• Published 2nd Feb 2013
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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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Concern

Concern

Discord laid on his back, panting deeply, as the beauty that had been sitting above him collapsed against his chest, slick with perspiration from their lovemaking. God, he would never tire of this or cease to be amazed by this incredible mare.

Fluttershy purred happily as she felt Discord's warm arms entwine around her, his paw and claw running lazy circles across her naked back. This was pure heaven, truly. All her life, she had never imagined that the creature she would give her heart to, and who would love her in return, would resemble one of the romantic figures of her dark gothic novels. Never had she envisioned the hero of her dreams to be a creature in a mask, casting his seductive spells over her with the power of his voice. And never…never had she imagined she would respond so eagerly to his passion.

Discord gazed at her and felt himself amazed once more, only now his heart swelled as he saw the love she had for him reflecting in the beautiful blue pools of her eyes. His paw tenderly brushed a few mussed waves from her face, and he held his breath as he took in her beauty, her love, and her happiness. Was it possible that he, an ugly, horrifying, murdering monster, could cause such happiness, could inspire such love and passion? Never in his whole life had he believed such love, such beauty, could be his. And yet here she was, in his bed, in his arms, gazing at him with longing and desire. What was he going to do? How could he ever let her go?

"Discord?" Fluttershy whispered, her voice drawing his attention back once more. One of her small hooves was gently caressing the unmasked side of his face, and Discord could not help but lean into the touch.

"You make it impossible to stay focused my dear," he sighed, his voice teasing as his eyes caught hers once more.

Fluttershy smiled at his words, but a part of her could not help but feel a little worried. She could tell something had bothered him in that faraway gaze he had just had. It was a worry that she too had been secretly harboring…

"As much as I would love to spend the whole day like this…I feel it would be wise that we resume our lessons," he sighed, slowly rising from the bed and reaching for his dressing gown.

Fluttershy blushed and bit her lip as she felt Discord's body slip away from hers. She grasped the edges of the Persian blankets that adorned the bed and wrapped them tightly around her naked body, although not even the soft warmth of the blankets could entirely hold off the chill she was suddenly feeling. "Discord…is…is everything alright?" she asked, her voice soft, as if she could keep the worry out of it by speaking softly.

Discord glanced at her, his brow furrowed by her question. "Why do you ask?"

Fluttershy looked down at her lap, a part of her dreading to ask this question. "I understand the managers are agreeing to perform the opera…"

"Yes,"Discord answered shortly, still curious as to what was bothering her. "They have finally seen reason and must follow through with my instructions in order to avoid any sort of scandal with their ticket-holders."

Fluttershy looked up, worry etched across her face. "Does it not seem strange to you that they simply agreed? They have been fighting it for so long, and then suddenly, they are in agreement?"

"What are you trying to say Fluttershy?" Discord asked, his eyes narrowing. He could not help it that his tone sounded somewhat cold. The very thing he did not want to comprehend was upon him, however he had worked over half of his life on this opera. "My dear," he sighed, softening his tone, and coming towards the bed and sitting opposite of her. "Why don't you just say what's in your heart…you have never held back from me before, why is now so hard to speak your mind?

Fluttershy looked into his eyes and felt a smile slowly spread across her face. However it was a smile that contained sorrow. "I worry for you Discord…I worry that these stallions are plotting something."

Discord couldn't help but chuckle somewhat at her words. "Flim and Flam are too stupid to plot my demise, if that is what's bothering you."

Fluttershy didn't like it when Discord laughed at her worry for him, or when he threw caution to the wind. "Do not be so arrogant! You have said so yourself, the Prince hates you! And I fear that after you embarrassed him at the masquerade, he will stop at nothing to seek his revenge!"

Discord frowned at these words. "Your faith in me, my dear, is overwhelming," he muttered with pure sarcasm, rising from the bed and walking away.

