Moon Healer looked incredulously at the slightly injured pegasus mare lying on the hospital cot. “I’m finding your story somewhat hard to believe, Dash.”
“W-whaddya mean?” Rainbow Dash smiled back nervously, her hooves absentmindedly fiddling with the bandages wrapped around her left wing.
“Pardon my skepticism,” the silver-coated pegasus doctor snorted, “But, on the whole, pegasi with your flying prowess normally don’t crash to the ground, and give themselves several nasty sprains in the process, because a ladybug flew into their eye.”
“Er... It was a big ladybug?” Dash bit her lip. “Heh heh.” Moon Healer’s expression remained humorless.
“As your primary maregiver, it is paramount to your continued good health that I receive honest, accurate information about any kind of physical irregularities you may be experiencing.” Dash winced at the words “physical irregularities” but said nothing. “I implore you to be truthful about the circumstances surrounding the incident. You were barely a hundred feet off the ground when it happened this time, but what if it next time you’re miles above ground? What if it strikes you in the middle of the ocean? Or an area with no safe landing spots? Or-”
“Alright!” Dash shouted. “I get it, OK?” She studied the windowsill intently, refusing to meet Moon Healer’s eyes. “It’s just... I-” Her head whipped up, grave seriousness covering her face. “If I tell you, you can’t tell anypony else. Promise me, Doc.”
“Rainbow Dash, the ponycratic oath forbids me from discussing personal information-”
“I mean ANYpony else. Not your family, not the other doctors, no pony.”
“I promise.” Moon Healer nodded. A small pang of guilt ran through her. If what Rainbow Dash told her was serious enough, she might have to break her patient’s trust. She quickly reminded herself the health of her clients came first.
“Lessee, where to begin... You know Pinkie Pie, right?”
“I believe so. She’s the bubbly pink earth pony who works at the candy shop, yes?”
“Uh huh. Well, the thing is, about two weeks ago, we...” Dash blushed slightly. “...we started dating.”
“Indeed? And how would this relate to...” Moon Healer paused, her eyes widening in shock. “Dash... is... is Ms. Pie... harming you in any way?”
“Wha? NO! N...nothing like that.” Dash’s blush increased. “It’s, eh, kinda my fault really.”
“Abuse is nopony’s fault, Dash.”
“Doc! I already told you, Pinkie isn’t hurting me. What’s been happening lately is-” Dash paused, steeling herself for the next part. “When... whenever I daydream about Pinkie, which happens pretty frequently nowadays, sometimes a warm tingle spreads throughout my body. And occasionally, when it gets really warm and tingly... IT happens.”
“Y-yeah. Normally I can deal with it because it happens when I’m on the ground, or taking a nap. But today, I was pushing a few low-hanging clouds to the left side of town, and Pinkie spotted me. She grinned and blew me a kiss. And BAM! IT happens.”
“What?” Moon Healer asked. Rainbow Dash meekly whispered two words, unintentionally doing her best Fluttershy impression. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?” Healer strained to hear Dash’s rushed, slightly shaky response, but it was still unintelligible. “Sorry, once more-”
“CHRONIC WINGBONER!” Dash all but screamed, her face the color of a ripe cherry.
Moon Healer stared at her patient in stunned astonishment for a few minutes. Then she dissolved into uncontrollable laughter.
“Sh-shut up!” A mortified Dash squeaked. “It’s not funny, Doc! My wings were stiff as a brick, and wouldn’t budge until I was about two feet from the ground. If that fern hadn’t been there to catch my fall...”
“My (snnrk) my apologies, Dash. I was expecting something a bit more serious.”
“I’d call not being able to use my wings serious.”
“It can be. But it’s easily treatable.” Moon Healer grinned. “And, if I may be frank, quite adorable.”
“ARRRGHHH,” Dash groaned, trying to hide her face with her hooves. She wished she could just smash through the window and flee from the exam room as fast as her wings could carry her.
“‘Popfeather’ is nothing to be embarrassed over, Dash. You’re young, hormonal, and in love. It’s only to be expected. I half wish I could still ‘pop’ one for my wife.”
“I’ll write you a prescription for a natural supplement you can take if you start to feel, heh, stiff.” Moon Healer winked. “And I’d advise you not to overuse it. I’m sure your girl would appreciate knowing the (snnrk) effect she has on you once in a while.”
