• Published 5th Nov 2014
  • 10,200 Views, 225 Comments

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.

  • ...

Chapter 5

Over a dinner of cobb salad, Lyra and Bon Bon chatted about Bon Bon's work. My head had started to ache and I ended up finishing my dinner last that day.

After polishing off her food, Bon Bon said, “I ran into Cheerilee today. She said she could come over and help catch you up on some schooling, Al.. I mean Lilac.”

“Does that mean that I have to attend school here now?” I asked. It was a chance to do better but there was a part of it that made me not want to go back and deal with all the drama that came with school.

“I can understand you not wanting to but other ponies will expect a child of your age to be in school,” Lyra said. “Besides this way you can met some new friends.”

I took a swig from my drink. As I reached to return the cup to the table, a surge of pain spread through my head. My hoof slipped and I dropped the cup, which thankfully was metal. Water split all over the table.

“You alright there, Lilac?” Bon Bon asked.

Lyra rushed to the kitchen door and grabbed a towel with her magic. Quickly she mopped up the water.

“Its just a headache,” I replied to Bon Bon. I rubbed my temples.

Bon Bon walked over to me and placed her hoof on my forehead. She said, “Well your a little bit warm. Hopefully it will pass by the morning.”

It didn't. The dull ache had not dissipated the next morning. The mid morning sun lit my room. Lyra sat at the dining room table munching on a bagel when I made it downstairs. She had a newspaper in her aura that she was reading.

“Morning,” I said.

“Good morning,” Lyra responded. “Feeling better?”

“Not really,” I stated. If anything I felt worse, though thankfully it was just a headache. “I will be fine though, not the worse headache I have had.”

“Well I hope it gets better,” Lyra said. She folded her newspaper and set it down. “Cheerilee should be here within the hour, I have to go out today. I have a meting I need to attend, for the Orchestra. I will be back before dinner. Let Cheerilee know that you guys can have anything in the fridge for lunch.”

She got up and walked to the door. She called back, “Have a good day. Oh and if you head ache gets worse there is some pain medication in the upstairs bathroom.”

“Goodbye,” I said.

My breakfast was barely finished when there was a knock on the door. Leaving my plate on the table, I walked over to the door. I cracked it just enough to look out. There stood a purple earth pony mare who had a lighter pink hair, and a small white unicorn filly with lavender hair.

“Are you Cheerilee?” I asked. I prepared to slam the door, just in case.

“That would be me,” the purple mare said. “You must be Bon Bon's filly. What's your name, she didn't mention it yesterday?”

“Lilac,” I said. The young one was positively beaming at me.

“My name is Sweetie Belle,” stated the small unicorn. She was a bit bigger than me, though not by much. “Lilac is a pretty name.”

“Can we come in?” Cheerilee asked. She smiled at me. I opened the door all the way and let them in.

“I just finished my breakfast,” I explained. Scooping up my plate from the table, I headed into the kitchen and deposited it by the sink. Still no step-ladder. Cheerilee and Sweetie Belle were waiting for me in the dining room. “Is the table better or the living room?”

“Oh the table will do nicely,” Cheerilee said. She unclipped her saddlebags and put them up on the table. She took a seat in front of her bags. “Sweetie why don't you sit here? -” She motioned to her right “-And Lilac you sit there?”

I scrambled up into the chair on the left of Cheerilee. My hooves fidgeted while I inspected them with great intensity.

“So Lilac, how much schooling have you had already?” Cheerilee asked.

“A lot and then not much all at the same time,” I said. “I probably well educated in math, but not as much in history, or geography.”

“You have a great vocabulary,” Sweetie Belle said. Her voice was quite cute and it betrayed her eagerness.

“Yes I suppose she does,” Cheerilee replied. “What's the hardest math you have been taught? Multiplication? Division?”

“Trigonometry, with a bit of calculus,” I said. “It has been a bit since I used them though so I am a bit rusty on them, but basic algebra I have down pat.”

“Well that is an impressive amount of math for someone your age,” Cheerilee said. “You must be very good at it, to know so much at your age.”

“Yeah maybe you'll get your cutie mark in math,” Sweetie Belle exclaimed. She was practically bouncing in her chair at the thought of it.

“Maybe,” Cheerilee said. A pulse of pain ran through my head, though neither Cheerilee or Sweetie Belle noticed while they were talking. “What about history? Or other subjects such as science, or writing?”

“Nothing relevant in history, or most sciences, and my han-hoof writing is horrible,” I replied. A pulse of pain throbbed my head. Cheerilee would accuse me of trying to get out of work if I complained. Would Sweetie Belle laugh at me?

“Well that's alright. I don't think you're too far behind the rest of the class,” Cheerilee said. “In fact I would bet you may know more math than I do. We can work on your hoof work today, probably the most important skill for school.”

I nodded in agreement. Cheerilee provided parchment, quill, and ink for both Sweetie Belle and me.

“Lilac, why don't you first practice your name for a bit and then you can copy from this history book to work on two problems at a time,” Cheerilee instructed. She plopped a small book near me. “Sweetie why don't you write down all the things you want to do with your new friend.”

Cheerilee grabbed a book of her own and read, while she let us work for a bit. She would check in every few minutes to see if I need help. By the time lunch rolled around, my hoof was cramping. The headache still persisted and was slightly worse off. Doubt still stifled any complaints I had about my head.

The rumbling in my stomach interrupted my studies. I said, “Cheerilee, can we have lunch now? Lyra said that anything in the fridge was okay to eat.”

“It is about that time,” Cheerilee said as she got out of her chair. “Why don't you two come with so you can tell me what you want?”

“Okay,” Sweetie Belle exclaimed. She pranced up behind her teacher. I followed suit. The fridge was full of a jars of various spreads and a ton of vegetables.

“Sandwiches sound fine with you two?” Cheerilee asked.

I pulled out my favorite humus, and presented it to Cheerilee. I replied, “I would like one, please. This is the best humus.”

Cheerilee made us each a sandwich with the humus and a bit of vegetables.

We sat back down at the table to eat. Sweetie Belle asked, “Lilac how do you like Ponyville so far?”

“Its nice, well what I have seen of it,” I responded. “I have been sick so we haven't gotten out of the house much.”

“Well that adds a whole bunch of stuff to show you,” Sweetie said. She stared up at the ceiling and seemed to be making counting motions with her hoof.

The rest of lunch went by quickly as Sweetie Belle explained about all the various place I had to visit. Cheerilee washed the dishes afterwards and we returned to our studies. This time Cheerilee gave me an overview of history of the area. My headache continued to worsen.

“Lilac, did you catch that?” Cheerilee asked after a particularly bad pulse of pain.

“No, sorry,” I mumbled. The pulse of pain was turning into more of a constant thing. Pain had finally beaten doubt in their tug of war. “My headache has gotten worse. Lyra said there is pain medicine in the upstairs bathroom. Can you go get some? Please?”

“Of course,” Cheerilee said. “Sweetie Belle, please stay here and keep a watch on Lilac.”

Cheerilee headed upstairs to find the medicine. Sweat formed on my forehead as the room seemed to grow cold.

“Sweetie, is it cold in here?” I asked. My head grew heavy so I laid it on the table.

“Huh, no,” Sweetie Belle responded. She stepped from her chair to Cheerilee's chair. Sweetie felt my head with her foreleg. She moved her touch from my forehead to my horn. Retracting it quickly she shook it. “Your very warm, your horn hurts to touch. I am gonna go tell Cheerilee. You wait here.”

Her instructions were unnecessary. She hopped out of the chair and walked to the edge of the stairs. Sweetie Belle shouted, “Cheerilee, Lilac has a fever. Her horn is extremely hot.”

Pain surged through my body. It moved from my feet towards my head and cumulated in my forehead. I screamed. I could feel the magic burning me. I pushed it out, or at least tried. A brilliant light erupted out of my horn and then nothing.

