During the Events of "The Mysterious Mare Do Well"...
I strapped my knives to my hooves, using what little binding I could find. I angrily flapped my wings, levitating in mid air. Knives at the ready, heart pounding, and my shield on my wrist. This was to be my final fray, I knew it. The changelings circled around me, ready to strike. They cackled insanely, trying to intimidate me. Next to me lie the dead bodies of several civilians, each the work of a changeling. I was outnumbered and outmatched. Still, this would be a good fight. The last good fight I would ever see. I had lived a good life. Short, sure, but it had been a good one. I was ready to die for what I stood for. Twilight and the others were safe, Princess Celestia and her sister were safe. I was the only remaining pony in Canterlot, and I had accepted my fate. I lived for today, and tomorrow would be a better time because of my sacrifice. I watched the fire in the eyes of the changelings grow stronger as I continued to stand in the center of their circle. With no regrets, no last wishes to give, none to be fulfilled, I shouted my battle cry... And one last time... Charged the enemy...
I awoke with a gasp, breathing heavily as sweat trickled down my forehead, just to the side of my mouth. I brought my hooves to my forehead, and tried to calm myself down. It was another nightmare, and I kept having them ever since I discovered the plans going on with the changelings. I was horrified at the idea of failing in my duty. If anything were to happen... I don't know if I'd ever be able to forgive myself. I breathe steadily and throw my covers off of me, gently placing my hooves onto the floor. I look around my home, still seeing the same things that I saw every morning. My father's clock, my picture of Twilight and I, and the various other belongings I had. I brought one of my hooves to the ground, and sighed as I rubbed my forehead. Every time I knew that something was going to happen, I had nightmares. All of them of something going wrong, and failing to protect something, or somepony. I shook my head and looked to my door, which still stood shut. I walked over and opened it, and had to cover my eyes briefly from the sunlight. Closing my eyes, I stepped fully outside, shutting my door in the process. I shook my head again, and opened my eyes. The sun sparked brightly for a moment, but my vision quickly turned to normal as my eyes adjusted. Looking around, I could see a small flock of birds flying overhead, singing a merry song as they went. I smiled and whistled. After a few seconds, the birds returned the whistle in their own melody. Always loved birds, never knew why, but I always did.
After training for a couple of hours, I decided to stop by the library and see how Twilight was doing. When I got to town, everypony was chanting Rainbow's name, while she did some sort of dance. I rose an eyebrow, confused by what had been happening. I just shook my head and looked away, deciding to continue my journey to the library. Just as I was about to turn off of a street, I noticed the rest of the girls nearby, and looking unhappily at Rainbow.
"Hey girls. Something up?" I ask as I walk over to them. Twilight turned her head to face me, and smiled.
"Hey Tinder. Good to see you." She said. I nodded and gave her a quick hug, then turned to face the others. They still had strange looks on their faces, as though distraught by something. I looked back behind me, where Rainbow continued to do her strange dance. I rose an eyebrow, and repeated my question from earlier.
"Rainbow's become somewhat of a local hero. Call me silly, but I think she's letting the fame get to her head a little bit." Twilight said, disappointment clear in her voice. I sighed, and looked away from her. I hate to say it, but I'm not surprised to see that she would allow this fame to get to her. I had the good fortune to not see this at all in Amareica, but then again, we were taught to be humble. Something Rainbow was quite clearly lacking in. Pinkie was quick to agree with Twilight, actually calling her silly. I glared at her, but she didn't seem to notice, as she just invited everypony to come to the Sugarcube Corner to try and make them feel better. I wasn't really one for sweets, but I decided to head along anyway.
Rainbow somehow had made it to the Corner before we did, and was bragging about her "mighty" and "heroic" deeds. I hope she realizes that the mark of a true hero is humility, because I don't think I can stand to see and hear this crap much longer. I was just eating a salad, trying to ignore her as much as I could. If I didn't, I might just blow a fuse and shout at her, which I really didn't want to do. Show off or not, she's still my friend, and I can't bear to see my friends hurt. Just as I was about to take another bite, she flew over to me with a ridiculous smile on her face.
