• Published 20th Apr 2014
  • 1,897 Views, 135 Comments

On The Wings of Wind - Chazonic



When an adopted pegasus stallion with no memories of his early colthood travels to ponyville in search of his place, will he find the friendship he never knew existed? or will his secret be the ruin to his new life?

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Chapter 26 - Broken For Harmony (Return Of Harmony)

On the morning of the day I was to move back into my home, I woke up to Fluttershy snuggling up to me in my bed. It, oddly, didn't surprise me when it happened considering the night before when she constantly cuddled with me, as if she was trying to get as many in as possible before I left.

It wasn't like I was leaving Ponyville or anything, but I humored her during it all.

Moving back into the house was no hassle, although Pinkie threw a "Late, Late Housewarming Party" on that night, making for one heck of a mess the next day.

I slowly got back into working the morning routine with Rainbow Dash, still finding it hard to not cringe every time I think I made her angry. She constantly found amusement in it, though I could never figure out if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

One thing she did insist on was overseeing my flying practices with my secondary wings, stating that I looked incredibly awkward simply flying with them. I definitely got a chuckle from the look she gave me when I told her I haven't used them for at least ten years.

The crusaders sometimes stopped by to watch, much to my embarrassment. The way Rainbow "coached" me often lead to what I liked to call my "epic failures", involving crashing in awkward positions or flying into trees due to my attention being so focused on making sure my secondaries worked. In my opinion, the only good things to come from said failures was the entertainment value to my small audience.

My mom told me she was staying in Cloudsdale for a while in order to keep an eye on me, despite my insistence in telling her I was fine. My biological father also visited me a few times as well, one time to tell me that he met my adoptive mother. I asked her about it and she stated that their first conversation was awkward because of how much he kept thanking her for looking after me all those years. That certainly got a laugh out of me.

I've yet to go back to working at Sweet Apple Acres, though I did tell Big Mac and Granny Smith about my vulnerability to getting drained by earth ponies. They took it rather well, Granny Smith going so far as to tell me that there have been far more racist things directed at earth ponies in the past. I still wonder how old she is.

In the end, my life finally started to settle down in the aftermath of my foal-napping and my secondaries being exposed for Equestria to see. I even dared to hope things would go back to normal.

They never do in Ponyville...


"You’re starting to get the hang of using your secondaries." Rainbow commented during one of our "sessions" after our weather duties were done.

I sigh. "I can just barely feel how... natural it should feel, but it still eludes my grasp."

"Your wings certainly look close to being in sync to that point." She twirled a bit in the air with a thoughtful look. "Have you felt any faster since you've begun re-training your secondaries?"

I thought about it for a second. "Kind of. Mind you, I doubt my secondaries were meant to add speed, more so to act like an on-the-fly adjustment and as a way to feel out how much wind resistance I'm getting."

She gives me a look. "Speed is speed. Lets try not to spark THAT argument up again." I blanch to those words as she shakes her head. "You've still got a long way to go in terms of not flinching every time you make an off comment to one of your friends."

"I-I'm just always so afraid I insulted you girls when I don't mean to."

She gives me a coy smile. "I can still see the family resemblance, personality wise. Regardless, the day isn't getting any younger, so let's keep--"

She was interrupted when a pink mass flew by her and caused her to spin like a top. I was about to say something when the same thing happens to me.

I'm so glad trips like this don't make me sick...

"Zephyr! Snap out of it, those clouds are going to get away!"

I quickly correct myself and my vision follows suit before I fly after Rainbow in pursuit of the oddly pink cloud. Because of her head start, she managed to catch it except, to both of our surprises, it didn't disappear. It actually coated her.

Something witty suddenly came to my mind. "Doing our best Pinkie Pie impression there, Rainbow?"

"Oh ha ha..." She sarcastically laughed as she shook most of it off her, though some of it still clung to her. I flinch when she licks it, only for her to adopt a surprised look. "Cotton... candy?"

"Wait, what? Last I checked, cotton candy doesn't fly at break-neck speeds or--" I suddenly get drenched in what smelled and looked like chocolate milk. I look up and see another pink cloud floating over me. "--Do... that..."

"Still think you're special there, smart-alack?" Was her come-back.

"Fine I deserved it, but I think we have a bigger problem." More "cotton candy" clouds started zooming all over the place, much to our dismay.

