• Published 12th Feb 2013
  • 2,512 Views, 95 Comments

Black Canvas - WritingSpirit

Rainbow Dash and her new coltfriend, Taciturn Bleach, paid a visit to his home, where she learns about Taciturn's troubling childhood

  • ...

Three Days Prior: On Such A Short Notice?


The crack of morning light in the horizon was enough of a reason for Rainbow Dash to finally wake up a long sleep, rubbing her eyes tiredly and sitting up on her cloud bed to welcome the start of a new day. Glancing to the side, she smiled once he met Tank's eager face, her pet tortoise already strapping himself to his propeller harness and zooming across the ceiling.

She stretched her hooves, cautiously shifting the blanket of white feathers off her leg; the same one that she had snuggled under almost every other night. With a small, hearty grin, she gazed at the other pony in her bed, which was none other than the patient she had resorted to take care of in the preceding Hearth's Warming Eve, who, in a surprisingly short span of twelve days, became not only her guardian as well (at least, for two weeks until her wounds healed), but also her official coltfriend.

"Tasee," she whispered softly in his ear, his only response being a short whimper.

"Come on, buddy. It's morning already."

Taciturn Bleach. Not entirely the expected stallion of her dreams, as Rarity would oh so put it, but still a gentlecolt, probably even the gentlest of colts. It was on an awkward, wintry day where she happened upon an errand for Fluttershy and unwittingly met him in the hospital. Of course, she became involved in his shenanigans, was swarmed relentlessly by the press, and nearly got killed in a snowstorm, but still he remained the same pony he was: silent and reclusive yet polite and caring.

Of course, being his guardian most of the time (and still is), Rainbow soon found out he inherited some of her traits as well. He had her persistence and determination, directed more onto his interesting artwork, as well as, unluckily for her, her stubbornness.

The cyan mare sighed: he was never a keen pony of sleep at night, but in the morning was a different matter entirely. He never snored, thank Celestia for her, yet nopony oversleeps under the watch of Rainbow Dash. Especially when that pony is her coltfriend.


The blanched colt shot straight up on all four hooves, stiffening up like a poker at the loud rasp of the mare. Taciturn glanced around hastily for a minute, stopping short only when he saw Rainbow rolling about the bed, letting out a loud guffaw with tears springing up at her eyes.

"Y-you should've s-seen... seen the look on your face!" she managed to speak, before bursting out in laughter again. He just rolled his eyes with a small pout: the average Rainbow Dash.

"Come on, Tassee!" Rainbow called, jerking insistently at his hooves.

"We have breakfast to catch up on! Don't wanna miss your pancakes now, would we?"

Taciturn's ears perked up at the mention of pancakes, the colt licking his lips as he slowly trotted towards the dining room. His guardian/marefriend was already outside, his smile widening at the sizzling sound of one of his favorite delicacies being tossed about the black bowels of the skittle.

"Needs a little more salt..." Rainbow murmured. It was thanks to Tassee that she decided to take up a few cooking classes from Applejack, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie. Of course, they were a little more boring than her own flight training, but sometimes, her dad has once told her, it's best to learn more.

In a dash (pun unintended), she tossed a pinch of salt into the mix, the satisfactory crunch of the pancakes simmered to perfection already tingling her own taste buds. Taciturn bounced in his seat eagerly, with Tank hovering down onto his mane, both their tongues hanging out lopsided with the need to have the first bite.

"Here ya go!" the mare finally said, carefully sliding onto his plate while her other hoof tipped a pitcher of maple syrup, fresh from Sweet Apple Acres, covering the stack of brown delights in its gradually-melting coat of sweetness. Of course, the colt was quick to response; he had already begun to slice into the first layer of the tower before she could settle down on her own seat.

"Is it yummy enough?" she asked. She was usually uncertain of her own cooking, and the need to satisfy the appetite of only one reviewer was enough to trouble her.

