Hi, everypony! Azure129 here, starting my first full length MLP fic! :D I'm so glad this is finally happening ^_^ I've had this idea for a while and I've been working on it nonstop in my spare time. I really hope you'll all enjoy it!

This story is set a few weeks after the events of the season 4 finale. Discord is my favorite character in this series (maybe tied with Luna), and what I really want to do in this story is explore his character after his experience with Tirek and now that he's a fully reformed person—how the consequences of his actions might affect him, difficulties he might have trying to finally find his place in Equestrian society, how his relationships with his friends might change and progress. Celestiacord is a part these changes that this fic will look into, but that's only one aspect of Discord's character and character development that I'm going to try and express, and it's going to be a gradual one. So, basically, if you're a fan of Celestiacord then there's definitely something here for you, but if you're just a fan of Discord and not of pairing him with Celestia, then there's absolutely plenty of stuff here for you too : )

I have most of this fic already written out in chapter drafts, so updates shouldn't be too far apart. I hope everyone likes this story, and please review if you get the chance! Thank you!

The Most Chaotic Night Ever!

Chapter 1:

A Special Invitation

If there was one thing Equestria, and particularly the Ponyville/Canterlot area of Equestria, needed following the destructive efforts and epic defeat of the villain Tirek, it was a thorough rest from all strife. Indeed, in the wake of such catastrophic struggles, everypony had been left tired, haggard, a little scared, and a whole lot in need of peace and order to restore their usual happiness. A rest was more than called for—a rest was the ideal solution to Equestria's jitters…and what better way to rest than a party?

Luckily, as a couple of weeks had passed since this latest great evil had nearly overtaken Equestria, it just happened to be time for Canterlot's annual Grand Galloping Gala—the most epic party of the year!

And right now, five of Equestria's youngest but pluckiest heroes (lacking for the moment their princess leader) were gathered in the throne room of Princess Twilight Sparkle's Friendship Castle, all residing on their designated thrones and happily admiring their gala tickets, which had arrived earlier courtesy of Spike.

"Gala party!" Pinkie Pie squealed, her eyes bright as she hugged her ticket close and grinned widely.

"All right! I've needed another one of these!" Rainbow Dash grinned, flying in the air and holding up her ticket proudly. "Last year's party was awesome!"

Apple Jack raised an eyebrow, placing her ticket down on her throne's armrest. "Er, not to burst your bubble, Rainbow, but if I recollect correctly, last year's party was a let down followed by a disaster that and just barely managed to end with a good time once we all stopped fussing and just enjoyed spending time with each other. And we were just lucky the princess was so all right with us accidentally destroying half the ballroom."

Rainbow Dash just waved her off with a smile though. "Eh, so there were some bumps—big deal. The point is in the end we managed to turn that boring shindig on its head, and even the Princess had to admit how cool it all turned out."

Apple Jack just rolled her eyes to the side but smiled nonetheless.

"I'm just so glad she wants to have us back again this year," Fluttershy remarked quietly as she admired her ticket with a little smile. "Even if Princess Celestia liked it, we did make sort of a big mess last year. But it'll be nice to go to the Gala this year and know we won't be disappointed as long as we stay with each other and have fun."

Rarity nodded with a proud smile, holding up her ticket magically to admire it. "Yes, we're all seasoned Gala socialites now. And I'm sure we could all use a lovely evening of relaxing in fine society after the nastiness and stress of that Tirek experience. I'll have to start planning my ensemble immediately and looking over all of this season's most fashionable design patterns." She clapped her hooves together in excitement.

"Ooo, hey, if you're working on a dress for yourself, does that mean you're going to make dresses for all of us again this year?" Pinkie Pie squealed, her smile beaming as usual. "Because if you are, can I request more candy corns on mine? Lots more candy corns in the pattern of my dress! Ooo and frosting and cakes! And can you make me a pocket for my party canon and—mm!" Pinkie was stopped by Rarity reaching out and holding a hoof over her mouth.

"Er," Rarity began with a nervous grin, "Perhaps we'll just tweak the dresses from last year instead of going through the process of designing all new ones. Heh…" She removed her hoof from Pinkie's mouth and cleared her throat to calmly go on. "But I do need to redesign something entirely new for Twilight. She needs an outfit that will accommodate her new wings, not to mention she's gotten taller ever since her alicorn transformation. And she's a princess now—she should look the part."

"Speaking of Twilight," Apple Jack started, scratching her head and glancing around, "Where has that mare gotten to anyway?" And indeed at Twilight's throne sat an unopened envelope and no Twilight. "And where's Spike?" Likewise, upon Spike's empty throne sat an unopened envelope.

"I think Spikey Wikey is still playing doorman for Twilight," Rarity remarked, putting a hoof to her chin. "He's concerned about her guests being announced properly if she has any. Isn't that sweet?" She smiled.

