• Published 27th May 2014
  • 10,938 Views, 290 Comments

Nuzzle - taterforlife

Six oneshots on the lives of Discord and Fluttershy, as they slowly become closer and develop feelings for one another, all while spending time with their wonderful friends.

  • ...


Cucumber sandwiches. Even after all that happened, he was still good at making cucumber sandwiches.

Discord was rather surprised, really. It had only been a week and a half since…since Discord’s moment of misjudgment with Tirek. Besides the library being blown to smithereens and transforming into Twilight’s well-deserved castle, most things in Ponyville and the rest of Equestria had turned back to normal. Unicorns practiced magic, the Pegasi continued roaming the sky, and Earth ponies still proved themselves valuable on the land with their strength. It was as if nothing had changed.

Except Discord. He definitely changed.

He hadn’t expected to be forgiven so quickly. He especially hadn’t expected an invitation to a picnic with the Elements of Harmony today during the sunny afternoon. Not so long ago, after Discord had realized his mistake and was imprisoned by Tirek’s power, he had expected forgiveness and friendship to be the last things he would gain after betraying the ponies—his friends.

And yet, ten days later, there he was, arriving at the fence around Fluttershy’s quaint little cottage with a platter of sandwiches in his grip.

When Twilight Sparkle had invited Discord to the picnic yesterday after they bumped into each other on the road, he had asked Fluttershy if he could meet up with her before going. As much as Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Apple Jack, and Rarity insisted that they were all now friends, Discord still wanted Fluttershy by his side for when they arrived. In a way, he hated how he relied on her for comfort; but then again, it was nice to have such a thing in the first place.

And it’s not like she had to know that she comforted him, either. All he simply said was that it would be nice to walk there with her and chat. And of course, Fluttershy, being the kind pony she was, thought it was a splendid idea.

Yes. Splendid indeed…

He paused, and knocked on the door. He could have teleported himself inside the house, but that was from before. Now, after his second and truly sincere reformation, he respected Fluttershy and her privacy.

Of course, Fluttershy didn’t need to know he respected her either. Draconequuis weren’t supposed to be so…good like that.

But then again, Discord was the only Draconequus on the planet, so that didn’t really mean anything.

“Just a moment!” he heard Fluttershy’s soft, sugar-sweet voice call out. Soon the knob squeaked from being opened on the other side, and there was Fluttershy, her saddle pack strapped to her back with Angel Bunny on top. The bunny eyed Discord with a hint of dislike. Who knew a bunny would be harder to please and befriend than Rainbow Dash?

“Oh, hello Discord!” Fluttershy said, with an adorable smile on her face and her aqua eyes aglow with delight. She took a few hoofsteps back and opened the door wider for him. “Please come in! I’m still getting a few things ready. I hope you don’t mind waiting…? Of course, you can go ahead though, if you want…”

“Dear Fluttershy,” Discord said, returning the smile and accepting the invitation inside. “I have no need to rush.”

“Thank you,” she said, and then eyed the plate. “Ooh, are those…?”

“That they are!” he said, showing her the plate. “My famous cucumber sandwiches, just as you like them. Your friends will finally have the golden opportunity to experience my culinary expertise, lucky them,” he said, and a chef’s apron and hat suddenly appeared on himself. Most ponies would have had a fright at Discord’s neverending tricks of magic, but Fluttershy was far too used to her friend to even bat an eyelash.

“Oh, yes,” Fluttershy said. “I’m sure they’ll all just love them. Maybe even you and Applejack can discuss food. She loves to cook, too.”

“Ah, well, perhaps, Fluttershy. But do go on dear, and get your things ready. I’ll even watch Precious here, if you so desire,” he said, eying Angel Bunny with a toothy grin.

“Oh, you mean Angel? Well then, that would be lovely! I can’t let him anywhere near the food yet, or else he’ll just eat it all himself when I’m not looking. Won’t you, Angel?” she said to the snow-white rabbit, with an adoring croon to her voice.

Despite his squeaks and squabbles, she left him in the living room with Discord while she gathered her things.

Angel wasn’t having it though. He ‘hmmphed!’ at Discord, and gave him what Discord assumed was the bunny version of the stinkeye.

“Oh, I’m so frightened, little bunny. For what could I ever do against you, you’re so fierce,” he said, crossing his arms and returning the look. “I could easily have you at my mercy in a second, little thing. But luckily for you, I’m not going to! This time, I truly am reformed. So you should really get over your little distaste for me, little furball. I’m not going anywhere.”

Angel began to talk in his rabbit language, and like Fluttershy, Discord understood animal speech. When one lives thousands of years, you learn such things. A few squeaks and sniffles, and Discord replied with a sigh.

“Yes, yes, you have all the reason in the world not to trust me,” he said, and despite the rabbit’s protests, Discord placed his paw and claw around Angel’s little torso and brought him up to his yellow and red mismatched eyes. “But I can assure you one thing, you fuzzy little squirrel…”

Angel grumbled. Discord knew perfectly well that he was not a squirrel…

“I will not betray Fluttershy ever again.”

“You won’t what?”

Opening the door with her rump, Fluttershy came out of the kitchen with a pitcher on her back, on top of her pack.

Before Angel could let out a sound, Discord spoke for both of them. “Oh, nothing important, Flutters,” he said, covering Angel’s mouth. “We were just…bonding, you know. Mere chit-chat.”

“Oh, well I’m glad you two are getting along! There’s nothing better than friends who get along and can be friends themselves.”

Discord nodded. “I agree wholeheartedly,” he added, though Angel still struggled against the draconequus’ grip. “Now, would you like me to carry that pitcher for you, my dear?”

