66w, 2dDoubled Fun
67w, 4dAlicorn Twilight
61w, 12hTwilight is Best Pony
66w, 1dTwilight Sparkle
62w, 1hCaloo's Magical Finds
- Show All Groups
51w, 6dAlicorn Twilight
42w, 3dMUST KEEP FOLLOWING!!!!1
37w, 6dAlternate Perspectives
13w, 5dX Becomes An Alicorn
Using her magic, the winged unicorn mentally grasped the strand...
...and tugged it apart.
The faint sound echoed throughout the hallways as the surrounding room, and the rest of the house, fell dead silent. Twilight stood trembling, afraid to open her eyes, afraid to see the no-doubt horrified expression on her yellow friend’s face. ‘First the silence... then the screaming...’ she thought psychoanalytically to herself, taking a shuddering breath. With how quiet the environment was, it almost seemed that if she never opened her eyes, time would stand still until she did.
But, her curiosity eventually got the better of her, and her eyelids creaked open. After blinking a few times to sharpen her vision, she noticed that Fluttershy stared at her with a blank, wide-eyed expression. Worried violet eyes locked with incredulous teal ones for a moment, before Twilight swallowed with trepidation.
“Fluttershy... Please understand, I...” she muttered sadly, braving a step forward. The pegasus took a cautious step back in response. Twilight frowned, her ears folding back against her head. Her friend was afraid of her. “Fluttershy, listen... I know I might look...” She paused to swallow again. “D... different, but I... I’m still the same...!” she whimpered, pleading with her eyes for her friend to look past her external visage.
The yellow pony did not respond aside from the occasional twitch of her ear. When the winged unicorn took another step forward, she took two steps back, keeping her distance.
“Fluttershy, please!” Twilight begged. Her sudden change in volume caused the shy filly to recoil, whimpering. The lavender mare’s eyes shot wide open in realization. “W-wait, no! I’m sorry!” she sputtered, her wings involuntarily flaring up as she reached toward her friend with a violet hoof, which only caused the scared pony to yelp in fear and jump backwards.
Fluttershy’s wings flapped frantically to right herself as she landed further away from the spellcaster, her rump almost pressed up against the wall behind her. “...Are... Are they real...?” she suddenly muttered, her voice quivering. “Th-they weren’t there before...”
Twilight looked at the floor. Obviously, she had not just conjured an illusion of fake wings. She had just dispelled an illusion that was hiding real ones. And now, she had to say ‘Yes, I actually have wings’ to the pegasus, instead of just being able to show her. She didn’t want to say it to anypony else; it was hard enough saying it to herself. She gulped, folding her avian limbs back against her sides and gathering her will. “Y... Yes... They’re real...” she admitted, the words tasting foul as she uttered them.
The reticent mare simply gaped for a moment, before she gasped, covering her mouth with her butter-yellow hooves. Her teal irises constricted to small dots, and she began to cower against the wall behind her.
Twilight let loose a quiet whimper at her friend’s display of fear. This was not how this situation was supposed to go. The two remained silent for a moment, the clock face on the wall ticking away. She glanced briefly glanced at Spike; the small dragon was curled quietly on a couch with a worried expression on his scaly face.
“I... I... I’m sorry, m-ma’am... I-I didn’t know you would be here...” Fluttershy mumbled, immediately drawing her friend’s attention. Her soft words suggested that she was talking to a stranger. A very scary stranger.
Twilight gaped, her eyebrows raised. “Fluttershy, it’s me...!” She stated, taking a few steps toward the cowering filly, but halted when she squeaked with fear. “It’s me... Twilight...” she mumbled, blinking, before reaching out with her telekinesis to the pegasus’s body, enveloping her in a shining red aura and gently tugging the yellow pony towards her.
Fluttershy suddenly released a horrified scream, splitting the air and breaking the spellcaster’s concentration like a glass window.
The ear-piercing cry caused Twilight to flinch and drop the yellow pony, her irises momentarily constricting as she rapidly blinked her eyes. The chrysanthemum mare quickly scrambled to her hooves and darted to another room before the winged unicorn could say anything else, leaving her and Spike alone in the room.
Twilight’s fuzzy face was frozen in an incredulous gawk at the doorway her friend had fled through. Her expression twitched a few times, before she slapped her forehead with a purple hoof. ‘Stupid! STUPID!’ she inwardly screamed at herself. Why did she do that?! Fluttershy was terrified of her, and she thought it would have been a good idea to move her against her will!?
Twilight removed her hoof from her forehead and angrily slammed it down into the floorboards with a loud CRACK, her wings flaring up behind her in response to her frustration. “DAMN IT!” she yelled, the curse word echoing back to her from the nearby hallways, before she immediately flinched at her own language. She cast a tentative glance at Spike, who had folded his arms, a disapproving scowl on his muzzle as he steadily tapped his foot on the couch. She gazed apologetically at him, before directing her eyes to the hoof she had pounded into the floor. She lifted it up, seeing that she had smashed a four-inch-deep hole into the wood paneling. She gawked at the aperture, then at her purple hoof. ‘Wha...? How did I...?’ How did she just do that? She hadn’t even stomped that hard, and now there was a huge hole in the floor!
A long-since-banished thought creeped to the front of her mind, unfazed by her attempts to push it back. ‘Alicorns are meant to embody all three of the pony races... Earth ponies are strong,’ the thought told her, causing her to tremble with fear. “No... No!” she whispered to herself, her ears folding as she began to panic.
‘Yet another piece of the puzzle falls into place, your highness. You have a horn, you have wings, and -- Oh look! -- you have strength. Chances are, you’ll get bigger, too. Remember when Fluttershy asked if you were taller? There goes your last ‘if’. Quit denying it. You’re an alicorn!’ her inner voice insisted in a sadistically cheerful tone, followed by a short laugh.
“NO!” Twilight screamed out loud, gripping her head with her hooves, her sudden outburst causing Spike to flinch.
“Twilight?” the dragon besieged, hopping off of his couch and running to his older sister, before abruptly halting as he saw the hoof-shaped hole in the floor. “Wha-...?”
She collapsed on the rug nearby, burying her face in her hooves. Her brain hopped between each and every situation she’d been in the past two days, looking for something, anything to explain what had just happened without resorting to the one thing she didn’t want to believe. ...There was nothing. She had just punched a hole in the floor, and there was only one possible explanation for it; an explanation she didn’t want to even consider. She was very physically strong now... Her lack of physical strength had been her lifeline, the one thing she fell back on to steer her thoughts away from the conclusion that she was an alicorn. ‘I’m not strong,’ she had told herself. ‘Alicorns exhibit the qualities of all three of the pony races. I only exhibit two,’ she had convinced herself to believe.
Well, here comes quality number three. That was a very neat hole she had stomped into the wooden paneling. If a very strong earth pony tried to do this, they would create a large dent, not a perfectly hoof-shaped hole. Extraordinary strength was required to puncture a neat hole. Her inner physicist jumped into the mental conversation: According to the laws of physics, a force applied over a longer time decreases the average force of a collision. The very fact that wood was solid caused it to push back when stomped -- as mentioned previous, a normal pony trying to do this would leave a dent, not a hole, because they wouldn’t be quite strong enough to apply enough force over a short time to break a circular aperture into the paneling.
Process of elimination, her inner scientist recited. Every other possibility to explain her changes had been eliminated. There was only one left.
Only one left.
‘And you know what it is.’
Her rib cage gently expanded and contracted as she breathed, the cold electricity of adrenaline surging through her veins. She felt a scaly hand on her withers, and she raised her head to face her assistant, who simply stared at her with concern.
A minor spike of pain from her wound reminded her of her initial purpose for visiting her medicinally-experienced friend, and she drew a breath, forcing herself to postpone her discovery until after she had received medical attention. Her head slightly hung, she brought herself to her hooves and began a slow trot after the terrified pegasus, Spike following closely behind her.
