• Published 5th Nov 2014
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Broken then Healed - Tohshi



A young man has to learn to live with the consequences of his brash decision, as he learns to live in a new town, a new world, and a new body.

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3
The wind blew against my face. Rays pierced the dawn as the sun climbed over the horizon. The chain link fence rattled in my hand, as I leaned out ward over the top of the building. There laying at the base of the building was my dead body, blood pooled around it. My hands slipped and I fell towards my other body. It turned over and looked at me, its eyes black and its mouth open wide with gnashing pointy teeth. He grew and reached out to me. No longer falling I ran away from the horrifying visage of my former self. He was faster. My sides burned and ached as I struggled to go faster, to escape from the monster that chased me. My face slammed into the ground as I tripped over my useless pony legs. The monster now on top of me picked me up by the tail and dangled me over his gigantic maw. Rows upon rows of teeth glistened, waiting anxiously to tear into my flesh. The monster dropped me and darkness engulfed me as I screamed.

The hospital room can into view, as my eyes were cleared of my visions. Lyra stood next to me, her arms grabbing ahold of my shoulders, gently shook me. Beads of sweat ran down my forehead to my ears. My labored breathing slowed, and I looked at her. The floodgates opened and tears flowed from my eyes.

Lyra scooped me up in a large hug. She gently whispered, “It’s alright it was just a dream. Sssshhh, it’s gonna be fine. Just breathe.” – My tears slowed – “There we go. Feeling better?”

“Yes,” I replied. Her warmth beat back the panic, and I calmed down.

Light flooded into the room, brilliant and bright. Lyra's cot was folded up and stuffed into the corner under the window. On the nightstand was a glass of water. My throat, dry and sore, nagged at me. Sitting up, I reached for the glass then paused. I turned to Lyra, and asked, “Can you help me get a drink, please?”

“Of course,” she cheerfully replied. Her horn glowed yellow again, engulfing the glass in her magic. She levitated the glass to my mouth. I took a drink, my throat thanking me for relief.

“Was probably for the best,” she said as she levitated the glass back to the nightstand. “Wouldn't want a repeat of yesterday now would we?”

I shook my head as my reply. Hunger gripped my stomach once more, as if the water had simply woke a beast. Ignoring his demands, I crawled from under my blanket. Still Lilac. It was starting to grow on me. Literally as well.

“As soon as the doctor comes and checks on you we can leave,” Lyra said to me. “I heard Twilight woke up today. We should visit before we leave, Okay?”

I nodded. My mind wandered. How was I gonna support myself? I couldn't expect Lyra to do it, that would be unfair to her. She didn't ask for me to come here. I would have to find a way to take care of myself. Wait why was Lyra saying Twilight woke up today. She had said that Twilight had made my body. What was wrong with her? What if creating my body she hurt herself? It was my fault. I knew it was my fault. I hurt her somehow.

My panic starting to build I tried to stand up to go find Twilight, wherever she was, to help her. I had to. Once again the bed proved traitorous so I flopped back onto my belly.
Lyra laid her hoof on me, and said, “What’s the matter? You looked panicked.”

“Is it my fault Twilight is here? In the hospital?” I asked as tears formed in my eyes. I already knew the answer. Of course it was my fault. I had hurt her. I shouldn't exist I kept hurting people.

“No,” Lyra sternly told me. “Well sorta, but not that you had a choice. Really the blame belongs to me. I couldn't bear to see you go. When she created your body it took allot of her magic, much more than I could ever conjure. The doctor said that she had just exhausted herself and that all she needed was some time to rest and she would get better. It happened to me though not as bad. Pulling objects, even once as mass-less as a spirit, through dimensions takes allot of effort.”

“Honestly I have no idea how she managed to create your body. I mean there is a spell to let to mares have a child together, but that still requires your typical pregnancy. But what she did was beyond that she took that basic spell and combined it with some sort of aging spell, or maybe she just used that as just more instructions to manifest a new body out of thin air. Still to do so would require massive amounts of energy, and I don't know if even Celestia herself would have enough juice to do that. Really impressive magic there though, I guess that’s what you get when you have an alicorn who is the living embodiment of Magic. And friendship.”

Bewilderment masked my face. My brain tried to grasp what she had just said. The idea that someone could just manifest a body out of thin air was insane. My knowledge of physics was shaky at best, but I did know of the Law of Conservation of Mass. Maybe the physics worked differently here.

“Oops,” Lyra said. “Sorry about that sometimes I really get into stuff. I guess that probably was a bit much all at once there. Either way long story short, don't blame yourself for Twilight's spell of illness.”

“Okay,” I whispered though my guilt had subsided but not vanished.

“Now, your hair is such a mess let me comb it for you,” Lyra stated. A brush floated towards my head, engulfed in her green aura. She gently brushed out all the tangles that had formed in my hair in the last few days.

A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door. The doctor from yesterday walked in while levitating a clipboard. He stopped at the end of the of the bed.

“Good to see you’re both up,” he said. “Now I just have a few instructions for you Miss Heartstrings. I want you to get plenty of rest, I know you’re going to be busy taking care of your young one here, but don't forget about your needs. Your magic isn't a full still so no major spell casting. Levitation shouldn't be a problem though.”

He paused to flip the page over on his clipboard.

“Now as for the little one. She is going to need lots of rest I recommend bed rest for the next couple of days still. Also she needs to eat small but frequent meals, preferably with plenty of protein. So lots of beans and tofu.”

“Also you should avoid crowds and other ponies for a while. Her immune system is probably not running at full, which means no school, at least not until I get her fully inoculated. It’s likely she will catch a cold over the next few days, so make sure you have cough medicine on hoof. And she needs to get some light exercise every day no more than 20 minutes of walking.”

“Any questions?” he asked finishing his lecture.

“Not really,” Lyra responded.

“Oh, one more thing: I will need her back here in a week to get her vaccines,” he stated. “And a general checkup.”

“Okay,” Lyra replied. “I will make an appointment with the secretary before we leave today. Is it alright if we visit Twilight?”

“Yes. The princess is receiving visitors, but don't stay for long. She needs her rest and I bet her friends will be visiting soon. One of them went to fetch the others.”

The doctor turned and left. Lyra's magic engulfed me and she levitated me onto her back and we walked out of the door. It was just a short trip down the hall. Turning at a door she magicked it open and there a lavender unicorn with wings, whom I assumed was Twilight, sat reading a book on her bed. Her horn glowed and the books pages seemed to be moving themselves as she read at an impossible speed.

“Hello, Twilight,” Lyra said.

Twilight looked up startled. She set her book to her side and said, “Oh hello, Lyra. I didn't hear you come in. So we need to ta –“ Our eyes met and she paused for a second “– Oh hello. You must be the one Lyra saved. What’s your name?”

“Alex,” I muttered. “I'm sorry. I caused you to be sick. I'm sorry. Really sorry.”

“Now, now. There isn't a need to apologize. I would have done this for anyone,” Twilight stated, her mirth showing. “I am just happy to see you’re alright. You remind me of one of my friends.”

She levitated the book to the nightstand next to the bed. The room was decorated in a similar fashion to how mine was.

“Lyra can you put her on the bed. I want to see her in her entirety,” said Twilight.

Once again Lyra's magic engulfed me, and she placed me on the foot of the bed. I blushed as she looked over me. Her eyes seemed to study in great length every part of me. This body was weird. Her eyes told me that. She thought I was wrong that I shouldn't be. I buried my head in the mattress.

“Twilight, you’re scaring her,” Lyra stated, exacerbated. “Your spell worked perfectly.”

“Sorry,” Twilight said. “I didn't mean to scare you. I just wanted to make sure that I made your body right. First time I had ever tried to do something like that.”

I nodded my head in acknowledgement.

“So either way, Lyra,” Twilight said. “What’s your plan for Alex? I will understand if you don't want to keep her. It wasn't really your choice when I saved her. If you aren't up for it, I can take her for a while. And talk to Celestia. She will find Alex a nice home, more permanently.”

Lyra didn't want me. I shouldn't be surprised. I wouldn't want me such a useless person such as myself. Nausea swallowed the stomach in one bite, and move straight on towards my brain. Tremors spread through my body. Tears stream once more down my face.

“Now, Twilight,” Lyra angrily stated. “I know that you mean well, but please stop trying to give poor Alex here a heart attack. I will be keeping her, if she is alright with that. It’s my fault she is here, and I will take full responsibility. Besides I don't think I would trust you with taking care of her.”

Twilight blushed as she realized her mistake. Her horn glowed and she picked me up with her magic. Hugging me, Twilight patted the back of my head gently as tears continued to stream down my face.

“I’m sorry, Alex,” Twilight said. “I shouldn't have said those things while you were here. I bet you’re confused and scared. That was mean of me, and I am sorry.”

Soon my tears dried. Lyra levitated me onto her back.