"Yo! Tinder, wanna be immortalized as my friend?" She asked. I raised an eyebrow and closed my mouth, turning to face her.
"Wait... What?" I asked as I placed my fork down. She simply shoved her cheek next to mine, all while wrapping a foreleg around me. Next thing I knew, I was ambushed by a flurry of white flashes, forcing me to shut my eyes. When she finally pulled away, I had to rub my eyes to stop them from watering. I grunted in pain, and I felt somepony place legs on my back and chest. I groaned again, and managed to blink a couple of times. I recognized the purple forelegs as Twilight's and told her I was alright. Twilight nodded and looked to her left, and gave a quizzical stare.
"Spike, are you taking notes?" She asked with confusion in her voice. I groaned one last time as I shook my head, trying to get my eyes readjusted to the room. I looked over to where Twilight was looking, and sure enough, Spike was there with some sort of reporter outfit, and a notepad. I stared at him with confusion as he explained what was going on. He had been hired as a "ghost writer" by Rainbow to write her autobiography. Autobiography? What kind of joke was this? I angrily shook my head and looked over to Pinkie, who had taken the idea of Spike being a ghost literally, and ran into the kitchen. Spike began writing this down as Rainbow posed for a picture with some foals. I face hoofed and shook my head. This was just plain stupid... I had to talk to her.
"Look... Rainbow... Being a hero doesn't mean soaking up all the glory that comes with it..." I said as I walked over to her. She just rolled her eyes, and said I had no idea what I was talking about. No idea... Just who did she think she was? I slammed my hoof down angrily, causing her to jump.
"If taking in all the glory was what it was about, everypony in Amareica would be a selfish, no good, fame seeking douche bags! But that's not what we are at all! Right?" I shouted with clear aggravation. Rainbow just shrugged.
"No, but that's different. You're raised for that kind of stuff, I'm not. So the fact I do it anyway is what sets us apart." She says with a nod. I growl in anger. She wasn't getting the message at all, as though she didn't even appreciate what I was trying to tell her. She raised an eyebrow and looked down to my right foreleg, and pointed at it.
"Besides... Aren't you kind of a hypocrite if you keep wearing that?" She asked with a smart alecky tone. I raised my foreleg, and saw the ring I had obtained when I was revealed to be the seventh element. I simply wore it because I had self esteem issues, and would actually convince myself I was worthless at times. Keeping the ring on reminded me that I did have purpose, and that I was important. Of course, Rainbow thought I was just wearing it to show off, which I guess is understandable. I shook my head and explained this to her, but I don't think she believed me. She just said she had to get back to rescuing ponies. As she sailed out the door, I could hear Applejack try to come up with a plan to get Rainbow's boasting to stop. Twilight looked over to me, and smiled. She told everypony to meet at her place, and just like that, she was gone.
"OW! Would you be careful?" I said as Rarity tried to get me into the costume. The girls had become convinced they needed to make a new hero to get Rainbow to stop boasting, and had already worked out a plan to get everything ready. The only thing they had been missing was somepony to be the hero. Lucky me, that's where I came in. I was supposed to pose as a masked hero who simply showed up to save the day, then left. No glory being soaked in whatsoever. Just like old times. What I didn't like about the plan was that I was supposed to wear a costume, and pose as a mare. Don't get me wrong, I believe mares are just as important as stallions, but that doesn't mean I didn't like being a stallion. I was already in a bad mood from Rainbow accusing me of being a show off, and I really wasn't getting any happier. I felt a stinging pain in my lower abdomen, and gave a quick grunt of pain.
"Ok you know what? I'm just going to wear my armor!" I shouted as I angrily broke away from Rarity. Twilight grabbed my foreleg and stared at me sympathetically.
"I can understand that, but then everypony would know it was you, we have to keep your identity a secret." She said calmly. I considered this. If everypony knew it was me, they would probably think I was just trying to embarrass Rainbow, although that wasn't the case at all. I sighed and shook my head, looking back to Rarity. I mumbled to myself and went back over. Just as she finished putting on the mask, Pinkie got one of her "Pinkie Senses". Talk about knick of time.
