• Published 23rd Oct 2019
  • 2,416 Views, 58 Comments

Wings Above my Winds - overlord-flinx

After taking up an otherwise routine charity job for the orphanage, Spitfire has to wrestle with unexpected emotions.

  • ...

Day 1 (Afternoon): How the Other-Half Lives

Between the few lingering bits of paperwork that needed to be signed to let this endeavor be officiated—all formality at that point—the soft morning air had crested over the horizon to let the billow of the afternoon's warmth to fill the dales of the city limits. A semblance of relief came as a conciliation with the loss of time, however. In quick order, Spitfire had lost the promised buffer she came with due to vehicular negligence—and she was kicking herself all the way through her finalizing of the paperwork that she hadn't rehearsed what she would say to her newly taken charge. Thankfully, Soarin had since more than made up for his soft abandonment to his captain's plight by occupying Scootaloo with playful chatter as they moved her bags into the car.

Soarin had always been the best of them when it came to those things: connecting with anyone off the bat. Children, fans, flirty party-goers, even critics couldn't help but cave at his goofy charisma and blissful aura. Some would go as far as to say it was his most valuable asset, and Spitfire would be hard pressed to disagree. Even on the ride back into town, amidst the city streets and bustling neighborhoods, Soarin continued to have the child well engaged in this-and-that.

"Nah-uh!" She would cry with barely restrained glee.

"I'm tellin' ya," he'd protest with his usual chilled candor.

"No way!" Flopping back in her chair with incredulity; it just couldn't be!

"Swear to god," proudly he'd beat his palm against the top of the wheel; he'd not lie about this.

He dominated the conversation to the point Spitfire didn't even need to do more than sneak in a few loose chuckles as she remembered the very stories Soarin protested were true. They were. Sans a few embellished details that conveniently put him in less of an embarrassing position than she so keenly remembered. Though he was helping her compose herself, so there was no reason to point out who went in the trashcan and who ended up in the recycling. As Spitfire recalled, it didn't matter either way—they both took a long shower that night.

One story rolled into the other, and each childish question fed into the next outlandish answer. Not a moment of dead air could be found in the van from the estate of Mrs. Grace to the labyrinthine roads of Spitfire's own neighborhood. Upon entry into the somewhat lavish neighborhood, Scootaloo's attention had somewhat simmered from Soarin's flights of fancy to that of the grandiose homes that lined the road. Hedge-fences as tall as a home, mansions with movie-star verandas on the second floor, pools built into the ground rather than being a steel tub out in someone's backyard, and one or two homes she could have sworn were the settings of "Real Housewives of Ponyheights". Each new sight was more opulent than the last—more snobby and in turn more exciting for the young girl.

It came to a head when she felt the van make a rolling stop into one particular driveway. From her backseat window she stumbled away from so she could look out the front to see where it was she was staying for the next week. Opulence, grandeur, a snobbish aura... This home lacked any of those traits. Yet, Scootaloo found herself awed by it all the more. Sandwiched between two glorious mansions, the sleek black ranch house seemed quaint and cozy. Perhaps the only point of wealth to it beyond its modern shell was the garage dug out beneath the house with a secondary driveway that fed into the small street. But maybe when one lives among the rich, you are expected to have some sort of fancy addition to your house lest the neighbors start talking about your wealth at their next money bath. Or at least that's what ran through Scootaloo's mind.

"Aaaaaaaand—!" Soarin let the last bag slump from his arms into the waiting arms of his little partner, "Go!"

Scootaloo spun at her heels and down the thin strip of a walkway to the still open door of the home. Eager was too menial a word for what the little lass displayed from the first bag to the last; she kept her energy well beyond the point she beat Soarin running to and from the home. He had hoped to have tired her out to make the rest of the night that much easier on Spitfire, but the vim of youth was something he seemingly forgot. Even so, he still had enough pep to spin on his own heels to meet his captain as she shut the van door.

"And now we got one last thing to get in the house!" Playfully prodding at Spitfire, he brought her to swat at him with a mixed expression of joy and annoyance, "But uh... You need me to stay at all? Y'know, help you out?"

Spitfire could clock the man's concern a mile away even on the worst of days. Even as she batted the pesky crumbs freshly caught to her suit, she managed an easy turn to her lips. "I got it from here, Soarin. Thank you. Really," Spitfire had many ways she showed appreciation, and this time she she favored for a tight hug at his side, "I know you've got a lot better things to do Saturday—"

"I don't."

"—And I'm glad you drove me and helped me with this," Spitfire managed her last words amidst a laugh.

"Well, alright. But if anything comes up, just give me a ring," Soarin fired off a salute that Spitfire met as he slipped into his van to pull out.

As red rear lights faded away down the suburb roads of the late afternoon, Spitfire tucked her hand listlessly into her pockets. Buffer used well, and now it's just you. Even in the small hours of the afternoon, Spitfire could feel a sort of exhaustion slump over her. Or perhaps it was just anticipation for the next few days. Just her and the child—Scootaloo. A promise of 'the best week of her life' already made to set the bar pretty far up.

That's why we rehearse. Spitfire chastised herself; it was something she told her troupe day after day, and especially after a bad outing. But here she was, making rookie mistakes out in the field with no net to catch her. The walk towards the house seemed a bit longer than usual, but it only meant she had the much more time to hype herself up. She placed the bar high, so that meant only that she would have to excel that much more. A great week is what she promised... And a perfect week is exactly what Scootaloo would get.

The easiest way to a kid's heart is through the deconstruction of predicted norms. Replace what one is conditioned through social and media expectations with subversive activities. -Professor Twilight Sparkle on Behavioral Studies and Social Musings.

While Rainbow Dash herself suggested the book, one had to wonder if she read it herself. The wording was a bit too chunky for someone like Dash. Still, Spitfire found some merit to it, even if she could have surmised "kids like doing things they're told not to" from her own experiences. Still, this was going to be a long week, so a little suggestion here or there wasn't something she'd rebuff.

The island within the sparse kitchen was playing host to a familiar situation: its master squared up on it by her shoulders, bowl of loops set out before her. Now, however, there was another face occupying its other end; a small, slip of a girl looking over her own bowl of chocolate flakes adrift in milk—which had gradually started to take on the shade of the drifting flakes. Spitfire popped a scoop of her brunch between her lips with a sizable crunch as she watched her charge for any sort of reaction.

"Not a Nightmare Crisp gal?" Puffed up cheeks full of cereal nearly lost their prize as Spitfire addressed her guest.

At a wince, Scootaloo quickly began to scarf down her chocolaty treat as if she realized she may have looked ungrateful. The small girl lifted the bowl up and took a slurp of the turned-milk just enough to stop herself from choking. "S-Sorry, yeah. No, it's great!" Scootaloo blurted out, "Just didn't expect breakfast for lunch."

"Sorry about that, kid," Spitfire's brows furrowed a bit, though her genuine smile held through after swallowing her meal, "time got away from me for the past..." Day? Had that interview. Few days? Was out of town on business. Week? It's been a week since I could go to the store? "Well, the past while. So, haven't really had time to fill the old kitchen up."

It was something Scootaloo had noticed when she first moved her bags into what she was told was the 'entertainment room'. The inside was something right out of a magazine. Top of the line technology, sleek, modern furniture, and dimmer switches on every light. But, that was the thing: it looked too much like a magazine and not like someone lived there. No mess at the front door, no fruit left out on the counter to get mushy, even the leather couches didn't have someone's butt print indented in. The house felt almost unlived-in; at least on the first floor.

"Buuuut," the atmosphere shifted and Scootaloo's attention was brought back to Spitfire's cheerful, cereal munching expression, "I thought it'd be a fun thing to do tomorrow. You and me shopping to fill this place up with stuff you'd like to munch on. 'Less you feel like eating cereal and power-bars all week."

A snort of a laugh from herself broke Scootaloo of her thoughts. "Breakfast for dinner does sound pretty sweet...! But maybe we should get some other stuff too."

"Breakfast for dinner sounds awesome, but not cereal. Play your cards right, and I'll make you some pancakes," Spitfire encouraged Scootaloo all the while she began to clean up her end of the kitchen.

Pancake brinner made by the captain of the Wonderbolts? Now that was something to be excited about.

Where do people normally shop for food?

My day's going great, and you? xP

Don't be cute.
I need help.

I'm not cute.
I'm scrappy.

You're a regular Little Rascal.

Okay Grandma.

I just lied to the kid and said I planned for us not having food here so we could go shopping for stuff she wants

Nice save.

But I usually have my stuff delivered here.

Fancy-fancy =3

Can you give me help other than smart remarks?

There's the public market south-side.
They sell it all there.


The blip of a final message echoed before Spitfire looked around the stairway corner she had ducked into. Sure enough, Scootaloo was lounging in the entertainment room, bowl of what was likely just soupy chocolate at this point balanced on her crossed legs. Breakfast for lunch is cool, certainly. But breakfast for lunch while eating on the couch and watching TV? That's a chain of taboos one rarely gets to indulge in. It was that tantalizing prospect that Spitfire used to distract the girl as she slipped away to handle herself.

