This story follows the events of "In Search of the Sun". It is highly advised that you read it first. However, this is the second chapter of the story, meaning you've already read the first chapter, which already explained this, so you should already know. Unless you jumped right into this one, which begs to question: WHO JUMPS INTO THE SECOND CHAPTER OF A SEQUEL FIC WITHOUT READING THE ORIGINAL WORK OR THE FIRST CHAPTER?! Who does that?!
I like your style.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Spike reassured, shrugging this tiny shoulders. He looked on, sitting atop the table. "It's just one date, right?"
"It's a date with Discord!" Twilight replied, pacing in a cycle across the library floor. "The self-proclaimed Element of Chaos!"
Spiked hopped off of the table. Earlier, the school-ponies had run amok, leaving the library an absolute wreck of misplaced books and stationary. Luckily, the turn of events at the palace had kept Twilight from noticing this, clearing Spike of any blame he might have otherwise caught. "I dunno. I kinda like Discord."
A heavy sigh escaped the unicorn. "I know he isn't the villain he used to be, but he's still, you know, Discord! He's up to something, I just know it."
"It could just be a date," Spike returned, picking up a large tome sprawled on the floor. Below his breath, he muttered, "And Princesses know you need to get out more."
His reply did not go unheard. "I do not 'need to get out more'! I get out plenty!"
The dragon rolled his eyes. "Twilight, you've never even been out on a date! Why not give it a shot?"
She was getting frustrated now, finding that even her assistant was against her. "I don't go on dates because I don't want to go on dates. Especially not ones against my will!"
"I'm just saying, Twilight," Spike continued, bending the spine straight again on a botany textbook. "Maybe this is a good thing. He's under a lot of rules and stuff, right? How much trouble can he cause?"
"More than you can imagine."
"Fine, then," the dragon continued, placing a book back on an empty shelf. "Just don't go."
Twilight let out another sigh. "I can't do that. I'm contractually obligated as part of the treaty." She looked to the clock, hovering minutes away from 6. "If I don't go, I will have violated the terms of the contract, putting Equestria at fault..."
Suddenly, a pair of tiny clawed hands began pushing her towards the stairs. "Looks like you don't have a choice then!" Spike said, a playful smile on his face. "You're going to go out, have dinner, watch a movie, go for a walk, be home no sooner than 11, and have fun! Now go up stairs and get dressed!"
In a flash, the unicorn teleported behind Spike, letting the off-balance dragon tumble forward. "Oh, nonono, Spike! Getting dressed up was not a part of the contract, and I don't intend to!" She turned her eyes to the clock again, watching the time tick by. Nothing said she had to be the submissive one tonight. She was, after all, in charge of assessing the draconequus' transition to pony culture, and had a direct line to Princess Celestia should the trickster do anything reflecting chaos. A sly smile crossed her face. She was the one in control here, not he. "He wants Twilight, so he's going to get the Twilight that Twilight wants her to be!"
Spike rose, rubbing his head. "Say what?"
The second hand crossed over 12, pushing the minute hand with it. 6 o'clock sharp, the clock gave six faint tolls.
There was a knock at the door.
Spike giggled, covering his mouth with his claws. "Looks like your date's here!"
Despite her revelation, Twilight still had little enthusiasm about this plan. "Let's get this over with." She stood before the door, using her magic to simultaneously open all three panels.
The sight that greeted her caught her by complete surprise. Her door opened to a long corridor, seemingly endless, with doors of various make dotting its walls. Large busts divided these doors, each made of a different color of gelatin and all of Discord's own face, mimicking a range of emotions. The floor of the passage was tiled in black and white marble, the patterns shifting and changing irregularly. Some sections of the floor were not even there, instead opening into what looked to be the depths of space over the pink swaths of some distant galaxy, with the occasional yo-yo reeling upwards from within. Fish swam across the air, paintings moved with life, chandeliers spun with a low hum above, and the whole scene assaulted every sense of rationality within Twilight's mind.
