The entire mood of the party had changed almost immediately. A few moments ago, the ponies attending this get-together were all happy and enjoying themselves. Now, the whole things seemed to have turned into a disaster. And all because of an outburst caused by the guest of honour for the party.
Gilda the griffon, and old friend of Rainbow Dash, had been invited here to attend this party in her honour, thrown by Pinkie Pie. Although Pinkie was famous around Ponyville for parties of all sorts, the fact that she was willing to throw one for Gilda had come as a surprise for many, considering that they hadn't seemed to be on friendly terms during the latter's short time here. But as bad as things were between them, they seemed even worse now. For Gilda had been the victim of a number of practical jokes that had occurred throughout the evening. And even though the other ponies attending had laughed at the spectacle, Gilda did not.
The latest prank, which involved the griffon sliding into the kitchen of Sugarcube Corner, had been the last straw for her. She'd thrown a number of insults at the surrounding pony crowd before turning on Pinkie Pie herself. Nopony was willing to step forward and stop this, mostly out of how intimidated most were of an angry griffon. But among them, Rainbow Dash was now looking at her old friend with a look of anger, one she'd never used on Gilda before. But the latter had not noticed this and was still ranting.
"You think you're going to make me lose my cool? Well you're wrong! Rainbow Dash and I have more cool than all of you combined!"
The griffon had wrapped her claw around Rainbow's shoulder during the final part of the declaration, which had clearly not sat well with her. Gilda then began to walk towards the door leading out into Ponyville before stopping to face Rainbow.
"Come on Dash. We're bailing on this pathetic scene!"
But Rainbow did not follow her, which caused Gilda to frown.
"Come on Dash! I said we're LEAVING!" She said aggressively.
But Dash continued to stay put. She looked at her old friend with anger in her eyes and spoke.
"You know Gilda.....I was the one who set up all those pranks at this party!" She said.
The griffon's mouth dropped open and was nearly at the floor over what she'd just heard.
"What?!" She exclaimed.
Gilda looked from Rainbow to Pinkie pie, who also had a look of shock on her face. Rainbow then stood between the two of them, her eyes still fixed on Gilda.
"So I guess I'M the lame one here!" She said mockingly.
Gilda then developed a bit of a nervous smile.
"Come one Dash You're joking me!" She said.
Rainbow's angry expression softened, and gave way to a more understanding one, as did her tone.
"They weren't all meant for you specifically. It was just dumb luck that you set them all off."
Pinkie then began to smile before turning to look at Spike, who had just walked by to stand next to her.
"I should have known! That last prank had "Rainbow Dash" written all over it." She said, oblivious to how serious this situation was becoming.
Gilda was becoming lost for words. Rainbow Dash? Her best friend? Responsible for the humiliation she'd gone through today? This was not possible. It HAD to be Pinkie Pie. That Pony hadn't liked her since the moment she arrived in town, she told herself. It couldn't have been anypony else. And it certainly couldn't have been her closest friend.
"Now way! It had to be Pinkie! She set all this up to trip me up! To make a fool out of me!"
Pinkie's smile then vanished at this comment, having now felt insulted that she would go out of her way to humiliate anyone.
"Me? I threw this party to improve your attitude! To turn that frown upside down!" She replied.
Before Gilda could respond to that, she turned to see Rainbow, who was looking angry once more, and spoke out to all this.
"And you certainly didn't need any help in making a fool of yourself."
The pegasus then stepped forward, causing Gilda to step back. Rainbow's wings were outstretched in an intimidating fashion as she stared down her old friend.
"You know, this isn't how I expected my old friend to treat my new friends. If being cool is all that matters to you, maybe you should just go off and find some cool friends....someplace else."
Gilda was shocked over what Rainbow had just said to her. She felt angry. She wanted to throw everything Rainbow had said right back at her. Her mind was racing, trying to think of any number of hurtful things she could use against the pegasus, to humiliate her as she had been this evening. She opened her mouth to respond.......and said nothing. Instead, she closed her mouth, her angry expression changing into a simple blank stare. She looked at Rainbow, and then to all of the other ponies in the room. All of them had been made silent by what had just transpired here. Gilda gave one final look to Rainbow, before simply walking out of the door.
Rainbow looked on, surprised that Gilda had just left the way she did. She was certain that she'd leave in an angry rant of some sort, may throw some hurtful comments. For her to just up and leave without a word was unheard of for her. But she couldn't think about that right now. Instead, she turned around to face her friends.
"I'm......I'm sorry about that guys. You shouldn't have had to go through that, certainly not at a party."
The group looked at each other before Pinkie stepped forward and placed her hoof on Dash's shoulder.
"It's okay Dashie. Gilda was the one who did all this, not you."
Rainbow nodded but did not smile.
"Yeah, but she's a friend, or was anyway. I feel like I'm responsible for this."
Pinkie shook her head.
"Don't be silly, silly! I should apologise to you. If I hadn't thrown this party, then Gilda wouldn't have had all those pranks thrown at her and she wouldn't have gone off like that."
Rainbow looked at her, frowning.
"No. I should have seen this. Gilda's always had a few anger problems, even back when we were kids. Every time I'd spend enough time with some other pony, she'd get angry and make them go away or something. I'd hoped she'd have grown out of that by now. Guess I was wrong."
The group could tell that Rainbow was uncomfortable with all this, and they could not blame her. Gilda had been, as far as they knew, the person Dash had known and been friends with the longest, with the exception of Fluttershy. To have their friendship end, and in such an angry way, would have been a lot for anypony. Twilight stepped forward, her expression and tone a sympathetic one.
"A re you going to be okay?" She asked.
Rainbow looked at them, clearly forcing a smile.
"Sure. I'll be fine."
Looking at their faces, she could tell that they weren't buying that. So she pressed the matter.
"Look guys, I'll be fine. I just.....need some time alone. If that's okay with you guys."
They looked at each other, unsure of what to do with that. They could tell pretty easily that Dash had been upset at what had just happened, but they also knew better than the try and talk with her about it if it was truly bothering her. Pinkie Pie said nothing, instead simply nodding to her, letting her go. Rainbow nodded back in thanks before making her way out of the door.
Once outside, Rainbow knew what she had to do. She stretched out her wings and flew off into the sky. She began to dart around the skies above Ponyville. Although she had an idea of what she'd do, she didn't enjoy having to do it, and she knew her friends would certainly advise against this. But it had to be done, or at least that's what she kept telling herself. After flying around for what seemed like an hour, she saw what she was looking for.
Gilda. The griffon had not gone too far it seemed. She was behind somepony's house, sitting on the ground with her back leaning against the back wall. Rainbow frowned at the sight of her, still angry over what had happened between them. But she took a deep breath to calm herself before shooting down from the sky towards her. The griffon had good ears though, and was looking up, now aware that the pegasus was coming. She did not move from her spot, nor try to fly away. She just sat there, waiting for Rainbow to land.
Once on the ground, Rainbow stepped forward until she was but a few feet away from Gilda. The two said nothing, and for a while, all that could be heard was the gently breeze in the nearby trees. However, staying put and keeping quiet had never been a strong-suit of either of them, so Gilda broke the silence.
"I thought you'd be back there, enjoying the party with your.....new friends."
Rainbow's eyes narrowed. She didn't like the way Gilda had referred to her friends like that. But she didn't come here to start a fight, she calmed herself down before replying.
"Gilda, we need to talk."
At this. Gilda stood up, her eyes angry, before making her way right up to Dash's face.
"Talk?! There's nothing to talk about! We said everything we needed to back there! There's nothing left!" She said angrily.
But Rainbow just stood there, slowly shaking her head.
"No Gilda. I said everything I needed to. You said nothing. You just said nothing and walked out."
Gilda opened her mouth to reply, but instead closed it, looking away from her old friend with a clear look of discomfort on her face.
"There was nothing to say. You and met, it's over. I'd have thought that was clear to anypony with eyes."
"Gilda......you're unhappy. Aren't you?" Rainbow asked.
Gilda faced her once more, now shocked. Rainbow had never been the kind of pony to ask about "feelings" and stuff like that, she thought to herself.
"Unhappy? Do you really need to ask that? How could I not be unhappy?"
The griffon's expression became a mixture of anger and sadness. Then became very close to Rainbow's face, but the latter did not flinch, instead taking everything that was being used against her here.
"In all my life I have had only one friend. Just ONE. You! Even when we were kids, nopony was ever as fun to be around, to have a good time with. When you moved to Ponyville......I actually missed you. The only pony I can ever say that about. I was looking forward to seeing you again. Top hang out like in the old days".
Gilda then waved a claw in the direction of the centre of town, clearly indicating the other ponies.
"And then when I get here, what do I get? Some bouncy pink pony trying to interrupt my time with my best friend, and then, to top it all off...."
The griffon hesitated, clearly pained by her own words, and especially by what she was about to say, so much so that her voice had become little more than a wobble.
".....to top it all off, my friend turns against me. She turns against me and chooses them over me."
Rainbow's expression softened, becoming more sympathetic. In all the time she'd known her, Gilda had always been so confident. So sure of herself. Of all the people she'd met, she was the one who was most like Rainbow herself, which was probably the reason the two had become friends in the first place. To se her like this, so upset and distraught, was not something Rainbow had ever expected to see from her.
The griffon looked at Rainbow, the anger completely gone from her. The passion in which she'd so easily insulted and accused all the others was gone. Now there was merely that blank stare from earlier. She was empty. Devoid of her rage. She was simply....done.
"You were the only real friend I ever had. And now.....I have nothing. Nopony."
Gilda closed her eyes and began to walk past Rainbow. The latter kept her eyes on her, not saying a word. Gilda stopped a few feet away from her before saying her final words to her old friend.
"I'm done with you."
With that, Gilda stretched out her wings and flapped them hard, launching herself into the sky. Dash watched as she flew further and further away from her. Eventually, she could see only a small dot, which eventually vanished into nothing. She was gone now, rainbow knew that, and staring at the sky wasn't going to change that.
She turned away and began to walk back towards the centre of town to try and rejoin the party. The others will be wondering where she'd gone off to at this point. But before she took another step forward, she gave one final look at the spot where Gilda had been sitting, and gave a sigh. There was something she needed to say, even though the tone she wanted to say it to was no longer here. But she ultimately decided that saying it out loud to one who was not here was better than never saying it at all.
And so, she said it. Words tainted with remorse over the loss of one who had once been so close to her. Her heart heavy with memories of happier times, playing, laughing, hanging out and other joyful times. She said it, words which brought her no joy.