Afraid to Fly

The blue blur soared effortlessly through the air. The wind in her face and the world moving at a light's pace, this was what she lived for. Rainbow Dash was having a little fun before she practiced her latest move. The Flier's Ball was coming up and the Wonderbolts would be the stars of it like they were every year, but this year would be different, this year Rainbow Dash would show them her sweet new moves and they would be forced to make her and honorary Wonderbolt. She flew through a flock of birds nearly giving them all heart attacks. She would never hit them though, she was aware of her surroundings...she was precise...she was the best. Then she flew at and angle towards the ground and when she was inches from it used the momentum to throw herself through the air. Okay. Enough playtime. she thought as she flew towards a trio of clouds. She spun around one of the clouds causing it to turn faster and faster with each rotation. When all three clouds were spinning in perfect unison of each other she used the force she gathered from it to create a loop around the cluster of clouds. At first there was no reaction but as she kept getting faster and faster the clouds started to rotate with each other-SUCCESS! The trick worked, but she'll have to make them go faster than that to impress the Wonderbolts. She dug deep trying to push through the wind tunnel she had created when she started to feel herself slipping. She tried to pump herself to regain control. It wasn't enough as she felt herself going towards the edge, it was too much she couldn't fight it. She was pushed out of the tunnel and a gust of wind pushed up against her body. She saw the world spinning beneath her as she kicked her hooves and flapped her wings trying desperately to slow herself as she hurtled to the market square. As she got closer to the ground the world slowed down and the last thing she saw was Fluttershy looking up at her worried.

With a groan Rainbow Dash opened her eyes. "Where am I?" She asked weakly, looking around to see a blank white room full of equipment and her friends.

"Your in the hospital. How are you feeling Rainbow?" Twilight answered.

"The hospital? Why am I in the hospital?" Rainbow asked, panic rising within her.

"You don't remember sugarcube?" Applejack chimed in. "You were in an accident an-"

"An accident? What accident?" Rainbow Dash freaked.

"Well...According to Fluttershy yo-"

"Fluttershy?" Rainbow responded her voice still weak from the accident and confusion. Then it came to her, the last thing she saw...Fluttershy. She quickly scanned the room; Twilight, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, even Rarity was here but no Fluttershy. "Where is she?" Rainbow asked afraid she might have hurt her friend upon impact. "I need to see her! Where is she? Fluttershy?"

"Calm down Rainbow. She's fine." Twilight and Rarity moved out of the way to show a sleeping Fluttershy curled up on a cushion. "She never left your side. She said she couldn't leave until you woke up."

"Up and at 'em girly." Applejack called, nudging Fluttershy with her nose. "Somepony wants to see you."

Fluttershy woke up in a graceful way that only she could master. She never thought about it but her gracefulness made her the envy of Ponyville. "Somepony...to see me?" Fluttershy yawned, rubbing her eyes before she looked up and saw Rainbow Dash. She ran over and threw herself around Rainbow Dash. "Oh dear are you okay?"

Rainbow for the first time had noticed how beautiful Fluttershy's turquoise eyes were. She felt blood rushing to her face with enough speed to even give Rainbow a run for her bits. "S...so that wa...was pretty c...cool of you." Rainbow pulled away and turned her head away from Fluttershy to avoid her seeing Rainbow blushing.

"Are you hot dear?" Rarity asked, having her own experience with love she knew exactly what was happening but a good friend would cover it up and if Rarity was anything it was a good friend. "I'll just open the window to let in some air."

"Thanks." Rainbow answered, silently thanking Celestia that know one put two and two together. She didn't know what happened. Her and Fluttershy had been friends since they were fillies in Cloudsdale and she never felt more than friendship before this. It must have just been the heat like Rarity said; it was stuffy in here.

As she tried to move she finally noticed her injuries. She had bandages on her ribs, a bandaged up wing and the top of her head was wrapped. Not the worst injury she had but with a bum wing it would be a while before she tried that trick- the trick! That's it! She remembered now, She was trying a new trick to impress the Wonderbolts and lost control...the reality finally set in. She was already in the hospital and this was because she was lucky, it could have easily been a lot worst.

For the next few days she had to stay in the hospital. It was excruciating to think of Ponyville going on without her. There was always something going on and she didn't want to miss it. She tried reading but all she could think about was Fluttershy, where was she? What was she doing? Rainbow would drift off into dreams about Fluttershy at her cottage taking care of her pet animals. Rainbow Dash would give everything to be one of those animals or that she could stay at Fluttershy's to be taking care of instead of this boring hospital. The thought of being held by Fluttershy like she held her pets made Rainbow turn from blue to red. Her only solace came from when Fluttershy visited her. She would arrive early in the morning with the rest of the friends and one by one they would all eventually leave except Fluttershy, she would entertain Rainbow by sharing stories and reminiscing about Cloudsdale until the doctors had to almost forcefully remove her from the building. When Fluttershy left Rainbow would then go to sleep continuing their conversation in her head. They were talking about the race that gave Rainbow Dash her cutie mark as well as her first Sonic Rainboom and Fluttershy started to feel a little sleepy so Rainbow moved over offering part of her bed to Fluttershy. She crawled in and her face was just inches if not centimeters away from Rainbow's. Rainbow felt the blood rush to her cheeks again; why don't they just moved there since that's where they always end up. Fluttershy then moved closer so her body was pressed up against Rainbow's. Every nerve in Rainbow's being jolted with electricity as Fluttershy rub her head against Rainbow Dash's neck, then she looked deep into Rainbow's eyes trapping Rainbow in her eyes as well. She moved in and kissed Rainb-

"Ah!" Rainbow jolted up covered in sweat. What was going on? She always thought Fluttershy was beautiful...and she was to a degree always attracted to her. That's why she first hung out with her back in Cloudsdale, but she could always control it so why here? Why now? Ever since she found out Fluttershy stayed with her while she was unconscious, she was all Rainbow could think about. She never knew just how much Fluttershy cared for her until now...maybe this meant Fluttershy liked her too? Get real Dash. Fluttershy is too slow for a fast paced pony like yourself, it just wouldn't work.

The next day Fluttershy and the rest came to be there when Rainbow Dash got out of the hospital. The doctor said she was medically cleared to leave but to take it easy for a day. They walked outside and Rainbow Dash released her freshly unbandaged wing letting them stretch in the sun.

"Why don't you show us all what a rested Rainbow Dash can do?" Applejack suggested. Rainbow crouched down, locked in her legs, stiffened her wings and...nothing. She tried willing herself off the ground, even tried to jump then fly; nothing worked. Her wings felt more like anchors, she didn't understand it, why couldn't she fly? She loved flying it was her calling in life and the only thing she wanted to do. She looked around to see the confused and sympathetic looks of her friends but the one she couldn't stand to see was Fluttershy's.

"My...uh...wing must still be hurting. Yeah, that's it. I...gotta go." Rainbow Dash took off she couldn't let her friends see her in such a pathetic state, especially Fluttershy. She tried to go home but her home was in the sky. She had never felt lower being on the ground than realizing she couldn't even reach her house.

"Rainbow is everything alright?" Rainbow Dash froze, she knew that quiet, kind voice anywhere. Not her...anypony except her. Rainbow turned around to see a concerned Fluttershy staring back. Curse!

"Uh...yeah. I was just...enjoying the view." Rainbow Dash lied, she knew something was wrong but she couldn't look bad in front of Fluttershy that would totally be the uncoolest thing ever.

"I...um...well what I meant to say...is...you can't fly...can you? Is it your wing? Does it still hurt?" Rainbow was shocked, how could Fluttershy know what was wrong? She wasn't an idiot but she was still pretty naïve.

"Um...Fluttershy? How did you know?" There was no point in lying anymore, she didn't want to worry her but she hated lying to her more.

"Please don't be mad. I'm sorry I didn't mean to offend you." Fluttershy said with her back turned to Rainbow Dash cowarding.

"Relax Fluttershy. I'm not mad. I'm just curious how you knew that's all."

"Well...um...I...I've never seen you turn down flying before so I...uh ...knew something was wrong?" Fluttershy answered, she was still nervous but feeling more comfortable knowing Rainbow wasn't offended.

"Yeah I don't know what happened." Rainbow looked away, she didn't want Fluttershy to see her like this, even if she did already know. "I just got nervous and couldn't get off the ground."

"Well, maybe you should imagine what it feels like to fly? When I have trouble flying that usually helps me." Fluttershy suggested. She closed her eyes and imagined herself in a field flying with birds and little woodland critters beneath her. It worked, Fluttershy was hovering off the ground.

"Okay, okay. I'll give it a shot." Rainbow Dash pulled Fluttershy back to the Earth, knocking her out of her fantasy. Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and imagined herself flying through the air. She had felt the gale force wind in her face and the ground rolling on below her. She smiled slightly as she felt adrenaline pumping through her veins, this is what she wanted. This is what she lived for. Then she imagined the world spinning uncontrollably...her losing all sense of control...Fluttershy's look of concern. She screamed as she jolted from her day terror.

"Rainbow...are you afraid to fly?"

"What? Me afraid? Come on Fluttershy you should know I ain't afraid of anything." Rainbow felt a bolt of confidence going through her until she looked up and saw how high her house was. "But would it be cool if I crashed at your place for a few days?"

"What? Oh...uh...um...I don't...know? I mean...well...I have a lot of pets...and uh...okay."

A blue blur descended on Fluttershy. "Oh Fluttershy your the best." Rainbow said hugging the life out of her friend. When she realized what she was doing , she dropped her turning away to hide her flushed cheeks.

"But what about Tank?" Fluttershy asked as the reality donned on Rainbow Dash. She forgot about Tank all alone up there in the cloud house! Oh no this was terrible!

"Um?" Rainbow started off, she hated asking this of a friend. "Do you think maybe you could go p there and get Tank for me?"

"Oh...well I...uh...I suppose." Fluttershy slowly flew up there. She was a very weak flier bu she could never leave a poor defenseless creature stranded.

"Thanks again Fluttershy. You are totally the coolest pony around." Rainbow complimented as Fluttershy returned Tank to her.

They returned to Fluttershy's cottage and spent the night talking and having fun. Despite the large number of pets running around Rainbow Dash actually felt herself relax a bit, but that feeling if failing...that shame was still with her. There were times she just wanted to bolt out of Fluttershy's cottage because she hated Fluttershy seeing her so pathetic. Night descended on Ponyville and Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash headed off to bed. There was something Rainbow hadn't planned on when she asked to stay though and that was due to the increasing amount of animals Fluttershy had taken in recently, the only place for Rainbow to sleep...was Fluttershy's bed.

"I'll take the floor so you get a good nights sleep." Fluttershy said, she was the type of pony that would willingly give up her own bed for a friend.

"If you don't have space I can find somewhere else to sleep?" Rainbow offered, she felt low knowing the pony she liked had to sleep on the floor all because she was to chicken to fly.

"No it's quite alright. I don't mind sleeping on the floor." Fluttershy answered with her usual amount of caring. If there was one pony who deserved the element of kindness it was Fluttershy.

"Well if you want you can sleep we can both sleep on the bed?" Rainbow asked. She kicked herself afterward not because she didn't want to share a bed with Fluttershy but she didn't want to be rejected by Fluttershy. Every second felt like hours waiting for her answer. Rainbow could practically see the tension in her room as it was flooded with a level of nervous intensity.

"Are you sure you won't mind?" Fluttershy asked.

"No! I mean it's cool. It is your bed after all." Rainbow Dash tried to not come off too eager no matter how much she wanted to share Fluttershy's bed.

"Okay thank you." Fluttershy smiled gently as she got in the bed next to Rainbow Dash with only inches from touching.

"I...it's no problem." Rainbow squeaked nervously. When Fluttershy got into the bed the air of intensity didn't let up. Rainbow Dash tried to think of anything except this moment, but the only thing she ever thought about was flying and she couldn't think about that right now. She tried to focus on Fluttershy's bed, it was soft and she felt like she was sinking into a cloud which was the way she liked it. She felt something soft fall across her neck and nearly died of a heart attack when she found out it was Fluttershy's arm. She turned to face Fluttershy you was fast asleep, her mouth was so close Rainbow could feel her breathing on her neck. Fluttershy had the sweetest, most gentle grin on her face as she slept and all Rainbow wanted to do was kiss it. She shut her eyes and tried desperately to keep them close so she couldn't see Fluttershy, it was the only way she was ever going to get sleep.

"Good morning." Fluttershy's soft voice filled the room. Rainbow slowly woke to see a happy Fluttershy carrying a trey with food on it. She set it down in front of Rainbow Dash and encouraged her to eat. After gobbling the food down at her racer's pace, she looked out the window to see daylight streaming in.

"What time is it?" Rainbow said still half asleep even after speed eating. She hadn't even remembered falling asleep. She didn't know she could after last night.

"It's late morning." Fluttershy answered. "Oh...Um?"

"What is it Fluttershy? You should know you can ask me anything."

"Well...It's just...the Flier's Ball is today and I was wondering...if you were planning on going?"

Rainbow froze, she had completely forgotten about the Flier's Ball. She knew that Fluttershy wanted to attend because they always went together every year and she didn't want to miss a chance to fly with Fluttershy this year. "I...I want to...I'm just not sure I can." Rainbow sounded as disappointed as she felt.

