One Lucky Guy
Morning arrived, and Celestia basked in the full glory of yet another day that she had started by rising the sun. She smiled, feeling quite calm and content. The thoughts of the annoying and certainly uncomfortable ‘conversation’ that she had with Discord the day before had nearly left her mind... until, of course, she went and thought of that afternoon again.
She sighed in annoyance as she entered the balcony. She knew she would find Luna asleep after standing guard for the night. It wasn’t like she wanted to bother her with such trivial matters, anyway. Discord and his shameless, cynical approaches were her problem alone to deal with. And she would, after she sorted through the other, much productive tasks that being a princess brought to her.
“Oh, Celestia... Really? C’mon, there are other things to do. Keep yourself busy.” With that, the Sun Princess walked out of the balcony and her room. She greeted her kind servants as she walked into the large, decorated dining room. “Okay, let’s start things on a positive note. Nothing bad has happened since... that time, so there’s no reason to get upset and ruin another day.”
She looked at a maid mare. “Do you know if Luna is up yet?”
“Oh, yes, Princess, she will be here in a moment. Should I bring your meal now?”
“Yes, please do. Thank you.”
After a few minutes, Luna went down to the dining room to meet her for breakfast. “Have you figured everything out for the day...?” She asked after she yawned. She sat down to start eating.
“Honestly, how many hours of sleep do you usually get?” Celestia asked her as she raised an eyebrow.
Luna shrugged a bit as she sat before her sister. “I really don’t need all that many. Just a bit of rest is fine for me, I’ve grown rather used to it.” She ate a few more mouthfuls before she looked back at Celestia. “I must remind you again, sister, that the Grand Galloping Gala is due soon.”
Celestia sighed and nodded. “Yes, I had nearly forgotten, Luna, thank you.” She looked aside as one of the servants brought the morning paper for her to read. After that, there was some rather awkward silence between them as they ate.
Luna glanced aside a bit impatiently. She was dying to ask her sister about the day before, but she said nothing about it. She figured it would not be a comfortable topic to start the morning with.
Celestia finally let out a long sigh. She had caught on to Luna’s curiosity long ago. She looked at her expectantly. “Yes? What is it, Luna?”
“Oh. Nothing, sister, we were--I was just... thinking.”
Celestia glanced down at the paper again. “About?” She levitated her cup with tea to drink from it.
“Well...” Luna cleared her throat and tried to speak casually. “Our architects are still working on the damage that you had Discord do to the wall in your chambers hall... Um, the problem must have been quite serious, if I do say so myself...”
“It was nothing, Luna, really.”
“...Sister, it certainly did not look like nothing.”
“Well, you know very well how troublesome Discord can be, right? That was him being quite troublesome right there. I had to take action, and strong action. I’m sorry if it disturbed anypony.”
“Well, sister, you didn’t need to go through that. You should have sent for me. I would have been happy to assist.” Luna hid a smile as she watched her sister take a deep breath.
Celestia shook her head slightly and muttered an answer. “Thank you, Luna, for your kind offer... But, as you saw then, I was able to handle Discord just fine on my own.” For the very first time, I’ll admit... It was actually quite easy. She didn’t speak her thoughts out loud, of course.
Luna chuckled a bit, but fell silent when Celestia looked at her.
A letter arrived after green flames appeared between them, right on the table. Celestia picked up the rolled scroll. “Oh, this is from Twilight.” She frowned slightly as she held the scroll in front of her with her magic. “How odd of her to send a letter so early.”
“It doesn’t seem to be a Friendship Letter, either” Luna said as Celestia opened the letter and read it.
‘Dear Princess Celestia,
I hope this letter finds you and Princess Luna well. First of all, I want to thank you very, very much for sending, once again, your personal invitations to the Gala night to my friends and to me. I speak for all six of us when I send you my thanks in this letter.
Secondly, I would like to discuss the gala invitations themselves. Fluttershy and I talked yesterday, and we thought that perhaps it would be a good idea if you were to invite Discord along with Fluttershy, if you would be so kind and considerate to do so. Fluttershy would have no problem whatsoever escorting and keeping an eye on him to make sure he behaves.
