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Otherworldly Advice

by Bookish

Chapter 1: Otherworldly Advice


"I appreciate your, uh, concern, Rainbow, but you're still making a huge deal over nothing."

"Nothing? You're kidding me, right?"

Rainbow Dash flailed her hooves as she hovered alongside Twilight. Everypony else had retreated to their rooms for the night, leaving the two alone in their discussion — a discussion that had absolutely not been Twilight's idea.

Yet for some reason, Rainbow remained determined in continuing it while following Twilight to her room — and as much as Twilight loved her friends, it was finally wearing her down.

"We all saw you turn into mush the second you ran into that Flash Whateverwhatsisname pony in the hallway. You don't even know him!"

With a huff, Twilight made a left turn from one of the Crystal Palace's hallways into her guest bedroom. Rainbow Dash still followed. There was officially no stopping her... so Twilight decided to make her work for it.

She flashed her friend a Cheshire smile. "Oh, so you've never been taken by a helping hoof and a nice-sounding voice?"

Rainbow flew backwards, blinking rapidly and blushing as memories of being carried by Wonderbolts flooded her mind. "I-I-I, uh..."

Twilight pressed further. "Since when did you become such an expert on romance? I expected the third degree from Rarity, but even she decided to hold off until morning while you're still here." She stepped towards Rainbow, her smile doubling in mischief. "What's got you so riled up, hmmm?"

Rainbow's cheeks tinted even more crimson. "W-w-what's that supposed to mean? Just because I have a 24/7 obligation to be awesome doesn't mean I can't tell when somepony might have eyes for somepony else!" Her voice lowered. "Or that it doesn't happen to me."

Twilight sighed, noting Rainbow's hurt expression and half-drooped ears. This was getting less fun by the second.

"I know, Rainbow. I was only kidding about that. But I was serious about everything else. You're right — the Flash Sentry in the other world was a completely different po... uh, person than the one over here. The Flash who I actually know, the one who proved himself a wonderful friend in my time of need, I won't be able to see for another few years anyway." Twilight's gaze lowered to the floor. "And in that amount of time, it's pretty easy for someone you've only known for a couple of days to be... forgotten. So, yeah. I wouldn't worry if I were you."

Rainbow's expression sobered. "Whoa, Twi. I never thought about it that way. I'm really sorry."

Twilight nodded. "It's okay." With a spark of magic she pulled back her bed's linens and crawled onto the mattress. "Still, now that we've cleared that up, it's been a very complicated three days for me, and nothing would help remedy that more than a nice three-day long nap."

She lay her head back on the pillow, sinking into it with a joyful sigh and smile. Soon, she told herself. In minutes, she'd be resting her hectic week away on a bed as soft as clouds-

"Awww! But I wanna know more about that other place! About the other me! She's gotta be second only to me in terms of coolness!"

Or not.

That was it. Her patience was officially gone. Before Twilight was able do something she'd regret, however, a third voice cut in.

"Rainbow Dash." Princess Luna stood at the door. "I would advise you to look before you speak."

Rainbow looked at Twilight, who wore a look of exasperation and glared daggers back at her. She shrank back. "Sorry again, Twi." She turned towards the door. "I'll, uh... I'll head to bed now."

"I'll share everything I can remember with you all tomorrow," said Twilight. "I promise."

Luna walked over to Twilight, magically pulling the covers over her and tucking her in. "Do not share too much. Knowledge about the other world is kept under wraps for a reason. Even my sister and I do what dealings we can with it in the strictest secrecy, lest our foes attempt to exploit it for evil gain. You already saw one such scenario tonight."

Twilight nodded. "And now that more people on the other side know about the portal, we'd have to watch out for the reverse, too, right?"

"Indeed. Knowledge from the other world could easily influence Equestria's very way of life in ways not everypony is ready for." Luna turned and walked back towards the door. "Come, Rainbow Dash. You need to retire with the others for the night, and I have my duties to perform."

"Right. G'night, Twilight. Get all the sleep you can, 'cause tomorrow I'm gonna chew your ear off and then some!"

Twilight chuckled and rolled her eyes. "Words can't express just how little I'm looking forward to that. Good night, Rainbow Dash."

