Flying Through the Storm

by volrathxp

First published

Cloudchaser / Thunderlane Shipfic set in Hurricane Fluttershy.

Cloudchaser is a perfectly normal pegasus pony living in Ponyville who never put much thought into love and romance.

When Cloudchaser and her sister Flitter are called upon to assist the pegasi of Ponyville for rainy season, the plucky pegasus steps up to do the best she can. But a chance encounter with a certain dark grey pegasus will change her whole outlook on life, love, and everything in between.

Cloudchaser/Thunderlane fic from Cloudchaser's perspective.

New Cover Image! It's a mock-up, but you get the picture! Made by yours truly.

Sequel! "Stormy Skies"

Chapter 1: Rainy Days

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Flying Through the Storm

Chapter 1: Rainy Days

Love. Some ponies say it’s something that every pony should experience at one point in their lives. For me, love was something I never gave any thought or mind to. I wasn’t the romantic type. I didn’t pine over stallions, and I certainly never gave any consideration to the one I would spend the rest of my life with.

But then I met him. And my life would never be the same again.

I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself aren’t I? My name is Cloudchaser, and I’m a pegasus. I live in the small town of Ponyville. And this… well this is my story.



I groaned at the sound of the alarm clock blaring loudly in my shared room. Opening my eyes, I focused on the one thing in the room that really mattered. Flitter. My twin sister lay one bed over, still snoring away despite the alarm clocks insistence that we get up. Now Flitter really isn’t my twin. Ponies just call us twins because we look so much alike. My gaze drifted upwards towards the clock, the infernal device continuing to beep as my eyes locked onto the time. My eyes widened as I realized that we had in fact overslept and were now resoundingly late for work. Groaning, I reached up and hit the button to turn off the alarm.

“Flitter!” I shouted, flinging my covers off and leaping out of bed. A flap of my wings later and I crashed gently upon Flitter’s bed, instantly causing my sister to jolt awake.

“What, Cloudchaser? I’m snoozing!” She said, starting to roll back onto her bed with a sleepy yawn. I groaned, pounding upon her soft bed with my front hooves. Unlike most other pegasi, we lived in Ponyville proper and in an actual house, not a cloud one. Kind of odd I know for a pegasus named Cloudchaser, but I didn’t mind. I kind of liked the peace and quiet our small home afforded us. Even when things got a little crazy around town, like that one time Twilight Sparkle claimed she was visited by her future self or when Fluttershy took her assertiveness training a little too far. However, it was still a great place to live. Flitter lifted her head once more and grumbled at me.

“Whaaaaat?!” She whined, looking over at the alarm clock. I giggled as her eyes went wide as well, her silvery bed mane flopping over her neck as she moved to get out of bed. I hopped off the bed as Flitter made her way to our bathroom. I walked by, noticing that she was carefully styling her mane. I facehooved and sighed at her insistence upon looking pretty all the time.

“Flitter, we don’t have time for this. We’re already late!” I said with a frustrated tone.

“Well then it doesn’t matter then if I do my mane up then does it? Besides, maybe today will be the day for me!” She replied.

“You mean you’re finally going to ask Winter Storm out?” I asked. Flitter snorted and stepped past me, heading downstairs. I trotted down the stairs after her.

We really gotta stop getting to bed so late, I thought as I emerged into the kitchen. Last night, Flitter and I had stayed up far too late in Canterlot. In our defense, Vinyl Scratch was playing a one night only show, and some old friends from Cloudsdale had put the clincher on our plans. Couple this with every other night this past week ending up with my sister and I staying up all night after work and you had the recipe for two pretty tired pegasi. The warm sweet smell of cinnamon soon filled my nostrils as I noticed that Flitter was making breakfast instead of getting ready for work.

“Mmm… that smells delicious Flits,” I said. “But we’re late. We gotta get going to work.”

“Yeah, but you’re right. We’re already late. We should at least start the day off right with some breakfast,” she replied. She handed me a bowl of the oatmeal and I sighed.

”Fine, but we’re eating on the way alright? If we’re lucky we can get there before Rainbow Dash finishes her morning rounds,” I said. Flitter nodded. She grabbed her own bowl and her saddlebags. A few moments later we stepped out of our house and began the journey to work.

The sun was already shining brightly over the small town we called home, Celestia’s shimmering orb providing for all of her subjects. I took in the warmth from its rays and smiled. Today is going to be a good day, I thought. I can just feel it.

We made our way across the town square, taking in the scenery as we trotted along. Ponies of all shapes, sizes, and colors had begun to arrive in the town square, getting ready for that day’s market. At the far end of the square I could see the familiar sign belonging to Sweet Apple Acres. An orange earth pony was hauling the day’s apple crops onto the cart below it. We ate in silence, stowing the bowls into our saddlebags once we had finished.

Within a few minutes, we arrived at our destination: the Ponyville Weather Office. The squat structure managed to look solid and forbidding, which was impressive for a building made of clouds. We entered the small office and made our way to the timecards. I grabbed mine with my teeth and punched it, hoping that nopony had ---

“Cloudchaser! Flitter!” I heard the stern mare’s voice before I saw her. Oh no… I thought as I turned around, seeing my boss trotting up to my sister and me. Despite the fact that our boss was a bit of a lazy pony at times, she was our boss simply because she was the most dependable weather pegasus in all of Ponyville. Her rainbow colored mane was a waterfall of color on her slender blue neck as she stepped up to us.

“Oh… hey Rainbow Dash, fancy running into you here…” I said nervously as I tried to avoid the cyan mare’s gaze. “I uh… thought you would have been out already.”

“I’m actually done for the morning,” Rainbow said, puffing out her chest. That was another thing she liked to do. She always boasted about her speed, no matter what it was for. The only thing that made her boastful behavior tolerable was that it was accurate. She really was the fastest flier in Ponyville, and she had no problem letting you know it. “Gotta get ready for tonight. I have a lot of paperwork to do before then.”

“Tonight?” I ventured, trying to steer our conversation towards something that didn’t involve Rainbow asking why we were late… again.

“Yeah, we’re having a big meeting over at Twilight’s place tonight. You’ll need to be there,” she said as she trotted past me, heading towards her small office. Whew… I thought as I wiped the sweat from my brow. She didn’t --- “Oh and Cloudchaser? You two were late again. I know this may not seem like that important of a job to you girls, but you should at least show up on time. We can’t leave Ponyville hanging after all.” I sighed.

“Yes Rainbow, sorry it won’t happen again,” I replied. Rainbow nodded and disappeared into her office. A few moments later I could have sworn I heard snoring coming from it. I looked over at Flitter in defeat.

“I guess we’d better get to it then,” she said. “See you at lunch?” I nodded, grabbing my assignment card for the day off of the board. Cloud Clearing – Carousel Boutique the card read. I sighed. At least the first part of the day was going to be a relatively easy job. There were hardly ever any clouds over Rarity’s dressmaking shop. I bid Flitter good bye as she went off to her own assignment and began my delayed flight towards Carousel Boutique. The hardest part of flying out to Rarity’s place is the boutique’s relative position near the edge of town, so it took me a while to get there. Along the way I could see that the rest of Ponyville was beginning to wake up. I waved to Fluttershy as she was skipped into town from her small cottage on the part of town closest to the Everfree Forest. Pretty soon the skies above the colorful residence of Ponyville’s most fabulous dressmaker came into view. I groaned when I saw them. There were clouds scattered about everywhere! Clearly somepony hadn’t been maintaining this section of town too well.

“Well, I guess it’s time to get to work then,” I said as pulled myself up the nearest outcropping of clouds and gave a swift buck into the first cloud, dissipating it with relative ease. Cloud clearing was always something I found rather tedious and a bit boring at times. There really wasn’t much to it after all. Fly to cloud. Buck it. Fly to cloud. Buck it. Repeat as many times as there are clouds. So naturally, my mind wandered as I worked. I wondered what Rainbow Dash had meant about some big meeting, and why I needed to be there. Part of me wondered if I was going to be fired, considering all the tardies I had accrued in the past few months. I shook the thought away, knowing in my right mind that even Rainbow Dash couldn’t be that heartless. Despite her flaws, she was still one of the best bosses in all of Equestria. Still, what could be going on that was so important? Maybe there was some big weather event that was going on. Having only lived in Ponyville for a few months, neither Flitter nor I really knew what the town did for major weather. I sighed, continuing my work and being bored out of my skull while doing it. It really didn’t seem like I was making much progress though, there were far too many clouds to be normal in this piece of sky.

“Ouch!” A yelp from behind me brought me back to reality as I realized that I hadn’t bucked a cloud this time, but another pony. I wheeled about, seeing a dark grey pegasus stallion with a silvery mane and tail flapping his wings and holding his forelegs up to his chest. My eyes widened and I shot over to him.

“Ohmygosh I’m so sorry! Are you alright?” I said frantically. The other pegasus chuckled nervously and nodded.

“Yeah… Yeah I’m okay. Wow, you have a mean kick,” he said, rubbing his chest.

“Sorry. I was kind of lost in my work and didn’t see you there,” I replied, smiling sheepishly at the poor buck.

“It’s alright. I probably shouldn’t have snuck up on you like that,” he said. “You’re Cloudchaser right?” I cocked my head at this. How did he know my name? I thought as I realized I hadn’t seen this pegasus around town at all. Who was he?

“Yeah, that’d be me… but who are you? New in town?” I asked. The pegasus nodded.

“Been commuting here and doing weather work over the last month or so from Cloudsdale. Mostly rain weather. Name’s Thunderlane. My family just decided to move here last week so we could be closer to work. That’s probably why we’ve never seen each other before,” he said, smiling. I nodded as I let my eyes wander a bit. He was pretty toned up for a pegasus. My gaze drifted up his legs to his flank. Are you seriously checking him out? A voice in the back of my head said. I felt a little heat rise in my cheeks as I realized that I sort of was indeed checking out this buck’s flank. His voice snapped me back to paying attention to his face. “Cloudchaser? You alright? You kind of spaced out there a bit.” I shook away my blush, hoping that he hadn’t seen it.

“Oh um… yeah I’m fine. Sorry, I just spaced out again,” I said. “That happens from time to time. So you work with rain weather? That’s pretty cool.” The buck puffed out his chest a bit.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s just a lot of fun is all,” he said, trying to play the essential work of rain management off as unimportant. I giggled at his obvious attempt.

“So what are you doing all the way out here?” I asked curiously. Forget out here… what was this stallion doing talking to me, me of all ponies?! I was uninteresting, even a little boring. Thunderlane pointed at the clouds around me.

“I saw you out here by yourself, bucking all these clouds. Figured I might as well make some friends in this town, and thought I’d offer some help,” he said. Oh? What a gentlecolt, The voice in the back of my head said. Shut up you, I thought in response.

“Don’t you have your own work to get to?” I replied. He shook his head.

“I’m actually off for a few days here. So I’ve got plenty of time,” he said. He flew next to me and bucked a cloud, causing it to dissipate into mist.

“Really?” I said, feeling very confused. “I mean, thank you but I don’t want to impose on your day off.”

“Nah. It’s cool,” he said. “So… Cloudchaser eh? What’s your story? You live here in Ponyville too?” I nodded as we worked side by side, clearing a few more clouds.

“Yeah, I live here with my sister. We’re from Cloudsdale originally though,” I said.

“Really? Gee, I’m sorry it seems like I should know you then,” Thunderlane replied. “You got any family up there I should know?”

“My parents are big hot shot weather ponies up there. They sent my sister and I down here to Ponyville to be out on our own. You know, see the world and all that jazz,” I said. “They thought it would be good for us I guess.”

“Ah,” the stallion said as he bucked another cloud. I couldn’t help but stare just a little. He really was kind of cute. There was still a bit of a nagging thought at the back of my head as to why this stallion was here, taking interest in me. I hesitated for a moment.

“Thunderlane?” I said finally. The dark pegasus looked over at me.

“Yeah?” He said.

“Why are you here? I mean, you didn’t have to come. It’s your day off!” I asked.

”Well… you really looked like you could use the help,” he said. My eye twitched at this. What. I thought, glaring at him.

“What…?” I said blankly.

“Well… I just meant that since it was just you that you would need a little help,” he replied.

“What, you think you could do it better than me or something?” I said, anger flaring in my eyes. “Mister Big Time Rain Weather Pony?”

“No, no. Not at all. Well, I mean I probably could but…” He started to say. My eye twitched again.

“You think I couldn’t clear this sky in ten seconds flat,” I stated with a challenging tone. His eyes widened and he shot me a rakish grin. “What are you smiling for? That was mean, you jerk.”

“Oh. So you want to play it like that do you? Alright then. I challenge you to a race then. We’ll divide the sky over the boutique in half, and the first one to clear their half is the winner,” he explained, pointing at the clouds behind us. “Deal?”

“Alright hotshot. You’re on. But if I win you have to admit that Cloudchaser is a better flier than you,” I said, pointing a hoof at his chest to emphasize my point.

“Deal. And when I win, you have to give me a kiss,” he replied cockily. My eyes went wide instantly. What what what? I thought, trying to process what he had just said. I felt the heat rising back up into my cheeks. I shook it off and stared at Thunderlane. He had a wide grin on his face. Jerk, I thought, sighing. It’s just a kiss I guess. Why am I so hung up on this? I don’t even really buy into all this relationship stuff anyways.

“Fine. You have a deal,” I said quietly. Thunderlane cocked his head at me.

“I’m sorry, what was that?” He said. I groaned.

“If you win, I will give you a kiss,” I said a little louder. He grinned wider. I don’t think I’d ever seen another pony grin as wide as he was. “You’re still a jerk by the way.”

“Point taken. Shall we begin?” He replied. I shook my head.

“It’s just the two of us, we need somepony to judge,” I said, an idea forming in my head. “One second! Be right back.” Before he could say anything else I had begun to zoom down to the ground, landing in front of Rarity’s front door. I pushed open the door to the Boutique and stepped in. “Rarity? You in here?” I called out. I heard the humming of the white mare as she came out from the back room.

“Welcome to Carousel Boutique where everything is chic and trés magnifique! How may I help you today?” Rarity began to say before she saw me. “Oh. Cloudchaser, darling. How do you do today? Come in for a dress or what have you?” I shook my head.

“I uhh… I need some help. You see, there’s this stallion, and…” I began. Rarity cut me off with a titter.

“Oh darling. Of course I’ll help you. It would be a crime against love itself if I were to turn down a friend in her romantic ventures,” she said. I blushed fiercely at this.

“No… that’s not it. He’s just outside, we’re clearing the clouds above your store and he wants to make a challenge of it,” I said, explaining the situation to the white unicorn. “We just need somepony to judge so that it’s fair.”

“Oh. Well I don’t see any problem in that. Are you sure there’s no… romantic undertones to all of this dear? You look a little flustered,” the purple maned mare said.

“I do not!” I shouted reflexively. “I mean… no none at all. He’s just being a jerk who needs to be put in his place that’s all.” Rarity giggled at this.

“Darling, I think it’s well established that all stallions are jerks sometimes. Why this one time, I met Prince Blueblood and sometime I simply must tell you about his atrocious behavior,” Rarity replied as she followed me out into the yard in front of her boutique and I explained the rules of our little challenge. She winked at me as I flew back up to where Thunderlane was waiting. The cocky buck hovered there, his forelegs crossed over his chest.

“Okay, now I’m ready. Rarity is going to start us off and she will declare the winner,” I said cheekily. “That way it’s all fair.”

“Excellent,” Thunderlane said. “See you when you’re done with those clouds.” He sped off to the far end of the cloud cover, taking his place upon a nearby cumulus. I plopped down onto my own starting point as I heard Rarity’s voice drift up from below.

“Alright, now let this be a clean match between you two. No interfering with the other’s side and only stop when your side is fully clear,” She shouted. I looked over at Thunderlane, who grinned and winked at me. What is it with the winking?! I thought as I glared at him. I stretched myself out a bit, getting ready to pour on the speed.

“Ready, on your marks… get set… go!” Rarity yelled up to us. I kicked off the cloud, pouring enough energy into it from my launch to clear it from the sky at the same time as I surged forward. Cloud after cloud fell before my victorious hooves, and I grinned widely as I came upon my last set of clouds. I couldn’t really hear what Thunderlane was doing, but I’m sure he was eating my dust! I bucked the few clouds I had left and spun about, hearing the clopping of hooves below from Rarity. Yes! I did it! I --- I began to think, my brain sputtering out of control as I saw my opponent. His entire side was completely devoid of clouds, and I realized that part of the clopping of hooves I had heard before was coming from him as well. He even had that huge grin on his face again. Jerk! I thought as I floated over to him.

“Well, that certainly was entertaining,” he said, chuckling a bit. “Didn’t think it would take you that long, that’s for sure.” I glared at him.

“Laugh it up tough guy,” I said as we floated down to Rarity. The white mare had a bright smile on her face as we landed next to her.

“Well, the winner by a mere five seconds is mister… umm I don’t believe I caught your name?” She said to the dark pegasus.

“Oh, it’s Thunderlane,” he said shyly. I noticed his eyes taking in the sight of the demure mare. They even drifted down past her mane and all the way down her flanks. Oh. That’s just great. So he’s a chauvinistic jerk too! I thought. More power to him though. Rarity’s way high maintenance. I don’t care one bit that he’s looking at her. No sirree.

“Mister Thunderlane, and I might I say what a dashing color your mane is. It goes well with your coat darling,” Rarity replied.

“Th-Thanks?” Thunderlane stuttered. I nearly burst into laughter right then and there. Oh this is priceless! One oodle of attention from a pretty mare and he turns to putty! I thought.

“No, thank you. I must be off now; I’ll leave the sordid little details of your wager to you. Do come into the Boutique sometime though darling. The things I could do with a suit for you would be simply divine!” Rarity said, her eyes lighting up at the possibilities. She gave me a little wink and stepped up next to me, whispering in my ear.

“Knock em dead,” she said quietly before trotting off back into her store, leaving us quite alone not only in her yard, but in the street adjacent to her domicile. In fact, it seemed like everypony had pretty well cleared out of this part of town, probably for mid day lunch breaks and the like. Just my luck, I thought as I turned back to see Thunderlane, standing there staring dreamily after her. I chuckled nervously as he snapped back to attention when he realized he was being watched.

“Ho there lover boy,” I said jokingly. The buck’s eyes averted to the ground and he looked away for the moment.

“Uhh… right. Sorry, just a little distracted,” he said. I giggled.

“Right. Distracted,” I replied. A faint blush rose to his cheeks, just barely but it was still there. “So. Looks like you won, you big jerk.” I emphasized the last part to get his attention. His smug demeanor returned and his blush disappeared almost instantly.

“Well, of course. I mean, I was glad to help you out of course, but there’s still the matter of my prize for winning,” he said confidently. I rolled my eyes at him.

“Ugh. Fine. You did win fair and square after all,” I said, stepping up to the silver haired buck. I reached in and swiftly gave him a kiss on the cheek. The moment my lips connected, I felt the heat rising off of him as an even bigger blush graced his face. I wasn’t there long though. I pulled away a few minute seconds later and turned away, hoping the stallion didn’t see my own blush that was currently heating my ears. The nerve of this buck! I thought angrily. I turned back after several cold and silent seconds, staring at the stallion.

“There, happy now?” I said shakily. He nodded mutely. “Good. Well look at the time, I should probably get going. Gotta get back to the office and get my assignment for the rest of the day!” I said quickly as I darted off past the silver maned pegasus. I shot off into the air, leaving him behind standing there alone in the street. Stupid jerk. Getting me to kiss him like that, I thought. I had only just met the guy and already he had rubbed me the wrong way. Still, I didn’t know why I was so flustered about all this. I’d never been one for relationships, and I had never really pondered the whole idea of romance. I groaned, trying to push the thoughts out of my head as I reached the Weather Office. I trotted in and clicked my timecard, signing out for lunch. I looked up at Flitter’s card. She hadn’t been back yet. With nothing better to than to wait for my sister, I sat down in our waiting room and looked down at my hooves. I struggled with trying to not think of a certain silver haired buck. Every time he came up, I felt conflicted. I was certainly angry with him about the whole situation. Not only had he managed to embarrass me by proving my flying skills weren’t as good as his, but then to top it off to have me kiss him afterwards? I was downright furious about that part! But then there was another part of me trying to logically explain what had happened, the part of me I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to be listening to right then.

“Sis?” A voice called. I looked up to see Flitter trotting in, a bright smile on her face. The moment she saw me though, her expression turned to one of concern. “Hey, what’s wrong? You alright?” I nodded.

“Yeah… I’m fine. Long morning, I’ll tell you later alright? Let’s just go get some lunch,” I replied. She nodded, knowing to not prod any further and went over to punch out of the office. I put on as big of a smile as I could and followed behind my sister. Flitter was chatting excitedly about her morning. I really wasn’t in the mood for much conversation, since a certain pegasus jerk kept popping into my head. As we landed at the restaurant Flitter asked again if I was doing okay and I smiled and nodded. No sense in getting her all worked up over this, I thought. Lunch came and went without much more talk on the subject. I mostly stayed quiet as Flitter continued her animated chatter about everything from new dresses to Winter. Stallions, I had thought. Rarity was right. They’re all jerks. Amazingly enough, we got back on time, and I punched in just as Rainbow Dash came out of office. The rainbow maned mare smiled at me as she walked by.

“Have a good morning Cloudchaser?” She said. I nodded shakily.

“Y-yes,” I said, biting back a comment on my unexpected help. Rainbow smiled.

“Well, I’m changing up your afternoon a little. We need you to head over to Sweet Apple Acres and help put together a light shower for Applejack. I’d be over there myself, but Fluttershy needs me for something else and I still have to get ready for our meeting tonight,” the cyan pegasus said.

“Oh, okay. Sure thing Rainbow Dash. I’ll get right over there,” I said.

“Good. Tell your sister she’s been signed up for it too. You’re going to be working with a relatively new guy, so be nice to him alright?” Rainbow replied as she pushed the door open. As she flew off, I groaned. There was only one relatively new guy that I knew of, and I had just left him an hour ago standing in front of Carousel Boutique. I shook off the feeling of dread and called out for my sister, who was nowhere to be seen.

“Flitter!!” I yelled as loud as I could. Thankfully every other pony was out of the office at the moment. My sister popped her head from behind a chair. She had her headphones on with her little Trotman player she bought with her last paycheck. She pulled the headphones off and smiled.

“Yeah Sis?” She said sheepishly.

“We’re being reassigned for the afternoon to Sweet Apple Acres,” I said, motioning for her to follow me. With a nod of acknowledgement, Flitter stepped in behind me and put her headphones back on, dancing on air as we took off. Within a few minutes of flight time we arrived over Sweet Apple Acres, where the farm’s proprietor Applejack awaited. We landed next to the orange mare as she tipped her hat at us.

“Afternoon you two,” she said, smiling wide. “Y’all here for the rain?”

“That would be us. So, where are we setting up this rain shower at?” I asked, turning the conversation to the task at hand. Applejack pointed with a hoof towards one of the many apple orchards that the Apple family cared for on their property.

“The south field needs the shower time real bad. Rain ain’t been too even lately and it’s sorely missing out on some much needed downpour,” the orange earth pony said, cocking her head. “Wasn’t there supposed to be three of you?” I looked around. She was right. Where was that big jerk anyways? Maybe he was still standing in Rarity’s yard, all dumbfounded over my little kiss. It would serve him right for embarrassing me like that.

“Yeah, supposed to some new guy,” I replied. Maybe we’d get lucky and he wouldn’t show up. A passing shadow and the flutter of wings told me otherwise. Thunderlane landed in between us, looking very confident with himself, at least until he saw me. He shook it off and turned to Applejack.

“Sorry I’m late. I uhh… ran into a spot of trouble on the way over,” he said. Applejack nodded and the stallion moved over to where we were standing. “Uh… hey Cloudchaser. Who’s your friend?” I glared at him.

“Sis? You know this guy?” Flitter asked curiously. I nodded.

“We met earlier this morning,” I said flatly. “Flitter, meet Thunderlane. Thunderlane, this is my sister Flitter.” The stallion waved and my sister giggled. She winked at me. What is it with the winking?!! I thought, groaning. Thunderlane rubbed the back of his head with his hoof nervously. “I thought you were off for a few days,” I continued.

“Yeah about that… look… I wanted to umm…” he stammered. I shot him a glare that shut him up instantly. Flitter looked over at me with a concerned look on her face. I could already tell I was going to have some explaining to do when we got home that evening.

“Save it,” I said. “We have a job to do, so let’s go do it shall we? So we’re not wasting Miss Applejack’s time?” Thunderlane started to say something else, but stopped as he must have decided to not press his luck. Was he trying to apologize to me? I thought as I turned away from the buck and shot up into the sky. Flitter followed after, trying to get my attention over how I’d been acting. I waved her away as I came upon the first rain cloud and began moving it into place over the orchard’s south field. Rain clouds, unlike normal white fluffy clouds, all came from one source: Cloudsdale. Like most weather in Equestria, rain clouds were manufactured by the Weather Ponies in Cloudsdale and then shipped out all over the country to provide rain. I distinctly remembered Mom and Dad telling me how the whole process worked. Every year they got all the pegasi together from one town and they would funnel all the water up from a reservoir or lake up to Cloudsdale where the water would be used to make more rain clouds. As I moved another cloud into position, my sister and Thunderlane were also moving in their own clouds. I remembered that Mom and Dad said they picked a new town every year and that it was almost like some sort of competition. My eyes went wide when I had a realization.

The meeting. Of course. How stupid of me to think otherwise! I thought with a groan. Rainy season was coming up and it was getting close to the time when the rain clouds would need to be made to provide rain to all of Equestria! Naturally, Ponyville would get its chance to take part in the games. That must have been why Rainbow was so serious this morning. It was a great honor to be picked to provide rainwater to ponies everywhere. I then groaned even louder as I remembered that they would naturally put Rainbow Dash in charge of the whole thing. The cyan mare’s competitiveness streak would surely be the end of all of us. By the time I had gotten finished processing all of this information, we had completed our task of putting together the rain clouds. It was a nice little rain shower, perfect for getting Applejack’s trees some much needed nutrients. All that needed to happen now was the get the rain started.

“Alright, I’m gonna go in and hit the clouds and get them going,” Flitter said as she zoomed towards the cloud formation. It was then that I saw it: a storm cloud. Not just any storm cloud, but a nasty black storm cloud. I panicked. How did it get there? Did I accidentally stick that in there when I was so lost in thought? Storm clouds were notorious for being highly dangerous. The only pegasus I personally knew that could buck on a storm cloud and live was Ditzy Doo, and even then she usually shocked herself silly. I moved to call out to Flitter to try and stop her.

“Flitter!” I yelled. It was too late. The grey pegasus mare hit the edge of the cloud formation in a dash, followed by a swift buck. The clouds rippled with energy and I saw the storm cloud begin to jolt into the other clouds around it. All the color drained from my face when I realized that Flitter hadn’t seen the offending cumulus yet. I buzzed my wings, surging forward past a very surprised Thunderlane to try and catch my sister, who was now happily hopping from cloud to cloud. I started calling out again when I neared the accumulation of rain clouds, but a massive jolt of thunder and lightning ripped through the air and cut me off. Rain began to pour from the clouds onto the orchard below, completely drenching me as I scanned the skies for my wayward sister. The light from the next lightning strike nearly blinded me and I found myself disoriented. Where is she? I thought. Where are you Flitter? When my eyes cleared I couldn’t believe what I saw. Instead of the single storm cloud, there were now several interspersed with the normal rain clouds as the storm began to build and grow. Not only that, Flitter was nowhere in sight. I flew up, hoping that maybe she had been smart and flown away from the storm.

“Flitter!” I yelled again, but the sound of the wind and rain drowned out any words I could muster. I was cold, wet, and downright scared. Another lightning strike stabbed the tops of Applejack’s trees, the tumultuous bout of thunder following it nearly knocking me out of the air. Nothing happened, but I realized that next time might not be so lucky. Oh no. The storm’s too close to the trees, I thought. I was at a complete loss at what to do, trying to think about what Mom and Dad had told me before about handling rogue storms. My mind drew a blank however since the absence of my closest family member was reigning supreme inside my head. I buzzed back and forth, paying as close attention as I could to the building storm. To be truthful, it was getting out of hand fast.

I called out for Flitter again. By then I was completely soaked to the bone, my teeth chattering and my body exhausted from all the flying. If I make it out of this, I’m going to need a long warm bath and a bed, I thought. I spun about at a strange sound, thinking for a moment I had heard Flitter calling out to me. There was nothing in sight besides more grey sky and the rain itself, which had picked up and had now turned into a full on torrent of water dumping from the clouds above. I froze, unable to think about what to do next. My eyes flittered back and forth from the storm and the ground, unable to decide where to go. I know Flitter better than any other pony; she would go get help or something… right? I thought as I surged upwards once more, trying to get myself above the cloud cover where I might be able to do some damage to this thing.

I heard the sound again, almost sounding like somepony calling out to me. I couldn’t see where it was coming from, but it was getting louder. I dodged another lightning strike as I soared upward towards the formation, which had become completely blackened. My vision began to get hazy the closer I got to the clouds, the rain pounding down into me with wild abandon. I just had to find Flitter, I had to. She was my sister! I was going to get this thing under control and make sure she was safe! I was ---

“Cloudchaser!!!” A voice called out, cutting through the rain right next to me. A pair of hooves reached out and grabbed a hold of me. I struggled a bit, but between the cold and the beating from the storm, my body was pretty much ready to give up. I turned my head back and saw Thunderlane. His front legs were wrapped around my body as he surged forward, a determined look on his face.

“Th-Th-Thunderlane?!” I managed to chatter. “Where’s Flitter? Is she alright? Have you seen her?” The stallion nodded as he pushed past another lightning strike.

“She’s fine, but knocked out. I managed to get her out before things got too bad. Are you alright?” He yelled over the roar of the wind. I tried to nod in response, but was too tired to do anything but try and meekly acknowledge the stallion’s question. “Chase? Aww… come on stay with me. Just hang on, we’re almost there!” My eyes closed and I felt the patter of the rain begin to lighten as we broke free of the storm. I felt Thunderlane’s hooves remove themselves from my body as I was deposited onto a nearby cloud next to my sister. I opened my eyes to see the stallion turning back towards the storm. He was getting ready to take back off.

“Wait!!” I called out. He looked back for a moment, a pained look on his face.

“No time!” He replied. “Somepony’s gotta get this thing under control before it wipes out the orchard!”

“You can’t! You’ll get hurt!” I shouted at him. Stupid stupid stupid stubborn mule! My brain screamed. He gave a slight cough and then cocked a grin. I realized that he was pretty well soaked and tired too.

“They don’t call me Thunderlane for nothing!” He said, soaring off into the sky. He slammed into the side of the storm formation, bursting apart a particularly nasty black cloud. He dodged the lightning that expelled from the cloud and sped off to hit another. Truth be told, it was actually rather impressive. A groan from beside me indicated that Flitter had awoken. I turned over to her and held onto her tight, tears beginning to flow freely from my eyes.

