I groaned as I walked on the treadmill in the rehab center of the hospital. One hoof after the other for fifteen minutes while a nurse and Dr. Wingsley sat in chairs writing on clipboards was beginning to irritate me. It’s been over two days since I woke up from this… coma as they called it and ever since then they’ve been making me do all these weird and uncomfortable tests: stretching my legs and wings, trotting in place, and walking on this treadmill. It feels like high school gym class again.
I sighed, “Honestly Doc, how long am I going to be doing this for?”
Dr Wingsley looked up from his clipboard and chuckled, “Don’t worry, a few more minutes of this test and we should be all set.”
“I’ve been awake from my coma for over two days, how much longer do I have to stay here?” I asked.
“Your coma happened so sudden so we’re doing these tests to make sure you don’t have any brain damage. After all, your heart did stop which deprived your brain of oxygen enriched blood for about four minutes of oxygen. Honestly, none of us can figure out how you’re even alive. Many of the doctors and nurses here heard about your story. They’ve nicknamed you “Miracle Scion.”
I smiled; he was right. But somehow, during this ‘coma’, it felt like I wasn’t alone. All I remember is feeling as if somepony was right next to me the whole time I was gone. I wonder if…
“Hey Scion be careful!”
I returned to reality as my left front hoof stepped off the moving pad and brought me face first into the monitor. I tried to keep my balance by hopping but the treadmill moved too quickly and before I knew it, I fell down onto the pad as the machine slid me onto the floor. I couldn’t help but laugh uncontrollably.
Dr. Wingsley and the nurse ran to my side.
“Scion are you okay? That looked like a hard landing.” Dr. Wingsley asked.
“Hehe, oops!” I said as I began to laugh again.
I looked up to see him grin as the nurse shook her head.
“Alright Miracle Colt, let’s take a break. How about I treat you to some lunch?” He asked as he extended a hoof.
“Uh sure Doc.” I replied and took hold of his hoof as he pulled me up.
We left the rehab center and made our way down the halls to the cafeteria. Once there, I caught the scent of freshly grilled asparagus which made my stomach growl like a Manticore.
Dr. Wingsley chuckled, “Sounds like you’re hungry.”
“Heh, yeah. I didn’t eat breakfast this morning.” I replied.
“Now Scion, that’s not a good choice. By eating breakfast, you’ll be able to recover faster. Like I always say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” He said as he grabbed a tray. “Go ahead, grab what you find edible.” He leaned in and whispered in my ear. “Between you and me, I think that hospital food taste like craaaaaap.”
We laughed as we gathered up some carrots, hay spaghetti and grilled asparagus and placed them on our trays.
I’ve never met a doctor like Dr. Wingsley. He’s so laid back and seems to have that attitude that can make anypony’s bad day turn around. He reminded me of Reiku and our foalhood back in Cloudsdale.
As we found a table, we sat down and began to eat.
I decided to break the silence, “Hey listen doc, I just want to say thanks. For everything.”
He seemed to look puzzled. “Why thank me?”
“Because you’re taking the time out of your life to help me. You could be doing this for anypony else but you chose me. You check on me every day to make sure I’m recovering well. Nopony’s ever done anything like that for me.” I replied.
He let out a soft chuckle as a small smile appeared, “It’s my job son. Not only that, I care about you. I know you will do good in this fare country of ours. I see a bright future ahead of you.”
“Thanks doc.” I replied with a smile and went for a bite of the asparagus.
“Oh and that young mare, Fluttershy is it? You take care of her. She cares about you more than you realize.” He said
“I care about her too. And I’ll always take care of her.”
“Good because if you two get married and what not, I want to see you both back here with a foal on the way.” He chuckled.
Hearing this, my eyes widened and almost choked on my asparagus. “Uhh I think it’s waaay too early to tell about that one.” I felt my face getting hot.
He laughed. “I’m just sayin’ because I also help birth foals and such.”
“Uhh sure.” I replied nervously.
He laughed again and tapped my shoulder, “C’mon kiddo, let’s finish our lunch. After this I believe we have only one more test left to do and you should be good to be checked outta here.”
“Sounds good to me.” I replied.
After lunch, we headed back down the halls to my recovery room where everypony waited. Once I entered, all of them turned their eyes on me and smiles appeared. Leo ran at full speed and hugged my front forelegs.
“Hey big bro! We missed you!” He squee’d with excitement.
I smiled, “I missed all of you too.” I walked to my parents and they wrapped their hooves around me in a choking hug. “Choking….can’t…breathe!” I said and they loosened their grip.
