Twilight knew that Discord had escaped again, but this time he had skipped Ponyville, and she had tracked him into the Everfree Forest. It wasn't that hard to do, really. She just needed to follow the trail of stuff that made no sense. Apparently he liked giving the bunnies long deer legs, because a few of them were running around the forest, and so many of the trees had turned into cheese, and Twilight noticed that the animals that lived in them were still in them, but eating them from the inside out.
Discord's new lair was deep in the woods, in –what else? – A Fun House. It took her ten minutes to even find a door because whenever she approached an opening it would slide down father along the outer wall, causing her to chase it.
She came without her friends this time. This wasn't the safest thing to do – the princess would not have advised it – but if Discord showed any signs of trouble Twilight knew that she could teleport back to the library in a second. It tired her out to do that, so she usually tried to save it for really important times, but she guessed she'd use it here if she needed.
She wasn't sure why he hadn't targeted Ponyville yet, but she wanted to find out. And as long as he wasn't a threat to her or her home, she was going to try and be diplomatic about things. She would try to reason with him. Twilight was nervous about this idea – true – but she had studied by Princess Celestia's side enough to have observed a few things about how she would converse with an adversary.
Or at the very least, she would try her best.
Twilight found him lounging on a chair that seemed to be made of cake, wearing his sunglasses inside for some reason. The room was walled with fun house mirrors, the kind that made everything look wonky, so right away things looked off.
She seemed to have awoken him, stepping on some stray bubble wrap that was scattered about the floor and he sat abruptly upright and looked around, sunglasses falling off his face.
Twilight didn't have time to hide – or really anything to hide behind – so she quickly went into her best courageous pose and stood her ground.
"Twilight Sparkle," Discord said greeting her. He slid down to her right but she stayed put. "What a surprise, and where is the rest of your team?"
"I can summon them in an instant, so no funny business, Discord!" She said making her horn send off a few sparks just to be sure he got the message. It wasn't entirely a lie, she could teleport back home to get them, just it would probably take longer than an instant.
"Oh, well to what do I owe the pleasure?" he asked, making his way slowly across the room. It was a zigzag pattern that if he kept it up, he would be right in front of her.
"I knew you'd escaped again, and so I came to find you. To see what you were up to, since you're so close to Ponyville yet you haven't tried to do anything to it." There, that sounded commanding enough, Twilight thought.
"I would think it would be obvious, what with me hiding deep in a forest. I believe this is a textbook definition of 'in hiding', or maybe 'on the lamb'. I like that one too."
Twilight wasn't sure she believed him. "I'm going to have to send a message to the princess in any case. Then when you do…whatever it is you're planning, my friends and I can stop you like we did before."
"Oh, phooey," Discord said, apparently tired of being told about how he was defeated. "Leaving just when you got here?"
He began to slink around the room, making a slow circle around Twilight.
"Let me ask you, did I really do anything that terrible? All I did was try and make things a little more interesting," Discord said slightly defensively.
"More interesting for whom?" Twilight asked, leering up at the miss-matched creature.
He stroked his chin, pretending to consider. "Well, for me, really," he said, wryly. "But you should thank me; you ponies don't know the meaning of the word. That's why I enjoy shaking things up. It's for my own entertainment, true, but in my mind I do you all a service. What's life without a little chaos?"
"Chaos,' Twilight shot back. "The opposite of order, which is what we need to function in a polite society. That's what makes the world go 'round."
"Oh, listen to you," Discord rolled his eyes. "A 'polite society'? Ugh. Really, you're sounding just like your dear teacher, Twilight Sparkle. Why must every pony that faces me be so boring?"
Twilight scoffed. She was more insulted for her race & the princess than for herself.
"And order makes the world go 'round, did you say? Well, without the messes in life, there'd be nothing for little ponies like you to clean up. How would you know what was right without knowing what was wrong first?"
"But by your own logic, chaos needs order more. If there were no rules than you wouldn't know if you did something wrong either," Twilight said.
