Rainbow Dash hurried along the dirt path kicking up a small cloud of dust in her wake. Another time she might've avoided the ground all together. If nothing else she would've galloped at top speed along the path. This time her primary concern wasn't about speed. Her focus was on the young pegasus laying across her back and ensuring that she didn't fall.
It'd been eight months since that fateful day. The day a botched stunt nearly cost her everything. No one saw her violent crash into the EverFree Forest. She suffered a broken wing, concussion, and fractures to other bones she didn't know the names of. No one knew she was lying in a crumpled heap on forest floor. No one... except Scootaloo. The filly found her unconscious body and protected it through a raging thunderstorm and a frigid night.
For years Scoot had followed her around. Dash knew the young pegasus was her number one fan and Dash appreciated the attention. But the kid could be a little annoying, often popping up at the most inconvenient of times asking if she wanted to hang out. Dash usually pretended she couldn't hear her or always had some urgent task that needed taken care of. That night in the Everfree Forest, her perception changed. Scootaloo had saved her life. That act of selfless loyalty was something Dash would never forget. Ever since then Dash made an effort to spend more time with the filly whenever possible. She promised herself she would always be there for Scoot if she needed her. As she threw another glance over her shoulder, she knew unquestionably this was one of those times.
For years the young pegasus had been teased and chided about her small wings. A late bloomer in every sense of the word. Two months ago she finally started her growth spurt, her wings slowly filling out. A few weeks ago she successfully managed to hover a few feet above the ground for nearly five minutes. The young filly had been so eager to tell Dash about her experience she was literally bouncing around like Pinkie Pie.
It was a stark contrast to the injured filly trembling on her back. Earlier that day Dash happened to catch sight of the young pegasus while she was practicing in a field a few miles west of Ponyville. In a short amount of time Scoot had progressed from the basics of flight to actually trying some simple stunts. Showing her inexperience, Scoot failed to account for wind shear, momentum, and the wingpower required to pull her out of a dive. She hit the ground hard, her front right hoof planting into the turf and sending her tumbling about ten feet across the ground. Dash was quick to get over to her and address the young pegasus injuries. Dash was able to get some bandages from a nearby cottage and she temporarily dressed the filly's wounds as best she could.
Scoot's face and front hooves had a number of small cuts and bruises across them. She had one large bruise from the middle of her back all the way to her flank. Her front right hoof was bandaged and starting to swell. Dash would be very surprised if it wasn't at least fractured. Scoot's lip was quivering, her teary eyes tightly shut. It was obvious she was in a lot of pain.
"Hey Scoot, you still with me?"
The orange pegasus opened her eyes just a bit. When she saw Rainbow Dash looking at her she immediately turned away and covered her face with her good hoof.
"*sniff!* Y-yeah..." Her voice was weak and shakey, like someone trying to stifle a sob.
It was obvious she was embarrassed. Dash understood though. The cyan pegasus wasn't sure how she'd feel if one of her heroes from the Wonderbolts saw her crying, even for something legit like an injury. She didn't want Scoot to feel that way about her though...
Dash turned and grinned at the filly. "I admire you squirt! You've got guts!"
Scoot opened her eyes and immediately looked at Dash, a smile forming on her teary face. "*Sniff!* R-really!?
"Heck yeah! I know you've only been flying for a short time, but some of those stunts you were trying would've intimidated a pegasus twice your age! ...Though you might wanna work on your landings. " Dash winked at the young filly.
Scootaloo blushed and wiped her face.
Dash turned away and looked down the path. "I was thinking... After you heal up, how about I give you a few pointers?"
Scoot's face lit up. " Really!? THAT WOULD BE SO AWESOM--!!!" She lifted up quickly, tweaked her neck, and immediately fell back down into her previous position. "Ow." She groaned, a grimace formed on her face.
Dash chuckled. "That's the spirit! With my coaching and a lot of hard work, I'm sure someday you'll be the second best flyer in all of Equestria!"
Dash could feel Scootaloo slowly squeeze her back affectionately. "Thanks Rainbow Dash."
Gone were the thoughts of pain and embarrassment, replaced instead by excitement and anticipation. The mentor and student; looking forward to the lasting friendship they would cultivate together.
Here you go, a follow up to my "Loyalty" pic! I hope my limited writing skills didn't diminish your enjoyment of this piece, but I really felt this piece needed a little story to go along with it.
Right now I'm posting this pic remotely while on vacation. I've noticed one or two really minor things I'm going to touchup on this pic when I get back home. Keep that in mind if you were planning on downloading this. You might want to wait until Sunday when I return.
Yet another wonderful piece showcasing how greatly you have grown as an artist! The only conceivable critique I can offer is that Rainbow Dash's muzzle looks slightly off (although I can't put my finger on why exactly it seems that way), but compared to the overall quality of the piece, it's scarcely worth mentioning.
The image itself is incredibly sweet. I personally think that your accompanying story was quite good, but even without it, or even without text on the picture itself, the story behind the picture can be clearly seen. We've all heard the old cliche "a picture is worth a thousand words", but I feel this particular picture truly does do just that. The background story you wrote fell just 141 words shy of 1000, but the picture conveys each and every one of them without a single letter.
Just looking at this picture, I can't help but smile. It really develops the relationship between the two characters, and could easily be a future scene straight from the show itself. Before I wrap up my critique, I feel I should mention that the textless version of this picture is now my new desktop wallpaper.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More