My eyes fluttered open. The bright light stung for a second. My head felt two sizes too big. The room was similar to my hospital room, though this time the window was between the two beds. I managed to flip over without too much pain. The other bed in the room was occupied by a small white filly with lavender hair.

“Sorry,” I said quietly. My tears once again started to flow. “Sorry Sweetie Belle.”

Sweetie Belle turned my direction. She had a smile on her face. Her right side of her face was covered with a bandage. Her visible eye showed signs of having been crying. She said, “Oh don't worry I have lived through worse. There was this one time with fireworks. That one was a bit scary.”

I giggled for a second till the pain in my chest told me how bad of an idea that was. Coughing replaced the giggle.

“How are you feeling?” Sweetie Belle asked after my coughing subsided.

“Like someone took a hammer to my head, and lit my lungs on fire,” I said. “How bad do I look?”

“Well It looks like most of your hair got burnt off and they had allot of bandages over you,” Sweetie Belle said. Concern masked her face. “Rarity said she would be right back. She went to go find Lyra or Bon Bon, I don't think anyone has told them yet.”

If I was covered in this much burns, how badly had the house been hurt? Guilt added to the pain and my stomach decided lunch had not meant to be. Leaning over the bed, I heaved. After the forth one my stomach settled, and hunger, that treacherous beast, decided to add to the mix.

“Sorry,” I said as I wiped my mouth with my foreleg.

Sweetie Belle looked a bit green, but kept her composure well. She slipped out of bed onto the far side of it. Sweetie Belle quickly said, “I'll go get a nurse.”

She dashed out of the room. The door clicked behind her and I laid back down onto the bed. The tick of the clock seemed to slow as I wallowed in my doubt. Had I hurt Cheerilee too. I should have mentioned my headache earlier. What if I burnt down our house? I don't want to live on the streets. Sweetie Belle must hate me. My breathe shortened. Poor Lyra. Bon Bon. Sorry.

The nurse burst into the room. I jumped and squealed in fright. Sweetie Belle followed the nurse into the room. At first she was smiling, but upon seeing my reaction she seemed taken aback. The nurse rushed over to me and grabbed me. I struggled against her grip. My vision blurred. Her mouth bit at me. A blur grabbed my arm. A sharp pain pierced me. Blackness spread. My breathing slowed.

When I woke again the room had darken. Bon Bon sat next to me. Her hoof stroking my head, which was both painful and calming. She smiled at me. I cried.

“I was so worried,” Bon Bon said. Her tears dripping down onto my wet cheeks.

“Sorry,” Lyra said. She walked over from the chair she had been sitting in. Lyra's eyes were streaked with red. “I should have noticed the signs.”

We sat there with none of us talking for a while. Sweetie Belle was sleeping in her bed, and another white unicorn seemed to be sleeping too her head leaning on Sweetie's bed. Her mane was a darker purple but despite that the two had a striking resemblance. The dying light of the day lit the painting on the far wall. It was of a castle perched on the side of a mountain.

Ceding to the complaints of my stomach, I asked, “Can I get some food?”

“I will have to go ask,” Lyra said. She walked to the door her gaze still focused on me. It looked like she was afraid I might not be there when she returned. “I will be right back.”

Lyra exited the room. I looked back at Bon Bon. Her brow was wrinkled with worry. Bon Bon said quietly, “You need to tell us when your in pain, okay? Cheerilee said that the only time you complained about your headache was right before the outburst. I don't want to see you get hurt again.”

She laid her head on my chest muffling her gentle sobs. I patted her head with my left foreleg. I said, “I'm sorry. I'm sorry.”

My sobs joined Bon Bon's and we cried for a little while. Our tears had dried up when Lyra returned. She carried with her a tray with a bowl on it. The aroma of tomato soup wafted into the room. She sat the tray down on the bed.

“Got you some soup,” Lyra said. “The nurse said she would be up in a bit, when she finished her paperwork.”

