• Published 12th Feb 2013
  • 2,513 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

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Hearts & Hooves Ball: Let History Repeat Itself

"Dashie...?"

"J-just a minute..." Rainbow Dash muttered, turning to the side as she snuggled deeper into her blanket, wandering back to her more cordial dreams. She was soaring through the skies, bursting through the clouds without care for the world or its problems below. She... she felt freer... happier... safer from the nightmares of last night.

A small tug hauled her unwillingly back into the confines of reality, her eyes peeking out to see Taciturn curiously staring down at her. With a sigh, she rose up from her bed, rubbing her tired eyes while letting out a yawn.

"You really take things literally, Tassee..." she mumbled, glancing at the clock.

"I don't really mean one minute, y'know. Two or three would be better..."

Taciturn just nudged his snout at her hoof, the mare forcing out a smile at that.

"Why don't you go on first?" she said, reluctantly giving him a hug.

"I asked Fidus to prepare your pancakes. They're your favorite food for breakfast, right?"

With a meek nod, the colt soon stepped off the bed, ruffling and shaking his wings a little before heading out the door, stopping only to flash a small smile back at the mare, to which she returned happily. Rainbow sighed once he was out of sight, shedding her wings to take a peek at the glittering ornament she had obtained last night.

The jeweled butterfly shimmered back at her, yet it only left her clinging on the edge of uncertainty. To her, despite its beauty and grace, it looked more morbid than the key she used to obtain it, for she knew who was its previous owner:

None other than Dove Featherheart herself.

That's right, a part of her screamed yesterday night back in the crypt. The Dove Featherheart that killed three stallions in her very own boutique, the one that Taciturn's father had treated due to her sudden mental affliction, and the one that was killed by the hooves of her very own son! A twisted case of inherited insanity, perhaps?

But what was she doing in Taciturn's family crypt? Was she taken in by Valente after the incident for a recovery? Did Tassee's father performed some sort of horrible experiment on her and framed her resulting death on some nonexistent pony that she might've called her son? Would Valente frame Taciturn, his own son? For the murder?

"There must be something more than this..." she surmised her thoughts aloud. Rainbow knew she was close; her hoof was tingling with anticipation at the answer, despite being hesitant about it.

Why would Valente have her buried in the crypt? Why not just dump it into the fireplace instead of risking it being found? What more, does Fidus and Doctor Martingale know about this? Is that why the doctor resigned in the first place?

With a sigh, she slipped the medallion underneath the feathers of her wings, making sure none of the gems would peek out from beneath its folds. Rainbow soon headed out of the door, focusing on the one thing she really needed right now: breakfast.

Opening the double doors, she smiled as she saw the only pony in the room: Taciturn, gobbling up the last of his pancakes, wearing a food-filled grin when he perked his head up at the sound of her entry, squealing her name cheerfully with crumbs flying out of his mouth almost immediately.

"Dashie!"

"You sure are a hungry little colt, huh?" she teased, ruffling his mane. No sooner than she settled down that one of the servants scurried to her side, his head frozen in a bow as he awaited her choice.

"Potato salad and a cup of water, please."

With a bow, the servant soon departed into the kitchen, leaving both stallion and mare alone. Rainbow let out a quiet sigh, watching as Taciturn wiped the remainder of crumbs and stains of maple syrup around his lips, savoring every last bit of his breakfast; one which his marefriend giggled at the sight.

"You tried your new tux already?" she asked the colt, having seen it lying on one of the chairs in the room. Taciturn gave a small, proud nod, though that only earned a small humph of mock displeasure from Rainbow.

"You never let me check if it looked good on you! It's seventy bits, y'know!"

Taciturn just pouted, rolling his eyes as she started to giggle. Their small conversation, however, was soon interrupted with the abrupt return of the servant, gently placing on the table Rainbow's breakfast; a cluster of potatoes covered in cold mayonnaise and garnished with herbs and finely diced spring onions, served within a platter of lettuce.

The cyan mare licked her lips, already piercing her fork into the first chunk temptingly resting on top. Taciturn watched as she let out a rare yet cute squeal, no doubt from her breakfast seemingly melting inside her mouth.

"Rainbow! Rainbow Dash!"

The muffled sound caught her attention immediately. At first, she glanced towards Taciturn, though he raised his hooves up, rapidly and nervously shaking them with his head following along. Gazing around the room, Rainbow started to ignore it, though her eyes soon caught a figure waving frantically towards her in the brambles outside the window.

"C-Chase?'

Hurrying to the door, Rainbow turned the knob, still wearing her surprised expression when she saw Cloudchaser standing at the doorstep. A cluster of bags hung like leaves from a branch from her hooves, which were holding a small package which, much to the other mare's surprise, had a sticker with Rainbow's name written in red ink.

"Pretty surprised, eh?" the spiky-maned pegasus snickered.

"Bought a dress at Dove's as well. Willow mentioned you visited yesterday when I told her I was from Ponyville and suddenly, poof! I'm delivering this to you, knowing that one of Equestria's prominent athletes is going to wear a dress!"

"Snap it, Chase," the cyan pegasus rasped, not amused.

"Plus, she promised she would make it cool as well as formal, so don't get your hopes up on seeing me in some girly dress that you or Flitter would dance about in. Maybe Thunderlane would even want one as well!"

"Whatever that makes you happy, missy. What you need is this dress, however."

Cloudchaser handed the package with a wry smirk, giving a meek wave at Taciturn standing behind, his head rested on his marefriend's shoulder. The colt returned it with a smile, though it faded once he saw Rainbow's frustrated expression.

"So, see you tonight, perhaps?" she asked.

"Probably dancing around or stuff? Tango with Tassee?"

"Something like that."

With a goodbye, Rainbow soon shut the door, letting out a relieved sigh as she eyed the package in her hooves. No doubt, it was the dress, signed, sealed and delivered by a slightly-overexcited friend from none other than Dove's Delightful Designs. Taciturn just stared at the package, before looking up at its owner's magenta eyes.

"Have to try this out," she said once he saw his questioning expression.

"Who knows, Tassee? It might match your suit very well!"

The bleached colt just wrinkled his snout, once again making her chuckle. He wasn't a keen pony on formal attire, it seems; another trait he had inherited from his oh-so loyal guardian of his.

"Just you wait, Tassee," she said despite him biting his lips nervously, probably from the number of ponies that were about to attend. Ruffling his mane, Rainbow just laughed quietly, scratching his chin with the tip of her hoof, to which he happily responded by swishing his tail.

"It might be the best night we would ever share."


"Wow..."

Wow indeed, the more inquisitive side of her head said, having unwrapped the package and digging out through the mothballs and newspaper wrappings for her necessary content.

Rainbow's eyes sparkled at the dress before her. Like her gown for the opening of Taciturn's Gallery, it was white, though it was fashioned with a small split at the side. Sequins lined every cotton-fluffed edge of the fabric, with the skirt painted in streaks matching her mane, the hemline separating its chromatic bottom and white top glittering brightly in gold with a matching laurel crown right beside it.

Despite not being a fashionista, the pegasus squealed happily at the sight; a creation and feat marvelously pulled of by Willow Wisp! She really deserves that shop! Maybe she and Rarity could work together to make something so revolutionary, it would make all the magazines of Canterlot tremble! She sure as heck wouldn't mind getting an order from both of them!

Happily bouncing about, Rainbow placed the dress in the cupboard, before quickly heading out of the room. Taciturn had (silently) promised to give her a minute of privacy for her to change, despite them being normal not to wear any clothes at all. She intended for it to be a big surprise: wait till he hears about how wonderful her dress is!

"Tassee, you've got to-"

Rainbow stopped short, her happiness changed into confusion when the seat that her beloved coltfriend was sitting on was empty. Has he run off, she asked herself. Did he somehow inherit her impatience as well? Oh, for Celestia's sake...

"Tassee?" she called, glancing at both sides of the hallway. He wasn't the type to simply wander around, especially when it was somewhere strange such as the mansion itself. Sure, he had been here as a child, and the house was practically his right now, and then there's his outstanding memory, but Tassee wouldn't simply walk off without telling her, at least, seeing how he didn't want her to worry all the time.

"Tassee~? Hello~?" the mare tried again, trotting down the hallway. Place yourself in his hooves, Rainbow, she told herself. If you were Taciturn Bleach, where would you be right now? The nursery- impossible, seeing how those crude paintings were there. The dining room is out of the question, since they just ate, and there would be no way he was in the graveyard.

"Come on, come on..." she chanted like a mantra, getting more frustrated as time passes.

"And when would that be?"

Rainbow's ears stopped at the voice. Doctor Martingale?

Her quick strides turned into tiptoes as she neared the source of the voice, gasping at the sight of light from an open door of, much to her disbelief, the library. Did the doctor unlocked it? What were they doing in there?

"In a day or two," came another voice, the mare recognizing it to be Fidus's.

"Perhaps before their departure. Right after the reading of the will, I suppose?"

"Probably."

The sound of another unlocking door soon beckoned Rainbow in, the mare silently hovering inside in time to spot both doctor and butler heading into another room, no doubt the gallery, which she knew from the map was connected to the library. Quietly and carefully, she darted behind the table, making sure to avoid the furniture and bookshelves around as the conversation continued:

"I fear that it might be too late, however. Both of us don't know if she knew about it yet."

She... do they mean her, Rainbow wanted to ask. Know about what? What was it that they were afraid she would know? They stopped her from entering even a mere nursery, and all she got from there was some frighteningly gruesome pictures drawn by Tassee, an equally-disturbing key and the rotten note, the latter two only revealing...

Realization struck her immediately, the mare suppressing a loud gasp underneath her throat. There was no doubt about what they were talking about, with all the clues pointing to that one mare:

Dove Featherheart.

It must be about her! There was no doubt about it: everything was pointing to her! The key was used to specifically unlock her tomb in the family crypt, and the note pinpointed about her murder of three stallions after her boutique burned down! Yet, why hide it from her? How is she and Tassee related other than knowing Valente himself?

"However, it's best for when the time is right," Fidus's voice interrupted her thoughts.

"She would understand why we were doing this. Hopefully."

A small grunt broke through the air suddenly, though it didn't came from butler nor doctor. It took one small peek from behind the table to figure out who the third pony with them was. And, much to her horror and dread, her face paling to the point of rivaling the pony she was eyeing, there was never a clearer answer to who it was.

"T-T... Tassee...?"

"What of Taciturn?" Fidus asked.

"Hopefully he'll be ready," Doctor Martingale replied, patting the colt's shoulder. Taciturn turned to him, smiling happily, to which the doctor gave one in return.

"Come on, Taciturn," he continued, his morose tone turning cheerful suddenly.

"Gotta have a nice treat, then you can find Rainbow Dash! I'm sure she's slightly worried about you just disappearing now, eh?"

Rainbow held her breath at the sound of hoofsteps, the door to the gallery being locked by the butler as the other two ponies stepped outside. It wasn't long before Fidus joined them as well, shutting her exit to the corridor and locking it tight, leaving her in the room.

"Why...?" she muttered once she was convinced they were gone. She felt betrayed, back-stabbed even! She treated Taciturn like every mare would, and he was in league with them the whole time? What were they preparing him for even? What kind of sick, twisted plot are they hatching the whole time she wasn't there?

Three stallions murdered... could it be?

No way. It couldn't be that coincidental, is it? Would the three be Doctor Martingale, Fidus Shadowtear and Valente Bleach; all three ponies that have some sort of bond, be it mutual or not, with each other? So when Valente passed away, they needed his son to take over as well...

But that doesn't explain why Dove Featherheart was buried here. Something was amiss; the three stallions were murdered, as in stone-cold dead! Surely the police would have enough brains to tell if somepony is living or dead, wouldn't they?

Rainbow rose from her hiding place, glancing at the dusty study table before her. This was obviously Valente's study room, where he would make notes and such about his research and, hopefully, his plans as well. There must be some sort of notebook here that says something!

"You must have some diary here somewhere...!" she grumbled, searching through the cupboards and the table. Most, if not all, of the books were particularly about science, and she would've read up on the ones talking about aerodynamics and wing mechanics if she weren't busy digging through all these ancient tomes.

"Aha!" she cried suddenly, her eyes sparkling at the book titled 'Property of Valente Bleach' on the cover.

"Found it!"

Without hesitation, she quickly flipped through the pages, skipping past his childhood and teenage life. There's no time to scroll through his wonderful early days or something; Doctor Martingale and Fidus were preparing something, and the longer she spends, the more they progress!

Sweat dripped onto the yellowed pages, with Rainbow wiping some of them off as her eyes scanned through the words. She stopped with relief when she found out she was wrong the whole time! Valente wasn't involved in some crazy experiment! Neither of them are! Yet, the pieces of dark puzzle still pieced together, leaving the mare to drop the book in shock at the previous mention of Dove's name.

Taciturn wasn't involved in some crazed pony's plot. No.

It was much worse.


"Everypony get your partners up! It's time for the ballroom... waltz!"

Johann Strauss's 'Blue Danube Waltz' started to play in the background as ponies all gathered into the center of the ballroom's wide, marble floors, with a glittering crown of a chandelier shining brightly overhead. The ceiling was decorated with paintings and the walls were draped with tapestries, both made by the finest and most delicate of hooves when the room itself was incarcerated. Age does not seem to affect them, as they looked as if they were just made yesterday. At one end is the stage, where the band was playing in full swing, entertaining two separate group of ponies: those dancing and those appreciating the beauty of the music serenading through the rainy Fllydelphian night.

Tables and chairs filled the platform, which was merely three small steps higher, divided from the dance floor by a granite fence. At the side was a wide buffet table, filled with assortments of treats, salads and cakes. A large bowl of berry punch stands in the center, its container a fantastic crystalline sculpture by itself, depicting two snakes entwining the sides of the bowl as their tongues greedily reach for the juice it holds within.

Rainbow Dash settled down on one of the chairs, having just finished picking for herself a salad. It was a calm, serene atmosphere, flourishing in luxury and royalty, with all the ponies dancing around in their respective gowns and suits. She herself was wearing her dress and she had to admit, after a few twirls around a mirror, she could say it looked awesome!

"Well, lookey here!" a voice called out suddenly, the mare turning with a smile to see Cloudchaser trotting up to her. She was wearing a yellow gown, which was glittering like Princess Celestia's mane with a few golden bangles on her hoof. Beside her, wearing a fine suit, was none other than her coltfriend, Thunderlane, who wore a meek smile once she spotted the cyan pegasus.

"Fancy meeting you here, Rainbow!"

"Same to you!" she replied cheerfully.

"Where's Flitter? Wasn't she suppose to be with you guys or something?"

"She and Sunburst are dancing," Cloudchaser answered, pointing at the couple in the crowd.

There she was, her little sister dancing with Sunburst, an orange pegasus sporting a combed, maroon mane. They were laughing as if they were having the time of their lives, and that, by itself, was heartwarming.

"Maybe he's not such a klutz after all," the lilac mare continued, breaking into the fine moment.

"I mean, he did pull off a few good moves. Who knows, he might be even better than you, Thunder!"

"We'll see who has the last laugh then, my little minx~!"

With that, the couple headed towards the dance floor and joining the herd of ponies swaying to the symphony of violins in the background, leaving Rainbow to smile at the sight. Her thoughts, however, trailed back to what she had read in the afternoon, her uncertainty starting to creep up to her head.

Rainbow guzzled a cup of punch, unsure of what to do. She really wanted to say something about it to a certain somepony. Anypony! Yet, fear pulled those words down into her throat like a weight, and it was for a very good reason.

"D-Dashie?"

"T-Tassee!" she exclaimed, slightly surprised. "I was wondering where you've bee-"

Her voice dropped immediately once she saw her coltfriend standing before her. He was dressed in the fine, black tuxedo she had bought for him yesterday, and looked perfect in it! His waxen and combed mane, his beaming face and his cheerful yet dainty smile... everything seemed to fit with his outfit, as if he was destined to wear it!

"Wow, Tassee..." Rainbow muttered, speechless at the sight.

"You look so...... so... smart..."

No sooner than she said that did Taciturn's cheeks turn a slight pink, making her chuckle softly.

"Wanna sit down for a minute?" Rainbow offered, to which he eagerly accepted, settling down onto the chair. Her heart started to drop at that, the mare swallowing a lump of hesitance as she glanced at the ever-inquisitive colt.

Should she ask him about it? About the events of the afternoon? She didn't want to believe those words; he was too gentle of a colt to do that! But all the evidence is there, and there was no doubt about it. Despite that, fear's grip was tight as a vise, and is starting to suffocate her if she leaves it in her head like this. It's now or never.

"Tassee?" she called, earning his attention.

"Can... c-can we talk?"

Taciturn nodded happily, shifting his seat forward as she began to speak:

"There's a lot of things that have been through my mind these couple of days. I'm not sure if you noticed, but I was preoccupied with stuff besides the funeral and the ball. I was a little curious, not to mention nervous, about what was I trying to do, and when I finished what I had started... I just can't believe it."

"Dashie?" he asked, slightly baffled.

Rainbow sighed, cursing herself for making it so hard for both of them to understand. He's your coltfriend, RD, her inner voice said. He said he trusts you in the beginning, and you promised you would trust him back!

"What I'm trying to say is, I was interested... about you."

Taciturn's eyes just widened, though the mare laughed sheepishly suddenly.

"Not that kind of interest!" she reaffirmed, which made the colt sigh with relief.

"I'll make it simple, alright? When your father passed away, I was confused a little. Why would your father leave you behind and stuff like that. So I thought I would do a little research. Snooping around, searching through the mansion and such. Then there was somepony that came. Dove Featherheart?"

Rainbow swore she saw Taciturn flinch at the mare's name, though she brushed it off, instead continuing:

"I found out that your father helped her to recover from her slight bit of insanity. I think you know of what she had done to those stallions as well. But what I found out this afternoon nearly frightened me and... I trust you a lot, that I just want to be proven wrong."

With a long, languid sigh, she asked in a stammer:

"I-is... is Dove Featherheart your mother?"

A moment of brief silence filled the air, the waltz in the background starting to drone out as Rainbow focused on the colt before her. He was glancing down, his head hanging low, though the mare could see that his face was starting to darken, turning grimmer than the tense atmosphere between them. Slowly, he gave a nod, to which she bit her lip, pushing herself to continue:

"A-and... something happened, right? S-something happened between you and her, didn't it. It was so bad that your dad sent you away, didn't he?"

"No."

The deadpanned, straightforward answer startled her, Rainbow stopping short when the colt turned away, wrinkling his snout. His tone was cold, brazen with morbidity and hatred stirring in his throat. She stepped back a little once she saw his hooves clench tighter, the veins bulging at its skin.

"T-Tassee, you have to be truthful with me on this one," she continued.

"You were there, Tassee. She did something to you, and you... you paid it back. You were young then, too young to remember maybe, but you were there!"

Taciturn turned away, though Rainbow could hear his breathing escalating rapidly as she prompted:

"Your father married Dove all those decades ago, and she gave birth to you. She was your mother, Tassee! Your mother! Heck, your father wrote in his notebook that she made this medallion just for you!"

Rainbow slammed the butterfly medallion onto the table, to which Taciturn's eyes were affixed to it immediately. Her determination started to wear away, however, when she saw his eyes widening, his pupils reduced to the size of pinpricks with his whole body starting to convulse. Sweat dripped from each side of his head, already starting to dampen his suit as he started panting and growling.

"T-Tassee...?" she called to him reluctantly, realizing what she had done.

"Are... are you okay...? I-I'm...sorry if... I..."

Taciturn suddenly let out a loud howl, pouncing on the table and kicking the medallion away. The music dropped into silence suddenly, with everypony whirling around in surprise to see the colt glaring down at his marefriend, who was frozen in her seat with fear.

His black pupils swirled endlessly, tossing her back into an abyss. Unlike last time, however, she was pinned down; subdued with no effort to struggle. Her head started to burn underneath his powerful stare, though all she could do was cringe into her seat, her heartbeat rapid and loud.

"T-Tassee...?" she whimpered, clutching tighter onto her seat.

"Can you please get down? You're sc-scaring me...!"

"Rainbow!"

The hiss made the cyan mare turn, watching as Doctor Martingale frantically squeezed through the crowd, wearing a horrified expression when he glanced both at her and at Taciturn. He reached out his hoof to her, beckoning her to grab for it.. "Quickly, Miss Dash!" he rasped again. "Reach for my hoof!"

Before she could do so, however, Taciturn suddenly let out a loud howl, pouncing onto her and pinning her down, her wings fluttering in protest as she fell to the floor. She gasped at the colt standing above her, trying her best to push herself away as he started to growl.

"Taciturn! Don't do it!"

Rainbow was suddenly freed when Fidus suddenly pulled him back, the bleached colt snarling and howling like a ravenous wolf in search of meat, his hooves flailing wildly. She hastily stepped back towards the walls as he started to struggle, her desire to move demolished when she looked into his black pupils once again.

There was rage. Pure, destructive rage. It flared powerfully, ravaging through the abyss she was swirling into as it clutched her into the oblivion. The shocked gasps and voices, as well as her vision, started to blur out in her head, though everything stormed back to her suddenly when Cloudchaser shrieked:

"RAINBOW, LOOK OUT!!!"

Everything happened in a flash; a sudden burst through time.

With a loud cry, Rainbow felt herself falling backward, slamming and smashing through the windows as her eyes were glued to Taciturn, his wings bursting open with his teeth grinding forcefully against each other and his eyes filling with tears. Rain pelted her as shattered glass whizzed past her, the mare finally letting out a gasp as gravity did its job.

She wanted to break free, but he had him pinned, her back facing the ground and her wings flapping about aimlessly. And so, she fell, plunging three floors down in the pattering rain, her eyes frozen wide at the pony before her; the one she called his coltfriend.

Pain slammed her back just as lightning seared through the sky like a trident, the sound of breaking stone a mere whisper when Rainbow let out an ear-piercing, hellish scream, her voice shooting up into the dark skies above. Her hooves went numb, her body crumpling as she slumped into the mud, with the sounds of heavy breathing over her.

Rainbow weakly turned her head, her neck stinging agonizingly as she faced the once-innocent colt before her, twisted by wrath and hatred. She bit her lip, feeling the first drops of blood leaking from underneath her wings as Taciturn held up a large rock, found from the shattered fragments of the tombstone she slammed into as his frown grew more deranged, similar to a crazed demon's. She gasped in realization as he raised the rock into the air, the lightning flashing above as she whimpered his name:

"T-Tassee......?"

*BRLKK*

One brutal smash to her head made it spin, her vision slightly blurry as she let out a cough. Rainbow wanted to raise her hooves in defense, but her body felt... broken... fractured. The first trickles of blood, as well as droplets of rain, fell from her face as she tried to call his name, though she couldn't do it when Taciturn gave her the second blow, the rock slamming across her cheek.

*BSHLCKK*

"S-sto... stop...!" she croaked weakly, hearing the sounds of her skull crunching and flesh tearing at the second attempt, her head ringing. Coughing out a few droplets of blood, she tugged at his hoof, though the bleached colt's crazed expression was unchanging, the mare scratching at the dirt as she clenched her eyes shut once he raised the rock again, writhing in agony under his dementia.

"T-Tas..." Rainbow squeaked, tears dripping along with the rain, before came the third blow on the forehead; the one that left her unconscious.

*BFFLCK*

Author's Note:

Slightly gory. Too gory to be in an Everyone story, maybe?
Sorry to make you guys... suffer through all that! It would only happen once, and I swear to God, I had a hard time typing it out as well, so I'm glad that's over.

Just to make sure you guys won't start freaking out, this isn't the ending yet! There's still some two or three chapters to go, and trust me, it will end happy!