Alterations Chapter 4
As it turned out, it wasn't very hard for the ponies to find their favorite treats at all. They liked everything (since they had taste buds for two they rarely came across anything they wouldn't like). The Cakes let them eat as much as they wanted, since they felt so bad for the girls. The Spa-treatment was nice as well (AppleDash was opposed to it at first but eventually she came around). PinkieShy couldn't wait to get started, but as soon as it did her face distorted from a happy grin to a look of utter devastation. She had stayed that way throughout the entire visit, and once she even cried when asked how she wanted her massage. It wasn't a bad visit, all three of them were satisfied; it was just different.
Spike had done as Rarity had asked and sent the 'Princess of the night' a message, requesting transport to Canterlot Castle. Luna had immediately replied the letter from her friends:
Dearest Friends -
I would of course be happy to accommodate you. I shall send a carriage to your town hall in precisely two days of time. I am very flattered that you have chosen to come to me for aid in your predicament and I shall do my very best to assist you in any way that I can. It is the very least I can do for you after going out of your way to show me how to act towards others and for assisting in defeating Chrysalis and her changeling-army. I look forward to your arrival.
Rarity could wait for two more days. She just hoped her friends could as well. She would do whatever it takes to make sure they are restored to how they were. "Well girls, it seems as if it's time for us to retire for the night." said Rarity to the other ponies. "Would you like me to see you home?" she asked. PinkieShy sighed, "No thanks, I can do it myself I guess."
"Nah, Ah can handle it. Thanks though sugar-cube." said AppleDash sweetly. Rarity smiled, it was comforting to hear something so specific that only Applejack would say. She just hoped that one personality wouldn't completely take over the other (the thought of this scared her). "Goodnight then dears, I will see you in the morning." said Rarity as she turned to walk away.
"Umm... Do one of you mind if I stay the night with you tonight? I'm not used to being alone." asked Spike as he stirred some dirt around with his foot. PinkieShy ran around him in circles shouting, "Yes yes yes, you can stay with meeeeee!" Then she stopped and thought for a minute and continued with, "I mean, if you think you want to. I can't promise you'll have any fun." She dropped her eyes to the ground as she finished. "Well of course I do!" he replied looking understandingly at her. It must be difficult and morally destructive to have two completely opposite personalities. "Then let's go." she said solemnly as she turned toward the direction of her cottage and began walking away. Spike turned around and waved at his other friend, "Goodnight AppleDash." he called back to her. "G'night little buddy," she called back after him. "You have a goodnight too PinkieShy!" she exclaimed in an attempt to cheer up her friend. "You too." she mumbled back.
As they began the long walk back to the cottage, Spike tried to strike up conversation. "We're gonna have fun tonight, we can play Mareopoloy and Battlepegasus and Filly..."
"Or we can not." she interrupted. "I would probably just lose all of them anyways."
"Oh... Well I can cook up some dinner for you."
"No thanks, I'm not hungry."
Spike was running out of ideas, "I could braid your mane for you." he offered. "Actually, I'm pretty tired. I think I'll just go to bed." she said as she yawned. Then all of a sudden she jumped up and flew forward about ten feet, turned around and landed in front of Spike, and shouted, "Then tomorrow we can have a party! And invite everyone!" Then her face changed again to sad and sullen, "If anyone even wants to come." Spike was so confused. He wasn't sure if he should be happy or sad. He just walked along in silence with her.
PinkieShy was so sad. Her mind was racing and she analyzed every single thought in her head. She could fly herself and Spike to the cottage, but what if she wasn't a good flyer? What if she fell? She couldn't think without thinking of every possibility. Pinkie Pie's personality would have a really fast paced stream of ideas, but then Fluttershy's personality would look at which ones were risky and which ones were safe. It was hard for the Pinkie-side to stay happy if she couldn't ever do anything fun. PinkieShy always felt like there was nothing she was good for, probability was her enemy, she didn't have any luck and she didn't know how to have fun without it being laid back. Every once in awhile the Pinkie-side would shine through and PinkieShy would do something crazy, but then she would realize what she just did and get really upset. She would start thinking about all of the things that could have gone wrong, all of the ponies she could have hurt. What was she to do? She was sad at the thought of being happy when not everyone could be, and sad at the thought that her sadness could be making others sad. She would just have to push through and stay strong.