“Sis?” She said weakly. “What happened?”

“There was a storm cloud tucked inside somehow, Thunderlane… Thunderlane pulled us out of there when I went in looking for you,” I said, my teeth still feeling very chatty due to my soaking wet coat and mane. “I thought… I thought I lost you.”

“I’m alright, Sis. I’m fine,” Flitter said, pushing up into a sitting position. “Where’s Thunderlane?” I pointed back at the storm, forcing Flitter into full awareness mode as her eyes locked upon the dark pegasus stallion who was fighting the thunder and lightning. “What?! He’s crazy! That thing is monstrous!”

“I know. He’s going to need some help. Flits, I want you to fly as fast as you can and get Rainbow Dash. I’m going to go try and help Thunderlane,” I said determinedly, wiping my tears away. Flitter began to protest.

“You can’t do that, you almost died out there yourself!” She said.

“And if I don’t, he might die too. He can’t do this by himself, and Dash is the best chance we have at beating it for good,” I said. “She’ll be over at Fluttershy’s place.” Flitter groaned.

“Alright, but be careful” She said after a moment, getting up and stretching her wings out. I grinned.

“I’ll be alright. I’m more worried about this thing causing a fire on Applejack’s orchard,” I said. “Besides, I owe that jerk some payback for earlier.” Flitter managed a small giggle at this.

“He’s kind of cute by the way,” She said, grinning broadly at me. I facehoofed. “You have some explaining to do later missy!” She said, and hit the air, soaring off towards Fluttershy’s cottage. I stood and took another look over at the menacing storm, its rapid growth dwarfing the damage Thunderlane had done, which was significant. Bracing myself, I pushed off and sped along, heading for the notch in the ill tempered cloud formation. I could see Thunderlane at the very edge of the beast, trying his very best to dissipate what clouds he could while the storm did its best to defy him. I raced past the stallion, surprising him as I bucked into one of the storm clouds, blasting it into harmless mist.

“Chase?!” Thunderlane called out. Since when did I have a nickname? I thought, snorting at the buck.

“I’m good. We need to get this thing under control. Just like earlier, if we work together we can do this!” I shouted back. The wind had begun to pick up as we hovered on the precipice of the storm.

“I… Alright, but I wanted to tell you something!” He replied. “I’m sorry! For earlier. It was rude of me to embarrass you like that. I just wanted to tell you that’s all.”

“Is this really the time?!” I asked, groaning. Shut up you, he’s apologizing! The voice in the back of my head said. The stallion nodded and I facehooved. “Fine. I’m… I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have just left you there, and I should have been a little nicer to you. When we get out of this… do you want to just start over?” He grinned.

“Deal. Friends?” He said, extending a hoof. I smiled and took it in return, shaking it.

“Friends,” I said, before turning back to the storm. “You ready?” He nodded and we took wing once more, heading right into the heart of the beast.


“Of all the stupid things you could have done, you had to go and get a storm cloud?!” Rainbow Dash yelled. I looked down at my forehooves and sighed. We were sitting inside Dash’s office, being thoroughly berated over the incident at Sweet Apple Acres. Shortly after Thunderlane and I entered the storm to try and clear up what we could, Dash showed up with Flitter and few of the other weather pegasi. Together we managed to completely get rid of the thing. Nopony truly knew which of the three of us had moved that storm cloud in, but I had a sneaking suspicion it had been me while I was lost in thought. If it hadn’t been for Thunderlane, we’d have ended up being hurt badly or worse. Thankfully, Applejack wasn’t angry about the mix-up, since none of her trees had been destroyed during the incident. All three of us apologized to the country mare, but she waved us off. From her perspective, it made sense. We had handled the problem, we were honest about it, and her crops had gotten the rain they needed.

Dash on the other hand, was completely ballistic over the incident. It was times like this that I wished she wasn’t my boss. Dash always expected the best from her team no matter what, and mistakes like this one were not well received with the cyan mare. Thunderlane and I had been brought into her office afterwards for a little talk.

“Look, I know that you two had some sort of… run in this morning. I heard it from Rarity when I was over at Fluttershy’s,” Dash continued. I gawked. Of course Rarity would be the one to gossip a little about things going on around town, especially if it had to do with her idea of ‘romantic ventures.’ I just hadn’t considered that it would get around so fast. I wondered who else Rarity had told. I groaned when I realized that the unicorn had probably been watching my little kiss as well. “Is this going to be a problem for you two?”

“N-n-no Rainbow Dash. Definitely not,” I stammered, stealing a glance over the stallion. He was silent. I sighed and looked back up at the cyan mare.

“Good. I don’t want to have to bench either of you, with how busy we’re all going to be in the next few weeks,” Dash said, checking her clock for the time. “Look, it’s almost time to head over to Twi’s place for the meeting. Why don’t you two go get yourself dried off before you come over?” She reached into her locker, bringing out a nice warm towel and tossed it my way. I caught the towel with my teeth, laying it over my back to wait until we got outside. I nodded, nudging Thunderlane in the shoulder. He slinked out of Rainbow’s office, ears low and mane flat. I said my thanks to Dash as I left, the cyan mare nodding and winking at me. What is it with the winking?! I thought once more, sighing as I stepped up next to a very sullen looking Thunderlane.

“Wow, she was not happy,” he muttered, earning a chuckle from me.

“You’ll get used to it. She’s pretty competitive, but she’s got her heart in the right place,” I replied as we exited the Weather Office’s front doors. Flitter was waiting outside for us. She had already dried off, and had a bright smile on her face. I smiled in return and moved in, giving her a spine-crushing hug.

“You sure you’re alright?” I asked as I let her go.

“Oh stop. Seriously, I’m fine Sis, really!” Flitter replied, chuckling. I sighed.

“I’m just glad you’re okay. Hey look, start heading on over to the library for the big meeting. I’ll be over there shortly, alright?” I said. Flitter nodded and looked over at Thunderlane.

“Thank you for getting me and my sister out of there,” she said, giving the stallion a quick peck on the cheek. He chuckled nervously.

“N-no problem,” he replied. Flitter grinned and winked at me. Why do they keep doing that?! I thought. Before she turned and took off, she mouthed at me You’ve got some explaining to do later. I groaned as she began heading towards the opposite end of town to where Twilight Sparkle lived in the town library. I looked at the stallion beside me. He was waving bye to Flitter with a smile on his face.

“Hey umm… you know I never did get to thank you properly for saving my life,” I said, grinning.

“Oh, that’s… that’s okay. I’m just glad you’re alright is all,” He said, looking away for the moment. I reached up and pulled his face towards mine and planted my lips on his for a brief moment. It was…awkward, warm, and a little wet. But it felt kind of nice. While I’d never been one for this romantic hullabaloo, there was just something about this buck that I couldn’t place a hoof on. He certainly wasn’t difficult to look at, and while he was cocksure and a bit of a jerk, he was genuinely a nice guy deep down. I pulled away, blushing fiercely at what I had just done. Thunderlane on the other hand, had his eyes closed and was still engrossed in the now non-existent kiss.

“See you at the meeting?” I said, breaking him out of his stupor and back to reality. He had a goofy grin on his face. I laughed a bit at how silly he was being. He rubbed the back of his neck nervously as I took the towel to begin drying my wings off.

“S-s-sure thing Chase. I’ll see you there,” he said. I took the towel and ran it over my wings, feeling a little bit better as they began to dry off. I grinned and tossed the towel at him, hitting him square in the face with it.

“See you Thunder,” I said as I stretched and shook my wings out and took to the sky, heading towards the library. As I flew, I pondered what my life might be like with the cocky stallion at my side. He’d already proven himself to be a loyal friend in the face of danger. I sighed, a deep pit forming in the middle of my stomach as I came to a harsh realization. One that I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to address at the moment, but couldn’t get out of my head for the life of me.

Am I falling in love with him?


Next Time!

Training begins! Will Cloudchaser be able to keep her wing power up and stay in the game? Will Thunderlane do anything else but cough? Will Snowflake show up and say “YEAAHH!!”? Find out next time on “Flying Through the Storm Chapter 2: Training Hard”!

Chapter 2: Training Hard

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Flying Through the Storm

Chapter 2: Training Hard

As I soared towards the library, the only thing that kept popping into my head was the silver-haired stallion that had saved my life earlier that day. I couldn’t stop thinking about Thunderlane. I groaned as I reached the Books and Branches Library, setting down in front of it. It looked like the meeting had already begun and they were playing some sort of film. I could even hear the cheesy music outside of the massive treehouse. Quietly I pushed open the door and stepped inside. All of Ponyville’s pegasi were in attendance, and I knew the moment I saw the film that was playing onscreen that I had been right about what was coming next. Ponyville had been chosen to provide the water to Cloudsdale this year, which meant I was in for a world of hurt.

“Cloudchaser!” A soft voice whispered at me. I looked over, catching sight of Flitter in the crowd. Silently I made my way over to my sister, who smiled.

“You’re late,” she whispered. I felt my ears heat as I blushed, seeing her expression turn into a silly grin. “Ohhh… I know why,” She teased. I mouthed Shut up! at her and she giggled softly. I looked past my silly sister and scanned the crowd for a moment. A flash of silver mane a few rows ahead caught my eye as I spotted Thunderlane. The stallion was standing next to another pegasi I knew as Blossomforth. She too was relatively new to Ponyville, having only lived in the town for a few months. Thunderlane had a goofy grin on his from what I could see. Thankfully, he hadn’t noticed me yet. I stared, trying to figure out why he was still on my mind. I mean yeah… he saved my life and all, but is that all it was? A minor infatuation with my lifesaver? I couldn’t place a hoof on it, to be quite honest. I didn’t have much more time to consider it before the film cut out with a crunch, followed by the flapping of broken film. Spike, Twilight Sparkle’s dragon assistant, chuckle nervously as he tried to repair the projector. The sharp voice of Rainbow Dash cut through the air over the young dragon.

“So, here’s the scoop. Cloudsdale has chosen our very own Highland Reservoir as a source of the rainwater they need for all of Equestria,” The rainbow-maned mare began. “And you know what that means.” Yes… I really do, I thought dryly. “It means it’s up to Ponyville’s pegasi to bring that water up to Cloudsdale.” The pegasi in the crowd began to murmur excitedly amongst themselves at the news. Flitter turned to me and grinned.

“Isn’t it exciting? Mom and Dad always said that rainy season was fun!” She said brightly. I chuckled.

“Right. Fun,” I said darkly as Dash continued her announcements.

“Not only that, but Spitfire, the captain of the Wonderbolts, will be here to oversee the water transfer and record our top tornado windspeed,” she said. Spitfire! I thought. I was a huge fan of the Wonderbolts, and a chance to meet the flying team’s captain was one I was not going to miss, no matter how much pain I had to go through to do it. “Now last year, Fillydelphia broke the windspeed record with a top speed of nine hundred and ten wing power. But I think we can do better.” Of course you do Rainbow. Of course you do, I thought, sighing. This really was going to be a painful experience. “I think we can get a top speed of over a thousand!” The crowd began its excited chatter once more as Rainbow Dash paused for a moment to let the idea sink in.

“If… each and every pony trains, and trains hard to get their wing power numbers up!” She finished. More murmurs echoed from the crowd and I heard a badly-muffled cough from in front of me. I stopped for a moment, realizing it was Thunderlane. My mind flashed back to the storm. He had gotten quite drenched just like I had, if not worse. I hope he’s not getting a cold or something, I thought for a moment, before shaking the thought away. It seemed that Dash had heard his little cough and decided to call him out on it.

“That coughing better be from a popcorn kernel, Thunderlane. Nopony’s getting sick on my watch,” she said. Thunderlane looked nervous at this, and tried to hide himself amidst the crowd. I made a mental note to rib him about it later. Later. I kept thinking about that concept. What happens next? I thought. What if… what if it’s true? What if I am falling for him? He seems like a nice enough guy… I mean yeah, he’s cocky and a jerk, but… he saved my life didn’t he? The pit of my stomach rolled, and I ended up ignoring the big cheering section at the end of Dash’s speech. What if… what if he doesn’t like me back like that? I tried to shake off the thoughts as the meeting ended and I walked out of the library with Flitter, doing my best to keep up the appearance that I was happy and not conflicted with thoughts about love and romance. Somehow, I could tell that Flitter noticed though. She kept giving me this knowing look and I knew for certain I was going to be grilled later with tons of questions. We had just stepped back onto the main street of Ponyville proper when a voice gave me pause.

“Chase!” Thunderlane shouted as he flew up behind Flitter and me. “Hey, you made it to the meeting then? Pretty exciting stuff right?” I snorted.

“Nothing surprising, really. I kind of figured that’s what was going on,” I replied. “You gonna be alright with your widdle cough, hot shot?” I poked him in the side with my forehoof, getting some interesting looks from my sister. Thunderlane just grinned.

“Yeah I’ll be alright. You girls going to be alright getting home by yourselves?” He asked, trying to appear all big and macho. I decided to have a little fun with him.

“Oh I don’t know, maybe we’ll need a big. Strong. Rain Weather Pony to get us there,” I said, emphasizing each word and turning on the saucy eyes as best as I could, causing the stallion to blush from ear to ear. I burst into laughter at his expression, trying to combine befuddlement, shock and pride, all capped with a blush to the tips of his ears.

“Hey now, s’not funny,” he stammered nervously. I winked at him and looked at Flitter. Hah! My turn to wink now! I thought.

“Come on Flits, let’s leave lover boy here in the dust,” I said. My sister shot a sheepish grin at the stallion and waved to him as we flew off. We arrived within a few minutes and walked inside our cozy little home. Flitter was being unusually quiet. I knew I was in for it. Sure enough, as soon as we got in the house, she pounced on me.

“So… tell me about Thunderlane,” she cooed. I groaned.

“Nothing to tell Flits. Come on, it’s getting late, and I’m dead tired from earlier,” I replied, beginning to head upstairs. Flitter cheerfully bounced up the stairs behind me. I pulled off my covers and plopped into bed. Flits slid into the bedroom and gently landed on her bed. I reached up and turned the light out. After a few moments of comfortable silence, I heard Flitter get up and flutter across the room, landing next to me.

“So… you gonna tell me or not?” She said quietly. I groaned loudly.

“Oh for Celestia’s sake Flitter!” I shouted, nearly sending my sister out of the bed with fright. I reached up past her and turned the light back on. “You’re not going to give up on this until I tell you are you?” She grinned and shook her head. Of course not, I thought. “Alright, fine. I’ll tell you.”

“He seems like a nice guy. How’d you meet him?” She asked, getting a pillow to sit on while we had our little ‘girl’ talk. I sighed, and began to tell Flitter about the cloud clearing that morning over at Carousel Boutique. I danced around a few details, but I mentioned about our little competition. Flitter looked at me curiously when I finished.

“You’re not telling me everything Sis,” She said, more of a statement than a question. I glared at her. “Oh come on, I tell you about Winter all the time, and the first time you get interested in a stallion you won’t tell me anything!”

“I’m not interested in him Flits,” I said. Heat began rising in my cheeks and I knew Flitter could tell I was lying.

“Please. You’re blushing like a filly Sis,” she replied, continuing to read my expression like an open book. Her eyes widened. “You kissed him didn’t you?” I blushed harder. “I knew it! You did!”

“Okay okay, I did. Happy now?” I said. “Didn’t mean anything. I… He wanted a kiss if he won our little competition. That’s all it was.” Flitter’s eyes lit up.

“Aww… that’s so romantic. And then he dashingly saved your life just like that! Oh, I bet you kissed him after that right?” She said excitedly. I glared at her some more. “Oh. You did.” I nodded solemnly. “Do you think he likes you too?”

“I… I don’t know Flits. I’m not even sure how I feel about him. I mean… he apologized for being a jerk and all, and we made a deal to start over and be friends…” I explained. Flitter sighed and reached over, pulling me into a hug. I leaned into my sister’s embrace and smiled.

“You know, it was a brave thing he did saving us both. I’m glad you met him,” she said softly. I sighed in return. The only thing I could think at that moment was Me too Flits. Me too. We stayed like that for several minutes, not saying anything else. Flitter ultimately decided that she was tired and that I was the best pillow she could ask for as she dozed off to sleep in my forelegs. I smiled and nuzzled her cheek, and fell into blissful sleep myself.



The alarm woke me once more, almost as if it were mocking me. I grunted a bit and tried to move, realizing that my sister was still lying over top of me. Blearily, I stared up at the blaring clock, thankful that it wasn’t showing us how late we were. I could deal with this. I nudged Flitter to try to get her to wake up, but she wasn’t having any of it. I groaned and shoved my sister off the bed to the floor. She jolted awake instantly, crying out as she hit the hardwood floor of our bedroom.

“What’s that?!” She shouted before she realized where she was at. I looked down at her blankly.

“Time to get up Flits,” I said. Flitter shot me a meek grin, pushing her rump up off the floor.

“Oh, morning Sis. You sleep alright?” She asked. I nodded.

“Yeah. As well as anypony else I guess,” I replied. Truth be told, I probably hadn’t slept that good in ages. My muscles felt very refreshed and my mind was a bit clearer. Even the thought of a certain silver-haired pegasus didn’t seem to faze me. “We’d better get going. I bet Dash will be surprised to see us in on time for a change.”

Our morning routine went as normal. A light breakfast and packing of our lunches later and we were off, headed towards the monolithic form of the Ponyville Weather Office. Training for rainy season had been scheduled to begin the following Monday. Today was Friday, and I was certain we’d be using the weekend to prepare for the water move. I wasn’t sure what Rainbow Dash had planned for us, but I knew it was going to be rough. Dash never did anything half way. It was all or nothing to her. The market was the busiest today, everypony stocking up for the weekend ahead. As we sailed overhead, we could see Applejack dutifully moving her apples into her cart as we passed by. I smiled. In the scant few months that we had been living here I had never seen her take a day off once. She was truly one of the hardest working ponies in the entire town.

We arrived at work a few moments later and punched in our timecards right on time. It was quite amusing to see the look on Rainbow Dash’s face when she sauntered into the office and saw that we were already heading out for assignments. I looked down at my card and smiled. I had been assigned to handle clouds again for the morning, this time over at Twilight’s library. It also looked like I was going to have a partner for the morning. I sighed and silently hoped that it would be Thunderlane, but then I remembered he was supposed to be off for a few days. I motioned to Rainbow Dash while Flitter was off looking up her assignment for the day, asking her about the silver-haired stallion.

“Oh. I asked him to come in to work on that rain shower, but he’s off again until training on Monday. He’s a bit of a slacker, but he’s good with rainy weather,” she replied. “Seeing as how his family needs the extra money, he accepted and came in.”

“Huh. Well alright then, do you know who I’m working with this morning then?” I asked. Dash nodded and turned to her list of assignments.

“Let’s see here, looks like you’ve got Ditzy helping you out,” she said. I jumped for joy at this. I really truly loved hanging out with the walleyed mare. While some ponies in the town made fun of her occasionally because of her clumsy nature, her heart was in everything she did. Her current stint as a weather pony was actually the second of her two jobs she worked, all to support her daughter Dinky. I nodded.

“Thanks Dash,” I said. I was about to leave when the door opened and Winter Storm entered. The snowy white pegasus stallion was immediately attacked by my sister, who hopped up next to him. Her expression was a mixture of admiration and awe.

“Hiya Winter!” She said brightly. “Having a good morning?”

“Oh, hey there Flitter. Yeah, you?” The stallion replied. I rolled my eyes. Either he had rocks for brains or he just flat out could not see how crazy my sister was about him.

“So looks like we’re working together this morning,” Flitter said. Winter nodded as he pulled out his assignment card.

“Looks like. Isn’t that like the sixth time this week?” He said blankly.

“Well you know me. I lose count of things so easily!” Flitter said, chuckling nervously. Smooth, I thought, grinning.

“Well, you ready to get going then? Plenty of work to do after all,” Winter said. Flitter nodded.

“Yeah, let me just get my things and I’ll be right behind you,” she said. The stallion left the room, leaving me and Flitter alone for a moment. I giggled.

“Flitter, when are you just going to ask him out already?” I said. Her face went bright red.

“You… you think I should?” She said. I nodded.

“Come on, you’ve been pining over him for what… months now? He’s not even gonna notice that you’re there if you don’t do something about it,” I said. Flitter sighed.

“I just… he’s so cool,” she said, her eyes turning dreamy. I tapped her on the shoulder.

“Equestria to Flitter, come in Flitter. You’re gonna be late for your assignment,” I said. Flitter made a ‘meep’ noise and grabbed her things, zooming out of the office. I sighed, considering my own romantic troubles. Flitter had it easy. At least Winter wasn’t completely oblivious to her feelings for him. It was obvious to anypony who paid even the tiniest bit of attention to my silver-maned sister. Thunderlane on the other hand… did I really know how I felt about him? I shook my head and shrugged off the thoughts. It was time to get to work.

I stepped out of the Weather Office and took off towards the Books and Branches library, considering what my boss had said about Thunderlane. Why did his family need the extra money? I knew I shouldn’t pry. They probably had some hardships of their own, much like a lot of ponies had. As the library came into view, I scanned the skies for a familiar grey pegasus. My eyes lit up when I saw her. She was sitting on a cloud, her golden eyes gleaming as she caught glimpse of me.

“Cloudchaser!” She cried out, nearly falling off the cloud in her exuberance. I giggled as I flew up to her.

“Good Morning, Ditzy! How are you today?” I said.

“I’m doing alright, what about you?” The blonde-maned pegasus replied.

“Oh you know. This and that. You hear about our little rain shower escapade yesterday?” I said as we began our work for the morning. It was still as boring and tedious as ever, but with Ditzy there, it seemed like I could do it all day and not really care.

“I sure did! I’m glad you two are alright,” Ditzy said as she flew upside down and bucked into another cloud. I chuckled at this. Ditzy was also the only pegasus in Ponyville that I knew that could fly in such erratic patterns and actually know where she was going.

“Thanks. I sort of have Thunderlane to thank for that. If it weren’t for him, Flitter and I probably would have been toasted marshmallows,” I said jokingly. Ditzy’s already bright eyes widened a bit.

“Oh, I know him. I did a few jobs with him before they stopped letting me work with storm clouds,” she said.

“Really? Do you know anything about him? I only just met him yesterday,” I inquired, trying to get some information about the stallion out of the walleyed mare.

“I don’t know much. He has a little brother by the name of Rumble. He and Dinky have played together a few times since they moved here. Nice kid,” Ditzy replied, kicking another cloud into nothingness. I nodded.

“I see,” I said, thinking about what the mare had said. Continued thoughts of the silver-haired stallion danced in the back of my mind. They pervaded my thoughts so much that I almost didn’t hear Ditzy asking me a question.

“What’s that Ditz?” I said, cocking my head at the blonde mare.

“I asked why you were so curious about him,” she said. Uh oh, I thought as my blush revealed my true intentions to the other pegasus. She grinned widely. “Ohh… that’s why. I see. You like him don’t you?”

“No!” I shouted reactively. “I mean, I don’t know alright. We had some uh… interaction yesterday and now I don’t know what to feel.” Ditzy reached over and placed a hoof on my shoulder.

“It’s alright. I understand. I won’t say anything more about it alright?” She said. I smiled and nodded. Ditzy always seemed to know just the right things to say. I looked over the sky, now devoid of clouds.

“Thanks Ditzy. I really appreciate that. So… you excited for this whole rainy season deal?” I asked, changing the subject as quickly as possible. Ditzy nodded exuberantly.

“Sure am. Knowing Rainbow Dash, we’ll be certain to break that top wing power record!” She exclaimed as we soared towards the ground, landing next to the library. We decided to make our way back slowly to the office, since we had finished so quickly and lunch wasn’t for another hour at least. A quick trip through the market with my friend was just what I needed.

“Yeah. I’m sure it’ll be rough though,” I said, thinking of the coming weeks and how much my wings were going to be sore from all the flying. Ditzy merely shrugged off this concern.

“It’ll be fine. I’m just glad to be a part of it. I tell you though, I’m more worried about Fluttershy than anypony else. Did you see her last night?” She said. I shook my head as we made our way into the town square. “Oh. She was positively all out of it. I think she’s frightened. She never has been a very strong flier.” I nodded. I only knew Fluttershy in passing in that she was a close friend of Rainbow Dash; however in my interactions with her I knew that she was almost completely ground-bound. The timid mare preferred to be rooted solidly to the earth.

We arrived back at the office within the hour and I bid goodbye to Ditzy as she flew off towards the mail office for her other job as a mail courier. Taking a seat in the office lounge, I pulled my lunch out, and began eating my apple while I waited for Flitter to show up. A few minutes later, my sister fluttered her way into the lounge, a bright smile on her face. I waved as she sat down next to me.

“Heya Sis, what’s got you so happy?” I asked as she pulled out her lunch, which happened to be a daisy sandwich. She grinned.

“You are not going to believe the morning I had!” She exclaimed, almost as if she had been waiting all morning to tell me her news.

“Oh?” I said, feigning some measure of interest. Usually any time Flitter had something really exciting to talk about it had something to do with how cute her bow looked that day or how interesting the clouds were.

“Winter Storm asked me out to dinner next Saturday!” She cried out loudly, startling several other weather pegasi who had been sitting in the lounge during lunch. I smiled at them nervously and waved down Flitter.

“Quiet down Sis,” I said urgently. Flitter smiled meekly as she plopped into her seat. “You’re serious? He asked you out?”

“Yep! Oh Cloudchaser, it was so romantic. We were clearing clouds together this morning and he wrote a little message in them to ask me,” she said dreamily staring off into space. I giggled and nudged her back to reality.

“Well, I’m very uh… happy for you Flits,” I replied. Flitter’s eyes lit up like diamonds as she stared back at me. Oh no. No no no no, don’t you dare get that look in your eyes! I thought as I knew what was coming next.

“I got it!” She nearly shouted again before realizing she was being too loud. She quieted down instantly. “Why don’t you ask Thunderlane to come with us? It could be like a double date!”

“What,” I said blankly. “No… No no no. Not happening sister. No ma’am.”

“Oh come on!” She said. “Why not? I can tell just by the way you were around him last night. You like him. If you don’t ask him out, some other pretty mare will.”

“This coming from the mare that was pining over one stallion for three months before he worked up the courage to ask her out? Not to mention a stallion who up until now almost completely ignored you?” I said flatly, deflating my sister’s spirit a little. “Sorry Flits, but not only that, it’s your first date. Shouldn’t it be something special for you two?” She cocked her head in thought.

“I guess. I dunno, I don’t think he’d mind. I’ll ask him later when I see him,” she said. “I just… I wanted to help you out, you know.” I giggled and grabbed Flitter into a small hug.

“And you know how much I appreciate that little Sis, but I keep telling you I don’t need that kind of help. It’s just… not that high on my priority list at the moment,” I said. It was true enough. Even with Thunderlane’s smile stuck in my head, and all this talk about relationships and mushy stuff wasn’t my thing. I just wanted music and good times, hanging out with m friends. Love didn’t really factor into any of that. “When it’s going to happen, it’ll happen.”

“Well, it may never happen if you don’t get off your rump and make it happen,” Flitter said. I sighed.

“Do I need to repeat what I said about you pining for Winter Storm? Because that was about you, you know,” I said.

“Alright, I get what you mean. Sorry for bringing it up. But just… think about it alright? It wouldn’t necessarily have to be a date really. I mean you guys are friends now right? Could be just two friends hanging out,” she chattered, trying to put a spin on the whole situation that might be acceptable to me.

“I… I guess so,” I said, thinking back to yesterday and my deal with Thunderlane, to start over and work things out as friends. It would give you a pretty good chance to get to know him better, The voice in the back of my head said. I sighed in defeat. “Alright, I’ll ask him on Monday before training.”

“Yay!” Flitter shouted, drawing a few more irritated stares from the other pegasi in the lounge. She looked at them apologetically. “Sorry…” She said before she drifted back into her seat, thinking of nothing but a certain snow-white pegasus. I finished my lunch, the instant oatmeal fairly tasty and filling. As I dropped the bowl into the bin, I glanced up at the clock. Lunch was just about over. Time to get back to work. I picked up my stuff and set it back into my saddlebags.

“Flits. Time to get going to our assignments,” I said, nudging my sister in the side. She snapped back to reality and nodded, picking up her things as well and following me back into the main office. I punched my time in and grabbed my assignment card for the afternoon. Afternoon assignments were the best. By lunch time, most of the cloud cover had been taken care of for the day, so afternoon assignments usually dealt with very special things like rain showers, winds, and other types of weather. It was also good because there usually wasn’t much work to do at all, so many times a lot of us got to go home early simply because there wasn’t enough left to do for the day. I sighed as I looked down at the card. No such luck today though, I thought, reading the index card with my assignment printed on it. Apparently I was scheduled to make an afternoon commute to Cloudsdale to pick up some equipment for the upcoming rainy season training. Joy is me, I thought. I showed the card to Flitter.

“Looks like you can run home without me tonight Sis. I’m gonna be home a little later than normal,” I said. She nodded as she went off on her own afternoon assignment, most of which had to do with simple cloud maintenance over near Carrot Top’s place. Some weather ponies have all the luck I suppose, I thought as I grabbed a supply cart and took off towards Cloudsdale. Within the hour I arrived at the grand city of the pegasi. Its bright and shiny clouds were a testament to the ingenuity that we pegasi had cultivated for centuries. Columns of pure white clouds lined the streets, which were obviously also cloudstuff, while off in the distance the Cloudiseum stood, a massive monument among the already impressive city. I looked again down at my index card and realized that the address that I was to pick the equipment up at was the Wonderbolts Headquarters. I squealed with joy at this. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all! I thought as I sped through town towards the familiar gold lightning bolt that adorned the building belonging to the famous flying team. I touched down and unhooked the supply cart just outside and trotted into the main lobby. The receptionist, who looked to be quite bored, looked up at me with blank eyes.

“Can I help you?” She asked shortly. I smiled meekly and handed her the equipment list.

“I’m from Ponyville’s Weather Team. Here to pick up equipment for the rainy season training,” I said smiling. The receptionist nodded and set the card down.

“One moment,” she said, standing and exiting the lobby through a door behind her and leaving me alone in the quiet lobby. I picked a chair out and sat, twiddling my hooves as I waited for her to return. Well. Okay, maybe this isn’t as exciting as I envisioned, I thought as I stared at the various posters that adorned the lobby walls. At least there’s some cool stuff to look at. Everything from recruitment posters to tour posters lined the four walls. A massive trophy case sat on the far end, filled with numerous awards not only for competition but for service to the crown of Equestria. As I looked at the memorabilia, I found my thoughts moving towards Thunderlane once more. I sighed, tapping myself in the side of my head with one of my front hooves. Why was I so hung up over this? Did that kiss really mean that much? My mind swam with possibilities of what my life might be like if I just let myself give in to these feelings. I groaned audibly in frustration. I just met the guy! I thought. This is just way too fast. I don’t even know anything about him, let alone what kind of mares he likes. He probably doesn’t like me anyways. I should just give up thinking that maybe Cloudchaser could get a guy.

