RD's Anon

Oct 11th, 2016 (edited)
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  1. I
  3. >"Hey girls, you ever wonder why Anon is always alone?"
  4. >All of you raise your heads at Sunset Shimmer’s question.
  5. >”What do you mean alone, darling?” Asks Rarity.
  6. >”Well, just look at him over here.” She points her fork at the general direction of cafeteria making you simultaneously turn your heads in the direction.
  7. >At first you can’t see Anon, but once you stretch out your neck, you notice him sitting alone in the least occupied part of the room.
  8. >However it doesn’t seem to bother him at all as he quietly digs through his lunch.
  9. >“Shouldn’t he sit with Flash’s ‘gang’? Isn’t he one of them?” Pinkie Pie asks after you turn back.
  10. >At the mention of Flash’s posers’ group, you frown.
  11. >”I thought the same thing until recently.” Sunset Shimmer says between devouring her food.
  12. >Applejack raises an eyebrow.
  13. >”And what changed your mind?”
  14. >”That he sits with these jerks only when they sit with him, and whenever they are busy enough to forget they are in public place, he avoids them.”
  15. >Rarity hums and nods in acknowledgement.
  16. >”Huh, that’s a fine observation. I must agree with you on that. Recently, I’ve done research about our school cliques and Anonymous seemed to be out of the pattern. But not as much as Pinkie Pie, because she’s in every clique.” She thinks for a bit and adds. “Well, almost every.” She points a finger Flash group’s direction.
  17. >”Heeey! That’s not true- wait, no, it is.” Pinkie Pie makes a hurt face, but quickly starts giggling and snorting. .
  18. >Her voice always cracks when she does this kind of a joke.
  19. >”Why did you do need such data for?” Twilight Sparkle says, as Spike jumps out of her lap straight into Fluttershy’s.
  20. >Rarity turns to her, smiling. “Twilight Sparkle, for sake of the fashion, of course!”
  21. >With that she continues to eat her dietetic yoghurt being oblivious for Twilight’s confusion.
  22. >She quickly gives up and turns to Sunset Shimmer. “And why are you telling us all of this?”
  23. >Sunset grimaces.
  24. >Concern and uncertainty is plainly seen in her eyes.
  25. >”I thought that he maybe needs a friend. A real one, or seven.”
  26. “I’m done.”
  27. >”Excuse me?” Sunset Shimmer looks at you offended, just like the other girls.
  28. >You pull the napkin away from your lips.
  29. “With the food, Sunset.”
  30. >”Oh.” She gives you an embarrassed smile. “Anyway, do you girls want to check out on Anon?”
  31. >Applejack pushes her hat back and scratches her head. “I don’t know. Pushing your butt into one’s business doesn’t sound good to me. But as you say, Flash and other good for nothing boys that hand with him can’t be a real help in hard moments.”
  32. >”I don’t want to butt in...” Fluttershy says, petting Spike. “But why do we assume he has a problem?”
  33. >Pinkie Pie munches another cupcake. “As far as I know about Anon, I can tell he’s a good boy, but according to my book, he isn’t in any club or extracurriculars.”
  34. >Twilight Sparkle, still not used to Pinkie Pie’s antics, moves in to ask about Pinkie’s book, but you interfere.
  35. “I’ve seen him running around the stadium more than once.”
  36. >Pinkie Pie nods. “Yes, but he’s not a member of any club, so he must been doing that on his own.”
  37. >”And you know this because...?” Twilight Sparkle asks.
  38. >”Because I’m the head of the school committee club! That, and I also spy everyone for some government agency.”
  39. >All of you share a laugh as Twilight Sparkle's eyes widen in shock.
  40. >She quickly joins with her giggle as she gets it was a joke.
  41. >You kinda understand why she didn’t get that instantly; Pinkie Pie with her almost always excited behaviour and vast knowledge about everyone and every party would be a perfect undercover agent.
  42. “So, basically.” You say cleaning the table under your tray. “You think Anon here.” You point a thumb at the place the boy was earlier. “May need a friend or feel lonely because he actively avoids Flash and his ‘gang’?”
  43. >”I know how ridiculous it sounds, especially when we’re talking in context of avoiding Flash’s group of friends, but I know how to be alone in a crowd of people and because of me you also felt lonely.” Sunset Shimmer says sadly and emphasizes it with a hand on her heart. “Most likely nothing wrong happens to him, but don’t we care about everyone here enough to at least check if he’s alright?”
  44. >None of you know how serious she is about this.
  45. >Some awkward warmth grows in your stomach as Sunset Shimmer looks at you and the others.
  46. >You sneak a peek at Twilight Sparkle, your newest friend that joined you after the Friendship Games and you clearly see her face being as sad as Sunset’s right now, but with an oddly reassuring smile, as if something is building inside of her.
  47. >Your other friends look more or less the same way.
  48. “Fine. It sounds just like something we would do for anyone. Even for Flash.”
  49. >Sunset Shimmer’s hope was rising and she was about to thank you until you mentioned Flash.
  50. >She convulses and is about to yell something but stops half-tracks and begin to laugh.
  51. >You and others join as well, gathering the attention of nearby tables.
  52. >Once you’re done laughing, Fluttershy speaks. “Yeah. I think checking out for a potential friend is worth a little risk.”
  53. >It earns her a stunned look from everyone at the table.
  54. >”Wow. Just wow.” Says Applejack taking her hat of off her head.
  55. >”That’s rich coming from you, darling.” Rarity adds.
  56. >Fluttershy shies away behind a partial wall of her pink hairs at the compliments, but her timid smile makes you a bit nervous.
  57. >She continues with a growing shit eating grin.
  58. >”A-and since all we know is that he likes to run it means you have to talk to him first, Rainbow Dash.”
  59. >You groan, but chuckle afterwards.
  60. “Yeah, you might be right.”
  61. >”Will you do it then?” Sunset Shimmer asks.
  62. “Yeah, as I said. No problem. With knowing exactly where he lives and when he takes his practice it will take no time.”
  63. >All of the girls give you a shocked look that somehow straightens the hairs on your neck.
  64. >Rarity speaks first. “How, why, darling? Are you interested in Anonymous, o-or something?”
  65. >Applejack chimes in, too. “You feel mint for him?”
  66. >This time you groan, blush and facepalm, exactly in this order.
  67. “No, of course not! But, here, Pinkie Pie.” You turn to her. “Do you, by any event, know his adress and running route?”
  68. >Twilight Sparkle waves her head. “There’s no chance she-”
  69. >”Yup!” Pinkie Pie chirps, licking some cream from her pink lips.
  70. “Will you tell me?”
  71. >A moment passes by as it dawns on everyone.
  72. >A collective “ooh” announces that you don’t know it, but Pinkie does, and it’s basically the same.
  73. >”That’s a double yup, but I have one condition.”
  74. >Now everyone looks at her.
  75. >”You’ll have to take some of my best cupcakes to share them with Anon.”
  76. >You snort.
  77. “And how am I supposed to give them to him if he’s running.”
  78. >”He won’t be running all the time, silly!”
  79. >...
  80. >The silence is broken by Pinkie Pie’s giggle that is echoed by the school ring.
  81. >All of you quickly finish your food and put the empty trays on a container.
  82. >Going to the exit you look to the side at Flash’s group laughing, probably at some dirty joke, and you spot Anon between the other boys.
  83. >He looks like he’s laughing too, but something doesn’t fit the scene.
  84. >”Are you coming, Rainbow Dash?” From behind the door to the hallway Rarity yells to you.
  85. “Yeah, I’m coming.” You say and begin to turn away to the exit, but just before you take your eyes off of Anon he returns the stare.
  86. >It can’t last longer than a single heartbeat but you could swear his eyes remind you of Sunset Shimmer or Twilight Sparkle’s when the former was talking about her reasons to check on him.
  87. >They look undisputably sad.
  88. >Breaking the eye contact, you fully turn to the doors and join Rarity.
  89. >On the short way to your math class with her, she asks.
  90. >”Why are you looking so intense?”
  91. “I’m just thinking.”
  92. >”Oh, what about, if I may know? About Anon, maybe?”
  93. >Your face must be red, but two can play this game.
  94. “First, yes about Anon. Second, why do you want to know that?”
  95. >She is about to answer but you continue with your voice cracking and you doing your best Fluttershy impersonation.
  96. “Because if y-you want then I can think about swinging the other way…”
  97. >Rarity freezes, her face slowly turning pink at her cheeks and nose.
  98. >”I-I, no, you, m-me-”
  99. >You can’t help but laugh like crazy.
  100. >Her entire face turns even redder as she runs after you, yelling your name with threat.
  102. II
  104. >The school day is over, and while going to soccer practice sounds like fun, you promised to talk with Anon.
  105. >According to Pinkie Pie’s intel, he lives nearby and he always runs in front of your house, even if you never noticed him doing that.
