• Published 15th Dec 2014
  • 9,853 Views, 575 Comments

This Cruel and Random World - Bluegrass Brooke

It was a simple bet. Spend one month as a pony, and prove to Celestia that he had been right all along. Discord never thought he would actually enjoy it. As the days pass, he finds himself desperate to keep up the façade a little longer.

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Idle Thoughts

“You are the most pigheaded, idiotic jerk out there!” Cadence slammed her hoof against the marble floor of their bedroom, hard enough to shake the desk. “I told you,” she shook her head, “no I begged you to swallow your pride and try to get along with Entropy. Now look what you’ve done!”

Shining felt like crawling in a hole. The entire train ride back, Cadence had been giving him the “silent treatment,” and now that they were finally alone, she was letting him have it in spades. “Cadence, I was just worried for her.”

“Worried about what, Shining?” Cadence’s harsh voice echoed in his ears as she rounded on him like a Timberwolf. “Sure Entropy’s a little goofy, but he has a good heart, I know that much!” Moaning, she fell on the bed, beating her hooves against it like a little filly. “Stupid, stupid, STUPID!”

He rolled his eyes at her, “Okay, okay, so maybe I shouldn’t have called him an old man.”

Cadence shot him a withering glare, “You just don’t get it, do you?”

“Get what, Cadence?” Shining knew his wife well enough to catch her drift. Anytime they came to “touchy” subject matters, she would start to avoid the real issue at hoof. “He’s too old for her, and you know it. We need to put a stop to it now before it gets out of control.”

Cadence’s ears flattened against her head, “Out of control? Out of control?” A few tears glistened around the edges of her eyes. “It’s already out of control, Shining, ever since she was made an alicorn.” Her hooves slid absent-mindedly over the covers, “Have you thought about it, Shining? About, about my being an alicorn,” she murmured.

What is she talking about? Shining sighed, rubbing his temple with a hoof, “Well, you’re a princess, a co-ruler of Equestria, and the mare I love. Isn’t that enough?”

Cadence bit her lip, “Have you considered that I might live as long as Celestia?”

The words hit him like his own sword to the chest. “I . . . you . . . you can’t be serious.” She’s joking, she has to be! He found his hooves shaking uncontrollably, threatening to give way to the panic now sweeping over him. I didn’t sign up for this! “You’re going to grow old with me, that’s the way it works,” he stated with all the air of an exasperated teacher.

“No, Shining. That’s the way it works for you. My fate is a little,” she gulped, fidgeting with the covers again, “less clear.”

“You’re not saying your immortal, are you?” Despite his best efforts, his voice shook like a leaf.

Cadence let out a long, slow sigh. “I don’t know, I just want you to be aware of the possibility.” She pointed to her crown resting on their bedside table, “After Twilight was made a princess, that became her possibility too.” Her hollow laugh made his heart lurch, “Maybe she’ll outlive us all, Shining. So, tell me again who’s too old for who?”

He could only stand there, staring at the center of his world even while the rest of it crumbled around him. “Oh, Celestia help me.” He sunk to his knees, no longer able to fight the shaking. “What can I do?”

“Well, you could respect her decision for starters.” Slowly she got down off the bed, resting a wing over his back. “Try and get along with Entropy,” she drew out the words, as she played with his mane, “not jump to conclusions, and have a little trust in your sister.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Shining closed his eyes, savoring the rosy scent of Cadence’s coat. “It’s just so hard to let go. I still see her as my baby sister, even through all the,” he gulped, “changes.”

“I know, dear, I know.” Cadence held him tightly, nuzzling his mane softly. “It will work out, you’ll see.”

“I’m sure it will, but, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to double check.” His words had an immediate effect, as Cadence pulled away, glowering at him. “I meant, about Entropy that is. Just to make sure he’s who he says he is, and isn’t a criminal or something.”

Cadence rolled her eyes, “Really? A criminal?” Despite her words, the challenging glare softened. “All right, but please be polite about it, Shining.”

“I will.” He gave her a quick kiss on the muzzle then got to his hooves. If he was going to do some investigating, he was going to do it right. There were still plenty of ponies in Canterlot willing to dig up some dirt for him. All he had to do was pull a few strings, and he would know all he needed to about Professor Entropic State.

“Well this is,” Discord frowned, staring at what remained of Scootaloo’s scooter, “interesting.”

Twilight moaned, collapsing on the grass beside the mechanical refuse. “Entropy, didn’t I tell you that you had to follow the steps exactly?”

“Yes, and I did.” Discord looked around the park, watching as the local residents made a beeline away from their little powwow on the grass. He levitated up the screwdriver for her to see. “It would have been so much easier if you let me use this.”

She face hoofed, “That would defeat the purpose of magic exercise! What kind of teacher would I be if I let you take the easy way out?”

“What kind of Princess allows her student to blow up some innocent filly’s toy?” He feigned a sorrowful look, clutching his chest, “Oh how heartless!”

Twilight’s eyes rolled clean over, “Yeah, yeah, I’m the bringer of chaos herself, can we move on?”

A part of him wanted to profess that that title belonged to him, but he bit his tongue. “So, I uh, just cast the spell and all the pieces go together? Even if they are a little,” he levitated a shard of what had been the hoofboard, “worse for wear.”

“If you do it correctly.” Twilight sat up straight, waving him on. “Let’s see you try again.”

Discord allowed the golden magic to spiral around his horn like some strange serpent. Admittedly, it still felt bizarre to be harnessing harmony magic instead of chaos, but he had to admit, it was useful in some situations. As he focused on the scooter, he felt the magic change, and before he could even register what was happening, he released a concentrated burst of chaos magic directly at the pile. The effect was instantaneous, and effective, there was no way the Lord of Chaos would mess up a simple repair spell. That did not change the fact that the recoil sent a ripple of his own, errant magic around them, pressurizing the nearby vicinity as it had when Twilight struck him with it.

Wincing, he fought to control the sudden backlash of magic threatening to break loose in millions of directions like shattered glass. As he did so, he noted Twilight cringing on the ground beside him, clutching her ears. After one of the tensest moments in his recent memory, Discord managed to rein in the chaos until it released the pressure, allowing a Sabbath stillness to fall over them.

Twilight just stared open mouthed at him. Finally, she managed to find her voice, “What just happened?”

“I uh,” nearly destroyed Ponyville with a tidal wave of chaos magic, “I did the spell, but I guess it just didn’t like me.”

“Hmmmm.” Twilight got shakily to her hooves, examining the now perfectly intact scooter. “Wow, this is amazing, it looks just like it did before.” She turned to him, beaming brightly, “Great job, Entropy!”

Discord gritted his teeth, fighting the urge to exclaim that he had not done a “great job” after all. However, it would do little good at this point, so he merely nodded. “Yes, well, I knew I could do it.”

Twilight raised a skeptical eyebrow, “Uh-huh. Well, Mister I Know What I’m Doing, how would you like to help survey the apple orchard with me?”

“Survey the apple orchard?” Why in Equestria would you want to do that? Though, from Twilight’s expression, she was bound and determined to do it regardless of his opinion on the matter. “Allright, but why? Isn’t that something up Flim’s alley?”

“Uh,” Twilight grimaced, looking down at her hooves, “well you see, Flim’s not . . . Flim’s not working at Sweet Apple Acres anymore.”

“WHAT? Why not?” Certainly Flim was a bit of a seedy fellow, but Discord got endless amusement out of teasing the young stallion. To have him just up and leave out the blue just felt wrong.

“Well, he’s gone to look for Flam, to mend bridges.” She levitated her saddlebags, starting towards the orchard. “That’s about all I know.”

Discord’s gaze fell to the scooter lying on the grass. “But what about the scooter?”

“Well,” Twilight gave one of her signature sheepish smiles, “I sort of didn’t ask to borrow it for practice. I just noticed it was broken, so . . .”

Discord could not help but chuckle, wrapping his tail around hers. “My dear, I do so love the way you think.”

Survey work turned out to be remarkably dull work as Discord expected. The only saving grace was that he had split up with Twilight to “divide and conquer.” Truth be told, he needed the time to rest and reflect. His latest slip up had nearly spent his energy, and even listing down the number and condition of the apple trees was proving a little too much for him.

He looked at the sea of trees around him, noting how much that was still left to do. Applejack would likely have ended up doing the entire survey herself if they had not volunteered. Something told him that was exactly Twilight’s reasoning as well. Levitating up the notebook, he checked off yet another tree. “Number thirty three of grid D. Moderate maturity, good growth—”


A light voice in his ear made him wheel around to stare face to face with a slightly sunburnt, freckled mare. Speak of the devil. “Hello, Applejack.” He levitated the notebook in front of him, an innocent smile stretching parting the corners of his mouth. “I hope I’m doing a satisfactory job.”

“Of course you are, Entropy.” Applejack cuffed him on the shoulder, grinning brightly back. “I’m right grateful for all yer help, Entropy.” Her eyes fell to the notebook, “So, uh, it ain’t too tricky, is it?”

“Not at all, merely tedious.” Discord could practically smell the anxiety coming off of her. It was all he could do was to stopper the primal urge to give chase.

Her hooves pushed aside the grass blades, avoiding his gaze. “I uh . . . I was wonderin’ what you put in that potion for Flim.”

“Potion?” How does she know about that? I told that kid to keep his mouth shut! “I uh . . . it’s a secret.” Yes, a secret passed down from his father and his father before him. There was no way in Equestria he was divulging that information, besides, it would be of little use to a pony anyway. “So he told you?”

“Yes, but, I haven’t told anypony else, promise,” she stated in that ungodly honest way of hers.

Sighing, he dismissed the thought with a hoof, “Don’t worry about it. So,” Discord began to use the tree trunk as a podium, “why do you want to know about it?”

“Well, ain’t it obvious?” Applejack stared at him for a moment, taking a while to note his impatient expression. Then, sighing theatrically, she continued, spelling out the words, “I want to make it for Flim!”

You want to make it?” Discord raised an eyebrow, “You cannot be serious. You are an earth pony, what makes you think you can make potions?”

She huffed, looking away, “Well, Zecora makes potions and she ain’t a unicorn!”

Discord had the urge to slap her out of her stupidity. Why in Equestria was she being so stubborn? “Zebras study potion making from the time they are foaled. It’s comes nearly as naturally to them as breathing.” To his horror, Applejack looked absolutely crestfallen. Smooth going, Discord. He rested a hoof on her shoulder, “Why is this so important to you?”

“Because, because,” Applejack bit her lip, ruddy cheeks turning an even darker shade, “because I love him, okay? An I don’t know what I’d do if he got sick when I ain’t around.” She gasped, clasping a hoof to her mouth as though she had let loose a string of curse words.

“Really?” Well, that was unexpected! Discord patted her awkwardly on the back. “Don’t worry about it, Applejack. It will work out.” He tried to think of something, anything comforting to say, but his mind was only swimming with jokes. “Listen, I . . . I will make sure he gets the potion, all right?”

“But, he could be anywhere, Entropy.” She pulled away, standing straight. “How in tarnation to you plan on findin’ him?”

“Oh, I have my ways.” More than you could ever imagine. He cleared his throat, patting her on the head like a stray dog. “So, don’t you fret, Applejack, I’ll see to it he’s covered.”

“Uh, thanks I guess.” Her eyes drifted towards the farmyard. “I’m just goin’ to get back to work.” She started forward, casting one last look at him before cantering off.

Well now, that was weird. Shrugging, Discord made a mental note to send Flim the potion that night. Turning back to the trees, he attempted to get back into the rhythm to no avail. The more he worked, the more exhausted he felt. Damn, I shouldn’t be so tired. Accepting the inevitable, he curled up against a particularly old tree. Under any normal circumstances, he would have simply snapped his claws and summoned a chaise lounge, but today he was an arthritis prone, middle aged pony in need of a nap.

Runes, a sea of runes dancing in the torchlight like millions of fireflies. It would have been a magnificent sight to any creature graced enough to enter the High Priest’s temple, but for Discord, it provided a nostalgic sense of comfort. He lay on the floor beside the altar, small body curled tightly on top of his father’s golden robe. The silk cloth did little to cushion him from the hard stone underneath, but he would not have traded it for all the feather mattresses in Equestria. It was Havoc’s robe, his smell, one that would never come again in this lifetime.

A part of him was screaming at him to do something useful. After all, it had been three months since they sent up a sacrifice for the safety of the troops, three months since there had been any form of praise offerings given, and three months since he last saw another draconequus. Despite that, Morpheus had outwardly refused to allow him to continue the ceremonies, professing that there was “no point” now that the draconequus had left Equestria.

What did he know? Just because they were gone did not mean the gods left them. If ever there was a time they needed a sacrifice, it was now. After all, it was his duty as the High Priest’s son, and yet here he was lying on the floor like some helpless crybaby.

There was nothing for it though, so he lay there, staring at the ruins like he had done for weeks now. He imagined the scriptures they represented, the stories, the songs, and every good thing in this life. His father claimed that they were the window to the gods’ hearts, and he used to agree, but now they felt more like the heavy oak door keeping him locked inside.

His ears perked up as it swung open, revealing the familiar, white bearded guard. Undoubtedly Morpheus had dragged him out of retirement as he was one of the more “trustworthy” guards. Though Discord was certain the unicorn despised him, he kept his orders well, and had never so much as threatened his life. Rather than the usual glare Discord’s direction, his gaze fell to the stones where a small white filly came trotting into the room. “You will behave,” The guard’s deep voice echoed around the sacred chamber like some great thunderclap. With that hanging over them, he slammed the door, rattling the frame in his wake.

Discord watched as Celestia advanced towards him, basket in her mouth. He could not help but roll his eyes at her. Typical ignorant ponies. “What do you think you are doing?”

She gave a squeak of surprise, cringing a little. “Sorry.”

Oops. He softened his voice, “Sorry, Celestia, I did not mean to shout. Just, you did not perform the greeting.”

“Oh.” Celestia stopped, lowering the basket carefully to the ground. Then slowly, she gave a deep bow, pink locks flying forward to obscure her eyes. “I, Celestia, Princess of Equestria request permission to stand at the foot of the gods.”

Discord dismissed her with a lazy wave of his claw, “They have heard your request, enter with humility.” The words were as familiar to him as any mantra, but they were a necessity. If he forgot the phrases, no creature in Equestria would bother to remember them in his stead.

Celestia bounded forward, basket in tow once more. She settled herself on the top step to the altar, grinning at him with that cheesy smile of hers. “I brought you a snack.”

“I’m fine,” he snapped quickly.

“Like Tartarus you are!” She gesticulated to all of him, “You haven’t eaten since,” her voice fell, “since it happened.”

His eyes fell to his sunken in sides and clearly visible ribs. There was nothing he wanted to do less than eat. Besides, if he did eat something, it would not be pony food. He turned away from her to face the altar again. “Go away.”

“Not likely!” Before he could protest, she had quite literally rolled him down the steps.

He pinned his ears at her, “What was that for?”

Celestia stuck out her tongue, “For being a big idiot!” She stamped her hoof hard against the stone, glowering at him with more fire than Discord ever thought possible. “You dumb dumb, when are you going to stop being so mopey? It is not like you, Discord!”

Oh, taking insults from Lulu I see. Discord rolled his eyes, “So what if I am sad?” He felt his voice rise in a gradual crescendo, “My parents are dead, I have been shunned, everypony hates me for being a draconequus, and your stupid Dad will not let me do the one job I am supposed to do!” He felt the tears roll off his cheeks, but he did not care, not this time. “So forgive me if I am a little ‘mopey!’”

Celestia’s confident shattered like a broken mirror. For a while, she just stared at him, watching him cry like an idiot. Then slowly, she walked over to him, wrapping him in a tight hug. “It is okay, Discord, it is okay,” she murmured softly, patting his back, “you still have me and Lulu, and I know Mom doesn’t hate you.”

“What am I going to do?” He bit his lip, trying to stopper his haywire emotions. It was humiliating for him, the son of the High Priest to be bawling his eyes out over something like this. “I do not . . . I do not have a purpose now.”

Celestia pulled back, lifting his chin with a hoof, “You will find a new purpose, Discord, that is what Mom says. But, in the meantime,” she levitated the basket towards them, “you should eat something.”

He was more than a little surprised to be greeted by a familiar smell when she opened the basket. “Fish? But, ponies don’t eat fish.”

“I know, but,” she nudged him in the ribs, “we know it is your favorite. So Lulu caught some and I cooked them.” The alicorn let out a tiny giggle, “You should have seen the cooks’ faces! It was quite the show.”

Discord chuckled at the mental image of the uptight cooks freaking out over Celestia’s experiment. Though, he had to admit, the filly had done a credible job of baking a fish casserole. Well it looks edible. He lowered his head, taking a big bite out for himself. Though he was greeted by a few bones, he had to admit, it tasted good. Still crunching the bone, he looked up at Celestia, “You know, you are supposed to take the bones out, right?”

Celestia flushed, pawing at the ground. “Oops. Is it that bad?”

“Not at all, it is delicious.” He eyed something else in the basket, a rolled up scroll. “What is this?”

“Well, I thought after you ate, you could help us plan out some pranks.” She sighed, glancing at the door, “It has been terribly dull without you around, Discord. I simply cannot think of any decent jests.”

Discord snorted through a mouthful of casserole. If there was one aspect of court life that Celestia failed to grasp, it was the need for comedy. Father had known that well enough, and taught it to Morpheus, perhaps it was time he taught her. “All right, but be prepared to break some rules.”

“Entropy? Hey, Entropy?” Twilight’s voice coupled with the shaking of her hooves woke him from his trance. He blinked, staring blearily up at her. “Yes, Twilight?”

She gave him a surly glare, “You were supposed to be surveying.”

“My apologies, I,” he gave a long yawn, “needed a nap.”

“Really? What are you, five?” She levitated a saddlebag full of apples onto his back. “Some days I wonder, Entropy. Some days I wonder.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He walked stiffly after her, still blinking to adjust to the brilliant summer sun.

“Nothing,” she sang in that playful voice of hers. “Just, I need your help with something else now.”

He raised an eyebrow, “Milking my assistance for all it’s worth, Twilight?”

“That’s right.” Twilight spun around in a happy circle, “We need an expert on Canterlot to help make the decorations for Celestia’s party.”

“Hmmm.” Discord tapped his chin, “Well she is more than a little fond of cake.” He chuckled, remembering a formally snow white filly dyed a violent shade of pink from a poorly placed bowl of icing. “And do not get me started on her obsession with song birds!”

Twilight stopped dead in her tracks. “Why . . . why do you know so much about her? I thought you didn’t like her.”

Damn. Discord wanted to slap himself for his lapse of judgement. The truth was the only thing that was going to save him now, “I never said that, Twilight. Certainly Celestia and I butt heads from time to time, but, when I think on it, despite her faults, she is a very dear friend.”

“Friend?” Twilight grinned in that dangerously invested manner that only led to trouble. “How long have you known her? What, were you her student?”

Discord snorted a laugh, “Hardly, Twilight.” He looked up at the sun. “I suppose you can say she has always been the one constant in this crazy life of mine.” His gaze returned to meet hers, “Truly, it is not important, Twilight. I very much doubt the princess sees me as much more than an incredibly irritating clown.” Yes, that was all he would ever amount to in her eyes.

Author's Note:

Whew. That was a LOT to write in one day. There are sometimes advantages to being sick. Then again, coughing constantly isn't exactly fun. :pinkiesick:

Anywho, we are getting closer, and I hope to have some more for you soon.