• Published 20th Sep 2012
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Seeing the Pattern 2: Death Take You - Aegis Shield



Pinkamina battles Death incarnate using the mysterious power of the Pinkie Sense.

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Rainbow Dash

Seeing the Pattern 2: Death Take You
Part 4: Rainbow Dash

“Alright Rainbow Dash, you can do this.” The cyan mare was approaching Fluttershy’s cottage on the wing. It was mid-afternoon and there was a blanket of snow on the ground. In her saddlebags the Pegasus was armed with several little bags of bird seed, a bouquet of flowers, some extra flying goggles, and some relationship brochures. This was gonna go fine, she was sure of it.

Ever since the night princess Luna had exploded with the rather hilarious phrase ‘SILENCE, LESBIAN!’, Rainbow Dash had basically been out of the closet. Sure, the dirty Daring Do fan fictions might have been a dead giveaway, but she’d not actually come out and said it until right after that event. She’d been about two and a half months out of the closet, and she’d finally settled on a good target for a marefriend. Fluttershy, of course. And this wasn’t gonna be one of those awkward, cringe-worthy romances where they spent five proverbial chapters dancing around the idea. Rainbow Dash was way too direct for that. She was gonna saunter right up there, ask Fluttershy out, and then smooch her good! That would be totally rainbow!

Chuckling at her inner monologues, Rainbow Dash landed with a loud clop of four hooves on Fluttershy’s stoop. She peered around at the snow around her yard. No hoofprints. It had been snowing all day. She must’ve done her morning chores and then gone straight back in. Breathing steam and folding her wings, Rainbow Dash knocked firmly on the door. There was some shuffling inside, and Fluttershy appeared. “Oh, Rainbow Dash! Please, come in.” she said in her usual shy and whispery voice.

Rainbow strutted in with her chest out as soon as she’d wiped her hooves politely on the doormat. “Heya Fluttershy, how’s it goin’?” she said, offering her most rainbow smile and impressive wingspan. She’d read many many things about how impressing a Pegasus in the romantic sense often meant showing off one’s wingspan. Not just in a lewd ‘wing boner’, but as an ancient courting gesture meant to show off health and stature. Rainbow Dash was delighted to see Fluttershy’s eyes flick to either side of her, at her wings, and her chest inflated a bit more.

“Oh, I’ve just been staying in where it’s warm.” The butter-colored pegasus confided shyly. “Most of my animal friends are hibernating, and the winter-time ones usually come out when its bitter cold out, at night.” She said, getting back up onto her sofa where she’d been reading minutes before. Rainbow Dash’s eyes flicked over the title. Not Daring Do. Dangit. “What brings you out to my cottage? Would you like some tea?” she was gesturing to the little tray on the coffee table.

“Er, no thanks.” Rainbow said carefully. “Listen, Fluttershy, I wanted to ask you somethin’.”

“Oh? Sure thing.” She smiled pleasantly at Rainbow Dash, attentive.

“You know I’m more into mares. You wanna go out with me?” Rainbow Dash said, making sure her wings were as open and as attractive as they could possibly be. Fluttershy blink-blinked, her face pinkening at Rainbow’s great big grin. “Be my marefriend?” It was so thrilling to say it aloud, like the final dive before a sonic rainboom!

“Oh my! Th-Th-That’s very flattering, but…” her sentence mumbled away and she stared at the floor. Rainbow Dash wilted hard, eyes turning big and soft. She leaned very close to Fluttershy so she could hear the mumbling without having to ask four times what she’d said. She kind of caught the tail end of, “—and I’ve kind of had my heart set on Big Macintosh since then.” Fluttershy finished, looking anywhere but Rainbow Dash. The cyan Pegasus drooped further. “B-but it’s very flattering! It is!” the yellow mare said, coming and hugging her friend gently. Rainbow Dash was stiff, and not in the wings for once.

“I-It’s okay… you don’t gotta cheer me up.” Rainbow Dash needed to be out of there. She very suddenly remembered it had been Fluttershy who laughed uncontrollably at the ‘silence lesbian’ bit. It hurt a lot, now. “I’m gonna go, okay?” she fished into her saddlebags, producing a few little bags of birdseed. “Here, for your birds.” She said, trying not to look at the bright pink ribbons. She’d meant to declare her love, then go for a winter wonderland stroll and feed the birds with her new marefriend. But no, it wasn’t to be. With that, the wonderbolt-wannabe showed herself quickly out despite Fluttershy’s wispy protests. She could feel the tears of disappointment stinging her eyes as she spread her wings and took off. The freedom of the sky was chilling in the winter air, especially the higher she went. “I j-just assumed--!” Rainbow’s voice broke and she flew, blind with freezing tears, away from Fluttershy’s cottage.