  106. >But it’s not like you sit in your window for all day to spy on neighbours.
  107. >Putting on a blue t-shirt, tight shorts and a pair of sneakers, you glance over your room.
  108. >It’s pretty messy, with all the clothes laying on the ground, but your only guests are your dad or your turtle and none of them seem to care.
  109. >Before you leave you take your keys and a pack of Pinkie’s cupcakes.
  110. “Bye, Dad! Will be later!” You yell as you close the doors and hit a slow jog with the box in your hands.
  111. >Ok, you don’t know if he passed your house already, but Pinkie said he always takes a break near the school stadium.
  112. >It takes only a fifteen minute jog until you sit under a tree on a hill where the view over the school grounds is the best.
  113. >Including the place where the Wondercolts are having their practice.
  114. >Without you.
  115. >After sighing, about five minutes of waiting and two delicious cupcakes, Anon comes into your sight.
  116. >You wipe your mouth and look as he comes closer to the tree, slower and slower.
  117. >He doesn’t notice you as he stops and stretches each part of his body, starting with his neck and arms, at his legs ending.
  118. >Observing in silence as he does that ensures you that he knows how to do a good warm-up, and not everyone on the Wondercolts team knows that.
  119. >You can’t see his muscles, though, as they are hidden under his very light and gray tracksuit.
  120. “Hey, Anon!” You say and come into his peripherals with a smile.
  121. >He immediately tenses up and turns to you, raising his hands with his palms in front of his face and his elbows protecting his chest and stomach.
  122. >Visibly ready to fight, but you don’t recognise the style.
  123. >It’s embarrassing to admit but it takes you somewhat off guard, making you automatically take a step back.
  124. “Easy, dude! It’s just me!”
  125. >He lowers his hands and looks at you, blinking twice.
  126. >With confused stare he straightens out his back and scratches his head.
  127. >”Do I know you?”
  128. >Being unsure if he’s trying to insult the best athlete in Canterlot High or just blind, you put your hands on your waist.
  129. “Duh? We go to the same school. This one.” You point the school behind you with a thumb.
  130. >He looks at you, then at the school, at you again and forms a sheepish smile.
  131. >”Oh, well. Uh… Rainbow Dash, was it?”
  132. “Of course it’s me!”
  133. >You don’t know why, but you feel relieved that he knows you.
  134. >The plan would be a failure if he didn’t.
  135. >”I don’t remember if we’ve talked…” He observes you very intently.
  136. >It makes you feel warm in the face.
  137. >”Aren’t you, like, the Wondercolts captain? Why aren’t you at practice?”
  138. “Yeah! I am! Oh, that. Listen, I have something to ask you about.”
  139. >He waves his hands in front of him.
  140. >”No, no no no no. I’m not interested.”
  141. “What? I didn’t even-”
  142. >”And yet I have no desire to join your team. Sorry, but team games aren’t my thing. If that’s all then I’ll be going-” He starts to turning away from you.
  143. “No! Wait!”
  144. >He freezes, and slowly turns your way, once again.
  145. >”As nice it was to meet you and as flattering as your offer is, I don’t-”
  146. “It’s not like that.”
  147. >You cut him off.
  148. >This earns you a raised eyebrow and curiosity in his eyes.
  149. >Great, but as much as you want to believe you do, you don’t actually know how to get to know him in a fast way.
  150. >Unless he likes to compete.
  151. >He’s about to speak again, but you precede him.
  152. “I wanted to challenge you.”
  153. >”Excuse me?” He asks completely neutral.
  154. “I mean, to see which one of us run faster.”
  155. >He gives you a cocky smile and comes a step closer.
  156. >Yeah! He took the bait and now is yours.
  157. >”If you want to race, then what is in your box?”
  158. >You look down at your hand and remember that you been keeping the box all this time.
  159. “Oh, that’s my lunch. A friend made me some cupcakes. Want some?”
  160. >As you open the lid of the box Anon comes closer and his eyes widen in shock as you show him four creamy cupcakes.
  161. >He can’t hide his surprise and you can clearly see as his mood lighten.
  162. >”The top athlete of our school eats THESE for lunch?!”
  163. >You can’t help but giggle.
  164. “Oh, shut up. You can have one or two if you’re still interested in our little competition.”
  165. >He puts a finger to his chin and pretends to be thinking but it looks ridiculous in his track suit.
  166. >”I don’t know. These may be poisoned, or just bad.”
  167. >You take one of them and bite.
  168. >The sweet and fruity flavour pours into your taste buds making you involuntarily smile and sigh.
  169. >It doesn’t stay hidden from him as he comes closer and takes a cupcake.
  170. >He puts it close to his nose and smells it.
  171. >That’s enough for him to give you a last glance and take a small, but quick, bite.
  172. >”Oh, god. This is so good…”
  173. >You can’t argue with that.
  174. >Ever since Pinkie Pie first shared her baking with you, you think she’s the best baker that’s ever lived.
  175. >”Who made this?” Anonymous asks as he finishes the cupcake and licks off the last icing off his fingers.
  176. >”No, seriously, who made this? It was delicious, I want to know.”
  177. >The boy looks straight into your eyes.
  178. >For the first time you notice his eyes are light green, somewhat reminding you of Applejack’s, but even lighter.
  179. >His eyes don’t look sad right now, and you begin wonder if you were mistaken back there in cafeteria.
  180. >He looks quite normal, overall.
  181. >To be frank, not bad at all…
  182. >”Rainbow Dash? What’s wrong?” He says with growing annoyance.
  183. “I have an offer. Let’s make a little bet. We gonna race. The winner can ask the loser one question about everything. The loser, that’s you, can’t lie or avoid answering.”
  184. >As you say this out loud, you feel your face getting flustered as Anon’s smile grows bigger.
  185. >He claps his hands and then pulls both of his arms straight up as if he was trying to support the blue sky.
  186. >”We have a deal then.”
  187. >You’re all giddy inside at the thought of the race.
  188. >It’s just that you love to race. And love to win.
  189. >”But before that, I have one condition.”
  190. >You cock a brow at this.
  191. “What is that?”
  192. >”Can I get another one? It’s not like you can leave it here or take it with you if you’re treating this serious, and something tells me that you will.”
  193. >He points a finger at the last two cupcakes you forgot about.
  194. “Yeah, sure.”
  195. >You push the box into his direction and he happily takes the one rainbow looking one, leaving the last for you.
  196. >Guess it wouldn’t hurt.
  197. >You take a bite of the last green icing cupcake and feel a taste you can’t describe
  198. >It’s delicious and everything, but so odd the same time.
  199. >“So, about the route...”
  201. III
  203. >You gasp for breath while your head is between your legs; your hands on your knees.
  204. >”Ha! No one can beat me. I’m awesome, after all.” Rainbow Dash exclaims, heavily breathing.
  205. >Pulling your head up to look at her, you see sweat rolling down her face.
  206. >Her face is red too, just not as much as yours must be, since it’s so hot right now.
  207. “Yeah. Must admit. You’re awesome.”
  208. >You say and straighten your back once you are no longer suffocating.
  209. >Rainbow Dash’s face turns a bit redder as her hand pulls the collar of her shirt and she quickly turns away from you.
  210. >”You good to go?”
  211. >Her raspy voice shows only a tiny little bit of quivering; probably from exhaustion.
  212. >Looking at her back with her shirt stuck to her well tanned skin, you nod.
  213. >Giving her a moment to continue, you just stare at her back until she eventually turns her head to look at you above her arm.
  214. >You turn your attention to her wide-eyed face and realise she didn’t look at you.
  215. >Blood rushes through your ears as you feel more and more embarassed.
  216. “Yeah.”
  217. >You blurt out and focus on her face.
  218. >For some reason she turns even redder as she huffs.
  219. >”Good. Come on. I want a drink.”
  220. >She starts to walk and after a moment you catch up to her.
  222. >”I’ll take a lemonade.”
  223. “Tap water, please.”
  224. >The waiter gives you an annoyed look, but you bear it boldly.
  225. >He enters the restaurant, leaving you two near the outdoor dining section.
  226. >Both of you stay silent for a moment.
  227. >Rainbow Dash is sitting in front of you, looking at you.
  228. >After a moment, she grimaces.
  229. >”What? Is something wrong?”
  230. >She wrinkles her little nose as her eyes squint.
  231. “Who said there’s something wrong?”
  232. >”Then why are you giving me that look.”
  233. >Your face feels a little bit hotter at that remark.
  234. >Pulling your eyes away you wave it off with your hand as you feel an uneasy itch at the back of your head.
  235. >Stealing a glance at her, you see her avoiding your eyes and her face being red as well.
  236. >It’s probably the exhaustion from the race earlier.
  237. >Another quiet moment passes where you don’t talk or look at each other.
  238. >Thankfully, the waiter brings your orders and places them in front of you.
