• Published 11th Feb 2014
  • 5,568 Views, 90 Comments

Love, Friendship and Chaos - alarajrogers



"Three's A Crowd" endcap. Why *did* Discord want Twilight to go to the ends of Equestria for him?

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Three

The sun was barely over the horizon as Pinkie Pie bounced her way to the library. Predictably, it was not open. It was never open this early, and after Spike had told her yesterday that Twilight and Cadance had gone off to the ends of Equestria to get a flower to cure Discord's blue flu with, it was even more certain that it would not be open. This just meant Pinkie would have to get creative.

The twitch in her left front hoof had told her yesterday that Discord was faking it, so she'd let him distract her with a balloon, because if she'd pushed and insisted on being the one to take care of him he would probably have done something to her more annoying than giving her a balloon to chase. Like what he did to poor Applejack and Rarity. After he'd taken off searching for Twilight, Pinkie had returned, helped her friends to Fluttershy's house where all the good medicines were, and taken care of them for about two hours until the blue flu spontaneously cleared up, by which point everypony was able to figure out what Pinkie already knew: Discord was a big fat faker. Unfortunately there was no way to get hold of Twilight and Cadance at that point, since Twilight generally didn't actually run the spell that allowed her to receive mail from Spike.

However, the pinch in her right knee and the twitch in her tail told Pinkie that Discord's story about being sick was somehow going to come true. How, she didn't know, when the rapid disappearance of the blue flu and the fact that Discord had been freely using his powers the whole time he'd been claiming to be sick made it plain that the blue flu was not a real illness. But Pinkie didn't question her Pinkie Sense, as a general rule. Discord was somehow going to end up genuinely sick, and Fluttershy wasn't expected back until noon (and possibly longer; it would be entirely like Fluttershy to miss her first train because she was too entranced with her studies of the CUTEST MOST ADORABLE CREATURES IN THE UNIVERSE, not that Pinkie knew this to be true for a fact but Fluttershy had said it and Fluttershy knew her cute.) And Twilight was going to be really tired after coming back from the Ends of Equestria (which end? Because technically speaking, Manehattan, Fillydelphia and Baltimare were all along the coastline, which made them an end of Equestria, and not that far away, and then you could go to the north end of Equestria to get to the Crystal Empire, and there was Vanhoover and Las Pegasus out at the other end, and Pinkie was curious which way they'd gone).

So Pinkie had decided that she was going to be Discord's nurse, and also make sure Twilight and Cadance and Spike didn't get the whatever it was that probably wasn't blue flu because blue flu was something Discord made up, at least until Fluttershy came home.

She pulled a trampoline out of the place she'd been hiding it for a trampoline emergency and placed it under one of the large tree branches. A hop, hop, jump, JUMP and she was up in the air, grabbing for one of the branches and flipping herself onto it neatly. Twilight always left at least one of her upstairs windows open at night for Owlowliscious. Pinkie crawled along the branch until she reached the open window, then squeezed herself in.

She suddenly found herself encased in a magic bubble, floating. "Whee!"

"P... Pinkie?" Cadance asked blearily.

"Oh, this is the guest room! So this is where Twilight has you staying? If I was having a sister in law over for the weekend I would probably have her in my bedroom for a sleepover, but none of my sisters are into mares as far as I know so I will probably never have a sister in law unless I get married and my husband, or maybe my wife, has a sister, which I'm totally not planning on doing anytime soon because how can you party all the time if you're married? But then I only have one bedroom because I live in somepony else's house! So maybe if I had a whole house I would put my sister in law that I don't have in the guest room! Except probably not because sleepovers are fun!"

"Pinkie... what are you doing in Twilight's guest room?"

"I'm here to take care of the sickies, silly! Are you a sicky? I hope you're not sick. I didn't get any twitchies about you but I don't know you that well so I don't even know if I would!"

Cadance blinked. "Discord's sick. I've been casting magic health bubble and Twilight has him in a quarantine bubble now, so nopony else got sick. It's not the blue flu, it turns out he was faking about that."

"I know! That's why I let him give me a balloon!"

"What?"

"Where is he? I thought he would be in the guest room, that's why I came in this way!"

"He's downstairs in the library."

"Well, that's really silly! You don't let super chaos guy sleep in the super organized room, he's probably going to run around messing it up just so he can get to sleep! You know I can't sleep in a super organized room either? As soon as it's really organized it feels like it's a box and I hate to sleep in a box! Unless it's a really big box! Or I'm pretending it's a secret fort!"

