• Published 22nd Apr 2012
  • 8,037 Views, 109 Comments

Dirt and diamonds - Starlitomega

To Applejack, spending a week with a fussy unicorn sounds like hell. given enough time however.....

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Chapter 1

Ringing filled Applejack’s ears. Constant pain coursed through her body due in no small part to the pony beneath her, obviously in a hurry to get somewhere very quickly

“Please, everypony, make way!”

She recognized the frantic voice, but couldn’t place a name or face with it. All she really wanted was to close her eyes and drift off to sleep, but the jarring and bumping sent pulses of pain through her tired body. Despite her best efforts, she found herself unable to move her head in any meaningful way, remaining transfixed at the ground blurring by. A brilliant flash of bright light lit up the world, causing her mind to make a tenuous link between the lightning and the water mercilessly pelting her coat. With great effort, she tried moving her hooves in an attempt to jump off the pony carrying her to Celestia only knows where.

“No, no, please don’t move, darling!”

Hurt? Was she hurt? There was that pounding headache throbbing in her skull. She'd had headaches before, but never on such a grand scale. Now that she thought about it, there did seem to be a very worried pony following behind her. Such a bright pink pony with a long straight mane and a face filled with fear who sure seemed upset about something.

“Rarity, Over here!”

Another familiar voice called out through the pouring rain. She didn’t get a very good look, as moving remained extremely difficult for some reason, but the purple unicorn did strike her as being very familiar.

“Ease her down carefully, we won’t know how badly she's hurt until the doctors get here!”

Her stomach lurched as she felt her body being lowered to the ground. A burning sensation in her chest forcing her to flinch. With her back to the ground and face now pointing upwards, she realized she had been placed under the relative protection of an umbrella, and the five worried faces staring down at her belonged to her closest friends. Fear gripped her heart as she realized how dire the situation had become.

“Stand aside, everypony!”

This voice also seemed familiar to her, but in a much less obvious way. Someone she had seen before, but very rarely. She identified the new voice by a red cross on her flank as Nurse Redheart, a nurse she unfortunately seemed to be in dire need of. Another pony moved into view from her right, a unicorn who wore a stethoscope which he promptly placed on her chest. The fear intensified as the unicorn's eyes grew wider and wider every second he listened to her heart.

“She’s in ventricular fibrillation, we need the defibrillator!”

The snow white mare shook her head, "We can’t use the defib unit outside in this weather, and it'll take too long to get her inside and dry her off!" The nurse turned to her side toward another pony, "Go get the Lidocaine, now!”

Applejack could swear her heart was trying to claw its way out of her chest. The pounding in her head reached a crescendo as the doctors scrambled furiously for supplies. Despite the growing blackness in her eyes, the farmer could see her friends off to the side, clearly shaken by the ordeal and fearful of what might happen. A new sensation enveloped her and the burning stopped abruptly. Her chest ceased it's steady movement and the blackness started closing in even faster, threatening to shut her out of the world.

The unicorn moved the stethoscope around her chest frantically, his voice now seemed distant as if he were standing far away from her, “No, no, no! Cancel the Lidocaine, she’s flatlined! Get the epinephrine in there, now!”

Nurse Redheart drew a syringe of clear liquid, “We don’t have an I.V. in. I’m going straight to the heart!”

Searing, white hot pain enveloped Applejack’s world, forcing her eyes open, and pushing the darkness back. She stared in a mixture of wonder and horror at the syringe being emptied into her chest. As the last bit of liquid disappeared, the nurse removed the accursed needle from her chest relieving the pressure and bringing her some much needed relief.

“Beginning compressions!” With surprising force, the snow white pony pushed on her chest sending pulse after pulse of pain through her body. After a few agonizing moments of this, she felt the painful thumping and burning sensation return as she reflexively gasped for air. The unicorn moved back in with his stethoscope, scanning frantically for her pulse.

“She’s in v-fib again! We’re back at square one. Without a defibrillator we’re spinning our wheels! If the Lidocaine doesn’t work, we’ll lose her!”

“Please, stand aside, everypony.”

Another voice—this one filled with authority and kindness—rang out across the crowd. Both doctors bowed apologetically to the majestic pony before them.

“Your highness, we can't use the defibrillator. Without the medicine, she’ll surely die.”

“I know, I have this in hoof. Please, close the umbrella.”

Applejack stared as they folded up the umbrella, allowing the rain to pelt her once again. She watched in awe as the royal pony raised her hoof to the sky, as if she were calling out to the heavens. “Stay with me, Applejack. Your friends and family need you. You will make it through this.”

Nurse Redheart stepped forward again, “Your highness, she probably can’t hear you. It’s very rare that a pony in cardiac arrest is conscious.”

Celestia's eyes connected with Applejack's, as if she could see right through the cowpony. “She can hear me, I know it. Look away, everypony.” With a brilliant flash, lightning struck her outstretched hoof, forming a powerful thread of electricity reaching from her to the sky, twisting in every direction like a string being blown in the wind. Despite the immense amount of electricity flowing through her, Celestia maintained a calm demeanor. “Hang in there, Applejack.”

Applejack could do little but stare as the princess’ other hoof moved closer to her chest, until her world faded into white light.

A tingling prickly feeling erupted in Applejack’s hooves. She slowly opened her crust-covered eyes to take in her surroundings. The sterile, white environment, the smell of harsh medicine in the air, the paper thin gown barely considered a garment covering her sore body... she knew exactly where she was given the clues around her.

“Ah feel like Ah’ve been bucked in the head some kinda good.” The farmer groaned as she attempted to sit up.

A white hoof crossed her chest gently, pushing her back down, “Easy, dear. No need to be in a hurry. My, my, you had us all quite worried there. Next time you decide to do something foolish like that, why don’t you warn us so we can have a eulogy ready ahead of time, hmm?”

Even in her injured state, Applejack managed an indignant snort “Now listen here, Rarity, it’s not like Ah went out of my way to uhh… hmmmm… what did Ah do anyway?”

Rarity shook her head slowly. “The doctors did mention that you might not remember some details. Give me just a moment, dear while I go get the others.”

The blonde pony stared as Rarity left the room. Now left to her own devices, she decided to give herself a once over. Her front left hoof bore a small black mark. Giving the mark a tentative touch rewarded her with a sharp pain. “Ow! Sweet candy apples that smarts…” Glancing down at her legs, she saw a similar mark on her rear right hoof as well. She thought better of giving this one more of the same treatment and decided to leave it be. The door slowly opened, and familiar faces pushed their way inside, wearing soft smiles.

“Hey, AJ, I told the others you’d be fine, nothing in Equestria can keep you down long,” Rainbow Dash said. Despite Rainbow's nonchalant attitude, Applejack could tell right away the multicolored mare had been worried.

Rarity locked eyes with the pegasus. “Hah! You should have seen Miss best young flier in Equestria here the night we brought you in. Rainbow was quite a mess until they told us you would pull through.” The cyan pegasus blew a raspberry towards Rarity in retaliation.

A party blower unfurled itself mere centimeters from the blonde pony’s face, yet made no sound whatsoever. “Uhhh, Pinkie, Ah think yer party thingies broken,” Applejack said smiling at her pink friend’s enthusiasm.

“Nope! I took out the squeaker! I’m under strict doctor’s orders not to surprise, startle, or spook you in any way shape, form or fashion, though I don’t know what clothes have to do with anything,” The pink mare pondered aloud in confusion.

“Speaking of doctor’s orders, just what in Ponyville happened anyway?” The orange pony asked, raising her burnt hoof for all to see.

“I can answer that,” the nurse said, stepping forward. “You took a massive hit from a lightning bolt while installing a lightning rod in a storm. Not the smartest thing you could have done.”

“That’s my fault,” Twilight spoke up, an apologetic look plain on her face, “I asked her to help me with one of my experiments. I wanted to study lightning and get a measurement from a lightning strike. I should’ve asked you to put it up earlier this week, but I just didn’t have time in my schedule, and when I realized the storm was happening that day I panicked and then… I should’ve moved something off my schedule beforehand, or put it off for another day. I’m sorry, Applejack.”

Applejack smiled and shook her head. “It’s all right, Twi. It was mah choice to go do something that foolish. Looking back, it certainly weren’t the smartest thing Ah’ve ever done, but it was something ah chose to do.”

“That’s very forgiving of you, Applejack.”

Everyone but Twilight stared in quiet awe as Princess Celestia walked into the room, bearing a soft smile.

Applejack blushed deeply beneath her orange coat. “Aw shucks, princess, ain't nothin'. I reckon I owe ya fer that little trick you did. I never imagined you could do something with lightning like that.”

“You and your friends have helped to save Equestria twice over. I’m happy to repay the favor anyway I can,” The princess said with a wink.

