• Published 3rd Nov 2019
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Our Day in Disdain - Rainb0w Dashie



Rainbow Dash is forced to confront the ghosts of her past and the life she left behind. Lest the one she built for herself crumbles in her hooves.

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Chapter Seven: Mourning Rain

Inside the hospital lobby, Rarity and Pinkie Pie trotted up to a large reception desk where a young mare stood, cloaked in hospital attire, looking over several charts spread across the desk.

“Good Morning, I am Miss Rarity” Rarity introduced herself as regally as she could, placing extra emphasis on the last syllable. “My friend and I are here to visit Twilight Sparkle, could you tell us what room they placed her in?”

The mare gave an uneasy smile. “You don’t need to introduce yourself again, Miss. I was attending last night when you both brought her in.” She pulled open a ledger book. “I heard she’s doing better now, she was in pretty rough shape last night.”

“Were they able to find out what was wrong?” Pinkie blurted out after absentmindedly staring at a stuffed stallion toy the mare had in a corner of her desk.

“They’re not sure yet, they have to run a few more tests.” The mare flipped a few pages in the ledger. “Twilight Sparkle, first floor, east, room 147. You should be able to go down the hall to your left, past the operating rooms, and it should take you right to the in-patient rooms.”

The mare attempted to offer her condolences, but as she looked up from her ledger book Rarity had already began towards the door with an unnerving quickness to her gait. As the unicorn pushed past the doors, the hospital-mare looked back to Pinkie Pie who had returned her attention back to the stuffed toy on the mare’s desk; it had a pink mane, like Pinkie Pie, and she found that peculiarly interesting.

“I think your friend went that way” The mare said to Pinkie, breaking her concentration on the toy.

Looking around, Pinkie looked confused. Not by the absence of Rarity per se, but for a moment she appeared to not even know where she was.

“Uh,” Pinkie stammered, wearing an embarrassed grin. “What room did you say Twilight was in again?”

“147” the mare deadpanned.

“Right, thanks!” Pinkie began towards the set of double doors off to the right of the desk towards the maternity wing, before looking back at the mare, confused.

“The doors on the left” the mare pointed over her shoulder towards the correct doors.

Pinkie trotted a few steps, then stopped, and looked back at the desk; at the stuffed toy this time.

The mare saw a puerile expression complicating Pinkie’s face, and it reminded her of the ones the foals make when their parents tell them they can’t have any of the candy from the mare’s candy dish. it was an expression of childish desire conflicting with her mature composure.

The mare then looked at the stuffed toy she had on her desk, the kind the hospital had hundreds of in a storage room and gave to foals to distract them from their injuries. She then made the connection and gently pushed the toy towards Pinkie.

“Take it.” The mare said, smiling at Pinkie.

Pinkie gasped. “Really? I can have it?” A smile flashed across her face. “I mean, I don’t want it, but If you don’t want it…”

“No it’s fine,” The mare returned a smile. “We have hundreds of these, if you want it, you can have it!”

Pinkie didn’t say anything, but responded with a cheer, and then grabbed the toy off the desk and trotted away to find Rarity.

The mare let out a mix between a sigh and a laugh. The toys were meant to cheer up little foals with broken bones, and while Pinkie wasn’t a foal the mare took pleasure in knowing that she was still able to cheer somepony up. It was a delightful change of pace from usual crowd of mourners rushing in and demanding information and trotting off before they can even exchange pleasantries. The mare hummed quietly to herself as she returned back to her work.

***

Rarity swiftly made her way through a series of several shorter hallways before eventually coming to a set of doors with the words “In-patient & Visitor Check-in” written on a plaque next to the doors.

She took a moment to catch her breath, as she was trotting rather quickly through the halls and the horseshoes she was wearing were made more for show than for traveling or quick movements.

Rarity took short lungfuls of air, trying to use her teeth to filter the hospital air.