A tan nurse pony stuck her head into the room. “Dr. Healer? Sorry to interrupt, but are you nearly done? I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to restrain-”
The nurse pony yelped as Pinkie Pie barreled through the doorway, knocking her onto an empty gurney. Pinkie carried a massive saddlebag with dozens of balloons tied to it. Each balloon had the words “GET WELL SOON, DASHIE” written on their surface with pink permanent marker.
“Ohmigosh!” Pinkie said. “Are you ok, Dashie?! I called the ponymedics after you went,” Pinkie mimicked a falling motion with her hooves, “Whooosh! Splat! But they said I couldn’t ride with you because they were taking you to a Cloudsdale horsepital so Twilight used the cloud walking spell on me after I packed a cake and some sodas and lotsa candy and balloons to cheer you up and make you feel better and ARE YOU OK, DASHIE?!”
“She’s fine, Ms. Pie.” Moon Healer smiled warmly at the frantic mare. “Nurse? I believe we’re done here.” The nurse nodded, bolting skittishly from the room to free herself from the cotton-candy-colored tornado she’d unsuccessfully held at bay. The doctor followed suit, but just as she was about to walk down the hall, a brief yelp of pain drew her attention back to the room.
Peeking through a crack in the door, she saw Rainbow Dash, her wingspan extended to its fullest length, while Pinkie Pie worriedly massaged the sore muscles in Dash’s bandaged wing. Pinkie once again voiced worry for Dash’s health, but Dash waved off her concerns and gave her a tight embrace. Dash closed her eyes, affectionately nuzzling her marefriend’s fluffy mane, a peaceful smile on her face.
Moon Healer quietly closed the door to give the young couple some privacy. Nostalgia welled inside her. She couldn’t remember the last time her wings had accidentally unfurled in Sky Swimmer’s presence, but she definitely remembered the first time it had happened. She’d been eating dinner with Sky Swimmer’s parents and said something particularly witty. Sky had laughed loudly, and as Healer watched, entranced by the delicate curve of Sky’s mouth- POP! Instant faux pax. And, since Sky had neglected to tell her parents she was dating mares, it had been doubly embarrassing. All things considered, Rainbow Dash had gotten off lightly. Her mind drifted to Sky Swimmer. Even 15 years later, Sky still looked amazing. Healer sometimes wondered how she’d been lucky enough to find a spouse who was so kind, so stunningly beautiful...
RRRRIIIPPPP. Moon Healer blinked in surprise. Her wings had ripped through the sides of her lab coat. Patches of torn fabric rubbed against her twitching feathers. “Hmmm,” Healer chuckled quietly, “Still got it.”
The message read:
There are some... irregularities in Pinkie and Golden’s test results. You need to come here.
Three seconds later the steel doors of Ponyville General Horsepital tore off their hinges. Uneasiness gnawed at Dash as she sat on the uncomfortable waiting room couch. She’d flown at lightspeed, fought gruesome monsters, and, occasionally, saved the world from total annihilation, but nothing knifed her insides harder than the fifteen uncertain minutes she’d spent in the waiting room. Then Twilight came out and explained things to the best of her abilities, but even she looked utterly flummoxed by the circumstances. Another expert was rapidly consulted to inform the confused parties.
Age (and Sky Swimmer’s hoof to the back of her head) had taught Moon Healer something approaching bedside manner, but the urge to groan in disbelief quivered in her lower lip. “Miss Sparkle, you are, are you not, possibly the most esteemed and learned scholar of magic Equestria, or indeed the world, has ever known?”
“Um,” Twilight flinched. “Guilty as charged.”
“Then how could you not know about this?”
Twilight held up a hoof. “To be fair, my studies mostly cover unicorn and alicorn magic. True, I knew about cellular pegasi magic, but I didn’t quite grasp how it could be ah...” Twilight blushed. “Applied.”
A slight groan passed Moon Healer’s lips despite her best efforts. “And the both of you? What are your excuses?”
“mmph,” a sound replied from behind massive wings. Golden Harvest stroked the strings of pink hair seeping through bent feathers. “mpmhrmm mdmm sdmmdn dkksmmmnsn jfunnmssnn.”
“She said ‘No, after I started living on the ground I went to school in Ponyville.’” Harvest translated for Moon Healer, then bent back down to catch the rest of Fluttershy’s reply. “‘And their- curriculum -didn’t cover the matter at hand.’” Harvest patted the mortified pony softly. “Are you ready to come out now, Canaryface?”
“MMMPH,” the sound growled.
“And I kinda, um,” Dash coughed, “‘missed’ a few classes in flight school for some, ah, extracurricular sleep studies.”
