Inspired by the song of the same name
by the Silversun Pickups
Derpy Hooves fluttered down to the last mailbox in Ponyville. It was just around time for sunset. “Good evening,” said the gardening mare nearby. Derpy smiled lightly and trotted over to her.
“Here’s your mail, ma’am!” she said while reaching into her saddlebag for a few letters.
The gardener didn’t move. “Just put it in the mailbox thanks.”
Derpy frowned. “I-is something wrong?” she asked, setting the envelopes down.
“Nothing’s wrong,” said the gardener, “I’m just too busy to talk to you right now.”
Derpy sighed. She picked up the letters and trotted back to the mailbox. She placed them inside quietly and raised the little red flag.
“Have a nice night, ma’am,” she muttered bitterly. She waited a second for a response, but got nothing.
As she flew away, somepony galloped up to the gardening mare. The gardener dropped her tools and embraced the newcomer in an immediate hug. The two ran inside without a second glance at the flowers.
A chill ran through Derpy’s heart. She had seen these two together almost all of the time: an earth pony mare and some minty unicorn. There had never been such inseparable friends, as far as Derpy saw.
So it’s not like they weren’t friendly ponies. They just wanted nothing to do with her.
She shut her eyes and let out a single tear. With a deep breath she shook it off and turned to fly toward the post office.
Derpy Hooves lay in the dirt with a few of tears running over her forelegs, glistening in the light of the nearest streetlamp. Her face was buried deep, ruffling her mane slightly. Almost nopony else was out this late, at least in a quiet town such as this. The only sounds to be heard were the crickets, the occasional gust of wind, and the voices of ponies talking in their homes. Derpy lay silent in an alleyway.
Derpy sighed and frowned. She lifted herself on her front hooves and looked toward the sky. For anypony else, it’d be raining right now... she thought. A shadow caught her eye and she tensed up. Of course it was only a mouse, as she saw one scurry away toward a trash can. Derpy shook her head and wiped away what almost became a tear.
She leaned back against the wall of the alley and sighed again. Calm down, she thought. It’s not like anypony’s gonna see me. She shuddered and another tear or two dropped from her eyes. It’s not like anypony would want to see me.
The loud shatter of glass followed by a Thump! pulled Derpy’s attention to the street. She squinted through the dim illumination from the streetlamp. She could just barely make out the lead feathers from somepony’s wing. Derpy slowly stepped towards the pony. Suddenly the near-motionless lump flapped her wings and laughed. Derpy froze.
“What’d I tell ya, Pinkie Pie!” said the pony in the street. “They don’t call me Rainbow Crash for nothin’!” Derpy snickered silently to herself and finally cracked a slight smile.
“Oh my gosh! Rainbow Dash, are you alright?” asked a faint voice. Derpy wanted to place it as this librarian pony she’d seen before. Behind it Derpy thought she heard a familiar, cheerful laugh.
“It’s funny because its true!” shouted Pinkie Pie before bursting into more uncontrollable giggling.
“I’ll be fine,” Rainbow called out. She slowly picked herself up off the ground, shaking off bits of glass. Even on her hooves she wobbled back and forth.
“Says you!” shouted an angry voice. Derpy recognized the accent right away; it was the local apple salespony. Derpy’s smile faded immediately.
“Its not like I got any glasss in me!” Rainbow shouted. From this Derpy first noticed Rainbow’s words slurring together.
“Applejack’s right,” said the librarian, “If you and Pinkie are going to keep acting like this, somepony’s going to get hurt.”
After a short pause Applejack replied, “I never should’ve brought that batch of hard cider over, not with these two at least. I’m sorry, Twilight.”
“What’re you talkin’ ‘bout, A.J.?” asked Rainbow. Promptly her front legs gave out from under her and her head fell to the ground. Instead of reacting to the pain she simply giggled.
“Look, I think its time we just called it a night,” said Twilight. “You and Pinkie Pie need to sleep this off.”
“But the night’s still young!” shouted Pinkie Pie behind the other voices.
