• Published 22nd Oct 2012
  • 3,940 Views, 127 Comments

In the Hour of Twilight - Blue Dragon

As Twilight and Fluttershy start their relationship, Twilight learns not to take magic or her life for granted.

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When Things Fall Apart

Twilight’s head was pounding. She couldn’t move at all and every breath was labored. Ponies seemed to be talking, but she couldn’t really hear.

Twilight felt a light weight on her. She forced an eye open and a blurry white rabbit was towering over her. The room behind it came into focus. The walls were completely white, and several ponies were talking to each other in the background. The unicorn couldn’t tell who it was.

The bunny’s leg was completely healed and he was staring at her sympathetically. When he noticed she was awake, he hopped off the bed and towards the ponies at the far side of the room. Twilight opened her other eye, but she could only see darkness through it. She quickly realized that something was covering it.

The ponies turned toward her. Twilight watched as they approached swiftly, and they came into focus.

“Twilight! You’re finally awake!” Pinkie Pie shouted. There were three other ponies with her—Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Rarity. She blinked blearily, trying to ignore the hammering of her head.

“Where…?” Her mouth was incredibly dry, and she could barely form any words. Luckily, they seemed to know exactly what she was asking. Rainbow Dash saved her the trouble.

“You’re at the Canterlot hospital.”

Twilight slowly pulled her hoof out from the blanket. She stared at it for a second before reaching up for her other eye. She felt bandages.

“Where’s…Where’s Fluttershy?” Everypony looked uncomfortable. Angel pulled himself back up onto the bed.

“She’s talking with the doctor right outside.” Applejack said with a frown, “They should be comin’ back in here soon.”

Twilight’s head wouldn’t stop pulsating. She wished they wouldn’t make her ask questions and would just tell her everything.

“What h…happened?” Her tongue felt heavy. Her hoof fell back down to the bed limply. She hadn’t noticed until Rarity started speaking, but she looked like she’d been crying.

“When the Sphinx had Fluttershy pinned, you charged up a very powerful spell. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. When it hit the Sphinx, a bright light blinded us all. When we could see again, the beast had disappeared and you had collapsed. Fluttershy… She was scared, to say the least. The poor darling wouldn’t stop crying. We were all shaken up, but we managed to get you back to Ponyville. The doctors cared for you, but you were in a very serious condition. They had you transferred to Canterlot as soon as you were stable, and you didn’t wake for days…”

“Days? Don’t you mean weeks?” Rainbow muttered. Twilight pushed herself up from bed, gasping at the sharp pain the action caused.

“What’re you doing, sugarcube?” AJ moved over to the bedside and pushed her back down with a hoof, “You need to stay in bed.”

At that moment, the door opened. Fluttershy walked in with her bloodshot eyes cast downward, the doctor following in after. She hadn’t noticed Twilight.

“Fluttershy, Twilight’s awake!” Dash had a faint smile. Fluttershy’s head shot up and her eyes zeroed in on Twilight. Within seconds she was by her side, holding her hoof.

“Oh, Twilight! You really are awake!” She was gently nuzzling the unicorn’s hoof, “I was so, so, so worried…I’m so glad that you’re finally up!”

The doctor walked in. “Yes, it’s a good thing you’ve finally woken up.” The female unicorn carried a clipboard with her as she stood next to the bed. “How are you feeling?”

“Not good… My head… It really hurts…” She could only speak in chopped sentences.

“As it should…” The doctor spoke in a business-like tone. Pinkie Pie asked the necessary question.

“What do you mean, doc?”

Apparently only Fluttershy had talked to the doctor. The mare’s lips were set in a firm line.

“It’s something I haven’t seen the likes of in a very long time. First off, I must tell you who I am. My name is Dr. Sweetheart. I’ve been studying and experimenting with magic-related injuries for years, using myself as a test subject mostly. Your condition, Twilight Sparkle, was something I’d read of only in books…”

“Don’t leave us in suspense!” Rainbow snapped at the doctor. She smiled apologetically before continuing. Twilight didn’t know if she wanted to hear or not.

“You have what’s called the Magic Rebound Effect. It hasn’t been diagnosed in centuries—mostly because unicorns generally only use their magic for their special talent. But seeing as how your special talent is magic… Unicorns with a special talent in magic are more at risk of this. When a unicorn uses magic, it puts strain on their bodies. Although most ponies don’t ever use enough magic to reach this state, you’ve most certainly stressed it. It’s something of a chronic illness. Once you’re diagnosed…it’s irreversible.

