Sleeping on the ground hurt if anything could be said about their eventful night before. His entire body ached, feeling like a screw turned too tightly as he tried to flex his stiff tail, body moving like something rusted and mechanical. Ouch.
The spirit rose into the air with difficulty, but his aching wings forced him back onto the ground on all fours, teetering in a subconscious and sore state. This wasn't his morning. The cold parting words with Fluttershy were the first to resonate through his head of all things and he wondered why. Perhaps it was because arguing with the pegasus was something he simply wasn't used to doing.
Indeed, although his antics managed to irk the pony quite a bit and the amount of punishments he had received had been countless, the two never shared mutual anger to each other, barely so much as even a spat on both ends. This felt weird and very gut unsettling.
Well... He had been angry long enough, and it wasn't as if he truly had a liberty to be so, other than his own selfishness. Fluttershy had done nothing wrong. Caring and loving a creature – she was just being Fluttershy! Besides, how was he supposed to drench his favorite pony with milk waterfalls and spend the day as usual in her shadow to prank her if they were fighting?
Guess I better make amends. Oh, GAG.His tongue out so far he did gag, throat pressed to his uvula, the entity casually made his way out into the kitchen. His snarling stomach would have eventually propelled him to the kitchen anyways even if he didn't want to make up with her. He crossed the borders of the living room, into the kitchen.
There sat a tiny, still bundled and dazed little sun yellow filly, curled up in the back of his chair, trying to reach the table and access her breakfast. In his chair. HIS chair. Instantly the desire to make up with the pony dissipated in a hateful glare as he snapped himself away with a bright, angry flash. Neither of them noticed.
"Do you like the pancakes?" Fluttershy's hopeful lilt made the girl's head lift from where it was practically buried in the soft, plush cakes, the pieces of batter dripping off her baby face as she nodded rapidly. "I made them myself."
The filly gave the caretaker a small, grateful smile, lapping up the rest of her orange juice and sitting back with a full, jiggling, and bouncy belly. Days ago she thought she'd never eat, and now she was certain she didn't want to eat for a while. She'd been stuffed far more than her stomach's capacity could probably take.
Deciding to attempt it once more, Fluttershy tentatively touched the girl's back. She flinched fiercely, seemed to consider it, and then she shied away, backing up in the chair and shrugging off the hoof.
"Okay, you aren't ready for that." Fluttershy pushed the dishes into the sink, swiping her dish cloth over the table to clean it. She paused, seeming to be inspecting the cloth. A flash of warm memories when Discord always grabbed and hid it on her ran through her head, but she shook it off. Equestria, she was pathetic. They had only fought the night before and already she was "missing" him.
Hmph, she had other things to worry about; a bright yellow, tiny pony for example. "Do you want to go outside, sweetie? See, this time of day I usually care for my animals, and maybe you could help!"
Apprehension crossed the small yellow face, from her curved down mouth to her jade green eyes. She padded softly to the window, struggling to pull herself up enough to peer through the glass. After a few moments of gazing at the lush grass and fluttering birds she nodded.
Fluttershy's gardens seemed to stretch on endlessly, vines of flowers and vegetables unraveling from the brown soil and stretching their limbs in the sun. Although Fluttershy could note the child was staring intently at the warm fruits, she wouldn't even glace at what a pony's eyes were usually drawn to: the flowers.
"Still hungry?" the elder pegasus asked, giggling when the girl flushed a bit and scratched at her mane with her hoof. "I suppose I don't blame you. Full belly or not, looking at those yummy fruit make you feel even hungrier."
A wing extended from where it was snapped shut against her body, gently draping over the girl like a curtain and leading her on, towards a small patch of flowers where a few mice were nibbling on a flower's satin petals. Jade eyes widened and the girl scampered over.
"This is Mr. And Mrs. Squeakers," Fluttershy said, holding the tiny, fluffy creatures out on a hoof. Beady eyes gleamed at the filly and their whiskers twitched as the pegasus pat their heads. "If you want to help me you can change their bandages. But if you're uncomfortable doing that-"
Already the child was ripping into a medical kit and slicing through the bandages with her teeth, carefully wrapping them around the limp, stick like mouse legs. Beaming, already seeing herself in this girl, Fluttershy instead turned to the plants.
