• Published 13th Mar 2012
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Facets of the Equestrian Sky - Cirrus Sky

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Chapter Nine: Awake, Arrivals

Awake, Arrivals
~
Pleasant Scents~ Homecoming ~ Eggheads

Twilight awoke to a not unpleasant smell and a reassuring absence of hissing. Something was blowing her mane and in a maybe related instance, something held her blanket down. She started a mental checklist, factoring in her earlier condition. ‘So, no hissing, no slithering and above all no snakes. Check. Legs feel ok, head feels a bit sleep thick but mostly fine. Horn fine. Physically ok? Check.’ She opened her eyes and recognised the room Rainbow had spent some time in with an injured wing. “So I’m in hospital?” she muttered to herself. She turned to investigate the pressure on the blanket.

At the foot of the bed lay Spike, curled up and fast asleep, ‘Poor little guy must have been worried.’ She turned to find the source of the breeze and brushed her muzzle against a familiar cyan one. ‘Squee!’ She thought, inwardly performing the Yes! Dance. Careful not to wake the sleeping Rainbow Dash, she moved over, Rainbow was sat on a chair by the bed, her face on the pillow next to Twilight’s head. Careful investigation revealed that she was the source of the nice scent.

Unable to contain herself Twilight gave the slightest twitch. This disturbed the pegasus, fuzzy eyed and obviously exhausted looked up.

“Hey, Twi’ you awake?” came a mumble from the pegasus. She sat up and gave her bed-mane a pat with her hoof. “Rainbow, what happened?” Twilight asked, a little confused.

“You are in the hospital,” Rainbow lifted her head off the bed.

“I gathered that Rainbow, but I feel fine and my assessment spells report no ills.”

“You used a whole lot of magic and needed loads of sleep!” She grinned as Twilight pulled a face at her. “I mean, you slept a week! I’m awesome at sleeping and even I can’t sleep that long!” Twilight groaned and sat up. As she did so the door was opened.

“Ah, Ms Sparkle, good to see you up.” The unicorn doctor who entered was a neutral tan colour, his grey and brown mane contrasted into an altogether reassuring appearance. “I am Dr Foster Wellbeing, I have treated many cases of mage-exhaustion but never on your scale!” He levitated a chart from the end of her bed and gave it a flip through. “I estimated this to be your approximate wakening time. I have had plenty of experience.” He smiled at his ability.

Twilight groaned. “That spell! It was an overload for sure! The other times I used magic like that I had the elements to back me up.” She shook her head at that reflex action. “Indeed” Dr. Wellbeing replied. “You simultaneously healed your wounds, a spell that takes a lot out of most and created a barrier to hold your, er, ‘unwanted company’ away from yourself.” He grinned, “Altogether quite impressive! Well done Ms Sparkle.”

“So, now what Doctor?” Twilight was a little apprehensive, even though the smiling ponies reassured her.

“You can leave today! All you needed was rest and once a unicorn wakes up after an exhaustive act, they’re fit as a fiddle.” He signed the chart. “Now, don’t overexert yourself, your assistant told me you were taking a break to receive a guest anyway, so I trust you won’t be performing any epic feats of magic for a few days at least,” He gave Rainbow a stern look. “As for you young filly, get some sleep! We tolerated your disregard for your own wellbeing when Ms Sparkle was still in a state of delirium but now you need some rest yourself!” He replaced the chart and with one last stern look, turned to leave. “A nurse will be by to run some quick tests and then you’ll be discharged Ms Sparkle. I will arrange a check-up a fortnight from now.” With that he left.

Twilight was nonplussed she looked at Rainbow for an explanation, Rainbow on her part was masterfully quashing a blush and averting her gaze from the purple pools she so often drowned in...

“Rainbow, what did he mean?” Twilight asked with a little urgency. The blasé manner in which the doctor conducted his business obviously meant she was fine but the last bit and the telling bags under Rainbow’s eyes spoke of something deeper. “Uh, well when you first got in, you were kinda confused...” Rainbow’s tone was a mixture of embarrassment and pride. “You got all panicked whenever I left, you’d start shouting about snakes and how I was the only one who could protect you.” She smiled at her friend and then snickered at a memory. “Even the Princesses weren’t enough!” Twilight went bright red and buried her head in the pillow. “Don’t worry Twi’, you used up so much magic and energy you didn’t know up from down!” She ruffled the unicorn’s emerging mane. Twilight gave her a weak smile and a quick hug. “Thanks for being here Rainbow, it means a lot to me.” The two mares parted and sat beside each other, discussing what the unicorn had missed while she slept.

