When Rainbow Dash came to, she was back at the library. Instead of sun streaming into her window, soft morning rain pattered at the windows peacefully. She blinked a few times, and focused. She felt sore all over, and still felt extremely fatigued. She couldn't remember what happened after she saved Scootaloo; all she thought of was her friends. Taking a glance around her, she saw that they all occupied her small room, including Scootaloo. Soarin', however, was nowhere to be found. Rainbow was reminded of a similar time earlier, the day she woke up and discovered her wings were gone. That seemed like ages ago.
All were sleeping peacefully, and from the looks of it, most of them had large violet circles under their eyes, indicating loss of sleep. Rainbow wondered if they had lost sleep over caring for her, because she still didn't know how long she had stayed unconscious. Rainbow sat up and relaxed herself on her pillow and listened to the rain. The library carried the soft and metallic rain smell, and the room was peacefully cool. Nothing looked in disarray except for her friends, and Rainbow felt well rested.
"So." A voice pierced the silence. Rainbow looked up and saw none other than Soarin' in the empty doorframe. He, too, had a look of extreme fatigue, but also confusion, shock, and anger. His mane was in disarray, as if he had slept on the floor for many a night.
He had the same violet circles around his eyes like all Rainbow's friends had, indicating the extreme fatigue. This was the moment that Rainbow had dreaded, but now that everypony knew it felt....somehow easy to tell him. It didn't feel as it had before, like the world was going to end if she told. It felt more like it was her duty to tell him, dispite his reaction. Soarin' walked over to Rainbow's bed(dodging all the sleeping ponies) and sat on the edge of it. The two sat in silence for a few minutes and the rain continued to pitter patter on the windows.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he asked, softly, not meeting her gaze. Rainbow cleared her scratchy throat, and swallowed a few times, but didn't say a word. What was there to say? He would know now anyway and Rainbow's mind temporarily blanked. She opened her mouth to speak, but he spoke before her chance came.
"How did it happen? And when?" he asked, softly still, but this time holding her gaze, and every so often his eyes would escape hers and fall on the unicorn horn attatched to her forehead. Rainbow Dash sighed, and opened her mouth, getting a chance to speak. She would tell him everything. He deserved at least that.
"Well....I guess it started about maybe a month or so ago. I was practicing some new tricks when I bumped into Twilight. She saved me with her magic, and I must have said something about how cool it was that she had a horn....but I don't think Twilight ever thought of turning me into a unicorn. Then Mr. Breezy put that fan in Ponyville Tower, and when I went to go see it, I realized it had this really high speed setting. I wanted to see if I could get to Canterlot with my and its speed combined, so I flew against it for a while."
The more Rainbow spoke, the more it seemed that Scootaloo stirred. Soarin's eyes never left Rainbow's, and she could tell that he was listening intently, so she continued.
"After flying against it I eventually got really tired, but I refused to stop flying against it because....well...I wanted to be faster than a machine. But the machine ended up propelling me outside of Ponyville, and I injured my wing from the impact. I dragged myself to the only place I could think of, the library, and Twilight sorta took me in and cared for me. My wing was broken..."
"Again?" asked Soarin', interrupting, but saying something for the first time since she had began.
"Yes. And, well, since I had been to the doctor before about my wings, I knew that Twilight had told the doctor that this wouldn't happen again. So Twilight got this idea to make me a healing potion, that would fix my wing, so she and my friends made it. It was sitting out or something, and I remember that Twilight said that we couldn't add clouds to the potion, but somehow we did. I remember drinking the potion and seeing this funny little image in the middle of it.
"It was bright pink, and looked like a fat, sharp little stick. Now I realize it was a unicorn's horn, and when I woke up the next day, my wings were gone, and this appeared." said Rainbow, giving the horn a little thwack with her hoof.
"Twilight then threw herself into finding a cure for it, and she told me I'd have to live with the horn until she did. I didn't like that at first, but now it doesn't bother me as much as it once did. I ran into you and Scootaloo those first few days, and that's why I ran away in a hurry. I couldn't bear telling you the truth for fear of you abandoning me, so I said I was sick and my lie began." she said, and her eyes traveled to Soarin' once more. She stopped momentarily; it seemed he had something on his mind.
"That explains the cloak wearing." he said, sighing, and then looked at her expectantly. Without hesitating, she began to talk once more.
"After that there were many trials where we thought there was a solution to my problem, like going to the train station to see the princesses, and doing endless research, but these were unsuccessful. I started to loose hope and I thought about my life now that I had a horn. I began reading spellbooks, which I didn't really like at first, but I learned a few things here and there. I actually attempted to open a door and ended up destroying it."
