• Published 15th Jul 2018
  • 1,875 Views, 57 Comments

Fluttershy's Iron Will - Sparkle Cola



Fluttershy and Discord have been friends for years, and at times they have been more, with an on again/off again relationship. Now that Iron Will is Fluttershy's speaking tour manager, Discord is perfectly fine with them going on a date. Right?

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Matters of the Heart, With a Side of Cheese

Discord clenched his teeth together as he sat, stewing in his pocket dimension. His chair of choice, a polka-dotted rocking ensemble capable of playing the polka the same tempo as the occupant’s swinging, sang as he pitched back and forth. Ignoring the oompas and the spritely beat, Discord examined his thoughts and feelings.

What was he feeling? Anger, to be sure. Anger and rage were emotions that he was well acquainted with. In the old days he had wrought great destruction with them.

But did finding a violent outlet for his anger ever help anything? He had leveled mountains before, uprooted whole forests and furrowed valleys… but in the end, all those actions did was leave him feeling hollow. Those acts never really helped. Sure, uncapping a volcano took the edge off of his anger for a bit, but what did that replace it with?

Emptiness.

Is that what he was feeling? Perhaps a little. He had grown to enjoy purpose-driven days and goal oriented tasks. It made a nice contrast to his chaotic norm, and it seemed to please Fluttershy so. Was it a sensation of being empty? That wasn’t quite it either.

Loneliness?

That might certainly be it. He had been alone for so many millennia, he was certainly no stranger to the feeling. But this boiling feeling within didn’t match up with that either. And he had already been feeling lonely, ever since Flutters broke it off in the first place. What was it then?

He felt powerless.

Him, the avatar of chaos itself, a being full of such amazing power that a whole realm of magic was his domain. He felt powerless to act, to know what to do in order to recover Fluttershy as his special someone. Meanwhile, she was entertaining thoughts of going on a date with a meat-headed minotaur. He felt hogtied. She forbade him from interfering, and at this rate, if pure random chance just happened to cause something to go wrong… she would probably blame him, even if he was completely innocent! She threatened to break things off permanently if things didn’t go just so!

Discord clutched at his chest with a claw. Why was there a pain in his chest, of all places? Absentmindedly, he reached inside, pulling out his heart to examine it. It looked okay: wouldn’t win any beauty contests, but that was fine. He wouldn’t do such a thing in front of Fluttershy, of course, but he didn’t have any audience right now.

The beating thing just sat there, resting in his open palm. He watched as the blood coursed through coronary arteries and thirteen chambers, unsure of what color to be so the viscous substance just shimmered randomly.

Should he crush it?

Should he squeeze and grind and destroy, leaving no heart left? Would that be preferable? Life was so much simpler when he didn’t need to feel these more complicated emotions, they just took too much work, and risked so much! Things were simpler when the only things he dealt with were pleasure or pain.

So much simpler.

He began to squeeze, his claws beginning to pierce the fleshy muscle. But was this what he wanted?

Grunting in fury, Discord threw his heart across the room. It bounced off of his checkerboard wallpaper before ricocheting off of a barstool, dancing off an upside down kitchen sink, and finally coming to a rest plopping into fishbowl. The barracuda inside the bowl began to caress it.

But would his emptiness improve?

He yelled in frustration. He wouldn’t feel empty if he unleashed his fury! Why did he let himself fall for that mare in the first place? Now look where he was! Rocking in an upside-down rocking chair, clutching at his head with his chest splayed wide open! All while his heart was being wooed by a fish in a fishbowl! His eyes darted over to the thing. Somehow, the barracuda with the ridiculous underbite was now kissing it.

He rolled his eyes. Is this what the ineffable Discord would amount to? He stood up from his chair, folding it up like origami before sticking it in his pocket. He glared balefully at his love organ as he floated over to the bowl. What was he going to do about it?

Picking up his heart, Discord blinked for a moment before slapping the fish back into the bowl. His heart was worth a lot more than the affections of a fish. Shoving it back inside his chest, he started game planning how he could possibly reclaim Fluttershy’s heart, and outshining whatever Iron Will could possibly do.

What did he know about Fluttershy?

