An Entwining of Hearts
Rainbow Dash evened her expression as she raced through the skies high above Ponyville. The rush she acquired from speeding through the clouds near her top velocity was like nothing else. It made her feel truly alive. It made her feel like nothing could stop her. There were no limits, no walls that could contain her. There was just the boundless blue of the sky, and it was hers and hers alone.
Flight was Dash's greatest escape from everything that bugged her, but somehow, on that particular day, it just wasn't quite enough. There were a lot of confusing thoughts swirling in the young pegasus' head of late. Seasons had come and past since Twilight had first come to Ponyville and Dash had joined her and their other friends in saving Equestria from Nightmare Moon. Things had surely changed for all of them since then. Things had definitely changed for Dash.
She had done it. She had performed the Sonic Rainboom once again, recapturing that miraculous day in her youth which had bizarrely somehow effected her friends as well. Not only that, but Dash had successfully befriended some of her heroes, The Wonderbolts. Sure, she wasn't a member or anything, but she had hung out with Soarin' and Spitfire a couple times now... even if the time at the Gala had ended kinda badly and she hadn't heard much from them since then.
Really, she had every right to be incredibly happy. In being recognized by The Wonderbolts and pulling off the Rainboom a second time, she had completed two of her key life goals. For some reason, Dash felt like something was still missing. Something felt kind of empty. It was like the things she had worked so hard for weren't nearly as fulfilling as she had thought they might be. For once she was aimless. She didn't know where to go next. The free blue sky, suddenly felt just a little too big.
Her friends helped. Thanks to them, she was able to laugh and smile and be her usual self. The magic of friendship was definitely powerful. As she flew through the skies, her thoughts drifted to the five ponies she was closest with. She valued them all considerably and each in a different way. Applejack was something of a rival but deep down probably her firmest friend, Pinkie Pie was her perennial prank partner, and though she hadn't known her that long, Twilight had proven herself time and again as somepony Dash could truly count on, even if she was a major bookworm. Fluttershy was oversensitive to the point that it taxed Dash's limited patience, but the two of them went way back so Dash kind of liked to think she had an understanding of her fellow pegasus.
However, on the subject of the sixth pony in their group, Dash wasn't quite sure how to feel at all. She didn't understand that unicorn, not in the slightest. Fluttershy was completely different from her, but Dash could at least wrap her head around Fluttershy. She was the way she was because she was timid, soft spoken and gentle natured. Rarity was none of those things, and yet she was as different from Dash as Fluttershy was. No, Rarity was a completely different story. She could remember with clarity the Young Flyers' Competition they both competed in. Rarity's behavior then was so very bizarre to her. It had truly grated on her nerves. The unicorn had shown off, stolen the spotlight, and acted particularly pompous and full of herself.
However, if she hadn't, none of it would have happened. It was because of Rarity that Dash had pulled herself out of one of the darker places she had ever found herself in. If it wasn't for the unicorn, Dash wouldn't have been able to find that burst of speed again. If it wasn't for Rarity she wouldn't have had won the competition and subsequently met the Wonderbolts. Thinking such things just confused Dash further on the issue.
Her thoughts were muddled as she continued to fly over Ponyville. She was so far from focus that she didn't see a gray and yellow blur flying toward her, almost dead on. It was thus quite a shock when a heavy, overstuffed mail bag suddenly smashed into her face. Completely disoriented and barely even conscious, Rainbow Dash began to spiral rapidly downward into an inevitable crash.
Rarity hummed quietly to herself at her work station within Carousel Boutique. She was keeping herself busy filling an order for dresses she had received recently. Working usually soothed Rarity. Only when she was free to unleash the true depths of her inner artist did she ever feel truly free and alive. The tools of her trade in hand, a good design in her mind, she honestly felt there was nothing that could get in her way. She was set free into the world of fashion, where she ruled as queen. It was exhilarating.
Or it usually was. On that particular day, things were a little different. It wasn't that these orders were any less special than any other. No, Rarity just wasn't in the mood. She couldn't explain it either, her boundless energy for creativity just wasn't there. She felt strangely lonely. So much had been happening of late. Ever since Twilight came to them it had been one adventure after the other. In that time, something had changed for Rarity as surely something had changed for all of them.
