"So if you and Celestia get married, who's going to be your best mare?" Pinkie wondered. Discord ended up choking on his fig newton, and pounding his chest as he turned to the bubbly earth pony.
"Excuse me? We've only been tog—well, re-been together for three months now!" Discord exclaimed, "And you've already got us picking out fancy china?"
Clearly he and Celestia were well on the road for marriage, as they were supposed to be eons ago. Even though it was custom for the stallion to ask the mare, if Celestia was the one to pop the question he'd say yes in a heartbeat. Having the alicorn was something he had wanted since he was a child, and something his own stupidity had deprived them of long ago.
"Wife or not, she will not be exempted from any of my ploys at all! None whatsoever! She'll be as open as the rest of them all. Even the mare I love isn't going to get special treatment."
Of course, Celestia was used to his pranks anyway, as was Luna. Well, not so much as used to it as it was having their own methods with punishing him just as Fluttershy did. Neither had a duster nor used it; Luna preferred just beating the chocolate milk out of him. He still had a faint bruise on his cheek from the day he put frogs in her closet. Celestia's punishments ranged depending on what he did, but at least he'd never be a dashing garden gnome again.
"Well, we all know it's going to happen," Twilight pointed out, hovering a cup of juice to her mouth. "You two are simply in the stars."
"A match made in heaven," Rarity joined heavenly.
"Head over hooves for each other," Rainbow sniggered.
"And did we mention madly in love?" Applejack chortled.
"GA-A-AAAG!" Discord flopped onto his back in the grass, effectively crushing Twilight beneath his heavy-with-cotton-candy-and-sweets form and reveling in her squeaks. "Oh you ponies are going to kill me! And everyone wonders why I have such difficulty living in a world with you all! This cuteness, love! Bleh!"
"I wanna plan the reception!" Pinkie announced, "I get the reception! It's mine!"
"Oh, I have such a lovely idea for her wedding dress!" Rarity fawned. "Oh, do you think she'll pick us as bridesmaids?"
Eye twitching, as was his body, Discord gave a deadpan glare as Rainbow Dash nudged his arm. "Hey, can I do a Sonic Rainboom at your wedding too?"
"Quiet!" Discord shouted. "I don't know why you ponies are talking about something that could be millenniums in the future, but I'll indulge you. I don't know about everything else, but I know who my best mare will be..." He turned and gazed down at a small, saffron pegasus. She stared at him, eyes shining.
"R-really?" she squeaked, already looking about to pounce and squeeze him with hugs.
"Well I guess so," the spirit drawled. "I mean, I kind of like y-" He was cut off with an abrupt yelp as the exuberant little butterball literally talked him to the ground, staying tightly clung to his face like a piece of saffron velcro. "Waah! Fluttershy—yech! Get off!"
"Am I...interrupting anything?"
Discord bolted to his feet with the little monkey still attached, hands flailing and grabbing at the air as he tried to find something to grab on for leverage. "Yes you are, Tia! Thank you!" He walked around in cautious blindness as the pegasus kept clung to his face, nuzzling it—only to slam into a tree and tumble back onto the picnic blanket.
After the laughter had died down and the cuddly little monster was off him, Discord and Fluttershy walked off with the alicorn. "So what's going on, Tia?" the spirit asked, holding his throbbing head. "Something you want to tell us?"
"Actually, I have something I think you both might want to see." Celestia's violet eyes held an eager gleam, but not one that excited Discord to any degree. Her idea of something fun and exciting and his idea were two entirely different things.
"Oh really," the draconequus drawled, falling in step behind his love anyway. "Well let's see what's so exciting—huh?" He blinked (which was painful and chafed his eyes) as all he saw was a large, blue blindfold, that quickly tied itself around his head. He stifled a yelp as Celestia's playful voice rang just beside his ear.
"Oh you aren't seeing anything," the princess grinned, a hoof poking at his pouting lip, "Not yet anyway. I'll tell you when you can take that blindfold off." A magic hue engulfed both Discord and Fluttershy's forms, causing them to automatically walk behind her, and make sure they didn't bump into anything.
Guided through the long, palace halls, the two gave a squeak of surprise as they were suddenly halted there on the spot. Even beneath the blindfold, they could both feel the warmth and see the light from what was obviously one of the windows. Celestia brought them to a window?
"Take off your blindfolds!"
Eagerly, they did, and let them flutter to the ground as they gaped up at the amazing sight before them. Stretching to the ceiling, gleaming at them, was a brand new stained glass window—of them! They were in a jewel-like field, and looked to be running side by side. Discord glanced back at the first stained glass window with him controlling the ponies...and dangling them over flames. He then gazed back to the new one and smiled.
How things have changed...
"A third stained glass window!" he chirped, "Why, I'm just getting more and more famous." A warm smile snaked over his lips. "Honestly though, I think this one is definitely my favorite of them all." He scratched at his beard. It was missing something though. With the snap of his fingers, the boring and normal background of the window turned into a land of cotton candy and sweets. Discord gave a wide grin, but it fell with a pout as Celestia immediately turned it back.
"This window represents the moment in time that the honorable bearer of kindness reformed one of Equestria's greatest foes," Celestia said.
"GAG!" Discord almost wretched there right on the spot, giving a shudder at the unadulterated sweetness of the alicorn's words. "Yech! Tia, if you must phrase it anyway, I prefer you say 'the day the Spirit of Chaos developed a slight appreciation for harmony and order.' It's much less disgusting."
"Oh, your majesty, this is such a wonderful surprise," Fluttershy breathed happily, giving Discord a small nuzzle. "I love it so much. It's certainly a day I won't ever forget either..."
