This story was requested by Bronymaster in a chat I had in his group, and was somewhat inspired by SoGreatAndPowerful’s song, What Went Wrong. Constructive comments appreciated.
Thanks to BronyMaster who policed this story.
It was a hot summer day, the sort that warps reality, and makes it hard to see past the insidious mirages that blot the landscape. Ditzy was on her way to deliver an especially heavy package of books to Twilight Sparkle, the resident of the Library, which Ditzy thought was funny, because the entire thing was one big fire hazard. Yet, in the history of Equestria, that very tree had stood firm; a testament to the fact that not everything is as it seems.
Twilight Sparkle heard the soft tinkling cacophony of bells and turned around, only to feel blinding pain as Ditzy Doo collided with her face, the extra mass from the package adding to the force. All Twilight could think before she embraced unconsciousness was that the blueberry muffins tasted so good.
Ditzy stared in shock at Twilight, not expecting the package to have been delivered this way. She felt the sweet taste of something unidentifiable on her lips. Then she took a closer look at the purple mare lying on the rug. The shards of glass dug into Twilight, leaving red streaks through the room.
Oh no, what if I hurt her?
As expected of common sense, Ditzy Doo hoisted Twilight onto her back and flew off to the hospital. Not a thought was given to the fact that everything seemed to have doubles, even triples. Only the determination to bring Twilight to safety came through in the grey pegasus’ mind. Despite the numerous obstacles in the way, such as branches, weather vanes, and a bell, Ditzy finally managed to arrive at the hospital. Her hooves reached the door, and she felt funny.
Why is my hoof getting all blurry?
As she wondered, everything else faded to black.
The IV tubes were drip drip dripping, down into her veins. They provided a rhythmic pattern that made Ditzy feel safe, as if she was at home. She had read about them once, in a book about hospitals; to her, it was one of the scariest books in existence. Hopefully, nopony would like ponies getting hurt. Breathing, sharp and labored, cut through her thoughts much like heated, sharpened knives cut through butter. Ditzy Doo turned around, nerves screaming at her that something was wrong, that something was different, that she was not at home at all. What she found was Twilight who had been involved in her little accident. But why would the purple unicorn be sleeping next to her? Obviously something was wrong, and Ditzy was going to find out what it was if it was the last thing she would do. And then the memories came streaming back, coursing through her body, gouging at her, causing her head to split in a loud cacophony of tinkling.
Twilight heard whimpering in the darkness, and wondered who it was, what it was that made such a sad sound. As much as she tried, she couldn’t move as she wanted toward the sound, as if she were shackled. Next, she tried magic, as was to her instinct, but when she tried, her horn would only sputter. It was this that caused her to deduce, correctly, that she was not quite alive yet, that the crying may as well have been for her. So the purple unicorn tried harder, because she would not, could not abandon her friends. Giving up would have been one of the worst errors she had ever made.
Ditzy’s vision had cleared up enough so that she could see the flickering of Twilight’s eyes. It gave Ditzy Doo the reassurance that she had accomplished what she had set out to do. Slowly, the grey pegasus drifted back into a peaceful sleep, unmarred by the nightmares that had plagued her before. The last tear escaped with the sigh that carried weight off of Ditzy’s back, which left her dreaming among the clouds.
When Twilight came to, she saw Ditzy in front of her, sleeping peacefully. A soft smile slowly worked its way through Twilight’s tired countenance. They were safe, and that was what mattered; not the damage that Ditzy had caused, not the package filled with the books that Twilight Sparkle had wanted to read. Soon, Twilight drifted off as well.
Rainbow Dash had been knocking on Twilight’s door but when nopony came to answer, Dash assumed something was wrong, and immediately went to the window, hoping to get in. Spike was away on business in Canterlot, and Twilight had the habit of sleeping in late, especially when she had a research project. But Rainbow really wanted the next Daring Doo book, and was quite certain that Twilight would happily oblige. When she found the broken glass, and the blood smeared all over the carpet, the cyan pegasus could only assume the worst. A rainbow streak rocketed out in order to gather the other four friends.
Applejack was shocked when a sky blue blur knocked her over, burying itself into one of the apple trees. This was enough indication to Applejack that something was wrong; Rainbow Dash made mistakes to be sure, but never as severe as to actually hit a friend. If it was worth it to Rainbow Dash to rush that much, then Applejack wanted to know why.
“Rainbow Dash, what’s the rush?” asked Applejack when she saw that Rainbow Dash had finally reoriented herself.
“Twilight’s been kidnapped.”
“Slow down sugarcube, tell me everythin’.”
“Her window was broken and there was blood on the carpet”
“We’d better get the girls then.”
Both of them dashed off to find the three remaining friends, each with their own set of worries on their minds.
When Ditzy Doo and Twilight Sparkle next awoke, they were met with the warm smell of cinnamon and sweet, crisp apples, courtesy of Sweet Apple Acres, that provided much of the hospital’s food. Having been on the IV drip for so long, both were starving. Nurse Redheart shook her head as she watched the two mares ravenously rip through the trays in front of them. It was a good sign that they were recovering quickly and would be released soon. Ditzy was happy, able to eat apple muffins peacefully. For now, there was none of the stresses of her job, her little sister, the bits.
And then the truth hit Ditzy like the tinkling glass, cutting through the thin threads that had held her together. She was already in danger of getting fired, sporting a track record as long as the rumored distance to the moon, and she had left her sister alone. Who knew what state her sister would be in by now? So the sobbing began over again, spreading into the sheets, dampening them.
“What’s wrong?” came the unexpectedly kind voice.
“I-I... what went wrong?” asked the grey pegasus to nopony in particular.
Twilight Sparkle was utterly confused. The mailmare had always appeared to be so happy, joyfully eating muffins, taking her sister to school. This was something different, a side of Ditzy that Twilight wasn’t sure that she was ready to see, was supposed to see. The unicorn mare suddenly felt as if she was but a filly again, not having to shoulder the same weight and what accompanied it, not understanding. It was this feeling that always frustrated Twilight, the feeling of not being able to know, of, maybe, not wanting to know.
Nurse Redheart, on the other hand was used to this: the loss, the guilt ,the hurt. She was already at Ditzy’s side, comforting, lavishing the attention and love which Ditzy had missed for too long. The tears began again, but this time out of joy; relief that there was somepony to reveal the years of grief to, somepony to cry on. But it was also a way for Ditzy to start over. She wouldn’t be able to support anypony if she was weak.
Having recovered, the two were released from the hospital with a clean bill of health. Twilight was determined to get to the bottom of Ditzy’s outburst, and Ditzy was on her way to her little sister.
Rainbow Dash and Applejack had finally gathered Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity. They all milled around the library, anxiously
“Al-hah-right,” panted Rainbow Dash, ”so uh, you guys know” - hah - “Twilight’s been
“How silly dear” said Rarity, who was skeptical that anypony would want to kidnap Twilight, let alone be able to kidnap her. Twilight was an accomplished unicorn after all.
“Oh, oh de-”
“But I feel my tail shaking, and my knee is twitch-a-twitchin'. That means that a friend is coming” interrupted Pinkie Pie who started to spasm uncontrollably.
“Wait what?” the rest of them asked in unison.
Just then, Twilight Sparkle walked up to them with a window surrounded by a soft purple glow levitating behind her.
“What are you girls doing here?”
The five mares turned around to face Twilight Sparkle, shock pouring out of their faces. None of them had expected to find the purple unicorn the way they had. Applejack broke the resulting silence.
"Rainbow, ya lied."