It didn't make sense. It couldn't make sense, It shouldn't make sense! But as she pulled the pieces together she came to several conclusions. The first being that there were just things in this world she didn't know. The second was that friends could be there for you and you might think you know them, but everyone has their secrets.
The third being that the possibility of crossbreeds wasn't that far-fetched, but rare in itself. It took Rainbow snapping her fingers in her face to realize she had been staring blankly for the better of five minutes without responding.
"For starters, I'm not a Magian." Rainbow said, rubbing her arm and lifting her shirt sleeve slightly to reveal a mark of the Ancients. One that all Magian's were born with.
"Then what are you?" Twilight asked without thinking. Rainbow sighed sadly.
"I don't even know really." she admitted, looking around. "Look, I'll tell you what I know, but can we talk somewhere more...Private? People are staring." Rainbow mumbled. The group of friends glanced around, noticing a crowd building.
"Ah think movin' would be a good idea sugarcube." Applejack agreed, giving Twilight a gentle nudge before she fell into another daze. Together they made their way to the Library, where, after Spike had made them all some tea, they sat to talk.
Rainbow stared into her cup, as if she could escape through the light brown liquid. She closed her eyes for a moment, tears starting to stream down her cheeks. Twilight bit her lip, hesitating before putting a hand on her shoulder, causing her to flinch.
"You don't have to explain if you don't want to Rainbow Dash." she said softly.
"N-no. I need to get this off my chest." Rainbow mumbled, wiping the tears away and clearing her throat.
"I was just a kid..."
Ten years Ago
Nightgale sighed as she glanced over her notes, her daughter sitting in her office chair and giggling as she spun around.
"Be careful Dash. I can't have you breaking any bones, this research is important you know." she scolded her. Rainbow pouted, crossing her arms.
"Why do I have to do this? Can't someone else do it?" she whined.
"I already explained Dash...Because you are a growing Avaros your brand of magic is still building and weaving itself into your body. This research has to be done in the middle of that process or the results won't add up to anything!" Nightgale fumed. Rainbow hung her head.
"Sorry..." she mumbled.
"Its alright. As long as you understand. Okay Dash, Open your wings." she ordered. Rainbow sighed and stood, turning her back to her mother and lifting up her ponytail, her small wings coming to life and spreading out. She winced as her mother used a small mana-knife and removed a 'feather'.
"Alright, keep your wings out." she told her, leaving Rainbow standing there and mumbling swears under her breath. Nightgale placed the feather under a microscope, applying a bit of magic to it and watching the results with a grin.
"Just as I thought. No response to conventional methods" she mumbled, scribbling down some notes.
"Okay Rainbow, ready for your treatment?" her mother asked. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up as she gulped.
"D-do we have to?" she asked, her voice shaking.
"Its for the good of science Rainbow. You'll be a hero to injured Skyborn and those with defective wings. All good things in life are earned through hard work and suffering. Now come on." she said as she grabbed her arm.
"NO! I DON'T WANNA!" Rainbow screamed, blinking as her mother slapped her, picking her up and forcing her to lay on her stomach on the operating table. Rainbow kicked and struggled, but her mother simply held her down with her magic while she placed several restraints around her.
"I'll begin the treatment now. It'll be easier if you cooperate Rainbow." Nightgale said softly, holding her hands over her body and chanting softly in the language of the Ancients. Several runes began to mark themselves across Rainbows skin, the Avaros screaming as mana poured into her, her wings twitching and glowing dimly.
Nightgale held a clipboard in her magic, scribbling notes as she continued the process. Rainbow grit her teeth, trying to ignore the pain, trying to pull free of her restraints. Anything. But she was held tightly and there was no escaping. Finally she gave in, sobbing into the pillow that was her only comfort.
"Hm, process still causes pain in subject, but results are what matters." Nightgale said into a recorder. Finally she stopped, picking up her knife once more as she pinched the now fully restored feather. She carefully removed the feather and compared it to the previous one with a smile.