A tapping on my side broke me out of my self-defeating thoughts. I looked up for a moment and then did a complete double take. A light orange pegasus mare with a mane like wildfire stood before me. She had a smile on her face. I had to close my eyes to be sure that I hadn’t fallen asleep or something and was dreaming. I opened my eyes again, seeing the mare still standing there. Her expression changed to one of confusion. I blinked. Spitfire of the Wonderbolts was standing in front of me!

“Miss? You’re here to pick up the equipment for Ponyville correct?” She said quite politely. I stammered to get out my answer. Spitfire chuckled. “Sorry for startling you. I get that quite often.”

“S-S-sorry,” I managed to say. “The equipment. Yes. Ponyville. That’s me. Yep.” To say I was nervous was a bit of an understatement. I knew that Spitfire was going to be taking an active interest in the rainy season, but I didn’t know it would be this active! I rose to my hooves shakily.

“Well then. Follow me. We’ll get everything loaded into your cart for you. We’ve got your goggles and things you’ll need for the actual event,” she said, motioning for me to follow behind. I stepped in line and trotted along, not wanting to say anything that would be too embarrassing. This was Spitfire after all! The orange mare chuckled as she must have seen my nervousness creeping up into my expression.

“Are you alright? Looks like you need to relax a bit,” she said, breaking me out of my stupor. She smiled once more. “Say, you look kind of familiar. Do I know you?”

“I… I don’t know that you do ma’am. I’m just a Ponyville Weather pony after all,” I said. The mare scrunched up her face and stared at me for a moment.

“You really do remind me of somepony. Wait a minute. Are your parents Sky Chaser and Stormy Winds?” Spitfire said. My eyes popped out of my head in complete embarrassment. I meeped nervously.

“They… they’re my mom and dad yes,” I replied. Spitfire’s eyes lit up.

“That’s right! I’ve met your parents before. They’re really nice. Very hard working weather ponies,” she said. “So you’re their daughter huh? What’s your name?”

“C-C-Cloudchaser ma’am,” I said.

“No need to call me ma’am Cloudchaser. Just call me Spitfire alright? We’re here by the way. Why don’t you help me start getting this stuff loaded up?” Spitfire replied happily. We had arrived at a back room where a large amount of equipment was neatly stacked into organized piles. A push cart lay off to the side. Spitfire grabbed the cart and began loading goggles, whistles, and other equipment such as wing weights onto it. I grabbed a stack myself at her instruction and began setting them onto the cart, feeling a little bit surer of myself around the celebrity. Flitter was not going to believe this when I got home! We were roughly halfway done loading the cart up before Spitfire spoke again.

“So… when I saw you in the lobby there, you looked a little distraught, Cloudchaser,” she said, turning to me directly. “That’s sort of why I came out instead of letting one of the others take care of you. Figured you might want somepony to talk to. Am I right?”

“I… I’m fine really. Just with this rainy season coming up I’ve been pretty stressed,” I said. “Just worried we won’t be able to get that water up here is all.” Spitfire grinned knowingly.

“That’s a lie and you know it as well as I do. I don’t have a doubt in my mind that you Ponyville pegasi won’t make it. After all, you’ve got Rainbow Dash leading you, you should be fine,” she said. “Why don’t you tell me what’s really on your mind? Or I can keep guessing if you’d like.” I sighed heavily. Here was somepony willing to just listen to me about this whole Thunderlane business. Somepony who I could talk to without being poked fun at like my sister or turned into the weekly gossip like Rarity. I drew another sigh and began, explaining the events of the previous day and my meeting with Thunderlane, and how he saved our lives from the storm. I mentioned my sister’s insane idea of the double date and finished up to today. By the time I was done I felt myself feel a little more at home with the orange mare, like I could talk to her about anything. Spitfire smiled.

“Well you’re right about one thing. He definitely sounds like a jerk,” she said.

“I know right?” I replied. She chuckled.

“But here’s what I think. I think you should go for it,” the orange mare said. I started to protest but she cut me off with a motion of her hoof. “Now now, just hear me out alright. You say you don’t know how you feel about him and I get that. But what if you never find out? What if he turns out to be the one for you? Your special somepony. Ponies just like you get this chance every day of their lives and they choose to ignore it. You owe it to yourself to find out for sure. And if it doesn’t work out, you may still find yourself with a new, close friend out of the whole thing.”

“But what if he doesn’t like me… like that? Won’t it be awkward then?” I said.

“Only if you choose to make it that way, sure,” she said. “But you should know where you two stand. I’m not saying you go off and tell him you love him or anything like that. Get to know the guy. The problem with most love at first sight relationships is that most ponies just dive into them without really knowing a thing or two about their partner. Go out on a few dates with the guy, hang out with him. Get to know him and his family. There’s bound to at least be a common interest there somewhere.” I looked away for a moment and then back to the fiery pegasus. She had a wide smile on her face.

“I… I see. I’ll think about it. How do you know so much about this stuff?” I asked.

“I’ve been there, Cloudchaser. There was a stallion I had my eye on for the longest time. I was too scared to pony up and tell him how I felt or even that I had any interest in him at all. Eventually he got married to some other mare, and I missed out. Funny sidestory to that, we’re still good friends to this day,” Spitfire said, before turning her face directly towards mine and staring at me deep into my eyes. “I don’t ever want to see that happen to anypony else ever again. You have an opportunity here Cloudchaser. Not just to forge what might possibly be a lifelong friendship, but also a chance to find love.” I nodded slightly, thinking on the mare’s words. She and I finished loading up the rest of the cart and once we were done we realized it was a little silly to carry all this stuff up front to just have to move it to another cart. Spitfire offered to send our cart back later and for me to just take the supply cart we had used. I flew away from the Wonderbolts Headquarters, pulling the borrowed cart behind me, my mind awhirl with possibility. Spitfire had seen me off personally, giving her regards to my parents and Rainbow Dash along with a message for the latter to let her know when she would be in town for the tornado event.

As Ponyville came into view, I had already gotten lost in my thoughts about what Spitfire had said. Maybe she was right. Maybe… just maybe there could be something there. And like she had said, maybe I just needed to find out for myself instead of wondering and waiting. I dropped the supply cart back at the Weather Office and locked it up in our own supply room. I walked past Rainbow Dash’s office and dropped the note from Spitfire in her mailbox. As I punched out, I took one last look at the office I wouldn’t see for the next week due to our training regimen.

The flight home was uneventful to say the least. My mind still buzzed with the idea of actually asking Thunderlane to hang out with me. As my home came into view, I noticed the lights were still on. Flitter must still be up, I thought as I landed and stepped into our cozy house. Flitter lay on the couch in our living room, her snoring indicating that she had tried to wait up for me. I smiled and picked my twin up from the soft cushions, carrying her along on my back upstairs to bed. Carefully I deposited the sleeping mare onto her bed. I gave her a kiss on her forehead and muttered “Good night Sis.” before hopping into my own bed. Sleep came quickly, along with dreams of a certain silver-haired pegasus who seemed to have captured more of me than I could ever admit.


The rest of the weekend flew by and before I knew it, the dreaded monster known as Monday had arrived. And that particular Monday was going to be even worse than a normal one, because it was the day we started training. Flitter and I were up in a flash, faster than I think we ever had been. We made our way along the wind to the park, where Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle had set up a track and field for the pegasi to train in the art of wing power. I cringed at this term, dreading what my wing power might turn out to be. We arrived right on time, along with most of the rest of Ponyville’s weather pegasi. There were also the non-weather pegasi that lived in Ponyville. Every pegasi in town was expected to be a part of this event, simply because the extra bodies would help us achieve our goal that much faster. Flitter giggled at me as I tried to fuss with my mane. I had officially told her over the past weekend that I would ask Thunderlane to just hang out. Flitter, being her normal awe inspired self, had naturally taken to giggling like a girly girl anytime the stallion’s name was mentioned. Naturally, I threatened to stuff her in a tree like Fluttershy had been hiding in the other night if she didn’t quiet down. That didn’t work. I groaned as I brushed it back and left it there. My bed mane was atrocious and it almost never seemed to come out right.

As we landed in the park, I scanned the crowd for Thunderlane. I might as well do this now so I don’t chicken out, I thought, remembering Spitfire’s advice on taking chances. Come to think of it, I haven’t even seen him since the other night. I hope everything’s alright. Finally I located him. He was standing over next to Blossomforth, chatting idly with her. I cringed at the thought of this. Was he interested in her? I couldn’t tell. They seemed to be just chatting friendly-like. Standing next to him was a younger colt with a light grey coat and a dark grey mane and tail combination. Thunderlane looked over and locked eyes with me for a moment. I felt something… surge within me. Like there was some sort of connection there that I couldn’t see but feel. The stallion smiled and waved at me to come over. I flapped my wings in response and landed next to the dark grey pegasus.

“Heya Chase. Have a good weekend?” He said with a friendly tone. I smiled.

“Pretty good weekend yeah. You?” I replied.

“We had a great weekend! We got to see the Wonderbolts!” The colt standing beside Thunderlane erupted. I could tell he had just been waiting to tell anypony about it.

“Oh really? And who might you be little guy?” I asked the colt. He grinned widely.

“I’m Rumble. Thunderlane’s my big bro,” he said. To be truthful, I nearly died from the cuteness. The pegasus colt was so adorable! I smiled knowingly up at Thunderlane. He chuckled.

“I uh… took him to Cloudsdale on Saturday to see the Wonderbolts show. He hasn’t stopped talking about it since then,” he said. See? He’s good with kids too! The voice in the back of my head screamed at me. Shut up so I can think! I thought back at it.

“Sounds like you had a fun time then,” I said. Rumble was zooming around us, happy as can be. I giggled at the little colt running by with his wings buzzing. He was so cute!

“Yeah, it was pretty cool,” he said. “Hey do you know Blossomforth by the way?” He indicated the white mare standing off to the side. I nodded and waved at her.

“Heya Blossom,” I said. She smiled brightly back. “We’ve met once or twice. I’m Cloudchaser.”

“Oh, nice to meet you. Thunderlane has mentioned you a few times,” she said. I glared at him.

“He has, has he?” I said. “Nothing too embarrassing I hope?” Blossomforth laughed.

“No, just said you were pretty cool to work with,” she said. Thunderlane’s face turned a deep crimson and he began to space out a bit. I poked him in the side, snapping his attention back to the situation at hand.

“Hehe, yeah sorry about that. Yeah, that’s all I said… yeah,” He replied. I rolled my eyes. A horn blared, indicating that Rainbow Dash was ready for us to get started. Blossomforth bid us goodbye and flew over to join her other friends to listen to Dash’s pre-training speech. Rumble bounced along after her. Thunderlane went to fly off himself, but I caught him with a hoof.

“Thunderlane?” I asked. Ok Cloudchaser, it’s now or never. You can do this! I thought. You can do it!

“Yeah Chase?” He said with a smile on his face. I started to speak but I couldn’t force the words I wanted to say out for some reason. Instead, I heard myself saying.

“Good luck with the training.” Thunderlane looked a little disappointed for a moment, an expression of confusion marking his face.

“Oh, well yeah you too Chase. I’ll catch you later alright?” He said. I nodded, turning away and flying back to join Flitter. Stupid stupid stupid! I thought angrily at myself. It’s so obvious that he doesn’t like me. I’m so stupid! I tried to keep my composure as I joined my sister, mostly since she was trying to get my attention to ask me how it went. I smiled and waved her off as I pointed to the center of the crowd, where Rainbow Dash stood.

“Alright Ponyville pegasi! Today’s the day we get started getting you all ready for rainy season. In just two weeks, we’re gonna have you all flying at maximum power and kicking butt! I want to thank you all for showing up today and helping us beat that wing power record. Are we ready?!” The rainbow maned mare shouted over the tops of the gathered pegasi. Cheers of excitement rolled up from the crowd. A particularly large and very muscular white pegasus leaped up proudly shouting “YEAAAAHHH!” at the top of his lungs. He then proceeded to bump heads with one of his buddies. Some ponies apparently get extremely pumped for this, I thought. Once Rainbow Dash had finished her speech, we began to separate ourselves into small groups, each of us working on various exercises. I started off with some simple stretches while Flitter began doing some more complicated ones. She was always really very good at physical activity. Me, I was laaaazy. Still, I figured I was doing something right when Rainbow Dash walked by and checked up on us.

“Stretch those glutes, Flitter! Nice flexibility Cloudchaser,” I heard Dash say. I smiled and nodded, continuing to do my stretching. “A… little too much flexibility, Blossomforth. Uh, somepony give Blossomforth a hoof.” I looked over in the direction Rainbow had been walking, seeing poor Blossomforth all wrapped up in herself. She had a bit of a panicked look on her face. I stopped, trotted over and began helping her untangle the mess of limbs she had gotten herself into. The white mare smiled as she took my hoof and pushed back to her feet. “Let’s see some faster trotting, Thunderlane!” I turned for a moment at the sound of his name. The stallion was trotting along hard, having picked up a burst of speed after Rainbow had shouted at him. He had a very determined look on his face, much like the look he had when he was facing down the rain storm. He trotted on by and I followed him with my eyes. Then I noticed it. The way that she was looking at him. Blossomforth was doing the exact same thing that I was. I realized with no uncertainty that I didn’t like one bit of it.

“Blossom,” I said flatly, breaking her out of her spell and forcing her to look at me.

“Yeah…?” She said. She still seemed to be a little woozy from her mix-up.

“I asked if you were alright,” I repeated, flatter than a pancake. A really, really flat pancake.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. No, I’m fine thank you. Got myself a little twisted up there for a moment,” she replied, smiling. Noticing that Rainbow Dash was suddenly conspicuously absent I decided to see if I could get a little information from Blossomforth.

“Well that’s good. Anytime. Hey I was gonna ask you earlier, but how did you and Thunderlane meet?” I said. Her eyes lit up at the sound of the stallion’s name.

“Oh, Thunder? We met at work actually. Well, sort of. I sort of bumped into him when I was doing some cloud-work back in Cloudsdale. I’m a little clumsy if you hadn’t noticed.” She giggled, and I nodded in response. “But yeah, I nearly took him out. He was so nice about the whole thing even though it was my fault. After I moved to Ponyville we kept in touch. I was actually the one who recommended him to come down here.”

“Interesting,” I said, motioning for her to follow me in a bit of a light jog. Might as well get some training in while we talk, I thought. If Dash comes back and sees we’re slacking off I won’t ever hear the end of it. “I thought you guys seemed a bit close. You and he ummm…” I trailed off. Blossomforth’s eyes widened when she realized what I was implying.

“Oh. Oh! Well, we went out a few times after we met, but then I had to move so we broke it off. I actually thought I might never see him again,” she said. I sighed. Of course. An ex-girlfriend! I thought with rage. Not only that, one that probably still holds a candle for him. “It wasn’t until I got a letter from him that I found that he was commuting all the way down to Ponyville.”

“Yeah, what’s up with that anyways?” I asked as we rounded the next corner of the track. A lot of the other pegasi were busy doing numerous other stretching and wing-up exercises that it really was just us out on the track.

“Well… I don’t know if I should tell you that really Cloudchaser. It’s kind of his business you know,” Blossomforth said. I nodded and sighed.

“You’re right. Sorry that I brought it up,” I replied. Blossomforth smiled.

“It’s alright. Hey, I was thinking about maybe going out to dinner tonight, just myself but I could use some company. Would you maybe be interested in hanging out?” She offered. I grinned at this. Good. This’ll be a good way to find out if she still has a thing for Thunderlane, I thought. I nodded.

“Sure, sounds great. I’ll let Flitter know I’ll be home late,” I said.

“Flitter, that your marefriend?” Blossomforth said, before putting her hooves to her mouth when she realized what she’d said, a deep blush forming on her face. I laughed. I guessed I could see how ponies could interpret it that way. We were both grown mares living together.

“No, Flitter’s my sister silly. That’s her over there,” I said as we rounded another corner. Flitter was busy trying to do some wing-ups, and they weren’t going too well. She plopped to the ground and waved at us as we passed.

“Ohmygosh, I’m so sorry about that. I just assumed…” Blossomforth said. I shrugged and waved her off.

“It’s alright. We live together, so I can see why some ponies might think that. Mom and Dad sent us down here on our own, and we really don’t make enough to afford our own places,” I replied.

“Oh, I see,” she said. “Well, I guess if she wants to come to, that would be fine. The more the merrier.”

“Alright, I don’t think that’ll be any problem,” I said. In the distance I could see Rainbow Dash trotting back into the park. Lurking behind her was her friend Fluttershy. I bid Blossomforth good bye and headed back to Flitter, who was standing next to Twilight Sparkle and some strange looking device. I looked at the lavender unicorn sitting next to it. I really didn’t know the mare herself, just tales of her accomplishments. Personal student of Princess Celestia, rescued Princess Luna from Nightmare Moon, defeated Discord, nearly destroyed the Grand Galloping Gala. In short, here was a living legend sitting next to us, with the adorable pudgy figure of her dragon assistant Spike. He was carrying a clipboard with a pencil and was muttering to himself as he wrote on the stack of paper attached to the board. My curiosity getting the better of me, I approached Twilight.

“What exactly does this machine do?” I asked the purple maned mare. Her eyes lit with joy. It was as if Hearth’s Warming Eve Morning had come and she had gotten her most favorite present in the entire world. Then she began to speak, and to be completely honest… I was pretty lost. Now I’m no dummy, but I couldn’t keep up with anything that Twilight Sparkle said whatsoever. It was just that high over my head. Luckily Flitter appeared to be having the same issue, so it wasn’t just me. She looked over at Spike and asking him instead. “Yeah. What exactly does this machine do?”

“It tells you how fast you’re flying and how strong your wings are,” he replied without missing a beat. A mixture of emotions washed over me at hearing this. One of these was enlightenment, as I was able to finally grasp what Twilight was trying to tell us. Another one of these was fear. My eyes widened, the fear kicking enlightenment out the door as it took over. I realized with no uncertainty that they were going to measure how fast we could fly so that they could tell who to cut and who to keep. What if I don’t fly fast enough?! I thought with panic. Better yet, what if Thunderlane sees that I can’t hack this? What will he think? As if right on cue, I heard a cough behind me from the stallion himself. He’s still coughing? What’s up with that? I thought. Before I could say anything about it, Twilight popped up from spot on the grass and lifted a can of aerosol disinfectant with her magic.

“Is that you again, Thunderlane? Please, we need to have a germ-free environment,” she said, spraying the stallion with the disinfectant. He winced visibly at this before protesting.

“It wasn’t me, it was Blossomforth,” he said motioning to the white mare behind him. Blossomforth merely giggled. I glared at him, my eyes nearly popping out of their skull. You jerk! Blaming your own cough on Blossomforth! I thought, feeling a pang of sympathy for the pegasus before I realized that in a sense she was my competition. Once again, before I could say anything, I was politely, and I use this term loosely, interrupted by Rainbow Dash.

“Don’t worry Twilight. Thunderlane’s just cooking up an excuse to spend tornado day in bed,” The cyan mare said as she landed next to Thunderlane. “Why don’t you get over here and be our first test flyer, Thunderlane?” The stallion nodded nervously as he moved to take his place on the track’s starting line. As he did, I heard another cough to my side and saw that it was Blossomforth. Wait, you too? I thought, feeling very confused about all of this. Why are you coughing? My attention turned to Thunderlane as he stretched out and revved his wings. The grey pegasus shot forth like a rocket, speeding around the track and soaring past the starting line in what seemed like no time at all. The blades of Twilight’s speed thingy device twirled about and a little arrow moved up on the side of it.

“We have nine point three wing power,” Twilight said, beaming. Every other pony cheered on Thunderlane, myself included, but inside I felt a deep pit in my stomach. I knew sooner or later it would be my turn. What would happen then? Could I keep up with the rest? Rainbow Dash gave a chuckle that interrupted my train of thought as she stepped up to the line herself.

“Not bad… not bad,” she said as she cracked her wing joints and began to rev her wings up. In a flash of color she was gone. Within mere seconds the cyan mare zoomed past the starting line, causing Twilight’s device along with every other pony in the vicinity to almost fall over. In fact, Twilight did. She shot up, her mane a bedraggled windblown mess as she exclaimed “Sixteen point five wing power!” Everypony cheered heartily for her, and I just knew she was soaking up the attention like a sponge. Dash flew above the crowd so everypony could see her.

“Now listen up! If each of you can get your numbers up to at least ten point zero wing power by the end of the week, we’ll no doubt set a new tornado speed record. We’ll be number one!” She shouted. The crowd began to cheer and my spirits dipped even further. Ten point zero wing power? How was going to even be able to do this? You’re kidding right? Please tell me you’re kidding, I thought. Somewhere in the back of my mind though, I knew she was not kidding, and that this was going to be the toughest two weeks of my entire life. I looked over at Thunderlane. The goofy stallion had one of his trademark grins on his face as he chatted with Blossomforth. A determined grin crossed my face as I realized what I was going to have to do.

I was going to have to be a better flier than Blossomforth could ever hope to be. Not just that, I was going to have to be the best of the best. I would work hard, harder than anypony else to show him that I could be the best. As I stood there, watching the other pegasi take their own turns at the track and their wing power being recorded by Twilight, a plan began to formulate in my head. This could work. I could just feel it in my bones. A whistle shot through the air, jolting me out of my thoughts as I realized I was being called in next. I glanced over at Flitter, who had yet to take her own turn, and smiled.

Two weeks. Two weeks to give it my all, and get my head in the game, I thought as I took my place at the starting line. I revved my wings up, and away I went.


Next Time!

Wing Power is the name of the game! Cloudchaser is ready to give it her all to win it. Will she be able to beat Blossomforth? Will Flitter survive her date with Winter Storm? Will Thunderlane ever get a clue? Find out next time on “Flying Through the Storm Chapter 3: Wing Power Hour”!

Chapter 3: Wing Power Hour

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Flying Through the Storm

Chapter 3: Wing Power Hour

“Six point three!”

Six point three! I thought. Really?! I groaned loudly, feeling very frustrated over my initial wing power results. I trotted over to Flitter and waited for the rest of the pegasi to get finished with their speed tests. Even that big muscle-bound pegasus with the tiny wings had a higher wing power than I did! Flitter skipped along happily with her measly five point zero score, looking rather pleased with herself. My ears perked up as I heard Blossomforth’s name being called. The white pegasus stepped up to the track and revved her wings, shooting forward in a blur of white. When all was said and done, Twilight Sparkle called out her results.

“Eight point zero!” She said happily as Spike marked down the number on his clipboard. I groaned even more, drawing a curious stare from Flitter. Sighing, I motioned for my sister to join me on the other side of the track, away from the rest of the group.

“You alright Sis? You seem frustrated,” Flitter said.

“You saw Blossomforth right?” I asked. She nodded as I continued. “Well, apparently she used to be his marefriend back in Cloudsdale.” Flitter’s eyes widened.

“Oh really? I knew it! I knew you liked him,” She said ecstatically. I waved her down, trying to keep her quiet so nopony would hear.

“Look, alright I admit it. He’s kind of cool, even if he is a bit of a jerk,” I said. “So yes, I kind of like him. And it seems Blossom still has a bit of a torch for the old lug.”

“So what are you gonna do?” Flitter asked. I sighed and then stared at her, grinning.

“I’m gonna beat her wing power score Flits. I’m gonna show him who the better flier, the better marefriend is.” I said, puffing my chest out proudly. Flitter laughed.

“Silly filly, that’s not how it works. But I can see you’re determined to do this,” She said. I giggled with her, thinking about my plan. Yes, I knew it was ludicrous and that it might not work, but if it did… then maybe it would impress him enough to sway him my way instead of Blossomforth’s. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that Fluttershy had been called to the line and was breezing along like a feather down the track. I couldn’t hold back a laugh at the irony. This was one pegasus I wouldn’t have to beat in wing power! Fluttershy looked panicked and scared of something. After she crossed the line, I thought I could hear Rainbow say “Point Five” to the shy yellow mare. I grimaced, realizing that my laughter might have been construed as being a bit mean as I watched the scene unfold. Fluttershy had burst into tears and run off, leaving Rainbow Dash standing there watching after her. Before I could say anything, I was interrupted by a feminine voice behind me.

“Cloudchaser?” Blossomforth asked. Flitter’s eyes widened as she looked over her shoulder. I turned and smiled.

“Oh hey Blossom,” I said casually. I motioned to my sister. “Flitter, this is Blossomforth. Blossom, this is my sister Flitter.”

“Nice to meet you,” Flitter said quietly, staring daggers at me. Blossomforth smiled and shook her hoof.

“Likewise. I umm… I had asked Cloudchaser if she wanted to go out to dinner with me tonight, and you’re invited to if you want to go,” She said. “I was planning on going out, but my normal company skipped out on me for the evening.” Flitter shook her head.

“No, I think I should probably go home and take care of the uh… dishes, right the dishes!” She exclaimed. I facehooved.

“Oh well, then some other time then? It’s just that I’m kind of new to Ponyville and I don’t have very many friends and I thought…” Blossomforth started to say. Flitter smiled.

“Definitely some other time, but Cloudchaser is definitely free!” My sister replied. Blossomforth’s eyes lit up.

“Great! I’ll pick up around… eight-ish?” She said. I nodded casually. “Great. It’ll be like a girl’s night out. I’ll see you then!” The white mare smiled brightly and trotted off, leaving me and my sister alone. I turned on Flitter and poked her in the side.

“Hey! Ouch, what was that for?” She said.

“Dishes?! Really? You’ve got to do the dishes? I can hardly get you to touch any house chores, and here you are saying you want to do the dishes?!” I shouted angrily. Flitter smiled weakly at me.

“I thought maybe you might appreciate getting to know her better without me there. You know, scope out the competition? Besides, you don’t know her all that well. She might not even be interested in him still,” She said.

“Interested in who?” A very familiar voice from behind us said. I turned about, seeing Thunderlane standing there. I froze for a moment, wondering how much he had heard if anything.

“Oh uhm, nopony. Flitter’s just talking about some guy she’s going out on a date with is all,” I said quickly.

“Oh. Gotcha. Who’s the lucky stallion?” Thunderlane replied, grinning.

“Winter Storm. He’s on the Weather Team as well,” Flitter replied. “We have a date this Saturday.”

“Ah, I know him. I mean, I’ve met him. Seemed like a nice guy,” The grey stallion said. “Listen, umm… Chase? Can I talk to you for a second?” I gulped. He wants to talk to… to… to me? I thought, freezing in place at the question. I managed a nod and a wave to Flitter. My sister winked at me and started on her way. I stared after her, watching her go. I didn’t even feel Thunderlane’s hoof poking me in the side until about the third or fourth time. I glared at him.

“You alright?” He asked. I nodded again, remaining silent. “I ah… I wanted to ask you something.”

“I… I’m fine. What did you need?” I said.

“Well, I saw you talking to Blossomforth earlier…” He started to say before I cut him off.

“I just was trying to introduce myself and make friends with her, that’s all. I didn’t know you two used to… you know,” I said, turning away. Thunderlane’s ears drooped.

“Oh, so you heard about that?” He said. I nodded. “Right, well… I’m glad you two are getting along. Just friends though right?” He looked a bit nervous. I cocked my head at this. What was he talking about?

“Right… we’re just friends. What’s gotten into you?” I said.

“Oh, nothing nothing. Just forget I said anything. That actually wasn’t what I wanted to ask you, I just saw her and you know… it just sort of came up,” He said. “I was actually wondering if you wanted to hang out some time with Rumble and me. I’m sort of supposed to take him to this amusement park Saturday and wanted to know if you wanted to come. I mean, if we’re going to give this whole friend thing a shot, we have to actually get to know each other.” My heart leaped out of my chest. He was asking me to go somewhere with him? Granted, it was with him and his adorably cute little brother, but still! I felt a jab of pain in my chest at the whole ‘friend’ remark, but I knew it was only because of our deal. There was nothing saying I couldn’t try to advance that friendship to something more.

“S-S-sure. Sounds like fun,” I said. Thunderlane grinned.

“Great! I’ll see you later then,” He said, flying off to join his little brother. He carefully helped the colt onto his back and took off. I watched as the two flew off, smiling. I skipped along home, feeling like I was on top of the world. It wasn’t a date at all, but it was a chance to hang out with him. My mind drifted as I trotted along, thinking about what Thunderlane had said about Blossomforth. Was he still interested in her? If so, why would he care if I was talking to her? Granted, Blossomforth hadn’t told me anything I didn’t already know about the grey pegasus, and there seemed to be something he was still hiding from me. I couldn’t place a hoof on it at all. Maybe he was scared Blossom was telling me his secrets? It was true they had been close. I sighed as I opened the door to my house and stepped in. Flitter was sitting on the couch, reading a book. I didn’t get two steps into the doorway before she was upon me.

“So… how’d it go?” She said happily. I shrugged and smiled.

“He um… wants to hang out with me this Saturday at some amusement park with him and his little brother. So I guess I’m going to miss your date after all,” I said. Flitter squealed with delight.

“He asked you out?! Oh that’s awesome Sis!” She said, flitting about me ecstatically.

“It’s just us hanging out Flitter. It’s not a date. Having the kid around kind of negates that,” I reminded her. “At the very least I can get to know him a bit better.” I looked up to the clock, noticing it was nearing seven thirty. Blossomforth would be arriving in a half hour for our little girl’s night out, and I was feeling distinctly sweaty and unkempt from the day’s training. “Flits, I’m gonna go shower up and get myself clean. If Blossomforth shows up, just have her wait for me alright?” I said trying to change the subject. My sister nodded, her ears-down glare indicating that I was going to be more thoroughly interrogated in the near future. I did my best to ignore that look and trotted upstairs.

I stepped into the roaring shower, letting the questions and worries about Blossomforth roll off me with the sweat and dirt of the days exertions. As my body relaxed into the pounding spray, my mind drifted to the upcoming theme park ‘date’ with Thunderlane. I smiled, wondering if he’d maybe be nice and buy me popcorn or ride the theme park rides with me. Even with Rumble present, I was pretty sure it was going to be a good time. Besides, maybe if Rumble liked me it might help my chances. I sighed, turning off the shower and stepping out into the steamy bathroom. Grabbing a towel with my teeth, I stripped the water from my coat. Once I was reasonably dry, I turned my attention to preening my wings and brushing out my mane and tail. A few moments later I looked myself over in the mirror. I felt… good. It was definitely a lot cleaner than I’d been in a long while.

As I trotted back downstairs, I heard voices coming from the living room. I peeked in, seeing Blossomforth sitting on the couch talking with Flitter. Both mares smiled at me as I came around the corner, Blossomforth ruffling her wings as she jumped off the couch.

“Oh hey Cloudchaser. I was just getting to talk to your sister while I was waiting for you,” She said, smiling. I smiled back and Flitter gave me a very weird look. I shrugged it off and waved.