"He's in a quarantine bubble, I don't think he'll be getting out to mess up the books. He doesn't have his powers right now, Pinkie."

"Really?" Pinkie's eyes went wide. "Does that mean I can tickle him?"

"He's sick."

"But if I wait until he's better then he'll have his powers back and I won't be able to tickle him!"

"He's also in a quarantine bubble."

"I'll use Zen Tickle."

"I am too tired to ask you what Zen Tickle is."

"I'll demonstrate! Tomorrow! Meanwhile I have to feed a draconequus chicken soup! With whipped cream on top! See, I don't forget the whipped cream!"

She bounced off, ignoring the waves of bewilderment that radiated off Cadance. Twilight was a light sleeper, so Pinkie made sure not to yell "whee" as she slid down the banister, figuring that the clopping of hooves on the stairs would be more likely to wake Twilight than the sliding but it would miss the point of being super quiet if she then yelled, though she did whisper "whee" to herself because how could you slide down a banister without going "whee" at least a little bit?

Discord was, in fact, lying on a mattress in the middle of the library, with a bubble around him. He was shifting restlessly in his sleep, curled on the mattress with half his tail falling off of it and onto the floor, and a blanket tangled around his middle. He was also green. He wasn't green the way he'd been blue, a vivid, brilliant shade; he was dull green, with darker spots all over the light parts of his fur and lighter spots all over the dark parts of his fur. And he smelled like sour avocados, which made Pinkie think she should have brought sour cream instead of whipped cream. Unfortunately she wasn't generally prepared for a sour cream emergency. Maybe in the future she needed to expect that.

"Hiii, Discord!" she caroled at him, in a slightly less loud voice than usual since she was trying to avoid waking Twilight up.

Discord opened his eyes. "Pinkie?" he mumbled. "I have a fever..."

"I brought you something..."

"Is it cough drops? Because I would renounce chaos for the rest of eternity if someone could bring me some cough drops."

"Then you'd be super boring! How would you even have anything to do if you renounced chaos?" Pinkie pulled out her emergency hazmat suit and started putting it on. "I thought Twilight might quarantine you if you got something weird!"

"Pinkie, where did you get that... never mind. Do you have cough drops? Because if you don't I really just want to go back to sleep and try to pretend to myself that there isn't an entire colony of Diamond Dogs digging for gems in my throat."

"There are? Sillies, what makes them think you have gems in your throat? I know that would be all chaotic and everything but gems, really? You don't even eat gems! They should look in Spike's throat!"

"Pinkie, do you actually know that that was a joke and you're playing straight mare to be funny, or did you really think I meant it?"

Pinkie sighed deeply. "That was cruel, Dissy," she said. "What did that poor joke do to you that you had to kill it like that?"

"My apologies. I'm not at my sharpest at the moment." He inspected his claws. "Perhaps with a bit more filing."

"You'll need Twilight's help with that, I bet. You're probably much too disorganized to be filing anything!"

"I assure you I can file with the best of them. Everything goes in the folder that says 'Do This Later' unless it's garbage, in which case I have Spike copy it in triplicate and send it to Celestia. Isn't that how to do it?"

Pinkie grinned. She really missed having conversations like this. "You remind me of my old Granny Pie."

Discord leaned forward, eyes comically huge though not actually magically altered. "All the better to see you with, my dear," he croaked.

Now that her hazmat suit was on and sealed, Pinkie clambered through the airlock flap on the bubble and hopped onto Discord's chest, pushing his head back against the wall of the bubble. "Open wide, Nurse Pinkie's got some medicine for you," she said.

"Why, Pinkie, this is so forward of you! Though I really expected a bit more naughty out of a naughty nurse costume. You look more like a member of a biohazard cleanup team."

"Which reminds me has anypony brought you a bedpan or something? Or do you even need one? Is your pee all chaosy like lemonade or something or is it just like regular pee?"

"I'd offer you a taste so you could see for yourself, but even I have standards."

"Yeah, that's just gross. So! Potty or no potty?"

"No one has brought me a bedpan and eventually this will become an issue if you don't suffocate me from sitting on my chest first."

"Whoops!" She rolled off him but continued to push his neck up against the side of the bubble. "Now be a good little chaos spirit and open super wide!"

"What exactly are you going to inflict on me?"

