• Published 1st Sep 2012
  • 5,101 Views, 106 Comments

"Loyalty" Begins With an L - shortskirtsandexplosions

Something is eating at Rainbow Dash, and she needs to find the right pony to share it with

  • ...


Rainbow Dash knocked on the library door. There was no response. She knocked again. Still, nothing. Eventually, she gave the door the tiniest of pushes. It swung loosely open as if on its own volition. Pensively, Rainbow stuck her head into the front atrium of the town library.


She gazed left and right. The place was well-lit, but nopony was home.


Silence hung over the books and shelves and dust of the place.

Rainbow Dash sighed. She trudged forward, squinting at a curious sight atop the central table. There was a picnic basket lying in the middle. She reached a hoof forward and pulled a checkerboard blanket aside. She smiled.

The basket was absolutely brimming with red, delicious apples.

Rainbow's stomach gurgled. She had almost entirely forgotten her appetite over the past thirty-six hours. Reaching in, she pulled a fruit out, rubbed it against her feathers, and admired the glistening shine. Before her, the reflection of a lavender unicorn grinned across the crimson skin.

"Rainbow! There you are!"

"Gah!" Rainbow Dash flinched, dropped the apple, juggled it, and eventually caught the fruit in a pair of outstretched wings. Exhaling sharply, she pivoted and gazed tiredly at her friend. "What is this? Sneak-Up-On-A-Pegasus Day?"

"Heeheehee... Hardly." Twilight held a hoof up. "Hold on just for one second." She turned and called out the door. "I found her, girls! She's here!"

"Well, alright!" Applejack could be seen beyond the doorframe outside. She stood in the middle of the street along with three other familiar mares. "Reckon it's about time she showed up!"

"Is she joining us for breakfast with the dew and aphids?!" Pinkie Pie bounced into view beside the farm filly.

"Goodness!" Rarity grimaced. "Pinkie, must you?"

"What?! What other insect has a sillier name than an aphid?"

"They get all over one's mane, though," Fluttershy said with a shudder.

"So we can make a game out of it!" Pinkie bounced. "Aphid Crisis in 3D!"

"Shhh!" Applejack hissed at the other three. "Land's sake!" She cleared her throat, then smiled towards the library entrance. "Twi? Is she coming?"

"You girls go on ahead! I'll talk to her." As the four trotted off, Twilight turned to smile at Rainbow Dash. "Rainbow—"

"Twilight, before you start." Rainbow Dash bit her lip, balancing the apple limply in her feathered grasp. Her limbs kneaded the wooden floorboards as she stood before Twilight like a prisoner in front of a firing squad. "I... I know that I haven't been around much, lately. And you're probably gonna go head over hooves in trying to talk me into attending the picnic. Well, the truth is... I wanna go to the picnic with you girls. But... But there's..."

Rainbow Dash winced, avoided Twilight's gaze, and fumbled for words.

"There's been something I've been meaning to tell you... all of you. And, like, I guess I'm a little scared to. And there really isn't much in this world that scares me. But this does. It scares me, because I know that things will... will change. I mean, they'll be different—or maybe just feel different after I... after I just come out and say it. And I don't want to freak you all out and yet I owe you all enough to just be upfront about it and—"

"I love you too, Rainbow Dash," Twilight said.

Rainbow Dash froze, her eyes locked on Twilight Sparkle. Her irises shrunk and her lips parted. "...Buh?"

"Heeheehee," Twilight giggled pleasantly. "It's okay, Rainbow Dash."

"It... It is...?"

"We're your friends," Twilight said. "And we all love you dearly. We know how hard it is for you to express your feelings, on account of how 'sappy' it is to do so."

Rainbow Dash blinked. If it was possible for her face to pale and blush all at once, it would have, and most likely did right there. "Ahhh... Ohhh... Heh... Heheheh..." She exhaled sharply, running a hoof through her mane. "Oh, Twilight. That... That's... What you meant—I mean, what I meant—"

"You don't have to say anymore," Twilight waved her hoof.

"No, really." Rainbow Dash gulped and hoarsely stammered, "I think that—"

"Rarity and Fluttershy told us all about how distant you've been acting lately, as if you were stressed over work or something. It doesn't take an apprentice of Princess Celestia to tell when a lot of stuff is weighing on you, Rainbow Dash. But, at the same time, I and your other friends know how you like to keep stuff to yourself."

"Er... Yeah..." Rainbow Dash bit her lip. "I do that all the time, don't I?"

"But Rainbow Dash..." Twilight smiled up at her. "You should know by now that we love you no matter what. And if ever one of these days you would like to do something different—something brave, for you that is—heehee—and share stuff with us. Well, we're here for you, Rainbow Dash. And we'd never leave your side. Not ever."