Absolutely everything. They had shared all of their innermost desires, and he knew what her likes and dislikes were. He knew how his spontaneity would make her heart flutter, and he knew what it was that had finally pushed her away. Some of her final words were still ringing in his ears:

“I’m not asking you to go against your nature. I’ve never asked for that. But I am asking you to respect boundaries. You can be yourself, but not at the expense of my privacy or my sovereignty. There are certain limits that I have set about myself, and there are certain rhythms to my life. And until you better understand how to respect those…”

But how could he go about respecting her sovereignty when his very power and capabilities rendered that somewhat moot. He cared so deeply for her, he felt an unbearable need to check up on her from time to time. Was that so wrong? He just wanted to make sure she was happy! He wanted to ensure that she was safe! He wanted to grant her every need even before she asked for it, was that so bad?

Was that asking too much? Apparently so! He couldn’t before understand why she would get so upset—why she would be frustrated when he gave her things she didn’t even have a chance to ask for. Shouldn’t a mare feel flattered that her lover was able to read her so well that he could anticipate her every whim?

But that was it, wasn’t it? He read her—only a little too well. She was losing her sense of self because of his actions. She wanted her freedom. She wanted to make mistakes. She wanted to feel natural desires and longing, and saw a problem with instant gratification. It did make sense, when she described what her needs were.

Discord’s claws drummed against his face, which he changed into a snare drum so they could drum properly. How could he still be himself, but not overstep Fluttershy’s boundaries? From their history together, he knew that she had become more sensitized to those occurrences, and less tolerant of him making the same old mistakes. But it was his very Discordiness that made that an inevitability. He wanted no other pony or creature. He only wanted Fluttershy, and he wanted it to work.

Love.

It was such a fickle and complicated thing. It was so gooey and messy, and torrential, and tumultuous and… and… chaotic. He sighed.

Love was glorious.

And he just had to make it work. But how? Suddenly, Discord sat bolt-upright and snapped his fingers, giving off a small corona of pure chaotic energy that caused everything in his house to waver for a few seconds. Every item of furniture flipped to a new wall, and his barricuda went belly up, floating with its silver belly showing for a second. Discord blinked for a few seconds, studying the fish until the fish blinked back, starting to swim around again. It remained inverted.

He would talk to the best expert on the planet. There were many psychologists, consultants, and marriage counselors in the nation of Equestria, but only one pony would suffice. Just one would have the answers he craved, and she was the current ruler of the newly-returned Crystal Empire. It was time for a little trip.

* * *

The train sped along the tracks as Fluttershy turned another page of her fashion magazine. She didn’t follow the fluctuations of trends like Rarity, but the information was at least interesting, and did appeal to one of her hobbies. She would just prefer to be the mare that made the fashion dresses, not the mare being photographed wearing them.

She leaned back on her bunk, sighing contentedly as she flicked a strand of her pink mane to the side. She didn’t want to admit that she had become spoiled by travelling with a tour manager like Iron Will, but he really spared no expenses when it came to her accommodations: whether it was her deluxe suite on the train, or her deluxe suite at a five-star hotel, she was always well cared for. Making a small fortune as a speaking celebrity did have its perks.

Fluttershy’s reading was interrupted by a knocking on her cabin door. A glance to the translucent glass of the panel confirmed who her visitor was. Iron Will’s obvious silhouette was given away by the shadows cast by the pair of the massive horns sprouting from either side of his head. Her cabin wasn’t considered private by any means, but Fluttershy smiled at his unassuming gesture.

“Come in!”

The door slid open, squealing on rusty rollers. Iron Will smiled weakly before ducking his head, turning to the side slightly to fit his massive shoulders and horns through the door. Fluttershy sat up, curling her tail around her hooves before gesturing for him to take a seat on the berth opposite hers.

Iron Will sized up the berth, measuring the space with his eyes before crossing to sit. It was always amusing to watch him struggle to get comfortable on pony-sized furniture. It wasn’t that his legs were too long. He was all torso, which led to some interesting predicaments. After a few seconds passed, he looked away, clearing his throat. It wasn’t like him to show anxiety like this, as this was usually the time he rumbled in to give her a pep-talk before arrival. All the same, Fluttershy hadn’t really been much herself either, this morning.