Alone at last... well, except for one. Twilight looked down at Spike, who had retreated to his bed long before and had managed to sleep through the whole thing. She'd been jealous of his slumber abilities on more than one occasion.

Still, with all other talking parties gone, only the silence she craved remained.

Usually Twilight loved silence. Usually Twilight could bask in it, soak in it, be one with it, think during it until her mind tired with the rest of her body and she finally sank into blissful unconsciousness.

If only she could tonight. There was one thing stopping her.

As she meditated on the events of days past, Rainbow Dash's voice still persisted.

---
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic x Equestria Girls:
"Otherworldly Advice"
by Bookish Delight, 2012-2013
All characters and referred properties belong to Hasbro.
---

After much fumbling with clasps and fasteners, and making sure her dress fit just right, Twilight Sparkle finally stepped out of one of Carousel Fashions's fitting rooms. "Well... what do you think?"

Rainbow Dash's hands balled into fists and went to her shoulders. "That. Looks. Awesome on you!"

Fluttershy nodded. "'Absolutely fabulous,' I believe the saying goes," she said in a soft voice. "Rarity, you've outdone yourself."

"Humble I may be, but I must absolutely agree in this case," said Rarity, stepping around a Twilight Sparkle who was dressed in her official Canterlot High Fall Formal ensemble. "The colors are all in place, the frills are perfectly spaced, the stripes match your hair and eyes perfectly... to think I just had this lying around the store! Perhaps there's hope for me yet."

"Shucks, Rares, you're the only who didn't think you had in it you," said Applejack. "You'll take over your family business just fine."

Whenever Rarity blushed, there was no hiding the occasion. "Thank you, Applejack. Coming from you, that means quite a lot."

"Now we just have to make sure we stay looking super-sweet for the dance!" said Pinkie Pie. "How much longer do we have, anyway?"

Rarity looked at the wall clock. "A few hours. Just enough time to make some last minute touches." She clapped her hands twice. "All right, everyone, tailoring time is over. Change out and I'll grab bags for all of your dresses. Take them home, fetch what you need to fetch, add what you need to add, freshen what you need to freshen, but be chop-chop about it! I'll be sending out the limo at precisely eight-thirty, so..." Rarity froze where she stood. "...oh, no."

"What? What?" Pinkie darted back and forth between the girls. "Where's the danger? Where's the fire? Where's the ice cream truck?"

"No..." Rarity rapidly shook her head. "No, no, no, no, no!" Rarity ran over to Twilight, gripping her shoulders. "Twilight, you said you've been making yourself at home in the school library for the past couple of days, yes?"

Twilight nodded.

Rarity was still frantic. "Well that just won't do at all, especially if you're getting ready for this dance! One of us will simply have to take care of you in the interim. Naturally, I volunteer myself-"

"I'll take her," said Rainbow Dash, prompting simultaneous looks from the other girls.

"Really?" said Rarity. "I must admit, I was already surprised when you told us out of the blue yesterday that you would finally be attending one of these 'girly dances' with the rest of us. But now you're volunteering to help someone prepare?" Rarity cocked her head. "Don't take this the wrong way, but did I miss something?"

Rainbow chuckled. "Gonna pretend I didn't hear that. Look, no offense, Rarity, but I've seen your room before. And if it's anything like it was freshman year, then it's littered with design sheets and fabric and fashion magazines everywhere. Twilight won't be able to take one step without tripping over something. Heck, I'm surprised you don't."

There was still no hiding a Rarity blush, not ever. "Not anymore, anyway," she muttered under her breath. "Fine, point made... wait." Rarity pointed upwards with one finger. "What about the ceiling fixtures you've always had in your room? Won't she bump her head on those?"

"Huh? Oh, the model planes! Yeah, I uh... I took all those down a couple years ago."

Rarity's face went from curious to serious. "Rainbow?"

Rainbow's mouth stretched into a smile. "Don't worry! I haven't given up the dream. I just... keep myself honest, is all. Point is, my room's totally clear and it'll have all the things she needs to get ready." She walked over to and wrapped an arm around Twilight, giving a small squeeze. "Besides, I've spent less time with the Princess here than any of you, and that's totally not awesome in my book." Turning to face Twilight, she added, "What do you say? Feel like filling me in on what I've missed since you've gotten here?"

"I..." Twilight looked around, stopping at Rainbow's smiling face, and said, "Sure, I have no problem with that. Girls?"

The others cast glances at themselves, blinked and shrugged. "Well, that sounds like a right decent idea to the rest of us," said Applejack. "'Sides, what Rainbow wants, Rainbow, uh, usually gets," she added with a sheepish look and a hand behind her own head.

"She doesn't live far from here, either," said Rarity, "which is good for me. Still in the high-rise?"

"Yep," said Rainbow, who by this time was back in the changing room with her school outfit and one of Rarity's dress bags. "West Canterlot District. Five-minute bus trip is all it takes."

"The bus?" Rarity gasped. "For goodness sakes, darling! After all the work we just put in, please make sure nothing untoward happens to your hair!"

The first thing Rainbow Dash did when she stepped back out of the fitting room was roll her eyes.

---

Thirty minutes later, Twilight stepped off of a bus in a slow, zigzagging path, nearly dropping her dress as she did so. The dizziness had to stop eventually. It just had to.

Rainbow Dash followed, and the bus roared away. "I still don't know how you get around without these things. Or cars," she said, taking Twilight's dress from her.

"Trains. Very. Smooth. Trains," said Twilight as her vision re-oriented. "Also, teleportation magic, which I'm really starting to miss right now."

"Well when that shows up in this world, I'll be first in line," said Rainbow. "Meanwhile, check it out! Welcome to Skycastle Apartments. Where only the most awesome of people live."

Twilight craned her neck to look up the height of the gleaming blue building. "Wow."

"None of these in your world either, huh?" said Rainbow Dash.

"We have some," said Twilight, "but only in the big cities, and none this large being used for living quarters. It must hold so many poni..." She stopped herself. "...uh, people."

Rainbow shrugged. "Holds enough, I guess." The two went to the front door. Rainbow produced a small plastic card and swiped it through. The door unlocked and both went inside, towards a small box at the end of the hallway.

"Elevators," said Rainbow. "You got 'em?"

Twilight nodded. "Though usually there's a unicorn inside to levitate them."

"Whoa." Rainbow blinked. "Heh. Well, not needed here. Good ol' tech." Upon entering Twilight counted 25 labeled buttons on the wall, just before seeing Rainbow press number 24. A minute of standing still and annoying music later, the elevator door opened, and the two girls stepped out.

They walked down a hallway until reaching a door with a symbol on the front that Twilight instantly recognized as Rainbow Dash's cutie mark. Rainbow Dash swiped her card on her door, and opened it wide. "Here we are. Casa de Rainbow."

Twilight could only gape.

It was... white. Clean. Once she and Rainbow took off their shoes, the carpeting she stepped on gave way without resistance. A fountain in one corner of the living room spouted water that switched colors every few seconds. The center of the room contained a luxurious sofa and a large, flat version of one of those "television" rectangles Twilight had seen in Canterlot High's AV room.

Twilight toured the adjacent kitchen, and found it stacked with several box-shaped appliances as well as a slick black version of a traditional oven range. Completely across from both rooms, visible from the corner of her eye, was a desk with one of the "computers" from the library.

Curiously, every single device she came across in either room prominently bore a logo featuring a single violet star. Twilight mused on this for a few moments, then dismissed it with a shrug. Large companies weren't exactly a foreign concept in Equestria, either — especially ones headed by unicorns, who loved to put their brand on everything.

"It's so... shiny," was all Twilight could say.

"Yeah," Rainbow replied. "We have a housekeeper who comes in every week. Today was her day."

"Your parents must be super-rich." Twilight looked around again. "Are they home?"

"Nah. Mom and Pop are on a trip to Prance. Business and stuff. They'll be back in a couple of days."

"What? They're not here for your big night?"

"It's... it's okay. I'm used to it." Rainbow's eyes lidded for a moment, then she perked back up. "Besides, it's just a dance, right? I didn't even know I was going till the last minute. Not their fault." Rainbow paused. "And we're not really rich. Just well off. Money spoils ya. The more I hear about that Diamond Tiara kid, the less I wanna actually be really loaded." She grabbed Twilight's arm, leading her through one of the living room's rear doors. "C'mon. Time I showed you my digs."

