Rainbow Dash's eyes scanned the page over and over again, but she couldn't force herself to digest the meaning behind the word-or even decipher the shapes formed by their intricate curves. Her mind was elsewhere, as it had been for the past few weeks, as it would be for as long as she kept the four lingering words walled up behind her teeth. Bored with tracing the curves of ink, Rainbow shifted her gaze to something more real: Something she could see and smell.
Somepony she could touch.
As was always the case whenever there was a book laid out before her, Twilight was no longer a mare of the world Rainbow occupied. The cyan pegasus admired how the unicorn could be so enthralled by any and every book. Whether it was a two-hundred thousand word war epic or a fifty word article on the importance of dusting the top shelf in your pantry, Twilight found them all to be equally invigorating. Rainbow wondered what kind of romance novels Twilight had read; romance didn't seem like Twilight's style, but neither did Daring Do, and Twilight claimed that she had read the entire series... twice. Deep down, Twilight was just like every other pony in the world: Undeniably, unquestionably, unpredictable. It was this basic law of nature that made Rainbow Dash want to ask the question, and it was this law of nature that made the proposition scare her to death.
"Where do we lie?"
Twilight reentered the world of the living, arching a confused eyebrow at Rainbow.
"What do you mean, Rainbow?"
"I mean... uh, where do we lie? As a couple."
"I still don't get what you're going at."
Rainbow Dash fumbled and stuttered, trying to piece together a puzzle she had already lost all the pieces to. This question had been festering on her tongue for nearly a month, slowly poisoning her mouth and bloodstream with constantly-evolving doubt, and now, as she was finally attempting to get some sort of antidote, she found herself slurring her address. She wanted to punch herself right on the skull, but she knew that, with that fumbled question, Twilight already thought that she had gone completely crazy; self-mutilation would do nothing but add fuel to the fire that was burning their brand new relationship at its seams.
"Look, can I just start over?"
"Please do, Rainbow. I'm completely lost here."
"Alright. So, you remember a month ago, when Pinkie was having all those troubles with that Donkey fella?"
"Yes, I remember."
"And, you remember why he wanted to be left alone? Why he had been walking across Equestria?"
A whimsical grin grew on Twilight's face as she leaned back in her chair, obviously entranced by some sort of reverie.
"Oh, yes. What a romantic tale... So deeply in love that you walk hundreds upon hundreds of miles, just to see the face of the one you adore," Twilight let her eyelids slowly close, her smile growing wider by the second, "I'm not usually one for romance, but that was a tale I can handle. A little sappy around the edges, but pleasing none the less. I..."
Rainbow Dash turned down the volume, letting Twilight ramble on, uninterrupted. When it came to things like storytelling, book binding, and serial commas, the egghead could go on for hours. At first, Rainbow Dash had found these prolonged spiels about seemingly useless subjects to be annoying, but over time she came to realize that she was just as guilty. Twilight couldn't give two bucks about how one needs to angle their wings when taking a forty-five degree turn. She didn't care about what the proper methods of stretching out one's wings before a marathon. Yet, whenever Rainbow went on these long rants about speed and coolness, Twilight just sat back and let the pegasus speak; she probably didn't listen to a word of it, but she still made eye contact and occasionally nodded.
The pegasus shot up like a gun had been fired, before settling back down when she realized that the only smoke in the room was coming from her own face, heated by embarrassment.
"What did you mean by, 'Where do we lie?' I'm still a little lost."
"Oh, yeah. Well... Let's say you disappeared off the face of the Earth at this moment. Now, I know for a fact that I would walk off the world itself to find you. I mean, it's who I am. It's my Element. However, I... Would you do the same for me?"
"You don't trust me?" Twilight's voice increased and her eyes narrowed. Rainbow gulped and slouched to the ground; she may have been the greatest flyer in Equestria, but Twilight was the greatest mage, and magic would definitely win that fight.
"Nononono, Twilight. Really, I trust you... It's just... Hear me out here, okay?"
Her purple eyes still glared, but the spark of intense magic had subsided from her horn, signaling that Rainbow had one chance to explain herself before she got turned into a newt.
"Look, Twi... How happy are your parent? Do they love each other?"
"Last time I checked, yes."
"Well, mine never did. My mom and dad divorced before I was even born. I didn't even get to meet my dad until after the Best Young Fliers Competition... Can you imagine that, Twilight? The bucking stallion leaves me in the shadows for eighteen years, only to show up in my moment of glory and rain on my parade. Hay, he was just trying to mooch the reward money off of me, anyway... Something about debts. Anyway, my point is... If my mom disappeared, my father wouldn't even lift his lazy flank off the couch... If I disappeared, he wouldn't do anything, either... I just...Ugh, why is it so hard to explain? I guess what I'm asking, what I'm saying, is... I've seen the best and worst when it comes to this whole relationship thing, and I want to know..."
A purple hoof silenced her ranting. Twilight smiled at her lovingly, her eyes radiating with all the love and faith that Rainbow needed. The pegasus wrapped her forelegs around the unicorn, hugging her with the strength of a world-class athlete. Though the pressure was bearing down on her lungs, Twilight managed to force out a reply
"I'd never stop looking for you, Rainbow.