• Published 23rd Dec 2011
  • 23,041 Views, 1,750 Comments

A Bluebird's Song - Ardensfax



Rainbow Dash is struggling against her own past. Is it time for her rising star to fall?

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There's Nothing Stranger

A Bluebird’s Song

~~~
I woke up to feel no pain
Day from night
Anti-gravity and light
It’s so clear, just what I’m doing here
~~~

There’s Nothing Stranger

For so much of her life, Rainbow Dash had hidden behind a mask. However, as she stood, dumbfounded on the rough wooden floor while Twilight kissed her, she felt it slip away, felt it shatter into a thousand pieces, and was glad to let it go. She knew that she would never need to hide herself again. Dash could not feel her heart hammering, or her eyes drifting gently closed. She was numb to any part of the world beyond the unicorn in her forelegs. As the initial shock faded, she began to run her hooves softly through Twilight's mane, and pulled her closer, kissing her back for all she was worth.

Twilight relaxed under Dash's hooves, the tension and nerves leaving her. For her, the first few seconds had been full of fear, she had been waiting for Dash to push her away, been waiting to see the rejection in her friend's eyes. Somehow though, miraculously, it had not come. She felt her friend's lips begin moving against hers of their own volition, the sensation sending lightning bolts tingling down her spine. The pegasus was gripping her closer, pressing their bodies together, her wings spreading, then sweeping out to encircle Twilight's back.

She could feel Dash's leftover tears wet against her own cheek, and broke away from the pegasus' lips momentarily, moving hesitantly now, and began shyly kissing away the moisture under Dash's eyes, nuzzling the fur until her lover's face was dry. She felt a sudden, burning need to justify herself, to let Dash know that she was not trying to take advantage of her while she was in such a weakened state.

"Rainbow..." Twilight whispered, and Dash's half-opened her eyes. The unicorn's breath caught in her throat at the sight of them up so close, with the years-old shutters that had hidden Dash's real self cracking and falling away, no longer needed. Twilight half-expected to see hurt, or reproach, or confusion in Dash’s face, but all that she could see was clear, honest understanding. No more words were necessary, for Twilight felt that there was nothing that she could say to improve on the cadence dancing in the pegasus's eyes. There was so much life in those eyes.

"I know..." replied Dash, gently, “I… I know.” She tightened her grip, and drew Twilight back into another kiss.

When they split apart about a minute later, both flushed and panting a little, Twilight broke Dash’s gaze and looked down at the floor, suddenly bashful. “I- I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I don’t know what came over me. When you told me about everything you’ve been through… I couldn’t stand to see you tearing yourself apart like that.”

Dash was still looking at her; her gaze had never wavered. When Twilight met her eyes again, they were deep and serious, almost wise. “Did you mean it?” Dash asked, simply.

Twilight closed her eyes for a moment. She had to be sure about this. Sure that her feelings for the pegasus went beyond simple compassion. If she had the slightest doubt, she had to tell Dash now, rather than risk stringing her along and creating even more painful memories for her. Remembering the kiss, she thought that she knew the answer, and when she looked up, gazing back into Dash’s magenta eyes, she was sure of it.

“I’ve never meant anything more,” she replied in a quiet voice, smiling shyly.

In truth, she had no idea where the kiss had come from. Her attraction to the mare had formed scarcely half a day ago, and in that time she had been so caught up with unpicking Dash's mind that she had spared no thought to unraveling her own. Maybe these nascent feelings were stronger than she realized, or maybe her intention in the kiss had been more an act of reassurance than of romance. Either way, she knew that she had a long history of making insane, compulsive decisions, and they almost always ended in some form of disaster. It seemed today, however, as if a moment of insanity had led her straight and true, into the waiting arms of a better future.

Dash opened her mouth as if to say something, then closed it again, unable to put adequately into words what Twilight's response meant to her. She seemed more at peace than Twilight had ever seen her.

“You… didn’t mind?” Twilight asked.

Dash grinned. “Mind?” She chuckled a little incredulously. “Okay, time to confess.” She closed her eyes, contentedly. “I’ve… I’ve been dreaming about that for months now.”

