• Published 29th Aug 2013
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My Little Pony: The Entities of Emotion - Michael_Ravencroft



Willpower, Hope, Compassion, and Love must battle Rage, Fear, and Avarice to protect their new home.

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Episode 7: Flight of the Filly

It was the month after Hearth’s Warming, and ponies were ringing in the New Year with resolutions and promises of weight loss. For a certain pegasus filly, this was the year she knew she was going to do what many thought was impossible for her. Scootaloo was going to fly, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Currently the orange filly and her friend, the Entity of Hope, Adara were on their way to Rainbow Dash’s cloud home, where the young filly would receive flight training from the fastest flier in Equestria. As they walked through the snow covered trail Adara couldn’t help but smile at how her friend was so excited about spending time with her idol and big sister figure.

“I don’t know why Rainbow Dash wants you to train when it’s this cold outside. It’s going to make for some miserable flying,” said Adara.

“Ugh, tell me about, but Rainbow Dash says that working in the cold helps, serious athletes like her do it all the time, supposed to help your endurance or something,” said Scootaloo.

“Alright, I just don’t want you to catch a cold.”

“Thanks ‘Mom,’ but I’ll be fine.”

Adara bumped her shoulder into Scootaloo’s, getting her back for the “Mom” comment. To which Scootaloo returned with a bump of her own. The two pegasus fillies smirked at each other and then had a laugh before breaking into a gallop. After a few minutes the two fillies made it to Rainbow Dash’s cloud home. Neither one of them saw any sign of the rainbow maned mare. Scootaloo gestured for Adara to fly up and see if she was home. The cerulean filly obliged and flew to the cloud house; she landed on the door step and knocked.

There was a slight groaning sound coming from the door, making Adara tilt her head quizzically. The groaning intensified as it appeared to get closer to the door. The door opened and revealed the source of the noises, which turned out to be Rainbow Dash, who apparently looked sick for some reason.

“Rainbow Dash?”

“Ugh…who is it,” she moaned.

“It’s Adara, Scootaloo’s here with me. She said you wanted to do some flight training with her today,” explained Adara.

“Oh ponyfeathers, I totally forgot…!”

“If you don’t mind me asking, what happened to you, are you feeling ill?”

“In a way, yes…Let’s just say that I partied too hard last night at Pinkie’s New Year’s party…things happened…some of them fun…really fun…and there were some other things that should remain unsaid and never spoken of again…”

Adara wore a deadpan expression. True she had the body of a filly, but she was the cosmic embodiment of all hope and had lived far longer than any pony on Equestria, or any living thing other than the Life Entity for that matter. So, as much as Rainbow Dash tried to avoid directly saying what happened, Adara pretty much figured out that Rainbow Dash must’ve had too much of the hard cider and done things not meant to be seen or heard by a young filly. It was times like this that she wished she could say something to her, but the only ones who knew of their true identity were the Princesses of Equestria. So unfortunately she had to act her age, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t be just a tad mature for her age either.

“Miss Dash, I know you’re probably hung over real bad right now, but you can’t let Scootaloo see you like this. She really has her heart set on flying lessons today.”

Rainbow Dash turned away from the filly, ashamed that she had forgotten her obligation to her “little sister”. “I know, I know…Don’t worry I can play hurt, tell her I’ll be down in a minute.”

Adara sighed. You’re a really loyal mare Rainbow Dash, but I can’t let Scootaloo see you like this. Plus it won’t look good if you barf in the middle of the lessons.

“Rainbow Dash listen, my mom used have bad hang overs like you do,” she lied, “I always did something for her that helped her feel better. Do you want me to try?”

If her head was hurting and her stomach doing somersaults, Rainbow Dash would have talked to Adara about that. But as it stood, all she wanted to do was help her.

“Sure kid,” she replied.

“Okay, lean down, and keep your eyes closed. And no matter what, don’t open them until I say so, alright,” said Adara in stern tone.

Rainbow Dash weakly nodded and lowered her head as she was instructed. When she closed her eyes Adara sat on her haunches and lightly pressed her fore hooves on Rainbow’s temples. The older mare groaned a little in pain, Adara then made circular motions as if massaging the headache. But as she did a faint glow of blue light was being emitted from her hooves, with each circle she made Rainbow Dash could feel her hang over fade away. Adara released Rainbow Dash from her massage and let the older mare open her eyes.

“So, how do you feel,” she asked.

“I…Actually, I feel great, better than great, I feel awesome! Wow, you’ve got, like, the magic touch or something,” said Rainbow Dash.

“It’s a gift.”

“Adara is Rainbow Dash up there or not, I’m freezing down here?!” Scootaloo shouted.

Rainbow Dash quickly poked her head over the edge of her cloud house and waved down at the impatient filly.

“Sorry Squirt, my alarm didn’t go off and Adara had to come in and get me, we’ll be down in a sec!” Rainbow Dash then turned to the little filly and smiled in gratitude. “Thanks again, I promise to never let that happen again.”

“Regardless, I still think Scootaloo would’ve forgiven you, but I appreciate you saying that.”

Rainbow Dash was about to unfurl her wings when a thought crossed her mind, “When we’re done, would you two mind coming with me to Twilight’s house, ‘cause, just so you know, I wasn’t the only one who had too much fun last night.”

“No problem Rainbow Dash.”


(Later)

“C’mon Scoots, you got it, just a little higher!”

Scootaloo was beating her wings at a furious pace, her brow beaded with sweat as she pushed her wings to the limit. The little filly huffed and puffed, her breath becoming visible in the cold air. Up above her Rainbow Dash waited for her with outstretched forelegs, ready to grab hold of the young filly when she got there. Scootaloo; acting as a kind of secondary safety net should she require assistance. Scootaloo continued to push her body and wings harder and harder, she was determined to fly, nothing was going to stop her from soaring into the skies alongside her idol and her friend.

Suddenly Scootaloo’s wings cramped up, making her yelp in pain. She then began to fall out of the air; Adara quickly zoomed after her and caught the filly underneath her forelegs. Adara then gently lowered Scootaloo back to the ground. Rainbow Dash then joined the two fillies and looked upon her little sister surrogate concerned.

“Scoots you alright, what happened?!”

“I-It’s nothing, I just got a cramp in my wings, not a big deal, ouch!” Scootaloo tried to fold her wings, but every attempt resulted in her muscles threatening to seize up and spasm again.

“Okay, flying lessons are over. Twilight’s place isn’t that far, we’ll head there so you two can warm up and so that we can take care of your wings,” said Rainbow Dash.

Scootaloo groaned in annoyance, of all the times for her wings to cramp up and not work, they had to before she could even get close to Rainbow Dash in the air.

“C’mon Scootaloo, you gave it your best,” said Adara.

“I guess…”

The three pegasi then made their way towards Golden Oaks Library, both Rainbow Dash and Adara flanked Scootaloo, making sure to block the view of her flared wings. Though the concept was lost on the two fillies, Rainbow Dash knew that explaining why Scootaloo’s wings were fully flared would be both tedious and embarrassing. Thankfully there weren’t that many ponies out because of the cold, so the journey went with few stares or inquisitive looks. When they arrived at the library Rainbow Dash walked up to the door and knocked. She wasn’t at all surprised to see that it was Spike who answered.

“Heya Rainbow, hey Scoots, Adara,” said Spike.

“Hi Spike,” greeted Adara.

“Hey…”

“So let me guess, Twilight’s up in bed right now ain’t she,” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Oh yeah, c’mon in.” Spike ushered the three pegasi into the library, he then noted the odd condition of Scootaloo’s wings and snickered under his breath.

“What’s so funny,” asked Scootaloo.

“Nothing, nothing at all.”

“Is Twilight resting upstairs,” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Yeah, and she’s got a monster hang over. I told her before you guys left to avoid the hard stuff, but does she listen to me? Nope, goes in one ear and out the other,” said Spike.

“Cool, Adara, why don’t you come with me and you can work your magic on Twi.”

Adara nodded and followed Rainbow Dash towards to the upstairs bedroom. As Scootaloo watched the two ascend the stairs to Twilight’s room, she couldn’t help but notice how Spike still had a grin on his face.

“Seriously, what’s so funny about my wings being like this!?”

“Oh, um, it’s nothing – really!”

“Rainbow Dash was walking close beside me, and while I really didn’t mind that, she had Adara do the same. Is there something I’m missing here, is it bad that my wings are all cramped up like this?” Scootaloo asked.

Spike was now starting to regret ever snickering, because now he just made Scootaloo curious, and now he was put in the position of having to explain something he had read in a biology book when Twilight got her wings. The drake decided to try and do something about Scootaloo’s situation.

“Hang on; let me help you with that.”

Meanwhile Adara and Rainbow Dash were in Twilight’s room, the alicorn Princess had cocooned herself in the blankets. Both the mare and filly could hear the poor alicorn moan and groan in pain from her night of partying.


“Wake up egghead, time to rise and shine,” said Rainbow Dash.

“Ooooh…Dash, how you, of all ponies, can sound so cheery after going through the same thing I went through, is mathematically impossible. Therefore I conclude that you are in fact not here and are a product of my mind which is still feeling the effects of the cider. So I bid you adieu,” said Twilight.