“If you wouldn’t mind…” Fluttershy said, before the pitcher suddenly vanished from thin air and reappeared in Discord’s claw.

“Not in the slightest, my dear,” he said, and put Angel down and back on Fluttershy’s back. Well, it was more like he dropped Angel down, but only from a short distance. Discord wasn’t the best with animals, but he wasn’t the worst, either.

Angel huffed and crossed his forelegs. He wasn’t going to get his way today.

“Now, shall we go?”

“Oh, Fluttershy, before we meet up with our other pony pals, I would like a moment with you.”

Fluttershy looked up at her mismatched companion, the sunlight beaming off his one sharp fang. Before, such a carnivorous canine tooth would have scared her off like a filly, but now it was nothing more but a part of Discord’s unique appearance.

“Um…” A confused look came upon her face. “I don’t mean to sound smart, but…haven’t we been having a moment? It’s only been you and me so far.”

Discord chuckled. “I guess that’s true, but the park is not a long way from now, and I want to give you something since it is just the two of us. Wouldn’t want our little friends to feel left out since they didn’t get a present, would we?”

“A present? You…got me a present?”

“Well, not really got…”

“But it’s a present…for me?”

“Of course, a present for you!” he insisted, looking more closely at the mare. “Why the incredulous voice? Is it so odd of me to want to give you a present?”

“No! No no no, that’s not what I’m saying,” Fluttershy said quickly. She didn’t want to offend him; she didn’t like offending anypony. “It’s just…well, why? It’s not a holiday…”

A hearth magically appeared around Discord’s neck, with ornaments hanging on his ears, to represent Hearth’s Warming Day.

“And it’s not my birthday…”

The hearth and ornaments were replaced with a birthday hat and a sudden shower of confetti.

“So why a present…for me?”

Discord smiled, and the birthday paraphernalia disappeared. A large rock big enough for the two of them sat by the road on purpose, to act as a makeshift bench. He sat himself down and patted the empty space next to him for her to sit, and she obliged.

He folded his paw and claw together and waited for his companion to make herself comfortable. Once she did, he wasted no time and started to speak.

“Tell me, Fluttershy…Who reformed me?”

Fluttershy put a hoof to her lips in thought. “Well…A number of ponies did, I suppose—“

“Ah ah ah!” he said, placing a claw against her lips. “I’m only looking for the name of one pony, Fluttershy, and while I know many have played their part in my reformation thus far, I ask you again—who reformed me? Whom did Celestia leave to show me the magic of friendship, despite everypony’s—including my own--reservations?”

“Well…” She looked down at the rock, a slight blush on her face. “Me, I guess.”

“Yes, you,” he said, and Angel Bunny, who had sat atop Fluttershy’s head the whole time, rolled his eyes as if saying “Get to the point, already.”

Discord, of course, disregarded the rabbit’s attitude. “You are the one who originally reformed me. You were my first friend, in all my thousands of years on the planet. And while I was perfectly fine living my exciting life on my own…”

“Discord…” Fluttershy interrupted. “I don’t think you were perfectly fine. I think you were—“

“And while I was somewhat fine living my exciting life on my own,” Discord started again before Fluttershy could finish, “I will admit…Your friendship was something I unexpectedly wanted. I was just as surprised as you were when I found that I did not like you walking away from me on the ice all those months ago, when you told me not to call you a ‘friend’ anymore. I never thought I would have cared enough to actually get rid of the ice and return Applejack’s farm and those pesky beavers back to normal, just to return to your good graces.”

Discord found himself unable to look Fluttershy in the eye while saying this. He never really told her in exact words how much her friendship meant to him, and it was…

Well, embarrassing, to say the least.

But he turned back to meet her eyes when the corner of his own eyes saw her smile. “It was a wonderful surprise though,” she said, bringing her hoof down against his paw on his lap. “I hadn’t thought all my kindness had worked, but it did, and I’m so glad we’re friends.”

“As am I, Fluttershy, though I admit, I still do not think I deserve such a thing as precious as your friendship.”


“But, you are too kind and merciful to punish me in such a way,” he interrupted yet again. “I know that now.” His paw gently held her hoof.

They smiled at each other, and Angel Bunny put his face to one of his paws. How cheesy were these two?!? If they were such good friends, why didn’t they just run off and get married already?

Discord found himself staring at her too much, and cleared his throat. “Anywho,” he said, quickly letting go of her hoof (Was that a look of disappointment in her eyes?), “what I’m trying to say is because I have so much to thank you for, one little present isn’t that big of a deal…It’s just a small token of my…extreme appreciation for your services toward my well-being.”

Fluttershy giggled, a small melody of mirth that pleased Discord’s ears whenever he heard them. “A thank you is enough, Discord.”

“Well, it’s too late for that now,” he said, crossing his arms. “And by the way…I couldn’t help but notice, my dear…When I presented Princess Celestia with those flowers after the Tirek incident, you seemed a bit off for a mere moment,” he said, a gleam in his eye.

He was still such a teaser, even after everything.

“O-Oh!” she squeaked, and her blush returned. “D-Did I s-seem that way to you?” She started rubbing the side of her right foreleg with her left one, a nervous tendency of hers that Discord was more than aware of. It was too cute, but he couldn’t stop and stare now.

“Well, maybe you were still having problems after Tirek took your energy. It could have been a side effect. Or perhaps you just looked sad from the lighting in the castle,” he explained, enjoying the look of nervousness on her face as he continued to talk.

You are just too adorable not to tease, my dear, he thought with an ever-widening smile.

“Or—and this is the theory I’m most fond of—you were upset because you wanted flowers too?”

She brought her eyes back to him, and she swallowed down a gulp.



“You…?” he said.

“I…” Her voice got lower and lower, till it was only a small little squeak.

“…I like flowers too…”

Discord laughed. Not an evil or condescending one, but one of happiness and friendliness. He half-hugged Fluttershy with his scaly, birdlike arm in comfort, still laughing.

“Oh my dear, I know you do!” he said. “You are just too easy to tease, little Fluttershy!”

This did her no comfort, and her voice rose back to normal level. “Oh, I’m sorry, Discord! You didn’t get me a present because you saw me jealous, did you?”

He stopped laughing to look at her. Angel Bunny, who had hopped off Fluttershy earlier to nibble on a dandelion, continued to glare at Discord. Whiskers twitching, His face said something like “He had better not mess this up!”

“I didn’t mean to act so selfishly…” she continued. “I just—well, I—“

“Whoa, whoa, Fluttershy! I did not sit down with you to make you feel so guilty, my dear!” he said, taking her by the shoulders. “As I said, I’m only teasing. And besides, what’s so wrong with thinking of yourself every now and then? I mean, look at who you’re talking to! I’m the epitome of selfishness. I mean, really! Celestia forbid you ever think of yourself instead of every other living creature one the planet every once in a while! Why, you should get jealous more often, in fact. Yes, I would like to see that.”

Fluttershy sniffled. “So…why bring it up?” she asked. “Why does it matter that I was…jealous…of Celestia? And please, please don’t tell her…!”

“Not to worry, darling,” he said. He held out his paw and a small box poofed onto his palm. “I wouldn’t dream of telling her. And I only bring it up because you were right.”

“Right? About what?”

“You deserve something too! Something even better than flowers!” he said. He handed her the box. “Here! And just so you know, I only teleported the gift from my dwelling in the forest, just now. I actually made it by hand.”

Her mouth dropped to a small, delicate ‘o’. “You made it?”

Despite trying his best to be a good friend, he couldn’t help but sigh. What was with all the incredulity here? “Yes, I did. I believe handmade things are believed to show more appreciation than the store-bought bauble, hmm?”

But Fluttershy had opened the box and let out a small gasp. “It’s so…cute!”

Inside was a small hairclip. The clip itself was a pale golden color, and glued to it was a large felt flower with bright baby-blue petals.

“It’s nothing much,” he said, suddenly rubbing the back of his head with his paw. Why was he doing that? “But I thought such a thing would suit you. And not only is it a flower like you wanted, but…it looks like the flower the Breezies gave you. I know how hard it was for you to let that gift go.”

It had been hard. As simple as it was, Fluttershy had loved that flower. She had pressed it in a book so it would last forever, and had been planning on framing it before she had to use it to make a key.

“Do you like it?”

He didn’t want her to know just how badly he wanted her to like it. Even Angel Bunny was intrigued, and watched Fluttershy for a reaction.

“You made this yourself?” she asked once again, her eyes lingering a few seconds more on the clip before bringing her gaze back up to meet his.

“Oh yes,” he said, and examined his paw. “The dried hot glue took hours to get out of my paw. Even ripped some of the fur out,” he said, showing her a damaged spot of his paw. But before she could freak out about it and ask him if he needed assistance with it (which he could tell from her face she was just about to do) he assured her that he was fine. “Nothing I can’t handle, dear. It hardly even hurt. It was just hard to clean out, is all. But don’t avoid the question…”

He asked her again. “Do you like it?”

“Like it?”

A pause.

Discord wasn’t sure if that meant she didn’t, or a common cliché was about to unravel before his very eyes. Either way…

“I love it!”

Yup, cliché, he thought with a small smile.

But he let that slide as she jumped against him and wrapped her forelegs around him in a hug. He was not only accustomed to her hugs by now, but he welcomed them with open arms. He enjoyed her hugs immensely, to a degree to which he was not willing to admit.

“Oh, thank you thank you thank you!” she said again and again. “It’s so thoughtful!”

And then it happened.

She brought her face to his.

Cheek to cheek.

And rubbed her face against him.


Rub rub rub.

His face grew hot. Didn’t she realize how close her face was to his? Why, any closer to her lips and he could—

Rub rub rub.

It felt nice, though.

He could feel her fur against him, and he wondered how it looked, whatever they were doing, on a giant rock right next to the sidewalk.

Rubby rub rub, rubbity rub.

And then it ended far too quickly, and Discord looked away before she could see the red on his face.

“I’m going to wear it right now!” she said, her face flushed with happiness. Taking a hoof, she clicked it on, right above her left ear.

“How…does it look, Discord?” she asked him rather shyly. Once he composed himself, he allowed his eyes to gaze upon her pink tresses.

Of course, he thought she looked…

“Lovely,” he said, smiling again and allowing himself to stroke her once in the mane. “Just as I thought it would! Now, isn’t this better than a couple of wilting flowers?”

She laughed. “It is!” She looked back up at him. “Really and truly, Discord. Thank you.”

“Happy to do it. Now, shall we get going?”

But what had that face rubbing meant? Why had she done that?

She had never done that before, he thought, touching his face every time Fluttershy wasn’t talking with him or looking his direction. He stared at her as she happily trotted in front of him, Angel hopping alongside her. We have embraced before, in a hug, yes. But what was she doing with her face? What did it mean?

I just don’t understand. At my age, I’m quite familiar with pony culture…

“We’re almost there, Discord. We use this spot for a picnic every time we have one,” Fluttershy explained sweetly. “Isn’t that right, Angel Bunny?”