A small sigh left Fluttershy now. "And, as for Twilight, I think she's still trying to have a talk with Discord about…well…" she looked up toward the ceiling, "you know…"

Overhead was a large yellow banner spread over the full length of the throne room ceiling with a cartoon sketch of Discord's smiling face at the center and the phrase 'Discord Welcomes You to Twilight's Friendship Castle—Made Possible By Discord's Sixth Key!' scrawled across it in bold red script.

All the girls sighed.

At that point, a familiar voice or two were heard approaching from down one of the corridors.

"Discord, for the last time, please stop changing things in my castle to reflect your personality!"

"Ooo getting a little possessive, aren't we, Princess Twilight? I knew that crown would go to your head soon enough. Like student like teacher, I always say, and Celestia really is just as controlling as you are. You'd think you'd want to let your dear friend Discord carve out a space for himself in this overgrown crystal tree house of yours after his noble actions gave you the power to unlock the Rainbow Magic inside the Harmony Chest."

A deep sigh was heard. "Discord, I understand you want to be part of things. But this is my home now, and I would appreciate if you wouldn't make changes to it without consulting me. Then maybe later we can talk about giving you a chamber here or something to decorate if you really want. All right?" Twilight sounded a lot calmer and a lot more diplomatic now.

A forlorn sigh sounded in response to her words. "Oh all right, we'll talk about it later, I suppose. Really, Twilight, I was just stretching my chaos a little. No need to get your wings so ruffled." Discord chuckled and a snap was heard.

"What was that?" came Twilight's suspicious question.

"Hmm? Oh, pfft, nothing," came Discord's 'innocent' reply. "Just removing a few more inside decorations, that's all."

Twilight and Discord finally entered the throne room (and indeed, as they looked up, the banner over the ceiling vanished). Twilight shook her head, raising a hoof to her temple as she approached her throne while Discord just grinned away at the sight of the other girls.

"Oh and how are you ladies today? Enjoying the throne room?" he started, flying up to rest on the air above them. "You're welcome for it, by the way." He admired his claw.

Fluttershy smiled a little while the other girls all rolled their eyes.

"Hey!" Rainbow dash flew up to him, scowling. "We appreciate your help, you know, but ALL of us found keys to get the Rainbow Power, not just you. And you're just lucky you switched back to the right side in time, otherwise you'd be under lock and key by Cerberus right now, buster." She stuck her hoof right in his face.

Discord's mouth quirked to the side a little and a slight wince almost went through his features, but then he just shrugged, his normal casual demeanor returning. "Well…so I had a momentary evil lapse. It happens. Do you think Princess Luna doesn't still have the occasional jealous, 'nightmare moonish' thought about Celestia? Do you think that Sunset Shimmer girl you all mentioned helping doesn't still want a crown and power sometimes even though she knows it's not her destiny to have either? Don't you girls ever have issues maintaining the elements of harmony in each of your personalities…and wasn't that actually how you ended up getting your keys in the first place? By going through the difficult process of resisting the temptation to abandon the element each of you holds most dear during a crisis?" Discord flew a little bit away from Rainbow Dash. "So we're not so very different, Rainbow Dash—we all make mistakes, and we've all helped save Equestria. And on that note, I'd take a seat now like a good little draconequus but, as you can see, I didn't get a throne when the dust cleared after Tirek's defeat." He shrugged, and his smug grin returned. "So can you really blame me for putting up a few Discord-friendly banners and posters and paintings and flashing signs around this place as decoration?"

Rainbow Dash grinned smugly right back at him. "What, no statues?"

Discord blinked and then gave her such a dry look. "Oh hardee, har, har."

Rainbow Dash stifled a chuckle and then just flew off to her throne (Discord sticking out his tongue at her as she went.)

"Discord?" Fluttershy started, looking up at him with a smile. "You can sit in my throne sometimes if you want. I don't mind."

"Really?" Discord's smile returned and brightened. He snapped his fingers, making himself appear right at her side with a smile. "Thank you, dear Fluttershy. At least somepony here appreciates my newfound goodness. Perhaps later, though. Right now I'm perfectly content floating." And he sent himself back into the air over the circle of thrones again.

Twilight sighed at all of these antics, but then let out a calming breath and smiled to herself. She finally took a seat upon her own throne now, picking up the letter set there before doing so. Her smile brightened as she recognized the official royal seal. "Is this what I think it is?" She used her magic to start opening the envelope.

The girls all nodded.

"Yup," Apple Jack added. "Princess Celestia sent them over just a little while ago. And this year we don't have to go through a lot of fussing and fighting to each get our own."

"Ooo, and what's that?" Discord floated over right behind Twilight now, trying to read over her shoulder. "Some new instructions from Celestia? A new adventure perhaps? I'm game!" He snapped his fingers and made a large backpack and safari hat appear on his person. He held up his paw dramatically, striking a pose. "Let's go on some great quest of bonding to fight for friendship!"

Twilight smiled but shook her head. "I'm sorry, Discord, it's nothing like that. Princess Celestia just sent us our tickets to this year's Grand Galloping Gala."

"It's the biggest, most fashionable party of the year!" Rarity announced with a proud grin.

"Yeah!" Rainbow Dash nodded. "Last year we didn't know the princess too well yet so only Twilight got tickets, and we ended up fighting to see which of us she'd bring as her guest. But then I think she passed some friendship test by telling the princess she couldn't go if all of us couldn't go, so Celestia just sent all of us tickets. But now this year all of us just get to go right off the bat without any problems." She flew up a bit, holding up her arms. "It's a huge bash and everypony who's anypony ends up being there!"

Pinkie Pie nodded. "Uh huh! There's cake and decorations and lots of dancing! Some of it's a little boring compared with my usual parties, but that just gives everypony more opportunity to liven it up! In fact, last year we livened it up so much, we destroyed the—Mm!"

Twilight had just placed a hoof firmly over Pinkie's mouth. She smiled sheepishly, looking to Discord. "Er…what Pinkie means is that it's a pretty formal affair, but Princess Celestia doesn't mind if it gets livened up from time to time. We…may have gone a little far last year, but now we know how to handle things better. That's all." She removed her hoof from Pinkie's mouth now (the pink mare seemed confused for a moment but then just shrugged and went back to smiling widely and hugging and examining her ticket).

An intrigued grin came to Discord's features and he landed, crossing his arms over his chest and putting his claw to his chin. "Hmm, you don't say…. Well, you know, usually I skip formal social functions since they clash with my free spirited personality, but…the biggest party of the year…some elbow room to liven it up…a chance to show off my powers to other ponies…a grand night out with my best friends..." He cleared his throat, nodding once firmly. "Very well, I accept. Just hand me my ticket, and I'll be on my way and out of your manes for the rest of the day." He shut his eyes and held out his hand expectantly with a smile.

His request was met with silence…and some very awkward looks across the throne room between the six ponies and the baby dragon seated there.

Discord continued to hold out his hand for a moment, but then he opened his eyes, raising an eyebrow. "Well?"

The girls all looked to each other again, and then eventually all eyes went to Twilight as leader.

Twilight swallowed and cleared her throat, looking to Discord. "Um…Discord, you know, this really is a very…very formal party. Not everyone gets…" she put a hoof to her chin, "I mean, the guest list for the affair is…and only Princess Celestia's and Princess Luna's closest personal friends get to…erm…"

Rainbow Dash sighed and rolled her eyes, taking a seat at her throne and taking charge of the situation. "What she's saying, Discord, is that you didn't get a ticket for the Gala. No ticket, no going. Case closed."

Twilight scowled at Rainbow Dash's bluntness. "It's a very short guest list, Discord, is what Rainbow Dash meant to say." She looked back at him, her features softening. "Please don't take it personally. Like Apple Jack said, last year I was the only one of us who got a ticket at first, and even that surprised me a lot." She smiled, hoping this awkward topic wouldn't result in a problem. "I'm sure once Celestia has some more time to get used to your reform, she'll think about you when she makes the guest list. Maybe by next year's gala you'll be invited." She looked to him encouragingly.

Discord just stood there with his eyes opened a bit wide. "Oh…I see." There was something quiet and sincere in his tone that couldn't help but make the girls all look at him with interest (if not a touch of pity). He sighed then and flew up, looking away a bit. "Erm, not that it matters at all really. I have much better things to do than mingle with ponies. And I was probably going to be busy that night making chaos somewhere anyway." A grin then suddenly came up on one side of his face and a glimmer of something mischievous came into his red and yellow eyes. "Unless of course…I just crash the party for fun."

A touch of unease came to five of the six faces seated around the table. Fluttershy, however, just smiled a little, looking up to her friend. "There's no need for that, Discord. If you can't go to the party, I wouldn't mind not going myself and staying home with you. We could have our own little party with Angel Bunny."

Discord's plotting grin fell away entirely, replaced by an incredibly surprised and incredibly appreciative look as he glanced down at Fluttershy. "Really?"

Fluttershy nodded. "Of course. I've already been to the Gala once, and it was fun, but big parties aren't really my thing. And either way I always enjoy the little parties I get to have with you. In fact, I think it's the Gala's loss that you weren't invited. I know you'd make it really lively just like you make all of our tea parties and dinner parties as lively as can be."

Discord floated down near her, a very happy smile he couldn't control now spread across his features. "Thank you, dear Fluttershy," he replied very sincerely. He hesitated, biting his lip, but then added, "But I know the Gala is a special event, and if you really do want to go, even just for a bit, I wouldn't hold it against you. We could always have a dessert tea party later on that night together. Don't worry, I'd be all right on my own until you got back." He shrugged, smiling a touch sheepishly.

