Rainbow Dash flew out the window, gliding smoothly and quickly to get the medicine, which was only available in a little shop in Fillydelphia. She didn't want to take too long; Pinkie probably wanted her back as soon as possible. She flew straight through a cloud and over all of Ponyville, going as fast as she could go. Even though Fillydelphia was quite far away, she knew she could make it within an hour if she kept going. The wind beat at her back as she flew toward Canterlot Castle. Fillydelphia was just on the other side of the train tunnel. She paused briefly to breathe and flew over the castle, swiftly scanning the landscape for the medic's house who lived between Ponyville and Fillydelphia. She spotted it and nearly crash landed through door.
"Sorry, I'm here to pick up Pinkamina Diane Pie's prescription," Rainbow Dash gasped.
"Oh yes, one moment, please. I believe it's right here," a gray male pony with a red tie said as he shuffled through a collection of bottles. "Ah yes, here it is. No, that's Berry Punch. Aha! Pinkamine Diane Pie."
He slipped the bottle into a brown paper bag before sliding it onto the counter and nodding at Rainbow Dash.
"Twenty bits please."
"Here," Rainbow Dash said wildly, almost throwing the money at him.
She grabbed the bag and rushed out.
Rainbow Dash felt her heart pounding faster and faster as she rushed with the brown paper medicine bag back to Pinkie. The wind propelled her forward, her mane nearly flowing straight behind her. She could have made a sonic rainboom then and there if it weren't for the fear that filled every piece of her being. Pinkie's house was straight ahead. She gripped the brown paper bag tightly in her mouth. If she dropped it, everything would be ruined.
"I'm coming, Pinkie!" she thought as she nearly crashed through the open window.
She zoomed into the room and dropped the bag on a table. Pinkie was asleep. She was relieved to see her chest rise and fall steadily. She removed the washcloth from Pinkie's forehead, warmed it, and put it back on. Her wings fluttered involuntarily in nervousness as she was hoping that Pinkie would be okay. She was visibly shaking. That was the first time she had left Pinkie Pie alone in a while. Pinkie's condition was progressively getting worse as the days went on.
Dash held the Daring Do book close to her chest. How she wanted to zoom up to cloudsdale and imagine that everything was all right. That Pinkie would be okay. That Twilight had never left. That she could just not be worried for once. She sat in the feather-light rocking chair and watched Pinkie breathe, jumping at every cough or change in the cycle.
"Dashie? I'm sorry . . ." Pinkie whispered.
Rainbow Dash clenched the book to her chest. "About what?"
"Oh Dashie, I'm sorry you have to take care of me . . . If we make it through this, I promise I'll make you the best party . . ."
"Pinkie, please don't say if . . . It's all right, I want to stay here," Rainbow Dash sniffled.
"You are the best friend a pony could ever have Dashie . . . When the others come back, I- *cough*"
"Pinkie!? Don't talk anymore, you need rest. The others will come back later and I promise I won't let you miss them. "
Dash waited for Pinkie's eyes to flicker shut again. She didn't want to take any risks. She sat down with her book in whispered sobs. If anything happened to Pinkie, she would just- no, nothing would happen. Twilight would go to her library, do some magic tricks, and make everything better.
She watched her sleep for a while, glancing down at the cover of Daring Do with tears in her eyes every now and again. What harm could it do to take a little nap? She shut her eyes and imagined she was flying with Twilight while Pinkie was walking on clouds with some wacky invention of hers. They laughed together, having more fun than Dash had ever had. Dash smiled and was about to fall asleep when she heard a noise from the bed.
"Dash, *cough* I don't feel- *cough*" Pinkie wheezed softly.
Rainbow Dash stood upright and wiped the tears from her face, her mane bristled and her eyes wide and fearful.
"What?! What's wrong?!" Rainbow asked worriedly, beads of sweat forming at her face.
"I-" Pinkie started, then her eyes grew wide and she began to shake slightly.
Rainbow watched horrified as her friend grabbed at the air, spasming uncontrollably. She darted forward and tried to figure out what to do. Tears fell down her reddening cheeks as she screamed for help.
"Help! Anypony, help!" she cried out.
Pinkie stopped twitching and grew still, her chest still rising and falling, but very slowly. Too slowly.
Rainbow Dash screamed louder and louder. Looking out the window, she saw Twilight and the others on their way back to Sugar Cube Corner.
"Twilight! Something's wrong! Hurry!" Dash cried out, hoping Twilight, or at least somepony in the group, would hear her.
Applejack's ears perked up. She tapped Twilight's shoulder and her eyes grew wide. Without a word, the group started running to the building faster than any of them ever had. Rainbow Dash listened for the sound of the door opening, the sound of hooves running up the stairs, and the crack of the bedroom door as it was slammed open by Twilight's hoof.
"What happened?!" Rarity questioned loudly, the other ponies nodding in agreement.
"Pinkie, she started shaking and now she's unconscious! This has never happened before, Twilight. What should I do?"
"Sweet Celestia! We need to call a doctor and have her taken to Ponyville hospital! If it's getting worse, she can't stay here."
Rainbow Dash tried to keep from crying, but it was hard. She leapt forward and hugged Fluttershy tightly.
"Fluttershy? You have animals get sick on you all the time, how do you handle it?"
Fluttershy shook her head. "I do my best to make them better, and if I can't, I don't handle it at all . . ." she sniffled.
A few minutes later, the Ponyville hospital ambulance arrived. Twilight, with tears in her eyes, levitated Pinkie's unconscious form into the doctor's hooves. She looked back at her other friends, only to find Rainbow Dash missing from the group of hugging, tearful mares.
"Dash? Where did you go?" She asked aloud.
She turned to the sound of retching sobs from the ambulance. Rainbow Dash stood next to Pinkie's gurney and held her hoof. Twilight fluttered over to Dash silently.
"Rainbow Dash, she'll be okay. We'll follow the ambulance to the hospital. You can-"
"No! I am staying with her, right here! I promised I would."
Twilight put a hoof in Rainbow's shoulder and sighed.
"I'm sure she'll be happy to know you would have stayed with her. We'll follow the ambulance, okay?" Twilight said.
"Okay . . ." Dash sniffed, stepping out of the ambulance.
The door shut and the vehicle began to drive off. Rainbow Dash looked at it with her tearful, magenta eyes and flew above it, hoping, even more than she had ever hoped to join the Wonder Bolts, that Pinkie would be okay.