The dim glow of the phone's screen against her face finally clicked off before a witty follow-up could come, and Spitfire sauntered herself over to Scootaloo's perch. While the other Wonderbolts insisted for her to get the biggest of screens for her entertainment center, Spitfire couldn't recall the last time she actually used it. For that matter, she couldn't recall what service she had: cable, satellite? Given that some show centered around people running through some obstacle course was playing, Scootaloo must have figured it out regardless.

A moment passed into the next while Spitfire looked down at Scootaloo from behind her. This whole opportunity is two-fold: to generate good press, and to enrich the child's life. Nothing would make her happier than to end this week with Scootaloo on track for a life of success and optimism that she could pass on to everyone around her. A wealth of change and hope could start here... But that wasn't what mattered, in truth. That was a greater goal; something amorphous to reach for. What did matter more than anything was just sitting watching TV.

"Were you in a band?" Spitfire wavered from her thoughts as Scootaloo spoke.

"Random question," Spitfire snickered, "Why?"

For the longest time, Scootaloo had continued to note the odd atmosphere of the home. The picturesqueness of it, how clean it was, but there were a few notable additions that marked it as something not just in a magazine. Namely pictures framed on walls and atop tables. While she did turn the TV to watch the latest of her 'favorite series' (after of course downloading a few streaming services that Spitfire clearly didn't think to have), Scootaloo's wandering eye couldn't help studying a few of the picture frames around the room. Some she recognized as news-clippings of Wonderbolt articles meticulously preserved, and others she saw assorted Wonderbolts posing together, alone, or with Spitfire. But one in particular seemed to be the most out of place. That one she pointed towards when Spitfire raised her rebuttal.

"Oh!" Spitfire followed the gesture and spotted the picture just beside the television.

Working around the couch and striding over to meet the point of interest, Spitfire plucked the small frame from its shelf. Careful not to smudge the glass, she took the briefest moment to admire the picture within. The reflection of her own face contrasted with the youthful one laughing back at her, though it only sprouted a greater smile in response. Clear as a summer's day was the memory of that day; of careless teens piling up far too close with little care for the instruments they carried. A keyboard pressed to the point it was liable to break, drum sticks poking into someone's side, and most notably a guitar having someone's hand thoughtlessly pressing hard at the neck and straining the strings.

"I've had this since I was just a few years older than you," Spitfire spoke up while walking to settle herself next to Scootaloo, offering her a closer look as well, "It was taken on the last night of this 'Battle of the Bands' thing. Would've won, too."


"Yeah," Spitfire nestled in closer unconsciously and brushed her thumb across the picture to one of the supposed band members—a girl with stark-silver hair and eyes aflame with what must have been annoyance, "Before the results, our lead vocalist skipped town."

Scootaloo lingered on the vocalist for a moment as a face she remembered but couldn't recall, her head brushing back to rest against the warmth of her caretaker. Before long, her attention diverted back to the young vision of Spitfire herself with a growing look of incredulity. "Wait... You were a guitarist?"

"Were? I still am!" A playful push came to Scootaloo's side, making her giggle in her retreat, "Don't believe me? You watch. I'll get you up tomorrow with the wildest solo you've ever heard."

With that promise, Spitfire kicked herself off the couch and ruffled Scootaloo's head; leaving a mess of the girl's already somewhat matted hair. Carefully she returned the framed picture to its dust marked place upon the shelf. Her fingers lingered against the frame for a moment, a brief air of nostalgia dancing over her from a more wild time. A time of silly songs, pointless squabbles, and a touch of young love. Maybe she'd call one of her 'sisters' up; it had been awhile since they recounted the good old days. She couldn't help herself from smiling a most genuine smile. It was such a simple way for it to come about, yet she struggled to remember the last time she really felt it.

Still, she had to bring herself back to reality. Promising to wake a child up in the wee hours of the morning with guitar music? That wouldn't do at all. Not only would the neighbors have a field day writing all kinds of noise complaints about it, but that couldn't be good form when setting an example. This week has to be calculated, informative, and above all else a good example. She had to remind herself of that at every turn. To keep Scootaloo's best interest in mind.

Upon returning to the waking world from her deep thought, she could hear the growing laughter of Scootaloo just behind her. It was only a glance needed to see the small girl matching the same genuine smile Spitfire had but a moment before; a turn to the face she had not seen since they first met.

Well... Just for tomorrow we can do it that way.