As we started chasing down the pink clouds, we both heard of insane weather happening all over Equestria, with Cloudsdale getting a... cola storm. Perhaps even weirder was Manehatten getting hit with... gummy worms... that actually moved after hitting the ground.

Not only is that incredibly random but also very creepy... yeesh...

Eventually, we wound up over Sweet Apple Acres and a very confused Applejack. "Rainbow Dash, Zephyr, What's going on with this rain?"

Both of us flew down. "Technically it's chocolate rain but..."

"There's crazy weather all over Equestria!"

"Cloudsdale's getting soaked by a cola storm."

"Manehatten's getting moving gummy worms."

"Canterlot is--"

"For pete's sake, stop talking in turn like that, yer making my head spin!" Applejack suddenly groaned as she started holding her head with one hoof.

Rainbow and I look at each other, surprised. She quickly shook it off and said, "Well don't worry Applejack. We won't leave you until we've got everything under control!" I gave a swift nod in confirmation before we flew back up to start chasing down clouds again, but not before noting that the ground suddenly got coated in popcorn.

As we did, Rarity and Pinkie Pie both appeared, though neither of them contributed much as far as I could tell. The apples on the trees suddenly grew huge, too big for the trees stay upright, though I swear they should of snapped first before bending like that.

What finally made me stop and stare in shock was when the bunny Fluttershy was trying to coerce out of eating suddenly mutated into, in my opinion, something super bucking creepy. "Sweet, mummified Tartarus, did reality take a lunch break or something?"

"Later, Zephyr! We need to focus!" Rainbow called to me. I slapped my face with my fore-hooves and got back to chasing.

"Don't worry, everyone. I've learned a new spell that will fix everything." I hear Twilight shout out to us. Rainbow and I stopped and watched as her horn glowed before covering the area in light.

... Only for nothing to change, much to her shock. "My fail-safe spell... failed! What do we do?"

I flew down to her in a panic. "M-maybe it failed because I'm here? Wait, never mind! Plan b, plan b, plan b!"

Spike rolled his eyes. "Twilight doesn't have a plan b. So... we give up now?"

I give him an exasperated look. "Really? REALLY right now? Not only are we talking about Twilight here, but giving up because of one failure seems highly unconducive at this juncture!"

Twilight rolled her eyes as Rarity transfers an umbrella onto her. "Zephyr calm down, panicking won't help either. You are right though, I do have a plan b. I need you and Rainbow to corral all of those clouds into one singular spot."

Both of us give a salute before flying back up. Before, we were simply chasing them, but now we actually worked as a team to get them clumped together for Applejack to lasso and bring down. This was followed by Fluttershy using reverse psychology in order for the animals to start consuming the clouds instead of the apples, much to Pinkie's displeasure.

I flew back down and gave Spike a smirk. "Told you she had a working plan b up her sleeve."

He gives me a look. "This is coming from the one that was panicking?"

"You, zip it. You weren't the one who got drenched when you were still clueless about what was going on." Apparently I operated just fine when dealing with Spike.

Twilight gave an amused sigh. "That's enough you two. Besides, there's nothing we can't overcome with team-work."

Now if only my colthood wasn't so messed up...

I gave a start when Spike suddenly belched fire, only for the smoke to form a letter. This amused Applejack, who was apparently the only one to see it. "Don't worry, sugahcube, yer not the only one to get startled by that."

I re-regulated my breathing as Twilight undid the scroll. "Glad that's the case. I never knew he could do that."

Twilight let out a large gasp. "Girls, we're needed in Canterlot right away! The princess needs us!"

Right, forgot she was royalty of some kind-- I hope what I did to her wasn't reported.

The other mares looked ready to gallop off but Rainbow, oddly, seemed reluctant. "I know answering the princess is important, but what about the rest of Ponyville? We've only got the portion over Sweet Apple Acres and I don't want to leave everypony else hanging!"

I sigh before nudging her forward gently with a wing. "Don't worry, I'll take care of it. I'll see if I can't get any other ponies to help me, but it's nothing you should worry about. The princess' summons are more important."

She gives me a look before finally nodding. "Alright, I'll leave it to you. Don't let us down, okay?"

"Hey, I want to be at least SOMEWHAT useful in this crisis." This got a snort of laughter out of her before she flew off. Fluttershy gave me a nuzzle before she galloped after her friends.

After watching them disappear from my vision, I turn to look at the rest of Ponyville, still getting drenched by chocolate rain.

"That boat prize from the concert might've came in handy here. Guess I better get started, the day is still young."


It took a little while, but I managed to get some ponies who weren't running around in full panic to help me. I got Ditsy, Snare, Thunder Lane, Raindrops, Flitter, and Cloudchaser helping to bunch up the clouds for Iron, Big mac, Caramel, Carrot Top, Time Turner, and Bon Bon to lasso with guidance from Electron, Burst, Lyra, Vinyl Scratch, Colgate, and Sparkler, all forming teams of two from each race.

While I did manage to get them to stop panicking in order for them to help, I didn't help much after that besides chasing after ponies that refused to calm down. The three "Flower Ponies" were among the worst of them.

Despite that, it didn't take long until the skies of Ponyville were clear of cotton candy clouds. I quickly found the spot where all of the clouds were being kept. "Wow, quite the haul of cotton candy."

Snare huffed at me, still out of breath. "You... never mentioned... how fast they...were."

I roll my eyes. "It wasn't THAT bad. Besides, a little exercise never hurts."

"Snare doesn't fly as much as she should." There's Electron taking a verbal nip at Snare again. The two entered another intense glaring contest, though one had a massive grin on her muzzle.

Burst shook his head, amused. "Alright, let's just be thankful that episode is over thanks to Zephyr."

I deflated when all the attention was on me. "But... I didn't actually do anything. I left all of the hard stuff up to all of you."

Thunder Lane gave me a pat on the withers. "Hey, you managed to get us organized and started. Besides, it's probably no different than overseeing a weather team preparing for a storm."

Raindrops nodded. "Most of us on the weather team can vouch for your organization skills, since you handled a few storms pretty well."

"Eee..." The praise was making me even more embarrassed.

"Aw, he really is Fluttershy's big brother." Colgate cooed.

Ditsy rolled her eyes, which was made quite a display with her condition. "I think he's had more than enough attention, everypony." Looking at the bunched up clouds, she sighed. "Too bad my little muffin isn't here."

I nodded. "The foals would certainly jump on a chance to eat lots of candy."

Caramel looked around. "Weren't they off on a field trip to Canterlot or something?"

Carrot Top nodded. "Something about a trip to the Canterlot Gardens if I recall. Cherilee's looking after them, so there's no need to worry."

"Ah worry regardless..." Big Mac said softly. His look was mirrored by Ditsy, Sparkler, and Thunder Lane.

I understand as well. I just hope Fluttershy is okay, doing whatever the princess wanted her to do.

Lyra yawned. "Well, we should just hope that whatever is going on, it won't last too long. We should just--" She cut herself off as she adopted a look of horror.

Bon Bon noticed first. "What's wrong, Lyra?"

Lyra pointed and we all looked, only for all of us to adopt the same look of horror.

Reality isn't just out for lunch. It took a full blown vacation.

Snare grumbled. "Oh great. Not only did all of THAT happen, but those pink clouds returned in full force, making our earlier endeavors completely pointless!"

"I-it's t-the thought t-that c-counts?" I was so shocked, I wasn't able to--

Is that my house floating over there?

Burst snapped out of his shock and quickly addressed us. "I think we should just head home and hope this crazy... surge of chaos dissipates soon. Unicorns and earth ponies; if your house is floating, ask a pegasus to fly you up to it." Everypony agreed and scattered, leaving only me and my still shocked look.

"Oh ho! I love it when ponies have that most excellent of looks on their faces when marveling at my work!"

That utterly scared me as I jumped a few meters in the air before looking around wildly. "W-who's there!"

"Aww, why ask who's there when you could ask when I'm here?"

"W-what do you mean? T-that doesn't make sense!"

"Why, oh why would I want to make sense?" When I didn't respond, still looking around wildly and even taking to the air, the voice chuckled. "As amusing as it is to watch your reactions-- they remind me of somepony -- it's no fun keeping ponies in the dark."

A flash of light blinded me. When I was able to see again I was, once again, horrified at what stood before me. A mish-mash of different creatures on a long, snake-like body with a pony-like head.

As a pony who always like reading about legends, I quickly knew who the creature resembled. "D-Discord? I thought... I thought..."

He chuckles ominously again. "You thought I was but a mere legend? Let it be known, my little pony, that one thing always holds true; If there is a legend, it's always true."