“Well Ah thank ya all the same. Since ya’ll done patched me up, Ah think Ah’ll get back to the farm so Ah can make sure the animals get their supper. They’re gonna be mighty angry at missing breakfast,” Applejack said, moving to leave the bed. Her escape plan reached an abrupt halt as the nurse pushed her back down.

“Oh no you don’t. You have a contact injury from that lightning blast. It had to cross your heart to reach the ground. You’re in no shape to be hauling feed. You need to rest up and let your heart and body recover.”

“Rest up? But Big Mac, Granny Smith, and Applebloom are still in Canterlot for two weeks. Ah have to take care of the farm!” The earth pony protested. Everyone in the room—minus the princess—went silent and averted their eyes. “Wait, what’s going on? Why’d everypony get quiet all of a sudden?”

Fluttershy cleared her voice as best she could while hiding behind her mane. “Ummmm, Applejack, please don’t be mad, but I’ve been taking care of your animals. You’ve actually been out for ummm…” The pegasi’s voice trailed off.

“Wait, how long have Ah been out?”

“Ummm, well, a week…”

“Say what?” Applejack shouted. Fluttershy retreated behind Pinkie Pie. “A whole week? Are you kiddin'? Please tell me she’s jokin!” The entire room remained silent. Applejack looked back to the unicorn standing beside her bed. “You’ve been sitting with me for an entire week, Rarity?”

“Not exactly. Twilight, Pinkie, and I have been swapping shifts. Rainbow was helping too at first, but she stopped showing up after awhile.” Rarity said, cutting her eyes at the Pegasus in question.

“Heh, heh, heh… well, it was so boring. I started helping Fluttershy and Sweetie Belle with the animals instead. It’s not like I abandoned you or anything, I just decided to help in a different way,” Rainbow said, scratching her head.

“That’s okay, Rainbow, I know how hard it is ta get you to sit still. Ah can’t thank you gals enough. It means a lot to me that ya’ll went so far out to help me, but it’s time Ah took mah farm back, and let ya’ll take a break," Applejack said, trying to get to her hooves again.

“Nope! You are to avoid any strenuous activity for at least two weeks!” The nurse said, pushing her back down.

Two weeks? But I have to get everything ready for when mah family comes home… ’sides, there’s no way I can sit at my farm and do nothin!”

“My point exactly,” The nurse said with a nod. “Which is why you won’t be at your farm. You’ll be staying with your friend Rarity since she works from home, and lives closest to the hospital. She was kind enough to volunteer to take you in. I want to be sure we can get you back in here quickly, if you start having chest pains again

“Wait a minute, two weeks... with Rarity? I’m not sure I can swing that…” Applejack said apprehensively.

“Well you don’t have to be insulting,” Rarity said, sticking her nose in the air.

“Aw, you know that’s not what Ah meant.”


“Ah just prefer to handle these things on my own, I don’t wanna be a pain in nopony’s flank,” The orange pony remarked rubbing her hooves together nervously.

“I know you’re not forgetting one of my student’s friendship lessons about not doing everything by yourself are you?” The princess asked in a chiding tone.

“Oh… well… dangit. Yer right, Princess.” She turned back to her friends. “Gals, thank ya’ll so much, ah really mean it. Especially you, Rarity for offerin me a place to stay.”

A smile returned to the unicorn’s lips. “You are most welcome. Perhaps you might enjoy this better if you looked at it as more of a vacation?”

“Maybe yer right. I’ll just try to enjoy a lil R and R, but don’t you think fer a minute I’ll be sitting on mah flank all day. Ah’m gonna be helpin with tha dishes and tha cookin at the very least, and there’s nothing you can say to stop me.” Applejack said, firmly.

Rarity smiled back at her, “Fine, if you insist. I certainly won’t refuse the help, but you simply must relax and take it easy, or this will all be for nothing.”

“Ah promise.” The blonde pony glared at the nurse. “Are ya satisfied? now can ah get up?

“Very well then," The nurse relented. "Remember, Rarity, make sure somepony is close by in case she has any chest pains, and make sure she keeps her blood pressure and stress levels in check.”

“I will, Nurse Redheart, Thank you very much.” Rarity said. “Now let’s get a wheelchair and get you back to the boutique, dear. “

Applejack took a deep breath, uncertainty rose within her. Dealing with Rarity had become much easier since the sleepover, but they never stayed near each other for more than a few hours since. An entire week seemed daunting to the earth pony, but she was deep in the thick of it now with no turning back. As her friends pulled the wheelchair close to the bed, she hoped her vacation would turn out better than what currently was rattling around in her head.