-Chapter I- Back In the Saddle
-The Revolution, Skyrim
-August 2, 2012
"Nick just-...just hold...stop moving!" Katara demanded as she used her waterbending to heal me.
"Can you blame me?" I asked. "I've been stuck in this thing for like two eternities now! I can't help that I'm a bit anxious."
"Nick, we can't get that cast off until Katara's done. Sit still like a good boy and you'll get a lollipop." Aang teased, watching us from across the room.
"Ha ha very funny" I retorted sarcastically. "And besides, I thought I'm already healed, so why does she have to do this?"
"I'm not so much as healing you, but looking for anything that would make removing the cast hazardous." Katara explained.
"So you're just making sure it's safe before we take me out of this thing?" I asked.
We were in my room of the Revolution's base while I lied on the couch in my full-body cast that I was put in after Link had attacked me, believing that I was a traitor after tempting Saria and Sonic's lives. Although I was technically, but unconsciously was, I wasn't any longer.
"I don't see anything fatal. The initial injuries have healed, maybe a few bruises but that's probably normal." Katara said at last.
"Probably?" I asked uneasily.
"Well, keep in mind this is American medical attention. I'm not exactly accustomed to this sort of thing. It's...different from Water Tribe healing." She retracted the water from my body.
"True..." I trailed off, waiting to ask the question that I really wanted to know the answer to. "So...I'll be able to have this thing cut off of me?" I asked in conformation.
"Yep." She answered with a smile.
"Hooray! Let's celebrate with a cake." I heard Cloud say, assuming he entered the room through the open door. He entered my view, which was limited to straight up due to my neck being in a fixated position, and looked down at me and Katara. "Aang, your girlfriend is touching Nick's body." He said with a laugh.
"Oh, and where exactly is Tifa?" Aang asked.
"With Saria and this one's girlfriend." Cloud said. He must had referred to Link.
"Hey Link." I called. I didn't get a response.
"Oh come on, it's not his fault he was taken over by an evil counterpart of himself from another dimension." Cloud said.
"For the record I was being serious about that." I said.
"Yeah, yeah, we know."
"Crash told us with the little English he knows about the '9th Dimension'". Link said.
"Then why do I feel as though you still resent me, Link?" I asked.
"I have to admit, we did kind of ditch Nick..." Aang commented.
"But it's just the idea." Link said sternly. "He tried to kill Cloud, Saria, and Sonic because of it."
"And we all have forgiven him because we know it wasn't him." Cloud said in my defense. Regret burned in my stomach. "And better yet, he didn't."
I heard Link groan.
"What are you upset about? You're the one who sent him flying out a window, two stories down after being impaled and filled with arrows." I heard Saria say. "Everyone else has forgiven him, Link."
"Can we just...change the subject?" I begged.
"Yeah. So what did you find?" Saria asked Katara.
"Nothing, he's good to go." She answered.
"So when will he be able to get it taken off?" I heard Zelda say.
"How many people are in here, exactly?" I asked.
"Only the eight of us." Saria said.
"I'm here too." Tifa said.
"Make that nine." I heard Twilight say.
"What's up, Twi?" Saria asked.
"Well, pending on Nick's condition, I was going to ask him something."
"I'm about to go get this thing off." I said.
"But he probably won't be able to do very much. His muscles are still weak from neglect." Katara said.
"You're kidding, right?"
"No. It's been about a month, Nick. Just be glad it was such a short span of time. If it were only Water Tribe healing, Tamriel, or American, it'd take most likely a little over seven months, if I were to guess."
"So what all did you all do for him anyway?" Cloud asked.
"Well, with the technology of America, healing potions from Tamriel, Hyrule, and Equestria, along with the Water healing sessions I've been having with him once a week, he was actually able to make a surprisingly quick recovery." Katara explained.
"Great! So where am I off to next?" I asked eagerly.
"Danica said she'd be more than happy to get the cast off for you." Aang said.
"Danica knows how?"
"She's been taking lessons from other American doctors." Saria piped in.
"But she knows how to operate the saw to get this thing off of me?"
"I guess we'll have to see." Aang said with a wide smile.
"I'll just talk to you on our way to the Intensive Care Unit." Twilight said.
"Here, Nick. I'll take you down there." Cloud offered.
"No, I got him." Saria objected.
"Girl, I gots 'dis. You go play with your bow and arrows."
"Oh, snap." Aang said.
"The sassyness is real." I added.
"It's really real." Link said with a slight chuckle.
"It's over 9000." Cloud laughed.
Saria sighed. "Alright, go."
"Thank you very much, ma'am."
"Are we going?" I asked, still anxious.
"Yeah, yeah. Let's go. Aang, Link, help me with this." He said as he tried to lift me. With the three of them I was set down on a stretcher on wheels.
"Let us know how it goes." Tifa said as her, Zelda, Katara, and Saria left the room while we followed, then turned the opposite direction.
"Alright, Twilight, what was it you wanted to ask?" I asked, watching as the lights overhead appeared from the bottom of my vision then leaving from the top of it.
"Well, Princess Celestia said we'd have kind of like a parade and feast to celebrate me becoming a full-fledged princess." Twilight explained.
"As opposed to..." Cloud trailed off.
"I just got my own castle!" She exclaimed excitedly.
"Anyway..." I signaled to continue the conversation.
"Anyway, she wanted the members of the Coup to be there, as well as you in the parade."
"Well, you are the 'Savior of Equestria', one of my friends, and not mention being the Element of Courage."
"The element of who now?" Cloud asked, puzzled.
"The seventh Element of Harmony." I told him.
"The seventh was lost in something Princess Celestia called 'The Abyss'."
"How?" Link piped in.
"We're not sure." I said. "Celestia didn't tell us because apparently she doesn't remember. All we know is it has something to do with one of my past lives."
"How many past lives do you have, anyway?" Aang asked. "I thought you said the last Power Keeper died like, a thousand years ago."
"You don't have any room to talk about past lives, 'Avatar' Aang." Link said lightheartedly.
"And you do?" Cloud chuckled. "How many Links have there supposedly been, now?"
"Anyway." Twilight said to get our attention.
"Anyway you want us to be there with me in the parade. Got it. When is it?" I asked.
"The day after tomorrow." She answered.
"Okay, do you want us to go to Equestria then or today?"
"Whatever you want to do, I guess."
"Today it is, then. We'll leave after we're done with this."
"I thought you hated Equestria." Link said. "Er...hated being a pony, anyway."
"I do, but if it means I will be able to move and not be stuck on a bed with limbs so weak that I won't even be able to sit up, so be it."
"Are you even going to be able to leave the ICU today after getting the cast off?" Aang asked.
"Yeah, he's only getting it off. It's not like they're doing anything to him." Twilight said.
"But the entire Coup? Isn't that a bit...I don't know, risky with all the 'friends' we have?" Cloud asked.
"Well, we haven't seen any sign of the Blood Knights since our last...meeting; Locke is still probably trying to find a way to kill me since I broke one of his guns; and the Revelation isn't that powerful, so I highly doubt they'd be willing to directly attack the Revolution Base. And they are the only three real threats we have." I told him.
"You've seriously got to tell me how you ended up with them at your throat." Cloud said. I forgot Cloud was still considerably new.
"I'll entice you with the exquisite details later. But for now, we get me out of this stupid thing." I said, noticing that we were in the Intensive Care wing. We moved through the extensive hallways and into the large waiting room.
"Are you ready to be free again, Nick?" Aang asked. Only I could feel the joy within me and understand why my body vibrated with anticipation.
"Nick, are you finally able to get out?" I heard Danica ask.
After much fear flowing through me as Danica handled some sort of saw that cut through the plaster of the cast as though it were butter, I was able to move my limbs, though just barely and very weakly. My fingers twitched as I struggled to move my arm.
"Now, you won't be able to move very much due to lack of use of your limbs. So you'll be shaky and it'll take some time." Danica explained.
"Yeah, I know." I said quietly. "But as for any other form of mine..." I said with a mischievous smile.
"Nick, I highly doubt your body will be able to fix itself if you're in another form. Just stay here until you actually can move properly." Link advised.
"I'll deal with it later." I said, anxious to be able to move again. "Even if I do have to eventually, I want to at least be able to do something."
"I can understand that." Cloud spoke up.
Danica shook her head, "well, I guess it's up to you. I have no idea what will happen to your human form if you were to transform into your pony or machop form. I mean, it's typically not something that happens in medical science."
"I can imagine." I said as Aang and Link picked me up and set me in a wheelchair.
"Go, be free." Danica said to me as we left with me being pushed by Cloud. "Just be careful, and don't go being hard-headed like you always do and hurt yourself."
"He'll be fine. We'll watch him." Cloud called back.
"Alright, so what are we doing again?" Aang asked Twilight, who had been sitting in the waiting room just outside the operating room I was in.
"Nick, are you sure you want to head to Equestria?" Link asked.
"Yeah, why not? I mean, I'll be in a parade celebrating Twilight getting a castle, you'll all be there...I'll be able to walk..." I listed.
"And what if you really can't do what it is you're expecting you'll be able to do."
"What do you mean?"
"What if you're weakened state carries over to your pony form."
"Then I'm very well screwed." I said simply. "But I can at least hope, right?"
"Alright..." Link trailed off.
"Also, Nick?" Twilight quietly asked.
"Yeah?" I replied.
"Fluttershy seems to think that...you were with her when you were injured. Like, with her. Talking to her, reassuring her..." She trailed off. "You don't think that was just a way to cope with you're...accident? Or..."
I stopped to think for a moment. Though the others most likely wouldn't have believed it, I was with Fluttershy as we watched the medics of the Revolution tend to my every wound. I didn't know what it was exactly, but I could vaguely remember the words of something called the "Ashen Mist Heart" calling to me, allowing me access into Fluttershy's conscience and therefore, her memories as well. I watched her tragic past, filled with loss, sadness, yet plenty of hope and redemption. "I'll...talk to her about it."
"Alright, because whenever we deny that you couldn't have been there she gets a little...I don't know...upset"
"Hell, knowing Nick he probably somehow was there with her, like an angel." Cloud piped up. We all stopped, standing there in an awkward silence. "Alrighty then.