It's almost sunrise.
There's a storm raging outside.
I should be out like a light, so why the hay am I not asleep? I mean sure, I have this beautiful sleeping mare snuggling against me, which is a cool new thing for me, but you'd think it'd help, right? I mean, I can normally fall asleep like that, but tonight is just special I guess...
But I'm getting ahead of myself here, and nopony ever gets ahead of Rainbow Dash...
* * *
My work tonight was supposed to be a cinch: All I had to do was whip up a big thunderstorm that would last most of the night. I should have been back home chillin' before the storm started, but just as I'd gotten the clouds ready to start pouring, I noticed this big wild storm hanging over the Everfree Forest, and blowing toward Ponyville. Obviously I couldn't let that happen... Wild weather mixing with pegasus weather makes for some seriously bad mojo, so I had to spend like another three hours up there keeping those storms apart.
Finally the Everfree storm started to break up, so I was flying back to my place, being careful and everything, when ZAP!, this bolt of lightning comes this close to hitting me. I dove out of the way, but just as I was about to pull up, this sudden gust of wind took the air out from under me...
The next thing I remember, I was wiping mud out of my eyes and trying to get the pounding in my side to stop. I'd hit the ground hard, but had landed in this big patch of mud, so nothing was broken, or I didn't think it was, anyway. My whole left side ached, and my left wing couldn't stretch out all the way, so there was no way I could get back up my place in the storm.
The wind was blowing wicked hard, and the rain was coming down in sheets. I mean it's almost winter, so I needed to get out of this storm pronto. Looking around, pretty much all of Ponyville was dark... I mean, it was the middle of the night. I had hoped that Twilight might be up late studying, but the library was just as dark as everything else. I was pretty screwed. With the storm winds howling like they were, I didn't think I could wake anypony up. I was about to head over to Sweet Apple Acres just to see if AJ had left the apple cellar unlocked, but then I saw it: a light in a high window. I was saved!
I ran toward it as fast as I could. It took me a bit to realize that the light was coming from the Carousel Boutique... Yeah, Rarity's place. I couldn't think of anypony who'd be less happy to find a wet and muddy pegasus at her door, even one as awesome as me. Heh.
If Rarity wasn't my friend, I probably would have headed for the apple cellar instead, because, well, you know she can be about dirt and stuff. But she is my friend, so I started pounding on her door as hard as I could. Well, I could have kicked it in if I'd wanted to, but I wanted her attention, not to break down her door.
Anyway, I must have been bangin' my hooves on that door for a good two minutes before she came downstairs. I was worried that she wasn't going to open the door, because she was just standing there for, like, half a minute before she finally did. And when she did, oh man, I mean I've been grateful before, but I don't think I've ever been so happy to see anypony as I was to see Rarity in that doorway. I can't even remember what I said, or tried to say then, probably something about being sorry for disturbing her, but she cut me off before I could make any more of a foal out of myself.
"Hush, Rainbow Dash," she said. She didn't seem upset, really, but she did have this odd look in her eyes. It's kinda weird how she almost always uses everypony's full name all the time, isn't it? "Get yourself inside before you catch your death of cold."
She stepped aside, and I think I just sort of stumbled in. I must have limping a bit from the fall and the cold, because I saw her wince a little as I walked in, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't out of concern for her doormat. I tried to say something again, expressing my gratitude, but she cut me short again.
"Not another word until I have you soaking in a nice hot bath," she said, and then she turned and started walking back upstairs. I kept trying to thank her for not leaving me outside in the storm. She wouldn't have any of it, of course, just hushing me whenever I tried to talk. Once I got to the stairs, it was pretty clear that I wasn't in the best of shape, so she came back down and helped me up to her rooms, not even seeming to care that I was getting mud all over that nice satin robe of hers.
* * *
So yeah, Rarity's that mare I mentioned who's snuggled against me. Crazy, right? I never would've believed it'd happen either. I mean, not that she's not totally gorgeous and everything, but, I guess you could say she was never exactly on my radar. I dunno...
I didn't really know Rarity all that well before that whole Nightmare Moon and Elements of Harmony thing happened. I met her when Fluttershy moved down here, and I knew her from all of Pinkie's parties and stuff, but we never really had much reason to deal with each other before Twi came to town. I saw more of her after that, but we still weren't exactly close. It's not that we didn't get along, it's just that our interests seemed so different. She was always wanting to put me in some frilly outfit, or give me a makeover or whatever, and I just don't really go for that sort of girly stuff, you know?
She only really started warming up to me after I won the Best Young Fliers competiton, though it was probably more about me saving her life. Anyway, she was a bit less pushy after that, and was more fun to be around. Well, up until the Gala anyway... After the Gala, Rarity got a bit depressed, I think. She'd been holding onto that fantasy of hooking up with Prince Whatshismane for so long that having things not work out just sort of took the air out of her. I did what I could to be a good friend. It was about then that she started giving me the weird looks...
But anyway, you want to know how we end up... like this, so I'll get back to the story...
* * *
Pretty soon, I found myself stretched out in the tub. The water was so hot it was steaming, but I was pretty much a Dash-cicle, so I don't think it could have been too hot for me, really. It just felt great to be warm again, even if my muscles were sore and my whole left side ached. Once I was feeling less frozen, I tried to apologize again. You know, the stuff about her not wanting a wet pony there in the middle of the night, even if it was somepony as cool as me. Then I gave her one of my winning Rainbow Dash smiles... and then I felt like a complete foal, so I slipped under the water totally, hoping she'd maybe leave if I was down there long enough. I'm not so great at holding my breath, though. I had to come up for air after a few seconds, but Rarity must not have noticed when I went under, seeing as how she was in the middle of talking.
"-would let you in. You're my friend, and even if it is the middle of the night and you are wet and... filthy, I couldn't just let you stand out in that awful storm." And then she looked at me with that Rarity look.
When she gives you that look, you have to say something, so I did that thing where you rub the back of your neck and look away while you start to talk.
"Kinda a funny story there. See... I'd just finished putting the storm together. Mayor Mare said it had to be a big one..." But I've already told you that story. I think I probably made it sound more cool and heroic when I told it to Rarity, but hey, keeping those storms apart wasn't exactly bobbing for apples, you know.
By the time I finished, I was feeling pretty relaxed, and most of the mud had soaked off, so I went to get up, reaching up so Rarity could give me a hoof, but she was giving me this look -- those awesome blue eyes of hers were just sort of stuck on me. I mean, I know I'm the coolest pony in Ponyville and all of that, but Rarity isn't the type to just stand there and gawk, you know? She was staring at me the way I'd seen her stare at one of her sketches or half-finished designs, like I was a puzzle she was trying to solve, or something.
"Um, everything OK there, Rarity?" I asked. She was still just looking at me. It was so weird... "I'm sorry for the mud... and stuff. I can dry off and go curl up downstairs until the storm blows over if you like..." No reaction. She didn't move, she didn't talk. She just just stood there, looking at me. "Um, Rarity?" I was just about to make sure she hadn't fallen asleep or something when she smiled and leaned over towards me.
Phew, she was all right. I'd really been worried there, but then Rarity made me worry again: She's started running her hoof through my wet mane, caressing it like some exotic fabric. Then she spoke, her voice a bit softer than normal, "Have I ever told you how much I envy your mane, my dear?"
I squirmed away from her. This was just weird, not to mention seriously confusing. "But Rarity, you have the prettiest mane of anypony I know," I said. I meant it then, and I still mean it now. I don't think Rarity understands just how gorgeous she really is.
She backed away for a moment, thinking over what I'd said, her eyes even looking away from me for a split second. "The most nicely styled, perhaps, but hardly a match for yours... it's just... so beautifully prismatic... there's so much possibility... if only it were longer..." When she reached out to touch it again, I shifted away and her hoof ended up on my cheek for a second before I scooted back and managed to somehow flop my way out of the tub, scrambling to get my hooves under me.
Now don't get me wrong here, it's not like I don't like being touched, but I've never been the most touchy-feely filly and Rarity doesn't just go around randomly sticking her hooves in other ponies' manes, so I was kinda freaked out. "Rarity, what the hay is going on with you?" I asked, finally standing up. I think I might have been yelling. I'm not sure. My mane and tail were dripping water all over the floor, but I really wasn't thinking about needing a towel right then.
Rarity blinked a few times, as if she was snapping out of a trance. She looked down, her cheeks flushing as she just stared at the floor for a few seconds. "I-- I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash. I don't know what came over me there... but your mane is... the styles you could..." Her words trailed off into silence. She looked so embarrassed. It's a look I was used to seeing on Fluttershy sometimes, but it totally didn't belong on Rarity.
I had over-reacted a bit to the touch thing, and now I felt bad for making her feel bad. She just looked so small and scared. I forget how petite Rarity is sometimes, probably because her personality is so big. I moved toward her. I wanted to show her that I wasn't mad at her or anything. "Come on Rarity, don't worry about it. I mean, what you said about my mane was cool, and--"
And now she was the one backing away from me. She had reared up and she wasn't looking behind her and she slipped in some of the water on the floor. She fell. If I hadn't run in to catch her, she would have hit her head on the side of the tub, I think. So yeah, I caught her. All this flinching away from each other and now we were as close as two ponies could be, pretty much.
