• Published 1st Oct 2014
  • 3,632 Views, 435 Comments

Story Shuffle - FanOfMostEverything

Thirty-one one-shots inspired by thirty-one random Magic cards.

  • ...

Yo, Jimbo!

By all accounts, it was a lovely scene. Five friends gathered in one of Ponyville's prime picnicking places, blanket spread, baskets open, banter pleasant. Really, there was just one thing missing.

"Where the hay is Twilight?" Applejack looked around for any purple princesses who might have joined in unnoticed. "She's th' one who asked us all here. Now she's late t' her own roundup." Applejack stood. "Ah'm gonna go check on her. Filly prob'ly got distracted by somethin' in that new palace o' hers."

Rarity rolled her eyes. "Oh, do sit back down, Applejack. This isn't one of our little sisters. Twilight is a responsible adult. If she's running behind a bit, it is no doubt for an exceedingly important reason."

"And she's right there," added Pinkie Pie.

"Yes, she—" Rarity paused mid-nod. "She is?"

"Yup!" Pinkie waved at empty air. "Hi, Twilight!"

The other four mares shared a concerned look. Rainbow Dash spoke for them. "Uh, Pinks? You feeling o—" She blinked, then turned to her left. "Yeah, never mind. Hi, Twilight."

Applejack took a a few steps back. "Pinkie, Ah love ya like a sister, but if yer crazy is catchin'—"

Dash gave her a flat look. "Nice, AJ." She spread her left wing and poked empty space with a primary. It clearly hit something. "Nah, Twi's just invisible. I felt the air currents when she landed. Not sure how Pinkie picked up on her, though."

"Shivery back means I'm being watched."

Dash nodded. "There we go." She faced Twilight. "There a reason you're not saying anything?"

"Persistent petitioners?" Rarity guessed.

"The ponyrazzi?" asked Fluttershy.

"Mayor Mare hockin' ya on yer shiny new zonin' law violation again?" said Applejack.

Twilight resumed visibility with a sigh. "No. It's—"

"There you are!" Discord manifested, dressed in armor just as mismatched as he was: paper plate, alpha mail, boiled pleather, and more, all topped with a ludicrous helmet bearing familiar lavender wings. Every piece bore a familiar six-pointed star.

Twilight just rammed her muzzle into the blanket. A muffled "Him" came from it.

A variety of looks, from curious stares to angry scowls, met this revelation. Fluttershy spoke up. "Discord, what are you doing?"

The draconequus took a seat, twining most of his body around Twilight. "Well, as the sole member of the Order of Magic, and by extension, the Liminal Guard, it is my sworn duty to watch over and protect my liege."

Applejack scowled. "The Limi-what now?"

Twilight's voice came from within the cuirassed coils. "It's one of the names I've been considering for my branch of the Royal Guard. Which I haven't formed yet!" She stuck her head out of the top, like an angry grape topping a cone of chaotic soft-serve. "And I certainly haven't associated it with the Order of Magic! Discord just thinks this is funny! He's been like this since this morning."

Spike yawned as he stumbled into the kitchen, once again reminding himself that chewing on the walls was strongly discouraged.


Spike looked up at the improbably armored draconequus. "It is way too early for this."

Discord just scowled at him. "State your name, rank, and serial number."

"Just humor him, Spike." At least Twilight looked apologetic. It didn't help much, but it did help.

The dragon sighed. "Spike Keyfahdon, number-one assistant, and I wanted waffles."

Discord gave him a long, appraising look. Spike swore he heard a voice admiring the veneer on his scales. Finally the draconequus gave a quick nod. "Very well. You may pass."

"And he's only gotten more obnoxious as the day's dragged on! I gave Spike the day off just so he wouldn't have to deal with any more of this nonsense." Twilight glared at Discord. "Even my brother's never been this bad."

"Which only underscores the sorry state of the Guard," Discord shot back.

"None of the others are having this sort of issue with their knights!"

"Yes, because their knights all have previous engagements. Coco Pommel is spreading the gospel of Generosity."

Rarity gave a shy smile. "Well, I couldn't tear her away from her career. Being knighted has made her the talk of Manehattan."

Discord nodded. "Rainbow Dash has instructed the Wonderbolts to prioritize their other duties to the Crown."

"Like I'm going to tell them to stop touring just to hang out with me." Dash paused, her muzzle scrunched in thought. "Well..." She shook her head. "No. No, I'd rather have them performing."

"Cheese Sandwich wanders the earth in his quest for enlightenment through festivity."

Pinkie Pie, sitting in the lotus position, gave a single nod. "He has looked through the world and seen himself, but the path of transcendence does not ever truly end."

"Seabreeze is in another dimension." Discord scratched his chin. "Granted, I could tear open a portal between our world and that of the Breezies, but given the effects it would have on space-time... Fluttershy?"

Fluttershy shook her head. "You know my feelings on that sort of thing, Discord."

He sighed. "Yes, yes, nothing directly injurious to the fabric of reality."

Twilight teleported out of Discord's embrace and glared at him. "And what about Silver Shill? He's living with his brother here in Ponyville. Why isn't he looking over Applejack's shoulder every waking minute?"

Applejack pulled her hat over her face. "Shoot, Twi, you know Ah ain't comfortable with all these titles an' such. Last thing Ah want is t' trouble some stallion who's puttin' his life back t'gether."

Twilight nodded furiously. "You see? You're not obligated to hover over me, Discord!"

"And if you want to, you should just say so."

All eyes turned to Fluttershy. She didn't flinch. "Say what?" asked Dash.

Fluttershy smiled softly, not turning from Discord. "You were really touched when Twilight demanded that Tirek free you. You're using your knighthood as an excuse to spend time with her. But if you just tell her, I think you'll both enjoy it a lot more."

Discord said nothing for a few moments. Finally, he sighed and dismissed his armor. "Open communication? No misunderstandings? Fluttershy, you and I have very different concepts of enjoyment sometimes."

Twilight looked back and forth between them. "Wait, you mean—"

Discord groaned. "Do I really need to spell it out? Fluttershy already did it for me. Yes, Twilight, I've come to appreciate your presence. To a degree."

"Well. Um... huh." Twilight opened her mouth a few times, closing it without saying anything each time.

Rarity turned to Pinkie Pie. "I'd say this calls for a celebration, don't you?"

"When don't I?" Pinkie beamed, reached under the blanket, and produced a cake with icing the other ponies found they couldn't directly look at. "Who likes octarines?"

Discord gasped in delight and stuck his eagle talon in the air. "I do!"

Twilight frowned. "I thought octarine was a theoretical color that only existed in extremely high-energy magical fields."

Pinkie nodded. "It's also a citrus fruit."

Twilight considered this for a moment, only to find that her mind had pretty much given up on today. "Sure, why not?"

Author's Note:

In the language of dragons in the Elder Scrolls games, "Keyfahdon" translates to "horse friend." Celestia makes a point of hedging her bets.

Oh, and in my headcanon, Silver Shill is Silver Spoon's uncle. Kind of the black sheep of the family.

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