"Forget being itchy... This mask is making me sweat already." I said as I wiped my forehead. Twilight just giggled as she watched Rainbow giving out autographs. I shook my head, and looked up. A pony with a parachute was falling to the ground. The parachute had been torn, and there was nothing stopping the pony from falling. I reared down and leaped up, bouncing off of the sides of several buildings. After leaping from several buildings, I leaped on top of one with a jester hat and leaped high into the sky. I grabbed hold of the pony in distress. I performed a flip in mid air, and slammed down onto the ground, while making sure to keep her safe. I placed her down on the ground gently, and before anypony could cheer, I shot into the air.
I'm not exactly sure what's going on with the life threatening scenarios today, but I do know that Rainbow has been close behind every time. Right as I headed out, and got to the scene, she showed up. Fortunately for us, I had managed to react more quickly than she had, and get the job done. I never stayed around for applause or praise. I either saluted, then left, or just nodded and took off. The climax of the day was definitely at the dam near the town. Rainbow had pretty much grown desperate to be the hero at this point, and was trying to cover up a crack in the dam. By using her hoof... What's the thinking behind that?
"You're just making it worse..." I whispered to myself. I wasn't exactly a dam expert, but I did know you don't just use a hoof to cover a crack. It's gotta be more complicated and well thought out than that. Sure enough, I was right. Not ten seconds after she tried "fixing" the dam, it completely broke down and released a storm of water on her. That was when I went to action. I leaped from my hiding spot and flew down to grab one of the numerous logs near the river. Placing it on top of the water, I managed to get Rainbow to grab on, although her discovery of me wasn't exactly relieving to her. I looked over to the dam, where the water continued to flow. I looked over to my left, and saw Twilight standing in the background. I nodded to her, and she began repairing the dam with her magic. Rainbow was awe struck, and so were several other ponies that gathered around to watch. When the dam was finished, I looked behind me to the other townsfolk. They began to cheer, but I didn't hang around for too long. I just saluted and took off, like I always do.
The rest of the day pretty much consisted of the girls congratulating me on a job well done, although I was quick to renounce their praise. We headed to the Sugar Cube Corner to relax, where I was finally able to take off that oven of a suit. Rainbow eventually stopped by, clearly aggravated. At least the plan was working. I took a sip of water as the girls began to praise the town named "Mysterious Mare Do Well". Rainbow grew more frustrated by the minute, and I could only ignore her insistence that she was better.
"She's not that great! Right Tinder?" She asked with a desperate tone. I rose an eyebrow, and turned to her. There was a look of desperation on her face, but an angry glare in her eye at the same time.
"You could take a few hints from her. She understands what being a true hero is like. Something you seem to be lacking." I said with a serious tone. Rainbow growled and grit her teeth, as Spike noted her being jealous. She just got more and more furious as she declared that she was better than Mare Do Well, and was about to storm out before I said something.
"Better at what Rainbow? Being a selfish snob who only cares about the praise of her deeds? Some talent." I said with a disgusted tone. She paused for a moment, as the others stared at me with amazement. I just shrugged it off and took a drink of my water. I was blunt, and they knew this. Whether it was positive or negative, I was always straight forward with what I thought, unless it was romantic. Rainbow just growled and shot out the door, as Twilight gently tapped my foreleg.
"Do you think that might have been a bit harsh?" She asked. I sighed and shrugged.
"Maybe, but it was the truth." I said with narrowed eyes. Truth is, I was only harsh when I was aggravated with somepony, and I was definitely aggravated by Rainbow's behavior. I'll have to apologize when this whole "Mare Do Well" thing blows over.
For some reason the town decided to throw a parade for "Mare Do Well", forcing me back into the costume. Lucky me. The parade wasn't that bad actually, it was being in the costume that killed it for me. But hey, keeping the identity secret and all. The girls had formulated a plan to reveal the truth to Rainbow, and try to get the lesson into her head. I was supposed to wait until she confronted me, then get her to follow me to a deserted area of town, due to the parade. When the mayor gave my opening, I decided to fly through the banner, just so that Rainbow would know I was here. As they cheered, I just stood there, looking around for Rainbow. Surely enough, she walked right up to me, and glared at me angrily. She tried to grab my mask, but I dodged her lunge. I leaped into the air and took off, leaping right over the crowd. I sprinted as quickly as I could, dodging Rainbow as much as I could. When I reached the rendezvous point, I simply waited for Rainbow, although I wasn't expecting her to come from the sky.
"I got you now!" She shouted as she dived from above. I just shook my head and dodged the strike, letting her glide to the side of me. She growled in anger as she slid on the ground, and turned to face me. She charged me, but I leaped over her effortlessly. She got more and more angry with each failed attempt to get me, and I managed to stop long enough to realize I had to speed things along, before the rest of the town showed up. I stood still and let her tackle me, and she smiled as she stood above me. She tried to rip my mask off, but I wasn't making it that easy for her. I darted my head away, and head butted her. She gave a quick groan of pain, and I used this opportunity to roll over and change positions, placing my foreleg on her neck to prevent her from trying anything. She just stared up at me in shock, tears in her eyes.
"Fine! You win!" She shouted at me with sorrow in her voice. I shook my head.
"No. You win." I said calmly as I grabbed my mask with my other hoof. My voice was enough to completely throw her off, and she rose an eyebrow in confusion. That didn't compare to when I took off the mask. Her eyes grew wider than the dam from earlier, and she could only stutter out her words of confusion. The others made themselves known as I got off of her. She asked what they were doing there, and each of them explained their roles in the Mare Do Well campaign. After each of the girls finished telling what they did, I held out a hoof, offering it to Rainbow.
"Come on, get up." I said with a forgiving tone. She was noticeably sad now, but accepted my hoof nonetheless.
"I don't understand, why? Don't you want me to be a hero?" She asked when she had gotten on to all fours. I nodded.
"By all means, yes. But a hero doesn't boast about every single thing they do. They perform their deeds with humility, and grace." I said as I placed a hoof on her shoulder. She admitted she did brag a little.
"A little?" The girls say angrily, while I just glare at her. She panicked and admitted she bragged a lot, then looked at me.
"Guess I should have listened to you..." She said with an embarrassed tone. I just chuckled an patter her shoulder.
"It's fine. By the way, I'm sorry about the whole selfish snob comment." I said. She accepts my apology as Twilight explains feeling proud is natural, although rubbing it in the faces of others isn't.
"Yeah! The only thing that should be shoved in ANYPONY'S face, is chocolate cake!" Pinkie shouts as she begins to slurp loudly. The rest of us stare at her with strange expressions, to which she just smiles away.
"Okay... Moving on..." I say with a confused tone. Twilight told Rainbow what we were trying to tell her, and she was rather accepting of the idea. Although she said she would
"try" to be more modest. Not exactly the best way of knowing she had learned her lesson, but hey, if it gets me out of this microwave.
I was just about to head home for the day when Twilight stopped me. I looked back behind me, and she had a sad look on her face.
"Tinder... Is it true what you said earlier today? About feeling useless?" She asked with care in her voice. I looked down in shame. I never liked worrying Twilight, and I always felt awful when I did. I sighed and nodded. Still, I wasn't going to lie to her. I'd rather have a painful truth than a comforting lie.
"Yeah... Sometimes..." I said with a sad expression. I looked downward, only to feel her pull me her way, and plant a kiss on my lips. I stood with a shocked expression for a moment, but returned her kiss quickly. I closed my eyes focusing on my feelings for her. When she pulled away, she leaner her forehead on mine, and smiled. I smiled back and looked into her eyes. They sparkled brighter than stars, and I chuckled.
"What was that for?" I asked calmly.
"To let you know that you mean a lot to me." She said lovingly. I smiled and hugged her, which she was quick to return. I can only wonder how I was lucky enough to get Twilight. We pulled away from our hug, and I wished her a good night. She did the same, and walked back to the library. I turned, but tripped, falling to the ground. I chuckled. Now I know why ponies said their head spun when they kissed ponies they cared about.