55w, 4dHuman in Equestria
Betrayal And Acceptance
Until that day, I thought waking up next to Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie without any recognition was the worst way to wake up.
No! Waking up to find all of the Mane Six looking mad as hell at you is worse!
But it's not as bad as almost getting eaten by a pack of wooden wolves right?
Wrong! Physically maybe. But inside, it feels like you're being sentenced in court; You know you did the wrong things, but you don't know how screwed you are.
That was all I could think of then. Weakly sitting there on a strange bed, bandaged across the upper body, and horrible mental images filling my brain.
The Mane Six were standing at the other side of Zecora's hut, where thay had been conversing with the accented zebra. Zecora was the first to see me awaken, and spoke first.
"So you have awoken it seems, although it looks like your friends are not pleased..." her face gave nothing away when she spoke in the mysterious way that she did. She slowly trotted to another part of her hut, letting the awkward silence settle in.
In silence, the other ponies one by one walked up to the where I lay. Their faces were twisted with different emotions. Soon, they surrounded the bed. It made me feel helpless. But they just stood there, keeping on with their silent punishment, staring into my very soul.
"So how long have I been out?" I spoke in a quiet voice, attempting to break the silence.
"About fifteen hours, the same amount of time since you left. So you've basically wasted your attempt at going without us." I have never heard Twilight Sparkle respond in such a cold monotone. Ever.
It went back into silence. I took the time to look at every ponies expression. Twilight was agitated, giving a slight frown and eyebrows that cringed to the center. Applejack gave the same look, her hat shadowing half her face. Rarity just looked exasperated, like she could just give up hope right there and then. Pinkie Pie was more confused than angry. Her frown was accompanied by a pair of sad-looking light blue eyes and a raised brow. Her mane was deflated slightly. Fluttershy showed more concern than anger or confusion. Knowing her, she didn't care as much about the incident as much as anyone getting hurt.
But what really scared me was the way Rainbow Dash gave me the evil eye. Her scarlet irises could have torn through flesh, and she looked like she would do just that, if her friends weren't there.
"Say something, idiot!"
I'm thinking I'm thinking...
I had to face the music. The lack of noise just made things worse anyway. Without much thought, I blurted out.
"SORRY!?" Rainbow Dash bolted at me through gritted teeth, and pinned my shoulders to the bed. The pain from the injuries returned as she did so. Dash's actions shocked some ponies, especially Fluttershy.
"YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST RUN OFF LIKE THAT? WITHOUT TELLING ANYPONY?!" She was yelling straight into my face.
"Rainbow, please... you're hurting him!" Fluttershy spoke up, but didn't act.
"YOU ALMOST GET YOURSELF MAULED BY WOLVES! WE HAD TO SAVE YOUR HUMAN HIDE, AND ALL YOU CAN SAY IS SORRY?!"
A shade of lavender magic lifted the cyan pegasus away.
"Stop it Rainbow Dash! That never solves any problems."
Rainbow Dash resisted at first, but it seemed best not to punch the living crap out of the Human. For now. Twilight Sparkle spoke again. At me this time, with cold emotion.
"That was the stupidest thing you've ever done. I'm starting to wonder if your species is always this reckless!"
"Look Twilight, I-"
"You could have told us before you left like that! Why didn't you?"
"I didn't want you to follow me!"
That declaration took them aback. All this time they probably didn't know why I did what I did. But at that point, even I began questioning why I did that. Why had I left without thinking twice? It shocked most of them from that bit of news. I could see that it had even hurt them.
"... Fine. If you don't want our help, have it your way! Let's go girls." Twilight turned to leave first. Followed by Rarity, who held her head high, Applejack, who gave a final nod of disappointment. Pinkie Pie stared at me for a while more before her mane fully deflated in sadness. Fluttershy was still sitting by the bedside, stuck in the decision of leaving or staying. Rainbow Dash didn't even bother looking back.
"Wait!" I turned over to get up, but was stopped by the pain at m chest and shoulder. I cringed a little, slowly sitting up on the side of the bed.
"I... I'm sorry..." I said it again. By now, I was felt horrible. Both physically and emotionally. But I was going to make up for what they've done.
They stopped at the door and turned around, awaiting whatever explanation I had to give.
"I... I know what I did was dumb. It is certainly the stupidest thing I've ever done... and I've done some pretty stupid things. But the truth is, the reason I didn't want you girls to follow me, was so that you wouldn't get hurt. I know it's a dangerous journey." I placed a hand over my bandaged shoulder. "Point proven..."
