Rainbow got off the bus at Soccer Camp. Every summer she would come here for two months to practice and learn about the game she loved the most. She wanted to be the best and this was part of achieving that. She did miss her friends while she was away. That was always the hardest part about coming here; but she was happy to see her other friends she had made here over the years. She looked around and saw Gilda waiting for her. She smiled and ran over to her.
"DASH! You old cow poker you; how have you been?" Gilda called out as she saw Rainbow running up to her.
Rainbow gave her a hug. "I'm good. Great in fact. I've been through a lot this year. More than you'd ever believe. I'll fill you in when . . ." Rainbow stopped dead when she saw a boy walking across the camp. He was tall, lean, muscular, with a blue Mohawk. "Who is that?" she asked breathlessly.
Gilda looked and shrugged. "Oh, him? That's Soarin. He started at my school last year. Great athlete, doesn't talk much."
"He's mine." Rainbow said flatly.
"I don't think so Dash. Girls have been hitting on him all year and he never responded to any of them." Gilda was surprised. She had never seen Rainbow show any interest in any single boy. She knew Rainbow liked them and was attracted to them in general; but never had she actually picked out a specific boy to focus her interest on.
"They weren't me," Rainbow said not taking her eyes off of Soarin. He moved so gracefully through the crowds of other kids. He didn't seem to be walking as much as floating. She had seen other attractive boys all her life. Boys who were athletic with angle faces; but something about this one, grabbed her and would not let go.
Gilda shook her head. "He might have a girlfriend back at his old school."
"Doesn't matter. He's mine."
"Dash, he might be gay."
"You keep talking like any of that matters. He's perfect." Rainbow forced herself to turn away from watching Soarin to look at Gilda. "And he's going to be mine. Now, if you'll excuse me; I just got to let him know that." Rainbow power walked off as Gilda shook her head.
Soarin walked through the grounds of the soccer camp. This was his first time here. He'd been going to his old camp for years. Most of his life actually. His family moved from Cloudsdale to Griffin Rock last year; which put out of the range of his old camp, so he had to go to this one. It was nice. And he was sure he'd like it. But despite his `hawk and punk rock persona; he was really shy at heart. Meeting new people, making friends was something he just didn't like, but down right detested. But he loved soccer, he loved sports in genera,l and that required being part of a team, so meeting people was a necessary evil.
"Hey there! I'm Rainbow Dash."
Soarin spun around at the sound of a voice that was so full of life and confidence; that it carried an almost physical force. Behind him was a black girl, about sixteen or seventeen, with hair that was literally every color of the rainbow. She was smiling and was holding her hand out to shake. She was also very beautiful. She was well muscled, her arms and shoulders were well defined. She had the small chest of a girl who spent more time in the gym than in the clothing store. She also had two big, beautiful eyes and a smile that could charm stone.
"Oh, hi. Your name matches your hair." What the heck was that? That's right butt-head; insult the pretty girl right away. Why even bother to wait to mess things up? Just take care of that up front, he thought to himself. Still, he shook her hand anyway. To his surprise she took it and never stopped smiling.
"Actually my hair matches my name. Takes forever to dye it; but it looks awesome when I do. Your `hawk is pretty rockin' as well."
Soarin pulled back his hand and rubbed the top of his head. "Thanks," he said awkwardly. "Mine's easier to do than yours. So where are you from?"
"Equestria. I've come here every year since I was five. That's how I met Gilda. She told me you went to her school."
"Yeah. I just started last year. I used to go Camp Wonderbolt for about as long as you've come here, but I'm too far away now."
"Wonderbolt! I hear that place is BRUTAL! You must be good to have gone there." Rainbow was legitimately impressed. Camp Wonderbolt only took the best of the best to start with and made them all a 100% better. That's where she always wanted to go but she lived too far away.
"I'm ok." Soarin shrugged. He hated up talking himself. He was good. Great in fact. He was in the top ten at the camp. But saying it; bragging about it, seemed unnecessary and almost vulgar to him. "You must be pretty good yourself. Coming here all those years; I mean."
Rainbow laughed. "Yeah, I got some moves."
The two looked at each other for a while and Soarin felt awkward. Say something idiot! He thought. "Um, not too many black people here." Soarin cringed as soon as the words left his mouth. He didn't even try to hide it. "Wow, that was really racist; wasn't it? I'm sorry. Feel free to slap me now."
Rainbow looked at him for a second, blinked, and then busted out laughing. "It's cool. No, there's not. It's ok. My parents are white, so I'm used to it." Soarin looked at her confused; which made her start giggling. "I'm adopted silly."