Rainbow Dash flew over Ponyville, out over Everfree and even over a mountain or two. Arching her path back and forth, she just tried to escape the disappointment of rejection. She wasn’t mad at Fluttershy. She suddenly felt a foal for not even finding out if the buttery mare liked other mares or not. Stupid stupid stupid! She’d been so absorbed in celebrating her own coming out of the closet, she hadn’t stopped to think! How selfish! Beating herself up like she was and blinded by tears, Rainbow Dash didn’t notice that she was going faster and faster through the woods and over treetops. They whipped by under her, threatening to snatch her out of the sky. Deciding to turn back to Ponyville, she made her way back. Just as the edge of Everfree Forest climbed into view her saddlebags caught on something. She was hauled out of the air as a treetop snagged her, pulled all the straps tight around her body, then hung her by the neck in the recoil! The mare gagged, flailing about in a wild panick. She couldn’t see, couldn’t breathe, and the weight of her own body was killing her. Wings caught in brambles and in the straps of her saddlebags, she slowly started to choke to death.

Rings started to appear in Rainbow Dash’s vision while her legs kicked about. Blackness around the edges of her vision, lungs straining and begging for air. She struggled, struggled, whimpered, begged Fluttershy for forgiveness… then died. There was silence as the poor mare’s body began to shut down forever, and her eyes rolled into her head.

A pink hoof with a woodcarving knife jabbed at her saddlebags. Rainbow’s body fell, rag-dolling through dozens of branches. Pinkamina winced, but shimmied down the tree as quickly as she could to aid her. Rainbow Dash was splayed out on her back, wings open and at odd angles spread eagle, and quite still. The pink mare studied her a moment, then listened at her chest. A weak heartbeat. She was cutting it close. Tilting her prize’s head back, she opened her mouth to help open her throat. Putting both hooves on her chest, she started pumping animatedly.

Skeletal hooves bucked Pinkamina in the head and she yapped, falling forward over herself and tumbling like a skipping stone. Strong! He was so strong! She struck a tree with another yelp, hanging upside down until the weight of her back end helped correct her. Getting up with twigs and dry leaves in her mane, the pink mare glowered darkly. “So you can be solid when you want, huh?” she saw Death standing over Rainbow Dash, a hoof possessively on her chest. His weight would crush her lungs and keep her from breathing if she had any will to live anymore. “That one is mine too, I’m afraid.” She stood, pointing a demanding hoof.

Death’s eyes ignited into their fiery red flashing mode. She snarled at him, hoofing the ground. He gestured for her to come at him and charged wildly, screaming a battlecry! Hooves thundered through the snow as Death awaited her and she leapt upon him. She found him quite solid that time, and they tumbled through the snow. Flailing wildly she forced his hood back so she could buck at his face unhindered. He flailed his massive hooves, spattering her undercarriage with wild abuse. Gagging audibly she shifted her weight and tossed snow into his eye sockets. He squirmed in agony, unable to cry out.

Pinkamina threw herself off of him and rushed back to Rainbow Dash, pumping her chest quickly. “Breathe! Breathe Faust-dammit!” she pumped the chest over and over again. Death flailed blindly back and forth, ice and leaves and other debris rattling about in his skull. Such agony, he couldn’t take it! Rearing up and slamming his hooves down, he unclasped the front of his cloak in desperation. The pink mare suddenly felt Rainbow Dash take a breath independently, then grinned when she turned on her side to cough and splutter. She looked up just in time to see something horrific.

Death staggered about, very much on fire for no reason Pinkamina could come up with. Flames engulfed him, melting snow and scorching any trees he ran into. His jaw clattered up and down until he suddenly had a mouth, tongue and lips to cry out with. Her eyes lidded in confusion as he seemed to grow flesh and blood and fur all over his body. She saw his mane explode into being, a tail sprouting out his backside and he threw up his hood just as his face was forming. “My eyes!” he roared angrily, finally able to see again when the fire had burned away all the debris Pinkamina had thrown into his hollow skull. Now the skull was occupied with a brain and other things, and the debris was gone. She ran quickly to get a look at his face. “RAWRGH!” He snapped the clasp of his cloak again, and his body imploded violently! She whinnied, rearing up with surprise. When the black smoke cleared, Death turned about with a furious, fiery-eyed glare. He pawed at the ground, lowering his head to charge at her. No more games. Pinkamina shivered at what she’d just seen. He could turn not only solid, but he had some sort of… of… living form! That meant he was perfectly beatable and— she pinwheel’d wildly through the air when he charged into her, and she struck a tree so hard she felt her ribs bruise. Why, why was he so strong?! He was just a skeleton!

Pinkamina yelped on impact, her back sliding down against a tree and grating bits of bark into her fur. Coughing heavily and clutching at her chest, she looked up as Death’s shadow cast itself upon her. She frowned angrily, defiant. His jaw clattered back and forth like he might have been trying to say something, but the skeleton stallion could not speak thus. The only thing she could understand was the burning red hatred in his eyes. “You have such beautiful eyes.” She snarked as he reared up to stomp on her with all his might. She THREW herself forward into him, and the cloak he wore recoiled on its own. He turned ethereal and she passed right through him as before. Tumbling forward and clutching at her ribs, she saw Rainbow Dash was slowly starting to regain her senses. “Rainbow! We have to go! Now! Fly!” she tugged the mare upright, trying to haul her to her hooves.

