The sun princess stepped out onto one of her castle home's many balconies, staring up at the vast sky. It was dusk, and this was the most beautiful time of the day for Celestia, for even though her sun was no longer visible in the sky, and Luna's night was now sweeping over Equestria, faint trails of pinks and purples still stretched across the horizon from the setting of the sun. For this short while, it was almost as if the two regal sisters shared the sky.
Celestia's ivory wings fluttered as she reveled in how truly magnificent the atmosphere looked at this moment. And as she admired it in silence, she didn't realize she was being watched.
So when the draconequus who had been watching her flew up and kissed her cheek, she gasped and jumped slightly.
He smiled warmly at her. "Did I startle you, my princess?" he asked in a playful tone, his eyes ablaze with mischief.
Celestia sighed and smirked at her beloved. "Can't you ever greet me in a normal way, Discord?"
He chuckled in amusement and ran his talons through her flowing pastel mane. "Normal? Oh now, what fun is there in being normal Tia?"
She quirked a brow but somehow couldn't keep from smiling in adoration at the chimera she'd fallen for. She leaned against him and he linked his arms around her neck.
"Somehow I knew you would say something like that," she replied.
His face displaying a great deal of shock, and his eyebrows rising over his peculiar yellow eyes, he gently pushed her away, placing his lion paw over his heart melodramatically. "Oh no, don't tell me I've become predictable, like you!" He nuzzled his cheek against hers, placing his eagle claw to his forehead. "Oh that would be terribly dreadful, I couldn't bear that, my dearest."
Her only response was a small inward laugh as she looked out over the castle gardens, her weary frown returning. She seemed to be getting more lost in her thoughts.
Tilting his head like a puppy would, he gazed at her with a furrowed brow. "What's the matter Tia?"
She weakly smiled up at his curious expression for a moment before turning away, giving a heavy sigh and closing her eyes. "It's nothing Discord," she assured him. "Just a little overwhelmed right now."
"With what?" he asked.
She threw him a mock glare. "Well if you spent a little more time around the castle, instead of running off and summoning falling pies or turning lakes into jello, maybe you'd know, now wouldn't you?"
He crossed his arms and huffed. "And be bored to tears with your silly royal meetings and sessions with the court?"
She pursed her lips and walked over to the railing. She placed her forehooves on the railing's top, watching the deep blue sky slowly darken to more of a purplish-black. "That's…actually what's bothering me…" she trailed off.
Discord nodded as an understanding smile formed on his face. "Ahhh, you're overworked. The stress of ruling over this massive kingdom is finally taking its toll on you, eh?"
She closed her eyes, exhaling deeply through her nostrils. "Maybe a little…"
He tapped a talon to his chin. "Hmmmm...I think I can help with that."
With a snap of his fingers he was gone.
Celestia blinked. "Wha…Discord?"
Several lengthy moments passed before a blinding vortex of light appeared above the castle garden labyrinth. The beams of light swirled like an angry tornado, producing strong gusts a wind that were so powerful that Celestia had to partially shield her body with one of her wings.
When the winds ceased, Celestia peaked up, greatly fearing whatever havoc Discord had wreaked this time, what unspeakable chaos he'd brought forth that she'd surely have to deal with.
But the vortex was gone, and right above where it had just been were now…puffy pink clouds?
In another flash of light, Discord appeared before her. "Follow me, up there." He pointed to the clouds. "I have a feeling you're going to love this." He grinned at her impishly, taking flight and soaring higher in the sky.
It didn't take him long to notice that she wasn't following, and he whirled around in the air to see her staring at him in surprise, her brows furrowed. She opened her mouth to reply, but no words came to her.
"Oh come on Tia!" he urged. "Put those majestic wings of yours to use for once in your immortal life! You'll like this, I promise!"
Celestia smirked up at the draconequus, rolling her eyes at how tenacious he was when it came to provoking her. Deciding to humor him, she flapped her feathered wings, and gracefully sailed off her balcony. She soared up higher and higher in the air. But then she halted and hovered in place as she caught sight of the captivating scene before her.
Plush pink clouds of many different sizes and hues surrounded the sun princess, some floating across the sky, while most stayed suspended in place. Beyond the puffy clouds, countless bright stars had begun to light up the sky, and just above the clouds, Luna's magnificent moon illuminated the setting even more, a true pièce de résistance.
"Wow," Celestia whispered, mesmerized by the sheer beauty that could come out of conjuring up chaos. She craned her neck and saw shooting stars zipping by here and there, adding further decoration to the unbelievable scenery. Her lavender eyes wide with wonder, she landed, with caution, on the edge of the nearest cloud, finding that these clouds not only looked soft, but were soft to the touch as well.
"Lovely isn't it?" he whispered in her ear.
She slowly nodded, still speechless at first. Finally she looked over at him as he smiled up at his handy work. "You did all this?" she asked.
He gave a smug nod of his head and crossed his mismatched arms. "Pulling master pranks isn't the only thing I'm capable of, you know. Although I must admit, pranks are a little more rewarding in my opinion." He put a talon to her chin, staring at her intently as she gazed back. "But not as rewarding as seeing that dazzling smile of yours."
A deep shade of crimson graced her cheeks, and her small ears lowered, which in turn caused Discord to chuckle warmly.
"What are these clouds made of, exactly?" questioned the princess as she lifted her front left hoof.
Instead of answering her, he leaned down and scooped up a pawful of the fluffy pink substance. He then offered it to her. "Try it and find out for yourself."
She studied the small portion of cloud in Discord's palm warily for a moment, and then leaned in and took a small bite of the whipped creation. Her eyes lit up at the pleasant taste and she licked her lips. "Mmmmm, cotton candy!"
"Mm-hmm," he said with another nod. Then, in one swift move, he stepped onto an adjoining cotton candy cloud and began to hop from cloud to cloud, using them like stepping stones.
He looked over his shoulder and motioned her with his paw. "C'mon Celestia!" he pointed to a gargantuan cloud that was much higher up than any of the others. "Race ya to that one!" He was about to take off again when a thought crossed his mind. He held a claw up and turned back to her. "And no cheating by using your wings!"
She gave him a hesitant look while still appearing amused. "Uh…come again?"
"You heard me Celestia, no flying, you have to jump to each cloud. First one to reach that one is the winner. Go!" The draconequus then resumed to hopping across the gaps at an impressive speed.
Her mouth still hanging open, Celestia laughed and shook her head. She then shrugged and proceeded to leap to the nearest cloud, following Discord. At first he was much farther ahead of her, and it seemed that the regal mare didn't have a prayer of catching up to him. But by the time they were halfway, Celestia was using her long equine legs to her advantage and, miraculously, she had passed him.
Unable to contain his shock, he jumped onto a small cloud as it floated by. "How did you do that?" His eyes narrowed into slits. "Are you cheating?"
She couldn't help but giggle. "I don't need to cheat, you forget that I have longer legs than you."
The two frolicked across patches of clouds like deer, laughing all the while. At last Celestia was only meters away from claiming a victory. She leaped and bounded, using the final clouds as a sort of staircase.
A frantic Discord knew she was about to beat him in a race, and his ego simply wouldn't allow that to happen. So what's a sly chimera do in a predicament like this? Improvise, of course.
Just as Celestia's front hooves were about to touch down on the highest cloud, her keen ears flicked to the sound of fingers snapping at lightning speed. And in a flash of blinding light, Discord appeared right in front of her, his feet planted firmly on the cotton candy mound.
Celestia gawked at him in disbelief, her eyes wide as saucers.
"Yeeess! Woohooo! I win! I win!" He jumped about, flipping in mid-air and pumping his fists. "Ahhh, sweet, sweet victory."
"You cheated," Celestia said in a breathless and incredulous voice.
He waggled a finger at her. "Ah ah ah, my dear, I did no such thing."
"But you said—"
"I said no flying. I never said anything about teleportation."
She stared at him in stunned silence for a few moments. Then with narrowed eyes and a grin, she said, "That was an underhanded move, Discord."
He flapped his wings and hovered in front of her, cupping her face in his hands. "Oh Tia, it's as if you didn't expect me to pull a stunt like that."
The alicorn looked out over the surroundings of the cloud they were on, peering over the edge and gaping at how incredibly high up they were.
"Well, as the rightful winner, I have one request, my princess."
Her smirk returning to her face, she stared back at him with guarded eyes. Regretting the words as soon as they left her lips, she asked, "And what would that be?"
He took another step toward her. Now face to face with the striking alicorn, he extended his paw to her in an ostentatious manner. "May I have this dance?"