As Twilight peered around the doorway that her friend had fled through, she saw neither hide nor hoof of Fluttershy. The room had no other entrance -- the shy filly must’ve been hiding somewhere. Twilight’s violet eyes scanned around each piece of furniture present, looking for a hint of pale yellow or a flash of pink mane. She swallowed, the small motion inciting a small burning from the laceration on her neck and withers. “Fluttershy...? I... I need help...” she managed to say out loud, attempting to convince her friend to show herself. She cast a glance at the laceration on her back, wincing from both the sight of the ugly gully and the pain from twisting her neck. “My... My injury...”
She faced forwards again. “Please...” she begged, distraught. She had no other choice. She needed Fluttershy to tend to her wound, or else she would have to go to the hospital, and that would be the end of her secret. If nothing else, she could at least attempt to talk to the coy mare while she worked, to try and convince her that she needn’t fear the... the alicorn. She winced painfully at that thought. W... Whatever, if the timid pegasus was really her friend, she would see through her changes.
She winced again, harder, as the other edge of that thought’s linguistic sword pointed straight at her. If Fluttershy didn’t see through her changes... she would have lost a friend. No. No. She would eventually understand. It would just take some... some convincing. She sucked in a breath. “Fluttershy... Please come out...” she pleaded, trotting further into the room. She ducked down, her head against the floor, and peered underneath each piece of furniture to search for her friend. She partially extended her wings to improve her balance as she turned her head this way and that, gazing through the small spaces between the upholstery and the floorboards. Finding nothing, she flicked her wings out fully in minor frustration, a white sheen rippling across them, before her ears perked upon hearing a small gasp from above. She stood up, and craned her neck to look at the ceiling.
A scared butter-yellow filly was supporting herself in-between two wooden beams on the ceiling, pressing her hooves against them and staring down at the purple pony below. Her chest shook as she silently breathed in and out, before she flinched and became as still as a statue upon realizing that she had been spotted.
Twilight frowned up at her friend, and folded her wings to make herself appear smaller and less menacing.
Fluttershy held her breath and stared down at her like she was some kind of horrifying monster, which only made her feel worse.
“Fluttershy... Why are you hiding...?” the alicorn asked, her eyebrows arching upward. “I... I came here because of the cut on my back... A-and maybe to talk with you... That’s all, I swear...”
Her friend didn’t respond. The purple pony swallowed. “I... Y-you’re scared of me... I can tell... To tell the truth, I... I’m scared of me too, okay...? Please, just come down and listen...” she begged, her eyes watering. She hadn’t lied. She was scared of herself, afraid of what would happen to her, what she would become, what she could do, and what would be expected of her.
Fluttershy’s face softened slightly as she looked into her friend’s pleading eyes, releasing the breath she’d been holding. A bit of the fear present in her expression ceded to concern, but she held her position and remained silent out of caution.
Twilight sat down on her haunches, staring miserably up at the elevated mare. “I-I don’t know what to do, Fluttershy... I don’t know what any of this means, o-or what it’s going to do to me, or my life...” she confessed, breathing methodically. “D-don’t be afraid of me too... You’re one of the only friends I have...” She trembled, taking shaky breaths as a few tears leaked out of her eyes. “I... I... I’m still me!”
Fluttershy’s horrified expression slowly began to melt away as she stared at her transformed friend, gradually changing into a sympathetic frown. Taking a deep breath, she released her grip on the wooden beams and gently lowered herself to the floor. She flapped her wings as she descended, each stroke negating a fall before it began, before her hooves touched the wooden paneling with four soft clops. She folded her wings against her sides, and swallowed, staring at her upset friend with concern. Her eyes slowly widened again in fear as she beheld the abnormal mare, before she shook her head vigorously for a moment to dispel whatever anxious thought she had. She reopened her teal eyes, and slowly trotted to the crying pony, her concerned frown returning. “T... Twilight...?” she mumbled quietly, hesitantly laying a hoof on the winged unicorn’s shoulder.
Twilight simply stared at her dismally, blinking to clear her vision. Fluttershy’s fear of her had mostly vanished from her visage; she had stopped trembling, and her face simply expressed worry. However, upon looking closer, her expression was inconsistent; it seemed to be flicking back and forth between concern and caution, and her posture would lend itself to her if she were to suddenly jump away. The purple pony wiped her tears with a hoof, before looking at the pegasus again.
“A... Are you a... an...?” Fluttershy trailed off, blinking behind light pink bangs that covered half of her face as her eyes locked on to her friend in circumspection.
Twilight felt her muzzle scrunch up involuntarily as she blinked away loose tears. It was true though, wasn’t it? She wasn’t a unicorn. Not anymore. Her violet irises slowly drifted to the yellow mare, and after swallowing with trepidation, she nodded sadly, a troubled frown crawling across her face. She tried to give a vocal answer, but the knot in her throat combined with her miserable trembling made speech an impossible task.
Fluttershy gaped for a moment, her eyes shooting wide open, before her demeanor allayed to sympathetic as she remembered how upset her friend was. She softly, falteringly tapped one of Twilight’s shoulder blades, before pulling her into a warm embrace, allowing the whimpering mare to hold her tight and sob into her pale yellow shoulder. “...Twilight... I-it’s okay... I-I’m sorry for being afraid of you...” she whispered, her voice slightly quivering with fear, but flowing like a gentle zephyr as she ran a cream-colored hoof over one of her friend’s soft purple wings, careful to avoid touching the lengthy wound on her back.
Twilight whimpered softly under her breath, putting a conscious effort into not holding her friend too tightly. If she was strong enough to punch a hole through a solid piece of wood with a light stomp, a tight hug would probably crush her pegasus friend’s rib cage. It would kill her. She wanted nothing more than to just squeeze as tightly as she could, but she knew that she couldn’t, for her friend’s safety.
“There, there...” Fluttershy breathed, visibly fighting back her own fears to comfort her friend. “I... I don’t mind, if it makes you feel better... Y-you just shocked me... It’s okay...”
Twilight hugged her friend just a little bit tighter, trying to relieve a little bit more of her stress. At least Fluttershy was trying... or at least pretending to understand. At least she was trying to help.
The yellow pony’s hoof slipped and brushed over the lavender pony’s wound, causing her to flinch.
“Oh! I-I’m sorry! I... Oh, yes, uhm... I-I still need to fix up the cut on your back...” Fluttershy remembered, loosening her grip on her friend.
Twilight continued to hold the pegasus for a moment, before trembling and forcing herself to break away. She sat on the floor, her wings limp against her sides, and wiped the soaked fur around her eyes with a hoof, sniffing. Afterwards, she blinked her eyes to clear her vision and gazed at Fluttershy, noticing the patch of wet fur on the pegasus’s shoulder.
The yellow mare stood up and quietly trotted past her friend, her pink tail briskly disappearing through the doorway behind her, presumably to fetch the medkit she had left in the other room.
Twilight laid down on the wooden floor, resting her head on her fuzzy front hooves and letting her eyelids slide shut. She pulled her wings in, tucking them in-between her torso and her back thighs, and simply laid there for a moment or two, enjoying the quiet of a house that... no longer felt so hostile.
For the first time that day, she felt rather... safe... with another pony around. The owner of the house had been afraid of her at first, but the purple mare was thankful that Fluttershy was able to look past her transformation and recognize a friend underneath. Her worst fear had come true... but it was quickly followed by one of her greatest hopes. Funny how life likes to do that to a pony; dealing them both sides of the card and observing what they make of it. Well... At least she didn’t have to hide from her yellow friend any more. That’s one more pony’s company not to fear. She closed her eyes and let a small smile grace her lips, exhaling contentedly.
The icy locks and chains that strangled her heart melted into water, her deep-rooted ever-present fear being replaced by a sense of acceptance. Two of her friends now knew, and they still saw her for who she was, not what she was. Her eyelids drifted open, and her smile vanished as a desultory thought crossed her mind. Fluttershy and Rarity were the two more complacent, mature, and understanding of her friends. Things hadn’t been so bad with them, and they would probably completely accept her in the end. But... what about the other three?
Her eyebrows drew upward. Applejack was stubborn, Dash was a loudmouth and rather rude, and Pinkie was a tad insensitive and more of a loudmouth than Dash was. The easy part was over. It wouldn’t be quite so simple to convince the other three.
Well... Applejack, when Twilight had talked with her the night previous, seemed only concerned, and did not pry. It was almost as if she already knew, for she apparently did not know about her wings for a fact, but her reaction to the rumors she had heard was still not negative. She actually seemed to be more worried than shocked at the prospect of her purple friend having suddenly acquired instruments of flight.
She sighed in defeat. They were all going to find out eventually... so if she could help it, she wanted the next one to be Applejack. She cast a morose glance at Spike, who had sat down next to her, his features laden with concern. “Spike...?” she whimpered quietly, blinking at him.
“Yes, Twilight?” he answered softly, laying a purple claw on his older sister’s mane in an attempt to comfort her.
She frowned, and her gaze fell to the floorboards again. “W... Why is all this happening to me...?” she asked rhetorically, trembling. This situation, this plight that she had been dealing with for the past two days had made her life monstrously difficult, and to this hour, the cause of it all had yet to be revealed. Why was it happening to her? And... why her? Why couldn’t it have been somepony else? Was a higher power getting some kick out of doing it to her? She had never asked for wings, or strength, and did not want them. If she could, she would give up both and return to her life as a regular unicorn. A normal life, without having to... to hide from the public, from her own friends, because she wasn’t entirely sure if they’d understand.
She buried her face in her hooves, wishing that the past two days had simply been a nightmare, and that she would be woken up any minute by Spike. “Why me...?” she whispered, shaking as her dragon friend ran his claws through her messy, unkempt mane.
“I’m so sorry, Twilight... I really don’t know...” Spike whispered, trying to comfort his troubled friend. “But... It’ll all be okay, alright? Everything will be fine... I promise.”
The grieving mare took a shuddering breath, her chest expanding and contracting. “D-don’t make promises you can’t keep, Spike...” she scolded quietly, not lifting her face from her hooves. Her two more understanding friends had been difficult to explain herself to, and the remaining three would only be worse. She saw little reason to believe that all of her friends would understand, and plenty of reasons to believe that they wouldn’t. Most likely... things would not turn out okay.
Her draconian assistant simply continued to comfort her, not uttering so much as a single word as he ran his claws from behind her horn to the tip of her right wing. She shuddered, less from the sensation of his clawtips on her ‘racially unique’ extremities, and more from the action reminding her that she had both.
Minutes passed... Her frayed nerves eventually began to calm as Spike’s light touch began to assuage her negative thoughts. He always knew exactly how to put her at ease, regardless of how upset she was. Even when she simply needed a hoof on her shoulder, he was always on top of things.
“Everything will be okay... I do promise, and I will be right...” the dragon whispered calmingly, reaching under his friend’s chin with a claw and gently lifting it upwards, revealing her bloodshot eyes and tear-stained cheeks. “Nopony says I’m making a promise I can’t keep,” he added with a soft, sympathetic smile.
Twilight’s violet gaze slowly drifted to him, before her horn lit up with a faint red glow and he was gently pulled beside her head. She wrapped her neck around his small body, a small smile tugging at her lips as her purple mane draped over him. The two simply lay there for uncounted minutes, the alicorn finding comfort in her little brother’s presence.
After some time, Fluttershy returned, holding the same box of medical supplies in her teeth as before. She looked at the injured pony and her assistant for a brief moment, scanning her, almost as if she wanted to say something, but then hesitantly looked away.
Twilight looked up at the golden filly from the floor, her purple eyes shining with slight curiosity. Maybe she was still digesting her new appearance... but at least she was trying to act normal. The pegasus simply stood there for a few seconds, sneaking glances at the pony lying on the wooden paneling, before her eyes widened in surprise when she realized that Twilight was looking back at her.
Fluttershy shot her friend a nervous smile, and set the medkit down. She pressed the switch that unlocked the case with her nose and deftly opened it, revealing a plethora of silver, gleaming, pointy tools.
The violet pony’s head shot up upon sighting the slew of sharp needles placed next to several phials of strangely-colored liquids, her face beginning to lose its purple color. She gulped loudly, her eyes widening as an irrational fear began to replace her previous anguish. She... wasn’t a big fan of needles. “Uhh... Uhhh...” she muttered shakily, the skin under her fur crawling as her friend picked up one of the syringes with her wing tip, before sticking it into one of the phials and filling it with the pale yellow fluid it contained.
“O-okay Twilight, hold still... This is an anesthetic; It’ll make it so it doesn’t hurt while I clean out your wound and stitch it up...” the doctor muttered, rubbing the tip of the needle with a clean rag before approaching her friend.
Twilight instinctively shot to her hooves, knocking Spike out from under her, and quickly backed away, her wings involuntarily spreading out to her sides. She had been so worried about Fluttershy‘s reaction to her developments that she completely forgot that the timid pony was a doctor, and a visit with her would include the worst part of any heavy medical procedure; needles. The pegasus was a licensed doctor and veterinarian; that was the entire reason that the she and her assistant had decided to come here. How could she have not realized that this meant Fluttershy would have needles?
“F... F-Fluttershy, wait, can’t we do this some other way?” she beseiged, her irises constricting to tiny pinpricks as her irrational fear slammed into her like a freight train. She focused on the gleaming, sharp tip of the needle filled with pale golden anesthetic, the needle that was going to stick into her, and began to tremble with fear. Not a needle. Anything but a needle. Pieces of metal were not supposed to puncture her flesh. It... It was just wrong!
A small frown appeared on the pink-maned pegasus’s face. “Oh... You don’t like needles... I-I’m really sorry, but I have to do this...” she muttered softly, continuing to trot to the trypanophobic mare. “It won’t hurt, okay Twilight...? You won’t even feel it...”
Twilight’s mostly stoic expression shattered into a horrified gawk. That’s what they all say. They all say ‘It’s not going to hurt!’, but it always hurts. Every single time. During her childhood, when her blood was drawn for allergy tests, her vaccinations, her booster shots, needles always hurt! This time would be no different! She shuddered, backing into a corner of the room as her friend slowly approached her. “No no no no no no no no no!” she chanted in a crescendo, shrinking into the corner as much as she could.
“I’m so sorry, Twilight... But if I don’t do this, it’ll really hurt while I’m working... This won’t even hurt that much, okay...? Just... turn around. I need to put this into your back,” the medicinally-experienced pegasus ordered, gesturing with her hoof.
The lavender alicorn didn’t budge, remaining silent, most of the color having drained from her fuzzy face. “No!” she shouted, terrified, shielding herself with a purple wing. “Can’t-… Can’t I just take a... a-a pill or something?” she asked fervently, still staring directly at the sharp tip of the medical instrument.
“No...” Fluttershy mumbled, shaking her head apologetically. “I have to inject this directly into the area I need to anesthetize... Just be still, Twilight... I promise it won’t hurt if you relax...”
“Come on Twilight, let her do it. We need that cut on your back treated, and this is the way you wanted to do it,” came the deadpan of Twilight’s draconic assistant as he approached from behind the yellow filly, his arms folded, his expression bemused.
Twilight felt a blaze flare up in her lungs, and she inhaled sharply. “I-I didn’t think it would involve needles!” she cried indignantly, trying to compress herself further into the corner of the room. Her two friends simply stared at her for a moment, before she realized that she had to suck it up. She needed to do this. The violent laceration on her back would only get worse -- she needed to have it treated now, not later. If she waited too long, she would get sick from an opportunistic contact virus, and this was the only viable option she had other than a trip to the hospital. She shut her eyes tight and attempted to slow her breathing, forcing her trypanophobia out of her thought patterns.
Swallowing, Twilight soon removed herself from the corner of the room, trotting between her friends to a more open location nearby, before lying down on her stomach and folding her wings neatly against her sides. “J... Just inject it,” she hissed through grit teeth, her heart pounding painfully in her chest. She thought about the sharp pain that the needle would cause when it pierced her skin, the chill as it slid into her flesh, and the unbearable burning of the injected chemical. “D-don’t tell me when it’s coming...” Her ears perked at the sound of hoofsteps and light pattering, indicating that her two friends had followed her.
“A-are you sure...? I usually tell my patients before I stick them with a needle...” Fluttershy asked, scuffing at the floor with a hoof.
Twilight whimpered loudly, covering her head with her purple hooves. “Don’t talk about it either!”
“Twilight, please relax... If your muscles are tense, the needle will stick into their fibers, instead of in-between them...” the yellow filly explained, again wiping the tip of the syringe with an antibacterial cloth.
“R-relax!? H-How am I supposed to relax!? Y-you’re going to stab a hole in my back!” Twilight cried out, raising her head and looking behind her. Bad decision. Her vision zeroed in on the gleaming tip of the needle again, and her fearful tremors returned.
Spike grabbed her head and forced her to look away from the medical instrument, before removing one of his claws to grip her front hoof. “Don’t you know how this stuff works, Twilight?” he asked, squeezing her limb gently to calm her. “It really won’t hurt if you relax. Tensing your muscles will make the needle rip through them, which is what makes it hurt.”
Twilight blinked. Her assistant was the medical expert between them, not her. Honestly, she had not intently studied the medical books in her library, so she most certainly did not know the methods or workings of any doctoring techniques. “It... I-it won’t...?” she asked shakily, attempting to turn her head to look at the dragon, before he forced it away again.
“Don’t look this way. And yes, I promise it won’t hurt,” he confirmed, stroking her mane with a purple claw.
The lavender filly blinked her magenta eyes a few more times, before closing them and taking several slow, deep breaths to calm herself. She looked forward and laid her chin on the floor, hoping Spike wasn’t lying to her. She released the tensity in her muscles, letting them relax as she steadily breathed in and out, completely dropping her guard. “Okay... I’m ready...” she muttered. It better not hurt. If it hurt, she was going to defenestrate Spike.
She felt two hooves press onto her back just below her injury, holding the skin and fur taut. ‘Here it comes...’ She felt a chill creep up her chest, and she wanted to leap away, but beat back the urge. Her fuzzy ears perked as she heard a small noise behind her, almost like the sound of an antibacterial cloth wiping against her fur, followed by a sharp click. When was Fluttershy going to stick the needle in? Twilight doubted that she would wait too long, but-
Her eyes snapped open and she audibly filled her lungs as she felt the cold tip of the syringe penetrate her back just below her wound, the cool metal gently sliding into her flesh. She released a shaky breath as she felt a curtain of burning warmth spread from the injection point, all the way up her withers to her neck. It soon became the only sensation she could feel in that area; she couldn’t feel the cold needle, or the pressure of her pegasus friend’s hooves, or the chill of the cool air. Only the numbing, ghostly warmth. She raised her head, a difficult task due to her having little sensation in the muscle that performed it, and looked behind her. The doctor pulled the needle out of her back, pressing on the small red hole it left behind with a piece of cotton.
“Alright, that’s done...” Fluttershy announced softly, cleaning the syringe’s needle before retracting it and placing it back into the medical case. Holding the piece of cotton on the purple mare’s back with one wing, she reached into the case with her snout and extracted an antibacterial wipe, plus a very reflective steel scalpel.
Twilight fought back a tremor. “W-wait... What are you doing?” She stuttered, her irises shrinking again. Scalpels were used to cut.
The doctor simply looked at her, holding the knife in her teeth and using her yellow wing to hold the germicidal alcohol-soaked cloth. She rubbed it gently on the wounded alicorn’s back, the infected flesh giving off a sort of hissing noise, which caused the purple mare to panic.
“W-what are you doing!?” Twilight repeated through grit teeth, beginning to panic. That wasn’t rubbing alcohol on that cloth, was it? It must’ve been something else!
“I’m getting rid of the dead tissue... It’ll make the infection heal faster. Maybe you shouldn’t look,” Fluttershy answered, lowering her muzzle and pushing the point of the doctor’s knife into the wound.
Before Twilight could see her friend make an incision, Spike gripped her head and again turned it away. She couldn’t feel anything that the pegasus was doing to her, and was terrified of the prospect of not knowing. But... the shy pony was a doctor, right? She knew what she was doing, right?
“Twilight, don’t look,” her draconic assistant commanded, holding her head steady with one claw and squeezing her hoof with the other. Unfortunately, this did not calm her nerves.
The purple pony shivered slightly, staring ahead with trembling purple irises and a scared frown. For all she knew, Fluttershy could be surgically removing her spine, or using her back as a bloody canvas for some sick drawing, or... or something worse! She tried to twist her head to look at what the pegasus was doing, but Spike again stopped her. Her ears perked up at the quiet snick of her flesh being cut, and the occasional tink of a tool being put away. What was she doing?
“O-oh, my... You might start to feel a little lightheaded...” the butter-yellow mare warned, causing her patient’s blood to run cold.
Twilight again tried to look behind her, turning her head the other way, but the muscles in her neck were too numb to overpower her assistant’s grip. “Spike, let go! What is she doing to me!?” she demanded, twisting her head left and right.
“I-I... I’m just cleaning out your wound...” the yellow pony replied through the object held between her teeth.
Snick. Snick. Twilight winced slightly each time the horrible sound met her ears. She hoped to Celestia that her friend knew what she was doing. It sounded like she was cutting away her flesh, although it really might have just been the dead tissue inside her wound, which now that she thought about it, probably wasn’t the best thing to have in there.
She rested her head on the floor again, and tried to relax. “Spike, can you get me a pillow?” she solemnly requested, her chin starting to hurt. A mare’s face, while round, was still rather angular, and wasn’t comfortable when pressed against a hard flat surface.
“Do you promise to not look at what Fluttershy’s doing?” the young dragon asked in response, rather sternly.
“I... I promise,” Twilight conceded, blinking. Although she could not feel what the yellow mare was doing with her back, she could feel the surrounding areas, such as her wings. She could feel her friend’s body heat on them, and the occasional brush of the golden mare’s own feathers.
Spike slowly let go of her head, before walking away to fetch the requested comfort object. Twilight wanted to break her promise and look back to see what Fluttershy was doing, but... with her warning that she might feel lightheaded, she wasn’t sure if she really wanted to know.
“Okay, just one more...” Shhhick. “Oh... Oh no! Uhh... Ahh... T-Twilight, just stay with me, o-okay...?” the pink-maned pony suddenly shouted, panic creeping around the edges of her voice.
Her patient raised her eyebrows, before the fur on the back of her neck stood up as she began to feel something. It was... a sort of wet feeling, at the base of her right wing. Almost like a liquid was being poured on her... Or perhaps, a liquid seeping out of her. Her irises shrunk in panic. “W-what’s happening!?” she yelped, fighting back the urge to whip her head around. She felt a dabbing at her right wing, possibly a small medical cloth being pressed against it.
“It... I-it’s nothing... I can handle it, just stay still...!” her friend reassured, but her tone implied that she had run into a problem.
Although she couldn’t feel any pressure on her back, Twilight could feel her body being pushed downward from the sensation of her stomach pressed against the cool wooden floor.
“I-I can handle it...!” Fluttershy squeaked, a flitting noise meeting the lavender mare’s ears as the pegasus manipulated a large piece of cloth.
The cold hoof of dread gripped Twilight as she felt the liquid flow past her wing, down her side and onto the floor. She inhaled sharply to ask her friend what was going on, but her thoughts were interrupted as she suddenly felt disoriented.
“Spike, help!” the doctor yelled in horror, her voice rising a few octaves. Rapid footsteps signalled the dragon’s approach, followed by a small yelp.
“W-what did you do, Fluttershy?!” the dragon besieged, panicked.
“I... I... J-just take this and press on it!”
Twilight could barely make out what her friends were saying through the gentle, sleepy mist that had filled her head. What was going on? Why were they yelling? Why did her side feel soaking wet? There wasn’t any water nearby... Her breath was forced out of her lungs by a sudden force pressing her torso into the floor, and she gasped for air.
...The room spun...
A few minutes passed before her ability of rational thought returned to her. After blinking a few times, she vehemently shook her head, before twisting her neck to look back at her two friends. They were both pressing a large towel into her back, which was discolored a violent red at the bottom. Her eyes drifted to her wing, and she gasped sharply as she saw that her entire right side was matted and stained with blood. She began to tremble as she stared at it, before directing her gaze toward her two friends. “W-what did you...?” Her vision blurred momentarily, her mind still spinning. “...Nngh... What happened?”
Fluttershy gazed at her sorrowfully, before her teal eyes began to water. “I... I’m so sorry...! I-I think I cut too deep, a-and it started bleeding, and-...!” she rapidly apologized, before her voice caught on the lump in her throat and she fell to a soft whimper.
“Uh... Just stay calm, Twilight. It’ll stop bleeding faster if your heart’s not beating so fast,” Spike requested, pressing all of his weight against his older sister’s injury.
Twilight swallowed, before tearing her gaze away from the unsettling sight and attempting to control her breathing. At a whimper from her pegasus friend, she took a deep breath. “I-it’s okay, Fluttershy... I forgive you,” she said instinctively, although she was far more worried about the actual bleeding part. Well, apparently Fluttershy did not know what she was doing -- Twilight had almost passed out from blood loss. Then again... the sun-yellow mare was removing dead tissue, so overall her actions would make the wound heal faster. After it stopped bleeding, that is. She shook her head. Berating her timid friend for just trying to help was not a good idea. Especially not in this... delicate time.
After a few more minutes, she felt the pressure on her withers lift away as her friends took the towel off of her back. She heard the small noise of Fluttershy cleaning her wound once again with an antibacterial wipe, and then felt the blood stains being wiped off of the fur on her side, before the pegasus rummaged through her medkit again. Twilight felt a few bandages being wrapped around and under her torso (although she could not feel them on her back), before they were pulled tight and affixed with medical tape.
“Okay... I-I’m all done now... I got rid of all the necrotic tissue, so it should heal completely in a couple of days. It actually doesn’t even need stitches...” the butter-yellow pegasus mumbled dejectedly. “It... It might still leave a scar, though...”
Twilight stood up and shook her body, testing the bandages, before turning around to face her friends. Fluttershy was staring down at her yellow hooves, tears dripping to the floor from her eyes. “Uh... Th-thanks, Fluttershy... Now I don’t have to go to the hospital,” she thanked, putting anxious emphasis on ‘hospital’. Her answer was a whimper from the timid pony.
“Y-you should have just gone to the hospital... Th-they wouldn’t screw up, like I did...” she cried, before raising her head and gazing into the alicorn’s purple irises with her own tear-streaked teal ones. “...I... I think you wouldn’t w-want a bunch of ponies to see you, b-but...”
The violet pony’s eyes widened briefly at her friend’s dead-on assumption, before she frowned at her miserable expression. She embraced the coy mare with one front leg. “You did fine, Fluttershy... You fixed me up. And everypony makes mistakes,” she sympathized, before releasing her, managing a small smile. Fluttershy no doubt felt crushing guilt at hurting her friend, but after blinking her yellow eyelids a few times, her lips curved into a small smile as well.
Twilight’s smile soon faded away, and she looked at the floor, pawing at it with a purple hoof. She tried to take a step, but her front leg buckled and she almost fell down. Some of the muscles in her back were vital to walking, and right now they were numbed to the point of being unusable. “Uhm... Can... can I stay here for a little bit? At least until the anesthetic wears off? I-I can’t feel my shoulders, and I don’t think I can walk...” she asked shyly, afraid that she was asking too much. Her hesitant purple gaze floated up to meet her friend’s, and it widened as she saw the pegasus’s surprised expression.
“O-of course you can! The anesthetic is supposed to last an hour or two, j-just in case the... the procedure takes that long...” Fluttershy answered, a guilty frown again appearing on her muzzle as her blue-green eyes drifted to the bloodstain on the wooden paneling at her friend’s hooves. “I... I’m so sorry...”
The alicorn followed her friend’s gaze to the floor beneath her, and her eyebrows rose. “It’s okay, Fluttershy... I’m fine now, I sw- Whoa!” she began, before falling onto her face as she tried to walk to a nearby chair. She tried to pick herself up, but couldn’t quite lift herself up off the floor. “I’m fine... I just can’t walk because of the anesthesia,” she added, smiling up at her coy friend. She began to crawl slowly to the rug nearby, putting one hoof in front of the other, mostly using her back legs for propulsion. Without the use of her shoulders, it was a difficult task, but she made do.
“O-okay...” Fluttershy mumbled to herself, beginning to hover in front of Twilight. Yellow hooves gripped purple, and she hoisted the lavender mare’s torso upward, essentially dragging her onto a nearby couch and gently laying her on the green upholstery. “Just stay there, okay?” she instructed, landing next to the furniture and folding her wings. “...Sorry if you find any yellow feathers on it... They’re mine,” she added with a small embarrassed giggle, hiding her soft face behind her pink mane. “I-I try to clean up after I... Well, you know... I-I don’t always get them all, though.”
The bandaged mare’s head, previously lying on the cushion of the furniture, rose up at the pegasus’s statement. Fluttershy preened her feathers too? Twilight blinked a few times, turning her head to face the doctor. “Uh, hey, um, about that...” she began, looking at the two purple flight limbs that graced her midsection. “I ran into a similar problem...” she muttered, remembering the large mess of lavender feathers she had left on the floor of her own house.
“Oh! You’re already preening your feathers?” the yellow pegasus asked, initially surprised, but then seeming to teem with happiness as a smile spread across her muzzle. “That’s good! It’s a healthy thing for a pegasus to do. Well...” she trailed off, her teal eyes drifting up to an area just above Twilight’s face for a moment. “Uh...” She blinked. “N-nevermind... A-anyway, it’ll help circulation and reduce heat build-up.”
Twilight’s fuzzy ears perked. She was right! Pegasi did suffer from heat build-up in their wings! That explained it! She allowed herself a triumphant grin, but quickly curtailed it to a small smile when she realized that she was slightly creeping out her friend.
“U-uhm... I do it because I don’t want to leave yellow feathers everywhere when I visit my friends... They’d fall off by themselves otherwise, and it’s rude for a pegasus to leave her feathers anywhere but her own home...” Fluttershy muttered, her sapphire gaze trailing back to her wings. “I don’t preen anywhere else, either...”
Twilight blinked. ‘Oh... I guess I shouldn’t preen in public, then...’ she thought, looking back at the occasionally twitching flight limbs behind her. ‘Darn, I never quite finished yesterday... I guess I can do it later.’ She turned back to the pegasus. “Uh, thanks for the warning.”
The timid filly nodded briefly, chancing a tiny smile. “Well... You can stay here as long as you need to, Twilight. I’ll make lunch for three, just in case,” she chimed softly, turning to leave.
The purple pony blinked a few more times, before extending a yearning hoof. “Wait,” she quickly uttered, causing her friend to stop. “W... Why were you afraid of me?” she asked quietly, her ears folding, her tone slightly sad.
Fluttershy’s pink mane swung around as she turned slightly to face her friend again, her expression slightly frightened and her face bright pink. “Uh...” she muttered, before growing silent, sitting down at her haunches and peeking at the violet mare from behind her fuchsia locks, trembling a little. “I... I... I’m sorry...”
Twilight’s eyebrows turned upward. “Fluttershy...” she mewled sadly, retracting her hoof. She could tell that she was making the yellow mare uncomfortable, so she curled up slightly to make herself look smaller. Was she really that intimidating...?
“I... I just thought you were different... O-on the inside,” Fluttershy began, directing her gaze to the transformed pony. “I-I was afraid that you’d changed... But you’re still my friend, r-right...?” She raised her head, her eyes gleaming with hope.
The alicorn blinked, her eyes widening. Right here. Her friend had cast her trust out to her. The one thing she had learned that cements a friendship the most is aiding your friends when they need you the most, when they place their faith in you, and when you pull through for them. Normally, a friendship is like a hook in a block of cement; it can take a while to get that hook in and establish your friendship, and it can take a while to break it out -- one mistake with a friend does not necessarily destroy the companionship. But when a pony is vulnerable... that block of cement turns to jelly. If you help them in their time of need, your hook will immediately move right to the center, and will be there when the pony regains their constitution, securing a friendship. However, when your friend needs you the most and you betray them, the hook is pulled all the way out of that jelly, and the friendship is broken immediately. It was interesting how the mind worked... Twilight wasn’t one for psychology, but being able to read her friends like books was an ability packaged with just getting to know them.
“Of course... I’ll always be,” she softly answered from her position on the couch, giving a gentle smile.
Fluttershy’s expression brightened exponentially, and she stood up, beaming. “Really?” she asked merrily, slowly flapping her wings with joy.
“Absolutely,” the magenta filly affirmed, wishing she could stand up as well. Stupid anesthesia. Her friend broke into a happy grin, trotting to her and embracing her warmly in her yellow front legs. A soft sensation brushed over the less-numb regions of Twilight’s wings, neck and back as she felt the pegasus’s delicate avian limbs wrap around her in a feathery embrace.
“Oh, Twilight... I’m so glad you haven’t changed...” Fluttershy breathed over the lavender mare’s shoulder. “I was so worried...”
Twilight simply smiled at her friend, unable to pick herself up and hug her back. She blinked, trying to direct her wings forward to mimic the bashful pony’s actions. It was harder than it looked; how did Fluttershy do this? She had been holding and manipulating objects with her wings all day, bending them so far that it looked like it hurt. It probably did, too. Twilight grunted as she bent her wings further and further, to the point where it felt like their joints were going to leave their sockets, before her friend released her and backed away.
Fluttershy became surprised as she observed the purple hybrid’s attempts to reach out with her avian limbs. “Oh, Twilight, don’t do that... I know you see me do it, but I’ve been doing it for a while... A pegasus isn’t... uh...” she trailed off, throwing a momentary glance over her friend’s forehead, before shaking her head to dispel an irrelevant thought. “A pegasus isn’t supposed to do what I’m doing... I have to dislocate my wings to move them like I do, a-and a lot of ponies tell me it will eventually permanently damage my ability to fly...” she muttered, frowning and looking at the floor.
Twilight heeded her friend’s warning, and tucked her wings back against her midsection, her eyebrows turned upward. “O-oh...” she mumbled in realization. Fluttershy had been dislocating her wings to do all of those things with them? It seems like it would be useful for a creature without magic, but pegasi were supposed to be able to fly.
“...Listen, I-I don’t fly much... I like having my hooves on the ground, so I can take care of all the animals. Do you ever wonder why I don’t often fly as fast as most other pegasi? I-It’s because it’s really hard for me... I used to be able to move fast whenever I wanted to, a long time ago, but then I started taking care of animals, a-and started using my wings to pick things up,” the shy pony explained, pausing to swallow. “I can’t flap them very hard sometimes... It’s hard for me to fly fast...” she admitted, gazing at the floorboards again. “But...” she raised her head, and smiled at her magenta friend. “E-even if it does damage my flying... I think it’s a fair trade.”
Twilight gaped. Fluttershy would willingly trade away her gift of flight to be able to use her wings like two extra mouths? What pegasus would do that?
The golden filly’s smile vanished. “Y-yes, I don’t mind if I can’t fly very well; I was never a strong flier anyway. But... you shouldn’t throw away the use of your wings like me,” she stated, blinking a few times. “Don’t ever move them in a way that makes them hurt.”
Twilight stared for a moment, before swallowing. Wait... Fluttershy had been doing this for a long time? “Uh... How come I’ve never seen you doing that before?” she asked quietly, her violet eyes flicking from one of her friend’s wings to the other. Had she really been using her avian limbs like that ever since she began taking care of animals? Wasn’t that... most of her life? It would explain why she didn’t like to fly fast...
Fluttershy hid behind her pink mane once again. “I... I’m not supposed to do it... I’m misusing my wings... O-other pegasi frown at it...” she muttered shyly, her teal gaze drifting to the floor. “I don’t want to be ridiculed for it...”
A dreadful silence fell between the two ponies. Twilight looked down at her hooves, then over her shoulder at the flight limbs on her back. The irony of the situation flowed over her like water; apparently her friend also had something to hide in public. How quaint. The timid filly’s was far easier to conceal, however.
Twilight shifted, trying to get into a more comfortable position. She relaxed her lavender wings, letting them sag to the couch’s surface. She felt a tad... well, restless. Even though she was a calm, intelligent, introverted mare that loved inactive pastimes such as reading, she still liked to move around. Not being able to do so was quickly getting on her nerves, especially when it was her body that was stopping her, rather than her own will. She extended a wing and looked at it, noting the disheveled feathers, and had a mind to preen it just for something to do, but then remembered Fluttershy’s statement that it was rude to do that in somepony else’s house. She sighed, before resting her avian limb once again, a single lavender feather coming loose and drifting lazily to the wooden floor. She blinked at it, before looking at the owner of the house apprehensively. “Uhh... I’m sor-”
Fluttershy extended her yellow wings out in front of her, raising them almost like Spike would his palms. “Oh no, it’s alright,” she muttered, shaking her head, before her lips curved into a gentle smile. “I don’t mind...” She reached down with a wing tip and wrapped it around the violet feather, picking it up. “You know, Twilight, you could keep your feathers... You could use them as quills,” she suggested innocently, tilting her head. “I know you do a lot of writing...”
Twilight bit her lip at the irony of the statement and looked away anxiously, her cheeks burning. Spike had suggested that same thing, although she was sure he was mocking her. The dragon in question, who had kept silent while the two mares talked, let out a quiet snicker, finding this humorous. He quickly ceased and stood up straight when his older sister shot him a glare, however. “I don’t think I should. I mean, wouldn’t they break really easily?” she asked, her gaze drifting back to her yellow friend.
Fluttershy calmly shook her head, her pink mane flowing gently back and forth, a soft smile gracing her lips. “No, pegasus feathers are strong; they won’t break... I’m sure alicorn feathers are even stronge-” She stopped short upon realizing what she had said, her smile disappearing and her teal irises shrinking. She blinked, an apologetic look on her face upon sighting her purple friend’s distraught expression. “I... I’m sorry...” she mumbled, hiding behind her mane. “I-I didn’t know that you don’t like to talk about it... I’m sorry...”
The winged unicorn took a deep breath, and audibly released it. “No, no... It’s true... I know what I am... I’m just having a little trouble accepting it, is all...” she uttered, a morose sigh escaping her lungs as she laid her fuzzy chin on her hooves. “...I don’t want to accept it. I... I don’t. But I have to, so... just go ahead and talk about it. It’ll help me suck it up,” she admitted self-mockingly, avoiding the pegasus’s gaze. She frowned, her eyebrows upturning. “A-and I... I’m sorry for breaking a hole in your floor...”
The yellow filly perked up, shooting a gaze out the door at the aforementioned hole in the wooden paneling in the next room. She turned her head back, her pink mane swishing with her head, her expression merely surprised.
“I-I’ll pay for it,” Twilight added, casting a sidelong glance at her friend. “I will. I didn’t mean to break it... I’m really strong now for some reason, probably because I’m a-...” She paused to swallow, shutting her eyes tight. “A... an alicorn.” The word tasted horrible on her tongue. ‘Suck it up, Twilight,’ she scolded herself as she involuntarily began to tremble, taking a shuddering breath.
“N-no, it’s okay, I have plenty of money. I’m sure you need your own to... … ...” Fluttershy’s voice and words faded to the magenta pony as she became lost in her own thoughts, deaf to the world around her.
“Fluttershy,” Twilight cut in, still trembling, opening her eyes to look up at her friend’s teal irises. “Tell me what I am.”
The butter-yellow mare blinked, caught off-guard by the request. She smiled as she took a deep breath. “Well, you’re a really smart, really nice pony that’s one of my best friends, and I really enjoy your company beca-”
“No, Fluttershy,” Twilight interrupted, shaking her head. She shut her eyes tight. “Species. Tell me what species I am,” she specified with a whimper, her body shaking as she braced herself.
“Oh... Ah... Uhm...” Fluttershy stuttered hesitantly. She blinked sorrowfully at her lavender friend on the couch, afraid to answer her question.
“Say it,” Twilight pleaded. “Just say it.” Three words. She took another shuddering breath, her eyes still squeezed shut.
“I... I don’t think I should...” Fluttershy muttered in concern, blinking at her friend on the couch.
“Say it...!” the former patient begged as she lifted her head up, extending her purple wings to support her point. She thought she could feel the burning of tears behind her eyes, but kept their lids shut to keep them from flowing out. She knew what she was; she wanted to hear it from another voice, to drill that fact into her head and force her to accept it. “What am I?”
The pegasus’ ears fell flat on her pink mane, startled by her friend’s outburst. “W-why does it matter...? You’re Twilight...” she mumbled quietly, peeking at the rare-breed from behind her mane. “I-I really don’t mind what you look like on the outside...”
The purple pony filled her lungs, before exhaling in a soft whimper, opening her watery magenta eyes and gazing at her friend. Her wings lay loose against her sides, losing a few more of their purple feathers.
“I-it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” Fluttershy explained, a small smile on her pale yellow muzzle. “Don’t be upset... I know you’re still the pony I’ve known all this time,” she soothed, approaching her friend and seating her haunches before the soft couch that she lay on.
Twilight simply stared at the sweet-smiling mare, her vision beginning to blur as she struggled to keep her eyes focused. She swallowed, vaguely aware that her mouth was hanging open. It... didn’t matter? Really? She had spent the better part of two days thinking about how this... impossible change was to drastically alter her life, how everything was going to change, but... did it really not matter? Could everypony just... simply move past it? Could her life could just carry on as normal? She didn’t think so. Her friends might understand, but the public wasn’t biased towards her like they were. But... they might be able to move past it... They just might...
She blinked, a few tears flowing free from her gleaming magenta eyes and causing the room around her to swim about in a light haze. She lifted her head slightly, trying to focus on an indistinct light-gold shape. “D-do you really mean that?...” she whispered hopefully, struggling to keep her voice from breaking.
A blurred pink mane bobbed slightly as Fluttershy nodded. “Of course I do... You’re my friend.” She giggled lightly, her gentle voice cutting deep into the purple pony’s heart. A bright sunbeam on a gloomy day, she inched herself closer to the injured mare and draped a comforting yellow wing over her. “I’m not going to treat you any differently just because you look different...” she assured quietly, smiling.
Twilight swallowed, looking up at the unfocused image of her sun-yellow friend. She trembled, before gently laying her head against the crook of the pegasus’s wing. She took a shaking breath, burying her face in it. But, despite the tears, she felt a small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. She was accepted. Regardless of everything that had happened... she was accepted. Fluttershy had proved that it was possible. Rarity had tolerated her, but her occasional verbal slip-up, such as referring to her as a princess, showed that her opinion of her had indeed changed. However, Fluttershy’s opinion had not.
She felt her golden friend lean towards her, enveloping her with her torso and feathered wing. Twilight felt a gentle nuzzle on the side of her head as well, breaking down her last barrier of doubt. She pushed her face against her friend’s wing, the odd scent of flowers filling her nostrils, and a smile slowly crept across her face. This time, the tears leaking out of her closed eyes were tears of happiness and relief, not of misery.
Her timid friend had completely accepted her, even going so far as to embrace her with a wing, a symbol of trust among pegasi. For the first time all day, she began to feel that she wasn’t as much of a freak as she thought she was. She inhaled, preparing to speak, but Fluttershy shushed her softly.
“You might be a little different on the outside... but you’re still the same Twilight on the inside,” Fluttershy soothed, quieting the trembling pony. The pair simply remained silent for some time.
Twilight eventually calmed herself, her breathing slowing to a methodic pace, her brain most likely having now associated the scent of Fluttershy’s feathers and fur to the emotions she was feeling; acceptance, relief, reassurance. Now at peace, her mind began its analyctical processes once again, predicting what she would make of this turn of events. Some ponies are very fond of certain smells, sometimes because they have a certain memory attached to them, and the scent itself reminded them of it. Her brain was most likely attaching the feeling of peace and tranquility to the smell of flowers, now. She called it; next time she decided to stop and smell the flora, she would be reminded of this moment, wrapped in the embrace of the first friend who had completely accepted her, and her mind would be at peace.
Maybe this all wouldn’t be so bad...
“Uhm... Twilight? I... I’m sorry for asking this, but I-I’m curious... How did this happen, exactly?”
Twilight’s eyes opened, and her smile faded. She felt tranquil, yes, but... she wasn’t quite at the point where she was comfortable talking about her wings. She swallowed hesitantly, shaking her head against her friend’s feathers.
“Oh... I-it’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it,” Fluttershy muttered, staring down at the unfortunate hybrid. “I... I want to know, though...”
The purple mare cleared her throat to dislodge the phlegm that had gathered in it, slowly raising her head to look at her friend with a reluctant frown. “I... I don’t know... Y-yesterday I... I just woke up with them...” she stuttered, her purple irises trembling, before she bowed her head back into the pegasus’s pale yellow wing. “Can... can we please talk about something else...?” she asked, her voice muffled by her friend’s soft plumage. Now that it didn’t matter anymore, she wanted to drop the subject of her being an alicorn. It was not a pleasant thing to talk about, at the time being the primary issue in her life. “Please, I...”
Fluttershy brought her distraught purple friend closer with her wing. “Okay...” she muttered softly, waiting until the lavender mare’s breathing slowed before speaking again. She took a deep breath. “...How is the library doing?” she asked quietly, respecting Twilight’s wish for a change of topic.
The purple mare shifted at the question. “It... It’s fine,” was her muffled reply, before she raised her head, her expression still somber. “W-we got some new books last week...” Her library was a small business; she was given monthly checks by Mayor Mare to run it for the convenience of the townsponies. It was both her own personal library, and a public library she agreed to let the citizen ponies use. Actually, she sometimes hoarded books she was reading in her room, to make sure that nopony could check them out before she was done with them.
“Spike and I have been getting a lot more customers lately. Maybe reading is ‘in’ right now, or something,” she added, a small, amused smile appearing on her violet muzzle.
“Do... do you have any books on the behavior of aquatic mammals?” the shy filly asked, her eyes drifting to the upper-left. “I have this rambunctious little seal that doesn’t understand that he shouldn’t splash land creatures, like ponies, without their permission...” she added with a soft giggle.
“I might,” the librarian replied, her expression brightening a bit. This was the most pleasant conversation she’d had since she acquired her wings. Every single time she’d talked to another pony since that point, it had only been about her new limbs, or something related to them. It was really, really nice to have a normal conversation for once. “I’ll have to check in the back.” She chuckled at her own dry humor.
Fluttershy smiled, her teal eyes beaming, and removed her wing from her friend, allowing the lavender pony to raise her head up fully. “I-I actually tried to ask you about it yesterday, but when I got to your library, it was closed... I was going to come back later, but...”
Twilight’s developing smile faltered as she was reminded of the measure she had taken to prevent anypony from seeing her yesterday. “Ah... I... I wasn’t there for most of yesterday, a-and neither was Spike...” she muttered, bending the truth just a tad. She blinked, looking down at her hooves, and then in the direction opposite her friend.
The two mares sat in an uncomfortable silence for a moment, before the yellow filly took a breath. “Twilight...?” she asked with concern, noticing that the lavender pony was avoiding her gaze. The alicorn didn’t answer, only glancing in the light-gold pegasus’s direction for a brief moment.
“I... I’m sure there’s a copy of that training book in my library, though,” the librarian answered, deliberately changing the topic. Her friend seemed to have taken the hint, the chrysanthemum mare’s pink mane bobbing as she nodded.
“Th-thank you... U-uhm...” the pegasus mumbled, her teal eyes flicking to the bandaged mare’s torso for a split second. “Uhh... W-what kind of books do you like?” she asked evasively, giving a small smile that looked just a tad forced.
Twilight frowned. Fluttershy seemed like she was beating around the bush, island-hopping between small topics, almost as if she was deliberately avoiding the subject that her guest did not want to think about. “I... I like all books...” she answered unenthusiastically. The shy pony kept sneaking glances at her sides, more specifically at the large violet wings that graced them. She really didn’t want to talk about them... didn’t her friend understand that?
“Ah... so, uh... do you like to read w-... in-... a-... f-...” the reticent mare stuttered, her eyes darting between several nearby objects. “d-during certain weather?” she blurted, obviously forced. She grinned widely, and Twilight could almost swear that she heard a squeak come from it.
The hybrid mare sighed morosely, looking down at her hooves and closing her eyes. ‘Thanks for at least being sensitive, Fluttershy...’ A moment passed in complete silence, neither pony daring to speak. Twilight’s eyes twitched under her eyelids. Well... if she really wanted to talk about it that much...
She returned her gaze to her friend, her expression worried. “Uhm... Fluttershy, I...” she began, before her voice caught and she cleared her throat. “I’m not sure what... what I’m going to do... a-about...” she mumbled, before frowning and tilting her head downwards. She closed her eyes again, simply extending her purple-feathered avian limbs a little into the air behind her to imply her point, because she didn’t want to say it out loud. “It... It’s just too much...”
“Twilight... They’re only wings,” the bashful pegasus reasoned, causing Twilight to flinch and cast a miserable glance her way at the mention of her flight appendages. Fluttershy bent down to nuzzle the purple pony to comfort her, shushing her softly. “I-if you need me to... I’ll help you through this, okay?” she whispered into a fuzzy violet ear. “I-if there’s anything you need, I can help... You’re my friend... I’m here for you.”
Twilight swallowed. The damage her wings had indirectly caused to her back paled in comparison to the damage they had caused her psyche, but the golden filly’s soft, reassuring words were finally beginning to mend it. She looked down at her chest, inhaling softly and working the inside of her mouth. “I... I’m afraid of what everypony will think of me... What they’ll expect of me...” she spilled, losing her voice. “I... I-I just... I don’t know what to do, Fluttershy... If anypony found out...” she admitted, before her ears folded as she remembered that it was already too late. The Crusaders knew, and they were probably the most talkative bunch of fillies in Ponyville.
Fluttershy nuzzled her again, once more wrapping a wing around her. “Nopony will find out... Not until you’re ready,” she stated, opening her eyes and smiling at the dark-colored mare. “I’ll help you through this. Uhm...” she said softly as she looked off to the side for a moment. “...How did Pinkie Pie say this...?”
Twilight felt a small smile tug at her lips as she watched her friend wrack her brain to remember the premiere party pony’s famed ‘Pinkie Promise’. Instead of waiting for her to recall the correct words, she simply nuzzled the mare’s neck and extended one of her own purple wings to wrap around her withers.
The shy pony’s teal eyes widened at her friend’s embrace, before she smiled softly, closing her eyes and returning the gesture. “It’ll all be okay,” she whispered, holding the bandaged pony close.
The alicorn drew a quiet breath. She had never hugged somepony with her wings before, and... it felt very soft by comparison. Every minute movement of her plumage brushing against her pegasus friend’s soft fur sent shudders through her. The feeling of another living creature on the sensitive underside of her wing felt alien to her, but yet, it was strangely comforting. The aberrant sensation shot a chill down her spine, but it was quickly followed by a pleasant, welcoming warmth, and she trembled as it washed over her. It felt so fragile... like one errant movement would shatter it like thin glass. It was intense, and after a moment she broke the embrace, unable to handle any more of the strange bliss it seemed to bring.
She smiled warmly at Fluttershy as she folded her wing back against her side, every droplet of her anxiety having been washed away by the tidal wave of comfort that she had experienced just moments before. “I... I needed that. Thank you, Fluttershy,” she uttered gratefully, her purple ears perking up. A hug with the wing... seemed to have more power than a normal hug. It... it felt different, it felt better. Almost as if it required complete trust in the recipient, or the tender sensation would quickly turn into pain.
“You’re very welcome... I told you, I’ll help you through this. ...Is there anything else you need?” Fluttershy asked, watching her friend with glee. “I-if not, I should probably go make some food... It’s about lunch time,” she explained, gesturing behind her with a yellow hoof.
Twilight opened her mouth, about to say something, before her eyes widened as her stomach growled. She looked down curiously at her fuzzy lavender chest, before her magenta gaze slowly drifted back to her friend with a small, embarrassed smile. “Uh... Lunch would be... kind of nice,” she muttered awkwardly.
The butter-yellow pegasus simply giggled into a hoof. “Looks like somepony’s hungry...” she playfully chimed, smiling brightly. “I’ll make us something, and maybe get some sapphires for Spike,” she offered, casting a glance at the dragon, who had perked up at the mention of food. “I-it’s not sapphire season, but I’m sure I have some lying around somewhere...” she muttered as she turned to leave the room.
“Thanks, Fluttershy,” Twilight said as her friend exited, shifting to get into a more comfortable position. Maybe she could leave after lunch; the anesthesia was sure to wear off by then. For once that day, she wasn’t worried about anything. The hole that anxiety had gnawed in her stomach had been filled with love and acceptance, and at the time, she felt content. Even when she had to eventually leave her friend’s house, she figured she could get home easily without any problems if she took the path around the outskirts of the city instead of walking straight through the middle. It was the longer path, but it was businesspony-free.
She took a deep breath, exhaling gently as she smiled, letting her eyelids slide shut, her mind at peace. Even if being an alicorn meant something... If it carved out a path in her life that she didn’t quite want to head down... at least Fluttershy would be there to help her along. Maybe some of her other friends would, too. If the yellow pegasus could completely accept her, so could they.
Even if it took some convincing.
Whew... Finally, this monster is done. Chapters 3 and 4 were written adjacent to each other, intended to be one chapter, but broken in half when it got too big. It’s also why there was such a cruel cliffhanger for Chapter 3; we decided to split it in a place that would leave you all ITCHING for more. Yes, we’re evil. When we complete a chapter with a cliffhanger, we sit around our fireplace and twiddle our french mustaches, sip tea, stroke our cats, and cackle evilly for an hour or so. We also share Britishisms (I provide the motherload! -Beige).
Chapter four is Beige’s favorite chapter, actually. We went a little heavy on the d’aww, but you guys like that, right?
Just as a heads-up, this will not become a shipfic. Friendshipping = d’aww, so expect more of that, but we won’t drift into actual shipping territories. Don’t worry.
Special thanks to Super Big Mac for pre-reading this monster!
[Note] Don’t worry, this fic isn’t going to be all doom and gloom. Lots of happy awaits.