The Third Wing
It was yet another school day. Gilda and Rainbow were eating their lunch; a vegetable taco. Gilda had to accept the lack of any beef, fish, or chicken. She had been considering taking some meat from home and putting it on the food, but she didn't want to get in trouble or offend her only friend, so she continued nibbling on the taco (if you could call it that).
Rainbow looked over to Gilda. "Hey, Gilda?"
Gilda looked to Dash, swallowing a bite of her taco, "Yeah?"
"Are you doing anything Saturday?"
Well...my parents told me that you could come over Saturday."
Gilda's eyes widened. "You want me to come to your house?!"
"Yep. I told my mom about you and she seemed pretty excited."
"Wow… She's excited to see me?"
Gilda blushed. "N-no one's ever wanted to see me…"
"Well...my parents do." Rainbow smiled.
"Okay. When should I come over?"
"Uh...I don't know. I'll ask my parents. I can call you when I find out."
"Okay… Do you want my phone number?"
"Sure, and I'll give you mine."
Suddenly, the bell rang.
"But when we're waiting for our parents…" Rainbow sighed.
"Oh well, it's okay. I'll give you mine after school, too."
Both girls stood up, picked up their trays, and put their food in the trash before leaving for class. Before they could get to their classroom, however, a pink pony with a purple mane and tail walks up to them. She was wearing a khaki skirt that reached her knees, a blue collared shirt, and tennis shoes. "Um...hello..." she greeted shyly.
Both girls looked at her. "Hello..." Dash greeted back.
"I-I just wanted to say that was really amazing what y-you did back there yesterday."
Gilda and Dash looked at each other, then back at the girl. "What thing was that exactly?"
"That time when you smoked Dumb Bell and Hoops yesterday in PE."
"Oh that? Well, Gilda was just trying to win. Nothing personal."
Gilda looked at Rainbow. "I dunno bout you, but it was personal for me after they tripped you."
"Your modesty is overwhelming."
The girl giggled.
Gilda rolled her eyes. "Well, they deserved it."
"So...what's your name?" Rainbow asked.
"Oh. Um… My names Skywishes."
"Oh. Well my name's Rainbow Dash, and that's Gilda." Rainbow indicated to Gilda.
"Yeah, I know your names, it was all over school. You guys are practically famous!"
"Yeah! The entire school heard about you guys!"
"Wow! Gilda, this is huge!"
"Yeah, but what if they're out for blood after that?" Gilda asked, "I mean, it's not like they're gonna feel warm and fuzzy knowing that they've been beaten by a girl."
"But you're a griffon, Gilda!" Skywishes pointed out. "You're bigger AND stronger than them!"
"But do I know how to defend myself?"
"Just...hit them really hard?" Rainbow suggested.
"Dash, my parents are ambassadors. They barely pay attention to me as it is; how do you think they'll react if they learn that I hit someone?"
Rainbow sighed. "How'd they react if they found out you were beaten up?"
"They would probably care less. Either way, it's lose-lose for me."
Rainbow sighed. "Well...that really stinks... My parents would be ticked, too, but if I got beat up they might transfer me."
"Yeah, I just wish they'd understand."
"Have you told them about how you feel?" Skywishes asked.
"More than you know…"
That conversation Gilda had haunted her throughout the rest of the day. She was constantly on the look out for Hoops and Dumb Bell. Needless to say, it was pure torture.
Another thing was on Gilda's mind: Skywishes. She and Rainbow were talking a LOT. They barely even talked to Gilda. It could be that they just met, but what if it's more than that? What if it's because she's a griffon that they aren't really talking to her? She had had a similar experience in Eagland. Someone had befriended her one day, then the next day he called her an "Abomination." To add insult to injury, her parents did nothing to defend her. It was the horrible cycle which was her life.
Gilda looked up at Rainbow Dash. She had a rather concerned look on her face.
"Are you okay?"
Gilda shrugged and looked away, trying to avoid eye contact and hide the tears that were beginning to form.
Rainbow moved closer to Gilda. "Gilda? What's wrong?"
Gilda remained silent.
"You know you can tell me."
Gilda shook her head.
"Are you scared?"
She wanted so much to say yes, but what if it made her look weak? Then it'd get out and she'd be bullied, teased, and no one would care about her.
"Listen, I know I haven't been talking with you much after we met Skywishes, but you are still my friend. I promise you that I won't be leaving you any time soon."
Gilda looked at Dash, but barely making eye contact with her.
Rainbow saw the tears in Gilda's eyes
She pulls Gilda's chin up to help Gilda's eyes face her. "If you want to talk about it in private, we can after school, but just know that I'm here for you."
Gilda saw the care in her friend's eyes. It was something she had never really seen, much less felt.
Finally, Gilda said. "I'll call you after school. Would that be okay?"
"That'll be perfect." Rainbow smiled.
Before Gilda could respond, the teacher entered the gym.
"Alright everyone, I want you to give me twenty pushups and then head out onto the track. We are going to jump some hurdles."
Both Rainbow and Gilda went to a spot, far from Dumb Bell and Hoops, and began their push ups.
The students emerged from the gym minutes later and raced toward the track. Gilda and Rainbow made sure they were the first ones out, so as not to be seen by their nemesi. Rainbow looked to Gilda and asked "Think they saw us?"
Gilda turned around and looked for Hoops and Dumb Bell. They were standing over a young cowering girl… A young cowering girl that looked a lot like Skywishes. "I think they found someone else," Gilda answered.
"What do you mean?"
She pointed toward the scene of intimidation that was taking place.
Rainbow frowned, a friend of hers was getting bullied! She couldn't sit back and let that happen! She marched over to the boys with Gilda close behind. Rainbow got right behind Hoops and yelled. "Hey!"
Hoops turned around and was knocked to the ground by Rainbow's fist. Dumb Bell whirled around and saw Gilda glaring at him, which promptly made him run away.
"Rainbow Dash! Gilda!" The coach angrily ordered.
Both girls grew pale. They looked at each other and said they exact same thing: "Uh-oh."
The coach walked over to them. "You two are coming with me. You have some explaining to do."
The two girls said nothing as they began their long, embarrassing trek to the principal's office.
The two girls sat in the office quietly while awkwardly staring at the principal. It grew especially awkward while he was calling their parents. Though Gilda, for once in her life, hoped her parents weren't home.
Finally, the principle hung up and looked at both girls. "Your mother is on her way, Ms. Dash." He turned to Gilda. "I tried calling your parents but only a Mr. 'George' spoke and said he'd pass the message on to your parents."
"Figured that much," Gilda mumbled.
"I hope you girls know what you did was wrong and you will be severely punished."
"If you call helping a friend doing something 'wrong,' then I probably will," Dash sighed.
"Is punching a fellow student the way to do it?"
"With all due respect, talking to him doesn't help a bit. If it did, this whole thing would have been over a long time ago."
"But why not tell a teacher? Or me?"
"It still doesn't get rid of them. They get off the hook without a scratch. My mom even pointed that out several times."
"Ms. Dash, your mother isn't the most… levelheaded in Cloudsdale."
"Are you saying she doesn't know the difference between justice and favoritism?"
"I'm not saying that, but she can be rather hot-headed, stubborn, and can jump to conclusions."
"So was what I did jumping to conclusions, because a lot of ponies will agree when I say that you have bullies in your school."
"That is enough Ms. Dash! I will not listen to anymore of your bad attitude."
"If you would just do something about them, maybe you won't have to."
"You are dangerously close to being expelled."
"My mom was thinking about pulling me out anyway if this keeps on."
Gilda gasped, she didn't want to be trapped in this school with Dumb Bell and Hoops without Rainbow.
Just then, the secretary peeked in and said, "I have Rainbow Dash's mom outside."
The principle sighed. "Send her in…"
Firefly entered the office and went straight to Rainbow and looked her in the eye. "Alright young lady, just what the heck were you thinking?"
Rainbow looked at her mom, suddenly losing the fire she had earlier. "Well...Y-you see-"
"She was just trying to help a friend," Gilda said.
Firefly looked over to Gilda. "I'm guessing you're Gilda?"
Gilda started to raise an eyebrow, but remembered that Firefly was informed. "Yes, I am."
"I see… Were you the one my daughter was helping?"
"No, I was helping her help her friend. The friend was the one who was being bullied."
Firefly looked back to Rainbow. "Is that true? Were you trying to stop a bully?"
"Two," Rainbow said.
Firefly sighed, "Same ones?"
Firefly turned around and looked at the principal. "Why haven't you fixed this yet? I've warned you about this for almost a year, yet nothing was done."
"We've tried to look into the problem, but this is a large school. And we can't just watch every student that walks through the door."
"And is it a coincidence that school officials happen to be related to them?"
The principle swallowed. "I don't see what that has to do with YOUR DAUGHTER PUNCHING another student, do you want her doing that in the real world?"
"Well...not like that. But she wasn't completely in the wrong."
"Why would you say that?"
"While it wasn't self defense, it was done to protect someone who, by the way, would not have been in that situation had you handled those two properly."
"That's NOT the issue!"
"It is entirely the issue!" Firefly took a moment to breath and said, "I am going to contact the Board of Education and see if they can fix this. If not, then I am pulling my daughter out."
"Wait…" The principle sighed, "I'll...talk to the parents of the students…"
Firefly raised an eyebrow. "Ya gonna do something this time?"
The principle gave Firefly a look, before grabbing his phone and dialing a number. After a few moments. "Hi honey… Listen...we need to talk about Dumb Bell…"
Gilda's eyes widened before she looked at Dash. She mouthed, "That's one of the guys' father?"