Fluttershy groaned and quickly rose, clasping the blankets to her body. "I do not lack faith in you! I know you are clever, far cleverer than he, but I do not think it is so wise to simply disregard carefulness! He is the sort of person who will behave irrationally over the most irrational things, surely you realize that!"

Discord stood in the entryway between his bedchamber and the music chamber, his head turned just slightly to look over his shoulder. "He is the one who should be taking care," he whispered. "All of them…but especially him. He was lucky that I chose to spare him the night of the ball. That public display of embarrassment was a warning; if he is wise, he will stay away from the opera house."

Fluttershy stood just behind Discord, her small hooves reaching out to his arm. "But that is my worry, he is not wise Discord, how could he be? No pony is wise when vengeance clouds the brain."

His eyes narrowed further at these words and he moved away from her into the music chamber. "We've wasted far too much time," he barked, seating himself at the piano. "There is still much to do and now we have limited time to do it. Come, we shall begin with Act II," he ordered, his experienced paw and claw already flying across the piano.

Fluttershy, however, stood exactly where she was, not moving into the music chamber, her face still etched with worry. Discord glanced up at the entryway, his annoyance spreading like wildfire. "Fluttershy, I'm not in the mood to play games, so come–"

"What happens after Don Juan, Discord?"

Her question practically stopped his breathing. He had to shake his head somewhat to regain consciousness. "W-w-what?"

"What happens after Don Juan Triumphant is performed?" she asked again, her eyes locked with his. "Or before that, even. What happens when the time comes that…that I need to go above to rehearse?"

It was a question Discord had been dreading to face for weeks. No, more than that. Before they both gave way to the passion that was crashing inside them, before he first felt her lips touch his, perhaps before they began to grow as friends…Discord had been dreading this question, and purposefully had been avoiding even the mere thought of it. It seemed so long ago that he had made that pact with Fluttershy, the deal to release her should she allow him to train her voice and star in his opera. Now his opera was going to be performed! And yet, for the first time in his life, Discord was regretting it…

"When the time is right, you will be ready to rehearse with them and perform…but that time is not now," Discord said simply, brushing the worries under the rug once more.

Fluttershy's eyes filled with sadness at these words. She did not know what she wanted to hear, but simply denying her question was certainly not what she wanted. She had not forgotten their bargain, however at the time they made it, Fluttershy longed for her freedom! Now…now things were so much more complicated. She loved her father, and dearly missed him. She worried about him and prayed that wherever he was, he was all right. But Discord…she had fallen in love with her captor, with the infamous Phantom himself! And the thought of having to leave him and this paradise they had created beneath the earth seemed too much to bear…

"I…I don't feel very well,Discord…" she whispered, her hoof rising to her head and softly touching her face. She felt hot and flushed, and things were beginning to spin. "I'm sorry…I…I don't think I will be able to sing…f-f-forgive me…"

Discord bolted to his feet when he noticed Fluttershy's eyes roll back, and flew to her side just in time to catch her as she crumpled to the floor.

She heard singing. A rich tender voice in a distance, soothing her with sweet words, words to a song she had never heard before, and yet…she knew it. It was a song she had never heard with her ears, but one her heart seemed to know, one that filled her dreams. An enchanting song filled with longing, desire, and the promise of everlasting love.
"You alone can make my song take flight…"

Fluttershy's eyes fluttered open then, the blurred image of a face looming close to hers, a face that was only half revealed, while the other half hid beneath a white mask. For some, it would be a startling image to awake to, but for Fluttershy, it was an image that made her heart soar.

"Welcome back," Discord softly whispered, a tender smile spreading across his face, however it was also etched with sadness. "How are you feeling?"

Fluttershy looked around, her eyes filled with confusion. She remembered very little of what had happened, but she was sure she had not been in her chamber. Yet here she was, lying in her bed, the lace curtains drawn around them and the warm fire glowing brightly in her fireplace. She looked up at Discord again, who was lying next to her, although he was propped up on his elbow, his paw tenderly running over her right cheek as he gazed down at her. "How…what…?" she asked, trying to sit up, but her head still felt heavy.

