• Published 3rd Nov 2012
  • 1,916 Views, 29 Comments

To Hell and Back - CanterlotGuardian

  • ...

Storm Day

To Hell and Back

Chapter 1: Storm Day

By CanterlotGuardian

Edited by DJ GarV the Expert

Today was an unusual day. Grey clouds floated lazily in the sky, bringing word that rain was coming - not really at any time soon. Nevertheless, the woods animals began to see the sign for what it was – they were used to these signs, having lived outdoors their entire lives. They began to make preparations for the oncoming precipitation.

High above them Rainbow Dash flew, putting huge clouds in their respective places. The weather mare was flying at an uncharacteristically slow pace. It wasn’t like she was in much of a hurry - the rain wasn't supposed to come until the next day - but she was so tired, and she didn’t have much energy left.

As she flew, she saw a small cloud up ahead, separate from all the rest. It looked very inviting to her - perfect for a mid-day nap - so she flew down to check it out.

She also decided to look down.

"Ah ha!" she exclaimed. She spotted Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy lazing around right below her. Twilight had her nose in some book - bet it’s from Princess Celestia, Rainbow thought - while Fluttershy was chatting animatedly with a pair of bluebirds. Rainbow flew lower, preparing to land next to her friends.

"Bye-bye!" Fluttershy called out as the volary of birds flew off. "Come back and visit me soon! Don't forget to get ready!"

Twilight glanced up and smiled as the breeze picked up. She's so cute, she thought, talking to the animals. It's really her special talent…


Dash landed with a soft thud beside Fluttershy. Raising herself up on her haunches, she fluffed off a bit of dirt that had puffed up on her upon landing. She looked at Twilight and smiled; at Fluttershy, she afforded a more tender smile.

"Hey there, Rainbow Dash," Twilight said with a smile. "We were looking for you earlier to see if you wanted to go apple-picking with us."

Rainbow grinned sheepishly. "Hehe… sorry about that. I was really busy." Seeing the skeptical expression on Twilight's face, she hastily continued: "No, seriously, I was! Don’t you remember?”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Remember what?”

“Tomorrow is Storm Day!” Rainbow exclaimed. “I have to get all the clouds to their right places so this year's storm isn't late…” she cringed. “...like it has been the past few years."

"Oh…” Twilight said, eliciting a look of surprise and shock. “Is it really Storm Day already? I had no idea it's already been a whole year since the last one…"

"Oh yes," replied Fluttershy. "In fact, I was just telling those bluebirds about it.” She cocked her head. “Did you not hear me?"

"Not at all… I've been absorbed in this new spellbook that I got from Princess Celestia…"

Called it.

"Well regardless, it's tomorrow," Dash said. She pointed upwards. "As you can see from the dark clouds above your head right now...”

Twilight looked up, and her face blanked. “Oh,” she said simply.

“Yeah. That. I really do need to get back to work, but…" She yawned, plopping herself on the ground. "I'm just so tired…"

Fluttershy made a noise of concern. "Um... You haven't had your mid-day nap yet, have you?"

Rainbow shook her head. "I've been too busy getting everything ready for Storm Day and...” She sighed. “Well, it's really wore me out-"

A rustle was heard in a nearby tree. They all looked over to see a familiar purple face poke out at them. "Oh hey, Spike," Twilight called out. Her brow furrowed in confusion. "What are you doing all the way up there?"

"Do I have to name a reason to climb a tree?" He asked brusquely. He scurried down to join them.

Twilight thought for a moment before shrugging. "I guess not," Twilight finally answered with a smile.

"Exactly!" Spike exclaimed with a grin. He was about to go on, when he felt a familiar feeling in the pit of his stomach. The letter from Princess Celestia appeared before them as it normally did.

"A message from Princess Celestia…?" Twilight murmured aloud as she floated the scroll up to her so she could read it. "I wasn't expecting one…"

"Do you ever?" retorted Spike. "Just read it and see what it says!"

Twilight opened the letter and read it aloud:

To my dearest student, Twilight Sparkle,

As you undoubtedly do not remember, being preoccupied with your studies (and that new book I gave you), tomorrow is Storm Day. I request your help with travelling to the surrounding areas and reminding everypony else about the Day. Be ready soon; I will be arriving there two minutes after you read this letter.

Your teacher,

Princess Celestia.

Rainbow stifled a laugh from the beginning part of the letter. “Oh, the irony,” Rainbow Dash said as the letter disappeared in a wisp of smoke. "But do you really have to leave? That kinda sucks…"

"I have to do this, though," Twilight replied. "Princess Celestia is trusting me."

“I’ll be back at the library while you’re gone,” Spike claimed hurriedly. With that, he ran off, back in the direction he came from.

"Um…" Fluttershy interjected timidly, raising a hoof to gain a bit of extra recognition. "If it's okay with you, Rainbow Dash,... seeing as I'm a flyer, just like you, well,…” She gulped nervously. “Maybe I can go up with you, and... help you with, um...”

“Getting all the storm clouds in their right places?" Rainbow finished. Fluttershy ‘eeped’ and gave a tiny nod. "That sounds like a great idea, Fluttershy. Once you learn the ropes, two ponies can get it done much faster than one pony ever could!"

"I think you’ll do great, Fluttershy," Twilight said with a smile. “I believe it’s settled, then.”

As if on cue, Princess Celestia's chariot came into view, landing in the field around them. Princess Celestia stepped out, and the three ponies bowed deeply, as they customarily did.

"Hello, you three," Celestia said with her typical kindly smile. She looked at her pupil. "Twilight, are you ready?"

Twilight nodded.

"Very good." Celestia turned to Rainbow Dash. "I see Storm Day preparations are coming along nicely. Make sure it's all finished so the rains can come on time."

Rainbow looked up, a slight blush on her face. "Oh, I will!" She said happily. "In fact, Fluttershy is going to help me out!"

Fluttershy nodded, though she still stayed bowed down low. She respected Celestia far too much to break royal protocol like that.

"I'm proud of you, Fluttershy," Celestia said with a smile. "Taking something new like weather-making is quite commendable." Her smile turned smug as she glanced back at Rainbow. “Maybe she will help you stay on time this year.”

Rainbow blushed in embarrassment. With those final words, Celestia and Twilight boarded the royal chariot, and it began to fly away. Twilight waved goodbye to her friends as she slowly rose out of sight.

Rainbow stood and stretched her stiff joints. Sensing her friend's movement, Fluttershy did the same.

"So," Rainbow said with a grin. "Are you ready to experience the life of a weatherpony?"

"I kind of already did. You know, Winter Wrap-Up…"

"That's totally different, Fluttershy. Cleaning up the after-effects of weather is a whole 'nother story when compared to making the weather to begin with. Lucky for you, though, you have the best weatherpony in all of Equestria as your guide! Plus, all we'll be doing is moving the clouds to their respective places. The cloud factory on Cloudsdale is where they're actually made. We're just gonna escort them back to Ponyville."

"Oh…" Fluttershy replied. "That doesn't sound too hard."

"It's not, really. It's mostly the constant flying that wears me out.” A grin came onto her face. “But you shouldn't have a problem with that, should you, Miss 460 Percent Improvement?"

Fluttershy obviously had no idea what Rainbow Dash was talking about, and her face showed it. “What?”

Dash smiled. "Remember when we had to get the tornado ready? You trained so hard, and your wing power went up from 0.5 to 2.3 so quickly. I was really impressed."

She blushed, remembering clearly. "Oh come on now, you're just saying that…"

"I mean it, Fluttershy. That was a 460 percent improvement. No one else even came close to improving themselves that much.” Her voice became softer. “All of us were really proud of you - even Rarity, and you know how fickle she can be."

Fluttershy didn't know what to say; she just smiled as a blush started to grow on her face.

Rainbow laughed. "Come on, Fluttershy; let's get going!"

A few minutes later, they landed on Cloudsdale. Looking around at her surroundings, Fluttershy laughed softly.

Rainbow gave her a look. "What's so funny?" she asked curiously.

"I was just thinking…" Fluttershy replied quietly, "Some of my most cherished moments have happened here… The first time I ever cheered so loudly, the first time I ever saw a Sonic Rainboom in person…" Her next statement was so quiet, Rainbow could only barely make it out: "It was even the first time I fell in love…"

Rainbow Dash stopped suddenly. "Wait, really?” She shook her head in disbelief. “No way… Who was it?"

Fluttershy blushed a deep crimson. She had hoped Rainbow hadn't heard that part. "I don't wanna say…”

“C’mon, Flutters, you can tell me.” She leaned in closer. “Who?”

She turned away. “I’m not gonna say . . .”

“Can you at least give me a hint?”

“I really don’t want...” Fluttershy turned just in time to see Rainbow Dash with a puppy-eyes look on her face. “Okay, fine. Um, it was someone who was in the Young Flyers Competition..."

"No way," Dash repeated as they started walking again. "Do they know how you feel?"

Her blush only grew deeper. "No… I haven't had the courage to tell them."

“Do you want to tell them?”

Fluttershy only responded with an “eep!”

"Well, I'll tell you what then, Fluttershy: after this Storm Day is over, I'll help you confess your feelings, ok?"

Fluttershy looked at her best friend, new hope in her eyes. “You mean that?”

“Every word.” Fluttershy paused for a moment to think. “Whenever you need me, I’ll be there.”

Fluttershy smiled. "Thank you, Rainbow Dash.” She looked at the ground nervously before looking back up. “You're such a very special friend." She rested her head briefly on Rainbow's back, before smiling and continuing trotting towards the factory.

Rainbow Dash could only stand shocked. Fluttershy had never done that before…

Could she...

Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Dash flew off after her.