One is Silver, and the Other's Gold
Part Two: Slumber Party
That evening, Discord, dressed in a pink and blue striped nightshirt and nightcap, sat atop a cotton candy cloud in his dim bedroom (floating furniture, upside down clocks, swirling lava lamp-like wallpaper, and other such chaotic accessories decorating the space). He faced the large glass windows leading out to his veranda (which was constructed of solid chocolate and had pinwheels sticking out of random spots along the railing). Discord's eyes were closed and he had his arms held out low and to the side, clearly in a posture of meditation. He was doing quite well at the practice this time around (and had been for about twenty minutes or so).
However, despite Tree Hugger's insistence on quiet, Discord couldn't help mumbling to himself a little as his chaotic thoughts found their own peaceful rhythm and brought him to peaceful conclusions. "I can't remember the last day I had so much fun…and with so many friends." Discord sighed, smiling more. "Tree Hugger's really not so bad once you get to know her. A little loopy, but then again who am I to talk. And this meditation thing really is so relaxing. I really don't take enough time for myself." A deep yawn escaped Discord. Then he let his eyes flutter open slightly as he looked down and shrugged. "Fluttershy said I was a good friend…a sweet friend. And maybe she's right. And maybe that means I'll not only be able to make new friends like Smooze and Tree Hugger on my own but that I'll be able to strengthen the friendships I already have too." His eyes went up at the hopeful thought. "After all, you know what they say—make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's—Celestia?!"
Discord blinked and his jaw fell in quite a bit of surprise. He then popped out his eyes like marbles, gave them a quick roll in his hand, and popped them back into his head and blinked several times. But indeed, he was seeing things right—the sun princess herself was standing on his veranda. And now she was smiling brightly at him through the glass doors and giving him a wave.
Discord blinked several times before finally leaving is cloud to approach the doors. He snapped to make them open, upon which his grin picked up on one side. "Well, hello, Celestia. What an unexpected visit. Your timing is almost chaotic in a way—I'm impressed." He chuckled.
Celestia laughed softly in return. "Hello, Discord. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to surprise you even if you did enjoy the chaos of it. I would have knocked, but I didn't want to interrupt you doing…whatever it was you were doing." She raised an eyebrow, smiling. "What exactly were you doing just now anyway?"
Discord instantly snapped away the cotton candy cloud behind him and shrugged. "Meditating—Tree Hugger suggested it as a way to relax. And I think it'll help prevent me from, you know…going off anymore emotional deep ends for the present." He rolled his eyes at himself and grinned. "Besides, you wouldn't believe how stressful it is being in charge of chaos. Always trying to keep my material fresh, always topping myself." He crossed his arms over his chest. "It's really a full time job."
Celestia chuckled lightly and nodded. "That sounds wonderful, Discord. I'm happy you're getting so much out of your new friendship. And I understand. I feel the same way sometimes about my own job—so much stress being a princess and being in charge of the sun, trying to make each dawn and evening interesting in some way for the ponies, throwing Galas…." She sighed. "Perhaps you can teach me how to meditate sometime? I could stand to relax a little more myself."
"Grim Celestia finally admitting she's too grim?" Discord's smile picked up on one side. "That's the most chaotic thing I've seen all day—and considering where I live, that's saying something."
"Very funny, Discord." Celestia rolled her eyes. "I'm glad to see your mood's improved so much since the Gala."
Discord sighed and nodded. "Yes, well…like I said, the meditation helps…"
"And friendship?" Celestia eyed him a little, her smile growing.
Discord sighed but nodded. "Yes, that too, I suppose." The two friends shared a smile. Then Discord crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the edge of the doorway. "Okay, I'll bite—how exactly did you manage to get here of all places, and what in the world can I do for my favorite former arch foe?" He chuckled. "And just so we're clear, if you're looking for tips on how to get Smooze stains out of anything, I've tried everything and nothing works. I've just learned to accept them."
Celestia just gave him a little smirk. "Actually I just wanted to talk with you about something, and now that the moon is risen and I'm off duty, it seemed like the perfect time." She raised an eyebrow, finally really noticing his outfit. "Unless of course you were getting ready to go to bed. It's a little early though, and I never took you for a person with a bedtime, Discord."
Discord waved her off and snapped his fingers, making the nightclothes get-up disappear. "Hey, I'm all about the nightlife. But today was a long day though, so I thought I might turn in early with a good chaotic book or something." He sighed and smiled a little more. "But if you really want to talk, let's talk." Discord stepped out to the veranda overlooking the glorious chaos realm around them. "I suppose this is about the apology I owe you for the absolute spectacle I made at your Gala party. Very well, then…" still smiling, he stepped back and gave a dramatic bow. "My humblest apologies, Princess Celestia, for doing second rate stand up and dousing your party in smooze. In my defense, I was going through a personal crisis at the time. But I promise you, at the next major social function, only first rate comedy from me and good, old-fashioned, classic chaos in the form of chocolate rain and cotton candy clouds and general amusing nonsense that'll be fun for the whole family." He straightened up and gave her a wink. "It's the least I could do."
Celestia smiled warmly. "Apology accepted, Discord, and thank you for the assurance about your chaos at future affairs. But you really don't have to be sorry about the Gala. The whole night actually turned out better than I dreamed it would. You never fail to impress me, Discord." She shook her head in amusement.
Discord raised an eyebrow, then grinned. "I impress you? Really? And I've never failed at it…ever? Even a thousand years ago?"
Celestia nodded. "Of course you impress me, Discord. You're a very talented wielder of magic. And my favorite thing about chaos and how you use it is that I never can tell what you're going to create. I enjoy the surprise. And speaking of surprises…" She used her magic to make an envelope with a royal seal appear in the air, which she floated over to Discord. "Here. So you're not up in the air again next year, I'm giving you your Gala ticket in advance."
Discord took the ticket envelope in his hands and then looked to Celestia with a grin. "You mean I'm invited again?"
Celestia nodded. "Of course, Discord. I told you I liked what you did at the party. You made the night very fun and very unforgettable." She rolled her eyes to the side. "Usually the Gala's so boring and stuffy, but you gave us a night we'll look back on and laugh about for years to come. I loved it. I invited you hoping you would make the night that special." She smiled brightly. "In fact, Discord, I really can't believe you thought I'd leave you out of the party. Fluttershy told me that it sounded like you'd just assumed this whole time that the only way you were going to go was as her guest." She frowned a little.
Discord blinked, then shrugged and pouted slightly. "Yes, well…I honestly wasn't sure whether you'd invite me to a big, formal affair like that or not, and then when no ticket came for me, I just assumed…"
Celestia smiled again and moved closer to him. "Discord, you're my friend. Of course you're always going to be invited to any event that's important to me. But in the future if you ever do feel left out or like an oversight might have been made, please just let me know. Besides…" her smile grew into a grin, "How could I throw the biggest and grandest party of the year and not invite the chaos master himself to liven things up?"
Discord just eyed her so curiously for a moment. Then he snapped his invitation away and grinned, raising an eyebrow and crossing his arms over his chest. "You actually like my chaos, don't you, Celestia? You're actually really glad that I can spread it now and still make friends, aren't you?"
Celestia nodded. "Yes, I do like your chaos, Discord. And I am happy to see you spreading it now for the amusement of everyone instead of just yourself. And even if your stand up at the Gala was second rate, in a way that made it all the funnier." She chuckled. "Poor Twilight about her wings…"
Discord chuckled too. "Yes, well, that one at least, was sort of a good one. I still can't believe you laughed at it, and right in front of her." He shook his head. "She'll be having a complex over her flying skills for weeks."
Celestia smirked and couldn't help herself. "What flying skills?"
There was a moment of silence, and then Celestia and Discord burst into warm laughter.
"Celestia, that was terrible!" Discord remarked, wiping a tear from his eye.
Celestia looked down sheepishly. "I know…. Please don't tell Twilight I said that. It just slipped out." She chuckled more.
"No problem." Discord winked and nodded. "It'll just stay between us."
Celestia nodded in return. "Thank you, Discord."
Then Discord shook his head and glanced out to all of the chaos occurring in his realm. "So you really came all the way here just to deliver me my ticket a year in advance? After all, you can't use pony magic to zap yourself here once you're in this realm—you have to physically travel through all of the chaos obstacles. Did you have any trouble?" He raised an eyebrow.
Celestia shrugged, dusting off her shoulder with her hoof. "One of the krakens in that bubblegum whirlpool was a little difficult to subdue. And flying backward through the reverse wind vortex while avoiding the pudding nebula was certainly an acrobatic feat. But otherwise, I had fun working my way here." She smiled sheepishly. "Actually, that's another reason I wanted to deliver your invitation myself. I didn't realize you lived in an entirely different dimensional plane, and one so full of chaos too. I'll really have to write a long apology and appreciation letter to the mailpony who had to traverse this place to bring you your Gala ticket."
Discord grinned a little and shook his head as he leaned back against the veranda railing. "Yes, I'm a little impressed with you and the mailpony as well for making it to me. But really, Celestia, how could you not realize I was in a pocket dimension of disorder here? I told you my mailing address, after all—sent notice of it to everyone actually as soon as I made a home here."
Celestia sighed a little dryly. "When you wrote that you lived at '1313 Chaos Lane', I thought it was a pun or a metaphor or some small strip of road near the Everfree forest that you'd named after yourself. I didn't realize you were serious about the lane literally being made of chaos, and people having to travel through a portal to get here and then traverse chaos obstacles to find you."
Discord chuckled. "Yes, well, one of my weaknesses is being literal to a fault after all." He shrugged. "I'll put a mailbox outside of the chaos dimension entrance portal for the future. Though I hope that won't deter visits from my friends, you included."
Something in Celestia's gaze warmed. "You know, I think that's the first time you've referred to me directly as a friend, Discord."
"Yes, well…" Discord's gaze drifted out to the chaos around them, "The times are changing, after all."
Celestia nodded, her gaze moving out toward the chaos as well. "And Smooze is happy and doing well, I take it?"
Discord nodded. "Oh yes. We had a grand evening today."
"Fluttershy told me." Celestia glanced at him. "I saw her after she and Tree Hugger got back home. She said something about you and Smooze going cruising, shooting the breeze about chaos, picking up chicks?" She grinned more.
"Oh please, like we even had a chance of finding ladies cool enough for us," Discord waved her off, grinning more as well. "We did take a little trip around though. I showed Smooze some of my favorite sites, he told me some stories about bygone days." He shrugged. "It's funny—I just summoned him for the sake of bothering Fluttershy. But now I really like him as a friend, and he likes me too. I actually offered to let him stay with me for a bit, just until he gets on his feet…er, on his blobbyness. I think it'll be good for me and for our friendship."
Celestia nodded. "I think that's very kind and wise, Discord. I really am proud of you."
"Ah, quit buttering me up, Celestia." Discord snapped of his fingers, and suddenly Celestia nearly slipped as the veranda became coated in butter.
"Only if you promise to bring butter floors to next year's Gala," Celestia countered with a smile, finally regaining her balance so she could continue taking in all of the crazy chaos. She sighed softly. "This really is a beautiful place, Discord. I'm happy I came for a visit."
Discord smiled more. "If you'd like, I'd be happy to take you on a tour sometime."
Celestia laughed softly. "Fluttershy did also mention that you give the best tours." She nodded. "I'd love a tour, Discord. Just send me a letter whenever you're available and we'll work out a time to meet."
Discord chuckled. "You've got it princess. But hey, don't think this'll just be a walk in the chaos park or something. I usually give Fluttershy and others the 'lite' tour—the one with the fewest paradoxes and nothing that could keep you trapped for eternity in string cheese or lava glaciers if you don't approach the situation chaotically enough. But you're a powerful pony, Celestia—I'd only give you the grand tour. I guarantee you'll never look at chaos the same way again." He grinned proudly, holding his head high.'
"I'm looking forward to it, Discord." Celestia nodded. "I don't get nearly enough chaos in my life."
Discord smiled with interest down at her as she smiled up at him.
Then suddenly there was a knock at Discord's bedroom door. The chaos master glanced over his shoulder. "Smooze? Is that you? It's okay, come in. We have a visitor."
The door opened and Smooze (wearing a big blue nightcap) peeked in hesitantly but then quickly rolled himself over to Discord and Celestia. He smiled at the sun princess and gave a bow of his head.
"A pleasure to see you again as well, Smooze," Celestia replied with a bow of her own.
"Something wrong?" Discord smiled and raised an eyebrow at his amorphous friend.
Smooze gurgled a little and then nodded his head and started to gurgle some more.
"Hmm…I see." Discord's smile softened. "Well, if you want, I can snap you up a nice chaotic cot and you can stay up here with me for tonight until you get more comfortable."
The Smooze nodded eagerly, his wobbly smile growing.
Celestia raised an eyebrow and smiled a little at Discord. "You can understand him?"
Discord shrugged. "I get the gist." He looked to Smooze again. "Now, Smooze, you run along and get your stuff and bring it up here. This can be sort of like a sleepover. I've heard friends have those often. It might be fun to try for ourselves."
The Smooze nodded. Then he gave Celestia another bow (which was returned) before departing back downstairs.
Discord chuckled and shook his head as he watched him go. "He's just a little nervous being in a new place all alone for the night. And I think he's a little afraid of the dark—you know how much he loves shiny things." He rolled his eyes. "The company will do him good."
"Company does everyone good, Discord." Celestia looked up at him with a special smile.
Discord blinked but then crossed his arms over his chest and grinned down at her. "Don't you ever get sick of finding the sappy moral at the heart of every moment, Celestia?" He raised an eyebrow.
"Never." Celestia's smile grew and she shook her head, holding it high with a soft laugh. "Well…" then she turned back toward the veranda, "I should get going now anyway." A yawn escaped her. "I'm quite tired myself. I'll see you at the Gala…and hopefully quite a few times before then, Discord." Celestia winked at him over her shoulder.
Discord nodded. "You can count on it. And if you thought I made this year's Gala great, you haven't seen anything yet. And I'll put you right at the center of it all." He winked back at her.
"I'll be looking forward to it." Celestia went through the veranda doors and spread her wings. "Goodnight Discord."
Discord waved to her. "Ta ta, Tia. Try not to let the chaos muss up your enormous ethereal hair on the way back."
Celestia waved to him over her shoulder with another laugh and then took off and was soon out of sight.
Discord smiled to himself in silence for a moment until there was another knock on his door. He snapped, making his nightclothes return, and then snapped open the door for Smooze, who quickly entered with his pillow and blanket and a big smile on his face. Discord snapped again, making a low bed appear at the foot of his own bed. Smooze quickly settled into his cot as Discord yawned and sat on the edge of his bed, lowering the light of the lava lamp wallpaper a little. "Goodnight, Smoozey."
The Smooze made a gurgling sound.
"Not sleepy?" Discord raised an eyebrow and his smile on one side. "Well, come to think of it I'm not entirely sleepy yet myself. And this is a slumber party…. Want to play cards or something? A little Go Fish? And maybe have some snacks?"
The Smooze nodded, sitting up in bed.
Discord chuckled and floated up on his stomach over his own bed leaning down toward Smooze. Then he snapped up a hand of 'cards' for each of them (cards in the sense that they had numbers and suits printed on them… 'cards' in the sense that they were made of actual fish). Then he snapped up some bottles of cider, and a bowl of hot fudge and popcorn for himself, and a bowl of hot fudge and diamonds for Smooze. "Got any threes?" The Smooze gurgled, propelling a slime-covered fish card toward Discord, and thus the game began.
Smooze dumped some of the hot fudge-covered diamonds into himself and then made several gurgling sounds in speech.
Discord chuckled. "Yeah, I liked today a lot myself. And no, sorry, no Jacks. Got any sevens?"
The Smooze shook its blob head and gurgled some more conversational tones.
Discord nodded, looking over his cards. "Oh yes, I think it would be wonderful if we visited with some more of my friends casually like we did today with Tree Hugger and Fluttershy." He pulled a couple of cards out of his hand with his tail. "And here you go, two aces…" He glanced up at Smooze again. "You have anyone particular in mind to better make the acquaintance of?"
The Smooze blushed a little as he took the cards and gurgled again.
"Rarity? Really?" Discord raised an eyebrow, smiling more in interest. "Funny, I pegged you more as Pinkie Pie's type."
The Smooze gurgled a lot more, shrinking down in even more shyness.
Discord chuckled and nodded. "Ah, yes, I get it—all of Rarity's jewels and that diamond cutie mark of hers. Excellent choice then. I'm sure once she gets to know you better that she'll love you." He glanced down to his deck again. "Any Kings?"
The Smooze shifted a slimy card toward Discord. And then the blob-like creature started to make quite a few lengthy gurgles, all of which Discord listened to attentively, glancing over his hand and munching on some of his hot fudge popcorn. "Yes, Celestia is nice. I'm glad she visited. What about her?" There was some more gurgling. "Interrupting anything?" Discord raised an eyebrow at Smooze. "I don't get it. How could you have possibly been 'interrupting anything' with us? I…" Then there was some more gurgling (and something akin to chuckling) from the Smooze, upon which Discord's eyes went wide and his ears perked up. He scoffed at Smooze and grinned. "Wait, Celestia? You think me and Celestia were…are…" The master of chaos instantly burst into warm laughter. "Oh Smooze, that is fantastic." He sighed, wiping a tear from his eye. "Yeah, maybe in her dreams. No, no, we're just friends. And the grim sun princess just stopped by to give me my invitation for next year's Gala. And I hope you'll join me as my plus one again. I promise you'll have a lot more fun this time." He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly.
The Smooze nodded, expressing many satisfied gurgles.
Discord chuckled. "Good, I'm glad you accept. I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time." Then he yawned, shaking his head. "Hey Smooze, you maybe want to save the card games til tomorrow? The effects of that meditation thing are a bit slow acting but suddenly I'm just exhausted." He turned on his back in the air, stretching.
The Smooze nodded and ate his cards (or at least he ate the ones with a diamond suites printed on them). Then he reached up from the floor and gave Discord a big smoozey hug goodnight.
Discord's eyes went wide, and he struggled a little among the slime and goo. "Hey! Smooze, come on, I have an emotionally aloof reputation to maintain. All that stuff with Fluttershy at the Gala was bad enough at tearing it to shreds, the last thing I need is hugs making me look like a softie too." Despite his words of protest, Discord smiled warmly.
Smooze just hugged him a little more, then snuck in a quick affectionate kiss to his cheek before pulling away and settling back into his bed.
Discord looked down at his smooze-covered nightshirt (and touched his now smooze-covered face). "You're a party animal, Smooze, I swear." He chuckled and gave his friend a little pat on the head. "Now, have a good night and sweet, chaotic dreams…" He hesitated, looked to the side awkwardly, but then just grinned, shrugged, and leaned down to give his affectionate friend a quick hug goodnight. He then quickly pulled back and snapped himself up a clean outfit and a towel to wipe off his cheek before lying down and settling into his bed underneath his covers with a chuckle. "Hmm…Celestia and I. Priceless. That's the best joke you've made all day, Smoozey. I have half a mind to say she and I should try it just for the chaos of it all…" Discord let out a soft sigh. "At the very least though we'll give her and all our other friends another fun Gala next year, guaranteed."
The Smooze gurgled his assent and then a good night in return. Discord yawned and snapped to turn down the lava lamp wallpaper entirely (or at least down to the faintest glow to help with Smooze's fear of the dark).
The two new friends soon drifted into a peaceful and happy sleep as the chaotic night grew around them, glad for the chance misadventure that had brought them together and for the circumstances that had brought so much friendship into both of their lives.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you all liked this ^_^ I'd like to write Smooze some more in the future (he was fantastic XD).
~Azure129 aka Jenna