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One-way Ticket · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 1000–25000
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Burning with Desire
Spitfire folded her wings and fell. She had done the maneuver a thousand times, but it still sent a chill down her spine. As before, she fell perfectly. With almost no drag to slow her down, she accelerated downwards faster than ever before. Only this time she didn’t flare her wings just above the ground; no, this time her target was much higher up.

She shifted her wings the slightest bit, changing the angle of her dive. Without her suit on, the change was more drastic than she intended. Still, she didn’t slow down. She hurtled towards the cloud house floating above a small town at an unimaginable speed, her trademark storm cloud trail replaced her natural streak of orange fire. As she fell, the town grew quickly, but her target grew even faster. The cloud home was magnificent, even by her standards. It was ringed with arches perfectly formed from clouds, columns of solid cloud held the upper floors, but what was most striking was the fountains. They were made of cascading cloud pools, filled with liquid rainbows that flowed out of the bowls and into others.

As Spitfire studied the multicoloured fountains, she forgot to stop herself and crashed directly into the base of the house. As she collided with the cloud foundation, she lost all semblance of controlling her flight path. She came to a stop a few feet into the base of the house, her head spinning. She could only hear one thing: a clear, sweet laughter coming from the reaches of the house. Spitfire tried to stand in the crater she had caused, but quickly lost her balance and fell back down.

“Celestia damn it,” she muttered to herself. It had been years since she had lost control like that. She felt the blood rush to her face, and buried it in the clouds. No-no-no-no, this can’t be happening. I’m Spitfire, Captain of the Wonderbolts, the best pegasi in all of Equestria. I don’t mess up, I don’t get distracted. Feeling slightly better about her situation, Spitfire looked up from the clouds only to find a set of purple eyes staring right at her. She could feel Rainbow Dash’s breath on her face, and could see nothing but Rainbow’s face and mane. They sat in silence for a minute that seemed to stretch on for eternity.

Rainbow broke away first saying, “Oh my gosh! Spitfire! Here!” She flew off and started doing loops and corkscrews.

Spitfire lifted herself off the clouds and, with a sharp flap of her wings, launched herself into the air. She grinned devilishly as she aimed her flight path. Rainbow was doing a series of tight loops at the time, but Spitfire intercepted her. Normally she would’ve held them both, but Rainbow didn’t stop flying, sending them tumbling into a flat spin. For the second time, Spitfire lost control of herself and fell. She didn’t know what to do, so she followed her instinct, and wrapped herself around Rainbow and shut her eyes tight.

It didn’t take long before she felt an impact with what she could only assume was the clouds below them. They bounced across the clouds a few times before finally coming to a stop against a wall. She slowly opened her eyes, and found herself staring right into Rainbow’s face... again. Blushing a red so deep it turned her normally yellow coat beat red, she let go of Rainbow and smiled awkwardly.

“We have got to stop meeting like this.” Rainbow chuckled as she tried to untangle herself from Spitfire. It took a few minutes, and several clever acrobatic feats, but they finally managed to separate without damaging each other’s wings. “So...” Rainbow started, “What brings you out to Ponyville?”

“I... uh... just came out here to see how you were doing after the Gala. We didn’t have much time to stay last time, what with the dragon rampaging and all.” Spitfire chuckled nervously to herself. At least it isn’t a complete lie, she reasoned.

Rainbow gave her a hard, disbelieving look, but relented when Spitfire showed no signs of breaking. She sighed and let herself relax. Her shoulders drooped and her ears laid back in exhaustion. “I’ve been... good. It’s been tiring around here recently, but my friends are awesome and keep me going.”

Spitfire had seen few ponies manage to look as downtrodden as Rainbow looked. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Of course I am!” Rainbow perked up slightly, but it sounded blatantly forced to Spitfire.

“Okay, fine.” Spitfire sighed. “Well, Rainbow I came here to talk to you about...” she trailed off as Rainbow pressed her nose against Spitifire’s. “Yes?” she asked, taking a half step backwards.

“You... came all the way to Ponyville... to talk to me?” Rainbow asked eagerly.

“Well, yeah. Is that weird?” she asked, cringing as the question left her mouth.

“It isn’t. It’s just that you’re a Wonderbolt!” She lifted herself off the clouds and threw her hooves up to make her point. “And the captain of the Wonderbolts too! Do you realize how awesome this is?” Rainbow bounced back and forth on the clouds in excitement.

“Heh, I guess it is kind of cool,” Spitfire admitted, surprised at the compliment. “Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for ignoring you at the Grand Galloping Gala and actually talk to you.”

At the mention of the Gala incident, Rainbow stopped bouncing and returned to her downtrodden attitude. “Oh... well I guess all those super-important ponies were kind of more important than a small time pegasus like me...”

“Rainbow Dash, you are not ‘small time,’” Spitfire retorted. “You won the Best Young Flier’s competition, helped stop Nightmare Moon, and performed the impossible Sonic Rainboom three times.” Dash’s mouth was hanging wide open. “Oh... yeah, well the truth is... I’ve kind of been keeping my eye on you for a while now.” She scratched her head awkwardly with a hoof.

Rainbow and her stared into each other’s eyes for a few long minutes, each trying to force the other to see things the way they did. They stood on the steps leading up to the cloud house, locked in a battle of wills. Eventually, Rainbow broke eye contact and sighed to herself. “I guess you’re right...”

“You guess?!” Spitfire scoffed. “How about this, we have a little race to prove it.” Rainbow Dash perked up at the mention of a race. Looking through the clouds filling the sky, she saw one particular line of clouds that looked especially promising. She outlined it for Rainbow with her hoof. “We fly though that line of clouds. Right through them and whoever reaches the final cloud first wins. Simple enough?”

Rainbow nodded in agreement. She could never have passed up a race against a Wonderbolt, much less the captain of the Wonderbolts.

Spitfire drew a starting line in the cloud with her hoof, and lined up in a racer’s stance at it. Rainbow lined up next to her, her attitude from earlier replaced with an air of focus and confidence. “3,” Spitfire said, sneaking a peak over at Rainbow. “2.” Rainbow’s wings were fluttering, but not as anxiously as earlier. “1.” Rainbow’s wings quivered one last time before settling down in preparation. “Go,” Spitfire yelled as she shot off from the starting line.

A few flaps of her wings accelerated her to a ridiculous speed. The first few clouds puffed away in front of her as she blew through them. Looking back, Spitfire didn’t see Rainbow behind her. Damn it, I try and be nice and she ditches me, she thought.

“Looking for me?” The voice came from above her.

Looking up, Spitfire saw that Rainbow was flying perfectly even with her. With a laugh she taunted, “Okay, try keeping up slowpoke.” With only a few flaps of her wings, she nearly doubled her speed. Still, Rainbow didn’t let her get away and kept with her pace. Before long, she saw the finishing cloud coming up. I am so winning this, Spitfire boasted to herself. She was already going near her top speed, but she pushed herself even faster.

As the finishing line approached she felt a sudden updraft of warm air catch her wings. She tried to maintain her speed and trajectory, but her efforts were fruitless. For the third time that day, she lost control of herself in flight. All she felt was a sinking feeling, and the world started to spin. Up and down lost all meaning, there was no East or West, or North or South. The only thing she saw was the cloud as she hurtled towards it.

She slammed into it in an explosion of white fluff. The cloud slowed her momentum, but was blown apart in the process. Spitfire closed her eyes against what she knew was coming. She had made a mistake, again. Now she was dropping towards the ground with all the aerodynamics and control of a boulder. However she knew the falling wouldn’t hurt, it was the sudden stop when she hit the ground that terrified her.

So she fell, until suddenly she felt the feeling of falling start to fade. She opened her eyes and looked up, only to find Rainbow lifting her out of the fall.

“C-can you help out a little?” Rainbow wheezed.

A few flaps of her wings later, Spitfire had righted herself and was gliding towards a cloud nearby. It was wide enough for both of them to rest on, and she knew that both of them needed it. She landed on the cloud gently, double checking to make sure it was solid. As she lay down on the cloud, she felt Rainbow settle onto it as well.

“I guess I owe you one,” Spitfire said.

“Don’t worry about it,” Rainbow said nonchalantly.

“No, I mean it Rainbow. You saved my life, again. That isn’t something I can just ignore. I owe you one, at least.” Spitfire stretched her wings, making sure they hadn’t been damaged during her fall.

“So, I guess I won the race.” Rainbow said, the previous somber attitude overcoming her confident charm.

“It was a draw on account of–”

“You nearly falling to your death?” Rainbow interrupted.

“Yeah, that’s a lot better than my reason.” Spitfire shrugged. A silence filled the air, not even broken by the tweets of the birds. After a few minutes, Spitfire broke the silence. “So, about why I came to talk to you. I think you deserve more than... well the lies I’ve been telling you so far.” She felt a pit of fear rise up in her stomach. It was months ago that she had come to terms with this, but to tell another pony? To tell Rainbow specifically? It seemed like madness.

“I didn’t come here for the Wonderbolts,” Spitfire continued. “I came here for more... personal reasons. I came here to talk to you, to see you, and to hang out with you Rainbow. I came here because you’ve saved my life, twice now. I came to visit because I like you Rainbow.”

She could see as realization dawned on Rainbow’s face. Her melancholy expression was replaced with one of shock. “You... you what?” Rainbow exclaimed.

Spitfire felt her face flush, but continued on. “I like you Rainbow, like-like you. I kind of have for a while... I just didn’t want to spoil your chances of getting into the Wonderbolts. There is a rule against members dating other members and they wouldn’t let you in.”

Rainbow was crying.

“R-Rainbow... are you okay?” Spitfire reached out a hoof to comfort her, but Rainbow shook it off. Spitfire watched as Rainbow flared her wings, and with one powerful flap took off without saying a word.

Rainbow Dash flew as fast as she could. She didn’t look to see where she was flying, her eyes were shut tight against the tears flowing out of them. She flew to get as far away from reality as possible. She flew on and on. She flew past clouds and mountains. She flew past Froggybottom Swamp and Canterlot. Finally, as Cloudsdale came into sight, she had to stop and lie down on a cloud.

Stopping gave her thoughts time to catch up to her. As she relived every moment, every word that had been said, waves of emotion rolled through her; anger, fear, sadness, hatred, and acceptance, happiness, relief, and one other emotion that she couldn’t pin down. On one hoof, she was upset with Spitfire for potentially ruining her chances at becoming a Wonderbolt. On the other hoof, she couldn’t figure out why, but thinking about being with Spitfire made her happy.

Get a hold of yourself! Think you knucklehead, she told herself.

Okay, so Spitfire likes me, like-likes me. Maybe even loves me. But if we were ever together, I couldn’t join the Wonderbolts, thought another part of her.

Is that any way to think about this?

Well... I guess not. Rainbow stopped conversing with herself for a minute to remember the day they had spent together after the Best Young Flier’s competition, the best day of her life. I guess she is kind of... well stunning. Even the innocent thought made her blush.

And... ?

And... well I do kind of like her too. But she’s the captain of the Wonderbolts. I’ve spent my entire life dreaming of and working to become a Wonderbolt, I can’t just give that up. Her ears drooped back, and her shoulders fell.


“Rainbow? Are you okay?” called Spitfire.

At the sound of her voice, Rainbow shrunk down into the cloud to make herself as small and indiscernible as possible. For the first time in years, she didn't want to be seen.

"Rainbow, I just want to apologize," Spitfire called again.

Rainbow made a sound somewhere between a moan and a squeak, but it was enough for Spitfire to find her. She felt the cloud shift as Spitfire landed next to her. "Listen Rainbow," Spitfire started.

"Just... don't," Rainbow said sadly. "Spitfire–"

"Rainbow, just let me say my piece. I came here because I wasn't sure, but once I saw you, I was," Spitfire said softly. "I shouldn't have though. I realize that now. "

"So, let me get this straight.” Rainbow stood up, anger and sadness burning in her eyes. “You come here, tell me you really like me and want to be with me, but we can’t be together, and now you’re just going to leave? You’re not even going to try and work it out?” In her anger, Rainbow stomped a hoof on the cloud causing it to start raining on whatever was below them.

“Rainbow... I-I... “ Spitfire stopped to choke down a sob as tears formed in her eyes. “I was going to resign if everything worked out. I was going to quit Rainbow, give it all up for you.”

Rainbow stared at her dumbstruck. She’d really give up everything for me?

“Rainbow, I’m so sorry. I... I just couldn’t make myself not like you. Can we still stay friends? I... I don’t know what I’d do without you Rainbow.” Spitfire struggled to stand for a moment before collapsing onto the cloud and breaking into tears.

Rainbow’s heart wrenched upon seeing the other mare’s breakdown, and she felt the same indescribable emotion she had been unable to pin down earlier. She hesitated for a moment, then instinct and impulse took over. “Spitfire, I won’t let you quit. You are the most amazing, awesome flier I’ve ever seen. There is no way I’ll let you stop performing for me.”

Spitfire looked up at her, her eyes red and cheeks stained from tears. “So... you don’t li–”

“When did I say that?” Rainbow interrupted. She hadn’t realized it before, but she knew this feeling. It was the same feeling that had made that day with the Wonderbolts so amazing. “Spitfire, I do like you. I... I guess I have for a few months, I just didn’t know it.” She paused, letting her mind catch up to what she was saying.

Spitfire looked up at her, and asked, “But what about your dreams? If you won’t let me quit, and we’re together they won’t let you join the Wonderbolts.”

Rainbow gave a short chuckle. “You’re captain of the Wonderbolts, and I’m one of the best fliers in all of Equestria.” She leaned in close to Spitfire, who still looked depressed, and whispered, “Besides, I think we can work things out and you gave me a one way ticket to your heart.”

Without waiting for a response, Rainbow leaned in and kissed Spitfire softly.
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