Discord had an annoying habit of being horrible with timing. It had been three weeks since Tirek's defeat and Twilight could tell that the lord of chaos was still beating himself up for betraying her and her friends. As a sign that all was forgiven, the mane six had invited him to a picnic on the beach. Normally this would be a kind gesture that anypony would make a priority to attend, but obviously not Discord considering the fact he was an hour late.
"You don't think he forgot do you?" asked Pinkie while she wolfed down a plate of cookies. "It's not like him to miss out on a chance for chocolate milk" she said pointing a hoof at the untouched jug of the draconequus's trademarked drink.
"I highly doubt it dear." responded Rarity "He may be late but we have to keep in mind that this is the pony who misjudged plant growth by over a thousand years. Still though, I find it ridiculous that he would take so long to arrive to an occasion dedicated to him."
Fluttershy smiled while she took a sip of her tea. Rarity would usually refer to Discord as "Ruffian" or "Friend" while she made air quotations in the air. Simply referring to him as a pony was a step in the right direction. Or was pony the right term? She knew he was called a draconequus but was that his species name or something else? Speaking of which where was the rest of his species? She would assume that a species as unique as her best friend would be documented in detail, but she could never find anything in Twilight's library.
Twilight's Library. Fluttershy never realized how much she could miss that place. It had been the place where her and the rest of the elements first met in the same place, where'd they used to go to write letters to the princess. The place that they'd made so many memories, gone in an instant. She remembered the ear splitting explosion when Tirek annihilated the tree house, A massive red beam that turned the blue sky red, followed by an eruption of flames, where'd he get that kind of power?
Tirek may have absorbed the power and magic of nearly every pony in Equestria but there was no way a pony could emit that form of energy, that's when it hit her, Discord. She hadn't remembered hearing of Tirek firing beams of pure destruction before he came to Ponyville, but immediately after stealing Discord's magic, Bam! Tirek was shooting death rays left and right.
This brought her back to thinking about Discord's heritage. Just how powerful was he? More importantly how could someone of his age conjure up that much power and perform magic no unicorn or Alicorn could ever attempt to perform? Speaking of which, how old was he? Did he just live way longer than ponies? Was he eternal? Was he IMMORTAL? So many questions and Fluttershy had no answer to any of them, she hardly knew anything about him.
Her thoughts were interrupted as a massive shark flew out of the water a crashed onto the picnic mat. The six mares and Spike shot into the air screaming their lungs out. A brilliant flash of light later and a certain lord of chaos was in the sharks place rolling on the ground laughing, quite literally, his head off. "Mother of me that was priceless!" Discord exclaimed.
Rainbow Dash shot up "You Jerk! You almost gave me a heart attack! Uhhhh… I mean… You almost gave THEM a heart attack!" she barked.
Discord took a few moments to get his laughter under control "Oh come on. You have to admit I got you guys good." He laughed while wiping a tear from his eye. "Don't be such a stick in the mud my little Dashie." he said while snapping his fingers.
Rainbow Dash was surrounded by a sphere of light and was transformed into stick poking out off the sand. The Pegasus's angry glare slowly morphed into smirk and was soon giggling like a maniac "Okay fine, I guess that almost gave me a slight startle."
The chaotic prankster rose too his feet and overlooked the picnic mat he made a mess of. "hmmm. Note to self, when making dramatic entries, be sure to pick landing site before hand." Discord scratched the back of his long neck "My most sincerest apologies everypony, I seem have made a mess of our little get together. Still though, not much TO ruin. Allow me to add a little life to this picnic."
Discord cracked his knuckles and with a snap of the fingers the beach was turned into a tropical paradise. The picnic mat was replaced with a bamboo webbing, The food was replaced with gourmet tropical dishes along with a basket of gems for Spike, their glasses of punch replaced with coconuts filled with chocolate milk, three living Tikis were playing steel drums, Torches sprouted up from the ground, and the lord of Chaos was laying on cotton candy hammock strung up between two nearby palm trees… and for some unbeknownst reason, he was wearing a hula skirt and was sporting a coconut bra.
Discord sighed in relaxation "Ahhh, next time I'M setting up the get together." he said while sipping a glass of chocolate milk floating upside down.
The rest of the ponies mouth's were hanging open, still trying to process the events as they happened. "Love the décor you chose." said Rarity, breaking the silence.
Discord laughed "If you think THAT'S impressive just wait till you taste the food, go on its handmade." he said gesturing to a plate of fruit on a plate of seaweed.
A few moments later the ponies were digging into the meals and carrying on a conversation with the master of chaos as if nothing had happened. "What in tarnation took ya so darn long?" asked AJ while crunching into an apple.
