A pair of pegasi lounged on a terrace outside the VIP suite at Madison Mare Gardens, looking down at the busy street in front of the stadium's main gates. Down below, a cyan pegasus mare with a multicolored mane and tail stood with folded wings amongst a throng of colts and fillies, looking for all the world like a swan swimming in a lake of swirling manes, tails, stubby horns, and small fluttering wings. She was dressed in a sweat stained, form fitting blue and yellow bodysuit with jagged lightning motifs, the signature uniform of the celebrated Wonderbolts Stunt Flying team.
Shootin' Star popped a grape from a nearby fruit tray into his mouth and cast a scathing glance at the spectacle below. "Just lookit' that show boatin' glory hog down thar." He muttered, his Appleloosan drawl more pronounced than usual. "She just cain't git enough, can she?"
The lean, blaze yellow mare reclining on a deck chair next to him shook her head, ruffling her fiery orange mane, and chuckled, fixing the younger stallion with a wry gaze accentuated by deepening lines in her face . "I think you need to consider a couple things when it comes to Rainbow Dash, rookie."
The stallion shook out his dusky purple wings and returned the older pegasus' gaze, rising to the challenge with his ears laid back to either side of his stark white mane. "Oh yeah, like whut, Miz Spitfire?"
She shook her head slowly, and turned her attention back down to the milling, multicolored crowd clustered around the bright rainbow nucleus below. "Well, for starters it's been what... an hour and a half, two hours since the show wrapped up? The rest of us have gotten back to the locker rooms, showered, had a brush down, hit the buffet..." She glanced down the length of the terrace at a slightly paunchy, sky blue stallion who was devouring a stack of pies at one of the umbrella shaded tables and rolled her eyes. "... a couple times in Soarin's case, and have been sitting out here enjoying the cool night breeze and a fine selection of fruits and sparkling spring water. Meanwhile, our gal Dash down there's still suited up and has been workin' that crowd of kids since her hooves hit the ground."
She turned back to look at him with a knowing smile. "I know you're jealous of all the attention she gets as our solo headliner. She spent plenty o' years flyin' formations like the rest of us, y'know. She worked her tail off and then some to get her place at the front of the stage."
The rookie Wonderbolt sighed and nodded, his defiance softening a bit. "Aw shoot, I know it. And even I gotta admit the fans love her."
Spitfire grinned and looked back down at the bustle below. "Sure, but the real secret, my young bucking bronco, is that that mare is absolutely head over hooves in love right back at the fans. She'd rather pull out her own pinfeathers than send a single one of those kids home disappointed if she can help it."
The older mare sighed as she watched Rainbow Dash work the crowd. "Which is why I gotta sit here watching you slobs decimate the catering instead of going back to the hotel for a shot at that nice soft bed. I'm gonna give her fifteen more minutes before I have to pull rank and drag her tail outta there."
Spitfire's sharp pegasus eyes narrowed as a small green flash popped over Rainbow Dash's head, coalescing into a glowing roll of parchment that unfurled in front of the rainbow maned pegasus. The blazing yellow mare pursed her lips. "That's a new one. Guess some unicorn really wants her autograph..."
She cocked her head as Dash reached up and grasped the parchment in her hooves, her cyan wings flaring. Her brow furrowed as she intently watched the colorful pegasus dust off from the middle of the crowd of fillies and colts and hover above them, reading and re-reading whatever it said on the sparkling roll of paper. Spitfire got to her hooves and craned her neck over the railing as down below her teammate cast wildly about and darted for a nearby concession stand, gesticulating her hooves and wings wildly to the heavyset earth pony who was busily stowing his stock of Wonderbolts memorabilia and closing up shop.
The veteran stunt flyer turned to Shootin' Star with a concerned look on her face. "Somethin's up. You boys stay here and guard the buffet."
With that she launched over the rail and fluttered down toward the streets below.
The blaze yellow mare touched down next to Rainbow Dash to find her shoving something soft and lumpy down the front collar of her body suit, muttering to herself all the while. "OhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygoshOhmygosh"
Spitfire cleared her throat and leaned in to establish eye contact. "Uh, somethin' goin' on that I should know about, Rainbow Dash?"
Dash started and turned to her team leader, passing her the rolled parchment as she pulled her cowl back up over her ears and put her flight goggles back on. "Uh, yeah. Something really big has just come up. I'm sorry to do this to you guys, but I gotta take a little time off, like right now. A couple days at least."
The older mare scanned the writing on the note. "Well, you've certainly racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles, girl. Normally I'm the one begging you to take a little time off."
She handed the parchment back to Rainbow Dash with a quizzical expression. "Care to translate this for me? Who'd ever mistake you for Princess Celestia, for starters, and what the hay is a "doozy"?"
The rainbow pegasus let out a clipped chuckle and shook her head as she tucked the letter under a wing and lowered her goggles in place. "Long story short, one of my oldest, best friends, like ever, is giving birth to her firstborn foal as we speak and if I wanna be in Ponyville when it happens I've gotta go like right now, okay?"
Spitfire's eyes widened, then her face cracked into a grin as she shook her head and reached out a hoof to give the younger mare a playful shove. "Yeah, I know, I know. "Never leave a friend hangin'." Permission granted. Just promise me you won't break too many windows on the way there, okay?" Two mares shared a brief hug. "Give your friend my congratulations."
Dash stepped back and snapped her a salute with a lopsided grin. "Will do, now if you'll excuse me I've got a few more ponies I don't wanna leave hangin'."
With that she trotted over to the milling throng of young ponies and flapped her wings, rising into the air over them. She cleared her throat and addressed them in a loud stage voice. "Hey fillies and colts! Something really huge for me personally has just come up and I gotta take off now. I'm really sorry I'm not gonna get a chance to talk to each and every one of you."
She held up her hooves for quiet as the assembled youngsters protested. "But as a way to make up for it I'm gonna do a special stunt that they don't let me do very often, dedicated to you, the colts and fillies, who did us, the Wonderbolts, and me, your pal Rainbow Dash, the totally awesome honor of coming to see our show."
She pointed a hoof to the southwest. "If you'll all keep your eyes trained on the horizon over there, you're gonna get to see something really cool, if I may say so myself. So I guess this is so long for now. Stay awesome! Stay cool! Stay in school, be good for your folks, and remember this. I might not be the best pegasus in the world, but you all are the best little ponies in the world."
The young ponies cheered and clomped their hooves on the cobblestones as Rainbow Dash saluted them. She then beat her wings to gain some altitude. With a powerful thrust, she launched into the twilight sky, trailing a rainbow contrail behind her as a blast of wind blew discarded programs and stray candy wrappers and scattered popcorn into the air.
The throng of fillies and colts stared raptly as the streak of colors narrowed to a distant point, before suddenly blossoming into a radiating halo of rainbow hues that lingered like a beacon against the velvety purple backdrop of Princess Luna's night. A chorus of wonderment rose from the little ponies' throats, crescendoing as about a minute later the distant roar of an explosion reached them on the heels of a stiff breeze from the direction their heroine had vanished.
Spitfire leaned against the concession table, smiling fondly. She was sure that she saw the twinkle of a couple cutie marks coming in on some of the young pegasi hovering over the cheering crowd. She looked up at the terrace above, and suppressed a chuckle as she spotted Shootin' Star craning his neck with his hooves hooked over the rail, his wings flared, his jaw hanging slack, and his eyes as wide as saucers.
She shook her head as she took wing. "And that, my little cowpony, is how you get the fans' attention."
The characters depicted in this fiction are copyright and trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. This is a work of fan fiction, and the author makes no claim on Hasbro's copyright or trademarks.