“We have to get going,” Lyra stated. “I want to get out of here before your friends get here. I don't want to expose Alex to too many ponies yet. The doctor said her immune system might not be up to snuff. Oh, say hi to Fluttershy for me, please.”

“Well, okay. Thank you for coming by I will come and visit once they let me out of here. And I will.”

Exhausted after my outburst, I had a hard time keeping awake as we walked to the receptionist. I failed and sleep took me.

“We're home,” Lyra shouted.

Awoken with a startle, I looked around. A small cozy room was to my right. Filled with a large brown couch, which faced the fireplace, and a coffee table it left little room to walk save for in front of the fireplace. The room was aglow from the multiple windows on both exterior walls. The hall way in which we were standing when down a ways, ending with a staircase on the left and an open door through which light poured. To the left through another arch was a massive dining table which took up most of the room in which it stood. It could sit at least ten. Another door could be found on the far back side of the dining room. The rooms green colored walls soaked in the light from the multitude of windows.

“I'm in the kitchen, Honey,” shouted a voice from inside the room beyond the dining room.

Laying me on the couch, Lyra said to me, “I'll bet you’re hungry?”

I nodded.

“I'll be right back,” Lyra said. “I'll go get us some food from the kitchen.”

Lyra pranced over to the kitchen. As she disappeared into the kitchen, she said, “Bon Bon, what do we have...”

Obscured by distance I couldn't make out what she said. My stomach snarled at me. I hope Lyra doesn't take too long.

“You almost killed yourself,” shouted Bon Bon, or at least I was pretty certain that was who it was. “You spend almost a week at the hospital, and tell me to go home on day one. You magically create a foal, with Twilight Sparkle. Who you also got hospitalized. And when you come home your only concern is stuffing your face?”

Quiet murmuring could be heard from the kitchen. Followed by a large smack, and an owww.

Bon Bon was very angry. I hope it’s not my fault. I didn't want to have piss off everyone I met, or in this case hadn't met yet.

After a minute a cream colored mare, who had a pink and purple mane and tail came out of the kitchen. She set a plate on the table. Prancing over to me, with a large grin plastered over her face. Dread crept into my heart.

“Why don't you come over to the table, okay Honey?” Bon Bon asked. “We wouldn't want to get crumbs everywhere, now would we?”

I shook my head and stumbled off the couch. No crumbs on the couch, that might cost me my head. My gait had improved since yesterday. I only fell over once. Climbing into the chair, which Bon Bon had pulled out for me, was a chore, though my efforts were rewarded with one of the most delicious looking half sandwich I had ever seen. Hunger had put a lens over the world but I cared not. Half grabbing, half shoving I lifted the sandwich to my mouth and began to consume it. The salted humus went well with the whole grain bread and the lettuce and tomato were very juicy.

“Lyra, dear,” called out Bon Bon. “Why don't you come out here and eat your sandwich too.”

Groaning Lyra came out of the kitchen levitating a plate on which was a triple decker sandwich filled with onions, tomatoes, olives, and pickles.

“That might be a bit overboard,” Bon Bon remarked at the sandwich.

Lyra shrugged her shoulders as she sat down across from me. She took a large bite out of the sandwich forcing a pickle to slide out from the sandwich.

“You know how much I love your humus. I just can't help but make a big sandwich when we have three flavors to choose from,” Lyra stated with a level of gravity that far out reached the topic at hand.

“Well whatever as long as you finish all of it,” Bon bon said as she returned to the kitchen. She returned shortly with a platter on which three glasses sat, filled with lemonade.

“Might want to change her glass to a metal one, Bon Bon,” Lyra said. “Alex doesn't have the best grip, she broke the last glass she tried to hold.”

I blushed. The bandage on my wrist a stark reminder of the consequences of that event. Bon Bon returned with a new cup for me and a wet rag. Finishing the last bite of my sandwich, I reached for the cup. Both hands pressed against it. Condensation formed on the cup made my attempts futile.

“You have to grip it,” Lyra said. “Just push your hoof against it and grab. All ponies have a bit of magic in them it lets them grasp things with their hooves.”

Pressed my hand, wait hoof, against the cup. Closing my eyes I saw my hand, I just grabbed with that gripping the imaginary cup with my hands and lifted. It worked. The lemonade was quite sweet, though I preferred it to be more sour. Placing the cup back down, I switched hands. Success, and without closing my eyes. A burning sensation spread throughout my hoof, I guess like all muscles I would have to practice it.

