• Published 24th Feb 2014
  • 1,721 Views, 10 Comments

The Memories of Former Villains - keaton-furman-prower



Discord struggles to move on following the loss of Fluttershy.

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Two Hundred Years Later

Author's Note:

All right. Let's get this over with.

The truth of the matter is, I don't like this fic. Maybe you will, but I just... have issues with it.

This story gave me a lot of trouble while I was writing it. The first draft wasn't so bad, until I gave it to my proofreader. After a cursory look, he told me that he was troubled by how out-of-character Discord was.

Things went downhill from there.

Try as I might, I just couldn't get him right. I stressed myself out for a long while, trying to figure out how he'd be reacting to the death of Fluttershy. Needless to say, I still am not completely sure. And I don't know if I ever will be.

Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, my proofreader pointed out that pretty much everything Nyx was doing could just as easily be done by Twilight, and I wouldn't attract hate from those who think Nyx is just a whiny Mary Sue.

After that, I pretty much quit in anger and vowed never to touch it again.

Afterwards, my proofreader told me that, even if it was flawed, it at least deserved to receive some sort of recognition. He chastised me for giving up on this fic when it could be so much more.

Yeah. It could be so much more if I was actually capable of writing it.

So, after weeks of wondering what the heck to do with this story, here it is. It's still flawed, I know. So flawed, in fact, that I suspect it has something to do with my current case of writer's block. But I honestly don't know what else to do with it. So enjoy it if you want to, or complain about its lack of quality. Whatever you want.



...I'm just going to walk over to a corner and cry now.

Discord frowned as he looked up towards the rainy sky. He would have been much happier if something more whimsical, such as chocolate milk, cola, lemonade, or fruit punch, fell down instead. Cleaning up the mess was a nightmare for the various sanitary departments across Equestria, however, and so he was usually forbidden from making it happen except on special occasions, or out in the countryside where few ponies would have to worry about having a sugary downpour dropped on their heads.

Figuring that Whitetail Woods was devoid of any ponies who could complain, he snapped his talons, summoning a downpour of root beer. Smiling, he continued riding towards his destination on the back of a gigantic rabbit. As he moved past the trees, he passed a sign labeled “Harmony Memorial,” and reached a clearing. It was mostly empty, save for an elegantly carved sculpture depicting six determined ponies, smiling together with determination in their eyes.

Discord stopped in front of the statue, observing the six ponies silently. In particular, his eyes fell upon the pegasus standing to the right. Her mane flowing softly over her body, her eyes still sweet even with their fierce protectiveness, and the butterfly-marked necklace she carried all brought forth many memories.

“Thanks for the lift,” he said to the rabbit. Then, with a snap of his talons, the rabbit shrunk back down to its original size. As it found itself restored to its rightful state, it began to shriek angrily at him. He, however, paid it no heed, and simply walked towards the statue.

“Hello, girls, I hope I wasn’t too late!”

With a snap of Discord’s talon, a table appeared between him and the statue. He then pulled a rolled-up tablecloth out of a nearby cloud and spread it out, revealing seven sets of cups, plates, napkins, and silverware, along with a yellow birthday cake, complete with fully-lit candles. He then snapped his claws one more time, summoning an umbrella over the whole area, with the exception of seven strategically-placed holes which slowly filled the cups with root beer.

“Happy birthday, dear Fluttershy!” Discord said as he cut several sliced from the cake. He then placed a slice on each of the seven plates. He then took his own slice and began to munch on it quite happily.

“You know, we really ought to do this more often,” said Discord. “I mean, we are friends, aren’t we? And friends always like to do things together to have fun! So why do we not do this more often?”

There was no reply. A flock of pigs flew through the clouds.

“Okay, so maybe you don’t want to?” said Discord. “Fair enough. But you could at least try to write to me every once in a while! As your friend, I ought to be allowed to know what’s happening in your life, don’t you think?!”

Once again, Discord was met with silence. A large number of monkeys in a nearby tree threw away their typewriters in rage as they realized they’d gotten a single letter of their new Shakesprancian play wrong.

“What? Are you just going to stand there and ignore me? After all we’ve been through?! You are a terrible friend! I never want to speak to you again! Stop ignoring me! Say something! Anything!”

