• 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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Finale

Finale

Stars.

There were stars falling, softly, all around him.

He was encased in this thick black void, but despite its constraints, he did not feel smothered. Instead, he stared in awe at the beauty that shimmered all around him. In the distance, he could hear music…the sweetest, most beautiful music ever composed, playing in time with the falling stars. It was as if he were lost in a dream, a strange, but beautiful dream: heaven, performing a concert just for him.

"Discord…"

He heard her call his name out of the darkness. It was faint, but her bell-like quality still rang clear over all the rising cords of the heavenly music.

The stars began to fade; it was only right, for they could not compare to his Fluttershy.

"Discord…come back to me…"

There was a sadness in her voice, a longing despair, that he yearned to soothe. She sounded so faint, so distant, and yet, if he just reached out…he was sure he would be able to touch her.

The stars disappeared completely, but instead, soft, pink locks fell, tickling his face, smelling of sweet perfume, reminding him of silk.

He wanted to run his paw through those waves, to feel them on his skin, against his chest, against his face, to see the playful, radiant blue eyes, that sparkled in their shadow.

He wanted to see her face, her sweet, young, beautiful face, that still possessed so much innocence, despite everything that she had been through. She was one of the strongest ponies he had ever known; a heroine out of a storybook. And she filled him with strength, making him feel more like a hero, than a villain. Helping him to believe that he could be so much more than just a beast that hid behind a mask…

The concert that heaven was giving him could wait. He needed his angel, he wanted her desperately, and he felt, deep in his heart, that she wanted and needed him too.

No, it was deeper than want or need; she loved him. And he loved her with his entire being; more than music itself.

"D-d-d-discord?" Fluttershy stammered with surprise and joy as her beloved slowly began to open his eyes. A hoof flew to her mouth to keep from sobbing, as joyous tears streamed down her cheeks at the wonderful sight of his amber eyes, focusing upon her face. "DISCORD!" she cried, not being able to contain herself anymore, throwing her arms around him, hugging him fiercely, murmuring a never-ending prayer of thankfulness to God for bringing her love back to the world.

Discord groaned as a sharp pain throbbed in his side. He ached all over, every muscle, every joint, everything a person could imagine. But despite the pain that wracked his body, the feel of Fluttershy's arms and her sweet tears, baptizing his skin with her love, made the pain wash away.

"I k-k-knew it…I k-knew it…" she sobbed against his chest, and Discord, wincing as he lifted his arm, let out a grateful sigh, as his hooves finally made contact with her silken pink strands.

"W-what did you know?" he murmured, despite the pain in his chest.

Fluttershy lifted her tear-filled eyes, her smile brighter than anything he had ever seen. "I…I knew that…" she swallowed the emotional lump in her throat. "I knew that you would come back to me," she finally gasped, grinning and crying all at once.

Discord felt his heart swell at Fluttershy's words, and he longed more than anything to have the strength to pull her into his embrace, and crush her against his body. "Fluttershy…"

"Hush," she whispered, sitting up and wiping the tears from her face. "Don't talk, just rest…I will get the doctor."

Discord's brow furrowed at Fluttershy's words, and it was then that he realized his surroundings. He was lying in a bed, one that was slightly warmer and softer than he had ever experienced. He also realized that under all the thick blankets that covered him, he was naked. There was a bulky bandage on his side, and his ankle felt even stiffer than before, but that was due to a heavy, and somewhat larger, split that he was wearing. There was a bandage over the arm where he had been stabbed, as well as shot at, and he felt a soft sting on his unscarred cheek, remembering how Blueblood had slashed at his skin.

Blueblood. The last thing he remembered was that villain stabbing him, quite literally in the back, after he chose to be merciful to the coward. The moments that followed that were hazy at best.

"W-w-wait," he gasped, reaching out for Fluttershy.

Fluttershy paused and returned to Discord, her hooves entwining with his paw. "I'm here," she whispered, squeezing his paw with affection as she knelt by his bedside.

"W-w-where…?"

"Madame Luna's," Fluttershy confirmed. "Do you…do you remember anything?"

Discord shook his head, but his eyes told her he was desperate to understand.

"Blueblood…he stabbed you," Fluttershy explained, her hoof squeezing his paw even tighter. She had come so close to losing him again. "But in his attempts to kill you, he lost his footing on the ledge…and fell to his death."

Blueblood was dead? Discord could hardly believe it! His enemy of so many years…dead, just like that. But he did not feel any remorse, or regret for the fallen stallion; it was a fitting death for such a person, lacking all traces of honor.

"They…they found this on him…" Fluttershy whispered, reaching over to the nightstand beside the bed, and placing Discord's white half-mask in his paw and claw.

Discord looked down at the mask, the so-called trophy that the Prince had been keeping. It was his once more, and with a shaky paw and claw, he carefully placed it back over his face, hiding his scars once more from the world around him.

Fluttershy smiled down at him, knowing that it was important to Discord to wear his mask, even though she loved him and found him handsome. It had been so long since she had seen him wear the half-mask, and she had often wondered what had become of it. She would ask Discord later, but right now, all that mattered was that he healed properly.

"I…I t-thought you had died," she whispered, so softly, that Discord had to strain his ears to hear. "You looked…you looked so pale, a-and you were lying so still…a-and you felt so cold…" she bit her lip to control her emotions. "Inspector Silverstar helped me carry you down, and we immediately took you here, to Madame Luna's, and summoned a doctor," she explained. "You were not dead, merely unconscious due to how much blood you had lost. But…had the doctor not arrived when he did–"

"Hush," Discord murmured, a hoof sliding up over her lips. "I am alright…I had my angel to guide me back."

Fluttershy let out a shaky sigh, fresh tears falling down her face, as she leaned forward to let her forehead rest against Discord's. "That's twice in one day that I believed you were dead," she gasped through the tears. "I never want to feel that pain again."

Discord lifted his claw to hold Fluttershy's face, and his eyes bore deeply into hers. No words were spoken; none needed to be. He regretted causing her that pain, he regretted all the pain that she had felt, from kidnapping her father, to forcing her to leave, to the prejudice she received at the opera house, and to this. She had a right to hate him, and yet, when he looked into her eyes, he saw nothing but the most sincere love reflected in her blue depths.

Fluttershy exhaled a long, shaky sigh, as Discord gently pulled her face down to his, and felt his lips softly, brush against hers. Little encouragement was needed, Fluttershy instantly responded to the kiss.

A gasp from the doorway caused the couple to break the kiss, and Fluttershy whirled around to see Rarity standing there, her cheeks flushed, but her eyes filling with happy tears as she stared at Discord with surprise. "M-m-master?" she gasped, her voice trembling. Then, before anything else was said, Rarity turned her head over her shoulder and shouted, "THE MASTER IS AWAKE! HE LIVES! THE MASTER IS AWAKE!"

A great trampling sound could be heard from all over the house, and suddenly, several heads were pushing inside the doorway, gasping and smiling at the sight of Discord, awake and sitting up.

"M-m-m-master!" Derpy happily stammered. Shortround lifted his hooves in thankful prayer, and even Rainbow Dash appeared to be smiling broadly, something Fluttershy was not used to seeing.

Both Twilight and Madame Luna were standing in the doorway as well, hugging one another and smiling happily at Fluttershy, and Fluttershy's smile only brightened as her father grinned back at her, feeling such joy for his daughter.

"Ahem!" the many bodies and faces suddenly moved apart as a small red haired mare, pushed her way inside the bedroom. "If you will excuse me, I have a patient to tend to," the nurse barked.

Fluttershy planted a kiss to Discord's brow, before rising and giving his paw one last squeeze. "I shall be back soon," she promised, smiling from the doorway, feeling such relief fill her as Discord's eyes continued to hold hers, even after she shut the door.

He's alive! He will be fine!

Never, never had she felt such joy, such pure happiness in all her life. She immediately flew down the stairs from the bedroom, fully prepared to throw herself into cooking a pot of hot soup for Discord, when Madame Luna's cold voice interrupted her merriment.

"Fluttershy, you should come here," the dance mistress icily murmured from the parlor.

Fluttershy immediately went to where the mare stood, and felt her insides freeze at the sight in front of her.

It was Inspector Silverstar, with both Monsieur Flim and Monsieur Flam on either side. "Mademoiselle," the chief inspector greeted in a cold voice. "I am sorry to inform you of this…but I have come to arrest the creature you call Discord; the Phantom of the Opera."

Derpy bit her lip as she watched the scene before her from the safety of the keyhole in the room she was hiding in
.
"What are they saying?" Rainbow Dash hissed, trying very hard to control her anxiety. She was not used to being around all these other ponies, and it was treading thinly on her nerves.

"Keep calm," Shortround whispered, as he put his ear to the door, trying very hard to listen.

"YOU'RE INSANE!" Madame Luna shouted at the chief inspector and the two opera managers.

"Madame, please," Silverstar sighed. "I must arrest him–"

"ON WHAT GROUNDS!?" the dance mistress fumed.

"W-w-what grounds!?" Flam sputtered in disbelief. "Murder, kidnapping, stealing, harassment, arson–"

Fluttershy's eyes widened at Flam's words. "Are you blaming Discord for that fire?"

"He started it!" Flim accused. "While you were falling through the stage, your Phantom cut the rope of the chandelier, nearly killing everypony in that room!"

"But he didn't," Madame Luna hissed.

"IT'S THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING!" Flim roared at the mare. "Had he not cut that rope, the chandelier wouldn't have fallen, and the opera house would not have gone up in flames!"

"So you're saying that Fluttershy and Discord should have just stayed where they were and risked being shot by the Prince!?"

Flam glared at the dance mistress. "You should have a little more respect for the dead, madam. That stallion was a genius! He helped make the Maris Opera House one of the finest in all of Europe!"

"No, Discord was the one that made the Maris Opera House great! And the stallion you speak so highly about, was a murderer!" Madame Luna retorted. "Or was I wrong in seeing him shoot Signor Fancypants?"

Flam paled at the mare's words. "It was an accident! The Prince did not mean to shoot Signor Fancypants, he simply…well, that is to say–"

"So if the Prince begins to madly shoot at someone, and 'accidentally' kills someone else, it's alright…but if Discord cuts the chandelier to escape, and 'accidentally' starts a fire…it's arson?"

"YOU ARE TWISTING MY WORDS, MADAME!" Flam shouted.

"AND YOU ARE AN IDIOT!" Madame Luna retorted.

