The country pony looked up, startled. “Rainbow! I was jes’ stackin’ some hay bales, honey, I was headed right in! You okay?”
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes, lumbering into the barn. “If you want to call this okay. Oh, sorry, I mean—if you have the NERVE to consider this okay…”
“Aw, honey. It can’t be much longer, I promise. Ah mean, look at you.”
“Don’t remind me!” griped Dash.
“Actually, that does remind me, Rainbow,” said Applejack. “I hear tell you been actin’ heroic. Before I deservingly beat you even more senseless than what ya already are… how about I hear it from you? What happened out there with Scootaloo, darlin’? Be honest.”
Dash cringed. “You heard about that already, huh?”
“Let me hear it from you.”
Rainbow Dash sighed. “Would you believe I was never really in danger?”
“Nope,” said Applejack, gently. “I’ll never believe that.”
Dash’s mouth was tight, pain in her eyes. “But that’s just it. I wasn’t. And that’s what really, really breaks my heart… and you can’t help.”
Applejack hesitated. “May I try?”
“No, listen, I don’t want you to help! Uh… don’t take that the wrong way? I don’t want to be helped. I made some choices, okay? I’m not sorry, either! That’s a really horrible thing to say, I can’t believe I’m saying it…”
“Easy, Dashie,” soothed Applejack, walking over to nuzzle her distressed mate. “How about you jes’ start tellin’ me? It’s okay if it don’t make sense.”
“I wish it didn’t,” grumbled Dash. She sighed again. “Okay. I went out to find Scootaloo. Thought I’d try that clubhouse of theirs.”
“Sound like a plan?” hazarded Applejack.
“Well, I wasn’t the only one with a plan,” said Dash. “She was doing that kid thing? You know, setting out on a grand journey with two sandwiches and a couple Daring Do comic books. I caught her before she got going, and I cornered her, told her I knew what she did.”
“An’ what did she have to say for herself?”
“Said it was my fault.”
Applejack gasped. “She whut?”
“Yeah. I, uh, told the kids some stuff…”
Applejack stared in astonishment at her flustered mate. “You did not go an’ tell Scootaloo to steal all sorts of things and tap Sweetie Belle’s lil’ tail. Uh… did you? But no, you cain’t have, when you heard about it you set out to scold that pegasus filly! What’s goin’ on, Dashie? She turned it around on you?”
Dash gulped. “Kinda. There was this time that I… well, I told them not to be narrow-minded. They wanted to know how I could be having your foal. I swear I didn’t get detailed or anything! But I guess it must have put ideas in their heads?”
“Of th’ Cutie Mark Crusaders?” snorted Applejack. “That’s a first.”
“Anyway, Scoots got in my face there, and I just wasn’t gonna deal with it. I’m sorry to say it, but I flew. I can still fly, you know, even if it’s like Rainbooming just to stand still now. I’m so heavy! And that was the problem.”
Applejack’s ears splayed out in distress. “You were too heavy? To fly safely?”
“I was too heavy to NOT fly safely…”
Applejack listened, watching the tears in Dash’s eyes.
“I got up pretty high, and I looked around. Then I notice that Scootaloo was so mad, she’d come up after me. She flew, Applejack, I couldn’t believe it. She was freakin’ pretty nearly cloud level, too. Or she was until she cramped up… She falls out of the sky like a little orange rock, screaming, and I just dove after her.”
Rainbow gulped again, remembering it. “Thing is—I wasn’t fast enough. I’d have to catch up to her, grab her, and pull out. Normally I can carry her no problem, but I just wasn’t diving fast enough. Then I feel that moment pass where I’d have been able to pull up carrying her extra weight. And then, I’m looking right at the point where I won’t be able to pull out myself, and I know in my gut that I’m already past the point where I could’ve saved Scootaloo…”
Applejack bit her lip, trying to see into Dash’s shamed, downcast eyes, her heart wrung by her beloved’s agony.
