Across a wide, endless plain Discord trudged. His mismatched limbs provided him with sufficient locomotion to go across the tightly packed sand, and his eyes scanned the horizon in all directions.
The sky was blue, clouds rolling lazily overhead. The sun shone, never quite through those same clouds but enough to softly illuminate the desert landscape.
“This bites,” Discord muttered to himself, for the umpteenth time. For the fifth sixtieth time (or eightieth fourth time-Discord didn’t bother to keep track of what order things went in unless he had to) he lifted an arm, summoned up a bit of chaos...
Nothing. He lowered his arm and didn’t bother stopping the pout on his face.
Over the flat plain he continued, muttering to himself but never bothering to remember what it was about, or why he should care. The answer always came back, like a particularly annoying boomerang. Or a particularly annoying purple unicorn.
“Can’t believe it... Here I am, lost in the desert without even a horse to name,” he grumbled. “Well... I suppose it could be worse. It could be raining...” He looked up. The clouds remained pure, fluffy and white. “Well, wherever this place is, it at least lacks dramatic irony.”
He lowered his eyes... And froze in his tracks. “Of course, I could be wrong,” he said dryly, as he took in the figure standing before him.
She was an alicorn, with sleek soft blue fur and short, lighter blue hair. Her green eyes stared at him, and her lips were turned upwards in a soft smile.
“Hello Discord,” greeted Luna.
“Hello Luna, so nice of you to drop by wherever I am now,” Discord said dryly. “Been a long time, you seem to have shrunk since the last time I saw you.”
“Oh, I lost some power when I was freed of the influence of Nightmare Moon,” the alicorn explained. “I’ve since regained it, but this form allows me to better associate with others without being quite so intimidating.”
“Aw, isn’t that sweet? Little Luna afraid of intimidating others!” Discord mocked. “Making herself look so adorable just for her little subjects! Isn’t that pwecious?” He lowered his gripped hands and frowned as Luna just kept smiling. “Well? Are you here for something or are you just going to stand there and mock me?”
Luna remained silent. Discord’s furry brows twitched, but he stayed on the offensive.
“Because there’s so much I can mock about you. How about the fact it wasn’t you and your sister who defeated me this time? No, no, she outsourced the help to her neurotic little apprentice and her crazy friends! She didn’t care about you enough to reestablish how everything was a thousand years ago! Bet that had to rankle you?” He moved to her side and lowered an arm around her shoulders.
“Bet it rankled you enough to come here, wherever here is, to spring me. So, here’s the deal: You and me, equal partners in total chaos! We get out there, we throw Celestia off, we have some revenge time with those six brats-The purple one’s mine, and so is Fluttershy and the pink one but the rest are yours-and we just have a gay ol’ time for the rest of eternity!” Discord grinned at her and tried to exert his power over her. “What do ya say, eh?”
Luna shrugged nonchalantly. “Whatever.”
“Wh-Whatever?! This is the chance of a lifetime, to be on the winning side! I’m not done for yet-Just get me back to Equestria and I’m sure my powers would be back up to full snuff!”
Luna’s shoulders shook, and for a moment Discord thought he might have her-She might be cracking or falling apart or something.
Instead, she was... Laughing?
“What?! What’s so funny? What are you laughing at?” Discord demanded.
Luna continued to chuckle, before wiping her eyes. She took a sip of a dark, smooth liquid contained in an elegant glass, and looked across the table at him. “You, my dear Discord. You haven’t changed a bit.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing! I’m the same lovable ball of chaos I always was! Chaos incarnate! It is my nature, I’m unable to help being so fantastically discombobulated!” Discord retorted with a grin, gulping down a glass mug and then tossing it back at the bar they were sitting in. It was warm but shadowy, with indistinct voices drifting through smoke clouds. “Sure we’ve had our differences but I’m certain we can work them out. I have power, you have power... Not as much as me, of course, but all the same...”
“I’m afraid you miss my point, Discord,” Luna said calmly. Too calmly. She rested her hooves on the table and leaned forward a bit. “Things aren’t what they seem.”