"Yes! I'm a genius! Application of Mana Transference and Binding holds Positive results in Wing/Feather Regrowth and Stabilization. Mana offered: minimal. Mana Maintained: Near maximum. Process almost ready for submission as normal practice." she said happily, turning off the recorder. Rainbow still lay on the table, her face buried in the pillow. Nightgale sighed and crossed her arms.
"It wouldn't be so difficult if you cooperated Rainbow." her mother scolded her. Rainbow said nothing, simply laying there with her face in the pillow.
It wasn't until her body stopped shaking that Nightgale realized her daughter was trying to suffocate herself. In a panic she yanked the pillow away, Rainbow gasping for breath and screaming as she pulled on her restraints.
"I HATE YOU!" she spat, tears stinging her eyes as she flared her wings uselessly. The bindings that held her were built to hold down Gaians. There was no way she'd escape, she knew that. But she was gonna try anyway.
Nightgale sighed, deciding to wait it out. There was no stopping her daughter in the middle of a fit. Eventually she would run out of steam and the Magian would be able to continue her research in peace.
"When you are ready to continue we can begin the Final Stages. I'll leave you to think about your future." Nightgale said as she left the room, her magic undoing the straps that held her daughter. Rainbow curled herself up and hugged her knees to her chest.
"Th-that's awful! That's child abuse!" Twilight yelled. Rainbow nodded slowly.
"Yea, I guess it was..."
"Th-there's more isn't there?" Twilight asked softly. Rainbow nodded again, gripping her cup. Applejack, while trying to be there for her friend, had begun to take notice of several things. The closeness of the two, Twilights concern for her new friend, and the trust Rainbow had given them. She didn't want to make any conclusions, but she kept her eyes open.
"I was born with Defective Wings. My mother being Magian and my Father being born unable to fly at all, it was a wonder I was Skyborn. She was trying to repair my wings as part of her research. At first it was great..." Rainbow admitted, taking a shaky sip of her tea.
"My parents gave me a lot of love and attention then, always asking if I was okay, always trying to do the best they could to give me the future they felt I deserved. But then things went bad, real bad.
"Dad caught some kinda sickness. I dunno what its called. But it was related to his wings and it was spreading through his entire body and eating him from the inside out. My mothers research was the only thing that could save him. So she turned to more drastic measures." Rainbow explained.
"Everyday she would remove the same feather, everyday she'd grow it back and everyday the treatments became more and more painful. She told me it was to save my father, to save my wings and prevent me from getting sick. She said it'd change the world and I'd be a hero for all of my suffering. She didn't say what it'd cost me." Rainbow squeezed her cup so hard it cracked.
She sniffed as she sat up, placing a hand on her sore cheek. She expected to feel a bruise or a bump. But there was nothing. Just the memory of being hit. She grabbed her mothers chair, using it to stand up high enough to look at herself in a mirror on the wall.
Sure enough she was perfectly fine, despite how hard she'd been hit. She peeked over her shoulder, looking at her wings. Each day they seemed stronger, and even though her mother always stole a feather, it seemed like she hadn't lost a single one.
"Is this the point of all this?" Rainbow asked herself, staring at her reflection. She jumped as her mother burst into the room, looking about frantically and snatching her in her magical grip.
"I've got to hurry! They are coming for my notes, for everything! I can't let them destroy it! I've come too far!" she yelled in frustration. She glanced at her daughter, seeing the glowing mark on her back.
"There's only one way...They can destroy my notes, but they can't destroy my proof, my evidence, my accomplishments!" She giggled uncontrollably, holding Rainbow in the air as the room grew dark.
She struggled to break free of her mothers magical grip, but once again it was pointless. A losing battle. She closed her eyes and clenched her fists.
"Just get it over with already!" Rainbow yelled.
"This will be the final treatment...after this..." Nightgale paused, never finishing the sentence as she returned to her chanting. A flame came to life on Rainbows left, shaped like a portion of her mothers marking, then another, and another, all swirling around her faster and faster.
Nightgale grit her teeth as an arcane circle spread about around her, another underneath Rainbow, linking them together. A group of scientists burst into the room as the spell intensified, blowing papers around the room which echoed with Nightgales' chanting.