She wasn’t the biggest fan of hospitals. She disliked how naked and drab the walls looked with their flat colors and lack of decorations. The low ceilings made her feel constrained and claustrophobic. But what she disliked the most was the sterilized smells that clung to her nose hairs for what would seem like days.

Rarity could forgive the dull decorating or the bland colors, not everypony was blessed with her keen eye for aesthetics after all, but she at least wished they could pump in a pleasant perfume or some kind of lilac; anything to chase away that nasty odor of disinfectants and sanitizers.

Rarity then realized that in all her rushing and subsequent fussiness about the hospital’s design, she had lost track Pinkie Pie.

Backtracking the hallways, she didn’t have to go far to find her wayward friend standing in front of one of the operating rooms, reading a chart on the wall.

“Ah there you are, Pinkie” Rarity sighed as she caught up to her friend. “I was worried I’d lost you.”

“Helloff Wawityf” Pinkie mumbled through the toy stallion she was holding in her mouth. Spitting it out, she tried again. “Hello Rarity.”

“Pinkie, what are you doing over here?” Rarity asked, not the least bit surprised that Pinkie somehow acquired a toy on her way through the hospital. “The mare at the front desk said to go past the operating rooms.”

“I know that, silly filly” Pinkie said with a particular tone of nonchalance that made Rarity’s muscles tighten. “Hey, where did you say Cheerilee was today?”

“Excuse me?”

“Cheerilee,” Pinkie repeated. “Didn’t you say she was at the hospital today?”

“Yes dear, for a medical emergency.” Rarity stated, surprised by the sudden questioning. “I don’t see what that has to do wi-”

“She’s in there.” Pinkie pointed a hoof at the operating room doors, then at the chart on the wall. “Says she having eye surgery to ‘remove a foreign glass object from patient’s cornea and outer-sclera area’” Pinkie read aloud as she read the chart.


“How unfortunate!” Rarity said, bewildered. “Remind me to make her a get-well-soon outfit, she’s always been so helpful with Sweetie Belle.” Rarity read over the chart herself, and the two ponies shared in a moment of silence. “But we really need to get to Twilight’s room, Pinkie. It’s important.”

***

The in-patient ward was alive with sound; a symphony of machine clicks and beeps, wheezes, and susurrations of air ventilators. The halls were filled with such sounds.

Being a small community hospital as it was, Ponyville Hospital didn’t have very many wards, so many of the adult surgery patients were mixed in with the patients that would normally be housed in Intensive Care. But since Ponyville Hospital was no bigger than the hotel building it converted from twenty years ago, and because the closest hospital was the larger teaching hospital in Manehattan, it didn’t have the resources for a separate ICU ward or the time available to send patients to a more specialized hospital; thus, the patients were mixed into a single ward. Resulting in a crescendo of noise that could rattle the brain of anypony who listened for too long.

Twilight’s Room, however, was much quieter. There was only one machine beeping, one machine chirping, one machine wheezing, and only one pony in one hospital bed.

Twilight was laying on her back, unconscious and with her head turned to Spike, her dragon assistant, who was sitting in a chair off to her side and nervously watching her heart monitor.

Strands of lilac hair clung to Twilight’s face, matted down and tangled from being shuffled around as the doctors tried to resuscitate her, while several tubes snaked around her left hoof and carried fluids into her veins. Another tube ending somewhere deep inside her throat was connected to a machine that made her chest rise and fall at a steady rhythm.

Spike didn’t know what caused Twilight to end up in the hospital. He remembered waking up to a lot of commotion in the library’s foyer, and when he made his bleary way downstairs Twilight was already being carried out by Rarity and Pinkie Pie. He followed them all the way to the hospital, asking several times what had happened, but neither Rarity or Pinkie would tell him, and by the time they had reached the hospital he was forced to stay in the waiting room while the responding residents worked on her.

