In loving memory of Nathan Maddox
Sept 25 1991 - Feb 12 2012
The IPC room was brightly lit with clean white walls surrounding Fluttershy as she opened her eyes, squinting at operating lights that shined upon her mane. Sounds of alarms going off on the heart monitors could be heard coming from the stand next to her. Disorientation clouded her mind as three nurses and a familiar doctor were scrambling around the room.
"Her heart rate is rising. What's happening?"
"Is that oxygen valve turned on? Get me a physical pulse check."
Fluttershy tried to look around but felt the restraint of the brace that had been attached to her injured neck. She felt so confused, hearing all these voices gave her the impression that she was in a dream. How could she be dreaming? Wasn't she supposed to be dead? Dead people don't dream.
Her eyes looked down towards her tummy where she felt a hoof pressing down near on her artery, just barely visible from the non-rebreather mask that covered her mouth. She tried to speak, but fell short of breath.
"What is she doing awake? She's supposed to be passive." A nurse said.
"Miss Fluttershy can you hear us? Everything's going to be okay. Just stay with us."
Suddenly, an apprehension rushed through Fluttershy's head. She knew that she was still alive and was now in the hospital under Intensive Pony Care. Thoughts of being seen by her friends like this became unbearable. Knowing that she must've tried to kill herself, the idea of giving reason for her actions was unthinkable.
"Fluttershy, can you tell us if you've ingested anything?" The doctor asked.
"I've got a blood pressure reading of 170 over 120. She's going into hypertensive urgency."
Her breathing patterns changed and became more rapid as her eyes widened, gasping for air, realizing that her suicide attempt failed. The emotion of shame poured into the heart, feeling such pain and stress in her head that all she wanted to do was not exist, not able to bear the thought of ever being seen again.
"Doctor, her blood pressure is still rising."
"Oh no, she's going into shock. Get me that surgical kit and 50 milligrams of beta-blockers. Miss Fluttershy, I need to try and relax. Stay with me now, ya hear?"
The yellow pegasus's eyes rolled as her chest suddenly stuck up into the air with a long gasp of breath following through; vision becoming blurry again. Purple veins could be seen popping up on her forehead, a grave sign that confirmed the doctor's theory.
"She's got a toxin inside of her. Hold her down and someone get me a standard set of antibodies, low grade."
"But what about the beta-blockers?" A voice responded.
"It won't come to that, but we'll need it just in case. Hurry!"
In what seemed like her final moments awake, Fluttershy could see all her friends in her vision. Their cheerful smiles as they all ran off towards the sun in the bright light that hung over her head. Her vision swiftly turning dark, she felt all alone. There was a sort of comfort to it, imagining the thoughts that she could now pass on without anyone seeing her in this state.
There was absolute silence in the bedroom as Rarity slept in her usual lady-like fashion with the soft plush pillows on the side of her head as to not damage her beautiful mane. The lights of Ponyville made a nice backdrop light to counterbalance the darkness in her room, giving a sense of peace and harmony.
Without warning, a loud high pitched boom exploded outside Rarity's window, slamming it wide open against the wall. Instantly woken up, her eyes opened with her hooves running off and over to the side of the bed. Hiding under her bed was an initial reaction for Rarity to such a loud noise, though after a moment of silence passed, she peered her head over the sheets.
"Of all the nerve, and at this hour too." She said to herself, realizing that only one pony in Ponyville was capable of making such a loud bang.
Looking over the window, Rarity glared out to the left and to the right of the street but saw nopony, nor anything out of the ordinary. Her hooves gently closed the glass screen before turning around to clean up and make her bed once again when a blinding light filled the room, making Rarity's heart explode twice.
"Gah! Monster!" She yelled, fearing the worst but was quickly relieved to see only a friend appear.
Before her was Twilight Sparkle, who was already looking towards the bed as she expected Rarity to be sleeping. The room dimmed down for a few seconds before Twilight looked to her right and saw her white unicorn friend standing in the street light that shined through the window.
"Rarity, I'm glad to see that you're awake."
"Twilight Darling, whatever are you doing teleporting into my room at this hour? I was trying to sleep."
Twilight felt confused. "This hour? It's not even eight o'clock."
"Proper beauty sleep is an important key to a beautiful and healthy well being. A girl's got to have some standards."
"That's great, but I need you to follow me. Something urgent has just happened and need you to-"
"Oh can't this wait until tomorrow? I'm positively tired and have had enough heart attacks for one day." Rarity sighed.