  239. >You sip your water, as she slams half of her drink in one, swift move, spilling some on the table.
  240. >”Oh, man… I needed that.”
  241. >She says before she notices the mess that she just caused..
  242. >Without a word, you take some napkins from a stand and clean the spilled liquid.
  243. >”Thanks, man. And sorry.”
  244. “Sorry? For what?”
  245. >The table is clean when you raise your head, waiting for an answer that wasn’t coming.
  246. >Rainbow Dash gives you the smuggest smirk you’ve ever seen on a girl.
  247. >”For kicking your ass that hard!” She yells in your face and starts laughing.
  248. “Hey! I was only five meters behind you!”
  249. >”Oh yeah? Then why didn’t you get ahead of me?”
  250. “Because… Because...”
  251. >As good with females as you are, you know that telling her that her ass looks mesmerising isn’t a good idea.
  252. >And admitting aloud that she was too fast would hurt your ego.
  253. >Her smile grows bigger as you blurt and stutter, but her voice is serious.
  254. >”Jokes aside, Anon. You’re ok, but you are not as good as you could be. You’re fast, but your endurance is… well, amateur. If you do some simple condition training you could be pretty good. Maybe even decent.”
  255. >You raise a brow taking a sip of your water and look into her deep magenta eyes.
  256. “Thanks for the nice words, I guess.”
  257. >The smile she’s got vanishes as she gets worried while looking at you.
  258. >Something is building inside her, and you can see it.
  259. >”Well, about the little bet we had.”
  260. >Oh, right, you almost forgot.
  261. >”I can ask you about anything, right?”
  262. “A bet is a bet.”
  263. >”I wanted to ask you about-”
  264. >Her voice cracks and she coughs.
  265. >After the final gulp of her juice she continues.
  266. >”At the school… you looked like you need a friend.”
  267. >Her question sounds more like a statement to you, but you find yourself taken aback by its straightforwardness.
  268. “Excuse me?”
  269. >Your voice sounds more hurt than you really are.
  270. >She waves her hands in front of you in a defensive manner.
  271. >”No, no, no. Don’t take me wrong. I didn’t want to insult you, I just…”
  272. >Her voice cracks once again.
  273. >This time she has nothing to drink it off.
  274. >You push your glass of water in her direction and she gladly accepts it.
  275. >As she gives you a nervous smile something clicks in your head.
  276. “You want to run with me? I’m fine with that.”
  277. >You say before your brain can record what are you doing.
  278. >Rainbow Dash’s eyes widen in surprise.
  279. >”You mean, you and me, running?”
  280. >Without letting her know how embarrassed you feel right now, you nod.
  281. “Isn’t that what you wanted to ask me?”
  282. >You ask shifting in your chair as her face becomes…
  283. >Expressionless.
  284. >That’s the word that would describe her right now, until she cracks a small smirk.
  285. >”Yeah, that was it, Anon.”
  286. >Under her gaze you feel hot, so you take back your glass of water.
  287. >As you’re grabbing it, you feel something smooth and silky that retracts from the glass.
  288. >You take a drink and… your water tastes different than before.
  289. >Raising the glass between you and the sun, you spot a stain of lips that don’t belong to you, just in the same spot that you drank from.
  290. >Not sure what to do you look at Rainbow Dash, who’s blushing and holding one of her palms in the other.
  291. >It takes you a moment but the fact you touched her hand comes quickly enough.
  292. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…”
  293. >She avoids your glare as she falls deeper into the chair.
  294. >“T-that’s ok. Nothing happened, right?”
  295. >She looks straight at you what makes you unintentionally break the stare and look down.
  296. “R-right.”
  297. >You sigh and take a deep breath.
  298. >A sudden rustle causes you to look up at Rainbow Dash as she stands up.
  299. >”Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, Anon. Same place, same time?”
  300. “Yes. Uh, but wait, I don’t have any...”
  301. >Just after your confirmation she turns around and… she’s gone.
  302. “...any money.”
  303. >You say to yourself as the waiter slowly walks up to you with the bill in a classy notebook.
  304. >”Do you want to order anything more, sir?”
  305. “Yes, quite. Before I pay I want a lemonade just like hers.”
  306. >You act interested in the sky as he smiles to himself and enters the restaurant.
  307. >When you’re sure no one is looking, you slip off the chair and leave to the open space not paying for your orders.
  309. IV
  311. >”Hey, Rainbow!” A familiar voice erupts as something locks you in a crushing hug from behind.
  312. >It takes no time for you to realise who it is.
  313. “Hi, Pinks. Thanks you didn’t break my ribs this time.”
  314. >Pinkie Pie giggles nervously, letting you go.
  315. >”That was just one time… Anyway. How was it?”
  316. “What do you mean?”
  317. >”Dash!” The pink girl scowls as she stops in front of the school.
  318. >You know what the girl is talking about, but she’s the first one you met today, and repeating the same story.
  319. >Opening the school door, you keep it for open for Pinkie, but she doesn’t come.
  320. >She does her best puppy eyes, earning her a groan from you.
  321. “Listen, we have all day to talk about it and if I would tell you now, I would have to re-tell the same story to the others. Can we just wait until lunch, please?
  322. >She ponders for a moment about what you said, emphasising it with a single index finger tapping her chin.
  323. >Suddenly, she prances past you through the opened door.
  324. >”Okie, dokie, lokie!”
  325. >You let out a sigh of relief as you enter the school and close the door behind you.
  326. >Only to find yourself face-to-face with very serious looking Pinkie Pie.
  327. >Your body freezes as she whispers something that you can’t make out.
  328. >She easily reads from your face that you didn’t hear her.
  329. >”Did he like the cupcakes?”
  330. >You take a step back and hit the door with your heel before you form an answer.
  331. “Duh. Of course. Everyone loves your cupcakes, Pinkie!”
  332. >Just as you say that, her features soften and she has an oblivious smile again in no time.
  333. >”Thanks, Dashie! But did he enjoy the rainbow ones?
  334. >Oh, you remember him looking hungrily for that one especially.
  335. >Not like the green ones were any worse; it’s Pinkie Pie we’re talking about.
  336. “Yeah. The green ones were really delicious, too!”
  337. >She laughs at that remark and begins to walk ahead of you.
  338. >After a couple of steps she look at you above her arm and says.
  339. >”If you need some more for you or your Anon you know where to find me~”
  340. >Geez.
  341. >You knew that Pinkie takes her cupcakes really serious, but this was an extreme even for her.
  342. >You pull the collar of your shirt to cool down a bit as you walk behind now gaining distance from Pinkie Pie…
  343. >Wait, what?
  344. “My Ano-- Pinkie!”
  345. >You chase after her feeling as your face turns all red, but to no avail as she somehow manages to reach her classroom before you catch and choke her.
  347. >You spot Rainbow Dash as she enters the school but you don’t have a chance to say hi as she quickly runs after her crazy friend, the pink one.
  348. >It doesn’t bother you since she didn’t seem to notice you and your classmate standing near the vending machine inside the school hall.
  349. >”Dude, I’m telling you, it was funny as hell.” Norman says, failing to contain his own laugher and choking on his drink.
  350. >You only shake your head waiting for your friend as he fights to get the colta-cola out of his nose.
  351. >You not being amused by the next adventure of Norman and Flash doesn’t seem to bother the former at all.
  352. “Yeah, great story. I wish I was there.”
  353. >You say sarcastically.
  354. >”Really? Flash and I told you to come with us!”
  355. >Rolling your eyes, you walk to the first class that you share with Norman while he walks beside you.
  356. >”I’m telling you, man. You should at least give us a chance. Our parties are awesome!”
  357. “Awesome?”
  358. >You raise a brow without slowing down.
  359. >”Yeah. We go party every Friday night.”
  360. >Both of you enter your classroom.
  361. “I’ll think about it.”
  362. >You say taking your seat as Mr. Cranky closes the doors behind him.
  364. >Lunch break.
  365. >You try to tell the girls everything that happened yesterday but Applejack, Rarity and Pinkie Pie can’t get rid of those stupid smiles that makes you want to punch them.
  366. >The more you talk about Anon being a completely normal guy, the more their snickers grow.
  367. >”So, you’re saying you made a bet with Anon and the winner has to answer on one question? A bet that you won?” Sunset Shimmer tries to summarise.
  368. “Aha.”
  369. >You nod proudly.
  370. >”So what exactly did you ask him about? Because as good the idea was, one question isn’t very much information.” Twilight Sparkle says before she goes back to her sushi.
  371. >Right, you didn’t tell them yet.
  372. “Well, I didn’t actually ask him that question.”
  373. >”What? Why not?”
  374. >You wave your hands defensively.
  375. “Because I realised that I have no idea what to ask. I realised that one answer is just a dumb idea.”
  376. >You take a bite of your sandwich as the girls look at you waiting for you to continue.