Dash looked up. “I saved Spy. And me, I guess, but I wasn’t thinking about that. But I was in this crazy dive straight at the ground, and I’m carrying a baby which is this heavy and trying to reach a filly who’s that heavy, and the time just ran out. I think I screamed too. I will never forget the look on her face when my wings flew out and left her to fall.”
Applejack trembled, and Dash glared tearfully at her. “I had to. I’d like to say Spy wiggled or kicked or something, but she didn’t need to. There wasn’t even a choice. Flight Lightning, she understood that, thank Celestia she was there, she’s gotten stupid fast since the last time I saw her fly…”
“That’s who saved Scootaloo, huh?” said Applejack.
“Yeah. She said it was okay, and I think she meant it… said that I saved my baby and she saved hers. But the thing is, if it wasn’t for her, I let Scootaloo die to save myself—and I can see you’re upset too, but don’t thank me, don’t say you’re glad, don’t say fucking anything! ‘Cos I don’t want to hear it. Ever.”
“I…” began Applejack.
“Seriously!” moaned Dash.
Applejack shook her head, and stubbornly began again. “I saw Scootaloo over at Carousel Boutique.”
Rainbow blinked. “What?”
“Kissin’ Sweetie Belle. Kissed her somethin’ fierce. Kinda like you kiss, if I’m honest…”
Dash’s eyes were wide, stricken.
“I reckon everythin’ is gonna be okay,” said Applejack. “Y’all forgive me for thinkin’ dead fillies don’t never kiss nopony like THAT.”
Rainbow Dash sniffled, and then allowed her beloved to approach, cuddling her, comforting and soothing.
“Poor Dashie,” said Applejack. “It really is goin’ to be okay…”
“What were you doing over there?”
“Toppin’ your story,” said Applejack, gravely.
Rainbow stared at her, confused. “What does that mean, topping it?”
“I sympathize with your feelin’s, sugar, and yes it’s quite a story, but all the same it weren’t the craziest thing to go down that day.”
“Oh, come on! I told you what happened—what could possibly be crazier than that?” sputtered Dash, outraged.
“Well… you know what Sweetie tried to do? All that filly-foalin’ nonsense? Care to guess what Rarity did with her?”
Dash thought. “Dressed her up in—no, wait, Rarity’s up to some crazy stuff. Whipped her and beat her and sent her to bed without any supper?”
“Naw. Gave birth to her.”
Dash’s jaw dropped. She glared. “And what’s THAT supposed to mean?”
“Means our Rarity learned all that stuff about foalin’ up close and personal. Ah repeats, Sweetie is Rarity’s baby. S’prised I never guessed it, to tell you the truth, but she musta had her mighty young.”
Dash squirmed. “Now wait a minute! That’s crazy talk, first of all, and if Rarity’s her Mom, who’s the father?”
Applejack gulped. “Uh… there’s the problem. Looks like it was Rarity’s daddy. He turned up, and I ain’t ashamed to say we run him outta there. That family ain’t right, Dashie. We gotta keep Rarity and Sweetie more safe. It’s worryin’.”
Dash looked into her eyes for a while, then sighed. “There’s a lot going on. I’m glad Scootaloo is okay. She was kissing Sweetie Belle, huh?”
“Swep’ her right off her hooves if ya ask me. It takes some ponies that way, specially th’ young ‘uns. They weren’t feelin’ no pain, I’ll tell you that.”
“Too much going on, if you ask ME,” complained Dash. “All this stuff, on top of you doing all that farming… we don’t even get to be together like we used to…”
“Ain’t we together now?”
Dash pouted. “I can’t even enjoy it. Scootaloo has me all upset, and I hurt all over, and my fucking tits are killing me…”
Applejack blinked. “Say what now? How can your darlin’ lil’ breasts do you any harm, Dashie?”
She got a glare. “I told you, they got all sore. And… whoa.” Dash looked down, and both pony breasts were dripping milk across her crotch, swollen to bursting.