Twilight blushed a little, both surprised and delighted. “Really? Oh… I never realized. You must’ve hidden it well.”

“Yeah, well. I never thought I was in with a chance.” Dash sighed, “I never even realized ya liked mares.”

This was a reasonable point, and as Twilight thought back over her life, she realized that she had never actively categorized herself as liking any particular group, never having considered it important. If Dash had been a stallion, with the same personality, the same history, those same eyes, would she still feel the same way? She had to admit, it was likely.

“I don’t like mares,” she replied at length. “I like you.”

Dash laughed, flattered. “Well, that’s good, ‘cause I like you too.” She left Twilight’s side for a moment, wandering over and lying down on the rug. After a second’s hesitation, Twilight followed, lying down beside her. “I feel way better than last time I was lyin’ here,” Dash joked.

Twilight’s brow furrowed in concern, remembering Dash’s recent psychological problems. “How are you feeling about… all of that now?”

“I’m not even thinking about it, if ya want the truth,” Dash replied. “It still hurts when I do, but I’ve got one hay of a good reason to be happy today. I reckon I know now, I know what I’m gonna do about it. But it can wait till later.”

Twilight, despite her curiosity, knew not to press her for further details of this plan. They were both still on a high, and she did not want to bring them down. “So,” she smiled a little suggestively at the pegasus lying next to her, amazed at how much her own courage had increased since this morning. “Where does this leave us?”

Dash appeared to think for a moment. “I dunno,” she replied with a grin, her eyes bright. “Wanna find out?”

Twilight could not hold herself in check any longer. Without speaking or breaking eye contact, she pulled the pegasus into a tight embrace, wrapping both pairs of hooves around Dash, and she felt Dash respond eagerly, mirroring her actions as they lay there on the rug. Their lips met, both of them having moved forward at the same time, and to Twilight, the world seemed to melt into a blur for a second. Time meant nothing. Somehow Twilight found herself lying on top of Dash, able to feel both of their hearts beating. She sensed that the pegasus’s mouth had opened a little, and she followed suit almost unthinkingly, the butterflies in her stomach leaping into a whirlwind as their tongues met, each struggling to enter the other’s mouth. She heard Dash give a little moan, feeling the vibration from the noise passing through into her own mouth. This was all so much more than Twilight had ever expected, and she closed her eyes in contentment. Nothing could spoil this moment.

*

As if borne by the unerring fist of inevitability itself, Spike chose that exact moment to emerge from a back room that he had been, until a moment ago, reorganizing. He flung open the door with a thud, striding proudly into the room, his chores for the morning completed. He halted. For a moment, he stood, stunned. He saw the two ponies on the rug. He noted that they appeared to be hugging. He also noted that Twilight appeared to be attempting to eat Rainbow Dash’s face. The penny dropped.

“Whoa!” Spike yelled, turning scarlet and throwing one scaly arm up to cover his face in embarrassment.

The kiss broke. Twilight and Dash both turned as best they could from their awkward position, and spotted Spike. “Whoa!” They both yelled in synchronicity, frantically attempting to untangle themselves. After a few moments, they succeeded in separating, and scrambled to their feet, manes somewhat bedraggled and faces bright red. Twilight realized, to her eternal shame, in the heat of the moment she had completely forgotten that Spike was even in the library.

“Spike!” Twilight exclaimed, “I can- it’s- this is-”

“Exactly what it looks like?” Spike deadpanned, recovering with surprising rapidity from the initial shock.

“…Yeah, pretty much,” Dash replied, sounding a little embarrassed but still grinning elatedly, attempting with little success to force her wings back to her sides, using her hooves.

“I’m really sorry, Spike!” Twilight was still mortified. “I completely forgot you were here, I didn’t want you to have to see…”

Spike could not hold it in any longer. He snorted, then burst out into raucous laughter, toppling over onto his back and rolling on the floor. Twilight raised one eyebrow as she watched, caught somewhere between irritation, and relief. Having to explain to the Princess that she had managed to traumatize a baby dragon was not an enjoyable prospect, and one that Twilight was glad that she seemed to have avoided.

