Her wings beat against the night air in rapid succession. The moonlight served as her light beacon, it's guide showing her the way. Tightly she clutched it to her chest. At this altitude, a fall would spell certain doom for those who didn't have wings. How much more so for her bundle. She had never flown while carrying something so important. This had been a long journey. Her wings were sore and her breaths deep from travel; she needed to rest. But she was almost there.
"Just a little further." She thought.
"Little...further." Her wings beat more furiously as she could see the town below her. The bundle in her claws started to slip from her so her wings beat more rapidly in response. In the distance she could make out a cloud. Not just any cloud, but one that was shaped like a house; a series of rainbows intersected with it ending in a rainbow waterfall.
Landing upon it just as the object was about to slip, she knocked upon the door.
Cheers were all around filling her ears. Rainbow Dash beamed in delight as her pride swelled.
"Rainbow Dash! Rainbow Dash!" The crowds cheered throughout the stadium, their cries earnest and full of respect.
Rainbow Dash held her head high as she paraded in her Wonderbolt outfit. Ahead were the other Wonderbolts, her fellow teammates. Rainbow Dash stood in front of Spitfire, her heart eager and giddy.
"Rainbow Dash." Spitfire began. "On behalf of all the Wonderbolts, we would like to bestow upon you this prestigious award." Spitfire spoke in a grand manner best befitting this situation.
Upon a pillow laid a medal, golden in color with writing inscribed upon it.
Those very words couldn't sum her up more perfectly. Nothing else could describe her skills or her tenacity.
The crowds cheered her name over and over. Each syllable passed through her ears like a chiming bell. They mixed together, blending in a pleasing cocktail for the soul.
And then she woke up.
Rainbow Dash's eyes fluttered open as the sound reached her ears; it wasn't cheers. A grumble came from her, one of annoyance.
"I'm coming!" She called, hoping to stifle the door knocks. The pegasus stormed through the halls of her home, hoping to see what was making such a ruckus. Her eyes were heavy, laden with sleep crust and lethargic weights. Her hair was a frazzled mess right as she reached for the door.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" Rainbow Dash angrily called to whomever was standing outside her door. Her further tirade didn't have a chance to continue for she noticed who was standing outside.
"Hey Dash." Came the greeting.
It was a female griffon. Her fur a golden brown and her feathers white as snow, the tips died in a purple tint. What was striking about the griffon were her golden eyes; golden as the sun. Rainbow Dash immediately knew who it was.
"Gilda?" She said in disbelief. Half of it was in eye widening surprise, while another half in indignation. She hadn't expected to see her best friend again; or rather former best friend. It then fell as indignation set in. She hadn't forgotten the things Gilda had said or what she had done (especially when she heard about it from her friends). Within these mixed emotions, Rainbow Dash noticed something wasn't quite right about Gilda. Tilting her head, she examined her friend's features. Mostly Gilda looked the same; mostly being the key word. Several feathers were out of place, sticking out from her neck. Her fur was partially ruffled and unkempt. Her eyes were held down by dark looking bags, enclosing bloodshot eyes just barely covered by her feather bangs.
A moment of silence based between the pony and the haggard griffon. Gilda opened her mouth for a moment before speaking.
C-c-can I?" Gilda hesitated in her speech, uncertain of the answer to her question. "Can I come in?"
Rainbow Dash didn't know what to say. Her own mouth opened but only choked words coming out unable to speak, she gestured with her head for gilda to come inside
Dash surprised even herself at that moment. After what Gilda had done, after the fight they had, she wasn't sure if their friendship would ever be upon speaking terms again. But seeing the griffon in such a state; was it pity? It wasn't just that, something else had gotten Rainbow Dash's attention. Slung around the griffons shoulder was a bundle, one that she kept close to her chest.
Rainbow Dash wasn't entirely sure of where to go with it. Several suspicions played out in her head, one most particular. Shaking her head though, she put it out of her mind.
They entered the living room, Gilda seating herself on the couch. Or rather, she plopped herself down reclining upon its soft cushions. Dash stood there, watching the griffon let herself go within the soft cushions.
"Gilda...what happened to you?" She asked.
Gilda's eyes fluttered open at that moment. A word passed by her brain, several words to be precise, but they passed with a closing of her beak. Her eyes looked upward, searching for any word that might replace the truth.
"Stuff happened Dash. Lot's of stuff."
"I think stuff is an understatement G. You look terrible."
Gilda narrowed her eyes. "Thanks. I really needed to hear that." She replied, not bothering to hide the sarcasm.
Dash realized her words. "Sorry." She said holding her head down.
Another moment of silence passed before Gilda spoke again.
Before? Dash was confused for a moment. It didn't last long before it hit her. That day. What was meant to be nice visit between friends, had turned into a day of exposed personalities hidden behind inflated egos.
"You don't have to say anything." Rainbow Dash cut her off.
A smile played upon Gilda's face, small but noticeable. Another one appeared upon Rainbow Dash's face, just the same.
"Do you need anything?" The pegasus asked.
"Water." Gilda immediately answered.
Rainbow Dash complied fetching a glass for the griffon, As soon as it reached her talons, Gilda snatched it up and drained it quickly.
"Man, you were thirsty."
Gilda didn't comply with a response. She was thirsty and needed water, enough said.
"Gilda, why don't you stay the night?"
The question sprang up suddenly, Gilda didn't know how to react at first. Surprised mostly. But then again, she probably wasn't too surprised.
"Thanks Dash. I'll just take the couch." Gilda replied.
Rainbow Dash put her hoof up in protest, but put it down. She had known Gilda long enough to know that arguing wouldn't do any good; especially not with Gilda. Stubbornness ran through the griffon's blood. Parting ways, the pair went to their respective ways. Gilda remained upon the couch, while Dash returned to her bed. Although she would have preferred the other way around, but once again, she wouldn't argue with the griffon.
As she lied in bed, her mind went aflutter with thoughts. So many passed through her mind that it was like a speeding train. She didn't expect Gilda to show herself. Heck she hadn't expected to see Gilda again period. But somehow fate had brought them back together. Memories of their past flashed back to her. The fun they had at Junior Speedsters Flight Camp, the bonds they had forged. Dash thought they would last forever. For a brief moment, it seemed like that could be true, or at least a hopeful wish. All of this could be addressed in the morning, It was late and she needed her rest. One final thought played out in her head, the bundle. That red bundle that Gilda never let go. But those thoughts ended as sleep took hold of her.
Gilda waited until she was certain Dash was asleep. Carefully she tiptoed across the floor. Not that sounds could be made upon a cloud. Taking the bundle, she placed it atop the living room table. It didn't take her long to find a piece of parchment and a pen. Scrawling across it, she put it next to the bundle. Without a sound, she turned toward the door. Then she stopped herself with a tiny gasp just passing through her beak. Slowly, her head turned backwards, staring at the bundle only for a moment. The moment didn't last long before she took to the skies. A single tear falling to the land below.
She just hoped someone, or somepony could forgive her for her choice; her selfish choice. They could judge her for this, give her comments of shame. Yet in her current mind this was all she could do. Perhaps she had lost a few of her senses. The only excuse she had was, her life wasn't perfect. Nor would she wish it upon another.
The sun rose without delay, just per usual. From the looks of it, it was going to be a great day. Rainbow Dash awoke with a yawn, smacking her lips. Tank was at her bedside, still curled up inside his shell. With a creak of her legs, she hopped off and strode into the living room.
"Hey G you up?" She asked.
It had been a long time since she had uttered a certain nickname. It made her smile. The grin slowed to a halfway point when she noticed the couch.
Gilda was gone.
"Gilda?" She called again. No answer came.
"Gilda?" Rainbow Dash looked about her home, not noticing any trace of the griffon. Her eyes darted around searching for any trace of brown or white. With a stiffening face, all she could see was a trace of red: the bundle. Cautiously she trotted over to it. Suspicions rose in her chest, beating in succession with her heart. Her hoof moved the blanket and what she saw underneath made her eyes rise. Panicked, her eyes trailed to the writing beside it.
I don't want it.
"GILDA!" Rainbow Dash called. Jolting out of her house, she searched the skies for Gilda. With her speed, she was able to clear much of the Ponyville skies, even doing her job early for once. As much as she searched, Gilda could not be found.
"GILDA!" She called again, this time drawing the attention of many ponies below.
Before any could ask Rainbow Dash what was wrong, she was gone. Zipping back into her home, there was only one thing that was on her mind. The bundle sat there unexposed, revealing its precious package.
There it sat, a griffon egg, clear and white, a pristine shine to it.
"Okay Dash, you've got an egg in your house. Stay calm." Rainbow Dash told herself. "This can't get any worse."
Yep, couldn't get any worse.
A hairline crack slowly worked its way down the egg.
Rainbow Dash's eyes practically bulged out of their sockets when she noticed that. "No! No! Stay in there! Don't come out!" Rainbow Dash demanded. So far the egg wasn't listening as a talon burst out. "Oh my gosh it's hatching! It's hatching! Oh what do I do!?" Rainbow Dash didn't have a chance to answer her own question as more cracks gave away and then all of a sudden, they broke away completely. First another leg came, followed by another talon. Tiny golden brown wings fluttered open along with a lion's tail. The head was covered by a portion of the egg shell. Soon it was flipped over revealing a beak and a fringe of feathers, just barely covering a golden pair of eyes. The child was the spitting image of its mother.
The baby griffon cocked its head. As did Rainbow Dash.
"Uh...hi?" The pegasus greeted.
"Warrk!" The baby griffon greeted right back. The first thing it had seen as its eyes adjusted, was the rainbow maned pegasus.
A/N: Okay. For those who you who remember this story, and for those of you who don't, I wrote this many years ago. Back during the second season of the show. Now when I first wrote this story, I was proud of it. I then posted it to FIM Fiction where it got some good attention. However, it also got some criticism and that very criticism made me start to hate the fanfic. Now it wasn't like they were saying this story sucks, as the people who criticized it said it was a good story and really seemed to like it. However, my dislike for the story had been set in and soon I began to hate it. So after finishing it, I eventually deleted it out of pure hatred. Eventually I showed old files to someone on Facebook and they liked the story. And as the years went by my hate for the story seemed to die. Now, my feelings are purely mixed. Pat of me sees some good points about this story, but there is still part of me that thinks this is the worst story I have ever written. Now I plan to upload the chapters bit by bit, and I am leaving it as is when I first posted it.
For those who remember this story, I hope this is a nice refresher for you, and for any newcomers, I hope you enjoy this story despite my mixed feelings for it.