• Published 2nd Feb 2013
  • 17,961 Views, 1,035 Comments

The Opera Phantom Discord - Alexandrite Ward



Fluttershy's father is captured by the villianous Discord, Phantom of the Opera! Can she save him while being pursued by the handsome and charming Prince Blueblood?

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Surprise!

Surprise!

She looked like an angel, standing in the snow that fell through the lagoon ceiling, the flakes swirling around her body, her hair blowing softly in its breeze.

But the warmth she once radiated seemed dead; despite her angelic beauty, she looked like a statue, a cold stone object that had no warmth, no life.

Once upon a time, she danced with the snow, her arms outstretched as she twirled like a child at play, laughing as the little black kitten named Carmen leapt to catch snowflakes.

Now, she stood in silence, her wings curled around her like a shield, the kitten mewing at her feet, but she showed no sign that she was listening. She just stared…at some unseen abyss.

He was a safe distance away, hidden by the shadows that had long been his friend, glad that she could not see him, yet feeling deep regret as well.

His efforts for avoiding her since…the incident…was proving to be very hard. They had not spoken to each other since; there had been no lessons, no form of communication whatsoever. The distance they had made between one another was like a canyon, which was just fine with Discord.

Or so he tried to tell himself.

But old habits die hard. Discord couldn't stay away as the nights grew colder. Ever since that first snowfall, while Fluttershy slept, he would go and tend to her fire, making sure that she would not freeze. Some nights were simple and quick, in a matter of minutes he would have her dying fire roaring with life again. Other nights, he may be there for what felt like hours, yet he didn't mind. She was so beautiful, the way her hair fell across her pillow like a pink pool, the way her coat looked in the dying firelight, the way her body softly rose and fell with each sleeping breath. Discord was torn with burning desire to feel himself wrapped in her softness, and the heart-wrenching longing to feel her arms around him. He had never felt such passion, such desire, such…such yearning for another.

Yes, this was far more than lust, and it was far deeper than attraction or friendship.

Not since the first night he had seen her bathing, Discord had returned to the lagoon for fear of coming upon her again in such a state. Once he would not care about such things, but he valued her too much, he respected her too much to ever leer and ogle.

However, since the winter days and nights had crept in, he knew that the chance of her bathing were extremely slim. And he remembered how the day after Christmas he had come upon her playing in the snow with the kitten, dancing and twirling with joy, reminding him once again that truly, she was an angel, a beauty that had fallen from heaven to the depths of his hell. He had not the heart to make his presence known; he simply hid in the shadows and watched her with ever-growing longing.

But her joy was gone now. She no longer played, she no longer danced. In a matter of days, she had grown so much older and for the first time, he noticed the ill effects his world was having on her. She was not overtly thin, but she did look so much frailer than before. And she had grown distinctly pale; her skin once had a creamy glow about it, and there was a rose to her cheek…yet now she looked like a small pale china doll. And there were dark circles forming under her eyes, and her cheeks looked swollen and puffy…

And yet, despite these unpleasant changes to her appearance and personality, she still radiated beauty. And as he had thought when he first saw her dancing in the snow, he still knew that no matter what, he would always be what he was…a monster.

And it was hopeless to even believe for a second she would ever see him as anything else.

"Master?"

The soft voice interrupted Discord's thoughts, and without a word he turned and walked passed Rainbow Dash, heading to his chamber where Fluttershy would not be aware that he had been near.

Rainbow Dash quickly followed, and once they had reached the chamber and Discord had seated himself at his organ, Rainbow Dash quickly delivered her message. "I beg your pardon Master, but I felt this was urgent."

Discord was already playing, a song that had been in his head for several nights now. It had no words, and he had not begun to write it, but the melody had been haunting him like a dream. "What is it?" he simply asked, not lifting his eyes from the keys he so expertly played.

Rainbow Dash took a deep breath and held out the note with her good hoof. Discord was actually surprised by the token; normally it was he, who delivered the messages here. Without another word, he stopped his playing and took the note, breaking its seal and began reading the elegant writing.

Rainbow Dash watched as Discord's eyes went wide, and then narrowed to tiny slits of fire. Every muscle in the Phantom's body tensed, and his paw gripped the note as if he depended upon it to breathe. "Who gave this to you?" Discord barked, his gaze only briefly leaving the note.

Rainbow Dash swallowed the lump in her throat. "It was found…" she quickly continued as she saw Discord's jaw twitch with impatience. "I was in the northern caverns, checking our traps, and…I heard a noise…near the trap door behind the stage, and…" she took a deep breath, "I saw, through one of our spy holes, the Prince leaving it on the floor." There, she had said it…now she simply had to wait for Discord to explode.

