• Published 17th Jan 2012
  • 8,864 Views, 339 Comments

We are our Habits - Agarwaen



Nurse Redheart pulls a Pegasus back from death's grip. Only time will tell what your future holds.

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We?

The silent walk back to your room took longer than expected. This was mostly because you stumbled over your own hooves, and fell flat on your face… Twice. Each incident extracted a quiet giggle, a concerned look, and a helping hoof from Nurse Redheart. Once you arrived back in your room, the Nurse spoke up.

“Ok, let’s get that IV out.” You accompany the nurse over to a small cart at the bedside. Nurse Redheart moved to your left foreleg and gripped the small tube embedded in your flesh in her mouth. She quickly pulled it away and placed a hoof on the small hole it left. “Sorry about this Band-Aid, we ran out of everything but the foal Band-Aids.” She fishes out a small sticky bandage and places it on your foreleg. You look down and see that it has a picture of a bipedal animal on it. In brightly colored text it reads ‘My Little Human.’ With a small smile, you shake your head, but your thoughts are interrupted by the nurse speaking up again.

“Oh, I nearly forgot! We should probably change the bandages on your left wing, and see how well it’s healing.” With a hoof, she motions to the side of your bed. “You should probably rest against the side of the bed, this may hurt a little.” You move to the edge of the bed and lean against it; the nurse follows, and once you are situated, she begins to carefully unfold your bandaged wing from its resting position at your side. Sharp pains move through your sensitive wing, causing your eyes to clamp shut, as your muscles move over the rough, cracked bones. Nurse Redheart grasps the far end of your bandages in her mouth and begins to slowly unwrap them. As she moves down your wing, the feeling of her breath across your cold flesh brings warmth to your entire being. You come to the sudden realisation that this situation would be considerably more awkward if you did not have your right wing pinned up against the bed. Shifting, you get a bit more leverage on the treacherous appendage. That situation quickly handled itself, though. Your left wing began to radiate with intense pain as the muscles began to tighten up. With your eyes still closed from the first instance of pain, you bury your head into the linens of the bed and feel your knees begin to quiver. As the pain overwhelms all facets of your mind, your wings begin to relax and the pain begins to fade.

“You shouldn’t be trying to move your wing yet, especially when I’m trying to remove your bandages.” Nurse Redheart’s speech pierces your distracted mind; her voice is stern. An unfathomable amount of time passes; the pain in your wing is still very real, but is now bearable. You pull your head out of what is now a cocoon of bed linens, and see that Nurse Redheart has already finished bandaging your wing, which is now tucked back at your side.

“Take this, it will help keep the muscles in your wing relaxed, and prevent that from happening again.” Nurse Redheart motions to a small paper cup with a smaller yellow gel-pill inside; next to it is another cup, this one filled with water. You reach out, take the pill in your mouth, and wash it down with the water. You notice a slight taste of lavender.

“Ok, now how about that breakfast? I could really use something to eat.” Nurse Redheart was barely able to finish her statement before her stomach confirmed her hunger with a loud growl. The pleading look on her face has to be the most adorable thing you’ve seen.

“Yeah, let’s go,” you reply. The idea of leaving the hospital, even temporarily, is exciting, but also terrifying. You have no idea where you are. This could even be one of those towns where ponies are robbed on the side of the street! “You’re sure that this is going to be alright? We’re not going to get robbed or foalnapped are we? I mean an injured Pegasus and a nurse. We’re easy targets!”

“Ponyville is one of the nicest towns in Equestria. We’ll be fine.”

***

As you were walking down the street to Sugarcube corner, you noticed a strange hooded and cloaked unicorn following you. And now, here he is, levitating a knife up to your chest. Your heart is racing faster than you though possible, and you are breathing like you just finished running a marathon.

“Give me all your bits!” You glance to your left and see Nurse Redheart quickly hoofing over her small bag of bits. The knife wielding maniac then moves the knife over to her, and yells once again at you. “Give me your bits, or the mare gets it!”

“I just got out of the Clinic, I don’t have any bits!” You spit out as fast as possible. The Unicorn seems to become larger, and more imposing.