Discord shrugged "I pride myself in being fashionably late to parties. And I MIGHT have misjudged the location of the picnic slightly." He said casually
Twilight immediately stopped eating her cucumber sandwich "What do you mean you 'misjudged' the location"
"I may have kind of, sorta kinda, kinda sorta… dropped in on a wedding at the beach. And before you ask, yes I dropped in as a shark."
Spike spat out a green emerald "Say What!?"
Discord gave a sheepish smile and scratched the back of his neck "Well, I was in a rush and the first sign of activity on a beach I saw, I locked in on. I landed right between the bride and groom, but hey, I could've prevented a mare from making a huge mistake she'd regret in five years!"
Discord braced for a barrage of anger from the ponies, or at least a disappointed whine from Fluttershy. Instead, They burst out laughing.
"I don't believe it!" gasped Rainbow Dash in between laughs "You. You. You literally CRASHED a wedding while being in the form of a twenty foot shark, probably traumatized every foal and filly there, and made the most random wedding story ever! Hahaha! What I would give to see that happen! Oh sweet Celestia that's priceless!
For the first time in a while Discord was at a loss for words. Twilight would normally face-hoof or go off on Discord if he ever pulled something like that, but instead she was losing her mind just as much as the others "Classic! W-w-what did the ponies there do?! Did they sprint away, or did a few rough stallions rush you? Details!"
Discord regained his ability to speak "Hehe, well I didn't really stay long. When I realized I was in the wrong place and especially at the wrong time, the first thing that came to mind was "Oh crud, wrong party." so I didn't stick around to hear the bride and groom finish their vows. I will say though, those flower girls sure could jump high.
After a few more minutes of laughter, the group regained their composure.
"So Discord." asked Rarity "I would usually ask how things are back home, but I have no idea where you abode."
"In Canterlot actually, the castle to be more precise" The draconequus replied while taking a sip from his coconut.
Spike blew the sand off the emerald he dropped "Seriously? I always thought that the princesses gave you a piece of land that you were free to use your magic in."
"That's also true, A few weeks after my reform, our dearest princess of the sun was generous enough to present me with a piece of land to which I could spread my beautiful chaos. However, she asked that I'd reside in the castle for" Discord hesitated "Political Reasons"
That caught Pinkie's attention "You mean there's a place in Equestria the same way as when you first broke free, as in… there's a place with CHOCOLATE rain again!?! Where!?!" she said grabbing his tail
Discord laughed "Unfortunately my dear Pinkie, Luna said… Oh how did she put it?" He said tapping his chin. "Ah, yes" Discord morphed his face into Luna's "Thou may not disclose the location of your established area of personal havoc." Discord snapped back to his own face. "In your terms, I can’t tell you where it is."
Pinkie deflated and slinked backed to her spot.
"Oh don't fret my little pony." Discord snapped his fingers and a miniature cotton candy cloud drizzling chocolate milk appeared next to the partying earth pony.
Pinkie squealed in excitement and began drowning herself in the sweet drink.
Twilight, used to the earth pony's weirdness, turned her attention to Discord "What was that you meant by 'political reasons?'" asked Twilight
Discord shrugged "Oh different reasons, depending on what she wants me for." Discord said rather quickly.
Twilight tried to prevent an awkward silence "Such as…?"
"Oh you know… repairing a few buildings, summoning up a cake or two for important events, altering Equestrian terrain if needed." Discord said, stumbling over a few words
"What does have to do with politics?" questioned the princess of friendship.
"Uh, I meant 'politics' as a metaphor."
Applejack could tell if a pony was lying, even somepony as complex as Discord. But this wasn't like hiding an embarrassing story, or a story like Applebloom would make up whenever she broke something, he was doing it to end the subject as quickly as possible. Discord usually prided himself on causing havoc, If he was hiding something, he was doing it for a good reason.
"Any who" interrupted the cowpony "The grub is hoof licking good Discord."
Discord immediately turned his attention to Applejack "Aw thank you, I do pride myself on a good dish." Discord gave her a knowing look of thanks for saving him from a conversation that would have definitely taken a dark turn. "Ever since I've been small I've been quiet the cook." he said taking another sip from his chocolate milk filled coconut.
Discord glanced at Fluttershy, she was being unbelievably quiet even by her standards. She was his best friend and hadn't even spoke a word to him since he got here. Was she still mad at him for the whole Tirek incident?
He remembered when they were talking inside her cottage the day after Twilight got her castle. Discord refused to forgive himself for his deed and Fluttershy couldn't take seeing her friend be in such a broken stage. She hoped talking to him about his conflict would release any doubt he had in himself, instead it only rose a question that had been haunting her mind
Discord was practically having a nervous breakdown. Instead of Fluttershy calming Discord down he was getting more and more agitated by the minute. The argument had become so heated that all of Fluttershy's animals, including Angel, had evacuated the cottage.
"Discord. You've already told me how sorry you are, you apologized openly to our friends, the princesses and everypony in Ponyville." Said Fluttershy " You've proven that you regret your decision and how much you really care for us. Without you we would have never defeated Tirek. You're the one who figured out how to open the chest, you’re the one who went to capture Tirek, and you're the one who gave us the final key to open the chest."
"That doesn't mean anything Fluttershy! Without me, Tirek would've never regained his power and taken over Equestria!" At saying this all the plates in the kitchen started to hover "Without me thousands, no, millions of ponies wouldn't have lost their abilities. I took their power, their flight, their magic, THEIR DESTINIES!"
"It means everything Discord!" snapped Fluttershy "You made a mistake that you wish you could reverse, but in the end you made the right decision and protected us and all of Equestria."
"Equestria wouldn't have NEEDED protection had I not stabbed you all in the back!" barked Discord. All the furniture in the cottage transformed into a piece of cotton candy.
"There's no way to justify me joining a monster like Tirek!"
"I know why you joined Tirek!" Shot back Fluttershy "I know why you returned to your old ways, I know why you betrayed us. You feel like a caged animal, your whole purpose in life, your passion, is to create chaos. You beat yourself up because you took other ponies destinies. Discord WE took YOUR destiny!"
"You didn't take my destiny!" Spat Discord " I CHOSE to befriend you and serve Equestria! Even if you didn't take my destiny, that's no way to justify me betraying you!"
Fluttershy didn't budge "Discord, stop thinking that you let us down, you saved our lives by reactivating the elements; not just from Tirek but also from future threats! You act like you don't deserve our friendship and are just waiting to take over Equestria! For Celestia's sake Discord, you brought back the ONE thing that could defeat you just to make sure we were safe!"
That didn't stop Discord "So what!? I wanted to see so many innocent ponies fall before me, I wanted to have me and Tirek conquer the entire PLANET! And almost for an instant I-" Discord stopped dead in his tracks "I wanted to see others imprisoned… I wanted them to know my pain"
She could tell he was on the brink of tears "Discord…" she whispered
The furniture in Fluttershy's changed back to normal, the plates fell to the ground shattering on impact "I had no idea where that thought came from and I have no idea why. Without you Fluttershy… I don't know what I'd do, where'd I'd be… without you I'd still be frozen in stone for the next ten thousand years, still be my evil self, and still hate everypony in Equestria." Discord fell to his knees and embraced her "I'd be nothing without you…"
Fluttershy held him "Discord… I know how much you must loathe yourself right now, but please, forgive yourself. I know in my heart you'll never do something like this again."
Her best friend took a shaky breath "If only you knew." whispered Discord
"What?" asked Fluttershy
Discord sniffed "This isn't the first time I've done this. Betrayed the ones I care because of my instinct. Millennia ago… when Equestria was still young, I fulfilled an ancient omen I'd been fighting to stop my entire life … and Fluttershy… taking my destiny?" Discord pulled away from Fluttershy and stood " It would be a blessing if you actually took my destiny, It was chosen for me before I was even born." Said Discord darkly
Fluttershy looked up to see tears streaming from Discord's eyes. She'd seen him lament and even have his eyes water, but this was the first time she saw the master of chaos actually cry. "Discord? W-what do you-"
Before she could finish, discord snapped his fingers and disappeared.
That awful memory had been though only thing on her mind since that day. What did he mean by an omen? Just how far did Discord's existence stretch? She couldn't take it anymore, she had to know what he meant.
"So anyways." said Applejack "With, Caramel and his mare having a foal on the way, looks like the apple family will have a new addition to the group."
"Speaking of family" said Fluttershy "I have a question Discord."
"I have an answer." Said the draconequus with a smile as he was about to finish his beverage.
Where's…" Fluttershy contemplated whether or not to actually go this far "Well, we've all known you for so long... but we don't anything ABOUT you. Where's... Where's YOUR family?"
Suddenly the Tikis stopped playing their steel drums, the torches extinguished, and Discord chocked on his chocolate milk.
The ponies became deathly quiet. None of them had actually realized it, but they wanted to know just what made Discord become the lord of chaos. If they were ever going to find out, this was it.
After catching his breath, Discord stood up from his hammock, his face had completely lost its color. "N-now Fluttershy, Don't let me bore us with a dull history lesson. Let's just go back to talking about the Apple family."
Discord knew he was trying to do the impossible by changing the subject, he could feel all the ponies gaze drilling into him.
