• 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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End of Act One

End of Act I

"Touch me…trust me…savor each sensation…"

Discord felt his heart swell as he softly sang the lyrics on the parchment before him. He was adding the final touches to his song, which now had a proper title.

"Let the dream begin,
let your darker side give in,
to the power of the music that I write…
the power of the music of the night!"

His voice was filled with such deep emotion, and as he sang he envisioned her face before him, her beautiful eyes shimmering with tears, or perhaps fluttering closed as he had seen her do when he sang to her. Either way, he would fall to his knee at that point, taking her hoof in his, and hold the bracelet out to her. Discord could not help but smile as he imagined the surprise on her face when he would present the bracelet; he had found the perfect one after several long hours of searching. It was simple and elegant, much like his Fluttershy, yet the diamonds that it held, while not overwhelming, was indeed mesmerizing he had to admit. He was extremely pleased, both with his choice for a bracelet as well as with the song he had composed. Now he simply needed to find Shortround and inform him of his plans–

Discord paused as he heard hoofsteps approach his chamber. They were soft feminine hoofsteps, and he felt the grin spread even further across his face. "You're quite early, my dear, however I will forgive–"

"Hello Discord."

He froze at the sound of the voice, and felt his smile melt away, as did the color from his face. Slowly, he turned to face the mare who had spoken, yet his face was already prepared; the lines deeply set and the dark shadows already forming over his masked features to add an ominous touch to his already menacing glare.

"Madame Luna," he whispered, his own eyes matching the same cold orbs that gazed back at his.

Rainbow Dash stood a few steps behind her, her eyes locked with the ground, her body trembling slightly from the distinct chill the chamber now emanated. Discord merely glanced briefly at Rainbow Dash before coldly dismissing her. "Leave us," he ordered. Rainbow Dash did not need to be told twice, she quickly backed out of the chamber and could be heard running from the place.

Madame Luna waited until the mare could no longer be heard. "Do not be angry with Rainbow Dash, it was I who forced him to bring me here," she explained very dryly.

Discord turned his back on the mare and rearranged his new song under several heavy layers of parchment. "I do not blame him for bringing you here, I know you are quite capable of intimidating anypony," he dryly replied, before turning back and facing her, his arms folded across his chest.

Madame Luna smiled gently to herself. "Everypony, save for you, Discord," she murmured softly.

Discord said nothing; he simply waited for her to state her reasons for being there. Truth was, they had not been corresponding with one another since the night both Fluttershy and her father invaded his world. While they had not officially cut all ties between each other, the argument they had had left little discussion of renewing their "friendship", if one could call it that. Besides, neither of them were going to apologize, they were both far too stubborn for their own good. So he simply waited for her to speak and explain what was so important that she had to intimidate Rainbow Dash into bringing her down there.

Madame Luna recognized Discord's body language and got right to the point. "I know you have Fluttershy down here," she stated plainly.

Discord said nothing, nor did give any indication that her words affected him. She continued. "I saw her that night at the ball…I didn't realize it at first, but I thought something about her seemed familiar…and then I learned recently that the last time anyone had seen her was the night of the opening gala, the same night her father disappeared." She looked up at Discord to see any sign of acknowledgement, but found none. "Several stagehooves confessed to speaking with her and then seeing her disappear beneath the stage to search for her father who had also disappeared the same way…and you did not deny that Monsieur Time Turner had entered your world, if I recall," she added coolly.

"Nor did I confirm your suspicions," Discord replied, just as coolly. "I too remember that conversation, and you were quite quick to accuse me of murdering the old pony."

"I had good reason, due to your history," she icily hissed.

Discord found himself softly chuckling. "All too true, after all, I do abhor trespassers, ponies who simply arrive unannounced as if they own the place or something," he groaned, his statement all too clear as he gazed upon Madame Luna. "I would not do such a thing to somepony else's home…and a stallion does have the right to defend his own home, does he not?"

"Damn it Discord!" Madame Luna growled, her patience waning. "Enough of this, where is the mare?"

Discord leaned back against his piano, his arms still locked across his chest. His eyes speculated her for a moment while a soft cold smile spread across his face. "You claim she is here, after all, you said so yourself that you saw her. Although I must admit, I am rather shocked that it took you so long to put the pieces together. Yet perhaps you were simply avoiding a confrontation? I know I can strike fear into the hearts–"

"You do NOT frighten me!" Madame Luna practically shouted, her black-booted foot stomping down firmly on the ground. "Perhaps I did not wish to jump to such conclusions because I did not think you possible of committing such…such…vile villainy!"

Discord's cold smile vanished, as did any amusement that had lit his gaze. He glared at the mare before him and felt his muscles tense at her words. "Villainy, madam?"

