You know the morning you wake up, and you know you have the flu? That horrible morning where everything seems terrible, and you just want to refuse to deal with the world?
Yeah... Maybe. But that was just how Rainbow dash felt the next morning. A combination of lack of sleep and fear of the eyes, and the added burden of not telling her friend the truth, it was not a very good night last night. That, and it was cold.
"That's a very comprehensive response."
Rainbow painfully sat up from the mattress she was lying on, to see twilight standing over her.
"Time for breakfast."
"OMELETTES!" Spike shouted from across the room, where he was standing on a chair near the grill, which held a saucepan that was sizzling. He was holding a container lid close to him like a shield, and jabbing the omelette with a spatula.
"Uh? Ohhhhh. Too early."
She slumped back into bed (mattress) and rolled over.
Twilight rolled her eyes, and levitated the mattress into the air. She then tipped it on it's side, depositing Rainbow onto her hooves on the wood floors of the library.
"You could always go home and spend the morning repairing your house.
"OMELETTES IT IS!" She exclaimed, trying as hard as she could to shake the sleepiness out of her eyes.
After an enjoyable yet slightly tired breakfast, and a morning spent repairing her house, Derpy Hooves came to visit, with a letter from Rarity. She wanted Rainbow to test out some high-altitude gear.
The bell tinkled as Rainbow and Rarity stepped inside the Carousel Boutique, Rarity with her reading glasses on, taking notes in pencil on a clipboard.
"My dear, what a fantastic performance! I will have to make sure it is properly insulated before I put it on the market."
The tiredness was coming back, and it was dangerously close to making her fall asleep right then and there.
Rarity put her clipboard and pen down on the table.
She nodded, and turned on the stove. In a few minutes, the tea was ready.
"Could you put in a bit more honey?"
"Feeling down, are you?"
"Yeah..." And as she said it, she rubbed her head, mostly trying to stimulate feeling between her eyes.
Rarity levitated the tea to Rainbow, who balanced it on the flat if her hoof.
"No problem at all. I owe it to you anyway."
She took a sip of tea, but something strange happened. It didn't taste like anything. It wasn't hot, it wasn't cold, it wasn't sweet, it wasn't bitter. It tasted like nothing at all.
"This tea... It doesn't taste like anything."
Rarity took a taste if hers.
"Maybe it's your cup, darling, because the tea tastes fine to me."
She took Rainbow's cup, washed it out, poured more tea, and gave it back to her.
"It still tastes the same" she concluded after a whole cup of the stuff.
"How peculiar. Here- let me get something."
Rarity went over to the pantry, and got the ingredients for a sandwich, as well as a pepper shaker.
She quickly made one, and gave it to Rainbow. She took a bite.
Rarity frowned, and then put a large amount of pepper on the sandwich. Rainbow tried it again.
"Well it must be your tongue, darling, because the tea and the sandwich were both perfectly tasteful"
Rainbow shrugged, and walked towards the door, but Rarity stopped her.
"Rainbow Dash, what did you have for breakfast?"
"Omelettes, with Twi and Spike."
"And did they taste like anything?"
"Yes, but less so than usual."
"Maybe you should see a Nurse Redheart."
She nodded slowly, but on the inside, she didn't want to go back there for the fifth time in a month. She had already accidentally levelled the right wing of the hospital in a sonic rainboom, (thankfully no-one was there at the time) and she did not want to see the Nurse turn completely red again. Celestia, that was freaky.
"I am concerned only for your health, Darling, because tasteless food does not... Taste well."
"I'm fairly sure it is only a temporary condition, I see no reason to visit the nurse."
"That, or you think she still holds a grudge after you destroyed the hospital."
"I do not! Plus, I fear no pony."
Rarity rolled her eyes, as a rainbow started walking away from the Carousel Boutique.
"Whatever you see fit, Darling. Thank you for helping me today, and I hope you will get better soon. If not, it is imperative that you see the nurse."
"Yeah, yeah, stop worrying."
Rarity sighed impatiently.
"Goodbye, Rainbow Dash."
"See ya, and thanks for the tea."
She sped away, towards her house, where she re-shaped a few of the more fragile items of furniture. She spent the rest of the afternoon doing tricks, much to the delight of the watching Cutie Mark Crusaders, teaching the young Pegasi, and writing words in the sky. Soon, all if her problems disappeared in this lazy day. But when dinner rolled around, she was reminded of the events of lunch with Rarity.
As she sat down on a cloud, with a picnic blanket with various breads and grasses upon it, she licked her lips, ready for a feast. There was a shadow of a doubt in her mind, her inner shoulder demons that whispered that something was wrong. She shrugged them off, but as she bit into a mouthful of salad, the tastelessness hung in her mouth, taunting her.
She ate the rest if the meal, although it was like eating solid water, but she still felt hungry. She got some more, and ate it. She could not fill herself. She began to panic. This couldn't be a growth spurt, for she was too old for that, it couldn't be the food, for it was being sold at the market. She realised with horror that it was her-
There was something wrong.
The next morning, she went to Twilight's house on a painfully empty stomach. When she arrived, she dreaded knocking on the front door. What would she tell her? What if the curse was real? What if she was to become an Irid? It was like that teenage Pregnancy scare all over again. She had to go to her parent's house, get a home test, they were going to ask questions, it was just one big nightmare. Except this time, she didn't have to ask her parents for something that might prove she had a foal, but ask her friend whether she was cursed for life and whatnot.
Fortunately for her, owlicious had alerted his master when he saw the blue Pegasus, and twilight came to the door.
"Rainbow! Thank Celestia you're still... You."
"Rarity told me what happened, and we can't deny the truth anymore."
"What? Tell me!"
Twilight could not look her friend in the eye.
"In a few hours, you're going to turn into a changeling. And if we can't stop it, the transformation is permanent."
As she processed this, a deep pain from inside her very soul pushed everything out of the way, and in seconds Rainbow felt like her whole body was on fire. She cried out, and her eyes flashed green, before she fell, unconscious on the ground outside Twilight's house.