Every-pony stood solemnly and silently. Dash, for the first time in a long time, walked to join the others. No flying today. Not after
she couldn't even bear to think of it. But, she knew, in a moment, she would have to relive every second of it. The doctors came out. Rainbow Dash couldn't help but think that the other ponies were probably hopeful for what would be said. Maybe, just maybe, the kid survived after all. But no, Dash was there, she had seen
she closed her eyes against the pain. When she opened them again, the room around her was spinning. She ignored the wave of dizziness and strained her ears. The doctor said something she couldn't understand, and then she could make out the sound of Sweetie Belle's and Applebloom's cries and sobs. She closed her eyes again and lowered her head. She felt something touch her shoulder. She reopened her eyes. Her vision was straight again. She lifted her head slowly, and sure enough, it was Sky Fire's hoof. For some reason, this made her angry. Her face heated up and she looked at him with malice. Dash shook off his attempted comfort and sat with her back to him. He started to say something, but she lifted a hoof to silence him. He sighed and walked away. She closed her eyes again. Closing her eyes kept in the tears she was refusing to shed, but behind her eyelids were pictures of the horrible experience. This was all her fault. If only she'd kept a closer eye on the kid
she had gotten too excited
they were going too fast
Dash knew! She KNEW! She could've stopped this whole thing if she just hadn't acted so stupid!
Rainbow heard Applebloom talking to Applejack, Maple Catch, and Big Mac. "Wh
Why did she
Why did she have ta go?! Ah
Ah don't understand!" She bellowed between sobs.
Dash blocked out this conversation; it was too much. But then Sweetie Belle's cries caught her ears. She, of course, was whimpering to Rarity. Most of what she was saying was impossible to understand: "Ra
rahaharitehy! Oh, Rarity! Whihihihy?! I
WA huh huh!" She sobbed uncontrollably. "It's alright, darling. It's ok. You're going to be ok. You're strong. It's alright darling." Rarity kept comforting.
She again tried to turn her attention elsewhere. This time she lifted her head and tried to find something to look at. Yet the first thing she saw was as depressing as listening. Pinkie sat with her head down, mane straight. All the "Pinkie Pie sparkle" was gone. She was crying, and even her tears weren't the normal hysterics; they were silent, slow drops. Splatter stood beside her, looking hopeless and rubbing her back slowly. This suddenly made Dash long for Sky Fire. She looked around and tried to find him, and spotted him staring out the window. His eyes looked glossy, but all the muscles in his body were tensed. She could tell he was fighting tears the same way she was. She lost interest; what would she say if she walked to him now? Instead, she looked to another place, and her eyes found Twilight Sparkle and Journal Hooves. Twilight's face was soaked in tears, and Journal Hooves' normal collected attitude had given way to hurt for the others around him. The two were discussing with the doctors. She looked away from them, only to find the worst sight yet: Fluttershy. She wasn't crying, she wasn't pleading with Whistle Whisper, she wasn't lying down or cradling her bunny or hiding her face. No, she was just standing there, looking blankly into space. Whistle Whisper stood beside her the same way. They didn't seem to be aroused at all, but she knew they were far more scarred than any-pony else there. She knew they weren't there anymore. No, Fluttershy and Whistle Whisper were long gone, the thought of death too much for them to handle. Rainbow Dash knew now she had ruined Fluttershy through and through. All the misunderstandings, all the down-trotting her sensitivity
now she would never get a chance to apologize for it all.
Come on, Rainbow, get it together! She thought to herself. But, really, there was nothing to get
together, was there? No, there was nothing. Nothing to do but wait for the doctors and investigators and Celestia knows who else to demand a recap of the events that took place. But, Dash realized, she didn't want to tell any-pony else. Why did they need to know, anyway? So she trotted over to Sky Fire and tapped him on the shoulder.
"I'm leaving," She told him, and he nodded in reply. With that, she was out the door.
It's hard for a flight-obsessed Pegasus to find her way around town without flying, but there was
only one place Rainbow Dash wanted to go at this moment: the Everfree Forest. She clopped along the streets, passed Fluttershy's cottage, and was soon in the concealment of the trees. With no-pony watching her, Dash's urge to fly reappeared. She took off, zooming lower than usual and dogging trees. She tried not to think about it, but the memory refused to be pushed from her mind
"Come on, kid! You can do it!" Dash called to the orange filly below her. Scootaloo looked up with
uncertainty, but Rainbow Dash called down more reassurance, and Scoots knew she would have to try sooner or later, and, well, the sooner, the better. She took a deep breath.
Dash did two backflips. "Come on, kid! It's a breeze!" Scootaloo sighed, took a little
running start, and began to flap her wings. She took off! She was flying! This was met with several cheers and hoots from Rainbow.
"Alright, Scootaloo! Woo!" Dash cried. "How does it feel?"
FREE!" Scootaloo replied with pure joy and pride.
"I couldn't agree more!" Rainbow Dash laughed.
They continued to fly, Rainbow teaching Scoots some beginner's techniques. Scootaloo
mastered most of them easily, and laughed at herself when she didn't. Dash was having a great time with the kid, but she could Scootaloo was getting worn out. Nevertheless, the kid kept going and never mentioned it. Dash decided to overlook the fatigue, thought she was noticing Scootaloo was sweating a little more than normal
"This is AWESOME!" Scootaloo yelled, doing a side roll that Dash had just taught her. "I can see
Why you like flying so much, Rainbow Dash!" Rainbow nodded, but stopped short at the kid's next remark. "Hey. Rainbow Dash, what about that Sonic Rainboom?"
"Uuuhhh, kid? No offense, but you just learned to fly. That's an extremely advanced move.
I don't think it would be a good idea." Dash said.
"Well, ok! If you won't teach me, I guess I'll just try on my own!" Scootaloo giggled then flew up
into the air.
Oh, what can it hurt? The daredevil in Rainbow Dash thought as she backed up to give the kid
space. But at that back of her mind, a little voice was screaming how wrong this was. Scootaloo was almost not visible anymore for having risen up so high into the air. Rainbow just watched as the filly plummeted, attempting the amazing explosion Dash had pulled off three times. Scootaloo gained speed as she neared the ground. Rainbow Dash could see a cloudlike structure forming in front of Scoots. Maybe the kid would get closer than she thought she would, Dash thought right before Scootaloo was stopped suddenly by the invisible barrier and thrown back into the air. Before she even knew it, Rainbow was zooming over in an attempt to catch Scoots.
"SCOOTALOO!" Dash screamed as she tried to catch up to the filly was still going up, unable to
gain control of herself. Even from this distance, Rainbow could see Scootaloo's wings snap back. Blood slung all around the filly.
"KID!" Rainbow cried out, her straight course toward Scootaloo turning into a diagonal nose-dive
because the kid was falling, and falling fast. Even before Scoots landed, Dash knew she would never reach her in time. When Scootaloo landed with a sickening noise, Rainbow Dash was sure she was dead. But when she landed beside her, she was surprised to find Scootaloo breathing heavy.
"Kid," Rainbow Dash said, looking and the bloody Pegasus before her. Dash picked her up and
started to the hospital. The filly cradled in her arms coughed and blood spattered into Dash's face, but she ignored it and kept going.
R... Rainbow Dash?" Scootaloo said in a whisper.
"Yeah, kid?" an almost tearful but concentrated Rainbow Dash answered.
cutie mark," Scootaloo stuttered. "What does it look like?"
Dash glanced at the kids flank, and even in this situation couldn't help but smile. "It's a cloud. A
white, swirling cloud. And on the cloud is a lightning bolt that matches the color of you mane."
Scootaloo gasped. "L
Scootaloo smiled, coughed again, then she was gone.
Rainbow Dash snapped back to reality, and stopped flying. She was lost in the middle of