Magical Mystery Oops

Twilight Sparkle has spent months researching chaos magic, developing a new spell to unlock magic nopony has ever experienced before. But when something goes wrong with casting, Twilight finds herself turned into a Draconequus and unable to control her new chaos magic. If she ever wants to be a pony again, there is only one who can help her learn to control her new magic.

Of course, learning from Discord was never going to be simple. And after a while, being a draconequus doesn't seem so bad anyway....

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/249782/magical-mystery-oops

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7. Downed

"Why don't people listen to me? I use plain and simple Equestrian, I don't have an accent that I am aware of..."

Twilight groaned as she stirred back to consciousness. She tried to open her eyes, but the flash of light just made her already horrible headache redouble its efforts to remove her brain from her head. From the inside. So she screwed her eyes shut and focused on her other senses.

Other than her head, nothing else felt too bad. Her back had the same sort of ache that it tended to gain after spending all night hunched over her desk studying, or more recently when Rainbow Dash would try to teach her better flight form. At least whatever she was laying on felt nice. It felt fuzzy, and and soft, and very very warm. Much nicer than being stuck in the Everfree in a rainstorm and...

Oh. That.

With another groan, Twilight tried cracking her eyes open again. She did it slowly this time, and this gave her eyes adequate time to adjust. A thin band of light was far above, flanked on either side by steep stone cliffs. All around, the trickle and drip of rainwater searching for the lowest point as it gathered in the bottom of the ravine. Far closer was a familiar bearded and gray-furred visage. "Ah, you’re  awake. Welcome back to the land of the living. What do you remember?"

"I.." Twilight managed, one claw coming up to her aching head. "uh...not much right now...I..."

She tried to sit up, but Discord quickly stopped her, forcing her to lay back down. "Slow down - you just fell down a ravine. After being zapped by a magic shrubbery."

Twilight chuckled softly as she laid back down against the warm and soft thing that was currently serving as a pillow. "Now you sound like Fluttershy."

"Occupational hazard of living with her, I suppose," He commented as he gently ran a claw through her hair. "The lump's gone down, at least, so that's good. You took quite the fall, you know."

"I don't, actually," Twilight replied. Her vision was finally starting to focus properly, so she decided to help it along by focusing on Discord. "How did you get down here though?"

Discord shrugged. "I jumped after you."

Twilight gave a snort and a grin. "You're an idiot."

"Quite likely," Discord agreed. "Remember anything yet?"

"I remember..." Twilight frowned. It was becoming easier to arrange her thoughts as the headache gradually receded. "I remember the tree-"

"Shrubbery," Discord corrected.

"Whatever," Twilight replied. "I remember seeing it and...I just wanted to touch it."

"I noticed," Discord replied. "You were not listening to me even more then usual. You saying that wasn't you?"

"It wasn't," Twilight replied before turning over and cuddling back into her improvised pillow, "Now, if we aren't in a rush, I'd like to rest for a little until my head doesn't feel like a tuning fork."

"Well," Discord replied, "As much as I enjoy the feeling of you cuddling up against me, this spot looks like flash-flood central, so-"

Twilight continued getting comfortable for another ten or so seconds before the statement processed. "Ah!" She flinched back as she noticed she had been, in fact, cuddling up against Discord. "Why didn't you say anything!?"

"Well, you just looked so comfortable, I couldn't bring myself to wake you," Discord replied innocently. His little smile betrayed him though.

"Okay, joke's over," Twilight replied flatly as she turned toward one end of the ravine. "Lets get-ow!" One of her hind legs gave out as she tried to put weight on it, and a quick examination confirmed Twilight's suspicions. "I think the fetlock's twisted."

"Considering your fall, you're lucky that's all you twisted." Discord replied as he bent lower to examine the injured joint. "And with the tree upstairs still going, neither of us have magic."

"Then I guess we'll just have to walk out," Twilight replied, wincing briefly as she got up until she could shift her weight to her other three limbs. "...slowly."

