Lessons in Falling

by Gold4tune

First published

A short oneshot involving Rainbow, Twilight, and a cliff

Following the time honored tradition of "Learning by Immersion", Rainbow has just the thing in mind to teach Twilight how to fly. Namely throwing her off a cliff.

A short oneshot inspired by the cover art commissioned by me during Bronycon. Thanks to the artist for his amazing work so go check his stuff out.

Lessons in Falling

View Online

“Are you sure this is a good idea Dash?” Twilight asked.

The new alicorn’s eyes were wide in a mixture of amazement and horror at the drop not a twelve inches from her hooves. The view itself was fantastic, the Everfree River stretching off majestically into the distance before plummeting off the horizon, the birds flying lazily around them to see what all the fuss was about. But the fact that Rainbow had brought her up here for the express purpose of jumping off of it was an entirely different matter.

Twilight was already sweaty and sore, the miles long, early morning hike Dash had scheduled had certainly taken a toll on the bookish princess.

“Trust me Twi, as your Royal Expert Professional Flying Instructor you’re kind of obligated to,” Rainbow Dash replied by her side.

Unlike her friend, the athletic pegasus was barely even sweating from the earlier journey, she wasn’t even breathing heavily. If anything she seemed to be radiating energy and anticipation, fidgeting slightly as her wings fluttered by her sides.

After Twilight had sprouted a new pair of wings, Rainbow had immediately volunteered to become her personal trainer, the longer title had come later, and ever since then had done her best to turn the librarian into a future Wonderbolt. How one viewed her success in that was an entirely different discussion.

“I just don’t think this is safe,” Twilight said hesitantly, the wind blowing around them making her words quieter than they were.

“Twi, as your personal trainer I say this is necessary to test if all those drills I made you run through finally gave you the instincts needed for flight.”

Twilight was about to respond when she felt a feather appendage wrap itself protectively around her back, the cyan wing pulling her flush against Dash’s side.

“And as your marefriend I will make sure nothing goes wrong. I would never leave you hanging,” the mare chuckled, “well, falling in this case.”

The alicorn’s retort to that final statement died in her throat as Rainbow gently nuzzled her, her worries falling away as she reveled in the soft feel of her marefriend's fur against her own.

“I know Dash,” Twilight murmured, “I’m just scared, you know I’m not that good at flying.”

“Relax Twi, there is nothing to be afraid of. If anything goes wrong I’ll catch you okay?”

Twilight sighed and pressed closer in to Rainbow.

A soft chirp from in front of the duo caused them both to look up, and flying around them was a brightly colored robin. The two ponies watched curiously as the bird flew in lazy circles, seemingly curious at what the duo was up to.

“Alright Twi,” Rainbow said as she tucked her wing back against her side, “time to do this.”

“Bwah!?” was all Twilight could respond as Rainbow suddenly disappeared from her side. The pegasus making her presence known once again as she planted her head on Twilight’s backside. With a knowing smile on her lips, Rainbow began to push forward, her muscles barely straining with the effort.

If Twilight currently wasn’t in the situation she was, one where her mind currently wasn’t in panic mode, she would have realized there was multiple ways to avoid what was happening. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and Twilight’s hooves scrambled to regain traction as she was pushed mercilessly towards the cliff’s edge.

“Rainbow!” Twilight shrieked, her eyes opening wide at the drop below her, “I’m a princess! You don’t throw princesses off of cliffs!”

“I’m not throwing a princess off a cliff, only the pony I’m dating.”

With a final shove Twilight felt her back hooves lift off the ground, her front hooves still clinging desperately to the solid ground. She didn’t even notice her wings flaring out instinctively as her brain processed the influx of information.

“Rainbow!” Twilight wailed again as her front hooves finally surrendered to the pegasus’s superior strength.

For a split second Twilight hung in the air, all four hooves dangling over oblivion as the alicorn finally realized just how high she was. Time seemed to stretch on to infinity as adrenaline rocketed through her body. Then gravity took over, and she plummeted.

Twilight’s scream was lost in the roar of the wind as she accelerated downwards. All six limbs flailing uselessly around in a disorganized flurry of feathers and flesh.

Looking upwards she saw Rainbow dive off the cliff, her wings tucked against her side and she plummeted downwards, the bird right by her side. Twilight somehow ended up with her hooves pointed downwards, still screaming. Her wings desperately trying to catch the air to slow her descent.

All of a sudden Twilight's scream focused into a single word.


She could see the ground rapidly approaching, the trees that previously were little more that dots were quickly changing into rather large blobs instead.

Two strong legs suddenly wrapped around her barrel, holding her securely to a warm chest. Twilight let out a soft ooph as her downward momentum was stopped, all the air being crushed out of her lungs.

She felt Rainbow shift her legs slightly to get a better grip as she gracefully pulled out of her dive. The Pegasus bled off speed as she regained altitude, her muscular wings skillfully driving the duo through the air.

Twilight's chest heaved as the watch the ground become farther and farther away. She tried to speak, but couldn't force it past her dry and sore throat. She felt her heart hammering away in her ears as the shock of adrenaline began to wear off.

"That was actually pretty good Twi," Rainbow said, her voice as raspy as ever, "you oriented yourself properly and you actually slowed yourself down pretty well. I didn't even have to try to catch up with you."

Twilight just sucked in gulps of air in response as the bird lazily cruised along beside them. It looked at her and chirped, seemingly in encouragement.

“Of course I managed to pull out of my fall the first time my dad threw me off this cliff. But I’m like… the best flyer ever so thats not really a surprise,” Rainbow continued.

“Your dad did this to you?” Twilight said in between breaths.

“Yea, he said it builds character.”

Twilight rolled her eyes as the burning in her chest finally died down, her heart beat returning to semi-normal levels as she nestled into Dash’s chest. For a while she simply reveled in the moment: the midafternoon breeze winding through her fur, the soft swish of Dash’s wings, the warmth of the pegasus above her.

“So yea, ready for round two?” Dash’s voice suddenly pierced the alicorn’s bubble.

“What?” Twilight asked.

It was then she noticed a very familiar tree in front of her, as well as a very familiar drop. Although, the addition of a family of birds, the mother and three chicks, perched on the edge watching her was a new addition.

Twilight could swear they were laughing when Rainbow dropped her.