• Published 26th Jan 2012
  • 7,492 Views, 420 Comments

Head Full of Cotton Candy - TheManWithTwoNames

The many misadventures of Discord and Screwball.

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Chapter One

Head Full of Cotton Candy

A “My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic” fanfiction

By TheManWithTwoNames

I do not own any of the characters contained in the following work. “My Little Pony” and all subsequent properties belong to Hasbro and Lauren Faust.

I’m still willing to trade that T-shirt.

“Your Highness, please turn around and look where you’re going.”

“But would you look at the size of it!” Discord gasped as he clumsily walked backward down the dirt path, keeping his eyes on Canterlot Palace. “It’s so big!

“I know it is, but I don’t want you to tr--aah!” Savoir Faire’s worry came to pass as the king’s wandering tail swept her hooves out from under her. The serpent tail snagged on her royal robes as it swung by and flipped the earth pony onto her back. The sudden interruption was too much for the malformed creature, and Discord’s precarious balance was shattered and he joined his right-hand mare on the ground.

“Sorry, Savvy,” he offered between giggles. The pony sighed and began to pull herself off the ground before her liege’s heavy lion paw grabbed hold of her and squeezed her to his side. “Where are you off to in such a hurry?”

“For the umpteenth time, Your Highness, we should try to make it to Ponyville before sunset,” Savoir Faire explained.

“I don’t like that name. ‘Ponyville.’ It seems so... uninspired. I can guarantee you that name is never going to last,” Discord rambled as the purple earth pony heard his speech echo in her mind. The entire day had been like this ever since King Discord had insisted on leaving the castle. He would spend anywhere between twenty minutes to half an hour keeping his eyes on everything around him but the path, remarking on the warm summer sun shining down on them, the shapeless clouds sleepily drifting across the bright blue skies, the entertaining rustling of leaves in the trees, how unbelievably enormous or microscopic this or that was, and then he’d finally manage to trip over Savoir Faire and leave the two in a heap. Then he’d ask her where they were going again and go on the same tirade about Ponyville’s name, and then they’d pull themselves up and start the whole thing over again.

It had really stopped being funny after he nearly took them both over the side of the mountain a few hours back. Now they were on steady ground, and the rolling fields to the rest of Equestria were lying open before them.

Savoir Faire moaned as she looked at her robes -- the royal blue fabric was already covered in dirt and beginning to tear and fray in places. The saddlebags only added to the weight of the heavy robes, and the heat was beyond unbearable. If the cursed thing didn’t have its hoofful of uses, the purple pony would have torn the rag off and stuffed it in some chamberpot back in the palace.

“Look, Your Highness, we really do need to hurry. It’s important that we get there while it’s still light out.”

“Why’s that?”

“So they can get a good look at you,” she answered, uncertain with her own reason. Sure, the creature wasn’t something anyone would want to meet in a dark alley, but she wasn’t entirely sure if the visibility would be able to reveal any “good side” the king might have.

“Can’t I just keep the sun in the sky?” Discord asked, squinting as he stared directly at the burning orb.

“No, you can’t,” Savoir Faire said tiredly as she walked past him, silently praying that he would just leave it be and follow her.

“Bet you I can!” Before another word could be said, Discord vanished in a flash, leaving the pony behind. The advisor let out a tired moan as she trudged down the path alone. She had stopped worrying about him never coming back to her after the third time he had attempted to do heaven-knows-what to keep the sun in the sky, and those moments she had alone were actually the best opportunities for her to make some progress toward Ponyville.

‘You just love getting us into messes, don’t you?’ Savoir Faire’s inner voice of common sense nagged at the pony after an hour of solitary trekking.

“Is this about something new I’ve done? Or is this still about my stroke of genius that’s still in progress?”

‘The latter.’

“Well, I’m suffering enough about that without me to make me feel miserable about it, so shush.”

‘On an unrelated note, he’s been gone for a while this time...’

She had to agree with herself on that. Normally, would Discord have reappeared with a fresh expression of defeat by now. But there wasn’t any sign of him anywhere -- the only other thing around for a mile was that pony collapsed on the side of the road up ahead.

“Oh no.”