She had accomplished quite a lot in this spread of time. Her designs had caught the eye of both Hoity Toity and Sapphire Shores. As a result, orders were now flying in like never before. Carousel Boutique was well on its way to being one of the absolute premier dress shops in all of Equestria. Her star was on the upward rise, to say the very least.
She truly should have just been happy. She had the right to be. But there was something... something lingering in Rarity's heart she didn't understand. An emptiness. She supposed the incident with the prince still hung particularly heavy in her heart. The dreams of her perfect stallion, the dreams of her becoming a princess, they were all shattered now by that jerk of a prince. She had mistakenly let herself fall completely in love with what turned out to be just an idea. Now she was aware that her perfect stallion was a myth. She was strong, she wasn't going to let a jerk like that truly get to her, but it would be a lie to say she wasn't completely unaffected. Ever since that night, it had been just a little harder to tap into her world of creativity.
At the very least she had been rewarded with some of the best friends a pony could ever wish for. They made even the difficult things so much easier. Rarity sighed as she continued to work and began to think to think about them all. A few communications breakdowns aside, her spa partner Fluttershy was probably her closest friend, she felt a definite kinship with Twilight Sparkle as another unicorn, and she found Pinkie Pie's downright odd behavior most endearing, even if she wasn't the most fashionable pony Rarity had ever come across. Since the sleepover with Twilight, Rarity had even found an understanding and respect for Applejack. She had seldom a thing in common with the messy, unrefined earth pony, but she had seen first hand that there was a lot to admire with that silly pony.
However, Rarity was simply confused on the subject of Rainbow Dash. She simply didn't understand that pegasus. Maybe they just hadn't spent enough time together? Rarity wasn't sure. Applejack was her polar opposite, but Rarity could at least now sort of understand where that pony was coming from. She came from a large family where hard work was expected; she pushed herself because it was what had always been required and expected of her. Dash wasn't the same; she pushed herself harder than anypony rightly should, but Rarity hadn't the foggiest idea why. She could remember oh so clearly the Young Flyers' Competition they both competed in. Rarity had behaved herself like an ignorant fool.
She was still ashamed of how she had acted that day. Yet bad behavior wasn't even the worst of it; she had not only acted in a manner as contemptible as that snobbish prince, but she had nearly gotten herself and others killed. It was Rainbow Dash she owed her life to. Even after how she had behaved, her friend had pushed herself past her limits, no, past the limits of speed itself, to charge to her rescue. Rarity couldn't understand that most of all. Since then, whenever her mind had lingered on Rainbow Dash, the best flier in all of Equestria, Rarity had felt something strange in her heart. Something she didn't understand. Something that kind of scared her.
Rarity looked down and noticed the dress she was making was ruined. Her thoughts had wandered too far and as a result she had completely lost her focus. Damn. She would have to start this one completely over now. She gave a prolonged sigh and turned from her work station. That was when, suddenly, it happened.
Right before Rarity's eyes one of her windows was blown in, something large being thrown through it with immense force. Rarity blinked, not understanding at first what it was. After a moment, she realized it was a pony. After two more moments, she realized it was her friend.
"Oh dear," she said as she rushed to Rainbow Dash's side. "R-Rainbow Dash? Are you okay?"
Rainbow Dash lifted her head slowly, it swaying from side to side, her eyes moving erratically as if trying in vain to focus themselves as she looked up at Rarity.
"R-Rar...ity..." The pegasus struggled to speak. She shook her head vigorously to regain her senses and forced herself to stand up.
"Thank goodness... you look unharmed," said Rarity with a sigh. She noticed Dash's face looked kind of bruised. "For the most part..."
"Yeah," said Dash, still a little disoriented. "I'm a little more used to crashing than I'd care to admit...." She gave a feeble laugh.
"What happened?" Rarity asked, concerned. She began to use her magic to gather up the pieces of the broken window and move them safely out of the way.
"Somepony flew directly by me... and whatever they were carrying collided directly with my face," said Dash, flinching as she felt her face with a hoof. "It still kind of hurts..."
"How utterly careless of them," said Rarity, shaking her head in disapproval. "Some ponies never learn, I suppose." Despite this, Rarity had to wonder why an accomplished flyer like Rainbow Dash wouldn't be able to avoid any obstacle. It really just wasn't like her.
"Yeah... well," Dash started with noticeable awkwardness. Dash really did seem to be in an off mood. Rarity couldn't help but ponder why. "Sorry for disturbing you. I better get back to flying..."
The unicorn's heart fell at these words. She hadn't been prepared to see Dash, especially not like this, but even so she was still affected. She stepped toward the pegasus. She wasn't even entirely sure why, but at that moment she desperately wanted the other pony to stay.
"Wait... umm... Dash... since you're already here..." she said, a blush appearing on her face. "Perhaps you'd stay a while. I'd very much appreciate the company..."
"Oh..." Dash started, her expression becoming even more uneasy. "Well... I don't know..." She backed up a little, looking painfully unsure. Her eyes moved rapidly away from Rarity and to her work station, where the ruined dress still lie. "It looks to me like you have a lot of work to do..."
"Nonsense," Rarity insisted boldly. If Dash had lost her confidence, she'd just have to find her own. "That can wait. Friends always come first."
"I'm not sure I want to impose..." Dash said, still looking quite anxious. The two of them didn't have much in common. Rarity had in the past tried to do things like give Dash one of her famous makeovers, and never had that gone over particularly well. She remembered in particular the day of the parasprite infestation. Dash had protested quite loudly then. She supposed it was only natural the pony was a little wary of spending time with her alone.
"Then perhaps you could assist me with some of my work, if that's more comfortable for you?" Rarity flashed a hopeful smile.
"I can't sew or anything like that... I'm sure you know that," the tomboy pegasus said, clearly apprehensive.
"No, no, it isn't anything like that, silly." Rarity shook her head. "I want you to model for me. That's all..."
"M-model?" Rainbow Dash spoke, cringing noticeably as she said the word. "I'm not so sure about that, Rarity... Your dresses are beautiful... but I'm not sure I'm the right pony for the job."
"Oh, but this isn't a dress!" Rarity suddenly pulled the piece in question toward them with her telekinesis.
"Isn't that...?" Dash spoke as she stared at it. It was a suit for a stallion, a dark black in color. "This is cool! I didn't know your shop did stuff like this."
"I haven't done much like it in the past," said Rarity. "But this order comes from a close friend of Hoity Toity who was most impressed with my designs. A true Canterlot gentlecolt. I can't very well refuse him." Rarity gave a firm nod. "Besides, a true designer should never limit herself."
"I see," Dash replied blankly. "So what did you want me for?"
"Well, as we've established, I haven't done many suits like this before. I'm having trouble finishing it in a way that satisfies me creatively." Rarity closed her eyes for a moment and gave a mild sigh. "I was thinking, perhaps if I had a model try it on, I might have an easier time perfecting my vision."
"Well... I don't know," Rainbow Dash said, her face turning slightly red.
"Come now. What's a simple favor between friends?" Rarity asked, smiling softly as she did.
"Alright... I guess I wouldn't mind too much." Dash shrugged and gave a short nod.
"Wonderful!" started an excited Rarity. "Stand still, now..."
"Er..." Dash opened her mouth to speak, surprised to see the suit flying toward her without any further warning. Rarity gave a laugh. This would be fun.
Hastily, Rarity used her magic to insert Dash into the suit. After just a few moments, it was done. Rarity took a step back to observe. Her eyes widened. Dash looked perfect like this. She supposed that shouldn't be too surprising, considering the pegasus' tomboy personality, but it just looked so right. Rarity's blush returned. Maybe it looked too good?
"So... uh... how do I look?" Dash asked, looking more uncomfortable than ever.
"Simply exceptional!" Rarity enthusiastically replied, perhaps more enthusiastic than she should have been. "I'd say you, Dash, look absolutely... dashing!" She laughed gleefully at her own terrible pun, still smiling.
"It's not all that comfortable." Dash blushed just a little as she tried to stretch her wings under the suit. "Especially in the wing area..."
"Well, the client isn't a pegasus like you, Dash," Rarity explained with an accompanying nod. "Still, this won't take long. I know exactly what finishing touches I want to implement now."
"Great, so I can take it off then?" Dash asked, clearly eager.
"For a moment," said Rarity in a low voice. "But can I ask you to stay around to try it on when it'd done. I'd rather like to see you in the final product..."
"Uh... sure." Dash spoke very slowly, uneasiness in her eyes. "I don't really mind."
"Excellent!" Rarity called out. "Now then..."
She stepped forward and began to help her friend out of the suit. Something about removing clothes from Dash made her smile a little excessively. After a few minutes, the suit was off. Rarity took it back over to her work station and began gathering her creative tools.
"This will take but a second!" Rarity spoke with confidence.
She smiled and began to work quickly. Sewing in some small flourishes and flares where she could. The final product was already crystal clear in Rarity's mind; it really didn't take that long for her to realize it. After just a few minutes, Rarity was satisfied she had achieved another brilliant success.
"It's done!" Rarity declared proudly, holding the finished suit up for the other pony to see.
"Heh." Dash laughed. "It really is kind of cool seeing you work. You sure are good at this stuff."
"It's my passion, Dash," said Rarity with a mild blush. "I can assure you that you're even more incredible to behold engaged in yours."
"You mean flight?" Dash asked, finally breaking into a more usual level of excitement. "I am pretty great, aren't I?"
"Certainly." The unicorn smiled, fondness in her eyes. "That day I said before Princess Celestia herself that you were the best flyer in all of Equestria. I truly meant what I said too."
"Whoa...." Dash started earnestly, her entire face reddening. "Thanks, Rarity. T-that really means a lot!"
"You deserve the praise, Dash," Rarity said, giving a simple nod. She turned back to the suit she had finished "Now, let's get you back in this thing..."
"Cool," Rainbow Dash chimed eagerly, still smiling from the compliment. Rarity helped her friend back into the suit, gripped with anticipation at the the thought of seeing Dash in it once more. When she was done, she took a few steps back to observe the whole picture.
"Simply fabulous!" Rarity's excitement had hit a high point. She was simply enamored by how handsome her friend appeared. "I must say I've outdone myself this time."
"Yeah?" Dash tilted her head, looking as if she didn't completely believe she looked that great.
Rarity just nodded. "Come, Dash, you simply must see for yourself!"
"Sure!" the pegasus said with surprising eagerness, a smile on her face. Rarity lead her over to a large mirror.
"What do you think?" asked Rarity as she stared at the Dash reflected in the mirror.
"Oh, wow. I look pretty sharp in this thing!" said Dash, impressed. She did some suave poses in the mirror, smiling playfully as she did. "Heh. Looking good, Rainbow Dash!"
"Yes, quite." Rarity smiled at the other pony's behavior, trying her hardest not to laugh. Then an idea suddenly popped into her head as to how to make the picture even more complete. "Here. Wait there just a second..."
"Uh... sure," the pegasus pony replied, not really sure what the other intended.
Rarity darted back toward her completed dresses. From her work station she retrieved the dress she sought. It was a stylish, flowing dress, like the suit black in color. Rarity quickly dressed herself in it before rejoining Dash at the mirror.
"Whoa, what's that?" asked Dash with surprise as she stared intently at Rarity and the dress. "It looks really great on you, Rarity! You really outdid yourself on that one."
"This is for that client's wife. They're supposed to match," Rarity explained, stepping before the mirror.
"Ah...! Y-you don't say?" Dash stiffened up considerably. Her face became a deep red as Rarity then draped one of her forelegs over her for a pose
"So, don't we look great together?" Rarity asked, pulling Dash in close.
"I... er... I..." Rainbow Dash failed entirely to articulate.
"Oh..." Rarity started, a blush appearing on her face as she finally realized how awkward this was. "I mean simply to ask if the pieces accompany each other properly," she added in a mild voice, trying to recover.
"O-of course..." Dash muttered in a clearly strained voice . "It's perfect.... You're the best at this after all."
"That honestly means a lot from you," said Rarity, her voice still soft. She flashed a full smile at Dash as she looked her in the eye.
"I don't see why it should." Dash shook her head and immediately broke eye contact. "I'm probably the least knowledgeable filly you could find when it comes to this fashion stuff."
