• Published 27th Jul 2012
  • 5,735 Views, 198 Comments

Hope in the Storm - PegasYs



With Rainbow Dash's future so uncertain, she begins the story of her past.

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Chapter 3: The Storm Begins

Interlude

This is the story of how I became siblings with one of my first and closest friends. My loyalty never faltered when we were children, we stuck with eachother through thick and thin. We did everything together. This particular moment in my life caused so many problems later on, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself at the moment.

There is always hope after a storm, but what if a storm never goes away? What if the clouds hang over your head the rest of your life? I’ve been burdened with guilt ever since this next memory, it is definitely the most difficult for me to relive. I… I remember this one so vividly; I visit it in my dreams almost every night.

Just… bear with me here. This is going to be really hard to get off my chest.

The day the thunderstorm came.


Chapter 3

It was a rainy night, the kind of night where ponies rest in their warm homes and drink cider by the fire. It was the kind of rain where ponies were advised to stay inside. Where the houses creaked under the force of the wind and the droning pat-pat of water hitting the windows was always hanging in the air. I was a little older, about halfway into the school year. I stared out the window, looking at the cold dark sky with fear and worry. Aero was sitting by the fire, resting under a blanket, listening to Valiantwing tell stories about the Storm Scouts. Mom was sitting on the couch, reading some magazine.

My parents had given up on the idea of putting Aero up for adoption. Valiantwing kept saying that, “I’ll get around to it eventually,” without ever actually getting around to it. I was relieved. He was truly my best friend. We did everything together. He thought of my parents as his own. Aero even started to call them Mom and Dad. He wasn’t going to be going anywhere anytime soon.

A bolt of lightning struck nearby. I saw a flash from the window, and shouted. I ran over to my mom, and cowered in her arms. She was so soft. Every time I needed comfort, she always was there to help me. She shushed me, and began to hum a soft tune. I calmed down. She turned my chin upward, and looked into her own eyes, only in miniature. She started to speak softly.

“I remember what my first Storm of The Century was like. I was little, a little bit older than you and your brother are now.”
She began to tell me the story of her cutie mark. I had never heard this one before. I listened quietly to the story, as all my fear of the storm floated away on the cloud of her words. The story of her true special talent.

Luck.


She first noticed it when she was really young, only barely into her years of grade school. She had lived all her life in Canterlot. Wherever she went, things became brighter to everypony around her. They gave one look into her eyes, and everything seemed better. She was really good at making friends. Ponies all around Canterlot knew her. They all seemed to be connected with her. Every time you saw her walking down the street, you knew, somehow, the rest of the day would be promising.

One day, it rained. It rained for days afterward. She got sad, and thought the sun had gone away forever. She started to cry. Her mother comforted her.

“It’s alright, sweetie. Clouds hang over our heads, but storms bring life to Equestria. Always remember, after every storm, there will always be hope.”

She suddenly was glad. She looked up at the gray clouds in wonder, and knew that if she kept hope, she would see the sun again. And sure enough, the rain stopped. The sun broke through the clouds. Then, she saw something she had never seen before. Rays of color shone over the sky, filling the world with more beauty than she had ever seen. She was happy. She had never felt joy like that before; she just wanted to keep smiling forever. She stared at the sky with amazement.

“What is that, mommy?” the filly questioned her mother with wide eyes.

“That, my child, is a rainbow.”

“Wow…” She was so lost in wonder that she didn’t even notice the ribbon of color appear on her flank. She was truly a pony of luck. And somehow, she was able to share it with those who needed it most.


“And then I was born, and your rainbow is a part of me now. Isn’t that right?” I had always felt a special connection with my mother. Like I was a small part of her. Like she was a small part of me.

“That’s right, Rainbow Dash. My mother told me, and now I’m sharing it with you. Just remember, after every storm, there is always hope. You are the hope in my storm, sweetie.” She nuzzled me on the cheek, with tears streaming down her eyes. She suddenly began to cough. Mom set me down on the ground, and walked to the kitchen in a coughing fit.

“Are you all right mommy?” I walked into the kitchen after her. She coughed into a napkin.

“I’m alright, Rainbow. It’s all this nasty weather, I think I might be coming down with something.” She returned to her coughing. I walked out of the kitchen and back in the living room, concerned. Aero had fallen asleep, and Valiantwing had gone to reading the newspaper. A loud crack came from outside, causing Aero to jolt awake, and my dad to look up from the paper. Mom walked back into the room, and motioned for me and Aero to get in bed.

“Alright kids, I think it’s time you get some sleep.” We ran to our neighboring rooms, and lay down in the soft bedding. Aero’s bed was right across the wall from me. Even at a low voice, we were able to talk through the thin walls, much to the disapproval of our parents.

“Hey Aero, I’m scared. I don’t know if I can sleep with the thunder outside.”

“It’s okay, Dashie. Just remember what Mom said. After every storm, there is always hope.” I lay there silently, curled deeply in my covers. Remembering what my mother said, my tiredness caught up with me, and my heavy eyelids closed.


Quick interlude

Noticing a theme yet? I hope so. There are at least two of them at the moment. Maybe I missed one, but... no, there’s definitely two. Keep them in mind; they play a big role later on.

Back to the story


The next day, it was still raining. Heavy sheets of water crashed down on the city. They don’t call it the Storm of the Century for nothing. In Canterlot, the scheduled storm that happened every three years was somewhat of a holiday, in that the children didn’t have to go to school. Aero and I stayed at home, and listened to the radio. It was early in the morning, and our parents weren’t awake yet.

Suddenly, Valiantwing walked into the living room, with a grave look on his face. He came over to me and messed my mane. He sat down on the couch, sighing deeply, and turned off the radio. He just sat there for a few moments, he looked like he was gathering his thoughts. After some time, he began to speak.

