• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,221 Views, 969 Comments

Little Consequences - Skijarama

Princess Rainbow Dash and her friends have found themselves in the newly restored Crystal Empire, and now struggle against the forces of Queen Chrysalis and the enigmatic King Sombra in an effort to reclaim Canterlot and save Equestria.

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"The Rainbow I Love..."

“So Thorax has gone, huh?” Rainbow asked in a monotone, sitting in the bedroom’s single cushioned chair while Fluttershy, Wind Whisper, and Rarity stood before her. Twilight was by her side, her expression thoughtful.

“Yes,” Fluttershy nodded along in a soft voice, glancing down at the filly by her side. “We saw him and his brother off.”

“Oh, so they made up?” Rarity asked with a raised eyebrow, looking in Fluttershy’s direction. “Well, color me surprised. I know it’d take a lot longer for me to-”

“Thorax isn’t you,” Rainbow cut her off sharply, causing everypony in the room to go quiet. They all looked on and watched the still clearly distraught pegasus in concern. Rarity held a grimace on her face while looking away, and Fluttershy had a hoof on her chest. Wind, for her part, shrunk back from the edge in the pegasus’ voice, cowering closer to Fluttershy. Rainbow quickly noticed the negative response to her outburst and gave a quiet sigh. “Sorry… uncalled for...” she mumbled, her face falling.

“It’s… quite alright, darling,” Rarity reassured her, although her words came out unsure and reluctant. “You’re still upset, I would wager, and with very understandable reasons. You have every right to be upset...”

Rainbow nodded and closed her eyes.

Twilight glanced sideways at her with a worried frown on her face. She then left her side to step up to Wind Whisper and kneel down. Wind, who had been silent since getting there, looked up with tired, puffy eyes, indicating her recent emotional meltdowns. Twilight just smiled softly in an effort to ease her fear. “Don’t worry, Wind. Thorax is going to be meeting up with some of the best soldiers Equestria has to offer. He’ll be fine.”

Wind’s mood didn’t brighten very much, but she still managed to nod in understanding while offering the tiniest of timid smiles. “I know…” she managed to say, her voice quiet and hoarse.

Fluttershy gave her a few comforting pats on the back of the head before looking up at Rainbow Dash. “So, uh… what are we going to do now?” she asked carefully, earning a dismissive shrug from Rainbow.

“Heck if I know. We’re pretty much out of options here… all we can do is wait and pray to Celestia that Thorax and his brother can get to Canterlot, save my folks and get the Elements back before Chrysalis gets here...” she said in a slow, near hopeless voice. Everypony present looked at one another in confusion and surprise at her remark. Twilight herself shot Rainbow an incredulous look, not sure if she was believing what she was hearing.

Rarity cleared her throat. “Oh, uh, ahem… begging your pardon, Dash, but…” she swallowed heavily and wore a crooked, hopeful smile. “Isn’t there something we can do? Anything? Twilight and Starlight made that barrier, didn’t they? That would buy us some time, would it not?”

Rainbow scoffed and shook her head. “You mean the barrier that could kill them if they sustain it for too long? The barrier that Chrysalis could just punch clean through with all of that power she stole from Canterlot?” she countered, sagging even further. “It’d be a waste of time and energy… we‘re stuck.”

That was the last straw. Twilight very loudly cleared her throat, turned and leveled a hard, displeased glare at the cyan mare. Without looking away, she spoke to the rest of the ponies in the room. “Rarity, Fluttershy, Wind… could you leave Rainbow and I alone for a little while? I need to talk to her in private,” her voice came out in a harsh growl, making it perfectly clear to the rest that there wasn’t any room to argue with her. Again the others looked amongst one another, this time with anxiety and fear. Slowly, the lot retreated out through the door. Twilight could overhear Wind asking Fluttershy if they could go find Spike, and the pegasus in question giving a nod in the affirmative. While they cantered away, though, Rarity was loitering in the door frame to stare hard at something else in the corner of the room.

Twilight showed her teeth. “Rarity?”

The pearly unicorn let out an ‘eep’ before her horn lit up and pulled something off of the floor with telekinesis. She pressed the object close to her side, flashed Twilight an enormous, apologetic grin and fled from the room at a brisk gallop, closing the door behind her with a flick of magic. An oppressive silence fell over the room, and Twilight turned her attention fully to Rainbow Dash, who had opened her eyes and now looked on at Twilight with curiosity and uncertainty. “...Twilight?”