But the Phantom made no such noise or gesture. He simply stared at Rainbow Dash, and then moved his eyes down to the note. He glanced once more at Rainbow Dash, then once more at the note…and then erupted with violent laughter. "The…the c-c-clever b-b-bastard!" Discord laughed. This reaction startled Rainbow Dash greatly, and it was not merry laughter, but cold, dark, and calculating. It was the laughter of a mad stallion.

"Master?"

Discord stopped his laughter, but continued to smile most maliciously. "He's calling me out," Discord whispered. "It's his way of challenging me, but little does he know what he's truly getting himself into."

Rainbow Dash was extremely curious to know what the note said. It didn't matter if she had opened it or not before giving it to his master, she couldn't read anyway. But whatever it said, Discord's reaction was one of triumph and evil glee, despite the fact that the Prince had, as Discord said, "called him out."

"If the Prince wrote that…and deliberately left it here for…for one of us to find…" Rainbow Dash needn't say any more, nor did she wish to dwell on it further. The Prince knew of their existence, he now believed the ghost stories to be true, but instead of reacting with fear as everyone else had, he was challenging the Opera Ghost. "Master, what are we to do?" Rainbow Dash asked with desperation in her voice. Horrible images of the carnival crept back into her memory.

Discord crumpled the note and threw it over his shoulder. "Nothing," Discord said casually. "However, I have an appointment with Monsieur Blueblood, as well as with all of Maris that I must prepare myself for…excuse me," and with that said, Discord, still chuckling, fled the chamber, disappearing once more into the shadows that enveloped him so well in mystery.

Derpy grinned as she dangled a piece of string in front of Carmen, laughing as she batted it back before giving a most indignant meow. "She's g-g-getting f-f-frustrated, which makes her j-j-j-jump a-a-all the more h-higher."

"Well you would be too if someone were dangling something you wanted in front of you," Rarity scolded, although it was in a playful tone. She was sitting in the corner of the main chamber where she and the others slept, sewing some patches onto an old pair of trousers. She glanced over at the young mare seated next to her, the smile on her face quickly disappearing.

Fluttershy was working just as diligently on a shirt that belonged to Shortround, but there was no sign of life in her at all. She made no sound, she showed no emotion, she simply went about her task. And it was extremely unlike her.

"My dear," Rarity whispered, her hoof reaching out and resting atop Fluttershy's. "I do not think work will make things better, no matter how hard you throw yourself into it."

Fluttershy, for the first time showed some sign of life, her eyes lifting to the old mare's. "What makes you think–"

"I see it every day with the Master, and yet I know that despite his best efforts to immerse himself in his art, I know that he is still yearning…still aching."

Fluttershy looked deeply into the other mare's eyes. "Y-y-yearning?" she whispered. "Yearning for what?"

Rarity couldn't help but smile and softly squeezed Fluttershy's hoof. "I think you know, my dear."

Fluttershy suddenly flew to her hooves and she began pacing back and forth most passionately, groaning with great frustration, her body on the brink of breaking down and sobbing till she could no longer move out of exhaustion. "I don't know what to do!" she cried,flaring her wings high in the air, letting her frustrated tears spill forth. "I…I thought…I thought that maybe, if…if I just…if I showed him that…that I don't care about his face, that I…that I'm not like those mares, that…that I'm different, that…that I…that I…"

"That you love him?" Rarity whispered.

Fluttershy stopped and stared down at the smaller mare whose wisdom caused her to tower over everything else. "You know?"

Rarity chuckled and grinned at Derpy who was grinning back. "We've all known my dear…please don't take offense when I say…it has been rather obvious."

Fluttershy collapsed in a heap on the hard cavern floor, her hooves cradling her weary head. "Obvious to everyone but the one creature my feelings are for," she murmured, before leaning her head into Rarity's lap, her small hooves running through Fluttershy's tangled waves.

"Have you told him how you feel?"

Fluttershy held back a sarcastic laugh. "I do not think he would listen, let alone believe me…he would think I was simply playing a part, that it's impossible for anyone to love him." She lifted her tear stained face to Rarity's. "But I do! I do love him, but…I'm so scared…"

Rarity sighed and brushed a strand of hair away from Fluttershy's cheek. "In all my years of living here with the Master, I've never known him to feel so content, and I've never seen him so happy, until you came into his life and ours," her hooves cupped Fluttershy's chin, her eyes locking with the mare's. "Tell him…he respects you, he listens to you better than anyone else, tell him your feelings, tell him that you don't care about his face or his body, but tell him! Until you do tell him, he'll never believe it possible for love to come into his life. Until you tell him Fluttershy, you'll never know if he returns your feelings," she sighed again, her hooves moving to Fluttershy's shoulders and slowly pushing the mare away, encouraging her to stand. "I know it's frightening, the uncertainty of it all. But only you can do this," she emphasized. "The Master feels love is a weakness…but you need to show him that it is indeed strength."

Derpy grinned and clapped her hooves. "F-f-fluttershy w-w-will make the Master happy j-j-just like the gypsy mare makes t-t-the h-hunchback!"

Rarity smiled at Derpy, although Fluttershy saw the guilt in the old mare's eyes for the white lie she once told Derpy about her favorite story. Yet Derpy's words hit her; why couldn't Quasimodo have a happy ending with the gypsy Esmeralda? Why did the beauty have to run away, why couldn't the "beast" find love? No…she was not going to join that long list of tragic characters. She was not going to let anything dictate who she could and could not love. "You're right Derpy," Fluttershy said with new determination. "I will make him happy, and I must tell him…at once!" She turned to leave, to march to Discord's chamber and tell him everything, barring herself at the entrance so he could not turn her away. She would make him listen, she would show him that when they had kissed, it was because she, Fluttershy, wanted to kiss him, that she loved, desired, and wanted him. And she would kiss him again to prove it, she would never stop kissing him, even if he tried to push her away, she was most determined. She was going to win his heart and prove to him that he was indeed worthy of love.

Yet before Fluttershy could leave, Rainbow Dash came bursting in, gasping with breath, Shortround at her side, holding a crumpled piece of parchment in his hooves. Rarity could tell that something was wrong and quickly rose from her chair. "What has happened?" she asked, her eyes going from Rainbow Dash to Shortround and back.

Shortround looked just as grim as Rainbow Dash. "A letter had been delivered," he quickly explained. "Rainbow Dash came across it and brought it to the Master," he glanced down at the letter, dread filling his spirit as he once again read the words. "It appears that on New Year's Eve, there is to be a ball…a masked ball, held here, at the Maris Opera House, in honor of the whole company, and half of Maris has been invited."

"New Year's Eve…" Rarity whispered before realization struck. "Good heavens! That's tonight!"

Fluttershy was also feeling Rarity's discomfort. "So…so naturally Discord is upset…because this means something is going on without his permission, yes?" She hoped that was the answer, but the dreadful feeling that was growing in the pit of her stomach told her otherwise.

"If only," Rainbow Dash muttered. "Turns out, according to what Shortround has told me, at midnight, an announcement will be made about a particular 'project' that the Opera House will be taking on, before the end of the opera season."

Fluttershy knew at once what this meant. She also knew Discord's reaction. "W-w-where is Discord?" she asked, her voice growing soft and shaky.

Rainbow Dash glanced at Shortround, and then sighed. "The Master disappeared after reading the letter…I…I believe he has gone ahead…"

"Lord have mercy," Rarity whispered, before quickly crossing herself. Fluttershy held her hooves out, to which Shortrounf sadly placed the letter.

"B-b-but the M-m-master w-w-wears a mask…n-n-no one w-w-will take notice, right?" Derpy asked, although she too was looking extremely worried.

Rainbow Dash grumbled something before removing a tin flask from her boot and taking a deep swig. "The Master is sure to stand out wherever he goes," she muttered. "And what's more, he's 'dressing up for the occasion'," she took another long deep swig. "Last I saw him, he was running in the direction to where the costumes were kept…no doubt he'll find something to his liking…who knows what he's turned himself into!"

Fluttershy looked up at Rainbow Dash, the letter shaking in her hooves. "The signature simply says 'B'."

Rainbow Dash glanced and Shortround and sighed. "I saw the letter being left near the trap door behind the stage curtains…by Prince Blueblood."

Fluttershy's eyes went wide as she recalled Discord's hatred for the Prince, as well as the Prince's refusal to believe that the Phantom existed. "It's a trap…" she whispered. "He's calling Discord out…he wants Discord to reveal himself…oh God."

Derpy began sobbing at the thought of losing her Master, and Rarity quickly leapt to her hooves. "Damn Discord!" she growled, surprising everyone by her tone. "Damn him for being obsessed with revenge rather than thinking of those who love him!" she said this with an obvious look at Fluttershy.

"His hatred for the Prince blinds him," Shortround sighed. "Just as much as his obsession with music. I fear that the two combined…" he quickly crossed himself.

"So what are we going to do?" Rainbow Dash cried out, throwing her now empty flask against the wall. "Just…just sit here and wait for them to invade our home and take us away again?" Derpy began to sob at the thought.

"No of course not!" Fluttershy shouted. "Nothing is going to happen to any of you…or to Discord!"

The others stared at her with confusion. "W-w-what are you saying, my dear?" Rarity asked, although she felt a strange sense of joy and hope rise within her as she saw Fluttershy's fiery spirit spring forth with life.

"I will go above and stop him before he does anything rash…or before anything happens to him," she vowed.

Both Rarity and Shortround brightened. "Yes! Yes of course!" Rarity declared. "You are the only one of us who can go above undetected! Yes! You can find the Master and warn him and bring him back before anything happens–"

"I don't like it!" Rainbow Dash muttered. "What do you mean 'undetected' anyway? You don't think ponies will wonder where she's been all this time if they see her?"

Shortround rolled his eyes. "It's a masked ball Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy will be disguised."

But Rainbow Dash remained stubborn and indignant. "It's an excuse…an excuse to escape!"

"How dare you!" to everypony's surprise, it was Fluttershy who spoke. "How dare you Rainbow Dash! How dare you think so little of me and how dare you accuse me of trickery! Have I not proved to you after so long that I would not betray any of you or your trust in me?" she marched over to her, her shoulders squared, her chin lifted, and her eyes burning like a storm-driven sea. "After months of having opportunities to escape, you think I would do so now…when my friends need me most? You truly think so little of me?"

Rainbow Dash turned away, but her face was already etched with shame. Derpy approached and touched Fluttershy's hoof. "Y-y-you w-w-will come back?" she whispered, her voice full of hope.

Fluttershy smiled up at the mare and squeezed her hoof before touching her face with the other. "I will not abandon you Derpy…I promise."

"Come, come! We do not have time to argue or reassure one another," Rarity declared, taking Fluttershy's hoof and pulling her away. "We must get you ready for that ball…" the urgency was still in her voice, but so was an air of excitement. "And I know just the gown for you!"

Fluttershy blushed and grinned as the tiny mare pulled her along the cold stone corridors. "It needn't be anything extravagant," she murmured. "I am only going above for what I hope will be as short as possible."

But Rarity was hearing none of it. "Nonsense! I don't care how long it takes for you to track the Master down and put a stop to this whole silly mess. The point is he will be seeing you…and I want him to be robbed of his breath!"

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"Are you sure this was a wise decision Flam?" Flim whispered, feeling utterly ridiculous in the costume he was wearing. He wore a green mask that resembled some sort of skull, and a green satin cape that at the time looked festive and dashing, but now he felt like an utter clown in the get-up. However, nothing was more ridiculous than Flam's costume; a black suit that was covered with pictures of bones from head to hoof. He wore a red satin cape and a half-skull mask that covered his eyes and nose, as well as a black satin top hat to compliment the look. If it was possible for the look to be complimented…
"I have faith in the Prince's plan," Flam said with a smile, greeting guests here and there. "I thought for all the lectures you give me about trusting our dearest patron, you too would have great faith?"

Flim adjusted his waistcoat. "Yes, but that was before I knew I was going to look like a buffoon!" he hissed.

The masquerade ball was well underway. Guests from the richest families in all of Maris were arriving, each wearing a costume more extravagant than the ponies before them. In the grand foyer, the sounds of laughter could be heard, as well as the smell of champagne and the dizzy sight of swirling gowns dancing to the orchestra that played. Amazing how well very little planning and notice went off.

"Monsieur!" Flam exclaimed as Blueblood quietly approached the two managers. Blueblood smiled and bowed his head to the two ponies, however it was obvious from the look on his face that he was looking for someone else. "Monsieur, where is your costume?" Flam inquired, taking notice that the Prince simply wore an elegant tuxedo.

"I do not believe in such frivolities," Blueblood muttered, his eyes scanning the stairway and balconies above.

"That makes two of us," Flim muttered, removing his mask at once.

Flam ignored Flim's comment and followed the Prince's gaze. "I…I have not seen anypony…unusual, monsieur," he confessed, although finding somepony unusual looking at a masquerade ball was like seeking a needle in a haystack.

"I have no fear that our 'guest of honor' will make his presence known in good time," he smiled, before taking a glass of champagne that was offered to him from a pretty young mare. "Now if you will excuse me," he said, following the pretty thing away from the managers.

Flim did not like this at all. While it seemed that it was indeed the perfect trap, it still meant that the "Phantom" had an advantage; this was his territory…whoever he was.

"Good evening."

Both Flim and Flam turned to the voice behind them, and gasped at the sight of the stallion before them. He was clothed from head to toe in red, the color of fresh blood. His jacket, which was tightly buttoned up, his breeches, even the cloak that he wore…all the color of blood. The only portions of him that weren't red were his black knee-high boots, his belt and sash, and the mask that he wore, which, ironically, looked like a skull, yet with more refined detail. It covered his whole face, save for his mouth. His hair was dark, black it seemed, and pulled back away from his mask. And his eyes…the color was both intimidating and penetrating. You wanted to look away immediately, but couldn't. Something compelled you to lock eyes with him. And it was extremely frightening.

"G-g-g-good e-e-evening, m-monsieur," Flam barely whispered, his lips trembling as he spoke.

The stallion, who towered over both managers, made a simple bow with his head, but his eyes never left their stunned pale faces. His eyes drifted over both of them, before looking them up and down, as if measuring their character. "Nice costume," he muttered to Flam, before sweeping past the two of them into the throng of dancers.

Flam and Flim stared at the stallion in red as he went past them and disappeared into the crowd. "W-w-w-who was that?" Flam finally muttered when he found his voice again.

Flim had no idea, but a strange and cold feeling was beginning to swell within him. "I'm not sure I want to know," he whispered.

"M-m-m-most likely noble blood," Flam attempted to reason. "After all, he…he looked like nobility."

"Nobility from hell?"

Flam shrugged his shoulders. "It is after all a masquerade…one is supposed to look different than they normally would…yes?"

Flim realized that Flam was seeking reassurance, however he was not positive if he had any to give. "Perhaps we should find the Prince…"

Yet they were not the only ones seeking out the Prince's presence. Blueblood, who was dancing with a most delectable creature, was not aware of a pair of amber eyes watching him like a hunting predator. However, before the predator could move in for the kill, those two bumbling idiots came bursting through the crowd, pulling the Prince away from his partner.

Blueblood, who was not pleased to be taken away from his next conquest, shook the hooves off the managers and glared at the two of them. "This had better be good!" he hissed, his eyes losing sight of the sweet morsel he had been dancing with.

"Monsieur! We…we met someone, a stallion, dressed all in red, wearing a skull!"

Blueblood stared at Flam as if he were the village idiot. "Oh, well that gives me a clear picture!" he sarcastically groaned, before tearing Flam's own skull mask off.

"Monsieur, we have…reasons to perhaps believe that…that this pony…well, he may be our stallion," Flim said carefully, hoping he at least did not sound nearly as foolish as his partner.

Blueblood groaned and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "So let me understand…you encountered a stallion, dressed all in red, wearing a mask the shape of skull–"

"Wouldn't be surprised if it were a real skull!" Flam mumbled.

Blueblood ignored the stallion's comment. "And simply because…this stallion looked menacing to you both…you assume therefore, that he is 'The Phantom'?"

Before, Flim thought his comment sounded extremely intelligent. Not so much now. "If you had seen him monsieur," he explained. "I've never seen anyone like that before–"

"OF COURSE YOU HAVEN'T!" Blueblood exploded, however he quickly lowered his voice so no one else would look. "This is a masquerade ball! No one looks like anyone you've seen before!"

"But monsieur!"

"I've had enough of this conversation!" Blueblood hissed, turning on his heel to leave the two stallions, however the sight of a young mare entering the foyer momentarily stopped him. She was dressed in a golden gown with blue lace at the shoulders and bust. The gown was delectably cut low, leaving little to one's imagination, and her curves were lusciously flattered by the cut and style of the dress. Her arms were bare, save for a pair of lace gloves that she wore on her hooves, and her hair, which sparkled with golden jewels, flowed wild and free off her bare shoulders. Blueblood stared at the mass of pink waves, sensing something familiar about the mare, but he couldn't see her face. She wore a golden mask that covered the upper part of her face, however the soft pink glow of her cheeks was still visible and beautifully illuminated by the candlelight of the foyer.

Flim and Flam also took notice of the mare in the dazzling gown, as did several other jealous mares who were purposefully tugging on the sleeves of their partners, who couldn't help but gawk somewhat. "Excuse me," Blueblood muttered to the managers, quickly crossing the foyer to where the mare stood. "Mademoiselle," he greeted warmly, bowing humbly before taking one of her small lace-covered hooves and kissing its surface.

Fluttershy jumped at the sound of the Prince's greeting. She had been looking around for Discord the second she had entered the foyer, but knew it was going to be close to impossible to find him in this thick throng of masked dancers. However, now she had a different dilemma to contend with: the Prince.

"Monsieur," Fluttershy said with a curtsy, hoping he would not recognize her voice. Blueblood gave no indication whatsoever.

"Would you care to dance?" he asked, extending his hoof to the beautiful golden mare. He was extremely curious as to who she was; something about her…just seemed so familiar.

Fluttershy's first reaction was to decline his invitation. After all, she cared little for the handsome Prince, and she had not forgotten his treatment of her so many months ago. Yet if she refused his offer, it may cause suspicion, and the last thing she wanted was him attempting to pursue her the whole night. Perhaps one dance would sate him, or so she prayed. "Thank you, monsieur," she said politely, taking his hoof and following him out to the dance floor. At least by dancing together, he would not be able to unleash a trap on Discord...

Everyone was dancing, couples swirling around in a mass of color and silk, all the faces masked, all of them laughing and being merry. But where was her Discord? Where was her masked love?

Fluttershy's focus changed as she felt the Prince lean a little too close to her chest, as his feet expertly began dancing to the music. "I must say…I'm most curious as to know who you are," he murmured, his eyes dancing over her masked face and hair. Fluttershy only prayed that her eyes would not give anything away…however she had little fear in that, as she believed her eyes were the last things his would focus on.

"Come now, monsieur," she chided. "Why ruin the mystery with revealing names?"

Blueblood chuckled. "Too true, my dear, too true." He swirled her around, and Fluttershy gasped as she saw a masked figure leering at her, but when she was swirled again, she realized the figure was not who she thought. No matter what costume Discord was wearing, Fluttershy knew in her heart she would recognize him when she saw him.

"You don't like to talk much, do you?" Blueblood remarked. Blueblood blushed and turned to face her dance partner. Blueblood's brow furrowed even more. "You also don't seem to know this dance."

Fluttershy's eyes went wide. Naturally he thought her a mare of great wealth and connections, a lady who would have been trained at an early age in all sorts of formal dancing, but because Fluttershy was a country mare, she knew nothing about formal dancing, other than the simple country dances she and other country born children learned at village assemblies. "Forgive me," she replied. "It's just…not too long ago I suffered an ankle injury…and this is my first dance since," she gave a sweet smile which she hoped would distract him from her lack of dancing skills.

Blueblood cocked an eyebrow. "You must have been off your feet for quite some time."

Fluttershy bit her tongue. Even if she wasn't dancing very well, a gentlecolt should never make such a rude comment! But she plastered a smile on her lips and gave a fillyish giggle, which seemed to have distracted the Prince entirely.

"I really am curious as to know who you are, however," he whispered. "I know everyone connected with the Opera House…as well as everypony who was invited tonight in Maris…therefore, I am left with either two conclusions."

Fluttershy held her breath.

"Either your disguise is so sophisticated that I truly am at a loss as to guessing who you are…or you are lying to me and should not be here."

This accusation caused Fluttershy to pale, however she could tell in the Prince's dancing green eyes that he was having fun with his joke. "So tell me the truth…did you really hurt your ankle some time ago? Or did you decide to throw on one of your mistress' gowns and play Cinderella for the night?"

Fluttershy knew that if she weren't in the situation she was in right now, she would greatly slap Blueblood for his arrogance and rude behavior. However, she decided to prove who was the better actor of the two: her, or him whose mask was that of a noble gentlecolt.

"Promise not to tell?" Fluttershy whispered, looking up with large doleful eyes, before sharing a secret smile. Blueblood was momentarily at a loss for words; he had not expected his theory to be correct, but so it was.

"Your secret is safe with me, madam," Blueblood vowed, as well as vowing to himself to become better acquainted with this luscious minx all the better. "And I must say…whoever your mistress is…you truly outshine her and all the other mares."

"Thank you, monsieur, you are too kind," she replied with a smile, although it was a smile of pride for her acting skills, not for his compliment.

Now with that mystery solved, Blueblood continued to swirl the mysterious mare around the dance floor. "Since I promise to keep your secret safe, why not grant me a name?"

"Oh monsieur, by doing that I may reveal too much…come, can you not lose yourself for one night in mystery?"

He could, yes, but it frustrated him so. He was the seducer; he was the one in charge; he didn't like losing control over a situation…or another person. "Very well, I shall play your game," Blueblood muttered. "And what was it exactly that compelled you to retreat here this evening?"

Fluttershy knew exactly what he wanted to hear…and she suddenly felt a slight touch of the Phantom's vindictiveness wash over her. "Why…to see you of course, Monsieur Prince."

Blueblood stared at the mare. "You know me?" he quickly shook his head, as if shaking off the stupidity of that comment. Of course she knew him, practically all of Maris knew who he was. "I am flattered my dear…but I highly doubt that is your sole reason."

Fluttershy couldn't believe the arrogance of the stallion; while he admitted he wasn't the only reason for her to come, he had not denied that it was a reason. "Tis true monsieur," Fluttershy murmured. "After all, you did compare me to Cinderella…if I am she…then you must be the prince."

Blueblood felt the smile on his face grow even broader. "I thank you my mare, although I do hope you will not flee at the stroke of twelve."

Fluttershy suddenly remembered the words of the invitation that Rainbow Dash and Shortround had shown her. "Not at all…for by doing that, I will miss the announcement of the new opera the company is planning."

Blueblood's smile fell away, and he stopped dancing at once. "How did you know it was going to be about a new opera?"

Fluttershy held back of gasp as she realized her mistake. She could not pale or blush, she simply had to look as natural as possible. "Well, the invitation clearly said…that at the stroke of twelve, there would be an announcement…about a new project the Maris Opera House was going to do before the end of the opera season…" she prayed she had not missed anything. "One can only assume therefore that it is a new opera…yes?"

Blueblood saw her logic, and had to admit it was fairly accurate and an easy assumption to make. "Yes…yes of course," he whispered, his hooves once again picking up where he had left off.

Fluttershy slowly let out a shaky breath, knowing that had been too close to call. "I feel the need for some fresh air," Blueblood announced. "Come, let us retreat somewhere more…private."

Fluttershy paled at his invitation. "Oh, but…monsieur, the dance–"

"–will still be carrying on when we return, do not worry," he began to lead her away from the floor and Fluttershy was not sure what she could do without causing a scene.

However, her fear in that regard was quickly squashed.

"I'm cutting in."

Fluttershy didn't see him…but she didn't have to. His voice was enough to tell her where he was, which was right behind her, and the tone told her exactly how he felt…which was far from happy.

One fear squashed, but a new one arose in its place.

Blueblood turned at the voice, his brow furrowed in frustration at who would dare come between him and the mare of his choice, but for the first time since Fluttershy had known him, she saw the Prince's face pale with fear. She could only imagine how menacing Blueblood must look…

"W-w-who are you?" Blueblood murmured, his eyes locked with the hard amber ones of the other stallion.

"Let's say…an old acquaintance," Discord softly remarked, his voice thick and cold. "And once more…I'm cutting in."

Blueblood was at a loss for words, and slowly, agonizingly, Fluttershy turned around to face her captor, her teacher, and the stallion she loved. And as she slowly lifted her eyes to meet his…she realized how correct she had been about his menacing displeasure.

After the managers had pulled Blueblood to one side, Discord retreated away from the dance floor, caring not for the strange looks he received from other dancers as he passed. Several members of the company stopped and stared at him, some trembling with fear as he passed. But he paid them no heed, he did not turn to meet any of their eyes, he simply climbed the great staircase and disappeared into the shadows high above the foyer.

Several couples were there as well, heavily kissing or attempting to do much more, but upon his presence, they quickly disappeared, leaving him in peace with the shadows. He watched as the managers and the Prince talked, a smirk spreading across his face as he imagined the Prince's displeasure for being interrupted from his latest seduction. At last, the Prince was turning away, and now would be the perfect time to make his presence known to the pompous arrogant aristocrat, yet before he even took one step out of the shadows…something caught his attention in the far entryway of the grand foyer. Something golden…something sparkling…something…something beautiful.

And as the crowds softly parted to let this lovely creature in, Fluttershy's eyes were filled with her dazzling beauty, and he swore he felt his heart stop. He knew he was not breathing…

But that feeling only lasted a brief moment before it was replaced with a hot feeling of anger at the sight of her. What was she doing here? What in the devil's name did she think she was doing? He wanted to wrap his paw and claw around that neck of hers and strangle her…or at least grab her by those shoulders and give her a good hard shake till some sense was knocked into her.

But his feeling of anger was quickly replaced with something even darker and deadlier. For he was not the only stallion that was taken by her beauty; the Prince was approaching…and Discord stood in stunned silence as he watched the bastard ask for the pleasure of a dance…and Fluttershy accept his offer.

No. The Prince had gotten away with too much now. He had his pick of all the other mares in the room, and Discord had no doubt that they would all gladly fall on their backs and spread their legs for the bastard. But not his angel…not his Fluttershy.

Discord would rather die a thousand horrifying deaths than see the Prince's hooves on her.


Fluttershy gazed up at him, swallowing the large terrified lump in her throat. She knew him very well, and in the time of living below the Opera House, she had gotten to know and see the vast array of emotions he went through.

But not since the first time they had met when she had come to rescue her father, had Fluttershy felt more foreboding.

Yet despite his wild look of anger and…was that jealousy? Despite how he looked at her now…the heat of his gaze still caused her blood to boil with longing. Despite the costume and mask that he wore, one that caused others to back away out of fear…Fluttershy could not help but find him devastatingly handsome and seductive. She knew she would find him handsome no matter what magic he had used to hide his true form.

For a long silent moment, one that crept on for what felt like an eternity, the two of them stared at one another, and soon, the whole room became silent, watching to see whether the strange tall pony dressed like Red Death would lure away the beautiful mare in the golden gown from the handsome Prince.

This very thought was what caused Blueblood to protest. "No monsieur, you may not!" he wrapped an arm around Fluttershy's shoulders, a gesture which only made Discord's eyes inflame brighter. "There are many mares seeking a dance partner…ask one of them."

"I am asking this mare," Discord growled deep and low, his gaze falling back to Fluttershy's. She trembled as her eyes locked with his once more, but then, so silently that only her ears could hear him, he whispered, "Honor me with a dance, mademoiselle?"

The question was hypnotic, and Fluttershy's hoof was already moving to take hold of Discord's. His penetrating gaze seemed to have an effect on the other women too, for several of them began fanning themselves rapidly, as others leaned away from their partners, hoping to look more available.

Blueblood stared in horror as his mysterious companion was willingly leaving him…HIM…for this masked mad stallion! "Unhoof her!" Blueblood roared, one of his hooves grasping Fluttershy's arm very tightly, attempting to yank her away from Red Death, while his other hoof went to throw Discord's off her.

However, as Fluttershy gasped from the pain, Discord's hoof twisted out of the Prince's, and went immediately for Blueblood's throat. The whole room gasped as Blueblood was lifted off the floor by Red Death's strong grip, the Prince flailing about like a fish out of water, releasing Fluttershy and pounding against Discord's arm to release him as he choked for breath.

"I could kill you now," he growled dangerously, "but I won't…that will wait for another day…" he evilly promised. "But if you touch her ever again…ever, I will skin you alive and cut into your flesh until you beg me to kill you!" he spat, before throwing Blueblood from him, the Prince landing with a great thud, the whole room gasping and several mares screaming and fainting from the scene.

The managers rushed over to the coughing, sputtering Prince, but Blueblood, with as much strength as he had, pushed them aside, his eyes alight with green fire as he stared at the stallion dressed as Red Death.

Discord, satisfied that his point had been made, led the stunned Fluttershy out onto the dance floor, which had emptied significantly the moment he approached. "A waltz!" Discord roared to the orchestra who was also staring in stunned silence. When the cords of the music did not begin, he cast them a glare which immediately brought them back to life. At once, the music started, and Discord enfolded the still stunned Fluttershy into his arms, and began to lead her through the elegant dance steps.

Fluttershy clung to Discord's shoulders, her eyes wide with disbelief for what had just taken place. Discord's eyes locked with hers, and for the longest time, the two of them danced in silence, the music the only thing filling their ears.

Yet while they danced, while Discord led her through the steps, his hooves moving with expert skill, swirling her around as if she weighed next to nothing, Fluttershy was not aware of anything other than him. She knew that they were being watched by everypony, and she knew that this was not the reason that she had come above, that she had to warn him, to bring him back before anything horrible happened…but she was caught under the spell of desire. How long had she dreamed of this moment, to be in his arms again, to feel his body so close to hers? She had often imagined the two of them dancing…but had no idea it would feel this intense, this passionate, or in such a setting as this.

"You dance divinely, mademoiselle," Discord whispered, his voice so deep and low that Fluttershy's spine tingled at the sound.

"As do you, monsieur," Fluttershy whispered, feeling the Phantom's spell of seduction coming over her once again. "Where did you learn to dance like this?"

Discord chuckled softly. "You'd be amazed at all the things I do know…" without warning he dipped her deeply, causing both her and the other mares in the room to gasp with shock.

He grinned as he saw her eyes go wide from the move, but he was pleased even more so at seeing how much she liked it. He moved his head down, till his lips were just above her ear. "Why did you come here?" he hissed so only she would hear.

Fluttershy lifted her head, her eyes locking with his. "It's a trap!" she hissed. "They are going to do something horrible!"

Suddenly, without warning, causing more people to gasp again, Discord let out a loud roar of laughter. Fluttershy's eyes narrowed at the sound, disliking the way he laughed at her concern. "You honestly think I haven't considered that?" he growled in her ear.

Fluttershy frowned. "If you have, then did you also consider what may happen to your friends, should anything happen to you?"

"Nothing will happen to me," Discord reassured, but Fluttershy did not like the way he said it. It was too smug. She gasped when she felt his hoof flatten and press against her back, causing her body to arch into his strong broad frame. "I appreciate your concern," he whispered sincerely, "but do not think that will get you out of any trouble." Before she could respond, he once again dipped her deeply, only this time it was slower and far more seductive. The cords of the music ended, and Discord's eyes locked with Fluttershy's open and parted lips, remembering their texture and taste, and felt his desire to once again lose himself in her kiss.

But he quickly rose to his full height, bringing Fluttershy with him, the mare stunned and panting from the intense heat of the dance. Discord's eyes scanned the crowd around the two of them, thinking it rude that no one was even offering a round of applause for their dancing; however, he would be lying to say he was surprised.

"I think the time has come, my dear," he murmured. "For the Phantom to make his debut for the whole world."

Author's Note:

Edited 4/25/2018

Enjoy!