Uncertain Love

by Nashie_Floof_Butt

First published

Story is about an alternate universe where fluttershy meet discord a seemingly troubled creature which no pony gets along with but is he truly as bad as he seem.

This story follow our shy Pegasus Fluttershy moving into a new town only to shortly find out that she's falling for Discord the trouble maker but is he as bad as he seem she doesn't think so. Will He show her his true self or would he keep to himself and allow her to be close to him or keep her away for the well being of her life due to the deep secret that Ponyville truly hides. P.S. this story will have violence.

The chain of events that will occur in this story may lead to the demise our character. A forbidden love that no one would accept or understand so what options do they have, Will they hide their true intentions for one another for the safety of one a other or face the consequences of loving one another.

This ideas is base on 1800's-1900's trope and movies such as Grease, Roadhouse and typical bad boy.

This is a collaboration story with geekcat.

Cover art by best friend Eveeka

If you like you can follow Eveeka for more art in the link below.
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and if you like you can follow her fimfiction as well
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If you would like to find out more about the other writer please follow her in the link below.
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If you like what you are reading and are a fan of fluttercord and have ideas why not join our discord server we always welcome new member. :yay:

Anyways I hope you all enjoy the story.

New Beginnings

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“Thank you so much for helping me move Dashie” A yellow Pegasus said as she wore a slight over side shirt with a cute bunny on it and some cute little ripped shorts. She was putting down a box in her new room.

“It's nothing, Shy. Plus, this is a pretty cool place to live in, from what I heard at least.” Dash said, As she put down a box as well.

After a few hours of cleaning and unpacking all of her things, the new house was now all completely organized and gave a nice vibe all around. “Phew, that was a workout. Come on shy I want you to meet the girls,” Dash says, whipping some sweat off her head and waits for her at the door.

“Oh okay I’ll be there… Okay Angel, you be a good boy and enjoy the new house. I'll get you some juicy carrots, okay.” Shy says, looking at the small bunny as he nodded at her and hoped away.

After Angel hops away, Fluttershy walks out, locking the door behind her and looking over at her best friend.

“So are you ready for your new life and new friends, trust me you will like them. They are totally hip.” She says, pulling Shy next to her as they start to walk into town.

“I um I guess so—gulp—” She says as she is still nervous about moving into a new town.

“Come on you’ll be fine I’ll be by your side through the tour of the town if anyone tries to mess with us they will get a can of whoop ass!” Dash said putting her hoof up in the air as a fighting motion.

They both walk into town as many pony walk by each other greeting one another as the place didn't seem so bad after all, It was quite nice and peaceful. That is during the day time. All of those who would come out of town to visit this place didn’t know the true nature of it as everything was well hidden to keep up a good reputation just so more tourists could come to town and be taken advantage of.

But the young yellow Pegasus wasn’t aware of that at the moment. All she could see were the friendly ponies greeting each other in the sunny weather—the town looked perfect and idyllic, not like one that would hold any sort of dark secret.

As they both walked downtown Dash’s friends were all hanging out in the park talking to each other as they were waiting for her.

“What do you think Dash friend is like, oh maybe she is as cool as Dash is?” A pink mare said having her curly hair up in a bun as she is known as Pinkie Pie but her friend always called her pinky for short.

“Well as long as it is not like her last friend she brought by last time” Twilight says as she's a mare with purple and fuchsia highlights as she pushes her glasses up.

“Well I sure hope this friend of hers isn’t like the last one, What was her name again Gilda?” Rarity a white mare with purple wavy hair says to the others.

“I’m sure that her friend ain't as bad as the last one” A country mare known as Applejack said they all kept talking with each other.

Soon enough Dash and Fluttershy got to the park as there were lots of other ponies hanging around or playing games like buck ball.

“ Oh look, it's Dashie! HEY DASHIE WE ARE HERE!” Pinkie yelled waving her hoof to get her attention.

“Hmmm? Oh that sounds like pinkie.” She says turning around to see her friends sitting at a picnic table at the park near a small pond. She walked along with Shy to where the other four mares were sitting.

“ Um, these are your other friends” Fluttershy says as she is a bit nervous about meeting the other mares.

“ Oh come on trust me they will like you Shy they are pretty cool.” Dash said as she walk over to the other girls “Hey you guys” She say

“Howdy sugar cube, I Burgan this is your friend here” AJ says, tilting her hat a bit to greet them both.

“Why hello, It’s quite nice to make your acquaintance.” Twilight say

“I-it's nice to meet you—” Fluttershy says but it soon is interrupted as a pink blur quickly jumps on her.

“ OH MY GOD IT SO NICE TO MEET YOU. I’M PINKIE PIE WHAT YOUR NAME? I BET YOUR COOL YOU HAVE TO BE IF YOUR DASH FRIEND AS WELL” Pinkie says as is she on Fluttershy face. As she's all excited to meet her.

“ Pinky darling watch your manners. I am so sorry about her” Rarity says, lifting Pinkie off Fluttershy using her magic to do so and putting her next to the other girls.

Dash helped fluttershy up from the floor “Sorry about that um she gets really excited when she meets new ponies.” She says rubbing her hoof on the back of her neck.

“O-oh that’s okay” Fluttershy says.

All six of them sat down and started conversing with one another getting to know more about one another. They each were building up a friendship, as this is the first time fluttershy didn’t have to pretend to be some pony else to make friends. These mares like her the way she is so far. They carry on for an hour or so until dash decides to head off and show fluttershy around.

“ Alright I’ll see you girls later gonna show Shy around town” Dash says getting up from the seat.

“Of course darling” Rarity says and all the girls wave goodbye.

“ Bye it was nice meeting you all” Fluttershy says waving bye at them.

Soon the both of them headed into town as Dash showed her around town from Sugarcube corner to town hall.

The view of the town was so mesmerizing, Every pony was happy and they all got along with each other.

“Wow Dashie, this place is great.” Fluttershy says, all excited to be in this lovely town.

“See I told you” She says taking a shortcut to a back alley.

“ Why are you taking this way?”

“Because its a shortcut I take them all the time”

“Ohhh okay so I can take these shortcuts then?” Shy ask

“Of course, anyway I gotta get going so I’ll see you later” Dash says as she spreads her wings and flies off.

Fluttershy was left all alone in town but she didn’t mind it because she felt safe in this place. She decides to explore more of the town by herself and get those carrots she promised Angel.

Before she knew it, the sun started to set. All the ponies in town started to close up shops early and started to head home as the night soon came over the town and the street light where the only thing that lit up the darkness that covered the town.

Fluttershy started to head back home as she carried a little basket of carrot on her back, her hoof step echoing in the silent night of the town. She has decided to take ‘the shortcut’ that Dash has shown her earlier in the day.

“Okay it should be down here?” She says to herself as she takes a left to a back alley as it is mostly darker then the rest of town.

“It's so dark here I can’t see anything” she said it wasn’t long before the darkness of the town made her lose track of where she was. “I have to find Spruce Street...I can get home from there.”

But she didn’t know where that was in relation to the market. She began wandering down the streets, glancing at street signs and taking turns that felt familiar...but she couldn’t find the right street. “Maybe I took the wrong shortcut…?”

There was a rattling sound behind her, and she jumped into the air, startled. A garbage can rolled out of an alleyway...and that was all. She realized with a chill how empty and quiet the streets felt...and that she had even forgotten which way she was heading as she begin to get frightened.

She turned in a circle, her heart pounding. None of the buildings around her looked familiar at all, and it was too dark now to read any of the street signs… “D-did I make a wrong turn?” she said aloud. “I thought I was following Dashie’s path…” She closed her eyes and tried to remember which way her house was…

A glint of light made her head turn, and she saw an alleyway. On the other side, there was another sign, and though she couldn’t read it, she saw an ‘S’. “That must be Spruce!” she said. With a smile, she dashed towards the alleyway...but paused at the threshold.

Something held her back, a feeling of trepidation filling her. She shook her head. “Rainbow said it was okay,” she told herself. “She takes these shortcuts all the time.” With a deep breath, she stepped forward and into the shadows of the alley.

She made it halfway through, and she finally managed to shove that worried feeling to the back of her mind. But then, suddenly, she was surrounded by magic and pulled deeper into the shadows!

She tried to scream, but two hooves clamped down on her muzzle. “Good work,” a stallion’s voice growled. “I didn’t think that flash-of-light trick would work, but you did it.”

She mumbled into the hoof of the stallion that has held her. Her heart beating fast as she was held against her will being over power by them as she was always much weaker and an easy target for anyone.

“Well what do we have here, a pretty new face we have” A pink unicorn with short wavy blue hair approached the stallion that held the young mare.

“Who cares?” the stallion holding her, a grey earth pony. It was too dark to see his cutie mark, or any of his other features. “All that matters now is if she has bits on her.”

“Then search her already,” another stallion said, stepping out of the shadows. “Before we draw any attention.” Two more stallions came out and began frisking her.

She squeaked and tried to squirm away. The pink unicorn used his magic to hold her muzzle shut, so she couldn’t scream. “But she’s really cute, isn’t she?” he said with a nasty grin. “Even if she doesn’t have many bits…”

“We’d find the bits if you would shut up and help us!” someone snapped at him.

The pink unicorn shrugged and moved forward, reaching towards her waist. She screamed, muffled by the magic, and squirmed more, flaring out her wings and beating them. She managed to startle and knock away three of the stallions.

She stumbled on her hooves and backed away, bumping into a cold brick wall before she could get very far. The grey earth stallion growled and stepped towards her, making her cower away.

“Help!” she yelled. He slapped a hoof over her mouth.

“How many times have I told you idiots to hold down their wings if they’re a Pegasus!” he snapped at the others. “Now we have to hurry it up and leave!” He grabbed her dress and began harshly tugging, searching for her purse.

“Just hand it over already!” the pink unicorn yelled when she tried to move it away from them. She shook her head, and the other stallions shushed him, coming closer.

She squirmed, but was unable to move much. The other stallions surrounded her, blocking off any chance of escape she might have had. She was about to give up hope...knowing that they would take everything, and maybe do worse. She couldn’t move or yell for help...it was hopeless.

But then, she heard hoofsteps—ones that didn’t seem to match in sound, somehow, with one more like the clopping of a hoof, the other the clicking of claws. They were fast, and getting louder.

“Jelly!” someone shouted. “Jelly Bucking Beans! You didn’t pay me back yet!”

Everyone froze, and turned to look at the bright pink unicorn. He grinned sheepishly. “You borrowed bits from him!?” one of them hissed.

“I had him do me a favor!” ‘Jelly Beans’ protested. “I didn’t know he would remember!”

“He always remembers!” the leader said, along with a few curse words. Fluttershy whimpered and took a few steps back, pressing even closer against the wall. The leader looked at her. “Okay, mare. Just hand over your purse, and none of us gets hurt.”

She whimpered and shook her head, clutching her purse tightly. “Why, you—!” He raised his hoof into the air, and she flinched, preparing for the blow.

