• Published 20th Dec 2013
  • 27,716 Views, 2,388 Comments

Dash of Humanity 2: A New Dawn - Kaidan



I'm stuck in Equestria, which reminds me of the dark ages. Instead of internet and fast-food, I have Rainbow Dash. She's been asked to help me learn to fit in... I'd like a refund.

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1. For a New Dawn

Ammonia.

The first thing I recalled smelling was ammonia. It permeated the air, as if the janitor cleaning my hospital had spilled it again. My nose was being stung by the insulting fragrance, and there was little I could do about it.

Or can I?

My efforts to move proved sluggish and futile. A weight hung over my body, pinning me down in the bed. As my awareness of my surroundings returned, I noticed soft linens covering me. A puzzling realization came to me as I felt my heartbeat.

I was alive. But how?

A steady beeping caused me to try covering my ears, which made them twitch. The last thing I remembered was fading to black inside Dash’s mind. I had picked a happy memory and let it absorb me.

Like a factory being turned on at the start of a workday, my body seemed to be turning on one step at a time. Smell, touch, hearing, and my taste returned. My tongue and throat were parched, most likely due to the length of my hospital stay. But if I was in a hospital, did that mean they’d found a way to send me home?

My eyelids felt like they were crusted shut, resisting the efforts of my weakened muscles to part them. Blinding white light assaulted them as they opened, causing them to water and further blur my view. I opened them slowly until they had adjusted so I could take a look around.

Sore muscles throughout my body protested, but finally obeyed, as I commanded them to move. The lead weights that had pinned me down earlier vanished, replaced by mental cobwebs that made me sluggish. It felt like I hadn’t used these muscles in weeks, which might very well have been the case.

An ugly, tan privacy curtain was pulled around my bed. The only things I could see in the room from here were that curtain, the ceiling, and a white bed sheet. I moved my arm up to find the nurse call button and ask for a hand getting a drink of water.

An intravenous catheter pinched my elbow, and the tape pulled at my hair.

Of course they’d slap the silk tape over my entire arm. Probably took the LPN ten tries to find a vein, too.

Going more slowly this time, I freed my arm and wiped the crust away from my eyes with my fingernail. It proved highly effective—too effective. Somehow my nail was covering my entire eye, neatly scooping out the gunk that had accumulated.

Not again. . .

Blinking my eyes brought the room into a clearer focus. Hovering in front of me was a cyan leg, covered in fur, with a hoof at the end. I mentally berated myself for hoping, even for a second, I was free of Dash’s body.

Hey, Dash, what happened?

My cracked lips were aching so I tried to lick them. Judging by how crappy I felt, I’d likely gone into a coma. However, I wasn’t dead or in prison, so I was guessing we‘d beaten Discord.

Dash?

Both wings began to ache, and I pushed them outward a little. My limbs began to move clumsily, shifting the bed sheets around and knocking the call button off of the bed.

Shit, so much for getting a nurse.

Something inside me felt wrong, as if I were wearing a body that was the wrong size. I hadn’t felt like this inside Dash before. Whereas she was agile, I was struggling to get my foreleg back under the blanket. Whereas she was coordinated, I had to focus all my attention to slide myself up against the pillow and prop myself up.

There was a table next to my bed with water on it. I considered reaching for it but wasn’t sure how to pick it up with a hoof. Next to it was something that looked an awful lot like a birth certificate, with my name in bold letters.

Dawn Seeker

I groaned, annoyed that they misspelled my first name. Given the tendency of ponies to make cute-sounding names, I wasn’t surprised they’d gone ahead and slapped a new last name on there for me.

While I kicked around under the sheets, I felt something twitch and begin to grow. It was not an unfamiliar sensation, having spent my life as a male, but the size and speed of it alarmed me.

Beneath the sheet I began to pitch a tent, one large enough to dispel all notion that I was still in Dash’s body. I lifted up the sheets with my hooves to glance at the monstrosity known as stallionhood.

The sheets slipped and I tried to lean forward and sit up. The sound of hooves clicking on the tile floors reached me, and they were heading in my direction. I suddenly realized I had no idea where I was, or who was coming. To make matters worse, I was about to have a visitor walk in while I was at full mast.

