• Published 22nd Dec 2011
  • 2,937 Views, 44 Comments

No Need for Rainbows - terrycloth

Rainbow Dash never did her sonic rainboom, and now Nightmare Moon has returned. Who will stop her?

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Chapter 1: Butterflies

Oh, yeah. This was the stuff. The speed, the adrenaline, the wind in her mane – Rainbow Dash had never felt such freedom in her life, and she liked it!

Until that jerk she was racing against cut a corner and slammed into her, knocking her off course. “Later Rainbow Crash!” he said, mocking her as she spun out of control.

She was able to recover, no problem, but she’d lost most of her momentum and he was way, way ahead of her. Worse, the course was coming into some tight turns, so even if she managed to catch up she’d just end up face planting into the ground.

Well, she’d burn that bridge when she came to it. The little blue filly set her gaze on her target, thrust her hoof out in front of her to split the air, and dove towards the next waypoint for all she was worth. Basketball butt slowed down for the corner, letting her return the favor and knock him aside, going faster than she’d ever flown – faster than she’d ever seen anypony fly. Way, way too fast to stop in time.

‘Fly faster,’ the wind seemed to whisper in her ears, ‘You’re unstoppable!’

The ground begged to differ, and for once she decided to listen to reason.

She was still desperately backpedaling her wings to try to slow down when she hit, bouncing and rolling across a grassy field until with a *splash* she landed in a shallow, muddy lake. “Ooooogh,” she said, pulling herself up and groaning, and looking in dismay at her waterlogged, mud-covered wings – even if she could ignore the dizziness and the soreness in every joint, it’d take, like, a million years of preening before she was flying anywhere fast.

The orange and brown pegasi she’d been racing against perched on a ring of cloud-stuff – the checkpoint that marked one end of the trail of destruction she’d plowed across the field – and laughed and laughed, then took off for the finish line without her. “See ya Rainbow CRASH!”

“Oh no, oh no! Are you okay?” asked a quiet voice.

Rainbow looked over in alarm – then relaxed when she recognized the yellow and pink Pegasus she’d supposedly been racing for. “Oh, it’s you. Sorry, Fluttershy. I guess I’m as big a loser as you are.” Something bugged her, though. “How’d you get down here so fast, anyway?”

“Um…” Fluttershy said, looking down and pawing at the ground with a forehoof. “I fell. When the race started, you kind of, um, knocked me off the cloud.”

“What?!” Rainbow said, eyes wide. “I didn’t see you fall! I would have gone back and caught you!”

“Oh, I know,” Fluttershy said, smiling. “You were busy with the race and everything. It’s okay, some butterflies saved me.”

She fluttered off the ground, and hovered over to help Rainbow out of the muddy bank and onto dry land.

Rainbow Dash shook her muddy wings, flapped them a few times to try to shake them clean, then tottered dizzily and collapsed onto her stomach. “I don’t feel so good,” she said, trying to force her eyes to focus.

“It’s okay,” Fluttershy said, lying down next to her and draping a wing over her back. Rainbow figured she must have been hallucinating, since she could have sworn that a squirrel and a songbird ran up to perch on Fluttershy’s back as she settled to the ground. “You just get some rest, and I’ll watch over you.” She gave the cutest little smile. “Let me be your butterfly.”

Of course that had been exactly the wrong advice to give somepony with a concussion, but Rainbow pulled through anyway, and Fluttershy even got her cutie mark out of it. Rainbow kind of got hers out of it too – a month later, when she and her new friend Gilda pranked the buck out of that basketball butt and the other bullies with a stolen storm cloud. It was *worth* getting kicked out of flight school just to see the look on his face.

…and that was all well and good, but why was she thinking about it *now*? Rainbow Dash tried to focus on the present. Crowd of terrified ponies, check. Evil Black Pony of Darkness gloating on the balcony, check. Fluttershy standing over her protectively after Rainbow got her flank handed to her trying to beat the location of the Princess out of this obviously evil interloper – yeah, okay. That was probably why her life was flashing before her eyes.

Was she a bad pony for being glad to see that the Royal Guard hadn’t fared any better, and now lay twitching near the edges of the room?

“Why, am I not royal enough for you?” said the night-dark alicorn, gloating at her victory. “Don’t you know who I am?” A terrified silence met her question. “Does my crown no longer count now that I’ve been imprisoned in the moon for 1000 years? Did you not recall the legends? Did you not see the signs?”

No pony responded.

“I am Nightmare Moon, you sun-loving foals!” That was a name everypony recognized, and screams of terror and dismay washed through the crowd. “And from this moment forth –“

Her monologue was interrupted as a pair of unicorn colts stumbled out of the crowd into the gradually widening open space below the balcony, carrying a tray full of sugary snacks between them. The taller, orange-colored one tripped, and the cupcakes and peppermint sticks scattered across the floor. The shorter, blue one prostrated himself before the queen of the night. “Oh, your worshipfulness! Please don’t gobble us up! Take this offering and be satisfied!”

“Candy…” said the orange one, gobbling up one of the offered cupcakes to demonstrate what one did with food. “It’s good.”

Nightmare Moon’s misty tail drifted down from the balcony and wrapped itself around one of the cupcakes, bringing it up to her mouth. “A good start, my loyal subjects, but it will take more than sweets to repay the injustice done to me these past 1000 years. Remember this day, my little ponies, for it was your last. From this moment forth, the night shall last – FOREVER!”