It was a dreary morning in Ponyville. The sky was still covered in rain clouds from the giant storm the previous day. Though one look outside would tell anypony that the storm had definitely let up some. Instead of the heavy, pounding rain, it was now only a typical summer shower. The Cloudsdale factory workers were able to stop the seemingly endless production of storm clouds that were pouring into the skies above Ponyville and were working on fixing the problems at this moment.
Exhausted from battling the storm, the weather teams of both Ponyville and Cloudsdale were all resting in the Ponyville hospital. With both teams consisting of such a large amount of ponies, many of the pegasi were forced to sleep in the lobby or cafeteria. The rooms were reserved for the many pegasi that were injured during the storm. Broken legs, wings, concussions, and broken and bruised ribs were a normal site last night. A couple of ponies were even unlucky enough to be struck by lightning rendering them unconscious.
In room E17, everything was quiet. The three souls in the room were sleeping soundly. Everything was peaceful, until AJ was woken up by the sound of someone knocking on the door. This was a problem because AJ just could not fall asleep last night. For the longest time he stayed up watching the storm unable to fall asleep. So someone interrupting the little sleep he got was not going to be tolerated. Not bothering to get up, AJ answered the door the only way he cared to at the moment. “Go away, I wanna sleep.” When the perpetrator knocked on the door again, AJ started losing his temper. “Nooooo! I wanna sleep damnit!” Hearing the door one more time infuriated him. He sat up and started to shout in the direction of the knocks. “Big Mac! Go! To! Hell! I am going to sleep in today!”
“I’m afraid you have the wrong pony there Mr. AJ.” That was not Big Mac’s voice. As he rubbed his eyes he prodded around for his glasses. Not finding them where they usually are, he could only open his eyes and look for them. Through a combination of being half asleep and not having his glasses, AJ was able to make out a brown and white blob sitting in front of him. What he could only assume was the blobs head was looking at him. “And I don’t think you’ll be doing much farm work today anyway. It’s still raining out.”
Finally finding his glasses, AJ looked around the room as it all came back to him. “Oh, right, I’m still at the hospital,” he said blushing a bit. “Sorry doctor.”
“Oh don’t worry,” Dr. Whooves said waiving his hoof. “Trust me when I say it’s not the worst ‘good morning’ I’ve ever gotten. Not by a long shot. That prize goes to my Ex-fillyfriend Rose.”
“Rose? As in the flower pony Rose?”
“Oh no, you are thinking of Ms. Roseluck, who now that I think of it, it’s about time for her bimonthly checkup with Nurse Redheart.” Dr. Whooves said as he pulled a clip board. “No no, I wish my Ex was as lovely as her. My Ex’s full name was Rosie Marie. She had a charming green coat with a flowing blond mane. I met her when I still lived in Trottingham. She was working in her mother’s store.” He seemed to get lost in his memories for a minute before shaking his head and finishing his story. “To make a long story short, it ended with her kicking me in the groin before leaving to go back with her mother and her boyfriend. Ah, those were the good old days.” Dr. had a smile on his face.
AJ stared at the doctor with a drowsy look. “If those were the good days I’d hate to hear about the bad days.”
Laughing a bit, Dr. Whooves looked over to the main bed in the room where Ditzy was starting to wake up. “I hope you had a good sleep Ms. Doo.”
“Hngba-wha?” was Ditzy’s response. “Oh, good morning doctor. Are you here to check on Dinky?”
“Yes, I’d like to give her a quick check up to make sure she hasn’t gotten worse.” Dr. Whooves said looking over his clip board again. “As for you, Nurse Redheart would like to give you a check up. She’s worried about that wound on your head.”
“Oh, OK. Dinky, wake up my little muffin,” Ditzy said as she shook Dinky slightly
Dinky yawned and rubbed her eyes. “Mommy?” Seeing her mom smiling at her, a bright, tearful smile grew on her face as she threw herself at Ditzy, hugging her and crying into her chest. “Mommy, I was so scared! After you got hit by that branch, I was so worried and I went to Sparkler to get help!” Ditzy rubbed her daughter’s back to calm her down. “But-but I got scared by the storm and hid under the cart. Then it blew over and I couldn’t move.”
“Shh, it’s OK my little muffin. Mommy’s here. Mommy’s fine.” She placed her daughter back on the bed, drawing a pained yelp out of the filly as she was placed on her broken leg. “Oh Dinky, I’m so sorry!” Ditzy quickly lifted her daughter off her bad leg and laid her down on her back on the bed.
“Yes, she will have to stay off her leg for a while, but she will be just fine, no need to worry.” Dr. Whooves walked over to the bed. “Now, Nurse Redheart should be at her desk in the lobby. As for you…” Dr. Whooves was stopped mid sentence when he noticed AJ had fallen asleep sitting up. “Ahem.”
“Huh, who, what?” AJ looked over to the doctor and then to Ditzy who was laughing. “What about me now?”
Dr. Whooves laughed a bit himself. “As I was saying, if you’re hungry, they should still be serving breakfast in the cafeteria.”
Sitting on the edge of the bed, AJ stretched his arms and yawned. “That sounds really good. Maybe it’ll wake me up a bit. Want me to walk with you to the nurse Ditzy?”
“Sure, but first…” Ditzy said as she flew over to AJ. As soon as she got over to him, she threw her fore legs around AJ’s neck in a big hug. “Thank you. For everything you’ve done for me.”
Ditzy’s embrace jolted AJ from his sleepiness. Smiling, he just drew her into a hug of his own. “Anytime, Ditzy. Anytime.”
“I knew you two were getting close, but I didn’t know you were THAT close already,” came a raspy, feminine voice from the door.
AJ and Ditzy looked over to the door to see Rainbow Dash standing in the doorway smiling at the two of them. Both of them blushed as Dinky giggled from the bed. “No! It’s not like that! We were just…” the two of them yelled simultaneously.
They were cut off as Dash laughed. “Come on, I was just joking. I just came to see how you and Dinky were doing Ditzy.”
Still blushing a bit, Ditzy smiled. “We’ll be fine. Thanks for asking.”
“Ah Ms. Dash, how are you this morning? Are those painkillers still helping?” asked Dr. Whooves from besides Dinky’s bed
“Painkillers?” It was then that AJ noticed the bandages around Dash’s mid-section and wing. “Dash, what happened to you?
Dash’s smile immediately fell as she herself fell to her haunches. Before she could answer, Dr. Whooves decided to step in. “She was brought in at about 1:12 this morning by other members of her weather team. From what I understand, she was caught in a powerful squall that blew her into a tree, breaking her wing and a few ribs.”
“I was getting sloppy. It never would have happened if I wasn’t so tired.” Dash’s pride was clearly hurt. “Rainbow Dash, fastest flyer in all of Equestria, winner of The best young flyer’s competition, future Wonderbolt, most awesome pony to ever live, beaten by a gust of wind.”
“Come on Dash, you were working hard all day yesterday, don’t be so hard on yourself,” Ditzy said putting her leg on Dash’s back to comfort her. “And if it’s any consolation, I still think you’re awesome.”
A small smile made its way onto Dash’s face as AJ decided to add to it. “In the short time I’ve known you; you haven’t let anything get you down. I’m sure once you can fly again, you’ll be soaring with the best of them.”
Dash’s smile grew a little more. “Yea, I guess this will give me time to think of more tricks and stuff to impress the Wonderbolts.”
“That’s the spirit. Now, if you’re hungry, you can join me in the cafeteria,” AJ said as he got up from his bed.
“That sounds good but what about Ditzy? Isn’t she coming with?” Dash curiously asked as they started walking down the hall?
“Dr. Whooves said Nurse Redheart wanted to make sure I was OK.” Ditzy rubbed her head under the bandages. “After everything that happened yesterday she’s worried about me, but I’ll see you in the cafeteria afterwards OK?” When they reached the cafeteria, Ditzy said bye and flew off to go meet with Redheart.