"Bleh, yes, it's very lovely," Discord rushed on, "but I'd appreciate it if we'd stop talking about sentimental cr-"
Faster than you could say "chaos", Discord began tearing out of the hall with a dark blue, familiar, seething blue form pursuing him with all her speed. The girls watched as Luna sent the spirit haphazardly tumbling after savagely lunging at him. Celestia raced to his aid right as Luna raised a hoof to give him a black eye.
Poker faced and glaring, Celestia enveloped the two in a violet hue and peeled them off of each other. Even though he was shielding his entire body, Discord had one of his insufferable smirks over his face. "Alright, what in Equestria is going on now?"
"He put slugs in my bed!" Luna shouted. "They're all over my mattress and pillowcase!"
"Well, you said you hated the texture of your new mattress." Discord's tone was beyond amused, and desperately concealing laughter. "So I changed it to something, say, a bit more slimy~? Oh besides! Slug slime marks make for a nice tattoo design on the sheets."
"My hoof can make some nice black and blue tattoo marks on your body!"
"CHILDREN!" Celestia was pleased to see that effectively shut the younger immortals up. They hated to be called kids, and it was an intelligent tactic her father used when they were much younger. Luna and Discord had the typical get-out-of-my-room relationship most siblings had, and really could be quite childish at times. Okay, well, Discord was childish all the time. "Now you two need to start behaving yourselves. I'm entrusting you both with very important responsibilities for tonight."
Discord perked, but Luna looked horrified.
"You're both going to be given important duties for the Gala this evening," Celestia told them, circling them like a stern militant commander. "I expect you both to take them seriously. Luna, you are going to be in charge of greeting our guests at the door." She gave a wayward smile and leaned in closer. "So please, sister, remember not to scream in their faces. And Discord, I'll discuss what your duty is going to be later tonight. You are excused to go get a grooming for the formal."
"Will do, your highness," Discord mocked playfully, "I did want to try my new honey and onion hair gel!" He disappeared down the corridor, chasing down the hapless servant who was to help get him ready for the evening.
"Sister, are you mad?" Luna screeched, "You're actually going to give the nutball a duty for the formal? He'll ruin everything! Surely you realize that, sister. It's not a good idea."
"Lulu, that is actually what I'm aiming for," Celestia smirked. It gave away to princess-disdain as she paced the tiles with a heavy sigh. "I tire of acting like the dignified, regal ruler all the time. I need to behave that way for everything, and my idea of a good time does not involve high-class, classical music loving ponies that drink tea all night long and talk about how much money they make. I invited the girls last year because I wanted them to liven things up a bit, and my intent is the same with Discord this year."
"I guess I see what you're getting at." Luna behaved like royalty around her subjects and her subjects only, and preferred lively parties to formals. "I just hope you know what you're doing."
"Prince Discord, please stop smearing gel over the mirrors!" Purple Comb angrily yanked the disgusting, raunchy bottle out of the pouting spirit's hands and set it aside. "Now look straight in the mirror—I'm trying to do your bangs!"
"I don't have bangs!" Discord griped, trying to bat away her poking and tugging hooves. He leaned over in the turning chair to gaze at his form in the mirror. Sure enough it seemed one of the combs had pulled out a bang from his fur that just slightly lapped over his eyelids a little. His mane had been slicked back and was now smooth instead of jagged. He looked so different. So...normal. Yeck!
"We're almost done, Prince Discord," Purple Comb placed her hooves on his shoulders to hold him still. "Stop squirming! I'm trying to fasten your bow tie!"
"A tie?" He bolted from that reclining chair as if it was on fire, backing up into the corner of the room and glowering furiously at the mare. "A tie is where I draw the line! The answer is no." They'd have to tie him up kicking and screaming if they wanted to get a tie on him! He wasn't going without a fight!
"Prince Discord, please stop being so melodramatic!" Purple Comb snapped, advancing the chaotic creature slowly, cautiously with the bow tie. He kept his narrowed, vermillion eyes locked on it like a hawk, following its every movement. She lunged over the counter, knocking over several bottles of hair dye as she did. "It's customary for royalty to wear formal attire, and so you must wear a bow tie!"
"When I'm King, that's all going to change!" Discord snapped, darting around the room like a headless chicken as Purple Comb kept hot on his tail. "Royalty will be able to wear whatever they want, and I'll be wearing a cape made of swiss cheese!"
"Well. You. Aren't. King. YET!" The mare gave a final leap and managed to tackle the draconequus to the floor. Pinning his arms over his head with a surprising level of strength, she fastened the bow tie around his neck and shoved him to his feet. "There! You're ready for the formal! Now for the love of Equestria, get out!"
She didn't need to tell him twice, and Discord had bolted out of that door faster than anypony could blink. He paused in the hall and surveyed his appearance. An aroma of sickening lilac wafted from his fur, so sweet and clean he wanted to vomit. His toenails had been shined and his feet had been vigorously cleaned. Oh, the scrubbing of his feet had been pure torture (although he reveled in the bruises he inflicted on the pedicurist with all his thrashing and giggling). Everything on him was so clean and disgusting! Of course, Celestia would probably jump at the chance to be with someone as dashing as him. That was at least a bonus.
Just one thing left to do... Glaring venomously at his bow tie, Discord snapped his fingers, and instantly the dreary black was now a wacky, lime green with red polka dots. Perfect! As for the rest, he could probably find a good mud puddle to douse himself in before the thing started.
Waltzing down the hall and smirking at the way some servant's mouths dropped by his appearance, Discord gazed outwardly when he caught the sight of a certain honey colored blob running towards him.
