• 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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She watched him like a predator, hidden deep in the safety of the shadows. She watched him emerge from the building, a satisfied smirk creased across his hoofsome lips. He put his hat on, followed by his gloves, and then pulled the collar of his great coat up around his chin, shielding the winter wind from his face. His carriage was pulled in front of the building, anxiously awaiting his arrival, however before he stepped inside, he turned his head in her direction, the smirk disappearing and being replaced with a creased brow of suspicion. The coachcolt asked him if anything was wrong, and with a shrug of the shoulders, the Prince quickly climbed inside, and the carriage immediately pulled away.

Madame Luna waited till the carriage was out of sight before emerging from her shadowed hiding place. Despite the strong winter winds or the heavy snow that was falling, she cared not, and with great strides, walked directly up the steps of the building her adversary had emerged from.

It was late, and there few police inside the station, but they all whirled their heads as the matron of the dancers, dressed in her traditional black, stood in the doorway.

She scowled at each of them, her eyes moving about and surveying the room. Ever since her encounter with Monsieur Crafty Crate, Madame Luna had been spying on the activities of the Prince. To her great surprise, he did not visit the opera house as often as he had done in the past. She had a growing suspicion that he was now sending notes of his own to the managers, yet she had been unable to retrieve or intercept the letters herself. And she also had a growing suspicion that Blueblood was giving instructions for his letters to be burned immediately upon reading them, as large piles of burnt paper were appearing in the office fireplace. No, whatever game the Prince was playing, he was being clever. And while he was giving nothing about himself away at the opera house, she had noticed that he was now frequenting the police station more often than one of fashionable society does. She had spied him entering this place three times thus far, and tonight she intended to learn why.

"May I help you, madam?" an officer timidly asked. He practically shrank from the cold stare he received. "Is s-s-something amiss?"

She removed her gloves and lifted the black-netted veil that covered her face. "I wish to know the business of Prince Blueblood," she stated quite bluntly.

Several of the officers who were present practically gasped in unison. The silence was extremely thick. "I…I b-b-b-beg your p-p-pardon?"

"You heard what I said," she murmured, her voice low and dangerous. "Tell me why the Prince frequents this place as often as he does. What is his business here? What information are you providing for him? I demand to know!"

Her voice began as soft as a whisper and had risen to a powerful bark. The officer with whom she had been speaking to paled at her words, and then turned his head, crying out, "Inspector Silverstar! Inspector Silverstar!"

Within a few seconds, the chief inspector emerged, worry etched across his face from the sound of the officer's voice. "What is it? What's wrong?" he asked, looking about frantically, but then his eyes fell upon Madame Luna, who was now giving him an icy stare. No further questions were needed; he knew the source of his officer's distress.

"May I help you, madam?" Silverstar asked politely, but also standing straight and tall, his chin high as if trying to intimidate her with his position.

It wouldn't work.

"I demand to know why the Prince has been coming here. What business does he have with you?"

Silverstar was shocked by her question, but he quickly hid it. "I beg your pardon madam…but the Prince has not been here," he answered calmly.

Madame Luna's eyes narrowed into angry cold slits. "Do not lie to me, inspector. I am no fool you can easily dupe. I have watched the Prince, I know his carriage, and it was outside your station. I have seen him emerge from this place three times this week. Which means you either are an idiot for not recognizing him, or…" she lowered her voice to a dangerous level, "you are lying for him. And I am believing it is the latter…"

Silverstar kept his head held high, however his eyes betrayed him as they flashed a brief light of worry at her words. "Frankly madam, it is quite disturbing that you believe to have seen the Prince when I assure you, he has not been here, but even more than that, that you claim without any reservation, that you have been spying on him! If anyone has been committing some sort of criminal activity, it sounds as if it is you!"

