High Flight: Rainbow Dash

Chapter 3 - "A Mother-less Day"

Deep within one of the many farms surrounding Ponyville, blanketed in a mix of mid-afternoon sunlight and shadows, a mare and a filly sit amid multiple apple trees, arguing about the significance of the day, and the loss of something special many years ago.

"Ah hate Mother's Day!"

"Applebloom, don' say that..."

"But it's so UNFAIR, sis...!"

With a solemn sigh, the older of the two lifts her gaze skyward, pulling her ever-present hat off her head. "Ma, pa, Ah rightly don' know where yer at, but Ah shore do wish y'all were still here with us..."

Meanwhile, back in Ponyville...

"Well, the coronation's over, and that means I'll need to start getting ready for whatever the other Princesses have planned, as far as my royal life is concerned..." However, despite her musings in the local library and her house, the lavender-furred pegacorn's train of thought is broken by a light but steady knocking from the front door. "Who could that be...? Hold on, I'll be there in a moment!"

Upon reaching the door and opening it, though, she's caught by surprise as she sees both of her parents standing outside. "M-mom? Dad...? When... did you get here?" Her surprise doesn't last for very long, before she steps out to give both of them a firm hug.

"Oh, Twilight, dear. We came here right before your coronation, and booked a room at one of the local hotels. It's still so much to take in... Our little girl, a Princess... We couldn't be any happier for you, after seeing how far you've come since the day you were born..."

From behind them, there's another voice, as a white-furred and blue-maned stallion trots up. "Twily! How fast you've grown up! I still can't believe it, even after I witnessed your coronation in Canterlot! My little sister's a Princess now..."

With her eyes misting up in joy, Twilight makes a beeline for her older brother, hugging him firmly before turning to give her parents a friendly kiss and a warm smile. "I'm really glad you could all make it down here, to visit me and my friends... Oh, no... I should go visit Applejack at Sweet Apple Acres! Brother, dad, stay here. Mom, can you come with me?"

Back at Sweet Apple Acres, in the orchards...

"Sis, Ah really wish Ah could be listenin' t' Ma sayin' how much she loves us, like all th' other fillies an' foals. But Ah c'ain't, 'cos... 'cos..." With a hitch in her voice, Applebloom closes her eyes, breaking down into shameless sobbing and prompting her older sister to hug her tightly.

"Ah know, sugahcube... Ah know..." The distant sound of rapid hoofsteps draws her attention, however, causing Applejack to tense and draw her younger sibling close. Only once she sees who's coming, however, does the farmmare allow herself to relax and nod to her friend and fellow Element-bearer. "Howdy, Twahlight, Mrs. Velvet... Whut brings th' two o' y'all out t' Sweet Apple Acres?"

"I was talking with my family, back in town, Applejack, and decided to come here to ask you and Applebloom a few questions. First... Since my dad and older brother are back in Ponyville, would you like to join us all for lunch? And second... Mom?"

With little more than a fond smile at the sobbing Applebloom, Twilight Velvet steps forward, reaching out to gently stroke the filly's back while keeping her gaze locked on Applejack. "Of course, Twilight. Applejack, though we can't possibly hope to replace whatever family you lost... Would you consider, at least for today, allowing us the honor of being your adoptive family, so we can all learn about the wonderful parents who raised such upstanding ponies?"

"Tw-Twahlight... Ah oughta be angry with y'all fer whut ya went an' did, but... Ah c'ain't. 'sides, Ah'm kinda glad t' know somepony like y'all is one o' mah best friends, especially fer makin' Applebloom smile. All th' same, that's a mighty kind offer o' ya, Mrs. Velvet, but we wouldn' wanna intrude on yer special day." Despite her tears, Applebloom's expression almost instantly brightens upon hearing the elder Twilight's words.

"Twilight, dear... Let me talk with Applejack in private for a bit. Could you take Applebloom back into town?" Despite the brief outburst from the farmmare, Twilight Velvet calmly steps forward, smiling warmly to put Applejack's mind at ease. "That's nonsense. You're already like a sister to Twilight, and you both deserve to celebrate this special day with our family. Like I told you. We can never hope to replace the parents you and Applebloom lost, Applejack, but Nightlight and I would be honored to be your adoptive parents for today."

With tears in her eyes, Applejack turns to watch her friend and younger sister head into town, before looking back at the elder Twilight. "Ya don' know how much that means, Mrs. Velvet... Thank ya kindly fer makin' me an' Applebloom feel so welcome... Ah c'ain't rightly thank y'all enough fer yer kindness. An' Ah'd be honored to accept..."