As the saffron pegasus approached the her garden, standing in the soil, she spotted the casually wiggling red tail and piece of white fluff from it flicking quietly. Determined to set things right, the pony calmly strode forward. Her mouth barely opened before he snapped his fingers and was once again gone.
Her delicate mouth scrunched up as the tears began to flow and soak her cheeks. The pegasus was about to full out sob and collapse weeping, but she changed her mind, spitting back the flow of tears and hardening her heart. He wanted to be a brat, then fine.
"Sw-sweetie, do you want to help me with the flowers?" Fluttershy watched as the sun yellow head suddenly shot up, eyes sharp. Taking that as a yes, the oblivious pony plucked a small marigold from the soil and trotted near the girl. The child backed away.
"Oh no, they don't hurt," Fluttershy tried to giggle, a little more than confused at the un-natural reaction to flowers. She held them out – a wind suddenly whipped them from her hooves as the blur of yellow swiped them and suddenly tossed them to the ground. Fluttershy watched with frozen eyes as the panting filly trampled them underneath her feet, ripping through the flesh of the petals with her teeth and literally littering the forest floor with an array of potpourri.
Finally, nearly traumatized by the sight the horrified Fluttershy had witnessed, trembling lips grasped the child and pulled her away from the mesh of yellow she was still trying to massacre. The girl thrashed and kicked, tears rolling as she tried to get back and murder the remains of the flowers, which were now no more than tiny yellow pieces of dust.
Tears making their way down her own cheeks, Fluttershy's teeth got a stronger hold on the girl's scruff and dragged her back to the mice. Once the pony realized she was no longer in the presence of the seemingly demonic flowers and back with the little mice, she calmed.
Still trembling, Fluttershy watched the child's mood and mental state gradually return to normal as she laid beside the mice, letting them crawl on her chest. The pain that had been in her eyes, the unfathomable rage, as if that one delicate little bud had killed her family. Shaking her head, Fluttershy tried to make sense of it all, unaware of the approaching lavender form.
"Fluttershy?" Twilight's soft and concerned voice quietly intoned, the sun's rays easily illuminating the tears on her friend's face with a soft yellow hue. "Are you alright?" No response for the first few minutes, and Twilight's eyes trailed to the tiny, tiny yellow fluff ball, who only seemed a bit larger than the mouse.
"Oh, Twilight.. I..I didn't even see you at first. I'm sorry." As if the tears weren't already noticeable, Fluttershy swiped a saffron hoof across her eyelids, tiredly turning to her friend. "What's going on with you?"
"I should say the same thing." The unicorn's eyes never left the pudgy yellow ball. "Where did you get the baby? Oh no – I hope it isn't like the situation with Philomena where you thought she needed your care and took her." A blank look; a glare. "...Just checking?"
"She isn't mine." If the child wasn't hers, who's was she? "Well – maybe she's mine." Fluttershy almost laughed as Twilight's jaw dropped. "That's not-not what I meant... I don't know who's she is, and she isn't a baby; she's seven."
"She's seven?" Twilight's voice of booming shock alerted the girl, who scampered over, eyes slightly narrowed, having heard the unicorn's awestruck exclaim.
"Yes, she's sev-" Fluttershy's eyes widened and she gasped as the child gave her friend a hard thump in the leg with her hoof. Twilight's face contorted as she slightly doubled over. "Hey now, that isn't nice at all!" the pegasus lightly scolded, frowning at the girl. The smoldering green eyes narrowed before she returned to the mice.
"She's delightful," Twilight muttered out sarcastically, teeth clenched in pain as she tried to rub away the throbbing. "I guess she heard me call her a baby. How was I supposed to know she's seven? She looks like a-"
Furious violet eyes trailed silently over to the girl, observing her in quiet anger. She stared intently at the stubby, stunted limbs, and the wing that looked as if a hydra had gnarled it with its fangs. Anger simmered to nothing. "Oh wow.."
"The sad thing is I don't know if she's ever been shown love before. She looks at me all confused and uncomfortable when I so much as TOUCH her."
Twilight hummed in acknowledgement, nodding in understanding. "Sounds like someone else I know." She looked pointedly to where a pair of mismatched feet could be seen faintly through the trees. When she glanced back at her friend more tears were brimming. "Flutterhshy? Is something wrong with Discord?" Her friend turned away as an effort to hide the tears. "Did you two fight?"
