Carefully packing for lunch, Fluttershy finally realized what was missing. She had sandwiches, and crackers, and some fresh fruit, but she’d managed to forget the lemonade. Squeezing some fresh fruit into a glass, she thought to herself that nopony could ever resist her lemonade. It was better than even Pinkie Pie’s.
Gathering herself up and taking a hat with her, Fluttershy hoped to herself that she’d managed to keep everything together. She didn’t quite have any idea what Discord might like when it came to food. Maybe they drank gravy for tea in his dimension…well, that sounded a little bit strange even to her own expansive pallet.
She didn’t want Discord to be too nervous about the picnic. Poor dear, he wanted so badly for her to be happy, and their friendship was so new that she didn’t want to endanger it by making him nervous in any way. He was such a nice…being…that the idea of hurting him and risking their friendship was enough to make her just blanche!
By the time she arrived in the mild, cozy confines of the meadow, Discord was already there – sitting beside a lake that she was absolutely positive hadn’t flowed with tea the last time she’d taken a hike to it with the rest of her friends.
She had to admit, it was a refreshing idea. “Hello, Discord!”
“Hi, Fluttershy,” he said, poofing peacefully to come stand before her, “how lovely to see you!”
“Oh, likewise,” she said softly. “I’ve got everything all ready for our picnic!” :she indicated the pack on her back. “Just let me…”
“Oh no – allow me!”
“Well,” Fluttershy said, spreading out the blue checkered tablecloth on the grass, “I suppose I wouldn’t mind the help.”
He promptly created a dimensional porthole – no matter how many times she saw it happen, those things always made her slightly nervous. “It’s no problem…”
“It’s all right – I’ll just reach through this interdimensional porthole and…” He created another one, and then started groping about within it. “Aha!” He pulled a purple chicken with pink spots. “Nope.” He put it back, squawking, and reached about. Next he pulled out a plaster figure of Princes Celestia. “How delightfully meta. But no, not food…” he kept digging about. “Ta da! Egg salad sandwiches, a jug of lemonade, glasses, and fruit salad!” He poofed them from Fluttershy’s pack to the ground before them.
“That was so helpful!” she said. “Thank you.”
She dished out the food, but Discord found it easier to simply make the food appear before him – though it was not often in the same texture or color that it was when she’d packed it when it arrived upon his plate. The sandwiches somehow ended up becoming thick, creamy egg soup with striped green croutons, and the fruit –when Flutttershy took a bite of it – was made of pure jelly. The apples tasted like oranges and the oranges tasted like pears. She thought briefly that Applejack would have been either just as confused or quite excited. To Fluttershy was delicious but discombobulating; she couldn’t help but enjoy it nonetheless.
As for Discord, everything he consumed seemed to be an adventure in eating. The soup was sipped with a brightly-colored straw, and the lemonade made its way into his eyes, somehow – she immediately understood it was eye candy to him, though she didn’t know how it didn’t sting his poor eyeballs to death.
“Oh, it’s actually quite soothing!” he said. “Don’t ponies use lemons to dampen their eyes?”
“I’m afraid not,” Fluttershy said. But she kept eating. This was the most excitement she’d had during a meal in a long time.
As if he’d read her mind, he said, “Fluttershy, you aren’t disturbed by my manners, are you? I tried to find a bib for my nose but I couldn’t get anything that matched my coat in time.”
“Oh no, I find your manners quite exhilarating!”
“How wonderful! And my elbows are enjoying this macaroni I whipped up for them!” he added.
“Eh,” one of his elbows spoke up, stopping in mid-chew. “It could use some salt.”
“Quiet, you!” Discord said, pouring some more lemonade into his glass and sipping it.
“I must admit – I am curious as to what sort of tea you’ve put in the river.” Her meal finished, she headed over to it.
“Feel free to try it! I mostly conjured it for the ambiance and I’m not quite sure what sort of brew it was – I think a package from a pocket universe I visited the other day. But I’m sure it’s quite refreshing.”
Fluttershy bent her head and drank right from the source. Drank her fill, in fact, and felt the world around her getting larger and larger.
When she realized the large, overhanging green branches were in fact blades of grass, she let out a squeak of alarm.
Discord was right there – and even for someone who was a rather powerful being such as he looked a bit horrified. “Oh dear,” Discord murmured. “I suppose I mixed it up with the shrinking potion I found in this darling little house in Wonderland.” He waved his hand and the river turned clear and unadulterated again.
That didn’t help her case at all. “I suppose so,” Fluttershy squeaked.
“I could shrink myself to match your height!” and poof, he did.
“That would be fine for now,” she said, “but it wouldn’t solve the problem. I do have to go back to reality at some point.”
“True, as dull as it can be.” Back to his normal size, he pouted thoughtfully. “We’ll figure this out,” he said, scratching his chin. “Just give me a minute.”
It took a few hours of patient spellcasting and inventive actions tried (and a long consultation with four other Discords, one of whom apparently had a degree in shapeshifting) before Fluttershy found herself the proper height. Sitting back with almost dazed relief in the grass, she puffed out a breath of relief.
“Well,” he said, “that was an adventure.” And then, more self-consciously, “I suppose that you won’t want to do anything else this afternoon.”
Fluttershy considered the future. She smiled.
“Do you think we have time to take a ride to the edge of Everfree Forest? I’ve heard there’s a new cloud city there, and no one’s named it but, well…I didn’t dare imagine it was real until today.”
He laughed. “For you, dear Fluttershy, anything at all.”
And together they took wing.