• Published 27th Sep 2013
  • 14,455 Views, 753 Comments

Chaotic Neutral - C-Puff



When magic starts failing, chaos threatens to consume Equestria. Good thing the ponies have Discord on their side to help fix things.

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Discord

Chapter 1

It'd been a while since Princess Celestia had decided Discord was, for lack of a better word, stable enough to roam a little more freely around Ponyville - provided that Twilight Sparkle and her friends kept a close eye on him and made sure he didn't cause trouble.

Seeing as the self-proclaimed King of Chaos was considered to be reformed, nopony had thought it would be that hard. Discord had made a conscious move to be an ally of Equestria, rather than a menace, and it certainly looked like he meant it. But no matter how good somepony's intentions, changing yourself is a hard thing to do. The transition between how one wants to behave and how one has been behaving for, in Discord's case, centuries, is anything but smooth. However, the difference between chaotic and reformed is not a neat little switch that can just be flipped.

Fluttershy had decided, upon the first day Celestia brought Discord's stone prison to Ponyville, that she was going to take responsibility for him and she'd stuck by that. It was hard, but no-pony had the patience or understanding that she possessed. The mere fact that Discord still took up residence on her couch, without having been kicked out, was proof enough of that.

But that didn't mean it was easy.


“Oh dear.” Fluttershy murmured to herself, lowering her shopping list to see the state of the town market in front of her.

It could've been worse. At least Discord had made inanimate objects his targets instead of any actual ponies or animals. That was a big step forward. But that didn't change the fact that the market was in a state of complete confusion.

Every stall's sign was scrawled in a completely gibberish language that Fluttershy thought she might have seen in one of Twilight's spell books. The fact that the signs themselves had been turned into cream-cheese, and were slowly melting in the mid-morning sun, didn't exactly help the legibility. The stalls themselves were thankfully sturdier, being comprised of giant seashells. It seems Discord had heard the story that you could hear the sea if you put your ear to a seashell, but apparently, had never actually done it himself, since he'd taken a more literal approach to the idea.

Fluttershy trotted hurriedly over to the carrot stall, where Carrot Top was currently yelling at the top of her lungs, over the sound of the roaring waves.

“I said five carrots will be two bits, thank you very much!”

“Ok! Do you have change for two?!” The customer yelled back just as loudly.

“I said that they COST two! Just gimme what you got and it'll be fine!”

“Oh really?! I only have two though! I can go get some change from another booth if you want!”

“What?!”

“I said I can go to another booth for change!”

“So you don't want the carrots then?!”

Fluttershy waited politely by the wayside as the endless loop of a discussion continued. She looked back and forth between the two ponies, barely making out a word being said. She shifted her weight. The noise and the yelling were making her uncomfortable and she had to suppress the urge to turn and trot away from the racket. However, the longer she waited, the clearer it became that neither pony in front of her was getting any closer to getting their carrots or their money. Eventually she gave up and headed for a different stall instead.

There wasn't anypony in front of the cucumber stall, thankfully, and instead of a squall, the sound of the waves sounded more like a peaceful beach. The stall owner, a stallion with a moustache an absurd looking yellow rain jacket, stood behind his barrels looking irritable and grumbling to himself.

“Um... hello,” Fluttershy greeted him carefully. “I would like to buy some cucumbers, please.”

“Well, there they are!” he snapped angrily, as he waved a hoof at the barrels in front of him.

Fluttershy gave a grateful nod and started scooping some out from the water they were cooling in and into her saddlebag. After about three of them were tucked away, she stopped as something struck her sense of smell.

“Excuse me sir...” she said nervously as the stallion bore holes in her, “these cucumbers smell kind of.. ..funny.”

“Oh they do, do they?!” he spat at her.

“Yes,” she nodded, pulling one out from her bag again and sniffing it carefully, “they smell a little like... well....”

“Fish!” the Stallion threw up a hoof into the air. “Just say it! My cucumbers smell like fish! In fact, why even sugar coat it?! They smell like low tide! And do you know why?!”

Fluttershy shook her head, despite the fact that she was pretty sure she could guess.

“Because every ten minutes or so, this giant rock behind me decides to spit out at least a bathtub full of saltwater all over my stock!” He yelled, bucking the seashell's wall.

