• Published 10th Oct 2012
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A Rainbow in the Dark - FeignedSincerity



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

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6. It Always Brings Me Down

The chirping of the birds filled the calm winds with music. Twilight walked alongside the princess, taking in the scenery of the park. Children played in the open field, laughing and chasing each other all for the fun of it.

"Thank you for coming with me princess. I didn't get a whole lot done in the room." Twilight lowered her head a degree to show a level of apology only a failed student could muster.

"Do not worry about it my student, I'm happy to take a walk with you." Celestia kept her face forward, offering slight nods to her subjects as they passed by. "And I believe you had something else on your mind, correct?"

"Yes, I must admit that my mind has not been on task since the night that we left." Twilight gave a courteous smile to a young colt who waved to the regal looking pair. "A lot happened on that train."

Stopping at a bench, Celestia indicated a rather lanky looking stallion tending to a shrubbery in the distance. "But first, you have a job to do! That's Bushy Greens, he is in charge of decoration."

"Right... I'lll be right back!" Twilight trotted off to greet the agriculturally minded pony, leaving Celestia by herself at the wooden seat.

She watched the two converse, reveling in the progress that her student had made. It was only two years ago that she had been so socially inept that even talking to Pinkie Pie was difficult for her. A warm smile found it's way to Celestia's face as the memories flowed in. The serenity of the park provided a perfect atmosphere for reminiscing. 'Look at her, smiling and enjoying herself.' Celestia remarked to herself silently. Twilight's face was alight, glowing as if she had stumbled upon true happiness. 'She sure seems happier then last we spoke... Perhaps it is the anonymity of a stranger that comforts her.

"I'm back!" Twilight returned, her face now supporting it's regular, half smile.

"You looked to be at peace Twilight, why do you seem so estranged now?" Celestia asked in a worried tone.

"I don't know... Maybe that can be solved with what I wanted to talk to you about." Twilight suggested. Celestia continued in the direction of the street and laughed in a motherly fashion.

"I would like to make a guess though Twilight. Would you happen to be in love?" Twilight hesitated to follow, but forced her hooves forward to join her mentor.

"How did you..." she began, resisting the urge to just throw her feelings at the all powerful being next to her.

"You act nervous and reserved around your friends," Celestia pointed out, waving a friendly hoof towards a small family sitting outside of a cafe. "And yet with Mr. Greens you looked as happy as I've ever seen you. You're afraid of the ones you love while you glow at any chance of being unknown. I know the symptoms Twilight Sparkle."

Twilight nearly tripped over a slightly protruding stone in the road. Fighting to regain her balance, she tried to recall if she really had been that comfortable with a stranger. "I suppose you're right princess... But there's more to it."

"Then please explain. I'm here to listen."

"The problem is how it happened..." Twilight had finally found her equilibrium and walked at a level pace again. "It kind of just... Happened. One moment I was perfectly happy being alone, and then sh-uh... they walked in and it just... Happened."

"And this happened on the train?" Celestia inquired. "You do not have to mince words for my sake child, you have nothing to fear."

"Rainbow Dash..." Twilight spat out, not really having a sentence to follow her outburst.

"Ah yes, the colorful young athlete! How is she?" Celestia turned to approach a bakery wedged between two larger office buildings.

"She's good... She's more than good! She's-" The day dreaming unicorn had to rewire her brain to answer correctly. "I mean, she is doing well."

A bell rang to indicate a new customer. A dark red pony with a white mane popped up from searching under the counter.

"Welcome!" he beamed, giving his most welcoming smile.

"Twilight, this is Red Velvet. He will be catering the celebration! Please, forget I'm here." Celestia found her way to a small table in the dining room, sitting to look out the window at the bustling streets.

"But Princess-" Twilight realized what Celestia was trying to prove, and continued on to converse with the baker. "Ok... Well, hello! I am Twilight Sparkle, and I am here to make sure everything is going well for the Summer Sun Celebration."

The street outside was rough, giving the appearance of age and experience. Celestia watched through the window as ponies passed, displacing the dirt between the stones with every step. She barely heard a few bits of banter between residents over the conversation taking place behind her. 'Twilight and Rainbow. I must admit it is rather cute...'

