• Published 16th Nov 2012
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Address Unknown - remedy



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

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9. The Catalyst of a Dream

Chapter 9 – The Catalyst of a Dream

A small sigh escaped Twilight’s lips as she watched Derpy walk slowly down the path away from the library, her eyes lingering perhaps slightly longer than would be normal, tracing the bubbly cutie mark on the mare’s flank in contemplation.

Derpy had gone for the night, leaving Twilight behind in the library to think. The potion had been reversed easily enough with Zecora’s medicinal wash, but even though Twilight had gained new respect for her friend, her search for the pegasus had ultimately ended in failure. Derpy had been both shocked and touched by what Twilight had to say, but it was obvious that she still wanted a cure, despite how much her self-image may have been boosted.

Shaking herself out of the trance, she turned slowly back and shifted her gaze to the immeasurable volumes of knowledge that filled the room, though most still lay where they had fallen in her impaired state.

The mere sight of the books puzzled her; for the first time she didn’t feel compelled to read. Normally any sort of research project would have her running in frantic excitement like a foal in a toy store, but now the excitement had been drained.

She had been unsuccessful in her search for a cure – she had failed to find what she was looking for, and had resigned herself to the notion that future searching would be futile. However, the look that had stolen across Derpy’s face at that news wrenched her heart in a way she never thought possible.

Twilight had been left inwardly conflicted as Derpy left for the night; the unicorn was shaking with emotion, disappointed with herself for letting the poor mare down. She had been Derpy’s last hope, and when Twilight had found no solution, the unicorn had simply discarded Derpy’s dream as simply unattainable. However, as she watched Derpy’s head droop as her silhouette receded into the horizon, a spark rekindled the fire within Twilight. Though Twilight’s mind had given up, her soul kept a tight grip on the pegasus’ dream and refused to let it die out.

This wasn’t simple research for the sake of discovery, or even for averting disaster like she had so often done in the past. Those rounds of study were important of course, and she had often had fits of panic, racing the clock to find the answer before tragedy struck. This time it was neither a race nor a matter of life and death. It was a personal matter, the course of which would directly impact a friend.

Her mind reprocessed the previous weeks she had spent with Derpy, considering their interactions and recognizing significance in her increasing fondness for her, even in the most seemingly mundane events.

She froze in an instant of comprehension. Her emotional confusion was exclusively due to the fact that her new friendship with Derpy ran much more deeply than she had originally thought. She genuinely cared for every aspect of the mare’s life, and now she had a chance to make a profound difference. It wasn’t as simple as being driven by friendship – she realized that she treasured every aspect she had discovered in Derpy: her endearing demeanor, her levelheaded and calm approach to confrontations, her humble attitude, and her perseverance in the face of adversity. Twilight had taken the step from friendship to love, and there was nothing that would stop her from finding the answer that the mare possessing her affections wanted.

Twilight levitated a book over and began to read.

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

Twilight lay collapsed in a heap. Beside her was a mound of books – reference materials of every kind, equine physiology and anatomy guides, tomes of medical literature, even her copies of “Perplexing Pony Plagues” and “Supernaturals: Natural Remedies and Cure-alls that are Simply Super” even though she seriously doubted the last two would provide much help.

Unsurprisingly, she found that all of her references were as equally unhelpful as they had been the first time she had looked. Her search this time had been more thorough; she hung on every word regarding anything that had to do with vision until she completely understood it, but none of it had revealed anything new. The night wore on as she continued to pore over every resource she could manage to find, but nothing seemed to approach a solution to Derpy’s problem.

She groaned in frustration, knowing that even though Derpy had accepted the absence of a solution, it had still been painful for her to accept. Twilight felt her stomach clench as she regretted her own hasty resignation, but her revelation earlier had steeled her resolve. Now she knew that as long as she looked there was hope, and there was only one thing that she refused to do in her search – give up quickly. She knew she had all the time in the world to research, but that did not stall her drive to find a solution sooner rather than later.

However, she also knew that studying herself into exhaustion would do more harm than good; her experience with Applejack’s apple-bucking season reminded her how overexertion can addle your brain, and she did not want to risk overlooking something important because of sleep deprivation. Laying her head down, she let her eyelids fall slowly and allowed herself to drift off to sleep.