Adara looked up at Rainbow Dash with a confused look, which the rainbow maned mare seemed to share. “Um, okay, first of all: I’m actually here. Second: I brought somepony who can help with your hang over.”

“That’s nice, did you also bring Princess Celestia so we could do that thing you were fantasizing about?!”

Rainbow Dash’s face was now a bright crimson upon hearing what Twilight said. She was about to lay into Twilight about saying those things while there was a foal in the room when Adara raised her foreleg and pressed it against Rainbow’s chest.

“Why don’t you go and help Scootaloo, I’ll take care of Princess Twilight,” said Adara.

“A-Are you sure about that? I mean, I don’t want you to hear something that you probably shouldn’t…?”

“I’ve heard worse and seen worse, trust me. Just go and tend to Scootaloo, those cramped wings can’t be very comfortable right now.”

Reluctantly, Rainbow Dash exited the bedroom and proceeded downstairs. Oh well, guess I can leave Twi to Adara, besides, Scoots really needs to get those wings looked at.

“Oh yeah, Spike that feels amazing~!”

Rainbow Dash froze on the stairs.

“Thanks I’ve had some practice on Twilight.”

Rainbow’s left eye was now twitching.

“Just a little more, almost there…!”

WHAT!!!!?

Rainbow Dash zoomed down the stairs in a multicolored blur. She then arrived at the spot she was hearing the noises coming from, she flared her wings and had a serious, although blushing, face, and covered her eyes with her right foreleg.

“Spike, Scootaloo, stop what you’re doing! You guys are way too young to be doing that…that…STUFF!” Rainbow ordered.

“What’re you talking about Rainbow Dash,” asked Scootaloo.

“You guys know darn well what I’m talking about!” Rainbow Dash then opened her eyes, “You guys are…are…!” Rainbow Dash removed her foreleg from blocking her vision and just stared dumbfounded.

Scootaloo was lying down on the floor next to the fireplace, while Spike was sitting on Scootaloo’s back with his claws resting at the muscles around the wing joints. The filly’s wings were lowering and appeared to be much looser than what they were when they arrived.

“Wait – What – What the hay are you two doing?”

“Scootaloo told me that her wings were cramped up, so I offered to massage her wings so they would stop hurting,” explained Spike.

“Seriously, his claws are amazing, I almost nodded off a few times,” said Scootaloo.

“Soooo…That’s all you two were doing…?”

“Yeah, I mean, what did you think we were doing?”

“NOTHING!”


Thankfully for Rainbow Dash Spike was indeed helping Scootaloo with her cramping wings, she also made a note to thank Faust on high that she didn’t have to give either of the two the infamous “birds and the bees” talk. Just thinking about it made Rainbow shudder.
At this time Spike was still working on Scootaloo’s wings, complaining about all the tense muscles and knots he found. Adara was just sitting near them reading a book that she had picked out from the shelves. Twilight had joined them, after a healing session with Adara, and joined Rainbow Dash at the table as they both enjoyed mugs of hot coco.

“Seriously Rainbow, you thought they were –”

“I already feel like a featherbrain Twi, don’t remind me,” said Rainbow Dash.

Twilight couldn’t help but let out a light chuckle at the predicament Rainbow Dash thought she was about to stumble onto.

“So, how are Scootaloo’s lessons going, any improvement,” asked Twilight.

Rainbow Dash sighed, “To be honest, not as much as I would’ve hoped. She can barely lift herself ten feet into the air; the average foal can at least hover and zip around at that height without much training. I mean, her wings are strong enough to propel her on that scooter of hers, but they can’t even lift her own body weight?”

Twilight took a moment to ponder Rainbow Dash’s words. True, most pegasus foals could do that much, Pumpkin Cake being the exception, because that’s just still a mystery. It was then that Twilight started to look over Scootaloo. She didn’t seem to have much body fat, if anything she was lean and fit. Although, when Twilight’s eyes rested upon her wings, she started to think. She then looked over to Adara’s wings, folded they both looked about the same, but during the few times she did see them unfurled Twilight did notice how Scootaloo’s seemed to be stubbier than most pegasus foals.

“I can tell that big brain of yours is thinking about something Twi, care to share,” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Well…I don’t want to be right, but, what if it’s something more serious than what we originally thought?”

“Say what?”

“What if Scootaloo was born with something that prevents her wings from growing out. I’m sure you’ve noticed that they’re a little small compared to others,” said Twilight.

“Well yeah, but that doesn’t mean much. Fleetfoot is small compared to some of the other members of the Wonderbolts, but that never stopped her,” countered Rainbow.

“It would be one thing if she was small for her age, but the fact is she’s the right height and weight, but her wings seem to be developing slower than the rest of her.”

Rainbow didn’t like where this was headed, “Twi, you’re not saying that Scootaloo’s wings are –!”

“No, I am merely theorizing possible reasons. Granted that’s the worst case scenario…regardless, there is a way for me to tell, and I can do it without Scootaloo knowing. ”

“Really how!?”

“You’re about to find out.” Twilight got up from the table and started to walk over to where Spike, Scootaloo, and Adara were. Rainbow
Dash was close behind, wanting to see just how her marefriend was planning on doing what she said earlier. “How’re you feeling Scootaloo?”

“A whole lot better, I haven’t felt this good in – ever!”

“Just doing what I can with what I got,” said Spike as he flexed his claws.

Twilight rolled her eyes at Spike’s comment, “Scootaloo, I want to use a Diagnostic Spell on you, is that okay?”

“Um, sure, I guess. What kind of spell is that?”

“It’s just a little spell that was developed so that unicorn doctors could quickly examine and diagnose what was wrong with ponies. It was mainly used during the ancient Griffon Wars for soldier ponies who were injured on the battlefield. Many variations were created over the years and gradually the spell has been improved as newer discoveries in magic –”

“AHEM!” Rainbow Dash grunted.

Twilight was snapped out of her little magic history lesson; her cheeks were blushing pink upon the realization of her going into lecture mode.

“Sorry, anyway, I just wanted to make sure your wings were alright. After a bad cramp like that, I want just want to check and see if didn’t pull or strain anything,” said Twilight.

“Oh, alright I get it. Well, fire away,” prompted Scootaloo as she stood up.

Twilight’s horn began to glow with a magenta colored mana. Tendrils of magic began to weave around Scootaloo’s wings, she could feel the ethereal tentacles work their way through her skin and into the tissue underneath. The pegasus filly squirmed and began to giggle, the spell was having the unfortunate side effect tickling her.

“Hold on Scootaloo, the spell’s almost rooted itself,” said Twilight.

“Okay but – heh, heh, ha – it really tickles!”

“Just a few more seconds aaaaaaannnnnnnnnnd done!”

Scootaloo no longer felt the tickling sensation. An aura had enveloped her wings, as well as the joints and muscles that connected the appendages to her back. A screen made of green light appeared in front of Twilight, a diagram of Scootaloo’s body was at the center, while all around the screen rune markings appeared. The markings were pure gibberish to Rainbow Dash, Adara was intrigued by the workings of the spell, but she couldn’t read the runes either.

Twilight began peering over the data that the runes conveyed to her. Her eyes shifted from left to right, up and down, at a rapid pace. Her mind working to process the information the screen displayed. The screen then focused more on Scootaloo’s wings; Twilight raised an eyebrow at what she saw. There was a kind of inky black substance on the joints, wing bones, and muscles. Twilight’s horn sparked as she willed the spell to analyze the unknown substance. After few more seconds the screen flashed some runes in the center of the screen which made Twilight gasp.

“What, what’s up Twilight,” asked Spike.

“Something wrong,” asked Scootaloo worriedly.

Twilight shook her head furiously and put on a happy smile, “Oh, sorry, it’s just – this darn spell doesn’t want to cooperate. Do you mind if I try again?”

Scootaloo shook her head, “Go for it, I got nothing else to do today. You can head out if you want Adara.”

Adara wasn’t going to leave, of course, but she couldn’t help sense something amiss with Twilight when the screen showed her those runic words.

“No I’m fine, I got nothing to do either, so I’ll wait,” said Adara.

“Well, unfortunately, I have chores to do, and dinner to cook, so see ya,” said Spike as he walked off.

“I’ll just hang here on the couch.” Rainbow Dash flew up to one of the bookshelves and grabbed a Daring Do book, she then plopped herself on the couch and opened to a random chapter.

Twilight started the spell once again, this time she focused more power into it, trying to get a better reading on what she saw. Rainbow Dash only pretended to read, her eyes would constantly glance from Scootaloo and then to Twilight. Rainbow had thought she was getting better at discerning Twilight’s subtle little nonverbal cues. An ever so slight tilt of the head, the steadily increasing narrowness of her gaze, the way the corner of her mouth would prop up slightly or drop down. If she remembered right, these were the telltale signs that Twilight was not liking what she was seeing, and that made Rainbow Dash worry.

“So, Squirt, you excited about your birthday coming up,” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Hay yeah I am, I’m turning eleven!” Scootaloo then turned her head and looked at her bare flank. “And still no cutie mark.”

“Maybe you’ll find your special talent at your birthday? Who knows, stranger things have happened,” said Adara.

“I’ll give you that, although it’s not like I can just blow out my candles and wish for a cutie mark.” Now that she said it, Scootaloo started to contemplate doing just that.

Rainbow Dash noticed this, “Don’t waste your wish on a cutie mark kiddo; your mark will appear when it’s good and ready. Besides, you should save your birthday wish for something big!”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. That’d be way too easy anyway. Hey, maybe my cutie mark has something to do with being a warrior!?”

Both Rainbow Dash and Adara gave Scootaloo the most confused and flabbergasted expressions they could muster at hearing that.

“A ‘warrior,’” asked Adara.

“Well, you know, maybe I can be a Royal Guard pony,” exclaimed Scootaloo.

“Okay, I know many your Cutie Mark Crusader ideas are kinda out there, but this just came straight out of leftfield,” said Rainbow Dash.

“C’mon, how awesome would it be for me to be a Royal Guard, or Apple Bloom, or Sweetie Belle? I know you’d make a good Royal Guard Adara!”

“M-Me, I don’t know about that, I don’t really like fighting or anything like that…”

“Please, you’re fearless, you’re always looking out for everypony, and you’re the fastest flier I’ve seen, second to Rainbow Dash of course.”

“Of course,” chuckled Adara.

The light of Twilight’s horn faded away and with it the spell. Rainbow Dash and the fillies looked to her, waiting to hear what she had to say. Twilight saw that the three of them were awaiting a response; she then smiled at her guests confidently.

“Scootaloo, do you mind coming back in a couple of days? I need time to go over the data I just got and I’d like to do a follow up,” said Twilight.

“That sounds good to me; it’s nothing serious is it?” Scootaloo asked.

“No, just need to make sure everything’s alright. To be safe though, I want you lay off the flying for these couple of days and give your wings time to rest.”

“Awww, c’mon Twilight I was going to train with Rainbow Dash, I feel fine!”

“No use in arguing Squirt. When Twilight puts her hoof down, she means it. No flying, plus, we can start again right after, okay?”

Scootaloo nodded.

“Well now that that’s settled, Rainbow Dash, why don’t you take Adara and Scootaloo out to eat somewhere, I need to get to work on some things so I’ll be pretty busy,” said Twilight.

Rainbow Dash slid closer to Twilight and whispered into her ear, “Is this the kind of work that’ll require some ‘assistance’,” she said as she wiggled her eyebrows.

“No, it’ll be the kind of work that’ll require my full concentration, and no time for other side projects. Get it?”

“Got it,” groaned Rainbow dejectedly.

“Good.”

“C’mon fillies, let’s go chow down someplace!”

Rainbow Dash led Scootaloo and Adara out the door; she gave a wink towards her marefriend before closing the door behind her. Twilight was now alone, with Spike, and a library full of books.

“SPIKE!!!”

The young drake jumped up and quickly made his way to Twilight. “Who – What – Where?!”

“Spike I need you to make me some coffee – PITCHERS of it! I also need you to pull every medical book you can find, and I needed them YESTERDAY!” Twilight ordered.

“Okay, okay, what’s the big to do,” he asked.

“Spike, normally I’d indulge your curiosity, and I’m sorry for acting and sounding like a jerk right now, but I need you to just do what I say and quickly!”

Spike rushed forth and began grabbing every medical book on the shelves, Twilight began to thumb through the ones Spike had flung to the ground and started to pour over every page, her eyes scanning each word as she frantically worked to find the answer.

Please, for the love of Celestia, Luna, and the Goddesses on high, let me be wrong!


(The Next Day)

Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but feel that Twilight was on to something the other night. She didn’t want to press her then, because she knew her marefriend would probably be working on it today, if she hadn’t already. So Rainbow decided to peek in on Twilight and see what was up. The rainbow maned mare hovered through the streets of Ponyville; she could see that Pinkie Pie was already getting Sugar Cube Corner ready for Scootaloo’s party tomorrow. She’s going to freak when I give her, her own Wonderbolts jumpsuit!

Rainbow Dash approached the library; the “Closed” sign was up, which was weird considering that the library was usually open at this time in the afternoon. Rainbow Dash knocked on the door and was greeted by, not Twilight.

“Spike?”

“Good morning to you too, or is it the afternoon,” he groaned.

The purple scaled dragon had bloodshot eyes and terrible bags, along with an attitude to match his state. “Uh, what happened? You stay up too late reading comics?”

“No, Twilight has been up for the last TEN HOURS! Pacing, muttering, scribbling, casting spells and having me brew her coffee at THREE IN THE MORNING! I’m telling you Dash, Twi’s never been this bad – NEVER!

Rainbow Dash was leaning back a bit, since Spike decided to lean forward to emphasize his point.

“Heh, heh, okay then, why don’t you go over to Rarity’s and ask if you can crash at her place for a quick nap, and I’ll find out what’s eating Twi.” Rainbow suggested.

“Ya don’t have to ask me twice! Good luck!”

With that the angry dragon took off in the direction of Rarity’s house. Huffy the Magic Dragon, Rainbow giggled at the thought, remembering the nickname they gave Spike’s grouchy persona. With that out of the way, Rainbow Dash entered the library and closed the door behind her.

“Whoa,” she exclaimed.

All over the floor there were sheets of parchment paper scattered about. Each one had words, diagrams, and other things that were way over Rainbow’s head. There were towers of books stacked up everywhere, Rainbow carefully navigated around them, only giving a sparing glance at the titles. Advanced Pegasus Anatomy, Your Foal’s Wing Development, and Diseases & Other Born Illnesses? What the hay has Twilight been doing!?

Rainbow Dash followed the trail of notes, books, and the pacing grooves all the way into her private study. She thought to find Twilight slumped over her desk but there was nobody inside.

“Twilight, ya in here!? Hey Twilight Sparkle, if you’re alive speak now or forever hold your piece!”

“I’m up here…”


Rainbow Dash heard the faint sound of Twilight’s voice. The prismatic pegasus flew up the stairs to the second floor. Her first instinct was to check the bedroom, thinking the alicorn might’ve been in bed. When she entered the bedroom she was surprised to see it still made, no signs that anypony had slept in it since last night. Rainbow Dash once again entered the second floor foyer, as she looked around she saw the doors to the balcony were open. Rainbow Dash trotted towards it and found Twilight staring out over Ponyville.

“Guess this is as close to a castle view as you’re gonna get, huh Twi,” joked Rainbow.

“Please Rainbow Dash, I’m not in the mood, I really am not…”

“Jeez, what crawled up your plot and died? I was just joking Twi.” When Rainbow Dash stood next to Twilight she recoiled at the sight. “What the hay did you do last night!? You look awful.”

Twilight’s mane was uncombed and messy, she, like Spike, had bloodshot eyes and terrible bags under them. But the key difference between her and Spike was that the fur around Twilight’s face seemed matted, and her gaze made her look like somebody just killed Owlowicious right in front of her.


“Rainbow Dash…I’m sorry…I-I looked through every medical book and spell book I have…I even racked my brain trying to come up with remedies or spells that could fix this…but there’s nothing I can do…”

“Twilight, what’re you talking about, you sound like somepony’s going to die,” asked Rainbow Dash worriedly.

“No, no pony’s going to die. Just the dreams of a little filly,” answered Twilight.

“Twilight, I-I’m trying to be supportive because obviously you’ve just found out something bad, but if you don’t tell me how can I help you?”

“There isn’t anything you can do Rainbow Dash! And there isn’t a damn thing I can do either!” Twilight shouted.

The alicorn Princess stomped back into her house; Rainbow Dash followed her and heard the doors slam shut behind her, making her jump from the sudden sound.

“Twi can we go through the whole Five Stages of Greif thing after you’ve told me what’s eating you,” asked Rainbow.

“Scootaloo will never fly…in fact; she’s going to lose her wings! There, are you happy now that you know!?”

Rainbow Dash’s expression grew dark, “That’s not funny Twilight, don’t even joke about something like that,” she warned.

Twilight scoffed, “I wish it were a joke! I really, really do! But no matter how much I want it to be, the proof keeps throwing itself in my face over and over again!”

“What proof!? What are you –!?” Rainbow’s mind suddenly clicked, remembering the spell Twilight performed on Scootaloo the day before. “No…you’re lying…!”

“…I’m not…I prayed to Faust and Zacherelle, I even prayed to Tirek – BUCKING TIREK, the god of darkness and all evil, that I was wrong! But I’m not…for once in my life…I really wish that I was…”

Rainbow Dash stopped hovering and fell to her haunches, her mind worked furiously to process the information that Twilight had told her.

“O-Okay, so-so what’s she got?”

“It’s virus, a genetic virus called Jurans ex alis.”

“In equish Twi.”

“Taker of wings.” Rainbow Dash visibly gulped at the name. “The virus begins by eating away at the bones, muscles, anything having to do with the wing’s natural mobility. One of the signs is stunted wing growth, followed by a lack of wing strength, and lastly, rotting of the flesh. It’s similar to gangrene, but the effects are localized, but if left untreated the deteriorating wings can cause serious infection.”

“So…what’s the cure,” asked Rainbow Dash. “I mean, there’s gotta be a cure right?”

“There is…” Rainbow Dash’s ears perked up, “Amputation of the wings.”

“That’s not an option Twilight,” she said flatly.

“It’s not called the ‘Taker of wings’ for nothing!”

“Well then we’ll go and take her to a hospital in Canterlot! You’re a Princess can’t you pull some strings and get her the best doctors!?” Rainbow asked.

