Lost Wing, Lost Identity

by Hopeful_Ink_Hoof

A Place to Stay

Today was the day that Rainbow Dash was released from the hospital. The wound from where her wing had been was healing properly, according to the doctors, so they decided to discharge her. Before actually letting her go, she was reminded to clean and dress the wound at least once a day. As she left, she found Scootaloo and Fluttershy waiting for her.

"What are you guys doing here?" Rainbow Dash asked, tilting her head at them curiously.

"Well..." Fluttershy started. "We thought that.. uhm...since you have to walk to the library, we... we would keep you company." She hunched down toward the ground. "That is, if that's okay."

Walk? Rainbow Dash had to walk to the library? The thought had not even crossed her mind before. The pegasus was aware she was not flying for a while, but the fact she would have to walk everywhere for a while had not sunk in. It was going to take forever to get anywhere. She let out a sigh.

"Well I guess we should get going then." Dash began to walk toward her friends, then with them as they started through Ponyville and toward the library.

"Are you really going to be staying at the library until you get better?" Scootaloo asked. Rainbow Dash had asked her friends not to tell the young filly. Dash would explain it herself if and when she had to. She put on a fake grin.

"Sure is," she answered. "I can't get to my house since it's in the clouds, and I need to stay somewhere until I get better." All of her friends had offered to let her stay with them, actually. She actually had to think about which one to stay at. Pinkie Pie lived above Sugar Cube Corner in an apartment attached to where the Cakes made their home. The apartment would be too small for the two of them and it would probably disturb the Cakes. With two foals, they did not need additional guests and interruptions. Fluttershy's hut was crowded with animals, and the yellow pegasus was still recovering from having Discord stay with her. Plus, Rainbow Dash was not ready to go near that field where... the accident happened. Applejack had an extra room or two, but being around the entire family would make Rainbow Dash uncomfortable. She would also be uncomfortable at Rarity's, but for very different reasons. The white unicorn was so uptight about her place at times, it made the pegasus worried she would make a mess and get scolded like a foal. Twilight's library was not perfect, but it did seem like the best choice at the moment.

It did not take long for Rainbow Dash to become irritated. Walking to the library was taking too long. She knew exactly where she was going and how to get there. If she could fly, she would have been there in seconds. As it was she had to walk through town, which meant having to deal with the traffic of other ponies who were moving at different speeds.

As she continued to walk, her gaze drifted toward her friends. Scootaloo walked quickly, having to keep up with the larger ponies. The quicker pace didn't seem to bother the little filly in the slightest. Fluttershy stood between the other two. Being the one to walk the most, she could have easily been in the lead. Instead she stood back slightly, keeping close to the pair and looking up from the ground just enough to avoid bumping into any other ponies.

Having friends by her side made it more tolerable. Rainbow Dash always found it easier to move at a slower pace when there was someone else there beside her. Getting the chance to walk with her the pony she has been friends the longest with and the filly who looked up to her so much she wanted them to be like family was kind of nice. She might have enjoyed it more under different circumstances.

Eventually the three of them finally reached the library. Rainbow Dash slowed down more as she got closer, looking at the building. Most likely Pinkie Pie was inside with the others, waiting to start the party. The pink earth pony loved to throw parties, and a friend getting out of the hospital seemed like it would be the perfect excuse.

"You might want to keep back," she told the other two as she moved forward. "If I know Pinkie Pie, there's a burst of confetti waiting for us to open the door." Reaching the door, she pushed it open and braced herself.

Nothing happened.

Rainbow Dash blinked in confusion. Slowly, she stepped forward, sticking her head through the door, she looked around. From behind her came the sound of a pop mixed with the squeal of a noise maker. She felt a blast of air against her backside, and saw confetti falling down in front of her. Craning her neck to lock behind her. There stood the grinning pink pony, her front hooves resting on the top of her party cannon.

"SURPRISE!" Pinkie shouted. "Were you Dashie? Were you surprised? Were ya were ya?" She was bouncing in place as she asked, grinning as wide as her mouth would let her.

"Yes, Pinkie," Dash admitted as she rolled her eyes, "You surprised me."

"Great!" Pinkie Pie said from inside the library. "Now that you're here and surprised, we can get the party started."