I grabbed the plate and hopped over to the kitchen. A large island filled the center of the rather large kitchen. To one side a collection of ladder racks, sat pushed against the wall each filled with sheet pans. Two fridges were on the far side, away from the ladder racks, one black and one white. A large two chamber sink each with its own faucet. In the island there were two ovens. Over the island was a large spice rack, it must have had a thousand different bottles on it.

I deposited the plate next to the sink. I don't want to break more dishes. I wish I had a stool to stand on so I could wash it.

Returning to the dining room, Bon Bon sat there sipping her drink stared dreamily at Lyra.

Patted on her leg, I whispered to Bon Bon, “Sorry, I can't reach to wash the plate.”

“Bon Bon doesn't like it when others mess with her kitchen, so I bet that's fine,” Lyra giggled.

“Really! That's because you leave huge messes behind. I wouldn't have so many issues with you in the kitchen if you would clean up more,” Bon Bon said. She turned and addressed me. “Don't worry about it we will look into getting a step ladder so you can help out if you want. I would certainly appreciate it.”

A step-ladder. She was right, I needed a step-ladder. So small.

“Can we talk for a bit, please?” I asked.

“Well of course, dear,” said Bon Bon. “Why don't we go sit on the couch?”

I scooted onto the couch, my muscles started to complain. Curling up in the center of the couch next to Bon Bon.

“Is there something wrong with me?” I asked. I knew there was lots wrong with me. I hadn't done much today and my arms already felt like lead. I think I had cried more in the last two days than in the last few years.

“Lyra. Dear, I know that you aren't finished with your sandwich yet but why don't you come over here and talk with us too, Okay?” Bon Bon told her. “Oh and don't bring your sandwich with I know you were thinking it.”

She shook her head as a the clink of plate on table told us she was right. Bon Bon started, “Now thats a hard question. I don't fully know what you mean by that. I mean physically yes you are anorexic or at least close to it. Twilight's spell may have gave you that body, but she couldn't replicate the years of practice you would have right now with that body had you been born that way. I mean it looks to me like you haven't eaten in weeks or months. I bet she just aged the body she made for you till it was big enough to function or maybe till she ran out of juice. I'm not a unicorn so I don't really know the ins and outs of spell casting but I do know that what she did there was something very special.”

“Don't sell yourself short Bon Bon, You know more than any non unicorn I have met and probably more than quite a few unicorns. With that said, I am well versed in magic, and I don't know for sure what she did. Though I think you might be right, Bon Bon. If she had just manifested your body I don't see why you wouldn't have had perfectly healthy body,” Lyra said. “But we all know that your body isn't the only thing hurt right now. We saw you jump. I can't say I understand why, and honestly I don't think I will ever fully understand why. But that’s not what’s important, really all that matters right now is that I care a lot about you. And you’re safe now.”

“We both care a lot about you,” Bon Bon said.

“Why?” I asked. “Why do you care? I don't get it. Why would you care about me? I am a human, or well I was. Is it just ‘cause I'm a pony now like you?”

“Because we do,” Bon Bon said. “You may not have asked for us to care, but trust me. We truly do. I know that Lyra cares very much for you. She risked her life to try to save yours.”

“I have an obsession,” Lyra said. “I am obsessed with Bipedals –“

“Humans,” I interrupted.

“– fine humans. I was trying to find proof of your existence. Well not yours specifically, but of humans in general. I figured that maybe you were on a different wavelength from us, you know a different frequency. So I found a way to open a one way portal to your world. It let me see into your world but not you ours. And for a while a good couple weeks I watched you.”

She paused for a second to catch her breath. She had been watching. How much of me did she see? She saw all the horrible things I did. How dare her watch? Guilt and Anger fought among themselves in me.

“I am sorry for spying. After I opened the portal I couldn't figure out how to close it. Still don't, it closed by itself when your body died on the other side. I watched as you suffered so much. I mean we couldn't hear what was going on but some of your practices mimic ours quit closely. Funerals in particular. I am so sorry for your loss,” Lyra said, tears could be seen forming in her eyes. “I wish I could have said something to you. Sent you a message so you wouldn't have felt so alone.”

“When you jumped, I was downstairs watching. Twilight had came over we were working on a way to send you a message a way to tell you that we cared. And when you jumped, I don't know I guess I felt guilty, that I had failed you by not being able to help you. I instinctively tried to save you and this is what we have now”

“Now I know that things are gonna be a bit weird for you for a while, but we would love it if you would stay with us,” Bon Bon said.

“I want to stay here with you,” I said. “You two have cared more for me than anyone back home did. I am so sorry I hurt you Lyra.” – tears streamed down my cheeks – “I just couldn't bear to be alone anymore. Melody, she was all I had going for me back there. I thought she was the one, that we were meant to be, but...”