Twilight stepped through the white door, and once more into another world — only this one reminded her a lot more of home.

There were all the usual luxuries of modern life in here as well — a dresser-mirror combo, television, computer, the odd-looking white boxes hooked to said television that had wires and small button interfaces sticking out of them, and even a few stuffed animals. But it was the overall decor that caught Twilight's attention.

The walls were sky blue, and littered with paintings of clouds. Looking up, she saw ceiling pegs where the model planes that had been mentioned back at Carousel Fashions had to have been hooked to.

The planes were indeed gone, just as Rainbow had said. However, in their place were posters, laminated and strategically hung on hooks so that they appeared to be floating as well. Birds, pilots, caped superheroines — if it flew, then it flew in Rainbow's room.

"It's... it's beautiful," said Twilight. "If I squint, I can really imagine that I'm high in the sky."

"Then it's doing its job," said Rainbow with a laugh. "So while we were all doing each others' hair you said there were other versions of all of us, right? So does that mean there's... there's another me? A me who's a pony?"

Twilight nodded. "And you'll love this one. She's actually a pegasus."

The resulting gasp was loud enough for Twilight to cover her ears. "A pegasus? Like with the wings?" Rainbow's jaw near hit the floor. "That's the most awe-" She stopped herself, her expression mellowing. "Wow. That's... seriously wonderful."

Rainbow's change in tone wasn't lost on Twilight. "Hey. Everything okay?"

"Uh-huh." Rainbow walked to her bedroom window and opened it, revealing an impressive view of Canterlot District. As high up as they were, even the cars looked like small insects.

"You know, when we moved to this building, Mom and Dad wanted to get an apartment closer to the ground. I begged them to get one this high up. I've always just felt more at home in the sky, I guess. I'm this close to getting a sports scholarship to Wonderbolt Academy, the aviation college west of here." She pointed to a poster advertising the university on the wall. "Figure I get in there by playing soccer, and study like crazy on the side. 'Cause there's no way I plan on losing out once I'm in the door."

"Hmm," said Twilight, shifting into Analysis Mode. "Aviation school and a love of heights." Suddenly she was a lot closer to home than she thought she ever could be. "So I'm guessing that when you grow up..."

"I wanna fly, Twilight." Rainbow Dash stuck her head out of the window. "I'm making sure I graduate a Wonderbolt. I'm tired of being stuck in one place while..." She trailed off and turned back around, casting a sidelong gaze.

Twilight followed that gaze to a picture sitting on the nightstand near the bed. She walked towards it and picked it up to see a photo of a much younger version of Rainbow Dash, flanked by her parents who had one hand each on her shoulders. All three were smiling and waving without a care in the world.

"There's a group of flyers in my world known as the Wonderbolts, too," said Twilight. "Our Rainbow's already in their Academy, training to be one of them. It's been her lifelong dream."

"You're kidding!" said Rainbow, her face lighting up much to Twilight's relief. "That's awesome! That means there's hope for me!" She paused. "Huh. I should probably be more surprised that we share the same dream, but if we're both, well, us..." She put her hand to her chin and "hmm"ed in thought. "Your Rainbow Dash. How'd she get her dream in the first place? Why did she want to become a Wonderbolt?"

"She pulled off an amazing stunt as a filly," said Twilight, "and ever since then she's just always wanted to live life doing what she's loved. She wants to be recognized as one of the the best, I think."

Rainbow Dash nodded. "Not bad. Wish I could say the same, but I totally wish her the best. There's only one reason I want to fly so badly, though."

"Why's that?"

Rainbow's expression went semi-serious once more. "'Cause when I can fly? Anywhere I want? Then wherever the people I love in my life go... I'll be able to keep up."

With no idea how to respond, Twilight simply nodded, and a hush fell over the room for a full minute. Sensing the awkwardness, Rainbow put her smile back on, and clenched a fist.

"Nuts to this. I know when I'm being a downer. C'mon." She plopped onto her bed, and patted the area beside her, beckoning for Twilight to sit. "Tell me more about the me with the wings. I wanna hear everything."

