• Published 30th Nov 2019
  • 1,448 Views, 83 Comments

Let Me Go - Shakespearicles



It is impossible for a pony to live forever. But Discord is a master of the impossible.

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Tea For Now

"Discord!" Fluttershy greeted cheerfully, before checking the wall clock. "You're home early."

"I- I missed you," he said.

"Oh, you're such a sweetheart! How was Celestia and Luna?" she asked as he walked inside her cottage.

"Oh, you know. Living-" Discord glanced at the portrait by the front door. It was a picture of them back when they had first become friends. It was the same picture that he had walked by every time he walked in or out of the house. He almost didn't even notice it anymore. In the glass, he saw his faint reflection. He looked exactly as he did in the photo. He looked at young Fluttershy, and then at the mare sitting in the living room. She had bags under her eyes. Her mane was frayed with streaks of silver running through it. 'When had that happened?' he wondered. He had been keeping a constant eye on her for decades, and he never saw it happen. It had been so gradual and insidious that he never saw it. "Living it up," he answered.

"Is everything okay?" she asked as she walked over to him. "You look upset." He scooped her up in his arms and hugged her.

"I'm sorry. I just missed you is all," he said, holding her tightly. His throat felt like it was closing up, like there was a rope squeezing around his neck. Minutes passed, but the feeling didn't.

"..."

"..."

"Um, Discord, can you let me go?" she asked.

Let me go

The rope around his neck pulled a little tighter.

"Yes, of course," he said, setting her down, getting his feelings firmly in check. "I guess I just missed you more than I realized. But I'm fine now. Everything is fine," he said. She seemed unsure. She seemed... old. "Everything is going to be okay."

"You-"

"I would tell you if it wasn't. I promise," he said. It was good enough for her. "Ooh, I just remembered! I got you something while I was out!" A shopping bag materialized outside. He opened the door and grabbed it.

"You didn't have to-"

"Fluttershy, I did. I really did." He gave her the bag. She opened it and looked inside, taking out the items.

"Wrinkle cream and mane dye?" she gave him a hurt look. "Discord, I never thought that you could be so shallow! Of all creatures! Do you think I ever judged you on your looks?"

"What!? No! No no no! That's not what I meant at all! I love y- your looks, your beauty! I just-"

"Just what?"

"I just... wanted to play salon."

"Salon?"

"Yes, you know, like the ponies at the spa. I just wanted to spend a day to pamper you, and give your mane some dye and help you look as young as you feel!" he said. Fluttershy sighed.

"I'm sure your intentions were in the right place. But I think I look just about exactly as old as I feel." She walked over to the couch. As she walked, she has a slight limp.

"Is something wrong with your leg?"

"It's just my knee acting up again," she said.

She had tripped going up a small set of stairs and hurt her knee, and it was taking a long time to heal. That was... gosh that was four years ago, Discord realized. Another bag materialized outside.

"Oh! Of course," Discord said. "That reminds me!" He opened the door and grabbed the new bag and brought it inside, walking over to sit beside Fluttershy. He took out the box of tea bags.

"Tea?"

"Yes! It came highly recommended by Celestia. You know how much she loooves tea!" He grinned. "She said this helps her to feel younger. It could help your knee get better."

"Well I don't know about that. But we can try it," she said.

"Now about trying that spa day?" he said, holding up the mane dye and wrinkle cream. She rolled her eyes and just smiled.

"I suppose if you really want-"

Fluttershy barely got the 't' in 'want' out before the couch transform into a barber chair and he had wrapped an apron around her.

"Great! Let's get started!" he said, snapping the custom gloves over his paw and claws. He started adding the dye to her mane and working it in as a second pair of his disembodied hands worked on where her tail was hanging under the chair. "You know, this is the same brand that Mayor Mare used." He snapped the gloves off and opened the wrinkle cream jar, gently applying some on her cheeks and on the lines at the corners of her eyes. "There we go. Now we just let that set in for a bit." He moved the hand of the clock around one lap. "There, that should do it."

"Um, that didn't seem very long," she said.

"Time flies when your having fun! Isn't that what Pinkie Pie always says?" he said as he helped her out of the chair.

"Well-"

"Now go on and shower the extra dye out while I get some of this tea going," he said, turning the chair back into her old couch.

"Well... if you really think this will help me look younger..." she humored him, stepping into her bathroom to shower off. Discord got the tea going while she bathed. The tea would do nothing to help her and he knew it perfectly well. But he knew he needed to be subtle about the changes he was about to make.

