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Sorry it's taken so long, everypony! I'm not too proud of this. A lot of emotional stress has been happening, and my computer has been messing up plus my job has been getting in the way. Please understand! I hope you all enjoy :>
It was about 4 in the morning when I heard a loud screeching throughout the hallway.
"Up and at em, Bolts! Time to get up!" the griffin's voice shrieked, letting us all know it was time to wake up. I groaned and sat up, immediately wincing. My head was throbbing and my eyes were sore as well. I slowly craned my head toward my window. The sun wasn't even up yet. I wanted to just sleep again but I knew that I had to start moving eventually. I heard a soft knock on my door.
"Hello?" a voice called. It was different, not like Gilda's. My ears perked up instantly. I knew exactly who it was and it jolted me awake. Oh my Celestia.
"S..Spitfire???" I managed to choke out at her. "I uh.." I began to scramble out of bed, despite how terrible my body felt, the adrenaline sort of eased the pain as my heart pounded in my ears. Spitfire was actually talking to me! "I'll be out in a minute!"
I could hear her giggle as a few other hoofsteps outside could be heard. "Alright, meet us outside on the back cloud track, okay? Take your time." she assured me. I most certainly would not. This was Spitfire! I was actually going to train with Spitfire and the Wonderbolts!
Once I heard the other hoofsteps sort of fade out, the adrenaline rush subsided and I felt a surge of pain engulf my entire body. My eyes were swollen and sore from the night of crying and my throat was scratchy from my sobbing as well. My mane was probably a mess and my head was pounding. The headache was the worst. It was like a night of partying without the fun and booze. With each heart beat it throbbed in my ears and in my temples, reminding me of the crying I had done just a few hours earlier. I groaned before opening the door to the empty hallway. The other ponies must already be outside. I swallowed hard and tried to walk my best outside to where they were. The back cloud track, as Spitfire said. I assumed it was out the backdoor.
Once I found the track, Gilda was doing something to the Bolts, but it was a bit too dark and I was too tired to figure out what it was. I squinted my eyes to see it better, but increased my pace a bit to figure it all out. Once I was close enough my eyes widened a bit. I realized Gilda was...tying a rope around their waists'! I gasped and turned to her. Even as the sun was peaking over the clouds ever so slightly, her eyes gave off that eerie yellow glow.
"Gilda, what in Celestia's name are you doing?" I asked in a somewhat weak voice. I cleared my throat, however, ready to sound a bit more aggressive when I talked. She clacked her beak and leaned closer.
"Ah, Dash. You're late." she said simply, taking a rope in her talons and walking over to me. I was too stunned to move when I realized what she was doing. Before I knew it, a rope was tied around my torso, holding my wings down. She backed away, smiling at her work. "Cool your jets, Dash. You have no room to question my managing." she said simply as the Bolts all lined up, waiting for Gilda's instructions. I grumbled and stood with them, waiting to hear what she'd say.
"Okay, Bolts, obviously you all know what's going on. But since our friend Rainbow Dash is new, we should give her a run down." she said, pacing up and down the line, looking at me intently. I lowered my eyes at her. "Now in the mornings like this, I want you guys to get your leg strength up. Because not only do you need your legs to help you run to take off, but you need strong legs to help you land."
Gilda walked over and lifted up Spitfire's front leg, revealing how well toned she was. I swallowed hard. Even I wasn't that toned and athletic. Maybe this would be hard to keep up. Spitfire nodded, helping Gilda speak.
"That's right, Bolts." Spitfire said. "Landing in a split second after flying over 200 miles per hour can hurt. Luckily, our legs are trained for that." They all nodded, except me. I merely felt fear wash over me like a cold wave splashing on the shore.
Gilda nodded. "Okay, any questions...?" she asked, again, looking right at me. The others looked at me as well and I felt all attention on me. Although this felt like...condescending attention. Negative attention. Rainbow does not
like that. I merely shook my head.
"No, let's get going." I said to them. Gilda nodded.
"I agree, go on, Bolts!" she barked.
And with that, the Wonderbolts were trotting at a quick pace around the track and I followed soon after. Surprisingly, my thoughts were not on Fluttershy now. Maybe it was because I was working out, trying to impress my heroes. I was still awe struck I was with the Wonderbolts finally. Like I was dreaming.
I saw Spitfire slow her pace and my stomach flood with butterflies. Oh my Celestia, she was actually coming to talk to me?! I felt a smile try to force it's way on my face, but it was as if my mouth forgot how to. She turned to me and smiled, the morning sun slowly peaking over the clouds.
"Hey, newbie!" she said. "I think I know you...I've seen you around a few times, correct?" she asked, keeping a medium pace with me. I was merely awestruck but I nodded.
"Y-yeah! I'm Rainbow Dash." I managed to mutter. She rolled her eyes with a smile and giggle snorted.
"Well, I knew that
silly!" she remarked. I couldn't help but find myself wanting to laugh with her. But it was still early, and I was still recovering from last night.
"Is the rope really necessary?" I asked with skepticism in my voice. She was silent for a moment but closed her eyes and smiled, almost like a shrug.
"Mehhh she's been doing this since she first signed on as our manager. It seems to be working. It helps suppress my urge to fly and builds leg strength." she tried to convince me.
I looked forward, still not convinced. She could sense my silence as a sign of not really buying into that. But she kept her nonchalant face and attitude.
"We tend not to..question, Gilda's methods." she said finally. I was curious as to why. Were they..afraid of her? Was she too strict on them and were her methods a bit..extreme? Or was she genuinely a good manager? She seemed like she was pretty serious when it came to training, and the Bolts seemed to go along with it okay. I kept it at that and continued the run, ignoring the throbbing in my head and eyes.
"By the way..." Spitfire continued. "I had a hard time sleeping last night."
I felt my stomach churn at that. Oh great..did she hear me? I bit my bottom lip. "O-oh?" I asked.
"Yeah. I heard somepony...crying." she said a bit casual, as if it was nothing. "Would you know anything about that?" she asked. I could tell that she knew it was from me. I knew she knew it was from me. But, I denied it. Knowing very well I was lying to her.
"N-no? Didn't hear anything last night." I said nervously. I was an awful liar. She let the silence set between our conversation for a bit before nodding.
"Ah okay." she said, smiling. "But if you figure out what's going on with it, come tell me, okay?" she asked, grinning. Was she implying that I could..tell her? Everything? There was no way, I just met her and it is the first time meeting her where she acknowledged me! My mouth gaped open a bit before I spoke up.
"Ah..okay. I'll try." I assured her. She nodded.
"No problem! Welcome to the team!" and with that, she galloped off ahead of me. I hadn't realized how fast she was. I was beginning to feel out of breath! How long had we been running?! I tried to keep pace with the others, but could feel myself falling behind a bit. I panted, trying to keep up. The lack of food wasn't helping much either. But the sooner I finished this, the sooner we'd be done. I grit my teeth and hammered down on the clouds, trotting and galloping as fast as I could to the finish line on the last lap.
Once I arrived, the other Bolts were already getting water and doing cool down stretches and exercises. Gilda walked over to me, yanking the rope off. It burnt my skin a bit, but it was nothing I couldn't handle. "Get some water and rest up. When you're done, it's breakfast." she said and then walked away.
I felt relieved as I felt the cold water splash down my throat. I was actually hungry from the work out. And I knew no matter how full I thought I was, I had to keep eating. Because I never want to feel like I'm falling behind with their work outs. I want to be the best.
Then, it hit me.
Like a ton of bricks.
I had to be the best Wonderbolt. The best. Maybe. Just maybe. If I'm the best, Fluttershy will surely notice! Yeah! I couldn't help but feel all the negative emotions wash away. If only for a second. I had this new hope instilled in me. If I was going to win Fluttershy back I needed to be new, I needed to be improved. And most of all, I needed to be the best.
Because she deserved the best. Then I felt my thoughts drift to her again, and my mood dipped as well. I sighed and my head began to slowly fall forward. As if there were weights weighing it down. Oh Fluttershy...where were you now? Did you miss me like I missed you? I felt myself slowly being dragged to the ground, like gravity increased. I wanted to curl up in a ball when I thought of her. When I thought of us. I felt my eyes slowly close as I fought back tears before those familiar talons were near my face and Gilda leaned down, whispering in my ear.
"Dash, not good to lay down after a work out." and when she said that, I could feel her beak slowly lean over to nibble on my ear. I flinched immediately and scrambled backwards. I gave her a disgusted look and narrowed my eyes at her.
do that again." I warned her. Gilda merely giggled playfully and slowly turned away.
"Whatever you say, Dash." she shrugged. "Okay, Bolts! Let's head inside for breakfast!" she said. I heard them all gasp with delight and follow her. I'm sure they were all starving.
Despite having virtually nothing in my stomach, I was stuffed. Hopefully I could force myself to eat something at breakfast.