It was a Wednesday afternoon in the Ponyville Library. Twilight was packing her bags to head out to see Zecora in the Forest, just as she had yesterday morning. She had never made it all the way to Zecora's, however. On the way there, she had found a poor colt lying half-dead by the side of the trail. She had taken him to the Ponyville hospital before he nearly bled to death. She saved that poor colt's life. She never did manage to find anything out about him. What had happened to him? There had been blood everywhere, yet no other animal or person or anything else was there. Stranger still was... his behaviour. He had struck out at her - attacked her, yelling and screaming before finally just passing out. It didn't make any sense.
Maybe it was because he was sick. Maybe he was delusional. Or maybe-
Twilight shook her thoughts out of her head and sighed. Thinking about it hasn't been doing her any good; she had already been kept up half the night doing that.
She had just finished packing when a knock came at the door. Twilight opened it to a nurse - a nurse pony from the hospital.
"Hello, Twilight," she said, "You told us to come get you when he was awake."
"He's awake? Already? But it's only been a day since he got to the hospital. Didn't he have surgery?"
"He's managed to recover at an alarming rate. We don't quite understand it."
Twilight set her bags on the floor, still packed. Going to Zecora's would have to wait. There was something much more interesting going on at the hospital. As she went out the door with the nurse, her heart began to beat a bit faster in her chest. Her curiosity was beginning to get the better of her.
* * *
Twilight set the pace on the way to the hospital — trotting briskly desite the nurse's objections.
"Come on! Keep up. I have questions to ask you."
Twilight didn't hear the the nurse's small groan. Her mind was already racing. He had woken up a lot sooner than the doctor had predicted. Her curiosity had been having a major buildup for the last twelve hours or so, and she was finally going to get the chance to find some things out.
"So, what's wrong with him?" she asked.
The nurse took a moment to respond, as she had to first catch up to where Twilight was ahead of her. "Well, his leg was—"
"No, no, no. I already know that! I mean, why was he acting like that? What made him... act that way when I found him?"
"I... w- we don't know, exactly."
"Ugh. Fine. Come on, let's hurry and get there!" Twilight said as she broke into a gallop, no longer able to keep herself even slightly composed. Her curiosity may have been getting to her but she didn't really care anymore. She had never read or even heard about anything like this - like this young stallion she had found in the Everfree Forest.
* * *
In the hospital, Twilight was told to wait on a couch for a bit because, according to a nurse that had met her when she came in, the patient needed to be prepped for visitors.
Eventually the nurse returned and Twilight was led down a few halls and up to a door.
The nurse turned to face her and spoke. "Remember," she said in a soft voice, "he's recovering. He had a fairly major surgery only twelve hours ago. He's very weak. It's a wonder he managed to recover as much as he has so quickly."
Twilight smiled at her. "Thank you for letting me do this. I know you don't normally allow visits like this."
The nurse smiled back. "You're a smart one, Twilight. We all trust you here. Just be sure and go easy on the questions — take it slow. He's been calm since waking up — friendly even. But we don't want him acting up again like you say he did when you found him."
She looked very seriously at Twilight "If he starts to get too excited, come and get a nurse."
"Right. Got it," and she walked into the room.
It was his room. He was there — lying in a hospital bed with a few IV tubes hooked up to him. He had his head turned away, looking out the window. He was a unicorn. He had a brown coat and a black mane, which was cut short. He looked to be about her age. As the door shut behind her, he turned to look at her with a pair of deep, ocean-blue eyes. He was obviously a bit drowsy; he had a tired look on his face.
"Hi," Twilight began, "I'm Twilight Sparkle."
He only continued to stare at her as she waited for a reply. Right as the silence was beginning to get uncomfortable, however, he spoke.
"You're the one who found me in the forest, aren't you?"
This wasn't exactly the reply she had expected. "I— um, yeah. That was me."
He chuckled a slow, drowsy chuckle before he replied: "Sorry about that. I probably scared you pretty bad, huh?"
He looked away. It was silent a moment before Twilight decided to say something again: "I'm glad to see you're okay."
He looked back at her. "Thanks," he said.
More silence until Twilight spoke again.
"So, what's your name?"
"Oh. It's, um, Distant."
"Yeah, it's a weird name, I know," he said, rolling his eyes. "Just... call me Dist."
Twilight smiled at him. "Dist," she said.
"Yep," he said, awkwardly smiling back.
"So," she broke in, "where did you come from?"
"Fillydelphia. From Fillydelphia."
"Wow. Fillydelphia? That's a long ways away. How'd you, um... How'd you end up here?"
"You brought me here, I thought."
"What? I didn't— oh. No, no. I mean, did you end up here in the Forest?"
He was chuckling at her. "I knew what you meant," he said, smiling to himself, "It was a joke."
"Oh. Heh. Right," she replied, a little embarrassed.
He chuckled at her again before he continued: "I came here because, well, I was moving here."
"Here to Ponyville?"
"Yep. Here to Ponyville." He was slowly starting to look more awake, now.
"That doesn't explain how you ended up in the Forest."
He shrugged. "Curiosity?" he replyed with an innocent look on his face.
"Into a dangerous, thick forest?" she asked, eyebrows raised.
"Hey, I didn't know!" he defended.
She was chuckling at him now, and he rolled his eyes at her. "Well, if it's so dangerous, what were you doing out there?"
"I was going to visit my friend, Zecora. She lives in the Forest."
"She lives there?"
"Yep. I was going to have her help study alchemy. But when I found you on the way, I had to help. I– I tried to help... but you... um..."
He stopped smiling and looked away from her, down at the floor as she continued.
"... you screamed at me. You– you tried to... attack me. But you had already lost so much blood. You passed out...."
"I'm sorry," he said, still not looking up.
"Dist. Dist, it's okay."
He looked up again after she had said this, and he kept his eyes fixed on her as she continued: "It's okay. You obviously weren't yourself. I don't care. The only thing that matters is that you're okay now."
He just continued to look at her.
"I just want to know one thing, Dist."
"Why were you acting that way? Because you're obviously not acting that way anymore. What was it that caused you to react that way?"
"I was... scared," he replyed weakly.
"What were you so scares of?" she asked.
He was just about to reply when the door burst open, suddenly. It was the doctor.
"Good evening!" he said cheerfully, "Lovely evening. How are you feling today? Oh! Miss Sparkle. I see the nurse did go and fetch you after all. I'm just here to check on him. One of those things we doctors do after someone's had surgery, heh heh. Um... Miss Sparkle, it's getting late. Why don't you go on home now? You're not really even supposed to be here, after all, are you?" he said, and gave Twilight a look.
"Yes. Of course. I'll be going, then. Goodbye, Dist."
"Oh, hey, Twilight?"
"Do you want to come back tomorrow?"
She gave him a smile. "Yes. Will do. Bye."