There was a rumble somewhere behind them that made both of them freeze. "Yeah," Discord replied. "I don't think that's going to be an option..." Discord spun around and, before Twilight could so much as squeak out a protest, had scooped her up and thrown her over one shoulder as he bolted down the ravine.

"Discord!" Twilight snapped as she found herself staring at the draconequus’s  back. "Put me down this instant!"

Discord glanced over his unoccupied shoulder toward the other end of the ravine. "Uh, I don't think so."

Twilight followed his gaze and the blood drained from her face. A wall of water was speeding down the ravine after them. "We aren't going to make it!"

"We're going to make it." Discord snapped back as he continued running.

"We aren't going to make it!" Twilight repeated.

"We're going to-" Discord started, but Twilight cut him off.

"No, I'm doing the math and I'm telling you we aren't!" Twilight replied. "So either get steam-powered feet or find higher ground NOW!"

Unfortunately for them, the ravine walls were annoyingly smooth, any convenient climbing holds long since worn away by who knows how many moons of rain and runoff. "There!" Twilight suddenly shouted, pointing off to something behind him. When he twisted around, he saw what she was pointing at - A thin crevice part way up the cliff, hidden on one side by a massive slab of rock.

Discord gave the quickly approaching wall of water one more glance before darting toward their sole source of shelter. "I really hope this works," Discord muttered as he clamored up the loose pile of rubble toward the crack, "Or this is going to be a really embarrassing death..."

Discord dived into the crevice as a moment later the torrent of water went rushing by like a speeding locomotive. Twilight winced back from the cold spray as she watched the torrent rush by from her vantage point on Discord's back. "That was really close..."

"Good..." Discord managed as he huffed and puffed, "...spot, Twi... wooh. Have you been visiting Pinkie's?"

Twilight raised an eyebrow. "Are you calling me fat?"

"Of course not," Discord replied, "That would be rude. I'm just implying you’re fat. Now stop fidgeting for a second..."

Twilight gave small 'eep' as Discord pulled her down from his shoulder before shifting around until she was across his back. Twilight's arms latched on around Discord, her tail following suit shortly after. "There," Discord said as she settled into her new position. "Now I'm not carrying you like a sack of potatoes. This is much more dignified."

"A back ride is hardly dignified, Discord." Twilight replied as she glanced at him.

"I meant for me." Discord replied with a smirk as he glanced at her. They were exceedingly close now, Twilight realized. His warm breath tickling her cheek every time he turned to speak to her, his black mane brushing across her chest with his every twist and movement. Pressed up against his back like she was, she could feel the beat of his heart, a steady and regular rhythm compared to his breathing, still heavy from their rush to safety. "You okay back there?"

"I'm fine," Twilight replied as she quickly glanced away. What the hay was she thinking about? Just because he was carrying her around and had jumped into a ravine after her like some character out of one of Rarity's trashy novels and - okay, not important right now. "How are you so calm?"

"You live as long as I have and even near-death gets boring," Discord replied has he looked around the ravine. Most of the space ahead of them was filled with rubble, forming into a rough looking ramp that climbed upward even as it led further in. "Though, this is the first time I've had to worry about somebody else. Not used to traveling with..."

"Friends?" Twilight suggested.

"You would say that," Discord replied as he started up the pile of rubble, "I was going to say 'others', but I suppose friends is equally valid."

"So why start now?" Twilight asked as she clung to Discord's back.

"Well, I can't just leave you here, now can I?" Discord replied before adding "Well, unless you want me to - though I don't think anypony would believe me when I get out of here."

"If we get out of here," Twilight replied, wincing as the climb jostled her fetlock, sending a bolt of pain shooting up her leg. "Which is starting to seem like a long-shot."

"Is Twilight Sparkle quitting on me?" Discord asked in mock astonishment. "The savior of Princess Luna, Conqueror of Chaos, She Who Defeated the Changeling Queen, Vanquisher of Tirek, Mistress of Magma?"

Twilight frowned. "The last one isn't one of mine." Technically, none of them were hers. But the last one was the only one that couldn't be hers.

