• Published 7th Nov 2019
  • 1,788 Views, 81 Comments

Who I Choose To Be - milesprower06

One of Equestria's youngest and most unpredictable villains faces an uncertain future. After Princess Twilight attempts an unprecedented treatment, things become even more uncertain.

  • ...

The Sibling

Cozy woke up in a sweat, bolting up in her bed, and looking around, taking deep breaths as her eyes became accustomed to the darkness around her. She squinted, and couldn't see Doctor Graymare over on the couch.

"Doctor Graymare?" She called out, not getting an answer.

She slowly removed the blankets from herself, turning and hopping off the bed. As she got closer to the couch, she indeed saw that he wasn't there. That was a first. She stumbled along the couch as it was taking her eyes longer to acclimate to the darkened living space. If he wasn't upstairs, maybe one of the guards outside would know where he was at. The pegasus made her way over to the stairs, and slowly began to ascend them. She traipsed up the winding staircase, passing the front door, and continued up to the darkened library. Likewise, she found it empty and silent.

Until she heard the roof above start to creak.

She looked up, and her heart began to pound against her chest when she saw one of the wooden beams that held the roof up begin to glow orange. Her eyes widened as the glow increased, finally providing a light source to pierce the dark, but the beam gave way with a splintering crack as it fell to the second floor of the tower in flames, the pegasus screaming and backing down the first few stairs in fear. Smoke began to rise from the flaming beam, and she nearly tripped as she turned around towards the front door.

"Doctor Graymare? Guards???" She called, coming to the front door and tried to push or pull it open, but it wouldn't budge. She began to cough from the smoke that began to come down the stairs. With another desperate shove, the door gave way, and what she saw immediately stopped her in her tracks.

A young colt stood on the patio, completely engulfed in flames.

"Why, Cozy? Why did you do it?" He asked, seemingly in pain, but not putting any effort towards dousing his smoldering body.

Cozy screamed in terror as she took several frightened steps back and lost her footing, tripping and falling down the stairs to the basement living area. When she came to a halt at the bottom, she looked up, and saw that the colt had stepped inside the tower, as the fire above had engulfed the entire second floor.

He looked down at her as he began to follow her down the stairs.

"All I wanted to do was love my big sister..." He groaned in pain, leaving ashes and embers in his hoofsteps as he came down the stairs, Cozy backpedaling into the living quarters in a panic.

"Nimbus...!" She said, barely able to get a breath in as the smoke now was entering the bottom floor, the fire coming down the stairs along with her immolated younger brother.

"Please... It hurts... So hot..."

His mane began to fall off in glowing strands of orange, ash flowed out from between his lips, and his eyes glowed like white hot coals.

Cozy turned to hop up on her bed, going for the pitcher of water on the nightstand on the other side, only to find it wasn't there.


The pegasus filly screamed again as she whipped around to find him at the foot of her bed, and the flames now all around the living quarters, closing in from all sides.

"Please..." He begged, reaching out a blazing hoof towards her, dropping embers onto her blanket.

"No, stop! Get away!!!" She screamed, backing up to the headboard, having nowhere else to go.


The heat increasing further as her blankets caught fire, she closed her eyes and screamed as she internally begged for it to end.


"Cozy!" Doctor Graymare shouted, trying to shake the filly awake.

"No!!!" She shrieked, flailing a hoof out, and connecting with the stallion's snout. This made him draw back in pain, grasping his nose, but her eyes shot open, her pupils pinpricks, but she took several deep breaths, and saw that the fire was gone. He ignored the fact that his nose was bleeding lightly from the accidental hit, and again came forward.

"Cozy, it's alright. It was a nightmare, you're alright. You're safe. You hear me? You're safe." He said, taking a seat on the bed and pulling the sobbing pegasus into a hug.

"I... I didn't mean to... Nimbus I didn't mean to..." Was all the filly was able to get out before letting out nothing more than screaming wails as she buried her face in Graymare's chest as he wrapped his front legs around her. As he comforted her as best he could, he grabbed the water pitcher and glass at her bedside with his horn, and picked her up, setting her on his back as she gripped his neck, and began to go up the stairs, and softly opened the front door.

The guard on watch turned.

"Doctor?" The night watch inquired, wondering why they were stepping outside the tower at 3 AM.