Time kinda froze for a while. I was holding her, she was clinging to me, her eyes were staring into mine. Those huge, beautiful blue eyes, just locked onto mine, and they were wet with tears. She was so warm, and I could feel her heart was galloping in her chest. Water was trickling down my back from my mane. We stayed like that for a few seconds before I looked away. I got Rarity settled on her hooves and stepped back, taking the opportunity to find a towel finally.
After I'd run the towel over my mane a couple of times, I turned back to find Rarity still looking down at the floor,sitting with her forelegs pulling her hind legs up against her chest. "I seem to have made quite the foal of myself," she sighed softly, though without the usual harshness she used when beating herself up. She looked up at me, tears running down her cheeks. "Can you forgive me... Dashie?"
'Dashie'. I was floored. All of the other girls had called me that once or twice except for AJ, but she had her own weird farmpony vocabulary, but anyway... Hearing Rarity call me that... just wow. I'm not really sure what it meant for her to say it, but I knew that it was something special, and somehow it made me realize that maybe...
It's been a really weird night... have I mentioned that?
Anyway, I dunno. I'm not great at talking about emotions and that sort of stuff, really, but hearing Rarity call me 'Dashie' made me realize that maybe there was something more to her than I'd been willing to see, than I'd wanted to see...
Suddenly all the weird looks she'd been giving me made sense. So did all the times she'd tried to give me makeovers or dress me up all girly... I mean, I'd known she thought I was pretty and stuff, and a rainbow mane is pretty unique, yeah, but in that moment, something finally clicked.
* * *
OK. We gotta stop here for a minute to address something. I'm no virgin, I've had my share of both colt and filly friends, but I'm not some sex maniac either.
And before you ask, yes, Gilda and I did foal around a few times at flight camp... and on her visit here.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is that I know my way around attraction, and even with thinking that Rarity was gorgeous and stylish and talented, I'd just never realized I was attracted to her until tonight, or that she was attracted to me. She'd seemed a bit too different from me, I guess. I dunno.
But back to how we ended up in bed together, right?
* * *
I leaned down and pulled her up onto her hooves again, then I put my front hooves on her shoulders and pulled her in a little bit, smiling one of my big smiles again. "I can't forgive you, Rarity," I said. She gasped softly. "There's nothing that needs forgiving." And then I hugged her, wincing a bit as my shoulder complained. I just held her, and she held as tight as she could. She buried her muzzle in my mane and I did the same. She even smells gorgeous, you know.
After about a minute, she loosened her grip on me and looked me in the eyes again. "Rainbow Dash," she murmured. I smiled at her and waited for her to say something else, but she must have just wanted to say my name. It was weird... but cute. Honestly, it was hard to believe what was happening, even if it was starting to turn out pretty cool.
I tried my best to keep from yawning, but it had been a long night, and I was still hurting and tired, even if my adrenaline was up a bit from... all of this. Rarity just nodded and took me by the hoof, leading me to her bedroom.
"You should rest, dear," she said, turning down the covers. I was pretty exhausted, so I just went with it, climbing into her bed. Rarity tucked the covers in again, perfectly. She was back to something at least close to normal. Good.
I looked at her, really looked at her. She really was something special. I'd have to work up the courage to ask her out for dinner or something, I guess. I smiled up at her, relaxing in her awesome bed. "Thanks for everything, Rarity. I mean... it's been a weird night and--"
And she kissed me. On the lips. Wow! I went with it, wrapping my forelegs around her and pulling her in closer. She let out a happy sigh, but she stopped the kiss before it could get too spicy. I blinked up at her, stunned and lost for words as she slipped out of my arms.
Rarity was humming to herself as she wriggled under the covers next to me. I really liked watching that. Once she was settled in under the covers, she used her magic to snuff out the lights. "Goodnight, Rainbow Dash," she said, kissing me softly on the lips again. She snuggled up against me as I just sort of laid there, a million thoughts racing through my brain.
"Rarity, are you sure that"
"Hush," she whispered as she silenced me with another kiss.
I kissed back, but I still had so many questions, I just had to ask some of them. "But what"
So she kissed me again.
"Mmm, I just"
Rarity's hoof pressed in softly against my lips. The moonlight coming through the window reflected off of those stunning eyes as she spoke. "Really, Rainbow Dash, we can discuss whatever is on your mind in the morning," she let out a soft sigh as her hoof moved down from my side. "Please."
"All right," I yawned, "Goodnight, Rarity." This time I kissed her. She giggled. She should do that more often.
"Goodnight... Dashie." And she kissed me again, like the very first time, only better.
* * *
You know, I guess there is a good reason why I can't sleep right now: I don't want the morning to come. I mean, I guess Celestia could take a day off, but that's not going to happen.
I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. It might be the start of something amazing, it might not. What I do know is that tonight is special and I don't want it to end. I want to save tonight.