"PLEASE!" Silverstar barked, bringing all attention back to him. "I am well aware of the damage that the Prince has committed. And were he still alive today…I would be arresting him as well," he added, his eyes boring into those of the dance mistress. "The point, however, is that the Phantom, who we now know exists and is indeed normal, has committed many crimes over the last few decades! Several ponies have gone missing, and several bodies have been discovered, each with a mysterious rope wrapped around their necks–"

"He was not killing them in cold blood!" Fluttershy defended, lifting her chin high. "Discord never killed unless he had no other choice."

Silverstar cocked a gray brow at Fluttershy's words. "Truly? So if he sent a note to Madam Octavia," he indicated to an old piece of parchment in his hoof, "that stated if he didn't replace the third trombone, the stallion would wish he were dead, you would say that this was a murder of…necessity?"

Fluttershy paled slightly, but Madame Luna was quick to answer. "That stallion was not murdered," she groaned. "Discord frightened him, that is all, forcing him to quit. Ask Octavia, she will tell you the truth! The day after he received that note, the stallion announced his leaving, and was never seen from again. But he certainly was not murdered by the Phantom."

Both Flam and Flim paled slightly, trying to think of another accusation. "The truth is," Madame Luna continued. "Discord has only killed three or four stallions since he has come to live at the opera house."

"B-b-but the stories said–"

"Those are ghost stories spread by stagehooves and dancers, Monsieur Flim," Madame Luna groaned. "A ghost story would not be as frightening if not exaggerated."

Silverstar narrowed his eyes with suspicion. "So he only killed three or four stallions; it wouldn't matter if he had killed twenty, it's still murder, Madame Luna!"

"N-n-no!"

Everypony in the room gasped when Derpy suddenly burst into the parlor from the side room she and the others had been hiding. Rainbow Dash was cursing and sputtering at being revealed, and Shortround and Rarity looked both frantic, as well as cautious, as they peeked out from their hiding place.

"Good God!" Flim gasped at the sight of the hunchback. Flam simply whimpered and hid behind his partner.

"T-t-t-the Master o-only k-killed t-t-those men t-to protect us!" Derpy defended. "T-t-t-those men invaded o-our home…a-a-a-and t-the Master c-c-couldn't risk h-having them t-tell others…s-s-s-so, h-he did w-what he had to…f-f-for us!"

Fluttershy stepped forward and took Derpy's hoof in hers. "These are living beings, just like you and I, Inspector. And yet for much of their lives, they were put in cages and treated worse than animals! Discord vowed to them all to never allow that to happen to them again."

Derpy smiled down at Fluttershy and then turned her eyes back to Silverstar. "I know t-t-that m-murder is w-wrong," she murmured. "B-but h-he d-did it for us…to k-keep us safe…s-s-so if you're going to a-a-arrest him…t-t-then you n-need to arrest me, too."

"No!" gasped Twilight, who was standing off to the side with Time Turner.
Silverstar sighed and shook his head. "I will not be arresting…" he looked at Derpy and swallowed the nervous lump in his throat, "you," he murmured. "But what you say is true…murder is wrong, and for that, as well as for many other crimes that the Phantom has committed, I must arrest him!"

"Why?"

Everypony turned to the voice that spoke up from the other side of the room. "Papa?" Fluttershy whispered, confusion filling her eyes from her father's question.

"Monsieur Time Turner, I must say, you of all ponies surprise me. After raving about your daughter being kidnapped by the Phantom, I would think you would wish to see justice done more than anyone!"

Time Turner lifted his chin, his eyes staying focused on Silverstar's. "You are right, inspector, I do wish to see justice done…and I want you to look into my daughter's eyes, and tell her how long you had me prisoner."

Silverstar suddenly went stiff at the old man's words. A deftly silence fell over the room, and even Flam and Flim looked confused. "Yes…" Madame Luna murmured, turning towards Silverstar. "Do tell us all, how long was Monsieur Time Turner your prisoner?"

"I…I…that is…" he swallowed the growing lump in his throat and did his best to keep his eyes adverted from all the ponies around him, especially those of Fluttershy's. "I have a duty to this city! A stallion raving about a monster would naturally be considered a threat to society. What I did is no different than what others would have done!"

"Perhaps, but if I was considered a madstallion, then why was I kept in jail?" Time Turner inquired, his eyes never leaving Silverstar's.

"Well, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for that…" Silverstar muttered, although he seemed to be delaying with giving it.

"You never told my daughter how long I was kept in prison," Time Turner reminded.

"I don't have to tell your daughter anything!" the chief inspector barked. "And I am not here to answer your silly questions; I am here to arrest–"

"Nearly six months, Fluttershy," her father answered. "From the night we were parted, to the night you found me, I was kept in that jail."

Fluttershy stared at her father, and then at the chief inspector. She knew from what Madame Luna had told her, that Discord had learned of her father's whereabouts the same night she had; but she had no idea her father had been in jail for so long.

"After I realized the Prince was no gentlecolt…" Time Turner continued, "I began to question why he was always seen at the police station. Madame Luna saw him there, my daughter saw him there, it seemed he was spending more and more time there, than at the opera house itself."

The managers turned to Silverstar, waiting for an explanation from everypony. The chief inspector looked more and more uncomfortable under all the stares.

"Then my daughter told me how she offered to pay well over 300 franks in gold for my release." A large gasp went up from the two managers, and Silverstar's face paled even further. "In the end, it was the Prince who paid for my release, but not because he wished to do so out of the goodness of his heart, but because your station refused to accept the money she offered, telling her it wasn't enough."

