Author's note: My first attempt at writing fanfiction ended… disastrously, to say the least. It's taken me a while, but I finally worked up the courage to write something else. You could call this my first real attempt. Either way, I hope you enjoy! If it's bad, I hope you get a few laughs out of it! ;)


And I Can Hear The Clock Tower Ringing

By SilverShadow2722

It's a bright spring morning. There's birdsong in the air, and the scent of fresh flowers is carried by the breeze. It's a morning like any other for the small town of Ponyville. There aren't too many ponies out right now; save for the occasional colt or filly playing in their backyard.

Rainbow Dash loves it. The cyan pegasus is napping on a cloud, simply enjoying life. As Ponyville's weather manager, it's she who decides whether it will be sunny or rainy– clear skies or thunderclouds. This week, there isn't scheduled to be any rain. The weather is perfect for resting on a soft, fluffy cloud.

Her little moment of tranquility is interrupted by a voice from below. She peers over the edge of the cloud and sees a familiar face.

"Heya, Dashie!" It's Pinkie Pie. One of Rainbow's closest friends, Pinkie is Ponyville's premier party planner (as the pink pony proclaims).

"Oh, hey, Pinkie," Rainbow says. "What's up?"

"I just wanted to tell you that there's a new pony in town!" Pinkie replies excitedly. "I'm on my way to give everypony invitations to his welcome party this evening!"

[i]A new pony, huh?[/i] Rainbow wonders. Ponies don't often move to Ponyville often. There are exceptions, of course, but most of the residents are born there. As such, a new pony is always a welcome sight.

"Alright, Pinkie," she says finally. "I'll be there."

"Sugarcube Corner, 5 o'clock!" Pinkie bounces away to deliver more invitations.

Rainbow settles back down onto her cloud.

-X-

The party seems to be progressing pretty well, in Rainbow's opinion. Sugarcube Corner is the bakery where Pinkie works, and right now, it's quite full of ponies.

Rainbow is puzzled, though. The guest of honor is nowhere to be seen. She looks through the crowd, until she finally spots him at the drinks' table. He's sipping a glass of punch. She walks up to him.

He's a gray pegasus, with light silver hair. Kinda like Thunderlane, Rainbow thinks. Except his hair is a little longer.

"Hey, there," she says. "You the new guy?"

"Hmm?" He looks up from his drink. His eyes are an almost hypnotic shade of emerald. "Uh… yeah! Yeah, I am. My name's Nightfall. What's yours?"

"Cool name. I'm Rainbow Dash. Fastest flyer in all of Equestria!"

"That's pretty awesome," Nightfall says. "You're the Element of Loyalty, right?"

"That I am!" Rainbow replies. "How're you liking the party?"

"It's quite good!" says Nightfall. "I don't think I've ever had a party quite like this before." He seems pretty excited at having met one of the Elements of Harmony.

"I'm glad you're enjoying it," Rainbow says. "The mare who set it up is a good friend of mine."

"Then give her my compliments."

"I will."

Eventually, the party starts to disperse. Rainbow and Nightfall say goodnight to each other, and go their separate ways.

As Rainbow flies home, there's a little feeling in the back of her mind. Nightfall seems nice enough, but there's something about him that just doesn't sit right with her.

That night, Rainbow can barely sleep. She can't stop thinking about those eyes.

-X-

A few days later, Rainbow finds herself in the spa with Rarity. The ivory unicorn has somehow convinced Rainbow to come along on one of her weekly spa trips, and Rainbow has (very reluctantly) agreed. It's "good for your health," or so Rarity says, anyway.

But no matter how good the spa's services are, Rainbow has only one thing on mind. She turns to Rarity.

"What do you know about Nightfall?" she asks.

Rarity raises her eyebrows. "Well, why do you want to know? Do you… perhaps… have a crush on him?"

"No!" Rainbow exclaims. "No, jeez, it's nothing like that. He just seems a little… I dunno, different."

"Why, Rainbow!" Rarity replies. "You shouldn't be judging other ponies just like that! Remember Zecora?"

"…Yeah."

"In any case, I'm sure he's just a perfect gentlecolt. Somewhat handsome too, hmm?"

"Rarity!"

Perhaps Rarity is right. Maybe he is just an ordinary pony. Rainbow has no way of knowing.

-X-

The day after her little spa session with Rarity, Rainbow runs into Nightfall at the market. He seems surprised to see her there, but he greets her in a friendly way. He's just buying some carrots for himself.

Rainbow asks him where he's from. It turns out that he was born in Canterlot, but he moved to Manehattan when he was young.

Nightfall has an older brother, but they haven't seen each other for a long time now. His parents live in an apartment in Manehattan.

Then, it's his turn to ask questions. "What do you do?" he asks Rainbow.

"Huh? Oh, I'm weather manager for Ponyville." Rainbow says. Nightfall nods, interested. "I'm also a part of the Wonderbolts."

At this, Nightfall does a double take. "Whoa, really? That's so cool!"

"It kinda is, isn't it? I'm actually on leave now, though."

"Still pretty cool! Man, I can't believe I'm talking to a Wonderbolt in person!"

"Have you ever been to any Wonderbolt shows?" Rainbow asks.

"Once," Nightfall replies. "I was about… nine or ten years old. It was… breathtaking, to say the least."

The two quickly find themselves striking up a conversation about Wonderbolts history while they walk to Nightfall's home. Nightfall's house is at the end of the road, at the very edge of town. Before going in, he waves to Rainbow. Rainbow waves back.

As she walks back into Ponyville, Rainbow wonders if she really was overreacting.

-X-

A few weeks have passed since then. Rainbow finds herself growing closer to Nightfall, and they spend most of their time together.

Sometimes, they go to the bowling alley. Other times, they just hang out at Berry Punch's bar. It turns out Nightfall's pretty good at singing.

One day, Nightfall has a somewhat surprising question for Rainbow Dash.

"Um… Rainbow?" He fidgets shyly. "D-do you want to go out together sometime?"

Rainbow could say she is surprised, but, truth be told, she isn't. She's noticed how he's been behaving recently.

Nightfall takes her silence to mean rejection. "I-if you want to, that is… he-heh."

"Hey, don't look so sad," Rainbow says. "I'll be happy to go out with you any time."

His face considerably brightens. "S-so it's a date?"

"It's a date," Rainbow says with a smile.

He jumps in the air with a 'WooHoo!' When he lands, he looks at Rainbow for a moment, embarrassed. Then they both break out laughing.

-X-

Nightfall sits at the foot of a tree on a hill. Rainbow rests her head on his shoulder. They're watching the sunset.

"Y'know something?" he asks his marefriend. "It may be just because of my name, but I've always thought that sunset was the most beautiful part of the day."

"It really is quite beautiful," Rainbow agrees.

"Just like you," Nightfall says, nuzzling Rainbow.

"Oh, come on, that was so cheesy, and you know it." Rainbow gives him a fake glare.

"Yeah, it was. But I wasn't lying. You are really beautiful."

"Awww, thanks." Rainbow chuckles, and Nightfall cracks a small smile.

He starts to sing a song– one that he claims his father taught him when he was a colt. He sings about zombies and vampires, but despite the somewhat creepy lyrics, it's actually a beautiful piece about looking past one's differences to find love.

"I love you, my Rainbow," he says when he is done.

"I love you too," Rainbow replies.

Their lips meet.

-X-

After more than a year of dating, Nightfall finally asks Rainbow the most important question of their lives.

He takes her to their favorite spot– the hill where they love to sit and watch the sunset after a long day at work.

"Rainbow," he begins. "You cannot believe how much you have changed my life. Barely two years ago, I was a shy, awkward stallion in a new place– one I knew next to nothing about. You helped me gain confidence, and I am immensely grateful to you.

"I cannot think of having to spend even a single day of my life apart from you. So, Rainbow Dash, will you marry me?"

Rainbow's heart leaps into her throat. Words cannot express the sheer joy she feels right now. "Yes," she whispers, looking into those bewitching emerald eyes.

"Yes, I will."

-X-

Their wedding is a mostly private affair, held in the Ponyville Town Hall. Her best friends are there– Twilight, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie and Fluttershy. Even Discord, Spirit of Chaos himself, is present, looking genuinely happy for his friend. The Cutie Mark Crusaders– Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo– are the flower girls. Starlight Glimmer, Trixie, and Spike sit beside Twilight, grinning. Rarity takes the opportunity to tease Rainbow about how she was right. Rainbow just rolls her eyes and chuckles.

As Rainbow Dash is the Element of Loyalty, Princesses Celestia and Luna have also been invited; they sit next to Discord with wide smiles on their faces. (At least this time, they remembered the gift.) Princess Cadence and Shining Armor have come down from the Crystal Empire, too.

When it comes to saying the vows, there's no doubt about it. Rainbow looks Nightfall in the eyes. Nightfall gazes back into hers. Both bride and groom answer with a firm, "I do."

Their marriage is sealed with a kiss.

-X-

Six weeks after their marriage, Rainbow wakes up to an empty bed beside her. Her eyes widen, and she quickly gets out of bed. She trots to the bathroom in confusion.

"Nightfall," she cries out. "You in there?"

There's no answer. She calls him again.

This time, he responds. "Yeah, yeah". He sounds frustrated. "Just… don't come in for a few minutes, 'kay? Come on, work!"

After waiting a while, Rainbow starts to get worried. She opens the door, only for her jaw to drop in shock.

The figure standing there is most certainly [i]not[/i] the pegasus she married.

"Changeling!" she shouts. "What are you doing in my house?!"

"Rainbow, it's me!" it pleads. "Nightfall!"

"Oh, yeah?" she retorts. "Why should I believe you? And why aren't you all… pastel-colored?"

"I can prove it to you! Remember that song I sang to you, all those nights ago on the hill?" At Rainbow's nod, he continues, "I can sing it again. I promise, it's still me."

He starts to sing. By the time he gets to the chorus, Rainbow knows. This changeling is her husband. She hugs him with tears in her eyes, no longer feeling fur, but hard black chitin instead. "Why?" she asks. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I was scared, honey," he replies. "Folks up in Canterlot– they don't like changelings all that much, even before the invasion. 'Swhy I moved to Manehattan. I wasn't sure what Ponyville would be like."

"Okay," Dash says. "But you've got to tell me the whole story."

It turns out that Nightfall was left on the doorstep of a couple in Canterlot. An old changeling tactic, he calls it. Leave the baby to be raised by ponies when the hive's store of love runs low. Nightfall is one of the lucky ones whose parents were not too scared of changelings.

Rainbow is no Element of Honesty, but she knows he's telling the truth.

While they are talking, Rainbow notices that his eyes are not like the compound eyes of a changeling drone. Instead, they're more like those of his pony form. They're the same alluring shade of emerald they've been ever since she and Nightfall first met.

When asked about it, he shrugs. "Perhaps it's from me being freely given love over the years. I dunno." Rainbow chuckles. Even in his changeling form, she can see the same behavioral tics that Nightfall had in his pony form.

She thinks back to the song Nightfall sang earlier. It's very appropriate for their situation right now.

"What are we going to do now?" she asks.

"I guess we tell your friends. If they're truly your friends, they'll trust you, and I know they will."

"I guess you're right." Rainbow smiles.

"By the way, when you said pastel-colored, what did you mean?"

"Oh! That." Rainbow struggles not to laugh. "That's kind of a long story…"

As Rainbow spins a tale of adventure and heroism, Nightfall smiles. Rainbow catches his eye, and grins back at him. All is, and will be, well.

END