"Oh..." Fluttershy was saddened to hear her friend would not be attending, especially since Rainbow was always the one to drag her into the middle of it and give her the strength to fly and have fun. "Well...maybe I could help you fly?"

"Fluttershy? You would do that for me?" Rainbow nearly teared up at seeing her friends kindness.

"Of course. That's what friends are for." Fluttershy put her hoof over Rainbow's and Rainbow body felt on fire. She loves the feel of Fluttershy's soft coat and whenever they touched the speed demon always felt time slow down.

"Okay!" Rainbow said more excited about Fluttershy's touch than of flying again. The two went to Fluttershy's wide open field to begin practicing.

"Now I want you to imagine flying again." Fluttershy said, even though she was coaching Rainbow Dash her voice seemed like she was asking instead of demanding.

"Fluttershy? Are you sure that's a good idea?" Rainbow said as she started to get butterflies in her stomach.

"You have to know why your afraid in order to overcome it."

"Okay here it goes." Rainbow envisioned herself flying and just like last time it was great, but also like last time she lost control...the ground spinning...Fluttershy's worried look. Rainbow let out a scream and opened her eyes.

"Well what happened?" Fluttershy asked.

"Uh...I...uh...I lost control and got hurt." Rainbow Dash hated lying to Fluttershy but this was only a half-lie. She couldn't tell Fluttershy that she was afraid Fluttershy would be worried about her, that would make Fluttershy feel guilty and worry even more.

"Oh I see...uh okay, now close your eyes and keep telling yourself you're in control."

Rainbow didn't really see the point but she trusted Fluttershy. "I'm in control. I'm in control. I'm in contr-wah!" Rainbow screamed as she opened her eyes to see Fluttershy struggling to lift her and using her wings to carry her through the air. "Fl...Fluttershy! Put me down!" Rainbow started to squirm, her feet tried to plant firmly into the ground as she was only just out of range.

"Just keep telling yourself you're in control." Fluttershy struggled to get the words out as she was having trouble with carrying Rainbow's weight.

"I'mincontroli'mincontroli'mincontrol!" Rainbow repeated running her words together thinking that by saying it faster it will come true.

"Now try to flap your wings slowly."

Rainbow Dash flapped her wings very slow at first, then started to get faster and faster until her legs weren't skimming the ground anymore.

"I'm going to let go now."

"Wait! Flutter-"

"It'll be okay. I'll catch you if you fall. Just keep flapping your wings." Fluttershy let go and Rainbow screamed in terror until she realized she wasn't falling, she was flying...SHE WAS FLYING! Rainbow started to go faster and faster as her confidence meter rose. She flew through a flock of birds, she flew through the clouds, she even flew so fast she knocked an old stallion's wig off his head.

She flew up next to a cheering Fluttershy. "Awe yeah. The Dash is back!"

"I'm so proud of you Rainbow Dash." Fluttershy said, throwing her arms around her.

Rainbow felt her blood rise again. "It's all thanks to you Fluttershy. Without your kindness and support I wouldn't have had the courage to fly again. Thank you. Thank you so much." Rainbow nearly squeezed the life out of her before letting go. "Um Fluttershy? Their is something I need to tell you..."

"What is it Rainbow?" Fluttershy asked confused and a little scared.

"Ever since we knew each other in Cloudsdale, I've always...kinda liked you, but now after seeing how much you helped me I kinda...I kinda...ah heck with it I love you Fluttershy."
The now crimson pony declared. Fluttershy's jaw dropped in shock, She was beside herself. She never thought in a million years that Rainbow Dash would have feelings for her. "If you don't feel the same way, that's cool. I just needed to tell you." Rainbow Dash added, sensing the reaction of Fluttershy she started to fly away.

"Wait! I uh...well what I mean is...um...I...love you too." This time it was Rainbow's turn to be shocked. "I just never thought you would want somepony who couldn't keep up with you." Fluttershy said sadly, reminding Rainbow Dash of how she thought the exact same thing back at the hospital. To Fluttershy's surprise Rainbow answered her with a kiss. The two pegasi stayed there amongst the clouds locked in embrace.

Later that day at the Flier's Ball, the new pony couple burst through the door as was Rainbow's usual tradition followed by striking the audience with her speed and tricks as Fluttershy tried to keep up...but this time as Rainbow was about to speed burst through the room she stopped and looked back at Fluttershy and wrapped one of her front legs around Fluttershy's.

"I think I'll slow down. Wouldn't want this moment to go by too fast."