50w, 5dFollowers of Discord
“I’ve had just about enough of this, you two,” Discord said with a bit of fear in his voice before closing the double doors with his tail, shutting out the crowd amassed outside. There was no way she was dying. She couldn’t be. He flew across the room to Celestia’s bedside. “You’ve had your fun, now it’s my turn! You won’t take it away from me!” He started to shake her violently. “YOU ARE NOT DYING, TIA! WAKE UP!” Celestia stirred and inhaled. He knew it. She wasn’t dying. Or so he thought. After she inhaled, she coughed a small mixture of blood and water up onto her before slipping back into unconsciousness.
Luna struggled to get him away from her sister. “Stop it!” she sobbed. “Stop it, you monster! Haven’t you done enough to our family? Leave us alone!” Eventually, he backed away, allowing Luna to push him to the other end of the room. “You are the cause of every problem me and my sister have ever had! You killed our parents and stole our childhoods! Just get out of here!”
He directed his gaze at the marble floors, shook his head, and chuckled weakly. “Was she so ashamed that she couldn’t even tell you on her deathbed?” He flung his head up to look Luna in the eyes. “You probably wouldn’t have had ANY childhood if it weren’t for me!” he bellowed. “Celestia wouldn’t have loved you if it weren’t for me! Everything you know and love would be a smoking heap of ash and smoke right now if it weren’t for everything I did!” She stood there, stunned as he continued his tirade. “And one more thing…” he said with purpose before Luna stopped him.
“Discord. You’re crying.”
He spun around and looked into the vanity mirror. It was true. A set of tear streams were flowing from both of his eyes. He hadn’t cried in so long he had forgotten what tears felt like. And how couldn’t he cry? The only pony who ever understood him was going to die and not only was he not going to be able to say his final goodbyes to the unconscious mare, but he wasn’t even going to be allowed in the room. He quickly wiped the tears from his face so as to not seem weak in front of Luna. “Fine,” he said softly after a long silence. “You want me gone so bad, I’ll go and never show my face in Equestria again. Before I do though, can I just have a word with her? Only for a moment.”
“Why should I let you after all you’ve done?” she asked sternly.
“Because everybody can change. Surely, you of all ponies would know about that…” Luna blushed and stepped aside, clearing his path to Celestia’s bed once more. He pushed the dully colored pink hair out of her face as the tears welt up within him again. “Tia,” he said, “I don’t know if you can hear me, but I just want to say that… I’m sorry. I know I’ve done some terrible, terrible things to you and your subjects and I’ll never be able to fix them. I just wanted to make everypony as happy as I used to make you. Putting chaos above everything else was probably the worst decision of my entire life.” By now, he wasn’t making an effort to hide the tears. He only held out his claw so they didn’t land on Celestia’s unconscious body. He started to laugh hollowly. “You know it’s funny. Every word I said last night was true. One hundred percent. I need you, Tia. My entire existence has been spent waiting for the next time I could see you. I know that I’ve been nasty to you, but I’ve never wanted to hurt you. I just…I don’t know what I’m going to do without you. You were my foe, you were my foil,” he leaned down and hugged her, “but you were my friend first.”
With a heavy heart, he pulled himself away from her. He turned around to see Luna standing in the corner with a mixture of confusion and pity on her face. He sulked towards the door and snapped. “There. I cleaned up the mess I made on the way in here.”
Luna seemed to have a change of heart. “Discord,” she said kindly, “you can stay if you want.”
“And have the privilege of watching her die? No thank you, Luna. I think everyone would be better off if I just…” A weak voice echoed across the room.
“Please. Don’t leave me, Dizzy.”
He spun around faster than he had ever moved before. Celestia had woken up and propped herself up on her pillows. “Sister!” Luna cried. She hastened to her sister’s side and nuzzled her neck. “You’re alive!”
Celestia smiled. “Yes, Luna. But not for long, I’m afraid. There is a journal under my pillow,” she whispered, “I want you to read it after I’m gone. It’ll explain everything about Dizzy and I.”
“I-I-I don’t understand what you are saying, Tia,” Luna said with a befuddled tone.
“Let’s just put it this way: everything he said to you a few moments ago was true. For all that he’s done, he’s helped us both in more ways you could possibly know,” she turned towards him, “and I thank him for it.” She extended a beckoning hoof in his direction. He complied and walked across the room to her bedside.
He placed his hand on the back of his neck. “You heard all that, did you?”
She smiled at him and nodded, her lackluster mane bouncing up and down as she did so. “Yes, I did.”
“I meant every word of it,” he stated defensively.
“I know you did, Dizzy. I know you did.” She looked slowly around her room, taking a great deal of time to absorb every last detail of it, as if she knew she was never going to see it again. “I need you to do something for me, Dizzy. A last wish, if you want to call it that.”
Discord’s eyes teared up again at the mention of the term last wish. “Anything, Tia. You just say the word and you have it.”
She looked at him longingly, with more than a hint of nostalgia in her brilliant violet eyes. “I want you to bring me back. To the months we spent together all those years ago.” He hesitatingly nodded and began to snap before Luna interjected.
“That’s absurd!” she cried out, beginning to sob. She clearly wasn’t too keen on the idea of her sister leaving her side. “Why don’t you ask for something practical? He can do anything by thinking about it! He can make you live!” She whipped her head toward him. “Can’t you?”
His head and heart sunk as he was reminded of one of his only limitations. “I can only create life so long as it’s completely devoted to chaos.” He turned back to Celestia. “And no matter what you say I will not do that to you.”