Fluttershy beamed a little. "That's very kind of you, Discord. But I promise," she touched her hoof to his arm, "I'd much rather spend the evening catching up with you."

Discord's gaze warmed and he chuckled softly to himself. "Well, at least somepony values my company." He sighed, seeming content again, and then flew up once more. "Who needs a stupid Gala anyway?"

Just then the clicking of some familiar clawed feet sounded running up the entrance hall, and in a moment Spike entered and blew a small gold horn. He then leaned against the wall briefly to catch his breath.

Before he could speak, Twilight smiled at him and spoke first. "Spike, I appreciate the effort, but you really don't have to announce everyone who comes for a visit like a royal guard or a footman or something. I promise, we'd much rather have you sitting here with us than running back and forth to announce the mail mare and Filly Scouts selling cookies and Owlowiscious swooping in."

Spike let out a final breath and straightened up. "But you need someone for those things, and this place doesn't have a staff yet. Besides, this one is important." He cleared his throat. "Announcing Princess Celestia of Equestria!" he called out proudly.

All of the girls (and Discord) blinked and looked to the door with interest. And indeed, entering the light of the throne room now came a smiling Princess Celestia with a small saddlebag over her back. She gave a small bow of her head, looking to the baby dragon. "Thank you for the announcement, Spike."

Spike gave her a little bow in return. "You're welcome, Princess." Then he dashed over to take his place on his throne at Twilight's side.

Celestia smiled more and then straightened up and approached the circle of thrones as Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash all bowed to her (and as Twilight clearly struggled not to give in to the habit of bowing to her, which Celestia had assured her was no longer necessary). Discord merely landed on his feet and looked with cool interest upon the entrance of the princess of the sun.

Twilight spoke, doing her best to sound professional and trying not to let her happiness at the arrival of her mentor overtake her. "Princess Celestia, thank you so much for visiting us. I hope everything's okay in Canterlot."

Celestia nodded. "You're very welcome, Twilight. Thank you for having me. And, yes, everything's fine in Canterlot, I promise. It's very nice to see all of you girls." Discord cleared his throat, and Celestia added, smiling more, "And Discord too." She walked around the table, looking to the engraved gold tickets (her movements were slowly bringing her closer to Discord). "I see each of you got the tickets to the Gala that I sent. I hope you'll all enjoy the celebration this year just as much as last year."

"Those of us who are allowed to go…" Discord couldn't help mumbling a little, flying up to rest on his back in the air above them all again.

Celestia smiled a little more, pausing near Discord and looking up at him with interest.

Twilight cleared her throat spoke again, addressing Celestia with a smile. "I'm sure we'll love the Gala this year, Princess Celestia. And thank you very much for the invitations. And I'm so glad you're here, but, if you don't mind my asking," she hesitated, raising an eyebrow, "if there's no problem in Canterlot, why did you make the trip here now? You must have so much planning to do for the Gala."

"Actually," Celestia glanced over to Twilight, "Princess Luna is helping me a bit with that this year. She finally feels confident enough in her command over her nights again that she's willing to spend a full evening engaged in other affairs, so she'll be hosting and attending the Gala this year as well. You'll also notice on your tickets that we've made the usual start time of the party a bit earlier this year, right around sunset. Luna will have a bit more time to spend at the party because of that."

"Princess Luna is going." Twilight's smile brightened. "That's wonderful. I'm sure she'll enjoy herself."

"Yes," Rarity chimed in with a smile, "We get to see so little of her since she sleeps during the day, but I think her presence will add a very regal touch to everything."

"Yup," Applejack nodded with a grin. "She can be a real life of the party when she wants to be."

Celestia smiled more. "I think my sister is looking forward to attending just as much as all of you are looking forward to seeing her attend."

"So you really just came for a visit then? And you actually have some time to stay for a while?" Twilight suddenly asked, her smile turning very hopeful. "I'd love the chance to catch up a little and maybe ask you some questions now that I have a castle. Or I could show you my library. Or we could even just have tea together and talk."

Celestia smiled kindly down on her former faithful student. "Twilight, nothing would make me happier than to do that one day. But I'm afraid I do still have some pressing affairs to attend to in Canterlot shortly. And there actually is a particular mission that I came here for today." Her gaze went up and over to a certain draconequus still hovering in the air. "I came to see Discord."

"Discord?" "Me?"

Both of these announcements came from Twilight and Discord simultaneously complete with perplexing looks in Celestia's direction.

Celestia nodded to both parties. "Yes, that's right."

"But how did you know he'd be here?" Twilight asked, an eyebrow raised.

