• Published 4th Nov 2012
  • 4,857 Views, 76 Comments

A Single Spark - Star Grazer

Sometimes, all that's needed to start a journey is a single remark.

  • ...


And perhaps the best way to truly understand what comes next is not so obvious.
One must revive the past in order to bring about the future.

She slammed into the cloud, grunting at the impact. Slowly, Rainbow backed up, glared at nothing in particular and gave up for the day. She flopped onto the cloud, staring up at skies above her, and snorted.

That was the third time that day she had messed up on a basic stunt. The third time that day she had nearly crashed into something worse than a cloud, and the third time that day she had questioned why she was so intent on smashing her forehead into anything and everything.

She closed her eyes, her forehead creasing as she forced herself to calm down, and actually think about it.

Her entire day had been ruined, she was in far too bad a mood now to even think about practicing her flying stunts. She was brash, but she wasn't crazy. But now, she wanted to find out why she kept on failing at the simplest of things. For Celestia's sake, that last one was a simple loop, for crying out loud!

She groaned with that, shoving her face into her hooves, retracing her thoughts to figure things out. She had started the day waking up just a bit past noon, and had grabbed some food and breezed through her weather duties, as she always did. Her problem wasn't there.

No, that started about a half hour after she started her daily routine of making sure her stunts were as awesome as always. It had gone as amazingly as any other day, until she began to mess up. There was hardly any warning, just a faint... feeling in her stomach. She opened her eyes then, and let out a sigh.

Thinking is Twilight's thing, not mine! Why should I be the one stuck with this? She groaned, before sitting up, her mind making a connection. The library! She had been passing over the building, and that had gotten her thinking about the friend who resided there.

Without warning, the mental image of the purple unicorn appeared in Rainbow's mind, and as she had for the past few weeks, she looked more than she used to. Rainbow still couldn't pin it, but with the unicorn in her mind, her stomach fluttered, and she snorted at the feeling.

That was what had to have messed her up. The images and memories of Twilight were fine. If anything, imagining that the unicorn was there improved her performance. No, that feeling, that flutter distracted her, made her mess up and spiral towards the ground because of a missed wing beat.

And there was her problem: The feeling came every time the librarian popped into her head. With a groan, Dash closed her eyes once more. Every. Single. Time. She rolled over, huffed, and brought herself to a hover over the cloud, soon moving past it.

I can't just stop thinking about her. That'd be impossible! I need to figure this out before I manage to break something. With that, she looked down at the town below, glancing as ponies hurried about, some stopping at restaurants for an early dinner or late lunch. Idly gazing on the town below, Rainbow spotted a building she recognized, and grinned.

It was a restaurant she hardly ever even took notice of, but it was still there, and with the overly-dressed waiter as well. Dash chuckled, passing it by, thinking back on the memory. Sure, Twi didn't like me from letting it rain on her, but hey, that whole thing was fun.

She stopped, blinking as she swiveled back to face the establishment. Twilight's the thinking pony, isn't she? Why shouldn't she be able to sort this out? And the restaurant below would be the perfect place to chat with her. Forcing the flutter that decided to creep in on her stomach out of her mind, Rainbow zipped across the sky, intent on finding the mare she was sure could solve her problems.

The door to the basement opened, letting the unicorn who was coming out from the lower section of the library enter the main room, a triumphant grin on her face as she trotted over to the nearest elevated flat surface, the door closing behind her just as her magic brought quill, parchment, and ink in from her stores.

She sat down, placing the items just in front of the large horse head bust, the table it was on just wide enough to accommodate for the height of the paper as well as the ornamentation. She inked the quill, and jotted down a quick few notes, key portions of her experiments downstairs. Soon enough the page was covered in research notes, and was set aside, the quill scratching on the next sheet.

A few pages later, the mare put down her quill, reviewed her work, and her grin grew all the wider. "Finally! I thought I'd never get that steam generator hooked up right." And with the notes in front of her, she never needed to worry about that particular problem again.

She filed the papers away with her other research notes, noting absently that the drawer she had dedicated to containing said notes was practically overflowing, and just as quickly assigned the neighboring drawer to do much the same as the first.

Twilight hummed as she checked the kitchen, finding no trace of her young assistant, chuckling as she remembered he was out on a chore for her. She stepped inside herself and her magic reached for her supplies of easy-to-make foods, namely sandwiches, before a knock came on the door.

The unicorn sighed, let her magic fade, and turned to face in the general direction of the entrance. "Come in! You don't need to knock, it's a public library." As the door opened, Twilight frowned. It was probably best for her to go out and at least greet the pony who entered.