Though Fluttershy was one of the few ponies Discord could ever get himself to give his full attention to, he was far too preoccupied in his thoughts to listen to her. He didn’t even process the fact that she was talking. If Fluttershy hadn’t been leading the path, he probably would have run into a tree of some sort.

I’m quite educated on most pony rituals and holidays, after years and years of chaos and just mere observance…

“Angel, no. No, Angel. Please don’t eat that, you’ll get full before you even have your picnic lunch. We don’t want you to get a tummy ache…”

Her words were ignored again, along with Angel’s grumbling and squeaking at Fluttershy’s wise yet joy-killing words.

Have I seen ponies do that before, rubbing their faces on one another? I feel like I have…It’s usually during a happy occasion. But I never really thought about what it meant...


It was obviously another way of her thanking me for the clip, but the hug would have sufficed. So why? Why would she do that, and why to me?


Ugh, I hate not knowing the answer to these things! I am Discord, Lord of Chaos! Why am I letting such a—


The wind was, quite literally, knocked out of him as a rainbow seemed to crash right into his stomach, and he fell over.

“Wha-Umph!” he yelled, struggling to breath as his gut was kicked by powerful hooves

“R-Rainbow Dash!” Fluttershy called out.

Sure enough, Discord found himself on his back with the little sky blue Pegasus on top of him, her rainbow mane a nice contrast to the sky above. “Get your head out of the gutter, Discord!” Rainbow said, her face coming up to his. “Couldn’t you see that Fluttershy was talking to you?”

“Ah, Miss Rainbow…” He coughed, still trying to get his windpipe back in order. “How nice to bump into you, as always.”

“Oh ha ha,” she said, jumping off him and fluttering her wings, now adrift with the current. “Whatever, Dissy.”

“I do not like that name.”

“Don’t like what name?” Pinkie Pie said, bouncing in on cue to join in on whatever was happening, which Pinkie always assumed was fun.

“Dissy,” Discord said with distaste. “It makes me sound like some pedigree poodle.”

He turned himself into a gray poodle for emphasis, though his head remained the same. It was a rather comical picture, to which Pinkie giggled. Rainbow Dash just gave Discord a look that said “You’re so weird” and turned around to the other ponies just a few steps away. “Whatever, Discord, just come on over and join us already, huh? Or are you too slow?”

Discord growled. This pony always knew how to grate on his nerves. While Rainbow Dash had told other ponies that the two of them were indeed now friends, their relationship consisted of them mostly duking it out through teases and challenges.

It was all just friendly competition, of course.

“Slow? And just what, my dear, are you implying?”

“Well, you are like, a bazillion years old,” Rainbow said, as Tank the turtle whizzed up to his owner for an affectionate pat on his smooth shell. “Even Tank here could outrace an old geezer like you.”

Fluttershy just shook her head. If that’s the way these two were going to get along…

“OLD GEEZER?!?!?” Discord roared, scaring Tank away to join the other pets under an apple tree nearby the picnic area. “I’ll have you know that though I have lived a long time, little pony, I have the physique of a young stallion! A fire-breathing dragon!”

“Then get your patchwork butt over here so we can eat already!” she shouted back at him, and zipped her way down to the others. “I’m starvin’, already!”

“Patchwork bu—Why, that little…!”

A hoof lightly touched his small shoulder, and he turned to see Fluttershy hovering next to him. “Let’s just go join them, shall we?” she said, giving him a soft smile.

Discord shook his head. “Yes, yes, of course. I can’t let that mare get to me…”

“Don’t worry, Discord!”

The draconequus looked down to see the bright pink pony trotting next to him, a smile of sunshine on her face. He had forgotten that Pinkie Pie was even there. He didn’t mean to, but she was sneaky in her own way, either making herself very easy to spot or just hanging from the sidelines until she could jump in on the action. He rather admired her for that trick.

“She only does it because you’re friends! She makes fun of me too sometimes. Like one time, she said that I eat like a dragon! And I was all ‘but I’m not a dragon’ and she was all ‘well, you eat as much as one’ and then we laughed and ate, like, a DOZEN cupcakes! EACH!” She hopped at the end for emphasis, as if eating that many cupcakes was earth-shattering news. “And that’s a lot of cupcakes!”

Discord shared a look with Fluttershy, and they both chuckled at Pinkie Pie’s antics. Leave it up to her to ease any tension, and all be fine.

Twilight was the first at the picnic blanket to give them a greeting, with Rarity and Applejack to her left, and Spike to her right. “Hey guys!”

“Hello Twilight!” Fluttershy called back, grabbing her pack and opening the flap. “I brought the salad like I promised, and the lemonade. You still have it, don’t you, Discord?”

“Of course, of course, my dear Fluttershy.” He carefully shook the closed pitcher for emphasis.

“And Discord brought his cucumber sandwiches! They’re so very delicious. I just don’t know how many I’ve had, they’re so good.”

Discord’s chest huffed from all the praise, like a frog filling his lungs for air as a show for a potential mate. “They are quite divine, if I say so myself.”

“Divine, bovine,” Rainbow Dash said, waving off his pride. “Can we just dig in already?” She landed on the picnic blanket and grabbed a plate. “I’m sooo hungry!”

“Are you hungry, dear? Because I could have positively sworn you told us that not thirty seconds ago,” Rarity said, a touch of friendly sarcasm to her voice.

“Well, I am!”

“We’ll eat soon, girls, let’s just wait for Fluttershy and Discord to get all their things together,” Twilight said, always the sensible and unofficial leader of the group. She smiled at Discord. “I can’t wait to try your sandwiches, Discord.”

Twilight had been so much friendlier to him after his accident with Tirek, and the friendliness was mutual. Discord had sucked in his own pride and even expressed to Twilight the night she saved him that he was more than just grateful to her; he was glad. Though she was nearly a copy of that know-it-all, annoyingly angelic Celestia, Discord was now able to see Twilight as her own pony, not as Celestia Junior. Besides, as Fluttershy always reminded him…It was Celestia who originally gave Discord a second chance in the first place, so he should re-evaluate his opinion of Celestia as well.

Though to Discord, it would always be Fluttershy to whom he would credit for the improved quality of his life.

And, once again, that was something he wouldn’t tell her, of course. Oh no. No one could know how much Fluttershy meant to him; not even Discord himself was aware of how much he adored her. And none of the ponies could ever no how much their acceptance meant to him either, though he was quite aware of that already.

No. He wanted their perception of him as a chaotic, crazy old draconequus to stay the same as long as they were friends—though Fluttershy was more than welcome to think he was a sweetheart as well. A handsome sweetheart, even.

“I can’t wait to hear your praise after you eat them, dear Twilight.” He snapped his fingers and a colorful red serving tray appeared in the middle of the picnic blanket, his sandwiches now arranged atop it in a visually pleasing arrangement.

“They look mighty fine, Discord, mighty fine,” Applejack said, and allowed herself to take the first one and eat it in one bite.

Crunch crunch crunch. She slowly chewed it, a thoughtful look on her freckled face. She swallowed it with a loud gulp, and it ended in a smile. “Tastes as good as it looks! Discord, I knew you were a master of makin’ things crazy, but you’re not a bad cook either!”

By the time Applejack had finished saying this, all the ponies had tried them—well, all had one except Rainbow Dash. She shoved about seven of them into her mouth, rather than one.

“Yummy yum yum YUM!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, rubbing her tummy for emphasis. “Delicious! I’ll admit, it’s not as fun or amazing as your chocolate rain, but these are still really good!” She shoved another in her mouth.

“Fluttershy definitely wasn’t kidding,” Spike said, finally putting his two cents in on the conversation. “Though, I think it’d be better toasted.” He flamed his sandwich in his green fiery breath till it browned to his liking. “Ah, that’s better.”

“Simply divine, darling. And cut just like they would be in a regal or upscale gathering. I commend you for that,” Rarity added, delicately nibbling on her wedge of sandwich. “Oh, if only we could have started out as friends, rather than fighting in the first place. Fighting is so brutal. You cannot look fashionable when your face is red with abominable rage.”

Discord could only nod in agreement. “You would know best, Rarity. If you ever need a model for your clothing, my handsome stature would make your clothing look ever so popular.”

Rarity paused to look at him. How to respond to such a thing? Surely, he was joking? They were friends now; she didn’t want to offend him…

“No, no, no, don’t say a word, dear,” Discord said before she could mutter a word, a hand on his forehead and the other at his heart. “I know what you’re thinking…”

“You—You are?” She laughed weakly at him.

“Oh, yes, and you’re quite correct. If I were to model for you, why, your business would surely fail.”

“Oh, no…I wouldn’t say that darling! Why, if you do want to try on my fashion, I’m sure we could—“

“Oh, no. If I did that, and the photos made it to the public…” He spread his mismatched arms out wide. “You’d sell your clothing faster than you could make it, and the demand would just be too high. Supply and demand would go so, dare I say, chaotic, that you just wouldn’t produce them fast enough. Yes, you’re right, Rarity. Best we don’t do that, then. Very clever of you.”

Once Rarity realized he was joking, she laughed—though more out of relief than from humor. He was now a nice enough creature—he had a lot of work to do, but he was a good enough friend now that she didn’t have the heart to tell him that the way he looked…well…

She couldn’t honestly imagine him attracting anypony.

As she thought of this with guilt—though she should not have, for thoughts are private and only in sharing them would she falter—she noticed something shine in Fluttershy’s hair. A clip.

It was simple—a little felt flower on a golden snap clip. The felt flower petals matched the Pegasus’ eyes, and Rarity approved of the gold clip as well, as it went better with Fluttershy’s soft, buttery yellow coat than a silver one would have. While it was a very elementary design, sometimes less did more, and Rarity was excited to see Fluttershy sport at least one accessory in her lifetime.

“Fluttershy, darling, wherever did you get such an adorable little clip? Why, it’s so simple, but so chic!”

Fluttershy had been eating the baked apples Applejack brought when Rarity’s compliments rang in her ears. “Huh? Oh, you mean this?” She brought a hoof up to her hair, pointing to the clip. “You like it?”

“Like it? I love it! It’s so very you!”

A small blush appeared on Fluttershy’s face, a common look of hers whenever she was complimented. “Thank you Rarity. It’s actually funny that you mention that, because I just recently got it from—“

Oh no no no no no! It was okay for everypony to think he was friendly now, but he did not want the girls knowing just how much of a heart he had gained in just a short amount of time. His affections for Fluttershy, though Discord himself did not know just how much love he held in his heart for her, were not to be known by anypony! He had his pride at stake!

Fluttershy let out a squeak of surprise when a paw suddenly covered her mouth. “Fluttershy!”

“Hmm? What is it Discord?” she asked, her eyes widening at his sudden urgency. Suddenly, over by the pets, a small apple hit Angel Bunny on the top of the head, and Owlicious was right above him on the branch. The rabbit, thinking the bird had hit him deliberately with the apple, starting ranting at poor Owlicious in rabbit squabble, hammering his fist in the air.

But the wise owl knew better, and eyed the draconequus from a small distance away. He had seen the purple glow of magic send the apple down towards Angel’s head, hitting him more gently than a falling apple would have, but hard enough to agitate the small mammal.

“I think you may want to check on the animals—it looks like your squirrel over there is having a squabble with the flying rat.” Discord pointed over at the gathering of animals.

Twilight gasped. “Owlicious is not a flying rat!”

“And you know Angel is a cute, sweet, innocent little baby bunny,” Fluttershy said.

“Okay, okay, whatever!” Discord grumbled. “The point is, you should go check on them, Fluttershy.”

Angel Bunny got more animated in his grumbling, and started trying to throw acorns at the poor owl. Fluttershy grew agitated. “Oh dear! Angel Bunny, no! That isn’t how we treat our friends!” She galloped over to stop him from causing a fight.

Discord sighed within himself. Mission accomplished. Now they can all forget about my little gift for Fluttershy.

“Besides your blatant insult to my pet owl,” Twilight added as Discord relished in his own relief, “don’t think I didn’t notice your little trick.”

It was Discord’s turn to be surprised, and his eyelids opened completely as he stared at the violet alicorn. “Beg pardon?”

“You may be able to sense magical imbalances in all of Equestria, but I am the Element of Magic.” With the dainty grace of a princess, she set her cup of lemonade down next to her plate with her alicorn powers. “Not to mention, it’s very easy to see the purple glow of your magic, Mr. Lord of Chaos. I saw you hit Angel Bunny with the apple.”

All five of the ponies and one dragon had their eyes on him. He was cornered.

This had not been the first time Discord was victim to stares. He had been subjected to much worse—the glowing hatred of thousands of eyes. To him, this should have been nothing.

But these were his friends, and they knew he was hiding something. In his chaotic days before he turned, he never had anything to hide. It was as if Fluttershy’s butterfly cutie mark had turned into the real thing, and fluttered around in the pit of the draconequus’ stomach.

He didn’t cherish the feeling, but did his best to keep his cool.

“I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.” He crossed his arms, looking away with a defiant look in his face.

Yet, one small feature gave him away.

Spike couldn’t help but grin. He was always the object of embarrassment, getting teased (in the friendliest of ways, of course) about his size, his cuteness, his affection for Rarity. But now the tables had turned, and he no longer had to fear Discord. “Then why are you blushing, huh?” he retorted, his smile still on his lips, eyes slit with a mischievous glint in his lizard-like eyes. “Too hot for ya out here?”

The girls giggled, and Twilight, being the bright pony that she was, was pretty sure why.

“You gave her that hairclip, didn’t you?”

All present, except for Twilight and Fluttershy (who continued to attempt to calm the bunny down and figure out what happened), gasped.

You gave Fluttershy a present?” Rainbow Dash nearly couldn’t believe it.

“And that certainly doesn’t look like something Ponyville vendors or any other town close by sells, as I know them all personally,” Rarity added. “But to think that you could have possibly made something by hand—!”

Pinkie Pie hopped up and down, various foodstuffs all over her face from her enthusiastic eating. “Discord made a gift! Discord made a gift! We should have a party, to celebrate Discord giving a gift!”

Applejack just smiled, her right hoof posed over her left. “Well, I’ll be…”

And Discord was done with all the disbelief.

“Is it so hard to believe that I am able to do something as simple and—and nice as give a friend a gift?!? Is that really so hard to take in?!?” he started to ramble, his tone high but not loud enough for a certain pegasus to hear. “Fluttershy was surprised from it too! Is it really all that unbelievable?!?"

"I mean, I know I made my mistakes. Trust me, my de—no, my friends, no one knows better than I about my regretful past. I know I did things so bad, so evil, so chaotic that there is no way to candy coat the seriousness of the blows that I have put against Equestria!"

"I know I was a villain. I know I was bad. I know that I don’t deserve any of this! I know, alright?!? I shouldn’t have made that deal with Tirek, I know that, you know that. I’ve apologized for what seems like an infinite number of times for this mistake. And yes, I know that I don’t have to say I’m sorry again!"

"But all of you know what I did to Fluttershy! You saw her cry! She cried…because of me…”

He looked at the ground. He did not mean to go on a rant like this. He did not plan on spilling his inner thoughts and fears and woes out to everypony around. But he started, and he could not bring himself to stop.

He covertly took a look at Fluttershy. Smiling encouragingly at Angel Bunny (who no longer was insulting the owl, but staring at the bird with suspicion), she attempted to get him and Owlicious to hug and make up.

She has such a beautiful soul, he thought. Nothing like me.

“I broke her heart,” he said, lowly but loud enough for them to hear. “I broke not only her trust, but I broke her heart. Friends are capable of such things, I hear. They can break each other, and that’s what I did to her. And then, after I realized my mistake, and you had saved me, Twilight…What did I do?”

None answered him, not a word. Even Pinkie Pie, who often struggled with social protocol in serious situations, hung on to his every word and didn’t dare interrupt him.

“I apologized to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna with flowers, but did nothing special for her, the pony who helped me through all of the changes in my life. I did nothing for Fluttershy, who put up with my antics, and let me release my chaotic energy into the world when suppressing it became too stressful on me.”

Twilight couldn’t help herself, because her pursuit of knowledge was forever within her. “Stressful?”

He took another quick glance at Fluttershy, since Discord did not want her to hear any of his words. Luckily, though the fight between Angel and Owlicious was essentially over, Tank had gotten his propeller stuck on a branch, and Fluttershy was helping him untangle it, while Gummy the alligator attempted to chomp on Applejack’s Winona—another trouble Fluttershy would probably correct before returning to the group.

“Imagine having a colony of ants in your body,” Discord began to explain. “Your legs, your arms, your face. Everywhere. You would have a constant itch, an irritating urge to move about, to comfort and relieve yourself, and to act. My chaotic energy is such a feeling. If I do not use it, my body grows antsy and agitated. It is not painful in the traditional sense of the word, but it makes me frantic and stressed. If I do not act on my powers, I grow restless, senseless, and I am unable to function properly unless I make everything else dysfunctional. That is why both times, when released from my stone prison, I had to act on my magic right away. Being turned to stone did not erase my consciousness; it is not like being frozen in ice over time. I was aware of everything, including my urge to act. It was chaos within me, and it was worse than any illness I could possibly have."

"Fluttershy came to learn this soon after she befriended me, and she always allowed me to perform my magic around her, and her house, so I would not feel uncomfortable. At first it scared her, and I did not necessarily want to scare her. Joke around with her, yes, and sometimes I did want to startle her—but never terrify her. That is why she is so accustomed to my ways now—because I needed her to be so I could release my chaos. She did it so I…so I could be happy."

"And yet, I had the gall to only present the Princesses with a gift, when I did not thank the pony closest to me. And so, I made her that little clip. It looks like the flower the Breezies gave her, because she valued that gift to no end, and though I hurt her and broke her heart, she forgave me. And so, I made that clip with my own paw and claw, burnt myself with hot glue, stabbed myself with the scissors a few times by accident…so Fluttershy could have a physical representation of her worth to me. A gift by my magic is an easy thing, but Fluttershy’s gift was not made in the same fashion as the flowers to Celestia were. I didn’t want to do it that way, because though I’ve come to respect all of the Princesses, I thought Fluttershy deserved something more special than that."

"And because she valued the flower, I made the clip in hopes that she would love it just as much as the Breezies’ gift, if not more so, because…”

He wasn’t sure how to end his speech. Because why? He knew, but at the same time, he didn’t know.

And because he was confused, he said nothing, and only looked back at them.

No one voiced what went through their heads, but they all knew the answer to what Discord was confused about. Even Spike, who faced the same trials and tribulations as Discord, knew what was going on.

Discord loves her.

“I…” Rarity started, moved by the pure emotion and tenderness Discord showed in his words. “I…I’m more than positive, dearie…That Fluttershy will cherish that gift for the rest of her days, I assure you.” She smiled at him, and the serious air around the small group loosened up a bit. “Did you not see her face when I asked her about it? Why, she practically lit up like a—“

“Like a Discord lamp!” Pinkie Pie supplied. “The biggest, shiniest, lightbulb-iest Discord lamp in the WORLD!” Her hooves rose in the air, and the sudden movement had her roll back, about to hit the ground. A pillow suddenly appeared in the grass to break her fall, a safety precaution that was unconsciously brought upon by Discord with a snap of his fingers. He couldn’t have a pony that valued laughter as much as he did to break her back, after all, could he?

And he DID laugh. “Lightbulb-iest? Sweet Pinkie, you really should write yourself a dictionary, so your friends understand you.”

“If Twilight writes for me, I’ll do it!” she stated, still on her back atop the pillow, but pointing her hoof in the sky from determination. “That book would be GREAT!”

All of them laughed, and Discord took the time to appreciate the now pleasant and even peaceful moment. Who knew I would ever enjoy something as opposite to chaos as peace? He wondered, but took no alarm from it. Instead, he just smiled, and watched his dear Fluttershy examine Winona’s tail after finally extracting Gummy from her. She began to pet the friendly dog, which flipped over and presented Fluttershy with a stomach to rub. “Who’s a good girl?” she said, smiling and giving in to the dog’s simple wish. “Who’s a good girl?”

Discord brought his attention back to his nearer company. “Perhaps it would, Pinkie Pie,” he said. “Then you could explain to me the parts of pony culture that have somehow escaped me, despite the fact that I have lived since the beginning of time.”

“Like what?” Applejack asked. “What could you possibly not know about pony culture? Most ponies aren’t as complicated as the big city folk or anythin’. We’re not that different.”

“Maybe not, but when Fluttershy thanked me for my gift, she acted most peculiar.”

This got everypony’s attention. “Oh?!?” Rarity began. She was such a romantic. Even if it was Discord, she had to admit—the thought of star-crossed lovers was exciting. “What did she do?”

“Well…” Another blush seemed to radiate off his face, and he was not able to meet anypony’s eyes once again. “She hugged me, and I’m fairly used to that. But then she…”

“YES?” All six of them said in unison, practically demanding an answer out of him. Discord’s ears perked up at the sudden uniform exclamation.

Well, that escalated quickly, he thought.

“She…rubbed her face all over me.”

Rainbow Dash was in no way, shape, or form a stupid pony, but because she learned in different ways from everypony else, she was in no way shy about admitting her confusion. “What?” she asked, rather bluntly.

“It’s just as I’ve said. She rubbed her face…on my face. Her nose too. It was…I mean, it was well intentioned, I’m sure. Perhaps it’s an animalistic habit she learned from her gift with the forest creatures?” He stroked his beard. “I assume it was another form of physical thanks, but it baffled me. It was…awkward, but it wasn’t bad either…”

“Do you…” Twilight started putting the pieces together. It wasn’t that hard to crack, to figure out what Discord was trying to say. It’s just that everypony usually knew what he was talking about, so nopony ever phrased it the way Discord did. But Discord was not a pony, and so there was no need for teasing. “Do you mean to say that Fluttershy nuzzled you?”

“OHHH!” Pinkie Pie jumped over to Discord, and invaded his personal space, shoving her face inches from his. “A nuzzle! She nuzzled you! That makes sense!”

“She nuzzled me? Is that what you ponies call it?” Discord said, unaffected by Pinkie’s intrusion on him. He wasn’t exactly always respectful of personal space himself, either, so it didn’t bother him.

Of course, Pinkie Pie wasn’t Fluttershy either.

Rainbow Dash practically barked with laughter. She could barely keep herself up straight, because she was laughing so hard. “Oh my gosh, you really don’t know?!? Twilight’s right, dude. She just nuzzled you!”

“’Just’ nuzzled me? What does that mean, exactly? What makes one want to nuzzle the other?”

Eager to teach a potential student, Twilight took a sip of lemonade and explained. “Nuzzling is a common display of either thanks or affection among ponies. It’s done either to express gratitude to somepony for doing something you appreciate, or just as a general way of showing or giving affection to somepony close to you.”

“And in your case, sugarcube,” Applejack said, putting a hoof on Discord’s lion-like arm, “I’d say Fluttershy did it in terms of both things.”

Discord blinked. “So she nuzzled me because…?”

“Because she was grateful and because she likes you!” Spike exclaimed enthusiastically. In a way, Spike was assuming that Fluttershy liked Discord more than just a friend, though in all honesty, he unconsciously did it to give him hope to continue to pursue the pony of his dreams. But he was young and free to dream, so nopony worried about it too much. “She stepped it up a notch!”

“Did she now…?” Discord said. He was unsure why, but suddenly, he felt very happy. He felt...like he had no weight, that he was lighter than usual—as if he were already in the air.

But I am firmly on the ground…My chaotic energy is not being used for flight now…Whatever is this sensation that I’m feeling? He thought. Dear Celestia, what is happening to me?

He was so stuck in his own thoughts that he didn’t notice Rarity mumble in Twilight’s ear.

“He doesn’t even realize that he loves her, does he?”

Twilight smiled. They all were starting to grow quite fond of Discord, and she was no exception. “Yes, but can you blame him?” she spoke, not directly in Rarity’s ear, but in a low volume nonetheless. “He’s never even had friendship in his life before Fluttershy took him in, so it makes sense that something deeper than that would confuse him.”

At the corner of Twilight’s eyes, she saw yellow, and she turned her head to see Fluttershy happily trotting back over to them. The first place she went to was directly by Discord’s side.

Discord’s face turned a deeper shade of red, realizing the pony of discussion and the object of his affections was suddenly by him. “Oh, Fluttershy,” he said, rubbing the back of his head and trying to be nonchalant. “It’s…It’s about time you got back! I say, how are you to spend time with your friends if you’re always with the animals?!?”

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” she said to him, looking up at her wonderful, chaotic companion. “It was just one thing after the next. I’m sorry it took me so long.” She smiled up at him. “Did I miss anything?”

“N-No, of course not,” he quickly answered, his cool façade suddenly fading. “Were we to do anything exciting, we would have waited for you.” He stabbed a cupcake Pinkie had brought with a lion claw, licking all the pink frosting off it before popping the cake into his mouth in one try. “Do try the cupcakes though, they’re quite delicious. But…” He looked over at Pinkie Pie. “It’s still no chocolate rain.”

With a snap, chocolate rain appeared, and Pinkie Pie squealed with delight and immediately immersed herself in the rain, under the chocolate-filled cloud. Rainbow Dash and Spike eagerly joined her, with no fear of chaos in their hearts to keep them from such tasty weather.

Discord clawed another cupcake, ready to eat it, and was surprised to see Fluttershy take the treat by her teeth and popping the cupcake off his claw. Though there was no close contact, it still surprised him. For Fluttershy, letting him feed her was a rather bold thing to do.

“Oh, yum!” she said. “You’re right, it’s scrumptious! Oh, wait, I almost forgot!”

“Animals acting up again?” Applejack asked, fanning herself with her hat.

“No, I just forgot to tell you all about my clip…”

Applejack, Rarity, and Twilight Sparkle, for a brief moment, shared a knowing look. They were no longer surprised to see Discord’s face turn red. They knew now how he felt.

He loved Fluttershy.

“Oh? What about it?” Rarity quipped, as if she knew nothing.

“Discord made it for me!” Her wings suddenly sprung out from her sides, and she gracefully and assuredly flew in the air. “He made it all for me, as a thank you, which of course wasn’t needed, but it was so sweet.” She looked at him tenderly, and Discord looked away.

Good Celestia, this is too much for me all in one day. Your friendship is going to send me off the deep end, my dear Fluttershy, he secretly told her in his mind. It was a good thing Fluttershy was not psychic.

And he was sent into further surprise when he suddenly felt something soft against the side of his head.

A nuzzle.

Fluttershy, giving Discord, Lord of Chaos, a public display of affection, in front of all their friends.

“Thank you again, Discord. It means a lot to me.”

YOU mean a lot to me. But Fluttershy didn’t dare say that aloud. It took enough courage from her just to nuzzle him in front of their friends.

Discord did his best to ignore the giggling, but he smiled despite himself. He found himself nuzzling her too.

He rather liked nuzzling, he figured out.

“My dear Fluttershy…”

Nuzzle nuzzle, rub rub.

“You are more than welcome.”

Author's Note:

If there are any grammar problems, I might have missed them, but it's possible I also grew confused with the formatting of the website. Any constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated!