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Rainbow Dash took a deep breath before starting her descent.  She flapped with all her might, propelling herself toward dangerous speeds.  Her enthusiasm took control as she went faster and faster: this trick was going to be so awesome.

The wind really began to dig into her, practically forcing her mouth open and causing her hair to streak wildly behind her.  But she knew the real secret of the Sonic Rainboom, a little wind resistence wasn't going to stop Rainbow Dash.  She kept both forehooves as straight as she could manage and with each extra inch she could feel the air caving.

'Just a little more,' the pegasus thought.

She smiled, or rather attempted to force her wind pressured mouth into an egotistical smile as the multi-coloured Rainboom burst into existence above her.  Phase one complete.

The blue pony leveled off momentarily before transferring into a sharp climb.  For phase two, she would pull a wide loop, where the top half would slow her down just enough that when she finished the loop, she would make a second Rainboom.  Everypony would be so stunned by her awesomeness that the Wonderbolts would be begging her to join them.

She just had to concentrate and forget about those stray thoughts or the strange pressure on her head or those annoying black spots.

'Come on, Rainbow, you can... you can... you...'


Rainbow Dash sat up with a start, but found herself falling backward as quickly she had risen.  The impact was lessened by something soft behind her, but was still enough to aggravate her already disoriented eyes.  She winced as she found herself staring up at the ceiling's bright lights.

A long, excited gasp echoed throughout the otherwise quiet room.  A split second later, something that was a cross between a blurry pink blob and a pony was latched on to Dash's right forehoof.

"Rainbow Dash!  You're awake!  You're awake!" Pinkie Pie yelled, her face nearly nose to nose with the blue pegasus.

"Agh, yes, Pinkie, so glad you noticed.  Stop shouting, it hurts," Dash answered hoarsely.

"Oh, but, but you're awake!  We need to celebrate!"

"Pinkie, please, this is a hospital," came a mare's voice.  Rainbow craned her head to the right,trying to catch a glimpse of the newcomer.  But between Pinkie Pie and what looked to be a sea of balloons, all she could catch was a white nurse's cap atop a bright red mane.

A silver coat finally edged its way out from behind the pink pony and mass of balloons.  Following close behind was Twilight Sparkle.  Both stopped when they reached the end of the bed and turned to give Rainbow Dash a happy smile.

"Who are you?  What's going on?"

"Calm down, Rainbow, you might strain something," Twilight said worriedly.

"Hah, that's a good one, Twi," the pegasus smirked, trying to sit up again.

"Your friend is right.  You've been in a coma and your body isn't going to be happy with you if you don't take it easy," the silver mare added.

"A coma?"

"Yes, a deep, involuntary sleep.  In your case, a three month long one," the nurse explained.  "You may feel some numbness and disorientation, but that is natural when waking from a coma, especially one this severe."

"Numbness, huh?  Is that why I can't feel my... my..." Dash stuttered as she looked to her left, "" then her right.  As furiously as her poor neck would allow her, she doubled back to each of her flanks.  Her wings were gone.  But they couldn't be gone.  She needed them.  She couldn't fly without them.  And if she couldn't fly...

'No, no, no!  It can't be!  It can't!' the blue pony's mind screamed.  But no matter how many times she looked, there was no denying that her beautiful wings had been replaced by a set of long, ugly scars.

"My wings!  What have you done to my wings?!" Rainbow attempted to yell, but managed little more than her normal volume.  Hot tears began to roll down her face as she tried to flail her way off of the bed.

"Dashie, no!  You'll hurt yourself!"  Pinkie leaned over and continued to nudge the blue pony back everytime she got near the bed's edge.

"I don't care!  I need my wings!  Give them back!  Give them back!" Dash demanded, grabbing hold of Pinkie's head and turning her distress upon the earth pony.

"Nurse Silverheart!" Twilight yelled, stealing the blue pony's attention.  The unicorn's horn glowed with magic and suddenly Rainbow found she couldn't move anymore.  She glared at her friend.

"Why, Twilight, why?"

"I'm sorry, Rainbow... they were too mangled to properly heal and were even hurting your chances of survival.  Please, try to understand," the lavender pony replied, guilt falling across her face.

Something bit into Dash's foreleg, but she didn't care.

"They're my wings!  Mine!  I should have been the one to decide!"

Rainbow Dash's vision began to blur and darken and she felt sleepy.  But she continued to scream and struggle until everything went black.


Dash sighed.  Two months of therapy just so she could run, something that was better than nothing.  But just barely.  Every time the wind blew through her mane, she was reminded how much she missed the freedom of the sky.