"Shhh…" he whispered. "It's alright, just rest yourself." It was amazing at how tender he could be, she thought. She looked up at him again and saw the love in his eyes, as well as the worry. Gone was the ferocious mad stallion that filled the stories of the dancers, gone was the musical task-master that demanded perfection; the creature she loved lay next to her, a creature who by no means was a monster, despite his short temper, odd body and scarred face. For this was a creature that the stories did not know, a creature who showed tenderness, concern, and compassion; a creature who was indeed capable of love.

"I…I don't remember much," she confessed, feeling foolish for her lack of memory.

Discord smiled softly and bent forward to kiss her forehead. "You fainted and gave me quite a scare," Discord murmured against her skin. True, it had been most frightening; the only other time he recalled Fluttershy fainting was when he took her prisoner so long ago. Since then, she had proven to him many times that she was strong, independent, and not the sort of mare who gave way to fainting spells. Mares of high fashion did it all the time, he had seen it many times throughout his years at the opera, but normally they were faking or had very weak nerves. Not his Fluttershy, she was neither of those things. But when he saw her crumple before him then, it felt as if someone had buried a knife deep into his chest. If he had any doubts before, they had all been dashed in that moment.

He could not live without her.

Yes, he had made the promises once upon a time to release her, should she allow him to teach her and perform in his opera, but that was before he knew it was possible to feel love…and to be loved in return. Now, the thing he had been working so hard on for years was becoming something he was dreading, and Fluttershy's questions increased that dread.

Aminta was a part she was born to play, he could not imagine another playing it, nor did he want to. He had written the opera prior to knowing Fluttershy, but she had created Aminta, the true Aminta.

But the time would come when she would need to go above and rehearse the opera with the rest of the cast. And then what? Ponies would wonder where she had been all this time, and they would speculate as to why he, the Phantom of the Opera, chose her to play the part. They would be curious as to know how she learned to sing so beautifully, and they would want to know why the Phantom favored her to play the leading female role in his opera. When he wrote his notes he thought nothing of it, he didn't care as to what they thought so long as they did their jobs…but now he realized he was putting his beloved Fluttershy at risk. They would question her; perhaps threaten her if she did not tell them about the Phantom.

Discord's blood grew cold at the thought of his beautiful Fluttershy being threatened by the likes of the Prince. He meant what he said at the masquerade ball; if the Prince ever laid a hoof on her, he would kill him, long and slowly.

And what would happen after the opera had been performed? Discord could not imagine now ever saying goodbye forever to Fluttershy. And then there was the promise he had made to find her father. Discord felt ashamed, for while he had Shortround and Rainbow Dash exploring the streets of Maris long after darkness filled the city, he had not been doing his part with searching for the old stallion. When he was not with Fluttershy, Discord spent all his time writing notes and inspecting the opera house, making sure things were going as he had instructed. But now, as he looked at Fluttershy's lovely face, he felt deep shame for the pain he had caused her and for raising her hopes. Shortround and Rainbow Dash were extremely limited in how far they could search, but Discord could do more, much more; despite his face, he at least was gifted without having any other physical disfigurements.

"Discord?"

He gasped as he was brought out of his thoughts by the soft touch of her small hoof on his cheek. His amber eyes met hers, beautiful and blue, and he felt his heart swell with both longing and despair. He could not let her go, despite the promises he had made. And yet, he could never cage her either; he knew what it was like to be in a cage, and he could never inflict that upon her and risk twisting her love for him into resentment.

"Discord, what's wrong?" she whispered, sitting up now, her eyes lit with concern.

He gazed into her eyes and forced a smile, an idea instantly coming to him. "Nothing that a hot bath cannot fix."

Fluttershy's brow furrowed with confusion. "A hot bath? You have a bathing tub?"