Madame Luna merely smiled coldly at Silverstar's words, a reaction he had not anticipated. "I never accused the Prince of criminal activity…such an interesting choice of words…"

Silverstar paled. "I…now see her madam, I…I never once revealed–I mean assumed…oh damn it!" he hissed. "The Prince has not been here! And even if he had, I would not reveal his reasons, as they are confidential matters! You forget that I am a stallion of the law and must uphold the rights of our citizens!"

Madame Luna eyed Silverstar as he finished his statement, his chin lifted high again and his eyes matching the very coldness her own possessed. "Very well," she sighed, shocking them all as she turned to leave the station. Silverstar almost lost his balance from how rigid his legs had been. He stared at the retreating figure of Madame Luna with utter surprise. However, that surprise was short lived, as she turned and flashed them all one last hard cold stare. "You're right, inspector…you are indeed a stallion of the law…I just hope you remember that in your next meeting with the Prince."

None of the officers moved after she departed; they were afraid she might come back! Finally, Silverstar turned toward one of his officers and said quite sternly, "Send a message to the Prince at once…tell him he is being watched and that he needs to lesson his visits here," he ordered.

The officer nodded his head. "Who do you suppose she was, inspector?"

Silverstar gazed out the door as the mare disappeared once more into the shadows. A sudden shiver went down his spine, and it wasn't from the cold. "I don't know…nor do I really wish to find out."


"I HATE THIS OPERA!" Celestia screeched in the midst of rehearsal. All the other chorus members who were going through warm-ups, immediately stopped as the diva picked up an orchestra member's trumpet and threw it through one of the backdrops.
The conductor gasped at her actions before losing his own temper. "Now see here, senora! You can not simply do that with musical instruments!"

If Fancypants had not been there to hold her back, she would have launched herself at the conductor and rip his eyes out. "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, YOU LITTLE WORTHLESS SHIT?" she screamed, trying to wrestle Fancypant's arms off. Several stagehooves realized the effort Fancypants was undergoing with trying to hold back the demon diva, and quickly rushed to the tenor's side to also hold the possessed mare at bay. "I AM A GREAT STAR! I SHOULD BE IN THIS OPERA! PONIES PAY TO SEE ME PERFORM, NOT SOME HORRID, MODERN, DISGUSTING PIECE OF FILTH THAT DARES TO CALL ITSELF MUSIC!"

The conductor paled at her words and anxiously, along with half the cast on stage, began looking around and over his head. "Senora, do not say such things when the composer is present!" he hissed.

Celestia, who was now being held back by four stallions, retorted, "the composer is not here! AND I WILL SAY WHATEVER I DAMN PLEASE!"

Twilight Sparkle, who had been standing off to the side with several of the other dance mares, said exactly what everyone else was thinking. "Are you certain of that, senora?"

Celestia glared at the mare and then began to curse in her native Italian. All four stallions dragged the sputtering prima donna off the stage with great effort, while everyone else continued to look about nervously for fear of upsetting unseen parties. "L-l-let's continue with rehearsing," the conductor stuttered nervously, glancing about one last time.

High above the stage, hidden in the shadows of the catwalk, Discord watched as the chorus and dancers rehearsed. He was pleased with the progress they had made, especially that of the orchestra, however the dancers was still off by several notes, not to mention he could tell several basses were off key as well. He demanded perfection, and he was going to have it for his masterpiece.

He moved about the high catwalk with great ease, eyeing every little detail. The sets were much better than before, he was pleased with the work of the stagehooves. There were still issues of lighting, however that could wait till the approach of opening night. Yet as he inspected all the details, he could not suppress the smile that was bursting forth as the delightful memory of Celestia's rage returned. He remembered the day the news was delivered that she would be playing an insignificant role in his opera; the ground was littered with shattered fragments from whatever she could throw. Pity that all the screaming she mustered did not cause her to lose her voice. Still, he could not deny the pleasure he felt when she was reminded, once more, that she was virtually nothing in his opera.

Yes, things were vastly improving, however there was still a great deal to accomplish. Including the issue of introducing Fluttershy to rehearsals.