“Including sex ed, I take it.”
“W-well, I figured if I knew the basic plumbing-”
“But knowing what runs through the pipes is just as crucial.” A slightly creaky wing motioned toward Pinkie Pie and Golden Harvest. “Or this is where we wind up.” Moon Healer’s hoof tapped the page she’d opened to in Why Are My Feathers Stiff? A Guide To Your Changing Body: “Chapter 6 - How Did THAT Happen?! Lesbian Couples & Accidental Pregnancies.”
* * * * * * * * * * *
“WHHAAAAAAAAAA???????!!!!!!!” The magenta-hued, rainbow-haired pegasus celestianed Dashalina Joanne Pie shrieked, her irises shrinking to dust specks, her puffy mane deflating slightly.
“Yup, that’s how your dad reacted too,” Pinkie nodded sagely. “Like motherfather like daughter. She wasn’t the worst though. Auntie Fluttershy went completely birdhouse and tried to cut Twilight with a scalpel.” Thank Celestia Moon Healer, resourceful physician that she was, always had a supply of horse tranquilizers to deal with extreme reactions.
Pinkie drew Dashie Pie’s hoof into her own. “I know how it is to be sixteen, bubblemuffin, and it’s fine if you and Apple Quartz wanna bump marshmallows-”
Dashie Pie’s pink face darkened to a cherry red shade. “Whuh- I, uh, d-don’t um...”
“Next time, I’d skip the living room. The air vent connects directly to the one over our bed. And Quartz can be kinda... loud.”
“EEEW!” Dashie ripped her hoof from her mother’s embrace. “MOOOM! Wait. How... how does this, uhm, ‘process’ work, exactly?”
“I sorta forgot most of it,” Pinkie squinted, “But it has something to do with pegasussus’ inherent magicalness. Normally it’s used to boost flight speed n’ stuff, but sometimes, when a pegasi mare and another mare wanna have a lil’ eeny-teeny version of themselves REALLY badly or, sometimes, just kinda badly, the pegasi’s internal magic helps them out! I think your pater can tell you a little more about it.”
“I kinda wish it was dad telling me this.” Dashie’s eyes scanned the room. “And where is dad, anyway?”
A polychromatic blur blasted through the kitchen, drawing a pitcher of orange juice, toast with jam, and a vegetable omelet into its churning maelstrom. “Heypinkheykiddommmthanks breakfastisfantasticpinkhaveagooddayatschoolkiddoohhaylookatthetimegottadashBYE!” it stammered before splintering a plate glass window which stood in its path.
“Your daddy was a skosh more jarred at your (heee!) ‘signs of maturity’ than I was.” Pinkie took out four bits from Dash’s change drawer and dropped them into the “Dash and Dashie’s Glass Smash Repair Fund” jar, shaking her head sadly. “Oh, bluebird. And you were doing so well, too...”
Dashie’s hooves tapped impatiently on the linoleum, her feathers bunching anxiously. “Sooo... are we done here? Am I free to go up to my room and die from embarrassment?”
“Nearly.” Pinkie pulled a small red box, with intricate runes carved into it, out of her mane. “Now, normally, you wouldn’t hafta worry about this stuff until your late 20s or so, but sometimes, there’s a couple... accidents.” Pinkie pried the top off the box, revealing its contents. “Better to be Pinkie-Safe than Pinkie-Sorry!” Inside was a black headband, covered in strange glyphs and symbols glowing faintly against the dark cloth. “Zecora started making these after Ruby and Apple Quartz were born.” Though Pinkie hadn’t been there to see it, Twilight had midwifed and later told her friends that after Applejack had passed two tiny unicorns through her lower body she’d grabbed Rarity by the throat and informed her ‘If yew ever put me through that agi’n, ahm gunna tear off yer horn with mah bare hooves n’ hateshank ya!!!’ And, even though their pregnancy had been planned, Rarity wasn’t leaving anything to chance. “You and Quartz have a ‘study date’ tonight, doncha? Then you’ll definitely need this! It’s a sure-fire lovechild stopper!”
“Th-thanks,” Dashie sputtered, quickly snatching the headband and stuffing it into the amorphous hair cloud bouncing on her back. “But... don’t you need it?”
“Nope!” Pinkie grinned. “Zecora can make another one. And besides, it’s kinda pointless now.”
Dashie gaped at her mother. “Mom?”
“Surprise! You’re gonna be a big sister!”