The finality behind his words crashed onto me, figuratively and literally. As a colt, I always did fantasize about some of the legends being true and that I would eventually be the one to fix everything in the end, finally gaining the respect I wanted. Seeing one such legend before my eyes made my mind turn blank with almost pure fear to the point of having my life flash before my eyes.

I was smack dab in the middl-e of a legend at play and I felt like a powerless little foal.

"But my, I haven't seen your kind around in FOREVER!"

I suddenly realize he was inspecting my secondaries, causing me to yelp and back away from him, only for him to suddenly appear on my other side. "I-I swear I don't know y-you!"

"But you do know me, otherwise you wouldn't of known my name." The intro of what sounded like a song suddenly played. "I wasn't talking specifically to you anyways."

"W-what do you mean?"

He tutted. "Why bother trying to understand when-- oh, never mind. I'm sure I said it at one point and I don't like repeating myself. Repetition is really quite boring after all.

"Besides, I will answer one thing that may or may not be nagging at you; why I chose to have a little 'meeting' with you of all ponies." Suddenly he's coiled around me. I could of flown away but I found my wings locked out of fear. "It's about a certain group of "friends" that you have. Perhaps it will interest you to know that they never did trust you entirely."

This baffled me. "What? I-I'm sure t-they trust m-me enough."

He raised an eyebrow. "Oh? Enough to tell you that THEY are the bearers of the Elements of Harmony?"

I was going to at least try to rebuttal when it got caught in my throat. Thinking back, all six of them did say they shared a "special connection" because of Rainbow's Sonic Rainboom, yet it never occurred to me that the connection was THAT special.

I was also trying very hard to come up with reasons as they wouldn't tell me.

Discord disappeared from around me and reappeared a few meters away, wearing a monocle and holding a sophisticated pipe. "I just figured I would let you know. After all, they quite clearly didn't trust you with such information, especially your own little sister."

I shake of my attempts to justify why they wouldn't tell me. "How do you even know? The only way you would know was..." The implications I just realized made me widen my eyes.

Party sound effects went off around me and he was now wearing a game-show suit. "A winner is YOU for figuring it out so quickly!"

The fact he confirmed it himself made me bite down most of my fear with rage. "You better not have done anything to my little sister or her friends!"

He hummed. "Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. However, I do believe my time with you is up as I need to check on the spoils of my victory." He gives me a menacing grin. "I'll be seeing you later, my little falconite." He disappears in a flash.

Falconite? Why did he-- no, there's no time and point to waste pondering a name given by a mad being. I need to find Fluttershy and her friends and see if they’re still okay!


Navigating normal Ponyville was okay on a bad day. Navigating a reality-on-vacation Ponyville was torture. Nothing was where it should be, the hills seemingly switch colors whenever you start climbing a new one-- the checkerboard patterns didn't help --and the sky kept rapidly switching from day to night and back at random intervals. It quickly annoyed me.

Now that I think about it, one good reason why Fluttershy never told me about the Elements of Harmony thing was for security reasons. They can't exactly prance about, claiming to be wielders of powerful artifacts unless they WANTED to figuratively paint a big red target on themselves. Of course I think of this AFTER Discord up and left.

I noticed light off in the distance at one point, but passed it off as Discord doing something. Eventually, I see a lone candy cloud hovering over a slightly greyed-out pony with a tiara on her head, walking dejectedly.

When I got closer, I realized it was--

"Twilight, there you are! I've been looking all over for you!"

She snapped her head towards me with a scowl which made me balk. "Oh sure, and were you looking for me just to humiliate me as well?"

"What? I wasn't going to--"

"Save it. I've had enough of this!" She growled as she continued walking.

I cautiously flew up beside her. "Please humor me, Twilight. What happened? Where are the others?"

"I don't give a buck about the others!" I backed off a bit, knowing she definitely wasn't herself if she swore. "With friends like them, who needs enemies? Especially when one's a liar, a grump, a hoarder, and a brute, plus one ditcher."

"Wait that doesn't sound like them!"

"Don't know and don't care! I quit! I give up! I'm leaving this pla--"

I interrupted her when I flew around and landed in front of her. "Is that what you truly believe Twilight? That you have no other option but to give up?"

"My 'friends' have proven otherwise!"

"Then who was one of the girls who came to rescue me when I had given up?" This only got an irritated huff out of her and I sighed. "Twilight, when I was stuck in that lab, I truly thought that there was nothing left for me. I thought you all hated me and wanted me gone and no-pony else would accept me even if I chose to leave the lab.

"Despite my confusion on how you knew about what I said, you and your friends never truly stopped believing in me and saved me from my self-condemned fate. All six of you taught me a lesson I didn't recognize at the time, one that I eventually learned. Never give up."

"You talk about never giving up, but you didn't go through what I just went through!"

I sigh again. "You know full well that I ALSO went through that, through many years of my life." When she still looked unconvinced, I shake my head despondently before walking past her. "Please, at least THINK your course of action through, if not for me, then for yourself and for your other friends. The Twilight I know wouldn't just make snap decisions like that."

She let out another irritated huff and continued walking, leaving me behind. I let out a sad sigh. "Believing in your friends and embracing that belief by forgiving failure. It seems... these feelings have vanished from our hearts." I look out towards the chaotic landscape. "I'm going to find Fluttershy and find out what happened to her."

I didn't care if Twilight heard me as I launched myself into the air in order to get a good vantage point. Seeing her cottage, I flew towards it, knowing she might be there.


The chaos in the air has a way of screwing with your sense of direction. It took longer than it actually looked.

When I finally landed near the cottage, I recognized a mutated Angle pacing outside of the cottage with a very worried look on his face. He seemed to recognize me as well because he ran right up to me.

Sadly, I can't understand ground animal-speak without a bird to translate for me, which he quickly realized as well. His frightened look when he glanced at the cottage told me enough. "Don't worry, I'll see if I can't do anything to help her. Hopefully my status as her big brother helps my case..." He gives a reluctant nod as I trotted forward and entered.

"Well if it isn't the cowardly big brother." I almost didn't recognize her voice because of how smarmy it sounded. When I saw Fluttershy, I was shocked to see her even more greyed out then Twilight was.

"Fluttershy, what are you even--"

"Don't bother. I don't talk to cowardly ponies who launch themselves high into the sky from just a simple hello."

Okay, I'm normally accepting of that limitation of mine, but the way she said it made that actually burn...

"Fluttershy, that is not how--"

She advances on me with a cruel smile. "Not how I what? You're such a pathetic brother I can't believe how much I actually fawned over you. Thinking about it is making me sick, bleagh."

"If that's how you--"

Even that LAUGH sounds cruel. "You know... now that I think about it, I'm far superior to you, a freak of nature who can barely sustain a simple conversation with a NORMAL pony. You're getting more pathetic by the second!"

This is going nowhere if she keeps interrupting me. At this point, I only have one idea but it's a huge risk and I'm unsure about the consequences of the aftermath. Still, I have to try somehow...

"Fu... if you think you're so superior then hit me!"

This looked like it caught her off guard. She quickly regained her composure and harrumphed. "I'm ABOVE hitting ponies like YOU."

"Oh? Then I guess you're all bark, no bite." That definitely got a reaction as she punched me in the face. I managed to move so nothing broke from it. I spat on the ground and gave her a defiant glare. "Come on! My adoptive GRANDMOTHER could hit harder than you!"

"WHY YOU!" She punched me again, this time in the shoulder.

I gritted my teeth against the pain, hoping to last. I kept indirectly insulting her, each insult resulting in a punch. It didn't take long before I occasionally coughed from the pain but I also noticed her punches becoming less powerful and more hesitant, her face somewhat contorting.

It finally got to the point where she didn't punch me period after an insult. I pressed it further. "What's *cough* wrong? I thought you *cough* wanted to hit me!"

"I... can't..."

When I heard her say something very quietly, my ears twitched. "What was that?"

"I CAN'T!" I hear what sounded like glass shattering and her color instantly returned as she flew forward to give me a tearful hug. "I'M SORRY! I'M SO SORRY!"

Knowing she was back to normal, I hug her back "Shh... It's okay, Fluttershy."

She wailed, "No it's not! I-I hurt you! I-I hurt you s-so bad!"

"That wasn't you, Flutters. That was a bad mare who thought she could get away with anything. You're the one who drove her away."

"B-but that's not--"

"Listen, I know what you're like. You are a very kind pony who wouldn't hurt anypony or anything without very good reason, and even then you don't." She let out a few sniffles and I kiss her on the forehead. "Just believe when I say that you are not at fault for anything that mare did. You are not her."

She let out a few more sniffles. "B-but you're hurt because of..."

"I'll be fine. Besides, this is nothing for a big brother like me. Just remember; if you have any frustrations you need to let out, let them out on me. I'll take it on the chin."

"O-okay. Thank you..."

We hug for a bit longer until I notice a gold necklace with a pink butterfly jewel. Making the connection I chuckle. "You'd probably best get going, miss Element of Harmony."

She looks up at me with widened eyes. "How did you know?"

"I had a run-in with Discord, that's how."

she shudders. "Oh... I'm sorry we didn't say anything."

"Don't be. Your reasons for not telling me-- whatever they may be -- are completely justified. Besides, I think Twilight needs your help right now."

She gasps as she breaks the hug. "Oh no! I-I was also so mean to her as well!"

I sigh. "Like I said, that wasn't you. However, if it WILL make you feel better if you apologize, you should get going. Chaos isn’t going to wait around after all."

She gives me a worried look as she dons her necklace. "But what about you?"

"I'll be fine. There's something else I need to do as well."

She gives me yet another worried look. "Alright. I'll work as fast as I can to clear up everything. Don't overexert yourself." With that, she gallops away towards Chaos-Ponyville.

No promises. I'm not like Twilight; I can't make plans worth of anything and the ones I do make, like the most recent one, are usually very risky and sometimes involve self-harm... I guess I have a masochistic streak.

I exit the cottage, still feeling the effects of Fluttershy's punishment. The still mutated Angle gave me something along the lines of an "are you for real?" look. I simply shrugged at him before taking off.

If what Twilight said is true and Fluttershy is any indication, the other four are also under some kind of personality altering spell. I may not be able to save the day, but I'll be damned if I just simply do nothing after seeing my sister like that.

Problem is... who should I go to first?

Applejack could be closer, but I have absolutely no idea how to attempt curbing her... alternate personality. I didn't even know what everypony else's alternate personalities are like. Fluttershy was turned to be, at my best guess, cruel as opposed to being kind, yet everypony else was pretty diverse in their personalities.

While I was thinking about it as a flew back towards Chaos-Ponyville, I noticed a speck of greyed-out blue on a cloud. Flying closer, I recognize Rainbow; just as greyed-out as Twilight was and just laying on the cloud, seemingly enjoying herself.

She opened her eyes as I drew closer, which got me a narrow look. "Sorry, but I'm enjoying a nice sunbath and currently am not available."

Okay, she doesn't sound too different. Don't know if that's a good thing or not yet...

"Why do you say something like that? Don't you have more important things to consider?"

Now she looks irritated. "What important things? I don't have anything right now."

I pretended to think. "Oh, I don't know... maybe helping your friends and saving Ponyville?"

"Hah, Ponyville is a lost cause. I'm staying here in Cloudsdale where it's far better, perfect for catching a nap or two."

I finally saw how she was different. She's normally not one for ditching her friends to do something mundane and is usually always there to save Ponyville, if her friend's stories are accurate--

Wait... what...

"Here in Cloudsdale? I see a 'cloud' but not 'Cloudsdale' at the moment."

"What the buck are you talking about?" This got a massive groan and a face-hoof out of me.

"Look, we don't have time for this when your friends need your help. You can get back to sunbathing after--"

"Phht, who cares about them? All they've ever done was--"

"I heard little miss braggart here is an Element of Harmony, I would think you have a job to do!" I had raised my voice slightly to talk over her.

She blows a raspberry. "Harmony shmarmony, I refuse to lift a hoof for a lost cause of a town."

Okay, this is getting really annoying really fast! I do have an idea how to snap and/or break her out of her 'stupor', but once again it's risky. It could end badly for me, her, or all of Equestria but I've got nothing else... I need to take lessons from Twilight on how to make more workable plans...

I huff. "What is it going to take to get you to help?"

"A~bsolutly nothing! I'm not moving from this cloud at all."

"Even for a race?"

That definitely got her attention, though she quickly went from surprised to sneering. "You think you're good enough to challenge ME again?"

"I'll never know unless I try."

She huffs. "Well fine, I can't very well turn down a racing challenge. Just do me a number and lose quickly so that I can go back to napping."

"Not gonna happen..."

She growls at me and we quickly get ready to launch. "If you're going to be stubborn about it, then I'll countdown."

I say nothing as I wait for the countdown to finish. She tried pulling a fast one on me by quickly counting down, but I quickly compensated.

My secondaries actually did have an effect on my flying speed, but I was slowed down by the pain of my somewhat invisible injuries from my encounter with Alternate-Fluttershy, which was making me wince.

We kept pace with each other, much to her annoyance, until we entered a forest of very tall, dead trees. I blame Discord for this forest, as I don't think there was one around Ponyville normally.

The trees had intertwined making quite the obstacle course. Dash expertly dodged in-between them while I used my secondaries to adjust my flight just enough to flit through.

Sadly, this is where what little good luck I had left me. I was still wincing from pain, but one in particular threw me horribly off course. I almost failed to keep pace and keep dodging.

My right primary hit a tree branch. I heard what sounded like bones snapping.

The excruciating pain came a moment later.

As I went down with a cry of pain, my left foreleg hit another branch incredibly hard. I heard more bones snapping and even more pain before having it all amplified tenfold by the crash.

I was somehow still conscious despite all of the pain, though my vision was severely hampered, both because of pain and because of the tears that started welling up.

I was outside the dead forest, but I had no idea where I was.

"Zephyr!" I heard Rainbow cry out as she landed and galloped towards me. I try to stand up, but I stupidly use my left leg, only to fall back down with another cry of pain. "You idiot, don't move!"

I manage to start standing up while not moving my left foreleg. "But what... about... the race?"

"Buck the race! You can't take anymore!"

"But... I must! I... have to... TRY!" I try flapping my wings, only for even more pain to flare up, causing my vision to slightly fade out as I collapsed again.

"Idiot, idiot, IDIOT! I told you to not move!" She felt around me, panicking. "On no no no, what have I done? What have I done?"

I let out a pained huff when I noticed her brighter colors. "Funny... I recall... Racing a... greyer mare..."

"That was clearly me! Discord tricked me into ditching my friends!"

"I.. don't think--"

"Stop trying to lie to me! I'M the one who did this!" She tried moving me without moving my broken limbs.

"Rainbow... just... go. You have... more important... things..."

"I can't just LEAVE you!"

I opened my one eye enough to look her in the eye. "The other... Elements..."

"I-I know but... I still can't--"

"Equestria's... more important... than me. Just go... I'll be... fine." I cough a bit.

Her face showed full reluctance as she gritted her teeth. Finally she said, "Fine... but right after we're done, I'm coming back for you. Don't you go dying on me!" With that, she flew away at top speed.

I rest my head back on the ground with a small smile. "Hmph... I AM... quite the... moron..."

I stayed like that for a bit, with my vision fading in and out, before a brilliant rainbow light washed over the land, turning Ponyville back to normal. The gust of wind from the light moved my broken wing, which finally made me black out.


Don't you go dying on me yet.

I still need you.


I once again became acquainted with the beeping of a heart monitor the moment I regained consciousness. This one sounded exactly like the one my grandfather was hooked up to on his death-bed.

I quickly felt pain from my wing and foreleg, although it was a lot more subdued. I open my eyes and noticed I was in the Canterlot Hospital as opposed to the Ponyville one. I also noticed my left foreleg was cocooned in a cast, along with my wing.

A doctor walked in as soon as I started looking around more. "Ah, Mr. Zephyr... Windstorm I believe. I'm glad to see you awake."

"How... long was I out?"

"Actually... not that long after we got you into this room. Surprising, but I still find it amazing how you manged to stay conscious despite such injuries." He trotted over and showed my diagrams of broken wing-bones and a broken leg. "You have multiple ruptures in your... primary wing and your left foreleg. You also have some lacerations in the wing area. Though it's not unrepairable, You're going to be grounded for a very long time."

"That bad, huh? Guess I really am--"

"Ah yes, the princess wanted to see you when you were awake. I'll send for her now." He quickly left the room.

It felt like my heart stopped, but the heart monitor started beeping faster.

Was she going to punish me for trying to interfere with what was going on? Now I really do wish I thought things through me. Damn me and my impulses...

It wasn't long before the door opened again and I beheld princess Celestia for the second time as she walked in. "Zephyr Windstorm, I'm glad you're awake."

"I-I-I'm s-sorry y-your highness."

This apparently confused her. "Sorry for what? I was going to thank you for your perseverance in helping Equestria in a time of crisis."

I pinned my ears against my head. "But... I didn't do anything..."