"Discord! Discord!" Fluttershy, he had to begrudgingly admit, was absolutely adorable; a regular little doll. Rather than her green one-with-nature dress she wore last year, she was now flouncing in a brilliant yellow gown, its shape and color pattern similar to a butterfly. In her curled up mane was a white hydrangea pinned up in a lock of her hair.
"Flutter Butter, you..." He held out his hands to halt the energetic little nut before she ran him over. "You look...like a bug."
"Isn't it adorable?" the pegasus giggled. "Rarity made it for me! All of us have new dresses thanks to her."
"Yes, you're a gem," Discord griped, still unhappy with his own handsome appearance. "Look at me—I'm like one of those high class Canterlot snobs! Oh dear Equestria, I'm a male Rarity!" he wailed, falling to his knees. A blazing red eye peeked up to glare as Fluttershy started giggling. She stopped immediately.
"Sweetie, relax..." Her voice still held a wobble to it, threatening to start giggling again. "You're not...a male Rarity. It's important to look very distinguished for these kinds of events, especially if you're royalty. Don't you feel good though? I mean, they're treating you this way and pampering you because you're a prince again. You'll be king one day!"
Well that was true. He had that to look forward to more than anything. Of course, when it came down to it if he and Celestia married she probably wouldn't even give him any power. He'd only have the title of king and that was all. "Yeah, now if you'll excuse me, I need to go throw up," Discord said sourly. "This outfit is making me sick."
"Tia...you look great. Come on, get out, sister."
At last the embarrassed sun princess threw open the doors and stepped out. For royalty, her posture was less straight and dignified and more bashful and childish. Pink flushed her cheeks and Luna knew her sister wasn't wearing blush.
"Why are you so nervous?" the princess smiled, fluffing her sister's ethereal curls and straightening her necklace. "It's me that should be nervous. I haven't greeted the commoners since the catastrophe that was Nightmare Night!"
"I'm just not used to looking like this..."
"I know it's different than what we are both used to, but it's only for one night. And you truly do look like the goddess of the sun, Celestia."
Celestia's violet flecks shone with affection as she gently nudged her little sister's cheek. "Thanks, Lulu." As she moved to tuck her tiara into her mane it was slapped out of her hoof. The princess watched as it clattered to the floor.
"No..." Luna bit her tongue with uncertainty, not all comfortable or accustomed to greeting the commoners without royal attire. Still... "No royalty stuff tonight. Tonight is about us all having fun..."
Celestia nuzzled against Luna's forehead slightly, still regarding her gown timidly. It was absolutely beautiful, from the sunflower collar, to the golden glitter lining the bottom ruffles. Gorgeous as it was, she was still nervous to be seen in public looking like this. She had no idea Discord was facing the same thing.
Still grumbling and growling to himself, Discord slipped into the large, walk in closet, only to find himself frozen to the spot by the dazzling sight before him.
There stood Celestia in the middle of the room, looking akin to a goddess (oh wait, she was one) in her flowing, satin gown. The ruffles glimmered in the moonlight, as did the golden shine on her new slippers. Every strand of ethereal hair had been crimped, and her single strand that hung in her face before had been braided slightly and clipped with a small golden barrette. The collar of her dress was more like a chain of golden flower petals, accented in the very center by a sunflower piece.
Once his mouth could lift itself off the floor, Discord smirked lightly. So Rarity did go with sunflowers... He advanced his mare and found himself actually going bashful, and trying to remember how to make words come out of his mouth. "Wow, Tia... You look...um...not ugly."
Celestia giggled and walked up to the stunned spirit, brushing her cheek against his lovingly. "You look 'not ugly' as well." She pressed her lips against his in a gentle kiss, bringing the speech back to him.
"Well!" He was in the more cheerful of moods now. "Let's head off to the Great Goobery...Gala, or whatever it's called." He looked down at his appearance. It suddenly didn't seem so yucky anymore.
Luna gazed down through the open doors of the palace, shrinking in on herself at the number of ponies she needed to greet. She wasn't used to door duty. "Tia, I'm a little nervous." Her sister by her side gave her a reassuring nuzzle.
"Lulu, dear, you'll be fine," Celestia promised, brushing back a few of her sister's crimped bangs from her azure eyes. "All you need to do is welcome the ponies into the formal—it really isn't that hard. Now, I have to go get Discord set up for his duties."
Luna cringed at the thought. "Be careful with him."
Celestia gave a wayward smile and trotted down the hall. Her new, heavier slippers made a harder clack than usual. She didn't understand what the point was in wearing such heavy footwear if she was supposedly going to be dancing, but her mother always wore it.
The Gala had never fascinated her, even as a young mare. It had been a tradition since her parents ruled, but a young girl's mindset wasn't too interested in tea and crumpets, and horridly whiny violin songs. She giggled in remembrance of a preteen Discord eagerly dousing the floor in glue, and remembered how the two had laughed and rolled about as the ponies wailed about ruining their outfits. Of course, her father and his switch didn't find it very amusing, but the night was still a blast.
"How long are you going to just sit there and stare off into the distance?" Discord snapped, effectively startling the mare out of her thoughts. He was there sitting by the door, impatiently gazing in at the ballroom as servants busily made last minute preparations.
"I'm just reminiscing, dear." She stood beside him, biting back a giggle at the way his tail thumped the ground anxiously, like a puppy waiting for its owner to give them the treat. "You seem anxious!"
"Well for the first time in eons I'll get to attend and...decorate the great formal!" he grinned, "And I get to practice my dance moves~!"
The princess smiled and inched a little closer, her ivory form pressing against his side. "Are you going to dance with me?" she asked sweetly.
"Sure, if you can dance the Tango~!"
"Hunny, they don't...play the Tango at the Gala."
Celestia sighed and pulled the bouncing creature away from the window, turning him to look at her. "Now, I want to set the rules for tonight." A small grin formed on her face at the way his dropped.
"They're not very restricting," she smiled, "I promise. Rule one: whatever you do, whatever prank you pull, it must not harm or possibly endanger any of the ponies." She glanced over as a thoughtful look came to his face and he stroke his beard.
"...Not even the snooty rich ones~?" He yelped at the punishing smack that invoked from the angered alicorn, and quickly washed the thoughts of trapping them all in a giant jello mold out of his head.
"Rule two," Celestia continued, ignoring his question, "is that you must not destroy too much there, and do not destroy anything expensive. For example, no going after the instruments, and no genuine explosions, like your chocolate bombs... That could injure ponies and it's frankly very messy."
"Anymore rules?" Discord griped.
"No." She took a few sharp strides to him, glaring holes through his head and forcing him back into the wall a little. "I've set the rules, so now let's set the consequences. If you break any of these rules, especially harming a pony, you will permanently lose your magic for two weeks, and perhaps some other punishments you won't find particularly pleasant..."
Discord was tempted to make a joke, but bit it back at the sheer fire in the mare's eyes. Well, he frowned upon the 'not destroying anything expensive' rule, but he could work with it. As for the other rules, he wasn't planning on hurting any of the guests anyway.
Celestia took a step back, and her horn glistened with a soft, purple gleam. Slowly, it began to brighten and illuminate the entire room. After a few moments it erupted with a blinding glow, followed by a glisten of gold. A golden beam suddenly surged from her horn and shot forward, into Discord's body with a powerful fizzling noise. It disappeared somewhere in his chest.
Discord stared down at his body as it dimly glowed, and he looked down at his hands; they were sparking with golden tendrils. With a loud whoop of joy he bolted up into the air and cackled maniacally. "Yes! Yes!" It was all back, his beautiful, glorious magic! With a quake of the tiles large lollipop flowers sprouted out of the floor, and it suddenly began to rain soda and thunder with green streaks of lightning. "Mwahahahaha!"
Grinning, he turned to look down at Celestia, expecting her to be smiling at him, and his own enjoyment instantly deflated like a pricked balloon when he realized she was cowering and staring up at him with fearful, owlish eyes.
"Tia..." With the snap of his fingers, the lollipop flowers were gone, as was the sudden edible storm. He floated down to the shaking mare and placed a hand lightly on her face. "Too soon?" he murmured, pressing his cheek softly against hers.
"Good evening, everpony," Luna said politely to each guest that walked in through the doors. "I hope you all have a wonderful time tonight."
She sounded like a broken record, Discord dully noted. She could really use something to spice up her act. Suddenly, a mustache abruptly sprouted across her face, long and furry. She obviously didn't realize, but was perplexed by the weird looks and snickers it invoked. Discord was attached to the ceiling and laughing hysterically.
It was then Luna saw her brother's shadow and saw him rolling around in mirth. Seeing the hanging strands of hair from the mustache, she furiously tried blasting him (not enough to injure him, but at least enough to sting the spot it inflicted) with her horn, only for him to dodge it, laughing harder.
"You creep!" she seethed. "Get out! You have your own job to do!"
Chortling in amusement, Discord slithered his way into the ballroom. It had already begun to fill up a little, with a small group of posh ponies sitting at the tables and waiting to be served. Discord was waiting for Celestia to give him his cue to wreak havoc. It wouldn't be long now...
"So Ah hear the princess is 'letting ya off yer leash,'" Applejack snickered as she began stacking a bunch of her dishes on her own table.
"Leash?" Pinkie Pie quipped, tapping her chin thoughtfully. "The princess puts you on a leash too? I thought just Fluttershy did that one time!"
"Naw, Pinkie, it's—never mind." Applejack looked up as a customer came to her table: A high society, British unicorn, gazing down at the country mare with a wrinkled snout, a cup of tea hovering by her side. "Well howdy, ma'm!" Applejack chirped. "How would ya like to buy some deee-licious apple-caramel donuts?"
The mare drew back in disgust as if Applejack had offered her a bowl of ice cream with a frog in it. "Ugh! Disgusting—as if I would eat something like that! Look at it, it's all greasy, and..." She poked one with a hoof, causing it to make a slick flop. "Please, I wouldn't dare assault my taste buds with that."
Applejack was positively fuming; it was visible from her scarlet face to her nearly shaking hooves. Discord contemplated jumping somewhere to hide before she blew. "Well, how dare ya! This is mighty fine food—the best donuts from Ponyville ya'd ever taste! This is an old family recipe, and how dare you talk about mah Ma's recipe like that!"
Discord glanced back over at how the mare was shaking. He narrowed his cold, wrathful eyes at the unicorn and ignited his talon. As the mare went to take a sip of her tea, it suddenly bubbled and two large eyeballs appeared inside it. Discord didn't even fall to the floor in mirth as he emitted a blood curdling scream, too happy with justice biting her in the flanks.
Applejack tried to have an inkling of sternness in her voice, but her eyes held admiration and gratefulness. "Ah thought Celestia was gonna give ya a signal when ya could raise hay."
"I think she'd make an exception," Discord smirked. He sat next to her, growing increasingly bored as more ponies flocked the ballroom and chattered about their boring lives. When was it his turn to have some fun? The guest count reached 300 and at last from the back of the room Celestia gave a nod in his direction. With that, the draconequus vanished.
Trotting joyously through the halls, in a rainbow assortment of flouncy, fluffy, fuzzy, and flowing gowns were the rest of the four bearers of harmony. They gazed around the room in awe. The decorations were even more beautiful than last year.
"So Fluttershy, are you really going to go through with what you were planning?" Twilight asked her friend, a hoof lightly tapping her shoulder. "I won't lie; I'm worried you might freeze up on stage." She gazed around apprehensively at the room of hundreds of ponies. "It might be a little frightening for you."
The pegasus was as adamant as ever. "I'm not even singing it for them; I'm singing it for him, Twilight." She giggled, "Even if he does gag at it. And I-I've learned to be more brave over this past year." That was certainly true. Taking in and reforming a former monster, standing up to the royals of Equestria at the risk of being banished or worse, and everything else she did just to ensure Discord's safety and happiness.
All but Rarity cringed at the screechy violin music from what sounded like a less than professional musician. It echoed through the large room, but none of the other guests batted an eye. Perhaps their ears were deadened from having listened to stuff like that so much. What sounded next as the strum slid across the instrument's strings was not the sound of a violin. It was in fact a loud quacking noise.
Fluttershy whirled to face the other side of the room, where she suspected Celestia would be absolutely steaming and prepared to pull off pieces of the draconequus. Amazingly, she was only grinning from ear to ear. At the sudden squishy spring beside her, the pegasus turned to see beach balls rain from the ceiling. Every other head in the room looked up at the rain of plush projectiles as well.
In a white flash of light, a certain, smirky, absolutely-delighted-with-having-his-powers-back Discord appeared over the group of ponies. He smirked as they glared up at him—only to be hit in the face with a few beach balls. "Greetings, everypony!" he chirped, "I'll be one of your glorious hosts for this evening! Please have a lovely time, and I wouldn't eat that cake if I were you."
As if on cue the butter cream cake Discord was referring to exploded with confetti and a party blower sound right as a pegasus went for a slice. She ran away with a shriek.
Careful not to make it sound too diabolical and render Celestia in a catatonic state once more, Discord chuckled manically as geysers of whipped cream shot up from the tiles at a safe distance away from the guests. "Now it's a party!" And all chaotic hay broke loose. A storm of cola rained down among the guests, to which they whined as their outfits were ruined. That was the least of their worries as a sporadic wave of pickle juice surged through the windows, yet done cleverly enough that its force wasn't too strong and it wasn't deep enough to drown anypony.
"Auntie Tia!" Cadence dropped Celestia's formal address and waded through the pickle lake, up to give her aunt a hug, which Celestia instantly returned. Discord just sort of hovered awkwardly over his girlfriend's shoulder, looking down into the deep magenta eyes of the younger alicorn.
She pulled back, regarding him with a mixture of wonder and confusion. Odd; he was used to others looking at him with terror.
"Cadence, there is someone I want you to meet." The princess gestured a hoof to Discord, who wasn't sure whether to greet the very young alicorn with some sort of desert spattered across her face or just ignore her and resume his wonderful decor. "This is Prince Discord, your uncle."
At that the spirit's ears visibly perked slightly. 'Uncle Discord'; that had an interesting ring to it. He had to admit it was pretty neat meeting new family he had no idea he had. He also found himself inwardly fawning over his returned title of the prince of Equestria.
Cadence gazed up at the draconequus. She knew about him. History books all over the globe held stories of him, as did her own lessons from tutors when she was younger. Right now that didn't deter her in the slightest. All that was on her mind was...
"I have an uncle?" Her voice was giddy and her eyes were sparkling. "I have an uncle!"
"Well, I suppose you d-" Discord was cut off as the pink mare threw her hooves around his waist and nuzzled him affectionately. Discord stood there, baffled. He wasn't used to hugs, other than from Fluttershy. It made him slightly anxious, but he let her cling to him until she finally let go of him to babble about things she liked, ask what he liked, etcetera, etcetera.
A slightly grim faced stallion standing behind her obviously had common sense (and a grudge) enough to not disregard who he was. "So, you're the one that tormented my sister," Shining Armor said coolly. Ah, so it was the brother of little Sparky, and a perfect future target for his usual abuse. First things first though.
"And what times do you mean, big brother Sparkle?" Discord tittered, "the many pies to the face and tying her tail to a tree to use her as a tether ball, or that fateful day a year ago?" Really if he didn't sprinkle some jokes on his dark past here and there, there would be no moving on with life.
"You know what I mean." If looks could kill...
"Well, we've made amends from that little fiasco of a millennium ago," Discord assured with a smirk. Quite abruptly he scooped Twilight up in his claws as she passed by, pressing her painfully against his face and squeezing her cheeks until they nearly popped. "Why, I love this little wubbie," he crooned, continuing to squeeze the life out of her—before carelessly tossing her over his shoulder, into a large bowl of potato salad. He smirked to himself as Shining Armor immediately rushed over to dig her out of the bowl.
Now to resume my renovation. With a white flash he was gone again.
Fluttershy and her friends shrieked as a bunch of pickles with wings began to fly around the room. The high-society snobs meanwhile only continued to whine over the state of their outfits and how terrible the night was turning out to be.
"Princess, I can't believe you're actually allowing this!" Rarity exclaimed, "It's absolutely uncouth!"
A smirk turned up on Celestia's lips. "I know. I wish Father had let Discord liven things up like this when we were children. Perhaps then the Gala would have been more bearable." She smiled at the sparkle in Discord's eyes as he regaled in his chaotic powers once more. "I think I'll do this every year. With luck the Gala will be over shortly. I have some important things to attend with Discord and my sister. It's something I've been meaning to do with them for a while now."
Fluttershy and her friends shrieked as a bunch of pickles with wings began to fly around the room. The high-society snobs meanwhile only continued to whine over the state of their outfits and how terrible the night was turning out to be.