“I could, but they’d tell us the same thing I’ve just told you…there is no way to stop this.”

“What about your magic!? You’re like the Princess of Magic, your Element is magic! Can’t you just whip up a spell that can fix this!?”
Twilight’s horn glowed, from the stairwell came a torrent of the notes that were scattered on the first floor. “What do you think all THESE are!? I’ve been trying to create a spell, but every time I end up failing! Besides it’s too late, if we had caught it early, when she was a little foal, maybe then she would have a chance. But as it stands the process is too far along, plus…”

"Plus what, WHAT!?”

“I…I don’t think Scootaloo was born with this.” Twilight noted the confused look on Rainbow Dash’s face. “Jurans ex alis is contracted at birth. Normally there are steps to prevent the disease from doing what it does, but it all depends on early detection and how aggressively you attack it with treatment. But this…It feels induced!”

“Induced, you mean somepony infected Scootaloo with it!? How’s that even possible, you said you have to be born with it!?”

“I know what I said! But when I analyzed her yesterday I sensed the disease had traces of magic in it, like somepony purposefully anchored it to her! Now it’s not only attached to her cells, but the soul part that makes up her wings…”
“Somepony…did this…to her…who the buck would do this to her, to anypony!?” Rainbow shouted.

“I don’t think I want to meet the pony who does. Apparently they planned to hurt Scootaloo in the one facet of her life she holds dear.”

Rainbow Dash quickly stood on all four of her hooves, “Okay, so here’s what we do. We get Scootaloo, we take her to Canterlot and ask Princess Celestia, and even Princess Luna if they can cure her!”

“Again, I thought of that already! The Princesses magic, while powerful, won’t affect it, the disease has some sort of built in Aggressor Effect. If we try and cure her of the virus will respond by accelerating the process, basically if it’s going down, it’s taking her wings with it! And your flying lessons have done enough damage without doing something stupid like that!”

Rainbow Dash’s mind ground to halt, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, back up. What do you mean my flying lessons, what does that have to do with it!?”

Twilight was feeling miserable enough having to explain this and just wanted to stop talking about it. “If you hadn’t promised to teach her how to fly she might – MIGHT – have had a few more years with her wings, maybe into her early teens, late teens Faust willing.”

“So…this whole time I’ve trying to help her fly, I’ve only been helping in making it worse!” Rainbow gasped horrified.

The sensible part of Twilight’s mind finally caught up with the situation. Her heart sank when she realized what she said, even more so when she saw Rainbow Dash’s stunned expression and watering eyes. Twilight quickly rushed to her lover’s side and hugged her fiercely.

“I’m sorry; I’m so sorry Rainbow Dash! I didn’t mean it to come out like that!” Twilight apologized.

“I-I-I’m the reason she’s going to lose her wings…?”

“NO! It’s the virus’s, and the pony who did this to her! You didn’t know – neither of us did…!”

Rainbow Dash, the toughest mare in Equestria, the bravest of any pony, Element of Loyalty, broke down into heavy sobbing while in Twilight’s embrace. The alicorn mare couldn’t hold back her own tears either, and the two sobbed together.

Many minutes passed since Twilight told Rainbow Dash the news. Both of them had taken to lying on the floor, too drained, emotionally, to even attempt to move anywhere more comfortable. They both just stared up at the ceiling, as if it held all the answers to life’s greatest questions. It was unclear which of them sighed first, but it was Twilight who spoke up.

“We…We need to tell Scootaloo and her parents…”

“You think they already know, and just haven’t told her because of how she’d react,” asked Rainbow.

“I don’t know, but if they don’t, then they deserve to know. At least so that they can find the best way to handle the whole situation when Scootaloo does find out, having both parents distraught while she is won’t help her in the long run…” Twilight arose from the floor. “I’ll tell them.”

“No.” Rainbow Dash stood up. “I’ll do it; I am her ‘big sister’ after all. It might soften the blow coming from me.” The prismatic mare began to walk towards the stairwell when a thought made her stop in her tracks. “Uh, Twilight, do you know where Scootaloo lives?”

Twilight was about to open her mouth in response to the question, but her mind was drawing a blank. “Actually…I have no idea where she lives. I thought you did?”

“Well she never gave me the chance; whenever the subject would come up she’d avoid the question. There were even times when I offered to walk her home, but she flat out refused. Saying stuff like she was a ‘big filly and was old enough to walk home on her own.’”

Now that they thought about, it really dawned on them both that they didn’t know where Scootaloo lives. Out of all three Crusaders, the location of her house was not known to any of them.


(10 Minutes Later)

Given the fact that neither mare knew exactly where Scootaloo lived, and since said filly seemed to avoid the subject whenever it presented itself, Rainbow Dash decided it was time to resort to more…sneaky ways. The rainbow maned pegasus had flown to the school house, the bell hadn’t rung yet, which meant that the foals would be let out any minute now. This also meant that Rainbow Dash was going to have to sneak around and watch where Scootaloo went all day until she finally went home.

So long as they don’t do any crusading that requires me to swoop in I should be fine, thought Rainbow Dash.

Soon Rainbow Dash heard the bell ring, and at the same time a torrent of fillies and colts came pouring out of the school house. Among them were Scootaloo, along with Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom close behind. Rainbow raised a curious eyebrow, out of all the fillies that rushed out she didn’t see Adara with them, which was odd, since this was the only school for foals in Ponyville. As the CMC started making their way down the dirt road Rainbow Dash heard a noise coming from the trees to her far right. She watched as a blue streak shot up into the sky and hovered in place.

Adara? What the hay is she doing hiding in the trees? Was she there the whole time?

Rainbow then watched as the filly zoomed off ahead of her friends, Rainbow Dash then flew into the air and followed the three fillies. As they made their way down the road they soon met up with Adara who was standing beside the road and waving at them. Once joined up the four of them ran off to do whatever “get-a-cutie-mark-quick-scheme” they had planned.

Okay, this is starting to get just a bit weird…

Rainbow Dash followed the Cutie Mark Crusaders all day long. From Sugar Cube Corner where they snacked on a few treats, to Rarity’s where they appeared to have failed in some attempt to obtain a cutie mark in fashion. The group of four eventually made it back to their hideout in Sweet Apple Acres, the CMC clubhouse, where they also held the Rainbow Dash Fan Club.

Rainbow had perched herself in a tree, waiting for the fillies to end whatever meeting they were having and eventually leave for their individual homes. The sun was now starting to dip below the horizon. The four fillies left the tree house, Apple Bloom obviously heading towards her house, and Sweetie Belle heading to Rarity’s. Strange thing was Adara and Scootaloo didn’t stay out of Sweet Apple Acres. In fact when they saw that Sweetie and Apple Bloom were gone they immediately headed back to the tree house.

Okay, so I guess they’re just cleaning up, at least that what she thought, after the first hour and a half. Okay they’re still there…maybe they’re going to have a sleep over with the others after a bit? Two hours passed and Rainbow Dash didn’t see any sign of Apple Bloom or Sweetie Belle’s return. They’re seriously not going to stay here all night, are they? Three hours had passed now, and by the position of the moon, Rainbow guessed that it was at least ten-thirty by now. It was right about this time that the light in the tree house went out. No way…

Rainbow Dash flew down to the treehouse and gently landed on the walkway. She peered into the window, her eyes going slightly wide at what she saw. Scootaloo was lying on the floor, wrapped in a large blanket. Adara laid beside her under the same blanket, a wing gently draped over Scootaloo.

“Scoots…Adara…you’ve been living here…this whole time,” she whispered as if expecting the two fillies to answer. “Twi, this just got a whole lot harder…”

Stealthily Rainbow Dash rose into the air and flew off into the night sky headed straight for Twilight’s house. The wind slightly stung her eyes, and didn’t help that they were watery either. How can I be so stupid…! She’s been living on her own this whole time, in a tree house! I’m the worst big sister ever; I couldn’t even tell that there was something up with her! Rainbow’s speed increased drastically to the point where she would could create a Sonic Rainboom. Great, now on top of telling the bad news to Scoots, I gotta tell Twi that she’s also homeless too…This is the worst day ever, and it ain’t over yet…

Rainbow Dash noticed her speed increase and slowed down, luckily the sudden burst got her to Twilight’s home faster than she expected or wanted. She landed on the balcony and entered the house; of course she knew Twilight was probably going to be worried that she came in at such a late hour. But that would be a small thing compared to what she was about to learn…


(Monday)

Scootaloo left school with a smile on her face, the day after tomorrow was her birthday party and she couldn’t be happier. For some reason though, Cheerilee received a note from Twilight Sparkle that requested both Scootaloo and Adara meet her and Rainbow Dash at the library after school. Cheerilee wondered why, but the little filly was able to placate her teacher, saying that it was about flying lessons and some extra homework help. Of course Scootaloo told Sweetie and Apple Bloom that she wouldn’t be able to do any crusading today and after they heard about the note they were okay with it.

As Scootaloo trotted down the dirt path she heard the familiar sound of Adara’s wing beats. Sure enough as she looked into the sky the cerulean pegasus was there, circling for a bit before finally landing right beside her. Adara looked confused, seeing that their other friends weren’t around.

“Did Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle not want do any crusading today,” she asked.