Lyra levitated a spoon full of soup to her mouth and blew on it to cool it. She then offered the spoon to me and I took it. We repeated the process till the bowl had emptied. During my meal Bon Bon regained her composure, and pulled two of the chairs over to the bed. She watched for a bit before getting up and coving Sweetie Belle's sibling with a spare blanket.

A different nurse from my last visit entered the room shortly after my soup had ran out. She was a earth pony with a bluish gray coat, and light green mane. She had a bag with her. She grabbed the clipboard from the end of my bed and sat there reading it for a bit.

“So I am gonna need to change your bandages, and apply a new layer of burn cream,” the nurse explained. She grabbed a large wrap and jar from out of her bag and set them on the nightstand. “This will hurt a bit.”

She gently removed my bandages from my head first. The pain was reminiscent of pulling tape from your hairy skin. I had expected more. She then coated my head with a light coating of the cream and wrapped new bandages over that. She repeated the process for the rest of me. The process had been strangely exhausting.

“How bad is it?” I asked.

“It was pretty bad,” the nurse said. Concern danced in her eyes as she looked at me. “The doctor had to perform magical treatment for your more terrible burns. But the treatments are working well and quickly, so right now you probably look worse than you are.”

This visibly calmed both Lyra and Bon Bon. It must have looked quite bad.

“What about Sweetie Belle?” I asked. If I had any tears left they would have been streaming down my face.

“Her injuries were less severe. Just some light burns on her right side,” the nurse said. “The cream was all the help she needed. She should be good as new by morning.”

“What about Cheerilee? Did she get hurt?” I asked.

“Yes, she is in a room down the hall,” The nurse said. “Don't worry about her. Cheerilee isn't as hurt as you.”

“She got burnt a little when she pulled you out of the fire,” Lyra said. “I went and talked to her earlier while you were asleep. She is doing fine,”

My guilt subsided a bit. I covered my yawning mouth with a hoof. I asked, “How bad is the house?”

“Don't worry about the house,” Bon Bon said. “Why don't you try to get some sleep?”

“Yes, sleep would be a good idea,” the nurse said. She packed up her supplies, and headed out the door.

It took a while but sleep found me. My dreams were strange and incoherent and when I awoke in the morning fatigue still plagued me. The dawn had just come, and was the only source of light in the room. The shadows in the corners glared at me.

Bon Bon was slumped over my bed. Lyra was missing from the room as was Sweetie Belle's sister. The dull pain that had cased much of my body seemed to have dissipated, though only to have been replaced with an itch. Sweetie Belle slept in her bed with the most adorable face, her mouth slightly ajar, and her hair sticking up every which way. She mumbled something and flopped over in her sleep.

I carefully extracted myself from the bed, trying not to disturb Bon Bon. My bladder demanded attention. Slipping my back legs off the bed I lowered myself to the ground. Thankfully I managed to maintain my balance, successfully avoiding making much noise. The door proved more difficult to surpass. After a two tries though I managed to get it to open. Silently, I slipped out into the hall. Dim lamps lit the hallway. Each room had a sign over it, that indicated the room number. To my right there were a pair of rooms with pony symbols instead of numbers. Those must be the bathrooms. I couldn't tell which washroom was for which gender so I picked randomly. I picked wrong.

The doctor was washing his hooves in the sink when I came in. I squeed in surprise and then ran into the other bathroom. Thankfully this one was empty. I quickly finished my business. There was a shorter sink that I could reach to wash my hooves. I blushed thinking about my mistake. A small giggle escaped my mouth. I didn't think it would have taken so short of time to think of myself as a girl.

After drying my hooves I walked out of the bathroom. Thankfully the hallway was empty. I sat there for a second unsure what to do. Maybe Bon Bon had woken up and she could help me find food. I pranced back to my room. I pushed the door open. Sounds of someone moving around in the room greeted me. I smiled as I walked into the room. Bon Bon turned towards the door. Panic gripped her face. She rushed over to me, and scooped me up in her arms.

Bon Bon took a deep breath and put me down on the ground. Bon Bon said, “You scared me. I woke up and you weren't here. Where did you go?”