"Princess, I'm ready!"

"Oh, but of course Twilight!" Celestia stood and gave an appreciative smile to Red. "Did you notice it?"

"Notice what?"

"Your smile?" Celestia's own smile grew in size as she saw the happiness in her student's eyes.

"My what? Oh..." Twilight blushed a deep red and looked away sheepishly. "Yeah I guess I did..."

"You are happy my student, so what is it that bothers you?" Celestia gave one last wave to the proprietor of the bakery before pressing through the doors.

"Well that's the thing... I don't know why, but it just doesn't seem right." Twilight shivered as the cold stone met with her delicate hooves. "It feels like something is missing."

Celestia ceased walking to place a hoof on the tip of Twilight's horn. "Your mind is adept Twilight Sparkle." She then moved her hoof down to Twilight chest. "Your heart is inexperienced and frail. Do you think that you're perhaps allowing your heart to assume control a little too quickly?"

"I believe you're right... But I don't know how to stop it." Twilight fought a tear back into it's gland and looked up at her teacher. "It's like I have no control over it! Is that how love is supposed to work?"

Celestia placed her hoof under Twilight's chin and lifted her muzzle to achieve a direct gaze. "You still have much to learn my pupil. Love is a whole different kind of magic than you're used to."

"If it's magic, then why can't I control it?" Twilight pleaded. The answer seemed to constantly allude her.

Celestia simply sighed and continued onward. "You misunderstand Twilight. It is not a magic that one can summon from their horn. Only Princess Cadence has ever been able to perform such a spell. You need to hone your emotions just as you had to hone your mental prowess."

"But Rainbow Dash seems to be much more comfortable with this than me. I don't understand, she can barely focus on one of my lectures, let alone something like this!" Twilight furrowed her brow, trying to make sense of it all. Her hooves once again betrayed her desires and kept moving on.

"Rainbow Dash is much more physically and emotionally minded than you Twilight. While you excel in logic and mental feats, she is far more in tune with her own feelings," The princess reminded her student, hoping to teach her something valuable. "And in that case, you must remember that you are dealing with not only your heart, but that of another. It is a delicate issue which sometimes cannot be solved with logic and control. That will only lead to a broken heart."

'That you won't break my heart...

...Stick a cupcake in my eye.'

The memory from earlier that evening flooded in. Her promise. She was on the fast track to breaking that promise if she didn't do something, but her mind and her heart just did not want to cooperate. "How do I fix this?"

"What ever do you mean Twilight?" Celestia asked knowingly.

"Do I stay with her? Do I end it before she gets hurt? What do I do?"

"I'm afraid I cannot give you that answer," Celestia replied, looking forward to a music store in the distance. "That is a decision you must make on your own. Perhaps that is a conversation you need to have with her."

The two continued walking. Celestia could just barely see in her peripherals that Twilight was deep in thought. 'Make the right decision Twilight Sparkle. For her sake, and for your own.' The sun was beginning to set, leaving the pair to make preparations under the pastel colors of the young night sky.

"How was your walk?" Rainbow asked, waking up from her nap. She had taken it upon herself to keep the bed warm while Twilight was out on business. It was nearly dark out, the sky sporting a deep blue that provided just enough light to see. The moon was crawling sluggishly to the opposite horizon.

"It was good." Twilight picked up her quill, already tipped with ink, and prepared to begin with her note taking.

"What did you talk about?" Rainbow draped her hind legs over the mattress, her wings hanging limp behind her.

"Stuff."

"What kind of stuff?"

Twilight placed the pen back down, allowing the ink to drip onto the hoof-crafted desk. "We talked about you..."

Rainbow withdrew her wings, folding them onto her back as she perked up at that statement. "You talked about me? Like, what about me?"

"I guess I should say we talked about us." Twilight hid her face in her hooves on the desk. This was not a conversation she wanted to have. "About you and I."

"What about you and I?"

Not wanting to explain, Twilight picked up her quill to try and distract her mind. "About our feelings, that kind of thing."

"Twilight, you're starting to worry me." Rainbow stood from the bed and moved in towards the nervous unicorn. "Talk to me."