"Yes, yes, it's a rich tapestry, a delicate balance, yadda-yadda-yadda. We could go on all night about what's more beneficial, but you're not going to convince me of anything."
Twilight was surprised, and he sensed it.
"Yes, I know what you're trying to do. You're trying to find a way to make me see the light, yes? Using diplomatic solutions? Well Twilight, I'll have you know that your mentor tried that before. She tried reasoning with me too, she and her sister."
Twilight looked confusedly at him, Princess Celestia hadn't told her about that. She then flinched as he popped up right behind her. Did he have to do that?
"It was deemed that chaos could not be reasoned with, and so the next thing I knew they snuck a surprise attack on me and froze me in stone. Now, howdaya like that? How would you like that, Twilight? It's lonely and cold and ever-so-dull! And what did I really do, whom did I hurt?"
"You manipulated them!" Twilight shouted. She hadn't meant to shout, but his popping up behind her and the arm he'd draped around her shoulders had set her on edge. She was shaking a bit too, she hoped he didn't notice. She needed to be brave.
"You messed up the lives of ponies and caused unrest between them! You did the same thing that you did to my friends." She was able to wriggle out of his feigned-friendly embrace to look him straight in the eye. "You may not have hurt them physically, but you hurt them, if it was anything like what you did to me." Twilight thought back to the hopelessness she'd felt when she thought she'd lost her friends forever, and her eyes began to tear but she tried to hide that too.
Discord did not seem to notice, or at least seemed unfazed. "That's another thing I never understood about you ponies, your compulsive need to retain bonds such as friendship. I wouldn't know anything about that. Never had any, never will most likely."
Twilight blinked, she almost thought she felt a pang of sympathy just then. But that was crazy… probably just what he wanted. "So you lied before, you don't get lonely," she composed herself to ask.
"Oh, I didn't say that. You see I have no family, nor any I could hold in your beloved covenant of friendship. That comes with being one-of-a-kind. But I still get lonely, all living things do."
Discord had slid all the way around Twilight now, coming to rest in front of her, slightly to one side, but with his back to her.
"Perhaps I compensate for my lack of familiars with my ability to manipulate others, hmm?" he asked with slight sarcasm in his voice. "Maybe you think that's why I do what I do?"
He rocked back and forth on his heels, arms behind his back, waiting for an answer. But it took Twilight a moment to think, that sympathy card had thrown her for a loop.
"No," she said simply.
'So you just think I'm the big monster flying around breaking up friendships for my own amusement? In this instance I won't lie, I enjoy my work. But as we discussed, I keep the world turning just as much as your precious order does."
"No," she said again. Ugh, she mentally reprimanded herself, she sounded so dumb and not brave at all with these one-word sentences! He was trying to confuse her with twisted logic and sympathy. Twilight didn't want to say that she had agreed with that first question. She didn't want to admit that this sympathy trick – if it was a trick – might be working.
Twilight couldn't help it though; she had a kind heart, even if he might not. She didn't think she would be able to live without her parents, or the princess, and definitely not without her friends. Twilight remembered when she didn't think she needed friends, how she'd compensated with books and magic studies. She hadn't realized that something had been missing, and the tiniest part of her was starting to wonder if maybe he didn't realize that either.
"No…," Twilight hesitated, then finally let herself say it. "I feel sorry for you."
Discord had been only barely listening, but at those few words he stopped rocking and turned around, puzzled. He blinked at the small violet pony with tears forming in her eyes…tears for her enemy. It was then his turn to compose himself, and it took a long pause for him to do it. Twilight figured he really hadn't expected this answer.
"Oh come now, Twilight," he said, slinking up to her so they were face to face. He seemed to have finally bounced back from that little surprise, even chuckling as he put his claw on her shoulder. "Don't feel sorry for me. Haven't you heard how much fun I have? And about the friends – or lack thereof – well, you can't miss something you never had, hmm?"
Twilight sniffed, she had tried to hide her face to not show emotion, but she raised her eyebrow as she looked back up at him. She wasn't sure if that was condescension or genuine reassurance in his voice.