"Really?" Discord replied. "Guess she kicked your flank like that shrubbery..."

"The tree did not kick my flank!" Twilight replied quickly, before continuing more quietly, "It just...I couldn't help myself. I really really wanted to touch the tree-"

"Shrubbery."

"Shrubbery," Twilight continued without missing a beat, "and nothing else really mattered. It was sort of like my 'want it, need it' spell but far more subtle..."

"A mind-controlling shrubbery," Discord replied as he made his way up the stone. "Lovely."

"But why?" Twilight asked as they finally neared the top of the ravine. as the emerged back out into the forest proper, Twilight noticed that it was not a familiar stretch of it. But at least it was a different unfamiliar stretch. "The Tree of Harmony didn't have that sort of effect."

"Yes, well," Discord replied as he looked around. "You can start working on that once we get out of here." Another crack of thunder echoed through the forest. "Is it just me," Discord asked, "Or are the only lightning strikes the ones hitting that stupid plant?"

Twilight listened intently until the next strike and sure enough it sounded like it came from the same direction as the last. "Its siphoning the electricity from the entire storm. That's...incredible."

"And freaky," Discord added, "Which coming from me is saying something. At least it gives us a bearing."

Twilight looked at Discord, confused. "What do you mean?"

Discord pointed toward the lightning strikes for a moment before reversing his claw and pointing the other way. "Away from the evil shrubbery of evil."

"Yes, well, that still leaves 359 degrees or so of options for us to-" Twilight stopped as the ground underneath them shook. "Did you hear that?"

Discord tensed as another tremor rumbled from what felt like somewhere very close. "Not sure I could miss it, Twilight."

"It's an..." Twilight gulped nervously as a third tremor shook them. "It's an impact tremor, is what it is." Her grip around Discord tightened. "I'm fairly alarmed here."

"That makes two of us," Discord replied nervously. Ahead of them, the trees had started shaking violently. "Hey, maybe it’s nothing."

"What about the trees then!?" Twilight whispered from Discord's back.

"They're epileptic?" Discord suggested weakly.

Any further discussion was made moot as the source of both the trees' shaking and the earth's rumbling revealed itself in the form of a massive hydra stomping into the clearing before coming to a lumbering halt, glaring down at the two interlopers.

Yes, Twilight and Discord had been there first, but when you are the literal hydra in the clearing, that doesn't really matter.

Twilight's heart jumped up into her throat as underneath her Discord opted to stop breathing entirely. Normally, a hydra wouldn't be a major concern - between a lord of chaos and an Alicorn, they would normally have more then enough firepower.

Normally.

As it was, the two just kept very, very still as the hydra leaned lower, two of its heads coming close and sniffing deeply. A giant reptilian eye narrowed and Twilight could swear it was staring at her. Was hydra vision predicated on motion, or was that just in one of Spike's comics? Given her panic, she'd forgotten.

The hydra studied them for another second before giving a snort and pulling back, its heads pulling back and looking around briefly before lumbering past them and back into the woods.

Discord and Twilight just remained still for a minute as they tried to wrap their heads around still being in one piece. "Twilight?" Discord asked shakily after a while.

"Y-yes?" Twilight managed to reply. She could feel herself starting to to shake.

"Could you hand me my brown trousers?" Discord asked.

Twilight blinked a couple of times. "Discord, you aren't wearing trousers."

"Oh," Discord replied as he started patting himself down. "That's good then. You alright?"

"Miraculously still alive," Twilight managed to reply. "Did that seem...odd to you?"

"Very," Discord replied as he started toward the treeline. "I think sitting down is a good idea now..." He gingerly helped Twilight to the ground next to one of the trees before slumping down against it along side her. "You know, I don't do this 'nearly dying' thing very well it seems..."

"Could it have actually killed you?" Twilight asked as she carefully checked her fetlock. At the very least, it didn't seem to be getting worse. She would kill for some ice right now.

"I have no idea," Discord replied. "Never had to face down a hydra without my magic. It’s sort of like asking if you can kill Celestia."