“To the bathroom,” I said. My head hung dejectedly. “I'm sorry for scaring you.”

Bon Bon hugged me again. She said, “Its fine just next time wake me if you need to, Okay?”

I nodded my head. I asked, “Can we go get some food? Also where did Lyra go?”

“Good question,” Bon Bon replied. She thought for a second. “I bet she got up earlier and went and got food from the cafeteria. Maybe with Rarity. Why don't we go see?”

She released her hug, and we walked downstairs On the way down the stairs, we past the doctor from the bathroom, and I blushed. The wall away from him became quite interesting till we passed him by. When we got to the bottom of the stairs I tugged on Bon Bon's foreleg. She stopped and leaned her head over to mine.

“I accidentally walked into the wrong bathroom,” I whispered. “He was in there washing his hooves. I don't really get it but it was quite embarrassing.”

Bon Bon giggled. She whispered, “Well that could be fairly embarrassing for a little filly to make such a mistake.”

“See thats the thing, I used to be the same gender as him. It's weird that I acclimated so much to being female.”

“Maybe your just over thinking it?”

“Maybe,” I whispered. We continued on to the cafeteria.

The cafeteria was a medium sized room with five tables each with four chairs. A pot of various flowers decorated the middle of each table. One wall had a large window into the kitchen with collection of empty steam pans.

Lyra and Rarity sat at one of the tables near the window. Noticing us come in, Lyra waved us over.

“Now, Darling I simply will not have you apologizing to me or Sweetie Belle,” Rarity said to Lyra. “What has happened isn't anything to make a big fuss about. Besides, as I said earlier, Sweetie Belle has been through worse scuffs.”

“I know,” Lyra said. She stared at her cup of coffee for a second before taking a sip of it. “I just feel responsible. I should have seen the signs of magical build up and taken Lilac in that morning.”

“Lyra dear,” Bon Bon said. She rubbed Lyra's shoulders. “Your being a bit silly there. This isn't anyone's fault. So no more pouting about it okay? You're going to worry Lilac!”

I stared at my hooves.

“Your right, I am being foalish,” Lyra said. She came over to me and scooped me up into a hug. “Everypony is gonna be alright. And that's what matters.”

Lyra set me down in a chair and walked over to the window. She called back, “Bon Bon, coffee?”

“Yes please,” Bon Bon replied. Lyra returned with two plates and cups. She set a cup and plate before Bon Bon and I. A slice of apple pie, still steaming, sat on each of our plates. Rarity got up and refilled her coffee cup. I still had not mastered the art of the fork and instead resorted to the tried and true shovel method. Rarity grimaced at my performance.

“Dear, do you need help with that?” Rarity asked. She looked at me with concern not contempt.

“I guess,” I said. I set my fork back down and lifted my head up from the table's edge where it had been. Rarity walked around the table next to me.

“Have you tried to levitate the fork with your magic? It might come easier to you than using your hooves,” asked Rarity. She levitated my fork in front of me.

“No,” I said. Looking away I tried to hide my shame. “Twilight tried to teach me how to use my magic but I couldn't get it.”

“Twilight, while quite knowledgeable, is not always the best teacher,” Rarity said with a bit of mirth. “She tends towards the text book explanation of things. So first you want to center yourself.”

She waited a bit while I closed my eyes and tried to calm myself. After a short bit, my breathing slowed.

Rarity then said, “Okay now can you feel your heart?-” I nodded. “-Okay well next to that is you should have a pool of magic, imagine a spring, okay now I want you to draw from that and push it towards your head.”

Finding the pool was easy, pushing the energy upwards proved difficult for a while till it slowly seemed to build in my head. It caused a bit of a pressure near my horn, which felt similar to a stuffed nose.

“Okay I think I got it,” I said quietly. My focus slipped for a second and the pressure released harmlessly, flowing back into the pool. I repeated the process, which came easier this time.

“Next you want to picture you holding the fork. Imagine an invisible hand stretching from your horn down to the fork and grabbing the fork,” Rarity instructed.