"Maybe you think I am missing out? That might be, I don't know. I don't think you, nor I, nor any of us will ever know. At this point I would never find a friend in Equestria. You ponies don't see the benefits of my work, so that makes me the enemy, and as soon as they find me they will shove me back in a sculpture again as fast as they can."
Twilight stayed silent, frantically searching through her head for her next move. She settled for backing a few steps away from his reach. He was so confusing and unpredictable, and that was what made him so dangerous, wasn't it?
"It's better than death," Twilight stated after she was a good few steps back.
"Is it, and you know this how?" Discord questioned her seriously, actually keeping his distance. Maybe her tears had affected him. "I believe out of the two of us I have the most experience with that, and no I don't believe it's better. Watching time go by around you, getting a horrible kink in your back, and being put up in someone's garden."
He lightened up again, jumping up to hover a few feet above the ground. "I mean, if I were still ruling this place do you think I'd put all of my enemies in my garden? Well, I probably wouldn't have a garden, but anyway…." He gave a long sigh and let the sentence hang there as he floated around the room.
"I don't like to talk about it. Being stone was more terrible than you can imagine. You can't die, but you also can't sleep or eat either. All you can do is watch. On the other hand, it did give me plenty of time to plot. So there's that."
Twilight watched him float about, eyes drying. She'd keep trying to reason with him; she'd resolved herself to find another way of doing this, especially since her friends weren't here to help.
"Maybe if you told them-"
"Told them what? That I'm sorry? Maybe tell them how those ages in statuary solitary confinement have changed me? And I thought you were against lying."
"No, maybe if you told them you get lonely, they'd…," Twilight started strong, but the more she thought, the less sure she was about what the others would do. "…I dunno."
Discord watched the pony as he floated, looking curious and slightly amused.
"You say you don't know, but you do. You're very smart. You know they'd just freeze me again, and maybe this time stick me in the basement or something."
He landed again, back in front of her. "But, it's a fitting punishment, right? For all my misdeeds? For all the ponies I've manipulated?"
In the beginning, she would've said yes immediately, but Twilight wasn't so sure anymore. She didn't know how much of what he was saying was true, if it was though…but no. She felt bad for him, but he still needed some form of punishment…to ensure harmony.
"I almost lost my friends because of you," Twilight said, trying to put back the sternness and confidence in her words that she'd had when she entered.
"Yes, and haven't you learned to appreciate each other all the more now!" he stated cheerily.
"That wasn't your plan though, that wasn't even part!" She said, annoyed by that idea.
"No, it wasn't, just an end result that couldn't have been possible without me. I may not know much about friendship, but all things need to be tested to be deemed strong."
Was Twilight crazy, or did that kinda make sense? First feeling sympathy for him, now this? Maybe she was being manipulated. She subtlety checked her hoof for signs of fading color, but she was fine.
"Which just proves that a little chaos really can do something, can it not?"
Twilight stood there, unsure. It felt like he had a point, but at the same time she didn't want to say something that would go against what she had been taught.
Discord probably sensed her dilemma, because he came back up to that uncomfortably close distance between them, wearing a small smirk. "Perhaps a little? Everything in moderation, right? Too bad that's never been my style."
She was looking straight into his eyes, but was prepared to shut them at any moment. Her friends had told her about the multi-color eye trick.
Twilight was surprised – therefore – when nothing like that happened. She didn't answer him, and he didn't seem to expect her to. His eyes stayed half-closed, and he just studied her for a moment. She tried not to start shaking again.
"Do you still feel sorry for me?" he asked after what felt like hours of tension-filled silence that was realistically only a few minutes.
Twilight considered this. She didn't think she could forgive him, but she also couldn't hate him either. For one thing, he at least wasn't doing anything to her now…and there was that strange feeling that she'd had, like she might have something in common with Discord. 'Might have had', she corrected herself. I have my friends now, but he doesn't.
She looked at him, and that pang of sadness returned, so she answered honestly.
A smile – a genuine one – now grew on Discord's face. "I have the sympathy of a pony. That's something new." He backed off a little, but was still a little close for comfort to Twilight. She thought about trying to smile back, but she was getting too nervous now and didn't know how it ended up looking.
