Why? Why must I do this to myself? What makes him so interesting, and why am I unable to walk away? I know that this isn't right, I know that this place reeks of mischievous intent, and I know that I stand before a bastion of chaos. Order drives all things. Order has brought Equestria to peace for over five hundred years now. Order will win out, and erase the memory of the twisted fool before me, scattering his ideals and essence to the four winds.
…So why do I long for a taste of chaos? Why am I drawn here , night after night, to stand and stare at the statue of the only being I can honestly claim to hate? Why?
Celestia stood, as she had been doing so often lately, mere feet from the frozen form of Discord. The shroud of night concealed her presence from those who would approach her and show concern or trepidation at her secret meetings. The last thing that the princess needed was for somepony to find out about her increasingly frequent visits to the draconequus encased in stone, and assume that she was losing her grip. Tension among the nobles had reached an all-time high, and Celestia found it harder and harder to deal with as time went on. She needed a break, something new, something unexpected, something fun. And so she had come to him.
The princess made no movement, scowling at the hodgepodge body of the creature before her. I hate him. Even after all of this time, even after accepting everypony else on this planet with unfaltering love, I hate him.
"What were you thinking? What did you hope to accomplish? You must have known that you could not win, that your resistance made no sense when we gained control of the Elements of Harmony! You stood no chance, and yet you resisted! You were content to watch this world burn, claiming to rule it and doing nothing of the sort! Who do you think you are, Discord! What right did you have to control this land!"
The same right that you have now, my lovely little alicorn.
Celestia's eyes widened, and she backed away from the statue before her as his voice echoed inside of her head. Though her late night ranting in front of the statue had been going on for over a month, she had never before heard him reply. I must not be sleeping enough, he cannot talk to me from in there! It's bad enough that I feel the need to speak at him, hearing a reply is just… absolutely impossible. There's no way that he can respond…
Oh, you aren't hallucinating, if that's what you're thinking. I can hear you loud and clear, Little Tia. But where is Little Lulu? Someplace… safe?
The fur on the back of Celestia's neck bristled in anger. She was never one to lose her cool, with the exception of being in the presence of Discord. In the five centuries since his defeat, she had never been able to figure out why he was able to rile her in such a way, but she was keenly aware of his ability to do so. She took a step forward, aiming her horn forward and leveling it at the statue in an aggressive stance as her face twisted into a sneer.
"What do you know? How can I bring her back? Answer me!"
Ohohohoho! I know only what you tell me. Or do I?
Celestia stomped a hoof into the dirt angrily. "Enough! I will not play games with you, you wretch! If you know how to reverse the spell, reveal your secrets! Start making sense!"
Oh, but I do so love games. And what's the fun in making sense…
The alicorn's temper was rapidly reaching a boiling point, and she felt that she was seconds away from giving the statue an undignified buck and shattering it completely.
"Do not speak in circles to me! I know you well enough to know that you're hiding something! Why else would you talk now, after having been silent for so long? The four hundredth anniversary of her banishment is tonight, and I doubt that your actions are coincidence!"
Banishment? Am I correct in assuming this is your doing, then? Have you made another mistake, and now seek help from Daddy Discord? Oh, silly Celly, what toy did you break this time? Have you made a mess that you need an adult to clean up for you, dear?
Celestia completely lost control. She turned, and slammed her hind hooves into the statue as hard as she could, hoping to shatter the stone figure that dared mock her plight. The statue showed no damage for her efforts, and a sickening laugh resonated inside of her skull, causing her to drop to her knees as her entire head throbbed.
You didn't truly think it would be that easy, did you? After all, you of all ponies should know how… delightfully potent the magic of those cursed Elements can be…
The alicorn rose to her hooves and turned to face him again, snorting and shaking her mane angrily. "So I was correct! You ARE aware of what has happened! You knew what happened to Luna, and you know how to bring her back! TELL ME!"
If you want her so badly, why did you send her away to begin with? That doesn't make any sense at all. I love it.
Celestia closed her eyes, and took several deep breaths. Speaking with Discord was much more infuriating than she had remembered it to be, and her stomach turned at the realization of just how easily he could pull her strings. Remain in control. Play his little game. You've controlled a country through order and love, it should be no problem to control him. Rein in your emotions, and deal with this diplomatically. She opened her eyes, and stared up at his frozen face.
"I will admit, I made a mistake. I did not know that the Elements would send her to the moon, nor did I know that they would seal her inside of it for a thousand years. You were the previous master of the Elements, and though I loathe to admit it, I need your help. Please, tell me how to bring her back…"
Bring her back? Oh, but what of your precious order? Would unleashing Nightmare Moon upon Equestria once again not subvert every effort for peace that you have made thus far? As much as I'd like to see the skies rain orange juice and the ground torn asunder with geysers of shaving cream, I somehow think the particular brand of chaos that your possessed sister would bring wouldn't do much to help either of us. And do you really think I would help you without wanting something in return?
"Yes, actually, I do. Because that would make no sense at all, and that is your style."
Another long laugh resonated inside of her mind, and Celestia had to actively focus to stay standing.
Well, well, well. Perhaps you're starting to understand after all. Alright, I'll help you, because it will amuse me. Here's your tip: she can't come back before her time is up, and even if she could, it wouldn't be up to you to make it happen.
Celestia looked past him, taking in the fireflies that played among the hedges of her private gardens. She began to count them as she shook with rage and grief, trying her absolute best not to let herself explode at him again. Finally, with a quavering voice, she spoke.
"That… that is a lie. The Elements of Harmony can do anything. They defeated you, they defeated Nightmare Moon, and they now serve me. How can you say that they cannot bring her back?"
Simple. The Elements of Harmony aren't harmonious at all, unless they are used properly. When they're brought together by someone who cannot control them completely, the Elements themselves exert their own will, and become a force of unified chaos. You would have to be a fool to seek to control them alone. Why do you think I wanted them so badly?
Celestia snorted. "Because you're a fool."
Bingo. But not only that, I LOVE chaos. I knew that I couldn't control them, and that was fine with me. I was perfectly happy to watch them disturb the natural order under my lacking supervision. Nothing is more fun than not knowing, am I right? Even if you and I were on the same side, and we had Little Luna with us, I doubt that the three of us could control the Elements even if we took two each. You'd need six entities of pure heart, and even then, they'd have to possess unshakeable will to even think of using their Elements as intended. But since that sounds just about impossible, you'll have to hand them over to me again, and let me shuffle this world around like a puzzle with pieces that just don't fit together. C'mon, it'll be fun!
The princess couldn't believe what she was hearing. She sat down upon her haunches, and her mouth hung open. It took a long time for her to vocalize the words racing through her mind, but she finally found them.
"Are you… implying that the Elements of Harmony were responsible for the absolute chaos of your rule? That your tyranny wasn't even intentional, that you merely gathered the gems and let them run wild as you tapped their raw power alone for your own sick amusement?"
It sucks that I'm frozen in this pose, I feel like I should be checking off a score card. You're racking up major points tonight, friend. I'm surprised you're understanding this so well!
Celestia rose, her voice raising to volumes that she hadn't used since the sealing of the draconequus to begin with.
"YOU'RE LYING! THAT GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING MY FATHER TAUGHT ME! THE ELEMENTS CAN BE CONTROLLED, IT MERELY TAKES A STRONG WILL AND CALM MIND!"
His voice became deliberate and laced with venom, his speech pattern slowing to add the most gravity he could to his next statement.
Is that what your father told you? Funny, he wasn't nearly so articulate right before I stole his life.
"SHUT UP!" she roared, removing her crown and hurling it at his stone face. Discord merely laughed louder, before he stopped abruptly and his tone adopted an icy bite to it.