Discord's amusement changed to dread once more. The impending doom of this realization was becoming harder and harder to deny.

He recalled the sickening memory of watching her faint before him like a withered flower. When he caught her, she felt so limp and so frail…


He thought he had tasted fear in the past; the fear of being put on display, the fear of being tortured, the fear of being discovered by intruders; no, none of that measured up to the fear he felt at the thought of losing Fluttershy forever. His world would not be the same without her, music would not be the same without her…his life was never going to be the same again.

Once upon a time, he thought music was the only thing that could give him joy. He knew now, that without Fluttershy, music held no joy, no beauty, no life. He needed her just as a pony needs air to breathe. He needed her to live…for life was not worth living without Fluttershy.

A new memory stirred within him, one that was far happier and of complete bliss. It was but a few nights ago, when they were both lying in her bed, tangled within its sheets and one another's limbs. Her head was pillowed against his chest, her hair filling his nostrils with its sweet perfume. The fire from her fireplace glowed and cast golden shadows upon their naked bodies. No words were spoken, yet none were needed. Until the softest sound interrupted their peaceful silence…

Humming. The sweetest, softest music he had ever heard. Where was it coming from? What could make such a sound?

And then he realized that the humming was coming from Fluttershy.

"What is that?" he whispered, his fingers curling over her right hoof, which lay atop his chest. "That tune…I am not familiar with it…"

Fluttershy turned a bright red when she realized that he had heard her. She had not even been fully aware that she had been singing! "I'm sorry, I thought you were asleep–"

"With such an angel beside me?" he murmured, his paw cradling her hoof and lifting it to his lips. "Please, tell me what you were humming, it was so beautiful…"

Fluttershy moved her head so that she could look up into his amber eyes. Her heart practically burst from the love she saw reflected in those tiger-eyes. "When I was little, my mother sang me a lullaby to calm my fears. You see…she became very sick one winter, so sick that both Papa and I were afraid she was going to die. She did not die that winter, however the sickness forever weakened her heart…" she sadly murmured. "I was so scared, and I prayed as hard as I could every night, but I was still afraid. And then…one night she called me to her bedside, and she whispered to me, 'Fluttershy, do not fear. The Angel of Music will watch over you'."

Discord's brow furrowed at her words. "The Angel of Music? Didn't you–"

"Yes," Fluttershy blushed, but smiled at the memory. "The night we saw Handel's Messiah, I toasted to the Angel of Music. You see, Papa had once told me that there were different angels in heaven, and one of those angels was the Angel of Music. My mother remembered this too, and told me that the Angel of Music watches over those whose heart is pure as song. And then she sang to me, a tune I had heard Papa play many times, but I had never believed meant anything…until then."

Discord's eyes were filled with tenderness, and his claw gently stroked a fallen wave of hair from her cheek. "Sing it for me?" he softly pleaded.

Even in the firelight, Discord could tell Fluttershy was blushing. He thought he would have to ask once again, but then the most beautiful sound emerged from her perfect throat.

"Angel of Music, guide and guardian,
Crown to me your glory…
Angel of Music, hide no longer,
Secret and strange angel…"

Discord thought his heart might melt from the tender chords her voice sang. Never had he heard anything more beautiful in his whole wretched existence. He was amazed to feel a tear drip from his right eye. "Fluttershy…" he finally murmured after a long reverent pause. "That…I have never heard anything so…" his voice was filled with such emotion from the beauty of her music.

Fluttershy could hear the emotion in his voice. Her hoof flew to his lips and she smiled as his eyes caught hers. "I…I know you thought me strange for toasting to the Angel of Music that night," she whispered, her eyes bashfully looking away, briefly, before returning to gaze into his. "But…the reason I did…oh you will think me so foolish for this," she sighed, attempting to look away, but Discord's paw caught her chin.

"Please tell me," he simply whispered.

Fluttershy let out a shaky breath and smiled. "Well…I…I believe you are my angel…the Angel of Music," she finally revealed.

Disocrd's brow creased with confusion. "I am the Angel of Music?"

Fluttershy could not help but giggle at his expression. "Yes, you."

Discord cocked one brow up. "Perhaps you are unfamiliar with how angels look. I do not think I hardly fit the description–"

"You have always watched over me, protecting me from any harm, guiding me and revealing to me the glory of my dreams," her hooves softly ran over his unmasked cheek. "Yes Discord…you are my angel."

Discord stared back at her in amazement. He opened his mouth to speak, but was rendered silent by the soft caresses her fingers were running over his mask. "Discord…I love you with my whole heart, every part of you…"


"Please," she softly pleaded, her eyes full of hope as she locked them with his. "Do not hide from me? Let me see all of you."

Discord froze at her request. He knew she had seen him before without his mask, and he remembered that she did not flinch those other times…but what if that broke the spell? What if he removed the mask and then she realized she had willingly bedded a monster? "Fluttershy, I…I am afraid…" his voice was so soft.

Fluttershy's hooves ceased their caresses and she looked deeply into his eyes, her love there for him to see, begging for him to trust her, begging for him to never hide from her again. She loved him, every part of him, including the scars on his flesh, as well as on his soul. He tried to avoid her eyes, those oceans of beauty where he often lost himself, but he could not do so, not when he could feel her warm inviting gaze. She saw his fear, but she offered comfort. She was asking for trust, and she was giving him love. He had not been able to deny her anything, and she had asked for so little.

He nodded his head and held his breath as he felt the mask slowly being lifted away.

His tangled and ruined flesh lay there for the whole world to see, to ridicule, and to spit upon. In the depths of his memory he could hear the screams of mares and the mocking laughter of stallions. He waited, waited for her scream to join the din…

But instead, he felt the softest touch of silk. His eyes flew open as he realized that the touch had come from Fluttershy's lips. He let out a long ragged breath as he felt her perfect pink tongue trace one scar, and then gasped as the feel of her lips once more lingered over his mangled flesh.

He was shocked to see that her eyes were swimming with tears just as his were. He groaned as he felt her feather soft hooves touch his disfigured skin, and with an oath of passion, he caught her beautiful face in his paw and claw and brought her lips down upon his.

Discord let out a long shaky sigh as the memory lingered, before being interrupted by another of Celestia's screams. He growled and glared down at the diva as once more, she stalked on stage, Fancypants at her heels, begging for her to see reason, which was like begging a fish to leap of the water and walk. True, he enjoyed driving the diva mad, but any more of her shrieking and he would be hanging her like one of the many sandbags from the curtains.

He heard the sound of hoofsteps nearby and glanced over his shoulder, catching the eyes of a frightened stagehoof. Without a word, Discord swirled his cape around him and leapt into the nearby shadows just as the stallion was crying out, "The Phantom! I…I've seen the Phantom!"

Concealed by the blackness of shadow, Discord retreated through one of his many secret passages that led to the forbidden depths of his lair. He walked briskly, a determined look alight in his eyes, however it had nothing to do with the opera rehearsal.

No, he was thinking about Fluttershy and what must be done. The truth of the matter was that if Fluttershy didn't play the part of Aminta, Celestia would snatch it up and thus ruin everything. And frankly, he'd rather burn his score (along with the whole opera house) than see, let alone hear, Celestia's harpy voice sing Aminta's songs. Besides, Fluttershy had earned her right to play Aminta; he was the true manager of this opera, not those two fops, and as far as he was concerned, she had auditioned, practiced, and transformed the role into her own creation. Plus, he was the composer as well as the director…and he wanted no other but Fluttershy in his opera.