More often than not, Twilight did not have much in terms of interesting dreams. Usually they involved bits and pieces of her many adventures with her friends, parties they had enjoyed, books she had read, and picnics out in the countryside, usually jumbled together as her brain sorted her memories for long-term storage deep in the recesses of her mind. They had a tendency to be strange but bland, and she almost never remembered any of them after waking. It was rare for her to have a vivid and clear dream, but it seemed her mind had done enough sorting for the time being and Twilight was swept into one of her few memorable dreams.

She was aware of sitting in her library, but strangely the library was empty. The shelves were empty, not a single book to be found. It felt strange, cold and isolated…it was home without being home. A cursory glance around confirmed her solitude; nopony was there but her. Even Spike was absent.

An icy gust blew from everywhere and nowhere, surrounding her, cutting through her fur and chilling her to the bone. The wind spread outward, causing the lamps to flicker and sputter until their flames died out. She was alone and cold, shivering in a darkness that seemed to envelop her. She wanted to scream out, to plead for help, but no sound came from her throat. She was shrouded in a silent despair, endless and eternal; all hope was lost, and she felt herself slowly falling.

Then, splitting the darkness, a warm light burst into existence behind her, and she heard the soft crackling of a fire. She slowly turned, as if she were lost in a stupor that separated what she willed herself to do and what her body agreed to. The warmth seemed to spread to one side, and the heat concentrated around her forehoof, pulling her around as she had been unable to do on her own.

As she turned, the popping sound of a fire dissipated, but the warmth and light remained. It was not a fire that had been behind her; she found herself muzzle to muzzle with Derpy. The pegasus sat with a gentle smile, exuding a bright glow and surrounding Twilight in comfort, shutting out the cold.

Twilight sat mere inches from Derpy, staring into her eyes. They still did not focus in the same direction, but they were stunning nonetheless, and Twilight found herself captivated by their beauty. Slowly, both mares closed their eyes tight, and she felt herself being pulled into a tight grasp with the pegasus.

Their lips came together in their own embrace, slightly parted, allowing Twilight to feel a damp pant playing across her muzzle and a tongue tracing just inside her own mouth, searching out her tongue. Her hooves moved on their own, curving across the gray fur and finding the pegasus’ wings extended. She brushed a hoof across the primary feathers of the wing, eliciting a soft moan from her partner, and she felt a pulsing heat form inside her.

The kiss broke away, and Twilight opened her eyes. She looked back into Derpy’s radiant face, and this time her eyes were clear and focused directly on Twilight, piercing her with a loving gaze.

The unicorn noticed they were no longer surrounded by dark, and that they were no longer in her Ponyville library. Files, documents, and scrolls of all sizes in a seemingly neglected corner of an ancient looking library encircled them. Twilight felt astray, lost within the abandoned niche. She recognized the style of her surroundings to be those of the Canterlot Archives, but the immensity of the repository kept her from knowing anything further of her location. A window came into view behind Derpy, and through it she saw a white alicorn raising the sun to begin a new day.

Her gaze returned to Derpy, whose shimmering amber eyes continued to enrapture the unicorn. As Twilight kept her eyes locked to Derpy’s, however, a frigid chill crept through her heart. She was tethered to the pegasus through their continued embrace, but the connection seemed ephemeral; Derpy’s crystalline eyes appeared focused, yet lost, eerily searching past Twilight, as though Twilight had simply ceased to exist and Derpy was looking desperately for her. Twilight felt the forehooves around her tighten, and she attempted to return the embrace to comfort the mare she held. Her hooves, however, passed through the pegasus as if they had been turned to gas, and everything evaporated into nothingness as Twilight Sparkle sat bolt upright.

She was still recovering from the effects of the dream; it had been both arousing and cryptic. She could still feel ghostly lips pressing against her own, her coat was in a lather and a warm wetness had left a mark on the floor beneath her haunches. She noticed none of this, though; her eyes were round with excitement and she clambered to her hooves shakily, panting to herself, “The Canterlot Archives… There must have been something I missed there after all…”

She sprinted to the bathroom, knocking over books and scrolls in her haste. She jumped into the shower, lingering in the cold water only long enough to rinse herself of the aftereffects of the previous night’s trance. Ignoring the barely breaking dawn that graced the horizon, she ran toward the train depot with nothing on her mind other than getting to Canterlot as fast as possible.