“What do you mean they aren’t what they seem? Of course they’re how they seem-They need a bit of chaos, the spice of life, to be turned inside out and upside down and-”
“I mean where we are,” Luna explained, as she left cute hoofprints in the sand. Discord blinked and shook his head. He looked around at the picturesque beach.
Luna laughed again, and gave him an almost pitying look. “Poor, poor Discord... We’re finally somewhere chaos could reign, and you’re four steps behind.”
“Where are we? Tell me!” Discord snarled.
Luna shrugged, and turned around to sniff a shell. The Lord of Chaos snarled.
“Don’t turn your back to me! I’ll break you, twist you, turn you into my little toy for all eternity and make you love it! Make you love destroying everything you hold dear!”
“Go ahead,” Luna said, examining the shell without paying Discord any mind at all. “I won’t stop you.”
Discord lunged forward and smacked Luna across the rump, hard. The blue alicorn, still the same color as before, looked back over her shoulder with a saucy smile.
“Do you want to try it a little harder? Maybe that will get a reaction out of me.”
“Where are we? What’s all this, what’s going on?!” Discord snarled, stomping his feet. They called back with wooden thumps and Discord looked around with wide eyes. They were standing in an expansive wooden room, overlooking a vibrant forest. Luna was sitting on a couch and sipping a cup of tea.
“We’re still in Equestria,” Luna said after taking a sip. “You’re a statue. Twilight Sparkle and her friends turned you back into stone.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Discord snorted. “This isn’t what it was like when I was stone last time.”
“No, it isn’t,” Luna agreed. “And there’s a reason for that. Twilight managed to really put you to sleep, rather than just in stasis as my sister and I did.”
“That’s nonsense! I can’t sleep! I’m a Chaos God, what do I need sleep for?” Discord snarled.
Luna finished her tea, and looked at him over the edge of the cup.
“Exactly. You don’t.”
They were standing in the middle of a vast desert once more, and Discord looked around.
“Wha-Why do you keep moving us around?”
“I’ve been moving us down, actually,” Luna explained calmly. “Deeper and deeper into the Dreamlands. Given it’s my domain, I can take us as far down as I like. And each time I do so, time passes faster than it does in the level above.”
“How much faster?” Discord asked.
“Mm... Ten to twenty times faster each level down,” Luna said with a shrug. “Right now time is passing thousands of times faster in your dream than it is outside.”
“And you’re doing this why? To give yourself enough time to rehabilitate me?” Discord asked with a mocking grin. “I remember you tried-tried-to reason with me before! You were so cute then. Doing this for Big Sister then? I knew you still-”
“You know nothing,” Luna said. It wasn’t angry, it wasn’t cold, it was simply a statement of fact. “You know nothing of what I went through in the last thousand years, or in the last year for that matter.”
“Sensitive about it, are we?” Discord smirked. “Getting defensive! You’re getting defensive!”
“And you’re scared,” Luna said calmly. Discord’s jaw dropped, before he fairly exploded in rage.
“Scared?! SCARED?! HA! What do I have to fear from some pitiful second rate Celestia, huh? Some two bit, soft blue has been! You move the moon around, you move the stars and yet nopony loves you! None of them will pay you the due they do Celestia! None of them care for you! None of them will ever care for you! You’re just one big miserable joke to all of Equestria AND THEY ALL KNOW IT! AND SO DO YOU!”
Discord found himself panting for breath after his outburst. It was a new experience for him. Luna took his rant without any reaction, just staring at him.
“... You know Discord, a thousand years ago I started my war with Celestia with Nightmare Night,” Luna said thoughtfully. “I gave every pony the worst possible nightmares I could imagine. Countless horrors were visited upon them, to the point a whole generation of ponies were scared to go to sleep afterwards.”
Slowly, she raised her head and locked gazes with Discord. The Lord of Chaos felt another new sensation-A chill running down his convoluted spine.
“They eventually recovered, when they realized that they would all wake up again when they went to sleep,” Luna said in a soft, flat tone. Her eyes narrowed, and a feeling Discord had only experienced twice before gripped his insides like an ice-cold fist.
“Say it,” Luna whispered.
“... I-I don’t... I don’t know what you mean,” Discord stammered.
“Say what you can’t do... That they can,” Luna ordered, in the same harsh whisper.
“... I can’t wake up...?” Discord asked in a strained voice.
Luna nodded, that small smile she’d worn when she first appeared to him back on her face. The chill was getting worse, flowing up his feet. He looked down and his eyes widened in horror as he saw he was transforming into stone once more.
“Now-Now Luna! Luna, let’s talk about this! S-Surely I can be redeemed! Isn’t that what all you ponies believe, second chances? I-I’m really regretting this, haha! The-The guilt is just eating me alive, you wouldn’t believe how sorry I am!”
“You are the embodiment of chaos. You can’t help what you do, it is your nature, your very reason for being. You said so yourself,” Luna replied. “By definition, you can’t be redeemed, and even if you could... You don’t deserve it.” Her green eyes seemed to glow as everything below his waist became stone. Discord struggled furiously.
“It wasn’t personal! It was just my nature! You can’t punish a storm cloud for being a storm cloud!” Discord cried, as everything below his chest transmuted into rock.
“And when a storm cloud approaches, it is contained. This is no different.”
“D-Don’t you realize you’re just as bad a monster as I am?! Doing this to a thinking being?!” Discord shouted.
“That’s the difference between us, Discord. I stopped being a monster. You can’t, and you never will,” Luna retorted, as Discord’s arms were frozen in stone. He lifted his head up, as though trying to escape a rising tide by sucking in the last few breaths he could.
“I’m begging you, have some mercy! MERCY! MERCY!”
To this, Luna said nothing. She only watched as Discord’s head was encased in stone, completing his transformation and silencing his cries. She then lifted her right hoof, and the sands around them began to change.
The desert floor became white-The purest, plainest white any being could imagine. It spread out underneath her, and grew up into walls surrounding them both. A roof flowed into existence above, completing the sterile, colorless room. Luna gave Discord a long, hard look. She trotted up to his face, and looked him right in his terrified eyes. For an endless moment they just stood there, vengeful goddess and frozen statue.
At last, Luna gave Discord a small, vicious smile.
“Sweet dreams,” she whispered, before she vanished.
Discord sat there in the pure white room’s center.
- - - - - - - - -
Luna woke up once again in her room. She stared up at the ceiling for several minutes, the quiet ticking of her alarm clock the only sound she could hear. She slowly slid out of bed, and after a quick check on Abacus in his bed, she trotted downstairs.
In the kitchen stood Sundance, cooking some breakfast. Her free hoof was on her stomach, pressing into the slight bulge. The blonde pony’s breathing became deeper when she did so, and a tremble went through her spine.
Hoyden nearby was pacing around the table, his eyes always on his marefriend. He winced with every stroke she made of her stomach, and his muscles tensed up.
Luna took a deep breath and trotted into the kitchen proper. Sundance and Hoyden both looked up at her, anxious. Luna gave them both a small, tight smile.
“It’s okay... He’ll never hurt anypony ever again,” she said quietly.
Her two best friends in all the world stared for a moment, before they moved to either side of Luna and embraced her in hugs. Luna wrapped her forearms around them both too, and all three stayed that way for a good, long time.
“So... What are you going to call it?” Luna asked quietly.
Sundance smiled at her. “We... We were thinking-”
“Not Luna,” the moon princess said quickly. “Please? Besides, I didn’t save you... Twilight Sparkle and her friends did.”
“All right then,” Hoyden said jovially. “We’ll name it Twilight Sparkle.”
“Yeah, us and every other pregnant mare,” Sundance huffed. She gave her coltfriend and her princess a sly smile. “We could always name it Selene.”
“Assuming it’s a filly,” Hoyden returned. “Hoyden’s always a good name!”
“We’ll talk about it more later,” Sundance said quickly. “For now, we should finish up breakfast. I don’t know about you but I’m starved.”
“Same here!” Hoyden cheered.
“Me too,” Luna said with a smile. “Me too...”
- - - - - - -
Geh. I tried for months to figure out a good story to reveal Sundance's pregnancy in, and I've come up with squat. So I decided to instead write this and then write something else for this story later. I am sorry for this guys but I think you'd prefer to have something to read that's not according to plan rather than no hope of seeing anything from Progress ever again, right? Right...
And if you don't feel that way, there's a torch and pitchfork store over there with decent rates...