Yet there still remained the problem of what would happen after she went above. Also, where would she go? He cursed himself for not being able to find her father, yet even if he had, where would they stay? They had little money, if any, and would not be able to afford even the cheapest of flats. Quite frankly, Discord did not like the idea of his precious Fluttershy sleeping on a lice-infested bed or freezing from the lack of heat that was sure to be found in such places. And what if the old stallion could not be found? It broke Discord's heart at the thought of having to tell Fluttershy that he had failed her in finding her father; perhaps she could forgive him one day, but he would never be able to forgive himself for the sorrow he would have caused her. What then? She would be penniless, homeless, a spinster with no family to speak of. For many mares in such situations, there was only one alternative, and Discord's blood turned to ice at the horrible thought of his Fluttershy wearing the meager garb of a prostitute.

No, he could not–he WOULD not allow Fluttershy to face such horrors on her own. He loved her, he needed her, he did not want to know what it was like to live without her!

…And then a sudden thought struck him.

What if she stayed with him? Yes, she could stay at the opera house with him while rehearsals went on…and perhaps after the opera as well.

Even if his opera flopped, he had no doubts that she would become a star over night. People would soon forget all about La Celestia; let the harpy make her threats and leave; Fluttershy would have Maris, and soon her fame would reach the far corners of the globe. And he would continue to teach her, to write music for her, and perhaps produce more operas for her to perform!

And if ponies grew suspicious and wondered where the beautiful mare lived? Well, anonymity always sold tickets, plus it would be considered a part of her stage career. She would be a mare of mystery, a diva that went and stayed wherever she desired. He recalled how he had Rainbow Dash drive the black carriage he kept hidden in the depths of the opera house to Blueblood's club that day the Prince and the managers' left to discuss his opera. He could use it to fetch Fluttershy after every performance, whisk her away in a cloud of mystery, only to later return to the opera house where they would descend to their Eden.

Yes…it was possible! It would work! They would be together, no one could tear them apart, and no one needs know of their secrets! And with time, the suspicions as to why she was favored in the Phantom's opera would disappear into legend.

Discord found himself beaming from ear to ear at the idea. He burst into his chambers, hoping to find Fluttershy there, but his heart sank only momentarily when he discovered she was not. Yet before he turned to search for her, his eyes caught the parchment lying atop his organ. It was the song that for so long now he had been working on, a song that had no title other than, "Fluttershy's Song".

With a gentle paw, he picked the parchment up and examined it carefully. The melody had been with him for a long time, and it had only been a few weeks since he had begun to place lyrics to the music.

It was a song that reminded him of Fluttershy and the way she had transformed his world, his music, and his heart. And as he gazed at the lyrics a new realization came to him…

This song, which he had come to recognize for so long as a declaration of love, was something else as well…it was a marriage proposal.

Discord let out a long shaky breath at the thought. He had never truly considered himself a religious stallion…however, with Fluttershy in his life, he was beginning to believe that God had not truly abandoned him as he thought…that perhaps he had found favor with the Lord for the arrival of his angel. And he knew of Fluttershy's faith, which was deep and pure. She had never referred to their love making as sinful, but he knew that marriage would mean so much to her. And the more he thought about it, the more he found that he too, liked the idea of marriage.

The two of them shared a bond deeper than anything he had ever felt, but through marriage, they would be bonded forever as husband and wife and no one, no one could drive them apart. Even the thought of calling Fluttershy "his wife" caused Discord to groan with desire.

He remembered the beautiful ivory gown she wore on the night he had taken her to see Handel's Messiah. It was like a wedding gown, and he had the greatest longing to see her wear it again. In fact, he was sure that somewhere in the costume cages there was a veil. And they could be married immediately! Shortround had been raised by monks, he had been training to become one, and could perform the ceremony! The others would be witnesses, and it would all be settled!

Except a ring; he needed a ring…

In a secret chamber, far from where he stood, Discord kept several treasured objects, including gold and jewels that he had collected over his years living beneath the opera house. Yes, some of the objects had been stolen, he would not deny that, but he was sure that amongst them he could find a ring for his bride.

His bride.