She waited, but it never came. She cracked her eyes open slowly...and gasped at the sight, her eyes widening.

Four of the muggers were battling a creature unlike any she had seen—one with a long, serpentine body of mismatched parts. He wore a black leather jacket, and his mane was slicked back. He swung his fists at the ponies, even flicking a knife towards some of them and making them flinch away.

‘Jelly Beans’ was lying on the ground, his eyes blank and a lump on his head, as slugs and snails climbed out of his ears. The strange creature slammed another mugger against the wall, and he slumped to the ground with his friend, his fur stained with blood and...pasta sauce?

While the creature’s back was turned, the leader whipped out a knife and struck his head from behind. The creature roared, a horrible sound that echoed through the night, and made all of them cover their ears. He snorted and turned around, clutching his forehead as blood spilled from his wound, turning to glare at the ponies.

The leader’s face went pale, and he took a few steps back. The other two swallowed, one of them turning and galloping into the night. With another roar, the creature leapt forward, wrapping himself around the pony who attacked him, biting and scratching in a furious frenzy.

The other pony left tried to leap to his friend’s defense, but was smacked aside by the creature’s tail, knocked over to his fallen friends. He found himself suddenly stuck in a puddle of superglue, and struggled to escape.

The creature then tossed the leader aside like a ragdoll, covered in bites and scratches, all of them bleeding. He scrambled to his hooves, but a growl from the creature caused him to shake like a leaf and fall back to the ground.

“Take your friends,” the creature snarled. “And beat it. I’m going to take my bits, and you’re not going to stop me.” The leader swallowed and backed away as the creature stalked forward, ripping the jacket off of the unconscious Jelly Beans.

He rifled through the pockets, transferring things from it to his own, before tearing it into two halves, his nose wrinkled in disgust. “Cheap guy,” he said. “Barely enough to cover what I did for you.” He tossed the cloth onto his prone body, and stood up on his hind legs, towering over all of them.

“Beat it!” he barked, his tail thrashing. The super glue holding one of them bubbled and dissolved. The trapped pony and the leader leapt to their hooves, each grabbing a fallen friend and dashing off into the night.

The stranger sighed and slumped to the ground, suddenly looking much less threatening. He sighed and massaged a few of his wounds. Fluttershy slowly stepped out of the shadows, and her hoofsteps made him straighten up, his head swiveling to face her.

Fluttershy backed away, frightened. He snorted and looked up at her with a glare, blood streaming down his muzzle. He scowled and wiped it away with his hand, and with a snort, stood up and looked around the area.

Seeing that they had left and weren’t coming back, he sighed and leaned back against the wall, using a ratty, worn handkerchief to dab at his wounds. She gulped, about to run home...but something about him seemed strangely familiar.

She remembered caring for “aggressive” animals in the past—such as feral cats who had gotten into fights. They scratched and bit, even when they were heavily injured and half-starved, and even after she helped them heal, they would leave without giving her a backward glance. But she still refused to ever ignore a creature in need.

The creature, even as scary as he was, was injured. And something inside of her compelled her to help. So with a gulp, she slowly approached.

His head snapped up, and he glared at her. “Whadda you want?” he snapped. “Beat it, mare. You’re in Iron Will’s turf. And he doesn’t take kindly to wanderers at night.”

She took an involuntary step back, but swallowed again and steeled her courage. “You...you saved me,” she said.

He scoffed. “Please. It was just a coincidence. I was going to fight them anyway.” He scowled. “They hit harder than last time…”

She frowned, seeing now just how badly he was hurt. There were bruises forming in several places along his head, neck, and arms. There was a deep gash on his forehead, where most of the blood was spilling from, and his nose and lips were bloody.

“I...I’m good at first aid,” she said. “Whether you meant to or not...you saved my life.” She stepped a little closer, but stopped when he backed a foot away. “Please...I can help you.”

He scowled at her, and she could feel her legs trembling. Her wings shivered, her instincts telling her to run or fly away, to forget about him. But she was determined to help him...even if she was bitten in the end.

His glowing eyes appraised her, scanning up and down her body. Finally, he stood up straight. “Fine,” he said. “Treat me or whatever.” He frowned and tucked his hand into his jacket. “But if this is some kind of trap...you’ll regret it.”

“No traps,” she said. “But, um...to treat you, I’ll have to bring you to my house.” She hesitated, and he kept staring at her. “Oh! It’s, um, this way.” She walked down the alley, and he rolled his eyes and followed her.

She stopped at a street sign, squinting to read it in the dark. “We’re on Sycamore,” he said from behind her. “Does that tell you anything?”

“Oh...I thought this was Spruce,” she said, her ears lowering. He rolled his eyes and pointed east.

“Spruce’s that way,” he said. “I suppose that’s the direction we’re supposed to go in?” She nodded, and he started marching in that direction, slipping his hands into his pockets. She noticed that he was limping slightly.

She hurried up to his side, flying up to attempt to support him. He flinched and recoiled, giving her a mistrustful look. “I just...you’re limping,” she says. “If you keep putting pressure on that foot, you’ll only hurt it more.”

He gave her a suspicious look. “Please?” she said. “We might be able to get to my house faster, too…”

Still with a suspicious look, he finally relented. He threw his arm over her withers and leaned against her. She wobbled a bit at his sudden weight, making him roll his eyes. But after a few moments of fluttering, she righted herself and continued forward.

They continued down the dark streets in silence, maybe only a little faster. She was just grateful that his injured leg wouldn’t be hurt any further. After a minute or so, he finally spoke up.

“Those guys are greedy,” he said. “Why didn’t you just hand over your purse and leave?” He grunted. “Unless you’re one of those ponies who thinks that their money is more valuable than their life…”

“I...I would have given them the bits,” she said. “But...there was a picture of my mother in my purse…”

He didn’t question her any further as he rolled his eyes “Look I’ll do ya a favor just this time I’ll help you out at night time...since clearly you're new to this place… and because you kind of did me a favor.” he say.

“ I did a favor?” She says looking up at him as she has a slightly better view of the creature before her, his long face with a long white beard and slick black mane. His horns, and other parts of his body, were different, but somehow she wasn’t really scared of him even with his odd appearance.

“ If you wouldn’t have refused to give your purse up I wouldn’t have found that prick, he's been hiding from me for sometime” He says and continues walking.

As they both walk along each other as the street light illuminates the street around them. She was confused a few times, but he just rolled his eyes and told her where the street she wanted was.

Eventually, they made it to her home. She dug through her purse for the key and unlocked the door, ushering the stranger inside. He limped his way inside. “Please, take a seat on the couch,” she said. “There’s no one home right now.” She didn’t have to worry about any of her family members coming in and seeing this strange creature in their home. Zephyr, her younger brother, was out with his friends in town until his bed was set up, and her dad was at their old house, making sure they had gotten everything.

She placed an ice pack against his injured lizard ankle, causing him to hiss. “Sorry,” she said. “It’s just strained, but it needs to be cooled to get better faster.” She tucked a pillow under his foot, and the ice pack fell off. “Um, could you hold that in place, please?”

He grumbled, but his tail lifted and pressed the pack against his ankle.

“I can’t believe something like this would happen,” she said as she began unpacking her first aid kit. “This town is supposed to be nice.” The stranger barked a laugh, making her jump and look up at him.

“They fed you that line about Ponyville being peaceful, huh?” he said. “Well, them guys conveniently forget to mention that the peace? The harmony? That’s only during the day. This place becomes a whole new town at night, and it ain’t pretty.”

She shivered. “What...what do you mean?”

He laughed. “Low crime rates, and affordable housing? Get real. The only reason it’s so cheap is ‘cause all the crime comes out at night.” He saw her confusion, and continued, “Gangs. Turf wars. Street fights, robbery. You name it, something criminal has happened here in this town. Heck, it’s probably happening right now!”

She swallowed, almost dropping the cotton ball. "But...everything looks so nice during the day...wouldn’t there be some sign of all that happening?”

“The town covers it up,” he said. “I hope your parents bought insurance on all their stuff, ‘cause they’re gonna need it. Oh, and all the gangs, the criminals? Vanish into thin air during the day.”

“H-how is that possible?”

“They either lay low, or they put on their civilian masks and go about their day like they didn’t just smash their neighbor’s windows the night before,” he said.

“Is...is everyone in town...in a gang?” she said, finally putting alcohol onto the cotton with shaking hooves.

“Nah,” he said. “Just some. Most of ‘em come from outside town, anyway. And not everyone who roams the night streets is a gangster.” He flinched and growled as she dabbed at his forehead. “Suns, that bucking stings!”

She bit down the chastising remark she almost made, and kept dabbing at his gash. “I know,” she said. “But this is important, to keep it from being infected.”

“I’m pretty sure the bucking infection would hurt less!” he snapped, smacking away her hoof.

“The infection is more dangerous!” she said. “If some bacteria got into your bloodstream, it could travel to your eye, or even to your brain! You could get very sick, you could go blind in one eye, you could even—” She stopped and swallowed, cutting herself off.

“Yeah Die but I haven’t…why are you even—Bucking agh take it easy now will ya” He said as she started to clean some of his neck wound.

“ I’m sorry they are pretty nasty wounds and you squirm around so much… It's kind of hard to clean them, and I’m helping because it's the right thing to do. You did help me even if it wasn’t intentional” She says slowly wrapping the bandages around his neck.

“ I see…” He says as soon an awkward silence fills the living room.

“Um my name is Fluttershy by the way” she says moving her mane behind her ear.

He just sat there quietly not saying much of anything as he cleaned his wound. She is still trying to make small talk as she continues to help him.

“So, um...what are you?” she asked. His head snapped up. “I-it’s just, I’ve never seen any creature like you before…”

“A draconequus,” he said. “Don’t worry about pronouncing it right; no one can.” He glanced away again, seeming bored with this topic already.

She searched the drawers for any other bandages, but she could only find the one box. With a frown, she grabbed the box and brought it over to him, setting it down in front of him.

As she expected, his eyes narrowed distastefully at the pattern of pink bunnies. “Oh, no,” he said. “Don’t you bucking dare put one of those on me. I’d rather face the infection!”

“No, you wouldn’t,” she said, trying to sound stern even as her back legs shook. “And these are all I have, so you’ll have to deal with them!” Before he could protest, she quickly pulled one out of the box and tore off the back, sticking it on his cheek.

He growled and scratched at it, and she quickly grabbed onto his wrist. He stared at her with piercing eyes, and she quickly let go and stepped back. “I...don’t do that,” she said. “Please.”

“It’s only a little scratch!” he said. “What’s wrong with leaving it uncovered!”

“It could get infected...and maybe scar up,” she said. His eyes gleamed, and he grinned.

“That doesn’t sound so bad,” he said, reaching up again. “Scars are cool...it means I’ve been through stuff.”

“It is not good to walk around with scars all over…” She says and pauses for a moment thinking of how to convince someone like him to keep the bandage on and then it hit her. She remembers that some animals would attack those that are wounded because they are the weakest of the pack.

“You know if you have scars all over that will make others think you're the weak one and they may hit those spots again knowing that they can bring you down if they hit you there” She says and looks up to him.

His ears perk up a little almost as if she got his attention which luckily did manage to do.

“What do you mean makes me seem weak, no one think that.” He says growling ever so slightly.

“ With all these scars it no surprise that everyone picks a fight with you” She replied

“ Well I can’t have them see me as the weak one I guess I’ll have to have her around to heal me so others don’t mess with me” He said to himself gently stroking his goatee.

“Alright then I’ll stay still and let you help me” He said to her. She smiled brightly at him, cleaning his next wound. “But can you not use such...frilly bandages? If anything will make me seem weak, it’s them.”

“...I can try,” she said. “These are the only Band-Aids that I have...but the actual bandages are just a plain white.”

He grunted and leaned back against the couch, closing his eyes as she continued cleaning and bandaging his wounds. Once the deepest cuts were cleaned and cared for, she moved on to his bruises, dabbing on a bit of cream that would hopefully numb them for a while.

The last thing left was his dragon leg. She inspected his ankle, though he growled and grumbled about it. “I think it’s just sprained, thankfully,” she said. “No breaks.”

“Joy of joys,” he said, rolling his eyes. “Does that mean you’re going to quit fussing over it?”

“Well…” She frowned. “I’m going to just...wrap it up a little, so that you won’t pull your muscles the wrong way and cause more damage.”

“Fantastic,” he said, crossing his arms.

She stared at his ankle for several minutes, trying to figure out the best way to do this. But after some time, she began wrapping bandages tightly around it, tying it off firmly once she was sure it was as best as it could be.

“Now, try to keep your weight off it as much as possible,” she said as he poked at the new bandages. “Keep it elevated when you’re resting, and if it feels sore, put an ice pack or frozen peas on it again.”

“ That seems simple enough…. Do you live here by yourself.” He asked as he put an ice pack on his ankle.

“ Well I live with my family…. My dad and younger brother” She say as she put away her first aid kit

He looked at her a bit worried that he would be seen by her family. He already has a bad rap as it is; he didn’t need a new rumor going around that he's messing with a Pegasus that just moved into town not that long. “Well that's great I should get going” He says getting up and groans slightly.

“ Oh be careful, just try to relax for a few minutes.” She says trying to keep him down on the couch.

“ No no… I have to leave right now” He says.

“Wait, just be careful….” She said as he snapped his finger and disappeared into thin air.

She blinked, a bit startled by his sudden disappearance. Once she had recovered, she already found herself missing and worrying about him. She sighed as she hoped that one day she would see him again, she wanted to learn more about him.

Friend or Foe?

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It had been two days since Fluttershy had been saved by the strange draconequus. She hadn’t seen any sign of him since, though she kept an eye out whenever she was out with her friends...though thankfully, she didn’t see any sign of those muggers from that night, either.

Though to be fair...she had stayed huddled in her house for most of the past two days, with only a few brief visits to town with her new friends. She still felt wary, even as part of a group, and in broad daylight...though the others’ confidence and relaxed nature in the town made her feel better.

After another brief tour of town, led by Rainbow (and without alleyway shortcuts, at Fluttershy’s request), the sun was high in the sky, and both pegasi’s stomachs were growling.

“Oh, man,” Rainbow said. “Normally I’d treat you to Sugarcube Corner, and we could see Pinkie, but you have got to try one of my favorite restaurants in town!” She raced forward, and Fluttershy panted as she tried to keep up.

“Hayburger Shack!” Rainbow said proudly, screeching to a halt in front of a small fast food restaurant.

Both mare headed inside and over to the counter of the restaurant, the interior felt warm and inviting as on the walls there was picture of famous pony folk like ‘Elvis Prosley’, ‘Marilyn Mareroe’, ‘Mustang Jackson’ and so many more that fluttershy wasn’t aware off it was quite lovely that the place was decorated as such. They pass by wine red tables full of pony eating hay burgers and drinking pop.

As they both made it to the counter they were greeted by a griffon, her fur and feather were a coat of purple mix with white highlights. This was the first time fluttershy had seen a griffon in person.

“Hello I’m Selene, how can I help you today” She said looking at the mare and giving them a smile.

“I'll have the hay burger combo and I like fizzy pop for a drink” Dash say

“Okay and what will you like?” Selene said as fluttershy looked at the menu.

“I will have the same with large fries, and um vanilla milkshake please” Fluttershy said

“Alright coming right up” she said. She turned around and yelled for a pony that was cooking “Hey Yamal, two hay burger meals now!”

“ Yeah yeah” The pony in the back said

“It will be ten bit” She said as Dash paid for the food they ordered.

“ Oh here Dash” Fluttershy said, trying to give Dash money.

“ Hey don’t worry about this one on me you can do the next one” Dash says as they soon get their food and decide to sit next to the window to eat their meals.

The bell that was on top of the entrance door rang as someone entered; all the pony in the restaurant looked over at the creature that entered. Fluttershy didn’t look up, nibbling on her hayburger, though Rainbow did...her face morphing into a grimace.

“Oh, great,” Rainbow said with a growl. “It’s him.” She was glaring at somepony at was at the counter.

Curiously, Fluttershy turned and looked...and her heart leapt when she saw the strange draconequus. He wore the same jacket, his thick black mane was still slicked back...and he was still wearing the bandages. He was currently leaning over the counter and ordering something, though the cashier didn’t look pleased that he was there.

“I can’t believe he comes here,” Rainbow says. “One more place I like that I gotta think twice before coming to…” She grumbled and took a large bite out of her hayburger. The stranger finished ordering and leaned his back against the wall, pulling a candy cane out of his pocket.

Fluttershy froze. She had considered approaching him, but with the way Rainbow reacted… “Who is he?” she asked.

“That’s Discord,” Rainbow said in a hushed voice. “Whatever you do—don’t go near him. Ever.”

The stranger—Discord—was still leaned casually against the wall, taking a drag on his candy cane and blowing out a puff of pink cotton candy. “Why not?” Fluttershy asked.

“He’s dangerous,” Rainbow growled. “Do you know what he’s done?” Fluttershy innocently shook her head, making Rainbow pause. “He...well, he’s hurt a lot of ponies!”

“...bad ponies?” Fluttershy said quietly, remembering the muggers.

Any ponies,” Rainbow growled. “Any ponies who mess with him, or look at him funny, or who are just...standing near him when he’s having a bad day!” She looked at Fluttershy, who was now shivering at this new information. “Hey, just...stay away from him and you’ll be fine,” she said. “And if he tries to go after you, I’ll teach him a lesson!”

Fluttershy gulped, staring at Discord. He didn’t seem to be paying attention to them, instead taking long, slow drags of his candy cane. He glanced at the counter, tapping his foot impatiently.

A group of stallions at another table was snickering, all of them nudging each other and whispering, pointing at Discord. Rainbow rolled her eyes, casting one last glare at Discord before digging into her hayburger.

“Hey, Discord!” somepony—one of the stallions— shouted. “Where’d you get that bandage? Your mommy?” He and his group of friends laughed loudly, pointing at Discord.

Discord abruptly stood up and marched towards them, biting down on the candy cane and breaking it. The ponies stopped laughing, and all but the one who had spoken up fled the area. “What was that?” Discord said in a low growl, placing a paw on the pony’s shoulder.

“Um...just complimenting your bandage!” he said, dripping with sweat.

“Funny,” Discord said. “It sounded like an insult to me.” And before Fluttershy knew it, the pony was laying on the floor several feet away, clutching his gut and coughing up rainbow yarn. His chair and table were overturned, all of the group’s items strewn on the floor.

“Hey!” the security guard yelled. “That’s it, Discord! You’re under arrest this time!” Discord just rolled his eyes and snapped his fingers, disappearing in a flash of light. Out of the corner of her eye, Fluttershy saw a few burgers and fries disappear with a flash of light.

“That’s why you don’t go near him,” Rainbow said. “Just look at that poor guy.” She pointed to the stallion, who was still moaning on the floor, a bruise forming on his gut, strands of yarn still stuck to his lips.

“Well…” Fluttershy said, “It wasn’t very nice to them to insult him...when he’s injured…”

Rainbow scoffed. “Don’t pity him,” she said. “He picks fights all the time, so he’s always got some injury or another. And if anyone messes with him...well, that’s one of the minor things that can happen.” She pointed again to the stallion.

Fluttershy swallowed. “Have...have you ever fought him?” she asked.

“Nah,” Rainbow said. “But I think he got into a scuffle with Applejack’s brother one time. Something about him loitering around the farm and helping himself to some cider.” She frowned. “They were pretty evenly matched...which is saying something. Have you seen Big Mac?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “Oh, yeah,” Rainbow said, rubbing the back of her head. “Well, he’s built like a house. And that skinny noodle still gave him the fight of his life!”

Fluttershy looked over at the where the draconequus had been standing, still wondering why he would be the way he is and why no one wanted anything to do with him. She knew deep down she knew that he couldn’t be as bad as everyone makes him out to be.

She was determined to get to know him better to get close to him and maybe be his friend.

“Uh...Shy?” Rainbow said, jolting her out of her thoughts. Fluttershy panicked for a moment, wondering if her thoughts were clear on her face. “Are you going to eat those fries?”

Fluttershy blinked, looking between her friend and her food. “Take them,” she said, pushing the fries closer to Rainbow who was almost done with her food already.

Rainbow thanked her and dug into the meal, while Fluttershy nibbled on her own hayburger. She couldn’t get her mind off of Discord, and of her new goal—to befriend him and find out more about him.

She and Rainbow had parted ways after lunch—Rainbow to work on the weather, Fluttershy to set up more things in her house.

Fluttershy stayed busy the next few days—from settling in with her dad and brother, to meeting and befriending as many animal creatures as she could. She didn’t have time to go out and look for Discord.

But finally, everything in their new house was just right. Her dad went out to meet with Rainbow’s dad, while her brother headed off to a ‘study session’. She wandered in their yard for a while, feeling a bit bored without any work to do.

One of her bird friends told her about a nice park nearby...though they mentioned that a strange creature sometimes hung around the area. Fluttershy was immediately intrigued, and once she had directions, she galloped towards the park.

It was a very large area, filled with open, grassy areas and spotted with trees. There were a few ponies wandering around, but the park was mostly empty, aside from the animals living here.

She felt at home already.

Still, as tempting as it was to just wander around and make new animal friends, she had come here with another goal in mind. She wandered through the park—but with purpose, scanning the area for a draconequus.

It took her several minutes, but she eventually spotted him. He was standing on all fours, peering into one of the smaller ponds in the park. She slowly approached him, the thick grass muffling her hoofsteps. He didn’t seem to notice her presence at all.

“Um...hi,” she said. He flinched and jolted forward, almost falling into the pond. “What are you doing?”