"Yes!" she hissed, stepping towards him. "It would have been one thing to learn that she had disappeared after entering your world, to learn that her fate was the same as the others who trespassed…but Discord…this is not a matter of defense, this is pure villainy! When I realized that the mare you had pried from the Prince's embrace had the same hair, the same figure, the same height as Fluttershy–"

Discord was seething at these words. Was it possible that Madame Luna saw the Prince as some sort of hero?

"–I just never thought it possible that you had…that you had lowered yourself to such evil, to lock up an innocent mare for who knows how long, and to use her for…for…" she felt sick at even thinking such vile thoughts.

Discord had been accused of many things, and many of those things he had been accused of were sadly true. But he had never been accused of using a mare for such diabolical means as Madame Luna was referring to. Even he could not lower himself to that level of filth. In the past he had been guilty of using prostitutes to sate his savage urges, but he was by no means guilty of the acts the dance mistress now accused him of. And now, after so many months of learning about Fluttershy, of living with her, getting to know her, and at last loving her…hearing such horrid things and being accused of such atrocities was more than he could bear.

"Well, I must say that didn't take very long," he growled low and deep.

Madame Luna stared at him with confusion. "What didn't take very long?"

"To step in and be my judge and jury, accusing me of being a vile monster…but I suppose it's rather hard to not be accused of such things when one looks like a monster."

Madame Luna rolled her eyes heavenward, seeking patience from God above. "Damn it Discord, do not bring your face into this! Just tell me where the mare is!"

"No!" Discord barked, his amber eyes glowing like molten fire. "You do not TELL me what to do, madam! And how DARE YOU barge in here and accuse me of rape!"

Madame Luna eyed him coldly. "You deny, then, my accusations?"

Discord opened his mouth to speak and then stopped when a sound outside his chamber indicated that somepony was nearby and listening. "We will not discuss this further…at least not here," he growled, grabbing Madame Luna by the wrist and marching out of the chamber, dragging her behind.

Discord did not know who it was that had been listening, the eavesdropper had vanished by the time he and Madame Luna had exited the chamber, however it was only wise that they did move somewhere else to speak; the last thing he wanted was for his beautiful Fluttershy to walk in and see him strangling the dance mistress. And if he didn't calm his anger soon, that would be exactly what he would do.

Madame Luna had no idea where Discord was taking her, but said nothing; she was too busy trying to catch her breath from the brisk pace Discord was setting.

Finally, they arrived at the destination Discord had intended; the southern chambers where many props and the infamous costume cages were kept. Once there, Discord whirled around and practically pushed the mare away from him, his glare dark and menacing.

Madame Luna rubbed her wrist and eyed the masked creature suspiciously. He was hiding something; she could read it all over him, why else would he insist on carrying on this debate somewhere far from the ears of others? And yet, he had not admitted to holding Fluttershy captive either. Had she jumped to the wrong conclusions? "Answer me once and for all Discord; do you have her?"

Discord's eyes were dark slits of fire as he glared at the dance mistress. He didn't have to tell her anything, this was his home and Fluttershy was his business. And even if he didn't tell her he had Fluttershy, what went on between the two of them was their business! He owed no one anything…

Madame Luna decided it was time to change tactics. She wasn't going to get anywhere with this. "You surprise me Discord…" she began.

Discord shot her another death glare. "Good to know I can still keep you on your toes."

She ignored his icy comment. "I never thought you a stallion of mercy…"

Discord opened his mouth to speak, but paused at her words. What did she mean by that exactly? One minute she was accusing him of villainous acts, the next she was praising his clemency.

Madame Luna noticed his look of surprise and quickly continued. "You have quite an infamous reputation, as you well know. The Phantom of the Opera, who kills anypony who displeases him, especially trespassers–"

"I know of my own reputation, perhaps you should just say what you are babbling about."

Madame Luna eyed him one more time and nodded her head in agreement. "Very well. I saw Monsieur Time Turner this evening."

Discord practically lost his ice-cold composure at the mare's words. Fluttershy's father–he was alive! Yet Discord was a mastermind when it came to giving off a particular persona, and instantly regained the frigidness of his character. "What makes you think it was Time Turner? You said so yourself, you know of my reputation–I have killed stallions for less than what Time Turner did, what makes you feel so sure–"

"Rainbow Dash was the one who discovered him," she interrupted.

Discord's eyes went momentarily wide. He opened his mouth to respond, but once again, she cut in.

"Rainbow Dash also told me that she was at the prison because…you had ordered her to search for Time Turner."