"Something like that," the pegasus hiccuped, shamefully hiding her tear tracked face behind strands of her rosette mane. Twilight's gentle hoof brushed away her hair, exposing the wet, glassy eyes. When she tried to probe further, Fluttershy turned away.
Torn between verbally tearing apart the spirit and wrapping a hoof around her friend, Twilight's eyes darted as she bit her lip. "You know, I think I may stick around here for a while if it's alright with you. I-I mean I don't see you as often anymore." It was a good enough lie, and Twilight had no choice but to assume a sniffled squeak from the pegasus was a yes.
Backing away awkwardly, slowly, Twilight whirled with blazing eyes once she was out of earshot, storming through the trees, snapping several twigs as she barked up at the spirit lounging atop an old maple. "Discord, get down here now!"
There was a pause, a brief consideration, and then slowly Discord climbed back down, descending from several branches before landing on his feet. His visage was drawn back up to that cold disdain he always used when with her.
"What did you do to Fluttershy?"
After several moments of no movement the most fake, most wide grin snaked over his twisted muzzle. "Twilight, my favorite pony!" His voice positively dripped with sarcasm and malice. "What brings you here? Why, if I knew you were coming my dear, I would have made a lovely batch of cotton candy cream cookies~! Ever had any? They are simply div-"
"Yeah, save it Discord – I already know you hate me." It had been a year now with endless and futile apologies. Twilight had already forgiven herself for the incident; evidently it wasn't mutual. "I'll ask you again: what did you do to Fluttershy!"
Discord's ruby red irises deepened to a dark, belligerent crimson. "I've done nothing to her! Get lost. In case you haven't realized, not in the mood for company!" he spat bitterly. Right when he crouched to scale his tree again a hard hoof clamped on his tail. Discord froze and Twilight panted quietly in fear.
"The only thing keeping me from turning your hoof into ice and smashing it with a hammer is little Flutter Butter..and the fact I don't fancy going back in stone." He focused his murderous leer on her. "You can thank Celestia for that. What do you want me to say? The worst I've done to her is ignore her."
And yet Twilight reacted as if he had told her he dunked her into a vat of acid. "You what? Why would you ignore her? You know how sensitive she is!" Discord tried to climb again, and Twilight was about to lash out with a spell, before she realized it would petrify him.
"Apologies for being the only one not positively in loooove with the new baby," the spirit drawled in a malignant tone, his eyes narrowed all the more balefully. Twilight easily recognized jealousy.
"Yes, you see, good, good. Can I go now, oh little interrogator?"
Baring his snaggletooth against the rest of his teeth, Discord had to keep chanting a mantra of words to calm himself down and keep from turning the impertinent pony into some kind of dairy dessert. He wasn't in the mood to put up with this brat. "Well, what do you want?"
"...Are you jealous?"
"Of what? You? Yes, you're just lovely, Twilight Sparkle, but I really don't fancy the idea of being-" His snarky retort was cut off in a gargle of pain as the pony yanked him slightly to her, both seething eyes pressed against each other. Discord wrenched back and gave off a threatening growl.
"Answer me, Discord. Are you jealous?"
Now the tight frown on the unicorn's face wavered to something more of concern, voice soft as she spoke to the draconequus who now had himself slightly turned away at an angle, ears back. "You're jealous, aren't you?"
Finally, the unconvincing sneer spread back over his face as he gave an indignant snort, casually slamming a paw against the tree, something furry and tiny landing in his paw. "Jealous – pfft. I have little Chaos Junior here to keep me company. Why would I be jealous?"
Chaos Junior, a tiny, wide eyed brown squirrel looked curiously up at the draconequus and unicorn. He had gotten his name when Fluttershy took him in and he tore the cottage asunder. Discord of course named him; he was the only one of Fluttershy's little pets he liked.
Twilight sighed and took a light step forward, her eyes shining with understanding and deep concern. Oh gag. "Discord, it's alright to feel this way. It's perfectly natural, you know. Don't think it's not right for you to feel such natural-"
Discord cut her off with an abrupt snap. "Look, I don't need some sniveling little pony telling me how to feel. I decide that myself, if you don't mind. Now really, if you're going to force me to converse with you, why don't we tip the conversation to chocolate waterfalls~?"
"I really think you should talk to Fluttershy."
"About chocolate waterfalls? No, she knows enough."
