Disclaimer: I don't own MLP. Please stay safe and healthy.
The pandemonium of the ballroom was overwhelming. There was no hiding the fact that wherever this fantasy was made of was quickly falling apart. But leave it to Discord be laughing during a crisis.
"Well, I'm happy my suggestion amuses you." Rarity spat as she did her best not to pout.
"True Love's Kiss, HA!" the draconequus wiped a tear from his eye. "No, really, what are you seriously planning?"
"I am serious, Discord, the sooner we fulfill the requirements of a fantasy romance, the sooner we can leave."
"How do you figure that?" Discord scoffed.
There was another violent shake. Several ponies darted for the doors galloping out into the night. It had become painfully clear to everypony just how dangerous staying inside could be at the chandeliers fell down into the crowds.
It was also alarmingly observable by the sight of everypony's breath that the temperature had significantly dropped. The icy chill of the air gave Rarity cause to shutter as she once more pleaded with her date to cooperate.
"If you know a better way, Discord, don't belittle me; Share It!" Rarity could feel her eyelid twitch.
"I don't have any," he casually spoke as if he had all the time in the world. "I really was banking on that stone actually being where you stored my magic."
"Oh, but not in the sky that is literally being torn apart! You Didn't Think To Look There?!"
Another loud crack brought Rarity's attention to the fact only she and Discord still remained in the quickly crumbling building.
"Technically not my magic," Discord calmly stated, seemingly unaware of their present danger. "Your pocket dimension is just using up all its energy. But I love how you think me capable of creating such unintentional beauty; This is all your doing my selfish, little sweetheart-"
Discord shook his head for a moment before knocking a fist against his forehead.
"Do you really want to just stand here and argue over this?!"
"It's not an argument," Discord dropped to her level. "It's a compliment."
Rarity gasped in response to Discord's sudden closeness. While she had known him to have a blatant disregard for personal space, this was very different from any time before.
"Your impatience created the perfect storm, my love, and all those oversensitive emotions you have finally brought us together in the most chaotic way." Discord's voice was lower and a lot more focused than it had been moments ago. "And I just want to help that fluctuating self-esteem raise."
Rarity felt her cheeks flush red as Discord cupped her face his palms. His nearness made her stomach tighten and the heat from his breath felt dangerous somehow.
"I just hope if you're wrong," Discord's smile bore a hint of instability; a hidden element of worry he wasn't making clear. "I'll still be able to help you brainstorm afterward.
Rarity didn't even have time to blink let alone ease into her first kiss. Discord awkwardly closed the distance between them smashing Rarity's muzzle slightly in the process. The sudden confusing waves of emotion were only outmatched by the velocity of the kiss.
She could taste the flour on his lips, which was altogether unpleasant but, forcing that to the back of her mind, Rarity felt the intensity of his kiss. It was almost desperate; leaving no room for excitement, only an aching desire to be close. Too close, too fast. It went without saying Discord had no experience in the art of romantic kissing.
The pressure on her muzzle, becoming too intense to bear, forced Rarity to turn her head to a more comfortable position which resulted in her catching her bottom lip on Discord's snaggle-tooth.
With a swift push with her forehooves, Rarity knocked Discord back and began to spit due to the flour left on her lips. Glancing up, she saw his expression falter. For whatever reason Rarity was angry with that reaction.
"Oh, don't look at me like that," Rarity coughed as speaking aggravated the dry state the flour had left her mouth in. "This is all your fault. You and all your silly chaos!"
"W-was our osculation that much despised?"
"If you're asking about that kiss; Discord, I think I'm bleeding," Rarity quickly dabbed her wrist to her lip to check for any signs of blood. "Why couldn't you just leave me alone."
"I only wanted to act in accordance with your wishes ?" Discord's ears drooped as he took a hunched position.
"No, You wanted to prove a point to Applejack! You wanted to distract yourself from losing your tea time! You wanted, you wanted . . ." Rarity remembered sharply what felt like the truth. "You wanted one of your friends to stop being lonely."
Discord didn't respond. Rarity's expression softened as she realized that the former mindset Discord had was now completely gone.
