Do not own any rights to any characters. Ever. Damn.
It had always been just a simple, clear, tear-shaped crystal on a cord around her neck. The cord matched her coat and the crystal never really drew anyone's attention. Never noticed, just always there as she had been told it must always be. Rainbow Dash's parents had told her that she must never lose her crystal for it would have significant importance to her when she grew up. No matter how much she asked her parents as a little filly to explain to her why this crystal was so important they always told her they would explain when she was older. However, the fates did not allow this and her parents were taken from her at the tenderest of ages for a young foal. Shipped off continuously from one relative to another the crystal's meaning to her faded apart from being one of the last momentous left to her after greedy relatives helped themselves to the few material possessions that had been left to the little orphaned foal.
Rainbow Dash heeded her mother's warning and wore it always. Most times she wore her crystal in a backwards manner from most necklaces for she turned the necklace around so that she may tuck the crystal behind her neck hidden in the wild rainbow locks of her mane so as never to lose this cherished possession. Never in a million, gazillion, bazillion years would she have ever thought that such a tiny crystal could have any kind of a true impact on her life. True, gaining independence and moving to Ponyville to eventually meet all of her new friends had changed her life for the better, but she did not feel like her world have changed on her. Her life had just improved a lot after coming to Ponyville. Rainbow Dash had even become the Element of Loyalty, but since being loyal had always been ingrained in her sense of self she did not feel like this had really changed her life significantly either. There were only two things she felt had ever or would ever make a genuine impact on her life. First, was the Sonic Rainboom and second, was finally joining The Wonderbolts. How one meeting and a tiny crystal could have caused so many problems was beyond all her wildest dreams. Thus, the story begins.
Rainbow Dash remembered seeing The Wonderbolts' show for the first time. It had been one of the last excursions she and her parents had gone on together before she lost them to the accident. The flying, the colors, the maneuvering, and the air acrobatics had all come together in a dizzying array of sensations that left her gasping for both breath and for more. She remembered waving her tiny hooves above her head yelling along with the crowd seated in her father's sturdy front legs. Her parents smiled at one another at their daughter's excitement. She giggled in happiness as her father pointed out each Wonderbolt's trademark maneuver and gave her the names of each acrobatic trick.
Afterwards, Rainbow Dash was even more excited to be taken backstage with a few select young foals to meet The Wonderbolts and their captain. The captain's name was Thundercloud and he towered above the tiny filly. Undeterred by fame or his massive presence, the little filly squealed in delight and hugged his front leg excitedly with all four legs refusing to let go regardless of her parents' prompts or the other Wonderbolts tittering behind Thundercloud.
"Now who is this?" questioned Thundercloud good-naturedly as he picked up his hoof also lifting the little rainbow-maned filly latched onto his leg as well.
"I am Rainbow Dash!" the filly excitedly exclaimed as she waved one little front hoof, "Cans I fly with you? Me going to fly fast, fast, fast. Zoom! Zoom!"
"Are you now?" Thundercloud asked as he gently settled the young filly into the crook off his front foreleg and tickled Rainbow Dash's tummy with his muzzle, "Are you good enough to fly with The Wonderbolts?"
"Um…not yet, but soons," giggled the young filly squirming excitedly in his grasp, "One day I be fast, fast and be a 'Ondervolt!"
"Well, Rainbow Dash," Thundercloud said as he chuckled and placed her in her parents' embrace, "you get those wings in good shape, practice hard, and one day you will reach your dream of being a 'Ondervolt.' Good luck to you Little One."
Rainbow Dash remembered waving good bye to the Wonderbolt captain and getting a gentle pat on the head from most of the team members. She remembered chattering to her parents about what it would be like when she joined the "Ondervolts." Her parents smiled and encouraged her to reach her new dream. She remembered that she fell asleep on the way home and woke up the next morning with her new Wonderbolt dream locked up tight in her heart never to leave again.
The memory replayed in Rainbow Dash's head as she lay in bed staring up at her cloud ceiling. She also remembered the few flying lessons she had with her parents before she lost them forever. Those lessons were the basis for everything her trademark flying approach entailed. She had the speed of her father and the agility of her mother. She was their last living legacy, but she had not made The Wonderbolts team yet. She scrubbed her hoof through her mane and sat up in annoyance.
"Time to practice," Rainbow Dash encouraged herself as she got ready for the new day, "Time to get better. Time to improve."
If anyone who knew Rainbow Dash had heard her internal thoughts they would be stunned. She carefully wove a web making others think that she thought herself as almost "perfect." Only she knew that this was all a fabrication. Rainbow Dash knew of most of her strengths and weaknesses. She worked hard at overcoming these weaknesses; sometimes with good outcomes and sometimes with not so good outcomes. However, Rainbow Dash always learned from these experiences and tried to move forward confidently. She know she still had a lot to learn and that she was a bit brash, but Rainbow Dash was trying in her own way to compensate for this side of her personality.
A tiny glimmer caught her eye in the mirror Rainbow Dash was using to try to tame her wild mane. Her small crystal hung the right way around her neck having shifted around during the night. Seeing the crystal made Rainbow Dash smile with nostalgia.
"You'll see Daddy," she thought to herself as she tucked her crystal back around her neck and into her mane, "You'll see Mama. I'll make you proud. I reached the Best Young Flier Winner this year and I will reach The Wonderbolts one day. Just wait and see."
With this last thought Rainbow Dash took to the sky to get some practice in before heading to Rarity's later in the afternoon. Tonight was The Grand Galloping Gala and if her plans worked out right, she would be one step closer to reaching The Wonderbolts.
In Cloudsdale there was another group getting ready to start their day. In fact, they had really already started their day with an early morning practice and were just finishing up so they could grab some breakfast.
"Two hours, tops," called out Spitfire the captain of The Wonderbolts to the rest of her team, "Then back here for light stretches until we start heading to Canterlot for the show tonight at The Gala."
As her team nodded and headed towards the locker rooms to clean up a bit Spitfire's co-captain sidled up to her side and gave her a light nuzzle. She pushed him away with a light toss of her head and heard him chuckle.
"Good practice," Soarin' said with a smile ignoring her grumbling.
"Soarin' what did I say about displays of affection in public?" Spitfire demanded with a huff, "Ponies do not need to know our private affairs."
"There is nopony around Spitfire," Soarin' said affectionately as he flicked the end of his tail teasingly in her face as he passed her on the way to the locker room, "You know that all the team already know that you and I are life mates. No worries. They still take you seriously. Your beautiful face can inspire anyone to do his or her best."
"Ha ha," Spitfire replied as she attempted to bite at the end of her life mate's tail as she playfully chased him, "Still…it would probably be best to keep a low profile. Can't have your fan club getting upset and hunting me."
"Wha?" Soarin' blurted out suddenly serious and a touch angry as he stopped in his tracks and turned to face her beginning to paw at the cloud ground, "Hunting you? Not one pony will lay one hoof on you! They better not even try or I'll…."
"Hush now," Spitfire soothed putting her hoof over Soarin's mouth and using her body to lower him down from his half rear-up, "I was just teasing. Nopony would be able to catch me, let alone hurt me. Calm down, Love."
Spitfire sighed softly as she nuzzled her distraught life mate to calm him down. She mentally kicked herself for her careless words when she felt the tension in Soarin's body. She had forgotten just how protective a bonded stallion could be towards their mates and how upset the usual easy-going Soarin' could get if he felt there was any danger to his loved ones, especially his Spitfire. Many ponies married, but only certain pegasi could bond. It was a throw back to a time in Pegasus history and was beyond rare. The bonding had surprised Spitfire at first for she had always been an untamable spirit, but Soarin's gentle nature and boundless love had won her over completely. Looking at her calming stallion starting to grin at her with one of his characteristic, goofy grins she had to admit to herself that she had never been happier.
"Come on Big Guy," Spitfire said as she turned back towards the locker room instinctively knowing Soarin' would follow without question, "Let's go eat before all the pie is gone."
"No!" Soarin' gasped in horror as he hurried past the mare while she chuckled at him in amusement.
Spitfire noticed that his crystal had slipped out of his mane again. It trailed behind him with fiery-yellow flicks of light. Smiling she chased after him into the locker room. This was her life mate and she would fight for him just as hard as he would fight for her. Again, this was without question.
To be continued…