• 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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Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

Episode 86 – Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

Her voice seemed to drain out as I found my thoughts wandering away from the real world. I tried thinking that maybe it was all a bad and random dream. That she really didn't do what she did and none of it actually happened. I probably would have found myself believing this easily, but the thing that contradicted it was that I remembered the dream completely. It wasn't like any other dream with small bits and pieces remaining in memory. The ability to recall this dream was as simple as the times I've spent with Spirit on the balcony.

Why did she do that? Out of every pony, why would she do that?


It all confused me. Why was she wearing the hoodie she lost? She couldn't have been the thief… she couldn't have… In fact, to prove it, I had seen both the thief and her at the same time! And when I heard the thief's voice, it was different! No way could it have been hers!


Something had to happen between her and the thief… She had the hoodie… and she couldn't have been the same pony I first encountered… I need to speak with her… I want to know why she did what she did and what the hay is going on with her. I don't care what it is. She needs to let me know what's going on.

"Alex." I felt a gentle hoof touch me, bringing her voice into full clarity.

"Huh?" I stopped from my walking and turned to her in surprise.

"Are you okay?" Fluttershy asked with a worried expression.

"Yeah… I'm fine…" I answered as I pushed away my thoughts under the bed of my mind.

"You haven't really been yourself since this morning." She recalled. "You seem a little…distant."

"Sorry." I apologized. "I've got a lot on my mind, and I don't want to put the load on you."

"Well, if there's something you need to take care of, I don't mind if you go do that now." She kindly allowed.

"No, no…" I shook my head. "It's not exactly…a task. Even if I wanted to handle it immediately, I couldn't… It's complicated."

"Are you sure you still want to go out?" She asked concerningly.

"Yeah. Come on." I continued our walk to Ponyville. I had asked her for a walk to Ponyville earlier, but I felt horrible for these thoughts and feelings getting in the way of our time together. She brought along a cute and gentle light sunny yellow sunhat with a flower attached. I remembered her speaking about something before my mind began to drift off. "Sorry…could you repeat what you were saying earlier? I've just been kind of off and on."

"I spent some time with Rarity at our spa appointment the other day." Fluttershy returned. "She mentioned you during our mud bath."

"Mentioned me?" I repeated with interest. "What'd she say?"

"There was something important she wanted to tell about coming across somepony…" Fluttershy tried to remember. "Other than that, she was just asking about you…and me."

"Hm?" I was a little confused at that last part. "What do you mean about us?"

"Oh nothing." She shook her head. "Nothing in a bad way. She just wanted to know if we were doing alright and other stuff…"

"Oh…" I took lightly, but it soon led to me remembering another thing. Before I could continue the conversation, we had arrived in Ponyville and came across a small snack stand. I approached the pony at the counter and spoke my order. "Two oat shakes please." With an all-day smile, the mare prepared two of the drinks as I dropped my bits on the platform. After she exchanged the bits with the shakes, I carried them with my magic and escorted Fluttershy to a small table outside where we sat across each other. "Um…" I began as Fluttershy and I grabbed our shakes to drink. "I don't think it's anything bad…but just to make sure… There's something I just wanted to let you know."

"What is it?" She asked.

"Well…"I tilted my head and looked slightly away, still a bit afraid of detailing the event. "For example, if a pony had to perform CPR on me and…you know…do mouth-to-mouth…would you…get mad?"

I knew I shouldn't have really thought the worst, but Fluttershy's reaction was extremely the opposite of what I was worrying it might have been. After taking a sip from her shake, she tilted her head with a confused look on her face. "Why would I be mad?"

"You know…" I felt a little comfortable in explaining a little further. "Because…another pony…um…" I struggled to just throw the words out frankly. "…putting…"

Fluttershy fortunately stopped me before I could feel any weirder. "It's a procedure done to save lives." She explained. "If something was to happen to you, I wouldn't care who would do it. All I'd care about is you still being here with me. With us…" She added.

I released a somewhat relieving breath, but I was still a tiny bit nervous inside. "Sorry for asking. I kind of know what to do when you're seeing somepony…but…I'm still a little dry on the specifics… I just don't want to hurt you like that last time…even if it was completely an accident."

Fluttershy managed to smile lightly and placed a hoof on mine. "If you really want to know, Alex…" She began speaking meaningfully. "I…" She looked a little away and felt the need to lower her voice, possibly due to a sudden rise of shyness and even embarrassment. "…um…I hope it doesn't sound too selfish…but… It really only matters as long as you love me…"

"Huh…?" I needed to know a little clearer about what she meant.

Using her other hoof, she removed it from her beverage and lifted up the strand of her mane that was beginning to fall towards her face. Then, she placed it on my hoof as well, leading the both of her front hooves to be on my single hoof. "I…I want you to love me. And I don't want to that love to die. Remember when I cried about the other time that was an accident? I know some of it was because of the embarrassment from being on the newspaper, but mostly…I was scared…" She caught my earnest attention. "There was this bugging fear that maybe…you really didn't like me…or you got bored of me because of the way I was… Either way…you didn't want anything to do with me. That's what I was afraid of. I couldn't even think of any logical explanations on what happened. My fears just came over me and I couldn't think of anything else besides losing you." She sighed. "What I'm saying is… I don't really care about those things when it comes to CPR and stuff… I just want to be yours…because…well…" She paused for a short moment. "I can't see myself living without you…you know?" As I thought about it, I realized that marriage was absolutely confirmed for a later date. Soon or late, it was going to happen. After all, I also just realized that a romantic relationship only really led to two outcomes. A breakup or marriage. Dating was just to see if you were compatible to spending your life with that pony… "Honestly…" Fluttershy continued. "I've thought about…maybe…breaking it off…" This was another sure hit to grab one hundred percent of my focus. "Not because there was any problem with you." She assured. "But because of me. Sometimes, I feel like I get in your way a lot because I'm either too shy or scared. And sometimes…I even think you'd be better off without me."

