• Published 4th Feb 2015
  • 4,794 Views, 145 Comments

Keep Calm and Chaos On - Azure129

Discord calls out Celestia on the details of his initial reform. He has some interesting demands, which she gives into (but not without a few challenges of her own.) By the time Discord’s final reform comes, they're as close as two friends can be.

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Midquel 3: The One After 'Magical Mystery Cure'

In a quiet hallway in Canterlot castle on this late evening there suddenly occurred a bright flash of light and a puff of smoke, signaling the flashy magical entrance of none other than Discord. “Attention, everypony! Discord is back in the castle, and he is better than ever!” announced the master of chaos with a grin (holding some suitcases in his hands and wearing a straw hat, big sunglasses, and a red and blue Hawaiian shirt). “I know, I know, everyone must have missed me terribly during my little diplomatic assignment in Acapulcolt for the last week, but I assure you I’ll be spreading enough chaos around here to make up for it and then some.”

Discord chuckled and finally put down his bags and removed his sunglasses to glance around the empty hallway. “You who? Tia? Where are you? I came back specifically after sunset to catch you when you might be free so that we could discuss if you have any other cushy ambassadorial assignments in tropical vacation spots that you might need me to take on. Incidentally, the prime minister of Mexicolt was very impressed with my presence—I used my magic to introduce upside down limbo-ing to the country. It’s all the rage now.” Discord chuckled again, then took a few steps down the hall, still calling out for his sun princess friend. “Oh Celestia, your favorite roommate is—”

Suddenly a very distinct wiggle went through Discord.

He paused, his eyes wide. “What in the…. That feels like residual chaos magic. I’d say…three, four days old at most. And I’ve been away for eight days, so that means…”

“Discord, you’re home. Good,” Celestia’s voice suddenly announced from behind him.

Discord turned at the sound to see the princess approaching him from up the hall with her normal poised smile upon her face. She continued speaking. “I’m glad it seems like you’ve enjoyed your trip. And now that you’re back, we, um…we have some things to talk about.” Celestia looked down a little sheepishly.

Discord approached her, an eyebrow raised. “I’ll say we do. Celestia, do you realize that—” But as Discord got close to her, another distinct wiggle went through him. He paused after it was over, and now his eyes were wide as could be. Then those same eyes focused back on the sun princess again and narrowed very suspiciously. Discord instantly snapped away all of his effects and crossed his arms over his chest. “I should have known you sending me off to the tropics for a week wasn’t right. I thought you were just trying to get some time in the castle to yourself, but that wasn’t it at all, was it?” He leaned down closer, looking her over, frowning more. “What in the world have you been up to while I was gone, Celestia? And who in the world was making chaos, or at least enough crazy magic that chaos couldn’t help but be an outcome? And how exactly are you so connected to it? Don’t deny it, I can sense it.”

Celestia raised an eyebrow. “You can sense it?”

“Do not change the subject,” Discord replied dramatically, holding a finger high in the air. And then he resumed speaking in the firmest tone Celestia had heard him use since before his reform. “I want to know who’s been playing with chaos while I’ve been gone, and I want to know right now. Everything.”

Celestia sighed deeply. “Discord…come into my study for some tea, please. There have been some changes we have to discuss.” She headed down the hall toward her study.

Discord floated along after her, still looking perplexed. “What kind of changes?”

The pair paused as Celestia magically opened her study door and glanced at Discord over her shoulder, smiling a little. “Changes to one of our friends. I’ll explain, Discord. I promise it’s nothing bad. I just felt you’d take it better if it didn’t occur while you were around. It’s been a busy week, Discord.” And then she headed inside.

Discord just sighed and followed her into the room. “All I know is, whatever’s going on had better live up to the hype you’re giving it…and I’d better get another cushy assignment somewhere balmy and warm again soon.”

Celestia only nodded. “Just take a seat, Discord, and we’ll discuss everything.” And then she closed the study door behind them.

Fifteen minutes later…

“You decided WHAT??? Her magic did WHAT??? She became a WHAT???”

“Discord please, calm down,” Celestia smiled as the two sat across from each other at the table in her study with cups of tea before them.

The sun princess had (of course) just explained to the master of chaos the details of Twilight’s ascension to the throne. And the master of chaos was still in the middle of expressing a very great deal of surprise regarding the situation.

Indeed, Discord just sat there before a poised Celestia with wide eyes and a dropped jaw. “But…But…But…But that’s not FAIR!” he whined loudly with a pout.

Celestia sighed deeply, still smiling. “Discord, please, I—”

Suddenly there was a tap at the window, which then opened, allowing Luna to pop her head in from the darkening night with a smile. “I hear many exclamations coming from this room, Celestia. I take it you told Discord of Twilight’s promotion to a princess and her change to an alicorn.” She glanced at Discord, grinning more. “By the way, Discord, excellent near-use of the Royal Canterlot Voice in your reaction. We are impressed.”

Celestia smiled a little and nodded to her sister. “Yes, Luna, I told Discord about Twilight, and now I’m going to answer any questions or concerns he has.” She glanced to Discord again. “His first concern seems to be a general remark that it’s unfair that Twilight gets to be a princess.”

Discord rolled his eyes and scoffed at both sisters. “Oh I don’t care who’s princess! I care about the fact that I’m already outnumbered two to one against both of you! Cadance is in the Crystal Empire with her hubby so I don’t really consider her much of a challenge, but now to have Twilight here as yet another princess I have to be on the lookout for and be on my best behavior for—well, this is just poor sportsmanship!” He nodded his head firmly, crossing his arms over his chest. “And I also meant that it was unfair of you to keep me out of so much chaos reigning around here! Twilight switched people’s destinies, you gave her a biological makeover, Tia, and somewhere in there you popped yourself into a dimensional pocket outside of reality for a slideshow about the past and a musical number.” He pouted and scowled a little again. “I don’t like being pushed out of my element—it’s like you sending Pinkie Pie out of town and throwing a party, or collecting for a charity and keeping Rarity from donating.” For a moment Discord was silent, and then he half grinned a little and looked into Celestia’s eyes, tapping his fingers together. “What? Did you think I might…take advantage of the momentary confusion and instability, and maybe go back on our little bargain of reform? Tia, Luna, I’m wounded that your trust in the sincerity of my newfound goodness is so flimsy after all of our time and experiences together. Why, it’s enough to…give a former ne’er-do-well a legitimate reason for getting back up to his old tricks.” Discord chuckled, his grin growing all the more.

Celestia just sighed, giving him a bit of a dry look (but holding back just a little bit of a smile). “Are you done with the cryptic double talk, Discord? Can I go on now?”

Discord blinked and then broke into full laughter. “Ooo, you’re finally picking up on my sense of humor regarding my ‘reform.’” He made air quotes and rolled his eyes. “Very well, continue, Celestia. So Twilight has wings now and alicorn powers.” He shrugged. “Eh, honestly I’ve done worse chaos without even trying. I think I can get used to this.”

“Can you also get used to calling her Princess now?” Luna asked with a cheeky grin.

“Oh please,” Discord waved her off. “I only even call you and Celestia ‘princess’ just to be ironic sometimes. The only way Twilight’s hearing that title from me is to mock her.”

Luna sighed dryly. “Yes, that sounds about right.” She rolled her eyes. “Well, anyway, I must be off to tend to my nightly duties.” She looked to the chaos master. “Discord, have a good night and stop acting so traumatized.” Then she glanced to her sister. “And Celestia, whatever you do please don’t promise him the ambassadorial trip to the Isles of Greece coming up next month. I have dibs on that one.” She winked and then flew off with a laugh.

Discord grinned and then turned his attention back to Celestia. “So anyway, as I was saying,” he cleared his throat and announced with a touch more drama than was necessary, “I am willing to accept alicorn Princess Twilight as a thing,” His look went dry. “Unless she’s moving into this castle too. Then I’m just dropping the reform entirely and declaring chaos war right now.”

Celestia had to laugh. She shook her head. “Don’t worry, Discord, Twilight isn’t moving in, I promise. Though she will be stopping by for a night in a couple of weeks to assist Luna and I with the Summer Sun Celebration.”

“And she’s also not going off to some new Empire made of quartz or polished glass or whatever like her pink sister-in-law did?” Discord also added dryly.

Celestia shook her head again. “No. Why? …Would you miss Twilight if she did, Discord?” She tilted her head to the side, her smile picking up on one side.

Discord blinked and then scoffed. “Yeah, like an apple tree misses a vampire fruit bat sucking all of the fun out of its soul.” Celestia raised an eyebrow, and Discord just shrugged at her. “What? Applejack makes you pick up countryisms if you spend too much time around her.”

The sun princess couldn’t help laughing again. “Yes, well, I promise, everything is going to be fairly the same around here, even if some things are going to be just a little different, Discord. We’ll all get used to it.”

“Fair enough,” Discord mumbled. Then he smiled to himself, taking up his teacup in his tail again. “Actually, I can probably have a lot of fun with this: teasing Twilight about her changing role, making gags about her wings, really rubbing into your modest little element of magic’s face her new royal status.” He chuckled. “I’ll have to make a visit to Ponyville soon—a nice long on to see all of my friends.”

“Discord, don’t be too hard on Twilight.” Celestia magically sipped her tea. “She’s self-conscious enough as it is.”

Discord just grinned and waved her off. “Oh come on, she’d be more freaked out if I didn’t tease her mercilessly. Besides, I’m not the one who started this whole situation. What I might do won’t effect her nearly as much as what you did.” He looked down into his tea, trying to grin, but his eyes were a little far away. “You know, when you suddenly change a person’s entire physical existence, it does take a little getting used to, Celestia.”

It took Celestia a second, but then her eyes went a little wide in realization. She lowered her teacup and frowned. “Discord…I…”

Discord sighed and glanced up at her again. “Tia, let’s not turn this into a big emotional, ‘analyze Discord’s transformation as it reflects on Twilight’s transformation’ thing. It’ll bore me. And believe me, you and I are not ready for that conversation anyway.” His look got a little dark for a moment, but then it lightened once more as he sipped more tea. His tone was quite professional and aloof-sounding as he went on. “Just make sure you’re there for her and that you grant her whatever liberties she needs to get used to things. Don’t leave her to fend for herself and then ‘magically’ expect her to respond well when you suddenly come around wanting to chat and be close again. That way of going about things rarely works.”

A touch of pain came into Celestia’s eyes and she nodded. “I understand, Discord. And I’ll keep your advice in mind.”

Discord took another sip of deep and let out a deep breath. “Good, thank you, Celestia.”

There was quiet between them for a few moments. Then eventually Celestia tried to smile again. “Did you have fun in Mexicolt, Discord? And did you maintain relations well enough that we’re not going to war or anything?”

Discord smiled more and looked up at her again. “Hey, you gave me a job to do, and I did it well. Oh sure, I had a lot of fun when I was there—I mean, so much fun that it might actually overwhelm you and your grimness streak if I told you about it all, Celestia. But I also got those papers signed you gave me, met dignitaries and shook hands, talked up our beautiful land run under the guidance of pony goddesses. I especially emphasized to the Mexicolt Prime Minister and his delegates how fascinating you and Luna are visually.” Discord grinned fully. “I mean, I raved on and on about how images and descriptions could not do justice to your divine and desirable beauty, and how even just looking at you for too long could drive stallions mad with affection…especially in your case.” He winked at her. “I was also very certain to add that if someone brings it up to you and you act modest, you’re just playing hard to get. You really, really, really should be expecting a return visit soon.” Discord broke into a bout of amused laughter.

Celestia smiled more and just sighed and shook her head, trying not to laugh too. “Thank you for trying to handle things so well, Discord.”

“You are quite welcome,” the chaos master replied with a nod and other sip of his tea. “But please don’t send me off on little errands like that again just to distract me, hmm?” He gave her a bit of a look. “I’m a great big grown draconequus, I can handle being in the thick of some changes. And I would have enjoyed watching the chaos unfold much more than I would have wanted to spoil the fun by taking advantage of anything. You should know that, Celestia.” Something in his irrepressible grin warmed, and his eyes met hers again.

“Of course, Discord.” Celestia nodded, unable to help smiling more as she looked back into those eyes. “I know you’re our friend now and wouldn’t take advantage. Like I said, it was just a long week and a big change. I did what I thought was best at the moment.”

Discord nodded. “Fair enough.” He reclined back in his chair a little, taking his teacup in hand. “So did you just give Twilight wings or did you go the full alicorn package—twice as tall and flowing hair and a horn that could spear a manticore?”

Celestia smiled more. “She just has wings for now. Other slight changes will follow.”

“Good.” Discord sipped more of his tea. “I think Luna and especially you are the only ones who can really pull off the full-blooded alicorn look anyway.”

Celestia grinned a little. “Yes, I make having a mane and tail like mine look much easier than it actually is.”

“Laughing at yourself?” Discord chuckled. “Oh, I really am having a good effect on you, Celestia. And nice one, by the way.” His gaze grew a little warmer, and his grin picked up on one side. “Your hair is one of my favorite features of yours, you know. It has a certain chaotic appeal—quite mesmerizing actually.” His eyes narrowed playfully. “It’s the part of you that I played up the most to the prime minister and his delegates, by the way. Oh, you’re going to break so many hearts when they come here and all you want to do is extend your ‘friendship’ to them.” He chuckled more.

Celestia sighed deeply, trying not to blush (and trying not to glance too much at her hair). “Thank you for the compliments, Discord. And for making sure that Mexicolt’s next visit to Equestria will be an…interesting one for me handle.” She shook her head, smiling more.

“You’re quiet welcome,” Discord nodded. “In fact, speaking of chaos and you, your whole participation in this chaotic mess with Twilight and successfully tricking me into staying out of it is impressive. Part of me always hates being bested, but another larger part of me really loves finding someone who can challenge me from time to time…and especially in a situation involving chaos too.” His smile grew and he raised an eyebrow. “I’m going to have to keep an even closer eye on you, I think.”

Celestia shrugged and sipped her tea with all of her usual poise. “If you’d like, Discord. But I promise you, there’s nothing terribly special about me.”

“You keep me amused and from making this castle explode with chaos all at the same time, and you do it all while looking stunning—believe me, only a very special pony could accomplish that.” Discord sipped more of his tea.

“Thank you, Discord.” Celestia nodded. “I try.”

Discord nodded in return. Then… “So…” the master of chaos grinned, putting down his cup and leaning in just a little closer to her, “Did you miss me?”

Celestia looked up at him and blinked. “I…yes, a little actually.” She smiled sheepishly. “Luna and I have such opposite schedules—we get to spend time together occasionally but never enough. But with you around, I’ve had a friend to talk to around here during the days, and a friend to always have a midnight snack of cake with if I want. And Luna’s had a friend who could stay up late with her until all hours and who’s a bit more of a night person than I am. I hope you’ll stay around for a while now that you’re back from your trip, Discord.”

Discord’s whole look perked up considerably at this information. “You really did miss me then?”

Celestia nodded. “Yes, Discord.” And then she couldn’t help herself… “And did you miss Luna and I?” Her smile picked up on one side and she raised an eyebrow in interest.

Discord blinked. “I…well…” he quickly looked down into his tea, “I missed Fluttershy…and…maybe you and Luna too a little.” He rolled his eyes. “Don’t take it personally, it’s just that you all provide great conversation and laugh at my jokes and kind of give me someone to ‘perform’ for. And I haven’t had that in a really long time, being stone and everything.” He did his best to resume a casual, aloof smile.

Celestia’s smile softened. “I see.” She considered for a moment, and then put aside her teacup. “Discord, would you want to go have some cake together now? As I said, it’s been a stressful week…and so I may have instructed the kitchen staff to bake as many of them as the icebox would hold. There’s probably at least a dozen cakes in there ready to go.” She rolled her eyes at herself.

Discord chuckled warmly and nodded to her. “Well, I do love our cake dates.”

The sun princess just blushed a little and shook her head with a sigh.

Discord laughed again. “Come on, then, let’s get to it, my dear Tia.” He snapped, making their tea things disappear, and then stood up. “And while we’re eating, you can give me a play by play of the cutie mark switching shenanigans that I missed.” He laughed to himself as he strolled to the door. “Rainbow Dash trying to do Fluttershy’s job…Priceless! I really should have thought of that whole concept myself.”

Celestia smiled as she stood up and followed after him. “I’d be happy to share the details of what happened with the girls, Discord. I have to admit, however dangerous the whole problem was and necessary to correct…it did still have a sort of chaotic humor to it.”

“Ah, I always knew you were secretly a woman of excellent taste.” Discord turned to her as he opened the study door and then stepped aside. “And speaking of which, ladies first.” He gave her a smile and a bow.

Celestia blinked, smiling more. “Oh. Well, thank you, Discord.” She bowed her head in return and the trotted out into the hall, Discord following behind her.

Chuckling, Discord closed the study door (and snapped his tail) and then joined Celestia in walking down the hall toward the kitchens (one of his arms inconspicuously hidden behind his back).

“I really think we can expect great things from Twilight, Discord.” Celestia remarked, holding her head a little higher. “There will be some changes, but I think they’ll be for the better.”

Discord nodded. “Ah, yes, but still, some things will never change of course, good buddy, for Twilight or anypony else.” Discord put his hidden arm around Celestia’s neck for a moment, gave her a playful hug, and then let her go. Stuck on Celestia’s back now was a sign reading, ‘I love my cake dates with Discord!’

Celestia laughed softly (totally unaware of the sign). “Yes, I suppose that’s very true, Discord.”

Discord chuckled again. Then his eyes lit up. “Say, does this mean that if I find a student that I’d like to teach in the ways of chaos, I can turn them into a draconequus if the mood strikes me?”

Celestia sighed deeply. “Discord…” She shook her head and tried not to smile too much.

“Just a thought.” Discord shrugged with a smirk. And with that, the pair (and Celestia’s sign) proceeded to the kitchen for cake.

Sometime later, long after the cake date (and also long after Celestia had discovered the sign on her back, removed it, crumpled it into a ball with her magic, and tossed it at Discord’s face with a warm laugh), Discord was leaving his bathroom upstairs with his rubber ducky in one hand and a towel over his shoulder, and heading to his room…when suddenly a very, very distinct magical wiggle went through him.

Discord’s eyes shot open wide, and his rubber ducky dropped to the floor. He was perfectly quiet for a long moment.

Then the master of chaos started mumbling softly to himself in the empty hallway. “That can’t be right. Or…can it?” He smiled…his eyes narrowed. “Unless…perhaps it can be right. Yes, perhaps it can be right indeed! Hmm…” he tapped his fingers together in a devious gesture, “Oh, I knew that harmony tree would be weakened all of those years ago when the sisters removed the elements, but I just figured my plunder seeds weren’t strong enough to attack it regardless. But that little bit of chaos Celestia and Twilight went through…and now the return of my own chaos…the sister’s disconnection from the elements…. Yes, yes, maybe all of that’s finally done the trick.”

Discord’s grin had grown to its fullest extent by now. He put a paw to his chin and considered very carefully. “Now, your basic responsible and good friend would give everyone some warning about this whole mess before it even starts.” He chuckled. “But how boring would that be, hmm? No, no… Twilight wants to learn how to be a princess? Very well, let’s see her handle a crisis all on her own right off the bat. And besides, Celestia sent me away on a little unexpected vacation…the least I can do is sort of return the favor for her and Luna.”

Discord chuckled and snapped away his towel and ducky as he resumed his stroll to his room. “Oh, everyone’s going to be so mad. And who knows, if the seeds do work out…if they really do, then…” His devious grin grew…but then faded just a little. “But…no, no, I suppose Fluttershy would be very upset with me if I took advantage of that.” He shrugged. “Still, at least this whole thing will remind everypony that I’m still not to be trifled with, that I’m still a formidable foe. And it’ll also show Celestia and Luna that when it comes to moments of instability in the nation, I really can be trusted to stay good…for the most part.” He clapped his claw and paw together. “Oh this is just too perfect, I can’t wait. Truly this will be the best Summer Sun Celebration ever. And I’ll plan a little visit to Ponyville right before it happens…. The timing should be perfect then, just perfect.” And thus, chuckling to himself almost evilly but still distinctly humorously, Discord snapped himself straight to bed to await the ideal time for his plunder seeds (and his own dubious friendship tactics) to strike.

Author's Note:

And that's another midquel posted :twilightsmile: I hope you guys enjoyed this one! Next time around, I make an attempt at explaining why the pony sisters didn't completely lose it on Discord after he let them get kidnapped during 'Princess Twilight Sparkle' (I was always really surprised that Twilight was the only one who gave him a good talking to once he admitted to kind of being behind the whole 'evil vines' thing lol).

I'm probably going to stick with posting these midquels one at a time because of how crazy my schedule is now, and because until I can go back to doing regular updates of longer stories or posting longer one shots, this at least will let me give you guys some regular updates :twilightsmile: Also, I'm thinking about writing one more midquel (about the perspective of the castle staff/guards on Discord's presence), and I want to have time to draft it before it hits the point in the story when I need to post it.

Have a nice night and a good week, everypony! And for all of my fellow USA bronies, happy 4th of July soon (I'll be working the whole weekend naturally, but you all still enjoy yourselves :yay: )