As frothing rivers of ice cream soda floats began to drip down the walls and the tables turned to giant bean bags, Twilight lightly nudged Fluttershy's shoulder. "Now's your chance." The band was already beginning to pack up their stuff on stage that was raining gumballs (something Discord did in the cottage often anyway), so Fluttershy timidly made her way to the center of the stage.
Ponies were already beginning to make their way out the door and a good handful of guests had already left in a huff, while the others tried staying away from the disarray around them at the safety of the food tables, and ignore the giggling draconequus floating above.
With mechanical movements, Fluttershy took the microphone off its stand, staring around at the large crowd around her; some which weren't even looking at her, some that were gazing up curiously. She could see the back of her little draconequus, who was busily throwing water balloons at some guests. Taking a deep breath, Fluttershy began to sing.
I was once a little filly afraid of this monster under my bed
A monster with big and scary sharp teeth
But do you know what my Mommy said?
She said Fluttershy monster is just a label and you see
That monsters are capable of feelings
Just like you and me
They have hearts just like we have
They can love just like we can
I know it's hard to see it's true
But would I ever lie to you?
Discord whirled to the stage, and was beyond stunned to see little-cries-and-hides-at-everything Fluttershy in the middle of stage, singing a strong serenade, and not even shaking at all. The band timidly crept out behind her and tried to match their instruments with the tune, happy at least a little normality had returned to the formal.
Guests turned to watch the young pegasus as well, and ignored the fall of gumballs and soda, and the puddles of syrup at their hooves as they only concentrated on the music. Slowly, enthusiasm returned back to the party as several ponies began to bob around in time with the music.
But things all changed one fateful day
And I helped somebody see the right way
He was a mean little thing just like no other
Chaos was his bread and pranks were his butter
And no other pony would give him a try
They only saw him as a monster and soon I wondered why
Because I saw something in him no one else did
And I saw all the pain from these years that he's hid
Oh the sheer sweetness oozing unpleasantly from each lyric made Discord feel sick, but to see this usually timid little foal up in front of hundreds of her peers made him proud, whether he wanted to admit it or not.
Fluttershy finished her song, and as the tidal wave of pickle and lemon juice had receded, her friends and Discord included began to clap. The spirit bolted up onto the stage, and the pegasus's sparkling eyes widened, a smile across her butter colord face when Discord rushed to her with his arms outstretched. She opened her own and waited for the hug—only to turn to see Discord grabbing the microphone instead.
"If I could have your attention, my little ponies, I'd like to make a proposal to our dearest princess."
The mention of a "proposal" almost made Celestia choke on a biscuit, hacking it out ever so gracefully as she stared in wonderment at the spirit walking slowly down the steps, and towards her. Ponies stood aside and watched as he took her hand like a kind gentlecolt. Perhaps Fluttershy's lessons on etiquette had taught him something after all.
"May I have this dance, your majesty?" Discord asked with a bow, delicately taking the mare's hoof. Blindsided, the princess could only nod as she was lead into the middle of the dance floor, where the traffic of ponies subsided as they all moved to the side.
"But Discord," Celestia began before the music started, "what are we going to dance to? All the band really plays are classical songs, and-"
There are a lot of ponies in this world, but as time goes on I see
The one who really understands and shows me just what I can be
And as spring turns to summer, and fall turns to winter I know that we'll forever
Through the moments of time, the love in this rhyme, we'll be together...
Celestia stared up at the mischievous glint in the spirit's eyes. Her own filled with tears as she rested her cheek against his chest. "Oh Discord, it's our song."
"Our song?" Discord chuckled, "how disgustingly saccharine, but I suppose you did sing it enough for it to belong to us." He tilted her chin up towards his own face. "And just us."
And now in this world I finally understand just what loves means
And though we have our fights and get angry
I'll always tuck you into my dreams
Everypony watched, their hearts warming as the two immortals held each other and pressed their lips together. Tears filled Fluttershy's eyes and Pinkie started full out bawling at her side at the sheer beautiful-ness of it all.
Discord and Celestia couldn't possibly be anymore content in each other's arms, their eyes radiating with the depth and sincerity of love. They leaned in to kiss again—only for Discord to abruptly snap his fingers. "Areeba!" he shouted, suddenly wearing a sombrero, having changed the band instruments into maracas as he carelessly shoved Celestia away, where she stumbled into a bowl of fruit punch with a catastrophic splash!
"Oh, princess!" Fluttershy and her friends galloped over as the air rang with a Mexican melody and Discord danced in a poncho through the room. She and her friends up righted the princess, who's head was down, flat- red tinted mane drooping into the punch. "I'm so sorry! I thought he'd behave tonight!"
It was then the girls noticed that Celestia's entire body was shaking, and she threw back her head to laugh, turning to the girls with a wide grin on her dripping face.
"You expected anything different?"
The sky was pink and yellow with an awakening sun when the three forms made their way out that morning. Two were walking calmly and resolutely; one was being just about dragged.
Oh the fear coursing through Discord's heart was unfathomable, indescribable. He had never been here-he had forbidden himself from nearing this place after their deaths. It was the main reason he never attended their funeral. He couldn't bear to be on the sacred ground, and was unworthy of even coming at all.
"It's just down this path," Celestia said quietly. Luna was mournfully silent beside her sister, and Discord trembled like a child behind. He tried to gather his composure when the ivory mare turned to him, but he couldn't, and she knew that.
"Don't cry, dear." A tender, golden clad hoof brushed over the tears starting to brim over his eyes. He tried to snap back that he wasn't crying, but was only able to give a weak gurgle. "I know it's hard, but I think it's something you at last have to do. You've never come here, and not facing this fear of yours is one of the reasons you can't move on. You won't be able to until you finally do."
Finding her warm hoof in his paw, Discord held it and allowed himself to be lead, not dragged, down the cobble stone path, and towards a small, silver gate. He felt like a colt whose mother was trying to gently coax him into the doctor's office.
The graves weren't like your typical, tiny head stones (but it was royalty, what else did he expect?); instead the writing was engraved in a large, wide plaque, with an angel decoration on the very top of the headstone. Legs shaking and failing him, Discord knelt down and read the engravings. In the small list of the ponies that loved his parents, in the list of their children, was him.
"You...got them to mention me."
"Of course." Celestia gazed down at the hunched creature, a pained look written on her face as her mouth creased and her eyes became wet. "You were their son...and I knew you still loved them. You aimed to please only them, and to show them how much you cared. You wanted the throne because you wanted power, but also because you wanted to make them proud by following in their hoofsteps."
Discord was ready to asphyxiate the princess with her own hair if she said one more thing to build up the tide of tears and approaching hysterics. His eyes were ready to gush like faucets. He was nearly eating his own paw; it was pressed so tightly against his mouth so only his body shook with grief and not a sound escaped him.
"On the night they decided to banish you, the night it all happened, Father told me his biggest regret was not telling you he loved you as much as he should have. But no matter what, they still loved you and would for all eternity and ever after, no matter what you had done."
The crouched spirit put his head in between his knees, and for a final time he wept over their death, over the past, over the pain of what he never realized, and the pain that he did realize. Celestia and Luna stood above him, but said nothing and provided no comfort. There was a time for comfort and there was a time when one had to be left to have a full release of their emotions on their own. This was one of those times.
When it was over, Discord didn't feel like crawling under a rock in shame that he had broken down and sobbed like a two day colt. No, if anything, he at last felt a sense of clarity, and that he could finally proceed with his own life knowing that "the past was past."
"Stand in front of me, Discord and Luna."
The two siblings looked at each other and reluctantly obeyed, although they were very confused. Celestia gazed at them, at the two beings in the world that love for anyone else didn't even come close to her love for them, at the foal and colt she was raised with from infancy, and the ones that had made the biggest impact on her life.
"Words cannot explain how much the two of you mean to me, and everything you've done for me," she began in a strong voice, glistening tears of happiness in her eyes. "We've gone through so much in our lives. Some of it we've needed to go through alone, but we've remained strong. We've made our mistakes, but they're what have made us who we are today. We know who we are and what our parents wanted for us."
All of a sudden a long forgotten, archaic chest appeared beside the princess, hovering in a magic hue. Discord and Luna stared when they realized what the chest was. It opened slowly and revealed its contents.
"Princess Luna, daughter of Astraia," Celestia began to speak as her magic removed her sister's slippers, ebony tiara, and necklace, "you remind me more of Mother every day. You have her grace, her charm, her compassion, and her judgement." The younger immortal bent her head as her mother's crown was tucked around her mane, and she lifted her hooves for the slippers, watching the amethyst necklace fasten itself around her neck. "You are our mother's daughter, and she'd be proud to say you are her daughter."
Luna's navy blue eyes sparkled with tears as she gave her sister a firm nod. "Thank you, sister."
When Celestia turned to Discord, holding his father's attire in a bubble of magic, the spirit began to panic and pull away from her. "T-Tia, no—I can't. I can't wear that. I—no." Memories of him wearing that crown and tainting it with his own evil resonated through his head, heightening his fear. Celestia wouldn't allow him to pull away. One time Discord wanted that crown more than anything, and now he was too afraid to touch it.
"Prince Discord, son of Aegeus, you have made many mistakes in life. You have made perhaps more than either of us, and they cost you dearly-"
"We're supposed to have witnesses for a coronation," Discord whimpered, trying to keep the crown away from him, "So stop talking!"
"You once had darkness in your heart that couldn't be cured, and you were once the fall of this land. Despite everything, you were still Aegeus and Astraia's son, and you have repented for your sins of the past. That's all Mother and Father wanted, and so they would be proud to call you their son."
Discord stared at her, unable to understand her words, and didn't fight as his father's crown was placed on his head, nor when his father's chains were fastened around his neck. He touched the large ruby in the center of the chain and stared at the mare once more.
"My siblings," Luna said softly, "let us do right by our parents, and right by Equestria. Let us rule as one heart, and one mind." She gathered both her brother and sister into a close, loving hug. Celestia's hooves instantly enclosed around her, but Discord took a little longer to return it. When he did it was just as tight.
"Tia, Lulu, I...feel like I need to be alone right now," Discord said quietly, muffled under the suffocating embrace. "I have to think about things." The girls pulled back, but they nodded immediately and gave his back a few gentle rubs before walking away and leaving Discord with his thoughts.
The draconequus stood there by his parents' graves with a soul searching look on his face. He gazed up at the sky as the sun that had only just poked up into the sky retreated behind a few clouds, and shrouded the land in a dim shadow.
"You know, Mom and Dad, you always were the forgiving type. I never was. There was always a rift between us and when you apologized for not being better parents I didn't forgive you. I was always the type that loved to hold grudges, wasn't I? Well, your daughters would know that. A thousand years in stone and the only thing appealing to me was hurting them." He reached up and mournfully took off his crown, turning it over in his hands. "Yet I know you both: infuriatingly forgiving, even when one doesn't even deserve it. It's hard to forgive myself or accept that you would."
Still pressed against the graves, his tear-dried cheeks up against the cold granite, Discord felt a sudden warmth on his back. He gazed up and could hardly believe what he saw. Shining down from somewhere in the break of the clouds, with a pale, warm beam was a single ray of sunlight on him. Discord stood up and stared straight into the sky. The ray of the sun was unlike anything he had felt before. It was serene, and it felt like a tender hug...from familiar arms.