I shook my head. "No." I said, stopping her from possibly continuing on. "Don't think that. No matter what, I'll always want to be with you. You and I are both…meant for each other, and we both know it." I used my other hoof to place it on top of hers. "Don't let anything like that slow you down. In fact, if these thoughts come across your mind again, come to me. You'll remember how silly it is to think such things."

She blushed and looked away in acceptable embarrassment. "Just that reminds me about how much you care about me."

I reached over the table to surprise her with a gentle kiss that she accepted as soon as she felt it.

"Keep it that way." I recommended dearly.

Still keeping a flushed face, she nodded happily. "Okay."

I continued smiling at her in silence before I felt like giving her the reason behind asking her the uncomfortable question. "Anyways… I was just asking because… I was at this swimming hole with Applejack, and I guess I almost drowned or something. So, she ended up saving my life and I freaked out about it." I chuckled. I freaked out about her saving my life instead of almost losing it!"

Fluttershy had widened her eyes when she learned that I had almost drowned, but then she relieved them once hearing the news after. "I'm glad to hear what Applejack did for you." She shared. "I'd want our friends to take care of you while I'm not around. I'm glad to know that they're capable of doing just that…well at least, Applejack." She giggled a little.

"I'm sure they'd all do anything to keep me well." I assured, feeling the confidence within me.

Fluttershy and I continued walking closely together after departing from our table.

"Do you want to do anything today?" I asked.

"I don't know." She returned, unsure of what exactly there was to do for the both of us. "I don't really have anything in mind, but if it's okay with you, maybe we could—"

"And it's all your fault!" We heard a short distance from us, interrupting our conversation.

"My fault?! I'm the one helping you!" We heard another voice respond angrily to the previous one.

"That sounds like Twilight." Fluttershy mentioned, having us spot the library in front of us where Twilight and Rainbow Dash seemed to be heatedly arguing about something.

"Maybe your famous study methods aren't all they're cracked up to be, eh, teacher?!" Rainbow shot as she remained in midair.

"Excuse me, I've used them to study for many a test and passed!" Twilight defended on the ground.

"Yeah, right." Rainbow Dash responded skeptically.

"Do you know the name of the premiere Wonderbolts choreographer?" Twilight asked as she joined Rainbow in flight.

"Uh, well—"

"Commander Easyglider." Twilight answered as Rainbow flew away from the problem. "Do you know how many Pegasi flew in the original squad?"


"Seven!" Twilight swiftly replied to her own question yet again. "Do you know Princess Celestia's favorite flight pattern?! The Icaranian Sun Salutation!" Twilight didn't allow Rainbow Dash a second to give her input. "See? I could pass the test." She proved.

"Fine! Rub it in, why don't ya?" She returned to the ground as Twilight followed. "Besides, I don't see why I have to take this lousy test anyway. I've proven I'm one of the best flyers around."

"Knowing their origin and being able to properly represent them for all of Equestria is just as important." Twilight argued.

"Yeah, right." Rainbow Dash repeated her skepticism. "Some history buff like you must have made that up to bring us flyers down."

Fluttershy exchanged a worried look with me, having me feel the need to get between the two before anything grew worse.

"Knowing history actually is beneficial, Rainbow." Twilight attempted to seriously reason.

Rainbow Dash reacted with a blown raspberry. "Beneficial for eggheads!"

"Well, this egghead knows history and can fly." Twilight flew up from the ground to meet Rainbow Dash face-to-face. "Maybe I should become a Wonderbolt."

"Just 'cause you've got wings, doesn't mean you can fly!" Rainbow immediately fired when hearing Twilight's take on joining the Wonderbolts. "You're barely able to just get off the ground! Some Princess you are!"

When hearing this, Twilight gasped deeply as if Rainbow slammed right into her on a personal level. It was becoming much more than just argument.

"Hey!" I flew between them. "What the hay, Rainbow?! You don't talk to her like that!"

"Get somepony who can actually teach me!" Rainbow remained in her fuming state. "Then, I might just be able to take her seriously!"

"Stop it!" I ordered. However, Twilight silently lowered herself to the ground, turned to her front door, and entered inside while slamming the door shut. I turned my head back to Rainbow and sent her a piercing glare. At that moment, she began to slowly release the anger and frustration in her face and make it appear more guilty and regretful.


I couldn't believe what Rainbow Dash had just told me. I was actually the pony to take the time out of my day to help her study for the Wonderbolts Reserves exam she needed to pass, and she couldn't take me seriously?! Wanting to be the best friend I could, I cared about her succeeding her dream! I wanted her to be happy to be accepted into the Wonderbolts Reserves and she just did that to me!? How could she?! How could she just downright insult me for trying to help her?!

At that point, I felt so emotionally vulnerable in the longest while. I couldn't even believe it myself when I began feeling like crying. Why was I letting her get to me?

I wanted to go to the bathroom to see if I could do something about it until I noticed something strange in the library. I stopped walking when I spotted something off on the second floor where my bedroom was. There appeared to be this…stallion in some kind of weird armor. I couldn't tell if it was just some dumb get-up or costume. Either way, I didn't believe he belonged in here, and I wasn't in the mood to be "friendly".

"What are you doing in here?" I asked, not caring at the moment for who it was. However, I remembered about the same thing with Spirit. The three times she's been in the library were all random, and I had never seen her come in in the first place. It had me thinking about this new uninvited pony. "You're not one of Alex's friends, are you?" I asked with slightly bothered curiosity.

He turned around, but his face was not visible. Instead, it was covered by some kind of helmet that matched with his armor or costume or whatever. "Oh yeah…" He spoke, providing a really dark and unnerving tone. "Alex…" He seemed to indeed know him. He then proceeded to return a response that I was not expecting at all. "Tell me something… Has he learned to put up a decent fight yet?"

"What are you talking about?" I quickly questioned with both annoyance and a bit of worry.

