• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,295 Views, 989 Comments

Little Consequences - Skijarama

Princess Rainbow Dash and her friends have found themselves in the newly restored Crystal Empire, and now struggle against the forces of Queen Chrysalis and the enigmatic King Sombra in an effort to reclaim Canterlot and save Equestria.

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“Dreamy!” Wind Whisper squealed in elation upon seeing Squall trotting into the library with Fluttershy, the heavy doors swinging closed behind them. She had shot from Applejack’s side once she had heard the door opening, unsteadily hovering in the air and giving her wings a good workout to keep herself aloft. Now that she saw him, she launched herself from her elevated position to slam directly into her big brother’s chest, hugging him tight and knocking him onto his rump from the force. He yelped in surprise before gasping, the wind having been knocked out of him quite thoroughly.

Fluttershy giggled behind a hoof at the display before trotting a little closer. “You see?” she whispered quietly to him before nudging him in the shoulder and trotting down the stairs to meet back up with the others, sharing a quiet greeting with Applejack as she passed.

“Heh. I guess so,” Thorax muttered in reply before smiling down at Wind, who was still happily snuggling into him. “Wind, I’m glad to see you too, but I can’t breathe,” he managed to say in a strangled voice, causing her to let him go with a bashful smile.

“Oops. Sorry,” she apologized sweetly.

“It’s no problem,” he replied, thankful for the sweet air that came rushing into his lungs, before rising back to all fours and dusting off his flank with a few quick flicks of his tail. “Fluttershy said we’re trying to find a book or something. That right?”

“Uh huh!” Wind nodded before eagerly hopping up onto his back and resting her chin on top of his head between his ears. She pointed at the stairs. “The books are all down there! We’re looking for a history book.”

“Ah,” Thorax nodded simply before breaking into a canter for the stairs. He hesitated at the first step, though, and shifted a bit so he could look back at the little filly. “So, uh, how have things been while I was gone? Everything okay?”

“Mhmm,” Wind hummed with a small nod, leaning back a bit to give him a bit more room to look at her. “Princess Rainbow Dash put on a big and amazing show in the middle of town! She did a, uh… what did she call it? Sonic boom?”

“Ah, a sonic rainboom,” Thorax corrected, remembering that little detail with a thoughtful look. “Yeah. I saw the explosion and the lights. I was kinda worried that we were under attack for a second. But then I heard the applause and figured it was probably fine.”

“It was incredible!” Wind gave her tiny wings a few flaps and gave Thorax a beaming grin. “And it was pretty, too! Oh! And before that, Applejack, Fluttershy and I ate some berries. They were so good...” her eyes slowly rolled into the back of her head and she let her tongue hang out, quite pleased with just the memory.

Thorax was about to give a comment when the clip-clopping sound of hooves on the stairs drew his attention. “We were gatherin’ them, mostly,” Applejack called out in correction from about halfway up the stairs, flashing the duo a charmed smile. “Wind was the one who ate a lot. Heh, and Ah think she had enough. She was buzzin’ like Pinkie Pie for a little while.”

“That’s…” Thorax looked between the two for a few seconds with a raised eyebrow, trying to imagine the filly on his head acting like Pinkie Pie. The mental image was not just hard to fathom but was also distinctly disturbing. He banished the image and forced a smile. “...Worrying.”

“But they’re so gooooood,” Wind whined, pouting down at Applejack in disapproval, who nodded with a coy smile.

“Ah know that. But if ya have ‘em too much, they won’t be as special, eh?”

Wind’s pout grew, but she conceded the point with a very small nod while once again resting her chin on Thorax’s head. He gave a light-hearted laugh before looking down at Applejack with a more serious look on his face. “So, how’s the search going? Any luck?”

Applejack shook her head. “Nah, nothin’ yet. Ah reckon It’d be goin’ quicker if RD and Twi were helpin’ us,” she replied pensively before glancing up to the second floor. “But they’re gettin’ back in touch with Equestria. Just sent out their first letter a little bit ago. Ah saw the smoke.”

“Ah,” Thorax followed Applejack’s gaze for a moment before beginning his way down the stairs. “Well, now I’m here to help. Where have you guys managed to look?” he asked pointedly, Applejack falling into stride next to him as he went deeper towards the shelves.

“We’ve only covered the first layer,” She replied, narrowing her eyes at all of the shelves. “Without knowin’ how these things are organized, we’re goin’ in blind, and there’s a LOT of books in here.”