Discord felt his heart soar and his blood boil with growing desire at the thought. They could be married tonight! Yes! He would propose to her with his song, ask her to wear that gown, present her with the ring, and then Shortround and the others would be ready, and later that night, they could both enjoy the passionate ecstasy of their marriage bed.

But he would not tell her anything. No, instead, he would keep it all a secret; he would leave her instructions to meet him for a special evening rehearsal in his chamber, and to wear that beautiful gown. He would have the chamber adorned in candlelight, he would play his song for her, and when the time was right, he would fall to one knee and present her with the ring.

Yes, he would marry his angel; he would become her husband and take care of her, look after her, and make love to her every night if she so wished it.

Without any hesitation, Discord immediately wrote up a note for his future bride, leaving very little detail as to what he had planned. Several minutes later, he was standing outside her chamber, holding his breath as he peered to see if she were inside it. For the first and only time of his life, he was grateful to find it empty. He quickly placed the note upon the pillow of her bed, and then found the ivory gown and laid it atop the blankets. For a finishing touch, he plucked a single red rose from a vase that was in the corner, and placed it next to the note. He then quickly retreated back to his chamber to make everything ready for the evening ahead.

It wasn't long before Fluttershy returned to her chamber with a weary look in her eyes. She knew that Discord was examining the rehearsals today and would not return until evening. She had been hoping to speak with him before he left that day; she hated waking up and finding him already gone. She wanted to talk to him about the future, about what would happen when the time came for her to go above to rehearse. She didn't like the thought any more than he, but it was something they had to face. She just didn't want to face it alone…
Also, things were growing tense between her and the others. Today for example, Fluttershy had been working with Rarity, and while Rarity had long stopped asking her questions, she could feel the small mare's eyes burning into her, as if trying to assess what secrets she was hiding. Even Derpy was looking at her strangely.

Discord had told her that it was none of their business what she and he did when they were alone. She just disliked the idea of hiding their love; especially from those that she felt had grown to become her family. She had no guilt over the passion she shared with Discord, but through hiding their feelings and keeping things as secrets, she felt as if a cloud of guilt were doomed to come crashing down upon them.

She sighed again as she entered the chamber, her hooves aching from the hours of mending she had been doing, but stopped short as she gazed upon the bed. The rose was the first thing she saw, bright and red through the lacy curtains, but as she approached the bed, her curiosity peaked at the sight of the note and the gown that was lying across the blankets. Without a moment's hesitation, she tore the seal off and began reading the letter at once.

My dearest Fluttershy,

It would give me great pleasure if you would wear this and meet me tonight, in my chambers, at nine o' clock, for a special rehearsal. Please don't be late.

With deepest love, O.G.

Fluttershy could not help but grin at the signature. Even when writing to her, Discord would forever be the Phantom when writing his notes. She began to wonder what sort of "rehearsal" it would be? She ran her hooves over the gown and smiled as she felt the beautiful fabric. The last time she had worn this dress had been one of the happiest nights of her life. Perhaps its good fortune would return?

Perhaps they would sing the new song they had created for Aminta and Don Juan! She remembered the beautiful melody Discord had composed and her heart sighed at the lyrics she had helped to create. Truly, it was one of the most beautiful love songs she had ever imagined…

A strange giddy feeling came over Fluttershy as she began to speculate as to what Discord had in mind for the night. Perhaps he had found a solution for their future problem! Perhaps he had learned something about her father! It still touched her so deeply that he was even looking. And then a most outrageous thought came to her…

…perhaps Discord was going to propose marriage?

Fluttershy quickly shook her head at such a notion. "You're such silly mare sometimes, Fluttershy," she muttered, glancing at one of her novels, which lay near by. "You don't seem to know what's real and what's fiction anymore."

