by CharmingChaos

Chapter 1: Hope for the Future

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Rainbow Dash sighed as she watched her three foals tumble and play together on the cloud-lawn outside her house. Daring Dash and Rainbow Shine, the two fillies, appeared to be preparing an ambush for their brother, SoarinDash. The two little pegasi struggled to carry a huge pile of cloud between them, creeping towards SoarinDash on silent wings. Rainbow Dash glanced away, brushing a tear from her cheek, unable to hide the sadness in her heart. How she had loved Soarin, with his big dopey grin and his almost unnatural love of pie. She laughed bitterly to herself. Of course Rainbow Dash would have the same fate as her mother. Forced to raise triplets as a single mare, Rainbow Dash had only one difference from her mother: she didn't hate her husband. No, marrying Soarin was the best thing that ever happened to her. Until he left. Dash knew she shouldn't be surprised. Of course he left. He was a Wonderbolt, and Wonderbolts got what they wanted, when they wanted, and when they didn't want whatever poor mare or colt they had toyed with, they left her, tearful and forgotten, like an old rag too ugly and worn to be saved.

Maybe she should call Ditzy to babysit and leave Cloudsdale for a day or two, Rainbow Dash thought. Maybe visiting her friends in Ponyville would cheer her up. But no, memories of her past life with Soarin were still too fresh there. Too many days were spent there, waiting and waiting for a stallion who never had any intention of coming back. In her mind, Dash went back to the day her foals were born.


Rainbow Dash was at Sweet Apple Acres, keeping Applejack company. She couldn't help with the apple-bucking, her swollen belly made sure of that. But Applejack insisted she come anyways, because, in her own words, "Even pregnant ponies need comp'ny, Sugarcube." Rainbow was happy her friends had allowed her to tag along, but she was a trifle embarrassed. All the other ponies could help buck apples, even Twilight Sparkle, and she was carrying her own filly, Midnight Sparkle, on her back. Spike usually took care of the dark blue filly, but today he said he was "just too busy with Rarity." So as Pinkie Pie, Twilight, and Applejack moved across the orchard, Rainbow Dash lounged on a cloud feeling ridiculous and watching Fluttershy giggle and try, without much success, to keep Big Macintosh from kissing her in front of everypony. Eventually, Dash grabbed a branch in her teeth and propelled her cloud toward her friends. She hated not being able to use her wings, but refused to let AJ tie her cloud to onto one of the carts to be towed around like a filly.

"hey girls--oof!" Rainbow Dash grunted.

"Somethin' wrong, Sugarcube?" Applejack asked, a frown forming on her flushed face.

"Just... kicking... no big--ow!--deal." Rainbow Dash gasped. Still, this felt worse than usual. She struggled to hide a grimace and yelped involuntarily. "Really..." she whispered. "I'm... fine."

"You don't seem very fine to me. Dashie, what you need is some chocolate cake!" Pinkie Pie squeaked. The pink pony jumped up and down like she had springs on her hooves to try to see Dash on her cloud.

The idea of chocolate cake made Rainbow want to vomit, but she struggled to keep her face its normal cyan color.

"I don't think this is the right time for chocolate cake, Pinkie. We need to get Rainbow to the hospital, and fast!" Twilight grasped the little cloud in her magic and trotted off towards the hospital,pushing Rainbow Dash ahead of her. Dash stuffed her ears with cloud, trying to block Pinkie's painfully high-pitched ambulance noises out of her skull.

Somewhere along the way, Rainbow Dash must have passed out, because the next thing she knew, she was in the hospital. The sound of beeping equipment made her refuse to open her eyes. She probably wasn't supposed to be awake.Twilight's anxious voice reached her ears, talking in urgent half-whispers to the doctor. "Do you think she'll be all right? What about the foals? Will they make it?"

Dash couldn't pretend to be asleep any longer. She pushed herself up into a sitting position, then yelped in pain and slumped back down. "What happened? Are my foals ok? And why is Twi so scared?

"Good, you're finally awake. Your foals are most likely going to be fine. You have two fillies and a colt, they're all over there with Nurse Silver Light. We had to drug you because the birth was very difficult, the colt was stuck. But you were awake the whole time, you just won't remember anything." As the doctor rambled on, Rainbow's mind wandered. She was kind of sad she didn't remember the birth, Twilight and Fluttershy both cherished the memories of theirs, but she was glad her foals were alright. She went back to listening to the doctor. "You have Twilight here to thank for all this." He was saying. "Without her, you might not have gotten here on time."

Twilight smiled gently and said, "We've all been so worried about you. the others are in the waiting room, except Pinkie. She's not allowed in the maternity ward because of the incident with the Cakes. Shall i tell them they can come see you?"

"Can I see my foals, first? I want to name them before the meet everypony." Rainbow Dash was anxious to make sure there was nothing wrong with her foals, and that they really were ok.

"Of course," said Twilight. "Nurse? Can you bring the Dash triplets, please?"

Silver Light wheeled in a cart with the three foals in it. Their little armbands all said "Dash" on them, and they hung loosely around their scrawny hooves. But Rainbow Dash didn't care how scrawny or weak her foals looked.

"They're beautiful," she breathed softly. "Thank you, Nurse."

"You made them," Silver Light laughed. "Shall i leave you two to decide the names?"

"I'll go get the others," Twilight moved toward the door.

"No, wait!" Dash called after her. "I want you to help me name them."

"Well, most mares name their foals after people they love or admire. Why don't you try that?" Twilight suggested.

"Hmmmm," Rainbow Dash stared hard at the three. One of them, the colt, looked just like Soarin. "He's SoarinDash, after what everypony called us." Rainbow looked at the other two fillies. They looked exactly like her. She pointed a hoof at the middle one. "That one is Daring Dash. Just look how fierce and brave she looks." Daring shifted with a soft coo. The last filly, Rainbow Dash noticed, had a particularly shiny mane and tail, and looked even more like Rainbow Dash than her sister. "And you." She mussed the last filly's mane. "You look just like me. I think I'll call you Rainbow Shine, because of how shiny your hair is."


"Mummy? Mummy, my doll ith broken. Thoarin did it. Mummy, wake up." Rainbow Dash was shaken out of her daydream by Rainbow Shine's plaintive, lisping voice in her ear and her tiny hoof prodding her mane. SoarinDash and Daring were fast alseep at her feet, and only Shine stared worriedly up at her mother. Her rose-colored eyes, so like Dash's own, looked up pathetically at her. Shine held up the now torn pegasus pony doll which Rarity gave each of the foals at their birth with a look of pure despair on her little face. Rainbow Dash cuddled her daughter close.

"It's ok," she said softly. "I'll get Rarity to fix it tomorrow. Ditzy can babysit you. You love Ditzy, don't you?"

Shine rubbed her face on Dash's coat, drying her tears, and Dash was overcome with love for her foals. They wouldn't be foals forever, but she'd love them with all her heart for as long as she lived. If their father never came back, Dash was prepared to love them twice as much. For both of them.

"Your dad would have loved you kids, if he'd stayed around long enough to meet you." Rainbow Dash noticed that Shine, too, had fallen asleep. She nuzzled each foal's head affectionately, and then secures Daring and SoarinDash under her wings, took Shine delicately in her mouth, and carried them into the nursery. As she tucks each foal into the crib, She whispered, "you're the best foals a mare could ask for." Rainbow Dash flew quietly out of the room and let her children sleep away the afternoon, oblivious to all the pain and hardship of the world around them.

Next Chapter: Old Dreams Estimated time remaining: 15 Minutes
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