  377. >Rolling your eyes, you swallow and continue.
  378. “But somehow he managed to lead the chat that we agreed to practice running together.”
  379. >Rarity and Applejack share a giggle but Sunset looks happy.
  380. >”That’s great news. You’ll be able to gain his trust and get to know him.” She comments.
  381. >”Yes, and maybe to become something better than just friends.” Rarity elbows you in the side.
  382. >You manage only to look at her as she begins giggling.
  383. >Before you can reply to that statement, Applejack butts in.
  384. >”Oh, stop it, Rarity. It’s clearly visible that Rainbow doesn’t feel any mint for Anon...”
  385. >Huh, that actually takes you by surprise.
  386. >After all the giggling and snickering you could swear the farm girl was having as much fun on your expense as Rarity.
  387. “Why, thank you, Applejack-”
  388. >”Yet. You get it? She doesn’t feel any mint for him yet.”
  389. >You can feel one of your eyes twitch at the implication of what your so-called friend just did.
  390. >How dare she.
  391. >And now both of them are laughing; even Twilight and Pinkie shares a snicker at that joke.
  392. >Not that Pinkie didn’t already piss you off earlier.
  393. >But this is different!
  394. >Pinkie is just Pinkie.
  395. >You can’t expect her to behave like… someone else.
  396. >You subconsciously look for help from anyone as Sunset pats your hand.
  397. >”It’s ok, Rainbow. I feel you.”
  398. >Her voice is soothing and her smile is genuine.
  399. >Finally!
  400. >Someone here behaves like an adult.
  401. “Heh. It’s ok, but their jokes get on my nerves.”
  402. >”Yeah, I can see, but from my experience, I can’t deny there’s a little possibility that Anon is a cool guy and you’ll develop something more for him than just the shared need of practice.”
  403. >Oh, for christ’s sake.
  404. “First, Anon being cool is rather guaranteed; he’s an athlete after all. Secondly, I know you want to be frank but even implying that I would ever fall into this cliche trap of yours is insulting to me. And third, I don’t need practice, only he seems to need some.”
  405. >You huff and take another bite of your bloody sandwich as Applejack and Rarity are choking on their giggles.
  406. >Fluttershy, who had stayed quiet for the most of time, pats your arm.
  407. >”All’s fine, Rainbow. We’re all friends here.”
  408. >Sunset, however, gives you a knowing smile that somehow boils your blood a tiny bit more.
  409. >”I’m sorry, Rainbow. I-If you don’t want to, we’ll try to get to know Anon in another way-”
  410. “No!”
  411. >All the movement at the table is interrupted by your sudden outburst.
  412. >”Are you sure you want to try to get to Anon by yourself?” Twilight Sparkle nervously asks.
  413. >You only nod as all your friends observe you.
  414. >”Well. I don’t see why or how could we stop you from that. Just remember to have fun.” Sunset adds with a shrug.
  415. “Thanks. I will.”
  416. >Everyone gets back to their food but silence remains on your right side.
  417. >You find Applejack and Rarity crying their asses off but completely mute until faint sounds of inhaling come from them.
  418. >They barely keep themselves on the chairs as their laughter erupts so loud it startles Fluttershy and Twilight.
  419. >”Have your *fun*!”
  420. >”She sure *will*!”
  421. >Both of the girls act as if your words had some deeper meaning.
  422. >That’s it!
  423. >Clenching your jaw, you take your tray and stand up from the table.
  424. >Walking outside of the hearing distance you hear as Fluttershy and Sunset scowl the friends that threw jokes on you.
  425. >But you don’t care.
  426. >At the moment you’re so angry you don’t even know where you’re going.
  427. >You still have a sandwich and a half on your tray.
  428. >Not knowing how far you had wandered, you look around only to find out that you’re in the farthest corner of the room where no one is sitting.
  429. >Fine.
  430. >If they can’t get off of you, then you can eat your lunch right here.
  431. >Completely alone.
  433. V
  435. >You finish your last class before the lunch break and get out of the room first.
  436. >It doesn’t save you from Norman though, who quickly joins you.
  437. >”So, have you thought about it?”
  438. >You groan.
  439. >He has been talking to you about how great the parties he and Flash go to are.
  440. >His pack of friends including.
  441. >What you don’t know is why Norman and Flash consider you part of their pack since you obviously try to distance yourself from them, especially the latter, after school.
  442. >You look at Norman as he smiles at you.
  443. “When is your next party?”
  444. >His eyes shine as he pats your arm.
  445. >”Ayy! I knew you would eventually give it a try. It’s this Friday, but we’re going out to a club.”
  446. >You frown.
  447. >”Don’t worry. Completely legal, so you don’t have to worry about partying too hard. If that’s even possible.”
  448. >He jokes and does a dumb expression at which you smile back.
  449. “Put your rhetorical question inside your ass and you’ll find an answer.”
  450. >”Please.”
  451. >He says and from a nearby class comes out a mass of people, including Flash Sentry who pauses to notice you.
  452. >”Sup, guys.”
  453. >”Hi, bro.”
  454. “Hi.”
  455. >You and Flash exchange a fist bump.
  456. >”Anon agreed to go with us to a club this Friday.”
  457. >Norman says proudly.
  458. >Flash looks at you visibly surprised.
  459. >”What? Is that true, Anon? You finally want to taste the Canterlot night life?”
  460. >The thing is, with Flash, you never know if he’s making fun of you or is sincere.
  461. >The way he talks and acts, in general, is just too movie like to be real.
  462. >You shrug.
  463. “Why not give you a chance to show me how you really have fun?”
  464. >”Yeah, but, we plan to go on a half whistle this time. It means easy. Only you, me and Norman. Oh, man! It gonna be great!”
  465. >You chuckle.
  466. >Though you do have to give Flash credit for is his enthusiasm for partying.
  467. >It’s contagious.
  468. >You all enter the cafeteria.
  469. >”Listen, Anon, why not sit with us today?”
  470. >Flash asks as you three get in a line to order your food.
  471. >Norman turns to you with his hands in his pockets and an unfamiliar grin on his face.
  472. >”Nah, man. Let him be free, if he’s still free”.
  473. >He says conspicuously and gives you a wink.
  474. >You shake your head and Flash gives you a quizzical look.
  475. >”I just think it would be cool if you sat with us more often. It’s not like we only talk about girls and sport and parties all the time…”
  476. “I don’t know what you said, Norm.” You say and turn to Flash. “You forgot to add that you talk about dicks too, so no.”
  477. >That gets a laugh from both Flash and Norman.
  478. “No, seriously, I have a book I want to finish before the next class.”
  479. >”You should be happy he wants to go with us, dude. Especially since he has a new friend.”
  480. >”I guess.... Wait, what?”
  481. “What are you talking about?”
  482. >He laughs and takes two slices of pizza from Granny Smith.
  483. >”I saw you running with Dash yesterday.”
  484. >You frown.
  485. “Really?”
  486. >”Don’t worry, bro. I’m really proud of you. She’s top A stuff.”
  487. >At this point, Flash butts in.
  488. >”Are you dating her?”
  489. “What? Don’t be ridiculous, Flash. We just had a private running contest, it’s all.”
  490. >Granny Smith puts a portion of french fries and some chicken meat on Flash’s tray.
  491. >Both of them wait for you as if you were supposed to go with them.
  492. >”Now when you say about it… It kinda reminded me of a competition.” Norman says scratching his chin.
  493. >A voice of elder woman gather your attention.
  494. >”What for you, kid?” Granny Smith asks looking at you from behind the counter.
  495. “Uh, french fries and a sandwich with extra cheese, please.”
  496. >With food on your tray, the three of you go to the place they usually sit at, which is already filled with their friends you barely know.
  497. >Before you take your leave to the less occupied part of cafeteria, Flash stops you.
  498. >”You said you want to read a book but I don’t see you have one here.”
  499. >Why can’t he just accept that you want to eat alone?
  500. >With an exasperated gasp you say.
  501. “Oh! You’re right. I’ll go to my locker, be back soon.”
  502. >And with that, you pretend that you go back to Granny Smith’s counter to ask her to hold your food for you while you are at your locker, but the crowd is thick and Flash and Norman lose sight of you.
  503. >Once you feel safe, you go a circuitous route to your favourite spot in the cafeteria.
  504. >That is to say, the table you usually sit at alone…
  505. >But this time, someone is sitting in the place next to your favourite.
  506. >Rainbow Dash.
  508. VI
  510. >You are granted with a sudden ‘ekk’ from the rainbow-haired girl as you sit down next to her.
  511. “Oh, hey. Didn’t want to startle you.”
  512. >She straightens out her back and looks at you, visibly embarrassed.
  513. >”You didn’t scare me-- I was-- I just--”
  514. “You’re eating at my table.”
  515. >You point a finger to her one and a half of sandwiches on the tray in front of her.