“Hey. You ready to get going?” I asked. Blossomforth nodded and walked up to me, admiring my mane.

“Sure. Wow, hey you look really nice by the way,” She said, trotting past me towards the door.

“Oh. Thanks?” I said, looking back at Flitter. Her expression was… urgent. She started waving her hoof at me and mouthing something. I couldn’t quite make out what it was. I waved back at her and moved to follow Blossomforth. The white mare was waiting patiently outside of my house.

“So, I hope you don’t mind, but we’re eating a little fancier than normal tonight,” She said. I cocked my head at her. “Pokey Pierce has a new restaurant he just opened up. It sounds so delicious.”

“S-Sure,” I said, trying to process what was happening. Eating out at a fancy restaurant for a girl’s night out? I thought we’d just go down to like SugarCube Corner or someplace like that, I thought. Something wasn’t adding up. I followed Blossomforth down the main road of Ponyville. The wind had picked up into a light breeze, and I ruffled my wing feathers at the cold.

“You cold?” Blossom asked.

“Um… just a little I guess. Wind is a bit cold and I just took a shower…” I replied. Blossomforth shifted and trotted beside me, extending one of her wings over my back.

“There, that should help,” She said calmly. My eyes widened at this action. What was she doing? Wasn’t that only something for --- Oh. Oh…. Oh no no no no, I thought. All at once my mind began to race with everything that had occurred up until now. Thunderlane’s reaction to my talking with Blossomforth. The compliment. Flitter’s expression and her urgent message. The fancy restaurant. This… this wing she had laid over my back.

I’m on a date, I thought, my face flushing red as I turned away from Blossom so she wouldn’t see it. So stupid! All this time she… she wasn’t interested in him at all. She was… she was interested in me?!

“Cloudchaser?” A voice from beside me broke me out of my thoughts. I looked over at Blossomforth. She smiled and removed her wing from my back.

“Y-Y-Yes?” I asked shakily.

“We’re here,” She said, motioning ahead of us. I looked forward, noticing we had indeed arrived at the establishment of Horsia’s, a restaurant that appeared to be quite high class. We entered the polished wood doors and stood in the lobby. The host at the counter, a very distinguished looking unicorn stallion, looked up, smiling.

“Good evening ladies, how may I help you this evening?” He said, his thick accent indicating that he was from Prance.

“I have a table for two. It’s under Blossomforth,” My unexpected date said. The host looked down at his book and nodded.

“Mmmm, nyes... This way, ladies,” He said, whisking two menus out and trotting elegantly into the main room. We followed the host through the crowded restaurant and I did everything in my power to keep from bolting out in a panic. Instead, I followed the white mare as we were led to a private booth in the back of the restaurant. The host seated us and advised that our waiter would be along shortly.

“I hope you don’t mind the accommodations,” Blossomforth said, looking over her menu. “It was all they had at the time.”

“R-R-Right,” I replied. Blossomforth looked up at me and smiled.

“Are you alright Cloudchaser? You still cold?” She said. I shook my head, looking away from her and out at the crowded restaurant.

“Blossom?” I asked, turning back to the white mare. She looked at me expectantly. “Are we… are we on an actual date-date?” There. I said it. I just need to know, please just tell me, I thought. Blossom’s expression changed from one of happiness to one of confusion.

“Why would you think that Cloudchaser?” She said sweetly. I swallowed hard.

“B-B-Because of all of this. This fancy place, you putting your… your wing over my back,” I choked out. Blossomforth chuckled.

“I was hoping that maybe if I was really really nice to you, you would sit back and let me have Thunderlane all to myself,” She said, sighing. My eyes widened. What, I thought. “Sorry if you thought I was a fillyfooler though. I guess the wing thing was a bit overboard.”

“What.” I said flatly, beginning to feel anger seeping into my eyes as I stared down the white mare.

“What, you think I didn’t notice how you looked at him? It’s pretty obvious to everypony. Well, almost everypony. That stallion wouldn’t know a mare that’s interested in him if she bit him. Though, come to think of it...” Blossomforth trailed off.

“So you… you asked me to come out with you to tell me all of this?” I said. Blossomforth shook her head.

“No, I asked you to come out to try and be your friend, Cloudchaser. But, seeing that you figured out my nice plan, I guess that won’t be necessary,” She said politely. “You see, as Rainbow Dash would say, here’s the scoop: I still love him, and I’m not going to let some scrubby little underpowered excuse for a pegasus take him away from me.” Her voice was calm and collected. She wasn’t even acting angry about this!

“But didn’t you break up with him when you moved here?” I asked, clearly confused now. Blossomforth sighed.

“No. He broke up with me. It’s not like I wanted to, but he didn’t think a long distance relationship would work out. But I got him here now, and we can go back to the way things used to be,” She said. I started to speak but was interrupted by the voice of the waiter, who was there to take our drink order. I glared at Blossom as I ordered water for myself. She returned my glare. The waiter trotted off, leaving us in our hostile silence.

“Why? Why try to be nice to me then?” I asked, breaking the moment.

“Because, I can see that he genuinely likes you. He would not stop talking about you all weekend,” She replied. My heart leapt up into my chest. He did?! I thought. “So I figured that when he and I get back together, you and I would have to be friends.”

“You say that as if you’re certain that he won’t pick me instead,” I said angrily. Blossomforth coughed.

“Please. I’m a much better looking mare by far,” She said. “Plus, I am the better flier miss six point three wing power.”

“We’ll see about that,” I said, gritting my teeth angrily at her.

“Oh? Is that a challenge then?” Blossomforth said, grinning. I nodded.

“Sure is. I’m going to beat your wing power score and then show him how good I am,” I said. The white mare laughed, beating her hoof against the table.

“That’s really funny,” She said between laughs. “You really think you’re going to beat me?”

“I don’t think Blossom, I know it,” I said. “Now if you’ll excuse me. I think we’re done here.” I stood up, storming away from the table and out of the restaurant. I’m sure I turned some heads as I stormed out of the restaurant, but I didn’t care.

If she wanted a challenge, she was going to get one.


The sharp whistle blew in my ears, sounding the call for me to take off from the starting line. Two days had passed since my confrontation with Blossomforth. When I had showed up the next day at training, she acted like nothing had ever happened between us at Horsia’s. Even Flitter still couldn’t believe what had transpired. My belated understanding of her warnings was correct, however. She had assumed that Blossomforth was trying to come on to me by taking me out to a nice dinner and all. However, as the days passed I noticed that Blossomforth’s attitude toward me had taken on a bit of a sinister spin to it. When she wasn’t off giggling with her girlfriends and cooing over Thunderlane, who seemed to be completely oblivious to everything going on, she was making snide remarks about my flying.

I sped around the track, thinking of only one thing as I came to a rest at the finish line. The past two days had been the most grueling training I’d ever done in my entire life, and I wasn’t about to stop there. While somepony else was busy giggling with her friends, I was doing wing-ups and strength exercises. As I watched Twilight’s speed test device count up the wing power, I silently hoped that it had all been worth it.

“Seven point zero!” Twilight said happily. “Much better than yesterday Cloudchaser. Well done.” I breathed a sigh of relief. Seven point zero in just two days wasn’t bad, right? I hoped that I could keep up this kind of pace though. At this rate, I was going to crash hard at some point. I nodded and moved away from the track, letting the next in line have their chance to test their wing power. A snort from behind me drew my attention.

“Nice try Cloudchaser, but let me show you how it’s done,” Blossomforth said. Her friends giggled as the white mare stepped up to the line. The whistle blew and she took off with a flash. I groaned when Twilight called out her results of “Eight Point Five!” Blossomforth shot me a rather smug look as I trotted off, nearly running into another pegasus. Apologizing profusely, I hurried away, not letting any other pony see the tears that had begun to form there. I found a shady spot near a tree away from the field and began to cry. Why am I even bothering? I thought, feeling my warm tears drip down my face. It’s not like it’s going to matter. He said it himself… friends, right? So why am I so hung up on him? Why can’t I stop… stop thinking about him?

“Cloudchaser…?” A soft voice from behind me murmured. I ruffled my wings and turned back for a moment, seeing the cyan form of Rainbow Dash. She had a concerned look on her face.

“G-Go away Rainbow Dash,” I stuttered. “Just give me a minute and I’ll be back out there.”

“No, I think you’re done for the day,” Dash replied softly. “You’ve been pushing yourself pretty hard the past two days. I mean, when was the last time you actually took a break?”

“I’m fine. It’s nothing I can’t handle,” I said defiantly. Dash sighed and shook her head.

“Listen, I don’t know much about all this sappy mushy love stuff, but I’ve known Rarity long enough to know how to spot it a mile away,” She said, sitting down next to me under the tree. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“I… I…” I started to say. To be honest, I was a bit surprised. This wasn’t a side of Rainbow that I was accustomed to.

“Look, I know I come off all big and tough sometimes, and I know that’s intimidating, but you can talk to me if you need to. After all, what good would the Element of Loyalty be if she wasn’t loyal to everypony she considered a friend?” Dash said. I turned away for a moment and sighed. Several moments of silence passed between us.

“I think… I think you’re right. I’m gonna go home and lay down,” I said, moving to get up. Rainbow’s hoof shot up and stopped me before I could go anywhere.

“Cloudchaser. I meant what I said. If you need to talk, just let me know alright? I can’t promise you any answers, but I can at least be an open ear,” The cyan mare said. I nodded wordlessly and turned away from her touch, launching myself into the open sky.

I made it home feeling drained and tired. The amount of training I had been pushing myself through compounded by the attitude of Blossomforth had just left me numb and grey. Immediately I crawled upstairs and into my bed. It felt… safe. I thought about what Rainbow Dash had said, and realized I probably owed her at least some explanation about what was going on with Blossomforth and me. I’d barely spoken to Thunderlane the past two days, and I wasn’t even sure where he stood on all of this. Did he know about Blossomforth and her attempt to make friends with me just to ensure that I would sit idly by while she got him? I sighed weakly as I hugged my pillow, thinking about everything that had been going on since I met the dark grey pegasus.

I cried so much that I didn’t even hear the door open to my room. The only thing I felt was Flitter’s hooves rubbing along my side. Slowly but surely, my tears began to subside.

“I heard what happened,” She said softly. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Stupid,” I replied. “I’m so stupid. He’s not going to want me over her. Did you see how easy she made it look Flits? I’ve been working nonstop for two days and she’s barely lifted a wing!” Flitter smiled weakly at me.

“You’re not stupid Cloudchaser. You’re not. Blossom’s just mean,” She said. “You still have that little date with Thunderlane to look forward to this weekend right? Maybe you can talk to him about all of this then.” My eyes widened, considering the prospect of telling Thunderlane about what Blossom was doing.

“I… I don’t know. I mean, they were friends and all, and I don’t want to…” I said. “I don’t want him to think I’m being petty over this.”

“Chase, look at what she’s doing to you! There’s nothing petty about it. She lied to you to try to get you to be friends with her just so she could steal him away! I think he deserves to know about it,” Flitter said firmly. I sighed and nodded.

“Alright, alright. I’ll talk to him about it. But what about this wing power stuff? How am I going to do this Flitter? It’s only been two days and I feel like my wings are just going to fall off,” I said. My sister grinned.

“We’re just going to have to get your head back into the game, and get training!” She said excitedly. “Now I have just the thing to get your mind off of old grumpy Blossomforth.”

“What’s that? A two-by-four to knock me out with?” I deadpanned. Flitter giggled.

“No silly, ice cream!” She cried out, grabbing me by the hoof and practically dragging me down the stairs to our kitchen. She sat me down and plopped a bowl in front of me, heaping it with gobs of chocolate ice cream. I giggled as she sat down at the table across from me.

“Thanks Flitter. You always know how to cheer me up,” I said, taking a lick of the cool dessert. Flitter smiled in return.

“Anytime Sis. Anytime,” She said as she began to work on her own bowl of ice cream. We sat there for what felt like hours, talking about little things and gorging ourselves delicious ice cream. As I gazed up at the clock, a light snore drew my gaze to my sister. She had nearly fallen asleep in her final bowl. It was late, but I felt a little better about my current situation. Talking with Flitter all evening had really helped reinforce my decision to see this thing through to the very end.

Hearing my sister mumble in her sleep, I decided it was time for bed. Moving the bowls to the sink, and heaving my sister onto my back, I slowly made my way upstairs. I carefully deposited Flitter onto her own bed before climbing into mine. As I closed my eyes, I thought about the upcoming weekend and my chances with Thunderlane.


The rest of the week went by in a flash. Blossomforth spent the rest of week giving me the evil eye and didn’t talk to me at all. I didn’t mind. I was too busy training with Flitter and Rainbow Dash to care. The day after my little encounter with Blossom, I had gone straight to Rainbow Dash and asked if she wouldn’t mind giving me a few pointers, to learn from the best so to speak. Dash was enthusiastic about it, but I could tell even her mind was on other things. Mostly, it was Fluttershy. It had been several days since anypony had even seen the timid pegasus. I could tell that her absence was wearing heavily on Rainbow, being that she was one of Fluttershy’s closest friends. However, even distracted, Dash’s skills and experience told, and by the end of the week I was making eight point five wing power! I was so excited that in celebration Flitter and I went out to dinner at Horsia’s on our own that Friday.

I awoke slowly as my vision focused on the clock. I hadn’t set the alarm clock the evening prior because it was a Saturday, and we usually slept in. My ears cocked, hearing a sharp rapping sound downstairs. Wha…? I thought as I got up, feeling very groggy and light-headed from our late night’s festivities. I glanced over at Flitter, who merely rolled over in her bed. The sharp rapping sound continued as I trotted down the stairs.

“I’m comin, I’m comin,” I shouted out as I opened the door, coming face to face with the stallion who had made his way into my daily thoughts. Thunderlane held up a hoof, smiling.

“Umm… hey?” He said. My eyes widened as I realized how terrible I must look, with bed mane and bent feathers, unshowered and half asleep. So I did what came the most natural to me at the time. I slammed the door in his face. It was a kneejerk reaction, sure. I could hear Thunderlane’s confused cry from outside.

“Just give me a second. I need to clean up,” I cried as I ran back upstairs. Trying to brush your mane is never an easy or quick task for those of us without cheaty unicorn magic. In my haste, I somehow ended up losing where the brush went off to. I made my way back downstairs and opened the door once more. Thunderlane smiled.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey to you too,” He replied, before giving me a funny look. “Trying out a new look there Chase?”

“Huh?” I asked, confused by what he meant. The grey stallion stepped up next to me and reached in with his mouth. Oh, what is he doing? Oh Celestia! I thought as he reached behind my neck and yanked something away. I looked up sheepishly at the brush held in his teeth. He spat it out into his hooves and grinned.

“I think you somehow got this stuck,” He said. I sighed, taking the brush and tossing it behind my back into the house. I’d let Flitter handle it when she got up. I closed the door quickly and smiled.

“Sorry,” I said. “I guess was in a bit of a hurry.” Thunderlane laughed.

“It’s alright. Come on, we’d be better get going. Rumble’s been waiting for us,” He said. Sure enough, the ecstatic and adorably cute colt was waiting on the side of the street, buzzing about with his cute little wings. His eyes lit up when he saw us.

“Oh, you’re that girl Thunder – mmph mmmph!” Rumble started to say before Thunderlane’s hoof silenced him.

“Rumble… you remember Cloudchaser don’t you?” The older stallion said with an air of authority. Rumble quieted down and simply nodded.

“Hey there Rumble. You ready to have some fun today?” I said, nuzzling the little colt on the cheek. His expression turned to one of disgust.

“Eww, girl cooties,” He said, sticking his tongue out. I chuckled.

“Someday kid you might not think that’s so bad,” I said jokingly as we trotted along the street for a bit and then took to the sky. The Pony Land Amusement Park was located outside of Ponyville, and was about a half hour flight from the small town. The park itself was situated on the side of the Canter Mountains, and contained just about every ride imaginable. Rumble’s eyes were aglow as we landed at the front gate of the park. As we made our way to the ticket counter, I started to pull out my bits to pay for my entry. Thunderlane put a hoof in front of me as I went to hand them to pony at the counter.

“Hold on, I can get it. I did ask you to join me after all didn’t I?” He said calmly. I felt the heat rising in my cheeks as I stared away.

“Oh… O-Okay…” I said softly as he dropped the bits on the counter. The ticket counter pony handed us our tickets and we entered the park. Thunderlane turned to his little brother, who was clearly excited to be here.

“Alright Rumble, now you need to stay close to Miss Cloudchaser and me, you got it little bro?” He said. Rumble nodded ecstatically. “Great. Since you’re the guest of honor, whattya wanna do first?”

“The rollercoaster!” Rumble exploded, almost as if he’d been waiting for Thunderlane to ask that very question. He pointed up ahead at the far end of the park where an ominous structure loomed over the entire park. I could hear the screams from the massive rollercoaster from here at the entrance.

“Are… are you sure that’s safe?” I said shakily. While going fast and going high is part and parcel of being a pegasus, there’s just something about being strapped into a car doing those things that sort of terrifies me. Mostly the being strapped in part. Thunderlane chuckled.

“Oh come on Chase, its fine. You’re not chicken are ya?” He said, patting me on the shoulder with his forehoof. I glared at him.

“Nopony calls me a chicken and gets away with it,” I replied. The stallion’s eyes lit up.

“Oh? Well I think I know how to call a chicken. Clouuuudchaser… Here Chase Chase Chase!” The grey pegasus crowed before rolling over in a fit of laughter. I growled. That jerk! That’s not very funny at all! I thought angrily.

“Alright hot shot. You’re on, let’s do this thing,” I said. Thunderlane grinned.

“Last one to the line has to sit in the middle!” He shouted, galloping off with Rumble on his heels. I stomped in anger and galloped after them. Moments later I found myself standing in line, being danced around by Rumble who was gleefully shouting ‘Cloudchaser’s in the middle! Cloudchaser’s in the middle!’ as Thunderlane grinned widely at me.

“What’s so funny?” I asked him. He shrugged and continued to grin.

“You are sometimes. You get so… I dunno uptight I guess over little things. It’s kind of funny is all,” He said.

“Excuse me? You’re the one who called me a chicken, and then ran away while making chicken noises,” I replied. The stallion sighed.

“And that’s just all in good fun Chase. You gotta relax some time,” He said. My expression hardened. He scowled and continued. “Alright, look. I’m sorry for calling you a chicken. If it really bothers you, I won’t do it again.” I blinked. He… apologized? I was confused at this turn of events.

“Fine…” I said finally, pushing a smile onto my face. “Sorry, this whole week has just been…” I trailed off, looking ahead of us. The line seemed to go on forever. Apparently this was the most popular attraction in the entire park.

“Tell me about it. Blossomforth’s been nagging me to hang out with her all week,” He said, sighing. My ears perked up at this. Did he sound… unhappy about that? I couldn’t tell. I decided to chance it.

“Umm… is that a bad thing? I thought you two were friends,” I said cautiously.

“Yeah, we are but I mean I made plans with you and all and there was no way I was going to ditch my little bro here,” He replied. Wait… what? I thought.

“What do you mean?” I asked. Thunderlane shrugged.

“I dunno, she asked me to go to lunch with her today and I told her no. You’d swear she thinks we’re still dating or something,” He said. The line moved forward a few inches, relatively speaking that is. There were still ponies stretched farther than the eye could see, both in front and behind us in the line.

“And… you’re not…?” I said nervously. Thunderlane blushed.

“No, no… not at all. I mean, she’s nice and all, but it was never going to work out,” The grey stallion said. Rumble groaned below us.

“When is the line going to move?” He said, stomping his feet angrily. “I wanna get on the ride!” I giggled.

“You’ve got to be patient little guy. Everypony will get their turn on it, just wait alright?” I said, smiling. While not clearly satisfied with my answer, Rumble nodded and calmed down at least. I looked back up to see Thunderlane smiling at me.

“You know, he really likes you,” He said.

“Who? Rumble?” I asked. Thunderlane nodded.

“Yeah, he said you were pretty,” He replied over the cries of his little brother shouting ‘I did not!’. I blushed, feeling the heat rising in my cheeks.

“Well, he’s a very cute little colt, that’s for sure,” I said. “Your parents must be so proud of both of you.” I realized the moment I had blurted out that last part that I had said something wrong. Thunderlane turned his head away for a moment, going silent. “Hey… what’s wrong? Was it something I said?”

“It’s… it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. Look, the line is moving,” He said, his voice dull and flat. We stepped forward, inching our way closer to the rollercoaster. I felt pretty bad. Obviously, it had been the mention of his parents that set him off, but why? Not to mention, he had stopped talking in general, only smiling occasionally as Rumble chattered away at everything he saw. Even after getting off the rollercoaster, which was as hair raising and terrifying as I thought it would be, he didn’t talk much. We took a short break while Rumble went and played on a few kiddie rides. I decided to prod a bit and find out what was wrong.

“Lane?” I said cautiously, drawing his gaze. “I… I’m really sorry. I didn’t ---“ He held up a hoof, cutting me off.

“It’s alright. I said not to worry about it. It’s just bad memories is all,” He said. “I don’t want to get Rumble upset.” My ears drooped.

“Oh,” I replied, not really sure what to say next. “I… I just wanted to… If you need somepony to talk to, I’d be willing to listen.” Thunderlane stared at me for a moment, and then smiled.

“I… I think that would be okay,” He said, placing a hoof on my shoulder. I felt myself blushing, overreacting to the simple physical contact. “You know, you really are kind of cool Chase. Thanks.” I smiled.

“Anytime,” I said. “Can I… Can I ask you something?” He cocked his head.

“Yeah, sure. What’s up?” He asked. I sighed. Here goes nothing, I thought. I started to confess, to tell him everything that had happened with Blossomforth. At least, that’s what I’d like to think I was going to do. What I actually said was…

“Are you gonna eat that?” I said, pointing at the bag of popcorn he had picked up. The stallion, albeit confused, simply smiled and handed the bag over. As I popped a few into my mouth, my mind raged at my mouth. Stupid! Just tell him already! The voice in the back of my mind said. I shoved the voice back. I can’t! I just can’t do it!

Rumble returned shortly thereafter and we headed over to another set of rides in the park. The rest of the time was spent laughing and talking about training and work. To be truthful, it was really really nice. It almost felt like… well, a date. At the end of the day, we began filing our way out of the amusement park to head back to Ponyville. Rumble declared that he wished to be flown home by me this time. I guess in the end the little guy really did warm up to me, despite his fear of girl cooties. Thunderlane smiled and allowed the colt to ride on my back.

I grinned and flapped my wings hard, following behind Rumble’s older brother as we sped towards home. We arrived back in town as the sun was going down. Luna’s moon arose high in the sky within minutes, bringing with it all the wonders of the evening. As we trotted along, I felt rather happy and slightly confused by the day’s events. All I could think of was the stallion’s response to the comment about his parents. I sighed, deciding that I would have let him be the one to bring that up, no matter how how curious I was. I also thought about what the pegasus had said about Blossomforth. Maybe there was some sort of fate shining down on me, and I would have a chance.

Moments later we arrived at my house. I gently transferred the sleepy Rumble to Thunderlane’s back, and he smiled at me as I moved to open my door.

“Chase?” He said. I turned back to him.

“Yeah?” I asked.

“I had a good time today. Thanks for coming with. We should totally do this again sometime,” He said.

“I… I’d like that,” I said, pushing open the door and stepping inside. The lights were all off, and I could hear the faint sound of crying from upstairs. My eyes widened.

“Flitter?” I called out, turning from a trot into a full gallop as I raced up the staircase. I opened the door to our bedroom, finding my sister curled up in bed. She was sobbing into her pillow.

“Flits?” I said softly. “What’s wrong?” She looked up at me with puffy red eyes. I could tell that she had been crying for some time. Her mane was disheveled and tear stains littered her pillow.

“I’m so stupid…” She said quietly. I sat down next to her, laying a hoof on her shoulder.

“No, you’re not. Now tell me what’s wrong right now,” I said. A nagging feeling in the back of my mind told me I already knew the answer to this.

“My… my date with Winter. It was going so well and then… then he thought… oh Cloudchaser I should have seen it coming,” She managed to choke out through her continued sobs.

“What happened with him?” I asked coldly. I swore silently to myself I would find the snowy stallion and have words with him if he did anything to harm my sister. Flitter rested her head on the pillow, looking up at me.

“He… he said that he had heard that I was… you know… easy,” She said, her cheeks flushing red with embarrassment. “Chase, he only wanted to go out with me to… you know.” I growled.

“That jerk. Flitter, you can do better than that guy. You’re not stupid, not at all. Stallions are just jerks,” I said, trying to do my best to cheer my sister up. I pulled her into a hug and we stayed like that for what felt like hours. Eventually Flitter had calmed down enough to tell me more about her date. It had apparently started off quite well. Winter Storm had been the perfect gentlecolt, even bringing her flowers for their night out. Things had gone well until the end of the night, when Winter had popped his question. I sighed.

I wondered where the rumor had come from. Even when we were first setting our hooves in the dating pool growing up, Flitter had been a modest, almost chaste pony. Even when she did date, she wasn’t a party animal like some of our peers. I reminded myself that I would need to have a little chat with the stallion, but at that moment Flitter was all that really mattered.

As sleep welcomed us, Flitter had begun to feel a little bit better. I could still hear sniffles coming from her bed as she fell asleep, and I really couldn’t blame her. Stallions were jerks; there was just no two ways about it. I began to let my mind drift off into the day’s events with Thunderlane. At points, he seemed to be genuinely caring and very nice to be around. At others he was cocky, aggravating, and even… brooding. All of it left me feeling very confused. I began to really wonder how strong my feelings ran for him. Certainly he was a good friend, but would he be something more? And does he even feel the same way? I thought about what Spitfire had said, how I should seize the opportunity and try to find love. What if she was wrong? What if I was just setting myself up to be hurt, just like Flitter had? I was conflicted, and I couldn’t sleep because of it.

I trudged down the stairs silently and headed into the kitchen. Finding nothing appealing in the refrigerator, I sat down in the living room, staring out the window into the night sky. Luna’s moon was high above now, shining its beauty all across Equestria. I smiled as I looked up at the brilliant panorama that the Princess of the Night had created for us. It gave me pause as I wondered how any pony could ever have disliked such a thing. I silently gave my thanks to the Lunar Maiden for the wondrous night. Lost in my thoughts, I almost didn’t hear the knock at the door.

I turned about and walked into the hallway. Another knock came at the door. I looked up at the clock. It was nearly one o’ clock in the morning. Who could that be at this hour? I thought. I trotted to the doorway and opened it up. Standing on the other side was a very bedraggled looking and obviously sleep deprived snow white pegasus. Winter Storm looked nearly as bad as Flitter had. His mane was in horrific shape and his coat was dirty and unkempt. I glared hard at him as he fiddled with his hooves in front of me.

“You’ve got a lot of nerve coming here,” I said coldly. “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t buck this door right through your face.”

“I… I can’t. I just… I wanted to tell her…” He said nervously, trying to fight through his words. “I wanted to say I was sorry.”

“You’re sorry? Really, well that makes it all better than doesn’t it?” I said angrily. The snowy stallion looked at me sheepishly.

“It does?” He asked quietly. I snarled.

“No!” I shouted. “No it doesn’t make it all better. You were a complete jerk to my sister.”

“I know, and I realize that… I just… please, I need to talk to her. I’ve been flying around all night thinking about what I… what I did,” Winter said.

“After what you did, I’d be really careful of whether my sister ever wanted to see your face ever again, you jerk!” I said. Winter nodded weakly.

“And she shouldn’t. I was… I was out of line, and I shouldn’t have…” He said trailing off. “I just wanted to apologize to her. Then if she never wants to see me again, so be it.” I sighed.

“Cloudchaser?” I heard Flitter’s voice from behind me. Oh great, I must have woken her up, I thought. “What’s going on?”

“Go on back to bed sweetie, I’m taking care of this,” I said without looking back at her. Flitter let out a soft gasp when she saw who was at the door.

“W-W-Winter? What are you doing here?” She asked. I cut off the stallion before he could answer.

“He was just leaving,” I said. Flitter sighed.

“No…” She said softly. “I want to hear what he has to say.” I looked back at her.

“Are… are you sure?” I said. Flitter nodded and Winter let out a sigh of relief. I glared at him. “Alright. Come in.” The snowy stallion stepped inside and we moved to the living room. Flitter looked at me nervously.

“Can… can we be alone for a little bit?” She said to me. I looked at Winter Storm, who fidgeted nervously with his forehooves.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll be in the kitchen if you need anything alright?” I nuzzled my sister’s neck and trotted into the kitchen... well… mostly into the kitchen. I made sure I was close enough to the living room to hear the two. I wasn’t about to totally let this jerk be alone with my sister where I couldn’t be there in a pinch to save her. As I listened, I heard Flitter begin to speak.

“Talk,” She said curtly. I could feel the tension emanating from the living room all over the house.

“I… I just… I wanted to say how sorry I was for… well, you know,” I could hear Winter begin to say. Flitter snorted.

“You’re sorry? Do you have any idea how embarrassing that was? You practically came out and asked me if I slept around!” She shouted at him, quite loudly. Loud enough that I don’t even think I needed to be this close to hear her.

“I know… And I know that it was wrong for me to ask you that…” The stallion started to say.

“Do you know how long I spent tonight crying my eyes out over you? Huh? Do you?” Flitter said angrily. “And here you are, and all you have to say is sorry? Where did you even get such an idea?!”

“I… I heard something about it from Blossomforth. I’m so stupid for thinking that you would… I don’t even know why I thought that you would be like that alright?” Winter replied, sounding very frustrated. “I just… I wanted to apologize. I’ll leave now.” Blossomforth?, I thought angrily. Why in the world would she be making things up about Flitter? Especially nasty rumors like that? I heard the shuffling of hooves from the living room. My thoughts were interrupted as I realized I might be caught.

“Wait,” Flitter’s voice cut across the silence like a knife through butter. Winter’s hooves stopped. “Blossomforth? And you actually believed her? She’s got some nerve, making gossip about me.” I heard a sigh come from the stallion.

“I don’t know. I thought maybe... I really like you Flitter and I don’t know what came over me. You’re very pretty and… I just really wanted to be with you,” He said. “It was a stupid idea, and I let my hormones get the better of me.” A moment’s silence occurred between the two ponies.

“You… you really like me?” Flitter finally said.

“I… I do, yeah. You’re really nice, and I feel horrible about what I did. If you could find it in your heart to forgive me I –“ He started to say before he was interrupted by a shuffle of hooves that ended in him mumbling through something. I dared a peak, keeping as quiet as I could. She was kissing him! I pulled out of the room before I could be seen as Flitter pulled her mouth away from the snowy stallion.

“I really like you too, Winter. I… I forgive you. As stupid as you are for listening to what Blossomforth said, I forgive you,” She said quietly. “Would you like to start over?”

“I… Sure,” Winter said.

“Good. You can take me to dinner tomorrow to make up for it,” She said, her voice bright and sweet. “And no talk about that until at least the third or fourth date.” I heard the stallion sputter at this. I almost burst into laughter myself.