She blinked at him, that combination of caution and confusion on her face only causing his smile to widen. She lifted a hoof and glanced around. "H...here?"
A chuckle resonated in his chest. "Just a simple waltz. C'mon, I'll lead." He gave her a charming smile, if a smile that displayed a rather conspicuous fang could be considered 'charming' in any way.
At first she was still unsure, as was common when it came to Discord and his chaos, but seeing no harm in it, she offered her hoof to him. He in turn slipped his avian arm around her back.
The two stepped and circled about at a relaxed pace, twirling and spinning on the confectionary cloud.
Discord spun his princess, gently gripping her hoof as she performed a pirouette with finesse that could easily put any ballerina to utter shame.
"Celestia, you have natural rhythm," stated the draconequus. "Have you studied dancing?"
Her gentle peals of laughter rang out like a melodious harp as she danced with her love. "Once long ago, when I was younger. Royal family members are required to be schooled in many subjects, and ballroom dancing was one of them."
He let out a sigh as he held her close. "Mm, those were the days weren't they? When we were younger, before you assumed the throne…back when your hair was still that lovely shade of pink."
She tilted her head and suppressed a giggle. "You liked my hair that way?"
"Of course I did." He let go of her hoof so he could gesture to the heavenly scenery surrounding them. "Why else do you think I love cotton candy so much? I mean, besides the fact that it's scrumptious, it's also a sweet reminder of yesteryear, when we would fly together, your mane flowing like a glorious cape. It resembled cotton candy as it fell around your face." His voice dropped to a soft murmur. "Never in my life had I ever seen a pony with hair so beautiful before."
She gazed up at him with parted lips. So that explained his obsession with the whipped dessert.
"And look at us now, thousands of years later, and somehow you still tolerate me!"
Celestia smirked up at him. "I will admit: you do make it difficult to tolerate sometimes. Especially when you cheat in cloud-hopping races…all in the name of winning."
He flashed a grin. "Celestia, it doesn't matter if I cheated or played fairly, I would've won either way."
She frowned and quirked a brow at him. "Oh really? And what makes you say that?"
With a suave smile, he gently caressed her face with is paw, running a claw along her cheek and down her jawline. Staring back into those stunning lavender eyes, he replied, "Because I win simply by being in your company, Celestia. As long as you're here with me, there's eternal victory in my soul."
Her heart flipping wildly within her, she felt a warm blush grace her cheeks again. She closed her eyes and laid her head upon his chest. "How do you do that?" she whispered.
With a snicker, he asked, "Do what?"
"Make me fall more and more in love with you every day."
Adoration very present in his eyes, he placed both hands on either side of her face and brushed muzzles with her. She sighed in response as their lips inched closer and closer together.
Her eyes reamining closed, she waited for him to mesh his lips with hers in a sweet kiss.
But instead nothing happened.
She waited patiently a few more moments, and then opened one eye. She gasped, finally realizing he'd disappeared. She looked all around but he was nowhere in sight.
Leave it to Discord to ruin a perfectly romantic moment.
"Discord?" she called out, her voice echoing into the night. "Discord?"
A few moments passed, and then, his distant chuckling sounded.
"Down here, Celestia!" he said in a sing-song voice.
She looked down to see him hovering far below the clouds. He motioned her with his eagle claw. "Come on, this way! Come with me!"
Miffed at him for denying her a kiss, she nonetheless leaped up and swooped down, flying after him. She glided through the air, the night wind feeling so nice against her ivory coat. Together, the two flew over the land, the draconequus performing flips and twists, even flying upside down at one point, making Celestia laugh.
But her laughter didn't last long, for soon after, a deafening thunderclap crashed in the sky.
The sun princess halted, hovering in place while looking up at the heavy pink clouds, which were now a darker shade, more of a fuchsia now. More thunder rumbled, and within seconds, chocolate milk began to fall from the clouds in thick drops.
Celestia had never been a big fan of rain, and had never before been caught in a chocolate milk storm, so she quickly zoomed down near the ground. She glided just above the tall blades of grass for a moment before landing on the ground. She frantically searched for cover, and to her relief, she spotted a small cave opening nearby. She dashed into the cave, knowing she'd be dry in there.
No sooner had she stepped into the safe haven of the dark cave than the draconequus swooped in after her.
