The Party Hasn't Ended Part 4 starring Rainbow Dash
When Dash woke up, she realised the voice calling her had been doing so for some time. It had slipped into her dreams she'd been back in Flight School in Cloudsdale, and she'd obviously done something to annoy her fellow students: everypony's eyes followed her wherever she went, and everywhere there was a conspiratorial whisper of "Rainbow Dash
As the Pegasus pony shrugged off sleep and stretched her wings, she looked down from her cloud home to see Twilight calling up to her.
"You're finally awake! Thank Celestia," the unicorn pony muttered. "You're a deep sleeper I've been down here calling you for about five minutes now!"
Dash chuckled. "That's me work hard, party harder, sleep hardest!" But at the word 'party', the events of the previous night came flooding back to her. The relief she'd felt that the bad dream had been exactly that had dissolved away and the memory of the kiss and Pinkie's horrified face made her stomach ache like there was a chunk of ice in it.
Oh Pinkie Pie, why did you have to go and kiss me? What am I going to do now?
With a sigh, Dash ruffled her mane and flew down to Twilight. "So what's the matter, Twilight?" she asked. "Manticore attack? Another bunny stampede? A storm blow in from the Everfree Forest?" The Pegasus pony hopped up onto her hind legs and jabbed the air with her fore-hooves, shadow boxing. "'Cause I'm up for anything this morning!"
"It's nothing like that, Dash," Twilight replied. The unicorn pony's expression was usually serious kind of like she was mildly annoyed at everything, Dash thought but this morning it was more serious still. She looked genuinely upset. "Did... something happen between you and Pinkie last night after the party?" she asked.
There was that icy feeling again! Dash's face fell, but she quickly recovered. "What? The party? Nothing happened," She shook her head so violently her mane flew out like a whip. "We cleared everything up, and then Pinkie ran me a bath..." ...and then she kissed me and told me she loved me... "...and then I went home." The Pegasus pony couldn't look Twilight in the eye, so she stared off over Ponyville towards the Swayback Mountains instead. She knew that Twilight could tell she wasn't telling her the whole story, but the unicorn pony said nothing and instead handed her a sheet of parchment.
"What this?" asked Dash.
"We were moving Mr and Mrs Cake back into Sugar Cube Corner this morning," explained Twilight, "and Pinkie was nowhere to be found. That piece of parchment was sitting on the desk in her bedroom. It's a note."
Dash looked at the parchment as if it had turned into a tarantula. "Did you... did you read it?"
Twilight nodded. "It's addressed to all of us."
Dash swallowed and started to read:
"'To Mr and Mrs Cake, Twilight, Fluttershy... oh, I'll run out of space if I write down everypony's name!'" Dash put a hoof to her forehead. "She actually wrote that!"
Twilight nodded, but she didn't smile. "At least we know for sure that Pinkie Pie actually wrote it."
Dash continued: "'I'm just going to write 'Dear everypony who's ever been my friend'
This is just a teeny little note saying "Thankyouthankyouthankyou!" for all the super happy fun times we've had together! I always thought that my life in Ponyville was exacta-tota-completely like a party that would never end but now I need to go and think about some super-important things. I bet you're all thinking 'That Pinkie Pie! She's soooo random! Why can't she just think about things in Ponyville? Why does she need to go somewhere else to do it?" Well, the thing she's got to think about is like a present that's wrapped up in a million layers of cellophane and coloured paper and tied up with a tangle of like a TRILLION ribbons and an ENTIRE BALL of string so it might take a little while for her to work out how to open it! But while she's doing it, she just wants you to know that she loves you..." Dash almost dropped the letter, but somehow she kept hold of it. "...and that she'll be back as soon as she possibly can and that's a Pinkie promise! P.S. Dear Twilight, can you look after Gummy for me? Just think of him as Spike's little brother! His favourite food is gummi bears and gummi worms and ... oh, you get the idea! There's a jar FULL of them on my desk...'"
Twilight interrupted at this point. "The jar was empty I think Pinkie ate them all."
Dash looked over the rest of the parchment "It just goes on and on about Gummy," She turned it over. "...on the back as well."
"So, Dash?" Twilight had been watching the Pegasus pony's face the whole time she'd been reading.
"So... what?" replied Dash, her face blank. She handed the parchment back to Twilight.
"The letter?" Twilight arched her eyebrows. "What do you think happened? Why has Pinkie left all of a sudden without even coming to collect Gummy?"
Sudden anger flooded over Dash's face. "It's just Pinkie Pie being random as usual!" She stepped back and unfurled her wings. "It's nothing serious. I wouldn't worry about it."
She was about to take flight when she felt Twilight's hoof on her shoulder. The expression on the unicorn pony's face was sympathetic. "Look, Dash no pony will blame you if you had an argument with Pinkie about..."
Dash pulled away from her and spread her wings out fully. "Nothing happened!" she snapped. "Don't you get it? Do I have to say it a bunch more times until you believe me?" Her lips were quivering, but Twilight couldn't tell if she was going to burst into tears or fly into a rage. Suddenly, her face softened and she looked down at the ground. "I...I'm sorry, Twilight. I just think we should respect Pinkie's wishes. Give her some space, you know? She said she was coming back soon, right?"
"Dash, wait! I..."
But Dash had already turned and, with a few off-centre flaps of her wings, she rose up into the air and soared back towards her home in the clouds just in time for the tears in the corners of her eyes to appear without Twilight seeing them. She angrily scraped them away with her hooves as she flew. "Stop crying!" she muttered to herself. "You're Rainbow Dash, Celestia damn it! The Dash doesn't cry. Stop being such a dweeb!" But the tears wouldn't stop, even after she'd landed back at her house and had thrown herself into her cloud hammock.
"Oh Pinkie, Pinkie!" Dash sobbed. " I...You've ruined everything! You stupid little pony! Why did you have to tell me you loved me!? You stupid, stupid, stupid little pony!"
Down below in Ponyville, Lyra was trotting along the road towards the park where her beloved Bon-Bon would be waiting. It was the same every morning. Lyra would apologise for being late, Bon-Bon would click her tongue and glare at her, and then the two of them would sit down on the bench they had shared for as long as either of them could remember, just sitting and watching the inhabitants of Ponyville walk past. It was the favourite part of Lyra's day, and she whistled as she trotted.
Suddenly, a rumble of thunder came from somewhere behind her and she turned around, eyes wide in fright. Clouds, dark and angry, had begun to form over the Everfree Forest. Yellow flashes of lightning scored their black undersides, followed soon after by the soft growling of far-off thunder.
"Strange!" said Lyra. "I didn't know there was any rain planned for today! So we won't be sitting in the park all day then..." But there was no trace of disappointment on her gentle face. "I guess we'll just have to spend it curled up indoors instead!" She smiled brightly at the thought of the curly-haired earth pony snuggled up beside her on the couch while they listening to the rain clatter on the roof together. "Thank Celestia I baked some cookies last night. Oh, I do so hope Bon-Bon likes them!"
After Twilight had left, Dash had tried to nap but she'd been unable to find a comfortable position. She'd lain there, staring up at the blue sky above, and sighed. A few of the Weather Patrol had flown overhead, but she'd just ignored them. She just wasn't in the mood to work today, and they knew better than to try and talk her into something she didn't want to do. Let somepony else do it for once! Cloudkicker would totally jump at the opportunity to show off her skills to the Mayor. Yeah, that was a great idea! Let Cloudkicker do all that boring weather junk
Dash would just catch some 'Z's then jet off and do some sneaky aerobatic practice over the Swayback Mountains where no preachy unicorn ponies could disturb her!
"Well, better get out there and do some laps!" Dash yawned and stood up, but when she tried to unfurl her wings she knew something was wrong right away. They felt heavy and unbalanced somehow, like they weren't even part of her body.
"Must've been all that sarsaparilla at Pinkie's party!" she thought. Or maybe the hot sauce she'd drunk in response to Pinkie's double-pony dare. Just how DID that little pink pony put away so much spicy stuff? Dash smiled as she remembered how she'd even tried to drink unrefined rainbow on their visit to Cloudsdale and how that had been the only thing to have put a kink in that curly hair of hers.
But then Dash's smile suddenly dissolved away. The thought of Pinkie brought back that icy feeling again.
"I wonder where she went?" she thought. There was no way she could be away from Ponyville for long was there? All her friends were here and Mr and Mrs Cake needed her help in the bakery as well. And what about Gummy the alligator? Surely he must be missing her terribly by now! Was Pinkie going to abandon her little pet so easily? Maybe she just didn't care about him anymore.
Dash looked out across Ponyville. The dark clouds she had started to see earlier had advanced to the edge of the town, and as they'd come closer they'd grown and darkened just like her mood, she thought. More strays from the Everfree Forest! Just great exactly the sort of thing that Dash and the Weather Patrol was supposed to keep under control. The Pegasus pony frowned in irritation. There was always something! Every day it was the same old thing: everypony expected her to drop everything and fly out to keep the skies clear. She could hear the Mayor now: Dash do this, Dash do that! It was really starting to cramp her style! She had no time to really practise her flying. Maybe Pinkie had had the right idea, leaving Ponyville. This place WAS getting pretty old. Maybe Trottingham would be a cooler place to live? Or Canterlot
or even good old Cloudsdale! She'd easily make lots of friends there after totally acing the Best Young Flier competition! And maybe she'd find out where Pinkie had gone to
But then hot anger sprang up again from the dark place deep inside her. Why did SHE have to leave Ponyville as well? Dash knew everypony would blame her for making Pinkie run away, no matter what Twilight said she was sure of it but it was really all Pinkie's fault. The unfairness of it all made Dash furious. How could she leave so suddenly a note wasn't even a real goodbye! Lots of ponies were depending on her back in Ponyville. Where did she get off making such a dramatic gesture like that? It was probably all just a big joke to her, a massive prank. Yeah, that was it! Maybe it WAS just all a huge Pinkie Pie prank the kiss, the confession, the running away, that silly note and after she got bored of hiding, she'd come bouncing along the road back into Ponyville. And Dash would be waiting for her but when Pinkie came up to hug her, she'd push her away and TOTALLY let her have it for all the trouble she'd caused everypony. Dash knew now that underneath that innocent pink bubble-gum exterior Pinkie Pie was really a troublemaker. Oh, why did she keep attracting that type? First Gilda, now Pinkie. She'd had her heart played with so many times, and she was sick of it all. All that sissy love junk had ever done was complicate her life and distract her from her dreams of glory.
that kiss hadn't felt like a prank. It had felt
And so what if Pinkie loved her? Dash didn't need to love her back, right? She could just play along until Pinkie got it all out of her system, and then she could let her down easy. It had worked with Gilda
hadn't it? And who could blame them for loving her? She WAS the fastest, the bravest, the most risk-takingest Pegasus pony in all of Equestria! Who wouldn't love her?
Dash kicked at a tiny passing cloud in frustration. "I guess the best way to get it all out of my system is to just get out there and start kicking those clouds old-school. I can't give those other Pegasus ponies a chance at the top job, after all!" She trotted up to the edge of her cloud with a new sense of purpose. But when she looked down she was filled with a sudden attack of stomach-twisting nausea. The ground seemed to come rushing up towards her and she scrambled back in fright.
weird!" she muttered. For the first time in her life, the distance to the ground had looked like a huge yawning mouth threatening to swallow her up. She gulped, then stepped forward again in determination. There was no way she was going to let some nerves keep her back. She WAS the Dash after all, the best young flier in Equestria and destined to be the greatest in all of history!
"C'mon Dash just like they told you at Junior Speedsters! Best way to get over your nerves is to just jump in the deep end
" She stepped up to the edge of the cloud but didn't look down. She focussed on the horizon
but it was almost invisible behind the banks of grey-black clouds. Lightning flashed suddenly, and Dash's heart leapt up into her throat.
"Just a little glide, Dash," she thought. "Start off small and work your way back up. Soon you'll be back to sonic-rainbooming like crazy!"
She closed her eyes and stepped off the cloud, spreading her wings as she did. But they felt stiff and unwieldy, and her pinions felt as if their feathers were all stuck together. She opened her eyes when she realised something was wrong, and she found herself plummeting towards the ground. Try as she might, the leading edge of her wings seemed incapable of cutting through the air as they always had, as if the air which had always held her up and lifted her aloft had turned against her, becoming a giant hand pushing up against her and forcing her down towards the ground. Dash panicked and began to pump her wings in desperation, trying to get enough lift to pull her out of her death-spiral. And as sweat poured off her and her face turned bright red from the exertion, she arrested her descent and a series of furious and muscle-straining flaps brought her back just high enough to grab hold onto the edge of her cloud.
She pulled herself onto it in a heart-bursting scramble then lay flat out, slick with sweat, her chest heaving and her wings furling and unfurling against her body. What in Equestria had just happened? It had felt a bit like those terrible stitches she had got in Junior Speedsters. But she'd been young and inexperienced back then, still plump with filly-fat rather than the taught, terrific bullet of pure toned muscle she was now!
she was getting old?
Dash laughed, but the laugh went on too long and started to echo eerily around her.
Maybe she'd just slept too long. Or maybe not long enough?
That was it!
"I'm just tired," she decided. "That's totally the reason. Nothing magical!" Hadn't Twilight said there was no such thing as curses and hexes and all that junk? She'd know she was, after all, the brainiest pony she knew.
It was settled then. The rest of the Weather Patrol could deal with all those rainclouds today. Dash found the softest corner of her cloud-home and curled up. Around her, the black clouds continued to roll in and the thunder that rumbled louder and louder at last lulled her into a dark sleep free from the pain that was plaguing her heart.