“Wha --?” Winter Storm started to say. Flitter chuckled.

“Cool it, stud. I was making a joke. Let’s just put it on the backburner alright? Take it slow?” She said.

“A-Alright. Flitter, what about your sister? She sounded really mad at me,” He said. I sighed, deciding it was time to reveal myself. I stepped into the living room, smiling.

“Let’s just say that if you ever do hurt my sister, we’ll be having words,” I said, causing the already white stallion’s face to turn even whiter. Flitter frowned.

“Were you eavesdropping?” She said. I nodded.

“Sorry…” I said, sighing. I turned to Winter Storm. “I’m sorry I yelled at you.”

“It’s okay… I probably would have yelled at me too,” He said, chuckling nervously. “I’m sorry for everything, and for keeping you two up all night over this.”

“Ah, don’t worry about it. I couldn’t sleep anyways. Other things on my mind, you know,” I said. Winter Storm nodded.

“I uh… I guess I’ll see you tomorrow then Flitter? Does seven o’ clock sound alright?” He asked. Flitter nodded.

“That will be fine,” She responded. Winter trotted to the door and opened it, leaving with a wave of his hoof. Flitter stepped up beside me and poked me in the side.

“Ouch!” I cried out. “What was that for?”

“For eavesdropping, remember?” She said. I grinned.

“Hey, I always got your back Flits, just remember that,” I said. Flitter nodded and grabbed me into a hug. I smiled and leaned back into her embrace. Blossomforth could wait, right now only Flitter mattered.

“I know you do Sis, and thank you,” She said.


Monday morning came in a rush. Flitter’s start-over date with Winter went far better than she had ever expected. The stallion lived up to his promise and was the epitome of a gentlecolt. I was happy for my sister; she deserved a guy who could be there for her, even if he was a little dumb some times. I was still very concerned about the fact that Blossomforth had been spreading rumors about her, but I had managed to convince my sister not to find the white pegasus and tear her limb from limb.

The journey down to the park was a silent one. I was wondering what Rainbow Dash had in store for us this last week before the tornado. Flitter appeared to have Winter on the brain, judging from the goofy grin that kept showing up on her face. I silently reminded myself of my challenge to Blossomforth. Since my encounter with Thunderlane over the weekend and the revelation that she had talked badly about my sister, I found that I cared more than ever about beating her to win over him. I needed to show Blossomforth I wasn’t a pushover. To show myself that I could do this.

Rainbow Dash waved as we trotted into the park. The rest of Ponyville’s pegasi had slowly begun filtering into the training area. I caught sight of Blossomforth, the white mare surrounded by her giggling girlfriends. She locked eyes with me for a moment, giving me a wink. I snarled silently, wondering what lies she was spinning to everypony next. There’s nothing you can do right now Cloudchaser, I thought. You just have to be strong, and beat her without stooping to her level. I turned away and flew over to Dash, who was getting everypony lined up for their morning wing power tests. I had yet to see Thunderlane yet and was wondering where he had run off to.

“Oh hey Cloudchaser, how you feeling this morning?” Dash said casually. I smiled.

“Feeling right as… well rain I guess,” I said, giggling. “Hey, you seen Thunderlane this morning?”

“Hmm… Nope. Can’t say that I have,” She replied, looking over at Twilight. “Twi? You seen Thunderlane yet?” Twilight looked up for a moment and then back to her checklist.

“Let’s see,” She said, murmuring under her breath. “No, he hasn’t checked in. I’m sure he’s just late.”

“Thanks guys,” I said as flew back to join Flitter in line. She had quickly located Winter and was hanging around him. I smiled and waved as I landed next to the two pegasi. Quickly and quietly, each Ponyville pegasus stepped up onto the track and sped off, getting their wing power results recorded by Twilight and Spike. I grimaced when Blossomforth did her own test, getting a nine point zero wing power. My name was called shortly after and I shot off like a rocket. I thought about everything that had led up to this point, and used all of it to strengthen my resolve. As I surged past the speed tester, I felt better and more determined than ever. I can do this, I thought. No, scratch that. I will do this. Even if he wasn’t around to see it happen, I would make it happen anyways.

“Nine point zero!”

Next Time!

Cloudchaser continues her quest to be the best! Will she be able to step it up before tornado day approaches? Will Blossomforth continue being the Queen Meanie? Will we ever learn anything about the mysterious Thunderlane? Find out next time on “Flying Through the Storm: Chapter 4: Stepping Up”

Chapter 4: Stepping Up

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Flying Through the Storm

Chapter 4: Stepping Up

I jumped to and fro, feeling completely and utterly elated at the news that I had managed to not only improve my wing power substantially, but that I had tied with Blossomforth! I beamed as I jumped about, earning myself a low snarl from the white mare. I swished my tail, feeling quite pleased with myself as I made my way over to Flitter, who had just got done with her own wing power test. She was standing off to the side of the track with Winter Storm.

“So Flits, how’d ya do?” I said happily. Flitter smiled.

“Oh, I got a seven point five!” She said. I grinned. Rainbow Dash was right about one thing when it came to all of this training. Despite how much it hurt, to have it pay off was gratifying. And yet, despite how excited I was, I felt a deep pit in my stomach. He hadn’t been there to see it. I had wanted him to be there. To see me tie with the mare that was my rival for his affections. Where is he? I thought, scanning the crowd of pegasi. The silver-haired stallion was nowhere to be seen. I sighed and turned away, nearly running right into the white mare standing next to me. Blossomforth did not look happy at all.

“Blossom,” I said sweetly as I smiled at the other mare. Kill them with kindness my mom always used to say! “I’m so happy to see you! Did you see my wing power score?”

“Cloudchaser,” she replied harshly. “I told you already to back off. I heard about your little excursion with Thunderlane this weekend.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised, he told me that he turned you down,” I said, still smiling. Blossomforth huffed at me.

“The socks, as somepony would say, are off Cloudchaser. Expect no mercy,” she said, storming off. I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Man, somepony has an anger management problem,” I said. I looked over at Flitter, who was fuming with anger. Winter was holding onto her, trying to keep her calm. “Whoa there Flits, take a chill pill would ya? She’s not worth it.” Flitter sighed.

“You’re right. Sorry,” she replied as her eyes softened. Winter gently rested his hoof on her shoulder.

“Besides… she’s gonna get enough of her own medicine soon enough by keeping up this mean girl act of hers,” I said. “I mean, she really thinks that he wants to be with her.”

“I thought you said Thunderlane wasn’t that interested in her?” My sister asked curiously.

“He said so, but he is still friends with her. I wouldn’t put it past her to keep trying,” I said. “Why does this stuff have to be so difficult?” Flitter giggled.

“That’s just the way it goes I guess,” she said. I looked over at her and smiled.

“Well, I think I’m gonna go see if I can find him. You know, make sure he’s okay,” I said. Flitter and Winter nodded, leaving me alone as they rejoined the training. I moved to fly off, when I realized I didn’t exactly know where Thunderlane was living in town. I stopped next to Rainbow Dash, who was in the middle of giving some inspirational shouting to a few of the trainees.

“Hey Dash?” I said. Dash looked up at me and grinned widely.

“Oh, hey Cloudchaser. Nice stuff out there today,” she replied.

“Thanks. Hey do you have a second?” I asked. Rainbow nodded and came up beside me as we trotted away from the group.

“Whatcha need?” Dash said. Her magenta eyes showed genuine concern. I regretted not giving her a chance earlier, and maybe someday I would make good on her offer to talk. Right now though, I needed some answers.

“I uh… I need to know where Thunderlane lives,” I said, knowing immediately that Rainbow might outright reject the question. She wasn’t supposed to just tell anypony personal details of her workforce. Before she could say anything I spoke up again. “I’m just… I’m worried about him, alright? He didn’t show up this morning, and I feel like I need to know he’s okay.” Rainbow sighed.

“Alright,” she said. I blinked. Wait, what? I thought. “I’m not supposed to do this, but you’ve been pushing so hard on yourself and I think I know why. If it will put your mind at ease, here’s his address.” She took out her pad or paper and wrote on it with a marker held in her teeth. She handed me the slip and I smiled. The location was on the far side of the town, not too far away from where Fluttershy lived. I thanked Dash profusely and took off towards the location. As I arrived, I noted that the house address was up in the sky. A good majority of Ponyville pegasi lived in cloud houses, so I wasn’t totally surprised. The place where he lived was small, almost too small for a family to inhabit. I stopped at the door, sighing as I knocked on it. I could hear rummaging from beyond as the door opened, revealing Thunderlane standing there. His eyes went wide at the sight of me.

“C-Cloudchaser?” He said shakily. I smiled and waved a hoof. “What are you doing here?”

“You didn’t show up for training today… I wanted to make sure you were alright,” I said, feeling very confused. This wasn’t like him at all. His normally cocky grin and piercing eyes were gone, replaced with the tired expression that lent itself to being up all night.

“I’m fine, just overslept. Tell Rainbow Dash I’ll be in tomorrow,” he said, starting to close the door. I put a hoof up to stop him.

“You don’t look fine Lane. In fact you look like you haven’t slept all night,” I said. Thunderlane sighed.

“It’s Rumble. He’s sick, and I’ve gotta take care of him, that’s all,” he replied hurriedly. “Look, I’m sorry Chase but I have to go check on him now.”

“Well, what’s wrong? Can I see him?” I said. I hoped silently that the young colt was alright. He was adorably cute after all.

“Oh, no that’s not a good idea. It might be contagious,” Thunderlane said. “Look, I’m really sorry. I’ll make it up to you alright?” I nodded, turning away for a moment.

“Alright. But you owe me an explanation for all of this,” I said, grinning. I moved to fly off before he spoke again.

“Tomorrow night?” He said. “Just… just you and me. You can stop by here, I’ll explain everything then.” I sighed.

“Alright Thunderlane,” I replied, flying down to the ground and away from the silver-haired stallion. I heard him cough a bit as he closed the door. Opting to walk through town, I began to wonder just what was going on with him. When had Rumble gotten sick? Why was he so apprehensive about telling me what was going on? My mind was a jumble over the pegasus stallion. I simply just could not get him off my mind. Blossomforth swam to the forefront as well, as I pondered what she really hoped to gain from all of this. I knew from personal experience that Thunderlane wasn’t interested in her. How far was the green and pink maned mare willing to go to get what she wanted? She’d already proven she wasn’t below gossiping about my sister. I silently reminded myself to ask her about that next time I saw her. That morning I had been way too high off of the adrenaline of tying with her wing power score to think about that properly.

My journey back to the park was a silent one as I tried to keep a brave smile on my face. I waved at every other pony I passed like normal, feeling like I had been run through a printing press. Frankly, I was worn out from all this relationship stuff. If this was what being in love felt like all the time, I wasn’t sure I really wanted it. But then my thoughts turned to Thunderlane and how he made me feel. I felt… safe and secure with him. He was fun loving and loyal, and was also genuinely caring. Is that what love felt like? To scrutinize these qualities of his to the point of insanity? I didn’t rightly know.

The rest of the day passed without issue. Blossomforth thankfully kept her distance from us as we trained with Rainbow Dash. I found myself with a new respect for the cyan mare amidst all of this drama. She had been nothing but supportive of our efforts and despite her boasting, she was much easier to deal with than a few of our other peers. Dash had only had to leave us once during our training that day in order to deal with Fluttershy showing up. The butter colored pegasus had appeared out of nowhere accompanied by a cavalcade of animals. Her familiar bunny, Angel, had a stern look on his face as she took her place at the head of the track. The poor pegasus however had only managed to increase her wing power to a measly two point eight. Screaming in frustration, she flew off, leaving Rainbow Dash staring after her.

As we finished up the day, I tapped Dash on the shoulder before she could leave. She turned about, trying hard to keep a smile on her otherwise worn and tired face.

“Oh, hey Cloudchaser. What’s up?” She said.

“Just thought we could talk,” I replied, smiling. “Walk with me?” Dash nodded and followed me off into the park. We arrived at a rather secluded area and sat down, facing each other. A few moments of silence passed between us before I spoke.

“Is… everything alright Dash? You seem… tired,” I said. Dash nodded.

“It’s Fluttershy. I just feel so bad for her. She’s trying so hard to keep up with everypony else, and nothing I’ve tried is working,” she replied. I sighed.

“There’s only so much you can do though, Dash,” I said. “Look, I know you. You’re a good friend and you would never let anypony down. Maybe all Fluttershy needs is for you to be there for her.”

“I know I know, but I keep feeling like I could be doing more, you know? I mean, she’s my best friend for Celestia’s sake! Did you know that I’m the reason she got her cutie mark?” The cyan pegasus said.

“I… I didn’t know that. Really?” I said. Dash nodded, beginning to spin her tale about how a certain rainbow maned filly protected her yellow and pink friend from two bullies and how the Sonic Rainboom she had performed had resulted in not just Fluttershy’s cutie mark, but her four other friends as well.

“I… I just wish I could find a way to help her see that she is important. But the way things are looking, we’re going to be down one Fluttershy for tornado day,” Dash concluded.

“Well, I can see that she’s definitely important to you Dash. You really are a good and loyal friend… and I kind of owe you an apology,” I said.

“What for?” The rainbow maned mare replied.

“You told me I could talk to you and I kind of blew you off,” I said. “Okay, not kind of. I did blow you off. And I’m sorry.” Dash smiled.

“It’s alright Cloudchaser, I understand,” she said. “I take it that means you’re taking me up on my offer.”

“Yeah… I’ve got a few things to get off my chest,” I said. I began to tell her about Thunderlane, our initial meeting and how he had caught me so off guard. I spoke of meeting Spitfire, which Dash had naturally asked a bunch of questions about. I told her about Blossomforth, at least as much as I could without getting the pink and green haired mare in any trouble. I had told myself before that I absolutely refused to sink to her level and I meant it. I omitted her gossipy nature and the rumors about my sister she had spread. I felt… better than I had in a long time with saying the things that had been on my mind. Dash sighed when I had finished.

“I’m… I’m not so good at this love stuff Cloudchaser, so I can’t really tell you what the right decision to make here is,” she said finally after a few moments of silence. “But, I’m proud of you for trying this hard to be a part of this team. It means a lot to me, and if Thunderlane is half the buck he says he is, well then he’d be a moron to not notice how hard you’ve been working.”

“Thanks, Dash,” I said. “I just wish I knew what was going on with him. Lately it seems like he’s been real secretive over a lot of things.” Rainbow nodded.

“I don’t know much about his home life other than knowing he has Rumble, and that’s it,” the cyan mare said.

“Well, I guess I’d better get home. I’m sure Flitter is wondering where I am, not that she’d notice with her head in the clouds over Winter,” I said, giggling as Rainbow and I walked out of the park. I bid the other mare good night and began walking towards home. The town square was still relatively busy, ponies bustling everywhere to get their last minute shopping done before everything closed up for the day. As I made my way across the square, I heard the sounds of shouting coming from just ahead. A large crowd of ponies was gathered around something. What’s going on? I thought as I pushed my way through to see what all the commotion was about.

“You… you mean nasty pony!” I heard a familiar voice shout. I shivered. I knew that voice. Quiter well in fact. Flitter! I thought as I struggled to get to the head of the crowd. Finally pushing through to the other side, I came upon my sister and another familiar face: Blossomforth. The latter had a smug grin on her face.

“Now Flitter, I was merely commenting on how lovely your little bow looked on you,” she said smoothly as she noticed me appear next to Flitter. “Oh, hello Cloudchaser.”

“What do you want?” I growled. “Can’t you leave us alone for one day?”

“Pssh, if you must know it was your sister who approached me in the first place,” the white mare replied. I looked over at my sister.

“Flits, is this true?” I asked. She nodded.

“I wanted to know why she said those mean nasty things,” Flitter replied. “You know, about that.”

“And I merely replied that I heard about that in passing from a few stallions, actually more than a few stallions. You really should learn how to keep those legs shut –“ Blossomforth started to say. Her eyes went wide as Flitter rushed forward, tackling the white mare to the ground. The two mares tumbled over each other.

“Hey!” I shouted as I ran over to them, trying my best to break up the fight. I looked up seeing Winter there beside me. I grabbed Blossomforth by the wing and pulled her away as Winter managed to get a hold on Flitter. Flitter was in tears, blubbering as she buried her muzzle into her coltfriend’s neck. Winter stared coldly at Blossomforth, who was doing her best to play the part of the victim.

“Did you see? Did you see what she did?” She shouted. I stepped up to her and glared right into her eyes.

“Shut it, Blossom. You listen here.” I said as Blossomforth tried to interrupt me. I didn’t let her. “No! Listen. You will stay away from my sister you hear me? You think this is funny, spreading lies like this? It’s not. And the next time I see Thunderlane, I’m telling him all about this. You’ve gone too far.” Flitter’s crying echoed across the square. By this time most of the spectators had disappeared, most likely not willing to be a target of Flitter’s pent-up aggression.

“Please. Like he will believe you,” Blossom simply replied, glaring at me with venomous eyes. “Besides, it’s not like a little gossip ever really hurt anypony.” My eyes widened. She doesn’t even care! I thought. She doesn’t even bucking care that her harmless gossip really hurt Flitter.

“Your gossip really hurt my sister. You’re lucky I’m not the one bucking your teeth in right about now,” I said angrily. “The only thing keeping me from doing so is I know it wouldn’t do any good. You’d just go crying to anypony who would listen and take pity on you.” I turned on the spot and grabbed Flitter and Winter, storming off in the opposite direction from the speechless mare. Blossomforth simply gave a ‘hmmph!’ and trotted off herself, finding her gaggle of girlfriends to giggle with once more. Winter held closely onto Flitter as we walked. I smiled at him. We arrived at our house shortly afterwards, and I helped my sister inside. She laid down on the couch in the living room, still bawling her eyes out. I rubbed her mane for a moment and told her I’d be back in a second.

“Thanks for taking care of her Winter,” I said as we stepped outside. The stallion nodded.

“I… I tried to stop her from going up to Blossomforth, but you know how forceful she can be sometimes,” he said. I nodded.

“I don’t get it though, what’s Blossomforth playing at? Making up rumors like that about Flitter of all ponies?” I said. “Just doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“You think she’s trying to get at you? I mean uh… I don’t know either!” Winter said, planting a hoof over his mouth. I glared at him and he smiled sheepishly. “Oh alright, Flitter told me everything.”

“Everything?” I replied, raising an eyebrow.

“Uh… yeah. I know about the whole uh… challenge thing and Thunderlane,” he said. I groaned. Gee. Thanks Flitter, I thought as the stallion continued to speak. “Anyways, like I was saying… maybe she’s trying to get to you, make you do something you normally wouldn’t do. Make you look bad in front of Thunderlane.” I considered his words for a moment. Blossomforth had seemed like a nice pony at first. Was she really so obsessed with Thunderlane that she’d stoop to spreading hurtful rumors to throw off the one rival for his love? I sighed. I couldn’t let her get to me, but Flitter... She was sensitive to these sorts of things.

“I’ll… think about that. Anyways, you’d probably better get going. I can handle Flitter from here,” I said. Winter nodded.

“Can I… can I say good night at least?” He asked. I chuckled.

“Of course you can silly,” I replied. I followed him inside where my sister was still sitting on the couch. She looked up as Winter sat down next to her.

“I’ve gotta go, I’ll see you tomorrow?” He said quietly. She teared up for a moment, throwing her forehooves around his neck. The stallion smiled, returning the embrace.

“N-N-Night Winter, I… I love you,” she said softly.

“Love you too my little Flitterbug, don’t cry too hard alright?” The white pegasus replied, releasing my sister and standing. He nodded at me as he left. Flitter sighed and looked over at me.

“I-I’m sorry Sis,” she said as I sat down next to her.

“For what?” I asked. She shifted up close to me so I could hug her closely.

“Because I tried to beat up Blossomforth,” she said, half-chuckling. Her eyes were still wet, but they were bright. “I guess when you say it out loud like that, it’s kind of funny.”

“Don’t worry about it, Flits. I really don’t know what got into that mare,” I said. “Besides… you’ve got Winter now. Who needs to listen to what she says? I saw the way he looked at you. He’s hooked.” Flitter giggled.

“I… I guess so,” she said softly.

“No really, he is. Now come on, you know what a night like this deserves right?” I said. Flitter shrugged.

“Ice cream?” She asked. I grinned.

“Ice cream.”


The next day came, much like Tuesdays always do. Rainy. Despite the fact that I knew that there would be some rain the week before the tornado (mostly to fill the reservoir up to its maximum level) I did not expect it to be as wet as it was. Instead of flying to the track, Flitter and I walked. My sister’s mood had returned to its normal carefree ways since the night before and the encounter with Blossomforth. It was nice to see her feeling better. Despite the cheerful mood, I couldn’t help but think that the dreary day was some sort of omen. I was supposed to meet Thunderlane that evening and finally get some answers as to what was going on with him.

We arrived at the park and began filtering into line for our morning wing power tests. I felt really good about this one. I had spent the day before really working hard with Rainbow Dash. I thought about what the cyan mare had told me, of how she was proud of me for working so hard. I realized that I was proud of myself as well. Never before had I given any thought into improving my wing power and my wing technique so much. It felt… good. Invigorating almost. Granted, I was still only doing this to rub it all into Blossomforth’s snobby little face at the end. Still, with tornado day fast approaching, none of us were going to have any time to do anything but train, and train hard.

The whistle blew and Twilight called out my name. I snickered when I saw the mare, as she was wearing a rain slicker and floating an umbrella over herself and Spike. Unicorns, I thought, giggling in the back of my head. I guess pegasi are just more used to the natural weather elements. I took my spot and shot off, feeling the wind and the rain providing just the right amount of resistance to my increasing speed. The experience of it all was exhilarating. A thought formed in the back of my mind, taking shape as I came around the track’s far corner. This was just like when I had faced down the storm with Thunderlane. That same feeling I felt when I looked at him. I loved this! I soared past Twilight’s speed device, causing it to spin uncontrollably.

“Nine point six! Excellent work Cloudchaser, you’re really improving!” Twilight chirped as Spike happily wrote down the results. I beamed and skipped off, meeting Flitter and Winter under a nearby tree. I scoped out the rest of the crowd. Thunderlane was still missing in action, and curiously enough… so was Blossomforth. While it didn’t bother me that much that the white mare was nowhere to be seen, Thunderlane missing another day of practice really concerned me. I hoped that he had a good explanation for it when I went to his house later that evening.

Seeing as how there was nothing else to do but continue our training, I fell back into the routine that Rainbow Dash had developed for us in the past week. Flitter came away happily with a newly received eight point five wing power score, and began to stretch and exercise next to me. Winter Storm, who had already received the requisite ten point zero wing power needed to help drive the tornado, sat off to the side and was watching his marefriend. At lunch, Rainbow Dash gathered all of the Ponyville pegasi who were there that day, wanting to make some sort of big announcement.

“Alright! You all have been working so hard for the past week, that Twilight and I thought it might be a good idea to give you a rest period. So, tomorrow you guys will be able to do whatever you want. Take the day off. You’re all doing so fantastic, and I’m really proud of you all,” The cyan mare shouted over the crowd, who cheered vigorously for the weather captain. “Don’t forget though, Saturday is Tornado Day! So no Friday night parties, and no staying out til three in the morning! I want every pegasi here well rested before we give it our all and break that wind speed record!” The crowd cheered some more and we broke for lunch. Deciding that it would be nice to go out to eat for a change, I flew over and tapped on Ditzy’s shoulder. The walleyed mare turned around and grinned.

“Oh, Cloudchaser!” She said. I smiled brightly.

“Heya Ditz. Wanna join Flitter and me for lunch?” I said. The grey mare responded in her usual bubbly manner by excitedly shaking her head up and down. We soared off, meeting my sister and Winter Storm at the edge of the park. Winter hadn’t really met Ditzy yet, so after a round of introductions we were off to one of Ponyville’s nearby cafés. The rain had turned into more of a mist, which meant that more ponies were out and about than normal. The town square still felt relatively empty compared to any normal day. In fact, I didn’t even see the familiar Sweet Apple Acres sign anywhere.

Off in the distance, I could make out two figures trotting across the square. Applejack and Rarity walked next to each other, clearly embroiled in a very hushed conversation. Rarity was floating along an umbrella that kept the rain off of her, and she was appeared to be wearing fancy boots that kept the mud off of her pristine hooves. Both ponies were wearing their vests that indicated they were a part of the ground cleanup team, which helped keep Ponyville safe prior to scheduled storms. They trotted by and stopped, waving at us.

“Heya, girls. RD give you the day off or somethin’?” Applejack said.

“Nah, we’re just on lunch break. Got the day off tomorrow though,” I said. “What are you two up to?”

“Applejack and I were on our way to the far end of the park. There’s some tree debris there that needs to be cleared away before this dreadful storm gets any worse,” Rarity replied. “I do hope you girls stay in tonight. It’s supposed to be positively ghastly.” Being in training these past two weeks had really done a number on my weather upkeep. I felt pretty bad that I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

“Huh? You mean it’s supposed to get worse?” I asked. Applejack nodded.

“The reservoir needs to be fully filled by Saturday, and it’s really only half full at the moment. So they’re gonna make it rain big time tonight!” The country mare said. “Whoowee, I can’t remember the last time we had a storm this big.”

“I can, and we spent all night at Twilight’s fighting because of it,” Rarity interjected. “Oh well, old times and all that. We really must be off. Ta ta darlings!” The white mare began to trot away. Applejack frowned.

“That mare. Consarnit Rarity, wait for me! Sorry girls, but I gotta run,” she said as she took off after her friend. I turned back to Flitter and the others and we continued on, arriving finally at the café.

“So this storm is going to be a lot bigger?” Flitter asked as we sat down to eat. I nodded, thinking about my visit to Thunderlane that evening.

“Supposed to be a doozy, and I’m kind of supposed to go and see somepony tonight,” I replied. Flitter grinned.

“Oh? A certain stallion perhaps?” She said. I glared at her.

“If you must know, yes. Thunderlane invited me over to explain some things, mostly about why he’s been acting all moody lately,” I said. “It’s nothing major, he just wants to talk.”

“That’s how it staaaarts!” Flitter replied in a sing-song voice. She chuckled as the waiter stepped up and took our order. The rest of our lunch hour was more upbeat, as we began discussing far more boring topics like what we did on the weekends and whatnot. Ditzy’s daughter Dinky had just managed her first attempt at levitation, being that she was actually a unicorn and not a pegasus. The little filly had managed to move one of her pencils around on the table before the wooden object flew out of control, speeding around the entire house. Nevertheless, Ditzy was quite proud of Dinky’s achievement.

The rest of the day’s training went as well as I expected. Rainbow Dash was pleased, as a good majority of the pegasi had managed to achieve the ten point zero wing power we needed not just for getting the water up to Cloudsdale, but for beating Fillydelphia’s wind speed record. I hadn’t managed to hit that number yet, but I knew if I kept at it I would. As we finished up for the day, the already dark and rumbling clouds got a little darker. I quickly decided that if I was going to see Thunderlane, I needed to do it soon or else run the risk of getting caught in the storm. I trotted along towards his cloud home, humming to myself and thinking of him. I realized that I was putting myself into the same position Flitter had been in with Winter Storm. I was pining over this stallion, one I barely knew well enough to even consider the concept of a romantic relationship. But yet… there was something there all the same. Is it just a crush? Or do I really love him? I don’t know… I thought as I flapped my wings and landed on his front step. I moved to knock on the door, but paused for a moment. I cocked my head, hearing voices inside the cloud domicile. One of them was clearly Thunderlane’s voice. The other was muffled, but it sounded distinctly feminine. I hesitated. Did I come too early? Maybe it’s nothing. I’m just worrying over nothing, that’s right… I thought. The voices stopped for a moment, and I moved to knock on the door.

Instead… I found myself pushing open the door silently. The house was unlocked. Of course it is. This is Ponyville remember? Nothing bad ever happens here, I thought as the door swung inward. I don’t know why I did it. Maybe I was just a little too curious about what was going on with Thunderlane? I wasn’t really sure. The hallway was dark as I stepped in. One of the fairly interesting things about clouds is that one can be extremely quiet while walking along them. I turned down the hallway and peeked my head out into what I thought might have been the living room. My eyes widened at the sight before me.

Thunderlane was standing in the center of the small room. On the opposite side stood a very familiar white mare with pink and green in her mane. Blossomforth’s eyes were closed as she was… was…

They were kissing! My mind exploded with rage as I realized that this was why Thunderlane had suddenly started avoiding me. He was secretly courting Blossomforth this entire time! I never even had a chance to tell him… to say how I felt about him. My brain fought with my heart as I tried to process what was happening to me. My brain told me to be calm and to consider that maybe I had been wrong, that I was being silly and that Thunderlane and I were only friends. My heart said otherwise, telling me that it should have been me there kissing him, not Blossomforth.

I stood there for a good few minutes watching the two, my anger rising every second. Thunderlane’s eyes snapped open, meeting my own sinister glare. He quickly pulled away from Blossomforth, panic building up in his expression as he looked at me.

“C-C-Cloudchaser?” He said aloud. Blossomforth turned her head, a wicked grin forming on her lips. I said nothing, opting to turn around as I began to gallop down the hallway and out the door of the cloud house. Behind me I thought I heard him calling my name again, but I couldn’t hear him. I was too lost in my thoughts. I flew off the step and headed into the evening sky just as the rain began to fall, feeling like all hope had washed away from my life.


Storms by their very nature are violent and unpredictable entities. Even storms developed by highly trained weather pegasi can be dangerous. The storm that night was no exception. I flew through the pouring rain, adding my own tears to the mix of water that ran down my face. My mind drifted back to having watched Blossomforth and Thunderlane. I roared at the storm as I soared through the sky, pain clenching every inch of my heart. I had never really experienced heartbreak before. Even when Flitter and I were younger, most of the time it was me who broke off any dates I’d ever had. I’d never had to play witness to it happening to me.

Why? I thought as the rain came down upon me, drenching me as I flew. Why didn’t he tell me sooner? Why didn’t I tell him sooner? Why? Why?! I couldn’t think or even breathe as I let the storm pound me about, the powerful winds taking me to wherever they felt like taking me. Any place was better than Ponyville. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I was being unreasonable. I could never leave Flitter behind; I loved my sister far too much for that. A bolt of lightning from the dark sky brought me back to reality as I realized that this was just like before. The storm at Sweet Apple Acres that Thunderlane had saved me from. Except… this time there would be no Thunderlane. He was too busy with Blossomforth to care about me.

I knew that I needed to get home, to get back to the comfort and safety of my bed. But for some reason, I hesitated, like I expected him to be there. Another lightning strike shot past me, coming a little too close for comfort as I tried to get my bearings. The air was thick and hazy, and I could barely make out the town of Ponyville below me. Even the normally visible town hall building was lost in the storm’s violence. I realized just how stupid this really was. Flying through one of the largest rain storms created by pegasi in Ponyville in the longest time? Yeah… that was pretty dumb. And for what… a stallion? I groaned, pushing my wet mane out of my eyes as I resolved on trying to head for the ground. The wind buffeted me from all angles as I spread my wings, hoping to simply glide downward until I touched something solid.