"About how I don't know what I'm doing..." Rainbow's heart sank, fearing that this could be the end.

"What about it don't you know?"

"Everything..." Twilight gently placed the quill in it's spot once more and slammed her head against the desk. "I'm happy with you, but I'm miserable when I try to talk to any of our friends. My heart is making decisions for me that I can't control!"

"Oh, is that all?" Rainbow wiped a bead of sweat from her forehead and wrapped her hooves around Twilight. "You're over-thinking it again."

Twilight felt her mind calm down a little, enjoying the embrace of her companion. "Maybe I am... But I don't know how to stop."

"Just relax," Rainbow suggested, tightening her hold. "Don't let that huge nerd brain of yours control you. Just allow yourself to feel."

Twilight could feel Rainbow's heartbeat pressed tightly against her back. It was soothing, synchronizing with her own. Rather than replying, she focused everything that she could on her body. She let each nerve experience the closeness of her friend, rather than trying to justify their situation. She could feel every strand of Rainbow's blue coat tickling against her skin, tangling with her own lavender fur. The sensation was like nothing she could remember. Finally, that tear that threatened to spill out won the struggle. It was followed by an entire army.

"Are you crying?" Rainbow asked, feeling a stream of tears as Twilight buried her face in her arms. "What's wrong?"

"I'm going to hurt you if we let this continue..." Twilight sobbed, holding onto Rainbow's hooves for dear life.

"I'm willing to take that chance Twi," Rainbow retorted as she rested her head on the back of Twilight's. "And besides, you made a promise. You couldn't hurt me if you tried!"

Twilight's tears doubled, her sobs growing in volume until they could almost be heard from the living room. "I'm just afraid I can't keep my promise Rainbow! I don't want to hurt you but I know I will!"

"I'm a big girl Twilight," Rainbow whispered, trying to be comforting. "I can take it. The fact that you were willing to make that promise means more to me than you could imagine..."

The paper underneath the emotional pair had become damp, spotted with tears and blotched with dripping ink. The fibers of the parchment were only a few drops of blood away from a teen drama.

Twilight wiped her nose on her hoof and sat up. Her sobbing had subsided, but the tears still ran free. "Oh Celestia I'm a mess. I'm sorry..."

"It's ok Twilight, just calm down." Rainbow placed a kiss on the back of Twilight's head and remained attached from behind.

"I need to..." Twilight tried to say, working around her protesting throat. Every word threatened to choke her, tightening the knot in her gut. "I need to finish up my notes..." Her mind slowly began to switch over to work mode, shutting out all emotion to focus on what needed to be done.

"Don't you think you should take a break? Come on, we can go spend time with the others! Maybe if you finally talk to them about it you can just be happy again."

"No... I can't..." Twilight dried off her eyes with an already ruined sheet of paper and tossed it towards the waste basket in the corner. "They won't understand... I just need to work..."

Rainbow loosened her hold and backed off a little, producing a tired sigh. "They already know Twilight... And from what I can tell they seem pretty cool with it. They just want to help..."

"They don't know... Nopony knows but me and you."

"And Celestia, and Luna, and..."

"Luna knows?"

Rainbow lost all contact with Twilight as she hovered gently above the carpet. Her wings fluttered impatiently as she accepted that this was a lost cause for now. "I'm sorry. Do your work, and try to relax. I'll be here when you're done."

"Thank you..."

Rainbow watched with scrutiny as Twilight began writing. It was something that never truly interested her, but still absorbed her anxiety. It was taking strangely long for Twilight to commit to making any marks on the paper, but Dash assumed it was just part of her note taking process. Finally, a single line was drawn upon the page.

"It's crooked," Rainbow remarked, pointing out the odd angle that the line sat at. "Isn't it supposed to be straight?"

Twilight gave a disgruntled groan, flicking the paper onto the floor. "Please Rainbow, I need to concentrate."

"Hey Twilight," the impatient pegasus prodded at the studious unicorn with a hoof, flapping her wings slowly to secure a place above the ground. "I'm bored."