"Oh…" Celestia tried not to smile too much, "it just seemed like the most likely place. Incidentally, Twilight, you're free to decorate your castle however you want to of course but…are you sure large flags outside bearing Discord's face and the phrase 'Master of Friendship' is really the best way to express yourself as Princess?" Her grin picked up just a little on one side.

Twilight blinked and then looked up to Discord with a frown. "Discord!"

Discord shrugged, a sheepish 'innocent' grin on his features as he turned in the air to look down at her. "Oh dear, did I do that? I could have sworn I intended that last 'snap' to make all of my little decorations disappear, not to make new decorations appear on the outside of your castle where you couldn't see them but everypony else could." Everyone around gave him a rather skeptical look, which made Discord sigh and shrug. "What? As I said, I'm just carving out a place for myself here since the Harmony Tree didn't think to do so. And I was even gracious enough to put Twilight on the flags too! See!" He floated down a little and snapped, making one of the large flags appear in his arms. And indeed just underneath the large picture of his grinning face and the phrase 'Master of Friendship' there was a small cartoon picture of Twilight and a little caption reading 'Princess Twilight Approved!' "It's your castle—of course I wouldn't leave you out, Twilight," Discord assured with a wink.

Twilight scowled more at first but then paused, closed her eyes, and let out a deep breath, holding out her hoof in front of herself for a moment. When she lowered her hoof and opened her eyes again, her tone had a regal calm to it. "Discord, please take the flags down for now, and we'll discuss giving you some role or place in the castle later as I said, all right?"

Discord sighed dramatically but nodded. "Oh, all right. Since you asked so very nicely, Princess Twilight." He snapped is fingers, and the flag in his arms disappeared. "The flags out front are gone too. But we are definitely having this talk very soon about finding a way to remind the other ponies that I had just as much of a role in making this Friendship Castle happen as all of you. I want to be included by at least one princess of Equestria in the major affairs of her house. Hmph!" And then he closed his eyes, crossed his arms over his chest, put his nose in the air, and flew defiantly right past Celestia.

Celestia just eyed him with amused interest, trying not to laugh.

The other girls were all a little wide-eyed at this display, of course. Rainbow Dash flew up and looked to Celestia, frowning and attempting to explain. "Sorry, Princess. Discord's just a little…disappointed that he didn't get a ticket to the Gala. We told him not everyone gets one—even all of us didn't get one last year until you made a special exception." She shrugged, smiling a little nervously.

Rarity nodded, doing her best to be helpful as she added, "Besides, he probably wouldn't even like such a structured and formal affair."

"It's all right," Fluttershy assured, looking to Celestia. "I told Discord I wouldn't mind staying home with him that night to have our own party with my animals. I hope you won't mind if I don't go to the Gala, Princess Celestia." She glanced down, appearing a touch nervous at delivering this polite refusal to the princess herself.

Princess Celestia just smiled at her. "That won't be necessary though, Fluttershy. Of course Discord's invited to the Gala."

Fluttershy glanced up, her smile beaming. "He is?"

"Hmm…" Discord turned and landed on his feet before Celestia, still appearing aloof, "And yet I remain the only one ticket-less in this room. How odd." He put his claw to his chin, pretending to ponder the situation in a clearly sarcastic way.

Celestia let out a small sigh but looked to him with her normal smile. "I didn't send you a ticket, Discord, because I wanted to extend the invitation to you in person." She then magically opened her saddlebag to remove an engraved golden Gala ticket just like those each of the girls had received.

"Oh really?" Discord countered, eyeing the item yet still unable to help seeming a little suspicious. "And why in the world would you feel the need to do that exactly?"

Celestia magically floated the ticket into his hands. And she looked into his eyes now. "Because you're not just invited to the Gala. I wanted to make a special request of you, Discord…as hostess and as your friend."

Discord blinked, his features losing their smugness. "As my friend?" He moved closer to her, clutching the ticket a little. "Oh. Well…what is it you need from me, Celestia? Anything I can do to help." He held up his hand, ready to snap his fingers.

Celestia smiled at him but shook her head. "It's nothing like that, Discord. But I appreciate knowing your help is there if I need it." She took a deep breath now and then made her request. "I want you to be my personal escort for this year's Grand Galloping Gala. Will you go with me, Discord?"

Discord blinked. "What?" He raised an eyebrow in a rare look of perplexity.

"What?" Rarity's jaw dropped and her eyes went wide as could be.

"What now?" Apple Jack rubbed at her ears like she had misheard.

"What?" Fluttershy had a pleasant smile come to her face.

"What?!" Pinkie Pie practically jumped out of her throne in excitement.

"What?!" Rainbow Dash held out her front hooves with her mouth open.

"What?" Spike just raised an eyebrow curiously.

"What?" Twilight almost fell out of her throne.

"What?" Celestia shrugged, merely smiling in interest at all of the girls.

The girls looked to each other in uneasy surprise (all but Rarity, that was, who still just sat there with wide eyes and her mouth open—unblinking, unchanging, not saying a word).

Discord blinked a few times and then rubbed at one of his own ears. "I-I'm sorry, I must have some cotton candy clouds lodged in here. You want me to go to this Grand Galloping Gala as your…er…like a…"

"I want you to go with me as my escort, as a companion for the evening, Discord. Will you?" Celestia prompted, looking back to him. "It's all right if you'd rather not, of course. As Rarity said, the Grand Galloping Gala might not be your kind of party, or you might prefer to go alone. I'd like your presence there for at least a little while though, if possible. But I also think you and I would have fun if we did go together. I always enjoy having my friends close to me at the Gala." She smiled at him.

Discord blinked and looked a touch serious again. "Your friend…. I…well…I…" He cleared his throat, making some of his usual aloofness return. "I…well…oh fine, Celestia, I'll escort you to the Gala." He smirked now, considering. "Yes, why not—I'll probably have a much more amusing time at the whole thing experiencing it from your central perspective. What do I get to do—just reside on a 'throne' next to yours?" He glanced at Twilight, his grin growing. "My own throne—imagine that, Twilight?"

Twilight sighed. "Yes, Discord, imagine that." She smiled to herself and shook her head a little, and then looked back to Discord again. "Actually, Discord, I spent most of my time at last year's Gala with the princess, and there wasn't a throne involved, but we did mostly just observe the party from the center of things—the top of the staircase. There are a lot of guests to greet, and Princess Celestia has to spend most of her time welcoming them."

"Actually, Twilight," Celestia added, "things are going to be a little different this year, which is another reason I came by. Since Luna's coming to the Gala, she'll be taking over some of the greetings for me."

Twilight smiled at the news. "Oh, well, that's good—I think it would be great for Princess Luna to welcome the guests. More ponies should get to know her, and I know she likes making new friends."

"Yes, exactly." Celestia nodded. "And there will be one other change. So that Luna can have as much time to enjoy the party as possible since she'll have to be on call for her nightly duties and so I can take some time to experience the party myself this year for once, I would like you to take a brief turn at welcoming the guests as well, Twilight, just like we did last year together but on your own now."

Twilight blinked, her eyes going wide. "Me?"

Celestia nodded. "Yes. You're Equestria's newest Princess, and everyone is very grateful to you for your efforts in saving us all from Tirek. And you've also officially discovered your place as a ruler of Equestria. Most of my invited guests have already returned their confirmations that they'll be attending, and all of them have expressed how anxious they are to see you. It would mean a great deal to our subjects, Twilight, if you would greet some of the arriving guests personally. But I promise you'll also have plenty of time to just enjoy yourself at the gala too," she assured with a smile.

Twilight considered for a moment and then looked to her former mentor with determination. "Princess Celestia, as a Princess of Equestria, I would be honored to see to the task of helping greet the guests." She bowed her head slightly for a moment, and then raised it, blushing a little. "I don't want to disappoint anypony who's looking forward to meeting me. And it's all right," she smiled, "I'll greet everyone for as long as you'd like. Luna deserves a chance to enjoy the Gala and so do you…especially since you'll have an…escort with you." Twilight glanced curiously at Discord, unable to help herself.

"Thank you, Twilight." Celestia bowed her head to Twilight in return and then looked back to Discord. "So you see, Discord, if you accompany me, we won't just have to sit around watching everypony enjoy themselves. We'll have plenty of free time to talk, admire the decorations, spend time with our friends and meet new people just like all of the other guests will. I promise it'll be a fun evening. I know how you get when you're bored, so I definitely won't allow that to happen." She smiled.

Discord's features brightened and a smug grin even came to his lips. "You're going to try and keep me amused for an entire evening? Oh, this I have to see. I'll absolutely go with you, and I'm looking forward to it, Celestia." He held out a paw, smilingly brightly now.

Celestia gave him her hoof to shake. "I'm looking forward to it too. Thank you for agreeing to be my escort, Discord." They separated.

Discord chuckled, crossing his arms over his chest again and admiring his Gala ticket once more. "And thank you for actually giving me a ticket so that I didn't have to get put into the sticky situation of trying to maintain our friendship while at the same time planning how best to crash your little Gala and leave such a lasting impression that you'd never again overlook inviting me even to Sunday tea let alone to the biggest party of the year." He snapped his fingers. A large, suspended glittering orb appeared to his left and a seven-foot-tall tiered cake appeared on his right. "I was so torn between dropping down from the celling on a disco ball or popping out of a cake—but now no more crisis." He grinned and snapped again, making both objects disappear. "I can just burst in on this formal affair right through the front doors. A direct approach—that'll be refreshing for me."

Celestia chuckled and shook her head. "Discord, you never have to go through all of that. If you ever feel left out of anything, please just mention so, and you'll have the full assistance of me or any of your friends to correct the problem make you feel like you belong again."

Discord sighed, putting a hand to his beard and looking up. "Hmm…I don't know—that seems so mushy and far too easy. I like my way better. Crashing parties is an art form to me after all." He smirked.

"Ooo, Discord!" Pinkie suddenly called out, raising her front hooves, her eyes wide and sparkling. "I just had the most super brilliant idea! Will you crash one of my parties sometime?! Oh that would be so fun! We'd all be like—yay a party! And dancing and talking and playing games, and then you'd suddenly appear out of nowhere and turn everything upside down and into chaos! Of course, my parties are already pretty chaotic—does that mean if you turned one of my parties into chaos, they'd be double chaotic? Or since usually you turn order into chaos, would you turn one of my chaotic parties into order? But then what sense would that make, Discord making order!? But then what sense would it make to have Discord making sense, right? Ooo, ooo, ooo, okay, I'll make a super ordered party for you to crash, and then you can really have fun turning it chaotic, and then we can all have chocolate rain for dessert!" Then she scowled and something very serious came to her features. "But WITH whipped cream dollops. It's just cruel not to have them," she announced, turning up her head defiantly.

There was a very long moment of silence in the throne room.

Then Pinkie Pie just blinked and smiled again, and with a little 'squee!' looked around at everypony with her normal bright grin.

Discord snapped and made himself appear right beside Pinkie Pie with a small grin of his own and a slightly raised eyebrow. "Pinkie Pie, two things…first, sometimes you worry even me a little, and second, you and I need to spend some more time together." He smiled more. "Insanity loves company after all. Oh and just so we're clear, throw a party as chaotic or as orderly as you like, my little element of laughter, and I promise either way I will bring such a flair of nonsense to it that ponies will talk about it for generations." He winked.

Pinkie Pie beamed and clapped her hooves together. "You got it, Discord!" She winked back at him.

The other five girls and Spike just looked at each other in unease.

Celestia laughed warmly and proceeded to walk back across the throne room toward the entrance hall. "Well, on that note, Discord, I think I should let you get back to spending time with Pinkie Pie all of your other friends. But I'll be looking forward to you and I getting to spend some time together soon."

Discord shrugged and smiled. "Yes, I'm looking forward to it too, I suppose, Celestia. It's certainly overdue. And it'll probably be interesting shoving the two of us together in a situation that doesn't involve either the fate of Equestria being at stake or one of us trying to dramatically threaten the other's existence." He chuckled.

Celestia paused and glanced over her shoulder at him with a special smile. "Exactly my thoughts, Discord. I think this will be one of the best Galas yet. I'll be starting in on all of the major preparations as soon as I get home actually."

"Wait, Princess Celestia!" Spike suddenly called out, dashing across the room. "If you're going, at least let me see you out. We don't have any royal guards for that yet."

Celestia smiled more, looking down at the little dragon. "Thank you, Spike. But actually it looks like such a nice day outside," she glanced out of a large, open window through which the sun and blue sky were clearly visible, "I think I'll just take off from here to fly home instead of leaving by the front door." She spread her wings, but turned to speak once more, looking to the Princess of Friendship this time. "Twilight, if you could come by the Canterlot castle some time soon to discuss more about your role in this year's Gala, I would appreciate it."

Twilight nodded. "Of course, Princess Celestia, I'll send you a letter later and we can set up a time."

Celestia nodded, then bowed her head to the group. "Have a pleasant afternoon, everyone." The girls, Spike, and Discord all waved and said their goodbyes (all but Rarity, who had maintained her wide eyed silence throughout all of these exchanges), and then Celestia flew up and took her leave.

Twilight smiled, blushing a touch. "Wow, I can't believe Princess Celestia wants me to greet guests on my own at the Gala…or that so many ponies are looking forward to being introduced to me." She blushed a little more and frowned just slightly, looking to all of her friends. "It was all of us who saved Equestria from Tirek though. I wish all of you could stand up there with me to greet the guests. I couldn't have done it without you."

"Aw, nonsense, Twi," Apple Jack assured, waving her off with a grin. "We all might have helped, but it was because of how well you brought us together."

Rainbow Dash nodded. "Yeah, the way you wielded that alicorn magic to fight Tirek was awesome!"

"And it was so brave of you to take on Princess Celestia and Princess Luna and Princess Cadance's magic all at once along with your own," Fluttershy added in encouragement.

Apple Jack nodded. "Plus you're a princess, sugar cube. You should be the one greeting people. Besides, not that shaking everypony's hoof doesn't sound, uh…fascinating, but I'm sure the rest of us'll find some other way not to be bored at the Gala." She rolled her eyes to the side, grimacing a little.

