A Hearth's Warming peace

by Comrade_Soviet

First published

It’s hearth's warming eve. Rainbow Dash gets a chance to visit her oldest friend when a war is raging in Equestria.

(The story is set in Equestria at War universe)


Ponies are becoming desperate and the future looks more and more dire with each passing day. Rainbow Dash, the wonderbolts ace pilot who fought for Equestria for over a year since the changeling invasion, gets a chance to forget all of it for at least one special day, a Hearth's Warming day. Wishing to spend it with someone very important, her childhood friend- Fluttershy

Chapter 1

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Winter has come to Ponyville, a very harsh winter. For the past few months the unforgiving weather made the ponies’ lives even more miserable than it already was thanks to the ongoing war with the invading changelings.

At the very least the Hearth’s Warming celebration gave ponies some form of relief. The only moment in those uncertain times for them to just ease up, even if it’s only on the surface. So it was for Rainbow Dash, the Wonderbolts’ most decorated ace pilot since the start of the conflict. The fastest flier in all of Equestria as she liked to shamelessly proclaim.

Even Rainbow’s amazing flying skills couldn't completely save her from the unforgiving chilly and strong wind that made her wings shiver mid-flight, swinging her short, prismatic rainbow mane left and right which often obstructed her line of sight.

Conditions were so terrible due to the absence of most weather duty pegasi who had to be rearranged for the war effort. There just weren't enough resources for controlling and shaping the weather. ``Ugh! What would I give up just to become a simple weather mare again, without all of this crap going all around!`` The thoughts echoed in Rainbow Dash’s head as she descended into the snowy ground. She noticed how Ponyville looked like a parody of itself. She hadn't seen it since the changelings attacked; she and other Wonderbolts were sent to the frontlines almost immediately. Prior to the great war it was a place of happiness and peace…Now Rainbow Dash couldn’t find any of those merits in this sad and practically abandoned town. ``Eh I should clear my mind, that’s why I'm here after all.``

The wonderbolt could see her destination not that far in front of her, she smiled while seeing the glimpses of it through the darkness with a huge amount of snowflakes dropping onto her muzzle, making her uncomfortable, but it couldn't stop her from feeling better already. That cozy little cottage at the edge of the Everfree Forest was the only thing she wanted to see right now…maybe besides a certain shy resident inside of it.

As she approached the so well familiar doorstep of her best friends welcoming home, the freezing mare immediately knocked at the small, wooden door, quite loudly as she always did. After a while the door opened, a familiar, adorable muzzle peeking through the little space got Rainbows Dash’s attention, she smiled brightly, content from finally being able to see her oldest friend.

When Fluttershy recognised who was standing in front of her she smiled meekly, trying to reciprocate the blue mare’s enthusiasm..She opened the doors wider allowing her oldest friend to see her better.

The bold mare's heart skipped a beat, seeing her best friend after such a long time made her so unbelievably happy, although she noticed how Fluttershy's faint smile was just an act, she was sure the timid pegasus was just as happy to see her too. ``I shouldn’t be surprised she’s definitely hurting inside, probably even more than the rest of us,`` Rainbow thought. Not a few seconds have passed when Fluttershy just about launched into Rainbow's unprepared forehooves, giving her a hug that would shadow all other hugs in Equestria's history.

Ah. How she missed the strawberry scent of Fluttershy’s mane and how soft it felt when the pink locks caressed her muzzle or that soft yellow coat pressed against her own chest. Fluttershy had to be missing it too, she could tell from how strong her friend’s fore hooves held her around the neck.

“I was afraid you wouldn't be able to make it,” Fluttershy sniffled quietly, nuzzling against Rainbow’s neck, a few tears escaping through her cheek into the other’s mare outfit, a dark blue Wonderbolts festive uniform, decorated with her many awards for bravery in combat.

Rainbow Dash tightened the embrace. “Nah. The front has been surprisingly silent for the past few weeks, too cold for the bugs I guess.” she sighed. “Our pilots need some time off, we were flying day and night non stop.”

“That includes you too Dashie,” Fluttershy ended their closeness so she could look into her friend’s magenta eyes. “You’re not a superhero. I'm really, really glad you decided to leave this…this h..horror for at least few days. You deserve it and you need it!”

“Yeah…I guess my awesomeness can't kill enough bugs now can't it…” Dash sighed again.

