Note: This is a sequel to "Discord In Hell (Not Literally)" and may make little sense without reading that story first. Trigger warnings: off-screen torture (we hear the screams and see the aftereffects but do not see the torture itself), implications of rape.

It's his own fault.

It's his own fault.

Spike busied himself with tidying the library obsessively, trying not to listen to the screams from Twilight's workroom.

He made her turn into the kind of pony who could do this to somepony. He deserves it if anypony does. It's his own fault.

"Please, please, no more, please..."

He didn't have to come back. If he wasn't dead, he could have stayed in hiding or whatever he was doing for all those months after I—

After I –

"No, no, please, Twilight, please don't—"

Spike went upstairs to his private stash, grabbed a couple of rubies out of his secret lockbox, and stuffed them in his mouth, wishing he had more. Gems had become rarer treats for him since Discord had messed with Rarity and made her selfish, but he needed them more; they were a comfort food, soothing the wound in his soul left by what Discord had done to his friends and what Twilight had done to herself to beat him.

He deserves it. He deserved it when I tried to kill him and he deserves it now. I don't feel sorry for him.

As Spike started back downstairs, the screams from the workroom peaked, splitting the air with the sound of agony and terror. He turned around and headed back upstairs again.

Maybe I need to ask Twilight for enchanted earmuffs or something...

The young dragon's gut twisted at the sound. I'm not sorry for him, he repeated to himself, going back to his stash to grab an extra sapphire. He sat on the floor for several minutes, rocking slightly, sucking on his sapphire, savoring the taste, letting the clear crystalline flavor wash over him so he wouldn't have to think about what was going on downstairs and he wouldn't have to feel I don't feel guilty! I don't feel guilty for letting this happen! He deserves this, he deserves every minute of it! I killed him once and I'm not sorry and if Twi needs something from him she can only get by—by—

"Spike." Twilight's voice rang out through the library, amplified by magic.

Hurriedly Spike swallowed the gem. It wouldn't do for Twilight to know he was comfort-snacking. She'd be disappointed. She kept meals on a rigid, predictable schedule now and she didn't like him to spoil his dinner, and if he told her that the sounds from her workroom were upsetting him she'd just remind him of exactly what he was trying to remind himself. Discord deserved this treatment. He'd turned Applejack into a manipulative, conniving mare and Rainbow Dash into a self-centered jerk who talked about all the great stuff she did for her friends but didn't actually do any of it and Rarity was selfish now and Twilight...

Oh, Twilight...

Discord deserved it. Whatever it was Twilight was doing to him that was making him scream like that, he deserved it. Just like he'd deserved it when Spike had smashed his statue into rubble. Which hadn't actually killed him and that was a relief because Spike had never wanted to be a killer but he had to, after the awful things Discord had done to his friends and the collapse of Equestria in a year of chaos and Princess Luna was dead and Spike had to do it because what if Discord got loose again? Ever?

And then after all that angst and all that nerving himself and all the guilt and anguish he'd felt over his decision to take a life, it turned out Discord wasn't dead after all. Stupid Discord. He shouldn't have come back if he wasn't dead. He shouldn't have messed with the ponies again.

He shouldn't have messed with Twilight. Not since Twilight had become so very, very scary—

So very, very powerful. Not scary. Spike wasn't scared of Twilight. She was his big sister, his mother figure, his mentor. So she'd turned really, really cold and weird since uniting her Element with that mystic item Spike had helped her track down, the Diadem of Order, because magic was fundamentally linked to chaos and therefore order was its opposite and also order opposed Discord and that was how she'd harmonized her friends, brought them under control so that they could use their Elements against Discord. It wasn't her fault! It wasn't her fault what she'd become any more than it was any of theirs. Twilight had done it to herself, whereas Discord had done it to the rest of them, but she'd done it to stop Discord so it was his fault too.

He deserved this. He deserved to be bound in Twilight's workroom screaming himself hoarse. Spike didn't feel guilty about that. At all.

Spike took a deep breath as he got to his feet. "Yeah, Twilight?"

