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Found 19 results

  1. Hello everypony, I was surprised to see that nopony else made any shipping threads, so I decided to make the fan fiction shipping, AppleDash! Please keep this thread PG, no R34. Other then that, feel free to post anything you want about AppleDash. Like fan art, fan fiction links, etc.
  2. Howdy y'all! Me and Dash here are up for answerin' some questions- Sup guys! Ask me anything you like! Ahem. Ask us anythin you like. Right Sugarcube? What was that? .... Seriously Dash? Oh shut up, you love me anyway. *sighs* Yeah, I do. Heh, told ya. Yea well ANYWAYS y'all just go ahead and ask me and Dash whatever questions y'all have a hankerin' for, just please keep em somewhat SFW, ya hear?
  3. So, recently, I have been entering the world of Romance fanfics. I never thought I would enjoy that kind of thing, but I guess I really have a soft spot for sweet love stories. In fact, one fanfic I read, called "Unexpected Confessions," is now my favourite story of all time. I just felt the need to drop it a line. It's an excellent story, and you will have trouble dropping it to do other things. Now that my plug is over, let's move on. ~Introduction: A Conflict~ As I was on FIMfiction, browsing fanfics, I picked up on the traditional argument among shippers. AppleDash, or FlutterDash? What motivates this conflict? They are both adorable couples in their own right. So why do fans of these shippings come to heads so often, unable to enjoy the idea of their opposing ship? ~Dashie is the issue. Right?~ At face value, the answer may seem quite obvious. Obviously, these shippings come into conflict because both feature the same pony, Rainbow Dash. Right? I would argue that no, is the answer. Rainbow Dash is the most shipped of all the ponies. This is a widely known fact. There just seems to be something about Dashie that makes her popular with fanfic writers. Chances are, if you can name a pony (Aside from the universal ships of LyraBon, Derpy Whooves, and Octav3) she has been paired with them, whether male or female. Yet, all of the other shipping groups don't come to grips with the fact that Dashie is in other shippings. Why then is there such a conflict between AppleDash and FlutterDash? If all other Dashie ships accept every other ship, why do these two in particular argue so often? Obviously, the answer is deeper than simply Dashie. ~Wrong! It's deeper than Dashie.~ So, then, if the issue is not Dashie, than what is the problem? Well, to me, it is apparent that the problem lies in an ideological difference. The two shipping groups have different philosophies about love. Fans of FlutterDash believe that opposites attract. They think that ideal relationships should have the ponies involved complement each other. Dashie's strength helps Flutters' weakness. Dashie's confidence is tempered by Flutters' humility. Dashie's impetuousness is held back by Flutters' calmness. Flutters' fear is lessened by Dashie's courage. They think that FlutterDash is magical because their different strengths and weaknesses mean that, as one whole, they can handle any situation thrown at them by drawing on each other. No external conflict can penetrate their bastion of love. Fans of AppleDash are of the mind that Applejack and Rainbow Dash, as very similar individuals, can be much stronger in the face of conflict. As two birds of a feather, AJ and RD know how the other ticks. They know what to expect from each other, and the fact that their strengths are the same means, when facing certain conflicts, they will have the strength of two ponies instead of one. They also have an incredible understanding of each other, able to read each other like a book, sidestepping almost all possibilities of misunderstanding. They know precisely how to comfort one another in rough times. Now, these paragraphs show why the two schools of thought each have merit. But they also have their faults. In the opposites attract relationship, the two ponies share all of their traits. Given their diversity of strengths, they can add to each others' weaknesses. But internal conflict can be a major issue, as their different natures make it difficult to understand each other, and therefore resolve their problems. It can also lead to misunderstanding when a pony simply doesn't get how their special somepony ticks. Within the relationship, they will be at odds with each other, and will not always be stable. This kind of relationship will be an emotional rollercoaster internally. It is strong when an external force threatens it, but does not have structural integrity in its own right. Regarding the birds of a feather philosophy, the issue is that, while the similarity between ponies means that internally, they will have a stable relationship, rarely coming to odds, it also means that where they fall short, they fall really short. If an external conflict strikes which hits the pressure points of the relationship, it can crumble like a sand castle in the rain. Having the same spectrum of strengths and weaknesses means that they can only handle the same problems. If something comes around which attacks a weakness, they are unable to draw on each other, resulting in feelings of inadequacy, causing tension in the relationship, and a longing for that thing which is missing, or lacking. ~So, what does this mean?~ Both relationship types, as we have seen, have their strengths and weaknesses. AppleDash works nicely internally, but similar strengths mean the ponies have similar weaknesses. And when those weaknesses need strength, they have nopony to draw from. At best, the two deficient ponies can hope that they just barely have enough strength to at least be worth half a pony against their opponent. FlutterDash is an emotional rollercoaster, but complementary traits mean that they can draw on each others' strengths when one of them is deficient, forming an unmovable wall against external conflcit. Where does that leave us? It leaves us with the knowledge that neither relationship is inherently functional or dysfunctional. But we also know that their is still plenty of ground to cover regarding where the relationship falls short. I would argue that, given what we've seen above, the ideal relationship will have the ponies not be polar opposites, nor birds of a feather. For a relationship to work the best, there needs to be some shared traits and some different traits. A delicate Balance, which does its best to draw on the two relationship types. And indeed, the best fanfics I've read have focused on finding this middle ground between the two philosophies, where different ponies found out how to accept their differences, and similar ponies learned how to overcome their weaknesses. And I think this middle ground is where the relationships become as functional as possible, and approaching this middle grounds is what makes both pairings attractive for me. Harmony and Balance applies to all things, love included, and seeing ponies approach the golden realm of Harmony in their relationship makes for great reading, whoever you ship. What do you guys think? Which relationship do you think would have its issues resolved easier? Do you think that they are about equal, or that one is superior? Have you noted characteristics about the two philosophies which I haven't covered? Who do you ship? And why? I look forward to reading your schtuff. And make sure to check out my other philosophical meanderings at I can't wait to read your responses everypony!
  4. This question pertains not to the repercussions of depicting homosexuality. Rather, it pertains to how the fandom would handle one of the ships being canon and not the other. It's no secret that FlutterDash and AppleDash are the two most common ships. The former is supported by people in the opposites attract school of romance, and the latter is supported by "birds of a feather" folks. It represents not just a difference in taste. Both couples are undoubtedly adorable and lovable. But it represents a conflict between two different schools of thought. So, what do you think would happen if one of these became canon? Would the fandom collapse due to the conflict between the two groups? Would there be some kind of civil war? Or would the losing party simply accept the fact, and return to the safety of their fanfics? Let me know your thoughts everypony. Also, stay tuned, as I am going to make a separate thread discussing the philosophical conflict between the two schools of romantic thought which are at work here.
  5. So, I ship AppleDash and RainbowPie. But which ship is better? Or maybe is it Flutterdash What do you guys think?
  6. I am a writer, but I'm also a fairly avid pony shipper (where shipping means paring a pony with another romantically), especially among the Mane 6. Make of that what you will, but I think it's an interesting exercise to examine every possible relationship that could occur among the Mane 6 (à la Combinatorics Project). Below is my analysis matrix, taking into account only characterization that has been established in canon. If you are a pony shipper, this might help you see what pairs are most easily compatible and which ones are most immediately realistic. This absolutely is not a guide for which ships are best or which ships you should write about. On the contrary, shipping stories can be quite wonderful and engaging when they address these incompatibilities and build story to work around them. Every single ship has been—and can be—done well. This guide will only help you realize what lines of compatibility and conflict exist between a pair, looking strictly at canon events and characterization patterns; how you address and build off them is up to you. If you aren't a pony shipper, then why are you reading this? Nah, just kidding. Friendly, platonic relationships between two ponies (often called friendshipping) often tread on the same waters as shipping itself. If you're only looking to write a Simple Ways-style story (functionally Rarijack), interpersonal relationships will still play a vital part in it, and this analysis should still be useful to you. Just subtract the shipping bits, and away you go! Much of this work is original, but in the interests of full disclosure and proper credit to the proper parties, I did take points from Titanium Dragon's excellent blog post on a related subject as well as numerous points from various threads in the Intelligent Shipping Discussion forum over on Fimfiction, especially for those shipping pairs that I'm not as familiar with. Finally, I pose a disclaimer: I am far from the final answer when it comes to shipping, and I am not unbiased. What I present to you is strictly my opinion on the subject. Did I analyze something poorly? Do you think I'm wrong? Please, voice your thoughts! I'd love to hear them! Honestly, this analysis is probably not even finished. If you have more points to contribute, speak up, and help me complete this chart! I think I'm done talking now, so I'll let my analysis do the rest of the work. Folks, the Pony Shipping Matrix! Green: Compatibility White: Neutrality Amber: Incompatibility The chart is reflected along the "'N/A' line." High quality PDF download To wrap up, a few stats! According to my analysis, the most shippable pony among the Mane 6 is Fluttershy! Fitting, I guess, given that the cutest and most lovable pony among bronies is also the most lovable among the Mane 6. (I may be slightly biased here. ) In contrast, the least shippable pony is Pinkie Pie. I didn't set out to lambast her, honest! She's just really hard to ship. Pinkie lives on action and loves attention from lots of ponies. In that way, she'd kind of be hard-pressed to find a single pony who could match her in craziness. If you were to pair ponies up OT6 style (One True Six, meaning a combination where all of the Mane 6 are shipped with another of the Mane 6), the happiest combination would be Flarity, Appledash, and Twipie tied with Flarity, Twijack, and Pinkiedash. If you're a sadist, the most miserable combination would be Raridash, Twijack, and Apple Pie. Really not that useful information, but hey, stats are fun! -T
  7. Decided to do a human version of Rainbow and Applejack
  8. I've had this one out for a while but never got around to posting it here! so a nice little AppleDash fic that I'm quite proud of and is relatively successful hope you all enjoy!
  9. Behold Fusion Ponies! Now at a store near you!!
  10. yay. I made an AppleDash pic. I uh... Guess I'll post it. I used paint to make the lines (XP) Then gimp for EVERYTHING ELSE.
  11. I saw a picture (I don't remember where) and it had spike rainbow-ized or whatever with rainbow dash, so i decided to do it with AJ and see what you think. I might start a shop for it, I don't know, Tell me what you think! I notice that there a few graphical artifacts in this specific one, but that's mainly because i made this off impulse and didnt want to spend too much time on something that ponies might not even like.
  12. Yesterday I posted some drawings in the blog entry but noone cared (well, I didn't feel like making a new topic because of that stuff...). Screw you. I'll do it. Here are the drawings I posted in yesterdays entry: Filly Applejack for my friend: My little heart warming princess Melting Ice: And on top of this.. another drawing for my friend.. (<3) AppleDash: (RDs mane's fucked up a little) Enjoy your Heart's Warming Day.
  13. Hello. This is my art thread. For this site. Yeah. My Deviant Art Page I do art of many kinds, as visible below: Title Pages: The Games We Play, original fanfic by Absolute Anonymous. The Apple Spectrum, original fanfic by Arby Works. Battle Royale: Friendship Program, original fanfic by Arby Works. Currently, I have five title pages in my que: The Games We Play: Supplementary Materials, progress is at 10%. Living the Dream, 0%. A fanfic by Tailslover13, fic not published, title page at 0%. A personal project of mine. And another project remaining secret. I also happen to do just plain ol' ponies: Applejack Big Macintosh Apple Bloom Rarity Sweetie Belle The Great and Powerful Trixie Chibi Masato (My Ponysona) Program Director of Battle Royale, Miss Princess Celestia Battle Royale, "Canter-Lot" #15: Twilight Sparkle Battle Royale, "Ponyville Orphanage" #15: Spike Chibi Mare Do Well I can also do scenes: The Games We Play Chapter 21 ::SPOILERS:: "Two future Wonderbolts... And miscellaneous things: Art Tutorial for Digital Art Pony Facial Expressions: Rainbow Dash So, to say I'm a small artist is kind of an understatement. I've done, and am doing art, for several big time things (Equestria Daily featured things) and for the moment, my que is full but I do take requests from time to time. I hope you enjoyed this, Mr. Masato/Arby Works.
