Rainbow Dash was smiling and hurting. She had been for a while.
“Dashie? You okay?”
Dash laughed. “Of course I’m okay.” Her voice was very hoarse.
Pinkie’s head went into Dash’s field of vision.
“D’you need any water?”
“Nah. I’m good.”
They sat there for a while more. It had been many days, and Pinkie was still there. The rest of Dash’s friends visited once in a while. Not for very long.
She could not stay forever, either.
“I’m gonna go to work for today, okay?”
She grinned. “Psshh. It’ll take hours for me to die when I do, remember? Go to work.”
Pinkie had gotten used to this kind of humour. She already knew, and didn’t bother mentioning her feelings in the matter.
Rainbow Dash laid in bed for a bit, until she heard the door closing from below.
She let loose whatever tears needed to flow, and then wiped it all up and dried herself as best as she could.
Then she laid there and listened.
There weren’t many noises around the house nowadays. She could hear the noises, sometimes, when Pinkie Pie went out. She didn’t know why they were only there then, but she listened.
She could hear a sort of gasping sound, and looked around for it. Her head moved very slowly, but she wanted to see.
The sound was there. She strained her failing ears to hear it.
It was a gasping sound, like from a rat. She thought it was, but she know that Pinkie Pie might throw a party for it. So she didn’t tell Pinkie Pie about it, and just listened. It was a very welcome distraction from the slowness, because the gasp was very fast and very high-pitched, and it let her think she was quick.
The gasping went away after a few minutes, and then it came back for a while, and then went.
After it went away for the last time, she could hear the door downstairs opening.
Pinkie Pie had a weird voice whenever she came home from work, like she needed to swallow something. Probably the cupcakes she ate every day. Dash laughed a little to herself in her thoughts. She would have laughed from her throat, but it had been especially painful that day.
Pinkie came into the room. Her grin was as wide as always.
“Hey, Pinkie. Back so soon?”
“Oh, I just couldn’t wait to see you again, so I asked Mr. and Mrs. Cake to let me loose early!” She was smiling, and quickly trotted over to take a seat again.
Dash pointed out a bit of darker pink on the fur on her face. “What’s that?”
Pinkie looked into the nearby mirror and looked very sad for a second before perking up. “Ooh! Just a tiny bit of frosting!” She licked at it, and the dark pink spot expanded somewhat. She made a show of smacking her lips before turning back to Dash. “All gone now!”
Dash smiled, and nodded. “Mind saving some for me next time?”
“Sure! Next time.”
Dash could hear the strange sound coming from the walls every time Pinkie left for work. She had been coming home sooner and more often.
“Hey, how’d you get away with cutting work that much?”
Pinkie looked like she wasn’t paying attention. “Oh! Uh, the Cakes are really understanding. But, uh, I just remembered! I forgot to turn one of the ovens off. I’m so, so, so sorry!”
“It’s alright, Pinkie.”
Dash saw tears of gratitude loom. She nodded happily, and quickly bounded out of the room. The door made its usual racket.
The sounds came back after a while.
Rainbow Dash listened, and after a while she swore she could hear her name in them.