This turned out not to be too great an idea as the shell decided this was its cue and immediately sprayed a generous amount of seawater all over the stall-owner and his barrels of cucumbers. Fluttershy gave a small yelp and leapt up into the air, dodging the flood as it pooled underneath her on the cobblestones. Somewhere behind her, she could hear a couple of foals clap and cheer at what was probably the umpteenth splash that morning. The water subsided, leaving the stall owner standing with a stoic expression, his yellow raincoat sopping wet.

“Oh my. I see,” Fluttershy said, slowly setting herself on her hooves again. “Well, that certainly explains the smell.”

“What it explains to me is that this whole town is going insane!” The stallion yelled, slamming his hat down to the ground before stomping on it for good measure. “If this keeps happening, then I don't care how long my wife's relatives have lived in this place, we're moving! You ponies can get your cucumbers from somepony else because I've had it!”

“Oh no, I'm sure it's not that bad,” Fluttershy tried, biting her lip as she looked over the dissipating sea-foam in the cucumber barrels. She thought for a moment, she saw a crab scurry deeper into the water.

“Young lady it is that bad!” He went on, waving a hoof at her. He lowered his voice slightly although he kept his angry tone. “And don't you try and sweet-talk me! You know as well as I do that this is the work of that abomination you've got locked in your cottage!”

“Oh... well I don't... um....” Her ears flattened as she shrunk in place, desperate to try and defend herself somehow, but unable to deny the claim.

“Last week it was that plague of flying cherries throwing themselves against everypony's windows and coating the entire town in red smoosh! The week before that, we were kept up all night by our cutlery that had decided to form a barber shop quartet! A bad barber shop quartet! And now this!”

“Oh, but I'm sure he didn't really mean any harm. It's not like he causes trouble every day,” she tried weakly.

“I don't care if its once a year! You're the one keeping that, that.... Thing as a house-guest! You better find a way to keep him under control or so help me, I don't care if he turns all our mailboxes into... into... I don't know! Flying rabbits! I'm walking to Canterlot to complain to Princess Celestia myself!!”

By this time, a small crowd was starting to gather around the two ponies and cries of agreement could be heard.

“I'm sure he doesn't mean it...” Fluttershy tried her best to defend Discord, although she knew everything the stallion was accusing him of was true.

“I don't care what he means! Just get him to stay away from us townsfolk! I don't care how you do it, just do it!!”

This received much louder cries of support from the crowd.

Fluttershy tried her best to reply, but all she could manage was a small squeak in defeat.


The door to the cottage opened heavily as Fluttershy trudged inside, putting her empty saddlebags away with a deep sigh. Angel bunny, her somewhat trusty pet, immediately ran to her side, smiling wide. A small pang of guilt struck her as she petted him.

“Oh I'm sorry, Angel,” she cooed, “I'm afraid I don't have any new vegetables for you today.”

The rabbit gave a small shriek at this, pushing her aside and half burying himself into one of her bags, tossing out handfuls of coins as he went.

“I can give you some of the leftovers from yesterday,” She smiled gently at him, lying her head down to be at his level.

The rabbit made a strangled noise at this, dramatically grabbing at his throat and stumbling around.

“I know it's not going to be as nice as fresh veggies, but I'll take some extra time to make you the best salad you could want. How does that sound?”

The bunny crossed his arms, glowering to himself as he thumped one of his feet angrily.

“I'll even add some of the bean sprouts I was saving to plant,” She smiled sweetly.

Angel thought this over for a moment before hopping to turn around and nod at her with a satisfied smile.

“There. See, it's not so bad is it?” She giggled as he hugged her face before turning and skittering off in the direction of the kitchen.

“Bean sprouts for supper? I should say that's more like a catastrophe than just 'bad'!” a voice came from behind her.

Fluttershy, standing upright again, took a deep breath before turning to face her semi-permanent house guest.

Discord had decided to pop into existence a few inches above the couch which he then flopped down on. It promptly popped from green to plaid. He grinned at her as he stretched out.

“Discord, where have you been?” She scolded lightly as she closed the green drawer where she kept her bags.

“Oh you know me, Fluttershy. A little here, a little there,” little X's appeared on the floor of the cottage as he spoke, “I'm still trying to get use to this whole 'go wherever I want' thing you know. I don't plan on wasting my days staying indoors.”

“Well yes,” she nodded, side-stepping the new floor decorations as she trotted over, “but I heard you went into town this morning.”

“Ah yes,” he sighed wistfully, resting his chin on his forepaw and claw, “the rustic scenes of this little settlement really does you wonders. So quaint and picturesque you could just puke.”

Fluttershy frowned softly. “I went to go and buy veggies for my animal friends, but when I got there it looked like you'd been causing mischief again.”

“Oh, come come now, my dear,” he said, popping into place beside her and placing an arm around her shoulders, “it's not as if I caused any damage or anything. Just a little harmless decorating here and there. The market's so dull it could use a little redesign.”

“Well the town ponies didn't seem to think so,” she said, wriggling free of his grip, determined not to let him off the hook, “they were very mad. Some even said they would complain to Celestia if you don't stop causing trouble.”

Discord scoffed, rolling his eyes at the threat as he dropped himself down on the couch again. “You ponies are always so melodramatic over every time little change. I don't think it's very healthy.”

“I really think they were serious this time Discord,” she replied, hovering over to sit on the small open space next to him. “They were um... quite loud.”

He raised an eyebrow at her thoughtfully. “Oh, they were?”

“Oh yes,” she nodded, reliving the moment. “It was horrible! They were all yelling and pointing at me and saying really mean things about you!”

“Oh they were, were they?” His eyes narrowed slightly. “Well that's not very friendly.”

“They were just angry.” Fluttershy quickly back-peddled, sensing the change in mood. “If you behave yourself a little better, I'm sure they won't have anything bad to say about you anymore.”

His expression changed on a dime and he laughed, clearly entertained as he twisted his tail around her middle and held her dangling above him as he crossed his arms behind his head. “My dear Fluttershy, as usual you're so charmingly naïve.”

She opened her mouth to argue, but stopped herself, deciding that as long as Discord wasn't in a bad mood, she could let the subject drop.

A bowl came flying across the room and promptly smacked him against the side of the head. Both Fluttershy and her guest turned to Angel, who was standing in the kitchen doorway, stomping his foot furiously as he glared at them.

“Oh my!” Fluttershy gasped, flapping free of Discord's tail and over to her pet. “I completely forgot about your supper! I'm so sorry Angel!”

“Yeeees. Heavens forbid the thing should starve to death.” Discord rolled his eyes, snapping his fingers to cause a gramophone to materialise in the air above him and start churning out an ancient piano.

“But... Discord?” Fluttershy's head popped back into the living room from the doorway. “You will try and behave a little better from now on, right? Pretty please.”

“Yes, yes.” He waved a paw at her dismissively. “I'll be as good as gold from now on, you have my word.”

“Well, alright then,” she smiled as she ducked out of sight again.

Discord puffed at a speck of dust irritably before snapping his fingers, changing the couch from plaid to bright pink leopard-print.


The week went on without any incident. The ponies of Ponyville carried on their usual lives without another peep from the draconequus. The cucumber seller never followed through with his threat about sending word to Celestia and things returned to utter normality.

Fluttershy, after finally restocking on her food supplies, spent most of her time outdoors. When she wasn't tending to her vast array of animals, she was spending time with the other five ponies in her group of friends or helping whoever in town had some or other animal related problem. Life as normal.

It was driving Discord nuts.

He was sitting upside down on the living-room armchair, snapping his fingers every few minutes to swap the entire room's colour palette to a new fashion nightmare. Part of him wished Rarity would come over to visit, just so that he could see her throw one of her famous drama queen fits. But even picturing the diva's reaction to his current mash-up of chartreuse parrot wallpaper and day-glow purple shag carpet wasn't keeping him that entertained.

He sighed much longer than what could really been considered physically possible as he snapped his fingers yet again to change the décor. He waited a moment before he frowned lightly, pushing himself the right way up as he snapped his fingers again.

His frown deepened.


“Oh he's much better,” Fluttershy insisted with a bright smile. “You'll notice, he's not changing living things any more, only objects.”

“Yeah, but he's still making a mess of the town!” Rainbow Dash snapped as she hovered above the conversation.

“Not the whole town,” Fluttershy argued.

“Well, that may be true, but he's still being rather difficult.” Rarity added with a nod as she sipped her tea.

“Not to mention he's ruined a good few folk's harvest!” Applejack said with more conviction than her two friends. “You're lucky it's been a fine summer, Sugarcube or you'd have a riot on your hooves!”

Fluttershy sunk her seat, taking an embarrassed sip from her own cup.

“We're not saying it's your fault, Fluttershy.” Twilight Sparkle smiled at her. “We're just saying maybe you should try and talk to him or something?”