"My session is complete. Could you please come to the workroom and assist me with cleanup?"

Spike's gut lurched. He didn't want to see what Twilight had done to Discord. Even though he totally deserved it. Whatever it had been. It was just... likely to be gross, that was all.

But he couldn't (didn't dare) disobey Twilight. He was still her number one assistant, after all, even after all this. "O-okay, right on my way."

He headed back downstairs. At least the screaming had finally stopped.

When he arrived he winced at the smell in the room. Dragon senses of smell were better than pony senses. The foul stench of burned fur and flesh met hot copper met the smell of blood, that weird acidic blood that smelled like his own blood had been put in a blender with pony blood and then mixed with some kind of weird herbs or something and maybe also charcoal.

There was a large magic circle carved into the center of the room, still glowing slightly, full of runes and symbols that Spike had refrained from looking up after he'd tried to find just one of them and had had nightmares for weeks about the implications he'd read. Discord was bound to pony-height posts at the seven points of a star within the circle, forelimbs, hind limbs, and wings spread-eagled to six of the points by rope connected to the cuffs and rings fastened around or embedded in his various body parts, and his tail bound underneath him by the ring in it to the post behind his head, pulling him so tightly his body bowed upward. His head dangled limply, eyes closed, right by the end of his tail where it was fastened to the seventh point. Coils of copper wire connected to the posts and then ran through Discord's body, looping through his limbs, wings and tail, piercing him in numerous places, dripping blood to the floor. The wires ended in sharp-toothed clamps that had been fastened onto Discord's chest and belly, seven of them, running in two lines of three down his body with the seventh down where—Spike jerked his head away, the sheathed masculinity between his own legs twitching violently in involuntary sympathy. Nothing was visible through the sheath but Spike knew perfectly well where male dragon genitalia was hidden and Discord's lower body was more dragon than not. Blood trickled from where the clamps bit into his skin.

The floor of the circle was covered in blood. It didn't look like the trickles and drips could account for all of it. Maybe he had an open wound someplace Spike couldn't see, or maybe Twilight had healed whatever she'd done to him that had caused so much blood to end up on the floor.

There was an occasional faint whimper from the unmoving, bound form, which was the only way Spike could tell that he wasn't dead.

Twilight was pristine, clean and unmarred, the Element around her neck still faintly glowing. "I believe I'm on the verge of a breakthrough, Spike," she said, the modulated excitement in her voice almost reminiscent of what she'd been, before. "The conversion of Chaos magic to Harmonic magic is almost resolved. A few more experiments and I may be able to derive the equation to perform the conversion without the purifying apparatus."

"That's great, Twilight," Spike said, trying to mean it. "What happens then?"

Twilight began going on at length about the entropic gradient and the force of decay and converting entropy to energy in defiance of the fundamental laws of energy and magic and honestly Spike didn't understand more than a third of it, but she seemed to think that she would be able to make non-alicorn ponies immortal once she had the equations down, and Spike supposed that would be a good thing. After the suffering Discord had caused, maybe it was only fair that he be used to bring eternal life to ponies. Or something.

It was hard for Spike to look at him. He looked closer to dead than he had when he'd been a pile of rubble at Spike's feet. Smashing the statue had been hard, so hard, because he'd known it was alive, but the statue hadn't bled, or screamed, or changed expression as he'd battered it until it crumbled. Discord was living flesh and blood now... especially blood. Lots and lots of blood... Spike looked away.

"In any case," Twilight said. "I would appreciate it if you would clean up the floor and our guest before Fluttershy arrives to pick him up." The wires were untangling themselves, pulling out of Discord's body and uncoiling, rolling back to the posts, as the ropes untied themselves from the cuffs and rings. Discord floated higher, clearing Spike's head. "The levitation spell will wear down and lower him in precisely fifteen minutes, by which point you should have cleaned up the floor sufficiently that he can be laid down on it. The sight of too much blood may set Fluttershy off on one of her spells, so I believe he should be thoroughly cleaned and any major points of blood loss bandaged before she arrives. I must write down my findings before I lose track of them. Will you be able to deal with this for me?"