  516. “Or to be exact, you were so deep in thought you forgot about eating. Is something wrong?”
  517. >She doesn’t answer you, but takes a small bite of her food.
  518. >Her features look clearly annoyed as her brows furrow.
  519. “Oh, ok. Didn’t want to bother, just thought. I’ll go to--”
  520. >As you’re saying this and standing up, she swiftly places a palm on your arm that stop you.
  521. >”No, stay. It’s your table.”
  522. >You sit back and look at her, now hiding behind her hair.
  523. >Not knowing what to say, you focus on your cheese sandwich.
  524. >The cafeteria is as loud as always at this time, but you decide against your curiosity and not ask her what she’s doing here.
  525. >After a moment, she digs out her own sandwiches that look homemade.
  526. >They look nicer than the ones you just bought.
  527. “Homemade?”
  528. >”Huh?” She looks dumbfounded at first. “Oh, yeah. And your’s is from-”
  529. “Yes.”
  530. >You swallow another bite, and then take a french fry off your tray and push it closer to Rainbow Dash.
  531. “Want some?”
  532. >You don’t look at her, but feel her gaze on you as you munch your food down, taking another fry.
  533. >She sighs and eventually reaches out for some.
  534. >”Thanks.”
  535. >She murmurs quietly.
  536. >You just nod, more likely to yourself than to her, and smile.
  537. >A minute or two passes by as you finish your food.
  538. >When you swallow the last bite of your sandwich, you don’t feel full.
  539. >Trying to grab some fries, you fail to get anything.
  540. >You look at the big, empty paper bag of fries.
  541. >Rainbow Dash smiles sheepishly as she looks at you.
  542. >”Oh, um, sorry.”
  543. >Damn.
  544. >Except those two fries you ate, she devoured the rest of it, as well as her sandwiches.
  545. >You just look at her as her face grows embarrassed.
  546. >She’s wearing something you can tell is her casual outfit with a pair of shorts that cover her thighs, which seem perfect.
  547. >Her metabolism must be marvelous.
  548. >”Hey, Anon. Stop staring like that.”
  549. “Huh?”
  550. >With a blank mind, you suddenly lock eyes with her.
  551. >She has rather unusual, magenta eyes.
  552. >”You make me feel uneasy when you look at me like a piece of meat.”
  553. >You shake your head.
  554. “No, no. I was just wondering where did you pack all of the food, I mean, look how athletic you are and yet, you find enough space to--”
  555. >”Hey, I’m sorry, ok? You just said to have some, so I… ate them all? You must still be hungry.”
  556. “I got two.”
  557. >”Two?” She is visibly confused as she bites her thumb. “Two of what?”
  558. “Two fries. I managed to eat two of all that extra big pack of those delicious, salted--”
  559. >She interrupts you with a load groan.
  560. >”Dude. Now I feel like a douche.”
  561. >She says as she slides down the chair.
  562. >You giggle at that.
  563. “Don’t worry. I guess it’s my fault I didn’t keep a tab on eating them. Anyway, they’re just fries. Let’s not think about that. I ate and I’m not hungry anymore.”
  564. >As to absolutely contradict you just said, your stomach grumbles, making her groan even louder and hit the table with her forehead.
  565. “D-don’t do that!”
  566. >”I feel bad I ate your food and you’re still hungry and I don’t have any cash on me to buy you those damned fries. This sucks.”
  567. “Hey. I already told you it’s not a big deal, and to be completely frank, I find it quite inspiring.”
  568. >And a bit amusing, but you won’t tell her that.
  569. >”What do you mean?”
  570. >She turns her head still on the table so she can look into your eyes.
  571. >As she is looking deep into your eyes, your face suddenly itches.
  572. >You stop your hand just before your begin rubbing your face with a dirty hand and play it off by waving that palm in front of you.
  573. “Oh, You know. This and those cupcakes yesterday are proving that you can eat all you want and still look awesome.”
  574. >That makes her snort and lift her head off the table.
  575. >“Jeez, Anon. That was cheesy.”
  576. “Not as cheesy as my sandwich.”
  577. >You say with a pseudo-concealed wink as she giggles.
  578. >”Well, thanks, Anon. I may look and be awesome as always, but I feel bad for--”
  579. “I already asked you to change the subject. But you know what? If you want to be clear with me, then maybe… make me a sandwich tomorrow?”
  580. >She looks at you as if she doesn’t get it, then quickly shakes her head and place a palm on her small chin as if before crying out ‘Eureka!’.
  581. >”Of course! I can do that!”
  582. >Her sudden outburst of enthusiasm catches you off-guard and you laugh.
  583. >She joins you in that fit, causing a pair of students from a nearby table to look at both of you.
  584. >”Anyway, you still wanna to meet and run today?”
  585. “As we agreed. I really enjoyed it yesterday.”
  586. >You smile once again.
  587. >”Even that part when you lost our bet?”
  588. “Even that part-- ooh.”
  589. >She bares her teeth in a grin.
  590. >”You remember the wager? I can ask you about anything.”
  591. >You just blankly stare at her, ignoring the increasing heat.
  592. “Didn’t you already do that?”
  593. >”That friendship question doesn’t really count, but I won’t do that yet, so don’t worry.”
  594. “Why not? Why not ask me already?”
  595. >After a heartbeat, both of you are surprised by your question.
  596. >”Well, because I don’t have anything I want to ask you about right now.”
  597. “Oh, great. So I’m not an interesting person. Thanks, Rainbow Dash-- OW!”
  598. >She hits your arm.
  599. >”You know what I meant, jackass.”
  600. >Rubbing your sore spot, you curses.
  601. “But I have something I want to ask you.”
  602. >”Oh?” She raises a brow.
  603. “Who made those delicious cupcakes? How can I get more?”
  604. >As you listen intently, she taps the table.
  605. >”You know what? You didn’t win, so I won’t tell you until you win the next time. That will make you push your limits.”
  606. >That takes you aback somewhat.
  607. “Why do you care about me being a good athlete, we don’t know each other that good, you fries-eating demon.”
  608. >She gives you another toothy grin.
  609. >”Simple, You are a good material for a runner and as the school captain in every discipline I still hope you’ll join the school team.”
  610. >You laugh, standing up and taking your tray.
  611. “Fat chance, but I can’t forbid you from hoping. Oh, wait. We never actually agreed where will we meet and at what time. Same place same time sounds too cliche to actually work.”
  612. >”Huh. You know, that’s right. So how about my place?” She says standing up.
  613. “But I don’t know where you live.”
  614. >”Second Street 34. Now you know. You ran there yesterday; t-that’s when I saw you.”
  615. >Her voice cracked as she looked away.
  616. >Cute.
  617. “Ok. At four thirty?”
  618. >”Yes. We might go to the same restaurant later. I love their lemonade.”
  619. >You can’t help but awkwardly smile and wave your hand as you go away.
  620. >...
  621. >You can’t go back to that restaurant, though.
  623. VII
  625. >It’s 4:27PM and you just arrived at the street Rainbow lives on.
  626. >Truthfully, it’s not far from your place and is actually your usual running route.
  627. >You find number 34 easily; it’s a two floor house made of red brick placed between buildings made in the same fashion.
  628. >The first floor has a big window and, looking through it, you see that there’s a lot of sport equipment of different kinds.
  629. >As if your school’s athlete could live in more cliched neighbourhood.
  630. >The doors open and you get startled as Rainbow Dash leans out from the shop.
  631. >”Hey, Anon. Come in.”
  632. >Her head disappears inside, as you scratch your head.
  633. >You come in; the door closes behind you with a ring of a small bell.
  634. >The room looks even more filled with sport equipment, but it manages to looks cozy.
  635. >Even the fishing-poles and rowing machine somehow fits.
  636. >But you’re not looking at that, as you quickly spot the rainbow haired girl behind the counter with a cash register.
  637. >”What’s with that dumb look on your face?”
  638. >She asks raising her brow.
  639. “Aren’t we settled on jogging, like in…” You break your speech as you look at a clock on the wall above her head. “... three minutes?”
  640. >Rainbow Dash nods.
  641. >”Yeah, what about it? Don’t tell me you just came here to say you changed your mind.”
  642. “What? No! But… didn’t you say you live here? I come and you’re at work. What is the meaning of this?”
  643. >She just chuckles at that and raises her hands to present the entire area to you.
  644. >”It’s my parents shop, and no, I didn’t forget. My dad had to visit some offices for some paperwork to be done and I had to keep an eye on the business. And no, I didn’t lie. I live here, on the second floor. He should be here any moment, so we’ll wait for him to come and I’ll go change my clothes then we’ll be ready to go.”
  645. >All the time she’s speaking, she’s smiling at you.
  646. >You once again feel a need to scratch your head but stop yourself short.
  647. >Apparently, she makes you feel nervous for some reason, but it doesn’t bother you as much as the eventuality of her knowing that.