“Oh I have.” She nodded, sitting up again. “I told him he needs to be better behaved and he promised he'd really, really try!”

“Yeah but... it's getting to a point where trying isn't really enough.” Twilight added, biting her lip.

“You should tell that old Discord to stop being an old meanie-face or he's really gonna get it!” Pinkie said enthusiastically, stomping a hoof down on her teaspoon, causing a large helping of whipped cream to fly across the table and promptly smack Applejack in the face. “Oopsie!” She snorted, leaning over to offer her a napkin.

“He's really not trying to be mean.” Fluttershy rubbed one of her forelegs sheepishly. “I know he's difficult, but he doesn't do any of these things to be mean.”

“Well, whatever he's tryin'a be, ya'll better rein him in before the whole place goes bananas!” Applejack said as she wiped her face.

Fluttershy nodded miserably.

“Oh, don't look as if we're reprimanding you dear.” Rarity said a little gentler. “We really are saying these things to try and help. We don't want you to get into any trouble, that's all.”

“Yes, I know.” She nodded again. “But this is my responsibility. I promised Princess Celestia that I would help Discord reform and that's what I'm going to keep doing. If he's causing trouble, then it's up to me to help clean it up.”

“Well... that's very noble of you Fluttershy, but you have got to be realistic about it too.” Twilight said. “I mean, I know he thinks you're his friend, but if he's just going to keep being bad and leaving you to take care of it for him afterwards... then maybe... well.... maybe this is one friendship that you should really reconsider?”

Fluttershy's gasp was one of the more dramatic ones to come from her. “How can you say that Twilight?!”

“Now, I know!” Twilight held up her hooves defensively. “I know ok? It sounds horrible. But sometimes... Sometimes there are ponies, or whatever Discord is, who just aren't worth your friendship. All they do is take advantage of you so they can get something from you. In Discord's case, you're the one who always has to try and keep the peace every time he decides to go on a small rampage. That's not how friends are supposed to act.”

“Well maybe that's how you see it, but that's not how he is!” Fluttershy snapped back in a rare display of anger. “You don't spend as much time with him as I do! He's not like that! And I really don't like listening to my best friends talk badly about him!”

“Hey, easy Fluttershy.” Rainbow flew over to stand next to her. “We're not saying to kick the guy out of your house or anything, we're just worried about you.”

The other four nodded earnestly.

“I would be absolutely horrified to think that that... ruffian is taking advantage of your kindness!” Rarity said, waving her cup around subconsciously.

“You're a nice girl, Fluttershy.” Applejack added. “Sometimes ponies don't appreciate folks that is kind to them.”

“Well, Discord isn't like that.” Fluttershy said firmly, sitting down again with a huff.

“Alright. Just... keep it in mind, ok?” Twilight said.

Fluttershy sighed, but nodded. “I will, but I really think you're wrong about him. You just haven't spent enough time with him.”

“Well... yeah, ok. I guess that's true too.” Twilight chuckled.

“Ooh! Ooh! We should throw a “getting-to-know-Discord-better” party!” Pinkie volunteered enthusiastically, hopping in her chair.

“Oh yeah. That would go well.” Applejack snickered.

“Oh!” Rarity gave what could only be described as a dainty yelp as the teacup tumbled onto the table, spilling the last few drops. “I am sorry! My magic must have slipped.” She smiled, clearly embarrassed. “I just had my horn done you know.”

“Oh yeah! I was wondering why you were shinier than usual!” Pinkie grinned at her. Applejack rolled her eyes, but Rarity ignored her.

“You should try and make time to visit the spa with me more often Pinkie.” Rairty said, her chest puffing slightly as she dabbed at the spilt tea. “Of course they can't exactly polish your horn, but they could try and give you an update on your cheveux.”

“You can try all you want, you are never gonna tame those curls.” Dash took to the air again to flap to the other side of the table.

“It doesn't mean I can't at least try!” She replied with a huff.

“Do they have any pamphlets or instruction books on wing-care?” Twilight added. “I'm still not really sure how to keep these things looking their best.”

“Aw, you should ask me!” Dash said proudly. “No-pony's got better cared for wings than Ponyville's number one flyer!”

“The day I let you give Twilight grooming advice is the day Opal starts giving me sewing tips!” Rarity interrupted, quite seriously.

Fluttershy sat quietly, drinking her tea.


