As the blade pierced Pinkie Pie's chest, Rainbow Dash's sanity came sweeping back to her, and she immediately regretted what she did. Trembling, she dropped the bloodied blade, but it was too late, the damage had already been done.
Red liquid poured from the huge gash in Pinkie's chest, and all she could do was utter, "But
" before she collapsed on the ground; her eyes a blank stare.
Rainbow Dash stared at Pinkie Pie in disbelief. "Oh god
what have I done?" Her heart began to pound in her chest as she made sense of her horrible act. She had just assaulted one of her friends like the very monster in her dreams did to her.
Panicking, she fell onto her back and started to crawl away from the ghastly scene. Her mind raced with uncertainty of what do to, until finally she let her instincts take over. She stood up, spread her wings, and flew out the door screaming, "HELP! SOMEONE HELP ME!!!!"
Her frantic cries were heard all across the village, and multiple ponies came to her aid. "What's wrong!?" One of them inquired.
"It's Pinkie Pie! She's hurt, badly!" She lamented with tears flowing from her eyes.
One of the ponies stuck her head into the bakery and gasped. "Oh god
Someone get the Nurse Ponies out here right away!"
A nearby Pegasus heard her request and acted immediately. She spread her wings and flew towards the direction of the hospital.
The pony that made the request then turned her head toward Rainbow Dash. "How did this happen!?" "I
I don't know," Rainbow Dash lied. "She was like that when I arrived!"
The pony believed her; at least, she acted like she did, as she called over other ponies to help her with the injured mare.
Rainbow Dash wanted to help, but her hooves locked up, and she could only stare in wide-eyed terror as she watched her friend slip away as blood seeped out from the gaping wound in her chest.
A fast response brought many nurse ponies with medical supplies to the scene. With the help of the other ponies, the nurse ponies were able to get Pinkie Pie patched up and carried out on the stretcher towards the hospital. While the other ponies hurried along to make sure Pinkie Pie would be alright, Rainbow Dash stayed behind, hovering in the air, as she stared off in the distance at the shrinking crowd. "I'm a monster
" She said to herself before she broke down in tears and flew off in the opposite direction.
After a long ordeal in the emergency room, and with all of Pinkie Pie's friends with the exception of Rainbow Dash - waiting nervously in the waiting room for news on their friend's status, a nurse pony finally came out to meet with them. They immediately crowded around her and Twilight asked the question that resounded on everypony's mind, "Tell me nurse, if she going to live?"
The Nurse Pony's opened her mouth, and all of the ponies' hearts stopped beating in their chest in anticipation of the news.
"Yes," The pony said.
All the ponies sighed with relief. "Oh, thank god!" Twilight expressed.
"It was a close call for a while, but we managed to save her. She is recovering now," The Nurse Pony explained.
"Do y'all know who did this to her?" Applejack inquired.
The Nurse Pony shook her head, "I'm afraid not. Although
She was mumbling something as we operated on her. It was very soft, so I don't know if I heard it correctly. Let me see
" The Nurse Pony tried to recall. "I think it was, 'Rainbow
All the ponies gasped and stared at each other in disbelief.
Rainbow Dash huddled beneath a tree with her wings folded across her chest and her hooves locked across her knees as she stared at the ground miserably. Many thoughts raced through her mind, and she kept reliving the events that transpired at the bakery. Each memory was more vivid and horrifying than the last. How could I have done such a thing? The question reeled in her mind. She gripped her head and started to rock back and forth until the memories of the assault overwhelmed her and she wailed out in misery.
"I've found her!" Rainbow Dash heard suddenly, and it snapped her out of her trance. She lowered her hooves and looked up to see Twilight and the rest of her friends padding towards her.
They stopped in front of her, and Applejack was the first one to confront her. "Tell me Rainbow Dash, did you do this to Pinkie Pie?"
Rainbow Dash looked down at the ground in shame and muttered, "Yes
Applejack frowned, her eyes furrowed. She turned away, giving her the cold shoulder, only to suddenly buck her legs hard into Rainbow Dash's snout. Rainbow Dash's head snapped back before slamming against the tree trunk. She collapsed against it, splotches of blood pooling on the grass between her legs, as she gripped her thoroughly bleeding snout with a hoof. It wasn't broken, but she knew Applejack could have easily done so had she wanted it. It seemed she wasn't quite willing to go that far.
She turned back around, boiling anger plastered on her face, as she barked, "A friend who attacks another friend like that is no friend of mine!" With that, she ran off.
Rainbow Dash lowered her head without saying a word as Applejack trotted away.
Rarity was up next, and she didn't hesitate to bring a hoof hard against the side of Rainbow Dash's face. Blood flung was from her bleeding snout from the sheer force of her clop, and Rainbow Dash gripped her now-throbbing cheekbone with her other free hoof as she looked away in shame.
"How could you?!" Rarity scorned before she ran off with tears in her eyes.
Next up was Fluttershy, who looked just as angry as they others. She raised her hooves in preparation to strike at Rainbow Dash, who closed her eyes and tensed up in preparation for the assault. However, all she felt was light thumps, and she opened her eyes back up to see Fluttershy batting at her futilely in her rage as her eyes started to water up. Eventually, she couldn't take the hurt anymore and flew off, sobbing.
Somehow, Fluttershy's assault hurt worst of all.
One by one, her friends abandoned her, and she couldn't blame them. She didn't deserve their friendship, not after what she had done.
All that was left was Twilight, who stared at her with furrowed eyes, but didn't say anything.
Rainbow Dash broke the silent tension with, "Twilight, I
"Why, Rainbow Dash? Why would you do such a terrible thing?" Twilight inquired.
Rainbow Dash breathed in deep. She was hesitant to speak of the horrors she experienced, but she knew she had to, for it would be the first step she needed to take if she wanted to find redemption for her actions.
After a long exhale, she told Twilight everything that she had kept bottled up for so long, "Nightmares, such terrifying nightmares! I could see Pinkie Pie standing over me with a scalpel
ready to cut into my flesh and rip out my organs. It was awful, horrible! Every night it was the same, until I started reliving it every waking hour. Then, the next thing I knew, she was offering my cupcakes, the very cupcakes she used in my nightmares to subdue me so that she could mutilate me at her own pace, and so I panicked, grabbed the closest weapon I could find, and that's when I... I... " Tears began to flow from her eyes. "I attacked her!"
Twilight couldn't believe her ears. She had no idea that her friend was slowly going mad, and she immediately wrapped her arms around her and held her tight. "Oh Dash
I'm so sorry! I can't begin to imagine what you were going through, and I wish I could have been there for you!"
Rainbow Dash cried on her shoulder as Twilight embraced her; consoling her at best she could. Blood drippled onto her shoulder, but she didn't care, because her friend needed her right now.
The embrace outlasted the tears and the blood.
Once Rainbow Dash had finally calmed down a bit, Twilight said to her, "You have to tell Pinkie Pie what happened!"
Rainbow Dash grew frightened as the prospect. "No! I couldn't! She won't want to seem me after what I've done!"
"Look, I know you're scared, but as far as Pinkie Pie knows, you did this on purpose. Do you want her to think that?"
Rainbow Dash's eyes widened at the prospect. As terrified as she was of how Pinkie Pie would react to seeing her, the thought of her believing that her attack was one of spite, or anger, or
anything, was too much to bear. With new found resolve, she stood up and said, "Lead the way."
Twilight smiled and nodded. "You're doing the right thing. But first, we need to get you cleaned up!"
Rainbow Dash had momentarily forgotten about her physical pain and the mess her bleeding snout had made of her hooves and face. "Oh yeah, that
" She grumbled.
They headed toward a nearby fountain, and though ponies turned their heads in piqued interest of Rainbow Dash's bruises and bleeding snout, they did not confront her; some even whispered among themselves as she passed by.
When she glanced at them, they turned away their heads quickly away. Were they afraid of her? Rainbow Dash wondered. She couldn't blame them if they did. She was a monster, after all.
Rainbow Dash dipped her head in the fountain and washed off the blood staining her face and hooves. Once she was all cleaned up, she nodded toward Twilight who lead her towards the hospital.
When they reached the steps, Rainbow Dash froze up. She suddenly found herself doubting her reasons for being here. She's not going to want to see me! She thought. She'll hate me more! She thought further, but a comforting hoof on her shoulder roused Rainbow Dash from her paranoid delusions. Twilight nodded to her, and she took a deep breath before taking those last few steps into the hospital.
The place was pretty vacant; there were a few sickly ponies lounging about waiting impatiently for the doctor to see them, but no serious injuries. At least, nothing compared to Rainbow Dash's act of cruelty. Twilight went to the front desk and asked if they could see Pinkie Pie. The Nurse Pony nodded and directed them into one of the back rooms. Twilight called out to Rainbow Dash to follow, and she reluctantly did.
They came to a bedroom in a back, and the Nurse Pony showed them the door. Then, she said something about keeping their visit short before trotting off.
Rainbow Dash floated up to the glass window of the door and peered inside. What she saw made her heart sink. Pinkie was there, lying in bed, bandages wrapped around her chest, and a tube connected to a blood-bag in her right hoof. What truly made Rainbow Dash feel so terrible though was she looked so weak. She was resting for the time being, but her breathing was soft, and her eyes, although closed, looked so sad.
Rainbow Dash lost control of herself and started to cry. "I can't do this, Twilight!"
Twilight, being as supportive as she could, put a hoof on her shoulder and said, "You've come this far, you can't quit now. Go in there and talk to her."
Rainbow Dash sighed. She knew Twilight was right. She had to see her, to tell her how sorry she was. With a deep breath, she reached for the door handle and pulled.
The door opened with ease, and Rainbow Dash floated in silently. She could see Pinkie Pie so clearly now, so weak and helpless, it made her heart ache. She stepped towards her and lowered herself next to Pinkie Pie's bedside. She looked over the injury she had wrought; while the gash had been covered up, the blood splotches along the bandages gave her a perfect idea of just how serious the injury was. Tears formed in her eyes as she gripped the pink pony's dangling hoof with her own and squeezed. "Oh Pinkie Pie, I'm so sorry, so very, very sorry!" She began to weep on her bedside; the sheets sopping up most of her tears.
Pinkie Pie was roused from her slumber. She opened her eyes weakly and stared at the ceiling. She heard weeping and turned her head. When she noticed Rainbow Dash sitting next to her, her face lit up, and a smile spread across her cheeks. "Dash, is that you?" Rainbow Dash gasped and looked up. The way Pinkie Pie was smiling at her put her at a loss. Why was she smiling? She thought. I almost killed her!
"It is you! I'm so glad you came by. I was so worried about you when you didn't show up with the rest of our friends!"
"Worried? About me? Why?"
"Because you're my best friend, silly filly!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed cheerfully.
For the first time in her life, Rainbow Dash felt true sadness in her heart. The very pony she almost murdered not only still considered her a friend, but her best friend. Rainbow Dash felt new tears form in her eyes, and she looked at Pinkie Pie with extreme sadness; her lips quivering.
Pinkie Pie cocked her head at her. "What's wrong?" She asked.
"Pinkie Pie, please forgive me! I don't know why I did what I did! I cannot express how sorry I am!" She lamented, tears flowing from her eyes.
Pinkie Pie reached up and wiped her tears away. "Don't cry Rainbow Dash, its okay, I forgive you. I know you would never do something like that intentionally. Best friends forgive each other, no matter what!"
Rainbow Dash smiled widely, tears of joy replacing her sad ones, as she hugged Pinkie Pie lovingly, careful not to jostle her. "Thank you, Pinkie Pie
Pinkie Pie closed her eyes and whispered, "Anything for you, Dash
Meanwhile, Twilight watched on from the window, and when she saw the events transpiring before her, she couldn't help by smile. "Good for them
" She said to herself before trotting off to find her friends: They had to know the truth!
Rainbow Dash stayed with Pinkie Pie until a Nurse Pony came to inform her that visiting hours were over.
Rainbow Dash didn't want to leave, but she knew the importance of good bed-rest for an injured pony like Pinkie Pie, and so did what as best for her. With a long, embracing hug, the two parted ways, and Rainbow Dash finally headed home. She idly considered going to talk to the other fillies that were so upset with her earlier, but convinced herself that it was too soon for that.
When she got to her cloud house, she stared at her bed with uncertainty. This was where the nightmares began, and she feared that they would happen again tonight. However, she was far too exhausted from her long ordeal to consider any alternative. Despite her physical pain, she had little trouble succumbing to the sweet respite of sleep.
Her nightmares didn't haunt her that night.
In the morning, Rainbow Dash felt something she hadn't felt in a long time: Well-rested. Although she was still in a bit of pain from her physical injuries, it was now at a tolerable level. It would take a few days more for her bruises to heal, and much longer still for the emotional ones. Still, she was happy for the first time in a long time, and she wasted no time getting out of bed to start the day.
After a warm, relaxing bath to get the knots out of her joints and a thorough grooming session to fix her horribly mangled mane and tail, she decided to head off to see Pinkie Pie in the hospital. However, before she made it very far, a thought crossed her mind and a light went on in her head. With a smile, she switched directions and instead headed toward Pinkie Pie's bakery.
When she arrived, the first thing she noticed was that the bakery was void of life. That was to be expected however since it was only recently the scene of a crime. Rainbow Dash swooped into the doorway and looked around. It was pretty much the way they left it; only the blood-stains were cleared and the weapon used in the assault was removed from the scene. Rainbow Dash was relieved, however, as she didn't want to be reminded of that horrific attack. Wasting no time, Rainbow Dash collected up one of Pinkie Pie's cookbooks and proceeded to read through a certain cupcake recipe.
After a bit of trial and error, Rainbow Dash finally managed to make some cupcakes that she thought were of acceptable quality. Therefore, she topped them off each with a different type of icing before she collected them into a basket and carried it out the door on her wings. She stopped in her tracks when she arrived outside.
There, waiting for her, were all her former friends, along with Twilight.
Rarity was the first to step forward, and when she was close enough, she raised her hoof. Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and turned her head, grimacing, as she prepared herself for another hard smack, but it never arrived. Instead, she felt a hoof rest on her shoulder. Rainbow Dash turned her head back toward Rarity and opened her eyes. To her surprise, she noticed that Rarity was smiling.
"Twilight explained everything to us. To think that you were suffering like that, it is absolutely dreadful! Therefore, I am sorry for hitting you. I should have given you a chance to explain yourself first. Can you forgive me?"
Rainbow Dash retorted, "No, Rarity, you do not need to apologize for anything. I deserved it for what I had done. It is I that should be begging for your forgiveness!"
"Then how about we both say we're sorry together?"
"That sounds fair."
"On three. One, two, three!"
"I'm sorry!" Rainbow Dash and Rarity said in unison. Then, they smiled at each other and hugged.
Next up was Fluttershy who wrapped her hooves around Rainbow Dash and squeezed tight.
Rainbow Dash returned the embrace. No words were said, but Rainbow Dash didn't need them, as the sudden wetness on her shoulder expressed Fluttershy's feelings perfectly.
Last was Applejack. Her expression was that of anger still, or so it seemed, as she still had her eyes furrowed at Rainbow Dash she walked up to her. Rainbow Dash's smile faded as she watched Applejack with uncertainty while she closed the gap between them. Then, she sat on her haunches and stared sharply at her.
There was a long, uncomfortable silence, but eventually Applejack broke the tension with a sigh, saying, "If everyone else can forgive you, then I suppose I can too. Friends again?" She held out a hoof.
Rainbow Dash's smile returned. "Friends again!" She replied as she pressed her free hoof against hers.
Twilight stepped forward then and said, "We all want you to know that we love you and that we will always be here for you, no matter what."
"Thanks guys, I love you too!" Rainbow Dash replied as a tear rolled down her cheek.
"Now, let's go visit Pinkie Pie!" Twilight concluded.
"Yeah!" They all said in unison.
They arrived at the hospital a short time later, and it only took a short time for the Nurse Pony to escort them to Pinkie Pie's room.
As usual, Pinkie Pie was delighted to see all her friends, most of all Rainbow Dash, and they all gave her a proper greeting with a hug and a, "Get well soon."
"Pinkie Pie, I have something for you," Rainbow Dash told her after they greeted each other properly.
"Ooooo, whatever could it be!?" Pinkie Pie inquired with enthusiasm.
Rainbow Dash smiled, placed the basket on blankets covering her stomach, and removed the sheet. "Cupcakes!"
Pinkie Pie's eyes lit up. "Cupcakes? For me?"
Rainbow Dash nodded cheerfully. "Yep!"
Rainbow Dash grabbed one with a hoof and immediately began to nibble on it. "Mmmm, they're so good!" She said with her mouth full.
"What a thoughtful gift!" Twilight commended her.
"Heh, well, you know, that's just how I roll!" Rainbow Dash responded. She was finally sounding like her old self again.
Pinkie Pie reached for another one, brought it up to her mouth, and then stopped as she stared at the other fillies gathered around her.
"Something wrong, dear?" Rarity inquired. The others stared at Pinkie Pie with concern.
"There is something wrong
" Pinkie Pie said glumly as she lowered returned the cupcake to the basket.
They others' expressions turned to that of dread.
Then, Pinkie Pie's expression changed to happiness again. "You guys haven't had a taste yet!" She then held the basket out to all of her friends.
The others smiled and took a cupcake for themselves and gorged.
"Oh, wow! Y'all made these, Rainbow Dash? They're delicious!" Applejack praised.
"Very much so," Fluttershy added cheerfully.
Rainbow Dash rubbed the back of her head, blushing at all the praise. "Aw shucks, you guys"
She glanced over each of her friends as they ate and smiled to herself. These weren't just her friends, they were her comrades; ponies that would always be there for her, even through her worst of times, now and forever. She was truly blessed.
The six talked as they ate; breaking only to take another bite of the delicious cupcakes. They joked, they laughed, but most importantly, they hung out like best friends should.
As visiting hours ended, the ponies' said their good-byes and headed off towards their respective homes; all except for Rainbow Dash. She had been behind in her work, after all, and had a lot of catching up to do!
She worked busily for the rest of the day clearing the clouds and making sure it rained where it needed to. For the first time in a long time, Rainbow Dash had her spunk back, and she wasn't about to let it go to waste!
Her nightmares returned that night, but they weren't the same as before. This time, she saw herself standing over Pinkie Pie, ready to dig the scalpel into her chest, and the moment she did, she woke up screaming. Moments later, there was a hoof on her shoulder, and she gasped out in fright. She swerved her head only to see Fluttershy hovering over her. "Fluttershy, when..."
"I snuck in after you went to sleep. I was worried you'd have those awful nightmares again, and I didn't want you to be alone. Please don't be angry!"
But she wasn't angry. On contrary, she was grateful she was there, and confided in her the details of her nightmare.
"Oh, how terrible! We can't have you dreaming about such horrid things! I will stay with you and make sure those nightmares don't bother you again!"
Rainbow Dash smiled at her. "Thanks Fluttershy..."
They curled up into bed together, and when Rainbow Dash finally managed to fall back to sleep, she slept soundly for the rest of the night.
The next day, Fluttershy encouraged Rainbow Dash to tell her friends about her nightmares, and she followed her advice. When they heard about it, they all agreed to help out by letting Rainbow Dash stay at their homes until her nightmares stopped. She was happy to oblige.
Over the next few days, she repeated the process of making cupcakes for Pinkie Pie and shared them with her and all her friends. When visiting hours ended, she returned to her chores, and by the time night came, she headed not to her own home but to the home of one of her friends. They were always willing to accommodate her with whatever she needed, and were always by her side to comfort her whenever her nightmares returned.
Every night, her nightmares came few and farther between.
Two weeks later, Pinkie Pie was released from the hospital. Though she had a clean bill of health, she was still encouraged to take it easy for the next few weeks. She wore no more bandages, but the scar from Rainbow Dash's assault remained; a grim reminder to all of her friends of what Rainbow Dash did to her. However, Rainbow Dash treated it as a sign, a sign to never forget the friendship that they had for each other.
As for her nightmares, thanks to the constant help and support of her friends, they never bothered her again.