Applejack’s eyes were wide. “Seem like you wanted me to… uh, git after you that way. We never did. Remember? Apple Bloom turned up.” She looked around, furtively, but there was nobody else in or near the barn. “What’s that like? I mean—does it hurt, or is it makin’ you all kinky and stuff, or what?”
Rainbow’s expression was exasperated. “Kinky would be an improvement! It’s just so uncomfortable. Can’t you at least, I don’t know, squeeze them or something? That might hurt worse, though. But, anything! Since you won’t do the obvious thing.”
“Ya figure it’s too kinky for my blood?”
Dash scowled. “You totally balked. I saw you.”
“Well, now…” said Applejack speculatively. “Maybe I was hasty.” She looked around furtively again, and then whispered, “You’re right. We ain’t been cozy enough lately. Let’s see where this goes, my love. Ain’t like I haven’t enjoyed your cute lil’ titties before…”
Dash’s eyes widened. “Wow. You’re really gonna… eee! Hurry, I can’t wait!”
Applejack chuckled as Dash lolled onto her back, legs spread, more milk squirting out of those pert blue nipples. “There’s my Dashie! Got you horny, did I?”
“Weren’t you listening?” griped Rainbow. “They’re really sore! Come on, take some of the pressure off, please!” She paused a moment, and added, “Maybe I can get horny once I stop feeling so terrible. I’ll try, okay? I’m serious, get sucking!”
Applejack blinked. “That bad!” She nosed up to Dash’s crotch, fascinated, and licked the firm contour of the rightmost breast, noticing how firm it was in its swollen condition—and saw more milk ooze out, as Dash whimpered.
“JUST…” began Dash, but then let the breath out in a deep sigh—for Applejack had sprung into action. Her warm lips latched onto Dash’s nipple with a suction that pulled part of Dash’s breast into Applejack’s mouth, and Rainbow felt her beloved draining her, a gout of milk gushing through her nipple as Applejack sucked away, good and hard.
Applejack’s eyes crossed slightly, as she tried to process the intensity of the sensation. Pegasus milk was outrageously rich! It was a complicated, bold flavor—strangely thin, sweet but also more bitter than she’d expected, with faint peculiar overtones, perhaps of vital minerals and nutrients. She felt Dashie shudder beneath her, and sucked harder, allowing her hooves to knead those dainty, engorged breasts, and Dash shot a forehoof down and pushed hers away.
“No… they’re sore, don’t poke, just… ohhh yes, that’s the way!”
Applejack gulped, resisting a tendency to gag on the vivid, unfamiliar flavor, forcing herself to suck all the milk out of Dashie if that was what it would take to give her relief. She wondered what it felt like, having your tits become a faucet like that—Rainbow was managing a pretty thick and continuous jet of fluid into Applejack’s mouth, quivering with relief as her love drank so deeply from her fount of mother’s milk. Applejack took a moment to lick up some of the spillage, and smiled up at her mate. “That any better?”
“Ohhh yeah. Wow. When I get you to do something, Applejack, boy do you ever do it! That felt amazing.”
“Think it’ll get you horny?” teased Applejack. “Everything makes you horny, don’t it?”
“I dunno,” crooned Dash. “Ngh! Do it more!”
Applejack lowered her face to Dash’s crotch again. She took a moment to lick up Dash’s labia, though they were not winking at her, and then returned to the breast she’d been working on, latching on and sucking another copious jet of milk through Rainbow’s nipple…
“Rrrgh! Fucking cramps!”
“Aw,” smiled Applejack. She bent down to Dash’s other breast to even them out… and a gush of yellowish fluid burst forth from Rainbow Dash’s vagina, drenching her tail and the straw-covered dirt that served as a barn floor.
Applejack scrambled back in alarm, as Rainbow squirmed and cried out, “Aggh!”
“Uh… that weren’t no female ejaculation, sugarcube, was it?”