Spike walked to the unicorn's side, looking into the new hallway. "Whoa."
Discord now stood at Twilight's other side, his arrival unseen. "Magnificent, isn't it?"
"AH!" Twilight jumped in shock. "Discord!"
"!drocsiD !HA" Discord happily replied, talking in reverse. "That's my name!"
Recovering from the scare, Twilight immediately reacted. "Discord! This is a blatant violation of your contract!"
"It is not!" countered the draconequus. He pointed back into the long corridor beyond the door frame. "That's my new home! I can do whatever I want with it!"
Twilight again looked down the hall, watching as it slowly rotated along an axis. "Then why does my door lead to your castle?!"
Discord walked to the door. "Oh, would you relax." He closed the three panels again, before opening the entire door as if it were on a single set of hinges from the side. Now, Ponyville was on the opposite end of the door. "No need to get your reins in a knot."
Twilight felt the edge of a headache taking her. This was a clear sign of things to come. "Let's just go."
Discord narrowed his eyes as he looked over the unicorn. "You're not going to get dressed?"
"Nope," she replied flatly.
"Twilight," Discord chastised, tsk-ing with disapproval. "I mistook you for having class."
The unicorn walked through the door held open for her. "Oh, you mistook me all right."
Spike stifled a laugh. "Have fun you two! Don't do anything I wouldn't do!"
In retaliation, Twilight looked back, giving one final order. "Clean this place up Spike. It's a mess."
Discord gave a final laugh. "Time to go!" In a flash, both he and the unicorn vanished into light.
Spike stood staring at the doorway for a second. "Yeah, I'm not cleaning. Hey, Peewee!" The small phoenix stirred from a nap upon his perch in the corner. He flew over, landing on the dragon's tallest spine. Spike grabbed a deck of cards from Twilight's desk before heading outside himself. "Let's go see if Apple Bloom and her friends know how to play 5-Card Stud."
Twilight and Discord rematerialized in another burst of energy on the busy streets of Canterlot's Upper District. Though ponies bustled by in droves, each outfitted in posh garb, none seemed to notice the new arrivals as they trotted by with their heads back as far as possible and eyes sealed shut.
Discord gave an amused smirk. "Ah, the upper-class. Hasn't changed a bit in over a thousand years."
Twilight felt the faint tinge of nausea that long-distance teleportation caused. Luckily, being a magic user herself made the sickly effects fleeting at best. Once her stomach had calmed and she had assessed where they were, she turned to Discord. "Why are we in Canterlot?" Just then, she noticed the black tuxedo that adorned the draconequus, topped off with a bow tie around his long slender neck. "And, why are you so dressed up?"
The immortal straightened his sleeves. "Well, it is black-tie only."
It was then that the unicorn noticed the sensation covering her. She looked over her own body, seeing an elegant gown draped upon her frame. Glittery black cloth fit her sides closely, flowing into a velvety skirt hemmed in purple shimmering lace. A raised purple-lined collar hugged her neck, wrapped on the outside in a pearly white faux-fur stole. In her ears were two silver star-shaped earrings, and a dark purple tiara sat atop her mane, which was now held back in an elegant bun.
"Like it?" Discord asked before she herself was able again to speak.
She didn't want to admit it, but she was stunned by the beauty of the gown. Even Rarity would have been jealous of this number! A light blush began to rise. "W-well..." She fought away the tingling in her cheeks. The last thing she wanted was to let Discord win a check this early in their metaphorical chess match. "The tiara's a little much."
"Oh, fine then." With the snap of Discord's taloned fingers, the jeweled diadem changed, turning into a butterfly before fluttering off into the air. The immortal adjusted his bow tie before continuing. "Anyway, we have reservations."
Following his lead, Twilight found they were standing outside of a very luxurious restaurant. La Château Chevalier. She knew of this place through Rarity, but not from experience. Her fabulous friend swooned over the idea of one day dining at this establishment, but even her connections were not enough. "All right, how in Equestria did you get reservations here?"