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

The morning was strangely calm for Spike, as he turned in his bed trying to get comfortable again. A sliver of light caught his eye during the adjustment, and his eyes popped open instantly out of habit. He had overslept again, and as usual Twilight would be furious at his late start to his chores. The library did seem unusually quiet though; normally Twilight would have been yelling in his direction to get out of bed well before now.

He plodded down the stairs, looking around and calling a nervous “Twilight?” No response came, and he realized she must be gone for the morning. He sighed deeply, relieved that no lectures would be coming his way any time soon. He then sighed deeply again, but for a much different reason – his eyes had found their way to an enormous pile of books and some weird stain on the floor, as well as a strong musty smell lingering through the library. He shook his head at the mess and began cleaning.

While he usually was very quick with returning books to their normal spots, today gave him an additional challenge. Many of the tomes littering the floor were from sections of the library that Twilight seldom used. Add to that the recent re-shelving of the entire library and the nauseatingly strong scent that was distracting him, and it made for a difficult and slow task.

He gave up on the books momentarily and decided to attack the stain on the floor, reasoning that he may finish his chores better with that annoying aroma gone. He wandered over to get a bucket and mop when a blur of vivid hues burst through the door. Spike clutched at his chest, making gasping noises in surprise as Rainbow Dash slowed to a stop after her unannounced arrival.

“Heya, Spike! Is Twilight around?” She casually sauntered around the library. “I was hoping to borrow her anamo… amonit…” She stomped a hoof in frustration. “Her wind thingy. I’m trying to check my weather team’s performance. They’re starting to fall behind in work, lazy slowpokes.”

She stopped long enough to give the wheezing dragon a chance to gasp out “She’s… gone for… bit. Not sure… where…”

Rainbow gave an annoyed huff at not being able to gather the ‘wind thingy’ for the time being. She sniffed the air slightly and scrunched up her nose. “Ew, what stinks in here?”

Spike had gotten over his initial brush with death via terror by now, and responded with a huff of his own. “Twi must have been doing some major studying last night. I’m still trying to pick it all up.”

He motioned toward the pile of books. “The smell is coming from that spot by the books though. I have no idea what it is, but I was just gonna grab a mop to get rid of it.” Rainbow eyed the spot suspiciously while Spike kept going. “My guess is she fell asleep there last night while studying something for Derpy.”

Rainbow’s head snapped back toward Spike at the mere mention of the name. “Wait, what?” By now she had been able to place what that scent was, and if Twilight had fallen asleep there, that could have explained it easily enough. She was happy to not let the dragon in on what it was he was cleaning up, but as far as she was concerned the name ‘Derpy’ did not belong in his statement.

Her eyebrows climbed as she mentally replayed the times she had seen them together over the past months.

“What in Equestria is she doing for that featherbrain now?”

Spike shrugged in indifference. “I have no idea. Ever since we ran Derpy over, they’ve been hanging out together an awful lot. They are always out and about when they have some free time, and Derpy has been stopping by almost nightly now. I prefer not to get involved if I can help it, but apparently,” he jerked his thumb toward the stain and the pile of reading material, “I’m getting dragged into her mess somehow anyway.”

Rainbow just stared off into space for a moment while her mind digested the material. Derpy plus Twilight should NOT equal that mess on the floor, but yet there it was – if they had been spending a lot of time together, then this… Her brain forced an image into her head that made her wish that heads came with an ‘un-see’ button. She shook her head violently to try to clear the mental picture, and gave Spike a quick “Ok, thanks, see ya later!” before bolting back out the door, leaving a nonplussed and slack jawed baby dragon in her wake.

The wind thingy could wait; she needed a head-clearing jog with Applejack.

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

Rainbow Dash sped over to Sweet Apple Acres; a brisk competition with Applejack was a great way for her to let out some steam, talk about whatever was bothering her, or just have good, clean fun of trying to outdo the athletic workpony. The reason for this visit was unusual; romance was not a subject the two ponies brought up frequently, and especially not romance between one of their best friends and a pony neither of them particularly cared for. Applejack was taking one of her few and far between breaks from applebucking, simply resting with drooping eyes and enjoying the slight breeze the day had brought her. The sudden appearance of vivid colors startled her out of her lightly dozing state, and she gave a short yell.

“Dash, what in the hay bit yer flank today? Nearly gave me a heart attack there!” Applejack clambered back to her hooves, brushing off the dirt and leaves and spitting out the stray strands of mane she had nearly inhaled.

“Sorry, AJ – I was just visiting the library and I’m just all kinds of confused right now.” The pegasus brushed her mane to the side, looking visibly shaken and perhaps a slight bit sick. “Interested in a quick run while I try to figure it out?”

Applejack grinned. Nothing ever interested her more than a chance to show up the ever-boastful Rainbow Dash, and the look on her face at the moment made it even more of an interesting idea. “Sure as sugar am!” She broke into a gallop immediately, leaving Dash behind her as she hollered back, a smirk playing across her face, “Think you can keep up?”

“Ohhh YEAH!” Rainbow Dash took off after her in a flash and quickly caught up, only to receive a thump to her side as Applejack playfully knocked her away from the path that ran through the apple trees.

The pair kept their pace in silence; Applejack knew that Rainbow Dash had something on her mind she needed to talk about, but she also knew that it was always best for the two of them to work off some stress before stopping to rest and talk. She threw a sidelong glance at Rainbow Dash, gave her a smirk that offered a challenge of just try to keep up, and threw all of her strength into pulling ahead. Rainbow took up the challenge and did not disappoint, as she kept up perfectly with her friend. Gradually they felt their energy ebbing away, and slowed to a mutually understood trot before stopping completely, their breath catching in their chests as they slumped to recover.

Well, now’s as good a time as any, Dash thought, and looked over toward Applejack, still winded from the run. Applejack glanced up, saw Dash hesitating, and simply nodded.

“Alright, Sugarcube, out with it. What got your mane in a twist now?”

Dash shifted her eyes left and right, almost as if she expected eavesdroppers to pop up from all sides at any moment. She kept her voice as low and steady as she could before giving the quickest and simplest answer that popped into her head:

“I think Twi’s got the hots for Derpy.”

Her face twisted as she said it; even in its simplest form it sounded absurd. Judging from the look on Applejack’s face, she was thinking the exact same thing. Rainbow Dash took a deep breath and began to recount everything; the time Twilight had apparently been spending with Derpy, and what she had seen, heard, and definitely smelled at the library.

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

“Lemme get this straight,” Applejack drawled, and then paused, showing the same level of confusion that Dash initially had. She rubbed a hoof on her chin as she stared inquisitively at Rainbow Dash, trying to force the strange compilation of evidence into something that made more sense. She was unsuccessful; without more information to confirm or deny it, what Dash had seen, heard, and smelled could only add up just as she had explained it.

“Twilight ‘n Derpy are gittin’ along all of a sudden, Derpy is stayin’ over there more an’ more often, an’ Twi seems like she’s gittin’ hot under the collar over her somethin’ fierce.”

Rainbow Dash nodded, turning slightly green as she tried again to find a mental ‘un-see’ button to mash ferociously. “Spike didn’t have much of the details, but I don’t blame him on that; I wouldn’t spend any more time with that train-wreck of a pony than I had to. But I know that smell, and it’s obvious from how strong it was and the size of the spot it left that whatever she was thinking about REALLY got her going. And the only change she’s had in her ‘normal stuff,’” she made hoofquotes around normal stuff – nothing with Twilight was ever truly ‘normal’ – “is that Derpy is around her, like, all the time now. I don’t know what else it could be.” She shuddered again and cursed the moment she thought about getting that anemometer from Twilight.

Applejack gave a slight grunt of disapproval. Twilight wanting a marefriend was something she could accept without hesitation; not that she was particularly fond of the idea, but there were enough marefriend couples around to know that it wasn’t exactly unusual, and she was enough of a friend to the unicorn to not let something as petty as that come between them. What left her speechless, though, was Twilight’s choice of whom. Applejack mostly shared the same opinion of Derpy that Dash held – she was quirky at best, she invited disaster at every turn, and though Applejack had never personally met her, she had heard enough banter in town to get the idea that Derpy’s head seemed to be filled with the bubbles seen adorning her flank. How in Equestria the smartest pony she knew could be attracted to somepony like that baffled her.