Derpy heard a somepony stomp her hoof. “You’re both way too loopy right now,” said Applejack firmly. “Go home, we can all hang out and play more in the morning, ya hear?”
“Pinkie, do you need help getting home?” asked Twilight, her voice getting more faint.
“Whatcha talkin’ about, sssilly?” Pinkie asked, starting to slur her speech too. Derpy heard a few more thumps against wood, then a faint groan.
“Applejack? Do you mind helping Pinkie get to her place from here?”
“Not at all,” she answered. “Besides, I reckon its on the way home anyhow.”
Rainbow Dash groaned, then hiccuped. “Fine, I’ll just head on home myself if you’re all gonna just ditch the party like that!” she yelled. She flapped her wings, using the lift to pick herself up again, then tucked them back down.
“Are you sure you can get there by yourself?” asked Twilight.
“Why wouldn’t I be!?” Rainbow yelled, unfurling her right wing. She paused, looked at the other, and giggled to herself. After a few tries she extended it in the same manner, but her expression of frustration was forgotten.
“Well if you’re sure,” said Twilight skeptically. “Goodnight Rainbow Dash!”
“G’night, Rainbow!” called Applejack.
“Goodnight Egghead! Goodnight Apple Juice!” Rainbow fell to the ground in a burst of slowed laughter at her own jokes.
Derpy stepped out of the alley and looked to either side. On her left she saw where Rainbow had clearly left her mark; what remained of the glass from the library’s window sparkled from the light inside. On her right other ponies in their homes were apparently turning in for the night, as several lights flicked off while she watched. Maybe I should get to bed too, she thought. She felt a tap on her leg and looked down. Rainbow had stopped laughing and was now staring up at Derpy quizzically.
“Excusse me, don’t I know you?” Rainbow Dash slurred, pulling at Derpy’s hoof from the ground.
Derpy froze. The two stared at each other for a moment. A chill ran through Derpy. She looked back and forth desperately, then slowly raised a hoof to point to herself.
“Yesh, you, ssilly,” said Rainbow. She smiled and rolled over on the ground. Her eyes shut for a moment, but then she shook herself awake. “I remember now, you’re that mailpony I’ve sseen around town!”
Derpy nodded carefully. S-since when does anypony like her talk to me?
Rainbow nudged up against Derpy, although it could have just as easily been her swaying on her own four hooves. “Ssay, my friends kinda jusst left me tonight,” said Rainbow, “Would you wanna hang out? You sseem pretty cool t’ me.”
“R-really?” asked Derpy. Her voice still sounded a bit raw from crying.
“Of coursse, uhh,” Rainbow responded. “What wass your name again?”
“Umm... Derpy Hooves,” she muttered.
“Derpy. Derrrpy,” Rainbow said, giggling. She leaned against Derpy and wrapped one wing around her. “Well, Derrrpy, we’re not gonna have any fun just standin’ around here! Come on, there’sso much to do!”
I wonder how messed up she really is right now, thought Derpy. Rainbow’s wing slid off of her, and Derpy felt her own wing reach out after it slightly. But who am I to say “no” to getting a friend for the night? Rainbow stumbled back and forth a bit before deliberately bracing herself by spreading out her hooves. Derpy smiled, She at least needs somepony to keep an eye on her. I can do that.
“You comin’ or not?” asked Rainbow. She was starting to walk, or rather stumble, sideways into town. Derpy nodded a few times then trotted after her. She felt her right eye drift up slightly; mortified, she clenched both eyes shut. In a moment it passed without Rainbow reacting. Derpy sighed. After a second a shiver passed over her. She trotted after Rainbow Dash while hanging her head.
I've been waiting
I've been waiting for this moment
All my life
But it's not quite right
“Oh, hey,” said Rainbow. “Look at that!” She was generally leaning in the direction of the town’s well. Derpy raised an eyebrow. “You know what that iss?” Rainbow asked as she jumped up on the edge of the well for balance.
“Well, I guess its a well,” said Derpy quietly.
Rainbow laughed sharply, beating a hoof against the well’s edge. “You’re funny, Derrrpy,” she said. She rolled over against the stone to face Derpy. “Its a wisshing well, right?”