I turned around and was attacked by hugs by everypony else. In the middle of the pony-pile, I tried to turn my head to see if I could spot Fluttershy. But with the position I was in, there was no way to tell. After a few minutes, everypony backed away as I patted my hospital cloak. I looked up to see Fluttershy near the window. Once our eyes met she smiled sweetly and walked to the middle of the room as I met her there. I kissed her cheek and she wrapped her forelegs around me. I could feel the warmth emanating from her light yellow coat and her soft breath on the back of my neck. I nuzzled her neck and she let out a light giggle. Hearing a few sniffles, we turned to see Pinkie Pie with a handkerchief as she began to cry. Her tears coming out of her eye sockets as if they were a water fountain and everypony looked at her in amazement. Even Dr. Wingsley was bewildered.
He shook his head as if to clear his thoughts, “Well I don’t want to interrupt but I have some good news and even better news.”
“What’s the good news?” My mom asked.
“The good news is that Scion is recovering extraordinarily well since he woke from his coma two days ago.” He replied.
“And what’s the even better news?” Twilight asked.
“The even better news is that Scion has only one more test for us to complete and after we get that cleared, he’s good to be checked out of the hospital.” He said with a smile.
Everypony cheered as I looked at Fluttershy who looked like she wanted to squeal. This only made me smile even more. ‘I never thought I could have these many supportive friends that I could call family.’ I thought.
“Well let’s get this test done shall we?” I asked.
“And that we shall.” Dr. Wingsley replied. “Now if everypony could wait here for another thirty minutes, we should be back with Scion ready to go. And Scion if you could follow me, we can do your last test.”
“Sounds good to me.” I said as I hugged Fluttershy. “I’ll be right back.” I whispered.
“Okay.” She replied with a smile.
I turned and walked out into the hallway beside Dr. Wingsley.
“I can’t wait to get out of here. My wings feel stiff; I need to stretch them out badly.” I said.
“Well then you’re in luck.” Dr. Wingsley replied.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
After about a minute more of walking through the bland white hallways, we walked into a large room with what looked like a small wind tunnel taking up about half of the right side of the room.
“Is this a wind tunnel?” I asked.
“Yes it is. This is where we help pegasi who’ve been hospitalized for more than a week stretch their wing muscles before we let them go. So you should start out by stretching a little bit so you don’t pull a muscle.” He said
I nodded as I removed the hospital gown and unfurled my wings. I quickly examined them and they looked as if they shrunk a tiny bit in size. ‘Probably because they’ve been stiff and at my sides for the past week and a half. Nothing to worry about.’ I thought.
I took a few minutes to stretch out every muscle I had in my wings. After still feeling a little stiff, I gave them a quick flap and felt and heard the bones cracking. “Ahh that feels much better.” I said aloud.
Dr. Wingsley laughed, “I bet. Those were pretty loud cracks.”
“I think they’re all stretched out now.” I said.
“You good? Just in time, I got the machine all powered up.” He replied.
“Yup, I’m good to go.”
“Alright, then I’ll need you to step in there for me. Oh and wear this.” He said as he opened the door to the tunnel and handed me what looked to be a sweatband.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“This is a wireless monitor. You place it over your head and wear it at the base of your neck. This will detect any sort of problems with your heart rate and or flight which will be recorded here on the screen at the control panel.” He explained.
“Oh that makes sense.” I said as I quickly placed the band around my head and at the base of my neck.
“Okay now that that’s on, if you can step inside we can get started.”
“Sure thing.” I replied.
As I was told I stepped inside and waited for the next instructions.
“Now when you feel a draft, that means you can start flapping your wings. This machine is going to simulate the wind as if you are flying outside. If it becomes more than you can handle or you think you’re good, wave your hoof and I can stop it.
You got all that?” He said.
“Yes sir.” I replied.
“Good. Now I’m going to close this door and in a few seconds you’ll begin to feel the wind begin to start signaling for you to begin.”
I nodded as Dr. Wingsley closed the heavy door. He walked over to the control panel and pushed a few buttons before slightly pulling a lever. He turned and waved his hoof. A few seconds later I began to feel a slight wind. As I was instructed, I began to flap my wings and hovered a few hooves into the air. My wings at first began to feel stiff and ache but after a few seconds they returned to their normal feeling.
The wind in the tunnel started to blow harder as I adjusted to the changed speed. The more the wind began blow, the harder it became to keep up. ‘Wow, I’m definitely out of shape.’