"Oh, oh, yeah, right. I'm stupid." He then remembered he'd never told her his name. "I'm also Soarin. My name. Not what I'm doing. I mean, I'm not soaring through the air. I'm here, talking to you. Well making a fool out of myself while talking to you."
"No you're not. Besides, you're cute." Rainbow's cheeks grew hot as soon as she it.
Soarin blushed. "Um, yeah, you too. Hence why I'm making a fool out of myself. I don't get to talk to too many cute girls."
"That's not what Gilda said," Rainbow teased.
"Oh," Soarin replied and scratched the back of his head. "Well, there's cute and then there's you." Both of them looked down at the ground and blushed. Each knew the other found them attractive and was curious about them, so neither wanted to say anything that would mess things up.
After a few seconds of not saying anything, Soarin decided to say something. "So does that create any weirdness between you and your folks? You being a different race and all?"
"No," Rainbow replied a friendly, but dismissive tone. "Why should it? I mean, sure, I know some people want to discover their 'roots' or 'true family'. But to me; my mom and dad ARE my true family. They changed my diapers, feed me, clothe me, love me, who could ask for anymore than that. I don't hold any grudges against my birth parents. For whatever reason, they couldn't take care of me; but I wound up with two of the best parents anywhere. I know some kids who were raised by their natural parents and they had a much harder life than I did. Family is about love, not biology.
"As for the 'black' thing; eh, I am who I am. I refuse to conform to any group just because of one thing: skin color, genitals, whatever; we have in common. I'm my own person. Take it or leave it."
Soarin smiled. "Right on. I'm half Mexican. No one believes me because of skin color and eye color. But what they don't realize is that not all Mexicans, heck not even all Latinos, have brown skin and brown eyes. There's white, Native American, black Latinos. Heck in most Latin countries, the whiter the skin, the higher the social rank. Racism is just as alive well there as here in the states. Probably more so at the top. At the bottom of the social ladder is where most of the race mixing takes place.
"But, yeah, people are people. We all came out of Africa. No matter where you live or when you got there, we're all African something. And I'm babbling aren't I?" Soarin looked down in embarrassment.
"Yeah, but it's cute," Rainbow said with a smile. "So, you want my number?"
"Huh? Oh! Uh, yeah. Sure."
They pulled out their phones and exchanged numbers. After they put their phones away; Soarin said, "Well I should get going now. But I'd like to see you again."
"Duh. Why'd you think I gave you my number for? Good luck trying not to see me again."
"Ok, wow, that was really stalkerish; but, cool! So I'll see you later." Soarin turned and started walking away. Every so often he'd look back at Rainbow until he was completely out of site.
"Hey Soarin; where have you been?" Carnan asked. Carnan was the unofficial leader of their group. He was a blond haired, blue eyed, rich kid who thought he owned the world. He wasn't a complete jerk; more like a benevolent dictator; and in that role, he liked to know where all his "subjects" were at all times.
"I just met a girl who I think is both totally awesome but completely frightening," Soarin responded in disbelief of everything that had just happened.
"Rainbow Dash," all the guys said at once.
"You all know her?" he asked. How did all these guys know who he was talking about? He wondered.
Carnan laughed. "Everyone knows Rainbow Dash here. Forget the counselors and coaches; she's the real queen bee here. And deservedly so. Boy, girl, doesn't matter; Rainbow beats all."
"Oh." Soarin smiled. And I got her number, he gloated to himself.
"But don't think about anything," Kerry, a small, thin boy said. "She's a lesbian."
"A lesbian?" Soarin just plainly asked.
Carnan nodded. "Sorry bro, but she's a member of the carpet muncher crowd." Carnan patted Soarin on the back.
"Well, then maybe I should call her and see if could double sometime."
All the guys suddenly stood up with shocked expressions on their faces.
"You got her phone number?" Kerry asked in awe.
"Yeah. And she's the one who gave it to me. And then she asked for mine." Soarin had a big grin on his face. He was loving the looks on their faces. He knew they had stereotyped Rainbow based on her looks and personality. So seeing them now have their assumptions rammed up their backsides made him smile.
"Well gentlemen," Carnan said , "looks like we have a legend in the making among us. Let us rejoice and pray he has full success in his endeavors."
The rest of the cabin started to cheer and Soarin felt sick to his stomach. Something wasn't right here.
"Well?" Gilda asked as she saw Rainbow come back. "How'd it go?"
Rainbow smiled. "I got his number," she sang. "Oh yes I did -id. I got his number and now he's mine-ine."
A faint smile crossed Gilda's lips. "Good Dash. I'm happy for you. Just, . . . he's with Caran's crew. Just be careful, ok?"