Iron Will pulled on his neck tie to straighten it. “Um. How has your trip been so far, Ms. Fluttershy? Accommodations been to your liking?”

“Oh, um… yes, Will.” Fluttershy replied. “Everything has been fine. How about you?”

“Me? That’s not important. Iron Will’s just gotta make sure that the star of the show is taken care of. So… well, if there’s anything you need, you just give a holler.” Silence dawned in the cabin again, while Iron Will drummed his fingers for a moment before preparing to stand..

“There is one thing.” Fluttershy smiled slightly as she watched him settle back into his seat.

“Oh. Uh, what do ya need?”

“I think I need some company, Will. You always talk business all the time. Why don’t we converse about something else?”

Iron Will’s brows furrowed a bit. “Ms. Fluttershy… I’m not sure that’s such a good idea. We should probably just stick to the script where I get you all motivated to knock those ponies’ socks off.”

Cocking her head to the side, Fluttershy frowned a little. “What’s wrong, Will? Why are you always so hesitant to talk about yourself?”

“Uh…” The minotaur chuckled nervously. “That’s uh, really the last thing we should be talking about.” He stood up. “Iron Will will see you in a bit, Ms. Fluttershy. Just gotta check on the goats again—they tend to get a little rowdy on our longer trips. You want another cup of Joe?”

He reached for the door handle, but Fluttershy decided it was time to get a little assertive. “Mr. Will?”

“Yeah?”

“Sit down.” There was no arguing with that tone of voice, she knew. It was usually quite effective when she chose to use it. Sure enough, the minotaur flinched before his hand slipped slowly off the handle. After fumbling with his tie for a moment, he sat, glancing at her uncomfortably.

Fluttershy did not let her gaze relent, even for a moment. “Now.” Fluttershy smiled sweetly. “We are going to have a little discussion. You know, a two-way conversation where each participant gives and receives in equal measure?”

“Um, right.” Iron Will settled himself back into the birth, patting his legs absently with his hands. “What did you want to talk about, again?”

“You have always been so professional and courteous with me, and you have been a wonderful manager. But these trips are rather lonely without anyone else to talk to. Your goat entourage always seem to keep their distance too.”

“Oh, you don’t want to get to know them too closely anyway, Ms. Fluttershy. Bunch of adolescent hooligans.”

Fluttershy blinked patiently, electing not to respond to his diversion.

“Sorry Ms. Fluttershy. You were saying?”

“First of all…” Giving a small smile, Flutershy closed her eyes and tilted her nose up a tad. Just like Rarity had taught her. “Enough with this Ms. Fluttershy business. My friends call me Fluttershy, or sometimes Flutters or just ‘Shy. All of those names are acceptable to those I would like to call friends.” Fluttershy dropped her head a little, a curtain of her pink mane toppling forward to curtain off her right eye. “May I call you friend?”

Iron Will clutched at his heart for a moment as if he was physically pained. It looked like he was trying to muster the will to break eye contact but just couldn’t. Fluttershy felt a little bit bad and decided she wouldn’t push him much more. It would be terrible if her tour manager developed a heart attack.

“Uh… I uh...” Iron Will swallowed. “The thing is… I mean, what you have to understand about Iron Will is— “

Deciding to give his heart a break, Flutteshy looked down, her mouth slipping into a subtle pout. Somewhere along the way in her relationship with Discord, she had come to realize such actions could be highly effective. Rarity was an excellent mentor. She waited patiently, looking at the floor while the mighty minotaur withered before her feminine might.

“Friend. Yes… Iron Will would love to be your friend, Ms.Fluttersh—oh! Ms... ‘Shy.”

Without skipping a beat, Fluttershy continued as if there was never any such thing as a pout. “Thank you. Now, secondly, talking about yourself in the third person seems to keep a barrier between us. It makes it a little bit harder to approach you on an emotional level. Do you think you could not do that so much?”

Iron Will frowned for a moment before his face softened. “Iron Will can try. Uh… I’ll try?”

Fluttershy gave an affirming nod. “That’s much better. Thank you for that.” Fluttershy swept a bit of her mane back behind her ear so she could see him better. “There’s one last thing: As my friend, I know next to nothing about you, Will.” At this, Fluttershy slid off of her seat and crossed over, hopping up to sit next to him. She gave him credit for not wanting to flatten himself back against the wall.

“You’ve been a wonderful manager, Will. Always so selfless. Always fighting for my success. What changed?’”

Now Iron Will was gazing steadfastly at the door. “What do you mean, ‘Ms. Fluttershy?”

“Hm?” Fluttershy gave him a little glare.

“Oh! Right…” Iron will scratched behind a horn for a second. “Um, is ‘Shy okay?” After a curt nod he continued. “What do you mean—what changed?”

“Just that it’s interesting. Aside from that time when you brought your Assertiveness Seminar to Ponyville, and that other time you launched your Princess Cruise with Twilight’s Family…” Here, Iron Will sat bolt upright. His forehead was starting to bead up with sweat. Fluttershy stifled a giggle.

“Will, despite your history, and the hijinks of your past, you’ve never once tried to take advantage of me. In the five months that I’ve known you, ever since you helped me launch my Gentle No campaign, you’ve never tried to bamboozle me in any way. What made you change so much?”

“Well, reasons… It’s not a happy story, Flutters.” He paused, but only silence pervaded the room. “You really want to know?”

Fluttershy turned to place a hoof on his wrist. “You’ve changed for the better. I want to know why.”

“Well…” Iron Will looked down as he gathered his thoughts. “After my Princess Cruise idea when belly up… or I guess you could say minotaur-down, heh heh.” Fluttershy waited quietly. She knew he was on the verge of opening up, she just had to remain patient.

“I lost my wife.”

Fluttershy gasped, covering her mouth with both hooves. “Oh! I’m so, so sorry, Will! I had no idea such a terrible… You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.”

“No…” Iron Will rubbed at an eye for a moment. “That’s okay. I can talk about it now. My sweet Lunilda had become very ill. I was desperate for money, but it was my fault we were so destitute in the first place. It wasn’t long after my cruise idea that she passed on.”

Fluttershy pressed a hoof against his muscular shoulder, patting him consolingly. “How… Um, how are you doing?”

“Oh, Iron Will can get buy.” The minotaur gave a dry chuckle. “But my daughter needs looking after.” He lifted a meaty hand to placate the increasingly distressed pegasus. “It’s not as bad as all that. Naiia is staying with her uncle and aunt right now while I get our situation on better footing. I just… realized I needed more of a sure thing than the get rich-quick schemes I guess I’ve become known for.”

“But the little dear! Won’t Naiia miss her daddy?”

Iron Will shrugged half-heartedly. “I see her every two weeks. Besides, she’s not so little anymore. Naiia’s sixteen going on twenty-nine, and she’s kind of upset with her bull-headed papa. Heh.” The minotaur tried to laugh at his own pun but it sounded closer to a dry cough. “She kind of blames me for losing her mother. It’s… hard not to blame myself, but I am gonna do right by her. I swear it.”

Fluttershy felt her heart melting from such a story, but even so, she wiped a tear from her eye and gave him an appreciative nod. He looked so resolute, so dedicated… It was an admirable quality, both to want to care for his daughter, but to also be patient with her anger and maintain his love all the same. Fluttershy appreciated that he was pushing forward to make more honorable and harmonious decisions in his life. If he continued in such a manner, he would certainly make a good catch for somepony. She just wasn’t sure if that pony should be her or not.

Discord, bless his soul, was a lot to put up with. Their love together had burned bright, but she had also been burned by being too close to a being of such power. At times he pushed things too far, becoming a little too omniscient and controlling for her tastes. Even so, she still loved him. Her heart was confused as she puzzled through what it was she really wanted. Would Iron Will be worth a chance if his heart proved true? She still wasn’t sure.

“Will… I would like to extend an invitation to you, if you are willing, but please don’t respond until I’ve said my piece. Would that be okay?”

“You can say your piece any time, ‘Shy.” Iron Will affirmed. “You don’t need my invitation.”

“Alright then. Will, you have been by my side for these few months, always going the extra mile to see to my comfort, to make sure I am safe and well. You have been so supportive of my efforts, but I was wondering if it is more than just your pay that motivates you.”

“I… well, that is—”

“I’m not finished.” Iron Will’s eyes widened for a moment, before he sat back and made a motion like he was buttoning his lips together. Fluttershy giggled for a moment. “You have been courteous and dependable. You’ve changed. But I would like to see a little more. We have only just had a professional relationship. I want to see if you would be willing to accompany me out to dinner… to see if there might be a chance for anything more?”

For a noisy train, trundling down the tracks at a steady clip, it was amazing how quiet it felt in the room for a few seconds. Iron Will sat like a statue, his spine as straight as any plumb line as he stared at the wall in front of him. Fluttershy’s eyebrows slowly elevated as she waited for him to make some kind of response.

“Gosh, I…” The minotaur swallowed, reaching a hand up to rub at the back of his neck. “I don’t know what to say, ‘Shy. I’m not sure I’m good enough for you, not by two horns-and-a-half.”

The car jostled a bit, momentarily pitching the occupants to the side before righting itself again as if nothing happened. Iron Will looked like he hadn’t even noticed. “You’ve always been so kind, ‘Shy. And you’re a drop-dead beautiful pony. Uhmm. Heh.” Iron Will gave another weak laugh before looking up at his boss. “It’s a little irregular to be asked on a date by one’s boss, but uh… Count me in. I’ve never been a regular guy anyway.”

“Wonderful!” Fluttershy grinned, tapping her hooves together in a polite clap of excitement. “It’s a date, then. No promises, no obligations. Let’s just see where this goes!”

“But—” Iron Will held up a finger. “What about Discord? Wouldn’t he, uh… might he not do something that—”

“Discord and I are not committed to each other, Will. And he promised me he would not look into my affairs uninvited.” Iron Will gave her a dubious look, still hesitating over what the Lord of Chaos might pull if he got into a jealous fit. “I promise.” Fluttershy held a hoof over her heart. “He knows he is not to interfere. I am a free mare.”

Iron Will pulled on his tie for a minute, his cord-like tail slapping the bed behind him with a plap. “Okay then. I… I know of a fancy little Bitalian Bistro on the East side of Fillydelphia. Would that be acceptable?”

“That would be great. How about we depart from the Hotel at 7:30?” Iron Will nodded dumbly. “It’s a date, then!”

* * *

Discord stepped out of his pocket dimension, setting foot a little ways outside of the Crystal Empire’s city limits. He sneezed, not sure if the sudden blast of cold air had surprised his sinuses, or somepony had been talking about him. Clearly it would have been faster to depart his dimension right next to candy-butt’s throne, but he had learned at least some propriety in the years after his so-called reformation. With the possible exception of Pinkie Pie, most ponies didn’t enjoy his hijinks and surprises.

But that was okay.

He was willing to give a little to acquiesce to their demands, as long as he retained the right to mess with Celestia to his heart’s content. Ol’ Tia seemed to adapt so rapidly, but he knew in his core that she died a little on the inside, the zanier he got. Unless her facade wasn’t a facade at all… Did she secretly enjoy it?

Discord stroked his beard a little. Maybe that wily alicorn was using some ridiculous reverse psychology on him, making him think as if his mischief was a relaxing break from the norm, like she was looking forward to the distraction? But secretly hating it?

Unless… Unless she was employing double reverse psychology. Discord’s eyes took on a thousand-yard stare as his inner mind processed the reverse, and double reverse, and twice-flipped inverted reverse psychology with a one and a half gainer fakie with a chicken salad… Shaking his head to clear it, Discord noticed that his wandering thoughts had tripped up a group of local tachyons as they were trying to board a quantum bus.

“Sorry, fellas.” Discord gave a sheepish grin, patting the tachyons on the head while he straightened out the warping of the time-space continuum. “That was on me. Off you go, now.” They nodded their thanks and clambered above before zipping off to FTL land.

Discord looked around to see if any pony would’ve been entertained by that cheap little gag. Frowning, he noticed that the nearest creature was a griffon, and the thing was a good kilometer away, likely hunting for lunch. Discord sighed.“Ah, that gag would’ve gone over his head anyway…”

Getting back on task, Discord set off towards Cadence’s pinnacle-like castle. The Crystal Heart’s weather control magic was an impressive display of power, and with every step he noticed the air temperature warming by degrees. Smirking, he realized that with every step, land prices probably steadily climbed as well..

Discord studied the castle as he approached. Typical pony architecture, what with it’s lavenders and golds, and pinks. Maybe he should liven it up? Discord momentarily weighed the pros and cons of emblazoning his face across the massive facade of the castle. Would Cadence be offended at the gesture? Hmm. Best to talk to Cadence before he gave her any other stresses to consider. Then perhaps he could leave her with a parting gift and emblazon something else on the facade, the last thing of him that Cadence would see…

...His butt.

Discord’s ears twitched as he heard a gasp from his right. Some crystal pony mother was herding her filly back into her little house, murmuring something about there being enough chaos around here. His lips pursed as he thought back to the last time he had been to the famed Crystal City. Probably five years ago? Special date with Fluttershy? The ponies couldn’t still be upset about his cheesecake stunt, could they? No matter. He quickened his pace. He was here to see one pony, facade or no facade, and he was going to be all ears for what she had to say on the matter.

* * *

“But I’m Discord! ‘Lord of Chaos?’”

“I don’t care if you’re lord of the tutus. Princess Mi Amore Cadenza’s court does not start for another thirty-three minutes. And there are exactly fifteen Citizens of the Crystal City that have official business with her, so you can just wait in the back of the line like anypony else!” The moustache of the huffy Marshal of the Crystal Court puffed as the crystal pony blustered. Discord wasn’t sure if he should be annoyed with the self-important pony, or simply count the veins on the pretentious pony’s face.

“Fine, fine…” Discord muttered. “I can see I've been outflanked.” He pointed to an especially prodigious backside, smiling innocently as he overheard the mare’s offended snort.

The Marshal was still glaring at him, not rising to the bait. Discord’s eyes narrowed a bit, meeting him stare for stare until he finally turned on his heel and prowled to the back of the line. No need to escalate things here, he still needed to talk to her.

He rolled his eyes as he thought about it: Pitiful.

Him? The mighty Discord? Lord of Chaos, lingering at the back of some line? Standing at the back of a pedestrian, single file queue like a sap?

This would not stand. Everyone else was welcome to, but not him.

Discord stroked his chin in thought for a moment. What this corridor needed was a few less guards and no petitioners… and what would be a more chaotic way to do that than with stinky cheese?

Constructing the necessary magic from the ether, he prepared the scene in his mind before he snapped his fingers. With a subtle flash, the suits of armor protecting the guard ponies that were stationed on either side of the corridor changed. Instead of the luster of silvery lavender or dusty bronze, now the armor took on the flat, brownish-orange tinge of the rind of limburger. With a second flash rodents flowed into the room like a tide, scurrying along the ceiling due to a localized inverted gravity spell. For the coup de grace, however, he equipped the little starving pests with insectoid wings and elongated chompers.

The effect was immediate. Eyes as large as saucers, the officers reacted to the invasion, twisting to face their swarming foe and struggling to bring their hopelessly oversized weapons to bear. Hardly being flexible, the limburger crumbled and broke off of their bodies in sheets, leaving them semi-unarmored and releasing a pungent aroma that the cheese was legendary for. For good measure, the weapons broke apart as well, falling into heaping, steaming chunks of cheese. Using their wings to their advantage, the hungry rodents were taking flight, descending upon the horrified occupants of the room.

A series of shouts, shrieks, and squeaks saturated the air as ponies ran in terror, guards and supplicants alike. Discord merely checked his watch as the pandemonium played out, the mass of disaster screaming for the exits. How many more minutes did he have to wait?

Looking up and down the corridors, Discord took stock of the situation. With nopony else in sight, just a mass of discarded limburger, he decided to go ahead and knock on the throne room doors. After a moment, they swung outward on heavy hinges.

“Er… yes?”

“Sunburst, my good stallion!” Discord crowed, reaching in and yanking the pony toward him before wrapping his taloned arm around his withers. “Still rocking the goatee I see—excellent! How goes the crystalling?”

“I’m no longer doing that and—what the hay? Discord?”

The medium orange unicorn’s hooves shuffled and scraped along the tile floor until he pushed himself away, straightening his glasses. “What in Tartarus are you doing here? You can’t be doing this right now, Cadence is about to hold court!” Sunburst took as step forward to make his point, but his forehoof fell through something squishy and crumbly. His nose wrinkled in distaste. “What is that smell?”

That was the face he was making when Discord snapped a picture of him. “Say cheese!” Discord grinned. “Of course, you might also want to yell ‘custodial!’ or some other such thing. I have important affairs to discuss with Princess Candy-butt, and it would really be better if it was taken care of before court. This is something only she can help me with.

Sunburst looked around in horror. “I… this is highly irregular, Discord! What is this mess? Are you behind this?”

Folding his arms, Discord decided to play along. “Well I would hardly be in front of it. That would make me look suspicious!”

“You—”

Discord cut him off. “Now look, my good sir. These are matters of the heart, and I must speak to your princess before she—”

“DISCORD!”

The draconequus’ face brightened, spinning around to address the new feminine voice that had boomed out across the throne room. He clasped his hands together. “And there’s the pretty pink princess, now! A penny for your thoughts? I think I’d like to weigh them!”

“I’m not sure what a penny is, but I saw the carnage you left in my corridors! What is it with you and cheese?”

Discord pursed his lips. “Wait, am I becoming too predictable? Not good, but that’s besides the point.” He spread his arms out wide. “I am here to seek your counsel in matters of love! I promise to be out of your ever-so-colorful mane if you can just hear me out: I’ll be gone before court even starts!”

Sunburst piped up from behind him. “Love? Hah!” Discord chose to ignore that.

Princess Cadence studied him for a moment, her expression unreadable. “Very well. I’ll meet with you if—”

In a flash Discord had materialized next to her, embracing her in a hug with a few additional limbs thrown in for good measure. Not losing even a beat, Cadence lit her horn and formed a body-fitted energy shield before she expanded it away, pushing Discord off of her.

“Ahem. I’ll only meet with you on one condition. That you leave my corridors out there sparkling clean, and that you send word that my court will still be able to begin on time.” Discord lifted his hand to snap, but Cadence raised a hoof to stop. “No foul leftover odors, either.”

“Oh, Fine.” Discord grumbled. “You know me too well, Cadence. No odors, everything cleaned.” He snapped his fingers, simultaneously eradicating the cheese, nudging Sunburst out of the doors, and then slamming them shut in his face.

Cadence gave him a flat look. “Was that really necessary?”

“Sunburst can take care of the announcements.” Discord folded his arms.

Cadence stared at him for a few more seconds before heaving a sigh. “Fine. What is it you wanted to discuss?”

“It’s about Fluttershy.”

“Oh?” Cadence lifted an eyebrow. “Has she placed barriers on your relationship with her? Made threats if you cross them?”

Discord’s jaw clenched before he sat down, cross legged on the stairs before the throne. “I still love her, Cadence! I’m sure your horned horny-horn powers can ascertain that. I just want to know what to do to make this work. I’ll never interfere with her right to choose. Just… How do I make it so she will choose me?”

“You can’t make her do anything, Discord.”

“I know, I know…” Discord moaned as Cadence turned, striding past him up the stairs before taking a seat on her raised dais.

“Have you lost her trust? Can she feel like an individual?”

“I…” Discord scratched behind an ear before looking back at the Princess of Love from his seat. “You’re good at this, aren’t you?”

Cadence smirked. “I haven’t done anything yet. Now…” Cadence’s horn glimmered for a few seconds, her eyes closed in concentration before she opened them again. “I know you love her. I think she still loves you. Tell me about what is harming the relationship. I’ll see if there is anything I can offer that can help. Some counselling, as it were. Would that be okay?”

Discord stood up, a hopeful glint in his eye. “That would be great.”

Author's Note:

Hey, all. :twilightsmile:

So, some readers might be concerned about Fluttershy's character in this fic. Just to be clear, she is aged up about five years or so since the Storm King's invasive force. She is a complex character, as demonstrated by later seasons of mlp. But currently she is not dating Discord at all. She broke off the relationship. Finally, just because she is inviting someone on a date doesn't mean she's promising the rest of her life to them. At this point she is feeling some interest and is examining her options.

Just, ya know... In case you Fluttercord lovers out there are getting all up in arms about this. :flutterrage:

But if you really, really want to know, I'll give you a spoiler down below for what will happen in chapter three.

You Fluttercord fans won't be disappointed about it...:yay: