Rainbow Dash Attempts to Dress in Style
Rainbow Dash's upper half was sprawled across a table in her cloud home. Amongst various weather charts, empty cans of energy drink and various gadgets meant to measure wind velocity and air temperature lay the prismatic-maned mare, pondering her life's ambitions. Rainbow held the honor of being the most boastful pony in Ponyville. True, she was no stranger to, how did Applejack put it? “Tooting her own horn.” Yes, that was it, and A.J. had a point. However, behind that mask of overconfidence, beyond the thick alls of the self-aggrandizing pegasus pony lay one very insecure filly. And who could blame her? She was just a weather pony, a simple sky janitor. Dash couldn't imagine what any stunt flying team would want with her; much less the greatest fliers in all of Equestria.
Sure, she had saved their lives and shown them a trick which they could scarcely hope to match. But even she knew that if the Sonic Rainboom was the only thing she had to offer the squadron, then she might as well forgo the application process altogether and just shut herself inside her Ponyville home forever. Out of all her friends, Rarity was the only one who saw past Dash's confident façade. Rarity knew what it was like to pour your heart and soul into something and receive absolutely no guarantee that anyone would take notice, much less afford her the credit she was due.
"Will I make it someday?" Rainbow asked herself that question every single day of her life. A simple enough query with a simple enough answer: yes or no. "What happens if I don't?" That question she was afraid to ask even of herself. Yet it haunted her, skirting around in her subconscious and playing havoc with her fears. Rainbow Dash did not have a backup plan. It was The Wonderbolts or bust... probably bust. At least if she kept procrastinating the date of her Wonderbolts tryout like she was, it would be. That last thought caused her eyes to grow wide and her heart to flutter. Apparently Rainbow's attempts at drowning out her fears with excessive weather duties and extended nap-time had ended in failure.
What if she did have a 'plan B'? What if she made one? Just in case her dream of joining the Wonderbolts did not turn out precisely as she wanted it to. Indeed, it may well all end in a sexual harassment lawsuit, with the way other ponies had a habit of becoming attracted to her. There were also her own... problems, which had a habit of getting in the way.
Somewhere inside Rainbow Dash, all of her thoughts, fears and insecurities swirled and mixed together. Culminating in a grand, insane plan.
A backup plan.
Rarity and Fluttershy.
She was Rainbow Dash, beautiful and strong. Vibrant and… and dashing! It all seemed so obvious now. Her friends had connections with a fashion diva by the name of Photo Finish. Rarity had talked at length about Photo's boutique in Canterlot and how she was going to travel there for a shopping spree once she had the time and the funds. Rainbow just needed to take a trip to the capitol and introduce herself to this “Photo Finish,” her natural charm would do the rest. A pegasus with her physique could model any dress and she had enough confidence in her stride to face down a thousand catwalks! Not to mention that she had already taken part in a fashion show before. It was not a very well received show, granted, but that did not take away the fact that she had modeling experience.
She reared up from where she lay collapsed upon a table and smashed one hoof into another in a moment of total understanding. She would ask Rarity for some dresses to audition in and travel to Canterlot where she and her friends would visit Photo Finish! A strand of hair chose that moment to rebel against the rest of her mane and spring up, accentuating her already sleep deprived features and making her look even more desperate than she already was.
With that, Dash dashed out of her cloud home and into Ponyville, intent on rounding up her closest companions for an adventure in Canterlot.
"HAHA! Have ye gone plum crazy, Rainbow? Yer a racing pony, not some fasheniasta or what have yew." Said Applejack, interrupted mid-applebuck in one of her orchards. "Anyhoo I can't be comin' with you on yer crazy quest on account of it being a weekday and my farming duties takin' precedence. Ye really coulda seen that comin'. Ah mean, for how long have we known each other now?" Rainbow took A.J.'s advice as a challenge of the highest order. Rainbow had crossed her forelegs and said goodbye in the most aggressive-yet-friendly tone she could manage and zoomed off to find Fluttershy.
"Uhm… you want t-to be a… uh.. oh my. Rainbow, you and modeling… uhm… you probably shouldn't… uhm... fame is… well, you uhm… all that attention and… uhm… flying… Wonderbolts… you…" Dash was listening intently and gave Fluttershy an expectant look.
Fluttershy just squeaked. The creamy pastel pegasus cowered into a heap on the floor of her cottage and subsequently refused to move for the rest of the day. Rainbow just shrugged and took Fluttershy's words, few as they may be, as encouragement, then dashed off to Sugarcube Corner.
"I can't come. I'm working, silly!" Explained an unperturbed Pinkie from behind the bakery counter after hearing Rainbow explain her plan of fashion shows and grandeur.
"Can't you just get Mr. Cake to take over or something? Or use your Pinkie magic?"
"My what?" the pink pony giggled. "Oh Dashie, have you been out in the sun too long? That would explain where you got this crazy idea from. But who am I to tell you what you can and can't do, hmm? I wish you the very best with your modely-wobely fashiony dream!" Pinkie declared, rearing up so her forehooves clopped onto the counter and smiling encouragingly. Dash simply snorted in response and frowned at Pinkie. This was the second time today someone had called her ambitions crazy, and her competitive spirit had begun to flare up something fierce.
Rainbow sped off to the sound of what may or may not have been rock music. Dash had always been meaning to ask Twilight about that. Her science-ey knowledge might be able to explain why Dash could sometimes hear music when she flew around, but Dash feared it would involve multiple references to 'the high concentration of dark matter within Equestria' and other physical phenomena which she had a difficult time getting her head around.
At last, there, coming up on the horizon was Carousel Boutique. Rainbow entered without knocking and, expecting to find Rarity, was surprised to see not only her, but Twilight Sparkle as well. This was convenient. Rarity was in the middle of fitting a particularly busty corset on Twilight, and Dash had to admit, the only reason she didn't pop a massive, raging wingboner was through sheer force of will.
"Yes, Rainbow?" Rarity at last piped up.
This forced Rainbow to shake the daze out of her head and begin to explain herself. “Listen guys, I have this idea...”
Her friends listened intently, albeit with looks of uncertainty readily apparent in their features. Rarity, of course, agreed to lend Rainbow a number of dresses for her audition. In fact, the compulsive gift-giver had to be talked down from letting Dash keep each and every clothing article because they “complimented her so well.” However, Rarity made it clear that she would not be coming along to Canterlot. Claiming that she had work and had to watch Sweetie Belle. Although Twilight suspected it had something to do with Rarity’s previous experience involving Photo Finish. She was probably reluctant, fearing a repeat performance of being denied the opportunity to “shine across Equestria,” in favor of one of her friends.
"I will accompany you, Rainbow Dash."
"Ah… that's okay Twilight, I know you're busy with your studies and… wait, you will?"
"Sure, that's what friends are for, right?"
It was exactly what friends were for - a textbook definition in fact. And one could always count on Twilight Sparkle to do things by the book.
"Besides, I could pay a visit to the Princess and maybe stock up on some magical reagents. We could make a day out of it."
The fuchsia sunglasses of the biggest name in Equestrian fashion were locked in a staring contest with Ponyville’s lead weather pony on the fitting room floor of Photo’s Fashion Outlet, a high-class boutique in Canterlot’s shopping district. They were at a stalemate, with the pale blue pegasus hovering just out of leaping range of the equally blue photographer, aggression written all across her face.
"And just what in the hay is wrong with my mane, miss fancy pants?"
"How do I put zhis as gently as possible?” She feigned deep thought for a moment and boldly declared, “You are like a great, flying, gay pride flag."
Rainbow spluttered, her expression like a perfect storm of hatred, shock and indignation. For once the speedster pony found herself at a complete loss for words. So Photo Finish continued:
"Not only does your garish mane consist of zhis unholy spectrum of colors, it also clashes with your coat and eyes. I mean can you get any more outrageous? Cyan and pink on a pony whose mane features red and orange? No! I refuse to consider you for so much as a fetlock shaving kit advertisement, much less a runway model!"
"Please, miss Finish. Won't you at least see what Rainbow Dash looks like in a dress… or a hat, or even some socks maybe?" Twilight Sparkle interjected, hoping to defuse the situation before her pegasus friend physically assaulted the continental fashionista.
"I'm sure once you see her dressed up in something that compliments her natural coloration you'll agree that Rainbow can look just as fetching as any of your current runway models. My friend Rarity agrees that-"
"Rarity ye-e-es, friend of Flootershy, no?"
Twilight nodded, smiling brightly. "Yes, Fluttershy-"
"I, Photo Finish remember now why I gave you and your Rainbow friend a portion of my precious time for you to beseech and plea with me to accept her as a model." Photo paused for a moment to look up thoughtfully at nothing in particular. Whether she was lost in thought or remembrance remained unclear due to her implacable poker face and impenetrable shades.
Twilight gave an awkward grin to Rainbow Dash, who nodded back, her eyes sparkling with hope.
"However, my decision is and will remain: NO." Photo stomped her foreleg for emphasis.
Rainbow looked heartbroken. Her hooves clopped against the stone of the fashion boutique's floor as her wings lowered the dejected pegasus from where she had been hovering excitedly just moments before. She felt a comforting hoof on her shoulder as Twilight continued her attempts to reason with the majordomo of the Equestrian fashion universe.
"You still haven't given me a reason why you outright refuse to watch Rainbow Dash model something. I can see why you're skeptical because of her color scheme, but there is more to modeling than just looks. A good model also needs to have attitude… and uhm... pizazz!"
Twilight Sparkle felt a blush creep onto her cheeks as she looked away from the fashionista's decidedly unconvinced stare.
"At least that's what Rarity told me before we left Ponyville."
The faintest of smiles flashed across Photo's face before she turned away from the two friends to pose dramatically, one hoof raised towards the sky as if making some grand declaration.
"Zhat is certainly true for such small towns as Ponyville or perhaps even Manehattan. There, a model can get by on her average looks and a good attitude. And wizhout zhe proper technique and posture a runway model is most certainly useless, however, we are not in Ponyville right now. Zhis, my friends is Canterlot, home of glamour, home of Photo Finish zhe mistress of fashion and…"
Whatever Photo Finish felt like elaborating upon fell on deaf ears, for Twilight's attention was now locked on Rainbow Dash. Her friend was tensed up, Rainbow’s toned, athletic form had gone rigid and here wings were flared out behind her.
"Rainbow… please don't do this." Said Twilight Sparkle.
"FfvfffvFFFFF-" Was all Rainbow Dash could manage through gritted teeth, her upper jaw biting down on her lower lip.
From where she was standing, Rainbow could see right up Photo Finish's skirt.
"D-d-dat cutie mark." Rainbow barely managed to squeak.
"Rainbow no! Control yourself!" Twilight cried, but it was too late.
Rainbow Dash dove underneath Photo Finish's dress and began licking her cutie mark. Twilight could only watch in horror. “Not again!”
"Zhis is highly irregular." Photo stated simply, not flinching from her pose or her usual dismissive expression.
Twilight just stared, eyeing the situation warily, watching for any sudden movements almost as if she were getting ready to run. The tension was audible, and so were the loud slopping noises coming from underneath Photo's skirt.
"Carry on." Said Photo, finally. Twilight felt like she was going to faint.
"Now, as I vos saying…" continued Photo, although the next ten minutes were nothing more than a blur to Twilight Sparkle. She vaguely remembered Rainbow Dash finally accepting that Photo Finish was unwilling to help her become a runway model and the two of them being shown out of the Canterlot boutique.
Outside, Twilight fell. Mind swimming in confusion over the events that had just transpired before her eyes, Twilight had failed to notice a rock jutting out from the cobblestone pavement of Canterlot’s wealthiest district.. One of her rear hooves got stuck and she tripped. Her knee smashing into the stone floor as a result.
Twilight let out a hissing noise through clenched teeth. "You okay, Twi?" asked Rainbow Dash.
"UNNNNGHH" came Twilight's response, followed by another hiss as she clutched the injured knee in her hooves. Rainbow fluttered apprehensively towards her fallen friend.
"HNNNNNNGHHHHH" Twilight could be very loud when she wanted to.
"Come on Twi, it doesn't look that bad. It's just a scrape." Assured Rainbow, although she had set herself down next to Twilight and bent herself over the injured knee in concern.
Photo Finish looked on from inside her boutique. Through the frosted glass door of her shop, the scene looked rather more suspicious than it actually was.
Photo saw the silhouette of the one she knew to be a rainbow maned pegasus dip between the haunches of her unicorn companion, eliciting another moan from the girl who appeared to throw her head back in ecstasy.
"NNNNNGGGGHH" Photo overheard, even through the thick walls of her shop. So incredibly shameless, thought the fashionista. This prismatic Pegasus was not content merely to shock others with her ludicrous appearance. Rainbow Dash openly violated every public decency standard that Photo had ever heard of. Something about her was somehow extremely fascinating.
Photo charged towards the door of the boutique and burst through it. A surprised Rainbow Dash looked up as she was helping Twilight get back on her hooves.
"You are so bold, so outrageous. I, Photo Finish would like to see you again." Said Photo, smiling brightly at Rainbow Dash. Seeing Photo break her from her usual, disconnected expression into something that resembled pony emotion was outright creepy. Neither Twilight nor Rainbow Dash felt like bringing this up at this time, however.
"You mean you'll help me become a runway model?" Asked Rainbow hopefully.
Photo shook her head in annoyance and began again, posing dramatically as she did so. "I, Photo Finish would like to buy you dinner. Do you accept?"
“Ah so... if I understand you correctly my dear, your earlier aggressiveness waz a product of zhis...” Photo thought for a moment, puffing on her cigarette holder thoughtfully as she reclined between the sheets of her four poster, queen-size bed. “Forgive me, how did you call it, again?”
“Compulsive-Cutielingus-Insanity-Syndrome.” Said Rainbow, who had propped some pillows against the head of the four poster and sat with her forelegs resting on the sheets. “Twilight told me it was hereditary and that I get these... urges that are hard to control. “
Rainbow paused for a moment, looking about the room with a neutral yet thoughtful expression. “I didn’t mean for you to get the impression that I was someone else... that I was, well, you know...”
“Zhis ultra-promiscuous and maniacal hunter of zhe fairer sex?”
“On a relentless and unztoppable search for candy va-“
“Alright, that’s enough! I said you got it.” Rainbow admonished, although a smile had cracked her face. She suspected Photo was making a joke, although she wasn’t sure – Photo wore her shades to bed.
“Listen, if you don’t want to continue this, that’s fine.” Said Rainbow, her smile had faded into a slightly concerned look “I know you’re this high flying mare who hasn’t got time to waste on normal ponies like me. Especially since I’m not the type of pony you thought I was, I can understand if you’re disappointed and don’t want to see me again. That’s fine, I mean... whatever, you know?” Rainbow’s tone didn’t quite match the nonchalance of her words.
Photo took another long puff from her cigarette holder and turned onto her side to face Rainbow Dash. “I, Photo Finish, am not zhe only high flier here, am I, little miss Vunderbolt?”
Rainbow stifled a giggle. “I’m not a Wonderbolt yet.”
Photo Finish entirely ignored her comment and continued on her own train of thought. “It vas fun, ya?” She grinned devilishly while idly forcing the hot end of her cigarette into a nearby ashtray.
Rainbow had to think about that one. “Well... I guess. All the spanking took some getting used to. You sure are, um... experienced, Photo.”
“I sink I hear a 'yes.'" She tipped her sunglasses down and spared a glance into Dash’s rose pink eyes. "Shall ve get onto round 'zwei'?"
Dash grinned. “You know my body is always ready, filly! Here I come!” With that, she pulled the glamorous satin bedspread over the two of them and dove on top of Photo Finish.