Oh Celestia this hurts.
"Is she gonna be alright doc?" asked a muffled, faraway voice. It sounded vaguely familiar, like it belonged to somepony that she knew.
"Well, we'll have to see. I'm pretty sure that she'll be okay. Although that cart really did a number on her. If it had been going any faster it would probably have killed her instantly. I'm just glad there was no damage to her horn or things would have gotten really messy," said a second voice.
"Well, thanks for helpin' her out doc, I know you're doin' everythin' you can for her," said the first voice.
That voice... Apple-something. Apple... Applejack! Yes, that voice is Applejack! Rarity did her best to listen to her surroundings, and she heard sniffling mixed in with the occasional sob from her friend. Whatever is the matter with her? Does it have something to do with the excruciating pain I'm in?
She heard Applejack's voice become clearer. Rarity surmised that she was leaning in to talk into Rarity's ear. "Ah won't let you die, sugar cube. Ah won't let this happen again! Do you hear me, Rarity? Don't you dare die on me!"
* * * *
More pain now. It had gone away for a while there, but now there was blackness with the pain. Blackness, like she was asleep or something. Maybe she was still dreaming. Rarity wracked her brains trying to figure out just what had happened to her, but she was drawing blanks.
A cart. I... I remember something about a cart. With the cart came the pain. With the cart came the pain! Oh my goodness, I was hit by a runaway cart! How in Equestria does somepony fail to secure their cart like that?!
Oh well, I can just hunt down the owner later.
Grrr, what is that infernal beeping noise?! It's becoming quite bothersome. Rarity tried to open her eyes or move her limbs, but her body refused to follow her commands. Every time she even moved a millimeter, unimaginable pain shot through her body.
She mused that she would have some serious complaining to do when she woke up, but given that she wasn't able to even move, she began to wonder if she was going to wake up. If she didn't, Twilight and Sweetie Belle's memory spells would be reversed by Celestia, and they would tell her everything. No, that wouldn't happen because I'm going to wake up right now! Rarity poured all of her limited strength and willpower into opening her eyes. Things could be done if she just woke up.
With the beeping this time came a fuzzy light. It might be a good sign that she was waking up. Or it could mean that she was about to die. Either way, something would get done. As she continued to try to force her eyes open, the fuzzy light grew clearer and larger, and she heard voices around her.
"I think she's waking up!" somepony cried. It sounded like Pinkie Pie.
"Oh thank goodness, I was so worried!" said Fluttershy. Rarity's eyes opened completely and she saw four of her five friends, as well as Sweetie Belle and Spike, standing around her bed. Each was smiling widely, and there was clear relief behind their grins.
"Hey, look who's awake!" said Twilight happily.
"Ubisdhbmrl," said Rarity weakly. It seemed coherent thoughts and sentences would have to wait for a little while.
"She's sure looking better than she was two days ago," said Rainbow Dash.
"Yes, she'll be just fine." Rarity's gaze flickered over to the entrance of her room, and she saw the doctor walking in. He was smiling and levitating a clipboard in front of him. "She'll be pleased to know that they caught the owner of the cart that ran into her. It seems as if he failed to secure it properly, and it rolled down the hill where it hit her."
Rarity was not pleased to know this because she couldn't very well murder somepony in a police station. She pushed that aside for now and tried once more with the whole talking thing.
"Uh," she said. Dang it, no good. Rarity scanned the room once more. She saw that Applejack was sitting in the corner of the room away from the rest of the group. Her hat was tilted over her face, and she wiped away tears that trickled down her muzzle. In her mentally weakened state, Rarity wondered why Applejack was crying in the corner. She was going to be just fine according to the doctors.
"When will she be up and about again?" Twilight asked.
The doctor scanned a chart. "Well, she has several large gashes all over her body, two broken ribs, a compound fracture in her right foreleg and a clean break in her left. There is heavy bruising all over her body, and she also sustained a severe concussion from the injury. I'd say at least a month before she completely heals. I can't say for sure when she'll be out of here though."
Twilight nodded and turned her gaze to Rarity. Almost as quickly she looked back at the doctor. "When will she be up and about again?"
The doctor raised an eyebrow, as did everypony else in the room with the exception of Sweetie Belle who just stared blankly at Rarity. "Uh, I just told you, at least a month."
For a third time, Twilight nodded and shifted her gaze between Rarity and the doctor in quick succession. "When will she be up and about again?"
"Uh, I'll be right back." The doctor jotted a note down on the clipboard and rushed out of the room. He poked his head back in and pointed at Twilight. "If you could stay here, Miss Sparkle, I would appreciate that."
Twilight frowned and cocked her head. "Uh, I wouldn't leave Rarity..." Twilight blinked and her left ear twitched. "Uh, I wouldn't leave Rarity. She is... she is my friend, after all."
The doctor bit his lip and left the room, shutting the door behind him.
Twilight shrugged and turned back to her friends, all of whom were looking at her with wide eyes. "I guess he needed some more information." Twilight looked back at the door to Rarity's room. "Although, that doesn't make sense! He had her chart with him the whole time!"
Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash exchanged uneasy glances, and Rainbow Dash put a hoof on Twilight's shoulder. "Uh, Twilight. Why did you ask him three times when Rarity would be up and about again?"
Twilight raised an eyebrow. "Rainbow Dash, I only asked him once and he left the room. I think I would remember asking him three times, Fluttershy."
Fluttershy whimpered and flinched back while Rainbow Dash exchanged another glance with Pinkie Pie. "Twilight, what's my name?"
Twilight scoffed and chuckled quietly. "Oh come on; you know I know the answer to that question. You name is Flutter..." Twilight's right ear twitched. "No... uh..." Twilight put her hoof to her face and rubbed her temples. "I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash. I don't know what's gotten into me today."
Pinkie frowned at Twilight and cocked her head. "Say Twilight, when's the last time you got any sleep?"
"I think I got a full seven hours last night," she said.
"It's true. She was in bed by midnight," Spike confirmed.
Rarity watched this exchange with a feeling of growing dread. The doctor seemed to realize what was happening to Twilight. However, what unsettled Rarity the most was the fact that Sweetie Belle just kept giving her that blank stare. She didn't even blink. Her expression was a mix between uncertainty and confusion; as if she wasn't quite sure who she was looking at.
Within a few more minutes, the doctor walked in. "Miss Sparkle, I'm going to have to ask you to come with me. I think you may have been on the wrong end of a 'forget' spell. We—"
But before the doctor could continue, Sweetie Belle let out an ear splitting shriek. "Rarity! What happened to Rarity?! Why is she in the hospital?!" Sweetie Belle rushed over to her sister and gently stroked her sister's mane. "Y-you're going to be okay, right? Nothing bad is..." Sweetie Belle squeezed her eyes shut and her ear twitched. When she opened her eyes, she whimpered and backed into a corner. She curled up into a ball and scanned the room. "Who... who are you? What's going on?!" Sweetie Belle's lower jaw quivered, and she covered her head with her forelegs. "I want my mommy. Can you tell my mommy to come get me?"
The doctor's eyes widened. He turned to Rainbow Dash and pointed at Sweetie Belle. "Can you get her to come with me too? There isn't a minute to lose!" Rainbow Dash saluted and flew over to Sweetie Belle. She scooped her up in her forelegs, and followed the doctor and Twilight out of the room.
"Unguh!" said Rarity frantically. She tried to reach out to her sister, but agonizing pain coursed through her forelegs and she could only whimper. Fluttershy smiled sadly at Rarity and put her hoof on one of Rarity's.
"Shh, it's okay. I'm sure that both Twilight and Sweetie Belle are just fine." She gently patted Rarity's mane. "They're probably just tired; that's all. They're going to be okay."
I know, thought Rarity. But I won't be.
After a few minutes of watching Fluttershy stroke her mane comfortingly, Rarity's body felt that it had had quite enough excitement for now. Unable to keep her eyelids open, Rarity closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
* * * *
"You're doing better, Rarity. I think you could be out of here in a few weeks, maybe even less."
Rarity smiled weakly at the doctor. "Thank... you."
"Speaking still hurts, huh?" The doctor jotted that down in his notebook. "Well, I wouldn't worry too much about that. Your voice should come back fine soon."
"Good." Rarity bit her lip and scooted up higher on the pillow. "And... Twilight and... Sweetie Belle?"
The doctor's small smile faded, and he took a deep breath. "Well... we think that we might be close to finding out what's wrong. Given that Ms. Sparkle is Princess Celestia's student, we'll probably talk to her about it in the next day or two. She's already been informed that Ms. Sparkle is in the hospital, and she's offered to do whatever she can. We'd prefer to at least figure out the problem before we ask for her help. She's a busy pony, after all."
A pair of tears streaked down Rarity's face, and she sniffled despite her best efforts. The doctor's smile returned, and he put a hoof on Rarity's bed. "Look, they'll be fine, I promise. I highly doubt that what's happening to them is threatening their lives. It's probably some kind of virus maybe. We've asked Ms. Zecora if she knows anything in the Everfree Forest that might be the answer."
"Rarity, don't think like that. We're doing everything we can for Twilight and Sweetie Belle. We're trying to contact your parents about it, so they should be here soon to help you both. Until then, you focus on your own recovery. I know you're worried about them, but that won't help you." The doctor sighed and snapped his folder shut. "We're doing everything that we can. We'll help them."
With one last comforting smile, the doctor turned around and began walking out of Rarity's room. Just as he reached the door, Rarity stopped him.
"Doctor..." The doctor turned around and frowned at Rarity. Tears were coming out faster now, soaking her pillow. It took a full minute before Rarity could work up the courage to speak. "Doctor... I might have an idea. Twilight... said something about..." Rarity sniffled and let out an audible sob. "A memory... spell. Tried to work on something. Maybe... maybe that's it?"
The doctor tilted his head and quirked an eyebrow. "Well... maybe. If you said she was working on some spell then it's something to go off of at least. We'll look into that, and I'll let you know if her condition changes."
"Thank you," Rarity whispered.
The doctor left the room, leaving Rarity alone with her thoughts. She tried to sink deeper into the pillow and block out her thoughts, but they kept forcing their way into her mind.
She's going to tell Princess Celestia.
She's going to tell Princess Celestia.
You're going to die.
But it's worth it to save Twilight and Sweetie Belle, isn't it?
She wept until she didn't have the energy to stay awake.
* * * *
Rarity awoke some time later to see that her room was dark. A quick look out of her window confirmed that it was nighttime. The moon shone high in the sky. She groaned and looked around. There didn't seem to be anypony around.
"Good, your awake," growled a cold, unforgiving voice.
Rarity turned her head to see Twilight sitting in a chair next to her bed. Rarity whimpered and flattened her ears. "T-Twilight."
"They fixed up me and Sweetie Belle. Her memory had almost deteriorated to the point of no return, Rarity. The memory spell completely knocked her out and she's in the bed next to you." With a great deal of effort, Rarity turned her head to see Sweetie Belle sleeping peacefully in the bed next to hers with an oxygen mask over her face and an I.V. in her right foreleg.
She turned back to Twilight. "Didn't... mean to. Bad memory spell."
"Why should I believe you, murderer?" Twilight leaned in with a glare. "If our memories are gone, nopony knows about you."
A single tear ran down Rarity's face and dripped onto her foreleg. "Never... do anything... to hurt any... of... you."
Seeing the tear, Twilight's expression softened ever so slightly. She leaned back and folded her forelegs across her chest. "The only reasons that I didn't tell Princess Celestia to pull the plug on you the second I remembered what you are is because of our friends and because you wield an Element of Harmony. The Elements chose you for a reason that I can't explain right now. If it weren't for that, you would be long dead."
"Rather... be dead than... hurt you girls," said Rarity.
Twilight sighed in frustration and Rarity saw her begin to cry. "How did I let this happen?" she whimpered. "Why did I let you do that to me?"
Rarity opened her mouth to attempt an answer, but no words came. She could only watch Twilight sit in silence, tears streaming down her face. After a few moments, she wiped her eyes with the back of her hoof and looked back to Rarity. "I'm not going to tell Princess Celestia right now. I'm going to wait for you to recover and then you are going to explain everything to me. You will answer every question that I have, is that clear?" Rarity nodded. "I'm also going to erase the memory that Sweetie Belle has of killing Scarlet Tomato. She'll remember it as you doing it."
Rarity's brow creased into a frown. "Can't you... change—"
"No, the mind doesn't work like that. It's too fragile for me to just flat out remove that much, Rarity. That was one of the big reasons you messed up on your memory spell to begin with." Twilight glowered at Rarity. "You tried to take away too much. Not that you had the skill to pull it off anyway."
Twilight stood up from her chair and walked over to Sweetie Belle. After giving Rarity one last glare, she ignited her horn and enveloped Sweetie Belle's head in a magenta glow. Sweetie Belle whimpered and twitched in bed, but when the glow faded, Rarity saw a small smile cross Sweetie Belle's face.
Twilight sighed and leaned down to gently kiss Sweetie Belle's head. "It'll be okay," she whispered gently. "You're going to be okay, Sweetie Belle."
"Thank... you, Twilight." Rarity chanced a weak smile. "It's... more than I... deserve."
Twilight nodded and walked to the door. She stopped just as she reached it and leaned her head against the door frame. "Yeah, I know."