She smiled. “I know you won’t, Dizzy,” she paused again to cough. “I just want to go back and see myself …no, ourselves, when we were the happiest. You can do that for me, can’t you?”
He nodded slowly and purposefully. “For you, Tia? Anything.”
Luna, with some more convincing from Discord, finally accepted her sister’s final wish and said her last goodbyes. She once again nuzzled her neck. “I love you, big sister.”
Celestia smiled and hugged her. “And I love you too Luna.” At these words Luna broke into a full sob. Discord couldn’t help but know how she was feeling. Celestia had been the focal point of her life as well as his own. She didn’t know what she was going to do without her either. Celestia pulled her neck back to look at Luna one last time. “Dry those tears, little one. Be brave, Luna. Be brave for Equestria. Be brave for me.” With these words of encouragement, Luna squeezed out the last of her tears and gave a quick nod to show that she accepted the last mission her sister gave her. Discord envied the tenderness he saw before him, but stifled the feeling as best he could.
She turned to him with a longing look in her eyes that said it all. “I’m ready. Let’s go.”
And with that, Discord lifted her off of her bed and carried her in his arms to the center of the room. Once there, he sat down on the marble floor, taking great care to make Celestia comfortable as she lay down across his. Then, just as it had years ago in the garden, the colors around them began to melt away. Soon there was only the familiar white plane and a pool of rainbow colored liquid left surrounding the now whitish-blue ethereal pair. The colors once again snaked through the plane, slowly recreating the garden.
Once the last patch of grass assimilated before them, Celestia turned her head to the sky and pointed her hoof upward. “Look, Dizzy. Any minute now, you’ll be flying from just over there.” Discord smiled faintly at her as he watched his past self fall from the sky and into the hedge maze below. Not five minutes later, an alabaster filly flew through a window and ran toward the maze. Celestia looked at herself, and then back at the filly. “Look at her. So young, so full of life. So beautiful,” she said in despair.
Discord looked down at her. “And look at you. So wise, so loving.” He paused. She looked up at him. “Nope. I don’t see any change on the last one,” he jested playfully. She smiled. Good. More than anything, he wanted to see her smile one last time.
When they looked back out at the garden it was the next day. It was late in the afternoon, dusk, to be exact. The filly was walking back into the garden, a draconequus riding the chocolate filled cotton candy cloud above her. They were laughing. “That was great!” cried the filly.
“Wasn’t it just?” asked the young Discord. At the sound of his old voice, Discord’s heart flooded with regret. “You stupid kid,” he thought to himself. “You don’t even know what you’re going to do to yourself, do you? To her? Why didn’t you tell her about your father sooner? Every minute she didn’t know was a minute she was in danger. Didn’t you care at all?” He hid his inner conflicts and looked down at Celestia. This was the happiest he had ever seen her.
The remainder of the three months played out in front of them like a moving slideshow. With each passing memory, Discord’s heart grew heavier and heavier, while Celestia’s smile grew smaller and smaller. They both knew what it was all leading up to, what was going to happen when the slideshow ended. But they didn’t want to think about it. They sat there and looked, each mulling over a lifetime of loss, folly, regret and love.
Finally, the green and warm backdrop of the garden melted away to one that was cold, dark, and grey: the mountainside cave they stayed in the night Discord told her about his mother. This was it. The very last peaceful moment they had spent together.
As young Discord talked about his parentage, Celestia looked up at him again. “Dizzy?”
“Yes, Tia?” he responded.
“It’s almost time. I can feel it,” she muttered softly.
“Don’t talk like that, Tia,” he said, the tears starting to come from his eyes again.
“But it’s true,” she said, matter-of-factly. “And regardless of how I might have sounded when I was talking to Luna,” she paused to cough again. Discord could feel the blood and water mixture hit the scales on his leg. “I’m scared, Dizzy.”
The tears rolled down his face freely, and once again, he put out his paw to catch them before they hit her. “Don’t be,” he said, somehow remaining some semblance of composure. “I’m sure whatever comes after this is far better.”
“I’m not just scared for me. I’m scared for you too.” He was surprised to say the least. “What will you do without me, Dizzy? You said it yourself. Without harmony there can be no-“
“I know what I said. And don’t you worry about me. I know I’ll get through. Somehow…”
She coughed again, this time with no blood mixture. “Yes, won’t be long now,” she said softer than she had ever spoken before. She was clearly fading and fast. “Dizzy, come closer.” He obliged, and raised her head closer to his with his paw. “I wish we just had more time,” she said bluntly. “Besides Luna, I had no one else. Students and ponies would come and go, and I just learned to adjust. You were the only friend I was ever really torn up to have lost. Even when I was at my most angry with you, when you were at your worst, I couldn’t bear to send you to Tartarus. That's why I used the Elements instead. Because I knew that you were still the Dizzy I knew and loved.”
Discord’s eyes widened. “Loved?” he said out loud.
She winced, as though she just realized she made some awful slipup, but then exhaled deeply. “Yes, Dizzy. I love you.”
The world stopped then and there. All thoughts of Celestia dying and his bleak future left his mind. He couldn’t remember the last time he had heard somepony say that to him, if they’d ever said it at all. He raised her head even closer to his and kissed her on the forehead. “I love you too, Tia.”
A few moments after he had put her back down to rest on his lap, he felt her go limp. He refused to look even for a second. Instead, he closed his eyes, brought her body up close to him, hugged it and cried to himself. The last things he heard from the young filly and draconequus before he passed out on the cliff floor were chilling:
“Will we be friends forever?”
“Sure we will, Tia. Sure we will.”