A part of Discord wanted to throw all his rage at the peg legged mare, yet he knew that Rainbow Dash's icy nature was no match for Madame Luna's, and if the mare wanted information, she would get it. For the first time in his life, Discord began to realize what it must feel like to be under Madame Luna's cold hard hoof.

"I can only assume two reasons as to why you would give orders to know the whereabouts of Monsieur Time Turner. One, he escaped your clutches and you are tracking him down to forever silence his tongue, or two…you have other reasons, reasons to which I do not fully understand, but reasons that point to the fact that you ARE keeping Fluttershy!"

"ENOUGH!" Discord shouted, his temper hitting a breaking point. He refused to feel like a bug in a jar in his own domain. "Perhaps your first guess is correct; perhaps Time Turner somehow escaped and I wish to know where he is to be sure he will not have mobs barging down here and destroying not only my life, but the lives of several others!"

Madame Luna cocked a dark brow at these words. "Yet no one has escaped your realm…this place, this labyrinth, is so diligently armed against trespassers…Time Turner could not have escaped, at least not without somepony who knows the workings of your traps. It is far more likely to believe you showed mercy on another being, than it is to believe you would be so careless as to allow someone to easily escape."

Discord's head was throbbing at the constant change from accusations to bewildered praise. She was playing some sort of game with him, trying to get him to reveal something he did not wish to reveal. "State your theories, madam," Discord growled deep and low. "I grow weary of both you and this discussion."

Madame Luna lifted her chin. "Very well. I believe you released Time Turner, although why I do not know. Perhaps–" she gasped and a hoof flew to her mouth as she put the pieces together. "Fluttershy…she offered her life for his! And you took it! You took her in exchange for Time Turner!"

"Like lambs to the slaughter," Discord grumbled, his arms folding once more across his wide chest.

Madame Luna was now the one who looked horrified. "Oh God Discord, I…I did not want to believe you capable of–"

"I WILL NOT STAND BY AND HAVE YOU INSULT ME SO GRAVELY AS YOU DID BEFORE!" Discord shouted, his voice reverberating off the cavern walls. "I NEVER LAID A PAW ON HER! NOT ONCE DID I FORCE MYSELF UPON HER, NOT ONCE DID I RAISE A CLAW TO STRIKE HER! SHE CAME HERE ON HER OWN ACCORD AND SHE STAYS ON HER OWN ACCORD!" His chest was heaving from his shouting, the words still echoing all around them.

Madame Luna stared at him wide-eyed, her mouth open but no sound coming out. A realization dawned upon her as the last puzzle piece slowly fell into its place. "My God…" she whispered. "You love her."

Discrd quickly turned his back to the mare and began to march out of the chamber, not caring what happened to her, just needing to be away from her before he gave in to temptation and wrap a Punjab lasso around her neck.

"She remains here because you love her! And…and that is why you were looking for Time Turner; it was all done for her, not for yourself!"

Discord halted and Madame Luna, who had been following his tall shadowy form close behind, almost slammed into him. "You will leave this place…and you will leave now," he growled, dangerously low. "I will not ask you again."

Madame Luna remained where she was and she watched his figure retreat into the darkness. She knew that she was playing with fire by continuing to stand where she was and even call out to him…but she had to be heard at least one last time. Fluttershy was down here, and she had a right to know about her father, she had a right to be in a world filled with sunshine, nature, and ponies. She had a right to live.

"What are you going to do about Time Turner?" she cried out to his retreating form.

Discord knew he shouldn't turn around, every fiber was telling him to ignore the mare, to go back to his chambers and to prepare for Fluttershy. This was not Madame Luna's business, nor was it the business of others for that matter! He loved Fluttershy, he worshipped her, he would give up his music for her, and she had told him so many times, as well as shown him, that she dearly loved him.

…yet what had he done to deserve her love?

He took her father from her, made her a prisoner, forced her to live a life underground with a bunch of carnival freaks, trained her to sing to the point of causing herself physical pain…and then took her virginity, thus defiling her before God.

But she did all these things willingly cried out a voice inside him. Did she not give her body to you? Did she not take joy in your music? Did she not make all these decisions on her own? He never truly possessed her, because she was her own person!

And she forgave him, the angel that she was. She forgave him for taking her father away.

…and now was the opportunity to make things right.

"Discord…" he practically flinched as he felt Madame Luna's hoof touch his arm. "Never in my life did I believe it possible that…that you would come to know the joy of love–and yet, love also carries a tremendous burden."

He shook her hoof off his arm. "Do not talk to me about love, madam. Whatever love you have felt in life does not even begin to compare to Fluttershy."

"I know…" she sighed, taking a step away from him. "The love my late husband and I shared is nothing like the love you share for Fluttershy. And the reason that is, is because REAL love demands sacrifice."