"STOP HER!" one of them yelled. Stepping forward and glaring as a hand stopped him
"If we stop her now we risk killing both of them!" another argued. Nightgale allowed herself a grin. She would have her last hurrah. Her head flung back as the mana began to drain out of her body, Rainbow screaming as it sunk into her skin, drawing patterns and carving its way through her entire being.
Slowly a marking came to life upon her shoulder as her body spasmed, eyes wide and glowing brightly. In an instant it was over, Rainbow falling to the ground as her mother collapsed. Rainbow groaned as someone lifted her, a sad smile touching her lips as her father came into focus.
"I'm so sorry...if I had known..." he pulled her close. She wrapped her arms gently around him, sobs building in her throat as she listened to him wheeze painfully with every breath. Out of the corner of her eye she could see the scientists studying her mother who lay on her side, her skin clinging to her bones.
"Look...at her..." Nightgale wheezed, pointing a bony finger at her daughter.
"See...what my research...has proven?" she chuckled weakly as her arm fell.
"Someone call in the med-team and then security. Blitz, you good to go?" the scientist asked her father. He nodded as he stood, carrying Rainbow.
"We'll get her looked at and taken care of." he promised her father. He answered with another nod, following behind them slowly.
"D-Dad...I-I just wanted to help you..." Rainbow choked. He smiled softly as he continued on.
"I know Dash...But nothing is worth this...Its gonna be okay though. Everything is gonna be okay." he promised, kissing her forehead.
She leaned against him, still held in his arms as a Doctor brought a wheelchair for her father to sit in. The two of them being quietly carted away. Rainbow caught one last sight of her mother, a blanket being pulled over her body.
"It wasn't until they did some tests that they figured out what she did. She took all of her magic, everything that made her a Magian, and gave it to me. Forced it to be a part of who I am in order to preserve her research. To prove that stupid Avaros-Mana theory. Every stupid Magian I met after that just wanted to do test after test after test. It started to feel like my time with mom...I couldn't take it anymore!" Rainbow yelled, tears dripping into her tea.
"And the worst part was...none of it was worth anything! My dad passed away and I was left with nothing! Nothing but stupid Magian jerks looking for a test subject!" she screamed, blinking as Twilight hugged her. Her other friends soon joined the hug. Applejack hugging her from the side and Pinkie from behind. Rainbow swallowed the lump in her throat.
"I ran. I ran as far away as I could to get away from them. None of them could catch me. My wings were too strong and because of my size I was too quick. I thought everything would be fine if I could escape."
She blinked as a young girl slammed headfirst into her.
"OUTTA MY WAY!" the girl screamed, flaring her impressive wings and trying to get past her. She spun, catching the girl by the back of her neck and pinching lightly, causing her wings to fade away and the girl to drop to the ground. The girl jumped to her feet, gritting her teeth as she tried to open her wings, surprising her by actually making them flicker.
"You've got spunk kid." she chuckled.
"Don't call me kid, lady!" she pouted.
"Alright then, what should I call you? How about rude?" she teased. The girl crossed her arms.
"The name is Rainbow Dash. Learn it."
"Alright then Rainbow Dash. You can call me Spitfire. Now, why are you flying around in a hospital?" she asked.
"Those stupid Magian jerks just wanna poke and prod me and use me for their experiments. I've had enough of it!" Rainbow yelled, the wall next to her cracking as she threw out her arm.
Interesting... Spitfire thought to herself, crossing her arms.
"Well, just ask your parents to get you out of here." Spitfire said matter-of-factly. Rainbow instantly fell silent, hanging her head.
"They can't get me out of here, even if they had wanted to. They're dead." Rainbow spat. Spitfire flinched.
Smooth, real smooth. Way to screw with a kid she scolded herself.
"Ya know, they can't legally keep you here without a guardian or family member. They should've at least sent you to an orphanage, but instead they keep you here to study? That's just lame. Come on kid." she said, grabbing Rainbows hand and pulling gently. Rainbow panicked, screaming in sheer terror.