Death turned about, snarling with chattering bones. His cloak flared, revealing the nightmare frame beneath the black fabric. Rainbow Dash got an eye full, and the terror sent adrenaline through her. Seizing Pinkamina by her front hooves she flared her powerful wings and took off! Death rushed, rearing up and trying to knock them out of the air. Pinkamina curled at the stomach as Rainbow labored into the air. “You’re heavy!” Rainbow Dash complained, wings flapping as mightily as they could. Death watched them from below, they could still have an accident doing that. He followed them slowly, but soon the blue mare had broken the canopy.

“Go! Go! He can’t follow us back to town!”

“Who’s he?!”

“That’s Death!”

“What do you mean ‘that’s Death’?!”

“Death incarnate! He came for you today, but I stopped him so he turned solid to fight me off! That’s probably why you can see him today!”

“I don’t wanna see him!”

“Then keep those wings flappin’!” Rainbow Dash was more than exhausted when they arrived back in Ponyville, and promptly collapsed onto her side. Pinkamina lay there as well, panting. “Somepony help!” she shouted from where she lay. “Somepony call a doctor!” the pink mare looked towards the forest’s edge. There, blacker than black and standing in the shadows, was Death. She could see him easily because of his red eyes. He was angry now. ‘I see you’, Pinkamina mouthed at him defiantly. Without a sound, his form melted into black mist and he was gone. She flopped down, at ease at last.

Doctor Whooves leaned over the two of them. “I’m a doctor.” He said with his pleasant foreign accent. Pinkamina moaned, rolling her eyes. “Ohh you mean— ah yes I see, you do look banged up. Is she okay as well? No no, it seems not.” The brown stallion voiced his concern, then called out to other ponies to get actual medical help.

=-=-=-=

Lickity Split gasped when Pinkamina arrived at home with a wrapped torso. “It’s just bruised ribs. I hit a tree really hard.” He stood from the couch, rushing over to examine her more closely.

“With what, your FACE?!” he demanded worriedly, falling to all four knees to get a closer look at her. “First you come home with a bloody muzzle, now your ribs are wrapped like this?!” he fussed and crooned over her, guiding her to the couch to lay down on her back. “Pinkamina you’re scaring me!” he whimpered, nuzzling her. “What if you get hurt really badly, or don’t come home at all?!”

“I’m out there saving lives. I don’t care if—!”

“I CARE, CELESTIA DAMN YOU!” Lickity Split shouted suddenly, his hoof rising and then snapping across her face. She yipped, one of her hooves slowly coming up to hold her cheek gingerly where he’d struck her. She stared at him with a flushed, shocked expression. He stood there panting and whimpering. “I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to you! You’re battling Death incarnate for Celestia’s sake!” his voice was breaking, he wasn’t used to being so dominant or loud. Tears were rushing out of his eyes, and he threw his arms around her head.

“Lickity—”

“Shut up! You just shut up tonight!” he said, mewling over her and running his hoof over her bandages over and over again. “I don’t wanna hear your grumping and scowling! You just shut up and rest!” She looked like she was about to protest, but he glared her into submission. “You’re gonna lay there and rest and eat soup or something like a good injured pony and if you move from that spot I’ll— I’ll break your legs!” it was a lame threat and the pink mare knew he didn’t mean it, but its meaning struck home. He wasn’t going to let her go anywhere for a few days.

It was the worst torture imaginable for Pinkamina to lay there on her back while her frail stallion wept over her. When she could muster the strength from her exhausted body, she hugged his head to her breast gently. While he sniffled and soaked her bandages with tears, she scented his mane. Her mane hung over her face like a limp curtain. Vanilla. It comforted her. Stupid, stupid stallion…

When he’d finally gathered himself, he fetched a tray of food for her. It was a salty vegetable soup with crackers and broth. He stood guard to make sure she ate all of it. After taking the tray away, they went about the awkward task of unwrapping her. The doctors had seen to Pinkamina and Rainbow Dash, but hadn’t tried to keep either of them at the hospital. That also meant neither had been brushed or anything. “This feels familiar.” Lickity Split smiled just a little bit when he raised the brush to her side. She stayed still and tried not to grimace in pain. Bits of tree bark and debris from the battle were falling out of her coat while he worked at it. She looked him in the eyes, then her expression softened and she lowered her head to the arm of the sofa in quiet submission. She was just so tired, and he would no doubt shout down any protests she had. While he brushed her, she silently contemplated everything that had happened. Perhaps a few days off would not hurt too much. Rainbow Dash was safe, and Death had stepped away for the moment.

She’d managed to hurt Death, though, that was the most interesting bit.



End of Part 4