Oh god, I miss you Melody. Pain pierced my heart once more, as the hole that had been torn out of it throbbed. I just sat there and sobbed, images of her perfect face flashing through my mind.

Bon Bon's hoof ran back and forth across my back. Her touch pushed away the pain a bit. A few minutes later I regained my composure.

Drying my tears with my hoof, I asked, “I have been crying a lot. I didn't used to cry this much. Is that normal?”

“Well to be honest I think so you've been through some pretty traumatic stuff recently. As for why more now than before, maybe because your younger now, maybe it’s just a species thing though I don't really cry all that often either so, I would say its your age,” Lyra said.

“My age? How old is this body?” I asked. “Well how old do I look?”

“Like a small child,” Bon Bon answered.

“How old were you?” asked Lyra.

“19,” I replied.

“And do your years have a 360 days, 12 months?”

“Close, 12 months, 365 days.”

“At what age are humans considered adults?”

“18.”

“Hmm, I would say that if that body was human it would be 7 or so years old then,” Lyra said. “You’re just about big enough to be going to school, maybe your second year of school here.”

“Why would my bodies age matter on how much I have been crying? Even though my body is different, my mind is the same,” I asked.

“Well because it isn't. See at least based on what we know on this side. The mind is really just a bridge between the spirit and the body. So while I pulled your spirit over, I didn't pull your mind. Your body is very different now, and by extension your mind is going to be as well. So really that’s the best explanation that I have for you on that one. I wouldn't worry so much about it, you’re still the same pony on the inside, and that’s what matters right now,” Lyra said.

I asked, “Is there gender specific information I should know by this age? I was male.”

“Not yet,” Lyra laughed. “I had forgotten about that. –“ She giggled. “– You won't have to worry about that for years still.”

I blushed a little. Maybe things would be alright. At least they care. My head leaned against Bon Bon's torso, her breathing soothing to listen to.

Lyra removed herself from the couch. She stated, “Well I am gonna go finish my sandwich before it gets soggy.”

“Mm'kay,” Bon Bon said. We sat there for a while just the two of us. Not talking and doing my best to not think. It was nice to just sit and enjoy for a second. Sleep took me again.

Knock. Tock. Tick. Tock. The pendulum swung back and forth in perfect rhythm. Knock. Tock. Tick. Tock. The sound of the clock was all that filled the silence of the living room. The shadows of others left the room leaving just me alone in the room. Knock. Tock. Tick. Tock. Their departure revealed a coffin laying on a table on the far end of the sparse room. Getting up I walked over to the coffin. Knock. Tock. Tick. Tock. All but me and the coffin faded. The lid started to rattle. Knock. Reverberating with the knock the lid shook more and more till it burst open revealing a desicrated Melody, her hair had mostly fallen out and the skin was tight and gaunt on her face.

“Why didn't you Join me, Alex?” Melody rasped at me. Her hand reached out at me and grabbed me by the arm. “Why did you fail me Alex? We were supposed to be together for ever? Why Alex? Why?”

I tried to run but her icy grip held me fast. Her other arm reached up and started to choke me.

“Please, no” I sputtered out. “ I didn't mean to leave you. I am sorry,”

She paid little heed to my tears as her hand tightened around my neck. She said, “No. It’s too late for you apologies now. Now I will just take you.”

“I'm coming,” Lyra yelled, waking me from my nightmare.

I was still on the couch though Bon Bon was no longer. A large thudding noise foretold Lyra's entrance into the main hallway. I could hear faint mumbling from outside. Opening the door, Lyra said, “Hello Vinyl, and hi Octavia. What brings you over?”

“Well, we tried to visit you in the hospital but Somepony was busy,” stated an obviously annoyed mare whose voice was tinged with a more sophisticated air to it.

“Hey now, I tried but sometimes the music just needs to get out,” another mare stated playfully. “On the upside I might have finished my next album.”

“Well that’s good,” Lyra said. “I would invite you in but I have ask Bon Bon to make sure it would be fine, I don't want Alex to get sick. One sec I will ask.”

Lyra appeared from around the corner and walked back towards the bottom of the stairs. Stopping there, She shouted, “Bon Bon, Can Octy and Vinyl come in?”

More thudding, and then I could see Bon Bon and Lyra come towards the living room. Pointing at me, Bon Bon said, “She is-” noticing me being awake “-well was trying to sleep so no more yelling okay? Why don't you two come in now?”