"I'll be asking the questions!" He suddenly shot back, as if I had just offended him. He turned his entire body towards me and easily jumped down to the floor I was on. "After all…" He continued. "…between the two of us…" He stretched out his legs and I began to sense darkness radiate from him. "I'm the only one who's going to walk away from here alive."

Feeling the anger and irritation I wanted to release from Rainbow Dash's argument, I showed no fear in fighting whoever this stallion was. I furrowed my eyebrows and gave him one last warning before he tried anything. "Whoever you are, I'll have you know that I'm in no mood to deal with this kind of gimmick right now!"


"That was completely uncalled for, Rainbow!" I scolded at her. "She was only trying to help you, and this is how you repay her?!"

"Okay, okay!" She placed her hooves strongly on her ears, wishing to hear no more. "I get it! I'm sorry!"

"Save that until I get Twilight out here." I sternly stated and returned to the ground to call Twilight. "Twilight?" I asked of her presence, knocking lightly on her front door. I placed my ear near the door to try to hear any sound coming from her. I didn't receive much. "Twilight?" I repeated as I slowly opened the door. When I was inside, I spotted her around the center of the room. She seemed to have not heard my calls as she was too busy searching greatly around for something. "Twilight, are you okay?" I questioned.

"Huh? What?!" She quickly turned towards me in surprise with a mood different than the one she walked away with.

"Hey, what's going on?" I worriedly placed my hooves on her shoulders to get her to focus on me.

"I…" She paused as her eyes shifted around mine. "…I don't know… He just vanished…"

"He?" I immediately felt the need to know. "Who?! What happened?!"

Twilight remained staring at me with a troubled mind before she finally returned an answer. "Nothing… Forget it. I think I was out of it."

"I still want to know." I persisted, feeling it was something a lot more important that she was taking it. "How did he look like?"

"I…can't remember." She mentioned and then quickly turned the tables. "Forget about it. There was something I wanted to ask you. Something about your friend Spirit."

Her experience was temporarily wiped from my mind as Spirit flooded its former place. "Spirit…?" I questioned, unfortunately remembering our last encounter.

"Yes." Twilight clarified. "Did something…happen between the two of you?"

I panicked internally at her question. There was no way I could have told her what really happened the last time I saw her. Twilight would probably blow a fuse and tell me something like how she knew she never should have trusted her or something. Either way, Twilight would most likely lose the trust she had for her and see her as a threat.

Spirit isn't like that… I know she isn't. I can't explain why she did what she did, but I just know she isn't bad… Not after all we've been through. Not after how far she went to watch over me…

"I…uh…" I fumbled with the words in my mind.

However, Rainbow Dash actually rushed in and saved me from speaking. "Twilight!" She called out, startling her. "I'm so sorry!" She surprisingly began to immediately apologize. "I can't believe I said the things I said. Calling you an egghead, not being able to get off the ground, and mainly a bad Princess! I didn't mean any of it! I was just so frustrated about the idea of failing the dream I've held on to for my whole life!"

Twilight looked away for a moment with a saddened look and then turned her eyes back to Rainbow. "It's okay…" She forgave. "I'm sorry too. I didn't mean to push you so hard. I just wanted you to learn so you could pass your test."

"I know!" Rainbow understood. "But I just can't keep any of it in my head!"

"Don't you have a lot methods to help Rainbow Dash with, Twilight?" Fluttershy asked, having had walked in after Rainbow dashed through to apologize.

"I've tried everything, Fluttershy." Twilight responded. "But none of my study methods work for her."

"Hm…" Fluttershy rubbed her chin with her hoof as she analyzed Rainbow Dash for a bit. "Well, no offense to your teaching methods, Twilight, but I think I may have a way to help Rainbow."

"What's that?" I questioned.

"Maybe a reenactment will help her learn better." Fluttershy revealed. "Come on." She began leading us out the library.

I didn't know how she did it, but Fluttershy was able to get Spike's help in directing several animals in this "reenactment." I helped her by lifting pieces of wood in order to make this makeshift stage for the critters to perform. It was almost hard to believe she was willing to go above and beyond to offer a possible way to help Rainbow study for her test. I assumed, as the stage was being built, Spike wrote up a short script to explain this history she was supposed to learn. For the actors, Opalescence and Angel were on stage. Opal was apparently portraying Princess Luna while Angel was Princess Celestia. Fluttershy, Twilight, Rainbow, and I sat on a bench in front of the stage.

Rainbow Dash gave a good scan across the stage to notice the two in front. "Oh, who's that, who's that?" She asked, not noticing the mane wigs they wore that was a dead giveaway.

"Celestia and Luna, back when they were happy." Fluttershy happily answered.

Angel and Opal seemed to be dancing lightly to signify their happiness until Angel suddenly threw his paws towards Opal, cueing her to fall on her back. The rest of us honestly didn't seem to be too interested in this show as Fluttershy was. She held her hooves close to her face in excitement as if she was watching a jaw-dropping show. Perhaps it was the lack of dialogue since they were animals after all.

Owlowiscious dropped in and grabbed ahold of Opal, bringing her up to the moon in the background and dropped her off there, symbolizing Luna's banishment. Tank and Winona came walking in oddly while Spike had to awkwardly bring in Gummy into the stage and run off.

"Uh... now what?" Rainbow Dash asked, lost on what was going on.

"Gummy's an Earth pony, Winona's a unicorn, and Tank is a Pegasus." Fluttershy pointed out, which explained the reason why they were wearing some out of place accessories.

"They're the E.U.P., helping to protect the Princess." Twilight recalled the history.

However, the animals weren't really doing anything related to the reenactment. Winona was scratching herself, Gummy grabbed ahold of one of Tank's legs with his mouth, and Angel appeared to have fallen asleep. "Uh, how are you getting all this?" Rainbow questioned.

