• Published 18th Oct 2013
  • 1,541 Views, 60 Comments

Wings of Friendship - DemonBrightSpirit

Rainbow Dash is seriously hurt in a competition. Now it falls to her friends to pick up the shattered pieces. Can they do the impossible and get Rainbow Dash back in the sky where she belongs?

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One Step Forward...

Rarity, Fluttershy, Applejack and Pinkie Pie all gathered in Twilight’s library first thing in the morning. Twilight had invited them all to show them just what was going wrong with her spell. She had them gathered in front of a table with a giant sheet that had four clear protrusions.

Instead of revealing the hidden objects, Twilight floated over one of the few remaining stuffed wings Rarity had made for her in the Crystal Empire. “This is one of the wings I’ve been working with to try to make a replacement for the one Rainbow Dash lost,” she explained. “It looks like a wing. It has the right shape and it’s the right size.” Twilight then used her magic to rip the stuffed wing in half, sending a few tufts of cottony filling to the floor. “But this is nothing like a real wing. I think this is what is keeping me from making a proper replacement.”

Twilight tossed the eviscerated wing aside as she pulled the sheet free. There, on the table, were four models. “Rarity has completed just one of the four essential pieces that I need,” Twilight explained as she pointed to the crystalline cloth in the shape of a wing displayed in the middle. “We have the proper skin, but we still need three other things,” Twilight said as she pointed to the first model. It was a plaster representation of a skeleton pegasus wing. “At the core we need bones. I’m thinking wood or metal might be a good representation, but I’m afraid that those materials might be too heavy.” The second model was a pink and red mass in the rough shape of a wing. “Next, we need something that is close to muscles and tendons. I’m open to suggestions on this one. My best idea so far is cadaver tissue.” The audience cringed as Twilight motioned to the final model—a fully feathered wing. “The last one is easy. We just need to feather the wing.”

The confused stares before her dealt a blow to Twilight’s enthusiasm. “I, uh… I can’t make the wings Rarity creates work. They’re just too different from a real wing. I’m hoping that if we can make this work, my magic will at least be able to breathe life into the wing.”

“So you want our ideas on good ways to make pegasus bones and muscles and feathers?” Applejack asked.

“I was hoping Rarity and Fluttershy could handle the feathers,” Twilight clarified. “I can start work with them on that right away, but we need a plan for bone and muscle analogues.”

“What about taffy?” Pinkie asked as she pointed to the muscle model. “It’s firm and stretchy and yummy!”

Twilight wasn’t sure how “yummy” fit into the equation, but she had to admit that the idea had merit. It was better than any of her ideas, anyway. “That’s…a good start. I’m not sure taffy would be—“

“Oh! I know! I know!” Pinkie jumped up. “It’s a super-secret secret patented Pinkie Pie recipe! It’s perfect!”

“But Pinkie,” Twilight started, but when she turned back, the pink pony was gone. “Wh-where did she go?”

The rest of the room looked to the spot where Pinkie had been a moment ago, completely baffled.

“The door didn’t even open,” Fluttershy marveled.

Applejack just shook her head. “So yah want to make the bones from wood? I can make a few recommendations. I got a cousin whose talent is woodworkin’, too.”

“That’s a good start,” Twilight agreed. “See if you can’t find a few good candidates. The ideal wood would be both strong and very light.”

“Strong ‘n’ light, got it,” Applejack said with a nod as she got up. “I’ll get on it right away.”

“Thank you, Applejack,” Twilight replied as Applejack made her way to the door.

“Sure thing, Twi.”

“Well, while we try to come up with more ideas for the muscles and tendons, why don’t we try out that crystalline cloth? We need to experiment with feathers, too,” Twilight suggested as the door swung shut behind Applejack.

As Twilight experimented with Rarity’s new wing, Rarity and Fluttershy tried to think of ideas. Their silence showed just how many ideas they had.

The silence began to drag on as Twilight scrutinized the crystalline cloth. Finally, Rarity spoke up, “You don’t like it.”

Twilight shook her head at the accusation. The crystalline cloth was beautiful, strong and resilient. There was only one problem: It was heavy. “It’s great, Rarity,” Twilight assured, forcing a smile. “It’s just that, if we use this for the skin, then the wing might end up being too heavy.”

“Oh, I, uh, I’ll just see if one of the other weaves is lighter, but I really don’t think it will make a significant change,” Rarity replied, pawing at the floor and looking down.

Twilight sighed. “We don’t know anything for sure, yet. Although, I must admit that more options would be nice.” She turned to Spike before continuing, “You wouldn’t mind helping out Rarity some more, would you?”

“Of course not!” Spike insisted. “I’d do anything for Rarity! Especially eat gems!”

“Okay,” Twilight said as she looked back to Rarity. “That’s settled, but we still need to focus on developing feathers and more intricate wing designs.” She laid out one of the few remaining wings she’d received from Rarity in the Crystal Empire. “I’ll show you the problem I’m having,” she explained as she concentrated. Her horn glowed and a beam of magic shot into the wing.