“Let’s not talk about it Rainbow, we should focus on something nice today…as much as we can at least.” Rainbow Dash nodded in agreement, her body slightly shivering from the cold.

“Oh goddess, I’m so sorry. We are freezing here, especially you after such a journey. That's very stupid of me. Please come inside.” The animal lover apologized, inviting the freezing pony to follow her into her peacefull home.

Rainbow Dash gladly took the invitation, trying to hide the fact that she was indeed a moving ice cube. “No worries, the uniform keeps me warm.” As she entered the cottage the athletic mare couldn't miss the fact that almost all the critters previously inhabiting it left…Well apparently besides one that deserved to go away from this place the most. The white devil himself who enslaves cute and gullible yellow mares. He was sleeping, ``at least for now he won’t be a bother,`` Rainbow Dash hoped. Maybe others just sleep through the winter? Oh. What would she do to just sleep through the winter herself…and the war if possible too. Though Poor Fluttershy must feel so lonely without her little friends.

While glaring at the snoozing bunny the daredevil missed how her timid friend disappeared into the kitchen. It was hard to see inside, barely few candles were lighting the entire living room. And the electricity? From what Rainbow Dash heard it was completely cut off for the past few days all around central Equestria, including Canterlot.

When she entered the kitchen the visibility was a little bit better. A few more candles here and there probably to help Fluttershy cook, but the most important detail was the snow outside, deflecting light that came to illuminate the room from its few windows. The view was quite exceptional in Rainbow’s mind, a view that everyone would like to see during Hearth's Warming eve.

“So how have you been doing Flutters? In all the letters that we’ve exchanged with each other it was mostly me talking about myself…Hmm. As usual I guess, but anyway you should talk about yourself more…I worry too you know?”

Fluttershy stopped in her attempts at decorating the table. Seemingly lost in thought. “I…Uhm..You know it’s not very….nice as you can imagine. I try to keep my animals safe and help the ponies around as much as I can..Uhm…I’m sorry I didn’t want to bother you with what I do here. In comparison to what you’re doing out there…” Fluttershy let her words linger a little, she despised the idea that her childhood friend was forced to do very horrible things on a daily basis but it was definitely ten folds more important than what she was doing out here.

“Hey! It doesn't mean you’re any less important, don't ever think that” Rainbow Dash touched her friend’s shoulder in a comforting manner. “It just happens that I can go there and…do…stuff. I’m glad you don’t have to be there, I already have Pinkie and Applejack to watch over, they can be even more reckless than me!”

Sadly Fluttershy’s mood wasn’t improving, at the mention of her other friends the feeling of loneliness and uselessness that she felt in Ponyville returned. And the dread from knowing there was a chance she could never see one of her friends ever again.

“I don’t really want to be there either. I just wish you could visit Ponyville more often, even Twilight barely sees me, and she’s only in Canterlot,” Fluttershy sat facing Rainbow Dash across the round table, sighing. “I guess it only makes sense you can come here once a year if Twilight cannot while being so close to the town..”

Rainbow Dash nodded slowly with a saddened face. “But hey, after we kick the bugs out of our land I promise to pay back for the lost time,” she put an encouraging smile on her face trying to lighten up the mood with a positive attitude. “I will even go to another butterfly migration with you….” She added with a whisper as if afraid someone else could hear her…well that could be only Angel sleeping in the adjacent room.

The meek pony indeed smiled a little at the promise. “Thank you, I’m sorry for ruining the mood.” Fluttershy said apologetically.

“It’s cool. So have you managed to cook us something? Not gonna lie, even a single sliced carrot with some spices would be ten times better than the field rations. I’m sick of eating that crap!”

Fluttershy looked down, trying to avoid her friend's imminent disappointed gaze.“I'm sorry Dashie but the meal this year won't be any good as it always was… the rations are becoming so thin, I managed to save some for tonight's dinner. I tried to eat much less for the past two months to make us a vegetable soup that you always liked. I know it's not exactly a earth's warming meal but…I couldn't really do more.”

Rainbow Dash looked at her saddened friend dumbfounded with her mouth slightly agape. Without a word she sat up and embraced her silly friend, “You didn't have to do that you featherbrain,” she whispered into her friend’s perked up ears, not believing Fluttershy put herself through such an inconvenience and bad habits just to make her feel better.

