I try SO hard not to work on so many fics at once, but...I was bound to relapse sooner or later.
So here it is, the long-awaited sequel to "Bride of Discord" and "Daughter of Discord." I was hoping to start it after "The Princess and the Unicorn," but I've hit a wall in that story and I realized it has been over a year since "Daughter of Discord." I don't think this one's going to be as long, but it is going to have some dark elements in it.
Disclaimer: I do NOT own "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic."
It was quite possibly the second most horrible day of Discord's life. Number One used to be the day he was turned to stone, but that had been replaced long ago with the day he lost the girl of his dreams, even if he had won her back days later.
Today he had taken over Equestria in rage, was nearly turned to stone again, almost lost his family forever, watched his beloved wife die and was molested by the crazed Queen of the Changelings.
It would've topped all his bad days, had it not ended in happiness.
Thanks to his powerful daughter, Screwball, the changelings were no longer a threat and by some strange magic, his sweet Fluttershy had come back from the dead. With the return of his infant son, Zany, who had been kidnapped by the changelings, his family was whole again and all of Ponyville rejoiced in a grand celebration.
However, Discord was about ready to put this day at Number One, due to the fact that his daughter's boyfriend was moving in.
Don't get him wrong. Mothball was a decent colt. He had rescued Zany from the changelings, helped Screwball defeat the army with their magical kiss and he made the girl happy.
Discord would've liked him a lot better had he not been the son of the witch that wanted to ruin his life.
"Wilkommen!" Screwball exclaimed as she opened the door to the castle. "La Il Château de Caos!"
The changeling walked in, a yellow pegasus with pink hair fluttering behind him, a gray foal also with pink hair and red spiral eyes, matching Screwball's purple ones. Fluttershy raised an eyebrow at her daughter.
"What language were you speaking?"
The pink, purple-haired pony in the propeller hat shrugged. "No idea!"
Mothball gawked at the interior of the Castle of Chaos. The entrance hall was kept relatively normal for the convenience of guests, with green walls bearing family photos, a red couch, a pink and purple checkerboard for a floor, a green crescent-shaped coffee table and a fire place. When he looked up, he saw stairs leading to nowhere and blue doors hanging in mid-air. He nearly collapsed from dizziness.
Screwball giggled at his reaction. "That's right! You haven't been inside before!"
Mothball groaned as he put his hoof to his head. "My head hurts…"
"You'll get used to it! This is your new home, after all!"
He blinked and stared at her. "My…my…"
His legs slid out from underneath him. Panicked, Screwball caught him in her hooves before he hit the floor. Her mother giggled and Screwball looked at her in confusion.
"What'd I say?"
"Sorry," Fluttershy grinned. "It's just that I reacted the same way when I first came here! Do you remember that, Discord?" She frowned when she saw her husband wasn't at her side. "Discord?"
The draconequus peeped his gray head through the front doorway, his expression unreadable.
"Yes," he sighed. "I remember that, darling."
Mothball grumbled as he slowly regained consciousness. Screwball chuckled.
"Glad to see you're alive."
"What happened?" he asked, blushing once he realized Screwball was holding him like a doll.
"You fainted. I was talking about how this was your new home and you fainted. What gives?"
"Sorry," he said, rising to his hooves. "It's just…" his eyes wandered around the room, taking every detail into account, "I've never had a home before. I mean I did, but…"
He went quiet, but Screwball didn't need to hear the rest. Before he had left the changelings to be with Screwball, Mothball had been Queen Chrysalis' heir. He was the rarest kind of changeling, a royal, with the height of an alicorn, slit pupils in his eyes and very powerful. Because he was the only royal changeling other than the queen, he was next in line.
The hive was the only home he ever knew. It wasn't a terrible home. He had his own room and everything. But it never felt like home, for even though he had thousands of brothers and sisters, no one really cared for him. His siblings were all jealous of him and his mother literally didn't have the heart to love him fully. Mothball was the only changeling with a heart, which he had inherited from his pony father. He was still shocked by the recent news from his mother that it takes two to make a royal changeling, though she didn't tell him who his father was.
Oddly enough, he wasn't wondering so much about that. All he could think about was this big change in his life: finding his true love, leaving the only family he had ever known, defeating that family with powerful magic and now moving into this funhouse of a castle.
Screwball put her hoof around him. "Well, we'll make you feel right at home here!"
"That's right," Fluttershy said, patting his head. "You're a part of the family now. Right, Zany?"
The baby colt giggled in response. Discord said nothing, only stared at the changeling.
He looked so much like his mother: green eyes, tiny fangs, blue cobweb hair, a beetle's back, insect wings, holes in his black legs… The only thing he didn't seem to inherit from her was her character. He must've gotten that from his father, whoever he was. Discord knew the changeling meant no harm, especially after Zecora had explained to him that Mothball was not feeding off Screwball's love because her love was reciprocated, but just looking at him brought back so many memories…
Discord stiffened as the teens moved in for a kiss. His fatherly instinct got the better of him as he lunged between them.
"Hold up, hold up!" he exclaimed, darting his eyes at the changeling. "If you're going to live here, we're gonna have to set some ground rules. Rule Number One: you are not to come within twelve feet of each other!"
"Dad!" Screwball whined.
"Fine, twelve inches. So no touching! Ever! Rule Number Two: you are never to be alone in the same room together! Rule Number Three…" His eyes were burning into Mothball's now. "If you hurt my daughter or any other member of my family in any way, I swear I will turn your brains into soup and serve you to the vultures with fava beans and…"
The draconequus grew silent at the angry sound of his wife's voice. He straightened up and smiled innocently.
"Yes, my love? What can I do for you?"
She put her free hoof on her hip and raised her eyebrow at him. This look was softer than her Stare, but it alone was enough to bring the guilt out of Discord.
Those two words were all that was needed to make him submit. His arms drooped to his sides as he let out a groan.
"Fine. I'll play nice with the little insect."
He begrudgingly patted Mothball on the head, which made the changeling cringe in discomfort.
"So, uh…" Screwball uttered, attempting to break the ice. "Why don't I show you around? It's easy to get lost in this place. So those two pink double doors are Mom and Dad's room, the white one with the purple spiral is my room… Hey, where's he gonna sleep?"
"We can spruce up one of the guest rooms," Fluttershy offered. "You can ask Discord to decorate it however you like."
"Do I have to?" Discord grumbled.
"Yes," his wife scowled.
Mothball whispered to Screwball, "I thought you said he liked me."
"He does," Screwball assured him. "He's just a grump. Plus, you're dating his daughter, and now you're gonna be in the same living space as her." She blushed at the thought. "Anything could happen."
The changeling tilted his head in confusion. After a moment, his eyes widened and his cheeks flushed to match hers as he caught her drift.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!" he exclaimed, backing away from her. "We…we said 'I love you' just yesterday and only just had our first kiss! We're not…we just…"
"I know that," Screwball whispered, "and you know that, but Dad doesn't think we know that."
As if making an example, Discord teleported between them, holding up a ruler.
"The twelve-inch rule still stands!"
Screwball rolled her swirly eyes. This had to be the longest day of her entire life.
Mothball lay in his new bed and glanced around at his new room. He'd had it renovated to look like his old chamber back in the hive: green cave-like walls, a huge bed with a crystalized mattress, a thin black blanket and a hard pillow. It was all he really needed to feel comfortable. Screwball had added a black armoire with new outfits for him to wear. He didn't normally wear clothes, even while disguised, but it was still a nice thought.
It was strange that he was purposely reminding himself of the hive. His current home or not, it was still the place he had grown up in, and it's hard to give up the bed you slept in for seventeen years.
His head turned as the door slowly creaked open. He wasn't used to having a door. His old room had been sealed off by a black curtain that seldom made noise. He was expecting Screwball, but was surprised by Fluttershy.
"Oh," she whispered. "I thought you'd be asleep by now."
Mothball shrugged. "I have a lot on my mind."
"I can imagine," Fluttershy said as she sat on the bed.
"So what are you doing here, Miss Fluttershy?"
She laughed. "Just Fluttershy is fine. I came to see if you needed any pony to tuck you in."
He sat up and looked at her puzzlingly. "Tuck me in?"
"As a mother, I make sure all my little ones are tucked safely in their beds and asleep."
He pointed to himself. "I'm your little one?"
"But of course. You're a part of this family now. I consider you one of my little ones. Oh, you don't mind, do you?"
Fluttershy smiled and laid Mothball back as she pulled the covers over him.
"Did your mother ever tuck you in?"
He flinched at the mention of his mother, but he answered the question anyway. "Not really." He paused to look up at the pegasus. "Um…Miss Fluttershy?"
He bit his lip. "Do you think…well, maybe…can I…can I call you Mom?"
Fluttershy's eyes widened for a second, but then her lips curled into a sweet smile. "If that is what you wish, sweetie."
She leaned forward and surprised Mothball further by kissing him lightly on the forehead. He felt a surge of motherly love pass through him.
"If you guys are gonna be so nice to me," he muttered, "I'm gonna have to learn to control my feeding."
Fluttershy giggled. "I'll keep that in mind. Goodnight, Mothball."
She flapped her wings and hovered to the door.
"Oh, Miss Flutter…Mom?"
She turned back. "Yes?"
Mothball looked shyly down at the floor. "Thanks for everything."
Fluttershy flashed him one last smile before closing the door and whispering, "You're welcome."
When she turned around she saw her husband sitting on the couch with his head in his hands. Her smile wavered when she noticed the sadness etched in his face. She flew over to him and gently placed her hoof on his back.
Discord looked up and smiled. Then without saying a word, he brought her to his chest and ran his fingers through her silky mane. Fluttershy didn't need to ask why he was doing this and snaked her hooves around him while listening to his heartbeat.
"I can't ever lose you again," he whispered.
Fluttershy shook her head. "You won't."
He pulled away and looked at her seriously. "I mean it, Fluttershy. You're the only thing in this world that keeps me sane."
"That's not true. What about the kids?"
He shook his head. "You saw what happened. When I saw you kissing that stallion…"
"It wasn't me, it was a changeling."
"I know that, but when I thought I had lost your love…" He trailed off as he caressed her face with his paw. "Not even the kids could keep me sane. They're as chaotic as I am. But you…" His claw moved to her face as well and Fluttershy closed her eyes as she leaned into his touch. "You're the pony who brought light into my heart, who taught me to love, who showed me that there's more to life than chaos. And when I saw you die, I…"
Tears filled his eyes. He couldn't finish. Fluttershy opened her eyes and reached up to touch his face.
"Shhh," she whispered. "I'm here now. And I'll never leave you again."
He closed his eyes and sighed in content as he held her hoof to his face. "Nor I, you. And I'm not gonna waste another second with you." His eyes opened again as an idea came to him. "Starting right now."
He snapped his fingers and the couch disappeared. The entrance hall was then remodeled into a ballroom, the walls and floor turned gold. The chandelier above them glowed brighter than ever before, but dull enough so it didn't hurt their eyes. Discord snapped his fingers again and the two of them were dressed in elegant attire. Fluttershy gasped at the familiar golden gown embroidered in roses and vines. She lifted the skirts to find golden slippers on her hooves. Her mane was tied into a ponytail falling loosely over her shoulder, a rose settled above her left ear. Discord wore a black tuxedo with white lining the jacket and yellow buttons to match the bowtie. A third snap of his fingers and violin music started playing. Fluttershy smiled at the tune.
"Our first date."
Discord grinned. "The best night of my existence."
She raised her eyebrow coyly. "Next to our wedding night?"
He shook his head. "No, because that night was the night I fell in love with the most beautiful mare in the world. And to think, I had the honor of kissing and dancing with her." He bowed as he held out his gloved claw. "May I have that honor again?"
Fluttershy giggled as she placed her hoof in his claw. "Always."
Mothball's thoughts were interrupted at the sound of violin music. Curious, he climbed out of bed and slowly opened the door. His eyes widened at the sight of Screwball's parents dancing in the middle of the entrance hall, which had been transformed into a ballroom.
Fluttershy's head was on Discord's chest and he held her close as he gently twirled her around. His paw was wrapped around her tiny waist and his claw clutched her delicate hoof to keep her from falling. She was so much smaller than him, but for them, size didn't matter.
Mothball was in awe. Even if he couldn't feel the emotion radiating off the couple, he could see in their eyes and the way they held each other that the love they shared was powerful. More than that, it was the most powerful love he had ever felt. It was no wonder his mother had tried to take advantage of it.
What amazed him the most was the soft look in Discord's eyes. He had never seen the draconequus look so…peaceful. Maybe Screwball was right about him not being as grumpy as he seemed.
He decided to give the couple some privacy and quietly shut the door. As he crawled back into bed, his thoughts returned to his mother.
He had always known his mother and Discord had had a history, but his mother had never given the details. He wondered what could've happened between them to make his mother so angry.
Discord was young, around fourteen. He had really lost track of time since the awful blizzard that took his parents. It must've been at least five years, maybe longer. He didn't really care how long he had been wandering aimlessly throughout the lands. All that mattered to him was finding a place to settle down.
He was in a forest of black trees, almost appearing dead. Despite the lack of leaves, the branches still loomed overhead, blocking out the sun. Discord never minded the dark. He loved how chaotic and familiar it was. Anything could be hiding in the darkness and he would spend hours guessing what it was in order to kill boredom.
Discord looked down as his lion paw stepped in a puddle. He peered at his reflection and saw the gray head of a teenage colt with a black mane, a mop of white on top. His single fang had grown over the years, but was still relatively small. His eyelids drooped over his yellow eyes with red pupils.
After a while, he splashed the puddle with his eagle claw, his reflection rippling.
Maybe he should just give up. He was never going to find a family that would accept him. He was too different.
His head shot up when he heard the snap of a tree branch. He spun around.
"Who's there?" He used his magic to summon a weapon. "I'm warning you! I've got a baseball bat and I'm not afraid to use it!"
There was a loud crack and a high-pitched screech. He turned to see a fallen tree branch and on top of it was a strange creature he had never seen before.
His parents had told him about ponies, along with all the other animals whose parts he had, and this creature had a similar shape. However, it was more…distorted. Its legs had holes in them like Swiss cheese, its horn was like the crooked black branch it had just fallen from, its holed wings were like a fly's, on its back was a green shell like a beetle's and its blue hair and tail were stringy like cobwebs. Discord made his bat ready when he saw the small fangs, in case the creature was carnivorous.
The thing looked up at him with green slit eyes. It squealed and green flames engulfed it. Discord was about to put out the fire with a hose when the creature suddenly became less deformed and more like a pony. Now it was a yellow foal with pink hair and brown eyes. Discord's jaw dropped at the display.
"How did you do that?"
The creature tilted its head, confused at his reaction.
"It's okay," he said, reaching out his paw. "I won't hurt you."
The thing looked at his paw and then into his eyes, probably deciding whether or not to trust him. After a while, it took its paw and changed back to its previous form. When he helped it to its hooves, he realized it was just his height when he was on all fours. The creature leaned in closer and squinted at him.
"What are you?" it said in a female voice.
Discord jumped back and released the thing's hoof. "You're a girl?"
She glared at him. "Of course I'm a girl, you dummy!" She put her hoof to her chest and proudly raised her head. "I happen to be a princess!"
Discord snorted. "Yeah, right."
"It's true! I am Princess Insectra Arachne Chrysalis Changeling III. Chrysalis to my friends."
He blinked. "Right. And I'm King Discord Q. Draconequus the Fifty-Fifth."
"I'm serious, you joker! I'm heir to the changeling throne!"
He blinked again. "What's a changeling?"
She rolled her eyes. "You're really dense, aren't you? A changeling's a shape shifter. I can turn into anything."
"Really?" Discord said excitedly. "Can you turn into a puppy?"
Chrysalis sighed and complied with his request, taking the form of a young St. Bernard. Discord nodded in approval.
"Impressive. How about a whale?"
She changed again, but back to herself. "Fine. I can't turn into big things yet. I'm only twelve."
"Ha!" Discord huffed. "I can do better than that!"
He snapped his talons and a small pink cloud appeared, brown liquid dripping from it. Chrysalis gasped as he summoned a glass and filled it with the liquid. He handed it to her.
"Go ahead, try it."
She looked at him warily. "How do I know it's not poisoned?"
Discord dramatically put his paw to his chest. "Why, Chrissy, what kind of creature do you take me for?"
"I don't know. You haven't answered my question yet. What are you?"
"A draconequus. Now drink the chocolate milk."
She hesitantly took the glass and sipped from it. Her eyes widened in amazement.
"It…it tastes just like love!"
Discord tilted his head. "How do you know that?"
"Oh. Changelings feed off emotions. Love is one of them."
He backed away in fright.
"Relax," Chrysalis assured him. "It's only to gain more power if needed. We eat other stuff."
"You're not gonna feed off me though, are you?"
"Heck no." Her eyes moved to the pink cloud. "How'd you do that, anyway?"
Discord shrugged. "I was born with it."
"Does your species do that sort of thing?"
He hung his head. "They did. They're all gone though."
Discord could've been mistaken, but he could've sworn the changeling was looking at him with sympathy.
"You're all alone?"
"Do you have a place to stay?"
He shook his head.
"Then come with me back to the hive."
He looked up at her in surprise. "Why?"
She shrugged. "That's what friends do."
Discord felt like he was going to faint. "We're friends?"
Chrysalis held out her hoof. "Sure? Why not?" Her lips moved into an evil grin. "Would I steer you wrong?"
Discord sat up in bed with a gasp. He looked down at his wife. She was turned away from him, sleeping peacefully on her side. As much as he loved watching her sleep, he needed to be alone for a bit. He teleported himself to the entrance hall and slumped on the couch. He snapped his fingers to light the fireplace and again for a glass of chocolate milk.
He wished he had never met that venomous spider. If he had known her true nature back then, he would've never gone with her to the hive, let alone agree to be her friend. He thought they had been friends, but she had betrayed him.
He knew he should listen to his wife and let go of the past, but after today, the past just kept coming back to him.
He remembered the anger in the queen's eyes when she had sworn he had broken her heart. It still made him shudder to think that witch had once been in love with him and that she had removed her heart from her chest because he had broken it.
Was it true? Had she really been in love with him all that time?
Then Discord began to wonder if things could've turned out differently.
He jumped at the sound of the prince's voice. Mothball was standing right beside him.
"What are you doing up?" Discord snapped. "You weren't in my daughter's room, were you?!"
"No, no!" Mothball insisted, holding up his hoof. "I just got hungry."
"So you're having one of us for a midnight snack?!"
"Will you stop? I just wanted some chocolate milk."
That softened Discord. "You like chocolate milk?"
The changeling grinned. "I love it!"
Discord stared at him and then sighed. He summoned a second glass.
"Here," he said coldly, handing him the glass. "Now go away."
Mothball was about to obey his command when a thought occurred to him. He turned back to the draconequus.
"What are you doing up, sir?"
Discord grunted. "None of your business."
He expected the changeling to leave, but instead he seated himself beside him. Discord was about to tell him to go away again, but he wasn't in the mood.
After a few minutes of awkward silence, Mothball let out a light chuckle.
"You know," he said, holding up his glass, "Screwy was the one who introduced me to chocolate milk? I told her I was hungry, but she didn't know my diet. I didn't wanna be rude, so I drank the glass she gave me. Chocolate milk tastes a lot like love, you know?"
Discord sat up and looked down at him with wide eyes. "What did you say?"
"I said chocolate milk tastes like love."
An image of young Chrysalis flashed in his mind. He shook his head with a grunt.
"You okay, sir?" Mothball asked.
Discord wanted to avoid talking about the boy's mother and asked a question he'd been wondering for a while.
"How did you and Screwy meet? I mean I know when you met, but how?"
Mothball looked down at his glass and smiled. "It was my twelfth birthday. When a changeling turns twelve, they go off on their first hunt. I found myself in the Everfree Forest and I heard the sweetest sound. I discovered a chocolate lake and swimming in it was the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen." He sighed. "Her melodious voice, her curly purple and white hair, her hypnotic eyes…"
Discord coughed into his paw.
"Right," Mothball said, shaking his head. "Anyway, I felt something pounding inside me and figured it was my stomach. I took the form of Dinky, but Screwy wasn't fooled. She…" He blushed in embarrassment. "She started banging my head into the ground."