The sound of those wings, going up and down, displaced the air quite audibly. Each flap grated at Twilight's ear drums, getting louder and louder.

"Perhaps you could see what the others are doing?" Twilight suggested. 'Now is not the time Rainbow...' She gritted her teeth, wishing to end that awful flapping. Her magical grip tightened, earning a sharp creak from the quill in her grasp.

"Can you come with me?" Rainbow folded fore legs across her chest, allowing her wings to lower her hooves to barely touch the carpet.

"I'm sorry Rainbow, but I have to work. I'll be out shortly." The pen lowered slowly, almost ready to attempt at writing once more. The tears once again fought to jump out onto the pages of her notes, but she blinked them away.

"Right, sorry," Rainbow planted all four hooves on the floor and folded her wings to her side. "I'll just go see who's out in the living room."

"You do that." The pen found it's way to the page, making progress a little bit at a time. 'I just need to concentrate...'

SLAM

"RAINBOW!" An angered yell could be heard from the now closed door, following the door slamming behind Rainbow Dash. She let her eyes roam around the room, seeing who all was out and about. Rarity sat on the couch, knitting a scarf with her magic, while Spike watched the needles weave in and out. Applejack sat at a table across from Pinkie Pie, a checkered board in between the two covered in carved wooden figures.

'Keep it together Rainbow Dash. Just don't think about it and have a good time with your friends.' Her imagination struggled to remind her of the slippery slope that her love life was standing on.

"Checkmate! How's that for strategery!" Applejack gave Pinkie a smug grin, beckoning her to make a move.

"Jokes on you Apples! Full house!" Pinkie revealed her hooves, which were hidden under the table, to show a full house. She slammed the cards on the board and knocked all of the pieces out of place.

"That ain't how you play chess Pinkie!" Applejack slammed her own hooves on the table in protest, sending the pieces even farther from their positions.

Pinkie pulled out another hand, this one a royal flush. "Fine then! I found your cumulus so ha!"

Applejack couldn't decide if she should be mad or just annoyed. Regardless, she flipped the table over, sending the board and the pieces scattering on the floor. Then she noticed Rainbow Dash.

"Now there's a pony who can play a good, normal game." Pinkie poked her head out from under the table and giggled.

"Oh can't you find a quiet hobby? Honestly, the sound of your arguing is making my head spin." Rarity levitated a newly finished scarf over to the perturbed farmer and wrapped it around her neck. "There, nice and toasty! And stylish to boot."

Applejack scraped the soft neck warmer off of her body in a hurry, stomping it to the floor. Rarity huffed, insulted by the gesture. "As Ah was gonna say, I ain't seen much a you since we left Ponyville. Well Ah reckon you've got plenty you'd like to talk about! You know, since we're such good friends an all."

"Are you jealous?" Rainbow scoffed, walking past to pick the table up off of the floor.

"This again? Now who's been tellin' y'all Ah'm jealous? Jealous a what?"

Rarity salvaged her scarf from the floor, floating it over to herself and dusting it off. "Well, Rainbow has confided in me, and I suppose now you want in."

"Wait, y'all talked to Rarity about it but you won't say nothin' to me?"

'Give her time...' Rainbow thought, trying to hold her tongue. She sighed heavily, righting the table on it's legs and began collecting chess pieces. "I haven't said anything to anypony."

"Except me," Rarity corrected.

"And Fluttershy!" Pinkie re-corrected.

"How..." Rainbow dropped a hoof full of pawns, creating a racket of clattering. "How did you even know that?"

Pinkie's voice replied from over Dash's shoulder, eerily close. "Because I know all."

Rainbow shot into the air, letting out a startled gasp.

"Just kidding! I heard you through the door!" Rainbow released the breath that she had accidentally held and slowly resumed her stance on the ground.

"If you heard me, then why didn't Applejack?" She began feeling a little cornered, but that was old hat at this point.

"Because Applejack doesn't eaves drop!" The pink pony walked over to assist in the containment of Applejack's mess.

"Well at least you're honest." Rainbow flung her front hooves dramatically, spraying wooden figures in a wide arc in front of her. "Does everyone know? Seriously, who doesn't know so I can tell them!"