Okay, Discord, now you're being absolutely ridiculous, the spirit thought, annoyed by his own snap assumptions of his own, childish, hopeful self. It was then a sudden wind rippled his fur, and it was reminiscent to the way his father sometimes mussed his fur when he was young. It wasn't meant to be soothing or comforting, but the motion was akin to one of playful affection, as if telling him to cheer up and stop crying.
A spiritual, soft breath in the wind that instantly made Discord's heart skip a beat, if not stop all together. He whirled to the sky for the source of the voice, but found nothing. Still, he knew he heard it; it wasn't just in his head. A smile curled over the spirit's lips as he gazed up into the clouds a final time. The sunlight retracted the moment he stepped into the palace.
The day's events had tuckered his entire family out. Discord had kept what he heard to himself, not sharing it with anypony. He knew Celestia and Luna wouldn't think he was insane, but the moment, the voice, just seemed to be something special, and it would lose its worth if he let out he heard it.
As things had changed since the day they had all made amends, more changed for the better today as they received their parents' attire. Discord and Luna had playfully fought over her throne in a barrage of ear nibbling, tail gnawing, and raspberries and noogies aplenty. Today had been the day they truly reunited as family and remembered just who they were. Today was the day the pain from the past was laid to rest permanently.
Today had been the day they had all moved on.
And now the three had all curled up in a single bed together under the stars and moon, just like the days when they were children and had all been laid to sleep in the same bed, under one family sized blanket. Of course, it was a little different now that they were older. Bodies poked out of the blankets everywhere since it was only big enough to cover one pony. Neither of them cared though. Discord just warmed his family's hooves by wrapping his tail around them.
Luna had tried to stay awake (she took the night shift after all), but found the day's events had exhausted her as well. Celestia was close to falling under the Sandmare's spell as well. She turned over to look at Discord, who had his hands behind his head.
"Things finally feel alright," Discord said quietly. "It's been eons since I've felt...this peaceful." He looked at his love, and her violet eyes twinkled in the darkness. "Since I've felt...that I belong."
Celestia said nothing for a moment, but even in the darkness the spirit could see the gentle smile play across her lips. She only said one thing: "I love you, Discord." Maybe it was absurd to say it after all they had been through, all she had caused him and all he had caused her, but she still said it. No matter what, it was the truth. It had never changed. It never would.
It was absurd indeed, and laughable that she could say it so easily after their history, but the bad parts had only made up a small part of their lives, and so it was no challenging task for Discord to say this: "I love you too, Celestia."
"Wait until you try my new cupcake recipe! I made it for Discord really; it's cotton candy, and chocolate and licorice! It's super-duper delicious! I even added a pickle on top!" That's where every pair of hooves but Discord's hands drew back in disgust, and inched away from the plate of disgusting desserts.
"I'll pass, Pinkie," Aegeus said awkwardly, pushing away the plate—where his son instantly took it into his mouth. "I'm sure it's delightful, but-"
"But the stick-in-the-mud king of Equestria doesn't accept anything un-orderly," Discord sniggered playfully, laughing as his father pulled him down from the air and into a headlock.
"You watch your manners, little colt!" the king growled, the smirk on his lips betraying it. "I'm still your father after all!" He drove a hoof into his son's mane, messing it up as Discord laughed and protested.
"What a gorgeous day it is," Luna breathed, nestled in her mother's embrace. "It's a perfect day for a picnic. The air is so clean and fresh, and extremely soothing." Twinkling navy eyes glanced up into the vibrant skies—only for her vision to be suddenly obscured by a green gelatinous goop. Both her and her green-goo-coated mom stared blankly as it dripped crudely down their bodies.
"Ohohohoho!" Discord slapped his knees in mirth. "The skies might be clean, but your manes certainly aren't!" He danced circles around his sister and mother through the air, and it was only after the green goop dripped into her sandwich that Astraia finally reacted. "Get him, Lulu."
Discord bolted away from the vengeful mares, and Luna galloped close behind him, snorting in rage.
"Oh, he's gonna get it," Applejack smirked.
"Nopony messes with Luna and the Queen," Twilight agreed with a giggling lilt.
Discord circled the tree and back again in the most un-fun (for Luna) game of chase ever. Eventually, Astraia paralyzed her son in a beam of magic, and allowed Luna to tackle him to the ground.
"Oh no! No!" Discord yelped squealing as his sister bit down on his poor ears. "Barbara, help! Fluttershyy!"
"No, you'll get no help from me, you naughty thing," the pegasus grinned with the clucking hen, only contributing by tossing her feather duster over her shoulder, and towards Luna, who chirped a thank you and proceeded to dust the hapless spirit.
Discord bolted instantly away from her once he managed to push her off, and only succeeded in reaching the picnic blanket before his entire family and even his friends tackled him down. They weren't even doing a thing to him, but yet Discord still found himself laughing harder than he ever had. At last he felt a sense of clarity and joy, and at last he was where he finally belonged. At last...
...He no longer felt broken.
(Wow, I can't believe it's done. I got teary eyed when I wrote the final paragraph because it's done.
Anyway, eh...I like how it turned out, but I guess it just seemed more epicer in my head. :\ *sigh* The new outfits is a good setup for "Distorted Worlds", since princess Luna, Queen Celestia, and King Discord are all going to look different. :D
Next up: deleted scenes, and a "trailer" of the sequel. Taht might not be up for a while since I want to work more on my art, and start finish the first chapter of "Cradle To Corruption"
I also want to write a Discord and Aegeus fic based on "Brave" (that movie was awesome; Pixar I want to work with you even more now)
Anyhoo, hope you all enjoyed. And yes the last scene was a dream. If you think it was reality yer dum.)