A small bubble of glistening placenta appeared at Dash’s vagina, poking out like some obscene egg, then emerging with another gout of fluid. As Applejack watched, horrified, Dash stiffened, and the blob of placenta was joined by the end of a tiny hoof sticking out of her pussy.
“Oh my gosh!” squeaked Applejack. “I’ll jes’ go get Granny…”
“Noooo! Don’t leave me AHH!” screamed Dash, tensing up again. The hoof shifted, poking out half an inch, then withdrawing back into her again when she rested.
“But I…” said Applejack, and then set her jaw. “Give me three seconds, ain’t leavin’ you!” She galloped to the door of the barn, and yelled as loud as she could, “GRANNY! ANYPONY! IT’S HAPPENIN’!” Then, she turned and ran back to Dash’s side. “What mus’ I do?”
“Well, I don’t fucking know!” cried Dash. “I’m just AAAUGH!” She twisted on the ground, trying to lift herself, and rolled onto her belly, getting her hooves under her, struggling to rise.
“Whoa! Whoa!” yelled Applejack. “Ya rollin’ onto the foal, honey, you’ll crush him…” She trailed off, watching Dash’s body convulse again, squeezing fiercely at the foal, another inch of hoof protruding only to retreat back inside again as she sagged.
Applejack gulped. “Uh, never mind, weren’t thinkin’ straight…”
Rainbow Dash couldn’t settle to any position anymore. She’d lie on her side, stiffen, and the pain would be so bad that she’d roll onto her belly, which would make it worse, and she’d flop onto her side again, shuddering and sweating. Then another contraction would hit, and she’d find herself struggling to get up, and once she even managed it and stood, shaking like a leaf, her body a fist around a no longer welcome pony foal, her mind reeling with the urgency and desperation to act, and a little hoof sticking out of her pussy mockingly.
She stood for another few seconds, and then flung herself down onto the straw, flopping onto her side as instinct demanded. She knew that action would hurt, but there were no words for how much it hurt anyway, and her body would not be denied this expulsion.
Rainbow gritted her teeth. The time had come. Her vision blurred as, once more, her body convulsed, crushing down onto her womb in an agonizing contraction that shoved the huge, solid bulk of Northern Spy downwards toward her pelvis. Then the contraction subsided, and she felt Spy shift back, deeper inside her again.
Applejack was down between her legs, and Dash felt a tugging. She had one of Spy’s forehooves between her teeth and was hauling on it, cautiously. It didn’t do much for Spy was just wedged too tight—Dash felt the foal’s shoulder drawn forward, and then Applejack cursed, for Spy had pulled that hoof back—Dash felt a wriggling up in her pelvis, the foal seemingly trying to get comfortable in its new position, and tuck its hooves back inside.
“Oh fuck you…” wailed Dash.
“Sorry!” said Applejack. “Tryn’a help!”
“Not you!” snarled Dash. “Fuckin’ Spy! No you RGH! don’t! You get GAH! out! NOW!”
Rainbow Dash squealed, rocked by another contraction, and she writhed on the barn floor, trying to rise, nearly getting to her hooves and then lying right back down on her side again. Nothing was helping, not even a little bit, and she found herself sticking all her legs out rigidly, straining with Spy’s little hooves sticking out of her cunt, sagging for a moment, then going totally rigid and straining again.
“What mus’ I do?” pleaded Applejack.
“Shut the FUCK UP!”
Rainbow Dash saw red. It was the color of unbearable agony, and it was the barrier she had to burst through in order to make this experience be over. Spy was done living inside her body. Time was up. Rainbow strained again, going purple, getting a nosebleed that painted the straw red next to her contorted face as that impossible bulk wedged down into her pelvis again…
“I’m here, Dashie, I’m here…”
It seemed like her hind end would surely have to crack open, explode from the horrible pressure. Somehow, it didn’t happen, and through a haze of brutal pain Dash felt that bulk gradually shift lower, prying her body wide… the pain going beyond the comprehensible and then escalating somehow, no longer possible to gauge or measure, searing every nerve in a sea of fire from her splitting pelvis to the top of her head, that felt like it was coming off…
“Oh my gosh, keep goin’ Dashie, that’s his head!”