  14. Hey guys. Recently, I've started writing an AppleDash fan fic - looking at my avatar, you can guess it's my favorite MLP couple. I'm finally done with the first chapter and I think it really isn't bad. I would really appreciate it if you read it and shared your opinions with me. Here it is, enjoy:
  15. Some ponies are not okay with shipping, but some like it because it's cuuuute! Either way, I hope you will enjoy this little song that Faustina and I worked on.
  16. Since I am new to the forum, I'd like to try and contribute as much as possible! For those who want to give AppleDash a shot, here's a story I wrote some time ago. The last chapter also includes a song... so, let me know what you think! : D Pillow Thoughts I & Pillow Thoughts II
  17. Chapter 1: Cloudwalking Sky Cruising Rainbow Dash Pegasus Uniforms 1:1 The Proposal Perched atop a cloud above a field lingering near Ponyville lay Rainbow Dash. Lazing around, she simply stared at the sky watching the few clouds above float; a contrast of white and blue that almost had a hypnotizing effect. Usually, she would have been napping, flying, showing off, or doing weather related jobs. Today, she simply spent it watching the clouds. She let loose a sigh, her mind in a dizzy state. “Clouds have it nice. Floating in the wind, no cares at all,” Rainbow Dash sighed once more as she continued to stare at the clouds in an almost trance-like state. Rainbow Dash mentally exhausted herself for the sake of training. The pressure of a watching audience is sheer torture, so removing that pressure is a huge killer on the mind. “Huhn,” Rainbow Dash said out loud, breaking her trance. "All that time competing really isn't nice to me in the sense th-” “Ra~ainbow!” a voice called out from down below. Her trance-like state officially gone, Rainbow Dash peeked over the clouds edge towards the ground. The source of the voice is none other than one Twilight Sparkle. Rainbow Dash wanted to simply ignore it and go back to doing... nothing, but she should at least see what's up first before deciding to reject Twilight's offer. She didn't bother standing up and rolled off the cloud. Rainbow Dash began to let herself fall nose first akin to a bomb. Twilight gasped, preparing her magic and just before Rainbow Dash slammed into the ground, her wings extended outwards and she slowed down. Her lower body swung forward, nearly slapping Twilight in the face with her back hooves. Her hind legs swung back and she finally made contact with the ground. The landing itself shot a jolt of pain up all of Rainbow Dash's legs. “Yeah Twi...?” Rainbow Dash yawned, the jolt of pain not enough to wake her up. Twilight stared for a few seconds before shaking her head, disoriented from nearly getting thwacked across the face, and quickly put her best smiley face on. “Sorry to disturb you Rainbow Dash, but Rarity and Applejack wanted to talk to you. We were at the Library but we split up. We're going to meet in 10 minutes whether we found you or not,” Rainbow Dash let out a groan before wiping her face with her hoof. “She, err, they didn't happen to say why, did they?” Rainbow Dash asked sarcastically. Twilight merely giggled at Rainbow Dash's response. “C'mon, let's go,” she said while Rainbow Dash let out a sigh and lazily hovered behind Twilight as they moved through the field of grass back to Ponyville. Twilight and Rainbow Dash arrived at the Library after exactly 10 minutes of walking (Twilight 's magic does wonders), to find Pinkie Pie standing in the centre of the room, staring directly at the door with wide eyes. Twilight stopped dead in her tracks as she entered the tree house. Rainbow Dash, walked around Twilight, didn't care about Pinkie's current... antic and simply ignored the mare's babbling. “Ooh! You guys took forever to get back! Twilight and I must have had the same idea to go and check the fields since there are so many low clouds and silly Dashie expects to be able to hide from everybody in the most obvious place ever bu~ut as I walked...” Pinkie never seemed to stop so Twilight sighed before she closed the door and stepped in. Rainbow Dash walked over and sat down in a chair. Jeez, I am so beat and exhausted. All this training to get used to background noise is tricky as hay. Rainbow Dash thought during a yawn before leaning back, embracing the chair's mold as comfortably as possible. Twilight quickly trotted upstairs. Pinkie Pie rambled on about how she Twilight and Rainbow Dash earlier before breaking out into song about her trip back. Eventually, Twilight came back down, this time carrying Spike. The purple dragon was nose deep in a letter, writing words as Twilight spoke. “... Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle,” Twilight said as she came within earshot. Spike finished writing, and rolled up the scroll. Rainbow Dash pondered the thought of it being some friendship report on loyalty. Looking at the two, it hit her: they weren't gone long enough to write a normal friendship report. This only caused Rainbow Dash to rub her temples in the sheer opposite of a reverie and decided to stop thinking about it all together. Spike took a deep breath as he held the scroll in front of him and he quickly unleashed a breath of fire, burning the scroll in a green flame. He watched as it vanished and magically flew to Canterlot. Rainbow Dash continued to watch Spike as he jumped down and walked towards Twilight's work area; it lay riddled with books and notes regarding dresses. Oh no... I have to do something involving dresses? Wait, maybe it's just Twilight's subject of the week. Rainbow Dash thought as she became more alert. The mere thought of being Rarity's living mannequin was a sheer a nightmare in her exhausted state; too much going on to process or even care about what is going on. She looked away from Spike to see that Twilight, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Rarity had all come in to the Library. Pinkie Pie bounced around, still rambling on about SOMETHING. Rainbow Dash didn't notice the drool, too caught up in her thoughts and promptly wiped her mouth. She looked back to Spike only to see Spike finishing up his tidying of Twilight's work area. Ugh, the training is... Rainbow Dash didn't finish her thought as Rarity approached her. “Oh my stars, darling. You look absolutely exhausted. I do say you're admirable for your ability as a flier but please dear, take it easy once in a awhile. You cannot afford to live tired all the time, dear,” Rarity said followed by a smile. Rainbow Dash stared back than smiled quickly at Rarity's concern. The white mares smile grew before she turned away to walk over near Spike who was stacking the books. Rainbow Dash sighed, fighting back a yawn. Twilight started grabbing more books while Applejack and Pinkie conversed. “So~o Appleja~ack, do you think her answer is yes?” Pinkie Pie asked. Applejack looked up at the ceiling for a second, thinking. “Hmm... Ah 'spose so but it all depends on whether or not Rainbow Dash'll be dedicated t' th' task,” Applejack said. Rainbow Dash stared at Applejack long enough to warrant an acknowledgement as the Earth Pony slowly trotted closer. Applejack wore a smile with a look of slight interest. “Jeez RD, you look more tired than Ah do,” Applejack said as she approached Rainbow Dash sitting lazily in her chair. “Ugh, how many of you are going to say that...?” Rainbow Dash said as she rubbed her eyes. Applejack let out a small chuckle as she realized that Rainbow Dash has had probably heard that comment several times. Rainbow Dash sighed and added, “ Sorry, just a little exhausted. I guess I have a slight headache, what with my overexertion. It kinda ruins everything else I'm trying to focus on,” Rainbow Dash said. Applejack smirked. “Well, Ah learned mah lesson during last year's Applebuck Season,” Applejack said, a slight eye twitch. “Anyways, we were lookin' fer ya with hopes ya would sign something Twilight cooked up fer Sweet Apple Acres,” Rainbow Dash thought for a second, wondering what it would be. Knowing Twilight, it had to be something full of rules, instructions, and sheer strictness. Well, it is for Sweet Apple Acres... can't be all bad... Rainbow Dash thought, adjusting her seating position. “Mind explaining it to me first?” Rainbow Dash said in annoyance, still fighting back yawns. “Ah think it'd be better if Twi did it. She did cook 'er up,” Applejack said as she turned to walk back to Pinkie Pie, who just finished her rambling. Rainbow Dash sighed. She watched Applejack's entire short walk back for reasons escaping her; probably out of boredom. Her eyes were locked onto the back of her head. Her golden mane bobbing with each step she took, her hat perched atop of her head. Rainbow Dash stared at it vividly, wondering how that thing hasn't fallen apart or been replaced yet. Lucky break, or Rainbow Dash just doesn't know the benefits of taking care of one's stuff. AJ turned to talk to Pinkie Pie, showcasing her entire body to Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash stared, entranced by Applejack's physique. Applejack's body showed the fruits of physical work; truly a character worthy of Rainbow Dash's competition. She continued to stare at her rival, feeling an odd sensation. It's a wave of pleasure in contrast to her tired state of mind. This odd pressure built up in her chest... almost restricting her breathing in a pleasant way. Explanation impossible, but Rainbow Dash usually felt this after showing off. Pride...? No, it's not that. It's the feeling... of knowing somepony else will benefit from your work. Satisfaction of a customer, which... feels awkward. Once again, Rainbow Dash found herself lost in thoughts. She quickly shook her head as her mind became plagued with various answers to her question, each different variations of things she already thought; all pointing to pride. Rainbow Dash had never won anything, let alone competed against Applejack. She sighed, her mind slightly eased. “Ra~ainbo~ow...” Twilight called out with a mellow tone, just short of whispering; directly into Rainbow Dash's ear. Rainbow Dash didn't notice Twilight approach until she nudged Rainbow Dash's shoulder. “Huhn...?” Rainbow Dash said, drool escaping the corner of her mouth. Twilight giggled and picked up a tissue with magic, wiping Rainbow Dash's mouth. “Sorry, I thought you were falling asleep,” Rainbow Dash sighed, thinking clearly but also slightly annoyed; this time because Twilight ruined a pleasant feeling in her head. Indescribable feeling, yes. Mildly annoying, definitely. Bu- “Hey, I asked Applejack and she told me to ask you why I'm here. What gives?” Rainbow Dash said, her voice slightly louder. This showed she was slightly more aware and awake than when Twilight found her. Twilight cocked her head. “Oh? I thought...” Twilight sighed before smiling. “Well, Rarity wants to observe you flying in various uniforms,” Twilight said. “Huhn? Doesn't she know that... ugh, frilly clothes get in the way of flight?” Rainbow Dash said with an annoyed tone. That's all I am today. Annoyed. Annoyed, and tired. “Well dear...” Rarity said, walking over to Rainbow Dash. “I'm testing some athletic-related attire. Jumpsuits, team uniforms and all that pizazz. I though that I could make more business if I invested more into the sports industry,” Rarity said. Rainbow Dash blinked, and started thinking. Athletic sports often call for proper uniforms... and teams pay loads... and I'm the only athlete around. “Well, okay I guess,” Rainbow Dash said, wondering what Rarity has been able to cook up... or what she will cook up. If it has the slightest hint of frou-frou, I'm going to bail faster than a Sonic Rainboom. As long as I don't have to run a marathon for her uniforms, I'm all good. “Well, actually, that is sort of a white lie. The Sports Industry could use a little more style in their uniforms and I could make some more money and finally be able to pay for some ads in bigger cities. But, well, Applejack's reason is the other,” Rarity said as she left to talk to Pinkie Pie and Applejack. Rainbow Dash quickly looked around to find Spike and Fluttershy. Fluttershy was listening to Spike talk, smiling and nodding every few seconds. Twilight popped into her view, staring right at her. “Applejack wants to create a team for a special project or really, plan. One that has to be verified by Princess Celestia before we can confirm anything. Basically, Applejack is competing with some other businesses in a national competition. She has to grow, maintain, and sell more apples, while putting out a better campaign ultimately making more bits than other businesses,” Twilight said, stopping before she went into extreme details. Rainbow Dash merely nodded. “Well, what does this have to do with me, or... well, us. What does it have to do with uniforms and what does this have to do with verifician or whatever from Princess Celestia?” Rainbow Dash said as she slowly got out of her chair. “You enter in teams which need approval from the Managers. Princess Celestia and the Master of Ceremonies, plus the judges. Sweet Apple Acres needs more than just Big Mac and Applejack to do it. It helps to have teammates advertising,” “Where you come in is you can fly banners, and pull off performances during the sales month declaring something like 'I can fly this good because of Sweet Apple Acre's Apples!' Something that helps ponies who would otherwise ignore it,” “As for the uniforms, you gotta look stylish, not to mention the eventual mass harvest is usually a fierce battle requiring able-bodied Ponies,” Twilight said. Rainbow Dash hummed in her thoughts. It explains