It was odd, thought Rainbow Dash. Just last week, at about this time, she and Thunderlane were practicing their routine for this summer's show, and now she was part of the lineup at his funeral. That Lightning Dust was always a crafty one, but to openly kill a pony? Who does that? Well, hopefully, she'll get her comeuppance. It was weird, though. No one, not even Spitfire was able to actually see his body now. The casket was closed, and they were waiting for everypony to arrive. They would hold the eulogy in time-honored, Wonderbolt tradition, then take him out to the cemetery where he'll be put to rest. A 21 winged salute, a ceremonious speech from Spitfire, and a word from the princess. At most funerals, at least for pegasi, they request a rainy day, but Rarity insisted that the local weather's schedule not be interfered. Even though she didn't see it too much, Rainbow was impressed at Rarity's generosity.
The doors to city hall opened, and in Rarity stepped, in a black dress, with a thin black veil over her face. Following closely behind was little Jeweled Thunder, looking very pretty, and very sad. She didn't completely understand why everypony was in black, and were sad. To Rarity's right trotted Applejack, in a black dress she borrowed from Rarity, and a black velvet variation of her hat Rarity had made when a recent family member passed away. The widowed mare came up to the lieutenant before she was to meet with the captain.
"Hello, Lt. Rainbow." Rarity said professionally, saluting.
Rainbow gave a small salute back, offering her friend a sad smile.
"Hey, Rare. I'm really, like, REALLY sorry about this."
"It's not your fault, darling, and I don't blame that pony either. It was an accident, right?" Rarity asked, almost daring Rainbow to tell the pony's name.
The light blue pegasus sighed. "Okay, I'll tell you after this is over."
"Mommy, if all of Daddy's friends, and the Wonderbolts are here, then where's Daddy?" Little Jewel asked, tugging on Rarity's dress.
"That's a good question, Sugarcube." Applejack agreed, looking up at the Spirit of Loyalty. "Where's the casket?"
Rainbow bobbed her head to the main stage where a large mahogany box lay closed.
"But why is it closed?" Rarity asked. "I would like to see my husband at least once more."
All Rainbow Dash could do was shrug. "Dunno. Coroner said his face was too mangled to put back together, so closed casket it is, I guess."
While the mares talked, Jewel wanted to see her Daddy. She knew he died, and understood that she might never see him ever ever again, but she had to see. She slinked her way onstage, and just opened the box enough for the light to just hit the head, but before she could get a good look the little filly felt a magic grip close on her. The next thing she knew, she was on the back of somepony with wings. It was auntie Twilight, walking to her fellow Wielders of Harmony.
"Look who I found trying to get a peek." the Princess said holding Jewel up by her magic.
"Jewelie!" Rarity exclaimed, magically taking her baby from her friend, and into her arms. "No, sweetie, we can't see Daddy. He was hurt too badly. Besides, he'd want you to remember him as he was."
"But-That can't be Daddy." Jewel whimpered, tearing up. Mother and daughter held one another as the onset of weeping commenced.
During the ceremony, though, Rarity was able to keep her composure, all the way until Rainbow made her speech about old feather-brained Thunderlane. Unlike the other Wonderbolts, who barely knew her husband, Rainbow made jokes, and laughed about how silly the stallion could be. It made the crowd laugh before breaking into whimpering tears from some. After a while the band lifted the casket, and marched from city hall to the gravesite not far away. Captain Spitfire stood at a borrowed podium, and gave the tradition speech for fallen Wonderbolts. Four ponies lifted into the sky, biting on ropes, and slowly lowered Thunderlane's casket into the earth. As the did, Princess Twilight gave her last speech, and the Wonderbolts paused so the family could say one last goodbye. There, Rarity broke down, and lost her composure. She didn't go into a full wail, but she might as well have. Other ponies, and Wonderbolts could feel the pain from the widow. It hurt somewhere inside to her poor Jewel shouting.
"No! Not my Daddy! Can't be! Give him back!"
The casket was laid, and workers began to fill the hole in the ground, but Applejack could tell that not much was going to fill the hole Thunderlane had left in each of their hearts. Then, she felt something warm, and wet touch her arm. Rarity was clinging to AJ's arm, crying her eyes out. Applejack embraced Rarity and Jeweled Thunder. The three of them stood there long after the others had gone, and it even started to rain on this lovely day. Schedule or not, Rainbow had ordered the weather team to water the town. A great Wonderbolt had passed, and the sky needed to cry too...