"That's...huh," Twilight said as she leaned back against the tree, "I don't think anypony has ever looked into it..."

"And why would you?" Discord replied. "ninety-nine point nine-nine percent of the time, the answer will be a flat 'no' - and the remainder is pretty darn rare..."

"one in ten thousand." Twilight replied idly.

Discord blinked. "What?"

"You said 'most of the time' was ninety-nine point nine-nine percent," Twilight explained, "which makes the remaining time point zero-one percent. That's one in ten thousand. Which means, actually, that something that at least seems like it could kill her should crop up every few hundred years - which in and of itself suggests that the Princess is hiding some things from her ponies...huh." Twilight gave a small shrug before turning to Discord. "Sorry, I got side-tracked."

Discord looked at her in surprise for a moment before he started to chuckle. "Side tracked? More like nerd-sniped. Only you, Twilight, only you..."

"I don't see what so funny," Twilight replied grumpily.

"We're stuck in a forest that seems to be actively trying to do us in and you’re mathematically deducing that Sun-butt is hiding things. Which I can tell you is sorta obvious, really, so-"

"Wait," Twilight cut him off, "Say that again."

"What?" Discord replied. "Sun-butt is hiding things?"

"No, before that," Twilight replied, "About the forest."

"I said it’s actively trying to kill us," Discord replied before giving Twilight an expectant look. "That was a joke. Given how much time you spend reading, I figured you'd at least be familiar with personification..."

"Shut up for a second," Twilight snapped. Discord shut up. "Active influence... that could explain the weather, the hydra, me..."

"Twilight," Discord said as Twilight continued mumbling to herself. "What are you talking about?"

"The forest!" Twilight replied as she turned to him with a wide smile many might find slightly unsettling. "You were right - it is actively trying to kill us!"

"Oh," Discord replied as he slumped a little. "Lovely."

"Well, not the forest per-se," Twilight elaborated, "But something in the forest - and it's using that shrubbery! Something is trying to control the Everfree Forest."

"Well, that's just stupid," Discord replied. "Thats like trying to control...well, me - it's bad for your health."

"The shrubbery would be the only thing that could handle that much power," Twilight continued without missing a beat, "being based on some part of the Tree of Harmony, and probably why they were feeding it lightning - to stimulate its growth. The backlash I got was excess discharge."

"So, some mystery pony is trying to tame the Everfree so they can...." Discord waved his claw vaguely. "What? Steal everyone's underpants? Hold Equestria hostage? Steal everypony's left shoes?"

"Or maybe they just think it would be funny," Twilight replied with a shrug, "I'm sure you could understand that."

Discord opened his mouth to retort, but his reply died on his lips as he realized she had a point. "Fair enough. So, now what?"

"Well, we still need to get out of here," Twilight replied as she tried to stand up. "I think my fetlock's feeling better so - Ow!"

Discord rolled his eyes as he watched Twilight shift the weight from her bad leg before turning around glancing over his shoulder at her. "Get onto my back if you want to leave."

Twilight grumbled something, but otherwise accepted the offer and climbed onto Discord's back. "Comfortable?"

"All things considered?" Twilight replied as she shifted slightly, "yes - you make a surprisingly effective, if unergonomic, transport."

"Enjoying your piggy-back rides, princess?" Discord teased.

"Just go," Twilight replied with a roll of her eyes.

"As you wish." Discord answered before setting off again.

The forest remained unfamiliar as they progressed, but that hardly surprised Twilight - mapping the Everfree was useless, since outside of a few very immobile features such as the Castle of the Royal Sisters and a small pool of paths the forest was a constantly shifting collection of plant life. Most routes cut through it are quickly over-grown to the point that you would think that they had never existed, leaving the hapless explorer lost and ultimately doomed. Throw in the wild storms and less-than-friendly wildlife and it was supremely obvious why Zecora didn't need to worry about getting neighbors any time soon. "See anything?" Twilight asked after they had been going for a while.

"Oh, plenty," Discord replied. "Some tall trees, some short trees, dead trees, young trees, skinny trees..."

"Okay, I get it," Twilight replied, rolling her eyes even as she felt herself starting to smile. "Nopony likes a smartass."

"Well, you seem to," Discord replied, "why else do you keep me around?"

"Eye candy," Twilight with a casual shrug.

Discord's head twisted around at that, which meant that he was too busy staring wide-eyed at Twilight to pay attention to where he was going and thus promptly fell flat on his face when he tripped over a root a moment later, Twilight landing on top of him.

"I'm sorry!" Twilight quickly said as she pulled herself off Discord, "I heard Rainbow say something like that the other day to the same sort of question and it seemed funny at the time so-"

"It's fine, Sparkle," Discord replied as he rubbed at his battered nose, "very disorienting, but fine."

"Oh, good," Twilight said with a sigh of relief, "I'd have felt horrible if I'd..."

"...yes?" Discord replied, propping himself up on one elbow as he motioned for the draconequs on his back to continue, "You were in the middle of an-"

"Shh," Twilight cut him off, "You hear that?"

"You mean that regular crack of thunder from the evil shrubbery?" Discord said flatly, "Sadly, yes."

"No, not that," Twilight cupped a claw around one of her ears, "Listen." Discord gave her a puzzled look, but after a second complied.

It was faint, but in between the lightning strikes Discord could just make out a very distinctive sound. "Sounds like... shouting?"

"Somepony is looking for us!" Twilight said excitedly as she tried to pull Discord off the ground. "Come on, we've got to move."

"I got it, I got it," Discord grumbled as he stood back up and glanced back at Twilight, "Good to go?"

"Yes," Twilight replied quickly before pointing out ahead and slightly to their right. "Now follow that shouting!"

With rescue within earshot, the pair made great time and soon the shouting became more distinct.

"Twilight!"

"Twilight!"

"Twilight Sparkle!"

"My little dragon, please slow your pace!" the second voice yelled at a slightly lower volume. "And beside, how many Twilights do you think are in this place?"

"It's Spike and Zecora!" Twilight exclaimed.

"Really?" Discord replied in faux surprise, "I'd have never have guessed." He shrugged. "At least they sound-" His sentence was cut off as a small purple blur burst out of a bush ahead of him and bounced off his chest at speed. "-close." Discord wheezed.

"...ouch," Spike muttered as he rubbed at his now sore head. "Wait...Twilight?"

Discord grinned down at the dragon looking up at him. "My hero!" He scooped up the dragon and started cuddling him, "However can I repay you?"

"Come on, Discord! This isn't funny!" Spike snapped as he squirmed in the draconequs's grip. "Where's Twilight?"

"Perhaps you missed it since your head took a whack," Zecora interupted, "But why don't you look at who's on his back?"

"His back...?" Spike leaned around Discord, the look of confusion on his face giving way to relief as he bounded forward and wrapped himself around Twilight's neck. "You're alright!"

"Good to see you too, Spike," as she returned the dragon's hug. "Are you okay?"

"Me?" Spike replied. "I've been at Zecora's the whole time - What about you? You've been stuck in the Everfree Forest! With Discord!"

"Hey!" Discord snapped. "I'm right here you know!"

"Spike, I'm fine - really." Twilight winced slightly as something bumped her fetlock. "Well mostly fine, thanks to Discord."

Discord and Spike stared at her. "Really?" Both said at the same time.

"I'd still be stuck at the bottom of that ravine if it wasn't for Discord," Twilight explained, "and that...wouldn't have ended well."

"Well, yeah," Discord replied, "but I wasn't expecting you to actually, you know, admit it."

"As fun as joyous reunions are," Zecora cut in, as she moved closer to Discord and Twilight, "I fear that we still need to travel quite far."

"Zecora's right," Spike added, "You two ended way off the beaten path,"

"Which brings me to a question regarding your magic," Zecora as she bent down to examine Twilight's fetlock, "Why did you not use it to avoid something potentially tragic?"

"Magic bush eating all the magic and hypnotizing hydras," Discord explained.