Her own mind reeled back to the events of the previous summer; she recalled the destruction Derpy had done to Town Hall as vividly as Dash did, but it gave her knots in her stomach for a completely different reason. If Derpy hadn’t been such a lightning rod for catastrophe, Applejack may never have had so much pressure to earn money to fix it in the first place. That situation almost led her to alienate her friends completely. She knew in all honesty that the situation was not Derpy’s fault, but it had, regardless, started the whole mess rolling.

Pushing down her dislike of the mailpony for such petty reasons, she arrived at a decision. “Well, we shouldn’t be jumpin’ to conclusions right away, least of all. Yeah, Derpy’s spendin’ time with Twi now, but knowin’ how Twi took to makin’ friends here in Ponyville that really don’t surprise me that much. But, that don’t mean Twi’s reaction was because of Derpy. Maybe Twi just got to readin’ one a Rarity’s books last night. We can’t say for sure.” She paused for a moment, noticing the look of relief that swept Rainbow Dash’s face.

Applejack pressed on; she knew they had to consider all options to make sure they were prepared for whatever the truth really was. She knew, deep down, that both she and Dash were rash enough to make hasty decisions, and if they were caught off guard by Twilight’s answer, if she even gave them one, they might say something they’d regret later.

“But say Twi does have a thing for Derpy,” Applejack continued, to Rainbow Dash’s obvious discomfort. “Ah don’t think we should have much say about it. It ain’t our spot to pick who she likes,” she held up a hoof to stall Dash’s incoming protest, “but that don’t mean we can’t watch out for her. We can tell her what we think about it, an’ we can keep an eye on Derpy to make sure she ain’t gonna drag Twi into some problem or another. We just can’t tell her what to do.”

Rainbow Dash nodded in silent agreement; though she didn’t like the idea of Derpy getting anywhere near Twilight, she ultimately had to respect the unicorn’s decision, regardless of what it was. She just hoped her suspicions were wrong. Aside from poking fun of her with the rest of the foals, she had never spent much time with Derpy growing up – Derpy did not exactly fit her definition of ‘awesome’. However, she had been around her enough through foalhood in Cloudsdale, flight school, and occasionally helping in Ponyville’s events to know that the mailpony was, at best, bad luck to be around. She could only imagine what sorts of misfortune would befall the poor, unfortunate pony that found that they were attracted to Derpy.

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

The train slowed to a halt in Canterlot station, and Twilight stepped off eagerly. The ride through Equestria had given her time to compose herself after the excitement of the morning, and, reflecting on her state when she first left, she was happy that there were not many ponies using the train that morning. She had gained a few wary glances after the fervor with which she clambered onto the train, and she was given a wide berth by the rest of the passengers; most simply because she had boarded wearing the haphazard look of a madmare.

She suspected a few may have recognized her from Ponyville given how small the town was, but the majority of the passengers were just traveling through from some of the farther reaches of Equestria, for which she was thankful. She had become aware after the first half hour that her ear had been flicking back occasionally, and anypony who knew her would not be comforted by that fact. It had taken considerable effort to calm herself, but reaching the end of her ride she felt she had been, at a minimum, modestly successful.

She left the platform in a controlled trot; she was both excited for what she might find and relieved to put space between her and her traveling companions, though she didn’t want to race off at high speeds and cause a bit of alarm in her wake. Her demeanor stayed focused – she was on a mission, and finding the secluded corner where her quarry waited silently would not be easy.

Twilight wound her way through corridors leading to innumerous rooms, each with their own particular fields of study or general themes. She was confident that she could avoid the Starswirl the Bearded wing; her studies had given her the opportunity to learn the layout of that particular wing like the back of her hoof, and the dark, sheltered section she had seen was not part of that layout.

Twilight focused her attention back to the vivid dream she experienced, taking care to avoid any intimate scenes involved as best she could; becoming excited as she had been the night before would be difficult to explain in the middle of the Equestrian capital’s biggest library.

Her mind honed in on every detail of the section she had seen… the corner was dingy, dusty; wherever it was, ponies must have a reason to not go there. It could have been a restricted section, full of dark magic; that did not seem likely to the unicorn though, a healing spell would have no place with magic intended only to harm.

Perhaps it was an area of failed spells and experiments that had not come to fruition, but the use of finding a spell that had been discredited or discarded would be slim to none.

Maybe the spell was potentially dangerous; that would give a reason for disuse unless it was absolutely necessary, but why a dangerous spell would be her answer she couldn’t explain, unless…

She thought harder about what else she could have been missing. Her brain was prodding her, telling her she almost had an answer; she only had to find the missing piece linking them together. Her brain sounded an alarm. She had seen Celestia raising the sun through a window; whatever wing she was looking for must be in the east. A link formed. The eastern end of the library contained the medical wing, but what in Equestria would be discarded and dangerous in the medical wing? Her mind buzzed and whirred, working overtime...

The final connection fell into place – medical knowledge that was only used as a last resort, knowledge that could be dangerous if not used exactly right, meant it was a spell where the risk of harm outweighed benefit to be gained. Nopony would use a spell like that unless they had magical ability to back it up – magical ability like hers. She broke into a run toward the medical wing.

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

Twilight made her way past groups of students engrossed in their work, careful to attract as little attention as possible. She was, of course, focused on finding her treasure somewhere in the far reaches of the library, but she had no desire to speak with any of the students after her past encounter with them.

She continued to wander from corridor to corridor, trying to keep heading in an eastern direction but noticing nothing but expansive rows of books or dead ends.

Then, turning a corner, she noticed a ray of sunshine splaying across an intersection of columns, illuminating the small square of flooring between the crossing shelves; she noticed immediately that the area showed signs of isolation – the carpeting unmarked by hooves for what could have been years, undisturbed books covered in dust, and a dreadful and ominous silence. She looked, then crept slowly down the hall, unsure of what to expect, and rounded the corner to find her prize.

A large section opened up in front of her, filled with musty tomes and ageless scrolls, and a window adorning the eastern wall toward the corner. She glanced up at the sign that denoted what branch of study she had entered and caught her breath.

Helsinki Branch: Spells of Great Risk
The Well-Being of the Individual must take Precedence over all Other Interests

An involuntary shudder worked its way down her spine at the implications. Looking closer she saw each shelf had its own label denoting what she assumed could be anything from the field of study, the group contributing to the shelf, or even the author for the section. Any or all were possible; each sign was cryptic and foreign in meaning. She began to read.

Book by book, scroll by scroll, Twilight scanned through every bit of script she could find. Early on she discovered that she would need to be very careful with the works; almost all were yellowed with age, brittle, and, in some cases smudged to the point of being almost illegible.

She had made herself comfortable with the fact that she would need to limit her research to scanning only; there were too many texts to go through to read in-depth, and as the light through the window slowly receded, she was reminded that the day was passing quickly.

She reached a shelf marked ‘Geneva’ and felt a wave of hope surge through her; the shelves seemed to each contain similarly themed subjects, and her first find from this section was concerning optical disorders.

She scanned through books one after another, becoming frustrated as nothing of promise showed. Nearing the middle of the section, she opened a scroll and her breath caught in her throat. Drawn in smearing ink under the title was a clear depiction of eyes pointed in separate directions. Her ears and eyes began to twitch slightly as she read the title of the document – ‘Nuremberg Research, Article 6: Exotropia – A Study on Treatment for Advanced Disorders with Poor Prognosis’.

The scroll was written in ink, which to her dismay was smeared in sections, and made worse by addendums from the author jotted throughout the article. One such note caught her eye, and made the twitch double in rate: If performed incorrectly, this spell may cause significant damage. Damage done appears proportional to mistakes made in spellcasting. Patient must be informed of risk before consideration of usage.

The spell seemed moderately simple to Twilight, though the steps it took would have made it intimidating to a less adept magic user. Aside from the prospect of damage, the other main concern with the spell she found was that it was not permanent; at least, not to begin with. The spell was a temporary solution that would grow repeatedly stronger with each successful reapplication of the magical remedy.

The reason this spell was disused became painfully obvious. To fully correct the condition, the spell would have to be repeated innumerable times, each occasion offering the prospect of damage if not performed perfectly.

She carefully tucked the scroll into her saddlebag as she left the archive; if Derpy truly wanted to pursue this cure, she would have to be unquestionably certain that she made absolutely no mistakes. Twilight resolved to painstakingly rewrite the entire smudged text verbatim before studying it repeatedly in depth.

Derpy may not be comfortable with the risk, but if it was what her friend truly wanted she needed to be sure to not let the pegasus down. She could not endanger the safety of the pony that she now fully realized she cared so much for.