As you read this letter, princess, my friend is speaking to Discord to convince him to act his very best at the event, should you choose to allow him the honor of attending under your invitation. Please feel no obligation whatsoever to comply, Princess Celestia. I, of all ponies, perfectly understand the situation you are in regarding Discord. I would not wish at all to put you in an even more complicated dilemma. If you must decide that he is unfit to attend the gala, I will speak to Fluttershy and Discord so that they can understand the matter. I assure you that, regardless of your decision, I will make sure that things go just fine and in absolute order, as I always am determined to do.
Your faithful student,
Celestia lowered the letter after she read it. She frowned a bit with doubt. “Um...”
Luna raised an eyebrow as she stared at Celestia. “How strange... Twilight Sparkle actually wants you to invite Discord to the gala night?”
Celestia quickly read the letter again as she spoke. “It, would appear so... But then again, she’s not exactly doing so, I think she is merely suggesting...”
“But they are asking you to do so. ‘If you would be so kind and considerate’, sister. Twilight and her friend must really want him to attend. I honestly don’t see why it would be such a bad idea, really.” She smiled a little as Celestia lowered the scroll to give her a doubtful look.
Luna shook her head. “Oh, most certainly not. I’d like him to attend. It would give me a fine chance to give the draconequus what he deserves, sister.”
Luna spoke determinedly. “Do you think I’m going to let him get away with trapping me in an hourglass, hypnotizing you against me, and nearly drowning me in the Canterlot lake? No. Not a chance.”
Celestia listened to her patiently, then took a bit to speak as she smiled a little. “...Didn’t you already get to stomp on his statue after he was turned to stone a second time?” I’d say that evens it out a bit, right?
Luna blushed. “That... didn’t cover it at all. Who knows if he actually felt anything! I, on the other hoof, felt every single thing he did to me all those times!”
Celestia sighed and looked at the scroll again. “Well... I’m not sure letting him attend would be very wise... Discord was just reformed, after all, it’s too soon...” She rolled her eyes as she set her hoof on the table. “And from what happened yesterday, I’m not all too convinced that he has changed much...”
Luna smiled encouragingly as she tried to convince her. “Sister, I’m sure he will be no harm to anypony. Fluttershy will stay close by him, right? He would not do anything to make her look bad in front of all Canterlot, he respects and appreciates her too much to do that to her. Celestia, look. I know you are reluctant, I am reluctant as well--”
Celestia raised an eyebrow. “You are?”
Luna nodded, giving her a bit of a serious look. “Of course! I’m the one he’s tried to kill one time more than you! But listen... As princesses, we must give our citizens a chance. It is our duty to be wise and fair, and give chances to those we have deemed deserving of them.”
Celestia sighed and looked at her cup. “I...”
Luna smiled a little and touched her hoof. “We must give him the opportunity to get along with everypony. To do so, he must get used to the times. What better time than the gala night to do it?”
Celestia thought for a bit longer as Luna spoke to her calm and gently. Finally, she let out a resigned sigh. “You’re right, little sister. He does deserve that chance... Regardless of how he may have behaved.”
Luna smiled and hugged her. She laughed a bit as Celestia hugged her too. “Thank you for putting your part, sister. I’m sure even Discord will appreciate it. He’ll be quite excited about it all!”
Celestia shook her head. “Oh, I’m becoming much too lenient...” She muttered as Luna giggled.
“A-And remember, Discord, you must try to be keep within the... Oh, what did Twilight call it? Oh, yes, of course, the guidelines. The guidelines that we talked about earlier? No magic that might get out of control or scare anypony, no chaos for the night, either. Just be a good draconequus and use your magic, if you must, but do so with care.”
Fluttershy once again reminded Discord to act properly in the night of the gala, in case he was invited. They had gone over quite a few things for a long while at her cottage, or at least had tried to go over them. Discord kept growing distracted, he had a short attention span when he wanted to.
Discord rolled his eyes and let out an annoyed sigh. “You and Twilight already told me that. Ten times. From this morning to now.”
“O-Oh, but of course I wouldn’t want you to feel uncomfortable, Discord! That’s why I said that you can use your magic when you feel like it will give you some more confidence. It might be weird and stressful for you to suddenly pop in at a place full of ponies...”
“You think?” Discord muttered and gave her a dull look.
Fluttershy smiled at him as she continued. “But, I want you to know that you don’t have to jump right ahead and try to please them or talk to them if you don’t feel safe enough to do so. If you feel like you need to take a breather, at any time, by all means, be my guest and do kindly tell me so that I will keep you company. I won’t mind at all.”