The entity gave an angry chortle, balancing the poor, frazzled Chaos Junior on a fingertip as he spoke dryly. "Ah yes, yes. I can see the conversation now!" The god of chaos cleared his throat dramatically and took the liberty to make his eyes wide, wet, and shiny. If Fluttershy saw them she'd melt. "Mommy, mommy, why are you spending more time with the new baby than with me? You're making me sad, mommy!" He ended his performance with a snort, glowering at the unicorn quietly, about to turn again. She wouldn't let him.
"I didn't mean like that, but Fluttershy doesn't know how you're feeling. If you want things to improve, tell her."
For a moment he actually looked serious, seeming to be letting things sink in. That illusion was broken as he turned to pet Chaos Junior's head with a coo. "Or I'll just stay here and be out of her way forever~" He smirked as Twilight whirled from him in disgust. Well, at least now he was alone. All alone. Completely alone.
A smile was still on her face as she pranced into the cottage and flapped her mismatched wings happily, watching the little mouse feet as they appeared with their chubby bodies. She loved taking care of the animals; helping the injured, needy creatures made her heart feel good. And made her belly feel rather hungry.
The pegasus's prance fell into a trot as she neared the gleaming fridge once more. It had become her best friend, full of delightful and healthy treats, sugary molasses cookies that stuck to her rib cage like a warm hug on the inside.
The mice wanted the first pick, evidently scrambling their way to the fridge before she even reached it. She couldn't go as fast as them.
A cold red eye watched from around the corner, eyes narrowing hatefully when he spotted the tiny form toddling her way to his food. Perhaps he needn't talk to Fluttershy; frightening her himself would be so much easier. She'd run off, Fluttershy wouldn't see, and Discord could simply tell her she decided to leave.
It was right when her milky teeth closed the fridge by the handle, carrying as much as food as she could in her mouth as she turned to leave did the illusion of a monster jump at her. The pony scrambled back in fright, the creature's needle sharp fangs and sea of blood red eyes gleamed at her, as did dripping fangs.
After several seconds of trying to regulate her breathing, she bravely bent down, picked her food back up and began...trotting around Discord. Her head was turned to him, low to the ground the entire way, but she only casually left with the mice, trotting back to the living room.
Discord stared in shock. Surely this wasn't the cowering child that wept at his feet as she sustained a beating, or was apparently terrified of water. Yet a blood thirsty, towering beast didn't frighten her. It dawned on him.
Fluttershy probably told the girl to expect this from him, stupid, stupid pegasus. Fine, he'd try a different tactic. Snapping his fingers, Discord reappeared in front of her as a draconequus. Before he even opened his mouth she screamed and ran away with the recollection of the beating from the night before still in her head.
Wait a minute, so she doesn't scream at a monster, but she screams at the sight of...his face? He shut his eyes.
Taking care of her animals and gardens always helped Fluttershy forget her problems, make them disappear, but not today. They racked at her brain with the threat of fresh tears, especially as she thought of the draconequus that didn't even want to look at her. Fluttershy hadn't even realized she had begun to weep until a hoof wiped her eyes.
"I hate seeing you do this to yourself. Fluttershy," Twilight's voice was barely audible, thin with pain at seeing her friend so torn up. How often did these two fight? They always got along. Quite odd since it was the spirit of kindness and the spirit of disharmony.
"I don't know what to do though, Twilight," Fluttershy wept, and the unicorn's arms were around the pony within two seconds, holding her close and trying to soothe her.
"You need to talk to him. Well, first, you need to get him to at least agree to listen to you." She rolled her eyes quietly to herself, remembering the spirit's childish display of trying to get away from her. Then again, he did hate her though, and he didn't exactly hate his sensitive little companion.
"Wh..what am I supposed to say?" Conflicting emotions crossed her face, mostly confusion. She had no idea if it was supposed to be her that needed to apologize or if it was supposed to be Discord. "Who's the wrong one here?"
Twilight hesitated. She wanted so bad to assure her best friend with hugs and a reassuring hoof that as usual it was that beast that was in the wrong, it was the mean one, not her. But... "Well, I hate to say this, but you both kind of are." The saffron's head shot up, splashing Twilight lightly with her tears.
"Wh-what?" Fluttershy whimpered. Twilight slipped an arm around her, trying to choose her words carefully.
"Discord needs to shape up and stop being so selfish, but you need to be a little more considerate to his feelings, Fluttershy." Twilight's voice was very soft, some words spoken slowly out of fear that it might launch the pony into further sobs. "Do you remember when I first got Owloysius?"
Dabbing the large tears off her face, Fluttershy swallowed a sob and nodded.
"Well, Spike was insanely jealous as all of us remember," Twilight murmured, her heart aching with the recollections. "Even though both he and Discord are intelligent enough to know they'll never be replaced, it's still upsetting when so suddenly they're not the only primary concern in their..guardian's life, I should say."
Fluttershy's brimming eyes scanned the wooded area with hesitance, watching soft, playful bunnies as they hopped along in the tall grass. "But he's never been my only concern. I take care of animals all the time and he knows that. He even shares a house with Angel..."
"Right," Twilight amended, "but you see, that's something he's used to and the animals don't usually take up all of your time, right? Besides, you release them and they go back to their own homes. We all know he doesn't care too much for anypony – with you as the only exception, so forced to live with one is probably miserable for him. Spirit of chaos or not, he does have feelings; we all do."
Squeaked out and rasped sobs sounded from the tight throat, tears rolling copiously when she realized her friend was right. "Oh, Twilight! I've been so insensitive to him, and...and that's not me." Her ears fell. She was the spirit of kindness, so why was she allowing herself to be the exact opposite?
"Easy, Flutt-" Twilight's hoof snapped back slightly as her friend turned tearfully to her, again spraying her with the wet trails on her trembling cheeks.
"No, it isn't okay! I..it isn't okay for me to be so..." She hiccuped a sob, unable to believe she was saying this: "insensitive. Oh, what if he hates me forever?" As the tearful imploration continued, Twilight merely stared. Here they all thought Rarity was the over dramatic one?
"I'm certain he won't," Twilight said flatly, gently trying to nudge the saffron body, as it seemed frozen on its own. "Perhaps you should go find him. If he tries to teleport again grab onto his tail before he can escape."
Seemingly frozen rigid still, Fluttershy gave a hesitant nod, but she didn't move an inch, frozen like a statue. She looked over at her friend with hesitant, anxious cyan eyes, and, with an eye roll Twilight began pushing her towards the forest with an encouraging hoof. A good mound of dirt had formed underneath the pegasus's hooves from where she had been dragged through before finally walking on her own.
That pony, really, Twilight thought with an exasperated huff and minor distress, if that's what she considers a fight then I don't know what she'd do if...she actually fought with him, rather than a small disagreement. She really couldn't ever see them fighting though.
The increasingly graying skies seemed to match Fluttershy's mood, and she could already feel rain in the atmosphere, the distinct chill of a storm. She needed to herd both 'her kids' inside before they both caught sick.
"Discord?" The rim of the forest was always shaded black by trees, but the dark skies thrust the area into blackness. Peeking behind a soft emerald leaf was the tuft of white fur from his angrily twitching tail. The pegasus galloped towards him, not bothering to call his name.
The spirit barely turned his head when he heard the crunching of leaves and twigs under the clopping hooves, and the moment he raised a talon to snap his fingers Fluttershy galloped faster. It was right when her jaws latched around his tail that they both disappeared in a yellow light.
The teleportation spell brought on a wave of nausea, Fluttershy clenching her teeth harder on his tail, if just so she wouldn't throw up. Of course the draconequus yelled out in pain and furiously shook her off.
"Apparently ignoring you is an invite for you to snack on my tail and follow me relentlessly, hm?" Discord hissed, crimson eyes leering down at her. She was still curled sickly against the ground, trying to fight off the new wave of dizziness before standing.
"D-Discord.." The pony bit back the frightened "meep!" as he whirled on her, flaming irises gazing sharply at her, silently, waiting. "I-I..." When the glare deepened at her stuttering, tears filled the pegasus's eyes, and that seemed to soften his expression.
It was still terribly cold though. Why was he so angry with her? He had no idea. "I'm not exactly in the mood, my little pony. If you don't mind, trees of gumdrops are calling me." A sharp talon rose and snapped, tendrils of magic wrapping around some cherries and transforming them into gumdrops.
"But-" Fluttershy hopped back as his tail nearly whipped her in the face, trailing after him as he soared to the top of the tree and perched on a licorice-turned branch. A paw listlessly took a gumdrop, but instead of shoveling them into his mouth he merely brought it to his lips, looked at it, and tossed it silently, turning away.