I pictured the fork floating in my grasp. Its hard smooth surface cold in my grasp. I floated the fork in my mind up to my face. Opening my eyes the real fork had mimicked the mind fork and floated before me held in a golden aura. Shocked I lost my concentration and the fork clanked onto the table below.

“Good job,” Rarity exclaimed.

Bon Bon smiled at me and Lyra seemed to be bouncing with pride. I looked up to Rarity. I said, “Thank you!”

“Think nothing of it, dear,” Rarity replied. “Sweetie Belle is having some problems with the finer points of magic. So I have been reading a decent amount of teaching manuals. One of the more unorthodox methods, visualization techniques, has been helping her allot.”

“Still thank you,” I said. I returned my concentration on my fork and levitated it into my pie. I cut a piece out and tried to scoop up the piece with the fork. This proved difficult but after a few tries I got a piece of pie. Eating this way proved to be slow going and messy. Eating the pie exhausted my pool and when it dried up I felt waves of exhaustion spread over me.

“Levitation is way more tiring that it looks,” I said. Rarity giggled.

“Its just that your magical muscles are new,” Lyra explained. “With practice it will become easier and less tiring.”

“I hope so,” I replied. “I think I might need a nap.”

Everyone at the table giggled. I got a drink from the cup, a delicious orange juice, with my hooves.

“So how bad is the house?” I asked. Everyone paused for a second.

Bon Bon rubbed my back with her hoof. She said, “Pretty bad. But nothing that can't be replaced.”

Lyra reached over from my other side and laid an arm across my back. “We had been discussing moving before you came along anyway. Now we just have the kick we needed to do something about it.”

“Lyra, and I had been discussing expanding our family,” Bon Bon explained. “So we were thinking about moving closer to the school.”

“Don't worry your little heart, dear,” Rarity said. “I will make sure that you all are well taken care of in the mean time.”

“Thank you, Rarity,” Lyra said.

“Truly, it is no problem. After all what are friends for,” Rarity said as she shrugged her shoulders. Her tone shifted from a serious note to that of a cheerful one. “Have you two picked a date yet?”

“A date for what?” I asked. I looked back and forth between Lyra and Bon Bon.

“Our wedding,” Bon Bon said. She smiled and stared longingly at Lyra. “Lyra asked me to marry her a few days before her vision spell found you.”

“No not yet,” answered Lyra. “I would kinda like to have it soon though. Vinyl is going on tour for almost a year and it wouldn't be the same without all our friends there.”

“Well just let me know if you need any help planing. I have a bit of experience at that sort of soirée,” Rarity offered. “Oh and you simply must let me make your dresses.”

Lyra and Rarity started to talk dress design. While some of the talk was interesting quickly I tired of it. I leaned against Bon Bon. My eyes closed and sleep took me for a bit.

I was shook awake by Bon Bon when Sweetie Belle and Cheerilee came to join us at breakfast. Sweetie had her bandages removed and while her pale skin was visible in spots she seemed to be fully healed. Cheerilee had a bandage wrapped around her right foreleg, but was otherwise unblemished. Lyra pulled over a few more chairs with her magic and the two sat down with us.

Rarity grabbed a slice of pie for Sweetie Belle while Cheerilee grabbed her own. Sweetie smiled at me, while she sat waiting impatiently for Rarity to return with her food.

“How are you, today?” asked Sweetie Belle.

“Better,” I replied quietly. I shifted my weight from one hoof to the other. “Sorry again.”

“It's fine,” Sweetie Belle said. “Really this isn't anything too bad. The doctor used to joke about getting me a frequent visitor card. I think one more visit and I get a lollipop.”

“If you say so,” I said. “I still feel bad though.”

“Well don't,” Sweetie Belle said. “Hey you want to make it up to me? Why don't you come to the next official meeting of the Cutie Mark Crusaders?”

“What and when?” I asked.

“Oh its just a little club that me and my friends do,” Sweetie Belle explained. “The next official meeting is next Wednesday.”

“I will have to ask,” I said. “But I would love to come.”

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