Savoir Faire dashed down the road, kicking up dirt and rocks in her wild sprint, feeling the contents of her saddlebags bump and shift and jostle around. She skidded to a stop over the crumpled form of the pony and began to examine him. The green earth pony was just barely breathing, so that was good news. A black beret was askew on his shaved bald head, holding down his folded ears. He fur was covered in dirt, from his black, unkempt tail to the dark purple vest that covered his body from his chest to his barrel.

While her first instincts were telling her that this pony was obviously just barely clinging to life, the royal advisor was having a difficult time determining what the cause of the ailment was. He didn’t look sick, and there weren’t any lesions or cuts or blood anywhere on him. Her eyes drifted to his lower half, and her attention was caught by the pony’s cutie mark. It looked like a brown bag with a golden coin in the middle...

“Alright, hold nice and still. I really don’t want to have to roast you,” a small voice growled behind her. Savoir Faire froze in fear and looked over her shoulder and nearly jumped in surprise at the sight of a dragon behind her. Well, a baby dragon, but a dragon nonetheless. It had a round face and a short maw, with several crooked fangs peeking out from under his scaly lips. He had brown fins and scales on his slender stomach, with the rest of his body being covered in a green that matched the hurt pony, who was now miraculously standing on his feet... and tying a dark purple mask around his face.

“Heh heh heh! Good work, Patsy! Another Dumb Dora stuck smack in our perfect trap!” the pony laughed. His voice was loud and nasally, and it looked like the dragon, Patsy, liked hearing it as much as she did.

“Really? You’re doing that voice again?” the young dragon sighed.

“Boo! Boo, see? You just keep that fire-spittin’ maw of yours aimed on this canary, and you fry her the second she tries to sing, see? Myah,” he added for good measure. The advisor almost wanted to laugh at the ridiculous accent, and any sense of grave danger immediately melted away. The green pony stomped a hoof on the ground in agitation before pointing it accusingly at his partner-in-crime.

“Just button your yap and search the dame’s bags!”

“So I’m doing all the work,” Patsy sighed.

Cut it out, Patsy,” the pony hissed at the dragon. Patsy rolled his eyes and began to rifle through the saddlebags, grabbing the few bits and scraps of food that Savoir Faire had brought with her and taking them over to the bandit to inspect.

“Are you yanking my crank?” the bandit shouted as he shifted through the sad haul. “Are you trying to tell me this is all the suds she’s got on her?”

“If you don’t believe me, check her for yourself,” Patsy said with an indifferent nod of his head.

“Well, what about her robes? Those look pretty ritzy.”

“You touch me and I scream!” Savoir Faire blurted out. It wasn’t a fantastic threat, and neither of the two looked that physically imposing, but the Canterlot pony was never much of a fighter and she hoped that she could just convince the two to leave with what they had.

“Say what? Open your ears and listen good, doll, because Masky is the one calling the shots here. And Masky gets what Masky wants, see? Myah!” the pony sneered as he crept closer, ignoring his unsupportive dragon’s scoffs. Savoir Faire took a few frightened steps backward, trying to judge if she would be able to outrun the highwaypony. That is, until her robes caught on something and she tumbled onto her back. Looking up, the pony’s face broke into an ecstatic grin at the sight of the figure towering above her.

“Okay, so I couldn’t get the sun to hold still. This time,” Discord added pointedly, squinting at the purple pony.

“What the hay is that thing?!” a nasally voice shouted, catching the attention of the two royals. Masky was pushing his indignant baby dragon in front of him, making little attempt to hide his shock at the sight of the creature. “Patsy, you go get ‘im!”

“Me? Why me? What am I supposed to do?” Patsy whined, fear starting to seep through the dragon’s voice.

“I don’t know! But I raised you and kept you kicking, so now it’s time to return the favor and help your pops out!” A loud and spirited chuckling gave the two pause, and the bickering pair looked at the frightening new arrival to see the enormous creature rolling on the ground in a laughing fit.

“These two are a riot!” Discord cheered, oblivious to his advisor’s unhappiness. When he finally wiped the tears from his eyes, he noticed the pile of supplies behind the bandits and snapped his fingers. “Savvy, you dropped all of your things!” he chastised as the pile reappeared in the air above the purple earth pony and flew into her empty saddlebags.