"That's right," Fluttershy added, remembering the day very clearly. "I remember being shocked by the news, thinking it was more than enough…and later, my father told me that indeed it was! That I had been cheated out of my money."

"Of course, Fluttershy hadn't been cheated, the Prince had. Yet why would he continue to do so much business with you, unless of course, he hadn't been cheated...and it was simply a ruse to fool my daughter..."

Silverstar stomped his foot, tired of all this second guessing. "Why don't you just say what you're trying to say, Time Turner," he growled in exasperation.

The old stallion smiled and softly nodded his head. "I think that if you believed I was as much of a madman as you claim, that I had to be taken off the streets, then I should have been thrown into an asylum. However, I wasn't; and I know that it can be costly, keeping a prisoner for as long as you did, in that place." Time Turner lifted his own blue eyes to meet Silverstar's, which were blinking rapidly out of nervousness. "I think that you were doing business with the Prince…and that you were accepting bribes from him in order to keep me there."

Silverstar let out a sudden, wild laugh, as if trying to make everypony doubt what Time Turner was saying. "C-c-can you believe the words coming out of his mouth?" he gasped between laughs, looking at all the faces around him. Sadly, no one else was seeing the humor of the situation.

"I can believe it," Madame Luna stepped forward. "Whenever I entered that place, I was always met with disdain from your officers, as if they were desperately trying to keep something from me."

"Oh come now!" Silverstar defended. "Why would I want to keep a harmless old stallion–"

"But I thought you said I was a 'madstallion that needed to be kept off the streets'?"

"Shut up, Time Turner!" the chief inspector barked.

Derpy stepped forward, growling at Silverstar. "Y-y-you d-d-don't talk to Fluttershy's f-f-father t-that way," she warned.

Silverstar eyed the hunchback warily. "Y-you're lucky I don't arrest you, mademoiselle," he murmured to Fluttershy. "Harboring criminals–"

"Harboring criminals?" Fluttershy spat in outrage. "I followed the law and paid for Derpy's release! And the only crime she is guilty of is defending herself when your stallions attempted to beat her like a dog!"

Silverstar opened his mouth to respond, but found that there was nothing he could say in his defense. "You are avoiding the topic, Inspector," Time Turner commented. "Look me in the eyes and tell me that you were not taking bribes from the Prince."

"Good God," Flim gasped, a sudden realization coming to him.

"What?" Flam asked, his head spinning from all the secrets.

The older manager looked at Silverstar in horror, before turning to his partner. "I think it's best that we leave–"

"You are going nowhere, my dear messieurs," Madame Luna hissed, coming to stand between the managers and the doorway. "At least, not until you share with us your startling revelation."

Derpy took a menacing step towards the two trembling stallions, and in a matter of seconds, their stone-cold resolve vanished.

"The Prince mentioned he could bring Fluttershy back to the opera house!"

"He said he knew how to draw her out!"

"He kept referring to Fluttershy as the bait for his trap!"

"We didn't know he was using Time Turner, we swear!"

Madame Luna groaned and began rubbing her temples as the two stallions continued talking at once. Yet it was enough for everypony; Blueblood's evil plans had been revealed at last.

"Mama, are you implying that the Prince knew Monsieur Time Turner was in prison, and bribed Inspector Silverstar to keep him there, until Fluttershy made another appearance?" Twilight asked, trying to put all the puzzle pieces together.

"I think that is exactly what Monsieur Time Turner and I are thinking…and I think that is exactly what happened, am I wrong Inspector?" Madame Luna asked, lifting a dark brow in question.

The chief inspector shifted his weight uncomfortably and found himself staring at the ground, unable to look at the others around him.

"I think the chief inspector's silence is more than enough proof," Time Turner muttered with disgust.

"B-b-but the explosion!" Flam gasped. "The Phantom sent us a note, promising a disaster! Surely that gives us grounds to arrest him–"

"Blueblood was behind that explosion, not Discord!" Fluttershy defended, glaring at the younger manager for even suggesting such a thing.

Flam glared back. "I have his note, right here," he retorted, waving the piece of paper in the air.

However, Silverstar snatched the letter right out of the younger manager's hooves, and began to read it. "This is the Prince's writing," he murmured with surprise.

"WHAT?!?" Flim and Flam gasped together.

"He's right," Madame Luna added, while looking over the chief inspector's shoulder. "This is not Discord's writing…and the seal is not his either."

"Exactly," Fluttershy confirmed. "The gypsies from that carnival kidnapped Discord's friends, and then poured gun powder everywhere. They revealed it all to me the night I was brought back to the opera house."

Time Turner nodded his head. "So the Prince staged that explosion, blaming it on the Phantom, while at the same time, plotting with both the managers, and the police, all an extremely elaborate way to kill Discord…and defile my daughter." His eyes bore into those of the chief inspector, growing bright with anger. "And you helped him!"

"Now see here!" Silverstar argued, although his voice was extremely weak. "None of that changes the fact that the Phantom is under arrest–"

"Oh it changes everything very much," Time Turner muttered. "You wish to arrest a stallion that you didn't believe existed for past crimes that your stallions didn't even bother to investigate properly. And after all that you've done to me, to my family," he wrapped a protective arm around Fluttershy's shoulders, "you come here, talking about justice?"

