• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf

What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Thanks for the Memories

Every day, since I'd gotten it, I've been looking at my signed photograph with the one and only Coloratura. I've been so obsessed with it that I've looked at it practically every time I wake up. Ever since I got to meet her again, things have really been great ever since. If Coloratura's visit wasn't enough, winter was starting!

Ponies from Cloudsdale had been arriving with clouds chock full of snow, and ponies in Ponyville had been spending the day taking down the leaves from Fall. In some areas of Ponyville, I'm sure there were already piles of snow. I honestly wanted to already dress myself in fluffy and cute winterwear, but since it wasn't completely winter, I'd most likely be overheating outside instead.

"You ready to go, Spirit?" I was asked behind me. "Twilight and Applejack are already raking up the leaves on the ground. Fluttershy and Rarity are giving the animals some clothes to help them stay warm."

"Right." I nodded with a determined smile. "If we can help too…we can make winter come even faster!"

"Well…I think it's the ponies from Cloudsdale that bring winter… We just make the place ready for winter. But who knows."

"I don't wanna hear the boring details." I approached and leaned in towards Alex. "If I'm working on helping bringing winter in, then at least I'll have something on my mind to concentrate on."

"Wow." Alex commented. "You seem really excited for winter."

"Of course! It's like my favorite time of the year!" Before he could bother saying anything anymore, I quickly snagged his ear with my teeth and attempted to drag him onwards as if he was dog on a leash.


Just looking at the bare trees with snow-driven clouds above made my heart all giddy. I was so energized and motivated that I was even willing to help pick up Fall literally all day and night if I had to.

"What do you want to do?" Alex asked as he rubbed the ear I had attacked earlier. "Help put clothes on the animals or rake up leaves?"

"I want to rake the leaves so the area can be cleared quicker!" I exclaimed quickly but then took a little time to think about the other option. "Then again…being with the animals sounds really adorable and cute…" Finally, I furiously shook my head. Animals can come later. Winter is first priority! "I'm going with the leaves!" I immediately raced over towards Applejack when I found her currently in the motion of raking. "Hey, Applejack! You've got an extra rake for me to use?"

"Sure, do!" She had picked up one that had been on the floor covered by fallen leaves and tossed it to me. "Boy, you sure are lively today. Any reason why?"

"Winter!" I summed it up all on one word. "It's like… What can go wrong in winter?!"

"Well…a lot of things." Applejack began thinking up of different ways, but she refused to say them out loud. "But for your sake, I'll keep them to myself."

I spent the majority of my time raking while humming to myself every now and then. I'd see Alex around with Fluttershy, being his special somepony, but every once in a while, I'd also see him with Twilight. Nevertheless, I couldn't let any negativity affect my mood. I had to stay positive for winter, otherwise, I wouldn't enjoy it. After some time, I managed to come up with several piles of leaves waiting to be picked up.

"Hey… Looks like you've been getting along with everypony pretty well recently." I heard nearby.

Twilight stopped by, picking up the piles of leaves with her magic, so she could take care of them. I had been talking to the others more, compared to when I first met them. Ironically, a pony I wasn't so sure I could count on to that list was Twilight herself. I wasn't sure if she knew that, or if she was just pretending not to.

"Yeah…I guess…" It was awkward speaking with her, so I couldn't help but do other minor things like pulling some loose strands of my mane back behind my ear.

"You doing alright?" She asked after silence had stood too long between us.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I continued with my short and sweet responses. Although, it didn't fix the real issue. The awkward silence between us was getting far too annoying, and Twilight was sure taking her sweet time with the leaves. I was starting to think she was intentionally waiting to earn a response back if she wasn't trying to think of something to say in the first place. Remembering her mention of everypony, I looked around and realized something was a bit off. Everypony had been here with helping us clear out the area except for one pony. "Where's Rainbow? Is she moving clouds too?"

"I'm not sure. Last I heard, she's been stressing over her pet tortoise, Tank." She replied, catching my interest.

It wasn't that I wanted to continue to converse with Twilight, but it was more that I wanted to know what was going on with Rainbow Dash and her pet. "Why…? Is he sick or something…?"

Twilight shook her head. "Fluttershy said he's perfectly healthy, and I think that's actually where the problem lies. You know about hibernation, right?"

"Yeah… Animals like bears save energy by sleeping during the winter and stuff. Is that what Tank's going to do?"