"NO! NO MORE! NO MORE!" she screamed frantically. Spitfire froze, staring at the child as she let go. Rainbow tucked herself into a corner and curled up, rocking back and forth slowly as she stared into empty space.
"What did they do to you?" Spitfire asked under her breath. She clenched her fist and picked the girl up, carrying her in her arms as she headed for the front desk.
"I want to see your supervisor. NOW!" she demanded. The woman at the desk nodded frantically, stumbling over herself to grab the phone.
"S-supervisor to front desk please!" she stammered. Spitfire stood there with Rainbow curled up against her.
"Please mommy...no more..." the girl cried against her. Spitfire held her tighter.
"Its okay kid...I promise, its gonna be okay." she said softly.
"Th-that's a lie...they always say it's gonna be okay...right before they leave me...that's just how he left me..." Rainbow choked. Spitfire groaned internally.
Sweet Celestia this kid has problems. Just what kind of facility is this? Maybe I should rescue Soarin too... She was snapped out of her thoughts by the arrival of the supervisor.
"Oh thank goodness you found her." he sighed in relief as he reached for Rainbow. Spitfire stepped back, clutching Rainbow close and almost reaching for the pistol strapped to her waist before realizing she had left it at the entrance of the hospital.
"Hold up bub, just what the heck are you doing to this kid? I grabbed her hand and she had a damn panic attack so bad I thought she was dying!" Spitfire screamed at him.
"If you'll allow me to explain. The poor girl is suffering deeply, we are trying everything we can to help her but...there's nothing we can do at this point. If you'll come with me I can give you the details." he promised. Spitfire sighed.
"Fine, but she stays with me doc." she said, not giving him a chance to argue.
"She seems comfortable with you, I wouldn't want to ruin that, despite what she might think of us." he said, agreeing with the arrangement. Spitfire smiled a little as the girl began to snore softly in her arms. She accepted an offered seat, sitting the girl in her lap and wrapping an arm around her.
"Now then, as for Miss Dash's condition...Its something none of us have been able to truly explain. I suppose its best if you see it for yourself." he said, scooting his chair towards them, Spitfire glaring at him.
"Yes well...lift her right sleeve and you'll see for yourself." he said, backing away. She lifted the sleeve and stared, unable to understand what it was she was looking at. She had seen the girl fly, she had Nullified her to stop her from hurting herself or someone else. The girl was clearly Skyborn and as hotblooded as one. So why in the name of Celestia did she have a Magian marking?
"Start talkin', fast." Spitfire demanded. The good doctor did his best to explain, telling all he knew of Rainbows mother and the horrible experiments she had done and of the final nail in the coffin.
"She bound all of her magic to this girl. Her very life-force. And now...if we don't find a way to keep her from using that magic, it will kill her." he finished. Spitfire closed her eyes for a moment.
"I'll do it." she said softly.
"Excuse me?" he questioned her, adjusting his glasses
"I said I'll do it. Look, you're a hospital full of Magian Doctors. Sure, you've studied us Skyborn, but you don't know what its like being us. On top of that she doesn't trust any of you because you keep jamming your damn needles in her. So I'll do it. Just get the paperwork done."
"Ma'am, I can't just simply release this girl to you!"
"Look pal, I spend my afternoons cracking jokes with Princess motherfucking Celestia and I will drag her big round ass down here if I have to. Don't think I won't damn it."she threatened.
He sighed, sliding over to a large cabinet, looking through the many folders until he found the one he needed. A quick double check of its contents and the file was placed on the table and flipped open.
"Sign here and she'll be in your care. We will need to perform checkups and attempt to apply a dampener so she doesn't cast any spells."
"Yea, yea, yea. Gimmie a pen."
Rainbow opened her eyes slowly, finding herself staring at a ceiling she didn't recognize. She looked around slowly. The room she was in felt...strange. No beeping of machines strapped to her, no Doctors moving about, no irritating smell or itchy gown. She sat up slowly, a large comforter falling off of her.
"Oh good, you're awake." a voice said. She turned suddenly, finding the woman she had run into before. Rainbow leapt to her feet, her wings flaring to life and her eyes glowing dimly
"You! Why did you stop me?! I was almost free!" she yelled, her voice echoing through the mana in the air. Spitfire walked over to her slowly, flaring out her own wings and causing Rainbow to stare.
"Relax kid." she said softly, kneeling in front of her. Rainbow slowly relaxed, taking a hesitant step forward, and then another, throwing herself into Spitfire and hugging her. She blinked, slowly wrapping her arms around the kid.
"It took some arguing, and some cards I don't like pulling. But I got you outta that place."
"S-So...I'm not trapped in a hospital? Where am I?" she asked, looking around.
"You're at my place kid. Oh come on, don't tell me you've never been in a cloudhouse before?" Spitfire chuckled. Rainbow shook her head.
"My dad was born flightless and my mom was a Magian..." she shuddered, gripping Spitfires' shirt without realizing it. Spitfire smiled.
"Heh, well, how about I show you around then?" she said, trying to cheer her up.
"S-sure..." Rainbow said softly. Spitfire stood, holding out her hand. Rainbow stared at it for a moment, hesitating before taking hold of it and following her caretaker out of the room.
Past the door was a massive hallway with several doors on either side, carefully crafted from the finest cloudblocks and pieced together by the best that the Skyborn had to offer. Enchanted lights clung to the walls ever so often, keeping the entire place lit up as they walked
"Whoa..." Rainbow mumbled.
"Heh, this is just a hallway kid, the best part is around the corner." Spitfire grinned, leading her there. Past that corner was a large room, bookshelves on the left and right, full of flight manuals, comics and romance novels. A pair of recliner chairs sat about the room with an end table next to each and a larger table in the middle of the room. Under the large table sat several boardgames.
"Wow. This is so cool!" Rainbow cheered as she ran about the room. Spitfire smiled as she watched the girl run about. Soarin peeked his head around the corner, shirtless with bandages around his chest and gut.
"So this is where you ran off to." he chuckled, wincing as Spitfire poked his ribs.
"Shhh." she scolded him, but it was too late. He had caught Rainbows attention. She raised an eyebrow as she looked up at him, holding a random comic book in her hands. He offered her a sheepish smile.
"Uh...hey" he said, waving nervously. Rainbow stayed silent, trying to figure out if she could trust him. Spitfire chuckled quietly.
"Told ya Soarin, kids aren't your thing."
"Oh come on, kids love me" he argued.
"Yea, you tell yourself that." she grinned, glancing back at Rainbow.
"You can use this room whenever ya want kid." Spitfire said with a smile.
"Really?" she asked excitedly. Spitfire nodded and blinked as Rainbow hugged her legs.
"Looks like you're pretty good with kids." Soarin grinned, earning another poke to his bandaged ribs. Normally it would've been a punch, but after his injury she had started going easy on him. The moment was broken by Rainbows' stomach growling loudly.
"Sounds like its lunchtime." Soarin said.
"Pfft, its always lunchtime for you." Spitfire argued, grabbing Rainbows hand.
"Never a bad time to eat." he replied with a wink to Rainbow who couldn't help but giggle.
"Heh, told ya I'm good with kids." he said smugly. Spitfire shook her head.
"Come on, I'll show you the kitchen. Despite being a complete idiot, Soarin is a really good cook. And don't worry, he's one of us kid." she winked, watching as Rainbow let out a breath of relief.
Someday she'd have to get her use to being around Magians again. They were impossible to avoid and not all of them were bad. They just had a need for knowledge and a need for understanding that sometimes went too far.
Way too far in this case, poor kid... she thought to herself. Rainbow felt dizzy as they walked, her head constantly swiveling left and right.
"Its like one big maze!" the girl gasped, her voice echoing.
"You get use to it. Besides, check this out." Spitfire tapped her knuckle on the wall, several lines appearing, each leading a different way.
"Each of these is like a map around the place. Lines like this, mean Bathrooms."
"Bathrooms? Like more than one?" Rainbow asked.