"What are you doing?" he asked, crossing his arms. "You're not afraid of a little rain are you?"
She glared back at him. "Of course not…I just…I don't like getting wet. You know that." She sat down, leaning against the cave wall.
"Oh come on Celestia, live a little!" pleaded Discord as he walked up to her and grasped her front hooves. "You haven't truly lived until you've been out during a chocolate milk storm!"
She looked outside as the sprinkling of brown droplets picked up into a mild shower. She uneasily shook her head. "I'm not sure…"
"You might like it, if you just give it a try."
Initially, it took him pulling her out into the storm by her hooves, and she contemplated running back into the safety of the cave until the storm was over, but as she stood out in it for a while and got used to the cold wind and milk droplets pelting her, she realized that it wasn't so bad after all.
In fact, it was actually kind of exhilarating to her. She couldn't remember the last time she'd been out in the rain. It made the princess feel so free, to be among the elements, to feel her flowing mane and tail become soaked by the 'rain'. She leaned her head back feeling the chocolate milk cover her face. She stuck her tongue out, letting the droplets fall onto it, tasting the syrupy sweet treat.
Then she started laughing. Her laughter was genuine and made her feel so uplifted, which made her laugh even more.
She galloped to the top of a small hill just up ahead. On the other side of the hill was a vast field that seemed to stretch on for miles. It was scattered with puddles of milk.
The alicorn trotted down the hill and raced over to a large group of puddles and began to splash about in them.
Discord watched Celestia frolic in the puddles, giggling all the while, and the sight couldn't have warmed his heart more. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, he ran into the field and joined her. "I told you you'd like it!" he exclaimed, stomping into a larger puddle, sending chocolate milk splashing straight up and out like a fountain.
"You were right!" cried the sun princess. "I haven't had this much fun in years!"
The couple ran around and chased each other, splashing each other and laughing while running through the open field together.
But it was Celestia who was the one to surprise Discord with her next move. As they circled and dashed through the grass, she seized an opportunity, and bounded forward, tackling him unexpectedly.
The two tumbled and fell to the ground instantly.
Discord found himself pinned beneath the beautiful alicorn with a dropped jaw.
She beamed down at his shocked expression and chortled softly. "Gotcha," she whispered.
Stunned silent, he finally let out a chuckle and leaned his head back against the lush grass. Celestia then rested her head on his furred chest and nuzzled him affectionately. How long they lay there together in the rain, neither one knew for certain; they were enjoying each other's company far too much to care.
Discord lifted his avian hand and sifted his claws through her now soaking wet pastel mane. "Have I ever told you how stunning you look with your mane drenched in chocolate milk?" he teased in a quiet murmur.
She beamed down at him, shivers zipping along her spine as he ran his fingers through her mane. She leaned down and planted a warm kiss on his cheek. "No. Can't say you've ever told me that."
"Well it's true." He tenderly stroked her left ear. "See now, wasn't that fun?"
She nodded. "Mhm. I've done lots of dancing, but never on cotton candy clouds. And I forgot how fun it was to run through the rain. It revived this strange exuberance in me I didn't even know I had."
He grinned, his large fang sticking out. "I told you. You just need a little spontaneity in your life, Celestia. Which is my specialty."
Her eyes fixated on him, she leaned even closer, their snouts barely touching. With lidded eyes, she said, "You know something else that's spontaneous that I've never done?"
She ran her hoof down the side of his face. "Kissed somepony in the rain."
A devious gleam alit in his eyes, Discord responded, "Oh we can fix that right now Tia."
She tilted her head to one side with a smile. "But…if I were to try to kiss you again…do you promise not to disappear like last time?"
He snaked his arms around her neck, brushing his lips along hers. "You have my word, my dear," he assured her.
"I don't want your word Discord…I want you."
"You have me," he breathed. "The question is: do I have you?"
"Yes," she whispered with a loving smile. "Now, and for all of eternity."
Bringing her face closer and finally closing the gap between their lips, Discord fervently kissed Celestia as they lay together in the grass, the chocolate rain continuing to sprinkle down from the clouds the draconequus had conjured up.
Right now, Celestia wasn't worrying about meetings, the court, or the council, her royal guard, overseeing special events, reading letters, or even current threats being made against Canterlot. All that mattered right now was that they were together.
And for this moment, she was in total and complete bliss.