As I flew, I thought I heard a voice calling my name. I spun about, not seeing the source of the shouting. I shut my eyes and tried to flap my wings, but the wind wasn’t having any of it. It kept attacking me and I kept fighting it back. Thunder roared across the sky as a bolt of lightning shot past me, nearly blinding me as I struggled to get away from it. If I didn’t find someplace to set down quickly, I was going to be burnt toast. Again I heard somepony calling my name. Where is that coming from? I thought, opening my eyes again and scanning the horizon. Still nothing. The storm above me raged on, becoming increasingly more violent as I tried to fly along. As I flapped my wings, the pounding rain in front of me gave way to a black form. My eyes widened when I realized it was a building of some sorts. I tried to pull away and dodge, but it was too late. I hit with a *crash* into the side of the building. Pain shot through every part of my body as I began to fall.

“Cloudchaser!” A voice from above me called out. A silvery haired stallion flew within my vision’s reach as my eyes closed and I fell unconscious.


I woke up coughing and freezing, but I was alive. My eyes fluttered open, and I realized that I was inside a bedroom, and it was dark. A casual glance around the cloud room revealed that it belonged to a stallion. Posters of the Wonderbolts and of various female pegasi in very… revealing positions graced the walls of the room. I blinked as I tried to sit up on the bed. Pain shot through my side and I looked down. I had been bandaged up by somepony. Where am I? I thought as I continued to scan the room. My eyes finally came to rest on a picture frame on a desk in the room. A very familiar silver haired pegasus and a younger pegasus stood proudly in it, dressed up with Wonderbolts memorabilia.

“Oh buck me,” I said aloud as I realized whose room I was in. The memory of my crash came rushing back. Did he actually fly out… for me? I thought. It was then that I heard the door start to open. I immediately laid my head down and closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep. Somepony shuffled into the room and set something down on the side of the bed.

“Cloudchaser? You awake?” Thunderlane’s voice echoed across the room. I stayed deathly silent, afraid of what the stallion might have to say. He sighed. “Guess not. Well. I left some breakfast for you for when you wake up.” The door opened again and he left. I cocked my eye open, seeing a tray with flowers sitting on the bed. My stomach growled, indicating that I was indeed quite famished. I pushed myself up and grabbed the flowers with my teeth, beginning to chew. I had just finished the final bite when the door opened again and Thunderlane appeared, bearing a pillow in his teeth. His eyes went wide as he saw me awake and he spat out the pillow onto the bed.

“You’re… awake,” he said. “How are you feeling?” I glared at him, trying to push myself off the bed to leave. I winced in pain, prompting the stallion to be right at my side.

“You hurt yourself pretty badly out there,” he said. “Why were you flying out there Cloudchaser? Even you know better than to fly through a lightning storm.” I glared at him again.

“You know why,” I said. “Why do you care even? Don’t you have somepony else to attend to?” Thunderlane’s eyes closed for a moment.

“I guess I kind of deserve that. But you got it all wrong Chase,” he said.

“Oh? I do, do I? Then I guess I wasn’t seeing you making out with Blossomforth?” I snarled. He sighed.

“Okay, I’ll admit that. You saw that. But that wasn’t what it looked like at all,” the stallion said.

“So what was it? You wanted to show me that you weren’t really interested in me at all?” I said angrily. Thunderlane shook his head.

“No. Look, Blossom came over and we were talking about old times, and next thing I know she’s trying to make out with me,” he said. “That’s it, seriously. I don’t even know why.”

“I do. She’s still in love with you,” I said. “Good thing too, you’ll make a cute couple.”

“What?” He replied. “Ugh, I told her a long time ago that it was over between us.” I blinked.

“So wait… you’re not… you’re not with her?” I said, trying to process this new information.

“No!” Thunderlane shouted. “She’s nice and all, but I just consider her a friend.”

“I… I see,” I said, turning away from him. “I’m… sorry. I overreacted is all,” I said. I realized that this would pretty much well make my feelings known to him. I felt a hoof on my shoulder.

“It’s… it’s alright,” he said. I looked at him, and tears began to flow. The stallion’s eyes widened. “Hey, hey there what’s the matter?”

“I just… I feel like such a fool, coming here and then acting like… that,” I managed, choking out the sentence through my tears. “I saw you and her and I thought… I felt like I didn’t even have a chance.”

“What do you… oh,” he said. “Cloudchaser, I don’t like Blossomforth that way because she’s just not my type. I never said I didn’t like you.” I stared at him and he smiled softly. “In fact, you’re pretty cool. Rumble really does like you. And I guess… I guess I do too.” He took his hoof off my shoulder and wrapped around me, holding me close. I slowly felt the tears fall away as I let him embrace me.

“What… what now?” I said, sniffling. “Don’t you think Blossomforth will get mad at you?” Thunderlane snorted.

“Let her,” he said. “She’ll learn to deal with it.”

“Does this mean we…?” I started to ask. Thunderlane smiled, and pulled me in closer. Before I could say anything more I felt his lips on mine and my world melted away. It was like pure electricity running through my entire body. There was an intense passion behind the kiss of the likes that I had never felt before. It was nothing like when I had kissed him for saving my life the first time. Time seemed to stop, and for those few brief moments, there was just me and him. Finally, the stallion pulled away. He was breathing hard. His gaze pierced into my very soul and at that point in time, I felt like nothing else mattered.

“Does that answer anything for you?” He said after a few moments of silence. I nodded, a sly grin creeping onto my face as I pushed him off of to the bed.

“You’re still a jerk,” I said, crossing my forelegs. Thunderlane chuckled.

“Alright, that’s fair. I guess I really do owe you an explanation now, don’t I?” He said. I cocked my head.

“Explanation?” I said, before remembering the entire reason I was coming over to see him in the first place. “Oh! Right.” Thunderlane sighed.

“Alright… here goes. You see, the real reason I had to stay home with Rumble the other day was because… it’s just us,” he said. I stared at him, feeling very confused.

“What… what do you mean?” I asked.

“It’s just Rumble and I. I have to take care of him, because he’s all I have,” he said.

“What about your parents?” I said. The stallion snorted.

“Those two good for nothing lowlifes? Probably living it up in Cloudsdale still. We had to get out of there, Chase. They… they were terrible,” He said, looking pained at the memories he was dredging up. “That’s why I was commuting. I was trying to make enough money to get Rumble out of there. He deserves so much better than what they were doing to him.” I stayed silent, waiting for him to continue. Thunderlane looked me in the eye. “They beat us, Cloudchaser. Just for fun. It’s almost like they didn’t even want a kid, let alone two of them. As soon as I could get out on my own, I did. When I had enough money… I grabbed Rumble and we came here.” I blinked, reaching out with my hoof and grabbing the stallion in a fierce hug.

“Oh Celestia, I’m so sorry,” I said, realizing that when I had told the stallion how proud his parents would be… I couldn’t even fathom what had been going on in his head at that moment. “I...” Thunderlane smiled and nuzzled my neck.

“It’s okay. You deserve to know. It’s all for the best. Rumble’s got great friends, and a good school, and he doesn’t have to worry about those creeps anymore,” he said. “I don’t either. I doubt they’d ever come looking for us. Us leaving was probably the best thing that ever happened to them.”

“Still… that’s so… so sad,” I said, thinking about the younger sibling. Rumble was an adorable little colt. What kind of sick ponies did his parents have to be in order to do something so atrocious to a foal of all ponies? “What… what does Rumble have to say about all of this?”

“He’s a tough little colt. We… we talked about it. Right after we moved here actually. He understands why he had to come with me,” he said.

“Didn’t you ever go to the authorities?” I asked. Thunderlane nodded.

“We did, but they didn’t listen. Every time they checked up on them, everything was hunky dory. They wrote off any bruises that Rumble had as flight injuries. As for me, I already had a bit of a reputation for getting into fights.”

“You?” I said in disbelief.

“Yeah. I was a bit of a troublemaker. Being out on my own a lot and not wanting to go home, I got into it usually pretty hard,” he said. “It wasn’t until I got my cutie mark and Rumble was born that I started shaping up.”

“And Blossomforth? She knows all of this too?” I said. He nodded.

“I was out on assignment when I nearly ran her over pushing a cloud. I practically begged her not to say anything about it; otherwise I could have lost my job. We got to know each other and naturally… she found out her own way about my living situation,” he said. I sighed, wincing at the pain in my side. It hurt pretty badly, reminding me of why I flew out into the storm in the first place: Blossomforth.

“I guess she’s pretty good at the whole gossip thing,” I replied. “I don’t know how much you know about her Lane, but she’s bad news.”

“She’s not all bad. She just doesn’t know how to connect well with other ponies. Those others that follow her around aren’t really her friends. They’re just yes-ponies who do what she says,” Thunderlane said. “But at her core? She’s just a normal mare like you.”

“Could have fooled me,” I snorted, earning myself a glare from the grey stallion. “Alright, fine. I’ll… I’ll talk to her alright?” Thunderlane shook his head.

“No. We’ll talk to her. Together,” he said. Sunshine filtered in from the window, prompting him to look up. “Looks like the storm is breaking up. It’s morning.” My eyes widened.

“Wait… what?!” I shouted, trying to climb off of the bed. “Morning! How long have I been here?!”

“Umm… well you’ve kind of been here all night. You were in real bad shape, after all,” Thunderlane said, scratching the back of his mane with his hoof. I groaned loudly.

“Flitter’s probably going insane with worry,” I said, finally pushing myself up. “I need to get home.”

“Oh. Well… okay,” the stallion said, his voice twinged with sadness as he smiled softly at me. “How… how do your wings feel? Better?” I gave an experimental flap. It felt perfect.

“Much better,” I said, grinning. I turned towards the door of the bedroom. I was stopped by his voice.

“Chase?” He said. I looked back at the grey stallion. “Do… do you want to go out to dinner tonight? Just the two of us?” I blinked.

“I… I’d like that, yes,” I replied, turning back to face him fully. I sat down for a second, trying to get out what I wanted to say. “I’m… I’m not so good at this stuff really Lane. All I know is how I feel about you. Believe me when I say… I’d like to take this kind of slow.” Thunderlane chuckled.

“That’s perfectly fine,” he said. “See you tonight then?”

“Tonight,” I said. I turned and pushed open the bedroom door. I trotted down the center hallway, pausing for a brief moment past Rumble’s room. The colt was asleep still, looking adorable in his bed. I continued on, quietly opening the front door and stepping out into the morning air. The wind whipped across my face, and I smiled. Things were about to change for me, and I certainly hoped for the better. As I flapped my wings and took to the skies, a single thought echoed in the back of my mind.

I’ve got a date!


Next Time!

The heat is on as Cloudchaser has her first real date with Thunderlane! Will the two plucky pegasi protagonists make it through it, or will Blossomforth be waiting to steal the stallion? And just why is everypony coughing so much? Find out next time on ‘Flying Through the Storm Chapter 5: The Date’

Chapter 5: The Date

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Flying Through the Storm

Chapter 5: The Date

(A/N: Warnings abound, this chapter gets a little silly as it is a musical chapter. Yes, this is a silly musical chapter warning. So… if you like singing at all… well then carry on. It is Ponyville after all!)

“A date?!” An excited squeal erupted out of Flitter’s mouth the moment I mentioned it. “Ohmygosh ohmygosh! He asked you on a real date?!” I rolled my eyes.

“Yes, Flitter. A real date. As opposed to a fake one,” I said flatly. The worried look on my sister’s face had quickly turned to a filly-ish grin the moment I had mentioned where I was, and what had happened. I suppose I should have expected it though. Flitter always was overly excited every time I had ever been asked out. Like it was some big deal, or something. But this is a big deal, The voice in the back of my head replied. I hated to admit it, but it was right.

“This is so exciting!” Flitter squealed again. “I can’t believe he asked you out, and you said yes!”

“Gee. Thanks for the vote of confidence there,” I said.

“Sorry, I’m just really excited for you. Do you know where you’re going?” my sister asked. I shook my head. I hadn’t really gotten the details hammered out with Thunderlane. I assumed that he would just pick me up and we’d go out. Flitter pinned her ears back. “Well, we’re going to need to figure that out. After all, it’s up to me to make you look presentable.”

“What do you mean, presentable?” I snorted. “I look fine, thank you very much.”

“Oh please. You’re dirty, you smell pretty bad, and you’re wearing bandages for Celestia’s sake!” Flitter cried out. “You have to look nice for your first date.” I looked down at my coat and shuddered as I took in a whiff of my own smell. Goddesses, she’s right, I thought. I smell like I’ve been sitting in a dumpster for days. I looked back at my sister, glaring at her.

“Fine,” I said. “But nothing over the top! Promise me you won’t go overboard with this!” I said. Flitter nodded excitedly.

“Oh, come on. Trust me!” She said. “I promise I won’t go completely overboard.” She trotted off upstairs to get the shower started. I sighed and lowered my head as I began to follow.

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” I said as I resigned myself to my fate.


The warm water from the bath streamed down my face, and truth be told… it felt quite good. I leaned back, resting my head against the tub and sighed, thinking of the night ahead of me. I remembered my kiss with the stallion that morning. It was amazing. Nothing could have ever prepared me for it. I couldn’t say for sure whether I really loved him yet, but in my mind I was well on my way there.

“Times up!” I heard a shout from above me, breaking me out of my reverie. “We’ve gotta get you dry and get shopping! Love is in the air , and I’m not about to let it flounder!” Flitter stood next to the tub, holding a bucket that she had just used to dump the water onto my head. Flicking it off with a quick tap of her wing, she literally dragged me out of the tub and began drying me off with a towel. I sputtered, trying to get her attention, but she wasn’t listening. I noticed she had her headphones on and was busy humming along to a tune. A chunky beat could be heard coming from the pink-colored device and I couldn’t help but tap my hooves to it.

“There’s something happening here…” Flitter sang under her breath. Her eyes went wide when she heard me giggle at her.

“There’s something happening here. It’s an amazing, wonderful thing called love,” she belted out. My sister grinned widely at me as she finished drying me off. The song in her heart kicked into high gear as she motioned for me to follow her. We burst out of our house into the sunny Ponyville street moments later.

“Look around, and tell me what you see,” Flitter began. “Love is in the air, and it is happening!” She waved her hoof about. It seemed like every couple in Ponyville was out that day. My sister skipped along the street past Lyra and Bon Bon, carefree as ever. The two mares waved and giggled as they continued down the road. I followed along behind Flitter as we cruised through the town, headed for the shopping district.

“All the ponies of the world have joined their hearts, just like they’ve done from the very start,” Flitter continued on into her song. The music that followed along with it appeared to emanate out of thin air. Nopony seemed to really notice as she bounced to and fro, putting all of her heart into the music. I couldn’t help it. I smiled and began to sing too.

“I don’t know why we’re singing about this lovey stuff,” I sang, adding my own spin into the song and earning myself a glare from my sister. “This is all just too much fluff.”

“Love is that happiness that you feel,” Flitter replied, bounding past me. “It’s a wonderful, amazing little thing you see.” Skipping along without a care in the world, my sister nearly ran into another couple on the street. Thankfully the two ponies simply smiled and waved. “Love! It lifts you up when you are blue! Love doesn’t care if you are young or you are old. It only cares about yooooo-uuu!” Flitter bounced past me and grabbed my shoulder, waving widely to the world around us. “You can’t stop the feeling of endless love, because…

There’s something happening here… There’s something… going on in the world today. There’s something happening here… it’s a crazy amazing wonderfully insane little thing called love!”

I rolled my eyes again as Flitter dragged me into the merchant district of Ponyville. She stopped singing for a moment, smiling widely at me.

“First stop, my dear sister! We must acquire for you a dress to look good for Thunderlane this evening!” She declared. I glared at her.

“Ohh no. No dresses,” I said defiantly. “Not happening.”

“Come on Sis! Give it a chance! This might be your only shot to make a good impression on him! You’ve gotta give it your all!” My sister said. I sighed. I suppose she’s right, I thought, letting my mind drift back to Blossomforth.

“Alright, fine. But if I don’t see anything I like, I’m out of there in ten seconds flat, got it?” I snorted. Flitter grinned as we stopped in front of a nearby dress store. Her eyes maniacal, she grabbed me, dragging me inside to begin forcing me to try on dress after dress after dress. In all honesty, it felt like I was trapped in one of those silly music montages from those old movies Flitter and I used to find in our parent’s entertainment room. You know, the kind where the young mare is getting ready to meet her dream boat, and she’s singing all about how much she loves him as she prepares. The proprietor of the store looked on with bemusement on her face as Flitter cleared her throat and began to sing again in earnest.

“Now Cloudchaser my dear, I cannot express my delight!” Flitter sang as we sat down in front of the mirrors. “It’s abundantly clear that somewhere in here is a dress that will fit you just right.” I rolled my eyes.

“I can’t wait to get started, but first let me set a few rules. It’s of utmost importance that the dress that I get is something that’s sexy and cool!” I sang. If I was gonna have to wear a dress, it was gonna have to look good on me, or else.

“Sexy, cool. Got it!” Flitter replied. “There are so many wonderful dresses just what you will see…” I trotted out of the dressing room in a long black dress that definitely was not sexy. It didn’t even show anything off! Plus, it felt rather flimsy.

“I need something hot and smokin' to keep up with me,” I sang, voicing my concerns about how the dress would look on me.

“Sure! How about this black dress, it’s smart and cute and soft as can be!” She sang, nodding excitedly. I groaned and stuck my tongue out at her as I shook my head.

“Smart? Cute? Do you even know me?” I replied. Flitter grabbed another dress off the rack, tossing it my way.

“Cloudchaser have faith, you see I will bet you. Somewhere in here is a dress that will fit you!” She sang, forcing me back into the dressing room. I grumbled as she pushed on me. “Come on, you’ll look great in it!”

“Are you calling me fat? Cuz I’d like to be sexy and awesome,” I said, trying on the next dress: a big poofy purple dress that made me look like I was three times my size.

“Oh, really? Because I know this dress has your name written all over it. Oh, look its on sale!” My sister sang back at me as I stepped out in the giant dress. I glared at her, feeling like a giant poofy purple pony. The doorbell to the shop rang loudly as I saw Ditzy Doo and Carrot Top enter the dress shop. They both had wide smiles on their faces as they saw me. I blushed fiercely at the attention.

“Pass,” I replied, taking the purple dress off as quickly as possible to avoid any further embarrassment.

“There are plenty of dresses about for you to decide! There are fashions and designs by Hoity Toity,” She sang, picking up several clothes hangers to shove in my face. Frustrated, I dropped them in front of her.

“His dresses aren’t sexy!” I shouted. Flitter rolled her eyes.

“Maybe not, but I know I saw this particular dress on sale for 50 bits!” She said. I sighed.

“That’s it, I’m out of here,” I said, turning to leave the dress shop. My sister flared her wings out and flew in front of me to stop me.

“Wait! There must be a dress here, that will fit the ticket! How about a Bitalian Gown or a Prench Maid Outfit?” She said, holding up the hangers with a smile on her face. I groaned.

“Sexier! And cooler!” I exclaimed. Flitter bounced around the store, her eyes lighting up.

“I’ve got just the thing in this clothes rack, meet your fabulous new ball gown!” She sang, pushing open a nearby clothing rack and revealing a fancy white ball gown with frilly things all over it.

“It’s just a ball gown,” I said flatly. Flitter nodded her head excitedly.

“Not just any ball gown, but a fabulously white ball gown,” She replied. I sighed.

“Yeah… like I was saying. Sister dear, this won’t cut it. I need a dress that will look good on me. Something awesome, something sexy, something that will make a grown stallion weep!” I shouted out amidst the store, not caring who heard me.

“I’m sensing you want a dress that’s sexy,” Flitter said.

“You think?” I deadpanned. My sister grinned, diving into the clothing racks as she grabbed several dresses. She pushed them into my waiting hooves and shoved me back into the dressing room.

“I’ve got plenty of dresses that will look good on you!” She sang. “Like this little red number and this sleek little catsuit!”

“Better, and sexier!” I said as I eyed myself in the mirror with the little red dress and then the catsuit. I’m… not quite sure what the catsuit had to do with dresses, but it felt nice at least. It certainly looked sexy!

“I see, how about a mini skirt, or a V-neck, or a low cut,” Flitter continued, tossing dresses at me like crazy. “There’s so many sexy dresses alike, so that.” She bounded across the shop past the proprietor, who had a very nervous look on her face over the two mares singing in her shop. Granted, this was Ponyville, where Pinkie Pie took every opportunity to sing a song, but still it had to be just a little annoying sometime. Flitter started to sing the next part of the song, but she was interrupted as I spun about and looked at myself in the mirror.

“Whoah,” I said, breaking the entire flow of my sister’s song and earning myself a pretty harsh glare for it. Her eyes lit up however, when she saw what I had seen. Ditzy and Carrot Top trotted up behind, their expressions also aglow with amazement.

The dress itself was a simple affair. A soft lavender silk front accentuated my wings perfectly, while the black skirt draped off of my flank like a waterfall. It was cut a little high, but not enough to make it look overly revealing. I gave a test flap and spun about, feeling the dress flow around with me in perfect tune with every movement. I set down and stared at myself in the mirror. Is this me? I thought. Wow… this is amazing!

“Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh you guys,” I sang, not caring who heard me. “This dress is perfect! And it’s just my size!

“See, dreams really do come true you don’t have to compromise!” Ditzy piped up from behind me. I glanced at her curiously, wondering how she knew the words to the song.

“It’s gorgeous!” Carrot Top chimed in. Ditzy nodded enthusiastically. I looked over the proprietor, who simply smiled at me. I shuddered to think of the price of such a beautiful looking dress.

“How much?” I asked, fearing the answer. The mare shrugged.

“You know what? Take it, it’s yours. Not every day I get a mare as in love as you obviously are in here,” She said. I blinked.

“Really?” I said. “Oh no, I couldn’t. Really, I shouldn’t.”

“Ah, I don’t mind dear. Think of it as free advertising. This stallion of yours is going to get knocked off his hooves when he sees you in this!” The mare replied.

“Well… okay… thank you very much!” I said, feeling much better about things as I carefully removed the dress. The shop owner packed it up in a box for me, smiling as our entourage exited the shop.

“Alright! Dress checked off the list!” Flitter shouted from behind me. She had somehow produced a notepad and a pencil out of thin air and was making a marking on the paper. She put them away and grinned widely. “Next up! To the salon! It’s not enough that you have the dress, you gotta look good yourself too!” Salon! I thought as I tried to escape from my insane sister. “Hey wait! Get her!” Within seconds I felt Ditzy and Carrot Top grab me.

“Sorry Cloudchaser, but Flitter’s in charge!” Ditzy said as they began to drag me towards the Ponyville Spa & Salon. When we arrived, the two proprietors of the establishment (earth ponies by the names of Aloe and Lotus who I only knew by name, not by face), rushed out and liberated me from my captors and then immediately re-incarcerated me in a spa chair, their eyes gleaming as they began to work me over. I groaned, sitting there as they re-washed my mane, putting it up in a towel for styling later. Flitter and the others sat off the side, watching the spectacle with awe. I silently reminded myself I was going to have to real long talk with my sister later about the meaning of going completely overboard.

“You have a lovely complexion, Miss Cloudchaser,” one of the spa ponies (the blue one maybe?) said as she began to work on giving my front hooves a pony pedi. Despite my mood (or lack thereof), it actually felt kind of… nice. “’Vat is the occasion for your visit today?” I blushed fiercely at this.

“I uh… I’ve got a… a date…” I said as quietly as possible. I nearly sounded like Fluttershy I was so soft! The spa pony’s eyes lit up.

“A date! Ah how’vunderful!” The other sister exclaimed. “We shall have to ‘verk extra hard to make you look incredible!” I sighed.

“No, please. I don’t want to make a big deal about this,” I tried to protest. “It’s just our first date and ---“

“First date!” The blue spa pony cried out, cutting me off. “Oh young love. I remember my own first love. He ‘vas a bodybuilder, you know. Back in my home country…” She looked wistfully off into space, clearly remembering her lost lover.

“What happened to him?” Flitter asked, bouncing up to us as the pink sister began to work on my back hooves.

“Oh, my papa, he forbid me to see him. I used to sneak out all of ‘ze time to go out ‘vith him. But alas, my papa he found out and ‘ve moved here,” the blue sister said, sighing. I still wasn’t quite sure which one I was talking to. “’Ze rest is history!”

“Oh, how romantic!” Flitter said, her eyes filled with wonder at the spa pony’s tale. “Against all odds you met to forge your forbidden love!”

“Geez, laying it on thick much there Flits?” I said sarcastically, earning myself a glare from her.

“Hey, just because you don’t think much of this lovey dovey stuff doesn’t make it any less important,” She said. “I mean, come on… you really like Thunderlane don’t you?” I paused for a moment at that, thinking back to my kiss with him that morning. I certainly had enjoyed it. Was I really in love?

“Okay, yes, I really do like him a lot,” I said finally. “He’s… he’s nice. And when I’m with him… I feel content. Safe. You know what I mean?” Flitter and the others nodded in agreement.

“See? You’re in love! Embrace it, darling!” The pink spa pony interjected.

“Hey! I’m not in love. I… I don’t know, okay?” I said angrily.

“Oh please, you are in denial, girl,” Carrot Top said, casually. “It’s not such a bad thing to be in love with somepony.” I sighed, lowering my head. Was I in denial? Was I truly in love? I didn’t know. Sometimes, I wish I did know then what I wanted out of all of this.

"I thought my heart had learned its lesson… it feels so good when you start out…” I sang under my breath. “My heart is screaming, get a grip girl! Unless you’re dying, to cry your eyes out!”

“Ooh you are denying, who you really are, baby we’re not buying, Hon we saw you hit the ceiling.... Face it like a grown-up, when you gonna pony up, that ya got, got, got it bad!” The others sang in chorus, responding to my impromptu solo. I groaned and pressed forward into the song, hoping I would feel better about all of this by the time it was all over.

“No chance, no way. I won’t say it!” I sang in response. “It's too... cliché! I won't say I'm in love.”

“Who ya think you're kiddin', he's worth all Equestria to ya, stop tryin' to keep it hidden', we can see right through ya, come on mare you know it, that you got, got, got it bad!” The others replied. I glared at them.

“No chance! No way! I won't say it! You're way off base I won't say it! Get off my case! I won’t say it!” I sang proudly.

“Oh don’t be proud, it’s okay you’re in love…” The others finished. I sighed and buried my head into the plush pillow I was lying on, trying to get away from everypony else.

“At least… out loud…” I sang once more quietly, more to myself than to anypony else. “I won’t say I’m in love…”


After all was said and done, I looked myself over in the mirror of the small dressing room the spa ponies had shoved me into. The spa ponies had done a great job on my mane, styling it so that I had little curls drifting over my face where my usual spiky bangs were. They had even braided it down my neck, which looked pretty amazing with the dress. My hooves were nice and clean, thanks to the pony pedi, and I felt… better. I sighed, turning away from the mirror to see Carrot Top standing there.

“Wow,” She said, whistling. “Hot stuff.” I grinned.

“Oh, please,” I said, rolling my eyes. I looked back at her. “Do I really look that good?” She orange-maned mare chuckled.

“Hon, if I were into mares, you’d definitely turn my head,” She said. I blinked. Was that… a compliment? I didn’t really know.

“Oh? And what about you? Everypony else seems interested in telling me their own life and love stories today, so what’s yours?” I said casually, as I started carefully removing the dress. There was still plenty of time before later that night when Thunderlane would pick me up. Carrot Top snorted.

“Ah well, I never put much stock in the whole ‘settling down and having a couple foals’ business, but I’ve had my fair share of relationships. Most stallions only really want one thing. Been in way too many that ended badly due to that,” She replied. I nodded as I turned, feeling her hoof on my shoulder. “Hey, I really hope this turns out for you. From what you were saying earlier, he sounds like a great guy.” I smiled.

“Thanks, Carrot,” I said. “That means a lot to me.” The yellow mare grinned widely as we exited the room, meeting back up with Ditzy and Flitter. I glanced over at my sister as we stepped out of the spa and back into the sunny streets of Ponyville. She was clearly excited about the prospect of my impending date.

“Flits?” I asked. “You… you alright over there?”

“Oh, I’m ecstatic! I have the perfect plan! We’re gonna make sure that he’ll love you!” She said. I groaned. Oh no, I thought. Not one of those dates!

“Flitter, really, it’s just us going out to dinner. You don’t have to do anything more than you already have,” I said flatly. “Please don’t do anything more than you already have.”

“Too late! I’ve gotten it already planned out! Besides… do you really think that word about your date isn’t going to get around to a certain somepony?” She said. I blinked. I had completely forgotten about Blossomforth. I was absolutely certain that the white pegasus would be pretty angry over the fact that I was getting to go to dinner with her stallion. The real question was: would she do anything about it? She had already proven that she would stoop to any level to get at me, even spread nasty rumors about my own family. Would she go even farther? I sighed.

“Fine. You have a point there,” I said. “I’m going to need a wingmare to keep Blossomforth under control if she shows up.”

“Right!” Flitter replied, grinning from ear to ear. I didn’t quite hear what she said next but I almost thought it sounded like she said “Besides… I still have a score to settle with her…” We continued on and we bid goodbye to Carrot Top. Ditzy hung about, chatting idly with Flitter as we arrived at our home. I naturally assumed that my sister was bringing the walleyed mare in on the plan after I heard Ditzy say that her filly Dinky was at a sleepover with her friends at Sweet Apple Acres that night, freeing her up to help as needed. I looked at the clock. It was only around three thirty in the afternoon, freeing up several hours before I would expect Thunderlane to show up. I yawned and started up towards the stairs.

“Flitter?” I said as I stopped at the foot of the stairway. “Wake me up when it’s time to get ready. I need a nap after all that primping.”

“Alright, but don’t mess up your hair, or you’ll be sorry!” She replied. I nodded, trotting up the stairs and straight into our bedroom. I set my alarm to be certain that Flitter wouldn’t forget, although I had a sneaking suspicion that she definitely would not, and plopped into bed. Within moments, I was drifting off to sleep, leaving my exciting day behind me and mentally preparing for the night ahead.


“I’m sorry, but I think we should break up,” the faceless grey stallion said, staring at me from across the table. I blinked in response.

“What? You’re breaking up with me?!” I said. I started to cry. The other pony stood.

“Listen, if I’m gonna be the top weather pony before I’m thirty, I’m gonna need somepony…” he said, launching into a song at the end of sentence.

“Seeerious! Less of a Marelyn, more of a Jackie!” He sang, spinning about me with his wings out. “Serious! Somepony classy and not too tacky!”

“What?” I said, choking the words out through my tears.

“Okay that came out wrong, but baby let’s both be strong! I mean we’ve known all alooooong—“ He continued. I put my hoof up to stop him.