“Applejack!” came another voice, a cranky old voice. “Did you do anything?”
“I din’t, Granny! I tried pullin’ but th’ foal weren’t havin’ none of it!”
“Don’t! Hold your peace! You set and let this happen, no meddlin’!”
Rainbow screamed again, racked with another horrific contraction. It was like all those weeks and months of appalling fake contractions, only a thousand times worse. Not for Rainbow Dash, the caution of Fluttershy—not for her, the avoiding of physical effort, the withdrawal into peacefulness. Dash had tried to carry on as if she was the same as ever, punished at every turn with those awful fake contractions, and now the toughened muscles clamped down grimly, built up like her wing muscles over the endless months of suffering, and they would not be denied their moment.
Her psyche was a tiny speck of awareness drowning in a sea of fiery agony, but the cause was plain, and now she understood both consciously and instinctively what she had to do. Her legs stuck out like stilts, and she no longer flopped around trying to rise, she just bore down grimly and threw everything she had behind the next few contractions as they locked down like a vise, gradually expelling Northern Spy through a hole obviously unfit for the purpose.
“AAAAAOOUT!” screamed Rainbow Dash, white-hot rage in her voice.
“Sounds like your Ma,” came Granny Smith’s voice, with satisfaction.
Rainbow’s heart pounded. She could feel how bad the next bit was going to be. The head was bad enough, but… and the contraction hit, and her pelvis and pussy seemed to creak from the strain as the foal’s shoulders and body were shoved into that narrow aperture.
She shrieked hoarsely, thrashing her head against the straw.
Dimly, she heard Applejack wail, “It’s hurting her!”
“No shit it is, girl!” snapped Granny Smith, “You try it sometime!”
At that, Applejack fell silent again, or perhaps it was just impossible to hear anything beyond the screaming and the roaring in Dash’s ears, every muscle tense as a board, legs sticking out rigidly as that impossible bulk shoved inch by inch through where it could not go and she could not rest or breathe while it split her open so horribly and it crammed like a cork in a bottle if bottles screamed and she bared her teeth and struggled with every fiber of her being to keep it moving, to get it out of her and not be stuck at this most awful of moments with a foal half out of her and stuck at its widest point…
There was a huge agonizing shifting, like her entire body was emptying out.
There was an awful scraping that seemed to grate her very bones.
There was movement—and more movement—and it got less hard to make that movement happen. Rainbow Dash realized that the foal’s shoulders and chest were out.
Sudden mad hysterical straining and pushing, as her body recognized the hard part was over—as she squirted the waist and then the hind legs of her foal out in a grotesque slither and gush of fluids, breathlessly and frantically expelling every bit of baby pony from her body, to cries of excitement from the attending mares.
“Got ‘im!” cried Granny Smith, with satisfaction.
“Oh, Dashie, you did it!” quavered Applejack.
Rainbow Dash felt gutted and hollowed out, her insides weirdly empty, the pain warring with a surge of endorphins that laid her flat on the ground, and she sprawled like a dead pony with legs and wings splayed across the straw—panting, totally limp, her mind a blank as she recovered from her big moment.
“Ah’ll get all that stuff offa him in a jiffy!” came Applejack’s voice.
“What?” squawked Granny. “No! Don’t touch nothin’! Not right now! Just clear his face, let ‘im breathe, no more’n that… don’t you interfere…”
Dash stared at nothing. So, Spy played a trick on her? Granny was saying ‘his’ and ‘him’. So had Applejack. But Applejack had said that when only a head was showing, when only a hoof was showing, and Rainbow’d had a feeling about it for months…
“Yeah, go ahead an’ look—no, Ah will, you ain’t got the experience, girl.”
Rainbow felt motion down behind her butt, and heard a snort of surprise.