“Don’t worry I'm fine”, Fluttershy returned the embrace in earnest,”I really wanted to do this, if anything this war won't take this special evening from us.” Rainbow broke the hug and looked into her friend's aquamarine eyes, sparkling in the dark. “I get you pal, let’s get ready to eat then, I will help you with the dishes afterwards.”

“I have one more thing for us to enjoy tonight,” This got Rainbow Dash’s attention. Fluttershy already tried to do so much for her and there was more? She couldn't wait, but at the same time she hoped her friend didn’t inconvenience herself too much “Oh? And what would that be?”

Fluttershy went towards her upper shelf just above the sink, what she took from there made Rainbows eyes glimmer in excitement. Smiling cutely Fluttershy presented the treasure to her dearest friend.

“Pridean wine!?” Rainbow Dash shouted in benevolence. “How the heck did you get your hooves on Pridean wine?”

Giggling, the shy pony responded, softly speaking. “Few months before the war I received it as a gift from Princess Celestia for taking care of Philomena while she was away at Mount Aris. I saved it for a very special occassion…” Fluttershy flew, putting the precious bottle on the table. “...Such as this. I hope you will love it.”

Rainbow Dash laughed. “Oh I most certainly will! You’re spoiling me Flutters!”

“Umm…I was hoping to do just that….” Fluttershy confessed, booping her blue friend’s snout in the process. It seemed it was possible to put aside the depressing reality for a short while…To enjoy some well deserved time with a friend.




The dinner time passed with relative peace. The pair talked about their careless lifes from before everything went to tartarus. They recollected how they were always spending Hearth's Warming eve together, although previous years were much better for obvious reasons it was still nice that the tradition was upheld no matter the circumstances. Every year they spent this eve with the only two of them before they departed to see their parents and family the next day.

Yet they couldn't avoid the elephant in the room. There is only as much as a pony can take behind the mask of contentment. The topic of their traumatic situations couldn’t be ignored for that long.

Taking a last sip from the delicious (at least for military standards) soup that Fluttershy made Rainbow Dash couldn't help herself but to ask her timid friend about life in Ponyville. She imagined it was bad but from what she saw during her journey to the cottage. It was completely lifeless, she hoped it wasn't THAT bad. “So Fluttershy, is Ponyville just as bad as I saw it on my way here? It feels like no one lives here anymore.”

“It’s partially true, '' Fluttershy said plainly. Raising her eyebrows, Rainbow Dash wondered what her friend had in mind.

“The ponies are still here….but…but they stopped talking with each other, they stopped laughing. Out here Rainbow, it feels like a very bad dream. Worse than the ones you were waking me up from when we were little fillies, that made me cry through the night.”

“So….You feel like that too huh? I hoped that so many miles away from the front life was still…semi-normal,”

Fluttershy looked at the questioning pony for a few seconds before responding. “How could I not be? Just because we’re not out there doesn't mean we don’t feel it!” The normally soft voice of the shy pony was rising exponentially.

“I wonder if I will ever see any of my friends again, my family! and you! Do you have the slightest idea how worried I am for you? back in the Canterlot airfield when we last saw each other, when we said our goodbyes I was so afraid that would be the last I saw you! I don't know what I would do if you just died like that, or other girls! Like all those other poor ponies reported in the news. The fact that letters half of the time don't get into the destination does not help. I always wonder if I didn't get any letters from you, is it because of the logistics or if you are just…are just…are gone!”

Rainbow just sat with her ears dropped and a saddened face, listening to her friend’s concerns, she didn't want to stop her..she agreed with everything the yellow mare said.

“What's the chance that everything will be okay? AS OF NOW WE’RE COMPLETELY LOSING! So many ponies are dying, you're risking your lifes on a daily basis ....”

“What do you want us to do Fluttershy!? Rainbow snapped, interrupting her friend's rant. “Just talk to them? Maybe the bugs will just go away if we politely ask them right? WE ARE HERE BECAUSE WE WERE TOO POLITE IN THE FIRST PLACE!”' Rainbow shouted but the image of her friend, hiding behind her mane like she always did when she was just being bullied, embarrassed or just didn't know how to handle a situation made her regret it. Damn it!


“Oh Celestia Flutter’s I'm so sorry I didn't want to shout” she trotted towards the quivering pony and circled her hoof around her shoulders to comfort her. “It's just I would really like this to end too Flutters. I want nothing else but to just come back into our lives from before…goodness it was only a year but it feels like a decade has already passed.”