"Yes. Only, Rainbow Dash doesn't want him to. She's really attached to him, and…she's finding it really hard to let him go so easily for the winter." Memories flooded my head as my eyes fell to stare at the ground. Attachment… Letting something you really care about go… "What's wrong?" Twilight had inquired about the stupid expression I made without keeping it hidden first.

"Nothing." I quickly said and busied myself with raking nonexistent leaves. "Rainbow Dash shouldn't be complaining so much. At least she'll get to see him when spring comes by. It'll just be like nothing ever happened."

"…huh?" Twilight leaned her head forward.

I silently sighed, seeing as I would have to come up with some other random thing to excuse the sudden thoughts I slipped out loud. Fortunately, some kind of commotion had driven both of our attention away from each other. Of course, when I saw the pony responsible, I couldn't say I was particularly happy about it.

"Don't say that word!" Rainbow Dash had been screaming out from, what seemed like, frustration. She had been holding Tank close to her chest as she furiously faced Pinkie Pie. On the other hoof, Pinkie seemed to have recovered quite quickly from her sudden outburst.

"Which one? 'Snuggly'? 'Wuggly'? 'Tankie'? 'Hibernate'?"

"That one!"

"I was just saying how cute he—"

"If you think hiber... – you know, that napping thing – is so cute, why don't you go do it?! Somewhere far away from here?!" She pushed Pinkie away from her before looking our way to see every other pony staring back at the commotion she caused. "What are you looking at?! Pinkie Pie and I are just having a conversation!"

Twilight took this opportunity to walk forward and approach her. "Look, Rainbow Dash, we all know how upset you are about Tank hiber—"

"Shhhh!" Pinkie immediately shushed, hiding behind Twilight and away from Rainbow Dash. "Don't say that word! That's what started this all!"

"We know how upset you are about Tank." Twilight continued without the word. "But you shouldn't take your anger out on your friends."

"Who said anything about anger?!" Rainbow Dash fired back loudly. "I didn't say anything about anger! I'm not upset! And I am not angry! Do I look angry?!" She paused for a moment and ironically looked as if she was holding back fumes from exploding out of her head. When no pony would answer that question, she turned her attention back to the source of the issue. "Come on, Tank! Let's get out of here!" She dragged him away from the ground and brought him up with her so they could make a dashy escape.

"You don't think she's gonna do anything…I don't know…crazy?" Applejack asked after having witnessed the meltdown herself.

"She probably just needs a little time to think over things…" Twilight mentioned. "I'm sure she simply just needs to come to terms with reality, right? Tank has to hibernate. And I don't think anything she does is going to stop that."

"Even if she, say, stopped winter?" Pinkie brought up.

Fluttershy grew heavily emotional all of a sudden. "That would be worse!" She stood up to tell us almost frantically. "Animals hibernate because of the winter, but their bodies have grown used to doing this every winter. If winter doesn't come, who knows how their bodies would react to that kind of a change. It wouldn't be bad for just Tank. It'd be horrible for every animal that hibernates!"

"This is assumin' that Rainbow Dash does try and stop winter. I don't think she'd be crazy enough to do that." Applejack stated lightly, continuing to rake up leaves in an unbothered manner.

Despite her comment, every other pony exchanged glances of uncertainty with each other. I finally placed my rake down on the ground and decided to speak up. "If that idea ever crosses her head, I'll make sure she doesn't lay a hoof on keeping winter from coming! She won't keep the best season ever away from me on my watch!"

"Assumptions, everypony." Applejack reminded. "Come on. Let's get back to cleaning up the rest of Fall."

That's exactly what we did afterwards. However, during the time I'd be too focused on clearing the area, I'd suddenly have a strange feeling that something had unexpectedly been different about the place. For instance, at one point, I looked up at the sky and noticed it was clear. What bothered me was that I could remember a cloud or two being up there. Unless they were supposed to be moved to another area, it didn't make any sense for the ponies bringing them to take them away.

Despite those strange occurrences bothering me, we managed to prepare an entire section for winter. I had heard that other parts of Ponyville had already been receiving snow, and this made me want to race over to wherever this was as soon as possible. But it didn't really feel right just leaving the others behind so I could go play in the snow. I decided I would just wait for a cloud to be brought over to us, so I wouldn't have to leave.

As soon as I felt that touch of winter coolness, I couldn't hold in my excitement any longer. Unfortunately, I had to wait a while for the snow to actually fall and settle in, but I took this time to gaze upwards to watch it delicately drop into the ground. I suppose I could take a break for all my hard work, right?

"Looks like this area is taken care of." Applejack mentioned as soon as she noticed the place being piled with snow. "Come on, everypony. Let's cover some more ground, and then we should be good for enjoying the snow later on."