Discord sighed and raised an eyebrow at her. “Fluttershy, you’ve gone on with this for far too long, my dear. I’m surprised no one’s ever mentioned how talkative you are! You could rival Pinkie Pie for sure.”
Fluttershy blushed a bit. “I-I’m sorry, Discord, I didn’t mean to overwhelm you. I just, well--”
“I haven’t even been admitted to this ‘gala’ event yet. In my opinion, it was just a dumb--a silly move of Twilight’s, to go ahead and directly ask Celestia to let me go. I mean, really, I thought she was the smart pony!” He shook his head and folded his arms as he floated in the air. Like she’ll say yes after what happened yesterday... Twilight should’ve seen that coming. To think I went and asked her for help...
Fluttershy looked up at Discord as he floated and grumbled in his thoughts. “Oh, I’m sure the princesses will give you a chance, Discord. The gala night is quite a bit of fun...”
“I heard your experience at the gala wasn’t really all that exciting. More like disappointing.”
Fluttershy smiled sheepishly. “Well, yes, but... It turned out well in the end, because my friends and I were together to pass the time. Really, if you hang out with friends and do things that you all enjoy. Everypony should have the opportunity to attend and experience it.”
Discord sighed heavily to answer her. “I might not even be accepted. But you know what?” He shrugged it off. “It doesn’t even bother me. It never did! Who wants to go to those boring pony parties anyway? I’m sure they’re no different from the ones they held a thousand years ago, and that...” He glanced up. “Was... pretty boring, yeah... Quite, boring.”
Fluttershy nodded approvingly at his words. “Well, I’m glad you keep such a positive attitude. If they refuse by any chance, for any reason, there’s always the next gala, or some other party, dinner or occasion that the princesses might hold in the pal--”
“Fluttershy, whoever said I wanted to get to the palace anyway? If I wanted to, I could just snap my fingers and get there. Twilight was the one who came up with such an elaborated plan, as usual.”
She lifted her hoof as she glanced aside in thought. “Well... She said you should learn about humility or something like that... This was supposed to help you learn that.”
He waved his claw dismissively. “Oh, cotton candy can eat her humility. And speaking of cotton candy, how do you feel of having that for breakfast, dear?” He appeared a whole cone of the sugary, soft treat, and ate it as he held his lion paw behind his head while sitting in the air.
Fluttershy tilted her head to the side as she gave him a confused look. “So... You really don’t want to go to the party, Discord? But I thought--”
Discord sighed and spoke calmly to the yellow pegasus. “It’s not that I don’t want to go, it’s that I could care less. Accepted or not, there’s no difference. I don’t care about what the Princess’ reply may be, no matter what you say about it.” He patted her head. “It’s whatever, Fluttershy, really. You ought to calm down about this and just flutter along with whatever happens.”
Fluttershy smiled at Discord’s calm, collected, and patient demeanor. “Okay.”
Twilight hurriedly arrived at Fluttershy’s cottage. She looked at them with an eager smile as she approached them. “I received Princess Celestia’s reply letter!”
Discord burst into the air again with desperation. “FINALLY!” He quickly appeared before Twilight and held her in his claw and paw. As he did, he shot a volley of hurried questions, and with each part of the interrogation, he shook the unicorn in the air in all directions. “What does it say? What did she say? Is it really Celestia’s reply? Is it Celestia’s precisely? Is she going to let me go on her own terms or not?!”
Fluttershy slightly pointed at Twilight with her hoof. “Um, Discord, I think you have to let her speak first to find out some answers... She won’t be able to speak too well if you keep shaking her around--oh, no, Angel, don’t eat that... It’s okay for ponies and draconequi, not for bunnies.” She tried to get Angel away from the cotton candy that had fallen on the ground, it wouldn’t be good if the bunny ate it.
“Um...” Discord blinked as he looked down at the disoriented, dizzy unicorn, whose mane was now matted from the sudden movement. “Right.” He dropped her and cleared his throat. He felt a bit embarrassed with his sudden impatience. “Do carry on.”
Twilight held her spinning head, quickly shaking it to clear it. She then gave Discord a smug smirk and look. “Eager, aren’t you?”
“Oh, I’m not eager, now tell me what the letter says.” Discord made his denial statement and his demand quickly, all in the same breath. He folded his arms as he gave Twilight a look.
She pulled the letter out of her saddlebag and opened her mouth to read it out loud.
Immediately, Discord threw himself in the air before she could utter a word. He flung his arms, legs, and tail as he threw his desperate, if also dramatic, tantrum. “Oh, it’s over! OVER! This is a catastrophe, she’s ruined my life! All of it, I tell you!”
The two ponies stared at him as he continued to let all the drama out of his system.
“First she makes me reform and change myself and then she denies me the one and only chance to show her--er, everypony, that I have changed!”
“Um, Discord?” Fluttershy tried to calm him down, but she went unnoticed and unheard.
“This is unbelievable--why didn’t she just say so herself! I don’t know what I’m ever going to do with that princess, I knew this plan was never going to work, what was I THINKING?!”
Twilight tried to talk sense into him. “Discord. Just--”
“I can’t even bring myself to go back to my careless chaotic days anymore, I’m nothing but a disgraceful shame! I should go crawl in a cave and hide for the rest of my immortal days, I’m SO pathetic! Should I drown in my desperation, pity, or loath? I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do!”
“I couldn’t even get a princess to invite me to one stupid little night party! MY LIFE IS OVER!!”
“Um, well, actually--” Twilight muttered.
Fluttershy flew up to him to try to comfort him out of his hysterical, panicking tantrum. “Now, now, Discord, don’t feel so down.”
Discord looked at her with a frown. “Fluttershy--”
“I told you that if it wasn’t this time, there would always be another chance to set things right! Just like I did when we had to bring water over to Cloudsdale. I had my second chance, and in the end, I helped by giving it my all after trying again when everypony else needed me.”
She patted his shoulder when she saw that he continued to lament to himself, despite her attempts to cheer him up. “Don’t worry, Discord, it’s okay if the princess didn’t think it was appropriate this time, really. Perhaps she needs time to think some more, or maybe this night just wasn’t the one she was intending.”
Twilight tried to speak again, as she had been trying for a while now. “She actually--”
Discord let out a quick sigh and shook his head. “You don’t understand, Fluttershy. I’m ruined, simply ruined! It happened to be this night, it will easily be just the same with all the others! It’ll keep happening again and again, I just can’t take so much of it...” He looked down. “She’s just closed herself off, she won’t even look at me anymore. She doesn’t want me near her kingdom at all, it’s so clear! How could I have not seen it before, it was so obvious! She detests me! She would banish me if she could!”
Twilight frowned and lifted her hoof to try to get their attention. “But, that’s not true, she--”
Fluttershy smiled at him. “Cheer up, Discord! The princess would never think that way of you. We can go ask her if she can talk to us so we can speak about what the problem was. She’ll surely tell us.”
Twilight shook her head. “There was no problem, if you two would let me--”
“Problem?! Oh, Fluttershy, it’s more than that, it’s a deadly situation! She just--”
“FOR THE LOVE OF THE PRINCESS, WOULD YOU TWO JUST LET ME TALK?!” Twilight screamed at them and even elevated in the air as she did. She landed back on the ground and panted after she was done calling for their attention.
Fluttershy and Discord both stared at her after they recovered from her yell.
“Goodness, Twilight! No need to get so agitated” Fluttershy muttered as she looked at Twilight worriedly.
“Indeed, Twilight Sparkle, what kind of manners are those? Can’t you see Fluttershy and I are trying to have a mature conversation?” He sat up in the air and vanished the letter from in front of her and appeared it in his claw instead. “This has gone on long enough. You certainly are incompetent for delivering messages. I’ll read it myself.”
He looked at the rolled up scroll as Twilight glared at him. He hesitated in opening it, even though he could have done so in less than a second.
He passed the harmless letter over to Fluttershy, who still flew beside him. “Em... On second thought... Fluttershy, dear, why don’t you read it? I wouldn’t want Twilight here to think I’m cheating by altering the message or anything of the sort.”
Twilight gave him another look. “How would I be able to think that? I already know what it says.”
Discord gasped and shook his head with disapproval. “Oh, I never, Twilight Sparkle. Don’t you know that reading others’ mail is an offense?” He folded his arms with an indignant face
Twilight’s eyebrow twitched in annoyance. “That letter was addressed to me, Discord!”
Discord turned back to Fluttershy. “Anyways, go on, Fluttershy.” He was starting to feel impatient again.
Suddenly, he felt that everything was going to go downhill... That he really wouldn’t be accepted at the party. That he would never have a chance to show himself and prove his change to the princesses.