A short while later, she stepped out of the bathroom with her mane up in a towel to dry. Discord had already arranged the table with a set of tea cups and the kettle already brewed. He poured her a cup.

"There we are. A cup of this will have you feeling better in a snap!" he said, snapping his fingers for emphasis. In truth, the snap did more than the tea would.


After a week of benign tea and face cream, Fluttershy was looking and feeling wonderful. She was practically glowing with youth. She was her old young self again.

"I must say, Discord, this tea is amazing!" Fluttershy said.

"Well, I suppose if anypony knows how to stay feeling young, it would be Celestia," Discord said.

"I was thinking about visiting the cemetery today. I wanted to bring Rarity some flowers," she said.

"Something tells me that she's not going to notice," Discord said. Fluttershy didn't get angry. She knew that he simply didn't have the same understanding to grieving that other beings did.

"I suppose it's not really for her," Fluttershy. "It more for me. I miss her. It's important to me to give her some flowers to help with letting her go."

"Ah. Well if it's for you, Posies then? I know they're your favorite." He snapped his fingers, blinking a big bouquet into his paw for her.

"I was going to get her violets, since those are her favorite," Fluttershy.

"Were," he corrected. Fluttershy's smile faltered a little.

"Those were her favorite," she said.

"Violets it is then." He snapped his fingers and the posies turned into a big bunch of violets.

"I'd rather go collect them myself," Fluttershy said.

"Why?"

"It's... part of the process."

"If you insist." He snapped the bouquet out of existence. "Shall we go to the Everfree then?" he asked, offering her his elbow.

"... Actually, I think I'd like to just go myself."

"Have I done something wrong?" he asked.

"No, no. I just don't want to bore you. I know how much you hate walking."

"I don't mind walking when it's with you," he said.

"Okay. Well actually, it's just that... you've been a bit clingy these past few days and I just want a little space."

"..."

"Is that alright?" she asked.

"Yes, of course! You're a strong independent mare. Please, don't let me keep you a moment more," he said, getting the door for her.

"I promise I won't be too long," she said, trotting outside and heading to the woods for the flowers.

Discord closed the door and sat on the couch to wait. He sat, stone-still, and waited. His eyes unfocused and stared into the room, but one of them was very busy.

Keeping an eye on things.

Fluttershy trotted along the well-trodden path in the woods. She realized she was trotting, and not just walking or limping. The aches of her body were fast becoming a thing of the past as the bounce returned to her steps. And not only that, but she was able to just keep on going without huffing and puffing from the exertion. Her eyes caught movement in the trees above her. A large panther was leaping about, prowling from tree to tree. She just smiled at the animal. Brother panther was another forest friend to the mare.

The limb of an older tree creaked loudly as he landed on it. By quick reflex, he jumped off it to the next. The force of him launching himself was the last straw for the heavy limb, making it break loose. The thick branch tumbled over end, falling vertically like a massive spear down at Fluttershy. She froze and clenched her eyes.

"Fluttershy!" Discord said. "You forgot to pack a lunch."

Fluttershy looked up at her friend, floating above her, holding a brown paper bag. The jagged end of the branch, inches from her face, protruded from his chest, and the rest of it was sticking out of his back.

"Discord are you okay!?" she asked. Discord looked down at himself.

"Oh. Would you look at that. I've been impaled," he said with complete lack of concern. He grabbed the branch and pulled it sideways out of him and his torso reformed as though her were made of clay.

"Discord! You saved my life!" she said.

"Did I?" he feigned. "What a fortunate stroke of pure luck on my part."

"I'm the lucky one!" Fluttershy said, hugging him. "Lucky to have you."

"Now and forever," he said, hugging her back.


It was to no pony's surprise when Pinkie Pie had finally succumb to complications from diabetes. In the days leading up to it, they had all made their peace when they visited her in the hospital.

The wake was, predictably, a party, complete with multi-colored balloons and steamers that read 'Happy Deathday Pinkie Pie!' The music was a selection of departed's favorite songs. The festive colors and jovial melodies belied the somber tone of the gathering. It culminated in a video presentation of Pinkie Pie herself. The light's dimmed and the projector reel spooled to life. The screen flickered and there she was, Pinkie Pie, sitting in her wheelchair, looking back at the camera.

"Hey everypony. If you're watching this, it means I'm dead and you're probably pretty bummed. Hopefully the going-away party I arranged for myself will help to cheer you up. Look, I know we all loved Rarity, but that service for her was sooo boring! Cheese, I know it couldn't have been easy for you and Lil' Cheese to put it together. But I'm sure you did great!"

Cheese Sandwich hugged his son.

"Dashie, if you're still alive, I'm kinda surprised, and it means that I just lost a bet." Pinkie smiled. "But I know it's because Applejack cares about you, and probably got you to quit drinking. If she did, I hope she can make an exception for you today. Cheers!" Pinkie Pie held up a mug of apple cider and took a sip.

Rainbow Dash lifted her mug of non-alcoholic apple juice to the screen.

"Applejack, I'm confident that you're still kicking around. I've always said, 'Applejack is too stubborn to die!' You were always the strongest of us. And not just physically. Keep looking after Dashie."

"I will," Applejack said to the screen, hugging Rainbow Dash beside her.

"Twilight, I know you cancelled something more important to be here today," Pinkie Pie said.

"Nothing is more important than friendship!" Princess Twilight Sparkle said.
"Nothing is more important than friendship," Pinkie Pie said at the same time on the screen.

"Jinx!" Pinkie Pie teased. "I know that's exactly what you'll say!" Twilight just smiled and shook her head. "I'm sure Celestia and Luna and everypony are just all so proud of you!"

"We are," Celestia said, sitting beside her younger sister.

"Spike, say hi to your wife, Ember for me, and make sure to remind Twilight not to take life too seriously. You'll never get out alive!" Pinkie Pie laughed hysterically. "Ha ha! Ghost humor!"

"Heh. Good one Pinkie," the large drake said.

"Fluttershy," Pinkie Pie's voice and tone turned serious for the first time in the entire video. "I have a very important task for you. Make sure Discord doesn't bring me back. Discord, I know you meant well when you offered to resurrect Rarity for me, but we both knew that wasn't what she wanted. And it's not what I want either. I always said 'You only live once.' And I will not be made a liar!"

"Now then, I know you've probably all been chatting it up with each other catching up and talking about how much you miss me. But I know there's one there that has been unusually quiet. So I'd like to end this video by passing things off to him to say a few words on my behalf. Let's all give a hoof to my friend Discord!" Pinkie Pie lifted her other hoof. Or rather, the stump of where her hoof had been amputated due to her advanced diabetes. "Oops! Looks like I already did! Hehe!" The video ended and the screen went black.

Everypony in attendance turned around and looked at the Draconequus sitting silently in the back of the room.

"I'd rather not," he said. Fluttershy tugged at his arm and whispered.

"Pinkie Pie asked you to. Please? For me?"

Discord begrudgingly stood up from his seat and walked with Fluttershy up to the podium at the front of the room. For a long minute he just stood there and stared at everypony.

"Funerals are stupid!" he said bluntly. "Do you think a dead pony even knows if we are here? Do they even care? It's a waste of time!"

"Discord!" Fluttershy whispered angrily beside him. "Nopony likes funerals. Can you just- can you just say something nice about Pinkie Pie! And then you can leave if you want." Discord sighed and set his jaw.

"Pinkie Pie..." he started over again, but then paused, picking his next words carefully. "Before Fluttershy became my friend, and took the time to understand me best, I think Pinkie Pie was the pony that understood me first. She was the only one that ever appreciated my chocolate rain. And the only mortal I've ever know to never take life seriously." He looked over at the body of the mare laying motionless in the casket. Her fur was a dull, pale pink. Her mane had long gone completely grey.

"And now she's dead..." He lifted his fingers to snap them. Fluttershy put her hoof on his elbow and shook her head. "Forever, apparently... And that sucks."

Discord knocked over the microphone and the podium with it, making a loud crash and a screech of feedback over the speakers. Then he walked out without another word.


To say that 'Rainbow Dash didn't take Applejack's passing well', was the understatement of the year. To wake up beside her spouse having passed in her sleep was hard enough. But the worst was at the service when her final wishes were read.

Leave my father's hat with my nephew. Scatter my ashes around my orchard so that I might be with my beloved apple trees. Leave no marker for me. Leave no grave. If I have lived rightly, I should need no memorial to be remembered.

Rainbow Dash was inconsolable. It was a prompt end of her sobriety. By the end of the service, she was violently drunk.

"I'll give 'em somethin' t'meber her by!" she slurred. "Sunic Reen...Bum!"

The last successful Sonic Rainboom for the venerable mare was decades ago. She ran for the door. Spike tried to stop her, but she broke his jaw, and likely every bone in her hoof, when she socked him for blocking her path. She took off into the sky, screaming incoherently as she flew as high as she could, until the air was simply too thin for her wings to grasp. And then she turned and flew straight back down.

The official report ruled her death as a 'flight accident' when she failed to pull out of the dive. But whether it was an accident or not would never be known. Or talked about.

But sure enough... Rainbow Dash did one last Sonic Rainboom for Applejack.


Rainbow Dash's closed casket, (and what parts they could recover of her) was given a Wonderbolt burial with full honors. Scootaloo, Twilight, Spike, Fluttershy and Discord stood on one side of it. Celestia, Luna, and everypony else stood on the side as it was lowered. Celestia looked at Fluttershy. For a mare that was nearly eighty, she didn't look a day over twenty nine. Celestia's eyes shifted to Discord. She looked at him. He looked right back at her.
She knew.
He knew she knew.
She knew he knew she knew.

He looked at Fluttershy beside him. She was looking at the casket sitting in the bottom of the grave.

"I could bring her back, you know," Discord said.

"If it was her time, it was her time," Fluttershy said.

"But if it was an accident, maybe it was before her time," he said.

"No."

"But maybe-"

"Do you think Dash would want to go on living without Applejack!? She wouldn't want that."

"I... could bring her back too," Discord said.

"Applejack definitely wouldn't want that," Spike muttered through his jaw brace. "She'd probably kick the snot outta ya."

"You're all just so ready to just give up?" Discord asked. "Don't you care?"

"Of course we care," Fluttershy said.

"But ponies aren't meant to live forever," Twilight said beneath her breath, and her waving mane. She looked beside her at her friend, Fluttershy. She knew it was only a matter of time.

It began to rain as the dirt was filled in over the grave. The sky rumbled and the other ponies dispersed until only Fluttershy remained. Her mane started to tingle and stand on end. The cloud flashed, and a stream of concentrated electrons shot down through the air at nearly the speed of light to the one high point in the whole cemetery, the yellow pegasus standing beside Rainbow Dash's headstone.

In a fraction of an instant, an umbrella appeared above her. The lightning struck it, and traveled down the metal handle and into Discord's arm, his body absorbing the fatal strike. The deafening boom of thunder scared the daylights out of the poor mare, but she was otherwise unharmed.

"I thought you might want an umbrella," Discord said.

He was happy to hold it for her to keep her dry.

To keep an eye on her.


"Happy Birthday, Fluttershy!" Twilight said, presenting the cake at the monthly Council of Friendship. But now it was just Twilight, Spike, Fluttershy and Discord. There was another Ogres & Oubliettes convention that weekend, but Discord wouldn't miss her birthday for the world.

"I can't believe it..." Spike did the math in his head.

"I know. A hundred and twenty two." Fluttershy said. "Healthy living."

"No I mean I literally can't believe it," Spike said. "You don't look it at all. You barely look thirty!"

"Oh, you flatter me," Fluttershy said.

"Fluttershy, you don't have a single grey hair or wrinkle. Look at me, I've grown. Even Twilight has. But you look like you haven't changed a bit since the coronation!"

"Oh it's just a bit of wrinkle creme and mane dye," Fluttershy said. "I still feel-" Fluttershy stopped mid sentence. She realized that she didn't feel old at all. In fact, she felt great. She couldn't even remember the last time she had so much a cold. Granny Smith died when she was eight five, and by then she looked like a shambling corpse. Creme, dye, and herbal tea aside, there was no way she should feel this good.

Fluttershy looked at Twilight.

Twilight looked at Discord.

Fluttershy and Spike followed Twilight's eyes.

"Discord?" Fluttershy asked.

Discord just stood there, nibbling on his slice of birthday cake. "Hmm?"

"Is this you?" she asked. "Is this your doing?"

"Is what my doing?" he asked.

"Don't play dumb! Answer me! Is this your doing?"

"I have no idea what you're-"

"DON'T LIE TO ME!" Fluttershy shouted. Her voice boomed and echoed off the stone walls of the throne room. Even Discord was taken aback, dropping his fork. The metal utensil clattered on the marble floor.

"..."

"..."

"Alright Fluttershy. I won't lie to you," he said.

"..."

"..."

"Answer me! Have you been keeping me young!?" she demanded.

"I... may have been keeping you from getting old," he said.

"That's the same thing! Why would you do that!?"

"Are you... angry!?" he asked, genuinely surprised.

"Yes! Did you keep me around just for me to watch all of my friends die?" she asked.

"Don't be so crass!" he scoffed. "Such ingratitude! After all the times I save your life!"

"All the-" Fluttershy dug through her memories. All the close calls, the narrow escapes, the near death experiences. "You were- the lightning at Rainbow's funeral! The tree falling in the Everfree! The assassination of Cadance when I was hugging her! You weren't blocking the arrow to try to save her! You were saving me!"

"Guilty."

"The zeppelin crash! You saved me but you let Celestia and Luna-"

"They had wings and horns!" he interrupted. "I assumed they could save themselves or teleport out of there! Look, I could bring them back if you want!" he offered.

"That's not the point! You don't get to pick and choose who you-" she yelled.

"I could bring them all back, if that would make you happy," he said.

"No!"

"Look, I honestly don't understand what it is that I've done wrong," he said. "I've been nothing but an angel! A guardian angel. For you!" he said growing increasingly agitated with her. His vision started to become blurry.

"Who decided you needed to be my guardian angel!?"

"YOU DID!" he yelled. The water to keep his eyeballs wet started to become excessive, overflowing out of the corners and running down his cheeks. The new sensation was most peculiar to him. But try as he might, he couldn't stop it. "You did! When you befriended me! When I cared about you! When I finally cared about someone besides myself!"

"Was Rarity not your friend? Pinkie Pie? Applejack or Rainbow? Celestia, Luna, Cadance? Were they not your friends?" she asked.

"Of course they were!" he snapped. "You think I don't miss them!? You think I don't want to bring them all back!?"

"Then why haven't you?" she asked.

"Because," he said simply, "you asked me not to."

"You saved me, but not them? Why? What makes me so special?" she asked.

"Because-" The words caught in his throat. It had been tumbling over and about in his stomach for years like a hairball desperate to come up. "Because I LOVE you!" he shouted.

Fluttershy was speechless. Twilight and Spike looked on in complete lack of surprise at the revelation. It had been plainly obvious to everyone in the world except the two that mattered.

"There! It took me a century to admit it. But I said it!" Discord said.

"Why didn't you tell me sooner?" she asked.

Because you were afraid to, Celestia's words haunted him from beyond the grave.

"Fluttershy, I have existed for more time than they even have a number for," Discord said. "And in all those years I have never met anyone that made me care about someone besides myself, more than myself! Until you. Every day is a choose-your-own-adventure game of you making choices. But in the game of life, no matter how long you play it, there is only ever the bad end. Even for somepony like Celestia. But the difference is I didn't love her. Not like I love you. And I-"

Discord struggled with the words. It wasn't as hard to admit as loving her. But it was a struggle none the less.

"And I'm scared," he said. "The thought of losing you terrifies me like nothing else in this world. To go on continuing to exist forever without you-" He paused. "So that's why I've been keeping an eye on you. Watching over you. Anticipating anything that might happen to you. Every day I see so many things that could hurt you. But I never wanted one of them be me. I'm... sorry that you found out like this."

"Discord, ponies aren't meant to live forever," Twilight said. "Even Celestia understood that. Whether it's a thousand years, or less than a day, we, all of us, get the same thing: A lifetime. There was a reason why Celestia never developed romantic attachments, and why I probably won't either."

"Don't you lecture me on immortality!" Discord spat.

"But it was because I can't- and not even Celestia could keep a pony alive forever. Even if she helped me become an alicorn, I know that one day the hoof of fate will bring about my end. Maybe not tomorrow, or for a thousand years. But one day. And in all that time I will have to let the ones I love go. And so do you," she said. Discord wasn't having it.

"Discord," Fluttershy's soft voice cut in. "Pinkie Pie's grandfoals are already middle-aged. I don't want to spend the rest of my life going to everypony's funerals."

"Then let's not go!" Discord said. "I've been saying that right along!"

"I can't just stop caring about everypony," she said. "I can't just turn that part of me off."

"Well... neither can I," he said, taking her hoof.

"Discord, you have to let me go," she said.

"..."

"..."

"No."

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