Spike shuddered. "Sure, Twilight," he said, because what else could he say?

When she was gone, he mopped the blood as quickly as possible. There was a lot of it, and the circle, drawn to contain Discord, was large. He had it mostly cleaned up when Discord started to float back down to the floor.

At least Twilight hadn't dropped him suddenly, Spike thought, and then was angry at himself. He shouldn't want mercy for Discord. Discord deserved this. He bundled up the bloody rags and carried them to the far side of the room to throw them out.

"I'll bet... you think... I deserve this..." a cracked, hoarse voice whispered.

Spike spun around. Did Discord read minds now, or was that Spike's own guilty conscience imagining things? "Did you say something?"

"I'm not... the one, Spike." Discord's eyes were slitted as if the light hurt them or he was too weak to open them fully. He lay limply within the circle, unmoving except for his lips and hardly even them, his head turned to the side on the stone floor, looking at Spike.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Not... the one you... killed. He's... he's quite dead. Proud... Spike?"

"What are you talking about?"

Discord closed his eyes. "I didn't do it. Any... of it. I'm... not the same... one."

"You mean there's more than one of you?"

Discord chuckled weakly. "Not... per... universe. But... chaos... means... never having to... wonder... what might've been."

"I don't understand."

"Millions... of universes... little dragon. Cognates. Same world, but... different things. Happen. Every time... you decide... or anypony does... every decision. A new universe. One where you made... that choice... and one... where you... didn't."

"Twilight talked about that one time. The multiverse theory of parallel universes, she said?"

"...yes..." He seemed like he was losing consciousness. Spike grabbed his head, which seemed to be uninjured.

"You can't just pass out on me now! What do you mean, you're not the one?"

Discord opened his eyes. "You've been... helping... her torture... innocent..."

Spike's insides twisted on him again. "You're not innocent! I know you're not innocent!"

"Didn't... change... Elements." He closed his eyes again. "My universe... they beat... me. First time. Didn't... notice... Twilight... got them... free. Never... touched the... Elements. Just... the bearers... and they got... better."

Spike shook his head. "You're lying."

"Think... I'd've... ignored... dragon who... killed me? He's... dead, Spike. You... killed... cold blood. Bra...vo."


"My world... Elements... changed me. Reformed... me. Fluttershy..." His voice broke, his closed eyes squeezed tightly.

"Now I know that's a lie. If you reformed, you wouldn't have attacked Canterlot!"

Discord opened his eyes again, and nodded. "Shouldn't... have. Was wrong... Fluttershy... mad if I... did it... at home. Wanted... to be... a little bad... then go... home..." He started coughing violently, hacking up blood.

"You're lying," Spike said helplessly.

"Can't... lie. Twilight's spell... remember?"

Spike twisted his claws around each other in anxiety. If Discord was telling the truth... he couldn't be telling the truth. But he had to be, because of the honesty spell, and because Spike had always wondered, why hadn't he come to get revenge? After a year of tormenting ponies, turning Luna back into Nightmare Moon and setting her at Celestia's throat, plunging all Equestria into total chaos... after Spike had killed him, in cold blood, with a sledgehammer, while he was helpless... why did he come back and make it rain fish in Canterlot, make pies fly through Ponyville, alter gravity so it radiated from the sides of buildings in Manehattan and force ponies to walk up the sides of skyscrapers to get to their apartments? Why was everything he'd done silly, not even as cruel as the mind control and animal transformations he'd done when he first broke out? Why hadn't he come to get revenge on Spike, or the Elements that had bound him despite his best efforts to paralyze them?

But it couldn't be true, because if it was true... then Discord was innocent. Then he didn't deserve the torture Twilight was inflicting on him.

And Spike didn't have the courage to defy his cold and terrifying older sister for the sake of the draconequus he'd murdered once.