Shit, shit, shit!

I hit my growing erection with a hoof, trying to “shoo” it away. A jolt of pain shot down it, doing nothing to aid my situation. The hoofsteps stopped next to the curtain, leaving me with little time to improvise. I rolled to my left to lay on my side and hide my problem.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough bed left for me to do so.

The world spun as I toppled to the ground, my flailing limbs doing little to slow me down. I landed on a wing, yelping in pain. The cold air against me let me know the blanket was gone and I was fully exposed to whoever my visitor was.

My eyes clenched shut as I willed my visitor away, or to not see me laying on the floor like this. It was unexpected enough that I was a pony, let alone alive. I was not looking forward to the explanation of why I was not back on Earth. Having them tell me how they’d saved me while I was exposed like this was less than ideal.

The softness of the nearby hoofsteps caused my ears to point themselves towards the source of the sound. My visitor was only a couple of feet away now. Faint breathing reached me, and whoever was enjoying the peepshow didn’t say a word. I heard the blanket rustle, then fall down over my prone form, covering me.

A pillow landed next to me with a soft thud. “Hey,” a familiar voice said. It was one I had worn for a week prior to today.

Exhaling in relief, I opened my eyes and looked over at Rainbow Dash. “H-hey.” I coughed, my throat dry and aching from trying to speak.

Dash smirked and looked at the glass of water on the nightstand next to me. She reached down and lifted my head forward to slide the pillow under it. Then as she was about to step over me, she flapped her wings and flew to the glass.

I waited as she lowered it and held it to my lips, allowing me to drink. The water was refreshing and eased my sore throat, allowing me to moan in relief.

“Thanks,” I said.

“No problem, Dude.” Dash was about to sit down when we heard another set of footsteps approaching.

“Crap, don’t let the others see me like this.” I gestured towards my groin, and Dash nodded. Thank god she was in a good mood and covering for me, though I suppose I’d earned that much.

She stepped outside the privacy curtain. “Hey, what do you want?” Dash asked.

“Oh, I’ve come to check on the patient,” a nurse explained.

“Yeah, well we’re busy and he doesn’t want visitors.”

“Excuse me?” I could hear the hostile edge in the nurse’s voice. “Visitors do not give orders to the hospital staff.”

“Hah! I’m Rainbow Dash! Nurses do not give orders to the mare that saved Equestria four times. Now give us some privacy.”

The nurse stomped a hoof. “The doctor will hear about this, so will Celestia!” The pony left the room, letting her hooves echo loudly off the floor.

Dash returned to my side and sat down next to my head, leaning back against the bed.

“Thanks again.”

“Stop thanking me; we were a team. We did it, Dawn! We saved Equestria from Discord,” Dash explained. “I’m so excited to see you, I thought you were dead!” She gave me a quick hug before pulling back to make sure I saved what little dignity I had left.

“How? The last thing I remember was clinging on to that feeling of loyalty, and letting myself fade into your memories.”

Dash shrugged and looked over at me. From this angle I got a good view of her mane, and realized I’d never really appreciated just how many colors it had. “Same way we always do. We blasted him with the Elements. It was a real shame we had to put them back in the Tree of Harmony a few days after that. Sure was a hell of a time trying to solve Twilight’s plant problem.”

“No, I mean, this.” I moved a foreleg up and down my side. “You seemed to have made me a body and given me a new name.”

“What do you mean? Your name is Dawn?” Dash asked.

“Yeah, but spelled different, and that isn’t my last name.”

“Well to be honest, I had no idea how to pronounce or spell it, and it wasn’t a very pony sounding last name. . . of course, Celestia would be happy to change it if you ask her later.”

“And why do I feel so clumsy? I could fly when we were joined together, and now I feel like a foal.”

“Oh! Twilight told me how to explain this. For an egghead it was pretty cool!” Dash jumped up and flew over to the empty glass, and the full pitcher of water. Once they were in her hooves she returned and set them down in front of me.

“Really? She’s got you explaining this stuff now?”

“Hush! Just because I’m awesome doesn’t mean I can’t know a thing or two.”