"Medicine for your throat. It's much better than cough drops, trust me. It's even yummy! Almost."

"Well, that fills me with confidence," Discord mumbled, but did as he was told. "Aaah."

Pinkie whipped out the jar of honey, laced with menthol and healing balm and some weird stuff Zecora had given her, and popped open the lid, letting the liquid pour into Discord's mouth and down his throat. He coughed and tried to splutter, but she held him in position until half the jar was gone. Which didn't take very long; the stuff mixed with it made it a lot thinner and more fluid than pure honey.

As she put the jar away, Discord straightened up, smacking his lips and making strange faces. "I don't know whether that tasted delicious or utterly horrible."

"Both," Pinkie said. "That'll soothe your throat for about four hours or so, and Fluttershy ought to be home around then, and if she's not, you can take the other half the dose. Sorry there's so much but you have a very very very very long neck! I figured if the whole inside of your neck was hurting with coughs and a sore throat that would be a whole lot of neck to have to coat with medicated honey, so I made a whole jar!"

"Pinkie, do you have any idea what you're doing?"

"I know lots of things," Pinkie said. "You like hot sauce, right?"

"I love it. Normally. Right now I am dubious."

"Hot sauce is good for you when you're sick! It clears your sinuses and it makes your immune system work harder! I brought you some hot chicken soup, and by hot I mean both the temperature kind and the spice kind, but not the kind that's stallions because that would just be super weird."

"Did you say chicken soup?"

Pinkie nodded proudly. "Granny Pie used to swear by it when we got sick."

"I hope you didn't kill any of Flutters' chickens. She'll be quite irate."

Pinkie laughed. "No way, silly billy, of course I didn't! There isn't even any real chicken in it. I order the chicken stock from Gryphonia because it has to come from chickens and have some real chicken fat in it or it doesn't work the same way, but instead of chicken it has tofu marinated in chicken stock. Also hot sauce, green onions, lots and lots of garlic, mushrooms, and noodles!" She pulled out the thermos. "And I brought whipped cream to put on top of it."

Discord's eyes went big again. "You brought whipped cream for my soup? That's astonishing. How did you think of that?"

"I just thought of the weirdest thing to go on top of soup that would actually stay on top of the soup, because I figured whatever the weirdest thing was to go on top of the soup, you would like it!"

"It sounds delicious. And given that my stomach and I are not getting along well at the moment, something that sounds delicious is impressive. But I suppose the proof will be in the pudding, as they say."

"No, no, it's soup, not pudding."

He sighed. "And to think what a wonderful setup for a joke that would have been if I'd had my powers."

"But if you'd had your powers you could have made your own chicken soup." She unscrewed the top of the thermos and handed it to him. "Hold this." Next she pulled out her whipped cream can and sprayed a generous dose of whipped cream on top of the soup in the thermos. Once she was done, she took a shot of whipped cream herself. "Yum!"

"Are you done? Can I drink it now?"

"Do you want extra chili pepper on top?"

"Hmm. Yes, I think that would go quite well."

Pinkie took out her red pepper grinder and ground sprinkles of chili and cayenne all over the top of the whipped cream. "Here you go!"

Discord took a swig of his soup. His tongue, still ridiculously long despite his lack of magic, snaked out of his mouth and licked his lips, then lapped at the whipped cream. Apparently satisfied with the taste, he chugged the rest of the thermos so quickly Pinkie didn't even have time to start chanting "Chug! Chug!" before he handed it back to her. "Delicious as always, Pinkie," he said.

"Do you feel any better now?"

"Yes, but possibly only because I've eaten solid food. I haven't had anything to eat since my magic cut out on me, you know. Just broth and tea."

"Well, yeah. You're sick. That's what you're supposed to have."

He made a face at her. "A draconequus cannot survive on broth alone. I don't think I realized quite how hungry I was until I had your soup." Discord lay back down again. "Although I'm still very tired. Why am I so tired? Is this normal when ponies get sick?"

"Sometimes, yeah," Pinkie said. "Rarity and Applejack weren't tired when you got them sick, just really sneezy and coughy. Which by the way that was mean!" She glared down at him. He smirked at her. "I know you wanted an excuse so you could go bother Twilight but making my friends sick was not a nice way to do it!"

"They got better quickly," Discord pointed out.

"That doesn't make it not mean. How would you feel about somepony if they were the one who made you sick? How did you get sick, anyway?"

"Twilight didn't tell you?"