"You must have deserved this!" Spike said. "Something you did made you deserve this! Twilight wouldn't do this to you if—if—"

"Really... Spike?" He coughed again. "She's changed... quite... a bit, hasn't... she? Other one's... fault. Believe me... no grudge... my part. I'd... swing that... hammer... myself if you... hadn't."

"You're... you're trying to trick me. You're going to... you're going to try to fool me into thinking you're innocent, so I help you..."

"Fish... rain... in Canterlot. I deserve... this, Spike? For... for that?" He curled up slightly on himself, his tail, bent back behind him, slowly scraping across the floor as he drew it forward to bring it to his front side. "Do you... know... what they're... doing... to me? Any... idea?"

Spike was breathing hard. "I know that Fluttershy and Applejack and Rarity are supposed to be training you to take orders, that's all I know," he said.

Discord chuckled. It was not a pleasant laugh. "Know... what... Flutters'... orders are?"

"Uh... I guess she has you help her with the animals?"

He didn't expect Discord to burst out laughing... which turned into racking coughs seconds later. "How... old are... you, dragon... child?"

"I'm fourteen! If I was a pony I'd probably already have my cutie mark by now!"

Discord nodded weakly. "Still... child, though. So... advice. Don't... be alone... with Fluttershy. Ever. You're... not... a pony."

"Um... yeah, I know I'm not a pony, but... Fluttershy loves animals."

"Oh, yes. Loves them. Could... show you... some scars... but no. Child. Fluttershy... loves non-ponies... wrong. All I'll say." His eyes closed again. "For... fish rain. Not... really... expert on... fairness. Balance. Never... made sense... to me. You're... all harmony... and stuff. Does... that balance? They've... they've got... diamond... studded whips. Yummy... to eat. Not... so much... on your skin. But's... for me. Not you. I... hope. You're... child."

"What do you mean, Fluttershy loves non-ponies wrong?" Spike asked, whispering.

Discord sighed. "Won't... leave it... will you?" He looked away from Spike at nothing in particular. "You live... library. Go look... up... nonconsensual... xenophilic... sadistic... domination. Then... don't be... alone... with Fluttershy. Ever."

Spike might be a baby dragon, given the absurdly long lifespans of dragons, but he wasn't a baby. He was very, very well read. He knew what those words meant, even as his young mind shied desperately away from the implications.

"I don't want to talk to you," Spike said. "I don't owe you anything." He turned around to stomp out, sick at heart. Discord had to be lying. What he was saying... no, that couldn't be true. Not about Fluttershy. Fluttershy couldn't... she couldn't be...

"Spike, please... help me..."

Reluctantly Spike turned around. He was supposed to clean up Discord's obvious bleeding injuries and bandage them before Fluttershy saw. Fluttershy had become capable of enormous cruelty, but sometimes she had sudden fits of self-hatred, black raging depression, even attempts at self-harm or suicide, when she saw some beings in states of terrible bloody injury. Against his will, Spike thought back, remembering who besides Discord had triggered such fits in her... animals. It was always animals, animals that at some point had been in her care. Or Discord, when Twilight's experiments messed him up. Spike had never understood why Fluttershy would fall into grief-stricken self-loathing fits sometimes when at other times she could expertly care for injured animals.

What if it was her old Kindness, reacting badly with the evidence of what her new Cruelty had done? Or might do?

No. No. Fluttershy couldn't. "I'm supposed to bandage you," Spike said sourly. "I'm not going to do anything else for you, so you can forget it."

"I've got... a letter... please..."

Spike blinked. "A letter? What do you want... wait, do you want to send a letter to Princess Celestia?"

"Twilight's... wrong, Spike. As wrong... as... Fluttershy. As... Rarity. You... you know this."

"Because of what you did to them!"

Discord shook his head. "Didn't. You... killed... that guy. Got... revenge. Good... for you... but... didn't fix... anything. Did it."

"Do you think Princess Celestia can do anything to help them?" Spike asked, meaning it to be sarcastic and angry, but it came out almost desperate, like maybe it was possible, maybe Discord knew something, could give Princess Celestia some information on how to undo the spell the other Discord had performed on the Elements, maybe...

"Someone's... got to."

Spike wrapped a good quantity of surgical tape around the draconequus' bleeding talon before remembering that he probably needed to apply a dressing as well. Oh, well, the idea was just to keep him from bleeding all over the place; Fluttershy could give him any actual medical treatment he needed. (And if it was true about Fluttershy? No, it couldn't, it couldn't be.) "Where are you keeping this letter? It's not like you've got pockets." The moment he said it, a horrifying thought occurred to Spike. "Oh... no. Please don't tell me..."

"Fear... not..." Discord whispered, a manic grin on his face. "No... privacy... that way... anyway. Found... another... way." He lifted the now-bandaged talon and drew it to his side, where the harness that generally bound his wings while Fluttershy was walking him around was bound around him, and pushed the harness out of the way, then ripped at his own skin. Spike put a hand to his mouth, trying not to be sick, as Discord drew a blood-soaked flattened cylinder of paper, twisted at both ends, out from underneath the now-loose flap of skin.

"Oh, gross," Spike said.

"Would... you've... preferred... the other... storage location?" Discord asked, wincing in pain but still grinning. "My... standard issue... body cavities... aren't... very private... nowadays. Needed... new one. Fluttershy... obliged me. Or... was this... Applejack? Can't... remember. So... many times."

Spike tried very, very hard to have no idea what Discord was talking about. "This is ruined. There's no way this scroll will be readable. It's soaked in blood."

"Just... outside. Not... scroll. Envelope."

The ends of it were twisted together as if Discord had been trying to keep something inside, and it had the weight of multiple sheets of paper. "What'd you do, crumple up a bunch of pages and stick them in there?"

"Folded... some."

Spike sighed. "I should probably take the whole thing apart, unfold it, and recopy it out. The odds that the Princess can actually read any of this are really low."

"No!" Discord's eyes widened and his hoarse voice cracked with fear. "Can't... Twilight!"

It was true. If he took the time to copy the pages out, Twilight would find out. But would that be so bad? "Discord, if you're really innocent... why don't we tell Twilight? If she knows you know a way to advise Princess Celestia about how to undo what happened to the Elements... I know she wants that."

Discord shook his head. "Thinks... eternal life... for ponies. From... research... torturing me. You... you think innocence... stands up to... that?" He closed his eyes again. "'Sides. Still... Discord. Didn't... warp Elements... but did... break loose, cause chaos... come here, do more. No... pity from... her. Hates... me." He pressed his talon to his abdomen. "Ugh... please hurry... Spike... feel so sick..."

"Well, this does smell really bad," Spike said. "Maybe I can just refold it?"

"Please... before... she comes... please..."

Spike took a deep breath, and instantly regretted it. The document smelled strongly of blood, but when he got a deeper whiff, he picked up vomit and bird poop and dirt. "All right, I'll send it to Princess Celestia... ugh." He swayed suddenly, feeling dizzy. "What the hay?"

"She'll... be back... any... minute. Please..."

"I just feel weird. Like... like my insides got... pulled out and poked through a tiny hole. Except it didn't hurt, it just made me feel sick all of a sudden."

"Join... club."

This time, Spike was careful to keep the document away from his face as he drew a deep breath, and then turned and pointed his head at it, still holding it away from his face, as he released the messenger fire. The document burnt in a flash of green flame. Bright green flame. "That's weird."

He looked down at Discord, intending to ask if the draconequus knew anything about the odd color change, but Discord had twisted his flexible neck so his head was almost out of the circle, pointing down rather than lying limply. Even as Spike turned his attention to him, Discord threw up, vomiting chunks of something unidentifiable that smelled beyond awful, and he kept retching until long after nothing but blood was coming up anymore. Spike could do nothing but watch. And clean it up, silently, after the chaos spirit had laid his head back down on the floor some distance from where he'd stretched to throw up, panting weakly.

"Do you need a drink?" Spike asked, after he was done cleaning the vomit.

"I'd... give you... very own... floating island of... gemstones for one. If... had the... power. Anymore."

Spike didn't want to take the risk of heading to the kitchen, where he might have to see Twilight. He used the water from the bathroom, where he'd gotten the mop water for his cleaning. It wasn't ice cold and he had to put it in a different bucket because he didn't have any drinking glasses in here, but Discord stuck his head in the bucket and slurped like he'd been three days in the desert. While he was distracted, Spike bandaged his legs, this time remembering to use a dressing.

Finally Discord removed his head from the bucket. He had splattered the water all over his muzzle and neck, which wasn't a bad thing as it had washed away the vomit. "You're... good dragon... Spike."

"I don't know if I'm a good dragon. When I talk to dragons, it sounds like they think I'm a terrible dragon. I just want to be a good... being. You know?"

Discord laughed weakly. "Good... pony."

"Well... kind of, yeah. But I'm not a pony."

"Advice... then. From one... not a pony... to another. Never... be good... pony. Won't work... older you get... more what... you are. Can't stop. Shouldn't."

Spike felt cold. "I don't want to be like the dragons I've met."

"Don't... be. Be... like the dragon... you want. To be. Never... never... ashamed... of dragon. Not pony."

"You mean, never be ashamed of being a dragon and not a pony?"

Discord nodded.

"I don't know what kind of good advice that is coming from you. I mean, whatever it is you are... maybe you'd have been better off if you'd been more like a pony."

"Better... off." Discord nodded again. "But... can't. Can't... be... what you're... not. Won't work. Don't... try." He closed his eyes. "At least... there are... dragons. Some maybe. Like what... you want. And... if not... can see what not. To do. At least... there are others. For you."

"Maybe," Spike said, and then realized what Discord was saying. He was called a god or a spirit, but that had to be like Celestia being a goddess, right? Because he bled, and without his magic he didn't heal. Just like an alicorn, even a sun-raising alicorn, was still a pony... Discord was still something that wasn't a pony. "There aren't any other draconequuses, are there? Just you."

"We... prefer... draconequui." He smiled wryly, eyes still closed. "Except... no we. Last one."

"Did they die out while you were a statue or something?"

"Died out... I was four. Five. Something. Don' remember. So tired."

"You were five when your people died out?" That was a horrifying thought... and if it was true, maybe that explained why Discord was the way he was. Now Spike felt even worse about killing the other one. "What happened?"

Discord said nothing. When Spike lifted his still-bleeding lion paw to bandage and dress it, it was completely limp. He'd fallen asleep. Or fainted from blood loss, finally.

The door opened behind him. Spike jumped in startlement. "Ah, uh, Twilight! And Fluttershy! Hi! I was just, you know, finishing up with the bandages..."

"It's okay, Spike," Fluttershy said softly. "I can take it from here." She walked over to Discord's head. "Wake up." Spike could hear the coldness, the cruelty, in her snapped command.

Discord's eyes opened. "Please... so tired..."

"I'm sure I can think of something to wake you up if you can't manage," Fluttershy said sweetly, except it wasn't sweetly, it was a parody of Fluttershy's sweetness, and after the things Discord had said Spike felt ill. Fluttershy couldn't really... she was cruel half the time now, everypony knew that, but still she couldn't be... she couldn't want to do that... to Discord... could she?

"I, uh, I'm just going to go take a bath now, is that okay Twilight? I think I'm kind of stinky."

"You are," she said, nodding. "He threw up?"

"Uh, yeah."

"What was it he tried to lie about?"

"Oh, were you lying to Spike?" Fluttershy snagged her hoof in Discord's collar and tugged it, hard, choking him. "Oh, dear. We'll have to have a special punishment for that."

The utter despair in Discord's eyes made Spike's conscience twist within him again. "He didn't even talk!" he said, lying, because he wasn't under a spell. "I think it was maybe just the smell of the cleaning fluid that set him off, or something. He seemed like he was too weak to talk, and it's not like I go around making conversation with Discord."