Discord stared at the statue in rage, waiting for it to respond in some way. As the minutes passed, however, there was no sound except for the tiny splashes of the insect Olympic swimming tournament in the puddles of root beer. The lord of chaos ignored them, however, focusing instead on the plaque that had been installed below the statue of his favorite pegasus.

Fluttershy, a pegasus from Cloudsdale. Her shy and quiet exterior hid the heart of a true hero, one who would stare down a dragon in order to protect her friends. A kind and forgiving soul, Fluttershy would always do the best to help ponies, animals, and any other creature she would encounter. Best known for successfully reforming the chaotic Discord, her achievements shall be remembered for eternity.

Fluttershy. The first true friend Discord had ever had. Back when they’d first met, so many years ago, the very idea of friendship had been a strange and inexplicable concept for him. However, once Fluttershy had the chance to show him its true meaning, he made the choice to use his powers for the benefit of ponykind, even if he’d occasionally make a few messes.

Maybe more than a few messes. And he’d probably given several ponies really badly interpretations of things they never intended to ask for. And that wasn’t even considering the time he’d made Celestia’s birthday cake try to eat her. But overall, he’s been quite saintly, in his opinion. All thanks to Fluttershy.

It had been two centuries since she had died, and Discord had done his best to move on. He had found new ways to entertain himself, made friends with other ponies, and led a relatively normal, if long and chaotic, life. However, every year, on Fluttershy’s birthday, he would travel to the harmony memorial and remember his friend.

He always made an effort to make these the happiest days of all. He would set up all his party items and foods, create all the best sorts of chaos, and try to create a happy place. For the most part, it was just like he’d do with any other sort of party.

However, this party had no one but himself. Although he was accompanied by the six ponies of the Harmony Memorial, they were merely statues, shadows of the ponies they represented incapable of talking back to him. And he could never get used to the silence.

As Discord sat in place, remembering his deceased friend, the surrounding chaos began to fade away. The pigs turned back into birds, the monkeys stopped trying to create paradoxes, the flies flew out of the root beer puddles, and the table and its contents dissolved into clouds. Finally, the root beer rain faded away, replaced by normal water rain.

The rain splashed against his coat, soaking him from head to hoof. He barely even noticed, however, his mind too focused on Fluttershy. He didn’t want to admit how much he missed her. Indeed, he’d spent the last two centuries trying his best to hide his sadness, even from himself. But deep within his heart, he knew he was unhappy.

“Discord? Is that you?”

Shocked at the mention of his name, the pensative draconequus turned around. Standing before him was an alicorn, her coat as back as night and her mane a royal purple color. Her body was covered in dark purple armor, and her crown was adorned with a jewel shaped like a blue shield, which matched her cutie mark perfectly. Her most striking feature, however, was the shape of her eyes: blue dragon-like slits.

“Hello, Nyx.”

“What’s wrong?” she asked, a hint of concern in her voice. “One moment I’m watching a root beer downpour near the Harmony Memorial, the next all the chaos suddenly vanishes for no reason. And now you’re just sitting here in the rain. That’s not like you at all.”

“Who says I need to be chaotic all the time?” asked Discord, hiding his sorrow behind his usual snarkiness. “Deviating from your usual methods usually doesn’t make sense, but you know how little I like making sense.”

Nyx couldn’t help but chuckle as she walked up to him. She then sat down next to him, laying her eyes on the statue before them as she cast a spell to shield them from the pouring rain. Thus they sat in silence for a few minutes.

“So,” she said. “Are you going to tell me what's wrong?”

“No.”

Having long since grown accustomed to Discord's stubbornness, the dark princess shrugged in resignation. Seeking an alternate means of finding out, she turned back towards the statue.

“I like this statue,” she said, trying to sound somewhat content. “How about you?”

“It's fine, I suppose,” said Discord, doing his best to sound apathetic. “It has so many- well, I guess it has plenty of memories.”

“Yes,” said Nyx. “My mother and her friends could do anything. They defeated so many enemies, like the changelings, King Sombra, and, well, us.”

Reminded of how he had been defeated by something as simple as friendship, Discord couldn't help but chuckle.