Spike and Zecora stared at him for a moment before wordlessly turning their gazes to Twilight. "He's telling the truth," Twilight said with a shrug, "More-or-less."

"Then that might explain my headache this day," Zecora replied as she turned her attention back to Twilight's sprain, though now she was giving the forest nervous glances, "The Forest should not feel this way." She stood and turned to Twilight, "We can treat your pains when we reach my home, and given the state of the woods I'd rather not roam."

When things were bad enough that Zecora was scared of the Everfree, retreat was usually the better part of valor. So the four broke a hasty retreat back to Zecora's.

One thing Twilight hadn't been counting on was the sudden feeling of exhaustion that washed over her when they reached the zebra shaman's home. Zecora had quickly ordered her into a seat as she started sorting through her dizzying collection of herbs, and as soon as she had slipped off Discord's back and onto the cushions her body had decided that it was now safe and thus was perfectly entitled to now collapse.

Twilight didn't catch whatever Zecora said to her when she returned, but a slight tingling followed by a numbing coolness through her fetlock was enough to tell her that Zecora had started treating her. Twilight didn't even react when something plopped down on the cushions next to her. For the time being, Twilight let worries about evil shrubbery, mind control and lost magics fade away as let herself fall into a much needed sleep.

When Twilight awoke, she found she was no longer in Zecora's hut. Instead, she found herself atop a moss-covered stone, massive glowing lilies hanging overhead as water lapped around the tiny island she sat in the middle of. "Oh," Twilight mused out loud, "I'm dreaming aren't I?"

"Indeed, Twilight Sparkle," Twilight looked up to see the familiar form of the princess of the night descending until she touched down across the water in front of her. "How do you fare, Twilight Sparkle?" she asked before tilting her head and adding, "And why do you still resemble a draconequs?"

Twilight looked down at herself. "Should I not be? It's what I am, after all."

"What one is in the waking world has no sway in this realm, Twilight Sparkle," Luna explained as she walked across the still pond, ripples spreading out with every hoofstep. "Your appearance now is what we call 'residual self image' - it is a mental projection of yourself." Luna tilted her head as she came to a stop in front of Twilight, staring at her intently, "It surprises me that you would internalize this new form so quickly - or that you are even here at this hour."

"I've had a long day," Twilight said with a sigh as she sat down, "Still, nice not to not have anything hurt for a while..."

Luna looked at her in confusion, "I don't think I follow?"

"I twisted my fetlock in the woods after... you don't know?" Twilight asked in surprise, "I was sure Spike would have sent a letter or - no, wait, he was probably looking for me. Let me explain." Twilight paused before shaking her head, "No, there is too much. Let me sum up."

After a succinct explanation that still managed to take the better part of twenty minutes, Luna was now seated next to the taller draconequs as she touched a hoof to her chin in thought. "This is a most perplexing conundrum. You said this tree-"

"Shrubbery," Twilight corrected.

"...shrubbery," Luna continued after a brief pause, "is part of some scheme?"

Twilight nodded, "I do."

Luna's brow furrowed in thought, "There is one part of this situation I find most perplexing, however..."

"How an off-shoot of the Tree of Harmony survived," Twilight said with a nod, "it is strange, but I have a few-"

"What?" Luna said, looking up in surprise, "Not that. I was more confounded by Discord's behavior."

Twilight stared at her for a moment before finally replying with a flat "What."

"It is truly unprecedented," Luna continued with a nod, "Discord, leaping off the cliff after you like that - he's probably why you lack more grievous injuries. I imagine he took the worst of it for you."

"But he seemed fine..." Twilight countered weakly.

"Spirits of Chaos, like Alicorns, are as they say 'made of sterner stuff'," Luna replied as she rose and approached Twilight, gently poking her with one hoof, "At the moment, you are neither,"

"I didn't notice anything wrong with him," Twilight replied. In her mind, she was looking back over the last few hours as she tried to see what she might have missed. A wince, a twinge of pain that had passed unnoticed during the hours she spent pressed against his back. Even face-to-face with a Hydra, his heartbeat had been steady, a regular rhythm at odds with the pounding of her own heart... "Is this really the most important thing to be talking about right now?" Twilight asked as she quickly shifted trains of thought.