Rainbow stared steadily at her, her eyes soft but imploring. "Really, Twilight?" She swallowed dryly. "Would you really be okay with anything? No matter what?"

"That's the thing about loyalty, Rainbow Dash." Twilight leaned in and whispered playfully, as if it was a secret. "It's infectious," she said with a wink. "We're all much closer, much more secure ponies thanks to you." She leaned back. "After all, you're the reason we ever got together in the first place, what with the sonic rainboom and all."

"Huh... Yeah..." Rainbow Dash's wings flexed. "Yeah, I guess that's true, isn't it?"

"That kind of a bond is meant to be. I don't know where'd we all be without you. And—you know—if you would like to sit out this picnic and have some peace to yourself, that's okay. I won't be hurt by it. Really. But do forgive us if we bug you from time to time, Rainbow Dash, even when you're doing stuff alone. Cuz we just can't get enough of you, and I doubt we ever will."

Rainbow Dash exhaled, gazing down towards the floor with red cheeks.


Rainbow Dash glanced up, curious.

Twilight Sparkle was still smiling. "You said there was something you wanted to tell me?"

"Uhm..." Rainbow Dash took a nervous breath, the rosiness leaving her face. "Yeah. Uhm... I... I wanted to tell you... I wanted t-to tell all of you..."

"Hmmm?" Twilight stared, grinning innocently, her eyes fluttering.

Rainbow Dash's mouth hung open. Her eyes watered slightly, but she hid it with the glint of her smiling teeth as she eventually said, "I wanted to tell you that you are all the b-best friends that I could ever have." She took a deep breath as if coming out of a dive and added, “Cuz I’ve got some good news to share with the whole gang, but I want to wait until we’re all together. So, uhm, I would like...” She fidgeted, then blurted, “I would absolutely love to have this picnic with you guys. Today more than ever.”

"'Love,' huh?" Twilight chuckled, lifted the basket of apples with her magic, and hoisted it onto her backside. "That's a new word for you, Rainbow."

Rainbow nodded slowly. "Not new. Just different."

"Well, if you wanna practice saying it, why not do it with the bunch of us? Any occasion is the best occasion for good news!" She trotted happily out into the sunlight, motioning for Rainbow to follow her. "Come along, Rainbow Dash! It's a beautiful day!"

Rainbow Dash stood behind for a few seconds, exhaling as if having finished a ten million mile flight. She gazed at the apple in her winged grip. She tossed it into her hoof, raised it to her lips, and took a bite. She tasted the morsel in her mouth. It wasn't any more or less sweet than she remembered the fruit. If anything, it tasted different, and she couldn't remember a time in her life when she was so terrified and excited all at once.

"It most certainly is," Rainbow Dash said. She quietly came out of the library and closed the door behind her.

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Comments ( 57 )

Is this L-day?

I would assume so. We're getting a new Skirts fic every 10 minutes.


Today has been a good day for FiMFiction.

well alright then.

Let the L-day commence!
Uhhh... I mean continue.

1195843 No offense, but please stop. Right now I've got three different conversations on THREE different websites, and I'm trying to read:raritydespair:. If you really wanna talk, shoot me a PM and I'll talk later!

To sleep or not to sleep?

Edit: The fic will still be here in the morning.
2nd Edit: SS&E, why must you give me all these feels?

Consard It, I haven't even got to halfway with the first one.

I still can't read fast enough!

1195839 I'm not favouriting them until I read them and to be honest only half have seemed interesting. I got other shit to read too you know.

Oh, I'm doing the same. I only favorite after reading. And I plan on reading all of them this weekend.

But there are so many that you figure a couple will make feature box.



Well now, for something so cliche as "Rainbow Dash comes out of the closet" this one was really well done.
No great surprises or epiphanies though, the roles and how the whole thing played out was quite traditional.

Tough stuff.

This is the first time I've read something with lots of Lyra and Bon-Bon, and I love the way you wrote them. While the fic is supposed to be about Rainbow Dash, I ended up wanting to read more about those two. Ha!

As far as input, the story did feel like it was dragging its feet through the first few chapters and the exchange with Zecora was anticlimactic compared to the conversation with Lyra and Bon-Bon. Zecora's piece could be nixed without affecting the flow of the story; alternatively, it could be moved to an earlier spot. Aren't unsolicited suggestions the best?

The characters' feelings really came through in the story, and I definitely laughed at the comedic elements. There's plenty here that can resonate with all types of readers, whether they've experienced a similar situation, or perhaps are just facing a point in life where they're wondering if there is more to it than fame and fans and sonic rainbooms.