Still…it was an idea she couldn't shake off entirely. Perhaps she didn't want to. She held the gown up to her body and twirled around the chamber with it, giggling the whole time. Oh to be his bride, to become his wife. No matter what happened, she knew that in her heart, he would always be her husband…


Darkness had fallen early that night as a winter storm was brewing. Rainbow Dash hated venturing out into the city, even if she were simply sticking to allies and dark corners in unpopulated areas. Still, she feared her master's wrath more than anything, and so he ventured once more as night fell over Maris.
It was the same search she had been conducting every night ever since Discord first ordered her to seek out Fluttershy's father. While Rainbow Dash believed it was beyond all hope to find the old stallion, she continued looking every night in all the places she could, both because of her orders, as well as for Fluttershy. She would deny the latter reason till he was blue in the face, but truth is, she was growing fond of the mare. She was nothing but trouble, she believed that without a doubt…but she was growing fond of her.

She was in a new section of Maris, an area she had not yet explored; an area that had few shadows, but even fewer ponies. The winds were blowing strong and harsh, and Rainbow Dash wrapped her jacket even tighter around herself. The sooner she could leave this place the better! He spied one building she had been dreading to come near for a very long time, but it was a logical place to look, this much she knew. Swiftly and softly, she followed the shadows till she was standing directly across the police station.

There were a few low barred windows; Rainbow Dash was hoping they belonged to several jail cells. She could crawl down, peer inside, see if Fluttershy's father was anywhere to be found–

She froze as she heard two muffled voices draw near.

"Is he coming tonight or not? That stupid old stallion has been crying out for him since this morning!"

"Inspector Silverstar says he won't, says that mare who was here the other night knows too much and it's best if he stays far away from this place."

Rainbow Dash didn't have time to bolt around the corner, so she did the only thing he could in such a situation; press herself as flat as she could against a shadowed wall and pray they would not notice her presence.

The voices belonged to two officers who were taking long drags from hoof-made cigarettes. They had momentarily stepped outside to smoke, and thus began complaining about recent events pertaining to their jobs. Neither had noticed Rainbow Dash at all, they were too involved in their current conversation.

"I'm getting tired of us holding him here. The stallion should clearly be in an asylum," the taller one grumbled.

The shorter officer, with a rather stout belly, joined in his companion's grumbling. "Do you recall how when he first arrived he did nothing but moan and wail about his daughter?"

The other stallion began to chuckle. "Oh yes, that's right, claiming that a ghost had stolen her from him."

"Oh not just any ghost!" the short fat officer mimicked, a mock look of horror spreading across his features. "The dreaded, infamous…PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!"

Rainbow Dash gasped at the stallion's words, almost too loudly. The short officer paused and glanced up at his friend. "Do you hear something?"

The taller officer was clearly paying no heed. "Then he finally stopped his ranting and wailing and we had peace at last," he sighed, taking a long drag on his cigarette. "But then you-know-who shows up, and after a few late night visits, Time Turner begins howling all over again about the supposed Phantom!"

Time Turner.

Rainbow Dash could barely move, let alone breathe from the shock of it all.

They had him; Time Turner was there, locked away in there jail like a common criminal. She had to get back to the opera house and tell her master at once.

"Now I know I heard something that time!" the shorter stallion grumbled, pushing past his taller friend and peering into the shadows where Rainbow Dash was hiding. "Who goes there! Come out right now!"

"What are you going on about?" the taller stallion groaned. "No one's there, can't you–hey!" Whatever he was going to say was cut off as Rainbow Dash wasted no time and bolted from her hiding place, running as fast as she could with the two officers in pursuit.

"Come back here!" they shouted, pulling their whistles from their pockets. "Stop right now!"

Rainbow Dash didn't dare look back, she just kept running, down dark allies, past shadowed buildings, their hoofsteps and whistles ringing loudly in his ears.

And then, she felt a hoof grab her by the scruff of her coat, and before she could even cry out, she felt her body being hauled up inside something.

