• Published 10th Oct 2012
  • 7,843 Views, 294 Comments

A Rainbow in the Dark - FeignedSincerity

Rainbow Dash has a fear that nopony knows about, but that's about to change.

  • ...

5. Left On Your Own

"Rainbow!" Twilight yelled out, though she really didn't need to. Rainbow was just entering the lobby car with an overstuffed saddle bag on her back. A corner of her blanket peeked out from the satchel.

"I'm right here Twilight," Rainbow laughed, though her laugh was not her typical jovial sort. It was almost mocking. "I was just coming to find you."

"I'm so sorry! I forgot! Applejack was talking to me and I just forgot you were waiting and-" She got cut off by a simple kiss, as Rainbow made her way to the exit.

"Don't worry about it, I understand." Her mouth coiled into a smirk, looking away from Twilight.

"Wait... You're not mad?" Twilight asked, a little baffled. After her attitude today and then forgetting about her, she thought Rainbow would be at least a little angry.

"Nope, not mad. Come on, we need to get off the train."

Twilight searched her mind for the appropriate reaction. She was confused for one, but also a little worried. 'She's hiding something...' she thought, quickly recollecting herself and following closely behind.

The platform was busy, bustling with ponies getting off of the trains in other terminals. Friends reunited, families welcomed their visitors, and tourists marveled at the sight that was Trottingham. It was a magnificent view for sure, something more cultured then most are used to. Twilight disregarded it however, for she was a Canterlot pony born and raised. Her friends though, they were another story.

"Oh isn't it just marvelous? For this weekend, we shall live like princesses!" Rarity did a little twirl where she stood, trying to contain her excitement. Fluttershy shrunk a little, daunted by the size of it all.

"It's all so... Big..." she muttered, but Rainbow placed a hoof around her shoulder.

"Nothing to fear pal, this is the big city! Stick with us and you won't get hurt!"

"But what if I get lost? What if one of us gets lost and we can't find each other?" Fluttershy gave a brief shiver and squinted to try and expel the thought. "That would be just awful."

"And that's why I've devised a buddy system!" Twilight exclaimed, gaining the attention of the others. "Since it's a new city and we aren't familiar with the layout, it only makes sense. When any of us needs to leave the group for any reason, make sure to bring somepony with you."

Applejack laughed off the idea, taking a step towards the city. "Ah think Ah can find my way around just fine Twi. Ah reckon Ah'll have this place memorized in no time a-t'all!"

"Well I think it's a wonderful idea!" A large white hoof made itself present just before Applejack. "Wouldn't want anypony getting lost!"

The entire group knelt to the floor, except of course for Twilight Sparkle. "Princess Celestia!" She ran forward and gave the princess a big hug. "I didn't know you'd be here to greet us!"

"But of course Twilight, I was on the train." The six friends give each other puzzled glances. Twilight heard something to her left and craned her neck to check. Sure enough it was Luna pulling a pile of bags out on the next terminal.

"You took the train? Why didn't you tell me?"

"We wished for thou and thine friends to enjoy the time together." Luna had made her way over, leaving most of her luggage with the attendants.

"Though I regret to say that my little sister did a little bit of snooping." Twilight felt her entire body seize up. "I believe she even yelled at you this morning? I'm very sorry for her, and I'm sure she is too."

'How much does she know?' Twilight pondered, trying to bring her self back to life. "So you, uh, you were watching us?"

"We only wished to make sure thine trip was a success!" Luna gave a motherly smile, but it looked more like a cannibalistic grin.

"And you were the one who yelled at me an' Twi?" Applejack inquired. "Well shoot, Ah thought that voice sounded mighty recognizable!"

Twilight worked at relaxing her body little by little so as to not look like a statue. "But Princess Luna, why are you here? Aren't you needed in Canterlot?"

"We have control over the night sky in all places Twilight Sparkle! Our place is wherever the moon may shine!" She then dropped her regal tone and explained further. "I would also hate to miss the celebration of my own defeat..."

Celestia motioned a hoof towards the exit of the station and smiled warmly, succeeding far more than Luna. "Shall we? I'd love to show you all where you will be staying! I've made sure to reserve a nice suite for the six of you to share."

"So like one big slumber party? WHOOPEE!" Pinkie Pie exploded from her kneeling stance with a fanfare of confetti. Her head now adorned with a party hat and her back covered in colorful streamers, she bounced happily towards the open streets.

The group began walking, looking every which direction to take in the sights of a new place. The buildings and residents were all so different than they were used to. Twilight stayed up front with Celestia and Luna, while Rainbow Dash followed close behind her.

"I have so much I need to tell you about Princess! It's been too long." Twilight beamed, forgetting about most of her former stress.

"And I have much to tell you my most promising student. But first, I think it would be important to take some time for your friends." Her tone was as happy and motherly as ever, but something in it hinted at being commanding.

"I spend plenty of time with them Princess, and I never get to see you."

"Oh? How was the train ride? Did you have fun?" Again that slight hint in her voice suggested almost too much. Twilight blushed, wishing she could actually claim to have spent time with anypony other than Rainbow Dash.

"Well actually Princess..." She hesitated, wishing it was easier to talk about. "I was hoping maybe I could talk to you about something... In private..."

Celestia's smile was finally graced with pure happiness, nothing underlying. "But of course Twilight. After dinner we can speak, just you and I. Until then, you have some preparations to make!"

"That's the other thing..."

"I know, and it's alright." Celestia looked down at her student and gave a wink. "You'll have plenty of time in the room."

Rainbow Dash could hardly hear any of what they were talking about, but was surprised to find the princess of the night walking next to her.

In the lowest, most discrete volume that Luna could muster, she struck a conversation with the nervous pegasus. "You have taken a liking to my sister's protege, hast thou not?"

"I... Huh?" Rainbow Dash had to think about it, deciding whether or not she had just heard that from the younger alicorn. "Wait... So you totally were involved weren't you?"

"I cannot claim such a thing Rainbow Dash. Though I have been encouraged by my sister to try and speak with you, try to get to know you better," Luna explained, being as inviting as she could. "We- I know that you are afraid of me, you do not have to pretend."

The pegasus narrowed her eyes and scowled. "Now who said I was afraid of you? I'm not afraid of anything!"

"We are the night young Rainbow Dash, I know." She let out a disappointed sigh. "We can feel the eyes of any who gaze upon my stars. We also... I shall wish you to never repeat this... See all that transpires under my moon..."

"So you know-"

"Everything." Luna smiled again, this time managing a more passable excuse. "And it's ok. Also, we have arrived."

The sizable group halted before a large tower of a building. It stretched twelve stories into the sky, and the doors were adorned with golden handles. Rarity nearly fainted.

"You mean we are to stay here?" Her jaw couldn't fall any lower, taking in every inch of the expertly shined windows. "I- And we- Ooooh." She slowly collapsed to the ground, only to be caught by Spike.

"Your room is at the very top. It comes with a living space, three bed rooms, and everything else you would ever need to be comfortable!" Princess Celestia held the door open to let them all in. The carpets were elegant, the decor bragged a level of culture that not even Rarity could have imagined. Rarity found a way to faint even more.

"I don't know what to say Princess... This is incredible! We are all very thankful!" Twilight gave a polite bow, but Celestia only laughed.

"Oh there's no need to thank me young one, I want my primary planner to feel welcome!" Celestia approached the check in counter, everypony dropping to their knees in respect as she passed, and received a set of keys without question. "Come my pupils, I shall show you to your room."

The elevator service was slow, and the contraption itself was cramped. Four brawny pegasi pulled a protected box up through a narrow shaft, stopping when the opening showed the very top floor. The hall way was very empty, very few doors adorning the walls. Celestia again took the lead, beckoning for her company to follow.

"You six are to stay in this room." She stopped at the third room into the hallway with the number '1203' emblazoned in gold. "My sister and I will be staying in room 1204, so if you need anything we will be right next door!"

A gilded key levitated to the lock and twisted, opening the door to reveal a grotto of luxury and pampering. Rarity fainted a third time, which proved too much for Spike's back as they both tumbled to the floor. Pinkie did a cartwheel through the door, ending with a near perfect spin-flip directly onto the couch.

"It bounces you guys! The couch is bouncy! WEEEEE!" She continued to do flips, spins, and odd grabs off of the cushions that rebounded to her weight each time she lost contact. The remaining four watched, up and down, as Pinkie came closer and closer to the ceiling.

"I apologize we could not get a separate room for each of you, but it just would not be realistic." Celestia began making her way towards her own room, allowing the group of friends to get settled in. "Oh! I almost forgot. Twilight, there are a few maps and census listings in your room. I decided to give you a head start." She gave a wink and officially left for her own suite.

Once all of the luggage had been dragged in, some more delicately than others, the affair of rooming was to be addressed.

"If I am to share a room with anyone, it will simply have to be Fluttershy." Rarity began carrying a small box towards one of the rooms. The room on the right had a note on it, indicating it to be for Twilight. The other two were fair game.

"Me? Oh, well I wouldn't want to put anypony else out if they wanted to..." Fluttershy scraped a hoof at the carpet, wishing she hadn't been the first pick.

"You are quiet and won't disturb me during my beauty sleep," Rarity explained, pushing her door open. "It's decided, Fluttershy will be rooming with me."

Pinkie launched off of the couch and landed on Applejack's back. "Then that leaves me and you as roomies! Oh this will be fun-a-rific! I've always wanted to get to know a little about Applejack!"

"Not to burst your bubble Pinkie Pie but we ain't the only ones left."

"Well I figured that Twilight and Dashie would room together so that they'd have plenty of time to f-"

Applejack shoved her hoof in Pinkie's mouth as fast as she could, clearing her throat. "Ah'd love to room with you Pinkie Pie!"

Twilight and Rainbow both shared a glance, turning beet red. "Well uh... Yeah I guess if I have to room with the egghead I don't mind..." Rainbow backed towards the room set aside for Twilight while dragging her saddle bag across the floor. "I'm just gonna go unpack."

"Good idea! I need to get started on some work." Twilight likewise pulled her bag into her room, a few pieces of paper falling out through the barely closed sides.

Pinkie and Applejack were alone, and Applejack bucked her rear up to knock Pinkie off of her back. "Pinkie, sometimes Ah wonder about you..."

"You're jea-lous!" Pinkie sang as she landed on a single hoof, showing off her fancy hoof-work.

"Jealous? Ah ain't jealous!" Applejack corrected, beginning to lose hope in this vacation. "What in tarnation do you think Ah'm even jealous of?"

The pink mare walked backwards, though in the style of walking forward. She moon walked to the door, kicking it open with a hind leg. "You're jealous," she began, producing a wide brimmed hat and placing it on her head. "Cause I got swag." She disappeared into the room, leaving the farmer alone.

"This weekend is gonna be a nightmare... Might as well unpack..." With her ears flipped down in anger, Applejack begrudgingly pulled her hooves towards the door to her doom. A loud crash from within only confirmed her fears. "Celestia help me..."

"This is so awesome!" Rainbow proclaimed while falling back on the mattress. "Our own room! Now we don't have to sneak around and we can spend as much time together as we want!"

"Yes, awesome, have you seen my pen?" Twilight dug a hoof through her pack to find the utensil, but nothing came of it.

Rainbow stifled a snicker and rolled over on the bed. "Nope, not since last night!"

"I need it to write some things down. Are there any others in this place?"

"I don't think so." Rainbow answered, shooting a quick glance at her saddle bag to make sure it was closed.

"UUUGH! I need to get started on my list. Rainbow, do you think you could check out in the living room?" Twilight began checking under each piece of paper, and then placing them all down precisely where they were.

"I dunno Twilight, I'm pretty sure there aren't any."

Twilight turned and gave Rainbow her best puppy dog eyes. "Pretty please?"

Rainbow's heart melted, and she got up from her comfortable spot. "Alright, alright, I'll look. Now stop being so cute it's not fair." She walked over to the desk to give the pleading unicorn a soft kiss, pulling her in longingly. After contact was broken, Rainbow ruffled her mane and walked out the door.

The living room was empty, other than Fluttershy who was sleeping on the couch.

"Yo Shy, what are you doing out here?"

With a soft yawn, Fluttershy opened her eyes and smiled at her friend. "Oh just taking a nap, Rarity suggested that I vacated the room while she decorated."

"Well that's dumb." Rainbow retaliated, making her way to the dining table to check. "Hey do you know if there are any pens here?"

"Not out here, but Rarity has one in our room," Fluttershy recalled, hoping to be able to help her friend. "You can have it if you-"

"Keep it." Rainbow double checked a few spots around the suite to make sure it was pen free and let out a relieved sigh. "If you find any more, take them. Hide all of the pens that you find."

"But why would you want me to hide the pens?" Fluttershy raised her head from the couch cushion and looked inquisitively at Rainbow.

"It's kind of a game I'm playing with Twilight." The playful pegasus sat on the floor to speak with Fluttershy. "She forgot about me this morning in the train, so instead of being mad I thought I'd just play keep away. Her pen is in my bag."

Fluttershy sat up all the way and gave Rainbow a somewhat disapproving stare. "Isn't that a little mean? She needs to do her work Rainbow, that's the reason we're all here."

Rainbow's ears flattened, but she held her ground defiantly. "Well she promised me she'd come back and see me before we got here, and she never did."

"I know you're feeling a lot of mixed emotions right now Rainbow Dash, but I'm sure you could talk to her about it. Hiding things from her just doesn't seem like the right thing to do." Rainbow was taken aback, not expecting all of that from the demure pegasus that usually held her tongue.

"Mixed emotions? Who said I had emotions? Come on Shy, that's just silly."

"I've known you longer than the others Rainbow Dash, I can tell when you're hiding something, and it's not just a pen." Fluttershy stood up off the couch and sat to face Rainbow directly. "I'm not going to ask about the dynamics of your relationship, but keeping things from her will only make it worse."

"Yeah I guess you're right..." Everything she said was true, and Rainbow Dash had to admit that Fluttershy had this way of knowing just what to say to her. "I'll give her the pen back..." She started towards her room again, but had just one more thing on her mind. "Shy... How many of you know?"

"We all know Rainbow, but I promise I won't say anything to Twilight." Fluttershy gave an assuring smile. "I'm here for you if you ever need to talk. For now I just wanted to give you some advice."

"Didn't you already give me some advice?"

"Oh, well, yes, but this is more important."

"What is it then?"

"Take it slow." Fluttershy provided a worried look. "Don't you think you're jumping into this a little fast? None of us knew there was anything between you two until it suddenly happened on the train... I just don't want you or Twilight to get hurt."

"I've got this Fluttershy. If there's anypony who can handle a little speed, it's me. Thanks for the talk though, glad to know you're cool with this." Rainbow made her way to the door and opened it. She gave a thankful smile to her friend just before closing it.

"Oh Rainbow Dash... Please be careful." Fluttershy stared out the window to watch a flock of birds fly overhead. "Your heart is more fragile than you might think..."

The room was a mess. Papers were thrown all over and charts were hanging from the bed frame. The only thing that remained untouched was Rainbow Dash's saddle bag.

"I know I had a pen! I used it on the train! Think Twilight, think... Where was the last place I used my pen..." Twilight paced back and forth in the room, matting down the soft carpet where her hooves trailed over and over. "The last place I-"

"I'm back." Rainbow closed the door and made her way over to her bag. "There aren't any pens out there. Hey, can I talk to you for a second?"

"I don't have time Rainbow Dash, I need to find my pen so I can work!"

"It won't take long Twilight, please." Rainbow begged, wanting to finally get some things out in the open.