She was met with a toothy grin. "Knowing the Princess personally can get you a long way."
Twilight almost wanted to smile at that. Spike again came to mind, however. "A Princess. The Princesses."
The draconequus shrugged his shoulders. "I before E except after C." He paused, looking off to the sky. "Unless it's weird or foreign. But nevermind!" With that, they proceeded inside.
Just beyond the classically designed archway, they were greeted with the gentle din of the crowded restaurant. The dim lighting and earthy tones mixed beautifully with the refined yet subtle decor, serving a refreshing change of pace from the typical liveliness seen in Ponyville. In any other circumstance, Twilight admitted that she would have been stunned by the romantic charm of the setting. That notion, however, received a fracture when she remembered who she was here with.
A stiff-shouldered stallion stood behind a small podium, almost blending in with how motionless he remained. Like most in Canterlot, he stood with his chin up, eyes languidly shut. Almost telepathically he detected the entrance of the two, asking in a nasally voice, "Reservations?"
Discord mimicked their host's adenoidal tone, stiffening his posture in mock. "Mmmmyes, I have reservations under the name "Bananasalmon von Guggenheimlich".
Twilight was unable to hold her laughter this time, issuing a brief snort as she tried.
The stallion, however, did not find the humor in this. He opened his eyes, glaring at the pair of misfits that had wandered into his establishment. "If you do not have reservations, I must ask y-" His drooping eyelids popped open as he truly took in who was before him. "DISCORD?!"
The restaurant immediately fell silent as everypony within turned to the commotion. Upon seeing the immortal standing at the door, panic overtook the room. Etiquette and class were discard in the place of screaming, each pony bolting from their seats to run about in a blind frenzy.
Discord reveled in the new energy he had inadvertently set into motion. "What do you know? I'm famous!"
Twilight stepped forward, attempting to control the crowd. Fortunately, she had been privately studying Royal Canterlot Voice. Or, at least as privately as one could study Royal Canterlot Voice. "LISTEN! EVERYPONY PLEASE SETTLE DOWN!"
The tumult within ceased, each pony freezing in place as they looked to the speaker.
With stasis obtained, Twilight tried to reinstate order. "I am Twilight Sparkle, personal student of Princess Celestia. Despite what apparently many of you know of Discord, he is now, legally, an Equestrian citizen. Under royal oath, he has sworn to be on his best behavior. There is nothing to fear."
With the look of panic still locked on their faces, the crowd silently assessed the situation. Indeed, nothing had yet floated away or turned to yoghurt or exploded, so perhaps the unicorn before them was being truthful. Twilight watched with a smirk as the diners slowly began to release from their rigid poses.
With his own smirk, Discord calmly whispered. "Boo."
Utter bedlam instantly broke out again, even louder than before. Chairs were overturned, plates were thrown, and the uproar practically shook the foundations of the building.
Twilight gritted her teeth, groaning lowly. "I. said. SETTLE DOWN!"
In a pulse of magic, she lifted each occupant of the restaurant, letting the ponies kick fruitless in the air for a second before they realized their actions no longer carried them forward. Curtly, she placed each pony back into their seats with a forceful thud, holding them in place long enough for them to get the message. With forced smiles, the fearful diners went back to their meals, trying to ignore the two new frightful guests.
Discord was rolling on his back, laughing manically the whole time. In a sudden moment of clarity, he sat up, turning to their now trembling host. "By the way, table for two for Bananasalmon von Guggenheimlich. I promise you, it's on the list."
The doorpony no longer even cared about the reservations. "R-r-r-right this way, s-s-sir..."
A short walk across the painfully silent room found the pair at a small clothed table, set beside a large window. Two upright chairs were ready for them, being considered more classy than the standard cushioned floor seat most places in Ponyville provided. Taking their seats, Twilight looked over the arrangement before her. The place setting stared back intimidatingly, an array of similar yet different utensils spread out to either side of a plate. Luckily, her palace life had at least oriented her to formal dining. What she had to worry about tonight was Discord, who had already done a good job of embarrassing her before they had even been served.