She tried to twist herself around, to fight off her assailant, but the way she had been caught, she kept twisting herself even more in her coat. Her peg leg lashed out, hoping she could at least frighten her attacker if not hit them. But she froze when a voice finally spoke from the darkness.

"Relax Rainbow Dash, it's me, I won't harm you…"

She stopped fighting and felt the hoof release his collar. She then quickly turned around to see for herself if the voice were not a figment of her imagination. "Madame Luna?"

The dance mistress smiled at her. "Rather cold night to be out for a stroll, don't you think?" she casually asked as she leaned back in her seat. Rainbow Dash glanced around and realized she was inside a carriage. She looked back at the mare again, her body still tense from the narrow escape of the police officers, let alone the information she had just heard.

"How…how did you know where I was?" she finally asked as she felt her breathing return to normal.

Madame Luna softly smiled. "Like you, I too was spying on the police, although I'd be quite interested in hearing your reasons."

Rainbow Dash quickly looked away from the mare's hard cold eyes that could burn through stone. She knew that presently, the Master was not on speaking terms with the mare, however she was extremely grateful for the help she had offered, yet the Master was the one with whom she solely took orders from.

Madame Luna noticed the mare's silence, as well as her refusal to even look at her. "Did Discord ask you to spy on the police?" she simply asked, hoping that perhaps she would somehow give away something.

Still nothing.

"Well, it is rather obvious that Discord had asked you to do that," she continued. "After all, I know that you would never go out willingly, so there must have been a good reason as to why Discord had you come all the way here…" she murmured, her eyes still watching him closely.

Rainbow Dash still said nothing, yet she was beginning to fidget uncomfortably.

Madame Luna sighed, tired of playing silly games. "I know Discord has Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash."

Rainbow Dash turned her head and stared at Madame Luna, her eyes wide with shock. Before she could look away, Luna reached out and placed her hoof on her arm. "I can see it in your eyes, Rainbow Dash…and I know she is alive, or at least was a few weeks ago, because I saw her at the masquerade ball." She said nothing, but she did not look away.

Madame Luna sighed again, removing her hoof from Rainbow Dash's arm and leaning back once more, but her eyes remained locked with Rainbow Dash. "You know as well as I do that what Discord has done is wrong…and I need to speak with him, but he will not let me travel below as before."

Rainbow knew this much was true. Madame Luna knew of many entrances into Discord's realm; however there were far more that she did not know, and all the ones she did know had been locked or the traps had been changed. More or less, the world was truly locked out.

"Rainbow Dash please, I beg of you," Madame Luna pleaded, her voice soft and desperate, a sound that she and many others had never heard her speak. "Take me to Discord; let me at least speak with him one more time…at least for Fluttershy's sake."

Rainbow Dash's eyes fell to the carriage floor. "He will not be happy," she murmured.

Madame Luna reached out once more and tenderly touched her arm. "I fully take all the blame for my intrusion," she assured him, yet Rainbow Dash still felt uneasy about all this.

The carriage finally reached its destination, and the coachcolt immediately opened the door. Rainbow Dash hid behind the collar of her coat as he followed Madame Luna down. The dance mistress gave the driver several firm orders to return for her in an hour and wait for her by the front steps. She then turned to Rainbow Dash as the carriage pulled away, awaiting his decision. "May I speak with your master?" she asked once more, hoping that Rainbow Dash would at least do this much.

Rainbow Dash knew something was going on between the Master and Fluttershy, but what exactly, she was unsure. But now that she knew the whereabouts of her father, and that information she did feel responsible to deliver. While she had not warmed to Fluttershy the same way the others had, she did know she was kind, loyal, and most trustworthy; she deserved to be reunited with her father again.

And it was only a short period of time before she would leave for good. What did it matter now if it was sooner rather than later? Still, she could feel his heart sinking as she nodded his head to the dance mistress. She may take the full blame for trespassing, but she would still feel the blunt of it in some form.

"Follow me," Rainbow Dash said at last, leading her into darkness.

Author's Note: