Living the Dream Part 1
Inspired by "A Precious Rainbow" by Milesprower06
It was a sunny afternoon in Ponyville, with a clear blue sky stretching for miles around. On the lake at Sweet Apple Acres, the cyan pegasus with a vibrant, multicolored mane known as Rainbow Dash was enjoying her daily swim, her mind free of worry and pain. She swam upwards, breaking the water's surface before majestically floating above the lake, twirling with flair like only she could, before diving into the water again with a splash.
"I could almost get used to this new life," she thought as she sped through the water. Rainbow Dash had recently gone through quite the life shattering near-death experience, leaving her without a large part of who she was, both physically and emotionally. She had lost her birthright as a pegasus: the gift of flight. She had lost her wings. That was three weeks ago. Since that fateful day, she has pressed forward with admirable strength, finding a new appreciation for life and new ways to enjoy it to the fullest. However, that is another story.
In the here and now, Rainbow Dash was doing great. Her recovery was almost complete, and despite a rather grotesque injury to her hooves, just three days ago she won this year's Running of the Leaves. Applejack competed as well, the wingless pegasus convincing her to a rematch (as last year's hadn't quite been the contest they were hoping for) despite Applejack's reservations about Rainbow Dash's injuries.
Rainbow Dash was adapting well to her new life on her friend Applejack's farm, and this morning Applejack had promised that Dash could soon help out with chores on the farm for the first time since Dash's recovery began. Rainbow Dash may have been normally quite lazy, but ever since Applejack saved her life and offered Rainbow Dash a place in her home, she felt a need to somehow repay the cowpony. Besides, she needed a new way to make a living. Her weather pony gig unfortunately just wasn't going to work out anymore.
Rainbow Dash had another thing going for her: she was a Wonderbolt, at least technically speaking. During her stay three weeks ago at Ponyville Hospital, her friend Rarity had quite the idea to cheer her up. Rarity wanted to make an outfit to alleviate some of her friend's pain for her profound personal loss. However, this wasn't just any outfit. She was to make a blue hoodie with a pale yellow underbelly designed to look like a lighting bolt, and with a lightning bolt around each ankle. On the flank, where a pony's cutie mark would be, a winged lighting strike.
Three Weeks Ago
Before Rarity could proceed, she needed permission to use the design. Equestria's best flying team couldn't have just anypony wearing what appeared to be an official Wonderbolt flightsuit (even if it was just a hoodie), so Rarity enlisted Twilight Sparkle's connection with Princess Celestia to get them a meeting with the Wonderbolt's captain and co-captain, Spitfire Flash and Soarin High respectively.
"Thank you so much for meeting with us on such short notice. I'm sure ponies of your status must be quite busy. This is my friend Twilight Sparkle, and I'm Rarity" the white unicorn gave her name with a flourish.
"Well, we couldn't exactly refuse a request from the Princess," Spitfire smirked, "but hearing that something happened to Rainbow Dash definitely got us moving. After all, she did save our lives from your theatrics." Both Wonderbolts let out a chuckle at Rarity's expense.
"Hehe... Yes. For what it's worth, I'm sorry for that little incident." Rarity let out a sigh. "I was rather smitten with those beautiful wings. But that is neither here nor there, Rainbow Dash is what's important now."
"Yes. In light of what's happened to Rainbow Dash, we have a request." Twilight said.
"Well, what's the request?" asked Spitfire.
Rarity responded, "This may seem like rather strange request, but I wanted to make Rainbow Dash a hoodie with the official Wonderbolt flightsuit design, to lift her spirits."
"What?" the two Wonderbolts exclaimed in unison.
Spitfire continued "Rainbow Dash may have pulled of a Sonic Rainboom and won the Best Young Flier's Competition, but you have to be a Wonderbolt to get a flightsuit, and we don't approve of her having anything that looks like an official flightsuit either. It'll give ponies the wrong idea. She'll have to wait for us to audition her just like everypony else, even if she is a shoo in. Though you didn't hear that last part from me."