"You are more concerned about the shrubbery?" Luna asked before waving a hoof dismissively, "You deal with such things fairly often, do you not? Unlike my sister, I have a great deal of faith in your capabilities, Twilight Sparkle."

"Celestia...doesn't trust me?" Twilight asked nervously. Celestia, her teacher, her mentor, her idol - doubted her? She didn't know how to deal with that...

Luna shook her head, "Tia simply worries too much, and frets about Discord being a 'bad influence' on you, which is preposterous-"

Twilight sighed in relief, "Thank you. I was worried you were-"

"Obviously," Luna continued, "If he was going to be a bad influence on you he'd have started as soon as he moved in with Fluttershy."

"-going you say something ridiculous." Twilight finished with a groan as she slumped a little. Though she did have a point - there had been plenty of time for Discord to try and... discord her since he arrived in Ponyville. All he'd done instead was prank her and learn veterinary medicine.

"Well, if you wish I can pass on your information to my sister," Luna replied as she turned and started walking away, "At the least, she will wish to know about your shrubbery and its-" Whatever else Luna was going to say was lost as her voice suddenly faded out, like somepony had cranked the volume down on a gramophone. At the same time, her form briefly went wispy, nearly transparent before coming back. "-Sparkle, what is going-" she started to say before fading out again.

"Princess?" Twilight asked worriedly, "Is everything alright?"

Luna tried to say something, but Twilight could hear nothing from her. Around her, the landscape started to curl in on itself as the dream collapsed.

Twilight woke with a start, and immediately noticed two things. The first was that she had, at some point in her sleep, curled up around herself and the purple tuft of fur at the end of her tail twitching softly in front of her.

The second was something warm and soft was curled up around her, and snoring like a buzzsaw.

She glanced behind her to see Discord asleep, using her back as a pillow as he snored loudly. Really, how in Celestia's name had she slept through that? "Discord, wake up," She said as she poked him, "Something just happened."

Discord winced at the poke as he slowly dragged himself back into consciousness, "Come on, lady, you were the one-" He stopped when he saw it was Twilight poking him, quickly replacing his groggy frown with a grin, "Ah, Twilight - I have to say, you might be the best time in bed I've had in a while. I might have to recommend everyone sleeps with you at least once."

Twilight flushed at that before leveling a glare at him and gave him another poke.

"Ow!" Discord flinched back, "What are you-"

"You're hurt," Twilight stated flatly, noting for the first time the array of sticking plasters dotted across his side. Twilight started uncurling herself as she rose to stretch, noting that nobody else seemed to be in the hut in the moment. She turned back to Discord. "Why didn't you say something?"

Discord shrugged as he took advantage of the extra room on the cushions. "It wasn't that bad, and I still needed to carry you anyway. The Zebra looked me over and said it was almost all internal stuff anyway." Discord shrugged. "Nothing major."

"Nothing-" Twilight's eyes went wide for a moment before narrowing again as she turned around and started across the room. Zecora had left a small fire burning  in the hearth, and Twilight found herself staring into its flames as she leaned against the mantle, "-why hide it?"

Discord shrugged as he splayed out on his back. "Didn’t see a reason to make you worry."

Twilight twitched, her eyes briefly flicking to the fireplace tools hanging near the hearth. "That...is the single stupidest thing I've ever heard!"

Discord looked up at that, eyes going wide when he saw Twilight as he scrambled to get his legs back underneath him. "Twilight! Let's not be hasty! I mean, adding more injuries is sorta against what you're - gah!"

A few minutes later, Zecora stepped through her front door, a basket of freshly gathered herbs and plants in-mouth, and into the scene of Twilight chasing Discord around her hut while brandishing a fireplace shovel.

"Friends do not hide that sort of thing from each other!" Twilight shouted as she swung at him with the implement.

"Help!" Discord shouted as he scrambled about, dodging swings. "Help! Crazy lady with a shovel!"

 

 

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