And you see, Celly, th-
"ADDRESS ME BY MY FULL NAME OR NOT AT ALL, YOU CRETIN! I WILL NOT PUT UP WITH YOUR DISRESPECT ANY LONGER!"
Celestia's demands devolved into a fully-fledged tantrum as she screamed at him, stomping the dirt and dislodging one of her golden shoes. She was breathing heavily, and her pastel mane hung in strands around her face as she began to sweat. She glared at the male, daring him to oppose her, but knowing all the same that if he did, she could do nothing to stop him.
Fine, fine, Princess Killjoy von Nofun. As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted…
He paused to make a sound of clearing his throat in a wholly unnecessary display, simply to anger Celestia further.
The difference between you and I, is that we both understand nothing, yet I am willing to admit it, and you are not. I don't have the slightest clue how to bring Short Stuff back, but I guarantee you that if I could, I would. Well, provided I wasn't frozen here like some lawn ornament.
Her breathing leveled out, and she mentally cursed him as she began to cry tears of frustration and despair. The stress of ruling on her own had been getting to her lately, and Discord's taunting and doublespeech was only serving to break her down further.
"And why should I believe you?"
"Then why bother talking at all?"
How should I know? You came to me.
Celestia paused. The most infuriating thing about him was that sometimes, he was right.
"…Discord." She sniffled, wiping her eyes with a hoof. She hated to cry, in private or public, and couldn't believe she had gotten to that point in front of her hated rival. "Answer me one thing, honestly. Please, just… give me your real opinion. Just this once."
If I had control of my eyebrows, I would be raising them, my rather large pony. I like the unexpected though, so perhaps I'll indulge you, just this once. Ask away.
Celestia breathed deeply, and turned away from him. She spoke softly, her words carried to his imprisoned ears by the swirling night breeze.
"Was it… my fault?"
What, messing up the laws so badly with your totally incompetent rule, encasing me in stone, putting too much hay in your last sandwich, or sending Luna to the moon? Details, Princess.
"You know what I am asking. Do not make me repeat myself."
Fine, fine. You're really boring, you know. When I break out of here, we're going to have some fun, I can guarantee that. I didn't promise to answer your question honestly though. But I suppose since I didn't promise, I'll go ahead and do it.
She turned back toward him, gazing up at his spread arms and open jaw, sniffling.
No. It wasn't entirely your fault. Sure, you just wanted to send her away for a little while, but no one could have predicted that the Elements would banish her for a thousand years. There, are you happy?
"I… I don't know."
Excellent. I'd hate to be labeled as 'good' or 'evil'. Even 'helpful' would be insulting. Now, hurry up and free me, and let's run this place into the ground.
Celestia wasn't sure that she had heard him correctly. "Excuse me? You want me to free you? What reason could you possibly have to believe I would do such a thing?"
Pretend I'm sighing and shaking my head at you. Haven't you learned that I don't do reason? I figured it would be worth a shot. You never know, right?
Celestia laughed involuntarily before she caught herself and stopped. "You're hopeless."
And you aren't?
"Who are you to judge?"
Who am I, indeed. Join me, Celestia. Break me out of here with your magic, and rule at my side. You know that your vision of a perfect world is impossible, so why not stop clinging so desperately to rigid order and have a little fun…
"Join you? Ha!" Her anger began to resurface, and she felt the sensation of pins and needles rush across her entire body. "I have no desire to free you, let alone bend to your twisted theology."
Oh, I do not believe that is true. I can see your thoughts, oh Princess. I know that you long to experiment with a little bit of anarchy, that a small part of you wants to throw it all away and start anew without a plan. Ruling alone for so long must be stressful, so allow me to relieve some of that stress…
Celestia gathered her shoe, and slid her hoof back into it. Her tears had stopped, and anger was winning out in its battle against sadness as she began to fume at his words.
"You would seek to help me? I am the one in control, here. You are at my mercy, and you cannot escape without me. Do not act as though I need you!"
Oh, but I think you do. Why is it that you felt the need to return here, night after night, to scream and shout at me even though you believed I couldn't hear? Why do you feel slight comfort in my presence after venting your hatred and blaming all of your problems on me? Is it because it's easy? Because it makes sense? Or because you want something? I can feel your most secret bursts of emotion when you come here, you know. I can feel your sick longing, that little corner of your mind that wants to abandon responsibility and see if I'm right after all. I know that you want me, Celestia, and if you set me free, I would fulfill your every desire…
The sight of the sputtering alicorn before him was almost enough to make Discord burst out laughing. He knew he had caught her, and the blush upon her cheeks spread like wildfire. He continued his mental assault, letting his knowledge of her deepest secret flood her mind like a wave of disease.
That's right, I know that you've been… how would the layponies put it? 'Crushing' on me? Clearly it isn't an emotional connection, because I can feel your burning hatred as well. I like that, a love-hate sort of thing where you just want to play with my body, huh? Or maybe you DO want more, and you know that on some level, I'm right. Chaos runs this world. No matter how much you think you can control, the variables will always be there…
It wasn't his forwardness that bothered her, or even his reading of her thoughts in general. The problem was that he wasn't sugar-coating it, that he knew what he was talking about. Celestia did find him attractive, in a sick, disturbing way, a way that made her stomach grow cold and her mind scream at her heart with all of its might to stop its unhealthy obsession. She couldn't fight the attraction, and was well aware of how wrong it was. If she were to act upon those urges… if she gave in and stood at his side, both for the sake of lust and to try to understand him… the entire world would fall into disorder and ruin. She couldn't be that selfish. She couldn't allow herself to give in to such an embarrassing fantasy. She was stronger than that.
"N-no! I'm not… I-I don't… you have no idea what you're talking about!"
Hmm? Your heart cannot tell lies, oh obstinate one. Your curiosity drives you to desire what you know you cannot have. You're drawn to me like a moth to a flame, knowing the danger, but unable to escape. Come closer into my web, little fly, and let me tell you my sweetest lie…
Sheer panic began to overtake her as she shook her head at him. No, no, no, no, no! Why can he do this to me? The words of no other cause me to feel like this! How can he be so wrong, but so right…
"Stop. Just… stop. This conversation is over. I… I do not think I will be returning here. Enjoy your solitude, Discord, and I shall enjoy mine." She trotted to her crown, taking it in her mouth and levitating it back onto her head as she shivered in disgust at his words. With a final glance at his face, she turned, and began her lonely walk back to the palace.
I do not believe it does end here, Tia Dearest. My influence has an unlimited range, you know. I merely left you alone on a whim… until now. We will talk again soon, and dig deeper into that troubled mind of yours. I'll win in the end, whether it be your heart, mind, or contempt, it doesn't matter to me. After all, when you embrace the incongruity of life, you begin to realize it's all the same…
She closed her eyes as she walked and shook her head.
And that is why I can never allow you to rule. I see the issue of morality, I see the fact that things are different, that each object and situation on this planet needs to have context and be carefully considered. That is the burden of rule, and you are no more fit to rule than a jester. You may entertain for a time, but I cannot abide your craving for insanity. And that is why I hate you. You understand nothing. Perhaps you're right, and I do not either. But... at least I am willing to try to do so…
Touché, my little fangirl. When you're ready to give chaos a shot, I'll be waiting…
Celestia did not bother to respond immediately in her thoughts. If he couldn't save Luna, she would wait out the remaining centuries, doing the best she could on her own.
Then I hope you have the patience of a saint. You'll be waiting a long time.
Perhaps. But I have all the time in the world to let my poison consume you. We'll talk again soon, whether you want to or not. You can only shut me out for so long…
Can't wait. Good night, Discord.
Sleep well, and dream of me, my Darling.
While you can…
Credits go to Cadenceofrain.