A small smile played on Soarin's lips as she said this, which gave her new hope.
"I don't know if you noticed or not, but the day you brought Scootaloo in the library was the day I destroyed that door. That's why there was so much sawdust and rubble everywhere. I was actually here the entire time, and because I couldn't face you two and tell you the truth, I told Twilight to lie for me. I was hiding on the staircase when you both entered, which wasn't the bravest hiding spot, but it was still a hiding spot. Then at the Celebration, I saw Scootaloo on that burning building, and I knew what I had to do.
"I could barely levitate a spoon correctly at the time, but she's safe now, and that's all that matters. And I guess....I guess lying was never the answer, even if it sounded so right at the time. I am really sorry for lying to you and not telling you that day....but....I had a nightmare that scared me into lying more. It didn't seem right, but I did it anyway. I understand how wrong I was, and am...and I understand if you don't want to see me or date me anymore...I wouldn't trust me either." finished Rainbow, and looked down. There. What's done was done.
Then there was silence. Soarin' stopped looking at her, and the sound of the rain filled the air. Panic filled Rainbow's stomach, and her heart threatened to break into pieces that would be difficult to place back together. Soarin' still didn't look at her, and tears pricked her eyes. If he said agreed to no longer dating her...then the cyan pegasus would be alone. But...no matter how much it hurt, she knew she had to tell him, and a small part of her figured that she deserved it for lying so many times. She studied him, and waited in anticipation for his response.
"I guess that's it, then." said Soarin', finally. Rainbow looked up, and tears nudged at her eyelids.
"Rainbow Dash, I've known you a long time, but I've never ever heard of you doing something like this. I'm still upset about you lying to me and to Scootaloo, and it will be a little while before I can trust you again, but....I love you. I wouldn't stop dating you even if you were ten feet tall." said Soarin', with a small smile. Rainbow smiled too, but then her smile fell with realization.
"But Soarin'....I may never fly again. I may be a unicorn forever. I may not ever be able to fly with you or with Scootaloo. I have Fluttershy and the rest of the pegasi doing the weather. I'm helpless." said Rainbow, the tears returning. Soarin' moved closer to her and put his hooves around her in a comforting hug.
"Hey. We'll get through this. I'm sure Twilight has found a cure by now." said Soarin', soothingly. By this time Scootaloo was stirring more than ever, and it wasn't long before one violet eye opened and acknowledged her mentor/sister and all the emotion that Rainbow had seen painted on Scootaloo's face on the building returned. She sat up straight, and faced Rainbow and Soarin'. Before saying anything, her eyes traveled up to the unicorn horn perched on Rainbow's head. Before she could say anything, Rainbow took the words right out of Scootaloo's mouth.
"I have a feeling there's a lot you need to know, too. Well...I guess...I'll start at the beginning."
Rainbow opened her mouth once more, and the story came spilling out faster than it had before. Scootaloo listened with all her might, and Rainbow's heart warmed and cooled as Scootaloo's expressions changed from laughing to shock to despair, and then to confusion. However, as Scootaloo listened and Rainbow told, her pony friends around her began to stir as well. They were each slowly but surely awakening by the sound of the former pegasus's truth and the soft pitter patter of the rain. Pinkie Pie lifted her head up first, and she too began to listen while trying to wake. Rainbow wanted to smile in Pinkie's direction, but continued the story.
Applejack's head came up next, and Rainbow had to swallow a laugh at the farm pony, because Applejack looked extremely bedraggled. Rainbow turned away from her two awake friends, though, and resumed letting the truth pour slowly out of her. Rarity was up then, followed by Spike, and then a few moments later Fluttershy arose. The only friend that wasn't up and listening intently to Rainbow was Twilight, and Rainbow didn't expect this development in the least. She took her gaze off of everypony(though their gazes were locked on her), and focused everything she had on Scootaloo. However, Twilight stirred, just like everypony else had, and finally her violet eyes opened, taking in their surroundings.
"Wha?" she said, softly, and looked around the room. Rainbow was nearing the end of her tale anyway, so she finished the story with a grand flourish, and turned to Twilight.
"Good morning, everypony." said Rainbow. It was like a switch was thrown on in each of her friend's mind, because suddenly they sprang into action, even through their fatigue.
"Rainbow! Thank goodness you're awake. We were all so worried about you." said Rarity, fussing more than she needed to, as always. Each of the ponies Rainbow cared about were around her bed now, nodding slowly and yawning, and though the attention was stifling, it also felt comforting.
"I'm glad you're alright, Rainbow Dash. Even if you may have that horn for a little while more." said Scootaloo, slightly cringing. Rainbow figured that the filly was happy for her mentor's living, but she was worried about her current state.
"Thanks, squirt." said Rainbow, and reached over a hoof to tousle Scootaloo's mane. Even though Scootaloo appeared pained, Rainbow Dash knew for sure that she enjoyed being fussed over by her mentor. Rainbow turned to Twilight, who was still struggling with staying awake.
"Twilight, didn't you tell me just before we left for the Celebration that you had a lead on how to cure me?" she demanded, more forcefully than she intended. And then, Rainbow saw something behind her friend's eyes that she herself had never seen before. A little spark buzzed deep in Twilight's pupils, and her irises enlarged. With all traces of sleep gone, Twilight stood up as quick as Rainbow had ever seen her move.
"Yes, that's right, Rainbow. I know exactly what to do." said Twilight confidently.
Twilight ran into the other room as quick as a whip, and in an instant she returned, levitating a rather large and rather weathered old book along with her triumphantly. It was a heavy and unmistakable crimson, with silver lettering along the front. She opened it with her magic, looking quite smug and sure of herself, and rapidly flipped to the page she had in mind. Everypony watched her do this, the sounds of the pages flipping filling the room now, mixing with the sound of the ongoing rain. Once she had found the desirable page, Twilight levitated the book straight to Rainbow. Rainbow caught the book in her hooves, and everypony crowded around to see what was inside.
One Who Is True Remedy : Able to Cure What Has Been Masked Away
Rainbow stopped reading for a moment, despite everypony else still reading, and gave Twilight a look. What was the unicorn up to? Twilight looked slyly at Rainbow, like she knew more than Rainbow did.
"Read further." she said, simply and almost cryptically. Rainbow rolled her eyes, but did as Twilight told.
By drinking this remedy, the drinker will be returned to his/her true self, whatever that may be.
BREWER WILL NEED:
-4 cups of pure water
-2 cups of sugar
-2 cups flour
-A teaspoon of salt
-A stick of butter
-A teaspoon of vanilla
-The tears of one who is innocent and pure of heart
-A hair of the consumer
-2 petals of a rose who has seen a harsh winter
-A cup of fresh squeezed strawberry juice
1. In a large mixing bowl, pour 2 cups of the water inside. Add tiny amounts of the flour in with the water while gently stirring. Add the rest of the water once all the flour is gone so the flour and water blend neatly together. Add both cups of sugar. Stir clockwise for 7 minutes exactly.
2. Melt the stick of butter and combine it with the salt in another bowl. Once this is stirred counterclockwise for 2 minutes, add it to the flour/water mixuture.
3. Stir for 9 minutes clockwise.
4. Add the vanilla and stir clockwise for 2 minutes more.
5. Crush the rose petals. In a seperate bowl, combine the fresh squeezed strawberry juice and the crushed rose petals and stir counterclockwise for 1 and 1/2 minutes.
6. Add that mixture to the original and stir for 3 minutes clockwise.
7. Add the hair of the drinker of this remedy and stir for 3 minutes more clockwise.
8. For the final touch, have one who is innocent and pure of heart cry into the original mixture. If one is indeed innocent and pure of heart, the remedy will become a beautiful yet delicate indigo. If one isn't, the remedy will become a violent and pulsing green. If the potion becomes green, the remedy has become a deadly poison and should be thrown out IMMEDIATELY. If not, proceed to Step 9.
9. Chill remedy for 8 minutes in an icebox at any temperature.
10. Set out for 2 minutes.
11. Serve remedy. Remedy is not to be drinken, but to be eaten with a spoon. All of remedy must be consumed for expected results.
"A remedy?" asked Rainbow, the minute she finished reading. Everypony else finished reading as well, and they all trained their eyes on Twilight, still looking very smug and sure of herself. Twilight nodded. Rainbow inspected the book again.
She remembered how Twilight had said that a potion may be the very thing to cure her, but Rainbow remembered how she had refused at the fear of loosing something else important. But now, as she looked at the remedy, it didn't seem that bad. All they really had to do was find somepony innocent and pure of heart to cry in it, and Rainbow would be herself again. Or at least, that's what she suspected.
At last everypony's attention was on Rainbow once more, awaiting the former pegasus's decision. At this point, it was all up to her if she wanted to go through with this, or if she wanted Twilight to find another way. But Rainbow sighed, closed the big crimson book, and looked at Twilight, everypony watching intently. Finally, Rainbow spoke, breaking the silence.
"Let's do it."