“Bad luck for you, darling.” You notice as the knife begins to move forward. If it were possible to naturally overdose on adrenaline, your brain would have just killed you. The world around you seems to slow to a crawl. You feel as every muscle in your body tenses, as if awaiting your command to release all of their power at once. In a flash, your wings unfurl, the left ripping its way through your bandages and causing insurmountable pain. You push off will all 4 hooves and give the most powerful wing beat of your life, sending your body in between Nurse Redheart and the knife. You land with just enough time to feel the hungry blade plunge into the flesh just in front of your right wing. Your knees buckle, and you fall to the ground. A large amount of a warm liquid rolls down your side, and a strange cold is radiating from the knife into your entire body. When the sensation reaches your head, your vision begins to shift, blur, and fade into that, oh so common, nothingness.

***

The light jingling of a bell brings you into reality; you feel sweat begin to roll down your face. Your heart is racing, and your breathing is shallow. Nurse Redheart is a few feet in front of you, in the door to what seems to be a giant gingerbread house. She motions with her head for you to follow her inside. You shakily step through the door as you attempt to breathe slowly in an attempt to calm yourself down. Nurse Redheart follows behind you, and as the door shuts with a second jingle, she speaks up.

“Are you—“ But she is interrupted as a bright pink pony quickly emerges from the bottom of your field of vision, directly in front of you and way too close for comfort.

“Hi!”

Any ground you had gained on slowing your heart to its normal pace was completely vain. You instinctively back away as fast as possible. Almost right away, you run into a wall, and begin to slide along it. Tables crash to the floor as you push past, with no regard for them. As you reach the corner of the building, you collapse on your left side, shrinking into the foetal position and tucking your legs as close to your body as possible. For good measure, you unfurl your right wing and produce a cocoon around yourself. After a few moments of cowering, you feel a tickling sensation as something brushes along the bottom edge of your feathers. You open your eyes to see a worried Nurse Redheart crawl under your wing and press herself carefully up against your side. She drops a piece of candy wrapped in a blue and yellow wrapper in front of you.

“You should eat that. Chocolate causes your brain to release some chemicals that will help calm you down.” You grab the candy and eat it. It is a sphere of sweet chocolate, filled with a sweet, salty caramel and gooey, buttery toffee. As you slowly savor the trio of flavors you can feel your heart slow and your mind calm.

“Ok, I think I’m better now” You say between deep breaths.

“Surely, Pinkie didn’t set that off. You were flushed and sweaty when we walked in. So, was it another flashback?” the mare's voice was soft. You could tell by her expression that she didn’t want to cause you more pain by making you relive it, but she had always wanted to help you.

“Not this time, it was more like a dream. I saw this crazy looking pony as we we’re walking here. Next thing I knew, he had jumped us, pulled a knife and was threatening to stab somepony if we didn’t give him our bits. He didn’t believe that I wasn’t carrying any, so he tried to stab you.”

“Tried? Nurse Redheart’s eyes were wide with surprise, and full of sadness. You look away and at your hooves.

“Yeah, then something got in his way.”

“Something?” She seemed like she knew, but wanted it from the horse’s mouth.

“I did. I thought I died, again.” You lay your head down onto your hooves and try to recompose yourself. A warm object rests on your neck; you turn your head to see and are unexpectedly met with a face full of pink mane. The sweet smell of lavender assaults your senses. You move your wing down, wrapping it gently around Nurse Redheart. The heat of her body radiating into your wing seems to bring warmth into your entire being.

It comes as a bit of a shocking realisation that you are not really alone, and most ponies seem to be staring at you. You can see the strange pink pony sitting on her rump, her eyes glistening and a huge frown on her face. A purple unicorn is talking to her, but you cannot hear what she is saying. At a table, two unicorn mares and two earth pony mares sit together, three of which seem to be staring at you. They look away when they realise you are looking back at them. The fourth mare, a white unicorn with a mane comprised of two shades of blue, is playing with a large lizard

“Uhm… Uh…” You shrug your shoulder to push Nurse Redheart’s head off your body, as a light blush appears on your face. When she looks up at you, you subtly motion to the other ponies with your head. Two of the four mares from the table have gotten up and are walking towards the exit.

“Hey Octy, Would you take a knife for me?” You overhear the white mare ask a slate grey mare, now with the lizard on her shoulder, as they move towards the exit.

“Vinyl, dear, I’d probably be the one stabbing you.” The white mare’s jaw would have most likely hit the floor if it wasn’t attached to her face. As they went through the door, she regained her composure and continued,

“B-but, what about our foa—“ The closing door cut off any more eavesdropping. Nurse Redheart moves out from under your wing, and gets to her hooves. She turns, offering you a helping hoof up; you happily take it.

“I guess I’ve made quite a scene,” you say, hanging your head shamefully. Your ears pick up the clip-clop of the hooves of two ponies walking over.

“I’m really sorry, Mister. I didn’t mean to scare you like that. I was just so excited that a pony I had never met had walked in. And I know every pony in Ponyville so that means you are new here.” You look up to see the pink pony standing in front of you, this time at a comfortable distance. With her is the purple unicorn. “And I should really throw you a party! A welcome to Ponyville and I’m sorry I scared you in a not fun way Party!” At first her voice was slow and sad, but as she spoke her voice sped up to speed that was nearly unintelligible. “Oh. I’m Pinkie Pie. I run this place when the Cakes are busy. You can call me Pinkie.”

“And I’m sorry about all of the stuff I knocked over. It’s been a really rough couple of days.”

“Nothing a little levitation spell can’t fix!” the purple pony interjects. With that, she turns to face the tables strewn on the floor and her horn begins to glow. You turn and just barely catch a glimpse, as three tables levitate upright and are placed back in their positions. “There, good as new.” She turns back to you and continues, “It’s good to see you out and about. You were pretty banged up.” You still feel pretty banged up, that’s for sure.

“Yeah, about that, I’m pretty interested in knowing what happened.” Truly, you were interested in anything that might help you figure out who you were; you had a pretty solid idea of what happened.

“Your memory hasn’t started returning yet? I know it can sometime take a long time, but it’s already been over a week.” You look to Nurse Redheart for help, and she responds for you.

“We had to almost fully regenerate the memory center of his brain. He won’t ever remember anything before the surgery.”

“Wow. I should introduce myself then. I’m Twilight Sparkle Ponyville’s librarian and personal student to Princess Celestia. Now, you're sure you want to hear about what happened? It wasn't pretty."

"As much as I just wish to be rid of it, I think I do need to know."

"Ok, but we should probably sit down, and get something to eat, then. This was the first time I’ve ever seen anything so traumatic. I could use a distraction after recounting.” Twilight seemed torn between wanting to help, and not wanting to relive the horrors of your shared past. That suggestion seemed to remind Nurse Redheart of her rampant hunger. She began to move over to the nearest table, and addressed Pinkie.

“Pinkie, can we have one Chai Latneigh, one cup of Lady Neigh Tea, one peppermint cupcake, one orange cupcake, and some chocolate, oat no-bake cookies.” You’re quite surprised; with her soft, yet toned physique you didn’t figure Nurse Redheart would put away food like a Pegasus. Following Nurse Redheart to the table, you sit down. A short while later Twilight joins you.

“So, you really are hungry, aren’t you?” Your statement was one of amazement, but you cringe as you realise that it could easily be interpreted as an insult. You nearly die as the second that follows is complete silence. As a single bead of sweat rolls down your face, Nurse Redheart simply smiles and lets out a quick laugh.

“I ordered for both of us, silly. At this point you don’t even really know what you like, let alone what they serve here. So I picked out something every pony should love. Lady Neigh Tea and an orange cupcake complement each other so well. And if all else fails, the chocolate no-bakes are amazing!”

“Fair enough, if your enthusiasm about this place is any indication of their baking skills, I’m sure I’ll love it.” You then turn to Twilight, quite anxious to possibly find out some answers about who you are. “So… What happened to me?” Twilight sighs, shifts a little, and takes a deep breath before beginning.

“Some construction ponies were building a new three story house for one of the locals here. As they were lifting a beam to the upper levels, their crane went haywire. It threw the beam into the building, and the whole structure began to come down. Applejack and I saw you fly into the rain of rubble, but never saw you come out.” Huh? “Everypony else was too busy helping the construction workers, so we went searching for you. When we found you, there was…” The memory seems to cause Twilight pain, her eyes glisten with tears. She looks away, and slowly closes her eyes. “You were completely covered in blood; I couldn’t even tell what color your coat was. I think you know the rest.” No sooner had she finished, than Pinkie arrived with your order, along with a cake. Pinkie quickly cut 3 small pieces out of the cake before picking up the rest of the cake in her hooves and eating it in one bite. Twilight took a piece of cake in her magic, and began to eat it slowly. Your mind is awash with confusion. If you were injured in a simple construction accident, why do you remember being hit by lightning?

What can I trust, if not my own mind?!

You sighed, and hung your head without realising that the orange cupcake had been placed in front of you. As such, a nose full of icing was quite a surprise, it left you coughing and sputtering. The other ponies at your table were too entranced with their food to do more than give a worried glance at you as you wiped the orange icing from your nose.

“What a silly billy, you eat with your mouth not your nose.” Pinkie chimed in. Choosing to simply ignore her, you picked up your tea in both hooves, and took a deep breath of its warm, calming aroma. Its rich, bittersweet smell warmed your body and slowed your overworked mind. You take a drink, and hold the warm liquid in your mouth, letting it wash across your tongue, allowing your mind to fully experience the complex flavor. Even after you swallow the soothing liquid it leaves a flavor in your mouth that you recognise. Your face flushes when you realise how much you enjoy the flavor of lavender, and what significance that it holds. You decide its best, for your wings, not to dwell on the thought.

“If I was just caught in a construction accident, why do I remember being hit by lightning?” You expel a quick breath from your nose as the smell of burnt feathers fills your mind. Nurse Redheart puts down her cup of Chai before speaking.

“I can probably explain that best. As I said earlier, you cannot remember anything before the surgery, which means the memory you have has to be after the fact. It is generally accepted that it is not uncommon for a pony’s mind to hallucinate while in a near death event. What you remember is probably nothing more than a dream enhanced by the fact that I had to use a defibrillator on you. Hence the lightning.” Your throat seems to tie itself in painful knots, and your eyes ache as you close them to hide the feeling in your mind.

“Since I woke in the Clinic, I have had the memory of you looking down at me red eyed with a tear running down your face burned into my mind. And one word shakes and saddens me down to the core.”

“Clear…” It comes as a whisper, barely audible, but your reaction isn’t any weaker because of it. You move your foreleg up to the table and rest your forehead against it as tandem streams of tears roll past your still closed eyes. In an attempt to save face, you try and keep control of your breathing. Slowly in, slowly out. Once you feel your emotions under your control again, you try and speak.

“I feel like a hallowed shell of a pony, filled only with sadness and fear, and I don’t know If I’ll ever be whole again.” A soft hoof presses gently against your right shoulder, and firmly turns you to face your to your right. As your right foreleg drops off the table and with your neck muscles doing nothing to compete with gravity, your head follows it down. It comes to rest on a soft, warm pony shoulder as you are pulled into a tight hug. The scent of lavender and smooth, silky mane hairs tickle your nose causing a slight smile to cross your face. Nurse Redheart’s soft voice echoes through your consciousness.

“We’ll get through this.” You’re struck completely dumb. Your mind analyzes and scrutinizes this statement over and over completely devoting itself to figure out how else that statement could have been meant. Surely, it wasn’t meant THAT way. It’s not until your chest is on fire and you begin to get light headed that you realise that you haven’t breathed in a long, long time. You gasp for air, and pull your head away from its resting position still looking down at the floor. You hear shuffling of hooves. With her forelegs still wrapped around you and yours around her, you look up and lock eyes with Nurse Redheart’s magnificent gems. Her cheeks a brighter shade of pink than the pink pony you know as Pinkie. You feel her warm breath across your face and can smell the peppermint and cinnamon left on her breath. You’re totally lost in the moment, and your mind is on fire; the sniffling of crying ponies makes its way into your consciousness. Her beautiful sapphire eyes drill into your soul and in her eyes, it seems clear as day. Even so, you can’t make the next move without knowing.

“We?” She gives a subtle nod and slowly moves in closer; you match her movements. You both close your eyes to savor every precious feeling; your entire body tingles with anticipation. You feel two sets of forelegs wrap around your back, and two more from the front side. Surprised, your eyes shoot open wide, met with Nurse Redheart’s equally flabbergasted expression. You see that all four ponies from the room are now pressed up against you in a giant group hug. They all seem oblivious, and all chime in at once.

“We want to help you get through this, too”

You close your eyes as your mind screams at itself.

BUCK!!