“Thanks,” the carefree one said as she walked into view. Her mane was a strong dark blue with a few lighter streaks in it, and her fur was pure white as was her horn. She took off her large brimmed sunglasses and beamed at Bon Bon, then glanced my way. Her eyes were a striking red and there was an unmistakable wildness to them. “Hello.”

“Hi,” I whispered back. I stared at her for a second more her smile unnerved me for some reason. She was hiding a torrent of energy behind her eyes. She was gonna get me. I looked away to hide from her gaze and stared at the floor. The floor never was out to get you not really.

“A bit shy, huh?” said the white unicorn.

“Vinyl!” stated the other mare. “Please try to have some manners, won't you! I will not have you teaching her such uncouth behavior. Besides would it kill you to try to restrain yourself for once?”

“Geeze, Tavi I wasn't being that bad,” stated Vinyl, the white unicorn. “Was I?”

“Nah, well at least I don't think so,” Lyra replied as she smirked at the two guests.

Bon Bon walked over to me and nuzzled my head with hers. Her touch calmed me. She asked, “Why don't you come over and say hi?”

“Okay,” I said quietly. I slipped from the couch to the floor, tumbling as I went. I landed on my back with an humph. The ceiling was quite clean, Bon Bon must clean it frequently. Returning to the situation at hand, I returned right side up. Blushing I stumbled my way over to the rest of the group, who were busy restraining laughter, even Octavia though she did the best at stifling her mirth. Once again the floor proved to be nonjudgmental as a stared at it.

“Don't worry about it much,” said Vinyl. “I was quite the klutz at your age as well.”

“Vinyl!” Octavia stated exacerbated.

“It’s fine,” I muttered. “I know she isn't trying to agitate me.”

“Well you have an excellent vocabulary for somepony your age.” Octavia complimented me. She turned to Lyra. “Excuse my bluntness, but who is she related to, and if you don't mind how?”

“No one,” I stated dejectedly.

“Now that isn't quite true, Alex,” Lyra said, sadness tinging her voice. She turned to Octavia. “Alex is technically mine and Twilight's child. Well at least mostly.”

“Wait, when did you and Twilight have a fling?” Asked Vinyl. She eyed her friend with a look halfway between skepticism and approval. “I mean I know that magic can let two mares do that, but I don't remember you ever with foal.”

Bon Bon stepped in and stated, “I think the part you are missing really is the 'technically' part of her previous part. Lyra and Twilight made Alex with magic three days ago.”

“Twilight really did all the work I just provided a seed is all. Well and the soul I guess. Remember the person we had been watching through my vision portal. Well this is him or well her now.” Lyra stated. Her face was had a mask of guilt over it.

“Wait what happened?” Vinyl stammered. “I thought that was just a looking glass into their world. You said you couldn't figure out how to interact with the other side.”

“I jumped,” I whispered.

“What was that, Alex?” Octavia asked. “I couldn't hear you.”

Anger rushed to my head strangling reason with its ascended. I yelled, at myself more than anyone else, “I killed myself. I couldn't handle the pain anymore. I was too weak. I hurt Twilight and Lyra. This is my fault. My fault-” Tears flowed down my cheeks as I gasped for air. My voiced lowered. “-My fault. All my fault.”

I collapsed onto the floor the room spinning. My chest heaved but little air came to me, something had sucked it out of the room. Shadows stood above me with eyes glowing menacingly down on me. The shadows came closer and closer till all the world was consumed by them. Something warm touched my shoulder. Pushing away futilely the warmth gently held me. The shadows retreated though they left their eyes behind glowing at me. I cowered away from them towards the warmth and its protection. It spread across my back and wrapped around my front in strips. It became my refuge and the shadows retreated more till the world was relinquished.

Where the shadows once stood was Lyra and Octavia and Vinyl. Their faces wrought with worry. Tears ran down Lyra's face.

Bon Bon's voice softly cooed, “Shhhh, now its fine. Everything will be alright. No need to worry. I am here for you.”

I buried my head into her arms, that hugged me close to her. My worry kept at bay by her kindness.

“I am truly sorry, Alex,” Octavia said softly. “I didn't mean to upset you.”

I shook my head in acknowledgement though I didn't remove it from the comfort of Bon Bon's embrace.

“No Octavia, it’s my fault,” Lyra stated. “I should have explained to you outside. Told you what had happened. I'm sorry this is all my fault.”

“No don't get all worked up about ,” Vinyl said calmly. “I can tell that your feeling guilty for it. But I know you, and I know you tried your best. You always do. So you need to not let your own guilt hurt the situation. What happened happened, and we can't change that. Just move on, you know. Work on the future.”