The blue pony started trotting back toward Twilight's place.  The library was a bit cramped and stuffy, yet still many times cozier than Canterlot's hospital.

As she progressed through the busier parts of town, Rainbow could feel the stares of everypony on her flank, silently judging her.  She used to be Ponyville's top flier, but now she was just a loser, somepony to be pitied.

Dash pushed the library's door open just in time to hear Twilight say, "I think I owe it to her."

The blue pony sauntered into the main room where Twilight and Rarity appeared to be waiting for her.

"Oh, good, you're back!  I have a surprise for you, Rainbow Dash," the lavender unicorn said with a broad smile.

"Eh?  What is it?" the blue pony asked half heartedly.

"Why, if we told you, that would ruin the surprise.  Now just relax, dear," Rarity said.


Twilight closed her eyes, brow furrowed with concentration.  Her horn began to glow with a blinding amount of magic.  A whirlwind of blue energy began to form beneath Dash and she almost leaped backward in surprise.  However, she quickly became mesmerised and soon she was surrounded head to hoof.

"Uh, Twilight?" Rainbow called out.  The light had completely invaded her vision and she began to worry something was wrong.  Then the magic was gone, leaving her with an eyeful of black spots.

"I must say, they look quite marvelous on you," came Rarity's voice.  Rainbow Dash had to blink several times before she could see the white pony, but when she finally could, she followed her friend's gaze down to her flank.

Ghostly white-blue feather like tendrils were coming out of her right side.  Dash looked up at Twilight, whom gave her an exhausted smile, then down at her left flank and finally back up again.

"OMYGOSHOMYGOSHOMYGOSH!" Rainbow yelled out as she charged forward, embracing the purple unicorn.  "Twilight, I love you so much right now!"

"I'm glad...  Go give them a try.  I think... I think I need to go lie down for a bit."

Rainbow Dash released Twilight, giving her friend an elated nod and a quick "Thank you" before rushing off to greet the sky.


Dash hastily smoothed her coat out and brushed the leaves out of her mane before entering the library.  Trotting into the main room, the blue pony found Twilight at her desk.

"Uh, hey, Twilight, could you help me out?"

The unicorn turned around and frowned as she eyed both of Dash's flanks.

"Oh, come on, Rainbow, this is the second time today!" her unicorn friend said.  "I told you, those wings are fragile."

"I know, I know.  I'll be more careful this time," Rainbow said sheepishly.

Twilight sighed, "Fine, but this is the last time."

"Oh, thank you, Twilight!"


Rainbow Dash crept up the stairs, taking care not to misstep in the darkened library.  She felt a little shaky and didn't want to end up scaring Twilight by making too much noise.  As she reached the top of the stairs, Spike's snoring made her realize her efforts were largely unnecessary.

"Twilight?" the blue pony asked as she approached the bed.  The darkened form of her friend didn't budge.

"Twilight?" she asked again, making sure she was louder than Spike.  The unicorn rolled over to face Dash with slitted eyes.  A moment later, her eyelids snapped wide open.

"Wagh!" the lavender pony cried out as she bolted up, falling backward out of her bed in the process.  The unicorn's head popped up, an unimpressed expression on her face.

"Morning, Twilight," Rainbow Dash said with a grin.

"Rainbow, what are you doing?"

"I need a favour."

"At four in the morning?"

Dash placed both of her forehooves on the bed, so she could lean closer to Twillight, although she found the task difficult with her legs twitching as they were.  Twilight stared for a moment before sighing.

"Just this once..."


"Rainbow!" Applejack yelled.  Dash lowered her hoof from the library door and turned to face her friend.

"Oh, hi, Applejack..."

"We need to talk."

"Sure.  Just as soon as I'm done getting my wings," the blue pony said, turning back to the door.

"That's what I need to talk to you about.  You've been putting an awful lot of pressure on Twi..."

"She's fine!" Dash waved her hoof dismissively before opening the door and stepping in.

This time the purple pony was reading from a pedestal.

"Hi, Twilight," Rainbow Dash called out.

Twilight turned slowly, giving the blue pony an inquisitive look through her baggy eyes.  Dash simply smiled in return.  The unicorn's horn began to glow.

"Twi, stop!  Think about yourself for a second!" Applejack shouted as she nudged her way past Rainbow Dash.

"It's okay... I can just... nap after this..." Twilight responded.

By now the whirlwind of blue was surrounding Rainbow, the familiar magical droning blocking out any further conversation.  She sighed impatiently.  The spell seemed to take longer and longer every time she had it done.  Finally her vision exploded into white.  

When she could see again, she found Twilight laying sprawled lifelessly against the wall, a concerned Applejack crouched over her.

"Consarnit, Twi!  Breathe!"

Rainbow stood stock still, barely able to process what was going on.  She couldn't do anything but stare.  Stare at the empty, unmoving eyes of her friend.

"Don't just stand there, Rainbow!  Get the nurse!"


Rainbow Dash stood a few feet from the foot of the bed, watching the unconscious Twilight.  The unicorn's eyes and mouth drooped, as though even sleeping was a tiring task.  Rainbow  wondered how she had ever missed her friend's condition.  She took a step forward.

"She has mana sickness," Nurse Redheart had declared.


"What the hay is that?" Applejack asked.


"When a unicorn such as Twilight tries to use too much magic while her body is in too poor a state to stand the strain, it's possible she may lose control of some of it.  Some of it will dissipate into thin air while the rest will escape into her body, overloading her."


"Is it... bad?" Rainbow questioned, terrified of what the answer might be.


"Nothing minor by any stretch of the imagination, but now that she is stable, she should be all right.  She needs to sleep off the exhaustion and give up magic until the excess mana is gone from her body."


"Give up magic?!" Dash sputtered.  "For how long?"


"I don't know for sure.  Depends on the amount of magic still in her system, which would depend on the spell she was trying to cast at the time."


"Thank you, nurse.  I'm going to go get the others," Applejack said, shooting Rainbow a severe look as she turned to leave.

Rainbow Dash shook her head as she arrived at Twilight's side.  When she looked at the unicorn's face, tears began to roll down her own.  She had done so much harm to her friend and all for a few more hours of flying.  If only she had cherished Twilight's gift, instead of being greedy.

"I'm sorry, Twilight," Dash whispered, kneeling down and resting her chin on the bed such that she was face to face with the unicorn.  "I never meant for you to end up like this.  I just..."

The blue pony shivered, a wave of new tears flooding down her face.

"...wanted to... fly again... so badly..." she choked out between sobs.

"This... this wasn't worth it," she closed her eyes.  "I'm sorry."

When she opened her eyes again, she was staring up at a ceiling, the bright lights within blinding her.  She groaned.

A long, excited gasp echoed throughout the otherwise quiet room.  A split second later, something that was a cross between a blurry pink blob and a pony was latched on to Dash's right forehoof.

"Pinkie?" Dash asked disorientedly.

"That's me!" the pink pony replied with a broad grin before turning to shout over her shoulder.  "She's awake!  She's awake!"

"We can see that, Pinkie," Twilight remarked, drawing Rainbow Dash's gaze to the foot of her bed.

"Twilight!  You're okay!"

"Me?" the unicorn arched an eyebrow.  "I'm not the one whom fell fifty feet through the air."

"And I did?"

"Yep.  After that Sonic Rainboom, you were all like 'zooooom! ' and then you got higher and higher, but then you stopped and started falling!  We were really worried!"  Pinkie flailed her arms as she explained.

Realizing she must have passed out during phase two, a wave of panic hit Rainbow Dash.  She bolted up, checking both her flanks.  She found one of her wings, along with a few other parts of her body,  were bandaged, but both were still there.  She breathed a long sigh of relief.

"You're mighty lucky you hit that patch of bushes.  Otherwise you might be more than just a little roughed up," Applejack said.

Dash looked at the foot of the bed again, now noticing that the rest of her friends were also present.  She gave them a sheepish smile.

"I'm sorry, everypony.  I didn't mean to worry you."

"We know, Sugarcube, just be more careful next time."

"You fractured a rib and strained a few muscles.  The nurse says you won't be able to fly for a while," Twilight added, gritting her teeth nervously, as though expecting a bad reaction.

Rainbow looked down at her bandaged wing, than back up at her friends.

"I'll be okay.  I have you guys to help me through this."
Tags: [Sad][Slightly Dark]
Focus Characters: Dashie, Twilight
Summary: Rainbow Dash seeks to pull off the greatest trick ponykind will ever know. When things don't go quite according to plan, a guilt ridden Twilight Sparkle offers her help.

This is my submission for the DA Writer Training Group's 4th theme: pony cliches. As I'm not able to follow as much of the community as I'd like, I ended up relying on some of the default cliches provided with theme's blog post. There's one main cliche here and technically a second, although the second was actually at least half coincidence. And no, I'm not saying which is which. Do note that some parts of this fic are sad and other parts are a little dark.