After what seemed like a good five minutes, I waved my hoof at Dr. Wingsley to signal him to stop the tunnel. He turned and slowly pushed the lever back to its original position. The wind quickly died down and once it was at a small level, I hovered down and touched the floor of the tunnel. My lungs and throat began to feel as if they were lit on fire.
Dr Wingsley walked over to the tunnel door and opened it. I slowly made my way out of it and plopped down onto my haunches, still trying to catch my breath.
“You okay Scion? Do you need a nurse to get you some water?
“No…no…feels good.” I said in between breaths.
“Well let take me take this off of you so you can breathe easier.” He said as he took off the band off. “Now I’ll just need a second to take a look at your results. Nurse Redheart!” A few seconds later, Nurse Redheart appeared in the doorway. “Can you get Scion some water, I’m worried he might be dehydrated.”
“Of course Doctor.” She said.
About a minute later she returned and hoofed me a tall glass of cold water. As my first instinct, I began to guzzle down as much as I could.
“Take it easy Scion. Drink a little bit at a time otherwise you might throw it up later.” Nurse Redheart warned.
I nodded my head and she turned and left the room. When I finished the water, Dr. Wingsley turned around with a smile on his face.
“Well the good news is out of all my patients who used this tunnel, you had the highest recovery score.” He said.
“Oh not too shabby.”
“But the bad news is you should try and stay ground level for the next week. Only fly when you need and remember, don’t overstrain yourself.” He explained.
“Yes sir. I think I learned my lesson.” I replied.
“Then I guess that settles it. You’re good to go Mr. Starshine.” He said with a smile.
“Thank you sir.” I replied.
He lightly pat my shoulder, “’C’mon, I believe you have a party waitin’ for ya.
We walked through the hallways back to my hospital room where everypony was still waiting. Like before, they all smiled at my appearance.
“Mr. Scion Starshine is all good to go to be checked outta here.” Dr. Wingsley said.
Everypony in the room cheered and patted me on the back.
“C’mon let’s get you folks outta here.” He added.
I stood still until everypony was gone. Slightly turning my head, I saw Fluttershy run at me and throw her forelegs around me. I began to hear her sniffle.
“Hey, you okay ‘Shy?” I asked.
She moved her head to face me and nodded her head. She had tears running down her face but she wore a smile. A smile I’d never forget.
I reached my forehoof up and gently wiped away her wet cheek. She smiled more and lightly kissed my cheek. “Thank you.” She whispered.
“You’re welcome.” I smiled, “Shall we?” I asked as I pointed toward the door.
She giggled, “Let’s.”
We walked out of the hospital room together and as we made our way down the hallway to the front of the check-out station, she rested her head on my shoulder and lightly sighed.
As we neared the front, I saw Rainbow Dash poke her head from the corner of the wall. “Let’s go you two lovebirds!”
Fluttershy raised her head and laughed. “Come on, we don’t want to keep them waiting.”
We quickened our pace as I walked to the sign-out station to sign the discharge paperwork, hoping there wasn’t going to be alot. Dr. Wingsley was waiting for me.
“First things first, you’re over eighteen right?” He asked
“Yes sir, nineteen.”
“Okey dokey then! All you have to do is sign here and initial here and another signature here.” He pointed to all the spots I needed to sign.
“Good thing Equestria has free health care.” I said.
Dr. Wingsley laughed. “I hear ya. Most of the ponies in Ponyville wouldn’t be able to afford it if it wasn’t.”
“And one of those ponies would definitely be me.” I said as I signed the last spot.
He laughed again. “Well remember all that I told you and you’ll be back to your old self in no time at all.”
“Thank you again Doctor, for everything.” I held my hoof out as he kindly took it and shook it.
“Like I said before, you have a bright future ahead of you.” He said as he looked at Fluttershy then back to me. “Keep in touch.”
Everypony said their goodbyes as we left the hospital. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath of fresh air. It was my first breath of fresh air since I collapsed over a week and a half ago.
“Well we’d like to stay and everythin’ but Big Mac and Ah have ta get back to th’ farm and tend to some things.” She walked to me and gave me a hug. “Y’all take care now ya hear?”
“Don’t worry, I will.”
Big Mac walked up after Applejack let go. “Ah’ll be keepin’ an eye on you.” He said with a smile. I nodded and returned a smile.
“I have to get going too. Spike’s been running the library for the past few days and as a baby dragon and all he needs his rest.” Twilight said. We exchanged a hug and she headed to her tree home.
“I have to get some clouds ready for tonight’s rainstorm. But if you need help with stretching out your wings, I have some techniques I’ve learned over time.” Rainbow explained.