“Here, feel,” Twilight urged as she ran a hoof over the wing. Rarity and Fluttershy moved over and complied, each pressing a hoof into the wing. “Do you see the problem? I can make it so it can move and flap. It’s the right shape and it can move, but...”

“It’s…squishy,” Fluttershy observed.

“Exactly,” Twilight affirmed with a nod. “It won’t remain rigid enough for flight without bones. The movement is too ubiquitous, too. It needs proper joints and support internally. I just can’t do it with my magic alone.”

Rarity sighed as she looked at the lump of pseudo-flesh. “So that is why you need something to replace bones, but if the stuffing is good enough for muscles, then why do you need something different?”

Twilight held out a hoof. “I’m glad you asked. I’ve been thinking ahead and I think that something that is closer to real muscle would be a lot better. This is fine enough to make the wing move, but it doesn’t have proper directional control. It just quivers and undulates. Without magic to coordinate it, I’m afraid that it would be impossible to even make it flap.”

“And you can’t make it grow feathers, either,” Fluttershy added.

Twilight nodded. “Exactly.” Grabbing a bunch of feathers in her aura, she set them next to the wing. A zap of magic removed her spell, changing it back into little more than a wing-shaped throw pillow. “So, let’s get to work!”

Angel Bunny threw a bowl of pellets at Rainbow Dash’s face, spilling its contents everywhere. “Look, runt,” Rainbow growled in a threatening tone as she rubbed her nose, “I’m not Fluttershy. You can squeak and glare at me all you want—I don’t understand! If this isn’t the food you want, then wait for Fluttershy to get back or starve or, you know what, I don’t care!”

The glares intensified dramatically as the stubborn duo entered a staring contest. They continued their stare for several tense seconds before a knocking at the door stole Dash’s attention. As Rainbow Dash hobbled towards the door, Angel pumped his foreleg in a victorious manner.

Rainbow opened the door with a sigh, before adopting a horrified expression.

“Hey Rainbow Dash!” Scootaloo greeted as she burst in. She was wearing two white rectangles attached to a string around her neck. It took Rainbow a moment to realize that they were the passes to the Cloudsdale Cloudiseum.

Dash made sure to keep her left side facing the filly as she bounded about. “S-Scootaloo, what are you doing here?”

“I came to make sure you were taking me tomorrow to see the Wonderbolts!” Scootaloo explained with a huge grin. “I can’t wait!”

Rainbow’s ears drooped as she averted her eyes. “I… You know I can’t…get there, right?” she said as she turned a bit to reveal her missing wing.

Scootaloo’s eyes widened as she actually saw the startling lack of wing on Rainbow’s side. “I-I know,” she said, still staring. “Rarity said that she and Twilight were going to make you a new wing, right?”

Rainbow Dash pawed at the floor. “They’re working on it,” she replied, not knowing what else to say.

“Well, you know I can’t fly either.” To emphasize her point, she buzzed her wings for all they were worth. For all her effort, she barely got her hooves off the floor for a moment before she couldn’t keep up the flapping anymore. “We can still take a hot air balloon there! We could spend all day up there together. I have some new tricks you gotta see!”

It was Dash’s turn to stare. She just couldn’t comprehend the situation. Without her wing—without her incredible flying abilities—she had lost all of her awesomeness. So why was this filly still standing there with a smile? The fact that she could no longer fly didn’t seem to make Scootaloo think any less of her at all, and she couldn’t understand why.

It took her a moment to finally find her voice. “I’ll…see if Fluttershy can reserve us a ride.”


Rainbow finally cracked a smile. “Yeah,” she affirmed with a nod.

“Great! Tomorrow’ll be the best day ever!” Scootaloo exclaimed as her wings buzzed.

“You know, the Wonderbolts are just gonna be training tomorrow. The show’s not until next week,” Rainbow Dash pointed out.

Scootaloo stared at the passes a moment before revising her statement. “Best. Week. Ever!”

It was ruffled, poofy and ugly, but the wing was fully feathered. Twilight again focused and her horn glowed. The wing levitated over to Rarity’s side. “Here goes something,” she announced as she cast the spell. The magic beam attached the wing and breathed life into it.

Rarity shuddered at the odd sensation that came with this spell. Suddenly, there was a new weight on her side and a sort of strange tingling that echoed from a body part not her own. “It’s on, I think.”

“Can you feel it? Move it?” Twilight pressed.

“I feel it,” Rarity winced as she looked to the wing. A bit on concentration and it twitched and moved erratically.

“Okay, now can you try to extend the wing, like this,” Twilight requested as she spread one of her wings out.

Rarity focused again. The wing twitched some more, but never got anywhere close to open, let alone full extension. “So sorry, darling, this is the best I can do,” Rarity apologized.

“I was afraid of that,” Twilight said before zapping the wing. The magic forced it to spread out. “Okay, let’s analyze those feathers.” Even with the spell on the wing, the feathers jutted at odd angles all over the wing. The distribution was spotty as well. “I think we might need to try again,” she observed.

“Maybe it just needs to be preened,” Fluttershy suggested.

Twilight nodded. “It’s worth a try,” she agreed as she used her magic. A magenta aura enveloped the wing and all the feathers were simultaneously tugged and rearranged. What would have taken a pegasus several minutes took Twilight all of a few seconds to achieve. All of the feathers had been successfully arranged. They no longer jutted oddly, but there were still a few patches of thin and thick feathers.