“No, I'm sorry, we were supposed to have a nice dinner just like we always had without all of those concerns. I'm just so overwhelmed Dashie, thinking about all of you, trying to comfort all the fillies in ponyville…and the hospital…it's just so horrifying to see all those hurt ponies…it's not the same as helping animals….” The soft mare spoke through her pink mane.

“I know, I know Fluttershy,” Rainbow Dash had met many ponies touched by the war's first hoof. Fluttershy was actually doing pretty well everything considered…especially with her meek and demure nature. Some ponies couldn’t handle it at all. It was so unreal and unthinkable that such a thing could happen to them.

“Did you know Twilight asked me to…she a-asked me to use my animals for the war effort…to help build military fortifications, help with logistics and even…she said some animals could help us on the frontline…”The animal lover cried, the idea making her sick in the stomach. How could she just send her little friends out there?

“Oh.. She never told me,” Rainbow responded honestly.

“I was very angry that day Rainbow, I shouted at her, I told her very mean things but she was just trying to protect Equestria. And…And the worst part is I don’t even know if I meant it honestly or not.”

“Hey, don't hold it against yourself, I'm sure Twilight understands.” Fluttershy buried her moist muzzle into her friend's shoulder and continued.

“It's not all of it. Twilight snapped at me too, she called me a traitor, a changeling collaborator even when I refused and called her a monster for asking me to do such horrible things…and..and. the thing that hurt the most, she implied that I didn't care about anyone of you, of Pinkie Pie, Applejack and..you…before she left Twilight added that if Pinkie Pie got shot I wouldn't bash an eye, being too focused on protecting my stupid animals.``

”What the tartarus? She never told me. I will have a word with that egghead. I supposed the war is taking its toll on her too but it’s not an excuse to treat you like that. Just so you know I heard from Applejack and Rarity, they’re fine as of now, Applejack a little less since Big Mac was hit but he's going to survive.”

Fluttershy's eyes widened at that, she couldn't imagine Big Mac out there, he was always so sweet and shy just like herself.

The cyan pegasus shaked her head, regretting giving another reason for the shy mare to worry about. “He's a big stallion! he would survive almost everything, trust me.”

“What about Pinkie Pie?”

“Oh..uhm…” Fluttershy face saddened, a few tears already making their way into her pretty face.

“No! Nothing like that! Thank Celestia, it's just…she's not the same Flutters. all the party talk and jumping around like crazy? Yeah she's a different pony now. She cares more about hurting bugs than making other ponies happy…it's like she became the polar opposite of the Pinkie we knew.”

“Oh! That's horrible,” the sobbing continued.

“She will get through this…we all will,” Rainbow reassured the trembling mare.

“You don't know that Dash!” A sudden and loud, almost angry response came from the yellow pegasus mouth. “How can you be so sure it will just be fine?”

“Duh! it's because iI’ awesome of course, no bug can compete with those beauties,” the confidence in Rainbows voice almost made it true, as if it was an unquestionable fact, she showcased her impressive wings to further make her point.

Fluttershy just stared at her childhood friend with the tears still pooled in her eyes, she knew Rainbow was taking it seriously; it was just her way of dealing with anxiety.

Rainbow Dash pouted, desperately trying to brighten her friend's mood.``Shy’ I know how dangerous it is, I know I can just not come back…” Fluttershy whined quite loudly for her standards, hugging her friend tightly, clinging to hear for dear life. “Can't we just fly away somewhere safe? to Hippogriffia maybe?”

“That wouldn't be very kind or loyal towards our fellow ponies don’t ya think?”

“Look Flutters, I'm not there only because I have to, I'm there because I want my family to be safe, I want my friends to be safe…I want YOU to be safe. Did you know I think about you each time I take off? Each time I'm in a fight with those monsters? Each time I see my friends getting shot down, dying, I think you could be next! That gives me energy to keep going, to shoot more. Whenever I think about them hurting you, I just want to perform a sonic rainboom into Chrysalis' ugly face! You’re the most important pony in my life, I will do everything I can to keep them away from you for as long as I fly!”

“Remember when we were fillies I promised you to always protect you? It hasn't changed, it's just now instead of some teenage bullies i have to worry about love harvesting insects.

Fluttershy added her soft wings to her warm and clingy embrace, enveloping her protector within “Thank you. and I trust you will be alright. You have to be.”

“I will, now please. I want to enjoy some quality time with you and that stupid rabbit of yours.”

