Flash Sentry gazed out the train window as the town of Ponyville came into view. His eyes were brimming with determination.
He was not here for fun. He was not here to battle some horrific monster. No, this mission was much more important than accomplishing such trivial feats.
The orange Pegasus had faced many challenges during his time in the royal guard. But, they all paled in comparison to this.
Flash's heart pumped with anticipation as he caught a glimpse of the beautiful crystalline castle that was home to the Princess of Friendship.
He sighed dreamily as he thought about her. Princess Twilight Sparkle was, in his eyes, the pinnacle of perfection and beauty. She was simply stunning. The other princesses were lovely in their own right, but Twilight Sparkle was too beautiful for words. Plus, she was probably the only one out of the four that was in his age group.
Flash sighed once more as he looked out the window, "This is it, Flash. You can do this. You are going to tell Princess Twilight how you feel. It's not that hard. In fact, I'm sure by the end of the day, you two are sure to be colt friend and mare friend. Well, maybe not yet, but you should at least become friends. She likes making friends. It'll take some smooth talking, but that's okay. I'm good at that. That's why they call me Smooth-Talking Sentry. This'll be easy."
"So, you're in love with Princess Sparkle, eh?" The pony next to him asked without looking up from his paper.
Flash blushed, "Oh, uh...I - well, I wouldn't say I'm in love with her. It's more of a like. I like her. I don't love her. I like her. Well, really like her. Okay, really, really like. I really, really like her. But, I don't love her." He rubbed the back of his neck, embarrassed.
The stallion next to him chuckled, "Oh, you like her, all right. Shame, really."
Flash furrowed his eyebrows, "Why is that?
"It's better if I don't tell ya, lad. Don't need ya sufferin' heartache too early." He mumbled the last part inaudibly.
"O - kay. Well, it doesn't matter what happens. I'm just going to talk to her. She's bound to be open to it. Right?"
"Sure, kid." Flash caught a glimpse of the stallion's smirk, which indicated he probably knew something that Flash did not.
"We have arrived in Ponyville," the conductor announced. "Please gather your belongings and swiftly exit the train. Have a wonderful day."
Flash slung his saddlebags onto his back and hopped off of his seat. "Well, I'm off."
"Best of luck to ya, son. You're gonna need it." The stallion next to him patted him on the back before exiting the train.
Flash felt that that statement had a double meaning but decided not to worry about it. Right now, he had work to do.
Flash stood in front of the Friendship Palace. His eyes trailed up to the very top. It reminded him very much of the Crystal Castle.
He sighed, "You've got this, Sentry. Just tell her how you feel. The worst she could say is no. But, I don't expect that. Here goes nothing."
He entered the castle, his eyes roaming the interior, trying to navigate. He heard laughter coming from around the corner. Turning his ears toward the sound, he walked along the smooth, shiny floor.
He turned the corner, looking around at the many doors that outlined the corridor. He picked up the laughter once more and followed it to the third door on the left.
"You are so funny." Flash's ears perked up as he recognized that sweet voice.
Flash's face broke into a huge grin. But, he composed himself, taking a deep breath, "This is it, Flash. It's do or die time. She's probably with her friends. I will try not to take too much of her time." He knocked on the door and backed up. This was it.
Twilight Sparkle never found herself to be one who was easily amused. But, ever since she started her relationship with Discord, she found herself reconsidering that fact.
"Discord, you are so funny. If you keep this up, I'm going to die from laughter," the young alicorn nuzzled her head against his.
Discord laughed, "That's got to be the best way to die. " He messed up her mane, eliciting a cute giggle from her.
She set a hoof atop her mane, smoothing it out. "I'm sure." She sighed. "You are so great, you know that?" She planted a kiss on his cheek, causing him to blush.
Discord shook his head, "Lay off the romance, dear."
Twilight smirked, "Why? You know you like it." She was about to plan another kiss on his cheek when there was a knock on the door.
Twilight raised an eyebrow, "Who could that be?"
Discord sat up, "Maybe, it's lunch. I'm starving."
Twilight rolled her eyes, "You're always starving." She shook her head, before turning to the door. "Come in."
The double doors of her lounge opened. And, the pony behind them was none other than Flash Sentry.
Twilight blinked twice. She looked at Discord, who merely shrugged. She looked back at the Pegasus and cleared her throat.
"Um...can I help you?"