"Why didn't you just tell us this earlier? We can handle ourselves!"
"Because I would never forgive myself if anything happened to you girls!" It surprised the Mane Six quite a bit from hearing me say that.
"You girls have become more than just an awesome cartoon show for me. You girls have become my friends. Sure, you thought I was hostile when I got here. But you ponies took me in when I was lost. You gave me a place to sleep every night and a purpose to wake up every morning. And how do I repay you? By abandoning you girls. I guess I got what I deserved."
"But now I realize, doing this as a solo mission would certainly kill me. So... and I know after all the crap I've put you through... I'm asking for your help." I was ready for a negative response. I tear welled up in my eye, thinking that I would lose some of the best friends I had ever met. Not only that, but I owed my life to them now.
They paused for a moment, but the cold shoulder treatment faded. Twilight was the first to smile. Soon, they all were showing sympathy. "Apology accepted."
Rainbow Dash flew back to the bed, lifting a front leg, and kicked me on the uninjured shoulder.
"That's for being a jackass and almost killing yourself!" and then the sneer turned into a grin.
She then flew in for a warm, painful, hug.
"And this is for the fact you're still alive."
"Dash," I grunted, "you're crushing my chest..."
Fluttershy hopped onto the bed and joined in the embrace, the love and care obviously showing.
"Oh, I was so worried! That night, I didn't know what you meant. And then next morning you were gone, and I thought you..."
"Had left forever..."
The rest of the Six joined in, giggling and speaking in sympathy. They aggravated the injury, but I didn't care in the least. Through the pain, I raised my arms and returned the embrace. Feeling each and every one of their different coloured coats. They were so forgiving. So caring and trusting.
That's the power of Friendship...
I had never found such friends in my life. I had never felt happier. This is far more than a children's Television Show by now.
"I would never leave you girls." A single tear escaped my eye."Not now, not ever."
We remained in each other's arms until Zecora returned. She carried a bowl on a tray into the room. She placed it at the bedside table.
"I see you have recovered fast. The number of gashes you had were quite vast."
The bowl held soup, or maybe some potion. Either way, it smelt good and I just remembered how ravenously hungry I was.
"What do you mean?" I picked up the bowl.
"Well I'm sure you remember how badly scratched up you were?" Twilight cut in.
I recalled pains not only on my chest and shoulder, but my entire body. But now there was none.
"I remember being half-covered in my own blood, so yeah."
"Well, we were looking for you at the time. It was sort of hopeless, considering how big Everfree is. But Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy saw some sort of... beacon. A bright wave swooped across the forest. The gust of wind that followed blew about quite a bit of vegetation. We got the Air Balloon and followed where it came from, and sure enough, you were there. Beaten up and unconscious. Zecora was around there at the time and was there when we found you."
I placed the now-empty bowl back to the side. It was my turn to explain.
"Well, I was attacked. By Timber Wolves more specifically." This scared a few ponies, but they listened curiously. "I held them off for a little bit, but not for as long as I hoped. They all attacked at once and I thought I would... die. But, and I don't know how I did this, I produced some strange force. It pushed everything away, and I mean EVERYTHING. The wolves had gotten into me pretty badly by then though."
I checked myself. It was true though. The gashes on my legs and arms were healed. I wonder how I could have possibly healed that fast.
"The really deep injuries haven't fully healed yet, but I'm still surprised all the other lighter injuries have almost vanished." Twilight was examining me like a doctor in a hospital.
"I think I know why. Where's the pendant?"
Rarity magicked it from a corner of the hut, where the rest of my possessions were among the jars and potions. I grabbed the medallion in my palm.
You did this didn't you?
"Indeed I did. You can thank me."
You told me never to thank myself.
I closed my eyes, cleared my mind and concentrated. I sensed where the last few aches and pains were, the scars and scabs. Then, I thought about recovery and healing, mentally imagining them closing and disappearing from my skin.
I opened my eyes, seeing the outline of visible scars glowing, and then fading into nothing. Everypony watched in awe.
"Even magic can't do that so quickly!" Twilight questioned, "How did you do that?"
"I sort of willed for it to happen..." I felt the rest of my body, I hadn't noticed another bandaged area on my thigh, and that hurt too. "But it seems that it won't work so fast on serious injuries."
Fluttershy nuzzled the wound. "I'm just happy you're alright."
It seemed she had totally forgiven me for purposely putting her to sleep that night. I guess it was expected from the Element of Kindness.