“No kidding… alright, I could try looking around at the other parts of the library. Maybe I can find some clue about how all of this is supposed to be organized,” Thorax suggested while absently gesturing up at one of the many bookshelves with a hoof.

“If ya think that’ll help, then be mah guest,” Applejack nodded before smiling at Wind Whisper, who smiled back and gave a tiny wave. Applejack playfully reached out a hoof and ruffled Wind’s mane, making the filly giggle. The look on Applejack’s face was one of reminiscence. “Heh. Ah’ll be frank, yer little sis is a right pleasure to be around.”

Wind reached out and grabbed Applejack’s hoof before it could fully retract before very lightly clamping her teeth down on it, smiling as she did so and making an adorable ‘nom’ sound. Applejack laughed before tugging her hoof away and nodding at the two of them. Thorax glanced at Wind, then chuckled. “Heh. I’m glad to hear it.”

“Alright, let’s hop back to work. That history book ain’t gonna find itself. We’re lookin’ for somethin’ about the empire, or how it might have protected itself from danger,” Applejack explained before cantering off to meet up with Pinkie Pie next to a partially searched shelf. Thorax nodded in confirmation, then hooked a sharp left into one of the many rows of shelves, his eyes scanning the names of the books.

“Help me keep an eye out, Wind, okay?” he asked quietly, and Wind replied with a short hum and tiny nod. For a good few minutes, they were content to slowly trot through the rows of shelves, scanning the countless books for something that matched the description Applejack gave.

After a good ten minutes, though, Thorax’s mind drifted from the task at hoof to the little filly riding on his shoulders. He thought back to what he had overheard her telling Applejack and Fluttershy earlier, and he felt his pace starting to slow. Wind didn’t seem to notice, her eyes intently focused on the books around them.

Well, now’s as good a chance as any to learn more about her, I guess…” Thorax thought before coming to a complete stop. Wind, curious, looked at him and lightly swatted a hoof against the side of his head.

“Hey, why’d you stop?” she asked inquisitively before setting her hoof down again.

“Wind, can I talk to you for a second?” Thorax asked with what he hoped was a fairly casual tone of voice. He shifted and sat down so that Wind could easily slide off of him, which she did. She trotted around to stand in front of him, looking perplexed.

“Uh-huh. What’s up?”

Thorax took a subtle deep breath to ease his nerves, rallied his thoughts, and began talking. “When she came to get me, Fluttershy mentioned that you told her about why you live with me and not our parents,” Thorax began gingerly, careful not to come off as scolding or harsh. “I just want to know what all you told her.”

“A-am I in trouble?” Wind asked nervously, looking down at the floor and shrinking a bit. Her ears fell flat against her head, and Thorax instantly felt a spark of regret burning in his chest for bringing it up.

“No, no of course not,” he reassured her gently before giving her mane a comforting pat. “We can trust these ponies, but I would like to know what you told them, okay? You’re not in trouble.”

Wind lightly scuffed the floor with a hoof, looking to have been at least somewhat soothed by his words. She looked up at him. “Um, I told her about how, when you left, I went with you. You know, by hiding in your wagon,” she started in an unsure tone of voice. Thorax gave her an encouraging nod and she kept going, gaining a bit of confidence as she went. “Well, uh, I told her why I wanted to stay with you, too and that you managed to convince mom and dad to let me stay. I mean…” she put on a smile. “Who would want to be away from you? You’re just the best big brother ever! You’re strong, brave, smart, and you’re always there for me when I’m feeling sad! You’re like my own personal guardian angel, or a knight in shiny armor or something. I always feel safe around you, you know?”

Thorax was barely able to maintain his smile as she spoke. “None of this praise belongs to me.” He thought bitterly, his eyes drifting down to look at his reflection in the smooth floor. He saw those two ice-blue eyes that weren’t his own looking back at him. Somewhere in his mind, the memory of the real Squall Dreamer struggling against him and succumbing to his cocoon was stirred.

In his mind, Thorax replaced the image of a gray bat pony with that of a black, chitinous Changeling. He felt a chill run down his spine before he snapped out of it and returned his eyes to Wind. She was tilting her head, looking puzzled by his lack of a response. He smiled down at her encouragingly after a moment. “Well, I dunno about all that,” he said with an exaggerated tone before reaching out and pulling Wind into a hug, one which she was all too happy to return. “But hey, I’ll take the compliments.”