Catching sight of who had entered however, the unicorn's frown disappeared into a broad grin. "Well then! Look who finally stopped by to visit!" she teased with a grin, moving fully into the main room, her hunger forgotten for the moment.

Dash, who had busied herself with settling down on the ground, sighed, rolling her eyes. "Hey, unlike some ponies, I'm actually busy most of the time!" That got a chuckle out of the unicorn, which Rainbow reacted to with a glare. "It's true! I have to keep my routine awesome! I'm not going to impress the Wonderbolts without any training."

Twilight smirked, sitting down near the table she had been writing at earlier. "Sure, and that takes all day. I'm certain you'd hate for it to cut into your frequently-planned nap time." Giggling at the huff she received as a response, she waved the pegasus over, grinning as the other came closer.

Twilight tilted her head as the pegasus neared. Odd. Rainbow seems different. Did she do up her mane? A quick glance told her that that wasn't it, but Twilight still found the normal, ragged style Rainbow wore fitting for the athletic mare. Twilight shook her head, quieting down the distinct nervousness that entered her when the pegasus had come all the way to the table.

Now that's odd. Since when have I been this nervous around my friends? To be honest with herself, Dash was the quickest to brush ponies off, so it made sense that she didn't want that to happen to her. Satisfied with her logic, Twilight smiled, looking back to the pegasus who had finally sat down. "Been a while since you've decided to come over. Everywhere too boring now?"

Rainbow waved her off. "Nah, there's just not much to do here aside from hanging with you. And all you ever do is read." Twilight sighed, smiling, as the pegasus missed the point of her comment.

"Never mind. So, what brings you here?" A soft gurgle in her stomach reminded her of more pressing issues than small talk, and her horn had just lit up when Rainbow spoke.

"To actually hang out and get you away from your books, and see if you wanted to grab a bite to eat with me." Immediately, Twilight's magic stopped. If she didn't have to pull from her own reserves of food, that was good enough for her. Besides, Twilight thought as she gave Rainbow a grin, it's eating out with a friend. Who'd say no to that?

Before her mind could come up with a list of reasons, Twilight nodded her head. "Of course! I was actually planning on lunch here, but if it means I can delay going out to the marketplace, I'd love the chance to actually get to talk to you."

Dash snorted, floating up into the air. "Hey! We talk. Just not often." Twilight rolled her eyes, chuckling, and nodded towards the door.

"I'm not sure about you, Rainbow, but I'd much rather eat sooner than later."

Twilight tracked the pegasus as she nodded, zipping over to the door and opening it before disappearing into the air outside. With a chuckle, the unicorn followed, and once she had exited she closed the door with as an afterthought. Looking around, she spotted Rainbow, waiting impatiently. "Well Dash? Aren't you going to lead the way?"

"Of course! Just making sure that you're ready enough to keep up." That got a giggle out of the unicorn, who fell in step with her friend as she started flying away from the library and into the town. For a while, the trip passed in a comfortable silence, with Rainbow Dash concentrated on remembering the route she had found from Twilight's library to their destination, one that the unicorn beside her could actually take, at least. It didn't help that Twilight was busy dealing with her thoughts, and one feeling in particular.

She gave another glance to the pegasus who was leading her, and just as quickly snapped her eyes back forward, a fluttering cropping up in her body. Calm down, Twilight. Why should you be nervous? It's not like you can do anything to make your friend think less of you. Right? With a sigh, she banished the feelings, and put a smile on her face, attempting to cover her thoughts up with conversation.

"So, Dash, where exactly are we going?" The pegasus turned her head for just long enough for Twilight catch her smirk, and sped up slightly, forcing Twilight to do the same.

"I'm not telling you yet. You'll know when you get there." Rainbow smirked, chuckling at the sigh she got in response from her companion. With that attempt at conversation gone, the remaining trip was spent in silence.

Soon enough, they came upon their destination, Rainbow grinning as she caught the perk in Twilight's ears. "Oh! I remember this place." She smiled as she looked around, quickly spotting an open table and making her way to it, Rainbow soon following.

"Well, of course you do! It's not like nothing important happened here or anything." Smirking, she circled the table once before setting herself down, tracking Twilight as she did the same.

"You dumped rain on me and my sandwich. I wouldn't exactly call that important." Twilight took on a flat expression, watching as the pegasus chuckled.

"Of course it was! You got to see how far I would go for that ticket! And hey, I got it." She smirked as Twilight rolled her eyes, sighing.

"Rainbow, you got a ticket because you all got tickets. And the only reason you went was to see the Wonderbolts, and you got to speak to them for how long? A record five seconds?" Twilight shifted forward, placing a hoof on their table as her muzzle took on a smirk.

