It was a bright and sunny Tuesday afternoon and Fluttershy was flittering around her cottage, preparing for her usual tea party with Discord.
She raced back and forth trying to set the table with their traditional tea cakes and sandwiches. She grabbed some pillows that Discord had made with his magic which had his and Fluttershy's faces printed upon.
She heard a whistling noise and raced to the kitchen to find the kettle boiling. Fluttershy poured the steamy water into a teapot and stuck multiple tea bags inside as well.
Fluttershy wiped her forehead with her hoof and gave a sigh of relief as she looked around. Everything seemed perfect.
She jumped at the sound of her doorbell ringing but quickly realized that she had simply overreacted...again.
Fluttershy trotted over to the door and took a deep breath after trying to calm her hair down with her hooves. She opened the door to a greet a friendly and all too familiar face.
"Good afternoon Discord, you're right on time," she smiled. Discord pulled a pocket watch out of his ear and looked at the time.
"Well, it wouldn't do me much good to be late to my favorite event of the week now would it?" Discord prided. Fluttershy beamed at his words and felt a light blush pass through her cheeks.
They stood there for a while not saying anything, seeming as though they were both in a trance. Finally Fluttershy shook her head and acknowledged Discord.
"Oh, of course. Please do come in," she insisted, feeling embarrassed that she had not done so, sooner.
"Why thank you my dear Fluttershy. Tell me, what tea have you prepared today?" he asked, curious.
"I hope this won't be boring, considering we had it last time...but I got the Ginseng tea. I know we already had it but it was just so fun and...oh," she shrugged down to the ground in a ball. Discord just smiled, she was so funny when she was flustered.
He went over to her and bent down.
"My dear Fluttershy, you need not worry. I enjoyed the tea last time as well but I just have one question?" he leaned down to her. She peered up at him, suddenly realizing how close they truly were. She gulped, "Y-yes?"
He pulled back a bit.
"Why are you so flustered? I mean, not to be rude or anything but you do look quite ridiculous. We're friends, why is it so hard for you to explain why you chose the same tea?"
Fluttershy sighed and fell back onto the hardwood floor, staring up at the ceiling and soon at Discord, who towered over her.
"I-I'm not too sure actually. Perhaps it's because of the stressful week my friends and I endured, which..." she sighed, "Is probably still continuing. But I just want to have a fun tea party and..." she began to work her speech into mixed up mumbles.
"I'm sorry Fluttershy but you will have to speak up, I apologize but my natural state is not an elephant," Discord said, snapping his fingers to turn his ears into that of an elephant.
Fluttershy slowly sat up and stared at her friend.
"I just wish I wasn't so boring...I just chose the tea because I was hoping we could make it sing a different song but I guess now I kind figure it's probably fairly boring for you," she sighed and looked at the ground in shame.
Discord gave a small chuckle and carefully plucked Fluttershy off the ground, trying to drag her away from her now mopey state. He spun her around, trying to crack a smile.
"My dear Fluttershy, you are being ridiculous. You could never be boring. Just because I'm the spirt of chaos doesn't mean we have to try new things all the time and thrust ourselves off cliffs whenever we feel like it. It's not like it's the end of all Equestria if you and I drink the same tea again right?"
Fluttershy smiled up at him and blushed.
"I suppose you're right...sorry," she smiled cheekily. Discord let out a gasp of breath and set her down on the green sofa, as did he on the chair opposite her.
"Well then, on that note...shall we have some tea?" he asked. Fluttershy smiled and put a hoof to her mouth.
"Yes, yes we should," Fluttershy agreed.
They went on through their tea party talking and laughing as Discord told jokes and Fluttershy told funny stories about Angle Bunny.
"-and then he got stuck in the mouses' house," Fluttershy finished as Discord laughed. She was pleased that she could make him laugh.
"You know what? One time I was-" Discord was interrupted as a loud banging sound came from Fluttershy's door as well as a few provocative protests.
"Now who could that be?" Discord wondered. Fluttershy started sweating.
"Umm, I'm sure it's nothing let's just-" Fluttershy was interrupted this time by a few more thunder sounding knocks. Fluttershy sighed in defeat and walked over to the door. She opened it a crack but the door burst open and revealed several angry looking ponies holding up signs. They didn't come inside her home, but instead just stood outside the door.
"Umm c-can I help you?" Fluttershy tried to ask nicely.
"We still don't have answers!" one colt shouted.
"We want answers!" another mare exclaimed.
"You've learned the same thing too many times!" a yellow coated mare with red glasses protested. Fluttershy recognized her from countless other occasions.
Fluttershy turned towards her tea mate, who'm the large crowd had not realized was there.
"Umm, would you excuse me for a moment Discord?" Fluttershy mouthed, not actually saying a word. Discord slowly and dumbly nodded.
Fluttershy forced a smile and exited through the door to meet the raging crowd. They had come to her door step everyday since they published the Friendship Journal.
"Please, please, everypony listen!" Fluttershy tried to reason but her yelps were quite useless, and not nearly as loud as she thought.
"I don't understand why you keep coming here? I thought you had your answers!" Fluttershy exclaimed. The crowd was down to a low mumble.
"You're too nice, it's hardly relatable!"
"No one goes into harms way for an animal!"
"You're painfully quiet!"
"I thought you already learned to be more assertive!"
"Stop being such a doormat!"
"You shouldn't be such a pushover!"
"Yeah, you hang out with the Lord of Chaos all the time!" one voice echoed throughout the rest. Fluttershy turned to face him. Fluttershy hadn't realized though, that upon hearing his name, Discord had come outside to see what all the commotion was about.
He laid atop her roof, hidden from sight.
"I-I am more assertive and braver. I am the Element of Kindness, so why shouldn't I be kind? My cutie mark represents animals so why should I care about animals?" Fluttershy expressed,hoping she could get through to them.
"If you're really so assertive then why does the Lord of Chaos still spread chaos all the time? You hang out with him, shouldn't you straighten him out?" another voice shouted.
"YEAH!" more voices agreed. Fluttershy's face paled and she gave a deep gulp.
"P-please, I don't see what Discord has to do with this," Fluttershy wondered aloud.
"He still causes chaos does he not?" an unknown voice spoke.
"Yes, but he doesn't bother anypony and he only does it when he needs to. He's the embodiment of chaos, it's in his nature," she defended. Discord smiled at her bravery. He knew she was a shy pony and did not like facing crowds; seeing her defend him made him happy.
"Pleeaase, he's no better than he was when he took over Equestria," a different pony expressed from the crowd. Discord frowned and let his ears droop. He had changed...hadn't he? Fluttershy always said he had.
"How can you say that? Discord has improved so much since then. What proof do you have that he has not and further more what does this have to do with me being assertive?"
"Do you not recall how he behaved at the Gala?" a pony asked. Fluttershy looked down. She realized that he had stepped a bit out of line during the Gala, but he had good...intentions.
"Discord is just learning about friendship!" she protested.
"When did he start learning about friendship?" another pony questioned.
"T-the day that Celestia told me to," she hastily replied.
"Oh really? Then why did he help Tirek take over Equestria if he was satisfied with friendship?"
Fluttershy felt tears start to rise in her eyes.
"It seems you didn't do as good a job as you thought! If you had truly gotten more assertive then why did the Spirit of Chaos, who was under your power, betray you to Lord Tirek?"
Another pony from the crowd answered the question.
"Because you hadn't disciplined him enough! You should've been more assertive with him!"
"It's your fault that he joined Lord Tirek!" another voice shouted.
Fluttershy was on the brink of tears. She bit her lip, thinking that blood might soon appear. She was choking on sobs that had not yet come. How had Discord entered this conversation? Why did the past matter so much? Discord has learned his lesson and so had she.
Fluttershy often blamed herself for Discord's betrayal and now that the past was coming back to light, she felt there was no doubt about it.
If she had tried harder to gain his friendship then he wouldn't have run off with Tirek. It was her fault and she knew it...they knew it.
"Enough," a dark voice echoed throughout the entire crowd, silencing them. All of the ponies turned their heads to find the source, except Fluttershy. She hadn't even heard the voice, too focussed on her own thoughts.
"Who are you and where are you!?" one voice called. A small but dark laughter was heard and all pupils shrank.
There was a bright flash of light as Discord appeared in front of Fluttershy, who was backed up against her door in a crouching position.
"It's him!" a few voices shouted.
"Oh good job, give em a gold star!" Discord stated bitterly and sarcastically. His face was soon etched with anger as he glanced down at Fluttershy who was softly weeping.
He then turned his attention back to the crowd.
"Look what you have done! You have made the kindest, nicest and sweetest mare in all of Equestria cry!"
"It's not our fault she's too sensitive!"
Discord glared at the crowd of ponies with such anger and hatred, something that he had only felt twice before.
Discord rose higher off the ground and soon loomed over the group of ponies. Fluttershy slowly looked up, seeing his back to her and his shadow sweeping her.
"She just so happens to be one of the bravest mares I have ever met," he stated with no trace of sarcasm. "She was given a difficult task not too long ago and that was to reform me, the Lord of Chaos and Disharmony. In the beginning it was a struggle for her and I know because I made sure of it.
"But she still gave me a chance, still saw hope because she is brave, because she is full of light and good. Something that I could never be, and yet she saw it inside of me when I believed it non-existent...Tirek wasn't her fault, it was mine," he turned away from the crowd for a moment to meet Fluttershy's gaze. He continued to speak but he didn't turn around. Discord simply continued to face his kind hearted Fluttershy.
"I don't know if any of you truly know exactly what went down but I was suspended in mid-air along with the other bearers of harmony excluding Twilight. The minute I looked into her eyes...I was filled with regret. She had given me everything but I threw it away...for power..."
"S-so w-would you agree that Fluttershy wasn't strict enough? That she didn't discipline you enough?"
Discord shot a glare towards the mare that spoke.
"No," he stated simply, "My betrayal was my fault and my fault alone. I was greedy, I had and always have been greedy and selfish. She tried her best to teach me to behave myself but up until that moment it seemed I hadn't truly listened," he turned to face Fluttershy and whispered, "I'm sorry."
She gave a teary smile and replied with an "I know."
Discord turned to face the crowd once again and stood tall and defiant.
"Leave! And don't return until you're ready to apologize or have something that's actually useful to say," he paused before growing larger and making his eyes glow, "Or else you'll have to deal with me!" he hissed. The crowd quickly fled, galloping home.
Discord returned to his usual size and appeared before Fluttershy, who was still on the ground.
"Thank you," she said.
"You're quite welcome my dear...and I meant what I said," Discord whispered, suddenly surprised by the hug he received around the neck, but didn't hesitate to return.