Despite not liking reading sad parts, I'm apparently prone to writing scenes like that, so that was a little painful. On the other hand, I'm fairly happy with how the piece as a whole has turned out. I debated making a few of the shorter scenes longer, but this fic was already going on 7 doc pages in length and I wasn't sure how much value prolonging the scenes would add anyway.
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Bronyman Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011
This is a really good story! Although, fifty feet is not that much for a Rainboom. Dashie has to be going over 700mph for a Rainboom to happen, but very well written nonetheless.
KuroiTsubasaTenshi Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist

And yea, that fifty feet was probably a goof on my part. I was going off of how she usually Rainbooms really close to the ground, but forgot to compensate for how far she would have flown up after pulling it off.
KoshDrawfag Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
Hey, at least you went with a classic: The dream cliche is great for having otherwise irresposbile characters witness worse-case situations, and learn a valuable lesson, without having to suffer the grimdark onsequences.
RangerGxi Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
That was VERY well written. :D
KilroyJenkins Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
Tosxychor Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
Definitely a neat execution of the wingless-Dash cliché. A very enjoyable read.

Also yeah, the clop part doesn't work much, but I think it's not because because of the clops breaking the flow, it's because there's not enough of them XD
You see, when you try to superimpose RD's walking and the conversation going on, you notice the amount of steps are not nearly enough to keep up the pace of the event, unless it's slowed down 8x :p I'd suggest to make it something like "Clop clop." or maybe even "Clop clop. Clop clop." to make for a better walking impression. 4 legs in fact means more steps i I'm not mistaken :p

And another thing, the transition from the dream to reality could use a bit more emphasis. Maybe some more blank lines, but that's up to you.

I definitely appreciated it btw, keep up the good work :D
KuroiTsubasaTenshi Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmmm, that is an interesting thought. I can't believe being able to use more clops slipped my mind. I had a revision where I tried adding some description by the clops as suggested by Chrichan, but I ended up tossing it because it distracted from the conversation.

I can see what you mean about the transition now. I have an idea of how I'd fix that.

LaBarata Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011
Oh, you tricky son of a bitch. Bravo, my friend. Bravo.
sodomitor Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
It's very clever and helps to smile when I see another "dash loses he wings" fic.
TheUnrealChrichan Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Very cool. You've managed to effectively highlight and explore a gaping plothole in many Dash-loses-her-wings stories. Namely, that magical flight is possible and actually happens in the series. It's temporary, unreliable and taxing for the Unicorn mage who has to provide the wings, but that only serves to add a whole new dimension to the cliche.

Would Dash end up exhausting her Unicorn friend's generosity or perhaps paying money to have another Unicorn temporarily restore her wings? How would she pay for those services? And how would she deal with the fact that the Wonderbolts would never accept someone who only has temporary wings?

I'm not sure about the pacing during the scene where Twilight casts the wing-spell for the first time. Had to read that part twice, whereas the rest reads really smoothly. Also, what is the significance of the clopping?
KuroiTsubasaTenshi Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, I'll give that scene another hard look.

As for the clopping, it was a bit of an artistic experiment, to be honest. I wanted each step to feel long and hesitant, even painful for Dashie (and to do so without directly saying as much). I also intertwined the clopping with the flashback to try to make each line of dialogue linger for a while. I'll admit that I was trying pretty hard to play that scene up. Judging by your reaction, though, it doesn't seem to have quite worked out?

Thanks for the in-depth analysis. :D
TheUnrealChrichan Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, I didn't realize the "She took a step forward" was linked to the "clop." It makes sense now, although I would definitely add some descriptive narration if you really want increase the impact.

Right now, the "clop," breaks up the speech, but it doesn't really slow it down or cause it to linger. Not for me, anyways. If that is what you want, then I would describe the scenery as Dash hesitantly approaches her crippled friend. Like, maybe Dash starts seeing things differently, becomes a little dizzy or she notices the hospital's smell. Then we have some time to think about Dash in between AJ and Redheart's dialogue.

Not sure if I'd place it after the clop, next to the spoken words or in a separate paragraph though.
redphienix Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I enjoyed this :D
Malkmusian Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011  Student Writer
I actually liked that copout twist at the end....where Rainbow Dash almost killing Twi with her greed was just a dream.
DuplexFields Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Or... was it?

Malkmusian Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Student Writer
And then Twilight accidentally the Bible Belt.
KuroiTsubasaTenshi Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Great, now you've got me picturing her having transported the Bible Belt into Equestria. BRB, off to write grimdark fic. :P
Malkmusian Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2011  Student Writer
It's "Red State" for kids!
EbonMane Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2011
This was extremely well executed.

And that's all I have to say about that.
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