“Looking in the pond,” he said as if it were obvious. “There’s been rumors that someone hid something down there...or lost it. No one’s really sure.”

“What did they lose?” she asked.

“Don’t know,” he said. “I was just curious what everyone was getting so worked up about.” He sighed and stood up, stretching. “A load of nothing, apparently. Nothing but mud and rocks.” He glared at her. “Did you want something?”

“I just....wanted to thank you again for saving me,” she said, scuffing her hoof on the ground.

“Don’t mention it,” he said. “Really. Don’t. I don’t want my reputation to change, like I’m some...some kind of vigilante!”

“What’s wrong with that?” she asked, tilting her head. “Maybe ponies would think you were good, and—”

“And all the gangs would see me as weak,” he said. “Then at least one of them would try to get the jump on me, to ‘convince’ me to use my magic for them.” He snapped his fingers and created a large purple stone, which he threw into the water. The rock bounced on the surface of the water several times before sinking to the bottom.

“Oh…” she said. They stood in awkward silence for a few moments. “Um...how are you feeling? Are your injuries healing well?”

He shrugged. “Well enough, I guess. They don’t hurt.”

“How many times have you changed your bandages?” she asked. He just tilted his head at her. “...have you changed your bandages?”

He shook his head. “Why should I?” he said. “The old ones are doing an okay job of soaking up blood, aren’t they?”

“Well...the bandage is also to keep your wounds from being infected,” she said. “And you’re supposed to change them if they get wet or dirty…”

He rolled his eyes. “And if I don’t know how to change them? Just rip them off and let nature decide what happens?”

“No!” she said. “I can change them for you! But don’t take them off until they’re fully healed!”

“ Please let me help you. I promise no pony will find out I just don’t want your wound to get infected because if they do you will have to go to the hospital and then—” She said

He growled under his breath “Fine you can help but don’t put on any more girly bandages it makes me look like an idiot and I don't need that.” He says crossing his arms.

She looked at him and gave him a warm smile “Of course I’ll do that if you like, it's just that what I had in hoof at the moment.” She said.

“ Why are you like that?” He said not looking at her as he stared down at his reflection in the water touching his face.

“ What do you mean?” She asks tilting her head to the side as she tries to make some sort of eye contact with him.

“ You’re too nice, You won’t make it long in this town. Everyone's gonna take advantage of that, you know that right.” He says, turning his head to look at her.

“ But If they weren’t nice ponies then there wouldn’t be nice things to enjoy. The place would be run by chaos.” She says.

“ You're so naive as well.” He says taking a candy cane and putting it into his mouth.

“How do you do that?” she asked as he puffed out a tendril of cotton candy. “And isn’t it...unhealthy? To smoke it?”

“Magic,” he said, pulling out the candy cane and blowing out a cloud in the shape of a sparkling wand. “And as for healthy...do I look like I care about that?”

She had to admit that no, it didn’t look like he cared about that.

“But why wouldn’t you be worried about that?” she asked. “Your health is important, and smoking could lower your lifespan!”

He barked out a single laugh. “Please,” he said. “Smoking a little sugar is one of the least dangerous activities I do.” He took a long drag on the candy cane, and then blew out another image—a familiar one of him battling off four different ponies.

She frowned, and scuffed the ground with her hoof. “I…” she swallowed. “Can I change your bandages now?”

He frowned. “Well, I don’t have any plans for today,” he said. “But...nothing cutesy this time. Or I will walk out and just deal with the infections and scars or whatever.”

“I...I can buy some plain ones today,” she said. “But we’ll have to go back to my house again…”

He shrugged. “Sounds okay enough to me.”

The two of them head over to a nearby pharmacy as the ponies there quickly look over at the door as it opens up; they see the draconequus walk alongside the pegasus. As everypony looked at him oddly.

“ What are you all looking at?” He asks them as they quickly turn their faces to the other way.

Fluttershy quietly walks over to one of the allies and tries to find bandages.
“ Mmm they should be near here right.” She says looking up and down the shelf.

It was only a few minutes being in the store and a commotion had started between discord and another colt in the store.

“ Wow who's the mare you got with you finally got yourself a mommy to clean up after you…” He paused. “Actually...I recognize that mare.” A male pegasus with long blonde hair covering his eyes as his mare friend giggled a bit.

“ I didn’t know you hanging out with the creep over there, I thought you were a loner finally got yourself someone looney enough to be with you” He said.

Discord wrinkles his nose in disgust. “Says the colt that switches marefriends more often then switching outfits,” Discord said to him looking down.

The colt looked at him in shock but then anger fuelled him quickly as he threw a hoof over at discord to hit him but it was stopped as discord had grabbed it with his lion paw and pushed him away.

“Look for once I’m just trying to get something so why don’t you and your little skank friend move along now.” He says as he snaps his finger and a comb appears as he uses it to brush his mane.

Fluttershy ears perked up hearing the familiar voice of a colt as the commotion continued in the background. She peeks her head around the corner seeing the pegasus “Jeremy Mcalan” she whispers to herself softly as this was someone she had a small crush on a few years ago.

This was a huge mistake of her falling for someone like him when he found out she liked him. He spread rumors about her, how she was a crazy girl that was obsessed with him. one of the reasons why she moved away.

“ Oh you really think I’d like some freak that talks to animals all day and doesn’t have a single friend” he says laughing in her face.

“ eww she just a weirdo”

“She been spying on you too”

Her tear ran down her cheek feeling heart broken from those hurtful words that have pierced her heart like a knife and from that day on she swore she would never let herself forget and promise she wouldn’t fall for anyone else.

But before she could think more about it. Crash

“ Look here you punk I don’t very much like your tone so I'd suggest you buck off!” Discord says as he had Jeremy pin against one of the shelves of the store and holding the mare's friend back with his tail.

Fluttershy gasp slightly seeing the confrontation. “D-discord, please” she say

He looked over at her as he still held the colt against the shelves, his expression filled with anger.

“ I-I have the bandages” she say

He rolled his eyes letting go of the colt as his body slid down the shelves and he pushed the mare friend off across the store.

He cuffed looking the other way “Good let get out of here” He said pushing others to the side as he walked to the door as everyone looked at shy as she smiled awkwardly paying for the bandages and then quickly ran off.

“ So that stallion is an acquaintance of yours or something?” Discord asked, putting his hand in his pocket as he walked alongside her.

“W-what n-no I-I never even seen him before” She stutters nervously.

“Well he seems to know you” He replies as they both walk out of the store after fluttershy pays for the bandage.

She frowned, scuffing the ground with her hoof. “I...I may have known him from flight school,” she admitted. “He was a few levels ahead of me. I used to have a crush on him back then. But…” She trailed off, biting her lip.

“But?” he said.

“...he started spreading rumors about me when he found out,” she said, her ears flattening against her head. “It made the bullying worse...the last time I saw him was when he graduated...the rumors still stayed for months after he left, though.” Her lip wobbled, and she felt a cold prickling in her eyes. “I can’t believe...he’s doing so well…”

“He’s not,” Discord said bluntly. “And not just because I gave him some bruises.” He held up his paw and began to count off on his fingers. “He’s a deadbeat without a job, last time I checked he has at least three ex’s who are peeved at him, and like I said back there, he changes marefriends more often than his clothes.” He smirked. “Might be why he has so many peeved ex’s.”

She couldn’t help but snicker a little, wiping her eyes with a hoof. “How do you know all that?” she asked, still giggling a little.

“ I know quite a lot of other pony I have been here a long time” He replied to her as they continued to walk down the street.

“Last time I saw him, he was with a blue unicorn mare,” he said. “The time before that, it was a cream pegasus...pretty clear what’s going on. Not to mention all the guys and gals who mock him behind his back.”

“Oh…” she said. “Do...ponies make fun of him a lot?”

“He’s a joke, so yeah,” he said, pulling out a candy cane and lighting it.

Her ears lowered again. “That...that isn’t very nice,” she said. “I know he isn’t a nice pony, but...maybe he could be better if someone gave him a chance?”

He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose as he blew out a cloud of cotton candy. “Dear chaos,” he said. “You’re way too naive for this town...didn’t him spreading rumors teach you anything?” He paused. “What were the rumors about, anyway?”

“Um...nothing,” she said. “Just...mocking me for liking him, and spreading lies…” She swallowed. “And I...did learn something. I made a vow to myself...to not give my heart away like that again...”

He grunted. “Could still stand to learn a few things,” he said. “But I guess that vow’s a good start.” He scratched the back of his neck. “But, uh...I guess I’m glad I roughed him up. Can that count as repaying a favor to you?”

She swallowed. “I, um...I don’t think you beating up ponies really is a good way to repay favors…” she said.

“Even if they talk like that?” he said, his lip curling back into a snarl. “I didn’t like the way he spoke about you...it felt unusually satisfying to drive my fist into his—!” He noticed her shivered, her ears drooping, and stuffed his paw into his jacket pocket. “Whatever. Are we going back to your place so you can bandage me up?”

“Oh um y-yeah let's head back” She says, rubbing her hoof a bit as she looked down at the ground for a moment then looked back up as he was already heading down the street.

“Are you coming or what?” he says as he pauses in the middle of the road, waiting for her.

Her ears perk up and quickly walked forward to catch up with him.

He rolls his eyes and follows her behind walking to her cottage now that it was morning he could see the place a bit better to his surprise her place looks nice from the outside at least better then his old place for sure.

All of the animals ran outside of the cottage enjoying their day as both of them headed inside and are yet again in the living room It still looked the same to him but for some reasoning this time it felt more welcoming.

He sat down on the green sofa as a bunny jump off it a bit upset at it wasn’t taken’t notice that it was there before this creature came along.

“ Okay here let me take a look at those bandages” She says as she slowly reaches over and takes his bandages off slowly.

She slowly unwraps the bandages off his neck as the wounds are somewhat deep but thankfully not bleeding anymore.

He stays calm letting her do her job.

“ So um are you the only draconequus ?” She says.

“ Well yeah as far as I know, why do you ask?” He said as he scratched behind his ear a bit.

“ I never seen any other creature like you” She says cleaning his wound as he stays still as it doesn’t sting as much as before.

“ Yeah sorta the only one left I think” He says tapping his fingers on the arm rest.

“ So are you an endangered species?” She asked and realised how rude that sounded.
“ I-I didn’t mean to offend or anything”

“ It's fine and no I’m not an endangered species, I’m just the only one that all” He says to her.

She nods and starts to take off all the old bandages off his body as the wound are slightly better than yesterday.

“ Seems you like animals” He says as he looks around as the animals walk around.

“ oh yeah I talk to them” She reply

“And you understand what they say back to you or are you just talking to them because?”

“ Well yes I do understand them” She says as she wraps the clean bandages around his wound.

“ Oh well what do they say?” He ask

“Some talk about their day and family….” She then got cut off in the middle of the conversation.

“Why are you really doing this for, why are you helping me?” He ask

“ I just don’t like seeing others hurt… I want to help you… I don’t want to sit there and do nothing” She says, looking at all the parts she has bandaged up.

He taps his claw on the arm rest.

“ I don’t really want anything in return” She said and paused for a moment thinking of what to say. “I want to help others as best I can” She spoke softly once more as she got up and headed over to the kitchen.

He sat there silently and watched her walk away from the room where they both where as her hoof step can only be heard from the distance for a moment it goes silent and then they start up again as she returns to the room with a tray of chocolate chip cookies.

“ Here you can have one if you like too of course” She said.

He grabs one of the cookies, sniffing it before he eats the chocolate chip first.

He looked at her as he started to tear at the bandage off his arm. “Do you always get so excited to clean injuries?” he said snarkily.

She frowned a little. “I...don’t like to see anypony injured,” she said. “But I’m always happy to help.”

“Not a lot of ponies do that anymore,” he said. He stared at her for a few seconds, then scoffed and began to rip off some of the other bandages. “Go on, do the thing you want.”

“O-okay,” she said. She opened the first aid kit and pulled out a bottle of antiseptic. “This...this might sting a bit. Again.”

“It can’t sting that bad,” he said, looking between her and the bottle...though he did eye the bottle warily as she poured a bit of the liquid onto a cotton ball.

“...it’s not going to be any better than last time,” she said quickly and quietly. Before he could protest, she dabbed the antiseptic-soaked cotton ball onto one of his cuts on his arm.

“MOTHER OF CELESTIA!” he yelled. He gripped the armrest of the couch, baring his fangs as he felt the antiseptic sting his wound.

She flinched, gasping a bit at his language. “Please, calm down! It won’t hurt as much if you stay still!”

“Stay still? Why? It stings!” he yelped. He glared at his wound, and blew on it as though it would make the stinging go away. “What even is that poison? Is it supposed to sting this badly?”

“It’s an antiseptic,” she explained. “Not a poison. It kills any germs that are in your wounds and don’t blow on the wound. You'll spread more bacteria ...I’m going to bandage this really quick, okay?” She began wrapping a clean white bandage around his wound. He sighed, holding his arm out a bit to make it easier for her.

“Done!” she said cheerfully, tying her handiwork off in a small bow. “Okay...which one would you like me to clean next?”

“I guess my neck,” he said. He unraveled the bandage there, and she quickly bit her lip. While the cut was shallow, it looked worse than the other wounds...the skin around it was an angry red, and it was bruised.

She prepared another cotton ball, and he watched her. “Why do you like to help, anyway?” he asked.

“I...just don’t like to see any creature in pain,” she said, dabbing the cotton ball on his neck wound. “I want to help creatures however I can.”

“But—” He growled at the sting on the antiseptic. “I don’t see you getting any benefits from doing this.” He gripped the armrest, his claws starting to dig into it.

“Well...no. Not really,” she said. “But still, I can’t just...do nothing.” She finished a thorough cleaning of his neck wound and began to wrap bandages around it.

“Others here seem to be okay with doing nothing,” he said. He lifted his head up high, making it easier for her to wrap the bandage.

“That doesn’t make it right,” she said, tying it off. “There...now, it should just be your cheek left, right?”

“Well...not a lot of folks here want to deal with anything besides themselves,” he said. He turned his face so his cheek was facing her, though he still watched her from the corner of his eye.

She reached up and gripped the bandaid. Her touch was soft and light against his cheek. “Well...I guess I’m different from a lot of other folks,” she said quietly, slowly peeling it away from his skin.

“I suppose that’s true,” he said with a sigh, closing his eyes. “From what I’ve seen from you so far, anyway.” She tosses out the used cotton balls and then grabs new ones.

She had to admit that cleaning up the wound was quite a hassle especially with a creature such as himself. His action made her think that he really didn’t trust anyone. She feels somewhat lucky that she is able to help him even if it seems that he doesn’t want any help.

“These are really good,” he said, nibbling on the cookie. She dabbed the antiseptic on his cheek, and he hissed, his hand quickly flying up to cover his wound.

“Ah, don’t touch it!” she said. “You’ll get germs from your hoof, er, hand on your cut!”

“It really stings there,” he grumbled.

“If you touch it, I’ll have to clean it again. Just...hold still for a second,” she said. She reached up with the cotton ball again, waiting for him to remove his hand.

“...fine,” he said, reluctantly letting his hand drop. “Just make it quick.”

She nodded and quickly dabbed at the cut, then quickly placed a bandaid over it. “Done!”

He blinked, gingerly touching his cheek. “Um...tanks you,” he said, staring at her. “That’s how you say it, right?”

She giggled a bit. “Thank you,” she gently corrected. “And...you’re welcome. I’m just glad I could spend more time with—helping you!” She didn’t want to yet reveal her plan to get to know him...who knew how he would react to that?

“Yeah...um,” he said. He drummed his fingers against his knee, then took another cookie.

“So…” She tapped her hooves together nervously as he munched on the cookie. “You’re a...draconequus,” she says. “And you seem to be well-known in town…” He raised an eyebrow at that. “My friend knew who you were...she told me your name.”

“Seems your friend likes sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong,” he said, finishing off the cookie. He snapped his fingers and created a candy cane. “But yes, I am a draconequus, as we have discussed, and everyone in town knows my name...now including you.”

“I’ve never heard of a creature like you before,” she said, avoiding looking him in the eyes.

He shrugged, a small fire igniting on the tip of his finger. “Ponies don’t exactly want to advertise that I’m here,” he said. “Kind of makes their ‘peaceful perfect town’ image look like even more of a facade.”

“I’ve never...seen or heard of a creature like you before,” she said. “Where are you from?”

He paused, lighting the candy cane and putting it in his mouth. “I used to live in Canterlot,” he said. He took a long, slow drag off the candy cane.

“What was it like?” she asked. She frowned, watching as blue cotton candy escaped from his lips. “And...do you have to smoke that in here?”

With a sigh and a roll of his eyes, he wrapped his tongue around the candy cane and swallowed it whole. “It wasn’t that great,” he said. “Just a bunch of snooty ponies who thought they were better than anyone else.”

“ Oh I see…. Is everything there like that?” She asked

“It's a nice place if you're rich and like to treat others like they are trash then yes it most certainly is” He said turning his face away from her and gave a small sigh “It’s one of the reasons why I moved away.”

“When did you move? And why did you choose to come here?” She asked, tilting her head to the side as she looked at him curiously.

“It was quite a long time ago and I didn’t really have much of a choice”

“Why, did something happen?” she ask as she put away her first aid kid

“It seems you move here recently” He says avoiding the question she had asked as he didn’t really feel like talking about the subject.

Fluttershy noticed his sudden change of topic but didn’t bother him on the subject matter. “Yeah we did….we actually moved in the night we met.”

“ I see you still have some things to organize so I’ll leave you to it” He said getting off the couch and sliding his hand into his pocket.

“Yeah….” She says and looks at him as her ears perk up “Wait are…..are you leaving already?”

“Well yes this is what we came here to do isn’t it? Or do you want a favor for helping out?” He asked and looked down at her.

“ Oh no, of course not, it just….” she said and looked away. "I was...hoping we could talk for a bit...I want to know more about you."

“ Why are you so interested in someone like me?” He asked as he looked at her a bit suspiciously.

"Well..." she says. "I just can't help but...want to know more about you. I've never seen a creature like you before, and...even if you're unhappy and odd, you still let me clean your wounds, and you saved me from those..." She shivers. "I just...want to know who you are..."

He sighed as he looked away for a moment not knowing her much except that she seem to be a mare of never giving up on much he decide he would talk a little with her since she did helping and has been the only pony that has ever even been slightly nice to him….It did feel odd to be treated nicely for ounces.

“Fine I’ll stay just five minutes no more than that” He said and sat down once more on the couch putting an alarm clock on the arm rest setting it for five minutes.

She smiles brightly. "O-okay! Do you want tea, or more cookies? And where are you going after this?"

“I'll stick to the cookies, and I dunno. Probably just hang around town as usual.”

"Alright," she says. "I'll go get some more...there should be plenty left." She heads into the kitchen. "Um...where do you like to hang out in town?"

“Mostly sugarcube corner, the dinners, Neighpon Town, and mostly secluded areas" he say taking another cookie of the plate she brought back from the kitchen

"Neighpon Town?" she asks. "I don't think I've been there...what's it like? And do you know Pinkie? She works at Sugarcube Corner..." She asks grabbing a cookie for herself as well.

"Yeah I know her kinda, and Neighpon Town’s not too bad of a place...though I don't recommend going there alone if I were you"

"...is it another bad place?" She asks with a shiver.

"It's not bad but you can get mugged there if you're not careful" He took out the chocolate chip out of the cookies and ate them first before eating the rest of the Cookie.

She watches him, her lips twitching into a smile. "That's...an interesting way to eat cookies," she says, grabbing a cookie of her own. She slowly starts to nibble away the margins.

"Oh um yeah I eat the sweetest part first" He says watching her eat.

She notices him watching her in an odd matter almost suspiciously. It made a shiver crawl down her spine the way his eyes looked intensely at her yet she couldn’t blame him for doing so they are both strangers that only know each other's name not much else.

"I guess I can understand that," she says. "...do you eat desserts before or after dinner?" She asked, trying to break the tension that she was feeling and trying to make small talk with him.

"I eat it before of course." He says tossing the cookies in the air and catching it in his mouth.

"But don't you get too full for supper?"

"My stomach Is a bottomless pit I can't get to full or well too hungry I guess" He say

"Do you...get enough to eat?" she asks, eyeing his body. "I can't tell if you're very skinny or not..."

“ Well I think I eat plenty, not as much as I should but good to survive” He says for some reason he felt a little comfortable speaking to her about him even if at the same time it felt somewhat odd.

"...if you need food, you can come see me." She says. "We have plenty of food, especially lots of fruits and veggies..."

“ I um thank you for the offer “ He says, running his finger on the edge of the cookie as he looks at it.

"Though, um..." She twiddles her hooves. "I might not always be here...I might be with friends in town, or taking care of the creatures in the wild...but you can at least leave a note, and I can bring you something!"

“ It's okay, I've been fine without food for a few days.” He says eating more cookies.

"A...few days?" She asks, her eyes widening.

“ Yeah, maybe a week” He said almost like it wasn’t anything major.

Her eyes slowly widened. "Oh...oh my! Please, wait here!" She hurries into the kitchen.

“ Um okay?” He said watching her leave the room.

There's the sound of bustling and working in the kitchen, and a few minutes later, she comes back, holding a brown paper sack in her wing.

"Here," she says, handing him a few bags of goods. "I put in some apples and carrots, and more cookies, and a few other things...I tried to pick things that won't spoil. I know it might not be enough for a week, but..."

“ I um are you sure?, I um you didn’t need too” He hesitated to grab the bag.

"It's no trouble, really," she says. "Maybe dad won't be happy...but I'll say I gave it all to a friend!"

His eyes widened and choked on the cookie. How could he have forgotten that detail that she lives with her father.

She notices his reaction almost as she knows what he must be thinking.
"They're not home at this time!" she says quickly. "Dad is at work, and Zephyr is...hopefully at school...I promise, I knew they weren't going to be here!"

He snapped his fingers and soon disappeared from the room.

Fluttershy sighs as he leaves onces more wondering if they would bump paths again hoping to know more of him.

More than meets the eye

View Online

Fluttershy spent the rest of the day at home, keeping herself occupied with reading and organizing, but still wishing she could have had the chance to say a proper goodbye to Discord. The hours went by, and just as it started to get dark, the handle of their front door twisted open.

“Dad!” Fluttershy said cheerfully, setting down her gardening magazine and hopping off the couch to greet him.

“Ah, sweetheart. How are you?” he said, putting his hat on the rack.

“I’m good,” she said. “How was your day?”

“Well, it was quite a busy day,” he said. “But mostly okay. How are you enjoying the place so far?”

“It’s...nice,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of new friends.”

“Oh, how about we talk about it over dinner?” he said, smiling. “I got us some takeout.” He held up a bag that a delicious smell was wafting from.

“That sounds good!” she said. Her smile wavered as she remembered one of her actions early, and scuffed the carpet guiltily. “And, um...dad? I kind of gave some of our food to one of my friends…”

“Oh!” he said. He smiled and patted her shoulder reassuringly. “That’s okay, sweetie. I needed to buy some more, anyway...I’ll just pick up a little extra.”

She sighed in relief. Her stomach growled, and she turned her attention back to the bag he was holding. “...what takeout did you get?” she asked, curious.

“Well, I got some rice with various steamed vegetables,” he said, setting the bag on their kitchen table. “And some vegetable egg rolls, too.”

“That sounds yummy,” she said. But those foods sounded...specifically Neighponese. She blinked, remembering something Discord had said. “Is it...from Neighpon Town?”

“Well, it was on my path back, and I stopped by there quickly,” he said. “It was a bit scary there at this time of day...very quiet and ominous…” He quickly stopped speaking, glancing over at her as though worried about her reaction.

“...a friend of mine said it’s not good to go alone,” she said.

“I see. I only stopped there for tonight, though,” he said to reassure her.

She nodded and headed towards the kitchen sink, washing her hooves. “Do you know where Zephyr is?”

“Didn’t he say he was going to study with one of his friends and have a sleepover?” her dad said. He began to pull their food out of the bag. “He’ll come back in the morning.”

“Ah...right,” she said, taking a seat once her hooves were dry. Hopefully that’s what he’s really doing…I don’t want him to get into trouble around here. Especially with what this town is like at night...

Her father smiled, sitting down and passing her a plate of food. “Thank you,” she said, looking at her plate. Rice, covered with mainly broccoli and carrots in a sauce. She slowly started to eat...but frowned, wondering if Discord would be able to get food like this tonight, or whether he would have to eat the food she gave him already…

“Is something wrong?” her dad asked, noticing her expression.

“Just...thinking of something.”

“What is it?” he asked.

“...a friend I’m worried about,” she admitted, playing with a small sliver of onion.

“Oh, is this one of your new friends?” he asked. She nodded, her frown growing a bit deeper. “Well, what is it that’s got you so worried about them?” he continued, putting his hoof over hers and smiling warmly at her. “I’m sure we can help them in some way.”

“I...told him he could come by for food, if he needed any,” she said. “He mentioned he has trouble getting some, sometimes. But, he seemed...very nervous about running into anyone besides me.”

“Ah, I see…” he said. “Wait… ‘he’?” She nodded. “This is the first time you’ve had a colt friend,” he said. “Are you sure you can trust him? Teenage ponies, especially male ones, aren’t always of...the best character.”

She frowned and shifted nervously. “He’s...not a pony,” she said slowly.

“He’s not a changeling, is he?” her dad said, taking a bite of food. “Or a griffon?”

“No…” she says. “He’s a, um...draconequus.”

“Never heard of that kind of creature before.”

She smiled as she took another bite of food. “He’s unlike any other creature,” she said.

“Well, as long as he doesn’t hurt you, then it’s okay,” he said. “He can have some food, as well...we’ll be getting plenty more.” He continued to eat, offering her one of the egg rolls.

“I’ll tell him that if—when I see him again,” she said, accepting the roll.

“I’m sure you will,” he said. “It is a small town, after all.”

“...yeah.” They ate in silence for a few minutes, polishing off most of the food. When she was done, Fluttershy stood up and began to put the remaining leftovers away, but her dad raised a hoof to stop her.

“How about you go get some rest,” he said, “You seem tired. And tomorrow you can see your friend.”

“Alright,” she said, setting down the food. “Good night, dad.” She kissed his cheek and headed upstairs.

“Good night, sweetie,” he said, putting away the leftovers and starting to clean the kitchen.

Fluttershy quickly got ready for bed—but instead of lying down, she headed over to her window and stared out at the night sky. “Discord...wherever you are, I hope you have a comfortable place to sleep,” she said quietly.

The night was quiet, the chirping of crickets her only answer. She sighed, and after giving her already-sleeping Angel Bunny a soft kiss on the forehead, she crawled into bed.

Meanwhile, Discord headed back into his apartment after his long, drawn-out afternoon of loitering and minor rule-breaking. He flipped the switch, but the room remained as dark as ever.

“Great, no light again,” he said with a sigh. He headed over to his bedroom in the darkness and plopped onto the old, worn mattress he called a bed.

Off in some other room, there was a couple arguing loudly about something. In another, someone was playing one of their records, maybe to try and drown out the noise. The cacophony drowned out any sound that might come from outside...and even the tiny snoring sounds he was sure his ‘roommate’ was making despite the din.

He sighed and sat up on his bed. He opened the bundle that...naive Fluttershy had given him earlier, to see what she had packed. Along with the cookies from earlier, there were apples, carrots, a few bags of chips—though they were the low-fat, low-salt kind—and some other healthy things.

“Huh,” he said, tearing open a bag of chips. “Guess she isn’t much of a sweets pony...or a bit of a health nut.” He munched on the chips and shoved the bundle aside, lying on his back and falling asleep...or trying to, at least.

The noise of the apartment continued, along with the bustle in the streets as the night life came out of hiding. As the noise continued, he managed to get an uneasy few hours of sleep. He sighed as he was brought out of his dreams again by a banging sound with itchy crumbs on his face.

He grumbled and swept them onto the floor, standing up and heading towards the door. It wasn’t a problem for him to go out at night—he knew how to take care of himself. And a walk could be just the thing he needed to actually get a good night’s rest.

With that in mind, he headed outside and down the streets. They were quieter than normal...there was certainly still some noise here and there, but it was easy enough to ignore.

He wandered into the park, which was silent, aside from the rustling of leaves in the wind. “Jeez,” he huffed, plopping onto one of the benches. “What messed-up town has a quiet park and noisy homes?”

This already messed-up one, he answered himself in his head. And the apartments aren’t really a home...more like a greasetrap.

“Heh,” he chuckled, closing his eyes. “That’s true…”

He slowly nodded off, catching himself and shaking awake a few times. After the third time he shook awake, he sighed and laid across the bench, closing his eyes. It’s a better resting place than that noisy greasetrap, he thought as he drifted off.

He slept there until the sun began to rise—a surprisingly restful sleep, though he jolted awake a few times.

Seeing the sunrise, he stood up and adjusted his jacket, heading back to his apartment. The more “peaceful” side of town was coming to life outside of the park, normal ponies leaving their normal houses to do their normal jobs...at least until the real side of town came back out after sunset.

He frowned, slicked back his thick mane, and shot a few glares at ponies as he continued down the street.

As morning arrived, there was someone knocking on Fluttershy’s door. “Sweetie, breakfast is done,” her father’s voice said.

Fluttershy stirred awake and yawned, slowly emerging from her cocoon of blankets.

“I’ll wait for you downstairs,” her father said. This was followed by the sound of hoofsteps, slowing quieting and disappearing as he headed into the kitchen.

“Mmm…” she said, rubbing at her eyes. With another yawn, she rolled out of bed and opened her door, heading downstairs.

Her father was already in the kitchen, putting out food. Just as she stepped inside, the front door opened, and Zephyr strolled in. “Gooood morning!” he announced cheerfully, plopping into his chair. “How is everyone today?”

“I’m good, Zephyr,” their dad said as he finished setting up the table with a platter of pancakes and bottles of syrup. “How are studies going?”

“They’re going great,” Zephyr said, loading his plate with pancakes and fruit. “Really great.” Fluttershy eyed him with a bit of suspicion.

“That’s good,” their dad said. “Good morning, sweetheart.”

“Good morning,” she said in return, sitting down and helping herself to some food, though not as much as Zephyr was.

“Did you rest well? Is your room comfortable enough?”

“Yes, very much so,” she said, nibbling on a slice of buttered toast.

“Oh hey, is my bed set up yet?” Zephyr asked as he poured syrup over his tower of pancakes. “I’ve just been so busy lately…” Fluttershy frowned and shot him an unimpressed look.

“Don’t worry, I’ll set it up today since I have the day off,” their dad said. He turned to Fluttershy and said, “Dear, would you mind going to get a few things in the market while I set up your brother’s bed? You don’t have to go until after breakfast.”

“...alright!” she said cheerfully, tearing her stare away from Zephyr. Her brother just shrugged off the dirty look, if he had even noticed it at all. “Do you have a list of things we need?”

“Yes, I put it on the fridge last night,” he said, pointing to the piece of paper there with his hoofwriting.

“Alright,” she said. “I’ll head to market...after I make sure everyone is fed this morning.”

“Of course, don’t rush it,” he said. “Oh, Zephyr, I’m going to need some help in the backyard today.”

“With what?” Zephyr asked, frowning a bit.

" Mowing the lawn and planting some new flowers, and also getting rid of some bad weed too" he say

"Sounds like...a lot of work," Zephyr says as it was clear from his expression that he didn’t want to do any labor work.

Fluttershy frowns and gives him a stern look.

"...I'll help, but I'll have to leave before lunch! I'm meeting up with some friends for a study session," he quickly says.

" I'm sure we can get it done before lunch as long as we work after breakfast." their father said as he ate his pancake.

"...yeah," Zephyr says, filling his plate again. "Mind if I have some coffee before we start?"

"Of course " Mr. shy said and took a sip of his orange juice.

"Thanks, dad! You're the best." He heads over to the coffee machine and begins making his brew, which includes lots of cream and sugar.

"Dad...would you mind if I got some more tea at the marketplace?" Fluttershy asks.

“ I don’t see why not if you're running low you can alway get it if you're doing the shopping for us. You'll need some extra bit, here you go.” he say and take a small bag full of bit handing it over to her

"Oh, t-thank you!" she says, accepting it. "I could...use some of my savings..."