Rainbow Dash had turned her head as soon as she heard her friend's voice from the other side of her. The pegasus blinked in confusion, wondering how her friend had managed to suddenly get inside without passing through the doorway. More importantly, where did the decorations come from? The library had been in its usual appearance just a moment ago. Even after all these years, Pinkie Pie could still surprise everypony.

From the kitchen, others started to emerge. Spike came out first, carrying a cake. Behind him came Rarity, carrying drinking glasses, and Applejack who had a bowl of punch. Not far behind were Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. Music started to play as the refreshments were placed on the table. Rainbow Dash looked at her friends, then walked over toward the table.

"Hey Spike," she asked, "where's Twilight?"

"Upstairs with her books," Spike responded. He waited by the cake with excitement as Pinkie Pie started to slice and serve it. Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and gave a nod.

"Of course she is." She turned to Pinkie PIe. "Save a slice for us. I'll be right back." With that she headed for the library stairs. Reaching the bottom of the steps, she stopped and looked at them. She could climb them with ease, but she only did that in Canterlot. Normally at the library, she would just fly up along the hall with ease. She chewed her lip a moment, then moved to start climbing up.

In her room, Twilight Sparkle sat at her desk. An aura of purple energy encompassed her horn as she used her magic to hold a book in front of her. The silence was interrupted only by the sound of pages being flipped.

Rainbow Dash moved further into her room, stepping extra hard to make her hooves thump against the wood of the floor as she moved closer. Twilight gave no sign of noticing as Rainbow moved closer. Standing side by side, the pegasus noticed how the alicorn looked. Twilight's neck curved as she held her head low, chin nearly resting on the desk. There were bags under her eyes and the lids were half closed. She seemed to blink at a strangely fast speed.

"Twilight," Rainbow Dash said, getting no reaction

"Twilight!" she repeated, still getting no response.

"TWILIGHT!" she shouted next to her friend, causing her to jump and gasp in surprise. The magic around the horn vanished, dropping the book. Twilight turned, staring for a moment as her mind tried to process the sight in front of her.

"Rainbow Dash? What are you doing here? Did they discharge you early for some reason?"

"No they didn't..." Dash stopped and looked at her friend a moment, noticing the signs of exhaustion. The pegasus then turned her gaze to the desk, looking at the piles of books on and around it.

"Were you up all night reading?" she asked.

"I... I guess so?" Twilight turned toward the window looking outside. "Well... re-reading them actually. None of the books from the other libraries have arrived yet, so I'm going through the ones I already have again in case I somehow missed something." Twilight closed her eyes, lifting a hoof to cover her mouth as she let out a large yawn. Turning back to her desk, her horn glowed once more as she lifted the book back up, turning to the page she had been on.

"Other libraries?" Dash repeated, raising an eyebrow.

"Yeah. I sent a message explaining what happened and requesting any books that might be useful. It's probably going to still be a few days before they arrive though."

Rainbow Dash stood there, watching her friend for a moment. If anyone could find a spell that would bring back her wing, it would be Twilight Sparkle. Her talent was magic and she was very good at it. She also had been studying and reading since she was probably old enough to learn how to read. Now here she was, putting all of her brain power to helping a friend get a wing back. Even if it meant missing out on sleep, or a party or...

"When was the last time you ate?" Dash asked. Twilight set the book down and tilted her head, rubbing at her chin as she tried to remember.

"Um.." she said after a moment, "I guess it would have been lunch yesterday now."

The statement elicited a sigh from Rainbow Dash. It was closer to supper time now. So that means that Twilight not only stayed up all night, but had gone more than a full day without eating. Rolling her eyes at her friend, Rainbow Dash moved closer. She placed a hoof on the book, shutting it and pushing it down onto the desk.

"Come on, Egghead," she said. She then turned around and headed for the door to the stairs.

"Where are we going?" Twilight asked, still sitting in her spot a moment longer before getting up and following.

"Downstairs, where the party is. We can get some food and then you can get some sleep."

"That's silly, Rainbow Dash. I'm don't need to-oooh..." Twilight's train of thought was derailed as she felt a little dizzy. She had to stop, sitting down a moment as her legs wobbled. Closing her eyes, Twilight took slow deep breaths until the feeling of everything spinning faded away.

"Well," Twilight said slowly, "I guess taking a little break and getting something to eat isn't such a bad idea after all." Getting back up, she followed her friend back down to the library's main room, where cake and friends waited.