I shrugged. “Well, I’m not going anywhere, so give me a little magic lesson, egghead.”

Dash’s wings fluttered and she seemed to blush a little, but it was short lived. She poured a glass of water into the cup. “Okay, so this glass of water is you, and the pitcher of water is me. Now, when Discord sent you here, he poured you inside my head. So imagine you’re this cup of water. If I got another cup, I could pour the water in it and it’d be pretty much the same.”

She lifted up the cup and dumped it inside the pitcher of water. “But now that the cup and pitcher are mixed together, could you get the glass of water back out, using the exact same bits of water I just poured in?”

Fuck. So that’s what happened.

“No, it’d be nearly impossible to get all the exact same water molecules out of the pitcher and back into the glass.” It made sense in a way, that the two of us had been blended together. How on Earth, or I suppose Equestria, they could sort the two of us out was beyond me.

Dash stared at me and blinked a couple times, muttering Show off under her breath. “Ahem, yeah. So, Celestia, Luna, and Twilight pretty much spent a week trying to scoop you out of my head, but only the right bits. I was rather persuasive, demanding that they look harder, telling them you were still in there.”

“What, they didn’t want to rescue me?” I asked.

“It’s not that, but you were just memories and fragments all across my brain. They were afraid of what could happen to me if they went fishing around, but I convinced them to do it. They found a large enough piece in my subconscious to start attaching all the others. Next they did some fancy magic stuff, and voila!”

My thoughts drifted to my life, my real life, on Earth. I could remember most of it and almost feel the pieces of my memory that hadn’t returned. Yet, even if Dash got to keep some of my memories, I wasn’t ready to just abandon my entire life on my home planet.

“Why didn’t they send me back to Earth, then? Or just let me die in peace?” I asked.

Dash gasped, taking a moment to choose her words. “You. . . would really want to die? We worked really hard to save you.”

“No, but I mean, my life on Earth is dead. If I’m here, it means they couldn’t send me back there.”

“Yeah, they, uh. . . Well, you’ve been in a coma for a week after they saved you. It took them days to do that. Then there was the time you spent in my body. . . By now, you’re—you would. . . We couldn’t send you back if we wanted to.”

I felt emotions well up in my stomach, feeling a bit nauseous, as I realized that all I had ever known had died. Gone—never to be more than a passing memory. My eyes began to water, so I blinked a few times to clear them.

“Dawn, I thought you’d be happy. . . They made you a body. It’s never been accomplished before! And you got to keep some of my best traits: wings, cyan fur, uh… well, not the hair, but still! It could have been worse. Pinkie was adamant you’d rather be a mare than a stallion.”

I chuckled softly, picturing myself as a mare. My time as the other gender, with all the benefits that it entailed, had passed. Being male was the only part of my old life I still had to hang onto, and I couldn’t imagine being female once the curiosity passed.

“It’s not that,” I explained. “Thanks. I just. . . died. On Earth. If I’ve been gone for weeks, there’s really nothing left to go back to. Everyone will have buried me and would be trying to move on with—with—”

I was choking back the tears and trying to maintain my composure in front of Dash. There would be time for this later, when nopony was around to see me cry like a foal.

“It’s okay, Dawn,” Dash said. “I think we know each other better than any other pony ever could. Your secret is safe with me.”

Tears ran down the fur on my face, tickling it slightly as it got wet and stuck to my face. I looked at Dash, who was sitting down with her tail across her lap. She gestured at her hind leg, and I rolled over.

My muzzle buried itself into her lap, surrounded by her hair, and I wept. I wept for my death on Earth, and the end of my life. I wept for the family I’d never see again, the culture I had lost, and the way of life that was but a dream.

Her hair soaked up my tears, and I felt her hoof stroking my neck. All my pretense was thrown aside as I continued to cry, letting my emotions pour out. Even though I had succeeded in saving Equestria, doing so had imprisoned the only being capable of sending me back to Earth. Now, I’d been brought back, but even if Discord somehow changed his mind from his stone prison, I had nothing to go back to.

For the first time, Equestria felt more like a prison than an odd vacation. I was one of the ponies now, though as my sorrow gave way I realized it might not be all bad. Dash and her friends would be there for me, and I could start over and find a job. There would be plenty of ponies there to support me.