“Be quiet,” Twilight snapped before she could stop herself, her words like a sharp knife to Rainbow’s ears. She immediately flinched back as if she had been struck, her ears folding and her forelegs curling up over her chest.

“T-twilight?” she stuttered out, her voice trembling with fear.

Twilight did not deign to silence her again. Instead, she chose to strut forward until she was right in Rainbow Dash’s face, her eyes burning with severe malcontent. Rainbow, in return, cowered back into the seat with her eyes wide open and her whole body trembling at the sight of Twilight’s irate gaze. The two were locked like this for several seconds, and Rainbow’s shaking only ever got worse. Then, with a grunt, Twilight quickly leaned down and clamped her teeth down on Rainbow’s ear, eliciting a loud and high-pitched squeak of pain from her.

Rainbow, understandably, began to vocalize in protest with yelps and grunts of pain, especially when Twilight began pulling on that ear to drag her across the room. “O-ow! Twi! Stop! Lemme go!” she wailed, helpless to do anything but squirm under the power of Twilight’s teeth.

Then Twilight shoved her down, hard, and she landed on her back on the bed with the purple mare climbing up after her to pin her down by her hooves. “Lay down, shut up and listen,” she snarled aggressively, pressing her nose against Rainbow’s. Rainbow gave a few shaky nods to confirm that she was doing as she was told, prompting Twilight to continue. “Don’t speak for me again, Rainbow,” she warned, jabbing a hoof into her chest.

Rainbow winced, her ears folding back even more. “Twi… I… I’m-”

“Don’t say you’re sorry,” Twilight cut her off with another jab. “And never,” another jab, “ever say that there’s nothing we can do. Do you hear me? Those are the words of somepony who has given up! We don’t give up, Rainbow! Never! Never give up hope!”

Rainbow shrank back as far as she could go, screwing her eyes shut and shivering horribly. Several seconds passed them by, silent save for Twilight’s heavier than normal breathing and Rainbow’s futile attempts to contain her sobs. She was about to fully break down when she felt Twilight very lightly lay down against her, the warm fur pressing onto her chest and somehow easing her pain. She felt Twilight’s breath on her chin and throat, the gentle tingles making her shivers die down, if only slightly. Rainbow opened her eyes to see that the mare who had been towering above her in a quiet rage was now resting her head on her chest, looking up into her eyes even as her ears listened to her heart.

“...Rainbow Dash… what happened to you?” Twilight finally asked in a quiet whisper. Before Rainbow could answer, though, Twilight elaborated. “I mean, I know that you’ve been through a lot of horrible stuff recently, and a lot of it probably did irreparable damage…” her hooves, which had coiled themselves around Rainbow’s shoulders, drew tighter together, and a tiny shiver worked its way through her. “But… saying there’s nothing we can do? The hopelessness in your voice…” she lifted her head slightly to look at Rainbow more directly. “That’s not you. That is not the Rainbow Dash that I fell in love with.”

Rainbow’s eyes widened and began to glisten with fresh tears. Twilight very gently sighed while reaching a hoof up to wipe them away. When Rainbow shied back from her touch, Twilight’s expression decayed even more with worry and sorrow. She drew her hoof back to rest it on Rainbow’s chest. “What happened to all of your confidence? Your bravado? Your cocky attitude? What happened to the Rainbow Dash who would call herself awesome, who would do amazing aerial stunts just on a whim to awe a crowd of unsuspecting pedestrians? Where is the Rainbow Dash who fearlessly kicked a dragon in the nose to try and make him take a nap somewhere else?”

Rainbow managed to get a tiny smile on her face at that memory. “We said we wouldn’t t-talk about that…”

Twilight rested her head on Rainbow’s chest again. This time, she felt Rainbow wrap her forelegs around her to return the hug. She managed a smile of her own at the contact before continuing. “Dash… I know that you’re hurting. We’ve had to watch you crumble under the pressure, and it’s been horrible on all of us. Me especially…” her hug tightened, and a tremor began to work it’s way into her voice. “But you shouldn’t let all of that turn you into… into this… I don’t want to remember the mare I love as somepony who quit.”

Rainbow closed her eyes in thought, just basking in Twilight’s embrace. When she did speak, the all-too-recognizable edge of guilt and regret had worked its way back into her voice. “Twilight… I hit you in the face and tried to hurt an innocent mare without any provocation… I sold out an entire empire of ponies who were counting on me…”

Twilight nodded. “You did do those things… I’m not going to tell you that you didn’t mess things up here and there,” she replied before a quiet sob escaped her. “But Rainbow Dash, the Rainbow Dash, the one that I grew up with would never give up. She would never hinge her life, or the lives of her friends, on somepony else… she would take her fate into her own hooves, and she would win.