"That is a blatant lie. You helped keep most of Ponyville together during panic and you helped two of the Elements of Harmony regain their senses." Looking at my broken appendages she added, "Although not without great, personal sacrifice."

I shudder. "P-permission to s-speak f-freely, your h-highness?"

"Please, call me Celestia. Here, I am your equal and you don't need to treat me with such formalities." There was something about her tone that felt very calming for me.

I grin sheepishly. "I... kinda deserved what happened to me, considering I tried to be a big damn hero without any sort of good plan."

She lets out a sad sigh. "No-pony should wish suffering upon themselves. You did what you did because you wanted to try and help your friends. Oh, and little sister too." She punctuated the last part with a giggle, something I never thought I would hear.

"That... doesn't really change the fact I'm stuck here because of my own stupidity."

"Perhaps this will convince you otherwise?" She put her horn on my chest and ignited it. A soothing feeling washed over me and the pain instantly dissipated. I also felt all of my bones and injuries fix themselves with no pain at all.

After moving everything a bit after discarding the casts with the doctor's permission, I gave her a surprised stare. "Magic... doesn't normally affect me though..."

Celestia lets out another giggle. "Yes, I've read about that from my student. You're resistant to UNICORN magic. I'm sure Alicorn magic is completely different."

I never thought of it that way...

"But... how come you came to see me personally?"

She sighed. "Like I have said earlier, I came here to personally thank you for your contributions towards helping Equestria. That isn't the only reason, however. The Elements wanted me to see you personally and to make sure you were okay, especially two of them."

I widen my eyes. "Rainbow and Fluttershy..."

She nods. "Those two were almost inconsolable when they brought you in after defeating Discord. I managed to calm them down a great deal, but only you can truly put their fears and worries to rest."

"Because of my own--"

"That is quite enough. No-pony should be putting themselves down for accidents. Instead, focus on the good you have done and what you did for your friends and little sister." I close my eyes for a few moments before nodding and she smiles. "There will be a ceremony in honor of the Elements of Harmony in two hours. Would you like to attend?"

"Yeah, I doubt my friends would appreciate me skipping out on their ceremony."

She shakes her head in amusement. "We would be honored to have you." Leaning in to whisper she adds, "Though you probably should expect something to happen." I give her a confused look as she withdrew and simply smiled at me.


I got a spot right up close to where princess Celestia was situated. She insisted I stand there, though the reason why was lost on me with her only saying, "You'll see."

I started chatting with a few other ponies from Ponyville. Many of them were surprised I recovered so fast from all of my injuries, only for them to be confused when I refused to say why or how.

Eventually, the doors to the hall opened and the Elements of Harmony walked through. When they stopped in front of Celestia and she spoke her praise, I noticed that most of them had a pained smile.

When they turned around to face the crowds, I saw Fluttershy scanning them restlessly for something. Celestia whispered something into her ear and almost right after she locked eyes with me.

Next thing I knew, I was tackled and hugged by her, crying out with joy. I patted her on the head as the others came over as well.

Applejack spoke first. "Sugahcube, ya keep up yer current streak, an' y'all be Rainbow's level of reckless."

"I'm sorry if I worried you all..."

Rarity shook her head in amusement. "Darling, as long as you don't do anything too foolish in the near future, having you here and recovered is all we need."

Pinkie hugged me and Fluttershy with a laugh. "I told you he would be just fine!"

"Of course you did, Pinkie." Twilight rolled her eyes before smiling at me. "Zephyr, I have to thank you for your words when I had given up hope. I'm sorry it took returned letters from the princess before I finally realized their weight, that no matter what, somepony will always be there for you."

"I'm just glad I at least somewhat helped you." I notice Rainbow hanging back with a guilty look on her face. I made a mental note to talk to her later.

Pinkie suddenly grabbed my hoof. "Come on silly! Join us!"

This not only threw me off, but the thought of being in front of so many ponies, despite most of them staring at us now, made me stutter. "B-but I-I'm not t-the one w-who defeated D-Discord!"

Applejack rolled her eyes. "Come on, ya helped two of us get back to normal so we could fight him. I think ya deserve SOME of the credit."

Even Fluttershy insisted I take a spot with them, much to my dismay. I think my face was red from embarrassment the entire time, especially when a pony pointed out that I was the singer for Dead by Sunset.

Once again, I'll never be able to live any of this down...

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