“No, apparently Rainbow Dash and Twilight want you and me to head the library, don’t know why though,” said Scootaloo.

“Maybe it has something to do with your, you know…” Adara gestured to Scootaloo’s wings.

The orange filly spared a glance at her wings, which had still felt sore, much more so than usual and a bit stiff despite the wing massage that Spike gave her the other day.

“I told you it’s no big deal. I just pushed my wings harder than I normally did yesterday, it’s normal for your body to feel like this after a hard workout.”

“If you say so…”

“You worry too much for somepony who likes to say ‘all will be will,’” chided Scootaloo.

“I only worry when it’s about you,” said Adara under her breath.

“Did you say something?”

“Nope! Um, I think we should hurry up, don’t want to keep Rainbow Dash and Princess Twilight waiting!”

Without giving Scootaloo time to respond Adara galloped down the road quickly, making her friend have to do double time in order to catch up. Adara knew that she worried for Scootaloo a lot, but she couldn’t help it, was not worrying for the one you harbored feelings for something that everypony did? Adara still, very briefly mind you, had doubts if the feelings she had for Scootaloo were the same as that of Predator’s emotional light.

At one point she had contemplated asking Princess Twilight if she could tell her about such feelings. But then again, this was meant to be partly a learning experience for all of them. Scootaloo didn’t seem to fully understand romantic love, yet. And the same could be said of her. However that line of thinking would have to wait as the two fillies arrived into town and were almost near the library.

“Well that was a fun run,” panted Scootaloo in a sarcastic tone.

“Sorry, but at least we’re here,” said Adara.

Scootaloo rolled her eyes and knocked on the door. They were greeted by Rainbow Dash, who smiled down at the two of them and ushered them inside. Adara felt something off about the room the moment they entered it. Nothing dangerous, more like there was a somber mood in the air that belayed the visage of content that was on Rainbow Dash’s face. Adara knew what this feeling was; it was something that she worked to correct in the universe, the sense of hopelessness.

The three of them soon found themselves in the upstairs part of the tree home/library. Twilight was sitting on a cushion with another to her right and two more in front of her. Rainbow Dash led the two fillies over to the cushions where all four now sat together. There was an awkward silence in the room, one that neither of the two fillies could figure out the cause.

“So,” said Twilight breaking the silence, “how was school today?”

“Alright, I guess, nothing new except the homework I gotta do,” said Scootaloo.

“Y-Yeah, pretty uneventful for me as well,” added Adara.

“Good, good…”

“Um, how’re the wings Scoots…?”

Scootaloo flexed her wings slowly out and back to their resting position. “They’re still a little stiff, even after that awesome massage from Spike. Oh which reminds me, is he around I wanted to tell him thanks?”

“No, I-I had him go to Rarity’s for a bit because we wanted to discuss something serious with you Scootaloo,” answered Twilight.

“Oh…how serious?”

“Mega serious…” Rainbow Dash let out a long sigh before staring directly at Scootaloo. “Do you remember when Twilight was using that spell of hers to check you out a couple of days ago?”

“Y-Yeah…why, I am I sick or something,” asked Scootaloo.

“…Y-You are Scoots, you’re…you’re very sick,” said Rainbow Dash.

At this news Adara shot up from her cushion, “What do you mean, how sick is she!?”

“Adara it’s fine, I’m sure it’s nothing a trip to the doctor – as much as I hate going to the hospital – won’t cure. Or we could skip all that gunk and just cure it with magic or a potion from Zecora,” said Scootaloo.

“I’m afraid neither of those options are going to work…”

“Scoots, your wings won’t grow…in fact…you might not be able to fly…ever…”

Scootaloo felt as if somepony took the ground from beneath her hooves. The saddened expressions on both Rainbow Dash and Princess Twilight were so convincing, so sure. Adara just stared at the floor, wide eyed and stunned by the news. Just then Scootaloo started to chuckle a little.

“G-Good one Rainbow Dash, I know you like telling scary stories and kudos to you Twilight for playing along so well with her prank. But seriously though, that’s not funny, even as joke,” said Scootaloo.

“It’s not a joke…I wish to Celestia that it was,” said Rainbow Dash somberly.

“Y-You guys can’t be serious…? I mean, sure I haven’t been able to fly that well – but I know I can if I keep trying! Dash you can’t give up on me, I can beat this thing j-just give me a chance! I’ll get better I promise!” Scootaloo shouted desperately.

Rainbow Dash couldn’t take it anymore and she quickly enveloped the orange filly in a tight hug, her tears starting flow from her eyes and fall on Scootaloo’s mane.

“I’m sorry…Scoots you’re…you’re gonna lose your wings…!” She could feel Scootaloo go stiff, trembling in her embrace. “It’s my fault…If I didn’t push you so hard…If I hadn’t offered at all, you could still have them for a bit longer but…but….!”

Adara grit her teeth, trying to bite back the growing sadness. Twilight was already sniffling and crying, she knew that this wasn’t going to be easy, being the bearer of bad news, especially this kind of news, was not something she wished upon anypony.

“No…”

“What,” asked Rainbow Dash.

“You’re lying…”

“Scoots…I wish we were but –”

“Let me go…!”

Rainbow Dash eased up on the hug and looked down at Scootaloo quizzically.

“I said LET! ME! GO!”

Scootaloo began to wriggle out of Rainbow Dash hug, violently shoving her hooves into the pegasus mare’s chest. When Rainbow released her Scootaloo stared angrily at the two older mares with an enraged look upon her face, tears falling from her purple eyes.

“If you didn’t want to teach me anymore then FINE!”

Scootaloo ran for the front door, opening it wildly and galloping off without another word. Both Twilight and Rainbow Dash quickly rose to go after her.

“Princess Twilight, wait!” Adara ordered. Both mares stopped nearly in unison and stared back at the cerulean pegasus. “I need to speak to you.”

“Later Adara, we need to go after –!”

“Rainbow, why don’t you go after Scootaloo? I’ll take care of Adara…I think she needs somepony to talk to, just like Scootaloo,” explained Twilight.

Rainbow Dash nodded and zoomed off without another word. Twilight then closed the door to the library and sighed heavily, knowing that there was going to be a discussion between her and the Entity of Hope, which was fine, because there were a few things she had questions about as well.

“It’s true, isn’t it…? Scootaloo’s going to lose her wings isn’t she?”

“Yes, I’m sorry Adara. It makes it worse when I think somepony might’ve done this to her, intentionally,” said Twilight.

“WHAT!?” Adara’s wings flared, her blue aura shining like fire. “Who would dare do such a thing to her!? To take her hopes and dreams away, to hurt her in such a manner in inexcusable, how could they?!”

“Calm down Adara, It’s just a theory, because this feels sorta unnatural…”

“Are you sure that there is nothing you can do!? Surely a world as magical as yours has some means of curing her,” asked Adara.

“I’ve been racking my brain all night and day trying to do just that,” Twilight looked down at the floor, internally cursing her own ineptitude at being able to help the young filly. “Adara, listen. Now that Scootaloo knows this, she’ll need a lot of support."

“I will help her through this, you need not worry.”

“As much as I trust you Adara, Scootaloo is going to need more adult supervision, she’s going to be very depressed, and if the disease runs its course all the way through then we need to be there when it does,” she explained.

“Forgive me, Princess Twilight, but don’t let my childish appearance fool you, lest you forget how long I have existed,” said Adara as she gave Twilight a stern look.

“Sorry, sorry, I forget sometimes! Look, I’m not saying you can’t keep watch over her, but you do need to convince her to find a proper place to live.”

Adara looked at Twilight confused, “What do you mean? Scootaloo has a place to live; I am living with her right now.”

“A drafty tree house in the middle of Applejack’s orchard is not would I’d call a proper place to live,” deadpanned Twilight.

“I see…You know of Scootaloo’s situation then,” asked Adara, eyes downcast.

“Not the whole story, but I can’t believe you didn’t come to me and tell me about it! She’s a ten-year-old filly! She shouldn’t be living on her own like that it’s dangerous! The day you found out you should’ve come to me!” Twilight scolded.

“Not the whole story, but I can’t believe you didn’t come to me and tell me about it! She’s a ten-year-old filly! She shouldn’t be living on her own like that it’s dangerous! The day you found out you should’ve come to me!” Twilight scolded.

“Maybe it was dangerous before, but I’m with her now, and I keep her safe. I saw no need to change that; if the situation was different then of course I would’ve brought it to your attention! Besides, she wasn’t in as much danger as she was before I got there,” said Adara.

“Ugh,” Twilight put a hoof to the bridge of her nose and shook her head. “Listen, please, for her sake, please convince her that she needs to seriously think about leaving the tree house and living with either myself or Rainbow Dash. Promise me, please Adara?”

The cerulean filly let out a heavy sigh and made her way to the door, opening it slowly before glancing over her shoulder towards Twilight. “I’ll try…But right now I need to be by her side, she’ll need me.”


Scootaloo galloped through the town, not even thinking about where she was going. All she knew was that she needed to get away from them, from Twilight and Rainbow Dash! How could they say that to her!? How could the pony she most respected and admired, whom she was proud to call “big sister,” tell her was going to lose her wings and never fly again!?

By now Scootaloo had left the town and was now running along the dirt roads. She felt like running away, as if thinking that distancing herself from them would somehow make everything they said not true. But no matter how far she ran, Scootaloo knew that she couldn’t out run what was happening inside of her. The pegasus filly’s eyes began to tear up, clouding her vision. One of her hooves tripped on a protruding rock in the middle of the road and sent her tumbling about on the road, rolling around till she came to a complete stop, lying sprawled out on the road.

“SCOOTALOO,” shouted a voice from way up high.

She didn’t look up, even when she heard the sound of hooves landing on the ground. Scootaloo couldn’t hold back her sobbing, her tears falling to the ground in droplets. She pounded her right hoof on the ground in anger.

“No it’s not fair! IT’S NOT FAIR!” Scootaloo shouted.

“Scoots, I-I know this is unfair, no pony deserves this, especially not you. We’ll get through this, I’ll be with you every step of the way…I promise,” said Rainbow Dash in a soft tone.

“Just when I thought everything was going alright…Just when I thought I finally got you be my big sister and teach me how to fly…It all gets taken away from me…like everything else in my life…!”

Rainbow Dash hated seeing Scootaloo like this. If she could she’d give the little filly her own wings, or at the very least trade places with her. But Rainbow knew she couldn’t do either, all she could do was be as comforting as a big sister she could be to Scootaloo.

“It’s over…”

“Look, it’s not completely over. Miracles happen all the time! Yeah, I mean who knows; maybe you’ll beat this thing! I mean you are a tough little filly –!”

“DON’T BUCKING PATRONIZE ME!!!”

The harshness of Scootaloo’s voice made Rainbow Dash flinch. After getting over the initial shock she gave Scootaloo a stern, but still caring look.

“Hey, I know you’re upset, I’m just trying to help, that’s what big sisters do,” said Rainbow.

“You don’t need to be my big sister anymore! There’s no point! You don’t need somepony like me as a sister; I wish I never asked you in the first place!”

Rainbow Dash felt a stinging sensation in her heart. “You don’t really mean that, do ya, Squirt?”

“What do you think!? Didn’t you say if you didn’t teach me that I’d have more time with my wings!?” Scootaloo saw the hurt expression on Rainbow Dash’s face, and immediately regretted saying those words. “Just…forget it! Leave me alone…I don’t want to see you or anypony…”

Rainbow Dash watched as Scootaloo turned around and started walking off. The prismatic mare thought hard, for anything that could make this whole thing better, any bit of good that could come out of this.

“If you want you can come and live me or Twilight,” blurted Rainbow Dash.

Scootaloo froze her tracks and quickly flipped around to face Rainbow Dash, staring at her with wide eyes.

“What are you talking about, why in Equestria would I need to live with you or Twilight!?”

“Because…Because I followed you…to your Cutie Mark Crusader tree house…and I saw that you lived there…with Adara.”

“No…you can’t…that was a-a-a sleepover! Yeah – I wanted to have a sleepover with Adara in the clubhouse so that’s why we stayed there overnight!”

“I know Adara isn’t going to your school either. It’s okay I’m not mad, I just wished you would’ve told me. Look it doesn’t matter, as messed up as this whole thing is, you can still get some good out it,” said Rainbow Dash as she moved closer to Scootaloo.

The pegasus mare reached out a hoof to comfort Scootaloo, but the orange filly just swiped it away. “Just leave me alone…Just. Leave. Me. Alone!”

Scootaloo turned around for the second time and walked away, her head hung low and ears flat against her skull. Rainbow Dash wanted to go to her, but she knew that it would only make it worse. So she sat there on her haunches, rubbing the hoof that Scootaloo swatted.

“I’m such an idiot…why did I say that now…of all times…?”


(Tuesday)

Adara was walking about with Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom; the three friends had helped Rarity model some of her clothes for her foal line. The whole time they were doing so they couldn’t help but wonder where Scootaloo was.

“Adara have ya heard from her, she wasn’t in class today,” asked Apple Bloom.

“Oh yeah – um – she’s not feeling well,” said Adara.

“What, is she sick,” asked Sweetie Belle concerned. “And how do you know that by the way?”

“Oh, well, I stopped by Scootaloo’s to see if she was alright. When I got there she was in bed with a tummy ache. I was staying with her till she told me to come out here and help you two with Rarity’s dress making, she practically kicked me out.”

“Oh…I guess that makes sense,” said Sweetie Belle skeptically.

“Maybe we should go and see how she’s doin’? Ya know, cheer up and such.”

“No, no, it’s fine. I’ll check in on her, you guys should enjoy the rest of the day,” said Adara.

“Obsessive much,” mumbled Sweetie Belle under her breath.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“Okay girls, it’s time for hats!” Rarity declared, carrying several hats in her telekinetic aura.

Oh horseapples, they thought at the same time.

The rest of their time at Rarity’s was…pleasant. She finally released the three young fillies from their modeling servitude and allowing them to go about their day. Apple Bloom ran back to Sweet Apple Acres, and Sweetie Belle ran off to, Celestia knows where, which left Adara to return to see Scootaloo. Oddly enough the whole time Adara got the sneaking suspicion that she was being followed from down below. Adara peeked down and saw someone she definitely recognized. The cerulean filly banked to the left and landed behind some houses. She waited in an alleyway, patiently counting the seconds it would take for her pursuer to catch up.

Adara then jumped out of the alleyway, hearing high pitched squeal. “Is there something you needed to ask me, Sweetie Belle?”

The marshmallow white filly, who had fallen onto her back and was panting for breath, got back onto her hooves and gave Adara a serious look.

“Yes, as a matter of fact, there is. What’s really wrong with Scootaloo,” she asked.

“What are you talk –?”

“Look, Adara, I know you’re really good friends with Scootaloo, but I’ve known her longer than you or Apple Bloom. I know it isn’t something like a stomach ache keeping her from coming to school, I’ve seen her come to school feeling ill before, and that never stopped her. So that either means that you’re lying to us, or Scootaloo’s sicker than you’re really telling us.”

Adara was, to say the least, stunned by how perceptive Sweetie Belle was.

“I’m not lying Sweetie Belle, she’s really not feeling well,” said Adara.

“Then you won’t mind if I come with you to see her, you were going to her house to check on her, right?”

Sweetie Belle began to move in the direction that Adara was flying, which would have taken her right to Sweet Apple Acres if Adara hadn’t jumped in front of her to block her path.

“You can’t, she’s contagious!”

“I have a strong immune system.”

“She’s vomiting everywhere, like that pony in the Exhoresest! It’s really flying, and it’s gross, you could get messy!”

“In case you haven’t noticed I like playing in the mud, I don’t mind getting dirty.”

Adara was panicking on the inside. She was running out of excuses to keep Sweetie Belle from heading to see Scootaloo. After everything that had happened yesterday, the last thing Scootaloo needed was her friends to find out that she was not only homeless, but was also going to lose her wings.

“Well then, if there isn’t anything else, let’s go see Scootaloo,” said Sweetie Belle.

“Please understand me Sweetie, you can’t see her right now…”

“And why not, why can’t I go see one of my best friends when she’s sick!?”

“Because you’d cry if you saw how she really was right now!” Adara blurted out.

“…W-What do you mean?”

“Sweetie Belle, right now, Scootaloo is sad, very, very, very sad. She’s pretty much snapping at anypony, and she told me that she didn’t want see anyone,” said Adara sadly.

Sweetie Belle raised an eyebrow at that, “So she’ll let you see her, but doesn’t want her best friends there?”

“It’s…complicated…please trust me, if I could I would tell you Sweetie. But right now Scootaloo swore me to secrecy, I Pinkie Promised. If nothing else respect that much, for Scootaloo, not for me,” pleaded Adara.

Sweetie’s ears twitched back and forth, her face scrunched as she contemplated Adara’s words. With an exacerbated sigh, Sweetie Belle conceded defeat.

“Fine…for Scootaloo, but promise me that you’re taking good care of her,” Sweetie Belle started to make circles in the ground with the tip of her hoof, a sad, but concerned expression upon her face. “I-I really worry about her sometimes, you know…?”

Adara smiled gently at Sweetie. She then trotted up to her and hugged her with one foreleg, slightly surprising the filly. “I do know, and Scootaloo couldn’t ask for better friends.”

“…Same to you, Adara.”

Adara released Sweetie Belle; she backed away a bit and unfurled her wings. “I’ll be sure and tell Scootaloo.”

“Wait! Will…Will Scootaloo still come to her birthday tomorrow? She’ll still at least come to that, right?”

“……I can’t promise that, but that doesn’t mean I won’t at least try…Goodbye.”

With that said Adara flew into the sky and headed towards Sweet Apple Acres. She made sure to fly extra fast in case Sweetie Belle was still following her, and made double sure by looping around over terrain that she knew Sweetie wouldn’t be able to cross. Once she was sure, Adara finally made her way into the orchard. She spotted the clubhouse and landed on the walkway. Steeling herself, Adara pushed open the door and saw that Scootaloo was still hiding herself underneath the blankets.

She hasn’t left that spot sense this morning, thought Adara.

Cautiously she made her way towards the blankets, the lump that was the pegasus filly squirmed at the sound of her steps.

“I-I’m back, Scootaloo,” greeted Adara.

“I noticed…”

“Um, I told Cheerilee that you weren’t feeling well. She told me, that if you were up to it, we could stay at her home like we did during the snowstorm.”

Scootaloo scoffed at the offer, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve had enough of adults…I can’t stand seeing another pony give me pity…”

“Scootaloo…”

“You know, maybe I should start learning how to apple buck like Apple Bloom and Applejack? That’s all be good for when my wings are gone, I’ll be just like any other Earth Pony.”

“Please stop Scootaloo…”

“It makes sense in the long run, I mean, ponies called me a flightless chicken behind my back sometimes. I’ll ask Fluttershy if she has any I can take care of; Luna knows we’ll have lots in common!”

Adara stomped her hoof on the wooden planks, stopping Scootaloo’s rant.

“Enough, Scootaloo, stop talking like all hope is lost! I hate seeing you like this, and hate that kind of talk even more,” said Adara.

Scootaloo burst out from under the blanket, her eyes were puffy from crying and her mane was a mess. She shot Adara a withering, anger filled gaze.

“There is NO hope for me! You heard them! I’m going to lose my wings soon, oh and let’s not forget, Rainbow Dash knows I’m homeless, how long will it be before I’m sent away from Ponyville!?”

“Just listen to yourself, why would they offer to allow you to live with them if they were just planning on sending you away!? You know they’re not that kind of pony, they care about you, about us!” Adara countered.

“Yeah, because I haven’t been lied to by an adult before, it certainly isn’t the first time I haven’t been hurt by one either,” shouted Scootaloo.

“What are you talking about –!?”

Adara’s mind then flashed back to the night when she went to rescue Scootaloo from her nightmare. Remembering how the giant unicorn monster kept calling Scootaloo its “little bird.”

“Is the one who hurt you somehow related to that monster from your nightmares?”

“It doesn’t matter, that pony isn’t here anymore, trust me,” said Scootaloo.

Adara sat in front of Scootaloo; she then nuzzled the side of her face gently. “Scootaloo, don’t lose hope, please?”

As she nuzzled Scootaloo’s face Adara could feel the matted surface of her fur, still damp from crying, and getting wet from the fresh tears that were now falling.

“As much as I’ve wanted my cutie mark, the one thing I’ve wanted more than that is to be able to fly like everypony else…! To be up there with Rainbow Dash, zipping through the air, to fly beside you when we come back here…Now, now I’ll never get to any of that,” sobbed Scootaloo.

Adara’s heart was aching from hearing Scootaloo speak this way. Since yesterday, Adara kept asking herself how, how could this happen to her? She wasn’t a bad filly, she was one of the most hopeful of all three of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, never giving up, and never calling it quits even when it seemed impossible. Now, there was nothing for her, she was sinking into the depths of despair and Adara didn’t know what she could do to bring her up. No, that’s not true, she thought, there’s one thing. If this world’s magic and medicine cannot heal her, then I will.

Adara pulled away from Scootaloo, she placed a hoof under her chin, raising her head up so that they were eye level. “Scootaloo, what I’m about to tell you is a secret that I’ve been trying to keep from everypony. What I’m about to show you could possibly save your wings, but only if you keep an open mind, can you do that?”

Scootaloo slowly shook her head, noting the serious tone in Adara’s voice.

“I have a special talent, it’s one that I’ve tried to keep hidden from other ponies because of what it can do,” she lied.

Adara stood up and turned so that her left flank was facing Scootaloo. She concentrated and her eyes glowed with blue light. The blank spot was shimmering as a faint image began to appear. It was a white circle; at the center was a strange symbol that Scootaloo had never seen before. After a bit the light faded and the cutie mark was fully visible.

“Adara that’s amazing! You-You can hide your cutie mark! So, I don’t get it, what’s it stand for,” asked Scootaloo, who started to poke at Adara’s flank as if insuring that the cutie mark was indeed there.

“It stands for hope,” she said simply.

“‘Hope’? So, like, your special talent is being hopeful?”

“No, not exactly, I can harness the power of hope and use it to do amazing things, things that some ponies might consider miracles.”

“How can you harness hope, isn’t it an emotion. I mean I’ve heard emotions are powerful, but I thought that was just an expression,” said Scootaloo, still poking at Adara’s mark.

“That emotion is powerful. Hope is what we have when things are at their bleakest. Hope is what gives us the strength to continue fighting when all things seem lost. And it is hope that stands at the heart of every wish and every prayer, spoken or unspoken. I have the ability to harness that great power, and use it in whatever way I see fit. It was this same power that I used to help you in the nightmare.”

Scootaloo stopped poking Adara’s flank and stepped back, looking at her with shock. “Wait, you mean, that stuff you did in my nightmare was all you!? It wasn’t just because we were in a dream world or that Princess Luna charmed you or something!?”

Adara shook her head, “Nope, all me. And it was this same power that healed you when we first met.” At this Scootaloo gave her a confused look. “That day when you three parachuted off of Dead Mare’s Drop, you hurt yourself badly against the cliff. I took you into the forest because I didn’t want Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle to see me use my power when I healed you.”

Scootaloo tried to remember back to that day. Honestly most of it was a blank, she remembered feeling pain, and hitting her head she slammed into the side of the cliff, but after that it was all hazy. The only thing she remembered clearly was being carried and waking up in a clearing with Adara.

“Whoa…But wait! You healed me back then!? If you healed me then why am I still sick!? Why didn’t you heal my wings while you were at it,” shouted Scootaloo accusingly.

Adara’s ears fell, her gaze downcast. “I didn’t want to heal everything. I healed the wounds you suffered from the incident, but I couldn’t risk healing something that was there to begin with, I didn’t want anypony to get suspicious of me. In truth I did feel something there, but I wasn’t sure what it was till now. You have every right to be angry with me Scootaloo, but I intend to correct that mistake, here and now!”

“What do you mean, you’re going to try and heal me? But Twilight said neither magic, potions, or medicine can fix this…”

“My magic – my power – is different from magic, Scootaloo. But I can’t do it alone, I need you to believe. Believe in me, and most importantly, believe in yourself and in the dreams you once held of flying in the sky! I will use those and my power together to fix all of this I promise you!”

Scootaloo seemed hesitant. If she were any other pony, Scootaloo would’ve thought Adara was crazy. Any sane pony would think she was. But, when you live in Ponyville, are friends with at least two Princesses, and the awesomest pegasus in Equestria, and the most random party pony this – or any other – world has seen you tend be more opened minded on some impossible sounding things.

“Okay, so I just wish really hard that this virus will disappear and that my wings will heal, that’s it,” she asked.

“No, you must believe that you will be healed Scootaloo, don’t just hope but believe that it will happen…Whenever you’re ready, Scootaloo.”

Adara sat on her haunches in front of Scootaloo. The orange filly sat down as well. She took in long deep breaths, trying to center herself. She was scared, but it was a good kind of scary. Scootaloo knew that Adara wouldn’t do anything to hurt her, even now as she looked into those deep blue eyes, letting a wave of peaceful content wash over. Scootaloo then nodded her confirmation to Adara, smiling, the cerulean pegasus raised her right hoof and placed it against Scootaloo’s heart. Adara’s wings flared out as a blue shimmering aura began to appear around her body. The blue maned filly’s eyes glowed bright with hope’s light, sensing Scootaloo’s hopes and dreams. Those hopes and dreams connected with her power and with it she focused right on the problem area. Immediately Adara could sense something was amiss. The malady, it was shirking away from her light.

“Ahh!”

“Scootaloo, what’s wrong!?”

“I-It’s nothing, keep going…!”

Adara applied more power to the area. The malady continued to writhe and squirm from her light, but she could sense it doing something else. Suddenly one of Scootaloo’s feathers started fall off her right wing. Followed by two from her left wing, and then another three from her right again. The whole time Scootaloo was making pained groans and grunts.

“Scootaloo what’s going on, what’s happening,” she asked.

“It-It hurts…! My wings hurt so much!” she yelled.

“We should stop, the virus, whatever it is it’s feeling threatened by my light and it’s reacting by attacking your wings!”

“D-D-Don’t you dare stop!”

“But Scootaloo –!”

“But nothing, Adara! This may be the only chance I get to be able to fly again! I don’t care how – AHH – much it hurts just do it – UGH!”

Adara new that Scootaloo meant it, the determination in her eyes was proof enough of that. Heeding her wish, Adara began to focus her power onto the malediction, encompassing it; trying to grab hold of the disease before it could cause any more damage. Scootaloo could feel the pain in her wings, and it was excruciating. The part of her mind that was scared screamed for Adara to stop, but the stubborn and hopeful side of her psyche kept crying out for Adara to continue. Just then Scootaloo felt her wings go numb; the two appendages now dangled at her sides completely limp. Even though there was no pain, Scootaloo knew that this was bad, because the feathers hadn’t stopped falling.

Is this all I can do, is this all my power of can do!? Can I not even do this one miracle for someone I care for!? Adara saw that Scootaloo was smiling at her now, it was a pained smile, but it conveyed all the trust she had in her.

“You can do it Adara, I believe in you…!”

At that moment Adara’s aura ignited like an inferno, shining brightly within the confines of the CMC clubhouse. She used this immense power to attack the virus, and heal her wings. She could feel the virus fighting back by accelerating its efforts, but Adara would have none of it.

I will not give up,” spoke Adara, her voice sounding stronger and older as it reverberated through the air. “I believe too Scootaloo! Now join your hopes and dreams with my power and believe! ALL WILL BE WELL!!!

A blinding flash of blue light filled both of their vision. The light shined through the cracks, the windows, literally any opening in the clubhouse was letting out rays of blue light. The light continued to glow for another fifteen seconds before it dimmed. All was quiet…all was still…


(The Following Day)

Many of the foals from school had arrived to Sugar Cube Corner for the birthday party. The store was done up in Pinkie Pie’s usual style of party planning. Streamers were everywhere, balloons strategically placed in different areas, and one large banner that hung from the ceiling that read “Happy Birthday Scootaloo.” One table was dedicated to presents from some of the foals; another had punch and cups lined up, along with plates for the birthday cake.

Many of the children were all giggling and smiling, happy as can be. Unfortunately, not all were happy. Sweetie Belle looked worried, almost sad, Apple Bloom constantly asked why she was sad, but wouldn’t reply with much. Of the adults that were there, Applejack and Rarity did what they could to help out the Cakes and Pinkie with keeping everything organized, however, Rainbow Dash and Twilight stood by and watched the foals. Just like AB and Sweetie, they too were sad.

The older mares knew that Scootaloo wouldn’t be coming to the party. After what they had told what would happen to her wings, they doubted highly that she’d even show up, if at all. Cheerilee had come too and noticed the somber looks on their faces.

“Twilight, Rainbow, are you alright? You two seem sad for some reason,” asked Cheerilee.

“Oh we’re fine…just fine,” said Twilight.

“Yeah everything’s…awesome,” replied Rainbow Dash.

“Ooookayyyy, have you two seen Scootaloo? Adara said she wasn’t feeling well yesterday, I hope she’ll be able to make it.”

“WHAT!!?” At that moment all three mares jumped at the sound of Pinkie Pie zooming out of the kitchen and appearing right next to them. “How can the birthday girl not come to her own birthday party!!? It’s – It’s –!”

“Pinkie Pie, listen…I’m sure she appreciates everything you’ve done, but…Scootaloo is –”

Twilight was interrupted when the front door to Sugar Cube Corner shot open and an orange blur rushed into the store. Many of the foals and adult ponies quickly ducked as it shot around the room, zipping from one end to the next. The blur flipped around and landed perfectly on the floor. Many ponies gasped when they saw who it was.

“SCOOTALOO,” cried out Sweetie Belle, her voice cracking.

The orange pegasus filly began stride up to the crowd, her wings, which seemed to be larger and more pristine than usual, were fully flared out, no longer small or weak. Adara flew in next, except she landed immediately upon entry, without the flashy entrance, and her cutie mark hidden once again. It took a minute for the realization to hit them, but when it did their jaws dropped.


“Scootaloo, you…you flew!” Rainbow Dash shouted with excitement.

“Hay yeah I did! Sorry I’m late everypony, I felt like taking the long way here,” said Scootaloo proudly.

A rainbow streak cut through the crowd of ponies who were gathering around, in the blink of an eye Scootaloo found herself wrapped in the crushing embrace of Rainbow Dash. Scootaloo could feel warm tears falling on her head, of course she knew why, but it probably wasn’t a good idea to bring that up here in front of everypony. But she did return the hug, causing the older mare to smile.

“I’m sorry Rainbow Dash,” said Scootaloo.

“You got nothing to apologize for Scoots…It’s a miracle,” she whispered.

Twilight stayed where she was and watched on in silence, her own tears threatening to fall at the sight of the little filly flying. Adara had unknowingly found her way to the Princess’ side. Twilight noticed the cerulean filly as a smile arched across her face.

“You did it, didn’t you? You healed her,” asked Twilight in a hushed tone.

“No, I merely acted as a conduit, a crystal to focus and magnify the hope within Scootaloo. While my powers did heal her, they were fueled by her and her alone. It’s my birthday gift to her,” said Adara.

The Entity of Hope found herself wrapped in Twilight’s wing, bringing her closer to the alicorn princess as she hugged her tightly and whispered a soft “Thank you.”

It took a moment for Rainbow and Scootaloo to remember that they were in public and that they were being all mushy in front of everypony. Quickly the two pegasi released each other and chuckled awkwardly, feeling that they just completely embarrassed themselves. Luckily for them Pinkie Pie had a knack for changing the mood of the situation, no matter how awkward.

“Well that was emotional – Now that the birthday girl is here let’s PARTY!!!”

Thankfully everypony got went along with it and partied hard. Music started blare out, and the mood was immediately lifted. Everypony started to dance to the beat, Scootaloo joined with Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom, the trio dancing up a storm. Well Scootaloo was, amazingly in fact. Twilight started dancing as well, and it took all Rainbow Dash had to keep from facehoofing herself in embarrassment of her marefriend’s dance moves.

Many of the other foals had approached Scootaloo several times, asking how her wings had become so full and how long she was able to fly. After the barrage of questions, and a promise of more to come from Sweetie Belle, Pinkie Pie brought out the cake at which point the lights dimmed signaling the partygoers to sing happy birthday to Scootaloo. Pinkie placed the cake on the table, all eleven candles lighting up the inside of the store.

“Make a wish Scootaloo,” said Pinkie Pie.

Scootaloo stared at the candles; she didn’t know what to wish for. Her eyes darted to Adara who stood with Twilight and Rainbow Dash; she then smiled at her friend. My wish already came true…Scootaloo took in a deep breath. But it wouldn’t hurt to wish for a cutie mark too!

Scootaloo blew out her candles and cheers of congratulations were heard all around. The party continued on after that, opening gifts and playing party games, for Scootaloo, it was the best birthday she’d had in years. After everypony started to leave and said their goodbyes, Scootaloo and Adara asked Twilight and Rainbow Dash if they could talk. The two mares agreed and decided to go to Twilight’s for privacy.

Once inside the air became a bit tense. Scootaloo sighed, “Well, I guess you want to know how my wings are better, huh?”

“Honestly Scoots, I don’t care, I’m just glad you’re better! You are better, right? I mean, this isn’t one of this movie dramas when somepony gets a bad disease, gets better, but then gets sick all over again, ‘cause that would be a sick joke,” said Rainbow Dash.

“You can have Twilight check, if it’ll make you feel better,” said Adara.

Of course Twilight knew that Scootaloo was fully healed, but the look on her marefriend’s face told her that she wouldn’t stop worrying if Twilight didn’t do the test. Happily, the Princess of Magic cast the spell again. After a few seconds the magical screen displayed runic symbols that put a smile on Twilight’s face.

“She’s one-hundred percent cured Rainbow, no signs of the virus whatsoever,” confirmed Twilight.

“AWESOME,” shouted Rainbow Dash, adding a hoof pump for emphasis.

Scootaloo couldn’t help but giggle at Rainbow’s reaction. She then started to feel Adara’s shoulder bumping up against hers. The orange filly looked at her friend as she nodded in the two mares’ direction. Scootaloo knew what she was getting at, and she had to admit, maybe it was time to leave that nest in favor of a new and better one.

“Um, Twilight, Rainbow Dash…?” The two mares looked right at Scootaloo, giving her their full attention. “I-I know I was acting like a complete plot a couple of days ago…but I was wondering – if you don’t mind – could…could me and Adara live here, with Princess Twilight?”

Rainbow Dash trotted closer to Scootaloo and ruffled her mane playfully. “The offer never expired Squirt, right Twilight?”

“Right, you two are more than welcome to live here. And I think Spike would be happy to have company his own age,” said Twilight happily.

“By the way, where was he? I haven’t seen him all day,” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Yeah, he wasn’t at my party either? Is he sick or something?”

“…………OH MY CELESTIA, I COMPLETELY FORGOT!!!!” Twilight shouted.


(At That Same Time)

In the night sky a chariot pulled by two bat-ponies was flying in the direction of Ponyville. Within the chariot sat Princess Luna, and beside her was a very angry looking Spike.

“She completely forgot to pick me up, didn’t she?” Spike asked, crossing his arms.

“It would seem so,” agreed Luna. “I still don’t understand why you must go to such extremes, Spike? Twilight informed my sister and me that you had overcome your draconic greed, why must you be away during this time?”

“I know, but I don’t want to risk turning into that monster again. When it’s Twilight’s birthday, or any of her friends, I can handle myself. But I’m just a bit skittish when it comes to going to party’s with ponies my age, I might see something really cool and want it badly enough to…you know.”

Princess Luna placed a comforting hoof on his shoulder, “You are stronger than you let yourself believe. But if doing this is what puts your mind at ease, then I will not question it. Although I do wonder what kept dear Twilight, she is usually very attentive when it comes to you.”

“All I can say is that she better have a good explanation or she’s going to be fixing her own meals for the next two weeks!”

Princess Luna raised an eyebrow, “How is that punishment, exactly?”

“Have you ever seen Twilight cook?”

There was a long silence between the dragon and alicorn.

“…Yes, I have, it was…it was…” Princess Luna visibly shuddered.

“Exactly.”

Author's Note:

Next Time in MLP: The Entities of Emotion:
"This is how Canterlot does Hearts and Hooves Day."
"How did you manage to get them together!? "
"I'm participating in WHAT now?!"
"Somewhere out there, if love can see us through~"

Episode 8: The Festival of Love

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