(As usual, let me know of any mistakes I may have made.)
As you entered, with Fluttershy following right behind you, you noticed all the ponies in the room turned to look at you. There was even a tiny purple dragon, who you recalled was named Spike. Your abrupt entrance brought the festivities to a halt, and you felt the awkwardness grow by the moment. You drew in a breath to get things started on the right hoof. Sadly, fate conspired against you.
“Hey, you’re that cousin of Fluttershy’s that’s going to be a Wonderbolt! I’ve heard quite a bit about you.” You watched as the cyan pegasus walked over to stand closer to you, and she had a fierce glint in her eye. “So, when do you want to race? I’m itching to race somepony who can keep up with me.”
The gray pegasus hangs his head while muttering, but you can’t quite make out what he says. “Actually, I wanted to get something out of the way first. It has to do with me, and it’s not the happiest news.” Rainbow Dash’s head tilted as you spoke, and you could see she was genuinely curious, the same as the other ponies who hadn’t heard. You explained, quickly and efficiently what had happened to you. You left out some of the more emotional bits, wanting to spare the ponies their emotions, but even without that there were few dry eyes.
After you finished an awkward silence descended upon the room, and you decided that this wouldn’t do, considering that this was supposed to be a party. “Come on everypony. I’ve moved on, and I’m okay with what’s happened to me. It sucks, that’s true, but I don’t let it rule my life. Now, Pinkie, would you mind getting some music going? This party is in dire need of some uplifting music.” The pink pony cheered up rapidly as you spoke, and by the time you finished speaking she was looking much as she did when you first saw her.
After a few more moments most of the tension had dissolved, and you began chatting with Fluttershy’s friends. They were remarkably easy to talk to, and that improved the environment drastically. You found yourself speaking more to Twilight than any of Fluttershy’s other friends, but you didn’t mind, since she was actually quite knowledgeable. Eventually your conversation did come back to your wings, and you explained to her what the doctors had all told you, and your family, and Twilight asked some questions that you couldn’t answer, and she just furrowed her brow when you were unable to answer her questions.
After a few hours the party began to wind down, and Rarity was the first to depart, claiming that she had quite a bit of work to catch up on, and that she had to make sure that the Crusaders, whom you had heard of through some letters from Fluttershy, didn’t demolish her boutique. Rainbow Dash and Storm were the next two to leave, and they did so with quite a few innuendos shot back and forth between you and Storm, leaving Fluttershy with a massive blush on her cheeks. Despite his odd mannerisms, you found that you got along with Storm quite well.
Pinkie was the next to leave, and she was by far the most reluctant to see the party end. She swore that the next party she’d throw would be bigger, and last longer, and that she’d be sure to show you her party cannon. After Pinkie was out the door, you looked to Fluttershy and Twilight, a questioning look plastered on your face.
“Party Cannon?” In response you just got a simple shake of Twilight’s head, and a similar response from Fluttershy. The three of you spoke for a short while longer and, then Fluttershy let out a yawn; and you couldn’t help but smile at the adorableness of your cousin. You weren’t feeling all that tired, mostly due to your nap earlier, and so when Fluttershy made her way to the door you didn’t join her. “I’m not really feeling all that tired, Flutters. And if Twilight doesn’t mind, I wouldn’t object to spending a bit more time with her.” As you finished you turned to look at Twilight, and you could swear you saw the tiniest blush on her cheeks. It faded quickly, though, and you weren’t entirely sure that it was even there.
“Oh, um. Okay. I mean, if Twilight doesn’t mind.”
“Not at all, Fluttershy. Your cousin seems to be quite verbose, and eloquent to boot. If he’d like to stay I’d be more than happy to entertain his company for a bit longer.”
“Oh. Well, okay then. Don’t stay out too late, though. I mean, unless you want to. It’s just that my home is a bit hard to find when it gets dark out.”
“Don’t worry, Fluttershy. I’ll stay safe. And if it gets too dark out, I’d like to think that Twilight has a couch I can call a bed for a night.” Again, you look to the mare, and she nods her assent. “See, we have a solution. Now you get home, Shy. If I don’t get back tonight I’ll be there tomorrow.”
With a gentle latching sound, the door closes behind Fluttershy, leaving you sitting across from Twilight at the table she had put out in the main room of the library. It wasn’t a particularly large table, and so it made a good position for conversation. However, Twilight stood up from the table, and she motioned for you to follow her. You did so, slightly confused as to why she wanted to leave the comfort of the seats you had already been in.
You soon discovered why, as she led you into a cozier private study. It was a fairly small room, large enough for only a few ponies to comfortably occupy. The most attractive features of the room, though, were the twin armchairs in the room, and the fireplace they were both facing. There was no fire at present, but you were certain that lighting it would be no problem at all for Twilight. She moved to the fireplace as you entered, and within moments there was a sizable blaze in the hearth, warming the room. It wasn’t an uncomfortable heat, despite the season.