Nevertheless, Owlowiscious grabbed Angel and placed him on top of the platform in front of the sun where he was doing only Fluttershy-knew-what. Tank began swirling around in the air until he bumped into the sun barrier and knocked Angel off.

"Oh, no!" Fluttershy exclaimed in distress.

Owlowiscious caught Angel but bumped into the moon platform doing so. Spike raced in to catch Opal, but that didn't stop the play from being unable to recover itself.

"Stop, stop, stop!" Rainbow Dash cried out, seeing the results of the play get her nowhere. "That was aw—"

"Awesome!" Pinkie Pie suddenly chimed in. "I give it three woohoo's! Woohoo, woohoo, woohoo!" She goofily hopped with each "woohoo". "And an extra "woo" for good measure! Woo!"

"Well, I give it a 'whoa, whoa, what?'" Rainbow Dash countered, standing on her seat. "I'm totally confused and I just wanna go home..." Rainbow Dash tried to fly off in defeat before Pinkie Pie grabbed ahold of her tail and pulled her down forcefully. "Whoa– hey!"

"Whoa your woes there, woeful!" Pinkie cheerfully intervened. "Some ponies learn through theatrical presentation, but other ponies learn through musical intervention." She looked back and called somepony else. "Ready, Vinyl?!"

I was surprised to see Vinyl Scratch standing there behind her apparently portable DJ studio. "On your mark, Pinkie!"

She jumped into an old-school hip-hop outfit in just a second and began making odd noises. "Wicka-Wicka-Wicka!" When Vinyl began playing a beat with turntable scratching noises, Pinkie Pie went along with that beat as she beatboxed with her own voice.

"Well, back in ancient times, there were the Wonderbolts of old!

A general named Firefly, amazing and so... bold." She appeared to have help with vocal strength due to a pre-recorded voiceover coming from Vinyl's speakers.

"She brought them all together, spreading unity...in flight! Performing at their very best with wonder...and with might! There's Admiral Fairweather and the Colonel Purple...Dart! Gave Wonderbolts a bit of steel along with...lots of heart! An admiral named Fairy Flight and general called...Flash! Helped the 'bolts fly super high... With style and panache! Commander Easyglider was the real cream of...the crop! For with her wicked moves, the Wonderbolts...soared to the top! Wonderbolts, yeah! Wonderbolts...huh! Wonderbolts, yeah! Wonderbolts...Unh! That is my rappin' history of the Wonderbolts!" After she finished, she tossed off her outfit and turned to Rainbow Dash. "So, d'you get it?"

"Yes, Pinkie Pie!" Rainbow Dash surprisingly nodded her head and began to poorly imitate Pinkie with her sounds. "Wickie-wickie-wickie, General This and Colonel That, they're the Wonderbolts, something that rhymes with that!" She crossed her forelegs in completion, but Pinkie Pie didn't look so enthusiastic.

"That... was pretty terrible."

"What?! No... really?" Rainbow returned to her desperate state. "But I've gotta learn this stuff! Now!" She began galloping off until somepony else stopped her.

"And I am just the pony to help!" Rarity reached out, wearing some kind of outfit I didn't really think she'd wear out.

"Rarity, you look ridiculous." Rainbow commented.

"I am going to ignore that comment out of my desire to help you." Rarity generously sacrificed.

After glancing over to us in disbelief, she turned her head back to Rarity. "Good luck."

"Excellent." Rarity closed her eyes in confidence, believing she had the shot in being successful with Rainbow Dash. "If you just follow me, I'll lead you on the path to success for your test." Rainbow only shrugged before she stood up and began walking towards Rarity. "Oh!" She added. "And I'll be needing the rest of you girls as well."

Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Twilight, and even Vinyl looked around and at each other questionably.

In order to receive clarification, Vinyl pulled up her shades and placed a hoof to her chest. "Uh…me too?"

"No, no." Rarity answered. "Just the three over there…unless you'd also like to model with one of my historical designs."

Vinyl almost immediately reacted with a shaking head. "No, thanks. I'm good."

"Well, then. Come along, girls!" Rarity directed, walking out of the area.

Fluttershy stayed behind for a moment before she walked along with the others. "Are you coming too?"

"Yeah. Don't worry, I'll catch up." I responded.

She offered a quick small smile before she traveled on forward with the others.

I took the time to approach Vinyl as she was putting up the stuff she used to help Pinkie Pie with her rap song. As I glanced over her equipment, I wondered how she was going to get that home. "You sure you can bring all that back to your house?" I asked.

"No biggie." She replied with no worry. "It's got wheels." She tapped the lower end of the portable studio.

"Isn't it kind of tiring to bring it all the way over here?"

"Nah." She continued with her optimistic attitude. "It's good exercise anyway." She finished securing everything to her booth and began pushing it.

"Do you need some help…?" I inquired lightly.

"That's cool of you to ask, but no thanks." She assured. "I got this."

"Oh, okay." I merely ceased as I followed her by her side. However, I felt the need to raise up something in conversation, so I brought a casual question. "How's Tavi been?"

"Good. Still practicing, actually." Vinyl mentioned. "If you know her like I do, she's pretty punctual about everything. She wants to make sure she plays as best as she can at the Equestria Games."

"Right." I was reminded about the Equestria Games. "I almost forgot about that…"

"What about you?" She glanced over to me as she continued to push her equipment. "Are you feeling nervous? Or have you been preparing for your part in the Games?"

"Actually…I haven't really be readying myself at all." I admitted. "To be honest, I haven't thought much of the Games. They're…not really that important to me…"

"Aw, really?" Vinyl formed a sort of disappointing face. "Well, you at least care about your team, right?"

"Yeah, yeah, of course." I replied. "The Games aren't just really a big deal for me…"

"Well…" Vinyl took a moment to speak. "You do whatever you think is best, Alex. After all, it's worked out so far, right?"

"Yeah…I guess…" I felt unsure of that comment, especially after remembering the confusion with Spirit.

We reached her house where we began to part our ways. "It was nice seeing you. I guess I'll talk to you later?"

I nodded my head. "Yeah, sure thing."

"Catch ya later!" She said as she pushed in her equipment through the door. When she was on the other side, she tried closing her front door but had some trouble for a moment. I raised a hoof, wondering if I should try helping her, but she eventually fixed her problem on her own and managed to squeeze in the equipment all the way through.

Afterwards, I turned to head to Rarity's boutique to see what she had in mind for Rainbow Dash.

"Just look at us."

"Look at us."

"Look at me!" I heard as I walked in, finding the entire boutique mostly absent of light. However, there was a spot light in the middle of the room where I saw Rainbow Dash. She was surrounded by several ponies in odd get-ups.

"What's going on here…?" I questioned with silently major confusion, noticing Rainbow cowering in the middle of them. They almost looked like they wanted to eat her alive…with knowledge.

"Stop it!" Rainbow cried out and slipped away from them. "This isn't working! In fact, this was the worst idea ever!"

"Don't you fret, Rainbow." Applejack approached Rainbow Dash, also wearing her own costume. This fashion show nonsense wouldn't help me learn nothin', either." She placed a hoof under her hat and tossed it carelessly away, gaining an unamused frown from Rarity.

"Really?" Rainbow questioned. "Well, what special study trick do you have, AJ?"

"Who, me? Oh, I got nothing." Applejack took a little humorously, receiving a sigh of disappointment from Rainbow Dash. "Why, I could tell you every little thing there is to know about the history of apples, but I picked all that up over years in the field as a labor of love. How much time you got?"

"Twelve hours…"

"Oh, then you are up a creek." Applejack shared with not the best kind of tone.

"So, there's been me…" Twilight began counting, placing a hoof on her chest. "That didn't work." She turned her head to see Fluttershy. "Fluttershy… Nothing… Pinkie Pie…" Pinkie released a bright and large grin. "Not really…" She turned to Rarity, who was picking up after the girls after they had removed the outfits they were wearing. "Rarity…nope… Applejack… No…" She placed her hoof down on the ground and stared for a moment in though. Then, she raised her head with a small idea. "There still might be some hope, Rainbow!"

"What?" Rainbow quickly turned towards Twilight.

"We haven't asked Alex!" She pointed out. "I'm sure he has something that is more suitable for you!"

All six of them turned towards me, but Rainbow Dash was the one with interest piqued highly.

"…what?" I asked, despite having an idea of what they wanted.

"You did well on tests, didn't you?" Twilight inquired. "What did you do to study for them?"

"Twilight." I stated frankly. "The last 'test' I took was when I was a colt. Celestia practically helped with me the rest of basics."

"Didn't she ever give you tests…?"

"Not that I remember…" I mentioned. "Even if I did have to do some 'studying', which in my case remember things, I usually just wrote them down multiple times. It usually gets implanted in my head that way."

"Ugh!" Rainbow Dash groaned. "That doesn't help at all! That's like the same thing as Twilight does!"

"Then, we might as well try again, Rainbow." Twilight recommended, leaning towards her with flash cards. "Old-fashioned studying can do wonders, especially if you pay attention."

"There's always our play!" Fluttershy raised her hoof.

"Look at all the work I did!" Rarity presented her history wardrobe. "Just look at these costumes! Surely something resonates with your inner Wonderbolt!"

"And Granny Smith discovered the first granny smith in Fillydelphia, when she was just a filly!" Applejack added a bit unnecessarily.

"Commander Easyglider was the real cream of the crop—"

"Pinkie, stop rapping!" Twilight prevented Pinkie Pie from continuing any further with her song. "That isn't gonna help Rainbow!"

"Well, I suggest you put down your silly cards of flash, for I know that they cannot help our good friend Rainbow Dash!" Pinkie produced one last rhyme.

"Hang on, hang on, hang on!" Twilight suddenly ignored Pinkie's rapping all of a sudden and looked towards me. "There is still one more pony."

"Who?" Pinkie asked.

"Alex." Twilight continued to face me, beginning to put the center of attention on me. "Can you please ask your friend if she knows anything that could help Rainbow Dash?"

"What?" I almost shot back. On one hoof, I wanted to know what exactly she was talking about, but at the same time, I felt it deep inside me that I knew exactly who she was bringing up.

"You know. Your friend." She pursued. "The one that's mysteriously heavily shy to meet anypony else?"

"Shy?!" Pinkie Pie uninvitedly joined in on the conversation. "I can fix that!"

"What about her?" I tried to avoid answering.

"Can she help?" Twilight seemed to be getting into the question a lot more than she needed to.

"She's busy." I returned vaguely.

"Doing what?" Twilight sustained, which was actually beginning to anger me for some reason…

"I don't know, Twilight." I really wanted the topic to be switched or end.

"Well, when's the last time you saw her?"

I was getting fed up inside. "I don't know, alright? Can we please just drop it?"

"I just want to know, Alex." Twilight said. "After all, I've recently been getting worried by her in relation to you. There's something going on, and I need to know."

This was no longer about helping Rainbow Dash with her test. "Look, you don't need to know anything. It's my business only."

"Alex, we were crowned together. You said it yourself, didn't you? We're a team. And those in a team should share anything important that's going on." She believed.

Reminding me of the incident after Rainbow Dash's and Twilight's argument, I realized there was something else she wasn't telling me either. "Really? Then how come earlier at the library, you wouldn't tell me about whoever it was that showed up inside your home? If somepony broke in the place you sleep in, I'm sure it's pretty important to me!"

"That…" Twilight paused with a mind absent of words to respond to that point. "That was nothing! I was probably just imagining things!"

"You've never imagined anything like that before! What if somepony has something against you? Or is out to get you?!"

"What if somepony is out to get you!?" Twilight began raising her voice as well. "That's why I want to know what's going on between you and Spirit! Something's not right!"

As soon as I heard her name slip out from her tongue, I didn't want any more of it. "Stop talking."

"No, I want to know!" Twilight persisted.

"Drop it, Twilight!" I forcefully and bluntly said.

She returned a silent response before Rainbow spoke up in frustration.

"Stop it, guys! Seriously! I can't believe that wanting to pass my test is making everybody else fight because of me! You know what? Forget about helping me study! Forget about the test! I hate seeing you guys fight and I won't take it anymore! I am never gonna pass this test, ever! Just forget it!" Afterwards, she stormed out of the boutique.

There was an awful lot of uncomfortable silence resonating inside the boutique. Twilight silently turned to me with an impacting upset face. "…Fine." She answered to my last sentence and turned to possibly head after Rainbow. Once she slammed the door shut, she left me with the other girls who were probably questioning in thoughts about what just happened.

I began feeling guilt set all over me, so my legs gave out and I was left sitting on the floor.

"Alex…what's goin' on?" Applejack asked, looking a little hesitant since I was pretty clear about wanting to drop the previous subject.

I sighed lightly, feeling the last of my temper melt away. "I really don't want to drag you girls into it…" I looked at them to see their concerned faces. "I know you all are wondering what just happened, and what we were just talking about…but…" I paused to get my words right. "Don't take this the wrong way, but let's just keep this between Twilight and me.

"You don't look so good…" Fluttershy approached me.

"I feel bad." I wiped a hoof on my face. "I don't think I've ever talked to Twilight like that before, and I never planned on ever doing that. All I can think of doing right now is just…apologizing to her and settling things."

"You can after she comes back." Fluttershy tried to comfort.

"Maybe…" Nevertheless, I began feeling doubtful. "…unless she doesn't even want to talk to me for who knows how long…"

"Twilight's not like that." Rarity now spoke. "No matter how angry she might get, she wouldn't hold anything against you."

"Yeah!" Pinkie Pie added on. "Even then, you can always bake a cake for her! There's no way she'd be angry at you after that!"

I managed to smile after remembering a similar experience. "You really think baking cakes for somepony always makes things better?"

"Of course!" Pinkie responded, seeming to not recall the reaction from Octavia. "Why wouldn't it?"

"Never mind…" I disengaged from that reminder and looked towards the door. "I guess we'll just have to see what happens…"

We were outside when we saw Twilight coming in for a landing. At that point, I felt immediately uncomfortable. Since things between the two of us weren't exactly right, I felt that she might act coldly to me. And since she was so close to me, it'd hurt badly.

However, she was pretty silent about what happened between us. Instead, she was more focused on Rainbow Dash's problem.

"Everypony, I've got an idea." Twilight announced.

"What is it, Twilight?" Fluttershy asked curiously.

"We have to help Rainbow Dash." She stated.

"Uh…I think we already know that." Applejack pointed out a little confusingly.

"We've tried every kind of studying." Rarity included. "My way, your way..."

"But we haven't tried Rainbow Dash's way." Twilight finished with a smile, giving me hope that perhaps what happened back in the boutique didn't faze, disturb, or haunt her.

"Hmm, I'm intrigued…" Pinkie Pie reacted just as she said, placing on the hat she wore with her outfit when rapping her history song.

"Okay. Listen up, ponies, here's the plan." She brought up and began assigning positions for everypony. "Fluttershy and Rarity, you two will reenact Luna's banishment to the moon. Applejack, get Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo to reference the E.U.P. Pinkie Pie, you'll be General Firefly and talk about how unattractive your outfit is and how you'll assemble the Wonderbolts. Rarity, bring up Flaire De Mare's role. Also, Pinkie, see if you can get some more ponies around Ponyville to help present the rest of the history of the Wonderbolts and the rest of you follow along."

"Uh…didn't we kind of just do this already? Why are we doin' it again?" Applejack questioned.

"On my first flight with Rainbow, I found out that she just easily reads information while she's flying! As we were talking, she was also observing everything in the ground and sky at the same time! If we can get this information to her on the ground while she's busy flying, she's sure to learn it!"

"Say no more, Twilight." Rarity held out a hoof and shook her head. "I believe we all have an idea on what to do." She mentioned as she looked at the rest of the ponies with assigned roles.

"How do we know where she's going to fly and see us?" Fluttershy inquired.

"You leave that to me." Twilight returned confidently. "Just stay along the center of town and I'll lead her by."

"Okie dokie, artechokie!" Pinkie Pie confirmed.

It appeared Twilight was finished, which brought me back down inside. She hadn't assigned me a role, which most likely meant she was still furious with me. I guess it was understandable. After all, it's completely normal to not talk to a pony that—

"Alex." She called me, surprising me greatly. "You're coming with me." She stated with a smile.

"Uhh…" I was completely caught off guard with her request. "Okay."

"Get going, everypony!" Twilight told rest of the girls. "Let's help Rainbow Dash learn her history!"

They cheered and galloped off to their tasks and roles while Twilight gestured me to follow her in flight. Still feeling a little odd about her sudden and unexpected friendship, I lifted off in flight nonetheless.

Twilight was a little ahead of me in the air. I remained cowering a little behind her because I couldn't bring up any words in mind to say to her. In fact, I actually was trying to use the silent time to try to think of what to say. I figured it wouldn't prove much use to fully plan out my apology to her and just try to say whatever words I was able to bring up. When I finally mustered up the courage to speak, I began to try to endure what might result from speaking.

"Twilight… Look… I…"

"Let's leave that for later, all right?" She responded in a surprisingly sympathetic voice, but she didn't lose her smile. "Right now, let's focus on helping Rainbow pass her test."

"Yeah…" I agreed, feeling it wasn't such a good time to settle things as well. "Right…"

We found Rainbow Dash resting gloomily on a darkened cloud. It appeared as if she'd given up on all hope.

"Hey, Rainbow." Twilight approached her. "Wanna go for a fly?"

Rainbow Dash sighed shortly. She didn't seem to be in the mood to even get up, but she decided to anyway. "Sure. Got nothing better to do." She hopped off of her cloud and began flying while Twilight and I followed along. "Didn't we just do this?" She asked, but then noticed me. "Except this time Alex is here."

"Well…yeah…but like you said, I'm such a newbie, I need all the practice I can get." Twilight replied, losing control of her flying for a short bit, but she managed to catch back on correctly.

"Why's Alex here? Didn't you two…?" She brought up.

"Don't worry. Everything's fine." Twilight assured. "He's just here to help me…with my flying."

"Huh." Rainbow continued speaking in a low spirit. "Well, I'm glad you two worked out your thing… At least you're both happy." Twilight sent a short glance to me, as we both knew we didn't exactly work out everything yet. "I'm also sure you'll become a great flyer in no time. After all, you're good at everything."

Twilight didn't answer that directly. Instead, she looked towards the ground and had me realize the others were ready down below. "So..." Twilight continued to distract Rainbow Dash with small talk. "What's going on?"

"Oh, nothing. Just getting my dreams crushed." Rainbow Dash returned frankly.

Twilight appeared to have some difficulty trying to keep with the kind of talk Rainbow Dash was producing. "Uh... read any good books lately?" She asked as I seemed to notice Fluttershy and Rarity acting out the banishment part in the history of the Wonderbolts. Fluttershy carefully executed her part while Rarity obviously put in more than needed drama.

"Just history books." She answered after another drawn out sigh. "I'd tell you what they were about, but my brain is as dry as a rock."

Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Applebloom now came into small sight, faintly shouting the topic of the E.U.P.

"Speaking of rocks, did you know Pinkie Pie grew up on a rock farm?" Twilight slowly worded out, releasing a short nervous laugh afterwards.

"Maybe I'll go work there as I have no other plans for the rest of my life." Rainbow pessimistically put out.

At that point, I began seeing Pinkie Pie play her part, which led to Rarity's, and all the rest of the other ponies.

"Oh, come on now, Rainbow. You can't give up on your dream!" Twilight tried to reason.

"Seems my dream has given up on me." Rainbow returned. "Maybe I'll learn to shine shoes, sell hats, dig ditches..."

"Or maybe you'll be a Wonderbolt." Twilight enthusiastically shared, managing to even flip gleefully in the air. However, it didn't seem to have any effect on Rainbow Dash. In fact, it seemed to even frustrate her even more.

"Twilight, give it up! I have." With a stressed and annoyed attitude, she spotted her home below in the clouds and dashed over there, landing and ceasing her wings. Twilight and I joined her, where she remained in her venting mood. "You two are so lucky… You're a Prince and Princess…right alongside the rulers of Equestria. And it was by doing things that I had no interest in doing." She turned to face us. "You two must feel pretty important. I'd feel important too if I became a Wonderbolt…but I guess I just have to learn that being who I am is what stopped me from ever achieving my dreams."

Feeling like it was just yesterday, I remember how opposite she really was from the current state she was now. "Rainbow Dash, you always brag about how amazing you are." I spoke up. "'I'm going to be a Wonderbolt.', 'I can't wait until I'm in the Wonderbolts', 'I am a Wonderbolt.'" I provided as examples. "Are you seriously just going to give up so easily because of this one obstacle? You're going to sacrifice everything you've done for the Wonderbolts and Wonderbolt related? Where's the real Rainbow Dash?"

"What do you expect me to do?!" She challenged. "I've never devoted my life to stuff eggheads do. I never thought I needed it. I thought flying was enough…" She sighed sadly. "I guess not…And now…I'm paying for it…"

"You're forgetting something, Rainbow." Twilight mentioned. "As your friends, we're willing to do whatever it takes to see you succeed at your dreams."

"Really?" Rainbow questioned a bit skeptically. "And what good has that been?"

"Well…" Twilight dragged out, along with her hoof. "What do you remember about the flight we just had?"

Rainbow scoffed in reaction. "Nothing important. Except after Luna was banished to the moon, Celestia needed protective forces, so Earth, unicorn, and Pegasi formed the E.U.P. Guard of the Protective Pony Platoons." She recalled. At first, she was completely unaware that she was referring to the history of the Wonderbolts until she finished her sentence. From there on, she widened her eyes immensely to what just easily came out of her mouth.

"Yes...?" Twilight encouraged.

"And…" Rainbow Dash resumed, turning her frown upside down to grow happier with each word that was thrown out of her mouth. "At the celebration of the first Celestial year of peace, an elite flying squadron performed, headed by General Firefly, who later named the group the Wonderbolts!"

"Uh-huh...?" Twilight nodded.

"Commander Easyglider established flight choreography that is still used by the Wonderbolts today!" Rainbow Dash somersaulted in accomplishment.

"Yes!" Twilight praised.

"I... I know the history!" Rainbow Dash was awfully surprised to be immediately welcomed with this knowledge as I was surprised with how Twilight's idea actually ended up working. "I know it all! But how in Equestria did that happen?"

Twilight held a hoof across her shoulder and formed a wide grin. "You learned it!"

"Yeah, I got that! But how?" Rainbow clearly wanted to know the exact method used to learn the material.

"Well, on our first flight, I discovered that you catalog everything that happens all around you when you're flying, without even thinking about it!" Twilight answered, explaining to her about the flight previous to this one. However, Rainbow Dash didn't exactly understand what Twilight was getting at. "Don't you see?" She then pointed downwards towards the ground. "I made use of your special skills by enlisting everypony to help you learn the history of the Wonderbolts! Since you were too busy talking, you didn't even notice that you were actually seeing the history of the Wonderbolts before you on the ground! From the banishment of Princess Luna, you watched everything to the point of the Wonderbolts today! You remembered everything, and you didn't even know it!"

Rainbow Dash dropped her jaw in shock and then raced over to the edge of her cloud. From there, she saw the rest of the girls that helped in her learning the history. She quickly jumped off and headed towards them, having us follow behind her.

