"Oh, of course it's a carrot of all things. How predictable, really." Discord's mismatched irises rolled heavily in the annoyed sea of yellow, his paw and talon falling to the mahogany table cloth, nearly sending a glass flying. His lip folded out into a frivolous pout when those cyan eyes focused a glare on him.
"Be nice, Discord," Fluttershy admonished like a stern mother, biting her tongue to repress soft chortles of amusement when Angel thumped his foot and glowered in annoyance. "A carrot is a lovely present, Angel, thank you."
Fluttershy delicately set aside the luscious orange vegetable, letting it blend back into bright, multicolored wrapping paper. With the presents out of the way her childish blue eyes were now gazing intently at a two teir, butterscotch cream birthday cake in front of her. Large globs of lazily piped on pink roses dripped down the side, and Angel's writing was merely childish little scrawls, but Fluttershy loved it all the same.
"It is just beautiful," Fluttershy happily gushed, leaning over the table to blow out the crackling embers at the wick of each candle. The thin trail of smoke drifted into Discord's nostrils, giving the impish draconequus a brilliant idea.
Fluttershy tightly gripped a silver carving knife in between her teeth, and she had only just leaned over the cake, when the loud popping noise reverberated throughout the cottage's walls. The startled young pegasus saw nothing but muddled pink and butter frosting. As it slowly peeled away from her face and cleared away her vision, the unamused equine focused her eyes on the spirit rolling on his back in mirth.
"Ahahaha! Oh pe-he-her-iceless, you wonderfully entertaining little f-ho-hoal!" Still in that crescent moon position, Discord rolled up slightly, giggling madly and wiping at his dewy eyes. His ears perked up and twitched to the side when he heard the subtle clopping sound of her hoof, and he gasped as he turned to her.
Playful vengeance shone in those lustrous eyes as Fluttershy scraped her hoof against the wooden floors; her chosen weapon of dread hanging there in her mouth; its feathers dancing menacingly back and forth in front of the nervous ruby eyes.
Discord bolted from where he had been laying, and the little pony gave chase to him, clutching the feather duster tightly and shouting out muffled, playful threats as she gained up on her prey. Cornering the helpless spirit between the couch and the coffee table, Fluttershy pounced on her protesting victim.
Angel and Hummingway exchanged smirking glances as they watched their owner ruthlessly attack the much deserving, distressed chimera. Both remained silent as they tidied up the mess of wrapping paper, leaving both pegasus and draconequus to their wayward bonding moments, the laughter of the two filling the cottage.
The resonating sounds of laughter diminished with the fragment of memory, leaving Discord alone in the stretching Canterlot gardens, as he had been for the past few hours. So many things ran through that usually cotton candy and nonsense filled mind.
White clouds were interwoven in the azure sky, and Celestia's sun cast its earthly glow over Canterlot's gardens. He gazed listlessly, almost focusing a harsh glare at the golden orb above him, wondering why in Equestria the sun was shining. It was the only thing that shone so brightly, luminously in Equestria since the day it happened.
Although part of the downcast spirit yearned to hate the sun for the way it shone amidst the pain and anguish, another part of him almost wanted to fly up to meet the golden orb in the sky, and look to see if she was with her mother behind the sun's thin, golden veil.
Discord carefully dusted off the head of the tombstone, watching the flecks of dirt as they were carried away with the wind, floating up to meet the sun. He shakily fell onto his haunches in the moist emerald grass, nearly crushing a small, mourning ball of white fluff underneath his weight.
The situation just felt so...surreal. It had since those innocent, cyan eyes shut and the last breath of life escaped the pale lips. Discord had known something was wrong as he watched the bright, exuberant pegasus slowly fade; the brilliant saffron tinge to her fur fade even faster.
He knew something was terribly wrong, but neither of the bewildered two suspected the diagnosis would be as grim as it was, or that it would bring back so much deja-vu for the young pony.
Death wasn't something the draconequus wasn't terribly unaccustomed to, even in his time of rule. Whatever deaths he caused weren't ever intentional and Discord always viewed a death as a sad waste when the ponies could have served some use for him, even if it was simply entertainment. This was, however, the very first time a death had ever personally affected his indifferent heart, and sliced into it like the sharpest knife.
He felt... He didn't know what he had felt when she died. "Lost" couldn't even begin to describe the unfathomable emotions he went through, and pain was too small a word. There weren't any words.
