• Published 5th Jan 2013
  • 6,109 Views, 179 Comments

If the Flight Suit Fits - TheLastBrunnenG



A Spitfire and Dash romance, about as smooth as a head-on collision at terminal velocity.

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Wings

Six sleek and toned ponies stood on a clean, windswept platform atop the open-roofed Canterlot Arena. Close-fitting royal blue uniforms failed to hide rippling muscles underneath while gold lightning-pattern piping gave the impression that they were more uniformed electricity than merely elite pegasi. A somewhat diminutive mare stood apart from the rest, clipboard in hoof.

“Alright, 'Bolts, this is it. Same routine we practiced this morning, same lineup.”

A white-maned pony coughed roughly. “You mean, same routine we practiced.”

The rainbow-tailed pegasus standing opposite her kept her gaze locked on her clipboard. “Yes, Fleetfoot, the same routine we practiced, as in ‘we the Wonderbolts’. And you’re on left wing. Rapidfire, right wing. Soarin’, you’re flying slot. Misty on lead solo, Blaze on opposing solo. Captain takes lead as usual.”

Snickering and murmurs erupted from the five ponies assembled opposite her. “Did she just say she likes to take the Captain’s slot?”

Rainbow Dash growled audibly. “That’s enough, ponies. We lost a couple of practice sessions already, so just keep it in line with last week’s show in Hoofington and we’ll be golden.”

She turned her head sharply at the sound of a horn from across the arena and let her clipboard clatter noisily to the floor. Cheers boiling up from the stadium below made her raise her voice to be heard over the din. “Thirty seconds, colts and fillies. Places!” She cantered to the edge of the platform, dropping her forequarters and flaring her powerful cyan wings. A glance behind her showed five ponies who hadn’t moved a hoof. The prismatic mare wearing the stripes of a Flight Captain yelled hoarsely, “I said places, Wonderbolts! You got personal problems, we’ll deal with them in debrief. Get on the ready line or get grounded. Now move!”

The five moved forward slowly and begrudgingly. The goggles on her teammates’ faces barely hid stares dripping with contempt and disdain as the massive blue stallion lined up in the rear whispered icily, “Yes ma’am, Captain, ma’am.”

A double horn-blast from across the arena broke the deafening silence and all six pegasi took off in unison, the crowd’s volume doubling instantly as smoke and rainbow contrails sliced apart the evening sky.

**********

A fire-maned yellow mare sat behind a plain grey desk, so intently focused on a mountain of papers that the sound of her office door creaking open and slamming shut merited no visible notice from her. Moments later a small crystal-base statue capped by a tiny golden pegasus slammed down on the desk, sending folders and binders scattering to either side. Spitfire’s head shot up, eyes wide, until a proud smile crossed her muzzle. “Best in show? Dash, you did it! I knew you…”

“Why am I Captain?” demanded the blue pegasus mare standing in front of her desk, forelegs crossed, a scowl marring her face.

Acting Captain, Dash. You know why.” Spitfire reclined in her chair and ran a hoof over the little statue. “This trophy proves it - I was right to name you Acting Captain. That little paperweight is yours, Dash." She smiled a sly grin, leaned forward, and purred, "Maybe later we can arrange a better reward for you?” She began to stand but a glare from her partner stopped her cold.

Dash remained stock still and repeated, “Why am I, Rainbow Dash, Acting Captain of the Wonderbolts today? Why is a mare who’s been on the roster six months leading the team?" She slammed her hooves into the desk, which echoed and sent more papers flying. “Why not Soarin’, who’s been here years and who every little filly with a Wonderbolts poster in her bedroom knows is second in command here?”

“Dash, it’s my right to name whoever I want as Acting Captain, and it's my duty to pick whoever I think will do the best job, no matter how long they've been on board.”

Rainbow squinted and leveled a hoof at her commanding officer. “You called in sick. You, Spitfire, have never once called in sick, missed a show, or even a single practice or rehearsal. I know, because I had every one of your trading cards. You faked sick this morning and named me Captain on purpose. Why?”

“Dash, I thought this is what you deserved. You took control of the team and did a great job. If I didn’t think you’d bring home the Best in Show, I wouldn’t have done it. This was,” and her voice wavered just a bit, ears sinking and eyes pleading, “kind of a present for you, you know? I thought I’d give you what you wanted, even if it’s just for a day.”

The younger mare grabbed the trophy and slung it against the wall, sending shattered pieces of a golden Pegasus cascading to the floor. “What I wanted? What I wanted was to earn this. To make you, of all ponies, see that I’d earned this. I’m still an alternate, for Celestia’s sake! Before today, the team only resented me. It sucked but I could live with it. Now they absolutely hate my guts. They despise me. Every one of them knows I got the Captain slot because I’m in bed with the boss. Buck the trophy! I just lost every shred of respect I had from them, and I might never get it back because whatever I do, no matter how good I really am, they’ll always think it’s because you and I are together. And maybe they’re right.”

“Dash, I’m sorry, it was my fault, I thought…”

Dash turned and stalked out of the room, and said without looking back, “Spitfire, the only two things I wanted out of life were a job with the Wonderbolts, and… and you. Now, I’m not sure I want either one.”

As she left a Wonderbolt Captain’s shoulder patch floated gently to the floor.

Author's Note:

TMP Prompt # 136.