Soarin smiled awkwardly as Rainbow Dash held his shoulders.
Rainbow Dash stared at him and noticed how uncomfortable he was. She immediately let go of him and scratched the back of her neck.
They laid in comfortable silence. Soarin turned away from her and watched the sky, hoping for an answer on how to start this conversation while Rainbow Dash waited.
Soarin closed his eyes and decided to just… let it out. He turned to her. He watched her lift her head from on top of her forelegs to stare at him, waiting for him to begin. He inhaled and just... began.
“Spitfire was my first everything. She was my first friend. She was my first crush. She was my first girlfriend…. and.. .. my first mare.”
Soarin paused to gather some courage and looked at Dash cautiously.
Rainbow Dash seemed a little surprise but she wasn’t showing any emotions on her face. He decided to continue.
“She was, is, a very special pony to me. It all started with a race. She said that she was a faster flier than I was, which was true until after I had hit puberty. But. I was dumb and rambunctious and rebellious and I wanted to show her that I was most definitely better. I wanted to boast. So I accepted."
"We sped through the meadow and I was in the lead. But I saw she was not happy with that-” Rainbow Dash smiled, “So I decided to slow down.”
Rainbow Dash did not like where this was going. He chuckled. Both Spitfire and Rainbow Dash were not pity ponies.
“I slowed down because by this point, I was in such a deep crush. I should’ve known she would get mad at me, but I wanted her to win. So, she won.”
Dash was not impressed.
“She won, but as soon as she did, she immediately ran up to my face and smacked me with her wing.”
Soarin rolled his eyes.
“I was not happy. I demanded to know what the hell was wrong with her and why she had the nerve to hit me. She slapped me again.”
“You can quit the commentary, Dash.”
“No. I completely agree with her. Crush or no crush. That's not an excuse”
Soarin rolled his eyes again.
“Anyways. After she slapped me, she started to scream at me.”
Before Rainbow Dash even had the chance to voice her opinion, Soarin’s wing was already covering her mouth. She squinted at him.
Soarin smiled at his win.
“Spitfire was very upset and said that I had no right to just let her win. That she could’ve easily defeated me and that she didn't need anyones charity. That who was I to just let her win. And then I just let it slip.”
He retracted his wing. Rainbow was finally quite.
“I told her that I had every right as her friend. She said I didn't that I wasn't a brother or father or boyfriend to decide what she could or couldn't do. And then I yelled that I wanted to be.”
He looked at her then. Rainbow was surprised. Her mouth was an “o” and she had questions. He could tell.
“What did she say?”
He smiled to himself.
“She didn’t. She just stared and tried to decipher what I had meant. When she finally understood, she looked furious. I asked her if she was okay and she growled.”
Soarin had stopped talking to look at the horizon. The sky was beautiful and tainted with all sorts of colors, The ponies of Canterlot were prancing around going on about their day and Soarin envied them.
Soarin had 1,001 feelings coursing throughout his body and he didn’t know what to do or how to continue.
So he did.
“She wasn't impressed and I guess I can understand her. Spitfire is a very independent mare, and she never did like surprises. But I was young and stupid. But most of all I was selfish. But Spitfire kissed me.”
Soarin smiled and awkward smile.
“I guess it was her way of telling me I was stupid and that she had the right to say it first.”
“Wait, what? I don’t understand.”
“At first, I didn't either. After she stopped kissing me, I told her I didn't understand. She laughed and smacked me lightly. She told me it was her way of saying that she liked me too. And it just got better from there. I was absolutely crazy about her. She was an amazing pony and I knew I wasn't enough stallion for her, but that didn't stop me. I let her know all the time what she was to me, and in turn, she would only tell me to shut up. But I knew she loved me too."
"Eventually, we got accepted into the reserves, and finally onto the team. Spitfire blew through ranks under her mentor, and pretty soon, became a candidate for captain.”
“It seems like you two had a blast together. Why did you guys break up?”
“Well, the stress of her new job had her on edge to the point where all we would do when we were together was yell at each other and just fight over the stupidest of things. We would work amazing together on the team, but as soon as practice was over, we hated each others guts.”
“I don’t get it. What happened?”
“Spitfire was just stressed. She couldn't handle the sudden transition of all this work and she decided to take it all out on me.”
“I guess in a way I was her confidant? I’m not sure but eventually it got very brutal. Never violent, but very harsh on our self esteems. It only got worse when I became candidate for co-captain. I decided it was time for me to let go way before then, but I simply couldn't. Spitfire was the world to me and I couldn't see my life without her as mine. One day, she yelled ‘I hate you’ during a fight, and I lost it. I told her that if she hated me so much why was she still with me and she yelled that she honestly didn't know. That I was a lost cause, a waste, and that I was only putting a damper on her career.”
“Spitfire said that?”
“Well, yeah. Very harsh, but true. Relationships aren't taboo on the team, but during this time, between Captain and a Co, was questionable to say the least. Decisions would be led by feelings and not rationale, so I took her words to heart and told her that if I was such a damper, that she should just break up with me. So she did.”
“Just like that?”
“Just like that. She walked out and didnt talk to me for a very long time.”
“Two years. The only way she would speak to me would be through commands and meetings.”
“How long had you two been together?”
Rainbow Dash looked at Soarin’s saddened form. Eight years. That was a very long time. They had practically been married.
“How did you feel?”
Soarin sighed. “Horrible. I was completely and utterly heartbroken. I stopped talking and eating. I was just a shell. I did what I was told and then went to sleep. Eventually Fleetfoot got in between us and forced us to talk it out.”
“How’d that go?”
“Not very well. Spitfire was just pacing in my room while my back was turned towards her. Eventually she got tired and told me to face her. When I didn't, she demanded it as my captain. I sat up and faced her and just, stared at her."
"I saw her change then. She crumbled. She was worried. And for the first time in a very long time, I cried.”
Rainbow Dash didn't know what to say. So he continued.
“I bawled and told her that I didn't need that. I didn't want her to be forced to apologize to me to feel better or to look good in front of her teammates.”
“How'd she respond?”
“She kissed me.”
“She kissed me and one thing led to another,” Soarin explained as he blushed. “When we finished, I got up and showered without saying a thing. She was still there when I came out so I was about to leave the room when she called out to me.”
“Wait. You guys mated and you didn't want to see her? Didn't you two fix things?”
“Obviously not. Well, more like we did but not at that time. I didn't know her true intentions because we mated more than once that night. And several times after that. But as soon as we were Captain and Co everything would return to ‘normal’. I grew tired of it. So I finally confronted her and spilled absolutely everything.”
“While crying,” He smiled.
“It was horrible. I was angry and frustrated and said some absolutely awful things to her. Things I will not repeat, but very horrible things. A few weeks after that, we kinda just bumped into each other during a night and sat together. And we let out our most heartfelt feelings out and decided, it was time to move on. We were causing harm to each other and it just wasn't healthy. We were toxic and we didn't need that. We were together one last time and after that, we decided never again.”
“So, you guys just grew out of it?”
“No. There was tension and awkwardness. To this day, we feel like things could have definitely worked out if we had tried harder to be better ponies and just generally tried harder for each other. But we didn't and we failed, and that was that. Spitfire is still very important to me, but I guess after all of that I just don’t want to end up in the same place.”
“But Soarin, that was your time with Spitfire. Spitfire is Spitfire and this other pony is just that. Another pony. You should tell her.”
“What if she runs away?”
“Then she’s a coward. She should know better.”
Soarin looked at her. Rainbow met his eyes and smiled with encouragement.
“Look. I get it. Your time with Spitfire was definitely special. Eight years is a long time, and it’s awful that it ended up the way it did, but it will be different with this other pony. I know it sounds like that has no meaning, but really. Stallion up and tell her. Give her the chance to prove you wrong. And if she doesn't, oh well, that’s her loss, because I think you’re an amazing pony, Soarin.”
“You think so?”
“Yes. How are you going to know if you never try? You learned from your past. Everypony does. It helps them grow. It’s your time to do the same.”
Soarin stared at her.
“So, you’ll tell her?”
He sighed and nodded.
“Hey Rainbow Dash?"
When she saw that he wasn't moving, she extended a wing towards him to help him up. He stared at her wing before taking it. Rainbow retracted her wing and he stared at his. Rainbow looked on curiously.
"Are you okay?"
"How should I tell her?"
Rainbow was knocked back a bit from the out of place question, but she smiled at him anyway.
"You just do."
"Just like that?"
"Just like that."
He nodded. He looked at Rainbow Dash and smiled worriedly. Rainbow scrunched her brows together in confusion and worry when he extended his wing out towards her. She extended hers back in return and stared at him, waiting for an answer.
“I like you, Rainbow Dash.”