By the time he was finally allowed to see her, Twilight had already slipped unconscious and had to be placed on life-support just to keep her vitals stable. Now Spike didn’t know how to feel, watching his mentor and best friend laying motionless except for her mechanical breaths. All he knew is that it made his own chest feel tight, like something was pressing against his diaphragm, and it caused him to only be able to take short, shallow breaths.

Spike scooted the chair a bit closer to the bed and was about to take the Alicorn by the hoof, but as he reached his claw forward the door to the room was opened and in walked two of Twilight’s friends.

“-and honestly Pinkie,” Rarity said mid-lecture. “just because some of the patients are in the hallways doesn't mean they want to make friends.”

“Aww, but they looked so sad and lonely.” Pinkie said as chipper as ever. “Especially that older stallion with the funny beard.”

“Well even if he wanted to be your friend,” Rarity continued. “ trotting up and hugging the daylights out of him is no way to make a first impression.”

“First impressions or not, hugs are the most funneriffic ways to brighten up your day.” Pinkie said, finally registering the other occupants of the room. “Oh hi Spike!”

Rarity rolled her eyes as she shut the door. For all she knew, there was a constant stream of elevator music running through Pinkie’s head instead of thoughts.

Spike didn’t respond to Pinkie Pie. Instead, he jumped from his chair and ran to Rarity’s side, clutching at her leg like a foal would to it’s mother. “Oh, Rarity, did the doctor’s tell you what’s wrong with Twilight yet?”

It didn’t take long for Rarity's motherly instincts to take over and gingerly held her hoof against the back of Spike’s head. She didn’t have any children of her own, but living with a little sister less than half her age she had to learn early on how to take care of foals. From cleaning up after to feeding and even comforting when upset, caring for foals was as much of a familiarity as her dress making, and she would most likely have a foal of her own if she weren’t so devoted to her work.

“They haven’t told us anything yet Spikey-dear, that’s why we’re here” Rarity said gently, practically cooing. “They told us to come as soon as we could because they needed to talk to us. Why? Did they tell you anything?”

“No!” Spike called out, almost yelling. “They haven’t told me anything. I’ve been here for hours and nopony will tell me anything. All I can do is watch Twilight sleep and it’s making my chest hurt!” Spike clutched a claw to his own chest in a demonstrative motion but all rarity could focus on was Twilight and all the machines keeping her alive. She wasn’t sleeping.

Rarity looked at Spike again, noticing his shallow breathing matching the rhythm of Twilight’s ventilator.


“Spikey dear, you mustn’t let yourself get so excited.” Rarity said in a soothing, almost cooing, tone, “If you keep yourself so worked up you’re going to wind up in that bed right next to Twilight. All that stress isn’t good for the heart.”

“I’m trying to remain calm,” Spike said, looking like he’d either cry or faint at any moment. “ but I don’t know what to do. I want to help Twilight but nopony will talk to me.”

Rarity wasn’t surprised by this, Intense anxiety or anger can get in the way of proper medical treatment and care. When emotions run high in a hospital, communication becomes problematic, and being under-staffed as they already were the doctors couldn’t afford to have Spike get in the way while they were reviving Twilight, and having a distraught child would only complicates things further.

Rarity however was a little more considerate towards Spike’s anxiety. She didn’t expect the hospital workers to be since they had other patients to attend to, but Rarity was being very careful with how she talked to Spike, taking care to not mention Twilight’s severely damaged state; even though it was tearing her up inside more than she was letting on.

“Whatever it is it must be pretty bad for her to be hooked up to all those machines.” Pinkie said, meaning well but sounding wildly inappropriate.

Spike made an audible sound of despair and Rarity stared daggers at Pinkie Pie. For everypony’s sake and, more importantly, her own sanity Rarity had to get these two out of the room. If they were dealing with a pregnancy and Rarity were a midwife she’d have ordered them to go boil some water and rip up a few sheets, mainly as a ploy to get them both out of the room for a good long time. Since that wasn’t the case, Rarity had to think of another course of action.