Taciturn was quick to give three rapid, cheerful nods in succession, which relieved her immediately, despite the uncertainty still lingering in her head. Either it was actually good (to which she hoped) or he was just being the humbly modest pony he is and the pancakes were actually horrible. Of course, she decided to play safe: her breakfast was a lettuce sandwich instead that does not require any cooking from her whatsoever.

"Come on, Tassee!" Rainbow said once he was finished, helping him dab the traces of crumbs and syrup off his snout. Despite him being around her age, there was still a lot of things he was reluctant to do, though such simple things as wiping crumbs off his mouth only made her wonder if he just wanted her to do it instead.

"Twilight arranged a small meetup with the gang down at Sugarcube Corner. We have to be there at around ten and later add some of your new paintings to the gallery. Then, after that, you'll have to learn a little about-- are you even listening?"

Of course, Taciturn nodded, his whimsical smile turning into a wide, attentive grin, his cheeks puffing up at the display of his affection. "Dashie!" he squealed cheerfully.

The cyan mare couldn't help but find his expression slightly cute, almost like a five year old colt. Rainbow chuckled at his blatant attempts to woo her, guiding the colt towards the door as she combed his mane (another errand that he could've done) and tail while he picked up his trusty art materials.

"You still have to hitch a ride on my back?" she asked, to which his answer was a reluctant nod.

Rainbow sighed quietly underneath her breath. He had the guts to protect her against a frenzied swarm of press ponies, save her from drowning in a freezing lake, and giving both of them their first kiss (which she still saw as the most courageous thing he had ever done), yet he didn't even dare to hover down a mere five feet onto the ground!

"Alright, alright," she said suddenly, the colt eagerly hopping onto her back with Tank as well hitching a ride on the top of his head.

"But you gotta learn how to fly by yourself sooner or later. It's a little... embarrassing to piggyback you down like this all the time."

Taciturn playfully nipped at her ear suddenly, making her yelp in surprise and nearly tossing him off his back. The mare shook her head with a growing smile once his coltfriend giggled quietly; Tassee could be such a tease sometimes.

"Stop it," she whined once he did it at a second time, laughing as she helped him get off her back.

"We're gonna be late if we keep wandering about here."

With that being said and done, both stallion and mare marched towards the nearby district of Ponyville, eager to join their company of friends in their small gathering. Rainbow herself had planned to talk to some of them, especially Rarity and Twilight, about her relationship with Tassee.

There were a few things she wanted to be clear about them, and both unicorns possess at least a certain bout of knowledge, what with Rarity being exposed to all her Canterlot-esque culture and drama and Twilight having a library and, possibly, romance novels stashed within, and with her relationship as Princess Cadance's sister-in-law, she might have more exposure to the subject of love than any of her other friends. Might have.

"Come on!" she called back to her coltfriend, whose attention was drawn by a pink butterfly. It was a heartwarming sight, albeit one that she couldn't wait for, the slight disappointment in that forcing out a sigh from her.

Just another day with Taciturn Bleach.

"That doesn't actually means that they were like sticks in a mud puddle, Rarity. It's a metaphor."

"Well, clearly the author has either a misguided or senseless direction in his writing," Rarity scorned.

"Comparing hooves to mere branches dipped in the most horrid of substances seems rather crude, don't you think? Why, it would be the most ridiculous fashion statement in the entirety of Equestria!"

"It's a metaphor, Rarity."

Rainbow shook her head a little, letting out a small sigh. She doesn't know why some ponies take each sentence in a book literally; it's the creativity of the author, and Rarity would know, considering her successful job as a fashion designer, her experience notable from the thriving business of Carousel Boutique.

Her attention turned back to the new book in her hooves that she had picked up from Twilight, titled Daring Do & the Golden Dagger. Like its predecessors, there was that adventure and danger that Daring Do has, and will, face, although the cyan mare herself had read it for an entirely different reason.


The author had decided to add an element of love into the story, plopping Daring Do with another adventure pony named Trail Blazer, whom had helped Daring escape from a few ponies from the mobsters interested in the Golden Dagger she was searching for. Apparently, she had read to the point where Daring harbored a slight crush on him, who decided to help out along the way after another run-in at the Haymalaya Mountains.

