• Published 11th Feb 2014
  • 17,013 Views, 199 Comments

Dearest Fluttershy - Terrasora



Discord deals with death for the first time.

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Death

How long had it been?

Four days?

Had it really only been four days?

Twilight Sparkle lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling. Yes, it had been four days. Twilight was sure of it, and glancing over at her calendar would only confirm that fact, if she ever decided to turn that way. But it certainly didn’t feel like four days. It felt… Shorter? Longer? Twilight reached out with a hoof, grasping at nothing. Whichever it was, it certainly wasn’t four days.

… I should get up.

Twilight stayed exactly where she was, her wings folded against her sides and an errant hoof reaching up towards the ceiling.

Four days. Four days. Only four. And now there were only five.

The door to Twilight’s bedroom glided open on silent hinges, revealing a tall, lean drake, handsomely dressed in a black tuxedo and carrying a small breakfast tray. The years had worked wonders on Spike.

“Twilight,” he said, “I’ve brought breakfast.” Spike set the tray down. A full breakfast, complete with buttered toast, a fruit salad, a few tomato slices, and a teacup which Spike promptly filled.

“Lemon tea,” he said in explanation, stepping back with a small smile.

Twilight returned the smile half-heartedly. “Thank you, Spike. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Spike shrugged. “I don’t think you’d be able to do anything, Princess.”

A giggle escaped Twilight’s lips. “You’re probably right.” Twilight’s magic flared, carefully plucking a set of grapes from their stem. Spike kept a vigilant eye on her the entire time.

“You’re dressed up,” noted the alicorn.

“I’m taking Rarity to the opera today.”

“Here in Canterlot?”

Spike nodded.

“You should have told me. I could have gotten those tickets for free.”

Spike snorted. “Twi, I’m a dragon and the number one assistant to a Princess. I got a pretty good deal on the tickets.”

Twilight raised her hooves defensively. “Alright, alright. I’m sorry that I suggested anything.”

A silence fell on the room. Twilight plucked at her grapes. Spike watched her.

“Shouldn’t you be going to see Rarity?”

The drake shook his head. “I have a bit of time.”

“And you’re spending it with me? That’s sweet of you, Spike.”

“Just making sure that you eat something.”

Twilight let out a sigh of exasperation. “I have been eating.”

“You’ve been playing with your food,” said Spike pointedly.

The aura dissipated, dropping the grapes back onto the salad. “I have not.”

Spike gave her a questioning look.

“Fine. I was, in fact, playing with my food right now, but it’s just the once. Besides, I’m not hungry.”

“You haven’t been hungry all week, Twi.” Spike’s eyes were soft, colored with worry. “I know it hurts, but I need to make sure that you eat something.”

Twilight rolled her eyes, stealthily blinking away a few errant tears. “I’ve been eating.”

“Then take a bite of breakfast!” A pause, as Spike stared down at the Princess. “For me?”

Twilight hesitated for a moment, giving Spike a flat stare. Her magic flared, lifting an ornate fork, stabbing it down into the salad, and placing the little that stuck into her waiting mouth. “Happy?”

Spike breathed a sigh of relief. “A bit… You know, you can come with me if you want?”

“On your date?”

“Well, it’s not really a date,” said Spike, rubbing at the back of his head. “But yeah. I mean, if you need somepony to talk to about everything, Rarity’s probably your best bet. After all that she and Fl--”

Twilight cleared her throat, cutting off the name as a pressure built up somewhere behind her eyes. “I hope that you and Rarity have fun.”

Spike lifted a claw, about to say something. But he thought better of it. “Thanks, Twi,” he said, turning towards the door.

“Wait, Spike.”

The dragon turned. Twilight was playing with her food again, a slice of melon floating in the air, turning slowly. “Spike,” she began, “have you ever… been worried?”

Spike furrowed his brow. “Well, yeah, hasn’t everypony?”

Twilight shook her head. “No, that’s not what I meant. Worried about your--” she took a breath “--your relationship with Rarity.”

“Twilight,” began Spike, his nostrils flaring angrily, “we’re not going through this again. I’m not a kid anymore.”

“No!” said the alicorn, waving her hooves in front of her. “No, it’s not that. I-I know that you’ve grown up, Spike, but…” Her words trailed off, leaving the statement unfinished.

Spike let out a sigh. “It’s five years, Twilight. Just five years. No matter how differently dragons age, it’s just five years.”

Twilight paused for a few moments, the melon still slowly spinning before her. “Okay,” she finally said. “Have fun.”

Spike turned and left, closing the door firmly behind him. Twilight Sparkle lay in bed for a few more moments, placing her meager, untouched breakfast on the nightstand and staring up at the canopy of her bed.

“Well,” said a deep voice from the window, “that was quite the display.”

Twilight shot up, her head darting towards the voice. Nothing there.

Discord leaned forward, putting his head right up against Twilight’s ear as he noisily chewed on a slice of melon. “What are we looking for, Twilight Sparkle?”

Twilight jumped, leaving her bed entirely and just barely keeping a cry of shock in her throat. She stopped, feet away from her bed, her mane blowing in a wind that wasn’t there.

“Well, that’s certainly a greeting,” said Discord with a smirk.

Twilight blinked, rubbing at her eyes with a hoof. “D-Discord? When?... Where?”

“Just now and right here, Twilight Sparkle!” said the draconequus happily, tossing the melon slice into the air where it exploded into confetti. “This warrants a celebration, don’t you think?”

Twilight simply stared at him.

Discord twisted around the room, running a talon over everything that he could. “Oh, this is quite the change, isn’t it Twilight?” He disappeared, reappearing with a flash in front of Twilight, his lion’s paw covering his mouth. “Pardon me. Princess Twilight Sparkle, isn’t it? Look, you’ve even got the water mane thing going on!” Discord reached out, snapping off the tip of Twilight’s mane and popping it into his mouth. “Wonderful!”

Twilight twitched back at Discord’s touch. The draconequus scowled at the movement. “I assumed that you would have gotten over that by now.”

The alicorn took a shaky breath. “Discord. Where--” she stopped, steadying herself with a few deep breaths “--Where in Equestria have you been?”

Discord flopped onto Twilight’s bed, stretching luxuriously. “Taking a nap, of course. It was rather nice.”

“A nap?”

“Mmmmmhmmmm.” Discord picked up a pillow, turning it into a large marshmallow and taking a bite out of it. “A rather nice nap, as I just said.”

Twilight didn’t respond.

Discord craned his neck slightly, bringing the Princess into better view. “Twilight Sparkle?”

The bedsheets exploded upwards, flinging Discord up towards the ceiling with a yelp. The canvas came alive next, wrapping tighter and tighter around Discord, crushing the air out of him before he managed to teleport himself out of his satin prison.

Discord wheezed a few times, each breath making him pump up like a balloon. “I take it that you’re not excited to see me?”

“A NAP?!” Twilight’s horn flared, the canvas snaking to life and rocketing towards Discord. “YOU TOOK A NAP?!”

Discord snapped his fingers, a sharp sound that carried through the room, turning the canopy into a gust of wind that sped harmlessly past the draconequus. “Not a fan of naps, Twilight Sparkle?”

Twilight lowered her horn, advancing dangerously towards Discord. “You… do you have any idea? Do you have any idea about you and your stupid little nap?!”

“I have many ideas, Princess.” Discord placed the tip of his lion’s paw on Twilight’s horn. “Which one are you thinking of?”

Twilight stared at Discord, a fiery anger, more suited to Celestia than Twilight Sparkle, filling her eyes. “Do you know how long you were gone?”

“Pardon me?”

“Your nap, Discord? Do you even know how much time you spent asleep?”

Discord smirked, flicking Twilight’s horn. “Remember, Twilight Sparkle, you’re talking to the being that underestimated plant growth by over 1000 years. Do you really think that I have a concept of something like time? I simply slept until I awoke.”

“Sixty-three years,” said Twilight silently. “It’s been sixty-three years since the last time you were seen anywhere in Equestria.”

Discord smiled. “Yes, I did find a rather secluded spot. The ocean floor is very nice this time of century.” He scowled slightly as a thought hit him. “Wait, why do you know that?”

Twilight was shaking slightly. “Not a day would go by,” she said, “that Fl-Fluttershy didn’t ask about you.”

The draconequus placed a claw over his heart. “I’m touched. Honestly. How is Fluttershy, anyway? I feel as though I haven’t seen her in half a ce--”

A sob came out of Twilight, cutting off Discord.

Discord flashed forward, appearing next to Twilight’s shoulder. “Are… are you crying, Twilight Sparkle?”

“Sixty-three years,” said Twilight between sobs. “You couldn’t have come back four days earlier, Discord?”

“Sixty-three years, four days, what difference does it make?”

Twilight paused, her eyes on the floor, tears flowing freely now.

‘Oh, come now,” said Discord worriedly. “Tears are… bad?” How in Tartarus do you get somepony to stop crying?

“Fl-Fluttershy passed away, Discord.”

Discord froze.

“In her sleep,” continued Twilight, “she was getting sicker and sicker and…” Her voice trailed off.

“I don’t understand.” Discord blinked. “Passed away? Passed what?”

Twilight glanced at him questioningly, fresh tracks trailing down from her eyes.

Discord looked pensive, one claw stroking at his beard. “Passed into another home? That’s hardly a reason to cry, Princess. Or has she surpassed you in something?”

The alicorn stared, her eyes opened wide in shock. “She’s… passed away, Discord. Dead.” Her mouth felt dry as soon as she said it.

Discord scowled. “Dead,” he said, as though saying it for the first time. “Dead. Not alive.” Discord shook his head. “No, I don’t understand. We’re immortal, Twilight Sparkle. You and I and Celestia and Luna. We do not die. The important ponies never die, and Fluttershy is nothing if not important.”

Twilight furrowed her brow. “Discord, do you… do you know what death is?”

“Of course I do!” snapped Discord. “What do you take me for? Death is a choice, the decision to stop functioning and to give up our lives and Fluttershy, of all ponies, would never be willing to choose that!”

“Death isn’t a choice, Discord, not for most ponies. It--”

“Fluttershy is not ‘most ponies,’ Twilight Sparkle,” insisted Discord. “And I’ll prove it!”

“Discord, listen to me!

But Discord did not listen, his talon barely raising as he snapped and Canterlot Castle melted into the outside of Fluttershy’s cottage.

“You’ll see,” said Discord, marching bravely towards the entrance, “if she’s not in Ponyville or visiting Rainbow Dash, then she’s in here.”

“Discord,” said Twilight quietly, “don’t do this.”

The draconequus barged forward, taking a deep breath to call out for Fluttershy. But the name died on his lips. The room was bare, the couch, rug, clock, the chirping, chattering animals, everything that had placed such a warm, caring atmosphere into the room, gone. All that was left was hardwood and white walls.

Discord reeled back. “She’s moved?” he asked. “Without telling me?” He sped across the room, his serpentine body tracing a path over the floor. “Fluttershy?!” he called. “Angel Bunny? You’re not good at jokes, we’ve discussed this!”

Twilight Sparkle walked into the room, glancing around the room, fresh tears threatening to well up in her eyes at the sight.

Discord’s head snapped towards her. “They’re gone, Twilight Sparkle.”

“Discord,” Twilight’s voice was shaky. “It’s been over sixty years. Angel was gone within a decade.”

A toy appeared in Discord’s paws, a perfect plush doll of a pony, without any distinguishing features. “Gone? Just like that?”

Twilight stayed silent.

“You…” Discord paused. “You said that death’s not a choice.”

“It just comes for most ponies.”

The doll disappeared in a flash. “And Fluttershy is most ponies?” asked Discord.

Twilight furrowed her brow. “That’s not what I meant.”

Discord blinked a few times, staring down at the form in his paws. Then he smiled dangerously, drawing himself to his full height. “No, Twilight, that’s entirely right. She was just another pony, part of a set of six. And now she’s gone and the Elements of Harmony are broken.” He laughed, slowly at first, but growing louder and faster with every passing moment. “And now!--And now I’m free!”

Twilight knit her brow together, her mouth slightly open in confusion. “Discord, what are you doing?!”

Discord stretched out a claw and snapped. A strong wind blew around the empty house, surrounding Discord as he laughed and laughed. A moment later, the draconequus was gone.

***

“Now, what shall I do, what shall I do?” Discord practically sang the words, rubbing his paws together thoughtfully, his mismatched eyes taking in the white landscape. A flurry of snow played against a grey sky. A perfectly black canvas to play with as he pleased, far from civilization. He’d be able to stretch a chaotic kingdom out for miles on end. Starting in a town, that was his mistake last time. He’d hardly had any time to consolidate the chaos, to really revel in it, before it was taken from him. But he wouldn’t repeat that mistake.

He pointed off to the side, and a tree erupted out of the ground, dozens of small balloons taking the place of its leaves and lifting the entire tree off of the ground. He pointed again and again, a tree floating up into the sky wherever he pointed.

Discord chuckled to himself. “I think I’ll call them ‘Flypress’ trees. But it’s not enough.” He reached down into the snow, throwing a handful of the powder up into the air, where they expanded into bright pink clouds.

“An oldie, but a goodie,” said Discord happily. His mood made an abrupt shift and he scowled. “More. It needs more! If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that I’m losing my touch.”

Snap.

The falling snow paused in the air, then quickly reversed direction, soon followed upwards by the snow already on the ground.

Snap.

The snow changed color, yellow on the ground, pink where it ros--

Snap.

Each snowflake flashed through the visible spectrum, never staying one color for long before switching to the next.

Snap.

A snowpony, her mane falling over one side of her fa--

Snap.

The snowpony fell apart, remolded into Discord’s likeness.

Snap. Snap. Snap.

Hours passed. Discord surveyed his handiwork with a practiced eye. It was abhorrent, the pristine white of the snow had been distorted into all colors and shapes, cotton candy clouds snowed chocolate ice cream as every other speck of snow rose steadily upwards. His kingdom of chaos, born anew.

Discord waved his lion paw, banishing the snow and the ice and the clouds, leaving only a perfect circle of deep, brown dirt with him as its center.

“What is wrong with me,” Discord growled, flinging his paws up in exasperation. The clouds directly above him turned black. “Am I that out of practice?! I can’t create one measly kingdom?!”

He pointed at a patch of dirt. It exploded upwards, taking the form of a pegasus with an unmistakable outline. Discord stared dumbly at what was little more than a pile of dirt. He growled, his face distorting in rage as he turned away and pointed at another patch. The same shape popped out of the ground.

Then another.

Then another.

Then another.

Discord stood in the middle of a forest of Fluttershy, each likeness carrying the same soft, caring smile that he had seen so many times. Discord stood staring, his eyes unwavering as he gazed at the nearest dirt sculpture.

The likeness was terrifying in a way, an exact replica of Fluttershy, as if she had been cast in plaster. And it came from Discord’s mind. He knew every line, every strand of hair, the way her eyes sparkled, the slight scrunch in her muzzle when she smiled.

“But I don’t,” said Discord quietly. “Not anymore.” He raised a talon over the sculpture and the dirt began to shift. More lines were added, a wrinkles that webbed across her face. The dirt that made up her mane lightened slightly. It wouldn’t be pink anymore, not without a tinge of grey.

But her eyes. Her eyes didn’t change. They were warm, happy, not a trace of fear in them as Fluttershy gazed at Discord, a monster, Chaos incarnate, without fear. But it was a different Fluttershy, an older Fluttershy.

One that Discord could never know.

Something twinged in Discord’s chest, a sudden, stabbing pain.

“Ow.”

It came again.

“OW!”

Discord reeled back, his heart tightening, the stabbing pain now a constant feeling, an ever-present throb that lanced every time his eyes fell onto a statue of a smiling face.

“I-I need rest,” said Discord, choking out the words. His room. Canterlot Castle. He snapped just as the pain in his chest lanced and a perfectly square room, his old room, appeared in the circle of dirt.

“Discord?” cried Twilight’s voice.

Discord clenched his teeth. “It hurts, Twilight Sparkle. I’ve never felt--” another lance of pain “--THIS before.”

The alicorn trotted quickly out of the room, scanning from side to side, her eyes widening and tearing slightly at the sight of the statues. “Discord, what did you do?”

“I DON’T KNOW!” Discord was writhing in pain now.

Twilight appeared at his shoulder. “Take deep breaths.”

Breathing? You think that breathing is going to fix this?!”

“Just do it!”

Discord allowed one eye roll, then worked on controlling his breathing. Little by little, his ragged breaths took a more reasonable pace. The pain in his chest dulled slightly.

Discord blinked. “It helped.”

Twilight offered a small smile.

“What was that, Twilight Sparkle?” asked the draconequus, chewing slightly to get some moisture back into his mouth. “The pain. It was… different.”

“It’s called a broken heart for a reason.”

Discord put a claw to his chest. He looked up, caught a glimpse of the statues, and glanced down again, feeling the return of that strange pain. “I don’t understand. That thing wasn’t there one thousand years ago.”

“What thing?” asked Twilight.

“A heart.”

Twilight looked surprised, but it only lasted for a moment. “Discord,” she said softly, “is this your first loss?”

“I’ve lost plenty of times, Twilight Sparkle. Once to Celestia and Luna, once to you and your friends.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“Oh.” Discord’s eyes wandered over to a statue. “Yes. Yes, I suppose it is. How funny.” They were silent for a moment. Then: “It’s not really funny at all, Twilight Sparkle. It’s actually rather painful.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“She… she was my friend, Twilight Sparkle.” A pressure built up behind Discord’s eyes. “My first friend.”

“Yeah.” Tears had already begun to run down Twilight’s face.

***

Discord lay in his room, magically reattached to Canterlot Castle. He hated this room. At first, he had entertained the thought that Celestia would allow him his own little realm of Chaos. He snorted slightly. Yeah, right. What he got was one of the smallest guest rooms in the castle, a boring, grey affair with plush carpets and soft blankets and not a single piranha in sight. A pathetic excuse for a room.

The draconequus sighed, leaning back into his bed, staring up at the ceiling. A thought struck him, a silly sentiment, but a thought nonetheless. He raised a talon and snapped his fingers. A closet flew open and a small black box floated out.

“You’re actually still here?” asked Discord in mild amusement as he threw the top off of the box. Scrolls, neatly stacked, immaculately kept, sat in the box, exactly where he had left them. The draconequus smiled slightly, reverently taking up a scroll and unfurling it.

Dear Discord,
I hope that you’re feeling better. Twilight is still angry about the Blue Flu incident and how you almost got her and Cadence eaten by a giant flower, but I’ve been talking to her and I think that she’ll be ready to forgive you soon. Maybe within the year!
Ponyville has been very quiet recently. The town was only almost destroyed once in the last week, which is an improvement that I am very thankful for, but Pinkie Pie wants to throw an “Only Almost Destroyed Once and That’s Good for Ponyville” party for the entire town. There will be a lot of ponies there, but I’m going to try to be brave and go, if only so as not to offend Pinkie. I hope that you’ll be able to make it as well! As long as you're not too busy, of course.

Your Friend,
Fluttershy

Discord smiled, reaching back into the box and pulling out letter after letter, one for almost every day that they had kept up their correspondence. He read and read, late into the night and early into the morning until the last scroll had been unfurled, read, and carefully replaced. Then Discord sealed the box and climbed out of his bed, stretching slightly and walking over to the closet.

She sent the last letter.

The thought crossed his mind without warning, a glaring issue that just could not stand. Discord straightened determinedly, walking over to a desk, snapping his talons as a quill, inkwell, and parchment appeared with a slight pop.

The letter began with the same two words as always, the words that still held true after sixty-three years.

Dearest Fluttershy.

Author's Note:

Preread by most of the people in the OctaScratch Skype chat.

Not my usual writing subjects, but the idea wouldn't leave my head. Happy cute OctaScratchy love will be coming soon to make up for this!