“I don’t think it is,” said Derpy.
“Pfft,” said Rainbow, waving off Derpy’s skepticism. “Ssure ‘t iss.” She flipped back over and stuck her head in the well. “Echoo!” she called out, listening to her voice come back to her and giggling. Derpy snickered and jumped up onto the well next to her. Rainbow leaned back out of it with a wavy grin on her face. “Itss pretty wet in there,” she said.
“There is water down there,” Derpy explained.
Rainbow smiled wider and asked excitedly, “Oh, oh, and coins, right?” Derpy shrugged. Rainbow turned her gaze back into the well. “What am I ssayin’, of coursse there ‘re coinss down there! How else doess anypony make a wissh?” She frowned and looked down. Derpy’s eyes widened and she leaned in sympathetically. Rainbow muttered, “But I don’t have any money with me, sso I can’t make a wisssh...”
“I’d lend you some,” said Derpy. Rainbow looked up with bright eyes and bounced in anticipation. Derpy averted her eyes and finished, “But I don’t have any on me either.”
Rainbow looked up, thinking. “Aha!” she proclaimed. She fluttered up into the air above the well and said, “Well if we don’t have money, then we’ll jusst have to usse me! I’m pretty ssure I’m awesome enough that I’m worth ssome kinda money. Probably more than thiss well’s ever sseen before!”
Derpy giggled lightly to herself. Modest as always I see, she thought, Maybe she’s not as out-of-it as she seems...
Rainbow closed her eyes and looked toward the sky. “I wissh... I wissh, umm,” she said loudly. “Oh right, I wissh that ssomeday I’ll get to join the Wonderboltss!”
Yeah, that’s Rainbow Dash for ya.
“Alright, now,” said Rainbow. She opened her eyes and faced the well confidently. “Dive! Dive!”
Wait- what!? thought Derpy. She felt her heart stop for a moment; Rainbow flew up a bit higher then dove straight down into the well. Derpy jumped over the stone edge of the well and dove after the rainbow blur without a moment’s thought. She grabbed at the end of Rainbow’s tail as it passed but got pulled down with it. Derpy flapped her wings furiously, pulling back against Rainbow Dash. Gradually they slowed to a stop just as Rainbow’s nose tipped the water.
Rainbow giggled and looked up at Derpy between her legs. “Its not gonna work if you take me out of the well, ssilly!” Derpy ignored her. She kept flapping her wings intensely to carry Rainbow’s dead weight out of the well’s shaft. Rainbow frowned and asked, “What, you don’t want a wissh?”
Derpy felt the open air across her wings once she reached the top again. She carefully flew high enough to get Rainbow’s head above the edge of the well then drifted to the side where she could set her friend down safely. After dropping Rainbow to the ground, Derpy flopped down next to her, panting.
“Wait,” said Rainbow, “If I was sstuck ‘n a well, how could I fly with the Wonderboltss?” She rolled her eyes and laughed. “Well, duh! That woulda been sstupid of me.” Derpy collapsed to the ground next to her. “Thankss, Derrrpy!” she said with a cheerful smile.
Derpy smiled back; her eye drifted away from her control again, but she ignored it in her exhaustion. “You’re welcome, Rainbow Dash,” she muttered. With one deep breath, she lifted herself back to her hooves.
Rainbow got up, one wobbly hoof at a time. She yawned and said, “I’ve got another idea now. A lesss wet one, too.”
Derpy giggled. “Lead the way,” she said. She felt herself smiling warmly. In fact she felt warm all over. Warm and fuzzy, that was it. If only this could happen when she wasn’t loopy, thought a nagging voice in the back of her head. Rainbow turned and took off into the night sky. Derpy sighed and took off after her. But is she really that different like this?
And this 'real'
It's impossible if possible
At whose blind word
So clear but so unheard
Derpy followed Rainbow through the air. The nighttime breeze chilled her. Behind the two pegasi the sight of Ponyville was barely noticeable. Even the streetlamps had been shut off for the night. All that was left to help them see was the brilliant moonlight. In town, Derpy had barely been able to tell between the buildings and the closer lights, but it was a full moon tonight. A beautiful full moon at that.