Despite Applejack's direction, I continued gazing upwards until I heard Alex's voice calling out to me. "Spirit, you coming?"

"Uh…" It was partially hard to come up with a response at that time. "Just…give me a second. I just wanna take in the snow for a bit."

He seemed to shrug it off, whether or not he believed that I'd be coming back to help them. When there was enough snow, I immediately fell backwards and allowed the area beneath me to take my form. The next idea that immediately came to mind was making snowballs. I didn't exactly have anypony to chuck them at, but I could throw them at trees or something instead.

I began getting to work on making a good amount, so I had enough to throw to satisfy me until later when there would actually be a lot more snow to mess around with. However, to my surprise, I was only able to make a few until I realized that I was running out of snow. I understood there wasn't much to begin with, but I noticed that the area had stopped receiving snow for some time now. I looked up to find my beloved cloud missing.

At that moment, I heard a voice that I hadn't heard in a while. I turned in the direction in which the voice came from to find an extremely offensive sight. It had been Rainbow Dash, and she had taken the exact cloud that was once above me and literally stuffing inside one of the many surrounding bare trees.

What did she think she was doing?!

"Hey!" I shouted and called her out. Realizing that I now had a target to practice my aim on, I began throwing my supply of snowballs. The first one that broke on impact had landed on her flank, and she didn't seem to notice as she was too busy getting rid of the supply of snow I had been using. It wasn't until the next one that managed to strike her right on the face when she finally turned to me in anger.

"Hey!" She repeated my initial shout, rubbing her face with her hoof. "What's your problem?!"

"What's my problem?!" I responded, flabbergasted. "What's your problem?! What do you think you're doing?!"

"Stopping winter! That's what!"

Holy cheesecakes. She was really doing it.

"Are you crazy?! You can't stop winter! It's a season that every single pony goes through!"

"If Tank has to hibernate because of winter, then I'm not having it! Not on my watch!" She gave an extra firm kick to the cloud that was being held against its will. This caused more anger to build up within me, and I went on to aggressively pummel her with the rest of my snowballs. "STOP IT!" She shouted as she began growing excessively red to me.

"Are you that selfish?!" I accused. "You'd ruin every other pony's fun so you could keep playing with your turtle?!"

"Tortoise!" Rainbow corrected. "And I'm not selfish! I'm doing this so Tank and I can stay together! Unless, you were close to losing something you care about, I don't want to hear it!"

If I wasn't already at my boiling point, I definitely was now. "You…idiot!" I practically screamed. "You're such an idiot! How can you stand there and say you're not selfish when even your pet is sitting there fed up with you?! He doesn't want to stay up any longer! He wants to hibernate!"

"DON'T SAY THAT WORD!" I was immediately tackled to the snowless part of the ground, unfortunately giving me no cushion for my impact. Rainbow held her hooves tightly against my coat, preventing the chance of getting up. "You don't get to decide what I do with Tank! Only I do!"

Tears most definitely filled to the brim of my eyes. It wasn't from fear or pity. It was from how much Rainbow reminded me of myself. "Do you even have a brain?!" I almost choked from my tears. "Didn't you think for a second that your actions could be making things worse than they already are?!"

"WHAT DO YOU KNOW?!" She looked as if she actually wanted to cause me physical harm. "You're just some dumb little pony who doesn't know the first thing about losing something important!"

My eyes widened, and at this point, I could no longer hold back my tears or emotions. "How dare you…" I said in a borderline whisper. "You have no idea! I've had to lose everything, and all you're worried about is not being able to see your pet for a few months?! Try losing him for the longest time, only to see him again and find out that he doesn't know a single thing about you! Try holding onto the strength to go on when you find out he loves someone else that's supposed to be you! Try living the rest of your life knowing that things will never be the same way as they used to be ever again!"

At that moment, I wanted to strike Rainbow Dash with my quivering hoof as hard as I could, but something suddenly intervened and forcefully separated us apart.

"Spirit! Rainbow Dash! What do you think you're doing?!"

To the strongest standing irony, Alex had been there between us with the other girls eventually catching up.

"LET ME GO! LET ME GO!" Rainbow Dash struggled through her binds.

"I've got her, Alex!" Applejack caught hold of her and held her back, allowing Alex to release her. "Rainbow, what do you think you're doin'?!"

"I need to save Tank!" Rainbow Dash continued struggling through her grasp.

"For pony's sake, you're still upset over that?!"