“Your faces!” Spike choked out, scarcely able to speak. Glancing behind her, Twilight saw that Dash was smirking guiltily, and she could not help but crack a small smile herself.

As soon as he could speak properly again, Spike sat up, wiping tears of mirth from his eyes. “So…” He pointed a claw from Twilight and Dash. “Are you two…?”

Twilight and Dash glanced at one another, a little awkwardly. They had not got around to talking about their situation yet, it had all moved so quickly, and neither of them wanted to seem presumptuous by answering first. There was silence for a few seconds, each waiting for the other to speak. Oh, what the hay! Twilight thought, suddenly emboldened. She smiled at Dash. “I think we might be,” she said. “If Rainbow wants to, of course.”

Dash walked up beside her and nuzzled her cheek. “Oh, I definitely want to,” she replied with a grin. Twilight grinned back, a little lost in the moment.

Spike gagged slightly at the display of affection. “You know what?” he muttered. “Next time, I’m just turning right round and closing the door behind me!”

“Ya know, Spike,” Dash remarked, “you don’t seem too surprised by all this.”

Spike shrugged. “What can I say? Something like this was gonna happen someday.”

“So ya don’t have a problem with Twilight bein’ with… uh, me?” Dash seemed genuinely concerned. She knew that Twilight was like a sister to Spike, and clearly did not want to do anything to make things awkward between them.

“You mean a mare?” Spike chuckled, knowingly. “Doesn’t surprise me.” He shot Twilight a smirk. “Especially after I found those… uh… drawings of the Princess you did back when we lived in Canter-” There was a fizz of magic, and a zipper appeared from nowhere across Spike’s mouth, and promptly zipped itself, cutting off the rest of his sentence before he could further butcher Twilight’s reputation.

You told me you threw all my old sketchbooks away!” Twilight exclaimed, cheeks burning. Spike probably tried to explain himself, but very little sound emerged. Twilight turned to look at Dash, who raised one eyebrow and grinned cheekily at her.

“Well now, Twilight dear, whatever have you been getting up to?” Her impression of Rarity was a dreadful one, and she kept snorting with laughter as she delivered it. Twilight growled a little. She felt as if her head were about to catch fire.

“One more word…” She threw Spike a warning glare, and he rolled his eyes as if to say; okay, fine then! Twilight’s horn glowed, and the zipper vanished.

Still snickering, Spike headed for the door. “Anyway, I’ll see you two lovebirds later,” he said with a wave back to them. “I promised Rarity I’d help her dig some jewels out today.”

Twilight smiled, a little relieved that she and Dash would have some time to talk alone. “You just keep your eyes on the right gems, okay?” she called after him, and this time it was Spike’s turn to flush.

“Aaand, chalk one up for Twilight!” Dash smirked.

“Very funny…” Spike rolled his eyes, and left, closing the door with a snap.

*

Twilight let out a relieved breath, looking back at Dash, who was smiling affectionately at her. “So,” Dash said, “you’d really like for us to be together? I know Spike kinda put ya on a spot back there.”

Twilight nodded, moving closer and putting her hoof on Dash’s shoulder. She was a little hurt that Dash had thought she might not have been truthful, but she supposed that the other mare had been let down enough times in her life, and naturally shielded herself against further disappointment. It was a fear that Twilight intended to do her best to allay. “I’d love to,” she replied, and pecked Dash on the lips, feeling a little sting of heat in her own cheeks.

Dash chuckled, looking a little punch-drunk. “Twilight Sparkle, my marefriend.” She sighed a little. She was still smiling, but her eyes were saddened suddenly by the memory of loneliness. “Never thought I’d get to say that outside of a dream.”

Twilight could still see the pain of Dash’s past hiding in her eyes. Perhaps it would always be there, maybe even between them there was nothing they could do to entirely wipe it out. However, she promised herself that Dash would never have to hide her thoughts away again. She wanted her to know that she could trust her friends with her feelings. Not just Twilight, but all of them. That she could freely express what she felt without fear of mockery or violence, without the constant need to shine, to boast, to be cool.