"Hey! At least I got to talk to them, and that's infinitely more awesome than just standing and greeting ponies with the Princess" Twilight face-hoofed at that, Dash ignoring the gesture with a grin.

"Fine, you win. You had a much more awesome night at the Gala than I did. At least it turned out decently in the end." That got a nod from Rainbow, who was about to respond before the two received their menus from one of the stallions who were waiting the tables.

After a cursory glance, Dash tossed her menu onto the table, getting a raised eyebrow from Twilight, who was still scanning her own menu, having caught the gesture on a brief glance upwards. "You've already chosen? Either you're a faster reader than I thought you were or you really just don't care."

The pegasus gave a shrug. "I'm just getting a daisy sandwich. It was the first thing I saw on there. I don't want to spend the entire time reading a menu." She leaned back on her bundle of hay, watching Twilight as she stared, the purple mare giggling after a moment.

"Is there anything you aren't impatient with?" She returned her eyes to her own menu, searching through it until she picked out two items that she felt would satisfy her the most at the moment, indecision building slightly as she responded. "I couldn't eat another sandwich this week if I tried. They were all I ate while I was working on my experiments."

One of Rainbow's ears perked, and she straightened into a more attentive position. "All you had were sandwiches? Were they at least different sandwiches each meal or something?" When Twilight shook her head, Dash groaned, placing her head on a hoof. "Isn't that supposed to be bad for you or something? Or get really tiresome after a while?"

"Both. Which is why I'm glad you invited me to eat with you." Twilight smiled at the other. "It really does mean a lot, since I'm not quite done yet. Especially since I know you're not prone to taking ponies out to lunch randomly."

"It's no problem, Twilight." The pegasus waved a hoof, before grinning. "Besides, I haven't seen you without the other girls hanging over our heads in a while. They're fun and all, but with them all there I can hardly talk to one of you guys without everypony else jumping in and changing the subject."

Twilight nodded her head, smirking. "That does tend to happen a lot." She looked down, finally decided to choose, picked an item at random, and put the menu down. "But with just the two of us, we can actually talk." Twilight pushed her menu so it rested on top of her friend's as she spoke, looking up and catching Dash's eyes as she brought her foreleg back to resting just in front of her.

The gaze held for a moment before Dash blinked, grinning a bit too widely. "Oh! Speaking of talking, I had a few things I wanted to chat with you about. I've been thinking on some things and, well, I thought I'd bring it to you. I'm not the one who's known for working things out in her head."

Twilight rolled her eyes, chuckling. "And I wonder why not. What is it you wanted to ask me?" She waited then, watching as Rainbow tried to find a way to phrase what was on her mind, her eyes drifting upward as she did. A gentle feeling pushed its way to the forefront of her mind, one of hope for... something that her friend would say.

Twilight frowned for a moment, wondering on what the feeling was for, and slowly pushed it to the back of her mind. She was here to listen to what her friend had to say, not to hope for her to say something. Especially when she had no idea what it even was.

Finally, Dash brought her eyes back to look at Twilight. "Well... I've been getting a... feeling... thing... every so often. It keeps messing me up while I'm flying." The unicorn stared for a few seconds, before slowly speaking up.

"Feeling... thing." Rainbow nodded, and gave a shrug in apology. Twilight continued to stare, before groaning. "Okay, can you be just a tiny bit more specific than that?"

The pegasus sighed, before scrunching her face in thought. "It's... like a... flutter. Like I'm... missing something, I guess? And the flutter's telling me that I need to get it. I think." To that, Twilight gave a nod. She closed her eyes, thinking for a moment.

A flutter? That's odd, I've been having similar symptoms. Maybe a virus? No, I'm sure it'd be more widespread than just two ponies. Outwardly, she didn't change, other than a slight shift of her hoof. "Could you give me a bit more information, Dash? Does it connect to anything? Any thoughts, or movements, or other feelings that cause this or this causes?"

The other shifted a bit, probably going through her day, since her wings had opened and were gently flapping. After a long while, during which a waiter came and Twilight gave both her and her companion's orders to him, letting Rainbow concentrate on thinking, the pegasus finally folded her wings back in, and focused on Twilight.

"Well, when I really look back on it, and still now, it's you." When Dash finished speaking, the hope that had been in the back of Twilight's mind erupted into a mild joy, for one reason or another. Again, the thought was pushed back and her forming smile was banished. Slowly, of course, to keep her friend from worrying.

"So, I distract you while you're flying, then?"

"No! Of course not!" Twilight started at the sudden response, Dash's wings flaring. "No, it's the feeling that distracts me, not you. When I think of you, I work harder. Because I wanna get done with stuff to hang out, I guess." The pegasus sighed, and waved a hoof. "I think that's enough of thinking for now. Can we just eat and move on to another topic?"