"Rainbow Dash!" Twilight confronted her. "If you really care about Tank, then you need to let him hibernate!"

"You all don't know anything! You don't!" Rainbow caught sight of Fluttershy, whom had been tending to Tank ever since she had been here. "NO! LET HIM GO!" Rainbow Dash managed to kick Applejack away and gallop towards Fluttershy and Tank. Fluttershy flinched and cried out at the sight, but Rainbow Dash only had her mind on Tank. She immediately snatched him and flew off in a particular direction.

"What in tarnation was that all about?!" Applejack stated almost aggressively as she dusted herself off.

A pair of hooves immediately grabbed a hold of me by my shoulders. "What happened, Spirit? Why were you two fighting like that?"

I remained silent for the most part. I had nothing to say about the incident besides one thing. "She wanted to stop winter…"

"Seriously?!" Twilight exclaimed out in surprise.

"That featherbrain!" Applejack exerted out in frustration. "We gotta go after her then!"

"It looked like she was heading home." Fluttershy mentioned, clearly still shaken up about the whole scene.

With a heavy sigh, Alex spoke. "Normally, I think it'd be best to give her time to cool off, but in this case, we don't want her having a chance to do something crazy."

"I'm right behind you." Twilight offered, causing me to clench my teeth.

However, before Alex left, he made sure to check up on me.

"She didn't hurt you, did she?"

"…yes, she did…" I softly answer.

"W-where?!" Alex reacted in a light panic, already beginning to check me out.

I immediately shook my head. "Sorry… I mean…no…I'm okay."

When I was able to finally convince Alex that I was fine, I decided to just check back in inside him. I probably needed to rest, but at the same time, I didn't exactly want to miss out their confrontation with Rainbow Dash.

They had approached Rainbow Dash as she laid on her bed moping with Tank. She looked like she was wearing a bathrobe and slippers that literally resembled Tank. Tank himself had also been pretty bundled up as Rainbow Dash was.

"Leave. Me. Alone." Rainbow Dash ordered.

"Rainbow Dash, have you lost your mind?!" Rarity questioned in an absolutely scolding manner. "You don't intentionally hurt your friend like that, no matter what!"

"She started it!" She answered defensively, keeping her body closed off from them. "She kept throwing her stupid snowballs at me!"

"And why was she doin' that?" Applejack asked.

Rainbow Dash didn't speak for a moment. "…because I was trying to hide a cloud full of snow…"

Applejack sighed heavily. "Rainbow Dash, you can't stop winter from comin'! And the fact that you went as far as you did, that's crossin' the line!"

"Whatever. Just get out." It seemed Rainbow Dash wasn't going to bother giving an apology a chance.

"Rainbow, we need to address this now." Twilight mentioned seriously. "Somepony could have seriously been hurt."

"Didn't you hear me?!" Rainbow angrily pushed herself up from her bed. "I don't care! Now, leave me alone already!" She returned to closing herself up with Tank.

Even though the others had been rooting for me, I still felt as if I was the source of the issue here, besides Tank. The whole reason Rainbow Dash and I had gotten into that little scrap was partially due to me too. She was obviously not in the mood for opening up, but I felt if anypony could have an effect on her, it would be me.

I slowly appeared inside the room behind the rest of them. I wasn't looking to pick a fight. I was done fighting. All I wanted was to get the message clearly across. In order to prepare my nerves, I took in a large inhale and cautiously exhaled it out.

"Everypony…could you give Rainbow Dash and me a moment…?" They were surely startled by my appearance, and they seemed extremely hesitant to leave me alone with Rainbow Dash after what had just happened. It was understandable, but I needed them all out because there was something I needed to tell Rainbow, and only Rainbow. "I'm not going to start a fight or anything. I promise. I just need to talk to her in private."

Each of them exchanged a look with one another, but they eventually began walking out with obvious reluctance. I took a good look at Rainbow once they were all out of the room. She still paid no mind to me, but the color within her was no longer red. If there was any lingering amount left, it was extremely mild or small. No. She was mostly filled with a blue.

I approached her bed and placed a hoof at her side. "I'm sorry for what happened, Rainbow Dash, and I forgive you. You don't need to say anything…I just want you to know that I understand how you feel. Believe me or not, I really do know exactly how you feel." She didn't budge, but that was okay. I only continued staring at her bedsheets. "Tank's really important to you. I get that, but you have to understand that he needs to go through this. It's a big part of the cycle he goes through in his life." I decided to slowly climb up on her bed and sit next to her as I continued speaking with our bodies opposite of each other. "You have to remember this though… Tank will be back before you know it. I guarantee you that." I stared at my hind legs as I shuffled them together. "You see…in case you didn't hear from all the shouting… I lost something important. In fact, that something was somepony. We were extremely close. If I remember correctly, I think we even especially spent every day together. That's how close we were. Like two peas in a pod. But one day, I had to make the hardest decision of my life. We were in danger, and I could only think of two options at the time. Take our chances but possibly be vigorously torn away from each other in due time. Or, I could…sacrifice my wants in order to protect the one I love. I ended up doing the latter, but I didn't realize that I'd lose the one most important to me. I guess I can't say I lost this pony…but he's not the same pony I remember. And that's what hurts the most. I'm glad that this pony is okay, but the fact that things will never be the same again just…causes me this pain that never goes away…" I clenched my chest where my heart would be. I wasn't even sure if I really had one. "The point is, Rainbow Dash, if you really love him, then you need to let him go. Just for a few months. And then you'll see him again, and you'll have many more months to spend with him afterwards."

I finally turned back to notice Rainbow staring at me with tears just escaping her eyes. We said nothing for a long moment. She turned her head away to face Tank, and Tank faced back at her with a sad look in his eyes. With her mouth quivering, it was about time she finally let it all go. For what seemed like the longest time, she sat upwards in her bed, sobbing endlessly as she cradled Tank close to her body. "I-I just…don't want him to go!"

I placed a caring hoof on her shoulder. "I know it hurts, but you can't keep ignoring this. It's something you two have to get through. But I promise you. Everything will turn out just fine. Unlike me, you'll get to see each other again, and things will be just like the last time you saw each other."

"I-I'm sorry, Spirit…" She managed to say through her softer sobs. "I didn't mean… I just…"

"It's okay. I know." I assured her. "I know how hard it is to say goodbye, but I just want you to know that you don't have to do this on your own. You have good friends that are there for you."

She slowly nodded as she sniffled. "C-could you guys…give me some time alone with Tank?"

"Of course." I got off the bed and trusted Rainbow Dash to do what she needed to do. I met the others back outside of the room. I wasn't surprised that they looked extremely anxious, but I was a little afraid that they may have been eavesdropping on us.

"How'd it go?" Twilight asked.

"It's fine." I responded. "We're all good now…and I think Rainbow Dash finally understands what she needs to do. Right now, she just wants some time alone with Tank."

They were genuinely surprised by the results I had apparently gotten.

"Just what did you say to her?" Rarity asked as she leaned her head in forward.

"I apologized and forgave her for what happened, and then I shared a little…personal story with her. As for what that is, I'm afraid I can't tell any of you."

"Bummer." Pinkie Pie expressed.

"I'm glad you managed to calm her down." Twilight mentioned with her worries seeming to melt away like snow in the sun. "Is she going to be okay then?"

"I think so." I assumed. "But I guess we won't really know for sure until she's ready to come out."

Everypony decided to wait for Rainbow Dash's return outside in the snow. I supposed we had spent so long dealing with this feud that a bunch of progress had been made in Ponyville. It wasn't long until we'd get the full winter scene.

However, there was just enough snow to entertain ourselves with. The others had worn their winterwear as they distracted themselves from the situation by playing in the snow. Ironically, I had been sitting in silence with heavy thoughts on my mind. It wasn't that I was exactly worried over Rainbow Dash. After the entire talk, there had been so many things I couldn't stop thinking about.

"Here." Somepony had held a light pink scarf and earmuffs in front of my face. "Thought you might like them."

I carefully accepted them and wrapped the scarf around my neck. Before I placed on the ear muffs, I looked towards the pony with the caring offer. It, of course, was Alex that was standing before me.

"You alright?" He asked. "I thought you were going to be jumping for joy in this kind of weather."

"I'm fine." I stated. "I just have a lot in my mind."

"Yeah, I get it." He understood and took a seat next to me. "A lot happened today, after all. Either way… I'm proud of you."

I was surprised to hear this, but I didn't really show it. "For what?"

"Well, you handled the situation pretty well back there. Talking with Rainbow Dash, I mean. Not the fight." He laughed lightly. I remained silent, placed on my ear muffs, and then only lifted my head up towards the skies to observe the snow fall down back at us. "I'm curious. About what you said to Rainbow Dash. But if you don't want to tell me, that's fine too."

"Who knows…" I responded somewhat carelessly and without emotion. "Maybe the only reason I told her was because I'd be able to prove to her how I understand what she's going through. If I just tell others for no reason…well…that'd just be dumb."

"Are you sure you're fine?" Alex asked, leaning in towards me.

I sighed solemnly. "Like I said. I'm fine. Today was just a drag. That's all…"

Before either of us could say any more, another voice approached everyone in the vicinity.

"Hey, you guys…" Rainbow Dash greeted, showing up in a winter beanie, scarf, and booties. Most notably, she carried Tank by her side with the use of a saddlebag.

"Rainbow…!" Twilight was pleasantly surprised to see her, just like everyone else. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm feeling better. Really." She took a second to glance over to me. "Thanks. I thought you guys might like to say goodbye to Tank. He's ready to hibernate."

"Ooh, you're using the word!" Pinkie Pie cheerfully pointed out. "Oh, she's using the word!" She scurried over to Rainbow's side to have a good look at Tank. "And when Tank finishes hibernating, I'm gonna throw him the biggest welcome home party ever! Or wait. Should it be a 'welcome above ground' party? Or a 'happy wake-up' party? Maybe an 'it's about time!' party!"

"And I'll design him a very special suit just for the occasion, whichever one it ends up being." Rarity added in, seeming to relieve Rainbow Dash of any nerves she may have had.

"I'm glad you're feelin' a little better, Rainbow Dash." Applejack sincerely expressed.

"Yeah, me too." Rainbow returned before she walked over to the base of a tree and began digging at the snow there. Once she struck dirt, she allowed Tank to walk over to the spot himself. Everypony, including Alex and me, joined together to see him off. "So, you really wanna do this hibernating thing, huh?" She asked once more, just to be completely sure that it was what he truly wanted.

He answered with a slow and simple nod.

Once we expressed our goodbyes, Tank began curling himself up into the dirt and proceeded to bring in any snow or dirt to cover the rest of him up. At that point, I imagined that he burrowed himself inside his own shell and began his months' worth of slumber. At the very least, to him, it'd only feel like an extremely short time before he sees his loving owner yet again.

Twilight had comforted Rainbow during the entire process by placing a hoof on her. When it was all said and done, everypony began to return back to their activities. Twilight remained by Rainbow to invite her to said activities.

"Well? Ready for some winter fun?"

"Uh, I'm gonna hang here and read to him a bit." Rainbow Dash trotted towards a spot near where he dug and sat down as she opened up a book. "That little guy can never get to sleep without a bedtime story. I'll be right there."

Twilight allowed her some time off, which caused Alex to give me the same question.

"You coming? Or do you want to stay here with her for a bit?"

I nodded. "I'll stay a bit."

He patted my back for a moment before joining Twilight on her walk towards the others.

When Rainbow noticed me take a seat next to her, she decided to strike up a conversation with a joke. "You looking to hear a bedtime story too, huh?" I smiled softly, but I didn't say anything otherwise. "I know we don't really know each other very well…but I gotta say that I appreciate what you did for me. After all, it must have taken a lot of guts to do what you did today, and I'm honestly kinda surprised. I didn't know you had it in ya."

I simply shrugged. "I'm full of surprises, I guess."

"Either way…" She continued. "Thanks…for everything. And I'm sorry for how I acted before."

"It's okay. Totally understandable."

"I have to admit… I wonder what exactly happened to you in order for you to go through what you did. Aren't you Alex's spirit or something after all?"

"I am…but it's…complicated. Trust me. You wouldn't understand it at all."

"I guess." Rainbow Dash didn't seem like she wanted to press on any further. "I guess it's not really my place to ask. Still, I hope everything turns out well for you."

"Thanks." I returned but then suddenly remembered something else. "Oh…and can you promise me something?"

"What?" Rainbow appeared to be openly interested.

"I need you to promise me that you'll never mention a word about what I told you back in your room, okay?"

"Not even Alex?"

"Especially Alex."

"Okay, okay." Rainbow understood. "I pinkie promise." She swore, even going through the motions of placing her hoof on her closed eye.

"Thanks." I expressed in relief and stood up. "I'll see you later, Rainbow."

"See ya."

I finally gave her the space she needed to read to Tank alone. I felt that I had no place between the two of them anyway. I turned in the direction of where the others had been during the time I spent with Rainbow Dash.

Once I spotted them, I deeply inhaled one last time and then slowly exhaled it out. Unfortunately, there were many things that were still on my mind, and they were probably still going to linger on inside there for a long while. For this reason, I had to feign a bright smile as I began joining the rest of the others.

But hey. I had to start somewhere, right?

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