"Yes, but this is-"
"Pinkie Pie already stopped by and told me about Fluttershy, which I'm happy to help. I just need some sleep first. You can't imagine how hard it was to work without a modeler." Rarity said this unaware that she had forgotten how she asked Fluttershy to model for her dresses.
The bed sheets lit up as Rarity's horn glowed, rearranging them to a nice and neat fold under the mattress. Before she could finish the bed, in what would take only a few seconds, Twilight spoke up again.
"Yes I understand, but this is very important. It's really bad. I need to tell you that... um
something bad..." She paused not knowing any easy way to make her statement to someone completely oblivious. How in the world did Spike manage to tell their friends?
Rarity paused her bed making. "Bad? How bad? Horrible nightgown bad or sinister bad?"
"It's just that
there's..." Twilight had the words, she just couldn't find the courage to bring them out. Now she began to understand what Spike went through, at a loss for words.
Twilight fell silent and climbed onto the bed, gently laying herself on her tummy and hooves in her typical book reading position. A worried expression appeared on her face as she turned on the nearby lamp and motioned with her hoof for Rarity to sit next to her.
"That bad huh? Does this have something to do with Fluttershy?" Rarity asked.
The lilac unicorn remained quiet for a few seconds before taking in a deep breath as she spoke the following sentence straight forward with complete neutrality while at the same time, hating herself for making Spike do the exact same. A cold block of ice froze around her heart as she began to explain her story.
"Fluttershy just tried to kill herself."
Rainbow Dash left Fluttershy's door open as she accelerated back towards the hospital, the plant toxin bottle held tightly close to her chest. Her wings were in full gear, making her heart pump blood in every vessel of her body. As badly as she wanted to pull off a sonic rainboom to conserve time, she resisted the temptation. Her special technique required both front hooves to be facing forward, realizing the potential danger of dropping the bottle.
The geography of the location between Fluttershy;s cottage and the hospital had been mapped out in her head, clear as the night sky. While she concentrated on her flying, she couldn't help but think more and more of what pushed Fluttershy go to extreme measures; for her to ensure that she really did die from the poison that Rainbow now held between under her hooves.
"Why?" Rainbow thought. "Why couldn't she have come and talked to me instead of this damn bottle? Why didn't she think of her friends before doing something like this?"
Becoming so frustrated, Rainbow abruptly decided to change her vector displacement, shortening the travel distance between her and the hospital in her flight path. In doing so however, she disregarded the altitude and was flying too close towards Ponyville for her current velocity. Some might even consider this major felony in flight safety. It didn't matter to her though. More thoughts flew passed her head faster than the buildings around her.
"Don't you give up Fluttershy. I won't let you leave me like this. Not on me or anyone else. You have so many happy things to live for."
The hospital came closer and closer into view, flying on the home stretch. There was the anticipation that she would be able to decelerating fast enough in front of the hospital while making a perfect landing. As skillful as the blue pegasus was, previous accidents would show that she could also be the most careless when under high stress.
She flew down low towards the ground, about the make her touchdown when something happened. The dirt around her from the ground was being kicked up due to the intense flapping of her wings, making her vision impaired and was unable to see clearly. Realizing this, Rainbow immediately started flapping in reverse, digging her hind legs on the ground in an attempt to stop herself from hitting a wall.
The last thing she remembered at that moment was a great pain hitting her leg and the sounds of her body skidding over the dirt covered surface. Rainbow just hoped that she made it back in time as her vision blacked out.
"So that loud sound outside my window was Rainbow Dash?"
"Yes. I imagine she's already back at the hospital with the plant toxin. With that, they should be able to identify the chemical compound and use proper treatment."
"Are you sure? What if it's the wrong bottle? What if they give Fluttershy the wrong medicine?" Rarity panicked.
"Rarity, you of all ponies should have faith in Rainbow Dash. She wouldn't make a mistake in a situation like this."
There were times when Rarity had her doubts about Rainbow's ability to react properly in an emergency situation, jumping the gun at times. The impression was given that, though she was quick on her wings with good intentions in the acts of bravery and valor, she lacked the ability to take one step back before two steps forward.
"Yes, I suppose you are right. I apologize. I should know better." Rarity frowned
"It's fine. Don't sweat it."