You made me cry! You actually made me cry! i was so happy when I read this :"There's been something I've been meaning to tell you... all of you. And, like, I guess I'm a little scared to. And there really isn't much in this world that scares me. But this does. It scares me, because I know that things will... will change. I mean, they'll be different—or maybe just feel different after I... after I just come out and say it. And I don't want to freak you all out and yet I owe you all enough to just be upfront about it and—"

"I love you too, Rainbow Dash," Twilight said.

Rainbow Dash froze, her eyes locked on Twilight Sparkle. Her irises shrunk and her lips parted. "...Buh?"

"Heeheehee," Twilight giggled pleasantly. "It's okay, Rainbow Dash."

that i had to stop for like 5 minutes and fan my face like some old lad from Canterlot...-er, i mean...England? Anyway, , I got back and was finally sane enough to read this : "We're your friends," Twilight said. "And we all love you dearly. We know how hard it is for you to express your feelings, on account of how 'sappy' it is to do so."
"It... It is...?"
Needless, to say, i lost my sanity again for a while. Why must you mess wit my emotions so? Why must I ove your stories?
Actually, here's a serious thought: I'll be writing an MLP fanfic series soon and I really love your style of writing. I'd be honored if you would be my editor. Please, send me a message with your response. Rardless of your answer, I still love your writing! Keep it up!

Noooooo!!! I really want to see what happens, but at the same time I realize that that wasn't the point of this story, it was about Rainbow's coming to grips with herself and telling others. I do wish there was more though...

Man, Lemur Day is fantastic. You and your writing are fantastic!

I love the Lyra and Bon Bon parts, you write them extremely well.
Rainbow's parts were also great, it was easy to see how conflicted she was, and the time it took for her to realize everything would be alright was paced very well.
In other words: D'awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I gotta feel sorry for the owner of the lake house though, it sounds like there'd be quite a bit of cleaning up to do. :moustache:

Edit: I'm kinda surprised this doesn't have a sad tag next to it. It's got that bittersweet ring to it IMHO.

This was an excellent fic and a really good character study for RD the Lyra and Bonbon pieces were also very well done and having Zecora into the mix was just made it twenty percent cooler.
It's amazing how much you seem to have taken from Dash's "I hate being alone" line form an episode and manage to bring this out.

I though this story will lead Rainbow Dash longing to a stallion and want to make over herself to be more like a 'lady'. But, as the story progress it feel more and more like other "lesbo" problem solving aaaandd it ended not like I was expecting :rainbowderp: so bravo!!!:rainbowlaugh:

Oh, this story was fantastic. I am glad I read it despite its lack of a Romance tag. The only thing I'm unhappy about right now in regards to this story, is that I've already read it, so I can't read it again. The way Rainbow was written, the unsympatheticness in the way she acted towards others while being burdened with her thoughts was so very good. I wish there were more stories like this.


Why does this not have more likes? IT MUST HAVE MOAR:pinkiecrazy:

Lemurs stole my feels and my times.
Why? Why must be so much at once?

“Loyalty" begins with an L. :rainbowdetermined2:
And so does “Love". :twilightsmile:
And so does “Lesbian". :rainbowhuh:
(And I'm not even counting “Lemur" :derpytongue2:)

That was excellent! Better than I expected going into it, even though I knew it was from you. It managed to be funny, emotional and heartwarming all at the same time. And I like how you never said or even hinted at which of Rainbow's friends she has a crush on (unless it actually is Twilight, in which case you did do a little hinting).

I especially loved how you poked fun at the League of Gentlecolts switcheroo there.

Awesome work here!

I really, honestly do not know how I feel about this story. A lot of what Dash was so concerned about is fairly up in the air. Sure, implications are made one way, but they can be taken to mean something else as well.

Still, as I said before, masterful writing as always, Skirts.

Spot on on the "worry and dread of coming out to your friends" front, ringing lots of bells for me.
having pretty much lived this story a longtime ago (but with guys) I really want to see the inevitable "I've got something I want to tell you all" announcement scene. I'm fairly sure friendship will , as ever, be magic and hugs and emotions will be had and metaphorical weights will be lifted off shoulders.

Is there a follow on from this?

loved Lyra and BonBon in this, also Zecora, she doesn't get enough just hanging out with friends time, also the lake house running gag.

edit: 11 people didn't like this, seriously? why?
Not every rainbow story has to end with 2 mares waking up in bed together.
Coming out sucks until you actually do it, even if everyone else seems to know already, this story gets that feeling pretty much 120% perfect. not sure this could be better written.


edit: 11 people didn't like this, seriously? why?

I'm fairly certain a number of people decided to down-thumb all of Skirts's fics after he published 7 right in a row.
Some people...

Unexpected direction.
But well-executed.
As always, a drunken, cider-addled cheers to you!

Oh man, this one was good...

This little piece deals with the topic of Rainbow going out of the closet way better than most of the shipfics I've read (I think there is only like... 1 or 2 that took such an approach at explaining the feelings of a character and doing it so well). I loved the way you wrote Dash and how all her little outburst start making sense the more you keep reading.

