A Bruised Apple

by ThaStrangr

Doctor's Appointment

“But we want to see her!” Rainbow Dash nodded and ruffled the little orange filly’s mane.
“I know, squirt. But the doc said it would be best if you two didn’t see her in this condition. She’s going home tomorrow. You can go visit her at the farm.” Scootaloo glared at Rainbow, which she had never even considered doing before. The look she was receiving from the little pony pierced Rainbow’s heart. She wrapped her foreleg around the filly and pulled her into the most loving hug she had ever given.

“I’m sorry, Scoots. I’m just telling you what the doctor told us. It sucks, I know. But look on the bright side: she’s awake and doing perfectly fine, and you three will be back to ruining events, getting on your sisters’ nerves,” she cast a playfully irritated look at the pony, who giggled in retort, “and terrorizing the town before you know it.”
“Promise?” Rainbow nuzzled her adopted sister affectionately.
“Promise. Now you girls should get outta here before it gets too dark. Your parents would kill me if I let you stay out too late.”

Scootaloo hugged her sister one last time as Sweetie Belle finished with hers. They met at the door and exited together as a lavender unicorn passed them. Twilight barely had time to acknowledge them as the moved by her, their pace quickening as they realized just how late it was. Yelling their brief hellos and goodbyes, they continued trudging on their way. Twilight chuckled toward them and returned to the door, easing it open with one of her hooves.

The four mares standing together in the lobby of the hospital turned as the bell above the door began to chime. Twilight smiled at the friendly faces whilst trotting into a waiting hug. As she looked around, she noticed that one set of hooves was missing from the group.
“Where’s Applejack?” she asked. Rarity looked sadly toward the entrance door.
“Poor dear. She’s probably curled up in bed. I don’t think she slept a wink the entire time Apple Bloom was under. I can’t imagine what she’s going through. Just considering Sweetie in such a state threatens to bring tears to my eyes.” Twilight thought about Spike again. She started thinking, that if that carriage had been a bit faster…
She bit her lip, trying to direct her brain to anything but that thought. She couldn’t even consider a hypothetical situation in which her oldest best friend could be in so much pain.
“Yeah, it’s probably best if we give her some time to herself.” Pinkie jumped at Twilight as she said this.
“No, it is NOT! She’s gonna miss the ‘Happy Waking-Up-After-A-Three-Day-Coma Day’ party! For her own sister, too.”
“Pinkie, Bloom just woke up. I doubt she’s ready for a party just yet. Why don’t we hold off on that for a week or two, hmm? I think helping her recover from this traumatic experience should be our priority.” Pinkie contemplated her friend’s words for a moment.
“You’re probably right,” she sighed, disappointed. She immediately perked up, however, as a thought crossed her mind, “Well, this way, I’ll have even MORE time to plan the perfect waking up party.” She began hopping in the direction of the filly’s room, the others following close, letting out random spurts of giggles at their pink friend’s fillyish antics.


The door creaked slowly ajar, and a brown stallion’s head slipped in.
“Good evening, Apple Bloom.” The little pony across the room looked to the source of the sound, a gentle smile gracing her lips.
“Well, howdy, doc. What’s up?” He opened the door entirely, allowing several figures to pass through.
“You have some visitors. This is Twilight, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity.” Twilight turned to the doctor and raised a brow.
“Not to question you, doctor, but why the introduction? She knows us.” He looked to her as equally confused.
“Oh? I expected someone would tell all of you. When Apple Bloom was injured, her connection with her declarative memory, in which general knowledge and experiences are stored, was broken. This is known as retrograde amnesia, the inability to access stored memories. Her usual dialects and behavioral patterns remain intact, but she has no knowledge of who any of you are.” They returned their gaze to the aforementioned filly, who was still sporting that sweet ignorant smile. Twilight began feeling a pain that she couldn’t pinpoint. But it was much stronger than any physical pain she had endured. She couldn’t even begin imagining how her family must be feeling.
“So that’s why AJ isn’t here,” Twilight theorized. Rainbow nodded, her mind drifting back to another topic.
“And why the doctor didn’t want the girls to see her. It would break their hearts. I promised Scootaloo everything would go back to normal.” Fluttershy rubbed the distraught pony’s back comfortingly.
“You couldn’t have expected this. Besides, she’ll be too happy to have her friend back to be angry." Twilight addressed the doctor once more.
"Well, I know a memory spell. I could-"
"NO! Miss Sparkle, I'm afraid I cannot allow such action."
"Why not?"
"Apple Bloom's mind is in an incredibly fragile state. The blunt physical trauma of the blow matched with the psychological trauma of her brief brush with death has left it shattered, broken. She is lucky to be capable of coherent speech at the moment. If we attempt to force her memories back, we could completely disconnect her brain's link to the nerves. She wouldn't be able to so much as twist her tail."
"Well, there must be something we can do," Twilight groaned. Fluttershy began to walk past her.
"We’ll discuss all of that later. We’re here for Apple Bloom right now.” She sat down next to the bed and placed her hoof on Apple Bloom’s. “Hello, Apple Bloom. I’m Fluttershy. How are you feeling?”
“Evenin’, miss Fluttershy. I’m doing alright, far as I can tell. Yet, everyone keeps acting like there’s somethin’ wrong with me. It’s kinda makin’ me feel bad.”
“Oh, don’t mind anyone. We’re all still a little upset about your accident. But we’re not here to talk about that. We want to talk about you. How have you been getting along since you woke up?”
“Oh, well I was a bit confused at first, but then…”

The mares huddled around the bed and, for near an hour, simply listened. Occasionally, they would throw in small tidbits of information to fill in blanks for her, but otherwise remained quiet.


After some time, it became evident that the filly was simply too tired to continue. The older ponies in the room took their time saying their goodbyes. The small figure’s eyelids began falling slowly, which the others took as their cue to leave. They stepped out into the cool night air, bidding each other farewell before heading to their homes.

Twilight walked into the library and drifted upstairs. As the bedroom door opened, a small figure rose from the basket on the floor. Spike rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly.
“I know what you’re gonna say, but I just couldn’t sleep. I’m sorry.” She walked toward him and wrapped her forelegs around him tightly.
Her sobs grew in volume and intensity with every moment. He understood after a bit, and returned the embrace with greater force as her emotion leaked out.