A part of her cursed herself for reading this, probably because it was a little too snugly for her style, yet she knew Taciturn (who was painting yet again) wouldn't mind if she learn a few tricks about love, even if it was only from some adventure novel. Plus, she could really relate herself to Daring Do: adventurous, intrepid and a daredevil. Perhaps it might be the reason why she likes the book so much.

"But... must it be really... necessary?"

There comes the last two of her friends, Fluttershy and Applejack. She, Taciturn, Twilight, Rarity and Pinkie, who was in the kitchen baking a set of strawberry tarts, were anxiously waiting for them with their pets, though when they stepped in, two things immediately caught her eye.

One: Applejack was livelier than usual, her exuberance only beaten by Pinkie Pie, who was humming loudly in the kitchen. Rainbow could swear she was yodeling some sort of tune underneath her breath, though the loud barking of Winona soon snapped her out of that. Two: Fluttershy was more reclusive than usual, and could've beaten Tassee from the way she was approaching them while her pet bunny, Angel, tugged at her at the hooves, sporting an irritated glare.

"Howdy!" the farmpony spoke first, giving them a jolly wave.

"Hey," all three said in unison, placing each of their books down. Rainbow didn't really know what the other two mares were reading, but she knew that Twilight was reading a small encyclopedia of some sort, while Rarity's was a romance novel she had borrowed from none other than their scholarly friend.

Taciturn, of course, was still absorbed in his painting, with Tank, Opalescence, Owlowiscious and Gummy all glancing up at him. It wasn't soon before Winona and Angel soon joined along, leaving the white colt to entertain his audience of critters.

"So," the cyan pegasus began first.

"What's up?"

Applejack just gave them a smug grin, yanking the seemingly troubled Fluttershy to her side.

"Nothin' much," she replied meekly.

"Just that Fluttersh'ah's gonna have a date with her very special somepony."


The source of the screech zoomed out in a pink blur through the flapping doors, grinding to a halt in front of the table with the hype that none other than Pinkie Pie could muster. She slammed down the tray of baked tarts onto the table, joining in with the surprised faces of Twilight, Rarity and Rainbow Dash.

"Whoisit, whoisit, whoisit?" she squeaked.

"Is it somepony we know? Huh? HUH?!"

"Ah'd tell ya, but Ah need Fluttersh'ah's permission t'a do so."

All eyes turned to the butter-colored pegasus, who merely whimpered from the five stares. Applejack nudged her shoulder suddenly, the mare's smile widening a little as she asked:

"Whadaya think, Fluttersh'ah? Should Ah tell them?"

"Um... it could be alright, but I-"

"Alrighty then!" the orange pony chirped, cutting her off immediately.

"Ah'm sure ya girls know who that pony is very well, anyway."

Twilight nearly choked on the milkshake she was drinking, her eyes widening immediately when one single name popped up in her head. There was only one probable candidate that could suit the place for being Fluttershy's coltfriend, and she had many suspicions on that one pony.

"Is it," she began, her tone becoming a whisper with everypony else (except Fluttershy) craning her neck closer to their violet friend.

"Is it... him?"

"You bet!" Applejack answered cheerfully.

"None other than Ol' Macintosh himself!"

The four mares started to gasp and mutter with delight, crowding around Fluttershy, whose cheeks were redder than the said pony that courted her. She smiled sheepishly, glancing away underneath her pink mane with her hooves noticeably trembling a little.

"Why, I can't believe it!" Rarity began.

"I suppose a congratulations would suffice, darling?"

"Oh, but it's not a really big deal..." she mumbled, loud enough for her friends to hear.

"It's just spending some time together, that's all..."

"I- you- WHAT?!"

Pinkie raced to her friend's side, the pegasus jumping back in surprise as she screeched:

"We're talking about your first date here! Your. First. DATE!! Do you realize how important it is? All the parties in the world can't compare to something like this!"

"Calm down, Pinkie," Twilight piped in, pulling the pink mare back. Rainbow could understand why: the last thing Fluttershy needs to be pressured about (and she knows how Fluttershy reacts when pressured; she is her childhood friend, after all) is her relationship, especially when they hadn't even began dating yet.

"So Fluttershy," the bookish mare continued, turning to her friend.

"When are you guys going to... you know...?"

"Oh... on Thursday..."

Thursday. Three days from now. More affectionately known as Hearts and Hooves Day.

Rainbow smiled at the coming day; the one that most, if not all the mares of Ponyville were expecting. It was the day where heart-shaped letters, bouquet of roses and the like would be the ones filling up the Cloudsdale Delivery Service all the time, and where plans such as small talks in common cafes and small parks to the more flamboyant ones like ballroom dancing and expensive dining were the norm.

She turned to Taciturn, her coltfriend still busy touching up another picture. Having placed the entirety of her focus on him for that specific day, she had begun planning on how to spend time with him. Of course, being 'special' and all, the choices were limited, despite being more sociable than he was when she first met him.

"Ah'm sure Fluttersh'ah ain't the only pony here spendin' Hearts and Hooves Day with a special somepony."

Applejack's sentence yanked her attention back, her eyes propped open wide at the sight of her friends, who all wore wry smirks. Taciturn, having finished his painting, was now trotting up to the cyan mare, adding a sixth pair of eyes on top of her frightening-stares list.


"W-well, it's not really any of you guys' business!" she rasped, her friends laughing in amusement. Her cheeks beet red as the strawberry tarts she was nibbling on, Rainbow reeled in the surprised Taciturn, the colt whimpering as she wrapped her hoof around his neck.

"Tassee and I are gonna have so much fun on Hearts and Hooves," the cyan pegasus declared.

"That all of you are gonna be so jealous, your faces will turn greener than cucumbers!"

"Really, RD?" Applejack quipped.

"Ya know ponies can't change the color of their skin, right?"

"It's a metaphor, AJ," Rainbow replied sharply, her hoof meeting her face at the gullible words of her friend.

"Anyway, Tassee and I," she hugged the blanched colt tighter, his face turning a slight blue, "would have the best Hearts and Hooves day that anypony, be it stallion or mare, young or old, would ever have! Mark my words!"

And, amid the teasing giggles of her friends, she swore to herself that there would be nothing that would stop it from coming true.


With a cheerful beat of her wings, Rainbow Dash launched herself into the air and diving face-first onto her couch, happily snuggling about its puffy, cloudy surface. Tank hovered to his owner's side, settling himself down as he loosened himself out of his propeller harness.

Taciturn slowly trotted in, placing the few bags of groceries that they had bought in the marketplace onto the table. His smile widened at the small pile of letters on the floor, immediately grabbing them and shuffling towards the mare, who was lying down, her eyes closed as she relished the comfort of her sofa, for once.

"Seems Derpy delivered some mail for us today," Rainbow muttered, sitting up with a small sigh. She wasn't the keenest of ponies to ever read the mail at night. It would be entirely different if it were some bulky package or at least a gift from one of her friends, but letters? A conversation seemed to be a better option.

Leafing through the miscellaneous envelopes, she could note out the usual ones. There were the letters from Pinkie Pie about plans for upcoming pranks, the usual admirer cards from various fans and one or two from Taciturn's doctor, Tenderhoof Martingale, asking about his well-being and supporting their relationship.

"Boring, bleh, blah," she blabbered, gazing at the indifferent envelopes and tossing them to the side. Taciturn just glanced at each letter flying out of her hooves, ironically amused at her boredom.

Then came the last letter; the only one that piqued her attention. It was crinkled, mottled and yellowed and, unlike most of the other envelopes, was sealed with a red wax, the insignia of a lion stamped into it adding to her interest. Slowly, she chiseled the envelope open, the letter sliding out with ease into her hooves once she tipped it to the side, all the while with Taciturn watching, his head tilted by the weight of curiosity.

"Well..." Rainbow began, having opened the letter to meet a wall of intricately written words. "This is... interesting..."

With a small cough, she began to read it aloud:

13, 14/2 Fresian Lane

County of Fillydelphia

To whomever it may concern,

You are invited to the funeral of the late Sir Valente III, who had unfortunately passed away peacefully in his sleep in the late of Sunday night. A procession would be held tomorrow, and your presence, along with Taciturn's, would be of a great necessity in attendance.

If the knowledge hasn't been bestowed yet, Taciturn Bleach, the pony that you had befriended and nurtured, made evident by the news of the opening of the Gallery of White a month ago (which has come to the attention of the late pony himself), was his genetic son. It is important for Taciturn to be present at the reading of the will, where there would be a possibility that he might've inherited something from his father. As such, he is requested to attend the funeral by itself and, if necessary or applicable, bring along any counterparts as he deemed fit.

If unavailable to attend, it is required for you to send an apologetic letter back to this address. As such, anything he inherits would be sent to you at a later, unconfirmed date.

With regards,

Fidus Shadowtear

Butler to the late Sir Valente Accidia Bleach III

Household of the Bleach family

"Celestia," was all Rainbow could say, folding the letter and glancing back at Taciturn. The pale colt was staring at the floor, his brows furrowed with his lips chagrin and straight. She held her breath, edging herself slowly next to him and placing a hoof on his shoulder.

"I... I'm sorry..."

"Dashie..." the colt replied immediately, albeit softly.

Rainbow never knew he still had family by his side. She thought he was orphaned, judging by how Doctor Martingale mentioned he had been taking care of Taciturn ever since he was only five. She herself couldn't imagine it: seventeen years trapped in the custody of a hospital, with only doctors and nurses and paintings to turn to.

Yet, she couldn't understand. All the time, his father was alive. All the time, his father was present, and yet why was he in the hospital? Couldn't his father take care of him back then? Was it his diagnosis with autism that contributed to tearing their bond apart?

She turned back to the letter. It wasn't a 'yes' or 'no' question: they must head to the estate. However, what about their plans for Hearts and Hooves Day? Surely she mustn't need to cancel that for the sake of a funeral on such a short notice? For Celestia's sake, her and her decision-filled destiny...

"You wanna go to the funeral, Tassee?" she asked reluctantly, to which there wasn't an answer. With a sigh, she nuzzled his cheek in an effort to cheer him up, her hoof reaching up to stroke his mane as she tried her best to smile.

"We'll pack up tomorrow, okay? Right now, just try to get some sleep."

"Dashie..." he said again, this time almost a whisper.

Rainbow couldn't imagine how many things were racing through his head now, and even if they were, he was doing a pretty good job at hiding it. His expression was sullen and dull, without a smile nor a frown. At most he only crinkled his brows down at the floor, and that was it. That was all that his guardian could discern from his blanched visage.

Her heart drooped slightly as she helplessly shuffled into her room, leaving him to console himself. She wouldn't know how hard it is to lose a father; hers was still living happily in Cloudsdale. And for somepony so fragile and delicate such as Taciturn to do so... it somewhat made her responsibilities as his guardian and marefriend a lot harder than it looks.

Yet, she swore to herself, she wouldn't back down. Tassee had always been supporting her and sticking by her side, and now he's going through a rough patch himself. You have to be at his side, Rainbow Dash, she said to herself. You're his marefriend, for Celestia's sake!

Taciturn slowly marched in, nearly catching her by surprise. Before she could say goodnight, however, he plopped himself on the bed and closed his eyes, curling up like a feline. Rainbow stopped to blink for a second, before sighing, edging up to him and brushing the side of his face.

"You've been through a lot, buddy," she muttered, absentmindedly brushing his mane. It doesn't seem like a lot, but she couldn't help but think of it that way. He just lost his father! Isn't that a little too much for him to bear?

"I'm right here..." she continued, stopping his slight whimpering in his sleep as she wrapped her hooves around him.

"Dashie's right here..."