She then settled down in one of the armchairs, and you did the same in the other one. The leather of the chair, faux-leather you assumed, was well worn, and had the smell of books about it. It wasn’t at all unpleasant, and it actually made the room even more comfortable. With the main items of interest in the room accounted for, you allowed your gaze to roam the rest of the room. The walls were, unsurprisingly, covered in countless tomes. But what got your interest was the fact that there were many repeats. They weren’t repeated in this room, but there were identical copies out in the main room of the library.
“Twilight, I’ve noticed that you seem to have repeat copies of some books that I recall seeing in the main room.”
“Oh, yes. I have some first edition copies in this room, as well as some with original author’s notes. I even have a few autographed copies of some books that are out of print in this room. I’ve always had a great love for the written word, and due to my relationship with the Princess I have unrivaled access to some more obscure pieces of literature. I even have some books that were written by Starswirl himself.”
Your mind races with the mention of that name, and you find yourself trying to recall what you can about the long dead unicorn. “Wasn’t Starswirl known for his work with teleportation magic?” The unicorn’s eyes widen at your recollection, and a smile quickly joins her widened eyes.
“Yes, actually. He was one of the early pioneers of the magical field. His work paved the way for the final development of the spell. He even did a measure of work in other fields, ranging from elemental manipulation to healing.” The mare fell silent as she spoke those last few words, and then you noticed that she was looking at you with a look in her eyes that you couldn’t quite place. A faint glow surrounded her horn, and then a book floated over to her, and she quickly began flipping though it. You sat in silence, unsure about what she was doing. You could guess what she was going to say, but you didn’t want to get your hopes up.
After several minutes of her search, she finally let out a short laugh of triumph. However, it was short lived, and her brow furrowed as she continued reading. The silence, other than her outburst, was calming, though. Several more minutes passed and then you heard the soft sound of a book being closed. You looked over to the mare, and she had a faint smile on her face. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to take a moment to examine your wings. If what I’ve read is to be believed, there may be a way to heal the damage that’s been done to your wings.”
The unicorn was about to continue, but you raised a hoof, cutting her off. “Yes, there are several different methods available to repair the damage that’s been done, if the doctors are to be trusted. But they all require absurdly large amounts of magic to work, and the time it takes is also fairly large. The best estimates I’ve heard ranged from ten to twelve days, and that’s assuming that I had a different unicorn for each procedure. It’s just not a doable thing, Twilight.” Her ears drooped as you spoke, and you felt bad for crushing her idea so quickly. “I suppose you can take a look, if you like. Just nothing overly invasive.”
Her ears perked up again, and she had a larger smile on her face. “Don’t worry, I won’t do anything too bad. I’m just going to use my magic to examine the inner pathways of your nerves. I’ll also do a cursory examination of the exterior, to see if there’s anything outwardly visible.” She climbs from the chair, and she moves over to you, waiting for you to extract yourself from the comfortable embrace of the seat. With a small sigh you relent, and a moment later you are standing before the curious mare.
She quickly uses her magic to stretch out both your wings, and for a fleeting moment you feel the tug of your memories, but you squash them before they can develop, knowing that nothing would ever come from what this mare does. She’s not a miracle worker, and I doubt she has the magical reserves to do what would need to be done to cure what ails my body. The magical pulsations that run the length of your wing bring odd sensations with them, and you have to struggle not to pull away from the grip that encases them.
As you watch the mare work her attention to detail begins to work against you, as her gentle touches take on a less than chaste feeling. You bite your tongue to keep from saying anything, knowing that she was doing this for your benefit. Soon enough, though, the sensations begin to escalate, as the mare subconsciously begins working along your wing in time with the magical pulsations.
“Yes?” Her response is one that you would hear from somepony who was responding only to the noise, not the intent behind it.
“You do realize what you’re doing, right? I mean, this is a bit fast, isn’t it? Shouldn’t we get to know each other a bit better first?” The mare pauses for several long seconds. Finally, she looks at you, and notices the blush present on your cheeks. Her own cheeks quickly flush deep crimson, and the magical hold on your wings drops away rapidly, allowing them to fall limply at your side. You had been hoping that they’d stay extended, despite the awkwardness that would’ve come from that situation. Even if they’d only do what they’re supposed to in situations like that, they’d still be your wings. They’d work, even if only a little.
“Oh my! I’m so sorry, I wasn’t even paying attention to that. I was just examining, and…” Her blush deepens as she fully comprehends just what she was doing.
