• Published 23rd Jun 2013
  • 2,462 Views, 43 Comments

Lost Wing, Lost Identity - Hopeful_Ink_Hoof

What do you do when the attribute you use to define yourself is no more?

  • ...

A Hospital Bed Awakening

Rainbow Dash, the newest captain of The Wonderbolts, stood in front of her team, grinning widely and waving at the crowd. This was so exciting. Now, after three years on the team, she was the captain. Not only was she performing her first show with the new rank, but she was actually performing it in Ponyville of all places (awesomest weather pony in Ponyville).

Looking out at the crowd filled her with greater excitement as she saw her friends in the front row. Twilight Sparkle ("Nurse! We need medical attention here!") sat there, watching calmly from her spot. Fluttershy ("Oh dear. What happened?) sat beside her, barely peeking over the railing, with Rarity on the other side in sunglasses and some overly expensive hat on her head. Further down were Scootaloo ("what are you doing here?") and Pinkie Pie, practically bouncing on the rails and ready to jump off and run toward her. If not for the fact they were being held back by the Cutie Mark Crusaders and Applejack ("You can't see her now, sugar cube. They have to take her into surgery"). The two of them probably would have too. Scootaloo had been Dash's biggest fan "since forever" according to the orange pegasus, and Pinkie Pie was an impossible pink party pony who just happy for everyone to be happy.

"Alright team," she shouted, "Let's get to work ('It's too damaged. We're going to have to amputate.") and show these ponies what a Wonderbolt can do ('We've done all we can. I'm sorry.')!" After pulling her goggles (I should have brought me goggles) down and adjusting them, she took off, quickly followed by her teammates.

Dash flew across the field, the other four quickly falling into position on each side of her. As they five of them reached the end, they pulled up. The other four pulled away while Rainbow Dash continued up toward the clear blue sky (heavy black clouds. Everything turning white).

Arcing backwards a moment, she turned in mid-air and flew down toward the ground. Counting off the seconds she pulled up and straightened out. The timing had been perfect. She flew out the library door (Twilight? "I've got you Rainbow Dash") and past Raindrop ("There's a tornado"). The crowd cheered from from the stands as she flew past, leaving a rainbow trail through the rain-filled sky.

She continued across the field, heading toward Fluttershy's hut (She'd never leave those stupid animals in weather like this). As she circled it (go against the wind), she wondered where the other Weatherbolts had gotten off to. As much as she hated to admit it, she could not do this alone. She needed help (need medical attention).

Her muscles started to ache (Everything hurts. Everything's numb.) as she turned to fly toward the tornado. It glared down at her with glowing red eyes, baring its sharp rock teeth. Reaching out with its arms, it started to grab chunks of the ground and throw it at the pegasus. She was able to dodge them with ease.

"You can't hit me you bag of wind!" she shouted, "I'm the best flyer in all of Equestria ('She will never fly again)!"

With a roar of frustration, the monster reached up and ripped a lightning bolt from the sky. Snarling, it threw the bolt at Rainbow Dash. Her eyes went wide as she saw it coming. Her body tensed, but refused to respond.

Everything turned bright white.

Everything went black.

Everything hurt. Rainbow Dash mentally reminded herself to be more careful next time she practiced. When was the last time she had something to drink? Her mouth felt like it had been stuffed with cotton and her tongue stuck to the roof. She tried to open her mouth and work up some saliva to free her tongue. It seemed easier than opening her eyes.

"I think she's waking up," a voice said. It sounded familiar. Summoning up the strength and will, she forced her eyes open. It was an annoyingly slow process, and everything was bright and blurry when finished. She stared up at the ceiling, waiting for her eyes to focus.

As she was able to see clearly, she realized that this was not her bedroom. She let out a groan as she realized that she recognized the ceiling she had been staring at. She had been in the hospital often to recognize the room from practically any angle.

Slowly she moved to sit out, letting out a groan of pain. Not only did every muscle in her body ache, but the movement gave her a sense of dizziness and made her stomach churn. She had to close her eyes again, rubbing a hoof against the side of her forehead as she waited for the nausea to pass.

Feeling settled, she opened her eyes and looked around, seeing her friends surrounding the hospital bed. Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy were the closest to her, one of them on each side. Twilight was focused on Rainbow Dash while Fluttershy turned to stare at the floor when looked at. Next were Applejack and Rarity. Applejack looking out from under hat which was pulled lower to her eyes than usual, and Rarity chewing her lip. At the foot of the bed stood Pinkie Pie, front hooves propped on the baseboard. The pink pony smiled, but wasn't grinning, and something about her mane seemed less puffy.

"How ya' feelin', Sugar cube?" Applejack asked, breaking the silence.

"Like I got hit by a wagon," Rainbow Dash groaned, rubbing her head again. "What happened?"

"What happened," Twilight snapped, just short of yelling, "was that you flew out into a terrible storm and tried to take on a tornado by yourself! What were you thinking, Rainbow Dash?! You-"

"I!" Dash shouted, cutting her friend off, "was thinking that it's my job as to deal with the weather, like the tornado. I was thinking that I could slow it down until the rest of the team arrived to disperse it I was thinking that if I didn't do something, a lot of ponies, including Fluttershy, would have gotten hurt." She glared at the Twilight until the purple alicorn looked away.

"You're right," she said softly, "I'm sorry."

"It's not like I haven't been in here before, Twi." Dash gave a wave of her hoof at her friend and turned to look at all five. "So how bad is it? A twist?" All her friends looked down and away, not saying anything. "A sprain?" They continued to look away, Rarity chewing her lip and Fluttershy hiding behind her hair. "A break?"

"I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash," Twilight Sparkle you repeated. The bed-ridden pony turned to her friend again, blinking in confusion.

"You said that already. I told you, I'm not mad at you."

"Not that. It's just... well..."

"Rainbow Dash," Rarity spoke up, "What precisely is that last thing you remember?" Rainbow Dash looked from Twilight to the white unicorn, tilting her head a moment. Closing her eyes, the sky blue pegasus took a deep breath and tried to remember.

" I was in the tornado," she said, "flying in the opposite direction of the wind. I was starting to go fast enough to catch up with my rainbow trail. I remember wondering what was taking the others so long. All of a sudden, everything went white, and I couldn't move." Her brow furrowed and eyes squeezed tighter. "I... I think I heard Twilight's voice saying something." She opened her eyes and looked at the others again. None of them met her gaze.

"You did hear my voice," Twilight finally said. She took a deep breath. "I got there the same as the rest of the weather team. We arrived just in time to see you thrown from the tornado. I was able to catch you with my magic, but..." She stared at the floor, licking her lips.

"But?" Rainbow Dash repeated, looking at her friend.

"The doctors believe that you were struck by lightning," Fluttershy continued, "They said that it was a miracle you survived. But... your... wing... uh..." She crouched down, turning to hide her face behind her pink mane.

"I'm afraid your wing was too badly damaged," Rarity said, "They had no choice but to amputate it."

Rainbow Dash scrunched up her face as she looked at her friend. That didn't sound right. She knew the meaning of the word, and she understood each word individuality as they were said, but the sentence just did not make sense.

"What do you mean?" The pegasus felt a hoof touch hers and looked to find Twilight's resting on top of hers.

"The wing was where the lightning most likely struck," Twilight explained, "Everything was too damaged. They had no choice but to remove it."

Rainbow Dash looked at her friend, not saying anything. Her gaze drifted down to their touching hooves then slowly turned and looked up at all her friends. She looked from one of them to the other, scanning all their faces. A smile spread across her mouth as she let out a chuckle.

"Okay, guys. You got me. Very funny." She continued to laugh slightly, looking between them.

"We would never joke about something like this, Rainbow Dash," Pinkie Pie said. That was quite a surprise to Dash. Pinkie normally did not use full names unless she was being serious or was angry.

Anger was what Rainbow Dash was suddenly feeling. Her ears dropped back as she glared at her friends, crossing her forelegs across her chest.

"Well then you're wrong!" she shouted. "Somebody made a mistake. Because I do not have a wing missing. I'm going to be just fine! I'll be up and flying again in the next week. Just you wait and see. I'll show you all that my wings are just fine!"

The five friends stared at the bed-ridden pegasus, their faces all expressing the shock at the outburst of rage. Twilight Sparkle recovered first. Clearing her throat, she turned to the others.

"Maybe we should give Rainbow Dash a moment alone." She turned back to Rainbow Dash. "We'll be right outside the door if you need us." The others gave a nod and started turning toward the door. Each one walked out (even Pinkie, instead of her typical bouncing hops), turning to look back at their bed-ridden friend before moving out of sight. Twilight Sparkle stopped at the door, turned to give her friend a sad smile, then turned back and continued out the room.

Left alone, Rainbow Dash felt her anger fading, leaving a pang of guilt. It was not fair of her to lose her temper and yelling at her friends like that. They had at least been trying to break the news to her gently. It wasn't their fault that the doctors had been wrong. She had both her wings, after all... didn't she?

Turning her head, she looked at the right side of her body. A small sigh of relief escaped the pegasus as she saw the bulge of wing pinned against her body through the bandages. Turning her head around, she checked the other side. She scrunched her nose, staring at it.

Something didn't look right...

Slowly the realization sank in. The bandage was too flat to be covering her wing. It wasn't flat against her body because of the gauze and padding, but the entire area was too smooth to have anything bulging underneath them. She knew exactly where her wing was supposed to be, too. It was supposed to be right at the spot where... something... red...

"MY WING!" she shrieked out. "Dear Celestia, where's my wing?! I can't fly without my wing. I-I... I can't..." Her words were lost as she looked around. She grabbed at the top sheet, holding it tight against her. Her chest rose and fell rapidly as she lost control of her breathing, starting to hyperventilate. Everything blurred as tears filled her eyes. Rainbow Dash shut them as tight as she could, trying to stop the flow. It did no good. Nothing would stop them now.

After a second (thought it seemed like longer), she felt the warmth of another pony against her as a pair of forelegs wrapped around her in a hug. The hug was soon joined by another, then a third, fourth, and finally a fifth. Her five closest friends were there, hugging her tightly, comforting her as best they could.

Rainbow Dash cried.