Dash ran her hoof down my neck again. “Better?”

I sniffled, still feeling a little insecure but safe nonetheless because Dash was here. It was true that being forced to co-exist inside her mind had made us close, like siblings. We had each seen past the persona we put on for others and learned a great deal about each other. “Yes, thanks.”

“Want a hoof getting back into bed?”

“Can I just take a nap, like this? I don’t want to be alone.”

Dash began to stroke my mane again, parting the light brown hair. “Of course, Dawn.”


I woke up with a yawn, finding myself back in the hospital bed, alone again. For the first time I could look at myself rationally, and take in this new body. I was about Dash’s size, and clearly a stallion. The somewhat-messy mane was a shade of light brown with a pink highlight at the root. I could move my tail around under the sheets and imagined it was the same.

I lifted the sheets clumsily with my wings, noticing I had no cutie mark. It made sense, because I had no ‘special talent’ like most ponies. I had just been born, so to speak.

Both ears pivoted towards hushed voices outside the curtain. They began to twitch from the unfamiliar sensation of having flexible ears.

“He just needs some more sleep. He’s doing awesome!” Dash said.

“You shooed the nurses away, Rainbow,” Twilight stated. “And Celestia is on her way anyhow to talk to him. Why won’t you let anypony see him?”

“Because he. . . needs his sleep!”

Twilight moaned, and I found myself grateful Dash had been willing to run interference for me while I dealt with the shock of my death. “Dash, you keep saying he needs more sleep. He’s been out cold for a week. Then he wakes up and you’re all. . . fidgety.”

“Yeah, well—”

“Hey, Twilight,” I interrupted. “You can come in.”

“Thank you, Dawn.” The alicorn walked through the curtains followed by Dash.

“See? He’s doing just as awesome as I said.” Dash hovered in the air, forelegs crossed as she stared down at Twilight.

Her personality seemed a bit different from when I’d been inhabiting her body. Perhaps this was closer to what she was like before I barged into her brain.

“Celestia and Luna are coming up to thank you, and the rest of my friends want to see you too. Are you up for it?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah, I can probably come up with some questions to ask them when they get here. You know, the whole ‘what the hell am I supposed to do now?’ kind.”

Twilight’s horn lit up and I felt her magic creeping over my skin, creating a tickling sensation. I could also feel it invading my mind, causing me to clench my eyes shut and try to block her out. “Hey!”

“Oh, sorry, I got ahead of myself.” When I looked back at her she had a sheepish grin on her face. “I’m just so used to using my magic on my friends that I forgot to ask your permission. Can I check to see how you’re doing?”

“Sure.”

The magic crept over me again, though it felt a lot less invasive when I was expecting it. My body felt like a deck of cards being shuffled as she probed her way through all of my organs. It was unlike any medicine ever practiced back on Earth, and immediately reminded me of the MRI machine.

“Did you just take multiple pictures of my insides by slicing them into pieces with magic?” I asked.

“Yeah! You know about unicorn magic?”

I sighed and shook my head. “Twilight, I’m from Earth, remember? The only thing I know about magic is—well it’s. . . magic.”

“Oh.”

“We do have machines that do something similar though. So, tell me, Doctor Twilight, how long do I have to live?”

My question caught her off-guard, sending both eyes wide open while she searched for a response. “But I—you’re not dying! Who would tell you that?!”

Dash laughed with me at her expense. “No, but seriously how’d you save me?”

Twilight squee’d, filling the air with an infectious joy as she took a deep breath. “I thought you’d never ask! I helped Luna search through the forbidden section of the library, digging up research on golems. We invented a whole new branch that combines magic and alchemy, the likes of which hasn’t come close to being studied since the Lunar Rebellion. Using Dash’s genetic sequence as a base template—”

I rolled my eyes and moaned. Despite not being from around here, I’d learned quickly there were two things you never wanted to do: launch Twilight into an explanation, or get caught mentioning “party” around Pinkie. Dash was laughing at me, enjoying the verbal assault that Twilight was passing off as an explanation.