Magic! She’s got backup packing magic!” Masky hissed fearfully.

“You didn’t figure that out when he appeared in a flash of light?” Patsy snipped caustically.

“Hey! Hey tall, dark, and gruesome!” the green pony shouted. “What’s your deal? Yeah, you!” he added after the creature looked around to see who else Masky might have been talking to.

“My name is Discord—”

“But that is King Discord to you!” Savoir Faire interjected. She grinned at the frightened looks on the bandits’ faces as they began to realize their situation.

The two shared a moment of dread before Masky quickly took off his beret and pulled out a small red pouch. He handed the bag to Patsy and the baby dragon pulled out a small yellow rock and chomped down on the stone, obviously disgusted by the taste. Before Savoir Faire could question the two, the thief had already started speaking.

“So he’s the king, eh? And just what are you to him, sweetcheeks?”

“I am the chief royal advisor to His Majesty,” the pony said, drawing herself up and speaking with as much pomp as she could muster, remembering how the royal family would always address visiting dignitaries or nobles. “And you have committed a grand felony by assaulting a member of the royal cabinet!”

“Eeek, you got a real bearcat on your hooves, boss,” the pony said with an exaggerated grimace. “Settle down, toots. The men are talking.” Savoir Faire was struck dumb by the snub. What did she have to do to get ponies to start showing her a little respect? She was head advisor to the King of Equestria! Did she need to start ordering executions before people would pay her some mind?

“Well, Yer Excellency,” Masky continued, strolling up to Discord and walking around the creature, examining him from top to bottom, “for the king of ponies, you sure don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen. So what they hay are you?” Discord thought for a long while before an answer finally came to him.

“I’m an alicorn!” he declared proudly, pointing his nose up proudly and placing his hands on his sides in an impressive pose.

“N-no. No, Your Majesty. You’re not.” She hated to disagree, but she’d rather have him rooted in reality as much as possible. Besides, she was genuinely curious herself. She knew that he didn’t have the answer, since he said as much himself just earlier in the day, but perhaps the mouthy pony would be able to pry enough information to get her started on her own investigation.

“What? I’ve got wings, and I’ve got two horns!” the king explained matter-of-factly. “I’m more of an alicorn than any other alicorn!”

“Well, the head is vaguely equine in nature,” a garbled voice spoke up. All eyes were on Patsy as the baby dragon strutted over to the group, chewing on a second rock. Masky grinned proudly and slid to his partner’s side, shooting Savoir Faire a smug look as if to say ‘I taught him everything he knows.’

“And I can smell the dragon on you,” he continued, his nostrils flaring. So, he’s some kind of… draco-equine--”

“He’s a Jabberwocky!” Masky interrupted. Patsy’s feeling of accomplishment immediately dissipated, and he gave the purple pony standing behind the king a chagrined frown.


“Draconequus,” she repeated loud enough for the king to hear her, though the word didn’t seem to strike any nerves. But if he didn’t even know what he was, then it didn’t seem unfair for her to give him a made-up name.

“So what are you and Mrs. Grundy doing all the way out here? Shouldn’t you be hob-nobbing it up in your big, fancy palace?” Masky asked with heavy condescension as Patsy chomped down on another one of his yellow rocks. The pony coughed from the acrid stench and took a few steps to the side.

“I know, isn’t it so big?” Discord said happily, letting his tail swing freely and knock his advisor off her hooves again.

“Oh, come on!”

“But I’m traveling across Equestria to help my subjects handle any trouble that’s bothering them.” Masky’s limp ears perked up at the answer, and Savoir Faire could have sworn that the thief’s irises turned into two shining bits for a moment.

“Well, then this is some stroke of serendipity that I caught you. Can you do a poor pony a favor?” Savoir Faire didn’t like the manic grin that was beginning to dominate the greedy pony’s entire face. “Mind snapping me up a small… oh… mountain of lettuce?” he asked softly.

“Lettuce?” Discord asked, puzzled.

“Yeah! You know, some bacon, jack, scratch, moolah, dough!” he listed off, his voice beginning to regain its harsher tone. The draconequus looked at his talon and his paw in curiosity, examining each digit and bending and flexing them individually as he turned his wrists over.