“Don’t know why I said ‘his’, maybe it’s ‘cause when I came in you was sayin’ it, Applejack. That’s a filly you got there…”
Rainbow stared into space, and smiled. She was right.
Then, she kicked and struggled and twisted herself around, craning her neck regardless of how wobbly she felt, because suddenly she just had to see.
Green, light green. The foal was a pale green color, except there was a hint of mane and tail, still slicked down with amniotic fluids and sealed up in placenta. It looked like the mane and tail was cerulean blue, like her own body. Pale green and pale blue for Northern Spy, pale green like the apple (or like Granny, wise old Granny) and pale blue like the ice of the North…
The foal’s head twisted toward her, and Dash found herself staring into a pair of huge, wide, deep, ruby eyes just like her own, eyes that clung to her gaze in shock and confusion. A cute little nose that sniffed at hers…
Rainbow Dash gulped. “Yeah,” she said to her filly, in a scratchy, unsteady voice. “It’s me.”
Spy blinked her big ruby eyes, and then let them close for a moment and nuzzled Dash’s face unsteadily. Behind her, Dash saw Applejack’s lip quiver, her eyes flood with tears, and she clung to Granny impetuously, sobbing out loud.
Granny stood about three seconds of it. “That’ll do! Git off, you daft creature! Soppy critter, honestly, who’d a thunk it, y’ turned stallion on us all of a sudden?”
“Hey!” squeaked Rainbow, and coughed, her throat raspy from all that screaming. “Hey, c’mere, AJ, come here! Atta girl…”
Applejack leaned down, face wreathed in a big wobbly sentimental smile, and Rainbow looked up at her and smiled back. “I did it…”
Hearing this, Northern Spy shook her tiny head and butted it against Dash’s, who corrected herself. “Uh, make that WE did it?”
“Y’ sure did,” sighed Applejack. “Land sakes!”
She nuzzled Dash’s sweet, haggard face, and turned to gaze adoringly at their filly. Spy stood about three seconds of that, and then squeezed her eyes shut, twisting away and struggling to rise.
“Aww… she’s tryin’ ta stand up!”
“Wait a minute or two and she mos’ likely will do just that,” suggested Granny Smith, her tone softer than usual. She had a thought, and snapped more curtly, “At her own pace, don’t you rush her!”
Applejack’s eyes narrowed. She turned, and said, “How come you’re extra cranky, Granny? We’re doin’ the best we kin.”
“How you know Ah’m extra cranky, child? Y’ever seed me birthin’ foals afore?”
Applejack blinked. “Nope. Weren’t there for Apple Bloom. Ain’t you a mite touchy? Seems like th’ hard part’s over.”
Granny squinted at her, and then sagged a bit. “Mebbe. Iffen y’ want t’ know the truth of it… this little blue wingy pony, she feels like my very own grandchild too.” She glanced at Spy, who was still trying to stand.
The tiny filly was concentrating fiercely, sticking out spindly legs, rocking back and forth, and in a series of diminutive heaves and lurches, she shoved her little legs under her, and tottered for a moment as the adult ponies held their breath… wobbling on her own tiny hooves, and standing for the first time. She lifted her head, and those ruby eyes shone, and the little mouth formed a heartmeltingly adorable smile, for just a moment. Then, Spy’s tentative balance gave up the ghost, and over she went with a light flump, into the straw.
Granny Smith began grinning harder and harder, her eyes twinkling as the newborn filly immediately began struggling to get up again, though dizzy from that first attempt.
“Besides, can’t blame me for fussin’. That there’s an Apple filly through an’ through. Jes’ look at her go!”
“How come she’s so skinny?” asked Applejack. “Them Cake babies was plump as anythin’!”
“Amazin’, ain’t it? You wait. Once she gets some food in her…”
“I wanna stand up too,” said Rainbow Dash. “I should be standing up.” She turned to Granny. “Can I stand up?”
Granny’s eyes twinkled. “Right on schedule…”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” demanded Dash.
“Please yourself, I ain’t stoppin’ ya…”
Rainbow glared at the old mare, and heaved herself over onto her belly, legs outstretched. With a grunt, she sat up, then threw her weight forwards and lifted her hindquarters, wings flaring out and flapping vigorously. Beside her, Spy’s eyes widened, and the filly tried to do likewise, but her hindquarters toppled sideways and she fell against Dash’s legs in an awkward sprawl of gangly limbs. Spy gave a little snort, thumped the ground with a forehoof in apparent frustration, and resumed her efforts.
“Betcha next time she’ll… ah!” said Granny Smith, with satisfaction.
Northern Spy had copied the motions, and stood on her four hooves again. She lifted her head triumphantly, and immediately staggered to the side, her hindleg flying out to catch her fall—and Spy stood, wide-eyed, braced like a tripod, panting excited breaths.
“Aw, precious!” squealed Applejack, for Spy had lifted a tiny forehoof, looking around expectantly. “What’s she lookin’ fer?”
Granny Smith snorted. “You tetched in th’ head, girl? What you think she’s lookin’ fer?”
Applejack blushed. “Oh, for Pete’s sake. Buck me in th’ head an’ get my brain started…” she began, and then gasped, and met Dash’s eyes, which widened.
“They do that,” said Granny Smith, wisely, for Rainbow had begin pacing in a circle, trying to rotate herself. “I remember when I had your mother, there was this pow’ful urge to…” She trailed off. “Well, what the hay?”
Northern Spy was sniffing the air, and pursuing Dash as she turned, dipping her head and stumbling faster and faster. Dash rotated quicker, shooting panicky glances at Applejack who was scarlet and speechless, but it didn’t help—the tiny green filly with the blue mane kept at it, stepping lively, unexpectedly moving faster and faster with shocking agility and a look of fierce determination, zeroing in on that one pony breast—the one that seemed inexplicably less swollen with milk. Finally, Rainbow pranced, coming face to face with her foal for a moment, and then presenting her other side. Spy swooped in under Dash’s belly, and latched onto her other breast, and then the only sound was the silence of two embarrassed adult mares and the gulping and swallowing of a newborn filly.
Granny Smith blinked in consternation. “Now whut was THAT all about?”
Applejack gulped. Her eyes shifted left, then right.
Their attention was drawn by Rainbow’s deep sighs. “Ohhh yeah. That’s better…”
Granny nodded. “It come as quite a relief, I can tell you! Look at that tail go!” Spy’s tail was twirling delightedly as she guzzled pegasus milk. “Why, she’s a reg’lar… hm, hello, now who might you be?”
Granny was staring at the barn door, and when Applejack and Rainbow Dash looked that way, they spotted a new face. It was a magenta pony with pale green mane—Flight Lightning, looking in on them.
“Hey,” said Dash.
“Hey,” replied Flight.
“Come in. No, seriously…”
Flight Lightning hesitated, then walked in, staring at Dash and her suckling foal. “I wanted to check and see if you were okay…”
“Most of me is,” said Dash wryly. “Some parts have definitely had better days, though.”
“I know, right? I’m not likely to forget that,” said Flight. She leaned closer, and whispered, “…totally worth it.”
“Oh yeah,” said Dash. “Or… well…” She sighed. “I feel like shit, Flight, what the hell?”
Granny Smith opened her mouth to rebuke the language, but Applejack caught her eye, and the old mare subsided, grumbling.
The interplay wasn’t lost on Flight Lightning, who chose her words carefully. “Same thing happened to me, Dash. Fly steady for the next couple days, okay? Your emotions are gonna be doing outside loops for a little while. Mine did.”
Dash nodded slowly. “Yeah… okay.”
“It’s a beautiful kid,” said Flight. “Colt or a filly?”
“Filly,” said Dash.
“Beautiful kid,” repeated Flight. She gulped, tearing up. “You take care of her. And you take care of yourself, okay?”