“Thanks,” mumbled Lyra.

“You surprise me once again,” said Octavia. She rubbed up against Vinyl. “You are always so insightful, even if you lack tact.”

“Geeze, Tavi,” Vinyl stammered. She turned her head away to conceal her blushing face.

“Is there anything that we can help with?” Octavia asked. “I know that this must be a trying time for all of you and Vinyl and I would love to help you make it less so.”

“Is there any chance one of you three could go get food? I don't think it would be a good idea for me to leave her for now,” Bon Bon said. “It seems to calm her when I am touching her. Can't say I blame her I always want a hug when I am feeling down. Though on second thought maybe it could be you Octavia, I can trust you to go and get proper food for us. That and to not make too much of a mess.”

“Would be my pleasure,” Octavia chirped. “Why don't you two come with me?”

“Sounds fine to me, its been a while since I got some take out,” Vinyl said. “Ooo maybe we can get some Neighponesse.”

“Yeah that sounds good,” Lyra said, her voice growing more distant as she headed towards the door with the other two.

“Do you need anything else, Bon Bon?” asked Octavia from the door.

“No but make sure you get some non spicy variety. I don't know how well Alex's stomach can handle heat right now,” Bon Bon replied.

“I will,” Octavia replied. “See you in a bit.”

The door clicked close and soon their footsteps faded as well. Lifting my head I looked at the door confirming that it was closed. Safe, no one can get us now. Exhaustion crept into my limbs as I sat there in Bon Bon's arms.

“Do you want to go back to the couch, we can sit there together for a while?” asked Bon Bon. Her voice was serene, and felt like a ray of sunshine in a stormy ocean. I looked up to her and her eyes with streaks of red in them told stories of her tears.

“Yes,” I mumbled at her. “That would be nice.”

Bon Bon stood up and then helped me find my footing as well. She led me to the couch and helped me scramble onto it. Then she positioned herself between me and the couch arm. The couch was much deeper I noticed than a human couch and its back rest was quite shorter as well. Bon Bon pulled me closer to her and laid her arm across me as she did so.

“Why don't you get some rest while we wait for them to return?” Bon Bon asked.

“Mm'kay,” I replied quietly. Closing my eyes sleep over took me much faster than I had anticipated.

The door being swung open jarred me from my sleep. Looking up shadows had taken residence in the room and an orange glow sat over all of the room. Bon Bon's warmth and the sun played nicely with each other.

At the entry to the hallway, Lyra had entered carrying a bag in her mouth with a set of small saddle bags on her back, its adjustable strap compensating for Lyra's larger frame. Octavia joined her with a several more bags in her mouth. A few thin boxes encased in a brilliant red aura floating in behind them, followed shortly by Vinyl who also had two bags in her mouth.

Depositing her bag on the floor, Lyra said, “We're back!”

“What took so long?” Bon Bon asked. “Also what else did you get? I thought you were just out to grab food.”

“Well we were going to, but when we made it to the restaurant they had closed for the night. Apparently Pinkie Pie had bought all of their stock for some reason. That pony is really weird sometimes. Well anyway, you know how the pizza place is right next door we decided to grab that instead,” Lyra explained.

“Yeah who doesn't like pizza?” Vinyl asked. Her bags had been deposited next to Lyra's one. She set the pizza on the table in the dining room. “Want me to grab the plates, Bonie?”

“Would you, please?” Bon Bon replied. “Pizza does sound good. What about all the bags?”

Bon Bon slipped off the couch, having taken great care to not disturb me too much. She meandered over to the entry way. I stretched for a second before following her. Shaking the sleep from my limbs as I went. With a bit of effort I manage to walk over to the group without stumbling.

Octavia set her group of bags down next to the rest, and replied, “Pepper said that the pizza would take about an half an hour to make. So I suggested we go shopping to find some supplies to make Alex feel a bit more at home. Lyra had explained that she had just moved in today. Vinyl figured that she may want some more colorful and fuzzy blankets and such. Shopping took a bit longer than we intended after we ran into Rarity.”

“Rarity, why would running into her have made things longer? She hardly seems the kind of pony to complicate things, though I guess she is fun to talk with from time to time,” Bon Bon inquired.

“Well apparently, Princess Celestia had giving Twilight a bit of a stipend to help with Alex. Twilight had forgotten to give us any of it when we visited her this morning. Rarity had volunteered to deliver it for her sense she is supposed to be on bed rest at the moment,” Lyra responded cheerfully. “Quite nice of the princess to do this for us. Takes a bit of the stress off.”

