesitant shake of her head, Dash spread her hind legs slightly. She leaned back and closed her eyes, shaking in anticipation.

Rainbow yelped as she felt a sharp sting in the side of her neck. She opened her eyes in shock to find that Fluttershy was literally tasting her.

… It actually wasn't that bad.

The pain lasted only a second before a numbness spread over the side of her neck. It was exhilarating, almost euphoric in a sense.

Fluttershy hummed in contentment as she gently fed upon her lover, soft and delicate, being as careful as she possibly could.

Soon enough, the thestral pulled away, licking her lips and giving a soft giggle as Rainbow stared at her with a dumbfounded expression.

“I-I think it’s a-an old thestral tradition, between l-lovers. Sorry if I startled you, I should have been more clear.”

Dash grazed the marks on her neck with her hoof. Remarkably, they were already beginning to heal. “It's no problem, just wasn't expecting that. Did I… uh… taste good?”

A tongue flashed over her sharp fangs. “Very.”

Rainbow smirked. “Well, in that case, I think I want a taste too.”

Fluttershy’s eyes widened as Dash leaned in for yet another kiss. This one was less forceful and more passionate, even better than either could have asked for. Not too far in the distance, the merry chanting of fillies and colts could be heard as they pranced around Canterlot.

Nightmare Night! What a fright! Give us something sweet to bite!

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