"I get you just wanted to help, but you can't get it through your head that chaos isn't the only way to do something!" Rarity sat in defeat as the building began to moan. It would fall soon no doubt. "I don't understand why that kiss didn't work,"
"Because we're not in love." Discord's tone sounded broken.
Even if she hadn't intended it, even if this was some crazy spell, Rarity had just managed to break Discord's heart.
"Please, tell me you haven't lost your memories yet!"
"Would you honestly feel troubled by that realization," Discord slumped to the floor.
Another rumble tore through the room. As if perfectly arranged, a large crack began to cut across the space separating Rarity and Discord as the ground beneath them began to crumble down into a dark abyss.
"Discord!" Rarity's heart slammed against her chest at the realization that not only had she doomed all of Equestria, but that Discord was finally starting to completely forget who he was. "Please, you can't forget who you are! We're friends don't you remember! We have to stop all this chaos! You have to help me."
"What point of fighting it any farther? Away with you, my love, save thy self and leave me as but a forgotten remnant of a twisted desire."
"Yeah, I can't get back without your help!" Rarity snorted at the pitiful display -so dramatic- before surveying the room.
She had the stairs leading outside on her half of the room, but leaving Discord wasn't an option she wanted to entertain. If she left him in that crumbling building he would certainly end up getting himself killed and she wasn't sure if chaos magic could undo that.
Rarity's eyes came to rest on the curtains hanging around her area.
"Discord! Please get up," Rarity galloped over to gather several sturdy curtains. "I'm going to make a rope for you so you can get to my side of the ballroom."
With her magic, Rarity yanked down the fabric and tied several pieces together. Once tightly secure, Rarity nearly toppled over the edge getting into position to toss one end to her former date.
"These are very heavy for me, Discord!" Rarity's words seem to fall on deaf ears. "I need you to sit up and catch these as I throw them to you!"
The draconequus looked up in her direction but didn't make an effort to move.
Rarity edged nearer the drop-off as she gathered as much of the curtain rope over her head as her magic would allow. With all of her might and focus, Rarity was amazed that she'd managed to throw the end of the curtains right beside the dilapidated draconequus.
"Perfect! Discord, grab it!"
Discorded eyed the curtains with a slight disdain before using his tail to casually sweep the fabric over the edge into the abyss.
"WHY?!" Rarity gasped as she tried to tighten her hold on her end. Her magic wasn't strong enough! She felt her feet sliding across the cracked ballroom floor as she struggled to hold her ground.
"Just let them go and save yourself; I believe I've told you before how to handle the mysteries of chaos." Discord pleaded, finally sitting up to watch her struggle. "Please, seriously let it fall! I am beyond saving and you do not love me!"
Rarity had to decide whether to drop the rope, thus losing her only way of reaching Discord or run the risk of being pulled over herself.
"Please, No!" Both Rarity and Discord became aware of just how precariously Rarity was dangling in her stubbornness not to let go. "Discord, I want you here with me!"
Her hooves completely lost their grounding. With a shrike, Rarity tumbled forward into the dark expanse in the floor.
The whole world seemed to disappear as Rarity's vision blurred. She felt a brief moment of weightlessness before her body was suddenly ensnared by the pull of gravity. She wished she could faint and be spared the shock but she had to settle on simply shutting her eyes and screaming.
"Rarity!" Discord's voice seemed to echo from everywhere.
Rarity dared a peek in time to see Discord spring toward her arms extended. She was quickly cradled in a hug as the two plummeted into the darkness.
It took several moments for Rarity to calm down enough to stop screaming even while being held by Discord. She quickly lit her horn to provide enough light to see the face of her falling companion.
He seemed just as fearful as she did, both at a loss on what to do. They were about to fall to a very gruesome death.
She hugged Discord's neck hard preparing herself for whatever impact awaited them at the bottom.
"Hopefully I can break your fall, dear Rarity," Discord sighed. "Sorry, our love was a failure."
Rarity froze for a moment as she thought about Discord's words. Then it was Rarity's turn for untimely laughter.
"Love's not something you fail at," Rarity's outburst caused Discord to lean back to look at her. "It's something you experience."
"Are you feeling fine, my love?" Discord raised an eyebrow. "You seemed to have forgotten the life and -mostly- death situation we now find ourselves in."
"Don't you see!" Rarity batted several strains of her mane that suddenly fell in front of her face. "There is no love story formula! We were at the end from the start! We could go back and have the perfect date as friends!"
"I fail to see your point!"
"Even if you're not my true love," Rarity smiled to reassure her partner. "You were a true friend."
Discord was shocked to receive a small peck on the cheek.
The darkness seemed a little less dark as Rarity broke her embrace from her partner. The pocket dimension became quiet as the sight of a crumbling building above faded into the familiar ceiling tiles of the Carousel Boutique.
Rarity allowed a few tears to drop as she watched Equestria rushing up past them. The scene around her felt reminiscent of what had happened to her when she was using the Casting Stone. Perhaps she had stumbled on a little bit of chaos without knowing it. regardless, it was helping her fully understand what was happening now.
The sights, sounds, smells, friends; Rarity became acutely aware that they weren't returning home. She felt strings pulling her in every direction and none of which is where they should be. She again found it odd that she knew how order should feel as the pocket dimension was blending back with reality, however, Rarity felt the present pulling her in various directions.
Equestria wasn't being put back the way it had been before. It was out of control. Her panic racked brain couldn't piece together where things were going. Rarity was completely overwhelmed!
"My Magic!" Discord yelled. "Why Do I Feel This Way?!"
"You remember!?" Rarity felt herself yelling over the growing roar of Equestria disassembling around them.
"Remember what?!" Discord called back snapping his fingers fruitlessly. "Being caught in a vortex with you! No, I just have that creepy deja vu feeling! What did you do!?"
Rarity laughed again, more out of desperation this time. Of course, he wouldn't remember what was going on.
More invisible movement was happening around her and Rarity became aware that Discord was going to be removed. She couldn't tell to where he'd go; it almost felt like he wouldn't exist at all if she allowed that movement to carry forward.
"Let's pretend, for the sake of argument, that . . . I have your magic."
He was glaring now, Rarity was certain that was a glare.
"Please, just tell me how to put all of Equestria back to normal!"
"What do you mean ALL of Equestria!?"
"Like, I think I pulled everypony I've ever known into a pocket dimension!" Rarity couldn't fight back her tears anymore and began crying candy hearts, "I have to put everything back in order!"
Discord expressed himself rather boldly cursing the spiraling void around them for a moment. That seemed to calm his nerves as he looked back to the unicorn.
"You can't! Chaos won't; chaos can't; but Equestria won't . . Give me back my magic!" Discord buried his face in his palms while grinding his teeth.
"No!" Rarity stumbled as a ground made of waffles materialized under her. "If I give you your magic, it feels like you'll disappear!"
The noises of a rebuilding world began to sound more like waves crashing against rocks. It was loud and confusing.
"How come the magic of friendship didn't work?" Rarity was whining, that was definitely whining.
"Maybe because your friends are scattered all over chaos," Discord tried in vain to swim over to Rarity. "You've got to have them with you right?!"
"No, our friendship, Discord!" Rarity sobbed. "I never should have snubbed your offer for a date even if it were just to get back at Applejack's logic. We could have had something really special if I would have just accepted your kooky friendship. We could be on a very fun, and maybe romantic, date right now with a fashion show and-"
"Wow! Stop talking!" Discord growled. "You would never allow the words 'Discord' and 'date' to be in the same sentence."
The two were interrupted by the world around them coming to a halt. Rarity felt nauseous at just how still everything was. She closed her eyes and shook her head to simulate motion. It was doubtlessly the chaos magic being put in a tizzy by her demand for normalcy.
Rarity vaguely remembered Discord's instructions from before: consider what chaos wants. But her desire to put Equestria back correctly couldn't be fought. It was her fault her friends were in danger and she couldn't burden Discord to fix it at the risk he'd perish.
No matter how much it hurt, Rarity wouldn't be selfish.
"Rarity?" Discord's voice sounded concerned; Rarity struggled to look at him.
The mare fell to her knees and groaned. It was obvious she was in pain and not just because her face had become six-hours-of-straight-exercise-red. Rather her eyes were darting around and her breathing was growing shallow.
Discord couldn't quite recall how he was in that situation, but he knew to remove all the chaos around a chaos magic-user was the fastest way to kill them. So long as Rarity had his magic she had his weaknesses too.
"Rarity! Stop trying to put things in order!"
What to do!? He couldn't let her continue at the pace she was at, but at the same time, Equestria had to be pulled out of a pocket dimension.
Discord knocked on his own head trying to remember what might have led to this moment. He remembered meeting Fluttershy for their routine Tuesday tea just to have her decline because she had to help Rarity with some party or other. Which honestly, Fluttershy should have told Rarity no considering he had plans with her first, but that's not the point,
"Obviously, we must have made it to your party . . .and yes, there was a date, and a fashion show, but I can't remember it all." Discord paced around the stumbled mare. "To get out of your pocket dimension, you must have rewound time. That sounds like the easiest approach for a pony brain to think up. So just let chaos run wild, Rarity! I think your party ended up chaotic anyway."
The setting shifted around them. They weren't standing in the boutique anymore. Ponyville City hall was coming into focus. Discord wasn't sure what he was suddenly expecting, but a perfectly romantic ballroom wasn't it. It was too organized.
"The Couples' Prance?" Rarity breathed.
"No, no!" Discord grabbed Rarity's head and forced her to look back at him. "You can't put together an organized event!"
Discord fought the urge to shake the mare. Sure if he had his magic he couldn't have done much else but put Equestria back to normal too, but this would certainly kill Rarity which was suddenly something he didn't want.
But without his magic what could he do? He couldn't feel how things were assembling and thus couldn't manipulate anything. Then again, putting the whole of Equestria back in a state of habitability was a tremendous undertaking. Without pure destruction somewhere, even the Lord of Chaos himself wouldn't be able to do it without harm.
"I was planning the Hearts and Hooves dance with Pinkie?" Rarity babbled still in a daze.
That was it, Rarity's friends. If she was going to put together a dance no matter what,
"Friendship is a great way to go! Why don't you let your friends help you with your dance? All of them. Let them ALL help with the dance!"
"All, of, them?"
"Just think of all the wacky ideas they'd have!?" Discord grinned watching Rarity's face grimace.
"Whatever makes sense to them won't make sense to you, no matter how hard you try to organize it, my dear!"
"But we don't need all their, input . . ."
Discord couldn't be certain what ideas he could plant in Rarity's head, but as long as it wasn't orderly it would do.
"Of course not! But Rainbow Dash wants to be in charge of the decorations."
"Not flaming hearts. . . "
"And Twilight thinks your arrangements aren't perfect."
"But the tables were set . . ."
"Look what Applejack dragged in!"
"A wagon . . ."
"Yes apples, wait," Discord couldn't help but be amused. "Sure, why not. She has a large wagon. How did that even fit through the door, ha! Where's our dear Fluttershy?"
"Standing on the ceiling . . ."
"And no group of friends would be complete without an argument of some kind; all those different opinions all in one room."
"The catering is messed up . . ."
The room was slowly becoming a mess. The shadows of familiar face began to spread throughout the room as Rarity's chaotic dance took form. This was the best Discord could hope for considering he couldn't touch the world at all in his current position. If ruining her own dance wasn't chaotic enough, nothing would be, Discord concluded.
"What about Discord?" Rarity began frantically looking everywhere even though her eyes didn't seem focused on the actual space.
"He, wouldn't be there." Discord paused thinking back on being, yet again, rejected on a holiday. "He'll just spend the day alone."
"No, all my friends have to be there!" Rarity's eyes snapped to the draconequus. "I want you there!"
Without a doubt, Rarity was falling again.
"Rarity!" Fluttershy's voice came from somewhere above the unicorn and Rarity sent her gaze skyward.
Sure enough, the pegasus was standing on the ceiling of city hall, apparently being the only one with a view of Rarity's descent. Rarity glanced down at the fast-approaching floor with a scream.
"We were supposed to be at the boutique!"
Rarity's outcry did catch Discord's attention. Climbing out of a recently crashed sardine can sled, Discord snapped hoping for the best: enough magic to prevent Rarity from becoming a large splat on the floor.
A large mountain of heart-shaped pillows appeared beneath the unicorn to the cheer of her draconequus observer.
Rarity popped her head out of the fabrics and spat out a few feathers that must have gotten loose from their pillows. Her falling must have caused enough of a scene to gain the attention of every creature in the room.
Rarity toppled out of her soft salvation to land in front of Pinkie Pie.
"Pillows?" So much disappointment. "I wish it was a chocolate fountain."
Rarity stared blankly at the faces of all her concerned friends. Her gaze came to rest on Discord who shrugged.
"I thought you could use a bit of a break," he winked. "Chocolate on Hearts and Hooves Day is cliché anyway, am I right?'
"Rarity, are you okay?" Twilight came beside the designer and helped her back to her hooves.
"Never better, darling!" Rarity only laughed as she ran a hoof over her mane to flatten out any wayward strains. "It's Hearts and Hooves Day! And everypony I care about is here and safe. I couldn't be better."
"Too bad we can't say the same for the dance," Spike frowned as he pointed to the mess all around the room.
The group of ponies all seemed to take a guilty posture. They knew what this dance meant to Rarity and, thanks to her crazy misadventure, Rarity knew how much she meant to them as well.
"There's no need for us to get all upset over nothing," Rarity regaining her friends' attention. "We'll just make a few altercations, and we'll still have a delightful evening, albeit an unconventional one."
The unicorn smiled toward Discord. She kept her focus on him as Twilight began rattling off a recovery strategy for the Couples' Prance.
"Aren't you worried they'll ruin the most romantic evening ever?" Discord leaned down to Rarity's height. "If I remember correctly, which thanks to you I can't, Rainbow Dash is going to keep the flaming hearts in the decor."
"Whatever absurdity happens will be fine," Rarity signed. "I really am sorry for what I've put you through today, Discord."
"Are you kidding?" Discord levitated just a few inches from the ground to recline while talking to her. "This was probably the best Hearts and Hooves Day date I've ever had."
"It's the only one you've ever had." Rarity snorted.
"Same goes for you, so I think we both had our greatest date yet." He clearly wasn't sore over the day's debacle. "Chaos everywhere; what more do you think I'd want on a date?"
Rarity shook her head before glancing up toward the ceiling.
"Maybe to spend the rest of it with somepony special?"
Discord paused for a moment, his face didn't betray whatever emotion he was having. Rarity waited for a response, but one never came.
"Well," Rarity stomped a hoof.
"I'm already with somepony special."
Rarity felt a flustered blush cross her face at the comment.
"Though I'll definitely get her off the ceiling in time for the dance." He snapped his fingers.
The excitement of the room carried on around the two as they just remained still for a moment. The tables were being reset by Pinkie and Twilight -properly this time- while Applejack and the Cakes worked out some sort of agreement over the catering. Finally able to control her movements again, Fluttershy was gathering up the scared birds and Spike was able to clean up in peace. Predictably, Rainbow Dash had found new places to hang her rather distasteful art.
None of them seemed fazed by the events of Rarity's crazy romance plot against them, which was a comfort to see. She'd feel more than guilty if any of them retained a memory of their ordeal.
It was then Applejack caught her eye. The farmer was pointing to the draconequus beside her with a disapproving face.
"Watch this," Discord smirked, getting even more comfortable. "She's going to lecture me on the importance of holidays and tradition, or something like that."
Sure enough, Applejack was making her way over.
"Before that though, I have to ask," Discord made certain to keep his eye focused anywhere but on the mare beside him. "When can we do this again?"
Rarity gave an amused huff not certain what he meant with his comment.
"I mean, you're painfully single,"
"Thanks for the reminder." Rarity deadpanned.
"My schedule just opened up, and . . . I could use a date to the Couples' Prance. What do you say; up for a little more chaos?"
Rarity had never imagined she'd ever go on a date with Discord let alone two. Was she honestly thinking about taking him up on his offer?
"Only if you agree to wear matching outfit," Rarity giggled as Discord dropped to the ground in shock.
"Okay, now you're trying to really break my heart." Discord glared up at her as Applejack approached.
Before the farmer could say a word Rarity responded, and then left them to what she knew would be a familiar argument for Discord.
"Of course I'll go with you. I couldn't want a better date for Hearts and Hooves Day."
April 24, 2020