Apparently, from what I could pick up while Twilight pantomimed and gave me a brief history of the universe, she and Luna had created a living body for me. I was some sort of golem, only instead of animating an inanimate object, they had used Dash’s DNA to create a real animate object. Then, through some magic mumbo-jumbo, they took a melon-baller and scooped me out of Dash’s brain.

“—stopped me before I could give you any enhancements. I was really hoping to make you faster, stronger, better—” Twilight said.

“And sexier,” Dash added.

I glanced over at her. She was giving me a seductive grin. My mind immediately went where every male mind goes when within spitting distance of a woman, and I began pitching a tent.

“Dammit, Dash! And I just got rid of that.” I crossed my forelegs and groaned.

Barbara Streisand, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, John Boehner—wait, why are politicians always so damn ugly? Ah, who cares, it seems to be working.

“Rainbow Dash!” Twilight scolded.

I listened to the two whisper back and forth, picking up bits about it being a ‘harmless joke’. Luckily my situation was resolving itself quickly.

Celestia and Luna opened the curtains wide only moments later, allowing much more sunlight into the room. Thankfully, a royal catastrophe had been averted, leaving Dash to laugh it up while Twilight gave her a furious look.

“Good afternoon, Dawn.” Celestia smiled and the room seemed to brighten up as the partly cloudy sky outside cleared up.

“Hey, how’s it hanging?” I asked.

“How is what hanging?” she replied.

Dash and Luna chuckled, seeming to understand the saying, though the “eggheads” in the room didn’t.

“Nevermind. So, uh, thanks for not letting me die and all.”

“The thanks lie with Luna and Twilight,” Celestia explained.

“Oh yeah,” Dash said. A second later she punched me in the shoulder with a hoof hard enough to elicit a yelp of pain. “That’s for trying to sacrifice your life to save Equestria!”

I stared at her a moment. “Well? Next you’re supposed to kiss me for saving Equestria. I’ve seen this in movies plenty of times.”

Dash’s mouth flopped open while she searched for the right retort. She finally gave up and landed next to Twilight. “Well, I’m dating Soarin, so there won’t be any of that going on.”

“It’s not ‘cheating’ if it’s for saving an entire country you know.” I was about to continue when I saw Celestia raise an eyebrow. “But we’ll talk about that later. So, Princess?”

“On behalf of Equestria, thank you, Dawn. We owe you more than we can repay, though I hope this commemorative plaque will begin to show our gratitude.” Celestia levitated out a golden plaque with my name on it, and the hoofprints of her and Luna.

“You realize that’s not how you spell ‘Don’?” I asked.

“Hmm? You said your name was Dawn,” Celestia replied.

“He spells it differently,” Dash added.

“Yeah, D-O-N. Don.”

“What an odd name for a pony,” Luna answered. “The whole time you were stuck with Dash you kept pronouncing it ‘Dawn’.”

“Just because they’re pronounced the same—”

“Indeed. Dawn is a beautiful time of day and a fitting name. You are at the dawn of a new life, seeking a purpose. I came up with the name myself. Or, perhaps you hate my beautiful sunrises?” Celestia asked, with a mischievous grin

“No! It’s just a little. . .” I twirled a hoof around, “girly.” Luckily, I was no stranger to sarcasm and ignored Celestia’s quip.

Dash laughed loudly. “Girly? You spent an entire week in my body trying to get laid! That ship set sail a long time ago.”

Unsure what to say to that, I just returned the discussion to recent events. “Anyway, thanks for bringing me back. But why didn’t you just send me to Earth?”

“We would have if we could, but that is a power only Discord seems to understand,” Celestia stated. “Had so much time not elapsed we would continue to look for a way, but I fear you will never have a way back to Earth.”

“And you’re okay with that?” I asked. A bit of the anger from earlier resurfaced inside me. “You’ve imprisoned Discord tons of times, and you couldn’t just free him long enough to send me back? No, you can’t just take everything from me and tell me I can never go back.”

“Dawn—”

“No, Twilight,” I interjected. “I’m here with three of the most powerful beings in the world, and the first thing I hear from Dash when I wake up is you’ve all written me off for dead!”