Silverstar was speechless. And Time Turner, was right.

"I think what would be best is that we forget these incidents," Madame Luna sighed. "We will not say anything to the papers about your corruption…if you do not arrest Discord."

Silverstar was stunned speechless. He glanced at the two managers, whose mouths were hanging open with surprise. They had been defeated, and the only way to escape this scandal with any sort of dignity was to agree. "Very well," he muttered. "He is free."

A joyous gasp escaped from the side room where the others remained, and even Rainbow Dash looked happily amazed. Fluttershy grinned and hugged Derpy close, before turning and hugging her father. Twilight happily hugged her mother, and Madame Luna politely opened the door. "I trust that you gentlecolts can see yourselves out?"

The managers grumbled, and Inspector Silverstar quickly followed, not looking back once.

It was over. Truly, Discord, and his friends, had nothing more to fear. The danger had past.

"Ahem!"

All heads turned to see the doctor coming down the steps, still looking quite gruff, but also slightly more relaxed. "He is healing faster than most stallions I have treated, especially for someone with wounds such as his. I would not suggest that he get out of bed for at least a few more days; the stitches are still quite delicate, and no doubt he will have a fever before fully recovering. I suggest a week of bed rest, just to be safe."

Madame Luna nodded her head and thanked the doctor before showing him out. Fluttershy, however, was already climbing the steps, taking two at a time, eager to once more see Discord and be by his side.

There was so much to talk about; so much to plan! But first, she just wanted to take comfort with him by her side, to tend him and care for him. The danger had past; the shadows could finally lift for good.

"A week!?" he gasped, when Fluttershy told him the news.

Fluttershy was kneeling by the side of his bed, her small hooves curled up inside his larger paw and claw. Every now and then, she'd run her cheek across his knuckles, an action that squeezed at Discord's heart, although right now, the only emotion he was feeling was annoyance from the doctor's instructions.

"I can't stay in bed for a whole week!" he grumbled.

"It will do you some good," Fluttershy murmured, placing a kiss on his hoof. "The rest will help you regain your strength, and your ankle will heal so much better with you being off it."

Discord made a face, reminding Fluttershy of a spoiled child, and she bit her lip so as not to laugh. However, Discord saw the amusement in her eyes and glared back. "Is something funny?"

Try as she might, Fluttershy could not help it, and a giggle escaped her lips. Discord fumed and pouted, while her giggles grew more and more. "I'm glad my injuries amuse you so much," he muttered.

"Oh Discord…" she gasped between giggles. "Y-you know t-t-that's not true," she took several deep breaths to calm herself. "It's just…we've done this before," she grinned. "And I think…that was when we began to fall in love."

Discord's annoyance melted at Fluttershy's words, and her amused grin melted into a tender smile, before leaning her cheek forward, once more, to rest against Discord's paw. It seemed so long ago, but they both remembered the time she had brought him back to the opera house, and how they fought while she stitched up his wounds.

Yes, Discord smiled to himself. Perhaps that was the moment when things between them began to change for the better?

"I will need something to do," Discord sighed, his body leaning back against the pillows in defeat. "I simply can not just…lie here, all day and all night."

Fluttershy grinned and kissed his hoof once more before rising to her feet. "I shall fetch you some parchment, some ink, and a pen, and when you run out from your composing, I will gladly get you some more." However, the second the words had left her lips, Fluttershy's grin faded. "Discord? What's wrong?"

Discord looked away, and Fluttershy saw the way his jaw was clenched, as if fighting some overwhelming emotion. "Discord?" she whispered, a sense of worry coming over her. "Discord, what is it? What's wrong–"

"EVERYTHING!" he roared, his amber eyes glowing with rage. "I'M IN CONSTANT PAIN, I CAN'T GET OUT OF BED, I HAVE NO HOME, MY MUSIC IS GONE, I HAVE NOTHING LEFT!" He collapsed back against his pillows, groaning as the pain throbbed throughout his body, and then lifted his eyes up to Fluttershy, who was trembling from his shouts. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I…I did not mean to yell at you, I'm sorry Fluttershy."

Fluttershy knew his anger was not directed at her, but she felt his sorrow and his anger for losing the world he had spent so much of his life building.

"Twenty years," he whispered. "Nearly twenty years of music…gone."

Fluttershy took a step towards the bed. "The paper may be gone Discord, but the music still lives," she reached out and placed a gentle hoof on his chest. "In here, and in your mind."

Discord shook his head. "It's more than the music Fluttershy, it's everything! All my possessions, all of Derpy's books, Rarity's dresses, everything! I have nothing left."

Fluttershy shook her head and knelt down once more beside him. "You have me," she whispered, before moving his hoof to her belly. "You have our baby, and you have Shortround, Rarity, Derpy, Rainbow Dash–"

"But I have nothing to provide for you!" he interrupted, his eyes filled with a sadness that pained him even more than his wounds. "Don't you understand Fluttershy? I have nothing to give you…nothing to help raise our child, nothing to help my friends. All the money I once had, the money I was going to use to buy us a home…it's gone." He released a sigh of defeat before turning his head away from her. "Blueblood may be dead…but he has still managed to proclaim some small victory over me."

Fluttershy shook her head, feeling cold tears trickle down her cheeks. Discord could not give up! Not now! He needed to have hope; he needed to believe that everything would be all right. She opened her mouth to speak, but a sudden knock on the door interrupted her thoughts.

