• Published 15th Dec 2014
  • 9,803 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.

  • ...

Warm Welcome

Twilight pressed a hoof to the blackboard, eyes sparkling with wonder. "Amazing! And this formula works all the time?"

"Well, not all the time. But that's what's so fascinating." Entropy was standing beside Twilight, speaking softly into her ear. "By all accounts, this formula should predict the rate of the degradation. The fact that it fails proves that there are countless other variables at play."

"How do we start looking for answers?"

Blech. Spike turned away from the ponies' conversation, folding his comic book. Leave it to Twilight to turn a physics lesson into some kind of date night. Except that it was daytime. Entropy had only been here two days and already Twilight was spending more time talking with him than she ever spent talking to him. Why's he so special?

"Twilight. Twilight!" It took a few tugs on the alicorn's leg before she noticed him standing there.

"Yes, Spike?"

He held up Twilight's lengthy list. "We're off schedule."

A grimace stretched across her face as she read the parchment. "We're an hour behind. Sorry, Entropy but I think we'll have to get back to your lesson now."

"Oh, what a shame." Erasing the board resulted in a storm of chalk dust, sending Entropy into a coughing fit.

Twilight walked over, patting him on the back. "You okay?"

"Just . . . fine." He managed to stop coughing, a small smile on his face. "Chalk dust."

Spike watched their little spectacle with skepticism. It was not as though he hated Entropy, he just did not like him much. The stallion seemed bound and determined to destroy Ponyville before the month was up. And it would be their job to clean up the rubble.

"Spike? Hello? Earth to Spike!"

Twilight's voice jolted him from his daydream. "Yeah?"

"Could you go with Entropy and get some supplies for lunch?"

"Sure, Twilight." Spike wanted to slap himself for agreeing, but what was he supposed to do, say no? That would make him the worst number one assistant in Equestria. He walked slowly to the door, followed closely by Entropy.

When they were out of the library, Entropy inhaled deeply. "What a perfectly glorious day."

Spike raised an eyebrow. Perfectly glorious? Who says that? Ignoring the stallion, Spike walked towards the marketplace. Suddenly he felt himself being lifted into the air by the scruff of his neck. "Hey, put me down, Entropy!" Before he could protest further, the stallion had thrown him onto his back. "I'm not a baby anymore."

Entropy's booming laugh shook his sides, causing Spike to grip onto his mane tightly. "No, but you are dreadfully slow." With that, he took off at an extremely jarring walk that would put Twilight's trot to shame. "So, Spike I take it you don't like me much."

Spike felt his heart leap into his throat. "Why . . . why would you think that?"

Entropy turned his head around, staring at him with a 'you've got to be kidding me' expression.

"Okay, maybe I don't like you a whole lot." Well this is awkward. Trying to think of some less hurtful way of saying it proved unfruitful. The words tumbled out before he could stop himself, "I just don't like you getting all cozy with Twilight."

Entropy stopped so suddenly that Spike nearly flipped over his head. "What? My but you are delusional, Spike." He stamped a hoof. "I'm simply teaching her. There's nothing more than that."

"Really? Positive?"

"Yes!" Apparently the stallion was getting flustered, because he continued walking. He did not say another word until they arrived at the market. With an unceremonious thud, Spike was deposited on the ground. "Come along, we'll get this done quickly."

He could only nod, following him down the crowded street. Ponies occasionally looked over at Entropy, smiling warmly. Entropy always returned the smile and gave a curt nod before walking on again. After buying carrots from a rather cautious Carrot Top, they moved down the row. As they did, the strangest things began to happen. Ponies would start arguing or items would topple out of place. Spike watched in wonder as Roseluck got into a heated argument with Time Turner. "Geeze, what's gotten into them?"

"Oh, I don't know." Entropy looked away, a perfectly innocent expression on his face.

Sure you do. The next few stands, Spike kept a lookout for any mischief from Entropy. For the life of him, he could not catch the stallion actually doing anything. That did not stop the entire marketplace from descending into a state of chaos before his eyes. As they made their way back towards the library, he finally caught something. With a flick of his tail, Entropy managed to send a turnip into a mare's saddlebag's causing the stand owner to accuse her of theft. "Hey! I saw that."

Entropy whistled a cheery tune, avoiding eye contact with him. "Saw what?"

"You, you put that turnip in her bag. She didn't do it." Spike started to tug on the pony's legs. "Come on, you've got to go apologize for causing trouble."

"Me, cause trouble? My dear Spike, I'm hurt that you would even suggest such a thing."

"But you did! I saw you!" Once again, he felt Entropy grab him by the scruff of his neck and throw him onto his back.

"You can strangle me from up there."

Spike huffed, looking back towards the now angry group of ponies. "You're horrible. I'm telling Twilight."

Entropy snorted, "As if you have any proof."

"I . . . I . . . urgh!" The rest of the way he rode in silence, feeling more upset each minute. This stallion was trouble, of that he was certain. How much and for what reason was a mystery. All he knew was that he had to keep her as far away from him as possible.

If I hear 'focus' one more time.

"Focus on the result, Entropy."

Urgh! That's it, I'm going to lose it. Discord glowered back at Twilight. "I can't focus when you keep telling me to!"

Twilight's face turned beet red, "Sorry. Sorry." She cringed, turning back to her book.

He attempted to concentrate on the sticks lying in the grass. It was supposed to be a simple levitation. But, between the oppressive sunlight beating down on his coat and the incessant prattling of Twilight, it had been more than a little difficult. Thinking about the heat led to the sticks igniting. In fact he had ignited them with such frequency and regularity that Twilight proclaimed they must be making progress. The only advancement I'm making is into insanity.

Golden magic surrounded his horn and the sticks burst into flame once more. Mechanically, Twilight levitated a bucket over and doused the flame. Discord flopped on the grass, moaning. "Why is it so hard?"

Twilight looked up, obviously resisting the urge to give a dictation on trying your best. But, blessedly, she said nothing.

For hours now, they had been practicing in the park. And, apart from his sweat drenched coat and quivering limbs, nothing had changed. Twilight believed that his problem was mental. Discord knew better. He was a being of chaos, and a being of chaos was incapable of harnessing harmony. That one truth had persisted over the centuries. There was nothing Miss Goody Two Hooves could do about that.


He opened his eyes to see Twilight's face uncomfortably close to his own. Why must she do that? Looking at her directly seemed to make her lean closer, so he averted her gaze. "Yes?"

"Do you want a break?"

Break? Gods, I'm not some invalid. If he was being honest with himself, he had never felt so exhausted. Then again, honesty had never suited him. "I suppose it wouldn’t hurt."

"Good. Because we're going to be late." Twilight held out a hoof, and he allowed her to pull him to his hooves.

"Late for what?"

Her giggle was more than a little suspicious. "Oh, you'll see."

Why am I not comforted?

Twilight was worried about Entropy. Though she had tried countless methods of teaching, each one fell flat. The problem was certainly not his intelligence, the stallion was simply brilliant. No, his problem was mental and that was no small thing to change. Her eyes focused on her student, "You're doing fine, Entropy."

"What?" His ears perked up, a small smile stretching the lines of his face. "Well, I suppose I can hold the record for most objects destroyed in a single day."

"Oh no. That would have to be Discord."

Entropy stopped so suddenly he nearly fell back on his haunches. His mouth hung open, glasses askew. "What?"

"Discord. You know, the spirit of chaos himself." Twilight patted Entropy on the back. "Let's just say he puts your little fireworks display to shame."

Entropy laughed and laughed, eyes tearing up. For the life of her, Twilight could not understand what was so funny. The stallion eventually regained control, waving a hoof in the air. "Sorry, sorry."

"Feel better?"

"Infinitely." Entropy started down the street again, marking Twilight's pace. "So, where is it we're heading?"

"We're almost there." Eeeeh! He's going to be so surprised. When they arrived in front of Sugar Cube Corner, she was nearly hopping up and down with excitement.

Entropy stood next to her, eyeing the storefront with curiosity. "Buying sweets?"

"Sort of." Twilight opened the door for him, motioning for him to enter.

A shower of confetti and a chorus of noisemakers greeted them upon entering. There in front of them were all of Twilight's friends and a good number of townsponies. Pinkie hopped over to Entropy, placing a party hat on his head so quickly he could not have refused if he tried. "Welcome to your welcome to Ponyville party!"

"Huh?" Entropy turned to Twilight as though expecting some kind of joke. "Why?"

Twilight could not resist giving him a cheesy grin. "It's been Ponyville tradition ever since Pinkie Pie came to town. I wanted it to be a surprise."

"Oh, well," He jerked a nod at Pinkie, "thank you."

"No problem." The pink mare spun around in a happy circle. "I'm super excited Twilight has somepony to talk all sciency to 'cause nopony around here understands that kinda stuff."

"Pinkie." Twilight felt her face grow uncomfortably hot. "That's not true."

Pinkie rolled her eyes, "Fine. Almost nopony. But still, it's super exciting to meet you. And you've just got to meet the rest of our friends." She literally pushed Entropy over to the corner where their group was gathered. "This is Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash."

Entropy nodded curtly to each of them in turn. The mares smiled a warm greeting. Twilight walked over to stand by him. "We all wanted to greet you properly."

"Thanks." Though sporting a soft grin, the stallion looked a little overwhelmed by the sudden attention. His eyes glanced around at Twilight's friends until they focused on Pinkie's scar. Concern suddenly washed over his face, and he stammered, "Are-are you okay? What happened?"

"Huh?" Pinkie spun in little circles trying to figure out what he was talking about. "Oh, the scar. I've had it since last year." Her face turned a little red, "I fell in a hole and got cut by a rock."


Twilight could not figure out why Entropy was so concerned about Pinkie seeing as how they had just met a few seconds ago. Maybe he was just a thoughtful pony. Clearing her throat, she gestured to the ponies all milling around the party. "Big turnout. The Corner's getting too small for this sort of thing."

"You said it!" Applejack fanned herself with her Stetson. "It's too hot in here with all these ponies."

"Sorry." Pinkie pawed at the floorboards, "We're still working on the venue. It's kinda a wreck right now."

Entropy glanced between them, raising an eyebrow. "Venue?"

"Yeah." Pinkie scooped up a cupcake from a table, slowly unwrapping it. "I'm starting a party venue in the old town hall but it's kinda falling apart." Just as she was about to bite into the cupcake, an orange blur came over and knocked it from her hoof. "Cheesie!"

The lanky stallion gave a triumphant grin, posing as though he had just completed a difficult obstacle course. "Victory!"

Her cheeks puffed out like a chipmunk's. "That was my snack, dear."

"Nope. Your snacks are in the back and you know it." Cheese patted her on the forelock, eliciting an even deeper pout from the mare. "Remember what the doctor said. No sugar."

"But, it's just a teensy tiny bit." Pinkie pleaded, staring into Cheese's emerald eyes.

Twilight watched Entropy staring in confusion at the scene. She leaned over, whispering in his ear, "That's Pinkie's husband, Cheese Sandwich."

Entropy's eyes went wide and he stared incredulously at Twilight. "She's married?"

"Yup. And," She found herself giggling a little bit, "pregnant."

"What?" His eyes drifted to the mare's sides. "She doesn’t look it."

"She's only five months along. Don't start treating her different, she'll get really upset."

"Right." Entropy began to walk towards the other ponies when he was caught in a death grip by Cheese. His ears laid flat on his head. "What?"

"I didn't introduce myself." Cheese stepped back, holding out a hoof. "Name's Cheese Sandwich. I'm really excited to have another stallion to chat with." Then, leaning in close, he whispered none too quietly, "We're outnumbered."

Entropy gave another one of his booming laughs, drawing the attention of a few of the ponies. "I can see that." He shook Cheese's hoof, "Nice to meet you."

Twilight watched as Cheese walked Entropy around the party, smiling and laughing among themselves like old buddies. She was distracted enough that she failed to register her friends surrounding her. Pinkie's hoof against her side made her jump in the air. "What?"

Applejack bit into a cupcake, gesturing matter-of-factly to Entropy. "You were spacin' out Sugarcube."

"Was I?" She giggled nervously, playing with her mane. "I just thought it was nice to see Entropy getting along with Cheese."

"Yup. Cheesie was super happy when I said we had a new stallion in town." Pinkie watched her husband for a few seconds. "He really needs some stallion friends."

"Got that right." Rainbow's face scrunched up in a grimace. "He keeps trying to get me to fix the siding and trim work with him." She glared accusingly at Pinkie, "What gives?"

"We really need to get the siding done. Plus," Pinkie's ears drooped a little. "he's lonely. I think he wants to talk about stallion stuff but he's got nopony to listen to him."

"That's to be expected." Rarity patted both Pinkie and Twilight on the forehead. "Though it seems he'll have somepony to chat with now."

"I don't know about that. Entropy doesn't exactly fit the typical stallion model. Or the typical unicorn model." Twilight glanced nervously over at Entropy who for the moment seemed to be enjoying himself immensely. "He hasn't been able to perform one successful spell this entire time. I think he'd blow up Ponyville if I left him alone long enough."

Fluttershy gasped, hiding her face in her long tail. "He would?"

Rainbow snorted a laugh, "Really? Awesome!"

Twilight moaned. Don't they get it?

Thankfully, it was Rarity who brought up the real dilemma. Her hoof rested reassuringly on Twilight's shoulder. "You're worried you won't succeed, aren't you?"

"Yeah." All she wanted to do was curl up into a ball. Never in her life had she felt like such a failure. "It's no good, girls. I can't convince him to focus his magic on anything useful. He just gets more and more frustrated, and I can't blame him." She bit her lip, turning away from them. "I'm a failure of a teacher."

"Oh, Twilight." Fluttershy hugged her tightly. "It'll be okay. I'm sure of it."

"Yeah, it ain't like you've never delt with difficult cases before." Applejack patted Twilight's back reassuringly. "I've got one of my own at the moment."


She groaned, rubbing her forehead. "It's like he's got some kind of crazy charisma waves or somethin'. I ain't never seen Apple Bloom so darn excited about anypony before."

"Charisma?" Rainbow's muzzle scrunched up in distaste. "Since when do you say words like 'charisma'?"

"Noooo." Applejack sunk to her hooves, pounding her head against the floorboards. "His fancy talk's gettin' to me too! Next thing you know, I'll be connin' good ponies out of their hard earned bits."

"There, there, Applejack." Fluttershy lifted Applejack's chin, speaking in her most reassuring voice, "He's only been here a few days, give him a chance."


Twilight rolled her eyes, looking away from her friend. At least Applejack's farm hoof was not threatening to blow up portions of town. Though, it was not as if Entropy wanted to cause mayhem. Maybe her friends were right. This could be fixed. After all, it was not as though she were facing some kind of world threatening evil. Just a misguided professor with far more power than he knew what to do with. Perhaps it was not such an impossible task after all.

By the time Discord managed to leave the party, it was already dark. He did not mind, in fact, he found the cool evening air to be oddly refreshing. Even the quiet streets did not irritate him as they tended to. No, the only bit of his walk he would have changed would be the form he was forced to enjoy it in.

The town clock began to sound. Absent-mindedly he counted the chimes. Nine o'clock, huh? It really was not so late. It seemed that ponies went to bed far too early these days. Whatever happened to staying up late and enjoying an evening stroll? Just like Twilight, they were simply too focused on the routine.

Discord strode over to the fountain, gazing at the reflection in the water. The unicorn looking back was not him. Just a façade to prove to Celestia that he was right all along. Though he wanted to be done with their little joke, it would be interesting to see how it played out.

After all, these ponies trusted him. Ridiculous as it was, they wanted to welcome him into their town. Act the kind, bumbling tutor and they fawn all over you. Pathetic. Discord snorted a laugh, swirling the water with a hoof. It was easy to win them over. Too easy. This month would drag out indefinitely if he had to keep playing the good boy. He had to think of something to spice up the game. Thankfully, that was just his specialty.

Author's Note:

Awweee, Cheese has found himself a new best friend. :rainbowkiss:

A little nod to What Changes May Come and An Honest Life here. Sorry if that was confusing. Since all my fics occur in the same universe, I have to add in bits from my other stories. If you're lost, Pinkie and Cheese got married the winter before this story takes place and live in the apartment above the venue they're fixing up (which is the old town hall). Flim started working at Sweet Apple Acres after he and Flam split up in order to gain respect from one of the most well respected mares he knows.