Soarin was a bit more perceptive. "Wait... lift her spirits? "
Twilight spoke up next. "Well, that's just it... She isn't in any condition to audition anymore. Something terrible has happened."
A concerned look came over both Wonderbolt's faces. Spitfire asked,"Not in any condition to audition anymore? What does that mean?"
Rarity explained, with a touch of melodrama, "It pains me to say it, but Rainbow Dash has lost her wings."
Spitfire's and Soarin's jaws dropped. Any pegasus losing their wings was a terrible thing, but Rainbow Dash losing them was a tragedy for everypony. Spitfire especially had been looking forward to flying with Rainbow Dash. The only response she could muster was, "What?"
Soarin shook his head, and managed to whisper, "How?"
Twilight thought for a short moment how to put what see needed to say, and responded "We don't know the details or why it was carried out, but her wings were... amputated. She was involved in quite the incident, she's very badly injured and just barely survived. She's at Ponyville Hospital now."
Spitfire regained her composure and looked at Soarin. They had known each other for long enough to know what each other was thinking, and she needed his consent for what she was about to do. To Spitfire's elation, he nodded.
Spitfire began to tell everypony what was on her mind,"I've grown fond of Rainbow Dash, even though I barely know her. She reminds me of myself not so long ago. Full of spunk, a bit of a show-off, and the ability to back up all the talk. Except she's even better than I was. I'll do you one better than letting you use the design. I'll make her an honorary Wonderbolt. Soarin agrees with me, and between the two of us we won't have any problem convincing the other Wonderbolts."
"Thank you," Rarity began to tear up. "This means a lot to us, and to Rainbow Dash, even though she doesn't know it yet. We should go, I have a hoodie to make." Rarity smiled.
At Sweet Apple Acres' Lake Rainbow Dash's strong stokes pulled her through the water as she did one last lap of the lake before coming back onto shore and shaking herself dry. She donned her Wonderbolt suit, sans face mask, and was about to start her trek back to the barn when she saw two pegasi flying to meet her, one a vivid yellow mare with a fiery red and orange mane and the other a pale blue stallion with a dark blue mane. Rainbow Dash let out an elated fan girl squee and an 'omigoshomigoshomigosh' at the sight of her heroes and galloped off to greet them.
"Spitfire! Soarin! What are you doing here?" Rainbow Dash's excitement was palpable.
"Looking for you, kid. What else would we be doing at Sweet Apple Acres? Besides coming to get another apple pie for Soarin, that is." Spitfire looked over to Soarin, and true to form, he was feasting on an apple pie they had picked up on the way here.
Soarin looked up from his food, looking a little embarrassed, and said, "We came to Ponyville looking for you. That unicorn we talked with, uh, the white one I mean, Rarity, I think was her name. Anyway, she told us you'd be at Sweet Apple Acres, and when we got to the barn, I saw the pony who sold me that great apple pie at the Gala. The one you saved. So, when we asked where you were, I asked if I could get another one of her delicious apple pies, and she gave me one, but I didn't want to wait to come see you. Uh, you don't mind, do you?"
"Nah, it's cool. But why would you want to come see me?" Rainbow looked down kicked at the ground as she murmured, "I don't even have my wings anymore." As ecstatic as she was that the Wonderbolts were coming to visit her, she was saddened by the thought that she would never get to fly with them like she had always dreamed of doing, and she wondered why they would even bother visiting her when she felt she no longer had anything to offer them.
Spitfire, saddened a little that Rainbow Dash would imply they didn't care for her beyond her ability to fly, yet unsurprised, responded, "Hey, why would you think we wouldn't want to see you? I know that we hardly know each other as ponies, but still."
"It's just that I'm not really cut out to be a Wonderbolt anymore. Isn't that kinda obvious?"
"But you are a Wonderbolt. Haven't you noticed what you're wearing?"
"Wait, Rarity told me that you said I was an honorary Wonderbolt, but I didn't think that meant I was really a Wonderbolt."
"What else would that mean?"
"I dunno, that you felt sorry for me?"
"Rainbow Dash, this may seem strange to you, but I do care for you, like if you were my long lost little sister or something. You remind me of myself when I was your age. And I'm sorry we took so long to visit you, I wanted to come sooner, but I also wanted to give you time to recover, and we had a short tour leading up to the Running of the Leaves in Ralneigh this fall. Speaking of, I heard you won Ponyville's Running of the Leaves. You're quite the athlete, wings or no wings. That earth pony, Applejack, doesn't seem like she's a pushover."
" Yeah, me n' her kinda have a friendly rivalry going on. So... you let Rarity make this hoodie for me because you're letting me join the Wonderbolts? That still doesn't make any sense."
"Let me tell you something, though you have to promise to keep it a secret between us Wonderbolts." Rainbow Dash gave a quick nod, and Spitfire continued, "We already had plans to audition you before our next tour, with every intention of letting you join us. We were all pretty excited about it too."
Soarin', finished with his pie, chimed in, "Yeah, everypony had an awesome time that day you spent with us after you won the Best Young Flier Competition. Me and Spitfire were pretty bummed our doctors sidelined us for most of the day after getting knocked upside the head by that unicorn. And during the Grand Galloping Gala when we had to talk with all our stuffy sponsors instead of hang with you."
The realization hit Rainbow Dash that she had been so close to her life's goal only to have it cruelly taken from her, but she was still happy to hear her idols thought so highly of , despite herself, she let out a sad, disappointed sigh. With a rather melancholy inflection to her voice, she stated, "Wow, I don't know what to say."
Spitfire scolded Dash, "Hey, don't be like that."
"Yeah, I know. I promise that I think it's totally awesome you guys thought-"
"Think," both Spitfire and Soarin interjected.
Rainbow Dash continued, "-Think so highly of me. It's just kinda depressing knowing how close I was to living out my dreams of flying with you guys only to have it taken away from me. But I'll get over it." Rainbow Dash managed a smug grin for her fellow daredevils.
"Good. Nopony deserves what happened to you Rainbow Dash, but being depressed about it just isn't the way to deal with it. But I can see you've done well for yourself so far, so maybe I'm worrying to much." Spitfire beamed, considering how well it seemed Rainbow Dash had held herself despite everything the past few weeks. They had found her looking happy and fulfilled ."We're proud to call somepony with your strength of character a Wonderbolt. Wear that hoodie with pride. I believe I can speak for all members of the Wonderbolts when I say we're proud to see you wearing it. We're happy that you've taken to wearing it as much as you do."
"Really?" Rainbow Dash's eyes began to water with joy.
"Totally!" Soarin exclaimed, vigorously nodding his head.
"Yeah, that's why we came out to see you kid, to let you know that we meant it when we said you're an honorary Wonderbolt. We wanted to tell you that we consider you one of us. And we wanted to offer you our friendship."
Rainbow Dash's face lit up at hearing not only that her idols consider her an equal, but their offer to befriend her as well. Losing control of her elation, she put her hooves to her mouth and shouted "Omigoshomigoshomigosh! I'm friends with the Wonderbolts! " Embarrassment showing on Rainbow Dash's face at her outburst, she sheepishly added, " Eheheh, sorry about that. It's not everyday your idols ask to be your friend."
Spitfire let out a chuckle and said, "Hey, it's cool. It wasn't that long ago when I would freak out if I so much as saw a Wonderbolt myself. I remember the first time I met Wonderbolt's previous captain, Lightning Bolt, I just about wet myself."
Hearing this, Soarin immediately fell over backwards and started laughing hysterically. "Are you serious Spitfire? That's hilarious! Oh man, wait till I tell the rest of the guys that!"
Soarin's mirth causing Spitfire to blush, she began to tell him off."Don't you dare, or I'll tell everypony that night when you and I-"
Interrupting before Spitfire said anything further, Soarin backtracked on his last remark. "Alright, alright already!" Soarin was now blushing brighter than Spitfire had been just a moment ago. "I won't say a word, as long as that stays between us."
The two Wonderbolts had momentarily forgot about Rainbow Dash, who chose that moment to burst out laughing. "Oh man you guys, are you talking about what I think you're talking about? If you two b-" A leer from both Wonderbolts stopped Rainbow Dash cold, but then the two began to laugh themselves almost to tears.
Spitfire was the first to reply to Dash's rather racy insinuation. "For shame, Rainbow Dash!" A somewhat suggestive smile was playing across Spitfire's face as she gave Soarin a sultry look, which caused his blush to deepen. In a suggestively sarcastic tone Spitfire regaled,"To think that two respectable ponies such as myself and Soarin would do such a thing! When we work together no less!" Spitfire couldn't help but start to roll on the ground laughing at herself for putting on such a show with her ambiguous denial of Rainbow Dash's suggestion.
Rainbow Dash, still amused but now a little confused, couldn't help but ask, "So... did you or didn't you?"
Soarin couldn't help but join his friend and fellow Wonderbolt in laughter before he scolded her, "Good job on almost letting that slip in front of Rainbow Dash. Real smooth, Spitfire. And Seriously now Dash, you can think whatever you want, but you're not hearing what really happened that night from us any time soon."
Spitfire, still regaining her composure after all that laughing, settled the matter."We wouldn't tell you if we did would we? But who knows what other trouble we could be getting into that we wouldn't want anypony else to know about? Besides, I'd rather not embarrass Soarin." Spitfire let out a hearty laugh, and to everypony's amazement Soarin's face reddened even deeper than seemed possible. It was almost as if the coat on his head was red instead of pale blue like the rest of him. "Let's just say it was a riveting night for the both of us and leave it at that. Oh, and you never heard any of this Rainbow Dash." Spitfire gave Rainbow Dash a friendly smile and chuckled one last time before saying, "So, what were we talking about?"
Rainbow Dash, still torn between mirth at the thought of her two biggest heroes in life sharing an intimate night with each other, and both confusion and curiosity at whatever the hay had actually happened (and exactly how dirty it was), had to think for a moment as she tried to respond. "Uhh... Oh yeah!" Rainbow Dash reared as the excitement caused by Spitfire's earlier offer of friendship momentarily took over. "You were telling me that you wanted to be friends with me! This is gonna be so awesome!"
"Yeah!" Soarin agreed.
"Well, I'm glad to see everypony is so excited. Hehe, you guys crack me up." As the most level headed of the three ponies, Spitfire couldn't help but be amused as her friends new and old shared such exuberance. "So, Rainbow Dash, we wanted to make you an offer."
"An offer?" Rainbow Dash asked. Spitfire's statement had confused Rainbow Dash. "What could she be talking about?" She wondered.
"We've been over the whole 'you're a Wonderbolt' thing, right? Well, we want you to come with us on our next tour. Sadly, you won't be able to perform with us, but everypony on the Wonderbolts would be honored to have you join us. It's like you said," Spitfire playfully mocked Rainbow Dash, "It's gonna be so awesome!"
"Hay Yeah!" Soarin again concurred.
Spitfire resumed, "I was hoping that touring with us could solve other problems you may be facing as well. You were the weather pony here, right? Forgive me for mentioning it, but I suppose that means you're out of a job."
Rainbow Dash let out a sigh. "Yeah... I'll miss that job. Mostly because I could nap or practice my flying all day and not have to do hardly any work. Oh well. I'll live. Probably." Rainbow Dash let out a little chuckle before continuing, " So I guess you're asking how I was planning on earning bits? I was planning on staying here and working on the farm, but... don't tell this to anypony else, but I was worried that paying me might be a burden on the Apple family. They've always gotten along fine with the work. Paying me would just cut into their own profits, and they've already given me a new place to live while I get back on my hooves. I still want to help on the farm, I just feel bad about accepting Applejack's money. Saving my life was payment enough."
"Well, Rainbow Dash, if you tour with us you won't have to worry about that. Wonderbolts are paid quite well, what with all our sponsors and everything. Even if you can't perform, We'll make sure you're well compensated. I'm sure everypony would hate to see you have to go any more hardship than you already have."
"I just have one question. Will I still have time to come down and work on the farm? This may sound sappy, but it meant a lot to me that Applejack cared about me enough to come looking for me when I didn't show up that night I said I would stop by to get some apple pie. I don't want to abandon her after all she's done for me."
"Of course. We only tour about 4 months out of a year, and never during harvesting season. You'll still have plenty of time to stay down here with your friends, and to help Applejack on her farm. So, will you tour with us?"
Excitement coursed through Rainbow Dash as she practically shouted in response, "Will I? Of course I will! This is the coolest most awesome thing anypony's ever done for me!" Rainbow Dash calmed down, and her eyes began to water like a leaky faucet. "Thank you guys, this really means a lot to me. Like I said before, it's always been my life's dream to be a Wonderbolt, and even though I can't fly with you guys anymore, I really appreciate you making me feel part of the team anyway."
Rainbow Dash then ran up to her two newest friends and gave them a big squeeze, to which Soarin exclaimed, "Wonderbolt group hug!"
Spitfire scoffed in return, "Oh Soarin, you big softy," but she had an even bigger smile on her face than anypony else.
After the embrace was over, she spoke up again. "It was great to come out and see you Rainbow Dash, but I'm afraid we have to go. Let us know if you need anything. We'll keep in touch and let you know for sure when we'll start touring, but it'll probably be sometime in April, so it's gonna be a while." The two stunt ponies lifted them selves off the ground, but before they left, Spitfire added the one last thing she wanted to say, "Oh, Rainbow Dash, I, uhh... I wanted to say sorry about your... late friend. I asked Princess Luna about the investigation. That's got to be the worst way to lose a friend in any sense."
"Thanks, but I guess I haven't given to much thought yet. I've been busy recovering, and thinking about her is... painful." Rainbow Dash sighed and looked at the ground. "I suppose I need to, though."
Spitfire then hovered low to the ground to give Rainbow Dash another hug. She whispered in Dash's ear, "I'm so sorry, Dash, for everything that's happened to you."
Rainbow Dash looked her idol in the eye to tell her, "I'm just glad that I have such awesome friends to help me through it. Like you."
Spitfire, tears in her eyes, rejoined Soarin in the sky, and everypony waved farewell before the two flew off into the sky's vast blue ocean.
AN: Hey everyone, this is my first fanfic, and in fact it's the first writing I've done in the year since I finished writing classes in college. I'm open to any criticism that can help me improve my writing, even though until now I didn't even like writing, lol. Confound these ponies, they drive me to write. Anyway, I have one request for you guys in the comments. If you know how Rainbow Dash lost her wings, don't spoil it in the comments. It's a secret. :)
I also would like to encourage everyone who enjoyed this to read the story this fic is based on. But first, a warning. The first chapter is a bit grimdark and just the situation itself may make you crap your pants if you're not mentally prepared for it. If you're interested though, here's the links to the first part of the fic this is based on:
[Note: I had to break the links so the site wouldn't eat the urls. Put an h on the front of the url and replace _dot_ in the url with an actual dot. Sorry for the inconvenience.]
Also, a big thank you to Milesprower06 for letting me submit this to EqD even though his story isn't featured on the blog. It darn well should be though. All credit goes to him for the continuity this story is based on, without his work, I probably wouldn't have been inspired to write at all. His story is amazing, and yes it is the one I lampshaed early in the story. Click on those links up there and go read it!
My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic © Hasbro
I do not own any of the characters portrayed in this work.