Finally they had reached the cottage. It was a quaint little place, and Fluttershy was proud of it. But PinkieShy hated it. This was not a place she could live in. She wasn't good with animals (at least, she didn't think she was; she hadn't yet had the chance to try). She looked over to a squirrel. "Hi there little friend." she said depressingly. The squirrel looked at her for a second and ran off. That had never happened before. Usually the squirrel would run up to Fluttershy for a pet on the head. She didn't seem phased, or at least if she was she didn't show it. Spike just looked towards her. It was unusual, but he was sure it was just a fluke. "Come on PinkieShy, let's just go inside and get some rest." he said to her soothingly. She turned and walked with him to the front door. It was locked. She knocked on the door and called inside, "Angel, could you open the door?"
For a moment there was nothing. Then Angel cracked the door open and looked up. He saw a dragon he had seen a few times before and a pony he had never seen. She looked like Fluttershy a little bit, but he knew that it wasn't her; her voice was nothing like hers at all. Angel stood there and waited for somepony to talk to him. "May we come inside Angel?" asked PinkieShy, "It's me." Angel looked at her for a moment and then he grew mad. Was she inferring that she was his Fluttershy? How dare she!? He knew who Fluttershy was and this wasn't her. He shook his head violently and slammed the door right in her face. The next sound they heard was the door, locking from the inside.
They stood there for a minute, trying to figure out what just happened. Spike looked around for a second, and then called, "Hey Angel, it's us! Let us in, we're tired out here!" He got no reply from the bunny. He crossed his arms and said, "Hmpf, rude." PinkieShy turned to him, her eyes tearing up, "Let's just go back to Sugarcube Corner OK?" The look on her face was the look of a pony who had just lost everything she had ever loved. She burst into flowing tears and loud sobs as she turned to begin the long walk back to Sugarcube Corner. Spike was stunned. To see her breakdown like that was like nothing he had ever seen before. As he looked on, he couldn't help but tear up himself as he stood there and wished so badly that there was something he could do to comfort her. He followed her through a blurry vision and they walked in silence, the only sound being that of PinkieShy's small sobs.
AppleDash walked in the other direction upon parting from her friends. She walked towards her cloud home in the sky where her oh-so-soft and comforting cloud bed awaited her. It was quite a walk, so she had some time to herself to think. Thinking for her was a bit different. It wasn't one mind, but at the same time it wasn't two different minds. This type of feeling was a feeling she had never felt before. It was as if a monumental game of Tug-of-War was taking place in her mind, when both teams wanted the other team to win. If the Applejack-side thought something but the Rainbow Dash-side thought something different, instead of fighting over which thought to go with, they would make the best compromise they could and combine the thoughts into a single thought. When she tried to fly earlier, she was prepared and fully expected to take off and soar into the clouds while at the same time she knew she didn't have wings and that this was an impossible feat. But she was so used to having wings that she convinced herself they were there. The combined thought was to try and perhaps something would happen. When she failed to fly, the Applejack-side wasn't surprised, but the Rainbow Dash-side was absolutely crushed and couldn't figure out why she couldn't fly. She had always had wings; why wouldn't they work? It was very hurtful every time she realized that she could not fly but, with her determination, she would keep trying. She had the all the memories of both ponies from both perspectives. Once again, she had gotten that feeling of having knowledge but just now being able to access it. She knew why all of this happened too. It had come to her in the Spa, which she hated to love. When she had performed the Sonic Rainboom in her attempt to save Celestia, the changeling had teleported at exactly the same time they came into contact. And while the changeling and the princess were no longer tangibly there, the intense magic was and they collided with it. Upon colliding with the magic, it latched on to the Sonic Rainboom and caused it to become the changing Sonic 'Rainado'boom. As it grew in size, the changeling magic actually grew stronger to its breaking point. When it could no longer grow to get any more powerful, it spun back to where it originated and hit the four ponies at full force. The magic then proceeded to seep into the ponies and rewrite them like it would to a changeling. But these were not changelings and they were not accustomed to it, thus producing this effect.