I also loved how focused the story was in Rainbow's self discovery journey (so focused on it that we don't even get to see the destination, not like it matters though :raritywink: ), I'm kind of surprised to not see posts discussing which one of the mane 6 is the very special somepony. XD (though we all know it's Fluttershy)

If I had something to criticize, it would be how odd is that "i love you too" line... Giving the context wouldn't a simple "I love you" work better? :rainbowhuh:

But anyways, this fic made me feel (for rainbow and her friends), made me think (nothing related to the fic though, just my imagination going to places because I never read the tags before diving into a story :derpytongue2: ), it was a (relatively) short yet satisfying journey.

ps: What happens in the lake house, stays in the lake house. :pinkiecrazy:

Enjoying this story. It is lovely and uplifting.
However, I do wish it had ambiguously downplayed the sexuality issue.
Loyalty, loneliness and love are truly universal themes. Struggling against the barriers of personal identity / self image, while pursuing a desire for something deeper than friendship, regardless of with who, really feel more poignant than issues of sexual orientation. It's not like it was necessary specifically to illustrate any of these points of conflict.

Also, pretty sure she used the word "love" before... About reading...

Fantastic, one of those stories that I wish went on forever...

Dangit, we never find out about the lake house...

You're amazing, Skirts. You really are. What a way to flesh out an all-too-common cliche and turn it into something masterful, beautiful, entertaining, touching, and even changing.

Loved it. Loved every word of it, with all of my black, tarry heart.

You know, this really is the kind of story I'd love to read several times. I think I just might print it out and bring it on my mission. Remember that hypothetical conversation?

"Hey, Elder [CENSORED], what's that one about?"

"A gay horse."


Time for a little more ego-stroking :P

Everything about this story worked beautifully in my opinion: The characters were spot-on, the interactions explored the issues that Dash was facing in a believable way and the pacing of the story was just... amazing. I've read so many fics where if romance is involved at all, there will be a big reveal and then one straight character will suddenly just be like "Yeah, it's love so gender doesn't matter". You actually did the realisation justice, and for that alone this story is commendable.

On top of that you had your usual sense of humour and web of references that are worth a chuckle each for those who can find them :pinkiehappy:

So yeah, it was a really enjoyable story about RD coming to terms with herself and overcoming her fear of being rejected for what/who she is.

I will admit, this started out a little bit on the slow side, but after Dash's conversation with Lyra and Bon Bon, it certainly picked up. It was very slice of life-y indeed. It's these short, sweet, and relatively simple fics that always find that special spot in my heart.

I had really looked forwards to Rainbow confessing to her friends, and the resulting reactions, but the way you did the ending was beautiful, too. It really wasn't necessary to show the rest--we know the cast, and we know that they will accept Rainbow.

Now how the confession of Twilove will work out, I don't know... but my headcanon says it does. :twilightsmile::rainbowkiss:

The only problem is, as a picnic with her close friends looms over the horizon, she's at a loss to find a pony she can comfortably share her thoughts with.

Oh... Nothing needs to be said.
Anyways, I'm gonna read this now.

You are a genius.

Im not completely satisfied cuz theres no closure
But its a fantastic story about love and acceptance

1748409 how do you know it's Twilove?

2379783 Because of how the conversation of the last chapter went. I thought it was a bit suggestive. Of course, I could be imposing my love of the pairing on a story that wasn't intentionally pointing towards anypony in particular, or the same logic could point towards Fluttershy or Rarity. But I think Twilight stood out more.

But in any case, that's how I justify my interpretation of it.

Oh wow! This fic was so touching. Ugh, you dont know it, but you just garroted the awful bits of my childhood -in a good way. One of the few fics to ever do that, and i think a couple of your other stories make up a good portion of that list. You should know that you have earned a definite place among my...eh.. three favorite authors pony or otherwise!:heart: seriously, gj. Your fics are so, so human and they are so important to people.:raritydespair: oh, the tears are coming. I suppose all i really had to say is wow.

I re-read this fic all the time, it just resonates with me.

You stole my free time. Thank you.

Another well written story that was completely sweet and sappy. :pinkiehappy: Thanks shortskirtsandexplosions!

Ha, you are so silly, Twilight. Everyday is a beautiful day!

So wait who is Rainbow crushing on? Fluttershy? Or sompony else? AND WHAT THE BUCK IS WITH ALL THE CLIFFHANGERS? DO YOU HATE ME?!!!!!!??????!!!!!!!!!!:twilightangry2::flutterrage:

For ten minutes now, I have been trying to find the right words to describe this with.
I still can't.
But it is beautiful.
You have written another masterpiece.:applecry:

3971668 Most likely Twilight.

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