• Published 19th Jun 2015
  • 2,087 Views, 77 Comments

Psychadelic - Masterweaver

One is a cosmically aware eco-friendly drifter. One is a reformed chaotic manifestation still adjusting to society. Together, they bake brownies, save worlds, and get to know each other!

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Hearts Analyze Nebulous Destinies Pondering Attitudes Nextwave

Tree Hugger narrowed her eyes, focusing on the small tree in front of her.

It was... brown, with green leaves and white petals.

She lowered the spectacles on her muzzle, and once again saw the familiar network of red veins with small golden sparkles resting in the bends and cracks.

She rose them up again.

"...I can't even see the bugs in there." Tree Hugger turned to Discord. "How do ordinary ponies keep from squishing the tiny souls?"

The draconequuis shrugged, absently lifting his feet off the ground. "I suppose they don't."

And that was another thing. Discord was... well, surprisingly mellow-looking through the glasses. Grays and browns and dull golds--yes, he had a smattering of other colors, but they were all very confined, limited to limbs or extremities. He looked... solid, for lack of a better phrase. Not like the dancing river of colored spirals that coiled and wove through her tent.

Tree Hugger lowered the glasses again, just to be sure. Yes, that creature was Discord. Somehow, that conglomerate of solid parts was just the same as the familiar flow of fantastic flurry. If that was truly what ordinary ponies saw when they looked at him...

...actually, it didn't explain anything. He didn't look particularly bad either way. Strange, yes, but not...

She flushed, pushing the glasses back up her muzzle and looking around the confines of her tent. Now that could actually see it, the color seemed... well, actually rather drab. And she'd always known the fabric was rough, but she'd never expected that there was a... visual aspect to the roughness. It looked rough, and that was... as best as Tree Hugger could explain it. And... yes, there was the tiny tiny hook that she would have to fiddle to open the patched in window, with the small incense pot that she hung from it in order to find the thing one dark night.

It looked so obvious now... So easy to spot, so brightly colored.

"You're awfully quiet," Discord noted. "Not that I mind, really. Usually when I expose ponies to new experience, they start complaining very loudly."

Tree Hugger turned back to him. "Well, like I said, I'm not good at talking about my feelings. Although," she mused as she moved the glasses to half-mast, "I'm digging what I can get from this. It's a pretty radical gift, you know?"

"Oh, certainly."

"I think my mother tried to get me something like this once," she mused. "Before I got my cutie mark. She thought my eyes were seeing the wrong things..." Tree Hugger shook her head. "The spell on those glasses worked, I guess, but they were trying to fix a problem that wasn't there. These... these actually change what I see."

"Well, viewing things from different perspectives is something of a specialty of mine." Discord popped his head off and spun it round in his talons, plunking it back onto his head backwards and upside down. Then he conjured something fancy and pink in his paw, holoding it behind his neck and...

"What is that?" Tree Hugger asked, amazed.

"What is what?" asked the upside-down image of Discord's face on the object.

"That thing you're holding." She pointed. "What is it?"

"...it's a hand mirror." His upside down face frowned.

"That's a mirror? I thought..." Tree Hugger took the glasses off for a moment, looking carefully at the spiraling colors of Discord's aura for any sign of deception, before replacing them. "Ponies talk about seeing themselves in mirrors, but I see your face..."

"Ah!" Suddenly Discord snapped his talons and in a flash his head was back in its usual position, smiling in understanding. "Mirrors only work that way when you look at them straight on, because the image bounces straight back." He contorted his body into a squarish outline with a sproing, gesturing to the flat surface he now embroidered. "See?"

There, right in front of Tree Hugger, was the image of the tiny tree she had just grown. And standing behind the tree was a green mare with orange-and-reddish dreadlocks held back by a yellow floral-print bandanna. She brought her hoof up to her cheek, slowly; the mare matched her motion exactly, astonishment clear in the faded lavender eyes behind the smoky purple glasses.

"...is that really how other ponies see me?"

"Yes. Well, mostly yes." Discord waved a paw. "There's this whole horizontal inversion going on for reasons that are quite frankly boring, but you're pretty much symmetrical in that direction anyway so it doesn't really matter."

Tree Hugger trailed her hoof around her face. "My eyebrows are freaking huge..."

"Not nearly as big as mine!" the draconequuis quipped, waggling his own bushy brows.

She nodded absently, giving her reflection a tiny wave. It waved back, exactly in time with her. "That's... that's just... huh. She's moving like I move." Almost without realizing, she walked forward, reaching a hoof out to her visual twin. It stopped, less than an inch away, from the hoof the other mare was likewise raising. "Whoa. That's weird."


"I can't feel the... the warmth of her hoof." Tree Hugger tried to reach further, but that quarter-inch of distance would not close. "There's... there's something between me and her--"

"Embrace... she's not real."

The mare looked up at Discord's face in confusion.

He gave a sigh. "Just because you see something doesn't mean it exists. The eye is meant to pick up light bouncing off objects, right? That means what you see is just the light. What you're feeling is a flat sheet of glass, which is reflecting light that bounces off you back into your eyes. And that can change surprisingly fast!"