Rainbow Dash looked down and squinted. “I think we’re here,” she said. She spiraled into a dive. She narrowly missed Derpy.
Derpy stopped and hovered where she was for a moment, watching Rainbow plummet to the ground. It wasn’t like the well though. She seemed completely in control. Her flying really is impressive, thought Derpy, She can fly like that, even though she can’t even stand up straight. Of course it could just have been luck that she flew where she meant to, but there was a good part of Derpy that refused to accept that. She shook her head and turned to fly down after Rainbow, although at a much more gradual slope to her dive.
The spot was pretty recognizable once Derpy got a closer look: Sweet Apple Acres. Derpy shuddered and stared at the ground as she landed. Why’d it have to be apples? she thought. She shut her eyes tight to fight back the welling-up tears.
“Oh hey there, Derrrpy!” called Rainbow from above her. Derpy looked up and immediately had to suppress her laughter. Rainbow had gotten tangled among the branches of one of the apple trees, somehow. Every move she made seemed to shake the whole tree. “Mind helping me out again? This tree won’t let go of me,” she said, scowling at the tree.
Derpy snickered. She stared at the tree curiously. “How do I do that?” she asked.
Rainbow thought for a moment. “Well, try thinking of me like ‘n apple,” she said. “An awesome, rainbow apple!” She giggled, shaking up the branches.
Derpy smiled then turned around. She had seen the farmer pony, Applejack apparently, do this almost every time she had passed over Sweet Apple Acres. Derpy shut her eyes, reared up, then bucked the tree as hard as she could.
The vibrations shook through the tree, knocking most of the apples loose. One of the branches around Rainbow Dash gave in. “Wh-whoa!” said Rainbow as she fell. Derpy looked up and winced; Rainbow landed heavily on top of her. The two groaned in unison. Derpy heard a branch snap then a thump accompanied by an “Ouch!” from Rainbow.
“W-what happened?” asked Derpy. She strained her neck to look behind herself. She felt Rainbow roll off of her back. Her friend was laughing uncontrollably.
“I have no idea how you planned that, Derrps,” said Rainbow. “But that was a great prank!”
Derpy turned to her. “H-huh?” she asked quietly.
“Don’t play dumb,” said Rainbow. She pushed at Derpy’s shoulder playfully. “You knew the apple’d fall on me!”
“Don’t be!” Rainbow smiled and stood up. She shook her head quickly, getting some leaves out of her mane. “I got pranked, fair and ssquare,” she said. “I knew you’d be fun to hang around with, Derrrpy! Derrrp, errrp, erp.” She giggled uncontrollably as she made the silly noise.
Derpy stood up too. She was careful to go slow enough that her back didn’t hurt too much. She’s not just being nice, is she? she thought. I mean, I’d be fine with nice, but this really feels like more than that.
Rainbow looked up at another tree and her gaze intensified. “Applejack thinks she’s soo tough and strong,” she growled. “Just becausse sshe can buck sstupid apple treess.”
“It wasn’t that hard when I did it,” said Derpy.
“Yeah, you’re right,” said Rainbow. She shut her eyes and spun around. She yelled, “Yaah!” as she bucked at the nearest tree. Her hooves came short, and she collapsed to the ground. She frowned briefly then turned her sharpened gaze back to the tree. Derpy’s eyes widened as Rainbow immediately rose back up and hovered in the air before the tree. “Sstupid tree!” Rainbow exclaimed. She flew back a few feet, then charged it, bucking at the end of her charge. Sure, she crashed into the tree in the process, but this time the apples fell all around her. She smiled confidently and said, “Easy!”
Derpy opened her eyes; she had winced at the collision. I might need to take her home soon, she thought reluctantly. Before she hurts herself.
Rainbow picked up one of the apples that rolled towards her. She shined it against her coat then took a bite. “I’ll admit,” she said while dribbling bits of apple out of her mouth. “Applejack doess grow good appless.”
“Should you really be eating that?” asked Derpy.
Rainbow shrugged. “Sshe’ss got like a bajillion appless, I don’t think sshe’ll care too much ‘bout one or two,” she said. “Want one by th’ way?”
Derpy winced. “N-no thanks,” she muttered. She averted her eyes from Rainbow. It’s just an apple, Derpy, she thought, No need to get all upset...
Rainbow tilted her head and asked, “Are you okay?” She looked at the apple she was eating. “Do ya think thesse ‘re bad apples ‘r ssomething?”
“I’m fine!” Derpy said quickly. She sighed and slowly walked away. She settled next to the tree Rainbow had been stuck in before. A single tear dropped from her face. Don’t do this, Derpy, she thought, Don’t screw this up too. Not like this.
“Ssomething’s not right, I can tell,” said Rainbow. Derpy turned her head toward Rainbow. “Go on. I’ll listen,” she said firmly. Derpy stared into her eyes; there wasn’t any doubt, any hint of sarcasm. She was completely serious.
“Are you sure?” Derpy whimpered as another tear fell. What am I doing!? she thought. Why am I asking questions? She said she’ll listen, I can’t let her change her mind!
Rainbow nodded. “Sso? What is ‘t?” she asked with a hiccup.
She’s not going to remember it anyway, thought Derpy. So I need to just say it. I’ll feel better for it. Or at least I should. She sighed, then inhaled deeply. “I-its this thing that happened today,” she began. “In the Ponyville market.” Derpy paused, looking at Rainbow. Her gaze was unwavering, and she nodded Derpy on. “Well,” she continued, “I was on my lunch break, and I thought I’d stop by the apple stand- Applejack’s I think, for a treat.” Rainbow took another bite out of her apple before realizing what she was doing. She dropped it and shoved it behind herself, smiling apologetically. Derpy averted her eyes. “There was this young colt there,” she went on. “I’m pretty sure not from around here. Anyway, he and his mother were shopping around too. I overheard-” Derpy choked up. “I-I heard him ask, ‘Mommy, whats wrong with that pony’s eye?’ I didn’t even notice my eye was acting up until he said something.”
“What is up with your eye by th’ way?” asked Rainbow. Derpy winced. “Er, if ya don’t mind,” Rainbow added.
Derpy shook her head. “Its fine,” she said. She turned to face Rainbow, showing her right eye was off alignment again; she shut her eyes quickly. “I-I think a doctor told me its some kind of ‘lazy eye’ where it just does what it wants sometimes,” she explained, “I don’t mind it, its just that some ponies...”
“It wass jusst ssome kid, right?” asked Rainbow, half of the words melting together.
Another tear or two fell from Derpy’s eyes. “It wasn’t just that,” she continued with a breaking voice. “It was what his mother said after that. ‘Don’t stare at it, Honey. Just pretend its not there.’” Derpy shuddered. “I woulda just passed it off as nothing, b-but,” she whimpered, “I-I started noticing everypony else doing the same thing. Other ponies in the crowd were staring too, and when I looked at them, they tried to pretend they weren’t interested. Even Applejack couldn’t look me in the eye when she gave me my change!” Derpy fell to the ground, sobbing. Great, she thought. Now I’m gonna scare off the only pony who’ll bother to listen to me by being this emotional wreck! Good going Derpy, you screwed this up too!
“That’s just dumb,” said Rainbow. Derpy’s crying ceased. She looked up at Rainbow with a sniffle. Rainbow nodded and added, “Itss just an eye thing, right? You’re not hurting anypony ‘r anything. They were actin’ like you’re not even a pony over that!” Rainbow leaned towards Derpy and squinted. “You are a pony, right?”
Derpy smiled lightly and nodded. She’s still here? she thought, I didn’t screw up?
“Then yeah!” Rainbow proclaimed with a hiccup. “Ya know, I bet if those ponies jusst got t’ know ya better they wouldn’t act sso... uhh, what’ss th’ word...”
Before Rainbow could finish, Derpy jumped onto her and squeezed her in a hug. Rainbow smiled and patted Derpy’s back.