"Of all the things somepony as timid as Fluttershy could do, I never imagined her even thinking of committing such a selfish act. How could she not even consider talking to us?"
Twilight was now troubled by her friend's choice of words. Selfish implied anger. Was Rarity angry with Fluttershy? Why would she feel angry? This didn't make much sense to her at the time. For now, she decided to ignore it.
"I am just as shocked as you are, but there will be time to talk this over with her. I think for now, it might be best if we get to the hospital and make sure things are fine."
"Yes, but before that, I must ask. Why didn't you come get me earlier?"
"I'm sorry that I didn't come get you sooner, but I knew that you had been working hard all day and I didn't want to cause you any stress. I was going to tell you tomorrow morning when things had settled down."
That last remark upset and disturbed Rarity. Why would Twilight think that her work would be more important than another friend's life? Knowing that she may be one of the hardest working ponies in town, Rarity felt that it didn't excuse her from putting her friends first.
Inquisitively, Rarity raised an eyebrow before crossing both of them, staring down at Twilight. "Whatever is that suppose to mean? Are you saying that I care more about my work than I do about our friends?"
"No, I just felt it would've been best if I told you in the morning, but that was before-"
"Before what? Her funeral? You thought Fluttershy's life wasn't already in enough danger until after the doctor told you about her poisoning herself?"
Twilight turned her head away, knowing her friend's statement to be absolute. "Well, yes but I thought that-"
"Did it take you that much of information for you to finally come here and-" Rarity paused, becoming conscious of the fact that Twilight was the one who carried Fluttershy all the way to the hospital. Sadness filled her entire heart; it was only moments ago how she was the one telling Twilight how beauty sleep meant more to her than a friend's near death experience.
"I'm so sorry Twilight. I don't want to fight right now. I just want to see our Fluttershy again."
"So do I." Twilight hopped off the bed. "Come on, let's go hear the good news."
Applejack stepped up to the nurses who were now carrying away Rainbow Dash on a stretcher. "Let me see that there bottle." She demanded, grabbing it by the mouth and running towards Dr. Whooves in the waiting room.
"Is that the bottle Fluttershy used?" the doctor asked.
Applejack set the bottle down in front. "I ain't a hundred percent on it but this is what was found on her when she crashed out front."
"Crashed? Is she okay?!" Pinkie exclaimed.
"Don't you worry. She's being taken in by the nurses now. I've seen worse happen ta that crazy pegasus. How's it look doc?"
Dr Hooves pondered, looking over the warning contents on the back. It took only a moment of critical thinking before he sighed with relief. "Glyphosphate; a common chemical used to kill weeds among other plants. We should be able to properly treat Fluttershy now. Give my thanks to Rainbow Dash when she feels better."
Applejack smiled. "Much obliged doc."
With the bottle handle in his mouth, Dr Whooves ran off without any time to waste. The information of the chemical poison was exactly what he needed. Having the bottle's remaining contents measured gave the exact amount of poison ingested, which provided a measurement of the dosage needed in the antidote.
Seeing the doctor run back inside the IPC to save Fluttershy made bothe earth ponies release a huge sigh of relief. Their stresses were finally gone, as they knew their friend would be okay. All they or anyone else could do now was wait, knowing that there would be time for rest and reconciliation. However, Fluttershy's safety wasn't the only concern, as Pinkie began to wonder about Rainbow's rough landing.
"So what happened to Dashie? Are you sure she's okay?" Pinkie asked.
Applejack wanted to smile, but would feel silly talking about a friend's injury while seeming happy. "She was unconscious outside the front doors but had only a minor bruise on her hind leg along with a few scraps along her side. Believe me thought, she's had it worse."
"Pheew. That's good to hear. Twilight and Rarity will be relieved to hear the good news once they get back." Pinkie looked up at the clock. "How long you think they've been gone?"
"Knowing Twilight, she probably wanted ta make sure that she eased in ta tellin' Rarity about Fluttershy's
The two earth ponies took their seats again in the waiting room. Pinkie looked over at Spike who was still asleep on the soft bench; his back slowly rising from his breathing falling silent under the blanket. She was excited to tell Spike the good news and that things would be okay now, but just smiled instead, knowing that it could wait.
Applejack yawned, feeling her anxiety about to catch up to her. Dark rings were beginning to form around her eyelids, giving the implementation of a lack of sleep.
"Why don't you get some sleep AJ? You've been working all day. I can wake you up when the doctor comes back."
A stubborn yet caring voice replied. "No way no how. I'm stayin' awake till I hear she's goin' to be okay."
Pinkie then nestled her head upon Applejack's shoulder, comforting her friend as a sign of reassurance. They both smiled as Pinkie Pie let herself fall asleep, slumping down onto the work pony's lap. Applejack could feel Pinkie breathing soundly up against her leg. Looking down at what seemed to be her content; she noticed a single tear sliding down from Pinkie's eye.
Ten minutes of silence went by without anypony else stepping into the waiting room. Applejack began to search through her own thoughts about Fluttershy. This definitely had something to do with Angel Bunny, though the main question that hung over her head was the trigger. What was it that finally pushed Fluttershy to such lengths?
A still fresh memory of the mare outside the shop today ran through her head. Was it something the pony said? She and everypony in Ponyville knew her all too well to forget such a name and felt the need to investigate more, but neither anger nor jumping to conclusions was the best answer for now. There would be much to discuss with Twilight and her friends later.
The orange earth pony closed her eyes; about to rest her head on top of Pinkie's when a whisper spoke behind her in the doorway. "Applejack, are you asleep?"
Applejack yawned again, looking over her shoulder to see Twilight and Rarity. "Naw, I was just restin'."
"Where's Rainbow Dash? Did she make it in time?"
"Don't ya fret now sugarcube. She made it here in time and I think Fluttershy is gonna be just fine."
Rainbow Dash stared down at the brace that was secured to her left hind leg, eager to leave. "Thanks for patching me up nurse, but can I please get out of this bed now? I need to see my friends."
"Have patience Miss Rainbow. I need to clear you first." She said, opening a folder with x-rays as she propped them up against the back light. Rainbow was all about anything but patience.
Rainbow sat on the bed with anticipation. "Well?"
The nurse smiled. "You don't seem to have any fractures, just a nasty bruise. I advise that you keep that brace on for at least a week to help you walk. Just make sure you wash it regularly. Are you sure that you don't feel light headed?"
"I'm fine nurse. That bump on the head was nothing. I've been injured much worse before."
The nurse paused, judging Rainbow's expression before making a final decision. "I'll go get the discharge papers so you can see your friends."
"Finally. Thank you nurse."
More than a hour had passed since her nerve racking crash outside the hospital. Knowing that she only walked about 20% of the time, she couldn't care less about an injured leg. She was just relieved to hear from Twilight that she did make it back in time and the Fluttershy was stablized.
The nurse returned with a clipboard and pen in her mouth, placing it on the table. "Sign here and you may leave."
Grabbing the pen in such a rush, she made a crude signature and immediately rose up from the bed, about to make a dash down the hall towards the lobby but was stopped.
"Miss Rainbow Dash, please. We don't allow flying in the hospital."
Celestia's morning sun rose from the east, slowly making its light up towards Twilight's bed. Though Spike had no problem sleeping on the trip back to the library, Twilight had achieved very little sleep the entire night. Dr Whooves had already reassured her friends that Fluttershy's condition was stable; recommending that they all get some sleep and return tomorrow once Fluttershy regained some strength.
Still, the very thought of losing Fluttershy crept in her mind. Thinking about it over and over again, as if trying to comprehend how she or anypony else in Ponyville would handle such terrible news. It would be a day of such lose and remorse; the day that the element of kindness would be killed by her own sorrow. Thus the rest of her friends, the elements, and the rest of the town would be drenched in a severe spiral of endless sorrow.
Exhausted, the lilac unicorn somehow found the strength to climb out of bed and make her way downstairs. To her surprise, she found Spike busy reorganizing a pile of encyclopedia books to their proper shelves.
Spike turned around. "Oh good, you're awake. How'd you sleep?"
Twilight rubbed an eye. "I don't think I slept too well, but I'm glad to see that you got a full night's rest. How are you feeling?"
"I feel just fine. I took the liberty of getting a head start on putting back those books you we're researching yesterday."
Spike's enthusiasm gave Twilight a worried expression, sensing that he was suppressing his emotions. Despite this, she felt happy knowing how loyal and hard working her assistant was, even in the direst of situations.
"Why don't you take the rest of the day off?"
About to shelf another book, the baby dragon paused "Huh? What do you mean?"
"You did enough yesterday for Fluttershy, so you can just sit and relax. I'll be going to the hospital with our friends to check on Fluttershy."
Spike jumped off the ladder, and walked towards the front door as he met Twilight face to face. She feared that Spike would start crying again at the reminder of last night's situation. To anyone's surprise though, the baby dragon stood firmly, looking up at Twilight with a demeanor look on his face. He took in a small breath before speaking.
"I want to go with you."
Twilight said nothing, unsure of what to say. Letting her young assistant go back to the hospital was the last thing she wanted to do.
"Please Twilight. I need to be there. If you are giving me the day off, then this is how I want to spend it."
Twilight smiled, happy as ever to hear such noble words from her assistant. "Sure thing Spike, let's not waste any time."
Fluttershy was finally awake. Her friends all sat in the lobby, eager to hear whether she would be allowed visitors or not. The suspense was building up in the room, as everypony desperately wanted to see Fluttershy's again. They had to see for themselves that she was alright and wanted the benefit of a doubt that her suicidal tendencies weren't still floating in her head.
Dr. Whooves returned to the waiting room, bringing in the latest news. "Fluttershy has requested that before she sees any of you, she would like to see Rainbow Dash first."
"Me? Just me alone?" Rainbow squeaked.
"Yes, as those were her exact words."
"Thank you Dr. Whooves. We'll just need a few minutes first." Said Twilight.
"Of course. She's right down the left hallway in room B7 whenever you are ready."
The four ponies started to stare at Rainbow Dash as she just stood there, still bandaged up from yesterday's injury. "I don't know what to do you guys. What should I say to her? Where do I even begin to talk to her?"
Rarity spoke up. "There is no need to worry yourself dearie. I think that just being there for her is enough."
The picture of seeing Fluttershy's lifeless body still lingered in Rainbow's head. A still image was fixed in her mind, and it scared her. "But why me? Of all ponies, why would she want to see me?"
"Because you're her longtime fillyhood friend silly!" Pinkie bounced.
Seeing all her friends smile, Rainbow raised her head up high, forcing herself to be brave. "Alright, I can do this. This is Fluttershy we're talking about. She needs somepony to talk to and I'm the one for the job."
"That's the spirit Dashie!"
When walking out of the waiting room, Rainbow stopped to look back at her friends. Unsure of what to say, her mouth had opened but remained mute. Without intention, she had been looking over at Applejack, wanting her to say something since she was her best bet for moral support, being close competitors and all.
"Don't ya worry there Rainbow! If you or Fluttershy need us, we'll be right here." Applejack smiled.
Taking another deep breath, Rainbow began to walk down to room B7. Time seemed to slow down as her hooves took each step, trying not to rush herself into seeing Fluttershy so quickly. Something felt wrong inside her heart. One side was filled with such eagerness to be reunited with her friend after such a terrifying stunt, while the other held her back in the fear of seeing such a sad sight of her friend.
The hallway was still quiet as some hospitalized ponies were still sleeping thought the morning. Room B7 was a single pony room, specially fitted for those who were on suicide watch. Rainbow stood in front of the door, closing her eyes in a final attempt to blacken out the dark image of her dead friend; an image of the dead Flutttershy that laid on Twilight's back which took the very breath right out of her. She succeeded.
Slowly opening the door, she looked over to the bed, seeing an all too familiar yellow pegasus turn her head to look directly at Rainbow's eyes. A mere smile from Rainbow was followed by her casual walk into the room, not saying anything at first. After a few seconds glance to see who had entered the room, Fluttershy turned her head back, looking down at the bed sheets once more.
hey Fluttershy. How're you feeling?"
It took more than a few seconds to respond. "I'm
The heart monitor continued to make its soft beeps in rhythm with Fluttershy's heartbeat. It remained in a calm state even as the tension began to build up inside both ponies. Instead of waiting for Fluttershy to say something, Rainbow took the initiative to speak first, but was cut off.
I want to say
She continued to look away. "Before you say anything, I need to ask you something."
Rainbow then stepped in closer to the bed, making a gentle response. "Of course. What's on your mind?"
Fluttershy then turned her head and looked directly into her friend's eyes, staring into such an oblivion of sadness and despair that it almost pained Rainbow to even look at her.
"How am I still alive?" She asked
"Why didn't I die? I wanted to die so badly and to not
have you see me like this." She clenched her eyes as a strong set of tears streamed down her cheek. "Why did I live? Why couldn't I have just disappeared?"
End part 3