Wind leaned back and playfully poked Thorax on the nose, making him recoil and scrunch up his muzzle. Wind giggled. “Boop.”

“You’re adorable, did I ever tell you that?” Thorax replied mirthfully. Out of curiosity, he refocused his eyes so he could see the pink haze of love energy that Wind would surely be letting off. He was almost floored and his jaw almost fell slack when he saw just how thick the love in the air was around her. Seeing such a thick cloud of pure and unfiltered love made his tongue flutter in his mouth and his stomach grumble. Wind didn’t seem to notice, instead nodding sharply.

“Yuh-huh! Plenty of times.”

Refocusing his eyes back to normal, Thorax looked back down at Wind again. “Well, it’s true,” he gladly assured her while ruffling her mane before letting her go and slowly adopting a slightly more severe expression. “Anyways, I know I said I trust these ponies, and I do, but in the future, I want you to come to me before you tell them about our past or family, okay? I don’t want to spill all of our secrets, you know?”

“You mean like mom’s super secret Lunaberry Juice recipe?” Wind asked with a sparkle of recognition in her eyes.

Thorax smirked. “Yeah, kinda. Just talk to me first next time, okay?”

Wind gave another nod and ‘mhmm!’ before looking at the books to her right. For a second, she just stood there, looking at the books. Thorax let his smile drop from his face and stood up, about ready to get a move on. However, he paused when he saw that the smile on Wing’s face was beginning to dwindle, and a more despondent look crossed her features. “Um… Squall?” she asked in a quiet, timid voice.

“Yeah?” Thorax asked quietly, protective instincts making him inch closer to her and put a hoof on her back. “Is something wrong, kiddo?”

She hesitated for a second. “Um…” When she looked up at him apprehensively, tears had started to form in her eyes, and her lip was beginning to tremble. “Do you think mom, dad, Sheen, Echo, and Luster are okay?”

Thorax’s smile immediately fell away and his ears folded flat against his skull. “Sheen, Echo, and Luster… her sisters.” he thought to himself before sighing heavily. “They’ll be okay, Wind. They’re tough…”

I hope,” he added mentally.

“What if they’re not?” Wind asked, her voice starting to break with emotion. She scooted closer to Thorax, who just watched and listened with his heart feeling like it was caving in from sympathy and, more importantly, guilt. “W-what if they got hurt by those changeling things? What if we never see them again?” Tears began to freely flow down her cheeks, and she turned to stand on her hind legs, propping herself up on Thorax’s chest. “What if I never get to tell them that I’m sorry for running away? Or that I l-love them, or… or...” she couldn’t say any more, burying her face in his chest and openly crying.

Thorax just sat there for a few moments, taken off-guard by how suddenly Wind’s demeanor had changed. He looked down at her, momentarily at a loss. “This is my fault,” he thought to himself, thinking back on Canterlot, the role he had played in the city’s invasion. Slowly, he sat back down onto his haunches and put his hooves on Wind’s shoulders.

“Wind,” he said gently, grabbing her attention. He unfurled both of his leathery wings and pulled her tightly against his chest, using the leathery appendages like a blanket, hiding the crying filly from the world. “It’s gonna be okay, Wind. I promise. It’s all gonna be okay.”

“B-b-but…” Wind stuttered, leaning back a little bit and looking into his eyes.

“No buts,” he told her in a quiet, firm voice, squeezing her tighter against his chest and tightening the veil his wings created. “Everything is going to be fine. We’re going to make sure of it…” he leaned down and nuzzled her atop the head before whispering: “I’m going to make sure of it. I’m going to stop the Changelings no matter what.”

“P-p-promise?” Wind barely croaked out, gazing deep into his piercing ice-blue eyes, which softly glowed in the shade provided by his wings. He nodded and gave her a small smile.

“I promise, Wind.”

She didn’t say anything else, instead opting to bury her face in his chest again and quietly sob away her tensions and fears. Thorax didn’t move or say anything else either, just sitting there, holding Wind Whisper, and letting her work through her feelings.

“I just hope this is a promise I can keep...” he thought to himself, giving the crying filly in his hooves and wings another reassuring squeeze.

Author's Note:

Showing off the anxiety issues that I made a point to bring up in the last story.

When she isn't feeling sad or scared, Wind Whisper is just the sweetest thing, isn't she?

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