“I can do that?”

“Oh, don’t play dumb.” Savoir Faire felt guilty about the amused snort she let escape. “I know you eggs with your magic always zap up things for yourself. Don’t be so be so stingy!” Discord turned his head to look down at the purple pony at his side, his yellow eyes the size of dinner plates.

“I can make things for myself, too?” He sounded like a colt on his first Hearth’s Warming Eve seeing the stack of presents left for him. Savoir Faire thought it would have almost been adorable if it weren’t for the fact that the most powerful magical creature she had ever known was learning about greed.

“Wait a hot second,” Masky butted in, shaking his head and clenching his eyes, looking as if he was trying to stop his brain from bursting. “He really didn’t know that?”

“Thanks for letting the cat out of the bag,” Savoir Faire muttered bitterly as she glowered at Masky.

“And he’s the king? Patsy, I think we need to lay low somewhere off the map for a while, see? I can’t see this ending peaches. Let’s blow this fruit stand.”

Before another word could be said, the green dragon opened his mouth and expelled an enormous cloud of noxious gas that covered the field and blinded Savoir Faire and Discord. Savoir Faire could hardly breathe through the smog; she recognized the burning smell as sulfuric gas, and realized too late that that awful pony had been stalling for time while his dragon could chomp on those rocks. She had been made a fool of again. And probably poisoned this time, too.

‘Another fine mess you what in Equestria is that smell?!

There was a snap, a splash, and then a moment of silent contemplation. Cautiously cracking open an eye, Savoir Faire saw that the cloud had vanished along with the two miscreants. She noticed that the immediate area had been covered by a thick green liquid. She also noticed that she was drenched in said green liquid, and had a recognizable taste in her mouth. Licking her lips, her intrigue melted away to disbelief, and the advisor gave her king a flat expression.

“Pea soup?”

“I thought this would be better than that gas,” he said innocently, waving his paw at the puddle of soup around them, some drops slipping off his fur and onto the ground. He was as soaked as she was, with his fur and hair all matted down by the stew, and the pony discovered with some revulsion that draconequuses (draconequui?) resembled drowned rats when wet.

“Well, it is, but… Couldn’t you have just magicked it away?” she asked, not entirely certain about the specifics of magic. Though, in fairness, the draconequus likely wasn’t a whizz himself.

“Maybe? I just thought this was… better,” he repeated again with a shrug.

“Well could you at least clean me off?” The pony would quickly regret her words as a bucket of cold water was dumped on top of her. She didn’t even want to see what her robes had been reduced to at this point. Pushing her wet mane out of her eyes, Savoir Faire glared at Discord as his cheeks began to puff.

Unable to hold it in any longer, Discord exploded into his wild laugh, falling onto his back and pounding the ground with his arms and legs as he rocked back and forth. As his howling reached its crescendo, it suddenly ended with a sputtering cough as a brown liquid squirted grotesquely out of his nostrils.

“You made me laugh so hard my drink came out of my nose!”

“Drink? What drink?” The draconequus motioned toward a glass of chocolate milk that was hovering beside him. “Where did you get that?”

“I made it for myself.”


“I know! I can’t believe I can do that!” he exclaimed giddily.

“Really? Just like that?” the earth pony snorted, disappointment clear in her voice. “Just like that you’re going to start listening to what some crook, who tried to rob your advisor, might I add, tells you about behaving?”

“I’m not allowed to listen to other ponies?”

“Not when they’re felons!” The king considered his advisor’s words over a drink from his glass. Or, rather, a drink of his glass. Savoir Faire looked on in bewilderment as the creature greedily guzzled down the glass as if it were liquid, while the chocolate milk stayed stationary in his talons. The moment he realized what was happening, Discord released the liquid and skittishly jumped back as it shattered into shards on the ground. And despite how cross she was with what could be the gateway to a series of poor behavior, and how she knew she shouldn’t do anything that might encourage it any further, Savoir Faire couldn’t help but laugh at the draconequus’ antics.

