"Miss? Miss, are you alright?"
The young woman on the ground fluttered her eyes open. A face hovered too close. She screamed and flailing around, tried to get the unfamiliar face away from her own. Her leg hurt too much for her to kick him off, so she lashed out with her nails, meeting skin.
"Ow, stop that! I just pulled you out of the river! Ow, I am not going to hurt you!"
The woman stopped and tried to curl into a ball, but the man above her restricted her movements. She looked up, very scared.
"Who are you?" she whispered.
"The name is Discord. I own a little house up the river a little. I saw you floating on the water, so I jumped in and saved you. What is your name? Maybe there is someone I can call to get you picked up?"
The woman thought hard, but started panicking. She could not remember anything! She looked around franticly for anything that might bring back anything, but nothing looked familiar.
"Calm down," Discord said softly as if approaching a wounded animal.
"I can't remember anything!"
"It is the shock of the water and your near drowning. Your memories will come back as you recover. Here." Discord took his jacket from a nearby rock and draped it over her shoulders. "You are shivering, and you need to get warm, or you might get hypothermia." He stood up and looked around. "My house isn't far. Can you walk?" He held out his hand, and the woman cautiously took it.
Her rescuer helped her stand, only to catch her when her right leg gave out. They both looked down and saw her knee twisted at an odd angle. She felt dizzy and nauseous at the sight. Her eyesight started to tunnel.
"Hey, stay with me!" The stern voice brought her back. She looked up to the face next to hers. "It might be dislocated. I can call a doctor when-"
The woman shook her head, her eyes even more scared than before. "Please, don't call anyone." A fear of being found over whelmed her.
"But we need to-"
"Please." she pleaded. Discord saw the terror in her eyes. Being scared this much without any recollection about who or why she was scared, was terrifying her.
Discord sighed. "Fine. You are lucky. I used to be a EMT."
Slowly but surely they made it back to his house. At the steps, Discord picked up his rescuee, wincing when she cried out in pain, and carried her to the door. He laid her down on his bed and got his med-kit. He never went anywhere without it. He found an old leather belt and held it out to her.
"You might want to bite down on this. Don't want you to lose that pretty tongue of yours, especially before I find out your name." The woman smiled a little at the jest and followed his suggestion. "On three then. One. Two. Three."
A scream resonated throughout the house, but the woman was relieved that the pain had lessened. She smiled her gratitude before passing out completely.
Discord looked at the unconscious woman laying on his bed. Poor girl, he thought. He finished bandaging and bracing her leg and getting her into warm clothes. He made sure that the heater was on, then went to warm himself. He got the fire going and a pot of strong coffee. He changed his clothes and put them in front of the flames next to his unexpected guest's.
He took a closer look at her clothes. Through the dirty and tears, he could see that they were well made and expensive. She was wealthy, and people would be looking for her. Would they think to look here in a tiny town hidden away in the mountains?
The small smile she had given him from behind her wet pink hair appeared in his mind. It was sweet and gentle, nothing like the rich folks he had encountered. Maybe she was a friend and got hand-me-downs? What if she ran away? Or what if her memory issues were merely an act to get attention?
Discord frowned into his mug. Hopefully as she warms up and the pain goes away, her memory will return and she can get out of his life. The thought of having a woman so close after . . . after her made Discord's heart hurt.
On that thought he pulled out his cell and checked for messages. One from Big Mac in town, asking to borrow his truck for a day, but nothing else. He shouldn't be disappointed, but he was. He tossed the phone onto the coffee-table next to his mug and put his head in hands.
Two months. Two months and not a single word. He was keeping his word in not contacting her at all. How much time did she need? Yeah, he understood that her college studies were taking up most of her time and focus, but that was no reason to shut him completely out.
Celestia's beautiful face filled his mind. Her long, multicolored hair flew across her face, seemingly defying gravity. Her lavender eyes were filled with kindness and mystery. Oh, how he missed her.
Discord shut his eyes to hold onto the image just a while longer and found a different set of eyes looking at him. These ones were teal and larger than Celestia's and filled with gratitude and relief. He wondered what they looked like when she laughed.
Discord shook his head, throwing apart the image. Where had that thought come from? He had just met the girl, and he was already wondering how to make her smile? Discord looked at his mug. He picked it up and downed the hot contents, letting the burning clear his head.
The sooner he could get this girl out of his house the better.
Discord went in to check on his guest about an hour later and found her awake. She was sitting up, staring at her hands. He opened his mouth to ask how she was, when he noticed her shoulders shaking slightly. He looked closer and saw wet spots and droplets on her hands. Her pink hair was falling from behind her ears and into her face, creating a veil.
Discord's heart sank at the sight. "Are you alright?"
The woman looked up and scrubbed at her eyes, trying to make the tears disappear, but when she saw the concern on his face, she stopped. The tears welled up again. Her face fell into her hands.
"I still can't remember anything! I have tried and tried, but I can't even remember my own name!" Sobs racked her body. Discord walked over and sat next to her. He could hear her whispering, "I am sorry, So so sorry," over and over again. He hesitantly put a hand on her shoulder.
"It isn't your fault." He grabbed his kit. "Can you let me examine you? Maybe a head injury is causing your memory block."
She nodded and turned towards him as best as she could. Discord found no head injury other than scrapes. He checked for a concussion, but she didn't have one. Discord wasn't sure what was causing her memory loss.
His phone ran as he put away his kit.
"Hey, Disssy. How are you?"
"I am doing fine, Twilight. You?"
Discord rolled his eyes at his friend's sarcasm. "What happened?"
"Spike got into the fireplace again. I got home from the library and found my entire house covered in black paw prints. Spike just sat in the entry, as always, and grinned like he had just made a Picasso. Don't even get me started about the dead squirrels I keep finding on the back porch. It is just plain disgusting. Spike even brought one into the house while I was reading and laid it right on top of my feet!"
"You wanted the dog."
"Yes, I did, but why does he have to be so- so-"
"Yes, childish! This dog is determined to make a mess of everything and look as innocent as ever."
"Dogs are man's best friend."
"Man's being the key word."
"He is only showing her that he loves her." Discord turned to his guest.
"Who was that?"
The woman looked and him and shook her head, that terrified look back on her face. Discord covered the phone.
"Twilight is a good friend of mine. She won't tell anyone. I promise."
"Yeah, I am here."
"Who were you talking to? Is Celestia back?"
He could hear the excitement in her voice. He sighed and rubbed the bridge his nose. Celestia was like a big sister to Twilight, and if anyone was as broken as he was about Celestia's leaving, it was Twilight. "No, it isn't Celestia. I was walking by the river and someone was in the water."
"Really? Is he alright? No, wait the voice was too quiet. Is she alright? The river's temperature could have killed her!"
"Yes, Twilight, she is fine. She dislocated her knee and had mild hypothermia, but she is alert." Discord paused. He closed the door behind him, and lowered his voice. "She can't remember a thing, Twilight. Not even her name. I checked for head injuries and a concussion, but she has neither."
"Hmm. Maybe it is a psychological thing? I have heard of people subconsciously blocking memories because they are their traumatized or just too painful."
"Maybe, she freaks out at the mention of me telling anyone she is hear. Maybe that is it?"
"Maybe, only time will tell."
"I don't want her here, Twi! It is just too painful after . . . you know."
Silence. "I know, Discord. It is hard on me too, but she can't move yet, and she needs somewhere to stay until she can."
"Can she stay with you?" Discord let the whine seep into his voice.
"I am hardly home and can hardly take care of a dog, let alone an injured person."
The irritated man snorted. "Fine, she can stay here, just until I can find somewhere else to take her."
"Good, I will ask Rarity and Pinkie. You will have to ask Rainbow and Applejack."
Discord sighs. "Sound like a lot of work." He could hear Twilight snicker at his whining tone.
"What else do you have to do besides paint and mope around? If you want, I can get that housekeeper and let her loose on that rat's nest of a house."
"I cleaned it this morning. You can't use that threat anymore."
"Dangnabit. Now I have to come up with a new one."
"Talk to you later, Twilight."
"Bye Discord. Have fun sleeping on the couch."
"I don't like sleeping on my couch," Discord grumbled as his friend hung up.
A high pitched squeal came from his room, causing Discord to rush back in. His guest was sprawled face first on the floor, as if she had tried to get up and walk. Discord hurried to her side and picked her up.
The young woman in his arms blushed and turned away. "I overheard that you aren't comfortable with me here, so I tried to-"
"I am fine with you being here." The words came out easier and not as bitter as Discord had thought.
They almost felt true.
As he knelt there with this complete stranger in his arms, the constant throbbing in his chest that Celestia had left, seemed to subside to almost nothing. Looking deep into her luminous teal eyes, he felt the dead part of heart flutter. He felt his head bend towards hers. Her eyes slowly shut as her face reached up to his. Her breath smelled sweet and inviting. She felt so small and delicate in his arms, so unlike Celestia's longer, more curvy body.
The thought of Celestia snapped Discord out of this moment. He stood up abruptly and gently put his guest on the bed. He looked away from her.
"You can stay here as long as you need. I will be just down the hall if you need anything."
With that, Discord closed the door on the sight of the confused, hurt woman on his bed.