"I beg your pardon…" Time Turner whispered, poking his head inside the door. "But…Fluttershy, there is a matter of great importance that I need to speak with you about."

Fluttershy turned to look at Discord, but he continued to gaze out the window, as if he hadn't even acknowledged the fact that her father had just spoken to them. Reluctantly, she released his hoof, and followed her father out into the hall.

The look at her father's face caused Fluttershy's heart to skip a beat. "Papa…what's wrong?" Her mind began to run wild with horrible images. Silverstar has returned; he has found some way to arrest Discord!

"A messenger just arrived," he began, taking his daughter's hooves in his.

Not Inspector Silverstar, but a messenger who has come on his behalf to warn them!

"He had been traveling for several days, trying to find us…or, rather, trying to find you."

Oh God, is this another trick of Blueblood's? Has the stallion created a back-up plan, in case he failed?

"The messenger brought greetings from the house of the late Marquis Filthy Rich."

All of Fluttershy's suspicions flew away at her father's words. "The Marquis Filthy Rich?" Why did that name sound familiar? Why would anyone from a noble household be looking for her? "I don't understand…"

Time Turner sighed and brought Fluttershy over to a set of chairs, urging her to sit down before he continued. "The Marquis Filthy Rich was your grandfather, Fluttershy. He was your mother's father."

Fluttershy gasped, the realization suddenly dawning on her. That was why the name was so familiar! Yet why would the pony who was responsible for taking away the Time Turner farm, bother with sending a messenger to find her? "What was the message he had come to bring me?" After all these years of rejecting her existence, Fluttershy had no intention of reconciling with the old noblecolt.

"The Marquis Filthy Rich died, two days ago," Time Turner murmured, his eyes watching Fluttershy's intently.

Fluttershy bit her lip, feeling a small stab of guilt for thinking ill of the pony. She nodded her head, asking her father to continue.

"And…it appears, he was the last of the Filthy Rich's. His wife had died a few years ago, and all of his children were dead. Yet the Marquis never changed his will…"

Fluttershy's eyes narrowed at her father's words. "Papa…?"

Time Turner sighed and gripped his daughter's hooves tightly. "Fluttershy…you are the Marquis Filthy Rich's only living descendent. And because he never changed his will…you inherit everything."

Fluttershy blinked several times before the weight of her father's words finally sank over her. "W-w-what?"

Her father's eyes were lighting up with happiness. "Fluttershy, you're an heiress! You have inherited the entire Filthy Rich fortune, and their country estate!"

It was a good thing she was sitting down, for Fluttershy did not think her legs would be able to hold her. Her mother's snobbish, uncaring family, who had done so much to make her and her father's life miserable, had somehow left their entire fortune…to her.

"Fluttershy?" she realized that her father had been saying her name and turned to him, her surprise still evident. "Well?" he grinned. "What do you think?"

"I…I…" Fluttershy took a deep breath. "I…I don't know if…if I want it."

Time Turner's face sank slightly at her words. "Not want it? Fluttershy…this is more money than…than either of us can imagine! You will never want for anything again! You can live comfortably, just as I have always wished for you," his hoof lifted to caress her cheek. "You can have the life I have always wished I could give to you."

Fluttershy shook her head. "Papa, that money, that house, those things belonged to the ponies that treated us horribly!" she slowly stood up and turned her back on her father. "I don't know if I want to have anything to do with it."

Time Turner sighed and rose to gently touch his daughter's shoulders. "Fluttershy, I know what you are saying. And I won't deny that a part of me is proud to hear you say those things. But my dear," he slowly turned her to face him. "There is a thin line between stubbornness…and foolishness. Do not allow your pride to push you in the wrong direction."

He released her shoulders then and walked away, leaving Fluttershy alone with her thoughts.

Some time later, she gently knocked on Discord's door, her hooves full with parchment, ink, and several quill pens that Madame Luna kept. She heard no sound, and slowly opened the door. Perhaps he was sleeping? Instead, she found him exactly as how she had left him, staring out the window, his jaw set, and his face grim. Quietly, she shut the door behind her and softly approached the bed. "I brought you some parchment, should you wish to compose," she whispered.

Nothing.

She sighed with a slight hint of annoyance. This attitude was going to get old very quickly. "Discord–"

"Thank you, Fluttershy," he whispered. "But I do not feel like composing now. In fact, I wish to be left alone, if you don't mind."

Fluttershy folded her arms across her chest and stood her ground. "I do mind, actually."

Discord finally turned and shifted his gaze upon her. "I am not in the mood for jokes or games, Fluttershy–"

"Nor I!" Fluttershy replied, before settling herself down on a nearby chair. "And trust me, this is no joke or game."

Discord groaned as he attempted to sit up more, his eyes never leaving hers. "Something on your mind, my dear?" he asked, his words cut short.

"Several things, actually," she replied. "I know that you've lost so much…and for that, I truly pity you–"

"I don't want your pity!" he barked.

"Too bad!" she retorted, feeling the fire in her spirit rise again. "I know how it feels to lose everything! After my mother died…I felt so lost. And then her family took our farm out from under my father and me, without any warning, and suddenly…our entire world, was gone, just like that."

She took a deep breath, and reached for his paw, grateful that he did not pull away. "Discord…I am trying to say that I understand how it feels. Yes, it is a hopeless, horrible feeling. And it is different for everypony…but it can be better! You simply have to want it to be–"

"You're right, it is different," Discord interrupted, his eyes gazing at their entwined hooves. "Fluttershy…I want to provide you a home, a comfortable living, for both you and our child! I have promised to take care of the others, and I will continue to do that, but…with what? I can't do any of those things! I have no music to sell, no possessions to pawn, I have nothing!"

"But we have each other," she implored, leaving the chair and kneeling beside the bed. "And together, we can help one another."

Discord gazed deeply into her blue eyes and saw such love, such dedication, more than he possibly deserved. She was right, he knew that, and he knew he should be thanking God from the bottom of his heart for bringing them together, but it hurt, knowing that he could not take proper care of her, of their baby, the way he had wanted to.

"Discord…" Fluttershy softly murmured, realization suddenly coming upon her. "There is a way for us to live comfortably…giving us the time we need for you to be able compose again, and to provide for the others…"

Discord's eyes narrowed with confusion. What did she mean exactly?

"I have just received word, that my mother's father, the Marquis Filthy Rich…has died. And has left me his fortune, as well as his country estate."

Discord's eyes widened at the revelation of her words. Fluttershy was now a rich mare!

"Don't you see?" she continued. "The estate will be ours! We can move in immediately, and there will be plenty of room for the others! They will not have to live in fear of being suspected or detected, the estate is remote, and–"

"You are a rich mare, Fluttershy," he whispered.

Fluttershy frowned slightly; it felt so odd, saying that. Her father had called her an heiress, but Discord's words were more to the point. Yes, she was a rich mare now–but it was money that did not just belong to her. It also belonged to her father, to Discord, to their friends, to their child–

"And you can do much better than a disfigured, homeless, composer."

Fluttershy blinked at the words that Discord had just whispered. Had she heard him correctly? "W-w-what?"

Discord sighed and turned his head away from her once more. "I am happy for you, and for your father. You deserve this, truly…" he softly murmured. "But a mare with such a fortune deserves a stallion who can–OW!" he cursed as a great wave of pain shook his chest. He turned his head then to see Fluttershy, glaring at him, her eyes filled with tears and anger, and before he could prepare himself, she hit him across the chest again.

"HOW DARE YOU!" she hissed at him, before hitting him again. "HOW DARE YOU SAY SUCH THINGS TO ME!"

Discord caught her before she could hit him again, to which she struggled against his grip, before crumpling in a crying heap against him.

Discord felt a new pain in his chest, although he knew what it was. Fluttershy did not protest as she felt Discord's injured, yet strong arms, wrap around her, and pull her up completely onto the bed. She curled herself against him, her head nestled in the crook of his shoulder, her face buried against his body, as the tears ran over his skin. "Please…" he whispered, running his hooves over her cheek. "Please, angel…please don't cry."

"Discord…Discord you promised…" she sobbed against him. "You p-p-promised to n-never f-f-force me away again!" She rose up then, and hit his chest again, although this time, Discord was prepared…and felt it was rightly deserved.

"You are right," he groaned, after her recent attack. "You are right…and I am an idiot for even thinking such things, let alone saying them," he reached to hold her face, marveling at the strength and spirit this mare possessed. Truly, this, and her sweet nature, was what made her beautiful. "Forgive me, Fluttershy? Forgive your foolish Phantom?"

Fluttershy felt a smile slowly break forth across her tear-stained face. "Only if…if you can f-forgive me, for…for hitting you," she murmured, feeling slightly embarrassed.

"It was rightly deserved," he whispered, smiling up at her before coaxing her body to lie back down against him. Fluttershy snuggled against his warmth and wrapped her arms around his waist, smiling as she felt Discord's warm arms hold her close, and his hooves run through her hair. "An estate, you say?" he asked.

Fluttershy nodded. "Yes, I am not sure where exactly, but Papa seems to know. From what he has briefly told me, it is remote…"

"Good," Discord whispered. "That will make it easier for the others, I think."

Fluttershy shifted slightly, so that she could look into Discord's eyes. "What are you saying, Discord?"

"I'm saying," he sighed, "that there is a thin line between stubbornness and foolishness…and sometimes, one's pride can lead a pony down the wrong path."

Fluttershy froze as her father's words tumbled out of her beloved's mouth. And then a grin began to spread across her face, before laughter bubbled up and out of her throat. "Indeed…" she giggled, grinning all the more as Discord stared at her with wonder. "Indeed…it can."

"You will never cease to amaze me," he murmured in awe, feeling a grin begin to spread on his own face as he watched her laugh. He then reached for her left hoof, and brought it to his lips, before holding it over his heart. The laughter in Fluttershy's throat died away and her eyes locked with Discord's.

"Fluttershy…this is twice now when I cannot kneel before you as I ask this…but I hope you will still accept, despite the lack of romantic formality–"

Any other words were cut off as Fluttershy's mouth covered his in a passionate, loving kiss, her hooves tenderly holding his masked face, as her joyful tears ran from her cheeks down onto his.

"Yes," she murmured against his lips, grinning as she felt his arms wrap around her, and slowly, roll her over onto her back. "Careful," she giggled. "The doctor advised that you do not do any 'rigorous' activity, for fear of breaking your stitches."

Discord growled and stopped her from giggling as he kissed her. "I have always considered myself a fast healer," he growled, before kissing her throat. "And I have every intention of being fully healed before the week is over."

