"Are you sure about this?"
"Oh, don't worry, Discord! Everything will be fine! You can go back to the castle now and rehabilitate there." The doctor pushed his small spectacles up higher on his nose. He spoke with an assuring voice that gave Discord hope. Then, the earth pony doctor turned and left the room for a moment. Discord wasn't entirely sure being discharged was what was best. However, he wasn't too crazy about staying here anymore either. By this time, his head had managed to heal quite a bit. All that remained of the head trauma was a nasty bruise and bump. There was no brain damage, unless of course if they counted the fact that he lost a lot of his memory. They all assured him it would return in time, however. Luna had more patience with him. She would come and talk to him about times the three of them spent together. Discord might remember a few things, which would make him excited and hopeful. He was glad he was rebuilding his friendship with Luna. Celestia was another story. He didn't know if she was just impatient or annoyed or simply hated him for some reason. Every time she would come with Luna and try to help, she would end up becoming easily frustrated and would leave. Luna would always jokingly tell him,
"She's just jealous because you remember things when I'm here and when she's not." Or, she might tell him that Celestia is a grumpy-pants, or Celestia is stupid, or Celestia is melodramatic, or Celestia still can't understand why this happened and can't fix him and it annoys the tar out of her. Discord figured it was probably the last one. There was one time when Celestia tried to cast a memory spell on him, but it didn't work like she hoped it would. She told him she would think of everything that happened from her point of view and show it to him telepathically. She figured it would help a lot, but she really didn't count on the fact that it could overload. Discord couldn't take so much at once. The images flashed before him, and made his head feel like it was exploding. He ended up with a severe headache and no true memory of what she showed him. Now, though, he thought perhaps if he did indeed return to the castle, it would help to see it again. Seeing objects or faces made him feel as if he knew it from somewhere. At least it would jog his memory a little.
"This is exciting!" said Luna jumping up and down. "You can finally come home!" Celestia materialized in the doorway, all of a sudden.
"Oh! Both of you?!" she said excitedly.
"Both?" Discord asked raising an eyebrow.
"Dreamy is going home too!" Celestia squealed, actually jumping a little herself. "And then...we can be together! Isn't it wonderful?" She pranced down the hall. Luna and Discord just stared.
"I've...never seen her so excited before..." said Discord looking down gloomily. He felt his stomach drop.
"Dreeeaaammmy????!!" said Luna, rolling her eyes. "I don't know about you, but I want to vomit!"
"Yeah, really," Discord replied sighing. The floor was very interesting.
"Awww...don't feel bad," Luna said, nudging him.
"What? Feeling? I wasn't feeling anything..." Discord replied crossing his arms.
"We both know THAT'S a lie," Luna replied cocking her head and smirking. Discord looked up and stretched out his arm, posing dramatically.
"Oh, dear Luna, the truth can make your heart ache. Sometimes a lie is easier to take..." Luna giggled.
"You're so weird," she said sighing. "But that's what me and Tia like about you."
"SHE hates me...in case you didn't notice..." said Discord rolling his eyes.
"I know you think that, but you're wrong," Luna replied. "Tia has always been of afraid of your powers, because she's afraid of anything that she can't make sense of. She likes order and the same-old-thing all the time. But at one time, three years ago, you did make her see what fun is....that it's not bad to be different. And she did like it...whether she'll ever admit it now or not. But apparently...I don't know why she thinks it, but....she saw you hurting Dream Catcher with your powers. I really think she's confused. She doesn't understand and is still trying to get over it, because you scared her." Discord nodded and then looked up in realization.
"The greatest sign of strength...is restraint..." he said quietly. Luna gasped.
"That's what father told you!" she said excitedly. "You remember?!"
"Yes," Discord replied. "I remember...he wanted me to remember that in case I lost my temper. I know I certainly didn't want to hurt anypony. I guess I really got mad and...didn't use restraint." He hung his head in shame.
"Ohh...I'm sure you had a good reason. Maybe Dream Catcher was picking on you. He's done that before," said Luna, stroking his paw with her hoof. Discord shrugged.
"I don't remember what happened," he said sighing.
"Oh well. Maybe it's for the best," Luna replied.
"Right! Nopony got hurt, really," said Discord brightly.
"Reeeallly?" came a voice from the doorway. Was he Dream Catcher? He was purple and had greenish hair. His bright green eyes penetrated Discord's skull. They were not nice eyes, at least not to him. There was something about them that gave him chills. "Easy for you to say, right?" he said wincing a little and jerking his hoof up as if it hurt to step on it. Discord was not convinced. Dream was a poor actor. The purple unicorn chuckled. "Oh, lighten up. I was kidding. I know you don't remember what happened, Discord."
"Oh," Discord replied trying to smile a little. "Still...very sorry about...whatever happened." Why was he not sorry inside? He didn't know what it was, but something about Dream made him feel weird. Maybe it was those sharp eyes or that odd, snake-like smile. It was something dark. He knew there was some darkness inside him and Luna, but this was on a much higher, more sinister level.
"Oh, don't worry about it. It's behind us now, isn't it?" Dream replied glancing behind him as Celestia walked up beside him. Discord nodded and there was an awkward silence in the room.
"I have an idea," Celestia piped in. "After they let us leave, let's all go to the castle. I think there may be something there that could help Discord get his memories back."
The grand hall had a big red carpet that stretched out far beyond the group, all the way to the end of the room. The tall ceiling had a big chandelier hanging down from it. Something about this did seem familiar to Discord as his eyes fixed on it. He couldn't stare at it for long, though. The beautiful stained glass windows sparkled as the rays of sun refracted off them. They lit the whole room in an array of colors. The perfectly crafted designs almost looked real. Discord stared intently at them, thinking they did indeed mean something to him.
"Look at these ones over here," said Celestia. She and Luna led him to one end of the room. Dream stood away from them, examining other windows near the end of the hall. Discord looked up and saw several very large windows. They depicted the gods and goddesses and the demigods and demigoddesses, including Queen Solina and King Orion and a very young Celestia and baby Luna. They also showed the Sages and Equestrian lands or famous battles in history. One window, though, showed something that made Discord's throat close up and made his heart stop. It depicted a castle, burning and crumbling away. Dark clouds were gathering overhead. A large purple figure loomed over the castle, lightning surrounding her. She looked like HIM. Was it...his mother? Eris? What really gave him chills was the fact that in the clouds in the background was several red eyes that stared right at him. Those eyes. Chaos. He had to blink and look away a few times to make sure it was just the stained glass and not real. The burning castle. That day. Images flashed before him. Memories started to flood his mind. He knew there were gaps in them, but somehow, this image made him remember a lot of things. And they weren't good.
"Discord?" Celestia said gently. She approached him. Discord figured all the color was drained from his face, with how sick this window was making him feel. These were his PARENTS. Who was HE? Was he really just like them, deep down? Did he have to be?
"I'm all right," he replied quietly. There was a short silence and he turned to look at her. "I remember them. I remember that day now," he said slowly. "I remember standing on that cliff and seeing you for the first time. And...I remember cotton candy clouds. When we danced under chocolate rain in the courtyard." When the realization hit him, he felt a sudden wave of joy come over him, no matter how depressed his parents or the window made him feel. "I REMEMBER!" he said happily. Luna squealed with delight and galloped up to him. She hugged him and talked a million miles a minute. He couldn't understand a word she was saying, but she sounded ecstatic. After she was done smothering him, which in actuality never ended and Discord had to shake her off, he turned to Celestia, seeing if he'd get a hug from her. She stared at him in disbelief, her eyes welled up with tears.
"You're coming back?" she choked, her face lighting up as a grin spread across her face. "You're back....to stay?" Discord smiled and nodded.
"Did you miss me?" he asked chuckling. Celestia giggled and she embraced him.
"Tia..." said Discord quietly as he wrapped his arms around her. He remembered calling her that. He felt as if he knew her. KNEW HER. Even if he really only remembered some things about her from the past and really just got to know her all over again. He did know her. He knew she was the exact opposite of him and he should hate her. But there was always something beautiful about her. He didn't even know why he felt this way around her. He shouldn't. But he did. He couldn't hate her. No. She was so...so... No. He knew he shouldn't feel anything. There was no hope. She loved Dream. Or...did she really? Was she just overcome by those green eyes? What did she see in him? He couldn't think about Dream now, though. He knew what he needed to do now. "There's something I once promised your father," he said looking into her violet eyes. "He told me that I needed restraint. I needed to avoid my powers. Now I understand. Just look at what I've done! Celestia...I don't know what I did, or what happened, but I snapped. Now I'm paying the price. I lost a lot. I feel as if I'm gaining some back, but not all. Not many happy memories like the cotton candy clouds. Not what I wanted. So...I will not learn what I can do with my powers. I will not practice them. Celestia, I personally promise you with all my heart that I will never use my powers EVER again. Not for anything. I know this is for the best. I just want things to be like...like how Luna says they once were. This is my promise. I will keep it." Celestia stared at him in sheer surprise. Her eyes were big and glossy. Her mouth fell open a little in shock. She looked as if she was trying to mouth "what?" but it didn't come out. She swallowed hard and looked down.
"Please...don't do that," she said quietly. "Your powers...are what make you who you are. I know I've reacted negatively to them, because they're so..." She paused and started crying. "Discord...this is my fault. Why did I act that way? Why didn't I just accept everything. Maybe if you had used them, you would've learned to control them. Maybe you wouldn't have snapped. Maybe everything would be fine now. I'm so sorry! I was wrong. I...."
"No," Discord replied shaking his head. "I understand. You're a creature of Order. You can't help it. I just know I was out of place here before. This could be a new start. Something good may have come from my amnesia. Now, I can put whatever happened behind me and be like the rest of you. I don't want to be like them...." he nodded towards the stained glass window. "Celestia, I want this. Please. I want to make this promise to you." Celestia smiled a little and let a couple tears fall down her cheeks.
"That is so noble of you..." she said, her voice shaking. She hugged him again. Luna stood by smiling brightly. Discord didn't expect it when Celestia gave him a kiss on the cheek.
"Ooooh!" Luna squealed jumping up and down. Discord's face turn so red, the carpet looked very drab in comparison. Celestia backed away and cleared her throat.
"Sorry..." she said smiling. "Excuse me." She turned and walked down the hall. Discord didn't breathe. His heart pounded and he felt a little dizzy. In fact, he felt a out of balance.
"WOAH!" said Luna grabbing his arm with her magic. "You can't even stand up straight!" She laughed hysterically at him. Discord smiled and sighed. He turned and saw Celestia talking to Dream Catcher. He must've seen what happened, because he did not look happy. Celestia smiled at Dream sheepishly and looked as if she were trying to convince him it was nothing. Dream seemed convinced and smirked at her. She breathed a sigh of relief and walked out of the room. Dream shifted his piercing green eyes up at Discord. If looks could kill. The purple unicorn turned away toward the door. As soon as his back was turned, Discord danced around, pointed at Dream, and mouthed laughter at him. Luna's cheeks filled with air as she held her breath to keep from laughing. She let out a little snort when Discord was sticking his tongue out and making faces at Dream. Dream immediately turned his head and glared in Discord's direction, but as soon as he did, Discord was standing calmly gazing at one of the windows, snickering under his breath.
Two Months Later...
It would have normally been the same few desks only a short time ago, but on this particular day, Celestia realized just how special it was to her. Yes, school was boring. It was always the same. She sat in the same desk every day. But now, it was better knowing she was always near her two best friends. She would easily overlook or take for granted the fact that she had the privilege of sitting next to Dream, her boyfriend, and to the most wonderful friend she could ask for, Discord. Did the fillies whisper? Did they question why she wanted to be near both of them? Of course they did. She was not an idiot. She was the center of the gossip. There were so many false rumors. One was that she and Dream weren't in a serious relationship, which of course wasn't true. Celestia knew that Discord really didn't like it that she was with Dream. He would very quickly leave the room, scowling or rolling his eyes when she and Dream were saying lovey-dovey things to each other. Was he jealous? She couldn't understand why he would be. She knew deep down he always had a thing for her, but it couldn't possibly be that serious, could it? It was impossible. He had gotten a few more small memories back. It was exciting to see. But he really was just starting to get to know her again. The fillies always asked her,
"You don't see it?! You don't see the way he looks at you?! He's madly in love with you!"
She ignored the talk, though. She didn't want anything to change or anything to be awkward. Investing her time in both Discord and Dream is what made her happy. Today she just happened to be in a very good mood. Even the classes seemed either interesting or short. She wasn't sure why the thought occurred to her, but it did.
[I wonder if Dream will ask me to marry him someday soon...] She couldn't help thinking about it. Her parents told her they didn't want to betroth her, because they knew they could never grant her lover immortality. She didn't consider it a problem, though. She figured she would never gain Forevermore. She was not nearly as powerful as her parents and probably never would be. Ah, a royal wedding. How grand! She could only imagine what it would be like. The bell that rang to let the students know school was over gonged sharply, rattling her skull and waking her up out of her daydream. Speaking of dream...
"Yes! Now that school is over for the week, I can spend a nice romantic weekend with my Tia," said Dream putting his hoof on hers. Celestia smiled.
"A picnic by the lake tomorrow?" she asked hopefully.
"Of course!" he replied chuckling. "I'd never let you down, Sunshine. " Discord had disappeared somewhere as if on cue. The pony couple walked into the saddlebag room to retrieve their bags and put books in their lockers. Celestia opened her locker and found a piece of parchment inside it. She took it out with her magic and unfolded it. There was a big heart drawn on it in red ink.
"Awww..." Celestia commented looking at Dream.
"Don't look at me," said Dream raising an eyebrow."I didn't put that there!" He examined it and chuckled. "Wow...not really a man of words is he?" Dream said laughingly. Other ponies poked their noses in to see what all the fuss was about. They all laughed at the paper.
"Wow! A bit elementary, wouldn't you say?"
"He seriously didn't take the time to write words?!"
"That's kind of cute...in a sad way."
"Who put it there?"
"Oh, COME ON, guys. We ALL KNOW who it was from," said Dream rolling his eyes and smirking. The other ponies giggled and glanced at Discord who was acting indifferent to the whole thing and trying to look busy putting books in his backpack.
"Oh, stop it, you guys!" said Celestia shaking her head. "I think it's sweet, myself. So, shoo!" The ponies pranced away with new gossip to talk about.
"Aren't you glad I don't have to draw THIS to tell you how I feel?" said Dream smirking. He glanced at Discord. "I'm not a coward..."
Celestia glared at him. "Be nice, Dream." Dream drooped his ears and nodded, making an adorable apology face. "I was thinking. I don't like how we can't just all get along. You and Discord should become friends, wouldn't you say?" she said cocking her head. Dream nodded and smiled.
"Maybe he won't electrocute me this time..." he said jokingly.
After this, Celestia was headed down the road toward the castle. Discord stopped her along the way.
"Tia, tell your parents I may be late coming home today. I'm going to meet Dream on Stargaze Peak," he said smiling.
"Should I come too?" Celestia asked a little leery about it based upon what happened the last time differences had to be worked out between them.
"No, he just wants us to hang out and talk and stuff," said Discord. "I think he may be starting to warm up to me a little. I hope we can talk things out."
"I'm...I'm sure you can," Celestia responded, pushing all unsure thoughts out of her mind. Discord said he'd see her later and left. Celestia went back to the castle and immediately went to her room. She was very tired from the long day. She curled up on her bed and fell asleep. She dreamed too. But it was not what she normally dreamed. She was at a wedding, but it was her wedding. She could see herself dressed in a beautiful white and golden gown with lace on her front legs. She had a big tiara in her mane and her whole mane sparkled in the light. All the ponies in the crowd ooh’ed and ah’ed at her. When she finally came to the alter, her father gave her away, tears in his eyes. Celestia stepped onto the platform and turned. She looked into the groom's face. But it wasn't Dream. She was marrying Discord. This frightened her enough to wake her up. She sat up and stared at the floor in shock. Her heart was pounding. Discord?! Why? She didn't... He was just... It was just... No matter what she did, she couldn't finish sentences in her mind. It disturbed her, but the strangest thing about it was, in the dream she felt happy. Almost as if...it really was meant to be. How could she dream that? The clock on the wall indicated that two hours had gone by. Did she really sleep that long?! Speaking of Discord...did he and Dream work things out? She couldn't help but wonder. She jumped down from her bed and started to walk toward the door. Just at that moment, her parents came charging into her room, practically giving her a heart attack. Their faces were pale. Their eyes were wild with terror. Their voices sounded so desperate and frightened. They were talking at once and she couldn't understand them.
"WHAT IS GOING ON?!" Celestia asked, the cruel and sickening nausea of uncertainty already filling her stomach. The king and queen paused, looked down and then back at her.
"Tia..." said Solina gently. "There's been an accident at Stargaze Peak." Stargaze Peak. No. Celestia could already feel her body becoming numbed and paralyzed by the shock. She only thought of the worst. Seeming to read her mind, Orion piped in.
"Discord is all right, but...he's...in critical condition. We found him...." his voice trailed off and the look in his eyes told Celestia it was the most horrible sight he'd ever seen. "But....Tia...." he said quietly, pain in his voice as he spoke. Celestia didn't just hear the last words. She felt them. They stabbed her in the heart.
"Dream Catcher is dead."
TO BE CONTINUED...