"I'm sorry Rainbow, but this is important!"

"And I'm not?" She didn't mean to say it, but it came out. That was, after all, how she felt. "I have your stupid pen, now will you just sit down and talk to me?"

Twilight felt her heart stop as she once again recognized what she was doing. She dropped the parchment that she had been searching under and made her way over to the perturbed mare on the bed.

"I can talk..." She lowered her nose, feeling ashamed of herself. "What did you need to talk to me about?"

"Are you sure you're ok with all of this?" Rainbow set her eyes on an odd colored spot on the wall. She wasn't at all the foolhardy dare-devil anymore, she was a concerned mare-friend.

"Of course I am!" Twilight placed her hoof over Rainbow's, hoping it would ease the tension. "What makes you think I'm not?"

"You're not acting like yourself. Ever since I came into your room a couple nights ago, you've been acting kind of crazy." Rainbow broke her sight from the wall and looked into Twilight's eyes. "And I'm just worried that you don't want to be with me. Like you're just doing this so you don't have to be wrong..."

Twilight felt a knot in her throat form. She felt like a monster to say the least. "Rainbow... I do want to be with you... I'm just...Why didn't you say something?"

"Because I was scared..." They both sat in silence, pondering how to continue. Rainbow was the first to break the silence. "I don't do well with losing and... Well, I don't want to lose you..."

"But Rainbow, you aren't losing me! Why would you say that?" Twilight placed another hoof on Rainbow's and held it to her heart. "You've done nothing but make me happy!"

Rainbow retracted her hoof and folded her forelegs on her lap. "But you're not happy. I know you're not happy and I know why you're not happy."

Twilight tried to reply but it just didn't happen. Rainbow continued.

"It was unexpected. You hadn't planned for this. Your schedule is completely blown because of me." She blinked back a tear and leaned back on her elbows. "If not for me, this whole vacation would be going great. We'd all be out there playing games and laughing, but I ruined all of it."

"You didn't ruin anything!" Twilight noticed the pain in Rainbow's eyes and laid back. "Come here, it'll be ok. I promise."

"Pinkie Promise?"

"Don't do this to me Rainbow Dash..." Twilight closed her eyes, hesitant to commit to a Pinkie Promise. This was a big uncertainty and she was afraid that it would be a promise she couldn't keep.

"Please." Rainbow was on the verge of full on sobbing. "Just Pinkie Promise me that..."

"That what?" Twilight was even more so afraid of what she had to promise to.

"That you won't break my heart..." There was that silence again. Twilight felt her mind racing, trying to solve the problem as logically as it could. Just then, however, she let her heart make it's own decision.

"Cross my heart, hope to fly..." She gulped, trying to force out that last phrase. "Stick a cupcake... in my eye..."

Rainbow Dash let out a relieved sigh and fell back, curling up into Twilight's side. "Thanks Twilight... It means a lot." She reached her nose up as much as she could, nuzzling Twilight's neck. Twilight blushed, feeling strangely good about making that leap in spontaneity.

"Where's my pen?" Rainbow let out a giggle and flicked Twilight's ear.

"You kidding me?"

"Where's my pen Rainbow Dash?"

"Fine, it's in my saddle bag."

"Thanks." Twilight placed a kiss on top of Rainbow's head and tried to get up, but was held down by the pegasus attached to her.

"Oh, you're not getting it that easy!" Rolling on top, Rainbow pinned the studious mare to the bed. "You're gonna have to get to it first!"

Ever the strategist, Twilight swept her hind legs to the back of Rainbow's knees, forcing her off of her balance. The aggressive pegasus collapsed on top of Twilight as she wrapped her hooves behind Rainbow's neck. Rainbow had been forced into a kiss.

Twilight pulled her in passionately, rolling over to secure her place on top. Rainbow closed her eyes and enjoyed the closeness of the encounter. Of course Twilight cut it short and peeled herself off the bed. "And you said it wouldn't be easy."

"Hey! Not cool!" Rainbow protested, but smiled anyway. For now, her fears had been calmed.