"Is that true?" Fluttershy asked, still with her parody of sweetness, and Spike felt sudden horror. Discord couldn't lie. He had just lied to protect Discord, and Discord couldn't lie, so he would give Spike away and then Twilight would hear that Spike had lied and...

" After... threw up. Brought... me water. I said... he was... good dragon. Then too... tired. Can't talk... please, Fluttershy... so tired..."

"Mm." Twilight nodded, as Spike tried not to visibly show himself sagging with relief. "Well. It's possible the procedure itself could have induced nausea. He is weakened right now, Fluttershy; I would not engage in any disciplinary exercises with him without permitting him to heal himself first, were I you."

Fluttershy nodded. "If he's a good colt and he gets up now and lets me walk him home, maybe I won't need any disciplinary exercises tonight." She giggled.

"Going to take bath now bye!" Spike shouted, and all but ran from the room, before he had to see more of the glee in Fluttershy's face and the despair in Discord's and the emptiness in Twilight's.

Before jumping in the bath, he scrawled out a quick note,

Dear Princess Celestia,

This is Spike, not Twilight. Did you get Discord's letter? I think he had some idea about how you could fix Twilight and the others. Sorry if it's too gross and hard to read, it was all crumpled up and bloody. I really hope it helps. – Your friend and subject Spike the dragon

He made the water as hot as it would get—he could take it a lot hotter, but the magic that gave Ponyville taps hot water was calibrated for the comfort of ponies, not dragons, and had a nice vigorous scrub. As he was toweling off, he felt the familiar need to belch. He released a gust of flame, and caught the scroll before it could fall to the bathroom floor.

It had Princess Celestia's seal on it. Excitedly, Spike unrolled it right there in the bathroom, even though he knew he shouldn't have paper around water, because he had to know what Princess Celestia had been able to get from Discord's message, if it was going to help, if there was any hope for Twilight and Rarity and the others.

He stared at the message on the scroll in puzzlement, and then a dawning feeling of dread, horror and betrayal.

Dear Spike,

What letter from Discord? Please explain. I've received no such thing.

Sincerely, Princess Celestia

This story is in the same continuity as "The Last Draconequus", "Princess Twilight Sparkle Endcaps" and "Elements of Opposition." The fic sequence for this particular continuity goes like this:

Last Draconequus and related fics: Discord's childhood and history

Awkward Conversations: Post "Keep Calm and Flutter On", pre-Alicorn Twilight. Discord has conversations with several other characters. Most of them do not go well.

Princess Twilight Sparkle Endcaps:

- Vines: Pre-"Princess Twilight Sparkle". Discord decides to help with the vines. Mostly.

- Detente: Post-"Princess Twilight Sparkle". Zecora comes to Discord with an offer from the Tree of Harmony, and some advice.

Light Rain: Discord has something to show Fluttershy. Bridge between "Princess Twilight Sparkle Endcaps" and "Elements of Opposition".

Elements of Opposition (series):

- Discord in Hell (Not Literally): Discord travels to an alternate universe to wreak entertaining havoc, and picks the wrong one. After being enslaved with twisted versions of the Elements of Harmony that his now-dead counterpart had corrupted, thus corrupting their Bearers, Discord writes a desperate plea for help.

- Twilight Sparkle's Report On The Entropic Gradient: Technically happens before "Discord in Hell". The corrupted Twilight Sparkle outlines her plan for Discord to her version of Princess Celestia.

- Dragonfire and Sympathy: The alternate Spike is trying not to have any sympathy for Discord.

- World Without Harmony: Stories of the alternate universe.

- Elements of Opposition: The Mane 6 from the regular universe go on a mission to rescue Discord from the alternate universe.

These are not hyperlinked because fanfiction dot net strips hyperlinks, but all of them either are or soon will be available on my author page.

For updates and notes about my work, visit my Livejournal at alara-r dot livejournal dot com. (Fanfiction dot net strips links, so I have to write it out like that.)

Support my writing and see sneak previews, incompletes, outlines and working notes! Maybe even vote on what I write next, or get me to write you a fic. See my account at www dot dot com slash alarajrogers.