"I suppose I should be grateful. This might be the closest I'll ever get to a real live friendship, a pony who doesn't completely hate me," Discord said, and Twilight felt he actually meant it.
"You are a singular unicorn, Twilight Sparkle," he said as he put his paw on one side of her face. "Just let's make sure you don't get too boring. You need a little chaos in your life."
Then – before she even knew what was happening – Twilight felt Discord pull her face in to close the gap between them, and press his lips on hers. It was short, but intense. The sudden firmness made her heart leap, and she felt her eyes close in spite of herself.
The second she could find her sense through all those swimming thoughts to pull away, he broke the embrace.
She hoped her cheeks weren't blushing as much as they felt like they were. To say that was unexpected would be an understatement; nothing Discord did now would surprise her.
After he lifted his paw away from Twilight's face he stood up to his full height - stretched – and smiled down at her, but otherwise not acknowledging what had just happened between them.
"Well, it's been a pleasure but I really must pop out, literally. I don't plan on telling you where I'm going, or what I'll do when I get there. I'm sure you and the princess will find me eventually. Ta!"
And with a suggestive wink, he leapt up into the air and disappeared.
As smart as Twilight was, it took her a moment to realize that Discord had just gotten away. She hadn't even gotten to wondering if he'd been playing her throughout this whole conversation or not. Her mind was still reeling from one stomach-dropping realization, that that had been her first kiss ever.
The Fun House Discord had left Twilight standing in remained solid for exactly one minute after he vanished before it too disappeared. Twilight was brought out of her reeling thoughts by being abruptly reminded that the room she'd been in was on the second floor. She fell with an 'oomph' to the muddy ground below.
She was glad that the ground was so soft, she wasn't injured but she was now dirty as well as befuddled. Not wanting to make the trek all the way back home, Twilight thought she'd risk the exhaustion of a teleportation. Except when she tried to do so…nothing happened.
She concentrated harder, scrunching up her face to try and make the spell work, but still she remained in the forest.
Adding that to the list of things confusing her about the night's proceedings, Twilight finally gave up with a regretful sigh and began to walk back. Now she'd have to get exhausted a whole different way, and this one was slower.
When she finally did make it back to the library it was well past midnight and Twilight didn't want to go waking her friends up. She was too tired anyway.
Twilight tried to log what had happened with Discord away in her mind for later so she might get some sleep. A part of her knew that there was probably not a moment to lose, they needed to find out where he was and what his plans were, but again, she felt too sleepy to really get as worked up as she had been.
Letting herself drift off, she was content to snooze a few hours until the sun rose. When Twilight woke again though, the realization of all that had occurred in the woods came rushing back to her, Discord was on the loose again, and she had let him escape.
When they had learned of his re-emergence, Twilight and her friends had gone to Canterlot to reclaim their element jewelry, and kept them safely in their homes to stay on guard for the first signs of his return. Twilight ran down the stairs to the bookshelf to find the book that she had hidden her big crown thingy (a different one than the Elements book she had found them in, but that's where she'd gotten the idea).
It was on a high far shelf behind another, larger book. But when Twilight tried to move the larger book aside, it didn't move. She tried again, and again. Her mind went back to the previous night when she couldn't teleport home either…this couldn't be a coincidence.
She quickly tried to lift something else, a cup, a brush, anything. Then when still nothing happened she began to get worried. Twilight's first thought was that – during their conversation – Discord had taken her horn like he'd done before. She rushed to her mirror…and it was still there.
That didn't make sense, if her horn was still there, then her magic must still work, right? How could her powers not be working otherwise?
Could Discord have done something to her to take her power another way? She played through last night again in her head, there were a few times when he could have done something, but her cheeks flushed as she came to the only conclusion…and she felt her stomach drop as it did after it had happened.
When he kissed her, he'd done something to her.
Her eyes went wide and she felt overwhelmed with a mixture of embarrassment, guilt, shock, and then rage. She assumed this was what being used felt like.