But... perhaps that might be a good thing. They’ve made a good, happy, separate life. Why can’t I do the same? If I did, I’d never have to apologize to anypony. He smiled a little as he kept encouraging himself with his thoughts. Yeah, it was good that he didn’t get invited. He would convince himself of that.
Fluttershy started to read the passed-on scroll. “Let’s see... ‘Dear Twilight Sparkle. I must sincerely thank you for your letter. I am glad that you and your friends look forward to another gala with such enthusiasm. I am also happy to inform that we will have plenty of guests for the night, including my sister herself. She has decided to show up and have fun during these occasions’...”
Discord rolled his eyes as he thought impatiently. Well, that’s a first. I doubt she was even having fun during the ball I attended to. Cut through this, get to the good part! He mentally rushed Fluttershy as the pegasus continued to read, though he didn’t really pay attention to those parts as he thought.
“...‘also appreciate the concern that both you and your friend have shown towards Discord so far. It truly shows great understanding and attentiveness on your part, that you would be worried about him and his sake enough to kindly ask me to’...”
Discord shook his head as he gave his new friend an irritated look while she read. Fluttershy, could you be a dear and read faster, please?!
“...‘and I appreciate such leadership and attention, which is why I want to inform you that I would be glad to welcome Discord to the Grand Galloping Gala... So long as he is able to behave himself. I look forward to seeing you, your friends, and Discord there. Princess Celestia’.” She looked up at Discord with a smile. “Wow, good news, Discord. Very good ones! It looks like you were invited to the gala after all, by the Sun Princess herself! Oh, what an honor.”
Twilight rolled her eyes as she muttered to herself. “Yeah, one just doesn’t happen to be that privileged. Especially with such a record history...”
...Perhaps he hadn’t heard right. Fluttershy did have such a tediously quiet voice, after all. It wasn’t a good idea to ask her to read such an important thing. There was no way the Princess had decided to... Just because Twilight had asked... Decided to invite...
He swallowed a bit as he looked at the ponies. “Ehm, y-you’re joking, right?” He chuckled nervously. “Oh, hilarious! Could’ve fooled me. Okay, joke’s over. Go ahead and wrap up the letter, Fluttershy, I’m sure an explanation for a ‘however’ or ‘unfortunately’ is written there somewhere.”
Fluttershy looked through the letter. “I don’t see any of that, Discord. Just the princess saying that she’s glad to have you at the party.”
“Oh, but, but that can’t be, I--let me see!” He snatched the letter from her hooves and looked at it eagerly.
‘...I hope Discord takes the news well and is on his best behavior during the night, as I am personally giving him this chance that I’m sure he will find... delightful. I look forward to seeing you seven at the Gala. Princess Celestia.’
She’s got to be joking. It’s got to be a joke. What in Equestria am I ever going to do at that party?! With... her... Right in front of me?! “This... How... It just--”
Twilight smirked as she interrupted his stammering. “Wow. I guess you’re just a lucky guy, Discord. Nopony gets such a privileged invitation in such a consecutive manner. I mean, an invitation from the princess to such a night? Twice? Why, it must be quite a thrill.” She paced around him. She knew that he understood the ‘consecutive’ and ‘twice’ remarks perfectly well.”
“Well.... Wh-Why, yes, quite so. She... She’ll surely have a kick when the days pass and I have become so bored after the wait that I end up not attending the event after all.”
Twilight raised an eyebrow as he spoke nervously.
“N-Now I understand, it all makes sense! That’s why she sent that letter in advance. I know she really doesn’t want me to go, she sent it early so that I would grow impatient and miss the event at its actual date!” He folded his arms and huffed a bit.
Such a joke of her. Quite tasteless. He’d have to return it sometime and teach her a proper lesson on professional pranks, not those of an amateur.
Twilight chuckled a bit as she directed to Discord again, after she smiled at Fluttershy. “Oh, Discord, I’m serious. You really are one lucky guy.”
He looked at her questioningly.
“Why? Because none of that will happen to you at all, you see. The princess will welcome you in all her kind, beautiful splendor.” As she described the princess, she waved her hoof forward grandiosely, all the while standing beside him.
He raised an eyebrow and gave her a look. “Oh? And why ever is that?”
Twilight spoke casually and matter-of-factly. “Simple. Because the gala is tonight.”