“Th-thanks,” Derpy muttered. She felt more tears streaming down her face. I’m not sure how much I care if this is real or not anymore, she thought.
“No problem, Derps,” said Rainbow. “What’re friendss for, right?”
Are we really friends? The nagging voice in Derpy’s head was back. Or will she just forget this all ever happened in the morning?
Rainbow yawned. “Sso, uhh, wanna get moving? I think itss your turn t’ pick ssomeplace to go to.”
Derpy slowly backed off of the hug. She paused before she truly let go. She stared into Rainbow’s eyes again; there was something different there than before, but she couldn’t quite place it. Derpy tried to focus on thinking of someplace to take Rainbow. It has to be someplace she can’t really hurt herself, I guess, she thought. But I don’t want to bore her to sleep. Not now. A glint caught Derpy’s eye. It wasn’t in the distance but right there on her nose; the moonlight reflected off of her tears. “Yeah, I think I’ve got just the place,” Derpy said. For the first time all night she took the lead, and Rainbow was the one to fly after her.
Rainbow Dash quickly caught up to Derpy. Rainbow could literally fly circles around Derpy on a normal day, but tonight they were about evenly-paced. Derpy felt herself drifting toward Rainbow as they went; the conscious course-correction was about the only thing keeping her from continuing with her worries as they flew. What’s wrong with me now!? she thought.
“Sso where ‘re we goin’, Derrrpy?” asked Rainbow. Derpy looked at her face. Outside of the orchard, away from the lights in Ponyville, there was the first moment where Derpy could see Rainbow’s face in the pure moonlight. She was surprised at how vibrant the colors of her mane still looked in the pale light. If they didn’t nearly collide again, Derpy would’ve completely forgotten the question.
“You’ll see,” she said. Derpy squinted toward the ground. It didn’t take long to find what she was looking for: a large, wavering reflection of the entire moon. “There! There!” she blurted out and pointed.
Rainbow squinted too. “That big bright sspot? What iss that?” she asked. She dipped a bit, forgetting to flap her wings for a moment. Derpy gasped and dove towards Rainbow in that instant.
“Are y-you alright?” she asked. She had one hoof on Rainbow’s shoulder. The warm touch was strangely distracting for Derpy.
Rainbow giggled and did a quick flip to break away from Derpy’s hoof. “Don’t mind me, I’m jusst a little tired.”
Derpy smiled and said, “Maybe we should land just in case.”
Rainbow yawned and shrugged. “Well, if you ssay sso, Derrrpy,” she said. Her wings simply stopped flapping in the middle of a wingbeat and she turned into the dive. Derpy gasped and dove straight at her. This time she was lucky enough to catch Rainbow early, but they kept falling. Rainbow looked back at Derpy and smiled snidely. “Come on, Derrrpy, sshow me whatcha got!” she said. She shook Derpy’s hooves off and continued the dive on her own.
Do I try to beat her? Do I try to win? Do I just make it close? Derpy thought. Her mind was going a-mile-a-minute as she flew. Rainbow seemed to be headed straight for the ground. All doubt left Derpy’s mind; all she had to do, all she could do was keep Rainbow safe. Derpy tucked in her wings to make herself more streamlined. The winds battered against her as she caught up to Rainbow. If anypony’s gonna take this fall, it’s gotta be me, she told herself. She curved under Rainbow and shut her eyes and tensed her body to brace for the impact. I can’t let Rainbow get hurt. Not now...
“Ah, classsic rookie misstake,” said Rainbow above her. Derpy felt hooves reach under her forelegs. She could barely move at this speed, yet she felt the air rushing by change direction. Rainbow Dash pulled them up back into the sky. “Ya never wanna take the outsside turn,” Rainbow asserted. She let go of Derpy. She quickly resumed flapping her wings as a reflex.
“Th-thanks,” said Derpy in a shaky voice. “I’ll try t-to remember that.” She looked away from Rainbow Dash. What was that right before- what did I mean by “now”?
Rainbow smiled proudly. “You’d better if ya wanna race me!” she proclaimed with a yawn at the end. Derpy giggled to herself, but it was short-lived. Rainbow missed another flap of her wings on that yawn.