why everypony's talking to everpony, and why I need to test uniforms. Applejack has to make sure that Pinkie and Rarity could help if they are assisting. Or were they assisting? Maybe it will be just Big Mac, Applejack, and myself... possibly Twilight as well helping. She sighed and wondered how she missed out on such a competition before. Maybe it is once every two years? Rainbow Dash took a quick stretch. “Well, sounds like fun since you put it that way. What does the winner get?” Rainbow Dash asked, interested in the big prize. Twilight raised a hoof and opened her mouth, preparing to explain... only to say nothing. She placed her hoof on the ground and giggled. “Hehe, well, I'm not really sure. I had already started organizing and planning in my head the practices and drills that Applejack said we should do when she started rambling on about the Tomato family,” Twilight said. Rainbow Dash perked up. Practice? Drills? Make anything a competition with the word 'athlete' in the description and I'm there! She thought as she trotted over to Applejack with Twilight following. “So you can do it?” Applejack asked. “Y~yes!” Pinkie said, doing a quick salute. Applejack turned to see Rainbow Dash and Twilight approaching. “Apples... I'm in!” Rainbow Dash said, unable to contain her excitement. “Yee-haw, for once, we have a team!” Applejack exclaimed, doing a quick jump of excitement. Rainbow Dash smiled as she watched Applejack visually express her excitement. That giddy feeling she had earlier returned. She slowly forgot her question about the prize. “So, um, what is the point, first? Oh, and the prize?” Rainbow Dash asked, chuckling at her slight forgetfulness. Applejack turned towards Rainbow Dash. “Well, multiple farms compete 'n aim for the grand prize: free shipping and free product placement,” Applejack said. Rainbow Dash stared, unsure of whether or not to feel happy or disappointed. “Gosh... I can't imagine how much we'll save on shipping and how much we'll make on new customers,” Applejack was giddy with excitement. Rainbow Dash realized it isn't pride or generosity. She was happy that Applejack is happy. She smiled uncontrollably. “So, um... Another question,” Rainbow Dash said, watching as Applejack turned and smiled at Rainbow Dash, causing a flutter in her chest. Her smile seems different... She coughed and began speaking. “S-so, um... who all, of all of us, are competing and, y'know, doing what?” Rainbow Dash asked. Applejack giggled. “Sorry, mah mind is all jumpy. In previous years, we just had Big Mac 'n Ah,” She let loose another giggle. “*ahem* Well, y'see, you would be best for carrying banners or skywriting with them clouds, an during the competition, you could fly bushels of apples to judges and customers or help with harvesting since it's such a fierce harvest,” Applejack said. Rainbow Dash stood on her hind legs and punched the air with her forehooves. “YES! Now I can show off my stuff! Maybe the Wonderbolts will see how great I am and invite me to join,” Rainbow Dash said. “Haha, well, Twilight will be helping with organization throughout, thankfully. Last year, we lost so many apples when I was in charge... Hooboy,” Applejack said, recalling a chaotic experience. Rainbow Dash wondered for a second. “Wait, how do you grow Apples in a month?” Rainbow Dash pondered. Apples aren't insta-crop... well, Zap Apples are, but those don't count. Applejack let out a light chuckle. “We don't. Th' judges are notified of how long a crop grows and we plant them beforehand. We planted apple trees at this year's location about 6 months ago. Every week, either Big Macintosh 'er I go there to check on 'em. With two weeks to the competition, and people starting to prepare, we gotta get ready. I was hopin' ya could begin advertising Team Apples as soon as possible,” Applejack said as she fantasized about victory, becoming as entranced with victory as much as Rainbow Dash is. “Got it. I just need a place to start,” Rainbow Dash said as she looked over at Rarity. “Well, I'll have it done as soon as I know what fits, what works, and what lasts on you first, dear. I can only create the uniform when I know what works,” Rarity said, bringing a chest over with magic. “Anyways, when does this great harvest begin? And what do we do beforehand?” Rainbow Dash asked as she didn't care about being Rarity's test subject anymore, now that the reasons have been explained. The chest opened up revealing ten uniforms, all expressing simplistic designs; merely placeholders until Rarity can know what uniform fits best. Applejack chuckled at Rainbow Dash's question. “Well actually sugarcube, the harvest begins when the contest does. We harvest half the apples at the start and begin preparing the stand. Baking pies and other related goods which Pinkie an' Ah'll be handling will be done after... than advertising it to show our campaign skills, which you and Rarity will handle with her designing the ads an' uniforms,” she paused, letting Rainbow Dash think. Rainbow Dash nodded, taking it all in. She didn't realize, due to her distraction and being tired, that Rarity already managed to slip on the first uniform. How did... is Rarity learning from Pinkie Pie? “Twi will be handlin' the organization, making sure we don't lose any crops for... various reasons,” Applejack said. “Fluttershy'll be handling the stand, along with me, as well as handlin' any critters that come by,” Applejack said. They were all staring at the uniform Rarity had managed to slip on Rainbow Dash's body. It was simple and fit snugly on her. It was orange with a few brown stripes simply because Rarity could not stand the sight of a plain uniform, placeholder or not. It had a few things on it for advertising, such as flips for banners or clips for dragging a cart, and so forth. Rainbow Dash examined herself and did a crouch. Feels good. Not great, but good, she thought. “First, let me tell you the name of our campaign of advertisements. Applejack gave me a fabulous idea simply by mentioning your name, Rainbow Dash,” Rarity said as she looked over to Rainbow Dash to make sure nothing was out of place. “Uh huh,” Rainbow Dash said, getting slightly annoyed at how close Rarity was getting. A little too close. “It is a great name. We kinda just had to get you here,” Twilight said. “Dashie. It is the COOLEST thing ever, even more than your fantabulous Sonic Rainboom!” Pinkie said, bouncing. Rainbow Dash did a double take. “Woah, what can be cooler than that?” Rainbow Dash asked in surprise. They all giggled except for Rarity, who was still examining Rainbow Dash and the uniform. “Well, the slogan and campaign is...” Fluttershy said, trotting up to Pinkie and Applejack. “'Enjoy the Apple Spectrum!'” they all said at once. “All that buildup for so little payoff?” Rainbow stared in disbelief. Her friends stared at her in slight shock. It's punny and nice, but I was expecting something huge for something that was... described as being huge. Rainbow thought. “What!? That's a tad rude, Rainbow Dash. Honesty is the best policy but it is the idea of somepony else.” Rarity moped as she puckered her lip. The others simply looked at Rainbow each with a slight glare, except for Fluttershy who couldn't (unless conditions required the Stare). Rainbow looked at her friends. “What? I expected something a little better than the 'Apple Spectrum'. Do apples usually come in a full spectrum?” Rainbow scoffed as she did a few jumps and push ups. “But the uniform is comfy and seems good so far. Not perfect, kinda itchy near my hooves,” she finished off. With what seemed like teleportation magic, the uniform was off of Rainbow almost instantly. Rarity was already grabbing the next one. Applejack sighed at Rainbow's reaction. “Well, Ah'm sure the slogan'll grow on ya,” she said letting out a small chuckle. “It is a genius idea in my opinion. A spectrum of colours always remains visible when in the sky where the only contrast is blue. Even on the ground, the contrast there is usually grass or dirt roads,” Twilight said while grabbing a book with magic. The title read Spectacle Prisms: The Entire Colour Spectrum Reference Guide. She quickly opened up to a page near the front and read it while Rainbow yawned. She really needed sleep. “Even so, you'll be a perfect living advertisement, with the athletic physique, and the uniform plans I have prepared,” Rarity said as she pulled out another jumpsuit. “This one is a slightly different design from the last one; different material mixed with the same material to see how different fabrics react with skin. Is it too itchy? Does it pull on your coat? Those are the sort of questions I want answered...” her voice seemed to grow muffled. Rainbow diverted her eyes to the ceiling of the room staring up. There were some garbled sounds that sounded like voices. Ugh, I'm going to pass out soon, I can feel it. Voices are gibberish, my body feels numb. Kinda like a sugar crash. She looked down just as Rarity was lifting a front hoof to put into the uniform. “Oh, dearie. Maybe we should continue this... some other time,” Rarity said. Rainbow looked over to see Rarity looking right at her. Everybody else looked at Rainbow when Rarity mentioned this. Spike walked up in front of her, held up his hand to her face and snapped. Rainbow quickly shot her head back. “Hnn, no, no. I'm... I'm fine,” she said with a yawn. My legs feel weak... still, gotta stay awake. This actually sounds interesting, to an extent. Rainbow thought. She looked over to Twilight. Egghead has her nose in that book. Too distracted to notice anything. Hmm, Applejack... she looked over to Applejack. “So, um, when exactly is the competition-contest thingy again?” Rainbow Dash asked as Rarity finished putting the uniform on Rainbow. Hmm, what bugs me... Rarity's gonna wanna know... She looked at Rarity who waited for some kind of sign, eyes closed and breath held. Rainbow closed her eyes and shook. “Itchy all over,” Rarity's eyes shot open wide as she immediately tore off the uniform; having heard it was a complete failure left no reason to keep it. “One month. Gotta start finalizing everythin' soon and usually now is when th' other businesses are finishing up an' takin' the rest of the time t' relax. Have none o' that on the Apple Family,” Applejack said. AJ shook her head, Rainbow giving her a deadpan stare. “Okay, terrible lie. We're pretty much 'wingin' it so to speak,” Applejack said with a sheepish grin. Rainbow shot a quick smile while rolling her eyes at the pun. Rarity fished out design number 3 made with a visibly smoother material. That uniform's fabric looks similar to uniforms that official teams use. Finally, something familiar. She didn't wait for Rarity to fit it on and she immediately got to jumping into it as Rarity let out a small gasp from Rainbow's enthusiasm. She merely held the uniform up as Rainbow quickly got into it. Rarity zipped it up and Rainbow Dash looked at her body. “Perfect,” she said. “I recognized it was similar to actual uniforms and I was right,” Rainbow Dash said as she shot a quick pose. “Fabulous!” she magically picked up a small notepad and wrote in it. “Number three,” she said and closed the notebook placing it back in the box. “Goodie! We can finally get our uniforms and we can get into that old fashioned team spirit and I, PINKIE, CAN BE A CHEERLEADER!” Pinkie said as she bounced. “Give me an A, give me a C!” she said as she trailed off bouncing around in the background. Fluttershy walked up. “Oh, um, Rainbow, I... want to ask you a favour,” Fluttershy said, getting quieter. Rainbow Dash looked over at Fluttershy. “Well okay. What is it?” Rainbow asked, doing a few push-ups in the basic uniform. Fluttershy simply stared at Rainbow, mouth moving but no sound. Rainbow cocked her head. “What was that?” Fluttershy clenched her eyes tightly, hiding her face. “Um... I was wondering... If... if you could... If you're free... um... help me... with the... flying thing...” Fluttershy said. Rainbow stared for a second before letting a chuckle escape. “Sure. Just name the time and place,” she said, withholding a yawn. “Oh, um, next... year?” Fluttershy asked in confusion. Rainbow stared with a look of disbelief. She sighed. “How about tomo...” Rainbow let out a large yawn. “... tomorrow?” she asked, starting to doze off again. “Oh, um, that sounds wonderful but, I may... have stuff with the animals...” she said trailing off. “But after, we can,” Rainbow sighed. “Well, I can wait. No rush, Fluttershy...” she yawned once more. Rarity was already fishing out sketches, Pinkie Pie was bouncing around wearing a cheer leading outfit she got from the Pinkie Pie Space Time Continuum Void she seemed to have... Applejack watched everybody talk, and Twilight was still reading. Spike finally stepped forward as he quickly stole a glance at Rarity and went to open his mouth when he quickly felt a familiar sensation. He burped, a green ball of flame exiting his mouth. It flew upwards and with a quick pop, the green flames disappeared and a scroll appeared. Twilight's attention shifted from the book to the letter. “Ugh, timing,” Spike said as he sighed, grabbing the scroll and unrolling it. Spike cleared his throat.“My faithful student, Twilight Sparkle, I approve of the proposed plans for the Sweet Apple Acres team along with the Manager of the Market Harvest contest, Flat Breadbasket...” Spike let out a giggle which he instantly tried to contain, shared with Rainbow Dash and Twilight while Applejack glared at them. “... Oh... um, we wish you and the rest of the Sweet Apple Acres team luck, Princess Celestia,” and Spike rolled up the scroll and walked over, placing it on Twilight's workbench. “Dandy, she didn' need to know the members of th' team,” Applejack said. “Well, that's a huge load off my mind,” Twilight said as she quickly resumed reading. “So... um, we can leave a week early...” Fluttershy said. Rainbow stared. Huh... what are these plans? Ehn, I'm sure I'll find out later. For now... She yawned once more, prompting a yawn from Rarity as she walked over. “Ah, dearie, I... *yawn* I think you should keep this suit to get used to the feel. Maybe tug around a banner or cart now and than,” Rarity said. Rainbow wearily looked over at her and yawned while nodding. “Hey, guys...” Rainbow said, gathering the attention of Fluttershy, Rarity, Applejack, and to an extent, Twilight. “I'm... gonna sleep...” Rainbow said. She saw spots in her eyes, small at first before obscuring her vision in flashing lights. The world's sounds died out and gravity vanished. ... a sugar crash? Special thanks to Scootalloo and AzuNyan for editing. Chapter 1.2: Crates and Photos The following day, Rainbow Dash awoke in a bed. Looking around to see her surroundings, she soon discovered the bed to be located on the second floor of Twilight's bedroom in the Library. It was dark outside, getting brighter, indicating that it was morning. If there's one thing Rainbow Dash is known for, besides her rainbow mane, it is not being good at getting up early. She tossed and turned in bed before coming to the realization that no, sleep wouldn't return. She sighed and sat up in bed before starting to stretch her upper body. First the wings, then the arms, then the neck. Huhn... must have passed out,” she thought before proceeding to roll out of bed. She took a look out the window, spotting the uneasy weather. Rainbow forgot that the weather today was going to be a light shower. She sighed once more before glancing at the sleeping figures of Twilight and Spike in their respective beds before trotting down the small staircase when something caught Rainbow's eye. Books scattered everywhere as usual but one book stood out... the one Twilight was reading before she passed out. She took the time to get a better look at the book; it had a cover that radiated the colour spectrum. She was curious as to what Twilight was reading but her thought process was interrupted by a stomach rumble. She erased other thoughts from her mind and decided to ask questions later as she trotted down to the first floor of the library to raid Twilight's kitchen. Later on, Applejack and Rainbow Dash approached a field on Sweet Apple Acres. Wide open field surrounded by various apple trees. This field was always open for various things; Sisterhooves Social, Iron Pony now, training of any kind... now, it was training for this competition. “So, um... what exactly are we doing here again?” Rainbow asked. “Well, fer starters, we gotta get you into th' habit of trailin' objects while flyin'. Can't have ya crashing when yer load throws you off,” Applejack said. “Would you care to elaborate? I mean, the Best Young Flier in Equestria can't possibly have any problems flying,” Rainbow Dash said, letting loose a small chuckle. Applejack nudged Rainbow's side. “Well, th' constant flyin' added on with the weight, could prove to be an issue. Delivery ponies often have some trouble regardless of the fact that they often haul large load,” Applejack said before reaching the center of the clearing. Placed there among the short grass was a small box with a harness bearing the clips similar to the uniform Rarity made, just worn down. “Thankfully, I'm not like those Mail Ponies. I'm made of MUCH tougher stuff, this training is useless,” Rainbow Dash said, stomping her hoof into the ground and striking a pose. Applejack stared at Rainbow for a few seconds before picking up the harness between her teeth and tossing it. “Jus' put 'er on, RD,” she said, shooting Rainbow a playful smile. Rainbow looked at Applejack, mind going blank at the warm smile. The harness landed in front of her and Rainbow glanced down to the ground for a second. “When I shout, fly over to where I'm standin'. There, you'll pick up a crate of apples an take 'er down to the other side of the field. Drop it off an return here. 30 crates total,” Applejack said as she turned to leave. Rainbow simply nodded and watched Applejack walk off to the other side of the field. She blushed before quickly averting her attention to the harness. She sighed. “Well, okay. I guess a little bit of training never hurt nopony... I guess I have two training sessions today,” she said as she lazily slipped her head into the harness, placing her hooves into the two openings. Once she fit her body into the harness, she quickly checked herself to make sure she did it right. It was a black harness with metal clippings. Basic harness. She turned her head and noticed the strap. Satisfied with putting on the harness, she grabbed the strap and tightened it, before using the tip to finish tightening it. She tucked the valence strap underneath the harness itself and quickly did a few pushups and jumps. The harness fit snugly and she smirked. “Simple task... I'll be done by noon,” she said. She turned and looked over to where Applejack stood. It was far off yet she could still see the orange Earth Pony. She sat down, forced to wait. “It's been 10 seconds and I'm already bored as hay,” Rainbow said as she began tapping her hooves against the grass. She looked up at the clouds which were starting to drip. The light showers were beginning... and it slowly unnerved Rainbow. Rain, plus the weight she would be carrying... “Maybe I should ask AJ to wait a while... maybe the Pegasus ponies need an extra hand with... the weather...” she said as she caught herself fumbling around with the grass to distract herself... which worked well. Too well. Applejack was shouting at Rainbow now, annoyance. “Hey, earth to cloud pusher!” Rainbow snapped out of her thought process and turned. “Uh... sorry?” Rainbow said, smiling and kicking the grass at her hooves out of the way. “We don't have time to be sorry, we gotta practice, sugarcube,” Applejack shouted. Rainbow sighed and stared at the ground. She jumped one more time. “Alright, let's do this then,” Rainbow shouted out one last time before giving her wings a quick flutter. “Alrighty then, let's get 'er done,” Applejack said. “Ready...” she shouted. Rainbow quickly got into a racing position, bending her front hooves slightly to take off. “Set...” Rainbow looked to the left, right, then to the sky... nerves starting to tingle. “GO!” The shove off. Rainbow took off into the skies as fast as she could with the slippery ground. She got reasonably high at 30 hooves since she figured there would be several other Pegasus ponies zipping around at light speed in the competition. She approached the side of the field where Applejack was and immediately tilted her wings, sending her into a dive bomb towards Applejack's location. She slowed down, wings flapping as she landed, ready to hook on the first crate... and it was huge. IT was almost as large as Rainbow Dash. No wonder Applejack wanted her to get used to it. Applejack wasted no time or words talking to her as she proceeded to crab the six clips. Rainbow only then noticed where the clips on her harness were; one just below her scruff, one on the top of her harness where the main clip was, and four on the straps around her legs. It was an awkward flying position but considered the norm for delivery ponies with large loads. Applejack clipped the five clippings on faster than Rainbow could take in. She was still having that uneasy feeling of potential failure coursing through her mind... why again? She's flown through much worse before... granted, she was usually alone or on a job site, here, it was just her best friend, light showers an- “Get a move on, Rainbow!” Applejack shouted breaking Rainbow's thoughts. Rainbow shook her head. “Got it!” she said as she fluttered her wings, taking it easy. She didn't know how well the straps – or herself – would hold. She got off the ground and then the crate was lifted off the ground... ... Light...? she thought. Well, lighter than I thought... considerably heavy, but not heavy enough to cause any problems... repeated hauling... wait, stop. Gotta fly. C'mon Rainbow... show Apples a dash. She started to really flap her wings, and started speeding off in the other direction, the crate acting as a light anchor; helpful in the sense that it doesn't permit her to fly way too high. She flew for a few seconds, not going too fast as to not test the straps or the harness. After 12 seconds, she descended, going in for the slowest landing possible. She let the crate droop down and touch down before landing herself. Immediately, she released the clips on her harness and she took off at her fastest work out speed arriving at the other side of the field in 4 seconds easily. “That was a lil' bit slower than what I'd expect, RD,” Applejack said with a small smile as she grabbed the next clips. “WHOA, what!?” Rainbow said. Dang... disappointed Applejack... this is only a training session, my first one too so... she thought as she pondered her next words as Applejack clipped it. “Don't you worry none, it's only yer first,” Applejack said in a muffled voice as she clipped the first clip. Rainbow immediately tried not to think due to the double meaning... but she was relieved Applejack realized her situation. “Don't worry, these straps an th' harness are as strong as your take off,” Applejack said as she finished clipping. Rainbow nodded and flapped her wings for a second before taking off, faster than before. She flew much faster than before also, getting to the other side of the field in only 7 seconds. She wondered if she'd be practising on a larger field soon... she killed the thought as a droplet of water landed on her nose. Ignoring the tingling sensation, she focused on flying. More rain dropped as Rainbow tried to remember her training from the past few days. “Disconnect... disconnect... the Wonderbolts are watching me... thousands are watching me...” . . . Rainbow touched down, ready to pick up the last crate and this time, she had to catch her breath. This was tedious, simple to do, yet it was draining. She thought at first she'd be exhausted but then she learned it wasn't so heavy... she gave it no more thought as she approached Applejack. She was damp from sweating slightly, and from the light rain. “Last one, RD,” Applejack said as she proceeded to clip the straps on. How was this, Applejack...? Rainbow thought, trying to look athletic. Rainbow was actually glad she had to stop now. She wished she was in her cloud home right now, lying in her cloud bed... her exhaustion hadn't completely faded from the previous days. Minor headaches but not enough to impede any activity. Applejack finished the clipping and Rainbow Dash took off faster than before. She no longer flew in a trapezoid cycle motion but this time, in an arch motion. She heard a click from below as she reached the pinnacle of her arch and she sped to the ground, slowing down as she got closer and quickly unclipped the crate. She turned and took off, for the last time, towards Applejack and... Twilight Sparkle and Rarity? They were located under a small tree. She braced herself, landing directly in front of the group in what one could call a battle-ready pose and then... another click with a blinding flash. Rainbow stood straight as she blinked. “Woah, what gives?” Rainbow said as her eyes quickly recovered from the flash. “Well, I arrived recently with the camera like Applejack and Twilight requested and I set it up ready to take a photo or two of you flying, simply to test out the Camera... and my, the photos I've taken so far are fan-TASTIC! They capture the excitement of competition, the colours of your mane...” Rarity said as she nudged the camera's tripod. “... well okay then. So, why are you two here? I mean, besides camera... testing...” Rainbow said as she fiddled with the harness. “Well, I am here to keep track of your time and to also give you...” she said as she began to rummage through a bag on her back. She pulled out a clipboard with what looked like a timetable on it. “... your schedule,” Rainbow stopped fussing with her harness, out of frustration and slight curiosity. She saw it and saw how it was... oddly specific. “7:30 AM: Wake up... 7:32 AM: Get out of bed... 7:35 AM: Make be...” she stared dumbfounded. She turned her gaze to Twilight who gave a proud smile at her organizing skills. “Okay, Twilight, you gotta know by now... I'm no morning person, not to mention I'd much prefer to fly how I want to,” Rainbow said. “Apples, help please?” Rainbow quickly asked. Twilight's face twisted into a pout and Applejack walked over and started loosening the harness around Rainbow Dash's figure. “But I planned everything out perfectly; your diet, sleeping habits, timing, space for work, how to get out of bed...” she said, pausing. “... well, that last one may be a little... heh, unnecessary...” she said, letting a small chuckle escape before coughing and continuing. “... but I believe this is the healthiest schedule you can get. At least try?” Twilight insisted, not wanting her work to go to waste. Rainbow gave her a cold stare. “No.” Twilight's face twisted into an even larger pout. “Pleeease? I spent so long on this... scheduling the writing, and the supplies...” “No.” “Please?” “No.” “Pretty please?” “NO.” “Two days?” Rainbow grit her teeth then sighed.“Fine, if it satisfies your... lust for organization,” Rainbow said, giving in. Twilight squealed with joy, Rainbow Dash sighed, Applejack finished loosening Rainbow's harness and Rainbow wiggled out of the harness. She shook herself quickly and sat down on the ground. She examined the schedule. Just looking at it got Rainbow tired. “As for why I am here, I just need some approval from the lovely mare who shall be sporting the uniform for our Ad campaign... speaking of ads,” she grabbed two photos that came out of the camera. “here are the two photos I took in glorious quality,” Rarity said as she let the photos float to Rainbow's hooves. She looked over and was taken aback for a second. One photo was a zoom of her flying, carrying the crate. A look of pure determination and pride on her face, her rainbow mane and tail fluttering in the wind, the light rain and clouds as the perfect background... the second photo was of her landing. Standing ready for action, ready to pounce... she smirked at them. “Ya look fantastic, sugarcube,” Applejack said as she looked over at the photos Rarity had taken. “Y'all look perfect fer advertisin',” Rainbow once again blushed for a second at another compliment from Applejack. She pushed the thought back once more and loosened up a bit, no longer nervous. “Well, I'm sure I'll look even better in the uniforms...” Rainbow said. She turned to Rarity. “Speaking of which, you said something regarding the team uniforms?” Rainbow said. Rainbow looked to the left, seeing Twilight and Applejack talking. Obviously about planning and keeping a record of their crops. “Why yes, dear. I have several designs ready for you to try. Not too simple as that would be positively boring, not too detailed because quantity does not equal quality... Just perfect,” Rarity said. “Cool. Where are they?” Rainbow asked as she did a quick stretch, finding the strength to stand up from the ever so relaxing sit she just had. “Oh, they're at my boutique,” Rarity said as she proceeded to pack up the camera she had brought. Rainbow stared at Rarity without saying a word until “... you couldn't bring them with you?” Rarity lifted the camera off of the tripod, placing it in the case. “You can't expect me to do that in this weather, with you being all wet.” Rainbow sighed before smiling. Exhausting week and her friend's antics still amuse her... in various ways. She turned, looking over towards the skies above the field. The soft rain pelted the leaves of the trees... a calming sound. She shut out the noises her friends made as they talked, listening to the rain... raining... ... Well, it seems I'm getting far more excited than I thought... Author's Notes: Special thanks to Scootalloo for editing this fic/ Chapter 1.3: Farm Work and Motivation The next day... Rainbow Dash left her cloud house. The events of yesterday were a blurry memory, mostly due to Rainbow still being half asleep. She lazily looked outside through the window, staring at the sunrise. People always said they were beautiful... Rainbow didn't really care. It was bright and interfering with her sleepy time. She slammed her head back into her cloud pillow face first, hoping to fall asleep again. She lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling for a few seconds. “Darn it, didn't this just happen?” Rainbow said to herself as she rolled over in bed and stared up at her cloud ceiling, unable to sleep anymore.. She sighed and prepared. She turned her head to her wall. Next to a Wonderbolts poster, the schedule Twilight wrote up for her... or actually, the revised version. Twilight wound up rewriting it to.. not confuse Rainbow. Now, it only encompasses when she should start practising up to when she should stop. Mondays to Wednesdays, starting at 9, arrive at Sweet Apple Acres. 9:10, commence the crate exercise again. 10:00, break. 10:15, commence the crate exercise again, this time using barrels; difference being the barrels contain apples and are open top... of course they aren't real apples, just a placebo so real apples aren't wasted. 12:00... lunch. 1:00, Aerial Practice (choice of nothing, with banner, with chute, or with weights)... and that was it. She could end the practice when she wanted but she had to do at least half an hour. All in all, it was short, sweet, to the point... Then on Fridays and Saturdays, she had to practice the other necessities; tending to Applejack's Apple Cart in the Town Square, or applebucking, or even baking with Pinkie Pie and/or Applejack. Sunday's and Thursday's were no practice days due to those being taken up by other things; weekly Weather Team meetings, or leaving to check on their crops at the contest grounds, or other things. Today was Wednesday, already up to her first day off tomorrow. “Well... might as well start...” Rainbow said as she rolled out of her soft cloud bed and quickly glanced at the mirror. Frazzled mane... she grabbed a brush off of her nightstand and did a few brush strokes just so it looked more like “Rainbow Dash” rather than “Rainbow Dash struck by lightning”. She tossed the brush in what she thought was the general direction of her nightstand and trotted out to her living room. The sun's rays coated her room and now she got why people said sunrises were beautiful. It gave her cloudy living room a golden colour and it made Rainbow admire her room. The golden rays gave her living room a beauty that reminded her of somepony... somepony clad in a stetson hat, golden mane and- “Woah, what the hay?” Rainbow asked herself as she snapped out of her trance. Just shortly after, her room dimmed as a rogue cloud blocked out the sun. Rainbow looked out of her windows and saw that an armada of clouds swarmed the skies like a wave of bees and Rainbow didn't like that. Early or not, she sees a mess of clouds that doesn't sit with her... she deals with it. It was only 6:50 am and Rainbow was now ripped and raring to go. She ran over to her front door and grabbed her saddlebags off of the hooks and put them on, tightened them, opened the door, and took off after she closed it. “Consarn it, why is it always a cloudy mess this early?” Applejack cursed the skies as the clouds above floated carelessly. For a moment, Applejack grew envious. Clouds had no cares, no problems, they floated along not choosing where they float or where they eventually build up with other clouds. Nor do they choose when a rainbow-maned cyan Pegasus blasts them to kingdom come. “What in the hay, Rainbow is up this early? Mus' be som' sorta special occasion... or she jus' couldn' get back ta sleep,” Applejack said as she trotted through the acres early morning, pulling a cart full of baskets as she set them out for the day's applebucking. Above the acres, Rainbow Dash sped around doing loops, spins, anything to add more pep to her daily routine. She usually tended to Sweet Apple Acres first. “Always doing the acres first, not out of favouritism, but... well, they are up bright and early in a literal sense... I understand why, but it does help that nothing obscures the sun and... stuff...” Rainbow said as she darted along, clearing the skies early. Surely somepony would question her later on about doing her job early, it wasn't like her at all... and surely, she would go to bed early. She decided to ignore the thoughts as she focused on cloud clearing. Around 10 minutes later, the fleet of clouds had been reduced to one cloud, which Rainbow pushed out of the way. She positioned it directly above the acres and landed on it, lying down as she watched Applejack's pre-buck work. It wasn't chilly but it wasn't hot either... actually, it's what some would call the perfect temperature for most things (unless you really like snow sports). Working, flying, messing around... Rainbow could see why someponies enjoy mornings. “Why the hay do I keep thinking about mornings today? And sunrises, and... ugh, whatever. I need to distract myself,” Rainbow stated, making it her immediate task. She hopped off of the cloud and air-bucked it, sending the mass of condensed water to oblivion before she soared down to where Applejack was pulling the cart and placing baskets. She slowed down coming in for a feather-light landing, the only noise being made was when her hooves touched the ground. Oddly graceful for Rainbow, but another self question pushed to the back of her mind. Applejack didn't seem to notice as she pulled the cart along through the acres. She stopped and stepped out of the harness for a second to place some baskets down and when she did, she noticed Rainbow. She stopped moving as she stared for a few seconds, Rainbow only letting her. She knew this was odd, especially due to the time and place. “... howdy,” Applejack said as she grabbed three baskets piled up and walked over to a set of trees. “Oh, hey...” Rainbow said, losing any planned greetings she had before. “... so, um... early morning,” Rainbow said. This is awkward...ish. Rainbow thought. “Fer you, maybe. Heh, what brings ya out here this fine, early mornin'? Decided ta clean th' clouds early from now on?” Applejack said as she placed the baskets around the trees. “No, nothing like that!” Rainbow said defensively. Applejack looked at her for a second before smirking. Rainbow realized that she got worked up over a simple question. “Err, no. I mean, I just woke up early and couldn't fall asleep again...” she turned towards the sunrise. “Man, the sunrise actually does look kinda nice...” Rainbow said. Applejack returned to the cart and grabbed a few more baskets. “Heh, well, ya get used ta it down here... not so much that it loses it's pep,” Applejack said as she trotted over to more trees. “Heh, yeah...” Rainbow said, at a loss for words. Early morning, with Applejack, alone. Odd situation and Rainbow seemed to be locking up. Applejack placed the baskets down, returning to the cart's harness, placing it on and pulling it some more. “, would you like some help Applejack?” Rainbow blurted out. Wait, why did I say that? she thought to herself. Applejack seemed taken aback slightly by the offer, but she didn't turn it down. “Well shoot, that was unexpected, but feel free Rainbow. Jus' take a few baskets and set them around some trees. How many, ya be the judge based on th' apples hangin',” Applejack said as she returned to the cart. Rainbow smiled happily. This could be considered practice, but... if Twilight were to find out, surely this would be tacked on to Rainbow's already busy (to her) schedule. She thought no more about it as she fluttered up and caught up with the cart and was about to grab some baskets when... “Hey, you don't mind if I use my wings... right?” Rainbow asked, wondering if it took some of the luster away from Earth Pony hardwork. “Not at all. This ain't no competition,” Applejack said as she stopped the cart and stepped out of the harness. Rainbow and Applejack spent the next 30 minutes grabbing baskets and placing them around trees. Rainbow didn't notice but after a while, they covered a good portion of land before running out of baskets... not to mention Rainbow never got bored or tired once during the work. “Well, that's enough fer today. In about an hour, after th' other chores 're done, we'd usually start bucking,” Applejack said. Rainbow sighed. This actually somewhat pleasant time with Applejack was ending. “I'd offer to help buck, but... ya know...” Rainbow said as she let loose a small chuckle. Applejack shot her a look. “Too lazy? Ah knew that,” she said as she cracked a smile. Rainbow cocked her head. “What? No! I mean, maybe, but I have... practice...” Rainbow said as she trailed off. Applejack chuckled again as Rainbow hung her head. “Ah understan', just messin' with ya,” Applejack said as she turned to return to the barn to drop off the cart. Rainbow motioned to follow, but stopped. She stopped flying and landed, deciding to walk. She approached Applejack. “... so, want some... um, help with your chores until I have to leave? Still quite a ways away from 9...” Rainbow offered, trailing off near the end. Applejack was even more surprised by this offer. “... are ya feelin' well, Rainbow? 'cause you offered to help me... twice,” she said as she eyed Rainbow suspiciously. “... or is this sum kinda plot ta suck up fer sumthin'?” Rainbow did a quick gasp before taking a proud stance. “What!? No, nothing like that! I just thought maybe you could use some help since I have nothing to do and I can be the one to offer that help with the things that you do even if you are used to doing it and... stuff...” Rainbow said, once more trailing off. Applejack had a look of surprise on her face. Granted, Rainbow was the Element of Loyalty and as she said, “I never leave my friends hanging”, she isn't particularly known for doing it out of the blue especially early morning. Applejack gave Rainbow a warm smile that made her blush. Rainbow quickly turned her head forward. “Well, that's swell. Ah 'spose ya can. Thank ya kindly sugarcube,” Applejack said. Rainbow let out a sigh of relief. She was quite happy. Happy that... she decided to do labour until she was supposed to actually be doing something. Probably for the hundredth time this week, she ignored the thought. It's starting to become a daily occurrence. . . . “I'm gonna need one heck of a shower...” Rainbow said. She examined her body. Covered with mud, hay, and feathers. One could mistake her for somepony whom was tarred and feathered out of town. She turned around to marvel at the work she had just finished the work she was responsible for causing. Earlier, she wasn't paying attention as she carried a bucket of slop for the pigs to eat and she wound up loosing balance and fell onto a fence. Said fence decided that the weight of a Pegasus was the cutoff line and broke releasing a hoard of pigs which ran around causing a huge ruckus around the farm. Thankfully, they never got into the orchards but the chickens can't be too happy about the damage to their specified area. After a few minutes, Big Mac came in and was forced to help round up the pigs which Applejack was able to do but Rainbow only managed to snag one pig with a lasso she made only to be dragged around, being swung around like a flail into hay, mud, and other various things. “Well, maybe next time, y'all will pay attention,” Applejack said as she chuckled. Rainbow Dash and Applejack were walking to a nearby lake to wash off, Applejack only slightly. “Not my fault the slop looked like... ugh,” Rainbow facehoofed, trying to forget the events of the past 10 minutes. “Huhn... I probably need to start practising...” Rainbow thought as she started trotting a little faster to the lake. “Well, good luck 'n stuff. Can't imagine how much pegasi need ta practice for, well, things,” Applejack said, speeding up too to keep up with Rainbow. “It's actually harder than it lo... err, I mean, it's easy, peasy,” Rainbow said avoiding the subject of any imperfections Rainbow could make while flying. She began a jog, not wanting to be mucky any longer... and wanting to beat Applejack there. “Aheh, well it can't be all that hard fer someone like you,” Applejack said with a hint of sarcasm as she sped up as well. “Totally easy, but not as easy as this grunt work you do,” Rainbow said as she began a full on run, lake only just ahead. “That a challenge?” Applejack and Rainbow were fully racing now. “Maybe it is,” “applebucking with me from now on?” “You're o-” Unable to finish the sentence, the ground beneath Rainbow and Applejack vanished as they tumbled into the lake, landing on top of each other in the water. The water turned brown as the mud washed off along with the feathers and hay Rainbow was coated with. Applejack lie under Rainbow, stetson floating away slowly. “I do recall somepony losin' her concentration jus” a few minutes ago,” Applejack chuckled as she stood up, pushing Rainbow off as she wadded over to her hat. “Pft, I told you” Rainbow said, spitting out some water as she turned to look at Applejack. “I didn't lose my concentration. It just... made me... nauseous...” she looked over at Applejack whom turned to look back at her, stetson now resting atop her head again. Her wet coat, mane and tail dripping into the shallow water... it was a nice view. “There a difference?” Applejack laughed as Rainbow stood up herself and stepped out, shaking herself dry. “Totally. Twilight knows this... I think...” Rainbow said. “Heh, well alright then,” Applejack said as she stepped out and placed her stetson on the ground as she shook herself dry. “Well...” Rainbow looked back towards Sweet Apple Acres. “Race ya back?” Rainbow redid the crate exercise the next day, this time faster than before since she knew the strength of her harness. Rarity constantly teased Rainbow about the uniform as she took pictures. Rainbow soared through the skies, trying to find a line of flying best suited to carrying crates. She never knew what was in these crates. Not apples, she knew that much. She had to get into the hang of flying around with crates and later on, she'd learn finesse with the open ended apple-filled barrels. Twilight was constantly watching and observing Rainbow, taking notes as she studied her flight pattern, how she looked (fatigued, full of energy, etc) as she flew, and other things. Spike was there as he was supposed to be taking notes as an audience member. He wrote one word: “good” and the rest of the time he watched Rainbow and drew doodles of various things... him with Rarity, him if he was a fully grown Dragon (out of growth, not greed), his ideal house... Twilight was writing every little detail about Rainbow down to the positioning of her feathers while she flew. Applejack was busy bucking for the day, Pinkie Pie was busy doing... Pinkie Pie things, and Fluttershy was tending to whatever animal needed it. “Only twice and Rainbow is already used to it,” Rarity exclaimed as she abused the snap button on the camera. “Just look at her physique, her style, her... Ooh, how marvellous!” “Uh huh,” was Twilight's reply. “And how swiftly she drops off a crate and picks a new one up...” *snap* “Uh huh.” “And sweet Celestia, her landings and takeoffs have such finesse!” *snap* “Uh huh.” “Ooh, at this rate, she'll be done before the schedule says so.” “Uh hu...” Twilight diverted her gaze from her parchment to Rarity. “... SHE'S NOT STICKING TO THE SCHEDULE!?” Twilight shouted at Rarity. “Good heavens, it's nothing to get worked up. She'll just have more time to rest-” “But too much time means she'll be too relaxed, AND THEN SHE WON'T WANT TO PRACTICE ANYMORE!” “But Twilight, dear-” “AND APPLEJACK WON'T WIN BECAUSE THE ADVERTISEMENT WI-” Spike proceeded to nudge Twilight in the side. She turned her head, quickly staring at Spike, face inches away from his. “Twi, chill. If Rainbow wasn't dedicated, she probably wouldn't be practising right now,” Spike said with an annoyed gaze. Twilight looked directly ahead. With a sigh, she said, “you're right... I'll just... have to make a new schedule to take this extra break time into account.” She went back to recording Rainbow's... everything. Spike and Rarity both sighed at the same time, looked at each other at the same time due to the synchronization, both smirked, and went back to doing what they were doing before... at the same time. Meanwhile, in the air... Alright... I have to do this in record time. For advertisement, for my friends, for Sweet Apple Acres, for Applejack! Especially for Applejack because... she thought before she coughed as she landed and undid the clips on the crate and took off back to the other side of the field. ... beca~ause she's only my friend and nothing else. No other reasons. Yep. She landed again with such grace that she heard a squeal from Rarity in the distance. And maybe, just maybe, I can catch the eyes of certain ponies... specifically, ones with a blue uniform, and national fame. She clipped the next crate and took off again, making sure to not make it too rough or too light to maximize speed. Because my face will be plastered everywhere and then, they can't miss me. I'll be constantly on their minds... Applejack will never get me out of her mind! she giggled at the thought before realizing what it was she thought, “Whatev's,” Rainbow growled as she landed and undid the clips. She mindlessly continued the exercise, effortlessly doing it now. It was another few minutes before she completed the exercise. Rarity had taken what seemed to be thousands of pictures, Twilight made a 30 page analysis of Rainbow's flying, Spike completed a small comic book he was drawing. “Aha, the photos are perfect for the campaign!” “My analysis is complete!” “King Leonheart slayed the Jabberwocky!” Rarity and Twilight looked at Spike in disbelief. “Err, I mean... Rainbow was excellent,” Spike said, chuckling as he hid the notebook behind him. Twilight sighed and Rarity chuckled. Rainbow trotted up to them unnoticed. “So~o, howwassit!?” Rainbow asked excitedly. Twilight looked at her notebook. “Well-” “GREAT! I knew it,” Rainbow said before she took off into the skies once more. She did a few laps of the field before landing near them yet again. “Photos? How were they? Are they as cool as I am?” Rainbow asked, still full of excitement. Rarity looked at the photos. “Well dear-” “Ha! Glad you got my cool side,” Rainbow said as she trotted over to Spike. Spike grimaced as he knew what was going to happen. “Aa~and any notes?” Rainbow asked as she took the notebook from Spike. “Hey, wai-” Spike attempted to say before Rainbow read the cover. “'King Leonheart the Legendary Dragon'?” Rainbow asked in confusion. Awkward silence followed as the three ponies stared at Spike. Twilight shot a look at Spike, her infamous “unamused” stare. “... Hey, I wrote 'good' down?” Spike said as he put on a hopeful smile. Twilight sighed, Rarity giggled, and Rainbow let out a laugh. “Don't worry about it. I just know I'm going to be amazing. Don't sweat it Spike,” Rainbow said as she took a proud stance. “Spike, you're hopeless,” Twilight said playfully. She put her notebooks in her saddlebags and levitated them onto her back. Rarity packed up the camera and showed the photos of Rainbow flying around to Spike and Rainbow herself. Impressive shots, nice angle... Rainbow gave it the Rainbow 'Seal of Approval'. Spike packed up his notebook in the only way he could... closing it and tucking it under his arm. Not much packing there. Rainbow merely walked over to a box that was perched up against a tree and removed the harness on her and set it in. She placed the top on the box and she turned. She was already used to her training and now she had to prepare for barrel training. Odd. A few days ago, she was doing her specialized training, designed by herself, which was actually a challenge. This just seems so redundant. Surely there's something else she could be doing. Her previous training, perhaps. What she was doing... Flying to places with lightning and attempting Sonic Rainbooms. Noise, nerve, speed, and endurance training all in one go. Author's Note: Special thanks to Scootalloo for editing this fic. Chapter 1:4: Fluttershy and Bonding Up above Ponyville, on a 'landing pad' made of clouds, waited Fluttershy. It was after Rainbow's schedule later that day. Down below, Applejack merely watched from her stand (well, the best she could, given the buildings were in the way). Fluttershy kept her eyes on the sky, looking around every time she heard a quiet 'woosh'. Quiet... she darted her eyes across the blue sky. Applejack doing the same. 'woosh' Fluttershy squeaked and turned around, seeing a fading rainbow trail heading up. She looked up. 'woosh' “Eep!” Fluttershy looked to her left. 'Wooooosh!' Fluttershy didn't squeak. This was closer and lasted longer. She darted her eyes around nervously as if trying to watch a bee. She turned around... “....... aaaaaaaaaauuuuUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh.........” Fluttershy looked up and then down off the cloud. Below, Rainbow was dive bombing towards Ponyville town square, spinning like a drill. To others, this looked amazing; a new daredevil trick from the Best Young Flier, Rainbow Dash? To Rainbow Dash, this was the perfect time to pray to the divine and panic. She attempted to level herself out, only to stop and start spinning rapidly the other direction. She was zipping towards Ponyville at insane speeds, surely this would lead to her destructive technique, the Atomic Rainboom... in Ponyville Town Square. Rainbow did not dare try to fly upwards, because... wait, why isn't she? She opened her wings as wide as they could through the spinning and immediately tilted them slightly. She slowly levelled out, her spinning becoming small circles in the sky before Rainbow could actually do something. She realized she was no longer screaming, too caught up in panicking to notice. She twisted her wings a certain way, then she felt a lot of force on her. She levelled out, no longer spinning or flying in circles but parallel to the ground. How did she know this? Her face was practically grinding against the ground. She was soaring towards the Library's front door. She gave her wings powerful flaps as she slowed down and she put her hooves on the ground, breaking and sliding as she slowed down. She was going to slam into the door... no. Twilight would never let her hear the end of it. She gave her wings a strong flap, the most powerful she could muster... Then she practically stopped just on the door the instant it... opened? Spike, standing there, flinched when he saw Rainbow suddenly appear and stop not even a foot away. “... uh, yes, Rainbow?” Spike asked awkwardly. Rainbow looked around before letting out a giggle. “Oops, sorry Spike. I was just...” she turned around to see that she actually scared many ponies as she zipped by like a rocket. “... dropping by...” she saw ponies picking up bags, chairs, things dropped. “... to see Twilight I guess...” she said as she turned away as Spike stepped to the side. Rainbow entered the Library as Spike walked out, watching Rainbow curiously as he closed the door behind him. The library was quiet. There was some sounds of paper crumpling and a very aggravated “AUGH”. Rainbow walked towards the stairs leading to Twilight's room. At the top, she knocked on the door with her hoof and waited patiently. It felt like 5 minutes passed but only 5 seconds actually did. The door opened. “Oh hello Rainbow, I...” she paused. “Don't people usually knock at the front door?” Twilight giggled. Rainbow chuckled. “Well, can't help it that I maybe kinda sorta literally slid in through the front door as Spike was leaving. Speaking of Spike, where's he going?” Rainbow asked as she walked in, closing the door behind her. Twilight walked over to her work desk, sitting down as she picked up a quill and began writing on some parchment. Around the desk was a lot of crumpled parchment. “Spike is just going to-” “To help Rarity?” Rainbow interjected. Twilight looked at Rainbow in surprise. “Actually, he's gone to help Applejack.” Rainbow stopped all movement and then stared upwards, trying to picture and think of any reason Spike would want to help Applejack. Apples? Didn't Spike decide th... wait, Applejack is usually done bucking this time of day... she should be in the Town Square now... Rainbow stopped thinking before she hurt her head. Spike was probably learning how to man the stand. “So, what do you want to talk about?” Twilight asked as she wrote something down. “You said you had something you wanted to see me for,” she said. Rainbow flinched. “Uh, yeah, I thi...” she stopped as she processed the tone Twilight spoke in. “... very funny,” Rainbow said, noticing the sarcasm. Twilight giggled. “Sorry, but I did hear your commotion outside,” Twilight said as Rainbow kicked the floor. “Pfft, whatev's. I kinda left Fluttershy hanging, or... standing on a cloud,” Rainbow said as she turned. “Also, Rarity wanted to see you in about... half an hour,” Twilight said as she turned to Rainbow. “At Sugarcube Corner. She's meeting Pinkie there as well and soon, Applejack,” she said. Rainbow stopped for a second. “Not Spike?” Twilight turned back to her work to hide the sly smile appearing on her face. “Oh, don't worry about him. He has some other business to attend to afterwards,” Rainbow gave it no more thought as she did a quick stretch, still a little tense from flying fast and spiralling like a drill... then proceeding to break so suddenly and fast. “Well okay then. I need something to do for the next half hour...” Rainbow said as she opened Twilight's room door. Twilight scribbled something down again before turning to Rainbow, “Why not practice flying with Fluttershy? I'm sure she could use some training. She does have some serious potential,” she said. “Potential? When exactly did you see this 'potential'”? Rainbow snorted at the thought, not out of rudeness but... well, it's Fluttershy. “I do understand you were busy at the moment...” Twilight said. Rainbow cocked her head. “Busy doing what?” she replied. Twilight giggled. “Protecting your Cloudsdale Clo-” Rainbow flinched and an annoyed look grew on her face “Augh, y'know what, I actually don't have time. Gottapracticeokay,thanksbyeTwilight,” Rainbow blurted out before zipping down the stairs. Twilight let out another giggle as she closed the door with magic and wrote some more things down. “Way To Make Rainbow Blush #34: Mention the time she thought a small cloud was Cloudsdale,” “Alright then, I'm going to help you fly better, so let's set some rules...” Rainbow said, marching back and forth in front of Fluttershy; both pegasi atop a cloud. Fluttershy stood there, attempting to stand tall, like a Royal Guard; a stern look on her face. “Yes sir! Err, I mean... ma'am...” Fluttershy said, growing quieter and losing her tall stance. “Rule #1... FLY FAST!” Rainbow said as she stomped her hoof on the cloud. This extracted a squeak from Fluttershy as it was sudden. “Yes ma'am...” “Rule #2: buck 1,000 clouds a day,” Rainbow declared. Fluttershy winced. “B... buck 1,000... clouds?” she asked, nervously. Rainbow stopped, narrowing her eyes as she thought. “... okay, maybe 1,000 is a little excessive... given it's you... and... it's a lot of clouds...” Rainbow stared around, observing the skies. “... but get used to bucking clouds. As a Pegasus, clouds are much harder to buck given we're supposed to be able to stand on them. It's kinda like...” Rainbow looked upwards, thinking of a comparison. “... bucking a cloud. Shoot, just get used to it,” she said. Fluttershy nodded. “Yes ma'am...” “Rule #3: NEVER question my reason for training you,” Rainbow declared, growing a little red in the face. “Yes ma... am?” she was slightly confused, but decided not to ask. Rainbow thought again. She really thought she would have more than this. If only she had a mind like Twilight's, then she could... study all the possibilities. The thought made Rainbow queasy, but books aren't all bad... “... Rule #4... create a... Sonic Rainboom by the end of... the week...” Rainbow blurted out. Fluttershy just gave Rainbow Dash a blank stare, shaking. “A S... s... Sonic R-rainboom!?” she asked, completely scared by the thought of attempting it. “... ugh, scratch that. Let's just practice a little bit,” Rainbow said as she walked over to the edge of the cloud. Fluttershy peered down to the ground, then off into the distance at several cloud formations Rainbow made. Several clouds shaped into rings. Easy stuff for Rainbow. Very easy. She could be doing practically anything and do it flawlessly but to Fluttershy... it looked terrifyingly hard. “Just follow my movements and you'll be fine. This is just to see where you're at,” Rainbow said as she immediately began flying at a veeeery slow pace... for Rainbow. Fluttershy flapped her wings slowly, then began a flutter. A little bit faster and she finally got airborne as she began following Rainbow Dash. She was a much faster flier but the thought that she had to do a small obstacle course unnerved her to the point where she was almost too scared to even hover... but she kept it up. She slowly caught up to Rainbow. Rainbow whistled at this and began flying faster... backwards. “Oh, don't do this. Fly normally... and faster, please,” Rainbow said in annoyance. Fluttershy gulped. They reached a ring higher up. Rainbow turned around and flew upwards. Fluttershy flapped her wings harder and gently flew upwards and flew through the ring. Rainbow, after clearing the first ring, flew downwards to the next ring. Fluttershy locked up after this however and instead dropped down. Rainbow flew through the ring and stopped. She noticed a lack of gently flapping wings... she turned around to see Fluttershy no longer above nor in front. Immediately... “Woah, flap your wings Fluttershy!” Rainbow shouted. Fluttershy immediately tried that and gave them a very weak flap before starting a steady flapping. She stopped falling and gently, slowly, flew up back to the second ring. “Sorry, I just... it's so much...” Fluttershy said as she floated through the second wing. “Ugh, this is taking forever,” Rainbow said as she flew faster to the third ring which wasn't far off. Fluttershy gulped. This is so... I can't do this... I... why can't I do this...? I've done so much before... caught Twilight with Rainbow... I flew to Cloudsdale with ease... even caught up to Rainbow Dash when pulling Twilight and Applejack and the balloon... I can do this... I can! Fluttershy thought to herself as she started flying faster. She slowly caught up to Rainbow as she flapped faster. Rainbow realized Fluttershy was picking up speed. She turned her head to see how close... Fluttershy had a rather aggravated face, like she wanted to hurt Rainbow. Her snout scrunched up, brow arched... Fluttershy was simply determined but Rainbow was slightly unnerved. “Um, 'shy, you seem kinda mad...” Rainbow said as she kept looking behind her at Fluttershy and ahead. Fluttershy flinched. “Oh, I'm sorry, I was just... determined...” she said quietly as the two pegasi adjusted their course and flew upwards slightly. “Well anyways...” Rainbow said, shaking off the previous moment. “I didn't really expect you to accept... err, well, I did but...” Rainbow coughed as she turned right to the next ring, Fluttershy following suit. “I mean, you just said you were determined. Whyzzat?” Rainbow asked as she dropped altitude after clearing the next ring. “It's just... I've done so much in flying...” she said. Rainbow noticed they were flying much faster than before, something Rainbow would consider casual speed as they cleared the next ring below and flying back up. “We saved Twilight when she first came to Ponyville... with help from Applejack... then the flight to Cloudsdale... it was long but I did it just fine, yet I'm getting scared by this...” they flew through the next ring, Rainbow realizing they were going at a pace faster than she ever thought Fluttershy could reach. “... then I caught up to you when you thought the small cloud was Clo-” Rainbow coughed several times loudly. Fluttershy flinched. “Oh, I mean... you know...” Rainbow sighed. “Well, I understand. Twilight did mention that you had some potential. You did catch up to me,” Rainbow said. They flew through another ring, this time throwing Rainbow off. This was much faster than she expected she'd had to go for this little course. Now the turns were getting harder. She looked back for a second; Fluttershy didn't seem to be having trouble at all. Rainbow's inner athlete kicked in; she was getting worked up over a practice with Fluttershy. “Well, let's test that potential. Fluttershy, beat me to the end,” Rainbow said, cracking a cocky smile. Fluttershy once again flinched. “Be... beat you!?” she asked, shaking now. “Yes... beat me,” Rainbow said as she prepared to take off. Fluttershy squeaked as she noticed Rainbow was about to take off. She prepared to fly at her fastest which she thought she long since beat. “No more rings. Let's race...” Rainbow looked down at the ground to see where she was. Currently, they were flying over... Sweet Apple Acres. How did she always wind up here... “... From here, to...” she looked to her right, spotting a lone cloud far off on the other side of Ponyville. “That cloud!” she pointed with her hoof. Fluttershy looked over at the cloud Rainbow pointed to. It was easy to spot. “Rea-onetwothree,go!” she blurted out before taking off. Fluttershy squeaked once more, and did her attempt at a take off. She flapped her wings as hard as she could, speeding up. Fluttershy surprised herself with the speed she was gaining. Slowly, her flapping fast but graceful, she caught up with Rainbow Dash. They zipped over Ponyville. Below, one could easily tell Rainbow but the other speeding blur? nopony knew. Rainbow was busy smiling away. Fluttershy was actually not far behind Rainbow. She was only a tail's length away. Rainbow was certain she was far ahead. Granted, Rainbow wasn't giving her all, but she didn't expect Fluttershy to actually keep up with her. This was nothing more than a quick ego boosting race... Rainbow wasn't sure why she she was getting aggravated by Fluttershy, nor why she was doing this 'race'... but she dropped her doubts when she saw a pink maned yellow Pegasus flap past her. She grit her teeth and prepared to fly much faster but- “I... I won?” Fluttershy said as she touched the cloud, Rainbow simply slamming into the side. Rainbow groaned and crawled onto the cloud. “Uh, that's because... I let you win. Yeah,” Rainbow said as she buried her face in the cloud, trying to hide the flustered look on her face. Fluttershy bought it instantly. “Oh, I see... I mean, you're the Best Young Flier... and all...” she said. “... but I was so fast, wasn't I? I hadn't expected this... yay...” she said, letting out a cute little giggle. Rainbow Dash merely stared off the cloud. “... Actually, I wasn't giving it my all but, you did beat me to this cloud, Fluttershy. That was much faster than I expected... you did great,” Rainbow said, letting out a chuckle. Fluttershy gave Rainbow a surprised stare. “Well thank you, Rainbow Dash. I would love to fly with you again. That was so fun... but it was also scary...” Fluttershy said as she jumped with excitement before slowing down. Rainbow stood up and stretched. “It was more fun than I expected...” she looked off the cloud towards Ponyville. “... evenifIdidn'twin...” she said quietly. “Still, you're not that bad of a flier,” she added. “Well, when can we do this again?” Fluttershy asked. Rainbow's ears perked up. “Whenever I've got time, 'shy,” the cyan pegasus replied. Later on, Rainbow and Applejack were walking back from Ponyville town square, Applejack flagging Rainbow Dash down after her little session with Fluttershy. Rainbow offered to help – again – by pulling the cart for Apples while Applejack pulled the stand. Bit of repair was needed; it was an old thing. “Soooo... Ah take it thing's went well with Fluttershy?” Applejack asked Rainbow. “It went... better than I thought. She actually...” Rainbow paused, eyes widening. “... was pretty fast,” she said with a suspicious tone in her voice. Applejack cocked her head to the side. “Soun's like y'all 're hidin' somethin'...” Applejack prodded Rainbow. Rainbow shook her head. “Wha? Never. I'm hiding nothing...” Rainbow began trotting faster, dragging the cart behind. “Fluttershy? Fast? What in Equestria would make you say that? Did she beat ya?” Applejack said, darting right to the subject she was sure was the problem. Rainbow spat at the ground. “She only caught me off guard! And I wasn't giving it my all!” she replied defensively. Applejack let out a laugh as she saw how worked up Rainbow Dash got over the subject of her losing a race. They walked in silence for a bit, Rainbow a little too flustered to talk. They approached Sweet Apple Acres, much faster to Rainbow's liking or... was it too slow? Applejack confused her slightly, but she shook it off. “So, how was... your day, Applejack?” Rainbow asked, needing a conversation starter. “Well, it was just dandy. Made a nice profit, ran outta apples 'fore the end o' tha' day. How 'bout yours, sugarcube?” Applejack asked, in an obvious good mood. “Well, as I said earlier, better than I thought. Did some practice, asked Fluttershy to watch my other practice, then I-” “Spiralled through Ponyville to Twi's front door. Heh heh, t'was hilarious,” Rainbow shot her a glare. “... and then Fluttershy and I practiced. Wait, didn't you know all of this?” Applejack laughed. “Yup. Jus' felt like proddin' it from yer mouth is all,” she said. “Fah. Oh well, let's hurry up and drop this off at Sweet Apple Acres so we can head over to Sugarcube corner,” Rainbow said. “Heh heh, alrigh' then,” Applejack said, still in a giggly mood. Eventually, they reached Sweet Apple Acres and Rainbow followed Applejack to where they'd be dropping off the carts; just tucked away behind the barn in a shed. Jumping out of the harness, Rainbow gave her wings a quick flutter, the harness which always is a little tight on her barrel. Applejack was completely