“Ahh, the food here is WAY better than at the Cloudsdale hospital,” Dash said as she finished her meal. “I mean it’s still not that great, but at least it doesn’t taste like old, dried up pinecones.”
AJ put his spoon of applesauce back into the bowl and gawked at Dash. “You eat pinecones?”
Dash just slammed her head into the table with a groan. “Ugh, I always hated them as a foal. They taste sooo bad. But my parents always made me eat them. ‘Oh just eat them, they’re good for you. If you want to join the Wonderbolts, you’ll need to eat your pinecones.’ I always ended up just throwing them out the window.”
AJ laughed a little at Dash’s overreaction. “Sounds like me with most vegetables. Can’t stand them. Lucky for me there’s that pizza place near Sugarcube corner.”
“If you don’t like vegetables, what did you eat before you got here?” Dash asked.
AJ knew this question would come up some time. That didn’t make it any easier to answer when it did. He looked around and started to think of an answer. “Umm, well you know how you ponies are vegetarians?” He got a nod from Dash. “Well, we humans are…Omnivores.”
Rainbow Dash had a confused look on her face. “Omni-what nows?”
“It means that not only do we eat fruits and vegetables, but we also…” AJ’s voice cut off.
“What was that, I didn’t hear you?”
“Meat, we also eat meat.” He saw Dash’s eyes get wide. “That’s why I didn’t want to say anything. With how some of the ponies are in this place, they probably would have never warmed up to me if they knew I ate meat.” Dash just kept staring at AJ for a few seconds before she started laughing like he had just told her the funniest joke in the entire world. It was AJ’s turn to stare and gawk. “What, what’s so funny?”
“Is that all?! Is that your deep, dark secret?! Oww, it hurts to laugh!” Dash chuckled a few more times before she settled down a bit. “It’s not that weird. I used to have a friend who ate meat. Hell, once she ate a fish right in front of me.”
“There was a pony who ate a fish?”
“Well, she wasn’t exactly a pony.” AJ was looking at Dash as if asking her to continue. “She was griffin. She used to be my best friend before I moved to Ponyville, but things happened and that friendship ended. I really don’t want to talk about it.” To emphasize being done with that conversation Dash picked up her juice box and started to drink.
“I didn’t know there were griffin’s in Equestria,” AJ said as he finished off his applesauce.
“Yea, you find them here and there. Every now and then you’ll see one in Cloudsdale, but they mainly seem to stay in the bigger cities like Manehattan or Fillydelphia.”
“Whatcha guys talking about?” came a voice from behind Dash. Dash turned around and AJ looked up to see Ditzy hovering there smiling. “Did I miss breakfast yet?”
“Nah, there should be plenty of food left. With all the weather ponies, they made sure they made a lot more than normal.” Smiling, Ditzy made her way to get some food as Dash looked at the clock on the wall. “Oh crap, I was supposed to go talk with Brolly about 10 minutes ago! I’ll see you two later.” Dash got up and rushed out of the cafeteria, nearly tripping over a pegasus who was still sleeping.
Ditzy came flying back to the table with a plate full of muffins in her mouth and a giant ear to ear smile framing the plate. “They have chocolate chocolate-chip muffins here!” she said through the plate in her mouth. Setting the plate on the table, she proceeded to shove an entire muffin in her mouth and happily started to chew. After she finished the first muffin, Ditzy noticed Dash was no longer at the table. “Where’d Rainbow go?”
AJ shrugged. “She lost track of time and had to go talk with Brolly. Maybe she shouldn’t have had that third helping of pancakes.” AJ held back a laugh as he watched Ditzy shove another muffin in her mouth. “So, how’d the checkup go?”
“Ghfh uhgugh hufhhg ughhg hguu gghfhu.” AJ couldn’t help but laugh as Ditzy tried to talk with the big muffin in her mouth. After she swallowed with an audible gulp, she tried again. “It went good, kinda.” AJ looked at Ditzy in confusion as she continued. “While Applejack did her best to clean and wrap my head, Nurse Redheart wanted to make sure she did it right. It was clean enough, but she still ended up giving me 9 stitches. It hurt, a lot.”
“Well, she just wanted to make sure it wouldn’t get infected so you really can’t blame her,” AJ said taking a drink of his juice box.
“I know.” Ditzy put on a pouty face. “It still hurt though.
When Ditzy and AJ got outside of Dinky’s room, they heard her giggling and laughing. When they walked inside, they saw Dinky watching cartoons on the TV hanging from the ceiling as a nurse was sitting at the table doing some paperwork. “What are you watching Muffin?”
Dinky turned to the door and smiled. “Hi mommy! I’m watching My Little Sea Pony. In this episode, Bubble Cup has to go find Prince Sea Foam. I think she likes him.” Dinky giggles at the lovers in the cartoon.
“Oh, this season seems to be turning out better than the first,” Ditzy says hugging her daughter. “Have you eaten yet Dinky?”
“Mhmm. Mrs. Tenderheart gave me some pancakes and some cherry jello. It was yummy.” Dinky happily rubbed her tummy as Nurse Tenderheart giggled from the table.
AJ watched the two of them from the door. It warmed his heart to see just how much Ditzy loved her daughter. He respected her even more after hearing her story and not letting the past get in the way of her love for her daughter. He decided to let the two of them have some time alone. “Hey Ditzy, I think I’m going to take a look outside, see how well Ponyville fared.”
“OK, be careful out there.” Ditzy said with concern in her voice.
“Don’t worry. The storm’s let up quite a bit since yesterday. I’ll be back in a bit.” AJ grabbed his coat off the coat rack and headed out the door.
Ponyville was a mess. Trees were blown over, windows were broken, and roofs on many buildings were either damaged or missing entirely. Some buildings were unlucky enough to have trees fall into them, making them total losses. Everywhere you look debris littered the ground. It was saddening to see the town in such a pathetic looking state. If not for the select few ponies wandering the town looking at their losses, it would have looked like a ghost town.
The first place AJ decided to look was Sugarcube Corner to see how Applejack, Pinkie and the cakes were holding up. AJ was happy to see that Sugarcube Corner had fared pretty well. A couple windows were broken and boarded up, but otherwise it looked untouched. He tried to enter the building, but was stopped by a locked door. He heard the sound of hooves against wood and knocked on the door. The clops inside got closer and closer to the door as AJ heard the door being unlocked. The door was opened by a disheveled looking Mrs. Cake.
“Hello Mrs. Cake, are you alright? You look like you had a pretty rough night,” AJ asked.
Mrs. Cake blushed as she realized how she looked. “Oh, um hello dear. Yup, rough night, just couldn’t sleep, that’s all, yup.” She gave a sheepish smile.
“Are Pinkie and Applejack up yet?”
“I think I heard movement in there when I woke up. If you’d like, you’re welcome to come in.” Mrs. Cake stepped to the side to let AJ in. AJ thanked Mrs. Cake and entered the building, hanging his coat on the coat rack. As AJ went to Pinkie’s room, Mrs. Cake made a quick dash for the bathroom to make herself look more presentable.
“Ah hope Dash and th’ other pegasi take care of this storm today,” Applejack said as she looked out the window.
“Yea, I have a bunch of party supplies I need to restock on,” Pinkie added. “This party cannon doesn’t load itself.” For kicks, Pinkie fires off the cannon, covering Applejack in streamers, confetti, and a party hat. “Hmm, there should have been balloons and a table cloth in there too. Yup, definitely need to restock.”
As Applejack was cleaning the party supplies off of herself, somepony knocked on the door. “Now who could that be?” Since Pinkie was still looking her cannon over, Applejack decided to open the door herself. Seeing AJ at the door brightened Applejacks mood a bit. “AJ, how are y’all this mornin’?”
“Tired, but otherwise good. Wish I could say the same for Ponyville though. Place is trashed.” AJ walked into the room and sat down. “Trees down everywhere, buildings damaged or destroyed in a couple cases, it’s a mess.”
“How’s Ditzy doin’? She wrestled her way outa here yesterday when she heard bout Dinky.”
“She’s fine, spending some time with Dinky right now.” AJ smiled in the direction of the window. “The two of them look really cute together.”
“Do you know when the storms going to end? I need to get the party store today,” Pinkie asked as she grabbed AJ by the shoulders shaking him.
AJ pushed Pinkie off of himself and rubbed his head as he started to get a headache from the shaking. “I don’t know. I was talking to Dash before and she really didn’t say anything.”
“Once Dashie wakes up, I bet she’ll have these clouds gone in like ten seconds flat.” Pinkie started jumping up with her fore-hooves spread out like wings. “She’ll be like woosh, woosh, woosh.”
AJ got a guilty look on his face. He knew he should have told them about Rainbow’s injury’s already. “Umm, I don’t think Dash is going to be doing much flying of any kind for awhile.”
“Well why not Sugarcube?” Applejack asked looking confused. “What, did somethin’ happen ta Rainbow?
AJ sighed as he got ready to tell them the news. “Well, Dash was brought into the hospital early this morning by other members of her team. Apparently she was blown into a tree and hurt her wing and ribs. She’ll be grounded for weeks.”
“Dashie’s hurt?!” came Pinkie’s voice from inside her closet. She had pulled out her saddle bags and already had them filled with the party supplies she had left. “I need to get to the hospital and throw her a get better soon party.”
“Ah don’t think th’ doctors would like that too much Sugarcube,” Applejack said as she stomped on Pinkie’s tail to keep her from leaving. “Rainbow’ll be fine. Ah’m sure this ain’t the first time she’s been hurt with how she acts.
AJ got up and brushed off his pants. “I think I’m goona go check out the farm; see how well that held up.”
“Ah’ll go with ya,” Applejack said as she got up to grab her hat. “Th’ thought of somethin’ happenin’ ta th’ farm makes me sick to mah stomach.”
“Sounds good to me. What are you going to do Pink…ie?” As AJ looked around the room, he noticed a distinct lack of the color pink. “I guess she’s going to the hospital.”
Applejack felt her stomach turn as the two of them got to the entrance of Sweet Apple Acres. From their vantage point, they could see many of the apple trees in the orchard have been either blown over or damaged in some other way. Applejack walked over to one of the trees that must have been struck by lightning and placed a hoof on it, shedding a tear as she did. “Ah’m sorry I couldn’t have done anything fer ya.”
When Applejack was done mourning over the fallen trees, the two of them continued down the muddy path to the farm house. As the building came into view, Applejack felt as if her world was shattering before her. Where the proud, red farm house once stood, was now a giant pile of burnt wood and splinters. The only part of the house that managed to survive some what was the very top section which sat lopsided on top of the pile and even that looked like it had been through a fire.
AJ was shocked at how much damage the farm had sustained. He looked over to Applejack who was on her haunches shaking like a leaf, her eyes glazed over with tears. He wanted to say something, he wanted to try to make this easier on her, but there was another problem that worked its way into AJ’s head. They have yet to find any trace of her family. He was about to speak up about it when Applejack got up and ran over to the pile of splintered wood and started digging through it. “APPLE BLOOM, BIG MCINTOSH, PLEASE ANSWER ME! PLEASE TELL ME YER OK!” AJ ran over to help Applejack dig through the mess, knowing that if the two of them were in the house, well he didn’t want to think about it.
The two of them dug through the wreckage for a couple of minutes before they heard something in the trees. As the sound got closer, it sounded more and more like a dog barking. Suddenly a brown and white border collie dashed out of the trees towards Applejack. “W-winona?” As Applejack jumped from the pile of wood, Winona leapt into her legs and began covering her face with kisses.
As Applejack busy with Winona, she didn’t notice Big Mac and Apple Bloom coming out of the trees as well. “Applejack yer OK!”
Applejack looked up and happiness filled her heart as she saw Apple Bloom and Big Mac standing at the tree line. Applejack let Winona onto the ground and ran over to Apple Bloom grabbing her up in a big, tearful hug. “Apple Bloom, Big McIntosh, yer OK!” Smiling, Big Mac hobbled over to his sisters and drew the two of them into a great big hug.
The four of them eventually made there way into the orchard to the CMC clubhouse. Due to the extra protection from the trees around it, the clubhouse was spared the same fate as the farm house and was still standing strong. On the floor by the farthest wall from the door were two beds made out of piled up pillows and blankets with a raggedy old doll lying between them.
Even though she was happy that her family was fine, Applejack was still shaken up about the whole ordeal. The entire trip to the clubhouse she made sure she stayed close to Big Mac and Apple Bloom, acting like if she got to far away the two of them would just disappear on her. Even when they were sitting there in the clubhouse, Applejack wouldn’t let her siblings leave her sight.
Seeing as how Applejack was just content being in the presence of her family, AJ’s curiosity got the best of him. “So what happened here anyway? What happened to the house?”
Big Mac sighed as he remembered what had happened…
“Hah, I win again Big McIntosh!” Apple Bloom said as her game piece got to the end of the board.
“Eeyup. Don’t get too big a head now. Remember, Ah did manage ta beat you a few times.” Big Mac’s words did nothing to stop the filly’s happy dancing. The two of them were playing board games to help pass the time and to take Apple Bloom’s mind off the storm. Knowing of his sisters’ fear of thunder storms, keeping busy was Big Mac’s idea. Winona was happily snoozing on the couch next too Big Mac's Smarty pants doll, kicking her legs as she dreamed. As he watched his sister dance, he felt the all too familiar grumbling in his stomach. “Ah’m startin’ ta get hungry, how bout you?”
Apple Bloom nodded her head and started to pack up the game as Big Mac hobbled into the kitchen to grab some apples to munch on. As he opened the fridge, Big Mac was knocked off balance by a loud, earth shattering boom. The power in the house had gone out. Winona was now up and barking wildly, and Apple Bloom was screaming at the top of her lungs. Big Mac slowly got to his three good legs and hobbled into the living room to see Apple Bloom curled up in a ball under a blanket on the couch.
Big Mac made his way to the couch and nuzzled his sisters shivering form. “It’s OK Apple Bloom. Everything’s goona be OK.” He gave her the doll and continued to comfort his sister for a couple of minutes until he caught a smell in the air. He looked up and noticed thick, black smoke was starting to pour down from upstairs. “Apple Bloom…” Apple Bloom looked up at her fearful brother. “We need to get out of the house, now.” He put Apple Bloom, still clinging onto Smarty pants, on his back and hobbled out of the house, Winona following close behind.
When Big Mac was far enough away for him to feel safe, he turned to look at the house. His face grew grim as his fears were confirmed. The second floor of the house was on fire. The big boom they heard must have been lightning striking the side of the house. Big Mac and Apple Bloom both just looked on in horror as their home burned before their eyes.
“Th’ closest place was th’ clubhouse, thankfully it was still intact.” Big Mac put his hoof on Apple Bloom’s back as he finished the story.
AJ looked out in the window in the direction of the farm house, then back to the family before him. “Are you guys goona be OK? You lost quite a bit in all this.”
“Apple’s are strong. We’ll be back on our hooves in no time,” Applejack said with confidence in her voice. “That old house has been with us fer generations, but we’ll make it through.”
Smiling, AJ grabbed his coat and headed to the door of the clubhouse. “Well, I’ll let you three have some time together. I should be getting back to the hospital with Ditzy. I’ll see you later.” Waving goodbye, he left and made his way back to the hospital.
(It’s finally fucking done. It was going to be longer, but this seemed like a good spot to end it so I could just get the next fucking chapter out. Sorry it took so long people XP. And for anyone who asks why I never mentioned about Winona until now, it’s quite simple. I completely forgot about her, and before you hang me for it, the show forgot about her until season 2 after having her in only 1 episode.)