  648. >Her mocking would be endless, you would have to never run with her again, and the possibility of running with someone like yesterday… actually sounds nice.
  649. >Also, you have to win, to get to know who made those delicious cupcakes.
  650. >”Earth to Anon! Are you there?”
  651. >You shake your head as Rainbow laughs heartedly.
  652. >”Damn, you looked like some egghead chess-master.”
  653. “Hey, you--”
  654. >Before you can retort, the bell at the door signals that someone’s entered the shop.
  655. >You turn to see a middle-aged man with hair colour that matches Rainbow Dash’s.
  656. >”Hey, dad!” Dash says as she jumps above the counter and comes closer to you.
  657. >”I’m back-h-Hey! I told you to not do that! Especially not in front of a customer!” Rainbow’s dad says grimacing looking at her, and pointing his hand at you.
  658. >”Pfft, dad. As if I could hurt myself like that. And this is not a customer, this is Anon, and we’re gonna head out now that you’re here.”
  659. >You tense as Rainbow’s dad gives you a menacing glare.
  660. >He raises a finger and aims it at you.
  661. >”Hey, young boy, what are your intentions for my daughter?”
  662. >You freeze.
  663. >Then he starts laughing.
  664. >”Oh, boy! If you could’ve seen your face!”
  665. >W-what?
  666. >Rainbow Dash rolls her eyes.
  667. >”Why must you always embarrass me in front of all my friends, dad?”
  668. >The laughing man wipes a single tear from his eye.
  669. >”Not in front of all, just your male friends, Dash.” At that he winks to you…
  670. >She just groans at that and grabs your arm, pulling you aside to a door that must lead to another part of the house.
  671. >Before she tug you through the door on a staircase, you hear as her dad bursts into laughter once again.
  672. >She seems angry as she goes up the stairs and you’re not sure if you should follow her.
  673. >”You coming, or what?” Rainbow says, not looking back at you.
  674. >You stop looking at her back and quietly follow her on the stairs.
  675. >On the second floor is three pairs of doors.
  676. >There’s also a couple pairs of shoes on a mat next to a wall, so you take your shoes off and place them next to a pair of house slippers that looks like two identical tortoises.
  677. >She looks at you and opens one of the doors before inviting you inside.
  678. >It’s her bedroom, of course.
  679. >Even if you were completely drunk and lost you could tell it’s her.
  680. >It’s a bright room, with a big window pouring in sunlight.
  681. >The walls are painted light blue, and there’s a lot of sport club posters and cheering flags.
  682. >It’s pretty clean there.
  683. >But you didn’t expect to come here in the first place.
  684. “Ok. Your bedroom. Great?”
  685. >”Just wait a moment, I’ll change in the bathroom and we gotta go.”
  686. >She very quickly opens a wardrobe, takes something out and runs out of the room.
  687. >The door slams behind her, as you look around her room alone.
  688. >It feels weird to be in one’s bedroom without that person, or without being family or intimate with them.
  689. >You see a bunch of trophies for first place in sport activities, but even more pictures of some number one team that you swear you know, but can’t name.
  690. >Wonder Polls? Isn’t that the name given to your national olympics team?
  691. >One of the pictures is even signed, ‘For Rainbow Dash, Fan #1, xoxo Spitfire’.
  692. >...
  693. >You look at the screen of your phone and place it back in your shorts, surprised that it’s only 4:33PM.
  694. >All it took was three minutes, and you’re already angry for waiting.
  695. >You’ve been told that you’re very impatient, but that’s who you are.
  696. >Looking for anything more to inspect you spot an aquarium without water.
  697. >No, it’s a terrarium.
  698. >It’s on a nightstand next her bed and something’s moving inside it.
  699. >A tortoise.
  700. >You bend over and place your face just an inch away from the glass as it raises its head and looks in your general direction with something kind of a smile on its face.
  701. >The door swings open, so you turn around.
  702. >”Oh, Tank usually hides from people, he must like you..”
  703. >She’s standing in the doorframe; sport shoes, shorts and a white top is all she wears.
  704. >Her hair is made into a ponytail… that somehow looks... cute?
  705. >”Come on, Anon. I’m ready! Let’s get all sweaty!”
  706. >W-what?
  707. >She said that and now is running down the stairs, not waiting to see your reaction.
  708. >And she missed a view worth of laugh, because you were just a bit away from dropping your jaw.
  709. >With a higher pulse than you would admit, you jump out of her room, quickly put your shoes on before going down the stairs.
  710. >”Bye, dad!” She yells to the closed door on your left.
  711. >And you can hear as her dad yell as well.
  712. >“Bye, princess!”
  713. >You stay quiet at her embarrassment and she, with beet-red face, shows you a way out that doesn’t require going through the shop.
  714. >Once both of you are outside, she turns to you; her face is still red.
  715. >”You won’t--”
  716. >But you halt her with a raised hand.
  717. “I won’t tell anyone about that nickname. Anyway, no one would believe me. Don’t worry.”
  718. >”Huh… well, thanks. Shall we?”
  719. >She moves her hand as if asking to a dance.
  720. “Just a moment.”
  721. >You pull your phone out to see the time.
  722. >It’s 4:36PM.
  723. “H-how?”
  724. >”What?”
  725. >You hide your phone and look at her incredulously.
  726. >She looks concerned.
  727. “It was only nine minutes but, I swear, it felt like an eternity has passed since I came here!”
  728. >”What are you talking about?”
  729. “It never… nevermind. Let’s go.”
  730. >”Ok!”
  731. >She chirps and both of you start jogging down the road.
  733. VIII
  735. >The two of you silently run down the street and keep a quick pace and that requires good breathing.
  736. >You’re neck and neck at the start, but Rainbow Dash quickly gets half a foot ahead of your by the time you get to a park on the way to the high school.
  737. >She leads you to the park before you can even remark on it.
  738. >Both of you rest under the thick canopy of the trees.
  739. >Rainbow Dash bends down and stretches her back.
  740. >”What? You don’t do stretching?”
  741. “What? No, I just don’t feel like it now.”
  742. >”That’s insane,” straightening her back once again.
  743. “I didn’t say I don’t do that, I just don’t feel like doing it now. I ran the distance between our houses, and I was totally warmed up by then.”
  744. >She squints at you as she sits on the grass and do her legs.
  745. >”It wouldn’t hurt to do it again.”
  746. >Being sure that she’s watching, you roll your eyes.
  747. >To your surprise, she doesn’t bother you anymore as she focuses on doing the exercises.
  748. >Left to your own devices you can’t help but mentally agree with her, and stretch as well.
  749. >It takes only three to five minutes before Rainbow Dash calls your name but you already feel lighter, proving her right.
  750. >”Anon, you ready to go? Or do you want to do some more warm-up?”
  751. >You turn to her standing there with a cocky grin in her shorts and white top.
  752. >Her rainbow pony-tail moves on wind that isn’t there...
  753. “Yeah, well, I was just killing time while waiting for you.”
  754. >She laughs and you two start your jog again.
  755. >You slowly pick up speed until you’ve returned to your previous gait.
  756. >As you exit the park with Rainbow Dash on your right, you notice that she’s a small distance ahead of you again.
  757. >Grunting, you speed up just a tiny bit to not stay behind but she, without looking back, speeds up as well.
  758. >This continues for a moment before you return to your original speed.
  759. >So does she.
  760. >Noticing that she does that ‘being-ahead’ thing automatically gives you a short chuckle.
  761. >She gives you a curious look.
  762. ”What?”
  763. >”Why are you looking at me like that?”
  764. “I am not.”
  765. >Now, she’s the one rolling her eyes.
  766. >”Whatever you say.”
  767. >She chuckles.
  768. >In another period of silence you reach the high school entrance and next to the stallion statue you turn left.
  769. >The nearby sports field is actually occupied by some classmates of yours that you cannot tell from that far distance.
  770. >You two jog on the outer side of the school grounds.
  771. “How is it that you’re a captain of every sport but chess?”
  772. >”Huh?” She throws you a quick glance before fixing her trademark smirk. “Because chess is boring.”
  773. “That’s not what I was asking about.”
  774. >You two take another turn, this time to the left and you can’t watch the sport field anymore as your field of vision is obstructed by bleachers.
  775. >”I know.”
  776. >That’s all she says.
  777. >Another couple of yards in silence.
  778. “But--”
  779. >”Just don’t ask me anything stupid.”
  780. “Ok. Isn’t it hard?”
  781. >”Hard?”
  782. “To always be so awesome. To always be the number one. Don’t tell me you don’t feel burdened with that at least from time to time, captain Rainbow Dash.”
  783. >You run nearby the tree she caught you at the last time.
  784. >”Anon... “ She starts while not looking at you. “Ok, it may not be the easiest thing to do, but someone has to keep the school spirit high. To show them that it’s possible.”