“Times change, Twilight…” Rainbow pointed out quietly, giving her a reassuring squeeze. “We’re living proof of that… Ponies change, too. We don’t stay the same forever.”

Twilight suddenly sat upright and placed both of her hooves on Rainbow’s chest, looking into her eyes in disbelief while pushing her down some more. “No! N-not like this. Not e-ever like this!” she exclaimed loudly, tears starting to leak out of the corners of her eyes. “We don’t quit when we fail! If we make mistakes, we’re supposed to learn from them and make things right! You taught me that!”

Rainbow blinked in surprise and confusion, shifting slightly to be a bit more comfortable under Twilight’s weight. “I… I did?” she questioned, her brow creasing with thought. “When?”

Twilight closed her eyes and thought back on the memory. “Do you remember the first time Fluttershy visited you in Canterlot?” she whispered, thinking back on that time herself.

Rainbow’s face scrunched up as she thought back for a moment. “Yeah, yeah I remember… what about it?”

“I had my first flash when I met her,” Twilight continued, opening her eyes to look down at Rainbow again. “And do you remember what happened afterward? What I did?”


“I locked myself in my room with a tower of books, trying to figure out what it was I had seen. I ignored everything else but my studies with Celestia. I neglected Spike, and eventually… I snapped. I lashed out. I shouted at him, insulted him and drove him away…” Twilight recited, her face lowering with lingering regret. “He was so young… and I was the one that hatched him...”

“Yeah,” Rainbow nodded along quietly. “It wasn’t your best day, that’s for sure…”

Twilight managed to lift her gaze to Rainbow’s again before pushing her back down a little bit more with her hooves. “That’s the point! Rainbow, that was my mistake! I messed up, then! If I hadn’t apologized to him, or if I had waited for longer before I did, my relationship with Spike would have been permanently damaged. He would have been scared of me, or worse...” Twilight paused for a moment to let those words sink in. Then, a small smile appeared on her face. “Now, tell me Rainbow… who was it that made me apologize to him? Who was it who came kicking down my door to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that I messed up, and then told me to make amends for my actions?

Rainbow’s eyes widened with realization at Twilight’s words, her lip starting to tremble. “It… it was m-me…” she choked out with no power in her voice whatsoever. Her eyes wandered for a moment before Twilight leaned back down so their muzzles were mere inches apart.

“Yes, it was. You are the one who taught me to make up for my mistakes whenever I make them…” she said softly. Then an almost taunting smirk spread on her face. “So… do you still believe in that lesson? In making up for your mistakes? I know you believed in that when we went shooting off for Canterlot to rescue your family. But now I’m not so sure... Are you still the Rainbow Dash who taught me to rise above my failures? Are you still the Rainbow Dash that I fell in love with?”

Rainbow mouthed like a fish for several seconds, staring up at Twilight in shock, awe, and some degree of pure admiration. She eventually clamped her muzzle shut, swallowed the lump in her throat and found her voice. “Y-yes…” she managed to say, though it was a very weak admission. Twilight leaned a little closer, her smirk growing.

“You sure? That was an awfully weak answer…” she teased softly. Rainbow’s eyes narrowed at that, and she puffed up her chest in spite of Twilight pressing down on it.

“Yes! I am!”

Twilight grinned. “Okay. Prove it,” she taunted playfully. She had anticipated Rainbow’s next move, and leaned back before Rainbow could catch her lips with her own. She shook her head in exaggerated disapproval. “Ah ah ah, Rainbow. You don’t get to kiss me until you can prove to me that you’re still you. So get up,” she then hopped off of Rainbow’s chest and made a show of skipping across the room until she was in the very center of it. She shot Rainbow another teasing grin over her shoulder. “Get up and show me that you’re still the awesome mare that I know you are!”

Rainbow sat up, her face scrunching up in indignation. “Seriously? You’re doing this?” she complained in a deadpan before also hopping off of the bed. “You know I could just tackle you and kiss you anyway, right?” she pointed out while stalking closer.

Twilight put a hoof to her chin while letting out a cute gasp of mock-shock. “Oh my gosh! You’re right! I had never thought of that!” that ‘o’ her mouth was making morphed into another wicked grin. “But then you won’t have earned it, and you’ll just be proving that you’re needy and desperate.”