The draconequus chuckled. "That's my girl."
"She forced me to reveal myself and the strange thing was…she didn't run."
Mothball paused to take a sip of his chocolate milk. "She was the first friend I ever had."
Discord's eyes widened. "Fluttershy was my first friend."
He was about to say "not counting your mother," but he stopped himself. Chrysalis was never really his friend.
"I mean I had thousands of brothers and sisters," Mothball continued, "but I never hung out with them. See, I was always different from the other changelings, not just because I was a royal. I mean I also had a heart, but I didn't know that yet. I…I always felt like I didn't belong. When I met Screwy…I felt like I finally belonged somewhere, and for the first time…I felt like I had a heart." He looked up at Discord in the eye. "You know what I'm saying?"
Discord was silent as he stared down at the changeling. He resembled his mother greatly, but now when he looked at him, he saw himself.
He was an outcast. He'd been ostracized for being different all his life. Suddenly Discord felt bad for calling him a heartless monster so many times, when he had been called the same, and it took the love of a mare to change them both.
"Yes, Mothball," Discord whispered. "I believe I do."
Mothball didn't need to hear anything else. The sympathy in the draconequus' eyes was enough.
"I'm going to bed," he announced, sliding off the couch.
"Wait," Discord said, putting his claw on the changeling's shoulder.
Mothball flinched at his touch but turned to face him. He was surprised to find the draconequus smiling at him.
"You're okay, kid," he said, patting him on the back. "You're okay." Then he leaned forward and glared. "But if you do anything to hurt my daughter, so help me…"
The changeling grinned nervously. "Of course, sir!"
Discord released him and Mothball didn't hesitate to run back to his room. The draconequus watched him cautiously, but he wasn't as worried as before.
For now he knew that the boy would never harm his daughter.
Chrysalis sat in the middle of Mothball's room, staring at his old bed. In her hooves was the thin black blanket he had slept with since birth. She held it up to her chest, her eyes holding no emotion, as blank as the winter night sky.
She had thought that by removing her heart, the hurting would stop. But it wasn't until after she had done the deed that she realized emotion didn't come solely from the heart. She felt nothing in her chest and shed no tears, but her stomach felt heavy and her head was tingling.
She didn't care about her defeat in Ponyville. There would be other battles.
It was the cost that had made her like this.
She had lost her son.
She recalled the day Mothball had been born. She hadn't expected it. It was just another one of her monthly births. She'd gotten too used to them to feel any pain. She got a surprise when one of the nurse changelings announced:
"Your majesty, this one's a royal."
The nurse handed her the black larva, which was twice the size of its newborn siblings. Its eyes were green with slit pupils, the sign of a royal.
"A prince," she muttered. "An heir to my throne." She held him up. "You will become the deadliest changeling of them all, so deadly that even your own kind will fear you!" She grinned at the thought. "And what's deadlier to an insect than a mothball?"
She had tried so hard not to fail this time, to turn her child into a king while remaining unattached. But all in vain.
It had happened again. She had driven her child away and once again, she was left without an heir.
She did not need to turn around to know it was General Mantis standing in the doorway.
"The other changelings want to know what our next course of action is."
The queen stiffened. "Tell them that we will not be planning another attack for a while. Not until we've…recovered from our defeat."
The general took a cautious step forward. "I'm sorry, my queen."
"For what?!" she snapped.
"The prince. I know you didn't want to lose another heir…"
"SILENCE! You know the law! No one is to speak of that again! And as of right now, you will all do the same with Mothball! None shall ever speak his name, or of his betrayal! Seal off this room! Prince Mothball never existed, do you understand?!"
He bowed. "Yes, my queen."
"Good," she sighed. "Though there is no doubt that a new heir is needed. We will have one soon. And this time…" She pulled on the blanket so hard that it ripped. "No mistakes."
I don't know when I'm going to update next, since I'm apparently working on three fics at once now as well as planning one for Christmas. But I'm glad I'm finally getting to this, because this has been in the works since last year. I've also been dying to expand the backstory between Discord and Chrysalis. This may not turn out as great as the other two fics, but there was so much in "Daughter of Discord" I didn't get to wrap up.
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