Dash blinked. “What—you’re leaving?”
Flight looked angry and sad. “You’ve got your people around you, Dash, you’re good. I should hit the clouds…”
“Whoa, hey,” said Dash, “having Applejack and Granny here means you’re not welcome? Where else would they be? Didn’t you have your friends around when you had Scootaloo?”
Flight Lightning laughed, bitterly. “No. I was out near the bluffs by Whitetail Woods. I found a big cloud and I had Scoot and that’s when I knew I was in deep shit… uh, sorry, ma’am. Trouble.”
“Scoot can’t walk on clouds. She fell right through. She was hanging out of the bottom of the cloud by the umbilical cord—and then it broke. I dove for her, I still don’t know how I managed it but I did.”
“Oh my gosh!” squeaked Dash.
“It was just us out there. Then when I got her home, darling husband took one look and he knew things weren’t the way he thought—and he was history, he was gone. He’d expected something different. And it was just us, again.” Flight glanced sidelong at Dash. “You’ve got your loving family around you and everything is fine. That’s how it’s supposed to be, Dash, appreciate it.”
“And you. I’ve got you with me, right? I don’t have to have you mad at me, you don’t have to leave,” said Rainbow earnestly. “I have you here with me. Right? …please?”
This idea took Flight Lightning by surprise. She blinked, her mouth falling open. “Uhhhh… the fuck are you talking about, Dash? Sorry, ma’am… Having me here is supposed to be good?”
Rainbow didn’t blink, she kept staring into Flight’s eyes.
“You came out here just to see if I was okay.”
“True,” admitted Flight.
“If only I’d known,” said Rainbow, “I would have been there with you, when you had Scootaloo. Seriously. You didn’t have to be that alone, Flight.” She paused. “You don’t have to.”
Flight Lightning gulped. “Yeah. Uh… yeah. Wow. There’s a lot of things we should’ve done differently, you and me.”
“Let’s start now!”
Flight Lightning blinked. “I swear, Dash, maybe my kid is right about you. You’re fucking amazing.” She glanced at Granny Smith in alarm. “Sorry!”
Granny glared crankily at her. “Foolish youngsters! You ain’t telling us anything we din’t know already. This little wingy pony here,” she said, and took a dramatic breath, “is fucking amazing.”
Applejack gasped. “Granny!”
“Don’t wear it out! Now I done said it so you don’t have to. I sincerely hope that’s an end to the cussin’ and carryin’ on! Do we understand each other?”
“Yes ma’am!” said Flight Lightning.
“Now, everypony settle down!” ordered Granny. “We’ve had enough excitement! That there foal is gonna nap, and before y’ know it she’ll be up again, then napping again—Rainbow dear, I hope you done got some good sleep on account of that’s the last you’ll have for a while…”
“Good point,” said Flight Lightning. “She’s not making that up. If there’s anything I can do to help, Dash… but yeah, you’re on the spot for a while. Unless your marefriend is lactating? That would be freaking sweet, I’d have killed for that some days.”
Applejack shook her head. “Naw. Unless Twi knows some kinda spell to do it.”
They fell silent, hearing nothing but the faint drumming of hooves in the distance.
“We should ask her,” said Dash.
Another pause, the wind in the trees, the sound of Northern Spy nursing on Rainbow Dash, the approaching hooves.
Rainbow considered. “I should be good for a while, though…”
“Who’s comin’?” said Applejack.
“Gotta be an earth pony, or maybe a unicorn,” said Flight Lightning. “If it was a pegasus going that fast, they’d be flying…”
“They’re comin’ here,” said Granny Smith. “Hello! Who’s there?”
The hoofbeats approached without slowing, and then she was upon them, bursting in through the open barn door.
Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Granny and Flight Lightning froze, staring in shock at Pinkie Pie, who stood panting and gasping for breath in front of them, too exhausted to speak, staring back wildly.
The terror and dismay in her eyes turned their blood to water.
It could only mean… Fluttershy.