"That doesn't make your opinion any less valid." Rarity looked down, feeling strangely warm. "You are my treasured friend after all..."
"You... you really think of me like that, Rarity?" Dash started, her voice becoming strangely vulnerable as she stared at her friend.
"Of course..." the unicorn said in a shaky, gentle voice. "Y-you saved my life, Dash. That isn't something I can take at all lightly..."
"Oh yeah... that..." Dash spoke, the words getting caught in her throat as she did. "But you were only up there because of me anyway."
"Yes," said Rarity. "But I was only in danger because I was being absolutely shameful." Rarity looked down at the ground and then up at Dash, forcing their eyes to meet again. "Not only did you save me, but you opened my eyes to how horrible I could be."
"I'd have saved anypony, Rarity," Dash said, looking down at her hooves. "Element of Loyalty, remember?"
"I know, Dash. That's what makes you even more remarkable." Rarity found a stronger voice.
"I guess I was pretty awesome that day, wasn't I?" Dash said, finding her brightest smile. "Saving you and The Wonderbolts, showing off my stuff for all to see! That has to be one of the most glorious moments this pony has ever seen."
"You were certainly cool, Dash," said Rarity with fondness. It wasn't a word she often used, but it described Dash perfectly. She was certainly the coolest pony Rarity knew.
"Yeah?" Rainbow Dash started, becoming quieter once more. "But I don't think... no... I know... that day, none of it would have happened if I hadn't been desperate to save somepony I really cared about. If you hadn't pulled all those crazy stunts that day, there wouldn't have been a second Sonic Rainboom."
Rarity could feel her heart begin to race at these words. This was strange. Dash had been having an odd effect on her throughout this meeting, but now it had just suddenly inflamed to the point where she couldn't just laugh it off as nothing. Why was Dash affecting her like this? It wasn't normal. Dash looked good in that suit, but she was still a mare, not a stallion. These sorts of thoughts weren't normal; certainly not for Rarity, at least. It was wrong of her, and yet, at the same time, it was becoming increasingly harder to deny it.
"You really care so much about me?" Rarity forced out the words, still unsure if she should have said them.
"Y-yeah..." Rainbow Dash blushed awkwardly. "You're my friend. You take my pranks standing up, you've made me some awesome clothes, and well, you're just a pretty cool pony to be around most of the time."
"That isn't what I truly meant to ask...." Rarity glanced away from the pegasus. Her heart was beating frantically. She needed to stop herself. This was clearly a mistake.
"What exactly are you saying then?" Dash asked, tilting her head to the side in confusion.
"I-I... I like you, Rainbow Dash," Rarity said it. She just couldn't hold it back. Her voice gradually became quieter as she uttered the words, becoming softer than even Fluttershy could manage as Rarity spoke the other pony's name.
"Well I would hope." the pegasus brushed the confession off casually, smiling as she did. "We are friends after all. It wouldn't be cool if you didn't really like me..." Rarity wasn't sure if Dash was just playing at being oblivious or if she really was. Regardless, she had lost control of herself. She had already poured her heart out. She had no intention to leave the meaning muddled.
"No... that's not it..." Rarity said, stepping toward Dash, her face becoming entirely red as she did.
"Rarity, you don't mean to say...? Y-you don't mean....?" It was Rainbow Dash who now spoke in a voice more appropriate to their other pegasus friend.
"That's right, Rainbow Dash. I am confessing my love to you," Rarity said, finding a steady voice. Dash's eyes went wide. She seemed shaky. Rarity expected to be shut down. Just because she had lost her mind and was confessing to somepony of her own sex didn't mean Rainbow Dash would accept her. No, it would hurt, but she wanted Dash to laugh in her face. She wanted her to tell her this was ridiculous. It was. She waited for the pegasus to bring her back to her senses.
"I see..." Dash eventually spoke. She smiled very awkwardly as she added, "T-that's cool. I think I kind of like you like that too..."
Rarity was utterly stunned at what she was hearing. "Do you truly mean that...? Or are you just forcing yourself to say it so as not to hurt me?" she asked, looking to the side, still completely prepared for the other pony to back out.
"I mean it," Dash spoke up, looking a little anxious. "I've been a little confused about you for a while now... but I think I understand it now."
"This isn't something you can just say and not mean, Dash. I'm completely serious about this," said Rarity, noticeably panicked. She was unsure she could trust the other's words as true or if she even wanted them to be. Her thoughts were a mess. Suddenly she wished desperately she could take it all back. "This isn't normal. It's really weird for me to feel this way. I honestly am not expecting to be recipro--"
Rarity's words were cut off when Dash stepped forward. She joined their mouths together in a long kiss. Rarity's eyes went wide, first with surprise and then with delight. Part of her still screamed that this was wrong of her. At the same time, it felt completely right. She kissed Dash back excitedly, happiness welling deep within her. Then the kiss slowly ended.
"How's that for proof?" Dash asked, a playful smirk on her face.
"My...! H-how bold of you..." Rarity blushed profusely, feeling about ready to melt.
"Rainbow Dash does everything boldly," the pegasus boasted in a smooth voice, giving a cool laugh.
"I suppose you do," Rarity affectionately muttered. She gave a soft, contented laugh. "Stay with me today, Dash," she requested after a moment of silence, her voice quivering slightly.
"Are you sure I should...? I mean... you still have work... and what about Sweetie Belle?" Dash's tone became more serious as she looked away from the other pony.
"Sweetie and her friends are staying with Fluttershy again tonight," said Rarity giving a nod. "As for my work, I think I might be more inspired for it we're you to stay here with me...."
"I see..." A smile slowly appeared on the pegasus' face. "I guess I'm up for it then!"
"Excellent! Now shall we get out of these clothes before we ruin them? I'd simply hate to have to redo them for the clients," said Rarity in a low voice, filled with excitement.
"Uh, sure..." Dash started, looking rather satisfied.
Rarity smiled, her heart feeling full. The drive to create had returned to her. No, it was even greater now. She felt like any design was a possibility. Nothing could stop her passion. Nothing at all.
Rainbow Dash gave a long yawn as she woke up early in the morning. As she pulled herself from the bed, she looked over at the still sleeping Rarity, looking as lovely as she ever did. It still felt unreal. Dash still didn't quite understand all she felt, yet she knew it was all wonderful.
The pegasus trotted outside and looked up at the sky. The previous day had certainly been interesting. Romance, love, things of that nature... they just had never been things Dash had ever really thought much about before. Even after spending that day with Rarity, they were still kind of foreign to Dash, but they were becoming things Dash wanted to explore more and more.
If there was one thing Dash felt she did finally fully understand, it was the unicorn herself. She had previously focused on how different the two of them were, when really the two of them had far much more in common. They were both goal oriented ponies with an unbreakable devotion to their friends. More importantly they were both driven by the same sort of boundless passion. Fashion and flight couldn't be more different, but the way the two of them approached their respective passion in life really was quite similar. Rainbow Dash figured that's probably why it had worked so well. They could each provide the spark the other needed to excel.
In the end, the two of them had wound up having to stay up rather late to complete Rarity's work order. Rainbow Dash helped as an assistant for simple tasks and as a model... and not just for cool clothes this time. She had been made to try on dresses far frillier than she had ever imagined even touching. She complained, but truthfully she didn't really mind. It was for Rarity after all. Though she had to say the unicorn enjoyed it all perhaps a little too much.
Still, even after their late night, Rainbow Dash had to wake up early. She had to do her job as a weather pony and organize the sky in accordance to the daily weather report. It was what the town depended on her for; the clouds weren't going to move themselves after all.
As she propelled herself into the sky, she smiled. For the first time in the longest time, it felt completely whole again. The feel of soaring through the sky was fully rewarding. Again, she felt like there were no limits, there was just her, the sky, and the world below. And Rarity. That thought made her smile even more. She just wanted to fly and not stop flying. No one could stop her.
She didn't know where things would go from here. How would her and Rarity tell the others? Would they even tell them at first? It felt right to her, but that didn't make it normal. She honestly was a little unsure how the others would react. Yet even questions like those didn't get in the way of her high. No, she kept the smile on her face as she soared continually forward. Nothing else mattered after all. She was happy. They both were. That would definitely be enough.