• Published 16th Nov 2012
  • 20,330 Views, 1,026 Comments

Address Unknown - remedy



Derpy's suffered scorn for a mold she doesn't fit. Will a chance meeting change her life for the better?

  • ...
53
 1,026
 20,330

14. Aftermath

Chapter 14 – Aftermath

Twilight Sparkle’s eye and ears began to twitch simultaneously. Her shoulders slumped, and her horn burned almost painfully as its glow subsided. It felt as if she was in complete shutdown following the casting of the spell. She was exhausted from the exertion and concentration, but there was a more important reason for her nervous twitch and physical dysfunction than mere exhaustion. She had failed to cast her spell correctly.

She stared forward, looking at her marefriend; Derpy stood statically, still facing Twilight with the blank look adorning her face. Derpy’s eyes had been intended to focus to the center, the pupils tugged toward a more normal alignment. Her stare, however, was literally blank – instead of the intended result, Twilight found herself looking directly into two featureless eyes, devoid of irises and pupils completely. She had not improved Derpy’s vision – she had erased it.

“Twilight? Did the room turn dark for some reason?”

Derpy tried to look around for her friend, but found only darkness, and the inky black confused her. It had been morning a moment ago, but now all she could see was black pitch. She reached forward in the darkness, expecting to not meet anything with her hoof; there was, as far as she could tell, nothing there. She gave a slight gasp of shock when she almost immediately touched Twilight’s breastbone, as the unicorn was still standing directly in front of her.

Twilight was only able to respond with incoherent and distraught mumbling, disconcerting the pegasus even more.

Twilight found a moment of clarity in her haze of thought and barked an order. “Spike! Go get all of our friends. NOW!” The dragon gave a start; sitting toward the side he did not know what had happened, but Twilight’s frantic tone and her twitching facial features did not bode well.

Without a single question, he bolted out of the library, embarking on the grimmest scavenger hunt he had ever had the displeasure of being involved in. Without thought, he went where his footsteps took him – toward Sweet Apple Acres in hopes that Applejack would be there with Rainbow Dash.

Twilight watched Spike’s receding form for a moment before turning back to Derpy. She owed the pegasus as much of an explanation as she could figure out, though at the moment that wasn’t much. She attempted to steady her voice but failed, the words coming out cracked and weak.

“Derpy, your eyes… I… something didn’t go right… I don’t know what happened… Your eyes, they’re still there, but they look… like I erased them.” Twilight broke down in tears.

Derpy stood there for a moment while comprehension took hold. She tried blinking, closing and opening her eyes slowly, rubbing at them with her hooves, and everything felt as though it was normal. She just could not see anything, and the horrifying realization finally took hold. Twilight’s magic had blinded her.

Her head swam for a moment, unable to grasp the torrent of emotions that cascaded through her mind. She was frightened by the blindness, dejected that the spell didn’t work, nervous of what the future would be like, and empathetic toward the unicorn who was so distraught by her own failure.

She took a deep breath in to attempt to clear her head and thought back to the previous night, and doing so gave her a sense of calm amid the chaos. She still firmly stood by her statement; she would not be frightened by the outcome. She had Twilight with her and that reassured her regardless of her sight. The spell had not worked, but that did not mean she was doomed forever. Twilight may come across another spell to help mend the previous one.

The future would come regardless of what she thought of it, and she had always been miserable up until this week. Meeting Twilight had given her hope for the future, and she still had that hope, with or without sight. Ultimately, Derpy decided that right now worrying or being afraid would change nothing. The one thing she could do was comfort her friend.

Twilight had collapsed in a heap, her mind reeling and tears flowing freely from her eyes for the damage she had done to her friend. She felt a hoof graze past her head before returning, then felt it slide from her head down to her shoulder. She looked up to see Derpy’s vacant eyes.

The mare’s coordination almost seemed clarified by the darkness; without the conflicting visual input she was able to pick out directions and sounds much more easily than before. The pegasus turned her head down to where the noises were coming from and sank to the floor, using her hooves to guide her towards Twilight’s neck and then pulling her into a hug.

Twilight was approaching hysteria, but the only way Derpy would be able to tell was through the sound of her voice. Twilight had become a nervous wreck of twitching and paranoid glances around the room. She threw herself into the calming forehooves being offered to her, and she sobbed into Derpy’s mane.