Wow, he was upset. "Please...please talk to me." Her pathetic plea with soft whimpered sobs must have had some affect on him since he finally turned to her. After a few moments of pondering, his fingers snapped and he appeared in front of her in a flash of light.
The spirit stood against the tree, his gangly form towering over her, looking at her quietly. The anger in his face gradually disappeared as more giant tears fell down the quivering, saffron muzzle.
"I'm sorry..." She saw his ears raise inquisitively. He had no idea why she was the one apologizing, "I never should have assumed you'd just be okay with the little girl.. A-and I never should have gotten angry because you wouldn't accept her. I-I should not have been so forceful and just given away your bed and your seat at the table, and, and-" Guilt must have overtaken her because she finally inhaled a deep sob. "I-I'm so sorry, sweetie..."
The draconequus had his head turned by now and was about to shrug off her tears and take flight when he heard the ever familiar little whimpers and deep breaths that was a warning sign of what was about to happen. Cautiously, wincing, he turned to her. Sure enough, her face was scrunched up, her breath was coming fast-
"Oh no, Flutter-"
"I'm sorrrrryyy!" The draconequus moaned, tearing at his ears in agony from the shrill squeak of Fluttershy's bawling as she wailed, falling flat on her rump and sobbing. "I'm sorrrrrrryyy!"
The tears were just pouring down the saffron face now, and he could only cringe, feeling his gut twist uncomfortably, already meekly pleading with her. "Oh no, Flutter Butter, don't do this..."
Uggghh, Equestrian Gods for such a quiet and timid little thing when she got going she'd go for hours, heard for miles. "Fluttershy, pleeease!" All he got in response was louder cries, tears rolling down her face and drenching the suffering grass beneath her hooves. That's when something fell in front of the pegasus's face, dangling there casually in the air. Fluttershy looked up, swallowing her sobs in confusion.
It was a poorly stitched together rabbit plushie with a patch over its eye. A pirate bunny; of course. Fluttershy watched as Discord controlled it with a tendril of magic, not having enough power to do the marionettes yet, but enough to do a simple toy manipulation spell.
A relieved, warm smile snaked over his twisted muzzle, replacing the draconequus's usual dark and cold smirk. He rested his chin in the palm of his hand, watching the doll as it kicked its limp legs in a dance. Oh wait – one more thing.
Fluttershy tilted her head, staring as a golden cloud of magic poofed a top hat into existence. The funny, fancy bunny continued to dance through the air, and by now the pegasus was giggling loudly, trying to stifle them into her hoof. She tried to force the pout back onto her face, but when the bunny plushie began failing through the air like a headless chicken Fluttershy lost it, tumbling onto her back in laughter.
"Hehehe!" She uncovered her mouth and another stream of giggles fizzed out, constant squeaky hiccups because of laughter rather than the intensity of her sobs. After a few minutes, her hooves gently circled his waist. The spirit flinched fiercely for a moment, and then he began to gradually relax.
"I love you," the pony mumbled into his fur, the most tender, sweetest smile on her face.
Yeeeech, gag me, the spirit thought, fighting with his uvula not to start gagging there on the spot. Still, he didn't shove her off. He was used to her dumb cuddles, but for some reason it felt...nice today. Maybe. Sorta. Perhaps.
"I guess I..acted terribly to you," he muttered, eyes adorably averted awkwardly away from those deep blue eyes. He never knew how to apologize right, always muttering out an awkward 'I guess I did this', and that was his way of apologizing, the closest he'd come to apologizing, so she took it.
"And I guessI was not very understanding," Fluttershy giggled quietly, affectionately rubbing her cheek against his torso. She giggled more when he tried to pull away from her, but she wouldn't let him. With a resigned whine the spirit allowed himself to be affectionately assaulted.
"So I guess the both of us need to maybe work on some things..." He hummed in acknowledgement, still turned away from her. After a few moments Fluttershy glanced down to the plush, ragged bunny over her leg. She gently scooped it up, turning it over in her hoof. "Oh, it's so soft.." She nuzzled it.
Suddenly, the wide beaded eyes turned bright red, and Fluttershy shrieked in horror as the plush animal leaped onto her face, gently latching tiny fangs into her entire snout. She screamed and flung her head wildly until dislodging the rabid stuffed animal, which disappeared in mid throw in a puff of yellow smoke. Panting heavily, Fluttershy whirled to the now hysterically laughing spirit rolling about on the forest floor.
"Bahahahaa! P-pe-her-iceless! Oh now, don't give me that look! You set me up for that one!"
The pony was mixing between a vengeful, glaring smirk and to start laughing herself. Being pranked by him, getting her revenge on him. Yep, it was all back to normal again. "Discord!"
Her butt wiggled, tail flicking menacingly as she slowly neared him. The alarmed draconequus skittered back slowly, holding up his hands in a "halt" gesture, that she of course ignored. A nervous giggle escaped his throat. "He-hey now! You don't even have the duster!"
The ever calm, horrifically silent and evil expression stayed on her face as she slowly approached him. "Don't need one~"
"So..um, do you have anything you like to do in your spare time?" Twilight fiddled her hooves nervously, leg still dully throbbing from the kick earlier. Really, talking to this child was a waste of time. She wasn't able to talk back, and she pretty much completely ignored you as she continued on chasing mice in the grass.
The girl glanced over at Twilight with the corner of a cold green eye. Her quiet, eerie glare stayed in the stony irises until the unicorn awkwardly turned her head. Eyes still narrowed in suspicion, as if to say "I'm watching you", the child returned to the animals.
"Um...okay, so, I – uh – I'm going to go check on...Fluttershy, and..yeah." Twilight skittered out of the girl's sight, exhaling a two minutes long breath of relief. She hated awkward silences.
The lavender unicorn trotted on through the wild life sanctuary, passing a barrage of Fluttershy's creatures as they scampered into the forest thicket to escape a coming rain fall. She wondered if Fluttershy had noticed the clouds yet. She wondered if those two had finally made up yet.
The faint, shrill sounds of shrieks and laughter made Twilight jump in alert, ears tilted forward, poised to listen out for a threat. As she neared the rim of the forest the laughter grew more distinguishable, followed by the definitely ever familiar giggles. Twilight poked her head in through a bush, and her heart melted.
Discord had tried to catch her in mid leap, but ultimately the pony managed to wrestle him to the ground. Anyone would think he was stronger and that was true, but not when his defenses were reduced to nothing by the horrid-
"T-tickling!" Discord barely managed to gasp out through the laughter. No indeed, that pony did not need the duster. Her head nuzzling his belly and her hooves under his arms was maddening. "F-Fl-HAHAHAHA-shy, stop it!" Any attempts at trying to squirm away made those playful hooves increase in vigor and him to increase in laughs and screams.
"This is for last night!" Fluttershy laughed, and then she paused for a moment, giving him a second to catch his breath. "And it's for turning my new plates into bananas!" Right! She never did get him back for that one!
The spirit could only laugh, shriek, and fight with his talon and paw, but it was ultimately useless as she kept up the horrible onslaught. It rendered him completely helpless, nothing more than a multi colored ball of laughter. Laying there and forced to succumb to the pegasus sitting on him, he had no chance of gaining the upper hand, tail falling every time it wiggled towards the impish pony.
"O-hokay, okay!" Discord half wailed, half laughed, trying to extend his arm enough from where it was protecting his vulnerable skin to poof a white flag of surrender. The moment he summoned it he dropped it as he tried to protect himself from the assault. "Truuuce! Truhuhuhce!"
The assault at last ceased and Discord used that few moments to gasp in air and snicker further, especially as the pony playfully probed his quivering body. His tail flicked her off, and she tumbled into the soft grass at his side.
"S-so, does that clarify I still care about you?" Fluttershy teased playfully, and he chortled, mismatched hands going behind his head.
"Indeed. I can check the horrid, relentless, brutal and daily tickle tortures from Flutter Butter off the to do list~"
"So..." Fluttershy had held off really asking anything about the girl, not wanting to launch him into another bad mood. He seemed so happy right now and she didn't want to ruin it. Or worse, cause another fight. "Will...you at least try to be nicer to her?" He fell silent and she shut her eyes, waiting for the blow up.
"I don't exactly tolerate ponies well..." His voice wasn't angry, nor snappy, more so toneless and casual.
"You tolerate me."
"I have to, I live with you. I'm forced to tolerate you." He broke off into a small laugh as the pegasus playfully pushed against his chest with her hoof and he corrected himself. "Fine, fine, I tolerate you, but it took a while to get used to you." He gave another laugh as she jumped and gnawed on his tail.
"You are really digging yourself a grave.." She nudged him to his feet, and after rolling around in the grass for a few moments Discord complied. Fluttershy's ears fell back against her head in annoyance when she looked at all the grass in his mane.
"Shall we go then~?"
There was a sudden, fierce crack of thunder, causing the butter colored pegasus to scream and scramble underneath his tail in fear. Discord snorted, but before he managed to snicker a streak of lightning split the air with a blinding flash, seemingly inches away from his face. He bolted, the pony still holding onto him.
In a race with the rain, Twilight had scooped the little squirming, yellow ball into her mouth as the water tumbled down into the earth. Fluttershy and Discord squeaked in discomfort from the cool sting of the pelting rain, dashing inside the cottage.
They were already soaked and shivering, so there was no point in attempting to cover themselves from the water as they slipped through the window. A large towel was levitated to them by Twilight, easily wrapping around both bodies and sandwiching them together.
"I do hope the animals made it home in time," Fluttershy mumbled, a hoof pressed to her lips in worry. "Maybe I should go out and see.."
"There's no need to," Twilight said, towel drying a protesting filly, needing to hold her down to get her to hold still. "Animals have senses that know when rain is coming hours before it happens. They scurried home ages ago."
"Oh, I suppose.." Fluttershy's ears suddenly perked in alert at the desperate knocking at her front door. The sound was made by something tiny and soft. As the pegasus flew open the door, she shrieked as a sopping wet Angel bolted into the house, shivering.
"Bahahaha!" Discord was already on the floor, the towel covering and muffling him. "Look at the little vermin – he actually looks like a drowned rat! Hahahah!"
Averting her attention away from the snickering Discord, Fluttershy merely swaddled her bunny up in a towel and blankets, cradling him against her chest. A pair of malicious, beady eyes glared over at Discord through the folds of the fabric, and Discord threateningly raised a talon in response. So this was met by Fluttershy giving murderous glares to them both.
Observing the bizarre staring competition, Twilight and the filly exchanged looks of confusion. "Mind if I stay here for a bit?" Twilight asked, shaking the mud off her over the mat. "It's a little...too wet for me to go home right now, I should say."
"So go take refuge under a tree or something," Discord muttered mockingly, nastily, only to yelp as Fluttershy gave him a warning swat with her hoof. "Oh yeah, sure, sure -you can stay with us. The very thought of spending a day with you, waiting out the rain fills me with incomprehensible joy."
It was already pitch black by the time the rain finally lessened, creating a curtain of mist that shrouded the moon over the cottage and made a gentle, rhythmic pattering on the windowpane. Twilight had offered to leave when the fierce downpour became more docile, but Fluttershy still feared her friend would catch a cold. So Twilight was staying the night.
Of course with Twilight taking a cot in Fluttershy's room, Discord was stuck with the stupid kid beside him. Oh well, at least he didn't need to share his bed. Fluttershy had fashioned a tiny bed for the tiny thing bundled on the floor.
"Well, you've had a big day," Fluttershy said softly as she pulled the blankets up over the child's chin. She nestled into her pillow, bright green eyes gazing up at her new caretaker. She yawned quietly, swaddling a bit of the blanket around her hoof to snuggle.
"Played with animals, tended to animals, got caught in a storm.." Fluttershy shared a quiet giggle with the child, lightly reaching out and touching her forehead. She waited for the girl to pull away, but she didn't.
Those wondrous, jade eyes were locked on the compassionate blue ones, head still tilted in lasting confusion of why this pony was being so kind and loving to her. Jumbled gratitude was tangled at the end of her tongue, but she wasn't able to voice it. Quietly, she touched the saffron hoof, and a subtle bolt of electricity went through both hearts.
Fluttershy found herself nearly getting pulled into those wide eyes, practically vortexes of emotions as she held onto the maternal hoof. "W...well, good night, sweetie." When Fluttershy attempted to pull away the hoof held firmly. She tried to gently tug it, and it was only when a soft mumble came from the girl that Fluttershy spun around, absolutely shocked."What...what did you say..?"
The mouth tried saying the words silently, getting out a few vowel sounds, before at last the dry crackle that said just how long it had been since this child spoke sounded in an angelic whisper.
"M-Marigold. My name...my name is Little Marigold."
("Why it's Mr. and Mrs. Squeakers. They live in your sneakers. " That's what I thought when I wrote that part.
So yep, Fluttershy and Discord bonding, daaaaw. And look, Marigold SPEAKS.)