“You know what?” Dash asked, a look of excited determination on her face.

“What?”

“I’ve decided what I’m gonna do.”

Twilight was intrigued, if not a little taken aback by this sudden turn in the conversation. It seemed that Dash had been thinking about exactly the same things that she had. “What are you going to do?”

Dash leaned against the wall, looking pensive. “Back in the old days, I’d just go out and do stuff. I never tried to prove anypony wrong, I’d just go out and be the best because that was what I did. I’m gonna do that again.”

“How?”

Dash flared her wings, hovering a little way above the floor in excitement. “I’m gonna go get my speed record back!”

Twilight could not help but break into a smile at this. Not only was the pegasus’s excitement contagious, it was just such a blatantly Rainbow-Dash-ish thing to declare, fired by great enthusiasm and very little forethought.

“You want to beat Lightning Flare, then?”

Dash dropped to the floor, suddenly looking serious, a strange counterpart to her earlier effervescence. “No.” She shook her head emphatically. “I don’t care about him.” Her face was open and honest. It was quite obvious that she was telling the truth. “He doesn’t matter to me. Maybe a week ago he would have, but things are different now. This isn’t about him. This is about me.” She sighed, looking at the floor. “More or less all the stuff I’ve done in my life, I’ve done ‘cos I was trying to beat somepony else. Yesterday, I saw what that’s made me turn into.”

Twilight opened her mouth to protest, fearing that Dash was sinking back towards depression again, but the pegasus held up a hoof to silence her.

“It made me think I didn’t deserve you guys, but you made me think different. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done, it doesn’t matter what’s happened to me. All that matters is what I do about it. Like ya said, I’ve looked my past in the eye. I’ve accepted it. Sure, I could go out for revenge, I could go and teach Lightning Storm a lesson, I could find all those ponies who screwed my childhood up and rub my success in their faces, but you know what? I don’t want to. I’m starting over. I’m going back to how I was, and that’s not the way I wanna start out. I wanna start out by going and chasing my horizon, just ‘cause it’s there to be chased. That’s how I used to be, and that’s how I should be.”

Dash smiled warmly at her, a quiet, understated confidence burning in her eyes that Twilight had only ever caught glimpses of in the past. Twilight realized that her mouth was hanging open a little, and she closed it again. It was hard to believe how much Dash had changed in the last two days, and she could barely understand how she had ever regarded the mare in front of her as being childish, as she had done so many times in the past. She tried to think of something to say, but her tongue felt tied. She felt an intense respect for the pegasus, and something deeper, waiting to be acknowledged, something that burned slower and hotter and with much more intensity. Her tongue seemed to untie itself. There was only really one thing to be said, if she was honest with herself. She met Dash’s gaze, unblushingly.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” Dash spoke quietly, making no fanfare of the fact, speaking as if it were a foregone conclusion, the sincerity and truth of her words dancing in her eyes. They both knew how soon this was, how fast they had moved, and in Twilight’s case, how recently these feelings had manifested themselves. Right then, however, none of it seemed to matter. Twilight found herself unable to look away as Dash walked slowly over, and kissed her. This time, it was not a hungry, fiery, passionate affair like last time, it was gentle and tender, both of them taking their time. They kissed as if they had all the time in the world. In that moment, it felt as if they did.

As they finally broke apart, Twilight’s heart was turning somersaults in her chest. She hoped that she would never get used to the sensation. Dash looked equally euphoric. Looking down, they realized that, through sheer lack of situational awareness, they had moved across the floor and were standing on some of Twilight’s pegasus flight notes from the previous night.

“Oops,” Dash chuckled, and they hurriedly stepped away, with a scrunch of parchment.

Treading on my notes? I must have been distracted, Twilight thought, absently.

“So,” said Dash, looking down at the crumpled sheets of parchment with an inquisitive grin. “What’s this experiment all about, then?”

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