“Rainbow, Aero, your mother’s not feeling very well. She is staying in bed, resting. I don’t want you kids to disturb her. She needs to relax. I will take her to the doctor tomorrow if she doesn’t get any better,” he said with a slight edge of worry in his voice. I got really concerned. Valiantwing saw the look on my face, smiled warmly and chuckled, and scooped me up in his arms. “She’ll be alright, honey. It’s probably just a bad cold.”

He set me down on the chair, and got up to get ready for work. He went to his room, and came out a minute later wearing his barding, and kissed me goodbye.


Valiantwing left for work, --A.K.A. creating and maintaining the storm outside-- leaving us to our own devices in a tiny house where we were forced to be quiet. When foals are trapped in a house with nothing to do, they usually end up making up something to do. We made a game out of walking past mother’s open door without making any sound. We got points for how quiet we were, and how fast we were able to do it. This went on for some time before Aero tried to fly past, and accidentally crashed into the wall on my parent’s side of the hall. Mom didn’t come out of her room to see what the commotion was.

An hour went by. We got bored playing that game and were just sitting in the living room. Aero made a sigh of boredom, and rolled over onto his back. I looked over to my parents’ bedroom, to see how Mom was doing. She hadn’t come out for a while, so I decided to go check on her. Aero waited outside the room. Aero seemed to have more of a connection with my father than with my mother, choosing to spend his time with Valiantwing when he was home. I, on the other hand, loved my mother more than anything in the world.

I opened the door quietly. The room was dark. A large lump rose up from the bed, concealed by the blankets and pillows strewn across the surface.

“Mommy?” she was turned toward the door, sleeping quietly. She didn’t wake up from my voice. I jumped up on the bed and lay down on the mattress, looking into her closed eyelids. She opened them slowly, and saw me positioned in front of her. She kissed my cheek, pulled me in close and held me under the covers, and began coughing quietly. I snuggled with her, enjoying the warmth and love from my mother, as the cold rain outside drifted from my mind. She had fallen back to sleep. I felt myself start to drift away to, and eventually started to dream of a small filly, seeing a rainbow for the first time, feeling hope and love and joy as the colors spread across the sky.


I woke up sometime later. I looked out the window, and saw that the sun had fallen below the horizon (although it was hard to tell, with the dark thunderclouds constantly hanging over our heads). Mom was gone. I started to panic, and ran out of the room. The scene before me will haunt my nightmares for the rest of my life. Valiantwing was sitting on the recliner, staring blankly at nothing in particular, looking positively grim. Aero was sitting on the rug; tears were running down his cheeks. When I ran out of the room, Aero flew over to me and hugged me. He started sobbing into my coat.

“W-what’s going on? Where’s mommy?” Aero let out a loud sound of despair. Dad looked down, and then walked over to us. I shut my eyes as tears started streaming out of my own eyes. I was confused. I was scared. I wanted my mom.

“Rainbow, honey, Mom’s been taken to a place where ponies will take care of her. She’s gotten really sick. She’ll be alright, but we’ll have to wait until the morning to visit her. Aero, you need to get some rest. Rainbow, I don’t want you to worry. Everything will be alright.” He came down to us and wrapped his forelegs around the both of us. I cried loudly. I needed my mom, to tell me the story, to get me to sleep; I couldn’t sleep tonight without it. I was too worried, I was too scared.

Valiantwing motioned Aero to go. He wiped away his tears, and ran into his room. Valiantwing picked me up, and brought me over to the couch. I sat in his lap, crying hard into his shoulder. He shushed me softly.

“You have her eyes, darling. Her beautiful, beautiful eyes. She wishes she was here with you. Just remember the story.” He rocked me back and forth in his arms. My loud crying subsided to soft sobs. I drifted once more, into a dark, dreamless, colorless sleep.


She was… She looked… off. Withered. She lay in the hospital bed, breathing heavily. The doctor was standing over her, performing magic spell after magic spell, trying to heal her. When Valiantwing walked into the room, the doctor looked up from his work. Aero and I sat on the two chairs by the side of the bed. The doctor led Valiantwing out of the room, and into the hallway. The room was so silent. I looked at my mother, with more sadness in my heart than I had ever felt. I didn’t cry, not at that moment. I climbed up onto the bed, and nudged the beautiful mint green mare awake. She opened her eyes slowly, and turned toward me. Seeing her hurting was it for my resolve. I cried, my whole body was shaking. I couldn’t stand anymore. She smiled weakly.

“Do you know… why I love you?” she whispered softly into my ear. I buried my face in her pillow. My face was wet with tears, and the pillow quickly began soggy as well. She told the story, the one I had heard a thousand times.

For the last time.

“I will always be a part of you, Rainbow Dash. Just remember, you are my beautiful daughter, and my life and my love are inside you forever. I love you sweetie. You are my hope, and I know my storm will be over soon. I will be in your heart forever. I don’t want you to ever forget that.”

She reached out her hoof, and touched my mane gently. Stroking it softly, she began to fall asleep. She closed her eyes, her beautiful magenta eyes. I closed my eyes, and wished I could go with her. My heart was heavy, filled with lead. She was gone.


Sometimes you’re not sure if the storm will ever end. That day marked the beginning of the storm that would be the rest of my life.

She died because of me.

She had been suffering from loss of spectra ever since my birth, three years prior. Whatever magic she used to save me had sealed her fate. All the magical damage had caught up to her and her body couldn’t take it anymore. She gave her life to save me, and she knew it the day I was born. She was a part of me. Her life force was inside of me, keeping me alive.
I lived with the guilt of ultimately killing my mother for my whole life. I still wish there was something I could have done to save her. I loved my mom more than anypony. That day, and the day that came afterward, changed me for the worse.