"She just needs some fresh air. We won't go far." He replied, and the guard allowed them to pass when he saw the trembling, weeping pegasus on the unicorn's back. They went down the exterior stairs onto the front lawn, well within view of both guards on duty, and she loosened her grip enough to let herself be tugged away with his magic and gently set down on the grass.

"Here, take a few deep breaths and have a drink." He told her, pouring a glass of water for her.

"I... I didn't mean to..." She wept, accepting the glass and taking a gulp. "I thought they would get out... I just wanted them to think I was gone..."

Day 45

Today, unfortunately, I'm going to have a rather somber conversation with Princess Twilight. Last night, Cozy had quite the bone chilling nightmare. She's okay, if a bit shaken up, and my nose stopped aching after a few hours. I'm going to have to talk to the princess on how best to proceed from here.

Twilight entered the tower and made her way downstairs, where she saw Doctor Graymare on the couch, flipping through his medical journal. He looked up at her when he heard her hoofsteps come down the stairs.

"Is she alright?" She asked.

"I think she's napping upstairs as she got a little farther in the latest Gusty the Great book." Graymare told her as she stepped into the living area.

"How bad was it?" She asked.

"See for yourself." Graymare said, grabbing Cozy's journal that he had encouraged her to write in after she couldn't get back to sleep this morning, turning it to the most recent entry before levitating it over to Twilight, who first took note of the teardrop stains on the page, and how shaky and unsteady the writing was.

Early this morning I had a nightmare involving my little brother Nimbus. The entire tower caught fire, and I saw him in the doorway as I tried to get out. His entire body was on fire, and he chased me downstairs as the whole place was engulfed in flames. He kept asking me why I did it.

When Doctor Graymare took me outside to calm me down, I told myself that I thought they would get out, that I just wanted them to think I was gone. I remember just wanting to get away. I don't know if I want to remember anything else, honestly.

I'm scared. Just when I think I'm making progress, something like this happens, and I'm reminded of what a monster I was. I know Twilight is trying her best to treat me like a new pony, but it's still the same body. The same hooves that started that fire are the same hooves that I have now. The same wings I flew away from that apartment with are the same wings I have now. My mom and Nimbus didn't deserve that, and I can't imagine trying something like that just to get away on my own.

Twilight slowly lowered the journal and looked at Graymare.

"Do you think it happened that way? That she really thought they'd get out in time?" Twilight asks.

"Honestly, I don't think it should matter how things really happened. I think we should consider ourselves lucky she's able to reason with some of her past actions like this. If she keeps thinking of herself as a cold-blooded arsonist and murderer, I doubt we'd get anywhere.

"I... I don't know what we could do. Do we ask Luna to keep an eye on her every single night?" Twilight asked.

"Princess, the irony of what I'm about to say is not lost on me... But I'm not sure I want to tinker with her mind as she sleeps. The brain sorts and organizes memories, thoughts and information during sleep cycles. I'd theorize that it's one of the best ways she'll adapt to her empathy. I don't want to hamper that process at all. Back in the dungeon, she rarely got enough sleep to have nightmares. Here, they're terrifying, but not recurring, at least not yet. I honestly think the best way to proceed for now is to be there for her when she wakes up. She has to confront what she did to her family, one way or another." Graymare said.

"How do we help her do that?"

"Did anything survive that fire? Anything physical at all that she could face?" He asked.

"Her father wasn't home at the time, and he's stated quite clearly that he doesn't want anything to do with her. In fact, he was the one who planted the idea of this magical treatment in the first place, if not flat out putting an end to her. I'm not sure if he'd be any help." Twilight answered.

"Are you absolutely sure? Something physical to hold, or to even look at, would help her face this part of her past. It can't solely be in her sleep." Graymare told the princess, who took a deep breath in thought.

"If you think it's truly that important, I'll have my chariot prepared and head to Manehattan first thing in the morning to have a talk with Stratus. I can't make any promises, though, I hope you understand that."

Graymare nodded.

"In the meantime, we are the only two ponies she's seen in weeks. Is there anypony else, from before her imprisonment, that she could see? Maybe another point of view other than the two of us would help her see how far she's come already." The doctor suggested.

Twilight put a hoof to her chin.

"I think there might be. I'll see what I can get arranged before I leave for Manehattan in the morning. Will you be alright with her in the meantime?" She asked. Graymare immediately nodded.

"More than enough books to keep her occupied in the meantime."

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