“Yes, of course I'm sorry for starting this.”

“It's okay, I think we needed to talk about it.”

Rainbow was lost in thoughts for a little bit as now more comfortable silence settled around the two mares. “How are your parents? I got a letter from my mom that they left Cloudsdale?”

“Yes, after the changelings sabotaged the rainbow factory they felt unsafe and left to Las Pegasus. They wanted me to go too but I couldn't leave Ponyville and my animals just like that.”

“Heh. Just a few minutes ago you wanted to sail towards Hippogriffia,” Rainbow teased. Fluttershy punched her lightly in the shoulder in response, both mares shared a tiny giggle. “I wasn't thinking straight.”

wiping some leftover tears from her face, Fluttershy invited Rainbow to her living room. She had intended to set her cozy fireplace so they could sit around and talk in the welcoming winter atmosphere. Before she did so though, there was one more thing awaiting for her dear blue friend. Picking a mysterious item from a little shelf she smiled warmly towards her guest. “Dash there's one more thing, I've got something for you, I’ve thought that you could use something when you leave again, something that can make you feel closer to us all...and me.I hope you will like it.”

“You do? What? No way! Last time I got something from somepony was Soarin sharing his last apple cider bottle with me that he found in some abandoned barn! It was like half a year ago!”

Giggling Fluttershy finally revealed her small gift hidden behind her back, it was a small black box, clearly with something special inside “I made those bracelets with our cutie marks symbols for both of us, we can wear it so it can keep us company, a feeling of each other when we are separated for so long…,” after the little box laid opened on the floor just below Rainbow Dash stunned gaze Fluttershy presented another piece of art to the surprised mare. “And here's a photo of all the girls with us on that pet play date we had last year when we were still happy and safe….you can put it inside your plane to remind you we’re all there with you no matter what.”

Rainbow Dash couldn't stop her tears from appearing. “Gosh. I have…I have no words Flutters.” She tried to wipe away her oncoming tears. “Thank you so much” she said through her light sobs, “Awww I really needed this, but you’re making a mess out of me!.” Rainbow Dash laughed, she wasn’t ashamed of showing up her emotional side near a pony that she knew almost her entire life, still it wasn’t cool in her books.

Fluttershy laughed back and nuzzled her cyan mare in return. “Hey! That reminds me. You thought I hadn't gotten something for you myself?”

The yellow pony beamed at the implication, her muzzle still close to Rainbow Dash’s face. A second later she saw her friend picking up a small item from her pocket. it was a small object enveloped in some festive decorations. Already knowing what it was resembling. Fluttershy was in awe, almost angry at her friend for hiding it for so long in that uniform of hers! “it's the whistle that I lost during the trade exchange! How did you get this!”

“Nuh-uh, that's a secret” Fluttershy flashed her eyelashes and responded teasingly, “Since when are you not telling me your secrets Dashie?”

“You wont get me that easily Flutters.” Rainbow Dash snickered. Who could have thought that such a little exchange of small gifts could lighten up her spirits so much.

After a few hours of just catching up with mundane conversations the pair decided to just sit next to the fireplace, sitting close to each other in a comfortable silence that was broken by Rainbows long yawn, indicating her exhaustion.. “I have to report to the headquarters tomorrow evening, let's go get some sleep so we can spend the day tomorrow together.”

Fluttershy was definitely feeling tired herself, so the proposition was quite alluring, yet she wasn't so relaxed for the past…Celestia knows how long, she really needed to see someone, to remind her that the life that was stolen from them was still out there…somewhere to be reclaimed one day. She didn’t want this to end. She tried really hard not to think about some dreadful implications in her head that it could be their last Hearth's Warming together, luckily they still had a day tomorrow, maybe this one time since the start of the war Ponyville could be a little brighter place. “Alright I feel tired too, follow me upstairs, the beds should be ready. I mean it’s not like anything has changed since you left” Fluttershy commanded while trotting towards her bedroom. When she thought about it she saw her bed less and less, she preferred to sleep at the Ponyville’s hospital to keep her patients, both animals and ponies alike, safer and more comfortable.

Rainbow Dash nodded eagerly, “You don't have to convince me. I was waiting the entire year to bury my snout in those soft little wings!. And my feathers? they’re ruined. I really need some good ol’ preening session!” Blushing heavily, Fluttershy turned her head so she could respond, to her delight however, a surprising flash of rainbow carried her towards the room above.