Tree Hugger jumped back in shock as the mare in front of her began to distort, stretching tall and thin and short and wide and warping as Discord wibbled and wobbled. "What the--what is that?! What's happening?!"

To his credit, the draconequuis noted her distress and ceased his actions, vanishing the image entirely.

"...what was that?" she asked. "What was..."

"That," Discord explained, "was me bending the mirror. That means the reflection would change." He gently, cautiously reached out a paw to clasp her cheek. "But the reflection, like I said, isn't real. What you saw did not change what you are."

She lowered the glasses, returning to the familiar, reasonable image of colored swirls and flowing lines. Her breathing slowed back to normal. After a moment, she brought a hoof up to his paw, letting herself feel the warmth from it. "We're always changing, Discord. I just... that was a change I didn't... wasn't ready for."

"Well, clearly not," Discord said, a sardonic tone almost hiding his relief. "I haven't seen a pony jump back so far since Pinkie Pie's party cannon backfired!"

"Pinkie Pie... Right, I think Shyfly introduced me to her. Yellow and pink, blue and orange."

"You know, I've never seen her in orange, to be honest. But she does have a yellow and blue cutie mark."

Tree Hugger gave Discord a flat look.

"Ah, yes, you were describing how you viewed her." Discord pulled back his paw, clearing his throat. "...I didn't mean to frighten you with that little... demonstration."

"...I shouldn't have been frightened," Tree Hugger said, not to him.

"Oh, don't worry about hurting my feelings. Celestia knows I've cause much worse reactions from ponies over the years--"

"No!" Tree Hugger stood. "You don't understand. I, I embrace everything about the world! I like experiencing new things! I mean, I don't like doing drugs, because of how they affect me, but--this wasn't anything dangerous, or life threatening, I just..."

She stopped and looked inward, trying to brighten the pale stripes of green in her aura--

And then she realized what she was doing.

"...I couldn't see. When I looked, I couldn't... see."

Discord tilted his head. "Yes, that's why I created the glasses. Wasn't this already established?"

She turned to look up at him. The glasses came on, and she saw a concerned gray face. The glasses came off, and the spirals of color had tinges of pale indigo and pale green.

"...This is... a radical gift, Discord." She regarded the glasses themselves--she'd been told that they were smokey purple to others, but she could only see sudden apertures in an otherwise colorful but vague world. "It lets me see like others, but... it also blinds me to my own groove. I don't think that's a bad thing... or a good thing. I think... I think I'll keep them, but I'm not going to wear them every day." Tree Hugger gently took the glasses off. "You understand, right?"

Discord crossed his arms peevishly, but he did give a reluctant sigh. "You did seem rather unlike yourself when you were wearing them. I don't really understand why, but I suppose the fact you're keeping them at all--"

"Don't be like that, Dissy." Tree Hugger stepped forward, nuzzling him gently. "I like it. I really do. I just... didn't know everything they'd do. Kinda the reason why I asked for glasses and not new eyes," she added.


"...you said you made me a painting."

She felt the angry tension melt away from him. "Well, I never said I made it for just you, but I was rather thinking of you in particular when I made it."

"Well, I suppose that art is an expression of one's self through the form we grant it, and therefore a reflection of our reality within the universe."

Discord snorted. "How much of that did you make up just now?"

"Basically all of it. That's kinda the point of philosophy, to figure out the figuring as you go along, you dig?"

"So you admit you have no idea what you're talking about!"

"Nah, I've got plenty of ideas about what I'm talking about. I'm just choosing the ones I like." Tree Hugger held up a hoof, raising the glasses up. "Do you... can I see this painting though?"

"Hmm? Oh, yes." Discord gestured to something at the side of the tent. "It's still there, if you want to look at it."

The mare turned to face the object, slowly bringing the lenses to her eyes. And through them she saw something similar to what Discord had shown her in the mirror; a green mare with orange-and-reddish dreadlocks held back by a yellow floral-print bandanna. Only this time the mare wasn't moving. No, her faded purple eyes were half lidded, and a gentle smile was on her face, and she had some sort of exotic flower insect on an outstretched hoof.

And there were other things too. Certain paint strokes accentuated some curves and smoothed others. The image's dreadlocks did not merely droop; they stretched, flared, in various directions. And where her own foreleg was jointed in clear ways, this painting portrayed it as a single, flowing line, just barely hinting at vines. In fact, if she looked at it from another angle, the mare's face was in the center of an exotic, underwater flower-like creature, hints of great creatures swimming in the background.

"...This isn't how other ponies see me, is it?"

"No." Discord lowered his head. "This is how I see you."

She smiled.

"...well, mostly," he added reluctantly. "I mean there's only so much you can do with just paint. This is a still image, after all, and you're a living and breathing pony--"

"I love it."

Discord swallowed his words, and the words of the pamphlet entitled 'how to woo a mare'.

"I... really do love it Discord." She turned to him, her smile as soft as the rain of a summer's day. "I really do."

Author's Note: