A/N:

Hi everyone!

A quick little Hearts and Hooves Day one shot from me (about, who else, Celestia and Discord lol). I hope you guys like it, and please review if you can! ^_^

Hearts and Hooves Day: A Formal Complaint


"I would like to register a formal complaint."

Princess Celestia, seated upon her throne on this sunny midmorning, lowered the scroll she had been reading and looked up with wide eyes as the sound of a very (chaotically) familiar voice suddenly met her ears.

And indeed, there before her stood the chaos master himself, Discord, his head held high, his arms crossed over his chest, and his eyes closed. And he remained in this pose now after having delivered his odd statement, not saying anything else.

Celestia put aside her scroll. "A complaint?" She smiled a little. "About what, Discord?"

"Hmph," Discord opened an eye, "about Hearts and Hooves Day of course."

"Hearts and Hooves Day?" Celestia's smile grew slightly. "I see. And may I ask why you're complaining about today's holiday?"

"Because it's ridiculous, and not in a good way," Discord replied dryly as he opened his other eye and proceeded to roll both of them.

Celestia sighed and shook her head. "I'm afraid if you want to lodge a formal complaint, you'll have to be a bit more specific, Discord."

Discord let out a very dramatic sigh and let his arms drop to his sides. "Fine then, because it's unjust."

"Discord," Celestia took a breath, "just tell me what happened, please."

The chaos master hesitated but then floated up and started flying in casual circles through the air on his back as he spoke. "Well, it's just bedlam out there—that's what happened." He pouted and scowled. "Everyone prancing around with smiles, way too much pink and red all over the place, and you've got ponies cavorting romantically in the streets like they have no sense of dignity. And then there's the ridiculous etiquette of this holiday—clearly everypony can't help but be confused. On the one paw," he held out his paw, "Hearts and Hooves Day seems like another perfect holiday to celebrate mushy friendship by giving your friends little trinkets and spending time together. But on the other claw," and now he held out his claw, "every gesture today is completely emotionally charged with the idea of romance. No matter how happy all your little subjects are acting, clearly they must be paralyzed in doubt and uncertainty about who it's okay to share a Hearts and Hooves Day card with and who it's not. And the results might be…annoying to some people." He paused in his flying to face Celestia and crossed his arms over his chest again.

Celestia raised an eyebrow. "Discord…" she tried very hard not to grin completely, "…are you upset because it's Hearts and Hooves Day and you don't have a special somepony?"

Discord's eyes shot open wide. "What?! No! Of course not! A-And who says I don't, anyway? Or who says I'd even want one if I didn't?" He cleared his throat, a pout on his face and a light blush in his features now. "I'm not upset about that. I'm upset because I…I…I didn't get any Hearts and Hooves Day cards, okay?"

Celestia's eyes widened. Then her look softened again, and a special smile came to her face. "But it's still early, Discord, not even lunchtime yet—perhaps you'll get some this afternoon."

The chaos master just shook his head though. "No, no," he sighed and snapped himself up a small throne to sit down on facing Celestia, "the mailpony already came and left my chaos cottage, and not one card."

"But certainly the girls will give you cards, especially Fluttershy?" Celestia suggested.

Discord rolled his eyes. "And here's where how weird the rules of this holiday are come back into play." He started counting off on his fingers. "Twilight hasn't wanted to seem too partial to anyone now that she's a princess, so she just delivered a Happy Hearts and Hooves Day address to Ponyville but didn't send any specific cards. All of Rarity's cards are clearly romantic, and she sent them to practically every available stallion in town (and one friendly one to Spike). Applejack says her family just exchanges cards with each other. Rainbow Dash thinks this holiday is icky. Pinkie Pie just set off fireworks in the sky in the shape of a heart and reading 'Happy Hearts and Hooves Day!' And then Fluttershy's too shy to give cards to anybody but her animal friends." Discord shrugged and glanced to the side. "…And I guess there's just no one else to think of me."

Celestia frowned a little. "Well, you're right about one thing, Discord. This is a little bit of a complicated holiday, now that you mention it."

"So you see my reason for the formal complaint." The chaos master looked up at her again. "I'd have gone to Cadance, but I'm sure she and Twilight's brother are busy being so sappy today that I'd last about five seconds in her castle before unleashing some chaos out of sheer need." He smiled a little and looked forward, twiddling his fingers slightly. "You don't have any quick lessons on how to figure out this day and earn your first Hearts and Hooves Day card, do you, Celestia?" He barely brought his eyes up to meet hers once more, trying to maintain a casual look.

"Discord," Celestia's tone was warm as she looked down at him, "you don't have to 'earn' affection today—just be yourself and enjoy the love all around you. And maybe try giving out a few cards yourself. You'll get a card, Discord, I guarantee it." She winked.

"I'm not going back out there alone." Discord shook his head and crossed his arms over his chest again as he pouted once more. "I told you, everyone's acting loony—all lovey dovey and completely irrational. I'm the master of chaos, and even I think this is insane. And besides…" he rolled his eyes and cringed just a little, "…now that I've let myself become way too aware of all the subtleties and implications of this holiday, I'm far too self-conscious to go and randomly give somebody a card to start things off."

Celestia brought a hoof to her mouth and managed to hold back a giggle. "I see. Well, that is a distressing predicament, Discord."

Discord slouched down completely in his throne and sighed. "Oh, I don't know…maybe it's not just this silly holiday, maybe it's me. I'm overthinking this friendship thing again, aren't' I?" He scratched his head.

"Actually I'm very proud of you for putting this much thought into how you're feeling about the holiday, Discord." Celestia's smile grew. "And I'm especially proud that you chose to deal with your problem by coming to talk to a friend."

"A friend?" Discord raised an eyebrow at her. "Who?"

Celestia tilted her head to the side. "Why, me, Discord." She gestured to herself with her hoof.

Discord blinked once. His eyes were wide.

Celestia raised an eyebrow. "Discord?"

"Sorry." Discord blinked again and sat up more. "I guess I just…hadn't thought of us as friends yet. I mean, I suppose we are, but…I…we've really never spent any time together. I guess friendship only felt implied for us so far." He shrugged.

"I see." Celestia's smile grew again. "Well, let's not make it only implied anymore. I think of you as my friend, Discord, and I hope you think of me as yours now too." She held out her hoof to him.

Discord smiled a little again and nodded. "Sure. I'll try anything once." He chuckled as he took her hoof in his paw and gave it a shake.

Celestia laughed too as they separated. "Well then, as your friend, I personally don't think you're overthinking things too much, Discord. Maybe you're overthinking a little, but this is your first Hearts and Hooves Day as someone who understands the magic of friendship, after all. It's all right if it takes you a little while to sort out how you want to celebrate and how the day makes you feel."

Discord considered her words for a moment, then sighed. "Fair enough. But still…a little acknowledgment would be nice, that's all." He shrugged and glanced to the side as he added in a mumble, "Not that I'd mind a date, but I'm not even asking for that much…. Just one, silly, stupid card…"

"Discord…when I said I guaranteed you'd get a card today, I meant it."

Celestia's voice met his ears. And then Discord raised his eyes as, with a burst of magic, a pink and white envelope with a golden royal seal appeared floating before him. And over the seal in script was written simply, 'To Discord from Celestia.' Discord's jaw fell, and he actually blushed for a moment. But then he cleared his throat and looked to the sun princess. "Celestia, what in the world…?"

Celestia just shrugged, her smile warm. "I was going to bring it to you after I finished my morning paperwork and lunch. I…didn't want to risk sending it by mailpony to your chaos dimension—not after the gala ticket incident." She rolled her eyes to the side. "I just thought delivering it in person would be safer for everypony."

"But…" Discord still hadn't taken the envelope from the air, "why me, and what does it mean, and…why me?"

"Because you're my friend, Discord, and I like you," Celestia explained. "And because I wanted to be part of celebrating your first Hearts and Hooves Day."

Discord eyed her strangely for a moment longer and then finally turned his attention back to the envelope. He took it from the air and opened it. Inside was a white card with a pink checkerboard pattern, and a big heart on the front with the words 'Happy Hearts and Hooves Day' etched in gold across it.

Discord opened the card. Inside were typical little pictures of hearts and doves and clouds all around a big yellow sun. And there was a message too.

Dear Discord,

I hope you have a lovely first Hearts and Hooves Day with all of your new friends. And I hope that you always remember how much we care for you. Chaos may be a little difficult for all of us to understand at times, but we appreciate your patience and also your willingness to try and understand all of us better too. You've been a lovely person to get to know.