"I haven't even talked to Twilight, silly! She's still asleep!"

Discord blinked. "So you came over here to take care of me because you thought I still had the blue flu?"

"Oh, no, I knew you were a big fat faker from the beginning! My Pinkie Sense told me so!"

"I object to your characterization of me." He sat up again with a look of indignation on his face, folding his arms tight against his chest. "I am quite svelte."

She leaned over him to one side and back to the side she was standing on, inspecting the width of his body. "You're right! You're a big skinny faker!"

"Thank you." He nodded, graciously acknowledging her correction. "So then how did you know I was sick? I cannot imagine you brought chicken soup with hot sauce and whipped cream to feed to our esteemed noble Princesses."

"Because I got a special twitch that told me you were sick. I knew Twilight and Spike weren't because I would've gotten twitchies for them and I didn't, and I didn't know about Princess Cadance, because I didn't get a twitch but I don't know her that well so maybe I wouldn't, but I got a twitch and a pinch and it told me you would be sick! Which is funny because I never got a twitch for you being sick before but probably you never were sick before and if you were it probably was before we were friends so it took me a while to figure out what it meant but then I did and I knew that when you and Twilight and Princess Cadance came home you were going to be a sicky and I would have to bring you some chicken soup because otherwise you would whine a lot and wake up Twilight and that totally wouldn't be fair after you made her do so much flying. And also because you're my friend even though sometimes you're a big jerk! And also because I really would've taken care of you if you really did have blue flu but since you really didn't I didn't have to and then you gave me a balloon which was nice! You could have made me sick like my friends but you didn't so I'm mad at you about making them sick but I'm happy you gave me a balloon instead of making me sick! You should have given them balloons too!"

"They wouldn't likely have been distracted by balloons, Pinkie."

"Oh, right! I guess you would have had to give Rarity some gems and they don't even float! And what could you give Applejack? If she saw a floating apple she would just think it was because of you making things float that shouldn't float!" As she spoke, Pinkie climbed onto Discord's chest again, carefully because she didn't want to crush his lungs, hooves folded under her chin, looking at his face intently. "So how did you get sick?"

He sighed. "An enormous, monstrous plant creature called a tatzlwurm that I did not intend to make that size, or that annoying, spat some sort of goo at me. And at Cadance and Twilight, but Cadance cast a health spell to protect them. I suppose it was too much to ask of her that she include me in her health spell as well."

Pinkie scowled at him. "Discord, do health spells even work on you?"

"Well, no, but she could have made an effort!"

"Are you being absodupeylutely super-dee-duper telling the truth here, or are you just being truthy? Because Cadance not even trying to cure you doesn't make any sense, and if it doesn't make any sense it's probably something you did, and if it's something you did then Cadance really did try to help you and you're just pretending she didn't because disharmony and stuff."

"Pinkie, I'm shocked that you'd think I would lie about something to you!" He pressed his paws to his chest in a dramatic gesture worthy of Rarity.

"Do you see this face?" Pinkie leaned forward, pointing a hoof at her own nose. "This is a straight face. This is not a face that is laughing, because that wasn't even a funny joke. Now if you had said 'I'm shocked, shocked that you'd think I would lie about something to you, and by the way, Princess Celestia is right behind you,' and then she wasn't, that would be funny because then you'd be lying about something that's even more obvious than the lying about Princess Cadance, which is mean and you had better stop. What really happened?"

"Well, she did cast her magic health bubble," he grumbled, "but it had no effect on me. And then she went along with Twilight's plan to leave me behind so they could spy on me to see if I was really faking, and I almost got eaten by two different tatzlwurms! And then they tied me up and dragged me home like I was a kite being flown between the two of them!"

"That sounds fun!"

"It wasn't. It really, really wasn't."

"Maybe it would have been more fun if you weren't sick."

"I doubt it." He lay back down again. "I'm tired, Pinkie. And I want some water. I don't suppose you have somewhere on you a teensy tiny glass of water?"

"Nope! All I have is a big pitcher of water!" She pulled out her pitcher. "I see you already have a glass, so here!" Pinkie poured ice water into the glass until it was brimming.

"I knew I could count on you." Discord lifted his head without sitting up, and drank the water even more quickly than he'd drunk the soup. "Do you think I still have a fever?" he mumbled, laying his head back down again.

"Probably. I didn't give you any anti-fever potions or anything; you'll have to wait for Fluttershy for that. Granny Pie's chicken soup is just supposed to help sickies feel better, not actually be medicine or anything."