I wore the pendant once more, hanging from my neck.
"I haven't told you girls yet. But when I wear this, I become physically enhanced. I bet without it, I wouldn't be here."
"Self-recovery, Cloud-walking, Magical pulses. Gosh danggit, Keith, what else d'ya have up yer sleeve!" Applejack chuckled.
I have no idea...
I decided to see whether I was well enough to walk. With a little bit of effort, I moved my uninjured leg off the bed and put m weight on it.
"Now hold on, Cowboy! That may not be the best idea right now..." Applejack protested.
"I'll be fine, Applejack. It'll be gone in a couple of days... I think..."
The other leg soon followed, but the pang of pain and muscle ache became present. It took me off guard when my leg buckled. It was minor, but still inconvenient. Fluttershy immediately appeared at my side, giving support.
"Maybe you shouldn't walk for a while."
"Nonsense, Twilight. If my natural recovery rate can increase rapidly like that, it should be gone soon." Leaving the support of the yellow pegasus, I tried to walk ot my things. I could only limp. "Okay, maybe a few days..."
"I'll get them for you!" Pinkie Pie bounced across the room cheerily. "Y'know, when you were out, Zecora worked on your wounds! And it wasn't the best time to say it, but it was really funny how she struggled to take your clothes off! You see she-"
"Pinkie dear, not now!" Rarity cut her off before she could go into unwanted detail.
The pink pony returned with my items. My hoodie, backpack, and sword... which seemed to have been cleaned. I equipped everything, slowly. The strap of the sword kept pressing into my shoulder injury, so I wound up wearing it at the waist. Within a few minutes, I felt like I was ready to go.
"So what say we continue, shall we?" I tried to sound optimistic.
"Wait, seriously? You want to go now? Like, right now?" Rainbow Dash flew to the doorway, ready to leave or block the way, depending on the decision that was made.
"Why not? I feel well enough." I turned to Zecora who had not spoken almost the entire time. "Thanks for taking care of me out there, Zecora. It looks like I owe you one." I bowed my head, which she graciously returned.
"You need not repay me, but stay safe in your quest through the Everfree."
Twilight nodded in agreement. "Don't let your hardheadedness get to you again, Keith. We don't want to take that risk! Though I agree we should go. We have already wasted enough time."
"So, it looks like we're going to have to go back and get the Air Balloon huh?"
"Nope! It's right here!" Twilight magically opened the door. I balanced my weight on Fluttershy, guiding me out the door.
The hut was in the middle of a bigger clearing. But I barely noticed it due to the giant purple Air Balloon that blocked out the sky. I thought it was night time at first because of it. Supplies and two small tents surrounded it.
They camped here for the night? Waiting for me?
When these ponies make you feel bad, they do it good.
"Alight y'all! Let's get goin'!" Applejack hollered, jumping into the floating carriage.
It didn't take long for us to gear up. Soon, we were ready to go.
"Thanks again for everything, Zecora." I waved a final goodbye at the zebra.
"Wait, human. It is not safe to go alone. Take this, in hopes you return home." Zecora retrieved a strange blue potion from her bag. From any gamer's standpoint, it looked like a mana potion. She placed it on the ground in front of her.
"This is a potion of Truesight. Let it guide you in times of fight or flight." She used the hoof to nudge the potion towards me. I picked up, still puzzled by her words.
"I'm afraid I don't understand..."
"This special brew lets you 'see' magic. Use it wisely, before things become tragic."
"Okay... still don't get it though..."
She just smiled and nodded. I picked it up and placed it in my back pack, adding it into my inventory.
"C'mon, Keith! We're wasting daylight here!" Rainbow Dash circled the balloon numerous times in excitement.
I limped over to the basket and climbed in. For four ponies and a human, it wasn't very big. It was quite cramped and there wasn't much space for legroom. Everything else was supplies needed for the trip.
"Isn't this a little uncomfortable? Are we really going to travel like this for almost a week?" I shifted uneasily as Pinkie Pie somehow managed to toss a ship anchor off the carriage.
"Don't worry, Keith! Good ol' Twilight always has a plan!"
"That I do. Hopefully, my triple checked calculations are correct..."
The hot air lifted the balloon, and us, slowly into the air. We rose above the trees and the Everfree forest, heading towards the clouds.
Now the quest really begins.
"I still think you're gonna die."
Even if I do, I'm happy I even got to meet these ponies.
They're the best friends I've ever known.