Twilight nodded, the joy in the back of her mind growing, an unwanted blush rising up on her cheeks. But why? Twilight's forehead scrunched up. She likes hanging out with me, so do the rest of my friends. What makes her different? Her emotions gave no answer, but instead continued to beat at her logic with simple happiness.

Rather than stay silent, Twilight shook her head, and smiled at the other mare. "Oh, of course. What weather work have you been up to?" Their food came as she asked, and her stomach rumbled in appreciation of finally being given notice, and she immediately began to eat.

Dash shook her head, smiling at the the unicorn's quick take to the soup she had ordered, and picked up her sandwich, inspecting it between her hooves. "Mostly just getting rid of clouds and stuff. The usual for summer." Twilight gave a nod, and continued eating as Rainbow took a bite of her own sandwich, resuming her speaking once the food was no longer a barrier for her words. "What experiments have you been up to? The ones so important that you have to eat sandwiches for a week straight in order to perform?"

Twilight finished her current sip of soup, brightening at the proposed topic. "Oh! I was just fine-tuning the wiring my steam generator will use in order to power the things around the library, so I'm not a drain on the city's grid, which is rather small, even for such a rural town. I was working on the-"

"Hold it, Twi. Maybe you should eat before you get science-y on me." The unicorn blinked, before nodding and resuming her meal. The pegasus hesitated a moment, before continuing to speak. "Tell me when you're done eating. I won't understand any of it, but at least I can say you told me what's keeping you holed up in the library all day." She chuckled as Twilight raised an eyebrow.

"Okay. I'll try to explain it the best I can, if you really want me to." Dash nodded, and Twilight gave a shrug in response. "All right then. Just let me finish my soup."

With a final laugh, the two mares got up from where they had sitting, bits placed on the table in payment for their meal. They began trotting back towards the library, a comfortable silence overlaying the first part of their walk.

Rainbow had been right about not understanding anything Twilight had been talking about after she had finished her soup. Still, it had been nice to just listen to her egghead friend. Again, the fluttering filled her, but this time around she kept it from dropping her, from messing her up. That wasn't going to happen when there were ponies watching, especially when Twilight was there to see it.

Besides, she wasn't going to stop thinking about her friend just because of some weird feelings. Might as well get used to them.

"Dash?" The pegasus was broken out of her reverie by the unicorn beside her, who had stopped, smiling at her companion. "Thanks for taking the time to hang out. I wish you'd come by more often, but I suppose you don't have much reason to hang out in a stuffy library."

Rainbow shook her head. "You and Daring Do are about all that interest me there." But if she was doing interesting stuff in the library more instead of doing whatever it was she did in the basement, she'd get me to come over more. Rainbow blinked, grinning. "You know, Twi? I think I actually have an idea, for once."

"Oh? And what have you come up with?" Twilight resumed walking, with Rainbow quickly catching up and pulling slightly ahead to lead the way back to the unicorn's home. "Please tell me it isn't something crazy."

"Of course not! I was just thinking I could stay with you in the library sometime." It had been hard to get out, since the fluttering had become quite prevalent, but Dash shrugged the feeling off. It's just a night with Twilight. What could go wrong? The flutter stayed there, despite her thoughts.

"Oh, that'd be great! I don't think I've ever had a sleepover with you before!" The thought excited Twilight, the mare's ears perking as soon as the suggestion was made. "When should we have it? It can't be tonight, I have to finish up some things. How about tomorrow?" That got Rainbow to blink.

"I guess? I don't have anything in particular planned for then." Slowly, the pegasus smirked. "Besides, the sooner the better! I don't want you getting so wrapped up in some experiment that you completely forget I'm coming."

"I'd manage, but it is settled for tomorrow?" When Rainbow nodded, Twilight's grin grew all the wider. "Wonderful! I'll get everything prepared! I'll see you later, Dash." With a flash, the unicorn was gone, leaving Rainbow to stare at empty space Twilight had vacated before grinning and flying off.

See you then, Twi.

Author's Note:

This chapter took far, far, far too long to write, and I deeply apologize.

I've been a lot busier the past month and a half than before, and writing is a lot more work than it seems. But I'm glad to have this chapter out of the way.

It isn't the best chapter I've written, but it's still good, I think. It gets a bit iffy in the middle, but I think I made it work out all right.

This was also the hardest chapter for me to write, especially with the large amount of dialogue it has during the portion where they're at the restaurant. I've never been good with it, but at least this was good practice for it.

As well, this is a major point in terms of the progression of feelings. Neither knows what it is just yet, but they're making the connections, albeit slowly. Hopefully it was a good read.

As always, big thanks to my pre-readers For the Plot and ankyo!

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