Rarity took out her coinpurse and opened it to the sound of two meager bits rattling against each other. She was hoping to have had a full coinpurse as a result of all of her dress sales, but one after another were cancelled and she was left with almost nothing to spare after her material costs.

She floated the two coins out of her purse and looked at them in the air for a split second. Her instinct was to horde the coins like a dragon’s treasure, at least until her next dress sold, but at the same time she needed to diffuse the powder-keg of a situation she was certain would explode if Pinkie Pie and Spike were to be in the room.

“Here Pinkie,” Rarity ordered, giving the coins to Pinkie. “Take Spike to get some tea from the vending machine and stay with him in the waiting room so he can calm down a little bit, I’ll talk to the doctor and afterwards I’ll take you both out to lunch and we’ll discuss it there.”

“Thanks Rarity.” Pinkie and Spike said in unison as they exited the room. Little did they know they were walking out with the last of Rarity’s money.

“And keep him away from that nasty coffee stuff” Rarity called to them. “His little heart can’t take any more stress.

“I’ll be sure~” Pinkie said in a sing-songy voice.

Rarity let out a long breath as the door shut behind them.

“What a mess.” she sighed and over to Twilight’s hospital bed.

“oh Twilight, what did that monster do to you? Rarity said, combing twilight’s hair with her magic. Tears welled in her eyes. “I knew it was bad when we brought you in here but I didn’t expect all this” Rarity emphasized while holding some of Twilight’s drip fluid chords in her hooves. She let let them down gently and simply stared at her friend, trying not to weep.

After a few minutes of silence, a nurse popped into the room:

“The doctor said he’ll be just another moment, I’m sorry to keep you waiting so long.”

“Yes… Thank you.” Rarity said almost unable to speak, and the nurse stepped out of the room, leaving the door open a crack, letting in the mechanical chorus from the neighboring rooms.

Rarity sighed again, this time a shaky and haggard breath akin to Spike’s breathing from earlier. It seemed that anypony that stood next to Twilight for too long had their breath stolen away, or at least caught off-guard and unprepared.

Rarity looked around the room and figured that while she waited for the doctor the least she could do is spruce things up a bit and hopefully drive away the bad vibes in the room.

Rarity opened the window to the room. It was still raining outside, and the clean white curtains fluttered in the breeze in a heavy, lazy motion. LIke waves. Rain was blown in slowly by the wind, absorbing into the fabric until it became too saturated and fell against the windowsill; almost as if the rain too was mourning the state of Twilight’s health.

“Miss Rarity, it’s a pleasure to see you again” a voice came from behind. “So sorry it’s not under happier circumstances.”

Rarity closed the window and wheeled around. The sprucing had to wait.

“a-hem, uh Yes!” Rarity said as she cleared her throat. “Sorry about the curtains, I was just trying to get some fresh air to vent out that terrible antiseptic smell out from the air.”

“Not a problem, miss.” The doctor chuckled, noticing the wet curtains. “They’re cleaned daily so it doesn’t matter if they get a little wet.”

The two of them engaged in small talk about the weather and Rarity was able to get a better look at the doctor than she did the night before.

He was a unicorn, as most of the surgeons in the hospital were. The aid of unicorn magic allows for finer motor controls than any pegasus or earth pony could achieve; although he looked rather young to be a surgeon. Rarity suspected that he must’ve been at least three years younger than she was, and probably fresh out of medical school.

While she was rushing Twilight into the hospital she was only able to catch a few flashes of his white lab-coat and his brown hair, but looking at him now she could see it was more of a dark-grey orange, like a tangelo that’s been left out in the sun for too long. HIs coat was a lovely shade of amber and he smelled like latex and antiseptic and the smell seemed to linger in the air around him.

“He must’ve just come out of surgery” Rarity thought. Which would explain why he was late, but the topic never came up in their conversation.