Discord smiled and shook his head. "No, I actually have something better, another secret of my lair that I will now share with you."

Before Fluttershy could ask what he meant, he scooped her up and proceeded to carry her out of the chamber. "W-w-w-where are we going?" Fluttershy asked, shivering somewhat as the cold air from the tunnels hit her skin. She realized then, that she was still wrapped in the blanket from Discord's bed.

He smiled down at her and simply whispered, "you'll see."

Fluttershy still had many questions, however the warmth and safety that she was feeling from Discord's arms was extremely intoxicating, almost as intoxicating as his voice. She found her head falling to his shoulder, and her arms twined around his neck as he carried her through dark passages she was unfamiliar with. For now, she would lay her questions aside, and simply focus on the moment she had with this creature. Yes, that would be for the best…

Discord carried her through cold tunnels that were so dark that even he, whose night vision was far advanced from a mere stallion's, had to squint his eyes in order to see where he was going. "We are almost there," he assured her as he felt her shiver slightly. "And it will be worth it, I promise."

Fluttershy believed him, but she still clung to him tightly. "I would be lost if I came here," she whispered.

Discord's arms tightened even more. "That is why you have an experienced guide," he murmured, causing a seductive shiver to run down her spine. "Do you remember the old catacombs I once pointed out to you?"

Fluttershy thought for a minute, and then recalled how on the first time they traveled by boat, the first time Discord took her to the roof, they rowed past a dark tunnel that he told her led to the old catacombs beneath Maris. The seductive shiver Discord had sent through her earlier changed. "Do not tell me we are inside those?"

Discord chuckled softly, his arms tightening even more. "Have no fear, my sweet. Yes, we are in the tunnel that leads to them, however, there are no bones around us…I will not take us that far, I promise."

She was grateful for that piece of news, however she was still curious as to where exactly they were heading, not to mention Discord's statement about a bath.

"Ah, here we are," he announced, coming to a stop. "Now I'll need to put you down for a moment…but keep the blanket wrapped tightly around you, I will be quick," he informed, before setting her on her feet.

Fluttershy still felt a little wobbly, so she quickly sat down, the blanket clung tightly around her, as she heard Discord's steps echo off the tunnel's walls. She didn't have long to wonder where they were exactly, for a light glowed softly from an oil lamp that lay just to her left. Discord was lighting several lamps that hung from the cavern's walls, and she gasped as she saw a pool just before them. It was small, much like the tiny pool that was inside her chamber. Yet she noticed something that set it apart from the other pool as well…it was bubbling softly.

"Believe it or not, I discovered a hot spring in this passage many years ago," Discord informed her as he finished lighting the lamps. "Unusual yes, but I've long since learned not to be too surprised by the secrets that the opera house holds."

Fluttershy blushed as Discord approached her, removing the dressing gown he still wore from earlier. His naked form glowed softly in the firelight, and Fluttershy felt her cheeks glow as well. Discord felt no shame, and knew that Fluttershy's blush, which was very obvious despite the shadows that danced across her face from the oil lamps, was not out of embarrassment but out of her innocence. No matter how many times they made love, she would always be innocent, for her love was pure. Discord felt both his heart swell at the thought, as well as his arousal.

"Come," he whispered, reaching for her and lifting her up again. Fluttershy did not protest while he removed the blanket from her body, exposing her naked flesh once more, however the glow of her blush quickly spread, and she immediately felt that tingling return between her thighs.

She gasped as she first felt the warm waters lap at her body. Discord also sighed, his arms still holding her close. "You should have told me about this ages ago," she giggled as she turned away from him and stretched her body against his.

Discord smiled and closed his eyes briefly as both the sensation of the water and Fluttershy's naked body ran over him. "Yes, you're quite right…but better late than never," he whispered against her ear, causing her to whimper as his paw and claw were already moving over her.

"Discord…" she moaned. "What is this spell you have cast over me?"

Discord smiled, however his paw stilled for a moment. "I have a confession to make, Fluttershy," he whispered, his paw moving to her shoulders and turning her to face him. The desire that had clouded her eyes disappeared and was replaced once more with worry.

Discord looked at the beautiful mare before him, a part of him screaming to tell her his worries, his fears of losing her, of wanting her to never leave him but to forever remain by his side. However, the other part of him was telling him to not ruin this moment, that it was better to wait. He felt weak as he gave in to the second voice.

"On the night I gave you the gowns," he whispered, "I saw you bathing in the lagoon."

That was not what Fluttershy had been expecting to hear, however her whole face paled before glowing the deepest red imaginable. "You…you s-s-saw me n-naked!" she gasped.

Discord tried to keep a straight face, but found it difficult from the delightful flush of her cheek. "I did not mean to spy, and I swear to you that the next time I saw your beautiful body was the night we first made love," he felt a growl rise deep in his throat at the way she blushed even more at these words.

Fluttershy didn't know what to say, and scolding him was clearly foolish, for after all, he had seen her naked many times since. However, a part of her was curious if that was all he had wanted to say. The tone of his voice now seemed filled with merriment, yet prior, it sounded sad…desperate even.

She shook her head, brushing the worries off, and gasped as she felt Discord's arms wrap around her and press her back against one of the sides of the pool. "Do you have any idea of what you do to me?" he growled softly, his mouth already ravishing her throat. Fluttershy whimpered and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, pressing him closer, her legs moving to wrap around his waist.

The two of them clung to each other as they made love in the pool, the warm water turning hot as it splashed and lapped around them. Perhaps in their passionate bliss they could somehow make reality stop…

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It was a calm January afternoon. Crafty Crate, the private investigator that had helped the Prince with learning the whereabouts of the elusive Fluttershy, was settling himself down at his desk, sipping a strong cup of spiced tea to push away the cold that filled his tiny office, when he heard shouting coming from the hall just outside.
"No! I'm sorry Madame, but he's busy! Please, I shall tell him you stopped by–"

"Stand aside and let me through!"

"Please Madame! At least let me announce you, please–"

But the mare who had been arguing with the chambermaid threw open the door to Crafty Crate's tiny office, and shoved her way inside, despite the maid's protests.

Crafty Crate's eyes widened at the uninvited guest who now stood before him, dressed from head to toe in her matronly black, a netted veil covering her face, and a scowl that looked even darker, underneath. He recognized her at once. "Madame Luna! I um…I must say…this is an unexpected surprise–"

"Shut your mouth and sit down!" the mare barked, to which the private investigator immediately obeyed.

The chambermaid gave a weak curtsy to her employer. "I'm sorry, monsieur, I tried to stop her, but–"

"It's alright, Bonbon," Crafty Crate reassured, although he did not take his eyes off the grim-looking dance mistress. "Why don't you go and prepare a cup of tea for my guest."

"Don't bother," Madame Luna snapped. "I won't be staying for very long. Leave us!" she bellowed, to which the chambermaid gave a small shriek before quickly shutting the office door. She turned her attention back to Crafty Crate who was loosening the collar of his shirt so that he could swallow the nervous lump in his throat. "Hard at work, I see," she grumbled, eyeing the cup of tea he had been sipping as well as the messy desk, which was horribly unorganized. "Perhaps now I can begin to see why you were unable to do the job I hired you to do."

"Madame–"

"SILENCE!" Madame Luna barked, and as before, Crafty Crate shrank back, his mouth closed and his face pale. She looked at him with utter disgust, causing icy shivers to course down his spine. Finally, she sat down at a chair across from his desk, however her focus never left his pale face. "Understand now, that until I ask you to speak, you will remain silent," she hissed, before lifting the veil. Crafty Crate simply nodded his head, his whole body frozen with fear. Madame Luna eyed the private investigator before speaking, the coldness in her expression never ceasing.

"I understand you were at the Maris Opera House not so long ago," she began.

"Madame, let me explain, I–"

"A simple 'yes or no' will suffice!" she hissed, to which Crafty Crate immediately squeaked, and then numbly nodded his head.

Madame Luna's features relaxed somewhat, however her back remained rigid and straight, the icy fire in her eyes still burning for satisfaction. "I learned of your 'visits' from a few stage hooves. I overheard them talking about a private investigator…who had come to learn about the Phantom. When I spoke with them, they mentioned the questions you had asked…all pertaining around Fluttershy."

Crafty Crate could not meet the mare's eyes; his very soul would freeze at the simple glance.

Madame Luna continued. "At first, I thought perhaps you were still doing research for my case, although I had fired you some time before hoof," she growled. "However, what intrigued me was learning that you were also curious about the 'Phantom of the Opera'. I know that the managers did not hire anyone to ask questions about the Phantom, and I certainly didn't hire you to ask about him, in fact I mentioned nothing of the Phantom! And yet you were there, days after you had been fired. That is most loyal service…however I do not think it was service for me."

Crafty Crate swallowed and carefully glanced up at the dark matron before him. She held his gaze and slowly rose from her chair, her hooves resting on his desk as she leaned forward, like a bat ready to swoop down and seize its prey. "Now tell me the truth, monsieur," she hissed. "Were you working for somepony else?"

He glanced at her, his mouth open but no sound coming out. Madame Luna leaned back away from the desk, her eyes still hard and cold however. "You may speak now," she sighed with a wave of her hoof. "In fact, I'll make it even simpler for you. Answer this question for me. Were you hired by the Prince?" she paused and locked her eyes with his once more. "A simple 'yes or no' shall suffice."

Crafty Crate tried to keep his calm; after all, he did not wish to expose his highest paying client. However, he did not wish to anger the dance mistress either, especially after he felt the sting of her icy stare. "I…that is…" he swallowed hard, trying to think of what would be the appropriate thing to say. "I thought…well, I learned that the last anyone had seen of Time Turner or his daughter was at the opera house, so perhaps…perhaps someone there would know of their whereabouts–"

"STOP LYING TO ME!" she shouted, causing Crafty Crate to shrink back in his chair.

Madame Luna was furious, and she began pacing the room like a caged animal. "Let me tell you what I think, monsieur," she growled. "I think the Prince hired you, not out of concern to know the whereabouts of Monsieur Time Turner or his charming daughter, but mainly because he wanted one thing and one thing only," she eyed him with great suspicion. "I know that Mademoiselle Fluttershy 'refused' the Prince, and the Prince is not one used to rejection, the pompous arrogant ass."

Crafty Crate gasped at Madame Luna's language, as well as who she was speaking of. "It seems like a lot of trouble, however, to hire a private investigator to find a mare for him to bed. Which leads me to two conclusions," she leaned over the desk once more. "Either the Prince's desire to seek revenge against the Phantom has truly made him mad…or there is something about Fluttershy that I am unaware, but that you learned…and that you're going to tell me, right now," she threatened.

Crafty Crate sat up in his chair, trying to look braver than he felt. "Now see here, madam, I…I will not be intimidated! I–"

Madame Luna dropped a package of money onto his desk. "Will 500 franks help you answer?"

Crafty Crate stared at the money, his eyes wide with disbelief, both at his good fortune, as well as Madame Luna's offer to pay him for information right now! It wasn't nearly as much as the Prince had paid him, however it was still 500 franks! He reached for the package, but she snatched it before he could lay his hooves on it. "Answers first," she hissed, waving the package before him to entice him to speak.

Crafty Crate eagerly answered. "The Prince learned of your interest in discovering Time Turner and his daughter. He did not inform me as to why he wished to discover the pair, but he did hire me for that reason. I soon learned that the night of the opening gala was the last anypony had seen of them."

Madame Luna nodded her head, knowing that indeed this was true. She had gone to the apartment both Fluttershy and her father had been keeping since they came to Maris, however she was shocked to learn that Fluttershy was not there. For a week she kept visiting the apartment, hoping to find the young mare, but there was no sign. She spoke with the land owner, hoping that perhaps she had seen the mare, however her fears grew when she learned that the mare hadn't seen either Fluttershy or her father since they had left for the opera house on the day of the opening gala.

"So I thought perhaps it would be for the best to inquire after the two of them at the Maris Opera House itself," he continued.

Madame Luna eyed him suspiciously. "Why did you tell the stage hooves you were investigating the Phantom?"

Crafty Crate had to admit he found it curious that Madame Luna was worried about the Phantom. However, he chose it was simply because she worked at the opera house, and like all the others, she too, was superstitious. "The Prince informed me that he and the managers would be conducting an investigation as to who was sending messages as the so-called Phantom. He thought it would be the perfect disguise."

Madame Luna's eyes narrowed at Crafty Crate's revelation behind the plot by the managers and the Prince. So that explained the whole masquerade ball–it had been a ruse to capture Discord, however until the night of the ball, she had a good feeling none of them believed that the actual Phantom was indeed the Phantom himself! However, just because they were not prepared on the night of the ball did not mean they would be so clumsy in the future. Discord was in danger, whether he knew it or not…

"What else did you learn?" she snapped.

Crafty Crate gasped and quickly continued. "Well, the stage hooves told me that they had seen both Time Turner and the mare, that Time Turner had gone through a trap door backstage to fetch a prop…however they had warned him that he would be entering the 'Phantom's lair' and if he came back, would not return…alive."

Madame Luna's eyes closed for a second. It was as she feared; DIscord did not confirm for her that Time Turner had met the Phantom's wrath, but everything pointed to that suspicion as being the most likely. "You said they saw the mareirl?" she inquired, hoping to hear some good news, however dreading what he would tell her.

Crafty Crate nodded his head. "Apparently she approached them after…after she had been released from her duties. She asked if they had seen her father, and when they told her, she grabbed an oil lamp and also disappeared below."

Madame Luna sprung to her feet, her eyes wide and her pale face as white as a ghost. "W-w-w-what?"

Crafty Crate was startled by Madame Luna's reaction. "Y-yes…that was the last anypony has seen of her. Like her father, she disappeared beneath the opera house, and no one has seen her since…however, those stallions could have been drunk, it is possible, after all, it does seem far fetched that she became a victim of the Phantom's–"

"SILENCE!" Madame Luna barked, to which Crafty Crate immediately obeyed. Fluttershy had gone below…in a brave attempt to find her father; she had gone below to meet her doom, to become another victim of Discord's wrath, to–

Wait.

Images from the masquerade ball came flooding back. Images of Discord, dressed as Red Death, dancing with a mare in a beautiful gold gown. He was very possessive of the mare…she had been dancing with the Prince, but Discord took her from him. At first she had simply thought it was Discord's way of embarrassing Blueblood, but as she thought about the mare…her hair, pink and wavy, her height small, her figure somewhat voluptuous…was it possible? When Discord made his grand exit, she did not recall seeing the mare either. Had Discord taken her? Was the mare…Fluttershy?

Yes. Fluttershy had disappeared beneath the opera house…and was now Discord's prisoner.

Good God, was it possible for him to sink to such depths?

"I thank you for your information, monsieur," Madame Luna murmured, moving towards the door.

Crafty Crate rose to his feet, his eyes filled with worry as he was seeing his money disappear with her. "Wait! See here, you promised to pay me!"

Without another look, she tossed him the package, to which Crafty Crate greedily grabbed. However, his happy smile fell quickly, as he realized that the money inside the package was simply bits and pieces of blank paper. Before he could shout for her to return at once and pay him with proper money, her carriage was already gone.

Author's Note:

Enjoy!