Chapter 18: Endgame
I’d like to let you know that the characters in this story highjacked it and changed the ending I initially had in mind, almost entirely. I didn’t plan on Solar Flare to develop feelings for anyone, and I wasn’t going to have any romance. Damn you, characters and readers! /shakes fist/
“What can I do for you?”
“I’m here to see someone.”
The unicorn paused at that. “Hunh. That’s a new one.”
The yellow Pegasus chuckled. “Yeah. I guess it is.”
“Who are you here to see? I’ll hook you up.” Moondancer nodded in Spitfire’s direction, grasping a ledger with her magic.
“Name’s Clockwork Sparkle.” Spitfire informed, placing her hooves on the desk and examining the lobby around her. The smell of sterile and sick wafted together. She shuddered, examining the whitewash walls she had grown to know so well in the past.
Moondancer frowned. “Poor kid.” She sighed, shaking her head. “Been swarmed every day since he got here. He woke up once, totally incoherent.”
“I can come another time, if it’s that bad.”
“Nah, I think only his parents and this one filly are here right now. Nice timing.” Moondancer acknowledged whilst scribbling down Spitfire’s information into the ledger, evidently memorized. “How’s life been?”
“Grounded.” Spitfire answered with a morbid chuckle. Moondancer paled and she smirked. “Hey, listen, it’s not that big of a deal. Take a chill pill.” Spitfire smiled, giving her a playful shove.
“Uh, yeah. Sorry. Usually people are more sensitive amputations.”
“I’m sure they are.” Spitfire winked. “So, what’s the room number?” She asked, picking up a bouquet in her teeth and cocking her head.
“Cool, thanks.” Spitfire grinned before trotting away, winking at Moondancer and hopping into a half-occupied elevator that was nearly closed, though once she jumped in, the doors opened once again for several seconds. A groan resounded through the elevator passengers.
Spitfire shrugged it off, banging the small metal button that proudly declared ‘3’ in massive, raised, white lettering and leaning against the elevator and sighing as two beeps went off. Ponyville Hospital was a high rise, which was odd for the area, but, it had a multitude of floors, going up to 27, total.
The elevator finally creaked to a stop, and Spitfire trotted out casually. Almost nopony recognized her any more, particularly without her Wonderbolts uniform, so she was fine to trot around. She had really come to terms with her ‘disability’, if you could really call it that. She was still capable of walking on clouds, she just needed assistance.
She scanned the hospital rooms, looking down the row of even numbers. 320… 322… 324. This was it. Anxiously, she planted a hoof on the doorknob and listened to the mechanisms inside click rapidly, and swung the door open slowly.
Blinding light was the first thing she noticed. Filtering through some bleach white blinds and casting disorienting brightness on everything within the room. In total, there were four ponies in the room. The first, she recognized as Twilight Sparkle. Though, not the Twilight Sparkle she knew.
Dark circles hung under her eyes. She hadn’t slept in days. Her mane was disheveled and dull, as though the colour had been sapped from it. It was tangled. She looked as though she hadn’t smiled in days, she was frowning so profusely.
The second was a brown earth pony with an hourglass cutie mark. She didn’t recognize him. The third, she knew was Solar Flare. Immediately, the blue Pegasus stood up when she entered. Her condition horrified Spitfire. Her coat was dull and oily, her mane untouched, and her face tear-streaked. Spitfire had never seen her look so terrible.
“Spitfire?” The filly choked out, standing up immediately. Spitfire smiled, walking over and setting the bouquet she had in her mouth onto the dresser.
“Hey, kiddo.” Spitfire murmured, wrapping her forelegs around the filly in a tight hug.
“H-hi.” Solar Flare murmured softly. Spitfire smiled nervously, and then the filly released and returned to a chair in the corner of the room. Then, Spitfire noticed the colt laying, curled up, in the hospital bed. He had what looked like several incisions across his flank, the stitch marks prominent.
Perhaps the most unsettling thing, however, was the odd mark on his forehead. It took her several moments to understand what had happened. Had he taken a blow to the head? Spitfire bit her lip, until she realized that genetics determined he was a unicorn. But, he didn’t have a horn.
It hit her, and she winced. Though she could relate, to an extent… She sighed.
“Yeah. It… It was all we could do.” Twilight spoke. “We had to do a lot,” She murmured, shaking her head. “I’m pretty sure we broke a few laws and ethical codes, but…” She laughed bitterly, then glanced back up at Spitfire. “Will you help him?”
“Yeah.” Spitfire sighed. “Has he been awake at all?”
“No. He hasn’t.”
Spitfire frowned, before walking over to the brown earth pony. His head hung above the foals, he seemed mournful and thoughtful at the same time.
After a moment of long silence, Spitfire heard a shifting noise, like shuffling papers. Spitfire looked up. Clockwork was shifting, waking up. His eyes opened slowly, almost mechanically. “Wherdacelesticord…” He slurred out. Whatever painkillers they had put him on had certainly knocked him out.
“What?” Twilight asked, laughing nervously as she looked down at him.
“Whermi?” He mumbled, staring up at her.
“Where am I?” He finally asked, a little more clearly. Twilight smiled.
“You’re safe.” Twilight murmured. “It’s gonna be alright.”
“What happened to Celestia? And Discord?”
“I’ll tell you about it later. Rest, everything’s gonna be fine.” Twilight sighed, and Spitfire watched every muscle under her lavender coat relax.
Solar Flare grinned at him. “Hey.” She murmured sadly.
“Hey.” Clockwork smiled back at her.
A silence passed between the two foals, but was finally interrupted when the brown earth pony cleared his throat. It was evident from his accent that he was from Buckingham. “Uh. Hello.”
A form of horrified recognition passed on Clockwork’s face. “H-hello.” He whispered after a moment, his voice dropping low.
“Clockwork, ah… I’m… I’m the Doctor. I’m... I suppose I'm your father.”