*

The nurse had given her a clean bill of health and Rainbow a stern talking to. “Thanks Rainbow.” Daringly Twilight gave her the briefest peck on the cheek known to history and entered the library. The pegasus had immediately flow off, clearly exhausted. “Spike? Spiike?” she had sent the dragon ahead, it seemed his being in charge had grown messy until his rush to the hospital had forestalled cleaning attempts. He hadn’t left her at all and upon discovering her imminent return, had fled to clear up. “Up here Twilight.” A tired voice called.

Up in the bedroom lay a very tired baby dragon and an owl flapping about. “So, you must have left a big mess to be this tired.” Twilight smiled at her small friend and pulled his blanket over him. “You have a good sleep and I’ll sort out my tea, I feel quite energised after all that sleep! No wonder Rainbow takes so many naps!” At the thought of the cyan mare, Twilight blushed and recalled her words in the hospital. ‘I hope she gets some rest now.’

In her cloudhouse, Rainbow Dash slept soundly, dreams of her daring rescue and selfless watch surrounding her in a happy fog. “No worries Twi’, I’ll protect you always…” she whispered in her sleep.

*

A light nap had overcome Twilight in the early hours of the morning though it was a good job, she didn’t wish to spoil her sleeping pattern. Waking up to gentle morning sunlight and the chirping of birds was always welcome. A delicious smell from the kitchen promised a tasty breakfast to celebrate her return. Her checklist on the wall still read for the day of her ‘incident’ however. Frowning she flipped through.

A warm glow spread in her heart, all the tasks were checked off in familiar hoof and magic writing, from her regular observations on experiments to simple tasks like book deliveries and returns. She flushed a little to see her astronomical tasks signed in the elegant lettering of Princess Luna, it would be a rare treat to read the notes for those nights! Skipping like a filly to breakfast she smiled to see today’s checklist affixed to the fridge. “Good morning Spike!” she smiled to her faithful assistant, sat on his chair munching on some mix of mica flakes and bran. “Hi Twilight, hope you like pancakes” He smiled through a mouthful of food and slid a plate in front of her.

After breakfast it was time for business, she hadn’t missed any important mail and the records her friends had kept (with helpful advice from Spike, he hastened to add) were perfect and within the expected parameters. A weeks sleep seemed to have been a real boon and she found herself finishing off the remaining tasks with ease. “That’s all the experiments completed in time for Andromeda’s visit,” She looked to the clock on the wall, “and still three hours until she arrives! Wonderful!” Noticing the manuscript from Proof and her own bookmark a grin stole across her face, time to catch up with Daring while she waited for her guest.

*

As the last page turned the clock marked the half hour, Twilight was invigorated, not only was it an excellent book, Rainbow’s careful notes were spot on. They revealed her enthusiasm for the written word and a rudimentary understanding of its construction! Her favourite character had accomplished yet another exciting quest but her crush, no the mare she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, really did understand books!

After a brief Yes! Dance (Twilight had held far too many back recently) she noticed the time and made her way to Ponyville Station.

Sat on a cloud above Twilight was Rainbow Dash, totally not spying at all, nope. She’d smiled at the yes dance, Twilight was the definition of Adorkable. Now she seemed to be in a little bit of a hurry. ‘That guest...’ She recalled and followed along, a nice fluffy cumulus acting as cover.

As Twilight entered the station the recent train was just leaving. The milling crowd wasn’t very thick but there were a number of ponies on a number of routes. Soon enough, after a little anxious looking Twilight spotted her guest. The unicorn stood on the platform, a pair of bags in the grasp of her sky blue magic. Her dusky blue coat complimented her silver mane and tail and a pair of azure eyes were intelligent and curious. “’Rommy!” Twilight called happily, cantering over.

“Why! Twilight Sparkle! You are a far cry from the awkward first year filly I recall!” They met each other with a brief hug, “I can’t believe you remember that old nickname. I can honestly say only four ponies, yourself included, know of it.” She smiled, it was a familiar beam that Twilight could remember from her earliest and most awkward years at school, she was reassured that this old schoolmate could soon be a firm friend. “It’s wonderful to see you again.” Twilight returned the smile, “I’ll get you into the guest room and we can begin my tour of Ponyville.” She took a bag in her magic and the two unicorns left the station.

Up in the sky a certain pegasus was agog. “Look at her! She’s gorgeous!” The mare below her was poised and graceful, trotting along with perfect form. Her perfect silver mane falling perfectly down her perfectly curved shoulder. Her perfect cutie mark, a swirl of stars that perfectly complemented Twilight’s headed a perfect silver tail that moved perfectly in time with her perfect pace that matched Twilight. Envy and sadness grew in Rainbow’s heart. Here was an older mare who had a history with Twilight, that yes dance must have been for her, another egghead unicorn with all the same interests and a wonderful appearance. She sadly flew away from the scene, it looked like another prospective partner was out of the question, what hurt the most was that the pony in question was her soulmate.