“I think it could fly,” Fluttershy offered.

“Me too, but you and Rarity should work on achieving a more uniform…feathering?”

“Good, does that mean I can get this thing off of me?” Rarity asked as she ran a hoof over the wing.

Twilight grabbed the wing in her aura and ripped it free. “There we go.” After setting the wing aside, she turned to Fluttershy and Rarity. “Okay, so I need you two to refine the feathering so that Rainbow Dash’s wing will be perfect. In the meantime keep an open mind as to what we can use for bones and muscle. Wood and taffy might do well enough, but there’s always the possibility of improvement.”

“If you insist,” Rarity replied, rubbing her side where the wing had been.

“Um, speaking of improvement, is there anything we can do to help with your actual spell?” Fluttershy offered.

Twilight sighed as she looked to the wing. “The only thing that can help me at this point is practice. If you can think of any earth ponies or unicorns that wouldn’t mind having me experiment with them, it would give me the opportunity to refine my spell.”

“What about Rainbow Dash?”

Twilight looked down as she pawed at the floor. “I-I don’t know if that’s a good idea. I mean, the spell is for her and she’d be the ideal test subject, but I’m not sure if I’m comfortable working with her. I’m afraid that she might get…discouraged if she sees all the problems we’re running into.”

An awkward silence filled the room as the girls worked hard not to meet each other’s gazes. Rarity was the first to speak up, “Um, well, I should get started on my feathering techniques. Come along, Fluttershy.”

“Actually, I would like to stop by my cottage, if you don’t mind,” Fluttershy declined. “I want to check on Rainbow Dash and my animal friends.”

“Very well, I shall start on my own, then,” Rarity resigned. “I trust you will stop by to lend me a hoof when you have a free moment?”

“Of course,” Fluttershy replied with a smile.

As Fluttershy trotted back into her cottage, she was struck with a bizarre sight. There sat Rainbow Dash, Scootaloo, Tank and Angel Bunny in a circle. They were all holding a few cards, and Angel even had a tiny, green visor on his head.

Rainbow Dash audibly growled, “Call!” She emphasized the word by shoving all of her chips into a large pile in the middle of the group.

Angel looked to his cards, then up to Rainbow Dash and finally up over Rainbow Dash to the few birds perched there. The birds nodded emphatically, eliciting a grin from the devilish bunny. He threw his cards down on top of the pile of chips, triumphant.

Rainbow’s mouth fell open a minute before she angrily threw her cards. “Cheater!” she accused. “I dunno how you’re doing it, but there is no way you can beat me every time!”

“Like it matters,” Scootaloo sighed as she put her cards down. “Tank’s on a hot streak.”

Sure enough, the tortoise had a pile bigger than the one in the middle of the quartet right next to him. He was also slowly turning his hand over, revealing four nines—crushing Angel’s three sixes. The little white bunny proceeded to kick the pile of chips before throwing his paws in the air.

Fluttershy giggled. “It’s nice to see you all, um…getting along.”

“Oh! Fluttershy!” Scootaloo turned around to greet the yellow pegasus.

Rainbow Dash breathed an angry sigh as she put her defeat behind her. “About time you got back. So, what did Twilight have to say?”

Fluttershy’s ears lowered as she pawed at the ground a bit. “Oh, well she figured out a lot of the problems. All we have to do now is find some more materials. I think.”

Rainbow Dash sighed. Every time she heard about how the spell and wing were coming along it was “almost” done. It didn’t help that they all were going out of their way to keep her away from the whole thing. “Whatever,” Dash muttered, looking away.

“So, Scootaloo, what brings you here?” Fluttershy deliberately changed the subject.

“Oh yeah!” Scootaloo held up the passes. “The Wonderbolts start their training tomorrow, so I came to see if Rainbow Dash was taking me!”

“I don’t know about that,” Fluttershy gently denied. “Rainbow Dash is still recovering from her…accident.”

“It’s fine,” Rainbow spat. “I already said I’d take her. I just need you to reserve Cherry Berry’s balloon for me.”

Fluttershy whimpered a bit at Rainbow Dash’s harsh tone. “You really shouldn’t push yourself. Aren’t you due to have your cast off in a few days?”

“Are you two…fighting?” Scootaloo gently prodded.

“What? No, of course not,” Fluttershy denied.

Rainbow Dash sighed as she rubbed the back of her head just a moment. “Sorry, no. I’m just a little worked up, that’s all.”

“Why don’t I take Scootaloo, at least until your cast comes off,” Fluttershy offered.

“She wants me to take her, and it’s not the cast that’s keeping me out of Cloudsdale,” Rainbow groused.

Fluttershy took her turn to sigh. “All right,” she relented. “I’ll go talk to Cherry Berry.”

As Fluttershy trotted out, Scootaloo looked up to Rainbow Dash. “So we’re going to Cloudsdale tomorrow?”

Dash finally smiled again as she sat back on her haunches so she could ruffle Scootaloo’s mane. “Sure thing, squirt!”