It was early evening when Fluttershy finally returned home to the usual nightly welcome committee of animals. She made her way to her kitchen, not even bothering to notice the purple and green décor of her home. She'd gotten too use to her cottage changing colours all the time. After making sure everypony was well fed she started making her rounds, locking paddocks, making sure all the ducklings were in the pond, and checking to make sure her Blue Jays had enough fluff for their nests. Last was locking up the hen-house for the night. She was about to close its main door when she noticed the weather-vane on its roof. That is to say, she noticed that the hen-house had a weather-vane on its roof.

“What are you doing?” She blinked, taking flight.

“Well, obviously I'm checking which way the wind is blowing!” The little brass Discord answered, hands on hips.

“Oh, um... ok..” She gave a confused smile, not sure it was worth it to ask why.

The weather-vane poofed in a shower of confetti back into Discord's proper form. He yawned and stretched himself out. “I'd say it's about time we hit the old mattress, wouldn't you?”

“Yes.” She nodded as she drifted to the ground again. “I'm exhausted.”

“Oh? Hard day of animal caring, my dear?” He said as he flapped his way down to follow her, his voice laced with fake formality.

“Not exactly.” She said as they walked back to her cottage. “I was with my friends.”

“Ah. Say no more.” He gave a knowing nod. “a full day of chattering girls would drain anypony!”

She felt she should've scolded the remark, but she couldn't help but giggle. “It wasn't like that.”

“Fine, fine. I'm sure it was a long day of deep discussion on the nature of beauty products and hair brushing, as girls do.”

Fluttershy felt herself blush brightly in embarrassment. “That wasn't the only thing we talked about.”

“Well spare me the details if you please.” He floated past her to what seemed to have become 'his' couch in the past months, promptly flicking Angel off it with forefinger and thumb. “I'm sure I'm able to get some sleep without needing the help.”

“Oh yes. Monitoring the wind must have taken it out of you.” She replied with a smile, picking up her sulking rabbit and carrying him over to his basket.

“Doth my ears deceive me?” Discord said, plucking one off his head and polishing it with an arm before putting it back. “Did our bashful host just use sarcasm?!”

Fluttershy said nothing but smiled to herself as she tucked Angel in, pecking him on the forehead as he reluctantly settled down for the night before she turned to climb the stairs.

“I'm rubbing off on you, my dear.” Discord sang threateningly as she went. “You'd better watch out before the rest of the town bring out the torches and pitchforks.”

“Goodnight, Discord.” She replied as she turned out the light.


It was barely daybreak when something thundered on the cottage door. Discord grumbled, popping a pillow out of thin air to cover his head as he curled himself up. Fluttershy, already awake and busy preparing the vast buffet of breakfast for everypony, peered into the living-room with surprise.

Whoever was at the door banged on it again, louder this time if that was even possible. An eagle claw uncurled itself out from under the pillow and snapped its fingers although it was unclear what this did.

“Now, now,” Fluttershy shushed as she made her way to the door, “whoever it is obviously has something important to tell us.”

Discord said nothing, although a red eye peered at the front door with a deep frown. Fluttershy, ignoring her permanent house guest, unlocked and opened the door. She blinked several times.

“Good morning, Twilight.” She said with clear surprise. “What brings you here so early?”

“I'll tell you as soon as you take me to that goat-faced menace!” Twilight Sparkle snapped angrily, peering past her at the couch. “You!”

Moi?” He sat up, giving a yawn.

His casual behaviour seemed only to enrage her further as she pushed passed Fluttershy and stomped over to him, pointing a hoof accusingly. “What did you do?!”

“I'm not sure.” He said, completely unmoved by her outburst. “I do so many things, it's hard to keep up.”

“Um... Twilight?” Fluttershy closed the door nervously.

“Don't play innocent with me, pal! You know exactly what I'm talking about!! Now you better turn around and fix it! Fast! Or so help me, I'm not even gonna wait to hear from the Princess before I turn you into an oversized garden gnome again!!”

Discord's gaze cooled as he stared at her, not a flicker of worry on his face.

Fluttershy looked back and forth between them, her heart sinking like a chunk of lead. Her ears flattened as she turned to stare at her friend in dismay.

“....Discord?”

Author's Note:

Oh hey. My first MLP fanfic. Please go easy on me ok guys? Although crits are very welcome. And let me know if I do anything wrong. I'm still new to this.