used to it by now. “Ugh, I really don't get how people can get used to this. And here, I thought it was bothering me with the jewel carts Rarity made us all pull,” Rainbow said as she did a few more stretches. “Heh, well, ya get used to it. It's not so bad... but ya do have wings...” Applejack said. Rainbow rubbed her wings, rotating them. “Ya want a piggyback, sugarcube?” Applejack said as she began trotting away. Rainbow blushed at the thought but shook her head. “No. I'm not that sore...” Rainbow said as she trotted over next to Applejack. “How 'bout a massage?” Applejack said, nudging Rainbow in the wing. Rainbow picked up on Applejack's sarcasm, but she did like the idea. “Well, since you're offering it... how about you give me one...” Rainbow paused as they walked towards Sugarcube Corner. “... actually, how about when I reeeeeally need it... say, after you take the prize for Sweet Apple Acres?” Rainbow said letting out a smile. “Well a'ight then. T'was a joke but alrighty then. Actually...” Applejack said as they walked into Ponyville. “Let's make it a barter. I give y'all a massage, and y'all give me yer trust,” Rainbow cocked her head. “Trust? Elaborate, AJ. I'm not too keen with Apple family wisdom,” Applejack let out a small chuckle. “Be honest with me from here on. Ever need to cry, use my shoulder. Ever need to talk, ah'm here. Trust and character, Rainbow. Build on that. Make a choice from yer heart and follow it,” Applejack said. Rainbow cocked her head. She was sure Applejack had a point but she was obviously missing it. “Afraid I have absolutely NO clue what you're getting at Applejack, but I get the gist, I guess...” Rainbow said as the walked. Applejack let out a chuckle. “Don' worry, sugarcube. It'll come t' ya in time...” Applejack said. “Whatever you say, Applejack...” Arriving at Sugarcube Corner, Applejack and Rainbow Dash were greeted by Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie and Twilight. Spike was... busy still, it seems. There wasn't a surprise party, but instead, Pinkie was staring at Rainbow Dash, wide eyed and she was shaking. Holding back from a potential Pinkie outburst it seems. “So, what's up?” Rainbow asked as Applejack and her entered. “Well, several things. First up... Rarity has finished the uniforms,” Twilight said as Rarity levitated a box. Rarity opened up the box and pulled out the uniforms. There were several for Rainbow to wear, and each appealed to Rainbow... each was sleek, each was cool, each expressed the colourful, proud, speedy nature of Rainbow Dash. Uniform #1 was held up, unfolded in front of them all. “Uniform #1 is specially designed for our dear Rainbow Dash and whatever flying she'll be doing,” Rarity said. #1 had the barrel, designed with a white colour scheme with small apple shapes on the front starting with the short wavelength part of the colour spectrum, and as it went to the tail, the apple shapes got bigger and a neat gradient went to the long wavelength colours. The front legs were decorated with warm colours; mostly red. The back, decorated with cool colours. Near the tail, some small, short, streamer-like pieces of fabric were decorated like the warm colours of the rainbow and were also cut into jagged shapes; like a lightning bolt. Rainbow could already picture flying in the uniform. There were a few clips here and there which blended in perfectly; this was meant for pulling banners and nothing more. “Wow... this is amazing, Rarity. It is so cool,” Rainbow said as she poked at the uniform, testing the fabric. It was amazing. Rarity pulled out another uniform... uniform #2 was definitely a warm colour uniform. The barrel was decorated to have multiple clips on it. It was obviously for pulling heavier cargo. The entire uniform didn't seem to have a clear pattern but it flowed; it was an almost fiery design made of orange, red, yellow and brown apples. You'd have to be right up close to notice the apples. From afar, it had a different feel; autumn. Usually the biggest time for applebucking. It was amazingly done. This was a multi-pony uniform; probably the one most of the team would be wearing for various things. The clips worked for pulling carts instead of the usual harness but there was space for that too. It radiated autumn. “This is cool. Way too cool, yet it looks a little excessive for flying related things,” Rainbow said. “That's because it's for Applejack, Pinkie and I too, dear,” Rarity beamed. Knew it... Rainbow thought. Rarity levitated the third uniform out; it was the opposite and had a nice, spring/winter feel. It didn't look like fire, but instead, similar to Applejack's dress for the Gala; it was the uniform Twilight and Rarity would be wearing (Rarity does get a costume change too). “Rainbow Dash, you'll be wearing all of these at some point,” Twilight added. “I looooove mine, it is so radiantly BRIGHT and flamey! Ooh, like an assortment of cupcakes! Or if somebody took a picture of Applejack and Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie – wait, that's me! Ooh, anyways, if they took a picture of us three, and copied that picture, and cut us out and pasted us all over again!” Pinkie piped up. “However, there is one uniform which is only worn by Fluttershy as she is the one tending to the stall at all times,” Rarity said as she pulled out uniform #4. Uniform #4 was something soft; there were no clips at all as this was for tending to the stand only. It had a completely white body with a light gradient of red, orange and yellow on the front hooves from the bottom up to the main body, same as the back legs except blue, indigo, and violet. There was a second part to the uniform that went on like a jacket yet it was free and a cool gradient of green. It was a perfect uniform for somepony like Fluttershy. “Wow, these uniforms are lovely,” Twilight said as she examined them all. “Mine is beautiful, Rarity. I couldn't ask for a better outfit,” Fluttershy said, getting a little excited. “Well, they're all jus' dandy, Rar'ty,” Applejack added as she looked at the warm outfit. “Mine is pretty awesome,” Rainbow said as she examined her personal one. “They all make me hungry for apple pancakes,” Pinkie said as she bounced around the group. “They make me want one,” another voice said. Each pony turned to see Spike enter, holding a suitcase and wearing a fedora. Twilight giggled at Spike's getup. “Ooh, Spike MUST be getting ready for a musical number!” Pinkie boomed. “Gonna moon walk into jail 'cuz you're a smooth criminal, Spike?” Pinkie asked, suddenly in a white tuxedo and hat. Pinkie got several stares. “... anyway, I got it, Twilight. And he even let me keep the hat,” Spike said as he tipped his hat as he walked past Rarity. Just as suddenly as she got into it, Pinkie was out of the white uniform. “Great, which brings me to point #2... Spike, open the suitcase, please,” Twilight said as Spike set the suitcase down between everybody. Rarity folded the uniforms and placed them back in the box. Spike undid the clips on them and opened the uniform. “For Rainbow Dash,” Spike said as he stepped out of the way to let Rainbow see the contents of the suitcase as everybody ooh'd. Rainbow stared, eyes wide. Inside, was an apple-shaped red ruby necklace with beads that were in a rainbow gradient, a pair of brand new goggles, and finally, another uniform. Twilight levitated the necklace out and floated it over to Rainbow. “Applejack, Spike, Rarity and I had this made just for you, Rainbow. For the campaign, and maybe for the inevitable party Pinkie would throw if Sweet Apple Acres won,” Twilight said as she fit it on Rainbow's neck. Rainbow didn't fight at all. It actually looked kinda nice and she did wanna put it on... even if it was a little girly. It fit perfectly, snugly, non-chocking... “Wow, this is amazing... and note, I will be wearing this to the victory party, because we will win for Sweet Apple Acres! For Applejack!” Rainbow said, full of confidence. The confidence must be radiation, because everybody else instantly cheered, forgetting the possibility of losing. “The goggles were also custom ordered... sent a few letters, got a few replies, and then, bam. The Wonderbolts were kind enough to donate a pair of goggles as a bit of a good luck charm and as a ve~ery late apology for the Grand Galloping Gala,” Twilight said as she levitated them over to Rainbow as well. Rainbow didn't even wait. She let out a little squeal as she pulled the goggles onto her face, placing them over her eyes. They were so clean, there were no scratches. They were in mint condition. She wondered if she should even wear them, but... no, she had to do them proud. The Wonderbolts actually know about her involvement? And they remembered her from the Gala? Now she didn't have to worry about catching the eyes of the Wonderbolts; only Applejack! ... err, and others for... advertisement reasons. “And what about the uniform!?” Rainbow beamed, excitedly. “The uniform...” Twilight levitated it out soon as well. Rainbow's jaw dropped, her eyes grew wide. It resembled a mixture of her exclusive uniform and the Wonderbolts uniform. It had the clips on it. “They were more than willing to allow me the honour of using their design in a special design of my own; another part of their apology,” Rarity said as she tried to hold back her excited glee. Rainbow was having a much harder time at holding back an excited fangirl squeal of her own. She was shaking now just like Pinkie Pie was when they first entered. “... let's do this. It's time to begin the Apple Spectrum!” Author's Note: Special thanks to Scootalloo for editing this fic.
  18. Hey guys. I've been writing this for a while, wondering if I should ever post it. I decided I was going to. It's about an OC pony of mine, Caramel Strike, firstborn of Applejack and Rainbow Dash. Please, no hate if this isn't the kind of story for you. Better to just hit the back button instead of making a mess. But seriously, thank you for taking the time to read my fanfic. I plan to update every so often, with unorganized intervals. Sorry if paragraph format isn't quite correct; I'm not awake enough to deal with it now. I will later when I post more though~ Enjoy! Taking Flight By Sandwhisper When I was little, I had wings. “Caramel Strike, please come down from your room,” her voice would echo up the steps. But I never answered. I came down whenever I was good and ready; momma Dash knew that. She also knew her calls would be fruitless. I glared at my door as the cries were no more. She’d probably flown away. Wish I could. When I was little, I had wings. ~*TWELVE YEARS AGO*~ Nothing. It was nothing. I tried to see, and I saw nothing. Tried to walk, I felt nothing. Tried to fly. I felt pain. Why can’t I fly…? I could feel my life slowly flow back into my limbs. Everywhere, every limb… except for my wings. I could smell again, but it was not a pleasant reunion. The scents of cleansing alcohol and various medications spilled into my nostrils and burned my senses, as if they were acidic to me and only me. Murmurs were starting to ring out louder as the feeling of my ears being shut tight began to evaporate. My back – more specifically, shoulder area – stung more than I ever believed was possible. “We had to remove them.” “What?! What do you mean, remove?!” I knew that voice. It had an ashy, raspy tone to it, with a certain… masculine femininity, you could say. “Ah dun believe it!” I recognized that voice too: a thick, Southern drawl that threaded through a clear, husky voice. Momma Jack and momma Dash. But who were the others? I certainly didn’t recognize them, and there were many of them. “But she’s a Pegasus! She NEEDS them!” cried who could be none other than momma Dash. I now could open my eyes, and realized I was face down in what seemed to be a bed. I peeled open my eyes, bracing the pain that lashed through my skull and the aching that buzzing through my every limb. Except my wings. I quickly blinked away the blur in my eyes, turning to face my parents. They both bore surprised (and perhaps dreaded) looks, while staring right into the cold marine eyes of an official in a blinding white. “Where… Am I?” I managed to squeak out. Every syllable hurt worse than the last. The aching was simply indescribable. I let my eyes steady and position themselves to my cyan mother, very round in her middle section. Her spectrum-hued mane drizzled slightly over her bold, yet passionate and determined, magenta eyes. Her name was Rainbow Dash. “Strike!” She cried out in the voice that I’d surely heard just before. She scampered over, tears forming in her eyes, instantly heading to nuzzle me. “Yer awake! Mah little Striker!” cried the other voice that I’d recognized. She was a basic, sandy orange in color, with a dusty blonde mane yanked quickly into crimson ties near the edges; it was undeniably my other mother, Applejack. Her Southern drawl (which I didn’t really inherit, but sometimes I get moments where it slips out) had given it away. I was the daughter (and soon to be first of two fillies) of two lovely mares. And, in my unbelievable, painful daze, I was unbearably happy to see them. “Where am I? What’s going on?” I managed to spill out, despite my six-year-old limitations in understanding things. I was only a filly, and other than visiting Nurse Redheart for checkups, I’d never been in such a place. I looked behind me to get a better look around, as I was on my stomach. But once I looked, an ominous, sickish-feeling pit grew inside my stomach. “Mommy, where are my wings?”
  19. I can't help doing this. WHY DOES RAINBOW DASH'S EXPRESSION MAKE ME DO THIS?! Go ahead and tell me what you think.