“Just, shut up,” I said angrily. The other pony sighed.

“I’m… I’m sorry. I thought you’d understand. I don’t love you,” He said. My heart broke into a million pieces. I stood, fleeing the table, crying my eyes out.


I awoke with a cold start, shivering just a bit. I realized that I hadn’t pulled a blanket over me and we had left the bedroom window open. The dream came rushing back to me, and I groaned. I was even dreaming in song now! Celestia, why?! I thought as I pushed myself off the bed. I looked up at the clock, realizing that I had woken up a bit early. I trotted to the bathroom, checking over my mane, which was thankfully still intact.

“Cloudchaser?” I head Flitter call from downstairs. “You awake?”

“Yeah, I’ll be right down!” I called back. I pulled on my dress, took one final look at myself in the mirror and headed downstairs. I was greeted by the sight of Flitter and Winter Storm sitting in the living room. The white stallion had a smile on his face.

“Oh, hey Winter. What are you doing here? Flitter rope you into her little plans too?” I asked. The stallion shrugged.

“No, I actually stopped by to see how you girls were doing,” he said. “You look pretty fantastic by the way.” Flitter glared at him. The other pegasus chuckled nervously. “I mean… you look good, but not as good as my Flitterbug?” Flitter beamed at this.

“Gee… umm… thanks?” I said. “So where’d Ditzy run off to?”

“Oh, she went to go get things set up,” Flitter replied casually. “We’re going to make this date of yours the best night ever!” I groaned. A knock at the door interrupted me before I could say anything else. Is it… is it him? I thought as I moved to open it. Standing on the other side with a sheepish grin on his face was Thunderlane. He was wearing a very simple black coat. He stopped in his tracks when he saw me. Behind the stallion I could see Rumble bouncing along. He brought his little brother?! I thought. Seriously?!

“Wow…” He said quietly. “I mean… h-h-hey Cloudchaser. You… you look really pretty.” I snapped out of my angry thoughts at the compliment.

“Oh… thank you,” I said. “You look very nice, too.” Rumble appeared in front of his brother, a bright smile on his little face. I couldn’t help but smile in return. “If you don’t mind me asking, why’s Rumble here?” Thunderlane rubbed the back of his mane with his hoof.

“I umm… couldn’t find a foalsitter in time, and I do not trust Pinkie Pie to do it. I was sort of maybe hoping Flitter wouldn’t mind..,” He started to say before he was interrupted by my sister herself.

“Oh we’d love to!” She said, grabbing Rumble and yanking him inside. “He’ll be a dear to watch over I just know it!” I rolled my eyes.

“Really? Well… thanks Flitter I really owe you one!” Thunderlane said. Flitter shrugged.

“Anytime. Now you kids get going and have a great night now!” She said brightly. I blushed at the stallion and turned back for a moment.

“I’ve just gotta grab my coat and I’ll be right out, alright? It’s a little chilly out,” I said, prompting a nod from the grey pegasus. I stepped back inside and grabbed the coat, sliding it over my wings and dress. I turned to Flitter.

“So does this mean you’re not coming?” I said. Flitter grinned maniacally.

“Don’t worry. Just go on your date. Everything will be just fine, trust me!” She said. I nodded mutely, stepping back outside. Thunderlane was waiting for me patiently just outside the door. We started trotting alongside each other, and let me tell you… it was sort of awkward. Despite how comfortable we had been with each other the night before, it was like we couldn’t even get words out to each other now. I supposed that all my anxiety leading up to tonight hadn’t helped. After a few minutes, I spoke up first.

“So… where are we going tonight?” I asked.

“Oh, well I thought we’d start with dinner. You know, because food…” he said, trailing off. I giggled. “Have you been to Horsia’s before?”

“Err… yeah, I have,” I replied. “It’s one of the best restaurants in Ponyville. Pokey’s really outdone himself with the place.” Thunderlane grinned.

“Well, you’re in luck. Cuz we’re going somewhere better!” He said with confidence. “Follow me!” He took to the sky and I flew after him, wondering where this crazy stallion was taking me. We landed after our short flight in front of… Horsia’s. I blinked.

“I thought you said we weren’t going to Horsia’s,” I said flatly. Thunderlane simply smiled at me.

“Oh, come on. It’s a surprise. You’ll like it, trust me,” He said, trotting up to the unicorn host and whispering in his ear. The host nodded and looked at me. He smiled and stepped from behind his podium.

“Follow me,” He said, walking past me and around the side of the restaurant building. Thunderlane winked at me and I stalked behind him, wondering what in the world was going on. The host stopped at a set of stairs that headed up the side of the building. He motioned for us to go up. “Thank you for your patronage. I shall send your waiter up shortly.” Thunderlane and I began climbing the stairs, and I found myself thankful that my dress didn’t hang low to the ground. The stairs weren’t very long however and soon we arrived at the top. I nearly fell over when I saw it.

We were on the roof of the restaurant… and set up in the very center of it was a small white gazebo. Inside was a table, set for two with two glasses and a bottle of bubbly cider sitting on top of it. Candles provided the only real illumination to the entire scene. I gasped softly.

“Like it?” Thunderlane said from behind me. I nodded mutely as he prodded me forward. I sat down in the chair, my brain not able to process what was happening.

“How did…?” I asked as the stallion sat down in the other chair.

“Eh… Pokey kind of owed me a favor for doing some off-duty rain weather for his azaleas,” Thunderlane said. “I just wanted to… you know, make it special.”

“Thank you,” I said quietly, looking out from the terrace into the world beyond. The moon was starting to drift out from behind the clouds, looking more beautiful than it had ever looked before. I smiled as I let my gaze drift down, seeing the soft lights of Ponyville stretched out before us. The sight of it was incredible. I locked eyes with the stallion, and smiled. “It’s beautiful.”

“So… you want some cider while we wait for our server?” He asked. I nodded and he stood, grabbing the bottle with his teeth and pouring it into my glass. I took it and drank in deeply, feeling the rich apple flavor glide down my throat. I set down the glass and sighed in contentment. Wow… I didn’t think that this night would be this good, I thought, reflecting on the events of the date so far. Had I expected Thunderlane to be a complete goof and mess this up? Actually, I was far more concerned about Flitter and Ditzy and their plans for our date.

Our server arrived after a short wait and took our orders. Leaving us alone again, I smiled at my date.

“So, you got a story that goes with that cutie mark?” I asked, pointing at the thunder cloud on the stallion’s flank. Thunderlane chuckled.

“Doesn’t everypony?” He said, beginning his tale. “It happened… gee I guess right before Rumble was born I want to say. I was like any other colt, trying to find my talent in life and failing miserably at it. Mom and Dad, well you know their story already. I’d be out by myself a lot, knowing I’d be facing a world of hurt if I went home. Anyways… I was out one day and found myself out near the weather factory. Some of my friends and I were defacing the outside of it… general hooligan stuff you know. We were just about to skedaddle when a loud boom echoed across the sky. Something had gone up at the factory and it started spewing out these real nasty looking black clouds. My friends left me of course, they were too scared. Me… I wanted to find out what was going on… try to help. I knew it was stupid, I was just a silly skinny colt with no idea what I was even doing.”

“So what happened?” I said, interested in his story. A memory drifted up into my mind of that same day. I never really remembered what had happened that day… and I couldn’t believe what he was saying.

“Well, there I am, weaving my way past the gates to the factory when I saw the strangest thing. It was a filly, and she was falling out of the sky from the factory towards this huge storm cloud. I don’t think anypony else saw her,” he continued. “I flew as hard as I could, my wings burning as I smacked right into that storm cloud and pushed it aside with as much force as I could muster.”

“What about… what about the filly?” I said, my voice catching in my throat.

“I managed to grab her, just barely enough to hold on. We floated along until we hit a solid normal cloud. By that time the weather teams were out in full force, containing the storms,” he said. “One of the workers found us lying on the cloud together. She was unconscious, and I was close to that. They took us to her parents. They wanted to give me a reward, or something. I turned them down and flew towards home instead. When I got there, I looked down and there it was… my cutie mark. I knew right then and there what I wanted to do with my life. Bucking that storm cloud out of the way totally invigorated me. Saving her life, it felt right, y’know? It’s what I felt I wanted all along. To save ponies. Right after that, Mom told me she was pregnant again.”

“I… That’s… that’s quite a story,” I said, stumbling over myself.

“So… what about you? What’s your cutie mark story?” The stallion asked. I turned away for a moment. “Chase? What’s wrong?”

“I… It’s been so long, I don’t remember much of it…” I said, trailing off before looking him back in the eye. “Lane… I… I was that filly.” His eyes widened.

“What?” He said. “What do you mean? This isn’t some sort of joke is it?”

“No!” I shouted reactively, nearly breaking down into tears. “I’m not kidding. It was… it was me. It was my fault, too. I was with Mom and Dad on a tour of the factory. Flitter was with us as well. I went off by myself. I was having so much fun flying around and chasing the clouds. It’s actually… it’s actually when I got my cutie mark too. The feeling of being free, I felt like I was chasing the stars themselves. It was amazing… but then I must not have been paying any attention and I hit one of the machines, causing it to overload and start pumping out storm clouds. My parents told me that I was zapped unconscious, but that some colt saved my life. They always told me they tried to offer him money, but he refused to take it… it was you. You saved my life before I even knew who you were.” I looked up at the stallion, expecting… hoping he would say something. Anything. He smiled after a moment.

“You were a cute little filly,” he said finally. I blinked, clearing my tears away.

“What?” I asked. Thunderlane chuckled.

“I said… you were a cute filly. And thank you… if it wasn’t for you, I would have never known what my purpose in life was,” he said. “I’m… I’m glad that it was you. Now that we have that out of the way, are you alright?”

“I… I’m alright. Just a little emotional,” I said, laughing through the last of my tears. “I’d probably better go to the little filly’s room and clear myself up.” The stallion nodded as I stood, trotting over to the entrance heading down into the restaurant. I peeked my head into the main dining room. A multitude of ponies filled the room, chattering away as they ate. I stepped into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror, groaning. My makeup had smudged a little from the tears and my eyes were a little puffy. I looked up, seeing another pony in the bathroom with me. One I knew all too well. I turned around, smiling.

“I thought that you were watching Rumble,” I said. Flitter grinned widely at me as she stepped up next to me.

“And miss this? Please! I put Winter on it,” she replied. I blinked.

“You did what?” I asked. My sister grinned even wider.

-- Meanwhile… elsewhere in Ponyville… Winter Storm and Rumble are sitting across from each other in the living room of Cloudchaser and Flitter’s house, playing some primitive form of pegasus chess. Rumble grins and looks up at Winter. “Checkmate!” He shouts. Winter groans. “How is this kid so good at this game?!”

“Yeah, they’ll be fine,” Flitter said casually. “What about you? You look like… like you’ve been crying. What’s wrong? Did he do something to you? Do Ditzy and I need to get all Con Mane all up on him?” I chuckled.

“No, no. I’m alright. We um… we were swapping cutie mark stories,” I said. “And you’ll never believe it Flits… it’s him.”
“It’s him what?” My sister said.

“No… it’s him, Flitter. Thunderlane… he’s the colt,” I said forcefully, hoping she would get it.

“What colt? Rumble’s at home? Oh… wait. That colt?” She said, her brain finally making the right connections. I nodded as my sister grinned even wider. “You see! It’s destiny! You two were meant to be together!”

“I don’t know…” I said. “Everything tonight has just been too perfect. This dinner… I just don’t know if I can take it all.”
“Well don’t you worry your pretty little head, cuz Auntie Flitter is here to take care of you!” My sister replied. “Ditzy is ready and waiting. All I gotta do is give her the signal!” I groaned.

“First off, I’m five seconds older than you. Second, I don’t think I really need your help with this, so just go on home alright?” I said. Flitter looked downtrodden at this. I sighed. “Alright, fine. You can help a little. But remember what I said about going too overboard?”

“Yippee!” Flitter exclaimed, pulling me into a fierce hug. I smiled and leaned into my sister, silently thankful for her love and support. A cold cackling noise broke us out of our embrace. From behind one of the bathroom stalls stepped the mare I had expected to see since I had arrived here. Flitter scowled as Blossomforth appeared before us. The mare had clearly dressed for the occasion, sporting a gorgeous little red dress that accentuated all the right areas.

“Well, well. Look what we have here. The slut and the harlot. Fitting,” she said. I narrowed my eyes at the white pegasus.
“Blossom.” I said. “We were just leaving. Come on, Flits.”

“Oh? Running away are we? What are you Cloudchaser? A chicken?” Blossomforth replied casually. I growled under my breath.

“Nopony calls me a chicken,” I said, forcefully. I stopped and regained my composure, smiling. “However… that’s not why I’m leaving. I have a date to get back to, and you’re not worth my time.” Blossomforth grinned widely.

“Oh, you mean your little date with Thunderlane? Fear not, my dear Cloudchaser. By the time the night is through, Thunderlane will be mine,” She said, stalking forward. I grabbed Flitter by the shoulder and dragged her out of the bathroom, leaving the white mare by herself. I looked over at my sister, pulling her attention towards me.

“Remember. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” I said, grinning widely. Flitter nodded happily.

“Ditzy is up top, waiting on a cloud. She’s got something special lined up for you two,” she said. “I’ll run interference for a certain somepony.”

“Thanks Flits, I really do appreciate it,” I said, breaking away from her and off towards the roof. I smiled at Thunderlane as I arrived back at our table. Our food had been brought up while I was in the bathroom. It looked simply marvelous, and I realized that with Flitter’s incessant dress-trip and the spa I hadn’t eaten anything all day long. My stomach happily growled as I sat down across from my date.

“Feeling better?” Thunderlane asked quietly. I nodded,

“Thank you, I am now,” I replied. “Gave me a chance to clear my head, you know?”

“Good to hear,” he said, digging into his food. I did as well, figuring that the stomach growling wasn’t going to stop on its own. We ate in silence for a few more moments before I spoke again.

“Lane?” I said, drawing his attention. “I do… I want to thank you. For what you did. If it wasn’t for you… I wouldn’t even be alive. I…” He cut me off with a wave of his hoof.

“I know. And you’re welcome,” he said softly. He smiled as he spoke. “So… your parents? Big hot shot weather ponies?” I giggled.

“Yeah. Their names are Sky Chaser and Stormy Winds. Mom was old fashioned, wanted to have both her kids have her last name… but Dad wanted to name at least one of us,” I said. “Since Flitter and I are like fraternal twins, Mom compromised. Flitter got a regular name, and I got Cloudchaser. Granted, they made it one name, but still. I got the old fashioned short end of the stick there.” Thunderlane chuckled mildly.

“Well, I’m… I’m sure glad they named you correctly,” he said. “You know, Chase… I dunno what it is about you. It’s like you’re so… so easy for me to talk to, you know?” I cocked my head at him.

“What do you mean?” I said.

“I just mean I can talk to you. It’s… weird. You’re not like other mares. You’ve got this… this confidence. It just radiates from you,” the stallion said, waggling his hooves about to illustrate his point. “I guess what I’m trying to say is… I really like it. I’m glad we did this.”

“Thank you,” I said, finishing up my plate. “I’m… I’m glad too.” I sighed and looked down, thinking about what Blossomforth had said. What was she planning? I hoped Flitter could contain her and this night could be just… perfect.

* * *

(Now, my friends… I think you know this one)

* * *

Elsewhere, in the small bathroom of Horsia’s Restaurant, a certain white mare with green and pink mane stared into a mirror, a wide grin on her face as she plotted and planned the demise of our heroine. She turned away for a moment and then back as she began to sing.

“This date is going to be just perfect,” She started. “The kind of date of which I’ve dreamed since I was small…” Blossomforth stalked forward, leaving the mirror and her reflection behind as she stepped out of the bathroom into the restaurant. Flitter stood guard at the stairs going up to the roof. Blossom walked through the crowd, continuing her anthem.

“He will compliment my dress; tell me that I am above the rest. A stallion that’s really on the ball!”

Meanwhile… Cloudchaser and Thunderlane are sitting quietly, enjoying their dinner and occasionally chatting. Cloudchaser looks up at the moon, and joins her voice into the song.

“This date is going to be just perfect, the kind of date of which I’ve dreamed since I was small,” She sang. “He seems like a really nice guy, but what’s got me wondering why? Why does he like me over her at all?”

“I won’t play nice to get him, no more goody two-shoe crap! Love? Wouldn’t be lying if I said,” Blossomforth rang out from the center of the restaurant as she moved ever closer towards Flitter, who was busily scanning the crowd for the white mare. “Through wind and rain and weather I want us to be together… the truth is I want to have it all!” Blossom grinned as she crept behind the other pegasus, who seemed completely oblivious to her presence. Once on the stairs, Blossom continued her song.

“Oh so do I love this guy! Just thoughts of him do make me high... Oh, Thunderla-ane, I’ll be there in due time!” She sang as she stalked her way up the stairs.

“I’ve never thought I’d like this, but this is kind of nice… I hope… that he really likes me too,” Cloudchaser joined in. Thunderlane was telling a joke, to which the silver-haired mare was laughing at. Inside she still felt like something was welling up, ready to explode at a moment’s notice. “I get all fuzzy and distracted every time I look his way… the truth is I think this is really love!” Cloudchaser returned to staring at the wonderful pegasus stallion who was her companion for the evening. Her heart strained her mind as it tried to process the thoughts burgeoning deep below. “Oh I think that I’m in love… One look at him is just enough… Oh my dearest heart… I’m waiting to be loved…”

Blossomforth continued up the stairs, quickening her pace as she heard the door at the bottom open. Shouts issued forth as Flitter came up after her and tried to cut off the white mare at the top. Thanks to her trademark flexibility, Blossomforth squeezed through, triumphantly bursting out of the door at the climax of her song.

“Finally, the moment has arrived!” She sang. “For me, to get my due this time!” Cloudchaser’s eyes widened at the sight of the other mare. Thankfully, Thunderlane hadn’t seen her yet.

“Oh my date is nearly ruined, he’ll end up with her instead… Thunderlaaaane will be…”

“MINE. All mine,” Blossomforth concluded, cackling madly.

* * *

Now then… we return you to your regularly scheduled story now in progress in 3… 2… 1…

* * *

“Thunderlane!” A voice called out at me. I had frozen in place as Blossomforth appeared. She was standing just beyond the gazebo, grinning widely. Thunderlane looked back as he noticed my attention waning, seeing the white mare.

“Blossomforth?” He said. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh sweetheart, you don’t need to lie to poor Cloudchaser. I’m here for our date, of course,” Blossomforth replied casually. She sauntered over, her manic grin widening even more as she came closer to the stallion.

“What date? I’m here with Cloudchaser,” Thunderlane said.

“Oh you don’t have to keep lying, my love. Just tell her the truth already,” Blossomforth said, looking at me with a wink. “The truth is my dear, we never broke up. Not really. He moved down here to be closer to me.” I glared at Thunderlane, not sure whether I wanted to believe it or not.

“Is this true?” I asked.

“What? You actually believe her? Chase… Look, I came here to be with you tonight, not her,” the stallion said, his voice shaking. He turned back to the other mare. “Blossom, what’s your problem, huh? Why are you doing this?”

Blossomforth sighed as she began to sing her heart out. “How about… love? Have you ever been in love? Because if you have you’ll know, that love never accepts a defeat. No promise it can’t meet…”

“But Blossom – “ Thunderlane started to say, before he was cut off by the mare.

“Don’t say no to a mare that’s in love! Don’t laugh when I say love, don’t think that I’m naïve… cuz even a pony that’s smart, can listen to their heart, can listen and believe… Believe in what love can achieve,” Blossomforth sang, pouring her soul into her notes. I cringed. What was it with all the singing lately! Thunderlane smiled for a moment and then his eyes turned deadly serious.

“Listen. Blossom. I really do like you, but only as a friend,” the pegasus said, placing a hoof on the other mare’s shoulder. “You just need to find somepony who will love you for who you are… but that’s not me. I’m sorry.”

“But I… I…” Blossomforth started to say, breaking down into tears. “I was going to... How could you do this to me?! I was going to tell you tonight!”

“Tell me what?” Thunderlane said, cocking his eyebrow.

“I'm... I'm pregnant!” She shouted. My eyes widened.

“You're what?!” Both Thunderlane and I yelled. Blossomforth nodded, her tears clearing up instantly.

“You're the father of course,” she said, batting her eyelashes. “I mean, how could you not be? So I guess you'll just have to dump Cloudchaser. After all, how will it look if you're not with me?” Thunderlane looked down at the ground and then up at me. He started to open his mouth.

“Are you serious?” I asked, pushing the confused stallion out of the way before he could speak. “You know, this is really low of you Blossom.”

“Whatever do you mean?” She asked, trying to sound naïve.

“I mean,” I started to say. “That first you spread some rumor about my sister, and now you're claiming you're pregnant? You're sick, Blossomforth.”

“Please. I'm just telling the truth here, is all. I just found out, and wanted to share the news with my lover,” She said. I growled under my breath, but before I could do anything else, Thunderlane interruped us.

“You're wrong. I'm not the father. We never did... that,” he said quietly. “I'm sorry, but I would remember that.” Blossomforth rolled her eyes at this.

“Ugh. Alright, fine. I lied, alright? You happy now?” She said in a huff.

“Not particularly, no,” I said flatly. “You're still ruining our date here.”

“Fine. I'll leave... for now. But just remember Thunder, you're mine, and I'm not going to stop until you get that through your thick little skull,” the white mare said, turning about. As soon as she did, the door to the roof burst open, revealing an exasperated Flitter. My sister's eyes widened as she saw Blossomforth, who sneered.

“Well, seems the cavalry has arrived,” she said. Flitter growled. Blossomforth merely rolled her eyes. “Can it, would ya? I'm leaving.” She pushed past my sister, heading towards the door. “This is not. Over!” The door slammed shut, leaving the rest of us standing there speechless. Finally, Flitter turned to us.

“Are you two alright?” She asked. I nodded.

“We're fine. Just a little shaken up that's all,” I replied.

“What did she say?” My sister said.

“Nothing important, really,” I said, winking at Thunderlane. The stallion still looked rather despondent. I smiled and waved for Flitter to follow me.

“I think I can take it from here, Flits,” I said. “But hey... thanks for being my wingmare and trying your best.”

“But I didn't even do anything!” Flitter exclaimed.

“And that's the best part!” I replied, grinning widely. “Now I think you had better get home, it's getting late. Don't wait up for me alright?”

“I suppose you're right... I’m getting this sinking feeling wondering what’s happening with Winter and Rumble anyways.”

Meanwhile… at Cloudchaser and Flitter’s house…

“Best out of 500?” Winter said, looking down at the chess board sadly as Rumble won yet again.


“Well, that certainly was… eventful,” I said, turning back to the stallion. Thunderlane had a shocked look on his face.

“Yeah… eventful,” he said, rubbing his neck with his hoof.

“I sort of owe you an apology,” I replied. He cocked an eyebrow. “I shouldn’t have been so quick to assume that you two… not after all you’ve told me.”

“That’s alright,” Thunderlane said. “I’m sorry I let it come down to this.” He pinned his ears back. I smiled and nudged him on the shoulder.

“Hey, no worries. Even if it did kind of ruin the mood for our date,” I said, grinning. His eyes widened and he smiled.

“I’ve got a great idea then,” he said. “You ever been night flying?”

“Not… not with somepony else, no,” I said. Thunderlane grinned even wider, grabbing me by the hoof.

“Come on then, let’s go!” He said. I flapped my wings following after the dark pegasus, leaving the roof. As I flew away, I got the distinct impression that I was forgetting somepony. Oh well, it’ll come to me eventually, I thought as I flew behind Thunderlane. It can’t be that important… right?

Meanwhile… in a cloud above Horsia’s… a certain grey walleyed pegasus was lying in wait for her signal. Getting a little too impatient, she bucked the cloud and caused a jolt of lightning to issue forth from the vapor. The jolt connected with another cloud, and then another until it created a beautiful display of light that showed Cloudchaser and Thunderlane’s cutie marks entwined in lighting. It was an incredible thing of beauty, but the two intended pegasi were nowhere to be seen on the rooftop of the restaurant. Those patrons sitting outside that night later recalled how lovely the sky looked that evening right before a stray arc of lightning hit Town Hall, incinerating several beams and causing major property damage.

The grey pegasus looked down at the damage and sighed.

“Oops… my bad.”

I laughed like a school filly as I did a barrel roll in the sky after the stallion. The cool night air glided along my coat. It felt fantastic! Thunderlane flew in close next to me, his expression one of excitement.

“See? Pretty fun, right?” He asked. I grinned.

“Definitely! I forgot how much fun this was!” I shouted back. We flew along, basking in the light of the pale moon until our wings started to get tired. We set down upon a nearby cumulus, and Thunderlane smiled as I leaned up next to him.

“You know… I really had a nice time tonight, despite that insanity that Blossomforth tried to pull,” I said. “I don’t know why I was so worried about this.”

“You too?” The stallion replied. “Gee… I’m glad I’m not the only one who wasn’t confident. You always seem so sure of yourself, I was kind… scared.”

“Really?” I said. I looked over at the stallion. He had a smile on his face that told me that everything would be just fine. His expression turned to one of… mixed feelings as he let loose a loud cough that he quickly covered with his hoof. “You alright there?”

“Yeah,” he said. “I think I’m catching what Rumble had. I’m not sure.” I sighed.

“Well, we’d better get you home then,” I teased. “Tell you what… Flitter and I will keep Rumble for the night. You hang loose and feel better and we’ll bring him by tomorrow.” The stallion nodded and we took off from the cloud towards my house. When we landed next, it was in my front lawn. I smiled up at the stallion.

“Thank you for the lovely evening,” I said as I reached up and planted a kiss on the other pegasi’s cheek. His blush reaction was instantaneous.

“Heh… thanks,” he said goofily, before shaking his head and staring at me seriously. “Chase?” I looked up at him expectantly. “I… I really would like to do this again. How about we go out Saturday night after the tornado day?”

“I’d like that,” I said, smiling. The stallion turned, flapping his wings as he took off towards home. I nearly leaped into the air as I turned to go back towards my house. Another date! I thought happily. I looked up at the sky, at the pale moon that had seen my relationship blossom into love.

“Just for this moment...

as long as you're mine...

I've lost all resistance...

And crossed some border line...

And if it turn's out... it's over too faaaast...

I'll make... every last... moment last...

As long as you're mine...”


Next Time!
Cloudchaser and Thunderlane are officially an item! However, Tornado Day is finally here and Thunderlane is out with the pega-pox! What will Cloudchaser do? Find out, next time on “Flying Through the Storm, Chapter 6: Topsy-Turvy Tornado Day!”

Chapter 6: Topsy-Turvy Tornado Day!

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Flying Through the Storm

Chapter 6: Topsy-Turvy Tornado Day!


My eyes flew awake and I grinned widely. I looked over at the clock. It was flashing 6:00 AM. Time to get up and face the big day, I thought as I clicked the alarm off. Today was the day every pegasi in Ponyville had been waiting for. Today was Tornado Day.

The past two days had been a complete reversal of my entire life. I was officially dating Thunderlane! Despite what had happened with Blossomforth during our date, the stallion was more than willing to go the distance and accept me as his marefriend. I was just so happy!

I got out of bed and pushed on my sister to stir her from her loud snoring. It took me several minutes but she finally got up, grumbling about her beauty sleep. I giggled as we made the trek downstairs. After a quick bowl of warm oatmeal, we began our journey to Highland Reservoir. The air outside was crisp and cool as we flew along, finally arriving at the large reservoir that had been chosen to funnel the rainwater to Cloudsdale. The Ponyville pegasi were all in attendance, waiting patiently for Rainbow Dash to get things started. Spitfire held herself off to the side, next to Twilight's giant machine that would record the wind power. The Wonderbolts captain smiled beneath her sunglasses at the gathered pegasi.

I scanned the crowd for Thunderlane, but it seemed that he hadn't arrived yet. I blinked when I saw Rumble making his way through the throng of pegasi. He flapped his little wings as hard as he could, stopping in front of me. He breathed hard, looking up at me.

“Hey, little guy, where's the fire?” I said. Before the smaller pegasus could answer, Rainbow Dash called out to the assembled ponies.

“Alright, Ponyville,” Dash shouted. “Are we ready to do this?!” The pegasi roared back in affirmation. I looked down at Rumble, smiling as the noise died down.

“Now then,” I said. “What in the world is going on?”

“It's Thunderlane, Cloudchaser,” Rumble said. “He's --” A voice cut across the clearing, cutting off the younger pegasus.
“Rumble, where's your lazy brother?!” Rainbow Dash called out. Rumble's eyes widened, glancing back at the chromatic mare.

“He's got the feather flu. He's down at Ponyville hospital,” Rumble replied. I gasped.

“He's what?” I said. “Is he alright?” I heard Spike in the background, saying that he wasn't the only one that was out. I glanced around the clearing, scanning for a certain white mare. Blossomforth was nowhere to be seen either. Of course she would, I thought. I narrowed my eyes at the smaller pegasus next to me.

“He's... alright, just coughing a lot,” Rumble said. “He told me to tell you that he was sorry he couldn't be here for the tornado.”

“I have to go see him,” I said, turning to Flitter. “Cover for me would you? I need to get going.”

“Umm... you can't,” Flitter said. “Haven't you been listening to what's going on?” I shook my head. I had stopped paying attention to anything else beyond wanting to see Thunderlane and make sure that Blossomforth didn't have any ulterior motives for not being here either. Flitter groaned. “We're down eight pegasi with the feather flu. If you leave now, we might not have enough of us to get the water up to Cloudsdale!” I blinked, and sighed. She was right, of course. I couldn't just leave to let Cloudsdale not get the water they needed to provide rain. It was my duty as a weather pony. In the back of my mind, a tingling sensation told me I had a duty to Thunderlane as well. But that would have to wait. Tornado now, Thunderlane... later.

I glanced upwards. Rainbow Dash had flown above the crowd and was speaking again.

“Okay, everypony! Let's give it all we got! On the sound of the horn, we take off!” The chromatic mare yelled. I grimaced, slapping my flight goggles onto my face. I looked over at Flitter, who had done the same. Winter Storm stood beside her, ready to go as well. I watched in anticipation as Spike moved over to the large horn that would start the event. The little dragon took a deep breath in and exhaled as hard as he could. The horn sounded off, and I flapped my wings, taking to the sky amidst the other pegasi.

The joints of my wings began to burn as I pushed myself forward, the wind all around us howling and roaring. I flapped harder and harder, the air around me beginning to form into the tornado that we were trying our best to create. My flight goggles fogged up slightly as they adjusted to the change in pressure. Drops of water flowed upward past me and I grinned widely. We were doing it! We were getting the water to come up! This was going to work! I couldn't wait to see Thunderlane, to tell them how awesome we were.