“The point is… You mustn’t use magic any longer. Each time you do, you run the risk of dying. Simply put, every time you use magic, your lifespan shortens.”

“What?!” RD exclaimed. Twilight’s eyes widened, and Applejack stared at the doctor angrily.

“Isn’t there somethin’ you can do about it?!”

Dr. Sweetheart shook her head woefully. “I’m sorry. There is…something, though. I suggest surgically removing your horn to prevent any accidents.”

Twilight wasn’t sure if her heart could sink any lower. “N…No more magic?”

“I’m sorry. Perhaps if you hadn’t used so much magic in your previous battle… Maybe it wouldn’t have gotten this bad… I’ll leave you alone with your guests. If you need anything, send somepony to get me or a nurse. I’ll check on you later with more information on your condition. Once again, I’m sorry.” The doctor bent her head down respectfully before making her way outside with her clipboard, closing the door behind her.

Twilight reached up for her horn again. Her head still hurt. She wasn’t sure what to think.

“This is…just a big joke, right? Or a dream?” Twilight questioned emptily. Nopony answered her. As the weight of the doctor’s words finally hit her, she felt tears sting her eyes.

“I-I don’t…I don’t understand what this means…” And that said a lot for Twilight Sparkle. Her hooves were shaking.

“Aww, man…If I was faster, this wouldn’t have happened… !” Rainbow snorted, “I wouldn’t have gotten caught by that stupid Sphinx, and I would’ve been able to help instead of just passing out like…like…a coward!” Rainbow gritted her teeth. Tears looked like they were threatening to fall from her eyes, too. But knowing Dash, she wouldn’t let them go.

“No, Dashie, I should’ve been more help… I passed out really fast…” Pinkie’s lip quivered, and she didn’t even try to stop the tears.

“Ah’m the worst! I could’ve moved—Ah should have! I just…Ah couldn’t get my hooves to work when the Sphinx looked at me like that…” AJ stared hard at the floor.

“No darling, I should’ve done something. I should’ve used my own magic—maybe the Sphinx wouldn’t have gone after Twilight if I’d used it…” Rarity was shedding a few tears, but she wiped them all away with a hoof.

“N-None of you have anything to be sorry for… It’s me…” Fluttershy was crying freely. “Twilight was right there—I should’ve done more to talk to the Sphinx… If I’d convinced him not to attack us and that we didn’t want to fight…maybe Twilight wouldn’t have had to use so much magic. She was…She was just trying to s-save me…”

Twilight wanted to tell all of them that it was her own fault. She wanted them to know that she didn’t blame anypony else. But all she really wanted at that moment was time to think all this over. Time alone so she could really think about this.

“Girls… Do you think I could…?” Rarity placed a hoof on Twilight’s muzzle with a sad little smile.

“We understand, darling. We’ll give you some time alone.”

“What?!” Rainbow exclaimed, “Like hay I’m going to just leave her here and—“Applejack yanked on the pegasus’ tail, effectively shutting her up.

Pinkie hugged Twilight briefly with a small smile. “I hope you feel better soon…” Twilight watched as Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and even Angel left the room. Fluttershy stayed.

As soon as they disappeared, Twilight sunk down into the bed. She pulled the cover over her head, rolled over, and mumbled into the pillow. “Is this really happening, Fluttershy? Please tell me it isn’t…”

Twilight didn’t hear a reply, so she opted to remain silent. Tears finally stained her fur. She felt a comforting hoof on her back.


“Fluttershy…I can’t… My magic is…it’s so important to me! I-I can’t just…” Twilight choked back a sob. She didn’t want to cry in front of somepony, but these feelings were starting to overwhelm her.

“Shh, it’s okay… Everything’s going to be okay…” Twilight felt Fluttershy’s hoof drawing circles on her back.

“How do you know that? I-I’ve probably had this Magic Rebound Effect thing since back at Zecora’s, and if what the doctor said is true, I must’ve already lost some of my life expectancy and if I can’t use magic, I won’t be able to be Princess Celestia’s student, and I won’t even get sent to Magic Kindergarten…D-Does Princess Celestia know? And what about Spike?”

Twilight sat up suddenly. “H-How’s Spike? He should be in Canterlot… I have to see him.”

Fluttershy looked surprised at the unicorn’s unexpected movement. “Please, Twilight, don’t move around… Your head’s still a little hurt…”

“What about Spike?” She protested. Fluttershy lightly pushed Twilight back into bed.

“We haven’t told him about…this…but he’s okay. He and Rarity made up, and he thinks you’re still in Ponyville. As for Princess Celestia… Yes, she knows. But…we haven’t seen her. Your brother came to see you, too. Dr. Sweetheart told him about the condition, but she refused to tell anypony else, telling us it was an invasion of a patient’s privacy… But today I was finally able to get her to tell me…”

“The Princess hasn’t come?” She stared into Fluttershy’s cerulean eyes. The pegasus’ own eyes lowered slightly and she shook her head.

Twilight sunk even lower. Why hasn’t the Princess visited me? Is she disappointed in me for getting something like this? Fluttershy wouldn’t lie to me…so it must be true… I won’t be able to use magic anymore. Wait… That’s not what the doctor said… I could still do it… I just won’t live as long, right? Maybe if I use magic enough, it’ll wear off.

The unicorn looked around for something she could use magic on. Something small… She thought to herself. Twilight saw a plate on the desk to the side. Should be easy… She started to focus magic into her horn, but immediately stopped at the sharp pain in her head.

“No, Twilight, don’t use magic!” Fluttershy said worriedly.

“This can’t be happening to me…! My special talent is magic; I can’t just give it up!” Twilight gritted her teeth angrily as she felt more tears fall. “Why did this have to happen to me?!” The unicorn found herself throwing the plate she’d been trying to levitate onto the floor.

It broke with a loud smash, and then it was quiet. Fluttershy spoke softly.

“Nopony expects you to be perfectly fine… I’m not going to tell you that I know what you’re going through, and I don’t want to tell you that everything’s going to be okay… Because to be honest, I don’t really know. I’m really scared, too, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen… But there is one thing I do know. I’ll be here for you. I promise.” Fluttershy grabbed hold of Twilight’s hooves. “You’ll get through this… You always do.”

Her hooves slowly wound themselves around Twilight, pulling her close. It was a very simple hug—but it meant a lot to the unicorn. Fluttershy pulled away with a bashful expression.

“Can I…come in?” She said hesitantly. Twilight scooted over without saying anything, and the pegasus climbed into the bed.

The unicorn rested her head on Fluttershy’s chest, hugging her in the process. The yellow pony ran her hoof along Twilight’s mane calmingly. Surprisingly, it worked wonders.

“How do you know? Is it possible that the doctor got the diagnose wrong? Is there still hope for my magic?” Twilight looked into Fluttershy’s eyes like a nervous little filly. The pegasus looked unsure too, but she placed a kiss on Twilight’s nose.

“There’s always hope.” Twilight didn’t say anything, but she nuzzled into the warm pegasus. She tried not to think about the absence of magic in her life, but it still came to mind. However, one question stuck out to her.

“How long do I have to stay in the hospital, ‘Shy?” She could feel the other pony still brushing a hoof over her mane.

“Not very long. Dr. Sweetheart said that after you woke up and they made sure you were completely healed, you could go.” Twilight remembered the bandages over her eye.

“What are these for? I thought I just had the Magic Rebound Effect.” She reached a hoof up and tried to get them off. “They’re a little irritating…”

“We’re not sure exactly what happened, but something cut you deeply. I think when you fell you landed on a sharp rock… I don’t know if it’s healed yet. When the doctor gets back, maybe she can remove it for you.”

Twilight continued to try and remove it with her hooves. She was getting increasingly angry. Subconsciously, her horn automatically lit up and grasped the bandages, but the aura dissipated quickly, and her head hurt more.

“No, don’t do that… Here, let me take care of it.” Fluttershy moved Twilight’s hooves away from the bandaging. She looked like she didn’t want to take them off just yet, but was going to anyway for the unicorn. The pegasus was more experienced with her own hooves, probably because she never had magic to help her, and was able to get the bandages off easily.

The sudden assault of light on the revealed eye hurt. She closed it the second she tried opening it.

“I didn’t realize it was so bright in here…” Twilight started to reopen her eye.

“Oh…my…” Twilight blinked up at Fluttershy.

“What is it?” Fluttershy shook her head, but her eyes were glued on Twilight’s newly uncovered one.

“What do you see?” Twilight repeated, reaching up for the eye. The pegasus’ voice was heavy with sadness.

“You…You have a scar…”

“As if this wasn’t enough! Now I have a second constant reminder of this stupid, stupid, stupid…thing!” She didn’t even try to stop the tears this time. Twilight buried her face into Fluttershy’s chest and sobbed. It was completely and utterly irrational, but the unicorn’s head was a muddle of everything it once was.

Fluttershy pulled Twilight closer in a protective embrace. She felt the pegasus’ wings brushing against her side, but it did little to comfort her. She cried harder.

The yellow pony rubbed Twilight’s back, feeling her fur dampen. “Let it all out, Twilight… Don’t hold back. Just let everything out.”

And she did.

“We shouldn’t leave her in there… It feels wrong!” Rainbow rubbed at her eyes, “Twilight’s our friend and she needs us right now! How can you guys even think of keeping her locked up in there crying?!”

“Hold yer horses!” Applejack snorted, “We ain’t leavin’ her in there to cry! She needs time alone with Fluttershy. Ain’t nopony gonna be able to comfort her like that pony.”

Rainbow looked away, distraught. “At least I’d be able to do something! All you ever want to do is sit around and wait! I can’t stand to see my friends cry, but apparently you don’t feel the same.” Rarity could sense the tension between the two ponies. Pinkie watched with concern visible on her features.

AJ’s eyes narrowed. “Just like always. You ain’t never gonna learn yer lesson, are you? Even after what you did all that time ago.” Rainbow stood stock still. Pinkie couldn’t stand to see her friends fighting this way, and the pegasus seemed to be affected badly.

“Dashie?” She called out. Rarity had enough.

“Now, Applejack. We’re all stressed out from this, but you shouldn’t be so harsh to Rainbow Dash. That’s enough out of the both of you. The last thing we need is fighting.”

“No, she’s right,” Rainbow stared sullenly at the ground, “I really screwed up. But that doesn’t have anything to do with what’s happening now. If you really think she’ll be perfectly okay in her little world, then you’re a foal for believing that. I’ve always thought you were the most honest pony to ever exist, but you aren’t. You really, really, aren’t.”

Rainbow looked back up with fire in her eyes as she glared at AJ. “You lied to me. You told me you loved me. You did! You’re a liar! A Celestia-damned liar who doesn’t even deserve her Element.” Applejack looked hurt, but determined.

“I ain’t no liar! It was you who pulled that stunt, not me! Ah did love you, and that’s the honest truth. You were the one who hurt me, and I don’t know what the buck you’re talkin’ about!”

“Please, guys, just stop!” Pinkie tried in vain. Neither of the feuding ponies seemed to care.

“You are. I thought we could be something, I thought I meant something to you! I don’t think you care about anypony with a heart as cold as yours.”

Words caught in Applejack’s throat, but she didn’t need to say anything. A nurse trotted up with a glare at the group of ponies.

“Hush! Take it outside or keep it down. You’re bothering the patients.” Rarity nodded to the nurse ruefully.

“My apologies. We’ll be quiet.” The stranger gave them a hard look before turning away. Rarity spun back to the carnage.

“How dare you two… Apologize to each other at once, or does your friendship really mean that little to you?”

Rainbow didn’t look away from AJ. “No, we’re done here.”

Rarity was surprised. She sputtered, “W-What? But what about Twilight?”

Dash glanced at Rarity before answering her. “I’m staying in Canterlot for Twilight. She needs me right now, I know it. Unlike somepony, I’ll stay true to my Element.”

She turned away from the others, making her way towards Twilight’s room. “As Daring Do always says, ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ Rarity, Pinkie, see you two later.”

The pegasus left, and Applejack pulled her hat down over her face. “All things come to the pony who waits, Dash. There ain’t nopony who needs to learn that more than you do.”

“What happened between you two?” Pinkie inquired quietly. She’d been affected by the argument, too.

“It’s…a long story, Pinkie. Ah don’t know if ya want to hear it.” Rarity put a comforting hoof on her friend’s shoulder.

“Darling, we have to fix this. For you, for Rainbow Dash, and for Twilight. If she hears that two of her friends are losing their friendship, it will likely push her into depression. Please, tell us what happened, and we may be able to help before things get too out of hoof…”

Author's Note:

This is where the tragedy comes in... Everything will be explained later. Also, this was the part that I based the entire story off of. I hope nobody's too mad. ^_^"