The conversation then quickly changed to talks of the upcoming gala and the following winter and what their plans were when an itchy nervousness began to rise up Rarity’s spine as she took quick glances back to Twilight lying in the hospital bed, unconscious, gone down some deep dark hole.

“So…” Rarity said abruptly, interrupting the doctor’s telling of his future vacation to the Vanhoover countryside. “How is… she”. Rarity was at a strange loss for words at the thought of Twilight’s condition.

“Ah yes… Miss Sparkle” The Doctor said as he levitated Twilight’s chart over to him. “Do you want me to give it to you straight or sugar-coat it?” Even the doctor had a shake to his voice.

“Straight.” Rarity said, swallowing hard.

“Alright then” The doctor began. “You said last night that another pony had tackled her to the ground from behind. The force from the tackle caused her neck to snap back and then the sudden downward pressure caused a severe compression fracture close to her bottom cervical vertebrae” The doctor flipped through the charts to a page full of x-rays and showed them to Rarity.

“You can see here the vertebral body has been badly damaged” The doctor pointed to the base of Twilight’s neckbone. “As a result the bone fragments have been lodged in the spinal canal and are pressing on the spinal cord.”

“And… what does that mean?” Rarity said flatly, although she never actually felt herself speaking. In fact, she didn’t feel much of anything at all.

“Due to the location of the fracture Miss Twilight has a total loss of movement and sensation below the point of injury.” The doctor said flipping to another chart. “She’s unable to move her torso, hips, or any of her hooves, essentially paralyzed from the shoulders down.”

“Is she going to die?”

“Thank Celestia, no!” The doctor said sympathetically. “She’s unconscious right now because we have to place her in a medically induced coma to get her vitals to stabilize. But because of the paralysis she’ll need 24 hour care. She won’t be able to clothe, feed, bathe, or even go to the bathroom by herself. Would you know anypony able to take care of her? Family perhaps?”

Rarity didn’t respond. she just stood there, breathless, and unable to move. She felt far away from her body, far away from reality. Eventually her ability to move returned, but she felt sluggish and dazed, and when she moved her head it felt like the tracking was off, like there was a couple seconds of delay between point A and point B.

“Ma’am?” The doctor asked after rarity didn’t respond after a minute. “Do you know anypony she can stay with?”

The words came out slow to Rarity, and the words she heard didn’t seem match the doctor’s lip movements. She asked him to repeat what he said but all the while he was talking a great ringing came up through Rarity’s ears and drowned out what the doctor was trying to say.

Another few more moments went by and the doctor noticed Rarity’s suddenly paling complexion and shortness of breath. She had no emotion on her face at all and looked mostly like she was frozen in place. Without another word the doctor brought over the chair at Twilight’s bedside, but before he could urge Rarity to sit down the door to the room flung open and Pinkie Pie bounced into the room waving the stuffed stallion toy from earlier.

“Rarity I know you told me to wait outside for you, but I forgot to give Twilight Mr. Brown hooves here!” Pinkie then noticed the doctor standing before Rarity. “Hey, he has brown hooves just like you, doctor.” and Pinkie began to laugh a loud, snorting laugh.

The last thing Rarity remembered was a bright searing rage take over her body and Pinkie Pie running, crying, out of the room before her vision went completely white.

The Doctor, however, witnessed the entire scene play out before him and remembered Rarity exploding with such a hot, sudden anger that the he took a step back without meaning to. She accused the pink mare of never taking anything seriously and needed to stop acting like such a child. Her language was heavily peppered with expletives and topped of with a final put-down comparing Pinkie to that of a mare’s genetalia; causing her throw the stuffed toy at Rarity and run crying out of the room.

Rarity left the room soon after, leaving the doctor alone in the room with Twilight and only the sounds of the morning rain. The doctor stood watching her. Did she even know he was there? Did she hear any of the terrible things her friend had said?