Then everything went to pot, so to speak. The water in the center of the funnel began to wobble, droplets falling back to the ground below. I grunted, my wings feeling quite tired under the stress of prolonged flight. The tornado was breaking up. We weren't going to make it. Finally the funnel broke completely and I went spinning towards the ground. I hit with a grunt of pain, my head spinning from the impact.

“What... what happened?” I said. “Anypony get the number of that bus?”

“We didn't have enough wing power to generate a strong enough tornado,” another pony near me said. I groaned, rubbing my wings and stretching them out. There was no way I was going to be able to keep this up. Even I had my limits. I scanned the crowd for where Rainbow Dash had landed. She was next to Twilight, talking. The lavender unicorn had a concerned look on her face as she was trying to convince Dash to not continue forward.

“No! One more time! I gotta know we gave it our all!” Rainbow Dash cried out. “If I'm going down, I'm going down flying! C'mon, ponies, let's make this happen!” I grinned, flexing my aching wings. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that Thunderlane was cheering me on. My thoughts drifted to the stallion, hoping that he was okay beyond the bout of feather flu. I knew however, that he would want me to give my best, to do all I could to make this happen. The pegasi around me must have been feeling the same, for they roared to answer Rainbow's call, taking to the sky once more. I beat my wings once, lifting into the air beside them.

I flapped hard, falling into line again to begin forming the tornado. I pushed forward, the changes in air pressure warping the air around me. The funnel formed out of that pressure, bringing us ever closer to the breaking point. The water in the center of the funnel wobbled violently, the tornado threatening to throw us out at any moment. This was it. We weren't even going to get the water out of Ponyville, let alone all the way to Cloudsdale. If this attempt went badly, then we were finished. There wouldn't be a third try.

Then something happened I never could have expected. A yellow and pink blur zipped by me, nearly knocking me out of the wind tunnel. I shook my head, trying to focus on what it was. I heard somepony near me shout “What was that?”
“I think it's Fluttershy!” Another pony said. Fluttershy?! I thought, putting another surge into my wings. I had to keep going. If Fluttershy could put her all into this, I was going to do the same. The water in the center of the wind funnel began to flow upward once more, looking more cohesive every second that we flew. I grinned widely, the spray of the water and the rush of wind blasting my goggles as the column of liquid shot out of the funnel like a cannon. The Ponyville pegasi let out a collective cheer as the tornado began to disperse naturally. I hit the ground right next to Flitter, who was smiling brightly.

“We did it!” Flitter said. I glanced up at the sky, noticing Fluttershy. She was still flying around in circles. Rainbow Dash zipped up and stopped her with a cloud, bringing her back down to earth. Fluttershy looked shaken, but happy. Flitter smiled.

“Great job, Fluttershy, that was awesome!” She said. I nodded in agreement.

“Yeah, we couldn't have done it with out you,” I said. Fluttershy beamed at the compliment. Rainbow Dash looked even happier as Spitfire appeared next to her.

“Nice work, Rainbow Dash,” the Wonderbolt said. “You might not have set a new record, but you showed a lot of guts.”

“Thanks, but if you wanna talk guts, then you've gotta give it to my number on flier... Fluttershy!” Dash replied, pointing at the yellow mare. “Let's hear it for Fluttershy!!” The group roared loudly for the shy mare as they lifted her up above the crowd. I smiled and cheered myself, until a tap at my shoulder shook me out of my reverie. I turned my head, seeing Spitfire.

“Good to see you, Cloudchaser,” she said. I nodded, noticing Flitter standing off to the side.

“Captain Spitfire,” I said. Spitfire chuckled.

“Just Spitfire is fine,” the fiery maned mare replied. She pulled out a pair of sunglasses and put them on. “That was some good flying out there. I'm impressed.”

“Thanks,” I said. “But really, we wouldn't have gotten there without Fluttershy. She really made it happen.”

“She did indeed, but I was watching more than just her,” Spitfire said, adjusting her sunglasses. “I was watching you, and I was impressed. If you ever think you want to try more than just being a weather pony, then give us a call.” She removed a card from her flight suit, hoofing it over to me. I scanned it quickly. It was a card for the Wonderbolts Academy.

“You mean...?” I said. Spitfire chuckled.

“Yeah, I mean it. You've got guts, Cloudchaser,” she said. “Now, I've gotta get back to Cloudsdale. Got a lot of paperwork to get done. You think about it, and apply if you think you're ready.” I nodded as the orange mare zipped away into the air. I looked at Flitter, squealing.

“Oh Celestia, Flitter. Did you hear that?!” I shouted. “The Wonderbolts Academy!” Flitter grinned.

“That's great, sweetie, but aren't you forgetting something?” She said. I hopped up and down in place, happy as can be.

“Oh yeah... bed. I'm beat,” I said, the strain of the intense flying starting to catch up with me. I was tired, really tired. It was to be expected after what we'd done. “In fact... I think I'll just take a nap... right here.” I flopped over, closing my eyes happily and sighing.


My eyes fluttered open. I felt warm. I glanced around, realizing I was in my own bed. I sighed. What a morning, I thought. I looked out the window, noticing that it was dark outside. I groaned. Had I really been out all day long? I pushed myself out of my bed, stretching my legs. I figured I'd walk downstairs and see if I could find out what everypony was up to. I started forward before I realized I'd forgotten somepony important. Thunderlane! He was still in the hospital!
I shot down the stairs in a flash. There was nopony around at all. I had thought maybe at least Flitter would have been home.

“Hello?” I called out. “Anypony there?” No answer. I shrugged. Maybe she went out with Winter to celebrate, I thought, heading over to the door. I pushed it open and stepped out into the street. Dark, ominous clouds formed overhead as I made my way into town. It was strange. I couldn't see anypony else around. Usually even at this hour there were ponies heading home or out to eat. But there was just... nothing.

I trotted down into the main square. Wind blew old papers and cans by, but there were no other signs of life. Where did everypony go? I thought. I grimaced, glancing up and seeing the Ponyville Hospital off in the distance. Thunderlane! He's gotta still be at the hospital, right? I thought. I started walking towards the structure, my eyes shifting back and forth as I looked for somepony, anypony to talk to. After about what felt like an hour of walking, I looked back up at the hospital. It was still pretty far away.

“What the...?” I said aloud. “But the hospital isn't that far out there.” I shook my head. Maybe I had taken a bigger tumble than I'd thought. I kept going, finally reaching the doors of the hospital in what felt like mere seconds. I blinked, and I was in the lobby. There was nopony in the waiting room, nopony at the receptionist's desk. The halls were just... dark. I trotted down one of them, somehow instinctively knowing exactly where I was heading. A patient's door sat in front of me. The name Thunderlane was emblazoned on the chart next to the door.

I pushed open the door. The room was bare except for a patient's bed in the center of the room. A faceless grey stallion was laying on his side on it. I stepped inside, closing the door behind me.

“Thunderlane?” I called out. No response. “Lane... this isn't funny. You had better tell me what's going on or I'll -”

“Or you'll what?” A soft smooth voice said from behind me. I wheeled about, seeing Blossomforth standing there. “You'll cry and run home to mommy?”

“Blossomforth! This is your doing, isn't it?” I said angrily. “What's going on here?” Blossomforth tittered, flapping her wings and landing next to the stallion in the bed.

“Please... I couldn't do any of this by myself,” she said. “Are you so thick to realize that this is just a dream?” I blinked and then facehoofed. Of course. She was right, of course.

“So if this is a dream, why in the world am I dreaming about you?” I said. “I mean... that's kind of weird.”

“You're dreaming about me because you're not sure what to do about me,” Blossomforth said.

“And Thunderlane?” I said. The mare nodded gently.

“You love him, right?” She asked. I looked away for a second, feeling the blush heat my cheeks but I nodded all the same.

“Y-Yeah. I do,” I said. Blossomforth chuckled.

“And yet, here you are... just sitting here sleeping while I could be doing Celestia knows what to him,” she said. My eyes widened. She was right. I never got over to see Thunderlane at the hospital!! I had to get there, and make sure that he was safe!

“How do I wake up?!” I asked frantically. Blossomforth's chuckle turned into a full on laugh. She placed a hoof on my shoulder.

“Oh, Cloudchaser... so adorable,” she said. Her voice suddenly changed, somewhat resembling Flitter's voice. “Now wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up....”


“Wake up!” Flitter's voice cut through the dream as my eyes shot open. My sister was sitting on the bed next to me, prodding me gently. I groaned.

“Flitter? What time is it?” I said, my head pounding. I had a major headache. “Where am I?”

“You're home,” she said. “You alright? You kind of passed out back there.” I nodded.

“Yeah... a glass of water and an aspirin wouldn't hurt though,” I said, rubbing my forehead. Flitter nodded, handing me a glass filled with pure cool and awesome water. I downed in one gulp and took the aspirin, sighing. I was already starting to feel a little bit better.

“Feeling better?” Flitter said.

“Much,” I said. “How long was I out?”

“Just a few hours. You must have really stressed yourself over the tornado,” my sister replied. “Winter and I had to carry you home.”

“Great,” I said. My mind drifted back to the events of the dream. I had to decide what to do about Blossomforth? I grimaced. “Well, I think I'll be alright.” I slid off of the bed, grinning.

“Good. Because you got a visitor downstairs waiting for you. Rumble came with us,” Flitter said. I nodded, my thoughts turning to the colt's brother and where he was at. “Don't you have somewhere to be?” She winked twice. I blinked.

“Oh that's right, I was going to go see Thunderlane,” I said. “Stupid passing out.” Flitter rolled her eyes.

“There's a problem though,” my sister said. I raised an eyebrow. “When we were carrying you back, we saw a certain somepony headed towards the hospital.”

“Blossomforth,” I said angrily. “What is she playing at?”

“I don't know, but what are you waiting for?” Flitter said. “Go get Thunderlane, you goof!” I nodded, heading downstairs to look for Rumble. He was waiting in the living room next to Winter Storm. I trotted over to the two.

“Rumble,” I said. “Let's go see your brother, alright?” The colt nodded excitedly as he buzzed his little wings.

“Follow me!” He squeaked, trotting away. I kept pace with him, making our way to Ponyville Hospital, which was all the way on the other side of the town. My mind couldn't keep off of what Flitter had said. Blossomforth was headed to the hospital? Why wasn't she at the tornado day this morning? What was she trying to do to Thunderlane? Too many questions filled my mind, as well as the events of my impromptu dream. Before we knew it, we were at the hospital. The receptionist was extremely nice, pointing us down the hall and up the stairs where the stallion's room was. Rumble and I stalked down the hallway.

I knocked on the door to Thunderlane's room, not getting any response. I sighed.

“Thunderlane?” I said, pushing open the door. My eyes widened at the scene I was witnessing. Blossomforth hovered over next to the stallion's bed. Thunderlane lay in his bed, sleeping soundly. The white mare's head whipped around, placing a hoof to her mouth and making a 'shhh' sound. She looked like she'd been crying. I roared in the back of my mind. The white mare made her way over to the door and followed me into the hall. Rumble made his way down to the waiting room, giving the two of us a little privacy.

“What are you doing here, Blossomforth?” I said coldly. Blossomforth turned her head to one side.

“I... I couldn't do it,” she said. “I wanted to, but I couldn't.”

“Couldn't do what?” I asked. Blossomforth sighed as she hung her head.

“I... I wanted to hurt him,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that if he couldn't be mine... that he couldn't be yours either.” My mind raged. WHAT?! I thought angrily. Blossomforth held up a hoof, stopping me from yelling at her. “But I couldn't do it. I... I'm sorry, Cloudchaser. I got here... and I was ready to just... to just do it... and something stopped me. I started thinking about everything, and about you and me. I never meant to take it as far as I did.”

“What are you saying?” I said, glaring at the mare curiously. Blossomforth tried to smile.

“I'm saying, I'm sorry. For everything,” she said. “I've had a lot of time to think about it, and I was so horrible to you. Thunderlane doesn't deserve a mare like me.” I sighed. I had come to an impasse, it seemed. I wasn't certain if Blossomforth was just trying to play me or not, but her words certainly sounded sincere. The events of the dream played out in my mind. The dream 'Blossomforth' said I hadn't figured out what to do about her yet. But I think that I knew what I needed to do. I decided to chance it. The only way that things would be better between us was if I made the first move. I lifted a hoof and grabbed the mare, pulling her into a hug. I think I surprised her, because she let out a little squeak when my hoof touched her. I held her there for several moments.

“It's okay,” I said. “It's okay. Everything's just fine, alright. I forgive you.”

“J-J-Just like that?” Blossomforth said. “But... but... I was so horrible... to you and your sister.”

“Just like that,” I said. “It's alright.” I knew that she was being sincere. Blossomforth was shaking and sobbing against me. I stroked the white pegasi's mane, trying to calm her down. “Blossomforth?”

“What?” The mare said, choking out the words. I smiled.

“Thank you for deciding to do the right thing,” I said. “Are you going to be alright?” Blossomforth hesitated, and then nodded. “Good. Tell you what. Thunderlane's asleep still. Let's go get a bite to eat. To be honest, I'm famished.”

“I... I'd like that,” Blossomforth said. I motioned for her to follow me. We made our way back to the waiting room where Rumble waited patiently.

“Rumble?” I said. The colt looked up. “We're gonna get some food. Are you hungry?” The colt shook his head.

“I should be here for when big brother wakes up,” he said. I chuckled softly.

“You sure? He looks like he's going to be out for a while,” I replied. Rumble nodded. “Alright, well I'll tell you what, we'll bring you back something.”

“Okay...” Rumble said. We left the colt sitting there. I knew that he'd be alright waiting for his brother. It was admirable really, the amount of devotion that the colt showed. I smiled at Blossomforth, and with that we left the hospital.


“Feeling better?” I asked. Blossomforth sat across from me at the cafe, digging into her salad with a fervor I'd never seen before. The mare chanced a smile, and I gave her one in return.

“Yeah... I'm alright. Thank you again for the meal,” she said. I waved a hoof.

“Oh, it was nothing,” I said. “You looked like you needed to get out of there.”

“About that... I'm sorry again,” Blossomforth replied. “You... You didn't have to do that. Not after what I've done to you.”

“Blossom... I told you. I forgive you. It's water under the bridge,” I said. I smiled. “You're not bad, Blossom.”

“I... Thank you,” she said. “You're far too kind for somepony like me.” I chuckled.

“Just... you know... chill out a little. Although, you are probably going to need to apologize to Flitter,” I said, putting a hoof to my chin. “I'm not sure how she's going to take this.”

“I want to apologize, I really do. I just... I thought a lot about what happened this past week. I never meant to hurt you, Cloudchaser,” Blossomforth said. I smiled, forking in another mouthful of salad.

“Hah, I already told you, you silly filly. Stop apologizing to me. We're cool,” I said. I flagged down the waiter, asking for an order of hay fries to go for a certain pegasus colt. I thought about it for a moment, figuring that hospital food must suck, so I ordered another for Thunderlane. We paid our respective bills and made our way out of the cafe. I bid goodbye to the white mare, telling her to meet me at my house later so we could talk to Flitter. I trotted along happily. Things were looking up! Blossomforth was being nice, and I had a stallion to see!

The receptionist was quite kind again, pointing out that Rumble had migrated from the waiting room over to Thunderlane's room. I nodded, making my way over to the stallion's room. I knocked softly, hearing somepony inside call to come in. I pushed the door open, seeing Rumble sitting on a chair next to Thunderlane's bed. My coltfriend was sitting up, a smile on his face as he saw me.

“Chase!” He said. “Where've you been? Rumble said there was a bit of excitement up at the tornado day.” I chuckled, leveraging off the cartons of hay fries onto the table.

“Yeah... you'd never believe it, but Fluttershy saved the day,” I said.

“Fluttershy? Really?” Thunderlane asked, graciously accepting the carton. He began to munch on the fries. “Man... I tell you, this is so much better than the hospital food.”

“Well, yeah. Hospital food is kind of bad,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Rumble? Would you mind maybe giving me and your brother a little time alone? I need to talk to him about something.” The colt nodded, taking his own carton of fries out of the room. I turned my head back to Thunderlane. “So... feather flu, huh? You contagious?”

“Not now, no,” Thunderlane said. “At least by what the doctor said.” I grinned, reaching in and giving the stallion a peck on the cheek. He blushed a little.

“Good,” I said. “There's... something else I needed to discuss with you. While you were sleeping... I ran into Blossomforth.” Thunderlane's eyes widened.

“What? What happened? Is everything alright?” He said. I lifted a hoof as he tried to push up off of the bed, stopping him.

“Hold it, lover boy. Everything's just fine. In fact... she actually apologized to me,” I said. “It was... strange.”

“She apologized? What do you mean?” Thunderlane replied. I grinned.

“Yeah... she said she was sorry for everything. I... I believe her too. We went out to eat, and talked about some things,” I said. “I think everything's gonna be just fine.”

“I... Wow. She really said she was sorry,” Thunderlane said. “Was... not expecting that.” I chuckled.

“So... when you think you're going to get out of here? You still owe me dinner, remember?” I said, prodding the stallion.

“Tomorrow maybe? Do you maybe want to do lunch instead?” He said. I nodded.

“Sure. That'd be fine,” I said. “Just... I dunno... come around the house at noon?”

“Alright,” Thunderlane said. “Noon it is then.” I reached in close, hugging the stallion.

“I'll let you get some sleep then. You want me to take Rumble with me? He can't stay here all by himself,” I said. Thunderlane put a hoof to his chin.

“Sure. He can stay over. I'm sure he'd enjoy that. He really likes your sister, you know,” he said. I nodded, standing up from his bed. I trotted to the door and opened it, letting the colt know what was going on. Rumble was more than happy to come stay with us for the night. We said good night to the receptionist and started on our way back to my house. When we arrived, a certain white mare was waiting there for us. She smiled as we appeared.

“Cloudchaser!” Blossomforth said. I lifted a hoof.

“Hi,” I said. “You... might want to come in after me, alright? Give Flitter a little time to cool off first.” The white mare nodded, looking apprehensive.

“You sure about this?” She said. I grinned.

“Of course I'm sure,” I said. “You'll be fine.” I trotted up to the door, pushing it open and stepping inside. “Flitter? You home?”

“In the kitchen!” I heard my sister call out. I sighed, motioning for Rumble to head into the living room. Blossomforth came in behind me silently. Flitter appeared in the hallway, her joyous expression immediately turning to anger.

“You,” she said venomously. Her wings flared out. I lifted a hoof to stop my sister.

“Wait, Flitter, she --” I started to say as my sister launched into the air behind me and landed on the white mare. Blossomforth squeaked loudly as Flitter tackled her to the ground. She lifted her hooves in front of her face, blubbering beneath my sister's weight. I groaned, reaching out with my mouth and grabbing Flitter by one of her wings. She yelped and fell off of the other pegasus, glaring at me. Rumble leaped out of the way, buzzing his little wings to land in the living room.

“What'd you do that for? It's Blossomforth, remember?!” She said angrily. I pointed at the mare in question.

“And you're scaring her,” I said. Blossomforth was curled up, tears forming in her eyes. Flitter's eyes widened.

“Oh Celestia, I'm so sorry,” she said, trotting over next to the frightened mare. Blossomforth nodded mutely as Flitter helped her up.

“Flitter... Blossom's come to apologize,” I said. I motioned to Blossomforth to back me up.

“Y-Y-Yeah... I... I'm sorry,” the white mare said softly. Flitter's eyes immediately turned from angry to compassion. I smiled.

“Oh,” she said. “I... It's okay then. I'm sorry too. I should have thought before I... you know,” she said.

“Pounced on me?” Blossomforth asked. Flitter nodded, giggling a little. Blossomforth joined her, laughing as I rolled my eyes.

“Fillies,” I said. “Alright, look. I've gotta get to bed. I'm tired as all get out, and I've got a date tomorrow.” Blossom looked up at me, her laughing stopping.

“With... with Thunderlane?” She said. I nodded.

“That's... not going to be a problem, right?” I countered. The white mare sat there for a few moments and then finally shook her head.

“No. I don't think I really truly loved him, anyways. I think I just wanted him because you did. I... I saw the way he looked at you that night. When you were on your first date... he's yours,” Blossomforth said. I smiled softly as she started to tear up a bit. I grabbed her, pulling her close into a hug.

“Hey now... stop it with the waterworks already. One of these days, you're gonna find yourself some stallion or even some mare, and everything's going to work out fine,” I said. “Trust me.”

“I... Okay. You're right,” Blossomforth said. “I... I'm gonna get going then.”

“Would you mind some company? It's kind of getting dark out,” Flitter said. “I could walk you home, if you'd like. Think of it as 'I owe you for not getting so freaked out for when I nearly creamed you in the face'.”

“I'd like that...” Blossomforth said softly. “Thanks.”

“No problem,” Flitter said, turning her attention to Rumble. The colt was standing in the living room, frozen in place. “Now, you go right up to bed alright, Rumble? I'll be home soon to tuck you in, but let Cloudchaser get her sleep alright? She gets a little grumpy if you wake her up.”

“I do not!” I argued. Flitter rolled her eyes.

“See what I mean?” She said. Rumble nodded slowly. I facehoofed.

“Is everything alright, Missus Flitter?” The colt said. Flitter chuckled loudly.

“Kiddo, I think everything is more than alright,” she said. “Come on, Blossom. Let's get you home.” The white mare nodded as the two left. Rumble started up the stairs and I followed after him. The colt stepped into the spare room and plopped onto the bed. I stayed and watched him for a few moments. I was going to leave but the colt called out to me.

“Cloudchaser?” He said. I poked my head back into the room.

“Yes, Rumble?” I asked.

“Are you gonna be like my new mom?” The tiny colt said. I couldn't help it, I laughed. I trotted into the room, sitting down on the bed next to him.

“No... I don't think it's anything like that, kiddo. But I can be your sister, if that's what you want,” I said. “So can Flitter. You know that.”

“I... I do,” he said.

“Listen... Rumble... Thunderlane told me about... well, you know who,” I said. Rumble looked away for a few moments.
“I don't hate them,” he said softly. Almost too soft, I could barely hear him.

“I'm sorry?” I said. “What was that?”

“I said, I don't hate them,” the colt replied. “My parents. I don't hate them. I just... I miss them.”

“Well... I know I'm not your mom, Rumble. But I'll make you a promise,” I said. “And it'll be the best promise in the world, and you know why?”

“Why?” Rumble said, looking up at me.

“Because it's a Pinkie Promise. And believe me when I say, nopony breaks a Pinkie Promise,” I said. “So... cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” I remembered to close my eye on the last motion. “I promise that I will always, always be there for you. No matter what. If you need somepony to talk to, or somepony to help you out. I'll be there. After all, what are sisters for?” Rumble sat there, silently processing this new information. The colt reached up and grabbed my foreleg in a hug. I stroked his mane and smiled.

“Thanks, sis,” he said.

“Any time, little bro,” I replied. “Now get to sleep, and don't let Flitter catch you up in the middle of the night. I can't do anything to protect you from her wrath.” I chuckled. The colt nodded and laid his head down on his bed. I yawned loudly. It was time for me to get to sleep myself. Trudging off to my own room, I fell over onto my bed and was out like a light bulb within moments.


Warm sun filtered into my room as I opened my eyes. The beautiful morning shimmered, and I pulled myself out of bed. No time like the present! I thought as I glanced up at the alarm clock. Seven thirty. Seemed like a great time to get up. Flitter didn't seem to think so, as she was still slumbering soundly in her bed. I giggled softly. I tip-hoofed down the hall, peeking in on Rumble. The colt was also still quite asleep. I had full reign of the house for once!

I trotted down the stairs, humming to myself. Even though it had only been two weeks since all this crazy stuff had started, it felt like a great weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Things were finally looking up.

I pranced around the kitchen, yanking out pots and pans, a song bubbling in my heart. I couldn't help it. I shook my hips back and forth, hearing the beating of the drums. I set a pot of water on the stove and spun about happily.

“Oh oh oh woke up today, feeling the way... I always do,” I belted out. I didn't care if I woke up Rumble or Flitter this morning. I was feeling way too good. “Oh oh oh, hungry for something that I can't eat... but then I feel that beat!” I shook and shimmied around the kitchen, popping a small bag of oats into the boiling water.

“The rhythm of town, starts calling me down... it's like message from Celestia!!!” I sang, grinning widely. “So oh oh oh pulling me out to the smiles and the roads that I love!” I pushed open the kitchen window, letting in the morning sun. Ponies were already milling about the streets, getting ready for early morning market. I was perhaps a little too cheerful when I waved at a few of them.

“Good morning, Ponyville! Apple pies on a windowsill... Every night is a fantasy... Every sound's like a symphony!!” I sang happily. I really couldn't help it. Today was going to be a great day. I had a date, and not only that, I didn't have to worry about anypony ruining it. It felt bad to think of it that way, but it was true. I was happy however that Blossomforth and I had made up, and was looking quite forward to becoming her friend.

I swung around, putting a little more hip into my action than I thought I had, slipping off of my hooves and spinning down to the kitchen floor with a loud *thud*. I laughed heavily as I picked myself back up. A thunder of hooves came rumbling down the stairs. Flitter appeared in the kitchen doorway, her eyes wide.

“What happened?” She said. I giggled.

“Sorry, Flits. I got a little carried away, but since you're up...” I pointed at the stove. Flitter sighed.

“Fine, I'll finish breakfast,” she said, hopping over to the pot. She turned down the heat and grabbed a large spoon, stirring the thick and hearty oats. The smell of cinnamon filled the air. Seconds later, a blue pegasus colt fluttered into the room. Rumble was drooling. I giggled some more.

“Something smells really good!” He said. I patted his head.

“Good things come to those who wait, little bro. Come on, let's let Auntie Flitter finish up while we hang out in the living room,” I said, glancing up at the clock. Still plenty of time to go before my date with Thunderlane. I sauntered out of the kitchen towards the living room after the blue colt. Flitter snarled at me as I left.

“But you're five seconds older than me!” She shouted. I chuckled. Yeah, life was looking way up. Now all I had to do was see Thunderlane later on, and everything would be totally awesome. I could even tell him about Spitfires – oh. I forgot to tell him about the Academy, I thought. Guess I'll have to tell him later. My thoughts were interrupted by Rumble, who zoomed past me. I grinned, running off to hang out.


A knock came at the door. I glanced up from the couch. Rumble was upstairs, sleeping after a highly eventful game of hide and seek. I hadn't had that much fun in ages. I could get used to having a little brother. We had even gotten Flitter to join in, even though she hadn't wanted to at first.

“Come on in,” I called out. The door opened, and Thunderlane poked his head inside.

“Chase? You ready to go?” He said. I grinned, nodding.

“Sure thing,” I replied. We made our way out into the streets of Ponyville, heading towards the park. Thunderlane and I made small talk on the way. Ponyville's central park was fairly bare this afternoon. There were only a few ponies here and there. Thunderlane led me to the farthest part of the park. A picnic blanket lay on a hill nearby, a basket of food sitting in between two glasses of cider.

“Here we are,” Thunderlane said. “This is us.” I smiled softly, allowing the stallion to guide me to the blanket.

“This is... pretty amazing, Lane,” I said. “Do you always charm your dates like this?” Thunderlane chuckled, sitting down across from me. He offered me a glass of cider. I took a sip. It was cold and fizzy.

“Oh that's funny,” Thunderlane replied, rolling his eyes. “I just... I just wanted to make it a little special, that's all.” I rolled my eyes too, tagging the stallion on the shoulder with my forehoof.

“I'm just messing with you,” I said. “How are you feeling?”

“Better. Doing well,” the stallion said, taking a sip of his drink. “How's Rumble by the way? I didn't see him when I stopped in.”

“He's fine. I umm... sort of had a little talk with him last night,” I said, averting my eyes. “About... you know.”

“I... I see,” Thunderlane said. I nodded.

“He's a good colt, Lane. In fact, we made each other a promise. We're siblings now,” I said, smiling.

“Are you now? That's cool,” Thunderlane replied. “I... I can't thank you enough for taking care of him while I was sick.”

“No bigs!” I said, motioning with my hoof. “Seriously though. It's fine. It was a pleasure to have him.” Thunderlane nodded.

“I... I saw Blossomforth this morning,” he said. “She stopped by the hospital.” I raised an eyebrow at this.

“Oh?” I said. Thunderlane smiled softly.

“She wanted to apologize for everything. I don't know what happened to her, but it must have really turned her around,” he said. I chuckled nervously. I didn't have the heart to tell him that it was because she'd tried to hurt him.

“Yeah...” I said. “Well... I guess everything turned out okay then.” Thunderlane cocked his head at me.

“You alright, Chase?” He said. I sighed.

“Something happened after the Tornado Day,” I said. “Spitfire came up to me after we finished. Gave me a card for the Wonderbolts Academy.”

“The Academy?” Thunderlane said. “You mean... like for you to apply?” I nodded. Thunderlane's face lit up. “That's... that's awesome Chase! You should so totally go for it!”

“You really mean it?” I said. “I... I don't know. I don't know that I'd be able to do it.” Thunderlane rolled his eyes and edged closer to me.

“I think that... that you can do anything you set your heart too,” Thunderlane said. I blushed as he got closer.

“Then I think... I think I want to do this,” I said, reaching forward and pressing my lips to the stallion's own. His eyes widened and I felt his lips soften up to the contact. We held there for several long minutes, finally pulling away. I panted heavily, smiling. Thunderlane had a sharp grin on his face.

“I... I don't know how I know this, Lane... but I feel like... I feel like I've known you for forever,” I whispered. “I smile when I see you... I love being around you. You make me feel like I can do anything.” Thunderlane wrapped his wing around me, pulling me in close.

“I feel the same way,” he said. I rested my head against his neck, just letting myself hear his breathing.

“Lane?” I said.

“Yeah, Chase?” The stallion replied.

“I... I love you,” I said. I winced, waiting for it to go badly. This was only my second date after all! But somehow... I just knew. I knew that he was the one. I loved him. I wasn't going to deny it anymore. The silence was overbearing.

“Chase...” Thunderlane said. “I love you, too.” He reached down, pulling my chin up with a hoof as he kissed me once more. I'd never felt happier. Things were finally looking up for me. And those wings I cursed so much?

Well, they finally brought me happiness. I knew that no matter what, Thunderlane and I would face the world... together. The stallion that flew through the storm to save my life, saved my heart.

The End -

Epilogue: The Road Ahead

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Flying Through the Storm

Epilogue: The Road Ahead

“You sure about this?” Thunderlane said. He looked apprehensive. I grinned sharply at my stallion.

“I'm sure,” I said. “We said we'd do this together, and we're going to do it.”

“Do you think we're ready?” Thunderlane asked. I chuckled.

“Please... we've been training for what... almost a year now?” I replied. “We're both ready. And you know it.” Thunderlane nodded. I picked up the two envelopes we had brought to the postal service office. Each one had our names on it. They were addressed to the Wonderbolts Academy.

“Well... ready when you are,” Thunderlane said. I nodded, pulling open the mailbox and stuffing the two envelopes inside.

“Wonderbolts Academy, here we come! Be ready for Thunderlane and Cloudchaser!”