By the time Pinkie had regained consciousness she'd all but forgotten her trip through the labyrinth.
The fighting, the balloon garden, the elements..all just foggy shapes in the back of her mind.
She fully expected to open her eyes and see her cozy room in Sugarcube Corner, her little body wrapped safe and warm in the blanket Mrs. Cake had so generously given her...
Pinkies eyes shot open.
She wasn't in her bed, she wasn't in Sugarcube Corner and she most certainly wasn't curled up in a warm blanket...
Instead she found herself high above Equestria, looking up into the endless blue of the sky while below her the sound of pouring rain and a bizarre popping sound echoed throughout the land.
Memories flooded the Party Pony's mind.
The Labyrinth, Discord, her friends laughing-
Her ears dropped immediately, her eyes squeezing shut tightly.
"N-no I...how did-?"
"Ah, you're awake my dear!" Discord's voice sounded so happy and full've optimism as he slithered out've the cloud to greet her. "I was worried our little trip had tired you out for the day but it seems you're much too high energy for that."
Pinkie stared at him, eyebrow cocked in confusion until the memory of her little 'deal' caught up to the others.
"How..am I standing on clouds?" Pinkie so spoke strangely slow even she seemed to notice how odd it made things feel...well, odder.
Discord merely chuckled though.
"Those aren't just clouds Pinkie Pie. They're candy. Anypony can walk on candy, right?"
"Shh!" A clawed finger pressed itself against Pinkie's lips, halting any further argument on her part. "I made these clouds for you. I could make a whole palace of them for you, if you'd like. Would you like a cup of hot cocoa, my dear?" At that, the dragonokis snapped his claws, a mug appearing inches above them and dropping into his grip.
"...Maybeee?" The pony replied, eyeing the cup and it's holder with a mix of curiosity and suspicion. She may have been a bit naive, but Granny Pie didn't raise no foal!
Discord continued to smile and chuckle to himself as he dipped the cup into the cloud floor, pulling it back full've dripping chocolate and topped with a ball of cotton candy.
"Ooo, that looks delicio-Waaaitaminute." Pinkie caught herself and took a step backwards. "I see what you're doin'!"
"Do you now?" Discord purred back, placing the mug on a coffee table that appeared to also be made out've candy. "I was under the impression I was making hot cocoa for my beloved. Though do tell me, what is it you think I'm doing?"
"You're trying to make me act all goofy and happy so you can laugh at me!" Her eyes narrowed, her front hooves digging into the fluffy flooring. "You're just like them!"
The trickster merely rolled his eyes, smile growing wider.
"Heh, dear, sweet Pinkie Pie. I assure you..." He ran a soft paw down her face. "I would never, ever, laugh at you."
She stared. Slowly losing her evil eye as Discord stroked her cheek.
"Your friends are boring!" He announced, turning away with a paw on his hip and his griffin-like hand making twirling motions in the air. "So neat and orderly, no sense of adventure and certainly no sense of nonsense! Not like you, Pinkie. You're wonderful!"
Pinkie Pie couldn't help but smile at that, whether 'that' was the compliment or the insult towards her former 'friends' she didn't quite know.
"You are a proper source of Chaos!" Discord continued, his pawed arm joining his clawed one in it's erratic and excited movements. "You know how to have fun and enjoy the sheer...madness of it all! I could never laugh at you, because I truly, truly-" He suddenly grabbed her front hooves, holding them a literal breath away from his so-called 'evil fang. "-admire you."
A blink and a blank look was all he got in return.
"I...seem to have confused you...well, that is my job after all-"
"I'm not confused, silly!" Pinkie corrected, her voice suddenly became chipper and more upbeat than it'd been all day. "You want to be my friend...like, a real friend, right?"
"I'd like to be more than just that, Pinkie Pie. With someone like you by my side...we could finally return Equestria to what it once was...or even more than what it once was! We'll make it an entire world dedicated to us having fun!" Discord's smile widened as his grip on Pinkie's hooves tightened.
The blank look disappeared and she smiled back.
Someponies would say the bitterness in the back of her mind clouded her judgement, that that spell in the labyrinth changed her somehow and made her turn against her friends, against the Princesses...but deep down, it had nothing to do with spells or the elements or the princesses or even her friends' supposed, mocking laughter.
In that moment it was only her and somepony who truly, truly understood her. What she liked, how she acted. Somepony who would never make fun of her, call her crazy, think she was just being 'silly' when she was really busy doing stuff for 'em!
Somepony...who, as it turned out, wasn't even a pony at all.
"Weeeell...that does sound like it'd be quite a party! We have to pick up gummy first though. He LOVES parties!"
The paired smiled at each other, suddenly laughing in unison.
Discord tossed his new 'partner' in the air and catching her only to take off into the clouds towards Ponyville, happy to fetch whatever a 'Gummy' might be.
There would be a big, ol' storm of Chaos tonight alright.
The likes of which nopony had ever seen.