"Then I think I need to sleep." He closed his eyes. "This is astonishing. I've never felt so tired, you know. Or so heavy, well, outside of being stone. It feels like all the energy in my body has just... leaked away. Is this what it's like for ponies?"

"You asked that already. Weren't you ever sick before? Ever ever ever?"

"Not that I can remember."

"Lucky you! But also poor you because you're sick now. I'm gonna get out of this bubble now because all my mane is getting in my face under this face hood thing! Are you going to be okay?"

"How would I know? I feel like I might expire from sheer exhaustion any moment now, but it seems unlikely that that's actually the case."

"But you don't need anything else to eat or drink or something?"

"Just sleep," he murmured.

"Okie dokie!" She climbed out of the quarantine bubble, pulled off her hazmat suit and shoved it into a bag to be sterilized once Twilight woke up. Then she laid back against the bubble. "This thing is comfy! It's like laying on a balloon!"

"It's not big enough," Discord grumbled. "I can't stretch out in here."

"I never see you stretch out anyway."

"You try spending a thousand years stuck with your back and tail fully extended and see how much you like stretching out all the way. But at least most of the time I have the option."

"Maybe Twilight can make it bigger once we take you to Fluttershy's, but if it got too big here, anypony who wanted to use the library would have to walk around you! Besides at least it's comfy! You know what would be really bad is if she put you in a bubble and it was all crunchy and scritchy and it made annoying noises anytime anypony touched it!"

"The glass is always half full with you, isn't it, Pinkie?"

"Not usually! Usually it's either full, so I'm gonna drink it, or empty, because I just drank it! Half full is like two seconds at most!"

Discord laughed. Pinkie poked the bubble with her hoof, grinning. "I made you laugh!"

"That isn't hard," he said. "I laugh at most things."

"Me too, but I still like it when I can make you laugh, even if it's not as hard as it is with some ponies. Anyway, you're sick! And they say laughter is the best medicine, right?"

"Did you ever wonder who 'they' are? They say this. They say that. Who are they, and why does every pony in Equestria feel compelled to quote them all the time?"

"I know! I wonder the same thing! And if they say all this important stuff that we always think about, how come we don't even know their names? I mean, Starswirl the Bearded wrote all these super amazing spells, according to Twilight, so she knows his name, but they have all these wise sayings and stuff and yet we don't even know who they are or what kind of pony or anything!"

"How do you even know they are ponies? Maybe they're draconequui and that's why ponies don't want anyone to know who they are. It's a conspiracy."

"Ooh, yeah, it could be! Or maybe they are dragons! Most grownup dragons are jerks and stupid so nopony would ever believe they could be so wise if they're dragons, but Spike is a smart dragon so it could be dragons!"

"Or maybe they're humans."

"Lyra would know, I bet!"

Discord laughed again, which set Pinkie off into a fit of giggles. "Pinkie, I don't think there is any other pony in Equestria who can manage to keep up with me like that. Bravo."

"We should hang out more often," Pinkie agreed.

Discord looked surprised. "Hang... out?"

"Yeah, you know! Not from trees or anything, although you could because your body's all long and flexy and twiny and you could hang from a tree easy, I bet, but I couldn't because my body won't do that so easily and I could hang from my back legs like an acrobat but then all the blood would go to my head and I'd get dizzy! Which is fun but it wouldn't last very long because if I got dizzy enough I'd fall out of the tree!"

"Well, if trees are out, where were you suggesting we should hang out?"

"You know. Ponyville, or I dunno, anyplace really. You write letters to Fluttershy and I know you come visit her sometimes but you know, I like spending time with you when you're not being a big mean jerk, and you never come to visit me."

"You're always surrounded by a crowd of ponies, one way or another," Discord said. "And the whole 'eek! Run away, it's Discord!' thing gets old after a while."

"Didn't ponies do that when you took over Equestria?"

"Some did, but back in those days, they figured out fairly easily that that just annoys me. The ones who ran away screaming were much, much more likely to end up suffering from my more egregious pranks than the ones who were willing to play along." He sighed. "But nowadays I'm not allowed to put pony legs sticking up from their back so they have to walk around upside down because they couldn't be bothered to have a civil conversation with me, so there's really not much I can do about the pointing and screaming anymore."

"Well, sticking pony legs on their backs is part of the reason for the pointing and screaming, did you ever think of that?"

