Haunted Memories 2 (AiE; Rainbow Dash)

Mar 20th, 2014
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  3. >Once she settled down and closed her eyes
  4. >Dash slept like she hadn't in years
  5. >Her sleep was deep and dreamless
  6. >Considering everything going on in her life, she couldn't be more grateful
  7. >When she finally did wake, she yawned and stretched, her wings and legs reaching all corners of the mattress
  8. >Blinking the grogginess away, she lifted her head slowly and looked around
  9. >How'd she end up in this strange place?
  10. >After such a slumber, memories from the previous night came to her slowly
  11. >The train ride, the diner, the creepy living room with its spooky pictures and noisy appliances
  12. >Her hoof felt an empty part of the bed
  13. >Oh hell
  14. >And Anon
  15. >This was his place and this was his bed
  16. >She sat up with a start, very awake now
  17. >What a fool she made of herself last night
  18. >Scared of pictures and some creepy noises?
  19. >Running into his room yelling and...
  20. >Dash swallowed and pulled her wings tight to her body
  21. >Running into his arms for comfort!?
  22. >What the heck was she thinking!?
  23. >She felt so embarrassed she wanted to crawl under the bed
  24. "Ugh, come on, Rainbow Dash. It's not that bad. Least it was...comfortable."
  25. >Considering she had been juggling the idea of using a drunk stallion for a warm bed
  26. >Sharing one willingly offered by a respectful human wasn't that terrible now that the initial shock passed
  27. >It just wasn't something she was used to
  28. >Relying on someone and being that vulnerable
  29. >And he had said just the right thing too
  30. >Right before running his fingers through her hair and...
  31. >She shook her head and flapped her wings
  32. >That wasn't like her at all and she wanted to escape the predicament
  33. >Maybe if she gathered her things and left quietly she won't have to deal with him
  34. >Just quietly slip out of the bedroom, grab her bags, and get the heck out of here
  35. >Dash slowly climbed out of the bed, the old wooden floor betraying every movement she made
  36. >Every hoof step accentuated by a creak or a groan of the wood
  37. >Crud...
  38. >Maybe she'll get lucky and he's out or in the bathroom or something
  39. >Deciding being quiet wasn't going to happen, Dash clicked the bedroom door open
  40. >No sign of Anon in the living room, maybe--
  41. >"Finally awake, eh?"
  42. >Double crud
  43. >He was in the kitchen
  44. >Sitting on a stool eating a sandwich
  45. >"Hope you didn't have anything to do today. I was going to wake you when I woke up but you looked like you could use the rest."
  46. >Dash grumbled something and walked to her saddlebags
  47. >Pretending like she was looking for something
  48. >"I threw out the old stuff in the fridge and bought some food. Feel free to help yourself before you go."
  49. "What do you mean, before I go!?"
  50. >Anon was about to take another bite of his sandwich but Dash's outburst froze him in place
  51. >His comment, as innocent as it was, touched a nerve somewhere
  52. >Cause in an instant, Dash had turned around and was thrusting a hoof at him
  53. >Her wings flared and her stance was very aggressive
  54. "First you convince me to stay here, then you act like my friend, then you trick me into thinking the place is haunted, then you kick me out in the morning!? What kinda weirdo are you?"
  55. >He blinked a few times but went back to eating like nothing happened
  56. "What the matter? Nothing to say to that?"
  57. >Dash puffed her chest out a little, glaring at him like he had set her house on fire
  58. >He didn't seem phased
  59. >"I don't entertain crazy on an empty stomach. Neither should you."
  60. >Dash's entire train of thought, what little of it she had to be honest, derailed and exploded in a gorge
  61. >That was not the kinda reaction she wanted at all
  62. >A bunch of apologies, or maybe even a fight but...what the heck do you even say to that?
  63. >Dash stared, mouth half open, accusing hoof still pointing, as Anon walked into the living room and plopped on the couch
  64. >He put his feet on the coffee table and nodded toward the kitchen
  65. >"Eat something, if you're still mad after then you can yell all you want."
  66. >Dash scoffed and looked away
  67. "Whatever, egghead..."
  68. >That was the best Dash could manage as she swore under her breath and went to the kitchen
  69. >A big part of her wanted to pick up her bags and storm out of there
  70. >Slamming the door behind her, making a big scene like in the movies
  71. >But watching Anon eat made her tummy rumble
  72. >Plus, dramatic exits and huffing were more Rarity's thing
  73. >So Dash, instead, continued to swear under her breath for the next few minutes while she slapped peanut butter and jelly between two pieces of bread
  74. >When she was done, she sat on the stool and ate in silence
  75. >Anon had finished his sandwich and was paying her no mind, reading a newspaper
  76. >As much as she hated to admit it
  77. >With every bite of food her temper cooled
  78. >She was still a little mad but the more she thought about it, Anon wasn't really why
  79. >It was a lot more...complicated than that
  80. >But he didn't have to suggest she leave so soon!
  81. >Didn't he know that...well, no, he didn't know much of anything
  82. >Darnit Dash, way to be a jerk
  83. >Least he doesn't seem all that angry
  84. >She was licking some peanut butter off her hoof when Anon spoke again
  85. >"You can stay as long as you need to. It took me a few days to find this place so I get that it's tough to-"
  86. "Yeah, yeah, I'll be outta here before you know it."
  87. >Anon shrugged
  88. >"Just in case, I'll keep the front door unlocked. I'm done with my errands today."
  89. >Dash hopped off the stool and returned to her bags
  90. >She hefted her saddlebags on and tossed the strap of her suitcase over her neck
  91. >"You might have a little trouble finding a place tonight. It's like 3pm. And a Sunday"
  92. "Jeez, Anon, I'll be fine. This is a big city, there has to be a bajillion apartments!"
  93. >Dash tosses her mane and gives her wings a flap
  94. >Belly full, confidence back
  95. >And most of all, angry jerkiness replaced with her usual cockiness
  96. "Don't worry, I'll come visit once I'm settled in. You owe me a drink for all the ghost hunting I did last night!"
  97. >He chuckled and sets the news paper aside, walking over to Dash
  98. >He extends a hand and she places her hoof in it to shake
  99. >"It's been a pleasure meeting you, Rainbow Dash"
  100. "Likewise, Egghead"
  101. >Anon smirks and tightens his grip a little
  102. >Dash is surprised for a moment, a very tiny blush creeping on her cheeks
  103. >But she takes her hoof back with a quiet snort
  104. >She wasn't about to give Anon the satisfaction of knowing he impressed her
  105. >"Take care"
  106. "You too!"
  107. >With another toss of her mane, she trots out the door, closing it behind her with a kick of her leg
  108. "I bet I can find an apartment anywhere! Maybe even this building! Imagine Anon's face if I get something down the hall!"
  109. >Filled with confidence, she flew down the stairs
  110. >Which one of the rooms was the office, she thought
  111. >She found it pretty easy
  112. >Along with the sign that told her they were closed on weekends
  113. "Whatever, this building is all haunted anyhow..."
  114. >Leaving and taking to the skies, Dash knew she'd find somewhere to stay
  115. >Maybe even nicer than Anon's place! Bigger rooms and a fridge that doesn't make a ton of noise!
  116. >Yea, she'll show him!
  117. >Several hours later, Dash was sitting on a stray cloud, a defeated look on her face
  118. >Things did not go nearly as well as she hoped
  119. >Anon was right, between the time and the day, every office was closed
  120. >And when she did see some posted rates, the prices were a little out of her range
  121. >Not on a cloud pusher's salary
  122. >She considered building a cloud house on the outskirts of the city but it wouldn't be like Ponyville
  123. >Zoning laws or some junk about where it is and how high she could have the clouds and...
  124. >It gave her a headache to think about
  125. >Plus flying over an hour one way to work would suck
  126. >Lousy speed limits over cities meant she had to fly all slow and boring
  127. >Sighing, Dash felt her stomach rumble
  128. >The last and only thing she ate was that sandwich from hours ago
  129. >And after flying around all day her stomach wanted dinner and it wasn't going to take no for an answer much longer
  130. >Besides, maybe some food and a good cider or two will make her feel a little better
  131. >Leaping from the cloud, Dash glided back to the streets of Baltimare
  132. >During her search earlier, she saw Baltimare was full of diners and foodmarkets
  133. >It was a little overwhelming, how many places you had to pick from just to eat
  134. >Nothing like Ponyville, they had maybe three restaurants
  135. >City life, right?
  136. >Setting down, she went to the nearest diner
  137. >It was full of ponies so she had to sit at the counter, they couldn't afford to use a table for just one pony
  138. >Another little reminder how alone she was in this big place
  139. >The cider she ordered didn't help either, it only reminded her of Sweet Apple Acres
  140. >Thinking of that made her think of Applejack
  141. >And thinking of Applejack only reminded her of why she was in Baltimare in the first place
  142. >'Come on, Dash' she thought, 'Don't think about that, enjoy your salad'
  143. >The salad was alright, worth the extra few bits for the cheese
  144. >But the longer she stayed in the diner the worse she felt
  145. >The place was full of ponies all out in couples or groups
  146. >It wasn't long ago she would have been at one of those bigger tables with her best friends and...
  147. >Ugh, get a grip!
  148. >She reminded herself who she was, one of the best fliers in Equestria, one of the Elements of Harmony
  149. >All the ponies in here would be in changeling cocoons if it wasn't for her
  150. >Her...and her friends
  151. >Her former friends
  152. >No matter how much she tried not to think about that it never lasted long
  153. >Why was her mind so insistent about bringing up the past
  154. >That's all it was now. Past.
  155. >It'll never be like that..
  156. >Never again..
  157. >Son of a...this was ridiculous!
  158. >Annoyed with herself, Dash tossed some bits on the counter and left
  159. >The day had been a waste and tomorrow was only going to be worse
  160. >First day of work
  161. >First day of dealing with the weather team that was ordered to take her by Celestia
  162. >Who knows what they're saying about her already, let alone when she gets there
  163. >Cursing under her breath she took off and flew back to Anon's apartment
  164. >The sun had set long ago, least she could get a good night sleep before tomorrow
  165. >She didn't fly nearly as fast as she could, even with the speed limits
  166. >She wasn't looking forward to hearing Anon gloat about her failing to find anywhere to stay
  167. >Then again, he didn't seem like the type to do that
  168. >She let herself in the building, walking up the stairs this time around
  169. >He wouldn't make fun or be angry, would he?
  170. >Why would it matter if he did?
  171. >He said she could come back, he'd be a jerk if he went back on his word!
  172. >When Dash got to the door
  173. >There was a note with her initials, taped onto the doornob
  174. >Curious, she took the note down and unfolded it
  175. >"Got tired and went to bed. Left the door unlocked. Don't forget to lock up behind you"
  176. >That's it?
  177. >Though she wasn't exactly sure what she had been expecting
  178. >The bluntness of the note still disappointed her
  179. >Maybe something a little nicer than 'lock the door'
  180. >She shrugged and let herself in
  181. >Being sure to lock the door behind her
  182. >Least she could do, all things considered
  183. >Anon's bedroom door was closed, and a single candle was lit on the kitchen counter
  184. >Dash's mood brightened when she saw the couch
  185. >She couldn't help but smile
  186. >Anon had left a pillow, sheets, and a blanket for her
  187. >Dropping her bags, she went to the bathroom to wash up before settling in
  188. >Somehow, when she landed back on the couch, it felt fluffier
  189. >As if Anon had somehow made the cushions new again
  190. >She laid down on her stomach, resting her head on the pillow
  191. >With a tug of her wing, she pulled the blanket over herself
  192. >The grandfather clock wasn't ticking
  193. >The pictures were all gone
  194. >Especially the big old one in the brass frame
  195. >Even the radiator seemed quieter
  196. >She smiled a little more, using her wings to hug herself with the blanket
  197. >Anon knew she was going to come back and made the living room less spooky for her
  198. >He really did care, even if he just met her a day ago and she'd been a bit of a snapping turtle
  199. >Or maybe he didn't want her coming in his bed again so he made sure she'd be more comfortable
  200. >Or maybe the pictures were just creepy, the clock noisy, and he was going to do this stuff whether she came back or not
  201. >Dash rolled on her back
  202. >Her eyes followed the cracks in the ceiling while she wrestled with her thoughts
  203. >Why did she care what the reason was?
  204. >Or how Anon thought of her?
  205. >He probably didn't think much of any of this
  206. >He's just nice and this is what nice people did
  207. >It's only worked out in her favor
  208. >She had somewhere to stay that should be all that mattered
  209. >With luck this'll be the last night and tomorrow she can get on with her life
  210. >She yawned and closed her eyes
  211. >What life...
  212. >Ugh, don't go there Dash...
  213. >Just go to sleep
  214. >It didn't take long for the day's worth of flying to catch up with her and sleep to come
  215. >But not before she heard the sound of rain outside...
  217. * * *
  219. >The wind was blowing wildly, howling like a pack of timberwolves
  220. >Rain was coming down in sheets
  221. >Lightning lit the sky and thunder followed not a second behind it
  222. >Rainbow Dash was flying as fast as she could against the torrential downpour
  223. >Fighting both the wind and the sting of the rain
  224. >Flitter was trying to keep up, shouting about something but Dash couldn't hear her
  225. >She didn't have time to talk, she had to get to town
  226. >A bolt of lightning nearly hits them both, sending them diving toward the ground
  227. >She closes her eyes as hail pelts her coat, wincing when a few larger pieces of ice hit her body
  228. >Can't worry about that now
  229. >Have to get to town, have to warn everyone!
  230. >When they landed, Flitter ran to her
  231. >Just as Thunderlane touched down near them both
  232. >Once he made sure they were alright, he asked the obvious
  233. >"What the heck happened?! Where did this storm come from!?"
  234. "Everfree!"
  235. >Dash yelled back, the wind making it impossible to talk at normal levels
  236. >"How did it get so big!? I thought if we catch them then they--"
  237. >He stopped mid-sentence, eyes going wide
  238. >Thunderlane backed up, terrified
  239. >Rainbow Dash turned around in a hurry
  240. >Thunderlane wasn't the bravest colt on earth but even he--
  241. >Her heart froze in her chest
  242. >No way, it couldn't...
  243. >"Dash! DASH!!"
  244. >Flitter was screaming, thrusting her hoof in the same direction
  245. >Right at the edge of the storm was Sweet Apple Acres
  246. >And tearing its way toward Applejack's house was--
  248. * * *
  250. >Rainbow Dash jolted awake
  251. >She sat up in a hurry, wings flaring, mane messily covering her face
  252. >Her breaths came in quick gasps as she gripped the blanket tight to her body
  253. >Her heart was racing
  254. >And she was damp with sweat
  255. >She looked around the room in a panic, trying to make sense of what just happened
  256. >She wasn't in Ponyville and this wasn't Sweet Apple Acres
  257. >It was just a nightmare
  258. >She kept telling herself this over and over while trying to calm down
  259. >Taking deeper, longer breaths and loosening her grip on the covers
  260. >It wasn't the first time bad thoughts crept into her dreams
  261. >In fact, come to think of it, the night before was the only time she--
  262. >Lightning flashed outside, the entire room filling with white light despite the blinds being closed
  263. >Thunder followed, the rumble so loud and violent she nearly fell from the couch
  264. >The sound of pouring rain against the glass completed the ambiance
  265. >A night storm, no wonder her dream had been so intense
  266. >Well, more intense than normal, anyhow
  267. >With the clock stopped, she had no idea what time it was or how long she'd been asleep
  268. >She was still tired and rolled onto her side, away from the window and closed her eyes
  269. >That worked for the lightning
  270. >But the thunder clashed loudly afterward
  271. >Why was it so darned loud in Baltimare?
  272. >Even the worst planned storms in Ponyville were kept to a decent volume
  273. >She got up, sighing as even the simplest pleasure of sleep was denied from her that night
  274. >Her eyes drifted to Anon's door
  275. "I bet he's sleeping like a rock..."
  276. >She climbed off the couch, thoughts of a glass of water crossing her mind
  277. >Another thunderbolt jolted her closer to the door to the bedroom
  278. >She grabbed her pillow with her wing and looked at the old brass doorknob
  279. >When she slept there last night she hadn't had any nightmares
  280. >Her hoof touched the doorknob
  281. >It had been the first night in awhile she got a decent night's sleep
  282. >She really could use the rest before her first day of work
  283. >The knob began to twist
  284. >Why should she sleep on the couch anyhow? Isn't a guy supposed to let the girl have the bed?
  285. >The door creaked open
  286. >That's what Rarity used to say
  287. >Imagine if she was here now? She'd make Anon sleep on the floor for being such a...whatever big french word she'd call him
  288. >Naw, she wouldn't be that mean, but she'd yell a lot
  289. >She quietly walked into his room
  290. >Every hoofstep causing the floor to creak
  291. >Except this time, the sound was welcome over the thunder that was causing the entire building to tremble
  292. >His room wasn't all that big, but she had a hard time seeing and finding his bed
  293. >It was even darker than the living room
  294. >Anon must have put up curtains to keep the light out
  295. >"The storm keeping you up?"
  296. >His voice startled her, and her wings flew open
  297. >Swallowing, Dash looked toward Anon's bed
  298. >He was up, rubbing his eyes and looking right at her
  299. "N-no! turned the radiator off and it's cold now!"
  300. >He tilted his head to the side
  301. "And you only left me one blanket! How am I supposed to--"
  302. >Thunder rumbled from outside and Dash found herself a foot off the ground, looking behind her
  303. >This wasn't helping her case at all
  304. >"You can sleep here if you're cold, I'll sleep on the couch and--"
  305. "No! I mean...then you'd be cold and then you'd want more blankets and then I'd be cold! That'd be silly, Egghead."
  306. >She could barely make out his eyes blinking a few times before he flopped back onto the bed
  307. >Dash took that as a "get in" and did so, tossing her pillow on the bed before climbing in herself
  308. >Anon leaned out of bed and grabbed a very old looking wind up alarm clock
  309. >"When do you need to be awake?"
  310. "Huh?"
  311. >"You work tomorrow right? When do you need to be up?"
  312. >He thinks of everything...
  313. "Umm...I dunno, 9?"
  314. >Truthfully, she had no idea
  315. >Anon was too tired to notice so after twisting a few cranks and giving the clock a good wind, he laid back down
  316. >Dash scoffed when he rolled onto his stomach
  317. "What are you doing?"
  318. >"Sleeping...?"
  319. "Yea but, you've gotta be the dumbest Egghead ever. I said I was cold!"
  320. >"...And?"
  321. "So lay on your side so I can warm up"
  322. >Anon grunted but did what he was told
  323. >Dash pressed her back to his chest as she pulled the blankets over them both
  324. >He draped an arm over her and she pulled his hand to her chest
  325. >His hand was a little cold but it felt so different on her fur
  326. >Nothing like a hoof, for whatever reason it settled her nerves quickly
  327. >She felt her heart finally slowing down to a normal rhythm, even when she saw a flash of lightning from behind the curtains
  328. >Anon fell back asleep in a minute, the thunder not even phasing him
  329. >Dash waited till she was sure he was completely asleep before shimming closer to his body
  330. >Even if it just her excuse, he was quite warm and comfortable
  331. >Soft too
  332. >Sighing, she closed her eyes and willed herself to fall back asleep
  333. "Thanks Egghead..."
  334. >She whispered before yawning a final time
  335. >It didn't take too long before she was snoring softly
  336. >Her hooves wrapped tightly around Anon's arm
  337. >Holding him tightly
  338. >To keep the nightmares away
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