Your friend eternally,

Celestia.

P.S. Try the dark chocolate Hearts and Hooves Day special cake pops at Sugar Cube Corner if you get the chance. They've always been a favorite snack of mine for this holiday.

Discord closed the card and looked up at Celestia.

The sun princess just smiled down at him. "You see, Discord, you don't have to worry so much about what different actions can imply today. Just be your self, and get closer to others, and try to enjoy the holiday as best you can."

Discord remained quiet for a moment, and then he snapped away his throne and flew up to her, the card still in hand. "You actually went and got me a Hearts and Hooves Day card. Hmm…" He smiled and started chuckling. "Oh Celestia, congratulations—that is truly the most unpredictable and chaotic thing I have ever had the pleasure of seeing you do. That alone is worth all of the neglect I've felt this morning."

Celestia raised an eyebrow and smirked a little at him. "Discord, I'm not that predictable. And besides, I think I have something I'm going to do right now that might top the card. It's so chaotic that the thought didn't even occur to me until a couple of minutes ago. The card was something I'd been planning for at least the last month." Her eyes brightened.

"Really?" Discord raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest with a grin. "Do tell."

Celestia's smile picked up on one side. And then she stood and walked down from her throne. "If you're still uncomfortable going out into the Hearts and Hooves Day fray and trying to socialize under all of the romantic circumstances…then why don't I go out there with you and be your temporary special somepony for the rest of the afternoon? Maybe celebrating the holiday with a friend by your side will help you ease into the festivities." She turned to him. "What do you say, Discord?"

Discord's jaw actually fell this time, though he quickly snapped it back up. "Did you just ask me out on a date?" He landed, and his eyes narrowed playfully.

"I asked you on a friendly outing that just happens to take place on Hearts and Hooves Day." Celestia held back a laugh. "I don't have any plans for the afternoon, especially now that I don't have to deliver your card."

"And where would we go together?" The chaos master raised an eyebrow.

Celestia smiled. "Did you have any place in mind?"

Discord shrugged. "I could turn Canterlot into the chaos capital of the world and show you the sights. Believe me, from a chaos master's standpoint, that's the best way to celebrate a mushy holiday."

Celestia sighed and shook her head, smiling more. "How about something a little simpler Discord—like a movie? I haven't had a chance to go to one in ages. We could catch a matinee."

"A movie?" Discord put a hand to his chin in thought, twirling his beard. "I haven't gone to see one of those in…ever, come to think about it. You ponies hadn't invented cinemas yet back just before I got turned to stone. I could only screen things for myself in my spare time." He lowered his hand and nodded. "Sure, a movie out in public might be nice— kicking back and letting the ponies gawk while their ethereal haired sun princess and imposing master of chaos sit down to take in a show." He chuckled. "Incidentally, with our heights, we should probably sit as far in the back as possible so that we don't block anybody's view, but not so far in the back that we're scattered among the teenagers making out in the dark." He blushed a little but still grinned.

Celestia laughed softly. "We'll work it out, I'm sure, Discord. So you'll accompany me then, my friend?" She held out her arm.

Discord blinked but then rolled his eyes to the side, snapped away his card somewhere safe, and hooked his arm in hers. "Oh, fine, fine, I'll let you be my personal Hearts and Hooves Day teacher for the afternoon, good buddy." He held up a finger. "But no mushy mare movies. I draw the line there."

"Hmm, me too… Those are a little more Cadance's speed." Celestia smiled more. "Of course, that might be all that's playing, but I'm sure we could find a nice light romantic comedy if we tried."

Discord nodded with a grin. "Fair enough. Come on, then, let's get back out there and brave all the love."

"Sounds like fun, Discord."

The couple started heading across the throne room.

(And then Discord's tail tuft very silently snapped, and the chaos master commenced a little project back there as his and Celestia's conversation continued.)

Discord twirled his beard around his finger for a moment, then he glanced at Celestia. "So…can I ask a question, Celestia?"

"Of course, Discord." Celestia nodded.

"How is it that you don't already have plans for today?" Discord raised an eyebrow. "I mean, with how popular you are, how is it no one's asked you already to be there special somepony for today…for every day actually?" He shrugged. "And if that's too personal of a question, just let me know. I'm still working on personal boundaries. Fluttershy usually corrects me when I mess up."