Across, the immortal took his seat, curling his tall physique over the table. "Well. This is certainly uncomfortable."
"What do you expect?" Twilight asked, an irritated rasp unobscured in her voice. "You're taller than a lot of trees!"
"True," Discord remarked, running his talon over his beard. "Perhaps a change is in order."
In a flash of light, Twilight was greeted by the peculiar sight of a Discord now in pony form. His composition was just as mixed as before, but his proportions and features had been constrained to resemble a stallion's build. His tuxedo had shifted as well to fit the new frame.
"How's this?" the transmogrified draconequus asked, cocking one of his bushy brows.
The look of horror on Twilight's face explained her thoughts well. "Grotesque." Idly, she wondered if he had a cutie mark hidden on his flank below the table's edge, and more, what it would be of.
His face contorted into a scowl. "I thought you'd like it. Fine." With a blink of his eyes, another flash burst forth.
Now, Discord was again in his old, serpentine, irregular body. This time, however, Twilight felt different. Her eyesight seemed to sit higher than it had a moment before, and a bizarre sensation of static lingered like aftermagic in her coat.
Discord sat forward with a wicked grin. He propped his head in his hands atop the table, a seductive glare in his eyes as he looked her over. "You're right. This is much better."
She knew what had happened without looking, but had to, for her own curiosity's sake, inspect the new form she possessed. Looking down, she saw her body now stretched like a snake's. The dress had changed as well to cover her as she was now, but no garment could mask the bizarre alteration of her anatomy. Her right foreleg now resembled a dragon's claw, and her left a wolf's paw. Her hind legs were just as mismatched, the left a frog's webbed leg and the right a zebra's. Her body now stretched in seamless form into a marine tail, flared at the end in a glittery fin. With newly acquired hands, she reached up, feeling two new outgrowths from her scalp; the right a goat's curved horn and left a ram's spiral. Her own horn had also grown large enough to see with ease over her bangs. To top it all off, she couldn't ignore the strange feeling of an oversized fang now occupying the right side of her mouth.
Discord ran his tongue over his own fang. "And I thought you were a looker before. Me-ow~!"
He was quickly met with the surprisingly powerful grip of a former-unicorn's dragon claw, pinning the bridge of his long face to his neck as she throttled both. She harshly pulled the startled immortal across the table, glaring with impossible fury into his eyes from inches apart.
She growled with a vicious energy. "Look, you miserable little snake! You're a feather's weight from being turned into a yard decoration, and that's just if Princess Celestia is feeling merciful enough to not hoof you over to me first!" She tightened her grip, staring daggers into the draconequus. "Turn me back. this. very. instant."
Discord threw his talon up, quickly snapping his fingers. A surge of energy flashed, revealing in its wake the unicorn in her old form.
The immortal uncoiled, rubbing his neck as he sat back in his seat. "Where was that mare when we were up to our horns in orcs?"
Twilight took a deep breath, letting her boiling blood settle again. "Let's just get this night over with." As comforting as her own form was, she couldn't help but admit that she had found her new fingers to be quite useful. More, it made her wonder how she and the rest of ponykind had been doing so well with only hooves! Perhaps, she noted, she'd need to research alteration spells when she got back to the library. Mostly in case she ever needed to strangle Discord again.
Sound was at last returning to the restaurant as a nervous unicorn waiter approached with a tremble. The colt was barely old enough to be in the restaurant, Twilight thought, and now he had to serve the once-tormentor of all ponykind.
"W-w-welcome to La Ch-Château Chevalier," the colt spoke, holding shaking menus forward with wavering magic. "M-may I start you off w-with something to drink?"
Twilight felt sorry for what this colt would have to go through tonight. "I'm sure Mister Amalgamation over here will want something like strawberry milk served in a coconut."