"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" Rainbow Dash gleefully expressed in excitement. "Thank you! Thank you all so much!" She voiced all around.

"You're welcome, but it all came from you." Twilight pointed out, seeing as Rainbow Dash did technically do all the remembering and learning. "You learned without knowing you're learning. Your main focus is flying, but then your brain is also absorbing lots of other information! It's actually really brilliant!"

"Yeah." I added on, seeing as she technically and literally breezed through it. "That's something so you, Rainbow Dash." I presented. "You didn't even really need to study the material. All you really had to do was your favorite thing: fly, while the entire history was presented before you on the ground. It's almost exactly like beaming the information right into your head!" I emphasized by motioning/waving a hoof in front of my forehead.

"Hmph." She returned a smug face, which was just like her. "I always knew I was brilliant." She gained a hearty and relieved laughter from the girls. Once they finished expressing their joy, Rainbow Dash stood up in an organized position and furrowed her eyebrows confidently. "Now, if you all will excuse me, I've got a test to pass!" Afterwards, she quickly flew out of sight.

At that moment, at least for me, she seemed to leave a rainbow-colored trail behind. I wasn't sure if anyone else could have seen it, but perhaps it was just a mental implantation to show that friends will stick up for you with anything…no matter how hard it seems…

I stood at Twilight's doorway to her room, leaning against the side with patience. I knew we had to bring up the subject about before. I felt a lot more at ease since Twilight appeared to be ready to take the talk with peace, but I still felt butterflies in my stomach since I had to bring up the hard part of this day again. I didn't know if we might argue again. I didn't know if I'd end up spilling up the experience with Spirit. I didn't really know what would happen at all. All I could do was hope that everything went alright. Most importantly, I hoped that we'd still be as close as we always were.

"Rainbow Dash finally learned the history of the Wonderbolts…" Twilight recalled today's entry as she wrote it down in the journal. "…but she's not the only pony that needed a lesson; I needed to learn something just as important. One way of learning isn't better than another. After all, every pony is unique and individual."

When she was finished with her entry, she closed the book and placed it safely away, along with her quill.

I almost hesitantly walked up to her, holding a sort of subtle pouting face. I decided to just get into it right away. "Hey…about before…"

Once hearing this, she looked away for a moment with somewhat worried eyes.

"I'm sorry." We both said simultaneously, surprising the both of us after. We both seemed to hold an expression that revealed our confusion for each of our apologies. "Huh?" We questioned yet again at the same time until Twilight clarified after.

"You go first…" She allowed.

I took a moment to swallow in a deep breath and release it through my nostrils. "I'm sorry for talking to you the way that I did. I don't know where that came from… I never would have ever wanted to talk to you in such a way. I don't know what came over me…" I sighed. "I guess…I just…didn't want to talk about Spirit."

"That's why I'm apologizing." Twilight explained. "I should have never pushed you into talking about her." She sighed shortly as well. "I just realized I mentioned her name. I'm so sorry."

"It's fine… Don't worry about it…" I mentioned, lowered my head, and slightly looked away. "I'm not sure that even matters anymore…"

"Why?" Twilight questioned. "…if I may ask…"

I sighed heavily. "The reason I didn't want to talk about Spirit was…well... Something did happen… Something I can't explain. The only thing I can tell you is that she's acting weird all of a sudden. I don't want to tell you because…you might get the wrong idea. I want to wait…until I get the answers for myself." I switched my eyes over to hers so I could look at her intently. "Trust me, Twilight. I really think we are a team. I'd definitely tell you about anything…but this situation is kind of…complicated. I just need time to…understand it and figure things out."

"I understand." She responded carefully. "Back when I didn't want to talk about…well…what happened with me… I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want you to worry."

"What?" I inquired. "But you know how I feel about things with you."

"Yeah, yeah, I know." She acknowledged. "That's just it… There's this…well…promise, I guess…that I'm trying to keep. If I tell you what happened, knowing you, you might run off and start trying to demand things of something we don't exactly have a clue of yet. I'm just trying to say…let's discover more of what we're up against before we do something drastic."

I could see this definitely applying to the both of us. "Yeah, I agree." I quickly replied. "But when you're in trouble, you better get me."

Twilight chuckled in small glee. "Yeah. Same thing to you, mister. No joke. I'm serious."

"Of course." I nodded. "As for now…I guess we can only wait and see what the future has in store for us."

"I think that's the right action to take." She shared. "After all, we might wound up overreacting for something that is possibly uncalled for."

"Yeah." I held up my hoof towards her. "We're a team." I assured. "Not just because we were crowned together…but we're the best of best friends anypony could be."

Twilight produced a smile that was capable of spilling tears. "Friends for life." She grabbed ahold of my hoof and clenched it tightly. When she released it, she stared at me for a second and then immediately jumped towards me to embrace me tightly.

Sharing the mutual feeling, I tightened my grip with her as well. At that moment, in my mind, I decided to make a promise as well. No matter what, we take difficult challenges together. However, there is one exception. If such a struggle runs the risk of one of our lives being lost, I'm not going to hesitate to leave her behind and out of the struggle for the better. I'll save her life before mine.

There was another pony I needed to have a serious talk with. I arrived at the balcony with the strict intention to do so. I walked out to the sunlight the sunset produced, but something was missing. Spirit wasn't there waiting for me at the edge of the balcony as she usually was.

Nevertheless, I walked towards the edge and sat down. I waited patiently for a while as I silently observed the sunset. The easing breeze was comfortable, but I was beginning to realize that it wasn't the same without Spirit.

For as long as I waited, I didn't hear her hooves stepping on the floor or her cheerful laughter. She didn't come around. She was way past her record of being late. I was beginning to worry… Was she…not going to show up…? For the first time?

"Where is she…?" I looked around anxiously in my sitting position.

No matter how long the sunset, breeze, and I awaited her arrival, she never showed up.

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