“Even after all these years, it's quite amazing that they were able to turn the two of us into forces of good,” he said, somewhat less indifferent than before. “I never stopped being amazed at what Fluttershy was willing to do. She was so amazing... and so very kind.”

As the memories of his long-lost friend flooded his mind, Discord closed his eyes, struggling not to let any tears escape his cheeks. This did not go unnoticed by Nyx.

“Is this what this is about?” she asked. “Fluttershy?”

Discord mentally smacked himself. He hadn’t even been thinking about it, but in that one moment, he had mentioned her name.

“So what if it is?” he asked, still trying to mask his pain. “Do you honestly think I cared for her?”

“If you didn't, you would still be locked up in the royal garden,” said Nyx.

“Oh really?” said Discord. “How do you know I wasn’t just tricking her and everypony else into trusting me so I could later unleash my chaos upon all of Equestria?”

“You probably would have done that a long time ago,” said Nyx. “Like, oh, I don’t know, right when the mortal element bearers died?”

Discord bit his lip. The black alicorn was seeing right through him.

“Well, it wouldn’t have been any fun,” Discord said nervously. “I mean, everypony would have been too busy mourning the loss of those pathetic little ponies.”

“You think the element bearers were pathetic?” asked Nyx.

“Why of course they were!” said Discord.

“All of them?”

“Yes… all of them!”

“Even Fluttershy?”

“Well of course Fluttershy was…”

Discord tried to finish his sentence, but he could not bring himself to do so. He couldn’t bring himself to distance himself as much from the timid pegasus as he possibly could, to never have to feel anything for her at all. He wanted her to still be alive. He wanted to talk to her, rather than some old statue of her. He wanted to be able to celebrate every one of her birthdays with her.

And, perhaps, spend some of his time with the other element bearers.

“Fluttershy was... my best friend,” Discord said finally. “Why else would I throw a party for her?”

“Yes, I can tell,” said Nyx. “Of course, I must say that I admire the fact that you chose to remain good when you could have easily gone back to being wicked once she was no longer there to keep an eye on you.”

“Confound you ponies!” yelled Discord. “I could have taken over once she and the others died! After all, there would no longer be any elements to stop me! But I… I just couldn’t bring myself to.”

Nyx looked at him with interest. “From what I've heard, the old lord of chaos would never have said such a thing.”

“I know,” said Discord, frustration evident in his voice. “A long time ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of respecting the wishes of anypony, let alone a deceased one. And yet, here I find myself unwilling to take over all of Equestria... simply because of the wishes of one pony long gone.”

Nyx couldn't help but chuckle.

“Say it.”

Discord rolled his eyes and sighed.

“Friendship is magic.”

Nyx laughed in amusement.

“Indeed it is. Even when the ponies we held dear are long gone, it still holds power over us all.”

“I guess so,” Discord said with a sigh. “So, tell me, Nyx, does the magic of friendship keep you good too?”

“Not just friendship,” said Nyx. “I keep being a good pony because I couldn't live with myself if I knew I'd done something that would hurt Twilight.

“Indeed,” said Discord. “But tell me, what if Twilight weren't alive anymore? Would you still be as good as you are now?”

Nyx's gaze shifted towards the statue, as she observed the pony in the center.

“Back when I was turned into Nightmare Moon, I could easily have become the tyrant that was spoken of in legends. Obviously, I did not.”

“That was because Twilight stopped you,” said Discord.

“Not entirely,” said Nyx. “Even before anypony could get to me, there was something very different about me. Celestia first noticed it when I chose not to murder her guards, settling for knocking them out. Then, when my mother, and later my friends, risked their lives to reach me, I chose to have them imprisoned even when Spell Nexus argued that they should be executed.”

“For a time, I fiercely denied having any good in my heart. Over time, however, I began to realize that I not satisfied with the life I was living. I felt unhappy whenever I remembered how much ponies feared me, and I longed to simply be the filly I had been before. It was not easy, but I was eventually able to free myself, Spell Nexus, and all the other ponies that had been hurt by my actions. After that, life eventually managed to return to normal.”

As the dark princess finished her explanation, Discord stared at her in understanding. After a short moment of silence, he began to speak.

“So, you’re good… because you simply can’t be evil?”

“Yes, I think that just about sums it up,” answered Nyx.

Discord looked away, pondering his own past.

“Could it be possible that I, Discord, lord of chaos, can’t be evil either?”

“You are kind of a jerk,” said Nyx.

“But I’m not evil!” said Discord. “If I was I would… disappoint Fluttershy.”

He chuckled lightly, pondering the implications of what he was saying. He then thought back to when he had first met Fluttershy, back when he had been evil. She alone out of the element bearers had resisted his mind games, insisting that she didn't mind being thought of as was weak and helpless as that was truly how she was.

“Oh, Fluttershy. You are more amazing than you ever could have known.”

As he said this, his mind was flooded with memories of the butter-yellow pegasus. Every moment they had spent together came to him at once, filling his heart with sadness.

Discord could not take it anymore. He collapsed and began to sob. “Oh Fluttershy...”

As Nyx watched Discord, she shed a single tear of her own. She then stretched out her wing and draped it over the grief-stricken draconequus.

“Friendship is so marvelous,” she said. “And yet it can be so very painful at the same time.”

“I never would have imagined I'd ever come to care so deeply for anypony,” Discord said as the tears kept flowing down his cheeks. “And yet... I feel so empty without her.”

“I know,” said Nyx. “But you're not alone.”

As the black alicorn said this she moved closer to her fellow immortal, comforting him as best she could. He in turn slowly calmed down, although the flow of tears did not slow down.

“You... you and your family have lost many ponies too, haven't you?”

“Indeed we have,” said Nyx. “My foalhood friends, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Twist, all grew old and died. So did many other ponies who I loved and cared for. Then there's Spike, who had many friends of his own, and, of course, his beloved Rarity. He lost them all as well, and he has to deal with the pain ever day as well.”

Nyx turned her gaze towards the statue, pondering it for a moment before continuing.

“And, of course, there's my mother. For her, this statue is a reminder of her friends and the trust and love they held for each other. She visits it at least once every year to keep their memory alive. But no matter how many years pass, it is never any less painful for her.”

“I guess you’re right,” said Discord. “I know that I should accept that Fluttershy is dead and move on. It’s just… I’ve always been afraid of facing it.”

“I know how you feel,” said Nyx. “When my friends were on their deathbeds, I became terrified by the prospect of their death, and tried to find some way of delaying or reversing the inevitable. Even though it was a futile endeavor, my friends would comfort me, telling me that this was the way it should be, and there was nothing I needed to do.”

The dark princess paused for a moment to dab at her eyes with her free wing.

“After they died, I was heartbroken. I felt so lost without my friends that, for a while, I wondered how I’d be able to continue without them. But I knew I couldn’t give up. As a princess and leader of the royal guard, I must set an example for my subjects and for the soldiers who follow me.”

As Nyx finished talking, Discord considered what she had just said.

“I see,” said Discord. “So you managed to accept your loss and move on… all by yourself?”

“Of course not,” said Nyx. “I’ve always been with Spike, the princesses, and of course, my mother. They always were and will be there to support me, just as I will always be here to support you.

Discord’s eyes went wide in shock as he heard this.

“You… wish to support me?

“Of course I do,” said Nyx. “And remember, Discord, no matter how many years pass, you will never be alone. You have a family now.”

Family. The meaning of the word was something that had once been almost as foreign to Discord as friendship. Now, however, he understood. Nyx and the other alicorns, as well as her dragon brother, were all beings who had lived for hundreds of years, and they had all suffered the inevitable losses which came with living among mortals. But more importantly, they understood that pain, and were always there to love and help each other.

As his eyes welled up with tears of joy, Discord stood up and wrapped his arms around Nyx.

Though briefly shocked by her friend's sudden action, the black alicorn smiled, happy that she could have helped him bear his burden.

“Thank you, Nyx. I don't know what I'd do without you.”

“It was nothing special,” she replied. “I was simply doing the right thing.”

“But you've still helped me,” said Discord. “And for that I am grateful.”

And with that, the newly-invigorated draconequus let her go and vanished in a flash of light.

For a few moments, Nyx simply stared at the area where he had been. After her shock subsided, however, she realized that the rain had stopped, and the sun was now beginning to shine once more. Even more surprisingly, she noticed that, despite the recent downpour, the entire area was completely dry.

Smiling to herself, she opened her wings and began to fly away.

“You're welcome.”

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Comments ( 10 )

my feels hurt. i liked this story, i think you did well on it.
i have a headcanon that they could visit them in the dream realm or create a spell that lets them see them.

ya not this isn't liquid pride man these are tears :fluttercry: screw discord "not being in his character" so you really think that he would not be saddened by fluttershy's death; because I think that he would be broken by it. But man that was a pretty good short story to follow up on the last one :pinkiesad2:

I don't feel that Twilight could play the role that Nyx does here, nor do I feel that Nyx is exactly an OC... she's a variant of Nightmare Moon, so more of an AU canon character than an OC. And Twilight has no past history of being a bad guy, so whoever told you that she could play the same role as Nyx does here is just plain wrong.

Discord is a hard character to get a handle on when he's being serious, because in canon he almost never is. But canonically, he wanted friendship badly enough to more or less give up being openly a bad guy despite the fact that he plainly doesn't think creating chaos or disrupting ponies' lives is wrong, to the point where when an opportunity to get rid of Celestia, Luna, and the artifacts of the Elements of Harmony was handed to him gift-wrapped by an old plot of his coming to fruition at an unexpected time, not only did he not take the opportunity, but he actually acted to help Twilight defeat his own plan. He's an ass and probably always will be, but he's an ass who has sufficiently strong feelings toward his friends that he gave up his entire way of life (mostly). So I think it is perfectly reasonable to imagine that he would still mourn Fluttershy even two hundred years after her death, and that he would sometimes be downright childish about it (ie, yelling at the statue and telling her she is a terrible friend for not responding to him... it's a joke, but there's genuine anger there that she went and died on him, which is a fairly childish reaction.)

This is a good story. Don't sweat it.

Well, this is not a bad story by any means, but it does have room for improvement.

I have to agree with your proofreader when he says that Discord is out of character. The biggest issue being that Discord barely attempts conceal his emotions from Nyx.

Discord's response to Nyx's revelation is also odd. I was frankly disappointed that Discord did not pull Nyx into an awkward bear hug and summon an impromptu celebration of their undying love. A celebration that Nyx would immediately wish to escape.

I was also surprised that Discord did not animate the statue in any way. I figured he would at least give the main six the ability to talk and grant them personalities based on his understanding of them. Nyx would then comment on how inaccurate their personalities are.

Lastly, I felt Nyx was also slightly out of character. In Past Sins, Nyx makes it quite clear that she hates the idea of being royalty. I highly doubt that she would ever want to wear a crown or be addressed as "Princess". Even if she was technically a crowned princess, I should think Nyx would be much more comfortable wearing golden armor and be addressed as "Commander of the Royal Guard."

In any case, thank you for posting this story. I really wish people would write more Nyx stories.
fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/349/d/7/clapping_pony_icon___nyx_by_comeha-d6y1o60.gif


--InversionZone

this is a good story. you did a very good job writing it. i mean yes they both seems a little off near the end.
but this story have fare more good in it than bad so ......

3995138 Thank you sir. You just perfectly summed up everything I hate about this story.

Maybe a second sequel looking at Spike and how he's moved on without Rarity?

3995138
>

Nyx makes it quite clear that she hates the idea of being royalty. I highly doubt that she would ever want to wear a crown or be addressed as "Princess". Even if she was technically a crowned princess, I should think Nyx would be much more comfortable wearing golden armor and be addressed as "Commander of the Royal Guard."

Complete agreement. I enjoyed the story but cringed when Nyx referred to her " subjects". I can't imagine Nyx calling anyone her subject. Her fellow soldiers yes ( and it is thanks to you,Keaton, that in my headcannon Nyx goes on to command the royal guard)

But subjects? no. Most especially given how closely the phrase " My beloved subjects:" is associated with NM.

This is beautiful. I have to say, I can understand the trouble you had with Discord, he's hard to write since he's so unpredictable, he usually does whatever he damn well pleases, to a degree, and he is rarely if ever serious, so kudos to making him actually feel serious. This was seriously beautiful, I haven't read Past Sins, but this is still beautiful.

You should give yourself more credit for this story. It's beautiful.

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