"Well when we have a Military Ball or the like we've gotta host it somewhere and ya gotta have bathrooms."
"Military?" Rainbow asked slowly. Spitfire blinked, looking at the girl. Did she not know? What kind of Skyborn didn't know about the Wonderbolts? It was like she'd been on the ground her whole...
It hit her like a ton of bricks. Her father was born flightless and the disease was hereditary. Rainbow had probably never been a few feet off the ground. She ran a hand through her hair, trying to think of how to explain. Luckily Soarin came to the rescue.
"Ya see kid, me an Spitfire here work for the Princess. You could say we're like Superheroes. We kick bad guy butt and show off our skills for all of Terra to see. They call us the Wonderbolts." he said with a grin.
"The Wonderbolts? That sounds kinda cool. So you guys are super heroes? Is that why you saved me?" Rainbow asked with a smile.
"No Rainbow. I saved you because you deserved it." Spitfire said softly, pulling her into a hug. Rainbow blinked, tears stinging her eyes as she leaned against her. Soarin smiled, letting them have their moment as he headed for the kitchen, twirling a pan in his hand and humming softly.
"Pancakes are a good lunch for kids right?" he thought aloud as he spun two eggs in his other hand, cracking them on the edge of a bowl. Spitfire and Rainbow walked into the kitchen, the younger of which stared with wide eyes. Spitfire smiled, pulling a stool up to the island that sat in the middle and hefting the girl up onto it.
"This place is amazing. Is it like your headquarters or somethin?" Rainbow asked.
"You could say that. Its where we stay when off duty. If we're doin a show or have a mission we stay wherever." Soarin explained.
"Wow...must be pretty cool." she mumbled.
"You know whats really cool. The way you flew through that crowded hallway." Spitfire chuckled.
"I've never seen a rookie fly like that. It was like nothin could touch you." she continued.
"I'm not that great. I was just running." Rainbow continued to mumble.
"Heck, if that's crap flying I'd love to see you really fly." Spitfire grinned.
"Flying is dangerous. My wings might give out at any second." she sighed sadly.
"Wow, those Doctors didn't tell you?" Spitfire asked.
"Tell me what?"
"Dash. Open your wings." Spitfire said softly. Rainbow flashed back to her mother asking the same thing and screamed, falling off her stool. Soarin reacted on instinct, leaping over the island and flaring out his wings, flipping in the air as he snatched Rainbow before she could hit the ground. Spitfire sighed in relief, her nerves on edge and her heart racing.
"I'm so sorry." Spitfire said quietly. Rainbow leaned against Soarin, who held back a wince as she pressed against his bandages, which he had torn clean through with his wings. On top of that, his little stunt had probably torn his stitches.
Sonuvabitch. Ah well. he grumbled mentally. Rainbow snapped back to reality when she felt blood on her hand, slowly moving her hand to look at it. She looked down at herself and realized she was perfectly fine. Slowly her eyes traveled to the soaked bandages her savior was wearing.
"Y-You're hurt..." she stammered.
"Ah its no big deal. Life of a super hero, tough as nails, protector of the weak, spinner of rooms. Wait, rooms don't spin...uh...Spitfire?" he turned to her, seeing she already had her first aid kit. He chuckled softly, setting Rainbow Down and pulling over a chair to sit in.
"You should probably look away kid. Its not pretty." he said. Rainbow stood in place and watched as the bandages were removed, revealing a large gash across Soarins' chest above two lines of stitches.
"Wh-what happened?" she gulped.
"Eh, there was this rampaging Ursa tearing up a town and we got called in to sedate it. It put up one hell of a fight. We tried tranq guns but none of us could get a good shot in. Someone was gonna have to go in close and get it in the neck. Anywhere else would just piss it off. OW! Damn that stings!" he groaned as Spitfire dabbed witch hazel over his wound.
"Well its gonna sting. Geez your an idiot..."
"But I'm your idiot." he teased. She rolled her eyes, chucking a cotton-ball at his head.
"Anyway. Spitfire bein' the fastest, she volunteered to keep it distracted so one of us could take it down. Fleetfoot went in for the kill and I hung back as backup. But then Spitfire got pinned down in a group of trees and couldn't get out of the way of the Ursa. So I did what any hero would do." he grinned.
"You beat up the Ursa?" Rainbow asked. He shook his head and laughed.
"Kid, no one can beat up an Ursa. Those things are huge! Took two whole teams of Skyborn with industrial grade cloudblock to move the thing. No. I did the other thing heroes do. I flew to the rescue." he winced as Spitfire began stitching him back together, Rainbow grabbing his hand and squeezing it gently. He smiled, returning the squeeze.
"I did a quick fly by and knocked her out of the way before it could get her. Of course, that meant now it was gonna get me. Fleetfoot was quick, but the Ursa was quicker. It managed to slash straight through my suit and through a couple layers of skin before Fleet knocked it out. Spitfire flew me straight to the hospital so fast that I didn't even hit the ground." he said with a smile.
"You're still an idiot." she mumbled.
"Still your idiot." he replied, another cotton-ball pegging his head. Rainbow giggled at their antics.
"Wow, you guys are so brave..."
"Hey, you're brave too kid. Cooped up in that hospital and still got the strength to fly like a pro? That took guts." Soarin said, lightly punching her shoulder. Rainbow smiled, rubbing the spot and feeling the Magian Mark. Spitfire noticed as Rainbows smile faded away.
"Hey Kid, can I see your wings?" Soarin asked, saving Spitfire the trouble of trying again. Rainbow flinched and nodded, her wings instantly coming to life.
"Whoa! Look how fast they open!" Soarin chuckled.
"Man, those are some mean lookin' wings. I bet you could outrun sunlight on those babies." he continued. Rainbow looked over her shoulder, eyes wide as she realized he wasn't joking. Her normal puny wings were now quite a bit larger, stretching past her arm length easily. She had never noticed before, always too focused on trying to escape.
"H-How the..." Rainbow looked up at Spitfire.
"The doctors told me that whatever your mom did, it saved you and your wings. But that it was horrible. I can't pretend to understand what it was like, but if you need me..."
"Or me. Just sayin." Soarin added, earning a glare from Spitfire.
"I'll always be here for you." she promised. Rainbow hung her head, gripping Soarins hand tightly
"Y-You promise?" she asked as she shook.
"We promise." they said together. Rainbow looked up at them, seeing smiles and truth in their eyes. Slowly she let a smile touch her lips.
"Wow Dashie. I didn't know you were adopted by the Wonderbolts! that's amazing!" Pinkie giggled.
"Yea. It was just Spitfire that took me in. Soarin was kinda like an uncle. I still had a lot of problems to sort through...still kinda do. After everything I went through, every time I see a Magian it just flips this switch that screams and tells me to run away. That they are dangerous and just want to hurt me or finish their damn experiment." Rainbow sighed.
"And then you came to town Twilight and my first thought was that you were sent here to come after me."
"Is that why you tackled me into the mud?" Twilight asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Uh...wasn't going for the mud actually. I thought you'd use some magic to stop me like they always did. When you didn't I thought maybe I was just being paranoid and freaked out that I'd tackled some innocent person."
"Actually, that's something else I meant to ask Rainbow...I know its not right of me to be asking you things after what you went through, but..."
"Twi', its alright. You can ask." Rainbow assured her.
"How did you know I was a Magian?" Twilight asked. Rainbow scratched the back of her head.
"Well, its kinda hard to explain. Mostly it was the way you walked, but I could feel your magic." Rainbow tried to explain. Twilight bit her lip, desperate to know more. But she couldn't put her friend in that position. Rainbow smiled, noticing Twilights' dilemma
"All Magians are the same in that way. Always wanting to know more. But not all of em are bad" Rainbow quoted. Twilight just stared in confusion.
"It's somethin' Spitfire would tell me when she was trying to get me to go to school. Heh, those were some fun times..." Rainbow chuckled.
"It must have been amazing living with them after what you'd been through." Twilight said.
"Yea...until they had to go back on Duty."
"Shit. Shit shit shit shit shit." Spitfire said over and over again as she read the letter.
"Whats up?" Soarin asked, freezing in place as he spotted the letter.
"We gotta suit up." Spitfire said, barely above a whisper.
"Today? Right Now</i>?! But the kid!" Soarin argued.
"I know! Damnit..." Spitfire sighed as she tried to think.
"We can't take her with us, not for this. There's been terrorist activities growing in several key cities. Several casualties and bombings. They think they've pinpointed the leader and want us to go in undercover and snag him." Spitfire told him, handing him the letter.
"This is bullshit. What about Fleet and Tank?" he asked.
"On guard duty in Celamont. There was an assassination attempt on the Princess remember?" Spitfire sat, putting her head in her hands.
"What do we tell her? Where can she go?" Soarin asked.
"I don't know Soarin...but this is gonna break her heart. What if she hates us for it?" Spitfire asked, tears in her eyes. Soarin knelt in front of her, grabbing her hands
"Hey, hey. That kid loves you more than anything, I'm sure if we explain it that she'll understand." Soarin said softly.
"Why did it have to be today?" Spitfire cried.
"I'll go." Soarin said.
"I'll go it solo. You watch the kid." he told her.
"You idiot, you know we can't go solo on missions, especially something like this."
"Never stopped you." he grinned, blinking as she stood.
"This is serious Soarin. I ran a few covert ops solo, sure. But I was never seen. This is going into the belly of the beast itself and being out in the open. One wrong move and you'd be dead. I'm not gonna lose you damnit!"
"I-Is everything okay?" Rainbow asked, standing in the doorway. She held a toy turtle in the crook of her arm and was dressed in a Wonderbolts onesie, wiping the sleep out of her eyes.
"H-Hey Dash. Y-Yea, everything's fine." Soarin said, Spitfire covering her mouth and turning away as a sob built in her throat.
"Why's she crying? Did something happen?"
"Well, uh....Dash I dunno how to say this...We got called for a mission."
"Oh, c-cause you're superheros r-right?" Rainbow asked.
"Yea...its a really important mission. A lot of lives depend on us doing well and its gonna be really really dangerous."
"I'm not going with you...am I?" Rainbow asked softly, hugging her turtle.
"Sorry Squirt...too dangerous, even for someone as awesome as you. But hey, when we get back I'm gonna bring you the worlds biggest souvenir I can find, even if I have to carry it myself." he said softly. Rainbow nodded glumly and hung her head.
"C-Can I still stay here?" she asked.
"I'll see what I can do about that. Since you're still a kid you'd need someone to watch you here. Not my rule of course, you're a bit too awesome for a babysitter." Soarin chuckled, getting her to giggle. Spitfire sniffed and shook her head.
"Will you be back in time for my birthday party?" Rainbow asked.
"I...I dunno Dash. I want to, so badly. We've been looking forward to this ever since we found out when it was. Spitfire had the whole thing planned out. But we'll still celebrate it, the second we get home. We'll get some big ol' tubs of ice cream and have a huge party."
"On my life and honor as a Wonderbolt." he said as he hugged her. She leaned against him and closed her eyes.
"Ok then...b-but I want the vanilla." She said into his shoulder. He chuckled.
"Alright, you can have the vanilla this time." he stood, ruffling her hair and turning to Spitfire who was frantically talking on her phone.
"You're the best. Okay, she'll be at our place. Just look for the bundle of joy near the comics. A-and she likes her bath with not too many bubbles, and won't eat her veggies unless you give her a handful of candy. Okay, okay. I know, okay, thanks." She hung up and sighed, blinking as Soarin put a hand on her shoulder
"Whats up?" he asked.
"My Sister says she can watch after her while we're gone. But Dash will have to go stay with her since its too far of a flight here to keep checking in on her." Spitfire explained.
"Heh, hear that Dash? You're gonna get to stay with a Wonderbolt legend." Soarin chuckled.
"A Wonderbolt legend?" she asked.
"Yup. She was our commanding officer during our training. They call her Firefly."