You laugh at her reaction, hoping to ease the tension. She joins you a moment later, although her laugh seems a bit more forced. “Twilight, it’s fine, trust me. I could feel what you were doing, and that has to count for something. Even if I can’t use them for flight I can still use them for… Well, I’ll still be able to get some use out of them.”
“I didn’t mean to… do what I was doing. If you want to go, I understand.”
You reach out a hoof to the mare’s cheek, and she lets you. “Twilight, if you’re intent on trying to do something about my wings, than this is something that’ll come up from time to time. Despite what Fluttershy may have told you about me, I’m not actually that great with the mares, and that’s the most I’ve gotten in quite some time.” You feel a blush come to your cheeks, and you offer up a weak smile.
“Actually, Fluttershy told us all that you had lousy luck with the mares you wanted to go out with. Something about the way you deliver your pick up lines.” Your cheeks feel as if they are on fire, and you can only guess just how great your blush is.
“Oh… It seems that I need to have a chat with Fluttershy, then.” You pause for a moment, and then sigh. “But she’s right. Sadly.” You stew in your misery for a moment, but you quickly pick yourself back up. “But we’re not here to talk about my luck with getting a date. We’re here to… Well, we were just going to socialize, but now we’re doing something far more constructive. If you’re willing to try again, Twi, I’m willing to deal with the sensations involved with you examining my wings.”
She looked at you hesitantly, and you saw a glow begin to form around her horn. “If you’re sure.” You nod in response, and she gives you a smile. The glow around her horn intensifies for a moment, and then your wings stretch out once again. This time, though, she spends more time near where the wing meets your side, and you do everything in your power to think of this as a doctor visit, rather than an attractive mare touching your wings.
A dissatisfied grunt came from Twilight, and you turned your head to see her staring intently at a small patch of fur that you’d never really paid attention to before. She brought her horn close to it, and a tiny spark leapt from her horn to your body, and for the tiniest moment, a span of time so short you could’ve imagined it, you felt your flight muscles move. But that moment was enough for you, and a tear ran down your cheek. Another spark leapt from her horn, and you were looking forward to the sensation of motion once again, but it didn’t come.
This repeated several more times, but the motion never came again. She repeated the process with your other wing, but the motion never came. As the auras surrounding your wings dissipated the mare let out a sigh. You waited for the magic to fade completely before you began the laborious task of refolding your wings. It took several minutes to do, and by the time you finished all you had was a fading memory of the sensations provided by Twilight’s touch. You took your previous place in the armchair back, and Twilight approached you tentatively.
“That twitch. It’s the best sign we have. I think I’ll be able to help, but it’ll take time. I don’t know how long it’ll take, but I am pretty sure that you’ll be able to fly again.” You just looked at the mare for a moment, and then you got off the chair, and you embraced her.
“I’d long since given up hope of flying again, but you’ve reignited the fire within me. I don’t know how I can hope to repay you for this.” You broke the hug, and you looked at her, at a loss for words.
“You don’t need to pay me for this. I’m just trying to help a friend in need.” She smiled at you, and then she glanced past you, and her jaw dropped. “Oh my. It’s nearly midnight. Perhaps it’d be good to get to bed.”
“Yeah, I suppose that’d be a good idea. But I’m not going to just let you do this for me without me paying you back, somehow. And if you can’t think of something, than I’ll just have to get creative.” You felt the tiniest spark of an idea forming in your head, and you began formulating just how you’d repay Twilight for her kindness. “But for now, I agree. It’ll be good to get some rest.”
You took the lead, holding the door open for Twilight, and soon the two of you were in the main room, looking at the couch you’d be calling a bed for the night. “I have a guest room you can use, if you like. The couch isn’t exactly the most comfortable place to spend the night.”
“That’d be much better. Thank you.” As Twilight took the lead towards the guest room you spotted an ice cream container under the table you had been at earlier. You prod Twilight, and point with your hoof, and she gets a cross expression on her face. “I think a certain dragon had a bit of a sweet tooth while we were busy.”
“That’s certainly how it seems. Anyway, the guest room is just down this hall,” she points towards a short hall, and you nod. “There’s a bathroom right across from the bedroom, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. And I’ll come by tomorrow morning to wake you for breakfast.”
“Thank you, once again. It seems that I’ll have quite a bit to repay before we’re done with my wings.” Twilight just giggles in response, and then she levitates the empty ice cream carton to the kitchen, and a moment later she comes out of the kitchen. She begins making her way up the stairs, and you watch her go. “Good night, Twi.”
“Good night. Pleasant dreams.” You smile as you turn and head down the short hallway. It only takes you a few minutes to get ready for bed, and soon enough you’re curled up beneath the blankets waiting for sleep to claim your conscious mind. When sleep finally does take you, you enjoy the first flying dream since you lost your wings.
(And there it is, another chapter done. Rate and comment, if you will.)