"And yet I don't do that anymore and they still point and scream."

"Okay then! We should totally hang out then! Because if ponies saw me spending time with you, well, they all know that Fluttershy is friends with all the scary animals and besides she doesn't like to go into town anyway, so even if they saw her with you that wouldn't make them think you're nice now because seriously, she makes friends with manticores, and they totally ruin parties when they show up! But they all know I like to have fun, so if I'm hanging out with somepony, or somedraconequus, which sounds really silly and have you ever considered having a shorter name for what you are, like you know pony and dragon and gryphon all have just two syllables but draconequus is a real mouthful, but anyway, if they saw me hanging out with you they would know that you're fun and not scary! Most of the time. Sometimes you're still scary."

"Sometimes Twilight is positively terrifying and that doesn't seem to impede her ability to make friends."

"Yeah, she is!" Pinkie giggled. "So see? If we hang out then ponies won't be as scared of you and we can have fun and do silly things! Also chocolate rain!"

"I don't like to repeat myself constantly," Discord said. "I am somewhat fond of the chocolate rain, but if I did it all the time I'd be predictable."

"What about fluffy donut holes? What if you made it rain fluffy donut holes?"

"Would ponies like that?"

"No! Except for me! But I'm a pony so if you wanted to make it rain fluffy donut holes on a pony you could rain them on me and then I could eat them!"

"I have no idea why you aren't obese by now."

"Because sugar is energy! You only get fat from sugar if you don't burn your sugar! Mister, it takes a lot of sugar to maintain my high-energy lifestyle." She poked her hoof at the bubble again with a fake stern expression.

"That actually makes a surprising amount of sense. For shame, Pinkie, I thought you were supposed to be as sheerly nonsensical as I am."

Pinkie laughed. "But everything makes sense if you look at it from the right perspective. Even you. It's just that ponies don't understand you so they don't think you make sense."

"And you do?"

"Sometimes!"

Discord adjusted himself on the bed so that he was on his belly in a semicircle rather than on his back in an S, and looked up at her with his eyes rather than lifting his head. The expression made him look almost plaintive. "You'd really want to spend time with me? Because in my experience most ponies would rather have a hooficure with rotten eggs and a toothbrush that's been sitting in a stagnant algae covered pond for a month than spend any time with me."

"I am not most ponies. I am Pinkamena Pinkie Diane Pie, the First! And if I say I want to hang out with you, then I don't care what most ponies think! Do you care what most ponies think?"

"Not for the past few millennia and I don't intend to start, no."

"Well then! When you get better! I have to plan Rainbow Dash's birthdayversary because that needs to be a super duper amazing party and it's like in a few weeks so I might not have time right away, but after the birthdayversary we should get together and do something fun. We could bring Fluttershy too! But she won't want to do anything too wacky, but I bet she would laugh if she saw us doing it."

"That does sound moderately entertaining. Fine." He rolled onto his back again. "Once I'm recovered and you've held your overly planned shindig for Rainbow Smash, we can spend a day together and find some entertaining chaos to wreak that won't upset your delicate 'not making ponies mad' sensibilities and won't make Fluttershy too irritated with me."

"Great! It'll be tons of fun!"

"Can you actually guarantee tons? Because I've actually handled a ton of fun, and believe you me, it is much larger and heavier than you are probably picturing."

"Well, I didn't want to get into anything too heavy! Maybe we just want light fun. But even if it's light fun, if you have enough of it that would make a ton!"

"Not if you negate gravity on it."

"Oh yeah! Fun with no gravity! That sounds good!"

"Perhaps we can even employ levity."

"Yeah! Enough of that and we could fill a balloon with it!"

"You're obsessed with balloons, aren't you?"

She pointed at her cutie mark. "Hellooooo...."

"Ah, good point." He closed his eyes. "Still tired, Pinkie."

"Yeah, you need your rest." Pinkie leaned back against the quarantine bubble again, facing out toward the library. It was very comfy. Balloons were surprisingly uncomfortable to lay on – she'd tried, multiple times, but they squeaked and a properly firm balloon was actually rather hard. Whatever material Twilight had made the bubble with, it felt soft and fluffy, like a transparent cloud. Obviously it was tougher than a cloud, but it felt nice. She sighed.

"Discord?"

"Mm?"

"How come you wanted to spend time with Twilight so badly anyway? I offered to take care of you but all you wanted to do was bother Twilight. How come?"

She heard him sigh. "Pinkie, of all of the six of you, which one of you do you think is most like me?"

"Hmm. Well, Dashie likes to play funny pranks, and Rarity's very creative and artistic and she likes to make things that are different, and Twilight is smart like you, and—"

"Be serious for two seconds. I said 'all of the six of you', not 'all of your friends.' That means I was including you in the question."

She grinned. "You said 'be serious.' You need to be careful, they're gonna come and take your chaos license away if you do that too much."

"Never. I've paid them far too many bribes. Now answer my question."

"Me, I guess."

"Now, which of you is least like me?"

"Applejack," Pinkie said promptly. "Because she's honest all the time, and you're funny almost all the time, and funny is never exactly honest. And sometimes you lie to be mean too which isn't usually very funny. And she believes that you should do everything with hard work and you should do it the right and proper way and that's how good things happen, and you believe you should do everything with magic and breaking the rules and finding tricks to solve problems. And when she sees all chaos stuff she's just all like, 'Somepony had better fix this', whereas Twilight's all like 'Aaah! This is all nonsense and crazy and I'm gonna go crazy trying to fix it' and Rarity pretends to faint and Dashie just gets mad."

"Interesting. There's a certain logic to what you say; I suppose she's even more my opposite than Twilight is. But Twilight is the one I was thinking of. Twilight depends on order, even though she's actually better at generating chaos than the vast majority of ponies. Twilight is terrified of or infuriated by chaos."

"Right! So why did you want to spend time with her?"

"What seems more likely to cause disharmony? Spending time with someone who is a lot like you, or spending time with someone who is completely unlike you and yet enough like you, deep down, to be utterly discombobulated by what you do, rather than simply grimly annoyed?"

"I keep forgetting about the disharmony thing. That's... not nice, you know."

"I am what I am, Pinkie. The name's 'Discord', not 'Fun Guy'."

"I guess that's good, because then you'd be a mushroom!"

"Or I could be yeast. I could make bread rise, brew beer, and give mares terribly annoying itches in their nethers. I think I'd enjoy being yeast, actually."

"But then I could defeat you with yogurt!"

"Do you even eat yogurt?"

"With blueberries, yeah! It's tasty!"

"Have you ever tried boysenberries?"

"No, because I always used to mix up my p's and b's, and nopony would want Binkie Bye to eat yogurt with poison berries!"

"They'd be poison perries, wouldn't they be?"

"But that would be a blatybus!"

"Regrettably, I think I'm actually too tired for this conversation." He sighed. "You're fun, Pinkie. I enjoy spending time with you. But the very thing I enjoy about you is that you can match me. Sometimes... I need someone who will oppose me, instead."

"I guess that makes sense. Weird sense, but that's your kind of sense."

"Pinkie?"

"Yeah?"

"I really need to go back to sleep now. Please be quiet."

"Okie dokie lokie! I'm gonna go make fluffy donut holes now in Twilight's kitchen! You can have some when you wake up if you feel better!"

She skipped off to the kitchen, feeling much better. Discord distracting her with a balloon to get her out of his way had given her mixed feelings; on the one hand, he hadn't gotten her sick as he had her friends, and he'd given her something she liked, even if she did have to spend ten minutes chasing it first. On the other hand... she'd offered to take care of him, to spend time with him, even knowing he was faking his illness, and he'd rejected her because his master plan had apparently been to go annoy Twilight all day. Why would he rather annoy Twilight than spend time with somepony who wanted to spend time with him? The disharmony thing made her feel better; she didn't like the aspect of Discord that loved conflict and stirring up bad feelings, so she tended to forget about it except when he got her really angry, like when his stupid vines attacked Ponyville and he was pretending he didn't have anything to do with it even though he totally did, but he was right that it was part of who he was. If she wanted to make friends with him because she liked the chaos, she was going to have to deal with the disharmony; he was both.

But at least he hadn't rejected her because he didn't like her or he didn't think she was fun! That was the important thing. Pinkie whistled as she pulled baking supplies out of Twilight's cabinets. Twilight liked donut holes.

Author's Note:

I'm not shipping Discopie here. In my opinion, Pinkie wants a platonic friendship with Discord because her friends can't really match her energy, randomness or sense of humor, and Discord can. That being said, I'm not outright contradicting it either, so Discopie fans can feel free to interpret it that way if they really want to. :-)