Applejack gave a sympathetic frown, and motioned for the exasperated pegasus to join her by the couch. "It's alright sugar cube, just take a breather and let it all out. We ain't gonna judge you for it."

"No, you know what? No!" Rainbow stubbornly protested, turning her back on her friends. 'I have to get out of here before I say something I shouldn't...' She explained to herself. "I've had enough of this therapy stuff, I'm totally fine. If this is what I'm going to get from you guys, then I'm going out."

"You ain't goin' nowhere Dash! What would your mare-friend say if you didn't follow her buddy rule?" Applejack stomped a hoof, getting fed up with all of this tension.

"She didn't mean me!" The desperate blue mare made a dash for the door, only to be blocked by a strong orange hoof. "Let me out!"

"Nothin' doin' Rainbow."

Magenta eyes scanned for another way out. 'Aha! The balcony!'

With a prismatic blur, Rainbow charged for the open balcony door, only to once again be shut down. Pinkie slammed the glass sliding door shut. "DE-NIED!" she yelled, stopping Rainbow dead in her tracks. Except that's not what happened.

The glass shattered, showering Rainbow with prickly crystals as she tumbled through the newly permanent opening. The balcony didn't prove much resistance either, as she bounced off of the floor and directly over the short railing.

"Did you see her? She went all KASPLOW through the door!" Pinkie fell to the floor, rolling over in laughter.

"Pinkie are out of your mind?!" Rarity threw her needles across the room, rushing to the balcony to see if Rainbow was alright. Applejack joined her, as she watched the disoriented pegasus plummet.

A few passers by gathered, watching in panic as a cyan form fell, flailing and screaming, towards the stone road below. In the suite, a door nearly came off of it's frame.

"What was that?!" Twilight shouted, fearing that she knew exactly what just happened.

"Rainbow!" Spike replied from Rarity's back. "She fell off the balcony!"

"RAINBOW!" Without giving it a second though, Twilight charged through her friends and vaulted over the railing. Pointing her horn downward, she dove towards Rainbow Dash.

That glass shattered. Rainbow felt as if she had been blasted with sand, only it would have to be sand made of razor blades. The hard surface of the balcony reverberated through her shoulder as she felt a pop, rebounding her form off of the suddenly inviting ground. 'No no no please no' she repeated to herself, watching almost in slow motion a the rail came closer and closer. And then it passed under her, giving way to the loathsome cobblestones below.

That moment lasted forever. It seemed to her Rainbow Dash almost comical, as she imagined herself floating there for seconds before dropping. Unfortunately, she didn't have that luxury. The wind swept through her coat, blowing the vapors right off of her sweating skin. It felt cool, liberating, like flying. Unlike flying, she couldn't control her wings.

The initial impact with the door had knocked her sense loose just enough to lose all semblance of balance. Each wing fought to force a stop, but her momentum mixed with the uncontrolled spinning made it impossible. They simply flapped hopelessly, letting the breeze waft through each feather. Again, she noticed, it felt much like a leisurely fly.

The sizable outcrop from that top story window began to shrink. Rainbow watched when she could as her salvation escaped from above. A few faces could be seen looking down, presumably her friends. "HELP!" she screamed, desperate for anypony to catch her. Being a pegasus, she felt ashamed. 'Come on wings, fly!' She struggled to regain any control over her body.

'Is this it?' Rainbow thought, seeing the distance closing each time her line of sight permitted. Her eyes stung, but not from the blowing gusts that she was so used to. Rather, her eyes were being drowned in tears. She felt hopeless, like she never had before. Even in the dark, she knew deep down that she was safe. This was different. This was real. "Good... Goodbye..." She whispered, shutting her eyes tight, not wishing to see it happen.

Then a familiar sensation came about. It was a powerful aura, like of an especially adept unicorn. Rainbow Dash allowed one eye to open to see a friendly face. It was a determined face, focusing harder than ever before.

"Twi... Twilight?"

"I've got you!" Twilight shouted, calculating how much time she had to complete her spell.

"Twilight... I..." Rainbow felt as if she were dreaming. This particular situation reminded her of a section from one of her Daring Do novels. "I love-"