Flash looked traumatized for a second, as if in disbelief that he was here. Unbeknownst to them, that was exactly that case.
Twilight squinted her eyes, trying to remember the orange stallion's name. "I know I've seen you before. Hey, aren't you Flash Sentry?"
Flash swallowed hard, "Um..."
Twilight put a hoof to her chin, "Yes, you are. I've seen you patrolling the hallways in the Crystal Castle. You're a Crystal Guard, right?"
Flash bit his lip, "Uh...ye - "
Discord scoffed, "He's a Crystal Guard? Your brother must be slacking, Twi. I've seen way tougher looking colts in Fillydelphia. He's not even Crystal."
Flash tried to defend himself, "Excuse m - "
Twilight put a hoof on Discord's paw, "Now, Discord, this is no time to judge. I'm sure there was a reason that Shining Armor picked him. He has high standards, so Flash must've done something notable."
Discord crossed his arms, "I still say he's slacking."
Twilight shook her head, "Say what you want. Now, then, Flash," she turned back to the pony in question. "Um, don't take this the wrong way, but what are you doing here? Did Shining send you over?"
Flash, for the first time since he arrived, finally spoke up, "Um, n-no, Pr - uh, Your H-Highness. H-he didn't."
Discord bent down to Twilight's ear and whispered, "Something tells me he's afraid of princesses."
Twilight whacked him in the head. "Oh, stop. He's around Cadence all the time, and she's not scary."
Discord put a talon to his chin, "Not sure the same could be said about you, though."
Twilight glared at him, "Look who's talking."
Discord turned away, "Oooh, burned by Princess. I must be the one who's slacking."
Twilight giggled before turning back to Flash, "Pardon us, Flash. So, Shiny didn't send you? If that's true, why are you here?"
Flash rubbed the back of his neck. "Um...well, heh, funny story. I - uh, c-can we talk?"
Twilight smiled, "Sure. Go ahead. I'm listening."
Flash pointed to Discord, "Uh, alone?"
Discord shook his head, "Not a chance, bud. I'm not leaving my mare alone with some random stallion. You either start the chit-chat now, or leave and never return."
Flash stiffened at the spirit's remark. "M-m - my mare?"
"No. My mare. Not yours. Mine. I won her heart fair and square." Discord turned away, crossing his arms.
Twilight raised an eyebrow, "Fair and square? Since when do you do anything 'fair and square'?"
"I can be a good boy if I want to be."
"You just don't want to be."
Flash looked at both at them, heat starting to collect in his cheeks. "Y-you a-and D-Discord are a...?"
Twilight blushed, "Well, yah, we are."
Discord frowned, "You got a problem with that, buddy boy? 'Cause, I'll give you a problem." He pounded his claw into his paw.
Flash's wings immediately dropped to the ground. His eyes glazed over in disbelief. He began to feel light-headed.
She and that chaos spirit are an item?! But, that was supposed to be me! He bit his lip and narrowed his eyes. No. I didn't come all the way from the Crystal Empire to stare in the eyes of defeat. I am not going to let this guy ruin my chances of true love. He probably brainwashed her with his magic-y stuff. I've got to save her. Then, she's sure to fall for me.
Flash gulped, "So, uh...Princess, you and Discord?"
Twilight nodded, nuzzling Discord's head, causing Flash to cringe. "Yah. He makes my life interesting. To be honest, I thought everyone knew about us already."
Discord shrugged nonchalantly, "Eh, obviously he didn't get the memo. Not surprising, though."
Flash stretched his wings out, preparing to tell her that he was the one she was meant to be with. He didn't care if Discord turned him into a parakeet. He was going to do it. And, he wasn't going down without a fight. If it meant winning the heart of the fair Princess Twilight, then so be it.
"Princess Twilight, I have something I - "
"Twilight! Message from Princess Celestia. " Spike came running into the room, holding a scroll in his claws.
She grabbed the letter with her magic and began reading it. After skimming it with her razor sharp eyes, she put down.
She sighed, "Come on, Discord. Celestia needs us in Canterlot. Probably another crisis that needs to be averted."
Discord huffed, "Wonder what we'll be hunting down today." He floated out of the room with Twilight following closely behind.
Twilight turned to Flash, "Sorry, Flash. Duty calls. Thanks for visiting, though." She patted him on the back, then quickly teleported out of the room.
Flash sat down on his haunches, feeling utterly dejected and totally rejected.