Vinyl returned from the kitchen levitating a stack of five plates and cups. She set them on the table next to the boxes of pizza.

“Well yes but I don't think we really needed it,” Bon Bon replied. “My candy sales make more than enough to cover the expenses of an additional pony. Though I guess it is nice to have the security of it.”

I poked my head into one of the bags. A large fuzzy blanket took up most of the room in the bag. It seemed to be a dark blue with some sort of white pointy object imaged on it. I looked up at Lyra and asked, “Can I take this one out of the bag?”

“Sure, I don't see why not. Though why don't I help you with that,” Lyra replied. Her golden aura surrounded the blanket and levitated it out unfolding as it went. The image turned out to be a crescent moon on a splotch of black surrounded by a field of indigo. It was quit pretty.

“Why Luna's cutie mark?” Bon Bon inquired of Lyra.

“Vinyl suggested it, said it might ward off bad dreams,” Lyra responded. She turned to the box of pizza behind her. “So, Alex, cheese pizza or spinach artichoke?”

“Spinach artichoke if you don't mind,” I asked. I walked up next to her though the table was too high for me to see the pizza it smelled delicious. Pressure in my abdomen however told me that bathroom was a higher priority.

“Thats fine, we weren't certain what you would like so we got a basic one just in case,” Lyra explained.

Quickly I walked over to Bon Bon. Nudging Bon Bon's leg, I acquired her attention. She looked down at me, and I quietly whispered, “I need to go to the bathroom.”

Giggling, Bon Bon gently smiled at me. She turned and walked down the hallway calling after me as she went. When we got out of sight of the others she leaned down to me and asked, “Do you need help? I know that might be a bit embarrassing but I don't mind helping you.”

Blushing, I looked at the floor for a second. As much as it did embarrass me, I figured it paled in comparison to having to watch the group of them laugh at my incompetence. I replied, “Yes I would at least at first.”

Bon Bon lead me into the bathroom and explained the usage and proper hygiene of the bathroom to me and we returned to the group in a few minutes.

The others had sat down and were already eating. Vinyl and Octavia sat close to each other while Lyra had left space on either side of her. To her left a plate with a piece of pizza sat. Mid bite she motioned for me to sit there. With a little struggle I managed to climb up onto the chair and devoured the slice in front of me. The conversation had moved on to something but I wasn't paying attention eating took a bit too much effort. The slice had been large and my belly seemed full. I washed it down with a large drink of iced tea that someone had provided for me.

“So are we gonna get a chance to sit down and play the game this week?” Octavia asked. “I get it if you didn't have time.

Glancing at Bon Bon with a slightly puzzled look, Lyra responded, “Probably. Being on limited magic usage right now, I don't think I am gonna be working on any of my projects this week so yeah I am probably free. As long as Bonie is fine with it I would love to?”

“Its fine by me, dear,” Bon Bon replied nonchalantly. She glanced my way, smiling. “Did you get enough food, Alex?”

“Plenty,” I replied quietly, as a shook my head in acknowledgement as well.

“So the Temple of Darkness is nearly upon you so it would be best if you have an extra character prepared in case the worst had,” Lyra informed Octavia. “I feel you guys can handle it but hey who knows.”

“You said that about the last big dungeon and that one had not been all that bad,” Vinyl commented.

There conversation was interesting but I found my head had grown heavy. Melody would have loved hanging with these guys. I bet she would have loved the whole pony thing. Tears flowed slowly down my cheek. Jerking up, I tried to shake the fatigue from my head, not to much effect.

“Silly filly, why don't I get you to bed,” Bon Bon said having noticed my struggles.

I slowly nodded my head in agreement. A nice warm bed sounded wonderful right now. Bon Bon had picked me up and was headed out of the room when she turned and asked, “Lyra why don't you come and help tuck Alex in? Bring that blanket you got today.”

“Goodnight,” I mumbled at Octavia and Vinyl.

Lyra followed us up the stairs a smile on her face, as I stared at her with my eyes half closed. After a short distance Bon Bon put me down on a very large bed and pulled the covers over me. As lyra spread the new blanket over me, Bon Bon said, “Lyra's and my bedroom is just down the hall on the left, and the upstairs bathroom is the last door on the right, okay?”

I nodded yes.

Lyra nuzzled her head against mine, and said “Goodnight. May Luna guide your dreams to gentle fields.”

“Goodnight,” Bon Bon said. They both turned and left, lingering for a second before turning off the light.

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