“I’m sorry… I’m so, so sorry, Derpy. I don’t know what went wrong, I went over the spell so many times that I was sure I had it right…” Twilight made a choking sound through her cries as she was once again swept with guilt.

“Shh,” Derpy tried to calm Twilight down and gave her a loving smile, hoping Twilight had seen it. “It’s okay, Twi. Remember what I said last night? You’re more important to me than anything else. I’m not angry or hurt – I just want you to be okay, too.”

She gave the unicorn another tight squeeze, and another thought occurred to her that could be reassuring for them both.

“Remember what you said about the spell? It’s not supposed to be permanent right away… maybe the mistake was small enough that it only affected my sight temporarily. There may be no reason for concern at all right now. Maybe it will just go away on its own.” She felt Twilight shift at that, and the sounds of crying lessened slightly.

“We knew the risks, we’ll work through this together, and maybe we can find out what went wrong. Please, just don’t sit blaming yourself for this, okay?” She gave Twilight another smile, and heard the crying die down to strong sniffles.

Twilight couldn’t comprehend how Derpy was managing to stay so calm, but she was at least becoming a bit more composed by the pegasus’ reassurances, though her twitches still remained. She nodded into the mare’s mane, and hugged her back, both mares falling into silence broken only by the occasional sniffle still plaguing Twilight.

****************

Spike had been successful in finding Rainbow Dash and Applejack at the farm, and he was extremely relieved at that. They eyed him suspiciously as he raced toward them at breakneck speed, a grim yet frightened look painted on his face. He came to a halt in front of them, panting deeply from overexertion, but still trying to deliver his message. Instead, the only sound emanating from him was a ragged wheeze.

“What in tarnation’s got into ya Spike?” Applejack demanded, half out of concern and half out of frustration at the dragon’s panicked arrival. “Calm down a sec, get a holda yerself, ‘n then tell us what in Equestria gotcha so riled up.”

Spike’s wheezing lessened to a point where he was at least able to deliver the bare idea of the message between gasps. “Something happened at the library with Twilight and Derpy. I don’t know what happened, but Twilight was casting a spell, and next thing I knew she was twitching and panicking and yelling at me to come get all of you guys.”

AJ and Dash exchanged equally reproachful looks. Derpy. They didn’t know the details but they were sure they didn’t have to. Twilight was having a signature ‘Twilight Meltdown’, and it involved Derpy. That was all the information they needed – the pegasus screwed something up for Twilight, and screwed it up badly.

“AJ, you take Spike back to the library. I’ll go round everypony else up.” Rainbow Dash took to the air in a flash, and Spike let out a relieved sigh. That was a lot less work and frantic running he had to do.

He felt a yank as Applejack grabbed him and flipped him onto her back before she sprinted off toward the towering tree.

As Spike clung to her tightly to keep from falling off, one thought played through the farmpony’s mind. If Derpy got Twi hurt, so help me Celestia, she ain’t gonna be flyin’ fer months after Ah’m done with ‘er.

The tree loomed into view, and as they got closer Applejack could distinctly hear the sound of Twilight’s crying, though much less intense now in volume and frequency, coming from inside. Her face flushed with rage, crimson burning her cheeks, and her mind spoke to her body with full wrath.

Whoa Nelly! She is gonna be gettin’ her flank whooped somethin’ fierce.

****************

Twilight was finally calming down, much to Derpy’s relief, and the quiet that had fallen was welcome. The unicorn had begun to think about the reassurances that Derpy had given her, and though she still felt incredible guilt she knew that Derpy was not upset with either her or the situation in general.

She was still impressed by the way the pegasus had adapted to dealing with pain, shame, and disappointment. Derpy had been through so much in her life that, since Twilight had given her acceptance, nothing seemed to bother her aside from her own lingering insecurities.

She hugged the pegasus tightly as her mind began racing; moments before she had been in complete mental turmoil, but now Derpy had given her enough peace of mind that the only thing left of her breakdown were residual tears and sniffs. Within her thoughts, however, she was already reverting to her tendency to analyze.

Twilight was quite certain that Derpy was right about the effect of the spell. They couldn’t be absolutely sure, but it was very likely that the effect would be only temporary given that the nature of the spell required constant repetition even if it had been cast perfectly.

It only made sense that a mistake would result in a different physiological change rather than a change in the spell’s duration, since bodily change was the focus of the magic. She had already resolved to check and recheck what had gone wrong as soon as their immediate emotional reactions had soothed.

Her thoughts were interrupted sharply though, as the door behind Derpy swung open violently, revealing a much redder version of Applejack than she was used to, with Spike sitting on her back. Twilight saw the mare look at her, concern showing in her face before an intense fire ignited in her eyes.

She quickly saw what was going through Applejack’s mind. Twilight was disheveled, crumpled on the floor with tearstained cheeks, and the farmpony had already come to a conclusion about what the problem must have been. Her insight was proven almost instantly as the mare’s gaze locked onto the back of the pegasus in Twilights hooves.

“Derpy, what in Celestia’s name did you do to Twi?” Applejack demanded, a ferocity in her voice that could easily give anypony nightmares for weeks. “You promised us you weren’t gonna get her hurt at –“

Applejack’s tirade halted abruptly as Derpy turned to the sound behind her, freezing the farmpony’s blood at the sight. She stared directly into the blank eyes adorning the forlorn face of the pegasus. Her mouth dropped open in shock, and all the anger coloring her face drained from vermilion to pale orange.

Applejack’s voice dropped from a bellow to an almost inaudible whisper. “Girl, what in the hay happened in here?”

Derpy couldn’t see the changes that came over Applejack, but she could hear the change in voice. It relieved her to know that Applejack had dropped her accusatory perception and was now open to listening. Her response was gentle but remorseful.

“Twilight was working on a spell to help mend my vision, but it didn’t quite go as well as we hoped.” She gave a small sigh. “I’m sorry, Applejack. I know I promised not to hurt Twilight. I guess I couldn’t keep my promise after all.”

Derpy closed her eyes in regret and turned back to lay her head on Twilight’s shoulder, giving the unicorn another squeeze, though this hug was meant more as apology than a comfort.

Applejack winced at the sadness in the pegasus’ voice, and she felt awful to know that her outburst had likely contributed to making the situation worse. She felt Spike hop off her back as she slowly walked into the room and up to Derpy. Tentatively, she placed a hoof on the mare’s shoulder and her stomach tied into a knot when the pegasus instinctively flinched, as though she was expecting a punishment of some sort.

“No, Derpy, Ah’m the one that’s sorry. Ah assumed ya messed somethin’ up when Ah shouldn’t have, an’ Ah can tell it ain’t yer fault. If anythin’ was outta line in here, it was me for blamin’ ya without any idea what happened.” Her head drooped a little out of shame for her hasty actions. She turned to look at Twilight, who sat stunned at the conversation between her longtime friend and her marefriend.

“You doin’ okay, Sugarcube?” Applejack looked to in her in hope that Twilight had not taken the accident too harshly, or that the unicorn resented her brash behavior. She looked relieved as Twilight nodded back slightly.

“I’m okay, AJ,” she replied quietly. “I just got a bit… emotional, for a while. I think I’m feeling better now. Derpy helped me calm down and collect my thoughts. It still seems a bit surreal, but I think we’ll be alright.”

Twilight turned to Spike. “Are the others on their way? I thought you were going to get everypony.”

Spike gave a slight nod. “Rainbow Dash was with Applejack when I got there. She went to round up everypony else. I’ll bet they’re on their way now.”

Applejack’s eyes went wide at this thought, and she quickly turned toward the door. “Ah’m gonna go out and see if Ah can explain what’s goin’ on to them before they all get in here.”

She reddened a bit again, slightly ashamed to admit this in front of Derpy. “Ah’d wager that Dash is gonna be thinkin’ just like Ah was when Ah got here. Ah reckon y’all need some time together alone after all of this.” She nudged Spike to emphasize ‘alone’; he got the hint and followed her to the door.

“Thanks, Applejack.” Twilight smiled weakly at her. “I think that’s exactly what we need right now.”

As the door closed behind the farmpony, she returned her muzzle to Derpy and gave her a peck on the cheek. “Thank you, Derpy. I promise I’ll make this right again – just give me some time.”

Derpy gave her a kiss back, nuzzling at her ear. “I know you will. I still trust you just as much as ever.”

“Thank you. Thank you so much. I love you, Derpy.”

“Love you too, Twi.”