• Published 5th Feb 2018
  • 1,118 Views, 23 Comments

After Action - BlazzingInferno



Soarin has known thrilling victories and crushing defeats, some of them in front of thousands of spectators, and others in the company of only his closest friend. Sometimes it's the quiet moments that make all the difference.

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Perserverance

“So where are you hanging yours?”

Fleetfoot circled the hotel room’s ceiling for the hundredth time, her eyes fixed on the gold medal clutched in her hooves.

Soarin reclined on the bed, relaxed and slightly dizzy from watching her. The decor in the Crystal Empire ranged from transparent to semi-translucent, and Fleetfoot’s image was visible on every surface in his view. He shut his eyes and patted the medal hanging around his neck. “I’ll probably put mine in the team trophy case back at HQ.”

“Yawn! I’m taking this baby out on the town! Misty Fly, Blaze, and I are staying an extra day to see the sights.”

Pegasi flew down the hotel’s hallway, cheers echoing and medals glinting as they shot by Soarin’s open door. The Equestria Games had been good to the Wonderbolts; gold and silver medals would be a common sight at the team picnic next week. Headquarters might need to invest in a bigger trophy case, too.

The games had been good in other ways, too. Spitfire’s fearsome training regimen had kept him too busy to worry about the future of his flight stats, and winning a gold medal proved that he still had plenty of Wonderbolt-worthy years ahead of him. Maybe he'd never speed through the skies quite as fast as he used to, but he was still a Wonderbolt, and a valuable one at that. He'd finally found his ideal role on the team: not winning first place, but keeping everypony flying high either through guidance or example. Spitfire gave the orders, he gave the assistance.

“Fleetfoot, Soarin!” somepony shouted from the hallway. “We’re going back to that super-spicy place for dinner! Get your tails out here!”

Fleetfoot pumped a hoof in the air. “Woo! You coming, Soarin?”

“Eh, I’ll pass. I almost burned a hole in my tongue last time we went there.”

She chuckled. “Okay, okay. I’ll tell the others you can’t take the heat. Later!”

Within a minute the whole hotel was quiet. The block of rooms booked by the Wonderbolts were now empty, save for Soarin and anypony else that valued their stomach lining.

“Yeesh, it’s about time.” Spitfire trotted in from across the hall, her mane limp, a damp towel draped over her back, and her gold medal nowhere in sight. “You’d swear those medals came with a sugar injection.”

Soarin sat up. “You’re not going to dinner with the team?”

“Nah. I’m not into all this ‘specialty food’ everypony’s gorging on. Besides, we’re all Wonderbolts. We can look after ourselves… most of the time.”

He matched her grin. “Most of the time.”

She sat at the foot of the bed and dropped the towel on the floor. “Can we talk about something?”

Since when did she need to ask? Didn’t they already chat during meals, practices, and after every show? “Sure.”

“I’m changing one of the team rules. One of the big ones.”

His eyebrows shot up. “Don’t you need to clear that with higher-ups in Canterlot?”

“I already did, just before we left for the Equestria Games. Sorry I didn’t mention it before, but I figured if they shot me down, what would it matter? Right?”

He studied her expression, from her hopeful eyes to her unsure smile. “What’re you up to?”

She took a deep breath, her smile gone. “I’m rolling back the ‘no on-team relationships’ rule. We don’t need it anymore.”

What?” Soarin leapt into the air, forelegs crossed. “You’re kidding! We’re like the two best examples ever of why that rule is important! We almost wrecked both our careers!”

Spitfire sighed. “I knew you’d react like this… Just let me explain, okay?”

He sank down and joined her on the foot of the bed. A hotel room in the Crystal Empire was a far cry from her trophy-laden office back at Wonderbolts Headquarters, to say nothing of their being out of uniform and her fresh out of the shower; talking team policy here felt too surreal to be genuine. Any second now he’d wake up to the sound of the alarm clock, ready to squeeze in some last-minute wingups before the Equestria Games started.

Spitfire sighed again. “Just because we majorly screwed up doesn’t mean that’s how everypony handles it, There are actually three on-team couples already. Both ponies came to me each time, letting me know things were getting serious, and each time I said it was okay and to keep it quiet.”

He pressed his hooves to his temples. “But… Why’d you do that?”

“Because they’re fully grown ponies, Soarin. We’re a team that takes care of each other, and considering how things have been going lately, I’m pretty sure I made the right call: one of those couples fizzled out, the other two are going strong, and guess what?”

Soarin winced slightly, afraid to know. “What?”

She leaned over and whispered in his ear. “That was three months ago.”

Silence hung in the air. The whole world had gone quiet, including Soarin’s previously hammering heart. Finally he coughed once and turned to her. “Three months?”

“Three months in, the Wonderbolts haven’t fallen apart, and we dominated the Equestria Games. Those six ponies are flying and interacting just fine, and two of them improved their stats. You didn’t even notice any funny business, did you?”

“Well, I… No. Nothing.”

She patted his back with her wing, which was still damp from the shower. “If things go south again, we’ll help whoever’s having a problem, just like we always do. The Wonderbolts take care of each other, remember?”

Soarin breathed in, filling his lungs to capacity with his worries, doubts, and a hefty whiff of her alluring scent. “Okay… Does this mean I can ask you out to dinner?”

Silence reigned again. Had he actually said that, out loud and everything? He looked away, but that hardly mattered. Her eyes stared back at him from countless angles, each reflection sending him a different signal.

“I don’t know,” she said, smiling and arching an eyebrow, “think two Wonderbolts like us can handle doing normal stuff like going out on a date?”

Soarin gulped and, after a moment of hesitation, lightly brushed her wing with his own and started to grin in spite of his own trepidation. “I've got no idea. Want to find out?”

Spitfire leaned against him, resting her chin on his shoulder and pressing their wings together. “Definitely.”

Author's Note:

Consider this image the epilogue

Thanks for reading!

Comments ( 10 )

Might want to make it clearer that that's a hyperlink in the author's note.

8723388
Good idea. I don’t know why link text behaves that way now...

It’s, it’s over all ready?
I would have been keen to see that date. I quite like that picture. Where it has ended you have maid work though.

Well, I would say this is a good solid soarinfire story. I like how you built on the episodes content.

This was a really good story :twilightsmile:

Did not go where I thought it would, and in a good way. Great job!

8741029
Whoops. Thanks for pointing that out!

8741083
I’m glad you enjoyed it :raritywink:

8741324 I was going to ask to see if I could talk you into writing more things with Spitfire (I haven't tried just asking anyone before, but figured it might work?), but then I saw that you were the author who wrote Idols :heart: So I think you're good!

Thanks for the fic, and for the pic! I'm sorry I took so long getting around to reading this.

That certainly wasn’t what I expected- especially with such short chapters- but props for really delving into what we’ve seen of the Bolts and what it means for the team.

Huh... this was... fantastic. Short and on-the-point chapters, great characterization, great tie-ins to the shows episodes, good conflict and resolution... generally well-rounded. Wow. For what this is, it's quite under-rated. This should definitely get more views.
It was a good story. A really good one.
Thank you! :twilightsmile:

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