Discord had recalled one of the most heartfelt and rather heart twisting conversations he had on the night Fluttershy's mother passed away. The two had sat underneath a snow coated oak tree, absently catching the snowflakes in hooves and hands as they spoke quietly amongst themselves. The conversation had drifted to what Fluttershy wanted when she died: to be buried in the most beautiful, luscious garden that existed.
More than a wish, it had been a promise and the first one Discord was intent on keeping. Walking among sparkling chrysanthemum buds and velvet rose petals, Discord knew what garden he would have Fluttershy buried in. It may not be the best in Equestria, but it was the most beautiful one he knew of.
It barely took more than an inquiry to Celestia, when Discord was certain it would take plenty of pleading, perhaps promises of his own if she would fulfill this one. As she had been the Element of Kindness, and the keeper of the incarnation of chaos, Celestia knew that if anything, Fluttershy had deserved this.
Discord hadn't been sure what to do with himself after her death. It wasn't because of depression, but more the fact that it was the first time the dracoenquus found himself alone in the placid little cottage, save for the depressed white bunny. Having always hated the rabbit and the feeling being mutual, the two finally let it rest with her the night she died.
If there was any feeling that was the most prominent after she died it was loneliness. Discord absolutely despised being alone. Anypony would most likely think the initial thought of a bad spirit hating to be by himself would be weird, but to be truthful it was almost a fear for the draconequus, and had been spawned since his days encased in stone.
Whether it was to simply torment a victim of his, have a conversation, or just be in another's presence Discord hated being alone. He had spent eons in solitary confinement, with only the company of the frigid cold and pelting rain. He was not about to endure another lifetime of loneliness. He couldn't believe he was saying this, but thank Equestria for Angel bunny. Nuisance or not, at least the bothersome creature kept him from crossing the line to complete loneliness.
Angel sat there, his tiny form nearly hidden in the green grass, as tears soaked his ivory fur and the terrain under him. He clutched to the cold stone as if it was her soft, saffron foreleg, nuzzling the rough surface.
Despite it being beside himself, the grieving spirit reached a paw out to touch the top of the bumpy headstone. He rolled his eyes at himself and the indignity of actually gripping onto the tombstone as if it was her. He let out a shuddering sigh, head tilting towards the heavens, before it drooped again. Luckily, before the despair could persist to something as humiliating as tears, a soft, concerned voice softly spoke.
A hopeful, whispered "Fluttershy?" almost passed his lips, but luckily Discord spun around to find who the voice belonged to before he could embarrass himself. The snow white alicorn stood there at the entrance to the gardens, her ethereal mane rippling behind her, despite there being no wind.
Discord opened his mouth in greeting, but found nothing to say to the alicorn as she quietly cantered towards his slumped form. He flinched slightly as her wing draped over his back. He was still trying to get used to her touch, despite finally, truly reconciling with her not too long ago.
"How are you doing?" Celestia asked softly, resting a golden hoof on his back. She noted he shuddered at the touch, but she kept her hoof there, staring intently into those lifeless red eyes.
Discord's mouth opened for a small increment of time, but it only shut again, suddenly feeling more emotionally vulnerable with his childhood friend at his side. It didn't help that those stupid, sad, and worried eyes were looking right at him. He had to look away.
"Are you alright?"
When she asked that Discord wanted to slap her across the face, and shove her into the glistening pond. How stupid was she? No, he was not alright. No, he wouldn't ever be alright again! Ever again...
Yet, the anguished draconequus lost an iota of valor at her honest, pressing concern. This was the first time anypony expressed concern for him and acknowledged his feelings since the tragedy. After all, every one of Fluttershy's dumb friends were all busy consoling one another, never thinking to even speak a word to the spirit that lived with her for a year. It wasn't that Discord at all desired the company and concern of a sniveling little pony, but it would be nice if he wasn't treated as totally invisible through this time. Of course, it was the one that finally approached him who's words could easily break him.
"Discord, answer me." Celestia's voice was unrelenting in both concern and sternness. Discord's mouth didn't open, for fear of what might come out. The stubborn sun alicorn refused to give up as she moved with him when he fought to turn his head from her.
"Discord-" The princess could only stare in open mouthed horror as – all at once – Discord lost it, sending a raging ball of fire from his talon into a nearby tree, splintering it to kindling, and doing the same to a few more. Celestia fanned out her wings and struck out her horn, stilling him with magic. Even as the remnants of tree bark continued to burn and melt to ashes in the grass, even as the panting spirit fought against her hold in grief, Celestia nuzzled herself up underneath his chin.
And for the first time in eons, since the days he was merely a young child tumbling off his clouds of cotton candy on unsteady legs, since the day he found the King and Queen dead by his hands, the embodiment of chaos wept.
"Why..didn't I do something sooner?" Discord mumbled into the ivory fur, blind to the celestial princess curled under his wet chin as the crystal blue drops of his mourning soaked in through her fur. "Why didn't I drag her to the doctors myself?"
"You had no way of knowing," Celestia reminded him, her voice gentle and stern. "You had no way of knowing it was hereditary. You cannot belittle yourself for this, Discord, and I refuse to let you.."
The spirit gave a soft, raspy chuckle amidst the tears. "I don't think you have any control over that, Tia..." He pulled his wet, sagging face from the alicorn's fur, regaining his composure as quick as he had lost it. He tried to jerk away, but the princess held his face in her hooves, forcing him to look her in the eye.
"How long has it been since you've slept?" Celestia enjoined sternly, her brows furrowing. The violet flecks narrowed at him when the nervous spirit bit his lip and averted his eyes childishly. Celestia held the glare, before sighing and tugging him away with magic. The spirit protested and whined like a toddler as the alicorn used magic to twist his ear and yank him away.
"Come with me, you're going to bed," Celestia ordered, and Discord barely had the time to hook his tail around the small, already sleeping ball of white fluff as the sun alicorn lead him towards the palace.
"One of my servants, Rain Drizzle, is out to pick up some groceries this afternoon. I'm sure she wouldn't mind you using her bed for a little while."
The small flow of tears having dried already, the mirthful, ruby eyes sparkled mischievously, a smirk twisting up over the sagged, twisted muzzle.
"A servant's bed? Really now, Celestia, I can't snuggle up with you~?" His snicker was only short lived, as Celestia's hoof gave him a stinging swat across the nose. He pouted and wrinkled it, rubbing a paw over the tender spot.
Although the regal princess glared at him and rolled her eyes, relief sparked in her chest as his usual, rascally and impish personality kicked in. "Yeah, that's the Discord I know," she muttered under her breath, accompanying it with a sigh of exasperation.
Discord was floating on his back now, a sleepy little white ball of fluff rubbing groggily at his eyes from where he was curled on the draconequus's stomach. "Hmmm.." He rubbed his beard in deep thought. "The servants' quarters are always so dreadfully dismal; I bet this one could use a make over. Say bananas hanging from the walls rather than paintings?"
Celestia had to fight the smile. "Now that's really the Discord I know." She opened the swinging palace doors for them, but Discord paused at the doorway. He turned his head back to the garden for a second, and then to Celestia.
"I'll be there in a minute, Celestia." Taking a deep breath, Discord put on his weak facade of bravery as he once again approached his companion's memorial, resting his head against the stone.
Quietly, he raised his talon in the air. A golden hue coated the tips of his claws, and with the slight flick of his wrist, a carnation appeared in the spirit's hand. He gave a small, contented smile as he ran his paw over the petals of Fluttershy's favorite flower.
With every touch of the flower Discord could almost see Fluttershy's twinkling cyan eyes; her long, curled rosette mane, and the smile that cemented the element she represented. As the sun cast its luminous rays over his and Angel's form, the spirit had to wonder if it was her eyes watching down on them.
Placing the carnation delicately at the top of the stone, the spirit of chaos bowed his head, allowing the warm rays to seep through his fur, skin, and into his rigid heart. The rays of the sun were still on both draconequus and bunny as the two sauntered their way back to the palace. A warm wind entwined with the sun illuminated petals and rippled them, as if those butter colored hooves were holding the flower in their loving grip, gently caressing the petals.
(First of all in order to understand this fic you will have to have read "Broken Spirit" and "Hearths Warming, Hearts Breaking" to understand the current setting of this story
The hereditary illness refers to the kidney disease that took Camelia's (Fluttershy's mother) life in "Hearths Warming, Hearts Breaking"
I don't know, I just felt in the mood to write something sad and bittersweet - a what if scenario if Fluttershy died. It's interesting to explore the reaction it might have on Discord and Angel. (Well duh her friends would mourn, but I just wanted this fic to be about them)
I figure Discord would probably grieve in the form of rage (like how he destroyed the trees. It would probably take a lot to make him cry, but I decided to have Celestia break him anyways.