Rainbow didn't like the tone of Gilda's voice. Something was wrong. "Why? You know something I should?"
"No. Just, Carnan's had a crush on you for years. Entitled white boys don't take well to seeing something they see as theirs being taken by someone else. And Carnan has a reputation for not taking 'no' as an answer. Just be careful. Ok?"
Rainbow nodded. She was confused and a little worried, but she still felt happy about Soarin.
Gilda started to walk away and stopped. She turned around and looked at Rainbow with both fear and sadness in her eyes. "Pack hunters. Remember that." She then turned and started walking off again.
Over the first four weeks; Rainbow and Soarin would text each other, sit together by themselves at lunch, and generally got to know each other. Sometimes they would watch the other practice and play some games. Nothing that would ever be considered a date, but it was enough. Enough for Rainbow to discover that Soarin was a very sensitive guy. He had mainly choose his look to keep others away from him. But he also really did like punk music. He introduced her to The Ramones, The Misfits, The Exploited, Circle Jerks, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, and Bad Brains. Rainbow loved it all and couldn't wait to get back to change where The Rainbooms were going musically.
She also kept close watch on Carnan.
She would catch him and his crew looking at her and Soarin every so often. She didn't like it. Neither did Soarin. He would tell her how uneasy it was being around him. He couldn't put his finger on it, but something was off. Rainbow pressed Gilda for more information but she would only give little, cryptic answers.
One night she and Soarin snuck out together for a night walk through the woods. They weren't supposed to. They knew they were breaking the rules and that being in the woods at night was dangerous; but it was a gorgeous full moon and they just wanted to be together for a little while longer. Hand in hand they walked to the lake. They called it a lake, but it was more like a pond. And with the recent drought, a very small pond. But they didn't care. They got there and laid down on the grass, looking up at the stars.
It is in such places, at such times, that both the limitless possibilities and the great limitations of life became clear. Here they were, looking up at stars, stars who's light had been traveling millions, maybe billions of light years to reach them. Stars from great and far away places. Stars that might have planets that were the home of unimaginable and countless life forms. Life forms that they'd never see because the distances were too great, their science too primitive, and their lives too short. Endless possibilities, limited resources; that was life.
And such thoughts were appropriate on a night like tonight. Soarin and Rainbow lived over a hundred of miles apart. When they left here, they would barely see each other. Even in todays age of social media and cell phones, not being there, physically, was a hard burden to bare. Each knew they would have to decide on something; they just didn't know what.
Rainbow reached out and touched Soarin's arm. "Beautiful, isn't it?"
"Yeah," Soarin said with a sad sigh.
Rainbow turned her head to look at him. "What's wrong?"
"Just thinking. I like you a lot Rainbow. In fact I'd say I'm on the verge of loving you. But I don't want a long distance romance."
Rainbow furrowed her brow. "Well, why not? I mean we got facebook, twitter, Instagram, text, and skype. We could still see each other every day."
"And could I hold your hand? Kiss you? Sit beside you and just feel your presence? All those things are great, but their also a reminder of everything we couldn't do. Long distance relationships almost never work because eventually one person or both decides they want or need more than screen time. It wouldn't be fair to either of us to even try." Soarin then felt Rainbow's fist come crashing down on his chest. He yelled in pain.
"So what was fair about this? You knew you didn't want a long distance relationship, so why even bother having this in the first place? 'Oh I'll go out with her, cause her to have feelings, then at the end say, well that was fun, bye'. That's bull Soarin; and you know it!" Rainbow was furious and on the verge of tears. She never opened herself like this to a guy before. She always kept her emotions in check; but this was too much. She felt angry and betrayed.
Soarin sat up and looked down at her. "And if I told you how I felt, would it have made any difference? You chased me Rainbow."
Rainbow jumped up. "Don't play those games with me Soarin! And yes; it might have. At least it would have given me a choice! I . . . I care for you. I opened myself up to you. I thought if we hit it off, we could be something. And, yes, maybe if I had known your feelings from the start, I would have still gone ahead; but at least I would have done so knowing what I was getting myself into!"
"Dash, Rainbow," Soarin said as he stood up as well, "I'm not saying good-bye. I'm just saying I want to be friends. And not because that's all I want, but because, in the end, that's all I know we'll end up being. I'm sorry. And, I guess I should have told you earlier; but by the time it had become necessary, it was already too late. I didn't know things would go like they did or we'd develop the feelings we have. I thought it would have been arrogant to say I didn't want a long distance relationship right up front."
"It would have made you honest." Tears rolled down Rainbows face. "Just go. I'm done."
"I'm not leaving you out here alone," Soarin said softly.
"You already left me. All you are now is a warm body standing beside me." Rainbow turned around and ran off. She ran as fast as she could. She wanted to get away; to get away from Soarin, to get away from her feelings, to get away from the hurt and betrayal. She ran not looking where she was going and it was that, that caused her to hit something and fall down. She looked and saw Carnan laying on the ground in front of her.
Rainbow jumped to her feet as fast as she could. Something was wrong here. She didn't like him being out here, being around her. "What are you doing out here Carnan?" she asked suspiciously.
Carnan slowly got up and laughed. "Easy Dash. It's dangerous out here. I thought you might need some company."
"And how'd you know I'd even be out here?"
"Soarin was gone, you're usually with him, I put two and two together." He spoke in the smooth tones of a used car salesman. He was too slick, too confident.
"And you didn't think he could protect me? Or are you sayin' you thought I needed protecting from him?" Rainbow heard something. Rustling, like someone walking through the brush. It seemed to come from both sides of her. She took a fighter's stance. All senses told her she was in danger and she getting ready.
"No. Not at all," he said in that same smooth tone. "He's not dangerous at all. In fact it's not him I was talking about."
He gave a little nod and Rainbow heard the sound of running. Before she could react, she felt hands reaching out to grab her wrists. With a speed she didn't even think she possessed; she kicked her one assailant in the shin, causing him to let go. She then used that free hand to smash her other assailant in the nose; breaking it. She started to run and heard Carnan call out behind her, "Oh no you don't."
She saw a branch laying on the ground, tucked and rolled over to it, grab it, and sprung to her feet.
Carnan stopped in fron of her. "Very impressive moves there Dash," he said with false pride. "But it doesn't matter. You see, I want you. What I want, I get. Kerry might be out, but James is still here. A shin kick isn't going to take him out. Oh and don't forget John and Rob."
Carnan made a motion to attack. Rainbow looked around and that's when Carnan and James pounced. James got to her first. He tried to take the stick from her but as he held it with both hands, she kicked him in the crotch. Once again he let go of her and she smashed him in the side of the head with the branch. But then Carnan was on top of her.
The two fell to the ground. Rainbow was pinned beneath him and he punched her straight in the face. She saw a bright flash of white light. She had to stay conscious, but the blow made her head spin. She felt him tear at her shirt. With all her strength she thrust upward and knocked him off. She rolled over and started to get to her feet, but he knocked her over again. This time, she wasn't completely pinned under him. He drew back to hit her again when she drove her index finger straight into his one eye. He shrieked in pain and fell off her. She jumped to her feet, grabbed her stick and started beating the heck out of Carnan.
"DASH STOP!" A voice called out.
Rainbow turned around and saw it was Soarin. Rainbow turned around and looked at the bloody mess that was Carnan.
"Please, mercy!" he croaked through tears and a mouth full of blood.
"How? How many girls have begged you for the same? HOW MANY?" Rainbow shouted in anger and disgust.
"I don't know. But please, spare me. I'll never hurt anyone again. Please!"
Rainbow looked down at him with a smoldering hate. "You're a rapist. I could kill you now. All of you. You and your two friends. Easily. I would be doing the world a favor." She paused. Carnan peed himself in fear, expecting the worse. Soarin looked on and wondered if he would really have to come to the aid of a rapist. The notion made him sick; but he couldn't allow Rainbow to do something she'd regret. Rainbow stuck the end of her stick against Carnan's throat and said, "But I won't. I'm better than that. I'm better than you." She lowered he stick then she suddenly brought it across his head, knocking him out.
She then turned to Kerry; who stared at her in sheer terror. "Go, go back to camp. Tell the counselors you got in a fight here. You'll take all the blame. You'll be kicked out, but at least you'll be able to walk out and not be wheeled out. Understand?"
Kerry nodded and ran off. Then, suddenly, Rainbow felt herself being overcome by a strange power. She started floating off the ground as she ponied up. In her head she heard what sounded like two women talking at the same time, saying, "Arise, the Warrior." Rainbow saw a giant lightening bolt, every color of the rainbow, descend upon her. She then fell to the ground.
Soarin walked over to Rainbow in shock. Rainbow looked up at him. Her wings fluttered at bit before disappearing. "I forgot to tell you I could do that." She smiled weakly at him. "I guess it really is over?" She then looked back down at the ground.
Soarin stuck out his hand. "Never," he said.
She looked back up at him in surprise. Then she took his hand and he helped her up. Once up, he hugged and kissed her. "I think I'm ready to give the long distance thing a try," he said with a smile and the kissed again.