"Yeah," Pinkie Pie nodded, "who would want to spend time on stuffy old hoofshakes when there's a shindig to make fun!" She grinned widely, while the others (minus Rarity and Twilight herself) glanced at her with a touch of disapproval. Pinkie Pie just shrugged though, still smiling. "What?"

Twilight just smiled and shook her head. "Well…" she sighed, "I suppose it's just another royal duty, and I'll do my best to complete it. But then afterwards we can all spend this Gala together, right?" She looked to her friends.

The girls (again, minus Rarity) and Spike all nodded with smiles. "Right!" they announced in unison.

"Except me!" Discord suddenly announced with a proud grin, moving right beside Twilight with his head held high and his ticket held even higher in his paw. "I get to spend the Gala with Princess Celestia as her special honored guest! I bet she would only ask someone she considered a really true friend to do something like that." He admired his claw with a smug look.

"Uh, yeah," Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow, "speaking of which, can we all move on to talking about the thing bigger than Twilight shaking hooves with the party guests. Discord is going to be the Princess's escort to the Gala! How insane is that?! No offense, Discord." She glanced at him.

Discord shrugged. "None taken. Personally I find sanity overrated." His floated up a little, and his body started to disappear around his somehow remaining grin and eyes, which then turned upside down until with a snap of his fingers he made himself fully visible again, only this time hanging upside down in midair but sipping chocolate milk from a right side up cup.

Rainbow Dash just rolled her eyes.

Fluttershy smiled and interjected on her chaotic friend's behalf. "I think it was very nice of Celestia to invite you in person, Discord, and to ask you to be her escort. I can't ever remember her specifically inviting a companion all for herself for the evening. It really is an honor."

"Yeah, but Discord?" Rainbow Dash had to ask again, flying up and throwing her hooves in the air. She glanced at him again. "Again, no offense."

A bit of a dry look came to Discord's features as he righted himself, making the cup disappear. "Again, none taken." He snapped his fingers, however, suddenly turning Dash's bright blue wings into little pink butterfly wings.

"Hey!" Dash fell right back down to her throne with a thud and glanced behind her. "Discord!" she called out with a scowl.

Discord snapped his fingers again, changing her wings back to normal. "What?" He shrugged innocently. "We're just joking around like the true friends we are, aren't we? Though, honestly, what's really so bad about spending time around me? I've gotten a lot more pleasant lately—I've taken my obnoxiousness down at least two levels ever since the last time we saved Equestria together." He nodded, crossing his arms over his chest with a satisfied smile.

Apple Jack nodded to her friends. "Discord's right. He has gotten a lot less ornery lately. And I reckon that if Celestia's going to be having more free time this Gala, it makes sense she wouldn't want to spend it alone." She leaned close to Rainbow Dash and added, "And that she'd want to keep Discord close to keep an eye on him." Rainbow Dash nodded.

"I just can't believe I'm going to get an official Discord-crashed chaos party sometime soon!" Pinkie Pie squealed, throwing her arms up in the air. "I'm so excited! Ooo we should start planning right now!" She looked to her friends. "First order of business—location! I vote we have the party right here! It'll be like a housewarming party for Twilight!"

And on that note all of the girls (minus Rarity) started speaking at once, bouncing ideas off of each other for the potential affair (though Twilight was mostly just expressing unease at using her new castle for a chaos party of course)—basically all of the ladies seemed engaged and enjoying themselves overall.

And then Rarity just couldn't take it anymore. "Girls!" she suddenly cried out, throwing up her hooves.

Her five friends stopped talking and stared at her in surprise.

Rarity went on, her eyes still quite wide. "You're all missing the point of everything! Forget parties, forget hoofshakes, even forget Twilight's castle for a moment! Don't you realize what just happened? What we all just witnessed?!"

The five girls (and Spike) looked back to her curiously.

"What?" Apple Jack asked, scratching her head.

"What?" Pinkie Pie added, shrugging her shoulders.

"What?!" Rainbow Dash asked, losing some patience.

"…What?" Fluttershy supplied, turning her head to the side and frowning a little.

"What?" Spike raised an eyebrow again.

"What, Rarity?" Twilight had to prompt now, seeing how seriously her friend was taking whatever was on her mind.

Rarity took a breath and then announced her grand realization. "Girls…Celestia, our Princess Celestia, just asked Discord out on a date!"

There was total silence in the throne room.

Then a single snicker broke through. It was Discord's snicker of course. And it quickly turned into a chuckle and then suddenly he was just laughing and laughing, holding his sides in mid-air and caught in such hysterics that tears were spilling from his eyes as he twisted in convulsions of mirth that showed no sign of stopping!


That was chapter 1, and I hope you've enjoyed it enough to continue on to chapter 2 ^_^ And please review if you get a chance! Thanks!

Happy Reading!

~Azure129 aka Jenna