“No, that’s your savings for the future,” he said. “I don’t want you spending it on anything we need.”

She looked down, then slowly nodded. “Okay...I’ll head out as soon as I get ready.” Her father nodded and started to clean the kitchen.

Fluttershy finished her breakfast, while Zephyr slowly sipped his homemade grande mocha. He ate a second helping of breakfast while skimming through some sort of manecare magazine.

“Anyway, you two go on and get ready,” their father said. “I’ll be heading to the backyard.” He finished the last bit of cleaning, scrubbing the pans.

“Sure, Dad!” Zephyr said. He seemed to be taking his sweet time finishing breakfast, though. Fluttershy finished her own breakfast and headed back upstairs to get ready for the day.

Mr. Shy head outside to the back yard and start to get out all the equipment, while Zephyr wasn’t in much of a hurry to no surprise to anyone.

Meanwhile Fluttershy has brushed her teeth and her mane and got dress putting on a simple white dress with blue trim, as she then grabs her purse and heads back downstairs.

"I'm heading out," Fluttershy says as she takes the list off of the fridge. "Zephyr Breeze...as soon as that coffee is finished, you should help dad. Please don't dawdle..."

“Alright I will” He say and sighs while drinking his coffee.

She smiles, then heads towards the door and leaves, waving goodbye to her dad as she goes.

He waved goodbye to her “Be careful out there okay!” He yells cheerfully

"I will!" She says, heading towards town.

As she headed out, she saw other ponies hanging out in and just outside of the town. They went into and came out of shops, going about their days as normal. “Right...what do we need?” she said to herself, reading the list as she walked forward.

The list was mostly full of basic food items, such as milk, cereal, and so on. It also had a few other things written at the bottom, such as cleaning products. “This should be easy enough,” she said, heading towards the area of town she was...fairly certain there were stores in.

As she moved forward, she spotted a bright pink pony with a poofy mane bouncing along, humming as she delivered cake boxes to different houses. “Oh hey, Fluttershy!” Pinkie said, eagerly waving to her once they made eye contact.

“Hi, Pinkie,” Fluttershy said, approaching. “How are you?”

“I’m good! What are you up to, shopping?” Pinkie asked. “Oh, let me see here…” She moved to peer at the list in Fluttershy’s hoof.

“Do you know where I can get all this?” Fluttershy asked. “If it’s no trouble, and you’re not busy now, that is…”

“No worries!” Pinkie said. “You, my friend, have come to the right pony! I mean, I came to you, but that’s beside the point!” She beamed and bounced on her hooves, tucking the rest of the deliveries into her mane, somehow. “Come on, I’ll show you where you can get these!”

She quickly bounced ahead, weaving through the crowd. “W-wait up!” Fluttershy said, hurrying after her. Pinkie just giggled, maneuvering around ponies with ease and quickly turning corners.

Fluttershy rushed to keep up. By the time she caught up with Pinkie, who had finally stopped, she was panting and out of breath. “Here we are!” Pinkie declared, turning to face her. “Oh...sorry, I forgot...not a lot of folks can keep up here!” She reached into her mane and pulled out a water bottle, offering it to Fluttershy.

“It’s fine…” Fluttershy said, taking a sip of water. “I’m just...a bit out of shape.”

“What? No you’re not,” Pinkie said. “You look great!”

Fluttershy flinched and looked away. “I mean...I don’t have a lot of stamina,” she said quietly, straightening up and giving back the water bottle.

“Oh, heh...sorry,” Pinkie said. “Anyway, we’re here!”

Fluttershy turned her gaze forward to see where ‘here’ was. Pinkie had guided her to a large brick building, with a blue sign with white lettering hanging above the doors. “Is this...a grocery store?” she asked.

“Yup!” Pinkie said. “And the best in town, I’d say. Sometimes even better than the farmers markets that ponies set up! Quantity-wise, I mean, because nothing beats fresh farm food in quality, except maybe this store has better toys and books and games—”

“You think they’ll have everything on my list?” Fluttershy asked before the rant spiraled out of control.

“Oh yes they have everything…..Okay maybe not a pony you can rent for a day, because that would be crazy. Did you know that's actually a thing, you can hire a pony to cuddle it sooo crazy but Yeah they have everything on the list” Pinkie said as she giggled a bit.

Fluttershy blinks confuse on pinkie quick change of subject. "Um...thank you? I'll just get started shopping, then..."

“Anyway I’ll see you around!” Pinkie says and bounces away.

"Bye!" she says, waving goodbye and heading into the store.

As she entered the store she saw lots of other ponies walking around with carts as they do their shopping and employees helping those that need help finding items. As classical music plays softly on the intercoms of the store.

She soon grabbed a cart and started to walk down the aisle trying to find where all the things she needed were but the store was so massive and confusing she ended up going up and down losing track of which aisle she was but to her amazement there was a familiar face.

He stood there looking at the shelf not noticing her at first.

"...Discord?" she calls out, slowly approaching.

“Huh?” He turned around to look for the voice that was calling him.

She approached, giving a small wave. "How are you?"

“ um hey...I’m okay I guess,” He say as he slid something into his pocket.

She watches this, and glances at the shelves. "Discord...what are you in here to buy?" she asks.

“Oh yeah buying something here and there you know” He says.

"Like...food?" she says, almost a little hopefully.

“ yes... you know a little bit of anything.” He says.

"Do you want any help--" She remembers that she's never been in this store, and blushes. "Um...never mind. I don't know my way around the store..."

“Actually how about I help you out.” He says, smiling a bit.

"Oh! Would you?" she says, smiling. "Dad sent me to get groceries...and I thought maybe I could pick up some tea, as well."

“Of course let's see what you need?” He says and looks over at the list.

"Here," she says, handing it over to him.

He looks at the list and nods “ okay follow me” he says as he start walking down the aisle with her.

“ So um you were sent here by yourself right?” He asked.

"Mhmm," she says. "Dad and Zephyr are setting up house right now."

“I see, so um tell me about yourself” He say as he takes something and slide them in his pockets in some blind spot of the aisle.

"...not much to say," she says. "I like animals and gardening...I... didn't do well in flight school..."

She glances over. "Will you, um... pay for those?"

He put a finger in against her lips “Look sweetheart ya nice and all but keep it quiet about that okay.” He say brushing his hair back as he keep walking down the aisle getting her stuff and putting it in her cart

She follows behind him. "It's...wrong to steal," she says, quietly and weakly.

“Anyway, animal huh do you have a pet?” He ask trying to change the subject.

"...just one. A bunny named Angel..." She's frowning at him, and reaches for the list. "Maybe I should...finish this myself."

"Alright then." He says and handed her the list. "See you around then" he says and puts his hand on his pocket walking away.

She watches him go, whining a little and looking between him and her list. "I...I want to know him...but do I want to know him if he's a thief?" she says quietly to herself.

He quickly made it out of the store without any trouble.

She bites her lip, looking at the half-full cart, glancing at the doors...and sighs, tucking away her grocery list and exiting, glancing around to see if she can spot him.

As she does she spots his tail as he walks through the crowd.

"Oh...I'm making such a mistake..." she says to herself. But still, she can't help but follow him.

He continued to walk around town taking some alley ways as fluttershy is unsure of where he was going and if she should even be following him.

She follows him, weaving through the crowd. As soon as it thins out a bit, she calls out, "H-hey!"

He doesn't listen and sigh as he continues off, and stops in front of a broken down building picking the lock to open the door, heading inside leaving the door slightly open behind him.

She freezes at the threshold of the building. Is this...where he lives? she wonders. Or did he just...break into someone's home?

She doesn't want to be scared of him...but despite her curiosity, she's suddenly frightened of what Discord's done—fought ponies, stolen things, maybe broken into a house—she took a few stumbling steps backwards.

Fluttershy breathed deeply, trying to calm herself. "It's...too big to be someone's home..." she said quietly. "Unless they were really rich...maybe it's one of those..." She frowns, trying to think of the word.

"A-part-mints?" she says. "So...does he live here?" She looked sadly at the broken-down state of the building.

She gulped and slowly approached the door, peering in to see what was inside. There was a small hallway that led to two doorways. One of them was blocked off by junk like old mattresses and trash bags. A couple mice scurried for cover at her presence.

“Oh, my,” she said, approaching the hiding place of the mice. “Um, excuse me, little friends. Do you know if a...draconequus lives here, in this building?”

A small mouse poked its head out. They nodded and pointed to a door on the left of the hallway, slightly ajar.

“Oh, thank you…” she said, sighing in relief. “So...he didn’t just break in.” She frowned. “But he still stole from the store...do I really want to know him? I’m just...so confused.”

The mouse shrugged and scurried back out of sight, sniffing out for food. “What to do…” she said to herself. “Maybe I should just...leave and forget…”

She sighed and stood up...but as she turned around and headed back towards the front door, she tripped over something discarded on the ground and fell, scraping her foreleg. “Ow!”

As Discord entered his broken-down apartment, a small blob of green slime moved forward to greet him, smiling happily at him. “Hi, Smooze,” Discord greeted warmly. He bent down enough to pat the smile’s head.

Smooze beamed, leaning up into his touch and leaving slime on his palm. “Okay, Smooze...here, I got you some stuff,” Discord said, standing up. He took off his leather jacket and shook it, spilling out a few canned goods.

The slime bobbed up and down in joy, and wrapped his mouth around the edge of one of the cans. “Hold on, now,” Discord said, pulling it from him. “Let me open it first.” He began to pull on the tab on top.

Just as he managed to start peeling it open, he heard something fall out in the lobby, and heard someone cry, “Ow!”

His ears shot up, and he quickly rushed to his door, throwing it open. His fur bristled, and he got ready to attack. “You have one warning—get out!” he yelled out at whoever was there.

He paused in his doorway, freezing when he saw the familiar yellow pegasus fallen in the hallway. “It’s you…” he said, letting his guard down slightly.

“H-hi…” she said nervously, quickly standing up. “I was...just going!” She tried to take a step forward, but winced in pain. “Ow…”

He rolled his eyes and stepped forward, helping to pull her onto her hooves. “Why did you follow me here?”

“I...don’t know,” she mumbled, not able to meet his eyes. “I was really upset that you stole those things...but I was really confused, since you offered to help me in the store…”

She sniffed. “I don’t...I don’t know how to feel about you!”

“I see. Look, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to be around—like I said, I’m fine on my own,” he said, brushing back his mane with a sigh.

Just as he said that, a whine came from behind him, making him sigh again. “Smooze, I’ll be there in a minute, okay? Head back inside.” Smooze ignored him, instead sliding forward and nuzzling against his leg.

“Oh, my!” Fluttershy said, bending down to get a closer look. “Who’s this darling little...slime?”

“That’s, um...my pet. Smooze,” Discord said, rubbing at the back of his neck. Fluttershy noticed that Smooze was carrying a partially-opened can of food in his mouth.