Celestia's smile grew, and she looked forward. "It's all right, Discord. Actually, I get many invitations for dates each year: some from nobility, some from foreign dignitaries, some from general admirers, and even a few sweet ones from little school colts. I just always politely turn them down. The attention is nice, but it can be a little overwhelming too."

"Oh." Discord blinked. "But you didn't turn me down. You were the one who suggested we spend the day together in the first place."

Celestia smiled more to herself and shook her head. "No, I didn't turn you down. And yes, I did ask you to spend the day with me …which is not something I've done in centuries, now that I think about it."

"So...why?" Discord smirked and tilted his head to the side. "What makes me so special that you'd change your humdrum routine?"

Celestia glanced at him. "Because we're friends, and because I know you well and you know me better than most of the ponies I get invitations from. And because I can't think of any person more fun to have a 'date' with than the master of chaos." She gave him a wink and laughed.

They came to the throne room door now, and Discord chuckled as he snapped it open and headed out into the hallway with her. "Yes, well, that is true—I am a good time in most situations." He sighed. "So then this afternoon might be good for both of us instead of just me. In that case, want to really freak out the ponies and get lunch together in town after the movie?"

Celestia's smile brightened, and she nodded. "That might be fun too, Discord. I don't get to eat out enough."

"Fancy meal at a five star restaurant, your highness?" The chaos master smirked a little.

Celestia rolled her eyes to the side and smiled a little sheepishly. "You wouldn't be up for hay burgers, fries, and maybe some cake and ice cream for dessert, would you? I get enough fancy food from eating here at the castle all day."

Discord broke into chuckles. "Celestia, you're the strangest princess. But sure, why not, a little fast food never hurt two immortal creatures." He laughed more as they went around a corner (and seriously freaked out two guards and a maid, if their wide eyes and dropped jaws as the sight of Celestia and Discord arm in warm walking down the hall were any indication). "Hmm, speaking of princesses, do the other three members of your royal quartet get invitations like you do for dates?"

Celestia nodded. "Oh yes. Luna gets almost more than me ever since she returned, which she likes a lot more than she lets on, I think." She laughed more. "Cadance used to get quite a few around the major holidays until she married Shining Armor. Oh…" she blinked and her smile grew, "and I suppose Twilight might start getting some now as well…and especially if she actually made a public address about Hearts and Hooves Day."

Discord sighed. "And yet I, for all of my fame and good deeds, don't get one, even if I did manage to snag you as my special somepony for the afternoon."

"Oh Discord, can you blame the ponies?" Celestia grinned at him and raised an eyebrow. "After all, who could be brave enough to ask out the living legend, the master of chaos himself?"

"Are you mocking me or flattering me?" Discord grinned and raised an eyebrow back at her.

"Just telling the truth as I see it, Discord." Celestia shrugged.

The reached the castle doors now, and Celestia used her magic to open them.

"Flattering me then," Discord replied as they headed out into the sunshine of the front courtyard. "Hmm…well, in that case, thanks, Celestia. And who knows, maybe you're right and in a few years when everyone's used to me I'll have more invites than I'll know what to do with."

"Maybe you will." Celestia nodded. "And I hope you'll enjoy yourself with them, Discord."

"Eh, it's not really a date I'm interested in, per se." He waved her off. "I just like the attention, being acknowledged, you know? Maybe I'll just come here and bug you each Hearts and Hooves Day. Maybe you can be my backup date if you keep playing your cards right." He held his head high.

Celestia chuckled. "It sounds like a nice tradition, Discord. Maybe I'll do you the honor of letting it become a part of our friendship." She held her head high too.

Discord had to laugh more. And then he glanced away as he shrugged and added, "Yes, well, speaking of Hearts and Hooves Day traditions…" Suddenly his tail came forward bearing his little project in its tuft—a rainbow-colored Hearts and Hooves Day card envelope bearing in gold script the words 'To Celestia, From Discord.' And underneath in parentheses, 'Don't read too much into this.'

Discord yawned and shrugged as he left the invitation to magically float in the air. "You can toss this onto the mountain of cards you've got hidden somewhere. Read it whenever, no rush really, I…" Celestia had stopped walking, and Discord stopped as well and glanced over to see her with the envelope already open and a smile on her face as she took up the card to read. His eyes went wide, and he cleared his throat. "O-Or I guess you could read it right now. Uh…you know, I think I left my chaos oven on. Let me just pop away for a minute to check it. Heh…" And then the chaos master snapped himself away.

Celestia glanced over to where he had been, then smiled and shook her head as she looked back at the Hearts and Hooves Day card.

It was something simple, almost like something a child would make—a white card with a paper red heart pasted to the front, but also with splashes of random colors around it.

She opened the card.

Inside there were little hearts of all different colors and sizes, some moving around (clearly enchanted by magic). And there was a message, handwritten.

Celestia,

Sorry I clearly didn't think to do this until you gave me a card first. But like I said, this holiday confuses me a little, and either way we'd never said anything about being official friends before. But I hope it's okay to give this to you now anyway.

Thanks for coming out with me today. It helps. After spending all morning feeling bad about not getting any cards, it's a nice surprise to suddenly not only have a card but to get to go around town with the prettiest mare in Equestria by my side as my temporary special somepony. I suppose I really am doing all right for myself with this holiday, all things considered.

Also, one more thing that's never been said: I know that technically I lost our little war against each other, but…I'm glad about how things turned out. I'm happier like this—reformed and with my friends. Go figure, right? You're all actually kind of…not so bad…or even better than that…especially you.

P.S.

Since you are my special somepony for the day, my first thought was that I should give you flowers. But then I realized I'd already done that after Tirek's defeat. So instead there's a six-layer cake with chaos-colored frosting in your room waiting for you. I hope that works. We all know cake is your greatest weakness, after all. (Mine's chocolate milk, by the way, if you're ever looking to reciprocate the favor one day).

Toodles,

~Discord

Celestia closed the card now. She was smiling and blushing so much. She cleared her throat. "Discord, you can come back now." Her magic put the card back in its envelope and sent it away to her room.

There was a burst of magic, and then Discord appeared beside her again, his arms crossed over his chest. "Oven's fine. Oh, and look at that, you're done with your card. Perfect timing."

"Yes, very." Celestia moved closer. "Discord?"

"Mmm hmm?" The chaos master shrugged, looking forward dully (yet also blushing very lightly himself).

The sun princess's smile picked up a little on one side. "If we were actually dating, this is the part where I'd give you a kiss on the cheek. But, considering the fact that we're just friends…" And then she wrapped her arm around his side and gave him a big hug.

Discord straightened up entirely at the embrace, his eyes wide. "Celestia! For the sake of…you can't just…we're in public, and it's Hearts and Hooves Day, and we were mortal enemies for a thousand years!"

"And that's what makes hugging so special for us." Celestia just hugged him more and glanced up at him with a cheeky grin. "Come on, Discord. I'm not letting go until you hug me back."

Discord sighed (but couldn't help smiling a little down at her). "And my other option is what? Getting turned to stone again if I don't obey? Braving all those crazy mares out there alone one more time?" He chuckled and shook his head. "Oh fine. The things I do for you ponies." And then the chaos master let an arm come over her and gave her a little hug in return.

Celestia laughed as they finally separated. "Now was that so bad, Discord?"

"Torturous." Discord grinned all the more. "You owe me a double feature for that. And at least one strut around the square at the center of town to show everyone just how high-caliber of a date I'm capable of getting for myself."

Celestia rolled her eyes to the side but nodded. "Oh, why not. Come on, Discord." She took his arm in hers again and proceeded to trot forward with the chaos master following in suite beside her.

Celestia glanced at him as they approached the castle gates. "Is there really a cake in my room, Discord?"

"Yes." Discord smirked a little. "Whether or not it's spring-loaded to send one of the layers flying into your face at random while you're eating is another matter entirely though."

Celestia smiled. "Sounds like a very fun dessert, Discord."

"You have gotten weirdly into chaos lately, Celestia. Don't tell me that princess mind of yours is starting to go." Discord chuckled.

The couple passed into the Canterlot streets now.

"Maybe my mind's just learned to be a little less narrow about some things." Celestia looked up and forward at the sights and ponies around her (and tried not to laugh at the number of ponies whose jaws were dropping already at the sight of herself and Discord together). "Maybe it knows that being friends with you is something that could teach me a lot about the magic of friendship. And maybe I'm looking forward to the long and happy time I'm sure we'll have together." She looked up at him again, her smile warm.

"Oh, don't get all mushy on me, Celestia." Discord replied, though he smiled warmly down at her as well. "But fair enough. Maybe I can learn something from you too." He gave her a light little nudge with his hip. "Happy Hearts and Hooves Day, Celestia."

Celestia gave him a little nudge back with her shoulder and smiled. "Happy Hearts and Hooves Day, Discord."

The pair headed forward into town to enjoy the rest of their holi—

"Oh." Discord paused for a moment, a distinct wiggle going through him.

"Discord?" Celestia paused and raised an eyebrow at him.

Discord straightened up. Then a grin picked up on one side of his face. "I think Twilight just got her mail delivery for the day—big magical shift in Ponyville." He held out his free hand. "Like a thousand Hearts and Hooves Day cards cried out to be delivered…and were." He laughed.

Celestia eyed him strangely for a moment but then laughed too. "Well, maybe after the movie and lunch we'll stop by Ponyville to help Twilight sort through things, and then we can also get some of those cake pops I mentioned." She sighed, her eyes hazing a little. "They really are delicious."

"And some chocolate milk too?" Discord grinned more.

"Naturally." Celestia nodded.

Discord nodded in return as the two of them started strolling forward again into Canterlot, still arm in arm. "I may actually end up liking this holiday, you know."

"I think it suits you already, Discord," Celestia added with a smile.

And so now the pair finally headed forward to enjoy the rest of their holiday together.


Meanwhile, in Ponyville…

Twilight Sparkle and Spike sat at the center of Twilight's throne room gazing upward…because around them were literally mountains of card envelopes colored in pink and red and white, and bearing heart designs and heart-shaped seals and flowery hoofwriting.

Twilight swallowed (her eyes never leaving the cards). "All for me?"

Spike nodded (his eyes never leaving the cards as well). "All for you. The mailpony said so."

Twilight nodded. "And I…probably need to at least try reading all of them, just to be polite."

Spike nodded. "Yup. And…maybe answering them…somehow?"

Twilight just kept sitting there, not blinking, looking upward.

Spike let out a breath. "You know, we could just bail on this 'princess of friendship, 'savior of Equestria', 'great magical destiny' thing. Leave the cards here, leave the castle behind, maybe head for Manehattan and never look back."

Twilight cracked a very slight smile. "Let's save that plan for Hearthswarming just in case we end up with a thousand cards and a thousand presents to deal with.."

Spike glanced at her and grinned. "Well, the other option is that I 'accidentally'" he made air quotes, "set them all on fire."

Twilight had to laugh now. She sighed and finally looked to Spike. "Why don't we just go get some cake pops from Sugarcube Corner and sort this out later. My treat."

Spike's eyes brightened, and he nodded and licked his lips. "Now you're talking!" He hopped onto Twilight's back.

Twilight smiled more and used her magic to make a path through the letters to her castle door. "Come on, Spike, let's enjoy our Hearts and Hooves Day. After everything we've been through in the past year since the last one, we've more than earned it."

"Completely agreed." Spike reclined back against Twilight's mane with a smile. And then he glanced down sheepishly and breathed fire, making a card appear. It had a white envelope bearing in script on the front the name 'Rarity'. Spike sighed dreamily. "And maybe we could stop by Carousel Boutique—a card came to me from Rarity, and I want to drop off hers in person."

Twilight giggled as she magically opened the doors and stepped out into the sunshine. "Sure, Spike. In fact, let's make a point to visit all of our friends. I think that'll be the best way to spend the afternoon."

And so the friendship princess and the baby dragon went off into Ponyville to enjoy their holiday as well.

(And they were very glad they had put off dealing with the cards when Celestia showed up to the castle with Discord that evening and taught Twilight a certain 'mass thank you note' spell while Discord played in the cards until he got bored and then snapped them all into paper airplanes that flew away. And of course, cake pops were eaten by all).

All in all, Hearts and Hooves Day went over very well for everypony bonded by the magic of friendship.

Discord even officially retracted his formal complaint.


A/N:

Well, that's all for now! Thank you all for reading, and I hope all of you have a lovely holiday this weekend : )

~Azure129 aka Jenna