“It’s not funny,” he sniffed, offended. “I wasn’t trying to do that. Magic is hard…” But though he tried his hardest to stay upset, there was something contagious about the pony’s laughter that forced him to concede and join in her merriment. As they sputtered out their last few giggles, the pair took a moment to just smile at one another. And for the first time that day, Savoir Faire imagined that she might have made a smart decision after all.

“Well, we’re still miles away from the town, you’re filthy with pea soup, and it’s an hour until sunset—don’t try to stop the sun again, please—so I think we may have to wait until tomorrow before you make your grand debut.” Discord thought for a moment, twirling his stringy, wet beard around a talon, before he was struck by a spontaneous burst of inspiration.

“I have a better idea!” Discord grabbed his squealing assistant and dropped her onto his shoulders before flopping onto the ground, sending pea soup splashing onto him. With another snap of his paw, the long dirt road was transformed into a trail of soapy water. “Hold on tight, Savvy!” With a mighty heave, the draconequus sent himself streaming down the road, cutting across the fields of Equestria like a sleigh, as Savoir Faire screamed in fear and delight all the while.


The sun was just hanging above the horizon when the pair’s wild ride finally came to a stop a short distance from Ponyville. Savoir Faire drowned out Discord’s familiar rant about the name as she inspected every square inch of him to ensure he was ready for the public eye. She was genuinely surprised that the “soap slide,” as the draconequus had taken to calling it, had worked so well. The king was clean; now he needed to be presentable.

“Okay, you want to look nice for the nice ponies, alright?” she said, mimicking the tone the kindly old pony who raised her would always use on her before meeting a new prospective couple. “Stand up straight, suck in that gut, chest out, chin up… Perfect! Now, let’s see your regal canter.” Savoir Faire stood back to watch as the disproportional creature took a few awkward steps forward. He was moving in something that resembled a waddle, so focused on keeping his body stiff that he forgot to bend even his legs. After a few steps, his composure broke and he fell into his usual lanky motion, swinging his eagle claw loosely at his side and letting his tail groove back and forth just out of rhythm with the rest of his body.

“Good enough, we’ll work on it later,” the purple pony said quickly as she rammed her head into Discord’s lower back and pushed him into town.

It was immediately apparent that something was terribly wrong in Ponyville. The entire town seemed empty, with every humble hut and house and building and business completely vacant. Discord would wander into a house every now and then, with Savoir Faire immediately following after him to stop him from carrying out whatever little trinket caught his attention, always checking the streets outside to make sure they hadn’t been seen, but there was never a single soul to be found.

“I told you this place would never last,” Discord said in a singsong voice as he rubbed his paw where the pony had swatted him as he tried to snatch a free pastry from a bakery.

“This doesn’t make any sense. Ponyville may be one of the smallest towns in Equestria, but there’s no way everypony in the entire town could just up and vanish. Where could they all have gone?” the royal advisor thought out loud, keeping her eyes on the ground as the two rounded another street corner and entered the town square.

“Why don’t we ask them?” Savoir Faire looked up in shock as an enormous crowd of ponies was gathered in a huddle, all clamoring and grabbing at something.

‘How could we not have heard them from just around the corner?’

Ignoring the thought, Savoir Faire inflated herself and cleared her throat.

“Citizens of Ponyville! We present to thee thy glorious ruler, His Majesty King Discord!”

“Why are you shouting?” Discord moaned as he lowered his paws from his ears.

“I-it’s the traditional royal Canterlot voice,” the royal advisor explained, feeling somewhat embarrassed with herself by the reception. “That’s how the members of the royal cabinet are supposed to address your subjects.”

“Well, I don’t like it,” he said bluntly, folding his arms and aiming his nose up. As Savoir Faire tried to carefully construct an explanation about the importance of shouting at ponies, the obstreperous crowd was beginning to shift and spread to allow something to pass through.

“Please, everypony, if you could just settle and let me step out for a moment…” The entire town immediately became silent and obediently parted. There, in the center of the crowd, was the single most gorgeous creature Savoir Faire had ever laid eyes on. She was absolutely stunning, from head to tail. She was tall and regal, and while all alicorns fit that description, this one was especially resplendent. The mare’s mane was a flowing, passionate deep red that curled down her back, and her tail was the same. Her coat was a soft, luscious pink, and the earth pony could tell even from a distance that it would be silky and luxurious to the touch. And Savoir Faire found her one desire in the entire world was to touch her.

“Hey! You get back over here!” A jolt of energy coursed through the pony’s brain, down her spine, and then exploded and filled her entire body. She blinked a few times and looked in surprise at her surroundings. She found herself halfway across the square, though for the life of her she couldn’t remember ever moving. Discord was hovering over her protectively and cautiously withdrew his talon from the top of her head. “You got this weird look in your eyes and then you started walking towards that guy.”

“I don’t… Wait, guy?

“Fine, you can keep her,” the mare said in an airy, but still masculine voice. “My harem is large enough as it is. I hope that you’ve been enjoying your time with a body just as much, brother.”

“A lot is happening right now, can we just take this one thing at a time?” Savoir Faire moaned as she buried her face in her hoof. “You’re male?”

“I am,” the alicorn said proudly as a few mares began to crowd around him again, fawning avidly over him.

“Then why do you look like a mare?”

“Because my sister has a cruel and awful sense of humor,” he replied flatly, though his mood did not stay sour long as his coven continued to caress him.

“And that leads us to the second matter—”

‘—Because making sure you’re not doubting our sexuality is totally the most important thing going on in our life right now—’

“—Did you call His Majesty ‘brother’?”

“You say that like it’s more bizarre than calling him ‘His Majesty’,” the alicorn scoffed. “And yes, that creature fluttering over your head is my brother. We’re cut from the same cloth, as it were.”

“I told you I was an alicorn!” Discord shouted, pushing his nose against Savoir Faire’s and smirking victoriously. “We even look alike!”

“Don’t even joke! Gracious, you’re even worse than Life,” the alicorn shuddered. “No, brother, you are not an alicorn. Neither am I, in truth. This is just a little costume I was given so that I may meet you directly.”

“Nice to meet you. I’m Discord,” the draconequus greeted gladly. “But I think that I’m supposed to be talking to some ponies here and solving their problems, so we should talk some other time.” Both the king and the advisor frowned at the vicious volley of laughter that was launched at them by the crowd led by the Casanova alicorn.

“How very droll, brother. I think you can see that I’ve already solved any issue that might have plagued the citizens Ponyville. Love always does,” he said with a seductive wink.

“You hypnotized them!” Savoir Faire gasped in disgust. “They can’t help it, they’re in a trance!”

“If it’s so bad, then why isn’t anypony complaining?” the alicorn challenged.

I’m complaining!”

“Oh, you don’t count,” he retorted flippantly.

“And I’m supposed to help them!” Discord challenged, jabbing his paw into his chest and taking a bold step forward. He didn’t truly know if it mattered whether or not he was directly responsible for helping ponies as long as the job was done, but if his advisor was upset, then he supposed that anger was the appropriate response.

“I think that the spirit of Love is a more welcome force to end plight than the spirit of War,” the alicorn said coldly.

“Alright, I’m sick of being left out in the dark here,” Savoir Faire snapped. “Start talking. Now.”

“I suppose I should cut to the chase,” he said as he broke away from his swooning mob. “The others will be sure to throw a fit anyway, but it’s best not to dally. In short, the creature standing before us is going to destroy Equestria, and I’m here to take him away before he does. Now, brother, come along.” Discord paused and looked back at the alicorn and Savoir Faire.

“Do I go with him?”

“No!” the advisor shouted, stomping her hoof furiously on the ground. “And you’re going to have to do better than that!”

“Fine, we’ll do the long version,” he sighed tiredly. “All of Equestria is ruled by spirits of nature. Life, Death, Time, Harmony, Nature, and yours truly, Love. Each of us was begotten from some massive accumulation of force that we control, gained sentience and mastery over our elements, and guided the course of history from before the days the races of the world first climbed out of the mud. It goes without saying that we are quite powerful, and applying our influence too thick could spell devastation for the entire world.” Love caught Savoir Faire’s critical glance and looked back at the crowd of ponies staring dreamily at the spirit’s flank. “Would you get off that already? It’s only one town. And it’s Ponyville. Horrible name. I can guarantee you it’s not going to stand the test of time.”

“So if Discord is like… If he’s like you, and a spirit of nature, and all that… Then why is he so… Why is he such a—”

“Mental midget? Your ‘Discord’, as you call him, is a spirit of nature that has been somehow made flesh before he could… mature. Likely due to some rogue spell that struck his newly formed consciousness before he had time to scrounge up even a single thought to call his own. And it just so happens that he was born from that dreadful civil war that had been raging at Bison Gulch for these last few decades. Though to be honest, we’re not certain what he’s the spirit of yet, but I’m willing to bet on War. And now you’ve named a spirit of nature king of your land, and plan on parading him across the globe to try to apply his personal touch wherever he can, and you think this is a good idea?”

‘In our defense, we didn’t know all that before. Wait, he can’t hear us in here, can he?’

“He’s unfathomably dangerous to you, my brothers and sisters, and the entire world. He barely had a mind, and then he stole some reckless unicorn’s life spell to take flesh and heart. He’s brainless! A conscious force of nature with a mind full of—full of fluff and a slave to his emotions!”

“I wouldn’t have expected Love to be so opposed to emotions.”

“In any other situation, I truly wouldn’t be bothered. But I’m something of an authority on matters of the soul,” the alicorn raised his front hoof ominously and pointed directly at his brother, “and I can see right to his black heart.”

“Are we talking about the same Discord? Because mine throws pies at ponies when he’s at his worst,” the earth pony quipped, though her tone was lacking in humor. Discord had been silent for a while, and was standing stone still as Love’s words were breaking over him like stormy water crashing against a rock.

“You know just as well as I do that he’s done much worse than that.” Love’s voice was grave, and his words struck a nerve deep in the pony. Did she truly forget so soon how the draconequus ascended to the throne? But could he really be blamed? If it was true that he didn’t have a mind, then perhaps he didn’t know what he was doing?

“He was born from war! From hatred! Sorrow! Blood!” the spirit of love’s shouting tore her from her thoughts, and his sudden outburst startled both of the pensive royals. “What do you think he’ll become as his true nature starts to reveal itself? He’ll become a force of pure destruction if he’s left alone to his own devices.”

“Well, he’s not being left alone!” Savoir Faire barked defensively. “I am the royal advisor to the king of Equestria, and it is my duty to ensure that he rules fairly and properly.” She was truly beginning to loathe the sound of the pony’s laugh.

“Aha ha ha ha ha ha! You? A simple mortal thinks she can command a spirit of nature?

“I’ve been doing pretty well so far.” She glanced over at Discord, silently pleading for him to say something, anything.

“He’s an infant!” Love exclaimed. “He simply imitates whatever he sees around him. You’re a fool if you truly believe that you can contain him forever.” The insult stung Savoir Faire worse than any of them could know. “Only my kin and I could ever sculpt this misshapen mess into something redeemable.”

“What, so he can be more like you?

“Well, we can only hope he’ll follow my example,” Love said as he calmed again, and fell back into the waiting hooves of his harem. “Life is a snob and Death is a scoundrel. Nature’s a manic-depressive psychotic, far too emotional for her own good. Time is tragically passionless, and Harmony... Well, Harmony is something of a waif. Not quite all there.”

In an instant, Love thrust himself from the thrall of ponies and landed dramatically in front of the draconequus to stare him directly in the eyes.

“Come with me quietly, and I promise you, I’ll breed you to be the finest spirit you can be!”

“Like you!” Discord shouted in admiration. The king dropped down on his reptilian knee and threw his arms open wide to gesture toward the surprised alicorn, shaking his hands to add what he thought to be dramatic impact.

“Are you—Are you mocking me?!” the alicorn sputtered, reeling back to his waiting admirers to be consoled.

“I was just acting how you taught me,” Discord said with a devilish grin as he casually returned back to his advisor’s side. “Learning by example and all that, wasn’t that the point?” he asked louder than necessary, pointing a talon at his fellow spirit.

“This had better not be how you act from now on,” Savoir Faire said warningly, though she couldn’t help but grin at the king’s teasing. But more than that, he had actually stood by her without her telling him to.

“I’m warning you now, War, come with me now and there won’t be any more trouble,” Love said, though the loving embraces of Ponyville’s citizens softened his sternness. “Our brothers and sisters are not as tender as I am. You don’t belong here.”

“I think I do.” The draconequus’ voice was its usual breezy nature, which made the ferocious expression on his crooked face all the more frightening. Love simply shrugged and turned his body away from the pair and focused on his adoring stable of ponies.

“Very well. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when the others come to take you by force. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a body that I’d like to take advantage of and a town full of ponies more than happy to take advantage of me.” Just as Love was preparing to recline into the mob and descend into bliss, an unseen force suddenly grabbed the pink alicorn by his red tail and began to drag him away from the crowd, both to the horror of the ponies and the spirit himself.

“No, please! Just a little bit longer! Just another day!” He shouted in pain as his ears began to stretch and drag him across the ground on his stomach. “Another hour! Another minute!” He hung limply in the air, suspended by one of his wings over the screaming crowd. “Fine! I’m done! I’m done! You’re heartless, sister!” In an instant, the pink alicorn burst into nothingness, and a pale pink mist floated into the sky and dissipated.

“Wow,” was all Discord could manage to say as he kept his eyes on the fleeing spirit. “Are all families like that?”

“I wouldn’t know,” Savoir Faire mumbled sadly before a confused, dull racket from the freed ponies of Ponyville caught her attention. “Okay, they’re back with us. Go introduce yourself,” she urged as she pushed Discord closer to the crowd. The king looked uncertainly between the purple pony and the mass of wary subjects, struck silent by the sudden attention.

“Say something,” the advisor silently mouthed.

“Citizens of Ponyville! I am your new king and master!”


“Mistakes were made,” Savoir Faire thought out loud as she worked on starting a fire. She glanced over her shoulder at Ponyville in the distance, wishing that they could have spent the night in the town.

‘Mistakes like letting the spirit of War talk to a frightened crowd?’ her inner voice snipped as she unsuccessfully struck a match against a rock.

“We also talked with that creep until sundown, so the poor lighting didn’t help.”

‘Neither did the booming address by the monster.’

“Stop talking about him that way!”

“What’s happening?” Discord asked as he popped his head out from the inside of the latest tent he had tried to conjure. The draconequus had been at it for a while, though he was having trouble meeting Savoir Faire’s unreasonable specifications of both “triangular” and “large enough to fit in.”

“Nothing, nothing,” she fibbed. “Just a little tired. It’s just… been a long day.”

“You’re telling me. I was made a king earlier today,” Discord said casually as he sat down next to the pony and spat a red glob onto the pile of sticks she had been working over, the wood immediately igniting. The pony kept her eyes on the fire as she reflected on the day’s events as her lord turned his focus upward. Meeting the wild creature, essentially becoming the leader of Equestria, leaving Canterlot for the first time in her life, nearly falling off a mountain, being mugged at dragon-point, the “soap slide”, and then the debacle in Ponyville with the spirit of love.

It had been a trying, and, frankly, disconcerting day.

“So we got run out of one town,” Discord said dismissively, noticing his advisor’s dolor. “It’s just Ponyville, Savvy. Nothing important about there. So, can the moon rise in the North?”

“No, East to West,” she answered, forcing herself back into her advisor mindset.

“But that’s what the sun does!”

Discord, do it right!”

With some half-hearted grumbles, Discord raised his eagle claw and lifted the moon. The celestial body hung peacefully in the air and illuminated the open field the two had set up camp in. It was incredibly peaceful, Savoir Faire thought, as she admired the tranquil landscape. A few fireflies floated danced through the air to the choir of chirping crickets and clicking of insects in the grass. The draconequus next to her nudged her delicately and handed her a few apples he had plucked from a nearby tree and the two enjoyed their meager dinner. When they had finished, they two had made a game of seeing who could spit the seeds the farthest. Not that they could even follow the black seeds in the dark night.

“Alright, you win,” the pony conceded as Discord spat the last of his seeds in a high arc. “Let’s get some sleep.” Discord nodded and immediately dropped onto his back and was fast asleep. Chuckling softly, Savoir Faire laid down beside him and closed her eyes, letting her exhaustion overtake her, holding onto a single happy thought as she drifted to sleep:

Perhaps if he was really as impressionable as he seemed to be, then maybe she could steer him in the right direction after all.