Discord stared at her, a sick feeling boiling in the pit of his stomach.

"Both my husband and I made sacrifices for each other. We both had to give up things we wanted, make hard choices, and live with one another's consequences. And yet we did these things because we wanted the other to be happy–our happiness was entwined with the happiness of the other. Did you know why I stopped dancing Discord? The dance mares say it is because of an injury, but that is not true. I healed from the injury to my knee, I could return to dancing anytime I wished! But I didn't…because my husband had fallen ill and needed me by his side. I gave up dancing for him, something I am very passionate about, but I realized that no matter how much I love dancing…it does not even compare to the love I feel for my husband." She pulled out a tiny framed picture from her purse and looked down at the old photograph tenderly. "After he died, I dedicated my strength to my daughter. When I see her, I see him…" she sighed, placing the picture back inside her purse. "Twilight will be a great star one day…and he will live on through her." She lifted her eyes once more to Discord's and locked them with his. "That is the burden of love Discord…it gives joy, but it also demands sacrifice. Fluttershy sacrificed herself for her father, because she loves him! She has chosen to live in a world of darkness when what she needs is light! She needs warmth, she needs fresh air, she needs–no, she deserves the family that you have robbed from her!"

Discord was struck by these words as if somepony had clobbered him with a heavy club. "Giving a mare gifts is not the same as putting her wants ahead of yours. Keeping her here as your own caged songbird is not love…its selfish possessiveness disguising itself as enduring affection." She took a step away from him, her eyes glowing like beacons on a stormy night. "Goodbye, Discord…I will not disturb you again." Without so much as another look, she turned on her heel and disappeared down a dark cavern that led back to the outside world, leaving him there in the cold tunnel, a tunnel that did not seem to possess such bitterness, until now.

It seemed like hours had passed.

Discord remained in the tunnel long after Madame Luna had bid him farewell.

The mare's words had a damn nuisance of penetrating his soul. He recalled that horrible time she compared him to the Prince; now was no different, he felt numb all over from the sting of her truthfulness.

Fluttershy's father was alive. This was both wonderful and terrible.

In truth, Discord had forgotten the old stallion. And would he be lying if a part of him had even been hoping that Time Turner would not be found? Discord cursed himself for his selfishness; if Time Turner remained unfound, yes it would mean Fluttershy had no choice but to stay with him…but was that what he wanted?

No. He did not want Fluttershy staying with him because she had no other choice…he wanted her to stay because she wanted to stay; hence his plan to propose to her.

And Fluttershy, while she may deny it now, would live to resent him for the rest of her life. She would inwardly blame him for the death of her father, and she would not be wrong. And that hatred would fester and eat away at her soul until there was no love left–and all that remained was a hollow shell of the mare that once responded to his touch. He would truly become the monster that he was before her eyes…and he would not blame her.

Damn it all! What a fool he had been! To even begin to believe that somepony like him could be happy; could have a mare like Fluttershy with him for the rest of his life. He was cursed to remain in darkness, to haunt the shadows and thirst for the simple pleasures of pony existence.

A puddle of water pooled near his feet and he caught sight of his masked reflection. In anger, his hoof came crashing down on the puddle, sending the water splattering every which way, distorting the reflection from his eyes.

Why had he believed himself to be more than what he was? Damn love, damn dreams, and damn Fluttershy! If she had left him to die in the streets of Maris that one night, he would never know this pain he was now feeling.

She was to blame for all this. She came into his life, turned his world upside down, and then did the unthinkable: she fell in love with the monster. And he all too eagerly allowed himself to be caught in the web her love created.

But creatures like him were not meant to find happiness with others. Creatures like him were not meant to know the joys of the flesh, they were not meant to feel the warmth of a mare's arms, and they certainly were not meant to feel the equal of stallions who had no need to hide their faces behind masks.

That was when the song that had haunted his heart since the first night he had laid in Fluttershy's arms, began to fill his head.

"Turn your face away from the garish light of day…" he whispered, the lyrics now so familiar to him. "Dare you trust the music of the night…"

Discord's paw rose to his head and pulled at his dark hair as if wishing to rip it out. Then, with a angry cry, he threw his head back and let all the caverns hear the pain and rage that filled his being.

He began to run.

He was flying through the caverns as if trying to escape something.

That song. It kept playing over and over inside his head, and it was mixed with another song…that damn lullaby Fluttershy had sung to him several nights ago. She called him angel, she thought of him as her personal angel! Damn her, he cursed. She made him believe that he could perhaps be that for her too; he should have known better.

He needed to destroy it. He needed to find the song he had written and destroy it quickly before the pain engulfed him.