---

Half an hour before Rarity's limousine was scheduled to pick them up, Twilight once more emerged — this time from Rainbow Dash's living room — wearing her Fall Formal gown. Rainbow Dash, already in her own outfit, gave a thumbs-up.

"You still look awesome," she said, letting Twilight into her room and closing the door behind them.

"Thank you," said Twilight. "And you look beautiful."

Rainbow hated being made to blush. "S-seriously?" she said, refusing to look at Twilight directly.

Twilight nodded. "Seriously seriously. Seems no matter what world I go to, Rainbow Dash isn't really into 'girly' things at all... but wouldn't you know it? Turns out she actually makes for a pretty awesome girl."

Rainbow's blush only deepened. "Thanks. I... I don't usually hear that kinda stuff."

Twilight smiled. "I know."

Rainbow Dash walked to the dresser, picked up one of her combs, then walked back and applied it to Twilight's hair as the two stood in front of the bedroom door's full-length mirror. "All right, let's do this. I'm no Rarity, but I know she'll kill me if she sees even one strand out of place on one of her friends. Only exceptions are me and Pinkie Pie."

"Why you two?"

Rainbow snickered. "'Cause I don't care, and Pinkie Pie and orderly hair don't mix."

Twilight giggled as she felt the comb's teeth gently moving through her locks. "Sounds about right."

The two stood there with Rainbow combing Twilight in silence for a short while, until Rainbow piped up again. "Twi?"

Twilight meanwhile was doing her best not to fall asleep under Rainbow Dash's surprisingly soothing comb technique. "Hmmmm?"

"Don't tell anyone, but I like nights like this. When you're awesome 24/7, you kind of... forget to be other things sometimes. Which is why I brought you up here. You reminded me of a lot of stuff."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, we've known each other for maybe a day, right? And you only got here a few days ago. But in that time, you've helped mend all my friendships which have been broken for months, and I got to learn about an awesome place where I'm super-happy and already living my dream."

"You can still be and do all of that here, you know," said Twilight. "Nothing's stopping you. I'd say the sky's the limit, but..." Twilight grinned.

Rainbow returned it. "Yeah, I'm just now realizing all of that. I can't begin to tell you how happy you've made me, or how glad I am that you came here." She tossed the comb in her hand onto her bed, walked in front of Twilight, and took the violet girl's hands in hers.

"I don't care if you're a human or a pony. You're a pretty awesome girl, and..." With her face reddening so much she could probably pass for Twilight if it got any worse, she placed her right hand on Twilight's left cheek. "...I hope you know that. Plus you've got the whole magic-and-mystery thing going for you, and that's cool no matter who you talk to."

"Thanks," said Twilight, her own face flushing. "And I understand. Just so you know, I like you too. I mean, sure, you remind me of my Rainbow back home, but being around you, it's like I've made a new best friend all over again."

A few beats of silence took over before Rainbow replied with a sly grin. "'Best friend,' huh?" She exhaled. "Sheesh. I'm so jealous."

Twilight cocked her head. "Jealous? Why?"

"Duh. The pony me? I can't imagine what she goes through."

"I'm afraid I still don't quite follow-" was all Twilight managed to get out before she saw and felt both of Rainbow's arms encircling her neck.

"Well then," said Rainbow Dash, "maybe this'll help."

With an all-too-familiar speed that Twilight never had a chance of stopping, Rainbow Dash closed the small distance between their faces, placing a soft closed-mouth kiss to Twilight's lips.

It lasted all of three seconds. For Twilight, it may as well have been three minutes. When it was over, her mind was spinning ten times faster than it had been during the bus ride which had brought her here. "Rainbow, I... um..."

"Hah!" said Rainbow Dash, licking her lips. "Still the fastest. And hey, now I can say I kissed tonight's Fall Formal Princess before anyone else." Her voice halved to a whisper. "Not to mention a real princess. She's never tried, has she? I mean, your Rainbow Dash. Bettin' she hasn't."

A flabbergasted Twilight Sparkle stuttered her reply. "W-well, no, o-of course she hasn't! Why would she? We're best friends, not-"

Rainbow cut her off. "Those her words? Or yours?"

Twilight froze as she realized she had no concrete reply. "I..."

Rainbow's smile widened, her voice growing soft and frank. "Look. I've only known you for a day, and I'm into you." She shrugged. "It's just one of those things that's hard to explain, really. I just like ya'."

Too curious to respond, Twilight remained mute for the time being.

"Your pony pal though? From everything you've told me, she's known you for years while putting up with all your stuff about libraries and spells and stars that stay in one place in the sky — and she still wants to spend time with you. Compared to me, she's an open book..." Still holding Twilight, Rainbow took a step forward and met her eyes directly. "...and unless I miss my guess? Probably the only one you're not reading."

"I..." Twilight fidgeted. "...I don't know, Rainbow Dash. I think you might be jumping to conclu-" She stopped herself again as it all snapped together in her mind. "Oh my gosh," she whispered, pointing to the girl in front of her. "Rainbow Dash."

Rainbow Dash gave a confident nod. "Now you're getting it. Pretty sure we ain't clones, but I think there's enough of the same awesome in both of us for me to know what's up. Still, when you get back to your pony world? Pay attention to her. Decide for yourself if I'm right or not. The rest is totally up to you."

"I can do that." Twilight nodded back. With a concept she could actually understand just within reach, her mind was no longer spinning in the wind. "But... okay. Let's assume everything you say is true, and my Rainbow Dash totally has a thing for me. Why haven't she and I ever had a discussion like this?"

Rainbow Dash's smile was the largest of the night. "If she's really all about her image and rep like you say, then that might be part of it. Fortunately, everyone who knows me knows I don't care who I like, so long as I know I like 'em." She laughed. "Which is great. Saves me time."

Twilight gave a small chuckle. "Right."

Rainbow took Twilight's hands again. "But more than that, it also sounds like she's even more headstrong than I am. Your Rainbow's really lucky. She's got all her dreams, some of 'em built-in, and on top of all of that, she's got you. I know myself pretty well — if I knew how to fly already, I'd still be going at super-speed. I'd never slow down, for anyone or anything. Sound familiar?"

Twilight gulped.

"My pony self might not know how to slow down. Meaning she might not know how to express what she really thinks of you. Me, though? I..."

Rainbow stared into Twilight's eyes, an oncoming sloshiness threatening her vision. She took a deep breath, her next words escaping with a quiver.

"...I learned a long time ago to value every moment you can with the people close to you. You gotta tell those people you love 'em, and want 'em to stay in your life, while they're actually around. 'Cause if you take them for granted, then-"

"Stop! You don't have to finish. I... I get it." Twilight wrapped her arms around Rainbow Dash, pulling her into the tightest hug she could. "Seriously, I get it. And I'm so sorry."

Rainbow Dash continued smiling through her tears. "Don't be. Nothing's your fault. You've been the best thing about all this. But if I can help someone who's just like me learn that lesson the easy way, I'm gonna do it."

The two shared a wordless embrace alone in the room for as long as they could before Rainbow Dash's phone beeped.

"Fifteen minute warning," said Rainbow with a sniffle. "Limo will be here real soon."

Twilight nodded, and both looked at themselves in Rainbow's wall-length mirror. Telltale streaks could be seen on their faces.

"And now you know why I'm not really one for makeup," said Rainbow, wiping at her eyes. "Come on, I'll redo us before our ride gets here."

---

Pay attention to her.

The words echoed in her mind as Twilight lay in her bed. It was just her luck that she wasn't able to sleep — and she knew her conscience would never allow it until she did what she'd been putting off all this time.

Sometimes she hated her conscience.

She got out of bed, flew over Spike, crashed, swore under her breath, then decided to trot the rest of the way to Rainbow Dash's room. The door was open, and Twilight looked in.

Rainbow hadn't been able to sleep, either. Technically she wasn't even in the room. She was instead doing practice loops on the balcony.

"Rainbow Dash?"

"Huh?" Rainbow Dash jolted in mid-loop, nearly losing her balance. "Whoa!" She managed to right herself just before crashing into a nearby wall, and landed on her hooves. "H-hi, Twilight."

"Hi, Rainbow. Got a minute?"

"For you? Sure."

"Good. Two things. First: you asked me what your other self was like. She was... let's just say you two had a lot in common. In similar but different ways."

"Whoa," said Rainbow. "Cryptic."

"Well, by that I mean she couldn't fly. But she totally wanted to be a Wonderbolt."

"Wow!" said Rainbow Dash. "For real?"

Twilight nodded. "And she thinks your awesomeness is second only to hers," she added with a wink.

Rainbow laughed. "Yep, that totally sounds like me, all right."

"There are other things, but they'd take a long time to delve into. I'll tell you them another time, I promise. But will what I just said suffice for now?"

"Absolutely!" said Rainbow with a boisterous nod. "Thanks heaps, Twi."

"It's what I'm here for. Second, I... I think it's been a while since we spent some time together. I mean there's been quests and villains and otherworldly adventures and this whole princess thing..."

"Y-yeah," said Rainbow. "I know we don't get to talk alone too much. Even when that stuff's not happening, you're always in your books, and I guess I'm afraid to ever try and pull you out of 'em."

Twilight did a double-take. "Afraid? Really?"

"Hey, I've seen ponies try! The consequences are... kinda intense." Rainbow gave a sheepish chuckle.

"But-" Twilight stopped herself, making a note to talk to Spike later. "Okay. Well, here's the thing. Every time I try to use these stupid new wings, it ends up nearly being the death of me. Seriously, you just don't give somepony brand new appendages they've never had before and expect them to be experts."

Rainbow laughed. "Yeah, I'll never understand what Celestia was thinking there."

Twilight ignored the small pang to her heart and continued. "I'm sure you know what I'm getting at, then."

"Sure. Flight lessons?" Rainbow spread her own wings. "You came to the right place! Well, more so than usual. I guess when we get back from the Crystal Empire, I'll meet you at your library and-"

"No!" Twilight shook her head quickly. "I mean, no, that's okay. Absolutely no library, and no books at all. We'll meet in the clouds above Ponyville, where I want you to help me start flying for real — and what's more, I want speed lessons." She flashed as inviting yet as challenging a smile as she could at her best friend.

Rainbow visibly held in her elation at Twilight's request. "Really? You're serious? Just you and me, flyin' all day?"

Twilight gave a reassuring nod. "Just you and me, flying all day. As many days as it takes. And I want to know what it's like for you."

This time, Rainbow utterly failed in holding back a squeal. "You've got yourself a deal, sister!" she said, flying towards Twilight and wrapping her in a huge hug.

For Twilight, the night instantly became warmer. "Great. The day after we return to Ponyville, then?"

"Sure!" Rainbow broke away, still tittering. "This is going to be so. Awesome."

Twilight giggled. "I'm counting on it."

She turned to leave, but stopped when Rainbow called out again. "Hey, Twilight?"

Twilight turned back around. "Yes?

Rainbow shifted from side to side on her hooves. "I... I just want to apologize about earlier. Luna's right, all that other-world info stuff is dangerous."

Twilight shook her head. "No apology necessary, Rainbow."

"No, I need to! 'Cause it's not just..."

Twilight could see Rainbow visibly fighting for words. When she at last spoke, her voice was tinged with resignation.

"Look, y-you're my best friend and I wanna look out for you, I guess. But whoever you're into? You're, uh... into. And it's cool by me. I can totally accept it. You being happy is always awesome, and-"

She was interrupted by lips touching hers.

Rainbow dared to blink, and the second she did, it was over. Still, she was used to speedy events, and she'd certainly caught that one. "Twilight? Did you just-"

Twilight was gone.

In her place was a lavender piece of paper bearing a multi-starred symbol. Her stationery. Rainbow picked it up and read.

---
Dear Rainbow Dash,

Don't be afraid. It's never too late.

Love,
~Twilight.

P.S. There's a message from someone else for you on the back. I don't know what it says, though. I promised not to look.
---

Rainbow turned the letter over.

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Hey, pony-me!

One day we'll meet and swap awesome flight stories — but in the meantime, second chances are sweet, huh?

Don't waste them.

Love And Coolness From The Other Side,
~Rainbow Dash.
---

Years ago, Rainbow found that whenever she had trouble sleeping, doing practice loops always helped.

With her heart now doing loops, however, she abandoned the notion of rest entirely.

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