Fluttershy giggled as she caught her breath at last. "What happens then?"

"Then," Discord growled, leaning his head against hers, and lifting his eyebrows suggestively. "Then, I shall take my angel as my wife."

Fluttershy grinned and offered her mouth once more to her Angel of Music. "I eagerly look forward to it."

Exactly four days later, as promised, Discord was out of bed, and walking perfectly well on his own two feet. His wounds had remarkably healed, so remarkably that even the doctor could not explain it.

Madame Luna was wary at first of letting Discord out, but after encouragement from the doctor, and after seeing Discord's own eagerness to break free from his "sheeted cage", she agreed, and helped the couple begin their plans.

Just as night had fallen over Maris, Madame Luna's carriage, as well as the black carriage from the opera house, carried the large group to the château that once belonged to the Marquis Filthy Rich, and had now been passed down to Fluttershy.

The ride, while long, was on a good road, and by the time darkness had enveloped the earth, they reached the stately country manor.

The house was indeed large, with more rooms than Fluttershy would know what to do with. The land that surrounded the château was even larger, with fields to work, as well as vast forests, beautiful gardens, and even a hedge maze! A tiny stone chapel lay at one end of the property, and a small white barn lay at the other.

There were few servants; many of had left after the Marquis's death, and those that had stayed seemed calm and quiet, and did not say anything once seeing Rarity, Derpy, Shortround, and a very reluctant Rainbow Dash. They were shocked, that could not be denied, but they kept their surprise entirely in their eyes, something that Discord found most agreeable, especially after they looked away from him, after noticing his mask, and his looks. So long as they offered loyal service, and did not question their new Master's mask, he saw no reason as to why they could not stay.

The house was entirely furnished, and much to Discord's happy surprise, there was a beautiful music room just down the hall from the master bedroom. A beautiful pianoforte sat in one corner, and Discord smiled as he ran his paw and claw across the keys to find that the instrument was still in tune.

Indeed, it seemed truly perfect.

The next day was a very busy day. Time Turner, with the help of Rainbow Dash and Derpy, moved what little possessions he and Fluttershy had into the château. Fluttershy spent the day with Twilight, Madame Luna, and Rarity, blushing and pacing with anxiety while the three mares attempted to fit a beautiful white gown on her, giggling as she nervously fussed.

Discord spent the day in solitude, feeling rather grateful for it. He explained to Fluttershy how he had looked like a pony while at the opera house, old magic he remembered from childhood, she was impressed but he told her he could only do it for short periods, and that he could never be the stallion she deserved. She had hugged him and said that she didn’t care and that the creature she loved stood before her and she would never want him to change. He and Fluttershy had agreed he should hide his looks for the service, no need to scare the priest. He was happy, his life had already changed in so many ways, but tonight…tonight it would change forever.

Finally, dusk came to the château, and Fluttershy, with the aid of Rarity, set out for the tiny stone chapel, taking in deep breaths with every step, clutching the bouquet of spring flowers that Twilight had picked for her, to her breast.

The chapel doors opened, and soft organ music began to play. The servants were gathered inside, and quickly rose to their feet as Fluttershy entered the chapel. Her father, standing proudly, smiling and crying at the same time, led her down the aisle, as Rarity walked behind her train. Rainbow Dash, Shortround, and Derpy, stood on one side, while Twilight and Madame Luna stood on the other. In the center, an old monk stood, smiling as Fluttershy approached…and next to him, dressed handsomely in black trousers, a crisp, white linen shirt, a red and gold vest, and a black waistcoat and cravat, stood her future husband.

Discord's breath caught in his throat as Fluttershy descended the aisle. The white gown she wore was simple in decoration, but perhaps the most beautiful gown he had ever seen. It truly surpassed both the ivory gown and the gold gown she wore to the masquerade ball. Small bits of lace lined the hem and the bodice, and a soft, lacy veil covered her face. Fluttershy smiled as she reached the alter, and let out her own shaky breath, as she felt Discord's arm take hers.

The priest began the wedding vows. Fluttershy swallowed the emotional lump in her throat as Discord held her gloved hoof in his, looking deeply into her eyes, as he recited his vows to her…and Discord felt his heart skip a beat while he listened to Fluttershy's sweet vows to him.

The priest took the bracelet that Discord had provided, and urged the masked stallion to place it on Fluttershy’s hoof after reciting a blessing over it.

Fluttershy felt a few tears slip down her cheeks as she felt Discord's hoof slip the bracelet down her hoof, and she sighed a thankful prayer as the priest murmured a blessing upon them both.

Fluttershy squeezed Discord's hoof lovingly, as the priest murmured the final blessing, before announcing them as husband and wife.

Discord wasted no time with lifting Fluttershy's veil, and to the applause of their friends and family, took his bride's face and kissed her deeply, telling her with all his heart how deeply he loved her, and how lost he would have been had she not stumbled into his life.

Although he may be disguised as a pony on the outside, inside his face and body remained unchanged and deformed. Discord with the knowledge she loved him as he truly looked felt like a prince; one of Fluttershy's dark, gothic, romantic heroes. Indeed, her love had broken the icy spell that had fallen over his heart, and had turned this masked monster into a stallion.

Author's Note:

THERE IS AN EPOLOGUE! Don't leave me yet! lol

Edited: 11/1/2017