He flew to the entrance of his chambers, determined to thrust the parchment into the fire before its haunting melody inflicted him further, before its lyrics of love and hope mocked him again, before–

"Discord!"

Discord halted the second he entered the chamber, gasping at the sight before him.

Good God…she was vision.

Fluttershy stood before him; her cheeks pink and her smile warm, radiating a glow that stabbed at his heart. She was wearing the ivory gown he had requested that she wear, and the rose he had left on her bed was in her wild and lovely pink hair. She stood before him, smiling with blushing pride, her hooves holding onto the folds of her gown, as if trying to show him that she had done what he had requested, hoping he would be proud.

Was it possible for this mare to look any lovelier? Why was it that every time he saw her, she seemed to glow with even more beauty?

Her smile was so radiating, so beautiful…

He never thought it possible to despise that smile until now.

"Fluttershy…" he simply whispered.

She grinned and did a small curtsy. "Thank you for inviting me, and for the rose," she blushed, her grin spreading further as she touched the fragile flower.

Discord felt his heart being torn to shreds. Did she have to look at him like that? Did she have to grin like that?

"I confess, I was hoping that perhaps we could rehearse that song from Don Juan? The song where both Aminta and Don Juan sing of their love to one another?" she asked timidly, her hooves reaching out for his.

Discord froze at her words. Anything but that right now…God give him strength.

"I know that you believe music can always be perfected, but I do so love it, and it's so beautiful, oh please Discord, I want to sing that with you–"

She had been reaching for him then, her small beautiful hooves almost touching his, her sweet lips tilted upward to kiss his own. One touch of her hoof would be his undoing, let alone one kiss.

Discord pulled away from her before Fluttershy could reach him, a move that caused Fluttershy momentary alarm. Her smile slowly began to vanish and she could read from his body language that something was not right. Perhaps he needed to discuss with her something about the opera before they moved on to rehearsing?

"Forgive me," she apologized. "I was getting ahead of myself, it was you who asked for me to come, and therefore you have matters of great importance you wish to discuss. Please Discord, tell me what–"

She had been reaching for him again, and once more, Discord pulled away from her before she could touch him. This time Fluttershy knew something was wrong by the way Discord moved…and by the way his eyes adverted hers. "Discord? What's wrong…" she whispered, a soft trembling in her voice.

Discord cursed himself as he heard the sudden change of tone in her voice. He was causing this worry, this growing apprehension that something was wrong. And while he knew that it would break his heart, to do what he had to do, it was the only way to truly free her from the cage he had placed her in.

"There will be no need to rehearse Don Juan and Aminta's song," he said harshly, his back still turned to her.

Fluttershy felt a chill wash over her, but chose to ignore it. "Discord, I know you are a perfectionist, but you have already achieved perfection! The song can not be perfected further, it–"

"You misunderstand me," he cut in, his tone razor sharp. Fluttershy stared at his back, her arms wrapping around her body in an attempts to fight off the growing chill that was spreading. "There will be no need to rehearse the song…" he growled, slowly turning to face her, "…because I have removed it completely from the opera."

Fluttershy stared at him, her eyes wide with disbelief. "W-w-what?"

"Don't pretend to be deaf Fluttershy, you have a sweet little voice, but lack talent when it comes to acting."

His words bit into her like a snake striking its victim. What was wrong with him? Why was he behaving so coldly, so maliciously?

"What's wrong Discord? What happened?" she approached him swiftly, her hoof reaching for him, but he moved away from her with more grace than a pony half his size could possess. Even his movements stung her.

"Nothing is wrong my dear, in fact, nothing could be better. I saw the error of my ways and handled the problem immediately."

She stared at him as if she had never known this creature in her life. She was beginning to think that was possible. "The problem?"

He said nothing, simply strode over to the organ, found several pieces of parchment, and without a glance in her direction, proceeded to throw the parchment into the fire that warmed the whole chamber. Fluttershy watched in horror as he paid no attention to her and went about his task as if it were something he commonly did.

"Discord!" she practically screeched his name as panic was beginning to take hold. "What are you doing? What do you mean by 'problem'?"

He sighed and lifted his eyes to hers. "Kindly lower your voice madam, at least to a level that will not cause dogs to howl."

Fluttershy stared at him in shock from the biting remark. She could feel tears beginning to sting her eyes. "WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU!?!"

"NOTHING!" Discord roared, turning on her, anger flashing wildly in his eyes. "Why must something be wrong with me? Perhaps nothing is wrong with me, perhaps I am simply seeing the light for once!"

Fluttershy took a step back, truly feeling afraid of him for the first time since the night she traded her life for her father's. Discord took notice of the way she looked at him, of the way she trembled, and instead of retreating, simply advanced. "I played your game Fluttershy, I knew that if I didn't make those changes and wrote your precious love song, that your nagging would never end! It was for my own sanity that I wrote that song, not out of any favors to you," he mocked, his words cutting and spitting with fire.

Her eyes were shimmering with cold tears. Who was this stallion that stood before her? This was not the stallion she had fallen in love with, this was not the pony she had willingly given her body to almost every night. This was…was…

"A monster?" he simply asked.

Fluttershy's eyes widened at his words. "W-w-what? I…I never said…"

"I can easily read what you're thinking, it's not very hard actually, and you're quite easy to comprehend."

Fluttershy felt a flare of anger ignite within her. "Am I?"

Discord smiled, a cold calculating smile that held no warmth or affection. "Quite. After all, look at what you read! Gothic romances filled with mystery, intrigue, and passion. It wasn't hard to seduce you at all…a few songs, several late night rendezvous', not to mention a midnight waltz on New Year's Eve…yes, it was rather easy getting you into bed actually. And all I had to do to keep you there was simply tell you what you wanted to hear–"

Fluttershy screamed with rage and raised her hoof to slap his uncovered cheek, but his strong powerful grip caught her wrist before it could make contact, squeezing and twisting the skin until she whimpered. "That was rude," he hissed. "At least let me finish before you attempt to strike me down with your little fists of fury." He released her wrist and she stumbled back, clutching her arm to her chest, her whole body trembling with both rage and sorrow. "As I was saying," he continued as if nothing had happened. "Filling your head with words of love was a guaranteed way of keeping your back on the mattress and your thighs parted–"

Discord ducked just in time as Fluttershy picked up a vase and hurled it at his head. She then wasted no time with screaming her attack and throwing herself at him, her hooves attacking his face and chest, ripping the mask off and attempting to scratch his eyes out.

Discord was momentarily stunned by the strength she possessed and found himself fighting her off with some difficulty. He knew his Fluttershy could do anything if she truly put her mind to it, and right now, nothing would please her more than to kill him.

Good. That would at least make her pain less when she left his world forever.

He finally managed to push the little hellion off him, shoving her so hard that she fell backwards and landed with a loud thud. He bent then to retrieve his mask that she had removed, the whole time keeping his eyes on her in case she attempted to attack him again.

She didn't. Instead, she found herself, much to her own disgust, weeping in deep misery. Her strength had only been momentary, now it had been sucked out of her completely. She felt so tired, physically, mentally, and most especially, in her heart. So tired that she could not fight off the tears; they flowed down her cheeks freely, like two ice-cold waterfalls.

Discord slowly placed the mask back on his face, his tongue tasting blood at the corner of his mouth. Fluttershy had not been entirely unsuccessful in her attack. He gazed down at the girl before him, the mare he had reduced to a weeping heap with only a few words. It hurt, God how it hurt, seeing her like that, hearing her sorrow, her misery…but it was the only way…

"I don't know what's happened to you," she whispered, her tear-stained face lifting to meet his eyes. "But I can not…I do not believe that…that it was all a lie…"

"Whatever makes you happy my dear," Discord grumbled, moving past her without another look. He sat himself down at his organ and began to play a few notes from the overture of Don Juan Triumphant. Fluttershy watched him as he played, seeing how rigid he sat, noticing that there was no passion in the way he played. Slowly, she scrambled to her feet.

"You love me Discord, I know you do!"

He ignored her and continued playing, although every fiber in his being screamed at him to answer her.

She sighed and began to approach him, determined to not let him push her away again. "I don't know why you're doing this, saying these things and behaving in such a way, but I KNOW that you love me! I've felt your love! I've seen it!"

His playing did not cease, nor did his concentration. Fluttershy felt the anger rise within her again and she reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders, forcing him to turn and face her. "DAMN IT DISCORD, YOU WILL ANSWER ME!"

He flew to his feet as he felt her tiny hooves grip his shoulders, whirling about so quickly that she almost stumbled backwards. He caught her by the shoulders before she fell, but his touch was not tender.

This will be the hardest part I have ever had to play...

"Love you? Good God, is that what you think? That I love you?"

To Fluttershy's horror, Discord began to laugh. A deep menacing laugh that filled her with dread and made her flesh crawl. She writhed in his arms, but not the way she writhed within them before. Then, it was because of the extreme pleasure they were experiencing together…now, it was out of pure hatred and disgust. She wanted to be far away from him, she didn't want to feel his touch; she didn't want to remember what it felt like to lay within his arms and feel his body cover hers. She wanted the stallion she loved, her Phantom, to come back to her…not this creature who harshly held her and was laughing manically in her face. Who was this creature]?

God forgive me...

"Truth be Fluttershy, I've had my fill of you. In fact, you were growing, for lack of betters words, somewhat tiresome," he spat.

Forgive me Fluttershy...although I do not deserve it...

"I am a stallion nearly 20 years your elder. You're nothing but a mere child; while you are spirited, your youth lacks imagination to keep a grown stallion satisfied for very long."

God this hurts, seeing her flinch...seeing her cry. Kill me now, please...

"However, you are only a country mare, and the only rituals of mating that you are acquainted with is that of farm animals. Pity then, that you did not understand fully that stallions are predatory beasts; when we find prey that we hunger for, we'll do anything necessary to capture it.

Hate me Fluttershy; I never deserved your love. Hate me and leave this place, never looking back...

"In your case, it was telling you that I loved you, when in reality–" Fluttershy gasped in terror when his paw stroked her chest. "–all I wanted was to sup at the delights you eagerly displayed before me."

"GET YOUR PAW OFF ME!" she screamed, her hooves clawing away at his paw that continued to grip her. She had never felt so disgusted in all her life.

End this now; just tell me that you hate me Fluttershy, please...end this suffering!

"What's wrong my dear? I thought you loved me," he mocked, his paw moving down to her thigh. His other arm held her tight to his body so that she could not escape while his paw began to pull at the hem of her gown. "Isn't this what you wanted? I thought you loved the way I touched you…I thought you loved the way I made you feel…" his breath was hot against her neck, but the shivers it caused Fluttershy were not shivers of pleasure.

Fight me, Fluttershy! Lash out, strike me own! HATE ME!

"Don't you want the Phantom of the Opera to buck you?"

"NOOOOOOOOOO!" she screamed, her knee wiggling free from Discord's powerful hold of her body and with all the strength she could, kneeing him hard in the groin, causing him to let her go and stumble backwards.

Had Discord not reached out to grip a stone bust that was near, he would have fallen to the ground from her sudden attack.

Well done Fluttershy, I'm so proud of you...

"Don't you EVER touch me again!" she spat, moving around the piano to keep the instrument between both herself and him.

Discord slowly rose back to his full height, although panting still from the painful blow she had caused. "Touché my dear, you caught me entirely unawares. You fight well…for a mare."

Fluttershy's cheeks flared a hot shade of pink at his words.

"I was wrong…you still have that spirit I admire so," he sighed, moving away from where she stood and retreate back to the organ.

I will never touch her again. Fly away, my angel, fly away from this Hell...

"Your spirit was one of the reasons to why I decided to keep you those many months ago. I thought a sweet little hellion like you could make things interesting in bed for at least some time–not to mention you would be light on my purse."

FLuttershy's eyes went wide at his meaning. "I am no whore!"

No, you are an angel, an angel who deserves freedom from the demon that I am...

He cocked a brow. "Really? Are you sure? What would you call yourself then? A mistress perhaps? No, that won't do at all, even mistresses are given an allowance; well, whatever you were, I won't deny that you were worth every penny," Discord then reached for a black wooden box that sat near his organ, and from inside it, he withdrew a small gray bag. "I think that shall cover all expenses between then and now."

Fluttershy stared at the bag in his paw and then back at him. Was he joking? Was he actually telling her he thought of her as nothing but a streetwalking whore?

Take it, Fluttershy. Take it and leave this place!

"Come now Fluttershy, even if your pride is hurt, I would take the money if I were you…you'll need it when searching for a new residence."

Her eyes had narrowed to hate-filled slits. "You bastard…" she hissed. "I will take NOTHING of yours! I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU!"

She's right, you are a bastard and deserve every cruelty life gives you. Just tell her what she needs to know and end this suffering before it's too late!

Discord sighed and tossed the bag down on the ground. "You may wish to reconsider my offer. If you will not take it to use for yourself, then you may wish to have it when you go to the prison to release your father."

Fluttershy's face paled at Discord's words. Time had truly stopped. His words were still echoing in her ears when she finally found her voice again. "M-m-my f-father?"

Discord kept his stone countenance even though what he was about to tell her would perhaps hurt most of all. "Well of course…it's time that you know the truth my dear," he sighed, turning his back on her and facing his music again.

Don't look at her; don't look into her angel eyes. They're filled with hate, which is what you deserve!

"Your father has been rotting in a Maris prison for at least several months now…poor stalllion, probably thinks your dead."

Fluttershy stared at his back, both shocked as well as vengeful. "Y-y-y-you've known? You've known all this time?!"

Iscord took a deep breath and put on a calculating grin before he turned to face her once more. "Of course my dear…but I couldn't have my mistress leaving my lair for a pitiful old stallion when I was far from done with her, now could I?"

Go find your father and never come back, Fluttershy. I free you from this prison, I free you from my heart...

A part of Fluttershy wanted to kill him; she wanted to lift that bust that stood near his organ and throw it down upon his head! Or at the very least, she wanted to burn all his precious music. But another part of her just couldn't believe that this creature, this creature who she thought had loved her, who she had foolishly given her heart to…had known all this time where her father was, but had purposefully kept the information from her so that she would stay and…

Her stomach churned with revulsion at the many memories of their nights together.

Discord watched the conflict of emotions flash across her beautiful tear-stained face. It took every nerve in his body to not go to her, fall to his knees, and beg forgiveness for the horrid way he had treated her, for the terrible things he had said. He did love her, he loved her more than anything in this world…but damn Madame Luna, she was right; Fluttershy was not meant for this existence and he had been a fool to believe that it could possibly be true.

Painful as it was, this was the only way to let her go and know that at least she would not have to suffer the same pain he would suffer for the rest of his life. Better that she hates me than wallow in sorrowful misery.

"My offer still stands Fluttershy," he said, breaking the silence. She glanced at him and then glanced down at the bag of money he had thrown on the ground. She didn't want to take his money, by doing so she would be admitting, at least to him, that she had been his whore all this time.

But her father needed her, and if what Discord said was true…

Her pride could be put aside for this. She quickly snatched the money up and cradled it to her breast, backing away from him before he could reach out and grab her again.

Discord looked at her for a long moment, before turning his back on her and resuming his playing. "Take the boat and go out the way I showed you that leads towards the stage."

He said nothing more, he simply continued his playing, the notes growing louder and louder so that he would not have to hear her tiny hooves dash out of the chamber and leave his world forever.

He played for what felt like hours, the blisters on his paw and claw breaking from the way he pounded the keys. He did not wish to stop, for if he did, he may hear her go, or he may turn and see her still standing there. He didn't know what he would do if she were still there–he did not think he would be able to let her go then.

"Master?"

Discord gasped at the sound, and then let out a long shaky sigh as he turned to face Shortround, who stood there, holding his bible in one hoof, his face filled with concern.

"Master? I know that you had wished me to come to your chamber tonight…but…" something was troubling the stallion. Discord said nothing; he just waited until Shortround finally finished his thoughts. "Is something wrong? I…I saw Fluttershy a short time ago…she…she looked so upset."

Discord felt his heart burst at the stallion's words. He could only imagine the pain that must have been written across his Fluttershy's lovely face.

"Master…what has happened? She held several small bundles in her arms; she was going to the lake…she was crying. Master, is she all right? Please…what has happened?"

Discord looked away, his focus drawing now to a copy of the song he had composed for Don Juan and Aminta to sing. "I let her go…" was he all said.

Shortround's eyes widened at his master's words. "You…you what?" Fluttershy was gone? She was leaving, never to return? "How…why…why did you let her go?"

Discord still kept his eyes focused on the song. "It was necessary…I had to…"

Shortround's head was reeling with questions. "But why Master? I…I thought…I thought that perhaps…" he had been so sure, for so many weeks now that something had happened between the Master and Fluttershy. Something good…or so he thought.

"Because…" Discord sighed, turning his eyes to the other stallion's, eyes that for the first time ever, revealed tears to his friends, "…I love her."

Shortround's face paled and his eyes widened at the Master's revelation. It had been true…after all this time, the dark, cold, menacing Phantom of the Opera…had fallen in love.

Yet before Shortround could say more, Discord had leapt to his feet, a frantic look washing over his face. He pushed past the stallion, and began racing out the entrance of his chamber, flying through the cavern tunnels, climbing the endless steps and passages of the Maris Opera House, until at last, he reached the familiar stairs that led to the roof. He burst the door open and ran to the ledge, his eyes wild, seeking out a familiar figure amongst the darkened streets.

It was snowing, and snowing very hard. Discord could barely see through all the snow what he was looking for. He peered through the flakes and shadows, scanning the horizon, until…at last…his eyes fell on a small figure, running down one of the main streets.

She had changed her clothes, and was wearing that blue dress she had worn the first day she had arrived. The coat she wore was flimsy and would never keep her properly warm. Her arms held small bundles, and she clutched the bundles tightly to her chest. Discord watched, his eyes wild, as the figure continued to run, faster and faster it seemed, down the street until finally, turning a corner and disappearing from his sight forever.

He lowered his head then, his paw and claw gripping the ledge, his blood turning the snow red. The sobs came then…long and desperate. The tears flowed down his cheeks like molten fire. He threw his head back and screamed his cry of agony for the entire world to hear.

"FLUTTERSHY!!!"

Author's Note:

*ducks under table* Don't worry there is still more chapters!