“Sure. I could use some good techniques and advice.” I replied as she winked and flew off.
Pinkie, Rarity and the others also had some plans. Pinkie over and over said that she should plan a party to celebrate my release from the hospital and mine and Fluttershy’s relationship. We aren’t technically together although it already feels as if we are.
As the last of them left, I turned to Fluttershy and smiled. She returned the smile and gently nuzzled my cheek.
All that was left in the group was my parents, Leo and Fluttershy.
“What are you going to do now Scion?” My father asked.
“Umm, I don’t know. What are you guys doing?” I replied.
“We’re gonna go head off home.” My mother answered.
“That sounds good. You wanna join us Fluttershy?” I asked.
She smiled, “Sure.”
Usually it would only take us a few minutes to get to our house from here. But due to the fact that Dr. Wingsley advised me to stay off my wings for a week, we decided to just walk. Besides, it gave us a good opportunity to have a good family walk and for my folks to get to know Fluttershy.
“So Miss Fluttershy, how did you meet Scion?” My father asked.
“Oh um I was at the party that Pinkie Pie threw for your guys’ arrival to Ponyville. When we were getting things set up, I heard Rainbow Dash talk about him. And, um, when he arrived I thought he was kind of cute and I just, well, fell for him right there.”
“Aww that’s so sweet!” My mother said. I could see Fluttershy’s cheeks turning red.
“Oh yeah we missed that party.” He turned his head to look at Fluttershy, “We missed it because Mrs. Starshine here ‘needed my help’ so she made me stay.”
“That’s a lie! You stayed at your own will.” She defended herself.
“Oh come on you know I’m just teasin’.” My father replied.
“Bite me Darrell.” She snapped.
Fluttershy giggled. She leaned and whispered in my ear, “I like your family. Your parents are funny.” She giggled more as she watched them playfully push each other.
“Heh, yeah I have a pretty whacky family. But I wouldn’t wanna choose any other. Besides, you’re a part of it now that is if you’d like.” I said.
She smiled, “Of course I would.”
We got closer my house as we passed the middle of the Market Square. My parents still playfully pushed each other and argued the whole walk home.
Suddenly, Leo starts sprinting past us towards the house.
“Reiku!” He yelled as I looked up and saw a familiar pony sitting on our front steps.
I smiled. “No way!”
Reiku stepped off the porch and braced himself for the impact. Leo jumped onto his neck and climbed over his shoulders.
“Hey little buddy! Wow you’ve grown so much since I saw you last.” He said to Leo
“Nuh uh! You saw me last month remember” Leo debated.
Reiku turned looked up and made his way over to us with Leo on his back. “I think your little brother has a better memory than I do and he’s only five.” He laughed.
Leo jumped off as we exchanged a hug.
“It’s good to see you brother.” I said.
“Good to see you too.” He replied.
“What brings you to Ponyville?” I asked.
“Well I wanted to stop by so I did. I came to town last week and went to your house but nopony was home. I heard about what happened, you going to the hospital. I asked around to see what happened and somepony said that you died. I…” he paused, “I almost lost myself. I almost lost it when I heard the news that my best friend was gone forever. But then he told me that you were brought back. So I immediately ran to the hospital and demanded to see you. I had to leave right when I got there because I couldn’t stand to see my friend, my brother, hooked up to all those wires like that. I just couldn’t handle it. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when you woke up.” A tear began to fall from his cheek.
I took his hoof and shook it gently and whispered, “You have nothing to be sorry for. You’ve always been good to me since we were foals.”
He wiped his eyes and tried to compose himself after a quick glance at Fluttershy who stood behind me. “I’m sorry I didn’t see you standing there.”
“Oh Reiku this is Fluttershy. Fluttershy this is Reiku, my best friend since we were foals. He’s like a brother to me.” I said.
Fluttershy gently nodded her head. “It’s nice to meet you.”
He leaned in and whispered, “She yours?”
“Well not ‘officially’, but yes.” I whispered back.
“Shut uuuup.” I punched his shoulder.
He laughed. “Well I don’t want to interrupt your homecoming from the hospital.”
“Oh no it’s alright.” I said.
“I don’t mind either.” Fluttershy added.
“I would like to stay, but I actually have to go to my Aunt’s place. She lives near the edge of town. I’ve been staying there since I got here. I actually promised to get some things for her. But I’ll catch up with ya later.” He said.
“Oh um okay.” I said as I looked at Fluttershy who just shrugged.
We said our goodbyes and watched as he disappeared over the taller buildings.
I turned to Fluttershy, “So, shall I give you the fabulous tour around the ‘La Scion Starshine Estate’?”
She giggled. “Sure.”
I led her up the porch stairs and through the front door. “Well this here is the front entrance. To the right is the living room which is connected to the kitchen which leads to the outside. It has a fancy middle counter with stools and all that other fancy stuff I never understood.”
“Oh pretty. There’s so much space.”
“Yeah my family tends to like their space except for me. My room is practically cluttered with stuff.” I replied. “Since that has been brought up, wanna check it out?”
She seemed hesitant to answer.
“Don’t worry. There’s nothing bad in there I promise.”
She smiled and nodded.
I led her up the stairs and opened the door to my room and to my surprise, all the boxes containing all my stuff were unpacked and all my collection of band posters was spread out along the walls.
Fluttershy let out a soft giggle. “You sure do love music.”
“My parents must have unpacked all my stuff for me while I was in the hospital.” I replied.
“Well that was very thoughtful. You’re lucky to have a family like them.” She said.
“Yeah.” I trailed off and slowly walked back to the door. All the things that happened since we arrived here in Ponyville, all the things that left me up to this point, could they have happened for a reason?
My thoughts began to fade as I was brought back to reality. I turned around and saw Fluttershy sitting on her haunches in front of my big stack of CDs. When I stood beside her, I noticed she was looking at the one that was located at the top.
“That one there is my favorite band. Hoofed by April; I tried to see them one year in concert in Cloudsdale but I never had the chance due to an illness.” I sighed and looked at the ceiling. “I would do anything to be able to meet my idols.”
After no response, I looked back at Fluttershy who was still gazing at the CD case.
“Fluttershy? You okay?” I tapped her shoulder.
“Hmm? Oh yes. I’m sorry I just got lost in thought.” She replied and gently set the case back at the top of the stack.
“It’s alright. Would you like to see the outside?” I asked. She nodded.
We walked out from my room and headed down the stairs through the living room and into the kitchen. Leo was sitting on a stool at the center counter with a hoof against his cheek looking rather bored.
“Hey kiddo. Where’s Ma and Pap?” I asked.
He shrugged. “I dunno. All they said is that they have something they needed to get done.”
“Oh okay. Well we’ll be outside if you need anything.” I replied.
“Mhmm.” He said as he let his face slam on top of the counter.
We exited the door from the kitchen leading to the backyard. It was fenced in with a large amount of space. To the right was our rocking bench and to the left was our outside table and patio chairs. In the middle was a fire pit surrounded by four big wooden logs to sit on a few hooves away from the pit.
“And this is our backyard. This is actually my first time coming back here. It’s actually rather peaceful.” I said as I listened to the birds chirp in the trees within the fence.
“Mhm.” Fluttershy replied. “I love the sound of the little birdies. They have such sweet singing voices.” She began to softly hum along with the birds. I was blown away by her singing. She had the most soothing voice I’ve ever heard. And like all good things, she stopped singing, opened her eyes and looked at me.
“Wow Fluttershy, you have such a beautiful voice.” I said as I sat down one of the wooden logs.
She began to blush, “T-Thank you.”
“How come you have butterflies as your cutie mark if your singing is such an amazing talent?” I asked.
“Well when I was just a filly, I found out I could communicate with all sorts of animals. I never really sang in front of others because I was so shy. So that wasn’t my true special talent. Taking care of animals is so that’s how this mark came about.” She replied.
“I love animals too but that’s not my special talent.”
“What does your cutie mark look like? Your wings are so big they cover it up.” Fluttershy asked.
I was completely taken by surprise. ‘Should I tell her?’ I thought. “I… uh…” I bit my lip and looked at her as her smile faded and was replaced with a look of curiosity.
I sighed and stood up and unfurled my wings. “I don’t have a cutie mark.”
She lightly gasped. “You… you don’t have a cutie mark?”
I shook my head in shame and plopped back onto my haunches. “I never discovered what my special talent was. I guess I will just be a blank flank for the rest of my life…” I said.
I closed my eyes but felt her wrap a wing around me. “Now don’t you be thinking that. Not everypony discovers their talent as early as every other pony. You will find your true self with time.” She replied.
“Most discover their special talent or their meaning in life at age six or seven. I’m nineteen, Fluttershy. Nineteen years old and still doesn’t know his place in this world.”
“Your place is right here. Think about it, all these recent events in your life didn’t happen coincidentally. They happened for a reason. They happened because this is the path of realizing who you truly are and what your meaning is and your special talent. You will find out one day. I know you will.” Fluttershy said as she rested her head against my shoulder.