“Desperate?!” Rainbow squawked, her wings flaring open in alarm and indignation. “Wh-what in the hoof is that supposed to mean?!”

Twilight put a hoof on her chest, that insufferably smug look on her face never once abating. “Well, for one thing, you fell in love with a silly eggheaded nerd like me,” she pointed out before pointing at Rainbow Dash. “And here I thought you were only interested in what was cool. Am I wrong?”

“You are cool!” Rainbow countered, stepping forward, almost looking frightened by Twilight’s words. “You’re smart- you’re a genius, even! You can do math in your head in ten seconds that would take me ten minutes and a calculator to solve! You can shoot freakin’ laser beams out of your head, you yanked an entire city back into reality after it had been gone for over a thousand years, and then you were able to keep the guy who banished it from getting back in by forming a giant barrier around it! I could never do something like that!”

Twilight’s smile grew even wider. “This flattery, hoo, it’s refreshing,” she continued her taunting before she sent Rainbow a more severe look. “But you’re selling yourself short. You are, without question, the fastest pony alive when in the air. You can move at several times the speed of sound, create sonic booms that break the visible light spectrum, you are a master of meteorology by experience alone, you have some of the best vision I have ever heard of, you know more about Daring Do than I do, and above all, you are willing to go above and beyond to protect the ponies you care about.”

Rainbow’s posture slowly got more and more puffed up with pride as Twilight spoke. “Oh, you admit I know more about Daring Do? Awesome,” she gave a hoof a quick pump in the air. Then, however, she cocked her head to the side in confusion. “Wait… meteorology? Twilight, I don’t study space rocks.”

That got a loud, merry laugh out of the other mare, who smacked a hoof to her forehead in disbelief. “Oh my gosh!” she sputtered out between her uncontrollable giggles before looking back at Rainbow again. “Ugh, it means you’re great with the weather!”

“Oooooh,” Rainbow acknowledged in realization, ruffling her feathers somewhat. A tiny blush appeared on her face. “Uh, I knew that.”

“No, you didn’t.”

Rainbow scoffed and rolled her eyes. “Uh-huh. Whatever. Look, can we just-” she stopped mid-sentence, her slightly annoyed expression slowly turning into a wide-eyed look of thought. “Wait a minute… weather...” she mumbled before looking over at the window. “Weather…”

Twilight tilted her head in curiosity as she saw the look in Rainbow’s eyes. “Rainbow?” she called out, the teasing edge in her voice swiftly fading away. “What is it?”

Rainbow came up to the window before pushing it open to step out onto the balcony. A cold wind rushed over her as she did so, but it did nothing to hinder her. Her gaze was affixed on the snow just outside the borders of the Empire, studying the endless fields of and hills of white, frozen water. She saw some dark storm clouds floating over some mountains far, far in the distance, the world beneath them smothered in a haze of gray. And then, just like that, she knew what she could do. She whirled around to face Twilight, a fiery look of determination on her face. “Twilight, get everypony else and gather them in that room with the table. That’s our war room now!” she barked simply before turning to head for the door at a brisk and eager canter. “I need some stuff from the archives!”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Huh? Why? What’s going on?”

Rainbow stopped by the exit to the room and gave her a big, cocky grin. “You’re right; I have been apologizing too much. And there is something we can do!” she stated, before glaring out the window. “The changelings are coming for us, and I am not going to let them lay a hoof on any of you!”

“So you have a plan?”

“Yeah, I do.”

Twilight’s smile returned, and in the back of her mind, she felt an immense surge of relief that her pep-talk had had the desired effect. She sauntered forward until she was right in front of Rainbow Dash, who eyes her curiously. Then, after looking into her eyes for a moment, Twilight leaned forward and planted a passionate kiss on Rainbow’s lips. Rainbow hungrily returned the gesture, grateful to satisfy the itch that Twilight had so rudely denied to scratch for her earlier. When they came apart, slightly short of breath, Twilight’s eyes were sparkling.

That’s the Rainbow I love…"

Author's Note:

Fun Fact: This whole scene was entirely improvised, and was not initially planned. But it occurred to me that Rainbow Dash needed a pep-talk to get her butt in gear, and who better to give her that proverbial kick in the flank than Twilight Sparkle? Plus it gave me a chance to call back on a significant moment from all the way back in Little Glimpses to give this whole sequence some much-needed impact and respect for continuity.

Fun Fact 2: This story is now 40 chapters long - the same number of chapters that were in Little Glimpses when I marked it as complete. But despite a currently identical number of chapters, this story is significantly longer in terms of word-count.

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