Celestia walked over to the bed until I could feel warmth radiating from her body. She looked down at me and spoke softly. “Dawn, I did not wish to rob you of a chance to return to Earth. Instead, we have given you a gift of a new life, and a second chance.”

I felt a lump in my throat and attempted to swallow it. Crying in front of Dash was one thing—I knew which drawer she kept her sexy socks in. Breaking down in front of the rulers of Equestria was another story. “Yeah, still sucks. Can we move this along?”

“There’s no need to be rude,” Twilight chided.

“It’s okay, Twilight.” Celestia turned and walked back over to stand with the other ponies. “We have completely removed him from the comfort of his old life to give him a shot at a new one.” She turned back around to face me. “As such, Dawn, we will procure you a house in Ponyville. If there is any way we can make your transition easier you need only ask. We can not, nor will I, use Discord to try and send you back. To do so would invite disaster down on all of Equestria.”

She returned her gaze to the exit of the room and walked out of it, letting the oak door close gently behind her. For the first time I noticed how cozy the hospital room was. Unlike the barren tile rooms I was used to, this one felt like a log cabin. Wood paneling on the walls, hardwood floors, and plenty of sunlight made me feel at ease.

With the source of the bad news gone, I was left with Luna, Dash, and Twilight. Doubtless as soon as they left, Pinkie Pie would be on her way to throw a party. Then I’d have to figure out this whole “life as a pony” schtick and have a ton of work ahead of me.

“Are you alright, Dawn?” Luna asked.

“Of course he is. He’s part Dash!” Rainbow stated.

“Just how much ‘Dash’ am I? Are we, like, siblings or something?” I asked.

“No more than Twilight or Pinkie are her sisters. Her DNA was merely the template onto which to put your humanity.” Luna spoke and I followed her gaze over to Dash, who had taken a keen interest in staring at her hooves.

“Props on that, by the way.” I sat up and stretched, causing my stomach to rumble and the realization of how hungry I was to hit me. “I don’t mean to be ungrateful. You seem to have gotten most of my memories out intact. I don’t suppose you can bring me some food and let me get some more rest?”

“Of course,” Twilight replied. “I’ll get you some salad and jello from the cafeteria.”

“Scratch that, just bring me jello. Lots and lots of jello,” I said.

“Aww, but you need to eat your veggies to grow big and strong.” Dash flew above me and began to tussle my mane with her hoof. “Who’s my good little colt?” she cooed.

“I’m not above hitting a lady.” I glared up at her.

“Try it, tough guy. You’ll find out why they call me the fastest mare in Equestria,” Dash said.

“Hah!” I rolled my eyes. “Me and Soarin already know why they call you that!”

She grunted and began to blush, quickly flying back over to Twilight to try and hide her embarrassment from me. It would seem I still knew how to push her buttons.

“Come on, Dash. We have some more work to do before heading back home,” Twilight said.

“I must go as well. You would not believe how much paperwork is involved with the night court. Sometimes I think Celestia deliberately saves it all up for me.” Luna gave a small bow before turning and leaving.

“I’ll catch up, Twilight,” Dash explained. After Twilight and Luna left, she walked up to my bed.

“You sure do act different now that I’m out of your head,” I observed. “I almost asked you to cuddle, but I figured the answer would be no with them watching.”

“Yeah, I do have a reputation to uphold, and I can’t blame the annoying human in my head anymore for my odd behavior,” Dash explained. “I just want you to know if you need anything I’m here for you. I’m not that good at the mushy stuff, but we already know each other really well, so I figure it can’t be that hard.”

“That’s sweet. If I ever need tips on creative use of a shower head, I’ll give you a call.”

“You do realize you’re playing with fire?” Dash stared at me for a moment before chuckling. “Well, I can’t exactly start pranking you until you’re out of the hospital, but if you keep that attitude up I will get even.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


Author's Note:

v1.1 Edited for some clarity.
+ name change was to help him fit in, in addition to the pronunciation in 'Murica being the same for both Don and Dawn.
+ description of size/mane/lack of cutie mark
+ Dash more excited to see him
= the 'descriptions' of how they saved him remain unchanged, as each 'pony' describes different aspects of it (and obviously, it won't come up in conversation again so consider it world building and not repetition.)