  785. >She looks at you with concern in her eyes and you hum in acknowledgement.
  786. “So, you’re doing it for school?”
  787. >She grimaces.
  788. >”Not only for school, but for myself as well. I want to show my friends how awesome I am, sure, but I also want to be the best I can be to show them how much I appreciate them.
  789. “That’s nice of you.”
  790. >She scoffs.
  791. >”Yeah, sure.”
  792. >Your legs slow down involuntarily.
  793. >Thankfully, she keeps your new pace.
  794. “I really mean that it’s very sweet of you to be both such a sincere person to yourself and your friends. I would call it rare.”
  795. >”Geez, Anon. Don’t say such embarrassing things. It sounds like you’re hitting on me.”
  796. >Her elbow meets your biceps making you to playfully block from her.
  797. “Alright, alright. I won’t, just don’t hit me. Mercy.”
  798. >She turns her head to look at you and her rainbow pony-tail swings accordingly.
  799. >Her magenta eyes roll.
  800. >”Maybe I should. That would help you to keep the pace and not to leech.”
  801. >So she noticed.
  802. “Me being tired is all. Dash.”
  803. >”Ok. But not too long. We must preserve warmth.”
  804. >It makes you giggle.
  805. “That sounds very nerdy. I didn’t expect that from you.”
  806. >”I feel like I should to hit you for that.”
  807. >You look around and see that maybe you have passed the good spot to look at the fields already, but the sidewalk here has a bench.
  808. ”Well, why don't we sit down and discuss that?”
  809. >You sit on the bench and push your back into its wooden back.
  810. >”That’s even nerdier!” She throws her arms up in some sickened fashion but keeps a smile.
  811. “I didn’t say that being a nerd is a bad thing in general. Just uncool.”
  812. >You pat the place on the bench next to you with your palm.
  813. “Care to join?”
  814. >She folds her arms but sits down next to you.
  815. >It’s still daytime and warm, but you can feel heat radiate from her.
  816. >She looks like she barely broke a sweat while you can feel some stiffness in your muscles.
  817. >You sigh and close your eyes for a moment, allowing yourself to simply rest your head.
  818. >Rainbow Dash, on your right, also makes a content sound and shifts her position so you can feel her warmth better.
  819. >Though, you don’t touch each other.
  820. >After a minute or two of relative silence, you open your eyes and look at her.
  821. >She’s reclining on the bench just like you.
  822. >With closed eyes and dreamy smile.
  823. “I really meant it.”
  824. >Her eyes open and they lock with yours.
  825. >”Meant what?”
  826. “That you are a good friend for, well, everyone.”
  827. >Her face gets redder and she shifts into sitting properly.
  828. >You quickly do the same.
  829. “I’m sorry, I didn’t want to sound cheesy. I realised that it have sounded better in my head than outside, but, really, look. You’re overworking yourself not for personal score, which is quite amazing already, but to keep the school and others high in good mood for winning.”
  830. >She smiles nervously.
  831. >”Look. I do that for myself as well, don’t get me wrong. Even without all the friends at school I would still be as awesome as I am now. No less, no more.”
  832. >Her voice pitch is surprisingly high right now.
  833. >Rainbow Dash scratches the back of her head as she continues.
  834. >”Helping others is just a bonus, and of course I need good teams to win in games.”
  835. >Your stare must be hard to bear because she breaks eye contact.
  836. >With no other choice, you burst out with laughter that startles her.
  837. >She jumps and once again looks at you, as you laugh, and you’re not faking it.
  838. >”W-what’s so funny?”
  839. >Her voice cracks, making you laugh even harder.
  840. >”What?”
  841. >Not waiting for an answer, she takes a swing to hit you, but you hold your hands up defensively.
  842. “Just, just give me a moment to catch my breath.”
  843. >Her facial expression softens just by a tiny bit.
  844. “Ok. You, Rainbow Dash, captain of every sport team in Canterlot High School, you do all of this motivating and helping your friends, apparently me including.”
  845. >You place a hand on your chest.
  846. “And when I point it out, you say that you are more selfish than I think? I admit, we don’t know each other well, but I wouldn’t go out with you if I wasn’t sure that you’re a loyal friend. I just didn’t know how much loyal you are.”
  847. >And you did it!
  848. >Her face softens, her eyes get bigger and her cheeks are turn pink.
  849. “I have heard a lot about your pack of friends, but hell, the way you tried to claim you’re selfish and calculated, oh god in heavens, that was so cute I couldn’t help but laugh.”
  850. >As you say what’s on your mind, she’s visibly more and more embarrassed or flustered.
  851. >She doesn’t stand up but just turns away from you.
  852. “Are you angry?”
  853. >You don’t expect her to be angry but her voice is far softer than you would’ve guessed.
  854. >”No. I’m just surprised. Why are you telling me that?”
  855. >You support yourself on your elbows and knees, thinking about an answer.
  856. >”Seriously, what is happening in this nerdy head of yours.”
  857. >Taking you off guard, she knocks her fist on the side of your head, causing you to move back.
  858. “Hey! Knock it off! I’m telling what I see and you once again hit me!”
  859. >You grab her soft palm and squeeze it as she tries to pull it back.
  860. >She moves herself out of your range, still staying on the bench; her hand still in your grip.
  861. >”I’m sorry. I won’t do that again. I promise.”
  862. >Rainbow Dash isn’t looking at you as she speaks, but it’s the best apology you can expect from a girl like her.
  863. “Okay, jeez. When I agreed to train with you I didn’t expect you to keep hitting me.”
  864. >You let go of her small hand and she quickly places it on her chest, as if in a protective gesture.
  865. “Seriously. With the way you react at me being nice, one would think you have feelings for me.”
  866. >”What?! I don’t! I-I-... Why do you- do you have any problem?!”
  867. >With that, Rainbow Dash is face to face with you; het jaw is clenched in probably anger.
  868. “Apparently, yeah.”
  869. >”Then bring it on!”
  870. >She stands up, you follow.
  871. >Even if she’s a true athlete, you are half-head higher than her, so she looks at you with her head up.
  872. >And even now she, in her running gear and a pony-tail, looks just cute.
  873. >Even if just a bit menacing.
  874. “I have a problem with you thinking that I am making fun of you.”
  875. >Her features changes and anger is swept away and replaced with confusion.
  876. “I really think you’re an amazing person and when I think such a thing I say it. Why do you think I would make fun of you?”
  877. >Rainbow Dash doesn’t answer looking at you in disbelief.
  878. “Seriously. Whatever reason you think I say nice things as a mockery on your expense isn’t the case. No, wait. You don’t have to tell me about your past. I get it. You got hurt by a friend. Who among us hasn’t? But, seriously, if I were to make fun of you because I was some jackass, then, do you think I would do that without publicity?”
  879. >Something in her expression changes again but you can’t name it.
  880. “I think we had enough resting. Let’s go, Dash.”
  881. >You kneel down and inspect your shoe lashes and when you are up again, Rainbow Dash smiles weakly, albeit differently than before.
  882. “We good?”
  883. >”Yeah, Anon. Let’s go.”
  884. >You nod and start to jog.
  886. IX
  888. >For a good forty minutes, you run through the streets of Canterlot.
  889. >Rainbow Dash’s pace is high but not murderous, so you stick to her right.
  890. >You asked her to stop once, because your legs and stomach hurt, but she only gave you a knowing smile, and explained.
  891. >”We can’t break a good pace. Endure some more and you’ll feel better afterwards.”
  892. >She didn’t explain the ‘afterwards’ but at some point you feel as if something inside you broke and all the pain became dull.
  893. >It isn’t gone; it’s filling you even wider than before, but it’s more bearable.
  894. >”And that’s how you train endurance, Anon.”
  895. >Rainbow Dash says and stops stretching herself as she did before the running.
  896. “Huh?”
  897. >You stop as well, and in the very next moment your legs try to move forward on their own, as if were automated.
  898. >It takes some strength to regain balance and a new, different wave of pain hits the sore muscles; as if the lack of movement drove you crazy.
  899. “Ouch. You always feel this way? Like you have to keep moving?”
  900. >She just chuckles and begins oblique crunches; her rainbow ponytail swinging accordingly.
  901. >Meanwhile, you look around and notice that you made a round and ended up in the park from earlier.
  902. >The sun is setting, but it will take another hour and a half for dusk to become a night.
  903. >The air is hot, and so are you, except you also begin to feel sweaty.
  904. >Knowing that you should do what she does, you mentally chastise yourself and lay on the soft grass.
  905. >”You’ll regret that.”
  906. >She says, doing squats.
  907. “I know. Tomorrow gonna be a pain in the ass. But you know what?”
  908. >She stands up and with her hands on her waist she looks at you from above.
  909. “It won’t be the biggest regret in my life.”
  910. >Rainbow Dash rolls her eyes.
  911. >You grab a single straw of grass and, after inspecting it, you place it in between your lips.
  912. >”You won’t be laying here the rest of the day, will you?”
  913. “Hey, it’s only awkward if I do that alone.”
  914. >”I’ll pass. I want a drink.”
  915. “And I can’t walk.”
  916. >You playfully whine and sit up.
  917. >”Geez.” She shakes her head with a smile. “You can’t be helped.”
  918. “And I believe you said that I can, and need to.”
  919. >She sits down on the grass beside you.
  920. >”Well. Maybe I was wrong this time.”
  921. >You move the straw with your tongue.
  922. “Wouldn’t that make you less awesome?”
  923. >”Hah! As if that could affect me.”
  924. >She points herself with her thumb at that.
  925. “Oh, right. I forgot. Something empty cannot be ‘more’ empty.”
  926. >You say as your grin evolves into cringe of pain as you’re punished with a punch in your arm.
  927. >It wasn’t hard, but being tired makes it far worse.
  928. “Shit. Why are you hitting me?”
  929. >From her gaze you can read an unspeakable thread, so instead of playing this joke further, you hold your hands up.
  930. “Okay, okay, I deserved that one. I surrender.”
  931. >”Oh, that’s not everything.”
  932. >Her voice is as raspy as always, and you don’t know what to expect-
  933. >She quickly moves an open hand to the front of your face and snatches the grass straw and tosses it on the ground.
  934. “You’re truly a devil. A fast one.”
  935. >She raises a single brow.
  936. “Maybe the fastest.”
  937. >With a laugh, she shakes her head one more time before she stands up and gesture for you to do the same.
  938. >Once you both are your feet, she asks.
  939. >”Want to go to the same restaurant as last time? I totally love their lemonade.”
  940. >Oh.
  941. “Nah.”
  942. >”What? Why?”
  943. >You can’t tell her why, can you?
  944. “It’s mediocre at best.”
  945. >Her incredulous look tells you she’s about to interrupt you and drag you to that place, so you act fast.
  946. ”If you want some good lemonade come to my place and I’m gonna make you my very own lemonade from the family recipe. My grandfather invented that recipe as a kid and before he reached the age of 25, he was a multimillionaire.”
  947. >”Oh, yeah? Then what happened with all that cash?” She snickers.
  948. “I’m asking myself the same question. He probably spent it all at some crazy lemon project, just like the Apples do apples, and after that no one seen him anymore.”
  949. >”Now you’re just trying too hard.” With mock sincerity, she gently pats your shoulder and pulls you to move..
  950. >You make a defeated face.
  951. “I know, I’m tired. I can’t be charming all the time. I’m not as awesome as you are.”
  952. >Visibly against her will, she cracks a smile, then chuckles.
  953. >You can’t help but smile on your own, even if your body still hurts in places you didn’t feel for some time.
  954. “So, what do you say?”
  955. >”Do you at least live closer than the restaurant?”
  956. “No, but don’t you want to give a try to the grandpa’s recipe?”
  957. >She wipes her forehead with one hand in a way it looks as if facepalming.
  958. >”Lead the way, Anon. But we have to be fast.”
  959. “Yes, my lady.”
  960. >You bow and both of you run in the direction you’d shown her.
  962. X
  964. >You two reach your place after a short while.
  965. >”Neat.” She says as you open the door and invite her in.
  966. >You live in a generic, one-family household from almost every sit-com.
  967. >”Where are your parents?”
  968. “Gone.”
  969. >You take your shoes off in the entrance room.
  970. >”What?” She freezes.
  971. “Oh, not like that. They are just out of the state.”
  972. >You say waving your hand for her to follow you.
  973. >But you stop as you notice her still in shoes.
  974. “Please, take your shoes off here. We don’t want a mess because I would have to clean it up later.”
  975. >You show her a shoe-case you place your pair on.
  976. >After that, you leave the anteroom and enter into the living room.
  977. >Rainbow Dash follows you.
  978. “You can either sit on the sofa and watch some tv, or we both can go to kitchen for the promised grandma’s lemonade.”
  979. >”Hey, didn’t you say it’s your grandpa's recipe?”
  980. “Maybe?”
  981. >You shrug and go to the kitchen as Rainbow Dash shakes her head and goes after you.
  982. >”So, you lied about that?”
  983. “No. No. I would never.”
  984. >You go to the fridge and open it, presenting its content to Dash.
  985. >There are many vegetables, eggs, milk, hams and a lot of different sodas.
  986. >”I don’t see lemonade.”
  987. “Yeah. Well, I guess I drank it all.”
  988. >You give her a toothy smile as she shakes her head once again.
  989. “Please, choose what you want.”
  990. >She sighs and looks at what you got, eventually choosing a Pepsi.
  991. >”Thanks.”
  992. >You take your own can.
  993. >After couple of sips in silence, she fiddles with her feet.
  994. >”So…”
  995. “So what, Rainbow Dash?”
  996. >She looks at you.
  997. >”Why did you want me to come here?”
  998. >You take another mouthful of pepsi.
  999. “No reason.”
  1000. >She smirks and lowers her head.
  1001. >”Then why did you lie about your family lemonade to make me come to your place?”
  1002. >You look her in the eye.
  1003. >She has deep, beautiful, magenta eyes.
  1004. “I just didn’t want to go to that restaurant.”
  1005. >That earns you a scoff.
  1006. >”Why that? Their lemonade is delicious. Almost as good as Pinkie’s.”
  1007. “Yes, well. Maybe. But- Pinkie Pie makes lemonade?”
  1008. >”Duh. She also bakes. She’s some freaking goodness of baking and cakes and everything sweet.”
  1009. “Did she do the cupcakes?”
  1010. >Her mouth opens but she quickly closes it and furrow her brows at you.
  1011. >With a fake-punch to your arm she confirms her cupcake source.
  1012. >”You’re sly, Anon. Did someone tell you that?”
  1013. “No, not really.”
  1014. >”Was that all the reason you brought me here for?”
  1015. “Nah. To be totally honest, I wanted to give you a drink, that’s all. But now that you mention it...”
  1016. >”Before you say anything, Anon. We both smell really bad right now. Whatever you wanted to do, it can wait until tomorrow. I must take a shower. Preferably fast. And I agreed to meet with the girls later today. So, no offence, but I’ll be going.”
  1017. >You listen to her with a smile.
  1018. >Good thing she has no time.
  1019. >You have no fun activity prepared and you doubt she would be interested in playing vidya.
  1020. >And she made a point.
  1021. >You take a sniff of yourself.
  1022. “Ok. Sounds reasonable.”
  1023. >”Thanks, Anon. At least now I know where you live.”
  1024. >Both of you talk as you go with her to the entrance.
  1025. “Are you going to spy on me? Should I feel special?”
  1026. >”Pfft, you wish. I mean, I can come here and pester you for our newly formed running routine whenever you decide to slack.”
  1027. >You… didn’t think about that.
  1028. >She sees your reaction and giggles softly.
  1029. >”Not to mention that you have a big house just for yourself. Some more party animals of mine, and I mean Pinkie, may be interested in that info.”
  1030. >You raise a brow as she puts her shoes on.
  1031. “Is that a threat?”
  1032. >”Only if you won’t show up tomorrow after school, in front of it.”
  1033. “Why there?”
  1034. >”We both have PE class at the end, we can not return to normal gear after the class.”
  1035. “You’re either good at planning or at improvising, you know that?”
  1036. >”Huh, why?”
  1037. >You open the door for her as she looks at you.
  1038. “Just, you know, generally. Now, I’m not sure you didn’t you choose that expensive restaurant only to make me bring you here to get know all about me.”
  1039. >She smiles smugly as she looks around the room.
  1040. >”Expensive, you say?”
  1041. “Hey, it’s not mine, it’s my parents.”
  1042. >”Chill. I’m short on cash sometimes too, you know. But seriously, hosting a party would be a good idea to get closer to others, since you have the place.”
  1043. >You squint at that.
  1044. “And who said I want to do that?”
  1045. >”Me, just now.”
  1046. >She laughs in your face as you roll your eyes.
  1047. “Who do you think you are?”
  1048. >She hits your arm once again causing no pain at all.
  1049. >”An awesome friend with awesome ideas.”
  1050. “And awesome egocentric behaviour-”
  1051. >”Hey!”
  1052. >You just shrug.
  1053. “Well, thanks for the idea, I guess.”
  1054. >”Yeah, I’ll be going now. See you tomorrow, Anon!”
  1055. “See you, Dash.”
  1056. >Rainbow Dash walks out quickly; her rainbow ponytail swinging accordingly.
  1057. >You close the door and feel your intense body heat.
  1058. >Finishing your pepsi, you trash the can and go to take a shower.
  1059. >All the time during that, some foreign, undefinable, sweet smell accompanies you.
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