AppleDash was concerned with how she knew this much, but she was also greatly anticipating any more information she would receive as to the whereabouts of Twilight and the princess. She could feel where that information was, and she was slowly gaining its knowledge. She wondered if PinkieShy was experiencing the same thing as her. Maybe it was, since she was hit head on by the blast, that she absorbed most of the magic and it didn't affect PinkieShy quite as much. She hoped it hadn't; PinkieShy was depressed enough as it was.
As she finished this thought, she came upon her home. High in the sky, her home looked back down at her. This home contained everything that she loved and would make her comfortable. She wasted no time in prepping her wings for a flight. She could feel them flapping, beating the air and softly brushing her sides. She smiled as she readied for the take off. She bent her knees, looked up towards her target and leaped a mighty leap into the air, flapping her wings against the air currents. She felt the rush as her wings lifted her closer and closer to her home. She could see it getting closer and closer. She was ready to lie down in her comfortable cloud bed. It would be so amazing. Just as she was secure in this flight, something strange happened. Her home began to move farther away instead of closer to her. Farther and farther it went. She looked very confused and started flapping her wings harder and harder. But no amount of flapping seemed to bring her closer to her home. She knew all hope was lost when she felt a sharp pain on her belly as she hit the ground once again. She looked up longingly at her home. Perhaps if she tried again, she would make it, the orange ex-pegasus thought. She stood up, bent her knees, jumped harder than she had ever jumped before and promptly hit the ground.
Slowly it became apparent to her that she couldn't fly. AppleDash felt herself flap her wings, but this time she looked back to see them. What she saw was nothing. The two spots on her body where she could feel her wings rest held nothing but empty air. There were no wings on her body. The realization of this hit her harder than the ground ever could. It stung her harder than any impact. It hurt her heart. Would she never fly again? Would she never be able to visit her home? And even if she could, would she be able to walk on the cloud? As these questions came into her head, it brought tears to her eyes. She didn't want to cry because she knew that she had known this all along, but she couldn't help it. The tears flowed forth. She sat there for a moment and simply cried to herself before deciding she would have to find somewhere else to sleep. She stood up, wiped her eyes in an attempt to toughen up and look brave and set off towards Sweet Apple Acres. No matter how tough and brave she wanted to seem, and was sure she seemed to anyone who would see her, she couldn't help but let a single tear drop to the ground.
It had been a hard night for both of the ponies, but morning was now here. Spike did not receive the party he was promised, but that wasn't a big deal. He woke up and looked over at his friend. She lay there asleep, but she did not look peaceful. The distorted pegasus looked as though the weight of the world was on her shoulders and nopony could help lift it. He woke her up and she looked around for a moment. "Morning." she said to him.
"Good morning PinkieShy. How did you sleep?"
"I slept fine." Pinkieshy grunted.
"Well go ahead and get up, I'll cook you some breakfast before Rarity gets here with AppleDash." he told her. She did as he asked, thankful that he was a good cook, and began readying herself for the day.
After explaining to the Apple-family that she was indeed Applejack, they allowed AppleDash into their home and welcomed her with open arms and compassion. AppleDash had not slept well through the night. She was not used to sleeping on conventional beds, since she was so accustomed to clouds. She woke up with backpains. She tried to stretch the muscles, but to no avail. Regardless, she was ready for the day and wondered what Rarity had in store. She got ready for the day and began to head to Sugarcube Corner.