Twilight screamed – not being able to hold that mixture of emotions in for long – which woke Spike up from his cozy bed. He screamed too, and then looked over at her like she was crazy.
"Gah!" Spike yelled after his initial scream, jumping up then running over to her. "What was that for, Twilight? Are you alright?"
Her shocked expression probably wasn't helping matters. She couldn't tell Spike, at least not all of it. But he needed to know about her magic.
"Sorry to scare you Spike," she said, trying to calm down. "But my magic's not working, not since last night."
"What happened last night…and why are you all dirty?" Spike asked, gesturing at her fur.
Twilight looked herself over and gave an exasperated sigh. "You know what? I hadn't even noticed." It was true. With how mixed-up she was feeling about last night, on top of how tired she was when she got back, she hadn't even given a thought to taking a bath.
"I'll explain once I've washed up. Could round everyone up and meet me back here while I do?" she asked.
Spike still looked concernedly befuddled, but he gave a wary smile and slowly headed towards the door. "Um…ok, Twilight. You sure you're alright?"
Twilight did her best to smile back. "Yeah, I'm fine." She hadn't even convinced herself with that, but she hoped it set Spike at ease for a little while. "We'll talk when everyone's here, ok?"
Ok, before anyone says anything, let me explain myself. I was very very reluctant to even post this for a number of reasons. Firstly, I hadn't really ever written a pairing-type story or scene that involved characters kissing (at least, none that I've ever posted). I never really did this because most of my stories involved non-human characters, and in the context of their universes it wouldn't make sense.
But in MLP I'm not sure if the ponies kiss or not, so I assumed that it they can fly and use magic, that more human-style signs of affection were ok. I was also reluctant to even put that in because – to me – putting a kissing scene in a fanfic just seems so…newbie writer-ish. That's to say anything bad about newbie fanfic writers – some of them do even better than I ever could at writing romance and such – It's just that it's one of those precious bits of the human condition that can sometimes end up looking corny or fangirlish if it isn't written well.
My inspiration for it (as well as kind of the whole concept of this short fic) besides MLP itself, were the amazing fics people like sharezade has written for Synlet (Syndrome/Violet in Incredibles). I even took special care to keep both Twilight and Discord as in-character as possible and I tried to logically work to my desired outcome based on their personalities (and maybe sprinkling some fanon adaptation in there). This is similar to how many Synlet authors have made that pairing so interesting and fun to read.
Oh, and I wasn't writing the story specifically to lead up to that. I built it around the lines "I feel sorry for you", and "I have a pony's sympathy, that's new."
Secondly, it is just a short little thing, basically more of a scene. I wrote it in the space of about six hours (taking a break to watch Dr. Who) during a significantly pony-filled day (Return of Harmony part 2 had just come out, I made a review for it in like three hours, etc.) So I was on a big-time pony-high. While stories written under such inspiration can be imbued with the spirit of the author's mental state sometimes, that's not always a good thing.
And Thirdly, I'm not sure I'm very good with shipping/pairing type stories, especially when it's a stranger type such as Twicord/Twidis. For some reason I gravitate towards the good girl/bad guy type of pairings. It's not all the time, but I have noticed a pattern (Synlet, Hades/Persephone, Roxanne/Megamind although those last two are canon, now this) I couldn't be sure there was an audience for such a story beyond just me.
But there is one good reason to post it. I'm kinda proud of it. It may be the suckiest piece of writing I have ever done ever, or it might not be. But I haven't had such a streak of inspiration in a long time. Six hours of writing! Almost all the way through! I had almost forgotten what that felt like!
So, if you like it, thanks and I'm glad you did. If you didn't, I would just ask please don't flame me. I may or may not eventually move it to . Might depend on how it is received here.
And lastly, making it Twilight's first kiss was just a joke/nod to a favorite Synlet fanfic of mine, No Longer the Villain. I think that might actually be true, since before moving to Ponyville, she didn't get out much, right? ;P
Another good reason to post it would be LOOK, I WROTE SOMETHING AFTER A VERY LONG TIME!