• Published 3rd Jul 2023
  • 3,549 Views, 68 Comments

Instinctual - Kodeake



Ever since Twilight's ascension, she's been having unusual urges. Like a weird desire to grow flowers, and she can't seem to stop chewing her wings. Turns out, her newfound magic comes with the instincts to match, and instincts are a powerful thing.

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Chapter One; Flight Lesson Zero

Alicorns were fascinating creatures. Seemingly immortal beings that combined the traits of all three tribes of ponykind in perfectly balanced harmony, and yet were still somehow more than the sum of their parts. Several scientific and historical fields were endlessly fascinated by them, but through her thousand-year reign Celestia had remained resolutely tight-lipped about her own nature. Offering scholars little more than vague generalizations and a few common-sense answers to their probing questions.

Twilight was starting to wonder if that was because Celestia herself didn’t fully understand her own existence.

Ever since her ascension from simple unicorn to alicorn princess, Twilight had experienced first-hoof what it was like to not know the first thing about yourself. It had taken weeks for her to even gain enough control of her wings to move them how she wanted - and even now they had a habit of springing open on their own, among other peculiar behaviors.

But the physical changes were easy to deal with compared to the mental ones.

Frowning in concentration, Twilight brought her hoof down and gently stroked a small, green leaf. The sprout was young, but to her untrained-eye it looked healthy enough. A watering can held in her magical grasp was brought down to gently shower the soon-to-be flower in water, darkening the soil around it and its brethren.

Apparently, having the magic inherent in earth ponies suddenly shoved into your body resulted in certain… tendencies. Instincts that had not existed within her previously - or were perhaps just laying dormant - were awoken. Thankfully, they were relatively easy to deal with: Twilight had never been a green-hoof, but she’d always carried a passing appreciation of plant life. Heightened by her time spent in the small farming community of Ponyville, as well as her proximity to a certain apple farmer.

Her transformation hadn’t just instilled her with an intense desire to grow things, however.

“Hey, you got… uh, Twilight?” Spike called, poking his head out of a window above her. “You’re doing it again.”

Twilight looked up at him, brow knitting for a moment. She quickly realized what he was talking about when she tried to say, “whmmph rrf mmrrph?” Blinking, her face became a scowl as she pulled her own wing out of her mouth, a few feathers remaining stuck to her tongue that she had to spit out. “Blegh.”

“You - snrk - really like your wings, huh?” Spike asked, barely able to contain his chuckling.

“They don’t even taste good!” Twilight cried, holding the offending appendage in front of her as though to scold it personally. “It’s like they have a mind of their own. And that mind really wants to be chewed on.”

“Have you asked Rainbow Dash or Fluttershy about it?”

Twilight frowned as a slight blush rose in her cheeks. “N-no. It feels… embarrassing. I’ve been chewing on my wings like a newborn foal sucks on their hoof. I don’t know enough about pegasi to tell if this is normal or not.”

Spike rolled his eyes. “Which is why you should ask a pegasus?”

“Maybe later,” Twilight said, forcefully putting the subject aside. “What did you need?”

“Oh, yeah. Speaking of pegasi, Rainbow Dash is here. She says it’s time for flight practice.”

Twilight’s eyes widened, and she glanced over at the clocktower standing tall over the town. “Shoot, already? I must have lost track of time.” Indeed, the hands indicated the time was two. A little past two, actually - Rainbow Dash was seemingly allergic to being on time. “Can you let her know I’m back here? I just need to tidy up.”

“Roger that,” Spike said, miming a quick salute before disappearing back inside.

Wiping a hoof across her brow, Twilight looked up at the sky - clear and cloudless, the sun beat down upon her with intense waves of summer heat. There was something satisfying about working outside in such weather, and not just because the gardening scratched the itch brought forth by her new earth pony magic. She probably understood Applejack a little better now.

Making sure the flower bed was fully hydrated - but not too wet, as she had been reminded multiple times - Twilight gathered her tools to be stored away. Just as the door to the small, rickety shed behind the library was closed, the sound of beating wings graced her ears, and she felt a shadow fall over her.

“What’s up, egghead?” Rainbow Dash asked, hovering mid-air and striking a pose. “Miss me?”

Twilight made no effort to disguise her eye-rolling. “Yes, a whole three days without seeing you was unbearable.”

“Ha! Don’t I know it?” Rainbow said as she lowered herself to the ground.

“The flowers!” Twilight shrieked. Her horn flared to life and Rainbow could only let out a strangled yelp as she was encased in a tight magic field that moved her a meter over. It dropped her unceremoniously onto the ground, too close for her to catch herself with her wings or her legs.

“Oof,” she grunted as her chest hit the dirt. “What the hay, Twi? Wait, flowers?” Rainbow stood up and dusted herself off with her wings, before turning her attention back to the alicorn, currently fussing over a few small, green sprouts. Was there always a garden behind the library? And since when did Twilight Sparkle, nerd-extraordinaire and gold-medalist bookworm, care about gardening?

Twilight, having ensured there was no damage to her delicate sprouts, turned back to her guest. “Yes, Rainbow Dash, flowers. They’re a type of plant, just like the trees you love to sleep in,” she said dryly. “Please try not to trample them.”

“I know what flowers are,” Rainbow scoffed, sitting back on her haunches and crossing her forelegs over her chest. “I don’t know why you care about them.”

“Why can’t I?” Twilight asked pointedly, though the small spark of indignation quickly flared out as Rainbow simply raised an eyebrow, glancing at the large wooden tree behind them. “Okay, fine, I admit I never took much interest in horticulture previously, but what’s the harm in developing new hobbies?”

Rainbow opened her mouth to comment on Twilight’s usual hobbies involving exactly zero outdoor activities, but stopped when a fleck of bright colour caught her eye. She turned to look, and her face fell when she spotted a few bright, purple feathers in the dirt. “Twi? Are you okay?”

“Okay?” Twilight echoed, caught off guard by the seriousness in the pegasus’s tone. She watched as Rainbow stalked over to the garden bed - stopping on the edge. “I’m fine. Honestly, Dash, just because I’m expanding my horizons a bit-”

Rainbow held up the lavender plumage. “You’re losing feathers,” she said worriedly. “These look fine, did you preen them out?”

“Ah, um… n-no,” Twilight responded shakily, feeling her cheeks warming as she suddenly became much more interested in her garden. “I-I haven’t tried preening yet. I was going to get you to show me- hey!” She yelped as a pair of hooves tugged her wing open.

Rainbow ignored her, running her hooves and eyes over Twilight’s wings carefully. “I don’t see anything wrong,” she mumbled, mostly to herself. “Are you feeling okay? Fever? Soreness? Itchy? Please tell me you’re using that feather shampoo I gave you and not normal coat stuff, it can really screw with your wings.”

“I’m fine!” Twilight insisted, pulling her wing from Rainbow’s grasp - which only resulted in the mare circling around to her other side to poke and prod at that wing. “It’s nothing, really.”

“Twi, losing feathers for ‘no reason’ is a big deal,” Rainbow said. “Because it’s never for ‘no reason’. I don’t see anything wrong, but I’m not exactly a doctor. Have you-”

“I pulled them out!” Twilight shouted, her face burning with embarrassment while she stared at her hooves. “I pulled them out, okay? There’s nothing wrong.”

Rainbow stepped back in surprise. “You… pulled them out? Twi, those feathers were perfectly fine, you didn’t need to-”

“I didn’t mean to!”

“Come again?”

Twilight groaned, sinking back onto her haunches and burying her face in her hooves. “Look, I don’t know either, okay? All I know is that ever since I became an alicorn I’ve been having these… urges,” she said quickly. “Celestia said it has to do with having the magic of all three tribes. It’s like I’m experiencing the most basic instincts of pegasi and earth ponies all at once, and it’s been maddening. I didn’t grow up with them so they feel really strong.”

“So… the flower thing is, like, some kinda instinct for earth ponies?” Rainbow asked slowly, watching as Twilight gave a weak nod. “Okay, that makes sense, I guess. But… why are you pulling out- oh. Oh.”


Twilight peaked a trepidatious eye out from behind her hooves. “What?”

“Twi, have you been chewing your wings?” Rainbow asked, and her words carried with them a hint of suppressed mirth.

Hesitantly, Twilight nodded again.

Instead of responding, Rainbow Dash promptly doubled over, and Twilight cringed as full-blown laughter reached her ears. “H-hey! It’s not funny!” she cried, but her words fell on deaf ears.

“Twi, oh my gosh! You’re adorable! Like a little filly!” Rainbow gasped out between her belly-shaking hysterics.

Rainbooooow~” Twilight moaned. If her face was burning before it had now reached a temperatur beyond pony comprehension. “What does it mean? Is it normal? A-am I hurting them somehow?”

Upon hearing the concern in Twilight’s voice, Rainbow’s laughter tapered off, and she quickly cleared her throat, putting on what she hoped was a reassuring smile. “It’s fine, you can relax. You’re not gonna cause any real damage. And it’s pretty normal. Well, for foals it is, anyway.”

“Foals?” Twilight ventured, daring to look up and actually see the softer look the pegasus was giving her.

Rainbow shrugged. “I mean, yeah. Almost all pegasi chew their feathers as kids. It’s… well, it’s an instinct, I guess. Most stop doing it when they’re teenagers, though.”

Contrary to the comforting intent Rainbow had, Twilight instead looked even more upset at the news. “Great,” she muttered. “So I’m basically acting like a child.”

“Aw come on, don’t look at it like that,” Rainbow said, stepping up and placing a hoof on Twilight’s wing. “It means you really are part pegasus, instincts and all. It just might take you a while to grow into it. Heck, I’m sure I’d struggle to get used to it if I was suddenly part unicorn.”

“You’d probably be scratching your horn on things constantly,” Twilight said, a small smile coming to her as she pictured a full-grown Rainbow Dash rubbing her horn on a door frame.

Rainbow tilted her head curiously. “Is that a thing?”

“Mmhmm,” Twilight affirmed. “Unicorn foals are constantly scratching their horns on anything hard. It’s a leftover instinct from when we used to shed our horns every year or so. We evolved past that but the habit stuck around. It’s fine, as long as they don’t do it too much. You can tell how much someone did by how bent their horn is.”

For perhaps the first time, Rainbow actually looked closely at Twilight’s horn. “Huh, yours is straight, so I guess you didn’t do it?”

“Not quite,” Twilight corrected, turning her head to the side. “There’s a little bend backwards. My parents were pretty good about stopping me, but they weren’t always around. Cadance was a wonderful foalsitter but she was a pegasus before she became an alicorn so she didn’t know to stop me.”

Rainbow actually had to squint to see the angle Twilight was talking about. True to her word, her horn curved back towards the top of her head ever so slightly. “Weird, I never noticed.”

“You must have noticed Rarity’s?” Twilight asked with a small giggle. “Her’s curves to the right way more than mine does. Her parents didn’t really care, since it doesn’t actually affect us or anything.”

Rubbing her chin with her hoof, Rainbow pictured Rarity in her mind, focusing on her horn. “Nope. Can’t say I have. But I don’t spend all day staring at horns.”

“Probably for the best,” Twilight conceded. “Straighter horns used to be something the unicorn nobility valued. It led to some… less than savory methods of protecting young foal’s horns.”

Rainbow nodded, her eyes still fixed on the slight curve of Twilight’s horn. Now that she’d noticed, she couldn’t stop seeing it. And the more she looked, the more she wondered how she hadn’t seen it. Sure, it was subtle, but she’d spent so much time around the unicorn-turned-alicorn that it was hard to believe something so obvious had slipped past her notice. What else was she missing about her friend?

“Um… Dash?”

Really, she kind of felt bad, in a weird way. Did she really pay Twilight so little attention normally? That couldn’t be true! She loved hanging out with her, especially since they’d started reading together. And now they got to fly together, too? Twilight was, like, her closest friend! And she hadn’t noticed that super-obvious curve? Just look at it! It was so… covered by Twilight’s hooves.

Wait, what?

Rainbow shook herself from her thoughts, realizing how intently she’d been staring and noticing the red hue that had completely overtaken Twilight’s face as the alicorn concealed her horn with a hoof. Her wings had also spread out, standing up from her back.

“S-sorry,” Rainbow stuttered out, pointedly looking away as she coughed into her hoof, a similar blush heating her own cheeks. “I, uh, yeah, I never noticed before.”

“I-it’s fine, just… don’t go around staring at other unicorns like that. It’s pretty rude if you’re not, er, intimate.” Twilight explained, slowly lowering her hoof from her horn and watching as Rainbow’s eyes flicked to it for the briefest moment before being forcibly pulled away.

Rainbow rapidly nodded her head. “Gotcha.” Her eyes instead flicked to the way Twilight’s wings fanned out behind her, and Rainbow’s face grew several shades redder, but she chose not to mention it.

Instead, they lapsed into a somewhat awkward silence, standing around beneath the summer heat. Neither mare was able to look the other in the eye, instead each took a particular interest in either the sky or Twilight’s budding garden. Eventually, when even that failed to distract them, Twilight cleared her throat. Much louder than was necessary.

“S-so, you said it’s not gonna hurt me? T-to chew on my wings, that is.”

“Huh? Oh!” Rainbow scratched the back of her neck, chuckling quietly. “Yeah, no, you’re fine. Just, like, try not to pull out too many feathers or it’ll mess with your flying. Not that you’re flying yet.”


Flying… that sounded familiar. Weren’t they supposed to be-

“Flying lessons!” Twilight declared abruptly. “Y-you’re supposed to give me my first flying lesson today, right? Now that I can control them?” She glanced back at her wings, noticing that they had spread themselves when she wasn’t paying attention as though purposefully trying to make her a liar. She scrunched her muzzle slightly as she forced them to fold back against her sides, noting that it took more effort than it had in a while.

"Flying, right, hehe." Rainbow forced herself not to think too hard about Twilight's wing’s behavior. Reminding herself that she was new to having them, and if her chewing on them was any indication, was currently about as in control as a young filly.

She just wondered if chewing them was the only instinct she would feel.

"Do you really think I'll be able to fly already?" Twilight asked, looking over her shoulder at her own wings. "I mean, according to my books, I didn't even have the right muscles before my ascension. They might not be strong enough.”

“That’s why you aren’t flying yet,” Rainbow said. “Well, that and getting someone who can’t fly into the air before teaching them how to glide is probably a pretty bad idea. So!” She wrapped a hoof around Twilight’s neck and dragged her away from the library - and the garden, lest her precious flowers be harmed - and put her in the open. Then she took a few steps back and stood so they were facing each other. “Flying lesson zero: Wing positioning.”

With a ruffle of her feathers, Rainbow spread her wings wide, feeling the warm summer sun on her feathers. Twilight watched closely, finding herself staring at the way Dash’s perfectly groomed feathers almost seemed to sparkle in the light. She’d always known Rainbow took meticulous care of her wings - especially since getting her own and being absolutely bombarded by advice - but never before had she taken the time to properly appreciate the pegasus’s plumage.

Feeling the eyes on her wings made Rainbow smirk proudly, and she made sure to angle them just right to catch the light and show off her feathers. “If you’re done checking me out,” she said with a cheeky grin. “We can get started. Spread ‘em, princess.”

Twilight was really tired of all the blood in her body rushing to her face, but she did as instructed, unfurling her wings and fluffing her feathers. Very much ignoring the way her subconscious tried to get her to continue staring at Dash’s impressive wingspan.

“Alright, I’m gonna show you a wing position, tell you what it’s gonna do, and you’re gonna copy me, alright?”

“Um, should I be taking notes?” Twilight asked somewhat nervously.

Rainbow just laughed. “Notes aren’t gonna help you when you’re a hundred feet in the air and falling fast. Read all the books you like, Twi, but the only way to learn this stuff is the good old fashioned way.”

The mental image of herself falling from the sky desperately trying to read a note sheet sent a shiver down Twilight’s spine despite the warm summer air. “Alright, alright, I get it.”

“Good. First, basic gliding - wings fully extended and level,” Rainbow said, shifting her wings into position. “If you’re falling, this is the position you want. Start catching the air and you can regain control.”

Twilight nodded as she mimicked the example, glancing between her own wings and Rainbow’s to make sure she got it right.

“Hold it,” Rainbow said, as she dropped the position and stepped up to the alicorn. Twilight raised an eyebrow, but kept her wings in position. “This one’s too high.” Rainbow tapped Twilight’s right wing with a hoof. “And it’s tilted forward.”

Making the corrections, Twilight asked, “Better?”

Rainbow nodded, circling around the alicorn and checking both wings, before seemingly deciding she was content and returning to her original position. “Alright, next…”

They went through several more positions, each playing out the same. Rainbow would describe it, make Twilight copy her, then inspect. Every little nuance and angle was thoroughly pointed out and, if necessary, corrected.

Twilight fell into the routine easily - it reminded her of her time in Celestia’s school. She could spend hours studying a spell demonstrated for her by a teacher, though this was a lot more physical than that had been. It wasn’t long before she could feel a slight burn in muscles she’d never had before from the stress they were being put under. Having only just gotten the hang of controlling them, properly putting them through their paces was quite an upgrade.

“Glide!” Rainbow called loudly, and Twilight’s brain scrambled to understand what was being asked of her. By time she realized, and got her wings in position, Rainbow was already shaking her head. “Too slow, and your wing’s angled again,” she said, pointing to the wing in question.

Groaning quietly as she felt her muscles properly start aching, Twilight corrected her posture. “We’re doing flash cards now?”

“Dunno what those are,” Rainbow said with a shrug. “We’re doing drills, because it’s one thing if that big brain of yours knows what to do, but your body needs to get with the program or you’re gonna have problems.”

“Muscle memory,” Twilight said as she took a moment to stretch. “You’re describing muscle memory. Which, unfortunately, makes sense.”

“I always make sense.”

“Sure you-”

“Bank left!”

Forcing her wings into shape, Twilight glared daggers at her coach. “I’ll get you for this,” she muttered under her breath as Rainbow nodded approvingly. “I’ll make you-”

“Dive!”

Twilight angled her wings down and bent them back like she’d been shown, stretching her body forward and tilting her nose towards the ground. She felt the stretch in her tendons as Rainbow took her wings in her hooves and bent them a little further.

“We’re gonna have to work on your flexibility, too,” she commented idly. “At least, if you wanna do any tricks.”

“Can we focus on getting me off the ground, first?” Twilight asked with a grunt as her wing was released. “I’m not exactly aiming for the Wonderbolts here.”

Rainbow considered the request for a moment, before nodding. “Good point. Let’s see if you can take off.”

When she didn’t say anything else, Twilight frowned. “Um, how do I-”

“Flap, ya big egghead!” Rainbow said. “Let’s see if you really did get the instincts of a pegasus. I wanna see you take off, all on your own.”

“But I don’t know how to-”

“Sure ya do! You’ve seen me take off dozens of times. Just do that.”

Twilight stared slack-jawed at what was being said. Surely it was a joke. “I never paid attention!”

“You never pay attention to me?” Rainbow asked, her mock-hurt tone conflicting sharply with her smirk. She held a hoof over her ‘aching’ heart. “You wound me, Twi. I thought we were friends?”

Growling under her breath - mostly at herself for having walked into such an obvious trap - Twilight sighed. “Fine. Just… catch me if I fall or something?”

“If you even make it off the ground,” Rainbow snickered, earning herself another venomous glare. She held up a hoof defensively. “Yeah, yeah, I promise I’ll catch ya. Just relax and give it a shot - do whatever feels right.”

“Alright…” trailing off, Twilight felt out along her wings, slowly shifting them into a position that felt right to start. She didn’t really have anything to go off, and tried to match Rainbow’s pose before taking off from memory. Then, she started flapping her wings.

It was… clumsy, at first. And she could hear Rainbow sniggering to herself, but tried to block out the noise. Closing her eyes, Twilight focused on the feeling of the air passing through her feathers. She changed the angle and bend of her wings until if felt like she was pushing off the air, and if she didn’t know any better she’d have sworn she actually felt herself become slightly lighter. A little less weight being put on her hooves.

Rainbow watched carefully, her smile slowly shifting from one of amusement to one of awe. Sure, Twilight was very obviously new to her wings, but she was able to find the right position all on her own, and before long, Rainbow saw her front hooves start to leave the ground.

Twilight felt it, but decided she wanted all four hooves off the ground before she celebrated. Keeping her wings as in-sync as possible, she beat them as fast and as hard as she could, and felt her front half lifting higher - but her hind quarters remained resolutely grounded. She wanted so desperately to do it - to impress Rainbow Dash, she realized - but it wasn’t enough. If her wings had been sore from the positions before, they were positively screaming now, as new and unused muscles were forced to go beyond their limits.

From the outside, it was like watching a young filly try and take flight for the first time - and Rainbow fondly compared it to a certain little orange pegasus. It was adorable. However, it was unsustainable, and Twilight was obviously running on empty.

“Alright, Twi, you can stop now,” Rainbow called loudly to be heard over the sound of the princess’s flapping wings. “It’s a good first attempt.”

Panting and struggling to just get a little more lift, Twilight just pinched her eyes shut tighter. She would do this, she just needed-

A hoof touched her shoulder, bringing her front hooves back down to the ground. “Relax, Twi, don’t hurt yourself. You’ll get there.”

Twilight felt something inside her lash out at those words. Some part of her yearning to do better, to impress her teacher and make her proud. But the rest of her knew Rainbow was right, and with a begrudging sigh, her wings slowed, then stopped, and she opened her eyes to find Rainbow looking at her with a beamingly bright smile.

“I’ll admit, I’m impressed,” she said, looking at Twilight’s wings as they folded against her sides. “You did way better than I thought you would. Good job.”

The little filly inside Twilight squealed happily at the praise. The fully-grown mare on the outside just grinned stupidly. “Really?”

“A hundred percent! You totally have some pegasus inside you. Your positioning was almost perfect. You just gotta work on your strength a bit.”

Twilight couldn’t help the way she stood up a little straighter in pride. “I-it just kind of happened,” she said, mentally scolding herself before she could get too carried away. “And I didn’t even get off the ground.”

“Look at it this way; you’ve had those wings for, what, a month?” Rainbow asked. “You’re doing better than fillies who have had their wings for years.”

“The comparison isn’t quite fair,” Twilight pointed out, though it did little to deter her smile. “But I understand what you’re saying. Thank you, Rainbow.”

Rainbow’s face grew sinister. “Don’t thank me yet. Now we get to work on strength training.”

Twilight swallowed nervously.


“Water,” Twilight croaked, laying on her back in the grass. She reached up towards the canopy of green leaves above her, thankfully casting their shadow down and saving her from the worst of the summer heat. Her wings, back, and lungs all burned with exertion, her mouth dry and tacky. Surely, she thought, this was it. Death by overexertion. Sweat drenched her body from the tips of her hooves to the end of her tail, using up what precious liquid remained. She’d be baked alive, all because her demon of a flight instructor was a crazy pony.

Suddenly, the aforementioned demon’s face popped into her field of view. “Alright, sit up ya big baby. Here-” she stuck out her hoof, and Twilight heard the rattling of ice in a glass.

Shooting up like a rocket, Twilight grabbed the offered salvation, taking only a moment to identify it as lemonade before the condensation on the outside of the cup proved too tempting, and she brought the glass to her lips.

Rainbow watched the mare drink like she’d been lost in the desert for days with an idle smile. “You really need to get out more,” she said.

“I’m so sorry my brand new wings aren’t as strong as yours,” Twilight snarked when she had drained her cup. She took a moment to breathe, then popped one of the ice cubes into her mouth, loudly crunching down on it. When she was finished, she set the glass aside and fell back into the grass, chest still heaving.

Rainbow just shook her head. Though she’d worked up a sweat as well, she was nowhere near the state Twilight was in. That much didn’t surprise her. “Alright, I get it. That’s enough for today,” she said, sitting down next to the panting alicorn. “So, how was your first lesson?”

“You mean besides you trying to kill me?”

“Yes, egghead, besides the exercise.”

Twilight giggled quietly, but took a moment to consider her answer. Eventually, she nodded. “It was good, I actually think I’ll remember most of those positions. And I almost got off the ground, even!” She couldn’t help the small amount of pride that slipped into her voice. “You know, I was worried when you first suggested letting you teach me how to fly, but you’re actually a pretty good instructor.”

“What, you thought I wouldn’t be?” Rainbow asked, only half of her indignation being real.

Twilight just looked up at her flatly.

“Yeah okay, fair enough.” Rainbow threw her hooves out and allowed herself to fall onto her back alongside her friend. “To be honest I wasn’t sure how it was gonna go, either. Like, I know how to fly, but I dunno how to explain how I fly to someone else. I figured starting with the positions will at least help you know what you’re doing once you’re in the air.”

Laughing to herself quietly, Rainbow shook her head. “I was kinda just winging it like usual, but hey, I’m awesome, and you’re kinda awesome, so it all worked out. Right, Twi?”

There was no response, and Rainbow frowned as she looked over. “Twi? Oh.”

Twilight looked back at her, her own wing between her lips as she nibbled gently.

“Twi, you’re chewing it.”

Seeming to snap awake at that, Twilight went cross-eyes as she looked down her muzzle at her wing. She glared at it, forcefully extracting it from her mouth and spitting out another feather. “I really need to kick that habit,” she said. “The last thing I need is to start acting like a foal during a meeting with Celestia.”

“Aw come on, Twi, it’s not that big a deal. It’s kinda cute.”

C-cute?

Rainbow felt herself blushing as she looked away. “A little? I dunno, it’s a thing little fillies do, y’know? I’m not saying that you’re cute or anything!”

“Oh, so I’m not cute then?” Twilight asked, her offended tone largely played up for effect.

Rainbow could practically taste the hoof in her mouth. “I-I didn’t mean it like that, just…” SHe trailed off as she heard Twilight absolutely failing to hide her giggling, and turned back to face the smiling alicorn. “Not funny, Twi.”

“Oh, I assure you, it was very funny,” Twilight shot back.

Rolling her eyes, Rainbow allowed the pair to lapse into a comfortable silence, each of them staring up at the canopy of Golden oaks library. With the sun shining through them, the leaves seemed to glow an iridescent green, casting jade-tinged shadows down on them.

But it wasn’t long before Rainbow grew restless again.

“Alright,” she started, sitting herself upright. “I should get out of your mane. I’ve gotta stop by the weather office and make sure there aren’t any problems.”

“Arreephy?” Twilight asked, scowling as the wing in her mouth muffled her question. “Already?” She repeated once the obstruction was removed.

“Twi, it’s been, like, almost three hours,” Rainbow said, nodding her head towards the clock tower.

Twilight’s eyes widened as she noticed the time. “It’s almost five! I have to make sure the returns are sorted and close up the library and get dinner started and-” she was cut off by the rough and scratchy laugh of her friend.

“I’ll let you get to it,” Rainbow said, spreading her wings to take off. “I’ll catch ya later, Twi.”

Finding her eyes drawn once more to the pegasus’s impressive wings, Twilight felt something strange bubble up in her chest. “Rainbow!” She called, suddenly, unsure why she’d done it at all.

Rainbow Dash glanced back at her, an eyebrow raised. “Yeah?”

“Um…” Twilight chewed her lip nervously, desperately trying to figure out why she’d called out. She felt strange, like she wasn’t quite ready for Rainbow to leave. But she had no reason for her to stay, either. Instead, swallowing thickly, Twilight just asked, “Will you be back for reading night this Friday?”

“Huh? Of course,” Rainbow said. “Haven’t missed one yet, have I?”

Nodding, only partially to her friend, Twilight breathed a sigh of relief, feeling the rumbling inside her settle. “See you then,” she said.

With that, Rainbow kicked off the ground and soared into the distant horizon. Twilight watched her go, a pensive frown stretching across her lips. She wasn’t sure why, but she felt the need to gather a few extra pillows for their reading night. And to make sure her wings were as spotlessly-impressive as Rainbow’s were.

Blech!” Twilight spat out a few more feathers as she made her way inside.

Author's Note:

Written because the mental image of Twilight chewing on her wings is just too adorable and I decided to turn it into an entire fic. Comments below, yeah?

Also happy birthday, Celysus! Hope you don't mind this taking a little while to finish.