“Whoa,” she said softly. “Come on Wings, you can do better than that.” Almost as if they heard her, they slowed down their flapping. She hiccuped and frowned as she started to descend again.
Derpy panicked. She grabbed under Rainbow’s forelegs as Rainbow had just done for her; the difference was that Derpy’s wings weren’t nearly strong enough to keep them both up that high after all the flying they had been doing. Derpy strained against gravity. It was a struggle to try to keep a giggling Rainbow Dash in her grasp while not falling straight down. A shimmer in the shadows below gave way to a wide expanse of water. Well we made it to the lake, she thought. Just not exactly how I’d hoped we would.
A new sound came from below the pair: splashing water. As it turns out, they had dipped low enough that Rainbow’s legs were skimming the lake. Derpy frantically strained her wings to keep them both as dry as she could manage. She still felt herself dipping lower and lower. Soon the spray of water got into her eyes. “Gah!” she yelled while squinting her eyes. In the moonlight, this nearly blinded her. All she could see was the shoreline. The unfortunately rapidly approaching shoreline.
The resistance from the water tore Rainbow Dash from Derpy’s hooves. Derpy was flung forward by her momentum and slammed into the ground. She was dazed, but nothing felt broken. A ringing in her ears gave way to just two sounds: splashing water, and Rainbow’s uncontrolled laughter. Somehow, Derpy felt herself smiling; her pain didn’t matter.
Rainbow hopped out of the lake and shook off the water, almost losing her balance in the process. “Wow, Derrrpy Hooves, that was just...” Rainbow said. She couldn’t finish, however, as she kept laughing. Derpy slowly stood up on wobbly hooves herself now and stumbled towards Rainbow.
“Whoa, careful there,” Rainbow warned. She was too late. Derpy slipped on the lake edge, splashing wildly as she fell in face-first. Luckily it was shallow enough to stand in.
Derpy popped her head back up out of the water to see Rainbow giggling and splashing about. “So,” said Derpy, “Do ya like it?”
Rainbow sighed. “Yesss, yesh I do,” she slurred as she stumbled through the water toward the edge. She leaned against it sleepily. “Thank you, Derrrpy, thiss was a great idea.”
Again there was something different about Rainbow’s eyes. Derpy stared at them for a moment, entranced. “Thanks, Rainbow,” she replied with barely a thought. Why’s she looking at me that way? she thought.
Rainbow yawned and strode up to Derpy. Derpy leaned away, but Rainbow just got closer. She leaned against Derpy and smiled. “Tonight wass really fun,” she said, “I thought you oughta know that.”
Derpy felt her face flush red. She felt Rainbow’s mane against her chest. Looking down, Derpy saw Rainbow’s eyes were closed. She sighed warmly, nuzzling Derpy. Please don’t do this, Rainbow, Derpy pleaded in her head, It was believable up until now.
“I can’t believe I never got to know ya before tonight, Derps,” Rainbow continued. She sat down next to Derpy.
Derpy reflexively did the same. No! Stop it! she mentally yelled at herself.
“You’re funny, you can take and make a good joke,” Rainbow slurred. She wrapped a wing around Derpy. Derpy shivered at the gentle feel of the feathers. Rainbow nuzzled her forehead against Derpy’s cheek and whispered, “And you can almosst keep up with my flying. That’ss pretty awessome, ya know.”
“Th-thanks,” Derpy stammered. This isn’t real. This can’t be happening. This is impos-
Rainbow giggled nervously, then leaned up to Derpy’s ear. She whispered, “Ya wanna know a sssecret?”
Derpy froze. The only sound she heard was her own pounding heartbeat. Every breath felt like she was gasping for air. Please don’t do it, Rainbow, please.
“I really like ya, Derrrpy,” said Rainbow. She giggled, then pressed herself against Derpy. She nuzzled against Derpy’s ear and whispered, “In fact, I ssorta love ya.”
“No you don’t,” said Derpy flatly. That’s it, she thought. That’s the proof that none of this is really coming from Rainbow Dash. Just “Loopy” Dash. Her face was stuck in a blank expression. She felt the tears welling back up in her eyes.