Discord cleared his throat, a monocle having at some point appeared over his right eye. "Let's start with an aperitif. I'll have a snifter of apple brandy - a superior pale, x.o. preferably - on the rocks, and the lovely mare will have a pale fino sherry, chilled. As for our meal, we will be dining two-course, each with a cloudlily salad appetizer. For our main courses, I would like a nice ratatouille, and she will have the soupe au pistou."
Both Twilight and the waiter stared with utter amazement. Had they just heard that correctly? From him? After a long pause, the waiter levitated the two bifold menus back to himself. "I... I'll have your drinks right away."
As the colt took his leave, Twilight still couldn't remove her astounded gaze from the immortal. She finally managed to close her mouth. "What in the hoof was that?!"
"Oh, please, Twilight," Discord returned, polishing his monocle with a handkerchief. "Just because I'm living chaos doesn't mean I can't have class."
As promised, the waiter quickly returned placing both the ordered beverages and a water glass before each party before rushing off again.
Twilight sipped at the wine before her. "So, what are you planning? Going to stick me with the bill afterwards or something?" She silently decided not to mention that the drink was to her liking.
Discord poured a small bag of pop-rocks into his brandy, stirring the drink with a length of taffy. Bubbles rose to the surface with a crackling roar. "You just can't accept that I'm not up to some form of trickery, can you?"
"Not in the slightest," she replied. "Why else would you have asked me out?"
He dumped the entire snifter's contents into this mouth, before tossing the glass in after it. A little popping could be heard as he spoke. "It couldn't be because I wanted a date?"
"Well, would you feel better if I said it was all some ruse? That I'm trying to embarrass you in some clever ploy?"
"No. But at least you're being honest."
"I'm an honest liar, Twilight. Besides, the night is young, and the tablecloth is cotton."
Again, the waiter approached the table, this time moving a small table cart ahead of himself with magic, two salads atop. "H-here are your appetizers." He quickly presented the diners with their salads, avoiding as much eye contact as possible with the once-villainous Discord.
Just as the colt began to walk away, the cart before him again, he was called back by the very draconequus he had been trying to escape any notice from. "Hey! You!"
In a sudden pulse of startled magic, the tray cart was sent careening across the restaurant away from the colt. In the distance, a crash reported, along with the shrieks of whomever happened to have been in the way.
Shaking, the waiter turned, looking back with fearful eyes to the caller. "Y-y-yes, s-s-s-sir...?"
Discord gave a mischievous smirk. He stared into the colt's eyes, watching them quiver with apprehension. "Catch." From his pocket, Discord retrieved a shining bit, flipping it in the air towards the waiter.
The colt, however, only managed to scream in response, dashing away back into the kitchen long before the bit even managed to hit the ground.
Discord sat back. "Guess he didn't want his tip," he marveled.
Twilight did her best to ignore these antics. "Would you stop?" She cautiously probed a leaf of her salad with the correct utensil. She wasn't willing to venture saying that Discord hadn't somehow altered it. "Let's just have a nice, quiet dinner, all right?"
This seemed to snap something in the immortal. "Oh, how can you possibly be so boring!"
The unicorn nimbly avoided sticking herself in the nose as she went for a bite. "What?!"
Discord crossed his arms in a huff. "I'm doing my best to make something of this dreadful evening and all of my efforts are being brought to naught because of you!"
Twilight herself had had enough now. She slammed her hooves onto the table "Because of me?! You turned me into a draconequus, and you're complaining about me?!"
"Yes!" the immortal shot back. "You're so tame it's depressing!"
She couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Tame?! You're calling me tame?! Compared to you, nuclear fission is tame! I'm just trying to keep what sanity I have around you!"
"That's the problem!" Discord shouted back, leaning over the table towards the outraged unicorn. "You're just no fun!"
Twilight's eye twitched as she transcended to a new level of anger she had never experienced before. She felt as though her mane was about to ignite as she stood over the table. "I'm plenty fun, Discord! I'm fun like you don't even know, thank you! But I don't need complete disorder to have fun like you do!"
"Like I said!" the draconequus replied, leaning in further. "You're boring!"
Twilight moved closer in return. "Why, you!" she snarled.
Discord hovered just inches from the unicorn now. "And you know what makes it worse? What really festers it? I know that isn't you. I know that in there is an utter lunatic. The kind that will disrupt all of Ponyville just to have something to write about. The kind of madmare who will alter the flow of time just to warn herself not to overreact to when she went back and failed to warn herself not to overreact! Now her? She's fun! She knows how to live a little!"
Staring back into his mismatched eyes, Twilight felt her rage boil, turning over into something new entirely. Her eyes softened into a devious expression. In a sensual tone, she cooed. "Oh? Well, maybe I should show you how much fun I can be?" She pouted her lips ever so slightly as she leaned in just the smallest fraction closer.
A crimson tint spread over Discord's bony cheeks. "Oh-ho! I like where this is going!" He closed his eyes, lifting his chin up, lips puckering like a suction cup.
He was met with the cold, uncaring kiss of a full salad bowl being rammed against his face.
With the bowl still firmly attached, he leaned back. It finally released, falling to land into the soft leaves in his own dish. "You... You hit me with a salad..."
Across, Twilight beamed with a look of satisfaction. "I sure as hay did! Chaos goes both ways, pal!"
Discord stared back, blank of expression. The corner of his mouth twitched, slowly curving up into a ridiculous grin as laughter bubbled in short rasps his throat.
Twilight tried to hold back a snicker of her own, but soon found her lungs betraying her. Her lips rolled in as she did her best to hold back the urge.
With a hiss of breath from both draconequus and unicorn, the two roared into a fit of laughter together.
"Now that is the unicorn I like!"
"Oh, hush before I get another salad!"
As the two shared in their own humor, two figures walked towards them. One was the waiter from before, hiding half-way behind the taller stallion ahead of him. The other introduced himself as the two guests' laughter subsided. "I'm the manager of this facility."
Discord immediately extended his talon out to grab the pony's hoof in a frantic shake. "Howdy! I'm the Queen of Prussia!"
Feeling the evening had already fallen to ruin, Twilight didn't see the harm in furthering the shenanigans. It was already unlikely she would ever be allowed to return. "And I'm the Duchess of Unicornia! Charmed to meet you!"
The manager retracted his hoof before the immortal shook it clean off his arm. "You two have caused quite the scene tonight. I must ask you to leave the premises immediately." He shuffled nervously, quickly assessing who he was talking to. "Um... please?"
Discord stood from his seat, towering well over the otherwise intimidating manager. "Very well." He removed a small pouch from his coat pocket, dropping it on the table with the metallic clang of bits within. "I'd like to thank you for a lovely evening, and without further ado..." The immortal took a deep bow, lowering until his head was level with the manager's. His eyes suddenly popped open, glaring into the stallion's own. Magic flashed as the tuxedo Discord had worn vanished into nothing. "NAKED!" he announced with a hysterical cackle, tossing his arms into the air as he ran out of the building.
Gasps rose from all around as the diners were exposed to the unclothed immortal, despite the fact that many ponies didn't bother wearing clothes anyway.
Twilight hopped out of her seat. Again, if you're going to be banned from somewhere, why not be as thorough as possible? In a burst of her own magic, her dress vanished as well, much to the disapproval of the many guests. She sauntered out of the restaurant to catch back up with Discord, shaking her tail with each step just to further mock the uptight patrons. Each offended response seemed to cheer her own. Maybe there was something to chaos after all.
Outside she found Discord, rolling on his back in a maddening laugh. Passersby were doing their best not to take notice.
She walked up, letting the immortal finish his fit. "Well, that couldn't have gone worse."
"I think it went perfectly!" Discord returned, taking to his feet again. "Now, let's get to that movie." He extended an avian claw to the unicorn.
Twilight placed her hoof in his hand. "Sure. But you owe me popcorn."
In a flash, the two were gone, off to some other locale for the second part of their date.