“Aww, someone’s hungry,” she said. She froze, noticing how familiar the can was...she had seen that pattern just a minute ago. “Wait...were the cans you took...to feed him?”

“Yes, it’s his one of his favorite foods,” Discord said, scooping Smooze into his hands and picking him up. “But you wouldn’t know that. You probably just thought I was a thief for fun,” he said snarkily.

She bowed her head. “I-I didn’t know,” she said. “And I still don’t understand why you didn’t pay…”

He narrowed his eyes at her. “I’m pretty sure you’re smart enough to at least put two and two together. It should be obvious by now.” He opened the can the rest of the way, and Smooze began to gorge himself on the contents.

“Do you...not have the money to?” she said weakly. “Or...was the cashier somepony who didn’t like you?”

“Well...both, I suppose you can say,” he said, heading back to his apartment and setting Smooze inside with his food before closing the door. “I can make money with magic. But if ponies found out, I’d be in trouble, so I try not to do that too much. And a lot of ponies don’t like me.”

He looked back at her once his door was locked. “Anyway, you really shouldn’t be in this part of town.”

“...it’s one of the bad parts, isn’t it?” she said quietly.

“Yes, yes it is,” he said with a nod. “You really need to be more aware of where you go.”

“I know...but I can find my way back to the store from here!” she said. “And...I could get you and Smooze something nice, to make up for bothering you…” She began to slowly limp away.

“You can’t leave like that,” he said with a sigh, walking over to her. “Come on...let me just take you home.”

“But, the groceries…” she said. “And my dad and brother are home, weren’t you worried about them?”

“I’ll help you buy the stuff and walk you home,” he said. “I’ll, um...just drop you off a block away from your house.”

She smiled a bit. “...that sounds good,” she said. “And, um...I have the bits to pay for everything, so you don’t have to...you know…”

“You just get your things once we’re there,” he said, watching her slowly move forward. “Um...I’m not a doctor or anything, but, um...how bad does your leg hurt?”

She glanced down at her leg. “It’s just a little scrape,” she said. “I’ll put some numbing cream and bandages on it when I get home.” Still, she was limping slightly as she walked.

He sighed. “Here, let me help you,” he said, holding out his arm.

She paused, then slowly wrapped her injured foreleg around it. “Th-thank you?”

“Sure,” he said, carefully helping her out of the building. It felt a bit awkward for her, since he was so much taller than her...but it was less painful than walking on her own.

“This building,” she said, feeling awkward. “It’s an...apartment, right? I haven’t seen one before…”

“Yeah. It isn’t the best place, but it’s better than nothing,” he said. He glanced down at her. “This isn’t comfortable for you, is it?”

“...it doesn’t hurt,” she said, shifting and trying to balance on her back hooves. “But...you’re really tall…”

“Hmm. Okay, how about this?” he said. He let go of her foreleg and instead wrapped his tail around it. It was a bit easier on both of them, since it was closer to her usual height.

“That’s...much better,” she said, dropping to three hooves and propping her injured one in his tail. “As long as this isn’t too uncomfortable for you…”

“It’s fine,” he said as he started walking forward again.

She quickly matched his pace. “So...where is Smooze from?” she asked. “Is he from Canterlot, too?”

“Well...not really,” he said. “I’ve had him for a long time...um, since before I was in Canterlot.”

“Where was…?” She paused, then shook her head. “Sorry...I shouldn’t pry so much…”

“I’d rather not say much else about that,” he said with a nod. “Just that...he isn’t a regular creature.”

“Alright,” she said. She glanced down at her hooves and smiled. “He seems to really like you, though.”

“He’s the only thing I had for a long while,” he said. “We understand each other more than ‘normal friends’ would.” He walked towards the store.

She smiled. “It’s good that you have some creature who understands you.” She glanced away. “Especially if...you don’t fit in, and no creature wants to be your friend…”

“Why would I want friends if I have him?” he said, entering the store, holding the door open a little wider for her.

“Friends can be nice, too…” she said, gulping and trying to ignore some of the looks they were getting as she stepped inside. “You can talk, and share your lives, and...be happy together.”

“Pfft, yeah, sure,” he said, rolling his eyes. “Even if that’s true, no one want to be friends with me.” He grabbed an empty cart for her.

“...I thought I might…” she said under her breath.

He headed down the aisles with her, tossing the things he had helped her grab before into the cart. “This is it, right?” he said.

“Um...yeah, those are the right things,” she said, checking them against her list. “We also need...milk, butter, eggs, and cleaning solution...oh, and some tea!”

“Alright,” he said, steering through the aisles and grabbing the first four things she listed, dropping them into the cart. He then paused and looked at her. “...tea? Um, I’ll let you handle that.”

“...have you ever had tea before?” she asked, taking control and guiding both him and the cart over to a promising-looking ‘drinks’ section.

“Um, not really,” he said, “I thought tea was for rich folks.”

“Tea is for anyone,” she said, grabbing a box and setting it in the cart. “I’ll make you some tea, and you can decide if you like it! How does a rose hip green tea sound?”

“Hmm...well, I suppose I can try it sometime,” he said, staring at her.

“Trust me, it’s delicious,” she said, grabbing a box of ginseng. “Now, just one more thing…”

“Okay, what is it?”

She headed back to the isle of canned goods, grabbing one of the cans. “This is the kind Smooze likes, right?”

“Um, yeah...but, um, like I said, don’t worry about it,” he said, glancing away and rubbing the back of his head.

“No...you helped me, even after I...wasn’t the nicest to you,” she said, putting the can in her cart. “It’s the least I can do…”

“Look, it’s fine, really. I’m used too ponies not being nice to me.” he said, grabbing the can from the cart and putting it back on the shelf.

She grabbed another can and dropped it in the cart. “I want to...help you,” she said. “To show that I still would like to be your…” She trailed off, biting her lip and looking away.

He sighed and took the can again. “Like I said, I’m fine,” he said, sticking it back on the shelf. “Let’s just get these things and get you home.”

“...alright,” she said. He started to head for the register. She waited a second for him to walk ahead...then took another can and tucked it under the rest of her groceries.

He waited for her to come over “Okay, I’m gonna wait outside. You can use the cart to balance yourself for the time being,” He said, turning to look at her.

"Yes, I can do that," she said, using the cart to support her injured hoof. "Thank you for all your help..."

“Yeah, no problem, I guess,” he said, putting his hands in his pockets and heading outside.

She headed to the register, and began moving things from her cart to the counter. “Hi, there. Did you find everything okay?” the cashier asked, smiling warmly.

“Oh, yes,” Fluttershy said, continuing to unload her things. “Though I did get a little help…”

“You did? Oh, that’s great,” the cashier said, starting to ring up the items.

“Mhmm…” Fluttershy said, placing the last item on the counter—the can of food for Smooze.

“Oh!” the cashier said as she rang out the can. “Do you have an exotic pet?”

“A friend of mine does,” Fluttershy said. “...are there a lot of ponies who buy these?”

“Oh, not as often, but they are pretty good for exotic pet owners,” the cashier said. “Actually...they’re the best for pets, in my opinion.”

“I’ll have to keep this in mind,” Fluttershy said. “Though...I don’t think my bunny would like this a lot. He’s very fussy about getting fresh veggies.”

“Oh, yes. I was talking about, like...really exotic pets. Like, eagles, bears, snowchilla,” the cashier said, bagging all of the groceries.

“...do ponies in town own those?” Fluttershy asked, feeling a bit awed.

“Not really,” the cashier said. “I know someone in Manehattan that does.”

“I’ve never been there…” Fluttershy said. She watched as her groceries were all bagged. “And, um...how much do I owe you?”

" That will be twenty bit, and I say it pretty nice there lots of store and folk they aren't so nice but they could be worse" She say.

"A-ah," she says, imagining bad ponies and counting out the twenty bits. If the ponies here are 'nice', what are the 'not nice' ponies there like…

The cashier put the bags in the cart and took the bits. " thank you and have a nice day" she say

"You too!" Fluttershy says, pushing the cart to its original place and leaving the store with the bags.

Discord leaned against the wall waiting for her as he blow a smoke of candy cane dust from his mouth.

"H-hey," she says, approaching with a smile. "Thanks for waiting for me."

" Yeah sure" he says and wraps his tail around her to help her walk again. " let get you home"

"Right...but first!" She digs into one of the bags and pulls out the can of food and holds it towards her, her face set in a determined expression.

He looked down at her to see what she wanted and saw the can of food. "I told you that you didn't have to buy it." He say rubbing the brim of his snout. " You are really stubborn to do what you want aren't you?"

"I want to do something nice for you!" She says. "I even used a little of my savings to get it, instead of the grocery money...please take it?"

He sighs in defeat. "Okay I'll take it but after that it's no more nice thing." He say taking the can and start to walk her home.

"What's wrong with me being nice?" she says, her ears flattening. "I just...want to help you...especially after you've done nice things for me."

" I just not use to it guess, and what nice thing the only thing I did is help you out because you follow me to my place, and Its only because I don't want something happen, don't need pony will suspects something." He say.

"...You helped me after I was rude to you, and followed you," she said. "That seemed nice to me..."

" That isn't nice. I'm just trying to cover my back, so you won't try anything against me after" He say almost like he's in denial.

"...I don't want to hurt you," she says quietly.

"I'll believe it not now but maybe someday but for now they are nothing but mean less word without action " He say as he soon stop a few blocks away from your home.

"...I see," she says. "What could I do to prove I want to be your frie--that I won't hurt you?"

He looked at her quietly as a breeze blew softly making his hair and jacked move along with the wind " Just go home please." He says slowly letting her go.

"...okay," she says quietly. "Goodbye, Discord..." She starts to head towards her home, groceries in hoof.

He nods and heads off into the distance.

"Um, tell Smooze hi for me! And I'm sorry for bothering him!" she turns around and says, before darting off towards her house.

He look back and nod “Sure I will” he say

"Thank you!" she shouts back before disappearing around the corner, leaving just a cloud of dust behind.

He soon walked away from the cottage. He had to admit that it did seem really nice that she had a decent place to live and that she was nice to give him the canned food that smooze dearly adored. He started to head over to town as many of the pony gave him dirty looks and whispered things at each other.

But the whispers and looks follow him as he walks away.

"I hear he burned part of a building..."

"I heard that he hurt poor Jeremy the other day."

"Did you see that mare earlier? Poor thing..."

He look down as he keep walk thinking to himself - I can’t have her around me anymore-

"Her leg was scraped..."

"Do you think he did that?"

"Of course he did. What else could have happened?"

Eventually, he manages to get away from the whispers and judgement.

“Finally I’ll just head home and never see her again” he say to himself and head to the apartment

Fluttershy quickly makes it home, and sets everything on the counter. "Okay...just need to find the numbing cream," she says, heading towards the bathroom.
She cleaned her wound and bandaged it up, after a while her father came back home she spoke with her father.
They both talk about her day as soon the night came by and the end of the day soon came as well.