Rainbow backed away and frowned. “I do sso!,” she insisted. “You’re a really awesome pony, Derrrpy Hooves!”
“Rainbow, you’re not yourself. Maybe its time we headed ho-”
“Sstop that!” Rainbow yelled. “I’m fine, and I know what I’m ssaying!”
Then why can’t I believe you...
Rainbow swayed away from Derpy, off-balance. “If you won’t believe what I’m sayin’, then listen to thiss,” Rainbow mumbled. She stumbled forward. Before Derpy could move out of the way, Rainbow kissed her deeply. Derpy’s eyes widened while Rainbow’s shut tight. Both blushed in unison in the same rose-red color.
This isn’t right, thought Derpy. But why does it feel like it is? She’s not herself- or is she? No, I’m just wishing and dreaming- what am I saying!? Do I actually... she’s Rainbow Dash. She’s a she for crying out loud! Why would I...
Rainbow smiled and stared into Derpy’s eyes. “Ya know, when I ssaw ya ‘n the moonlight, with all the water shining around us,” she said sleepily. “I think that’ss when I really figured it out.”
Derpy stared back at Rainbow. “Rainbow Dash, I think-”
“Don’t think,” said Rainbow as she placed her hoof on Derpy’s chest. “Feel- *hic* -it.”
And there it is again, Derpy thought. She hung her head. Even still, as she brushed against Rainbow’s hoof, it felt warm and comforting. It feels right, she told herself, But I know its not.
Rainbow yawned and lay her head on Derpy’s shoulder. She sighed and smiled. She muttered, “That’ss what I thought.” Derpy felt herself settling her head on top of Rainbow’s. Her mane felt soft and comfy against Derpy’s chin, even dampened by the lakewater and Derpy’s tears. “I think I’m ready to go home now,” said Rainbow softly. “If ya can take me there, Derps.”
That’s probably best for both of us. To say goodnight. To start forgetting.
I've been waiting
I've been waiting for this silence
All night long
It's just a matter of time
The flight home was silent except of course for the wind. Rainbow Dash smiled for the entire trip. Derpy couldn’t stop shivering. The night air seemed to go from balmy to frigid the instant they took off for Rainbow’s home.
They flew in through one of the upstairs windows. Derpy recognized the clouds formed roughly in the shape of a mattress. I don’t care what my heart says, she thought. I can’t stay here tonight. It’s risking too much.
Rainbow flopped softly into her bed. She yawned and said, “Goodnight, Derrrpy Hooves. Derrrr...” She giggled to herself softly.
Derpy strode up to the bed. She grabbed a layer of of the clouds from below Rainbow’s tail and dragged it up the side of the bed. She rested the “blanket” gently over the resting pony. “Goodnight, Rainbow Dash,” she whispered.
Rainbow sighed and blinked her eyes open a sliver. “I love y...” she muttered as she passed out.
Derpy winced. There it goes. Probably the best friend I ever had - if not something more - gone after just one night, she thought. She looked at the bed; her hoof lingered there, next to Rainbow Dash. No... no, she insisted in her head. Rainbow Dash didn’t really say those things. Not the real Rainbow. She couldn’t... She snapped her hoof off of the bed. Its over Derpy, face it. In the morning she’ll... she just won’t be the same pony...
Derpy trotted over toward the window forcibly. She stood in the moonlight for a moment. Her wings, her legs, nothing wanted to leave that room. Not just yet.
Derpy quietly stepped back to Rainbow’s side. She leaned down and softly kissed the sleeping pony’s forehead. “I love you too,” she whispered, so quietly that she almost didn’t hear it herself.
Derpy Hooves jumped out of the window and flew home, careful not to disturb the clouds as she kicked off. The flight was met with complete silence. Not even the sound of the wind remained. Only the moonlight was there to keep her company. And in the moonlight shone the twin streams of tears trailing behind her.
Cover Art by ~Stein225
Fan Art of Lake Scene by ~RainbowGambler
Reading by Phantomilian