"Actually." said Spike "I kinda want to know too, we've known you for quite a while, yet we know next to nothing about you."
"Oh come know Spike, r-really it's not a happy story."
Twilight stood up "Why did I never ask that?" She asked herself . Twilight whipped out a scroll and quill she always carried around "Yeah Discord, You've been around longer than Equestria has existed and, well… I want to know too. You have to know an in-depth story of Equestria's beginning considering the fact you once ruled it." she said, eagerly waiting to take notes.
"Same here." butted in Pinkie "I mean, nopony takes over an entire empire just cause they feel like it," she leaned back "Come on man, give us the details!" she said as if an Italian mob-boss.
Rainbow dash was suddenly invested "Come on, you gotta tell us. I ain't much of a school pony, but now i'm kinda curious."
Discord was getting defensive put kept his composure "Look guys, I'm not really the type of person who likes talking about himself."
Thinking he was making a joke, the group laughed.
"Haha," laughed AJ "Oh right Discord, you truly are the humble type. Ah don't know what we were thinking."
Pinkie hopped onto Discord's head and secured her balance by latching onto his horns "Come on! I can't take the suspense!" she whined "Just tell us."
Fluttershy tried to come to Discord's aid "Maybe if your story got to be heard by others, we could help change your image from Tirek" she mentally kicked herself for her word choice.
The mention of that incident triggered another spark of anxiousness from him.
"Yes darling," said Rarity "The world needs to see you in a different light; the way we're beginning to see you. Discord, you can trust us with the story of your past."
Discord was rapidly loosing confidence "Seriously, I don't think I should-"
Rainbow Dash was getting impatient "Come on Discord, I'm too interested now! You can't just cut us off with nothing."
Not seeing the growing look of anxiousness in his eyes, Pinkie pressed on "Oo! Oo! I know what's going on! Is it super embarrassing? Did you have a girlfriend who you IMMEDIATELY regretted dating cause she ate weird? Or or or or did you accidentally blow up a mountain and then tried to hide it by building a massive sculpture to replace it? Cause believe me, it's harder than it's sounds!"
Twilight could see Discord's growing unrest "Pinkie, just let him speak. Discord will tell us when he's good and ready." she corrected herself "IF he's good and ready."
Rainbow Dash took Pinkie's side "Nah, I wanna hear this!"
Pinkie slipped of his head "Come on, just tell us!" she got down on her knees and begged "Oh PLEASE, impart to us your infinite knowledge!"
Fluttershy knew if something was bothering Discord this much, he had to get this off his chest rather than keep it bottled up inside. He did something years ago that he wasn't telling them and talking about it was the first step to healing from it "Discord, we're hear to listen not judge. You can tell us anything and we won't think less of you."
His heart nearly stopped when he heard her say she wanted to know. All seven of them where waiting to hear his story...
"Guys, seriously yo-"
Pinkie was about to burst "Come on! I'm begging you Dissy!" she flopped down onto his feet dramatically "I need to know!"
"Please!" she pleaded
He was about to snap, "I'm not going to tell you anyht-"
"Jeez dude, just spill it already." said Rainbow Dash, rolling her eyes
"Tell us!" yelled Pinkie
"NO!" roared Discord. He stomped his goat leg into the sand, sending a shock wave that shot the ponies off their hooves.
The ponies landed on their backs ten feet away from the master of Chaos, the rumble shattered the Tikis, ruined the food, snapped the torches like toothpicks, and left Discord emotionally shaken. "I want more than anything to tell you my history. I want somepony to know what pushed me to the breaking point of conquering Equestria. I want someone to know what turned me into THIS" he screamed pointing to his eyes. "But I can't tell you my history because I'm not sure I even KNOW my own history!"
Twilight stumbled to her hooves "What? That- but… how…" she asked confused "That… that doesn't make any sense."
Discord grabbed his head "I hate it more than you can possible even fathom! I don't know my own past because my memory was stolen from me millennia ago! It was wiped and filled with false memories! I'm just now starting to have my real one return to me!" He yelled "I want to know why it happened but every time I try and process it my mind just can't take it!"
Fluttershy only now realized what she'd done, she had pushed way too far; to the point when Discord felt so scared that he had to cast magic on her and her friends in a fit of rage to defend himself. "Discord-" she advanced forward, but Discord stumbled backward.
Her heart sunk, he was afraid of them.
Discord turned his backs on the ponies "Fine then . If you want answers… go to Celestia and Luna. From what little I can remember of my past self… I know It's a road I never would force even my worst enemy down… I can't bear to relieve all those horrifying centuries of my tormented existence. " With a snap of his fingers Discord disappeared and left the ponies in the shambles of their picnic